Tag Archives: Birthday

Where Grace and Suffering Meet

Karlena 2Today is a special day as it would be Karlena’s 40th birthday. And I am pretty sure that her 40 and fabulous party in heaven isn’t anything like we would be having here.

But I miss her. And I wish that I was celebrating with her in person.

Today at church I am leading a song for worship team. (Please pray as you read this because it still TERRIFIES me.) Anyhoo….It is called At the Foot of the Cross.

I have listened to the song over a hundred times in the last 4 days and the words have sunk in deep, covering my soul with the reality that is the dance between suffering and grace.

The video I am attaching below is one where they show clips from the Passion movie. The scene where Jesus is being raised up on the cross and his beloved friends are at the foot of the cross watching.

I understand the pain they must have felt at that moment. Their friend and companion, their teacher and example was dying and they would never be the same again.

I imagine they must have wondered how any beauty could ever come from something so painful.

But it is at the foot of the cross, the very tool used for extreme suffering, that we find just that.

Beauty from ashes.

Hope in the midst of suffering.

Light in the darkness.

The cross is the very reason that the loss we all experience is not the end.

We have been given new life when we accept Jesus as our Savior. And that new life offers the promise that death is not the end. And while I would rather celebrate this special birthday with Karlena in person, I rejoice in the fact that one day we will be reunited.

And oh the party that will be.

I don’t know what burden you are carrying this morning.

Maybe it is the loss of a job, or a struggle in your marriage. Maybe your arms long for a baby of your own. Maybe you are carrying the weight of a sickness or the struggle with anxiety or depression.

Whatever it is, I encourage you to lay it down. If you have to physically do the act of setting it down, do that. Set it down at the foot of the cross.

We weren’t meant to carry it on our own. Jesus came to do the heavy lifting. But for some of us it means we have to first let go.

There is freedom found in trusting God with everything. We might not always understand the trials we face, but we can walk confidently knowing that He will make beauty out of all of it.

Happy Birthday Karlena. You are loved and missed but I rejoice today in your complete and total healing. Until the day we celebrate together…I love you friend!

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Five Minute Friday – Grateful

Elijah 2

Welcome to Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo! The day that writers gather in this online space to write for 5 minutes, no edits, with a single word prompt!

Today’s prompt: GRATEFUL

Oh this little man of mine, how can he be almost 5 already?! On the 18th we will celebrate his birthday, another year, and today I remember the miracle that he really is and I am grateful!

Dominic and I struggled to get pregnant with both Gabriel and Elijah. I was tired of the negative pregnancy tests, tired of the no’s and just wanted something to “fix” what was wrong with me.

We went to see our doctor after over a year of trying and got the same news that we had with Gabriel, for various reasons the likelihood of us getting pregnant on our own was very very small.

There were a couple of things that we thought we would try though and scheduled a “routine” and minor surgery to have some endometriosis removed and to check out the condition of everything inside of me.

It is standard that they run a pregnancy test before the surgery, just to make sure and like every month prior, it was negative. I was holding onto the littlest hope that I had that this procedure might just do the trick.

The surgery went well and I went home to recover. I had the normal after-symptoms from a procedure like that and felt confident that in the next few months we could start trying again…

And then several weeks later I got heartburn.

One thing I have learned about myself is that I don’t ever get heartburn, except when I am pregnant. I was out in Colorado visiting Karlena and we had to stop at a Walgreens to buy some tums…she knew something was up but I was in denial – it was impossible.

But through God all things are possible and boy did He show off with this one! 🙂

I went home and took a pregnancy test and sure enough I saw the 2 pinks lines. I figured I must be like 2 weeks along based on when I had the surgery but I called my doctor and she had me come in for an ultrasound.

When the technician came in she started the scan and then said “Congratulations, here’s your baby and you are 6 1/2 weeks along!” 

I started crying, it didn’t make sense…that would mean that I would have been pregnant during my surgery. It wasn’t possible! I had taken a pregnancy test…they wouldn’t have done the surgery had they known I was pregnant because the likelihood of loosing the egg would have been too great.

But God…oh how grateful I am that He is bigger than any “likelihood” in my life!

The doctor believed that the egg must have implanted on the day of the surgery, my HCG levels would not have started to really increase yet, thus the negative pregnancy test…and somehow even with all they did inside of me, my Elijah hung on and now we celebrate another year with him in our family.

Life is a gift. Being a mother is hard, and my Elijah tests my patience on many days but he is a sweetheart and a gift and I won’t ever stop being grateful for the blessing that he is in our family.

Happy Birthday a few days early my son, I am so grateful for you.

**Disclaimer…this post took me an extra minute or two to finish, but I figured my Elijah was worth breaking the rules for this once** 😉

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