Amazing Grace

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As a child we have dreams and hopes, but we never imagine ourselves in pain or despair, but it happens. The best part of those difficult times is we have a choice. We can either let them drown us, or use them as stepping stones to rise to a higher place. For me, it’s all about amazing grace. An unearned, unsurpassable blessing that comes from how we choose to live.

No, I haven’t gone off the deep end, but rather wanted to share. Many of you may not know that I am actually a mother to 8 children, 6 of whom are with me on this earth. Five years ago we said hello and goodbye to our baby girl that was perfect in every way. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t able to keep her alive. I’ve already wrote about it in this post, so feel free to catch up and come back.

Premature Baby Girl Footprints ~ Healing after Subchorionic Hematoma | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Each year we go to her graveside, for mostly our kids sake so they have something physical to see and remember. However, I know my baby is not there.

Couple mourning loss of baby girl | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

She is in the arms of her loving Savior and in a far better place than I could ever imagine for her. It is so very hard at times, especially when I can imagine a sweet towhead, blue-eyed girl running up to me with a bouquet of weeds.

As a girl, I never dreamed of burying one of my children. I never dreamed of the pain I would endure. Feeling as though my entire body was against me and wanting to scream in anger.

Headstone of Our Daughter | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I also never dreamed that I would be fighting for my life in intensive care while pregnant with my second child. Pneumonia and a staph blood infection had taken me to a lifeless state. I remember laying in the bed barely able to breathe after an episode where they thought I was gone. I told God that if one person would be touched by my experience, then let it be.

Finding the Amazing Grace in Life | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Now in life, I am happy. I find happiness in just being, and most of all having those I love with all my heart around me. Yes, I have a passion for making things beautiful or giving them new life. Honestly though, the best creation I have ever been a part of is this…

The Feet of My Children ~ A Blessing of Amazing Grace | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

These six pair of dirt covered feet from running bare foot in our yard are priceless. God saw fit to put their lives in my and my husband’s hands. I mean, who could ask for more? Each day they are in my lives is a gift I get to open over and over. Better yet is getting to do it with my best friend.

We did lose another baby after our little girl, and that is when God closed my womb for a time. I had been either nursing or pregnant for 10 years and I found myself kind of lost. It was in that time that I found more amazing grace and began my business adventure.

It started out as a way to earn a much needed income for our growing family. We had bills to pay and I needed a new purpose. You may wonder how a mom of 5 could not have purpose, but I was born to create with the gifts God gave me and this was my time to let them loose.

Did I ever dream of being a blogger? NO WAY. I was one who would be appalled at owning a cell phone, being on social media, and only dreamed of a small homestead to garden and raise a family. Never in my life did I think I would own a business, let alone write for a living.

Something happened a little over 3 years ago that pushed me to jump into blogging blind as a bat. I had no idea what I was doing…not a clue. Hours of study and learning are how I pulled myself up by the bootstraps to get it done. The push to get me started was a lack of appreciation and I was tired of being ignored. My heart knew I had something to offer and I wanted to share it.

Just imagine this homeschooling mama not only taking on a business, but a blog. eep! I did have my hard-earned college education, that again was amazing grace how that came about, but I’ll leave that to another story. If you had the time I could fill your head!

Since the onset of our adventure, we had another light fill our lives and a daughter was born to us. It wasn’t an easy journey, which I talk about here. I am ever thankful and know “things” don’t matter. I have a home, my family, my health. Just know I couldn’t have done any of it without my team; my family and God.

My days are in a constant spin, and I’ll be the first to admit I miss my old self. The one who got to just be a mom and homemaker. I even have come to resent the fact that my home is a warehouse with extra furniture in every corner. But for now, I am counting it a blessing to be able to do what I am doing. Until God leads otherwise, this is my path. My words I keep in mind each day: No regrets. No wishing I took time to do something – savoring each moment.

My Youngest Son | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Something that looms on my mind is that my children will be grown and gone before I can blink. Already I feel like I miss too much because of having to work.

Apple Picking with Family | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I find peace in knowing that this craziness is for a time and God will see fit to help us meet our needs. He always has and always will. Consider this…where else am I am able to homeschool my children, start a business, and adventure into an online world and profit? Amazing grace.

Homeschooling My Teenagers while Running a Business and Blog from Home | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Children Working on Homeschool Work | Budgeting Business while Homeschooling | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Because I have taken this leap of faith, I have been able to share my journey that has helped other mother’s worrying over their babies in their womb. I receive emails with prayer requests for those who needed a shoulder. And I get to share my passion with you… THANK YOU.

Thank you to the 99% of you that lift me up even when that 1% claims my brain for a time with negativity. Huge shout-out to my parents, my children, and especially my husband, JC. I am blessed beyond measure.

My hope is that you feel encouraged that no matter what comes your way, you can have that amazing grace. That strength that surpasses all understanding. For I know I would not be where I am today with out it.

“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.'” Mark 9:23

How to Make Sense of Troubles in Life with God's Grace | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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More of God’s amazing grace in action:

Budget-Friendly French Farmhouse Master Bedroom Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comDIY Patio Makeover Complete with Pergola all done on a budget by a family of 8 by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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49 Comments

  • Neta Monroe

    Beautiful Larissa. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your Amazing Grace to get us through the times we feel the weakest, Your strength within us brings us through. Blessings. Neta

    November 10, 2016 at 7:51 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Amen and amen! 😀

      November 10, 2016 at 9:00 am Reply
  • Vangie

    God Bless you and your family. Sometimes the journey is hard but He is always with us

    November 10, 2016 at 8:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes He is and I’m so thankful.

      November 10, 2016 at 9:00 am Reply
  • Diane Lavoie

    Thank you for sharing your heart’s story and beliefs. Our good Lord always manages to turn our most difficult of times and troubles into something beautiful. God surely has blessed you and blessing/inspiring others by your faith and faithfulness.

    November 10, 2016 at 8:05 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I have been so blessed by others who share and am trying to return the blessing. Thank you, Diane!

      November 10, 2016 at 9:01 am Reply
  • Carole

    That was awesome! Thank you for sharing with us. I’ve always loved reading your posts, and I LOVE your projects. I’ve always been drawn to certain people, now I know why I was drawn to you. Believe it or not, my fathers name was JC Haynes!

    November 10, 2016 at 8:11 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Say whaaat?!! How cool is that, Carole? My husband was named after his Great Grandpa in abbreviated form. I’d love to hear about your family.

      November 10, 2016 at 9:02 am Reply
      • Carole

        His actual name was James Carter, but he always went by JC. Haynes is not very common, I wonder if we are related way down the line?? Hmmm.

        November 11, 2016 at 11:46 am Reply
        • Larissa

          Could be. My husband’s family was one of the first 13 families to settle in Ohio. Cool!

          November 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm Reply
  • Gilly Reardon

    Bless you Larissa! Thank you for sharing your life with us all – you are one very brave lady. Very best wishes, from Gilly (in Cornwall, UK)

    November 10, 2016 at 8:17 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Gilly. I’m not sure about brave, but trying to be strong. Life is hard, but oh so good.

      November 10, 2016 at 9:04 am Reply
  • christina kintyhtt

    Bless you and your family!

    November 10, 2016 at 8:26 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Christina!

      November 10, 2016 at 9:04 am Reply
  • Carol S

    Hi Larissa,
    Beautiful words and so, so true. We have to see the beauty and grace in each and every trial. We are all a gift to each other and need to treat each other as such. Your trials have been heartbreaking, yet knowing that God’s love is wrapped around you has gotten you through. Others need to hear and soak in that reminder. We will all get through life’s trials. There is an unimaginable reward at the end. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs, Carol

    November 10, 2016 at 8:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      A reward I cannot wait for my family and I to receive, and that includes my brothers and sisters in Christ. May our family only grow! 🙂

      November 10, 2016 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Liz

    Beautifully said. Thanks for sharing this part if your life. Blessings.

    November 10, 2016 at 8:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My absolute pleasure to share, Liz. Thank you!

      November 10, 2016 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Kim

    Thank you for sharing, Larissa– your story, your faith, your talent. You are a blessing to many!!!

    November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My pleasure. Thank you for making it worthwhile to share. 🙂

      November 10, 2016 at 10:12 am Reply
  • Kenda

    It takes guts to share such a personal and private part of your life. Thank you, Larissa, for being a light for God and a wonderful example of His love and strength.

    November 10, 2016 at 9:49 am Reply
  • Jolinda

    You are truly blessed and have chosen to bless other by sharing your life with us. Thank you so very much.

    November 10, 2016 at 10:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Jolinda. I see these things as ways God prepares us to help others.

      November 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply
  • Suzanne

    You are a beacon for the rest of us. Bless you and your team.

    November 10, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Go team! Thank you so much, Suzanne.

      November 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply
  • Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    You inspire me beyond words, Larissa! Thank you for opening your heart, talents, gifts, and family with us. Sending hugs your way ♥

    November 10, 2016 at 11:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank YOU for all your awesome support, Marie. Your creativity inspired me!

      November 10, 2016 at 5:32 pm Reply
  • Christy

    What a beautiful post, Larissa! ?

    November 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Christy. 🙂

      November 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm Reply
  • Darlene

    May God Bless you and your Family, a beautiful post!

    November 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the love, Darlene. It means much.

      November 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm Reply
  • Patty

    You are so blessed with your beautiful family and wonderful husband. Everyone has a story as they say and most have suffered losses. I lost my twins a baby boy and girl, I was an emotional wreck for many years, then fourteen years ago I lost my husband to cancer and again I was devastated, but God is good once again he got me thru that I hope with some grace. Then I met my second husband so life is good again. I think life is constantly changing and with God’s good grace you can get thru anything, when one door closes another opens, you just have to be open to change and be strong, open that new door step thru and make the best life you possibly can, and keep God in your life always and he will always guide you and lift you up. Thank you for your beautiful post today. God bless.

    November 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You just never know and that’s why being thankful is what I try to do every day. God saw that you were strong enough and able to endure and found you worthy of sharing. Thank you!

      November 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm Reply
  • Becky

    Thanks for sharing your testimony of God’s grace. God is good, even when life is bad! : )

    November 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Absolutely. We don’t ditch those we love when times get bad, and neither should we turn our back on God. It is hard, but I am fortunate to be able to share of His graces. Thank you, Becky!

      November 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm Reply
  • Ann

    Larissa Thank you for sharing, you are a very special person, I truly believe that God watches over us & guides our steps & puts us where he wants us to be ,a few months back we were going through a rough time trying to find housing & one of my readings popped out at me it was “It’s your time to wait & It’ My time to act” and he did. So no matter what come’s your way Keep up the Faith. God Bless Ann

    November 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      What a wonderful testimony that He knows best and I am so thankful for that. Thank you, Ann. 😉

      November 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    Larissa what a beautiful post. I am sorry to hear of your two heaven babies. I can only imagine how hard it must be but you are comforted in the knowledge that they are with the Lord. You have been so blessed with your family and the blog is doing great. And I personally want to thank you for helping me out in the beginning and reaching out when I was truly floundering. I have never forgotten that and see you as a mentor. May God continue to bless you and your wonderful family and inspire you to greater heights.

    November 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm Reply
  • freidia

    You are truly an inspiration Ms. Larissa!

    Thank you for being a part of my world.. Hugs

    November 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm Reply
  • Jolena

    Dearest Larissa, As I read your post and ponder the anguish of losing a child (I have lost 2 early in pregnancy) I was reminded of a book I read many years ago. It is titled Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. In a world that feels it is unfair that one should die young, before having a chance to live, Mrs. Prentiss contends comes the realization that each loss has served to draw her eyes heavenward and to lovingly long not only for the sweet communion with lost loved ones but with the One who holds our lives in the palm of his hand. All your children are a wonderful blessing, each one contributing in their part to be reasons for praise to our King. Thank you for sharing your heart. To God be the glory.

    November 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm Reply
  • Lucy @ Patina Paradise

    I have often pondered how God used your suffering of having to be in the hospital with your last daughter to spur you on to become an entrepreneur. I have watched you flourish from the sidelines in awe! I also have two babies in heaven and am glad that you are able to witness to others who have gone through or fear loss. May God continue to bless you and encourage you to continue to be a beacon for many! ;o)

    November 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm Reply
  • Courtney

    Beautiful post, Larissa, I wish we didn’t have the losses in common, but glad we have both found Grace and new purpose..thank you for being an inspiration

    November 11, 2016 at 12:35 am Reply
  • Amy

    Larissa, you are an inspiration to me! It’s easy to post beautiful photos of “makeovers” and remodels when you have a lot of money. But you have shown that you can make beauty out of very little. Your hard work and creativity shine through! Your Christian testimony is a blessing as well. Keep on shining! I’m with the 99%.

    November 11, 2016 at 8:03 am Reply
  • Hazel

    Comforting words indeed, i lost a daughter at 36 weeks and such posts warm my heart and give me strength. God Bless you and thank you.

    November 13, 2016 at 4:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m so sorry, Hazel. Bless you!

      November 14, 2016 at 9:25 pm Reply
  • Karen Ploransky

    Your light shines bright sweet girl, thank you for sharing your talent and your family and your faith!

    November 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I am blessed to get to share. Thank you so much for supporting me and showing love, Karen.

      November 14, 2016 at 9:25 pm Reply
  • Kimberly Mukes

    Wow…your story sounds so like mine:) I’m a homeschooling mom of five beautiful children. I started my Etsy shop because I enjoyed creating so much. Now I’ve decided to take the plunge into blog land. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost my mind:) But I’m so grateful to the Lord for all He’s given and I can’t imagine my life any other way:)

    January 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…you have. 😉 It’s a good thing to be busy like the Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t be a stranger!

      January 4, 2017 at 7:28 pm Reply

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