Thursday, April 17, 2008

Living Among the Dead

Fifteen more minutes—maybe twenty—and the sun will slowly dissolve behind the trees. My rigid shadow rests, quivering on top of the head stones lined up in an orderly row before me. Why do they have to be in perfect rows anyway? How ironic it is that our dead take such precedence over our living.

“HENSON” reads the evenly etched, white stone in front of me. The letters are spaced in perfection with “The Infant of Mr. and Mrs. Henson” below it. May to August of 1909. 3 months of a sweet morsel of heaven. 3 months of smiles saturated with tears. 3 months of “what if's.” 3 months of anguish-filled dark corners to hide the weeping. Or did he pass suddenly, with no warning? Did she walk in to find him in his crib, and cradling him in her arms, discover that he was already being cradled in Jesus' arms? Or did she hold his miniature hand through the long 3 months of sickness and pain? I wish the white-washed stone could whisper the truth to me—tell me the legacy of this tiny wonder. I make a feeble attempt at quieting my soul by looking away to a different stone. But there just a couple of feet away is a devastating copy. “The Infant of Mr. and Mrs. Henson.” This one is a girl; she lived longer than her brother had. December to June a couple of short years later. As if it wasn't enough for these bereaved parents to have one child taken from them, here they have two. It must have been an illness, I'm sure by now. My heart begins to slowly sink into my chest, and I remember that I am not alone today.

My son is skipping, running free just a few yards to my left. His innocent 2 year old mind has no idea that he is galloping over decorated boxes filled with dead bodies—his body that is fueled by life, that bleeds red when pierced. His thin blond hair playfully dances in the crisp breeze. His rouged cheeks are lit with a pure smile; there is no death in his mind. It simply does not exist. All things to him are glorious. He loves cars and trucks and bouncy balls and bath time and dancing and running and singing and snowballs and swing sets and grape juice and books and pickles and cookies...and Mommy and Daddy. These things furnish his world, and I am the centerpiece right now. And there is nothing and no one important enough for me to forfeit such a place of honor.

In my mind rings a truth I have been told since I was three years old: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son...” I stop and drink in the sight of my son running from stone to stone. He is talking to each stone, saying, “Hello,” and then, “Bye-bye.” He bends his play-scraped knees to lower his ear next to one stone. He is waiting for a reply, completely oblivious to the irony of this very moment.

I am examining my love for this little boy, and I shamefully recognize that I in error suppose I love him more than God—the very Creator of his soul—does. “For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother's womb,” I hear from someplace deep inside. My heart that was sinking a few moments before is now steadily fluttering with awe and praise for this beautiful miracle. So this is why God touched my life with such an unspeakable honor of being called “Mommy”—so that I may, even in just a minuscule of a moment, experience a sampling of how agonizingly difficult it was for the Father to willfully commit his only Son to this earth, knowing what pain would befall Him. I begin walking toward my Only Son and, catching him, I reach for his hand. He shrieks with delight and wraps his tiny fingers around mine with a surprisingly strong grip. I taste the sweet dusk air and breathe out a prayer of thanks that God gave this ultimate sacrifice...so that I will never have to.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Favorite Books on Parenting

Shepherding a Child's Heart

The Jesus Storybook Bible

Family Driven Faith

the book of Proverbs (ESV is my favorite)

The Power of a Praying Parent

Parenting




A Biblical Daddy

My Favorite Books on Parenting

Letters to Keagan

Letters to Kate

Parents = Shepherds

Friday Favorites: Children's Book

Words

Creative Posts

Posts on Scripture/Devotions

Posts on Scripture/Devotions

Git Right or Git Left?

Humility in Light of Holiness

The C Word

Monkey See, Monkey Do

The Heavy Blanket of Guilt

Practical Proverbs: On Being "Mom"

Practical Proverbs: On Being "Teacher"

A Prayer of Passion

Diaper Diaries

He Was Born to Die

Unattainable Goals

Oh How He Loves You and Me

What It's All About

Guilty

Because He First Loved Me

MY god...or my GOD?

Little Did He Know

There's That 'H' Word Again

Disciples With Discipline

Just a Sojourner

I Will Bring Praise

The Stench of the World...

Something out of Nothing

Silence

Thump, Thump

What Will YOU Say?

Black Sweat Pants

Amazing to Amazed

Least Likely

The God Who Cares

I Will Strengthen You

A Backward Glance and a Forward Gaze

Photos

Our family:
family 500

Our children and our nephews and niece:


Our Keagan:




Our Kate:



Our Caleb:



These are my best girl friends, my sisters in Christ who hold me up:
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Creative Posts

Living Among the Dead

A Letter to my Dear Sweet Kate


A Letter to my Handsome Wild-at-Heart Keagan

The Beauty of the Withered Hand

The Stars Are His Handy Work

Because He First Loved Me

God Was at the Park

Sarah Have I Loved

The Point of it All

We'll Never Belong Here

Heaven in Their Eyes

These Stars

This One Girl at the Bookstore

Swiper, No Swiping!

A Worn Out Truck

Blankies

Half of a Merry-Go-Round

Washing Off the Dirt

Every Little Thing

Keagan's Whale

When We Say, "We'll Never Forget"

Thump, Thump

Taking Jesus Out For Ice Cream

The God Who Cares

A Backward Glance and a Forward Gaze

Food

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Each Wednesday, I add a new recipe to my blog via "What's In It? Wednesday."
Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Potato Soup

Mini Pizzas

Apple Cobbler

Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits

Ranch Chicken Penne Pasta

Cranberry Chicken Salad

Mini BBQ Cups

Chicken Parmesan

Special Guest Jenny's Mini Apple Pies


Potato Casserole

Cranberry Salad

Homemade Lasagna

Pepperoni Stromboli

Me

I'm a follower of Christ, a lover of my husband, and a mommy of my children. My family and I made a trek to a big city from a small town on BIG faith that God was calling us there for a reason bigger than ourselves. And here we are, doing our best to live that out. God has done HUGE things for us. We love our church (Lifechurch.tv) and leading the groups that have been entrusted to us. These people are shaping us and helping us draw closer to Christ.





I married this guy in June of 2002...

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...and it just keeps getting better.

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In January of 2006, we had this little guy--Keagan, our first child.
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Then, in December of 2007, Keagan got a new baby sister--Kate.
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PhotobucketAnd the newest addition to our family arrived on August 2, 2010--Caleb.

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Our Family Now:





I like to:

eat good food

write...nearly anything
give piggy back rides
laugh out loud (okay, really loud)
make ridiculous sound effects

date my husband
road-trip
read (scripture, parenting, theology, etc.)
drink coffee in the morning
let music lift my spirit and recreate memories
run around barefoot outside
spend time with my girl friends
cook (especially when I find a dish my family loves)

try new fragrances for my scentsy warmers
edit (even subconsciously) random pieces of writing
walk through cemeteries (I know)
meet "random" people in public


We traded this:


For this:



And there's no telling what God has for us next! For now, we are breathing life in here!