Earlier this week, we celebrated our daughter’s 1st heavenly birthday.
My son decided that Seraphina needed “balloons & hearts for her birthday”
On May 2, 2016, our 2nd baby went directly to heaven, a miscarriage that yanked the rug out from under me and sent me into a tailspin for the following year. You can read all about our loss of Seraphina here. (And, our first loss, Gale, here.)
The time following pregnancy loss, specifically when you had seen your baby on an ultrasound, who’s heartbeat you heard and cherished, and who’s presence you shared with loves ones aren’t easy. And, you don’t move on from the physical pain and emotional & spiritual suffering, as quickly many people think or assume you do or should.
Your entire world is now operating from this point of reference. You’re carrying this burden around with you that is unseen by the world at large. You think about it daily, especially during the time when your body is recovering from the trauma it has been through. It’s a daily reminder that your child is now gone.
I have a friend who’s baby was born about 10 days before my miscarriage. I was due to bring them a meal and meet the baby (and was planning to tell them about our pregnancy). That was the first big hurdle that was in front of me. The thought of seeing that newborn and having to tell them of my own loss was too much for me at that time.
And, that was just the beginning of a very dark year for me. Read More
In October of this year my wife, Liz, and I took a 10th anniversary trip to Florence and Paris. I’d been to both cities and was blessed to see many of the beautiful and remarkable pieces of art, faith, and architecture for a second time.
For the first time, we visited San Marco the home of the Italian renaissance painter and Dominican Friar – Fra Angelico. I had studied Fra Angelico’s work, and my favorite piece is his representation of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38). I had first encountered this piece of art nearly 20 years ago, but until this fall had never seen it in person.
When my wife and I climbed the stairs within San Marco and first laid eyes on the beautiful painting you see above, I was stunned. Though I had seen this work hundreds of times, I saw it as if for the first time again. And for the first time I saw the wings of the Archangel Gabriel sparkle. I’d always admired the colorful representation of the angel’s wings, but now I knew that these wings sparkled and shimmered in the light.
Saying yes to God, as Mary does in this moment, is always full of surprises. If you say yes to God, I guarantee that he has beautiful surprises in store for you. Even if you have studied and hoped for and anticipated your next move, if you make that move while saying yes and giving your life over to Christ, God will make it even more beautiful. If you have never said yes to God, I invite and encourage you to say yes, even in a small way, to God’s will for your life. If you do, he will make even a broken and painful life, beautiful.
On this the Solemnity of the Annunciation, I invite you to say one simple prayer – Yes. Say yes to God. Tell God yes. And let that yes be the beginning of a life of yes you give to God. I promise what he will do with that yes is greater, more beautiful than you can imagine
I watch a lot of HGTV. I really enjoy seeing all the awesome transformations of rooms, houses, yards that can be done in 30-60 mins. on seemingly endless budgets. I gather ideas for the day that our family wins the lottery or gets a huge inheritance from someone or that the Church starts paying its employees the same amount as movie stars so that we, too, can do great renovations and upgrades to our home.
But, in the midst of all that painting and remodeling are commercials for cleaning products, preparing meals, groceries, childcare, etc. And, often these commercials depict the men of homes as complete morons. You know what I’m talking about – the whole “I don’t know where the dishes go, so I can’t empty the dishwasher” or “I don’t know how to turn on the vacuum, so I can’t help clean-up” ridiculousness shown in ads.
And, I am sick of it.