Monday, November 29, 2010

The Newest Member of Our Family

Today is the due date of the baby we miscarried during Holy Week earlier this year.

We decided to name the little one, and it has been a very healing thing to wrestle with a name. We wrestled with names for our other three--why not this one? No one in our family pictures the baby as anything other than a boy (big surprise!), so a boy name it is:

Emmanuel Micah

I (Chris) went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse this weekend with Michelle. I was reading the story of St. Gianna Molla, who is a saint depicted, among others, in the beautiful shrine church. She was a pediatric physician who died in 1962 a week after her fourth child was born. She found out in her second month of pregnancy that she had uterine tumors and wanted her baby's life preserved at all costs. The baby was named Gianna Emanuela by her father. The name Emmanuel means "God with us" and it jumped out at me because it comforted me last year at Christmastime shortly after the death of my mom. As I pondered St. Gianna's passion for her child and respect for life, and the meaning of the name, it seemed right.

Guy picked the middle name. It is one we have had on the name list for every boy born so far. It's also a reminder of the first memory verse I can recall memorizing as a child, and the first one the boys memorized this year: Micah 6:8. What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.

We feel closer to the baby now, and look forward to being able to ask him for his prayers for our family by name. We wanted to share the name with you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Can Totally Relate

The Loneliness of the Christian

by A. W. Tozer

“ The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why am I surprised?

I've been really irritable lately. Most of the time I have the self-control to not allow my tongue to do the lashing it wants to do. But not always. And then I regret and become even more irritable.

And then it hit me yesterday. I know the reason I'm irritable. It's grief. For me, it's easier to be angry than it is to cry. It also feels easier to keep my grief private than to have to process it with people at a time that's not my choosing.

Mom died in December--only almost 5 months ago. I miscarried our fourth child last month in very early pregnancy. I thought I was grieving well.

When I'm under emotional duress, I know I tend to retreat to find solitude. It's what I need. It's how I heal. But I haven't allowed much solitude lately and I'm still thinking about why that is.

I've worked with grieving people in my profession for the last 17 (!) years. Why does it surprise me, then, that my grief comes out as anger and irritability?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Focus for the New Year....

"Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." Matthew 6:34

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thought for the day

To say yes to God is to say yes to sacrifice.