Thank you to all who have prayed for the family from our Church (The Kochans) who lost their sweet Avery just a few weeks ago to a tragic accident. Richard and I were able to attend the memorial service at church and help out with the picnic that was held in her honor after. It was a beautiful memorial service. Family and friends had put together an amazing slideshow to music that was playing before the service and a wonderful display of some of Avery's things (blanket, shoes, scrapbook, etc). It was numbing, painful, emotionally draining, and an eye opener. I was amazed at the strength of her parents who were able to share their love of Christ at her service and provide some hope and direction for those who do not have a relationship with Christ. Her mother spoke at the beginning of the service that they have forgiven because Christ came before, died and has forgiven them. They know Avery is in heaven and they are assured they will see her again. Does it still hurt? Yes. Do they miss her? Yes. But they know this was God's plan and they know God will be with them every step of the way as they grieve, hurt, and try to take it one day at a time as the reality sets in. I was humbled by their strength and ability to take an opportunity to share Christs love at their daughter's funeral! I can only hope if I am ever in that situation, Lord willing that would not be so, I would be able to respond with the same strength.
The same day that Avery was taken home to be with the Lord, Steven Curtis Chapman lost his 5 year old daughter as well to a tragic accident. Along with this, another family who has been healing from the loss of their newborn daughter who was born with numerous anomalies, lost a 2 month old nephew to SIDS. My heart has broken for these families and brought me to my knees in prayer and tears. I have held my boys so much tighter. I have also felt the Lord has given me a new perspective on life in general. Life on Earth is short. I know I will rejoice with Christ in heaven someday because I have a personal relationship with him. Do you know where you will be? I also know that my children are truly His. He has given me (and Richard) the amazing gift of loving, caring, and raising them in Christ as best as we can. I also find myself not caring as much about housework and instead want to spend my time with the boys. Along with this, the Lord has helped calm my fears and anxiety about losing our boys. This has always been a struggle of mine and the Lord is helping me give those irrational thoughts to Him. Love your loved ones while you can!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
A family from our church lost their 22 month old daughter Avery yesterday afternoon. She was hit by a car and passed away fairly quickly after this. Her mother and two older brothers witnessed the accident and now her family must find a way to go on. They are believers and are asking the Lord to be glorified somehow during this horrible time. Please keep them in your prayers as they say goodbye to their beautiful daughter and pray for strength to go on.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
It is official...we are moving North! Richard has accepted a job in Climax, MN teaching 7-12 grade. He is very excited for this opportunity and is looking forward to the first year of teaching. He will also hopefully be doing some coaching. I know he has loved being able to be home with the boys more and substitute teaching, but I also know he is looking forward to being a light in the school. We have spent lots of time praying, thinking, and patiently waiting for God to show us where to go and we feel it is to Climax!
Are we excited? YES! Will it be wonderful to be closer to family? YES! Is it going to be hard to leave Iowa City? Extremely! This is where we have made our home for the past 7 years, and where our first home together was, the birth of our children, and so many other memories we will have forever. We have been blessed with friendships that can't justly be described and the main reason we are preparing ourselves emotionally for this change. Fortunately, these friendships are ones we can continue to maintain long-distance, but this will still be difficult.
We feel God leading the way and are looking forward to seeing His plan revealed. I (Becky) will be working part time, most likely in the NICU at Altru, and am looking forward to more days home with my boys! We will keep you updated as the big move draws closer, but thank you for praying for us and please continue to pray that we will listen for God's wisdom and plan in a job for myself, daycare, and housing.
I came home this morning to quite a surprise...my baby is gone! He has been replaced by an adorable toddler with extremely short hair!!!! My 'Lijah Lou (a nickname I gave him as a baby) is missing and although the cute little man in his place bears some strikingly similar attributes, I miss my baby. Why don't they stay little forever?
Monday, May 12, 2008
Things I love about being a mother:
- Getting smothered in hugs and kisses by two adorable toddlers
- Watching my boys growing and changing despite my desire to keep them little forever (well maybe just for a long time)
- Hearing the excitement in their voices when they discover something new and just can't wait to tell you about it
- Being one of the most important people in their little life at this point
- Snuggling after a nap or in the early morning when they are still enough to enjoy the moment
- Feeling them crawl up into my lap to read a good book, needing to kiss them after a spill outside, and having two little guys anxiously waiting for me to get home in the morning from work
- Appreciating my own mother for all she has done for me the more I continue on this journey into motherhood
- Smiling when I realize I am becoming my mother
- How your clothes can look as though you've been wearing them for days and not minutes
- How much I love watching my boys sleeping
- Despite the days when I think I might go crazy, I wouldn't change this for anything
- That my husband is a wonderful Father and is continually encouraging me to be the mother God desires me to be
Friday, May 9, 2008
We just returned from a wonderful trip to California to visit Richard's family. His brother Tom, his wife Becca, and their 5 children live in Arbuckle, CA (just north of Sacramento). Richard's mother Irene also lives with them. We flew from Omaha, NE and were able to spend a week relaxing and enjoying family as Tom and Becca graciously opened their home to us all. This was the first time we were all together since right after Richard and I were married (almost 5 years ago).
After a few days at Tom and Becca's place we sadly dropped Grandma Irene off at the airport for a trip to Grand Forks to visit her brothers and sisters, and headed to Santa Cruz to meet up with Richard's sister, Jaime, and her family who were driving up from Lubbock, TX. Our reunion on the beach was surreal as this was the first time all 12 cousins were together. Despite the cooler temps, they played in the sand and ocean. After being spoiled at the Embassy Suites, we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium the next day. What a treat to watch all the kiddos get so excited about the aquarium life. After a day of fun we all (6 adults and 12 kids) headed back to Tom and Becca's place for a few more days together. It was a wonderful reunion and went too fast. Despite a few expected disagreements over toys and space, the kids played well together. The adults were able to get in a few quality conversations too! I will be posting some pictures soon. We hope it doesn't take as long for us all to get together again!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Hello to our Family and Friends,
We have created this website to help keep those we love updated on our family's adventures. We will be starting a new chapter in our lives and many new adventures along with that and wanted an easier way to keep everyone on the same page. Now you will have an inside look! Hopefully we will announce soon where God is leading us next. Thanks to all for your prayer and support during this waiting period.
Love you all,
The Dafoes (Richard, Becky, Jonah and Elijah)