Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Day to Remember

Jonathan's day was special and memorable. I had so much more peace this year and I made it a point to enjoy his day. We dropped Jimmy off at lunch because he was going to a christian camp. I was a little sad that he would not be with us but it was OK.

We headed to the park but stopped on the way for donuts:) We played at the park for hours having lots of fun! In the afternoon we went with Daddy to the beach to release balloons. It was really special, we wrote message of love to Jonathan on them. We had a fun night with the kids and enjoyed each other I am sure that is exactly what Jonathan would want us to do. Jimmy called from Camp Ceder Crest late that night to let me know he was thinking of Jonathan, he is such a sweet boy.

I got flowers from my sweet friend Kathy an my Mother-in-Love, so thoughtful!

I also got this sweet little box from Lily's mommy, a dear blogging friend
I feel so blessed to have Love and support.

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” 
~2 Corinthians 1:5

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Letter to Heaven

Oh my dear sweet little boy how I am missing you right now. It's very early in the morning and sleep has eluded me. Lying in bed seems to hold my mind captive so I decided to write you a Birthday letter. I have often written your brothers and sister Birthday letters in hope one day they will read them and get a glimpse into my immense love for them. While you will never read this letter here on earth I believe you know of my love for you that you are a witness to our lives from Heaven. 

I think of you every day and miss you. Not in sad dark thoughts that assaulted me the first year but in a very loving and peaceful way. Every now and then grief will stab at my heart and take my breath away but I have made a commitment to myself that your life will be honored and I know that thankfulness is how I must honor you. So I do my best to live each day and take each though captive and make it obedient to Christ. For me that means sometimes I have to get out of bed in the middle of the night and read my Bible because often it is in the darkness that I miss you most.

 I know that if I do not guard my mind my emotions can spiral out of control quickly. I choose to think of those thing that are true, pure, lovely and worthy of praise. It is true that I gave birth to a sweet little boy two years ago today. It is true that you changed my life and heart forever, that your birth took me on a journey to knowing my Jesus even more. It is lovely that I have beautiful pictures to remember you by. It is lovely that your life caused our family to grow and made beauty from ashes. It is pure that God gives comfort to my heart. I Praise the name of Jesus that he has offered so much hope, healing and the marvelous promise of Heaven where I will see you again!

I often have special moments thinking of you and praising God for you when I get dressed. Your picture is in your special place near my closet, it helps me start the day right by looking at it. I feel a surge of gratitude and a focus on eternity when I see your little face. Yes also a sting of sadness but it is a good reminder that this is not my home, my heart was made for an eternity with my Jesus.

Having your baby brother Julian has been such a comfort to me. Jesus has brought healing to my heart in so many ways through him. I love that he has your name, I love that forever I will get to share a little bit of you when I tell people his name. I love that he will grow up knowing that he is blessed to be named after his big brother.

I imagine you in Heaven today playing with Papa and Papaw. I know that it is beautiful and you are so happy. I know that one day we will all be there with you and be together forever. I have lots of work to still do here, raising, training and teaching your brothers and sister. The most important lesson is found in you life-- that all that really matters is eternity! This world is passing away and we have to love God and each other. We have to remain focused and watchful and take as many people with us to Heaven as possible.

We will celebrate and honor you today. Not in elaborate ways, but with simple and thankful hearts. We will have a cake and send some balloons to heaven. We will watch your video and look at your pictures, we will talk about you and remember you. But the greatest love I can give you and the best way to honor you is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and love those around me.

My precious baby boy I love you dearly. As the years pass I am not further away from you but closer to you, for Heaven draws near with each passing day and with it the promise to see you again.

Happy Birthday sweet little boy!

Your always in my heart, Your Loving Mommy 

Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. 
Isaiah 53:4

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thankfulness = Joy

SO thankful for these two:)

I am Full of thanks! I have been practicing active thankfulness every time my mind wonders to the events of two years ago. I start with thanking God for Jonathan and all the ways he helped me grow and change. I thank God that I have a son in Heaven. I thank God for the unwavering hope he gives me through the Bible, that I will see my baby boy again! As soon as I start thanking God things change, joy comes.

Thankfulness is the cure for a heavy heart.

“Joy is thankfulness, and when we are joyful, that is the best expression of thanks we can offer the Lord, Who delivers us from sorrow and sin.” 
― Thaddeus of Vitovnica

"Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” 
― Thomas Goodwin

But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, 'Salvation comes from the LORD.'"
Jonah 2:9

Friday, January 17, 2014

Inside No More

We have been enjoying warm winter weather. Julian loves to sit in his seat and watch the kids play outside. 
Daddy and Jesse spent many hours putting together the new playhouse. Oh and how Shayla and Jojo LOVE it!
The kids spend hours enjoying the trampoline I just feel bad for the neighbors because the love to scream:)
O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.Psalm 104:24

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As The Day Draws Near

I am very aware of the calender lately, I know Jonathan's birthday is just around the corner. I think of him Every. Single. Day. Lately I think of him all day, my mind seems to just keep going back to him. I was even up at 3:00am this morning unable to sleep. I know this is normal because of his birthday and find great comfort knowing other mommies have the same feelings around their angels birthday. That is what is so powerful about support groups, it's the affirmation that I am not alone, others have walked this path and are Okay.

I can't help but think of what was going on in my life this time two years ago. We had just returned from Tenn and were settling into school. A terrible flu was about to hit and then the life changing event of losing our son. The events have been playing out in my head over and over.

I have to say I have become a little more guarded and personal when I speak of Jonathan. I still can not bear for anyone to dismiss him. I know how very important he is to me and that all that really matters. As protection for my heart I just don't tell everyone all my feelings, nor write them on this blog like I did in the beginning. My greatest trial has been forgiving and forgetting those hurtful comments made by people I love. I desperately wanted to attend my local support group last Wednesday (it was the last one before his birthday) but it just was not possible because Julian has never had a bottle.

I have been praying a lot and taking captive negative thought...thoughts like it was my fault, memories over things people said. Still to tell the truth it is a struggle. Not like last year when the grief was all consuming and so heavy, it's just a weight on my heart. But I know from experience a weight can soon turn into an unbearable load if not taken to Jesus. So I have been doing just that and finding comfort in him.

Of coarse Julian is also a tremendous comfort! Last night when I could not sleep I just laid next to him listing to him breath. His breath was a balm to my aching heart. I can not believe the hope and healing he has brought to me. Thank you Jesus!

 I have a plan to combat the attacks that may come, I will choose thankfulness! Over this next week and a half. When anxiety and sadness creep in I plan on pulling out my prayer journal and filling it with thankfulness. More than anything I want Jonathan's life to make me a better person. I want to know Jesus more because of him, and I DO.

I know Jesus is enough, after all he has carried me though the darkest times and deepest trails. He is always with me, an ever present help in time of trouble. My strong tower and defense, my shelter, my hope, my ALL IN ALL.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
~Philippians 4:8

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
~Psalms 55:22

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” 
~Ecclesiastes 3:11

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fulfilling My Goals

I want to do some update posts on my New Year Goals, as a way to hold myself accountable. So periodically through the year I hope to have good reports of fulfilling them. Last week I was off to a good start we had a wonderful couple over from church. This worked on two goals because I did not feel my house was as clean as I like (I still have not put up the kitchen curtains since taking down the snowmen ones:) and obviously the goal of having company over more.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship and yummy food. Laurel blessed us with her AMAZING baking skills, squashing the diet goal, but yumm so worth it!

After dinner the boys headed to outreach at a local store and the girls stayed at the house. I loved getting in some girl time with Laurel. It was fun to hear all the adventures the boys had on outreach when they came home.

I love having people over and feel like we are staring the New Year right with this goal.

By the Way the best book I have ever read on Hospitality is Open Heart Open Home by, Karen Mains, it is so inspiring!

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1Peter 4:7-10

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jojo is Three!

Today we celebrated our sweet boy Joseph Malone! 
We went on some wild adventures all over our awesome city. First stop, an amazing park called Shane's Inspiration. It was built by a family as a memorial for their disabled baby boy that died at two weeks old, pretty touching. We had a yummy picnic and fun playing!
Next up Travel Town, this was one of Daddy's all times favorite places as a child. He had fun taking his boy on all the trains to explore.
Then we headed to the other end of the park to ride the ponies! This was no ordinary pony ride and the kids loved it.
We just had to take our very excited three year old for a train ride!
Yep, one more pony ride:)
Last stop China Town, I'm not sure how we ended up here but it was fun!
Jojo was so thrilled to get a club house and can't wait for tomorrow for daddy to put it together! Little Jimmy wanted to return it when he found out it takes 6-10 hours and two men to assemble, Ha!

Thank you Jesus for our Jojo!
The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness.
Isaiah 38:19
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