Sometimes we get to choose our vocation. Sometimes we don’t.

I’ve always tended to wear many hats. I like the variety, love the opportunities and I am energized by the challenges.

As of this week, I am down to a short stack of hats.

My son, Joshua, is 19 years old.  He will not be long on this earth.  He entered Hospice Care on Monday.

The work of my life is now singular and focused: to help Josh live well until the moment Jesus calls him Home. Buttressed up against this calling is the passion to help my other four children navigate this pain with peace and hope intact and secure.

As a parent, we are called to equip our children to live well, no regrets, eyes on Jesus.

Now, with a surprise time line, I’ve been called to prepare Josh to die well, no regrets, eyes on Jesus.

It is no small thing.

Joshua has been very sick. He was born with Sickle Cell Anemia.  He had a stroke when he was five.  Liver disease was uncovered this past year. His liver is now ravaging his lungs. Josh’s decline over the last 2 1/2 weeks has been rapid. It caught us off guard. My heart is in the spin cycle. It’s likely to remain there or return there again and again in the weeks ahead. Isaiah gives me hope.

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in the secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3

My name.

My hat.

My knees are quaking.

Moses knees shook, too. He wasn’t sure of his hat, either.

Moses was honest with God. “Hey, this is not easy.”

God’s reply.

My presence will go with you and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14

A new hat to wear.

A new road to travel.

A new rest to embrace.

I can’t imagine when I’ll be back to weekly posts. God knows. Until then, find that hat with your name on it and run the race in a strength not your own.  

Pray us through.  Pray us through. Pray us through.

Is This Your First Time Here?


Run hard. Rest well. launched in March 2013. If this topic 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.

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run hard. rest well.


First time here?

25 thoughts on “Hats”

  1. Brenda, we are wearing your hat with you. God bless josh with peace and you with strength.

    mobile office! In His Grip, Dave Maki

  2. Brenda know we are praying for all of you. Holding you close in our hearts and may God hold you in the palm of HIS hand.

  3. Brenda, my heart is breaking for you. I look and see the vacation you had. So much fun. What a wonderful send off for Josh. He got to have fun! And now he is preparing for an even better vacation. Now he will find the rest his body and his mind so desperately needs….there….in the arms of Jesus. For Josh….peace, healing, happiness. For the rest of you…an empty hole left by the lose of one you love. For now….today…Jesus…. and for tomorrow….Jesus….and for always….Jesus. He will not suffer your foot to stumble.

  4. Our family will be praying for your family.
    Try to keep that eternal perspective.
    All of us are here but a moment compared to eternity.

  5. As usual, led by your love of Jesus and your incredible family, this piece is one of your very best…my humble opinion. Storming the throne dear sister, Linda

  6. My heart breaks for your family but see the strength you have in Christ by lifting up His name in the midst of life’s most difficult times. May Gods peace surround you and give you comfort as you keep your eyes on Jesus and His promises. Holding all of you up in prayer.

  7. Brenda, Tim and family,

    I don’t know what to say, but wanted to say something so that you know that I read this, I love all of you and Josh, I am praying for you, and my heart is breaking with you.

    So much love and prayers for peace that surpasses understanding,

  8. May the God of all grace accompany you and your son through this time… Jesus is with you now – though we see as through a veil, darkly. On the other side awaits perfect clarity as we live through this time by faith, dear sister. May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your heart & mind, Brenda, Josh’s heart & mind, and the hearts and minds of all who are near to you, in Christ Jesus.

  9. Although we have not met personally, I have been introduced to you through this blog and through Youth Encounter. Please know that the Youth Encounter community is praying for you and your family in this difficult time. May God’s wash over you all like a tidal wave.

  10. Brenda, you have said it so well! Know that you are loved and prayed for by many and we are keeping you and your family close to our hearts.

  11. All of your family is in my prayers….thanks for sharing these beautiful words and our Eternal hope scripture. A silence and solitude friend, Lanna

  12. Your words (Gods words) have touched my heart in ways that are deep and personal. You are a great woman of faith. I know there is nothing to say to make it hurt less (I know that all too well). But you are wearing the hat given to you with amazing grace & strength as you show the world how glorious and loving our God is. I pray for you in your hurt & sadness wishing that I could take it away but knowing you are walking this journey with His Hope & purpose….never alone.


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