This title has lingered in my mind for a long while. I know it is a theme for so many things this past year. I am not even ready to really process all that it entails. We lost Abigail Ann on May 26th, 2022. Time did not stand still but I have never been the same. In so many good and hard ways. Then as life does the season changed and we suddenly went from homeschooling to private school life with drop offs and volunteering and a new group of people. I didn’t know how much I would need this but so much inside me fought this change. But yet His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than my ways! So much higher. Then in almost the same breath we swung the hammers and began the long awaited DEMO!! Aka renovation on my Dad’s house. 

If you have watched any amount of Youtube or HGTV you have a thought that renovation means quick change. Nope. Not at all. Most things are much slower than you think and so much does not go as you hoped! Yeesh I was a newb and I learned so so much. Especially the hard way. Which is my speciality. Thank you Jesus that our marriage was still in tact after all that. I think if we could make it through 2019 we can make it through anything. Let the reader understand. So in October I began to box up our home for a hopeful move in around mid December so we could be living in the renovation while we sold our beloved first house! But nothing really lined up that way and the house was not ready to move into. So we prepped our house while living in it with three kiddos and a cat! Yikes! Not my favorite plan! 

Then at the end of December, Stephen had his planned shoulder surgery. I think this is like drowning and someone throwing you a baby.  So I dug in and kept pushing. Clean, declutter, care for all the people, support my husband. I am telling you it was not easy. And in the midst of it all life just kept going and going. Then praise God we sold the house just as my Dad’s house was ready enough for us to move in. It was a juggling act. But it worked out. We literally had one working toilet, a working sink, and a tub when we moved in. Thankfully by the second night we had a working shower. And all of our bedrooms were painted and ready minus closets! Still working on those closets. That was the beginning of February. What a crazy thing to just kind of look back and sit in the memory of it all! I am blown away that it all worked out! Our awesome construction team worked up until May and got all the inside of the house done minus a few things. Money wise we needed to take some time off and it just worked out that the time frame was the summer. 

So then I had all the kids home at once again. Just like old times but this time I was pregnant again. I will write more I believe about how hard the early months of this pregnancy were. It unearthed so much. But the summer was sweet. Pool time, popsicles, friends, and settling in a bit more into our new place. Then August hit like a freight train with school supplies and haircuts and memories of our first school drop offs from last year. The day after we took those “first day of school” pictures we began phase two of the Reno. I am so thankful to see the transformation happening again but it adds its own chaos. But for the first time I can see the end is in sight. Although we may have projects here and there to work on over time this part with workers in our home has an end. It almost took my breath away to realize that. This transitional feeling has been a part of my life for over a year now and I wasn’t really prepared to feel like it may have an end. 

Why am I sharing this? There are honestly so many details I am not sharing. I am mostly giving a broad stroke to the immense amount of change I have experienced this past year and I am still experiencing. I share to say. I am okay. God has taught me something this past year that honestly never knew I needed. I remember our pastor preaching a message called “The illusion of happiness.”  A couple weeks later he ended up preaching it again at a conference I attended. I had no idea how much I needed to hear this. My circumstances and emotions have pretty much kind of driven a lot of the undertone of my life. I am not sure I would have been able to tell you that cognitively. When you are a victim of your life, trying your best to make do with what you have for so long it becomes like breathing. You can ask most people that have walked through any amount of trauma. 

It really began two years ago with an invitation to “let not your heart be troubled.” And then a couple months later another layer, “Do not worry about your life.” And then these teachings last fall inviting me to break my agreement with living according to my circumstances. Then this past May “learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” I can not even explain how these simple invitations from the words of Jesus have changed me from the inside out. But I have drawn that line in the sand and committed to trying. And I have been simply blessed with the outcome. Change. Transformational change bit by bit deep inside me in ways I could not have done on my own. Basically these principles are my new plumb line for life. Anxiety, fear of man, and the waves of life are not going to dictate to me how to live or respond to my life. 

I am basically just grateful. And believe me these changes have been tested. At every single turn. God knows! But here I am. Not sure if it’s turning 43 or just lack of energy from pregnancy but I am not going to beat myself up for not being perfect on these principles. I just keep hearing His voice calling me to come to Him and learn from Him. I can do that. I can be gentle with myself and with others. Even as a mom. I just have to take myself out of the rat race and comparison game. I am me. I am learning how to love. I am learning how to live in this new freedom. Letting it change me bit by bit. 

Introducing Jonathan Daniel Wick!!

July 8th a whirlwind of Joy came into our lives and we are permanently blessed and changed forever! Introducing Jonathan Daniel Wick! Yes its a belated intro but anyone who has had two babies in two years will explain it all to you! 🙂

Jonathan Daniel is a joy bomb! A force of happy that is definitely to be reckoned with! He loves his brother and turns to smile at the sound of his daddy’s voice and is forever searching for that momma voice! He has certainly turned our world upside down!

His name Jonathan means “gift of God” and Daniel means “God is my judge!” I like to sing a little song to him that says Jonathan Daniel, a gift of God revealing His justice. He gives lots of mercy to his brother who is in a stage of wanting to lay on his brother, placing the full weight of his awesome 30 pounds upon his brother! Our house is a bit wild now and its just the beginning from what I have heard! We are just in love with both of these boys but covet your prayers as we raise them up in the fear of the Lord! There is no other place we would rather be right now in life but I will say it has challenged me more than I expected! But then again I didn’t really know what to expect and decided to not fear what I did not know and I had not yet done!

I get to stay home with both of them while my husband works full time and although we miss daddy each day I am so incredibly grateful to get to stay home with these sweet boys! David loves to climb up in the crib each time Jonathan wakes up from his sleep. He points at the mobile which I turn on and he snuggles up right next to Jonathan and wiggles around until I get the blanket “just” right. This has become our routine. I make sure I stop and let it happen each time, well until he get rowdy and decides its time for a doggy pile lol! Jonathan, like I said, is very forgiving as mommy rescues him!

These boys are both a Gift from God! We are so blessed!
We have also added to our number in the pet arena! We have our bunny Goodness, her new friends Buck and Little Girl, both also bunnies! As well as our new kitten Earl Grey Wick! We call him Grey! He is a cutie that got his first bath last night as well as a much needed nail trim!

Okay so that is us! The Wick family is growing and we love it! We will keep you posted!

A letter to my Mom after 10 years. Losing my mom (part 4)

Wedding Day, 2-14-97

On this day, June 11th, 2006, we lost a beautiful woman! She was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandma, and an extravagant lover of Jesus! I have been blogging for a couple months now leading up to this anniversary and now here we are! Ten years!

Mom, Brian, and me! 1980

Dear Mom,

I miss you! We miss you! Days go by now where I don’t feel it as intensely but I know in my heart I never forget. I remember when I cook or when I go to make a call! I remember when I look at my son and anticipate the next one in four weeks. Have you seen David’s blue eyes? Can you believe how cute and smart he is? I bet you can! I wish you were here to squeeze him and tell him stories and take him on adventures! He is such a gift and has such an incredible view of the world! Reminds me of you sometimes. You had this way of looking at things! Always trying to put yourself in other people’s shoes! Remember that sign on the wall? That Indian Proverb that said “You don’t know a man until you have lived a day in his moccasins.” You lived that more than anyone else I have ever met! Always believing the best about others! Stephen is a lot like that too though. You would love him and I know you probably already do! He is incredibly kind and servant-hearted, which an incredible joy about so many things! You both get very serious about things of justice and take them very personally. Its so fun to see similarities in you both and yet you have never met! We can’t wait to meet our new baby boy, he will probably come out smiling, I wish you could snuggle him and pray over him and sing over him. But, we will make sure he gets a much love as we can give regardless!

High school graduation 1998!

We made chocolate chip pancakes this morning! David “helped” me make them and they reminded me of you and I tried to make them in mass so I would have a ton in the freezer for snacks later but somehow I think I only have like 8 left over! Made me realize how many pancakes you would flip in one morning so we could have so many extras! And you would have the waffle iron going at the same time! Super woman! Wish I could remember exactly how you made your home-made spaghetti sauce, I am sure its a not a big deal but not sure if I could ever get it “just” right! Or remember the potato cakes you would make from left over mashed potatoes! And I remember when we were younger in the house by the rail road tracks you would make pan-fried chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes and corn! Oh wow was that yummy! Brian and I would make sandwiches with the bread from the leftovers! We would stuff ourselves so full on fried chicken day! I feel like I am finally finding my cooking grove over here but would have loved to have had you on speed dial when I was trying to figure it all out!

Mom with her daycare kids at the fire station!

Ten years?! I can barely believe it’s been ten years. Jason said “Its so long they even have a special name for it, a decade!” That made it even more real. Wow. And Mandy said that the “void of silence” from you after ten years, who could ever fill that silence for you? And what an example of spirit you were! I totally agree, what kind of woman would I be even if I hadn’t had you as my momma?! I am a blessed woman! I know that void has been felt by more than just me. It has been a void of your presence, your love, your laugh, your hugs, your voice, your prayers, and so many other things. What an incredible void its been! I just wanted you to know that I stopped today! I stopped and I missed you and I ate your pancakes and I thought of all the things I wanted to tell you that this letter doesn’t even begin to touch on. Ten years is a lot to catch up on! Mom, I came to the house of prayer just like you hoped, I sang and sang and sang, I got my loans paid off, I got my teeth fixed, and I made a CD! (Which I still need to release).

Mom & me in 1981!

Mom, I got married! I married this amazing man who doesn’t expect me to be perfect and loves me everyday regardless of how clean the house is! And I have this incredible little person named David that fills my day and keeps growing so fast and you would just be in love with him! He is just incredible!! And now I am about to have another baby and you still aren’t here and I understand that in reality but in my heart I still wish you were! I still just “want my mom!” I know its not possible but its just what comes natural when I think of what my perfect “birth story” would be. Having these babies without you is just not the same but we find our way anyways!

Thanksgiving 2003! The first time our whole family (Lillich clan) were all together with mom! She was so excited! 

Thank you!! Thank you for being the mom who poured herself out day after day without a regard to who saw and how acknowledged you were! You worked really hard and I know that now! Thank you for dealing with all of my emotions and loving me regardless! Thank you for cheering me on  and embarrassing me in the grocery store line so you could tell someone how awesome of a singer I was. Even though it drove me crazy at the time. Thank you for always being you even when people didn’t understand or didn’t treat you nicely! You set the bar high in being yourself and not bending even when it wasn’t popular. Thank you for loving me, listening to my stories, calling me in all those countries, and praying for me even when you needed prayer! Thank you for always pursuing Jesus and journaling all of your struggles and prayers and tears and loving Him even when you didn’t know the end of the story!
Connie Sue you have left a mark on me and so many others! Because of you I will never be the same! I love you so much! I miss you today and every day and I CAN’T wait to see you again! My heart is filled with joy just thinking about it!
See you in my dreams!
Love you,
Your baby girl!

Mom and me 1980
Mom and me 2006
Mom and her six brothers and sisters and her mom Doris in 2005 for Grandma’s 85th bday!
Other blogs in the series “Losing my mom:”
Part 1: Losing my mom

Losing my mom (part 1)

Through out my life loss has been a theme. First it was observing abuse, then it was experiencing abuse, then it was more real through my parent’s divorce, then one summer losing friends through a vehicle accident, and grandparents passing on top of that. But nothing could have prepared me for losing my mom. I know the veil is thin, she is dancing before the throne, and one day again we will be together but for now she is gone and this has been the most painful loss of all. 

In a month it will be 10 years since a car accident took my mom from this earth and I am thankful for the time which has healed more than I know but it doesn’t seem like that long at all. The months leading up to her accident I was home on furlough from being a full time missionary overseas working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). So we had been spending almost all of that time together until just a week before the accident. My stepdad, mom, and I even went on a cruise to the Carribean for six days when I landed in the US from being gone for two whole years. My mom could not wait to see me and drove straight down to Texas to meet me a whole night before she was supposed to! I have pictures of her face when she saw me for the first time in two years! If anyone knew her they can imagine what she would do to see her “baby girl!” 

Vacation together! 

My mom was a tenacious lover of people! Especially her kids! During the four years I spent in missions she would always find a way to call me, no matter the nation I was in! And packages would appear at the host homes even in South Africa I got hot chocolate and Reece’s Peanut Butter cups!! She was a force to be reckoned with, a Momma with a burning heart for Jesus! After the cruise she instantly wanted to find a church to go to. Although I also love Jesus I told her no, “no mom, we are not going to go to church today, we are going to get off of this huge boat, find something to eat, and make it to Wichita before dark!” I probably broke a piece of her heart but she said okay, this woman loved to worship and be at church! She loved to go wherever we were, whenever she could! And that was where she was the night she died. She had just left a church meeting in Hoxie, Kansas and was headed home to Atwood when the driver of another car drove through a highway stop-sign and T-boned her car, killing her almost instantly. And in that moment, at 50 years old, she was living her biggest dream and that was to see the face of Jesus, her beloved one! 

I know so often when we lose someone we can blow out of proportion the “amazingness” of the one we lose. I do that sometimes and then I remember that she also used to drive me crazy lol! But I can not exaggerate how my mom loved the Lord. That would never be possible! She set a precedent for me that I am not even sure I would know how to surpass and I am okay with that. She journaled daily and poured her heart out to God constantly. She was a prayer away from Him and dialed in more often than I could know. She studied the word, constantly listened to teachings, and worship, at church, at a bible study, or a conference. Why does all this matter? Because I have met many people who teach how to be a tenacious lover of Jesus and I know few who do it on a daily basis like my mom did! And it matters even more because this is my inheritance! She paved a way for me and for my children to walk in love and with an un-offended heart! This is gold in my book! 

Oh the banana cake!! 

Okay deep breath. My mom loved Hawaiian banana bread with lots of cream cheese frosting. We went on a road trip together during my break and she frosted the muffins she had made and put them in a zip lock bag and of course that meant every time she or I wanted one she would have to reach her hand in and get covered in frosting. This did not hurt her feelings at all, we were laughing hysterically about this one and I got some cute pictures too! My mom’s eyes smiled, there was joy about her that was contagious yet a depth of pain and suffering that she had walked through in her life that made it more than happiness. She was truly joyful, and believed the best about people and circumstances even in the face of adversity. I think she honestly taught me how to grieve even before I had to grieve losing her. She would feel it and let it happen to her, I was a runner and just wanted it to go away and everything to be better or the same again! But this time I didn’t have a choice. 

Selfie on the cruise before selfies were cool!

Grief is a crazy thing! I was only 25 when I lost my mom and so there is so much of my life since then that I have lived without her. A void that was left and not filled honestly until I got married two years ago. My husband obviously didn’t become my mom or something but our union healed so much of the pain of loss that I lived with for the 8 years. I know there are many books on grieving, but most people that I share my experience with mention that I should teach on it. I had a friend who lost a child ask me for my story three years ago but until now I am not sure if I could have written any of this. I have beat myself up and said I should have done a grief group or counseling or something, anything. Within the weeks and months after the accident the one thing I felt to do was sing. That was the most painful thing I could have thought about doing. Seems easy. But for a singer. No way. And to sing to God. To worship, to surrender. Or to write a song that would put words to the pain that I was in. That seemed impossible for sure. I was so lost, (not unsaved, just in a fog) and the pain was as if I had been snapped in half. It was the most dehabilitating experience of my life. My heart felt like it was literally broken, like physically something was wrong with me. I cried and cried and cried and cried, and when it felt like I had no more tears left I cried some more. And it wasn’t just hysterical crying, it was deep groans almost screaming from the inside out. I was crushed and I didn’t know what to do. 

But I obeyed, I sang. I had a picture of the ocean crashing wave upon wave on the shore. I had just spent a lot of time in the ocean the years prior so I knew what it was like to be in them. Often the waves would catch me just right and suck me under flipping me in the water and spit me on the shore. It was definitely overwhelming but not really that big of a deal once it was over most times. This is how the Holy Spirit explained my grief to me. It was like a wave that I was running from but once I let it hit me and let the tears and cries out then it was better after that. The scripture He would bring to me day after day was Psalm 30:5 “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” The picture of the wave crashing over me but then it was over. The joy came. And I didn’t usually have to wait until the morning, within a short time of releases those tears I would feel the release and relief of the sorrow in my heart. I think this process kept me from becoming angry. During this time I wrote several songs about my grief and my loss. Singing, although it was extremely painful, was so helpful as well. And writing has always been an outlet for me. I would always know when I was dealing with some of the deep things when my journal was silent for a season. A season without words or sometimes even songs. At first I was worried that I was depressed but I clung to the thought that God knew my thoughts from afar and he wasn’t worried at all. I tried to go back to normal, whatever that was, but for a few years I was searching, searching for home I guess. Grief is intense and everyone’s experience with it is different, yet I have met several people that resonate with my experience. Giving grief a voice and a place in my life has been so helpful as I process my story.  

I am so thankful that God gave me a mom like Connie Sue! She was and still is a gift to me! I cherish the years I got with her and of course would give anything to have more years! But I have a peace within me about it, I still have tears, and I even have a few regrets. Nothing that a little song can’t fix.

I love you mom,
your baby girl!

First time seeing mom after two years!
Other blogs in the series “Losing my mom:”
Part 1: Losing my mom


The only thing I struggle with more than blogging is the look of the “new post” page on my blogger. It does not stir up within me the creative juices I wish it did. It just reminds me of the PC I typed 1000’s of words on during college homework days. So now, right now I feel like I am typing homework when I sat down to share.
So now I am convinced that “new post” pages should have pictures, coffee, cool pages and journal-type lines just like my coffee dates with Jesus in my big chair in my living room. Ahh if only my computer looked like my quiet times feel, then I could really tell my stories and share. I am so OCD sometimes, I seriously may leave this moment without sharing what I thought I really wanted to just because I am typing in Times New Roman and I feel like I have to hand this in tomorrow. Whelp there’s that, I guess I will have to create my own blog post page and sell it to the masses. It will be very hands on, michelle friendly, and definitely have more than 7 fonts to choose from.
My heart was made to share, to love, to constantly tell a story so people can feel God, feel more than just each day passing by. I want to do this. I want to write, to share, to be a voice. This is who I am.  I know this, that “before He formed me, He knew me.” He knows better than I do what He was doing when He finally set out to form what I see now as me. He intimately new every detail of me, “He knew me.” That is an intimate knowledge, a deep knowledge, more than I could ever begin to understand. Deep sigh. That is what I can put my trust in, I can rest in that. He knows what to say, he knows my story. He has and had the perfect way to put me into words. I am thankful for that today! So let the stories come, let the words and the sharing and the songs come.
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
       5 “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
      Before you were born I sanctified you;
      I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NKJV)