Friday, April 28, 2017

Five Minutes of More

It's Friday which means time to join others over at Kate Motaung's blog for the Five Minute Friday
link-up. This is where we write for five solid minutes on a one-word prompt, no editing, no over-thinking.  

Sounds simple, right? Why not give it a try?

Today's prompt-more

When my girls were young one of their favorite books to hear read aloud was one entitled More More More Said The Baby: Three love Stories by Vera Williams. It's sweet and simple and my girls and I can still recite it from memory. I gave the book to my niece when she was a tiny tot as a gift from her cousins, and I wrote a little message from my daughters inside the front cover. Her mama read it to her from time to time, snuggled up close as mamas and babies do when reading bedtime books and saying bedtime prayers.

At my daughter's baby shower last month my sister-in-law wrapped up that baby book More More More, and gave it back to my girl. A treasured keepsake to read to her new baby boy due this summer.  A happy event. Joyful. Too wonderful for words, yet tears ran down my daughter's cheek and a lump grew large in my throat.

In just over a week our family will mark the five year anniversary of my funny, beautiful, brave niece's death.

Writing that sentence feels cruel, like I've dropped something harsh and unexpected into what readers thought was going to be a gentle and precious memory shared. There is never any way to say it without saying it.

She was seventeen years old and we wanted more.

More days, more years, more life.

More Christmases in the mountains, more birthdays, more time.

What we got instead were more tears, more heartache, more pain than we ever thought possible.

When a child dies you're not the same. Our family is not the same. But God...

I think God in His infinite wisdom and mercy designed time as a healer of sorts, even when you wish it weren't so. It's through the passing of time He allows us to look back at our lives and see in hindsight what we couldn't know in the middle of a grief that raged.

To look at the rubble and find a diamond there.

Do we understand it? No. Not then, not now.
Can we rest in the knowledge that He holds the universe in His hand?

We can. We do. Through the unbearable ache of loss we see time in a new and different way.

Ever so slowly we've come to a place where there's joy again in our together times, where laughter bubbles to the surface unprompted, and where love of family wraps itself around you like a blanket set gently across your shoulders on a cool spring night.

Where the ache, still ever present, is not always quite so sharp and killing.

God gave us more.

More, more, more.

More strength, more faith, more peace.

More questions. More longing for heaven.

More of Himself in the dark dead of night and the bright light of day.


  1. Oh, how beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss, but your faith and God's faithfulness shine through this post. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm your neighbor at FMF this week. So blessed to read your words.

  2. Ahhhh. I'm just arriving at the airport sitting down and see one of my favorite things. Your blog. I open it and it knocks the wind right out of me not expecting your words. I've been thinking about her a lot this week. I miss my niece very much. I want more for my brother and sister in law. Something more that can in some small way ease their pain. Love your blog and love you. I'll be home soon. Hubs

  3. What an amazing gift from Auntie to niece. She gave up a part of herself there too. So so sweet. I imagine that book will live (and give) forever. :)

  4. What an incredibly beautiful post. I know that book will always be a treasure to your family.

  5. As I sit in this hospital room at Duke watching hub I want MORE time with him a healthier time. Right now I have more tears, fears,and anxieties than ever I thought possible.
    Hugs to Joyce and I know the book will be treasured.

  6. What a moving post! I know your daughter will treasure that book from her aunt each time she reads it.

  7. I find myself at a loss for words. Yours are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this gift of love with us.

  8. Your post is beautiful and so full of life--even when touched by death. I would like to come across the book, More, More, More.

  9. It's a loss that never goes away, but you are right in that time helps with the grief and there can be happy family times with old and new memories. We lost my nephew at 19 almost 6 years ago and it changes your family forever. Your words, as always, are beautiful.

  10. What a beautiful post Joyce! God is more than enough to help us through the tough, awful times.

  11. Thank you for your post. So sorry for your loss and amazed at God's faithfulness.

  12. Oh Joyce...what a beautifully written bittersweet post about this part of your life. Tears welled up as I read and the details took this turn in the story. This is how we who have the Lord in our lives get through the unthinkable. Thank you for sharing this.

  13. I remember reading about this sad time for your family. Praying for you all.

    Revelation 21:4
    4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    One of the best inches in the Bible. 💓💓💓💓

  14. I remember reading about this and I knew what was coming in this post. You said it so beautifully, as you always do.

  15. Joyce, your post is so beautiful, so honest. I am truly sorry that your family lost your niece. I can't imagine the pain that still sneaks up and surprises you sometimes. Thank you for the reminder that, even when we don't understand, God is still faithful, still good. Thank you also for the hope that we have in wanting heaven more.

  16. Five years. I wish I could tell you that it gets easier. That after 30 years tears tears don't spring into my eyes and roll down my cheeks. That I miss her less, or that I have stopped questioning...why?
    All I can say is that I pray more now than I ever did and that I try to keep myself and my faith in God the Father strong.
    I will pray for you and your family. And I send all my love.

  17. I can't even imagine the pain of losing a child! A friend of mine lost her own daughter at the age of 17 (about 12 years ago), and thinking of her loss, helped me to put in perspective the "loss" I was feeling when my daughter got married in 2015. I kept reminding myself that though my daughter was leaving my house, she wasn't leaving the world. I realized my friend would rather "lose" her daughter to marriage than to a car crash. Those thoughts made me realize how foolish I was.

    Thank God for Heaven and the promise of eternal life with our loved ones!!


  18. What a heart-felt post! Also, how thoughtful of your sister-in-law to pass the book back to your daughter, so she could enjoy it with her son :)

  19. Very touching post, I didn't expect that turn! May you experience God's loving embrace in this season in particular!