being transparent

this is has always been the most difficult part of writing/blogging for me

being transparent

i don't want to post and get a bunch of "oh, i'm so sorry" comments
{i don't blog for pity}

i don't want to post and hurt anyone
{my girls, my husband, family or friends}

i don't want to stir up division or hurt.

but, let's be honest, sometimes life.is.hard.

sometimes the past collides with the present and leaves you reeling a little bit.

sometimes just being able to verbalize that we are human and we have hurts, and pains and that life is real is all we really need to do, and sometimes being able to share that can or will encourage someone else that there is HOPE, hope that can be found in Christ alone!

if you haven't already figured it out ... "this" is going to be one of "those" posts! {so please, in advance, i'm not looking for pity and i pray that my words don't cause pain to anyone who reads them ... but here goes}

we have a wedding coming up ... taya & justin will be getting married in just a few short days! this is such an exciting time! taya is our "middle" and i'm afraid that sometimes she got lost in the typical "middle" child position. i honestly pray daily that this sweet, precious girl knows just how much her mama loves her and that she will forgive me for the mistakes i made in being her mama and that our relationship will continue to grow and flourish as she becomes a wife and {hopefully, hint, hint} a mama! we love justin and know that God has blessed taya with an amazing guy to spend her life with!

because, seriously ... what's not to love?!! :)

in all seriousness though ... from their first date to their engagement ... which was a day fit for a princess ...

we have fallen in love with justin {almost} as much as taya has and we are looking forward not only to their wedding day, but to the life that God has called them to together!

sweet, precious ty just had his 9th birthday ... he's had more birthdays without his papa than with him and his memories of papa will mostly be through the stories he hears us tell of him than real memories ... but i can assure you precious ty {and mama ashley} that you were loved with an immeasurable love ... and THIS picture to me is the perfect depiction of that love {i think we have pictures of each grandbaby just like this with their heads cradled gently in papa's hands}

this may seem all very random, and in reality it is but i share these little things to say that life is not always what we plan for it to be. life {and death} is not in our control. 

last night, as i snuggled in bed and fell asleep, safe and secure in the arms of the amazing man that God has brought into my life, i fell asleep praying prayers of thanksgiving to God! thanksgiving for the amazing life i had with rickey {because let's be honest, with taya's upcoming wedding, it would be hard not to think of her daddy} and the beautiful girls we were blessed with ... being their mom has truly been one of the greatest blessings i have ever had! i was thankful for my wonderful "bonus kids" nick & ashley and their families who are such a blessing!  i was thankful for the new life God has given me and the miracle of being able to love again, and truly enjoy life with a man who desires to follow God's leading in our lives and desires that we leave a legacy for Him! i was thankful that i have 3 more "bonus" sons because of rick and that my life is truly so full and blessed!  i fell asleep safe and secure and thankful, oh so thankful!

as night gave way to morning, i was dreaming. this is not unusual, I have dreams all the time! some are vivid and memorable, some are vague and blurry, some make complete sense and some are dis-jointed and make no sense ... they are dreams after all! last night though, my dreams were just unsettling. maybe it's because the wedding is coming up, maybe it's because it was just sweet ty's birthday, maybe it's because i'm finally chasing a dream i've had for awhile that rick has been strongly urging me to pursue. i'm not sure why but last night i dreamed that rickey died. yes. i know. rickey died almost 6 years ago. but in my dream he died. and then he died again. and again, and again. and although it was only a dream, it was an unsettling one. one that left me just a little "off" and a little teary this morning! i know that i know that i know where rickey is today! i am thankful and blessed to have had an amazing life with him! I am thankful and blessed that God brought my sweet "new" rick to me! i know that it was just a dream, i know that i'm blessed and held in God's hand and that all things work together for good, but still it was unsettling! 

all this to say ... i guess grief hits when you least expect it! when i met rick, you may remember if you've read my blog for awhile he asked me "when are you going to grieve"? because with him, i could share that i hadn't. that i felt like something was wrong with me because i didn't cry, honestly, i almost never cried. i held it in because i had to be strong for everyone else. i didn't grieve, at least not well ... and in that simple question he gave me permission to grieve, and he gave me the promise that he'd be there to support me through that process ... and i became free! free to fully love again and full to grieve in my way, in my time. but, boy-oh-boy, it sure can hit at the strangest times! 

where am i going with this? i guess i'm not sure ... i just felt the need to share with you all ... to share that God IS good! that He loves us all the time. that we are held in His everlasting arms and He does carry us through ... and that sometimes, the past does collide with the present and we just have to "go with it". of course in a "fairy tale world" rickey would have been here for ty's birthday this week, and for taya's upcoming wedding and for all of the milestones that have come since 11/5/11 and all those that are yet to come ... but God ... but God in His infinite wisdom knew that rickey was supposed to come home on that november day in 2011. He knows more than we do and He has written each day of our lives in His book before any of them came to be {it's in psalm 139 ... check it out if you don't believe me}! He knows. He cares. He was there and He is here! He gives and He takes away ... blessed be His name!

so ...  as i maneuver through this day, as i shake off the remnants of sleep and a dream that {yes} was unsettling, i rest in God, knowing that where i am today, who i am today, and what i'll do today {and for all the days of my life here on earth} is because of Whose i am today! 

xo, sheila

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