Monday, July 8, 2013

July 3, 2013
Happy Fourth Birthday Eden!  Wow, you would be four-years-old today.  I can't believe it.  FOUR!  I wonder about how excited you would be to open presents and blow out candles on your birthday cake.  What would be your favourite colour?  What would be your favourite flavour? You are never far from my thoughts and I carry you in my heart always.  Happy Birthday my beloved daughter.  I love you SOOOOOO much.  I'm saving every single kiss and cuddle for you sweet girl.  Until then, I love you to Heaven and back.  

May 8, 2013

This was an open letter to a pastor.  I made a comment at the end. 

Dear Pastor,

A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful.  I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.
Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day.  A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.
Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.
Here’s the thing, I believe we can honor mothers without alienating others. I want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ.
  1. Do away with the standing. You mean well, but it’s just awkward. Does the woman who had a miscarriage stand? Does the mom whose children ran away stand? Does the single woman who is pregnant stand? A.w.k.w.a.r.d.
2.  Acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering.

To those who gave birth this year to their first child - we celebrate you. 
To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away - we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.  Forgive us when we say foolish things.  We don't mean to make this harder than it is. 
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children - we celebrate with you.
To those who have disappointment, heartache, and distance with your children - we sit with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising - we anticipate with you. 

This Mother's Day, we walk with you.  Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst.  We remember you.

When I was pregnant with Eden, being fully aware that my daughter might die, a friend of mine said, "Just think, you get to celebrate your first Mother's Day next year."  I felt gutted.  I was carrying LIFE inside of me.  I had bonded with my daughter for months.  I ate for her, I exercised for her, I reduced my stress for her, I sang to her, I held her by placing my hands on my growing belly, I read to her, I prayed for her, and someone had the nerve to tell me that I was not a mother. 

The following Mother's Day (2010), I mourned the death of both of my daughters, Eden and Selah.  How can you tell me that I am not a mother when the depth of my grief went to the pit of my soul? 

Please, don't make the mistake of telling a pregnant woman that she is not a mother until her child is born.  Life begins at conception, and so does motherhood. 

May 3, 2013
"Mothers, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are, better than you are, and better than you have ever been... Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. We thank all of you, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God. "

-Jefferey R. Holland

April 9, 2013
Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.  C.S. Lewis

Thursday, December 20, 2012
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. 

Monday, December 17, 2012
From a headstone in Ireland:  Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012
Greg Laurie, Pastor of Harvest Ministries, wrote the following:

It’s Christmas time. Parents bundle up their children another day for school before Christmas vacation starts in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut. There’s shopping to do, errands to run before they pick them up.

Then the worst imaginable scenario takes place.
A young man walks into a Sandy Hook elementary school and begins shooting.
When the horror finally stops 20 children and 5 adults have been shot and killed. This is just heartbreaking.

What can be said at a time like this? 
The experts will opine on why this happened.  All I can say is this was pure evil.
The heartlessness and wickedness of this man that did the shooting is really unimaginable.

I know from personal experience that the pain of losing a child is a fate worse then death for a parent. 
At times like this we must reflect on the essential message of Christmas which is Immanuel has come. Immanuel means God is with us.

I know God is there ready to bring His comfort to those grieving right now in Connecticut. I know He is here right now to bring comfort to all of us who are heartbroken to hear such news.

At times like this we need perspective. 
An eternal perspective.  We need to remember this life on earth is not all there is.  There is an afterlife and there earthly wrongs are righted.  There is a final judgment for this man and others like him that commit these heinous crimes and they will have to face God.

There is also great safety for those beautiful children who I believe are all in Heaven right now resting in the arms of Jesus. 
No harm will come to them again.  Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Mat 19:14 )

And there is comfort available to their parents who are in the deepest valley of pain and grief right now. Yes, even at a time like this there is hope.

The hope is this-If those parents will put their trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord they can have the assurance they will see their dear children again.  As King David said when his child died, ”I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."(1 Sam.12:23)

In the business of this season I hope we all will take time to count our blessings. To let our children know that we love them and not take them for granted. And I hope that we will remember that Jesus is there, Immanuel.

He brings His comfort to us as we trust in Him.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Dealing With Grief: Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say In a Trauma Involving Children

We often have no idea what to say in the face of senseless loss. That is especially true when children are the victims of tragedy. Today's shooting in Connecticut is heartbreaking in so many ways, not the least of which is the staggering loss of children.

My first two years in ministry were spent as a chaplain assigned to the emergency department of a children's hospital with a level one trauma center. During that ministry I saw so many senseless tragedies. I also heard some of the worst theology of my life coming from people who thought they were bringing comfort to the parents. More often than not, they weren't. And often, they made the situation worse.

Here are five things NOT to say to grieving family and friends:

1. "God just needed another angel."

Portraying God as someone who arbitrarily kills kids to fill celestial openings is neither faithful to God, nor helpful to grieving parents.

2. "Thank goodness you have other children," or, "You're young. You can have more kids."

Children are not interchangeable or replaceable. The loss of a child will always be a loss, no matter how many other children a parent has or will have.

3. He/she was just on loan to you from God.

The message is that God is so capricious that God will break parents' hearts at will just because God can. It also communicates to parents and loved ones that they are not really entitled to their grief.

4. God doesn't give you more than you can handle.

Actually, some people do get a lot more than any one person should ever have to handle. And it doesn't come from God. Don't trivialize someone's grief with a "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mentality.

5. We may not understand it, but this was God's will.

Unless you are God, don't use this line.

And here are five things TO say:

1. I don't believe God wanted this or willed it.

A grieving friend or family member is likely hearing that this is God's will from a number of other people. Affirm the idea that it may very well not be.

2. It's okay to be angry, and I'm a safe person for you express that anger to if you need it.

Anger is an essential part of the grieving process, but many don't know where to talk about it because they are often silenced by others when they express their feelings. (For instance, they may be told they have no right to be angry at God.) By saying you are a safe person to share all feelings, including anger, with, you help the grieving person know where they can turn.

3. It's not okay.

It seems so obvious, but sometimes this doesn't get said. Sometimes the pieces don't fit. Sometimes nothing works out right. And sometimes there is no way to fix it. Naming it can be helpful for some because it lets them know you won't sugarcoat their grief.

4. I don't know why this happened.

When trauma happens, the shock and emotion comes first. But not long after comes our human need to try to explain "why?" The reality is that often we cannot. The grieving person will likely have heard a lot of theories about why a trauma occurred. Sometimes it's best not to add to the chorus, but to just acknowledge what you do not know.

5. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I am here to support you in whatever way feels best.

Even if you have faced a similar loss, remember that each loss is different. Saying "I know how you're feeling" is often untrue. Instead, ask how the grieving person is feeling. And then ask what you can do to help. Then, do it and respect the boundaries around what they don't want help with at this point. You will be putting some control back into the hands of the grieving person, who often feels like they have lost so much of it.

August 23, 2012
I recently came across your blog through an Answers in Genesis blog post.  I have been touched by the life of Eden who was truly a beautiful little girl. 
I am writing because of the post in which John recants his conversation with God over Eden's pram.  This is such a beautiful analogy and really puts things into a perspective that humans can understand.  I feel many would be blessed by hearing this.  I don't know when or how I would share this story but I want to keep it for when the time is right.  I am a Christian Counselor and my sister is on the way to being a Chaplain. I think both of us at some point would find this a useful story to share with others.  However, I would not do so without your permission.  Would you be willing to let this and Eden's story be shared with others in the future?  I ask only because your blog may not be around in 5 years time or whenever we used it! 
Thank you so much for sharing the blessing of Eden with the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A message posted to Silas' blog from someone whom I've never met:

I just happened to stumble on your precious daughter Eden's story a few months back. I cried so hard watching it. I cried even harder when I read your information that y'all were pregnant and ready to deliver soon. God has blessed me with 5 children of my own and I cherish the days I have with them on this Earth. I admire you so much for your Faith in God and for sharing the plan of salvation with everyone who reads this. As C.T. Studd penned "This life will soon be past and only what is done for Christ will last". I have been keeping up with y'alls pictures and updates of Silas and I pray he will grow into a mighty man of God.

Monday, July 15, 2012
Pressie from Kelly Tonna

A bottle of "Eden" perfume and a set of "Eden" bamboo place mats.  Eden has no idea how much Kelly loves her.  I know Eden would have adored her too. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Gift from Joel and Carol Laroya

Last year they gave us a beige throw blanket called "Eden."  Jonathon and I huddle beneath it all winter long.  This year they blessed us with a second one in an off-white colour.  It's amazingly soft and warm.  What a thoughtful gift.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eden a song for u

Westlife- i will see you again

Love Fajita