I apologize for not posting in such a long time. Honestly, I have not had any urge to write in the past month. My heart has just not been into writing, so I decided to not force myself to do it. However, as I was washing dishes this morning, with the sun streaming into my kitchen window, humming along to some of my favorite songs on Pandora, I felt that desire fill my heart. The words just started falling into place, and I knew that it was time to take out my trusty computer once again. My hands feel foreign on the keyboard as I type this now. Yet it feels so right! I am so glad that God is filling my heart once again with the words to type.
This past week, Josh and I went on a vacation to Florida! It was such a blessing to both of us! After going through so much during the past year, we knew that it was important to take time for us. We needed to refocus, relax, and just enjoy being together once again. So we spent 7 beautiful days soaking up the sunshine in Florida!
On our flight down to Florida, we saw this beautiful sight outside of our plane window. It was stunning! It was amazing to be so high above the clouds, seeing the sunshine from a new perspective. I couldn't help but think of my precious Caroline as we flew so high above the ground. In the beauty of the moment, I thought about how she now views the world. Maybe this is how she looks down at us from heaven? I will never even begin to truly guess what it is like to be in heaven, but I can tell you at that moment, I felt so very close to her.
It is so hard to describe all of the thoughts and feelings that I felt throughout the week. There were so many ups and downs. Overall, it was such a joy filled and happy vacation. We embraced every moment, and enjoyed seeing the sights that are so unfamiliar to us Michigan winter people. For example...just seeing green trees and grass put a huge smile on my face! Oh how nice to know that there are still places where there is life growing and blossoming! Also, being able to wear shorts and flip flops was pretty amazing too! You don't realize how much extra time it takes to get ready in the winter with all of the layers we need to put on in order to keep warm. I was actually always ready early, which never happens for me!
These are a few pictures of the beautiful sunsets that we were able to watch during our time in Florida. There is truly something so special about watching the sun set over the enormous ocean. It reminded me of God's faithfulness to us. As I reflect back over the past nine months, I realize that He has never once left us alone. Standing back and thinking about all of the really tough moments we have been through, I realized just how much I have relied on His strength. Truthfully, on my own I never would have made it this far. Yet I know that He has given me exactly what I need to get through the moment, to get through the day, to get through the month. I cannot believe that it has already been nine months since we said goodbye to our precious Caroline. I miss her more with each passing day. So much we have missed, so much I wish we could have shared. But as we sat on the beach with the sun slowly sinking into the horizon, I knew that she was watching alongside of me. I know that she was with us on our whole vacation. I know that she was enjoying the special moments along with us. I know that she was smiling as we swam in the pool, and laughing as we had a wave wash over us while we were sitting on the beach (in our clothes!). During our trip, as I cried tears of missing her, and wishing I was the mom taking my sweet little girl into the pool for the first time, I knew that she was there, that she was so close to me. During our trip, as I wished that I was the mom pushing my little girl in a stroller, and watching her explore the sand on her toes, I know that God was holding me close. He was softly whispering His promises into my ear, reminding me that I am never alone.
I am so incredibly thankful for God's faithfulness. As the 17th comes each month, my heart misses my daughter all the more. Yet it is also a good reminder to me, that He continues to bless us, provide for us, and love us, more than we will ever know. As much as I wish I was celebrating the nine months of milestones, love, and fun that I had been able to share with Caroline, I know that I am able to rejoice in her wholeness in heaven. I know that God is holding her close, and that He is also holding me close. It makes the 17th of each month, so incredibly bittersweet. But I am so thankful for the constant reminders of God's faithfulness to us!
We had an amazing trip, and it was such a blessing to get away for a little while. We made so many fun memories that we will cherish forever! I am so thankful that we had this opportunity.
I also wanted to say a huge thank you to each person who remembers Caroline on the 17th of each month. It is always a really tough day for me, and it means the world to me when I get a little text or note reminding me that our daughter is still thought of and loved. So thank you to everyone who takes the time to pray for us, and remember us and Caroline in such a special way!