"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I was cleaning off the desktop so I could see Rachel's beautiful face on it again.....and clicked on her slideshow.  Ended up crying and looking at more pictures after that. Oh I miss this little girl.  Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago that I could hold her like this in my arms. Such a hard time. Such a beautiful time.  I want to see her smile again. I wish I could watch her playing with her toys again.

Looking at your sister....

Friday, February 24, 2012


We have a lent tree this year! I have wanted to do this for so long, but just haven't had the energy or time to do this until now. It's nothing fancy. Just some dead branches (more like twigs)  from our backyard.  We put them in a pot that my cousin brought over (with a gorgeous white flower) on the day that Rachel died.  That was such a kind thing for her to do. And I set it on a tablecloth that used to adorn our small table in our first apartment together in Osbourne Winnipeg.  It has five loaves of bread and two fish - reminding me of the boy who brought his lunch to Jesus and he multiplied it for the crowd - a reminder to us that God is Our Provider.  I bought it in China before I met Dave. Then a few years later (ten years ago now), Dave was in Seminary and I was finishing University and then working to pay our bills.  And God did provide.  We often marveled at how our expenses, when added up, were far greater than the amount of money coming in....and yet we never fell behind. God is faithful.

There are lots of ways to use a Lent tree.  Last year a very dear friend of ours sent us this picture of some paper grapes with Rachel's name on the back. She told me that their family was praying for Rachel and for us every day through Lent.  They printed out other Easter related pictures, hung them on their tree and used them to pray for people. This inspired me to do something similar this year. Except, instead of putting them on our tree, we are going to put them on our wall.  And last night we started with Rachel. We thanked God for her. We asked God to give her a kiss for us. Dave asked Jesus to hold her like he always used to hold Rachel.  Thank-you God for being our Shepherd.....
(and for The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world...)

I found another idea for our Lent tree on this blog:  Babe of My Heart You read a different story/scripture each day and then hang an ornament that corresponds to what you read. I only made the tree on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday....so I didn't have the ornaments. I was happy to find another site where someone found all the corresponding pictures to the above blog and they are easy to print out! This is the site for the pictures...a mustard seed journey
 Ann Voskamp also has a beautiful idea for the lent tree as well.  This is the site: Making Easter Tree Trail to Nail Tree. With Devotionals and pictures to hang.  I think it covers the last ten days before Easter.  I just wanted to start earlier but I really like what she does too.

Day Two: Creation
Another tip from a friend: Put your branches into water so they will flower....I'm not sure which ones will do this better than others....:) I know that I am SO looking forward to looking out our window to see Rachel's tree, which looks dead now, in full blossom....!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7)

Her 21st month birthday...

......is today. And I miss her so much. There aren't any words for this kind of missing.  And yet at the same time, I am feeling lighter in my spirit than I have felt in so long.  God is helping me to open my hands, to trust Him. Because his gifts for us will be good. I don't know what they will look like and I don't have to have it all figured out.  And after feeling so heavy in my body, my spirit, my heart, for so very very long, it is strange and wonderful to Let Go..... 

I don't think for a minute that our grieving is done, or the hurt won't resurface with a vengeance.  I'm quite sure it will. But I am going to rest here in this moment, this day.  And it is good.  He is Good.

So....thank-you if you have been praying for us....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pre-recorded Radio montages.

If you still want to hear our pre-recorded montages that were played on the radio, I just found out that you can hear David by doing this....

Click on the Radiothon link (see last post) and then click on "Meet our Families" and choose "Rachel's story".  If you want to hear my montage, leave a note with your email address and I'll send it to you too.

They did an amazing job piecing these together. 

I'll write more later...!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Here's the link....you can listen online....

Friends of ours and many others are telling their stories, to raise support for the Alberta Children's Hospital and Rotary Flames House.  Dave will be on the air on Friday afternoon.

I just heard some clips of Dave talking about Rachel. I'm a mess already but I can't turn it off either....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm Thankful for....

1.  This morning Dave took care of the kids so I could sleep. This is what Ethan said to Dave this morning....
"Sssshhh. Listen." Dave says, "to what?" 
"I can hear the birds singing. And you know what they're singing? Praises to God. It's so beautiful!"

2. Abigail's prayer, that she wants to pray every time she can. And it makes me smile every time. 
"Dear God, Thank-you for everyone and everything. And Thank-you for this food. Please help Grandma and Grandpa, and me, and Ethan, and mommy when our colds are here. (This list keeps expanding and the people who get better don't get taken off the list) And please help us when Rachel is gone. Amen!

3. The other night I couldn't sleep so I decided to transfer the birthdays from the 2011 calender to the 2012 one. (both MCC calenders) As I kept getting closer to August, I started feeling sadder, wondering what day of the week August 5th would land on, remembering what that awful day was like.....and then I got there...to picture of a beautiful smiling woman. And underneath, the story behind the smile. "Sithebe, a project leader for Helping Hand, a group in South Africa's Tembisa Township that serves people living with HIV and AIDS, became involved after her daughter died of AIDS in 2000." It's the only page in the calender that mentions the death of a daughter. And underneath that....this verse.
Be strong and courageous....for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

4.  I listened to a CD the other day too that I hadn't heard in a long time.  And there was this one song that brought me back to another time. We were staying at the Flames House in the summer after Rachel was born. She was just a few months old.  Dave convinced me to leave for awhile and go enjoy the weather. So I went for a long walk around the University campus nearby.  I remember listening to this song - and feeling...pure JOY. Because I knew that God was bringing parts of me alive to Him because of the pain. 
Listening to this song again, in these days, felt differently.  I have had a hard time HONESTLY saying that Rachel was a gift. How could a gift hurt this much?!!!! And the song felt way too optimistic - jarring even.  But I remember that day when I knew beyond a doubt that she was a gift. And I missed the JOY that I knew then. I have been listening to that CD more this week, praying for God to return some of that Joy to me.

Lyrics to "Just Showed up for My Own Life"
Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer
There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real
And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright
I'm going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that's honest and real until I'm truly amazed
I'm going to feel all my emotions
I'm going to look you in the eyes
I'm going to listen and hear until it's finally clear and it changes our lives
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive!!

5. I am thankful for the good news that Dave's sister received yesterday about her pregnancy.
Wow! www.mostlywhatnot.blogspot.com

6. And I'm thankful for the story I am hearing from the Living Room right now. "The Last Battle" by C.S.Lewis.  There is so much ugliness in the beginning and the middle...not different than our own world right now...but oh, the ending!!! Oh, the ending.....