My friend Maureen commented to me on Friday night that I hadn’t been posting ‘sad things’ lately.

It was Maddie’s mom’s birthday yesterday. This makes me sad. Birthdays get kind of boring after 21, at least I think…I turned 30 when Miranda was 6 weeks old. My birthdays are more exciting again; because of my babies, I am exciting. This year, I even got to hear Miranda’s little & lovely voice sing Happy Birthday to Mama. It doesn’t get better.And to think somehow that voice could some day not be there for my celebrations… it doesn’t get much worse than that thought.

Meanwhile, you know, there are always sad stories occuring around us. It turns out that little Jada Justice, a 2 year old from nearby Gary, IN who was recently reported missing, was the victim of a cruel death. As sad as the world is about the 3-celeb-deaths of last week (& I am sad about them, too), I think about these things and don’t know how people get through them. Just reading the news story makes me sick.

And then I watch people finding the hope. A friend of mine has a daughter with Angelman syndrome, about which I know very little. All I know is that her poor baby has seizures and fevers and other complications that fill their lives with upheaval and uncertainty. But my friend, she carries on in hope and motivation and belief that God has a purpose for the journey they are on.

Another friend (OK, a friend of Rod’s and someone else I haven’t met yet!) & his wife just watched their 6 month old go through extensive surgery. Baby Emme is doing great and recovering well, but wow! I try to imagine what it must be like, watching someone so tiny and helpless go through a procedure that scares most adults, and again, I just thank God that He is bigger.

Today the Steven Curtis Chapman family is on their way to China for the opening of Maria’s Big House of Hope. I have tried to imagine the conflict this must raise for them. This house will be a place of refuge and comfort for orphans – who needs it more? – and yet, its very name will always be a reminder of what the Chapmans lost. The brought Maria home from China and are returning there without her. I know God will be with them, and I just pray they feel Him surrounding them.

Our older kids are going through a trial right now. It is not life-threatening or of the magnitude of these others, but still… It’s hard to watch and hard to help because it’s one of those situations when there’s only so much we can do to help them. I am slowly being taught how to let go and how to love from a bit of a distance and how to swoop in immediately when needed and how to know when that time comes.

There is a lot to cry about around us. And I do; I am a crier and the more my identity becomes synonymous with ‘Mommy’ and, by His grace, ‘compassionate Christian,’ the more crying I seem to do. But thank God, thank God, thank God… for every tear, there is so much hope. God bless the Sporhs, the Hawthornes, the Bunches, Jada’s family, Josh & Paige and their mom, and anyone who needs that hope today.

Also, as one last proof of it: WELCOME to the world Riley Ann Thompson & Mia Dolce Kapaldo. I’m so excited that our GSU Girls’ Night Out Group will have to share our chips and salsa with two more lovely ladies!