Friday, July 31, 2009

Ashley's Praise!

Ah again, she has rebounded and doing well!!! Very well today!!! The weather, I believe, has had a great deal to do with this recent cluster of asthma attacks. Today, the humidity is really low and the temperatures are in the low 80's. It is what I like to call a perfect day to be outside!! :0)
She took a good nap, Megan is still racked out, so Ashley and I are on the deck taking a minute to thank all for their prayers!
In His Grip!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Please keep Ashley in your prayers. Her asthma has really started to give her problems and her breathing is very labored. She still tries to be active and keep up with Kory, but she is starting to have a great deal of trouble doing that. The nebulizer doesn't seem to be giving her much relief and without Dr. Barret, I am fearful over her condition as it seems to be getting worse. She gets very dark circles under her eyes, like a shiner, and her little face gets really splotchy and pale. If you watch her tummy when she breathes, you can see her retracting at times. It doesn't sound like it's in her nose or chest, it sounds like her airways are restricted.

Anyway, "some people" seem to think that I am worrying about nothing, but in the almost 4 years of being a mommy, my instincts have not once been wrong in taking them to the Dr. Please pray that it will become easier for her to breath and that her medication will kick in and start helping her. Please pray for clarity and direction for me as her mommy, that I will know exactly what to do and have the courage to stand strong in my conviction/leading by God.

Much love to everyone and I'll try my best to post an update on the rest of the Cole family mania in the next few days. It's just been a mad house!!
In His Grip!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Lament for His Peace

I'm alone again in my room,
Another day gone, finally through.

I passed his pictures in the hall,
Traced his face & tried to stand tall.

I'm doing my best to trust in You,
that the pain will lessen in time.
But I still have those sweet images,
Burning through this heart of mine.

So full of life, from his very first breath.
Ten precious fingers, ten tiny toes, yet to take a step.

His mommy & daddy, their hearts ache every day
Why, oh God, did you allow this their way?

I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes,
The ache in my heart that's so deep inside.

I've been in Your word, & down on my knees
But the silence is so loud, say something please!!!

I'd take the pain that these sweet parents bear,
And carry it as my own and to no one would share.

I'm running out of words God, isn't it Your turn to speak?
This valley is so large and I'm feeling so weak.

I've done my best, Lord, to trust You in this
I've given you my heart and lessened my grip

I've invited You in to heal this deep pain,
How long oh Lord, do we stand in the rain?

But as I have promised, and said to you before,
I'll take on their pain, if for one day more,

You'd give my dear brother and his truly precious wife,
One more day, one more moment, with this oh so precious life.

I'm asking! I'm pleading! I'm begging You God!
I can feel the emptiness grow & begin to sob!

They need so much to feel the touch of Your hand,
So strong and so peaceful so they can understand.

And if You can't tell them just one reason why,
Can You give them Your peace and comfort their cries?

I've taken a moment & looked at my past...
You've always given enough grace and mercy to last

Through every trial and every heart break,
You've walked me through, and have never forsake.

But I know in the valley, we can forget how You feel.
The power of Your goodness & might that's so real.

So, I'm asking You God, Give them a speck of light to see,
Until we are all together again, as one in Calvary.

I know this isn't the end, there will be more words to say....
But I hurt too deep inside, and must wait for another day.

Help me to sleep and into Your peace may I fall...
Shut down my tears & break down my walls.
By: Kristi Cole
March 29, 2009
I posted this poem about 4 months ago. Today, I was looking back at my journaling since January, trying to get some of it together to make a book. I ran across this poem and really felt God leading me to publish it again. I don't know if it is for myself or if there is someone else out there in the world who needs a little lift... a little note to know that they are not alone in their pain, whatever that pain might be.
Major would have been 2 next week. "Would have...." Why God does it have to be that way?? Why can't I be excited in getting out there and getting this precious boy a gift to celebrate his 2nd birthday??? I still have a lot of "Why's?" that keep me up at night seeking God, praying for a glimpse of Him in this, a glimpse of His hand, His will, His revelation in this...but still, all I get is quiet. I can see how it has changed other people's lives. Changes for the better. Some have asked Jesus into their hearts, some have renewed relationships, some have literally been given life. Maybe those are the answers He wants me to see. My mind tells me those things, but the "connector" between my head and heart have a terrible break in the "line". I know what God's Scriptures say about living life in the Spirit and not in the flesh and how we are to dwell there, but I'm human. I'm still here on earth and will fall, I've fallen short because my heart and mind long to hold and love this precious little guy....not just once more, but a million times more. Please, please don't try to tell me that longing for him is wrong. Don't tell me how to "do it right"... I don't need that right now... I know how I "should" do, live, feel.... today though, I can't and I need to cry and miss him and desire with every ounce of my being to take the pain away from my brother and Darcy.... That, today, is my hearts deepest desire!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Praying for Stellan

Oh that we as a body can come together in prayer is such a honor. Knowing that not one prayer goes up without being heard stills my heart to feel His presence. My heart was heavy this morning as I logged on to post a blog containing updates on our journey and all that is "going wrong"~ I got on to my blog and scrolled down to see other current posts by the amazing people that I follow and admire when Stellan's blog entry, MckMama's blog, caught my eye.

Things in my life quickly came back into perspective as my love for this family overflowing in my heart, brought me to my knees in prayer. I have never met nor talked to MckMama, but I've read about Stellan's journey with SVT and this precious family.

Stellan has become ill again and is, according to her blog, being air lifted to Boston for more intense treatment and observation. Please, please pray for this family. Pray for Jennifer's strength and for her to feel the overwhelming peace that so many are interceding for her and her family. May she feel a warm blanket of love and peace tightly wrapped around her and Stellan as she holds him close to her heart.

I believe we serve a God who is capable of anything. Miracles happen every day, though seldom heard of. I believe God will intervene here. I believe that HIS will will be carried out and through this journey, His name, power, and grace will be introduced, reinforced, and renewed to many.

I had set today aside to catch up on so many emails that I have neglected to respond to, but I'd rather spend the day praying for this precious little one and ask those of you who can, join me. May the glory and power and provision of our Great and Mighty God be showered over this precious one and may the surgeons, physicians, nurses, and techs be keenly aware and anointed as they care for this little one. Guide their hands and open their minds, Father, and impart in each caregiver a compassion and love for this entire family.

We Praise You Almighty God!
In Your Grip We Rest ~
(MckMama's Blog Link is located below.....stop today and leave them a note of encouragment and a valley, you can never hear it too much.....)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Dave!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I am so truly sorry I didn't call you last night to wish you a "happy day" (as Kory calls it). I know it's probably hard to "celebrate". You've hard the most difficult and at times seemingly impossible year. I still hold hope though and pray for peace in your heart. I still don't feel peace, so I think that the prayer is one for myself as well.

You deserve nothing less than a wonderful birthday. You are a magnificent husband, and loving daddy, and to me, your the best brother a little sister could ask for. You are on my heart every day (as is Darcy)!! I love you so much more than you'll ever know. I miss you deeply & can't wait until your time in Salt Lake City is over and you are closer to "home". :0)

So, I'm working on a special slide show of pictures of you and I throughout the years and I think it will make you laugh. :0) Hope to get it up on here by the end of the week..

Again, much love and hugs to you and know that we celebrated your birthday by thanking God for you and asking that He restore your joy.

I love you!! I'm always here!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God"

Psalm 91: 1~16

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart

5 You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—

even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,

no disaster will come near your tent

11 For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him

and show him my salvation."

This Scripture has come across my eyes a number of times in the past few days. I am not certain why ~ although the Lord has been really pressing into my heart the importance of dwelling in Him. I've been learning that it is only IN Him will I ever find peace and comfort and in the JOY of THE LORD is my strength! (See Nehemiah 8:10) does it have to be joy? Nothing around me is shouting "Joy! Joy! Look at all there is to be joyful about!!" Trust me, no one is. That is, no one but God. I still wrestle with God over how in the world I am ever supposed to have total joy ever again when something, someone, so precious to me, to our family, was taken so tragically from us. But, that's just it "how IN the world??"...I have to somehow figure a way to look beyond today, beyond life on this earth, to eternal life in Heaven. I'll never understand this side of Heaven all the questions and reasons for this event that has broken the heart of so many. But, I'd rather live every day in anticipation of going Home to Heaven, where he is, knowing that this is not the end, that we'll be together again some day. I can't walk every day without the hope that this isn't the end. If I lost my hope now, I would be saying that the God that I cried out to when I miscarried our two babies, wasn't good enough for this loss we are now suffering. Though my children weren't born, I hurt just the same. I never got to hold them, but I know Jesus is. I thank God that I can close my eyes and see Major, my babies, other babies in our family, and loved ones gone before. I can see the children running and playing. I see my Grandma and Grandpa Bulger holding them all and kissing them as only Grandpa Bulger know, those sloppy wet kisses!

I have to remind myself to go to those visions every day or I can get lost in the visions of our loss. The thoughts of what isn't nor will ever be.

One thing that gives me great, great joy is knowing with every ounce of who I am that these precious children will never know the pain of a broken heart. They will never experience disappointment or confusion. They won't be exposed to the evil of this world. They will always have a bounce in their step and a joy in their hearts that know not any other. The loved ones who had gone before them who lived their last years in physical pain or heartbreak of loss are reunited and whole.

So, I will do my best to dwell with Him. To live life in His presence and hold on to the truth of His word. His inerrant, infallible word. I need not another thing.

There is a special spot below a huge oak tree where this stone is positioned in the back yard. This is where I can go, when it all gets to be too much in my mind, and remember that God and God alone is in control ~ And in Heaven with Him, all are safe and whole.

In His Grip!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Be My Refuge, Lord

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

"Be My Refuge, Lord"! This is day #1 of a new book that I would classify as a "devotional" book. It's not really a work book, nor does it have days numbered. It's, from what I can tell thus far, a "guided journey" (as I like to call these books) to resting in the refuge of the Almighty. You don't have to finish it on a certain day, and it's not scheduled to take "x" amount of weeks to complete.

So, today's chapter was titled "Walking Upright in the Lord". It's a short chapter, only three pages, but it opened my eyes to some areas in my life that have been left unattended to (areas that I have left vulnerable to persuasion). I thought I would journal a few thoughts and "quotes" from this chapter and share them with anyone willing or desiring to read this.

It talks about how some of our deepest quests in life is for happiness or the "key" to being happy. I know that in my own life what has been "around" me at times doesn't "make me happy" or lead me to that which does. But, in my foolishness and hard headed nature, I kept searching the world over for that one thing or that one person that would fill me with joy and I'd live "happily ever after". I would search for that one thing that would sparkle bright enough, be trendy enough to "fit in", or popular enough to become recognized. I looked to people and things for a number of years to only find myself longing for more and lacking less in my "happiness". I still to this day can get caught up in "needing" approval from others to feel justified or loved. I think this will always be something that I have to diligently and with effort work on during my lifetime. Daily seeking God's presence, not to be "happy" (that to me is an emotion and emotions can ebb and flow like a tide) but to live in joy, which is one of the fruits that living in the Spirit produces. (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.)

In this chapter, The Barnes (Bob and Emilie), concentrate on three things concerning "happiness":(I like to use the word "joy")

1) What to avoid

2) What to concentrate on

3) What a happy person is like

Now that I have read the "what to avoid"...I can see the holes in my life, the areas where these taboo things have had control or influence on my happiness. We need to steer clear of counsel that is not wise or grounded in God's truth, in His Word.

In today's society, in our economic and moral state as a nation, there is so much in journalism that is negative (magazines, newspapers, Internet, etc....), so much that promotes evil or filled with lies by omission (not stating the entire truths/facts). There are groups that feel that they have the right to same sex marriages or abortions. (and many others I'm sure) Through many avenues the media can creep into our lives; our minds; our homes and we can become emotionally cluttered with all the negative and pain of this world. It can steal our joy as Christians as we spend our time here on earth.
God's Word in Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You." If our minds are on God and the things of God, our minds will be at peace and in that peace we can experience joy.
#2 referenced what to concentrate on (again, I like the word "dwell" instead). This, again, is an area that takes continual effort in my life. I can tend to concentrate on the things going on around me, things and situations that I have no control over. Then, I not only lose my joy, but my ability to concentrate on any one thing. My mind runs from thing to thing to thing, never solving or accomplishing anything at all. I want something fixed fast and I don't want it to take time. I hate to read instructions, I'd rather fumble through trying to put it together. I've never liked word problems in math and the time and concentration in took to figure the answer out. BUT, what we concentrate on, what our hearts meditate on become a direct reflection of who we are in Christ. We are to dwell in Him, all day, every day, in all things.
Do I find myself doing this? No. If I did concentrate on Him more, I'd hear His voice, I'd see His hand guiding me, I'd rest in peace that comes only from His presence...not just a visit every now and then, but living my life in His presence. Sure, we all fall short, but God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows our intentions and see our effort and the more time we give Him, the more we will be inspired to give Him more. So, I've resolved to continually remind myself to concentrate on Him and not my surroundings, not Daren's job loss, not the stress of no income, nothing that would lure me away from His shelter.

#3 talks about what a happy person is like. I'm not sure that I am a big fan of the word "happy" to categorize an emotion. I like the word I'm going to use that instead. I think that it is easier to recognize a happy person. These people are usually individuals that are swayed by life events. Happy people who enter difficult seasons, usually tend to lose sight of God and struggle to remain grounded in Him and His word. When you are filled with joy, a fruit of the Spirit, it's an emotion that people or circumstances can't take from you. It's a choice we make every day to walk in joy even when everything around us is pulling us in an opposite direction.

Am I a "happy" person all the time? No. Just ask my husband. Do I ALWAYS walk in the joy of the Lord? No. I fall short more often than I'd like to honestly admit. At times, my passion for His word and His ways gets cluttered by my circumstances or I think that I'm too busy to acknowledge and walk in the joy that He has given to each believer who has made the CHOICE to bear the fruit of the Spirit. (This is where, #2 from above, is vital)
Psalm 4:8 ~ "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 84:4 ~ "Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah"
Psalm 84:10 ~ "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
So, in my own words, this chapter has refreshed my memory to what is important in my journey here on this earth. In the hectic day to day of life, our "filters" can get dusty. Every now and again, a basic refreshing of our relationship with Christ is needed in order to effectively live in His will.
* Avoid negative influences of this world. Base your convictions off the Word of God, not the word of man.
* Dwell in Him. Stay connected to Him every day. Concentrate, meditate, worship, & study His word. Keep your focus on God and His call on your life.
* Be full of joy. Be so certain in your walk with Christ that your joy doesn't come and go with trials and victories. Trusting in God is the only way to finding true and lasting joy. This is a big one for me!! This is something I am going to have to make a conscience effort every day to find His joy in this world and in my own personal life. When everything around me, people, circumstances, finances, health... when these things look bleak, look up. Look to Him & it is there you will find Hope and in that hope, you'll find joy.
In His Grip~

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The One That Didn't Get Away....

Every mother has her proud moments. The typical moments that bring a tear of joy and awe as our young ones pass another milestone in their journey to becoming all that is intended for them. This past Thursday, July 2, 2009, was a very memorable day and an even more proud moment for me as a mother.

Papa John and Nana came out to Grandma Gayle's so that they could watch Kory share with them how his fishing skills have grown over the past few months. It was somewhat of a circus as the five of us and the two of them hovered around the dock as rods were flying and hooks went zipping by at record speed. My fear was that someone was going to end up with a hook implanted and that drama would end our adventure after a short time.

The girls enjoyed being out there. They were given "snoopy" fishing poles as well. Ashley would do exactly what Kory did (we cut her hook off since she doesn't just yet grasp the concept of a hook). She adores Kory and follows his every move. She is also partial to her Papa and stood by his side most of the time.

Megan enjoyed herself as well. She is fascinated by any animal...and to her a "worm" is not only an animal but "snack". She enjoys playing with them and holding them tightly in her precious little hands. Keeping them away from her lips for "kisses" is a little bit of a challenge. She also liked the bread that we first threw out into the water to "call the fish and turtles" up to the surface. She'd never eat bread while sitting in her high chair like she does when we are down at the dock. She protects that stuff with such passion and stuffs it in as fast as she can...seriously!

We spent a good amount of time down on the dock....and it was one of the nicest moments of time we've had in a long time. It was hot, sticky, and lots of action... but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. Kory and I love to lay on our tummies and fish from that vantage point. happened. Daren and Papa were teaching Kory how to cast and reel with a bait casting reel ("grown up" rod and reel). He caught on really fast. They had tied on a crank bait. As he reeled it in for the first time, he thought he had a fish on. (they tend to have resistance when reeling them in compared to "worm" fishing). Well, on his third cast...he truly had a fish on. (Nana and I had come up to the house with the girls, so this part of the story is coming from Papa's excitement) The fish jumped and dove back into the water, but Kory held tight and kept reeling it in. Daren and Papa realized that this wasn't any small fish by any means. It was a large mouth bass...not just a tiny bass...but one that weighed over 5 pounds. Papa came running up to the house asking for the camera and when I figured out why....I ran out of the house as if it was on fire and was on the dock within seconds.

There it was. The one that didn't get away! I can't really describe how special of a moment this was for me. I've always had a passion for fishing. Daren and I fished tournaments here in Oklahoma back in the day (about 15 years ago), then I was given the opportunity to fish on the FLW Tour as a co-angler for two seasons. (that's another full story for another post). I think some mom's (except for Ms. Debe) would not understand how much this moment meant to me as a mother. I mean, it's just a fish to some, but to me, it was my son finding passion for a sport in which brought great joy to his mommy's life for some time. I am so very, very, proud of Kory. He reeled this beast of a fish all the way to the dock, when the fish took a final dive under the dock, Daddy helped him out so that it wouldn't jump off. This fish, it's 3/4 as long as Kory is tall. It's mouth, huge. Kory didn't understand all the hooting and hollering and praise he was receiving at the time. He just knew he had done a great thing. As Daren held the fish for Kory to see...he pointed out the teeth, touched his fins, but he had never seen in person such a large fish, so he was a little taken back by getting too close to it.

This moment could not have been any more perfect than it was. It was a moment that I have great joy in the fact that my dad was here to see this. It was a moment I'll never forget. This fish is dedicated not only to my Dad (who was here ~ Papa), brother & my nephew Major, but also to my Grandpa Strombom and my Uncle Brian who also have a passion for fishing. (Congrats to my Uncle Brian for winning a tournament out in California recently!! I've meant to write you for some time....and will do as soon as I can...I was so thrilled to hear the news.

Well, here are the pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the moment.

So, this isn't just a fish's a moment in time to be remembered for always. Thank you Papa and Nana for coming out to see us and share in this moment with us. It was so much more special with you here. We love you!

(Ignore the "ouch" on my nose. I fell earlier in the week and my nose broke the fall on the edging of the pool. Didn't break my nose, though it looks like it. Just scraped the skin off and fractured the bone around the eye and a hairline fracture of my skull. Nice Huh?)

So, the night came to an end. Nana helped me put the girls down to bed and treated them to a bedtime story which thrilled them to no end. Kory got invited to spend the night at Nana and Papa's and couldn't get out the door soon enough. As they buckled him in and shut the door. Kory waved back at us and said "Bye kids! See ya!" Too cute!

This night was special. It's not a first step, first word, or first grade. It's the birth of a passion that I pray will grow over the years and give Kory something to love to do.You did such an amazing job buddy for only being three!!! Meggie, your love for food and your love for animals might become a problem. :0) No matter what, you are sweet and little squishy. I thank God daily for your health and that He protected and healed you as a tiny think that we could have lost you...that you weren't supposed to be able to walk or talk...Your joy is God's gift! Ashley, your independence amazes me every day. You are brave and certain of who you are (and what you want). I pray you will always have the confidence to go for what you want in life & the conviction in your heart to follow Jesus. I am so blessed to be the mommy of these three precious lives. Some days I feel crazy.... Some days are so hectic that I find myself running in circles never accomplishing anything...Some days I long for naps and bedtime...but not today. Today is a good day. Today we shared a moment together as a family and I treasure that. Thank You God for Your goodness. Protect these little lives God, please. In Your Son's name...

In His Amazing Grip!