The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 1

April 11th, 5am
I'm kinda in shock at the "jump in" and help attitude here. I was so worried about coffee (of course) and there were already pots rolling at 4:55 when I crawled down the steps this morning! I'm the kind of girl who needs coffee to get moving, even just smelling it helps, so its a necessity.  I even tell the kids at home, mommy hasn't had coffee yet, give me a minute.

Last night when we got here, we just started doing. There wasn't any time wasted making sure tables were set up, boxes were unpacked, dinner started and things organized. There is such a sweet spirit that resides here in this 1914 school building we are staying in on Calvary Campus.

I gotta admit I'm nervous going into today, I've never done anything like this before, but as I start to write, and find this verse at the bottom of the page....I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be this week!
Today was the first time I've ever seen a desire to know Jesus in a child's eyes.  What an incredible moment to see a child know in their hearts they want Jesus. As the kids entered the gym and butterflies fluttered in my stomach, I was immediately drawn to a little girl. As we were being silly together, I learned she had the same name as me, spelled the same and everything! I made sure she was in my small group so I could continue to love on her. Turns out her mom is in jail and she asked me to please pray for her.  After hearing the story of Jesus and Easter, she decided to ask Jesus into her heart and I got to pray that special prayer with her.  Talk about being humbled before the Lord.

The day was full of awesome kids in and out of our gym. I guess it was the school employee in me, but I always seemed to look for the squirlier group of kids to sit with, the ones that might need "the look" to sit still. I was so thankful for 10 years of working in a school to help me out today!

I got to watch Richard be so incredibly excited at what he was doing, my heart just swelled.

We were invited to lunch in the cafeteria, it was Papa John's pizza day!  As we stood in line, and got cut in front of a few hundred times, it was so much fun to talk more with the kids.  We were like the celebrities in the building!  Once we finally gto through the line and sat to eat, the kids continued to run over to us and hug on us...again the school employee in me was like "oh their teachers are gonna be mad" but they weren't, I think they understood how important our visit was and just let those little people keep on hugging!

While in the cafeteria, I took my phone out to take a picture, one little girl saw Ellie's picture on my phone, and she asked me who that was. I told her about Ellie and about how much God loved her that he took her straight to heaven. That God can do the same for us, when we ask for forgiveness, admit we are sinners, and ask Jesus in our hearts. She smiled so sweet, like she completely understood everything I was saying, and then hugged me. 

After lunch we had this little guy, who after we told him about Jesus and what God did on the cross with Jesus, had the sweetest smile on his face, he was glowing.  I was so grateful to plant that seed in his heart, to give him a bible, and to continue to pray for him and his family.

The rest of the day was filled with love, dancing, and Jesus.  This all feels so right.  Giving these children Hope and explaining Jesus to them.....and a whole lot of dancing!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Getting Ready to Shine

Ellie's birthday has come and gone, and we are now three days away from delivering Ellie's birthday gifts!

This year for Ellie's birthday we partnered with a group called Hope for Appalachia (HFA). I heard about them last year on a local radio station, and was able to donate some things at the last minute. This year, I knew they were the organization I wanted to support for Ellie's birthday!  HFA creates something called Hope Boxes for the students in Eastern Kentucky, one of the poorest communities in our country. Inside these boxes are personal care items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, school supplies, little toys, socks and treats. The boxes also contain a ton of love, as thousands are created by people from all over.  Each year HFA travels during the Easter season to Kentucky to deliver these boxes to children and present the gospel message, and they do that through the school system!

Last year, when I learned about them, I started to follow their FaceBook Page.  I became a little obsessed the week they were in Kentucky, one of my students was on the trip as well, and I would anxiously await their posts and pictures. I wanted to be there so bad! So as I prepared to make contact about making Hope Boxes for Ellie's Big Give, I saw they had the 2017 trip dates posted...and sure enough, it was on Spring Break! As excited as I was that God was opening these doors, I was a nervous wreck about trying something new!

We reached out, learned about what goes in a Hope Box and started planning (yes I was so excited for this part!) We set a goal of 120 boxes and we began collecting items and was not let down by the amount of people that became involved!  Donations quickly began rolling in and once again the mail lady and UPS man visited us almost daily!
We began living in the clearance racks of Target....ok, who am I kidding...I live there anyway....scoping out toys small enough for the boxes. The dollar store became a weekly event!
I even got some of my students in on the action as I taught about acts of kindness during the month of December!  They worked to created these sweet little rocks and canvases for us to add into our Hope Boxes.

As we do every year, we gathered for Ellie's Birthday Party, to celebrate her amazing 1061 days and to give back!  There wasn't any snow this year (which I gotta admit, had me a little bummed out) but there was and always is an amazing amount of love!  Our friends and family were amazing and quickly packed all 120 boxes!

We let the littles in on the action too, although I think the big kids enjoyed this part just as much!  Ellie loved stickers! So in her honor we stickered every box we made!

Realizing this is the fourth time we've done Ellie's party, I love that there are some traditions that have started, that I think if she were here, she would adore! Her balloons were beautiful (once mommy got over the fact they weren't the typical pink balloons....change is good, change is good!) and were so much fun to watch twinkling in the sky. 

We sang "This Little Light of Mine" and ate cake!

I sat in awe of this new normal. Of my amazing children who were so excited to celebrate their sister's birthday. Grateful for my family who come to a birthday party and work for a few hours. Amazed at the loving community that surrounds us, and no matter what we do, they support us. 

When all was said and done, we created 165 Hope Boxes that Richard and I will be delivering in just a few short days!

This is what it's about. This is what life should be all about.  Giving our time, our energy, our efforts to help others.  As I watched toys and snacks go into these boxes, I thought about the kids that would open them, I thought about the teachers that would see their students experiencing this event and I was moved!  This is the fourth Big Give we've done, but this is the first time I will get to see first hand the fruits of what we have done. 

All next week, myself, Richard and about 80 other missionaries will be in Kentucky delivering these Hope Boxes and teaching about the amazing love of Jesus.  I've taught children's church, Sunday School, Awana, even spoke in my church, which I know God orchestrated to prepare me for this upcoming week, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  But it's a different nervous then I'm used to....its like a calm nervous (oxymoron...right!). I'm not completely freaked out, even though there's nothing packed and about 10 loads of laundry to do.  It's almost like my brain says "be nervous because that's what you do" and my heart says "you got this, God planned this trip, not you!"

I'm asking for prayer this upcoming week. Prayers that God will protect us as we travel and open the doors to each school we visit.  Prayers that God will prepare the children and staff to hear about how much God loves them. Prayers for my health, I had the flu and pneumonia last week and while I'm feeling better, the allergies have attacked me big these past few days.  Prayers specifically for myself, that I would get out of the way, my own doubts, fears and insecurities would be erased and I would remember that God just wants me to share His love and I know a ton about that!

I cannot wait for that moment (that I know if going to happen) when I watch a child open a box that we have made. When I see the joy on their face. When I get to share what God has done in my life with someone, when I get to use my story of my Ellie to explain heaven.  I cannot wait for my divine appointment to serve these children!

One last little bit of honey for you from my week.  One of my students walked in my office and saw these letters on my table that had been taken down off a bulletin board. 

She got excited and yelled "Mrs. Blaine, that's my favorite song! Will you walk me to class?" We often walk together, so I said of course and told her that was my favorite song too.  As we started off down the hall she started singing (which she often does) "this little light of mine.....Mrs. Blaine, sing with me!"  So down the hall we went singing our favorite song!  I knew that was a moment given to me by God to remind me that next week, He's gonna shine all over Kentucky, in those childrens' schools and I get to be one of the lucky ones to share that!

I'm not sure what kind of service we will have in the mountains, but I will do my best to update on Ellie's Big Give's FaceBook page how the trip is going!  I also will have a journal with me because I know God is gonna use this trip to do amazing things!

~Prayers, Praise and Pink

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love;
And wonders of His love;
And wonders, wonders of His love.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing
I can listen to Christmas music in waves. I haven't for a couple days, besides listening to Lulah sing "Frosty da snow mam" and SG's occasional belting of "Away In a Manger." This morning I found myself humming Joy to the World quite often, and when I finally turned the Christmas music back on...guess what was playing!?! God's so good like that!

Why Joy to the World? Before going into another December 22nd, (the day Ellie's soul left this earth to spend eternity with Jesus) I remembered last year, I blogged to myself about how last December 22nd went. So I went back and read, trying to prepare myself for the 3rd anniversary of Ellie's death.  As I read about the emotions attached to that day, I was happy that I titled it Choose Joy.  A word used to describe our savior's entrance into the world, I was using to describe my emotional state.  

Once again the days leading up to 22nd, weren't the easiest, I became very aware that she's been gone, longer than she was here on earth. Feeling weird that life has moved on, maybe even a little guilty.  A couple days I couldn't take it and had to find a place to cry in peace...which is kinda hard to do in a school with 600 kids!  However, as the Christmas break got closer and ironically the anniversary of Ellie's death, more and more peace came over me. So on the 22nd, when I wasn't sure what to expect when I woke up, I felt joy. 

We were all together, we were all lazy, we were all smiling. We visited the cemetery, put up Ellie's tree and watched my crazies run up and down, falling all over each other. I sat there in "Ellie's spot" as SG calls it and smiled. 

I don't know what we will do if this space ever fills up! We all enjoy it so much! 

With no real plan...yes, you read right, I had no plan for the day and I was totally okay with that...we headed to find some lunch.  We ate lunch and were blessed to have our meal paid for by someone else, who probably had no clue what this day meant to us, but it was just another little gift from God on this joyous day. We took off to the pet store and I fell in love with this cute little dwarf hamster, with adorably chubby cheeks, and I may have mentioned I wanted him (well the kids really liked it and I wouldn't have objected if Richard said yes...but in the back of my head I was flashing back to high school when we owned one and the cleaning of that cage!) Lulah attempted to go fishing in one of the tanks and SG made friends with all the cats.  Then a random stroll through target for nothing in particular...and Starbucks.  As I walked out of Target, yummy coffee in hand, the sun was setting and the sky was pink...and I couldn't breathe for a second.  While I was aware all day of what "this day" was, it didn't really feel sad.  That pink sky was my gut check....yep, it still hurts, the sun is setting and the happy feelings of the day were disappearing with the sun.   I wanted to go home, but I didn't want to...since our kids hadn't napped all day, and were finally asleep in the van, we headed home...watching the pink sky fade away.  Finally crying on this day filled with so many happy and horrible memories, I looked up to see a Princess Strong sticker on the back of the car in front of us. I had no idea who it was at the time, but I was praising God for putting that car there in that moment and lifting me up.  No she's not here, but she lives on in so many people's hearts!

Finally home, Richard took at the kids in the basement....with a box of paint.  I asked no questions and just enjoyed the next hour or so of peace and quiet, watching a kiddy movie. I made dinner...
Yes...I did win coolest mom ever award....since it was 8:30, I figured ice cream for dinner was a very smart option...although SG reminded me she does not like ice cream...Lulah ate hers.

To bed they all went, and the house was quiet again.  I told Richard, today felt weird, but good. I enjoyed my day, and I hope that we will always be able to be off from work together, to do whatever this day holds. I keep thinking there has to be a "thing" we always do on this day....but there I go again making a plan. I thought I wanted us all inside the house, with no interruptions, but turns out we all needed to be out, being silly, doing things without a real plan and eating ice cream for dinner. I think my Ellie girl would approve. 

Again I feel joy for my daughter's life. I feel immeasurable joy for the birth of Jesus.  I am joyful that God loved me so much, he sacrificed his son for my sin. Without Jesus, without Christmas, there wouldn't be that joy I get from the promise of eternal life. 

So again this year, I choose joy.  I choose to see the pink sky and savor every minute of it, even if I know its fading fast. I choose to let the hurt in because it always reminds me of where I've been and where I'm heading. 

I pray this Christmas, you will find Joy.  *Some more drops of honey from I went to take this picture of our Christmas card to share with you all...I couldn't help but shake my head and giggle...JOY...told you its been on my mind and in my heart!*

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 
for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:8-9
Prayers, Praise and Pink

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Just eat another cookie

But now...I've turned on the 3rd 4th movie of the day...I'm pretty sure that exceeds that whole "1 hour a day screen time" suggested by the doctor!  We have baked, cooked, successfully made a mess, eaten, sent daddy off to work, napped, and now.....what?  Don't feel like cleaning (well I never do), I need to finish up some school work...I should probably get these kids something to eat since we ate so early...or they could just eat cookies! I can't even get my act together to type this....maybe its just time to snuggle....

ok tried that too, its not working, so I threw some chicken nuggets in the toaster oven and we are gonna call it a that wrong to feed your kids chicken nuggets, on thanksgiving??  This is just the brutal truth of grief on a holiday. It's like for a few hours, we lived in this little fairy tale world, where all our family was home, we ate the typical thanksgiving meal...without any yelling!!!

Don't tell Noah I posted a pic with his glasses...he's trying to keep them a surprise!
We all smiled and helped each other out and we were sweet....and now, we are back to Daddy, its dark out and I have no more happy.

My hole is empty, nothing is filling it, except memories of thanksgiving 2013, when in my parent's basement Ellie got upset because the room was "spinny" and she wanted to crawl up on the couch. That's when life got "real".  We were told she was dying, but up until that day, we hadn't seen any evidence, she was like any other 2 year old.

I had the privilege of speaking to the local MOPS group about grief a few weeks ago.  I had never specifically spoken about grief before, so I was excited for this new territory.  It felt good to share how tough grief can be, the ups and downs, but how good God is to see you through all that. After immersing myself in all the prep for that speaking event and then speaking and talking to some awesome ladies took me days to recoup.  I'm always amazed at how "unprepared" I am for the big roller coaster hill that I come crashing down. I just talked about the roller coaster idea of grief and a day later, I can't cope with the emotions...easier said than done I guess.

I wouldn't have changed that opportunity for the world. We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him. however I'm not sure how often those that are suffering get to see the good being worked out of their tragedy.  I have been given the gift for the past 3 and a half years to see the good that has come out of my circumstance.

Like last year, Noah made Ellie a place card today, and her seat was right by mine, in fact I bumped her seat over because I felt lonely at my end of the table.  Its such a sweet gesture from Noah, and I hope he never stops, but man does that thought creep right up there in my hole, and apparently its not leaving today.

So what of my favorite songs, has John Piper preaching in the middle of the song, and he says to "preach to yourself these truths everyday" or something to that effect. Those words rang loud to me tonight.  These truths are that God loves me, that not all days are going to be easy, in fact I'm going to suffer some days.  God provides everything I have in this life, and uses each circumstance that he has placed us in for his good and glory. And that one day, I won't hurt anymore, I won't be sad anymore because I will live in eternity with God.  After you remind yourself enough times, there's this peace that arises and you know that no matter what, you will get through today with God's help, and then you go eat another cookie.

My prayer tonight, is for those of you who also lived with your hole today.  Who also felt that empty numb feeling, I know it wasn't easy, but you aren't alone, you are loved....just let Him love you.

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 
perseverance, character; and character, hope. 
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us". Romans 5:3-5

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Thursday, August 11, 2016

If....3 years later

If Ellie never got cancer...

She would have started Kindergarten this week
My house would be even crazier with 3 girls in it
I'd still be afraid of hospitals
I wouldn't have some of the friends I have
There wouldn't be a hole in this family
My van would have 4 car seats
I wouldn't cherish God's word so much
Somewhere over the rainbow wouldn't make me cry
I wouldn't watch Rapunzel when I'm sad
I may have never seen the amazing hearts nurses have
I wouldn't be terrified anytime one of my kids gets a fever, crosses their eyes or sneezes the wrong way
Richard may not have started school
Christmas lights probably wouldn't be so exciting
My understanding of how God works all things for his glory, may not be so strong
I never would have stood in front of 500 people, talking about St. Jude
I wouldn't be taking my child to get slime poured on his head this weekend
I wouldn't be as grateful as I am for each day
There wouldn't be this blog
I would still stress the petty stuff
Empathy would just be a word I taught at school
SG wouldn't be praying for doctors to get the right medicine
My son wouldn't be good buddies with someone 40 years older than him and just raised over $18,000 for St. Jude
She'd be here
~ Carly

My mother in law shared this blog from three years ago today, titled "If" Noah and Lisa passed their goal of $15,001 last week and are marching on towards his new goal of $19,001 (which he is only $622 away from) I can only smile and thank God for these little reminders.  As tough as it is sometimes when we raise money, and all the memories it brings back, this blog is a reminder to me, of where God has brought my family from and what He has brought us through! Three years ago, I was on top of the world, Ellie was cancer free, heading back to St. Jude for another round of treatment.  I was going back to work, but I was so grateful to still have a job.  Soon our world would come crashing down, but it did not crush us, and without cancer, I may never have known what my faith in the Lord Jesus could do.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
Prayers, Praise and Pink

Thursday, June 23, 2016


My Mother's Day/Birthday gift from Ellie, when I first got to St. Jude, was this bracelet she made with her OT, Miss Danielle.
I remember how excited she was to finish it while I was there...must have been one of my first days there.  I remember Danielle putting it on me, thinking it would never stay, but it did. I even convinced the doctors, when Lulah was born, to let me keep it on, because it wouldn't come off without cutting it. This bracelet lasted almost 3 years tied on my wrist, and then it finally broke...I was able to get all the beads and put them in a baggie, but it wasn't the same.

This happened months ago, but just the other day, while digging through a bag of goodies my mother in law dropped off, I found this stretchy bracelet string...I dropped everything I was doing and ran for the bag of beads, I knew I could put it back together now!  And then it hit me...but it won't be in the same order anymore...the order Ellie put them in.

The same, those words sat in my heart for a few days.  Was I actually okay with that?  As I realized I wasn't as upset as I thought I was, I felt like a grown up...well not a grown up, like I had done a little growing up.  This bracelet stood for my entire life.  When Ellie died, I was broken.  All my beads fell off into a million pieces.  God is the one who collected all my beads and protected them so safely.

In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream about a huge tree.  In his dream, a messenger comes "He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field." Daniel 4:14-15
The stump that gets left behind is what God is protecting, He is the iron and bronze, He knocks Nebuchadnezzar down, takes everything away from him, but He keeps His chains around him, He doesn't let him completely go, He keeps the important part, the stump and roots, because eventually, once Neb acknowledges that heaven reigns, his kingdom was restored. (How'd I do, bible study ladies?!?!)
My beads are my stump or vice versa.  I got chopped down, I hurt immensely, but God kept my foundation in tact until a time that I was ready to see that He still reigns, and He would again let my kingdom flourish, so I don't have a kingdom, but we'll say my life.
Like my bracelet that I have put back together, I am not the same. I don't have all the parts back in the same order, but I'm getting better at accepting that!  
When Ellie first died, I was terrified she'd be forgotten by everyone.  Our lives had been devoted to Ellie and cancer and that's how I identified myself, with her gone, who was I?  If we didn't sell a lot of shirts, or make a lot of money at a fundraiser, I equated that to her being forgotten.  I was feeling like a failure, I wasn't making people remember her, because we weren't raising lots of money.  When I walked in a store, people didn't know who I was anymore....failure...they don't know Ellie, she's been forgotten.  This game played over and over in my head.  I hate the question "how many kids do you have" because I never know how to answer...but found myself bringing up my kids so that someone would ask and then I could tell them about my girl.  It got a little crazy...more kids got cancer, people moved on to the next big thing, and I felt like my girl was stump was as low as it could go.
But...Heaven reigns!  It's taken me 2 and a half years to realize, Heaven reigns.  I've talked it a lot, how great God is, but the hole in my heart didn't always feel that way.  I was equating God's goodness with Ellie's popularity.  As that popularity wore off, I was left with the realization that, other people's love of my daughter wasn't going to carry me through, just Jesus.  It's okay if Ellie's name isn't on everyone's lips.  It's okay if someone doesn't know who I am, or that I really have 4 kids, and you only see 3, and that I might not tell you all that, depending on the day. Its okay if I don't see a princess strong shirt everyday of the week or if I raise $10,000 for charity.  Its okay if someone slips and says I have two girls...and its okay if I'm the one who says I have two girls, it doesn't mean I love Ellie any less or she's forgotten, that's just what my life is right now.  
And Ellie isn't forgotten.  She's very present in our family, some very close friends, and even a charity bearing her name.  The important thing I must keep on telling myself is, I don't do the things I do for a facebook like or share, and I don't have to do a million things to prove I love my daughter and her memory!  
What's important is that I show up each and every day of my life trying to be the best "put together bracelet" I can be (even if its not the same as it was 3 years ago) loving the people around me, encouraging those who are hurting, praying for others, and acknowledging God in all things I do, in the end, its really all about God's light shining through me.

So the bracelet is back on, different than before, still as sweet and beautiful as the day I got it.  I even got brave and switched wrists, to the right, because "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Thank you Lord for putting me back together, mixed up pieces and all!

~Prayers, Praise and Pink,

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Dirt

Mother's Day...

So not only did I get to celebrate my birthday this weekend, but also Mother's was the perfect weekend!  After a week of rain, the sun started to shine and Richard was off to enjoy the whole thing with me. I got to keep the kids outside all weekend to run off all that energy they had built up sitting inside for a week!  I was spoiled with yummy meals and deserts and beautiful kid decorations.  I think SG was more excited for my birthday then me!  I got to enjoy snuggles with my drooly nephew and watch Richard try to help Noah ride a two wheel bike.  My kids got exhausted and slept in!  I got to be back in my Sunday School class after a few weeks of being away and then serve my church in nursery.  We took off to Richard's mom's house and enjoyed more beautiful weather and family time.  It was a picture perfect weekend if you could envision one.
 All weekend I watched those three kids that call me mom play with one another and holler from time to time, and in the back of my head, I kept thinking, "where would Ellie fit into that?"  I watched monkey get passed between SG and Lulah, and wondered "would Ellie still be carrying monkey around or would she share"....but I kept on pushing those thoughts back into the dark where it came from.  I notice the space between Noah and SG and imagine Ellie's head there..."would she be taller than Noah?" Again I shake it off and just enjoy the sunshine.  

After a while, you can't push it, shake it, or hide it anymore.  The kids are all in bed and there's nothing else to fill your day with and you are faced head on with the reality of the day/weekend.  The reality that there are pictures of 4 kids on my wall...but only 3 in my house.  Its my day to celebrate being a mommy and I cannot hug one of that hurts....and the hurt exploded into a million tears.

I imagine I'm not the only one who had that experience yesterday. I'm not the only woman who smiled all day, but once the sun set, couldn't find her smile anywhere anymore.  

Women who long to be mother's, friends with no children, whose hearts must ache on this day.  Mother's who have lost their children, young and old.  I think of friends who have lost babies in the womb, who have had to explain why they aren't pregnant anymore, and the pain that must cause.  Those whose mother's are no longer here to celebrate with.  I imagine there were lots of "holes" in hearts yesterday that cannot be filled. 

This is where you dig deep. I can't say I went to bed with a sweet and happy spirit last night.  I went to bed with an exhausted soul, who still has complete trust and hope in the future God has planned for me and the promise of eternity in heaven.  I went to bed physically tried from a fun weekend, blessed with an awesome family and a longing in my heart for my Ellie.  I couldn't take my eyes of her picture last night, she's so stinking cute and I imagine what a duo she and SG would be, probably driving me even more crazy then I am right now, and putting their Daddy into a panic because of how beautiful they are!  

In times like this, my only option is to rely on the promises God has given, because every part of my flesh hurts, and relying on my own thinking is getting me no where.

"I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28

"Let your lives be without love of money, and be content with the things you have. For He has said: 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5

I know I'm not alone, I know that He walks with me and often provides others in my path to help me get to where I need to be. I have to continue to trust that all this my family is going through, all that other families are facing, is producing in us, Hope. 

"Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." Romans 5:3-5

"Just remember, every flower that ever bloomed had to go through a whole lot of dirt to get there!" - Barbara Johnson

So this week as I cling to God's word, and put my priorities on Him, I pray for all the others out there who are going through "the dirt".  I pray that they remember God has promised us a future, an eternal life with Him...He just never promised we wouldn't get dirty....or go a little crazy!

Prayers, Praise and Pink