happy heart rocks

On Thursday, Levi stayed up a little after Griffin went down for his nap so that we could do some painting.

My friend, Heather, had posted a picture of some heart rocks on Instagram and I was inspired to make some of my own.

I figured Levi would like doing a little rock painting himself…and he did. Green and blue are his favorite colors just in case you are wondering.;)

He would have sat in there by himself for the rest of the day and painted every rock he could get his hands on if I would have let him.

While he was busy painting I painted a few heart rocks of my own.

I had searched for the most heart shaped rocks I could find in my driveway earlier that morning. Not perfectly heart-like but I think they turned out pretty cute. Happy hearts.

Next time I need to make sure he is wearing paint cloths or a smock or something. I saved his jeans before it was too late. Don’t you love little fingers covered in paint?

I finally pried him away so he could squeeze in a little nap that day, but we will definitely be doing rock painting again. Maybe someday when you drive up our driveway it will be filled with rainbow rocks. Wouldn’t that be fun?:)

The next day was Cora’s heaven anniversary. The boys and I go to Cora’s stone all the time because it is on our walking path, but we always go as a family on her heaven anniversary and birthday.

When we painted our rocks the day before I hadn’t intended on making them to take to Cora’s stone. But after getting donuts that morning, Levi and I were talking and decided that our rocks were the perfect thing to put on Cora’s stone for her heaven anniversary. Levi loaded up a bag with all his rocks and was so excited to leave them there for her.

Notice he gave her the blue and green one first? Love that.

The boys love to go to sissy’s stone and Levi often requests to stop there on our walks.

This is very typical to find them playing games and climbing all over sissy’s stone. Probably a little weird for most people but it has become our normal.

Definitely bittersweet. I so wish that these boys could have known their sister here on earth. But I love that someday they will know her in heaven. You have some pretty awesome brothers, Miss Cora. I can’t wait for them to meet you.

The rock hearts ended up being the perfect addition to Cora’s stone…and they won’t even blow away in the Kansas wind! I loved what they symbolized as I thought more about them throughout the day.

:: God my Rock ::

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4

I am so comforted to know that no matter what my circumstances He will always give me a firm place to stand. He is my Rock.

:: Stones of Remembrance ::

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. Joshua 4:4-7

The Lord has been so faithful to us and I pray that we would never stop telling others, especially our boys, of the great things He has done and continues to do in our lives.

:: God’s Love ::

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

And I had to add this verse one more time. How incredible to know that I can rely on God’s character and his love for me…even on the days when I am not feeling it.  He loves me so much. He loves my family more than I can imagine. I am so thankful for His great love and what He has done for me…and you!

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  • February 13, 2013 - 1:58 am

    Michelle from Australia - Big fat tears are running down my face and onto my keyboard. I think it is wonderful that Cora’s stone is such a familiar and comfortable part of life for Levi and Griffin that climbing all over ‘her’ is what they do. All three of your children are so Blessed to have you and Joel as their parents. You are amazing Jess. May God Bless you all. Particularly during the time around Cora’s anniversary.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 8:35 am

    babykatesmom - What a beautiful post. I love your heart rocks and it is so special that you placed them at Cora’s stone. My heart breaks for your mama heart that you have to do that. You are so strong and your love for the Lord is so amazing. You are truly inspirational.
    xoxoReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Kristen Ritchie - Been thinking of you and your family lots this past week. This post is FULL of so many beautiful things…boys who know and love their sister, happy colored rocks on a gloomy day (that I’m sure matched the mood). We had Charlotte’s cousins do something similar on her 1 year angel anniversary…they each painted a rock that will become a part of a special garden when our new home is finished.
    Thank you for sharing this part of your heart with us, Jess.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 10:46 am

    tara - big. fat. tears.

    the rocks are beautiful … and such beautiful representation. you are one amazing mama and God is getting so much glory from your words.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 10:51 am

    Melanie Martini - Jess, I love the idea of the painted rocks! Sweet Levi looked like he really enjoyed the project and loved showing them to his sister even more. :-) Thank you for your meaningful posts this week. Monday, February 11 was my daughters’ heaven anniversary. The bible verses you wrote in your blog ‘spoke to me’ like never before. Thank you for YOU!ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 11:07 am

    Stephanie - Hi Jess, longtime reader, first time poster. Just wanted to share that it was beautiful that you put the stones there– it’s a Jewish tradition to do the same. (One idea on the origin is that one of Jacob’s sons took a stone and put it on Rachel’s grave.) You can read more here (I really like the last paragraph):
    http://www.templesanjose.org/JudaismInfo/time/Life_Cycle/pebbles.htmReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 11:16 am

    whitney - I love this post. So sweet of Levi to leave his rock for cora!ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 1:31 pm

    Toni :O) - Been following along since before sweet Cora went to be with Jesus. I have to say, I think this post is definitely one of my most favorites you have ever posted. Those sweet feet and hands of Levi painting all those rocks is just so precious. You are such a precious and sweet family, thank you for posting the hard moments and the joy filled ones. I think it’s awesome they were climbing on Cora’s stone…if she were here on earth, I’m sure as boys, they would be climbing and rough-housing with her for sure! May God continue to give you strength and peace and you are always in my prayers. God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 1:52 pm

    Melanie - I have been praying for you. You are such an encouragement, blessing and inspiration to me. And we haven’t even met. God is using you in ways you don’t know. Keep being faithful to him. I think it is amazing, your testimony and story. And how you’re raising your boys to know and love God. And showing them his love and faithfulness by your words and actions. Thank you for being used by God. My eyes were not dry as I read your last couple posts. So thankful for Gods work in your life. (I love those painted heart rocks. And love the symbolism!!)ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 6:32 pm

    Mary Ann - I agree….the rocks are beautiful and it was very sweet that Levi gave his pretty green/blue one to his sister. I know what you mean about those sacred resting places for our loved ones. Cora’s headstone is so beautiful. My husband, both my parents, and my little great-niece who passed away at 5 months of age are buried very close to each other. I feel so much peace and love when I go there. My best friend told me something that really makes sense….she said that those who have passed on are not at the cemetery….they GO there with us when we go. It is a beautiful, wonderful concept that I choose to believe is true. Those who have passed on know of us and are with us when we need them. They champion our cause and comfort us too. Your boys will always know their sister. On that perfect day when you are all together in heaven, they won’t be strangers….the love never ends!! Ok – now I am crying!! I agree too. My Savior is my rock and my salvation.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    Mary - so sweet.
    xoxoReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    creole wisdom - Sending you lots of love from Minneapolis. Those heart stones are so pretty, I love them and I bet the boys loved painting theirs, too :) You are right, God is our Rock. I am so grateful for that! We can always lean on him.ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 10:41 pm

    Katie B. - The boys climbing on her head stone is the equivalent to what rough housing with her would have been if she weren’t in Heaven. They are just showing her some brotherly love!ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 11:16 pm

    Marcia - This was probably one of my favorite ever of your posts! I LOVE how you used the painted rocks and that the boys can climb on her stone. I love the symbolism of God being our rock, stones of remembrance and Gods love for us!ReplyCancel

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  • February 13, 2013 - 11:29 pm

    Deanna - Long time reader, first time commenter. Amazing blog post. Prayers for God’s peace on you all.ReplyCancel

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  • February 14, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Jodi - I love your painted heart stones. They are just perfect. I don’t know if you know this, but it is a jewish custom and a mitzvah to place a stone at a gravesite when you visit. It shows that someone was there. I can’t wait to paint a heart stone to leave at my Dad’s gravesite now.ReplyCancel

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  • February 14, 2013 - 11:05 pm

    Laura - I was reading along thinking this was such a cute idea. And I love Levi’s Manning shirt… LOVE it. And now I’m crying … loving that your little boys play at your girl’s stone. I can’t imagine how much you miss her! And I love that you talk about her so much.ReplyCancel

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  • February 15, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Liz Dean - I’ve been following you for a while, but am now posting. My sweet daughter Naomi Jane was stillborn 7 months ago and I LOVE this idea for my three year old son Sam to put on her grave. We go there about once a month and I always have him take something. Thanks for the inspiration, just love this idea!
    Liz
    I blog at My Real Life
    lizdeanski.wordpress.comReplyCancel

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  • February 17, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    Sarah@ This Farm Family's Life - This made me tear up. Such sweethearts you have!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • February 18, 2013 - 5:35 am

    Susan - I love this post and I love how perfect your heartstones all look at Cora’s stone.

    Sending much love,
    Sue XReplyCancel

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  • February 18, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh sweet girl… what a precious post. That idea to paint hearts on rocks and leave them in memory for Cora is perfect. The verses you chose are a few of my favorites too. What on earth would we do without the hope we have? I’ve been clinging to Psalm 40:2 all winter so far. I know He won’t let us down.

    Blessings,
    SashaReplyCancel

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  • February 18, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    meg duerksen - that last picture is so precious.
    it is pure emotion.
    love you jess.
    and your whole family.ReplyCancel

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  • February 19, 2013 - 9:46 am

    krystal - Your post and pictures are beautiful! Praying for you!! I can’t imagine. But the way you have handled everything totally inspires me. Inspires me to handle all situations with joy. Joy that only the Lord can give.ReplyCancel

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  • February 20, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    Amie - Jess I love the Heart rocks! what a perfect thing to leave at Cora’s stone.
    I love that the boys love to go there and visit, climb and play all around her.
    She is up in Heaven SMILING down saying to them softly “gotcha” as they run around there!
    Miss you and as I have said you are always in our prayers and hearts!

    Take care and thanks once again for always sharing your life and love with us!ReplyCancel

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  • March 8, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    she would have been six » The Macs - […] boys and I have started a little tradition of painting rocks to put at Cora’s stone. We still put flowers at her stone every once in awhile but they […]ReplyCancel

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