Friday, March 13, 2015

It Will Be Heaven~Two Years of Jonathan Sitting with Jesus

Two years, it's been two years.

I came to this blog this morning wanting to acknowledge Jonathan.  I am at a loss though.

It has been two years since that early morning call that Jonathan had died.
Jonathan is in the Arms of God

It has been one year since I share the very basics of Jonathan's path within our family, trying to capture some of the memories.
Jonathan's Story

Today I have very few words.  I truthfully have many tears.  I sat with God this morning (in silence much of the time) reading His Words.

Two years....

Jonathan's impact on our family is forever on this earth.  He's left a legacy in our hearts. He taught us lessons that we may never have learned otherwise.

Following God isn't always comfortable.  It isn't always surrounded by intense support.  It can be lonely.  It can be painful.

It's always beautiful though...ALWAYS.

He showed us our son, whom we were honored to pray into Heaven.

Even in the pain, God's beautiful caressing light...His prevalent.

Even in the memories, the cardinal sings of God's promises.

Our life continues here on earth.

It will be Heaven when Thomas and I wrap our arms around our son, feeling his strength, having basked in our Heavenly Father's glow.
It will be Heaven when Jonathan climbs onto his grandmother's lap for the first time.
It will be Heaven when our oldest, Tom, picks his brother up and swings him around.
It will be Heaven when Sarah pulls Jonathan to her side to snuggle.
It will be Heaven when Anna show him the delight in everything living.
It will be Heaven when Max cracks a joke that has them both on the floor laughing so hard tears run down their faces.
It will be Heaven when Benjamin (this hurts so much to write) sees his brother, whole this time, instead of in a laying room.
It will be Heaven  when Bekah flashes her radiant smile and takes Jonathan's hand.
It will be Heaven when Jael runs up next to him to show her new legs, whole, and they run off together.
It will be Heaven when Gabriel and his brother get a mischievous gleam and hatch a plot bringing much love and laughter.
It will be Heaven when Rachel wraps her arms around her brother's shoulder and says, "You know I really missed you."

It will be Heaven, sitting at our Savior's feet, our family whole....worshiping God together.

It will be Heaven....


The following blog post, the last one I had written,  is just one of the many ways Jonathan impacted our lives.  Thank you for joining this journey with us.  God is good...ALWAYS.
I Go and Prepare a Place for You

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"I Go and Prepare a Place for You" ~ From Heartbreak to the Echo of Jesus

As we stumbled and shoved (and itched) our artificial Christmas tree together, the children giggled.  They thought we looked a little like monkeys doing a "dance of our people".

We pulled out ornament after ornament.  Each child has an ornament for each year.  Even Jonathan has an ornament.

I didn't even see it coming.  My heart caught instantly in my throat.

Losing your son, even one you only held in a vision given by God, is not something you just "get over".  His name is rarely brought up outside of our immediate family.

Yet, Jonathan's life mattered.  He was not just a little boy in a laying room, his grave just a hole in the ground his body was tossed into.

He was our son.  Even more important, he was a child of God.

Rachel came to me the other day (out of the blue) and said, "I miss Jonathan."  Our little five year old's heart was so intertwined with her brother (that she never met on earth) that it was physically aching.

With each heart beat I heard, "I go and prepare a place for you." (thump) "I go and prepare a place for you." (thump) "I go and prepare a place for you."

I miss my son...painfully.  It feels like part of me is missing...a bleeding muscle torn out of my heart....

"I go and prepare a place for you" (thump) "I go and prepare a place for you" (thump) "I go and prepare a place for you."

....and then I sat at Church today and heard it again....

"I go and prepare a place for you."

...and I looked down the row.

(Right) Jael scooting her bottom, trying to find the perfect snuggle while maintaining a comfortable position with her prosthesis.  Rachel, beautiful in her Christmas dress legs strewn across her grandmas lap.  Next to grandma was Anna, her wavy hair flowing everywhere.  Sarah, listening intently as the preacher shared tantalizing morsels of God's Word.  Max, tall and lanky for a twelve year old, sat taking his spot at the end.

(Left) Warmth covered my side as Bekah slid as close as she possibly could to me.  Gabriel looked up with his huge brown eyes that caused my mommy heart to just melt.  My beloved, my groom, sat next to Gabe. Then my breath caught in my throat.  Next to him...

"I go and prepare a place for you" (thump)....

....sat Benjamin.  Less than two years ago our Benjamin sat in a metal shed, day in a day out.  He had scars from bite marks on his face.  We sat with doctors when we came back asking what no parent wants to ask a doctor. "Does he look like he was sexually abused?  Is his liver function normal after years of being drugged?  Has the infection from his rotten teeth gone into his jaw?"

I looked at Benjamin, sitting there making his noises, teasing his daddy....and remembered all of it.

"I go and prepare a place for you." (thump)

With each heart beat, something became clearer and clearer.

"Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."

Matthew 6:10b

You see, in this world we live a temporary life.  It is designated and separated by a span of only years.  We have a limited time to live.  We have a limited time to listen.

As Jonathan lay in a crib, soaked in his own urine, day after day my Savior was with him.  I can picture Jesus whispering in his ear, "I go and prepare a place for you son. I go and prepare a place for you."

Day after day, I picture him hearing Jesus' voice.

In that moment, for Jonathan it meant Heaven.  Jesus was preparing a place for him.

I don't think Jonathan is the only one hearing Him though.

In beds on this cold dark winters the the United States...

Jesus' voice echos.

"I go and prepare a place for you."

In families around the world, a hole grows, slowly expanding in someone's heart.

"I go and prepare a place for you."

Into a papa's mind a swirl, a thought begins to form.

"I go and prepare a place for you."

A mother turns to her husband and is scared to say a word, should he feel differently.

"I go and prepare a place for you."

A family starts feeling like someone is missing.

"I go and prepare a place for you."

Jesus, forever and always, is ever present in our lives.  He didn't stop living when He left this earth.  He continues to this day "preparing places" for his children, the (for now) orphans of this world (and it's not just in Heaven).

Someday we will reside with Him in the beauty of His presence, but now he works on our hearts.  

"I go and prepare a place for you."

Do you hear it?  Do you feel a hole being created in your heart?  Do you feel the heat in your arms as your heart is wrapped around another child?  Do you feel the ever expanding dimensions of your family?

"I go and prepare a place for you."

I can imagine Him whispering.

I'm hoping and praying you're listening if it's your child that hears the voice of Jesus tonight.

I hear it.  Do you?


As tears stream, I pray you do. Jonathan did in another way.  In the way it's truly meant in the scriptures.

Jesus prepares our hearts in a similar way.  He creates beauty and awaits us both in Heaven and just a glimmer of an echo here on earth.  He waits for us to listen.

It's a journey that's hard...oh so hard.  It's also a journey that's blessed...oh so blessed.

As I looked down that pew at Church, I realized what I would be missing if my heart hadn't broken, if I hadn't had the opportunity to pray Jonathan into Heaven.

I have two sons from the Ukraine in Heaven and one making the craziest face at his daddy.

Oh hear Him whispering's beautiful.

*Until that day I see Jesus face to face (I can hardly catch my breath thinking about that day), I am so thankful for the opportunity to listen to Him.  It's a privilege and honor...never a burden.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” 
John 14:1-4

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."

Matthew 6:9b-10

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pictures "Catch Up" (The Second Half)

I am ACTUALLY following through with my update in pictures.  Don't be shocked.  THIS is easy.  Writing updates, not so much.

If you haven't seen Part I, I've placed the link below.


My mom took me out for a birthday lunch.  My oldest two had
to work, but I enjoyed the goofy time we always have
as a family.
Gabe and Mommy


Daddy and Ben

Max and Bekah

My Mom and Rachel

Anna and Jael

Goofy Again (Bekah, Me, and Gabe)

Anna injured her foot...again.  Monkey in the Middle is 
apparently a rough game (laughing).  She was playing
it with two girl friends.  There was no babysitter
available for her appointment, so....

 ...cuteness reigned.

Side note: It was only a pulled muscle that would take SIX WEEKS to heal (after two weeks
had already passed).

We love Operation Christmas Child and for some reason (has to 
be God) we always have the money just in time
to participate.  SOOO THANKFUL!

As we prepared for Thanksgiving, the children cooked too.  Jael
wasn't so sure about Gabe's choices.

Wildly, we were so caught up in Thanksgiving, we have almost NO pictures. This is 
the best of the worst.  It's not a great picture of even one of us, but
tolerable of all of us (laughing).  It is proof we actually were together.

 Bekah is taking piano this year and was practicing while
we were at Grandma's for Thanksgiving.

THE game may have been on.  

This beautiful girl KNOWS how to pose.  It SKEERS ME!!!!

This girl and her faces.  NO JOKE, someday I hope she'll let
me post her crazier ones.  Her face is like Playdoh (seriously).  Think
Jim Carey...


Ben looked so cute on timeout. 

The girls had just had their hair untwisted.

Can you handle the truth? You sure?!
I titled this one "Voting Day Dork" in my picture file.  
Yup, I did.

This is what happens when the cat (Sienna) climbs into a clean pile of laundry and you 
don't notice.  You dump more clean laundry on said cat.
I guess it's better than turning on the shower and not knowing a cat 
was in there.  Ya, last week...Brrreow got clean.

 Just Pure Sweetness


Yes, I have actually made it to pictures for THIS month.  It blows me away. 
Thankful I gave up on the intense essay I had started.  There just isn't time and
there would have been "crickets" as my blog family waited...and waited.

Finally, our third in line to the crown turned fourteen. Anna, our blessing of
a daughter, finally became an OFFICIAL teen.  Why fourteen and not 
thirteen? Who knows, it's just always felt that
way with all our children.

This is the most normal ANNA looked. She takes after
her sister when it comes to pictures and making faces.
 Yup, there's another face.  That girl!

This is the night we gathered to decorate the tree.  Again, it's always an interesting
picture of at least one child (laughing). Sarah and Anna were there,
but were not "presentable" for pictures (think PJs).

Below is the view from my shoulder.

When everyone bowed their head, M.K. wanted to join in.  There
is always a cat around.


(Anna) This picture leaves no doubt that she is my daughter.

Our Annual Christmas Art Project 

Jael and Levi (I really can't stop taking pictures of either of them!) 

This picture is for my friend Melanie who (cracked me up) made fun of me wearing sunglasses
in the house (laughing).  I told her I had huge bags under my eyes. When kids want pictures, they get them though.  These are my tired Mommy eyes.  I LOVE

He wouldn't stop moving, but I still thought this was SO

We went to see Penguins of Madagascar.   Many thanks to their big brother Tom!
We take up the whole row.  Those down at the end in the dark? Ya, they're ours.

 Tom and the Little and Middles
Gabe was NOT happy about having to go home.

Below are a couple of goofy picture from the local
nine hour (yes, you read that right) final installment of
"The Hobbit".  Tom, Sarah, Anna, Lexi (family), Scott (friend), and Christopher (friend) went 
to a showing of all three movies.  (Thank you Tom!)

Jael was resting on the trampoline.  Sienna pinned her.

Look how cute these Christmas kids are!

Sarah (our oldest) brought me this little reindeer that I had mentioned I thought
was cute.  This is me after a day of Christmas shopping.  Now THAT is reality.
I call it my obese reindeer.  Look at it's cute little short legs (laughing).
After the depth of this post, with profound thoughts on obese reindeer,
I thought I'd leave you  with some cute quotes from the kids.

Rachel on the way to the bathroom singing...."LET IT GO! LET IT GOOOOOO!"

The kids are a little too familiar with the angel Gabriel.  They keep calling him Gabe.

 (In learning to guess the proper price of things in Bekah's curriculum...) The price of a t-shirt 
had the possibility of $.50, $5.00, or $500.00.  Which is more likely?  She said $.50.
Our yard sale habits really messed her up.  I still gave her an A.

Thunder rocked the house and Gabe and Rachel grabbed each other and Gabe said, "It's ok 
Rachel, I've got you."

"Mommy, I have goof-bumps." Gabe

Max's new word.  Soon to be added to the "Kat Dictionary".
As in "I had a confusement."
I completely understood him.

Mommy Heart Swelling Quote of the Day
"I am an echo of you." (Sarah)

Heard yelled throughout the house during finals week...
"DON'T GROW UP! IT'S A TRAP!"  (Sarah)

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