Follow by Email

July 30, 2011

The Nest...

Last week, I felt like I couldn't hear the birds...

The sweet little birds that sing outside my window. The ones that come and play in the bird bath and in Maddie's tree.

I felt like I couldn't hear them.

I really don't know why. Maybe it was the overwhelming heat that was keeping them away and in the shade, but it was making me so sad. I just wanted to hear them chirp. I just wanted to feel close to my birdie girl.

My week started off really rough.

Monday, I received something in the mail that no mother should ever have to hold in her hand...

Maddie Grace's Death Certificate.

I didn't realize what it was or I would have never opened it. There is something so wrong about seeing Madeline's sweet precious name on a certificate describing death.

I couldn't believe it. I looked at it briefly and put it away.

It felt so unfair. I never even received a copy of her Birth Certificate and here I held a paper that spoke of her death. It completely broke my heart.

I didn't tell Rick, I didn't want him to see it. I didn't want his heart to break all over again like mine had. I just kept quiet. I prayed and I kept listening for those sweet birdie's to cheer me up.

The following day, On Tuesday, my boys ended up going to the Winnie the Pooh movie with their Mimi and Papa. I knew they would have a great time, so I was happy to let them go.

While they were gone, Rick suggested that we get started on taking down Madeline's nursery....

"What?" I thought... 


But he knew we needed to do it and with the boys being gone, it would be the best time...

So, we went to walmart and bought a bunch of pink tubs. Tubs to pack up her entire room. (sigh)

At first I couldn't go in. I have been walking by her room for the last almost 7 months, wishing things were different. Wishing she could be in there.

Rick offered to do it all himself, but I had to go in. I had to hold and touch the things I bought for her, prepared for her, as we packed them up.

I was a mess. I opened the drawers, and started putting clothes away. I found her paci and clip that they gave me from the morning she passed away. I found her blankets and 2 little outfits she wore. I held her pink and turquoise tutu and remembered the day I put her in it and the photographer snapped pictures. I wept.

I cried and cried. I don't think I've ever cried that hard. It felt so wrong.

Why did I have to pack these things up? Why couldn't she have stayed?

Rick held me. We prayed. Then we kept packing. It took us all night to pack everything up.

All night.

By the end, we had 6 huge pink tubs, 2 boxes, a swing, car seat, 2 bouncers, a stroller, a bathtub, a play mat, along with a rug and all her decor piled in the middle of my living room. All pink, packed up to the ceiling.

So many plans. None of it used.

When I walked back up to the room, all that was left was a crib, dresser, changer and chair with no cushions.

No more pink.

It already looked like a boys room. Jonah's room.

I pulled out the bags of outfits I had bought for him and hung them in the closet. I folded his blankets and put them in his drawers.

I never expected to do this. I thought that room would hold a little girl who would grow up there. I saw pink and ponytails and lots of baby dolls.

Now, I am buying blue and green and puppy dogs again.

My life is so different. Familiar with sweet baby boys items, but oh so different.

My nest has most definitely been stirred up. My sweet birdie girl has taken flight from this world, never to return again. Yet, I go on making this nest comfortable for the ones who have stayed...

It has been such a emotionally taxing week for me, but in the midst of my weakness and sorrow, God still sends reinforcements. He still sends blessings...

I received a letter and package from one of my sweetest friends from Tennessee...

My sweet friend Robyn (who also has a great love for birds :) sent me a package with the most precious story...

Let me type what she wrote...

"A few weeks ago, our shrubs were out of control. They finally got trimmed and while stannding on our front porch, I looked down and saw a bird's nest in plain view. I couldn't believe how low it was, but I always remembered that sparrows build their nests in bushes and lower trees. I immediately ran in and grabbed my camera and started taking shots. It was such a rare opportunity to be so close to a nest.

 I had my camera up to my face and you popped into my head. I knew it was for a reason. For the last 6 months, I've asked the Lord to lay you on my heart at the moments when you need prayer. I know that when I think of you, it's for a reason. (So I pray for you) But this time, I knew it couldn't stop there.

So, I took some pictures without disturbing the nest, and then it hit me- There were four eggs...
I don't think I have to tell you the significance of that. =) Four babies!

I couldn't believe how perfect that was. I began preparing to send you a prints of my fun little discovery. Every time I looked at the pictures, I fell in love with these future little babies. So precious. So perfect.

I had wanted to keep an eye out for the baby birds, but we had been traveling and I somehow missed the hatching and all the rest. When I went back to check on the nest, all of them were gone ~ except one...

One little bird never left the nest. It never flew with it's siblings. It's mother never got the chance to teach it to fly next to her.

But, even though she didn't grow into a grown bird, she was still a part of that family.

She was still a part of that nest.

She was there.

She existed.

She told a story that touched someones life"....


Isn't it amazing how at your lowest points, God sends a blessing along to lift up your spirits and help you carry on?

That day, God used Robyn.

She went on to tell me what Maddie has meant to her and how much her story has impacted her life in so many ways....

I'm so thankful for her friendship, and I'm so thankful for her care and concern for me.

Robyn was right. She may not have grown and flown with her big brothers and now her little brother on the way, but she did exist. She was here. She was a part of our little nest and she always will be.

Time will go on, room decor may change, but one thing is for sure.

Madeline Grace will always be my third little birdie. My little girl.

She got her wings to Heaven a little before everyone else, but she blessed our nest for the short time she was here.

She will always be remembered. She will always be a part of this family. And she will always be my sweet little birdie girl...

Since that day, I have been hearing the birds sing again. Their songs have lifted my spirits.

We are so excited about preparing for Jonah and making a beautiful nursery for him. We can't wait to welcome him home and tell him all about his precious sister who made a way for him.

We decided to keep the turquoise walls and the beautiful tree mural that Rick painted on the wall. This way a piece of what we did for Maddie, can carry on for years to come.

Please continue to pray for our sweet little boy during the second half of my pregnancy. He has given us so much hope again and when the sad days do come, he brings me joy with his little kicks and hiccups. <3

He is going to be a wonderful addition to our sweet little nest.

Much Love to you...

Natalie Ross


  1. The idea of taking down her nursery gave me chills. I have been taking down Adam's piece by piece, and it is SO hard and overwhelming. I'm sorry to hear about getting the death certificate (more chills). We have yet to receive Adam's, as we still wait for a cause of death, but I remember getting hospital and funeral bills, and it's just awful. I love that story from your friend. Much love to you, always!

  2. Beautiful post. Tears from your words and chills in reading your friend's words about the nest. Thinking of you and your family.

  3. This post is wonderful and tearful. I think of you often even though I do not know you. Many blessings your way!

  4. The pictures are great. My heart is breaking for you and Rick. I pray that God helps you through these hard times. Sending love your way!!!

  5. Wonderful!!!!! Im glad u have decided to keep the "Maddie tree" in Jonahs room.. He will always share a special bond with her as he can use her bed,dresser,rocker ect.. I LOVED the bird story and i was wondering what egg was left..If u look at the pic, there is 3 red and one that is different. It had more white in it...
    prayers going up for you and blessings coming down.. <3 The kings (Angel King)

  6. Beautiful post. Sweet pictures and a touching Reminder of madeline. Love, Jenny C.

  7. So awesome how God works! He knows all, and for Him to send such a special sign to your precious friend is almost unbelievable! Praying for you and your family always, and Little Jonah too! May the rest of your pregnancy be healthy, happy, and full of great memories!

  8. Praying for your heart to continue to mend and praying for a great pregnancy and delivery. I hope you have a wonderful week. Allison

  9. Thank you for touching my heart ! Take care and thanks for allowing me to heal with you. Through your beautiful stories I find comfort losing my beautiful mother. Love you and Rick Natalie
    Letty Ross

  10. Beautiful Story from you friend,My heart was breaking for you as I thought about how hard it must have been packing up Maddie's things. I have not been were you are, and I can only imagine how it must feel, I am praying for you and thinking of your family and little Maddie daily! Much Love sent your way! I think it was a great idea leaving the room the same color with the tree too by the way!
    If I ever make it to Ohio to Visit my family in Hamilton I would love to meet you in Person!

  11. Four beautiful is that!!!!! God's grace IS sufficient.

  12. I was in tears when you osted on fb about packing the nursery, my heart breaks for you guys having to do that!! I know I would have been hoping to be able to keep it an use it for a new baby girl, I think everyone was hoping or that...but as you have said before, His ways ate not ourr ays, and He knows best. It certainly seems easy for people to say God knows best with no regard to how it feels put in place, but how omforting to know that He really is doing what's best, how beautiful for Him to send little reminders, just for you...reminding you..."natalie, I love you, I am holding you in my arms, and carrying you through, I am paving the way for all the blessings to come" with such excitment on His face I'm sure...He watches over your little nest and is pleased to know what He has in store to bless you with. How thrilled are we to plan out our childs birthday party and surprise them, watch them discover all the plans we made, and how things they thought should be a certain way, turned out even better the way mommy or daddy planned it. much more satisying to know that God, our father does that for us in every minute detail! Every little thing, He plans, just so...and when we can't seem to see through the darkness of the storms, He illuminates His word, he holds us, He carries us.

    you are such a beautiful testimony!! At times you may wonder why God couldn't make a great testimony another way, why couldn't beautiful maddie stay...those ar the tough questions that only He knows. But you my friend, have shown great faith and trust in God, it is not always easy to do in great trial, and I'm sure you would say you fail a lot...BUT...thats the beauty of it. We all fail, we all fall short, you are a beautiful example of how one can continue on, how one CAN trust God, CAN have peace, in the tougest of ttimes, AND you give the glory and credit to God...that rigt there is a true testimony of what God's salvation can do in a life, surrendered completly to Him! Keep on my friend...i am praying for you guys. Your hubby is an extra encouragement to me also, being an associate pastors wife myself...his great faith and service in preaching the Word, studying, sharing even through the times when he may have just felt like sitting out or having someone else preach..he has blessed so many, and I know God is using you and hIm to ministe to so many...your beautiful boys, who are so sweet, ar a testiment to Godly parents! Your sweet Jonah on the way...he must just be a bundle of blessings...and your sweet birdie girl maddie grace, she is so greatly missed, so deeply missed, but not forgotten! She has touched so many! What a sweet sweet vessel used of the Lord she is... Your friends nest story had me in tears, I could see the way the story would go...but oh the way she worded it, and the things she brought out! My heart feels ful, and my tears sweet also that it was from "Robyn" another birdie thing... God is good. Sending Love and hugs your way, praying for your sweet little family, and continued grace on you as you try to you!!

  13. It seems it's been a while since I last dropped in, but I wanted you to know that I am praying for your family still. What a wonderful little story your friend shared. It's so amazing that God tells others when we need things! It's so amazing to have friends that listen for God. Maddie Grace is so blessed to have a family like yours that will use her life to the glory of God. There are families out there that wouldn't share the message that God has given you.

    I wanted you to know that a while back you posted about how you had prayed for Godly friends and God had supplied you with them. I had never thought about doing this before then. I started praying and God has given me 2! :0) I just thought you'd like to know that.

    Love and Prayers,