Guest Post: Never Say Never

This post is a guest post from my cousin Amanda.  On January 6, 2010 her precious daughter Layla Rae went to be with the Lord after 34 minutes of life on earth.  Her story can be found at:  Thanks again Amanda for sharing your story.

So I have to be really honest. I have really learned so much from these past few months. Especially when it comes to talking about children and absolutes!!

A young couple came looking for an apartment along with their 2 year old son. To me he was behaving very well while his parents asked questions and looked at some apartments. Later on in the office the little boy was trying to sneak a glass of water from our water dispenser. The mom quickly snapped at him and then very frustrated said to me “never have kids!”

At that moment I wanted to say…I would give anything to have my daughter back!

She did not know that just 6 weeks ago I had to say good bye to my beautiful and perfect Layla.

At that moment I realized how quick we are to wish that our current situation would somehow be different than what it is now.

She wished that she didn’t have to ‘mess’ with her son.

While I was wishing I could just hold her for one more minute!!

Have you ever caught yourself saying that about your children?
Wishing that they would stop making so much noise,
stop asking so many questions or just needing too much attention from you?

Can you imagine coming home to a house where it was one child quieter,
where there were no more questions being asked, or no one begging
you to ‘come see this mom/dad!!’

I know sometimes we say stuff in haste, but just be mindful of those
(like us) who have lost their child or even those who can never have children!!!


4 Special Ladies

I'm still on my season of rest but I wanted to republish this post that I wrote last year.  It has been slightly revised and you will find out why if you make it to the end:

This week (10/09) in my Breaking Free study we were looking back at generational strongholds. This passage was based on Exodus 20:5-6:

for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,
punishing the children for the sin of the fathers
to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing love to a thousand {generations}
of those who love me and keep my commandments.

While the study was primarily focused on the negative aspects it did also address the second half of the verse of showing love to a thousand generations. I personally have had a lot more blessing in my life from my generations than negative and it is because of 4 incredible women in my family heritage. So this is something I've wanted to do for awhile and so today on one of my special lady's birthday I want to say thank you for my godly heritage!

Special Lady One: My Grandma Bernadine

My Grandma had sparkly eyes, a strong spirit and a happy smile. She always looked old to me with lots of wrinkles on her face and white hair. She was the best. As I've learned more about her story I appreciate so much more who she was and what she overcame to show us the love of God.

Grandma had 6 children, which the last 2 were twins! That in itself is a lot, but she raised all of her children primarily on her own as her first husband was abusive and divorced her when the children were young. My Grandma raised 6 children as a single mother and she worked as a teacher. During one period of her life she worked an hour away from home so her work days were a minimum of 10 hours a day, plus 6 children to take care of by herself. But my Grandma knew who her God was and she served Him all the days of her life. She couldn't sing a note in tune, but she was in her church choir and faithfully attended church. My Grandma was a prayer warrior and I know she prayed for each of us by name, and I know I am still receiving the blessings from her prayers.

To give you an idea of the strength of my Grandma she died of lung cancer 2 and a half weeks after being diagnosed because she didn't go to the doctor for being sick. The only reason we probably found out she had cancer was because she visited us for Thanksgiving and when my mom heard the way she was breathing she took her to the doctor. I remember visiting her in the hospital a week and a half before she died and she wanted to prove to the doctor she was strong enough to go home. She literally jumped out of bed (at age 85, and only about 4 feet 10 inches) and was pushing on the doctors hand to show how strong she was (even though she was having great trouble breathing). During that visit she talked about how she was teaching Hebrews to her Bible study and had been studying the Matthew Henry Concordance in preparation (it's a huge book). Finally, being the last time I would see her concious, she sang to me: "He's still working on me, to make me what He wants me to be..." She was an amazing, strong Christian woman and I feel very humbled to have her in my family line.

Special Lady Number 2: Aunt Ethel

Aunt Ethel was my Grandma Bernadine's sister (so she's technically my great aunt). She died last month (8/09) at the ripe old age of 100 just days after her 100th birthday. She too was an incredible woman of God whose eyes shined of a daughter who knew who she was even after all she had been through. Now I can't find my fact sheet so I might be a little off on numbers because I'm going off of memory but my great aunt had an incredibly hard life. She was married on her 18th birthday because her father wouldn't let her get married a day before that and she didn't want to wait a day after that! She had a beautiful first son and everything was fine. But after that tragedy began to strike. My great aunt was RH-negative before the doctors knew what RH-negative was. She subsequently lost 9 children shortly after childbirth because of it. Only one of her other children, Jane survived and she was mentally handicapped. Aunt Ethel told me how she tried drinking horse urine during one of her pregnancies because she was told that would help her with the babies. During her last pregnancy, they were starting to figure out RH-negative but they babies were not given the help they needed in time. My Great Aunt lived through the death of all those babies, Jane died of cancer in her 40's, her husband died with health problems and she also endured the death of my Grandma (her baby sister by 11 years). However, whenever I would see her she would always have a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She lived many days on earth and lost so much but lived with a confidence that was so evident that she knew who she belonged to and where she was going.

Special Lady Number 3: My Mom (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

My mom too went through a lot. She grew up in a broken home and had a mom that had to be gone more than present just to keep the family afloat. She married her high school sweetheart right out of high school and proceeded to have 3 children over the next 7 years. She was pregnant with me (the 3rd child) and going to law school when she received a call that my biological father had been killed in a motorcycle accident. This was on August 7, 1978 a month and a day before I was born. She too ended up being a single mom, having 3 kids and finishing law school. She has lost much during her life but she has also given much and loved much. She is my mom and I know I can always call her prayer support and she will pray. I just talked to her a couple days ago and she shared two incredible stories of how the Lord has been using her to minister His love and grace to those around her.  They were amazing stories and she grows more and more beautiful to me as each day goes by.  I love you Mom.  Happy Birthday!

Special Lady Number 4: My Cousin

So if you made it this far, this is the addition since last year.  I wrote this post last year on 10/08/09 and literally while I was writing it, another story was unfolding in my family heritage.  On this date last year, my sweet cousin Amanda was having a routine 20 week ultrasound.  During that ultrasound she found out that her unborn daughter, who would later be named Layla Rae, had Potter's syndrome and if she survived in the womb, her life outside of the womb would be extremely short.  I heard the news hours after I wrote this post and I literally lost it (Layla Rae's diagnosis and birth date lined up month wise exactly with Nevaeh Rae's diagnosis and birth date; for me it felt like I was literally walking through the story again. Thank God for good friends, my friend Correna came and prayed with me for a couple hours that day).  Over the past year I have watched my cousin walk humbly, honestly and confidently before the Lord.  She has been a complete inspiration to my soul.  She has graciously given me permission to share one of her posts with you, so that will be coming up in a couple days.  But I wanted you to learn a little something about her precious life and precious daugther before I shared.

People have characterized me as strong. But as I look at my godly heritage and I see my family line and I know much of my strength has come from watching these 4 women who have gone through so much, lost so much yet kept their eyes on the King of glory. He is the one who has been their strength and He is my strength. I pray my daughter has the same blessing of knowing His strength and His love in such a way that it brings her through any trials life throws her way.

In Christ,

Daily Prayer

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