Friday, January 3, 2014

A Few Firsts and a Lot of Grace

Yesterday and today have been good days. I am in awe of how good God's grace has been. I still can't quite figure out if reality hasn't set in yet, or if God is smothering us with countless extra portions of His goodness and love. I know the latter is for sure happening, but it also kind of feels like my mom is just on vacation. Am I expecting her to come home at some point? I'm not sure. I miss her like crazy, and I know that feeling will never go away.

A sweet friend of mine, Rachel, invited me to get our nails done yesterday. For those of you who are close to me and my mom, you know how we always loved getting our nails done together. The thought of a pedicure quickly ties back to sweet memories with my momma, so getting one without her by my side yesterday was a really big step. Here are a couple pictures of me and my mom:

The top picture was just a short 6 weeks ago, and the bottom was a year and a half ago (3 months after her diagnosis)

 As I drove to the nail salon yesterday I started getting emotional thinking of all the times my mom and I did this very thing together, but then I looked up to the sky and realized my mom would want me to be happy and enjoy myself. And so that's exactly what I did. I know the Lord gave me grace in that very moment. It was so refreshing and relaxing, and I am thankful to have been able to share that experience with Rachel.

So blessed by this sweet friend!

Another detail many people know about my mom is how much she loves Taco Bueno! So last night we conquered another first, and David and I took my nieces to eat at Taco Bueno in her honor - I even indulged myself in her "usual," which also just so happens to be my "usual" as well considering she's the one who got me hooked!

 Kaitlyn, me and Kimberly in front of Taco Bueno

 Kaitlyn, me and Kimberly

Kimberly, me, Kaitlyn and my handsome husband
We had such a fun time together!

Today, Tony (my step-dad - but really my Dad considering he's raised me since I was 5) and I went and got lunch at one of my mom's favorite spots - Black Hawk Grill in Pea Ridge. We had a great time together. I am so thankful to have such a good relationship with him. He has been a rock for our family for the past 20 years, and I couldn't have asked for anyone better to take care of my mom - especially these past two years. I forgot to take a picture of us today, but here's a picture from my wedding so you can put a face with this wonderful man...

Me and Tony

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it... I can't get over just how good God has been during this time. Although I miss my mom terribly, the ache in my heart hasn't been unbearable - and that can only be because of His grace. Grace, grace, grace. So much grace. I can see that our family is already growing closer through all this, and I feel like these verses have come to life this past week:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear
though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved
into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble
at its swelling.
Psalm 46:1-3

He is our very present help. He is exceedingly sufficient. He is enough.

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."


  1. Thank you for sharing! You (and your mom throughout her journey) have brought me so much hope. I've dealt with a lot of anxiety/ fear of the future both dealing with my health and close family who are suffering. The thought of something happening just seems unbearable and I can't tell you how much I've been encouarged by your testimonies. Your mom and your family have been such a good example of how "fear is NOT from the Lord but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind". Thank you for being such a blessing. Praying for continued grace and peace for your sweet family!

  2. So glad you are doing so well. Keep it up!! Your mom would be soooo proud of you!!! You are one strong girl to be able to do the things you already have. God is sooo good, isn't he?!

  3. Hi there, Jenna. I have followed your mom's blog for quite some time. I found it through Kellys Korner blog. I kept going back to it because of the title. "I Lift My Eyes Up to the Hills" just caught my eye, and then eventually my heart. She was a wonderful woman - but you already know that. :) What a blessing her blog was to me each time I read a new post. As I struggled through the normal frustrations of life, I would check in with her blog and realize that my trials were nothing in comparison to battling cancer! One of the most impactful posts to me was the time the people from church cleaned and redecorated your parents' home, and then again when they encircled the house to pray! At the same time, I had a young friend (20) dying of cancer, and some friends and I put together a prayer circle outside of his hospital room. He has since passed, but what a wonderful gift that event was! Thank you for continuing your blog - I am praying for you and your dear family here in northern CA.

  4. Oh, Jordan, what a precious post! It is only through HIS grace that any of us survive such a loss as you have experienced. You will come through this to the other side and you are already being such a testimony. I watched your Mom's service and was so blessed by it. I felt like I was right there. It was a beautiful tribute to a lovely, lovely lady. Blessings abundant to you!