Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Lately the topic of fear has been on my heart. I feel like I am supposed to write something about it, except I am no expert in fear. Although I have learned quite a bit about not letting fear rule your life and make choices for you. This weekend I listened to our pastor talk about joy. And he asked what the opposite of joy was.  The standard response, I am sure, was sadness but I knew that couldn’t be true as I live with a smattering of sadness in all my days, in all moments of my day. I will always be sad because I will never stop loving Christian. I will never love him less or “get over him being gone”. His love cannot be quantified so my sorrow is its equal. Yet I have learned in the past few years that you can have a deep bubbling joy inside your soul while you are experiencing sadness. Then Pastor Kyle said this; “the opposite of joy is fear”. And it slapped me across the face how true the statement was the second it left his lips. Fear in our lives steals joy, steals opportunity to create joy, find joy and experience joy – because we are so consumed with fear.

People may think I am weird now but there are not very many things that I am afraid of anymore. I am certainly not afraid of death, I am not afraid to fail, to look stupid, or to make mistakes. What could happen to me that would be worse than what we have already being thru? And we survived. Walking Christian’s journey with the Godly counsel we had in Pastor Doug and Loralie taught me so many things that are just now coming to the forefront of my mind. I would maybe say that I am afraid of leaving my kids behind if I were to die suddenly. But then I can hear Pastor Doug in my ear saying, “how can you possibly assume that you know better than God what is best for your kids?” If I am to follow my two-question rule; those being, #1 Do I believe that God is always good? And #2 Do I trust God?, then the sovereignty of God should settle the anxiety and fears in my heart. It doesn’t mean that we will not experience heartache or that life is guaranteed to be wonderful – in fact the bible guarantees just the opposite. John 16:33 says; “In this life you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world”. If we trust God’s sovereignty for our lives then we can trust each and every thing that comes towards us, both good and bad. Not, “oh my goodness why is this happening to me?” but instead, “God what you are doing here? What am I supposed to learning?”
This morning while I was listening to a talk radio show the guest speaker talked about how God allows us to get the basement of our lives. He will allow us to walk to the basement door, open it, and descend the steps in the deep, dark, cold basement. And the visual of that statement will bring all sorts of pictorials that exude fear.  It’s not a place you want to go, and certainly not a place you want to stay. Your fears are there, your anxieties live there, your hurts, your secrets all live in the basement. But we don’t sit down there alone. God walks with us down into the basement and stays with us, holding our hands, our heads and even cradling us in his lap until those fears have His light shed on them and they no longer have power over you. My biggest fear as a mom was losing a child to cancer. I am not kidding. When I first got married I remember thinking, “I hope one of my kids doesn’t get cancer”. And here I am, a mom with a sweet boy in heaven due to cancer. It was my worst nightmare, and I was certain that it should have killed me. I stayed in the basement with my fears for the whole two years that Christian was sick. I waited in the dark for the boogey man to jump out of the closet and kill me. But I didn’t die. It was painful beyond belief, it still is. I am still sad, I still cry and I still wish everyday I could hold my boy. But the one difference in my life now is that fear no longer has a hold over me. When we took freedom session thru church a few years ago I remember one of the questions the leader asking was, “what is the worst thing that could happen?” and then keep asking your self that question until you get to Jesus hanging on the cross, bleeding for us and rising three days later. “O death, where is your sting?” The worst thing that can happen is earthly.  You might hurt, bleed, cry, scream and question. But there is nothing that can happen to you here that can take away your God, your salvation, and your hope in your future with him. There is always HOPE, even when it seems like there is nothing left to hope for; I promise, there is hope.

I didn’t sit in that basement alone, I was there with God, my new best friend, I was there with my friends from church, with my husband.  We all faced the fear together and soon I realized it didn’t have any power over me. I wasn’t scared anymore for my son to die, maybe because he was already gone, but mostly because I understood where he was, and that one day I will see him again. I have hope. When you have hope and faith in Jesus Christ there is no fear. There is still sadness and sorrow because my mind only understands earthly consequences. When I walk thru heaven’s gates and see how God orchestrated our lives I will laugh at my self for all my anxieties and worries in life.  When I let go of the fear and anger I was finally able to see all the blessings that God has showered on us, on our marriage, in our friendships and mostly in my heart.

So I just wanted you to encourage to face your attacker named “fear”, turn around and look at him and ask him “what’s the worst that can happen”, and when the worst happens you will find that God is there waiting for you, holding a light to your fear.  You will survive and be stronger and braver and better than you ever imagined you could be.

Hello my sweet pea, I am sorry it has taken me so long to write to you. Another school year has started. Evy is in grade 2 and Ryan started grade 1. They just flew into their classes like summer had never happened. They love being at daddy’s school, at your school. They help out with breakfast club in the morning and play so well together when they walk home from the bus. I think its official that Ryan will be a math wiz - he sees numbers so well. You guys would have a grand time with his love of board games, he even taught himself to play chess. I don’t dare play him incase he beats me! I love spending my days with Joshua. He is so sweet and kind, his heart is after yours. He loves to kiss me multiple times in the morning to wake me up, kind of like a dog but less sloppy! I love it, what an amazing alarm clock! He speaks so well now and throws out sentences I didn’t’ know he could conjure. Him and Ryan spend hours playing “trashys” and army dudes. They are the best of friends. Ryan loves to tell me before he falls asleep how much he loves me and I tell him I love him more and he says, “that’s not possible”.  He asked me tonight if we would play this game forever. And I said of course. But I would always love him more. Life moves on and your picture is always at the forefront of my mind. September is hard and as we roll into October and “make a wish” time, then my birthday when you relapsed and Christmas when you got so sick and New Years when we went to the hospital for the very last time. I feel tired just thinking about it. The thoughts are always on my mind, and a song or a smell or a tv show comes up and I smile and think of you and I know you think of me too. I love you so much Christian. All the ways to the death star and back.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Dear Christian
It has been too long. When I feel a pull on my heart to write you a letter I suddenly feel empty and tired. What could I write that I have not already said to you? Well that is crap and I know better. So many great things have happened in last few months; just watching little Joshy grow and learn has been a miracle in itself. I feel inspired now that I am back in Nova Scotia. I have gone to your bench almost everyday and every time I come down from the ladder I go over and blow you a kiss. Your bench reminds me to keep pushing, not to give in to my fatigue and weariness. In walking and running through the woods, smelling the air and hearing the sounds of the waterfalls and creeks, seeing a random deer cross my path, feeling completely enveloped in God’s amazing creation, I feel the veil lifted from my eyes and I can see the way God intended the earth to look. A tiny glimpse into His vision of paradise; the feel and smell. And the words “no filter” came to my mind.
My beloved Jacobs ladder

“God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of the day“ – Louie Giglio.

We feel frustrated, sad, angered, betrayed by our circumstances. But they are just that, circumstances. We always have a option to choose joy, to remind ourselves of the blessings that we do have despite our surroundings….or perhaps the trial you find yourself in is intended to be your blessing in disguise. I often think of Christian laying in his hospital bed, very close to death. I think of Chris and I and how those few weeks transpired for us. I could easily say there were the worst three weeks of my life, watching my son slowly getting sicker and sicker, falling deeper into his coma, his skin turning a horrid shade of yellow/green, his abdomen growing by the hour until adult diapers were all that would fit around him. But instead I chose to remind myself of the friends who dared to come and visit us in the children’s palliative care room, the love that ebbed and flowed in our hospital room as friends poured into us and we poured into them. I chose to think of the medications that medical staff administered to help ease his pain and keep him comfortable. I think of the music and prayers we shared with friends and in isolation with the Lord. I think of the gifts that people sent to keep our other children’s spirits lifted and bring a welcomed distraction to the day. I think of the wonderful trusting friendships we deepened with our nursing staff as they cared for Christian like he was their family. It was a matter of perspective and regardless of the situation you find yourself in you can chose to seek out the little sparkles of diamonds and glitter in the day. Because they are there – you need to look beyond the veil. Beyond the dark filtered glasses we have become accustom to wearing.
The view from your bench

In our lives, after months, years and decades of “life” the filters we let govern our perceptions preclude us from truly seeing the glitter, the daily gifts from our God. I understand that we are incapable of truly seeing earth for the paradise God meant it to be. But the bible also promises us that we will see glimpses of paradise. And I think they happen more often than we realize.
Christian, today in Victoria Park, I can tell you I saw, felt, smelt and heard paradise. And I have never felt so close to you…..I got a small glimpse of the glory you must live amongst, and I can’t wait to meet you there. The sound water makes when it rolls over a stone, the feel of moss on the forest floor, the roots of a two hundred year old tree, the belly laugh from Joshua when I tickle his tummy, the freckles on Evelyn’s nose, the sound of the waves rolling up onto the sand, the sunset on the horizon, a tidal wave rolling down a river.

My heart is broken; this will never change, but I have learned that broken can be beautiful and broken has forced me to seek out joy in places I didn’t know existed. I have an intense desire to know heaven, to know where you live.  And I find it in the most amazing places. Today Ryan asked me where heaven was. I said I wasn’t sure but that God created earth to be paradise so when we see something with beauty that takes our breath away – it is a special glimpse of paradise right here on earth. We just need to seek it out and sit in it and relish in the love of God and the gifts He has abundantly provided for us.

Evelyn successfully finished grade one and Ryan won everyone’s hearts in kindergarten.  Evelyn has such an amazing heart and loves to make friends and play with all the kids in her class. She is a wonderful artist and loves to create stories (mostly about cats!) Last night she decided to you tube videos of how to draw and created an amazing picture of Destiny from “Finding Dory”. She often says and does things in the day that blow my mind. We had a tough night a few weeks ago when the topic of the children in third world countries who have to go to bed hungry or without mom and dad or both. Hours of tears and sobs (on Evelyn’s part) turned into her deciding to do 100 shoe boxes for the kids so they will know someone loves them. Her heart is too big for her body. 
Loving Aunty Rhonda's house
Ryan started tennis lessons today and he is such a little light. I love to watch his spirit as he pranced around the tennis court. Every now and then his little giggle comes out – especially when they play fruit ninja and he gets hit with a tennis ball bomb! He is spirited and determined and stubborn and loves fiercely….  Joshua is my little dude. He hugs and kisses like no other little man and I couldn’t make it through the day without one. He loves it when we argue about who gets more kisses and cuddles, mommy or daddy. And he assures us that each of us will get the necessary amount of love. He has inherited your love of golf and loves to go out on the course with daddy and “hit some balls”. He is patient and smart and sweet. The other morning, as he slowly woke, he roamed around the bed flapping his arms about and stretching his legs (his normal waking routine) then he got still and I assumed he had fallen back to sleep. I peeked over at him and he was staring off into the corner of the bedroom and I watched for a long time to see how long he could go without blinking, finally I whispered, “Joshua what are you looking at?”, and he whispered back, “Christian”. I know you are near my beautiful boy and I will love you to the ends of the earth. Then I will love you all over again when we meet in paradise.

Brule beach 2012