We all go through many seasons in our lives. There is the season of Winter, when life can feel cold and dark but if you look in closely, you can see some magic. After a long winter, we head into Spring. We are met with many rainy, dreary days but with the rain, comes growth. You start to see beauty and a hope filled joy is in the airWith Summer, comes bright sunny days filled with lighthearted playful fun. There is laughter and the simple things of life become more meaningful. There is a freedom that comes as we breath in the fresh air. Fall brings us to a place of beautiful comfort. There are things that we have learned to let go of which has made the world around us more vibrant and colorful. We have peace and we can rest in it. We give thanks and we ponder what we have to offer up and give as a result of the seasons we have weathered. Never have I experienced these seasons in my life in such an evident way as when I lost my first baby. She was born and other than having an upper cleft palate, we thought we had a healthy baby girl. We took her home, and everything was right in my world. Throughout my life, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I first would say that I wanted to be a Mom. Ten days later, we had to say goodbye to our sweet girl. They said that a lot of times when there is one birth defect there are others. It ended up being the case for our Alayna Marie. There was no way anyone could have known that our little girl had no immune system. The thymus gland that produces T cells was not formed right and was not working as it should. It was a very difficult time for us and the season of Winter was very, very long. We came to a place where we started to look in closer and saw the hope of heaven. It can feel magical some days as you dream of being reunited but the great thing is that is not magic but a real truth that you can claim. The fact that I would see her again started to bring comfort. Though, I feel this process never really ends and there are always things to learn and growth to be had, and by the grace of God, we made it through the seasons in a way that brought us to a season of giving.
God heard my prayers and answered them. He blessed us with 3 more healthy, beautiful children!! When the older two started asking about their sister that lives with Jesus, we decided that it would be meaningful to do something with them in her memory. We decided to have a pie sale and the money raised would go to sponsor an orphan. Our first sale consisted of a little table with maybe 30 pies and now our family and friends that bear the title, “Alayna’s Pie Bakers” make over 300 pies. A small-town effort and love for pies has grown the pie sale and we have been able to do so much over the years in Alayna’s memory. This year we were able to help a local family with some of their financial needs for their upcoming adoption.