Saturday, October 8, 2011

God Nods: In Celebration of Chrissie's 6th B-Day

Today, as we celebrate what would have been Chrissie's 6th birthday on earth, I'd like to share with you something that's been on my heart that just might seem a little wacky to you.  I'm going to share some "God Nods" and revelation I've received from God regarding Chrissie's life on earth and her life in heaven.  The author of Have Heart (a fabulous healing book written by a grieving father/pastor) coined the term "God Nod", but it is our Father in heaven Who sends them.

This is one example of a God Nod that we received, as a gift directly from God last year, just before what would have been Chrissie's 5th birthday on earth:
Click HERE to read the amazing story of how God sent us this antique birthday card last year through a piece of old furniture I purchased at a junk/antique store.

This year God sent us another incredible surprise, just in time for Chrissie's 6th birthday (which she will be celebrating in heaven while we celebrate here on earth):
What a fun surprise God Nod to receive via Madison Nine, a teenager who prayed for Chrissie.  Madison surprised us with this AMAZING pencil drawing of Princess Chrissie which simply captivates me every single time I look at it.  Oh my goodness gracious, this piece of art is SOOOOOO lifelike.  Madison captured Chrissie's spirit, personality, and physical being in this incredible drawing, right down to her little dimple on her upper left cheek.  Just look at how Chrissie's eyes sparkle!  There's not one single thing I would change about this PERFECT drawing.  Oh, Madison, there are no words to express how grateful we are for this priceless gift.  We will treasure it for all of our days.  Thank you so very much!

Here is what Madison had to say about the drawing:

I am 14, a freshmen in High school! I loved drawing the picture of Chrissie and chose the picture from her party because it was one of my very favorites of her with her sweet brown eyes and amazing smile! I thought that picture showed how sweet and beautiful she was and I loved how she had jewelry and a crown on in the picture since she loved jewelry and was "Princess Chrissie".  I remember first hearing about Chrissie because I saw a button on someone's blog that had her sweet picture on it! Chrissie's life was amazing, she was such a warrior princess, but of course you guys already know that! I'm so glad I learned about Chrissie and your amazing family!  ~Madison

God used the surprise delivery of this beautiful sketch to give us a little God Nod, another confirmation that Chrissie's legacy continues to live on, that people haven't forgotten about our precious princess.  I continue to be blown away by the expertise of this drawing, as well as God's timing in surprising us with it.  I just LOVE God Nods.  (Sidenote:  I was thinking the other day, when the wildfires hit near our area of Texas, which items I'd try to save from our home if we ever had a fire hit here.  Of course my children were first and foremost, but out of all of the items in our home, the ones I thought I'd grab first were the photo quilt that Carrie made in memory of Chrissie, the sketch of Chrissie dancing with Jesus that Lori created for us, and this beautiful sketch of Chrissie that Madison drew for us.  I'm so grateful for these  priceless treasures.  Thank you, ladies.)

Now, back to some more God Nods. 

I've pondered and prayed about the phrase on the God-sent antique birthday card (pictured above), the phrase that says, "Then include among your favors, the very best wish I can make."  I've asked God to show me what Chrissie's very best wish would be for her 6th birthday this year, and I have to believe God when He shared with me that Chrissie would want us to bring home Vlad and Dima from Ukraine. 

It sounds crazy, I know, but keep reading for further explanation of a series of God Nods that God shared with me after Chrissie went to live with Jesus. 

This series of God Nods started shortly after Chrissie left us on May 19, 2010.  I was so devastated.  I wanted to know how/why God wanted Chrissie in heaven more than we wanted her on earth.  I poured out my heart to God, bawling, asking Him to show me what exactly Chrissie would be doing in heaven that she couldn't have done on earth.

I was a little surprised at the words I felt God whisper into my spirit.  He said, "She's hunting."  WHAT?  That seemed like an insane answer, but I heard the words as clear as day.  I questioned God with things like, "Chrissie would have HATED hunting."  It just didn't make any sense.

So then, I asked God what Chrissie was hunting for, and He said, "Orphans and lost souls."  That seemed a little odd to me.  Was I hearing God correctly?

I went on to question God further, and He shared with me a vision of Chrissie that I will never forget.

First, I saw Chrissie holding this laser gun from her brother's birthday party on April 4, 2010.  (It was a crazy story how Chrissie even got to participate in this outdoor laser challenge, so it's a miracle in itself that I even have a photo of this.)  After I saw this photo in my head, God transformed it into an image of Chrissie "hunting" for desperate orphans, for lost souls, and God shared with me that Chrissie would play a role in connecting these orphans with their forever families, as well as helping rescue lost souls.  It's an image I can't describe, well, because it was a God image.  (Have you ever had God show you something so profound that it would take days to try to describe, and it would still be inadequate?  Well, that was this image.)  This was a HUGE God Nod for me.

Since that day in May, 2010, God has given me several confirmations that I heard Him correctly.  God continues to share with me stories of families who are adopting an orphan because of Chrissie. Every now and then, someone will email me and share with me their story of how Chrissie captured their hearts and led them to adopt.  It's kind of wild, really, but it's true.  I've shared several of those stories here on our blog as I've tried to help families fundraise for their adoptions.

When God shared all of this with me, I didn't share it with anyone else at the time (not even my family).  I felt like people might think I was crazy.  But then, Mattie (our daughter) came to me in June, 2010, to share with me that she had a dream about Chrissie.  (We were all praying to have Chrissie dreams, but Mattie very rarely recalls her dreams, so she was the last child I expected to hear from when it came to Chrissie dreams.)  Mattie went on to share that it was a really strange dream because she and Chrissie were going...HUNTING!!!  They were dressed in camo clothing and boarded a plane.  Mattie didn't know what they were going hunting for, and then somewhere in the sky, she lost Chrissie, and then the dream ended. 

OK, so that's more confirmation from God that I heard Him correctly.  More God Nods.  I sat there, stunned, as I listened to Mattie share about her hunting dream with Chrissie.  God was definitely sending me some confirming God Nods!

Shortly after the Mattie/Chrissie/Hunting dream, I received a book, along with a letter (dated May 29, 2010), from a lady (who I've never met) in our same little town.  This lady lost her daughter 11 years ago, and she wanted to give me a book that helped tremendously as she learned to live without her daughter.  What this lady didn't know is that it wasn't the book that God used to touch my heart, it was TWO WORDS in her letter.

I scanned the letter to share it with you.  (I'm not sharing the entire letter, just the portions that God used as big God Nods.)
 Just in case this is too small to be legible, here's a portion of what the letter from this fellow mom to a daughter in heaven said:
I'm going to share with you a dream that helped me so much.  You might think the guys in white jackets need to come for me but that's okay...there have been days that I'd have agreed with you.  Here it is:

She came to me and I can still feel the hug.  As she began talking to me she said, "Mom, we have to dance in a circle."  So we did and as we danced around and around, this thought kept coming, "This feels too real to be a dream"...over and over.  Then, she began describing Heaven...She said, "It's beautiful, Like a hunting camp but don't worry, no animals get killed.  (Maybe she remembered my threat to go up to the hill country in a deer suit with a male mannequin tied to my hood and blood all over him.  Not a fan of hunting.)  Beautiful meadows, there are flowers everywhere, you're gonna love it!  (That made me take a sigh of relief, if she thinks I'm getting' in, it's a good sight right?)

OK, HUGE God Nod.  A woman who I don't even know sent me this letter shortly after God's revelation about Chrissie hunting in heaven.  This woman had no idea what God had shared with me about Chrissie "hunting" in heaven.  This God Nod simply blew me away, confirming, once again, that I had heard God correctly.

Then, on June 29, 2010, I received the following comment on my blog from a grandma in Australia who suffered a sudden heart attack:

Update from Jo posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 5:36:00 AM:
I commented on your blog a few times although I do not know God the way you do.

Out of the blue last week my own heart stopped beating and I had the kind of arrest that

most people don't come back from. I was thinking of your precious Chrissie when I was being

airlifted at midnight to our Capital City and I bossed my heart so that it wouldn't stop

beating again. I was thinking of Chrissie and I think she may have been there amongst the

angels helping on the lonely trip and I have thought of her several time since. I was dead for

45 secs and then was sent back to be with my family. It still seems so unreal to me and I

think that your sweet Chrissie will make a believer out of this 52 year old Grandma who has

had mixed feeling about God her entire life.

I did Boss my heart and I am home with my family as it wasn't my time.

I am in a whirlwind of emotions and at the time when I should have been thinking of my

family traveling high in the sky on a dark lonely night I was thinking of Chrissie and bossing

my heart.

Her life has made a difference and she is still serving a purpose.

Thinking of you all across miles,

Jo from South Australia

This comment was shared with me after Jo had previously left this comment on April 28, 2010, when Chrissie was battling for her life after her open-heart surgery:

Jo posted a comment on 4/28/2010 at 9:52 AM:

I am not sure how I feel about God, however I am so drawn to your story and have been

following it from a country town in South Australia.

I am amazed at your strength and courage and have sent prayers across the miles to you

which is something I haven't done for a long time. I feel that it will renew my faith in God if

Chrissie makes it through all of this as the Chrissie who you know and love as I think she can

only survive this through the grace of God and what a wonderful way for God to let people

know that he is here and that he hears our prayers.

This is another HUGE God Nod.  You see, "Grandma Jo" wasn't saved before she had her sudden heart attack.  Remember how God shared with me that Chrissie would also be hunting for lost souls?  Well, God sent her to Grandma Jo to help her boss her heart, saving her life, so she wouldn't be condemned.  Had Grandma Jo died the night of her heart attack, she would have spent eternity in hell.  God gave Grandma Jo another shot at life, and prayerfully, Grandma Jo will see and believe in the gift of Jesus Christ.  It blesses me beyond description to think that God chose Chrissie to play a role in this.  Grandma Jo "knew" Chrissie through our blog, and even though she was continents away, Chrissie "knew" Grandma Jo, too.  Amazing.  I sure hope to meet Grandma Jo in heaven one day!

I pray these God Nods haven't freaked you out too much, but, rather, that they've blessed your heart immensely, just as they've blessed mine. 

Once again, as our family celebrates Chrissie's birthday on this day, we cordially invite you to remember her as well.  Please consider lighting a candle today, October 8, 2011, in remembrance of Chrissie.  And, if you feel led to chip in toward Chrissie's party favors of the best wish she can make, I urge you to donate toward saving an orphan or praying for someone you know whose soul needs to be rescued.  After all, this is what Chrissie would want.

Today, our family is hosting a small, invitational benefit team roping here at our house in celebration of Chrissie's 6th birthday. (This is the rescheduling of the big benefit team roping that got postponed due to that silly horse virus back in May.)  The proceeds will help us bring Vlad and Dima home from Ukraine, which is what we believe Chrissie would want.

This is an extra special celebration this year because it is a double celebration, as we are also celebrating Selah's 1st birthday. We thought that if both girls were in our family on earth at this time, we would have a joint party for them since they're both miracle girls and their birthdays are a week apart (another God Nod on the timing of these miracle girls and when their birthdays fall).  So we decided to have a joint celebration in memory of Chrissie's 6th birthday and in honor of Selah's 1st birthday.

If you're looking for a family to bless in memory of Chrissie, we would be most grateful if you would consider blessing ours.  We are currently fundraising to bring Vlad and Dima home, and we have a very good feeling that Chrissie played a role in orchestrating these boys coming to our home on a last-minute hosting this summer.  I've had a few people email me to ask about a "Chip-In" for Vlad and Dima, but I haven't had a chance to create one.  (I created one, which is now on our blog, and I want to thank those of you who already felt led to donate directly to us.  We are most grateful for your contribution.)  For those who don't know, adoption is EXPENSIVE, and it's the one hurdle that holds many people back.  While it's challenging to come up with a chunk of $20-30,000 for an adoption, it shouldn't keep us from adopting.  We humbly and prayerfully ask for your support in helping us bring Vlad and Dima home.  We know God will provide, He always does.

Thank you for celebrating these God Nods with us, for celebrating Princess Chrissie's 6th birthday, and for celebrating Princess Selah's 1st birthday.  We are so blessed by you!

Edit October 8 at 11AM:  Someone chipped in $6 in memory of Chrissie's 6th birthday!  I LOVE it!  what a GREAT idea that is possible for every single one of us to do!  Thank you!

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