Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The "Blessings" song

This song has been near and dear to my heart ever since Laura Story recorded it in 2011.  After one year of marriage, Story's husband was hospitalized with a brain tumor.

Laura wrote, "There was a time he was on a breathing machine and we weren't sure he was going to make it. I spent my whole life singing, ''Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,' but until Jesus took me through something where my only option was to trust Him, I didn't really know that sweetness," reflects Story. While supporting her husband through surgery, radiation, complications, and intense physical therapy, Story has composed new songs with meaty, real substance that have ministered to her as much as they will minister to her listeners.

"It's hard to understand why God would allow us to go through this, but I know He works all things together for good, and I feel my new album is reflecting that. Though He leads us through valleys, that's when we get to trust Him and draw closer to Him all the more. Though I've doubted, His grasp has never released, never slipped. He's remained completely faithful to me. He has proven that He really is my foundation and my hope."


"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

     When I first heard "Blessings", I was also watching my beautiful little boy get weaker and weaker and there was nothing I could do to stop it.   What a beautiful song capturing the deep and true treasure of life.  It will not be perfect.  It will be hard. We will have trials.  But can God work through the hard?  yes.  I have to trust and believe He will because what hope do I have if He didn't promise us this?  He always answers prayer, but He doesn't always answer what we want. 
        We pray constantly for blessings...for our country, for our food, health and happiness.  So what about when we don't have happiness, health or "blessings" that we see?   In her devotional, Laura Story wrote, "If I experience hardship or heartbreak, am I being punished?  If my husband has poor health, is that a curse from God?  Some may think so.  When my  (Laura's) husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, well meaning strangers asked him if he had un-confessed sin in his life, for surely God would not curse him for no reason.  But the more my husband and I looked to God's Word, the more we came to realize that sometimes God actually blesses Him children through the absence of the very things they pray for.
       Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh; instead, God chose to teach Paul about a power that is only made perfect in weakness.  Job deeply mourned the loss of his possessions and his health, yet he learned to worship God in the midst of his nakedness.
     So how do I define blessings now?  I'm still not sure.  Every 'what if' in the song 'blessings' symbolizes a thousand questions God seems to have left unanswered.  But this I do know: There is a deep sense of intimacy with God that can only be known through suffering.  There is a reliance on Him that can only be experienced when everything else around my soul seems to give way.  And if that's what it takes to make this stubborn child cling to that old rugged cross, you can have your prosperity.  I'd rather have Jesus."
       For me, some people may say that we didn't trust God enough to heal Samuel, but we trusted God. We also trusted in His sovereignty and know that His plans are not going to change because of my faith. "God has given us suffering to make us seek Him, to trust in Him and to use our experiences to reach others for Him."  Nancy Guthrie, my mentor wrote in her book Holding on to Hope, "Jesus said to Paul, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” This is startling if we take in the scope of what he is saying. And it completely refutes the health-and-wealth gospel that has found its way into the way even orthodox believers respond to and pray about painful problems. Jesus is saying here that he wants to display his power in Paul’s life not by removing the thorn but by sustaining and satisfying Paul as he lives with the thorn. He is promising to be enough for Paul even as he agonizes over the pain of the thorn. We need to hear this, because the reality is that most of us don’t get the miracle we pray for either; we too have to live with the thorn.  Instead of urging them to pray away their suffering, I want to encourage them to look for God in the midst of it. If God has allowed suffering into your life, it is for a significant purpose. So rather than just focusing on getting rid of it, seek to discover God’s purpose in your pain, to submit to his plan and his purpose, to please him in how you respond to adversity. You have an incredible opportunity to glorify God just by your simple trust in him during these dark days. He will bring you from the darkness into the light, so look for him in the darkness."
    When my sweet Samuel was suffering and our family was seeking the Lord to take his pain away, all we could do was to trust and lean on His grace.  We also knew that Samuel was created perfectly and the Lord was using him in many ways that we may never know.  Nancy lost 2 precious children, so she knows what this means.
    Now that you know how I feel about Blessings and God's sovereignty I'll share about singing it.  I have wanted to sing this song "Blessings" for a long time, but never attempted it since it is so difficult.  My friend Sarah called me last week and said it would be the perfect song to go with the Sermon.  I told her I really wanted to, but didn't know if I could get through it.  I would try.  Sunday came and it was a difficult morning.  I love to sing, but this may be too much.  I even wept before the song as we sang "In Christ Alone".  When the song started I pressed on and made it until the part where I sang,
 "What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy"

I lost it.  I ache for my little boy.  It was so difficult.
And then I heard the congregation start to sing softly with us.  They were trying to help me through.
 My church loved Samuel.  They knew him well and prayed for him. What a sweet moment to share and be lifted up.  After we finished the song we walked out and all fell apart. I couldn't even look at my family and friends because they were all crying too.  Here is a recording of Sunday. It's not the best, but it's from my heart. <3 I wanted it to remember, for myself, Tim and for my children the grace that the Lord has poured on us.

"We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home."

I know that Samuel is healed and happy. Heaven is our goal and he has reached it.  I must rest in this.  Here is an unexpected blessing sent to us last week.  A stranger found us on facebook and sent us this message:

"Hi u don't know me but your child changed my life and I thought u should know.  I work at the cemetery before last year I had 2 jobs never at home rarely seen my boys.  The day of the funeral I sat in the truck and cried with ya'll seeing the love and heartache.  I realized I spent too much time away from them. Following Monday I quit my other job and somehow we still have money for bills n fun.  I sometimes stop and thank him and blessed to know him even though I've never meet him. It's was a honor to be able to be the one to set his stone and I thank ya'll . God bless ya'll"

Thank you Lord for showing us the "Blessing" of Samuel's life, even today. I know the Lord will continue to use him for His glory!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Samuel's journey and mito awareness

I made our own video about Samuel and mitochondrial disease. Please watch and share!  We need a CURE!!  donate to Samuel's fund and raise awareness!

*The video link, please watch and share!!!

Samuel's journey and mito awareness

Samuel's fund:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


originally written on Monday September 9, 2013

Last year at this time I still had my sweet Samuel in my arms. He had a fever, but had them most of the time. This time we couldn't get it down and he was not well. We knew that he had fought so hard for a very long time. We pushed, but to no avail. I was thinking about all of the changes that a year can bring... Last year we changed diapers and had for over 12 years with new babies and life blooming around us. When others rejoiced that their family was diaper free, that was not something that I wanted up think about...because Samuel could never be diaper less and that was ok. He was content as I. We had medical supplies spread out all over the house. Oxygen was on hand, feeding tubes, pumps, syringes and medicine. His room had been transformed with a hospital bed, special pillows and a recliner. We were able to sit by him all night if needed and snuggle on his recliner together and read or sing. Our house was always busy and full...nurses, therapists, family and friends were always over and we joked that we needed to install a revolving door. It had become too hard on Samuel to take him out, so we brought everything to him... from toys & games to fellowship and family time. He was not the same, but we savored each moment together. What a joy to have this precious boy in our home, constantly loving and kind. Our conversations had become deeper and more meaningful.  We often talked of God's grace and comfort because we experienced it daily.  We also thought of heaven and were able to share with our children the gift that the Lord had given through Jesus...eternity in heaven! To know that we have this gift and life with no pain or sadness waiting was hope. Even though I never wanted to think of losing Samuel, I knew he was declining and we prayed and had faith in healing, but He had another healing for Samuel which was far better in eternity's view. 


This year you will only see 5 in our family, but we are 6. The hole on our hearts will never be healed. Our house is quiet, there is no more medical equipment taking over. There is no chair on the floor to step over. It's quiet and seems empty.  There are no constant knocks at the door.  The house doesn't need to stay picked up.  The bath chair doesn't need to be moved in and out of the shower.  The laundry isn't nearly full.  The medical equipment isn't filling the kitchen and laundry room.  There are many more changes.

More than this, there isn't a beautiful, angelic face offering a smile.  His little arm is not waving to let you know that he wants to hold it. His little legs are not kicking and needing his blanket wrapped around them again.  His sweet little eyes are not sparkling and letting me know he is ok.  All of this is overwhelming and I miss him more each day.  He was a gift, treasured and loved greatly.  I want to say that losing my sweet boy is meaningless, but I know that God has a purpose.  September 10th was the worst day of my life, but yesterday the Lord reminded me that it was the best day of Samuel's life.  He entered Glory. He was healed that day, yet we were left with emptiness.

Since losing Samuel hearts have been changed and minds think differently,  Many have been blessed with conversations of heaven and what eternity is like.  My children and I read Heaven for kids by Randy Alcorn and were able to picture Samuel's wonderful life now.  Many other deep and meaningful conversations have come to fruition since Samuel went to heaven. Samuel made heaven real to many and for that I am thankful.  he is walking with the hero's of the Bible. He sits with Jesus and knows the secrets that we desire to know.  He worships with the angels.  What a glorious comfort!  Even though I desire to be positive, I just miss him...

my prayer this week, may he comfort us and make us strong though we are weak

"Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need."

I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

[Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.
I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.
When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.
Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.]
Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Here is the video link...such a blessing to broken hearts...

Thursday, September 5, 2013


     I heard this song this morning and was struck by it's message. 
We are worn. 
 So many I know are worn.
We are striving to honor the Lord through our brokenness, but sometimes it is too heavy.
I love how the video shows restoration and as I read the Word today,
 He brought me to one of my favorite verses.
Psalm 32:7, "You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance."
Praying today that even though we are worn...
 we will find safety in His arms,
 peace and encouragement.
"Let me see redemption wins
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life,
Cause I'm Worn"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

weekend blessings

At our house the weekends have been difficult.  Knowing that Samuel is not here anymore is so hard and the weekends make more time to think. Tim and I know that this is something that we must work hard to fight, especially for our other children, so we try and make plans. Here are my thankful's for this weekend.

  • fun purple rental car
  • dollar tree treats
  • visit with family
  • impromptu lunch at Grandma Dee's
  • Grandpa was able to visit
  • Grandmother Davis' laughter
  • hummingbird sanctuary ...amazing! 
They were so fast that I couldn't get a picture, but this is what we saw all around us!!

  • running in the rain and all of us getting soaked, but loving every minute of it
  • a little hike
  • enjoying the peace that the Creator has blessed us with
  • singing on praise team
  • knowing the Joy of the Lord is my strength
  • worshipping the Lord with a full heart
  • fellowship
  • adventures for Tim with his friends
  • sweet words of encouragement to lift hearts
  • a fun and special day for my girls with dear friends
  • our town and celebrating Anderson
  • my Daddy's joy in spending time with his grandchildren

 treating them to ice cream

my precious sisters and brother

special time with my little boy
fireworks and how he said "Awesome!" the whole time :)
"O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name: make known His deeds among the people.
Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works.
Glory ye in His holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore.." Psalms 105:4