Friday, December 11, 2015

#5 the gifts you have given

There's far more to this life than trusting Christ.  
There's also suffering for him. 
And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.  Phil 1: 29


For 5 years now I always come back to you, why you leaving as had such a great impact on me, more than Dad and Darren, whose deaths were life changing and so very hard,  but yours was different.  Maybe it is partially because of it's suddenness, or that fact that your death happened in my adulthood and not childhood.   But really so much of it is because that one single moment, of you leaving this earth, drastically changed the course of my life, like a sudden giant U-Turn I wasn't expecting to take.

I mean you leaving even changed that car that I drive, my awesome mini van, I know that sounds strange sis, but you don't need a mini van with the small family envisioned in my head 5 years ago.

Which brings me to these wonderful gifts your death has somehow given me.  I am forever grateful to you Carrisa because these are some of the greatest gifts.

My 2 youngest, Sarah and Levi.  I really have no idea if you had not died would they have ever been a part of my life.  God may have squeezed them in either way.  But I do know that in my head , before you died, all I ever wanted was 2 children.   Bringing Norah into our home changed all of that, the dynamic I once picture was blown to pieces and a new one started.  Now I have this great gift of 4 children.  Which is my best and favorite gift.   I get to be home with them.  I get to enjoy the sweet embrace of Levi's sweet giant hugs and kisses.  I get to make squishy faces with Sarah and laugh at her silly phrases.  I get to have lunch with Maya and school and hear her heart.

The gift of being home.   For me this is a gift, my sweet treasures, I get to help mold their little hearts, spend time with them and have a better understanding of God's fatherly heart.

The gift of my home.  Right, you gave us this home?  Well ya, we wouldn't have needed a bigger home had Levi not popped into the picture, or had we not had Norah or Sarah.  So yes, our home, what a great gift it is!  It is one of my favorite places to be, it is where the walls are filled with love, and memories (and some whining too)  It would be super awesome if you helped out on the mortgage though....... Would you be able to work on that one from up there?

The friendships you have given, that I would have never known unless on this journey of life and healing from your loss.

The journey with my husband, I see him differently after you left.  I saw his heart, the one so widely open to love the fatherless.  

Norah.  Who has been our greatest, hardest, most humbling gift.  In every way Norah has made me a better mom, friend, sister and wife.  She has stretched and pulled me in all directions.  The gift she has given is not one that might be perceived as lovely, but one that is life long, one that builds my character and teaches me what love means.  She has taught me what it really means to lean on Christ, to press in and see beauty at the top of the giant mountain.

So many of my days are daunting with all that is in front of me, especially with Norah's disease.  Her blood sugar has been in a weird funk the past few weeks, she is growing, which throws everything off and I am at a loss on her insulin needs and every night have been praying for God to give me His wisdom on what to do.  This is a hard gift, one that I still don't like to call a gift really, or see it that way all the time..... But I press into the Lord so much more...... suffering is as much as a gift as trusting.  What a hard, and difficult, but beautiful gift.

Carrisa, I don't always see it this way.  There are days that seeds of bitterness try to creep in, or self pity, or why me, I can't do this.  But on this day, Decemeber 11th, when I remember you for some reason my perspective always changes, it is renewed.  Thank you for giving me that.

You must know life to see decay.  You must know love to feel pain.  Why would a Good God allow pain and suffering, maybe because we wouldn't truly know what goodness is without them.

There will come a time, I'll see, with no more tears
and love will not break my heart, but dismiss my fears
get over my hill and see
with grace in my heart and flowers in my hair

You are there sis, I look forward to that day when I see all the beauty on top of the hill.

3O2A0844 3O2A0839


  1. This is beautiful, Jenni. Thinking about you this month. (Also we got your Christmas card - you have such a gorgeous family! Your card from us is on it's way!)

  2. Your love overflows, beyond measure Jenni. Your strength, your willingness to be stretched in ways that most people would crumble are so beautiful. Carrisa was blessed with little Nora for a short while. You are now the Blessing, not only to Nora but your family and friends, by everyone who knows you. God bless you and all you do. Merry Christmas beautiful girl!

  3. I love reading your letters to your sister. Even though I have been reading your blog since I "met" you, they have held so much more significance since I lost my sister last September.
    Praying for continued healing and comfort for you and your family.


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