Tag Archives: Karlena

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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Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part Four

Mom Confessions

This week feels less like a “confession” and more like “life theses days” but there has been a lot going on and honestly this is a way for me to remember it all!  And even though I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions.

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Karlena threw a massive fit after dance class last week because I wouldn’t let her go in the fish pool in our backyard. It was 65 degrees.  Yes it was warmer than it had been for weeks, but it was NOT pool weather, especially not at 5pm. Heck I don’t even know where the darn pool even is right now! I said no. She screamed her ever loving head off for like 10 minutes. So I did what any mom would do. I took a video of her and posted it to FB. Because sometimes seeing another child throwing a fit makes you feel better about your own life. Mama friends, you are welcome.

This young man is the future graduating class of 2028!

Elijah kindergarten

We had kindergarten roundup, which felt oddly like a sale-pitch for parents. I guess because there are choices now maybe it has become a sales-pitch? It was good – but a little weird! 🙂 And how old does 2028 make you feel? OLD? Yeah me too!

This little miss had a fun visit to the dentist this past week…

Karlena dentist

Yes, she had 2 cavities. I think I shared before that I feel like that is a reflection on me as a mother, but whatever…I am getting over it. We will continue to brush, but when it is a battle…typically I lose. :/ Anyways. She got the laughy gas but did SO good. It was a fairly long appointment because they have to let the gas kick in, let the tooth get “sleepy”…and then do the fixes. She handled it like a champ though, so I was proud of her!

A few weeks ago we had a home appraisal done. We are finalizing a refi this week, lower interest and no more PMI (#winning) but as a part of that we had to have a home appraisal. No biggie right? That is until you remember on the morning of that a stranger is going to be coming into your home AND taking pictures of all the rooms and your home is a PIT…that you go into complete and total panic mode.

So what did we do? We skipped work for 2 hrs that morning and FRANTICALLY cleaned. I was a hot sweaty mess. I just threw things into closets and said a prayer he wouldn’t need to open them for any reason (he didn’t PTL!!!) But now 3+ weeks later I have never gone back and cleaned up my mess. Nope…haven’t even thought of it. And maybe never will open the doors again if I can avoid it all together! 😉

Elijah became a man this past week when he came home with this….

Elijah mustache man

Isn’t it awesome? There was a carnival at the school he attends and he came home with these tattoos! 🙂 He looks so adorable!

And finally my oldest went to prom this past weekend. He went with friends from our old hometown. I didn’t get to see him in person because we had things to be at here so I had other moms taking pictures for me! He looks so grown up to me…it is probably better that I wasn’t there because I would have embarrassed him with all the tears! 🙂

Isaac PromWell thanks for hanging in there with me this week…I will try and be more confessional next week!

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