Sunday, June 28, 2009


There are really no words to describe our adventure to Italy. It was an amazing time for all of us. To even go on this journey was such a feat because between the five of us there are 11 children to be cared for. So, you can imagine we all felt priviledged to be there and make no mistake we made the most of our time away but all the while so grateful (and indebted) to our families for the opportunity.
Most of you know that Blair requested while we were on his 40th birthday trip over a year ago to be cremated and scattered over Italy because he loved it there so much. It was a casual conversation with Mark and Larissa about death, funerals, etc. and during that discussion a week prior to his own death he made his wishes quite clear. So, in an effort to do what he asked we embarked on this journey with his ashes to make his request a reality. I have to admit that this trip, as excited as I was about taking it, was clearly bittersweet. This was it-the last and final piece to finish on earth to a life well lived. A finale of sorts and I wanted it to be memorable for the children and for those who journeyed with me. Oh the pressure...
I knew we would leave the ashes on the first day of our journey so in an effort to make the scattering 'official' I wrote these words on the plane over to Zurich. I cried tears-- of sorrow, of sadness, of relief to finally be doing this, of joy for Blair in heaven, as I wrote these words that I unashamedly share with you. The emotion almost overwhelms me now just thinking about sitting in that cramped seat on a plane for 8 hours reflecting on my life over the last year and our life together. What a cleansing it was...
'I write this as we are crossing the ocean to leave you here just as you asked. Of course, it is not you and we all know that. I wanted to do as you wished and honor your memory, your life, and our time together on earth. So that is what we are doing. You would want us to leave you here and never look back figuratively and literally. You lived your life with no regrets and I will have none when the sun sets on this day. We both lived and loved fearlessly and I am so grateful for the time we spent on earth with you. I know you hear the constant rush of angels wings and music that we cannot even begin to comprehend in our finite minds. What a day it will be when we meet you and Christ Jesus in the sky. My heart leaps at the thought of that reunion with you in your perfect, glorified, unblemished body.
I can't even express my gratitude for the two children that God blessed us with. Every glance into their precious eyes is a glance back into yours. I want Davis and Campbell above all else to know that Jesus Christ is the reason for everything we did together and for all that I do now. I know they will watch this video one day and maybe think it a little strange but more than anything else I want them to remember that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord for those who KNOW Him. I want them to watch as your ashes scatter to the wind and know that our God is bigger than death. I want them to revel in the fact that your death has brought great change in the hearts and minds of hundreds if not thousands and to never forget that all things work for the good of those that LOVE the Lord. We will forever have a hole in our lives and hearts but the reason we go on is because Christ Jesus has filled that hole that nothing else can fill. Davis and Campbell have a treasure trove of funny memories, of great accomplishment, and sheer greatness to hold onto the rest of their lives. Thank you Blair for giving them such a heritage from the Lord!
I know that I will remember this trip the rest of my days. There is nothing that you wanted more than for us to leave your ashes here and celebrate a life, our love, our precious friends and family, and our blessings. SO, WE WILL!! We will eat our way through Italy and we vow to remember that though sorrow may last for the night, unspeakable joy comes in the morning. I am thankful to my Heavenly Father who loved me enough to give me the priviledge of sharing my life with you. I am thankful to my precious friends, Beth and Rebecca and Karla, that have joined me in this journey of completion and I so am thankful to my sister (in law) and in Christ who holds my greatest link to Blair's hilarity and zest for life on this earth. I love you and I thank you!
'Lord, You have given us today as a gift. We take it gratefully and vow to never forget that death is temporary. Eternity is forever!!! Help us, remind us, and empower us with your Holy Spirit to help others understand the reality of eternity and the temporary state we live in. Remind us daily of heaven's glory! Give us glimpses and help us to believe and live like this day could be our last. Bless our family as we press on. Lord, give Davis and Campbell a supernatural understanding of their Heavenly Father that heals the absence of Blair in their hearts. Give them the ability to comprehend eternity at a very young age! Thank you for giving us life by the giving of your own! We love you, we praise you, and I give you all the glory! AMEN!!'
In the pouring down rain, ponchos on, 'having a moment', on a moutaintop 500 feet above 'the' Roman Road we then scattered Blair's ashes after I read this. Final does not even describe it...but reliving it only reminds me that it is so not final and oh I am so glad.
We continued the journey to Lecco, Bologna, Modena, Florence, Verona, Vicenza, Venice, Marostica, Como and then back to Zurich, Switzerland. What a trip! God be praised for safe travels and honestly the most belly-laughing time I have ever had in my life. What a trip!!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Well, once again I am so far behind on this whole blogging thing for all of you who follow. I'll do better, but who am I kidding, I have two children. Most of you who read this know that a year has now come and gone since Blair left this earth for his new home in heaven. Today, May 1, Davis decided he would take a 'bath' aka 'Can I play in the tub uninterrupted by my sister?' this morning. While in the tub pretending he was in the movie Nemo with his plastic bag full of fish, he looked over at me and said, "Mommy, Daddy came in the door last night and gave me a hug and told me he loved me and then said he had to go back to heaven.' 'Really,' I said, of course not believing my ears. 'Did you dream that Davis?,' I asked in a very puzzled thought process. 'I guess,' he answered. Regardless, that precious baby ensued to discuss where Daddy was and why we couldn't go back to heaven with him. Oh my word, I was trying desperately in my head to come up with just the perfect words for him. So, I went on to say a few things about our own 'not nice things that we do and say to others' and how we could be with Jesus and that he died for us because he loved us and that is how we get to go to heaven. I honestly don't know what all I said because I was still numb that he had a dream about Blair, a year later. Then that precious child said, 'But Mommy, Jesus said let the little children come to Me for such is the kingdom of heaven, so he wants us to come to Him in heaven.' ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Did you just say that, at THREE??? Yes, he did and just as boldly and as confindently as I type this that baby knew that Jesus wanted him there, child or adult. That my friends is the power of SCRIPTURE!!! Thank you Lord for the sword of the spirit that is sharper than any two-edged sword and can penetrate the heart of a 3 year old to remind him that he is important and Jesus wants and loves him so much.
I couldn't help but share something that I will never forget with you. Do not be fooled at what they are picking up on, good or bad. Davis has an indeliable mark on his brain of what his Daddy means to him, regardless if he will never touch or feel his hug again. And, those scriptures about heaven that we sing over and over will stay with him till he gets there himself. Thank you Jesus for the gift of song and the combination of scripture. How blessed are we to have it available to us?
April has been bittersweet for all of us no doubt. We celebrated Easter together as a family and of course I couldn't help but think the whole day how grateful I was for power of Christ in my life but also I was overwhelmed with memories of our 'last holiday' that we celebrated. They dedicated the auditorium in the 50th squadron building in memory of Blair and after the dedication the squadron perceded to burn a piano, in WWII fighter tradition, in memory of Blair. They toasted him while the pianist played a burning piano. It was such a special day and we capped it off with a huge party, in true Blair form, at our house in honor of all of the precious people who have helped us over this past year. It was a perfect evening of awesome food, great friends, great music, thanks to Blair's cousin,, shameless plug but he is so awesome, and just the most precious bunch of people you have ever met. I'm so blessed and I can't even begin to tell you what it meant to see all of those sweet faces there to celebrate a life of meaning and a life that has caused great change in many lives.
Miss you all and thanks so much for all your prayers, comments and selfless sacrifices.
All my love,


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Lesson Learned

Ok, so yes it has been since December the 7th since I posted on here and since I am hearing you --you know who you are---here goes. The life and times of the Faulkners starts again with this post but it is really one that is needed and so exciting and good and prudent. But, before I get serious on you let's talk about what has happened since December the 7th to be exact. Christmas was so busy and fun and bittersweet but it was about the kids and that is the way we kept it. If you could have seen Paige and I in the floor putting together Davis's drumset there is no way you could have cried for us because you would have been laughing so hard, and then you would have cried, from laughing, because we were. I am not kidding, we put that crazy thing together and took it apart three times trying to get the crazy base drum right. It was pitiful. We have 9 years of college between the two of us and it didn't matter. What in the world?? It takes a village--that's all I'm sayin. Anyway, Davis was so unbelievably into the whole thing and convinced himself before bed that he heard the reindeer on the roof of Nannan and Pop's. It was precious and in spite of it all we all really enjoyed ourselves and yes I missed Blair beyond belief but I knew that He got to spend his first Christmas ever at HIS feet asking what day He was really born on. How amazing to get the whole recount from the ONE, while we tried to make it about Christ here on earth. The wonder of it all....

We took a little trip to Biloxi for a family reunion of sorts and had a fabulous time at Aunt Barbie's. It was so nice to see the cousins and Davis and Campbell were in their element with Rock Band for Davis and Campbell and the girl cousins vying for time with the 'baby'. Sweet!

January was a month spent in Columbus which was really rare for us. A whole month in one location with no nights in a pack n' play or alternative crib for Campbell. Thanks goodness since Campbell had pneumonia and a trip to the ER for a double ear infection. Not our finest month in recent history, but all is well now and to end the month Beth and Rebecca came to shop it up in Columbus, that's not a joke. You haven't lived till you get a babysitter for 6 kids under 4 and rummage Dirt Cheap and Fashion Apparell for the best deals in three states. You should come! Seriously! We loved being together and watching our kids develop life-long friendships like our own. It's really a blessing and one that I do not take for granted!

And then, in February we saw our beloved IIMAGINATION MOVERS!! Davis was out of his mind and decked out in his blue suit donning his wobble goggles and scribble sticks. We, and yes I am including myself here, were crazy people at the concert in Birmingham. It was so good to see them perform live and to MEET them. Yes, I'm serious. We were able to meet them --up close and personal with Mover Rich and the gang. I'm not sure who was a bigger idiot at the concert-me, definitely the girl in the red Mover t-shirt screaming when Mover Rich passed trying to get him to reach out and touch my baby boy. Yes, I know, I'm a freak! But, when our 'meet n greet' was over Davis just had to go back and tell Mover Rich that he could come to his house on Sunday. So cute---he was so serious!

And then, New York City, and yes, in my head I am saying that like the Pace Picante commercial. Oh, it's late.:)) Sorry! Judy, Glenda (Todd's mom), Jeanne and Paige(sisters -in -law), Hannah, Abby, and Haley (nieces) and I traveled for the ultimate girl weekend and lived it up right. We saw Mary Poppins, had a tea /birthday party at the American Girl Doll store, and took the grand tour of Manhattan in three days and had a fabulous time. China Town was a hit, minus our crazy purse purchasing experience, and of course the sistas enjoyed our night on the town at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, thanks Gran and Nannan. It was a sweet sweet time to be with those that I treasure most and will for eternity. I'm blessed, that's all I'm saying and you all know why.

So, there you have it and maybe that's why it's been so long since I posted. BUSY!! All that being said, I have learned so much that there is no way to share with you all over this one post. But, keep reading and know that God is up to something and no kidding I'm listening. I was asked to speak at a women's Bible study in Muscle Shoals. They were studying Proverbs and I started studying myself just to 'get a Word' to share with them. I landed and never got off of Proverbs 1:7--'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fool despises wisdom and instruction.' Really, fear. Is that it?? Is that what I'm not doing? And, in my head the answer was 'YES, Rachel that's what I need.' Holy, reverent, fear. Ok, that's good. I can work with that and putting it into practice means 'I stand up a little straighter before you Lord, and I don't miss appointments with You, and I treat You like I would a meeting with Beth Moore---but you are so much more than that and I wouldn't miss a meeting with her one-on-one if my very life depended on it'!! Don't you see-I don't fear Him enough. And then, in true God form, He has reaffirmed it this week again and again and thus why I felt so compelled to share with you all.

Friday night I was sharing this whole fear of the Lord thing with a fellow believer and he said, 'Me too'! That is so strange that you would say that.' Is it strange--no it's not! And then, on Sunday, in my small group we are studying Andy Stanley's The Best Question Ever and would you believe the last video was about Fear of the Lord!! Are you kidding me?? Ok, you got me!! I get it, you win, always:). AND THEN, I'm not joking---this is nuts-tonight as I was prepping for my Esther study I was looking up the Bible verse that we are memorizing along with Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore) blog and do you know what it was, um, yeah that's right Malachi 3:16 which says, (please don't fall off your chair like I almost did) 'Then those that FEARED the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before HIM for those who fear the Lord and esteem His name.'

Ok, do you see why my fingers are on fire typing this!!! Obviously, I am pretty overwhelmed by God's words and seeing it over and over is confirmation that HE is crying out for us to have that holy reverant precious fear!!! I want it, I need it, I crave it! Help me Lord to be in that book of remembrance and esteem your Name! Write me all over it, please! So, I'm desperate for the wisdom that college, and IQ, and ACT scores, money, and age cannot give me. Only through fear will I have that knowledge that breeds wisdom and LOVES discipline and instruction. I want it! Bring it!

Sorry for the explosion of thought but I'm seriously overwhelmed at His hand at work. He can do such BIG things if we just let Him! Miss you all!!
In His Fear, Rachel