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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Loving with a Broken Heart

empty table

Loving with a Broken Heart

Living with the echoes of a miscarriage

This post will go live on Valentine’s Day, but it could be written on any random day over the last few months.

I sat this morning, looking at my children, and my heart ached for the baby who’ll never sit in a Bumbo, a child who’ll never have chocolate smeared on her face, a little girl who will never have the chance to forget her Disney Princess lunch bag at school.  Our family of five has a sixth member who we’ll never meet and, on mornings like this, the feelings of loss that have slowly faded to the background of life come rushing forward in a moment that makes me catch my breath.  I miss the baby I never met.

It feels funny to write that last sentence.

(you can read more about how we’ve processed our story here: http://westcoastcm.com/?s=miscarriage)

Before our miscarriage, I could have never understood the way that losing a child hangs with you like a cloud on days like today.  I never understood why parents would buy into the myth that our lost children spend the rest of our days hovering over us as guardian angels.  Now I understand – there are days when it feels like there is literally something hanging over you.  It’s hard to explain.  If my understanding of Scripture and the historical Judeo-Christian understanding of angels didn’t get in the way of this belief, I’d consider buying in.  I blame Hallmark, Precious Moments and It’s a Wonderful Life for making this belief a popular option for mourning families.

For those of us in ministry, we need to go out of our way to make room for families who will find themselves mourning the loss of a child at random times.  If you’ve been impacted by the loss of a child, this isn’t news to you.  However, if you’ve never suffered through a miscarriage, still birth or loss of a young child, I’d encourage you to consider keeping tabs on The STILL Project.

I’d encourage you to watch the trailer below, and to say a prayer today for families who have an empty spot at their table today that could be filled by a child they’ve had to say goodbye to.

So, today, help me leverage our loss for the greater good.  God’s heart is for those who mourn (Matthew 5:4).  Share this post, or the video above.

Point people toward this post: http://meredithannemiller.com/2012/01/09/the-world-has-stopped/

Or read and share this post: http://www.lauraziesel.com/2011/12/miscarriage-fertility-and-my-broken.html

Or share your story.  Our communities need to speak openly about this topic.

Today, I’ll keep loving my wife and my kids, even as my heart breaks.  I’ll pick up my son from school.  Help coach a T-Ball team.  We’ll cuddle on the sofa later and watch Charlie Brown movies together.  The echoes of our miscarriage still bounce off the walls of my heart sometimes.

Thanks for listening in with me.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Honor Your Parents: A Commandment

Anthony Prince Family

Honor Your Parents

A Commandment, not simply a “Good Idea”

I spend a lot of my life thinking about parenting and how families can best glorify their Creator with the lives they live.  So, because of that, I was recently asked to speak to our congregation about how the fifth commandment, to honor thy father and mother, should play out in our lives.  Now that the sermon is online (link posted below), I thought I’d recap here with some practical thoughts on honoring parents.

A Commandment

It’s good for us to consider that this command, to honor our parents, is included on the same list as do not murder and do not commit adultery.  As a command, we need to take it seriously.  The command isn’t something that comes with a clause at the end giving us the option to honor our parents at our discretion.  For those of us who seek to raise kids who honor God with their lives, we need to live lives that demonstrate this commandment in the way we honor our own parents and the way that we show honor to the other adults who are in our children’s lives.

On the Same Team

If you’ve heard me teach before, or have read this blog in the past few years, you know that I use the language of “partnership” when talking about the way that our church serves families in our community.  We can teach the next generation to honor their parents by joining their team and using language that shows that we value and appreciate their hard work.  For some ideas on how to best cast vision for partnership with other parents, check out this post:

Casting a Vision for Partnership

http://westcoastcm.com/2012/10/08/casting-a-vision-for-partnership/

Even with it’s Hard

A few people in my closest circles know that the last few months have been a hard season for me (and for my family).  When I had the chance to preach at our church, I shared some of my story – and what it looks like to show honor to our parents, even when they aren’t who we think we need them to be in our lives.

We tried a different approach to this sermon; our senior pastor spent the first half preaching on why we should honor our parents and I spent the last half discussing how it practically plays out in our lives.

Here’s a link to directly download the sermon 
The Spirituality of Family

Here’s a link to our sermons on iTunes
Glenkirk Church Podcast
(look for the sermon titled, “The Spirituality of Family”)

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Thoughts

 

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Partnering with Parents: Workshop Prezi

(pictured above, Westwood United Methodist Church)

Partnering with Parents

Workshop Prezi and LINKS

This weekend, I was asked to present a workshop on Partnering with Parents at a West Coast gathering for ministry leaders in the United Methodist Church.

Here’s the Prezi I used for the weekend’s presentation… which should look familiar because the content was very similar to what I presented in Chicago last Fall.

PREZI LINKOrange-ology: Turning Parents into Partners
(you’ll notice a shout-out to Orange in this workshop, because I wanted to pitch the Orange strategy to these leaders in a way that I felt would have been distracting at Kidmin)

Other posts related to this topic:

Reaching a New Generation of Families

http://westcoastcm.com/2011/10/13/reaching-a-new-generation-of-families/

Reaching a New Generation of Families: Redux

http://westcoastcm.com/2012/03/13/reaching-a-new-generation-of-families-redux/

Turning Parents into Partners: An Introduction

http://westcoastcm.com/2012/10/06/parents-into-partners-an-introduction/

Parents into Partners: Strategy #1

http://westcoastcm.com/2012/10/06/parents-into-partners-strategy-1/

Casting a Vision for Partnership

http://westcoastcm.com/2012/10/08/casting-a-vision-for-partnership/

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Kidmin, Resources

 

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