The Lord is GOOD to me!


The first week that life returned to “normal” after we lost the baby, I was a total and complete disaster (to put it bluntly!). It was SO HARD to go back to “normal,” when nothing was normal! Everything was different. I buried my face in the Word and tried to fill every moment I could with my family and my friends. It was just so hard to have nothing “exciting” on the schedule to look forward to. Everyone says, “Don’t busy yourself…you need to grieve,” but it didn’t work like that for me. I had PLENTY of time to grieve, I was filling all my spare moments with Truth, and then I JUST NEEDED TO BE WITH PEOPLE WHO FILLED ME UP.

And let me just tell you, THE LORD WAS GOOD TO ME.

APRIL

It all started one day when I was in the middle of a fairly good breakdown, sobbing at our kitchen table. Our kids were playing in the other room and Brian found me there…tears forming a large puddle in front of me. He looked at me with a compassionate heart but having no idea what to do with me. Thankfully, the Lord Almighty intervened in that moment when, suddenly, my dear friend Jenny texted me to ask me how I was doing. And I responded by begging her to fly out to visit.

AND SHE DID.

I don’t know what I would’ve done without her friendship and love that week; a week where I wasn’t sure how to put one foot in front of the other. Several days of getting to know her sweet little Karalee and the companionship of one of my longest friends…she brought me chocolate and wine and we bawled through Frozen together. (Oh, wait…maybe I was the only one who was crying…) I was so grateful to the Lord, who supplied everything that I needed that week and more. And so thankful for Jenny, who is one of my most faithful friends.

Jenny & Karalee!

MAY

Not two weeks had passed when Melisa told me SHE was coming to visit. WHAT, WHAT?!! I missed Stella terribly, but almost a week (almost a WEEK!) with my Melisa and her Judah filled me up in a way that words cannot describe. It’s never enough time, but what would I have done without her love, her faith, her joy, her understanding…there’s something about being with someone who has experienced great loss but has been driven closer to the Lord, farther from bitterness, closer to grace, that brings a comfort others cannot. Thank the good Lord for Melisa.

Melisa & Baby Judah

Good times, great food. My parents treated Brian and me to an AWESOME dinner and a play in Denver for my birthday. It was such a lovely evening with them, filling our faces and a night out on the town.

Mmm, mmm, gooooood!!!

My newest niece was born…Ember Vivienne…and I got to hold her and the fullness of her chubby cheeks on my birthday for the first time. What a GIFT. Just look at this doll! I was in heaven.

For reals…those cheeks.

A birthday celebration with friends…Elizabeth and I both have birthdays in May, so Katie and Suz treated us to the Melting Pot! THE MELTING POT!! But oh, these friends…who brought me salted caramel graham cracker cookies and coffees and flowers and watched my kids and prayed for me and listened to me and went to CB & Potts with me multiple times :)…thank the Lord for these friends.

Sweet dessert, sweet fellowship

Guess who else came to town?! JILLIAN!! What a GIFT to meet her newest little man, sweet little Vaughn, and to do a major “fast forward” catch up with her!! We were both talking so fast, trying to squeeze months (years?) of catch up into 3 short hours. She is a heart friend, and I love her dearly!!

Jillian and baby Vaughn (can you tell Selah is enamored with Jillian’s beauty?!!)

JULY

EJ!! EJ, EJ!!! Erika’s family lives outside of Denver and she came to visit them…and so graciously met me for a (LONG) lunch one day. There have been many moments in my life where I have been acutely aware of the fact that Erika’s prayers and faith have so greatly helped me fix my eyes on the Lord. It was SUCH A GIFT to get to see her…it’s like a fire-hydrant of refreshment.

The one and only EJ.

Rayel got married!! We drove out to Minnesota to be a part of her day and it was such a joy to see her (seriously, most gorgeous bride ever!) and to watch her marry the love of her life!

Sweet Rayel!

Our lil’ fam

On the way we got to see my long-time friend Amy and her husband Michael and her two (BIG!) boys Nathan & Joel. I can’t believe I forgot to snap a pic!! But we met at the Cabela’s in Omaha, walked around the cool store and, again, tried to catch up a LOT of things in a very quick lunch! Though I haven’t been able to see Amy very often since she lived with us while I was in high school, I think of her every day because she was the wonder woman behind my kids’ bedding and decor for their nurseries. So though she is far, her fingerprints are in our home and I love that!! 🙂

On the way back, we got to see Danielle and her family! Danielle!! It’s difficult to describe how my heart loves Danielle. She just makes everyone feel like they are the most special person on earth. I cannot BELIEVE I got the gift of getting to meet her DARLING Eliza while just a few weeks old, and spend time with her precious big girls Raegan and Anabelle. They were both SO sweet to Elliott and Selah, and Danielle and I talked a hundred miles an hour trying to–again–catch up on each other’s lives!! The time was WAY too short, but so, so, soooo sweet and such a GIFT from the Lord.

Danielle, Raegan, Anabelle and sweet baby Eliza

AUGUST

We celebrated 5 years together as husband and wife!! We had dinner at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for years and years…super delicious fondue in a quaint little city. It was such a special date…filled with reminiscing about trials and joys and failures and victories. Oh, how I love this man.

We had a table out on the balcony, overlooking Manitou Springs…perfect.

Then, JILL was in town!! Jill and her family moved to England last summer and she came out with the kids for THREE weeks to visit!! Her youngest, sweet Olivia, is just a few months older than Selah and her boys are as sweet as can be. Elliott has inherited (half of) the boys’ clothes and Selah has inherited Olivia’s hand-me-downs so they are very special friends :). Our kids got to see each other a few times and it was such a GIFT–both for me to see Jill and for my kids to play with hers. I was so, so blessed.

SWEETEST.PICTURE.EVER.

Kari, Jill and I (and all the kids and two sets of grandparents!) met at Focus on the Family one morning.

Jill, Kari, Me and all of our children. Such a JOY to be together and have all our kids together!

Since Kari is in the previous photo, I’ll go ahead and mention her now, though she has been such a God-sent throughout the entire Spring and Summer. There are times when God’s gifts are so timely and perfect that I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude. Kari (and her family) and I living in the same city (well, sorta…) has been such a gift. Her friendship, her faith, her desire to follow the Lord in all things despite the cost has strengthened and encouraged me numerous times. I can’t believe we get to live so close!! Her sweet little guy Quinn got to spend the day with us a couple weeks ago and his friendship with Elliott blessed me immensely. So thankful that God orchestrated each of our lives to cross paths in a way that we can do life together.

Keely is officially hitched!! But before that happened, she had a gorgeous bridal shower in town. We’re missing Emily and Logan, but this group of ours has been friends since elementary/high school. It was SUCH A JOY to see them all while celebrating this dear friend of ours. Her shower was at the Broadmoor, and I told Brian that I felt like I had been on vacation after coming back from it. So refreshing, and so much fun to celebrate our friend!!

Jill, Sara, Keely, Kari and me

And the “locals” got together one more time to feast on some amazing food and eat large portions of this incredible chocolate cake :).

 

SEPTEMBER

And last, but CERTAINLY not least…oh, how the Lord put this cherry on top of all of the ways He’s lavished me with love this Spring/Summer…he gave me Melanie for a sister-in-law. The picture below is (obviously) not of her, but of her beautiful offspring: my sweet nieces and a nephew who come over to play… I honestly am not sure how to adequately describe the gift it’s been to be near her this summer, but I will just say, she is absolutely a “good and perfect gift” from my Father. Thank you, Lord for her friendship, her faith, and her testimony of the transforming power of the gospel. Thank you, Lord.

Selah (1), Cypher (2), Elliott (3) and Fable (4)… If only baby Ember were in this picture as well…she would cover the <1 age :).

Oh, now, look at that–I found a picture of her after all! 🙂 THIS was one of my favorite nights EVER…Biaggi’s, Fried Pimento (who KNEW?!), a big hat and two very grateful hearts. (P.S. She doesn’t own this hat…although I’m sure she’d love to ;).)

I am RICH. Rich with friendships, rich with people who love me, rich with people who fill me with faith. The Lord has been so faithful to meet my every need and surround me with those who love me. I am RICH….

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