Monday, January 20, 2014

Mama Bear | Update 17

"You saw me before I was born 
and scheduled each day of my life 
before I began to breathe."
psalm 139:16
Sadly, these words I'm figuring out how to write down this very second have 'arrived' -- too too soon in my opinion.  Last night Mama Bear seemed to change in her demeanor, comfort and breathing ability.  This afternoon another "level" was taken.  She is peacefully sleeping right now, and we've had excellent hospice care so we know how to make sure she stays as cozy and comfy as she is this very moment.  God is not a God of hospice guesses, but if hospice were to make a guess they've said "not days or weeks, but hours or days."

At this point we're asking that no visitors come by.  If you're dropping off a meal, please come in through the garage, leave the meal, and promptly head out.  If you feel strongly about wanting to visit, you can text me or my dad and we'll let you know if it's a good time.  If we don't answer, it's not a good time ;) Feel free to e-mail or text anything you'd like us to read to her.  We're singing, talking, and reading to her much of the day and night.  We'd love to read her love from friends.  

Our home is a sacred, weighty, alive place right now.  It's holy ground, filled with the tears of grown men and little children.  We're in the parking lot of heaven, preparing to drop off our dear mother.  We're able to see some of it's light from here.  We wish we could see it all.  We wish she wasn't going without us.  We wish that maybe this is a dream and we'll wake up to her making coffee in the kitchen. However, the rays from Home are warm sun to our hearts.  We're not ready to lose her, but we're ready for her to dance on the clouds, run to her mother who she has deeply missed for over a decade now, and join her voice in the triumphant choir to the Father King.  Thank you for every single word or thought of care for us.  Every single "Dear Jesus." Every single offer to help.  Every single communication.  Every drop of love.  We're swimming in a deep, beautiful sea.  And our mama is sailing to the shore.

“... in this universe we are treated as strangers, 
the longing to be acknowledged, 
to be met with some response,
 to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality...
and surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, 
becomes highly relevant to our deep desire.
For glory means good report with God, 
acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, 
and welcome into the heart of things. 

The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.” 
cs lewis | the weight of glory

(Updates can be found at Mama Bear on facebook.)


  1. lots of love to her and your entire family <3 <3 <3

  2. Many blessings to all of you, I have been where you are now and I have to say that I shed many tears at this moment with you. Mama Bear will be fine, better then fine. What a blessing you are to her. May peace find your heart and help you and your family through this. Thank you for sharing your journey, i know how hard that is.

  3. Thank you Kristen for sharing a little space of your Holy Ground with all of us. With love from all the Martin's.

  4. Praying for your family and your beautiful mama. I sent you a message on facebook if you would like to read to her how she has blessed and influenced a total stranger for God's glory. I hope to be a mama like her.

  5. been praying for your family and your dear mother. prayers and hugs sent your way.

  6. Thank you for your beautiful commentaries. They help connect us to the truth of life and relationships; joy and sorrow; pain and love. We are praying for you all.

    Your comment that "...our momma is sailing to the shore" reminded me of a related and relevant poetic metaphor:

    In nothing is the mind more fully satisfied,
    Nor does the eye or heart find rest
    More than in contemplating Thee.
    And yet it is as if we skim the sheerest sprays
    That blow across the broad expanse
    Of some immense, uncharted sea.
    Oh, drop the weight to fathom yet again His love,
    And practice there with untold bliss
    The soundings of eternity.

    May the Lord's love be very large to you and mamma bear now. The Hartnetts

  7. Hi Kristen its been a while since I visited your blog and just found out, I am so sorry to here and what a beautiful celebration of your mom you are doing with these posts, I pray for you and your family during this time and God may give you all peace, understanding and strength

  8. We are grieving with you and praying and also celebrating your beautiful Mama. I wish I had known her personally.

  9. This made me cry. I'm praying for your mom and your entire family.

  10. Keeping you and your family in prayer. Love to you all!

  11. Much love to you all! And many prayers. <3

  12. Sacred, weighty, alive place to live right now.......describes it perfectly! I am praying for the peace and comfort of God to cover your family! It is a holy and hard time watching them slip away. Tell your mom I love her and it was an honor being her friend.

  13. Words cannot describe the ache in my heart. Please tell your mom that she is glorifying God mightily through her life, her suffering and through her children. She is still the best mother I have ever known, and her influence on my life is eternal. I shall miss her presence in this life, and she will never be forgotten. Ever. Please tell her that I love her and look forward to our friendship in the eternal kingdom. Kristen you are amazing and I have been brought to the throne of heaven through your words. Praying for you all and walking through this with you. Love to you all dear Snyders.

  14. For Sue, if you are able to share this with her:

    This morning I was singing this beautiful song and holding you in my heart:
    “So shall my walk be close with God,
    With all the hopes made new.
    So purer light shall mark the road
    Leading to the Lamb.

    A Light to be my guide,
    The Father’s Presence at my side,
    In Your will my rest I find.
    O for a closer walk with God,
    Leading to the Lamb.”

    Praying for you, dear sister, with holy reverence, with love and with tears. Knowing that the holy Presence of Jesus is with you, and that the angels surround you. Ps. 116:15.

    I am still praying that you would not go through the portal, that you would remain with your dear ones, but He is good, He is ever good, and His glory is near.

    With love and respect,
    Vicki Schellhase

  15. I know that you don't know me, but I want you to know that your family has been dear to my heart and in my prayers through this journey. My husband lost his grandmother (who was like a mother to him) to cancer last April. We were there by her side to the end, so we understand the struggle this is and how hard a road it is to walk. We will continue to say prayers for all of you and that her passage into the Kingdom is a peaceful one. Much love and blessings to you and your family!

  16. May you find comfort in this verse...

    Matthew 11:25-30
    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  17. I've just heard about your sweet Mother and want you to know that I will be praying for her and your wonderful family this evening. Thank you for the blog, which I've just discovered. Your posts are filled with faith and bring much encouragement to your brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no guarantee that we will not suffer in this life and you have demonstrated God's amazing grace through your trial. What a legacy to leave for generations to come! God bless you!

  18. praying for you all... i don't know you very much, or your family, but i am sure she is a beautiful person - just like you. love and prayers to the whole family... ♥♥

  19. My heart hurts hard for you all, but I am truly rejoicing that Mama Bear will soon see Jesus, face to face! The testimony of faith and love I have read about these past months and years over this computer screen is incredible to me. I have so much respect for you, your dear Mama Bear, your father, and all of your family. Kristen, in every post you remind me of the love and sovereignty and absolute goodness of our Father. Thank you. You are all in my prayers.

  20. Kristen, thank you so much for this beautiful description of your home at this very moment. lots of Love and respect to all of you as you go thrugh this as a family. ~ The Seifu's

  21. I'm a stranger who happened to stumble upon this blog. This is one of the most beautiful things I've read. Actually, you should consider putting all of this into a book one day. I am so saddened to hear about your beautiful mother, who left behind such a lovely family.

    I hate cancer.

    I actually experience death often as a hospital social worker, and it's fascinating to see all the different ways it can come, and/or, a family manages it. I think you all managed you mom's last days beautifully. Not only in the last few days, but the last few years. It's truly a special testimony.

    I am so sorry for your loss. SO sorry. There are no other comforting words to say at the loss of a mother other than I am sorry.

    Praying for you and your family.