Tuesday, May 14, 2013

After the Rain - My Mother's Day Sun

My 3rd Mother's Day since she left.....  hard to believe I'm on my 3rd round of 'withouts'.

We have had nothing but sunshine for weeks and this weekend was rainy.  I woke up to pouring rain and was slightly disappointed.  Rain is never fun at the cemetery and I knew I wanted to get there.  I grabbed my daisy umbrella on the way out to church and accepted that God must have something in this rain for me - and it might not be for today.

At church, we sang the song "You dance over me, while I am unaware, You sing all around, but I never hear a sound.... Lord I'm amazed by You, Lord I'm amazed by You, Lord I'm amazed by You... how You love me."

Baby E hardly ever moves (at least that I feel) while I am up and moving around... but I could feel the dance moves going.... I smiled as I remembered how Rachel always did that - didn't matter if I was standing or not, that girl danced....especially during worship.  I was also overwhelmed with the thoughts of how amazingly God loves me - and how the dance that Rachel & I had together was not just the two of us... He was in every step.  I was brought right back to the day she was born.... no sound at all, and yet I could feel Him there and I knew she was there...and somehow when her soul left her body, I could feel it - even though not much changed about her body yet....and in that moment, I think I felt more of Him than I ever had before and ever will again.  Dancing over me... singing all around....welcoming my little girl into His arms....

During the sermon, the program from Rachel's service slipped from a few pages back in my bible... I looked at Matt and the tears just fell.  I didn't think I was fighting them back, I hadn't felt overly emotional yet, but in that moment I really wanted them to stop and they wouldn't.  I can't believe I really lost a child.  

We left and went for our Mother's Day trip to the greenhouse.  This has turned into an annual thing.  It's one of my favorite places to go and if I can go with my family and they are excited to be there... even better!! 
I began my 3rd trimester today!!  28 weeks!

If you remember, last year we 'accidentally' stumbled upon annual dahlias called "Rachel".  I just reread my post about last year's Mother's Day.... I'm glad I write because I didn't remember most of it.  You can read it HERE.  God is very good. 

I had told Matt that for my gift this year, all I wanted was to get some plants for my garden.  I knew I wanted the same "Rachel" Dahlias, but wasn't sure they'd have them again.  And Matt said he had bought me a pot that he wanted to get a house plant for.  We found the dahlias pretty easily, and I was so relieved.  Picked up 6 this year, one for each of the kids, and then picked out some flowers for Rachel's grave.  I picked out some yellow ones since yellow (ironically not pink or purple!) has always been a color that reminds me of her.  I started to second guess that maybe I wanted a more vibrant color and decided to check the names... the yellow ones were called "Sunshine".... In the cart they went! 

I couldn't believe how smoothly the trip was going - and because it wasn't sunny, it wasn't 100 degrees in there like usual, which was much more enjoyable.  We made our way into the section for house plants and stopped at the first table.  I picked up a cute little plant and looked at the name.... "Hope"  Imagine that! first one I touched!  I showed Matt and he said "That's the one!  I prayed that this day would be special for you. God is answering." and he put it in the cart.  I asked "How much is it?" and words I never hear come from my husband's mouth came out.... "I don't care how much it is, it's perfect." 

I read the back of the card to check what it required for care... it reads "Thick green rounded leaves with a trailing habit and low water requirements... this plant is a survivor."  If you read my post from last year, you will see that when I summed up my feelings on the day, I said "I survived it." 

I have survived this entire journey on one thing alone.... HOPE.  Hope in miracles, Hope in Jesus, Hope in heaven.  This plant was heaven sent, just like the Rachel Dahlias were last year.  I'm thankful for moments like these when I know that God is still present - still leading us - still caring about the details of our life after losing Rachel.  Still giving us Hope to plant... and letting us see Rachel bloom through His perfect combination of rain and sunshine.
He even potted it for me when we got home!
We left there and grabbed some pizza and went to Rachel's grave.  Unlike last year, I was not greeted with a bunch of gifts on her grave.  There wasn't one.  And strangely, I didn't even notice the huge contrast until I read last year's post. 
What I did receive when I got there was unbelievable sunshine!!  The day went from pouring to absolutely perfect, beautiful weather.  Matt cleaned up around her stone for me (he used a plastic butter knife to cut the grass!!) and the kids ran around in the field of dandelions across the way laughing and chasing each other. They are so thoughtful and truly the best gifts of my life... Des & Isaiah kept bringing me flowers and seeded dandelions - so excited to be including Rachel for me.  Isaiah would yell "Mama, I have something that will remind you of Rachel!"
There was another woman bringing Daisies to her husband and son's grave nearby and she came to tell us that her and her husband used to visit Rachel together when they visited their son and loved all the pretty things I put there for her.  She said she walked down the isle 49 years ago with daisies in her hand.  At one point I turned to look and Asa was standing next to her, smelling her flowers.  I went over to get him and talked to her again for a while and as I did, Isaiah sat at our feet clearing around her husband and son's graves with a plastic knife just like Matt did for me!  And here and there he would get involved in the conversation with things like "Did Mike love God?"  I love that kid, he is really a mini-Matt.  I love his servants heart and how he unashamedly talks to people - even complete strangers - about God.
We came home and worked in the garden together for a couple of hours.  And I noticed that in just the last 2 days of rain, everything in my garden has sprouted like crazy!  The weeks of sun didn't accomplish what 2 days of rain did.  The peonies are now at least 6 inches higher than they were before the rain - I've never seen anything like it.  But I don't think it's a coincidence that on Mother's Day I am reminded so clearly that pretty things need rain to grow.... but you never notice the growth while it's raining, nor do you reap the benefits.... it's after the rain that the beauty blooms and the scent lingers.  And somehow, after a few days of darkness, we all appreciate more truly the same sun that before we had taken for granted.  That's my journey with Rachel.... dancing in the rain... thanking God for everything.  Everything.  Not just the sun, or what we deem to be a 'good' day.  Because He has purposes in the rain and I've come to realize that the rain makes everything more beautiful. 
We ate dinner, did our family devotion time, had ice cream sundaes. I soaked my feet and then I instructed Matt on how to give me a pedicure.... and he did every detail from pushing my cuticles back (which he totally didn't understand the point of, but trust me, it's important), to scrubbing the calluses and giving me a great foot rub! It might be the best pedicure I've ever had.  My feet are very happy.
Throughout the entire day, the kids were so excited to celebrate Mother's Day.... they would randomly shout "Happy Mother's Day Mama!" and kept saying how it was the "best day ever".... and I think I would have to agree.  My entire family was out working to get our yard cleaned up for me.  They helped me dig and plant things just where I wanted and they were so cheerful about it.  It was such a blessing. 
This is the life I have always wanted.... We don't have a lot, but always enough. Things aren't always easy, but God is always faithful.  We have endured some storms.... but in those times, we have learned how to dance in the rain.  And best of all, we have gotten closer to each other and to our God as we have allowed Him to grow us through the dark rainy days.


  1. Awwww, I love the pictures and your wise words... It's obvious that Jesus shins through you!
    Love your family all 7 1/2 of you!
    Hugs, anja

  2. sigh...beautiful... thankyou.


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