Remembering By Doing

Remembering By Doing

8c2a2dd0c47abddba6ffcaf8688afbe1

Each year when the birthday of a baby in heaven occurs, many parents do special things to remember their loved one.  I have a friend who donates books to our local library that are age appropriate for the age her daughter would have been.  One friend has a walk to remember her daughter on that day.  Many friends aren’t sure how to remember their child and instead, remember with sadness that day when their baby was born.

I’ll be honest – it has been one of the hardest things for me to do.  For many years, I did not look forward to the month of January and its remembrances for me.

Some years we have had a special family dinner with our extended families, but I have always struggled with this:  do we have a birthday cake?  If so, who blows out the candle?  When the girls were younger they wanted to celebrate Daniel’s birthday just like they would celebrate their own, but the cake was a bit too much for me.

One year we had a time of sharing what we were thankful for.  Then we sang hymns together…out of hymn books.  How cool does that make us that we have more than one hymnal in our home?  Ha!  If we could do that every year, it would make my heart so happy!  It is so true that a thankful/grateful heart gives joy and life to our spirits.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22

Some years, I have gotten a letter in the mail that a family member had donated money in Daniel’s memory – and that just blessed me so much!  They didn’t forget his birthday!!!

The thing I have learned over the years is that I will never forget my son’s birthday, but how will I remember him on that day?  For me, I like to do something on his birthday because I am grateful to God for his life, no matter how short it was.

So I am going to share another opportunity that you can keep in the back (or front) of you mind:  you could donate an “I Have a Brother – My Brother is in Heaven” book (or books) in memory of your baby in heaven for your child’s birthday/Christmas, or give these books in memory of a friend’s baby who is in heaven.  They can be donated to a local NICU, funeral home, Christian Radio Station (ours will send books to folks who call in with prayer requests),  or OB/GYN offices.

Here is why I want to share this opportunity:

Because the purpose of “I Have a Brother” is to encourage grieving families with the hope that can only come from Jesus Christ, my book is considered controversial and politically incorrect.  While every hospital, funeral home, etc., that I have talked with has said they would love to carry this book and that its message is encouraging, none of these venues can purchase the book because of its controversial/religious message.

However, all of these locations have also said they would love to have copies of this book on hand to give to clients/patients who indicate that they are Christians.

Here’s the catch:  the only way to have these books on hand is to have them donated.

When a family loses a baby or infant, I have seen that they either turn towards the Lord or away from Him regardless of what their relationship with Him before their loss.  If we can help turn families toward the Lord and to see the hope of heaven, I pray that they will avoid much more heartache by distancing themselves from their Heavenly Father.

If you would like to donate books, check out the “Donate A Book” page and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.   Then we can communicate by e-mail to make all the arrangements to get some of these books to a place where they can be shared with other families experience a baby loss.

And if you know a family who has experienced a loss, let them know that you remember their child’s birthday.  It will mean more than you could ever know.

Even if you don’t choose to donate a book, I do hope that you will choose to remember those babies in heaven somehow on their birthday.  Put a flower on his/her grave.  Have a special dinner.  Give money to a local organization in their memory.    But never forget what the Lord has done in your life and how He has been faithful to you in the midst of your loss.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”  Psalm 28:7

 

 

 

Advertisements
Table for Five, please

Table for Five, please

IMG_1718I have had a revelation.  And I will be honest and say that I cannot believe myself.

Before I share my revelation, I must first tell you that early in our marriage I realized something, our house cannot have lots of big furniture.  We must have smaller functional pieces.

And in my newlywed naivety, I purchased furniture without any measuring or thinking of how it would fit in our home.

And in my defense, it did not look so big in the store.

So when we found a table on Craigslist a few years ago, I was excited because we could fit five chairs around it without using the leaf to make it longer.  So we have had a nice little round table with five chairs around it for as long as we can remember.  When we have guests, I can get at least three more chairs (uncomfortably) around the little table.  But in the back of my mind, I know there is the leaf downstairs if I need to make the table longer and more rectangular.

So last fall, I knew we were having a Worship Team meeting at our house and decided to make the round table a rectangle.  No big deal.

And the rectangle worked beautifully for our meeting and the next morning the girls and I enjoyed the extra room as we worked on one of our favorite Christmas projects, homemade Christmas calendars.

I thought how nice it was to have this extra room on the table and wondered why I have not kept the table this size more often.

Then it came time for dinner.  And as I set the table, I realized why I don’t like to have it so large all the time:  Because of the empty sixth chair, the rectangular table shape reminds me of our loss.

And I laughed at myself for even thinking such a silly thought.  But here I will confess that I don’t like having an empty chair.

It is silly and yet completely normal for me to have thoughts about what might have been.  To think about what could have been.  But I have to keep myself in check…

“What is true?  Think about these things.”

It is true that I have three lovely little ladies and a wonderful husband and we all love the Lord and seek to serve Him daily.

That is what is true.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Ephesians 4:8

 

Howdy, Hello and How Do You Do?

Howdy, Hello and How Do You Do?

My goodness…has it really been almost five months since I last posted?  I cannot believe that I let this much time pass without a post at all.  Life has been full, but honestly, I have struggled with determining the direction of this blog.  I am still working through all of that, but for now, let’s just reconnect.

Since my last blog post, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the day our son was born and the day he died.  TEN YEARS!

I remember wondering when we had just lost him if I would still hurt ten years later.  Would it still matter that our son had not joined our family here on earth?  Would I still cry about his short life?

The answer to these questions has been yes.  And no.  Let me explain.

Yes, it still hurts that our son is not part of our earthly family.  Yes, I still cry at times when I think about his short life.  Yes, I do still wonder what it would be like to have a little fellow amongst our little ladies.

And at the same time, these thoughts are no longer my focal point as they seemed to be for so many years.

In Granger Westberg’s book, “Good Grief”, he says that one of the last stages of grief is being able to accept your loss and to move forward.  While there have been times when I know I took two steps forward and fifty steps backwards, I feel like I am moving forward these days.  I have accepted the fact that we have a son in heaven and I am able to live my life.

I am thankful for the last ten years as I have grown so much through our son’s short life (and many other life events).  And while I look forward to seeing him in heaven, I know that I have a life to live here on the earth.  I want to live the life God has given me with all its ups and downs and to be a light for Him while I have breath.

If you have not read Westberg’s book, “Good Grief,”  I highly recommend it for so many reasons.  I re-read it a few weeks ago (you can read it in less than two hours) and it will be so helpful to you at whatever stage in life you are.  Because as Granger says, “Grief is a natural part of human experience.  We face minor grief almost daily in some situation or another.”

Grief is not just about death.  Grief is a part of daily life.  I will write more about my grief journey and how this book helped me soon…but for now, know that I muddled around in my grief journey for a long time not knowing where I was or if this was normal.  I am thankful for Westberg’s brief book that has helped me to understand where I was and that it was normal.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4