We're in the hardest place financially we have ever been since we met. On Tuesday, I sat waiting for food from the food pantry and feeling like a total loser. Not how I envisioned life.... I decided to open up a My Daily Bread book on the counter and on that day, the verse was Romans 8:28 (which we used at our wedding) and the devotional read this:
"The Israelites learned some valuable spiritual lessons when God allowed them to endure homelessness, uncertainty, and danger. Their hardships humbled them. (Duet. 8:1-18). They learned that God would provide for their needs. When they were hungry, He gave them manna. When they were thirsty, He gave them water from a rock. God taught them that despite difficult times, He could bless them. Finally, the Israelites learned that adversity is not a sign of abandonment.Before I left the house that day, I realized we were out of diapers again. At this point, we spend around $150 a month on diapers and Goodnights. It's getting OLD. I finished reading the book and the woman came around the corner and asked if we needed diapers... all they had was a size 4 she said... that's the size Asa & Ezra both take! God provided again... diapers at the food pantry? Awesome.
When we encounter desperate times, we can look for the spiritual lessons embedded in our difficulties - lessons that can help us rely on the One who causes all things to work together for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28)"
|You can see her tree by the light|
For Rachel's 2nd birthday, I went to Ben Franklin's to buy her a bigger Christmas tree. They were $20 and I didn't have enough money. I bumped into a friend there and started crying about the struggle I have to keep her grave pretty (I've cried a lot there apparently! I never knew decorating a grave would be so emotionally draining) and she slipped me a $20 to buy it. The following year, I went back and bought another one so I could have one here that matches (you know I love to have 2 of everything for those days when I can't get there...). Well, wouldn't you know, there was one little tree left there on Wednesday... the exact same one... I was wondering why it hadn't been snatched up, and I realized when I got home that it is missing a leg. Some people only like perfect... but I have come to love things that others see as imperfect. I took it home and am using it as decor in my 'office' to remind me of my Christmas baby who has everlasting life... My girl who stands tall in heaven even though she couldn't stand on earth.
Later that day, I had a doctors appointment. I have been to this dr a few times already, but apparently never in this room....
|On the wall!|
yep... She was everywhere! And my dr who I never told about my blog asked me "Are you still keeping your blog?" I told her I was and she told me a coworker of hers told her about it and how she has read from the beginning and it's helped her so much in life, even though she has never lost a baby. God was laying it on me thick... the message that this was not all in vain. Rachel had a purpose... many purposes...
I was still feeling unsure if this grave decorating thing is what God really had for me. Was all of this just a coincidence? Was it a cute idea that would never really go anywhere? Should I go get a 'real' job where I know I'll get a paycheck and won't require me to hang out with the bugs in my basement? Do we have the time to wait out something like this financially? I was seeing confirmations all over the place, but what if I was hearing wrong? I *just* cleaned out my basement so we can sell this house! What am I supposed to do when it's time for a showing? And then the fear of other people's opinions started... What will the people who think I obsess over dead babies and graves say about this one?!
I put the boys to bed, which is not usually my job. Matt always does bedtime and so the fact that I found myself up there was out of the ordinary to begin with, but that I decided to read a book to them was even more unusual for me at that time of day. I am WIPED by 5pm. So, Isaiah picks this book that I had not read before. It's called "I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words"... and I'm not trying to sound crazy here... but ....
So, I need a job. Matt would prefer I not have to leave the house. I have a basement and it's full of fake flowers. And I don't know where this will go, but I do believe He's led me this far... so I'm going to do what any smart, hungry dog does... I'm going to follow my Master so He can feed me... and not just in the physical sense.
I went to Rachel's grave to take some photos of what I had made the other day and this was on her spot...
I sent Lisa a message on Wednesday telling her the short version of the above and I wrote "It's days like this that my heart needs" but auto correct changed it to "It's days like these that my heart beats..." and I thought it an appropriate 'mistake' - Love LIVES here.
But to top it all off, I went out yesterday to meet with someone about Rachel's Race and decided while I was there, I would stop and visit. The dandelion above was gone... and this is what was there - literally 2 days later...
But anyway, I left and went to the Post Office
And that is the story of just what 2 days in the life of Rachel's Mama is like. I am blessed. I am humbled. I am thankful. And I'm apparently officially running a home based business selling grave decor!
And so I announce.....
Find us on FACEBOOK and "Like" our page and check out what I've created so far! And please SHARE it with your friends.
Also, be sure to enter into the drawing for our GIVEAWAY!! It's this beautiful 4th of July Kissing Ball (only problem is I want to keep it for Rachel!! lol) follow directions on the Birthweight Buddies page to enter!
Here's a few of them...
And I hope if I can sell some of these, I can start to work on adding a variety of items to the selection. It's been a long 3 1/2 years of learning how to fight the weather at the cemetery. I hope I can make grave decorating a little less of a heartache for others than it's been for me. And in doing so, I pray I can bless my family, honor my girl Rachel, and glorify my God in heaven.
Please pray for me, for us and for Rachel's Race. I'm going in a million different directions right now and not getting any sleep at night. I got more sleep back when E was a new baby at home... so things are hard, but God is still good.
And in case you don't feel like that was long enough... here are a couple of older posts I just stumbled across that show me just how far back God was working out these details. They might come up at the bottom as suggested reading anyway. Apparently, I named a post 'Love Lives Here' in 2012! That would be what I would pick for this one, but I guess I need something different now. Ha!
Love Lives Here - Sept 2012
Love Never Fails - February 2014