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September 27, 2011

She made a way...

I've been struggling getting on here the past couple of days with something to say. I have a lot on my heart and mind but I can't seem to put it into words. Or at least words that will make sense to read.

You see, this time last year, I was busy planning for Madeline's arrival. I knew she was a girl. I was planning her nursery, buying her a  pink wardrobe and doing everything girlie that I ever dreamed of.

Rick was so happy, the boys were thrilled to be getting a sister, and I, well I felt like my life and world couldn't be more perfect.

Now, a year later. Life is pretty similar. We are planning for a baby, decorating a nursery and we can't wait until this little one arrives, except; this time we are doing it with a broken heart.

Broken hearts. Broken plans. Broken dreams.

We are back to blue. Back to a boy. Back to what we never thought would be in our lives again.

Blessed still? Absolutely.

Little Jonah Asher is giving me hope again. He is giving me something to look so forward to when my days seem so dark. He is my little light at the end of the tunnel. Him, and my other three boys.

Some days when I think I won't be able to go forward, I do it for him. I do it for Noah, Elijah, Jonah and Rick.

When my day starts to fall apart and the tears well up in my eyes for my little girl gone too soon, I do it for them. God grants me the strength to go on and I do.

This time of the year is so strangely similar to this time last year. The excitement is still the same. The joy is still present.

But, in my heart, part of me is missing. Maddie Grace is and will always be missing.

As we have gone to birthday parties and festivals the past couple of weeks, I can't help but think how she is not there, celebrating life with us. Every day that passes, moves me farther from her birth and closer to her 1st birthday. We are getting closer and closer to a year without her. And still have a lifetime to go. That overwhelms me.

Rick and I bought her the most precious bench for her grave site and took it over this past weekend. I hadn't planned on going back for a while because I did so bad this past time, but Rick held my hand through the whole thing.

Then bench had these words engraved on it...

A heart of gold stopped beating,
Two shining eyes at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove,
He only takes the best.

I imagine that was a sight. The two of us bent over the grave of the little girl we wanted so much. It's heartbreaking even to imagine. It still doesn't seem real, almost 9 months later. But, the reality is, this is our life. She is gone. She has touched so many lives, and hearts, but she is in Heaven with our Lord.

The rest of that poem goes like this...

God knows you had to leave me,
But you did not go alone.
For part of me went with you
The day He took you home.

We left the cemetery that evening broken hearted but with comfort from the Lord. He is still good. Even when our hearts and minds don't understand. He is still good. And I'm thankful for that.

I have had so many people still messaging me to tell me how much Madeline has touched their lives. I'm thankful for that. Time and life is moving on and I hate that it's without her.

There is nothing more comforting to me than when people mention her name. She was amazing.

So, as I move forward and am in such a familiar place as I was this time last year. I just try to remember.

She made a way.

She made a way for mine and Rick's relationship to grow together with each other, our boys and the Lord.

She made a way for families to pull together in the midst of one of the worst tragedies a family can know.

And... She made a way for her sweet little brother, Jonah Asher to be on his way to helping this family heal.

I know everyday that I look into his sweet eyes, I will see her, and I will remember that she made a way for him to be here with us. Everyday.

You are missed so much sweet Madeline Grace. And you always will be. <3


  1. Dear Nat,
    My sweet sister-in-law, Niki, shared something with me a couple weeks ago. It changed the way I viewed something. I used to view our lives as "moving on" without Belle. But what she shared with me really spoke to me, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

    Niki was reading a blog of a woman who had recently lost a child. (A baby girl named Emmy)
    This is what this mother wrote....

    “I would not move forward if it meant leaving Emmy behind. I don’t know how anyone can pretend a child never existed, take down their pictures, remove their things…No, I do not leave her behind and “move on”, I move forward, with all 5 children–one running a bit ahead…just out of sight.” (

    That last part is what really hit me...I move forward with all 5 children (4 for us) one running a bit ahead...just out of sight. :) Amazing. I love it. I hope you will view this new stage in your lives as moving on with all 4 children...Maddie running a bit ahead...just out of sight.

    Love you!

  2. Praying for you that the Lord will heal your broken heart and that you have a good pregnancy and delivery of a healthy happy baby!

  3. That is so sweet. You are so right, Maddie will never be forgotten. She has touched so many lives. Praying for you and you're family!!!

  4. Such precious words Natalie. Your little girl, Maddie Grace, has helped so many. She is so special to so many, who never even met her. She is missed and loved by total strangers! I love reading your thoughts, feelings and stories when you write. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to heal your broken hearts and may you and Rick continue to show the world the way! God has a plan and Maddie is a big part of it!

  5. such a sweet post! I am so thankful for your blog.
    if it's ok, I'd like to share that beautiful poem on my blog.

    Praying for you...for comfort, health, peace that passes all understanding.

    God bless you,

  6. Natalie, You dont know me and we have never met. I came across your blog from a friend of mine. I wanted you to know that your words have encouraged me so much. I have never known the pain of loosing a child but I do know the pain of this life. You speak so beautifully of the love and grace of our Lord. It has made me want to be a better wife, mother and christian. I pray for your family often and think of Maddie Grace. You have a beautiful heart. Thank you for sharing it with us. God Bless.

  7. I posted a long comment the other day and for some reason it didnt post after i posted it and i didnt feel like retyping. lol.. But i did want to come back and let you know i read ALL of your blogs but dont always post as i have trouble with my google act. Your words are beautiful and you always inspire me to be a better mother, wife and christian as well. I am so in love with your perfect family ( yes still perfect to me even thru the loss of Maddie.)You have everything one would want and even tho you dont get to care for a girl here on earth - you still get to say "my daughter" and you never know what God will have in store for you later. There is a reason he gave you another boy instead of the girl. I cant wait to see pics of Jonah! ( for some reason I keep wanting to call him by his middle name, Asher) I love the name Asher!!!
    I pray for you and Rick often! And I LOVVVVVE that pic of Maddie. I havent seen that one before.
    Much Love =)
    Angel King

    Ok, after trying to post this again, it wont take my google act. Thank goodness i copied what i wrote before sending. Wonder if it is your blog b/c i just posted on Kellie's and it worked fine..

  8. this post was beautiful. I had to read for tears, my heart breaks for you every time I read your post. I can not imagine what you are going through. But I want you to know I am thinking of you a d praying for you and your four boys. Can't wait to see pictures of beautiful Jonah Asher. I love his name! Much love to you, and prayers.

    Becky K!