Thursday, August 16, 2007

How do you cram as much fun as possible into one day?
Stacia's Second Celebration!

Quote of Yesterday: Zander informed Don and Beth that "Jesus says when the sun comes up - it's time to WAKE UP!"

After opening the gifts from Jamin and Jared, and waiting for Don and Mike to get home from the base, we headed to Gatti's to have lunch, play, and celebrate Stacia's birthday.

Stacia could barely see the top of the table but was determined to play air hockey (3 faces of Stacia?)

Bumper cars are always a "hit" Don and Mike joined the young men for a round of bumper cars and quickly became target numero uno. ::snort::
I got a kick out of this shot....all from our party lined up in a row playing some car chase game
Arielle used her tickets to buy more gifts for Stacia - cool shades!
Jamin and Josiah had to head to work; we headed home for "details" that had to be done before our buddies left town.
Beth corrupted my younger children - taught them some darling card tricks ::snort::
We also spent the afternoon visiting about all sorts of things....parenting, schooling, medical issues...I entered parenting a bit before most of my friends and so hit the "leaving the nest phase" earlier...we discussed that a bit.....It was a precious day.

Jordan and Jared really enjoyed their time together

Mike and Don worked on wiring for the trailer they picked up down here. Jared had taken "tops of the heads" shot as they worked. I told them if they didn't want another of those photos on the blog, they'd best cooperate - and THIS is what they gave me to work with.

At 8:00 Beth and I decided to take the fabulous four to Chick Fil A for dinner. They were getting slammed when we walked in. Who would guess a dinner rush at 8 p.m.???? Stacia amused us all by repeatedly waving and saying, "Hi, Cy" and "Hi Jay" The younger three were really fascinated by seeing Jamin and Cy at work. LOL Stacia opened the rest of her gifts LATE at night - about 10:30 LOL. Love this expression - Arielle looked and looked for the right baby for her. She really does like it...but scrutinized it carefully upon introduction.Stacia clutching her keys, cell phone and baby bottle....she's ready for life. ::snort::
One very tired girl, late, late, late....immediately before Cy hauled her off to bed
Don and Cy stayed up late when he got home trying to get HIS laptop up on the wireless network....they ran out of time. We need to call HP.
Check back later tonight or tomorrow to see:

~More then and now shots of the B and G family (does this make YOU want to visit us???)
~Today's quote of the day (if I can remember what it WAS - just remember everyone telling me about it)
~Photos of the favorite/most hated birthday gift of all
Things are not as they should be or I'm a tad bit sad...

I realized last night and this a.m. (early) that I'm sad. I've been friends with Beth for over 25 years - our freshman year at Bible College. Michael and Don have been friends even longer - they were OLD upper class men and staff when WE arrived. ::snort::

When we moved from OR we met with Don and Beth and their family several times for camping trips. This time they are visiting us. It's the first time we've all gotten together when our GIRLS aren't here. Our girls have been in Master's Commission for two years...and I'm fairly used to them being absent now....but things aren't quite RIGHT. Sarah, Don and Beth's daughter, got married a week or two ago and moved to WYOMING! - how DARE THEY!!! Grow up and out of our homes....sigh..but never out of our hearts. I've been thinking of those early days and friendships....of the girls as babies....learning to crawl and squalling at the mall while new mommies learned to nurse in public....and now they range from 20 - made me sad...and happy at the same time.

Of course, preparing to say goodbye to one of my sister friends this a.m. puts me in a melancholy mood ANYWAY - but the girls certainly SHOULD have been here for this visit. I'm going to have to speak to the three of them. LOL
*I'LL HOLD YOU IN HEAVEN* by Jack Hayford

This small book, with a powerful message, was published in 1986. I don't believe it is still in print, but a quick amazon search shows 79 used copies available - starting as low as .01. A remembrance book by the same title, written by Debbie Heydrik is currently in print.

This book covers healing and hope for the parent who has lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion or early infant death. Pastor Jack (currently the leader of the Foursquare denomination) demonstrates how the answers to life's tough questions are found in Scripture.

As Pastor Jack says, "This isn't myth, fable, legend, or a selection of poetic thoughts for the sorrowful. This is truth to set us free. Here we are specifically freed to expect to meet children in heaven, to recognize them, and to be with them."

Pastor Jack writes with compassion and calls us to compassion of those who have lost an infant...yes, the same compassion to those whose loss came through abortion. He honestly lays out the steps that God took him through in order for him to love as Christ did "while we were yet sinners Christ DIED for us." He confesses his past attitudes towards abortion. He in no way is "easy" on abortion but he is compassionate. A story in the book about how God moved in the life of one lady who contacted the CPC run by Church on the Way moved me to tears.

There are many quotes that I could share. I've decided not to. If you are struggling with grief, questions etc having to do with "early flight" babies, I think it is worth the time to find this book and read it in it's entirety. If you find yourself ministering to those who have suffered miscarriages, abortions, stillbirths....this book would also give you firm hope in how to compassionately speak and minister.

I first read this book years ago - shortly after our first miscarriage - would have been over 22 years ago. I found hope and comfort in it's pages. I nearly set the book aside this read after the first chapter because I found that I now have some major differences in theology with Pastor Jack. We've become what some term as "quiverful" (though really not quite enough for those who are quiverful watchdogs - some of you KNOW what I mean ::snort::) and Pastor Jack is certainly not. I remembered being comforted by this book before and so I continued to read. I'm glad I did. Many new areas spoke to me this read. I would have missed the blessings of the book, if I had discounted all he said because he disagrees with me on the issue of birth control. There were a couple spots in the book that I marked for future study in the Word. Yes, this is a book that is not only highlighted but one where I talked back to the author in the margins.

Pastor Jack deals with questions of life and it's beginning, when a life receives a soul, what happens to the baby after loss, will I know and recognize my early flight baby, how to grieve....

One quote that applies to all of us - regardless of our prenatal experiences: "My evangelical orthodoxy required me to insist that I had to overcome sin by resisting it in others - not only in myself. Wherever I found it, I found myself succumbing to a "watchdog" mentality of critiquing my culture, rather than a shepherd mindset towards lovingly seeking the lost. That is, until I thought through the way Jesus overcame sin. The way He overcame sin was in SURRENDERING HIMSELF TO LOVE (my emphasis) - to stand forgivingly before it until His love overcame it. " page 108.

May we all become shepherds of our culture rather than expert critics of our culture. There is a difference. Our culture needs us to introduce it to an extravagant love of Jesus. Just deleted the rest of this paragraph - enough said. ::snort:: Off the soapbox.