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

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Remember Moms with Empty Arms on Mother's Day

This article was orginally written for Mother's Day, 2002, and rewrote it this year, and was in our local paper today.

“Remember Moms with Empty Arms on
Mother‘s Day”

As I look around the dinner table, I know what a blessed mother I am. I always wanted a large family, and many times am in awe of how good God has been to me. When we are out as a family, we receive comments so often of what a beautiful family we have. But, I see the gaps in our family. Gaps where yes, even though we have nine living children, I see empty spaces. Some of the spaces have questions...would that have been a boy or a girl. With my miscarriaged babies (three total), I may not have had the baby that followed, but there are still the gaps: the missing of an irreplaceable, individual child here on earth. I have the peace to know that my babies are in heaven and someday my family will all be complete there, but until then, all my tears won’t be wiped away.

But there are two even bigger "known" that was almost filled here on earth, but quickly snatched away. We lost a baby at 36 weeks gestation because of a placenta abruption. Angela Hope died before she was born. After my emergency c-section, I held this beautiful baby that was so peaceful, so perfect, but oh, so silent. This took place on January 22, 1998 – the 25th anniversary of Roe vs Wade. To look at this beautiful, whole, and perfect baby and to think that these babies are murdered at this age, is beyond my comprehension.

And four months ago, we lost our 16½ year old son, Matthew, in an unexpected accident. He played a game many teens are playing, a breath game. He lost the game. He loved Jesus and was committed to Him, loved life, adored his little sisters, had goals of going into business management and learning to fly. Now we walk through this new year of many firsts, with the sting of death close to our hearts, yet taking in joys of life as we watch our children in a new way and so thankful for all God has given us.

How do we cope? One day, one tear, one memory and one day at a time - holding on to God, my husband, my children and family and friends who remember with us. Though I believe speaking of death, miscarriages and stillbirths is much easier to talk about more openly today than it was 20 some years ago, it is still a silent subject. There are still a majority who do not want to talk about a loss for fear of hurting the people who experienced it. The silence hurts more. We notice the void everywhere, from the empty spot in the church pew, to answering someone how many children we have, to the two pictures on the wall that will never age.

With Mother’s Day approaching, remember the moms who have broken hearts and empty arms who ache for the child they should be holding or getting a hug from. Remember the moms who don’t have any living children. They ARE mothers. Remember them on such days as Mother’s Day, due dates, and death dates. Even if you do not know what to say, a “Thinking of You” card or “I am Praying for You” card will touch a mom so much. If a family has recently lost a baby or child, and a special date is coming up, a small bush, tree or rose bush, can be given to plant in memory, and a reminder every year of your remembering and a precious living reminder of the child.

Churches many times for families who have lost a child, can be the hardest place to go, especially on Mother’s Day. Not only do they see the reminders of their child’s friends, the empty space, nursery, pregnant moms, and infants in arms, their missing baby or child may seem unremembered. Often on Mother’s Day, “all” mothers are asked to stand up, and presented with a flower or special gift, but the moms with empty arms seem to be forgotten. If at all possible, include these moms. Possibly ask these moms privately if they can be recognized, or at least allow the opportunity for their baby to be remembered. Some moms may not want to be recognized, but a Pastor recognizing in a general way, moms with children waiting in heaven, will show love, remembrance and value of life.

And, remember other mothers like me who on this Mother’s Day notice “the gap”… the missing homemade card or one less hug. Yes, we may have other little ones tugging on our sleeves, but “we” remember, and have that ache for the child that cannot be replaced. The first Mother’s Day after a loss is particularly hard and is not a “happy” Mother’s Day. This Mother’s Day, remember a mom who is hurting and who wants to remember a baby or child that Jesus holds, not her.

©Loni Vander Stel 2005
Loni lives in Greenville has been married to her husband, Norm for 20 years. They homeschoo1 their 9 children all yet at home. Loni has an outreach ministry for bereaved moms at and a memorial page for their son at:


Blogger Teena said...

Loni~ I remembered you.... and prayed for you~ my heart hurts for you and with you~

in Him,
Teena mom to 1/2 dozen

5/25/2005 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! repair parts for pressure washers presssure washers devilbiss Mak 90 gun stocks Bingo card christmas printable aparment washer synovi3 supplements

2/21/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

3/01/2007 5:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home