I woke up with the desire to get some sort of winter arrangement of flowers for her grave. My friend Anne and her husband had stopped by last night (they and some friends all pitched in and bought our kids a bunch of presents for Christmas!) and were telling us about the one they got for their daughter Rose and I thought it sounded so nice.
Kim came over for coffee this morning and went with me and Desirae to look for some... I wasn't thrilled about any of the arrangements they had - none of them felt right. Then Kim mentioned that she had brought a tree to her sister's spot one year and I knew that was what I wanted to do... on the way home, she suggested we stop at Care Pharmacy to look for something. I thought it would be too expensive, (it usually is there) but gave it a shot.
We went in and I immediately saw this little tree sitting on the floor by itself. It was the only one like it, I picked it up expecting it to cost too much... $4.99! As we walked through the store, everything that I mentioned I would like to get for her tree, I found, and everything I picked up cost way less than I was expecting! I even found a tiny string of battery operated lights for it - so on Christmas morning, my girl's spot will be lit up by her tree! When all was said and done, it ended up costing less than what I would have paid for the arrangement I didn't like... and Kim offered to buy it for us. I was so excited leaving that store... I knew it was perfect for Rachel and I knew God had provided all those details - for my heart.
I got in the van and said to Kim..."I should have known God would give me joy today... I don't know why I ever doubted Him"
I came back home with the tree and we all decorated it. I cried a million times today. Painful tears, sobbing really. But they are not the only kind I shed. God gives me MANY tears of joy, happiness, gratitude - even today, especially today.
First thing this morning, the flower shop pulled up and delivered a beautiful bouquet of daisies from our friends, Doug & Shannan...Then Kim came by with gifts, including one for Rachel...Then Kathy stopped by with a nice ham that she bought for us... My mom stopped by to drop off gifts, of course not excluding our girl (opening that one tomorrow!) ...We brought Rachel's tree to her and when we got there, there was a balloon and a present for her, all wrapped and addressed to her... then we came home and there was an extremely thoughtful gift from Emily on our door knob waiting for us... Kyla brought us a dinner... and the list goes on and on and on... And that was just today, never mind the weeks leading up to today. We are so blessed - and Rachel has not been forgotten. Thank you! You all have NO IDEA how much this means to us.
Throughout the day, as each blessing warmed my heart and God's hand gently comforted my soul, I just kept thinking "I should have known He would do this... I should have known He'd give me joy... I should have known He would carry me. He always does. How could I ever doubt Him?"
Well, I do because I'm human. I do because I'm sad and it feels like I always will be. I do because I've never been through anything nearly as painful as this. I do because I am not perfect.
Thankfully He does these things for me, even in my doubt and disbelief, because He is God, He's patient, He's compassionate, He loves me just how I am and where I'm at. I am so undeserving of His love and so humbled to receive it. If I am this amazed at how I can feel His love and presence here on earth, in all my humanness... I can only imagine what Rachel is experiencing right now. wow. She is spending her first Christmas with the King of kings. I am so happy for her, even as my heart breaks over my loss... isn't that what being a mother is all about?
|the present & balloon that was left for her from Donna|
|Her tree... you can't see the lights yet, but tonight|
they'll be shining bright!
|"Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament - We have one just |
like it that says her name here on our tree
|her little stocking... her big one here is full this year |
with gifts we got in the mail that we're waiting to
open until tomorrow... She will be part of our day for sure!
|Jill gave us this last week...I had just told Matt the day |
before how I wanted to get one that had
all our names on it... did I mention that God is interested
in our desires?? :o)
Merry Christmas! Thank you for meeting me where I'm at and loving me along the hardest journey I've ever walked. I said back in August "this year there will be 6 stocking here" and there are... Thank you for celebrating her with me... thank you for everything. I have never felt so loved, especially in the midst of something so hard, in all my life. It doesn't take the pain away, but it sure helps. We love you all.
*a little side note - my mom was out getting pizza tonight and someone she didn't know recognized her and asked if she was Rachel's grandmother... this little girl is pretty popular :o) That happened to me at Walmart a few days ago too. So many people love her. I'm so proud of her... some day I'll tell her in person.