The Macs

Monday, February 23, 2009

cora's celebration service

It's up! You can watch the video of Cora's celebration service by going to the Grace website. It is under the "Grace Updates" section. Thank you Adam for working so hard to get this up and running!

Also I posted the video below that played at the beginning of Cora's service. It should be on the full service video too.

***I'm not sure why the video is not showing the whole picture. I might have to have my friend Julie (who posted it for me) help me fix that tomorrow. Sorry!***


Blogger Utecht Family said...

You are more than welcome Joel and Jess! I hope many people go to the website to see this fantastic service. It will always live in my memory.

February 23, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

We are just praying like crazy for you to have some peac in your heart.

Thinking of you,

February 23, 2009 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 23, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Praying every single day for peace over you and your family. :)

February 23, 2009 at 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came here from another site, and want you to know that I pray for our Lord to grant your peace and comfort.


February 23, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I know you have no idea who I am, but I want you to know how much you are in my heart and prayers the past few weeks. I have kept up with your blog and your sweet baby for a while now, and as a parent, I cannot imagine going through what you have gone through.

Your faith is amazing and you are such a testimony of God's grace. I continue to pray for your family daily. Thank you for your strength and wisdom. It is a blessing to those you don't even know.

February 23, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I lift your name in prayer each day...we are strangers yet being mothers to a little girl somehow makes our hearts known to one another. Your Faith is a gift to the world as was your Cora. How much more beautiful Heaven is now that Cora has returned and I ask Jesus to fill your heart moment by moment. I held my 16mo. old's little hand today and as I stroked her chubby little fingers my heart literally ached for you and the sheer anguish I imagine you must feel at the loss of such an innocent gesture as holding a little chubby hand. Cora has reminded me that moments such as that are the most significant in our lives and to be treasured. God Bless you both and your entire family.
A Mommy in Virginia.

February 23, 2009 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Mike, Chelsea and Co. said...

Thank you for continuing to share Cora's story with the world and for being a great example of faith. We're still praying for you guys.

February 24, 2009 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger JChevais said...

I came here through the article on Etsy.

I cannot even imagine.

And while your whirlwind at the hostpital left me speechless, I can tell you why (probably) the video is not showing properly: your blog post width is too narrow for the image. If you go into your layout (the HTML part), you can tweak the wideness of your blogposts. Or, you can tweak the html/javascript code of the video by lowering the width (but don't forget to adjust the height by the same percentage).

Other than that, I admire your courage. Really.

February 24, 2009 at 4:03 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

My heart continues to hurt for you. I cried through the video...thank you for sharing it. Even though we are strangers your sweet little girl has won our family over. My prayers are w/ you daily!! Your strength in Christ is amazing...I watch/look at pictures of Cora and my heart aches and then I read your words and witness you resting in Him and His promises...what a testimony.

February 24, 2009 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Misty Rice said...

It was a beautiful service and glorious celebration. Thank you so much for continuing to share with us. Although I never met you, I call you friend.... and God says through him you are my sister and my brother. I love you both just as my family. Cora is a legacy, and has already made me a better mother to my two children. Your strength, courage and faith.... has made me draw closer to God. I have asked him several times since getting to know you guys and Cora, how can I be more like HIM and be more like you two. How can I be a better mother, better wife, a better friend, a better servant and how can I deepen my faith, and grow my love for HIM.

I even briefly spoke about this with my 8 year old little boy this morning before going to school. I have shared Cora's story with him. In hopes to help him better understand why I make it such a big deal (and always have) to kiss and say good bye always to his sister, parents and people he loves.

She truly is beautiful.

Just to show you how much Cora has touched my life... and that I really do think of her every single day.

Just this last weekend, my husband and I went to the park for the first time as a family with Morgan, we laid on a blanket and had a picnic. I took Morgan and placed her in a swing for the very first time and as I began to swing her, the wing blowing her soft baby hair, she was smiling as big as her little face could smile.... and at that very moment... I saw Cora's face looking back at me, as if she was smiling at you.

I think I would have enjoyed watching Morgan that moment on the swing, but through Cora, I was able to appreciate it much more, and was thankful for it MORE THAN EVER!

Thank you over and over again.....

As the pastor said in the service... You have done well mama and daddy. I am honored to witness this kind of love and faith. Now I am going to get off the computer and go take my little girl to the park today, something I have done by myself with her yet.

God Bless!!!

February 24, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger molly said...

Cora is absolutely beautiful! Your faith is inspiring and you are in my prayers.

I'd like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Molly and I am helping Julie, along with Heather with the Etsy benefit sale. I have also talked with an Etsy artist who has agreed to create a special picture for you. When it is completed Sarah wants to be able to mail it to you. If you would please contact me via email so that I can get your shipping address that would be fantastic.


February 24, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

jess she is just so beautiful.

julie did such a good job on that cora video...what a gift to cherish forever.
how nice that adam could get the service up on the site. it was such a God honoring service.

praying for you today. :)

February 24, 2009 at 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As tears continue to stream down my face.

February 24, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

It was such a beautiful service and I had to smile several times at the little details I noticed you put in. :) Jennie Moran was there with me (Haley's mom) and we both kept saying, "Only Jessica would think of that."

I did take my camera to the service and snapped a few photos (if you ever want them I'll get them to you) but was relieved to see that there were video cameras there. I just really wanted it to be documented for you, in case that day ended up being a blur in your memory.

About the video below, it's very easy to change your blog width if you want to. I have mine set wide to eliminate that extra space at the sides. If you go to the dashboard - then layout - then pick new template - then minima stretch (it's the fourth box). That's what I have on mine. It won't change anything wonky, just widen everything and your video should show properly.

God bless you today! If you can, enjoy the sunshine, and get some more crafting done. :)

February 24, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Oh my word, I have no idea how I came upon your blog but I am sitting here now with tears streaming down my face. I am stunned and so saddened to follow your heartbreaking story, such a beautiful little baby girl. Safe now in the arms of Jesus, pain and suffering now a forgotten thing for her. Please know that I am thinking of you all the way over here in Ireland. Prayers will be said and candles lit in our church for Cora and your family.

February 24, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I wanted to let you know that Cora's story is spreading through the blogosphere like wildfire. I read about her on Overeducated Mommy's blog and I have a post going up tonight about your beautiful girl.

February 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Bee Frugal said...

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through, but heart and prayers are with you and your whole family. I really hope you and your family find some peace and comfort in your hearts!

February 24, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Sugarplum Creations Blog said...

Prayers for peace for your family. As a mommy, I just cannot imagine what you must be going through. Know that there are so many praying for you. Your sweet Cora has touched many.


February 24, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

The video is absolutely beautiful!! What a gorgeous baby girl! I am sure you will treasure that video forever. Thanks for sharing it with us!

February 24, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
Joel and Jess, your story has been a light to the nations -literally! May God's Name be glorified. You are precious and dear to us and ever in our prayers. Allen and Debby

February 24, 2009 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beauty! Thanks for sharing.

All of your faithful blog followers are sooo glad you two are doing as well as you are. I'm sure it's tough, but thank God for the love of your friends and family.

I'm pumped to see what you and your momma are going to debut on Etsy (<--- isn't this amazing?!) The Cora Playground will be a small castle at the rate this is going! :) Fun for kiddos for years to come!

With hugs and daily prayers for you and yours,
Nichole in Tulsa

February 24, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

Thank you for sharing this special service with those of us who have come to "know" and love your family and sweet Cora. Like so many others, I find myself thinking of you often- and at the most random times and I know that it's God stirring my heart to pray for you. Cora's story is spanning the globe- I cannot believe how many people are commenting from other countries! Your faith and honesty are a gift to many. Praying that God would continue to be near and that the people who know you best would know just how to love on you in every moment.

February 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Chere said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with me. She has touched my heart like a storm. My thought and prayers are with you. Please cling to each other and hold each other tight. Do not let the evils of the world pull you apart. Take comfort in each others arms. I would like to stay in touch with you and your husband. May God's love cover you in the days ahead. I get a smile in my heart knowing that Cora is an angel with the Lord.

February 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Desha said...

I started praying for Cora when Angie (Bring the Rain) told us about your story. I love the pictures of her beautiful baby face. My heart so aches for you as you walk through this, and I want you to know that I will still be praying for you. I only wish I could do more.

February 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your precious daughter with us. I pray that God's peace would inhabit your lives, as you try to move foward.

February 24, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Dancing Queen said...


i feel so honored to be able to watch those precious memories you now hold so close & dear!


February 24, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Candy said...

I saw your story on Etsy, and I have a shop that I am listing items whose proceeds will be donated to your daughter's playground project.
I just cried and cried as I read the article and have looked on your blog a bit. My heart just aches for you, but I feel that you are strong people who have a great faith. Day by day.
What an adorable baby girl! Hang in there, my prayers are with you!

February 24, 2009 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

We love your family. Thank you for sharing Cora and this journey with us. God bless you guys.


February 24, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a complete stranger, but nonetheless, want to say how very sorry I am about your precious Cora. I really have no words... She is beautiful and I know your hearts must be breaking. It seems like you are holding tight to God's promise that he is always with us...and your doing a darn fine job at it too! I just want you to know that I will have you in my prayers. As a mother myself, I really cannot imagine what you are going through and I don't know that I could be as strong as you have been.
God Bless your entire family!

February 24, 2009 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Sitting here sobbing again, just like at the service.... don't know what to say..... but.... love you and are praying for you!

miss you!


February 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend who lost her 11 month old and then her son later, has a web site in their memory. She said it was really good therapy and she never wants to forget.

February 24, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sitting hear with tears streaming down my face as I read your story. It makes me realize that our children are given to us by god for a time, but they are really his. God bless you and Joel and Cora.

February 24, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Standing in the Rain said...

Oh I'm just praying so hard for you both. I truly can't even imagine how quickly your life has changed, the ground slipped from underneath you.

God holds you even now, during this most difficult time. He holds you, and He holds sweet baby Cora.

February 24, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger The McBrayer family said...

You are a precious couple. My heart aches for you, literally aches. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for sharing your faith. What an inspiration. Praying daily for you in Atlanta-

February 24, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cora is such a beautiful little girl. Hold on! God will get you through this difficult time. I know what I am talking about - on November 15, 2002 my little boy, Jacob, passed away unexpectedly. He was just 2 years old. Many many times I screamed and cried and railed at God but he kept a hold of me and gave me the strength to keep moving. My prayers are with you. Peace and love,

February 24, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger The Mumaw's said...

Beautiful showcase of her life. I continue to pray for you daily. Love from Ohio

February 24, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger KKJD1 said...

I now come by your blog each and everyday. You are so much in my thoughts and prayers. You are all such a blessing. Just looking at little Cora's beautiful smile puts a smile on my face. Blessings, Karen

February 24, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger queenbee said...

God bless you and your family. I praise God for your faith and the strength that he has given and will continue to give and hope that you will continue to be comforted by your friends and family in life and in "blogland".

I loved looking at your photo montage and the beautiful pictures of Cora. I noticed in the picture at min 5:33 it looks like a hand is above her and she is looking at someone. It looks as if its actually Gods hand over her. Maybe i'm just seeing things, but it looks so clear to me.

February 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your email I'd like to ask you some questions.


God Bless You and Praying for You!

February 24, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say Thank you for allowing those of us who do not know you to share your story. I was truely blessed by being able to watch the video of Cora's Memorial Service. I am praying for you each day that you will become stronger and know that God is awesome. Love to you all!
In Christ,
Chris and Mandi Ridenour

February 24, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you. I am not sure how I found your page but I have been reading for a bit now. We lost our daughter to cancer one year ago - she was just over 2.

February 24, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your story and the beautiful life on Cora on etsy. I believe I read your whole blog and I haven't cried so hard in such a long time. I smiled and laughed and bawled. There is nothing I can say to help or to take your pain away but just know that that there are so many strangers out there thinking about all of you and praying for your family and beautiful little Cora.

I can't wait to see those beautiful dresses on etsy!!!

Much love to you and yours,

Crystal in Kentucky

February 24, 2009 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us...people you've never met. I have followed Cora's story since she was diagnosed, and my family has been praying for her and you every day since. Cora is beautiful! I so loved seeing her smiling face in those wonderful pictures. I want you to know that Cora has changed my heart as a be more patient and adoring of my own daughter. I thank God for the time you were able to have with Cora, and for how your family has been a witness to others through this tragedy. What a sweet time it will be when you see Cora again! I pray that God's peace will become stronger for you each and every day.


February 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger jen christians said...

The video left me with no words. Tears streaming down my face. Precious moments, Priceless memories and Perfect. I can't imagine the holes in your hearts. I hope that in time that hole won't be as deep. I know Cora's memory is alive. I can't wait to see that playground. Still praying for you. I will be for a very long time.

February 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful life, living on. Thank you for sharing. Cora reminds me to cherish my children. I will continue to pray!!!!

February 24, 2009 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I am so glad to see you are posting again...I know that life can't be normal but I know that God is giving you the strength to do what you can. You guys are in our prayers.

I am an anxious to see this Etsy stuff you are working on! I buy more than I sell on it! ; )

February 24, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

My heart broke to read your blog so I can't even imagine how it felt to live through your loss. Your faithfulness to the one true and living God is an absolute inspiration to me. I pray that His peace cover your family and thank you so much for sharing your precious daughter Cora with us all.

February 24, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Tessa said...

i am praying still for your family, she has touched my heart.
I don't know how far your family lives but i would like to invite you guys to our football game called TACKLE THE CURE in Collinsville Oklahoma. This game is fire/ems vs police, they play to raise money for the cure of cancer. it is a great game for a great cause. if you guys would like more information on it please contact me or visit my blog and scroll down on the side bar is the tab that has all the information and a website for the main sponser

will always be thinking of your family

February 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the many who have been following your story. I am praying and daily pleading for grace and peace for you, but I also know that you are feeling such grief and hurt and pain that at some moments you probably feel swallowed, overwhelmed, engulfed. I don't know if anyone has given you this website or not, but you may find some comfort here: It's a site for babylost mamas. You may not be ready for it yet--or ever--but I thought I would share it with you. Also, I feel like I should say that despite the fact that so many people have been blessed by your life and that of Cora's, please remember that you will go through the stages or grief, which include, among other things, anger. It's OK if and when you get to that point. Please don't feel like you have to be such a pillar of faith in your grief that you can't be human. Part of faith is stumbling through the darkness. And sometimes it's only by groping through the shadows that we see shafts of light.

February 24, 2009 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Praying for you and thinking of you!!!!!! :o)

February 24, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh sweet jess...I watched and wept and prayed. I know that cora has been held by our jesus and that is all I know of comfort. I pray he shows you small mercys every moment, of comfort and hope. stacy

February 24, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger jen said...

happened here from another site ... had to. i have a cora too.
i am so very very sorry that you lost your little cora. thank you for giving me another excuse to go and kiss her little head tonight.
peace to you and your family.

February 24, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger lgraves said...

still praying for you guys.

February 24, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel and Jess,
Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for you everyday.

February 24, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger mamamia said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family. I have hurt for you over the past few weeks. Your bravery and transparency are healing balm for many.

Love in Messiah,

February 24, 2009 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thank you so much for sharing Cora's Celebration of Life with us. I was so proud and honored to "celebrate" Cora even though I have never met you guys. She is such a beautiful little girl and my heart aches for your loss. You are in my thoughts so many times throughout the day, every time I look at my sweet little boy I am reminded of your sweet Cora and how precious life really is and how blessed we are that God has entrusted us with such precious gifts. My heart breaks for you daily and I continue to pray that God will allow me to take some of the grief for you.
"Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ"
Galatians 6:2
No parent should ever have to bury their child :( You guys are truly amazing and such an inspiration to many many people. Cora has touched so many people and has forever changed lives around the world, including mine.
Hugs and prayers,
Heather~ On the Homefront

February 24, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

I haven't watched the video yet, but I have to say I think and pray for y'all often. That song by Jeremy Camp, "There will be a day", reminds me of y'all so much. I cannot imagine your pain. I pray that God will heal you, give you peace and comfort.

February 24, 2009 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger me and my boys said...

we are still thinking of you and praying for you daily!
you guys are amazing.

sending love from california

February 24, 2009 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I found your story a week ago and I have thought about and prayed for your family every day since. Cora’s memorial service was very moving and the slide show is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. Your precious daughter has touched so many lives....I will never forget her adorable smile.

I love all of the cute stuff on Etsy for Cora’s playground and I’m looking forward to seeing your creations!

Thinking of you in Montana

February 24, 2009 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Last night I watched Cora celebration and I was in tears through all of it. My kids came and asked me why I was crying and I said that I was watching Cora 's celebration, They said Oh can we watch it too .It was beautiful . We are strangers but when we mentionne Cora every one in this house know and love Cora. We are praying for your family and want to thank you for sharing with us. And thank you for changing us . Hugs to both of you.

February 25, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading about precious Cora and your family for several weeks. I cannot express how sorry I am for your great loss. I am in awe of your continued faith and trust in God. I hope you continue to keep this blog updated. I know that God has big plans for not only using Cora's life but also your lives. I stand firm in the knowledge that Cora is with Jesus and that you will one day see her again--what a glorious day that will be! Love and prayers are being sent your way each and every day!

-Marsha in Virginia

February 25, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

You continue to amaze me through your strength and incredible faith. God is good. And how beautiful is the body of Christ! It's been a privilege to join together with other believers in lifting you up before our gracious Lord. We most likely will never know each other on this earth but I know there will be a day when I'll get to meet you & Cora in heaven. I'll save my hugs for then and for now will continue to pray and sew for Cora's Playground. Thank you for sharing her with us all.

February 25, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to reach out to the Maxey Family. They've been down the same path you're on... twice.

Wishing grace for your hearts....

February 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger VR said...

I am seething inside at the cruelty of life, that such a sweet innocent should be taken by an insidious disease such as cancer. Part of my anger is a sudden realization that my own three little girls are vulnerable, therefore I am vulnerable too. Being a parent, especially of young children, is wonderful. Don't give up, even though it breaks your heart anew every day. The good Lord is bouncing your little girl on his knee and delighting in her giggles as you read this...

February 25, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have thought of you, cried for you, and prayed for you many times each day since I heard of your story several weeks ago. And how this mommy heart aches for you! I pray that somehow, God would allow us to carry this burden along with you - that we could share your grief and help the load to feel lighter. Most importantly, I'm thankful to know that HE will carry you.
I've never met you, and I might not ever meet you, but your little Cora and your faith have changed me more than anything else in my 31 years of life. Thank you for sharing your lives with us all.

February 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. I stumbled onto your sight from another, and just want to express my regret at the loss of your BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL daughter. I know the interim will be hard, but you WILL see her again. May the Lord bless and comfort you and your family with peace.

February 25, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Courtney Kay said...

What a beautiful service. I just finished watching it. You are so brave.

February 25, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that this is a hard question, but most of see like Cora was a part of us and i just cant believer how she was doing good and then all of sudden she passed onto a better place. I hope one day you fell like sharing what happend to this little miracle of god.

February 26, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Very sweet service! How true the many lives she has touched in her sweet little life! Thanks for letting her reach out to so many people! (We farm in South Georgia, way south) From one farm to another...we love ya & are praying!

February 26, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Townsendpartyof5 said...

How is it that I came to find your blog? How did God deliver me - and the THOUSANDS of other people -to find Cora? I can't even remember what caused me to stumble upon your blog and travel this journey with you so many weeks ago, when that fateful visit to the pediatrician turned into God's lesson for life.

I can only believe that the power of Cora's lesson - taught through you both, Joel & Jess, has unexplainably and irreversibly changed lives. THAT is the mystery of God's love for us to know him. You are an inspiration to me. Your faith and freedom to speak of that faith has brought me a new understanding of God's love for us. I will always be grateful to your family, to Cora. Thank you for allowing the horrors of the unthinkable nightmare for any parent to be seen though your eyes of faith, hope, and for a deeper meaning in this life.... and the belief and hope that life will go on... somehow...

February 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an 18-month old daughter and I just read your story. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am. Your faith in God is inspiring.

March 10, 2009 at 12:30 AM  

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