As many of my loyal supporters and readers are aware, I have the privilege of speaking for various women's retreats and events. This past week I was deeply humbled to be asked to bring a word of hope and comfort to the ladies involved in an organization called The Still Remembered Project. If you are not familiar with this group, it is made up of moms who have lost their babies through miscarriage, still born, or early infant death.
When I was asked initially to speak I was overwhelmed with the invitation. I wondered what I could share that would be of comfort since I have not endured the pain of losing a child. However, I was given a word of encouragement by my dear friend who has suffered the trauma of this loss. I began praying, along with my husband, as to God's words of comfort and delivery. I realized it wasn't what I had to share, but what God desired to share through me.
Not surprisingly, I was the one blessed! As each mommy took turns telling her story about her precious bundle with tears flowing freely, sobbing as she explained her agony of not being able to wrap that child in a warm blanket and bring him or her home, I was touched to the core of my being by the Holy Spirit of God. I was reminded later by one of the participants of how Mary, the mother of Jesus, felt as she watched her son died on the cross and how God, our Heavenly Father, must have felt when He gave His Only Son to die for us. Has not our Lord, being fully God and fully human while on this earth encountered loss, hurt, pain and the agony we confront in these human bodies?
I was able to build a visual picture of how we need to strengthen our core; taking our physical core and relating it to strengthening of our spiritual core. Reminding these precious moms there is comfort in knowing their babies are safe in the arms of Jesus, each one anxiously awaiting for their mom to arrive. I pray moms crying out in anger to God realizes He loves them regardless of how they feel. Can you imagine that picture one day when those beautiful babies are handed to each mom by Jesus Himself to spend all eternity praising our Lord and Savior?
There are a lot of organizations and beautiful, hurting people out there, my friends. May God continue to expose those in need and give us wisdom, compassion, empathy and words of comfort to direct them to the only Strong Tower within whom we can find shelter and sure footing, Jesus Christ.
Please google The Still Remembered Project for additional information. What they do for those in fresh grief is amazing. Pictures are posted from this organization. If you care to support this outreach, please consider a donation or better yet, attend their annual banquet being held in April. I understand there are only a few seats remaining and they are already looking into a larger facility for next year's event. To God be the Glory!
For a delightful gift this past Christmas, my husband bought the 23 & Me Kit so I might determine my ancestry origins. It’s been a joke in our family for some time with Gary being 100% Italian and me, well, I’m 100% Southern. It’s like being a mixed breed without papers. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a southern girl and I know all of our ancestors originated in Europe, but specifics would be nice.
So, the kit was given as a gift and I proceeded to spit myself into oblivion in order to fill up a test tube of salvia without bubbles! It took a while. We carefully boxed up my precious spit and sent it off into the abyss hoping it would arrive in tact and that someone really knew what they were doing with the contents.
Then we waited. I received emails calculating what was happening with my non-bubbly spit and finally the email arrived with the results. And the answer? I’m 73.6% British and Irish! Go figure! That is a very high percentage for both of those countries. Although French and German had an 11.6% rate (I knew about the German because of my maiden name), it’s the United Kingdom and Ireland that flows through these veins with that southern cherry on top.
As a consequence, I feel indebted to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year. Never before have I donned those crazy shamrocks, purchased the green milkshake at MacDonald’s or eaten corned beef and cabbage, but I think I’m going all out this year being part Irish, and all. In case you hear a rendition of Danny Boy, it just might be me giving a shout out to my fellow blokes!
And no wonder I’ve always loved hearing the British speak in their native dialect. We share DNA! Ever heard a southerner speak with a British accent? Me neither, but I exercise with a group at the Y and one of the gentlemen in our class is British. I’m going to strike up a conversation with him next week being that we are co-British genetic code holders! After visiting London a few years ago, I concluded the food needed a little assistance. Now that I’m British certified through genetics maybe they wouldn’t mind a few cooking lessons from a southerner. We could serve their yogurt a bit cooler, splash homemade gravy on their meat and mound up pancakes with whipped cream and powdered sugar!
It’s been a barrel of fun receiving this information and given me a sense of urgency to locate relatives that still might be living in England or Ireland. But I am grateful to have grown up in America; the home my former ancestors struggled to reach; a land overflowing with freedom of religion and an opportunity to own property. But most importantly, I’m grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be sitting at this computer writing a blog giving Him honor and glory for watching over those men and women in my family’s past generations. They were the brave ones who aided in obtaining the freedoms we enjoy today.
Thank you, Lord, for giving my ancestors safe journeys into a land that would be called America, my home. Whatever DNA I possess it was specifically placed in that precious salvia and labeled for me. Amen!
Enjoy these British cottages, shamrocks and an Irish Blessing!