Posted in Family

God Restoring What Grief Has Eaten ~ 10th Anniversary Death Date of our Son

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n his birthday we celebrate and remember, LIFE.  

We remember the 16 years we were blessed with him in our lives, as our son and brother. As a child grows, we celebrate the milestones . . . the first tooth, first step, first day of school, driving, graduation, marriage, first grandbaby.  How I love these celebrations, and I have many of them.  But when it comes to a death date, it’s hard.  It’s not a celebration or another milestone, EXCEPT, we are that much closer to heaven and eternity.  It’s an anniversary that will always have a cloud over it.

Today marks 10 years our 16 year old son, Matthew, has been in heaven.  This 10th year has hit a bit harder than some of the past years.  As our children have gotten older and reflect on when Matthew died, they not only lost their brother on earth, they lost parts of their childhood.  They lost a part of their parents as they were lost in their own grief.  No one just snaps out of it – and gets on with normalcy, because it’s not normal for parents to bury their child. It’s not normal to lose a child to the choking game and for siblings to have memories of that day forever embedded in their minds.  I will share about the choking game and give it’s warnings and if you have not talked to your children, PLEASE sit down with them TODAY and warn them.  It’s being done every day in school, buses, at parties, and alone.  It kills.

But today, I think of my whole family, and my heart is sad. This is not a woe is me post.  It’s just a sadness that is much more than losing a child. It’s losing years. It’s parts of my children growing up that I do not remember because of the blur of too many years lost in grief.  Over time our children have revealed what they lost too. They see it as mom or dad “checked out”.  I gave up on things – sending the kids to bed without praying with them, eating away from the dinner table for many years with the TV on and no family talk.  We hid behind various things.  Yes, we miss Matthew, and always will.  But today, we miss a lot of other things.  But, it’s not hopeless.

It’s ten years our son is temporarily out of our lives.  Compared to eternity, we will forever be with him again, sooner than we can imagine.  But, for now, we have things to complete on earth.  I recently was reading through Joel and read in 2:25,  “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”   Israel’s crops had been destroyed for years, not just because of the locust, but also because seeds could not be saved.  It had a long term affect.  Joel saw the destruction as God’s judgment.  Then, God promises to “restore” those lost years of the locust because of their repentance.  He promises to not only restore, but give abundant blessings.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
Joel 2:26

This restoration is both physical and spiritual, because what follows is praising God.  Their hearts are joyful again.

There are many good memories in our past ten years, with a new child and new children being added to our family by marriage and then a grandbaby.   For my children, it’s my prayer that God will restore the years that grief has eaten.  It’s just what’s on my heart this year, this 10th anniversary. I have more of a glimpse of what our children have gone through and voids in their lives.  I am sorry.  I am sorry for the pain it caused them. I pray they will never understand the pain their parents have gone through.  I pray for abundance of continued blessings in their lives and they will continue to see God satisfying their lives in ways people humanly cannot.

Someday all tears will be wiped away, we won’t miss the lost years, and we will not miss our temporarily missing son and brother.

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Posted in Family

A Blogging Vacation

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xcept for maybe a post a week, I am planning on taking through July off from blogging for more time with my kids & grandbaby, more time outside enjoying the sun after too long of a winter, painting, gardening, knitting, sewing, walks, and impromptu picnics and adventures.  I also hope to read one stack of books – one of many stacks!

In August it is my plan to share some special reviews of various products, including homeschooling resources.  If you have products you would like reviewed, please drop me a note here. Just as one of daughters, who is an artist, is continually sketching something, both in her mind and on paper, I am always writing also, so I will be back!

Posted in Family

Five Minute Friday: {Blog} BREAK

BREAK

Start . . .

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did not know that Lisa Jo was taking a break from Five Minute Friday, until I read it on Twitter and is being hosted here.  I’ve been doing the same the past week or so.  Though I am still doing some writing under a pseudonym for another larger blog, I am enjoying SPRING and less required time on my computer. It was such a long winter, and even though the weather is not totally cooperating with warmth, I am pretending it IS spring!  I went out with 7 ladies for dinner tonight, and I and another were wearing flip flops.  It was barely 50 degrees, but we were both declaring it being spring and so we are acting like it’s spring!  

So during this break from my blog, I’ve been reading more, getting more schooling done with the youngest three so we can be done before the next two who have 15 school snow days to make up, going into mid-June! We’ve been painting, rearranging rooms and de-cluttering.  I even found a maintenance agreement to our washer which I did not realize we had, called, and the next day the guy was out going over our washer that gets heavily used and he was amazed at how clean and well working it was!  Maybe cuz we use it several times daily?!?!?!  It does not have time to build up anything!  My sewing room is all organized – even my fabric, by color or fabric type! And all those little scraps that I was going to make some quilt from someday, GONE!

The table in our kitchen is bursting with vegetable and flower plants, ready for the soil to stay warm, but it appears our spring is taking a break as well.  Soon we will take a break from the science books and be planting our garden outside. Youngest son will get distracted with his bright red bicycle and youngest daughter will find her butterfly net and be chasing butterflies while the rest of us let the warm soil slip through our fingers.  

I’m not ready to take a break from spring or summer though!    

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Family, Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

GRATEFUL

Start . . .

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ust rambling thoughts here after a busy week . . . of the many things I am grateful for.

Grateful  my 20 year old son who lives two hours from home is feeling better after quite a bout with a flu bug and grateful for his kind landlord who mothered him and made him tea.  It sure helped this mama feel better who was too far away to help him.

Grateful for an algebra teacher that goes above and beyond helping her students, including my daughter, spending hours a week after school tutoring.

Grateful for a can of paint that dresses up a door and makes it look brand new.Granddaughter 7 mo

So very grateful that my dear friend Angie is ok, after being in a serious car accident, that totaled her car.  Though she is sore and hurting, I am grateful  I can pick up the phone and still talk to her.

Do you know how very grateful I am for the sweetest grandbaby ever . . . how my heart just loves her so?

Grateful for the Annie play our youngest two daughters were in, the first time experience, and the so many family and friends that went to see, and encourage them!Play1

Grateful for the continued signs of spring – more flowers, trees budding, baby chicks and lamb growing.

Most of all, grateful God’s renewed strength each and every morning and His continue pursuit of me!

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Posted in Family

Dress-up Mom’s iPhone for Mother’s Day!

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ow is the time to look at different craft ideas and special personalized gifts because . . . Mother’s Day is not far away!  The ideas for crafts are endless on Pinterest and the already made items, especially on Etsy are too numerous to count!  So what is one of the hot items for many moms?  How about doing something special for her iPhone?

Wouldn’t she just LOVE a personalized phone iPhone case just for her phone?  iphone caseHow about a monogram iPhone case?  There’s such a variety of ideas on this Etsy site.  I like that some can either have monogram’s on it or full names on it.  Another advantage is that it sure would be identifiable!  This is 3D printed and a full wrap design, so it goes around the sides, top and bottom of the case.  Because it is dyed into the plastic, there’s no worry of it fading, washing off, peeling or even scratching off. How many phone cases have I bought, that in just a matter of weeks has some kind of damage to it from scratching or peeling off. It sounds well worth the investment.  SO, that’s my FIRST hint for Mother’s Day!  🙂  

book caseThen my daughter made this unique iPhone Book Dock and . . . I WANT ONE . . .  ok . . . maybe two!  She teaches on her blog how to make one.  So maybe if she does not make me one, one of her siblings will follow the directions and make me one?!?! (or two?!?!?!) 

So for Mother’s Day, us moms can have some pretty well dressed phones!  🙂