Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letters to Lily

Dearest Lily,

Since Mama has been writing to you, we've received so many words of encouragement along the way. I never knew- really knew- the power of words, until this new adventure with you began.

I have always loved that scripture "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver"...it is such a beautiful image, and it is SO true. The kind words spoken to Daddy and me over the past few months have carried us through. I am just overwhelmed by how much people love us and pray for us.

Daddy preached the most incredible sermon Sunday morning- your first time going to church. He talked about your birth, and all that the following week entailed. He didn't go into details about everything medically, it was more about the little storm our emotions went through. He related it to the story in Acts about Paul and the group he was traveling with being shipwrecked on the island of Malta..and how sometimes life brings us to places we didn't intend to go. He ended the sermon by reading the Welcome to Holland illustration. He almost didn't make it through it all the way...I think you could have heard a pin drop while he was reading it.

One of the points in his sermon was about the safety net God provides in a storm. We might feel that we are going to drown, but underneath it all God has a giant safety net. He talked about how many times, this safety net is the people who love you and are praying for you, and who speak words fitly spoken into your lives.

This has been so, so true for us lately. I'm sure people will never know until eternity how much their emails and text messages and phone calls and facebook posts have meant to us. They have been a lifeline to sanity for us. Just knowing people are praying for you, dear Lily, has been such a safety net. We're not in this alone!!

I am going to copy some ofl the sweet words here as a reminder of how much people love you...

Thank you, Patti. For your open heart and honesty. I KNEW this. I just knew. . . .of course. That's why you are in our thoughts and prayers all day and all night. I love you so much! My heart hurts for you!





I know this letter is for Lily, but thank you for sharing her with all of us. We rejoice with you in her birth and will pray that God just helps you and Sam thru the rough spots of emotion that will come. We love you guys and already love this little baby of yours even though I've only seen pictures of her. Take care and get some sleep - haa haa - does anyone get sleep with a newborn??? :)


No words of wisdom or advice for you; just many prayers, and good thoughts. We have only been to the border of Holland with one of our girls. I DO remember thinking and feeling at times that one of the dams they are known for was about to break, and I was in the flood zone. I wonder if there is a children's wall border of beautiful tulips, a windmill here and there...bright and sun shiny, and full of color? Patti, if your life ever becomes the least bit calm, I really think you need to consider writing beyond your blog. Perhaps children's books? Or something to help other new residents of Holland.

Hugs to you,

Barb Fisher

Patti - Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I LOVE this new thing I've learned about you. So real and honest. We love you guys so much and know we are praying our hearts off for YOU.

Dear Patti: I thought I would just send you a personal note. I really don't have much to say (no great words of wisdom, advice or whatever :-) just...words to let you know that I'm thinking of you). I so appreciate your honesty on Lily's blog. I'm glad I was home alone while reading it this morning because it made me cry and I didn't have to explain to anybody why I was crying... I believe that God is going to help your family each day as you "travel in Holland" ~ a place you've never been before. The picture of Sam and Lily is so sweet. Again, if there's anything I can do to help you or if you want some company sometime, just let me know. Praying for you and love you!

Love, Joyce :-)


Lily couldn't have been sent to a more loving family... a mommy and daddy that see beyond the surface and look deeper at her precious heart. As you and your family have been blessed with her life, she also has been given the gift of 2 wonderful parents... As I was reading this entry, my mind drifted off to the old poem written by Robert Frost about two roads... And as you walk this rode less travelled by... walk with the knowledge that you can always find comfort and renewed strength from the Lord as well as the many, many friends that very obviously love your family to pieces:) I thank God for you guys and your godly example to all that know you! Thank you so much for baring your heart.. I was so touched by this entry.. and I second what Barb said.. you have a gift with words and I hope that one day I will be buying your book:) We love you and I can't wait to meet the newest addition to the Rice clan!



Sweet Lily,

I hope you will know, if you don't already what a wonderful family you have been born into. Even though I rarely see them anymore your parents are two of my favorite people. What a privileged little girl you are to have them for parents. Also your precious big brothers & sisters. With all that love surrounding you, you will never do without. I have had the privilege to meet 7 of your siblings & I pray one day I will get to meet you, Jackson & Abigail. I pray for you all. Give your mom & dad a hug for me.

Love you already...Kathy Kidwell


I cant stop crying....Patti you are the single most inspiring person ever to me, and I can appreciate your honesty. I can't even imagine what you all are going through, and it's totally beyond words for me to even explain how much I ADORE your family. I got saved because of your family and your life's witness and testimony, just look up to you all alot. I will find my way back to God hugely because of you all. Praying for you, I'll close there, cause I could type forever of how much I love your family.

Lily is gorgeous and such a miracle from God, sent to the most amazing family I have ever known.

Note to self unsolicited advice from a airhead blonde....quit blubbering on. haha
Love you guys your amazing!!!
Jamers Rand


It is my opinion that we learn much from our children. You will learn much more from Lily than from your other nine. You will learn to have more patience, compassion, humility, pride....and yes, you will have more worries. But remember "worries are a waste of time because we are all in God's hands if we place ourselves and our loved one's there."

Do not grieve for Lily because God has made her the way she is and He will never fore sake her. Trust in the Lord always, He would not have put Lily Anne into your lives if He did not think that is where she belongs, if He did not trust you.

Excuse me while I step down from my soap box.

I can't wait to hold my Lily Anne without her tubes, to kiss her tiny hands and feet. Some day soon I will be asking when is a good time to come. Maybe sometime in March so we can celebrate some birthdays.

Love, Mom


Patti you little sweetheart congratulations to you Sam and ALLLLL the kids. Lily is beautiful.
Pat and I are soooo happy for you& Sam, your friend
that STILL prays for you

Mary B.

sweet Patti. Journaling is a wonderful way to work through grief. The poem about Holland has always been the handout I use for circle of friends. People read through it quickly but they really don't understand the depths of those emotions. I was just quoting a line to Bonnie on Wednesday, the line that says the pain of that will never ever ever go away and I never get through that line without crying. still don't. But thank God the deep grief has passed in my life and the sadness dissipates quickly. I am so certain this will be true for you Patti and your family. However it does not take away the intense grief that you feel now. I am so so sorry that you have to endure this process. It will get better I promise. Had to grin when you spoke of Sam with his baby girl. I'm tellin ya there is a bond between Jen and Gary t hat I could never replace. Their relationship has been such a blessing to me I know I do not carry the weight of this alone. It is very precious. Love ya girl. Talk to you soon.



Patti, thank you for the blog post. It is amazing, as is your strength. We are all about to find out, through your voice, how incredibly amazing, special...and perfect Holland can be.

Love and hugs...Ann Perry O'Connell


Dear Patti,

We want to extend a big congratulations from us to Sam, you & your whole family for the new addition of your little sweetie Lily.

As far as getting a hold of you, I just wanted to say thank you for faithfully all these years sending us Christmas photos of your wonderful family.

We love U's! We're not the best about keeping in touch, but we do pray for the Rice family and thank God for your friendship.

Well, 'bye for now & God bless you each very, very much.

Diane Scott


Loving your blog. I copied/pasted your Holland quip to my blog as an inspirational note to others. I love you Patti! Hugs to that little buttercup! And to the rest of your familia as well!



Thank you for lily's blog, Your all in our prayers. God's love and blessings to all of you. hugs and kissies to Lily.

Catherine Richardson


Your honest heart... is beautiful! Lord I pray that Lily would gain weight and strength this very moment.. in Jesus name!

Heather Stirn


See how much people love you already, sweet little Lily? Amazing, caring, thoughtful, loving friends, who are all praying for you constantly...we are blessed beyond belief to be so loved!

Love always,

Your Mama oxox

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