Arc of Love on Heaven Day

It’s been raining and the sun has been peeking through the clouds today, a perfect recipe for a rainbow on Anna and Abby’s 4th Heaven Day. We headed out on a walk mid-morning in hopes to see their artistic work fill the sky. I prayed for God to release His glory as a sign for my broken heart.

I prayed and prayed.

Then He answered.

Our rainbow today isn’t the traditional arc of colors that fill the sky, but rather the arc of love that has been cast on us from all of you, our community both near and far.

For the past 4 years you have showed up, unconditionally, and honored our girls by choosing to love. You have walked through the shadows with us, held us and cared for our girls by speaking their names, sharing their love and celebrating their joy.

Thank you for remembering, for honoring Anna and Abby and for filling our hearts with warmth and love.

Thank you for being our rainbow.

rainbow tree on heaven day

PS. This happened this afternoon in Forest Grove ❤

rainbow real on hd

Photo Credit: Samantha McKelvey ❤ 

Thank you girls ❤ I miss you so much!

Happiness Journal

I’ve finding the simple things in life are what I’m holding on to these days.

first master piece.png

This piece of beautiful art made by my youngest makes my heart very happy today and will be cherished forever.

Happy Easter

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.”  ~ Romans 15:13

Today I’m really emotional and extremely grateful.

He is Risen and through Him we have eternal life! I am so grateful for the love He shows me minute by minute and the hope He gives me in this broken life. I am extremely grateful for Heaven too!

Have a beautiful and blessed Easter! Happy Easter

 

Fall Rainbow

This time last year all the leaves had already fallen.

Anna and Abby's Tree Fall

Everyday I walk outside to this beautiful rainbow of color that Anna and Abby’s Tree, and neighboring trees, provide.

It’s just another way of God letting me know that all is good in Heaven.

As the leaves have slowly fallen this year a team of people, organized by my dear friend, have made sure that there are no leaves under the tree. We are so grateful for this gesture of love and feel very blessed by everyone who has helped our hearts in this way.

Thank you and we love you all so much!!!

Rainbows in Africa

She came home from school that day so excited to share with me about her friend’s celebration. It was about 2 years ago and her little friend was turning 3 (I think) and her mom came to share her story with Anna’s class. Anna told me about how her little friend was from Africa and that her mom and dad adopted her.

She had all sorts of questions about adoption and why mommy’s and daddy’s wouldn’t be able to take care of their own children and why kids would end up in an orphanage in Africa. I remember the tone in her voice when she was asking these questions, she had concern that there were children out there that didn’t have a mommy and daddy to love them.

Ever since that day she would talk about how she too would love to go to Africa and visit children in an orphanage to honor her friend. We had sponsored two children, that shared her birthday, through World Vision, since she was one and we had always talked about visiting them someday. As time passed she began to talk about how she would like to have one child of her own when she was married and one that she adopted. I loved her nurturing heart, always taking care of the littlest and day dreaming about being a mama herself someday.

anna augie

About a month ago Tom and I were starting to talk about getting away from Forest Grove this Fall. We need to spend some time together outside of our regular day to day. I think we both realize that we definitely need time to reconnect on a different level and to work on our marriage. I think we both realize the Fall will be very hard.

I suggested Fiji and started doing some research and was sold on the idea of an island in the middle of nowhere and white sandy beaches.

Tom wasn’t sure about Fiji and posed the question which got us both thinking, “what will be different for us in Fiji?”

What would be different in Fiji?

Nothing.

We would be on an amazing vacation without our family and that would hurt.

We would come back to our life with a vacation under our belt and go right back into our current methods of interacting with one another.

The question was a good one and I’m glad he asked it.

We then began to pray for God’s guidance and his answer came rather quickly: we needed an event to share that wasn’t the current event of our lives. We needed to do God’s work, side by side and out of comfort zone.

We then talked with a dear friend of ours who is also one of the pastors at our church. We told him that we didn’t care where we went we just wanted to do God’s work. He then made some phone calls and within 12 hours Scott called us to set up a meeting. Scott works for Forward Edge Ministries and he had a group of people going to Kenya in September and would love to talk with us about joining this team.

A couple of days later, we met up with Scott for lunch and sat and shared our journey with him. It was very obvious to me that God was working and that this journey to Kenya was in his plan for us. As Scott told us about the trip and what the team would be doing I couldn’t help but smile, it is a perfect fit that which includes running a program for kids with disabilities in a small rural village. Scott had no idea I was an Adapted PE teacher. Like I said, God’s work.

Last night, Tom and I met up with Scott and some of the members of the Kenya team. As we sat around the table sharing what we were excited about and what was challenging us about our trip, my heart was full. It is amazing when you know that you are exactly where God wants you.  I’m excited to get to know each member of the team better and to experience Kenya with them. I look forward to seeing how God uses each and every one of us for his glory.

This morning I woke up thinking about how Anna was the day she shared her friend’s story, so caring and compassionate towards her classmate. I also recalled all of the prayers that we have said for our sponsored children in Rwanda and how excited Anna was to visit them someday.

I have no doubt that both of our girls will be with us on this journey.  Anna and Abigail will be making rainbows in Africa and their mom and dad/Tom will be spreading Love and Joy.

rainbow-clouds

Love Rocks in Kenya!

I Will Call Her Sally

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about Stanley, who I’ve renamed Sally, and her little ones. Turns out she had 6 babies, all very healthy and lively. They were born in April and proved to be very entertaining for those of us that spend a lot of time looking at Anna and Abigail’s tree. They were very active; jumping from limb to limb, chasing and taunting each other, like typical siblings, swinging on branches and climbing high up into the canopy that provides shade for our garden. I loved watching their antics.

After finding less and less Cirque du Squirreil shows happening out front I decided to do some squirrel behavior research and found out that Sally has most likely relocated her family. I still see her from time to time but I don’t see the little ones very often. I miss them and their antics.

This weekend Tom and I decided it was time to change up the girls’ tree. I had a plan that was formulating in my head and I have to say that it turned out better than I had imagined. Tom and I had a lot of fun putting it all together and loved that neighbors and friends joined in the fun, stopped by to chat or just simply raised a hand to say hello while they drove by.

This tree, Anna and Abigail’s tree, will forever change with the seasons both naturally and by two parents who find peace in the exact spot their daughters went to Heaven.

Through my squirrel research I found that their could be babies this September if Sally finds love again (actually it has nothing to do with love). I can’t help but think these little babies born in our special tree are destined to do great things.

summer 2014 treeLinus rainbow tree

I found Linus hanging out in Anna's room today...love the rainbow right outside her window.

I found Linus hanging out in Anna’s room today…love the rainbow right outside her window.