Our little friend Lilly Hultberg went to be with Jesus last week. This eight year old spunky sweet thing fought a long, difficult battle with leukemia. There were many ups and downs, many days of hope and many days of sorrow. We first met their family about 5 years ago. Lukkes and Merit were on the same basketball team. Heather, Lilly's mom, and I would visit at practice and games and run into each other at Grocery Outlet. Later we often saw each other on the baseball fields. We had the occasional visit at the water park. Heather is strong and beautiful. Easy to talk to and has a great sense of humor. One sunny, summer day Kyla, Heather and I relaxed on the lounge chairs there for hours. Heather told me all about Lilly being diagnosed with leukemia as an infant. She told me about their journey. We watched Lilly run and play - a healthy Lilly - thankful that God took this disease from her. But it came back. People prayed. Churches, Bible studies, friends, people sat in circles and prayed for this dear child. God's plan. It has me perplexed and sometimes disappointed, but it is good. It just doesn't feel good sometimes.
Last week Monday my friend Lisa Garcia lost her home in a fire. She and her three children lost their husband and father four years ago. Her kids have felt more sadness and tragedy than children should. - My opinion - And then to have their home burn down. Their memories of Casey! But I sat with Lisa at the Bookery in Ephrata Saturday morning and she trusts God through this. She knows God loves her. Lisa sees beauty in ashes. She has had this amazing ability to see the good through the pain. She weathers these storms with amazing grace. Several of us sat with Lisa Saturday morning. And I looked around the table and was in awe of the beauty and comfort in prayerful friends. And I thanked God that I could be included in this group.
My sister Natasha. I pray 50 times a day for this girl and then she sends me a text about another road block in their journey and I commit to praying fifty more times. Their house is being packed. Movers will come today. They will once again get on a plane and start that journey back to San Diego. With a heavy pile of unknowns. She is strong and faithful! Her faith will see her through.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to pray. I have the opportunity to pray, ENCOURAGE and try to make a difference. I might say some stupid things along the way. I may be insensitive. I am praying I am not. The Hultberg's, Garcia's and Natasha and family are on the top of the prayer list. And when it is quiet, I am reminded to pray for my sister in law Mindy too. Oren's nap time has become prayer time -
so we keep going with heavy hearts, but thankful hearts. Merit, Willem, Hazel and Oren are learning and growing and laughing and being. I am so thankful. Merit went on a little group date last night to the movie theater. Watching this kid grow is so fun. Our house is bustling and busy and messy and FUN!
I got on Amazon yesterday and ordered some Christmas gifts. Fun to shop while lounging in yoga pants and visiting with my husband. I want to make a few gifts too.
We got our Christmas tree Saturday, pictures to come. It was a really good day. The tree is beautiful and perfectly imperfect. Oren was so amazed that we brought a tree indoors! And he loves the sparkly lights.