Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Funny Fire Banquet!

As promised, here is my 21 week picture which I got Jared to take after attending his Fire Department Banquet!

Speaking of the banquet, something funny happened while we were there; at least I thought it was funny!  The hosting fireman was just getting everyone quieted down to start the evening when there was this super loud 'BEEEEEP!'  Then: "911 to Steinbach Fire....something something... structure fire...something... Please respond!"  All their pagers were going off in unison!   So they all left, leaving us wives, girlfriends, and 1 husband (his wife is the only female fire fighter on the crew) sitting alone at our tables!  I was sitting with 2 wives and we were saying how we really hoped it would be a false alarm or we could be sitting here a while!  Well lucky for us it was!  They came back within, maybe 30 min or so and we had a somewhat cooled down supper!

I have a whole new respect for fire fighters and all that they do.  They have to get up and go at any moment, fight a fire, or remove someone from a severely damaged vehicle, or save a life, then just go back to whatever they were doing before like nothing happened!  Like this last night, or more this morning around 1 Jared got a call, responded, came back to bed, then got up a few hours later and went to work!  Or earlier this week there was a car accident where extraction was required to remove people from their vehicles, one of whom was deceased.  How do you just resume 'normal activity' after seeing and dealing with something like that?  Jared was not on call for that accident, but he is on call for car accidents this week.

Oh!  We were blessed yet farther in the purchase of the Pathfinder!  When we received the Pathfinder and Jared was sorting out the final details and giving him a certified cheque, the man selling us the Pathfinder, gave us extra money to shampoo it as he hadn't had time to get it done himself.  That was really nice of him!  Then he added that him and his wife threw in a little extra for the baby!  Super nice!  We thanked him without counting the cash he laid down and they continued their dealings with changing the plates and such.  I counted it later and they had given us a HUGE gift in a 3 digit dollar amount! For some reason I feel hesitant to write the actual dollar amount on here, but WOW!

In other news, Jared wanted me to clarify that we bought the Pathfinder for more than just his work, as he actually will use it very seldom for that.  He will only use the Pathfinder for work when it's the only means of him getting there.  We also bought the Pathfinder, for the convenience of the car seat, and so I have options when he goes on fire calls.  We have to have strategies in place whenever we go somewhere or I'll just be left stranded!  The Pathfinder will also be a lot more convenient for camping  and trips, or just carrying around all of Baby's stuff!

Anyway!  I should go!  I have homework, devotions, and house cleaning to do!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Seeing Baby, Jared’s job, and Prayer to Pathfinder!

 I have so much to share!  3 very exciting things happened in our lives over the past few weeks!
1.        Seeing Baby:
Today I am 21 weeks (5 months 1 week) and my tummy is getting round! (I will get Jared to take a picture ASAP!)  I've been feeling the baby move over the last 2 weeks or so and Jared got to feel a kick just last week!  I was saying to baby: “Kick, baby; kick Daddy!”  Then Jared looked at me and said: “What are you teaching our baby?!”  Valid point.  But at this point, I don’t think baby can understand our speech.

Anyway, on Friday we had our first regular ultrasound! (We had one at just over 7 weeks, but baby looked more like a peanut than a baby at that point!)  It was really neat seeing the baby on the screen, moving, yawning, and sucking its thumb.  Most people ask us at this point: “Did you find out the gender?”  We did not.  The technician wanted to tell us, but I asked him not to.  So baby’s gender will be a surprise!
Baby Blatz profile, sucking his/her thumb!
2.        Jared’s job:
So there’s really 2 parts to Jared’s job as he technically has 2 jobs! 
1)       First, Jared was very excited to receive his pager for attending fire calls!  He still has more training to do and will only receive his level 1 Firefighter testing next November!  But there are still a number of things he is allowed to do on a call.  He was also given an emergency light for our car for when he gets a call!
It was very exciting this week receiving a call just as we were about to get into the car.  So I got to go along!  They call it ‘going in red’ when they have their light on, honking and going through red lights and all that.  It was pretty exciting!  Then, once at the hall, it was cool to watch them all gear up and pull out with for sure 5 trucks!  It ended up being a false alarm, but it was still fun to watch them gear up and head out!
2)       Second, Jared was offered a manager position at a finishing site!  In case you don’t know, Jared works for a hog company.  So he’s been there now for 3 weeks I think and is doing great!  He is in charge of 5 barns and 1 employee.  On one of his first days, his worker, who has worked at this site for some time already, pointed to our civic and said to Jared: “Is that all you've got?”  Then he explained to Jared how the road to the barn drifts up pretty good and our little civic would never make it through.  And that brings us to the next point!

3.        Prayer to Pathfinder:
So Jared and I have been thinking, praying, and talking about a second vehicle for a little while now, partially for easier car seat placement and partially for drifted snow days where our little civic might not get through.  So Jared did some number crunching and we figured out how much we could afford to spend on a vehicle and what sort of vehicle we could afford long term, specifically insurance costs.  There wasn't much in our price range.  We took a Mazda for a test drive and were disappointed.  We knew our budget was small, but we needed something we could rely on.  I stopped scouring kijiji for a few days and got some homework done.  Then Sunday morning I was up early and just thought I’d see if anything new had popped up.  There had!  I didn’t get my hopes up too much as most of the better vehicles were a good distance away and we don’t have terribly much time to be trekking out all over in the evenings.  When I clicked on the Nissan Pathfinder and looked at the map I realized that not only was this vehicle in our price range, insurance included, it was right close by!  Just up the street!  Big answer to prayer right there!  But it got better!
We were able to go look at it that very evening!  The man was so honest and upfront.  The first thing he did was show us anything about the vehicle that wasn't quite perfect.  He told us about work he’d done on it and all kinds of other things about this type of vehicle itself, he was a mechanic!  Then as we talked we also discovered that we go to the same church!  And he’d been in a cell group with Jared’s sister previously!
We took the pathfinder for a test drive and were quite impressed!  We came back to discuss price and they invited us in!  He gave us a great price and even offered a few extras like the hitch package, shampooing the interior and something with the rotors!  Then they invited us to stay for hot chocolate and games!  I saw their daughter and realized I’d met her before at church!  We played a game, wrote out a bill of sale, and before we left they prayed for us!

Now have ANY of you had an experience like that when buying a vehicle?


Monday, October 15, 2012

School if Ministers '12-'13

This is my class!  I should really be doing homework right now but I wanted to put this up here for anyone curious what my class looks like.  This is the silly picture, for the normal picture you can click :http://www.mysouthland.com/index.php/ministries/school-of-ministers/school-of-ministers-12-13

They set it up so when you scroll over the picture it switches to the silly picture.  Anyway.  I will get back to my reading now!

Year 1 2012-2013

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Another 5 weeks gone!  Wow that went by fast!  I almost forgot to take a picture!  But here it is:  Jaymi and baby at 15 weeks!  Unfortunately, the snow we had, melted before 'picture day' but the snow will be back long before baby is born!  This picture was taken on our deck and it actually wasn't THAT cold out.  Still a little too cold for short sleeves but I love this shirt (thanks Mom R!) so we made it quick!  This angle actually makes it look like I'm a little bigger than I actually am, just to clarify!

The pregnancy is going very well, I'm in my second trimester and I have mostly said good-bye to morning sickness and discovered heartburn!  At our first prenatal visit we got to hear the baby's heart beat through a Doppler device.  We discovered that our baby is quite active, even though I cannot feel it!  With the Doppler, we could hear a lot of kicking!  I told Jared that this baby must take after him!  Very energetic!  I really look forward to actually being able to feel the baby's movements!  What a miracle!

School of ministers is also going really good!  I'm doing a lot of reading which in the past I haven't found much time for.  But I have been learning a lot in my reading!  We're reading a book on spiritual disciplines which is really good.  The author has a great way of explaining things, like prayer, fasting and study...  obviously I'm not fasting from food right now!  No worries there!  I've also really been enjoying our  Bible reading.  It's a bit tough some weeks to get all the reading and reviews done on time, but what I'm getting out of it is really worth the effort!

Hmmm.  What else has gone on the last 5 weeks.  We're back into doing our children's ministry at church, which has been awesome!  We're doing pre-natal classes (a little early I know) which are also at church which is cool!  The lady has given us a lot of scripture and prayers to pray over our babies, which is really cool!  I'm still doing daycare for 2 awesome little boys.  Jared's still at the farm and goes to the fire hall on Tuesdays.

Actually just a week or so ago, Jared got to go on his first fire call!  It was actually a bit ironic!  The first week of October is 'Fire Awareness' week (or is it even the month?  not sure).  Anyway, the fire hall had planned an open house.  But when Jared got to the hall, he discovered that there would be no open house for him to help at, as all the trucks and firemen available were out!  There were SO many fires in our area that they were even calling in the rookies (Jared included) to come help out!  So Jared was sent to a bush and grass fire in Giroux area.  It was a really long day for him, but it gave us a taste of what's to come when Jared has his full Firefighter Level 1 and will attend more calls.  Here's a few pictures from the fires in our area just on that 1 day!  Unfortunately there were no photographers on scene in Giroux where Jared was.
2012 10 blumenort fire1
Blumenort bale and sawdust fire
Richer brush fire
2012 09 roseau river fire
Roseau River fireworks turned brush fire

kleefeld fire
Kleefeld field fire
vita house fire
Vita brush fire, turned house fire, turned town fire!  5 homes were lost in this fire which is actually outside of the Steinbach Fire Department's range but as other smaller departments went to help in Vita, Steinbach stepped in to cover for those other smaller departments.
So that's a quick snap shot of the last few weeks!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

10 Weeks and Fire Trucks!

So I am 10 nearing 11 weeks along (2 1/2 months) and feeling pukey!  But that is ok with me!  Jared was nice enough to take my first maternity picture so we have a 'starting point' to look back on.

I started School of Ministers on September 4th which runs weekly on Wednesday and Fridays. It has been SO AMAZING!  It's a long day and lots to take in but I am really enjoying it!  Our first few classes have been on things like, God's love for us, prepping your testimony, Intro to Old Testament Scriptures, Purpose of the Scriptures and Retaining the word.  It's been SUPER interesting!

I am really excited about this weekend and I'm not totally sure why I'm SO excited.  Yesterday Jared started  a driving course with the Steinbach Fire Department which continues through the weekend.  Today I scurried down the road to watch them for a while!  They were actually in the parking lot of our church.  It appears that they were practicing backing up the trucks and how to properly guide each other in backing up.  They had pylons all over the place, doing all kinds of turns and such.  I only watched for an hour but I took a ton of pictures!  I realized that all firemen look the same when they have their gear on!  Luckily they were not wearing helmets, so eventually I did figure out which one was Jared.

Engine 411
Jared driving Engine 411
Engine 412
Jared with some of the fire crew.  These men did not know I was taking their picture so I blurred out their faces just in case they didn't want their face posted on the internet.

This weekend is also my birthday!  Yay!  Not that I'm having a party or anything, but I'm looking forward to making cupcakes with this weeks' daycare kidos and bringing them to SOM to share with my small group.  Oh, I will also be visiting my Grandma, Auntie, and cousins this weekend which should be fun!  The long drive will give me a chance to work on my SOM reading!

But right now I should really get the floors washed and a load of towels done.  I hope you all are having a fabulous week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Discovering our 'Ferrari'

Well now that our baby news is out, I'm sure many of you are curious about how we found out and how long we've known...  I think this story is unique because of the journey preceding it!

First of all, I was late!  I know, sounds pretty predictable because you know the outcome of this story before I'm telling it, but stay with me.  My expected 'day of defeat' was August 1st.  Having been a number of days late in the past, just to be greeted by the 'dreaded red', I didn't think much of it.

We were on holidays at West Hawk Lake August 6-11.  We stayed in a tiny cabin at Tall Pine Lodge close to the lake.  We did a lot of hiking, some canoeing, swimming, fed some deer, enjoyed the jacuzzi and just enough relaxing!

Around Wednesday or Thursday I started to notice an uneasy stomach.  Amazingly, my first thought was not 'Maybe I'm pregnant!' seeing as I was 8-9 days late already.  No, what I thought was: 'I must have eaten something bad'.  

Reminder:  just a few months earlier, I'd been 15 days late and devastated by the dreaded red on day 16.

Saturday, 11 days late, still queasy...  I am DARING to hope, but still thinking I might just be sick.  I have one Dollarama pregnancy test in the drawer.  So I tell Jared: "Ok, tomorrow, I'm going to take that pregnancy test.  Here are your options for when I see the results:  1.  If I come back crying, I want you to say nothing, just hold me and let me cry.  2.  If I come back screaming, we're pregnant!  I'm going to want a big reaction!  Like: 'Woo!  That's awesome!' kind of reaction.  Ok?"  (Jared tends to be a little less expressive than me.  Not a bad thing, just different!)

So Sunday morning rolls around and I cannot sleep in.  I lay there awake... nervous...terrified...PRAYING!
I roll out of bed...
I walk to the bathroom...
Go fishing through the drawer for that crazy test...
I read the instructions carefully, I did't want to do it wrong (not much to it!)...
I followed the instructions EXACTLY, I even had a stopwatch going so I had the time perfect!
I prayed one more time...
I opened my eyes...
I opened them WIDER...
Then I found those instructions and read them a few more times!  I turned that test every direction to make sure I was reading this correctly!
YES!  2 beautiful bright lines told me I was pregnant!  I have never been so proud of my pee!
I went SCREAMING back to Jared and yelled: "Are you ready to be a Daddy?"
He said: "Yes!"  Enthusiastically enough for me!  WOOOO!  I was up for the day!  Not many words to my prayers now but THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

And then telling people!  Ooo that's fun!  Many people ask how I told our parents:
With Jared's parents, we pinned a little note to Abby's (our dog) shirt that said: 'Big sister, April 2013'  It felt like forever until they noticed!  I think Mom read it twice!  Then she said: "Jack, read Abby's shirt!"  And then we all erupted in excitement!  Lot's of: 'Wow!', hugging, and praising God!  Dad couldn't stop looking at me a smiling; Mom couldn't stop praising... It was great!  Even now that they've known a while I catch Dad looking at me and just smiling!

With my parents we'd planned a long time ago what we'd do.  My dad has been fasting from pop for the last 2 1/2 years or so, until we would conceive (or receive through adoption) a baby.  So I had a can of Pepsi in my purse.  We sat down and just chatted a bit.  Then Abby started walking between me and my Dad, back and forth.  I think she wanted help getting up on the couch but I used that opportunity to ask her: 'Did you want me to give this to Grandpa?' taking the Pepsi out of my purse and handing it to my Dad.  I had taped a little note to it from the baby to be cute, but the can was all he needed to see!  My Mom nearly stole all the air in the room (gasping) as she lifted off the couch and began hugging us!  The biggest smile on my dad's face as he read the note and came for hugs!

Telling everyone has been a LOT of fun!  Many awesome reactions and SO many hugs!  I'm a huggy person so I love that! I wish I could post all your reactions on here, but that would take FOREVER!  I have enjoyed telling each of you and it's just as exciting each time I tell it!  Thank you for all your hugs, emails, comments and praises to God with us!

Thank you all so much for all your encouragement, prayers and support!  Please stick with us on this new journey toward parent hood!  We'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Songs To Lift You Up

During this long journey of waiting, there have been a number of songs that have blessed me; songs that I sing from the depths of my heart, the words a cry and a prayer to God.  I would like to share a bunch of those songs with you now and I hope they will be an encouragement to you as well!

Also, please scroll all the way down to see lyrics and a picture at the end of this post!

'Praise You In This Storm' -Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

[Chorus x2]

'While I'm Waiting' -John Waller
I'm waiting 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
And I am hopeful 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
Though it is painful 
But patiently, I will wait 

I will move ahead, bold and confident 
Takeing every step in obedience 
While I'm waiting 
I will serve You 
While I'm waiting 
I will worship 
While I'm waiting 
I will not faint 
I'll be running the race 
Even while I wait 

I'm waiting 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
And I am peaceful 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
Though it's not easy 
But faithfully, I will wait 
Yes, I will wait 
I will serve You while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting 
I will serve You while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting 
I will serve you while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

'Worth The Wait' -33 Miles
I can see your heart is yearning
Everything is so unclear
Is the answer ever coming
After all these years
It’s not an easy feeling
Sometimes it seems unfair
But He knows just what He’s doing
With unanswered prayers
So hold on

It’s worth the wait
Just keep believing
God has perfect timing
Never early, never late
It takes a little patience 
And it takes a lot of faith
But it’s worth the wait

What if what you’re desperate for
Isn’t what you really need
What if there was something more
Than what you dreamed
We may not always see
We may not understand
But He knows just what He’s doing
He’s got a bigger plan
So hold on


In His time, you’ll be fine
All this waiting, now, is by design


In His time, you’ll be fine
All this waiting, now, is by design

'Blessings' -Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

'Stronger' -Mandisa

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain't right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you're asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you Stronger

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares


'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
In time it's gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

'Everlasting God' -Chris Tomlin
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

'All Is Well' -Robin Mark
He lowers us to raise us
So we can sing His praises
Whatever is His way all is well

He makes us rich and poor
That we might trust Him more
Whatever is His way all is well

All my changes come from Him He who never changes
I'm held firm in the grasp of the Rock of all the ages

All is well with my soul
He is God in control
I know not all His plans
But I know I'm in His hands

He clothes us now then strips us
Yet with His Word equips us
Whatever is His way all is well
And though our seasons change
We still exalt His name
Whatever is His way all is well

'Never Once' -Matt Redman
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

If you do not understand the meaning behind this picture check out my post  from November 29, 2010 called: 'The Road I Walk - a story to help you understand.'


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Special Blessings

I have been so very blessed! Waiting is hard and it sucks, but there are so many people around me who love us and care for us and have spent time praying for us!  This was evident a little while ago when a good friend of mine organized a day of prayer and fasting on our behalf.  She emailed many of my friends and family and asked them to take a day to listen and pray for us.  The response was amazing!  MD gave me a little booklet with scripture and pictures people had received during their prayer times.  It has been so encouraging when I'm having a tougher day, I can pick up that book and remember that I'm not alone in this!  SO awesome!

Then a few weeks back I was blessed again by my cousin.  We were at a family gathering and each of us grand kids had received a special gift from our grandma which came as a big surprise for all of us.  It was a huge blessing!  Then just as we were about to leave, my cousin gave me a gift which has been an encouragement to me almost every day since.  It was a small collection of Christian books about infertility and adoption.  One of the books was a devotional called: 'Longing for a Child' by Kathe Wunnenberg.  If you are dealing with infertility, I would HIGHLY recommend this book.  So often when I'm reading I think "Yes!  She gets it!  That's exactly how I feel!"  She offers a lot of scripture to encourage you, and short prayers.  Each devotion also ends with a few questions for self-examination.

Here are a few passages I have found encouraging over the last few weeks:
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
Psalm 38:9

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.  do not be afraid; do not
be discouraged. 
Deuteronomy 31:8

Then Job replied to the Lord:
"I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted,
You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know."
Job 42:2-3

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:4

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently
Romans 8:25

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mothers Day

I had thought about posting something on my blog when I received the following link in an email.  I do not personally know the 'Amy' who wrote this letter, but what she said I could very much feel along with as a 'non-mom'. I thought I would pass it along for others of you who can relate to her experiences.

To eliminate any possible confusion, I have posted her words in blue.

[  http://messymiddle.com/2012/05/10/an-open-letter-to-pastors-a-non-mom-speaks-about-mothers-day/ ]

An open letter to pastors {A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day}
Dear Pastor,
Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.
You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.
I set my can down and this is what I’d say.
A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful.  I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.
Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day.  A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.
Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.
Here’s the thing, I believe we can honor mothers without alienating others. I want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ.
  1. Do away with the standing. You mean well, but it’s just awkward. Does the woman who had a miscarriage stand? Does the mom whose children ran away stand? Does the single woman who is pregnant stand? A.w.k.w.a.r.d.
2.  Acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

3. Commend mothering for the ways it reflects the Imago Dei (Image of God) by bringing forth new life, nurturing those on her path, and living with the tension of providing both freedom and a safety net.
I know I might be an unusual one to be speaking about Mother’s Day; but maybe that’s why so many talk to me about mothering, I’ve got the parts, just not the goods.  Thanks for listening and for continuing to mother us in a shepherding way. Even though I’m a bit nervous to come on Sunday, I will be here. But if you make us stand, I might just walk out =).
Warmly and in your corner,