Monthly Archives: May 2008

How are the Chapmans doing?

Like many of you, I’ve been deeply touched by the loss of the Chapman’s daughter Maria. Recently I found the House Mix, a blog where Steven’s manager is giving updates on how things are going for them.

Here are excerpts from his most recent entry:

Everyone wants to know… how are they doing? I understand the question. So many care so deeply, so many can’t imagine this loss. But the question is unanswerable, really.

I think Caleb did it best when he said at the visitation and at the funeral that the best term he can find is "confused." "We’re sad and happy. Together and Lonely…" and then he stopped, realizing you can’t describe confused, in his words, "it’s sorta the point of the word." So much wisdom in this young man.

And then in his own words:

I’ve been privileged to be with them each day of this horrible week… so how are they doing? It is unanswerable… but I’ll say this… I see them holding on to the Gospel better than you could imagine or hope for, just as you might think they would. Today, the room is quiet, the talk is somber… but occasionally you’ll see a smile. Once in awhile, you might even hear a light laugh. Hope never left, and hope is just starting to show itself again, in small ways. There is still profound sadness. There is still deep concern for some in the family and how they will chart their way out of these dark days. But, there is a Savior, they are sure of it, I hear them talking about it. Heaven is real. It’s real-er than ever to this close knit family. Sadness with hope.

A wedding cake picked out today, hope with sadness.
a little girl crying missing her sister, sadness with hope.
basketball practice and carpool and lasagna from friends for dinner.
The new normal is not much fun right now.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

A Hodge Podge of Moments

Last week kind of ended with a flurry of activity so we all actually spent most of the day sleeping today. God provided a wonderful gentle rain that was good not only for our freshly planted garden, but also for creating the perfect day for sleeping in.

But let me catch you up on a few other things that might be slightly more interesting than a detailed account of how we all slept the day away.

This past Thursday was actually quite exciting. The morning started by discovering one of our hens with a beautiful assortment of 10 baby chicks. We have absolutely NO idea where she was hiding that nest, but we found her taking them on a walk in the tall grass. With our current abundace of cats and kittens, we’ve temporarily converted our chicken tractor to a hen & chicks nursery to help keep them all safe.

Later that same morning, we also discovered ANOTHER litter of kittens in the barn. They were actually hidden behind a tarp in Billy’s stall. They already had their eyes open so I guess they had been there a week already. They sure are cute! Anyone need a kitten or four?

Then to top the day off, we discovered a stray puppy in one of our fields. There was a state crew working on our road doing some really loud work and it was just scared to death. Obviously someone just dropped it off. Jake brought it in, bathed it, and tried to get it to eat something. THEN we thought to call our friends who had just lost a dog. We weren’t even sure what kind of dog it was – it had wavy ears like a cocker spaniel, but a smaller face, and LONG legs. We ended up deciding that it looks a lot like a gordon setter puppy. That too will be a surprise though!

Then Jon surprised me by wanting to participate in our homeschool group’s presentation night. He immediately knew that he wanted to talk about some sort of bug or animal so we had some fun putting together information about the platypus.

We probably had about 70 people at our presentation night so when Jon first got up to do his presentation, he literally froze. Once he had a little break and a few other kids went though, he got right back up there and did a wonderful job. This has been a wonderful year for him. He has just really developed a love for learning and his enthusiasm is contagious.

I actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about this past school year as I prepared this Year of Memories video for our homeschool group. We’ve had lots of great activities, we’ve made lots of new friends, and truly we’ve  created a lot of memories.  I selected the song The Miracle of the Moment by Steven Curtis Chapman because I loved how it reminds us to just cherish each moment.

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So breathe it in and breathe it out
Listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss
The miracle of the moment

Just so sad

From the Tennessean:

Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest child died Wednesday evening after being struck by a car driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

Maria, one of the Christian singer’s six children, was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Hospital, which confirmed the death, according to Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The 5-year-old was hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, she said. Police did not give the driver’s name.

The teen was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser down the driveway of the rural home at about 5:30 p.m. and several children were playing in the area, McPherson said. He did not see Maria in the driveway before the vehicle struck her, she said.

“It appears to be a terrible accident,’’ McPherson said.

They’ve set up a special blog so you can meet Maria and express your condolence. I just couldn’t believe it when I read some of the details. They were celebrating their oldest daughter’s engagement and just hours away from celebrating a son’s graduation. And they’ve got some videos on there of Steven singing and washing dishes with Maria not too long ago. You just never know what the day will bring do you?

I’m one of those people who struggles with finding the right words to say when it comes to grief. Nothing seems quite right. All I can think of is carrying them to the Throne of Grace. Only He can carry them through this.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
 that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

Pick Your Own

Strawberries, blueberries, etc…

Here’s a handy website that can help you find a pick-your-own patch in your area.

Also, try checking the classifieds in your local papers. You’ll find some there that aren’t listed on websites.

It’s strawberry time in our area!

Colorado & Planned Neglect

Nope, I don’t think we should neglect the folks in Colorado OR the beautiful Colorado scenery. I just had two different topics on my mind and decided to combine them in one entry.

First of all, my family is really excited because we’re heading to Durango for our Summer vacation. Yippee! This will be our first flight all together as a family and the first time the boys have seen those majestic Rocky Mountains. Tony and I haven’t been to Colorado in years and when we used to go, we were always skiing and didn’t explore much beyond the resort. So, now we’re taking the boys and I’m wondering what all we should try to do while we’re there.

I’ve got mounds of tourist brochures and have done quite a bit of research on the internet, but I mentioned that I struggle with indecision and get overwhelmed with too many choices in my last entry, didn’t I?

So, I’ve got a few questions for you all:

  • What things would you consider to be must-see in the Durango area?
  • What are some frugal money-saving travel ideas?
  • What books should I read with the kids before we go to help them appreciate the history of the area?

And now, onto my second topic – planned neglect…

Randy Alcorn has a GREAT entry on his blog today about the topic. He calls it, "Saying no to good things, so that you can say Yes to the Best." I loved this excerpt:

"If we have X number of people to make time for, they have to come out of the same small pie of available time, and pretty soon the slices of the pie get smaller and smaller. You end up having dear friends who no longer get a sliver, because it’s been divided so many times.

As with people, so it is with causes. Rather than a large number of causes that we have tiny little investments in, better to have a much smaller number that you’re wholeheartedly engaged in, giving your very best. Ask God for wisdom as to which these should be, and God will give it (James 1:3). But NEVER say yes without asking whether this is one of those exceptional things God really wants you to do. Tell Him that unless He smacks you in the side of the head and makes it clear, you will assume He DOESN’T want you to do it."

Wow, that just really spoke to me. I know that many of us assume that we ARE supposed to be doing something unless God says otherwise and I’m pretty sure that it can often be to the detriment of our families, friends, and true assignments from the Lord.

I remember years ago when we lived in town, realizing just how few people were actually at home during the day. We were just literally surrounded by empty houses as people headed off to work each day. When someone’s car wouldn’t start, we were the ones who could give them a ride to work. When one of the neighbor boys locked himself out of the house, he could hang out at our house until his mom got home from work. When one of the older neighbors needed help lifting something or carrying something in from her car, we were home.

It affirmed to me that being home in and of itself was a ministry and that God has us there for a reason. Outside activities and ministries have their place. Don’t get me wrong. I think they are "good". I just appreciated Randy’s thoughts about deciding what things to neglect.

"So, decide what you are going to neglect this week in order to pay attention to God. And while you do that, seek His wisdom and empowerment in doing those few things He wants you to do."

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)