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
Please contact me and we'll make arrangements from there! :)
Thanks to all of you who participated! Giveaways are always fun!
It's the last day to sign up for the giveaway here at Whispers of Joy! Go back to this post and comment to enter (plus share on FB for a bonus entry!).
The winner will receive this fun Advent Christmas Countdown
And some more fun news...
About a month and a half ago, I listed my various wrapped ornament set on my Etsy shop. I got some immediate response from them, increasing my traffic drastically!
Not long later, I was contacted by a woman from NYC, who was with the company Food52. This summer they opened a shop section of their mostly food-related website that features various items created by people from all over.
They were interested in working with me to sell some Christmas ornaments for their holiday decor collection in November!
So after lots of communicating, pricing, thinking, and craziness, we developed this collection for them to feature!
It has been a learning experience, (and caused plenty of stress) but it's fun to see your product featured on a big company's website such as this!
Here's a link to the homepage of Provisions, if anyone is interested.
Thanks so much to all of you for your support as well!
This last month has truly been crazy for me, but things are settling down, stress levels are lowering, and my house is SLOOWWLY getting back in shape.
Don't forget...last day to sign up for the giveaway!
Whispers of Joy on Etsy
Some of you may have guessed that this was part of my announcement. Some of you may have already visited my shop and discovered it before I shared.
I've slowly been adding things here and there as a side thing, when I made something fun to sell.
Now I'm starting to get a bit deeper into my business (more news to come!), and will be adding new things to my shop more often. Now that my bazaar is over, I can put all my stock on here as I am able. Mostly, this has just been a way for me to enjoy creating, a great outlet for me, being a little side income as well. It's like getting paid to have fun! ;)
Etsy makes things a bit easier on the business end of things than this website did, back when I sold things here. I've been playing around with various ideas, and hope to be able to share more there in the future.
Here's a few samples of what is in the shop, or has been, since I opened up awhile back. Head over there and browse, then come back and read the last part of this post for a fun giveaway (finally)! There is a new 'shop' link on the top of this page also.
Here's the Prize
Christmas is coming!
Do you do a countdown, or Advent calendar with your family?
This is a neat way to anticipate Christmas, and tie in fun activities, treats, and the Christmas Story into each day leading up to Christ's birth.
Each box is approximately 3x3x2, the entire calendar is 15x15x2.
I also have printables for sale to make your own calendar, if you aren't the lucky winner!
(2 chances per person)
1. Go to my Etsy shop and come back and leave a comment about which product is your favorite, or what you'd like to see more of.
2. Share the Whispers of Joy link on FB and come back and tell me that you did in the comments
Also, the more likes the FB page gets, the bigger chances of another giveaway soon! When I hit 400 likes, I will be doing another giveaway, so be sure to spread the word! Also, I have had some other business opportunities come up recently, which I will share more about next week, but the more my page can be spread, the better! Thanks so much! :)
Free Shipping available to US addresses only.
Randomly chosen winner will be announced on
NOVEMBER 15th, 2013
through this blog and on FB. Leave your email address and I'll email you if you're the winner as well!
Good luck! Hope to hear from lots of you!
It was crazy...
it was a lot of work...
it was fun!
Here's a few photos of the booth before the crowd hit.
The morning was nuts, but the afternoon slowed down and it got pretty quiet!
Good thing I had my sister in law there to help and keep me company!
Thanks, Lila! :)
It's here! This Saturday is the big day!
Whispers of Joy is hosting a booth at a local bazaar.
Here's a few more quick snapshots of a few more projects.
Sorry about the quality, but figured I share a few more photos that I had already taken. Other previews here and here.
The event is held in Perham, MN, at the PACC
(Perham Area Community Center)
On Saturday, November 2nd from 9am-4pm
Let me know if you'd like more details!
I'll be in the large gym, near the entrance into the second gym.
There will be right around 140 venders there, so it should be a good one!
A great girls day out before the guys start hunting the next weekend! :)
Hope to see some familiar faces, as well as meet some new people!
I'm looking forward to it, and hoping to have a great event.
I've been crafting up a storm over here! 3 more weeks until the craft show and things are craziness. Thought I'd give you a peek at a few of the things I've been up to the last couple of weeks.
I've been having a lot of fun designing and painting various types of signs, made with pallet boards. The problem is, I want to hang use them all in my own house ;)
I actually have much more home decor/gift type of products than baby items, compared to past years. It has been neat trying new things and learning different techniques. Up-cycling furniture, making display frames, and so on is a nice change. Of course, the baby stuff is just too fun, so I'll still be throwing some of that in, too!
The 'big announcement' will likely be coming next week. I haven't decided yet if I should do the giveaway then, or wait until after the craft show is over. I'm lacking in the feedback department on types of giveaways people like best; home decor/baby/holiday/gift cards/etc. Come on, readers! Are you out there?! I know you like free stuff! :)
More big happenings coming ahead. Life has been crazy and there have been some amazing changes and opportunities happening. Stay tuned for future updates!
Thanks again for stopping by!
Christmas is coming!!
Well, yes, it's still a few months away, but for some of us, it's time to start planning and creating for gifts and decor!
Last year, I had fun updating some of my old ornaments for our tree.
Here's a few of them...
It's always exciting to change up the typical Christmas decor once in awhile, and this fit with my style a lot better then the classic bright reds and greens.
This year, I have been making a few sets to sell (or possibly give away!).
These ones are bigger and better then my experimenting last year.
I love how they are turning out!
ALMOST makes me excited for Christmas!
(but not quite!)
If you're interested in buying some for yourself (or as a gift!), email me for prices or more info! I'm selling them in mixed sets of 4, you choose the styles you like from the photo above.
Thanks for coming back to Whispers of Joy!
PS. Still needing feedback on giveaway ideas! :)
Hello and Welcome!