Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coming Home

I had a great time with my family. It was relaxing (after the wedding of course), and one more hurdle that I was able to get over. Jared and I had planned to go back and visit my family this Christmas. He wanted to see what a Hird family Christmas was like. I was not looking forward to going back without him, but it turned out to be just fine.

The last two trips that I have taken to Kentucky I had a difficult time when I remembered that I was coming home to an empty house. This time was different, I'm beginning to get used to the fact that it is just me now. Today I was ok with coming home and I didn't get pitiful about it. I don't know why it was different this time, but I'm grateful that it happened that way.

My grace is sufficient for you, and My power is made perfect in weakness. II Cor. 12:9.

2009 is almost over and I am so looking forward to a new year and what God has in store for me! I figure it can only go up from this past year! :)

Monday, December 28, 2009


I made it back to Wisconsin....finally. The travels were interesting. Delays and snow had us beginning to think that we would spend the night in Houston. Thankfully we were able to get to Chicago and the roads were good enough to get to my parent's house at 2am.

We befriended the flight attendants while we were sitting in the airport. I would recommend doing that anytime you are delayed. We were able to get the inside scoop on whether or not we were going to get out, and when we finally did board, they asked us if we wanted to move to an empty row that was available, and we got asked what we wanted to drink sooner than when the cart was going to get to us. I think that they felt sorry for me (us). While delayed we were discussing the wedding etc. and they asked us why are husbands weren't with us. Katherine responded that her husband was working and kinda talked about that for a few seconds, but that didn't deter them to ask me where mine was. The poor girl's look on her face when I responded that my husband was in heaven. Wasn't the response that she was expecting! They were so nice about it though, and although tears came to my eyes having to say that, I didn't lose it. Thank goodness!

Wedding. It was great to spend a little time with Ruthanne prior to her wedding. Not as much as I would have liked, but I couldn't begrudge her her honeymoon! I'm sure her husband wouldn't have gone for that anyway! :)

This was one day that I dreaded prior to the date and this one I was right about. My emotions did get the better of me during the ceremony, and afterward. Getting four hours of sleep the night before didn't help either! I'm always more emotional when I haven't had enough sleep. The message was really good, but hard to listen to. The pastor talked about the husband and wife's role in a marriage. The primary role for both of them being to help to sanctify each other, preparing one another for the day when they stand before the Lord on judgment day. All the heaven talk, and listening the vows of "in sickness and in health, until death do you part" was difficult. But like my mom said, I made it through it, and it is one more "first" down! I also saw relatives and people that I hadn't seen since my wedding that were extremely kind and supportive. Didn't help with the tears though. :) I am so happy for my sister and our new bro, and I am glad I was there to see the wedding. My sister was gorgeous (as usual, I don't think she's ever had a "bad look" a day in her life) and they both were beaming. I pray they have a long and happy life together! I just hope I didn't dampen their day! I tried to hold it together, but sometimes I can't control it. I'm getting better everyday though! This weekend was just one more step in this journey.

I'm enjoying the time with the family, just hanging out today and staying inside! It is cold outside, high of 27 predicted today. The snow is beautiful, especially yesterday when the trees were all frosted over and were completely white. Wisconsin is such a pretty place.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

Today was the day I got engaged last year. Wow, what a year. Like I said in the previous post that the days leading up to a "special" day are usually worse than the day. It held true again. I really expected this to be an awful day. My prayer this morning was that God would just give me the strength to get through the day. He did more than that, He gave me joy in this day.

I spent the day with the Taylor/Reed family in Lubbock. They were all so wonderful, making me feel so at home. I laughed a lot, ate lots of food, and just had a good day. So for that, I thank them immensely.

Yesterday I went to breakfast with some friends of mine and the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" was mentioned. It has always been one of my favorite Christmas movies. I like the part when George was able to see what the world would have been like without him. It made me consider what would this world been like without Jared. He touched so many people with his life (I am still hearing from people that I don't even know). His actions spoke louder than words, a quiet giant. I showed the dvd of Jared's service to some friends of mine a few months back. Afterwards, one of them told me this "I hope that when I die people say half as nice things bout me as they did bout him". I ditto that! I know my life wouldn't be the same if he had never been a part of my life. My life was forever changed a year ago on this day. I thank God for allowing me the privilege of knowing and loving Jared, even if it makes days like this a little harder than they used to be! It was so worth it!

What changed my life even more than Jared was Christ, coming to this earth as a baby, saving His people from their sins! For that I am extremely grateful. What if Christ had never come to this earth, what would our lives be like, what would we even have to live for? He is the reason that I don't have to worry about the future because He directs my steps and He knows the plans He has for me. Jer. 29:11 What a comfort that verse has been to me, because I know that He's got some great ones out there for me!

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I am listening to the song "Jesus Calling" by 33 Miles. I don't think that I've mentioned this one before, but if I have, oh well. About three weeks after I came back from Dallas, 33 Miles sang at the church that I attend. The lead singer had me crying very quickly when he asked if anyone felt like their life was falling apart. He then mentioned that he had lost two of his grandparents this past spring, and he really missed them. Then he asked if we realized how short life was. My response in my head was, of course I do, duh. The group then proceeded to sing the following two songs. Jesus Calling and One Life to Love. Like I said though, I'm listening to "Jesus Calling". I heard a line in the song that I don't remember hearing before, and believe me, I've listened to this song lots! "And how you see your circumstance is all about a choice". How true is that. I could look at my circumstance and complain about how awful it is, or I can look at my circumstance and remember that God has a plan in all of this. It is my choice.

It is also my choice as to whether or not I have a good Christmas. I usually spend a few days prior to a certain "special" day worried about how I will handle that day. What I have found is that the actual day is far better than the days leading up to it. Go figure. But, that's what I have done once again this week. The thing is is that no matter how you slice it, Christmas will be difficult, but I am going to try my hardest to choose to enjoy it. I need to focus on what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. Not focusing on who I lost this year but remembering that without Christ we are nothing. Without Jesus coming as a baby and then going to the cross to save sinners, I wouldn't know for certain that I will see Jared in heaven again. But I can rejoice that I will see Jared again because God saw fit to send His son as a baby to a young woman named Mary. She accepted God's will for her life without question and I should do the same. This was her response found in Luke 1:46-55, the Magnificat:

46 And Mary said:
"My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."
48"For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49"For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
51"He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52"He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54"He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever."

I like verse 49, For the Mighty One has done great things for ME!

If I don't post again until after Christmas, I'll cover my bases now and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm not sure why I have become so reflective this week. I usually write when I'm not doing very good or I just need to vent. That has not been the case this week. I've used this site as more of a journal this week. I don't usually journal, I said I was going to start when Jared passed away, but I'm too lazy. So for those of you who read this, this is my only journal, my ramblings, that I will some day look back on.

Today I picked up a book that someone made for me. It is book of all the posts that were written on Caringbridge, the ones that were written by me (mostly) and the ones that were written to us by family and friends. It was such a wonderful gift! On July 16th, many of you wrote posts expressing your sympathy. I did read them at the time, but I know my mind wasn't really in it and I didn't read them very carefully. I tried a couple of months ago to pick it up, but after reading a few entries, I had to put it down. For some reason I picked it up today. Mind you I still cried when I read it, but primarily it was a reminder of the amazing outpouring of love for us. You all have been wonderful! I came across one post that I don't remember, but is so fitting for what I've been thinking about this week. A poem written by Ellen Cuomo:

Faith is risking what is for what is yet to be.
It is taking small steps knowing they lead to bigger ones.

Faith is holding on when you want to let go.
It is letting go when you want to hold on.

Faith is saying yes when everything else says no.
It is believing all things are possible in the midst of impossibilities.

Faith is looking beyond what is and trusting for what will be.
It is the presence of light in darkness, the presence of God in all.

I mentioned the "stripping" away that God seems to be doing in my life right now. Not only does He seem to be doing that, He seems to be prompting me to start taking those small steps of faith. I get Grief Share daily emails sent to me, and maybe, I'm reading into things, but some of the titles this week were "moving on", and "saying goodbye". They weren't telling me that it was time or anything like that, but it did make me start to think. I was also reminded of the line from It's a Wonderful Life" when George says, 'I want to live again'. Just to clarify, what I'm saying doesn't mean that I'm ready for this, in fact, I don't know if I will ever be ready to move on, but what I'm saying is that if God wants me to take that leap of faith, those steps forward, letting go when I want to hold on, I must. I am His child which means that when my Dad tells me I have to do something, it is my responsibility to obey. That last line made me realize that this is not going to be easy. Take a deep breath Beth, you don't have to do it alone!! That leads me to the last thing that I was thinking about today..

I have to Be still and know that He is God. Part of another song that I thought of:

Still, I want to be still.
Let me be ok, with the quiet in my heart.
Still, I want to be still,
I'm so quick to move,
instead of listening to You.
I'm your child tame my heart
Obedience, to me impart,

That's all for now, I must get back to making cookies, and watching Scrooge!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There is a Reason

Some songs just match perfectly to what I am thinking. Alison Krauss is one of my favorite artists, and I have loved this song since I first heard it. I never imagined that I would understand it in the way that I do now.

I've seen hard times and I've been told
There isn't any wonder that I fall
Why do we suffer, crossing off the years
There must be a reason for it all

I've trusted in You, Jesus, to save me from my sin
Heaven is the place I call my home
But I keep on getting caught up in this world I'm living in
And Your voice it sometimes fades before I know

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, crying with my need
Depending on Your love to carry me
The love that shed His blood for all the world to see
This must be the reason for it all

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, a fortress in the storm
When what I wrap my heart around is gone
I give my heart so easily to the ruler of this world
When the one who loves me most will give me all

In all the things that cause me pain You give me eyes to see
I do believe but help my unbelief
I've seen hard times and I've been told
There is a reason for it all

I do believe that there is a reason for it all. God seems to be slowly stripping things away in my life. Most of it I don't understand at all. I also don't understand the timing of different things that have happened in my life. I also keep wondering when this "stripping away" will be complete and what the purpose of it is. I'm not a very patience person. In fact, when people would remind me that "patience is a virtue" I usually responded "but not one of mine". Well, in all that is going on I think God is teaching me patience and I have no choice but to wait and see what the next bend in the road will be. To quote another Alison Krauss song:

But if I trust the One who died for me
Who shed His blood to set me free
If I live my life to trust in You
Your grace will see me through

I'd rather be in the palm of Your hand
Though rich or poor I may be
Faith can see right through the circumstance
Sees the forest in spite of the trees

To summarize, there is a reason for it all, and because I am in the palm of HIS hand and He loves me, I can trust that HIS grace will see me through.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


At work, we are asked to join an accountability group. One of the questions that is usually asked is "when was the last time that you experienced joy in your life?" That question has been a little difficult for me to answer lately. I've been pretty happy, but not necessarily joyful. In my mind, joyfulness means that it comes from deep inside your self and you just can't help being joyful. Happiness, well, anyone can show that they are happy on the outside all the while turmoil goes on in the inside.

I know that this is just one day (I hope it continues) but today was a joyful day! Strange thing though, it is supposed to be a bad day for me. Jared's new life began 5 months ago today. We had a Kids staff Christmas party, another reason for me to be emotional, but it was so much fun. Of course, when it is a white elephant gift exchange, with some of the tackiest gifts that I've ever seen, why wouldn't it be fun?! This was one of the best ones:

But truly it was a great day, thanks to a bunch of wonderful co-workers. Thank you Lord for providing this job for me, I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful Christian people who have walked with me every step of this journey!

These verses were the past three days of my desk calendar. They are so encouraging!

Deut. 30:6 The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants to love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Ps. 34:17-18 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Ps. 121:7-8 The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Years

I cannot wait for 2009 to be over. It seems like if its not one thing its another, the year of ups and downs. I had the greatest day of my life and the worst day of my life in the span 3 months, and quite a few other days that I would consider rank fairly high in the "worst" category. :)

Having said that, it's been an emotional week. I sometimes I wish I wasn't such an emotional person. I inherited my crying genes from one of my parents, and if you know my family at all, I'm sure you can guess who it is. I wish I could hold it all in, all the time. I get tired of crying in front of people. Tears will commence for various reasons: memories, people asking me how I am doing, people that are so very kind to me when they don't have to be, being overwhelmed by things I can't control and decisions that I have to make, and the major one lately is just really missing Jared.

It has now been two years since my first date with Jared on December 8, 2007. I remember the first time that we actually met (which was a month before). We were with a group of people and we really didn't get a chance to talk to each other. The funny part was, was that everyone in attendance that night, had at one point told both of us individually that we needed to meet. Jared & I talked about that first meeting later on and we both said that we felt indifferent in regards to each other. That changed very quickly. After that first date and the week that followed, I think there was only one day in the next 19 months that we didn't either talk to or see each other. I know that I only had him for 19 months, which quite truthfully doesn't sound like very much time, but it didn't take us very long to realize that God brought us together. Also, we were only married for 75 days, again doesn't sound like very long, but on the day we were married we became one. No matter the length of time involved, the bond between a husband and wife is amazing! I'm so grateful that I got to experience that bond with Jared. May you all cherish the spouse that God has given you!

This is a quote from someone else who lost a spouse recently, "I am content with where I am, but I do not feel complete." To an extent that is true for me also, thankfully God has been faithful to fill a lot of the void that is left, which helps with some of the completeness. The human side of me doesn't feel complete though! :)

Today's sermon at church reminded me of what my focus needs to be on right now. Our pastor talked about our willingness to give up everything for the sake of Christ, using the story of Mary and Joseph. Their lives were turned upside down when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit through Mary. They could have continued to do their own thing, but instead there are verses that say "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him" (Matt 1:24) that prove otherwise. As Christians are we willing to do all that the Lord commands us? I need to remember not to follow my own agenda but allow God to work in my life for HIS glorification, not mine. I pray I am doing that, it was a good reminder!

I close with a passage of Scripture that has become prominent in my life lately (which means I have come across it often) Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. May He do that for all of you this week!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I've been struggling lately with letting my mind wander. I tend to borrow trouble if I can. I have said in previous posts that if I keep my mind focused on Christ, I feel much better about my situation. Lately, I've been having a difficult time with that. Not necessarily the fact that I'm not focusing on Christ, but that I'm worrying much more about what the future holds. The future is confusing and when I don't have clear direction as to how to proceed with certain decisions, the worrying begins. I'm sure I'm not the only one that struggles with this. I know I need to pray more, worrying will just cause me more stress and really doesn't help in the long run. Easier said than done.

The month of December holds a lot more memories about Jared then the past few months have held. If I think about them for a couple of minutes, I will usually do ok, even smiling about what we did share. When I begin to dwell on all the "nevers" my emotions start to run rampant. I'll admit, I am dreading Christmas. I considered running away this Christmas, somewhere where no one else was, and just escaping, but I can't. I'm going back to the frigid north to visit my family, and to be there to see my sister get married. My family is great; they all said I didn't have to come back, especially if it was going to be too difficult for me to handle. I've determined that would be selfish of me. This may be one of the hardest things that I will have to deal with, but I must. Yes, my stubbornness is showing, I'm not a redhead for nothing. :) I know that if I don't go, I will eventually regret not being there for my sister and future bro-in-law. Back to borrowing trouble. I worry about not being able to make it through the ceremony without losing it, making my family's life miserable, taking away from my sister's wedding day, being the Eeyour with the dark rain cloud at Christmas. Doesn't that sound uplifting?! I have to stop thinking about all the negative things that perhaps could happen and remember that God still has a plan for my life and His timing is always perfect!

Ok, everything written above was penned last night. Just to show you how God works....

Today I'm doing much better, but woke up with the same worrisome thoughts about finances, decisions about my house, etc. looming over my head. This is the God part. Today at lunch one of my co-workers reminded me that God has always provided for his family, no matter the what the circumstances were. It made me go back and think about all the ways that God has provided for me these past few months. The constant reminders today of His faithfulness to me have been incredible. I think I need to do something that someone once suggested to me. Every day, write down one thing that I'm thankful for/how God has blessed me and post it somewhere that I can see it all day long. My personality is to get weighed down in all the "bad" things and forget the good. I need to constantly remind myself that I'm not in charge and remember that the One who holds my tomorrows is walking with me every step of the way!

Psalm 23