Spring Clean Up

Two Saturday morning’s ago we loaded up our crew bright and early and headed over to Ava’s cemetery for their annual spring clean-up.   Families typically don’t come along and help with the clean-up, but we had asked last year for them to include us and we are so glad they did.  We feel a little kinship with this sweet country graveyard our baby is buried in – and working there felt like we were doing something for Ava, and as there isn’t anything we can actually do for her now, it felt good.   🙂

As we headed out there it was hard to not get teary.  I hadn’t been to Ava’s grave since her birthday in December… the snow and the cold kept me away,  but I do like going even though it’s not always happy.  The first thing I did when I got there was head over to Ava’s grave and had my little cry.   But after the initial sadness passed,   I could just enjoy the day, helping with Jay and the kids and enjoying being outside.

We raked and raked some more, and picked up sticks and tidied up the place with the rest of the board members and some volunteers and it looked ready for spring by the time everyone had finished.   There was even a group of students from a local high-school there helping and that touched my heart.  One of their high school coaches is the grounds-keeper there and he asked them to come and they came, pretty cool.

Here are my boys working hard.  Believe it or not the girls had already abandoned their rakes by this time and were playing….

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I can’t tell you how good it is for my soul to have Ava’s final resting place in such a beautiful peaceful spot (It will be more beautiful in the coming months… honest).  Perhaps because it is such a contrast to most of her life that was spent in the hospital in the big city.   Most of her life couldn’t really be described as peaceful or beautiful, for her or for us.   So even though it’s just her body and not her soul in this little country cemetery, it makes my heart very happy.

And we still miss her so much!    It till hits us hard sometimes when we think of how she came into our lives and then went so quickly.   But even through the grief,  we can still say that we are convinced that God’s plans are for our best.   Jason and I both never want to go back to being the people that we were before Ava – before we knew just how deeply we could trust God through the very hard times, and how faithful God is even when you feel like your world is falling apart.

And Easter was a great reminder of God’s love and sacrifice for us.  In our Easter service we sang “In Christ Alone.  Once again we sang those words that I had up on Ava’s wall at the hospital for so long…

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me:
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I”ll stand.

So of course I cried and cried and cried, which is just fine as there is no room for pride at church – you need to park that at the door.  But it just stood as another reminder that yes, what we believed then, we believe now.  What we knew then, we know now.   God is faithful & good and no matter how many springs come and go, He will get us through every one of them.

Amen!

 

 

 

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

 

 

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Spring, where art thou?

So spring is still taunting us here in the cold white North.   Sunday it snowed instead of the rain they promised.  The snow only stayed one night because yesterday was a balmy 14 degrees and kinda rainy, which was just lovely, but then today it’s back down to 4 and it’s snowing… the audacity!    This weather is not motivating me to be produtive, but last week I thought I better do something is case a miracle happens and it actually decides to get warm.   So I sorted through the girls clothes to see what they had and what they needed for summer.   Sophia was in her glory and she wanted to wear ALL the clothes.

In this pic she is sporting 2 dresses, one t-shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of Sarah’s tights to round-out the outfit.  And she wouldn’t let me take a single thing off until bedtime.  At least she was warm. 

And this little turkey is bored with being inside all the time…

She is desperate for friends to play with and is driving her brother’s crazy just because she can.   She’s also currently going through an ‘I-love-dogs” phase.   Our good friend grandma M has a little dog that  Sarah adores…. and when she’s not asking to go over to her house to see the dog, she’s asking when we are getting a dog of our own.   It’s not going to happen.  Sorry sweetie, it’s just not going to happen.     But everything is not fair right now, so I’m hearing quite a bit of,  “Why do they have a dog and we don’t?  It’s not fair!”.      Just like the other day when she asked about some friends of ours, “Why do they have 2 babies and we don’t?  It’s not fair!”    More babies, a dogs, you can see where we would be if Sarah was in charge. 

My brother Dan and his wife Jenilynn came by on Sunday for a visit and that provided a nice distraction from the snow.   Tyler is just a few months older than Sophia and he’s really cute.   The kids had fun playing together…

He’s a little blondie like our kids and fit right in.  He would take Sophia’s cheeks in his hands and look at her and she just stood perfectly still, wondering what the heck her cousin was up too…  we weren’t quite sure either but it was pretty cute. 

Well I can see the sun has decided to come out today.  Maybe it will be out for more than 5 minutes,  warm up a degree or two and we’ll have spring after-all!