Monday, August 23, 2010

Sad. Keli.Thankful.and Playing.

Today was a long was a SAD day. We spent it with my favorite girl, Sonya...and "Shae Jade's" favorite girl, Liv. The four of us have spent lots of days together. Lots of good, easy days. But today, we spent a long, hard one- because it hasn't been just "us 4" in a long time- since this day...

...when little Baney Bane came along...

...and we miss him.

Even though "us 4" is good...we loved having that little man in the mix. Like on this day...

...when these three kiddos tasted their first real snow...and lots of it!

Or this day...

... when we all loaded up and went to The Piney...

...or this day when we celebrated Sonya's birthday together, just "us 5"...

...or on one of the many, many nights that these three found themselves playing in the same bath water.

So today, we missed Bane. Some days I feel really strong. I feel so close to the REALITY that God has such great things that will come of this pain. That joy will come again for Sonya and Dra. But today, honestly, wasn't one of those days. I felt helpless as I sat with Sonya and just cried again this afternoon. I felt weak as I couldn't even take any of her burden from her. This precious family who so many have grown to love are hurting tonight. Please, please, please keep praying. Please God, don't let us settle back into our every day lives and forget to PRAY for them.

"If thou shouldst never see my face again, pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreams. Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain for me, night and day..." ~Alfred Lord Tennyson, Morte D'Arthur

So at the end of today as I drove home with a heavy heart, I called my friend, KELI,(who is one of Sonya's oldest and dearest friends in the world) knowing that her deep love for Sonya would allow her to help me carry this sadness today. She did. She listened and, as always, had the perfect words. She should be famous for how well words flow through her. Gift from God, for sure. (And might I request here, that if you are ever famous, KELI, you'd remember this shout out??? :)) So after 45 minutes of our kids screaming in our ears and climbing all over us- refusing to let another minute of their mommy's love on anyone but them, we were forced to hang up... but I felt better...and needed more... so I went HERE for more of her words. Trust me, people, you're gonna want to follow her blog. Inspiring. Rich actually calls her The Wordsmith. Anyways, her blog today inspired me to rise out of my sadness and start counting.

So here it goes. Today, on a day when my heart is heavy...I still have so much to be THANKFUL for!!!
1)I am so THANKFUL for Jesus Christ, who overcame DEATH.
2)I am so THANKFUL for Sonya and Livi today- two girls that God gave to me enjoy the best of life with, and share the burden of hard times with...and for Drason who is so strong and loves these precious girls so perfectly, even now.
3) So THANKFUL for my baby girl. Oh what a joy she has been!
4) So THANKFUL that I am married to the kindest man on earth, who has been a testament of God's faithfulness and and inspiration to be better since the day I met him.
5) So THANKFUL for a very tight-knit family who loves deep as the ocean...
6) So THANKFUL for the beautiful sunshine today that shone bright as ever and reminded me that light always overcomes darkness. Even today.
7) So THANKFUL for so many wonderful friends whose encouragement hasn't stopped coming at the most needed moments.
8) So THANKFUL for the WORD OF GOD that I can rest peacefully in on the good days and stand firmly on today because "...we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose..." -(Romans 8:28)

And, KELI, of course, is another gift to Sonya, for "such a time as this" the mouth behind the perfect words on Bane's blog, too...which further inspired me today...

...So tomorrow...tomorrow is another day. And after a day like today, I have resolved to get busy PLAYING again, in honor of Baby Bane. I just texted Sonya and asked her to join me tomorrow as we let God lead us to people who need us. Nothing heals a hurting heart like serving others! I have been so inspired by Sonya's strength and her desire to let Bane's legacy be one of good...and so tomorrow, I am gonna PLAY IT FORWARD. If you don't know Sonya or Drason personally, you can't imagine the strength they, too, are drawing as more and more people come forward with stories of how their lives have been changed by the loss of their son. If you are trying to find away to love on this family and have wondered "what could I possibly do to comfort them?"--- let me tell you that the very best way is to get engaged in letting Bane's story inspire you to change your world, with kindness...and then make sure you TELL THEM about it, on Bane's blog. They read it every day, I promise. Follow the button on the right side of this blog to PLAY IT FORWARD yourself, and then find a way, yourself, to tell as many people as you can to do the same.

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." ~Aesop

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bane Bane Game


Oh I am so excited about today's fabulous post on Baney Bane's blog... just imagine how ONE act of kindness, committed by enough people, can change our world! Literally.

God is so good.

Go play here!!!!

Aunt Dane Dane :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1 week

I feel like I have been in a fog for a week now...fog that, even though literally settled over my yard this morning, has lifted from my heart. If I had known two weeks ago what my last 8 days would hold, I would have said I could not live through it. I simply could not bear a heartbreak of that magnitude. You see, I love my sweet Sonya to the moon....and back....a million a million more. You getting the picture? I just love her, on and on. I always have. We believe that we are really sisters, not by birth, but by bond. For my whole childhood, I had 4 brothers...and one sister, my Aunt-Sister, as we say...which confuses folks sometimes. But we know. As she grew up sort of an only child, because she was 17 years younger than even her next closest sibling (and 21 years younger than my mother), she was one of "us"...Joey, Nathan, and I. We could be seen almost any day, and in every one of my memories, the "Four Musketeers", if you will. She was my only sister and I was one of hers. We have dreamed life together and lived life together as only real sisters do. Because we are. Real soul- sisters, I mean.
So this past Tuesday night as our sweet Baney Bane slipped into the arms of God, I felt as though my heart would burst out of my chest with that deep, deep pain- which I had never felt before. When Livi was born, and then Bane, I felt a love that only a sister does for a child, not her own. Like they kinda were mine. And then we lived literally 10 yards away from each other for the past 3 years, so life was so daily with them. Every day I saw that sweet little round-faced Bane, who loved his mama and his bottles most in this world. My how I loved that little man. "Big Bane Beasley" we said. He was gonna be a football player. He was tough, man oh man, was he tough! Just like his daddy. His daddy is so, so strong. Amazingly strong, as anyone who attended Bane's celebration could see.
I must admit that the peace of God that now swells my heart did replace lots of "whys" and "hows" and "no's"...because I do miss Bane. I have grieved his loss, both for myself and for my sis, and for his precious daddy. But already, in just a little over a week, God's grace has brought me from the place of heart break to a place of thankfulness and now to a place of peace. I know that my Maker, and Bane's Maker, knows us best. He knows His wonderful plans for us, His saints. He knew that Bane's passing would bring so much GLORY to His Name and his legacy would be GREAT, because of the deep love of his parents. Bane Alton Drake Beasley will be remembered for much, much GOOD...that is YET to come.
Yesterday I prayed and asked God to reveal some of His truth to me that I needed for yesterday. I opened my Bible right up to 1 Peter 2...packed with so many words I needed to read.
1 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness...
...5 you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple...
...9 for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light...
...11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors...
... 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

That last verse was for Sonya and Drason. Two nights ago, as she and I laid in bed together talking, as we have hundreds of nights before, it was not Bane's death that we focused on, but the LIFE he will bring to others today and tomorrow...and forever. Already, we have had so many people bring us stories of salvation from his Celebration service... to a tow-truck driver, Mike, who came to know Christ through his story the next day... to dear friends of ours who have re-dedicated their lives to Christ...all because of sweet little Baney Bane. The GOOD is just beginning...even if it means suffering. For "weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5) Sonya and Dra, who have just lost their baby boy, have already chosen to bring GOOD out of their pain. And as His promises always stand so firmly, He has NOT given us more than we can bear. They have brought SO MUCH GLORY TO GOD, already, through their strong faith. God is so wise, and HE KNEW that they would.

I could write forever about the wonderful things God has shown me over this past week. I feel like a breath of fresh air from the Holy Spirit has washed over me, because it has. He IS the Great Comforter. Prince Of Peace. Almighty God. Everlasting Father, who holds sweet Bane, already in the balance of eternity.

Sonya said it so well two nights ago: " After all that I have experienced through this, I just want to get on to doing good." ...or like 1 Peter 2:21 said yesterday: " that you have a taste of the Lord's kindness"...

More stories of GOOD to come... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

There are simply no words that we can find any meaning or hope in today other than scripture, and so we will HOLD TIGHT to them. I have never imagined facing this unthinkable tragedy with the dearest of people on this earth to me, and my heart is truly breaking today for my sweet sweet Sonya. We need your prayers. God is so faithful and so good, even now.

For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love."
Lamentations 3:22-26; 31-32

We WILL praise Him in this storm.

We are so thankful for all of your prayers, thoughts, messages, and love. Although this time is trying, Drason and Sonya have chosed to REJOICE in the GOOD and PERFECT will of our Father..."For He knows the plans He has for us."
Dra and Sonya have requested that we set up a website to honor Bane and all details about arrangements can be found there.
Please visit to CELEBRATE BANE with us!
Rich and Dana
P.S. For those of you who know Son and Dra, please post this to your wall so we can share with as many friends and family as possible....

Bane Alton Drake Beasley 10/23/2009 - 8/10/2010


Last night at 10pm our beloved family Sonya and Drason Beasley returned their son Bane Alton Drake Beasley to The Lord. The doctors are still not 100% sure, but believe that he may have contracted Meningococcal Disease. Bane was a beautiful, strong, and loving soul that blessed us all more than words could ever convey. We will always cherish his sweet spirit and the joy with which he embraced life. Please join with us in lifting Sonya, Drason and Livi to our Heavenly Father in prayer. Through these days they will need much comfort, peace, strength and understanding, as only God can provide.

We ask that for the time being condolences and/or questions regarding the funeral are directed toward myself. I can be reached at 615-498-3254 or via email at

As soon as more details regarding the funeral service are known I will make an additional post.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts, they are truly felt and appreciated.

In Christ,

Richard Andrews

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


People I caved. After much heckling in Africa, I caved. Apparently, even all of the people in 3rd world countries who can't even get decent internet are already on FACEBOOK...and I wasn't...which wasn't very cool. Even in Africa. So, I promised all of my new friends (now official "friends") that as soon as I got home, I'd sign up. I did. I had my first "tutorial" last night from my friend Wendy and am happy to report I finally understand what Clay meant when he said, "TAG that one" every time we took a picture on our trip. I know, total in the Stone Ages.

Anyways, I'm there. On FB.
Find me.

Let's be friends. :)

Black Mountain, NC

We spent our weekend in Black Mountain, NC...just tuckered in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains about 10 miles outside of Asheville. One of my favorite spots. When I was 19, my best bud Tricia had found THIS Christian girls camp she was going to be a counselor at for the summer...she asked me to go, and I said yes. And I spent that summer and the next summer there, in Black Mountain. It's beautiful...and the camp is so fun! I hope to send my Shaelyn Jade there someday!! Now, guess what? My littlest brother, Taylor, is 19...and he just spent his summer being a couselor at THIS same camp...on the boys side, of course! :) He loves it too. So... we packed up for our anniversary weekend and made it a roadtrip...complete with Ratatouille for half the trip and a fabulous murder mystery on CD from Cracker Barrell to get us home (those of you who know me best know that I LOVE a good thriller on CD from Cracker Barrel for a roadtrip)!

We stayed at THIS precious Bed and Breakfast...and of course, spent lots of our time rocking on the front porch, since there was one for Papa Bear, Mama Bear...

...and Baby Bear!

Taylor loved having us...and brought a sweet friend along for the day, Annie Grace...

...and Nonni and Poppi even dropped in to surprise him on Friday, too! He loved it!

Our last night we headed into Asheville, just me and my two favorite peeps, for "Shindig On the Green", something I used to go to 10 years ago every Saturday night...and was so happy it's still going strong! Lots of friendly North Carolinians come from all over the area (and some rather interesting mountain folk crawl out of the woodwork, too!) and gather in groups to play good ole Bluegrass Music all night long...complete with elderly cloggers, children frolicking on the green grass...and a delicious pork and slaw dinner from "Okie Dokie Smokeys!"

So thankful for these fun memories of our time as a family of 3!