“Sorrow is one of the things lent, not given.
Joy is given; sorrow is lent.
Sorrow is lent to us for just a little while 
that we may use it for eternal purposes.
Then it will be taken away and everlasting joy
will be our Father’s gift to us, and the Lord God
will wipe away all tears…”
-Amy Carmichael

A sweet reminder from a sweet friend.
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  • September 17, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Kat - What a precious reminder!ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 10:52 pm

    KK - Indeed. Joy comes in the morning.ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 11:12 pm

    Jane In The Jungle - I love her story and what an inspiring quote!ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 12:27 am

    Trisha Larson - Thank you Jess for sharing that. I had a pretty rough day. Feeling a lot of sorrow and missing Nate. I was just telling my friend this morning that I’m “ready for happy again”. I want it so badly. This gives me hope.

    Hugs,
    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 1:20 am

    Falling Around - Amen to that. A beautiful thought indeed.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 7:43 am

    Angie - What a great reminder.

    Thanks for posting, still praying for you!

    Take Care,
    AngieReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 8:25 am

    Joyce - This is lovely…thinking of you today and continuing to pray.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 8:37 am

    Anonymous - Perfect!
    Thinking of you well I think of you EVERYDAY.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 9:47 am

    David and Vera Hall - Thanks for being an inspiration to us! We love you and continue to pray for you. We are looking forward to the playground dedication and anticipate the arrival of Baby McClenahan. Joel, thanks for being a part of Addison’s life.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 9:58 am

    shepherdsgrace - beautiful…

    friends are so…so…GOOD!ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 11:35 am

    Anonymous - thanks…feel free to post more comments like that.
    Amy Carmichael—what a godly and intelligent writer!ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 1:10 pm

    Lauren Kelly - Beautiful!! :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 2:21 pm

    Kelly - What a lovely quote….keeping you and your husband in prayers this weekend for Cora’s Playground dedication…may He shower you with love & kindness through those who love you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    anne - Jesse and Joel,

    I’ve been following your story since April and I know it came across my path for a reason. We, too, lost our first baby, 4 years ago, although under different circumstances. I always check your blog to see how you’re doing and to see your awesome pictures! Cora is a beautiful baby and I know you cherish all her photos. I always found the hardest part of grief was its unpredictability and endlessness, even as your daily life continues on. I think the changing season definitely makes things worse, because you know life is moving ahead, as difficult as it is. I just wanted to let you know I think about you and Cora a lot! Her pictures are lovely and I know you miss her immensely. Best wishes for the new baby, too. I can’t wait to hear the name; I love Cora’s name and often wondered the origin.

    Best wishes,
    Anne in OhioReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 9:54 pm

    Natalie - I stumbled upon your blog today and literally sat here all day and read the whole thing from first post to last.
    You are truly an inspiring person, your blog brought many tears to my eyes and I just want to thank you for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    Christina - Thank you for passing along these reminders.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 10:13 pm

    The Morris Family - Praying for you!!!!

    Cindy (Joel’s mommy, (NB)ReplyCancel

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  • September 19, 2009 - 8:35 pm

    Marylou in Abilene, Texas - My prayers are with you on Sunday as the new Cora Playground is dedicated. She is such a beautiful baby in all the photos on your blog. Now heaven is a sweeter place because she is there. Many of us have walked your same pathway, and I know from my experience of loosing a baby after having him for only 17 hours, that time does help the pain to become softer, but it really never goes away. Bless you as you await this new baby who arrives in January. Our granddaughter lives in KC and is expecting her first, a little girl, in January also. Your blog is special to me, and as I read it I always lift the two of you to God in prayer. Blessings!ReplyCancel

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  • September 19, 2009 - 10:52 pm

    Anonymous - Dear Macs,
    I have been following your story from day 5. What a journey this has been for you. I have prayed, hoped, cried, and rejoiced with you along the way. While my story is different than yours, I too have felt the tremendous weight of loss. Your faithfulness to Christ has been remarkable. It has been amazing to see Him working through you every step of the way. Tomorrow will be such a joyous, yet sorrowful day and my prayers are with you. God you Reign…Hallelujah.
    God Bless you both (& the new little one)
    CS, McPherson, KSReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 10:12 am

    Anonymous - Joel and Jess,

    I will be thinking of you today, as in everyday, as the Cora’s Playground is dedicated. You both are truly inspiring people, Your Cora is certainly proud of her Daddy and Mommy. Always in my thoughts and prayers.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 2:27 pm

    Kimberley - Warm thoughts and prayers coming your way today…ReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 6:53 pm

    David and Vera Hall - What a beautiful celebration today for Cora’s playground! Joel, Jess, and Baby, we love you and are so glad we could spend today with you. The emotions were mixed and the tears fell but…God reigns!ReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 8:23 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Jess and Joel,

    How was today? We are so sorry to have missed the dedication for Cora’s Playground. It has been a crazzzyyy week and Blake wasn’t feeling good yesterday so we decided to just have him rest today…… We sooooo missed seeing you and the family. I am sure it was a very hard day for you, with also tears of joy to know that Cora was looking down to you and smiling about the awesome playground! love to you always!

    praying for peace in your hearts!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 8:39 pm
  • September 20, 2009 - 9:26 pm

    Micah - I’ve been praying for you today, and thought I’d stop by and tell you so. I’m sure it was a sad, sad day, but I hope there was some joy in there somewhere too :).ReplyCancel

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  • September 21, 2009 - 7:18 am

    Suzi - I have seen your story for so long and have never commented on your blog before… I’m sure you hear that a lot :) Anyway, I just want you to know that you are definitely in my prayers during this time. I cannot possibly imagine what you are going through right now, but I do know that God is good! And I am so glad that you do too. Sending many, many prayers your way!ReplyCancel

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  • September 21, 2009 - 12:31 pm

    PamperingBeki - You are beautiful and loved.
    Just wanted you to know that.ReplyCancel

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  • September 21, 2009 - 1:46 pm

    Anonymous - Hello Macs,
    I found your blog about a week ago through a friend’s blog and since then, we have kept you in our prayers. This morning while my 3-year-old daughter and I were having our devotion/prayer time, we prayed for you & Joel. My daughter said, “mommy, we don’t have to pray for Cora because she’s in heaven with Jesus for her daddy”. Thank you for sharing your story-you’re an inspiration. We will continue to send prayers up for your family. God bless, JenReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    merlin - We are still here,holding you and Joel in prayer. Remember your sorrow is lent, joy will come and it will be everlasting. I can not imagine the depth of the aching emptiness, nor the bursting pride for Cora and the amazing works her life have accomplished on this earth. Many are called and few are chosen: Cora truly is chosen.ReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 2:34 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 3:05 pm

    Robin in Benton - Thinking of you and praying for you today and always. As we live so close I was able to come to the playground dedication Sunday afternoon and was truly blessed to be there. You guys are an amazing example of true faith and what it can do.ReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 3:56 pm

    Stephanie - Good, sweet thought…thank you. I am still praying for you and especially this weekend with Cora’s Playground dedication and in this week to follow. Thanks for continuing to post. The songs and daily thoughts are often encouraging to me. Your family is precious in the hearts of many and most of all, in the heart of the Lord, He who always hears us. StephanieReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    dg darling - Just thinking about you and hoping you’re ok…ReplyCancel

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  • September 22, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    Jean A. - I just discovered your blog and will need a week to read everything and process it all. God bless you and your precious family. You are a testimony to God’s grace and love.
    blessings,
    jeanReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 2:50 pm

    Bergtholds - I have been following your blog for quite some time now and have felt propelled to write to you many times, but so often I just don’t know what to say. I don’t even know you, and yet since I’ve been reading about your sweet baby girl and your family, I feel like I know you very well. I too have a little girl, Hannah, who is about the same age that Cora would be right now. Back when I began reading your blog, your little Cora reminded me so much of my precious Hannah… they wore the same clothes, used the same pacifier, and both had the most contagious little smiles. When Cora was sick it was so hard to get through each post because I wondered why you were having to go through so much pain, and I realized it could so easily have been me. I’ve prayed for you often, and every day when I am holding my little girl in my arms, you are always on my mind. Through your sorrow, God has taught me so many things about loving my children and always being thankful for every moment I have with them.

    Also, I wanted you to know that we prayed for you today in our Women’s Bible Study. There is another lady in our group who’s little niece has the same thing Cora had, and even another who is a part of Cole’s Foundation, and has “adopted” a child undergoing chemo again, after two years of fighting this cancer. You are heavy on our hearts, and I know your family will be in our prayers every time we meet. I pray that God will truly fill you with “everlasting joy” and that your new little one comes perfectly healthy and ready to fill your home with smiles and laughter once again.

    Please keep writing. God is using you and Cora in more ways than you’ll ever know.ReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 6:07 pm

    Denise C. - What a beautiful blog. I am so sorry for your loss. My eldest son passed away 11 years ago at the tender age of 7 months. Completely unexpected. A month before his passing, I had him baptized not even knowing what was going to happen. I am married with 2 more children (a 3 yr. old boy, and a 16 mo. girl) I still think of my sweet angel EVERY SINGLE DAY. I still mourn and grieve for him EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was in such a bad place after he passed, and have finally come to a point where I want God in my life. (I was beyond upset that he would not take my life instead of his.) God Bless you, Bless your sweet little Cora up in heaven, and Bless your unborn baby. My heart goes out to you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 8:30 pm

    Lauren - Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you tonight. I pray your mind and heart are full of Jesus and His promises of a wonderfully beautiful eternity with Him and Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 9:11 pm

    Robin in Benton - Praying for you tonightReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 9:23 pm

    Two Normal Moms - I linked to your blog from Joy’s Hope, and just shed quite a few tears working my way through your journey. I can’t imagine going through what you have, but God’s light & strength shines through you so strongly…
    Best to you. Your family will be added to my prayers…
    ***AllyReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    in a world surrounded by men - It is coming up on a year since a tragedy happened at our church when my friend’s 15 month old son choked on an object and wound up losing his life.

    I have been watching my friend grieve quietly since that day. She is a very private person, so I have just tried to acknowledge her grief and love her through it.

    It has been so helpful to hear your thoughts and emotions after losing sweet Cora.

    I sent her Amy Carmichael’s quote and it knocked her socks off. So, thank you for sharing. The Lord is using your journey to impact others.

    Cora’s memory will live on.ReplyCancel

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  • September 25, 2009 - 4:08 pm

    Lindsey - We’ve never met but my husband went to school with you guys. I’ve spent many moments praying for you and your family. On Tuesday we lost our little baby and I have returned to read this quote over and over again this week. Thank you for sharing it and for sharing your continued journey in this new type of pain.ReplyCancel

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It was several weeks after Cora went to heaven that Joel told me about this song.

I had heard it many times, but didn’t realize how much meaning it would come to have for our family.
It was the song that was playing as we drove to the hospital with our sweet Cora. We didn’t talk the whole way there. We were in shock and just cried as we wondered if our perfect baby could really have cancer. I don’t even remember hearing the radio as my mind was desperately trying to make sense of what was happening to our family. But Joel remembers. God You Reign.
It was the song that played late that same night as Joel drove home from the hospital by himself. He was going to pack a bag for us as we found out we would be staying for awhile. We were anticipating Cora having surgery the next day. We were so scared. God You Reign.
And it has been the song that we have heard over and over as we try to continue forward as a family without Cora. It might be an overplayed song on the radio. But to us it is a constant reminder that no matter what we are feeling emotionally, the truth is still the same. God You Reign.
We both love that little voice at the very end of the song. Even though our little Cora was barely saying a few words when she left us, it is like she is whispering down a reminder to her mama and daddy.  A reminder that we are going to be okay. God You Reign.
I love how Lincoln Brewster explains the meaning behind this song.
I wrote this post at the beginning of last week. I was planning on finishing it and posting the next day. But then my week just seemed to fall apart. It was a hard week for both of us. I’m not sure what exactly it was. Maybe it is the seasons changing. Another reminder of “firsts” that we are missing out on with Cora. Maybe it is the playground dedication that is coming up, bringing with it so many emotions. Or maybe it is simply that we miss our baby girl and our hearts continue to hurt. It was just one of those weeks.
So today as I look ahead at a new week.  I think I need to be reminded again.
God You Reign.
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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:57 am

    Mindee - Lincoln Brewster is playing here next week. When they get to this song, I’ll be thinking of you. I don’t post often because you get so many and I don’t want to make more work for you but . . . well I think of you a lot. I’m sorry this happened in your life but I’m grateful for your generosity in sharing the journey.

    And if you’d like to come up to Lincoln, NE – we have extra tickets!ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:00 am

    shepherdsgrace - amen…He reigns…

    last week was a hard one for many people…

    thank you for sharing…ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:06 am

    Anonymous - So very sorry for your heartache. Yet you continue to be an inspiration to us. You, Joel and Cora are in my thoughts everyday. I’m glad to see a post from you, it makes my day even as the tears roll down my face.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:16 am

    PamperingBeki - Jess, my heart hurts for you.

    I cry so often when I think of your family. But God does reign.

    Every time Cora’s picture with the pumpkin pops up on the top of your blog, I wonder how you’re dealing with the changing season.

    Thank you for your faithfulness.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:32 am

    Toni :O) - Beautiful song…thank you for sharing and I truly think of you and your family every.single.day. I pray for you so hard and I know I say this often, but I really do work extra hard to hug my children harder and pay more attention all in the name of Cora. Your tragedy has made such an impact on my life…it brings me to tears some days. Continue to send you prayers, love, hugs and strength for support.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:49 am

    Jenn@the loves of jenn - What a beautiful song and reminder. I’m sorry that you had a rough week and hope that this one is better. I am continuing to pray for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 11:01 am

    i love plum - lots of love….xoReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 11:28 am

    Falling Around - You’ve been on my heart more and more as we approach the holiday season and more firsts without sweet Cora. My heart aches for you. But God does reign and I pray you will continue to find comfort in that knowledge.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 11:46 am

    Enos Family - I hope your week is better. You have such an amazing outlook. Can’t imagine living through something like this, but your story has helped me realize that with the correct attitude and outlook, you can get through. I hope each day gets better, but I’m sure you will always have “those” days.
    I think of you often.
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Jenifer - Thanks for sharing…Cora is looking down on her parents so proudlyReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 12:51 pm

    Christine - I’ll think of you guys every time I hear this song, and will commit to praying for you right then. (They play it alot on KLOVE, so expect many a prayer coming from me!) You are a constant inspiration from me and God has spoken to me so clearly through you. Thank you for your honesty, your transparency, and your faith. We will continue to lift you up in prayer.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Karina - September is a bittersweet month. I agree, it is because the season is changing; it is spectacularly beautiful, yet so many things are dying all around us.

    Your post made me cry.

    I feel such anger too. I am angry that this kind of suffering has to happen, and go on and on the way it does, with no end in sight – how can anyone get over the loss of a child? I can’t fathom what kind of God does this.

    And no, yours is not the only suffering; many people grieve 9/11 now too, for example – there is no shortage of grief, it is all around us and festers for many reasons.

    I am frankly amazed that you continue to have faith. It makes it seem like you have insight and will transcend your pain, while I remain blind and fogged over and mad.

    Hugs to you in your continued battle; you are certainly inspiring.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    Carrie Metz - Dear Jess,

    Soooo many times I have wanted to write. Today as I read your beautiful words I was moved to drop you a note. My heart aches for the pain you and Joel feel. . . through your pain, your words have been a continual breath of fresh air. I leave tomorrow to spend time with my sister and her family, including my neice, Kate Mcrae. You mentioned her one day and somehow I found your blog. Now I find myself thinking about your beautiful family and weekly (okay, more than weekly) :)come back to check on you guys and pray that the Lord’s tender mercies will be new each morning for you.

    Your sweet “voice” is being heard by many. Thank you for the incredible privilege to journey with you through this unthinkable time. You are incredible mom and woman.

    Much love,
    Carrie
    carrie.metz@gmail.comReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 2:32 pm

    Sheryl From Colorado - Hi Jess,
    I wanted to let you know when I logged onto your website I was listening to KLOVE and the song “God You Reign” was on. He cares about even the little things in our lives! HE does Reign, and I will continue to pray for you and that newest addition to your family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 3:12 pm

    Anonymous - This was a beautiful reminder…for some reason I had missed it, even though I love LB! Thnak you for sharing it…I pictured sweet Cora saying the words in that sweet baby voice sitting at the feet of her Savior and it brought tears to my eyes.
    Blessings-
    Laura from FLReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 3:27 pm

    Beckypdj - Dear Jess;

    I hope you don’t mind if I talk to your commenter Karina in my comment.

    Karina, God does not “do this”. There is suffering because we live in a fallen world. This was not God’s plan for us, God gave Adam ultimate authority on earth but Adam chose to let sin in. Even though we are born sinners, God gave us Jesus, so we could come back to Him. And while I believe in living a blessed life here on earth, my ultimate goal is Heaven and eternity with my Heavenly Father.

    I too have lost my child and it hurts and I don’t understand why Peyton is in Heaven before me. But I know that God loves me and I cannot wait to be reunited.

    I hope this reads with the love that was intended while I typed. Thank you Jess and hugs to you and your family. I am now in my 20th month of the grieving process. The firsts are very hard. I posted on my blog once that “the memories seem to be gentler somehow, they don’t take my breath away like they used to.” (or something like that.) You will reach this place too.

    Thanks for all the space I took up.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 3:28 pm

    Baylee and Blair's page - My heart is so heavy for you and your family. I remember back when your blog was passed my way to begin praying over. I couldn’t believe that such a sweet little girl could have cancer! My heart is breaking for you as I could only imagine what it would be like losing one of my girls.

    Big Hugs to you and Joel!

    TiffanyReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 4:00 pm

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - What a beautiful song, and a beautiful reminder of God’s grace. My heart hurts for your sweet family now. You continue to be in my prayers, and also in my praises for shining such a light of God’s love on MY life.
    Thank you for your willingness to share this difficult journey with us.
    May God continue to bless both you and Joel and baby Mac.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 5:45 pm

    Anonymous - Hurting with you and praying for you.
    JoAnneReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:15 pm

    mommyof2sons - Beautiful song. I had never heard it before. Prayers for you both!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:23 pm

    Jessica - I have seen him live, he is amazing. The song is MORE amazing (I think Ill add it to my myspace if I can find it).

    Just wanted you to know that I am spreading the word this month about childhood cancer…and you guys are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Andrea - i also am so sorry for your loss and couldn’t even begin to imagine what you might be going threw. however, you inspire me in so many ways, as a women trying to be more like Jesus, and a mother. thank you for sharing all your feelings and thoughts. God Bless you dear and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:43 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - awesome…and god soooo reigns. thank you for the great reminder!ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 8:17 pm

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - I’m sorry you had a rough week. My thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 8:32 pm

    jandkland - God You Reign. We all need reminding. In this month that is set aside for childhood cancer awareness, I honor Cora’s memory by daring to speak of the unspeakable: cancer touching the life of a dear child. Sometimes people don’t want to talk about it, but we must. We have to remember that families like yours live and breathe childhood cancer each day. We must fight as bravely and strongly as we can. May God guide the researchers as they seek a cure. May God direct the doctors as they choose the best treatments. May God strengthen the children as they endure the effects of disease. May God comfort the parents who bear the burden of their suffering children. May God wrap his arms tightly around the parents who can no longer hug their children. And praise God, that he truly does reign over it all. Somehow. Some way.

    –Kelley in GA (queenkelley.com)ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    Rachel - I don’t know you, but have followed your blog for a while now…and have prayed for you often as you have had to walk through this dark, dark valley. I cannot pretend to know anything of the pain you know…so all I can do is pray that God will bring His comfort to You in the way that only He can. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet little girl.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    ashley - hi! I’ve been reading your blog regularly for a very long time. I’ve never commented, not sure even what to say except that I pray for you and your family often – my heart hurts for your pain every time I read your words.
    You and your family, including that new baby are all on my prayer list regularly. :)
    AshleyReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    Al's World - Thank you for shining your light to others around you. Joyce Meyer said today that the biggest testiment we have to unbelievers is our strength during the hard times.

    I feel close to you in some ways, my daughter and Cora are only two months apart in age, my great grandmother’s name was Cora and I have always loved it, I lost my mother to cancer after only 6 weeks of diagnosis this past November, I am expecting as well, a surprise, due in Februrary and like you I am welcoming this little one with mixed emotions. I am praying for you and Joel during this time, I will be praying for you on the 20th for that bittersweet beautiful day and will continue to praise God for He does reign!ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:49 pm

    katy - Thank you for sharing this song, I hadn’t heard it before. Your faith in such a dark period of your life inspires me to draw closer to Jesus. I am so sorry about your sweet Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Lori - You will remain in our prayers in these difficult times. May God bless you with peace and healing.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 10:21 pm

    Anonymous - My husband passed away 2-1/2 years ago. I don’t know why either, but the past 4-5 days were hard for me too. Lots of tears, lots of memories, lots of asking why and what’s next. I think it is all a part of the process (and one that never really ends). I also think it keeps us pulled close into Jesus’ loving arms.

    I too find a lot of solace in music. Lincoln Brewster’s CD is one of my favorites.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 11:04 pm

    Christina - May the Sovereign Lord of the universe continue to carry and heal your broken hearts, watch over you all, and show you how to walk the path that is laid out before you. May you know his faithfulness fully as it is possible, and may your faithfulness shine as a light to all who see it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 2:43 am

    Jill - Hey Jess,
    I would love to send you a note via email so that there would be some privacy. If you dont mind, can you email me at mom2boogie@gmail.com? I have something I would like to share with you – a change in my family that I contribute to Cora.
    Take care….you are always in my prayers,
    JillReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 7:52 am

    Mace and Brei - Praying for your sweet family. Your faithful, grateful spirit and the way you cling to The Lord are such an encouragement. Glorifying God in the darkest of times…what beauty. God, You reign.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 8:16 am

    Karina - Beckypdj, I appreciate your loving comments – a big part of me wishes I could embrace this idea you call God!

    I am continually drawn to this blog, for the human emotions so well expressed, as a mother overwhelmed by empathy for what Jess and Joel have suffered, and (even though I don’t share their faith), admiration for the way in which they have chosen to cope and see the world. I still find them remarkable as people and parents, even though I myself do not believe in a creator, the fall of Man, etc.

    I just remarked to my husband last night that I had heard a beautiful song on Jess’s latest post, but too bad it was about God. He said we could ignore the lyrics, or just take from it the same sense of wonder that we are here, regardless of whether we worship a heavenly father or are simply in awe of existence. I like that idea; it is a lot like how I view all these comments, which inspire me even though I do not share their conviction.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 8:21 am

    Lauren Kelly - Beautiful!

    And I absolutely love that song!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 9:00 am

    Lindsay - Bless your sweet family and your unswerving faith. Thank you for so selflessly serving as a reminder to all of us that He reigns. I think of You, Joel, Cora and Baby Mac often and you are in our prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 10:14 am

    Erica - this song will remind me to pray for you, and all parents who are wanting to trust in God to reign in their lives through the loss of a child. thank you for your beautiful heart.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 12:09 pm

    mommathieszen - Not sure if you have heard the new single from Steven Curtis Chapman yet, but I listened to it today for the first time and it sent tears streaming down my face. Thinking of you guys the whole time. Have kleenexes in hand if you haven’t heard it, but I think you would find it extremely touching. Here’s the link: http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=84138e76e13c5c50e12c

    Blessings of continued healing on your journey,
    Angie ThieszenReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 12:25 pm

    Chelsa - thank you for sharing the song!ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 2:59 pm

    Tracie - Thank you for sharing that song.

    I could listen to it all day.

    I pray for your family daily!ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 3:32 pm

    Country Roads - I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time right now. Prayers for you are on the way.

    The song is beautiful! Adding it to my playlist and will always think of Cora and your family when I hear it. Thanks for sharing with us. God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 3:56 pm

    Angie - We lost a baby, Jack, when I was 6 months pregnant and something that helped me cope was music. A friend at our church went through the same thing and sent me a CD of a song that helped her see through her pain. It helped me see that life really wasn’t up to us to decide what happens, it’s all up to HIM. The song was “Walk by Faith” by Jeremy Camp. We now have a second son after our loss. Have faith with the new baby!
    The emotions are very up and down with another child and very hard to be happy while missing the baby you’ve lost at the same time. May God Bless your family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 4:59 pm

    JJC - still think about you often even though we don’t know each other. still pray for you and your family. still think about your little cora when i look at my little emory who was born just 3 days before cora. still think about how similar our lives are as emory is our 1st born. still praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 8:07 pm

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you and praying for you tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • September 15, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    Christina - The simplicity of that statement hurts. God You reign. He reigns even when we don’t recognize it. He reigns until we recognize it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 16, 2009 - 1:16 pm

    Lauren - Still praying for you all. I know the dedication service will be beautiful and I pray you can feel Jesus’ arms around you as you see how He has prompted all of these people to love on you in different ways.ReplyCancel

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  • September 16, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    Anonymous - praying for you….ReplyCancel

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  • September 16, 2009 - 11:39 pm

    megan - We are praying for you guys. We trust that the Lord, who is taking care of your sweet little girl, is taking care of you, too. Our hearts ached when we heard your story….we are grateful for the hope Jesus gives.ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 12:43 am

    Anonymous - your posts are always so touching and eloquent- God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 8:25 am

    PamperingBeki - This doesn’t pertain to this post but we went to the fair the other day and I thought of you guys because I remember your post from last year’s fair. I remember Cora in her stroller and you with turkey grease stains on your pants.

    I know how much Joel likes “interesting” food, so I wanted to share this link. ;-)

    Fried Butter!! For real.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/09/fair_explores_new_frontier_in.html

    I think you need to take a trip to Dallas so he can try it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Kimberley - You’ve been on my mind a lot recently…just wanted to stop by and say I think of you guys and pray for comfort frequently. Hope you’re having a good week…and I’ll be thinking of you on Sunday….I’m sure it will be a very bittersweet day. Love and prayers from Maryland…ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 2:19 pm

    Elizabeth - Joel and Jess,
    Praying for you as you plan for the dedication this weekend…ReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 2:20 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Hey,
    I had a minute today during my planning time at school and was thinking about you all! I read the blog and listened to the song……. Cried…… My kids asked what was wrong and then of course I got to share the story of baby Cora and you with them….. they all came up and hugged me…. I could feel Cora right in the middle of it all. ONce again you have put things in perspective for me. I love you and miss you all so much! Hoping for better days for you ahead…. please know we are still praying for you daily!

    Love to you always!

    AmieReplyCancel

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  • September 17, 2009 - 11:54 pm

    Anonymous - Jess – You have been on my mind more than usual! I know the year of firsts and the dedication on Sunday will bring many emotions. The Lord goes before you and carries you through. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
    Your pain will not remain as pain. It is indeed already a ministry to others as we witness your faithfulness to our God, WHO REIGNS!
    love you and your family,
    Kristen B.ReplyCancel

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  • September 18, 2009 - 12:14 pm

    Tegan and Tage - I am fortunate enough to attend church with Lincoln Brewster here in Sacramento and that song just hits me every time he peforms it live– truely the meaning of worship. Thank you for sharing your lives and your (Cora’s) story. I am a good friend of Heather (Cookie Mondays) and my prayers are will all of you this weekend at the dedication.ReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 9:48 pm

    Heather - I was really wanting to get to that dedication today..it didn’t happen. I am praying for you guys! I hope today was a blessing to your heart.

    heatherReplyCancel

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  • September 21, 2009 - 10:21 am

    Misty Rice - Beautiful post, and so looking forward to how yesterdays playground opening went.

    God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • September 21, 2009 - 10:16 pm

    Jennifer Dawn - Yes, he does! My heart just breaks for you and your husband, but I admire your devotion and strength. I am a mommy to a seven month old little girl named Lydia Grace. She has had many health issues, and only recently had some positive test results. Still I can only begin to understand what you have gone through. After reading about Cora, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 3:48 pm

    Abby - You don’t know me at all, and honestly, I cant even remember how I found your blog, but I check it regularly now. Cora is a just a bit older than my youngest daughter, and I can’t imagine what you are going through. I’m so very sorry for your pain.

    However, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I have often wondered how I would react in the face of loss like yours or utter heartbreak…I hope I would choose to glorify God the way that you do. I know it must be hard, but I want you to know that your story and the way you choose to glorify God regardless of the situation has taught me so much. When it comes to my kids, you have taught me to treasure every moment- enjoy the little things. In my relationship with God, you have reminded me that I dont have to know what is going on- I just have to trust Him. Your story has changed my life, so- Thank You.ReplyCancel

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Thank you Sara for making this sweet invitation for us!
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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:11 pm

    Anonymous - Such a beautiful invitation just like your little Cora! I haven’t posted a comment before but have been following your journey for a while now and have kept your family in my prayers. The playground looks fabulous just from the pictures and I know that it will bring joy to many children as they play on it in remembrance of sweet Cora. :)

    Many blessings and hugs,
    Christine S.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:16 pm

    Marla Taviano - Congratulations!! Wish Ohio wasn’t so far away!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:24 pm

    THE ZELLERS - We’ll be thinking of you! The playground is just beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Staci - Beautiful invitation. I know the dedication will be great!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:38 pm

    Shannon - Wish I could be there. Hope it is a blessedly beautiful day for all of you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:44 pm

    purejoy - awww, i wish i could go. i’m going to get a pink balloon for just the occasion. i’ll send it up to cora so she’ll have something to play with too!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:50 pm

    Elizabeth - Jess, thanks for sharing your heart. I am praying for you…for your mommy heart…for healing…for continued faith and strength. We will be at the Dedication…I have already started crying…thank you for letting everyone share with you…that is so generous of you. I hope you have a fabulous day.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:55 pm

    Miss G - That is BEAUTIFUL! What a special, special day that will be! KellyReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:03 pm

    dealightfulsavings - I wish I could come….I pray that it’s a day that you’ll feel loved, feel the close presence of the Lord and that this will bring some healing to your hearts!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:25 pm

    Karina - What a beautiful invitation, it makes me want to be there (but I’m way up in Canada, and maybe you don’t want to invite the whole world…I hope the church is a big one!). Please post lots of pictures, there are many of us who will be thinking of you when it is taking place.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:28 pm

    Stacy - that is beautiful!!! i wished i lived close so i could come support u all!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:30 pm

    PamperingBeki - It looks perfect, just as it should be.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 2:48 pm

    Anonymous - Wish we could come but we are in California I will be thinking of sweet Cora that day the playground turned out so wonderful.
    Summer & FamilyReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 3:00 pm

    mommyof2sons - What a beautiful invitation! I will be thinking of your family. Wish I was closer.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 3:21 pm

    Hannah - Jess,
    I’ve wanted to post so many times and never been able to find the words. You and I went to school together in Colorado, and I found out about Cora through Laura M. shortly after she entered the hospital. I just want you to know that my small group prays for you and Joel and now your new baby on a regular basis. Your faith has been such an example to me, and I just want you to be reminded that Cora’s life touched so many people and that God will continue to use her story to draw people to him. I will be thinking of and praying for you and Joel during the dedication.

    Hannah Frank (Jarrell)ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 3:38 pm

    Trasie Bressler - God Bless you all!
    TrasieReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 4:26 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - What a sweet invite…. We will try to make it….. we may just have to come down for church and then say hi… that way the kiddos don’t get home so late that night. We miss you and still think of sweet baby Cora everyday! I read your last post, and of course teared up and wondered all the same things you did? Your faith and love in the Lord is still such a powerful statement for me….. I cherish your words and feelings more than you know! I will be in touch if we can’t make it, but I know we will try to if at all possible!

    Love to you all!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 4:28 pm

    Beckypdj - Congratulations!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 5:09 pm

    Mum2twopreciousgifts - If Australia wasn’t on the other side of the planet, our little family would love to join you to celebrate Cora.

    Thank you for keeping the blog updated. God Bless you all.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:46 pm

    shepherdsgrace - beautiful…ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    Cristy - That is just precious!ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 12:48 am

    Falling Around - I desperately wish my family and I could join you all in this day. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as I’m sure it will be an emotional day for you and Joel.

    Love & Prayers,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 2:11 am

    Candice - It’s beautiful. We’ll be thinking of you on that day.ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 5:29 am

    Sue - I wish, I wish, I wish I could be there! Will be with you all in thought.

    Good luck!

    Sue xReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 7:32 am

    Tina - Jess,

    I wish I lived a little closer so I could be there. I am sure you will take lots of great pictures and that you will write all about it. I hope and pray for great weather for you and I hope the dedication brings you peace and comfort.

    Thinking of you…

    TinaReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 9:43 am

    Lauren Kelly - So beautiful!!! :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 3:23 pm

    dillysplace - LOVE THE INVITATION. aLL OF THE HARD WORK THAT EVERYONE PUT INTO THE PARK IS SUCH A BLESSING. sO MANY CHILDREN WILL BENEFIT. GOD BLESS FROM DILLYSPLACE. WHERE EVERY KID CAN BE A kid.ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 3:36 pm

    CourtneyC - aww, that is such a beautiful invitation.ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 8:30 pm

    Rebecca - Like so many others, I wish we could be there. No doubt you will be lifted up in prayer on Sunday by so many who love you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 11:36 pm

    Melissa and Shawn - I too have followed your story through my friend Emily, and have asked many of the same questions of God that you probably do everyday. I have a little one just a bit older than Cora would be and I can’t fathom the strength you have (of course I know where it comes from). I want to wish you blessings on your playground dedication, it is beautiful just like Cora. Thank you for sharing your journey and congratulations on the new blessing that will arrive soon. I hope to have a girl someday so I can buy a Cora dress for her :)

    -Melissa W.
    Seattle, WAReplyCancel

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  • September 10, 2009 - 6:48 am

    Ruth - will be wearing my cora flower pin and thinking of you guys… the invitation is beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • September 10, 2009 - 2:14 pm

    Susy M. - When God calls little children
    To dwell with Him above,
    We mortals sometimes question
    The wisdom of His love.
    For no heartache compares with
    The death of one small child
    Who does so much to make our world
    So wonderful and mild.
    Perhaps God tires of calling
    The aged to his fold,
    So He picks a rosebud
    Before it can grow old.
    God knows how much we need them,
    And so He takes but few
    To make the land of Heaven
    More beautiful to view.
    Believing this is difficult
    Still somehow we must try
    The saddest word mankind knows
    Will always be “Goodbye.”
    So when a little child departs,
    We who are left behind
    Must realize God loves children,
    Angels are hard to find.ReplyCancel

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  • September 10, 2009 - 9:07 pm

    Anonymous - OH MY WHAT SUSY M. SAID IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL THING AND I THINK SHE IS RIGHT. I LOST MY MOM WHEN SHE WAS JUST 49 AND I ALWAYS SAID GOD TOOK HER EARLY BECAUSE HE NEEDED A SPECIAL ANGEL AND THAT IS WHY CVGOD NEEDED CORA!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR SWEET HUSBAND!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 10, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    Angie - Love the invitation – hope it goes well!

    Wish MN was a little closer :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 11, 2009 - 2:44 am

    UK Cowles - Dear Joel and Jess,
    I don’t have your email, so will leave this here. I just saw the video of the song ‘Heaven is the Face’ by Steven Curtis Chapman about his little girl. Immediately thought of Cora, and the dedication. Here is the link:
    http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=84138e76e13c5c50e12c
    We love you, Debbie CowlesReplyCancel

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  • September 12, 2009 - 9:02 am

    Anonymous - Such a sweet invitation. Cora Paige left to soon, what an awesome wonderful legacy sweet Cora leaves for,Baby Mac,her family and friends.
    Your faith is a Beautiful testament of our loving Christ.
    God Bless you & your family.
    Laura from SCReplyCancel

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  • September 12, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    Mandi @ It's come to this - It’s a beautiful invitation. The playground is such a great gift to honor your beautiful daughter!!

    And I love the new blog look w/ all of Cora’s pictures!! I’ve been reading through my google reader so I don’t see the background … glad I clicked over today:)ReplyCancel

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  • September 13, 2009 - 11:18 pm

    Robin in Benton - Thinking about you and praying for you. While I’m sure next Sunday will be a happy time it’s also going to be a sad time. Focus on the sweet memories of your baby girl, all the happy times you had with her and look forward to the future with Baby Mac and the fun times you will have with him or her.ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 9:21 pm

    teachNOLA - Such a precious invitation for such a special occasion. I know it will be hard and beautiful, all at the same time.ReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 1:54 pm

    Anonymous - Just wanted you to know you had prayers from Texas this morning. I was thinking of your family as my daughter was playing on the playground after church this morning! Our first daughter passed away four years ago, it’s a long journey learning to “live again”. I hope you have beautiful weather this afternoon for the dedication!ReplyCancel

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  • September 20, 2009 - 7:59 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you todayReplyCancel

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  • September 23, 2009 - 12:01 pm

    loriaj61 - I just found your website and I don’t know how long ago you lost your beautiful daughter, but I send my love to you and your family. There is never an easy way to deal with the pain of losing a loved one, especially one so young. There is a plan for families to be together forever, even after you pass from this life. If you go to lds.org and go to the questions section they can teach you about the plan of salvation. How you can be with your beautiful little Cora for ever. Much love, LoriReplyCancel

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With Cora not being with us now, 

there are so many times I find myself wondering.
Yesterday I thought about Cora so much as she would have been 18 months old. It is hard to even imagine her that old. It is hard to believe that much time has gone by.
I wonder what she would be doing as an 18 month old.
What new things would she be learning?
What words would she be saying?
What would be her favorite thing to eat?
Would her personality be more like her mama or daddy?
How long would her pretty brown hair be by now?
What would we be doing together during our days at home?
I wonder why Cora had to get sick.
Why did God choose to take Cora home so quickly?
Why didn’t He heal Cora?
Why did He choose to draw us and others closer to Himself through Cora’s death instead of through her healing?
I wonder what our lives would have looked like this fall if she was here and everything was still “normal”.
I wonder what it is going to be like to welcome this new little one into our lives.
Will he/she look like Cora?
Will we feel like first time parents again?
Will it be hard to use Cora’s baby things for this baby or will it be healing?
What will it be like to have our arms filled again?
Will it be easier to be around our friends kids again?
Will we always be overprotective parents because of what happened to Cora?
Today as we sang Jesus Loves Me in church. 
I wondered why I was having to wipe away my tears because my heart was aching so intensely, instead of singing this sweet song with Cora in my arms.
I think many of these things I will always wonder.
I may never understand.
I will never fully comprehend God’s ways.
But I know that when it comes to my relationship with God 
and my future with Him,
I don’t have to wonder.
I will never need to wonder about God’s love for me.
I will never need to wonder how my story will end.
A friend told me awhile back that this part of my life is like a really bad chapter in a really good book.  While I don’t know what the rest of my story will hold, I can be confident about the ending. I know that the end of my story is so incredibly sweet that I can’t even begin to imagine.
That is the TRUTH that keeps me going.  
That is the TRUTH that I will never have to wonder about.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1
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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    jess - it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel i’m sure, or even see any light at all! just know that there are many people praying for you right now, and whose hearts are so touched by Cora’s precious life. i know i have been, immensely.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:15 pm

    Clare - Such strength you still have. You and your family are still a huge inspiration! You are blessed.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:18 pm

    Sherryl - What a beautiful post Jess. So much coming from your heart. Your healing has already begun. Stay strong. Life is still beautiful. And your new baby is indeed another chapter in the really good book that is your life.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:19 pm

    jenjensden - I am so touched by your words and your spirit. I’m struck speechless by it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:26 pm

    Trisha Larson - Nate would have been 18 months old yesterday too. I feel the exact same way that you do. In fact, I wrote a similar post yesterday on my blog.

    I often think of God like the wind. You can’t see Him but you can feel Him. You can’t see the wind but you can see the effect that the wind has on everything it touches.

    I know that God is with me right now. I can’t see Him. But I can feel Him. And, I can feel the effects He has as He works in and through people and circumstances around me.

    Hugs!

    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:27 pm

    tara - Bless your family, your household, and your amazing stronghold in our Lord as he gentley guides you into each new day. New blessings and happiness will unfold soon and while it doesn’t loosen the ache inside, hold tight to every essence Cora was and still is to you. It has been said before, but the number of souls she has reached in her short little life is truly a gift. I wish I could lend a hug to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Brandi - What a moving post! I can’t imagine the pain you must be going through. I think of your family all the time and pray for you daily!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:43 pm

    Courtney - You just spoke my heart when Dylan died. I wondered why on so may levels yet, I knew He was always with me. I wanted so badly for God to intervine and heal Dylan so that everyone could truly see that God does perform miracles. There were many times I was angry, hurt, every emotion you can imagine. We never put away anything of Dylan’s and when our daughter Madylan Hope was born she used it all. It was hard on some levels but healing too.
    Stay strong.
    Love Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    Holly - I wonder many of these same things but I know that no matter what God is good and He loves me more than I can fathom. The end of the story is one I look forward to very much.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:56 pm

    SuzSpeaks - what a great post! I don’t know that I’ve commented before but I lift your family up every day.
    This life on earth is so trying and it is so comforting to know that he is there cheering us on on holding us up. May God continue to bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:57 pm

    The Costellos - I can’t imagine that you will ever stop wondering about Cora because she will always BE your daughter (not was). Much love for you guys as you are still healing and preparing for this wonderful new baby. Praying in TN, MandyReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:58 pm

    ~Cherie - I pray to have faith like yours. Thank you for your continued witness.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Trish - Thank you for sharing… the tenderness of your heart is amazing. God is using you in mighty ways!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:11 pm
  • September 6, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    Sherri - Oh Jess…you have a way with words. I can only pretend to understand and fully understand just how hard each and everyday is for you. I pray God will soon share your pain and that he will comfort you and Joel. I pray for Baby Mac….and your whole family as you try and move forward.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:21 pm

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

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:31 pm

    Anonymous - Praying for you alwaysReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:35 pm

    jandkland - I don’t know how people face such intense tragedy without knowing God. I imagine it’s quite enough of a nightmare with God at your side. What happened with Cora was terribly wrong, just as it is for hundreds of children the world over who are fighting the cancer battle. It makes no sense, and I think you’re right that we will not be able to understand or explain it. I’m sad that you don’t get to see Cora now, to experience life with your beloved child, with that precious piece of yourself who was growing into such a beautiful little person of her own. It’s not fair, and it never will be. I’m so glad, though, that you do know the hope we have in Christ. I’m glad you know that, even though we can’t possibly explain such horrible injustices as a sweet baby dying of cancer, God is good and God loves you.

    –Kelley in GAReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    Diana - God bless you and strengthen you as He lovingly holds your wondering heart, with sufficient grace. May His comfort and your confidence im Him remain strong. Blessings upon you all in Jsus’name!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:54 pm

    starnes family - I’m so glad you’ve kept your perspective through such a diverse time. Still praying….ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:01 pm

    Marla Taviano - Sending you hugs and prayers!! Loving Cora with you!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:19 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - I know how you feel, if not exactly, at least a little. I look at my daughter each day and wonder what my first daughter would have been like at this age. I constantly wonder if she would have been quiet and calm or if she would have been crazy like she seemed in the womb! I wonder all of the time why God would take my daughter to be with Him before I got to meet her by allowing her to have this heart defect that is the same heart defect that is keeping another baby curriently alive! I don’t wish my pain on that other baby, it just astounds me how my childs death sentence is another child’s miracle! God is always going to be a wonder to us, and that promise is what gets us through these hard time! I am sure of it! The promise that I will one day stand in heaven on streets of gold, holding my baby’s hand for the fist time is what helps me to continue on the journey God has planned for me here on Earth. Sending hugs your way from Wichita!

    Lacie HutchinsReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Trasie Bressler - God Bless Your Heart!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Amy - I often wonder if I would be able to deal with something like this with the strength that you and Joel have. You are truly amazing, Jess. I thought that even before Cora was born, and every day since you have amazed me even more. I can’t wait to see you with your arms full again. Hugs to you. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:50 pm

    jennifer rogers - oh i just wish I could take some of your pain away and I don’t even know you personally! But, through your blog and sharing your tragedy of losing your precious little Cora I feel like we do know each other. My heart truly aches for you that you will never hold your precious baby girl in this life but I hope that you have the knowledge and the faith that you will see her again and you will be able to sweep her up in your arms and you will never have to let her go. I have lost a child too and that thought is the only thing that kept me going in the beginning after losing her. I hope that this new baby brings into your life healing and a new hope, I know that having my second child was filled with fears but through prayer they quickly subsided as soon as I got to hold him in my arms and realized that he was here and he was mine to have and to raise. I often think that he was sent here to heal my broken heart, my hope is that you feel the same way with your new arrival! I wish you nothing but peace and happiness Lord knows you deserve it!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:02 pm
  • September 6, 2009 - 10:10 pm

    Leah - We have never met, yet I feel like I know you. I was lead to your blog from a friend when Cora was in the hospital. SOOOO many prayers were lifted up… and I too struggle to understand why Cora was not healed on earth…I struggle with understanding why we aren’t getting pregnant and why God has not healed my mom of cancer and why can’t she be a grandma… her ultimate wish. All I know is God is good and He wipes away every tear and kisses us with the wind and I just try to hold onto that each day. I admire you for being so real and authentic. Know you are in MANY people’s prayers and so many people are celebrating this new precious life that will be here before you know it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:17 pm

    The Sweigart Family - Sometimes I wonder, like you, how God could take such an amazing person and make her go through so much pain. You are His light. God bless you, with tears streaming down my face. I wish I could give you a big fat hug.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Lauren Kelly - Sweet girl, God knows all your thoughts and questions, and if they’re not answered on this side of eternity, just have hope that they will be on the other side!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:36 pm

    Gail - Woah–hard questions! I wonder about all of those for you, too. Sure love you guys and am so thankful for those glorious things you don’t have to wonder about!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    erica - Really beautiful. You are still in my prayers. Cora wasn’t mine and yet my heart aches for her to still be with you. I pray for the newest little Mac and that you will know nothing but joy.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - Jess,
    Are are far wiser than your years….your strength and your faith are incredible. I am experiencing the death of my grandma this weekend and while my cousin was their to say her final goodbyes, she developed a head ache and an MRI there showed she had a bleeding brain aneurysm! How much more tradgic could it get? My aunt is recovering from surgery to clamp the aneurysm and my grandma is in heaven! I read your post tonight and I felt such comfort….like my grandma, my final page in my book will be the eteranl life that I so long to live for. I pray for you everyday that God may bless your lives with a healthy baby again…I know that Cora is looking down and smiling because she had you as a mommy! YOU ARE AMAZING!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    Keilani - Oh Jess.. you are so wise, and yet you manage to comfort us while yuor own pain is so great. So many of us have been given the chance to know your family, and I am truly sorry for your loss, & your aching hearts. Please know we are all praying for you. Your friend indeed captured the essence of your life right now..<3ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Christina - Today I went to Sunday School for the first time in a really long time because of a toddler that I never put in child care of Sunday School. The lesson I sat in on was about hope, the middle child of the Bible (faith, hope, and love…). So much of what was said made me think of you all. Without hope we really have nothing. It’s all so connected, I know. But to me, hope is, well, life-giving. I think that it is more than okay that you have all those questions. And your knowing that you won’t know the answers here but still trusting God and leaning on Him, believing His word that He loves and will carry you through to the amazing end where all things will be made new…that is powerful. I pray for constant healing and for His presence in your lives to be so real that it’s tangible. Praise Him for your children!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 12:59 am

    purejoy - i love how your friend put it. . . it’s like a really bad chapter of a really good book. so true!!
    take care and press on! we’re praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:10 am

    Kathryn - I had a miscarriage fairly early. Two others as well. I focus most on the first one. She would be over 3 now & i think many of the same things you voice here. Of course, i never got to hold ours, & we have not been blessed with a successful pregnancy since then.

    It seems God is calling us to childlessness here. And that is hard.

    I rejoice for you that some of your questions will be answered in a few months. I pray that God give you peace thru this time & that coming. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 7:36 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Such a beautiful post from your beautiful mother-heart…

    Praying for you, still…

    And…so glad that you know the end of the story…and find comfort and peace and assurance in that beautiful truth…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:48 am

    Angela - That was heartbreakingly beautiful. I’m so, so sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:51 am

    Drew, Taylor, and Caroline Clayton - beautiful passage- your new baby will love reading this blog one day!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:43 am

    Vera - What a beautiful post. You are such an inspiration, and so much in my prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:07 am

    Karina - Your heartache is very moving. I just wish life was fair. Cora is daily in my thoughts, as are you and Joel. I wish I knew why any of us had to suffer, some so much more than others…I’m glad you seem to have some of the answers, some of us are much more in the dark and couldn’t stand through the storm you are braving. I’m going to hug my daughter again now…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:33 am

    Taking Heart - Your words express such love, pain, and faith. Thank you for being so forthcoming of your feelings, such a witness of God’s unfailing love…
    I just blogged about an old song we sang in church yesterday, “Something Beautiful.” After reading your post, I realized that this song wasn’t just for me, but for all of us.

    Something beautiful, something good
    All my confusion He understood
    All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
    But he made something beautiful of my life

    If there ever were dreams
    That were lofty and noble
    They were my dreams at the start
    And hope for life’s best were the hopes
    That I harbor down deep in my heart
    But my dreams turned to ashes
    And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
    So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
    And laid it at the cross.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Laura - I wonder, too.

    I like the analogy of a bad chapter in a good book.
    Your book…your story…touches so many.

    I can not wait for your arms to be filled once again…
    much love and God BlessReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 12:03 pm

    Anonymous - Do you feel overwhelmed about the prospect of writing a book? As you continue on this journey and maintain and document your honest faith, it seems that a permanent record of this could be beneficial to many people. Your life experience, although incredibly sad and unique , ultimately is experienced by most people to some degree. It would be good to have a record of your story to share with friends who go through loss and who face the hard questions. Do not rule out the possibility of a project such as compiling your memoirs and thoughts into a book.

    we continue to pray for you
    some friends from KansasReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:39 pm

    Anonymous - I am so very sorry that you have to have all of these what if’s instead of your baby girl. I pray that Heavenly Father will continue to bless you with healing and comfort.

    Ummm…I’ve thought and thought about telling you about this family and I didn’t want to and kinda still don’t but finally decided if it were me I’d want to know. There’s a family at http://www.maxeyweb.com who’s first baby girl died of cancer and who’s third (also a girl) also has cancer (neuroblastoma along with another kind). The reason I tell you this is not to make you worry but because they found a genetic link between the two (chromosome 22 I think) and I figured if there was a way to test your baby it might give you comfort about the future….Please don’t hate me for telling you. Anyway, I hope this helps and in no way hurts. I still pray for your family daily and will continue to do so…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    dg darling - Praying for you…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:17 pm

    Alli Unruh - Thank you for your honesty and amazing words. I think of you and Joel so often, and I am praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:19 pm

    meg duerksen - the wisdom through your pain this year is really incredible jess. you know more than most people twice your age….i think.
    you are a strong woman.
    in christ you are strong.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:39 pm

    Anonymous - Here is the specific post about the Chromosome 22 abnormality…

    http://www.maxeyweb.com/?p=320ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    Bec - A couple years back, my brother in law passed away from his four year battle with cancer. He was 21 when diagnosed and of course we all were left to ask why. Luckily, he was old enough to voice his thoughts and let us know it was ok and when he passed on, we knew he was in a better place. We were still left to ask why? Why such a good person- why take someone who exemplified a Godly life on a daily basis when so many do not? Sitting at the hair dressers one day with my sister in law talking about our upcoming weddings, she asked if the first husband was someone we didn’t like (she’d assumed it was a divorce since my sis in law is so young) and at the moment we finally had our perfect answer- “No, but God loved him more.” So just realize as much love as you had for Cora, God loved her more (amazing to think that much love can exist).ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 6:29 pm

    Mommy2QTPies - I have been a long time reader of your blog from when Cora first got sick…haven’t commented in a while, still reading and wanted to tell you that this post was just so beautiful. I can not imagine what it feels like to feel the way you are right now…but know that so many people are praying for you and your family!

    I think to keep Cora’s memory alive, you will always ‘wonder’ year after year…I think its totally normal! I know my aunt lost a child at 3 years old to neuroblastoma and that’s been over 16 years and she still talks about her like she was still alive and how she would be going off to college right now…so continue to always wonder about your sweet girl… ((HUGS!!))
    Mommy from IndianaReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:50 pm

    Mary - My heart just aches for you. It aches and aches and aches. I don’t know you, probably will never meet you, but I just hurt for you. At the same time, I am positively awed by you… that you are able to conduct yourself with such grace and optimism and perseverence. Your new little one is so lucky to have such a strong mommy. You all are in my prayers.
    MaryReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    sassy studio - your words have so much love for all.
    my heart aches with you…..
    love and prayers from our home in Canada to yours!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Anonymous - Everything you’ve said, SO true. I am praying all the time for you and your family. I hope that when you hold little Baby Mac your heart is just filled with joy.
    On a side note, I bought a burp cloth from you on Etsy. I recently brought it with me to my husband’s cousin’s baby shower. No one in his family is a believer. They were all really impressed with the burp cloth (Lemon and polka dots!) and wanted to know where I got it. It gave me such a wonderful opportunity to witness to them, using Cora’s story. I am a shy person, and I was so very grateful for the opportunity to speak to them so openly about our Savior’s love. Cora continues to bring people to Jesus, even as we speak! God bless you.
    Ashley in PhoenixReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    Ashley Ann - thank you for sharing…ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:03 am

    Amber - Thanks for sharing this. I love how you shared the thought of this being a really bad chapter in a good book that you know will have a sweet ending. We all have hard chapters, to differing degrees or experiences, and that is a sweet way to see them in the bigger picture of God’s story. I can only imagine how much you still long for Cora. Thank you for being real about your journey. Your family has touched so many lives, even though this ending to Cora’s story wasn’t the one you had hoped and prayed for.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 6:29 am

    denise - There is a song by Geoff Moore that talks about the ultimate healing being heaven. We prayed for our first born for 7 years to be healed. She was “ultimately healed” at age 7 1/2.

    I thought we should have prayed more for ourselves to cope! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May God continue to use you in mighty ways.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 7:33 am

    BEK - “I will praise you in the storm” – you are truly a testimony to this! Thank you for being so honest-when I read your posts there are times I cannot believe you are writing what you are writing- it just seems so painful. But then I remember that this is a healing place or at least a place of comfort. You have such a support network here and you are truly an inspiration to all of us! I am so grateful that you have such a great family of believers near you at your church to give you “real” hugs- since I am far away I am sending you a virtual hug! {{{hug}}}- Grace and peace to you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:33 am

    The Mershawn's - Jess, I wish I knew you, so I could give you a big hug today. I’m sad that we still cry for the 2 of you, but I know that you are completely right. Your story is not over & the sweetest & best is yet to come. You will know who God made Cora to be, just not yet. I know how hard that would be for me to swallow, but I believe one day, that sweet baby will be yours to raise again…in perfection. Keep hanging on. You will find more healing, you will…. still praying for you all!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:34 am

    the breedens (Jamie from Quinter) - Your postings and your faith are amazing. You are such an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:57 am

    Misty Rice - beautiful and heartfelt post….

    (((hugs))))ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 9:48 am

    Robin in Benton - Your post is so moving and such a testimony to your faith. I’ve looked at pictures of your sweet Cora and wondered why God had to choose to take her – or any other child – why children have to go through disease or even worse abuse. I know from reading your blog and the comments that Cora’s life has touched so many and that your shining faith has been an example for all of us to follow. I am glad that God has blessed you with the new life that is growing inside you and am praying that the remaining chapters in the book in your life are really really good ones. Bless youReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:30 am

    House of Collinsworth - I’ve been wondering about some similar questions about my sweet Noah. I just try to imagine him playing with all the other children in Heaven…perhaps he has met your sweet Cora! :o) Our hearts will ache for only a blink of an eye compared to the joy we will know for eternity.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:35 am

    Gale - You are strangers to me and my family, but I found your dresses and then your story. I know you get so weary (only because I have watched my twin sister lose her daughter and granddaughter in a horrible car crash), and I have heard her say that she can be doing pretty well and then a comment, song, flower, piece of clothing, rerun on TV, etc., can reopen the floodgates. I do know that she has completely lean upon God and her faith are you both are.
    I checked in today to see if there were any dresses posted (yes, I am still in pursuit!) and when I sensed your pain felt rather foolish for being disappointed in no listing. What a small disappointment compared to what you are feeling. Prayers for your continued healing, and I still believe that much healing will come through the little one you now carry …Blessings, GaleReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Jen - its rough to not know. I see girls my daughter’s age and it kills me..but it wasn’t meant for us to know on this earth..It seems as though you have made a huge impact by sharing your “story” with so many..I know its helped me to know that others are trusting God who have gone through the loss of their children.. Because for me it is so hard sometimes to just “be still”.. beautiful post!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 2:49 pm

    The Perfect Trio - your strength is SO inspiring!!!!

    you’re in my prayers!

    melissaReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:59 pm

    Liana - You are AMAZING and have wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart and your unwavering faith. I continue to shed tears for your sweet Cora every time I read your blog. I don’t know how you keep going and stay so positive, but know that you are an inspiration and such a good example of what a mother, wife and Christian should strive to be. You are in my heart and in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 11:42 pm

    Jenifer - This post make me want to cry I know how bad yall wish she was with y’all and so do we but like you said god has his waysReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 12:33 pm

    Anonymous - I found your blog awhile ago and have commented before. My little girl was born on the same day as your sweet Cora and I have often thought how hard it would be to walk in your shoes. I wish I’d found this blog and could see pictures of her growing and learning. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can only say that I truly believe you will see her again in Heaven, and that God doesn’t want you all to be sad and to suffer. I never think that our sadness and pain is part of God’s plan, rather that the healing and love that Heaven will bring is. Cora is safe and healed with Jesus, you’ll see her again and there will not be the pain of loss!ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 3:15 pm

    Tammie - THAT is amazingly Wonder-FULL! Thank you for sharing that… i love it, absolutely LOVE IT! God is WONDERFUL!ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Jerri - Well said! There are no words for me except what strength and courage you continue to show to us all!ReplyCancel

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  • September 11, 2009 - 10:17 am

    Robyn - I know you must grow tired of being an inspriation or hearing about it but you really are. I can’t imagine aching any more than I do reading about Cora. I am always touched by your posts and hug my girls tighter.ReplyCancel

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  • September 11, 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Anonymous - I’ve been following your journey for some time now, but this is the first time I’ve posted anything. I actually live close to Banff, Alberta. I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty and openness as you continue to go through such a difficult time. I really loved this last post and your surety in our Savior. Sometimes we hit rock bottom, but we hit the Rock. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. PamelaReplyCancel

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  • September 12, 2009 - 2:27 pm

    laney - …something wonderful and precious happened in this broken world because of cora…i do not know what that is…i will never know on this earth…but there is someone whose soul was saved by this sweet child…and by your blog…and by your faith…someone believes today…because cora lived…and because her parents still believed when she died …may God fill your hearts…as He fills your arms once more..ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 8:29 am

    Wendy McDonagh-Valentine - My heart aches for you when I read your words sometimes. I can’t ever imagine the pain that you must go thru on a daily basis and I hope to God I never have to. Everything is still so new. It’s been such a short time since Cora’s passing. I had a friend whose baby died in-utero, unexplicably, right before her due date. They went on to have another baby right away and then two more after that. The pain never goes away but it kind of gets tucked away a little bit as time passes. Time is the only thing that eases pain. There are no words or actions to make pain heal any quicker. I’ve learned thru lots of major losses in the last six years that our loved ones who have passed are always here with us and that there is such an incredibly thin veil that seperates us from them. That is what I find to be the most comforting. Take care and God bless. : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:44 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - i know i don’t know you guys, but i just love your love for god and how you choose to glorify him in all things…praise god for cora’s life and how she has soooo touched so mahy lives. praying for strength and peace and joy for you in this new life and new journey.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Melissa - Just found your blog through another blog… I am so so incredibly sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine that pain and I am just so sad for you and your family that you had to go through it. Praise God for that precious baby on the way. :) May God continue to bless you and heal you during this time. :) You have amazing strength and courage…ReplyCancel

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While we were in Banff, Joel had to try this.

Poutine.
The french fries, not the hotdog.
We do have hotdogs in Kansas.
Poutine is french fries 
with cheese curds
covered in beef gravy.
That sounded awful to me,
but Joel said we had to try it.
He LOVED it.
And I have to admit…
it wasn’t that bad.
I liked the french fries and gravy.
The cheese curds, not so much.
Now Joel is convinced that I need to learn how to make poutine.
We’ll see.

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - WOW-that looks kind of disgusting to me. You were brave for trying that-i must admit that i think the gravy might be acceptable but those cheese things looked bad. I will just take my french fries with catsup-thank you very much. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:53 pm

    Kimberly - Um, ewww. I guess you have to try it once, right?ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:11 pm

    Anonymous - Yuck looking to me too :) Let us know how yours turns out..maybe just the fries and gravy ok but the other I can do without..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Courtney e - that is one thing i could never get myself to try when i went to college in alberta… perogies are petty nasty too…ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Beckypdj - We have something similar in Arkansas (maybe the South?) They are called “Wets”. French fries with white gravy. Yum!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    Marc, Sarah, and Luke - Jess — I’m sure Marc would gladly make poutine with Joel. So, perhaps they could make it. Or, we could be nice and learn together :) Our guys and their food — I’ll never understand.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Cristy - Fries with gravy? Yummy. So bad for you, but yummy none the less! However, I must agree, when mixed with the cheese….gag. ;) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:36 pm

    Cathy - Yuck. I’m half Canadian and I’ve never tried that. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    Jennifer - We used to live near a dairy farm in Northern Colorado and they had the BEST cheese curds. It’s just the name that sounds gross. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    Julie - I think it looks pretty appetizing myself. I like fries and I like gravy. Not sure about cheese curds, but I might like them too. :-) Pair it with some “big meat” and you have a meal! Let me know if you learn how to make it. hehe. Love you!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    Ginger - Yuck… except I love cheese curds! :) They are one of the many reasons I love going to Wisconsin :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Jane In The Jungle - Ooooo I’m with you…just don’t think so! Just the word..curd…ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Courtney - YUCK! You are a good wife for trying it. Me I doubt it! I’m really not even sure WHAT cheese curds are?. I’m guessing this will not be a pregnancy craving for you!!
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 11:08 pm
  • September 2, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Amanda - how about you and I just stick to the cheese fries at Texas Roadhouse…sound like a deal???ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:19 am

    Christina - Curds. I just can’t get over how that sounds. I was not made for life on the frontier-it’s a good thing I don’t have to butcher my own meat and make my own cheese!
    Why mess with perfectly good french fries? :) You guys are brave!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:33 am

    Chris - LOL . I am Canadian and now live in Nh but I need to say that there is nothing better than a poutine. This is always the first thing that I will go eat when I cross the borber. DELICIOUS. Joel is so right ;) ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:51 am

    Keilani - Oh my! I am from Minnesota, home of cheese curds. They looked delicious!
    It is a tradition here to eat cheese curds at the fair! My husband is from Hawaii & they eat their french fries and macaroni salad with gravy on it!
    Now THAT is delicious!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 6:28 am

    kristin - my family is all in manitoba (and i am actually canadian)…and french fries with brown gravy is what we couldn’t wait for when visiting.

    my husband caught on and used to order it at newell’s. : )

    thinking of you these days more than ever…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:33 am

    shepherdsgrace - hahahahahahaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:34 am

    Kate - Not sure about that, but I’ll try it. Heading to Calgary on 9/12!!! Can’t wait. Had to order a lunch ahead of time for a fieldtrip and I chose the “morning glory muffin” as dessert. No idea what it is, but when in Canada, do as the Cunucks. Any other crazy Canadian food I should keep an eye out to try?ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Heather - Ok sorry but BLAH!! Cheese curds! Good for you for trying it! But I agree with PP Kristi, I’ll take my french fries with catsup!! Lol!
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:23 am

    PamperingBeki - Ohmyword, that sounds disgusting!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:28 am

    CourtneyC - I do not think that is something I could get myself to try. I prefer my fries with just salt/ketcup.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:49 am

    Savanna - Well, I am a good ol’ southern girl living in Canada, and poutine is now a fav of mine! They call the cheese curds “squeaky cheese”. Vinegar is good on it too! Some people will use mozzarella instead, but it’s just not the same. I used to think it was gross too, but now I definitely have my poutine cravings! My family in Tennessee are hooked on it too!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:49 am

    Savanna - Well, I am a good ol’ southern girl living in Canada, and poutine is now a fav of mine! They call the cheese curds “squeaky cheese”. Vinegar is good on it too! Some people will use mozzarella instead, but it’s just not the same. I used to think it was gross too, but now I definitely have my poutine cravings! My family in Tennessee are hooked on it too!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:51 am

    Lauren Kelly - I have never in my life heard of such a thing! Looks interesting, haha!!! :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:04 am

    Garrett Family - I’m a Canadian living in San Diego. My husband and I crave poutine! There’s just nothing like it here. That particular portion looks amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:18 am
  • September 3, 2009 - 10:28 am

    Katie Spinks - as a Canadian it is true people here love them myself not such a big fan but most guys I know love them… i think its all the gravy but who knows… glad Joel enjoyed a little taste of Canadian food!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:41 pm

    Anonymous - We live in western Canada and my family loves poutine! We prefer shredded mozzarella to the cheese curds though….ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Kelly - Another Canadian weighing in on the poutine topic – And definitely 2 thumbs up here. I live in Michigan now and whenever I go home I hope there are curds at my parents. And I have to admit Poutine cravings do come and go here… just thinking about it makes me want some.. yummy…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 2:34 pm

    sassy studio - you could use mozza cheese instead of curds…..they even sell it at costoc! good for you for trying it, i’d eat it but I like to see my feet…
    canada friend,
    sassy
    (we are next door to alberta in saskatchewan-next time you visit we’ll meet you at the icecream store!)ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 3:33 pm

    Alexa - oh oh oh oh oh I LOVE poutine! And while I am a down home 100% AMERICAN girl.. I totally have convereted since moving to canada when it comes to the poutine thing!

    Making it is so EASY! (it wont be as good as some places, but still, it’s yummy!) Just used a packet of gravy mix & mozza cheese! I promise he’ll love it all the same! :)

    Have a great long weekend!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 3:35 pm

    Karina - Hilarious! I am Canadian, so I do understand. I personally love cheese curds, but I’m not wild about the gravy. But I happen to know those who are addicted to poutine stay REALLY addicted. As another person pointed out, Joel might not be able to see his feet for long if you give in to that particular fancy…But what the heck, he could join you as you grow with baby! (Only problem is, he wouldn’t necessarily be able to see his feet again after the nine months are up!)ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:01 pm

    RLG - that looks like a tummy ache to me! xoxoReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    Miss G - We went to Montreal for New Years. It was COLD!!! We ate poutine and I can say that after walking around all day out in the cold, it was a very welcome, warm treat. I enjoy reading your blog so much, Jess. Kelly

    p.s. do you have a Culver’s near you? We have said that since they sell fries, cheese curds and things with gravy that you could probably get them to make you (or rather Joel) a poutine. Just a thought.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:28 pm

    The Mershawn's - Ha! That sounds just like a silly man I know:)…my husband. He’s always wanting to try weird things & then loves them & wants to make them. They make me laugh…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:08 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Hi… Long time no talk uh??? My computer has been on the brink…. LOVE the playground! Miss you guys lots! Several of my friends told me about your interview on TV…. sorry we missed it! THings here are good, just crazzzyyy busy with school, and three kids….. Kali’s first VB game will be next week, so from there we are somewhere different every week!

    Hope you are all doing well! enjoyed reading and looking at all of the posts! keep in touch! I am still amazed and honored to be a part of your strong faith…. I still feel myself drawn to your words of wisdom and it seems to humble me and remind me of what is truely important! Thank you for that!

    Tell your families hello for us!
    love you!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    bikim - Dear Jess,
    don’t really know if i should do this, but you’ve so great and courageous… you’ve been there and done that… this family in norway is now going through terrible times. can you in any way help them?
    http://mali-mo.blogspot.com/
    If you think it’s not the time (do not want to bring pain in any way), nor the place or just don’t want to do it i do understand.
    Thanks and just be happy,
    RosaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:37 pm

    Suzanne - cheese, fries, and gravy…count me in! Um I mean, I’ll have a salad..dressing on the side.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 7:08 pm

    Anonymous - My hubby would love that but it does not look to tasty to me. Your trip sounded so wonderful though. COntinue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Summer & family in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Kimberly - Poutine is so Canadian, that you can even get it at Burger King. Just make sure if you go to Montreal, don’t try to be “french” and call it Pootan….its just like it sounds…POOOOTEEEEEEN. And I love me some poutine!!! However, cheese curds, beef gravy and french fries are one of those foods that you say a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 5:21 pm

    Nan in Can - I finally tried it after living here for like 5 years. Not that great. Cheese curds are rubbery.ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 5:29 pm

    Rebecca - Joel seems to be quite the adventurous guy! I think I would pass on the poutine. Cheese curds just don’t seem like they would hit any hunger spots for me.

    I was taking some extra time I had today to once again read back on your blog and look at some pictures of Cora. While reading I realized that your b-day was just recently. Happy (belated) Birthday to you. I hope that you were able to find some happiness on a day that I am sure came with many difficult moments. You are in our hearts and prayers everyday.
    Love and Hugs to you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 9:07 pm

    Chris - Oh I love poutine , it is frech canadian you know , you really need to wait for the cheese to melt , quite amazing , I know it looks dreadful but it is a real treat , actually I turned it down today a little bit much when your trying to lose weight like I am .
    EH!
    Chris from CanadaReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 6:39 pm

    Jessica - hey who does you template for your blog? I really need someone to edit mine b/c I have no clue how to do it? Will you help?ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Lucie - Poutine is sold even in school cafeterias here in Ottawa-Canada.
    I don’t like it myself, but love fries and gravy- Don’t Americans eat fries and gravy?ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:03 pm

    dealightfulsavings - Hmmm… I’m not so sure about that gravy either :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    Mom of 3 and bride-to-be! - As a canadian girl, I had to laugh at this post. Poutine…foreign to people??? WHAT??

    I had it for lunch today…well..the baby wanted that for lunch :D

    Poutine is great..if you don’t abuse it. It’s quite the artery blocker! LOL!!
    Enjoy!!ReplyCancel

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