In Memory of Avery -

"My heart and flesh may fail, the earth below give way, 
but with my eyes, with my eyes, I'll see the Lord. 
Lifted high upon that Day, behold the Lamb that was slain, 
and I'll know every tear was worth it all." ~ Shane & Shane

Today it has been 2 years since Avery left this earthly land for his heavenly home.

And like last year, I wanted to do something joyful and tangible in the midst of all the sadness that today holds.
So like last year, I logged onto "donations" under Show Hope and donated in Avery's honor and memory.
The money will be used for a life-saving surgery for an orphan under the care of Show Hope.

It brings me such joy to know that because of Avery, a child's life will be changed for the better,
and that Avery's name is still being spoken in our world and he is still being known and remembered.

Avery had great weight in my world, he was JOY, peace, grace, mercies, love - all bundled up in a baby.
He was promises come true, he was prayers answered, he was my "I thank God upon every remembrance of you" little man.

And so it means so much to know that somewhere....because of a baby boy who changed my world, my heart, my relationship with Jesus, my longing and love for Heaven ... there will be a life and Lord willing, a home with an earthly family, and a Heaven with a glorified family. These are my prayers as I donate to Show Hope.

Audra and John (and families) ... this isn't just for Avery and because of Avery - it is for YOU and because of YOU.
All your children have special places in my heart, and I love you all to the moon and back. 

Avery ....

From the first minute you looked into my eyes, you looked back at your Mama to make sure all was right because you weren't sure at the tears streaming down my face and the "oh, oh, oh!!'s" coming from my mouth.

I was just so overjoyed to SEE you and hold you, baby. You'll know one day how much I love you when I run and squeeze you in the longest hug in Heaven. I can't wait to see you again. I miss you so much, little man!

I miss bumping noses with you, and playing with your Mickey Mouse with you and watching your whole face light up.
Your smile was irresistible and your laugh contagious to everyone.
I miss knowing I'm your Auntie Jemmie and sending you THE cutest clothes and gifts that I couldn't resist buying for you.
I miss knowing you are growing up and walking the same earth as me. I miss praying for you.
I miss hearing the crazy things you were doing and I miss seeing your face pop up in my FB news feed.

I miss saying your name without feeling a sad punch in the gut.
I miss you with every baby being born, I miss you every time I hold a baby your age.

I miss you in your Mama's arms and Daddy's shoulders. I miss you when I look in Henry's eyes and see his curls.

I know your family misses you a million times more than I ever could, and it makes me sad that we have to wait a long time to see you again, but Jesus tells us that this is a short while here, so we are trying to be patient.

Avery .... even as I'm missing you, I'm learning that knowing you has brought me closer to Jesus. I wouldn't have made it through one year, even less 2 years without Jesus leading me! The darkness is deep without the joy of you, but Jesus is the light that is always with me. He is with me in the heavy night and during the light day. I trust Jesus with more now than I ever did before you were here.

You have taught me to be a new kind of harder brave. You have taught me to be tender, to be bold.
You've left me with the desire to capture all of this life in the best photographs I can because the ones of you mean so much. You are my inspiration when I'm tired and discouraged and don't think I can do anymore.

Because of you, Avery ..... I see wonder and meaning in the little things. I see God's hand in more of life and His grace deeper than I could ever wonder. You changed my world in a way I'd never thought I'd know again when you were born - you were proof that God loves to give His children the best.

Know that I think of you so often and I love you to the moon and back and all the stars in between.
I'll see you again SOON and there will be no more goodbyes. We'll live forever with Jesus.

And then I can tell you a million more made up pirate stories and we can dream of going to the beach in the new Land, and I can share with you all that Jesus did in our world, things you will already know, and we'll worship and praise Jesus together because He promised us all these things and MORE because He loves us.

I'm honored to have known you, and today ... I'm so thankful that Jesus holds you in His arms.

I love you, Avery John Notgrass. In 16 months, you changed my world for the glorious better. See you soon.
~ Auntie Jemmie ~

P.S. I think of you every time I see a shooting star....and thank God for you the second after.