Reformed Grits


Respite
July 25, 2008, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m going to take a bloggy break for a while.  I feel the need to not be on the computer not so much as it really is a “time black-hole.”  I don’t know how long I’ll be gone or away but God willing I’ll be back. 

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The story of John Knox, conclusion
July 25, 2008, 8:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sure you will be all glad for this final installment of the story of John Knox.  Now go have a good cry and let’s all move on.  Life is hard; God is good. 

On the day he was born, we had already picked out the name John Knox–
knowing he died in

Scotland

it seemed appropriate.  Plus, we mistakenly
believed at the time that John meant “Beloved” and I knew that I had loved
him.  But I felt I needed to know when he
died… I think a mom just has to know… and from talking to my doctor about the
timing, I felt comfort in this:
 

 I have this vision in my mind of where I was
when he died. I won’t know on this earth exactly when it was, but if I could
pick the time and place it would have been on Dunsinane Hill.  I see it in my
mind like when someone you love comes to visit, and when they leave you walk
them to the car. You walk to the end of the driveway and wave until they are
out of sight. I felt like my beloved and I walked John Knox to the top of that hill
as he left in the arms of our True Beloved, who knows, even to the bagpipe
strains of Amazing Grace.

 

Sept 13

Today I was in the car
with the kids and they were asking what their names meant.  When I told JD that David meant “beloved” it occurred to me that if David meant beloved, then that meant John does NOT mean
beloved. Oh NO!  So I call Caroline and I’m
stressed over it, so she goes online to look up the name “John” to see what
it means.  She can vouch that I just lost it when I heard her say, “God is
merciful.”

 
Sept 14

…So it was even more
stunning when this morning I decided to try to find out what the rest of his
name means.  I expected to see “Knox” was just a family name of little
consequence.  I can’t tell you how astounded I was to learn that Knox… means
“hill.” 



I am just so thankful of how God comforts us by showing His tender hand in
every detail of our lives. It is amazing and comforting to me to know that I didn’t pick out John
Knox’s name, but that God had picked it out in every detail to fit like a
puzzle piece in the story of His goodness. “God is merciful” on the
“hill.” I am just so thankful.

What is the cure of suffering? 
Well, death, for a believer.  But
in this life he has given us an Ebenezer… a rock of help. 

 In the days after his death, a friend emailed me the words to the following hymn without even knowing my thoughts on The Rock.  I ask you, friend…

“Will your anchor hold
in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?  When
the strong tides lift, and the cables strain, will your anchor drift, or firm
remain?

We have an anchor that
keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fastened to the Rock
which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.”

Thanks for reading.  To God be the Glory.  His mercies are new every morning.  GREAT is His faithfulness.



The story of John Knox, part 3
July 24, 2008, 8:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is the next to last installment in the story of our little boy who we lost now 3 years ago on July 28th. 

The day we found out he died but before he was born and we knew his gender, I had the opportunity to write some things about what I was thinking:

July 27

I know how I felt
about this pregnancy.  I was not happy or
thankful or anything.  Ugh, and the guilt there is overwhelming.  It is crushing
me like a… millstone around my neck?  I wonder if in this evil heart of mine
I will ever find myself thankful… or that I might only cry with guilt. What
will it be like when I find myself face to face with this child one day and I
have to admit that I didn’t consider him a blessing but a curse.
I just hate myself.  I hate my selfish, shallow, stupid self. What kind of evil
person doesn’t just fall in crazy love with a baby?  I only had this little one for 17 weeks or so
and I couldn’t even muster up enough love in my hard, cold heart to love it for
just that long.

 
I was suffering big time.  Not only because of something painful God
allowed in my life, but at my own hands. 
God in his mercy allowed me to deliver this baby instead of having a D&C. 
Here is what I mean when I say mercy:

 

July 28, 2005– his birthday

I had times all
through the day
(while I was in labor) where I couldn’t stop crying, then times when I felt very numb.
The worst was one crying jag when I had sent my beloved for food and the nurses were
out. It was very cleansing.  I prayed from my heart more strongly than I think I
possibly ever had…  I poured out my soul and confessed all that
had been within my heart.  And I felt peace.

 
Never had I felt God
so near to me.  Never had I felt so
sad.  Never would I have imagined it
would have taken THIS to bring me “clinging to the rock of help.”

August 4, 2005

from Ps 61
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a refuge
for me,”

Please come back for the final installment of his story!  Thanks for reading!



The story of John Knox, part 2
July 23, 2008, 8:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is the continued story of our baby boy who was born into eternity 3 years ago on July 28.

Time marched on… I
was preparing to fulfill a lifelong dream of going on a missions trip to Scotland.  I was finally getting used to the idea of
being pregnant and having another baby when I had the lovely pleasure of being
hospitalized 3 times in 2 weeks due to what turned out to be…

 

July 08

My Ebenezer stone…

This will forever be
what we call the events of the last two weeks… Our Ebenezer.  You remember my
post where I recalled the story of the Ebenezer stone… and how each baby
brought one? Well, this baby has really brought forth a stone… probably less
than 10mm but more than 5 mm from what I have read about them.  Yes, you know, a
KIDNEY stone.  I have once more given birth…. this time to a rock.  It was born
this morning about 8:30 AM at St. Vincent’s Hospital
when I was having a stent installed in my left ureter.  Lovely.  If it weren’t
for the drat radiologist who refused to do a CT this could be over with and I
would be heading for Bonnie
Scotland next Sunday.  But now I have a hose in my kidney that will be yanked from my
nether-regions by a piece of string next week… in an office visit. Ah the joy.
I am thankful it happened here in America instead of in Scotland.  I hear the hospital haggis there is to die for!!!


Another
interpretation for Ebenezer is “Rock of Help.” 
Sometimes our suffering is self-induced because we refuse to submit our
plans to God’s will.  But in His mercy, He gives us His help anyway to accomplish His own eternal purposes.  God graciously allowed me to go to Scotland, which
pleased my will… but he had a bigger plan. 

One of the most
meaningful experiences of our trip was a trek up Dunsinane Hill.  We climbed to the top of this large hill, to
the strains of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe by a guy in a kilt. No kidding.  There we were treated to the most spectacular
views of what heaven must be like.  It
was an experience like no other, and it blessed all of us in ways we can’t
understand or explain.  We all “felt” it but none knew or understood why it was so meaningful.  As we descended, I picked 2 small flowers that are now pressed in my Bible, and I grabbed a rock
that I wanted to keep from there as my own Ebenezer stone.  I was so thankful for His Rock of Help. 

And then, one day after
returning home from Scotland at a routine doctor’s visit, we discovered that our baby of 17 weeks had gone
to be with the Lord.  There was such
crushing guilt… and suffering...

Continued tomorrow…

 



The story of John Knox
July 22, 2008, 8:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday July 28th is the 3rd anniversary of the day our littlest boy, John Knox was born.  Many of you don’t know his story so I’m re-vamping what I wrote years ago to share at our Women’s retreat.  If you’ve heard all this before then just skip it; I often feel the need to pull it out and remember it. 

Everyone suffers,
because we live in a fallen world. 
Sometimes we suffer because of the actions of others.   Other times we suffer because of circumstances in our lives.  But often we suffer at our own hands because of our fallen selves, and
our foolishness.  This is the story of my
own foolishness, my ungrateful heart and how God used it to teach me about Him and His steadfastness in times of trouble.

It started in the spring of 2005
when I discovered much to my dismay, that I was pregnant… again.  This was NOT my plan.  I was bitter, ungrateful, and angry.  Nevertheless, God in his goodness gave me a
verse that sits on my desk even today:

 “but as for me, the
nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell
of all thy works.” PS. 73:28. 

So this is what I am
here doing today– telling of all His works– because the work being done in me is by him, not me.

I tried to be
thankful about having another baby but “self” overshadowed.  I have a private blog that I kept years ago, and below I’ll share some things I wrote (in bold print.)  This entry, of which I’ve changed the names to protect the not-so-innocent, was shortly after I found out
I was expecting our 6th baby:

April 27

Have you ever read the story of the Ebenezer stone in the Old
Testament? It is one of those where God had the children of Isreal,
specifically Samuel, set up a monument that would testify to the generations of
God’s provision. It was a stone monument and He named it “Ebenezer”
which meant, “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”   We have a
“thing” with that story in the “Grits” family because years ago at
Thanksgiving, my beloved’s parents told the story and pulled out a rock that they
keep in their living room with the word “Ebenezer” on it.  It is
almost a running family joke now, and occasionally it turns up missing at
family gatherings and Mr. and Mrs. G have a fit.   “WHO took Ebenezer?”  
We all laugh and roll our eyes… but I have to admit I like seeing it there.  
Because I DO remember when I see it.
I think in a lot of ways, each of my children is an Ebenezer stone.   When I look
at Jojo I remember how God brought us through college, back home, and how we
longed to have a family.  Then I had a wonderful pregnancy, until he and I
almost died due to my toxemia.  I look at
him now and remember “thus far the Lord has brought us.”
With Sister, I
think of those hard years of having TWO babies.  We spent her pregnancy trying
to sell our townhouse and find a home big enough for us, part of the time
“homeless” and living in my grandparents’ house.  I begged God to give
us our own home before our baby was born, and graciously He allowed us to
close… while I was in labor.  “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”
JD’s pregnancy was just… well let’s just say it is amazing we have had
more children. I had severe depression for the second half, and then when he
was 5 1/2 weeks old I was hospitalized with meningitis.  I spent the next 3 or
so months wishing I were dead or that I could run away.  It was the darkest time
of my life.  But I look at my precious blue-eyed, grinning, freckled-faced
child, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “thus far the Lord has
brought us.”
Pooh pushed our family to capacity level.  We were bursting at the seams… 3
boys in one tiny bedroom. Chaos was the rule.  Laundry was not “+1”
but more like “x2”!  My oldest was starting kindergarten and I had a
newborn plus 2 others at home.  Plus I had started my job for the school yet once again, “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”
Sugie, who was a deeply wanted baby girl blessing for our family, was a nice fit
since the only space in the house was in Sister’s
room.  But we were still bursting at the seams.  Just a week or so after I
discovered we were expecting, a dear Christian sister told me that she and her
husband were going to finish our basement for us.  I absolutely burst into
tears, and before Sugie came the Lord added a playroom to our home which gave us
MUCH needed space for my children to play and for their toys. It was such
an incredible blessing, and I look at Sugie and think “Thus far the Lord
has brought us.”
So what is my problem? Why am I not finding joy with our new news?  Maybe I need
to swipe the rock from my in-laws and put it on my desk to remind me.  Are the 5
children I have not enough?  I sometimes think life is over the top as it is and
I know I can’t handle it.  I can see that I am weak and sinful and helpless…
but maybe that is the point.   Maybe He just is reminding me that He HAS brought
us and will continue to do so.
Maybe if this is a boy we could call him Ebenezer.
Mmmm, maybe not.

To be continued tomorrow…






(cough, cough)
July 21, 2008, 8:15 am
Filed under: I plead ignorance

I was telling this story to someone the other night and she mentioned it was blog-worthy… so here ya go, Penny!

I’ve mentioned that I was pretty sheltered and naive growing up.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  This world is a bad place, and it probably saved me from a lot of trouble to be shocked by sin.  I may have not been the coolest girl in school, but I really think it served me well in my Father’s eyes. 

Anyhow, I was a cheerleader.  And this did NOT make me automatically cool, I assure you.  I was not on the inside, and I can assure you I never got invited to any parties because of my ability to do a back handspring.

But for whatever reason, I got along really well with the popular kids.  The “cool” cheerleaders, etc.  And we talked– while we were at school mind you. 

And there were some kids who had REALLY nagging coughs!  I mean it.  I worried about them, and if their parents shouldn’t take them to the doctor.  Because, not kidding, they were constantly downing cough syrup.  (This is back in the day when you could take it with you to school!)  Well, I say they had nagging coughs.  I never saw them cough; I just know they drank LOTS of cough syrup.  And I worried about them.  Because of their persistent coughs.  And all that cough syrup. 

I’d see them in their cars before school taking some.  And during class.  At lunch.  At practice. 

That’s a lot of cough syrup. 

Don’t you think maybe they should get those coughs checked? 

Yeah, like maybe check those coughs into REHAB!!!!!!!!! 

Did I mention I was naive? 



Coming up…
July 20, 2008, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have preset some blogs this week for your reading enjoyment or for you to mock or whatever you like.  😀
Monday will be the next installment of “I plead ignorance” inspired by my great friend, Penny.
And starting on Tuesday, is a 4 part series that you will just have to wait until then to find out about.  I hope you don’t get so depressed that you never come back.  But it’s a big week for our family and sometimes I just have the need to talk about it. 
Stay tuned…!