I had another appointment yesterday. Everything looked good. We are so thankful every time we walk out of the doctor’s office with good news. Praise God for a healthy pregnancy and baby! I am measuring a little ahead, but nothing is happening yet. I am feeling pretty good, just the normal 9 month waddling. I am also starting to feel quite uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe this little one will decide to come in 2009!
It is hard to believe that we are counting down the weeks instead of months now. I am starting to feel pretty anxious. Anxious because I have done NOTHING to get ready for this baby. And anxious because we are going to be holding our new son or daughter so soon. So many things have happened this year. It is hard to grasp it all.

It has been too hard to “get ready” for this baby like we did for Cora. We are going to use Cora’s bassinet in our room until we are emotionally ready to move this little one into Cora’s room. Right now the bassinet is full of a few gifts that people have given us and some newborn clothes for a boy and girl. Next week my mom is going to come over and we are going to go through Cora’s baby stuff and get out the newborn things we will need for Baby Mac. I don’t know if I am ready for that…but I guess it is time!

Cora’s room is just like she left it, except full of gifts that were sent to her in the hospital and after she went to heaven. My mom and I are going to clean it up a little, but leave everything the same. I think it will be easier to change things–like add some blue if we need to–when we are holding Baby Mac is our arms. It is so hard to know. For now we will deal with that later.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7
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  • December 4, 2009 - 6:49 pm

    Paula Aspacher - I think you will be adding blue to Cora’s room. Cora needs a brother to help her daddy on the farm. He/she will always know about their big sister b/c you will keep her alive forever. You are the best parents in the world.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 6:51 pm

    Lisa - Thank you for that verse. Its one of my favorites! I am familiar with it in the NIV so it was refreshing to hear it in a different translation. You don’t know me and I’ve never commented on your blog, but wanted to tell you that I’ve been praying for your family since Cora was in the hospital. (Happened upon Meg Duerksens blog awhile ago and got to yours thru hers). Anyway, just wanted you to know that I continue to pray for you both and baby Mac.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 7:31 pm

    Todd and Courtney - so precious! And I am so excited to get the chenille burpies! Thank you thank you thank you for posting the time you were doing the listing :) Praying for you and your precious baby that will be here so soon…ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 8:46 pm

    Cindy - I too have been reading since Cora was in the hospital. I am so encouraged by your faith and your journey. Sometimes your posts are so real that I can’t get through them without feeling the need to sob.
    Thank you so much for keeping up your blog. I know sometimes you probably don’t feel like it. Your story truly makes a difference in my life.
    I can’t wait to find out what your having! You people who like to be surprised have no idea what you do to the rest of us impatient people.
    I will be praying for you when you go through Cora’s clothes. May God somehow use it to bring blessing instead of sadness.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 9:12 pm

    Candice - I’m so happy everything is going well with the little one.

    It’s so hard to read about the tough things you have coming up too. I can only imagine how difficult it will be to go through Cora’s things. I think it is very precious that you will be using her room.

    Today’s quote was very appropriate.

    Hugs and prayers going out to your family!ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - I love that Bible verse-thanks for using it. I have been praying for you all since Cora got sick also-I am amazed by the trust you have in the Lord and that you are letting Him guide you. It is so hard in difficult times to keep that trust and except that it is the right thing-our God knows why things happen-obviously Cora has touched people all around the world-what a special child-and you two are very special parents. I am excited to hear whether baby Mac is a boy or girl. I will keep you in my prayers and thanks for keeping us all posted on the progress.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 9:29 pm

    Marla Taviano - Aw, Jess. I can’t even imagine how tough this is.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 9:36 pm

    Alisha - I know you don’t know me, but I love reading your posts. You seem so amazing! Congrats on your upcoming baby!ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    Trish - I am studying the book of Esther by Beth Moore! This study is AMAZING!

    I learned this week that the most common phrase said in the Bible, by God, Jesus, prophets, apostles, angels… was

    “Do not be afraid”

    Just thought you would like to know that!ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 10:36 pm

    Mandi @ It's come to this - Continuing to pray for Baby Mac & you & Joel as you get ready for his/her arrival! Thank you for your open & honest heart … it lets know exactly how & when to pray:)ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    texasinafrica - Praying that the peace of Christ will surround you at every moment.ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 11:11 pm

    Kristi - I have been praying for you all and SO happy for you! It’s funny how you can think about people that you have never met before all the time. Cora’s story just touched my heart.
    I am so happy you both are blessed with this baby. I can’t wait to hear the happy news! :)
    KristiReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 11:45 pm

    Miss G - Oh Jess! I am sitting here trying to imagine what it must be like. I feel like I’m having a hard time getting ready for my first born because everything is just so unknown (including the gender, like y’all) but to have to go through Cora’s things and not know if you’re ready for all that must be so uncertain and emotional! I do know that God’s timing is perfect even when we don’t understand it and He’s got all of this in control. That thought is what I cling to when things seem to be rushing or spinning out of my control. That sweet green blessings sign is Cora and new baby brother or sister in the stroller, isn’t it? That is absolutely wonderful! May God’s peace and richest blessings rest upon you and Joel and your mom and extended family as you go through this time of transition that you may or may not feel ready for. Praise God also for your mom coming over to help you! That is a gift. KellyReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 12:34 am

    Rebecca - Prayers as you go through all of the emotions of bringing a new baby home to a house without Cora. May God wrap his loving arms around you all.ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 1:32 am

    Christina - You will do things at just the right time. Yes, what a blessing that your mom is there to help you. I pray that you will be calmed and comforted by the Spirit of our Mighty God as you count down the weeks and then the days until the arrival of the newest member of your family.
    I pray that you will be able to meditate on and celebrate the birth of Jesus this Advent season, as you anticipate the birth of your own child. I pray that knowing Him, and knowing His Father, your Father, will enable you to take those steps, one at a time each day.
    I think it’s sweet that your children will share a room…what a legacy precious Cora has left.ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 2:48 am

    L ~ S - I can imagine how hard it will be to go through Cora’s things! I think your plan is a good one. It probably will be easier to deal with once you have met the new addition. Maybe it will be born on my birthday? Dec 31…ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 4:55 am

    singing mama - You have been on heart so much lately and in my prayers too as you prepare to meet this little one
    luv DonnaReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 7:57 am

    Jerri - It must be so hard trying to be happy while still being sad…I can’t even imagine but I know that Baby Mac is blessed already and your sweet Cora will be watching down for her siblings arrival! I appreciate your blog and am inspired and awed by your amazing strength! May God meet your every need during this time!ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 8:52 am

    Christina - Hugs & a prayer from Pooh’s Corner.ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 9:25 am

    mommaof4wife2r - i love all the sweetness in this post…and love too. my fav part and what i cling to in the phil verse…”exceeds”. isn’t it totally awesome that he “exceeds”? i am so grateful…ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 10:59 am

    Al's World - I have been quoting that verse all week! I kept overlooking the “with thanksgiving”, everytime the saddness is too much, try as hard as you can to be thankful for all God has given you. I can only imagine what you are going through and am praying for you every day.ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 1:16 pm

    Ethansmom08 - I am praying for you and Joel as you both prepare for the arrival of your second little bundle of joy! Can’t wait to hear the news about Cora’s little brother or sister!ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 1:17 pm

    A - I will be keeping you in my prayers the next month as you get ready for the new baby. I think it is okay that you haven’t done alot yet- I can’t imagine what it’s like to bring home your second baby without your first. I praise God for Joel being such a strong leader of your family- Cora and the new baby are so lucky to have you as parents!ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 7:02 pm

    Kate - i know it is hard but soon you will have that little one in your arms & i really think that will help you heal:) Be strong!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Tricia - Still praying and so excited for your sweet family. Maybe baby Mac will in fact decide that Mommy and Daddy need an early blessing. ;)
    Enjoy this special time preparing with your mom.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 7:42 pm

    Tricia - So excited for your sweet family during this special time. Perhaps baby Mac will decide to come and meet mommy and daddy early. ;)Extra Christmas blessings perhaps.
    Enjoy this special time of preparation with your mom.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    PamperingBeki - Most of us can’t even begin to imagine the bizarre mix of emotions you have running through you.

    Prayers with you, Joel, and Baby Mac every single day!ReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 11:09 pm

    The Jones' - Prayin you up during this time. Love to you both,
    LizReplyCancel

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  • December 5, 2009 - 11:38 pm

    nate - second-cousin-to-be nate is hoping for 2009. see you guys at new years!ReplyCancel

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  • December 6, 2009 - 11:41 pm

    Lynn Jones - And He knows what a special heart it is that he is guarding when it comes to you, Jess. Your new little one is being anticipated by so many of us– how appropriate at this time of year. You are not alone, in so many respects. I will praying for peace and rest for you.ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 8:05 am

    Marsha - Praying for you! I can’t wait until you introduce us to new baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 10:37 am

    Mindee@ourfrontdoor - I love that you’re waiting to find out if it’s a boy or a girl – that adds so much fun to the birth. :)

    In the end, I think you’ll enjoy seeing Cora’s clothes on the baby. It will bring happy memories.ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 10:58 am

    Lauren Kelly - WOW, so much to look forward to but yet alot to go back and remember! His will is perfect though, just remember!!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 11:36 am

    purejoy - awwww. i can imagine the mixed feelings. i am so glad that the lord is blessing you with a new little life to journey with. so excited to see how all this works out, in god’s perfect plan.
    you are being prayed for, rest assured.
    many, many blessings as you waddle through these next few weeks…ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 12:29 pm

    Shannon - I will say a prayer for you while you go through Cora’s things. After my daughter passed away, I left her room the same for 3 years. I recently went through everything this summer before we moved. It was emotional and difficult, but I kept the important things-a few momentos and memories in my heart. God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • December 7, 2009 - 7:32 pm

    carollai - a very exciting time. praying that as you continue to heal and work through cora’s things that you’ll be reminded of her love and cuteness and that God is with her now.ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 12:41 am

    Diana - Praying that the good Lord continues to surround you and Joel and Baby Mac with His Presence, to comfort and uplift you, to hold you in His loving arms. I’m sure God and Cora have smiles on their faces because they already know if you need blue or pink. Peace and love to you all!ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 12:42 am

    Kelly - Praying for you, your husband and baby Mac. I can’t wait to hear if the baby is a boy or girl!ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 10:56 am

    Karina - I thought about you today and wondered about Baby Mac. Thank you for posting an update!

    Cora’s dolls are so gorgeous. Are they from Etsy?

    Hugs to you as you waddle to the finish line!ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 6:10 pm

    Anonymous - Dear Jess, my prayers are every day with you and Joel, hoping that baby Mac get here soon so a little of that pain can go away. I know it will never be the same but it will fill your life with so much joy and happiness again.ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 7:36 pm

    Cherry Tree Lane - thinking of you all the time.ReplyCancel

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  • December 9, 2009 - 11:28 am

    La Familia Garcia - It’s nice to know that God is giving you the strength little by little as HE knows you need it! And grace to face each new day! How precious it will be to see it all come together.ReplyCancel

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I am having a hard time believing it is December. Part of me is excited because that means Baby Mac will be here so soon. Part of me is scared because I know our lives are about to change again–even though it is going to be a welcome change. Part of me is so sad because my heart doesn’t feel in the “Christmas spirit”. I don’t want to face Christmas without Cora. But for the most part I am completely overwhelmed by all of these emotions. I am completely overwhelmed by everything that we will face this December.
Joel is always so wise and reminds me to take each day at a time. God will provide the strength that I need to get through each day, no matter which emotion I am facing. So that is what I am trying to do. This December is going to be so different. But because of His mercy and grace I will make it…one day at a time.
So, for today…

I spent the morning at Bible study surrounded by a group of women who have been so supportive and understanding as I have walked through loosing Cora this year. We are reading a great book on marriage. It is incredibly challenging to me as a wife and makes me so thankful for my sweet hubby.

I brought Joel some lunch out in the field. Like any good farm wife I picked it up from Subway.
I spent the afternoon finishing up my Etsy orders. Everything is in the mail! Your Christmas items should be arriving soon. Please let me know if I overlooked anything. My pregnancy brain has been a little forgetful lately.

And I got out my first Christmas decoration. I don’t think that I am going to decorate much for Christmas. Joel and I usually get a real Christmas tree but I think we are going to skip that this year. Partially because it is too hard and partially because the baby will be here shortly after Christmas. We have so many Christmas memories with Cora that just are too hard to do by ourselves this year.

I bought this advent calendar at an after Christmas sale last year. I love it and thought it would be so fun to use with Cora this year. I was so sad to find it, knowing that she wasn’t here to share in the excitement with me, but just had to get it out. I thought she would have loved opening the little doors with me each day.
So, I have been trying to think of ways to “celebrate” differently this year. I think I am going to put a verse in each door for Joel and I to read each day. A reminder of why we can still have JOY this Christmas season even without Cora here with us. We can rejoice in our Savior who was born so that we can have LIFE. What an incredible gift.
One day at a time…
I’ve already almost made it through the first day of December.
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  • December 1, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    Heather | Cookie Mondays - I think that’s a great idea for the advent boxes! Hang in there :)ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 7:52 pm

    Todd and Courtney - So I think of you guys every single day, like I know you personally. It’s weird because I feel like I do know you, I feel like we’re friends, I feel like I cry all the time because I miss Cora too, I feel like I pray for you every single day and wonder how you’re doing. I’m so happy that I promptly got on etsy at the time you posted the items. Now my little Lauren will get to keep her Christmas chenille burpies forever in honor of Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 7:54 pm

    Heather at All A Flutter - Your idea of putting a verse behind each door of the advent calendar is so great! What a wonderful way to stay in the moment. For our first Christmas without our son we leaned on our hospice counselor for advice. He suggested we start some new traditions that could include Samuel. Ways to honor his part in our lives still. It made the season so much more bearable.

    I am praying for peace for you and Joel this month. God will help you take this month one minute at a time, and before you know it you’ll have the whole month behind you.

    Blessings to you, Joel, baby number 2, and your sweet Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:03 pm

    annie - Just want to say you both are doing an amazing job of putting one foot in front of the other each day. It can be hard to see the JOY through the sadness of the moment. Walking in faith as you do is incredible. God is good.
    I think of your family often.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:07 pm

    Marla Taviano - Maybe you could put up a small “Cora Tree” in her honor and hang little things on it that remind you of her. That might just be too hard though, huh. Praying for you guys this Christmas! I’ve been feeling sorry for myself today, but now I’m going to count my blessings. Love and hugs!!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:24 pm

    The McBrayer family - You are such an amazing person. I enjoy reading your blog- you are a true inspiration to me as a Christian. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. (My blog is private- but if you ever search your “comments” and look at other peoples blogs- I will be more than happy to send you an invitation to our blog, not that it’s exciting. I just know that I got a comment once and could not figure out who left it and it was a little strange). So- anyway- I know that’s random. I really just wanted to say you are in my prayers often as you and Joel walk this difficult road. You are an amazing person- know that you are touching lives.
    Kelli in AtlantaReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:28 pm

    Courtney Kay - love the advent boxes… you are thought of and prayed forReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:37 pm

    Kelly - I love your ideas for your advent Calender. Also my husband and I had to read that book as part of our premarital counseling. I loved it. I probably should read through it again. Our 5 year anniversary is coming up!

    Any way I am continuing to pray for you this Christmas season. May God grant you peace and the ability to find joy in Him.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 9:14 pm

    Melinda - I think the advent idea is a wonderful one. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers often.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 9:30 pm

    MomMom - Enjoy your blog and am inspired by your faith. Your husband sounds like a man of wisdom and I’m thankful you have each other for support. I know the holidays without Cora must be so difficult. My best friend lost her daughter 10 years ago and Christmas is an especially difficult time for her. I love your idea for the advent calendar. We’re expecting a granddaughter not long after Baby Mac is due. I can’t wait to hear about Baby Mac. Praying for you—-ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    Lynn Jones - You are such an inspiration–for reasons you never wanted to be I am sure. But this soon-to-arrive baby is going to have the sweetest Mama. May God bless you as you go moment-by-moment through this month that can be so challenging.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:03 pm

    Heather - Jessica,

    WOW!! You have such a great perspective and you are able to turn a horrible situation into Praise. You are trading your sorrow for the jOY of the Lord…Yes Lord Yes Lord Yes Yes Lord!

    You are amazing sister! Still praying for you sweet heart!

    HeatherReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Micah - This was such a sweet post, Jess. Thinking of you and praying for you, as always. By the grace of God, you will make it through.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:16 pm

    Robin in Benton - I think of you guys and pray for you every day. Reading your blog made me think of the footsteps poem/story – I feel like December will definitely be a time you will look back and only see one set of footsteps as God carries you through this hard time.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:32 pm

    Kristi - You are still in my prayers. Maybe each day after you read a verse, remember a happy Cora memory, that way she is still part of the advent box tradition. Also, think of a way to pray for the new baby each day and then the new baby is included as well. I will continue to keep you and your sweet family in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:43 pm

    Kelli - Beautiful idea for the advent box!! My heart aches for you and Joel, but rejoices in the truth and power in God’s promises!! Prayers:)ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 10:51 pm

    Allie in AZ - Praying for you, sweetie. I am so inspired by your resolve to soldier on. I know the hurt must suck all of the breath out of you sometimes. I hope it helps to write and share with others who will lift you up in prayer. Hoping that this month has small glimmers of hope and joy and celebration for you.

    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. My heart is with you.

    ~Allie in AZReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:10 pm

    ame - Praying for you this season, and looking forward to hearing about Baby Mac’s arrival!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:11 pm

    Barclay Kathryn - Great book, our small group just went through it too!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:15 pm

    Yankee Mama - That is a great idea. Thinking of you…and still praying…ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:15 pm

    Christine - I pray you continue to find things to be thankful for every day throughout December, Jess. And, God bless Joel for being such an awesome husband to you. We began our advent calendar tradition this past year, and it’s something that I’ve been so looking forward to. It breaks my heart to realize that as I pulled mine out with excitement, you unpackaged yours with heartache. That’s a wonderful idea to have a verse of scripture for each day. Perhaps divide up the days and you and Joel each leave special notes for each other. I pray the Lord would continue to fill you and give you hope.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:25 pm

    Shannon - Another idea for the advent boxes: Put in a memory of sweet Cora that will make you smile. :)

    Still praying for you, Joel, and baby Mac. You are truly an inspiration of what a Christian should be, and your faith is something we should all aspire to!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    Al's World - Praying blessings over you!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:38 pm

    gwswenson - You are such a blessing.ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 11:42 pm

    The Fishers - Keeping you in our prayers this Christmas season. What a wonderful idea to add scriptures to your advent calendar!ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 12:13 am

    Erica - you never cease to amaze me with your strength and hope.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 12:50 am

    kaylin rose and mara anne - i have been following your blog for a while now, but have never posted. but, tonight, just reading your post made me cry.

    i am praying for you and your family during this holiday season.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 4:54 am

    Carla - Jess you take my breath away with your outlook and bravery. By now you will have made it through all of the first day of December, well done. Hugs, cReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 8:03 am

    Carla - I have followed your blog since before you lost Cora last year. You have been so encouraging as a follower of christ! I have prayed and continue to pray for you, your family, and your new baby. Thank you for sharing your faith!
    Carla.. in ColoradoReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 8:11 am

    Emma and Company - Just praying for you; praying for peace, praying for love, praying for wonderful memories.
    I love the verse idea!ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 8:56 am

    Sallye - So how about we, family included. Give you some of the scriptures that have really touched our hearts in the past year. Print them out, fold them up, and ramdomly place a piece of paper behind each door?

    Just in case it sounds good. I will give you the verse that has carried me over the past year.

    Psalms 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge. Until these calamites have passed by. NKJV.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:12 am

    the breedens - You are an amazing woman.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:12 am

    kimberlysayre - Praying for you guys! Your story has touched my life like nothing else. I am so proud of you guys and I don’t even know you. I think a verse in each of the boxes is a wonderful idea for the advent calendar.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:54 am

    Lauren Kelly - You’ve made it through the first day of this month and you’ll make it through the next 30 :) And I think the verse idea is a GREAT one!!!!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:55 am

    Miss Em - I wish I had words to comfort but know that I am thinking of you and Joel and your whole family. Day 1…done.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:56 am

    Maria - I am praying for you. It’s hard to be so happy when your heart aches.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 10:08 am

    EmilyE - I Love your Advent idea! Praying for your comfort during this difficult season.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 10:22 am

    Celine - I have just recently found your blog, and will continue to follow along. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am in awe of how beautiful your daughter Cora is. I just know her beauty is radiating through heaven.
    I love the idea of putting bible verses in the advent boxes. Your faith is inspiring. I pray that you will continue to draw strength from the Lord every day.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 10:37 am

    Abby Johns - I lost my mother to cancer 2 days after Christmas almost 4 years ago. Every year I struggle a little around Christmas time. I know that losing a parent and losing a child are different, but I just want you to know that I am thinking about you and your family. I am praying for you every time I rock my little girl to sleep. You, and others going through similar situations, remind me just how blessed I am to have a healthy child. Thank you for continuing to share so openly with the world.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:10 am

    Michelle - I noticed all the little things in your pictures – I LOVE your purse (dont’ worry I’m miles away, altough I wish I was closer to get one like it) and the EAT sign behind it, soo cute. I love the little advent calendar too. It would be exciting to see little children pulling opening all the little doors. Putting verses in there is a very cool idea. Maybe start a new tradition that you read a Christmas verse everyday, even after baby Mac is here. I was reading the comments as well and I like the idea of a Cora tree, altough here in Utah, Primary Childrens hospital hosts The Festival of Trees evey year where people decorate and donate trees and all the profits go to the hospital to help the children and their families with whatever they need. It’s a huge fesitval with hundreds of trees and has branched into wreaths and gingerbread houses as well. It’s a tradition of our family to attend evey year (23 years now in a row). You could have a new tradition of decoraing one for Cora, I can see the pink and gree now. I don’t know if there is something similar in your area, if not I bet you have a bunch of gals that would help you start one.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:14 am

    Michelle - I thought I’d leave a link to the Utah Festival of Trees in case anyone is intrested. Enjoy!

    http://www.festivaloftreesutah.org/index.aspReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:18 am

    Anonymous - Thinking of you and wishing you a calm December. You are an amazing person and your relationship with Joel and God is so inspiring. Hang in there and as your husband said, one day at a time.
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:36 am

    TRICIA @ The Zoo - Still praying. Still thankful for you both and your ability to share the light of God’s love.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:44 am

    E Truitt - I don’t know you personally, just stumbled upon your blog one day and felt attached to your story instantly. I am so very very sorry for your loss. I have always loved the name Cora and have often thought if I have another little girl that I would name her Cora. Your Cora takes my breath away when I see her picutres…such a beauty. I think about you a lot and say prayers for you and your family. I am so glad that God will be blessing you with a new addition to your family to love. Your faith is amazing and I believe you still have so much to do and give in your life. And, Cora is so proud of you and will continue to watch over you and her new brother or sister. God Bless You.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 1:07 pm

    Anonymous - I have lurked here forever. I can’t wait to see photos of your new baby, that baby is so blessed.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 1:46 pm

    Cristin - Prayers for you always~ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 3:04 pm

    Trish - bless your heart. i think of you daily. your photo is on my fridge for a reminder to pray for you and your husband!

    after my baby passed away my mom got me a sweet locket with her name engraved on back. whenever i wear it it makes me smile and it feels like i’ve got all my girls with me :)

    praying for you to be able to take one day at a time xoxoReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 3:51 pm

    A - I love your idea to put joyful verses in the Advent boxes! I will be praying for you as you mourn Cora this Christmas while also anticipating the birth of your second child!ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 6:58 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - love that you are doing the best you can…and still seeking Him in your times of question and doubt. i love the verse idea!! i might steal it.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 7:18 pm

    Misty Rice - Beautiful post.
    (((Hugs))))ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 8:40 pm

    in a world surrounded by men - My husband and I just started reading that book. I have to tell you that it says a lot about your character that you are learning more about dying to yourself and serving your spouse in the midst of your grief.

    Hang in there this holiday. It’s Friday, but Sunday is comin’.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    meg duerksen - i love your idea.
    and i will cherish our advent box…we have the same one and i have been griping “STOP OPENING THOSE!!! it’s not your day!” i will never think of it the same again. i will cherish the memory.

    jess…you are so strong.
    one day at a time.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    Anonymous - Funny about farm wives + Subway. . . exactly what I pick up for my husband in the fall. Good packaging & can be eaten cold.
    We’re praying for your family!ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    tami - You are such and encouragement to me! i have a different struggle I am dealing with and oh how you have ministered to me.ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Holli Taylor - Believe…and keep on trusting in the Lord. Thank God for husbands who grieve in ways different from our own. For that matter, thank the Lord for you who has so has grieved so publicly and allowed us all to share in your experience. We pray for your family daily.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 9:52 am

    megan - I have been following your blog a little bit the past few months and just wanted to with you a joyful Christmas season!ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 9:54 am

    Anonymous - I enjoy your blog immensely, you are an inspiration. I am so happy to see that you are feeling up to posting more often. I appreciate your use of scripture and it is encouraging!

    SherylReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 10:43 am

    Karen - My heart aches for what you and your hubby have had to go through this year. I cannot imagine the pain that fills your heart and the joy of having known Cora. My prayers are with you both this holiday season as we await the celebration of our Saviour’s birth.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 11:24 am

    onlymehere - We have kind of an advent calender similar to this. My husband and I started it when we were dating. Each day we put in a little note that started with “I love you because…” It was something that we continued until we had kids. Maybe I need to start that again now most of the kids are on their own. May God send you peace this day. Joel’s right, one day at a time.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 2:09 pm

    slhg - why don’t you do a “winter” theme? you could put up silver, white and blue things.

    The year my grandmother died we went to visit a mission in Mexico as a family. My mom couldn’t bear to celebrate Christmas without her mother. It was different. Not necessarily good – at least we weren’t at home.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Juliann - God bless you. Praying for you today. You are a wonderful mother.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 4:41 pm

    Sarah - God bless you. You are an amazing woman and reading this really put things in perspective. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 6:06 pm

    The Oldham Family - PLEASE READ!!! PLEASE ADD THESE TO YOUR CALENDAR THEY ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS “JOY” VERSES. I HOPE YOU LOVE THEM TOO.

    ROMANS 15:13 “MAY THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE…”

    PSALMS 126:3 “THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US AND WE ARE FILLED WITH JOY.”ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    Lynn Jones - How about 2 little pieces of candy along with the verse inside each little door? Something for the two of you to do together as your tummy gets miraculously bigger and bigger.ReplyCancel

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  • December 3, 2009 - 11:33 pm

    Christina - That is a beautiful idea!ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 2:10 pm

    PamperingBeki - I think a scripture and a little piece of dark chocolate are the perfect answer. :)

    Praying for you today!ReplyCancel

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  • December 4, 2009 - 2:49 pm

    Something In The Glass - I’m a devoted reader and an infrequent commenter, but felt very moved to tell you today how humbled I am by you. God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • December 8, 2009 - 4:01 pm

    writing4612 - Love the idea for the boxes!ReplyCancel

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…there are so many things to be thankful for.


We made it through the first part of the holiday season. And honestly, yesterday I did not wake up with a thankful heart. I woke up with a heavy heart and tears. I knew that I was having to face another holiday without Cora and I was so sad. The normal happy family gatherings just didn’t seem right without her. I thought about what that day should have looked like. Our house should have been filled with excitement as we got ready for the day and told Cora all about going to Grammy and Papa’s to eat dinner and play with her cousins. Instead our house was horribly quiet and there was no one to talk to. I just felt this huge hole in my heart. It has been there since Cora died, but yesterday I felt it so intensely.
But, God’s grace was truly sufficient to get us through the day when we would have rather stayed in bed and not faced Thanksgiving at all. He gave us the strength to make it through. And yet despite the sadness and heaviness in my heart, yesterday I sensed how much I still have to be thankful for. Even in the face of death and celebrating these holidays without Cora, God’s hope comes shining through.
Yesterday I took time to write down the many things I have to be thankful for. These were just a few:
Joel. My husband is amazing and I can’t imagine walking this road of grief without him. I am so thankful for his constant love, understanding, and support. I am so thankful that I have someone to cry with who misses my sweet little girl just as much as I do. I am so thankful for how he continues to point us to Jesus in the midst of pain.
Cora. My sweet daughter and the eleven amazing months we had with her. Even though loosing her has been the most painful thing I have ever had to endure, I wouldn’t trade those eleven months for anything. I feel so blessed that the Lord chose me to be Cora’s mama. She has forever changed my life and I can’t wait to see her again in heaven.
Baby Mac. What a blessing he/she is to us already. I am so thankful that our house will be filled with the love and joys of a child again. I am so thankful that Joel and I will get to be daddy and mommy again.
Family. ALL of our family is wonderful. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better support system. Even as I write this they are helping me paint and finish some projects in my house so it is done before the baby comes. They love us and will do anything for us and I am so grateful. I am especially thankful for my mom and sister who have stuck so close to me this year. They have seen me at my ugliest and I am so thankful for their unconditional love.
Friends. Old friends and even a few new friends who allow us to be real and miss Cora along with us. They care about us so much and want to know how we are REALLY doing.
HOPE. I am most thankful for the hope that is found in my relationship with Jesus Christ alone. It is this hope that sustains me and inspires me to keep enduring. It is this hope that assures me of the deep love of my Savior even amidst a painful world that doesn’t make sense. Because of this hope, and because I am in His loving care, I have everything I need.
For that and that alone, I am extremely thankful.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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  • November 27, 2009 - 11:23 pm

    Christina - I sat here for a while, and I don’t really have words to say. That’s probably better sometimes. Just to say I’m still praying for you and I’ll keep on doing that.ReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 11:30 pm

    FaceforGrace - Beautifully written. You are such an inspiration!ReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 11:43 pm

    Robin in Benton - God truly blessed both of you with being Cora’s parents – and blessed Cora and Baby Mac by allowing them to have you as parents. You are both amazing and a constant inspiration to so many. Praying for you always.ReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 11:50 pm

    Nancy - God Bless You both!! I am thankful to God that I found your blog!ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 12:24 am

    starnes family - Your strength is inspiring!ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 1:04 am

    dawn - I don’t know you, and hope I am not too bold in saying this– but I am proud of you. You are doing the right thing–you are grieving and you are sharing your grief. And you are putting one foot in front of the other, being as thankful as you can be, and not despairing. While you won’t have Cora back in this life, better days are still ahead…days when the hurt is not in the forefront. And it won’t mean you won’t miss her–it just won’t hurt as bad. You are cooperating with God as you walk this dark path…and He is faithful. He is a redeemer. Blessings.ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 1:15 am

    Anonymous - …and we thank you for sharing your journey and for helping any parent that has or will lose a child. xxReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 1:38 am

    Jenifer - I prey for yall…I have to say you made me look at what I am truely grateful forReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 5:03 am

    Carla - I thought about you alot yesterday and on Thursday. Im glad you made it through. To find such generosity and strength in your heart at such a hard time is truly amazing. Take good care of yourself and Joel and baby.ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 5:44 am

    k and c's mom - I stop by often to see how you are doing. Above all else I appreciate your honesty: certainly it helps us know how to pray for you. Blessings on you all.ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 8:01 am

    Anonymous - God bless you abundantly!! I came to your site when sweet Cora was sick and have been following your blog since. Have cried many times when i read your update-i was touched and challenged! Cora is beautiful!! Now having experienced the death of a tiny son on Sept 18th of this year i had a new reason to come back- u feel an instant bond with other parents who lost loved ones. One post you blogged about the book HOPE by Nancy Guthrie and i decided to get it–it has been a HUGE blessing to me- thank u for that.
    I also just purchased some Cora items for the first and can’t wait to see them. Got a set of burpies even tho my baby isn’t with me-i just had to have them! Many blessings to you- i pray your upcoming labor and delivery will be smooth and your precious little one healthy!
    Lena StoltzfusReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 8:24 am

    onlymehere - I’m truly and sincerely thankful for your faith this day. Without even realizing it you are inspiring and helping those of us who are struggling with much smaller trials than you’ve been called to endure. May God continue to bless you, your husband, and your unborn child. CindyReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 10:28 am

    Shelly Primm - My heart is heavy for you and Joel. You are such an inspiration to so many parents who are walking this walk with you. I was 12 when I lost my 14 year old brother to a tragic accident and my mother grieved for 20 years until I had my first child. I SO wished she would have had support and faith like you. God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 10:50 am

    PamperingBeki - Tears falling for you.

    I’m so proud of you.

    And happy for you too. I woke up Thanksgiving morning and prayed for you. I prayed that you would have the exact kind of day that you did – Knowing that there is a dreadful, painful, hole, but able to give thanks anyway.

    You’re always in my prayers, but we’re praying a little extra to help you get through this Holiday season.ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 11:10 am

    Anonymous - You amaze me. . .your honesty, your faith in God. You and Joel have been such an inspiration to me. . . .
    Thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you and bless others the way you have. Praying that Baby Mac will arrive safely. What a honor and joy it will be to share your memories of sweet Cora with your other children!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 11:46 am
  • November 28, 2009 - 12:48 pm

    Heather | Cookie Mondays - I’m so glad you made it through. Your package is FINALLY on its way :) Thinking of you lots.

    xxReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    Courtney - It will be 10 years on Dec 11 since Dylan went to Heaven and yesterday while I was decorating for Christmas all I could do was cry. Cry knowing that a big birthday was coming and crying because He isn’t here to decorate with us. Today we went to the cemetary to decorate and while it looks wonderful it really is wrong. I too know that we will be together in Heaven and I find peace in that.

    I pray for you guys all the time and I am so glad that you still are thankful.
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • November 28, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Marla Taviano - Thankful for you, Jess! Love you, sweet Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • November 29, 2009 - 5:44 pm

    Dinee - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • November 29, 2009 - 5:47 pm

    Dinee - This song has brought me comfort and I hope you can bring you some as well.

    http://www.last.fm/music/Steven%20Curtis%20Chapman/_/Jesus%20Will%20Meet%20You%20ThereReplyCancel

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  • November 29, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    Mum2twopreciousgifts - Jess

    I stopped by as I was thinking of you. I was praying that you managed to cope with Thanksgiving.

    With thoughts from our little family in Australia to you, Joel and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • November 29, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    TRICIA @ The Zoo - Jess and Joel,

    My heart is hurting and full for you all at the same time. I know that no words from a stranger could take away or even begin to heal the pain that you feel. God sustains us through all things if we choose to allow him. Please just know that today I am thankful for the strength that you both have shown in continuing to share your journey.

    With love and prayers for all of you,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 3:40 am

    Sue - This post is so honest, I can feel your pain. Keep your hearts focused in the right direction and you’ll get there. It’s always going to be tough. After my husband died (and it must be so much harder to lose a child), I felt that there was a huge gaping hole in my heart. A physical ache. That hole has healed now (it’s taken me 5 years!), but the scar will be there forever. Cora has touched so many hearts and she will always be with you.

    Sending you both all my love, Sue xReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 11:34 am

    Lauren Kelly - Glad you were able to find thanks and peace in a day where the pain of missing Cora was in the mix. His grace is sufficient!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 12:44 pm

    Megan - I thought about you and prayed for you on Thanksgiving. This season will undoubtedly be difficult. Cling to each other, cling to Jesus and cling to hope.ReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 2:00 pm

    Diana - Amen.

    {{hugz}}

    :)ReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 4:50 pm

    The Mershawn's - We’re still praying.
    And still so sorry.
    Hope is good…praying it grows everyday that you miss her.ReplyCancel

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  • November 30, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    Alisha - Thank you for being an open book and showing your feelings. I can’t imagine your pain and I’m sure it will never go away. She is so darn beautiful with a gorgeous smile – I’m sure she gave you 11 great months of memories – what a blessing that is.

    God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • December 1, 2009 - 8:03 am

    Annie - The “firsts” area always the hardest and you have are close to the end of the valley of the first year without your sweet girl. Special days are always hard, especially when you think about how it “should be”…that’s always the hardest for me, anyway…
    So much healing and joy is coming with Baby Mac—and even though having another baby brings a whole new set of fears and anxieties, it also brings so much peace and happiness! Keep giving those fears to our Heavenly Father…I pray for you often…ReplyCancel

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  • December 2, 2009 - 11:15 am

    La Familia Garcia - As I sit here with tear-filled eyes, I know can’t truely understand since I have not “been there.” But you have an amazing out look for what’s next in this life and after this life. Thankyou for sharing that with us!ReplyCancel

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The plan is to post tomorrow around 1:00 pm (central standard time).

See you then!
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  • November 25, 2009 - 12:57 am

    Ginger - I’m so excited!! I really hope to get Avery a dress! :) Thanks for working so hard. You’re in our thoughts and prayers as the holidays approach. May God be all you need and more.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 1:42 am

    Heather at All A Flutter - Oh goodness I hope I can nab one of each of those cuties. Lovely!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 7:44 am

    Carla - Really hoping i can nab one too :-) It’ll be 7pm here so hopefully I’ll be home infront of the PC! Thinking of you and wishing you strength and peace in this season of firsts.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 8:30 am

    MCH PHOTOGRAPHY - Yay! Love them. Can’t waitReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 8:34 am
  • November 25, 2009 - 11:08 am

    jennifer rogers - oh i hope i can get one this time….i totally have an alarm set to remember to check at 1 :)ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 11:31 am

    L ~ S - That skirt is awesome!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 1:23 pm

    Stephanie - Can’t wait! I keep checking. By the way, the shoes on that little girl in the pic are adorable – where I can I get them?ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:12 pm

    Tanya - Yikes, I tried to buy one of the dresses (9 mo) and hair clips and its only 11 minutes past one and it is gone. You do amazing work and I am so bummed to have missed it. I am so glad Cora’s store is doing so well.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:13 pm

    Erin - SO HAPPY!!! I finally got a Cora dress! My daughter will wear it proudly. Seriously, the cutest things I have ever seen. Thank you so much! Prayers for you and your little babe that things continue to go forward perfectly!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:15 pm

    Erin, Kaitlyn and Henry - Dang, I had stuff in my cart and when I went to pay it disappeared. Crap! I had a dress and a clippie. Dang. I guess I will have to get in on the other. You have to be setting some type of records on Etsy. Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:19 pm

    C Golden - I got one of the clips. I will be giving it to a friend. Your work on there is amazing. God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:25 pm

    Christine S. - YAY! I got my little girl a skirt. I wanted the 2/3 but it disappeared out of my cart before I could pay so I went with the 3/4. So excited! Thanks Jess for giving us the time you would be listing. That was really sweet :) Continued prayers for your family. ((hugs))! Can’t wait for my daughter to proudly wear her Cora skirt. ;)ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:56 pm

    Ethansmom08 - Seriously, cutest things ever! You ladies are SO talented!

    Many prayers for you, Joel, Cora, and baby Mac! <3ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    PamperingBeki - *sigh* I remember dressing Camryn like this in Kindergarten and first grade. The good ol’ days.

    Those days are long gone now.

    I’m excited to see your items flying off the shelves of your shop!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 3:57 pm

    Anonymous - Really cute! Missed them again…less than 1/5 hours after posting. Bummer. I love the skirts! One day one will be ours! Good job girls!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    Carla - Oh, what a pity, I was online on time, managed to nab myself a cora skirt, burpie and blanket for the new baby, only to find Cora’s doesnt ship to Ireland. Aw well, means some of you lovely stateside ladies get to enjoy them instead. Maybe you’d consider shipping abroad sometime in teh future jess? Anyway, well done on all your hard work, you make beautiful stuff :-)ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 6:08 pm

    Kim - Thanks for posting the time- I was able to get one of your absolutely adorable Cora dresses and a clip for my little girl! Everything you made was just beautiful…ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 6:17 pm

    meg duerksen - jess you are amazing. :)
    i love everything you and your mom created. what a wonderful way to use your gifts from God to glorify Him.
    i am so happy for you and your mom about your shop.ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 7:04 pm

    Annetta - Seriously, can we place orders? I have missed getting something every time. I would love to put my three girlies in something from Cora’s, but alas….they are always sold out. I wouldn’t care what it was, I could just send you the sizes and you could choose!! Consider it?

    Thanks for sharing with all of us!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 8:40 pm

    Jennifer Dawn - Well…I still didn’t get one. I had items in the shopping cart and I just didn’t check out fast enough. I am so disappointed for myself, but I am glad Cora’s Shop is doing good. :) Maybe next timeReplyCancel

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  • November 26, 2009 - 11:05 am

    Karina - Too late again…Congratulations on selling out again.ReplyCancel

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  • November 26, 2009 - 3:40 pm

    Anonymous - Happy Thanksgiving!
    I have never written to you before, but I have been very blessed and inspired by your faith in God and his ability to know what is right for each and every one of us. I am truly Thankful for you and your blogs. May God continue to bless you and your family at this holiday season, when it just seems so much more difficult.
    I can’t wait until you have that baby to fulfull your lives, even though it will never replace Cora.

    Blessings from MichiganReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 12:52 am

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Hello Jess,

    Well I missed the beautiful dresses again! you have outdone yourself again! They were awesome!

    I just wanted to wish you two a Happy Thanksgiving…. we are so thankful you came into our lives and we miss you all! I prayed for you and your family especially hard today, knowing it would be a hard but yet thankful day for you. Can’t wait to meet the new little Mac.

    Much love to you all!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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Commit your way to the Lord. Psalm 37:5a

Talk to God about whatever may be pressuring you and then commit the entire matter into His hands…Acquaint Him with it; yes, even burden Him with it, and you will have put the concerns and cares of the matter behind you. From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet diligence in your work, recognizing your dependence on Him to carry the matter for you. Commit your cares and yourself with them, as one burden, to your God.

Streams in the Desert
I needed this reminder. All of a sudden the past two weeks I feel like I am at the drowning point again. Any hint of stability I was starting to feel is all of a sudden gone. There are so many big milestones coming up and another life change too. My emotions are going crazy and sometimes I just don’t think I can handle it. And really I can’t by myself. So this week I am going to try to stop worrying. I am going to try to stop trying to handle everything by myself and put my worries and fears at the feet of Jesus. I know that I am going to have to continue to cling to Him to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas and welcoming this new little one into our family.
Speaking of Baby Mac…
We had our last sonogram today. It is hard to believe that we made it through all three. Everything is still looking great! We were so relieved and so thankful. The best way I can describe how we are feeling is cautiously excited. We know this precious baby is going to be such a blessing, but it is so hard to know what it is going to be like to bring this little one home without Cora. Another fear to lay at His feet.
Here is one last peek before we get to meet Baby Mac…

Gotta love those big pouty lips!
********************************************
FYI…The plan for Cora’s is to post on Wednesday morning. Keep checking back for updates.
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  • November 24, 2009 - 12:34 am

    Heather at All A Flutter - I’m thinking of you, and praying for you, during this time as I know how difficult times like these are. God will walk with you every step of the way. I can say that with all my heart because He did that for me and my family. He can slow down time so you can take it just one minute, sometimes one second, at a time.ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 12:36 am

    Marla Taviano - Praying for you both!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 12:57 am

    Diana - God is bigger than we are… just try to give it all to Him. Very hard to do as humans, yes, but He does carry us. Christ’s love to you both! You are in our daily prayers, always at the top of our prayer journal. Blessings on Baby Mac! {{hugz}} :)ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 12:58 am

    Abby - I don;t know you, but I am so proud to have shared in your journey. You are the strongest and bravest person I believe I have ever encountered. Thank you for being real with us! I am praying for you to have peace and joy as you bring sweet baby into your lives!

    PS- I am going to be living on your blog Wednesday waiting for my chance to get some Cora’s clothes!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 2:05 am

    The Moffats - Wow! Look at those lips!! Glad the ultrasound went well. Praying diligently that the Lord will give you the strength for each new day, especially during the next few weeks. Love and hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 8:00 am

    Marsha - What a cute, sweet baby. I will be praying for you during the next few weeks as the holidays approach.

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 8:51 am

    onlymehere - God bless you during this season of firsts. Your faith sustains and helps many of us who don’t comment too often. You’re new baby will be here before we know it and I wish you luck and blessings with that too. You’re often in my prayers as well as your sweet husband and new little one. Cora is often in my heart too as I have my first granddaughter who is pretty close to her age. May God bless and comfort you all. CindyReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 9:02 am

    Joanne (The Simple Wife) - Praying for you.

    And my Emma still prays for “Baby Cora’s family” each and every day. Without fail.

    Sending love,

    JoanneReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 9:20 am

    Robin in Benton - I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you – I know the rest of the year is going to be hard. God will get you through it. Blessings to you both and to Baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 9:50 am

    Lauren Kelly - And with each new first, Jesus will be with you every step of the way. We love you!!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:17 am

    Miss Em - You and Joel weighed heavy on my mind last night. I spent quite some time with God talking about you and your family and asking for some peace. I find myself praying for people I don’t know lately more then for people I do know. It seems strange but it is easier to pray for people I don’t know. It is just that praying for those close to me can be so complicated some times. Ok, rambling here but what I am getting at is that while I was praying for your I realized that I need to pray for others close to as well. Whew, I got a lot of praying going on here. =) Anyway, many blessing to you as you make your way through this next month.ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:33 am

    Trisha Larson - I know how hard the first Holiday’s are. I was there last year. For me, the days and weeks leading up to it were worse than the actual day. I hope that you are able to find Joy amongst the pain.

    By the way, I’m on the same path as you in that I’m trying to let God carry me and my burdens. I’m trying to rejoice in the good and let Him worry about everything else. It’s a tough challenge since I’ve been trying to get pregnant for 19 months since Nate died. I hope and pray that someday God says yes to us but until then I’m going to try and let Him carry it. It’s just too heavy for me. I don’t want to be weighten down anymore.

    Hugs!
    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:34 am

    Micah - Praying for you all…ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Sherrie Kulwicki - Jess, we lost our youngest son 4 1/2 yrs ago and I can totally relate to ‘feeling like’ you lose ground around a holiday or anniversary or birthday. It still happens for us and we continue to survive and move forward afterwards. Great love means great grief – I have learned that lesson. And alongside that I have discovered that he (our baby) is worth the pain. One day you will dance down streets of gold with your Cora as we dance with our Justin and we will laugh and sing and thank God for the promise that is ours in Christ Jesus. We are bound together by our pain and by our hope! Looking forward to dancing with you sweet sister and brother!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:57 am

    La Familia Garcia - Yay, a baby update! Glad that everything looks good! Thanksgiving blessings!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 11:07 am

    Al's World - I am praying for you all this thanksgiving and christmas. I know how you feel, with the arrival of our sweet precious boy, but to do without my mom is scary. If you need an uplifting song or message to get you through it, Savior Please by Josh Wilson hit home the other day. Hang on to Jesus..He is hanging on to you!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 11:09 am

    eeguiltner - Hi Jess,
    I am feeling very much the same way. All of a sudden everything seems to be overwhelming. I will join you in praying for peace and the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance.
    Love,
    Erin GuiltnerReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 11:16 am

    Karina - Baby Mac looks gorgeous. I am so pleased for you that all looks well with the baby. I continue to hold your family in my heart every day and look forward to “meeting” your new little one! I will also TRY to get something from Cora’s on Wednesday…I know I’m going to have to be faster this time!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 11:53 am

    Carrie - What a beautiful baby!

    I am praying for you and your family as you encounter this season of ‘firsts’. The ‘firsts’ are always so hard when you’re grieving and your heart is so raw. Praying for peace.ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 2:41 pm

    Anonymous - Thanks for being transparent. I know how to pray in the next coming weeks for you and your family. Love you my friend!ReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 3:43 pm

    TRICIA @ The Zoo - Hi Jess and Joel.
    As always, I cannot begin to imagine what the two of you are experiencing right now. I continue to pray for all of you and know that the Lord has it all in his mighty hands.
    Thank you for sharing that reminder. Sometimes it’s easier said that done, right?!
    I wish you all abundant blessings.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • November 24, 2009 - 10:16 pm
  • November 24, 2009 - 11:55 pm

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - Praying for you, as always.
    The baby is beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 12:27 pm

    BEK - Thinking of you and congrats on this new life almost here!!!ReplyCancel

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  • November 25, 2009 - 2:52 pm

    Anonymous - Jess,

    Your husband is hot! I bet he looks awesome in his overalls on the tractor. Do you have a name for Baby Mac yet. What about John Deere.

    NataliaReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 2:24 am

    Sue - Be brave!! Keep focusing on that gorgeous little bundle you’re going to have to cuddle in just a little while (when’s your due date, by the way?). The holidays are going to be tough, but try look for the positives around you. It was what got me through many tough days and still helps. When you’re feeling down, try think of just one or two things that are really great in your life and they’ll get you through! Thinking of you so much through it all…

    Sue xReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 7:25 pm

    Miss G - This is a wonderful post, Jes. I hope that your thanksgiving day had happiness in it. I hope that you are feeling peace from burdening God (who is soo strong and capable) with your fears and struggles. I pray that you have the strength and tenacity to leave them in His hands rather than trying to take them back. (I know that’s what I often try to do.) Blessings! KellyReplyCancel

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  • November 27, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Marlene W. - I just stopped by your blog tonight and have to agree . . . those big pouty lips are sweet!! Praying for you tonight. :)ReplyCancel

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