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October 23, 2012

Standing in Grace..


Every now and then there are moments I experience that take my breath away.

...Walking down the isle towards my Husband on my wedding day.

...Two lines showing up in a moment of anticipation.

...Kissing the cheek of my firstborn child, and every child after that.

...And standing on a piece of land that holds our "future" and will one day be our home.

All of these are priceless and precious to me.

Those are the moments where I wish I could just "freeze" time.

If only it could slow down a little.

I strive to live my life always remembering and being thankful for "those" moments.

These sweet memories and opportunities that the Lord has graciously blessed me with will always remind me to be thankful. Hopeful.

I remember vividly when I was expecting little Madeline Grace. I remember the joy that filled me thinking of her joining our family. I remember being so excited to finally have a daughter and watch her grow up.

So many dreams.

And though those dreams never came to be, she was and is still my daughter. My little girl.

My sweet Maddie Grace.

This is the last and only family photo shoot she was physically in and it will always be precious to me.

 
 
But, what's more precious... Is the way God works.
 
His hand is beautiful.
 
His grace is beautiful.
 
Never, never would I have thought exactly 2 falls after this photograph was taken, where we would be.
 
Our sweet Madeline is absent from our arms, but she is ever present in our hearts.
 
And now, an extra little blessing we never expected is here with our family. 
 
He is in our lives, in our arms.
 
He is providing new hope every day.
 
But that is not the only blessing God has given us; and how grateful we are for the other rainbow in our life.
 
Our land.
 
Our beautiful blessing from above, Amazing Grace Farm.
 
So as we stood on this land and had another beautiful family photo session captured, we remembered.
 
God's grace is sufficient.
 
Every. Day.
 
As we hold hands and walk across the piece of paradise God has so graciously given. We know.
 
 
His love is amazing.
 
And so is His grace.
 
Sweet sweet. Amazing. Grace.
 
 
Oh how thankful we are for the grace of God.
And for His Abundant blessings..
 
 
You see, when we were approached with purchasing this land (the land God truly put in place just for us) We stood here, under this very tree and we prayed.
 
 
We prayed for direction and understanding. We prayed God's will would be done.
 
We stood there again after we purchased it, and we prayed God would bless this land and use us and this land for His glory...
 
Just because we've been through much heartache and a great loss, doesn't mean we deserve anything. Yet God has chose to bless us and for that; we are grateful.
 
Thankful.
 
We prayed for God's will in our lives and it was that day that He gave us peace; about this land, about Maddie Grace.
 
 
Every time now, when we walk across this field, we remember.
We think of her and we praise Him.
 
As we build our home and watch our little boys grow into men there, we will remember her.
 
She may not physically grow there with us, but she is there with us.
 
She is such a part of our journey there, and I truly believe because of our faithfulness to God during the trial of losing her, He has blessed us greatly with this.
 
 I just love that she was photographed with us there on this land, on our future.
 
I never foresaw this...
 
(Notice Maddie's little shoes)
 
But I'm thankful for it.
 
I'm thankful for Jonah.
 
For strength. For love. For grace, and hope.
 
 
We will one day look back at these pictures and say; this was the fall that Jonah was here.
Smiling. Laughing. Enjoying our family.
 
 
As we are so enjoying him.
 
 
What a sweet blessing this little rainbow is!
What will God's plans be for him?
 
 
What plans does God have for these little feet?
 
 
And for our entire family..
 
 
Noah Riley (7)

 
Elijah Braden (4)
 
We are thanking God for these precious blessings.
And that He's helping to heal all our hearts and make us stronger than ever...
 
Sure we will always miss her. They still talk and ask of her constantly.
But we are happy.

Sometimes God can use brokenness for so much good.
 
For we cannot be truly whole, without Him.
 
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 
 
We are so grateful for these three little boys.
 
 
We love each of their personalities... and their hearts.

 
I'll never take these boys for granted.
Oh how precious they are to me.
 
And Oh how grateful I am for this man. He is my everything.
 
 
I am blessed with so much love!
 
We continue to live every day to the fullest.
 
And to stand... in grace.
 
For our Maddie, for our Lord.
 
Romans 5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein
 we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
 tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Much Love,

Natalie

A special thank you to my sweet Leah of Precious Photography for
continuing to walk with us and photograph us along the way. We love
you and cherish our friendship. Your pictures are always a blessing and
will always be a treasure to our family.



 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

October 16, 2012

Guess whooo's 10 months?!

Guess whoooo's 10 months?!
 
This sweet boy!
 
My sweet little Birdie boy. <3
Jonah has been busy very crawling, pulling up, getting into
 things and and trying all kinds of new foods. =)
 
He loves being with his Mommy and is quite the Mommy's boy..
He also loves playing with Daddy and his brothers! =)

This sweet little Jonah Bear is SUCH a blessing to us. He has continued
to help heal our hearts and fill us with so much hope.
Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for him and remember what a blessing He is..
 
This little pumpkin is really enjoying fall! We can't wait to dress him up all cute for Halloween.
He is going to be an owl this year. =)

Jonah loves to be outside and he loves to go on walks and car rides.
He loves to clap and wave! He also loves food and he loves to put everything
he "finds" in his mouth.. =)

Jonah has the sweetest and silliest personality. He loves to laugh and giggle.
He lights up the room with that smile.

As November approaches, I am reminded to be thankful.
I think how sad and heartbroken I was at this time last year.
Our family really has so much to "Give thanks"
for this year.
 
We truly are grateful and thankful for this precious gift..
 
He will always "be".."because of her"...
Maddie's little brother..
 
We never thought he would have been part of the plans for our
future, but we are sure glad he is..
We are thankful God and Maddie made a way
for him.
What a beautiful blessing he is to us...
 
I'm busy planning Jonah's 1st birthday! It's going to be a hoot!
Watching him grow this year has been amazing and healing in so many ways.
Thank you for loving him and us. =)
 
Much Love,
Natalie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

October 3, 2012

In these little faces...

 
 
A few weeks ago, we had a fall family photo shoot taken and all the photograph's turned out beautifully. I have them loaded up and ready to share on my next post, but today I just wanted to share what's on my heart....
 
Monday, I was home with Jonah and Eli.. We had just finished preschool and I was picking up toys while Jonah crawled around on the floor. I had sent Eli to his room for something and he ran to get it. Before I could blink, I heard a scream and sobbing coming from the stairwell.
 
Little Jonah had managed to pull down the baby monitor and rolled across the floor with it. It was still plugged into the wall and so as you can imagine, it was pulled tight right across the doorway that Eli was passing through.
 
He tripped over it and went head first into the bottom step.
 
Immediately I picked him up and knew we had to take him to the emergency room. It looked like his nose was definitely broken and I was devastated...
 
I couldn't believe that quickly.. in a blink. He had gotten hurt so badly.
 
I wanted to take his pain.
 
I wanted to make him feel better.
 
I tried to calm his fears..
 
But, I couldn't stop thinking how grateful I was that it wasn't worse.
 
What would I do without him?
 
How could I survive without another one of my children?!
 
It scared me so much.
 
And as I drove him to the hospital, I just kept thinking, don't take a second for granted, Natalie.
 
Slow down, enjoy them, praise them, hug them, kiss them and listen to them.
 
Maybe if I wasn't so "worried" about the mess of toys in the corner, I would have seen that Jonah had the monitor pulled out and Elijah wouldn't have tripped. I can't say for sure.
 
But one thing is for sure...
 
These little faces are my everything.

 
 
They are my heart and soul.
They are my life.
When I look at them I see Rick and I. I see our love.
In them I see my future.
I see God's grace.
I love to watch these little faces when they laugh.
And I hate to see them sad.
In these faces I see me.
For these sweet boys will become what I am.
 
What a convicting thought.
 
Oh Lord thank you for these little faces.
For it's in them that always remind me to look to you.
You are my father, my protector my guide.
 
Please help me to keep a smile on my face and to always trust in you so I can direct them.
 
Help me to slow down, enjoy every moment, remember what's important.
 
But more than anything, help me to always get to see these little faces smiling back at me.
 
Much Love,
Natalie

PS... My little guy is doing just find and just ended up with a slight black eye, some rug burn and bruising. He should be feeling and looking just like himself again really soon. =)