Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today Was My Olive Branch

What a day...

I woke up and the first thought on my mind was "what day is I need to build anything today?"  I got up and was frustrated to find no food for breakfast, no clean clothes to wear and my house absolutely trashed.  3 full 12 hour days out of the house, with three kids, building Rachel's playground left us in a mess here... on Mother's Day.

Just for the record, I am NOT doing it today! :o)

I knew there was a very real possibility that this mother's day could be hard... my first one without my girl... and I wasn't off to a very good start.  We proudly wore our "Team Rachel" shirts today in honor of Rachel.  It felt good, but as I looked around and realized that nobody else was, I also realized that this is the fact of our lives.  The team to build her playground is off duty now... but we're on Rachel's Team for life.  That will never end for us. Yesterday was not the grand finale to our trial... we're still trudging the path through grief.

After 1st service at church, Pastor Glen announced the playground and had everyone who helped stand up.  Then he had Matt & I stand up and he talked of how many lives Rachel has touched after spending just 43 minutes here with us and he thanked us for how we've walked this path and everyone stood up and clapped.  Matt leaned in and whispered "good job, Mama" to me... I cried of course, but I'll tell you what, that little girl has caused me to be the kind of Mama I'm proud to be.  One that I know God is pleased with.  I'm so grateful for her.

Des came out of Children's Church with a paper that had a rainbow on it - and of course, I looked to see... it talked about Noah being blessed for his obedience... and then she handed me the project they did...Noah's Ark magnets with the verse: We walk by faith not by sight - 2 Cor. 5:7 (the verse we put on Rachel's shower cake and invites)  I thought that the teacher must have picked Noah's Ark because of the playground - until I saw her downstairs and she pulled me aside to tell me how she couldn't believe that is the lesson we were on!  And sure enough, when we went to teach 2nd service, we found out that this lesson landed on this week from the plan that was picked at the beginning of the year - long before we ever even knew the playground would be here now!  Last week it was "follow God's plan for your life" and talked about how when you're building something you need to follow the building plans!  This week, the theme "Obey God above everything else" and the story of Noah... and the blessing he received from his obedience.  The EXACT reason I picked an ark for Rachel's Playground to begin with! God is amazing.

After service, we had everyone gather around the entry and we prayed together and then I cut the "ribbon" and all the kids RAN in!  (Great idea, Pete!)  It was an awesome feeling watching all the kids get so excited.  Especially mine :o) 

♥Rachel Alice Aube♥ (just felt like saying her name) :o)

The boys playing the music wall

Des sliding with Sam

This slide is so big, there is no such thing as waiting in line!

No, these aren't kids... this is my aunt Kathy and her husband Dave (who helped this weekend). 
They stopped by after church to see Rachel's Playground - and play!
Last night as we were finishing up, it started sprinkling pretty good.  It was around 7pm and the sun was shining strong still.  I was looking everywhere for a rainbow convinced we would see one once her ark was built.  Denise had said to me "There has to be a rainbow somewhere right now"  and she was right cause today my friend Amanda came up to me outside and with tears in her eyes said "I saw Rachel's rainbow yesterday at 7:00"  It was the exact time that I was looking for it...

Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it isn't there!

Two things that bless me about Amanda's statement are that she called it "Rachel's" rainbow - and that when she noticed it, she thought of her.  The same thing about Cheryl noticing the lesson plan...  I LOVE how people are seeing God in the details of life because of my girl.  I am humbled that He continues to reveal Himself and that people are aware of it through Rachel.  Thank You Lord for that...

I also was given some beautiful flowers this morning from Naomi... I saw them and commented on how pretty they were and she handed them to me!  The note said that when I said that I planned to keep fresh flowers in my house in memory of Rachel (which by the way, I have not failed to do since she died - even while we were in Florida!) she decided that she would give me her first blooms... Pink and Red tulips "and they 'just happened' to be on Mother's Day" she said :o) 

Matt & the kids took me out for lunch and we get home from church, the tulips that I planted with Rachel that I have waited a couple of weeks for (after the 1st ones on the other side of the house) were all pink.  I had told Harlee last week that they weren't doing anything and that I bet they would bloom for me on Mother's Day... and sure enough...we left for church and they were still closed.  We came home to pink everywhere!

You can see in the back there are some still closed and not pink...
that is what these looked like this morning!
I turned around and saw they were blooming in the bed behind me too... and not only that, but my flocks were covered in little violet flowers too!

And as I was taking these pics, I caught a glimpse of the daffodils that I was convinced had something wrong with them cause they were barely coming through the ground (Me & Isaiah planted these the same day we planted the tulips for Rachel)

I could not believe that on Wednesday while I was outside painting the fence, there was not ONE BIT of color in my yard - and as soon as we finished Rachel's Playground, ON MOTHER'S DAY, my yard was full of flowers...A mother's day gift from my girl...  Thank You God.  I needed this. (it was all those spring showers and sun!)

And if that wasn't enough of a gift... WHILE I was taking these pictures, the sky went from clear to raining in minutes and all of a sudden, I was standing in the rain, camera getting wet.  There have been all these little rain showers the past two days.  I do not believe it's a coincidence that I have been referring to this journey as a dance in the rain since the beginning and we keep getting rain while the sun is still shining!  Showers that you KNOW are making rainbows somewhere right after we built an ark!  And so I went inside the door to keep dry, but looked up searching for the rainbow I knew was there... I couldn't find one, but decided to take a picture of the sky.  I snapped one and looked at it on the camera to see if you could tell it was raining...
And you can't, but is it just me, or is there a HUGE heart in the sky?? 

My daughter is still alive... God has repeatedly given me love notes to let me know.  I am so grateful that He is patient with my disbelief and my questions and that He always meets me where I'm at...and He reassures me again and again that I will see Rachel someday.  For a girl who isn't here with me, she sure feels like she is!  I would give anything to hold her and see her grow, but if I can't, I'm so thankful for these gifts.

Today I'm not sad... Today I am dancing in the rain.
I was thinking about the dove that Noah sent out to see if the water was going down yet... After a couple of tries, the dove returned with an olive branch in his mouth, which was a great sign of hope for Noah because it meant that there was at least the top of the trees showing somewhere.  Today, even in the midst of all my sadness and grief, I feel like I have proof that the top of the trees are showing...somewhere... I can't see them yet, but that doesn't mean they're not there.  But there is hope.  Today was my olive branch.

Happy Mother's Day...  love you all!  ♥♥♥


  1. Stacy,

    Through tears I send my love and BIG hugs! Thank you for allowing us to be part of Saturday.

    France & Pete

  2. Happy Mothers Day...........

  3. I had my shirt yesterday Stacy, I came home and put it right in the wash so it would be ready to wear to church. Our girls are forever in my heart together. I thought of you and our girls all day.

  4. What an amazing park! You should be proud - I'm sure Rachel is.

  5. WOW - Stacy! I've just gotten caught up on all the playground progress and your beautiful tulip showing yesterday. Many Tears!! Rachel's playground turned out AMAZING. HUGS!!!!

  6. yup, lovin' the Godwinks!
    just amazing.

  7. I know in our house we will also always be on Rachels team, and you where not the only ones. Kirsten wore her shirt to work. Just wanted to enlighten you. Hugs from all of us to all of you.

  8. Happy Mother's Day Stacey! I was thinking of you and praying for you all day yesterday! What beautiful gifts from our Loving, Heavenly Father. All for a wonderful mother who shared her girl so freely and shared God's love through one of the darkest journey's a mom could ever face. I am so glad that He continues to bless you in this way! You are a wonderful momma! Way to go!
    Lots of love, hugs, and prayers.....
    Carrie :)
    PS, so glad to be a part of Rachel's team!

  9. The playground, the garden(tulips), the heart in the sky, the sweet girl, and the loving mother, BEAUTIFUL, just BEAUTIFUL.

  10. So glad He blessed you with so many signs of your beautiful Rachel on this Mother's Day. *Hugs*



We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes