Journaling Through the Valley . . . and finding JOY in the morning!

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Funnel Cloud . . .

I've been thinking of Ann's recent post, Being Still. I've had to be still - not write much lately, because my heart has been so overhwelmed with a lot of hurts, confussion, dissapointments in expectations and just the heavy burden of the last 8 1/2 months. Then, a few days ago, I read this from Holy Experience:

Be still and know that I am God.

. . .The black funnel cloud may touch down, I may be sucked up in the crushing swirl of it all…my world may be blown into a million little pieces…I may need my own storm survey crew….but regardless of the mangled mess of my days, there can be peace in my perspective, stillness in my soul, quiet beauty in my movements.

For stillness can be found not only in the eye of the storm….but even in its wake. . .

The past few days, including Stephen's graduation, felt liked we got sucked up in that black funnel cloud. Stephen had a great party and so many came and were very generous with him. The people of our church were wonderful, caring and very giving. Several ladies pretty much took over and did so much work in preparing and decorating. I made tons of desserts - but so did others and so we took the desserts to another graduation party of one of Stephen's friends on Saturday and then a church fellowship after our evening service and we STILL have leftovers. I don't need all the sweets in our house! But our hearts remain heavy as not all understand the heavy burden we carry, that our children are still hurting so much, and even new things coming up that they are dealing with and that we may not be back to normal, and the wound has not closed.

Our neighbors told us just a few days ago they are moving to Florida, and the golf course our kids have worked at and played at almost on a daily basis may close or at least will be under new ownership. They put their 2 loved dogs and cat to sleep and several of our children were in tears. One of our children just wept with all the changes going on in their lives. It's so hard for them to understand. Shortly after this they felt in the middle of a situation and were again so distraught.

We still have in the back of our minds of moving. It would truly have to be the hand of God for this to fall into place - selling our house for enough to buy another debt free, with being self-employed. It would still have to be a ways off too, with having remodeling that has been started to be finished, but it's something we talk about, and others have even recently brought this up to us in consideration of our healing. Please pray about this. The door would have to be wide open for it to all happen.

Yesterday Stephen went to work, and came home two hours later with his toolbox. He found out, that his position has just been a "summer job" & wanted someone with more automotive certifications, which he did not know before hand. The kid has been through so much and this was quite a blow to him. They said he did a great job, and would give him a very good reference, but sent him on. Stephen changed his school schedule so much to accomodate his hours at work, so he was a little down with it, but now, 24 hours later, is trying to catch up with some things, including many "thank you" notes! :) God must have something better planned.

So, it's been a heavy time again. Norm was very tearful through the service on Sunday. His heart aches in so many ways. It's been a trying time for us again . . . just when we think we make some great strides ahead, and then - there's that pit - and so we are climbing out again. We spent some time with close friends yesterday and we are again moving ahead. I am going through a lot of the kids schooling things. We are starting out slow. We were also blessed with about 200 Christian music CD's that we are weeding through. It's been nice to have some new music for encouragement right now.

Thank you for the many many e-mails we received in the last few days. We appreciate your continued prayers.

Friday, August 26, 2005

STEPHEN'S DAY - His Graduation

Rejoice With Us!

We greatly anticipated the birth of our first child and he was our first to make us "mom" and "dad". We lead him to Jesus at a young age, taught him how to read and write, rejoiced and cried through these past 18 years and continue to pray and dream of his future. Now he stands before us, a boy almost a man, reluctant to let go of his hand, but yet again, giving him back to God.

Please pray for our son, and he continues to grow, with the many decisions that lie before him, and that he continues to follow the Lord for guidance.

This is STEPHEN'S DAY as we celebrate his graduating from homeschooling and starting college courses in just a few weeks. We will be having a party for him tonight with family and friends. We have a lot to rejoice over and to be thankful for.

Rejoice with us and pray for Stephen!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


This was sent to me today . . . and want to share.
Although I found this copy on the web site, I first saw this written in CTF Newsletter. This should be read by every friend/family member/clergy of anyone who has lost a child (from any cause) in hopes that those closest to us (those in the past whom we always considered our first line of "support") might come to understand. Alma "Troy's Mom"


The time of concern is over. No longer are we asked how we're doing. Never are the names of our children mentioned to us. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. Lives slip from frequent recall. There are exceptions: close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. Still look. Still ask. Still listen. Thank God for them. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for us the play will never
end. The effects on us are timeless. What can be said, you ask? Please say "their names" to us. Love does not die.

Their names are written on our lives. The sound of their voices replay within our minds. You may feel they are dead. We feel they are of the dead and still they live. They ghost-walk our souls, beckoning in future welcome.
You say, "They were our children"; we say, "They are". Please say "their names" to us and say "their names" again.

It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stirs within us always. They were of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. Please understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could. We know that you cannot know, yesterday we were like you. Understand that we dwell in both flesh and spirit. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk it with them in the flesh, looking not to spirit worlds beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost, you cannot feel. What we have gained you may not see. Please say "their names" for they are alive.

We will meet them again, although in many ways we've never parted. Their spirits play light songs, appear in sunrises and sunsets. They are real and shadow, they were and they are. Please say "their names" to us and say "their names" again. They are our children and we love them as we always did. More each day.

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I am doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine."
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

By Elizabeth Dent

Monday, August 22, 2005

Firsts, Needs & Update

We have a busy week ahead with the anticipation of our oldest son's graduation party on Friday. We are getting lots of help with it which I am so thankful for. It looks like our Michigan weather is going to be much cooler this week, which will help greatly! The hot humid weather is very draining!

We had some more firsts to go through this past weekend. It was Danish Festival here, which we have gone to for over 10 years. The last several years our older boys have helped set up booths on mainstreet in town for the crafters. This was the first time, without Matthew. We got several cards in the last few days from those on the crafting committee, just finding out about Matthew, and missing him. But the sting was real again, as we moved through more firsts, remembering last year. There is a big parade in town during the festival, and after it last year, we went to visit him at the dime store he worked at. The tears came easy for both Norm & I this weekend, but by God's grace and mercy, once again, we made it through it. Every year we are able to set out items at friends on the main route into town, so Norm was able to sell several mowers, which was a great blessing. We sold the last litter of pups we took in, and as I was selling the last one this morning, Norm was taking a new litter to the vet! The timing was so good. After over a month with no pups, we are thankful that it has picked up. Aren't you amazed when you know it's God's timing and not ours - when God wants to show HE can provide - and it's not of our doing? We've seen that so much.

Our youngest son, Benjamin, got a bad case of either poison ivy or poison oak. None of our children have ever gotten this before. I think he's making up for the rest of his siblings. It's covered one leg in particular and under one arm. He keeps bathing and changing sheets, and it seems to be healing, but he's been struggling with it for almost two weeks, so pray that this heals for him. It's quite irritating to him.

We have had so many ask where we are at with the remodeling and what we still need. We just updated our needs page, and would rather just to try to keep that updated, than posting so much of that here. :)

As I've shared numerous times, Matthew's favorite song was "I Can Only Imagine", by MercyMe. I received this link to a really neat video/musical to this song. It takes awhile to load, but well worth it. It's beautiful, and hope you enjoy it like we did.

Friday, August 19, 2005


This is from a blogger who encourages sharing, called Friday's Feast. Here's this weeks . . .

Do you get excited when the season begins to change? Which season do you most look forward to? I would not say I get "excited" but may look forward to changes. I enjoy the fall, and always am probably most excited to look forward to spring, after our long Michigan winters.

What day of the week is usually your busiest? Sunday with church and getting little ones ready (or re-ready - change an outfit last minute that got jelly or something dripped down it!)

Would you consider yourself to be strict when it comes to grammar and spelling? What's an example of the worst error you've seen? With homeschooling, I would say I am fairly strict with grammar and spelling - probably moreso with spelling. Our children do a lot of reading and so their grammar is pretty good. Spelling with some of my children can be difficult, but we continue to work at it!

Main Course
Who has a birthday coming up, and what will you give them as a gift? Actually, as far as in our family, mine is next. :) But Jessica's is a few days after mine, and I have a tea set and some books already for her.

If you could have any new piece of clothing for free, what would you pick? A new dress


Because of lifestyle changes and drastically cutting our budget, I have not had any magazine subscriptions in quite some time, and what a blessing to be able to receive this magazine for a year just for reviewing it. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is not a "cheap-throw-together-copied" magazine, but has a very professional look with over 200 pages. All the pages (NOT just the cover) are a high quality glossy finish, and the content is something homeschoolers can keep going back to for encouragement and ideas.

The Summer 2005 is their International Homeschooling and Special Needs edition and the first one I am reviewing. I could give you SO many things I loved, but I'd be giving "too much away" and want you to get this magazine and be blessed by it. So, here are some highlights:
  • Only a few pages in, there are two full pages all 26 of the contributing writers and editors, along with their pictures and a little info on each. As I read through the articles, it was nice to refer back to that or visit their webpages that may have been also listed.

  • There is a great article introducing HomeschoolBlogger.Com where you can read many of the blogs of the contributing writers of The Old Schoolhouse, and meet other homeschoolers blogging away. One of my favorite paragraphs of this article is by one of the editors, Christine Field (yes, who also has a blog) who described a blog: ". . . like watching life from a log floating down the river. You can look at what's ahead, glance to either side, or contemplate what you've already passed."

  • Personally, I was especially blessed by an editorial called "Spotting a Fellow Stranger" by Jenefer Igarashi (Senior Editor & Director of Public Relations), who encouraged women to not just fit into the "worldly view" which even includes Christian women's groups that glorify women more than God and to be careful who our groups and friends are. "We are told that there will be tares among us, wolves among us, deceivers and divisive ones among us. No, having a Christian label slapped on something means nothing. We are to be strangers here. I Peter 2:11. We are simply passing through. If we look, sound, dress, talk, and operate as the world and if we are indiscernible from the world, then something has gone terribly wrong." She encourages us to teach our children to not to just to be "cool" and to make sure we as moms are "in the right group with my 'fellow strangers,' with the meek, the ready to serve, with the timid, humble, and lowly. And He is very gracious; I am priviledged to have godly friends who are tremendous examples of that." This article was very convicting and reassuring to me.

  • Another very precious article to me, "Every Good and Perfect Gift", regarding several families who went through the heartache of losing a baby and/or child. Tears flowed as I could understand the pain of these moms.I need not say more, if you are reading my blog.

  • There are numerous articles on how homeschooling is growing around the world. One article spoke of a family adopting a girl from China, and what a testimony it was to share with Chinese officials their desire to homeschool their adopted daughter, to identify her gifts and abilities, and the Chinese officials were excited and in favor of their homeschooling. When sharing with the people there, many would say "Lucky children. Blessed children." Because of the moral and ethical decline in the UK, homeschooling is growing, yet with opposition from the government. This and another article regarding homeschooling in Switzerland and Germany, show us the need to pray for Christians wanting to homeschool their children.

  • Other articles include homeschooling a child with Down Syndrome and another with Autisim. Curriculums are compared and personal stories of families homeschooling and how and what they do are of great interest. Bible memorization, telling your children stories, interviews with authors of homeschooling books, arts and crafts, health, readers' feedbacks, product reviews, contests, and even cartoons, will keep you coming back to read more and be encouraged in your daily walk of homeschooling.

  • Last but not least, there are wonderful, descriptive advertisements, many with links to their webpages. There are a lot of ads, yet, I love the variety and ideas these too bring.

You won't want to miss their website either which includes free history plans and worksheets, several e-mail lists, and much more encouragement and links.

I love The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Though in "magazine style" it's more like a book, packed with information for the family just beginning or new ideas for the family, like us, who has been homeschooling over 13 years. You won't be disappointed, and their is no better time with the great offer of 19 free gifts with a subscription, an almost $300 value.

NOTE: As a Mind & Media Reviewer, I was not compensated for providing this review. I received a complimentary subscription in order to review it and am thankful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another Warning - Another Death

I received several e-mails today regarding another "choking game" death that made national headlines, including FoxNews. This time, it was a 15 year old girl, Kimberly Wilson, from Lawrence, KS. Her obituary shows a beautiful young girl, leaving behind grieving parents, and 3 sisters. She attended a Christian High School.

An article in their local paper, the Lawrence Journal quotes one of her friends saying about Kimberly that, "her friends called her Kimber — [she] was a devout Christian who loved going to church."

This weeks People Magazine (with Peter Jennings on the cover) has a two page article on the choking game.

MSNBC TODAY has an article, Kids are passing out for a deadly high and makes the statement: " Preteens and teens across the country becoming addicted to suffocation roulette . . . One expert in Atlanta says more and more kids seem to be doing this and good kids are doing it too. (emphasis mine)

Have you warned your kids yet?
One time playing this game, may be the last time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I received this CD from Mind & Media to participate with a review on this. I don't like to be negative and feel bad now that I received this, but for our family, this is not the type of humor we want in our home. It causes confusion. You may take us as ultra-conservative, but please understand too, we each have commit to our convictions from God, and God will lay different convictions on each of our hearts. I do try to end my review on a "good note."
These are a couple of the songs that concerned our convictions:

  1. Stairway to 7 Eleven -
    "It's a convenient rip-off store
    Big Gulps and Sharpies by the score
    Hold-ups and books and magazines
    Kids buying beer with fake I.D.'s
    video games and self-serve gas
    All overpriced, who cares it's fast
    I thank heaven for 7 Eleven"

    Afterwards he comments how we should be correct in "Oh thank heaven for 7 Eleven" and "thank hell for Taco Bell." My question is how as Christians do we teach our children right from wrong when we are making fun of the "sin" and laughing at it.
  2. Gilligan's PC Island - to the tune of Gilligan's Island
    "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
    That's Politically Correct
    These days you must be sensitive
    To the Right and to the Left
    " because you cannot have "seven stranded white people on TV". . . and goes on to the "cast of castaways" which include, "A Lesbian and her wife". The audience laughs throughout this song on the CD - do we laugh at sin? Please do not take me wrong - we have a friend who is gay and we hope to win him over to the Lord. But in God's eyes this is not funny. God loved the sinners, and went into their homes - He did not ignore them, but He also did not glamorize them or laugh with them to "include" their lifestyle.
  3. Denomination Dating Blues - This song goes through his story of how he dated a Baptist girl, Catholic girl, Pentecostal girl, and Jehovah's Witness girl. It makes fun of each - yet comes to no conclusion of the "right girl" or a "Godly woman" he found. Where is that?

DID I LIKE ANYTHING?? YES! There are funny songs - and we did laugh hard. And there is a song that truly blesses, my heart: "Alter Me", which I will end this review with. My main concern (along with my husband's) with this CD is the "confusion" it can bring, where to draw the line, and if/when we should laugh at sin. This touches all of our lives every day with decisions we have to make. Does it glorify God? I hope this helps you make your own personal decision whether this CD would be for your family or not.

Here is the last song on the CD that is very convicting and really spoke to me.

ALTER ME by Paul Aldrich from Mock'n' Roll CD
At this altar I bow down bow down
Yes once again I'm on my knees
To this altar Lord I come I come
Just as I am with just one plea

Alter me
Don't leave me the same
Alter me
By the power of Jesus name
Oh Lamb of God I come
I come to Thee
At this altar...
At this altar I bow down bow down
Thou biddest me to come to Thee
So to this altar Lord I come I come
Just as I am with just this plea

Alter me
Don't leave me the same
Alter me
Send down Thy holy flame
Consume this living sacrifice
Now please
At this alter . . .

How many times
How many tears
How long, how long
Must I sing this song
Must I make this plea?

Alter me
Don't leave me the same
Alter me
Send down Thy holy flame
Consume this living sacrifice
Now please
At this altar . . .

How many times
How many tears
How long, how long
Must I sing this song
Must I make this plea?

Alter me
Don't leave me the same
Alter me
By the power of Jesus name
Oh Lamb of God I come
I come to Thee
At this altar
Alter me

NOTE: As a Mind & Media Reviewer, I was not compensated for providing this review. I received a complimentary copy in order to review it.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I Was Lifted Up On Angel's Wings (poem)

I Was Lifted Up On Angel's Wings

I was lifted up on Angels' wings,
And through the Heavens soared.
When I came upon a brilliant light,
I found it was my Lord.

With hair like snow and eyes of fire,
I bowed before His feet.
In His presence it was hard to stand,
My sins felt like concrete.

Head hung in sorrow, tears filled my eyes.
My mouth, it couldn't speak.
My sins were overpowering me.
My soul, it just felt weak.

A gentle hand reached out to touch me,
A voice like thunder spoke.
The love He gave enveloped my soul,
My heart no longer broke.

He put His loving arms around me,
Such peace that I felt then.
I was quite content in knowing that,
He'd do it all again.

Our righteous acts are like filthy rags,
The Lord reminded me.
Come in unto Me my precious child,
For I can set you free.

I was lifted up on Angel's wings,
And through the Heavens soared.
I had been forgiven my sin and...
My soul had been restored.

by WhtDove

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Another Week of Memory Making . . .

I've not written much, as we've been busy - a good busy. Sunday afternoon we spent with some close friends at their cottage. It was the first time we had gone there as a family, and all the children had a blast. Before Norm & I were married, I lived with a family for a year. The "mom" who was a very special friend of mine died couple years ago. Her daughter has become a close friend now - married and expecting their fourth child. Her grandparents were also at the cottage, and so it seemed somewhat like a "family reunion". We just had a real relaxing time and the kids all had so much fun. They went swimming and boat riding, and we all enjoyed making new memories.

On Wednesday our twins turned 14. It's so hard to believe that these gals are turning into such young ladies. One of the things they both wanted was one of those rubber bracelets, but the one they specifically picked out was pink, with a butterfly on it, and says "Worth waiting for". They are both committed to purity, and it was neat that they requested that for their birthdays. We took them shopping, and out for lunch and send the evening with friends til almost 1:30 am so they had a good, long, tiring day! Norm and a hard time with the start of the day though, again the thoughts of another celebration, without Matthew, and he broke down. We both got ourselves in the mindframe before we even left our bedroom to concentrate on the girls, and make it a special day for them. I think they enjoyed the day. :)

Thursday, the 11th, marked 8 months since Matthew's death. The wounds aren't closed and yet so much to go through, besides "normal" stuff of a large family from teen's wanting to do more things, to just starting the babysitting, to continuing discipline, potty training, and thinking of our homeschooling to beginning soon. Then add in the continual reminders of things that are different, new things to go through, misunderstandings, and still finding the "new normal" and trying to just get through the firsts. We've made it 8 months, but probably dread the last ones the most, and already discussing what to do different for the holidays to make new, different memories.

Probably our best day was yesterday, Friday. Our boys went to a friend's graduation party and spent the day there and did not get home til well after midnight. Our twins babysat for the first time for friends from church and they too did not get home til almost midnight! They really enjoyed it, and I think enjoyed seeing how little ones of the same age as our young ones interacted both the same and differently as ours. They had lots of stories to tell! So, we had just the youngest 4. Kind of brought back memories when we had the first ones and would do things with them. We stopped at our church to drop off some of the graduation supplies we have been collecting to declutter some at home. Norm went into the sanctuary and started playing the piano. The girls played in the nursery. I just sat and listened to him for well over an hour. He found an old songbook that he use to play out of when contemporary music was first coming out (the "Purple Book"). He shared with me about some of the songs, and how God's love just pours through many of the words, and how meaningful these are. He encouraged me too with all we have gone through, rejections, hurts, etc. that he cannot fill that void, and how he wants me to lean more on God and find His deep love that is so there. It was just a neat, special time of sharing, and his playing. Our pastor came in too, and listened to him for a bit. I am just thankful for the sweet time of fellowship.

Afterwards we took the kids to the Kent County 4-H Fair. A lot of families from our church are involved in it. We are not in the same county, so we had never been to this fair, and were very impressed with it. It's probably four times bigger than the one we usually go to and very family oriented. The little ones had fun seeing all the goats, 4 large barns of horses, and several barns of cows. We use to have goats & lambs, and so it was neat seeing them. We enjoyed the exhibit which showed a lot of projects homeschooled kids had done, and we are considering looking into this more for our younger ones to participate in. We had a scare too, where suddenly Katie (4) disappeared and we found her within a few minutes at a security desk, very tearful. The evening ended with an elephant ear we shared and sleeping kids by the time we got home. No pictures - I didn't take my camera. : (

Friday, August 12, 2005


This is from a blogger who encourages sharing, called Friday's Feast. Here's this weeks . . .

Did you sleep good last night? YES!

What is your current computer desktop image? The underside of a bright yellow flower.

When was the last time you planted something, what was it and where did it go? Probably about a week ago with transplanting some annuals. Will be planting more broccoli for a fall crop soon.

Main Course
What's your favorite condiment? FRESH HOMEMADE SALSA - I put it on a lot of different things, and have it often with chips.

Share a quote that you like, for whatever reason.

"The Bible calls debt a curse,
and children a blessing.
But in our culture we apply for curses,
and reject blessings.
Something is wrong with this picture."
Doug Phillips -
Vision Forum

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Choking Game on CNN w/ Paula Zahn on WED. Aug. 10

FINAL INFO ON THIS as I have changed this post numerous times. This was on the CNN show with Paula Zahn Now, on Wednesday Aug. 10th. You can read the story about this family who lost a twin son, Gabriel.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

"In His Grip"

I was great blessed by this drawing and cards I received yesterday from a woman who makes cards that I use on my Bereaved Moms Share Keepsakes site. The timing of it was just so much of God, and so thankful Alice sent this to me. I hope in time to also add this card to one of our cards we offer. It's perfect for someone who is going through a rough time. Below is a small version of it, but if you click here, you can see it enlarged and read more of the detail.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Rough Week

It's been a very long, rough week. I think I barely clicked the button last Sunday evening to publish my post for that night for the blog, and it was like Satan was reading this, saying "oh, things are getting better - huh? . . .well take this, and now say it's better" and wham - seconds later, we are on another emotional roller coaster that sent the whole family spinning. For the sake of our family and details, I just ask that you continue to pray for all of us. I personally have been very up and down, not handling stress and looking for escapes - yes, even here on the computer or with "crafts" and have recommitted to really working on spending more time with the kids, and making new memories with them. Trying to continue with some "traditional" things at this time, we all find hard at different times and ways. We all struggle with memories in the house, and at times still wish we could pick up and move, but really cannot do that, nor would we find a "deal" like we did with this house with acreage and being in the country yet, close to the city. If God wants us to move, or do something drastic, we know the door will be wide open to that, and right now it is not. We are not looking for that either.

Pray for Norm & I. We've had some horrible rough days with each other - and yet, love each other dearly, but sometimes . . . if you are married, you understand. We find it even more work, even after 20 years of marriage, than ever, we are having to work so hard with understanding each other, giving space, trusting, and most of all forgiving over and over. Bitterness and anger is easily creeping in, and whoa, when it does, it sure has an ugly result. Statistics show, after the loss of a child, 75% of marriages end in divorce. This CAN'T happen, but at times, it sure does seem like it would be easy to walk away from everything. We have some good friends that have really stepped into our lives, holding us accountable, and saying things we don't want to hear, but need to. It's not been easy, and I really don't even look forward at this time of healing. It's not easy. I'd like to cross over the line, with one jump and know everything is ok. Norm said the other day, with tears in his eyes . . . some things we can't fix (Matthew's death) . . . other things we CAN fix . . .(our marriage, our family, our relationships).
Yesterday and today were pretty good. I took the girls all to a park for a couple of hours last night, and they loved it. I think it was the first time Bethany could remember going to a park. She just ran all around like the Energizer bunny - never quiting. It's neat that even my almost 14 year old twin girls are not too big to go to a park and have fun. :)
Today Norm and I took all the girls, and Benjamin, to an "old-fashioned days" type display at a college, going through an old church, schoolhouse, watching spinning, milking a cow, etc. They all seemed to have fun. New memories.

Friday, August 05, 2005


This is from a blogger who encourages sharing, called Friday's Feast. Here's this weeks . . .

Briefly describe your living room.
A MESS! It's our "everything room" - from homeschooling books, to piano and entertainment center, and even a small pool table. We have a large couch and 3 lazy boy type recliners & wood laminite flooring.

List 3 things you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2005.
Get my house back into order, have our remodeling done, and have a good steady, going with our homeschool curriculum.

When you're online, what do you spend the most time reading/playing/doing? Suggest a site for us to visit.
Reading blogs. I will mention one I've not talked about here, but like to read, which is Fresh Flowers.

Main Course
What would the title of your autobiography be? Joy in the Morning

What time do you usually go to bed?
1-2 am

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Can Only Imagine

As I've shared several times, Matthew's favorite song was "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe, which we also had portions put on his gravestone. As I read Ann's blog, a Holy Experience, it made me "only imagine" again. She talked about her little infant girl who gave her very first smile, and the wonder and awe of experiencing that first communion with her, and sharing the world of joy with her little girl. Ann not only held on to the moment, but she wrote about it so beautifully, to share with us.

Do we hold on to the precious firsts that we go through? I will never forget the one and only homebirth I had, was with our daughter, Jessica. It was a special birth. Shortly after Jessica was born, Norm held her up, with our midwife still there, and gave her back to the Lord. Little did we know that within the next week we'd find out how delicate her life will be, and at 13 months of age, she had two open heart surgeries and a 10 week ICU stay. But holding on to moments - I will never forget the preciousness of all our children quietly getting up in the morning, to enter our bedroom, to see a new life. It was not the hyperactiveness of a birthday morning, but a hush of awe, as we stared at this new little one. We all shared it together.

Since our stillborn daughter's death, and now especially since Matthew's death, it makes me think more of heaven. In reading Ann's post on her daugther's first smile, it makes me "only imagine" of what it will be like when we see the first glimpse of Jesus - His smile, His gloriousness, His majesty, His tenderheartedness, and HIM. What will it be like? Will we linger in a frozen state like Ann did to watch her daughter's first smile, or will we immediately drop to the ground to worship at His feet? Will we hear the rush of angel's wings around us, or will we hear their endless praises? Will I hear the giggle of a little girl I only held for a few short hours, or the voice of a young man echo the words of Jesus, "welcome home".

I can only imagine . . . and that's just the first moments of heaven.