Category Archives: Mercy

And so it begins . . .

. . . the season of Jason. That is what I call this part of summer. From now until the end of August is a tough time for me. Four years later I have moved beyond the paralyzing grief to a quiet sadness that comes and goes during these days. I miss him, I think of him everyday. But I smile more at the memory of him. I am thankful for the man he grew to be. I am grateful for every day I had the pleasure of being his mom.

This summer I feel ready to let go a little more, we will be spreading Jason’s ashes on August 21st at Canyonville Camp.

This I still hold true, God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Here is a post I wrote about a month after Jason went home:

My journey this summer begins July 9th.

My son, Jason, called me, he had been struggling with “asthma” for a few weeks. He was struggling to breathe, could hardly walk across the room. A trip to the emergency room was needed, but he had been laid off a couple months previous. No insurance kept coming up, but finally he went. Little did we know at the time what would come of this.

A few hours later he was intubated and in an induced coma. I found myself sitting in a consultation room in ICU, trying understand the doctors words. He kept saying fragile. The doctor talked about a long recovery. It took days for me to understand that my son, was on the brink of death that day. Twice that night they brought him back.

For the next 17 days, we hovered, spoke softly to Jason. Spoke our love to him. He could not respond, but we wanted him to know. We sat vigil by his bedside. On the 18th day he regained consciousness, he was able to “thumbs up”. He often used the sign language sign for I love you. We communicated in a way, as he still had the tube down his throat, keeping him alive. But it was so good to communicate. The tube came out a few days later, he talked and talked. Of plans for his future, how he longed to serve God. how he wanted out of the hospital to begin his new life that was given back to him.

Quickly he got better, faster than anyone anticipated. But there continued to be that word – fragile. If you knew my Jason, fragile would not have ever been a word to describe him. Nine strapping pounds at birth, and every football coach that ever laid eyes on him, wanted him. Fragile was not what I would have ever used. but there it was, time and time again. Jason was far from out of the woods. He had a heart problem that caused his lungs to fill with liquid. It was treatable, but it would be a long haul.

His lungs recovered enough that finally on July 29th he got to go home. He was learning to live with this new discovery about his health. He researched it, he was going to beat it.

Then, suddenly, on August 3rd, 2011 – he went home. His real, permanent home. He was found like he just went to sleep and woke up in heaven.

So my son, with a heart so big with love, died of heart failure.

I miss him. I will see him again.

Jesus and Picket Signs


This morning I am sitting in my garden wondering about the righteous indignation I have been seeing. The picket signs, the yelling, the hate and judgment spilling from the mouths of “the righteous”.

I don’t recall Jesus ever carrying a picket sign. I began to think about the only times that I see Jesus outraged and angry was with hypocrites.

I see Jesus sitting with and loving people, I see him telling stories and inviting them to him. I see him moving through the masses with kindness while speaking truth with love. I see him feeding the hungry, healing the sick, I see him loving the sinner, which by the way is all of us. He calls us to himself gently and with unending love.

The picketing, the condemning to hell, not only turns my stomach it makes me extremity sad. It also makes me wonder, how pompous it must seem to Jesus. No one here on earth has the power to grant access to heaven or condemn to hell. How presumptuous to stand before another of God’s creations and pass such a judgment. Who do we think we are?

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but
fail to notice the beam in your own eye? Matt 7:3 (Luke 6:42)

I for one have much in my own life that needs attention before I begin to judge another.

On the other side, while I may or may not support certain things I reserve the right to do so with out being called out. Religious freedom, civil freedom, like or not gives us all the right to have an opinion with out being labeled. We seem to forget that freedom of speech and thought applies to all, not to just who we agree with. To threaten to take away another’s right to live out their convictions is wrong and hypocritical no matter which side of the line you stand on.

This is a very rough collection of thoughts and I want to end here with this:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have
loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 1 Cor 13:13

The day before THE Day – Revisited


Good Morning – On this day before “The Day” I want to revisit my blog from last year. On this day especially since the death of my son, I think of how Jesus’ closest friends and family must felt, how sad and hopeless. And then there was Sunday!

We celebrate Good Friday, we worship in eternal gratefulness Resurrection Sunday, but there is a day in between. This morning I was thinking of this day in between. What was that day like?

We often give Jesus’ followers a bad rap, we talk about how they did not believe, how they hid away. This day in between must have been so confusing. Their King, friend, teacher, Shepard had died before their very eyes. I’m sure they all had stories in their heads about how Jesus’ capture and crucifixion would go. Think about it, if you walked with him every day and saw the incredible miracles how would you imagine the end? I think I would imagine Jesus’ saving himself, or God’s army of angels giving those soldiers what they rightfully deserved. I know I would have been in that room with all the others trying to make sense of what I just saw. How can you make sense of that with our earthly bound, finite minds. We often can’t make sense of the death of a loved one who was not God, how could you make sense of God in human form dying?

I don’t blame them for hiding out, for being confused. At the very least taking time to re-group. Grief is a strong powerful thing to our human minds, sometimes it takes hiding out, returning to the familiar to get our bearings.

On this day in between I wonder, what was happening? Was Martha making sure everyone was fed? Was Mary sitting in a corner of the room weeping? What were the disciples thinking? Were the discussions amid their grief centered around what’s next? Were they feeling left behind, a little betrayed? Were they wondering if the last few years were real? This just did not happen like they thought it might.

If we are honest would not we have reacted in the same manner? I know I would have gone to the familiar to re-group, maybe even hide. I know I would have been wondering if I had just given the last few years of my life to a dream that just blew up. I think about the things of so much less magnitude that shake our faith, make us doubt, Jesus’ followers were human with feelings like ours. Let’s give them a little grace this season, understand how confused and grief stricken they were.

Take a minute, try to imagine what this day in between held, what you would be feeling and doing. Then celebrate with all of creation for the next day, the day that brought unbelievable, uncontainable joy to all.

Have a blessed Resurrection Day!

Sally (actually Sammie)


I am going to imagine that her name is Sally, she looked like what I would imagine a Sally to look like.

I noticed her as I left the parking lot. She was sitting behind a cardboard sign, five or six white garbage bags all around her. She had on several layers of clothing, her face was dirty, and wore the wrinkles of a hard life. I started to drive by but decided to pull over. I got out of the car and dug out one of my beach blankets from the back. She had gotten to the car by that time. I grabbed a couple bags of hotel toiletries, I told her that I did not have money to give her but I had this blanket and these toiletries. Her eyes lit up, her whole face broke out in a toothless grin and she exclaimed “Soap!” She thanked me like I had handed her keys to a warm house and walked back to her spot on the sidewalk.

I know I posted this before but I have a follow up, I had not seen her for several weeks, and I had been wondering about her so when I saw her I stopped. I asked her if she needed anything in the way of toiletries, she wanted shampoo, I dug around in the bag and pulled out shampoo and a few other things. I asked her name and was surprised to find I was pretty close in my guess, her name is Sammie.



Her face has been floating in and out of my consciousness all week. I noticed her as I left the parking lot last week. She was sitting behind a cardboard sign, five or six white garbage bags all around her. She had on several layers of clothing, her face was dirty, and wore the wrinkles of a hard life. I started to drive by but decided to pull over. I got out of the car and dug out one of my beach blankets from the back. She had gotten to the car by that time. I grabbed a couple bags of hotel toiletries, I told her that I did not have money to give her but I had this blanket and these toiletries. Her eyes lit up, her whole face broke out in a toothless grin and she exclaimed “Soap!” She thanked me like I had handed her keys to a warm house and walked back to her spot on the sidewalk.

I am humbled. Soap, she was thrilled to get soap.

While I have been focusing on gratitude all year, I realized in that moment I still had a lot to learn.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   Colossians 3:17




My Race


Yesterday I wrote about running, and that I was committing to this activity, and making myself accountable by telling others my intentions. I wrote about some lessons I had learned in the first week. My desire is to also learn God lessons from this experience.

God lesson #1 – Just like I have to run my own mile, and not compare my mile to someone else’s, I have to walk my walk with God. Not someone else’s, mine. I should not compare my God walk/run with others. It is so tempting to look at someone else’s race and envy the “easy” race they have to run. The truth is I don’t know what waits around the bend for them, or what horrible dark valley they have come out of. The path I was given to run is my own. There have been bumps, times of pure despair, times of great rejoicing, and carefree running. But whatever turn in the road God has for me is mine to run without comparison to other’s path.

God lesson #2 – I should not try to look too far ahead on my God run. Just a few steps, just enough to not trip. If I knew all that was going to happen, how could I love and enjoy the moment of now? I would fret and worry, and miss the joy of the moment. If I had known that when my daughter was 6 months old I would find myself single, would I have missed out on this incredible woman? If I had known that I would live through the pain of losing my son at early in his life, would I have missed those amazing 30 years? God graciously does not allow me to see all that is ahead on my run. He allows me to see just enough.

My race is my race.




Lately, I have been pondering some of the pros and cons of social media.

One of the biggest pros is that, whether we live near or far from those we love, life is busier than ever, it is so easy to peek into our loved ones lives through social media and feel very connected to them. I am thankful for the glimpse I get into my family’s everyday lives as we don’t live as close as I would like. I love being able to look into my nieces and nephews every day lives, and see how they are growing and changing. I love being able to see what is happening in the ministry my brother and his wife are evolved with half a world away. I love seeing what my brother is cooking up for dinner, and seeing the wonderful everyday life of my daughter. I get to peek into my husbands families lives and feel like I get to know them a little better by seeing little snippets of their everyday lives.

One of the biggest cons is that we get to peek into people’s lives that we don’t have a real close relationship with. We believe that this is how their life is, these snippets that are shared. We envy their nice home, perfect yard, and well dress family, all the while behind the little picture we are allowed to see, may be the storm of a wayward child or broken marriage. Sometimes we peek in this window and see  a “mess”, not knowing the work that God is doing, and God is very pleased with “this mess”.

We make judgements about people based on these snippets. We assume their life is perfect, we wish for that life, not knowing what we are really wishing for. Or we make a judgement about how messed up their life is, we secretly thank God we don’t have the problems they have, not knowing that they have a peace that passes all understanding.

These posts on social media are just glimpses of a person’s life, and usually just what they want the world to see. We have this unique privilege that no other generation has had, to peek into each others lives, but let’s be careful not to assume that the snippet we get to see is the whole picture, and use this privilege to hold each other up in prayer.

(the whole picture)whole picture



It has been a long time since I have posted here. I have written several posts, but never posted them. I write them and read them, and something does not ring true. If there is one thing I want to be on this blog is honest and transparent. So I did not post. I have come to think that my not posting is not really honest or transparent. It is hiding, plain and simple.

The truth is that I was struggling. Not something I want to say out loud, I want to be able to say that I feel great, that I am okay. I don’t want to be so open and say, I was sad. I was having a hard time staying connected to my friends and family. I don’t want to admit that if I could have stayed home in my room for days I would have. I don’t want to admit for all to see that I was on the edge of falling into a very dark hole.

I remember a long time ago, I was probably about 10, I fell and really banged up my knee. The wound was deep, but I knew that if my mom found out she would put some horrible medicine on it that stung like crazy, so I hid it. After some time it became infected, there was dirt and gravel trapped in the wound, I kept hiding it. One day my mom saw it, by this time it was greenish and full of puss. It required a trip to the doctor to have it reopened and cleaned out. How much better it would have been if I had just shared that wound with her in the beginning.

One of the things I am learning is that a wound hidden festers. The wound needs to be opened up and cleaned out. It needs exposure in order for it to heal properly. It needs medicine. So here today, I am opening up my wound. I am struggling with some anxiety and mild depression.

I really feel this depression is not the grieving process, but born from the grieving. Does that make sense? I feel like I am moving through the grieving process well, but there are physical injuries that happen to us when there is such a grief. These injuries are not visible, but real all the same.

A month ago I finally went to the doctor and spoke my pain out loud to the first person besides Tim. Even with Tim I was not as totally honest as I should have been about how sad I was feeling. I am taking a medication for a time and I must tell you the huge difference it has made. I realized I had not even been truly honest with myself.

Today, I feel so much more like myself than I have in a long time. And I share this to be honest, to ask for your continued prayers, and to encourage others that may be hiding festering wounds to expose them, ask for help, it is out there.

Things are much brighter these days. God has been so gracious and patient with me. Through this all he has held me close, whispered truth to me through his word, and been loving enough to give me the human arms of my husband to hold me when I could not feel my Heavenly Father’s.

I wish you a blessed Christmas season, filled with the love of family and friends, but most of all the love of our Savior.


Angel’s Wings


This was my first view when I walked out side this morning. It made me think of angel wings. Today, two years ago, my son, my first born, woke up in heaven.

I mourn for me, for my daughter, for our family, but rejoice for him. I rejoice in the fact that I will see him again, someday. Some days, that does not feel like enough, I would love to talk to him, hug him, just be with him for a bit. I would love to tell him one more time that I love him, it occurred to me this morning that those were the last words we spoke to each other. In the end, it is enough. It’s enough to have the hope of heaven and the reunion that will take place.

I carry a strange mix of emotions, a deep sadness and pain, for the loss, but at the same time an amazing peace. I take comfort in the little reminders all around me that God loves me, he knows my pain. I feel his love through angel’s wings in the sky, hummingbirds buzzing my head, the sounds of sparrows quarrelling over who knows what, family and friends that surround me, the beautiful smile of my daughter, and the warmth of my husbands embrace.

Even though I miss Jason more than I can say, I have a peace, a deep peace that is deeper than the pain, and at the end of the day I know with all my heart that God is good all the time.

loving, merciful, grace giving . . .


When Jason passed, almost 2 years ago, I prayed that it would not be for nothing. That his life and death would make a mark on this world; make a difference in someone’s life. I prayed that I would be a testimony to God’s mercy, grace and great love. I have heard of at least one person who served at a camp last summer in honor of Jason, I will never know this side of heaven the lives that were changed in those weeks. I may never know the impact that Jason’s passing has had, but I continue to pray that his life and passing will do nothing but bring glory to our heavenly father.

Last week a question was put to me, I knew in a heartbeat that this was one of those times I had prayed about. The question was, “how have you kept your faith through everything?” Whew, out of the blue, unexpected, the question was there.

My faith has been a part of me for as long as I can remember, it is like air. It is woven into my fabric, so how to answer that? How have I kept something that I require to survive?

So I said just that, that if I did not have my faith, I would have crumbled. If I did not have the assurance that I would see Jason again, I am pretty sure I would not have survived.

I believe that I will see Jason again. I believe that my heavenly father grieves with me. I believe that a long time ago, in a perfect garden, a choice was made that brought sin into this world. I believe that God never intended for any of us to suffer, but because of that choice death and pain entered into our lives.

I know that when my children suffered pain, it was painful for me. When my children hurt, I hurt. I believe that if I feel and react this way, as an imperfect being, how much more must God feel the hurt and pain that, I his child, feels. How he must long to gather me in his arms and comfort me. And he has.

As far as “how could a loving God allow so much pain?” I believe it was never his plan. His plan was to walk with us in a perfect world. But he gave a choice; he wanted us to want to love him.  How often as we raised our children did we watch them make a wrong choice, even after we had given them every bit of our earthly wisdom? Then we hurt with our children over the consequences. We wanted them to want to do the right thing. I know that love chosen is much sweeter than love forced. This is what God wanted from us, love chosen, so in the garden there was a choice, and now there are consequences of that choice. But how much sweeter our love must be to him when we choose to love him.

This is how I have kept my faith, I believe in an all loving, merciful, grace giving, heavenly father.