Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Rock

A few nights ago my dream was so vivid that I awoke in a sweat.  I had slid to the edge of a rock precipice with a third of my body over the edge.  There is no love of heights in my history and the view was Grand Canyon-like.  Self-talk kicked in while my body tensed and froze.  Ever so slowly, using my fingers to grasp the tiny indentations, I inched my way back onto the smooth of the rock.  As the last bit of my foot pulled in from dangling in mid air, I exhaled and lay back, feeling the strength of the rock and the sun on my face - but my heart was left pounding outside of my chest….so close.
The next morning I found myself asking Jesus where He was in my dream.  Remember, He promised to never leave me  - never.
The first thought that entered my mind was that He was The Rock.  Without leaning back into Him, I would be over the cliff and completely crushed. For me, looking down includes: “whys”, self-pity, blame, jealousy, guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness and emptiness.  While all of these are understandable, none are desirable and so aren’t really options.   Frequently Kim and I will comment to each other that without Jesus we don’t know if our marriage would have survived the last year.  We don’t know if we’d be sane.  When we look back, the objective insanity of those last weeks in Canuck House was horrific.  And yet He was and is our Peace, our Joy, our Hope - Jordan’s and ours.


This afternoon, Kim and I finally put up the rest of the decorations on our tree. Matt was napping and Joel hadn’t arrived yet - his plane was delayed 34 hours - we’re picking him up at the airport tonight at midnight.   We so long to just be together.  Gifts are not as high on the the priority list as they once were...food gets bumped down as well.  But there is one laugh that we won’t get to hear and one hug we won’t get to experience and Jordan’s absence has made us all the more aware of how precious we all are to each other.  Many of our tree decorations have five names on them...Jordan is all over our tree with us.  But the only reason we have the courage to move forward, dream, risk, laugh and cry with hope is because of Jesus.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Cracked

This week, I'm presenting to a group of students that would be considered a serious challenge.  When the teacher prepped me, he advised that I not expect any interaction.  In fact, they may just retreat to corners and not make eye contact.  

That first morning I awoke with the sense that I needed to share with them just a bit of my journey with Jordan.  I so struggled with that since I have not publicly spoken about his last year and our pain since his celebration last December.

I didn't want to look for pity or manipulate anyone's emotions or have someone trample my pearls.  My stomach churned driving to the school - it’s a school for kids that don't have much hope of graduating...who for various reasons are considered high risk.
Jordan's life is not a trick I can pull out of my hat of stories, illustrations or anecdotes.  He is my baby who lived, suffered and died heroically.  

Yet Holy Spirit kept nudging, gently prodding me to risk it with these perfect strangers.  So I breath deeply after introducing myself as a mother with 3 sons, all taller than me, and told them so briefly about our journey.  I tell the class that from our last year, I'm reminded of how precious and how short life can be.  And how very valuable each one in that room is.  A big part of why I can do what I do is because Jordan wholeheartedly encouraged me to - so that people could know how important they are.

And they responded.  Each one met my eyes.  They raised their hands and risked to answer questions and give their input.  They're pretty broken. But then, so am I.  Broken but not destroyed. When I've heard others say that brokenness is beautiful, I can’t say that has been true for me. Brokenness has sharp, painful jagged edges with parts missing. I can say that my brokenness has only magnified Jesus’ beauty.  And He has proven Himself to be more than enough to handle my brokenness. We do have this treasure in jars of clay with His Light shining through our cracks.

Phil Wickham’s song You’re Beautiful has become a cry.
Verse 3 is where I simply lose it every time. Jesus is soo beautiful.
We’re including a link to the song. Press it and play song #4.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Opening Doors

I am often reminded that heaven's gain is our loss.
My Mom used to have two men in her life who treated her like gold. And within two years, they were both gone.  My brother is a wonderful son, who lives only 6 hours away - a 1 hour flight. But it's not the same as living in the same house, or 5 minutes down the road.  
My Dad loved my mom so very well. He cherished her and shared every part of his life with her.
Jordan grew up with his grandparents living only a bike ride away once they moved to town when he was 4 - such a treat.  His weekly "job" involved cleaning a bit around the house, sometimes getting good tips from the change he retrieved beneath the lounge chair in their family room.  And when my Dad,(Grampy), went to heaven, Jordan was the man about Grammy's house, helping with things she couldn't reach, heavy things, man things.  
Mom has reminded me again of a special moment in time. After grocery shopping, Jordan insisted on Grammy waiting in the van while he lifted the bags into the back for her. As they approached the vehicle, Jordan opened and closed her door before he placed the groceries into the back and was on his way to his seat when a man nearby got out of his car to speak with Jordan. Through the wind shield my mom observed the exchange with the handshake that followed.  When Jordan made his way back to the van, my mom was curious.  The older gentleman wanted Jordan to know that he had witnessed the attention given to his grandmother, the door opening and closing, and he wanted to commend him for his evident devotion.
What the man didn't know was that it had been a particularly brutal day in junior high school and Jordan had been a bit down when his Grammy had picked him up.  
A moment frozen in time.  
Even though Kim opens my door, I do miss the mischievous face that used to try get there first and cherish me.  

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Treasure

As close up witnesses of Jordan’s short life, we can testify, along with others, that he fought the good fight.  He finished the race.  He kept the course. And a crown awaited him at his entrance to heaven - a year ago today.


So often I have wondered what his first tastes, sights and sounds of this new and eternal life were.  


This weekend I was reading the verse about laying up treasure in heaven.  Kim reminded me of the time in 2011 when Jordan emptied his bank account of $400 to give it to a micro-enterprise missions agency in Uganda.  That was a big deal because Jordan was a saver and usually spent his money with serious deliberation.  His words were, "They need it more than I do."  


This came a year after the father/son trip to India and Uganda. As our sons entered the teen years, Kim took them on a trip to a third world country to provide a perspective outside themselves in order to break their heart for the poor and mitigate the self-centred obsession we can so easily fall into in North America.  
Even at the age of 13, he was laying up treasure. We intend to do the same.


Raise a glass with us and share with us this toast: To the King and the Kingdom - which Jordan now knows better than all of us.


Jordan in Uganda


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Good Soup

Most days are filled with gratitude, joy, friendship, anticipation, and even celebration, but then there are moments when I don't want to be courageous and keep going.  Sometimes I just want to stamp my feet, throw a tantrum and hole up like a hermit.

A few weeks ago, Kim and I spoke in the chapel of the private school where Jordan attended those few days when he hope to return to a kind of normal in Sept 2012.  It was almost surreal speaking to those who had been in Jordan’s class.  That night we attended a fundraising event at the church where we had held Jordan's celebration last December.  The effect of it didn’t hit me until we were driving through the parking lot. In a local coffee shop the following morning, a sweet man, father of one of Jordan's classmates, approached me to ask how Jordan was doing.  I think it was the first time I had met someone who did know Jordan and didn’t know he wasn’t here anymore. After replying that he was great...in heaven...I was spent and took the rest of the weekend to recover from those 24 hours.

Friday, I awoke at 3 am and found myself suddenly and deeply sad.  I whispered in the darkness to ask Kim to hug me; he leaned over and held me and then asked if I'd talked to Jesus yet about what was happening.  I hadn't even thought of asking Jesus...I had just felt so alone.  So as the moonlight streamed into our bedroom window, I looked up and asked Jesus what was going on. A searing ball of pain and fear in the form of twisted metal wire and spots of blood appeared, followed by my sobbing. It was as if the picture in my mind gave expression to my heart. Ever so gently, Kim asked if I would want to ask God for a trade.  (Years ago, Kim discovered the very real practicality of the verse speaking of how God gives beauty in exchange for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning.)

As I cast my pain and fear on Jesus and asked Him what He wanted to give me in exchange, He responded with the words “purpose and zeal”.  That made me giggle.  It made me giggle because years ago, Jordan asked Joel what zeal was....he had heard the word and wanted a definition.  Joel, being cheeky, told his little brother that zeal was a kind of soup.  It has been a family joke ever since.  And in the wee hours of the morning...Jesus made me laugh.  As I related to Kim what I sensed from the Lord, my words came out something like this, “Jesus is putting zeal in me and this soup is food and my food is to do the will of the Father who sent me. Don't you see, doing Father's will brings nourishment and purpose.”  We lay there both in awe and chuckling at the kindness and individual attention our Heavenly Father gives us in our hour of need.

Father knew I needed a job that would set me out in among students and schools. Deadlines, meetings and specialty classes with unique needs require presentations that are crafted and adapted...this provides a focus outside myself.  For the first time in 25 years, I am working in the area of my university training - education.

And yet it is not primarily my job that is the most nourishing, while I am grateful for it.  When Kim and I summered on Vancouver Island, I was looking for clarity on what role was next for me.  The role of mother had so dominated my life for the last 24 years, I was feeling suddenly lost with my premature empty nest.  During those weeks, Holy Spirit brought both Kim and me back to the simplicity of the Gospel - the good news - that we are to make available to all.

Off and on, for years, when Jordan was little, he would ask why we were still here on earth.   "Why can't we just go to be with Jesus in heaven?  Now?"  And the only reply that kept popping out of my mouth was, "We could go to heaven with Jesus, but what about all the people on earth who don't know how much Jesus loves them? Who will tell them that He wants them in heaven with Him forever?  As long as we're here, we have a job to do."

And so, all those conversations with Jordan were brought back to me.   That's why I'm still here; though I wouldn't mind heading to heaven sooner rather than later.  We're here to fulfill Jesus’ last instructions: make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all things He has commanded us to.

Therein lies my purpose - where the zeal He has given me lives.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Gravity

Joel recently asked me if I was going to write in the blog once again.  
But words so often fail me - how did I ever think I could put my heart on the page?  
I have received several emails and texts lately from friends reminding me of their frequent conversations with Father concerning our family.  Thank you for praying and trusting and communicating your thoughts and memories of Jordan. 
There are very few concerns I battle with - I love my job, our new house is becoming home, my relationship with my husband and sons is incredible, and we’re all on the same page in living out our lives as disciples - apprentices - of Jesus.  But the one fear that can pop up, is that as life goes on, Jordan will be forgotten. And I know he is beyond that concern...but I guess I'm not.

We're coming up on a year.  It hardly seems possible.  So much has changed and at the same time, so much remains the same.  Heaven is closer and earth has less of a hold.  It’s almost as if the gravitational pull has shifted.
As I introduce myself to students or am in conversation with educators, I still say that I have three sons.  It's if and when they ask how old, and what they're doing, I get to decide how deep this conversation can go in the moment.  
Tears are never really far away - both in joy and sorrow.  But they don't threaten to undo me.  I've already been undone and now I'm being tenderly knit back together to make the next stretch.  I don't know how long it will be until I see my brilliant young son again, but the confidence of being held by him, and spending time with Jesus together, and exploring eternity with him is more real than...well than most anything.

Friday, 19 July 2013

July 20

I've thrown open the doors wide to the back forest and am writing this overlooking the beauty all around me.  If you’d like a peek at the place we've been given to house sit, take a look on-line at
http://www.sutton.com/listings/view/319477.  This is a free advert for them as well.  What sweet new friends.  Such a gift.  The home is so light and fresh on a quiet cul de sac surrounded by supportive neighbours, especially our next door neighbours who love Jesus.

Matt in the Back Yard

Tomorrow is Jordan’s 16th birthday and I found myself wanting to write about it.  I have not been a writer, or a journaler so this whole journey has been kind of surreal for me.  Attempting to let you inside my heart from a distance is still relatively new.  The last month has been filled with loads of dreams, conversations with believing Believers, worshipping, commanding sickness to leave broken bodies, biographies of those who pioneered walking in kingdom authority in North America, hiking, floating, and basking.
Yesterday we floated down the Cowichen River for the second time in two weeks.  This time we ended up at the pull out where we adventured as a family ten years ago.  Our sons with  us, we  tubed and body surfed through rapids with rock walls and towering trees on either side.  The trip ended in cliff jumping. We hiked to and from this somewhat remote and hidden gem on Vancouver Island.  The boys had caught a bucket of crayfish to be cooked and sautéed.  A new experience for us all.
Tubing 2004

The entire time we were guided by a wonderful friend who had frequently traversed the river for the past 26 years.  Bruce told us when it didn't matter where we floated and when we had to paddle hard to one side, avoid a big rock, or fallen tree and paddle hard to the other. He told us what to do if we tipped over and were caught in the undertow or without a tube.  It so reminded me of Heavenly Father then and it made me think again of His guidance yesterday.  Sometimes it really doesn't matter where in the river I go and sometimes it really does.

All day long I was reminded of Jordan and both painful and precious images arose in my mind’s eye. I missed his squeal of delight sliding down the slick rock formations on the God-formed waterslide.  Or his serious face when he would contemplate a potentially dangerous rapid.  At the same time, I know I’m not grieving as one without Hope.  And my Hope is not the “cross your fingers” kind of Hope. Hope has a name.  Hope is Jesus.  I’m anticipating eternity with both Jesus and Jordan and my Dad - on adventures that don’t include the words “Be careful”.  
I think I written before that my Dad stepped into heaven’s entrance the morning of Jordan’s 13th birthday.  (I haven’t reread the blog posts - not quite ready yet to relive the entire story in one sitting).  I can’t imagine my Dad not being right beside Jesus when Jordan arrived.  My Dad suffered for so long on earth with a body that had received partial healing but never enough to be called completely healthy.  Now they are probably egging each other on to test the limits - if there are any - to their new bodies.  
While this time away was initially Kim’s idea....it was a brilliant one.  It has provided space for asking the question since being a mother/caregiver is no longer one of my primary roles, where does my focus lie?  Jesus is reintroducing me to His Holy Spirit and I am coming undone by His tenderness and power.  I am getting just a glimpse of His crazy love for people - all kinds - the ones I bump into every day on the lake, or in the supermarket or on the street.  
So tomorrow Jordan would have been 16 in earth years.  Our youngest was so excited to drive.  He started asking about motors, city layouts, traffic laws and technique when he was 14.  Ever since the boys were little, I’ve told them that I couldn’t wait until they drove me around.  That was a statement of faith. :-)
When your birthday lands on July 20th in Canada, you can bet on having it mostly outdoors and involving lots of activity, preferably in and around water, and an icecream cake if you’re in our family.  So Kim and Matt and I are heading out to play tomorrow in celebration of Jordan.  The only certainty is a stop at Dairy Queen for some icecream...who knows, we may even go on a whale-watching boat.  Jordan and I loved dolphins and whales...I think we’re too far north for dolphins.  But we have whales and seals in abundance.  It’s Joel’s day off as a camp counsellor so we’ll call him and instruct him to head to an ice cream shop somewhere in Saskatchewan so we can cheer Jordan together. So if you happen to enjoy icecream or frozen yogurt or anything cold and creamy - raise a toast with us to Jordan - a gift to us all.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Men of Faith



As we drove home through the mountains, Kim turned on one of Jordan's favourite playlists starting with Cori Asbury's "So Good to Me".
How can we ever thank Jordan for teaching us so much about simple faith?  He made it easy to believe...and it would have been completely, completely understandable if he had made it hard.  But he pushed us on and it must have cost him in ways we may never know.
Jesus Culture's "Nothing Holding Back" came on next and it's true of us, but even more true of Jordan now.  Truly free!  Forever!  Wow, I am just typing and bawling and laughing and wow!  I owe Jordan a debt of love I can never repay for walking with us as a brother in Christ through the darkness.
Eternity is just beyond this veil.  What if the rest of my life is lived only giving serious thought to what will last - what I can take into eternity?  All that will last - people - immortal beings - heading towards either becoming an incredible everlasting spender or horror.  Jesus help me.  Keep clearing my eyes.
Jordan's aunt Denise reminded me of his last words to her and his blessing over her and it made me so grateful once again for those who continue to remind me of their thoughts of him and his impact on their lives.
A bench along Brandt's Creek walkway between Yates and Kane Road has been placed.  We decided instead of a grave (since Jordy isn't there anyway) to have a place where people can sit and think about eternity. My Dad,  "Grampy", went to heaven on Jordan's 13th birthday and was such an influencer in loving Jesus and loving others that it seemed appropriate to put them together since they are probably regularly hanging out together with Jesus in heaven.  If you live in the area, please enjoy the bench serenaded by the birds, beneath the trees, by the brook with the ducklings and quail.

Kim Here:

It's amazing how memories dance around your heart.  Some are tender and some are ferocious. I keep on coming back to the fading of Jordan's heartbeat the day he passed to his real home and his real Father. I had my hand on his chest. Such a holy moment. Such a loss for us and such a gain for him.  The other memory was the day when Darlene and I were holding each other searching for solace and one of her tears rolled down my cheek. Tasted just like mine.

Both provoke a range of emotions. And yet six months down the road from Jordan's passing, I am amazed at how well we are doing. If three things remain, we are so grateful to be swimming in the deep end of all three.

Faith: we are seeing more miracles and more prophecy than we can remember. We stand by grace and proclaim that we believe God.

Hope: this was the expensive one. This is the one can make your heart sick if it is deferred. Yet we are pregnant with hope. We are so thankful that we didn't protect ourselves from disappointment. That action ends up building a wall that blocks all the brilliant gifts Father has for us.

Love: Just reading some Watchman Nee – after his mid-twenties, he had a revelation of the love of Jesus and said, “The rest of my life was summarized by one word: Receive”. It wasn't primarily about his ability to love; it was his willingness to receive love he didn't deserve. We wallow in this on a regular basis. And it spills over to each other.

Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Feeling At Home



I'm struggling to feel at home in our new house.  I know that I can't expect it to happen so quickly, given that we lived 12 1/2 years on Spruceglen.  It's just that nothing will ever be the same.  And more and more, I am coming to feel that I may never feel truly at home on earth again.  Much of my heart is already in heaven.  My Dad and now my son.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Looking out from the beach to the ocean in Oregon, I told God once again, (feels like the millionth time), that I just don't understand.  And I heard His response.  "Do you need to understand to trust me?"  Gazing from that particular vantage point, I had two giant rocks flanking my vision.  I knew there was a whole lot more ocean beyond...but I only had my narrow perspective.  

Last week, while I presented in a grade 10 class (the age of Jordan when he went home), the awareness of their challenges just enveloped me.  They have so many choices to make - and it is daunting. The wrong ones can severely impact their future.  Can Jordan even make wrong decisions any more?  What's it like to totally have that pressure off.   I'm so proud of him...and I so miss him.  I can't even say that enough.  Bitter and sweet.  He is living the dream.

It has been such a blessing to have Matthew here.  He has one more semester left of schooling in Business Administration and then his life is wide open - uncharted territory.  About once a week we have a good cry together.  Everything has changed - shifted somehow for our family....it's as if we're looking at the world from a different angle.  Sometimes he'll just pick up my hand and kiss it...so loving and kind.  
He and Kim headed to Edmonton for a conference last weekend and ended up praying for loads of people - prophesying and healing the sick...actually seeing it...so great. And Joel - off in the prairies on his own is risking in faith.  Wow God.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Living The Present

I've been asked repeatedly how I can do it....how I can move forward.  I imagine that living 2012 prepared me for 2013.  With Jordan we had to live in the present.  Dwelling on the past wasn't helpful and worrying about the future was dangerous.  Caring well for Jordy required being present.  Very present.  It's not that I'm afraid of looking back.  The memories rise up whoever they choose - both wondrous and horrific.  And the future...well my experience tells me that just about anything can be around the corner.  Anticipating the worst wouldn't protect me from the potential pain anyway.  I am so grateful that as a family we chose to believe - the enemy could not steal the time we had...we lived the present.  And now I don't know how else to live without crumbling to bits.  I believe we are being held up by the prayers of our brothers and sisters around the world.

This last weeks have been fuller than full with work - getting some presentations in before the school year ends and moving to our new home. Wonderful friends showed up - old and new - all at just the right time to help with cleaning or sorting or moving.  Kim did a final walk through with a video camera. Our new place works and fits most of what we'd like to keep.  It is 15 minutes from our old one but it is a world away. The pictures are almost all up on the wall - my final sign of settling in.


A week ago, we were invited to preview a dance created to tell the story of Jordan's faith and the rippling faith it had.  It took our breath away. Creator's Arts' will perform it as part of their show on May 25th. Hopefully we can provide a link to it on the blog.


After a wild week together, Joel is back in Saskatchewan.  We played hard, worked hard and talked hard.  It was a great week. The playing included paintball, mountain zip lining, an Iron Man movie and a Mother's Day helicopter ride.  Our friends Brenda and Daryl had given Jordan the helicopter flight for his birthday last year, but he never felt quite up to going.  As we flew above the Okanagan Valley, it felt like a gift from Jordan - a bit of his perspective.




This last weekend, Matthew, Kim and I were in Eugene, Oregon...of course Tucker joined us.  I went for work, checking out a unique, interactive presentation geared towards grades 11 and 12.  We've been driving past stops we made on the way home from California last August...the store where we bought some school clothes for Jordan, fruit smoothies, and a detour to walk on the beach.  Kim knows me so well...Thursday after school was out, he drove me to the ocean where we climbed on the rocks, investigated the waterfall and basked in the sun and the surf.  I love the wildness of the Oregon coast.

There are moments when it feels like I'm walking without a limb.  No one can replace Jordan and his light. Then perspective comes - Jordan is doing great!  We're still here on mission...let's get 'er done so we can go home too.  I can choose what I focus on.  The temptation these last weeks has been to rehearse all the losses....and stay there.  But Jesus seems to be into trading all my loses - I'm not stuck with them - they don't define my life, now or in the future.



Saturday, 27 April 2013

Time Away


Kim whisked me away to an over night get away.  He knows me - knew I needed a reprieve from the sorting of memories and cardboard boxes, writing, meetings, and self-imposed deadlines.
View From  Our Room

At breakfast this morning, overlooking the canvas of lake and mountains and sky, he asked me a great question.  "What emotion do you regularly experience that you wouldn't have expected?"  My response was a kind of peace/confidence that my son is doing so incredibly well, and always will be.  His response was - joy.  "You don't really know how bright the white of joy is until you have darkness right next to it. It's Brilliant."
And then the tears started...missing Jordan's influence in our lives.  What a gift...what a privilege!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wood And Stucco


Kim here. It’s my turn to give an update. Darlene has been focused in her role as a sexual integrity and relational health workshop presenter for Jr. High and Hi School students in the area. She loves it but it is a lot of work. Plus, during our past moves, she carried the lion’s share of the moving, so it’s my turn to carry the heavy end on this one.  All this packing and organizing are creating a longing for our heavenly home. We live in shacks made of wood and stucco. I am thankful for them, but no matter how beautiful,  I wasn't made for wood and stucco. I was made for streets paved with gold and accommodations that took thousands of years to perfect. Below is a picture Jordan drew that outlines what he imagined his heavenly home to look like. I think it’s even better than what he thought or imagined.


In the last blog, Darlene said that simplifying was good, very good.  I agree. The more you have, the more things break. I am sooo looking forward to simple and no mortgage.

I am also looking forward to the summer, not because of the warmth and the sun, but because we are setting aside July and August for something very special. In the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about what keeps the seed of the word from being fruitful. One is the seed falling among the thorns – which describes the believer as (Luke 8:14), “choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and brings no fruit to maturity. I feel that some days. I don’t walk around in a state of anxiety, but: its bills, and clients, home repairs, and “did I remember to renew the insurance on the car?”, and since we hadn't worked in 14 months – do we trust God to carry us through? and the grass is getting long, but the mower is out of gas, and … you know what I am talking about. All the stuff of life can distract us from being the soil that allows the seed from bearing a 100 fold harvest. Back to July and August – we are setting them aside to focus on Jesus. It’s not meant as a vacation, but a time to set aside distractions and pray, read, walk, sing, fix our eyes on Jesus, hear what He has to say, and do what He says. We are going to Victoria for two months to sit at Jesus’ feet and do what He says. Why Victoria? We've got some friends there that want to do the same thing. We know that we will be sent to the streets to heal the sick and preach the gospel to the poor. If you want to read more about my thoughts on this, below is a link for an article I wrote for the new JGLM Magazine:

As we prepare for the summer, we are excited to have the men coming home from Saskatchewan on May 4th to help us move. It is so good to be together.

If you want our new address, just email us at welldonejordanunrau@gmail.com and we will get that to you.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

New Nest


We've found a house to rent.  It has most of the things on my list of hopefuls.  The biggest adjustment, aside from not containing any memories, will probably be the size. It is about a third the size of our home now has a fifth of the storage space.  It does require simplifying...which is good. Really good.
It's the lack of memories that I have to trust Father for.  It is near a golf course and trails where Jordan and Tucker raced while Kim and I strolled the winter before our lives changed so dramatically.  I am grateful for that...I can see Jordan's legs carrying him effortlessly over the hills and I can hear his voice goad Tucker into following him as he bobbed and weaved his way along.   I so miss his laughter and squishes and questions and opinions and observations and voice and his presence.

Being thrown into empty nesting was not the plan.  I was jealously guarding our years with Jordan at home...by the time he would leave to travel or attend school, I would be ready...or so I told myself.

It is crazy what comforts me:  new pictures of Jordan people send or I find in the packing, Skyping my sons, reconnecting with long ago friends, clean sheets and sharp pencils, warm mugs beside the fire, hearing stories of people being healed, finding Kim has unloaded the dishwasher or filled a vase with tulips or white roses, BBC dramas from Dickens, and waterfalls beside a mountain road.
Some mornings I apply makeup only to find it was a really bad idea - on the way to work my face is streaked with tears.  Other days I find only joy and laughter in Jordan's life - then and now.  Such is my life...until this side of eternity is over.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Pointing People to Jesus


Just finished writing Jordan's sponsored child a birthday card.  I let Emmanuel know that while Jordan is in heaven, Kim and I will continue his sponsorship.   What I had never noticed before was Emmanuel's birthdate - July 20th - Jordan's birthdate.  I guess Jordan had been the one to write him a birthday card until now.  In fact I remember Jordan writing last year about being sick and asking Emmanuel to agree with him for healing. What a great name – God with us!

A friend this week took the time to tell me of her experiences with Jordan.  I think that perhaps that has been one of the best ways I have been loved through all of this.  I don't want him forgotten but I don't have any recent experiences from which to draw...only those where others bring old ones to mind or times with Jordan I didn't know about.  Memories are powerful, living things for me and I find myself refreshed after looking at pictures, or sitting in Jordan's room or watching family videos.  Videos from last year are still too tender right now - too fresh.  I haven't reread any of my blog posts, because the pain rushes back, and the hope.  I do so miss anticipating that Jordan would see all that he hoped for here on earth.  I love that he saw people he prayed for often be healed...he celebrated every time over even "little" victories.

I put up Jordan’s picture on my side desk at work and at times when I have felt overwhelmed or frustrated with the task, I find myself glancing at his smiling face.  He would often ask me, in those times, “What would Jesus say?”  So I ask.  I so want to point people to Jesus….He is my Wonderful Counsellor. 


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Consolation


For many years, our family would head to a mountain cabin for just a few days around New Years without the distractions and technology of home.  It was there I found a book of Ruth Bell Graham's poems, Footprints of a Pilgrim. I copied a few of my favourites into a journal.

Blinking back the tears
I'm thinking
may just clear
the heart for sight:
as wind-shield wipers
help us
on a stormy,
windswept night.

Jesus wept.
But why?
Knowing what lay ahead
moments away...
Was it because
He had not come,
when He heard
Lazarus might die?
Lazarus was dead!
Was it in sympathy
with their raw grief?
Faith's impotent lack?
Or could it be
because He
had to bring him back.

The first, I thought of often throughout the year, the second only a week ago. Not a weepy week. I placed a big photo of Jordan on my desk at work and I often find myself smiling at his image...knowing how often he would encourage me whenever I felt stuck or overwhelmed by something God was asking of me.  His probing question usually sounded like, "What does Jesus have to say about it?"

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Let the Packing Commence


I have been putting off writing this blog...
How much more mixed can my feelings be?

Two years ago we put our house on the market for a few months to see what would come of it.  Both older boys were away to school and the three of us wanted to simplify.  After six months on the market, we let it go to try again the next year....last year.  The year it was good to come to home – we needed everything familiar.

This week, the SOLD sign went up.  A young family with a little girl is buying and moving in on May 11.
The decision is both a relief and a wonder.  Every room is packed with memories. When Matt and Joel were home last week, we had them sort through the infamous toy closet, which I've been requesting for the past four years :-).
And we started making videos in every room before it is stacked with boxes.
One morning as I was preparing for work in our ensuite, I remembered Jordan, at age 4, sitting on the counter alternately watching me applying makeup and himself in the mirror.  At one point, he began to intently study my face.  I smiled, thinking how sweet it was to have this little admirer.  With profound curiosity he asked, "Mommy, why do you have so many cracks around your eyes?"  Definitely NOT what I had anticipated.
Our new home will not have those memories...

Friday night I just couldn't stop weeping until Kim encouraged me to just bawl - loud and long....and somehow it worked.  But my eyes were so puffy this weekend, I didn't recognize myself.
So much loss.  And I don't want to stuff the pain...neither do I want it as a constant shadow.
The weather last night mirrored my emotions....bits of rain, sunshine peeking through, more rain, clearing, then lightening with thunder and a downpour that started and stopped suddenly, finishing with hail.

Kim is so wonderful.  So much between us doesn’t even need to be said.  We can just look at each other and know.  A teen drove his bike across the street in front of our car this week and waved to thank us for stopping, reminding us of how Jordan would wave every time to thank others.  It started when he was little and I would hold his hand and the shopping bag with the other and ask him to wave for me, and he just kept on doing it...I loved his consistency. I loved his kindness. And I love that Kim knows I'm not exaggerating when I describe how wonderful our son was to us.  What a gift!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Every Knee Shall Bow


On my way to work one morning, I found myself listening to the song that included the words "Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess" and I could see it in my mind's eye.  I could see me kneeling and Jordan beside me, only he had this HUGE smile on his face and turned to wink at me.  Kind of an "Isn't Jesus awesome?" I remember leading Jordan to talk and listen to Jesus many times - after a nightmare or a rough day at school. But I have a feeling that when I arrive in heaven, Jordan will be the one to take me by the hand and take me to Jesus.  What a day that will be!

Yesterday I found myself feeling bereft of my in-house counsel.  When I would create PowerPoint presentations for my job or find illustrations or require a good example of pop culture whether it is music or movies or comic book characters to present to junior high or high school students, I could ask Jordan. I know he is cheering me on from heaven but I could really use his wisdom and creativity here on earth right now.  This is not Plan A.  I miss him so.

Kim is home from Dallas and the guys are home for reading week.  Wow!  I love how our sons have become our friends.  The first night when I headed to bed I found Matthew in Jordan's room...just staring like he was memorizing it.  My heart hurt watching him.  And then I checked in on Joel and he was looking through a drawing pad in his room that Jordan had borrowed from him for a time.  Joel was thrilled to show me the sketches he had discovered.  When he came to the last page, he wondered aloud what Jordan had been drawing.  I recognized it as his” heaven home” blueprint.  Every few years, Jordan and I would put our thoughts to paper on what kind of place Jesus was preparing for us.  Despite the changes he made over the years, Jordan's drawing always included a water slide ending in a tube and river run that encircled his home.  All of this this was news to Joel and it was pretty emotional for both of us.

The tears just come when they come and I am so grateful for my men who allow the tears to flow without attempting to “console the grief away”.  For me, it seems the tears are cleansing…. washing my heart.  Every so often it hits me that Jordan isn't here.  It’s almost unbelievable.  He belongs here…with us.

As much as this journey has been an individual and family one for us, as I meet with people and reconnect with old friends, I am discovering a bit of how Jordan's life has impacted others. And now, it's as if we are all at a crossroads of deciding if what happened to us all was a blip on the screen of life, an intense moment, or if we go back to business as usual. And yet there really is no going back for us, just moving forward...but to what? I guess that's part of the discovery for this next season.
Snow-shoeing on Darlene's Birthday

Monday, 25 February 2013

Things


As I wandered around Jordan's room to take in the things he enjoyed so much, I found myself smiling.  He wants none of these books, games, sports equipment in heaven. He left them behind in the same way he grew up and no longer wanted his soother.  Jordan loved his soothers so much as a toddler that he was known to stuff two at a time into his mouth. :-)
How many things down here that I have fretted about will be like soothers left behind.

Kim is in Dallas teaching at John G. Lake Ministries school while I am heading back to work.  The Pregnancy Centre has been soo supportive; the the hours and schedule are flexible. The staff and volunteers understand grief and so it is a very safe place for me. I walked into my office this morning only to find Happy Birthday banners everywhere (my birthday isn't until Tuesday but I've always thought birthdays should last at least a week) and a beautiful glider rocking chair that I had admired at our staff/board party earlier this month.  Made me tear up right off :-)  When I told Kim on the phone this morning, it only substantiated his belief that when I tell someone how much I love what they're wearing or something in their home, that down deep, I really just want it. :-)  Great!  So now when I give a compliment, I have to give a qualifier.  Really, generosity is so incredible!

For the next few days, I am sleeping over at my mom's place - it keeps my house clean for showings (my mom says I can mess up hers :-) and keeps me from missing Kim too much.  We have been together pretty much non-stop this last year so being apart is strange.  I am excited for him in that after his morning teachings, he hopes to join students and staff as they take kingdom to the streets, malls and homes.  We so want to get beyond "hit and miss" healings.  We desire to see consistent displays of the kingdom to point those that don't know - haven't heard, to Jesus.
In a Christmas letter we received this year, a friend wrote of involvement in a Nativity production in the States that drew many.  They were shocked to discover that over half of the attendees had never heard the "Christmas Story".  Here in North America so many people don't know. And people are the only "things" we can take to heaven.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Many Hands


The closest image I have found in my mind to describe the last three months is crowd surfing.  When the boys were little, Kim hosted a series of youth conferences and one time the crowds were so thick and so excited that they encouraged him to jump off the stage into their waiting raised hands to be pushed along as he lay on his back.  I couldn't believe my eyes when my husband, all 6'6" and over 225lbs actually entrusted himself to their combined strength.  While I couldn't see their faces, their hands were there, pushing him along, until they gently brought him down only to walk back up on stage and continue MCing the meeting.

My experience is one of hands beneath me, taking turns, tenderly considering my needs, sharing memories, bringing joy, and patiently listening for any of my need to cry, question or remember.

Last night I told Kim that I can't describe myself as a mother whose son is dead ... because he isn't.  He died but he lives - more alive than he ever has been - so my grief is laced with joy and confident anticipation of being with him again. What a jumble!
Mexico has been medicine for our souls.  I have hardly cracked open my books.  Just time to sit and wonder and feel.  Lots of laughter with Dean and Janine as we enjoy each other and go on mini-adventures.

We'll be home Friday and Kim will turn around a fly out Saturday to teach a week long OT survey course (with Chris Barber's help - thank you!) at the JGLM ministry school in Dallas, TX.  I am soo glad for this opportunity for him but not crazy about doing without his presence for a week.  We have been pretty much joined at the hip this last year.  Our desire is that while he gives out, that he will be able to partner with those there to learn and experience first-hand more about healing those who are sick, loving the lost and advancing the Kingdom.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Back to School

This weekend has been well worth the drive.  It has been incredible to meet the students and staff at Briercrest College who have walked this journey with us. This school is our Alma Mater where we met each other. I am so grateful for their support to Matt and Joel.  For some, the walk in believing for a miraculous healing was new, for others agreeing for resurrection was new, as it was for us.  How did I miss it all those years?  How did I get away with reading the Bible like a history/devotional book?  I now can recall believers through the years who suggested that Jesus really meant it when He told us we were to do what He did and even greater things.  Looking back, I remember feeling uncomfortable with them, and generally defensive, as if somehow they were implying I was missing something....something really important.  Whatever was blinding me is gone and I so don't ever want to come across as knowing it all or having everything figured out.  Quite the opposite, I'm discovering how much I have yet to learn and experience.  Pretty exciting really.

Friday was Matthew's birthday so we headed into Regina for Indian Curry, to shop for jeans and a jacket, to catch a movie and pick up a mystery package at the airport.  Both Matt and Joel were stunned to discover the package was their Grammy who flew in from Kelowna to surprise them.  She stayed next door to us in the campus inn.

Saturday  morning, while my mom and I were eating breakfast in the room provided, I noticed a basketball player from a visiting team we had watched in the finals the night before. He was hobbling and had only one shoe on.  As he was leaving, I asked him if he was injured from the game.  When he told me that he had rolled his ankle, I asked him if I could pray for him and he replied "Sure!" and promptly sat down. Why am I still surprised when people agree to be prayed for?  So I followed Jordan's model and commanded the leg/foot to be healed and prayed that Benny would know the love of Jesus.  My mom was so great.  Rather than be embarrassed of me, she was encouraging. A few hours later, we watched Benny play full out, no sign of any injury and afterwards, Fred, a great player who is a natural evangelist on our college's team, went over to share Jesus with him.  What a setup!  Yeah God! Makes me want to follow Fred around too and see how he so quickly and easily brings Jesus into every conversation with strangers.

Matthew and Joel setup times for us to meet with and enjoy their friends, finding out about them and letting them ask all the questions they wanted about our journey. From Boston Pizza, to coffee shops, to hockey and basketball games, cafeteria meals and movies, we were kept pretty busy.  An opportunity was given for us on Monday afternoon to share with a senior theology class for an hour and a half. It was amazing and the first time we had tag-teamed with such a large group since Jordan's  celebration service.  Matt and Joel were so supportive and interjected when they had something to add.  It is such a gift to walk through this as a family.

I loved the way Kim described our sons to an old classmate who inquired about them. He wasn't aware of all that had transpired this last year.. Kim told him that we have three sons (two this friend knew). But the youngest, Kim explained, has surpassed us all. “Jordan is the most holy of all of us. He walks in incredible peace, knows Jesus more than all of us put together, and is amazingly creative.” In response to a curious expression,  Kim told him that Jordan went to be with Jesus in November.  Even today I found myself wondering what Jordan is up to.

And now we are flying out to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with our old (not that they’re old) friends Dean and Janine.  They and friends from their church are treating us to a week.  So wonderful!  How grateful we are!