6 Days...& Trying NOT To Count

I had a fantastic closing today where God granted me the opportunity to share His recent moment of glory in my life. As I spoke the words I could feel myself checking that balance of belief vs. forced comments. It is so hard to not make the words a routine. The battle rages on in my heart to become as authentic as He wants me to be and I just fail time and time again. In any case...it just dawned on me one year ago this time I was sitting with my family around me waiting for the days to roll past with great anticipation of what was to come. Terrified my heart would not survive it, already broken by the uncertain future, but most of all...resigned that God is good...even if.

Faith in the midst of tragedy. Standing firm for who God called you to be even if you don't like the road you just ended up on. Actually...forget the word like...it's more like crawling out of your skin, wish you were a different person, want to run away from all of it, forget this road I'm on... You get the point. You face the waves of life daily, but this is the monsoon. You wake up in the morning and pull the covers over your head when you realize it really wasn't a dream and this is reality.

Somehow...somewhere in the midst of the pain and agony resonating through your body (a very physical pain) you steal moments with the Father that bring inexplicable joy. You pour over the book of Isaiah filled with the promise of redemption and life everlasting, allowing your tears to spill onto the words of the page, marking them forever with the memory of that moment...and He holds you and whispers "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." In the sobs of the greatest pain of your life you breath in His joy...because He is peace in the midst of trials, joy in the pain of agony, love in the world love lost, comfort in the place that can't be comforted...He is God...and He is there...and He is good...even if.

So as the days approach and the sadness of what was lost grows, the joy of what was gained increases more. The day should not be filled with shadows or grieving. Tears will flow, but so will His mercy...and I will remember the words so sweetly spoken to my heart "Do you not know? Have you not heard? I AM the everlasting God..."



There are a few things that really get me. Not a lot makes me mad, some things irratate me, but overall...I rarely get angry...right now I'm angry. There are two things I've learned to hate. The first is this: Don't tell me God doesn't give me things I can't handle...so I should be just fine. As far as I'm concerned that is a load of crap. Daily...DAILY He allows things to plague our lives that level us, bring us to our knees, flat on our faces only to be there begging Him to pick us up. Who ever said that? Did you think it was scriptural? Because it's not. When Jesus was tempted in the desert He said that God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. That is nothing compared to getting the worse blow of our lives and wondering how on earth we are going to survive this one. Well...we don't. I think that's the whole point. Knowing when we can not, without the Fathers power, make it one more day. We submit to total devistation and we pray, and we cry and we scream and we expect for God to pick us up. Why? Because He said He would. Now THAT is scriptural.

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles

Psalm 55:17
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice

My second thing: there is not a nerve in my body that would ever begin to compare our losing Isaac with a parent to who has lost a child they have had at home with them for 5 years. What is that? Do you honestly think they are comprable? How is it you could tell someone who just lost their child that you know how they feel because you lost your baby when you were 8 weeks pregnant? Yes, it was probably horrible, it was difficult, yes you loved that baby too...but don't think for a second it is the same. Life is painful. But there are measures of pain. Burning your finger hurts a heck of a lot less than getting third degree burns all over you body. Don't minimize what a friend has just experienced by labeling your story to it thinking you have a margin of a clue about how they feel.

I know I sound angry today. This is not the voice of the woman who is usually full of reason and understanding. I lost that at some point this evening when I read a comment that sent me through the roof. I remember how that felt to have someone compare their tragedy to mine...it's not right. Let the person grieve and understand...you don't know how they feel unless you too...just lost a 5 year old boy to brain cancer.

On another note...I'm so ready for Him to take us home. I'm so weary fo this world we live in and this is the promise I'm holding on to today:

Isaiah 65:20
"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years"

A brave boy...

Yesterday, through streams of tears and shaking hands, I tried so hard to remember God has a purpose for our lives that does not end on this earth.

It is so easy for us to get caught up in this 'here and now' and we forget our lives aren't random happenings that just are. God wove our spirit into our little bodies and knew from the beginning of time what our purpose would be. I knew when we lost Isaac, when those words were spoken, his life had a purpose, even in death.

Alex, you have a purpose still. We will miss you and will always remember your bright smilling face that would light up any room and we will dedicate every pancake we eat from this day forward to your memory.


letting go...

On January 2nd 2007 I had this moment...in the midst of agony and grief and fear, I asked my Savior for what seemed like the 100th time "how do I let go?". I knew, with every fiber of my being I was not strong enough to physically hand my sons body to a nurse, never to see his little face again on this earth. I waited trembling in anticipation for God to show up big in that hospital room. I waited for His voice to break thru the chaos and shake the windows of the room with words of comfort and wisdom. Something huge had to happen! After all this was my son, my ONLY son, so it had to be a big show by The Jehovah! Hadn’t I proved my faithfulness? My willingness to walk the path He had chosen for me? Was it too much to ask that He show up mightily in that little room? I waited, but there was no booming voice. There were no fireworks. There was no distant light that showed us a vision of our Father taking Isaac safely into His arms. So I held my son’s lifeless body close to me and sobbed again, “Father, how do I let go?” and ever so gently I heard His voice say “you just do.” Could it really be that simple? That plain?

I did manage to get thru it. By the grace of our Father, I managed to hand over my son into eternal rest. All the while the words “this baby has no heart beat” were ringing in my ears, but I left that hospital and days later I remembered something about another birth that was plain. One that was simple and unnoticed. A child was born in a manger with one purpose, to give his life away on a cross.

You may think my sharing this is overly personal, but what I know about this experience is this: My God does not make mistakes. I did not walk this road in vain to become silent at the end. This is a continuation of His story. Do not ever doubt His calling over your life to tragedy and expect that He will abandon you on your road. He is mighty and His strength is perfect. And whether He chooses to show up with fireworks and shake the ground, or to simply slip in unnoticed until the right time and whisper the perfect words to us, that is His call. But praise and glory be to our Heavenly Father, because He WILL show up.


1 Chronicles 29:9-10 Amplified Version
9 And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever! 10 Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it!

It is snowing this morning and for some very odd reason we have our window open. That odd reason is my husband, but we won’t go there. Anyway, you could hear the cars at 5:30 this morning headed down the road. The traffic was getting in the way of my concentration (otherwise known as sleep). It’s Wednesday morning and we are headed towards the day coffee in hand (can I get an Amen) and moving full throttle. Our lives thus far have been filled with what to wear, should I go thru Starbucks on my way to work, are the kids going to behave at school, did homework get done, is my boss going to be in a good mood…I’m exhausted just writing these questions down. All this begs the question: What is your first and vital necessity in life? Yes we have responsibilities, yes we have to work, but what is your FIRST and vital necessity of life?

I have said it a million times and will continue to spread the word that we are so busy with life we have forgotten the creator of it! We have been busy enough that we have fashioned and formed Church into what fits for us. We have (over the years) turned Church into a social gathering, picking projects here and there, but mostly we just fill the pews on Sunday morning and worry about what is coming up Monday morning when we start the insanity all over again. How did we get this far without Him? Even I struggle with making Him my first and vital necessity, but oh how I want to know more. I am struck with the desire to drown in His words, to play in the waters of His wisdom and to soak in the rays of His glory! I want to know more, but mostly…I want to start doing more.

The last part of the scripture reading really gets me. ‘Be strong and do it’! Don’t we always just have an excuse? We find ways to not move forward with helping in a project or starting something new for His purpose because we are just too tired, too tapped out and too needy for fulfillment before we go and do the something else. I keep thinking of that song from Steven Curtis Chapman “There is more to this life, than living and dying, more than just trying to make it through the day…” When we are obedient to His calling he promises to bless us with joy and from joy comes energy…and the positive cycle of His desire for our lives begins. When did we ever come up with the idea that life is all about us? We were created to worship Him, to live for Him, to be strong and do the thing! Take it to the next level. Believe that He has promised joy and blessing when we move past that block in our mind that we are too busy.

…your first and vital necessity…Take a mental inventory of your ‘plans’ throughout each day and figure out how to fit Him in. His ways are more than just a topic of conversation, a sermon on Sunday morning…it’s a way of life. More than the air you breath…seek Him. Ask Him for the direction, for the desire…I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Father we want you as the be all end all of our days! As in all things, we just need your direction and calling on where you want us. Show us how to seek You more. Increase our desire for You daily; strengthen our resolve to never walk out of the house in the morning without having had our cup overflow with You first.


Our Vacation

We just spent six glorious days going through some of the most beautiful country God has created. I was blown away by the splendor and majesty of the Zion mountains and depth and width of the Grand Canyon. I spent a wonderful morning on the edge of the Virgin river with the Father basking in His attention while He covered me with the verses in Lamentations 3:21-27. The Lord IS good to those who hope in Him.

We spent hours hiking up trails, taking wrong turns and enjoying every second of it...well that is until you know who wanted to be carried up the steepest incline. We laughed and played games and ate...a lot! We had some quiet moments of sadness in reflecting on how we were one less and how our boy would be 9 months old on this trip. It was an amazing time.

We came home late Saturday evening and while I was going through the many pictures we took of the trip, my sister in law and I were commenting how the camera can not do justice to the beautiful handy work of our Lord. I did, however, stumble across one picture that took my breath away and that is this one of my most beautiful baby girl. Forget the mountains! I love that I have this creation with me every day to look at and enjoy. Not only does she take my breath away, but she makes up the greatest songs, sings them at the top of her lungs, asks the craziest questions no one has answers to and she even knows how to entertain herself for hours in the middle of no where with nothing to do. At one point she literally spent 2 hours digging for an elusive gopher she was sure lived in a mound of dirt next to the camper. Now THAT is an amazing creation.

Our trip was filled with awe and wonder, so much so I couldn't tell you half of what we saw at this point (Thank goodness we took five hundred pictures.) God granted us blessing after blessing on our trip to the point where we are amazed the truck made it home, but the greatest blessing and experience was that of our little family. I enjoyed every minute and will always treasure the echos of my child off the walls of Zion, followed by her delightful laugh that it actually worked.

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lords great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
Lamentations 3:21-27

Here are some more pictures from our vacation:Taken at McPhee Reservior

Slot Canyons - Page Arizona

The Grand Canyon


I have recently determined my dog is a cat. I’ve had some suspicion with the way she bats things around when they fall to the floor, or how she stretches herself out and pulls herself – body completely flattened – towards me. She even does that arched back thing when she stretches. She cracks me up. However, yesterday…was not laughing let me tell you! We came home from church to find a lump of ick on the kitchen floor. After closer examination I determined the lump of ick was a dead mouse. ON MY KITCHEN FLOOR! Now those of you who know me and my idiosyncrasies should know I am a freak about icky stuff! I am ALWAYS checking for ick including mouse stuff in my kitchen and have never seen anything of the mousy sort! So I’ve decided Tessa brought that poor little helpless pile of ick into my house on purpose! We know it wasn’t Tucker because he’s old and way too slow to catch a mouse!

Follow my thoughts here for a second. All this got me thinking about how often we become something we are not. Have you ever had a friend with mannerisms that you start to pick up? They are not you. You’ve never before in your life acted that way, but something starts to rub off on you. Sometimes we go out of town and finally get to relax and be who we really are because we’ve been holding on to the personality we think others want to see. Have you ever been there? I know I have. I have bent over backwards to please friends or new acquaintances by being someone I am not. I have said yes to things Lord only knows I should have said no to. I have laughed at jokes I should have ignored. I have compromised who God says I am. I have become a slave to my social and work surroundings to be who people think I am…sound familiar? Don’t mistake what I’m saying. In 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 Paul offers us a glimpse of how he has become like those under the law, like those with no law, and like the weak all for the sake of the gospel! Paul adapted himself to the culture when it did NOT violate his devotion to Christ. He says in verse 19, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” He did not become something he wasn’t; he divested himself of social and religious rights to win souls to Christ. We are free in Christ to be who we truly are! We need to live with purpose because God has purposed us! Do you see what I’m saying? We are the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13), the light of the world (Matt 5:14), set apart (Gal 1:15), called (Jude 1:1), approved (1 The 2:4), and appointed (John 15:16). We don’t need the approval of man because God has already approved us.

Recently an account rep for one of our investors and I were discussing some issues with a file and she paid me the highest compliment. I mentioned I would just have to pray about what we were facing and she said she new there was something different about me from the fist day she met me and I was someone she would like to get to know better. What a true blessing! I was set apart! Glory to God THAT is what I want!!! Let me encourage you to break away from the slavery of the world. I promise you when you are different, the world will notice it. There is nothing to notice about someone who does exactly what everyone else does. Yes persecution comes with that, but so does blessing. Or let me say the blessing is greater than the persecution! Let’s live with the purpose He purposed us with! Amen?

Now I’m done ranting but I want you to rest easy because I’ve had a very long talk with Tessa and broke the news to her that she really is a dog. I’m not sure how much attention she paid to the conversation as she was rolling over on her back looking for some praise and gratitude in the form of a belly rub. I’m not sure how many more piles of ick will be followed up by the talk but at least the talk did happen!

I am Your design
By grace, redeemed, refined
Purposed for your plan
Carried in Your hands

Anchor my soul in living water
Hold me steadfast in the storm
As the waves crash all around me
Only to You will I conform

My joy You make complete
The taste of grace so sweet
Praise you Father, Ancient One,
My chains you have undone

You’ve clothed my heart in joy
Gave me a life that’s been restored
A slave no more to sin
My soul You dwell therein

Glorious Father, the great I am
Adopted into Your plan
Gracious Redeemer, Counselor, Friend
My heart You do attend.

I am Your design
By grace, redeemed, refined
Purposed for Your plan
Carried in Your hands


Life as it is...

I have to tell you I'm not much of a blogger. I have another blog set up on myspace...yes I know the pit of sin, but someone has to be real in that place. My whole purpose of having that site was to keep an eye on 'my girls'. I would hope we can encourage them to be authentic in their walk with the Lord, EVEN in a place where they could potentially be anything they want.

So here we are. It is June. My last post turned into a heartbreaking reality. January 2nd I had Isaac. My silence was frustrating for some of you, but I am so blessed to have all of you as friends and have never for one second taken for granted how precious each and every one of you are to me.

This has been the hardest experience of my life, and in a lot of ways the journey has only just began. I was aware I would not know how hard it would be to let go until I was there having to do it. No words will ever be able to express the pain that lives in my heart. I will miss Isaac every day of my life. Last night I read a verse in Psalm that says "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." I expect to be singing for a long time after this!

I am physically working thru a lot of different pains, but all things considered we are doing as well as we can be.

Thank you all so much. You will never know the impact each of you have had on my life and I just can not even begin to express how much I appreciate your prayers and your friendship and your constant concern for us. Just so you all know, Hallie is doing fine. She has only asked once about 'my' baby and we gave her the honest answer that God needed our baby to do something else for him, but we would get to keep the next one, and she was satisfied with that answer. Jason is hanging in there and stands with me in the waves of pain and tears. We will, by the grace of our Father make it thru this. We believe in His blessings over our life and continue to lean on His understanding and not our own.

On Monday January 8th 2007 we laid our baby Isaac Matthew Pipkin to rest. He was buried next to his cousin Alexander Paul Skorick.