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October 18, 2011

Little shoes....

Over the weekend we had a Family Fall/Christmas photo shoot and I can't wait to share all of our fabulous pictures with you. While I'm waiting on the rest of them, I wanted to give a little sneak peak of one of my favorites...

Doesn't that just bring tears to your eyes? I love it.

I told our photographer that I wanted to include Madeline in our photo shoot by placing her little pink shoes in some of our photos. These were the same little shoes that I used in my maternity shoot with her last fall. And the same pair that have come on 2 vacations with us now. It may seem silly, but I feel like photographing them lets a part of  her be there with us physically as well as in our hearts. They add the perfect touch of Maddie's femininity to our otherwise masculine brood. I love how she's there with us. <3

Thank you to Leah Sandlin at Precious Photography for capturing yet another amazing moment between our family. We can't thank you enough. Our hearts ache and miss our sweet little girl, yet you find a way to help us heal through your beautiful photography. We will be forever grateful for these photos...

So as I thought about these little shoes, I was reminded of something.

A few weeks ago, my Husband was out of town and I was spending some time chatting with my sweet Mother in Law, Vicky. We were talking about the boys and she mentioned Maddie's name. I always love when people talk about her. It makes me smile when they bring her up in conversation. It helps me feel like she isn't forgotten. <3

As our conversation continued, somehow Maddie's shoes got brought up. My mother in law told me something so special from when Rick was a baby.

Now I know I have mentioned how she would pray by his bed every night for him and with him about God sending him a Godly wife, (no pressure there, right? :) well she told me something else she used to pray for....

Where his little feet would take him.

 She told me she would get out his little shoes and pray that God would bless his little feet and take him in the direction that He wanted him to go. So that way he would serve Him and be obedient to Him in all things.

I can just picture her kneeling over his little tiny pair of baby shoes as she asked God to bless his little steps... So, so precious.

Oh how much I can learn from her. What a testimony of a Godly mother.

So often, I find myself griping and complaining about the boys leaving their little shoes all around the house. They track in dirt and mud and make so many little messes that I'm constantly having to clean up.

Being the perfectionist with my house that I am, I get frustrated. Mess after mess. Pair of shoes after pair that I pick up, I sometimes complain.

But how sad.

One day there will not be little shoes laying around.

One day there will not be messes to clean up.

One day they will be grown and I will miss all those little things.

Their shoes will be big. They won't need help tying them up anymore. They will be set in there ways and walking a path of their own.

Oh the conviction that fell on my heart.

I need to be constantly praying over these little shoes. I need to be asking God to direct those little steps.

Proverbs 2:20
That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

I need to be praying continuously that God will guide them in the paths of righteousness.

Proberbs 3:6
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

My precious boys are growing up a little more each day, and one day they will be off on their own, making an imprint of their own in this big world. I'm praying faithfully that God will use them in a great way.

The Lord has surely answered My sweet Mother in Law's prayer as I watch my Husband serving the Lord day in and day out. I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of that.

Maddie Grace may not be here any longer to fill her shoes, but she has most definitely made and imprint in this world. My hope and prayer is that my three little boys will do the same.

 I planned on her little feet taking her to do so many more things than she did, but I was thankful for those little precious feet I felt kicking inside me all those months. I was so blessed to get to see them kicking while I tried to change her and dress her for those 2 short days. Oh how I loved her little feet.

My sweet baby girl, how much you have done in the short time you were here. Those little feet have made an imprint on so many hearts and we are so grateful to have had you for as long as we did. <3

Maddie Grace, you may not need shoes anymore, but I will continue to carry yours with me. And I will continue to pray over your brothers little shoes as they have quite a road ahead of them. May you send down love with every step that we take, knowing that it brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and you... :)


  1. I have a picture of Adam in my car so that he's with us all the time. And when we did family pictures in May, I wore a necklace with a picture of him on it. I just can't take family pictures anymore without Adam in it.

    I love Maddie's little wrinkly feet. :)

  2. What a touching post! I absolutely agree with you. I try my best to remember to be thankful for messes because like you said, one day there won't be any messes to clean up because they'll be grown. Thank you for this heart felt post and for reminding us all to never take our babies for granted and to pray for their life journey from the moment they arrive. Love your sneak peek picture. It's beautiful!

  3. Sweet. Elaine's foot was twisted and mangled and she had an extra finger, but=) she was perfect to us. I love hands and feet. They make me weep, but no apologies made, this is who we are now=). It is amazing how the Lord gives a grateful heart to those who live without. I see that in you and so many friends who have walked this road before me and after me. It is a precious gift, even in its pain. The Lord is good. Here are two sets of feet I love and much of the same thought=) Praying for you, sweet friend!

  4. This is so sweet. I am very convicted now too. I need to be praying over my 3 babies now too; especially not knowing if they will get to stay with us.

  5. Such powerful words, once again Natalie. I am learning so much from your writing. I thank God for you.

  6. Wow- touching, convicting, and amazing. I love you Natalie! I sometimes feel like reading your posts could be my daily devotion! You always have the perfect way of intertwining Scripture verses and turning our hearts to the Lord in each post. In your words, there is so much comfort, peace, and hope. I have read blogs of other mothers walking similar journeys, but in their words I find nothing but devastation and misery. When they do not have the Lord with them, it is so completely different. Even in their darkest valleys, they could know the beautiful comfort and grace that the Lord gives. Oh how they are missing out on what could be the "best" time in their lives. That might sound ridiculous to many, but when I think back to that first year or so after Belle died, I have memories of our loving Savior holding us up, drawing us closer to Him and to each other, and teaching us so many things. The sadness of that time has been replaced with beauty.

    When your Mother-in-law prayed over her children's shoes, I'm sure she prayed that the Lord would guide their steps, and to help her children follow Him so that ultimately, when this life is over, her children will make the journey to Heaven to be with Him. Maddie's feet made that journey, without having to walk through life's paths. Her feet took her where we all pray our other children's feet will go someday too. She finished her race first, and is waiting for you and cheering you on while you complete yours.

    Praying for you as I look out the window of this rainy morning. Brighter days are coming, sunshine awaits you sweet friend. Keep running your race.

  7. Love, love, love your pictures with your daughters teeny tiny shoes, so sweet!!

    You are so insightful, thank you for sharing your words with me ((hugs))