Tuesday, February 16, 2010


i have been enjoying lydia and ben so much lately. they are best buds and partners in crime. today i was walking around the corner and all of the sudden the 2 of them drop something and run....literally running in opposite directions. what did they drop? a 1/2 eaten bag of miniature marshmellows!! once found....they were sticky from their noses to their fingertips!!

i listen to them play upstairs in their rooms together. they like going up there and then closing themselves into the room they chose. that is when i love going and standing outside the door just listening......
B: 'leah.....mere'
L: 'nope'
B: 'leah......MERE!!'
L: lets out a huge sigh and walks over
B: few seconds later blood curdling scream
mom opens door to find lydia with a wad of red hair in her fingers and ben crying 'leah....hair.....ow!!!' too funny!!! well.....maybe not for ben, but needless to say it was funny!

went outside with them this morning. watched as they experienced the snow.....immediately they both started eating the snow. by the time we went in their cheeks were so red! at one point ben had fallen down and couldn't get back up because of his snow pants and being in the snow....lydia came to his rescue and helped him up. love to watch them together! i just pray that they will continue to be best of friends....and maybe not as much partners in crime!! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


two years....it's been two years that God has blessed us with benjamin seth. how can it be? how can it be two years since we held him for the first time? today is so bittersweet for me. yes, ben finally came into our lives....but it just magnified the hole that is seth's spot in our family. always realizing that ben and lydia will never meet their older brother this side of the vale. why can't i just be joyous and happy for our dear sweet surprise? ugh!!! i hate what grief does to a person!!! why is it so much work? why can't it be "easier"? why can't my hole be filled? i guess it will be when Jesus returns....but some days that seems so far away.

the other day ben was doing his ritual of asking "andoo?"...."he's at school"....."leah?"...."lydia's at school"......."uke?"....."he's at school"....."abby?".....she's at school...."cece?"..."grace is at school"...."kaba?".....caleb's at school....."daddy?".....daddy's at work (it usually takes a few minutes!!). but that day he ended with "fesh?" (his 'seth').....my heart SOARED!! he included seth right along with the others!! "setb is in Heaven" then we ask him who does seth live with? we get him to say Jesus and then "when will you see seth again?...........he says "sunday" for someday. someday ben-ben.....you're right.....someday we all will see him again....i LONG for that day!

ben found seth's hat one day and i found him like this....absolute joy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


oooh boy....i've been very delinquent here haven't i? why don't i just MAKE the time for me and sit down to type? i love it when i do it....so why don't i do it more often? so it's nights like these - when everyone is all tucked into bed (including my dear man! :)) when i allow myself the time to sit and think....sometimes that gets me into some BIG trouble....and other times - it's just a very nice quiet peaceful time.

thanksgiving went well...over at mom and dad's in allendale then onto my brother's family's house that night. i'm so glad that they don't mind talking about seth. i've always loved talking about him. i do realize though how awkward some people feel....maybe that's what a part of starlight ministries is suppose to do - educate people about what grieving children and families need. one of those needs is to talk about the loved one who died....say their name.....bring them up in conversations.....tell us the memories they have of them....help us to keep them alive. i'm not sure....it's just another one of my thoughts.

last week we had our first prayer walk for starlight. what a night! i was incredibly nervous/excited about the night....and it was all i could have dreamt for.
we had 3 groups of people praying in each of the rooms that we'll be using at church. praying for the children, their families, the facilitators, the volunteers, greg and i....it was amazing to see this ministry be 'baptized' as greg put it. i'm so anxious to start in january! i can't even imagine the emotions that will be going through me that first night....all i know is that i want it everything that God wants it to be....that's my biggest prayer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


so...it's a week later...and God has been faithful once again. why do i even question that...His faithfulness? i don't know if i actually question it, or if i'm just surprised when i see/experience it once again. He IS faithful...one of the many, many lessons i've learned more in these past 2 years. He wants to restore my soul in this valley of death...and restore it He has - daily....hourly.....sometimes by each moment.

i can't believe it's been 2 years already....it seems like last month. so many flashbacks....so many painful yet precious memories. family and friends coming together to support greg and i....to bring love around us. so many difficult decisions made...and yet God was everywhere. some have asked us in these last 2 years - where was God? i'm so glad to say - EVERYWHERE! He not only knew what was going to happen that day...but he was living that day with us...crying with us...He was EVERYWHERE.

the 3rd was harder for me...i had forgotten that last year it was the same. i think that the 3rd will probably turn into my deep grieving day - a day of 'what ifs'...a day of 'i wish'....a day of 'i miss'. the 3rd is turning into the day where my heart wound is scratched wide open and the bloody pain flows deeply. it's a day when i relive nov. 3, 2007. i hate flashbacks....i hate those terrible, horrible memories. but it is just one day...one day that i miss our son deeper than any other. i went with my dear, dear friend - charissa - to the cemetary. we sat next to seth's grave for nearly 2 hours...remembering, crying, laughing, wishing...it was such a precious time. it's times like those where you see God's faithfulness once again - this time through a friend.

the 4th, oddly enough...is turning into a celebrating day. i don't mean that to sound wrong, it's just....that's what it felt like - a day of celebrating that our seffers is in Heaven with his Heavenly Father and enjoying his life now. it's a day when i can honestly say brings me joy. to know that our #1 job as parents is met...to know that we had helped our child to Christ...pure joy. i can imagine him so very clearly in Heaven. Heaven is so very real to me now. we started the day by speaking to 700+ students at Unity Christian High School's chapel service. because of how seth died - in the midst of the unity community - we really wanted those students to know that no matter what circumstance God leads you to....He is going to lead you through. i kept hearing God tell me....'tell them to look for me...look for me in their troubles and trials because I am everywhere'....i hope that we were able to convey what God needed them to hear.

from there greg and i went out for breakfast and then visited the cemetary. still is a haunting and yet utterly beautiful place. to know that someday we will be raised from that very spot next to seth is just indescribable....His faithfulness once again. we picked the kids up from school and took them to the cemetary in which we watched them have fun running around and chasing the little ones. 'should we be having this much fun' one asked? 'oh yes, honey....seth is having fun-why shouldn't we?' 'this year is better than last year....last year everyone was so down' that's how i want it for them - to be joyful when thinking about where seth is at right now.

we then went home and had brupper (breakfast at supper) - one of seth's favorite meals - including a whole platter of sausages! the kids even milked it out of us to have coffee since 'seth loved coffee, mom!' after supper we put the little ones to bed and then greg and i and the 5 older kids sat in the living room and opened seth's trunk and went through it. it was one of those times when as a mom you look around the room and you try to memorize it because it is so very special. 'look what seth wrote in his journal!' 'i can't believe that tanner wrote that!' tears...laughter....quiet....smiles....peace. such peace. we went through his entire trunk and then had a ginormous mess to pick up - but it was ok...bring on the mess.

so the week is done...and i hope like 2 years ago....that God was glorified in what we did to remember our little seffers....to God be all the glory....amen and amen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


how can i do this....how can i do this week with all the reminders? my heart just hurts tonight. my heart misses my boy. i so desperately want to hold him again. i want to land one more kiss on his little head. i just want to hear his voice. oh, how i would give anything to break up a fight between him and caleb or luke right now. tonight in church we watched steven curtis chapman's video of 'when love takes you in'....it hurt....it hurt to watch and to listen to the words.....'when love calls you home'...seth was called too early...too young....i didn't have enough time with him Lord...i wanted more time.....i just wanted more time. i know that he's experiencing more love than i could have ever have given him....but i wanted to try...i love him so much....it's probably why it hurts so much.

i was singing to ben before putting him to bed. i was doing fine....until i started singing 'Jesus loves me'...oh did the memories come flooding back. this time me singing to a boy in a bed....with tubes coming out his nose...and him not singing back. tonight ben started singing with me....oh how i wish that seth would have just sat up in that bed and started singing with me...all i have now is the memory of me singing to myself...to a child who was already gone. oh how i ache for the day to be with him and hearing him sing back to me....come back Lord....please come soon....heal my broken heart.....but until then as i always say at the end of every one of my prayers now 'give seth a hug for us and tell him we love him'....until we can tell him ourselves again someday.

Friday, October 30, 2009


i have a dream....a dream where i can be a part of a place that helps children in their darkest hours. a dream that when a child loses their mom or dad, brother or sister, grandparent, friend, classmate....they will have a place to come. a place where they can feel 'normal' in their grief. a place where they won't feel as if everyone is looking at them. a place where they have a hope....that life DOES get better and that God IS everywhere, even though it may seem like He's farther away than ever before. in my dream this place is safe. this place is where children look forward to coming to each and every time. a place where they begin lifelong friendships. a place where they can get mad and know that it's ok to be mad, but to learn what to do with that anger in appropriate ways. this place is filled with love. not only love from us but so much more.....a love that comes from God alone.
this place would be a bright spot in their dark times of grief and sadness.

last night my dream really started to come true. last night a group of 13 women were around 3 tables on the beginning of a journey that God had started sometimes years and years before. i was in awe when i was looking at these women...these selfless women who felt God calling them to 'let their lights shine like the heavens'. i just had to look at them. i can't explain it. it sounds absolutely absurd. but i just had to look at them and see how God had brought us all together. i stood in awe of God's work and that He is allowing me to be a part of it. i stand in awe of how he had taken 13 women from various backgrounds, various cities, various lives....but brought us together for one purpose alone. the purpose to bring honor and glory to God by helping the littlest ones of His. i just couldn't believe that i was sitting in this room watching my dream become a reality. it was so incredibly surreal. i can't explain it.

when God calls you to do something and you allow Him to work through you, it's one powerful moment. one that brings you closer to your Heavenly Father than never before. i pray that He still wants to use me in this way. i pray that starlight will NEVER be about greg and i or the facilitators or the volunteers or the board...i pray that starlight will ALWAYS be about bringing hope to children and teens. God's hope. i pray that we ALL will be 'shining like the stars in heaven'.

i have a dream......and i praise God that He's making my dream come true.

Monday, October 26, 2009


how do i do this.....how do i help the kids, who are hurting so much right now? my heart breaks at this time of year, but then to see our kid's hearts hurting so badly...it's almost unbearable. they're feeling it....the upcoming 4th. we're all 'feeling it'. one of the kids this w/e finally broke down and let it out. 'i just miss seeing him at school,mom....he should be there'. what do you say to that? what do you say to a child who is missing their sibling so badly? what do you say that will take the pain away...if only for a little while? what do you say when they admit that they are having so many flashbacks? what do you say when they are trying to say - through tears - that they just imagine the accident and seth getting hit by the car? what do you say when you can see your child struggling so much with the situation....and yet have no words? how do i take that pain away? i can't...i know that God is having them experience this right now for some reason. to make them grow? to rely on Him more? to strengthen their faith?.....for all the attempts to help them through this...i think i'm failing miserably with helping their faith.
i just pray that they will not become hard-hearted because of seth's death.

we were in meijer's last week and one of the kids saw a little boy that reminded them of seth. they said it was nice seeing him. they admitted that when they hear seth's name that it's a happy/sad. happy that someone is remembering them, sad becuz he's not here. 'i want them to talk about him, but they're afraid to talk about him'. soooo normal. the kids at school are hurting too. they don't want them to hurt more. i guess the lesson is...talk about your loved ones that have died. bring them up in conversations. tell your memories of your loved one to others....help us keep him alive in our hearts.

during family meeting last night one of the kid's prayer request for the week was: 'be with us as seth's heaven birthday is coming up'. it's happening....another wave. to see our kids going through it so differently this year is so difficult. it's harder in some ways. the first year we expected the pain to come...this year it hit us without notice. it's not like i didn't think we'd hurt or not go through it, but it's so different this year and i don't know why.

some of the kids talk about him....some don't say a word about him. please pray for our kids. pray that they will get through this time in their lives and look back on it and see so many of the gifts God has granted us. pray that they don't become hard-hearted toward God. pray that they're going to be 'ok'. i just wish these next 2 weeks would be done....over.....finished. but i know that God has something that He wants to teach us in the midst of this. He is so faithful...i have to rely and remember that. we goes NOWHERE without Him....for He never leaves us. no matter what situations He asks us to go through...He never leaves us. He's not only walking us through difficult times....He CARRIES us through them. i do know that. i find comfort in that. i pray that the kids find comfort in that too.