Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hello again!

Hello everyone! I am returning from an extended "absence" of posting on our blogs. I can't believe how much time has passed since I was able to sit down and share pics and stories of what God is doing here and in our lives as a family. Many changes and many blessings along the way. I look forward to getting more into blogging again as we move forward.

I am going to be making this blog private soon, as in, by invitation only. So, if you follow this blog now and have not already sent me your e-mail address, please feel free to e-mail me and let me know you would like to continue to follow this blog. I look forward to sharing more about my family with those of you who will continue to be a part of this blog's followers.

For now, I would like to ask you to please consider signing up for EBates, a site that offers cash back on online purchases. Now you can even earn cash back in stores when you register a card with EBates. I am using the money I earn from referring people to EBates to send to our daughter who is in the US studying at Bible college. You can choose to whom you want the rebate checks to go to. So, at this point they are offering $20 for every person I refer to their site. Please help by signing up yourself. You can even install an EBates button so that you never miss a deal when you shop online again.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Comfort to a Mother's Heart

I have to share a tremendous blessing with you. I won't take you back to share the entire story of the birth of our stillborn son, Timothy Michael, on December 11th, 1998, but I do want to go back to a memory of our last furlough, 2013-2014. We were finally going to be driving somewhat of a different route in order to allow our daughter to see different Bible colleges. Taking the route we did allowed us to travel through Oklahoma and show our children many places which are very special to my husband and me. One of the most important places for our entire family was the Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for it is there that we buried our first son almost eighteen years ago. It was hard to believe that we had not been in Oklahoma since 1998. We left for the field in 1999 and since we had no supporting churches in the state, we traveled further north during furloughs from that time. That meant that since burying our son there, we had not been back to even see his grave site once.
So, understanding that, due to the fog we were in emotionally during our son's funeral. We went to main office first in order to request a map of  "Baby Land", the area set apart with a sidewalk in the shape of a heart, especially for families to bury their precious little ones. There they gave us a handout with the plot number and position of Timothy's burial plot. 

As we made our way to Baby Land and located where the plot should be based on the map, we were not able to exactly locate where Timothy was buried. I thought that they at least marked the gravesites with small numbered blocks to show where each grave was located. But, there was nothing in the area of his grave. All of  a sudden tears began to well up in my eyes and I was trying so hard to not let them fall down my cheeks so that the kids wouldn't see me crying. It was already a somber occasion for our family. Now, I couldn't exactly show them where their brother was buried. As we stood there for a bit, all holding back tears, we took a photo of the Baby Land marker like the one pictured above except with the kids standing on each side of it and that was all we could do more. We wanted to somehow document our time there. We all got in the car to make the short drive to our next stop, the hospital where my husband had worked during his college days and our early married days. As he took our oldest son to meet some of the guys he worked with, I wasn't feeling like talking much so I took the other two kids to a Starbucks on the campus of the hospital and we ordered a fun drink to sort of cheer everyone up a little. 
It was a rough day for me. My heart ached for not being able to somehow purchase a grave marker for our son. Our life had taken us away from that area and I had no idea how I could make this all happen over a long distance. 

We returned to the field and my heart still ached over our visit that day to the cemetery.  Then I started thinking about the friends we visited during our time there in Oklahoma. What if one of them, like the dear lady who was the only person other than my husband and the funeral home representative there with me on that day when we buried our first born son, could help me?
I contacted her through Facebook and asked her if she thought she might be able to go in and talk to the ladies in the office about setting up payments to order a grave marker for Timothy's grave. I knew exactly what design I had wanted all this time so I asked her to check with them to see if they could etch what I wanted on the marker. 

She wrote me back and told me the payment plan had been initiated and that a lady from the cemetery would be contacting me via e-mail. I was SO excited!
Long story short, I had two ladies who ended up dealing with our account, both of which were super sweet and patient while we discussed the details of the marker design. 

Here is the result:

The lady who helped me last even took photos for me to see the marker up close and in relation to Baby Land area.

Timothy's marker is to the right of the one with the vase along the inside of the sidewalk (in the left "hump" of the heart).

I can't tell you what this means to me and our family. What a relief it was to know this was taken care of and to have it done exactly as I had wanted. I am so thankful for dear friends and kind people who understand the importance of such a need. I pray God's blessings on them for providing comfort to a mother's heart from across the globe.

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