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May 25, 2012

The prayers of a child...


In our home, prayer is a very large part of our everyday routines.

We believe that God hears and answers these prayers and we believe that He knows our hearts.

The moment I found out we were expecting each of our children, we started bathing them in prayer. Praying for their health, their futures. But now that they are here and growing up, we are teaching them to pray.

I don't think there is anything more precious than hearing my children's little voices as they talk to God. I love to hear them ask Him for things and believe that He will provide what we need.

This last week, my boys were really taught a lesson. And in a way.. their faith has become sight.

Last week I received a friend request on Facebook. I didn't recognize the name, so I pulled up the profile picture to see if I maybe recognized the face of this person. When I saw this profile picture, it took my breath away.

I couldn't believe what I was looking at..

Rewind a year ago, we were just a few months away from Madeline going to Heaven and we were devastated with the grief of missing her. All of us were. It was so difficult to go visit the cemetery and even more difficult to take a 3 and 5 year old there with us. Though my boys were young, Rick wanted them to learn that visiting there would now be a part of our lives, because Maddie was part of our lives.

So, amidst our grief and heartache of visiting there, Rick did something that amazed me (You may remember me mentioning this before.) He took my boys by the hands and asked them to pick out a grave of another child so we could pray for their families too.

I'll never forget thinking how amazing my Husband was in that moment and it honestly made me fall even more in love with him and his heart than I already was. To think that in such a time of devastation and weakness, he was teaching our children to not think of ourselves, but others.

So, our sweet little boys picked out a grave and read the name of a little boys, Travys. Sweet little Travys. I remember his little stone and the pair of baby shoes and the angel so vividly.

So that night, as we asked God to help our hearts, we also prayed for Travys' family. And my sweet boys have prayed for Travys' mom and family every night since.

There is not a night that goes by that we do not pray for them. My sweet boys lift the name of this precious family to the Lord... Even 16 months later. Because we know that no time frame will ever heal the hearts of a family who has lost a child. These babies are missed every single day...


So...

As I opened this picture and looked to see who this was, you'll NEVER guess what I saw.

It was a picture of sweet little Travys' headstone. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't breathe.

Immediately I thought, do I know this person? All this time we've been praying for this family and asking God to help them.

It turns out I do not know them, but God brought us together.

I messaged sweet Travys' Mama and told her this story. I told her how her sweet little boys name is mentioned in our home nightly and how we pray for her. Even though we do not know her, we pray. Because we know what prayer can do in our lives; during the heartache and during the pain.

Prayers carry us.

She wrote me back in complete Awe. She couldn't believe that all this time, my precious little boys have been praying for her. Mentioning her child. She told me this was the nicest thing anyone has ever done. It was such a blessing.

We plan to meet with Travys' Mommy and their family, and I hope to share more about our experience, but in the mean time I just wanted to share what a special moment this was for all of us.

She told me that God brought her family to mine for a reason. I just can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do...

I'm so very thankful for the prayers of my children. They are so precious and faithful. I'm so glad that we have instilled in them, when we have a need for us or others, we can go to the Lord and He will hear us. He will answer us.

And every now and then... He let's our faith become sight.

What a blessing this has been for our family. I sure am thankful for these little prayer warriors. <3


Every time we go visit Madeline's spot at the cemetery, the boys pick a new stone of a child's family to pray for. It's kind of become their little ministry and it sure has become a blessing.

I would like to encourage you to pray with your children, you just never know when God will answer one of them, and it teaches our children, first hand, the power of God.

Romans 1;9
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Much Love (and prayers to you)
Natalie

May 16, 2012

Mother's day and Maddie bird reminders...


Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed. ~Linda Wooten

Those words are so absolutely true.

What a beautiful description of motherhood.

The day I became a mother, I became a new person. The person God had planned for me to be. A wife, yes, and now a mother.

I'll never forget my firstborn being placed into my arms for the first time. He looked at me and that was it. I was his mother. He was my son. Forever.

Ever ounce of selfishness died within me in that moment and I knew from that day forward, I had a completely new role in life. To mother this child.

I learned through the sleepless nights and exhausting days what true love was. My Husband and I learned together how to put self aside and learned to show our child that he could depend on us.

Fears have come and gone with each new "lesson" being parents has taught us. But strength, it continues to come with each new chapters our children face.

Our book isn't very long yet, but we most definitely have covered a lot of pages. We've survived some of the best times and undoubtedly the worst a parent could face.

But we've survived.

As we've traveled from infancy to preschool age and now to a school age child, we are learning.

Our children are teaching us. God is teaching us.

Life proves to mold us and make us into who we are and who our little boys are becoming.

Motherhood and Fatherhood are beautiful things for us. We do not take them lightly.

So as Mother's day approached this year, I pondered these things...

Where am I as a mother? How do my children see me? How does the Lord see me?

Sure I need some work in areas such as my patience level, but how am I truly doing as a Mother?

I do not lack compassion. I do not lack in nurture. I do not lack in faithfulness and love.

But do I measure up? Am I a good mother to the precious children God has entrusted me with?

I do not know. I hope to be. I strive to be.

Yet, I struggle.

January 8th 2011 changed me forever.

The day my daughter left my arms for our Savior's will forever be a part of my memory and my life.

To look at the children the Lord has blessed me with is amazing. To smile and pose for a picture on the day in which being their mother is celebrated is precious.

But yet in my heart, I'm so very sad.

For when I look down at them, I do not count 4 heads, but three. I hear three voices and see three little faces and sets of eyes.

This hurts my heart.

They say that when you have a child, it is as if your heart is walking around outside your body. I believe it's true. You hurt when they hurt. You smile when they smile. You do everything in your power to comfort them or ease their pain. You give them the world.

But how do you do those things if you child is not here?

I miss my daughter... And tonight I just need to write about her.

I try not to count and think about it, but I wonder what she would look like? What would her cute little 16 month old self be doing. What would her personality be? What would her voice sound like when she called for me?

I just wish I could know.

I know I will not have these answers until Heaven and I will wait. She's worth waiting for.

I just guess I struggle. With fear. With heartache.

Fear that something bad could happen again.

Heartache over missing someone so great, my sweet Maddie girl.

My Mother's day was beautiful. My husband and my boys made it the most wonderful day possible.

They took me shopping and picked out a new dress for me. They surprised me with red roses from the boys and a white rose from Madeline. And they bought a special pink heart charm for my Pandora bracelet just from "Maddie".

I was happy and I truly enjoyed my day. I told Rick the sorrow hadn't hit me yet, but I knew it would. Tonight it did.

I'll never be able to escape the sadness and grief completely and I know that. I'm glad Maddie is part of my life, even if it means living with pain.

I guess tonight I just miss her.

As I kissed my boys goodnight I thought of her. I saw her in their faces.

As I put the baby down, I prayed that I would wake to another morning with him. He looks just like her. His personality makes me wonder, would hers have been like this? I can't help but wonder.

I may feel a little down tonight, but one thing is for sure, I love being a mother.

To my children here on earth, and to my precious daughter in Heaven.

I'm thankful for all the people who have truly learned to grieve with me and help me along this process of living without my Maddie Grace. And to those of you who have, thank you.

I am so blessed by the countless notes and Mother's day cards that included sweet "maddie birdies." I'm also thankful for the beautiful flowers and even Angel of "healing" willow tree. They all made me smile.

I know I am the mother of a beautiful little girl, and I am blessed by that.

I guess tonight, I just wish I could have to here to watch her grow.

I absolutely love being a mother, and I'm so very happy that God chose to let me be one.

Noah, Elijah, Madeline and Jonah, you will never truly know what you have brought to my life.

My prayer is that I'm the kind of mother you want and need.

Please God continue to mold me into what you want me to be. And please Lord, help with the pain as I mother without one of my children present.

I feel like a Bird who has lost a sweet one from her nest. I feel helpless and hurt, but I know that my little birdie has taken flight to you and for that, I am thankful.

Dueteronomy 32:11-12
11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

12 So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

Thank you Lord for continuing to bless my nest and for continuing to lead me......


I appreciate you for listening my heart tonight.

May we all find our way down this road of Motherhood no matter where that road may lead us, may we continue to look to our Lord, as He bears us upon his wings.

Much Love,
Natalie

May 11, 2012

I get to be the one...

Okay, it's time for a Jonah Update!

Life has been so very busy with so many exciting things going on! I wanted to sit down and upload some recent pictures of Jonah and share what he's been up too. I know he is a symbol of hope for so many of you also, and I have truly enjoyed sharing him with you. He's such a little blessing to so many.

Jonah Bear is growing quickly and is already around 18 pounds and in the 97% in his height. He's going to be a tall little boy. He is now rolling over and is grabbing everything and bringing it to his mouth. He loves to eat everything, including his toes. =) He has just tried rice cereal for the first time and he loved it! He is still a great nurser and he loves that special time with his Mommy. He is still sleeping through the night pretty great which we love. He naps well during the day and is well adjusted to all the running around we do in this family. We are so busy. All of his beautiful dark newborn hair came out with cradle cap =(, but it's now growing back in light brown/blond. We call him our chia pet. =) It's so cute that you can actually see the sprouts growing. It makes us all laugh.

Jonah Asher is such a happy baby! His big brothers and his Daddy are always sure to make him smile and laugh. He loves to giggle. He is very ticklish and we can't help getting him going. He is just the sweetest thing.

I truly wish all of you could meet him and snuggle him. He is so sweet. When I watch him sleeping and when I look into his precious bright eyes, I can help but see the wonder and hope of his precious little life. Who this little boy will be? For I know that the Lord has great plans for him. He is just the best thing that could have happened to our family during such a sad time. We are so very in love with our sweet little boy. He's been a constant blessing and rainbow through the storm for us. Our precious Rainbow of Hope.

Please enjoy some pics but click play and listen to these words as you scroll through. I just LOVE this song by JJ Heller. I couldn't find another video so excuse the words. They aren't mine. Although, if you did buy this album, I think you'd enjoy it. =)



I'm so thankful I get to be the one to experience all these things with our precious Jonah Asher...


Enjoy!


Three-Four months...