Friday, February 4, 2011

Love, Love and Love honored am I to be part of a wonderful idea that sweet Mattie had for the month of have a group of bloggers write posts about what love really means?
Really honored.

I have been trying to think about what to write. Love is such an ambiguous and defining concept at the same time. It kind of reminds me of how one's heart can be full and broken at the same time.

How it can rain even when the sun shines.

How hope lives even when it seems like there's no reason for it to do so.

I had no idea of how I'd be able to express what love means to me.

The other night as I was trying to fall asleep (and it was hard because my Little Billy Goat was grunting away and I wondered if he was about to get up or not!), it hit me...I knew what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to write about what love has meant to me in the last year, two months, one week and 3 and a half hours.

When one's child dies...or any great loss occurs, I guess...I think it's natural to question God. Goodness knows I sure did. And honestly, still do. I don't necessarily question "Why?" because I have come to realize that there is just no answer that will satisfy me on this earth. I question more along the lines of "How?"

How am I supposed to go on without a piece of my heart? How do I celebrate everything I have to celebrate while I mourn all that I have lost? How am I supposed to sit in the pediatrician's office, hear "Matthew" called, and not tear up? How am I supposed to function like the world expects me to? Now that Luke is here, it seems as if I'm expected to stop being Matthew's mom because I am Luke's mom. How do I keep the game face going?

These are the questions I ask God on a regular basis.

He answers in Love. One of the foundations of Sunday School is that God is Love, right?

Let me be frank. When Matthew died, God did not feel like love. In fact, God did not feel like love for a long time. I've always said it's time that gives perspective, not necessarily healing. Time allows one to see where God works and how He's worked when one can't actually see it in the moment.

And there is no doubt that every second of my life, I have been in the heart of God's love. As the nurses were begging Matthew's little heart to beat, I was loved. Doctors and nurses and techs were holding my hand...praying with me and for me...covering me and our family with scripture. When Matthew died, as John and I cried together on the phones, there was love. Mom and my neighbor Connie and my sweet nurse Jade held me and Matthew was ushered into Heaven with his daddy on earth gently and achingly letting him go.

A dear and sweet Texas friend cried to me about how she just wanted to "Love us like Jesus" did...I hadn't even heard that song, and I remember her telling me, "Oh,'s for you...I just want you to know so many people just want to love you like Jesus." Several months later, after having the strength to listen to the words, I know that our family most certainly has been loved with a love that mirrors the unselfish and unconditional love that God is.

From a church full of people I don't even know gathered to share their condolences at the loss of my people randomly visiting Matthew's grave and sending me emails and messages from all over the world to let me know how much 'our story' has touched them, we have felt love. Every weekly phone call to let me cry and work things out...every 28th with flowers delivered remembering my boy...every card and gift and amazingly thoughtful package that has been sent for Matthew and for Luke...every person who has found me on FB or on the blog and has just let me know they pray for us and will continue to do so...every word of encouragement, every understanding hug and hand-holding...

We have known love.

John and I are so often just amazed at the kindness and generosity of so many...many that would be considered 'strangers' if for no reason other than we've never even 'met,' and yet...treat us like family!

This is love. Every dark minute I screamed at God, "WHERE ARE YOU?" He'd show himself in a perfectly worded email, or phone call or song on the radio or simple little butterfly on my front porch.

His love may not have been blatant--as blatant as perhaps we desperately look for when we are hurting--but so, so, so abundant nonetheless.

His love has been gracious and generous in the work of His people...those who have loved us and cared for us and continue to shower us with thoughts and prayers on a regular basis.

And has meant the world to us.

I doubt this is going to even come close to what I wanted to express when I started writing this. Mainly because as usual, I cried as I wrote it and so in the name of guarding my heart, I sometimes withdraw. In any event, for my sweet little Luke--whose life is such a blessing and has already been so blessed by so many--love means the world to means we will see our Matthew again and no matter what happens to us on this earth, we are not alone.


To celebrate LOVE, I am doing a giveaway! I have never done one before, so honestly, not sure of what the parameters should be, but I'll just ask that you post a comment. Anything you want to say is fine...but if you'd like to share something special, I'd be honored to read it too. I'll keep the giveaway open until Sunday evening...and hope you like Thirty One! I have had FOUR friends tell me in the last week and a half that they've become consultants and I don't blame them because the products are SO amazing!!! I figured since it was so cold and gloomy for most of the country, something warm and anticipatory of the beach and summer weather would be appropriate!!! This is the link to my sweet friend Shannon, who is donating Beach Utility Tote with the flip flop name tag...and can be embroidered if you like. Cute, cute, cute...and so needed, I think, to push us toward the warmth in the middle of this winter!!! My thanks to Shannon and happy entering!


  1. Lori, this is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Your transparency is a lovely gift, and your words always paint an amazing picture of God's love.

  2. Congrats on the first giveaway! And such a lovely post :) God has really been teaching me lately what love looks like as a newlywed and it has been such a learning process but wonderful at the same time. Thank you for exposing another side of God's love for us to learn about. :) You are truly an inspiration and have touched so many. Thank you for your honesty.


  3. Lori I'm crying at your words. How our God has shown up in LOVE, pure love, working through others. He's not only covered you, but used you as well. Your words have helped me many times though I haven't always told you. I am so thankful for your friendship and love you very much my friend. xo

  4. Lori, thank you for sharing your heart! I can imagine the tears as you were writing this post. I could feel the love spilling from your words. I love how you described God's love not as how we might expect to see it, but abundant, very abundant. I'm so glad you can look back and see His love and the love of others. Again, thank you for this post!

  5. What an amazing thought process that went into this post..I so appreciate that of you. What a blessing you are to all the way you share Matthew's story with us and your faith in what God gives you. I have found renewed faith since losing Kennedy...and people like you have restored that feeling of love. Thank you for that. ((hugs and love))

  6. I am new to your blog, and want to thank you for sharing your story. One part of this post really hit me, "God is love" and that is so very true. Thank you for the giveaway, and for this beautiful post about love.

  7. I am new to your blog and what an absolutely beautiful post. ♥

    Thank you for sharing.

    I thought I knew Gods love before but since I have lost my boys, my relationship with the Lord has gotten so much deeper. I know He is the reason why I have gotten through these past 6 months. My husband and two little girls keep me going, and Gods love has helped me to not slip into that dark place.

  8. I'm finally back on my own computer (instead of my phone) so I can comment again! You write so perfectly ... I think that's another way that God has shown His love for you. He has given you such a heart and an ability to share Him ... and all those raw and real emotions, through writing. It blesses Him, it blesses other people and it blesses you (I believe) to write about and share your beautiful boys. I'm always reminded of the Caedmans Call song: "Love is different than you think, it's never in a song or on a tv screen. And love is harder than a word, said at the right time when everything's alright. Yes love is different then you think."
    Love is impossible to put into words and yet, you manage to cover so much of it, so well ... my opinion is because you love so well and receive love so well. I am SO, SO blessed to love you and be loved by you and I can't thank Him enough for the opportunity. Looking forward to seeing Matthew in heaven also ... won't that be the most beautiful of days? xoxo

  9. Lori, the beauty of your writing and the honesty that you share have blessed my heart. I have learned that love isn't always easy, that in fact sometimes it's very hard. Love is just what you said, in that it is expressed in so many ways and when God knows we aren't in the position to accept it directly from Him, he's clever enough to send it through His carefully placed angels on earth! And it is amazing to feel love from people you've never 'met', but knowing that God has used something so simple as my personal place to express my feelings and in turn to give me great friends who "get it", that's love!!

    I assume love is looking into that tiny face that you and your husband made and knowing that their world revolves around your love for them--I can't wait!!

  10. Much love to your whole family... you, John, Matthew, and little Luke. <3

  11. Wow..what a beautiful post. It is truly a wonderful way to paint God's love for us and reminding us that we will get to see our children again. God's love doesn't always make sense to us, but you are right in that He loves us regardless of what we are going through..Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts..

  12. Lori,
    I am new to your blog. That was a beautiful post. I released my son to his Heavenly Father in September and those "how" questions are so true. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Awww sweet Lori, you have such a way of writing things that makes so much sense. Time is a strange friend to us who have experienced loss, but whenever I seem to be struggling, your posts always remind me of the goodness in the world, and the greatness of god. Without him, we would not have our sweet children. All I can say is thank the lord that he saw fit to guide me to you for your help and strength in our challenging times. xxxxxxx

  14. Lori,
    As always, such a beautiful post. Seems like I cry everytime I read one, so I know how hard, yet healing, these posts are for you to write. Luke...and his future wife as she is becoming a mommy...will be so blessed to read all of this one day. And we already know little Matthew knows and watches and sees everything from above and is so proud of you.
    Love you.

  15. Lori, this is a beautiful, beautiful post! Matthew and Luke are both such blessed little guys!
    God's love is above all else! Thanks again for sharing! xoxo

  16. Such true words. I have often told others about how so many people I'd never met came to twins memorial service, (since we had pcs'd there only a few months before)& how so many sent cards & made donations in their names. It all meant so much & now, all these years later, I remember that love. I had one girl in particular who card me a few weeks after (maybe to ask about bringing me food?) i didn't know her...wasn't sure if I'd met her or not, but she listened to me pour my heart out for over an hour. That was God. Loving on me through another. Amazing. He is always there.

    Thinking of you often & so grateful to Lisa for "introducing" us so I can read your blog & see your sweet Luke :)

  17. What a beautiful, heartfelt post, Lori. Those expressions of love were sent straight from God. No doubt He loved you through the hearts of everyone who reached out to your sweet family as you walked this path. I love that song...Love Them Like reflects the desire of my own heart as we reach out to families through Sufficient Grace. Thank you for this wonderful post. And...what a great idea for a giveaway! Six more inches of snow was just dumped on us on top of the ton we already I'm totally looking forward to spring and summer! =)

    Love to you...

  18. Sweetest Lori,

    These words you've written sum it up best

    "His love may not have been blatant--as blatant as perhaps we desperately look for when we are hurting--but so, so, so abundant nonetheless"

    I cried through this entire post and learned so much...once again. Be well sweet friend. Feel your way through the sunshine even though its laced with rain.

    xxx and prayers always

  19. Isn't it neat how God speaks Love to us all so differently?? I think of the many deployments and how people appeared out of nowhere to help me with whatever. You're right...watching people love you and John and your boys has been amazing and unbelievable!

    I love your posts, God has gifted you in your writing abilities!

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  21. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I am continually amazed at your faith. Many can "talk the talk" but YOU "walk the walk" and you will never know how many people you, John, Matthew and Luke have touched, but God does and I'm thinking there will many jewels in that crown of yours :)
    on another note....I am sooooo excited you are moving back so I can finally give you and Luke all these hugs I have been saving...and maybe you can help me get Kayleigh a scholarship or 3 for college...she is determined to be a teacher...K-3 is what she want this month but last month it was high school math- LOL

  22. And I still do. And I always will. You are forever a beautiful wonderful love-filled part of my story.

    I thank Him every day that He brought us together.

  23. Oh, Lori, that was so good!

    So good,

    So good,

    So good!!!

    I just love everything you wrote, how you wrote it and the order in which you wrote! lol....... Yes, I'm seriously laughing out loud! :)

    There is so much truth to back up all that you have written from your heart.

    Love, Love and Love you. :o)

  24. Lori thanks so much for sharing this post on love. Sometimes in the middle of all our sadness it's hard to see the love God still has for us. One of the things I've learned (and something that you mentioned in your post) is that God will show you that he loves you when you start to doubt. When you feel like you can't go on- he will send something your way that keeps you going.

    Thanks again for sharing this and the story of your precious Matthew.



  25. I'm new to your blog Lori - thanks so much for sharing!

  26. I am amazed at how much I love and adore people I have never met in real life. Love you, Lori and your sweet babies, too. <3 Matthew <3 Luke. Hope we all get to meet someday.

  27. Love this post!! It's great!! I don't have anything else profound to write tonight. :-/ Give the pipsqueak a hug and big fat kiss for me!!! <3

  28. Oh Lori, that was such a lovely (no pun intended) post! Thank you for always sharing your heart and being a blessing to others. Though only *met* on this wonderful place called the internet, I am so grateful to get to read about your journey. <3

  29. Lori, what a beautiful, open post. I'm just catching up on everyone's blogs. Although I haven't been commenting I think of you and your boys all the time. XOXO

  30. This post is a beautiful reminder of God's love. I'm grateful for it as well as for the ideas and stories in everyone's comments. With love and prayers ongoing...

  31. Your words bring comfort to so many people, including me. Reading your story has given me a whole new perspective on what it means to love and what it means to grieve.
    Love manifests itself in so many ways. The love that is shared on your blog continues to touch all of us. Thank you for allowing us into your life.

  32. Lori you are so amazing with your words! I just love to read your posts. I do not comment often, but I do read. You are such an amazing person!!! Oh and congrats on you first giveaway!!!

  33. Lori,

    What a beautiful post! This was my first visit to your blog and I was moved by your words! Thank you for sharing. Your giveaway is also too cute!

  34. The only word I have right now for you is... BEAUTIFUL!

  35. Can't come up with the right words to say how great your post is, so I won't sit here for half an hour and try. Love the parts about the difference between "why?" and "how?" and about time being a perspective-giver and not necessarily a healer. What truthful, helpful insight.

    Wish I'd commented sooner to have a shot at the beach tote...what a fun prize. I remember when you had less than 70 followers, and now look at your number and how you're doing official giveaways. You're a big-time blogger now :)

  36. A wonderful post, Lori! Even in the times when we can't see it or feel it, God is loving on us with all He's got. And to have the love of so many others is a blessing!! Both of those you know and those who are 'strangers'. I'm so thankful for all the love that is in my life.

  37. Thank you for sharing what Love means to you! The words are beautifully spoken