Happy Birthday Benjamin! You turn 5……

photo (10)Oh sweet Ben……you turn 5 today.  And today marks a new journey for us.  You have now been in heaven longer than you were here with us.  And that fact starts the new reality.  But oh how very blessed we are to have had you those two wonderful, amazing years.  I can’t imagine my life without you being a part of it.  You were so different from your big brother Fischer.  So content and wanting to grow up way to fast to keep up with Fischer.  Your small bare feet that pounded the floor so determined when you walked.  I remember when you fell off a cardboard box you climbed up on when you were playing in my garage.  I gasped and you simply rubbed your head without a tear and continued on never missing a beat.  I loved that about you.  You always took whatever came your way.

I’m sure you mom has planned a glorious day for you and I am heartbroken that I am not there to experience it.  However, I have a feeling when I am joined with you one day, God in all his amazing awesomeness will have a way to let me experience every moment that we were apart.  I hope so anyway.  He is a mighty God!

Have a great time running and playing in heaven today.  We will celebrate your 836 days that we were blessed to have you here in our lives.  I’m sure you will get to hug Jesus today.  Tell him I love him and can’t wait to meet him face to face.  Give your amazing mom a hug and kiss and tell her that I love her.  Wrestle some with Fischer for me and tell him Nana loves him.  Go fishing, swimming, camping and I’m sure your mom will encourage you to “get dirty”.

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Chalkboard drawing in the boys playroom.

I finished a new memorial wreath to celebrate this day.  I call it the Ben “man, man” wreath.  You loved Spiderman and referred to him as “man, man”.

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I will go lay your birthday wreath later today at the place that honors your earthly life.  IMG_1363Your birthday video this year is one your mommy made.  She sent this to me March 28, 2012.  The email message said:  “Can you believe it?  Benjamin is turning 2?  Bittersweet…..”.  The song she chose is Taylor Swift’s “Don’t ever grow up”.    I think the sentiments of this song and the pictures she selected speak volumes to us today and express what we all feel.

I love you Benjamin.

Nana

Easter 2015 – The Hallelujah people!

Easter has become my favorite celebration and holiday.  In fact, I’m somewhat ashamed that it wasn’t previously, but our culture places so much emphasis on Christmas.  To have Easter there has to be a “good” Friday where unbelievable torture, beating and murder happens.  Definitely not the excitement of a new born baby on Christmas.  But when the storms of life come, it is Easter after the Friday that is our hope and our joy.  For as a Jesus follower, my Jesus is ALIVE. Romans 8:11 tells us:  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.  Therefore we have joy and hope!

So, it is with this hope that I worship a RISEN Savior who walks this path with me no matter what comes my way, whether it is sickness or death.  You see, when you have a Friday in your life that is dark with overwhelming grief, and no path is seen forward, I too can relate to how the disciples must have felt after Christ died.  They didn’t know how they would move forward.  How they could live another day.  They were afraid the cross would be there sentence.  None of them thought he would be raised from the dead.  NONE.  But yet in spite of the fact that those that were closest to him never thought it would happen, he arose!   I have always believed in the Easter story, but it has become more real, more personal when you have loved ones that have witnessed Romans 8:11!

Today while there are Easter egg hunts, Easter dresses, baskets, Easter suits and all the celebration that comes with this day, my heart is also drawn back to a place in Salado.  There are no Easter baskets, egg hunts or Sunday finery for some.  No laughter, or joy from small children enjoying the day with their faces covered in chocolate and hearing them call my name…….Mom……Nana.  But then my Lord lifts my head and reminds me to keep my eyes on HIM.  The one that conquered death.  So, I look upward.  And my heart and my Lord tells me that they are wearing clothes that are more radiant than the sun.  There are no tears, no sorrow, no pain for them……just peace and joy.  It’s hard for me to imagine three little boys and their Mom with more joy and perfected in Christ.  But yet it is true.  They are witnessing what must be the most glorious day in heaven that we here in our earthly bodies can only dream of until we join them.

So, I honor IMG_1300 (2)their memory with the one that paid the price for us so we will spend eternity together.  I like the picture in my mind of the little ones coming to Jesus….climbing on him, hugging his neck.   But yet He also knows my heart and knows how much I still miss them….I will not deny.  I am coming to understand that part will never go away…nor do I want it to.  Their loss keeps me tethered to my Jesus more closely than ever before.

There was an empty chair with butterflies to honor those that are living with my King.  IMG_1315

My garden have Easter lilies celebrating the resurrection and the promise of their presence in heaven.

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We had a full table of family and dear friends to celebrate this amazing day.

This Easter was full of peace, full of blessings, and His ever amazing grace.  There was immense healing for me this year and the absolute resolve and confirmation that this life is not the end……and we need to use this time how ever short we are given ever so wisely.  Don’t squander it, be intentional in everything you do.  Make it matter.  Love deeply.  Give grace always.  And be assured of who holds our futures…..because we are the Hallelujah people!  If the RISEN LORD lives inside of me what could I possibly fear?  Oh how I need to remind myself of this when the enemy shoots his arrows.

I close with pictures of our Easter celebration and my heart full of hope and joy that only Christ can bring……

Jesus, please hug and kiss them for me until I can one day.

Blessings,

Julie

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He is RISEN!

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