Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Awaiting Hope"

"Awaiting Hope"
 - Emilie Grace Rush (English 9 Honors, March 2, 2016)

I've come to terms with life.
It's tremendous highs,
It's sickening lows
and its measly middle.

Some days are fantastic,
others lackluster.
A few heartbreaking,
yet I don't lose hope.

I don't lose hope
when life rains on my parade
or renders me diseased, or
when it brings the dark cloud of despair.

When it does, I dream of the summer sun,
and harmonious joy
with family and friends,
signing of bliss and cheer.

Hope surprises me
like a cool breeze on a humid summer's day
or a freshly cut diamond in the midst of grime and rust
not always clear, but always there.

We expect for hope to come regardless,
to silently meet our needs
to fuel our dreams
and allow us to continue on for all of eternity.

Yet I know it is such,
and I know there is hope for me.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
1 Peter 1:3-4a NIV

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Update #96 - by Chad Rush

It's been 3 weeks since Kristie met Jesus face to face.
I think a lot more about Heaven now than I used to.  I guess it is much more real to me now.
It's been 3 weeks of beginning the new normal.  The days have gone by fast; the nights not so much.
Week 1 was very busy; many people helping out; many details to attend to.
Week 2 was Easter break.  Emilie and Daniel had off from school.  We enjoyed just being together as a family.  They are both doing well.
Week 3 is underway.  This is the week that I would be alone.  House in in school...alone.

You see, I have thought about and shared with some, that this week, week 3, 2 weeks after Kristie's passing, would be the time that I would wrestle this out with God.

Living life with Kristie; loving her was amazing.
Even over the past year when things got much more difficult and complex, this remained true.
We lived together with such an expectancy for God; for who He was; for what He was doing; to hear Him speak.  Yes, we lived with great anticipation, for God was on the move.
On March 21st, we celebrated her spiritual birthday into eternity.
And we did this well!
God remained good, but so many questions were unresolved.
So yes, this was the week that I would have time to be alone with Him.  Alone to pray.  Alone to cry.  Alone with my questions.  ...alone.

But week 3 arrived differently than I had thought.
A little more than a week ago, a strange thing happened.  I began to realize what I had been saying - who was I to wrestle with God?
I mean, don't get me wrong, my world was rocked and I really wanted to better understand what just happened.
Forgive me God for me wanting to wrestle this out with You.  I know it is me and not You who doesn't understand.
My greatest desire remains You, God.  Lead me to a higher relationship with You.
It was then that I came to realize that it was not me wrestling with God, but that it was He who was initiating with me!  It was He who was asking me this question:
"Were you seeking Me for what I would do for you?  Or were you seeking Me for Me?"
My answer was "both".
I am beginning to understand that if I only see God for what He has done, or can do for me, then He is not big enough.  Then He is not the God of the Bible.

In my quiet time with God yesterday, I read Genesis 32:22-30.

"That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."  But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."  The man asked him, "What is your name?"  "Jacob," he answered.  Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."  Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."  But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?"  Then he blessed him there.  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."


It was God who wrestled with Jacob.  He was the initiator.  At first glance it may look lie Jacob was trying to force a blessing from God, but read it again.  God fought with Jacob all night, and when daylight came, Jacob looked up and God said, "All right, I have tried.  I am leaving."  "If you don't want my best for you, I'll leave."

I think Jacob must have panicked.  Perhaps for the first time, he saw the value of God and God alone.  He became desperate to stay in His presence and he sought His blessing.
To see the value of God, and of God alone.
This is a tough battle!
How many of us face hard, hard situations.  The death of one we love.  The failure of a relationship.  Hard questions that don't seem to have answers that satisfy us the way we want them, or need them to.

...and the battle line is drawn.  Right down the center of our hearts and our will.

Here is the question:

Am I willing, like Jacob, to be broken by Him?  To live broken for Him?
A broken vessel, being held together by the grip of His hands; filled with His presence; standing in His strength.
We must allow Him to break us so he can make us into conquerors, overcomes, mighty warriors for Him.
That is what I want.
That is what real faith is.
You see, faith is not an intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can't see the way ahead.

I am all in.
Today, tomorrow, for as long as He has for me, until that day when i see Him and Kristie, face to face.

So how am I doing?
He is pulling me forward into a deeper relationship with Him.
Forward to grasp a much larger, grander vision of Him, of Heaven and of His future.
Forward to a deeper faith, a higher hope and a new kind of love.
Forward to a new Jacob, limping perhaps...but to a higher ground.

How about you?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Update #95 - by Danielle Kader

The day before Kristie went to Heaven I sat around her bed with Chad and their friends Bryan, Kara and Trevor, who also happen to lead worship at their church. They had come that day because in a matter of thirty minutes Bryan and Trevor had written a song for Kristie.  They came as I was about to leave and when she opened her eyes and saw them she said to me, “Don’t you dare leave.” And so, as I had done many times before, I listened to Kristie.

They sang over her (to listen to Kristie's Song click here). We sang over her. Kara prayed over her.  We prayed over her. And we all cried. When the singing was done, Kristie, frail and thin, not able to speak well, strength almost gone, looked at Kara and told her to trade places with Chad, so that Chad would be right next to her. I thought to myself and giggled inside how even though she was weak she was still bossy. Then she told Bryan to switch places with me. We obeyed. And once next to her, she turned her head toward me; eyes still closed, and asked me to tell the story of her daughter, Emilie’s adoption. I looked at Chad a little befuddled, because I wasn’t there. But Kristie insisted saying I had heard the story so many times.

Chad told the story and every now and then Kristie would inject a detail. One of those details was when they picked a name they decided to spell it with an “ie” versus the traditional “y”.  We laughed at some of the problems that causes, like never being able to find a license plate for your bicycle with your name spelled on it.

There was something about this story we were missing and I could sense a slight restlessness about Kristie because of it. Then she said, I’m going to write a book titled, It’s All About the E. I said, “Emilie will always have a piece of you because she has your ie.”  Kristie sat up (as much as she could) and turned her head to look at me, with eyes open wide. Then she lay back down.

See, Emilie and Daniel are adopted. They don’t look like Kristie and Chad. When they were naming Emilie Kristie knew that she would have Chad’s last name and she wanted Em to have a piece of her, hence the spelling of her name, Kristie with an “ie” and Emilie with an “ie”.

Emilie will always have a piece of Kristie. Because of the spelling of her name, but also because for 13 years of her life she has had a mom fully invested in her who loved her well, taught her, and poured into her.

But as I thought about Kristie’s book title I thought about how all who have known her, and even some who don’t, have a piece of her.  Her influence, because she loved Jesus and loved others well, has impacted people. So, it’s all about the “E”. The “E” is what she imprinted on our souls with the way she lived and the way she loved and the way she gave generously.  And even after she left this earth and has gone to Heaven, people are still being impacted.

My story speaks to Kristie’s story and points to God’s story. He is the Author.  My story is a piece of a greater whole. Weave all of these stories together and it starts to get exciting. But still, all point to a greater, wilder, adventure story that the Author is writing. And the stories point to the Author.

The Author is still writing. He is writing His story in your life and in the lives of those around you. God is alive! God is speaking! God is on the move!

Share your story. Email it to And please know, this blog will continue. In Kristie’s memory but for Christ’s name, because her story speaks to the greater story that is still being written!

To close I want to share the lyrics that a friend of mine wrote who is in Kristie’s Wednesday night women’s Bible study. May they touch your heart as they do mine.  Remember, there is a better story.  There is an Author. And HE LOVES YOU!

Better Story by Beth Hogenmiller

You write a better story
Better than I could pen
You write a better story
Better than anyone

You are the author
You’ve written all my days
You know each battle that I will face
You come to fight for me, to save me, and win

For You win in life, You win in death
You win right now
You win in the end
You win in death, You win in life
You win right now and in the end

You write lines that make the poets leap
You write songs that swell the seas
You write prose that keeps us on our toes

You wrote down how You treasure me
And You wrote my name
In Your Book of Life
You engraved my name on Your hand
You wrote my days before the world began
Made me a part of Your Greatest Plan

You win in life, You win in death
You win right now
You win in the end
You win in death, You win in life
You win right now and in the end

Take my dim and dreary dreams
Trade them for Your own
Erase my fierce and selfish pride
That I may kneel before Your throne

Burn my pages gingerly
Pry them from my grasp
Replace them with Your artistry
And make my hope be You, at last

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Update #94 - Kristie Rush by Chad

"Kristie, I am going to send out a brief update, is there anything specific that you want me to tell everyone?"

"I'm thirsty."

Thirsty for a big cup of ice water with a green bendy straw.  Thirsty for God to finish the work that He has started in her life and will bring to completion to the glory of His name.

She is thirsty.

Physically her body if failing; the medicine, being given in increasing measure to help her to breathe, is making her sleep more.  

She is at home.  She has a hospice bed in our bedroom.  Our dog Mollie hasn't moved from her side.  

We pray and hope for God to do what He and He alone is able to accomplish.  In her and my lives, and in the lives of Emilie and Daniel.

Please join me in praying that she would hear The Sovereign Lord speak.  

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.  He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"  I said, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know."  Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones;  I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.'"  
So I prophesied as I was commanded.  And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.  I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.  Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says:  come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'"  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.  (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

Love to you from the Rush family.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Update 93 - Hospice week 5 - from Chad

I wanted to provide a brief update on Kristie.

She has been relatively pain free and has been able to maintain consistency in her medications, food and hydration.  Her biggest struggle remains with her breathing.  This continues to be a challenge and has kept her very immobile over the past week.  There is fluid build up in her lungs and discomfort in her abdomen and that certainly has not been easy to manage.  In addition, her coughing spells have been rough for her.

With the recent changes in her health, I have begun to take some extended time away from work.  I am very thankful for the support of my company and of my coworkers that make this possible.  Because of this, I will be able to have quality time with my family.  Today marked a significant act of courage and leadership…..6 hours with Emilie at the JC Penny Hair Salon!!  We both survived and one of us will never be the same again…

We have been blessed with food and prayer, friends and family, love and support from so many.  Thank you.  Thank you for worshiping while we wait; for persevering in prayer with us and for trusting in a God who is sovereign and more than able.

Love to you all,


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Update #92 - Urgent Plea

Sometimes a poorly worded, desperate prayer is what God hears from us.

Please pray for Kristie – she has taken a major setback in the past 2 days.  She is having significant difficulties breathing right now and is experiencing tightness and pain in her lungs and in her upper chest.

Ask Him, who gives us our very breath, to literally be the air that she breathes.

It is Him who can and will sustain her.

Also, pray for our children, Emilie and Daniel who are worried and quiet.

Pray also for me, that I would stand and not fall.

Thank you,