Gratitude. This fills our hearts as we think upon the year 2017 to a depth we have never known before. On March 16th our precious little boy, Charlie, entered the presence of the King. After a long journey of trying to get Charlie’s body to function properly he encountered yet another infection that ultimately ended his life here with us.
We were grateful to spend Charlie’s final days as a family at home with him in our arms surrounded by extended family and friends.
We held a celebration of Charlie’s life where each of our children gave a tribute to Charlie and the impact he had on them. The church overflowed with precious people from our family, our church, our community, the hospital, and even friends from far away that had labored in prayer for Charlie.
The outpouring of love and support was truly a gift! This was a bit of what I wrote for Charlie:
Dearest Charlie, my little courageous lion-hearted gift,
I miss you deeply. My arms ache to hold your precious snugly frame. I miss your fluffy Mohawk. I miss your pudgy toes. I miss your beautiful smile and silly faces. I miss your ultra-flexible right leg. I miss kissing your plump lips and little ears. Charlie, you have changed me. You have given me a new strength, a renewed and emboldened vision for the future, you have given me so many new precious friends, you have taught me to communicate better, love more deeply, forgive more quickly. You have taught me to be a better mother and wife. You have taught me to pray and live in a more constant state of intimacy with Jesus. You have helped me to learn that with God there is nothing that can overtake us, nothing that can harm us, and absolutely nothing to fear. The deposits you made here are far-reaching, we will never be the same, I thank God for every second He gave us with you! Give Nana big kiss for me and we will walk forward with you having imprinted our hearts deeply my precious boy.
I love you little muffin,
In April our family traveled to Maui, HI for a time of rest, worship, healing, playing, and enjoying God’s marvelous creation.
We loved being together and reflecting upon all of God’s faithfulness and mercy throughout Charlie’s short little life.
We also spent time thanking God for all the ways many of you came alongside us which helped us endure the long and exhausting battle for Charlie’s life. There were so many things: many prayed fervently for Charlie and our family, helped make Christmas and other holidays special for our family as we were often separated and stretched, meals, gifts by mail, books to encourage our hearts, scripture, texts, emails, hospital visits, notes, anonymous support, monetary gifts, and physical help in our home!
In May we celebrated Savannah’s high school graduation. It was a sweet time of remembering all that God has done in our precious girl throughout her 18 years! The joy, faith, and perseverance God has given this young woman is beautiful. She has continued to help her dad with his real estate business as well as being a huge help to the family. She recently passed the CO real estate exam and is now officially a realtor! She enjoys photography, Bible journaling, babies, accounting, volleyball, piano playing, learning about natural health and nutrition, baking, and being mentored by her dad in business and by her mom at home.
David (17) has had a fun and full year of working hard, running hard, and schooling hard. He has enjoyed running with the local high school Xcountry/track team. David enjoys building fences, laying flooring- especially tile, studying God’s word, playing the piano, singing, and running fast.
Sarah (15) is our in-house nurse. She has enjoyed learning about more techniques and remedies for different maladies this year. If there is an injury or a sickness, Sarah is usually the first on the scene to provide excellent care and compassion. Sarah enjoys skiing, volleyball, hunting, being with cousins and friends, JESUS, studying the “Armor of God”, playing violin, singing in our Church Choir, cooking healthy foods, breeding dogs, fermenting foods, hunting, horseback riding, shooting, hiking, and caring for the bloodiest of wounds.
Daniel (13) became our fourth teenager this month! He has done a lot of growing this year and threatens to outgrow all of us. He loved going hunting this year and harvesting his first deer. Daniel is our compassionate servant. He enjoys cooking, serving up a beautiful meal, biking, hunting, snuggling little ones, air soft wars, organizing, and reading.
Luke (11) is our hard working cowboy. If he isn’t working alongside his dad or big brother then he will be found in the barn or on the back of his kind horse ‘Preacher.’ God has filled Luke full of life. He loves working with his hands, running, talking like Donald Duck, serving, biking, volleyball, horseback riding, caring for animals, smiling, making new friends, and hunting.
Samuel (10) is our little scientist. He loves to read, learn and study new things. He loves our microscope, science books, and learning about ‘creation.’ We love hearing new facts and discoveries as he shares all the new things he has learned in a day. Sam enjoys reading, playing chess, learning how things work, answering hard questions, cooking, fishing, puzzles, exploring planets and stars, seeing microscopic life, and learning Bible stories.
Naomi (7) is energetic and cheerful, always looking for ways to help and make things better. She enjoys her school but especially bible, math and science. She devours books and can be found whipping up a new Larabar recipe often! She enjoys dancing, swinging, singing, holding babies, drawing, cooking, shooting her bow, holding kitties, caring for puppies, building tree forts, and camping.
Isaac (6) is completely thrilled if he has a frog in one hand and a snake in the other. He is usually found in his free time searching for a new critter, bug, or anything that might like to live in a pond or under a rock. He is a biking maniac and no sooner did he drop the training wheels than he started doing jumps and tricks on his little bike! Daddy’s boy. Isaac loves to read, snuggle, play in the woods, horseback ride, cheer on David at races, play air soft wars, color, and eat.
Enid (4) usually has a baby doll in one hand and a big sibling’s hand in the other. She loves her brothers and sisters. She can be found in the middle of whatever they are doing. Enid enjoys riding her bike, coloring, doing puzzles, folding towels, helping bake, singing, dancing, snuggling pets, tea parties, and playing in the tree fort.
More than ever Bob and I have been learning and experiencing the truth of the meaning of God’s names. As we have grieved, suffered, rejoiced, cried, laughed, mourned, celebrated: we have found these to be very TRUE of God our Father!
Jehovah Rapha: The Lord that heals
Jehovah Nissi: The Lord is my banner
He is the rock that is higher than I
He is my restorer
He is the rock of my strength
He is my shield
He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother
He is my beloved
He is a refuge in the storm
He is a crown of Glory and beauty
He is a hiding place from the wind
He is mighty
He is my physician
Jehovah Shammah: the lord is there
He is the refiners fire
Jehovah Jireh: Lord will provide
Bob and I are grateful for the refreshment and renewal we have experienced in Christ this year.
We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year and we are amazed at how marriage continually gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by, the trials are faced, and the milestones are celebrated. God truly is SO faithful!