H.O.P.E.

I don’t know the date most of the time these days. Each day just comes and goes like the day before. I try to stay so busy that I don’t have time to think. Today, though, it’s impossible to not know the date. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The day that we show the ones we love most that we care. Now, Jonathan and I have never really done the big Valentine’s Day thing. We have never needed a certain day to show that we care-we usually just use it as a much needed date night at our favorite place, Mario’s. Tomorrow, we will still go on our date but, there won’t be a little brown eyed girl to go home to. I won’t have my favorite little Valentine to kiss and cuddle. It’s just one more reminder of what we don’t have anymore. Her absence is felt everyday but, certain days and things bring it up more.

We are just sad. There’s not really a redemptive way to sugar coat it. She’s gone and we feel the hole she’s left behind. Some days are worse than others but, we miss her. It’s that simple, and yet so very complicated.

I’ve been staying super busy trying to cope.

There’s been lunches with friends and I’ve started working out with a trainer. I’m in a women’s Bible study group that I’m truly enjoying. It’s a deep study about the life of Jesus that makes my brain tired but, my heart full. I also was given the most amazing devotional and several grief books that are all very helpful. I’ve been writing a ton that’s been incredibly therapeutic for me. I’ve even submitted a few of my articles to paid blog sites and will hopefully be getting to share those soon! I’m also continuing to pursue working on a possible speaking ministry. At the same time that keeping busy is good, it also can be too much. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve been just tired. Tired of having to stay busy, tired of holding it together, and mainly tired of being without my baby. So there’s pros and cons to everything. Staying busy makes you tired but, doing nothing makes you sit around and cry. I think there’s a healthy balance to be found but, that looks different every single day.

Someone once told me that their heart was so broken but also so full. That’s how I feel, full of the promise of what’s to come but, broken by the world taking my sweet girl.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

In all of these things though, I still find hope. And right now hope looks like H.O.P.E-Helping Other People Everyday

Jesus calls us to be servants to others, to put ourselves last no matter what. We are to make use of our time and money for the good of others and for the good of the kingdom. That can look like all kinds of things. Personally, I’ve found lately that helping my sweet cancer mom friends brings me so much peace. If that means bringing food, babysitting a child while they’re in the hospital, sending them a devotional, or just sending a text that says ‘I love you and I prayed for you today.’ None of those things are huge but, they speak volumes to my friends.

I’m still trying to think of ways to DO MORE and I think I have a pretty good idea of a few things that we can do starting with taking toys to the hospital on Sophie’s birthday in March. I’m hoping that the Lord will show us where to go after that. We want to be used to help the many kids and families affected by cancer. Doing nothing is not an option now that we know just how big the world is.

Here’s a list of a few ways that people are doing more that have been shared with me:

-joining the bone marrow registry Be The Match

-give blood

-cancer survivors becoming volunteer patient liaisons for people currently battling cancer

-sponsoring a child through an organization. We currently sponsor a child from Compassion International. I know there are a ton of great organizations out there but, we have personal experience with Compassion and know it’s a legit and wonderful way to give back.

-Children’s Hospitals need volunteers in all kinds of areas. Contact your local hospital to find out what you can do.

-pay for someone’s meal or coffee

-Take a meal or an encouraging gift to a family that’s suffering or just to a tired mom

-volunteer somewhere-anywhere that needs it! Homeless shelters, nursing homes, at your church, etc.

-give financially to childhood cancer research. Gold Network of East Texas, Alex’s Lemonaide Stand, and St. Baldrick’s are all great organizations determined to fund research for BETTER TREATMENT FOR OUR KIDS

The list could go on an on…..I’m open to suggestions too!

These things are all small and simple but, if enough people are determined to do more, then the impact becomes huge.

H.O.P.E. doesn’t just bring hope to the people you are serving. It speaks hope and life into your life. We are closest to God when we serve His people. Luke 6:38 says “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

We still could use as many prayers as possible to get through each day without her. We still are struggling with what’s next and how to cope with this grief. Thank you to every prayer, card, donations, meal, and message that we’ve received. You have no idea how loved we feel by those around us and how humbled we are by Sophie’s impact.

Please also keep praying for our sweet friends. Addie, Jase, Abigail, Audri, and Kaylynn. 💜🎗

Keep her hope alive by sharing H.O.P.E.

Helping Other People Everyday

5 thoughts on “H.O.P.E.

  1. Numb, frustrated, helpless, sad is what I always feel when I read your passages. Yet, somehow I am happy to see each and every one of them when they pop up on my feed. I pray Shelby, I can’t imagine your pain and I admire your ability to share your heart in such beautiful writings. God please be w you and your devoted husband and family please

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  2. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to fill your life with comfort, hope, and the peace only He can impart. You’ve inspired me to do more.

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  3. Your writings always make me stronger and have more resolve to give more, love more and pray more. You have a gift that is a miracle to help you and others. I pray daily for you and Jonathan and yet I get comforted by you. God is working through you in an amazing way! Love to you and Jonathan!

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  4. You can donate her clothes….keep the special ones of course (all the “my 1sts”, first Easter dress, etc.). Nothing is going to make the pain go away, but maybe this will help knowing that your helping others

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