Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Some rough days . . .

It's been a couple rough, emotional, bickering, pouty, insecure, soul-searching, teary, sad days. I am sure a lot can be read into that - and whatever you think, it's probably happened! Things from the past that did not get resolved, seem bigger now. Oh, we will make it, and Norm & I dearly love each other and are the best of friends, but life hurts, and it's easy to pick on each other - the people you love the most. We are dedicated to our children, who too, add to the tensions, who are also insecure, and life is just at a low right now for several of us. Norm & I spoke to our pastor for several hours, and he was so loving and kind, and cried with us, and told us we are probably not even through the worst days yet, yet, we will grow through this. The growing pains are real tough right now. Can we just go into a "hibernating" state right now? It hurts to see our children hurt, have "normal" disappointments with friendships and life in general, but things seem more magnified right now, and to encourage them and not fall into the same low with them.

So please pray.

We are "working on" Matthew's gravestone right now with one of Norm's cousins who works for a momument company. Several of the kids had a hard time seeing that. Just another realistic, "written in stone" finality. To see his name - the birth date and death date. It's real - but we just don't want it to be. We had some dentist appointments today, and I had Melody (5), Jessica (8) and Heidi (13) with me. I asked them if they wanted to go to the cemetary, and they did. I said I was not forcing them, but Heidi was the only one of those with me that went to the burial. Jessica & Melody had not see it yet. It brough another realisim. To see the dirt ground, the shape of his casket. To see little Angela's stone next to his, knowing soon we will have one for him there too. The "freshness" of the grave - new dirt having just been put down - and grass seed on top - so very real. We all had our arms around each other, crying. Then sweet Melody - this childlike faith - said "let's pray here mom - right now". So we sat down on the ground, and thanked Jesus for Matthew, and asked Him to continue healing our hearts, and to tell Matthew we loved him and missed him, and to give him a big hug for us. These are heartbreaking, yet bittersweet moments.

Hug your kids today.

Norm continues to work on the remodeling. We've not had as much help lately with so many sicknesses that had gone around, and then the nice weather, people want to get outside. I know he is getting worn from doing the remodeling, and just wants it done. He's been getting some small engine repair jobs (lawnmowers) and we have a litter of puppies to sell. So this is good. But, we can get overburden, over frazzled, and too much on our plates with doing so much, so we are trying to cut some things out that we can, slow down, and spend more time just being WITH/INVOLVED with the kids. I've been getting quite a few bracelet orders for Mother's Day already (don't forget dads and kids - it's NEXT MONTH!!), and the girls can help me more with that - especially stringing them after I get the patterns laid out. But we seem to get too much too do, and it becomes stressful, and life seems like whirlwind, so we are trying to reprioritize. Not easy!

Keep praying for us. The night is still here.

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

Morning Will Come

How can I bear the pain?
So many plans...permanently interrupted.
So many dreams...shattered.
Hopes...dashed. All gone.
Why? Why this?
Why us? Why me?
Life will never be the same again.
Where are You, God?

I’m right here, beside you, My child.
Even though you may not feel My presence,
I’m hold you close under the shadow of My wings.
I will walk with you through this dark night.

Do not shrink from weeping.
I gave you tears for emotional release.
Don’t try to hide your grief.
Let it become for you a source of healing.
A process of restoration,
For I have planned it so.
Those who mourn shall be blessed.
I’ll be holding on to you,
Even when you feel you can’t hold on to Me.

See My face, child of Mine.
Receive My promise, impossible as it may seem now.
That joy WILL come in the morning.
It may take much time,
But I will heal your broken heart.
I know the night seems endless,
I have promised.

From Haven of Rest Newsletter


Blogger Luke's Mom said...

Our Gracious and Loving Father God,
We come before you know and lift up to your faithful servants the VanderStel's. We ask that you would give extra strength to Norm to finish the remodel job that seems to never end. We pray that you will continue to bless Norm and Loni's marriage and keep the communication lines wide open between them. We pray that you will continue to help Loni as she deals with the grief of her lost Matthew and give her the words and the strength that she needs to help her children through this difficult season that they are in. We pray for each of the children that you will continue to heal the deep hurt that they have and that they would feel your strong arms hugging them as they deperately miss Matthew. We thank you Lord that you told us you would never leave us or forsake us. Give them the strength to make it through one more day and bless them with the joy of the Lord.

In Jesus Name Amen.

I continue to pray and will step up my prayers for you all.

Love in Christ,

4/13/2005 3:12 AM  
Blogger Julie in NC said...

I agree with the prayer that Sue prayed! I followed you over here from Luke's link (about 2 months ago). Loni, I want you to know that there has not been many days that have gone by that my family has not lifted yours up in prayer. We are praying, I am sorry that I have not let you know that the prayers are being lifted up to God from us. I hope today will be a day for healing and Joy! Blessings, Shane, Julie and Children

4/13/2005 9:19 AM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Loni, your words are powerful, your story more so, your courage and faith more powerful still.

And yet, out God is beyond our ability to understand, in His power, His love, His grace, His mercy. My tears I know He sees, and yours as well. Our broken hearts will know His healing touch, and the glory of His embrace in Heaven some day.

Yes, JOY comes in the morning. Hold onto to Jesus, Loni, Norm and all the kids--he's holding on to you.

4/13/2005 8:44 PM  

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