Front Porch

The free fall has ended.
In the span of 11 days, our 19 year old son Joshua, went from being in the hospital (“you are too sick to treat at home” on Monday) to being admitted into Palliative Care (“you are not going to get better” on Friday) to Hospice Care (“you are going to die” on Tuesday) to being admitted into a Hospice Home (“you are dying now” on Thursday.)

Free fall.


Roller coaster.
I brushed my teeth three times in those 11 days. Maybe.
Today is Wednesday. Tonight is our 5
th night here at this beautiful Hospice Home.

Now that the free fall has ended, I have had a little time to think.

I am living with my child in a place dedicated to dying.

This home is dedicated to life, but the reality of death is all too real.

The cries of heartache ring loud and clear.

A bedroom full of the living is empty and lifeless as I walk to the coffee machine in the morning. A kick to the gut could not impact me more.

Still, hospice is not about dying, it’s about living, living well until it’s time to die.

The commitment of the staff runs deep and wide. Josh is being given the opportunity to live well through the gift of extraordinarily high doses of pain medication being pumped into him through a thin needle in his abdomen 24 hours a day. At this time, his debilitating pain and the struggle for breath are not hindering his life, even though the dying process marches on at a pace that makes me tremble. Josh’s pain and breathlessness have been rendered (as of this time) less potent. The gift of this place has given us the “few days” I longed and prayed for one week ago tonight.

And you know what?

We’re sitting on the front porch of heaven.
We are alive and well in the Presence of God, all seven of us. This is a family affair of staggering proportions. What God has done in our hearts and set into motion in the hearts of others is evidence of his power, might and love.

Thanks to you, we are surrounded—walking 2 feet off the ground because of your prayers.
The time we are sharing is precious, priceless and life-giving.
It’s a Psalm 23 kind of week and the Shepherd is in pursuit of us all.
Prayer Focus

  • Josh has had a year of pain. Unbelievable pain. I’ve lost count of our nights in the hospital…something like 86. Pray for an effortless, peaceful passage into the arms of Jesus.

  • Pray we are unafraid – all of us. Josh, for what is before him. Us, for what is to come.

  • Pray for the Glory of God to be revealed for Kingdom ripples above and beyond!

Hi There

This is a ministry dedicated to work and rest and the time we spend doing both. Field-tested material (Promise Land: Rest Redefined~Rest Rediscovered) was to be released this Labor Day to all who subscribe. It still will be at some time. It is so close to being done. God recently hit the pause button, however, when our 19 year old son, Joshua, was diagnosed with Hepatopulmonary Syndrome. It’s a rare complication of liver disease that destroys the lungs. A liver transplant is the only treatment. Josh is not a candidate because he was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. We were told in May, Josh had 24 months to live. Through a series of complications and a fire where we live, Josh began a rapid descent on August 2. It hit high gear on August 14. Josh was placed in Hospice Care on August 20. The ministry, the material, the timing is in his hands. It always has been. If you sign up for the blog, I’d love to send it your way. Here’s how it begins.


Promise Land

Rest is not a reward.

You can’t earn it.

You don’t deserve it.

It’s a given. Part of a plan. Free of charge and full of grace, poured out from the heart of God.

Rest comes to us signed, sealed, delivered. But it is rejected. Neglected. Again and again.

Are you numbered in those ranks?

We all are—if we’re honest.

We are made for more, yet settle for less.

This website launched in March 2013. The If rest is a topic that grabs your heart, we’d like to encourage you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. Along the way, we’ve encouraged folks to read the first 12-weeks of posts found in the archives. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1 (from March). Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.

Rest well!


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17 thoughts on “Front Porch”

  1. Oh, Brenda… and Tim… and Josh… and Sam… and Joe… and Anna… and Noah. May this — even THIS! — be used by our mighty God for the good of those who love Him (you!). We will continue to pray.

  2. My heart is with you; resting on the everlasting arms of Jesus. Life is so full of loss and the love of God. Take your journey and I know it will be hard, but will make you so much stronger. Your faith will never waiver, in the long run. Many years have past since I made your journey, may God wrap you in the warm blanket of love, as he did me. Nancy

  3. How beautiful your words are, my friend. I cannot even imagine walking through the halls of this home, had not Jesus been preparing you for the past year plus. He has taught you the need for rest. He has placed it in you heart and mind, and , now, it is all consuming. Rest? How do you walk out rest in the valley of the shadow? And yet, you do. Pain. Most certainly. Grief. That too. Anger. Who wouldn’t. But, now, in this moment…this high and holy moment…. Jesus. What an enormous privilege you have been granted. Thank you for teaching us to walk in the process as we each prepare to walk though out own valleys of the shadow.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Have enjoyed your emails and am learning rest is an important part of life. Thanks for your imput. Trust in the Lord – He is there by your side. Brenda

  5. Oh Brenda, my heart and prayers are with you on this final journey with Josh as he prepares to enter hisheavenly home. May God’s peace fill you all and surround you completely. You are loved and cared forby all those that know you, but especially by HIM who made you. May His “peace that passes all under-standing” be in each of you at this time. God bless your day! Jean Light/Emmanuel Lutheran -God is with us Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:29:33 +0000 To:

  6. Dear Brenda and Tim, reading this broke my heart. I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your family, and especially for Josh. God bless you, I am strengthed by the strength in your words, but I also know that your heart must be breaking. I wish I could give you words to help, but I think only prayer will do. We love you, and we are praying.

    Chris and Heather Shepherd

  7. Praying still. Finding it difficult to imagine what you all are going through. Amazed at the strength evident in your lives, but know it is real world evidence of our Lord’s presence. From Psalm 63:6-8, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadows of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

  8. My eyes are damp as I read your post. Your heart, your pain, your sharing move me. I pray in the night for Joshua and all who love him. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend dear Joshua – hold him tight, hold him gentle.

  9. I have been keeping up with Sam’s posts on facebook as well. Truly saddening but warming that God is with you and all of the family through this time. So sorry to hear all the same it has spiraled down to this for poor Josh. To think he is the same age as me is so eye-opening to any and all. He is so strong!!! Always praying for him!!!

    God bless, and it is always on God’s hands.

  10. My our good and gracious Heavenly Father draw your family close into His ever-loving arms. May He grant you all peace, comfort, and understanding as you continue this journey with Josh. And may He take Josh into His kingdom gently, with the love only a Savior can show. My heart goes out to you, and we will continue to pray for your family.

  11. brenda, really praying for all of you, that you have the strength you need to get through this, wish i had words to comfort you! wish you didn’t have to go through this… praying fiercely for joshua and all of you:) your family has been an amazing witness to all of us:)


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