Fall is in the air

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Dear Tirzah,
I was thinking about you and missing you during our walk along the harbor today… the fall colors and the stillness of the Lake were so beautiful… and I thought you’d be with us for all this. I would have bundled you up to keep you so warm… and your little beautiful cheeks would have been so cute and pink from the fall air. And Everyone who walked by would have stopped to gaze and you and see how beautiful you are, and you would have looked up with your big blue eyes in wonder at the world and people around you (I *know* you had your daddy’s eyes). And right about now I would be searching for the *perfect* Christmas stocking for you… and every time I see a pretty little baby dress I’ll think of you… how perfectly beautiful you are.
My beautiful Tirzah, did I tell you about my new photography project: Souls of Chicago? It was inspired by you… because I have a life time of questions I never got to ask you… to know all about you… and I know you’ll have all eternity to answer…
And maybe you’ll still have a little Christmas stocking here with us, and I’ll line the top with mistletoe for all the 1000s of kisses we have for you!
Love you so so so so so much, Tirzah. From your mommy

this new Esther Generation

Every morning that I wake up and Tirzah is not in my arms, is like a knife in my heart all over again.

Every. Single. Day. The pain never eases, never subsides. It is new every morning.

The mercy of the Lord is also new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

The only reason I can put one foot in front of the other each day is because of His presence…and the Truth of the resurrection; the tomb was indeed empty. The fact of His resurrection is my certain hope that Tirzah has experienced that resurrection and is now with the Lord.

It’s not just a flippant band-aid of Heaven on the wound of my heart.

The reality that Jesus took my place on the cross, and paid for all my sins is my surety that I will also experience the resurrection one day… and see Tirzah again.

I’m thankful for my Mom and for Ryan, who continually remind me that the Lord has kept me here on the earth because His work for me is not done… Like Esther… like Tirzah… I was born for such a time as this. 

Esther 4:14,16b:

{Mordecai to Esther:} “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”… {And Esther replied} “Then I will go… and if I perish, I perish.” 

I have this vision… of Tirzah leading the way in this new “Esther Generation”… she… and I… and us… born for “such a time as this.

All of us, in this sisterhood of saints, need her… Tirzah.

All ye saints in the Lord (those clothed in the righteousness of Christ and by His blood made perfect), let us not forget that we are of one body, growing into Christ our Head. We grow together. And Tirzah is part of our body, an indispensable part. And by her life we grow…

And she is.not.silent.

Do you see the irony?

Her voice is calling me, urging me to not remain silent.

” and if I perish, I perish.”   And what is that to me?

She speaks to us. Of the beauty of Christ, which she sees face to Face… of eternity… of simple obedience… of the resurrection.

And others in the sisterhood of saints speak to me… to us… along with Tirzah… Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who “did not fear anything that was frightening”… the Proverbs 31 woman who *laughs* at the days to come (although Mary Mohler recently pointed out to me that she is NOT a real person.. okay, so we can all relax our shoulders and sigh relief, she’s an *ideal*, not real!)…  Mary Magdalene who **clung** tightly to the risen Lord…

My prayer is that my life may adorn the Gospel of Jesus, as I look for the day when my faith shall be made sight. That is my longing, my hope. And until then I *cling* so tightly to the Lord.

Dear Tirzah 9/26/14

Dear Tirzah,

Mommy didn’t wake up so sad this morning. I love you so much, and yesterday it just hurt so bad to miss you and remember your sweet face. I wish I had more time with you, but I know we’ll have eternity. And I know that this life is like the blink of an eye or like a breath that is quickly gone. It just doesn’t *feel* like that. And now getting old- gray, wrinkly and worn doesn’t sound so bad, because it means I’m nearer to you. And I’m excited to celebrate you for my life time and watch you continue to touch people’s lives throughout my life.

And I’m so excited to tell you- we are going to celebrate your birthday every ear with a party and collect gifts and baby items to donate. And we’ll praise the Lord together as we remember you.

Tirzah, you’ve taught me to *know* in my heart and with all my being that it is “better to be with the Lord”- My hope and my home is not in this life. It’s with Jesus and in Heaven with you. I am, as Paul said, a “sojourner” here on the earth, just passing through. And Tirzah, *thank you* for teaching your mommy- i pray to the Lord for grace and His Spirit to teach me even more to live in light of eternity. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” I want to pour myself out for people hurting in this world, for my family, I want to live in communion with the Lord…. And the prayer i prayed for you, while you were growing within me, that you would one day walk with God as Enoch did, I feel that now you’re praying that back for me. And Tirzah, you encourage your mommy so much. I’m so thankful for you. And i pray for unshakable faith- that I would trust God so fully that even if I had the chance, I wouldn’t write the story differently. It sounds like a contradiction- to hurt so much for you, but I wouldn’t. I would *not* change the story…… love and one thousand kisses from your mommy. I miss you Tirzah.

2 Corinthians 5:2, 6-9; 4:14-18

For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,  for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him… knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Dear Tirzah 9/25/2014

**Note: if you click on the “category” Dear Tirzah you’ll see my earlier notes to her too**IMG_3389

Dear Tirzah, I woke up missing you and crying for you this morning… I wish so much that you were in my tummy again and I could feel you moving and your heart beating. I wish I could hold your frame again in my arms again, just so I could kiss your nose again, and stroke your cheek. Your little face was the softest touch I’ve ever felt. And now whenever I look at your Daddy’s face, I think of you because you had just the most perfect little replica of his nose! And I know that you had the most beautiful blue eyes that I’ll see in Heaven soon. And I know that you’re just as sweet as your Daddy too. I always said that if all our children would be as cute and sweet as Ryan, then I’d want ten! But I’m just thankful to have you. Your Daddy is thankful too that you’re his little princess. And we miss you so much, our beautiful girl. But until we see you (soon!!!!!!) we want to make you proud of us here, so we are trying to live with as much life and love and beauty as we can so that you’re always smiling down on us. XXXOXOXOXOX from your Mommy oh and P.S. Jeremiah misses you too, and was talking about you yesterday, about your crib and little giraffe we had ready for you. Soon he’ll understand that you have more in Heaven with Jesus than we could ever give you on earth. But he misses you and loves you so much and he can’t wait to see you soon too! XOXOXOXOX I know if you were here we’d never stop kissing you ;o)

Memorial Speech for Tirzah

The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy
As part of our memorial service for Tirzah, I’d like to share with you part of the journey that Ryan and I have been on over the last several months.
When Ryan and I first found out by ultrasound that we were expecting a baby girl, I cried tears of joy right then and there. I was so excited to have a girl and I hoped that she’d have red hair like me!
We knew right away that we’d name her Tirzah Catherine. Tirzah is a Hebrew word meaning “She is my delight”, and is found in the Scripture book The Song of Solomon, which is a love poem between a man and his bride. We chose our wedding scripture from this book, and we knew that our Tirzah was going to be a beautiful little picture of the special love that Ryan and I have in our marriage.
The Lord laid on my heart a Bible verse to be Tirzah’s “life verse”, which signified our prayers and desires for her: Song 2:10- “My Beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away…”

Our prayer for her through this verse was that she would have a beautiful and intimate relationship with the Lord. We didn’t realize the meaning the words would later take on, as the Lord truly did call her away.
Ryan and I have joy in knowing that our main prayer for Tirzah, which we prayed over and over during the pregnancy, has been answered- our prayer for her salvation. We have the most confident assurance that she is with the Lord Jesus in Heaven. We believe that the Lord delighted in her so much that He wanted her to be with Him right away. And I believe with all my heart that if we knew what she knows now, and we could catch a glimpse of what she’s experiencing with God, we would have only pure joy and celebration for her. The Lord brought this to my mind in the first hours after learning of her passing, and it has sustained me through the dark valleys of grief.

In a few moments we’ll be singing a praise song called “I stand in awe.” I requested this because through Tirzah’s passing, I have stood in awe at the work of Christ in new way. I accepted the Lord as my Savior when I was 5 years old, and in some ways I think it’s easy for me to take my own salvation for granted. However, when I realized that the death of Jesus on the cross as our substitute and payment for sin, made it possible for Tirzah to be with God as well I was overcome with thankfulness and awe in a new way.
As Ryan and I grieve by faith in the Lord and we have a lot of hope, and joy mixed in with grief. I often feel an overwhelming thankfulness- because Tirzah was a beautiful gift, and everything I prayed for- she even had red hair! Also, every prayer we prayed for her life has been answered as well, although in different timing than we expected.
Now our prayer is that many will be blessed through Tirzah’s precious life.
We pray for our loved friends and family who do not have assurance of salvation and eternity in Heaven that you will respond to the invitation of the Lord.
Romans 10:13 says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The invitation is so simple and the grace of God so stunningly free: He requires no level of goodness or checklist of good works, and there is no sin He won’t freely forgive. All that He desires is that we come to Him with the simple trust and heart like a child to accept His gift of salvation with delight- like a child eagerly opens a gift on Christmas.
Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” I picture this verse for Tirzah- how beautiful she is in heaven, like the instrumental hymn just played- in the Garden with Jesus, inviting us to join her in eternity.

I’d like to close by adding that Tirzah has been a very real part of our family the past 9 months, and even though Jeremiah did not get a chance to meet Tirzah face to face here on earth, he was the very best big brother to her!
I’d like to share just a few of our special memories:
1. Jeremiah would sit with me during story time with his little hand on my tummy to feel Tirzah move. He would pause and say, “Tirzah is moving!”
2. When I was getting Jeremiah out of the car one day, he kissed me and I said “You’re going to have lots of kisses for Baby Tirzah too right?” and in reply Jeremiah bent down and kissed my tummy for Tirzah!
3. During my trip Buy Buy Baby, Jeremiah knew right away that we were shopping for Baby Tirzah. I asked him help me pick out a little sweater for her- he knew right away that the one with brightly colored flowers was the one for her!
And last of all, Ryan and I want to thank you all for your love and support and being here with us today.
Thank you!

Dear Tirzah

This is the place where I post little notes to my daughter, Tirzah Catherine, still born on August 20, 2014. Feel free to send her your love too in the comments section! She’d love to hear from you too!

9/22/14

Sweet little Tirzah, I am so proud of you, my beautiful girl. Everyone loves to see your pictures, and thinks you’re beautiful too! I’m so proud that your life is touching so many people’s hearts, and of course you’re always in your Mommy’s heart. You’ve changed my life too, and I just keep hoping that you’re proud of your Mommy, and that I can continue making God’s goodness and grace known. I know that when I’m nearest to God is when I’m nearest to you as well. And I know that you were smiling down on Jeremiah and I while we were out by the river today, enjoying the sun sparkling on the river, and I know that you’re proud of your big brother and you were laughing with us as he ran and jumped, and I clapped: “What a jump! What a landing! You’re amazing!” And I know he’s so happy to be your big brother, and you’re always in his heart too! And when he picked out your little sweater with bright flowers, and your prettiest rose dress, he knew you were going to be so beautiful too, and some day he’ll understand that you’re more beautiful now than we can imagine! Love you so much my little sweet princess. I’ll see you soon, and miss you until then. Love and kisses from your Mommy xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

9/21/14:

Hi Baby girl, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and miss you. And tell you that your Daddy loves and misses you so much too… you’re his most beautiful little princess and we’re both so proud of you… I know you’re up there enjoying the beauty and sunlight- except there is no sun, just the brightness and light of the Lord, and I want you to just bask in Him and dance and twirl in His light…. and I know you are singing His praise with the most beautiful voice, like I’ve never heard. And I can’t wait to be there and sing and twirl with you too! I love you so much, and your Daddy loves you and can’t wait to hold you in his arms again soon!!!!! ***So much love and kisses and hugs from your Mommy and Daddy too, and Jeremiah sends kisses as well****

9/20/14:

Happy one month birthday, Tirzah, my sweet beautiful baby girl! I love you so much and I’m so proud of you and miss you like crazy. I know you’re experiencing delight and joy beyond what I can imagine. And I’m so happy for you. I know you’re walking in the gardens of Heaven with Jesus and with Monroe Faith too, and my grandma and her babies, and I wish I was there with you too, seeing what you’re seeing, and holding your hand. But you’re in my heart always, and I want you to have a wonderful one month birthday! Love you soooooooooooooo much! And so many *kisses* from your Mommy!IMG_3389