Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"I Have A Dream"

Wow! How many times have I heard that phrase this past week?

Dreams come in all shapes and sizes! As little girls we dream about our prince charming and that fairytale wedding, as teenagers we dream about the car we will drive or the college we will get a full-ride to, as young adults we dream about that great job we will land (of course, with that great salary); as a young married couple we dream about that first baby and a brand new home to take them to, and then as parents we begin to dream for our children. We even pray that God will so evidently reveal himself to them that they will have no question of the direction their lives will take.

We have dreams for all of our girls! Abbigayle is so graceful and has such a loving personality and I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming, one that loves the Lord and wants to please him! Caroline is sweet and caring and wants to make us proud! Sarah is silly and sensitive and wants us all to laugh! And Claire, Claire was fun, just plain laugh till your belly hurts, try anything kind of fun! We used to say that "Fun" was Claire's middle name.

As Jeff and I grow old together, one day we will sit still and reflect back upon the dreams we had for our daughters and watch with amazement of how God fulfilled those dreams! However, all of those dreams of what Claire would become are gone, they must be put away in some crevice of my heart to be held for what might have been, if she were still with us!

Since Claire's death, I have often felt afraid of what tomorrow may bring or actually, what the next moment may bring. I have experienced my life crumbling right in front of me and not been able to do a thing about it. Not been able to scream or cry or have any sense about the moment. As Claire slipped away from us on July 17th I wanted to run and scream and at the same moment I wanted to hold on to Claire so tight that life would remain the same. Claire's death has brought me to a place that offers little hope in what tomorrow may bring, here on earth. It's hard to get excited about what our future holds when my soul longs to be in the arms of my Saviour and experience the peace that Claire has. Claire's death has robbed us of the dreams we had for her. The dreams of her future and the future of our family.

Right after Claire died I had nightmares, you know the kind of dreams that wake you up sweating and crying. Since then I have had several dreams about Claire. I cherish those dreams. The ones where she is wrapping her arms around my neck, knowing that she has to leave but wanting to stay just a while longer. I pray nightly for another dream like that. We have all had dreams with Claire in them, some comforting, others not as comforting. Dreams are a powerful tool!

As we begin to reshape our dreams for our family, we are praying that God will be in midst of our dreams and hopes and wishes!

And once again, I am reminded of God's promise in Jeremiah 29: 10-12 "This is God's Word on the subject: 'As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen.'" (The Message)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well here we are another family celebration without Claire! Just doesn't seem right!

I thought you might like to know what my precious Claire did for me last year on my birthday!

Claire used to randomly make up our bed for me and she was so proud that she had done it. She always wanted it to be a surprise, so I would just walk in to my room and the bed was made! Claire was not a morning person, but on my birthday, last year, she got up quickly and somehow managed to make my bed before leaving for school (honestly, a huge feat for Claire). When I went upstairs to my room sometime later in the morning, my bed was made and this note was on my pillow:

"To. mom From. Claire Am sorry I have to go to school on your birthday but I'll miss you and think about you ever secod I love you so mutch you doter Claire."

Isn't my God so precious. I believe that this gift from Claire was truly an immeasurable gift from God. I need this letter today and last year, this day, my Lord knew that I would!

Friday, January 2, 2009

"2008 A Year In Review"

Well, this is certainly not the review I would want to give, but once again, I say I serve a Mighty, Awesome, Powerful and Sovereign God and His ways are much greater than my ways!! So here I go!

As most of you are looking back on 2008 and thinking of the joys, excitements, regrets and sorrows and looking forward to a new start to 2009 which would be a chance to redo/undo some of those joys, excitements, regrets and sorrows we are still thinking about the things we have learned from Claire's death and where is God taking us next. The thoughts of beginning a "New Year" without our precious daughter are almost unbearable and yet God continues to give us the strength to endure this heavy burden that has been chosen for us.

I thought I would take CLAIRE's name and share what I am continually learning through her life and death.

C~Care for one another, Comfort one another!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

We have had so many people comforting us over the past 5 months, but as everyone else is busy with their routines, we are realizing more and more that God is the true comforter and the only one who will always be by our side every minute.

L~Love each other as God has loved you!

Ephesians 4:2 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

I am evermore mindful of the gentle spirit of my husband and children and that our home must be a refuge from the torrential storms of life. I am working on patience and gentleness.

A~Have an Attitude of forgiveness!

Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

"Nothing is worth more than this day" Mary Englebreit. Take this moment to forgive so that you may have peace in your soul. This moment may be all that you have left.

I~Be Industrious, work as though God is coming back today!

Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Psalm 90:17 "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands."
Proverbs 31:17 "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

I want God to find favor in the tasks that my hands and feet work at each day. I am realizing that my family/home is my job and want to be found faithful in caring for them.

R~Rest in Jesus' arms!

Matthew 11:28-32 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I am very weary and burdened and seek refuge everyday (several times a day) in the lap of Jesus. I try to pour out my heart to Him allowing Him to take on my struggles, fears and pain. God is strong! He already knows what pains I have, He just wants me to share them with Him! Thank You Jesus for caring for me so much!!

E~Keep your Eyes on Eternity! Have an Eternal perspective on life!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "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."

I have never had such a strong desire to be present in my eternal home, as I do now. Jeff and I talk almost daily about this. The things of this world are so insignificant, temporary and shallow! We are so excited about what Heaven will be like, just imagine, constantly being in the presence of Jesus! No fears, no trials, no grief just an eternal praise and worship service! Claire will be there to welcome us, what a glorious day!!

So for us, 2008 was the most difficult year we have ever experienced or could ever have imagined. We have no idea what 2009 has in store for us, but we do know that God does have a plan and direction for us and we pray that He will find us faithful in following His plan.

Anxiously Awaiting the Return of My Saviour!