Thursday, February 2

To say Yes

It's been an early morning for me. Today I awoke at 5:17am, with the Hope Mommies retreat on my mind. This past month I feel like I've been in the final stages of wedding planning, and today's the big day! For the last 4 months I've been planning, prepping, and praying for this Winter Retreat. We have 24 Hope Moms traveling from 5 different states (and Canada!) to spend a weekend sharing our lives, losses, and journeys through infant loss.

This past month I've really been a little crazy, and my poor family has suffered through all my creativity crashing against a budget constriction. :) We have a speaker flying in, two amazing women coming out to cook for the weekend, two volunteers, and a host of people who have been individually praying for these women by name. The past 30 days have been spent on goodie bags, personalized gifts, signage, scheduling, room assignments, working with Carla on the menu, our Saturday night group activity, table decorations, t-shirt design and printing, organizing musicians, sound system prep, organizing volunteers to bake goods, and harassing local businesses into donating their wares.

All that to say, it's been a bit hectic around here. It's been to the point that, "I'm just ready for it to be over!!" the way that most brides are the week of their wedding. Yesterday I started asking the Lord to really slow my heart down, that I would not be so engaged in details that don't really matter, but that I would be ready and willing to emotionally engage with the women coming -- which is really the whole point of the weekend.

So this morning I found myself awake two hours earlier than normal, with the Spirit nudging me to consciousness and saying, "Okay Erin. You wanted me to help you be ready to engage; so get up."

You know, most days I still can't believe this is my life. That "my plan" from 15 months ago has been completely tossed out (with the exception of an amazing husband): I have a daughter in Heaven, a non-profit to run, two foster boys who cheerfully wake me up way too early in the morning, and a baby on the way. My life is so completely different than what I had pictured. All this change is the result of Gwendolyn having fallen asleep... or at least, she was the catalyst.

And as I write that I think of John 12: 24: "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever loses his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him."

Very rarely do we Westerners take that verse literally. I have struggled with God's application of that with Gwen - He really allowed her to die. But like a grain of wheat that has given up it's own plans, Gwendolyn's life is bearing more fruit than I can hold in my arms. And isn't that what I want for my daughter... my husband... myself? To be willing to give up my very breath and say "Yes, Lord!!" to whatever He wills? I don't know if Gwen's spirit actively chose to obey when You called, Lord, but I believe wholeheartedly that she is now shouting "Yes!" all over the streets of Heaven. I know she counts  You as surpassingly more worth it than any amount of years she could've spent here.

I'm thankful that You are more worth it than any of my plans. I'm thankful that this crazy life - this unplanned life - that I have is just the miniscule opportunity I have to serve You in return for Your graciousness toward me. I'm thankful that Your salvation trumps everything I might "give up", and that You offer hope where there is none.

I'm praying that You'll do that in these 24 women this weekend. That You will call, and they will answer, "Yes, Lord." through their tears. Please bring yourself much glory this weekend, Jesus.


  1. "that you will call, and they will answer 'yes, Lord' through their tears." thank you for helping give words for a prayer.
    may each of the 24 be drawn closer to our gentle and gracious God.

  2. Hey lovely Erin,
    I'm so excited for this weekend. Just wanted to let you know that I'm praying. I'm so glad God continues to teach you more about Himself. He is so good. Love you and miss you.