Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Favs

Thanks, as always, to Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story for hosting!

WHAT A WEEK! Lots of fun things, lots of surprising things, lots of heart things to think about, including the first anniversary of Landon's death. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect from the day. And it wasn't what I expected. Instead of ending with a Youtube clip, let's start with one and then I'll share all the wonderful blessings that came out of this hard thing:

1. This year we received flowers on the doorstep. A friend gave us the gift of flowers with a note saying that her family was praying for ours on this anniversary date. This same friend has kinda shared the above "Theme Song" this past year. So when I saw these flowers I thought, "SPRING IS COMING!!!" It won't be long now. It's just about here!

Isn't this pretty?

2. This Wednesday I received an e-mail from a friend who just spoke exactly the right words to boost the spirits this past week. She didn't try to come up with perfect words. She just said, "I'm here and I remember."

You know - it blows me away when others remember significant anniversaries in our family's life. When people remember things that matter to you - your heart just feels unbelievably full. Flowers and e-mails are God's way of shouting down, "HEY! I remember. I care. I love you." Because He sends His comfort through others.

The beyond beautiful thing to learn in the midst of pain is how others respond to it. When you are hurting and someone chooses to speak words of life to you and bless you in some way, do you take note of how they serve you? I never noticed until last year. Last year I took notes of things people did when we were hurting. This year I took notes again. Mental note: Mark down dates on the calendar that are significant to OTHER people. I have all kinds of dates written down that pertain to our family. But I've never written down the dates of other people. Now I'm kind of ashamed of how selfish my calendar looks. I just never thought to do it before. But now I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good by prompting people to do this. How BLESSED am I! Blown away....

3. Strong memories from a year ago....(still running on the friendship theme here).

I called a friend who lived on the opposite side of the country to tell her that Landon had just died. Do you know what she said to me? "I'll see you in a few days." She knew within a split second that she was going to get on a plane and fly across the country to serve both myself and my family. She was invaluable to me. I will never forget that act of sacrifice and service. Never ever. Every single time I think about it (including this moment) - I cry. Not many friends will drop everything and run to you (across the country, no less!) when you really need them. But she did. And she set the example for me.

4. Another friend of the family spent almost two solid weeks with our family following Landon's death. She showed up on our doorstep every morning. She watched our son, she ran errands, she cleaned the house, she did our laundry, she fixed food, etc., etc., etc. Mostly, she just walked alongside me (literally) as I was trying to accomplish tasks. She knew my struggles in being away from my dad when I knew his time on earth was limited. Every time I turned around to ask for help, she answered with a "yes" and a smile and demonstrated Christ's love to us. (I've told her she is never EVER allowed to move away or die herself. She can die the day I do but not a moment before.) She's too rare a friend and I value her.

5. Our church family at the time came together beautifully and cleaned bathrooms, sent cards, dropped off meals and groceries and delicious cinnamon rolls. They picked up dirty tablecloths that needed washing. Errands were run, airport runs were made, people were coordinated, and others caught me in hugs in various moments and just let me cry and told me it was ok. And they asked about my dad which was a really big deal to me. They just knew and they cared and they prayed.

I share all this to say one thing - death is ugly but God does send comfort to us. I look at the ways we were served and how we were ministered to and I remember all of this during this week. I remember the words that were spoken to us in love. I remember the support and the kindnesses. I remember so many little details that just overwhelm me. These are the beautiful things that I want to hold on to. Every year that passes I want to remember them. I never want to forget them because all of these people taught me in their own way how to love like Christ.

This post is not written with a drop of sorrow involved but rather as a pitiful expression of an overwhelmed heart who feels God's love through the expressions of others' and wanted to thank them them anonymously AND publicly today for being such an enormous blessing to myself and to my family. The impact that you had on the way I view death is astounding. Even in the minutes that followed it, beauty started rising out of the hearts of others and this is why I shall end this week with a triumphant SHOUT:

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

Jesus has conquered the grave.

Blessed beyond measure,



Heidi said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Anyone who loves the Disney Store is a friend of mine, so I'm going to follow your blog (and hope you'll decide to do the same).

I'm sorry that you've had a painful anniversary to get through this past week. Isn't life precious? Having a significant loss like that really gives you a whole new appreciation, doesn't it?

March 5th is the day that I lost my best friend after a 9-month battle with ovarian cancer. I know that will be a tough date each year. We had her 37th birthday to get through this past Sunday - and it actually went quite well.

Melli said...

God is sooooooo good in the ways He comforts us. I'm sorry Landon died... but I'm glad that you have experienced richness from Heaven because of it. When I have had to deal with the painful loss of loved ones, it helps sO much to remember that it was God's plan, and that God is ALWAYS right! It may have been an accident on Landon's part... but there are no accidents on God's part.
Blessings to you...

Ronnica said...

Thankful you have people in your life to remember and encourage you. I need to be better about that's not hard when you can put stuff like that on a calendar. Need to work on it.

Kari said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. When I read that you wrote this post with not a drop of sorrow, that made me glad. God is good. His love is demonstrated in so many ways and your friends definately showed His love to you during your time of loss.
You are right - death is ugly and it will happen but how we rise and come together from the sorrow and move ahead together and hopefully closer - that is always important.
Happy Weekend!

Stephanie Kay said...

True friends are indispensable and irreplaceable. I'm glad God has given you such great friends to walk this journey with!

Lisa notes... said...

The flowers are gorgeous. Hope you’re making it through Landon's anniversary okay. That one year mark is a difficult one.

It is SUCH a blessing when people share in the remembrance of important days. I have a friend who ALWAYS remembers the birth/death day of my middle child, and it makes me cry every year when I receive a card from her.

Yes, we live and learn how to minister to others from how others minister to us. You will bless many people in the years to come because of Landon!

Annette W. said...

I appreciate your words so much...because God is good...and you are blessed, and so am I.

Something I've been encouraged by is that "it" can be well with my soul even if it is not well with my circumstances.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Beautiful post, Carrie.

Thinking about you this week!

nikkipolani said...

Carrie, I didn't know Landon's story but it is such a wonder to read about all the people who surrounded you and your family with love and support during those painful days. That they are still loving you by remembering is very precious indeed.

Jientje said...

This is not just the usual FFF post. You touched my soul with it. I'm so sorry about your loss, but I'm glad you have so many great friends who are helping you through this.

Barbara H. said...

What a wonderful post. I don't think to mark the anniversaries of occasions like this, either, but it is a good thing to do. And though I know people mean well when they say, "Call me if I can do anything," it is hard to do so. Praise the Lord for people who know how to just jump in and help.

Janet said...

God is good... and you have some awesome people in your life.

Susanne said...

Carrie, this was a wonderful post, first on the expression of your heart in being thankful for the people God has sent to minister to your family and secondly as an encouragement to us to be open to let God use us in that way to minister to someone in our own lives.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Carrie this post is such an example of the SCC song.....Beauty did Rise out of such a tragedy.
Thanks so much for sharing your heart and showing how Christ can be glorified in such tough times! Beauty will Rise, I loved that song and it's message. Thanks for posting it!

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