Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat?

Halloween.  I am so glad it is over! I think it has to be my least favorite of all the psuedo-holidays.  The purchasing of candy so that you can sugar up the costumed masses of children and teenagers that come to your door all of whom you have never seen  during the other 364 days of the year leaves me a bit cold.  Maybe I am just getting a little snarky in my old age or maybe it is because after the age of 8 I wasn't allowed to trick or treat.  I am not sure, but either way I am still not a big fan of the day.  Then you throw in the added pressure of coming up with decent costumes for your kids to wear and well, this year it was almost too much for me to deal with.  Fortunately my kids are pretty great kids and were happy to mainly be whatever we had at the house already or in my oldest son's case, a willingness to be a close facsimile of his favorite character. 

Despite my dis-like for the day my kids ended up having a fairly good Halloween anyways.  They got to dress up, go trick or treating, take turns passing out candy to the un-known masses, and eat orange jack-o-lantern pancakes with whip cream and chocolate chips for dinner. 

Katie 11 as Goth/Rocker girl, Klayton 6 mo. as a clown, Kalen 8 as a China doll, Klara 5 as a ballerina, Karson 2 as a cowboy, Kamden 9 as Luigi, and Kody 6 in his Navy guy aquaflage
Klara getting her Jack-o-lantern pancake

Now, I get to relax, put the costumes away, and enjoy the festivities of the real holidays that are coming up. A day that celebrates all the good things in our lives and involves eating copious amounts of delicious that is a day I can get behind! So bring on the turkey and the giving of thanks, cuz I am ALL about that!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's the simple things....

I am a pretty simple person. Well, maybe that isn't quite true.  I can actually be rather complex and confusing, but in some things I am simple.  One of those ways is that simple things bring me pleasure.  My Mom (God bless her!) came over today so that I could go to the store without having to bring the herd, I mean children, with me.  I had planned to just quickly run and buy a dayplanner, but on the way out the door she said, "Don't feel the need to rush, just take your time and enjoy yourself." (God bless her doubly for that!) So, I did.

I took my time and meandered through the store.   I went to Fred Meyer's, a store that I rarely go to, so it was fun to look around.  They have started putting out their Christmas things.  I love to look at all things Christmas.  It is one of those things that just makes me happy.  So, I looked and smiled, and took my time.  From Christmas stuff I mosied over to the socks....ahhh yes, you know I couldn't resist the lure of the sock isle.  I decided to splurge and be daring.  I picked up not 1, but 2 pairs of socks, and not just any old socks, but toe socks and placed them in my cart.  I felt like a kid who had just been given a huge jar of candy.  Those fuzzy little bits of funkiness in my cart made me so happy that I even decided to go and try on some clothes. (If you know me very well, you know that I am not one who is given to shopping for myself.  I almost despise it.  It has the potential to crush me to dust if I am unable to find something that looks halfway decent on me.) 

I actually ended up buying some.  Yes, I said buy (try not to fall out of your computer chair sister.)  I know, I am amazed myself.  I found 2 pairs of jeans that I loved on me.  The best part of all is that they were both a size smaller than the last time I bought jeans!  Woo hoo! Gotta love that!  Then I also found a shirt and a sweatshirt that I liked on me too.  Ah-MA-ZING! 

The thing that really put it all over the top though, was that when I went to the check out counter they had a "buy 2 get 1 free" on socks deal.  So I grabbed a fun little pair of Christmas socks as well.  Now that is what I call a great day full of simple pleasures! 

I am loving the toe socks by the way.  Now, if my barely existant baby toe would just stay in its section I would be even happier! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Laundry Couch

So, we have this couch in our living room.  Well, we have 2 of them actually.  They are the kind that you can "L" together or have separated.  Currently ours are separated.  Anyway all that to say that one of the couches has become the laundry couch.  It is it's name.

 When it is clear of clothes, which is rare, it is the favorite sitting place, because it also happens to be the more comfortable couch of the two.  I have overheard my husband telling the children to not get to used to sitting there, because they know it will be full of clothes soon.  Sadly, we all know that he is right, so I can't even feign annoyance at him for saying it.

Today the laundry couch is over flowing with clothes that need to be folded.  Yesterday I referred to the pile as Mt. Everest, now I think it has to be much closer to Mt. Vesuvius because it has exploded everywhere. 

Why am I telling you about this mountainess mound of laundry?  Because I am avoiding folding it.  That and by writing about my laundry it is kind of like "working" on my laundry, which means that I can tell myself that I have done something with my laundry today.  Right? Right?!  What, you mean it doesn't count?  Darn.

The dryer just beeped at me, so I guess it really is time for me to get off my hiney and get my fold on.

Seriously though, look at this picture, can you blame me for procrastinating?!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The trouble with being "amazing"

The trouble with being "amazing" is that I am not.  I am not amazing. 

I should back up a bit and explain what I mean.  I often hear from people that because I have seven kids I am "amazing".  They don't know how I do it.  They tell me how they would go crazy and how they can barely cope with __ (insert # of children here).  I usually smile and fumble around trying to find the appropriate way to respond to that kind of, oh praise I guess I will call it.  Inside, I cringe and think "if only they knew!". 

"Amazing" is definitely not a word that I would ever use to describe myself.  I know that when it is said that those saying it mean it from a good place.  They don't realize how that word resonates inside of me.  I feel as though I am viewed and placed on such a high platform and who I am and how my life really looks is such a sham in comparisons.  It makes me angry.  Not at them, but at me, because I don't measure up.  I don't measure up and somehow I feel as though I should. 

My house is often in varrying stages of chaos.  Most days if you came over you would be lucky to find a place to sit.  Piles of laundry, toys, and mail seem to spread everywhere. In the kitchen the sink is more likely than not to be full of dishes from last night's dinner, the floor will be in need of a sweeping, and the garbage might be close to over flowing.  My 2 year old will probably be running around in his underwear and the dog is bound to smell.  None of which would bring the word "amazing" to mind.

As a Mom, I think I am pretty mediocre at best.  I disappoint my children daily.  There never seems to be enough of me to satisfy them.  I am terrible at making sure their school work is organized, finished, and turned in.  In the homework realm I am pretty sure I get a failing grade.  Their fingernails get long and dirty before I realize it and get them cut.   I yell when I should be listening.  I am impatient.  I get frustrated quickly.  I am not saying a am a horrible Mom.  My kids are clean, usually, well fed and for the most part happy little people.  I just don't see the word "amazing" fitting into my Mom description.

As a wife, hmmm, you would have to ask my husband.  I don't know if I would marry me or not.

As a person, this is where I struggle with that word the most.  "Amazing."  My insides are messy. I am not quite ready to share that messiness with you.  If you have seen the show Hoarders, that is how I could best describe me.  Internally, I hold onto it all.  I have piles and piles of "stuff" everywhere and I am trying to process it. So, that is where I am.  Processing.  I am processing and being very un-amazing in my doing it.
I am far from where I feel the world views me and far from where I want to be and that is the trouble with being "amazing", because I am not and it makes me angry.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fashionably Funky

I bought myself some new slippers today.  They are soft and fuzzy with bold stripes of color.  Fashionably funky is how I would describe them.  I love new slippers more than I think I love socks. (Although, of course I did pause and look at the socks, but none of them called out to me to take them home.)  I think I might even wear my new slippers to church tonight.  Just because I can and because they make me smile.  And maybe if you are at church tonight, you will see me in my new fashionably funky slippers and you will smile too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Lice.  I HATE em! 

Seven, yes, SEVEN kids with lice.
Washing, picking, boiling, oiling.

No special analogies here. No bigger picture. Just misery & complaining.

The End!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come to me

I stand at the throne of God, tugging at His robe.  As I look up at Him my eyes are filled with pain to great to bear.  Without a word needing to be spoken He picks me up and cradles me tightly in His arms.  I lay my weary head against His chest breathing in His scent of peace and comfort.  Patiently He waits for me to speak as He lovingly strokes my hair.

"I hurt." I say in a whisper barely audible.

He wraps me tighter within His arms placing kisses atop my head.  "I know you do My child. I know."

I close my eyes and rest, finding comfort in being held.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Wanna Twirl.

At church this morning during worship there was a little girl in the front row.  She was adorable, dressed in her flowing, twirly, princess dress.  As we were singing she could not help but move out into the isle where she could have more room.  She sang, she danced, raised her hands in praise, and she twirled.  The twirling was her favorite I think.  Her little skirt raising up in the air as she spun.  She was fully engulfed in the moment.  There was no hesitation in her movement.  She didn't care who was watching, she was there to worship.  Every so often she would stumble over her feet, fall to her knees, bottom up in the air, ruffled panties peaking out.  The stumbling didn't seem to phase her.  She would just pop back up and continue dancing.

As I watched her I wished that my journey with God were like that.  That I could just let all of my inhibitions go.  That I would live in the moment, not caring if anyone was watching.  Arms raised, filled with so much joy that I can't help but twirl.  I wish that when I stumble and am down on my knees, exposed to the world, that I would pop myself back up and begin to dance again.  Oh to have the faith of a child.


I wrote this almost three years ago as I was in the middle of a raging war of my mind and body.  I am still working on having this child like faith.  I want to be that little girl twirling and twirling with her Jesus. 

I want that JOY.  That blind J.O.Y.  that super imposes all the eyes that might be looking.  I want to love myself enough that when I stumble down and fall (and oh how I have stumbled and fallen since the original writing of this) that I pick myself up and search for the joy instead of berating myself for the falling and for the everything thing else that lies beyond that circle of twirling. 

God help me twirl despite the fears, despite the un-knowns, despite the knowns even.  Lord, just shine so much light that all I see is You and the rest fades away, because somewhere in this decrepit mind and body is a little girl who just wants to twirl with you and for you.

Linking up with Emily for her Monday Love Dare Series

Naked honesty..baring it all.

Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

It is my contention that Adam and Eve's nakedness had very little to do with their physical bodies, but it had everything to do with their spiritual ones. Before the fall they were sin free and had no reason to hide. All their thoughts, their pleasures, their pains, it was all laid out before one another and there was no shame in them. After the fall, they had sin and a sin nature. As soon as they looked at one another they could see it. They could see their sin in one another's nakedness and so what did they do, they tried to hide. They wanted to cover that new part of them and they fashioned clothes about them to try and conceal it.

Have you ever been sharing a secret with someone that is very personal and the sharing is hard? The kind of thing that exposes you, lays you naked before that other person? Now this may just be a girl thing, or a me thing, but when I have been in that place of naked honesty, my first instict is to grab something and shield myself with it. Typically the object of choice is a pillow, or my knees, depending on the location. I want an extra layer of protection between my inner being and that other person. I am trying to cover my shame, my hurt, my open-ness.

Gen 3:9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

Gen 3:10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."

 At this point I think it is interesting that Adam tells God that he is still naked. He and Eve had already covered themselves with leaves, but yet I think Adam realized that his soul was what was left bare and no amount of hiding could shield him from God.

How often do I try and fashion coverings for myself, try and hide from God? " Don't look behind this bush Lord, don't look here behind that clump of leaves. This is my nakedness, Lord. Please don't look upon it. "

Yet, God knows exactly where I am. He can see past those feeble atempts at hiding and I am laid bare before Him.

Gen 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

God knew that Adam and Eve's attempts to cover their sin would not be sufficient. It would take a sacrifice to cover them. So God provided. He covered them with that sacrifice.

As much as I try to hide, try to cover my own sins, I can't. Though I were to fashion a forest around me God could still see through it all. It takes a sacrifice.

1Jo 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God provided for me.  Though covered with dirt and leaves, God sent a sacrifice, His Son.  I am clothed in Jesus, covered by His atoning blood.  I no longer need to try and hide before the throne. I am covered.  Amen!

*This is not where I was planning to go with this tonight.  I had a different plan in my head, but maybe this is where God was wanting to take my heart.  To pull me out of the bushes, pluck the leaves from my hair, lovingly wipe the dirt smudges from my face and remind me that I am covered.  Though my heart aches, I am covered.  Though my mind deceives me, I am covered.  Though I struggle and still want to hide, I am covered.  I am covered.  I am covered!  Thank you Lord for your covering!*

Friday, October 15, 2010

Honesty, it's terrifying....

Being completely honest about your innermost self is completely scary! Down right terrifying actually.  It is like tearing the band-aid off of an open wound and seeing if the person you show it to is going to put soothing ointment on it, inflict more harm to it, or do neither and just walk away. 

I have spent a good deal of time in my life carefully and strategically placing bandages.  Trying to make them blend in with my whole and un-hurt skin.

Occassionally I have run across a bandage I  forgot about.  Tenderly I've lifted the edges to find that soft pink skin has replaced the wound.  The hurt of sharing and remembering is brief as I rip that bandage away.  It's covering had provided the needed protection and allowed the time neccessary for growth and renewal.

Other wounds though, they are much deeper.  No amount of covering and time can make them heal.  These are the ones that grow and fester.  I want to share them. I want for someone to help me heal them.  To help me make them better.  But time and experience has shown me that opening these wounds up for others is sometimes almost to painful to bear.  The skin is raw and tender.  It hurts to touch these band-aids, let alone to peel them away.  I try and choose who gets to see these wounds wisely for I fear of their reaction. 

If they choose to do nothing, simply stare and walk away, I am left with wound wide open, the searing pain the fresh air is bringing, and to once again blend band-aid in with skin on my own.

If they choose to cause more pain then I am left with a wound that is deeper and more raw than before.  I will have to apply a stronger adhesive for this won't be shared again any time soon.

If they choose to be a healer, I almost fear this most of all.  All the bad and infected areas must be scraped away before  soothing ointment can be applied.  I have to trust that they will know just how far to scrape and how hard to push.  I have to trust that when the scraping is done that they will stay and gently apply the ointment that allows healing to begin. 

Honesty is terrifying, because it involves trust, and trust is not something that is easily given or earned.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Letting It Go Lane

In my Tuesday morning ladies group at church we are reading a book on prayer.  This weeks chapter of the book dealt with forgiveness being a part of an effective prayer life.  Our leader challenged us to consider someone who we haven't forgiven and to pray that we be forgiven for not forgiving them, that we would forgive them, and to be given love for them.  Now, I am generally a very forgiving person.  So, I sat there rather smugly and thought to myself that I have no one who I need to forgive. Then the quiet stillness of this morning came.

Last weekend I was at an event where I was re-acquainted with someone who I had met before.  I couldn't place how I knew this person at first, but she remembered me.  As the day progressed I remembered her quite well.  This person is a person whose language almost drips with judgement and condescension.  If these two things were an art form she would be Picasso.  It is aparant that she feels her parenting choices and her children are perfect and that everyone else comes up quite short.  Typically in my dealings with her she had painted her canvas of judgement using other people's children.  Saturday, I was her brush of choice.  As I let Klayton (my 6 month old) have the eensiest little tastes of cake filling she looked at me and said, "I guess by the time you have your 7th one anything goes."  Then she went on about how her children hadn't even had real birthday cake, but banana bread instead on their first birthdays...yadda, yadda, yadda.  Paint splattered everywhere.  I sat there, biting my tongue, trying to ignore as much of her as I could. 

Then here comes this morning.  As I was laying in bed, in that space between fully awake and not quite asleep, I began thinking.  I began thinking of all the lovely comments I could have said to put her in her place.  To shut her down.  Let her know that she was not all that.  It was then I realized.  She had grieved me and I was not filled with love for her, nor was I in a state of forgiveness about that.  I can't currently say that I am at the point right now either.  I am caught at the crossroads of feeling self righteous in my annoyance with her and letting it go.

I am trying to remember that I have stuck my foot in my mouth many times.  I too have swirled  judgement broadly upon a canvas.  A time in particular is when I went up to a good friend of mine and told her " I just want you to know it's her personality and not your parenting.".  I still cringe at the memory of that.  I am sure she felt judged in that moment.  I hope she knows that I am sorry for it.  I was at a place where I was feeling insecure in my parenting.  I had heard all these stories from our mutual friend about how amazing her daughter was and how she cleaned up everything before she got something else out.  I felt like my children and I were somehow threatened by that, that I was somehow less a parent than she, because my kids could create a mess faster than the Tazmanian devil on speed.  It was from that place that I said those words. 

Maybe just maybe this woman doesn't think her parenting is all that and a side of organically grown baked veggie chips.  Maybe she is just as insecure as I am.  Who knows.  I should give her the benefit of the doubt though and turn the corner off of Self Righteous Ave and go down Letting It Go Lane. 

*Kelli, I hope you know I think you are a great Mom!  If I could ever erase that moment in time I would. I  hope that those words spoken out of my insecurity didn't grieve your heart as much as they have grieved mine these last 7 years!*

**DISCLAIMER: there is absolutely nothing wrong with organically grown baked veggie chips or having banana bread as birthday cake. **

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The waiting is hard....

I feel like I am trying to catch the wind. I can feel this, whatever it is, beating against me from  every direction.  I can hear it whistling through this body of mine, blowing things asunder wherever it goes. I want to catch hold of it, see it, study it's every angle and feel the weight of it in my hands. But my hands are empty.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

lunatic confessions of a sock enthusiast

*today I needed some light-heartedness.  My soul needed a giggle*

You know how some women love to buy shoes?  Well, umm, yeah, I am not one of them.  I like shoes.  I think they are cute, on other people.  Most of the cute shoes never fit my feet, or if they do the sheer size and width of them no longer make them cute.  They look all distorted and clown like.  There is a reason you never hear people say, "OhMahGosh!, those are so  HUGE, they are adorable!"  Adorable is meant for small and petite things, things like kittens, and babies, and women who wear shoes that are smaller than a men's size 10.  This lack of kitten and baby like adorable feet makes me more of a flip flop and slippers kind of gal.  I have my everyday flip flops and my fancy flip flops that are reserved for church and weddings.  In the winter it is my costco slippers in slimming black with a very functional rubber sole. I don't dress up in winter, slippers are not for dresses, even if they are faux fur lined.

It is for this reason that I have taken to liking socks.  I admit I almost always stop to look at the funky socks when I go to a store.  I have sunglasses socks, frog socks, and funky flower socks.  They are cool and I like them.  I enjoy choosing which socks I will use to accessorize my hastily thrown on "this doesn't look too wrinkled" ensemble. Of course none of my socks come slightly close to matching said ensembles in any way.  I just take pleasure in them.  Socks are happy makers.  They make me happy.  And happy is always good.

Now, here is where the lunatic part comes in.  I can barely stand to wear socks.  I love them.  On the shelf, in my drawer,  and on my feet for about 3 hours.  After that they start to lose their grip on my foot and begin to twist and turn.  Twisty turned socks are no longer fun and funky happy makers.  They are annoying. 

Yet, time and time again I find that I am right back at the sock isle, drooling over the cutest new designs wondering if I dare branch out and buy some toe socks.

The Rain Has Come

The rainy season is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest.  For many that is something to groan and gripe about.  For me it is a reason to rejoice.  I love the rain.  I love to watch it pour down.  To hear it splashing against the ground.  When roads are empty I love to drive in it.  I love the sound it makes against my van's metal roof and the way it runs willy nilly across my window.  I even like walking in the rain.  I like the way it soaks into my hair and clothes when I know a warm shower is soon to follow.  It is refreshing and cleansing.  It allows growth.  It washes all the dust away.  I am a person who needs the rain. 

Today was a hard day.  Today, I needed the rain.  My body aches, my heart aches, my mind aches, and my soul aches.  There are so many things I don't understand.  So many questions that go un-answered.  Driving home today I took notice of the rain.  It didn't bring me answers or stop the aches and pains, but it brought me comfort.  Thank you Lord for the rain.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I am not one.....

I am not one who is easily given to sharing. 
At least not face to face.
It is of a different nature when given pen and pad. 
There is safety within the blank stare of paper. 
Freedom also lies therein. 
My words can soar, unemcumbered. 
No fear of  hurt to tie them down.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can't you feel me?

Klayton was lying in my lap asleep.  When he awoke he didn't see me, his eyes were diverted and elsewhere.  He began to panic.  Fear replacing peace.  I quickly picked him up as the tears began to fill his eyes and put him to my chest.  Cradling him within my arms I kissed his forehead and said, "I am right here.  Couldn't you feel me? Couldn't you sense that I was with you?"

Immediately I wondered just how many times God has whispered that to me. "Karmen, I am right here.  Can't you feel me? Can't you sense that I am with you?"  How many times have my eyes been diverted and elsewhere other than on Him?  How many times have I been nestled in His lap and not even realized it? When fear replaces peace I need to remember that God has me within His loving arms.  He has me cradled to His chest and He is present and hasn't left me.  What an amazing gift to be God's child.  Thank you Lord for reminding me of Your love.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was folding my towels this morning and noticed how ratty many of them have become. They are about as absorbant and as helpful as handing someone a paper towel to dry off with, but for whatever reason I can't seem to throw them away.  I continue to wash, dry, fold, and use them.  Maybe it is because I can relate to these towels. (It is a little scary to me that I am relating to my laundry.  First a pillow and now a towel.  I think it is a sign that I do too much laundry, but I digress, back to the blog.)  These towels are worn down. They are filled with holes and tears others are almost transparant.  I feel like these towels look.  Like life has used me to sop up its messes.   I feel like I am sopping up one mess only to find another one waiting for me just around the corner.   Each new mess causes another little hole or a new tear to appear.  Some holes and tears were caused by other people using me to try and sop up their own messes. There are days when I am just left  feeling threadbare.  But, my Jesus is good.  Even when I am feeling about as useful as a paper towel He continues to lovingly wash me, dry me, and use me.  In my torn up, ratty, filled with holes threadbare condition, He can still use me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome to's your manual.

We are having one of Klara's classmates stay with us in the mornings for the next week.  A fact that I forgot to mention to Klara, so when he showed up at our doorstep this morning she looked at him and said, "Hey, what are YOU doing here?  You don't belong here!"  .I directed her to instead greet her friend and say, "Hello. Please come in."

As I was thinking on this small moment later in the morning I thought how nice it would be if life came with a manual or with someone standing next to you whispering what to do and how you should react.  As a believer in Christ I do believe that the Holy Spirit does this for us at times. There are other times though where there is no guidance, no direction, and the silence is deafening.   In those moments it would be nice to have a manual.  Something like this:

Chapter 5: Loss of a child
In the event of losing a child expect the pain to last X amount of days. 
It is okay to feel X emotions and express them X way.

All there is though is that damned silence. So, we edge forth doing the best we can.  

I have friends who are grieving the loss of their sweet baby right now.  I am grieving with them.  I remember when I  miscarried a couple of years ago, I can't say that comes close to what they are going through right now, but I grieved the loss of that baby deeply.  I remember feeling so alone and empty.  Hurting so much and thinking the pain would never go away.  I would lock myself in the bathroom and sob for hours allowing myself to fully experience the sorrow I had  for the baby I would never get to hold.  I knew that others had been through it, but it didn't lessen my pain.  I don't think it matters how many children you have, don't have, or will have.  The love for that child is specific.  It is not transferred or forgotten when other children come.  I think we as a society try to shove grief under the rug.  We try to push it away from us, because grief hurts. It hurts to see it and it hurts to feel it. 

It is during this pushing away process that we say things we shouldn't.  Things such as: "Well, you can always have more."  or in my case, "At least you already have children.", or my personal least favorite of all, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle."  As well intentioned as those statements may be, they hurt.  They don't leave room for or give validity to the life that was lost.  And I am sorry, but God does allow us to go through things that we can't handle.  I think a more true statement would be to say that God doesn't give us more than HE can handle.  I know for me, I am fragile and it is only through God's love and grace that I am handling life.

In 1 Thesselonians Chapter 4 verse 13 it says,"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. "  Notice that he is not telling them to stop grieving.  Yes, we as Christians have a hope.  A hope that we will get to see our loved ones in heaven again some day, but we are also allowed to grieve for not having them with us on earth anymore. 
I guess what I am saying is that when grief comes to your door let it in.  Like Klara didn't expect to see her school mate, we never expect to see grief at our front door.  Many of us look at grief dumfoundedly and ask why it is here and try to shoo it away.  I think God would tell us to welcome grief in for however long it needs to stay.

*If you are reading this Kirsten and James know that I love you.  I am praying for you.  I hurt for you.  I don't understand why God does what  He does.  It isn't fair.  There is nothing good or right about it even if good can come from it.  I ache for the emptiness I know you are feeling.  The only thing I can say is to let yourselves have time to feel and embrace the grief.  It is okay.  It is okay to be happy again when happiness comes as well.  The hole in your hearts that Ewan left will never be filled, but the pain that surrounds and fills it will change.*