Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodbye For Now

No, I'm not leaving.  Just pondering a few things that God is teaching me regarding our temporary separation from Chrissie.  He is showing me a different way to look at death, separation, Heaven, and everything in between.  I am grateful for the books He has set before me to help teach me the things He so desperately wants me to know.  I've mentioned Have Heart numerous times as my favorite source of healing, encouragement, hope, inspiration, and Truth as I'm learning to walk through life without Chrissie.  If you are looking for grief resources, I strongly recommend you visit the Have Heart store to order everything in it! :-)  I just finished a wonderful book called My Dream of Heaven by Rebecca Ruter Springer, which is the story of Rebecca's visit to Heaven in the 19th century, before the fads of many of our recent near-death experience books.  It's a WONDERFUL book that made me feel like I got to visit Chrissie in Heaven, an experience I cannot really explain, but God has used this book (along with Have Heart) to really help me feel connected to Chrissie in Heaven, to feel like I just got to visit her in her new home.

And that is why I've entitled this post, "Goodbye For Now". 

When we visit a friend's home, as we leave, we hug them and tell them goodbye.  We thank them for allowing us to visit, but we usually don't leave in tears of grief and distress.  That's because we know that we will visit them again.  The time between visits will be dependent upon circumstances and proximity and life, but we will assuredly visit our friends again.  It is not a forever goodbye, just a goodbye for now.  A temporary separation.

Chrissie has only been temporarily separated from us.  She has moved to a new Home, a Home which we can only dream of living in.  A Home so glorious that we cannot even fathom a single detail of its glory. 

At this time of year, many moms are kissing their little ones goodbye as they enter kindergarten for the very first time.  Other parents are hugging their children and hollering goodbye as they run out the door to catch the school bus.  Teenagers shout a quick goodbye as they drive themselves to school.  College students move into their dorms and begin a new season of life, farther away from home and much more independent.  A young adult takes an overseas mission trip, saying goodbye for now to his friends and family.  A newlywed couple marries and moves into a home of their own for yet another season of life, separated from their parents for an even longer period of time, but knowing that they will visit soon enough.

All of these goodbyes are only a temporary separation.  A goodbye for now.  We celebrate kindergarten, graduation, mission trips, college, a new home, a new family.  We do not grieve these milestones as losses, but as achievements.  We do not feel uneasy asking our friends how their child is doing in Kindergarten.  We do not withhold our questions regarding how our loved ones are doing with college life, mission trips, new marriages, new homes, new seasons of life.

So why should we shy away from visiting with our family and friends who have children/loved ones who have gone to Heaven?   This is a new season of life with much to be celebrated.  Why do people fumble over what to say or not say?  Look at this season of life as another milestone, a season to be celebrated as the Ultimate Achievement.  We, too, will see Chrissie again, but the length of separation is longer than an 8-hour school day, longer than a mission trip, longer than between college semester breaks, longer than holiday visits from newly married couples.  It is a different type of temporary separation.  But it is still a goodbye for now.  We do not know the length of time we will be separated from Chrissie, but we must celebrate Chrissie's new Home.  She has gone to live in the most glorious of Homes. The Home of all Homes.  The Home that would blow every other home out of the greatest of great home tours.  A Home unlike any home we could ever fathom.  And what a glorious celebration this should be!

If Chrissie had remained on earth for a while longer, we would have joyfully celebrated every milestone that God allowed Chrissie to reach on earth.  And oh how glorious it would have been to see Chrissie grow up and get married and buy a home and raise a family.  But all that Chrissie is experiencing in Heaven is so much  more grand than any earthly milestone or accomplishment could ever be.  And so we should celebrate that Chrissie has moved to a new Home.  A Home that no one can buy.  A Home that no one can prepare for themselves.  A Home where everything is perfect, all of the time.  A Home where we will one day visit and be so privileged as to stay as eternal guests, as forever family, for all eternity.

Chrissie, while we wish that we hadn't been temporarily separated from you, we are so very grateful for the eternal life offered to us by Jesus Christ.  We are blessed beyond measure to know that you are Home with our Father living in His House, a place that none of us can even begin to fathom how glorious it is.  We are so grateful that we will one day get to visit you in your new House.  We are even more grateful that we will get to stay there with you forever, to spend eternity with you, Sweetheart.  We celebrate your new Home and cannot wait to come see you and the place where you have been living.  We cannot wait to hear about this mission trip God has called you to, the Home He has prepared for you, the new life He has created for you.  You are not missing out on anything here on earth because God is fulfilling all and more for you in Heaven.  We know this and we celebrate all of the milestones you have already reached at such a young age.  WOW, what a warrior princess you are and continue to be.

And so we say again with much joy, our precious angel, "Goodbye for now!"  We will see you in Heaven where we will live forever and ever and ever for all eternity.  How glorious!

MWWWAAAAAA!  Brownie batter smooches from Princess Chrissie!
Goodbye for now, Precious Angel.
We will see you soon!
PS  Eat all the brownie batter you want, Girlfriend, just save some for me! :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010


We've had a lot going on this past week, as it's our last week before we start school back up full time.

On Saturday, August 21, we attended a party for families who are adopting or already have kids from the HCRM orphanage in Haiti.  We're blessed to be within close distance to a community of adoptive families with Haitian kiddos.  We haven't been able to do as much with this group of families as we would like, but it was wonderful to fellowship with them last Saturday.  We brought a cake to celebrate Naomi's 18th birthday with all of her Haitian friends, and she even got to visit with loved ones in Haiti that night via my phone!  We had a lovely time, and Naomi had a wonderful 18th birthday celebration with her friends.

Naomi, Meribeth, Mattie and Mom.  We brought Naomi's favorite-color-yellow b-day cake to the gathering of Haitian adoptive families. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera.  Fortunately, friends emailed me these photos!

The weekdays were filled with lots of errands and appointments for multiple children:  doctor, orthodontist, dentist, hair salon.  Almost everything was accomplished that needed to be done, so it feels great to have lots checked off the to-do list!

Total Transformation Institute of Cosmetology in San Marcos where many services are only $5/each!

Yesterday (Friday) was my 39th birthday.  Many of you are friends with me on Facebook, and I just have to say THANK YOU for the abundant b-day greetings!  I've never received so many birthday wishes in my entire life!!!  I was so blessed and grateful for all of your sweet words, and as I celebrated my 39th birthday without Princess Chrissie to sing to me and squeeze my neck, I felt comforted by all of the messages God sent my way via so many of you!

Last night was a really hard night for Matt with missing Chrissie. Lots of tears.  It comes in waves.  We've learned this is very normal.  It's hard to have celebrations without our little joyful princess around to celebrate with us. I spent my birthday being very BUSY, purposefully BUSY so that I wouldn't have a chance to sit around missing Chrissie terribly.  (I still miss her every second of every day, literally, but staying busy is good for me.)  I left the house early in the morning and didn't come home until fairly late, which is not how I had planned for my day to turn out, but possibly God planned it that way, which was good.  I always had several (sometimes all) of my kiddos by my side throughout the day, except during my lunch date with Matt.  Staying busy was a good way to help me have a happy birthday.  I am grateful for my family and friends who God surrounded me with, but I can't wait for the day when we'll all be in Heaven together; where no one has to be separated.  It feels like a great big gigantic "time-out" right now and I don't wanna be in time-out!  I want us all to be together, either in Heaven or on earth, because being separated for an indefinite amount of time just stinks.

This was my b-day gift "from Chrissie".  It's a Willow Tree angel figurine of a girl holding a seashell to her ear.  I plan to put it next to the big jar of seashells that we collected at Navarre Beach in memory of Chrissie.

Today (Saturday), Dr. Porisch and her husband visited Forgotten Saw Ranch!  We were SO BLESSED by this sweet time of fellowship in our home with a very special, God-sent friend/woman/cardiologist who I will be forever grateful for.  We figured out quite quickly that Matt and Mr. Porisch are quite similar and both have very tender hearts (what a treasure!).   After lunch, the guys sat outside and visited for hours while Dr. Porisch and I got caught up inside in the air conditioning!  She brought a disc of Chrissie bossing her heart on April 28, 2010, and we were able to sit together and view Chrissie's miracle story.  Oh, what a blessing Dr. Porisch is to our lives!
(I didn't take any photos of Dr. Porisch and her hubby...she's not a fan of photos! :-)

We will start school full-time on Monday, so we'll begin a new season of our lives.  Chrissie would have been in Pre-K (at our homeschool) this year.  That's the grade I taught in public school, my favorite grade ever!  If Chrissie stays age 4 in Heaven, I'll have a prekindergartner for all eternity!!!  That's a question I'm longing to know the answer to, but I don't think the Bible clearly tells us the answers about age in Heaven.  I want to believe that Chrissie will still be 4 years old when we get to Heaven, and how glorious it would be for us to have a 4-year-old for all eternity!!!  My favorite age/grade forever and ever.  Wow.  Hard to fathom.  I'm claiming Isaiah 11:6-9 for part of my answer regarding age, "In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.  The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all....The baby will play safely near the hole of  a cobra.  Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm...."  Yep, I'm thinking Chrissie will still be the boss-your-heart 4-year-old princess when we get to Heaven, and she'll probably be the little child leading them all that is referenced in this verse.  Chrissie, baby, I can't wait to see you again in Heaven.  Can't wait, baby girl!  I know you're having the time of your life, sweet girl, and I'm not worried about you.  I just can't wait to hold you, hug you, kiss you, read to you, play with you and love on you my precious angel.  (Chrissie is not an angel in Heaven, she is a saint, but I always called her my precious angel when she was here on earth, and she would remind me to thank God for "Mommy's precious angel"!)  Love you my little Serbian Sensation!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trying to Help...

a friend in Australia! 

Taylah, a 15-year-old girl in Australia, fell in love with Chrissie.  She is fundraising for orphans by hosting a princess ball in memory of Chrissie!  That's not what I'm trying to help her with though.  Taylah's cousin was born with Down Syndrome and imperforate anus/anal atresia.  He's had 6 surgeries and is in a lot of pain right now.  Taylah is desperately trying to get into contact with others who have dealt with imperforate anus.  If you have any experience with this, please contact Taylah at cute-volcom@hotmail.com.  You can click HERE to see Taylah's blog and read what she has to say about her cousin's condition.  (Taylah's always telling stories about Chrissie and has cute photos of Chrissie scattered on her blog, too, so it's always fun for me to see her blog! :-)

Hoping that someone out there will be helpful to Taylah! 


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quick Update

I just wanted to send a quick note to let you all know that we're home from Florida now.  We got home yesterday (Friday), and we're so grateful for the wonderful vacation that God blessed us with.  Thank you LISA and many thanks to Lisa's parents for sharing their beach house with our family.  We will forever treasure the time spent there in such a beautiful home, enjoying God's amazing white-sand beach. 

And several of you have asked why I'm now showing Asher's face on the blog.  Asher's first adoptive mom had given me permission to post his photos from the very beginning, but I felt unsure about it since he wasn't legally our son.  I recently felt like God was telling me that it is OK for Asher's face to be on the blog (I accidentally posted a few photos of him without the heart stamp hiding his face), and I think that was the beginning of God saying that it was fine to post Asher's photo and I didn't need to worry about protecting Asher's identity.

Gotta go, but hopefully I'll post more pics soon.  God blessed me with some down time that allowed me to post photos to the blog (but not enough to get all of the days' photos posted), and hopefully I'll have that opportunity again soon! :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Florida in Pics, Day 3 of Our Vacation

I took this photo from the bedroom balcony.  The guys were fishing on the beach, but they only caught BIG seaweed clumps.  There was a TON of seaweed in the ocean, but it didn't slow anyone down.  (Well, it sent Parker running to the outdoor shower a few times when his swim trunks filled with seaweed and he had an allergic reaction a few times.  OUCH! :-)

Asher taking the fishing bucket down the stairs and out to the beach.

Mattie and Naomi.  Forever Sisters.

Sawyer and Naomi boogie-boarding.
Warning:  There will be a ton of boogie-boarding photos...this was a red flag day, which meant big waves and lots of boogie-boarding!


Meribeth (left), Mattie (right)

Naomi LOVED boogie-boarding!

Love that smile, Naomi! :-)

Mattie crashed into Meribeth with the forceful waves!

Sawyer ridin' a wave.

Love this brown-eyed boy!

Mattie rode her wave all the way to shore, and the forceful water pushed her tankini top up, hence the yellow sticker on the photo (nothing was exposed, just her back, but I want to preserve the modesty of our family, so I put the sticker on the photo).  The laugh/smile on Mattie's face shows how much fun she had, so I couldn't resist posting this photo.

Naomi and Buckshot rode a wave to shore.  Precious smiles.  Sweet laughter that was music to our ears.

Meribeth waiting for a wave.

Found one!  Rode it to shore!


Parker, the master boogie-boarder, taught everyone how to ride the waves all the way to the shore!

Kiefer LOVED the ocean, the sand, the sun.  Everything.  Sometimes he just rolled in the sand for fun!

Parker heading out to find a big wave!

And he rode it to shore!

Asher preferred playing in the sand to the crashing waves.  Until the last day when he decided the waves were a blast!  It was great for Kiefer to have a sand buddy though.  They hauled bucket after bucket of water to their sand area.  The sand at Navarre Beach is like organic sugar.  Some color and texture.  LOVED it!

Daddy loved the ocean, too, until he burst his eardrum. :-( 
(This photo was taken before he burst his eardrum.  The water pressure of a wave whacked him upside the head and hit just right to burst his ear drum.)

Asher and Kiefer didn't really want to stop digging to pose for a photo, but Mommy wanted them to!

Mommy and Kiefer.

Asher caught in a wave on the shore.

Hold your breath, Asher!

Whew, it's over!  Way to go, Asher!

Ahhhhhh, this is the life!

Kiefer is saying, "Cheese!"

Wow, that water's cold, Daddy!

Kiefer LOVED having the waves crash in on him!

Beach Boys!

It's nap time!  The view from the room.  It started raining just after we all got settled in for a slumber!  Thank you, God, for a glorious day at Navarre Beach!

Florida in Pics, Days 1 and 2 of Our Vacation

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