All of the unemployment paperwork arrived in the mail today. Things just got real. As I read over the affidavits, my mind got a little fuzzy while the rest of my body felt like I was carrying a fifty-pound weight.

I don’t feel worried or panicked. But, I do feel the gravity of our situation.

At my previous doctor’s visit, I teared up when he asked me if I currently had a lot of stress in my life. For the last year, we’ve been working on getting my body functioning more efficiently. He asked because, at my most recent check-up (before Tim’s lay-off), some of my numbers came back a little out of wack. I was disappointed because I’ve been making significant progress. It was a good question.Read More →

This morning, I decided it would be nice to put on a little make-up, do my hair, and actually wear real clothes. Just as I was about to apply my mascara, I heard one of my boys wailing and crying, “Mama!”. I opened my door and saw my boy, who loves all things creepy-crawly, sobbing.  

In his hands, he held a plastic container with the remnants of his favorite hermit crab, Stewart Little. After consoling him, I suggested he give Stewart a proper burial in the back yard; I was hoping it would give my tender-hearted son a little closure. When he came back in the house, he crumpled into my arms, this time, wailing. He kept repeating the same phrase, “He was so young, he didn’t get to grow up.” Finally, I realized his sorrow wasn’t so much about Stewart Little; this was about grieving the loss of Justin, coupled with our new routine at home with Tim’s lay-off.Read More →

Tonight, as I write, I know the Lord was preparing my heart for such a time as this. Everything that is happening in our world is frightening. Today, I read a story about a precious little boy who has the virus. I thought of my own little boys, and I began to fear. 

A litany of thoughts raced through my mind, all of them starting with the familiar, what- if. Since losing Justin, I can go from faith to fear in the blink of an eye. It reminds me of something that happened earlier this week. Read More →

My husband has worked in the travel industry for almost 20 years. Together, we weathered the catastrophe of 911 when travel came to a screeching halt. I’ll never forget the day the planes crashed into the Twin Towers. At the time, Justin and Sarah were watching Sesame Street; a friend called and said, “Missy, turn on the news.” Like everyone else in America, I was stunned. I frantically called Tim at work. He was inundated with travelers desperately trying to get home to their families. It was a frightening time for all of us; we had no idea what might be coming next. Soon, noRead More →

An Unlikely Combination Since the beginning of November, the act of having a thankful heart has been at the forefront of my mind. I have pondered and wrestled through some deep waters trying to figure out how to change the trajectory of my less-than-thankful heart. Circumstantially, day to day life is complicated. We are almost 16 months out from losing Justin and every day presents a new normal. Waves of grief come crashing in with little to no warning.  One moment I am laughing and the next second a dark cloud of sadness makes an unplanned visit.  My heart aches as I witness my childrenRead More →

ON THE LEFT: I was overwhelmed and filled with shame. Getting healthy felt unattainable. One morning, alone in my bathroom, I cried out to God, “Please help me, this feels hopeless!”. I was in the pit of despair and couldn’t see a way out. A few days later, our Justin sat me down for what would be a life-changing conversation asking me to get healthy. I agreed and wholeheartedly set out on my pilgrimage. ON THE RIGHT: F R E E I am learning what walking in freedom looks like on a daily basis. I am more broken than I have ever been, but God,Read More →

Our bedroom has a revolving door most mornings; today was no exception. Joshua, our youngest, climbed into bed with us after a middle of the night potty accident. He gives the sweetest wake-up calls, usually greeting me with a hug around the neck and multiple kisses; first my cheeks and then two more, one for each closed eye. He finally makes his way out of our bed, and I breathe a sigh of relief as I hear his little feet padding down the stairs to see his Daddy. Moments later, again the door opens, and I spy our sleepy-eyed Sammy boy, he’s nine-years-old, and aRead More →

Again, seeing the American flag-man, I walked over to his table. When I looked into his eyes, I was overcome with emotion. I began to thank him for his service but unexpectedly through tears, I told him what a patriot our Justin was. In my mind’s eye, I envisioned all the American flags hanging on the wall of his bedroom. Read More →

Since the early days after the accident, I have sensed a certain sacredness in grief. With the most vulnerable part of my heart exposed, I could only cry out to the Lord in my brokenness. It was laughable to consider anything else being even remotely comforting. As the days and weeks have turned into months, the temptation for distraction is enticing. I am learning that it is of utmost importance to allow myself to sit in the waves of grief as they come; avoiding and postponing the ache is futile. In my lament, my heart is drawn to the great Comforter enabling me to clingRead More →