Family Tributes to Titus (continued)

This poem was written by my brother in law’s wife Jessica.


“His Promises”

Even in darkness and when we feel crushed,

His faithful love is holding us.

And through the dark His love illumes,

Reminding us of these His truths:

His perfect strength through weakness,

The sufficient grace He freely gives,

The promise soon of no suffering,

Of reigning then with Christ, our King.

These promises give his children peace,

And knowing that the tears will cease,

Each caught by the hands of the Loving One,

Whose love so great He sent His Son.

His love so great that He would die,

That the Son of Man be glorified.

That God be glorified through Him,

No other blood could cleanse our sin.

And each of these His rescued ones

Who’ve accepted Him and what He’s done,

As debt fulfilled for their own  crimes,

Can understand the reason why,

That in this life each tragedy,

Does not mean God does not see.

Does not mean He does not care.

Does not mean He was not there.

Instead He uses grief and pain

Because in loss there’s greater gain

Only in weakness can others see

The Living God glorified in me.

Blessed are those who do not see

Far blessed are they that then believe

That God still sees and God still cares

In pain He gives the grace to bear.

-Aunt Jessica

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Family Tributes to Titus (continued)

This poem was written by my sister in law Sarah.


“A Different Miracle”

Joy filled my heart as I leapt off the last stair,

Then I heard a cry of terror split the air.

I watched in horror as fear filled my heart,

Surely God would not allow this newborn soul to depart!

Confidence crept in as I prayed for the precious babe,

I knew God would spare the life that He gave.

Alas, too soon, anger began to fill my pleas within.

He was not giving what I expected of Him.

Why would God let my family fell this grief?

I felt I would hold this against the One in whom I placed my belief.

In the midst of my despair,

I listened to a song my sister sang in prayer.

But as I looked up I saw a sight that filled my eyes with tears,

And that sight seemed to melt all my anger and fears.

‘Twas not my sister as I had wrongly assumed,

The Mother of the son filled the air with her song of sweet perfume.

“‘Tis So Sweet” was the song that comforted us.

Titus Bristow heard these last words as he flew to Jesus.

As I listened to her beautiful lyrical,

I knew God had given us a different miracle:

The assurance that He will never leave,

Even in times it’s hardest to believe.

-Aunt Sarah

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Family Tributes To Titus

May 17, 2011, I gave birth to and said good bye to my first born child Titus Bristow. Over the next few weeks leading up to his birthday I plan to share with you the family tributes that were written in his honor.

This first one was written by my sister in law Talitha.

“My Epistle to Titus”

You are a beautiful baby. You really can’t help it with Tanner and Megan as your daddy and momma. When I got to hold you yesterday, I kissed your soft cheek and stroked your silky black hair. I’m so sad that I will never get to play with you and tell you stories, but maybe I’ll get to give you a copy of this letter someday when I see you again. These are the things I ‘d want to tell you the most if you could’ve grown to understand.

Your momma told me yesterday that Jesus would have to take care of you and raise you, and that was ok with her because he would do a lot better job than your Daddy and she could. I knew she was right, but I also know that you would’ve had the best possible parents on earth.

Your parents are described in the book of Titus, after which you were named. Your Daddy is blameless, a steward of God, not self -willed, not soon angry, a lover of hospitality, just, holy, temperate, and holding fast to God’s faithful word. (Titus 1:7-9) Your momma loves your daddy, loves you, is sober, is discreet, chaste, keeps her home well and is obedient to your daddy, so that she will not blaspheme the Word of God. (Titus 2:4-6)

I know they would have taught you the faithful words of God that they believe, which summed up, would have been this–“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldy lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 2:11-14; 3:3-7)

Your parents chose to name you Titus, which means “defender.” It reminds me of where David writes to God in Psalm 5:11–“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Although this is a hard time for your parents, they do love and trust God. God promises he will defend them. Trusting God’s faithfulness brings joy to them even though they’ve lost you, their precious son. Your life would have been one of joy, because of who your parents are.

We all miss knowing you, but we know God is our Father; we know he loved us enough to send his only  begotten Son to die for us and his Spirit to comfort us; and because of that, we know we will see you again.

We thank God for you, little Titus Bristow. I love you.

-Aunt Talitha

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Strength For The Weak And Weary

Isaiah 40:28-29

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.


What a mighty God! What an awesome King that He would condescend to increase the strength of those who are weak.

Are you weak today? Are the trials of this life too much to bear? Cast your burden on Jesus today. He created You and will empower you to live the life He has called You to.

The God who is everlasting and from everlasting, Who sees and knows all will direct your steps. Put Your trust in Him today and rest in His strength.

Every Hour Is For Fellowship With The Lord


Over the next several weeks my husband is going to be working some crazy hours. When I was reading Psalm 42 I saw a few things that I need to remember during this time.

Verse 8 is a reminder of the Lord’s constant presence and love whatever hour of the day or night it may be.

During the day I need to continually remind myself, God loves me. God is kind towards me. When the hours stretch long and my spirits get down I need to remember that God is faithful and He still loves me then.

At night do I hear the Lord’s song with me? What is the Lord’s song? More lovingkindness I’m sure.

What ever hours we are keeping, the Lord needs to be the focus of those hours and the one I need to glorify and worship.

I need to use this upcoming trial to cling closer to God and to PRAY. Not think about praying, actually spend the days and the nights talking with and fellowshipping with Jesus. When I am lonely, It’s a perfect chance to commune with Him. When I am weak and overwhelmed I need to turn to Him for strength.

Psalm 42 is such a perfect outline for my own prayers.

Dear God,

You are my life giver, the air I breathe. You are my sustenance, I need You more than food or drink or air to breathe for You are life. Without You there is nothing. God, I’m longing for that beautiful blessed day when I shall see Your face and serve You with the other saints, in perfect peace. I live in anticipation when the trials of this life are remembered no more and I get to sing “Holy!” before you as You wipe every tear from my eye.

Comfort me as I strive to walk righteously before You on this earth. Jesus You know how I feel when my husband works hours like these. I thank You that he has a job and can provide so well for our family. Help me in my work as he is gone to raise our children, and to care for our home and to do it well. Strengthen me when the loneliness and mundaness of my work gets to me. Encourage me and remind me what an important job I am doing, raising souls for you.

I pray Your Holy Spirit will remind me continuously that You are here beside me even when I don’t feel you. Remind me of Hebrews that tells me about my faithful High Priest who remembers that I am but dust. Who pities me and knows my heart and has experienced trials as an overcomer. Make me an overcomer as You are.

Help me to remember to talk to myself about Your Word rather than listen to myself or the enemy. When I get discouraged may I hope in You. Remind me that there is help when I seek Your face. Teach me how to seek Your face.

Show me moments of the day where I can be pulling out Your Word and reminding myself of all that You have done.

You are my Rock when life is chaotic. You are the anchor for my soul and I will praise You.

In Jesus Name I pray, A-men


Psalm 42

42 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

20 Random Facts About Me

Saw a friend of mine do one of these on her blog and it looked like fun, so here we go…

  1. The Myers-Briggs personality test has me pegged at 60% extroverted and 40% introverted. You think that would make me a very balanced person but instead I’m just awkward in every possible situation
  2. I spend my free time reading medical literature. So nerdy but I can tell you a treatment for just about anything.
  3. I’m an obsessive list writer. Yep, I see the irony of this being in a list… but seriously I write multiple to do lists every day
  4. I have 1 full brother, 2 half siblings and 5 step siblings
  5. My favorite food is a hot ‘n buttery lobstah roll
  6. I only read non-fiction books. Even as a kid I thought fiction was a waste of time when I could be reading something real.
  7. I can milk a cow and milked a couple of them every morning for a while
  8. I was married at 17
  9. Now a days I talk with an Arkansan accent but when I talk to my babies my voice gets all New England. Are you ti-ed? Poor baby is sta-vin! Breakfast will be ready in two shakes of a pussy cats tail.. Does that count as raising children bilingual?
  10. Very cliche’ to say but my favorite season is fall and everything associated with it makes me happy- cold weather, pumpkins, sweaters, hayrides, thanksgiving…
  11. My favorite hobby is reading, especially autobiographies
  12. Ever since first grade gym class my favorite game has been capture the flag
  13. I have had type 1 diabetes for 10 years
  14. My biggest pet peeve? Probably tardiness weather in myself or other people
  15. I enjoy serving people good homemade food but I don’t actually like cooking even though I’m good at it. I see cooking as a chore on my to do list.
  16. When people guess my age they usually add at least a few years to how old I am
  17. I love camping but hardly ever go
  18. If you ever see me adding an extra letter u to words it’s because I read the King James translation of the Bible and forget that other people don’t use archaic spellings like ‘saviour’
  19. I attend a home church. Meaning, the group of believers we meet with worship in each other’s homes instead of getting a building.
  20. My favorite color is red

Now you know a little more random weirdness about me 🙂


Mom and kid fun day (taking a day off from the busyness life)

This morning I pushed myself through my early morning routine before my husband got off his shift. I was tired from being up with the baby and I get easily discouraged when my husband has to work a shift that leaves me the only care giver for our children for around 22-23 hours a day. I felt grumpy and groaned inwardly thinking about the monotonous schedule of caring for home and children ahead of me.

I prayed and ask the Lord to give me love for my children and my job of raising them. I asked Him to change my heart about the day ahead. I thought, “It would be nice to have a day where I could just be a mom and enjoy my kids instead of having so much other work to do as well.” I thought about it while getting dressed and decided, why not? Why not just for 1 day, put every thing else aside and just hang out with my kids? There is always tomorrow to catch up on house work but only today to build a relationship with my children.

I have a journal that I got recently that each night before bed I’ve been writing down in 1-2 sentences some way that I had fun with or really connected with my children that day. I struggled last night to come up with something. Sure, there were things I did with them, we read books, I sang them songs, took them on a walk. But, I was just going through the motions of the day looking forward to them going to bed because I was exhausted from dealing with behavior issues and constant demands. I don’t want to feel that way about my kids. They are my greatest joy in life and if I loose sight of that I realize I need to step back and reprioritize some.

Today was a “yes” day. Yes to whatever fun my kids wanted to do and everything else got pushed aside.

The baby woke up and I let him squeal and laugh as load as he wanted instead of trying to keep him from waking up his sister. I blew raspberries on his tummy and tickled his toes. When E woke up I usually change her pull up, dress her and make her brush her teeth right away as she wines throughout the whole process. This morning though I said yes to snuggles while she wore a bloated pull-up and said yes to kisses and chatting with stinky breath. The last thing i probably felt tike doing this morning was playing ‘pretend there is a monster behind the couch’ but that’s what E wanted to do so I played like I was scared and then pretended to be the monster and chase her around the house.

I packed up the kids in the car and headed off to Starbucks (fun for both of us!). I didn’t put on makeup or do my hair, and I wore my husbands wool sweater and flip-flops. I was comfortable and ready to play. I ordered Ella a foamed milk with vanilla syrup and let her pick out what ever she wanted to eat. I loved watching how grown up she felt drinking from a “mama cup.” We stayed there for an hour as she ate her choice of dehydrated cheese and a fruit pouch. (Weird breakfast I know.) She socialized with people and watched the cars go by as I fed T.J his baby food. I let her touch every balloon that was decorating a promotional table. “Can we go to the library?’ she asked. “Yes!” (she didn’t know that was what I was planning on doing with her anyways.)

We sat on the rug together for story time and I did tummy time with T.J. We got to pet a rabbit the librarian brought and I put and cleaned up as many puzzles as she wanted to do. She made a rabbit ear head band and I let her use as much glue as her heart desired! We checked out books and I let her stay until every other child had left and she was satisfied that she had done everything there was to do.


I don’t normally let her watch T.V on short car rides but today I said yes to Milo and Otis on the car T.V. We got home and I said yes  to 3 episodes of leap frog as I nursed T.J put him to bed and made lunch. I had to use some of that time to do dishes and send off some stuff in the mail ’cause you know, sanitation and deadlines lol.

I said yes to 6 books while we cuddled before her nap. I had to finally start saying no to her hundredth pre nap time request or she would have never slept though!

After her nap she wanted 2 bowls of cheerios for a snack. Why not?

She went crazy with markers on a giant roll of butcher paper.

Late afternoon I started to run a fever, my throat began to get sore and my blood sugars started running high, really wiping me out. (Looking back this is probably a part of why I felt so discouraged this morning.)

The Lord helped me this evening and I made E hot dog and chips and peas for dinner (one of her favorites and it was super easy for me!)

I gave her a bubble bath with a crazy amount of bubbles in it, what could be more fun?

Before bed both the children and I laid in my bed together and turned on a toy that projects stars onto the ceiling. We finished the day off with a couple more books. I’m leaving the laundry, the toys, and the scattered dishes right where they are and heading to bed myself!

I wish I didn’t feel so awful now, but I’m so thankful I had such a fun day with my kids and I hope I made some memories for Ella. I need to put the housework and errands aside more often and just have some relaxing yes days. I have lots of things to pick for my gratitude journal tonight. 🙂


I found this book at the library and thought it fit our day perfectly!