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 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'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 about your loved ones that have died. bring them up in conversations. tell your memories of your loved one to 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.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


today i experienced another goodbye.....i'm beginning to really hate that word. i had to tell a wonderful group of women that i have done Bible study with for the last 12 years that i just couldn't do it anymore.....and my heart broke just a little more. this group of women have encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me, learned with me, mentored me....and i love them all dearly. i have been feeling lately that i'm just keeping my head above water. i have been forgetting things, misplacing things, losing mind is in overdrive every day. i think a part of me wanted it that way. i wanted to be so busy that i wouldn't have to feel the pain that is always a part of me, but has been pushed aside for so long. i think that i thought if i could just stay busy i wouldn't have to deal with that grief pain.....and now is coming in such huge amounts that i feel as if i'm drowning.

it's back.....that heaviness. not nearly as bad as last spring...but it's there. i can tell seth's 2nd Heaven birthday is coming up. i'm crying more. i see seth everywhere. just this morning i dropped luke off at school and watched him run in.....he ran EXACTLY the way i remember seth running. it surprises me that i'm feeling this all again. i don't know why it would surprise me. i expected it last took me by surprise this year. my counselor said that it was a good thing that i gave up coffeebreak (my Bible study) and a few other allows me more time to do my grief work. i don't want to do it.....i don't want that pain.....i don't want those memories. and yet they are constantly with me. lisa, my counselor, said that this pain IS always there and that i may have been 'damming' it all up and not allowing little bits of it through. she explained it that i may have been not letting just a little grief in at a time.....managable bits.....but have been 'storing' it all up and now it's come flooding out again. that made alot of sense to me. she encouraged me to allow just a little bit out each day and then i'd be able to handle a little at a time. her favorite question each session is 'what are you going to do for jolynn this time?'. i think that the next few weeks i'm going to start looking through the things that we've put in seth's trunk. i'm a little surprised that we haven't gone through it as a family more than we have....we really never go through it. it's just sitting there in the living room - great footstool - but that's about it. i think it may be time for me to allow those little bits of grief through and start going through his trunk......i think that's what i'm going to do for me this time.

goodbyes are so difficult....and yet they also mean a new chapter.....a new journey.......a new calling perhaps. goodbyes allow me to see where God wants me to go from here. that's my challenge now.....see what God wants me to do from here. i know that starlight is a major piece of this new journey....and i am so very excited to see what God does with it. lisa asks me what do i do for me....starlight 'does it' for me. i LOVE working towards this goal that God has led Greg and i. i feel purpose.....i feel excited......i feel scared......and yet i feel exactly where God wants me to be.....and that is the only place i want to be. so saying goodbye to my wonderful Bible study this morning was one of the harder things i've done recently.....and yet i believe that God has exciting plans in store for me......and i can't wait to truly dedicate my time and energy to where He leads.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


i feel it coming again....and it surprises me. that heaviness is creeping back onto my heart and that makes me so scared. last spring it was unbearable....i can't go back to that spot. i hate what seth's death has taken from me. from the obvious to those that i'm just learning about. i've always said that fall is my favorite time of year. i loved it.....the colder weather, the leaves changing, cozy feeling inside the house, football games....everything about fall - i loved. it's not that i HATE this time of year, it's just that instead of all good things that i can see fall brings equal parts bad. i see death. trees dying.....leaves falling......dead trees.....brown corn. i see a cemetary with brilliant colored trees and a family surrounding a grave. i see heartbroken children and family. i see pain. i FEEL pain. i hate what seth's death has taken from me.... a part of my life where i found such joy. this sounds so depressing. some days aren't so isn't one of them.

i'm having so many flashbacks lately. i can tell his Heaven birthday is coming up.....and these feelings surprise me. i expected it last year....this year it's back. i didn't expect it to come back. why is that? it's not as if anything has changed in a sense.....seth is still gone, i'm still here with a huge hole in my heart. but then i think....there are MANY things that have changed. so much hope this year where i didn't feel last year. purpose again....that feels feel like i have purpose again. God has been working so greatly in our lives in this past year. how can i feel this way when He has been with me the entire way? it sounds like i'm being ungrateful....i hate that. sometimes i feel like a little kid who didn't get what they wanted for christmas and then sulks about it for days. what is up with that? i wish my faith were stronger so i wouldn't feel/sound so ungrateful. i guess i'm just a work in progress.

days like today.....i need to see the beauty in God's creation and see it as His faithfulness instead of seeing what i DON'T have. seth is SO much better off right now. i need to see the temporary separation for what it is......temporary. we will see him again. God is good....i can say that with complete confidence....even through this sorrow....He is good. He's proven that so many times in this past year. i need to cling onto hold onto realize that the same arms that are carrying me through today are the same ones that are carrying our boy.