Scroll down to the bottom of the page
to see a video of Gretta
and pictures from her funeral

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

7 Years. Depending on how you look at it, it's a long time. Or not. Grief will follow you all the way down the road. It doesn't drop off on a different path along the way, it leads. It stands front and center even when you can't see it, even when you don't want it. It shapes your soul.It lines your face. It etches a picture on your mind that cannot be erased. 

In the small moments, it is a touch, a smile, a pat, a compassionate word towards another. An empathetic, sorrowful and heavy, kiss of grief.  It does more than most would imagine. It changes the psyche. The eyes and what they see, the ears and what they hear, the touch and what it feels. 

No one believes it, but you walk through the world completely different. It leaves you changed. And nobody really wanted that. Nobody asked for it, no one wants to turn into it. Grief doesn't give choices. It envelopes. It closes you in, it liberates you. 

We have becomes something we did not want. We have developed a part of ourselves that we did not see, did not hear, did not desire. 

When God called their name, He called ours too.  He wanted to see our faces again. He wanted to hear our voices, touch the souls that He created..Maybe God will not reveal all of the purposes, but He does reveal so much. Are we willing to wait over the earth, the dirt, the trials, the days? Are we willing to wait while we serve the others?

I will wait. Baited, but waiting.

Monday, April 28, 2014

So here's the God part that gave me shivers...

Right after I wrote the last post, I was on Pinterest looking at bungalow houses, because the house we put an offer on in Chaska, MN was a little bungalow.  The more I looked at the pictures, the more I wanted the house.  I was getting excited, but also feeling stressed and my stomach started clenching up with anxiety.  I was scrolling the page on Pinterest and was almost to the bottom when in the middle of the page was a Bible verse that read, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.  Luke 1:16"

I immediately teared up.  In the middle of the page of pictures of bungalow's there was this verse.  I knew it was for me from God.  I had been struggling with the thought of trusting God to the point of assurance or my usual way of trusting but not allowing myself to believe fully until I had the facts.  It was pretty clear right then that God was letting me know I could believe it.  I felt complete peace after that and went to bed.

Yesterday, I did some Yoga, chores, cooking etc. and felt much calmer and relaxed the whole day.  As evening faded to night, I said to myself, "Ok, well we didn't find out today, so tomorrow must be the day!"  I got into bed and my phone immediately rang.  It was our Realtor and she said, "You got the house!"

So thank you for all your prayers because God heard and answered!  WE GOT THE HOUSE!

So a family of country dwellers are moving to the city life and we are excited!  I can only imagine what God has in store for us there.

Next prayer request, that God shows us the church He has planned out and that Jordan gets into another worship band right away.   She has been singing on two worship teams for two churches for the last year and has it in her heart to become a church worship director.  So excited to see what God will do in her life over the next 4 years as she steps her way into womanhood!

Oh, and if you want to see our little bungalow, here is the link.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It's Been Awhile

The last time I wrote in my blog was....I don't even know.  And I guess I've been delaying or ignoring it because so much has happened, changed, blah, blah, blah and I just didn't feel like writing about any of it.

In fact, since the death of our daughter Gretta, almost 6 YEARS ago, I have only written in my bedside journal once.  Once.  A few months ago.

Anyway, things are really changing again for Matt and I and our family.  After almost/exactly 5 years of living in Zimmerman, MN we are moving to the cities.  Matt graduates with his Computer Science Engineering degree in just two weeks, (May 11) and will start working for Emerson Rosemount Engineering in Chanhassen MN the very next day! Ok fine~(May 12).

Our oldest daughter, Jordan, will be a junior in high school this year, Mason just turned 14 and Russell will be going into 4th grade.  Both boys play football and have been playing baseball.  This baseball season just started and I am already missing looking forward to sitting outside watching their games.  We had to sit this season out because we are moving.

Here's where God has us in the process and I am telling you now it has been really tough for me.  God is pushing me while He is blessing me.  We have put 3 different offers on 3 different houses in various SW or SE suburbs/small towns outside of the Twin Cities.  3 unaccepted offers in 3 weeks time.

The blessing is that our house SOLD in 3 days with 4 offers and we got more than we had it listed for.   Which is also how our home in Cohasset, MN sold 5 years ago!

Matt and I have truly agonized over moving our family to the "cities" for REAL or trying to find an acre or so out of the city.  2 nights ago, we couldn't sleep.  We had decided to put an offer on a nice place out in the beautiful little town of Watertown.  If that fell through, we also liked a cute little bungalow in Chaska.
Now Chaska, for us IS the cities, so we weren't sure, ya know.  But by 3 in the morning we had talked and prayed our way to believing that they city is where God wants us to be.

We changed the offer via text at 3:30 in the morning, praying it wouldn't wake up our Realtor Teresa.  (Who by the way was sent BY GOD FOR US.  I'll tell you how special she is in another post when we're all moved into our new house!)

Right now, we haven't heard back from the sellers.  The housing market right now in the twin cities is inventory depleted.  Everything up for sale is selling with multiple offers on the table for each purchase being made.

Furthermore, I DON'T WANT TO RENT!  Can I yell that and still say I am willing to accept any outcome and I am trusting God and not trying to boss God around?  I'm not sure.  But I did.

Okay, so everyone out there.  PRAY for us and if you do, no matter the outcome, I will try to keep blogging again and catch you up on what God's been doing round here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How We Heal

In the hours of quiet
When the darkness settles over
and I am covered with my sorrow
and thinking of my little girl

I feel the warmth of arms unseen
wrapped and holding all of me

In this embrace I do not struggle
I do not try to get set free
I lay my head upon strong shoulders
and let His healing wash over me

Though there is pain all around us
and struggles will accompany
I know that I have found my Saviour
with His great mercy, rescues me

I will cry out in bitter mourning
I will scream out at the sharp edge of pain
I will have times of unconsolable weeping
But all of this will be for gain

Remember me not as bitter and hopeless
Not with tears streaming down my face
Remember me as a Warrior for Jesus
For in His love, I found my place

Carry not with you my pain and grief
not like a sadness or bag of weights
but take lifes' trials with a heart of embracing
Until we meet our eternal fate!

We cry out for healing,
we look for the cures
but much of the healing will not come
for sure
Not here on earth but later on
when we reach the Light, the eternal Dawn

Don't push me to say that I'm over this
That I should pretend pain does not exist
I've seen it and felt it and know how it's real
and all of this is part of How We Heal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

God is Faithful

Often times I write in my blog, because the pain I feel is desperate and it comes when I am alone and the house is quiet and still. It comes when I cannot sleep and I need to cry out.
It comes when I have settled down from the tasks of the day that keep me occupied and I am able to clear my mind of mundane things. Then the whole of my daughters death seeps in. Pieces of her are around me all the time and I see her in other little girls, in the pictures we keep of her and in the small things that happen here without her. When I look at my children together eating dinner as I stand in the kitchen, it always strikes me "there should be four". I say this because...

I know some of what I write in this blog is dark and depressing and could even be viewed as hopeless. I am not hopeless, but hopeful. I am hopeful of the eternity ahead with all those I love. I am hopeful that while I am here on earth I will make a difference for Christ.

I have really good days. I have days when I smile all day and laugh and play and work hard and I forget that deep down I am sad. I don't think I will ever not be sad. It just takes different forms from day to day. You just don't get over the sadness that comes from giving a child back to Heaven. You just don't. Sadness will always be a part of who I am now but it won't be all that I am.

I read a great quote today in the book, Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman. Mary Beth is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman and they lost their daughter Maria in May of 2008, just a few months before we lost Gretta. The quote hit home for me and it by one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis.

"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." ~ C.S. Lewis

That about sums it up.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Cold and Dead

Gretta, I drove past the graveyard today, I stopped.
Begrudgingly, slowly, heavily I walked up to the cold, still bed that holds you. The ground.
Your headboard a stone with words chiseled into the face, a small picture of you.
There was nothing there. It was an empty, lifeless void. A nothing, a cold, grey space of your memory.
I knelt.
I touched the stone, ran my fingers along your picture and touched your cheek.
I felt nothing and left.

This visit is just like my insides now. Dead, lifeless, cold and grey. Untouchable. Unseen and decomposing.

Is there a time when we are left alone to our own pain and self pity? Does God walk away? Has He decided to tend to other things? He has seen it best to leave me cold and empty now for 2 long years. There is no movement and I can't decide if it's my fault or not. I have no strength to lift myself out of this pit of unquenchable sadness and anger and lifelessness. Will He come and lift me out? Why does this have to part of my story and how long will it take???

I go to school now. I have decided to go back to school for my BA in Community Psychology and onto Graduate school for Corporate/Family Crisis Counseling and Intervention. I am doing well in school and have found a renewed passion for standing against the agendas of Satan on a secular college campus. At school I can be "on fire" for God, bold in my speeches against the popular agendas, but my drive time at home....I am just this empty dead person.

I haven't picked up my Bible in weeks, I pray, but for other people or my kids, I work on Sundays, I am not in any spiritually feeding women's or co-ed groups. I can give, but I cannot recieve.

Can someone explain why this is happening to me? How long this will last? If I can change this? Or is God just leaving me to my own demise for a time?

The thing is, in the back of my mind, I just know that even though Gretta is gone, that is just part of my story. I just don't know what to expect anymore.

Friday, September 17, 2010

So this is drawing that was left on our doorstep during the weekend of September 4th, Gretta's "Going Home Day". We still aren't sure who did it or left it on our doorstep, so if anyone knows, please let us know as we really would love to say "thank you" to this person.
We were just amazed at the quality of this pencil drawing, it is like Gretta is alive in the picture, it is that real. The Butterfly that was added into the picture looks like it just barely landed on her hat and is about to take flight again.
What an amazing gift.
The card attached reads:
"Matt and Lesley,
It's true that masterpieces do come in small packages.
I hope this small gift helps you to remember that!
Love and Blessings
From the bottom of our grieving hearts, we thank you, whoever you are!