Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had a very interesting experience earlier this week that I wanted to share. Now I know my blog is not very popular compared to many out there. I did get more hits back when I was more of a consistent blogger, but quite frankly...I'm not. I mean I probably have about 20-30 people that regularly visit my blog, or at least that is my best guess by my Feedjit application. I don't know who most of you are, but I see that you keep coming back. Probably faithfully checking to see if I've posted anything. Unfortunately, I've probably disappointed you more often than not with no new posts. Anyway, I say all that to say thank-you for being interested in my story, in Joy's story, in the story that God is writing through our lives.

You are probably wondering why I am even talking about this, which brings me back to that something interesting that happened. So I was at a local store looking for some fall/winter clothes for Phoebe and was waiting in line at the checkout. It was then my turn and as I approached the counter the lady asked me how much longer I had (obviously she saw my pregnant belly), I told her 6 weeks, she asked me if I knew what I was having and I told her "a boy." I was paying her the money for the clothes and she asked me if my last name was J_ _ _ _ ? I said yes, and she proceeded to tell me that she had been following my blog. I asked her how she heard of it and she said she saw the obituary in the paper. She apparently felt a connection to read based on something that happened within her family and had mentioned how she admired me for the decision I made and wished me well. Some of it was a bit of a blur just because I was so not expecting that. I was going over in my mind how she connected me to my blog, I mean I paid her in debit card, my name wasn't on anything. I just figure it must have been from pictures on my blog and perhaps the pregnant belly that she made the connection?

The thing that I took away from that encounter and what really touched me was that there are people out there that know who my daughter, Joy, is and know her story and have been impacted. I already know this to be true and I know a lot of you personally who read and have been impacted. But when this lady whom I had never met before said all this to me I saw things in a new perspective. I mean I know there are those of you out there that read and we don't know each other and some of you have commented or sent me emails. I appreciate those so much by the way. Having that real life connection where someone I don't know had been impacted by Joy's story brought it back home to me at a whole different level. It was kind of like God was reminding me that Joy's life mattered and still matters today. Truthfully, after finding out her diagnosis and learning that she would likely never live outside my womb,that was all I really wanted. For people to know her name, to be touched by her short life and ultimately be lead to the cross.

That brief encounter this week was a gift I was not anticipating and I wanted to say thank you to that lady, I'm sorry I forgot to ask your name, but you speaking up and saying something really meant a lot to me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures of Joy's Birthday Celebration

Lewis and I purchased these garden stakes that we let the kids put in Joy's garden at home.

We went to the grave site where Lewis and Elijah plant some perennials.

The finished product above. You can't see it, but we also planted a black-eyed susan bush behind the grave stone which no doubt will be able to be seen over the stone next spring/summer.
And for no other reason than to prove I was there, here is seriously poor photo of the kids and I.
Lewis and the kids.

There go the balloons! We wrote notes for Joy on them. There were 6 balloons, but someone let go of one earlier. We won't say who. ;)

That's a little convertible Beamer in the front of the garden that Elijah left for Joy.
Before we head home for birthday cake we all went out for dinner.
Okay, I admit I'm no birthday cake rock star like my mother. She can seriously decorate a cake. Honestly, I don't really try because normally she does this sort of thing, but she is on a European vacation currently so it was all me. Although I did have a little help from Betty...Croker, that is. It may not look spectacular, but it was yummy. What if I told you just as the kids blew out the candle Phoebe sneezed all over it. Yep, no joke!
Elijah told me as he was going to bed that he was sad baby Joy's birthday was over. I have to admit...I am, too.

Happy 1st Birthday Joy

How do I begin to put into words the flood of emotions I am having today and the days leading up to this day? I'm not sure I can do it. My heart has this whole year, but this day brings me right back to Sept. 15, 2008. You can read about that day here.

I think I've moved beyond the disbelief that I had for at least the first six months after Joy's birth/ death, although I'm feeling that today. Maybe it's just the disbelief that it's already been a year? What a crazy year.

Something that has truly helped me through this last year has been many of you. My family, dear friends, some of which I've never met face to face, some of which I haven't seen in years and those of you who have connected with me through a similar experience. Your love, support, prayers, and extension of God's love to me have helped ease some of the pain and grief. Despite all the pain, my life really does feel so much richer because of Joy, which is really difficult for me to put into words. It's just a depth that I feel in my bones. I still don't have all the answers to my "whys" and may never know this side of heaven, but I take comfort in the One who knows all, who gives me enough grace to face each new day, who provides me with the peace and comfort I need and loves me despite all my worldly imperfections...because trust me, there are many.

I'm hoping to post some pictures either later today or some time this week of some of the things we did today as a family to celebrate Joy's life and her 1st birthday. But in the mean time, let me leave you with this scripture from Isaiah that brings me comfort when I am going through things I just don't understand and I start to question God.

Isaiah 55:8-12 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. So is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be lead forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy's Garden

I firgured it was way overdue to post some updated pictures of the garden we planted in memory of our sweet girl last September. The last pics I posted were when we first put it in. You can see those here. Big difference eh?