holding them tight.


Once a week we try to get together for a playdate with our friends, the Ransoms. Depending on which house we go to, we always bring sack lunches along. This week we were to play at their house… so early before anyone woke up I went into the kitchen to put together their little bags. I used to be early everywhere. Then I had kids. Three kids, three and under = late more times than not. Eeeee, I try!! 

I have made Aiden and Ainsleigh peanut butter sandwiches so many times I can’t even count. I have zipped those little ziploc bags. I have cut the fruit slices. I have put the crackers and cookies in. And poured their juices. 

But never like this before. 

I felt my guts in knots as I did this on Monday. I thought of the moms and dads, the grandmas and grandpas, the aunts and uncles, the brothers and sisters- all those who lost in the tragedy last week. They all woke up that day like any other day. And their day ended in a nightmare. 
I really and truly cannot shake it.

I know that I can do my best to raise and protect my kiddos. But the truth is I am not in control…He is. So the best thing that I can do is to soak it all in, hold them tight.

Slow to react. Quick to encourage. 
Quick to pour out and overflowing Love.

Hold them constantly.

My all time favorite book, “A Beautiful Offering” has a chapter on peace…

“When you decide to live out what you believe. When you decide you want peace in your possession, then you will find out what that looks like & feels like. You begin to pray for God to give you peace. You incorporate peace in your relationships. You decide to respond differently. You speak in love. Act in tenderness. You imitate what you know about peace until it becomes a reality for your character & your life.”

“He restores what has been broken & heals what has been wounded. I don’t have peace because I figured it all out. I have peace because I believe in Christ.”








beautiful love sign c/o: AniVintage


December 20, 2012


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  1. Franchesca

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:33 am

    I can't shake it either. I've found myself wondering about the little things too, how big they really are. What a privilege to be able to hold our babies at the end of the day. Thank you for this post. These days I find myself leaning into fear so quickly, because last week showed me just how little I really control over things.

  2. Hanna

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:35 am

    THank you Casey! I ordered the book 2 days ago and cannot wait to receive it and dig in!! I need jt right now, badly!! Thank you:)

  3. Jade Steckly

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Wow, the excerpt from that book is beautiful. I think I would very much enjoy reading it! For 2012 my "word" was "gentleness", and as the year comes to a close, I seem to be reminded of it more and more each day. thank you for the beautiful post!

  4. Jade Steckly

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Wow, the excerpt from that book is beautiful. I think I would very much enjoy reading it! For 2012 my "word" was "gentleness", and as the year comes to a close, I seem to be reminded of it more and more each day. thank you for the beautiful post!

  5. Mandy Ford

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I'm really struggling with this also…feeling very helpless but also so very thankful for having my children to hold tight to. The quote about incorporating more peace into your life is very inspirational…thanks for sharing that!

  6. Mawiyah

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:49 am


  7. The Cantelmo Family

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:51 am

    This tragedy is all I can think about. I am so sad over that I keep trying to get my mind off of it. Today I went on a walk and just prayed and prayed over my kids. I had to keep handing my anxieties to Him because I get so worried and scared. I always have to trust God and hold tight to His promises!! He is good, always good. Even when it doesn't make sense.

    I just can't stop thinking about the mommies and daddies who don't have their little ones anymore. Yes, holding on to our little ones tightly is what I've been doing….also with open hands. So not easy.

    BTW – I'm late everywhere too. 🙂

  8. Marcie Halden

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:51 am

    This has been such an incredible hard time for so many. I can not even begin to imagine the parents that are without a child. I think of all the presents they have under the tree that will never be unwrapped. I was having such a hard time, my cousins and I hosted a memorial service for the familes and precious ones lost. We live in Montana and just wanted to do what little part we could to show we care. It really helped me be able to move forward, but not forget. My brother wrote a poem for it, I'd love to share it with anyone that would like to read it.

  9. Katie

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Thank you for this beautiful post, and your sweet soul, Casey.

  10. Hailey

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:59 am

    so true. great post.

  11. BethAnn

    December 20th, 2012 at 5:00 am

    I feel like I say this to a lot of your posts, but this is truly exactly what I needed to hear in this exact moment. I think I read this post 12 times in a row. Thank you for your wise and beautiful wisdom. God Bless!

  12. Jessica

    December 20th, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Such a beautiful and thoughtful post. I can't shake it either and I don't even have precious little babies yet. Maybe it's the fact that I have babies on the brain. My heart is so heavy.

  13. kristin

    December 20th, 2012 at 5:26 am

    You said what I can't seem to put into words.
    We aren't promised anything…it's soo important to savor each and every moment.
    You have such a beautiful heart, sweet Casey! <3

  14. Jessica

    December 20th, 2012 at 5:41 am

    beautiful post. you always have a great way with words and I enjoy reading your posts.

  15. Bettina Rae

    December 20th, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Such a beautiful message. I have been feeling helpless as well. Excuse me whilst I go hug my baby tight.

    Bettina @

  16. momstheword

    December 20th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Something like that is just so heartbreaking that it's hard NOT to be affected by it.

    My friend and I were talking about it tonight at church, in fact. We were looking at the 6 and 7 year olds and my friend, a school teacher, was talking about how she's been struggling with it.

    You're right. We aren't in control. But we have a big God. We protect our children the best that we can, and leave the rest up to Him.

    My children are now out there in the world, working and driving, etc. I pray for their safety when they drive and for God to place His hand of protection on them and on the wheel of their cars.

    I can't control that either. But I CAN control what I think about….so I try not to worry and just pray and trust Him! I don't have to like this whole "grown up" thing though, lol!

    Just hold and keep loving on those precious children of yours! What a blessing they are, aren't they?!

  17. Marcie Halden

    December 20th, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Here is the poem my brother wrote. We shared it at the memorial we had, but I wanted to share it with all you wonderful ladies as well. Feels like there is no answer to all this sadness, but my only comfort is how these precious lives that were taken all too soon, now get to spend Christmas in Heaven!

    I wrapped your presents weeks ago,

    Your daddy lent a hand

    Now you will never open them

    You're in a better land.

    Boxes, bows, and ribbons

    Remind me daily you're not here

    I hope you will forgive me

    If I have no Christmas cheer.

    A pile of tear soaked tissues

    Sit beside me on the floor

    As I'm folding fresh washed laundry

    Sadly you won't need no more.

    I can't fathom what you went through

    Breaks my heart, I wasn't there

    Couldn't take the bullet for you

    Or last moments couldn't share.

    Smile down from Heaven on us

    If you can, please come around

    Please give me just a little sign

    A better place, you've found.

  18. Annie

    December 20th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    i love those words you shared from a beautiful offering, especially those last three lines. i've never heard of this book before, but i will definitely be looking into it!

  19. jillian at faith that laughs.

    December 20th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    love this post. your babies are so precious. i really need to read that book. i keep seeing so many people blog about it! xoxo

  20. Shelley Paige

    December 20th, 2012 at 1:21 pm


  21. Because of Jackie

    December 20th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I agree, every small task I have done for my kids I have thought, "but those mother's cannot do this for THEIR child anymore" and it breaks my heart. I am striving to enjoy my children more, even the "bad" moments. Every moment I have with them is a blessing.

  22. Mandy

    December 20th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Every single time I have looked at my girls this week, I have thought of that tragedy. I find myself shutting my mind down when I hug them bc it reminds me of the enormity of the loss, and my heart still can't handle letting in the full scope of it. I pray that soon my sorrow will turn into gratitude for what I have been given, but at this point, I just feel lost.

  23. Leah

    December 20th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Beautiful thoughts and pictures, Casey. 🙂

  24. Stephanie Clark

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    It's so hard to really trust and know that God is in control. In those few moments that I'm able to really really fully trust him the peace it brings is amazing. I hope those mother's know that peace.

    I also think of the worry, trust, and unknown that Mary must have had. "Mary Did You Know" gets me every time. I was in tears on my way to work yesterday listening to it. Before becoming a mother I could never imagine a love THAT big.

  25. Et tu, tutu?

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I love the quote from the book. When are you going to write your own? 🙂


  26. Tiffany H.

    December 20th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    This is so beautiful and so well said

  27. Sara

    December 20th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you for reminding me that even the stressful moments – like when there's baby oatmeal cereal EVERYWHERE after a morning feeding – are so precious and fleeting.

  28. isabel

    December 20th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    you're totally right!

  29. Cara H

    December 20th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Apple's sweet smile in that one picture just brought so many tears to my eyes. I want to know you Casey. I want to be friends with you. How evidently God is working in your heart, and how it encourages and strengthens my faith. Thank you. xo

  30. Brittany

    December 20th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    i'm still feeling it too hun. still crying over it, daily. i'll have to get my hands on this book you quote–it rang so true!


    December 20th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    "I have peace because I believe in Christ," it is so true. Praise God that we are able to have a pure perspective on life. Thank you for this post.

  32. Ladies Holiday

    December 21st, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for sharing this, because when I feel like the whole thing could just overwhelm me I read or hear something like this and remember faith, faith, faith. Thank you.

  33. Dressing Ivana

    December 26th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    too cute!!!

  34. christina

    December 26th, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    yes and amen! it is sad to think that parents don't cherish their children. giving them lost of extra hugs these days!

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