Showing posts from February, 2013

AVERYday: Helping Me Stand - Part 25

My friend and I went racing to the swing set at recess. In first grade, there was nothing better than the freedom of a swing. You could fly so high your toes could practically reach heaven. I felt so close. Imagine, being able to touch heaven. "Push me! Push me!" we pleaded. We had the best recess monitor ever, Mrs. Hauns. She was the youngest old person I ever knew. She had a short, pixie hair cut and a smile that made this six-year old believe we were actually friends. She gave me the biggest push ever and I soared! I threw my head back and laughed. And I watched as she pushed my friend. Over and over she pushed her. My friend laughing just like me. Except, I only got one push, and Mrs. Hauns kept pushing my friend over and over. It just wasn't fair. I've always been "easy to read" when it comes to my facial expressions and how I feel about any given situation, so it was pretty obvious to Mrs. Hauns how upset I was as I suddenly jumped off my swing a

Teddy Bear Picnic

These bears were crafted  (with a tremendous amount of love and respect) for Jadrian and Brody using a couple of Avery's shirts.   ...with pink wings for Brody.   When Brody saw his bear he exclaimed, "Mama! This polar bear has pink wings! Just like AVERY!"   Jadrian, whose heart is more solemn, said simply, "I remember her wearing this shirt."   So do I, honey. So do I.

AVERYday: God and Basketball - Part 24

This guy. Avery really loved this guy. Master of hide-n-seek, conqueror of large snow covered hills with a flimsy plastic sled, impromptu bicycle-ride planner that always ended in ice cream. This guy. Matt has always been easy going. A laid back and go with the flow, kind of guy. It's a wonderful quality. Endearing. Comforting. He demands little of the people in his life. A simple smile and this guy is your best friend for life. When Avery started fifth grade this past September her number one goal was to play on whatever school sports team she could. Volleyball season came first and I worried thinking the experience would end up being bad for her. Avery didn't know how to play volleyball. Maybe the gym would be too loud and it would be confusing or her teammates would get upset because she would make a mistake and then she'd get embarrassed, or worse, maybe she would be such a poor player that she wouldn't get any play time at all and

AVERYday: How Will You Answer if He Calls?

Avery might have only been 11, but she had very specific plans. She was going to read scripture in church. And play the piano before services began. And help out in Sunday School. And, also, maybe she could help in the kitchen for coffee hour. (She liked helping out in the kitchen.) She was going to go on mission trips with her youth group, hoping to cuddle orphans and tell young children all about Jesus. (She'd build houses if she had to, but she'd rather work with the little kids.) She was going to go to college at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, stay in a dorm with her best friend, Katie and compete on the gymnastics team. (Katie's mom was going to send care packages full of chocolate chip cookies and soda.) After college, she was going to travel to Haiti and save everyone. Because there was this awful earthquake in Haiti and for a while everyone helped... but then the help sort of faded away and Avery was going to make sure that she would go to finish

AVERYday: You Lead, I'll Follow - Part 23

Oftentimes, no matter how hard you try to plan something, things will never go as perfectly as they will if you just step back and let God lead. Jamie Grace  was scheduled to play at  Winter Jam in Milwaukee this past Friday (Feb. 1st). So many kids from Avery's school wanted to go. But I didn't. I did... but I didn't. This happens a lot lately. I struggle between Avery would love this! and why is it that Avery can't be here to enjoy this? Grief is a delicate dance between joy and sorrow. I feel the hard tugging of joy on one arm and the hard tugging of sorrow on the other in every activity or event Avery could be found in. In the middle of this struggle I find false comfort in the dark and stillness; it's the perfect place to lay down, close my eyes, and pretend like this is all a bad dream. Except nothing changes. Another day dawns and still I have lost my daughter. And so it was that as the days dawned closer and closer to Winter Jam, everyone became excited