Tag Archives: hope

What if we tackled life’s problems with the tenacity of my 2 year-old? Hopeful. Joyful. Determined. Bold.

Will I ever truly know how to let go and be at peace no matter the circumstances?

Mary and I were having some quiet time—hard for a two year-old who is having fun at the Lake. Savor precious moments…here today and gone tomorrow.

Be still and know that He is God…trust that He will be a present help in times of trouble…rest in His loving arms.

What would it be like to embrace life like a fun-loving fearless two year-old — who needed her mom to draw a boundary line in the sand?

AnnaLeah was 6 & Mary was 2, and they were both water bugs! Our family enjoyed a quiet vacation at a cottage overlooking Lake Michigan.

Can I tackle the challenges before me like an insistent two year-old, determined to solve life’s problems but able to enjoy unexpected delights along the way?

When Mary was very young, we used to call her www.mlk (wonderful wiggly worm mary lydia karth). She was full of energy and very expressive. It didn’t take much for her to make us laugh or smile.

This two-minute video, where we were packing up to go home after a summer vacation, was one of those times where she amused her older brother without even trying.

Can I learn to let go in the midst of serious life difficulties, to trust the Master of the Universe to be in control — while at the same time, grabbing hold of the tools which He has given to me to make a difference with boldness and determination?

Two-year old Mary gets help from her big brother Samuel when climbing the steps up the dune from the Lake Michigan beach. Then she has fun with the cottage door. Simple pleasures. . .

Trusting, hopeful, joyful, determined, bold, sassy. . .

3 at Muskegon

Mary wrote a letter to herself a few weeks before her life ended due to a truck crash on May 4, 2013. One of the things she said in the letter she meant to read in ten years,

“I hope that I am living every day as if it was my last.” Mary Lydia Karth, Age 13


A simple song sung by a mother with simple trust in the Father for the gifts He has given & still to come.

A simple song sung by a mother — with simple trust in the Father for all the gifts He has given and which He has promised are yet to come.

Mary & AnnaLeah sang this song one year with a King’s Kids choir in Texas. I know that they believed its simple words by faith as a mustard seed.

Video footage from Mary’s Baptism, AnnaLeah’s Confirmation, & their journey home to their Father in heaven above.

“Simple Song” lyrics & music by Honeytree (Nancy Hennigbaum)

I will sing a simple song
The meaning will be clear.
And you’ll never have to wonder
When you’re far away from here
Just where I am coming from
And where I take my stand
Beneath the cross of Jesus
Holding to His nail-scarred hand.

The Bible says it in a simple way
And so do I.
Our Father up in heaven
Sent His only Son to die
So that you and I could be free from all our sins.
Take a look at Jesus Christ in faith
Eternal life begins.

He rose again.
He conquered death forever
When He rose again.
I know it won’t be long
Until we rise with Him
To spend eternal life in Paradise.
This is my simple song.

And I know it’s nothing new.
But every simple word is true.
And this is my simple song.

Lyrics & Music: Honeytree (Nancy Hennigbaum)

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary in Michigan



“Be still and know (breath in) that I am God “(breath out): a spiritual & physical relaxing technique.

Something to try. . .

Here is an idea which I read this morning on a friend’s Care Pages message (she is undergoing treatment for aggressive cancer): “‘Be still and know (breath in) that I am God ‘ (breath out) is a spiritual and physical relaxing technique which may help.”

Mary (two years old) & I:

And because music has power to soothe my soul:

There is a Balm in Gilead. . .

“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn #651
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: “Stille, mein Wille”
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: “Finlandia”


getting farther away patch of blueAnnaLeah, Mary at Muskegon

For all the saints, who from their labors rest. . .

Remembering AnnaLeah and Mary, and all those who have gone before us, on this All Saints Day.

I look back at what I have written and shared on the All Saints Days since we lost Mary and AnnaLeah. What a lot to think about.

All Saints Day…bittersweet…surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses  https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/photos/a.465869083495611.1073741828.464993830249803/536302436452275/?type=1

All Saints Day in North Carolina, 2013  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=537430979672754&id=464993830249803

All Saints Day in North Carolina…2012 & 2013:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=725099240905926&id=464993830249803

All Saints Sunday; #notincontrol #childrenoftheheavenlyFather:  https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/photos/a.465869083495611.1073741828.464993830249803/725691647513352/?type=1

New rock garden and Marcus nature 007 New rock garden and Marcus nature 006New rock garden and Marcus nature 001 New rock garden and Marcus nature 010

Two Years After Our Truck Crash: With Hope, We Carry On

It has been two years now since we set out for Texas from our home in North Carolina and unexpectedly “said goodbye” to AnnaLeah and Mary when our trip ended in a horrific truck crash outside Greensboro, Georgia, on May 4, 2013.

Just recently, a memory surfaced of Mary when we lived in Michigan and she was just a little tyke. I was putting one of her Beanie Baby dogs on my bed and it reminded me of when she used to get so excited to see a pug at one of the houses she delivered The Grand Rapids Press to in her section of our family newspaper route. The memory made me smile.

Cats and dogs 004Bear Photo Story 1 004

It got me to thinking about memories and what we have left to help us carry on. When we lose someone, perhaps what is initially on our mind is thoughts of how they were at that time when they left us–at that age when they died. AnnaLeah will seem forever 17 to me and Mary forever 13. But my memories of them jump all over the years (depending on what it is that triggers a particular memory).

My heart is full of so many good moments. Even painful or frustrating times (like getting tangles out of long hair or grumpy, girly moods) have a place in my thoughts which make them seem not as bad as they once did and worth going through all over again if only the girls could be back here with us.

It wasn’t my plan to have it be this way–to have those moments come to an end and only be able to carry the girls in my heart as memories from the past. But here I am, learning how to treasure those memories with a grateful heart for the gift Mary and AnnaLeah were and the confident hope of seeing them again.

Tears & smiles mercilessly mingle. Meanwhile, slowly and mercifully, new reasons to live and love and laugh beckon me ever onward.

Remembering AnnaLeah & Mary–the joy & the pain–with hope, we carry on.

Photos & video of our girls set to the song, With Hope, by Steven Curtis Chapman–a dad who wrote this song after his own tragic loss of his youngest daughter.