July 31, 2013

How is it Possible?

Joy in sorrow.  Sustained through intense grief.
Walking the path the LORD calls His people to with
grace and strength and courage.

How is it possible?  

How many times have we wondered at this?
When we think of the martyrs who were tied to the stake
and burned there for their faith, we wonder ~ How?
How could they do it?  How was it that they did not crumble?
Where did their courage and strength come from?
How were they able to sing in the midst of the flames?

The answer?  Supernatural Power.

Given by the God of Heaven and Earth.
From the One who created all things from nothing.
From the One who gives life and sustains it.
He is the One from whom their strength came.
He is the One who gave the grace.

They were bolstered up from within.

By God's Grace.  For His glory.
They were carried.  Met in their need.  
They were given all they required in that moment of time.
And for all the events that followed.
They were sustained by Him ~ just as He promised.

Remember what Stephen saw when he was taken to be stoned?
The LORD allowed him a glimpse into Heaven.
He declared it and boldly proclaimed what he saw. 
How powerful his testimony was ~ how precious!
(See Acts 7:54-60)

I cannot compare the bravery of these ones
with our recent experience of burying our precious son, Austin.
But, I can say that throughout these days and weeks
the LORD has not forsaken us ~ He has carried us.
He has provided much grace and strength and peace in the midst of it all.

There is nothing to compare with the comfort He gives.

It is with bold confidence that I can say ~

He will be Faithful to give grace for the journey.
Whatever it is that He calls His people to ~
 He will meet them in it with all that they will need.

It's only possible with Him.

Anything is possible with Him.

We must not rely on ourselves.

We draw strength from His Word and prayer.
We must continually redirect our attention to His Truth.
We comfort ourselves with the doctrine of His Sovereignty.
And, we look to Him each step of the journey He calls us to.
It really is the only way.  HE is the only Way.

May He grant to you His grace and strength and peace

in whatever He calls you to ~ He is Faithful.

Much Love,

**Photo in this post courtesy of Emma ~

Thank you my love.  XO

July 29, 2013

When Plans Are Thwarted

How do we react when our plans are thwarted?
Do we see it as from the hand of a Loving God?
Or, is it something we view as an intrusion ~
An interruption?

Our Uncle Johnny, who is now with the LORD,
was very wise and godly.
He said on more than one occasion ~
"Every interruption is ordained of God."

~ Uncle Johnny with the boys circa 2002 ~

How that alters our perspective!

Directly from HIS hand?
How much easier it is to accept
when we view everything in this light.

We are owned by Him and our times are in His hand.

May we submit ourselves to all He does in our lives.
And, may we rejoice in the fact that
He is with us through everything He brings our way.
By His grace ~ For His glory.  

With Love,

July 24, 2013


Austin is not forgotten, nor will he be.
We are not moving on ~ we are moving forward.
In light of this, I'm transitioning to posts similar 
to those prior to eight weeks ago.

I plan on publishing recipes and thankfulness posts,
thoughtful posts and funny ones ~ just as in the past.

This does not mean we have stopped grieving.  
On the contrary ~ we will continue to grieve for some time to come.
God, in His great and powerful mercy, goes before us ~
just as He has in days gone by.  He walks this path with us.
He will never leave nor forsake us.

How wonderful the thought!

As I transition, please know that it may be a bumpy ride.
It's a process.  I have no idea how long it will take.
I'm inclined to think that this is normal.
At least, I like to entertain the idea that it is.
Don't we all like to think we are normal?  :)

May the LORD give grace to follow Him where He leads.
There is nothing to fear.  Truly.  Nothing.
He is Faithful.  He is Gracious.  He is Good.
HE is Everything.

Many Blessings,

**Photo in this post courtesy of my Little 'Em ~

Thank you my love!  XO

July 22, 2013

Just Passing Through

This blog is a little slice of our lives.
It's been a place to share my heart in both good times and bad.
It's been a place to share the love of the LORD and His Truth.
Recipes and funny moments and my journal of thanks 
have all been recorded here.
Snippets of the everyday have been treasured up.
Piece by piece.  Moment by moment.

Life is just like that...don't you think?
All jumbled up and mixed together and rolled into one.
The good and the bad and the humorous and the painful ~
The regular and the extraordinary. 
These are the things that make up our lives.

What a blessing it is that we do not know the future before it's given to us.
God is Gracious and meets us in the moments.
He walks before us.  He is Faithful.  He does all things well.

These last many weeks we have been thrown into a
new season ~ one in which Austin is only included in our memories.
We are making new ones without him.
We think in terms of before Austin died and after.
It's surreal.  It's difficult.  And, yet...life does go on.
As much as we would like life to stop and stand still awhile ~ It doesn't.  

Why doesn't it?  Why can't it?

It's a mercy, really.  

The way it works is designed by a Loving God.
He has orchestrated it to be so.  Yes, we live.  And, so does Austin.  
He lives in his eternal Home and we live here until the LORD takes us there.
Interesting how that is.  We are just passing through.  

Our Austin has arrived.  Ahead of us.

We will never forget him.
We think of him each and every day.
In fact, we think of him multiple times throughout the day.
He naturally comes up in conversation and in the quiet of our hearts.
We must continually remind ourselves that he is complete now.
His earthly pilgrimage has come to its close.

We are still on ours.

So, we must be faithful.  We must serve.
We must live and obey and follow.
Until that day when we are called Home.
Whenever that may be.

In the days to come, I will remember ~ Austin will be part of that.
He will make his way into posts ~ he is still part of our family.
In moving forward, we are not moving on.
We are just following ~ Austin has gone on ahead.
May we live in such a way as to complete our journey well.
May we be found following our Saviour each step of the way.
Wherever He may lead ~ just as our precious Austin did.

By HIS grace.  For HIS glory.  Alone.

With Love,

**Photo courtesy of my Uncle Gordon ~

Thank you SO much!  XO

July 19, 2013

When Someone is Grieving

**This post is not a plea for further help ~ 
Please understand that we have been very well cared for!
Thank you to each one of you who has carried us in so many ways.  :)

It is, however, meant to be an encouragement to those of you who may have the 

opportunity to walk along side someone who is grieving now or in the future.
It is a great blessing to be able to walk through the valley with another.

**I can only write this post due to having been shown love and care

in the many following practical ways ~ I certainly had no idea how much was involved.
Many of you will already know all these things...but, I didn't!  

In our recent days of intense grieving, we were showered

with much love and practical help.

Cards, flowers, emails and voice messages were kindly sent to us.
Meals were delivered to our door ~ some came frozen and some came fresh.
Loved ones came along to just sit and brain storm and execute the plans being made.
Ironing and dishes and general tidying up were done.

Many helped with the graveside and memorial services
as well as the luncheon that followed.
Little and not so little *unknown* things were done behind the scenes.
It's been overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such loving care.

I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing it all has been.

When people offered to help, they were given something to do.
Sometimes the one grieving doesn't even know what needs doing.
Ask those closest to them how you may help ~ they likely will know.

It can be a difficult thing to know what to say 
or do when someone is grieving.

Especially if you've never gone through a similar type of loss.
Eventually, however, we will all experience grief of one sort or another.
We all grieve differently.  But, I think we are all similar in this one thing ~
 We surely are blessed to be loved through the process.

There are so many ways in which love can be shown. 

A listening ear without saying much ~ just *being there*.
 Encourage the one grieving to share what's on their 
heart or just hug them while they cry.

Helping out in practical ways is another loving thing to do ~ 
provide a meal or something else needed.
Perhaps come along side with helping hands to iron or clean or?
There may be times when the one grieving will want to talk it out.

They will want to remember their precious loved one ~
and they will want you to remember him or her as well.
Some memories will stir up tears and others will generate smiles.
It's all normal.  The various displays of emotion are all part of the process.

We all grieve differently, and that's okay.

It's a good idea to go with their lead in these things.

 Perhaps it will be too much to have memories brought up
at this tender time, or maybe it will be just what is needed.

The LORD will give wisdom to know when to talk and when to keep silent.
Those grieving will not always know what they need or even be able to articulate it.
Each of us, however, benefits from being pointed to Scripture and the Truth.

When you don't know what else to say or do ~ 

Prayer and sharing God's Word is always appropriate.

One fear that may be harboured in the heart of the one who has had to say 

goodbye to a loved one is that they will forget ~ that their loved one will be forgotten.
Help them remember.  When they are ready, share your memories.
In these ways the heart is comforted and the pain lessened.

Seek the LORD for opportunities to be a blessing.

Look for things to do that will ease the burden.
Write notes of encouragement that include Scripture.
And, most importantly ~ Pray!

Pray that the God of all comfort 

would give His peace and His grace and His strength.
Pray that joy would come in the morning.
Pray that they would not forget HIM in the midst of it all.
Pray for them the way you would like to be prayed for.

And, treat them how you would wish to be treated ~

It's a wonderful, beautiful thing.

By God's Grace, we have been cared for amazingly well ~

He has blessed us with such supportive and loving people!!
Thank you, each one of you, from the bottom of our hearts.
May the LORD help us to comfort others as you have comforted us.

With Love,

**Photos in this post courtesy of my Uncle Gordon ~

Thank you SO much!  XO

July 10, 2013

A Little Time Off

Just taking a little time off ~
a little time away from this space.
Perhaps for a week or two?

I do want to take this opportunity, however,
to thank each and every one of you for leaving kind words
of encouragement here and for praying for us.
You have blessed us abundantly.

We sense the LORD carrying us and giving us His grace
in the midst of these difficult days.
He is Good and Gracious and Merciful.
Where would we be without Him?

"The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusteth in Him, and I am helped:
therefore, my heart greatly rejoiceth;
and with my song will I praise Him."
~ Psalm 28:7 ~

May the LORD bless you all!
With Love,

**Photo courtesy of Calvin ~
Thank you my love!  XO

July 9, 2013

An Amputation

The best way to describe what it feels like without
Austin here with us is this ~ it's like we've suffered an amputation.
None of us has lost a limb, so I cannot say if this is an accurate analogy.
But, if we could imagine what it would be like to lose
an arm or a leg, it may feel something like this.

His absence has left a hole in our family.
We are used to being in constant contact with each other
in the comings and goings of day to day life and living.
We've never been away from our children for very long.
Howie's longest separation from us was on a business trip ~
he was away for eleven days.
I had the opportunity to go to Wales to help our precious
Uncle die at home ~ I was gone for two weeks.

Oh, how desperately we miss him.
It hurts.  We can easily be brought to tears.
Without warning, the sadness wells up inside and spills out.

Yes, life goes on.  But, Austin's absence is felt.  Keenly.
In the empty bedroom.  The empty desk.
The empty place at the table and in the van.
In my counting out five, not six, place settings.
In evening devotional times, and when Fraser plays the piano ~ alone.
In the violin sitting silent in its case, and the music on the stand unplayed.

I am missing...
Hearing his voice and feeling his hug.
Passing him on the stairs or in the hallway.
Seeing him drive up the street with a wave and smile.
Hearing him say ~ "Good Night", or "Good Morning".
I miss the connection with him in the sense of humour we shared.
I miss the thoughtful things he would say or do.
His quiet presence was precious.  I didn't realise just how much.

In all these ways, and so many, many more ~ 
he is missed.  Terribly.

~ L to R: Austin (9), Emma (2), Calvin (7), Fraser (5) ~

But, God is Greater than our grief.
He is Greater than our sorrow and even our loss.
He meets us in this journey and walks the path with us.  He goes before us.
Our loss is only temporary.  Our loss is Austin's gain.  He lives.
And, one day we will join him in Heaven to worship our Saviour forever.
Eternity is real and everlasting.  Time is temporary.
This separation is for such a short while, in reality.

Oh, that we would have eyes to see
and hearts to truly believe and comprehend these things.
By God's great and merciful grace, we do.  We will.
We must continually remind ourselves that
though we miss our Austin, he is not missing us.
He is HOME.  And, he is rejoicing.
One day, the LORD will take us Home as well.
Heaven is more glorious than we can imagine.
And best of all, the Lord Jesus is there.

"...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
~ I Corinthians 2:9 ~

How precious it is to know that the LORD has Austin with Him,
and that he is well and free from pain and suffering and sin.
He is praising the God he loves.
These thoughts ease some of the pain of this separation.
It is a comfort to our hearts.

And so we continue on.
Moment by moment.  Step by step. With the LORD.
It's what we are called to do.  By HIS Grace.

Many Blessings,

July 6, 2013

Twenty-Two Years Ago

Twenty-two years ago, on this day,
at 10:30 in the morning ~ I married my Sweetheart.
We were young.  We were happy.  We were full of hope.
We had no idea what joys and sorrows lay ahead.
We didn't need to know.  It was a blessing that we didn't.
By God's Grace, we were building our lives together on the LORD.
And, He is Faithful.  SO Faithful.

We have nothing to fear when we are HIS.

At our reception we sang "I Cherish the Treasure of You" to each other.
One part of the song includes these words ~

"This sacred vow I make to you, does not contain an "if",
though I'm aware that trials lie ahead.
I will love you, and pray with you, and through it all I will
stay with you, our home will be a refuge of unconditional love."

It's a beautiful song and very meaningful.
And, it's all possible with the LORD.

We have had many happy times ~ many joy-filled times.
There have also been times of sorrow, 
as well as trials and troubles along the way.
But, God is Faithful.  He does all things well.

Prior to our precious Austin's passing,
we had ups and downs in our lives...as everyone does.
However, nothing compares to the depth of this sorrow.
We've never gone through anything like this.
But, God is Greater and He is Deeper.  
His ways are best and He walks this path with us.

Last night, we tended Austin's grave together.
It's what we did for our anniversary date.
Twenty-two years ago, we could not have imagined ourselves here.
But, we are here.  And, so is our Precious Saviour.
Each step of the way.

Many Blessings,

July 3, 2013

Nearly a Year Ago

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this post.
At that time we thought our troubles with Austin 
were a thing of the past.  We were wrong.

It turned out to be a beautiful reprieve in the midst of the trial.
We must remind ourselves that Austin's healing is complete ~ he is well.
It was God's plan all along to heal him ~ just not here.
Oh, how I thought it was going to be here!
My heart aches with the reality that we now face.

Through it all, however, I still believe that God is Good.  Always.
I still believe that He does all things well.  Always.
I still believe that He is in complete control.  Of all things.
Even when the *unthinkable* happens.  Yes, even then.

~ L to R: Emma, Calvin and Fraser at Austin's grave ~

Why did things change for the better, and then end like this?
Why did the LORD call our son home to Heaven?
Because His ways are higher than ours.
And, the way He accomplishes His plans sometimes is mysterious.
But, that does not make Him any less Good.
Any less in control.  Any less than Perfect.

Not at all.

We just look through a glass darkly.
We see things through finite minds.
We are limited on this side of eternity.

But, God is not limited.
He sees perfectly.  He acts perfectly.
He does all things well.

And, He cares when we hurt.
Yes, we hurt.  But, He is meeting us in this pain.
And He is carrying and providing and giving grace.

Moment by moment.  

~ L to R: Fraser (3), Emma (6 mths), Austin (7) and Calvin (5) ~

Today I give thanks.  To the Giver of Life.
Our Great God is worthy of all praise.
For all eternity we will praise Him.  Austin is praising Him at this very moment.
May He help us to do so as well, even in the midst of pain of suffering
on this side of eternity ~ in the here and now.  

On this day, I am thankful for these mercies...

 Austin died at home ~ peacefully in his sleep.
He'd had a good night and was looking forward to the day.
The *little black box* in his pacemaker that told us what happened.
It would have been a pain-free passing ~ how that comforts my Mama heart!
And God, in His mercy, allowed me to have one last moment with him that morning.

He was not in the hospital and never had been hospitalised for Crohn's.
We had an extra 14 months with him ~ two or three of which he felt really well.
He was beginning to play his violin again and create music with Fraser ~
I am so grateful that I recorded some of those moments on video.
He took Emma along to the library and on errands a few times in his last month.
We were able to go to the park together and watch him send up a rocket ~ twice.

Cousins had been over to visit recently, not knowing what was to happen.

Grandparents each had their last visit with Austin recently as well.
We have many, many memories of our precious son.
And, I had taken many photos of life as it happened.

Austin's testimony was clear and his faith strong.

He loved his Saviour and grew spiritually through his struggles.
Mercifully, we didn't focus during this last year on the possibility of an early death.
Rather, we lived, as much as we were able to, in the moment.
And, we enjoyed life together.

The day prior to Austin's home-going he was studying for an exam.

He was living life, too.
He had planned to re-connect with a childhood friend on that Saturday.
I remember hearing Austin chat on the phone with that particular friend 
as they caught up with one another ~ it was SO wonderful to listen to 
Austin's side of the conversation and piece it together ~ JOY!

I am thankful for the many memories we have to cherish.

Austin in his Uncle's Canadian Airlines uniform ~ 
he was approximately six years old.

The boys in the dressing room getting ready to play some hockey.
L to R: Austin (11), Fraser (7), Calvin (9)

Austin and Fraser playing at their cousin Kristy's wedding
in May 2012 ~ Austin was 17 and Fraser was nearly 13.

Last Summer on my birthday ~
We thought Austin had turned the corner for good.
Oh, how thankful I am for those precious, precious days!

So, yes.  God is Good.  Always.

He gives grace and strength and peace and comfort.
And, when there are no answers we trust and we rest.
In HIM.  In HIS perfect plan.  In HIS Sovereignty.

All is a gift from His hand.  Everything.  

Many Blessings, Camille