there’s no place like home – first birthday in heaven

Last year, for Lenya’s fifth birthday, my husband picked out these red, sparkly Toms for her. She loved them and immediately broke them in on the first day. The toes were worn down that day – literally!

I told her how they were like Dorothy’s shoes from The Wizard of Oz – “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. click, click, click…”



Lenya’s birthday is today, September 8. She would be six years old.

I don’t know how birthdays work in heaven (or what age is even like for that matter), but whatever they’re like, I know she’s experiencing perfect, fullness of joy, because she’s with Jesus.  There’s no sadness for her – the only sadness that exists is in our hearts, because we’re separated by what seems like thousands and thousands of miles to the naked eye.

BUT seeing with the eyes of faith, we’re actually getting closer and closer to That Day when we will see our Savior’s face and our beautiful Lenya’s face, and not just see, but hug, hold, embrace, kiss, snuggle…and we will be…home.

There’s no place like home. Heaven is our real home. This world is just a dim preview of the real thing. Lenya is home, and waiting for us. And I love that we talked so much about heaven when we were together. She had many allergies, so we would always say how there were none in heaven. A few days before she went to heaven, she was looking at the stretch marks on my stomach from being pregnant, and she was concerned. I said, “they don’t hurt, they’re just proof and a reminder that I got to be the one to grow you girls inside me. In heaven, we’ll have perfect skin.” We had many conversations like this.

When she was three years old, we were still trying to get her eczema under control, and one night I said, “I’m sad you’re rashy, Len.” And she yelled at me excitedly (in usual Lenya form), “it’s not sad for me! Because Jesus is always with me when I have a rashy! And there’s no rashes in heaven mom!!”

I miss her, I love her, I wish I could hug her on her birthday, but all those hugs and endless parties will have to wait and be saved up for That Day.

Happy birthday to my Lenya-lion, can’t wait to be home with her.



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“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. For you died, and your life is hidden in Christ with God.”

Colossians 3:1-3

  • alicia

    Praying for you all. I am sure that she treasures you and the moments you and her family shared with her and can’t wait till that day when you will have endless days together. Have faith that she is having a wonderful time in God’s Presence.

    • jennie lusko

      thank you so much alicia 🙂

  • keton quigley

    August 13, 2012 my 3 year old niece, Voxie, left this earth and went “home”. With her passing and my sister and brother-in-law not believers, this past year has been truly difficult. I came across Levi’s Instagram pictures through the months (through Sara Bridgman) and constantly saw pictures of Lenya. She is a beauty! My wife and I have three daughters and see and hear stories of Lenya that remind us of them…and our niece!
    I have found it difficult over the past year to speak to my sister about Jesus and heaven. She believed there was a God, but not who Jesus is. She is mad, confused and doubting that there is even a God or a point to this life. She feels that if there was a just God, why would He do that to Voxie and their family? I see the strength, hope, joy and vulnerability that you and Levi have shown through the grieving process…and I thank you for that! I use your example to speak to my mom when she is down and weak. I will try to think of myself less and understanding I have the greatest teammate and leader in Jesus when I speak to my sister and brother-in-law about heaven.
    I apologize for asking something on your daughters birthday, but were there any books that helped you through this difficult process? What were some words of encouragement and advice that helped you through?
    I am sorry for you, Levi and the girls for the loss of Lenya on this earth, but rejoice in knowing she is “home”! Do not think of all the things she is missing here…instead think of all the things she is experiencing in Heaven with our father. God bless you all on this difficult day.
    Keton Quigley

    • jennie lusko

      thank you for sharing about your family, Keton. I pray right now that they would see how much God loves them and that He can use use even this in their lives. And I pray for you that God would continue to give you the strength and wisdom and grace with your family. So much love to you!

  • jennie lusko

    thank you so much Holly, much love to you!