sharing from my heart to yours
This has been a summer filled with pain.
Starting with the loss of my own son in May, I have attended five funerals for different relatives in the church we attend.
My sweet 5 year old boy.
A life seemed to be cut short as it was just beginning.
A 46 year old cousin.
A life of pain amidst tough times.
An 89 year old great uncle.
A full life ready to say goodbye.
A 95 year old great uncle.
So many years and so many loved ones left behind.
A tiny little boy.
Born asleep to our friends/cousin.
Returning home from the church today, after seeing our friends lay their sweet baby boy to rest, who didn't get to take even one breath,
life just didn't seem fair.
How much more can we take?
We are a hurting people, a group where none have been left untouched.
And there are so many others that we are connected to who have also lost loved ones in the last couple of months.
The future seems bleak as we struggle along through this life.
We wonder, what's next?
Will these heartaches keep coming?!
And reality hits as we realize...yes... they will.
This is a hurting world.
God tells us there WILL be pain and sorrow.
But THERE IS HOPE!!
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
We can be encouraged, strengthened, lifted up!
We know that there IS an end to all of this pain and heartache!
Because of Christ, one day all those we have longed
for will be with us once again!
He has prepared a Heavenly Home for us.
In this place there will be no more pain... or death...or tears.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
It reminds me of this song:
1. God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.
2 God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
3 God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
Let us remember, than even though hard times are inevitable,
God HAS promised us so much!
I think of all of the heartache outside of our own little world.
The Christians being brutally persecuted for their faith.
The families torn apart by bitterness or abuse.
The tragedies from natural disasters around the world.
We only have ONE hope.
ONE way to persevere through this life.
HE is the way
He makes beauty from the ashes.
He gives strength for the day.
He gives us a FOREVER resting place.
As a side note, please continue to pray for us as our hearts ache.
On Tuesday school will start, without our little boy.
The bus will drive by, but won't stop at our house.
Life is moving ahead, even with him gone.
It's not easy, but we have hope.
It's been 15 weeks since we said goodbye.
Most days I still feel numb and in shock.
Then come the days where the hurt breaks through in full force.
Today was one of those days.
We miss him.
He was so full of life!
I used to say that I didn't know what I would do without him.
Now I know.
Or maybe I don't... it's too hard to look ahead.
It's just one day at a time, taking in the blessings we're still being filled with.
About a week before Skyler died, I was reading a fictional book. It was about a woman who lost her blond haired, blue eyed, 5 year old boy in an accident.
The book was about how she faced life and dealt with the grief.
I have to read at night before I can fall asleep.
That is what I read every night the week before he died. I went to sleep imagining how I would deal with it. What it would be like to lose my Skyler.
The morning he died, I decided I couldn't take it anymore. It wasn't a great book anyways, and certainly not something I wanted to fall asleep to every night! I brought it back to the library when I brought the kids there that afternoon. We came home and then it was chore time.
Skyler never came back.
I found out what it was like to lose your
blond haired, blue eyed, 5 year old boy.
So now I wonder...
was God preparing my heart for the loss of my own son?
My husband and parents also had experiences or feelings of coming sadness.
Of course God knew this would happen.
Skyler was only meant to be here 5 years. It was time for him to go.
He blessed us with his life in ways nobody can understand.
I could talk about the person he was, the things he did, the faith he had for hours. But I don' t think that's the point. There's something bigger than our sweet Skyler going on here. He has received his reward. He is happier than he ever has been, his smile bigger than we ever saw it.
Now it's about us. How we live, what we learn, where we go from here.
Will others see the Truth, through Skyler's death?
Will Christ be glorified and proclaimed by all of those who mourn?
So really...now it's about Christ.
We have been able to see His blessings.
I have never felt as close to our Savior as I have during this time.
It has been 15 weeks since Skyler died, and I have had TWO days since then that I haven't seen anyone outside of our own family (as in the 4, or now 5, of us)!!
Before, I was always more of a home body type. If we had plans for more than 2-3 days in a week, I'd start to get stressed out.
The last 3 months have been completely and fully filled with things EVERY day. And I've been ok with it. Some days it would be after supper and I'd think, maybe today will be the first day we don't see anyone all day...and someone would pull in the driveway at 8:00 at night! Family from the west coast has been here for a total of 8 of weeks, at different times. What a blessing!
God truly knows what we need, even when we don't know ourselves!
All those fears that I had about losing a child... they were real! And they haven't gone away still. But I have learned a little about faith in God's promise.
HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US.
He has been here, holding us up in his gracious hands, blessing us in SO many amazing ways. Do the blessings outweigh the loss? I don't know if I'll ever be able to say that in this life, but someday, we'll know the reasons.
And our biggest comfort?
He hasn't left our Skyler either!!
May the day come soon that we can ALL join Him in that Perfect Place!
Keep praying for us as we face these tough days, and thank you for blessing us in the ways that you have!
This is a new kind of post.
A kind I wish I wasn't writing.
I haven't updated this blog since November 16, 2013.
If only I could go back to that date and relive the following 5 months again.
Back then, I was busy with craft shows, Etsy orders, preparing for the holiday season, and just the craziness of life.
If I had known how life would change in 2014, I would have done things differently. But I'm glad I didn't know. I probably couldn't have made it through.
You see, this little boy, our Skyler Thomas, the one who made me 'Mommy', went to be with Jesus.
And then, just exactly 6 weeks later, this little girl, Janae Hope, a sweet and precious blessing, was born.
And this is my mixed-up life.
The heartbreaking loss.
The peace of Jesus.
The ups and downs and pregnancy.
The joy of new birth.
A good day here, and bad day there.
A constant missing piece, a comforting new addition.
Part of you is gone, but a new part is here.
We are trudging through this mixed-up life. One step at a time, moment by moment. We are missing all those little things, while we enjoy new little things. Some days it feels like we won't survive as we face the days ahead without our little boy.
But we have been amazed as we have been so blessed during this time. Jesus has so carefully wrapped us in His loving arms. He has sent His people to love on us in the midst of it all. He knows just what we need, when to send it, who to send. We have felt the prayers of thousands around the world, the support has been overwhelming. Though we feel the pain, and see small glimpses of the reality of the pain of this life, we know that we WILL make it.
Life never goes as planned, and we will all face pain on this earth. I thought my life was pretty good. I thought that most my plans and dreams were pretty much happening, and in a lot of ways, life couldn't be better. May 1st, 2014 came. This is the day that changed my life. It is the worst day of my life. The day my life got mixed-up.
But I can still be thankful.
I have a good God. He has proved His love. He has drawn my family close and showed us His power and grace. There IS hope! This life isn't forever, and some day, we will join Skyler in the presence of Jesus for Eternity!!
Now I'm not going to make any promises about keeping up on this blog.
If you've been here from the beginning, you know how that can be.
But just maybe, this will be a new kind of place.
Not just for sharing projects, DIYs, and business updates,
but also for sharing the heart.
It might become a place for me to share memories of my sweet boy that I miss each and every day. Of stories of the blessings that are still here with me.
A way to encourage others going through similar things.
A way for others to encourage me on my tough days!
It could be a place where you read about heartbreak and healing.
About an experience that only Jesus can bring you through.
Maybe it will make you cry, maybe it will make you laugh.
OR maybe it will be a quiet place,
like it typically has been for that last several years :)
Again, I can't make any promises.
I am only taking one day at a time, and praying for the Lord to lead in my life.
May God bless you always!
Thank you for your love
Well I have a few things for you today.
The first is a technical update on the website.
As most of you know, when I first started this site, it was a way to market and sell some of my handmade creations to all of you. As my life changed (I mostly blame my babies...SO worth it!) and my style continues to shift, I made the decision to shut down the shop part of my site.
I kept the site going, planning to use my blog to continue to update my friends and readers about my life (especially since we moved cross country). I also have used my blog to document and share my craft projects, with a possibility of accepting custom orders from any of you. I have now changed my site so that this page (my blog) is my home page. This changed my site address, which means if you follow me via and feed readers or RSS, you will need to update the address to receive future blog posts.
Also, I am going to make a confession!
I struggle with this blog!
Oh. Yeah. You already knew that! It's only a LITTLE bit obvious,
with my lack of consistency in posting :)
I guess the thing is, I truly enjoy blogging and I would love to be able to regularly post and update. But as many times as I have made resolutions to do better and post more often, I have come to realize that at this point in my life, it's just not reality. Keeping up with my 3 preschool/toddler age kids, my husband, my home, and the other basic commitments and activities we are involved in, my blog is NOT a priority. And I've come to accept that. Now I just hope my readers do to! :)
I have decided that I WILL keep my blog, but won't try to force myself to be a committed blogger. I will post when I feel like it. When I have something to share; be it a project, kid update, topic, question, or WHATEVER! Some weeks I might post 3 times, and some MONTHS I may not post at all. It's all about flexibility. Forced blogging isn't fun anyways. Sometimes when I read other blogs, I'm inspired. Then I wish that I could do better here at Whispers of Joy. Then I get discouraged again. So there's my struggle.
And now that I shared with you the way this blog will work from now on, you know too. Come back when you can! Hopefully there will be new things on occasion.
On to the fun announcement...
I'll be doing another booth at a local bazaar this year!
Remember this and this?
The craft events that I participated in throughout past years were so much fun to me. This year seemed like a good one to jump back into the craziness. We've lived in Minnesota for about a year and a half now, so we feel pretty settled into our home (that's a whole other store for another time) and life here. Also, here's my 'baby':
Yeah...not really. :(
So anyways, since I don't have any clinging attachments right now, I thought it would be a good time to do it. For the last couple of months I have been collecting, crafting, re-purposing, painting, sewing, gluing, sanding, designing, and creating. What fun! I have expanded a bit, and don't do as much for baby supplies as I used to. I have discovered that variety is more interesting, so I have expanded into different products, styles, and designs. I enjoy creating a lot more when I can try new things and have a more unique products, in comparison to having many of one thing. That's another reason why I quit selling the way I was on this site. I STILL have a bunch of pacifier clips from when I 'mass produced' them a few years ago! I still use them for Vayah, give them as gifts, and so on, but got burned out on making so many! Lesson learned!
Here's a sneak peek of a few of the many things I've been working on lately...
As you can see... a little mix of this and that. There's so much more, but this is just a little hint of some of my new things.
I may be putting a few things up on here in the next couple of months for sale before the craft show. Or maybe not. You know me! ;)
Either way, whatever doesn't sell at the bazaar WILL be available for sale online soon after. If you see something you like that you'd like to pre-order, let me know! I'm always up for custom orders for my readers.
as many of you have probably been waiting for...
there WILL be a giveaway!!
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it before my bazaar (Nov 2nd), or after, when I share ANOTHER big secret, but will keep you updated and let you know.
Throw some ideas at me... what kind of prize would you like?
Help me choose! I want to give something that YOU want to win!
I'd love to hear your feedback.
Thanks for being patient with me as a blogger. Your support is so much appreciated. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Are you one of those people who need to write things down? Do you have reminders all over your house? Or do you like having a message board or menu board?
This is probably one of the easiest and fastest projects you can do. Seriously.
I’m not sure if it was inspired off of Pinterest, or where I first saw it, but I know I’m not the first one to use this idea!
Simply take a picture frame (even a dollar store one like I used!)of any size and cut a cute piece of paper to put inside. Get some dry-erase markers and scribble away on the glass! You could get really fancy with the papers or embellishments you put inside to make it cute or to match your other décor. I just used a fairly neutral paper that had a similar background color as my kitchen. It’s a fun and kid-ish print because I’m also letting Skyler use it!
I am trying to do ‘school’ with Skyler every once in awhile (hopefully more regularly this fall), and am looking for fun things for toddlers to do. He loves using this board to ‘draw’ on, and hopefully will learn to write his letters, numbers, shapes, etc on it as well. I’m tempted to make more for other areas of the house, since I have quite a few dollar store frames sitting empty in storage. I also was at a thrift store not long ago where they had huge frames for posters and such that would be neat to make a calendar in.
I’ve used it for scripture memory verses, Skyler’s art, and even love notes to my hubby! It could be used for so much more. I’ve also learned that dry erase markers will work on so many things-windows, refrigerators, mirrors, and so on. Get creative and make messages all over your home for yourself and your loved ones! Easy Peasy!
Meet Vayah Faith...
born June 13th, 2012
8lbs 4 oz / 20 inches
We're so excited to have a little girl join our family!
I don't think I realized how much I was hoping for a girl until I had her in my arms. :D Skyler was quite positive we were having a girl since the day I told him a baby was coming, so I thought maybe he knew somehow. When we called and told him he had a sister he calmly said,
"I thought so." :)
For anyone interested, here's a very brief overview of the birth story:
(if you're not, scroll down to the pictures...I don't want to bore you!)
My due date was June 9th. That day came and went and I enjoyed mild contractions off and on for about a week during that time. Tuesday, the 12th, came and I knew something was starting. Contractions slowly built (very slowly!) all day. My family (from OR) arrived that day, so we were set to head to the hospital at any given time. The boys stayed in their motorhome with them that night, as we fully expected to be gone by morning. Fro and I walked and tried to keep things going until contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I didn't feel like they were very hard though, so we went for a walk hoping to feel ready to head to the hospital when we got home. They stopped. ARGH! I had mild ones every half hour for the rest of the night/morning...afternoon...argh! Finally around 5pm the next night (while Fro was at the farm doing chores) things started to pick up again, and fairly quickly! They were by far harder than the night before and got closer together as the evening passed. We headed to the hospital a bit after 9pm, checked in (such a process!), I got in the tub when I could as we planned for a water birth. I loved the water and felt like I could relax much better. Vayah Faith made her entrance at 11:30 sharp, just in time to still be born on her grandma and great grandma's shared birthday!
Praise God for another healthy blessing!!
After some complications with cramping, clotting, low levels in iron and hemoglobin, dizziness, and so on, we arrived at home on the 15th with a darling little girl to join our family. It was a bumpy start on my end of things, but Vayah was perfect! Skyler was completely in love, protective, and adoring to his little sister. Rystin wasn't sure what to do but stare at her and pet her head, but he is getting more used to her and loving her more all the time. There have definitely been lots of changes and adjustments for them, but handling three littles at home hasn't been bad at all.
Vayah has probably been the most 'needy' baby I have had so far. She likes to be held if she is awake, especially during certain times of the day, and is much LOUDER than the boys were!! :) But I can't complain at all because at 5 weeks she has been waking up only once a night for awhile now! I feel very blessed to still be getting a decent amount of rest.
She is growing so fast and starting to smile much more and even coo a bit.
Newborns are so fun! I could just hold her and cuddle with her all day (not that my boys would ever allow such a thing!) :)
Here's a few pictures of all of us with the new little girl...
These last two pictures are outfits that I made before Vayah was born. The blue one I made when pregnant with Rystin (finally getting used!), and the other I made this last spring. All these girl flowers and ruffles are just so fun! Hopefully more to come!
Thanks for coming to check out our new little bundle!
NOTE: This is an 'outdated update'! I created this post about 2 months ago. While I was doing it, the site froze and I *thought* I lost everything and gave up. I decided today that I should maybe update on some of the bigger changes (baby details to come!!), and found that improvements must have been made on the site and the post I had been created popped right back up! So, though the info is old, the move and photos are still relevant, and now and can update more current things in the next post instead of backtracking to March! Maybe now I'll be more motivated to keep up on this blog?! Sweet!! :)
We made it!
Actually it's going on 2 months already since we got here...crazy!
The moving process went well, overall. I will say that moving is NEVER easy, but this move had been slightly complicated, for several reasons. I'll share the story with you, if you're interested.
Here's a few pictures of the actual 'move'.
Some great friends of ours who helped us drive across the country!
Thanks so much Jay and Christina!
The drive to MN went quite smoothly. We stopped in TriCities to visit Fro's brother and his family one last time, and stopped again the next 'night'/morning (from about 3am to 10am). The kids (and ladies!) were having a hard time sleeping and we needed some rest!
Arrived in MN and began looking for a place to live. No, we still didn't know where we were going to end up at this point!! Trust me, it gave me plenty of rough nights and stressful days off and on throughout the whole process!
We drove around all the country roads looking for something that would be rentable and livable. No luck. So we contacted a realtor who had a home for rent in a small town (not the area we really were hoping to be...and we weren't really wanting to live 'in' town either) and checked the place out. It was about our only option, quite a bit smaller than our last place, but a decent house. A couple downfalls, there was someone living in it who wouldn't be out for a few weeks...it was next to railroad tracks (!), and the location (basically in town/farther away from work). We signed the lease (we're here for at least 6 months) and moved from Fro's parents' house, into a VERY generous couple's home that was empty for the time we needed a place to stay. Thanks so much, Wilho and Diana!!
It worked out great to stay there, although the days got quite long. When a place isn't your own home, and the majority of your things are packed away, you find that there really isn't a lot to do to fill the days! While we lived there, Skyler (my baby boy?!!) turned 3!
He had SUCH a blast this year! He looked forward to it for so long, sang 'Happy Birthday to me' all day before his party, and talked about nothing else for many days! It's so fun when they appreciate all the little things. I did my best to make a few decorations and a simple cake with the supplies I had at the time.
My big boys on Easter Sunday. Both weren't feeling the greatest and were fighting colds that came nearly right when we got to MN. And I'm SILL wiping noses! Guess it must take awhile to adjust to a different area...?!
So a few weeks after moving into that place, we packed up our stuff (again...the little bit that we had unpacked), and started moving into our own place. Here's a quick pic of the outside of it.
We are basically all settled in now. It feels SO good to have our 'own' place!! I haven't done any decorating or unpacking much that isn't a necessity, but all the main things like the kitchen, bedrooms, and furniture are in. I'm getting anxious to start some projects...be it decorating, sewing baby things (5 more weeks!), or doing things outside...so hopefully I make more progress soon. Another big challenge during this move has been being nearly 8 months pregnant! Can't be hauling much for boxes, so when you realize half your things are in the garage and you can't do much about it, you're a little stuck! Fro started his new job soon after we got here, and hasn't been home a lot during the daylight hours, so progress has been slow. I feel like it might take the rest of the 5 weeks until baby comes before I'll feel like I can say, yes, I got ALL moved in! It's nice not to feel rushed to have to do everything at once, though.
Here's a few more pictures of life around here...
Here is a hint (a small one) of what our home looks like these days:
(oh..and take note of the SUNSHINE outside!!)
I probably don't need to remind you that we're moving.
I probably don't need to tell you that blogging, despite my good intentions,
has been pushed far down on my priorities list!
In fact, right now it's 11:48pm.
I should be in bed, but I'm breathing in this quiet house and the slightly organized chaos that I tried to tidy up before I sat down to relax.
Thank you, Lord, for Sundays!
Also, keep praying for us.
We are moving in just over a week and still don't have a place lined up to live.
Thankfully, my husband's family lives in that area, so we can crash there in the meantime. SO not ideal. SO not a motivating factor when packing and planning! Thankfully, I love them like crazy, so it won't be painful in that way at all! Pray for me, that my mind stays sane in this move, for my baby while my body is living a crazy irregular lifestyle, for my family that they adjust well, and that we find a new home soon!
In other news:
Rystin has pretty much graduated to walking!
He's pretty proud of himself!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a wonderful week!
to become different; to become altered or modified; to pass gradually into
Pretty much defines my life lately.
I know it's been awhile again since I've blogged, and I apologize to any of my 'adoring fans' (haha) for that! Since the last time I posted, SO many things have happened! Here's a short, condensed list of some of the main things.
-We found out I'm expecting another baby (!)
-We went on at least 3 weekend trips to visit family and friends
-We took a long Christmas vacation to the Midwest
-My baby turned 1 (!)
-We found out that we will be moving across country soon (!)
So yes, you could basically say not much of anything in my life will be the same in the next few months. If you haven't noticed yet, this has also affected my website. Because of the busyness of life even just in the last year, I have updated and added new products very little. Now, with all the craziness of life coming up, I have decided to close up shop...at least for now. I plan to keep this blog going (as well as I am able) for the time being. At some point in the next 6 months or so, the URL may change slightly, so watch for that if you are interested in continuing to follow my life and the projects and crafts that I find time for in the future. I have been crafting a lot lately, so hopefully soon I can post about those things. This blog may become more 'personal' with more posts about my life and family, to keep my friends and family updated after we move. I hope you keep coming and checking for updates, or better yet... follow me through the Google link or RSS feed.
Also, if there is something that I used to carry, or that I have blogged about, that you are interested in ordering, I would still be willing to take special orders. Just contact me and we will work out the details! Thanks
That would be me at the tail end of my pregnancy with Rystin in '10. NOT looking forward to getting big again...but I'm getting there fast! I AM excited to have another little blessing in the house and cuddling with a sweet little newborn. Have been wondering if there will be some pink involved this time, but we will have to wait and see! :) I am going on 23 weeks right now, so already over halfway there! Due June 9th
This Christmas, we drove to the Midwest to spend the holidays with the friends and family we have there. We were gone for almost three weeks, which felt quite long when my baby slept horribly the whole trip! :( Otherwise, it was a fun time... my baby turned one, and my hubby found a 'job' while he was there! His dream of being a farmer in MN is coming true. We plan to move in about a month and a half and I will try my hand at being a dairy farmer's wife! Both exciting and nerve wracking. Right now, the biggest stress factor is that we don't know where we are going to live for sure. That makes it hard to plan ahead (both for our living arrangements, and for the coming baby). Keep us in your prayers that God will lead us to where He has planned, and will guide us through all these new changes. It will be a huge change in lifestyle, as you know if you have visited (or lived) in both the Pacific Northwest and the Midwestern parts of the US! We are excited to start this new phase in life, and be able to call a place 'home'.
Thanks for checking in! I hope to continue to be posting about some of my latest projects in the next couple weeks. Have a wonderful week and God bless your day!
So it's been WAAAYYY too long since I last posted, I know.
I guess that's just the way summer is, hey!?
It seems to fly by no matter what you do to stop it. I am having a real hard time seeing all these 'fall decor' ideas and crafts on various websites and blogs! NOT ready for that yet! I suppose part of the reason for that is the short season of summer we had this year in the great Pacific Northwest. :(
So I tried to take advantage of the nice days, though I think I made it in our pool about 4 times all summer. How sad is that?!
I DID get a few little projects done here and there, but didn't get pictures of them all. We had a baby explosion in the area, so I've done a few little things for some of the local babies that have been born recently.
Here's a little skirt/onsie outfit I made for a friend's baby, Shiloh Eunice.
Poor Rystin is still my little model, no matter what gender is needed.
Sorry, little man!
The greenish fabric on this outfit that I used for the skirt and flowers is actually a re-purposed sweater. I love re-purposing things into something new!
Now that all these babies are around, I may have different models if need be. I just sewed something fun tonight, but it's a Christmas gift, so I probably won't be able to show it for awhile! I have lots of projects on my mind for this winter, though, and the sewing bug is coming back with the cooler weather. I guess I CAN find some positive in it! :)
So hopefully I'll be here a little more often, with some new projects, ideas, and if I really get ambitious, some new products!
Thanks for keeping up!
Hello and Welcome!