Happy birthday!

Today you would’ve turned 48 years old.

2019 also will mark the five year anniversary of you going to heaven! How can that be?! I wonder what your days look like in heaven. I can’t even imagine.

You are so loved Doug! Your fun loving spirit was so infectious…even as a little boy! You were the best brother that God could’ve given to me.

Love you and miss you so much!

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We are in the Lenten season. This season is a very emotional time for me. Easter has been that way for me for a long time. It's emotional because of the sacrifice of God's own Son...for me! Me, who has not fully trusted Him enough or loved Him enough or lived a life worthy of His love...He still did it for me. I fail Him constantly and He loves and he pursues me.

This time of year is a difficult time for me personally when it comes to loss. Three years ago this week our dog, Osa died. Our "fur baby" that we loved for almost 16 years who loved us unconditionally. Three years ago this April my brother went to be with the Lord. Time goes on but the places that Doug filled in my life are still empty. One year ago my beloved grandmother met Jesus. A God she served for almost 99 years.That is a lot of loss but there is a hope! God prepared a place for us. That is the comforting part of the loss. I know they are in heaven. 

A few weeks ago my friends daughter (who I love very much) sang a solo in church. I wasn't there that weekend and as my husband and I were driving home, we replayed the FaceBook video. I couldn't see the video through the tears. First, because this young lady was singing out. Not holding back. Her voice was clear and beautiful. Second was because of the lyric. 

There's nothing too dirty
that You can't make worthy
You wash me in mercy
I am clean.
Clean, Natalie Grant

These are powerful words. I am valued by God. He washes me in mercy and gives me the gift of grace. The God of the universe who created me, loves me more than I can comprehend. 


We lived outside of Washington, DC 14 years ago. September 11, will be one of those days that will be etched in my mind for the rest of my life. This is probably one of those tragedies (besides the Space Shuttle Challenger) that I can say, "I remember where I was when..."

We walked the grounds of the Pentagon that very first evening serving with The Salvation Army. The wall collapsed earlier in the day and it just didn't seem real. I remember seeing the workers that had working dogs sitting on the ground completely exhausted. Being a huge dog lover, I was attracted to these workers and their four legged companions. The Salvation Army band played at multiple church services offered at Camp Unity where The Army continued to serve weeks after.

Just last weekend we went to New York City. We didn't have time to take in the tourist sites but as we were driving to Brooklyn, we could see One World Trade Center. I took a few shots from the car with my iPhone hoping for at least one good shot.

We also went to Eagle Rock Reservation in Orange, NJ. It has amazing views of the New York City skyline. Breathtaking! They also have a 9-11 Memorial there with statues and the names of lives lost that day. There is also a piece of steal beam from the Twin Towers.

As my friend reminded me, today we just don't remember those we lost, but we need to remember we survived and we are still building!

Photo credit: lauradake

The Giving Keys...HOPE

The Giving Keys is such a cool concept. You wear and embrace the words on these keys and then when the time is right you pay it forward to someone who needs the message more than you.

My key says HOPE. It is a word we embraced as a family during Doug's journey with cancer. It was a long journey but Doug said if one person came to know Christ through his experience than it would have been worth the journey. God healed Doug, not the way we wanted. We wanted to experience much more life making so many more memories. We love and miss him so much and there is a void left that can't be filled by anyone else, but God healed Doug...perfectly healed!

Doug lives in heaven with Jesus today and I have a hope...we all have a HOPE! One day, I too will live with Jesus, perfectly healed from my own imperfections!

My tragedy will be a mark of God's faithfulness

"My tragedy - my loss - will not mark my life with sadness. My tragedy will be a mark of God's faithfulness in the storm. I will not carry a cloak of sadness, but my story will be a megaphone for what God can do with a shattered heart. The desert gives way to the harvest. That's what my life will proclaim." - Jill McCloghry 

My beautiful friend saw this posted on the @pcc_thegrove Instagram. This statement really resonates with me. We are approaching the one year anniversary of Doug's death. It is unreal. In some respects time has flown by and on the other hand, time has stood still. 

I think about Doug everyday and I miss him so much! Doug was a living testimony to God's faithfulness. He taught this older sister about relying on God. He is always faithful.

I am sad...some days are so much harder than others but through this journey, (that I'm still on...because it hasn't ended just because Doug went to heaven) I have tried to be transparent. I have written my innermost private feelings about what I've experienced over that last two years, for whoever reads this little space of mine on the web. It can be therapeutic and very vulnerable but maybe these words will resonate with someone on a similar journey.  

The desert gives way to the harvest. We have a hope!

When The Waters Are At Flood Stage

I opened Facebook this morning and my friend, Wendy had posted a picture of this verse from Isaiah as encouragement.  

With everything that has been going on in our life, there are days when I feel the waters are at flood stage. The water is up around my ears, it gets harder and harder to breathe, panic sets in and soon you have lost control.  

Even though I have these feelings, I am reminded in God's word, that He promises that He will be with me and I will not drown.


photo: laurajdake | stone mountain

I Have This Hope

This song has been playing over and over in my head. Music is so powerful and speak to me in a very special way. These words are a reminder to me that God is unshakable. His word is unfailing!!


I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand

Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

Hillsong | Anchor

source: photo from pinterest

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Faith Is Taking The First Step

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King


Lamentations 3 says:

But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.

They’re created new every morning.

How great your faithfulness!

I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).

He’s all I’ve got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,

to the woman who diligently seeks.

It’s a good thing to quietly hope,

quietly hope for help from God.


I am desperately looking for confirmation that God is hearing the prayers of his people. I want to feel his presence. I don't understand why cancer has invaded my brother's body. I struggle everyday wondering why...God you are the creator of the universe, creator of man and the God of healing. Why are you not choosing to heal his body?

Claiming hope was a big undertaking and maybe I wasn't truly ready to live that out. God help me to claim hope and that requires me to seek you diligently! To remember you are faithful and your mercies are new every morning. 


Source: Photo from Pinterest