No Such Thing As A Long Time

This gallery contains 10 photos.

“There is no such thing as a long time.  Only memories worth remembering and memories that aren’t.” (Sylvester Stallone This Is Us Season 2 Ep 3)….I felt such relief after hearing these words! A counselor once told me “Sophie’s been gone 2 yrs.  It’s time to move on.” Excuse me??? As if 720 Days WITHOUT […]

Gifts: Past & Present 

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Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? Every day with my children is a gift.  I continue to cherish and unwrap each moment.  Each day new, exciting, challenging and exhausting. I ADORE. My.Girls!!!! And even though Sophie isn’t in this image below, she’s included in all I am about to say, because she truly taught me […]

There’s No Place Like Home!!!!

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Our halls are decked, tree trimmed, stockings hung by the chimney with care, lights lit, sprays of garland outline our walls, it’s Christmas!!!! The most wonderful time of the year and yet we miss her, Sophie.  This is our 6th Christmas without her.  It feels like an eternity and just yesterday.  It’s rough when your […]

Takes longer to bake a potatoo

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My husband, Russ didn’t want to deliver Our Precious Miracle Lillirose but he almost did. I decided I wanted to do most of work of delivering of our “Rainbow Baby” at home and then proceed to the hospital for the actual birth.  No anesthetics this time around…completely natural. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized at 23 weeks […]

Say What???

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Saying anything about her truth has never been easy for Abby.  She’s always been a girl who’s kept her thoughts and words under tight lock and key.  I worried about her constantly after Sophie went to Heaven.  I knew she must be thinking and feeling things, but how would she ever communicate her brokeness to […]

The War is Over!

I am FREE!!!! I am FREEEE!!!!!

and

he who The Son sets free is free indeed!

 
When our family moved South 8 months after Our Beloved Sophie and Nancy went to heaven; I believed that God was asking us to move to a place we had never been or laid eyes on before, like modern day Abrahams.  God was calling us to move to a new land flowing with milk and honey, the promised land.  Enthusiastically and broken hearted (yes they can co-exist at the same time) filled with faithful promises we uprooted our family, our memories, and our lives.  In the midst of the excitement and sorrow I had forgotten about the giants that preoccupied the very same land!!!  I overlooked that we would have to do battle once again.  However, I did remember our family’s previous battles, our wounds were still fresh, not even healed.  As a family we battled, as individuals we fought.  We were battle scared and weary.  Blood, sweat and tears oozed from every orifice of our bodies, hearts and minds prior to our relocation, if you would have told us we had one more epic battle coming our family’s way I/we would have run in the opposite direction!  We were too weak, broken and wounded going into this war, in our own strength we could not win!  But, we desperately wanted to apprehend the promises of God and we began to march forward.
2 years after our relocation I became debilitated with a sickness foreign to me and my family.  When my test results came back positive for Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever our breath left our bodies.  What???Lyme??? is that real?  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?? huh?? We quickly learned RMSF is the only tick related illness that is categorically fatal and Lyme is very difficult to treat.  We were shell shocked, in disbelief certainly this isn’t the promised land, God, is it???  
I was already living the hard-pressed life Paul talks about in Phillipians torn between Heaven and Earth and now my body and parts of my heart were really ready to be relocated to heaven.  I needed my physical suffering and pain to end, but my heart and mind knew I was desperately needed here on earth.  However, we did try to prepare our hearts, to hold each other loosely and each day became a gift as time moved forward, moment by moment.
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As we pursued medical treatments and followed over 8 different treatment protocols; 2 that almost ended in death, however fervent prayers for wisdom and healing continued.  Some of the sweetest spoken from my 9 year old, Abigail who was nursing a very broken heart after saying good-bye to her baby sister a very short time prior.  Sophie 872
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“Mommy are you going to heaven?” she would whisper.  “Not today my sweet girl, not today.” I whispered back.
I was 100% totally committed.  Whatever I needed to do to win this battle, I would do!  
Lots of battle plans failed.  The war strategies are so vastly different for anyone who battles in these wars. There’s not one successful blueprint for any individual warrior to follow!  God revealed my final battle plan.  I began to commute to GA to meet with a Major General, an alternative medicine expert commissioned in the Lyme and tick related illnesses battle.  His wife was infected.  Dr. Anderson did anything and everything to free her.  Today she is also free!
After 8 months of commuting, my battle ended in victory!  On January 13th, 2014; on my last visit to GA to see Dr. Seneca Anderson.  All spirochetes that have systemically attacked my entire body for 730 days, have been eradicated!  No longer a captive, my life has been restored.  Liberation, jubilation, restoration, redemption, Victory! War over!  I did lose some of the battles but I won the entire war!!  God, Dr. Anderson and I have slayed those giant Lyme and Rocky Mountain bugs!  100% success and 100% destroyed!  My body is FREE!!!!!  An extraordinary gift, my life and health restored!  Faith renewed.  Words fail to communicate my/our excitement, but it feels a bit like this for all of us….
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A new season, a new year, new dreams, a new me and a new beginning!  So much newness, joyful electricity surges through my veins.  Free!!!! from a disease that most traditional doctors say can not be completely removed from our bodies once infected.  Patients infected will always do battle with Lyme and other tick related spirochetes once they have invaded.  That’s a lie that has been swallowed!  I want to give anyone out there hope and say ….it is possible to rid your body of these diseases, I and many other patients of  Dr. Anderson’s can testify!  Is it hard to exterminate the infectious bugs?  Absolutely!  Is it painful?  Absolutely!  Are sacrifices made?  100 percent, yes!  But, Freedom is achievable!  You can WIN!
I can say today I have won! Not only is my body clear from Spirochettes: but the toxins they leave behind are also detectable and I have no detectable toxins!!  The lowest toxin level registered by any adult is a 5 and guess what??? I am a 5!!!!!!  no toxins of any kind, chemical, environmental, free radical, bacterial nothing, none, nada, zip~~~~clean as a whistle!
 
As I rejoice, I know someone else is crying and asks why….I used to say “hang on” but now I say “let go and let God lead you.”  Intimately, I know how hard the battle is, I know the eminent dangers and the darkness that surrounds the battle field, and so does God.  He’s there with you fighting and going before you.  
At my last Drs appt, when my freedom was confirmed; this was my daily devotion from Streams in the Desert.  His timing is perfect. I wanted to share it.  God wanted to show me his heart towards me and to you.  He draws near to the broken-hearted and binds there wounds.  Don’t give up sweet one!
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them.(John 10:4)
This is intensely difficult work for Him and us—it is difficult for us to go, but equally difficult for Him to cause us pain. Yet it must be done. It would not be in our best interest to always remain in one happy and comfortable location. Therefore He moves us forward. The shepherd leaves the fold so the sheep will move on to the vitalizing mountain slopes. In the same way, laborers must be driven out into the harvest, or else the golden grain would spoil.

But take heart! It could never be better to stay once He determines otherwise; if the loving hand of our Lord moves us forward, it must be best. Forward, in His name, to green pastures, quiet waters, and mountain heights! (See Ps 23:2.) “He goes on ahead of [us].” So whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him, and the eye of faith can always discern His majestic presence out in front. When His presence cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move ahead. Comfort your heart with the fact that the Savior has Himself experienced all the trials He asks you to endure; He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that the paths were not too difficult or strenuous for you.

This is the blessed life—not anxious to see far down the road nor overly concerned about the next step, not eager to choose the path nor weighted down with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following the Shepherd, one step at a time.

Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow!
Dark is life’s way, for night is not yet o’er;
The longed-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;
But, this I know and trust, HE GOES BEFORE.

Dangers are near! and fears my mind are shaking;
Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;
But I am His—He knows the way I’m taking,
More blessed even still—HE GOES BEFORE.

Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o’er me,
Doubts that life’s best—life’s choicest things are o’er;
What but His Word can strengthen, can restore me,
And this blest fact; that still HE GOES BEFORE.

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this my consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.

J. Danson Smith

The oriental shepherd always walked ahead of his sheep. He was always out in front. Any attack upon the sheep had to take him into account first. Now God is out in front. He is in our tomorrows, and it is tomorrow that fills people with fear. Yet God is already there. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass through Him before they can get to us. F. B. Meyer

God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today,
Certain of finding at sunrise,
Guidance and strength for my way;
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain,
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain.

We’re Not Professional Climbers!

So Far  (A 3 min video begins this post. Simply click the words that proceed the parenthesis),

Sophie has spent nearly 3 years living in heaven.  Her father, big sister and myself have been learning to navigate through grief.  It feels like scaling K2.  The new terrain is unpredictable, dangerous, terrifying, unfamiliar and complicates our souls.  Radically our travels are transforming our family.  We have stumbled upon courage, strength, perserverence, love and joy through the climb.  However, our progress is somewhat stilted, our visibility is randomly obstructed and intermittently we loose ground.  Travel guide authorities we have met while climbing have suggested that our climb through grief is not yet complete.   “Completed? What?  We’re not professional climbers, not even novices!  We have an 8 year old in tow!  We were chosen for this climb but we are totally untrained, uneducated and physically weakened by the circumstances and requirements of this task.  We’re barely putting one foot in front of the other.  Breathing shallow.  Chapped, bruised, bleeding, salt water stings our cheeks.  There are days we slide backwards.  Reaching completion seems totally unattainable?  or is it just unrealistic?”

I think our grieving process will never reach completion until our entire family is reunited, reaching our final destination, together in heaven forever.  Then our climb through grief will be complete.  Until then, navigating our climb through grief may be less intense, there will be moments of discovery, epiphany and success.  There already have been so many of those miraculous moments and yet for us to have to climb each day separate from Sophie whom we loved so dearly, the word insurmountable comes to my mind.

It is not the *natural* order of life to bury a child.  So I would have to conclude that climbing through the grieving process would not follow any *natural* patterns either.  Certainly, there are opportunities to be transformed along the journey.  Navigating with the pain.  We *live* each day by the Grace of God.  Yet, still there are days where we shake our fists and a whisper turns into a scream.  

 I turned to the scream of One Man who made the ultimate climb,

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Remembering the promise that was made prior to His last scream, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” One day I will be in paradise too and HE has not forsaken me!   We will complete our climb through grief, our reunion awaits!  He blew into my lungs filling me with everything I needed to head for higher ground.  Hard pressed and still learning to climb through the brutal terrain of grief tender hearted and incomplete.  Until….