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

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

Therefore the Jews of the rural areas, who live in the rural towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a holiday for rejoicing and feasting and sending portions of food to one another.
Esther 9:19

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Thessalonians 5:18

Though this is a particularly hard day for us, with such precious memories of our last Thanksgiving, we still have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the secure hope to know without a doubt that this life is just a short passing through, and eternity with Jesus and our loved ones are forever, when every tear will be wiped away. There will be no more good-byes, no more pain, no more illness, no more rejections, and most of all, no sin. I am thankful that my children who can understand, know and love Jesus, and have invited Him into their lives as Savior. I am thankful that Matthew has this eternal security, and though we have tears in our eyes, he sits at the feet of this Savior. Today will be a different day. But we can look back over the last 11 1/2 months, though difficult, He sustained us, and has never forsaken us. I am thankful my husband's and my marriage is making it, though it's been major work. I am thankful that our children have not turned from God nor rejected Him or allowed satan to cause their hearts to turn from Him despite the challenges of this past year. I am thankful for friends who have been "in our face" to encourage us and hold us accountable. I am thankful for memories, and to have loved than have never loved at all.

I am truly thankful for last Thanksgiving, for the precious memories we made, and this family picture I had to "threaten" for! We usually go to family's or friends, but we stayed home, and got out the good china and silverware, and made all the fixings. We told the kids to dress nice. They kept asking "who is coming over?" I pushed for the picture of all the children and yes "threatened" they would not get any food, if I could not take a picture. I am thankful the children all had to write things they were thankful for. We read them at the table last year. It was all promted by God - not me - to make such special memories. I will put Matthew's paper up as a separate entry.

I am thankful for the lives that have been saved because of Matthew's death from reading his story and no longer playing the dangerous choking game. For eternities perspective, I know "it will be worth it all when we see Jesus". Today, though a mama with a broken heart, I have 9 children around me, who help melt those broken pieces together, who make me laugh again, who show me unconditional love, and even teens that will snuggle on the couch. I have a warm house, too much food to eat, overstuffed closets of clothes, and beautiful canned food for the pantry from Stephen's deer.

Holly, who's writing I've been reading for quite some time, wrote an article on the Choosing Home Blog called, "The Perspective of Grief" after the loss of a friend's six month old son. I have so many thoughts wandering through my mind, but she shares so well, and her words so from the heart, that I would like to end with a portion of her article. But hug your children a little tighter tonight. Thank God for the memories. Ignore the dishes in the sink, and read an extra bedtime story instead. And don't forget to take lots of pictures.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. ...For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:1 & 9

What grief, what sorrow, what heaviness surrounds us all. To watch two young parents grieve so mightily is not an easy thing. To observe as a mama wraps the blanket around her baby and tucks him in for the last time, to know the hole in her heart will never completely heal…reminds us all to make the most of the time that we DO have.

With the perspective of grief, my fussy toddler doesn’t seem quite so fussy. I rejoice in his toothy grin and exuberance, even as he makes messes for me to clean up. My eleven year old stretching toward independence doesn’t seem quite so annoying. I’m able to catch a glimpse of the man he will become. The smushed bananas, the fingerprints on the wall, the piles of shoes and laundry really don’t even come close in importance to the little people growing up in your home. To be able to still touch our children, to hold them, to love them, to simply watch them grow up is a gift, a blessing not to be taken for granted.

Oh Lord, please be especially near to those who have lost children. Please hold them close and comfort them, remind them of your precious promises of the PLACE you are preparing for those of us who love you. For those of us who have never known this grief, please help us to reach out to those who have. Help us to be able to carry the load for them when they do not have the strength. Remind us of our blessings, not our burdens.


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