St. Zélie Martin and Overcoming Grief in Hope by MICHELE CHRONISTER – Article

“You know that the only hope of reunion is heaven, and with a renewed sense of purpose, you journey to heaven as a family. Your family life becomes divided, with one foot on Earth, and one in heaven.

Heaven can no longer be dismissed as “someday” if it is the present reality of a member of the family.”


Saint Therese of Lisieux Quote…

Reminds me of all the beautiful souls who’ve passed as children


“The good God does not need years to accomplish His work of love in a soul; one ray from His Heart can, in an instant, make His flower bloom for eternity…”

-Saint Therese of Lisieux


It’s no surprise that nature’s seasons are often paralleled with seasons of life. Change occurs in nature, in life, in faith as we encounter birth, death, transformation, new challenges and old ones that come back again and again. Life seems to cycle and repeat itself while at the same time proving to be an ever-changing dance. Like the seasons themselves, the bereaved heart experiences changes and repeats, its icy times and times of melting and re-birth… It cycles, it doesn’t stop, it’s unpredictable often hitting us when you’d least expect it.

So what do we do when the weather changes? When the first snowflakes start to fall we begin to wonder where the shovel is, we change the tires on our cars, we prepare the flower beds and hunt down the snowsuits. We embrace the fact that winter is coming… There is some wisdom to these mundane acts as I realize how different I handle the changes that take place in my heart, as I begin to feel the icy pangs of my missing child again. Oftentimes, instead of recognizing the pain as reality and making necessary adjustments, I dig my heels in and say “No” to winter. I say “No” because it hurts, because my life doesn’t have time for me to feel this way, because I’m blessed in so many ways that I shouldn’t feel this dissatisfaction, because I think i’m a failure for having to go back to square one yet again.

I have to confess that I despise winter since we buried our son. As the first frost comes I get that motherly instinct telling me that his body is cold, that I need to hold him (another nice side-effect for the bereaved parent). It’s horrible and the ice begins to grow in my heart once again. I feel the hardness take over as I try to ignore it, I sense it in my faith as I begin to feel numb and lost.

It’s time to allow myself to embrace this season.

Ironically, seasons of the heart don’t necessarily correspond with seasons of life. I have caught myself crying for my child in heaven as I feed his younger brother, here, in my arms. It is such a tug and pull as I fall in love with our sweet rainbow baby (spring if there ever was one) while also surviving winter and what seems to be this life-long brokenness that comes and goes as it pleases. I want to forget the hard stuff and just remember how happy Clark is with God, but winter comes roaring in and it won’t be ignored. Finally I say hello to this old, un-friendly face of grief and I let myself mourn with my child in heaven, because I love him and miss him. I visit his grave, my husband and I talk about him, I talk to God about him and things begin to melt again. As each season changes, I learn and re-learn that it has to be moved through, embraced, realized, and appreciated in order to experience the Springs of this life.

Regardless of how inconvenient, each season is a reality, like the snow that needs to be plowed off the driveway. Sometimes grief can seem like a chore, sometimes like a mountain that cannot be moved, but i’m learning that to ignore it is to slowly freeze in that place making it harder and harder to move forward. We have to swallow the pain, take it when it comes… It will go away for awhile and life will bring new seasons and then this old friend winter will be back again and that is our humbling reality.

Winter is cold, the icy wind and snow can sting, but it is also breathtaking when we take a moment to stand back and look at the beauty of each snowflake and how it dances in the wind -The same can be found when we step back and embrace the cold, dark days of grief and the beautiful souls that inspire them. Each soul, like a snowflake, is unique and incredible to dwell on. Grief demands that we look deep into the beauty of the love we have for that person we’ve lost, even if it causes great pain – and through our tearful eyes we can feel a sense of healing.

With each new year, each repeat of seasons already visited, I realize that grief is never-ending but with that I also know that the love I have for my child is like the love God has for all of us… un-changing, never-ending, regardless of season, and I can rest in that.


Meet Our “Stormy” Rainbow Baby!

On January 17th, 2017 Clark’s younger brother was born! He is our “Stormy” Rainbow Baby because he had to spend two weeks in the NICU before being allowed to come home and meet his oldest brother, Gabe – a joyful coming home to say the least!

Lazarus James, “Laz” for short, has captured our hearts just like his brothers before him! His name, the name of Jesus’ best friend, means “God is my help.” Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb (John 11) and it is said that his tears were for all of humanity. Then he prayed to the Father and called Lazarus out, ALIVE. What a testimony to the resurrection and life we have in Christ and a mirrored reminder of God’s loving plan for our sons, and all of His children.

As difficult as it was to stand by and watch our Laz struggle in his early weeks of life, we could feel his big brother Clark with us in that tiny NICU room as he reminded us of what a gift it all is – even each breath. Today, we are loving life at home with two darling boys while continuing to love on our sweet one in heaven.

Needless to say, we are thankful beyond all measure and each moment with our Rainbow Baby has been such a gift. Thank you, thank you for all of the prayers from our friends near and far!!

Love, this Rainbow Mama 

“Jesus works miracles for His dearest friends only after He has tested their faith. He let Lazarus die, even though Martha and Mary sent word that he was sick. But after the trial, what rewards! Lazarus rises from the dead.”

– St Therese of Lisieux

Sirach 2:1-11

“My son, when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,
undisturbed in time of adversity.
Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;
thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Accept whatever befalls you,
when sorrowful, be steadfast,
and in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold and silver are tested,
and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and God will help you;
trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the LORD, love him,
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.”

Sirach 2:1-11

November 1, 2016

Got to visit our little saint in heaven on this special feast day!! Enjoy the banquet son!

Oh how we love you saints in heaven! Pray for us and thank you for inspiring our walk and relationship with Jesus   Happy All Saints Day!! #allsaintsday#dailyinspiration #prayforus #ClarkJob14947464_10202689988688666_5563547180460267619_n.jpg

2016 Summer-love for Clark


Soaking up this heavenly sun with big brother…



This boy and these tulips remind me that Joy has been made available to me throughout all these dry, painful days in my heart.

I see so much in these little red tulips… I appreciate their resilience as they grew even when they were left to die to make room for a driveway. I appreciate their color because it is so bright and boldly itself. They seem forgotten, but God sends them rain and sunshine, and they continue to bloom even though they’re broken. But you wouldn’t know their strength at first glance.. I will always be thankful for the bottomless love and understanding I find in friendship with God. He heals me with the smallest details and continues to pull me through the hurt. I hope God sends you a tulip today


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All my LVE Angel Babies, Mamas and Dadas #todayshow #clarkjob#lifeloveloss #newyork



Gabe wanted to share his most prized possession with baby “Tark” today.#brothers #everlastinglove #clarkjob



Holding each other up and laughing our way through as usual  Missed you today sweet Clark! Big brother Gabe loved the many waterfalls, bugs and trees and I’m sure you would have too!! If we can experience this here on earth, I can hardly imagine how amazing Heaven must be  Let’s go on a family hike when we get there



“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my *babies* you’ll be.”



“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18



“Family… where life begins & love never ends.”



Family picnic with Clark today with lots of cuddles  The greatest comfort is the fact that God loves us even more than we love each other (which is A LOT). What an amazing thought! “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God…” -1 John 3:1 #thankfulforeachday