CIL Updates & Easter

So I guess we should go ahead and state the obvious….it’s been a year since we’ve blogged. But as we have said before, our lack of blogging in no way means a lack in the activity of CIL. Since the last time we blogged, we have received 146 online blanket requests, provided an average of 5-10 blankets per month to one local hospital and handed out 20-25 blankets at our support group and local events. Our support group continues to grow which is bittersweet. We love that women and families have found us and do not have to suffer alone but at the same time, it breaks our hearts that so many families walk this road of grief. We have some ideas and events in the works and we hope to update you all soon with ways you can get involved and help families worldwide….yes, literally worldwide. We have shipped blankets to 5 countries and over 35 US states. So that’s just a little bit of our support group and blanket updates!!

I just want to switch gears a little bit and share a piece of my heart at the current moment. This week I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of Easter. But first, let’s just be honest….Christmas is and always will be the biggest holiday. And while we are being honest….I LOVE CHRISTMAS. (It is a roller coaster of emotions for me which is a whole different blog post for a different time.) Nevertheless, I love EVERYTHING about it. I love Santa, Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, Christmas lights, Christmas music (only the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day and then I’m done!), buying Christmas presents, Christmas cards, family Christmas get togethers…you get the picture. And MORE than all of that, I love the spiritual meaning of Christmas. Mary, Joseph, the Angels, the shepherds, the wise men, the stable, and most of all the anticipation of Jesus’s birth. I love it ALL!! 

And then there is Easter. Christmas kinda outshines Easter, wouldn’t you agree?? From the outside looking in, it would seem that way at my house at least. We don’t really decorate for Easter, there aren’t any lights or Easter trees. I don’t lose sleep if we don’t go see the Easter bunny, etc. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely do get together with friends and family and have Easter egg hunts and it’s a blast!! Our kids get Easter baskets on Easter morning and I love it all. But with Easter it’s different. You might not be able to see it on the outside like you do at Christmas, but on the inside…well, on the inside my heart feels like it could burst. Ever since we lost our son Bo, heaven became so close to me. Before, it felt far away. I knew it was real, but now it’s like a piece of my heart is already there. And if it wasn’t for JESUS, His birth, His life, His love, His death and His resurrection, then I wouldn’t have that hope. I don’t want to downplay Christmas at all or say that Easter is more important. I just don’t want to ever lose the raw emotion that wells up in my heart and soul when I think of how Jesus SUFFERED and DIED, He came back to LIFE and made a way for us to LIVE forever in heaven. And while I love the egg hunts, the Easter bunny, the candy, Reese eggs (yum), etc., I really want to soak in the resurrection, Gods love for me and the promise of heaven.  

So, yes, I still love Christmas, but Easter stirs something deep in my heart that gives me indescribable hope. 


Posted Thursday, April 13th, 2017 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW) is April 24th-30th. The goal of NIAW is to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health. As we wrap up NIAW this year, we wanted to share some interesting information regarding infertility and encourage you to get involved. 

In the US, 14 states mandate insurance coverage of infertility treatment; North Carolina is not among them. In those states, the rate of high-risk multiple births is lower than those that do not mandate coverage (New England Journal of Medicine, “Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization,” August 2002). Massachusetts mandated full infertility coverage, including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), in 1987, and since then, the cost of infertility services as a percent of the total health premiums went down (Griffin and Panak, Fertility & Sterility, 1998). Coverage results in patients receiving timely and effective treatment for their infertility diagnosis.

 

When couples are forced to cover the costs of treatment themselves, they may make riskier decisions in order to maximize the probability of conception when financing the high cost for a single fertility treatment. Couples often choose to transfer more than one embryo, which can result in high-risk pregnancies, post-pregnancy complications and low birth-weight multiples – a cost burden that their health insurance providers bear. You may have seen in the news lately that couples are taking what is being referred to as IVF vacations in which they try to maximize their out-of-pocket expenses by traveling to countries like Czech Republic, India or Thailand for cheaper infertility treatments with more lax regulations about embryo transfer numbers than in the United States. The cost of one IVF treatment and three weeks of “vacation” abroad can be less than the total of one treatment in the United States. Any infections or complications from sub-par medical treatment to the patient will be covered by insurance upon returning to the US. In states that mandate infertility coverage, infertile couples are more likely to have one healthy child as they are not making medical decisions based on cost alone.

 

Coverage options for infertility treatment vary widely. Massachusetts and Illinois mandate infertility coverage that includes artificial insemination, IVF, sperm and egg procurement and processing. In Illinois, up to 4 egg retrievals are covered with an additional 2 if a live birth occurs. Other plans have a maximum dollar amount of coverage, for example $50,000 in infertility coverage.

 

Unfortunately in today’s society infertility is chalked up to a “quality of life” issue. Infertility is far beyond a “quality of life” issue; it’s a medical condition with known treatments that should be covered for women and men by their health plan. Admittedly, infertility is not a life threatening condition, but neither are medical ailments that have coverage such as broken bones or allergies. Organizations like Resolve (the national infertility association) are helping to spread awareness about infertility and are encouraging women to advocate for themselves and all women by asking their employers to offer coverage for infertility. In fact, this May11th, 10 women from a local Resolve infertility group are going to Washington DC to take part in advocacy day where they will meet with their members or congress to understand the needs of the infertility community.

 

For more information about infertility or how you can help please visit http://www.resolve.org/

  

 


Posted Sunday, May 1st, 2016 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

5 Years On This Journey…

5 Years… I can’t believe it has been 5 years. Every year, as Bo’s birthday approaches, there are always different emotions and thoughts that flood my mind. This year is no different. Five is a big year….there are so many changes.  My mommy heart and mind drift to thoughts such as….Bo would be starting kindergarten, we should have 3 book bags hanging up, 3 lunches to pack, 3 bicycles in the garage, 3 water bottles to fill, 3 toothbrushes….the list goes on and on. Please don’t misunderstand. I am beyond grateful for my 2 children here and cherish the moments I get to share and witness with them. If anything, Bo has given me the gift of appreciating even the “hard stuff” because I know that I’m not guaranteed the next moment with ANY of my children. My heart just hurts and aches for the child I don’t have here with me. 

The truth is….I think about Bo every. single. day. Sometimes it’s little thoughts here and there and sometimes the thoughts linger. This time of year always triggers flashes of moments from the day of Bo’s birth. Sometimes these thoughts come out of nowhere and feel like someone just knocked the breath out of me and I literally have to take a moment to catch my breath. This doesn’t happen every day or even every month, but after 5 years, those moments still shake me. 

This is normally the point in my story where I use the transitional word “but” to launch into the positive side of things and it seems to indicate that there are two sides to the story. It’s like I battle against the hurt and try to only find “good”. In other words, hurt/pain equals bad and joy/peace equals good. But what if I started to see both of these emotions in a different light?  What if hurt and joy, pain and peace could all join together and be broken and beautiful all at the same time? 

Well, I’ve decided it CAN. I can feel hurt and still feel joy…I can feel pain and still find peace. I can laugh, I can cry… and they don’t have to fight against each other. I believe these emotions weave a beautiful tapestry that represent exactly who I am and who I am supposed to be in this life.  I believe that losing Bo was absolutely terrible and that it was not God’s perfect plan and all at the same time I believe that good can come FROM this pain we have faced. Those moments when I feel anger, hurt, and emptiness…it gives me the ability to relate when another mom is broken and feels like she will never find joy again. When I feel peace, comfort, joy… I can relate to that mom who needs to hear that there is HOPE and she can smile again. This year I want to choose to embrace it ALL and know that Bo’s life was not in vain. He has given me a gift to love others in a huge capacity and it’s a gift I want to give to others. 

Another example of how all of these emotions intertwine is Covered In Love. When I think about how this ministry has  literally reached thousands of families in just a couple of years, my heart is humbled.  I find joy in knowing that my son’s life along with Lisa’s son, Brooklyn has helped other families find hope and healing. I have met so many incredible families and built relationships that will last a lifetime. At the same time, every time I meet a new family, hear a new story, lead a monthly support group…my heart breaks and I ache for these families. I wrestle with these emotions of wanting to take their pain away and I have pretty honest conversations with God about this journey we did not choose to take. 

The hardest and most beautiful lesson I have learned over these last five years is that my Heavenly Father loves me more than I ever knew. I had always heard the phrase “child of God” growing up but I never grasped the depth of what that means. This is how my heart and mind have been able to understand God’s unfathomable love for me…

My dad and I are very close. He is one of my very best friends and I love him fiercely.  When we lost Bo, I remember my dad was so broken and his heart was crushed for me and Travis. He cried and hurt WITH us. So what does this mean about God’s love for me. If my father here on earth loves and hurts for me when I’m in the valley, how much more does my Father in heaven who created me and calls me his daughter love me? This was not in God’s perfect plan for me….He did not want for Bo to die. Because we live in a broken world, bad things happen all the time and it is out of our control. But I believe and know that when we hurt and our hearts are broken, God hurts and His heart is broken for us. He wants to bind up our wounds, heal our broken hearts and dry every tear. And I know that one day soon “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4

Lastly, I want to share this beautiful quote that sums up our need to know the love of God….

“Sometimes breathing is the only prayer we can pray, and God hears our sigh and once again breathes the breath of life into us. We exhale, and it seems like such a little thing. But some days it is everything. It is communion—intimate and more than breathing oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. It is sacred and it is holy: this agreeing with God that we need God, for all of everything, and his joyful entering into our lives and ourselves and our very souls to make us one with him. We are gulping and breathing and sighing and gasping, and we realize our deep, deep hunger inside.” –Deidra Riggs, Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where We Are

Blessings,

bonnie_sign


Posted Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Mother’s Day & 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status

Hi friends!!

As we celebrate this Mother’s Day, we wanted to give you all an update on what’s been going on behind the scenes of Covered In Love and share some thoughts on this day as mothers who have been through loss.

Today is a very bittersweet day for any family who has lost a child. From miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, loss of an older child…..this day can be very bitter. We try to be very honest and open here and a couple of things come to mind as we think of Mother’s Day in light of child loss….

There are moms who have experienced loss and do not have any living children here to hold. This day is hard because they question, “am I still a mom?”, “does anyone realize that I have a child?”…and the questions just swirl around them. The answer is YES….you ARE a mom. The hard reality is that there will be those around you who do not understand, they may not remember, or they simply may not know that you have been through loss. This is a huge reason why Covered In Love exists. We want to help you feel validated as a mom. We celebrate you and your child and we want you to know that you are not alone in this journey. We understand that your heart aches to hold your precious child.

There are also mothers who have experienced loss who also have living children. Mother’s Day is a time where these moms ARE recognized by those around them, but there is the struggle of feeling like the child they lost has been forgotten. There is this roller coaster of emotions of being thankful for their living children, but also heartbroken for the child that is not here. We are here to help you know that we celebrate ALL of your children and recognize you as a mom to each of them.

And to the women who have struggled with infertility and the loss of dreams they have had for this Mother’s Day….they have the longing and the heart of a mother. We recognize you, we pray that you would feel God’s comfort and love to ease the pain of this day.

While Mother’s Day is hard because it is commercialized and mothers are “highlighted” on this certain day, we know that all of our losses hurt EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Our prayer is for you to feel wrapped in God’s love and that you feel validated and recognized as the beautiful and special mom that you are.

Covered In Love has a special announcement that we want you all to celebrate with us….we have OFFICIALLY received our 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT STATUS!!!! This is HUGE for this ministry and we are excited to see all of the opportunities that God has in store for the future. We are humbled by all of the support and love that you, our friends and family, have given us over the last couple of years. We believe that God has given Covered In Love to us as a gift through our sons to love other families who are walking this road.

We love you and pray that God gives you a special peace and comfort as you face each day.

Blessings!!!

bonnie_sign           lisa_sign


Posted Sunday, May 10th, 2015 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

2014 Updates

Hi friends!
It has certainly been awhile since our last journal entry! (We hope to remedy that in 2015). But our lack of entries is no indication of everything that has been happening with Covered In Love. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the things we have been up to:

• Monthly deliveries of prayer blankets to our local hospital
• Hand deliveries of prayer blankets to local families who have lost babies
• Blanket deliveries nation and world wide via US Mail
• Monthly support group meetings
• Blanket making events at local churches, moms groups and private homes
• Opportunities to speak at local events about Covered In Love
• Meetings regarding next steps with this ministry
• Becoming an official incorporation in North Carolina
• Partnering with a church in Pennsylvania
• Partnership with a local Durham County Middle School class

One of the major things we have been working on is establishing our 501(c)(3) non-profit exemption status. This has been a major hurdle over the past year and we have hit some road blocks along the way with finding the right help in this area, but we are happy to say that God recently put a local attorney in our path who specializes in this area and we are targeted to have our 501(c)(3) status in 2015! This is a huge praise and we ask for continued prayers that everything goes smoothly with this process.

Stay tuned for more awesome stories of things God is doing through CIL!!!

bonnie_signlisa_sign


Posted Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

3 Years: Truths & Lessons Learned

**Disclaimer: this post is honest, emotional and lengthy. But my hope is that you will choose to read it at a time you feel is best for you and that hopefully it may help you find hope and joy in whatever circumstances you may be facing**

Beauty from ashes

Today, January 13, 2014, is exactly 3 years since our sweet Bo was stillborn. This day that should have been one of the happiest days of my life, instantly turned into the most tragic and heart shattering. Here we were….hearts broken, empty and even a little scared. Unsure of the future, unsure of what to feel, think, do, or say…..what do we do now?? All I can say is that over these 3 years, God has been healing our hearts, giving us peace and joy that is beyond what we can fully comprehend.

I will begin by saying that these truths/lessons are not always “easy” to learn or accept. So today, I just want to be transparent and share some things that have been on my heart…..it may be a little scattered because there are so MANY things I could say, but hopefully you will find encouragement and hope.

One of the very first things that I began to see differently was my belief and reality of heaven. I remember the Holy Spirit speaking very clearly to me one day when I was pouring my heart out to my mom. I remember telling her that I felt like the loss of Bo and the way we chose to respond was a “where the rubber meets the road” situation when it comes to our faith. All of our lives, we have verbally said that we believe in God, Jesus, Heaven, the Bible…….etc. So if we TRULY believed, TRULY trusted Him…..then at the end of the day, I can have peace and even JOY that my son is in heaven. AND, my son is not “gone” or “lost”…..I know exactly where he is, WHO he is with, he is ALIVE and even more…… I will see him again one day. So let’s sum that up……Bo is in the most perfect place that could ever exist, in the arms of Jesus, enduring no pain, no bad decisions, no hurt, no sickness……only perfect peace, perfect love, perfect hope. Wow. I will admit that it’s hard to wrap my mind around this truth, but oh what peace and comfort this gives my soul and my heart as his mother. And I can’t wait to be there with him one day!!

So now you might be thinking…..whoa….she must not really grieve anymore, she must never question God, etc. Let me just say…..that is the furthest thing from the truth. I still have times that I break down and cry/sob and my heart feels so hurt and broken because I MISS MY SON. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him multiple times. Not just once a day, but MULTIPLE times a day. Some days I smile and find joy in those moments…….some days are just hard and my heart longs to hold him and kiss him. We have found that there are certain things that “trigger” these emotions….some of these triggers we can see coming; others are completely out of the blue. We have realized though that this is our life, this is our journey and reality. But at the end of the day we have a choice……which brings me to my next truth/lesson…….

I feel like that how we respond overall to the bad/tragic/terrible/heartbreaking (and the list goes on) things that happen in our lives eventually comes down to a choice. Now don’t get me wrong….there are going to be those initial moments and periods of time (which differ for everyone) that things bring us to our breaking point and we totally lose it. Especially things/events that happen out of the blue. I was not immune to that….when we were told that Bo’s heart had stopped beating, I began to literally cry and scream out that this couldn’t be happening. I was very angry, hurt, confused, broken, etc. I had so many thoughts and questions racing through my head…..”how do I face another day?”, “how do we tell our daughter who had waited so long for a sibling?”, “why would God allow this to happen to ME?”, “what did I do wrong?”, “how do I face going home to the nursery and all of the things we had ready for him?”, “how do I face another person?”, “why is the sun still shining?”, “if someone says (insert unhelpful and insensitive statement) again, I’m going to SCREAM”. Yes, these were some of my initial thoughts and feelings and I had a difficult time showing grace to people who I felt like they just didn’t understand. But very quickly I started praying and just being totally honest with God about all of these thoughts and feelings. I can’t begin to explain the glimpses of peace that God allowed me to experience, even just hours after giving birth to Bo. I was so desperate and broken that the only thing I knew to do was to cry out to Him and choose to believe that He could restore my joy. So fast forward over these past few years and I can tell you that God has definitely been healing my heart and has restored my joy, my peace and my hope. After some time had passed, I decided that I wanted to choose to find JOY and BLESSINGS rather than bitterness and anger.

I want to take the opportunity at this point to say that Travis and I are blessed beyond measure with the most supportive friends, family and church. Maybe one day I will try to put into words in another blog post about how incredible it is to be surrounded by such people. The love and support that was poured out on us just blew us away. I still have friends that ask me how I’m doing (especially around this time of year) and I have friends that are not afraid to mention Bo or include him when speaking about our family. Wow…..what a treasure we have in these relationships!!!

Ok, back to lessons/truths……one thing have I learned recently through a discipleship group I’m in is that we all find our identity in something(s). Food, money, alcohol, appearance, social status, people’s opinions…..and the list goes on and on. But as a Christ follower, I know that my identity should be found in Christ and nothing else. I am a daughter of the one true King, the Maker of the universe. My identity is not defined by others or my circumstances……it is found in Christ and His unconditional love for me. I simply LOVE the phrase from Song of Solomon…..”I am yours, and you are mine.” Some versions say, “I am my beloveds and he is mine.” This verse is referenced a lot at weddings and I love the symbolism. It describes the unfailing, matchless love of a husband and wife and also the relationship of Christ and His church/followers. I know that when I hurt, my God hurts with me….when I rejoice, He rejoices with me because I am His and He is mine. So right now I am in the process of learning to find my identity in Christ, not in my circumstances and not in others’ opinions of me. Of course, our tragedies are and always will be a part of our journey, but they do not have to define us.

Lastly, I want to share one more truth that God has shown me. I believe that God has used Bo Braswell and Brooklyn Kane for an incredible purpose and plan and I am honored that He chose me to be Bo’s mom. Lisa and I do not take credit at all for Covered In Love and the blessings that have come from this ministry. Before having Bo, I would have never chosen this path because my human mind would not have been able to see the beauty that would come from ashes. But now I can see where God has “turned my mourning to dancing” (Psalm 30:11) He has shown me that there “may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) and that He has a plan, “plans to prosper (me) and not to harm (me), plans to give (me) a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). And on the days when I am hurting and don’t have the strength to put one foot in front of the other, He says to me, His child, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

bonnie_sign


Posted Monday, January 13th, 2014 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Blanket Event @ Lifepointe Church Durant

27 Blankets Made!

27 Blankets Made!

Hello Friends! One of our CIL friends and a huge supporter wrote this summary for us about the CIL Blanket Event that was held at Lifepointe Church Durant a few weeks ago…..Thank you Callie Grimes!!!

The Durant Road Campus of Lifepointe Church hosted a Girls’ Night Out prayer blanket-making event for Covered in Love on Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 7–9 pm. Covered in Love is a non-profit ministry founded by Lisa Kane and Bonnie Braswell that offers women and their families hope and support following miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Over 50 women attended the event, which kicked off with refreshments and a heart-felt welcome from the event organizer, Kim Perry, wife of Rob Perry, Campus Pastor at Lifepointe-Durant. Lisa and Bonnie, who both lost infant sons in 2011 and met through Lifepointe, generously shared their stories of loss and emphasized the meaningful change Covered in Love continues to make locally, nationally, and globally.
Lisa and Bonnie provided an example of how their ministry is changing lives locally, describing how God led them to partner with a local hospital in December 2012. One of the nurses from the hospital provided further testimony of the profound difference this partnership has made in her life. She described how difficult it is to comfort and care for women and their families who are experiencing such tremendous loss and grief. This nurse expressed how the partnership with Covered in Love now gives her the opportunity to provide her patients with a prayer blanket, and explain that others have been praying for them long before they arrived at the hospital. She also emphasized how meaningful it is to offer long-term support to these families through the ministry website and support group. Finally, Kathy B., a recent patient who experienced the loss of her infant, expressed her appreciation and gratitude for the blanket she received from Covered in Love. She bravely described how she held tightly to the blanket as she labored, delivered, grieved, and ultimately left the hospital with no baby. With hardly a dry eye in the audience, the women in attendance partnered to make prayer blankets. As they prayed over the blankets, cut fleece, and tied knots, many of the women shared stories of loss that brought them to serve at this event. At the end of the evening, many stories were shared and 27 blankets were made for Covered in Love!
The prayer blankets are only one component of Covered In Love – the ministry also has a website that provides the opportunity to share a story, send in donations, and make prayer or blanket requests. The website also provides information for the support group, which meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Lifepointe Church, located at 9500 Durant Road, Raleigh, NC, 27614. It is the mission of Covered in Love to share the healing power of God’s love and the hope that is in Christ with women at any stage of their walk through the journey of loss. The Covered in Love ministry trusts in the plans of a sovereign God and prays that many hearts will be healed and many lives transformed as a result of this ministry. If you or someone you know has experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, please contact Covered in Love through the website at www.coveredinloveministries.com.
bonnie_sign  lisa_sign

 

 

Disclaimer:  Permission was granted to use the names stated above.


Posted Monday, December 9th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Just Say Jesus

Hello!! So…..it’s been awhile since we posted an update. LOTS of awesome things going on for Covered In Love! We have had TONS of blanket requests, blanket events, an October 15th Service of Hope, church events, etc. God is doing some incredible things and we feel like we are just getting a taste of what is to come for the future of CIL. In the coming weeks, we will be posting some updates on events we have had and some things to look forward to with our ministry.

But for now, I want to post something that has been on my heart for a few weeks. I simply LOVE to listen to KLove (the Christian radio station) in my car. Many times I sing to the top of my lungs and I’m sure I would be embarrassed if I knew how many people have actually caught me doing this. Oh well….so I was driving along a few weeks ago and heard this song called “Just Say Jesus” by 7eventh Time Down…..and it hit me LIKE A TON OF BRICKS. I’m talking tears, heart beating fast, stomach in knots…..if you don’t know the song, here are most of the words:

If you’re tired of wondering why
Your heart isn’t healing
And nothing feels like home
Cause you’re lost and alone just screaming at the sky

When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come
Cause you’re to afraid to pray
Just say Jesus

Whisper it now, or shout it out
However it comes out, He hears your cry
Out of nowhere He will come, you got to believe it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the Way, The Truth, The Light

This song brought back so many emotions and memories from a VERY SPECIFIC moment that I remember after my doctor telling me that Bo’s heart had stopped beating. My mom came in the room, we gave her the awful news and of course she was devastated. But I remember her holding on to me because I was in lots of pain, emotionally and physically (I was actually in labor) and she kept saying, “Just say Jesus’s name….just say His name.” And to be completely honest and real with you guys…..my response was, “I can’t! I don’t want to!” I was so hurt and angry at that very moment that I just couldn’t. I remember praying silently and telling God that I knew He was there, but I was just too broken to even say His name. But what AMAZES me now, is that I can look back and see that my mom KNEW….she KNEW, that there was SO MUCH POWER in the ONE name….JESUS. At that moment, she cried out to Jesus for me. Within hours I felt God’s supernatural peace….I can’t even put it into words. All of a sudden, we were telling our nurses, our family, our friends…..”We are gonna be OK, God is taking care of us and He’s gonna get us through this. We don’t know His plan, we don’t like His plan right now, but we trust His plan.” Believe me when I say that it was TOTALLY the Holy Spirit that caused us to respond that way….it was not our “natural response” by any stretch of the imagination. It was totally God. And now I look back and see that I REALLY believe it began with that moment when my mom said, JESUS. There is SO MUCH POWER in His name.

So when you feel like you have nothing left…..just say His name. If all you can do is whisper….just say His name. And for right now if you can’t say anything at all…..know that we are praying for you and calling on JESUS to bring healing in the midst of your brokenness.

With much love,
bonnie_sign


Posted Monday, November 4th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Be Still – June 2013

Exodus 14:14. It says, “the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”

There are many times in my life when I can’t fight anymore….I can’t move, my heart and my soul are so very tired. I love how these precious words in Exodus remind me that God doesn’t ask us to fight our daily battles of fear, worry, anxiety, hurt, etc. …He just asks us to be still. God will take care of the rest.
There is a song by Chris Tomlin that says, “I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind…the God of angel armies, is always by my side.” Wow! What an incredible picture of God and His army of angels surrounding us and fighting off the enemies!!! We just have to stop trying to bust through to the front line of the battlefield…let the One who loves you and wants to protect you fight FOR you.

 

bonnie_sign


Posted Thursday, June 13th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

my amazing husband off to mail blankets!  he is a huge fan of covered in love and his encouragement, help and support are such a blessing!! i thank God for him everyday!  xoxo

My amazing husband, Jason, off to mail blankets! He is a huge fan of covered in love and his encouragement, help and support are such a blessing!!
I thank God for him everyday! xoxo

 

lisa_sign


Posted Friday, April 19th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

God’s Plans – April 2013

When my children and I sit down to do puzzles, the first thing my kids do is separate the pieces by colors. I was always one to do the outside edges first and then fill in the puzzle. Well, my kids prefer to take all the pieces and put them into piles based on the colors. And, it always seem like whenever we sit down to do puzzles together, my kids divide up all the colors and mommy gets stuck with the pile of the mucky, yucky colored pieces. While my kids choose the pretty rainbow colored pieces, the bright vibrant colored ones, the pretty pastels, the pinks and purples for themselves.

One particular day in December of 2011, we were doing a puzzle and just like any other day doing puzzles together, my children had divided all of the pieces into the piles by color and I had been given the not particularly nice colored pile. As I sat there that morning and I looked at my pieces and then looked at their pieces, it really hit me that a puzzle is so much like our lives. The pieces of the puzzle represent various stages/seasons of our lives.

You see, that day, I felt like the mucky colored pieces of my pile. It had only been a few weeks since we had lost our son. The pain and emptiness were very new still. The hurt was very raw. So that morning those yucky brown and pea soup green colored pieces were very fitting to my mood and the place I was in life at that moment.

I sat there and did the puzzle with my kids. We put all the pieces together. We got to the very end of the puzzle and took a step back and smiled upon our finished work. It was then that I realized, yeah, life is really like a puzzle (just as I had been thinking a few minutes earlier). And those pieces that I had been doing that day were very representative of the season of life that I was in at that moment. But, when I looked at the puzzle as a completed whole, I no longer saw those pieces any more…my yucky brown, mucky pieces were now the base of a tree…a beautiful, beautiful tree that extended up into the sky…that had a rainbow behind it with a pretty princess and unicorn off to the side.

As I sat there and stared at those pieces, I saw myself right there (where my colored pieces were) at the base of the tree…there are days, there are weeks, there are months…sometimes even years when we feel like we are in those yucky colored pieces…but in the end, those colors, those pieces are just a tiny portion of the finished work that is the puzzle, the completed puzzle, that is God’s plan for our lives.

You see God has created this beautiful tapestry for each of us. Every piece and every detail is perfect. Nothing is overlooked. His plans are perfect. And within those plans…within this beautiful, beautiful tapestry of his there are pieces that are yucky colored (the dirt, the muck…the not so fun stuff). But those pieces are just as important as those vibrant pieces…those beautiful colored pieces. When all of those pieces are put in and that last piece is placed into that puzzle there is a beautiful finished picture. And, when we look at the beautiful finished picture, our eyes do not go to the muck. Instead, our eyes instead see that beautiful overall image.

Friends, sometimes we do not love God’s plans…sometimes we don’t even like God’s plans. Since that day in December, there have been lots more pieces added to the puzzle that is my life’s tapestry. Sometimes, I have been back in those mucky colored pieces…my father had a relatively minor surgery, ended up in a coma and nearly passed away…my three year old broke his arm in two places but only one break was initially found by the doctor. After the arm was cast and healed the doctor found there was a second break which by that point had now healed incorrectly. As a result, he had to see a pediatric orthopedic specialist for the past 4 months, has had to have his arm rebroken, had two surgeries, had rods put in and spent over 12 weeks in a cast…those are not fun times, they are not pretty colored times. But, as part of God’s plan, in the midst of the not so good times, beautiful things arise. Through months of wearing casts and being uncomfortable and in pain, my 3 year old continued to smile and not complain and thus taught me to find joy in spite of my life’s circumstances. As a result of the loss of our son, Brooklyn, two of my children have accepted Christ as their savior and a ministry that helps other moms after miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss has been born in his honor. Also during the past year and a half, many, many beautiful colored pieces have been added to my life’s puzzle. I have a brand new baby boy (he came 6 weeks early) but he is doing great. He is such a perfect and precious gift from God that arrived on Christmas day.

My point today is that when you are stuck in those yucky colored pieces, know that God is with you in those moments…as he is always. And that those pieces, even though they are not as pretty or fun as others, are part of a perfect plan that God has for your life. All those pieces together form that beautiful tapestry that God has designed for you. Someday, when each of our lives is complete and that last piece is put into its place, God will take a step back (just like my kids and I did) and smile down upon His completed work…the completed plans for your life.

I want to leave you today with one of my all time favorite Bible verses and I pray today that this verse will encourage you (just as it has encouraged me) to get through the tough times and to celebrate God’s perfect plans for your lives:

Jeremiah 29:11  – New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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Posted Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Loss of a Dream and the Hope God Gives

Today, Bonnie and I were blessed to have a table at the “Loss of a Dream and the Hope God Gives” conference at Open Door Baptist Church.  What a wonderful day of encouragement and Godly advice for women who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant loss and infertility.  Sandy Day (of Caleb Ministries) shared her powerful testimony.  We sang songs of worship and heard from a panel who spoke candidly of their losses and infertility.  There were lots of tears and laughter and hugs as women joined together to support and love on one another.  It is days like today, that I am SO thankful for my Savior and for the hope he brings to anyone that believes in Him!!!

Lisa, Sandy, Bonnie

Lisa, Sandy, Bonnie

 

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Posted Saturday, March 9th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Walk With Me

Recently I was in a small group setting on a Friday night and we were challenged with the question….”What is God trying to say to you right now? Right here, right now, in your present circumstances….what is He saying to you?” One of my friends shared three simple words that resonated in my heart on so many levels. “WALK WITH ME.”

Those three words have stuck with me and really made me think. In my own life I am presently facing some pretty significant changes. First, I just quit my job as a preschool teacher to be a stay at home mom. While I am extremely excited about this change, it can be intimidating and stressful to give up a source of income. Second, I am very excited about committing my time and energy to Covered In Love and reaching women who have suffered loss. Again, while I am 100% confident that this is what God wants me to be doing and I know He is working through this ministry in some HUGE ways…..it can still be a little intimidating and seem so much bigger than what I feel like I am capable of doing. (But of course, I know that it is not about ME….it is about HIM and all that HE can do!!) Third, we are expecting another baby in April. As you can imagine, the anxiety of being pregnant and the worry of “am I gonna bring home a baby this time?” is pretty overwhelming.
I am realizing that if I were to take a deep breath, slow down, and take hold of my Savior’s hand, a lot of my anxiety and worry could be relieved. Of course it does not mean I won’t struggle or have days of worry, hurt and pain. Absolutely I will. But isn’t it true that our burdens seem a little lighter when we don’t have to carry them alone?

So today I am learning to not run ahead Him and try to solve my problems and fix everything myself. On the other hand, I am also learning to not be afraid to take hold of God’s hand and face my fears. Just listen….you might also hear Him saying to you….WALK WITH ME.

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Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Storms – March 2013

I heard this scripture today and it made me think about my own faith and how it weathers the storms of life.

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’  He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

(Matthew 8:24-26, NIV)

I love this picture of Jesus. In the midst of big waves, rough sea, a dangerous situation…sleeping. He was not afraid. He was not worried. He was not anxious. He was calm and resting!

The storm seemed like too much to handle. The disciples were in the boat with Jesus. Right there next to Him and yet still felt afraid!!! If even the disciples felt fear right next to Jesus, isn’t it only natural for us to feel fear too?

Jesus wants us to trust in Him for it is faith that conquers fear. Trusting in His power and His presence can bring a calm into our lives that we alone cannot possess. Just like He was right there in the boat with the disciples, He is right there next to us each and every day.

I am thankful that I can rest (even during the storms) on the promises of God’s Word.

 

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Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Catalyst – Feb 2013

Lifepointe Church’s Catalyst Movement…..”being change agents in our family, our community and the world.”

Thank you Lifepointe Church for the call a year ago to join this “catalyst” movement. I feel honored and blessed to be able to share the loss of our son, Brooklyn, to help others who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss find the hope and healing that is in Christ.

To God be the glory.

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Posted Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We’ve made it to 2013 and we’re excited about all that it has in store for Covered in Love. We are so glad you’ve found us and hope you find this site welcoming and comforting. Please browse the site, read stories or submit yours. We’d love to hear them!

January marks a year of new beginnings and we hope it will be a good one for all of you!

Blessings,

CIL


Posted Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

1 year today – November 23

~ November 23, 2011 ~

One year ago today, we said good bye to our baby, Brooklyn. We miss him so much. We are very thankful for our Heavenly Father and for the healing He has brought to our family Brooklyn has changed (and will continue to change) more lives in his short time with us than he might have done in a long lifetime on earth. God has shown us His plans for Brooklyn and through his passing, our sweet 4 year old daughter came to know and accept Jesus in her heart and Bonnie and I were brought together to start Covered in Love. I would be lying if I said I don’t miss him everyday. However, I know we will be reunited again. What a glorious day that will be! In the meantime, I want to honor Brooklyn and honor God’s plans with Covered in Love. Please pray for our family and for this ministry and for all the lives it will touch.

Brooklyn Kane, I love you!!
XOXO

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Posted Friday, November 23rd, 2012 by cilmadmin, Tags: devotion

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