1. Category Archive: Heaven

    in the light


    There’s no other place I’d rather be than in the light.

    “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

    I want to always be in the light, where God is, where I am flourishing with other believers, and where I’m in Christ, cleansed from my sin.  That’s a great place to be, right?

    This week, I found myself in two very different places, but where I experienced being in His light.

    Early in the week, if you were looking for me, you would have found me in the House of the Lord, because that’s where my family and I are on the weekends.  We’re accustomed to gathering with an incredible group of people, and we’ve made it our habit to worship together and to be in God’s word together.  As my husband puts it, we gather together, so that we can scatter into the important platforms God has given us.

    Standing there during worship,  I love to close my eyes, and as the bright, beautiful lights shine, I like to picture being in Heaven with those who worship and praise Him all day, every day singing,

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:8

    I close my eyes, and picture myself standing there beholding His glory.  And it’s bright and it’s beautiful, and I’m in His presence.

    Later on in the week, you would have found me standing in a cold cemetery.  I don’t go there very often, but on this particular day, I had a few moments, so I drove to the place where our daughter’s body is laid.  I turned up the worship music that was playing in my car, and I stood there by the graveside.

    It’s always chilling and terrifying and sobering when I stand there.  Knowing that the beautiful little body I once snuggled is buried there, hurts so deeply, but then I remember where she actually is.  Yes, her body is in the ground like a seed, but who she is, her soul, is with Jesus.  And she won’t come back to us (like David said in the Psalms), but we will go to her when our lives our over.

    As I stood there, even though it was cold, the sun was shining so brightly, and it’s warmth overwhelmed me.  I closed my eyes, and as tears streamed, was able to lift up my head and remember that God is with me.  The brightness of His light, His glory surrounded me, and while it was very different than what I experienced at church, it was still the same.

    Heaven is certain, and it’s real, and it’s being with Jesus, like I heard an amazing preacher say one time.  And although, we’re not in Heaven yet, we are here to be part of the church, to bring Heaven to earth, and to walk in the light, as He is in the light, and tell as many people as we can about the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them a light has shone.” Isaiah 9:2


  2. Category Archive: Heaven

    comfort one another with these words

    IMG_9139My husband has a very special way with words and he just wrote an incredible blog with such a strong and beautiful perspective (like he always does), so you should go read that for sure at his blog,

    I just want to say thank you to all of you who are praying, to all of you who have just been so generous and kind with your love and words and prayers.  I was talking with a woman the other day about how incredibly humbling it is when the body of Christ surrounds you with prayer.  It’s beautiful.

    I want to say that there is no hope found anywhere except for in Jesus Christ. There is no peace that passes understanding except from our God who created us and knows us and loves us and holds us. There are no words of comfort except for in God’s Word, and this passage, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 bring just that:

    “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

    And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.”

    I miss the Lenya Bird, but I know exactly where she is, and I know we will see her soon and very soon.  Every day brings us closer.

  3. Category Archive: Heaven

    too long.

    My daughters have a wonderful little devotional book called Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones. It encourages my heart every time we read it, and it usually launches sweet little conversations with my girls.

    One day we read a section that talked about how we all have problems, but how God has the prescription to them.  The writer asked us, “Do you have any problems today?”

    Alivia and I took some time to think about our answers, while Daisy blurted out her response immediately:

    “Well, Mom, I have a problem.  My problem is that it’s taking too long to get to Heaven.”

    My heart leapt inside me as she said this.  I was thinking about how my problem was my selfishness, or how I wasn’t feel very well that day, and her answer was just such a sweet little reminder and surprise to me.

    Daisy brings up Heaven so often.  One day she was laying on the floor looking at a book, and she yelled (with the slight whininess of “are we there yet?”) out to us, “when are we going to go to Heaven?” And the other night she prayed, “Dear God, thank You that Lenya is in Heaven, and thank you that we will get to go to Heaven someday.”

    She mentions Lenya all the time, including her in conversation, and has such great questions about Heaven.  If you ask her where her home is, she will tell you right away that our real home is Heaven, and Montana is our earth home.

    But I love that this was Daisy’s biggest “problem” in the very front of her mind.

    This devotion explained how remembering our great God is the prescription to our problems. We look upward, and we remember that our lives are a vapor.  For Daisy (and all of us who feel like Heaven is so far away, along with those we love who are already there) we remember that the Bible says how short our lives are:

    “Behold, You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before You.  Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah” Psalm 39:5 ESV

    As much as we may be counting down the days til we get to see Jesus face to face and also tackle the ones we love who are already there, we must be faithful and busy doing what God is calling us to do right now.

    Because before we know it, the clock will stop, our time will be up and it will be pencils down, like my husband says.  And I don’t know about you, but at the end of my short life, I want to have been found faithful and obedient and bold and brave with the time that He gave to me.

    “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works in it will be burned up.  Therefore…what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of the God….we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells…therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation…” 2 Peter 3:10-15

    Although, like Daisy, it seems like it’s taking too long to get to Heaven, let’s set our eyes up, remember how quickly our lives will pass us by, and let’s be looking for and hastening the coming of that precious Day!

    “We should be happily heading for Home and making the most of everyday along the way.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

    KXtq8NkMXstjA3bPLamj-lPxuKCOJtus8JDigcXIrmwThe little Daisy Bird helping her Daddy illustrate how there are many different arrows and only one target.

  4. Category Archive: Heaven

    here’s the steeple

    As a little girl, I always wondered why the steeple of a church was so pointy at the top.  I knew the song:

    “here’s the church, here’s the steeple. open the doors to see all the people. close the doors and hear them pray, open the doors and they all walk away (or as my Daisy Grace likes to say, “and they all RUN away! — giggle giggle)”

    Recently my husband was telling me how steeples were designed to be the tallest point in the city where people could see it from any location and be able to find their way home.  In such a beautiful, simple way, these steeples (that aren’t usually made anymore) point up to heaven to remind us to look up, that no matter where we are in life, in Christ, Heaven is our home.

    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

    I love being in cities where there are super old churches with the huge steeples that can be seen by anyone throughout the city.  For one, the antiquity of the building reminds me that life is such a vapor. People who were alive hundreds of years before me built such majestic structures.  For another reason, they remind me to look up.  The mess of life, the present pull of this world can suck me in, but little reminders like that, pointing to where I am headed, is so so helpful. We are surrounded by heartache and pain, struggle and fear, and we need to be constantly reminded of where our real home is.

    “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

    Although churches may not have steeples these days, we as believers should have a constant steeple in our souls. We’ve got to remind ourselves and each other of this truth:

    “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

    Heaven is our real home, let’s help each other look up!


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  5. Category Archive: Heaven

    ready for heaven

    photo 3-3

    We get our children ready for school. We get them dressed and ready for church. We get them ready for soccer practice or ballet class. We get them ready for college, and their wedding day. But getting our children ready for Heaven? Especially when they go there before you? It’s not something you want to plan for.

    I wish we had more time to prepare Lenya for Heaven, and I wish I had more time to prepare myself for saying good bye, but regardless of my regrets, I know that we did indeed prepare her the best we could.

    Today is the day that marks Lenya being in Heaven for one year – three hundred sixty-five days.  When I said goodbye to her that night so that I could go wrap the girls’ Christmas presents, I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d say good bye to her.  And although, we weren’t ready for her to go, she was ready. You see, Lenya was born into a family who centers our lives around Jesus. Not a perfect family, no way, but a family who believes in Jesus as their Savior, and who knows that our hearts and minds were meant to be set toward Heaven. Lenya was planted in the house of the Lord, and as my husband says, it’s not because he’s a pastor, it’s because he’s a Christian.

    We learned Bible verses at home, and she learned Bible verses at church. We talked about Heaven all the time.  We would talk about how Jesus was the only way to Heaven.  We would talk about how she wouldn’t have allergies in Heaven, and that she could eat whatever she wanted. Heaven was in our vocabulary all the time, and I’m SO thankful for that.

    While we weren’t ready to send her to Heaven when God decided to take her there, we know she was ready. Although it’s painful that we can’t see her and hold her now, we know she is with Jesus, and that Jesus is continuing to make us ready for Heaven.  Just as my husband has preached, “Jesus isn’t just preparing a place for us, but He’s preparing us for that place.”

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    I want so much to get Lenya ready for the day again. I want to get her ready for ballet again, putting her hair up in her cute little bun. But we readied her for Heaven, and she’s now in the target, safe in God’s presence, and now we have three beautiful little hearts still in the quiver who we have the responsibility to prepare  to dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

    “if then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-3