WWDS (what would Drew say)


This picture is one of my favorites of Drew.  It was originally a colored photo, but I hope Chris Barr doesn’t mind that I applied a black and white filter because my hair, at the time, was Cinderella yellow.  Not much has changed.  Well, my hair color has changed, but that needed to happen. But regarding Drew MacLean, I still love everything about him.  The way he danced with me, the way he smiled, and how he hardly ever smiled without laughing. And this photo captures all of that.

I often look at my present situation and think, “How did I end up here?”  Alone, but not really alone.  Then I turn around and see this face IMG_9269and this face

IMG_9271(in my cool, new minivan).  If I had time to linger in this question, I would.  If I had time to analyze my entire situation, I bet I could come up with a way to write it all in a book.  But I don’t have that kind of time now.  So, I just keep my eyes on the road and continue singing along with “Hello Dolly” or our “Jesus Music,” as Ruby calls it.

The short answer is that it’s God’s grace that brought me here.  It’s His pouring out of love and mercy that sustain me. Over the past year, I’ve learned that the most important thing I can do is to pray for my children. That’s my number one job right now.  The Holy Spirit has guided me in specific ways to pray for each of them. And bless his heart, Carter gets extra prayers. For my sanity.  As a result of those prayers, God has provided abundant love for me to pour out on Carter in those trying times.  I’m not saying I never lose my patience.  I’m not perfect yet; but the forgiveness is there, and we’re understanding each other more and more.  My sweet, hard-headed, fearless little boy whose current favorite hobby is flushing toilets–God will do a mighty work through you one day!

Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder “What would Drew think, say, or do about (fill-in-the-blank)?” It’s mostly the things that I find funny or odd…like Ruby’s self-selected outfits or Carter recently discovering his nipples.  And I feel like he would’ve rolled his eyes at first, but I’m sure Drew would be totally supportive of my implementation of essential oils into the home.  And there’s no doubt in my mind that he would be asking about the unfinished crochet projects around the house. But that’s okay, because one day I will have time again.  And one day we will have time again–together.

No, I don’t have everything I want, but I’m thankful for what I do have. And I will keep asking, in faith, for what I want.

Because She Loves Him


To Carter’s First Mom:

I realize you have had a difficult life, at least lately. I have always occupied this comfortable, predictable, and safe bubble. You and I would never have met, if it weren’t for God tying us together.

I realize you have made poor choices. Not one person hasn’t. So far, your poor choices have been more severe and had greater consequences than my poor choices. I’m not trying to make excuses. I just want you to know, although I am extremely naïve in the ways of the world, I am aware of these things. I may never know the details of who you are and what you have experienced, but I know that we have been dealt different cards and we have lead different lives. I know, and I’m sorry that life has been extra tough for you. I know, and I’m not judging you; I pray for you. I know, and I love you.

In the past, I would have questioned and gossiped. I would have blamed, and I would have judged. I’m not proud of that. Because of you, my heart has softened. You are special. I will always defend you when people ask, “How could anyone give up a precious baby?” Because she loves him. I will talk highly of you, because I think highly of you. You could make foolish decisions for the rest of your life, and I would love and respect you just the same. Because of one decision you did make. You chose life for this baby. You chose months of an inconvenient pregnancy while working to support yourself and your toddler. You chose to put your life on hold while you made a plan—while you sought out an agency, sifted through profile books, and selected a family. You didn’t listen to the people telling you about the easier options. I don’t know exactly what caused you to make this choice, but I am so thankful you did.

When I hear what a wonderful person I am, because I’ve adopted Carter and am providing him with opportunities that he would not have had otherwise, I know it is all because of you. Carter will know that what he has and experiences in this life, is because you gave it to him. You gave him the world when you let him go.

I would love to be able to hug you every day and tell you how special you are. You are more than loved–you are adored. God created you, Jesus died for you, and I pray that you know this. I pray that you feel loved by the Father–a love that has nothing to do with anything you have or have not done. Carter is blessed to have a mother who loved him to the point that she gave him up. I pray that you know how blessed we are to have a God who loves us so much that He gave up His Son, so that we may experience true, vibrant, and abundant life—here and for eternity.

Dear Carter,

You must realize that God does know the deepest desires of our hearts, even more than we know them.

I had forgotten, or maybe never realized, what I missed out on with Ruby as an infant.  There were parts of motherhood that were void because of heartache and loss from Drew’s unexpected absence.  Two and half years later, God uses you, my Deliciousness, to restore what the locusts had destroyed, and I’m so thankful!IMG_1993-2

Carter, thank you for being:

my happy baby.   God sent you to me when I had the capacity to be truly happy again.  Although you aren’t all smiles yet, this still makes you my happy baby.

my sweet dreamer.    I love afternoon naptime, when the house is quiet {Goodnight, Sweet Ruby} and I can drown in your shallow breathing on my neck and the purrs of your baby dreams.  There is no trace of heartache when I hold you; complete satisfaction.

my baby-on-the-go.  By now you know, it takes us a good 3 hours to get out the door (on a day I have to wash my hair).  However, it’s so nice that the hold up is not from me having to reapply makeup due to grief’s unpredictable melt downs.  Leaving the house “on time” is a constant battle, but we eventually make it out the door.  And if there are tears, they’re yours or your sister’s =).  And neither one of you wear makeup, so that’s fine.  With that being said, you are a great traveler so far.  I love taking you places.  You’re getting heavy fast, but I still enjoy lugging you around in the carrier or Moby wrap while holding Ruby’s hand.

my conversation starter.  I actually enjoy it when people want to stop me in Publix, at church, or anywhere else to get a peek at you, coo in your face, and tell me how cute you are.  I don’t have to worry about questions (or pitiful looks, sympathy, etc.) that will make my insides collapse.  “Oh, this adorable baby?  Yes, he’s mine!”

my I can do it! baby.  Although the high-pitched wail initially sparks anger (sorry, it’s my natural emotion when startled from sleep), I am able to get up at multiple hours of the night, change you, feed you, watch you play, and put you back in bed all by myself!  {pat on back}  AND even wake up with Sister Sweetness to potty, wipe a booger, get the throw up bowl, or put socks on cold feet—whatever HRH needs.  Some nights, you and Ruby make me think I could survive boot camp!  OohRah!

my lookin’ good baby.  Selfishly, one of the most pleasant surprises from adopting you is the, “How old is he?  You look great!” type of comments.  Obviously, these come from people who are unaware that I didn’t carry you or deliver you.  I never got that with Ruby… #babyweight #stucktome #likehaironagorilla  So, thank you for the confidence boost, baby boy!

my hand-placed miracle.  One day you’ll understand how the conception of life is an absolute miracle; but conception and then redirection of you to our family—that’s a whole different kind of miracle!

I love you.  Thank you for being my cause for restored early motherhood!  xoxoxo

“I Ice Skating!”

Ruby has been caught up in the Frozen storm.  She can’t “Let it Go,” which is fine by me, because I love the movie just as much as she does! Ok, probably more. We watch parts of the movie, if not the entire thing, just about every day.  The final scene is the town gathering outside of the castle, where Elsa uses her ice powers to create a floor of ice for the purpose of community ice skating.  To mimic this, Ruby wears her Elsa and Anna socks from Nannaz (Aunt Anna) and slides around in the kitchen.  “I ice skating, Mama!”  I adore her imagination.  I get to hold her hands and twirl her—guiding her through a few triple Salchows (pronounced “sow cows”) and quadruple axles.

Finally, the thought came to me! I have to show Ruby the videos of Mommy and Daddy ice-skating! While touring London, Drew and I dropped in at the Queen’s Ice Skating Rink. I’m pretty sure a real queen has never stepped foot inside, much less skated there. It was very similar to our local skating rinks, but with a floor of ice rather than shiny, slippery wood. Although, both hurt when you fall.

We have a handful of videos from our London and Paris travels. I love watching them. Unfortunately, Drew did the majority of the filming, so he’s not visible most of the time. But he should win an Academy Award for his narrator role. I LOVE to hear his voice and his laugh, and I miss it so very much. While paying close attention to what he says and how he says it, I realize that laughing, to him, is almost as natural as breathing. One of the things that I love most about my Dewz is that he does not take himself seriously, unless he was at work. In just about every phrase in this video there is some form of a chuckle. You can even hear his smile when he talks.

Ruby requests one of two videos on my computer. One she calls “Daddy ice-skating” and the second one is “Daddy laughing”, (which is me ice-skating and Drew talking).

*In all fairness, I was in my first trimester with Ruby. It would’ve been irresponsible and reckless for me to NOT grip to the side rails.



Art to Adoption

Drew’s mom has long claimed that I held some sort of power over Drew. Whether or not it’s true, I think it’s funny. I talked Drew into doing things that he previously would have NEVER considered in fear of losing his “man card”.  What makes Drew so special is that he would do all these things with a smile and an air of confidence.

I am proud to say I’m responsible for coaxing Drew’s inner-artist to surface in the Summer of 2006.

Drew with Chris Leake

Drew with Chris Leak

Our amateur work included small crafts, like painting bobble heads, creating our own pizzas, carving pumpkins and building gingerbread houses. There was no stopping once artist fever took over. Within a few years, Drew and I were full-blown canvas painters, with a focus on outdoor water scenes.

Drew's tropical sunset

Drew’s tropical sunset

One of the first things we did to make our rental home “our” home was hang many of our masterpieces in the spare blue-room. It was so difficult deciding which ones to display (for all the people who would be going in our blue-walled computer room). Acrylic canvas painting was our strong suit, but we dabbled in a few other hobbies. We took a cooking class, refurbished an old China cabinet, square danced at the dance hall on Bob Little Road. It would be nice to believe that Drew was so enthralled by my beauty and wit, that he would do anything I asked of him. But more so, I believe Drew was blessed with a sweet and willing spirit. He was game for trying new things, even if it led to ridicule from his friends and family (and believe me, there was plenty of that). My part in our relationship was giving him a reason to try these random new things. And I was stubborn enough to not budge until he agreed/caved.

One of the most impressive things I was able to talk Drew into was a specific Dave Ramsey envelope.  Dave Ramsey is a financial guru.  His “Financial Peace” course is offered in churches and communities across the country. He can help get you out of debt and saving money in 5 easy steps!  Drew and I became “Financial Peace” graduates prior to being married in 2010.  Dave encourages the use of designated envelopes for saving a predetermined amount of cash per pay period. We were starting the financial side of our marriage off on the right foot. We had a car envelope (knew we would need a family car in a few years), a Christmas spending envelope (to pre-budget for Christmas gifts), and a vacation envelope (because everybody needs a vacation!).  Each month, a small percent of our earnings would be divided among these envelopes. Shortly after we were married, God impressed it upon my heart that we needed to add one more envelope to our collection–an adoption envelope. Initially, Drew laughed, shook his head, questioned, and then much like all the other absurd things I asked him to do, he agreed. So we started setting aside money for a child we didn’t know. We had no idea how much money would be needed, but month by month, we made progress. As plans go, we wanted a little Drew and a little Al prior to adopting. God had different plans. And from His all-encompassing view, His plans are better.

It is a miracle in itself that I, with the help of a precious few, have completed the forms, background checks, home study and am now, more or less, at the twiddling my thumbs point where I wait and pray heavily. I pray multiple times a day for the baby that will be Ruby’s little brother or sister. I pray for his or her parents. I haven’t found them yet, but God knows them. I pray for eyes to see God’s providential hand as He leads.  And I would covet your prayers as well.  The process has shown me even more “How I need Thee Every Hour.”

I am so thankful that I don’t wait as if I’m in a waiting room and the pause button has been pushed.  I have Ruby, sisters, parents, family and friends that keep me laughing; and a God that holds my hand.

Fun with the cousins

Fun with the cousins

photo (5)

Harley is such a good sport


My Multidimensional God

How I miss bear hugging my Dewz.

How I miss bear-hugging my Dewz.

I distinctly remember getting an attitude with God just days after Drew went Home. Shattered and desolate, I got angry and honest. I was rooted firmly enough in my faith to know that “He is my Rock,” “He will never leave you nor forsake you,” “All things work together for good for those who love God,” etc. And although I was standing on this Rock, it was a lonely, pointless, and seemingly hopeless rock. I pretty much shook my finger at God and demanded that He live up to His word; that He follow through with all of those promises because I saw no light, felt no love, felt cold and lifeless, with no desire to breathe the next breath. This type of attitude toward the Holy One may be viewed as blasphemous. Looking back, I think God was pleased that I put Him to that challenge. It gave Him all the more room to shine.

Before the accident, I read the Bible, listened to preaching, memorized specific verses, and applied them to my life. I was reading and interpreting the Bible the only way I knew how, as a two-dimensional map. It was flat, but I understood it well enough to navigate my life according to it. Or I thought I did.
Two verses on my mind this morning:

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Questioning: But what do your promises mean now, God? Did I not delight myself enough in You? Is this your idea of not harming Drew? Is this your prosperous plan—for me to be a widow and single mother at age 26? And what about Drew’s future?

Whiling questioning Him, the Holy Spirit began to reveal people who had the right to ask these same questions. A few examples: innocent children dying daily from starvation or disease or abortion—what about their hope? They didn’t even get to live long enough to plan a future. Or victims of genocide, even God’s chosen people—ridiculed, humiliated, tortured and killed in camps, gas chambers, death marches. Was that the desire of their hearts?

{God’s Word is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. It is alive, meaning it continues to create meaning to those who read it, even 1,000’s of years after being penned.}

While pondering these questions, the God-breathed scripture began to change form. My eyes were opened. The hope was no longer a flat, lifeless hope, e.g. “Drew is in a better place.” (which, btw, offers little to no comfort when you know NOTHING about the better place). God’s words are rich and beautiful beyond comparison; there are layers upon layers of truth and meaning! This flat map I’d read all my life suddenly had dimension. Through the lense of eternity, I could see the contour of the land—the mountains, valleys, deserts. What hope there is in the texture! in God’s multi-dimensional language!

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Realization: We are sojourners, traveling through a foreign land. This is not Home; this life is but a vapor. Just like God Himself, His Words and Promises extend the duration of this life!

What this means: God knows very well (and will grant me) the desires of my heart.  It is probable that some of this may occur on the other side of eternity.  God promises I will prosper and not be harmed, and He means it.  No power of Satan or man can harm a child of God.  He has a glorious future for Drew (who is still alive and serving God in a greater capacity than I can fathom) and for me and Ruby too.  And one day that future will be together.  For all of those who have suffered, and even for those little ones whose dream were never even realized, God knows them and receives great pleasure in giving good gifts to His children.  His Word will not, and cannot, return void. How ridiculous that I put God in a box and expect life to go perfectly as I had planned in this fallen world.

Yes, “God will restore the years the locusts have destroyed” (#LOVETHATVERSE), but it might not be here.

Now I know in part, then I will know fully. (#cantwait)

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Sweet Company

“The practiced eye knows the true worth of a gem and shall not let it escape him…Train your eye to discern that which is of true worth, and let it not escape you.” –Francis J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved

Drew and I purchased a lot of land we were planning to build on. It’s located in a very nice subdivision in town. I am completely indifferent to the property now. I know no matter how much money I put into walls, a floor, and a ceiling, it will never be my dream home. We shall see what God has planned for Lot # 21. I’ve finally earned my Master’s Degree (which Drew cheerleaded me through til the day he left; and which I would not have completed without the tender harassment from my Mother-in-law). Thank you, Meme.

When Ruby starts school, I will apply for a job, and hopefully the recently earned degree will help me get a position in education as something other than a full-time classroom teacher. Not because I think I’m above teaching, but because I’ve lived that for four years. I loved each of my students, and even liked most of them. Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs I can imagine, but, selfishly, I’m not willing to dedicate the time and energy needed in order for me to be an effective teacher. (Side note: For this reason, I commend all of the good teachers in the world and say Thank You! I so wanted to be you who educate with clarity and can discipline with one carefully directed glance. You are to be highly esteemed and, of course, highly paid. I pray that Ruby sits in your class one day and appreciates you. )

If Drew were still here, I would have continued trucking down that path, working toward the next maternity leave or summer, and ultimately, toward retirement. Without Drew’s encouragement, listening ear, and sweet company to come home to, I can’t imagine being back in the classroom. I’ve thought many times about what Drew would say regarding my choice to stay at home with Ruby, because it wasn’t our original plan. In all honesty, I can only picture him saying, “Al, do what you want to do.” I am assured that Drew understands that this life is a vapor; it’s a dress rehearsal for the eternal life for which we were created. I have been given the opportunity to devote all my time to what I value the most—an opportunity that I know many wish they had. And though being an at-home-mom, is not a perfect fit for everyone, it’s what I want and what I need. It is teaching to the extreme–the molding and shaping of an individual, but not limited to academic subjects.

Productivity is questionable. Instead of teaching 40-60 students before lunch, I’ve only taught one. Our curriculum is not intense and the paperwork is minimal. I am not required to submit lesson plans in advance, nor do I set goals and maintain evidence for an annual IPDP. And my star student…I’ve never met a more eager learner. Her imaginative play is sky-rocketing and she loves books more than any student I’ve ever taught.

Her nose in a book, captured in Nana T's driveway.

Her nose in a book, captured in Nana T’s driveway.

Her oral reading WPM (words per minute) is zero, but we read an average of 15 books a day (including repeated readings). Actually, it’s safe to say she loves books more than I do. Her math skills are improving, although she habitually skips numbers 4, 5, and 7. But hold on to your pink folders! I’m trained in RtI; we will continue mediating and assessing on numbers 1 through 10 until she has met her/my goal. She thoroughly enjoys recess and is on pace to set Presidential Physical Fitness records! However, I am most proud to report that she is excelling in Religion. She can identify the smiling, bearded man in books as Jesus; and she reads through her Bible multiple times a day (in less than 60 seconds). The 3-hour planning period (aka nap) is refreshing. I get so much crocheting and writing done in this time. Though not monetary, the pay is better than any other job. On the down side, the health benefits are non-existent and Ruby always conveniently forgets her lunch money.

Through the most difficult circumstances, God has taught me to discern that which is of true, eternal worth, and I will not let it escape me. Our baby will be little only once. And I will relish in every minute of it that I can.

In THAT World

Drew’s parents were very surprised by the unplanned pregnancy, but I’m sure God smiled.   Because before he was born, just in time for Christmas of 1985, God knew the incredibull (yes, I spell it like that purposely) impact Drew would have on His World.

I find it so fortunate that Drew’s Birthday falls in the Christmas Season.  I still love Christmas time, especially the music.  As Drew’s birthday approaches, Christmas carols pour forth from radio stations, they are overheard at the mall and restaurants, sung on TV, and of course, at church.  It’s inescapable– the songs about the baby King, born in a stable on a Silent Night.   Anyone offended by such music would do best to stay at home with cable and internet disconnected.  The lyrics are exactly what I want to hear.  For example, “Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.  Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die.  Born to raise the sons of earth (us), born to give them second birth.” 

Christmas has a whole different meaning to me since Drew is not here to share it with us.  The reality of Christmas is more than it would ever be if Drew were standing next to me.  God reveals truths to His children, and the Bible says it’s literally like scales have fallen from the eyes when this happens.   The line “Mild He lays His glory by,” has echoed in my head this holiday season.  Proof that the Holy Spirit is alive and working:  I’ve heard before that Jesus left His glory in Heaven to come to earth, but in a way that’s difficult to describe, I get it this year (as much as humanly possible).  It was a matter of choice.  In all stages of earthly life (infancy, childhood, tween, teen, adulthood), Jesus was Creator and knew He was Creator.  How does one not, at least, casually boast about that?!  Can you imagine the Creator of the world muted because all he could humanly do, as a baby, was cry or babble?  I still can’t fathom so much of it.  Any heartbreak, physical pain, or intellectual opposition Jesus faced, He could’ve “re-robed” Himself in His glory and healed it, corrected it, conquered it, etc. but He didn’t.  He lived and suffered through it.  How does one show that restraint?  He laid his glory by.

Occasionally, I’m productive while Ruby naps.  Not the case on this particular day.  I happened to be watching the Disney Channel and discovered an illustration in The Little Mermaid that, I hope, will help emphasize this revelation.  King Triton, in order to save his love-struck daughter Aerial, signs every bit of his dominion over the sea to Ursula.  Thus, he goes from Triton2to

 TritonBy choice, he relinquished his splendor and power to save the one he loves.  King Triton was willing to live at the bottom of the ocean as that shriveled blob with all the other lowly sea creatures.  A huge demotion.  In my mind, it was comparable to what Jesus did.  The only difference (other than the fact that Triton is animated and mythological) is that Jesus, at any moment, had the power to restore his former glory.  The crown was right there within his reach!  But Jesus didn’t; He did not even open his mouth.  He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.  He suffered a horrendous death for my sake and for yours, so that we could…sorry, it only seems fitting, Be a Part of His World!  That’s where Drew is now.  In that World!

I found more spiritual symbolism in The Little Mermaid, but will leave it at that for now in fear of turning the Holy Bible into a Disney movie.  But, I will say, Thank you, God, for revealing more and more of your Glorious Fairy Tale!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Ruby’s first birthday was Saturday, August 31st. As I’m sure is normal, I kept finding myself thinking back to a year ago and looking at pictures from her Birth Day. I have pictures from every angle using 3 different cameras. For you, though, I have carefully selected and edited the photos in this post. This post is family friendly =)  I knew, from the beginning that Ruby’s birth would be an amazing moment, and there was no doubt I wanted it thoroughly documented. I tried to explain to Drew that we would want to rewind and watch this miracle happen again and again. He disagreed, and was even grossed out by discussion of him cutting the umbilical cord.

I find it difficult to explain the emotions and experiences of that day. Witnessing a baby’s entrance into the world (regardless of the medical method used) I believe, is what God intended to be one of the most amazing earthly gifts. God had been knitting this creature together inside of my body and has ordained a day for her debut!

I’m still at a loss for words to explain the simultaneous joy and heartache.  To couple what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, with the physical absence of Drew, makes a story through pictures necessary.  I hope you enjoy the photographed memories from Friday, August 31, 2012.

Feeling pregnant and beautiful!

Feeling pregnant and beautiful!

Feeling fine thanks to Mr. Deneke.  Me with half my cheerleading squad.

Feeling fine thanks to Mr. Denecke. Here is half of my cheer-leading squad.

Steph's vein was popping out because she was pushing with me =)

The vein in Steph’s forehead was popping out because she was pushing with me.  Best Big Sis Ever!

My baby sister.  Drew loves her reactions.  It's whole-hearted, whatever the emotion.

My baby sister.  Drew loves her reactions.  She always cries at the right moment.

The whole squad!

The whole squad together!  PUSH!

Her very first portrait.  Isn't she the most beautiful baby?!

Her very first portrait. The most alien and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  And look at the size of that foot!

Weighing in at a dainty 8lb, 13 oz.

Cleaned off and weighing in at a dainty 8lb, 13 oz.

Meeting the Aunties.

Meeting the Aunties.

Thanks Dr. Jackson, for handling with care!

Thanks Dr. Jackson, for handling with care!

Our Sweetness, Ruby Lynn MacLean.

Our Sweetness, Ruby Lynn MacLean, with her first-ever Birthday cake!

Look at how she's grown!

One year later!

Holey, Holey, Holey

“Sometimes the pie will crack on top. Not to worry, just cover it with cream or even ice cream!” –the advice given at the bottom of the Amazing chocolate pie recipe that hangs on the side of my refrigerator

There is so much we try to cover up in this life due to fear of being different or ridiculed.  It is such a relief to go before the throne of our creator and bare all unsightly cracks, holes, and scars—to tell Him what He already knows: I’m broken, my heart has a giant hole, so please, can you wrap this thing up?  And then I beseech Jesus about 10 times throughout my prayer to come back already. I don’t think “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” applies to the trinity, but just in case it does, I volunteer to be the squeaky wheel!

I often hear that God will heal any heartache. He will fill any void you may have in your life. I don’t believe that anymore. Does God have the power to heal and fill chasms in our souls? Of course He does, and sometimes He will. But sometimes He gets more glory through the cracks and holes. My Dear Aunt Michelle (affectionately known as Aunt Chelie) sent me a small package in the mail that arrived on mine and Drew’s wedding anniversary. I’m so glad that I asked Anna to stop at the mailbox when we were pulling out of the driveway, headed to Mobile for the birthing of Steph’s babies (born on our anniversary=)). Aunt Chelie had no idea that our anniversary was coming up when she mailed this letter and doily. Yes, a doily. For those of you unschooled in needle-art, this is a doily:


As you can see, it’s filled with holes. The doily was accompanied by a letter that told the testimony of a woman whose son went to heaven at the age of 26. I love the words my Aunt wrote, and can’t do them justice with an interpretation, so I will just rewrite it as she typed it.

“Several years following her (Marvel) son’s death, as she was still waiting for the hole in her heart to be filled, the Lord revealed to her that sometimes there are holes in our lives that remain for a purpose.

Holes can bring great beauty to our lives. Not only do they serve to allow the healing and freeing attributes and characteristics of Christ to splash out onto those we come in contact with, but they also provide a way for Light to shine through. Matthew 5:14 says, ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.’ Holes can illuminate His light and cast out darkness.

Holes do not signify incompleteness. Rather, they are great deliverers of the goodness that God longs to pour out on others through your story.”

My prayer is that I never try to hide the cracks (or holes) of my life with whipped cream, ice cream, or any other earthly filler, but allow God to use them to have an eternal impact.  I will view these holes as God’s creative handiwork, until the day that He makes me whole!

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

My Sweet Dewz.  Thank you, Uncle Scott for capturing this moment of what I assume is Drew playing with Sonny.

My Sweet Dewz. Thank you, Uncle Scott for capturing this moment of what I assume is Drew playing with Sonny.