Posted in Family

A “Good & Perfect Gift” on a Day being Restored

There has been a long pause here with writing.  Life, new grandbabies, joys, heartaches, homeschooling, public school,  graduations, running with more extra curricular activities than in years past, and just life!  God paused the writing.  I used to “think” writing a lot.  But God stopped a lot of my mind thoughts with that.  I like writing, but the writing went elsewhere, including a lot of snailmail letter writing.  The last few weeks as another heaven anniversary of our son approaches, my writing mind wanders more.  We have an amazing joy on Matthew’s anniversary date. I was anticipating it to be good.  We have something to celebrate on his heaven date.  There is joy again. But . . . there’s still the ache that resurfaces at unpredictible times.  

Friday afternoon I came home to the kids watching old videos from the year our son died.  To see his face as I remembered him those last months, to hear his voice and laughter.  Oh how I wanted to reach through that screen and hug that boy.  And then, there were areas I sure did not want to see.  Where he died (which within weeks after his death was totally gutted and remodeled). I didn’t want to remember.  It sucked the breath out of me.  And satan reminded me of my failures . . . where I messed up . . . what I could have done differently . . . the what if’s.  My husband and I got out for dinner.  He felt that air sucked out of him too.  I am thankful we can share our hearts on this together and “get it” where most (thankfully) don’t understand.  We text one of the kids asked for videos not to be on when we got home.  I am thankful they have joy seeing it.  But sometimes, even the joyous times, just plain hurt.

Saturday morning a friend posted this quote by Henri Nouwen:

One thing I want to ask you is to not allow the dark forces of your soul to draw you into a deep pit. When you give too much attention to the voices of despair, you will find yourself quickly moving downwards into depression. Don’t trust those voices, but continue to give special attention to the voice that speaks of hope, the same voice that said to Jesus, ‘You are my beloved Son. On You My favor rests.’ Trust deeply that you are God’s favored child, and try to speak and act and even think out of that knowledge, even when you don’t always feel it.    (Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life)

My friend Deb did not know the whispers I was hearing.   I needed to get out of my downer mood, and remember the joys I can so celebrate and not listen to those voices of dispair.  I know Matthew would want us to.  He is alive, just not alive by our sides.

A few hours later our house was filled with four grandkids running and crawling about while parents went to a Christmas party.  And the next day, yesterday, we celebrated our youngest grandson’s first birthday.  There’s something really special about his birthday.  He was born one year ago, on the day Matthew died.  And not just on the same day, but within the same hour.  ONLY GOD could do this.  I would not have picked this date for our grandson’s birthday, but God did.  Just as God said in Joel 2:25,  “I will restore the years that the locust has eaten“, He could do for us with the date and time.  Matthew cannot be replaced.  We will miss him until the day we see him again on heaven’s shore, but God can bring joy again, a reason to get up on December 11th, to celebrate again, and to even restore those lost years, with remembering all God did to uphold us through the years, to keep our family and marriage together.  And so on December 11th we have learned even more of the “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”  (Romans 12:15) because  “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiates 3:1,2)

fbthdrI am thankful the grief of missing Matthew hit days before. As I told my friend, there will always be that gray cloud on the 11th, but there’s more blue sky showing and the gray cloud is not right over our heads. The sun is poking through because of the Son. I can’t help but think Matthew knows we have a reason to celebrate.  He rejoices in God’s presence.  On December 11th, I am thankful for two lives – Matthew’s life in heaven, to know without a doubt he is there with Jesus and for this precious one year old.   I cannot rejoice Matthew died.  His death did not steal all our joy and Satan did not win, but because of God’s son’s death and ressurection, Matthew lives in heaven and THAT I can rejoice over!  And now to celebrate here on Earth, our youngest grandson’s bright cheery smiles and sweet cuddles. God gave our family an amazing gift for this day to carry us through many years ahead.  Our other grandson also has Matthew as his middle name.  God is good – always.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . . ” (James 1:17)

46098992_10156814070791170_356668893307076608_o-e1544500954170.jpg
Our two sweet grandsons

If you do not know Matthew’s story, please read it and talk with your children.  His death may save your child’s lives.

Posted in Family

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog,
what would you like it to be?

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o questions asked, it would be that lives would be saved because of the death of my son.  I started blogging shortly after his death from the choking game in December of 2004.   Some did not like me sharing how he died, but I wish I had known – had known how many kids are doing it, what the signs were and maybe, just maybe we would have noticed and could have prevented his death.  We don’t blame ourselves.  God still knew the number of his days.  And we know God may have even prevented further hurts down the road.  Yet, the choking game is a horrific way to die, a horrific way for family members or friends to find their loved one.  And, kids are doing it every day.  

My heart breaks every time I hear or read of a new death.  There was just one last month I read about, a young 13 year old boy from North Carolina.  I know the years ahead they have of heartbreak and finding a “new normal” – and all the firsts to endure this year.   The father says in the article how he learned that the choking game was popular in his son’s middle school.  Do you have kids between 10 and 16?  If so, please talk to them – today.

I am thankful that because of our son’s death, I do know kids have stopped doing the choking game.  It’s my prayer every time I write an article like this, it’s shared and more parents are brought to awareness, and talk to their kids and yet another child is stopped from doing this.  And when this happens, it’s also my prayer it gives them the time they need to find Jesus.  

For more information, please read, Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play.  (GASP)

Posted in Family

8 Years Ago Today ~ When God Ran to Matthew

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can only imagine, 8 years ago today, when our son, Matthew, met Jesus, face to face.

MatthewStephenIt’s a bittersweet day.   More sweet though.  Not as heavy of a heart.  Yet always missing him.  We can think of the wonderful memories . . . the parts of him that make us smile.  His tall lanky body.  Him calling me mumsie.  Playing with his chocolate lab.  

It’s easy to say “he missed out on….”  college, youth trips,  his youngest brother, three weddings,  brother-in-laws he did not get to approve of for his twin sisters, a sister-in-law he didn’t get to tease – but it’s really us missing him.  He sees Jesus.  He wants for nothing more.  We are still wanting, and yearning for Jesus, heaven and completeness.

I wish the 11th of December had a different meaning.  I wish that the choking game did not cut us so deeply, yet God brings beauty out of ashes, and life out of death and joy in the morning.  Yes, it’s a bittersweet day and I think of all the people that were our  Aaron and Hur’s – holding us up like they did Moses arms . . . and our lives have been richer because of them in our lives.  

matthew

And today, we are eight years closer to heaven.  I can only imagine!  Yet, I do miss Matthew – ohhh, so much.  But in eternities perspective this time of missing is very brief.

Below is a glimpse of what I imagine – that God ran to Matthew, and someday when I meet Jesus face to face, He will run to me, hold me in His arms, and running right behind Him, will be Matthew and Angela, running to greet me.

And my Father in heaven, whisper again to Matthew, how much we love him, miss him, and we will see him soon.  Thank you for dying for him so that he is with You.  Thank You for pursing his heart as a little boy and him accepting You.  Thank You for Your love and giving us joy again.  Please hug Matthew for me.  His mumsie misses him.

Posted in Choking Game, Matthew

Worldwide Choking Game Awareness 10-11-12

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oday, 10-11-12, is Worldwide Choking Game Awareness day. I wish I could give you the warnings of it, without personal experience.  I wish I knew about it eight years ago, would have known the signs, so it would have prevented the death of our 16 year old son, Matthew.  I wish I did not see my son’s name on a gravestone.  Our “9-11” devastated us on 12-11-04, nearly 8 years ago.

There is much I could write about of Matthew and the changes it has made in our lives – the gaps in pictures, missing him at two weddings so far, the pictures that do not age beyond 16 for him, and finding our “new normal”.  But I know he’d want me to share about the choking game – that it does kill, even the first time, even with “precautions”.  I’ve learned through the years that it seems to take the “good kids” the ones that would never do drugs . . . because it seems harmless and won’t hurt anyone.  I’ve made new friends I wish I had not have . . . we  share a bond of moms who have lost children to this game that there is no winners in.  I know several Christian families, even pastor’s families, who have  children die from playing this.  

Before Matthew died, we had never heard of it.  Suicide did not make sense.  And then the pieces came together, and coroner’s office confirmed his death to this.  We may never know fully where he learned it from, but we have learned, most kids in junior high and highschool are very aware are of it – play it at school, on buses, at parties, many first with someone, then alone.  

If you happen to be a kid or someone who is doing this and reading this, please know that this will affect your entire family and friends, forever when this takes your life.  It will hurt many, from the person who finds you to the area that has to be dramatically changed. Parents will blame themselves with the “what ifs”.  Siblings will wish they had not said things to you before.  Friends will wish they had told someone you were doing this.  And then the family has years of grieving to go through, all the firsts, seconds, and continual birthdays and death day remembrances.  It’s not a game.

I am thankful that I know where Matthew is, in heaven, with his Savior.  Yes, he did  a stupid thing  (don’t we all?), yet he made the smartest decision of his life when he was a young boy, asking Jesus to be in his life.  He loved the Lord, and shared Him with others.  I believe Satan knew he could be a godly leader, and he wanted to prevent him from to telling others of Jesus.  There’s continual temptations in our lives and he succumbed to it.    I know despite his earthly death, he lives forever in heaven, and we will be reunited again, for, forever.  For now, there are tears and we miss him always. Someday our tears will be completely wiped away.  

Parents . . . please talk to your children . . . they probably know about this game already.  Please share with them that kid’s do die.  Show them our son’s memorial page.  The reason the date, 10-11-12, was picked for awareness, is because it represents the age range when most children learn of the game.

Kid’s . . . this is a killer game.  Tell your friends to stop; tell someone of authority if you know someone is doing this.  You may save their life.   Please do not let your parents have to bury you because of this game.

Choking Game
Awareness Websites
Please Share

Posted in Choking Game, Faith, Family, Grief, Matthew

Our Son, Matthew ~ 7 years gone, yet, No Less Days to Sing God’s Praise

“If you know someone who has lost a child, 
and you’re afraid to mention them 
because you think you might make them sad 
by reminding them that they died–
you’re not reminding them. 

They didn’t forget they died. 
What you’re reminding them of is that 
you remembered that they lived, 
and that is a great gift.”

~Elizabeth Edwards~

Blessed with a 16 year loan on earth with him
Now missing him for 7 years
Yet, 7 years closer to heaven

Matthew has “no less days to sing God’s praise,
than when he first began”
and someday we will join him ~ it’s the waiting that is hard . . .
he in heaven and our home here – a temporary separation.
We so miss him – miss his smile, miss his voice,
miss the dreams we had, just plain miss . . .

yet, thankful for Jesus –
thankful for precious memories
thankful for a scrapbook packed full of pictures

thankful for more joy than tears

thankful for hope, grace and new mercies every morning

Please Father ~ give him a hug for me today and
tell him his Mumsie misses him and ooohhh, so loves him.

“We wouldn’t long for Heaven if earth had only joy.”
Amish proverb

Posted in Five Minute Friday, Matthew

Five Minute Friday: Color ~ His favorite color ~ RED

COLOR

start . . . 

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is favorite color was red,  and around this time of year, it especially stands out.  Sunday will be 7 years he’s been in heaven . . . seven years of still missing . . . and always thankful for the 16 years we were blessed with the gift of Matthew‘s life.  We have special reminders of him . . .

Red ribbons, red M & Ms and Skittles (his favorite candy)
Red candles
Red mushrooms I discovered by his gravestone this year
along with the red cardinal
His new red Bible he wanted for Christmas
it was buried with him instead
as well as the new red shirt he wore
and the red roses we let go as his shell was lowered to the ground

His red moped still parked in the barn
the picture we treasure of the red and white candy cane
he gave his sister in the hospital

Red balloons floating to the heavens on his first birthday with Jesus

Red ribbons and red glittering balls on our Christmas tree
Fading red poinsettias, but not our memories of him

My beating red heart ~ still healing

Gifts wrapped in red
a reminder of the gift of red blood Jesus shed
so we may live forever in heaven
and be reunited with our loved ones.

Joining Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday.

Posted in Faith, Family, Grief, Holidays, Matthew

New Traditions ~ New Normals (My guest post . . .)

Today I am guest hosting at Chelsea’s blog, Sharing the Journey, for her series, 25 Days of Christmas Traditions.  Each day someone shares their traditions.  Please click the link below to continue with my full post as we have found New Traditions ~ New Normals.

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unday our forever 16 year old son will be gone 7 years.  Matthew died exactly two weeks before Christmas and it changed many Christmas’ afterwards for us. He had bought a tall skinny country type Christmas tree from his workplace and set it up, behind our piano, just days before he died.  It stayed up for several years, making it into a seasonal tree.   Finally we took it down.  It took several years before we put another Christmas tree up.  So many of the Christmas decorations reminded me of his funeral.  Red was his favorite color, so there was lots of red poinsettias and red ribbons and greenery. An evergreen grows by his gravestone.  I knew and know, Christmas is about Jesus and His birthday, but it was very hard celebrating when our hearts were broken.  Slowly finding new normals and new traditions is what has helped us the most . . . to do things a little differently.

New Traditions ~ New Normals
continued here

Posted in Family

Five Minute Friday ~ Unexpected

unexpected . . .

start . . . 

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is death was totally unexpected one month from today, seven years ago, the nine-eleven in our lives. Finding out that a “game” could kill was unexpected. Learning that 500 kids or more each year die from the “choking game” was unexpected. Understanding that so many of these deaths are “good kids” who were not problem kids, who would never do drugs or get in trouble, thinking that they would not hurt anyone, was unexpected. Meeting and having a bond with other moms that have also lost children to this “game”, was something never imagined and also, so unexpected. Seeing my son’s name on a t-shirt and webpages along with other names of kids who died like he did is heart wrenching and something again, unexpected.

I am not the only mom with the unexpected death of a child.  Today, Veteran’s Day, we remember the many who have fought for our country.  I am thankful.

Comprehending and finding that joy comes again in the morning to be really true, was also unexpected. A blessing of another son, coming 3 years after his death, not taking his place, but giving us new joy was a refreshing and a rejoicing unexpected gift we do not take for granted (nor the lives of our other 9 living children). 

Our lives have many unexpected events, sorrows and joys, yet through it all, ALL of it is touched by God who is still in control.

stop . . . 

Joining Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday.

In memory of my son, Matthew, and the unexpected deaths of so many kids, and to help bring awareness to the “choking game”, can you please help?  The DB Foundation ( DBF) is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization comprised of parents, teachers, medical professionals, law enforcement officers etc. from many communities across the United States striving to reduce death and injury caused by the ‘The Choking Game’. Right now a campaign is underway to vote through the Pepsi Refresh Project and we need YOUR VOTE.  Vote every day for DBF to get funds to host a National Choking Game Awareness Conference and save kids lives!
On PC: http://www.refresheverything.com/chokinggame
By text: 109321 to 73774
The mobile site: http://m.refresheverything.com/Idea/19586If you have time leave a comment on the voting page and then visit causes you support in the 5k, 25k and 50k tiers and leave a comment like “You have my Vote! Please vote for us $10K 1st National Choking Game Awareness Conference to save kids lives . . . possibly your child’s or your child’s best friend.  http://www.refresheverything.com/chokinggame

Posted in In Other Words

In ‘Other’ Words: Prayer Carrying Us Through

 “ And why should the good of anyone
depend on the prayer of another?
I can only answer with the return question.
‘Why should my love be powerless to help another?’ ” 

~ George MacDonald

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just mentioned in a previous post, that this Friday will be 1 month before the 7th year anniversary date of our son, Matthew’s death.  I often think during this last month, what he did the last month he was a alive, our last Thanksgiving with him, hunting with his older brother and getting lost in the woods, playing monopoly with his siblings a few days before and the things we took for granted.  But then the days that followed his death . . .  the many months that dragged to a year . . . of the dark cloud over our family as we stumbled to find our new normal.  So many people meant well, but some said the dumbest things, from “are you over it yet, are you better, at least you have 9 other kids“, etc.  Those comments and even Scripture verses given to us, did not always ease the pain of losing a child.

But often it was someone say, “I don’t know what to say, but I am praying, I care.” Or getting a note, e-mail or someone calling and saying “I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of you, and prayed.” It was probably one of those long nights I dreaded going to sleep, his death was the last thing on my mind, and then again, the first thing on my mind after a few hours of sleep.  

So, I think of all those that carried us through with prayer . . . whose love was not powerless as you lifted us up to God so often . . . and I know some still do, as they know, we will never “get over” the loss of our son.  We were very dependent on prayers, as often the pain was so deep, we had no words even for God.  The Spirit knew and He used others in our lives to go to God for us.  No, the pain does not sting as much, but we still miss.  We were blessed with many who cried with us, remembered with us, and yes, most of all prayed with us and for us.  It’s taught me to remember the simple words that help carry us and to pass on to others that also need to be carried, in prayer.

 This week’s In ‘Other’ Words is hosted  by our new hostess, Cynthia on her blog, Great Brain Ideas. Please join visit her blog to read her thoughts
and others on the above quote. 

Posted in Faith, Grief, Meme, One Thousand Gifts

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts

705 ~ 710

 The impact Sara,
Gitzen Girl,
has had on the  blogging community.

Despite her being home bound so long
she chose joy 

The wonder of the thin veil between
here and heaven 

Four weeks after their accident,.
one boy who had been critical most of the time
now he and his brother are in the same rehabilitation room together
Praising God for their continued healing!!

another little gift from heaven
our lillac bush just flowered again
~ in the fall ~
the one Matthew transplanted for me
just a few months before he went to heaven

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

John 12:24-25 The Message

Posted in Family, Matthew, Meme

Five Minute Friday: Deep Breaths & Memories

Deep Breath . .

start . . . 

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e were sitting in the car insurance agent’s office checking into insurance for two more kids who will be getting their licenses soon.   He had a computer screen facing him where he was inputing the information.  There was another monitor on the opposite side of his desk, facing us.  He brought up our family account showing the drivers we have in our household.  Matthew’s name was still on it, with “deceased” by it.  I was not prepared for it, and sucked in a deep breath.  Yes, it’s been over six years, but he’s still missed . . .  will always be missed.

And maybe he’s missed just a bit more as we are going through new milestones in our family, especially with our oldest getting married.  Our oldest and Matthew were just 13 1/2 months apart in age.  I hardly remember being a mom to just one . . . I remember two and three young toddler boys together so well.  The way the life order should go, Matthew should be standing next to his brother when he gets married.  Another deep breath – along with a deep sigh.  The sting of death still lingers.

But God knew his numbered days . . . not the number of days I wanted, but His ways are not mine.  And someday the next deep breath I take, will be celestial air.  Then, there won’t be any more deep breaths of longings.

end . . .

If you are a new reader here . . .  a parent with children, a neighbor with children next door, grandparent, teacher, etc. would you please read about my son, Matthew?  A “game” took his life – it choked his last deep breath from earth.  It’s often my prayer that his death will save another child’s life . . . maybe your child’s?  

Joining Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday.
Writing above done in five minutes.

Posted in Family

In ‘Other’ Words: Stronger Shoulders

“. . . to refuse to bend our shoulders to carry a load
is to miss a new opportunity for growth.”

~ by J.R. Miller from Streams in the Desert ~

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ith some of the things my children have gone through, I often worry how it’s going to affect them. I know post traumatic stress disorder is a real thing, and I don’t minimize by any means.  Some still struggle with things that bring flashbacks, and I know probably always will.  But as my children are growing I see how some of the traumas they have gone through (losing two siblings and going through 3 open heart surgeries with another sibling)  the tenderness that has been brought to their hearts.  A few weeks ago it was on our local news again of a young child dying from the choking game.  One daughter went online and found out more about the family and shared it with me so I could contact the mom.  She genuinely felt for the family, know what we went through six years ago.  Several times our oldest son has come home to tell me about someone who has lost a baby wanting to find a way to encourage.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the loss of a Pastor’s family who lost their home to a fire.  Our daughter who has had three open heart surgeries has had a very special relationship with him through the years.  He baptized her just over a year ago.  He was with our family through some rough times after the loss of our son.  Jessica kept saying “we need to do something . . .  so many did stuff for us”.  She talked to a friend at church and they came up with the idea of a bake sale.  On her own she called the pastor of our church and got permission before I even realized what was going on.  She wanted to sit at the table the entire time on Sunday, both morning and evening.  She was blessed and in awe as some paid $20 for a couple of cookies or a loaf of bread.  Last night she was able to give their family the love gift to them.  I know they were touched . . . and we are grateful for those that gave and helped bake.

I don’t write this to brag on my child . . .  but it’s helped my heart to see how when I have worried about the damage to their emotions and how it’s going to hurt them, I see them helping others towards healing.  None of us want to carry the heavy loads of trials, but God uses it to grow us.

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.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Today’s In Other Words is hosted by Tami on her blog, The Next Step.  Visit her blog to see how others have shared on the quote at the top of this host.  You can join in too!

 

 

Posted in Family

Imperfect Prose: RED ~ In Memory of Matthew ~ Forever 16

‎”If you know someone who has lost a child,
and you’re afraid to mention them
because you think you might make them sad
by reminding them that they died–
you’re not reminding them.

They didn’t forget they died.
What you’re reminding them of is that
you remembered that they lived,
and that is a great gift.”

~Elizabeth Edwards~

 

 

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is favorite color was red.

I see it everywhere today
~ six years ago today,
on a Saturday,
our son Matthew left without a good-bye.

Red cranberries and candles
Red Jello and Hawaiian Punch
The red and white candy cane he gave his sister in the hospital
His favorite candy – Skittles, especially the red ones

A lap quilt being made from his red Carhartt coat
The red bracelet I wore in memory of him, made by one of his brothers
His red moped, still parked in the barn
Red cardinals ~ there’s a stone one by his grave

Christmas gifts he did not receive that year . . .
A new red Bible with his name engraved on the cover, buried with him
Along with the new red soft cotton shirt he wore
The red roses that we let go as we released his shell to the ground
Red balloons floating to the heavens on his first birthday with Jesus

The Christmas tree in the corner ~ his last gift to me,
Wrapped in red ribbons and red glittering balls ~ gentle reminders
Fading red poinsettias, but not our memories of him

My beating red heart ~ healing

 

Gifts wrapped in red,
a reminder of the gift of red blood Jesus shed
so we may live forever in heaven
and be reunited with our loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always missing,
always loving,
always thankful for the 16 years we were blessed with the gift of Matthew‘s life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing with Emily at Imperfect Prose.  It was an imperfect day 6 years ago, that God is making good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Choking Game, Faith, Family, Grief, In Other Words, Matthew, Meme

In Other Words: What’s Knocking at Your Door?

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his quote made my heart leap.  I know without a doubt, that Satan is seeking to destroy . . . families, our children, marriages, work relationships, friendships, churches, etc.  Really, where is he not at work?

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
I Peter 5:8

I’ve seen it in my family.  Satan knows where my weaknesses are . . . fear is big and can cripple me, having me think of all the worst things that might happen.  It pushes me to be in control . . . because I felt like I especially lost control five years ago when my son died.  That is when Satan pushed my son over his fault line.  He liked high thrill excitement.  He thought he found it in the choking game.  It took his life.

The last part of the quote above talks about exposing and confronting the cracks in our character.   It’s why accountability is so important.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

I am thankful God is so much more powerful than the sin and Satan who is seeking and destroying.  HE knows how to seal the cracks and beautify my character.  God has released my husband and I from asking where we went wrong with the loss of our son.  Possibly we could have done something different, but that time is gone. We have 10 children at home we still have a great responsibility for, and we continue sharing about how our son died to bring awareness.  We are much more alert of what’s on TV, in movies, and what they can see on the internet.  We ask questions . . . LOTS of questions, about their friends (another reason I use Facebook – I’ve learned a lot about my kid’s friends!). There’s big time accountability in many different aspects of their lives.  And it’s not just with my children.  We are working on it in our marriage.  We know Satan wants to destroy our marriage.  Saturday will mark our 25th anniversary.  With tears I can say, by God’s grace we made it . . . and it’s still work.  It’s work on communicating, forgiving, loving, not expecting changes in others, but asking God where “I” need to change.  And there’s accountability in our communication.  We ask each other questions . . . we share where things concern us.  We try to be on a guard for each other, done in a gentle way (well, most of the time!)

I’m learning more and more how my relationship with God is about me and Him.  I cannot be dependent on my husband, pastors, church, or friends to fulfill this.  God speaks in that still small voice specifically to me when I listen and read His Word.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Today’s In Other Words is being hosted by Deborah on her blog, Chocolate And Coffee. Won’t you visit and read how Jenn and others have shared their hearts on the above quote!

Posted in Faith, Family, Matthew, Writings & Poems

“A Pair of Shoes” ~ Remembering My Son

Just remembering & missing today . . . .

matthewremember

“A Pair of Shoes”

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are, might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes, you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown
(if you know who the author is, please let me know so I can give proper credit)

Drawing by my daughter, ♥ Heather ♥