Friday, September 25, 2015

What does grief look like?

For me,


I do not want to do anything "normal".  I do not want talk to anyone, I do not want to wear the same clothes or fix my hair the same, I do not want to cook or clean house, I do not want to talk about the weather or plan for the future, I do not want to take care of the animals or teach my kids.  I do not want to live in a world where the unimportant matters. 

My life is not over, I know that.  As I move forward, though, Caroline is left behind in September of 2015 and I am not ready to be out of her moment yet.  I know, "she will always be with me", but it is still her time and I am not ready to go back to business as usual.  How can I anyway?  I am not the same person I was a month ago.  As much as it changes you to become a mom, for the first or twentieth time, it changes you all the same when the baby doesn't come home.   

A month ago I did not know what pPROM is or what it can do to a perfectly healthy baby.  I did not know the pain of losing and burying a child.  I did not know I can not protect my children from death.  I did not know what it is like to plan a funeral.  I did not know what it is like to drive away from a hospital without the baby you just gave birth to.  I did not know what it is like to give birth without a C-section.  I did not know the name Caroline could bring so much joy and sadness at the same time.  I did not know so many things. 

I feel completely foreign in my body.  It is not my own, nor is it Caroline's anymore; I cannot fit into any of my clothes yet, nor do I want to.  My breasts are still swollen and sore from producing milk that will never be used.  The baby bump that was growing, and loved, is all but gone and yet it still takes six weeks for it all to be a normal size.  My hands and feet are still swollen from pregnancy, delivery, and medications.  My right leg is causing much pain (epidural).  The bleeding from delivery will continue for some time, and I am angry at my body for rejecting my daughter.  I feel betrayed by it.  It is both full of life and full of death.   

I do not recognize my face; it does not smile much or see makeup often, its eyes are swollen from tears and heartache, it is pimple-ridden from the change in hormones, and its lines and creases seem so much deeper.

My home is not my own.  It is full of funeral flowers, funeral ribbons, and baby stuff.  It is full of children with glazed-over eyes from too much Netflix.  It is full of half empty water bottles, dirty clothes, and toys on the floor.  It is full of people that I love who are as sad as I am but who show it in much different ways.  It is full of homeschooling books that aren't being touched.  Its yard is full of animals, whom I love, but that I have not seen or taken care of, myself, in weeks.  It, too, is full of life...and death.

Rod goes back to work tonight, the kids have to be taught starting up again on Monday, we cannot keep eating grilled cheese and ham sandwiches, and Sissy is too young to run a house indefinitely, but it's like I have forgotten how, like I'm a ghost.  It isn't fair to them, but is it fair to me?  It's only been ten days!

So this is what grief looks like for me:  PJs and hair buns, grilled cheese sandwiches and Netflix, unanswered text messages, FB messages, and phone calls, responsibilities that go unfulfilled, clinging to my husband, a spot on the sofa or my side in bed, a once an hour breakdown, an occasional anger fit, a short temper, a brain that will not function, and a soul that is crushed...and I'll live in this moment with Caroline as long as I need and then I'll start to find a new normal, one that encompasses both who I was and who I am, one that celebrates that I am the mother of four and grieves that one of those children is not here with me, one that will take much time to find.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

She came...

She came...

...Two weeks after my water broke, unexpectedly, in the middle of the night.

...After two weeks of bed rest and worry.

...In compete silence at 3:48 AM on a Tuesday morning. 

...After 14 hours of labor.

...With only a heartbeat.

...Possessing as much love as I had for any of my other children at their births.

...And stayed for only an hour before slipping into eternity.

...With the most beautiful face and tiny little hands.

...And I'll never be the same again.

Caroline Ava Joy Cox
September 15, 2015 at 3:48 AM
1lb .2oz and 11.5in

The flu-like symptoms began on Sunday night and lasted through the day on Monday.  A call to the doctor produced no results and I continued to worry about what was wrong.

At 1:00 PM Monday a backache began that was not the usual cramping I had been experiencing since my water broke two weeks before.  Again, my doctor told me it was nothing to worry about.

At 6:00 PM, in the restroom, something was definitely not right.  I thought I would deliver her, right there, in the toilet.  Later I was to find out that her foot was being delivered first and this is what I felt.

We headed to the hospital, and by the time we arrived around 7:30 PM, I was in full labor.  The plan of action was dependent on infection or not...I had an infection.  Induction was the only option and they would not intervene on her life because "viability grey zone" was (exactly) one week away.  They were not willing to compromise their expert opinion.  Caroline would be born, alive, via my first VBAC, and would not be saved.  I would watch my littlest girl pass away and there was nothing I could do about that...nothing. 

The on-call doctor. my delivery nurse, April, and the charge nurse were all amazing.  I could not have asked for better.  We got to hold and love on our girl for close to eight hours.  They bathed her, dressed her in the tiniest and cutest little dress, and took pictures for Mommy and Daddy.

When they took her away, so I could be taken into surgery for bleeding problems, a huge chunk of my heart went with her and is now buried with her.  I did not get to see or hold her again and will never, until Heaven.

Caroline was laid to rest on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM in the most lovely of graveside services I have ever been to.  Her great uncle officiated, the songs "It Is Well With My Soul" and "Sweet Caroline" were played, and there were so many pink and white flowers...exactly what I wanted. 

This same day my milk came in full force and while it is adding insult to injury; the emotional and physical pain are great, I am also so privilege to get to carry Caroline's milk for a while longer.

There is a gapping hole in my heart, mind, and life without Caroline here.  There is no longer a pregnancy to nurture or a little girl to prepare for.  There are no more kicks, ultrasounds or heartbeats.  There will never be birthdays, dresses, dance lessons, baby dolls, graduations, a wedding day, crying, laughing, running, playing, holding her big brothers' hands, or playing dress up with her big sister.  There will never be anything again for my Sweet Caroline, not on this earth, and I cannot breathe at the thought.  But, though it be hard to see right now, I am thankful for the promise that she is with her Heavenly Father.  Thankful that He hasn't left me alone in this.  Thankful for each gift He gave me throughout her life (in the womb and out) and death.  And thankful that He is carrying me.

I miss you, my Sweet Caroline, with every breath I take and every beat of my heart, I miss you.  I am so sorry that my body didn't protect you.  I am so sorry that it betrayed us both.  I pray that you do not even know that forgiveness is needed, but if you do, I pray that you will.  I love you so much.  I will miss you until I see you again.

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Support local farms

"Being vegan or vegetarian because of factory farming is like fighting child abuse by not having children."  Jenna Woginrich

Vote for better treatment of animals with dollars...because nothing is changed with an idea.  Buying grass-fed/pastured/humanely-raised meat, (raw) milk, cheese, eggs, honey, and local organic produce supports local agriculture, small business, and the humane treatment of livestock.  I can guarantee you that your local farmer knows where his food and livelihood come from and loves his/her animals.  He knows that uncared for animals are unhappy animals and unhappy animals are bad for business and for the world/environment.  He is one with the earth.  He could tell you things about animals that the average vegan/veggie/layperson could not begin to know.  He also knows that happy animals taste amazing.  Have you ever grilled a grass-fed beef steak that's spent its entire life doing what cows do?  HOLY MOLY!   And don't even get me started on raw milk...amazing stuff!  Local agricultural has a small footprint, works with the environment (not against it) and supports your community in ways that would blow your mind.  If you can't raise you own of God's beautiful creatures, check out farm to home systems, CSAs, farmers markets, or your next-door neighbor.  Support the raising of chickens, bees, and other small livestock in urban backyards.  Change the world with your votes and NOTHING votes louder than dollars.  Be active, not passive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Children are a gift from the Lord.  They are a reward from Him.  Psalms 127:3

Children are a gift from the Lord. Thank you, Lord, for each of my three + two gifts. While I did not know two on this earth, I will know them one day in heaven and knowing the three I have here with me, has been more than I could imagine. I pray for more children, I truly do, every single day, but if You see fit for us to have no more than the three plus two we had the privledge of having, I praise Your name for blessing us with each of their lives, however short some have been...each precious gift will never go unnoticed. Your will be done. Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Faith without action...

Two passages speak to my heart today:  James 2:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 13:11.  In the first, Paul tells us that faith without action is dead.  This is one of the more difficult requirements of faith, for me, especially when I am making a decision.  I enjoy the safe, comfortable route to life.  The route that doesn't require much faith.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I have faith, but I get really fearful when that faith is put into practice.  You see, I have very little faith in myself.  This isn’t a humbling myself before God, either.  This is an insecurity thing.  A lie from Satan.  I fear failure and I fear making a decision.  That's all well and good when I don't have anything to fear, but having faith in Christ does mean I must put my trust in him and believe that he'll see me through.  This letting go of myself is so very difficult.  That’s where the trouble lies, in my inability to trust in myself and my unwillingness to trust in Christ. 

In my most recent decision making process I have difficulty for fear of failure and of past mistakes.  Though I have been forgiven, I worry about the wrong choices I made while not placing the creator of the universe at the center of my life, and as a result, I have wanted to isolate myself from the world so that I wouldn't fall prey to bad choices.  But our God is not the author of fear and confusion and this brings me to the second passage. 

I was raised in a Christian home and we attended church nearly every time the doors were open.  The concept that God did not exist never occurred to me and until I became an adult I had no idea there were people who did not believe in Christ Jesus.  My faith was not strong enough to withstand the pull of the world.  I was suddenly thrust into a world where the possibility of no God was not only discussed, but celebrated.  I fell hard for this way and over the course of five years I had what they call a "crisis of faith."  It was during this time that I made many poor decisions and wandered aimlessly through life.  However, 1 Corinthians 13:11 says When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  So that brings me to now.

I met Jesus.  The real Jesus.  Not the concept, but the Christ.  He revealed Himself to me and I was saved.  I met Jesus Christ and I now know the difference.  I also immediately knew my shame and where I could leave it.  There is no doubt in my mind that I have been forgiven.  There is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe conquered my shame and death on the cross, but just to be sure I didn’t mess up again, I decided I would help God out a bit and simply protect myself.  I began isolating myself to control my surroundings.  That way I didn’t mess up again, right?  That way I can remain sin-free, right?  Does it work that way?  Nope!

So now God is calling me out, again.  He granted me sweet rest and is now asking me to trust in Him for the next step.  IT SCARES ME TO DEATH, this faith in action, but “You foolish (wo)man! Do you want proof that faith without action is useless?  Our Father Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar.  Wasn’t he considered to be right with God because of what he did?  So you see that what he believed and what he did were working together.  What he did made his faith complete.”  James 2:20-22

And so I go forward. 

I thank you, Heavenly Father that I even have the right to make such decisions.  I thank you that I live in a country where women have a voice and have many opportunities.  I thank you for a husband that is supportive and wise.  I thank you for using me and asking of me.  I thank you for your provisions, your strength, your calling, your success and your discernment. Amen

Suppose one of you says to them, “Go.  I hope everything turns out fine for you.  Keep warm.  Eat well.” And you do nothing about what they really need.  Then what good have you done?  It is the same with faith.  If it doesn’t cause us to do something, it’s dead. James 2:16-17

Friday, March 20, 2015


I often say, when upset about something someone has done to hurt me, "I will love with everything I am, until you hurt me, and then I'm done."  This is not at all the truth, but when I am upset about something someone has said or done, this makes me feel more in control of the situation.  I feel more powerful over the hurt. 

But why would I ever persuade myself to believe that there is control in the UNforgiving?  That there is power in the anger, hurt, and bitterness?

The most powerful One in all of the universe runs His whole show on forgiveness.

I have been forgiven more than I can count, by both heavenly and earthly means.  So who am I to withhold forgiveness?

The One has forgiven sin so (earthly) big that I, in my sheltered life, could never even conceive of it and went to the cross for sin so (earthly) small that we've forgotten that it is sin at all, and I'm going to hold judgment and anger over misplaced words or actions from someone who is as broken as I?

What do I know of forgiveness, though?  I know nothing except that I am so in need of it.  I don't know how it is done.  I don't even know how to begin. 

Then Jesus says, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. 

Isn't it such a burden to carry around this lack of forgiveness?  It sure feels like it to me.  "I will give you rest" our Lord says.  Thankfully He doesn't ask me to get my stuff together first.  He says "come to Me and I will give you rest." We simply must go to Him and He will make in us the channel of His forgiveness. Because His is the only real forgiveness there is.

And where to begin?  The God of the universe chose to work through prayer.  Why?  I have no idea, but that is where it starts. And He is faithful and He is never-ending.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

His way...

Isaiah 55:7-9
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

""The truth, sir," I said swallowing, "is that God's viewpoint is sometimes different from ours -- so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things."" Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place

God's ways are not our own.  Likely the reason we have such trouble understanding why God the Father would send Christ His son to pardon us, free of charge.  His ways are not our ways.  It is also likely the reason we struggle with grace vs works, the fact that we cannot earn our way into Heaven.  His ways are not our ways.  Or when we struggle with the belief that Christ Jesus is the ONLY way.  We like choices and we don't like to step on others' toes, but again, His ways are not our ways.

Was that repetitive?  It was meant to be.  For me as much as for anyone else. 

I love getting my way.  In fact, I usually feel that it is simply a matter of life and death to get my way (ask my husband).  I become instantly childlike when things aren't going my way.  Never fear, I have become quite good at masking it, but inside my head I am no more mature than my five year old who also believes it is a matter of life and death to get his way (only he's quite vocal about it) and when I'm willing to admit it, 33 years old and I have been vocal about my way from time to time.

If God's ways are not ours then maybe He has a different plan for me than I have for myself.  The bible tells me that He is willing to do abundantly more than I can even conceive of, if I will let Him. So then why am I so reluctant to follow His way?  Likely because it isn't what I would do for myself and because I must put aside myself for the sake of His way. 

The God's glory part isn't that hard.  I want God to get all the glory of my long as He does it my way, right?  As long as He consults me on what I want, and as long as He doesn't ask me to do anything too scary or inconvenient. 

BUT what if I gave up my way for God's way?  This way that is so alien to me.  This way that goes against my flesh and fights against my selfish heart.  What if "dying to self and raising to new life in Christ" isn't just something I say, but something I live daily?  What if...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I am weak...

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Oh how I am weak! How sensitive I am. How easily I am overwhelmed by decisions and the future and with that the danger that comes from trying to figure it out without letting God do that for me. I am weak when I need to hold everything together knowing I'm not big enough to do that. When I'm trying to make a decision and yet so afraid it will be the wrong one because I can't see into the future or when I'm paralyzed by whether or not I am going against God's plan. I am weak when my emotions take over and I can no longer see beyond them. I am weak when I want to move forward in something and yet I'm afraid I will fail. I am weak when God asks me for the pearls of my life, these pearls that I clutch in my hand so tightly. When He says, "Give Me your time. Give Me your money. Give Me your future. Give Me your marriage. Give Me your mind. Give Me your children. Give Me your womb. Give Me your past. Give Me your self-worth (now that's a big one). Give Me your love. Give Me your hope." I am weak when I try to be perfect. When I try to be all things to everyone. When I hold on to my pride. When I seek approval from everyone. I am weak when I am human.

And how many times have I expected for God to get tired of it? How many times have I prayed for forgiveness...AGAIN? How many times have I looked around the room of my life and expected that God has left the building? BUT, He never has. When faces have come and gone, there is One that has not. In fact, He's not just in the room of my life, He's holding up the room of my life. If He left, my room would crumble like sand.

So, I will delight in my weakness. For it is in my weakness that His strength shines. It is in my weakness that glory can be given to God. Because I am not my own. I do not belong to myself or to anything else God asks me to give to Him and as much as I squabble with Him over these pearls of mine, as many times as I give them away to Him and then take them back, He has always been there to receive them again. Because I belong to Him. My pearls belong to Him. My life belongs to Him. Thank you, Christ Jesus.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chick hatch - Day 1

How exciting!  We're going to hatch chickens!.  I told you guys, more chickens will always make me happy, happy. 

At this time, Lucy and Ethel (Reds) are each laying 1 egg a day.  We have one Easter Egger, Mama, that is old enough, but winter in preventing her from laying.  The others will be old enough by February, but again, winter. 

MawMaw (Superman's mom) is getting two dozen eggs a day via her Red Star flock plus a few Easter Eggers.  At this exact moment we have nine dozen of those eggs, in our fridge, for eating.  Obviously, we are well stocked with eating eggs.

Aunt N (MawMaw's aunt) has some Easter Eggers that are laying, as well.  Put all these Easters and Reds together and we have an overload of eggs.  What better way to handle an overload of eggs than to hatch a batch or two?

So, I'm starting my first hatch with 31 Easter Eggers, 4 reds from MawMaw, and 6 from my own backyard.  The eggs from my back yard make me especially happy since I know and am so fond of Lucy, Ethel, and Ace, the parents of my six little eggs.  I'm also collecting for our next hatch!

Here is Ace with Lucy and Ethel (red), Mama (grey), and Martha (black). 
These 4 are his main ladies.

We set the eggs on Saturday, January 10, so they should start peeping and pecking around January 30.  It takes twenty-one days for a chicken egg to hatch.  Both Saturdays, between beginning and end, we will candle the eggs to see what is going on inside.  To candle you simple pass a light through to see if what you have is a chicken baby.  I will definitely have a candling post, but in the meantime, it looks something like this:

In order to keep the eggs accessible and yet out of the way, we chose to put the incubator under our dinning table.  It is out of the way of drafts and easy to get to, in order to check on the turner, water levels, and temp.  We want each kiddo to have a big part in each step.  Here they are setting our first batch of chicken eggs, incubator style:



Putting our first few eggs in. (These being set are from
our own back yard.)

A full incubator is a happy incubator.

Lid on and little boys proud.

Now for the wait...



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The day has arrived.

Homeschooling, Day 1.

We have talked about this, worried about this, prayed about this, prepared for this, and worked for this.  Yet, somehow I'm still completely nervous. 

I spent all night in dreams about either public school or homeschool.  There are so many "what if's" and yet the excitement is there too. 

I didn't have to send my babies to school today, but I also have to teach them today. 

Sissy will not come home telling me about her friends' excessively "mature" (immature, but too grown up for them, may be a better description) conversations, but she may decide to tell me how to do my teaching job.

Logan will not come home with a stinky attitude, but he may have an attitude about doing math work.

Landon will not sit at the front door crying not to go to school, but he may cry when the big kids have one lesson to do and his lessons are different (that little guy does not like being different than his older siblings).

It is seems so strange to be nervous.  I mean, these are MY children, right?  I gave birth to them, correct?  This isn't a classroom full of strangers, true? 

Yes, yes, and true.

But I want to do right by them, ALWAYS!

And to be completely honest, I know that I am doing right by them in this.  I know, at least for this time, this is my purpose.  These guys are my calling and I am going forth, where feet may fail me, but the Lord will sustain me. 

I am thankful that I do not need to have it 100% figured out.  I have a tendency to want exactly that, but Jesus says I can trust in Him to have it all figured out.  I must do my part, but first, trust in Him. 

So, I put it in His capable hands.  I will continue to pray and ask for guidance.  I will study and make lesson plans and change when things aren't working (so difficult for me) and do my absolute best for our children and for our family, but for the parts I'm unsure about, I will trust in my Heavenly Father to guide me.

Lord, bless our homeschooling days.  Bless our family.  Keep our focus on you.  Amen.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Chickens and the Heavenly Father

In August we purchased fourteen, one day old chicks.  Cutest little peepers you ever did see, they were; three reds, three black, three laced, three Silkies, and two Crested Polish. 

The Crested Polish is where our story begins...
One day old chicks
One day old Crested Polish
Crested Polish "Rockstar", all feathered out

The female of our Crested pair started developing a scissor-beak shortly after she arrived here.  She made it for a while, growing as rapidly as the other, but as she grew so did the separation in her beak.  Eventually it prevented her from eating and drinking.  One morning we found her weak with the problem, unable to stand, walk, or even lift her head.  It was our first chicken sadness, putting that little girl down. 

Since then, though, everyone has been happy and healthy. 

Since our first batch of babes, we have added three pullets (young hen) Mama, Lucy, and Ethel and a  cockerel (young rooster) Ace, to our flock.  Two of the three hens (Lucy and Ethel) are giving us two fresh eggs a day and Ace, our mayor, keeps our ladies safe while entertaining himself with plenty of "relationship".  Bonus, Ace is just a funny guy and he is such a good protector of our ladies.  He's a good Roo!  

I don't know if you have had the privilege of watching a flock of chickens that you just happen to be extremely fond of, but let me tell you, they are wonderful.  God is amazing, isn't he?  He hasn't missed a thing. 

A week ago Rockstar, our second Crested Polish, much to our surprise and delight, started crowing.  So, instead of 16 ladies and one gentleman, we have 15 ladies and two gentlemen.  Still plenty of hens to go around for two males, but in the spirit of being a rooster, Ace gave Rockstar one week and then proceeded to take steps toward any competition to his mayor-ship. 

Then Rockstar went missing...with zero evidence of predator fowl play (ha ha, get it?). 

Which brings me to the real story:

Yesterday, after spending all morning on the computer, in front of the window that faces my backyard chickens (literally), I noticed that I had not seen our beloved Rockstar in a while.  He usually stays close to the flock, as Crested's are a skittish breed of bird, so I went outside to investigate and sure enough, he was gone.  I had noticed Ace chasing him around the yard earlier, but had not heard any kind of real squabble.  To a certain extent I like to let my ladies and gents work their own stuff out...pecking order and all.  If it got too bad, though, of course I'd intervene. 

Superman (my wonderful husband) is a swing shift worker.  He follows this crazy 12 hour swing shift that they call the DuPont schedule.  It can be a bit much at times, but he has a good job, that he likes, and is good at, so we won't complain too much here about that.  Besides, it means we can afford more chickens :).  He's "on nights" and I was a little panicked because I don't know the first thing about finding a rooster in a neighborhood.  Not that my Superman knows anything about that either, but as they say, two heads are better than one, and one of my heads was sleeping. 

When he's working nights he wakes at noon, I discovered Rockstar was missing around 11:30 and did what I could until noon, when I immediately bombarded a sleepy and groggy husband with bad chicken news. 

What did he do?

He put on his sweater, shoes, and grabbed his keys.  We jumped in his truck and preceded to search our neighborhood for a crazy-hair rooster with a collar. 

What didn't he do?

He did not complain.  Not once.  He didn't even hesitate. 

When we didn't find Rockstar in the neighborhood, he went out back and looked under and behind everything we could think of.  He got down on the ground more than once and lifted a number of things to see if Rockstar was hiding.  I could still see the sleepiness in my guy's eyes, from crawling out of a warm bed and plunging in the cold outdoors for this search and rescue, but never once did he grumble.  

When we didn't find Rockstar after a while, we took a break for lunch, but when I worried, seeing the animal control truck going down our road, that someone had called the city and they had come to take my Roo away, he stopped eating and we took a walk around the neighborhood and into the woods down the road from our house.

Now, my husband is a great guy.  I have never had any doubt about that.  And he would do whatever it took to make me happy, as I would him, but we have other chickens, we have another Roo.  Super and I could have said, "let's just leave him be and see if he comes back.  He shouldn't have flown out anyway."  But it doesn't matter how many we already have.  THIS Roo was missing and we needed to find him.  No questions or hesitations.  It's just part of having and caring for pets/animals/livestock, and as I watched my handsome guy crawling around on the ground, looking for THIS rooster, God, in His still small voice, whispered this to me...

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 and a host of other verses) and then this came to mind:

Our Heavenly Father looks for us, He calls for us, He searches for us, He doesn't get tired of us and He doesn't stop looking.  He doesn't get too distracted.  He doesn't get too bothered by us.  He wants us in His flock.  It matters not, how many times we have flown the coop.  It matters not, how many He already has in His flock.  It matters not, how He feels about those already in His flock.  He loves them all, but He wants us too.  When we go astray, He knows it instantly and He begins drawing us back.  He begins to make us His again.

We didn't find our Roo yesterday, but this morning he was back and stuck in our fence with a badly injured leg and wing.  The theory is he flew out of the yard, by accident, trying to escape Ace's meanness, then in the night tried to fly back over and didn't make it. 

Again, I needed help.  This time I had to wake Superman, after he worked all night, for a bit of help getting the Roo caged and inside.  Again, Super didn't hesitate.  He hopped out of bed and ran outside to help.  He gathered that injured, scared, and flapping rooster up in his arms and held him in the safest place he could have been while I prepared the "hospital" cage. 

A scared Rockstar and Superman

Warm Epsom Salt soak 

He seemed the most comfortable here

Chicken sling to keep weight off of his leg

Again, it struck me...

 Our Heavenly Father does the same for us.  He rescues us, He cares for us, He meets us where we are.  He doesn't tell us to fix our problems and then come to Him.  He meets us where we are, stuck and injured by the world and He draws us into Himself and takes us in His arms where we belong.  He doesn't consider that we got ourselves into the mess to begin with.  He's just happy we've been found...and He begins to heal us IMMEDIATELY.

After some time, we believe Rockstar will make a full recovery.  He will likely never be completely the same again.  A little limp from his time outside of our protective gates and when we return him to the flock, in about four weeks, his wings will be clipped, but there is no reason to suggest he will not have a wonderful and productive life at Happy C's Farm. 

A little like us, maybe, when we've returned to our Heavenly Father's protective and loving arms.