Friday, March 11, 2011


Tonight I can’t seem to find the words. I’m usually not at a loss for words. Maybe I have too many words. They don’t seem to be flowing like they usually do. More than anything I just don’t know how to start. I wanted this post to be special. Maybe the Lord just wants it to be short. Tomorrow is her birthday.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


When we found out we were expecting our first baby, Katy Jayne, we made a list of names we liked, especially because of their meaning. So before we got pregnant, we knew if this little one was a girl her middle name would be Faith.

I'm humbled to know our story has also inspired many of you to greater faith in God. I didn't want to post one more time without asking you to praise our gracious Heavenly Father for the faith you've admired in us. Faith is His gift to us and means nothing without placing it in Him whose name is Faithful and True (Ephesians 2:8, Revelation 19:11). I think that's why Jesus said that you can have faith as small as a mustard seed and have all the faith that you need (Matthew 17:20). It doesn't matter so much how much faith we have as much as in what we put that faith.

We were reminded again last week that He is desiring more than anything to capture our hearts and inviting us to a closer walk on this journey with Him. He asks us to trust Him with all our hearts not just for this season but for a lifetime. On Wednesday of last week, we met with one of the doctors from Maggie Faith's team, a genetics specialist, to review the results of her skin biopsy, which we thought might help shed some light on her metabolic disorder. Guess what? The results were inconclusive! Sound familiar on this journey? We actually laughed at those words, not in a jaded way, but in a knowing way that the Lord has yet to reveal anything conclusive in terms of a diagnosis. Maybe His desire for us is greater than any diagnosis. We have to trust Him when we fear that future children might also have this condition or that our children could carry the genes that would mean they might walk this journey in the future. I place my hope in His unfailing love and that His arms are strong enough to carry me through anything. If you are inspired by our faith, would you direct your gaze to the One who is truly amazing?

Maggie Faith Olivo, deeply loved when there was only the promise of her, lovingly carried by her momma for 38 weeks, graced by her presence for four beautiful days, affectionately danced with her daddy into the arms of her Heavenly Father. Our tiny, priceless pearl who inspired us to greater faith in the One taught us how to love and loves us more extravagantly than we can fathom.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Musings

I thought I would celebrate today by sharing some of the thoughts I've been reflecting on in the past two months:

I'm so grateful for life and legacy. I realized today that I'm a daughter who has lost her mother and a mother who has lost a daughter and yet I'm so blessed by the lives of both.

I'm so grateful for music these days. It's actually one of the legacies my mom left me and my sisters. My mom was truly gifted vocally. She could improvise harmony to anything she heard. Music was part of our everyday life. We grew up in a musical--almost anything could cause us to break out in song. Music has always served us where mere words failed. I find music helps me express what's in my heart and reminds me of what's in God's heart toward me. Music can change ordinary places like living rooms and uncommon places like the NICU into sanctuaries where our hearts are drawn to God. Music is a beautiful gift.

I'm also grateful for the kindness of friends and strangers. Thank you for letting me tell our story! Thank you for considering it a privilege to cry with us! On the hard days when my heart longs to be with Maggie Faith, I take great comfort in sharing my memories of her life and the hope that we have as believers in Christ that we will be reunited with her in the presence of Jesus when our time on earth is through. Sharing Maggie Faith's life reminds me of all the blessings we have in Christ. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and to comment or email or send us cards and letters. It really is a joy to know her life is remembered by others. For those of you who can't seem to find the words to express to us what is in your heart, please know that we understand your silence and so greatly appreciate the prayers we know you offer on our behalf.

I've also been thankful for Dr. Seuss...Don't you just love Dr. Seuss? His simple lyrical prose and whimsical art have captured the imagination of countless readers, both young and young at heart. I love his heart for children. His line from Horton Hears a Who is precious to me, "A person's a person no matter how small." We have loved each of our children since before they were born. I told Katy Jayne recently that I have loved them since I began dreaming of being a mommy when I was a little girl her age. That refrain from Horton Hears a Who especially expresses what's in my heart toward both my little ones who live in Heaven. We've recorded the life and legacy of Maggie Faith here, but I also want to honor the life of another little one I carried several years ago for eleven weeks before I miscarried. We named that little one "Sprout." We have given each of our babies a nickname while I carry them so that we can announce their given name at birth. We lost Sprout so early in the pregnancy that we don't know if it was a boy or girl so that baby remains Sprout in our memory. If you've ever lost a baby during pregnancy, we honor the tears you have shed and the things you do to remember the life that grew in your body however briefly. We agree with Dr. Seuss -- life is precious!

Before this turns into something that resembles ramblings rather than reflections, I'd like to end this post with some thoughts I wrote down in the booklet we compiled for Maggie Faith's memorial service:

To our precious family and friends,

You have been a treasure to us on this journey! The words “thank you” somehow seem inadequate to express all that is in our hearts toward you. We have been so richly blessed by your prayers, words of encouragement and comfort, for the tears you have shed for and with us. You have demonstrated your love for us in countless ways and your companionship on this journey has been priceless. We ask for the privilege of rejoicing with you when you rejoice, weeping with you when you mourn, offering the love and friendship you have so freely offered us. Our sincerest prayer is that Maggie Faith’s life would draw you closer to the heart of the Father! May He richly bless you for the kindness you have shown us!

With love,

Layne, Amy Joy, Katy Jayne, Connor, Jordan “JoJo” and Maggie Faith

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Paying It Forward

Thank you so much for how you have surrounded us with your love and prayers! We are grateful beyond words for how you have walked with us on this journey! Many of you have expressed to us how Maggie Faith's life has impacted you and that you would like to celebrate her life with a gift. While we have no expectations of any of you in this regard, we would be delighted if you would honor those who so tenderly and compassionately cared for our sweet Maggie Faith and our family at Parkland's Neonatal ICU with a gift in Maggie Faith's memory, as a blessing to other families with critically ill babies under their care.

If you wish, you may make out a check to:

Parkland Foundation
2777 N. Stemmons Freeway
Suite 1700
Dallas, TX 75207

Please attach a note to your check indicating that you would like the funds to go to the Neonatal ICU in memory of Maggie Faith Olivo.

You can also donate online here. Please use the drop down box to designate your gift for the Neonatal ICU, and you can include Maggie Faith's name in the tribute information.

Thank you for your desire to honor her life with a gift!

Grateful that we are not alone,
The Olivos
Layne, Amy Joy, Katy Jayne, Connor, JoJo and Maggie Faith

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eulogy for Maggie Faith

When we gathered with friends and family on Saturday to thank God for Maggie Faith's life, I offered this eulogy:

"On the day Maggie Faith danced home to Jesus, I woke with such a deep love for my Savior. Before I even got out of bed that morning, I had to tell him how dearly and deeply I loved Him. In fact, though it may seem hard for some of you to comprehend, I am more in love with Jesus today than I have ever really been in my life! Maggie Faith has changed my life! She is His gift to me to draw me closer to Him in a way I have never experienced before. I’m more convinced of His power, His love, and His goodness than I ever have been. I love Jesus!! I’m in love with Him! Our deepest prayer is that He has captured your heart too through Maggie Faith’s life.

Today I’d like to share with you how He has captivated me. He gave me the great honor of being Maggie Faith’s momma. While we are experiencing a deep and abiding loss, here are some things we gained from being a part of Maggie Faith’s life:

A longing for Heaven

“Momma, why does God make people sick?” Katy Jayne asked recently. I paused and breathed a prayer and the Holy Spirit put these words in my mouth. “Sweet love, God doesn’t make people sick but He does allow sickness so that we long for a place where there is no sickness and no pain. Do you know where that place is?” “Sure, Momma, that’s Heaven with Jesus!” [Revelation 21:3-4]. I have never found myself so desperately longing to be in two places at once – here on earth to love on the family that God has so graciously and generously given me and with Him in Heaven holding my sweet baby girl, Maggie Faith. I can’t really explain it but somehow I feel as though I know the heart of God better and saw a glimpse of Heaven as a result of having seen the beautiful spirit he put in her fragile little body. On her good days, she would move her little feet just like a ballerina. In fact, I described her kicks while I carried her in my body as “dancing.” I see her dancing before the Lord to his sheer delight on those beautiful little feet. That vision is so beautiful it takes my breath away!

A greater sense of awe and wonder of our Heavenly Father...a desire to earnestly BELIEVE Him

She was so beautiful and so fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalm 139: 13-16]! He expanded my capacity to trust Him in this area. I remember the day I realized I really could ask Him to heal her of things like Down’s Syndrome. The God we serve is so big, unfathomable really, and delights when we pray asking Him to be Himself, to be HUGE [Psalm 77:13-14, Ephesians 3:20-21]. That realization was so essential when the findings from each test we had were worse news than the ones before. I asked God for some pretty unbelievable things from a human perspective. I think He delighted that I would ask even when He answered me, “Beloved, I’m so sorry. I have something different in mind for her. But thank you for asking! Thank you for believing I could even if I don’t!” I love Him so much! I could be disappointed that He didn’t answer my prayers the way that I prayed them. But instead of looking elsewhere for comfort I want to press into His presence, to experience His embrace more fully, to be loved so abundantly by Him, for my spirit to dance for Him like Maggie Faith’s, simply for His pleasure.

Maybe you are here today and you’ve asked some pretty amazing things of God and been disappointed by Him. Maybe you loved Him once but turned away because the pain of life was too great. Maybe you are no longer convinced of His power, His love and His goodness. Maybe you can identify with Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, who experienced doubt when He found Himself imprisoned for proclaiming Christ to his countrymen. John sent a few of his followers to Jesus to ask, “Are you really Him?” John was expressing what you may feel toward Jesus: “Have you forgotten me? Can you not do something about the situation I’m in? Did I risk it all for the wrong thing?” Jesus kindly answers his heart and yours, “Blessed are you if you are not offended by me” [Matthew 11:1-6]. Would you be willing to give your disappointment to God and let Him hold that burden instead of you? Did you hear in the passage that Layne’s dad read how God can turn the Valley of Weeping [Baca] into an oasis where others are comforted too (Psalm 84)? He is the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” [2 Corinthians 1:3-4]. I pray that our journey and the beauty of Maggie Faith’s life may somehow inspire you to turn around and find that God is waiting with open arms to comfort you. His love for you is so fierce. Would you allow His love to quiet your heart so you can hear Him singing and rejoicing over you [Zephaniah 3:17]?

Maybe through Maggie Faith’s life you are meeting Jesus for the first time. We welcome you on this journey! We pray that you would see a little of our Heavenly Father’s heart toward you through our love for our little girl and our love for Him. I’m convinced the intensity of our desire to spend eternity with Maggie Faith in the presence of Jesus pales in comparison with His desire to spend eternity with you. Do you know how much God the Father loves you? He loves you so passionately that He sacrificed His Son for you so that you can live with Him FOREVER [John 3:16, 1 John 4:9, 10]. Do you hear Him speaking tenderly to your heart? Do you long to be loved like that? Do you recognize your need for a Savior, for that kind of love, that you can’t find it on your own, and you want to receive it from Him, to accept life with Him because of the life His Son gave for you [Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9, 13, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1]? We long to see you in Heaven and so does He.

Maybe like us, Maggie Faith’s life has inspired you to greater faith in the Lover of your Soul. Would you press in? Savor your time with Him, press in, draw near to His heart through His Word, songs, hymns, fellowship with other believers, pray, pray hard, pray unbelievable things, ask Him to increase your faith and help you in your unbelief [Luke 17:1-6; Mark 9:14-25]. Press in!"*

*I was so blessed this past summer to have the opportunity to complete once again a Bible study by Beth Moore entitled Believing God. Many of the precepts you read here are a part of what I learned then. I could not have imagined what God was preparing me for, but I'm so glad He did.


For those of you who have asked, here are the photos that we had up front for Maggie's memorial service. These were all taken by our good friend Ami Trull. She is a wonderful photographer and she did a marvelous job of helping us preserve some very precious memories of our sweet girl.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Your Stories

Many of you have expressed to us how much Maggie's story has affected your lives. We would consider it a great testimony to her life if you would take the time to send us your story at and it would also help us to remember the great things that the Lord has done in our time. We are asking you to use this method instead of the regular comment section since many of you have indicated that you have had difficulty posting comments and we don't want to miss any one.