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February 11, 2011

The birdcage and the quilt...


Isn't it amazing how God knows the perfect time to send someone by to encourage you? I have been feeling blessed by this so many times since Madeline passed away.

For example, just the other day I was telling Rick that I wanted to pick up something to take to Madeline's grave site. I wasn't sure where to find something like this and he told me, "Don't worry, we'll find something." Not even 5 minutes later a sweet lady (Conie) showed up at my door with the most precious stone bird with the word grace written on it. It was perfect. Was it a coincidence again? I don't think so. =)

Isn't she precious?

God knows.

I have had so many moments like that. I've received beautiful "pink" bracelets in memory of Maddie. I've been given bird pictures, plates and frames. These are all such sweet reminders that my girl was here and continues on in so many hearts. I'm so blessed by each of these things.

On this particular day, God sent Rachel.

She is a sweet friend of mine from college and one of the sweetest souls you'll find. She came by the house because she had something for me. Little did she know that she brought by so much more than just a gift.

My beautiful birdcage

Don't you love it? I searched and searched for one of these to go in Madeline's nursery. I couldn't find one. I love that she found me one to remember my precious birdie girl.

As we sat and spoke about my sweet Maddie's life, I was encouraged. She listened as I cried and she shared such sweet words about the beauty of her memorial service. We talked about how I'm getting through this and God's grace through it all. We looked at pictures and shared our hearts with each other. Then she told me something I'll never forget...

She said, "My dad once said that this life is like a quilt."

"When a child sits on the floor watching their mother stitch a quilt, all they can see from their view on the ground is random strings, knots and various threads.

It looks messy and purposeless. But when the child sits on their mother's lap and views the quilt from the mothers perspective, above it has a beautiful pattern.

Every color, every stitch, every string has a place and is so pretty when woven together."

What a thought... Then she continued.

"Just like us here on earth, all we see are the strings and knots, but in heaven when we see from God's perspective, then we will see the pattern of His will and understand His purpose. Until then we have to trust the one weaving our lives and rest assured in the end, the Lord is making something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined."


What a thought. None of this makes sense to me. I don't know why I only got to enjoy less than two days with my precious girl. I don't understand why she was taken so quickly after she was given to me.

However, God does... And His will is perfect.

For He is looking down at that perfect pattern he has laid out for our lives. We can't see anything but the strings and knots and threads. But God sees his work in progress and at the end of our lives, when our quilt is completed, it is exactly how God designed it to be.

I love that.

I want God to use my life in a great way. I want my quilt to be beautiful. And though I may not understand why my pattern is turning out how it is at the moment; I'm so glad that Maddie Grace was a part of this beautiful life. She has added to my quilt. She has added the perfect touch to my life in so many ways. And I'm pretty sure, she has added to so many of yours. =)

Lord, thank you for giving sweet Rachel's dad these words of wisdom that she has passed along to me. What a blessing!

I Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a Pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.


  1. Those gifts are precious! I love miss Rachel of the sweetest girls I've known. What a beautiful illustration of the quilt. I'm so glad she was able to visit you.;)

  2. I have been so blessed by you! I have smiled reading your posts, and I have shed many tears also. I don't know by experience what you are going throug, but my heart aches with you. As a mommy, I cannot imagine all you've been through. I am comforted by your faith and so blessed by your beautiful maddie Grace and all her life has brought to this world. I have been going through trials of my own ( injured in childbirth in oct still recovering, learning to walk again etc. And we were surprised with a precious down syndrome baby also...its a LONG story) I found your blog through april jones, she knows of our ordeal. I say that to just let you know that you have been an incredible encouragement to me, and like you I seek to glorify God in al I do good times and bad. It seems the Lord uses these times that anbe so bad, to do so much good for His kingdom. I LOVE the quilt analagy...its so beautifful and so true! How sweet to know HE has everything all planned out beautifully, when life loks like a mess to us, HeLs weaving his beautiful pattern. Even when we don't understand, He knows! There's a song that I know that speaks of his reminded of the words "God is too wise to be mistaken, God is to good to be unkind, so when we don't understand, when we can't see his hand, trust His heart. If you can find it somehwre it is a beautiful song, speaking of the tapestry of our lives. God bless you! I am keeping your family in prayer. Keep on keeping on! God is using you to reach so many...

  3. Karly, thank you so much for your sweet words. I am encouraged to hear from you and I will be praying for you in return. We all have different crosses to carry in this life, don't we? You sound like a wonderful mom and I hope you are recovering. Thank you for sharing that song. I will look it up. You are a blessing!
    Love, Natalie

  4. I wanted to thank you for posting about you loss and be authentically real about it. I recently lost my father in law a couple of weeks ago. This story about the quilt has helped me in my greiving also. May God Bless you and your family. You are so right about you daughters life being a blessing. I have never met her, but her and your story have given me peace that passes all understanding about why what seems like bad things in the hear and now happen and how God's plans are much greater than ours. Thank you again and I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. Natalie I enjoyed your story about the quilt and I read it to my special education children at school and even though they have intellectual disabilities I know they understood every word. I talked to them about Maddie Grace and they pray with me for her and you and family. They are the Angels among us on this earth because they are innocent. God will see us through.
    Letty Ross

  6. Natalie,
    You do not know me...We have some mutual friends from Temple Baptist Church. I heard of your sweet Maddie from Kelsey. With a tissue in hand, I read your blog every time you post(with a tissue in hand).
    God's grace is evident in your life and it is such a testimony to me and many others. I cannot imagine the pain in your heart that you feel not having Maddie with you here on earth, but I pray God will continue to give you peace and grace until we all get to meet her in Heaven.
    Yesterday, I looked out my window and saw one lonesome bird sitting on my porch staring at me, and I instantly thought of Maddie Grace and said a prayer for you and your sweet family.

    "When Heaven is silent, your faintest prayer is heard. When Jesus seems distant, your Father hears each word. When God turns His face, He's leaning close to hear your prayer. When Heaven is Silent, be still and know He's there."

    Praying for you daily! Thank you for sharing Maddie with all of us.

  7. Sara,
    Thank you for your sweet words. I will be praying for you as you walk this road of loss too. I'm so sorry about your father in law. I'm glad the quilt analogy helped you. It has helped me. Thank you for reading and for praying!
    Love, Natalie

    Thank you for what you have said here. And thank you for sharing about the bird and thinking of my sweet girl.=)
    I love the poem you shared as well. Thank you,
    I appreciate your prayers!