About Me

My photo
I'm just a 28 year old woman that married the man of my answered prayers on July 18, 2009. We have our sweet Ella that was born in September of 2010 and our precious Charlotte that was born in February of 2012! On March 24, 2013, our first son was born, Josiah Warner. After a complicated pregnancy, he was born very prematurely and lived less than an hour before going to be with Jesus. Through life's ups and downs, I'm trying to figure out how to follow Jesus. I mean, really follow Jesus. The kind of following where things start to change. It's time to put action to the passion

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jedidiah John Phillips

Born on December 9, 2014, at 4:29pm weighing 6lb 5oz and 20in long. By far, he was my most physically and emotionally challenging birth. But, also, probably the most instantaneously bonded with any of my children thus far. 

I've saved writing a post about the meaning and history of his name until after he was born. Now he's here and it's time to share! 

Back in our engaged days, John and I  were sitting in one of our favorite places to eat in Orlando, Tijuana Flats, mmmm. We started playing the "what will we name our future kids" game. After going through family trees and laughing our way through a variety of names, we decided that our future held an Ella, Warner and Jedidiah.

Time passed. We got married. We got pregnant. Wondered "is this an Ella or a Warner?" Then, lost our sweet first baby. Five years later and we still toss around name ideas for that first baby having never known the gender. But, a few months later, we got pregnant with our Ella Gisela. Named after our strong grandmothers and she lived up to those names from the moment she joined our family!

Just nine months into Ella's life, found out Charlotte was on the way. Another girl! What will we name her? After lots of tossing around, we decided to name her after Charlotte "Lottie" Moon. Turns out, our Charlotte has no fear, much like her namesake. 

Just ten months into Charlotte's life, we found out Warner was on the way. Our first boy! He was worth every moment in bedrest, every doctors appointment, every ER visit, every hemorrhage, and every contraction that brought him here. His original name was to be John Warner Phillips, Jr. But, just a few days before his birth, discovered that Josiah meant "God has healed". I burst into tears and we ended up changing his name right as he was born. 

The morning after Warner was born and I woke up in the room I delivered our firstborn son in, I looked around and realized it wasn't a bad dream. Our son's life took place in this room and there was no going back. We had our hour and now he was with the Lord. I grabbed my Bible on my phone and begged God that I needed something. 

Immediately, He brought David to mind. David and Bathsheba lost their son. I needed to go there right away! So, I read 2 Samuel 12. Oh my word, Jedidiah. After they lost their firstborn son, time passed and God gave them another son to be named Jedidiah {Solomon}. Right there in that hospital room, I prayed that one day God would give us our Jedidiah. Even though I wasn't ready for him yet, but that one day, God would provide him. 

Just over a year after Warner's birth, we discovered Jedidiah was on the way. He wasn't "planned" (such a silly concept to me, like we can plan anything!) and I wondered if this baby was our Jedidiah. We found out another boy was on the way. And, God gave us our "beloved of the Lord". 

I still can't believe how God already knew the makeup of our family back when John and I were just engaged dreaming of the future. He knew Warner's story and how our Jedidiah would be a gift of life to our family after a deeply sad (almost) two years. We didn't even know the significance of the name Jedidiah when we picked it all those years ago, but God knew. We didn't know we would have two brothers that share an immeasurable bond despite being currently parted by death. 

There have been tears these last three weeks and there have been moments of deep joy. God has gone before us in ways we could've never planned out. He is faithful and we're thankful!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

An Announcement!

With humble and grateful hearts, we announce the latest member coming to our family!

So far, all is well with baby. No clots, growing perfectly and strong heartbeat!

Emotionally, we've been a bit all over the map. Which, is to be expected. We really couldn't feel more blessed to be given another baby. But, the ache for Warner is still there. And, it will be forever. He's part of our family and each joy longs to have him here to share in it. 

Physically, I've been doing well pregnancy-wise. But, I've had some pretty major GI problems preceding this pregnancy and unfortunately have not been going well. My OB has already mentioned a trip to a GI doctor this pregnancy and it looks like that will likely be necessary. It's all been pretty rough on my body and is starting to take it's toll on me mentally. But, each day we hope for some pockets of feeling well. 

I don't talk about my stomach issues often. Mostly because it feels a little impossible to explain the depth to which I have problems. And, I don't ever want to come off as complaining. But, we've also reached the point where we realize that it's gotten bad enough to petition others for prayer. I was scheduled for one test in particular and then found I was pregnant, and it had to be postponed. And, now we're looking at possibly performing the procedure in the second trimester. Because, at this point, the benefits seem to outweigh the risks. But, that is all still to be determined. 

It's a little overwhelming to be 28 and to have enough unexplained health issues that I am often unable to participate in normal life stuff. The Lord has been teaching me a lot to not worry about tomorrow. I've done everything the MD's and the naturopathic doctor have suggested to very little avail. We really do believe we're in a position where it's entirely up to God's mercy on whether He chooses to heal me or not. We are obviously praying with great fervor that He heals me and are continuing forward with the doctors. 

If you think about it and pray for our sweet baby or for my health, we'd be ever grateful! I don't know why it's so difficult to expose my health issues, maybe because you all have prayed us through a lot already! I'm amazed at the care and nurture that so many have showed us over the last few years. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mourning the Dream

This morning I thought about how sometimes mourning the dream is more difficult than mourning an actual person. Because, the truth of the matter is that Warner is healed, whole, and experiencing Jesus in full. But, I'm the one left behind with our little family that has to move forward without his presence.

Don't we all spend a lot of our sorrowful days mourning a dream that failed? My heart hurts because my body failed and Warner went to be with Jesus much earlier than my dreams ever wished. Even just days before he died, I would have told you with full confidence that the Lord was going to allow Warner to be born full-term and we would all be a happy family come the summer.

But, that didn't happen.

Instead, I held him while he died.

How do you move forward when mourning a dream? Life was supposed to be much different than it is today. I wasn't supposed to be concerned with headstones or perfect flowers for an itty bitty grave. I was supposed to be trying to figure out how to bundle up three munchkins for the snow today.

Two little girls and a little boy. Two little princesses for Mommy and one little pirate for Daddy. Filling out our car and house with some baby blue. Teaching him about Jesus. Watching him grow up to be a man that loves his Mama, but not too much ;-) Dancing with him at his wedding one day and looking back on all the days of bed rest that were more than worth it for just this moment.

But, all of those things were just a dream. A dream that isn't happening now. A dream that was shattered by the brokenness of this world. A dream that wasn't torn apart by a greedy God, but instead by the frailty of life and the sin that has ravaged everything.

"All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing" -Ecclesiastes 1:8

But, there was a day when light broke through. When God became man and nothing would ever be the same. 

Broken dreams? A broken heart? Broken hope? Grabbing at any shred of light?

He is come.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." -Matthew 11:28, 29

I don't have any single thing in my life figured out. Nothing. I don't have the grief thing figured out, how to be a Godly woman, wife, mother, how to be a good cook, how to dress well... None of it. Not a thing. But, the only thing I know is that Jesus meant every single word in Scripture.

He means it, He's not kidding around

"Jennifer, come to Me..."

Everything is full of weariness to me, just like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes. There were (and are) days my brain has spun in circles over the broken dreams, the shattered life I held for such a brief time

"You are laboring and heavy laden, but I am the only One that can give you the rest you need..."

I don't want Warner's life, my broken hopes and dreams to miss it. To miss the refinement to be had, the lessons to learn

"Follow Me, take Me on, learn from Me, Jennifer..."

My heart aches, it hurts, it longs for the dream that was ripped away from me. It longs to hold Warner just one more time. I want to say the things I've thought a million times since that I would have said

"I know you hurt and I am gentle. I am lowly in heart so that we could connect on a level that you didn't know possible..."

Mourning and grief over the dream takes a lot of mental work. And, that's okay. But, there are days when the energy just seems to be gone

"Only I can provide you the rest you need. I'm the One that doesn't run dry"

The dream may be broken and my little boy still gone, but I'm trusting Jesus for the rest I need to make it in a world where the dreams don't always turn out.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013

There are some things you expect in grief and some things that pop up leaving you feel completely unprepared. The last two days have definitely found me in the unprepared camp. 

2013 is almost gone. A few more hours and it's a New Year. Out with the old and in with the new. But, what happens when you find yourself trying to do anything you can to keep the new from coming? What happens when the new holds a year in which your son is still dead? Or the new still has the cancer in it? Or still struggling to pay the bills? Or another year to figure out how on earth you're going to survive?

New doesn't always seem enticing. What happens when you find yourself trying to make a year {the object of time} something tangible enough to hold? You try to grab a hold of it any way possible only to realize it's something that can't be held at all. 

But, the old had the time in it when your son was still alive. The old had a time in it when there was still a paycheck. The old had the time in it before the test revealed the unimaginable. The old had the time in it when all was peaceful with those around you. But, here, on the brink of the new, you don't want to usher out all of the old. 

Then the flicker of hope burns again and Jesus does it. 

{He comes to make it all brand new}

"And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”" -Revelation 21:5a

The dead son, the no job, the cancer, the hurt, the turmoil... He redeems it. It doesn't get thrown aside never to be used again. That would be the easy way out. And, let's face it, easy seems enticing but it's never as worth it as the hard. 

Jesus did the hard. 

Grief. Man of sorrows. Beaten. Scorned. Crown of thorns. Cross. Risen again. 

To redeem even 2013. To usher in more hope and grace in 2014. To sustain and fill in the gaps of the old and the new. There's nothing we {or you} have walked this year that Jesus didn't see and walk with us. 

He's preparing the way for 2014 like He did for 2013. He's got even this

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." -Isaiah 43:19

So, goodbye 2013. You held the earthly life of my firstborn son. You held the beauty and pain of grieving one of my own. I don't want to let you go because letting go of you feels like saying goodbye to my son again. But, I'm going to do one better. I'm going to hand 2013 over to One that can make it new and use it in 2014 and beyond. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


A man rejected not only by his biological parents, but also through years of torment at the hands of his adoptive parents. 

The phone call stating that there was an accident and you need to get to the hospital right away. 

The divorce papers get handed over after you fought and fought for healing. 

A baby is born only to live an hour and die. 

Sometimes the hurt, pain and destruction of this world is so palpable my brain feels like it can't fire any more. How do you pray in this? Where are the words?

Despite the world being a fallen and bad place, He is good. So very good. 

It doesn't make sense. Life hurts and everything bursts at the seams sometimes. What do we do? Where do we go? How do we stop the hemorrhaging when it seems unstoppable?

We get weary and long with a pounding heart for the day when weariness is no more. But, what about now? There will be a day when the battle is over and we receive the reward in full, but today with the divorce papers, the medical report, the rejection and everything threatens to rip the life away from us...

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." -John 10:10 {Jesus}

There's a thief and he doesn't stop. He doesn't stop until he's stolen, killed, and destroyed. He prowls for us and he lies. I don't need to tell you because you look to your left and you look to your right and it's there. The destruction that never seems to end. 

But, Jesus came to give us life. The abundant kind. 

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." -Romans 8:11

The Spirit who raised HIM is in us. He gives life to our mortal, decaying, ripping-at-the-seams bodies. Abundantly He gives it. 

The thief that works to steal our health, our life, our joy wants us to miss it. He wants us to miss the praise of Jesus by the graveside. The thanksgiving despite the diagnosis. The joy despite the falling-apart-ness of life on earth. 

May the Spirit give us life today. And, tomorrow. And, the day after. Until it's all fulfilled and we can know all of the praise, joy and faith were worth it

Monday, November 11, 2013

All of Us


Reckless abandon. 

A complete joy. 

One sobbing Mama at seeing God's faithfulness over our family. 

Why does He love us this much? I don't know. 

But, He loves you this much, too. 

Here we are, Jesus. All of us for all of You. Here we are.