Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-38

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Is God still good when my daughter dies?

Five years ago today, I woke up at 7:30 to take a shower and get ready to take Savannah to the doctor.  She was sick the night before and the emergency room told us what to do and they made an appointment with her pediatrician's urgent care facility for the next morning. Since she was still sleeping, I ate breakfast and I put her oatmeal in the microwave so that it would be cooled off by the time I got her ready and brought her downstairs.  I went upstairs, turned her lamp on, and was walking around her room getting her clothes out and her fresh diaper ready.  I was talking to her the whole time telling her it was time to get up.  I walked over to her crib since she appeared to still be sleeping.  That's when I realized she was no longer with us.  I knew right away. I screamed for Eric and he raced up the stairs.  I had no idea what to do next, so I just laid on the floor, hunched over, in the other bedroom upstairs.  Eric told me to call 911. I did so and could do nothing but scream at the lady on the other end.  Those lovely people have been trained so well how to handle frantic people.  Our neighbor was out in his yard and helped Eric but there was nothing that could be done. She was gone and had passed away sometime during the night. The first people there were the firemen since the fire-station was pretty much in our neighborhood.  It seemed like only seconds went by until friends started showing up and family was on the way. The whole cul-de-sac was filled with firetrucks, police cars and emergency trucks. Our precious police officer was so wonderful.  He was (is) a believer and that was such a gift from the Lord. A lot of that morning is a blur and I'm sure that Eric could tell a different story of what happened as it was very different but the same. The next few days were full of friends and family loving us so well! Also, people we didn't even know sending us cards, flowers, and prayers. I don't know how we would have made it without our friends and family. God truly blessed us.

The first few hours after knowing Savannah had passed away were so strange.  There was this numbness and I felt like I was just going through the motions. Through it all, I could feel a peace from God that I can't describe.  It was almost like I could reach in my chest and touch it.

We stayed in a hotel for the rest of the week.  We went to the funeral home and had to pick out a coffin, clothes for Savannah to be buried in, and what we wanted for the funeral service. Our friends made this process so easy and the sweet people at the funeral home made our decisions very few.

We had Savannah's funeral a few days later (on Eric's birthday) and then we buried her two days after that.

People ask me all the time, "How do you get through something like that?" "I could never go through that." All I can claim is God's grace.  Is God still good when bad times come? YES! If you're believing that only good things happen to Christians and that tragedies don't happen to Christians, you are believing a false prosperity gospel.  God may choose to take everything from us or He may choose to bless us.  Either way, He is good all the time.  It doesn't even have to be death.  When we lose our job, don't get the promotion we wanted, things are hard financially, God is still good!!!  He never promised the Christian life would be easy.  Those that are preaching/believing that the Christian life is easy are preaching/believing a false prosperity gospel and that is scary! We must trust God when things don't go how we thought they would.

That has been so heavy on my heart lately as I see people believing in a prosperity gospel and not even realizing it. God chose to take Savannah Grace at 15 months old.  It hurts!  It still hurts.  I wish she were still here. I wish I could see her blonde hair and crystal blue eyes! I wish I could see her, Penny, and Ford play together! I think P would love having a big sister! Grief definitely changes over time. Some things are easier and some things are harder. P asks a lot of questions about her sister.  Today at church, she looked at my necklace that has a picture of Savannah on it.  She said, "That's Vavannah. I love her still!" She kissed my necklace, then put the picture up against her cheek and cuddled with it for a minute.  It was sweet!  She misses her sister.

Our friends arranged for a photographer to take pictures of Savannah's funeral.  She did an excellent job and I didn't even know she was there.  Just last year, our photographer had to say goodbye to her sweet girl that passed away after only 11 days with them.

 Savannah's first birthday pictures!

Savannah's grave

 Swinging at our neighborhood park!

 Rocking in her pink rocking chair!

 Hanging out at the beach!

 Savannah loved this Little People barn!  She played with it so much!

 Chubby Cheeks!

 First ponytail!

 Go Cardinals!!!

 Picture from her 2nd birthday!

 The mural that was in her room at our house in Raleigh!

The look you give when you've been caught pulling everything out of your bin.  Haha! So cute!

Monday, January 11, 2016


I really didn't think that P would ever give up her Pacifier.  She loved it.  It was an emotional thing for her.  We tried several different approaches to finally getting rid of the paci.  We tried limiting it during the day but that just caused lots of drama and heartache.  Finally, we decided that the only way would be to completely take it away.  We talked about it with her before we took the paci.

There was this little princess doll, that cost $5, that we saw in the checkout lane every single time we checked out at Walmart.  P would always play with it while I was checking out.  She always asked if we could get it, and I would say no because that little figurine was not worth $5.  I told P that if she went one whole day and night without her paci, we would go to Walmart and get the princess doll for her.  She agreed to that, so we started the process.  She didn't last long at all.  She begged for her pacifier and I gave it to her.  Our approach this time was to let her be in charge of getting rid of her paci.  It was up to her.  The next day, I decided to go ahead and buy the princess doll.  I thought having the prize in front of her would help.  So, I gave her the doll with the promise that she could only keep the doll if she didn't use her paci.  She could have her paci back, but I would take her princess and she would not get it back.  We would give the Princess to her friend, K.  She did well all morning.  She played and talked to her princess.  Later in the afternoon, she walked over to me and handed me the princess and said she wanted the paci.  I reminded her of the cost of getting her paci back.  She cried for a little while but decided that the princess was more important to her than having the paci.  Then came night time.  I was expecting the worst.  Lots of tears and hours of no sleep.  Surprisingly, she went right to bed with her princess in hand.  She never cried at night over her paci.  I couldn't believe it.  It had to be the grace of God to us.  The next few days, there were tears along the way during the day but it didn't take long until she was completely finished with it.  Now, when she sees a paci, she gives it to Ford.

I write all of this to encourage you mamas who think that your child will leave for college using a pacifier.  I really thought that too but here we are on the other side.  Next, stop....taking Ford's paci.  I definitely want to take his before he gets emotionally attached to his.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pumpkins 2015 and The Sharpes

Wow, it's been a while since I have written on this blog.  Having two kids sure does keep me busy but it's a good kind of busy.  Every year in October, I paint pumpkins matching what the kids are going to dress up as for Halloween.  At first, Penelope wanted to be Sofia the First but after some discussion with a friend from church, she decided she wanted to be Tinkerbell.  I had so much fun putting together her Tinkerbell costume.  Ford didn't really have an opinion of what he wanted to be, since he is only 22 months, so he was Superman.  I also painted a pumpkin for Savannah.  I thought that she would probably like to be Minnie Mouse.  

I was tempted to not post this picture because you can see that on the rug, inside the house, Ford's clothes are hanging out there on the floor since I had just changed him to go trick or treating and we were in a super hurry.  After I thought about it, I realized, this is real life.  Most likely, everyone out there had a similar looking floor in the rush to get kids dressed in costumes and out the door.  This is not Pottery Barn, this is real life.

I really liked the way Savannah's picture turned out.  The little bunny is the one she she really loved cuddling with.  I meant to have the bunny sitting in the middle of the chair.  I'm not sure what happened but I like that the bunny is sitting to the side of the chair.

Last week, we hosted a sweet family that is planning on going to Tanzania as full time missionaries next summer.  Jamie is a friend of mine from college. We had so much fun just living life together.  We didn't do anything fancy, just talked, cooked, ate, played with the kids, slept, and did it all over again.  It was really fun getting to have time to spend with them before they leave.  I have met Selah before, when she was a baby, but had not met the younger two.  The girls are so cuddly and I loved when they would walk up to me and ask to be held.  Gideon was so sweet too.  His smile will melt your heart. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Three Years

Tomorrow, July 24th, marks three years since Savannah Grace passed away. I think about that sweet girl everyday! Tomorrow, I plan on taking time to talk about Savvy G to Ford and Penelope. If you have any memories of her that you would like to share, please do.

We are still so thankful to everyone who has walked this road of grief with us. We are also thankful for the peace that God has given us through this trial. Even friends that we have now that didn't get the opportunity to meet Savvy have made an effort to get to know her by looking at pictures and asking for stories, etc. We are so blessed.

The day before she passed away, we spent the day as a family (Eric, Savvy, and me.) We had no idea it would be our last day with her. We were recalling the time when I was 12 weeks pregnant with her and we thought I was misccarying. Thankfully I wasn't and everything was ok. I remember saying, "We almost missed out on knowing Savannah." Thankfully God, in his sovereignty, chose to give us more than 12 weeks with her and I'm so thankful. Even through all the pain we have gone through, it's worth it to have been able to spend 15 months with her (plus the 9 months of pregnancy.)