Last week was PJ’s birthday and weloved celebrating nine years with our joy filled, sweet spirited, kind, creative girl. She spent the weekend laughing as she ran through the grass and rode her bike, celebrating with family, and creating many lego creations on the carpet with her sister. Her middle name is Joy and that truly is what she brings to our home, pure joy with her bright smile, blue-green eyes and helpful heart of compassion.
Last week we also remembered our eldest Marylou, her brief life and birth into the arms of Jesus. This year was special to me as I was able to visit the tree we planted in Marylou’s memory, place some flowers on her grave and go through her memory box which we had been storing here in our passport country. As I thumbed through her baby book a wave of memories rushed over me, there is her first ultrasound picture, her footprints, my bracelet from the hospital and then empty pages that will never be filled with headings such as, “first words” “first smile” “first steps”…Following these pages is a simple list of names of people who attended her memorial. An entire life summed up in a little green and white striped box.
Emotions this time of year are so deep, deepest joy and sadness all bundled into one beautiful celebration of life. In April we celebrate that life’s importance is not measured in years lived, but in obedience with the years we’ve been given. Its importance is not accomplishments achieved but in our God’s grace to take a life and use it for His glory. Our family is celebrating joy and sadness all bundled into one day enveloped by grace that surrounds us, holds us, sustains us and keeps us. We press into hope as we build forts, laugh and eat cake. We press into grief as well for it reminds us that we loved well, and that even in those dark moments God’s grace held and sustained us and continues to do so as we press into the unknown. This is the mighty God we serve, unrestricted by boundries, offering a love and grace unrestricted by pain. We celebrate the gifts this good God has given us in our girls and thank Him for the privledge we’ve had to be parents to our PJ and our Marylou.
We seek to empower our children, our teammates and our Sudanese friends to love and know more of who God is through acts of loving service and biblical teaching.