The Trick-or-Treating Christian Mom and Kids.

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Hi!  Brooke here.  Pastor’s wife.  Mom.  Worker for Bread of Life’s humanitarian foundation in Poland, for Moldova, and for Ivory Coast.

You know.  Basically, female, human person (kind-of a double explanation, eh?  Human.  Person.  Haha).

So, I originally had this really great post on Halloween.  But it became such a hot-button topic this past week that I decided not to do it.

Instead, I will share one story that my dad always told.  He wasn’t suppose to go trick-or-treating as a kid.  Therefore, when he was in college, he decided to go.

He dressed up as a ghost.  Put a big sheet on.  And went door to door.  When they would answer the door, he would squeak out, “Trick or Treat!”

And, of course, the little old people would say, “My what a cute, little ghost!”  and dump candy into his basket.

Then he would stand, stretching his huge 6’4″ frame and say in his deep voice, “Thank you!”  and walk away.  I am sure with many stares and probably a great share of giggles.

Of course, he had a blast.  And we, as children, grew up carving pumpkins, going trick-or-treating, and also attending fall festivals.

But, as I became a mom, I learned what a hot-button topic this Halloween thing really is.

As a kid, you don’t think about anything but the FUN in dressing up and getting candy.  The parties with friends.  The fun of imaginations.  The running up and down streets.  The Ramona Quimby parades at school (where she FINALLY gets to pull Susan’s curly hair).

But, as a mom, Halloween has the potential to become a big issue.

The thing is.  There is a lot out there on Halloween.  Good.  Bad.  And in between.

Therefore, I am going to share a couple links with you.  Some you may like.  Others you may not.  Regardless, I hope that you make the best decision for your family.

We do Halloween.  And we call it Halloween.  And we dress up.  And our kids trick or treat.

And it’s all good.  And we have fun.

Perhaps you don’t.  No problem.

Perhaps you are on the fence about it.  No problem.

Regardless where you are and what you do, I hope that you enjoy these links!

xoxo

b

(This is a very short list—there is so much out there.  Comment below, if you have others you would like to share.  Thanks!)

Lengthy and worth the read.  History from the Christian influence (even shares how carving pumpkins came about):  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween#Christian_influence

An article on Jesus’s victory over death.  When Jesus Haunts Your Halloweenhttp://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/when-jesus-haunts-your-halloween

A short video (3 minutes well said) on Open the Door to Halloween (Obviously this is more for countries where children go door to door trick-or-treating.  In Poland, kids do not do this.  At our daughter’s Halloween party at our home, we have the kids come a few at a time to our door.  They think it’s great fun.  When our daughter was smaller, all the kids went from door to door inside our home—be it the bathroom door, closet door, bedroom door, etc.  And we would station ourselves around the house and be there to answer the door and give candy.  Although candy given from a bathroom sounds a bit unsanitary ;) ):  http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/open-the-door-to-halloween

 

 

I don’t noramally say this…

This was one of the most gut-wrenching things that I have seen in a long time.

It’s 3 and 1/2 minutes of your time.

You may say, “I don’t have 3 and 1/2 minutes.”

Well, today you should make time. Time for this video. Time for 3 and 1/2 minutes. Time to gut-check your heart.

You will be very glad you did.

It was beautiful. So beautiful.

Beautiful and sad.

And important. So important.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
1 Corinthians 13:1

Pumpkin-Pie Milkshake.

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Last year, I posted about making your own pumpkin latte. Well, I already have all of my pumpkin cooked and ready for all of the fall goodness called divine recipes. So, this year my challenge is for you to try this one out.

I’ll let you know how mine goes, too!

Can’t wait to hear all about it. And please let me know in the comments of your favorite fall recipes. I’m always looking for something new and delicious to try.

xoxo
b

Click the link below to get the recipe from Martha Stewart:

Pumpkin-Pie Milkshake

Click the link below to get the Pumpkin latte from last autumn’s blog:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Proof.

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Here we are. Proof. Proof that we are here. Together.

And happy. Happy to be here together.

We have summited the mountain and are above the timberline. The glorious clouds at our feet. The sun shining on our faces.

Our hearts are together.

And our fingers entwined.

Proof that God is victorious in our marriage.

Today I hope we act as an encouragement to you. Perfection? Never! Grace-full? We hope so.

Eat your Wheaties, and go for it!

Summit that mountain of marriage. Together.

Be your own proof.

By the grace of God, you can do it, too.

Rainbow Baby?

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I will never shy away from sharing of my loss.  And I am not sorry if I cause discomfort.

Miscarriage is a very silent loss.  It is a very wrenching loss.  It is a very soul-crying loss.

Miscarriage takes you from elation to depression sometimes within weeks.

Today I read many articles of women, very prolific writers, phew!  Writers that bore their souls of their miscarriage losses.  From first trimester to 16 weeks.

From listeria infections to sudden delivery.

Women that never shared the loss with their children.  And then some that, for some unknown reason, started the conversation in the car on the way to school.

I am sure many of us (especially if you are around my age) can recall the episode from Friends when Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are in the bathroom during the reception of Monica and Chandler’s wedding.

And the two girls, Phoebe and Monica, had given Rachel another pregnancy test to take to see if she really was or wasn’t pregnant.

Phoebe read the results, “She (Rachel) was not pregnant.”

Rachel cried.  And said she was happy.  And that it was for the best…

Of course, Phoebe was not telling the truth.  She wanted to see how Rachel really felt.  And, obviously, Rachel felt a great loss once she thought she was not pregnant.

Now, let’s leave fiction and enter reality.

The character of Rachel shared the heart of many.  THAT pregnancy test.  That pee stick.  That unsanitary little thing carries a great weight.

And as soon as we see the sign “Positive” our lives change.

Our beings change.  Our hands fly to our bellies.  We smile secretly to ourselves, appearing looney to the rest of the world watching random woman lady walking around with dreamy smile on her face.

We envision blue.  And then pink.  And then blue.  And then pink.

We have already calculated how far along and potential birth dates before even the first doctor’s appointment.

Names.  I am sure that is the first Google search you did as soon as you got back on your computer, after the due date, before the Chinese gender calendar.

Names.  Beautiful names.  Crazy names.  Trendy names.  Old names.  New names.  World names.  Names and their meanings.  Social Security popularity on names.

And twins?!  I mean, after all, can’t you recall someone, somewhere in your family that had twins?  Therefore, what would the doctor share with you?  It’s TWINS!

Whether you lost your baby 24 hours after your positive pregnancy test or 12 weeks later…In those potentially 24 hours you knew you had your baby growing inside of you, you conquered the internet.   You looked at What to Expect-type websites.  You saw where the baby was and how you would grow, and you secretly tucked your favorite name away, knowing that even if you had to fight for it, that special name would become a part of your baby in some way, sort or form…Soon.  If 9 months is considered soon.

Miscarriage.  It rips the very soul out of you.

And even the most gut-wrenching cries cannot bring back what you want the most.  The realization of your baby.  In your arms.  In the 9th month.  Like it should be.

Miscarriage.  It is a devastating end to what was once a beautiful beginning.

For you.

My husband?  For him it still continues, too.

Two years after our miscarriage, my husband and I were in our car on our way to church.  Church is one hour away.  My husband is the pastor of the church.

We were on our way.  On the highway.  We were driving.

It hit my husband.  The loss.  The great, great, tremendous loss.

And as we were driving in the car at 80mph, he started to cry.  The car started veering.

Sobs.  Gut-wrenching sobs were escaping the soul of his being.  Tears that he had always stifled to be strong for his wife that suffered so much physically with the loss and hemorrhaging and emergency D and C to remove the placenta.

He was so strong for so long.  And then two years later, our son Maxwell nearly died.  And then Maxwell lived.

And then all of it hit Richard.  On the way to church.  In the car.  Traveling 80mph.

And we nearly wrecked the car.  He had to pull over on the abandoned highway.  And I had to sit there.  Stunned.

I sat there as Richard shouted at God.  “Why?”

Why?

I sat there as Richard shared his guilt.  He was in America when our baby’s heart stopped beating.

“Why, God?!”

I sat there as Richard cried.  And cried.  And cried.

I didn’t know what to do.  And that is probably exactly how he felt as I lived through my time of tears. He probably didn’t know what to do.

Miscarriage.  The silent shame?

Never!

Miscarriage.  The silent pain.

The pain of loss.  Such tremendous loss.  For the mom.  For the dad.  For the brothers and sisters.

For those that love you.  For you yourself.

No one knows what to do.

No one.

And that is probably why miscarriage remains such a silent topic.

Because what can you say about a baby that you loved and barely knew?  Except to the very core of your being you did know.  Just as well as you know the other children you have.

I read once that a rainbow baby is a baby that follows the storm of loss.  Just like a beautiful rainbow shines after the rain.

And I loved what I read.

So, today, I am here to say.  Miscarriage.

It is a loss that guts your soul.  And you feel it forever.

But miscarriage also taught me about life.  The beautiful value of how precious and yet fleeting life is.

I had never valued life so much until our baby lost it.

And then we, through the storm, saw our rainbow.

Eventually a double rainbow.

And their names are Maxwell Loren (2 years and a few months old now) and Josephine Diane (9 months old).

Our baby we never got to meet.  Sam.  Simply Sam.

And despite the beauty of our rainbows, there is not a day that goes by that we don’t reflect upon the gorgeous life of our Sam.

For Sam was our storm.  And Sam was our watering.  And Sam was our awakening.

Our awakening to compassion.

To beauty.

And to life.

Sam.  Oh how I miss the baby I barely had.  Then I look at my rainbow babies and I smile.  I smile at them while remembering Sam.  It’s as if there will never be one without the others.

Just like there will never be a rainbow without a storm.

And 3+ years later, I can smile.  Sadly smile.

The ultrasound of my perfect baby alive in my mind.  The heartbeat-strong.  The feeling of life-there.

And yet time has passed and life has changed.  And we have double rainbow blessings…

But today, Dear Sam, I raise my life and voice for you.  And for all women like myself.  And for all men like my husband.  And for all siblings like my Adelyne.

And I say loudly, without shame, you are loved deeply…even if it is only our hearts that get to hold you.

You were our storm.

But everyone knows—water is necessary for life.

And that is what you were.  A life.  A beautiful life.

Thank you, Sam.  Simply Sam.

Now, I am off to kiss my babies.  My rainbows after our storm.  And I am going to inhale deeply their scents.

And maybe even cry a little.

Because the world does spin, but my heart remains the same.

Mother.  To Sam.

No matter, I will go to bed with a smile.  Because my storm was beautiful.  And mine.  And forever I am changed.

So despite death.  I was taught life.

And I am happy about that.

Because life is beautiful.  Just like our storm.

Now I am speaking my wife’s language…

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Now I’m speaking my wife’s language.

-Richard

Is that code?! When Men and Women DO NOT speak the same language

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It was Saturday morning and I came into the kitchen.  One baby was in her crib.  The toddler in his highchair.  The 8-year-old eating breakfast at the kitchen table.

Everything was under control.  So I said, “I’m going to take a shower…”

My husband looked at me, with excitement in his eyes, and said, “Is that code?!”

I looked at him.  The “Like really?” look before saying, “Um.  Yes.  In fact, it was code for ‘Watch the children!'”

My husband, being a funny man, after getting over his initial disappointment said, “Blog that!”

Haha!

And so we have it…

A blog posting of Man versus Woman.

In this story you should know…Woman won.

But man doesn’t stop trying ;)