Thursday, May 30, 2013

Questions at the Cross

This Church I found online is pretty awesome....loved this sermon on questions at the cross....

Questions at the Cross

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Father of the Poor

Come Holy Spirit, Father of the Poor.....

So many times I have said this prayer silently to myself since Caleb died. The Holy Spirit goes by many names: comforter, counselor, advocate, teacher, and on and on. But the one I love the most is Father of the Poor. Those who have lost children are some of the most spiritually poor amongst us. I felt that way- yes, I had a house and food on the table, but inside I felt very,very poor. And the poverty of being a bereaved parent extends into everything you do. There is no situation that I enter into that is untouched by my experience of losing my son. And over two years later-so many things still hurt. So many conversations are still hard, words are said that sting, and my heart is still breaking.

In those times I lean on the Holy Spirit, Father of the Poor, to guide me and do what it says-Father me. After Caleb died I felt abandoned by God the Father and duped by Jesus(you know-like when Jeremiah had his interior crisis-Jeremiah 20:7 "You duped me O Lord and I let myself be duped.") But the Holy Spirit? It was like this new person of the trinity that I had yet to discover. I can honestly say that while my relationship with God the Father and Jesus did take a hit (and I'm still working on those relationships), my relationship with the Spirit grew stronger. I didn't have the "baggage" so to speak with the Spirit that I did with God the Father and Jesus. This all might sound like I've lost my mind, but truly the trinity is real and my relationships with the three persons of the trinity are very different.

The point I want to make this week, coming off of Pentecost, is that the Holy Spirit is real and very alive. He will take you in, the poorest of the poor, and comfort you. I know it because He has done so time and again in my own life. So if you are struggling today, pray "Come Holy Spirit, Father of the Poor," and let Him guide you through the heartache.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I've been following Kenny on Glow in the Woods for a few months now. I get excited each time I see that he has posted something new. I wanted to share his most recent post on the 5th anniversary of his daughter's death. Such a beautiful song at the end too!

Glow in the Woods

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Source of Encouragement

One of the big ways I've found encouragement along this grief journey is by listening to great preaching. I cam across Bayside Church and their podcast this past weekend...and so far I've been listening non stop! I wanted to share this message with you from this past Sunday entitled, "How to Feast in a Famine." I listened to it in iTunes but you can watch it as well. Enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Grief is not a choice

With the arrival of May I feel a lightness returning. The 2nd anniversary was harder than I thought. Having Easter so early and then having to wait until his birthday made time move reeaaallllly slow.

Now May is here and Im starting feeling my old self return. I actually want to cook dinner for my family, return phone calls, run errands, and shower. Coming out of the fog has made me realize even more that grief is heavy and when it comes to you, there really is no choice. I spent the last two months feeling weighed down, unmotivated, and emotional. During that time it's like my willpower is at an all time low or non-existent. Anxiety comes all.the.time. There is nothing I can do to stop it and my thoughts run away from me constantly.

Now as soon as my mind starts to wonder and I think about something terrible happening, I have the strength to stop it and re-direct my thoughts. I don't have that kind of strength when grief is heavy. I cant say it enough, but grief is like an illness that renders you incapable of doing your usual things.

I think my husband said it best when we finally made it through the end of April. As he reflected back on the month he said, "Next year we just need to ask more people to pray for us during this month, because we cant do it ourselves." I couldn't agree more. It's humbling to let your normal self slide away while the grief comes and makes itself welcome. I spent a lot of time staring at the wall the last two months and overall just feeling out of it. The point I want to make is- grief gives you no choice. No matter how strong you are, you cannot just suck it up and keep going. It has a way of knocking you down and keeping you down. And then magically it lifts and is gone just as quickly as it came.

So if you are grieving and feeling the weight of it-hang on. Try to ride out the storm because fighting it wont help. If you know someone grieving please understand that they have no choice. They want to get out of bed, they want to call you back, but the just cannot muster the energy. They want to be that same person, but they just aren't. Pray for them. I think it would open up a world of healing if we could be praying for others specifically during those trigger months, no matter if its been weeks, months, or years. Praying for all those struggling right now and feeling the weight of grief.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day-Spread the Word

In the years we've been married, each Mothers Day has carried with it sadness. The first Mothers Day we had been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months. Seeing all the moms made me feel so left out. Then the next Mothers day was just after we lost Caleb. I didn't even attempt to go to our regular parish mass because I knew they would ask all the mothers to stand up and I couldn't handle that. The next year we had Abigail and while that made it wonderful, it was still hard. I really just don't like the hallmark holiday and could do without it...but since thats not the case I decided to do something to make it a little more bearable. The year we lost Caleb the mass we went to was at a monastery with monks. The particular monk saying the mass knew what had happened to us and at the petitions he prayed for all mothers, especially those who had lost a child. I felt comforted by those words and the fact that someone acknowledged my situation. So I decided the next year (and this year) to send out the following letter to all the parishes around Peoria. I am asking that pastors remember the following people in their petitions this Sunday. Please feel free to pass this letter along to your Church, prayer group, whoever! I think if we acknowledge some of the hurting people perhaps it makes their hurt a little less? Thank you!

Dear Father,

This upcoming Mothers Day I have a very personal and important request. Mothers Day 2011 was just 3 weeks after our first child,Caleb, had passed away as an infant. I purposely tried to avoid mass at a parish on that Sunday because I knew that all the mothers with live children would be recognized, but I would not, even though I was a mother. The year before that (Mothers Day 2010) my husband and I had been trying to conceive unsuccessfully and the pain of seeing all the other mothers stand up was overwhelming. This mothers day I want every mother to be remembered and prayed for. That being said could you please remember the following people in your intentions and blessings as you honor mothers this upcoming Sunday:

-Mothers who have lost a child

-Mothers trying to conceive a child or waiting to adopt a child

-Those who have lost their mother

Thank you for your time!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May Ritual

I love how Angela gets through her grief during the month of May. I will have to try this next April...Such a practical and great idea! Remembering Charlotte this month!

May Ritual