Friday, June 14, 2013

Naomi Joy's Footprints

Happy Birthday Naomi Joy!

Today our daughter Naomi Joy, would have been 8 years old. WOW! My how time flies so quickly. Yet it just feels like yesterday. Oh how sad you may say - yes - it is bittersweet. And yes I do wish she was here with us. But I have come to a point now where I feel like I have and will continue to move forward each year. It's not that it is something I have "gotten over" -because you never can "get over" a loss of a child - it's just that I have learned over the past 8 years how to carry the loss with me. With God's strength I CAN carry on.

So don't feel sorry for me. Just look at the good things in my life that have come from such a loss:

For one thing, learning to trust & lean on God on a deeper level than I have ever known. This has caused me to grow and stretch my faith in the Lord so very much. At 1st it shook my faith greatly. But I choose to cling to the Lord - knowing full well that He does not want us to suffer like this. Knowing that He too is grieved when His children grieve. He weeps with those who weep.

At first it was tough on our marriage. We had a couple of rocky weeks. Nothing horrible. But not fun. But instead of driving a wedge between us - it drew my husband and I closer to each other. We read in many books and heard many people say that marriages crumble under such a loss. We did not want to be that sad story. We went through this -together- and this common experience on such an emotional level helped us grow closer. With much prayer and the Lord's strength and guidance.

I learned that sometimes we may never know why things happen in this life - but that we must trust that God has a bigger plan - a picture that we cannot see. We will never know until we get Home to Heaven.

Of course we have thought many times that- without Naomi Joy's loss- we never would have been able to adopt our sweet daughter - Ellie. :-) I would NEVER change that! What a blessing and privilege it is to be her Mama! To know that God chose her for us!!! :-)

Suffering such a loss helps others. Those of you who know me well- know that I LOVE to share Naomi Joy's story. It is my way of grieving. Talking about her helps her live on in me. And her little footprints walk on the hearts of all who hear her story and their lives are touched in some small way. Her short life and death helps other parents who have lost a child too.

The loss of one- helps the many.

Out of the ashes comes beauty. You have to go through the storm to see the rainbow. The only way that I got through such a "storm" was to keep my eyes on the Lord. To just let Him hold me.... to carry me through it.

One of several songs that helped me through was this one (copy & paste) Dancing with the Angels by Monk & Neagle

Bible verses that helped me through & still does are:

"...Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." ~Psalm 30:5

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.." ~Psalm 91:4

May Naomi Joy's footprints be on your heart today, I pray her life has has touched your life. :-)
Please share how her life has touched yours. Or share of your losses, friends & family that helped
you through, and how God helped you/is helping you through.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Moneky See Monkey Do.

Keeping our children pure starts with us- the parents. What we watch, what we wear, what we eat, what we do. They will model what we are- who we are. They will do what we do.

Today at the park I saw a girl with her mom - she couldn't have been more than 5 years old. But she looked, was dressed and acted like she was 13. No judgement towards the mom. But of course the girl is only acting like what she sees. And the girl's mom, then in turn, is only acting like she has been inadvertently taught. What she has seen on TV, in ads, in magazines, her friends and perhaps HER mother. And so it goes on. The cycle must stop.

As a child of God, I like to try to set an example for my children. But it's tough. If you're a parent - you know what that is like. It's so easy to say, "Do as I say not as I do." But kids are more apt to follow the old adage, "monkey see, monkey do." I for one am the first to admit that I have a hard time changing -old habits die hard.

I think the girl at the park and her mom are both victims of a society that teaches us that we are only valuable based on what we wear, how we look and how 'pushy' /talkative we are. The mom doesn't know better because no one has taught her or modeled something better for her. Society is teaching us that, "If you are a beautiful, super-model, with an attitude- you'll be successful and get somewhere in life" Such a bad lesson our society teaches. Women are far more valuable than what's on the outside. It's what's on the inside that counts. Are you kind & considerate of others? Are you honest? Do you value learning? Do you read God's Holy Word and meditate on it daily? Do you 'do' the Scriptures or merely read it?

The Word of God says, " Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves...." I Peter 3:3-5

As parents, we should teach our daughters to dress modestly. Which means of course that we should model that by what we wear (if you are the Mom), by throwing out magazines, and cutting the cable. This may sound extreme to some -but consider it an investment into your children's lives. It's so very worth it to teach them to value themselves (who they are- their minds, their hearts), rather than what is on them (or others).

Put God 1st in everything you do. Read the Word. Do what it says. Value what you put into your mind and heart - and see what amazing, God-fearing children will come from such an example! Remember that song, "Oh be careful little eyes." What we think, say, do, watch, where we go- all of it - should be all for God. Our kids will see that effort and try to do the same thing.

What kind of person do you want your kids to be when they grow up? I hope I can live like Jesus so they can be like Jesus.

Remember- "Monkey see, monkey do." (I know - yup. It is easier said than done, right?)