The Macs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I am having a hard time believing it is December. Part of me is excited because that means Baby Mac will be here so soon. Part of me is scared because I know our lives are about to change again--even though it is going to be a welcome change. Part of me is so sad because my heart doesn't feel in the "Christmas spirit". I don't want to face Christmas without Cora. But for the most part I am completely overwhelmed by all of these emotions. I am completely overwhelmed by everything that we will face this December.

Joel is always so wise and reminds me to take each day at a time. God will provide the strength that I need to get through each day, no matter which emotion I am facing. So that is what I am trying to do. This December is going to be so different. But because of His mercy and grace I will make day at a time.

So, for today...

I spent the morning at Bible study surrounded by a group of women who have been so supportive and understanding as I have walked through loosing Cora this year. We are reading a great book on marriage. It is incredibly challenging to me as a wife and makes me so thankful for my sweet hubby.

I brought Joel some lunch out in the field. Like any good farm wife I picked it up from Subway.

I spent the afternoon finishing up my Etsy orders. Everything is in the mail! Your Christmas items should be arriving soon. Please let me know if I overlooked anything. My pregnancy brain has been a little forgetful lately.

And I got out my first Christmas decoration. I don't think that I am going to decorate much for Christmas. Joel and I usually get a real Christmas tree but I think we are going to skip that this year. Partially because it is too hard and partially because the baby will be here shortly after Christmas. We have so many Christmas memories with Cora that just are too hard to do by ourselves this year.

I bought this advent calendar at an after Christmas sale last year. I love it and thought it would be so fun to use with Cora this year. I was so sad to find it, knowing that she wasn't here to share in the excitement with me, but just had to get it out. I thought she would have loved opening the little doors with me each day.

So, I have been trying to think of ways to "celebrate" differently this year. I think I am going to put a verse in each door for Joel and I to read each day. A reminder of why we can still have JOY this Christmas season even without Cora here with us. We can rejoice in our Savior who was born so that we can have LIFE. What an incredible gift.

One day at a time...
I've already almost made it through the first day of December.


Blogger Heather | Cookie Mondays said...

I think that's a great idea for the advent boxes! Hang in there :)

December 1, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Todd and Courtney said...

So I think of you guys every single day, like I know you personally. It's weird because I feel like I do know you, I feel like we're friends, I feel like I cry all the time because I miss Cora too, I feel like I pray for you every single day and wonder how you're doing. I'm so happy that I promptly got on etsy at the time you posted the items. Now my little Lauren will get to keep her Christmas chenille burpies forever in honor of Cora.

December 1, 2009 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

Your idea of putting a verse behind each door of the advent calendar is so great! What a wonderful way to stay in the moment. For our first Christmas without our son we leaned on our hospice counselor for advice. He suggested we start some new traditions that could include Samuel. Ways to honor his part in our lives still. It made the season so much more bearable.

I am praying for peace for you and Joel this month. God will help you take this month one minute at a time, and before you know it you'll have the whole month behind you.

Blessings to you, Joel, baby number 2, and your sweet Cora.

December 1, 2009 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous annie said...

Just want to say you both are doing an amazing job of putting one foot in front of the other each day. It can be hard to see the JOY through the sadness of the moment. Walking in faith as you do is incredible. God is good.
I think of your family often.

December 1, 2009 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Maybe you could put up a small "Cora Tree" in her honor and hang little things on it that remind you of her. That might just be too hard though, huh. Praying for you guys this Christmas! I've been feeling sorry for myself today, but now I'm going to count my blessings. Love and hugs!!

December 1, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger The McBrayer family said...

You are such an amazing person. I enjoy reading your blog- you are a true inspiration to me as a Christian. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. (My blog is private- but if you ever search your "comments" and look at other peoples blogs- I will be more than happy to send you an invitation to our blog, not that it's exciting. I just know that I got a comment once and could not figure out who left it and it was a little strange). So- anyway- I know that's random. I really just wanted to say you are in my prayers often as you and Joel walk this difficult road. You are an amazing person- know that you are touching lives.
Kelli in Atlanta

December 1, 2009 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Courtney Kay said...

love the advent boxes... you are thought of and prayed for

December 1, 2009 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I love your ideas for your advent Calender. Also my husband and I had to read that book as part of our premarital counseling. I loved it. I probably should read through it again. Our 5 year anniversary is coming up!

Any way I am continuing to pray for you this Christmas season. May God grant you peace and the ability to find joy in Him.

December 1, 2009 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I think the advent idea is a wonderful one. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers often.

December 1, 2009 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger MomMom said...

Enjoy your blog and am inspired by your faith. Your husband sounds like a man of wisdom and I'm thankful you have each other for support. I know the holidays without Cora must be so difficult. My best friend lost her daughter 10 years ago and Christmas is an especially difficult time for her. I love your idea for the advent calendar. We're expecting a granddaughter not long after Baby Mac is due. I can't wait to hear about Baby Mac. Praying for you----

December 1, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Lynn Jones said...

You are such an inspiration--for reasons you never wanted to be I am sure. But this soon-to-arrive baby is going to have the sweetest Mama. May God bless you as you go moment-by-moment through this month that can be so challenging.

December 1, 2009 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Heather said...


WOW!! You have such a great perspective and you are able to turn a horrible situation into Praise. You are trading your sorrow for the jOY of the Lord...Yes Lord Yes Lord Yes Yes Lord!

You are amazing sister! Still praying for you sweet heart!


December 1, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Micah said...

This was such a sweet post, Jess. Thinking of you and praying for you, as always. By the grace of God, you will make it through.

December 1, 2009 at 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

I think of you guys and pray for you every day. Reading your blog made me think of the footsteps poem/story - I feel like December will definitely be a time you will look back and only see one set of footsteps as God carries you through this hard time.

December 1, 2009 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

You are still in my prayers. Maybe each day after you read a verse, remember a happy Cora memory, that way she is still part of the advent box tradition. Also, think of a way to pray for the new baby each day and then the new baby is included as well. I will continue to keep you and your sweet family in my prayers.

December 1, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

Beautiful idea for the advent box!! My heart aches for you and Joel, but rejoices in the truth and power in God's promises!! Prayers:)

December 1, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Allie in AZ said...

Praying for you, sweetie. I am so inspired by your resolve to soldier on. I know the hurt must suck all of the breath out of you sometimes. I hope it helps to write and share with others who will lift you up in prayer. Hoping that this month has small glimmers of hope and joy and celebration for you.

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. My heart is with you.

~Allie in AZ

December 1, 2009 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Praying for you this season, and looking forward to hearing about Baby Mac's arrival!

December 1, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Barclay Kathryn said...

Great book, our small group just went through it too!

December 1, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Suzi K said...

That is a great idea. Thinking of you...and still praying...

December 1, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I pray you continue to find things to be thankful for every day throughout December, Jess. And, God bless Joel for being such an awesome husband to you. We began our advent calendar tradition this past year, and it's something that I've been so looking forward to. It breaks my heart to realize that as I pulled mine out with excitement, you unpackaged yours with heartache. That's a wonderful idea to have a verse of scripture for each day. Perhaps divide up the days and you and Joel each leave special notes for each other. I pray the Lord would continue to fill you and give you hope.

December 1, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Another idea for the advent boxes: Put in a memory of sweet Cora that will make you smile. :)

Still praying for you, Joel, and baby Mac. You are truly an inspiration of what a Christian should be, and your faith is something we should all aspire to!

December 1, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Al's World said...

Praying blessings over you!

December 1, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger G. said...

You are such a blessing.

December 1, 2009 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger The Fishers said...

Keeping you in our prayers this Christmas season. What a wonderful idea to add scriptures to your advent calendar!

December 1, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

you never cease to amaze me with your strength and hope.

December 1, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Two Little Tots said...

i have been following your blog for a while now, but have never posted. but, tonight, just reading your post made me cry.

i am praying for you and your family during this holiday season.

December 1, 2009 at 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Jess you take my breath away with your outlook and bravery. By now you will have made it through all of the first day of December, well done. Hugs, c

December 2, 2009 at 3:54 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I have followed your blog since before you lost Cora last year. You have been so encouraging as a follower of christ! I have prayed and continue to pray for you, your family, and your new baby. Thank you for sharing your faith!
Carla.. in Colorado

December 2, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Just praying for you; praying for peace, praying for love, praying for wonderful memories.
I love the verse idea!

December 2, 2009 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Sallye said...

So how about we, family included. Give you some of the scriptures that have really touched our hearts in the past year. Print them out, fold them up, and ramdomly place a piece of paper behind each door?

Just in case it sounds good. I will give you the verse that has carried me over the past year.

Psalms 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge. Until these calamites have passed by. NKJV.

December 2, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger jbreeden said...

You are an amazing woman.

December 2, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys! Your story has touched my life like nothing else. I am so proud of you guys and I don't even know you. I think a verse in each of the boxes is a wonderful idea for the advent calendar.

December 2, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

You've made it through the first day of this month and you'll make it through the next 30 :) And I think the verse idea is a GREAT one!!!!! :)

December 2, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I wish I had words to comfort but know that I am thinking of you and Joel and your whole family. Day 1...done.

December 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger MK said...

I am praying for you. It's hard to be so happy when your heart aches.

December 2, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I Love your Advent idea! Praying for your comfort during this difficult season.

December 2, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Celine said...

I have just recently found your blog, and will continue to follow along. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am in awe of how beautiful your daughter Cora is. I just know her beauty is radiating through heaven.
I love the idea of putting bible verses in the advent boxes. Your faith is inspiring. I pray that you will continue to draw strength from the Lord every day.

December 2, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Abby Johns said...

I lost my mother to cancer 2 days after Christmas almost 4 years ago. Every year I struggle a little around Christmas time. I know that losing a parent and losing a child are different, but I just want you to know that I am thinking about you and your family. I am praying for you every time I rock my little girl to sleep. You, and others going through similar situations, remind me just how blessed I am to have a healthy child. Thank you for continuing to share so openly with the world.

December 2, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I noticed all the little things in your pictures - I LOVE your purse (dont' worry I'm miles away, altough I wish I was closer to get one like it) and the EAT sign behind it, soo cute. I love the little advent calendar too. It would be exciting to see little children pulling opening all the little doors. Putting verses in there is a very cool idea. Maybe start a new tradition that you read a Christmas verse everyday, even after baby Mac is here. I was reading the comments as well and I like the idea of a Cora tree, altough here in Utah, Primary Childrens hospital hosts The Festival of Trees evey year where people decorate and donate trees and all the profits go to the hospital to help the children and their families with whatever they need. It's a huge fesitval with hundreds of trees and has branched into wreaths and gingerbread houses as well. It's a tradition of our family to attend evey year (23 years now in a row). You could have a new tradition of decoraing one for Cora, I can see the pink and gree now. I don't know if there is something similar in your area, if not I bet you have a bunch of gals that would help you start one.

December 2, 2009 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I thought I'd leave a link to the Utah Festival of Trees in case anyone is intrested. Enjoy!

December 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and wishing you a calm December. You are an amazing person and your relationship with Joel and God is so inspiring. Hang in there and as your husband said, one day at a time.

December 2, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Still praying. Still thankful for you both and your ability to share the light of God's love.

With love and prayers,

December 2, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger E Truitt said...

I don't know you personally, just stumbled upon your blog one day and felt attached to your story instantly. I am so very very sorry for your loss. I have always loved the name Cora and have often thought if I have another little girl that I would name her Cora. Your Cora takes my breath away when I see her picutres...such a beauty. I think about you a lot and say prayers for you and your family. I am so glad that God will be blessing you with a new addition to your family to love. Your faith is amazing and I believe you still have so much to do and give in your life. And, Cora is so proud of you and will continue to watch over you and her new brother or sister. God Bless You.

December 2, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lurked here forever. I can't wait to see photos of your new baby, that baby is so blessed.

December 2, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Cristin said...

Prayers for you always~

December 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

bless your heart. i think of you daily. your photo is on my fridge for a reminder to pray for you and your husband!

after my baby passed away my mom got me a sweet locket with her name engraved on back. whenever i wear it it makes me smile and it feels like i've got all my girls with me :)

praying for you to be able to take one day at a time xoxo

December 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger A said...

I love your idea to put joyful verses in the Advent boxes! I will be praying for you as you mourn Cora this Christmas while also anticipating the birth of your second child!

December 2, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

love that you are doing the best you can...and still seeking Him in your times of question and doubt. i love the verse idea!! i might steal it.

December 2, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Misty Rice said...

Beautiful post.

December 2, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Messy and Wonderful said...

My husband and I just started reading that book. I have to tell you that it says a lot about your character that you are learning more about dying to yourself and serving your spouse in the midst of your grief.

Hang in there this holiday. It's Friday, but Sunday is comin'.

December 2, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

i love your idea.
and i will cherish our advent box...we have the same one and i have been griping "STOP OPENING THOSE!!! it's not your day!" i will never think of it the same again. i will cherish the memory. are so strong.
one day at a time.

December 2, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny about farm wives + Subway. . . exactly what I pick up for my husband in the fall. Good packaging & can be eaten cold.
We're praying for your family!

December 2, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger tami said...

You are such and encouragement to me! i have a different struggle I am dealing with and oh how you have ministered to me.

December 2, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Believe...and keep on trusting in the Lord. Thank God for husbands who grieve in ways different from our own. For that matter, thank the Lord for you who has so has grieved so publicly and allowed us all to share in your experience. We pray for your family daily.

December 2, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger megan {homemade ginger} said...

I have been following your blog a little bit the past few months and just wanted to with you a joyful Christmas season!

December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog immensely, you are an inspiration. I am so happy to see that you are feeling up to posting more often. I appreciate your use of scripture and it is encouraging!


December 3, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

My heart aches for what you and your hubby have had to go through this year. I cannot imagine the pain that fills your heart and the joy of having known Cora. My prayers are with you both this holiday season as we await the celebration of our Saviour's birth.

December 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger onlymehere said...

We have kind of an advent calender similar to this. My husband and I started it when we were dating. Each day we put in a little note that started with "I love you because..." It was something that we continued until we had kids. Maybe I need to start that again now most of the kids are on their own. May God send you peace this day. Joel's right, one day at a time.

December 3, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't you do a "winter" theme? you could put up silver, white and blue things.

The year my grandmother died we went to visit a mission in Mexico as a family. My mom couldn't bear to celebrate Christmas without her mother. It was different. Not necessarily good - at least we weren't at home.

December 3, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Juliann said...

God bless you. Praying for you today. You are a wonderful mother.

December 3, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

God bless you. You are an amazing woman and reading this really put things in perspective. Thank you!

December 3, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger The Oldham Family said...




December 3, 2009 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Lynn Jones said...

How about 2 little pieces of candy along with the verse inside each little door? Something for the two of you to do together as your tummy gets miraculously bigger and bigger.

December 3, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

That is a beautiful idea!

December 3, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

I think a scripture and a little piece of dark chocolate are the perfect answer. :)

Praying for you today!

December 4, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Something In The Glass said...

I'm a devoted reader and an infrequent commenter, but felt very moved to tell you today how humbled I am by you. God Bless.

December 4, 2009 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Madison Sanders said...

Love the idea for the boxes!

December 8, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home