Monday, July 31, 2006


i took the girls to storybook island today. almost every one of the attractions, benches to sit on, etc. has a marker in front of it that shows it's maintained in honor or memorial of someone, usually children. an example would be, in memory of ashley marie, 1986-1989. do the math and you realize that those parents lost their baby girl when they probably least expected it. they most likely chose to donate to the park to make a blessing for others out of their pain, and to keep their daughter's memory alive. it's a wonderful thing to do.

every single time i've been to storybook island, i've encountered parents screaming at their children, complaining to them, fighting with one another as a family (today was NO exception, and even a little more disturbing than normal). of course lots of families are enjoying each other too, but the families in conflict always strike me as particularly heartbreaking when i encounter them there. mostly, it's because of those memorials. parents are yelling (even swearing) at their children for doing things that children do- they're lagging behind, running off, not listening, etc. not great behavior, of course, but they're children, they're five, two, seven, whatever age- that's what children do. it's our job to love them and encourage them to learn how to make better choices. i KNOW how hard it can be as a parent and how much kids can try your patience! i've failed to be the mom God wants me to be countless times, and these thoughts i have are just as convicting to me as they should be to any other parent.

what my heart is feeling today is this: if ashley marie's mom and dad could have one more day with her, i know there would be no fights, no yelling- only loving that sweet little girl as much as they could. they would hold tight to her chubby little hands as they walked and they'd stroke her fine hair, and they probably wouldn't mind at all if she spilled ice cream all over her shirt. they'd tell her several times how much they loved her and they'd let her play just a little bit longer before they went home.

any one of those parents could lose their children at any time. we never know what is ahead for us. those memorials are there to remind us of that, and i think we owe it to God first, who gave us these sweet children, but to those parents who've mourned and buried a child too, to love and bless our children, to enjoy all the moments we have with them.

i'm convicted of that every time i go there with my girls, and even when i'm not there, i think of those memorials often. they are burned in my mind and i can't get them out. i'm thankful i can't get them out. i don't want to forget.

1 comment:

About Brandon said...


Awesome thoughts! You and Jim are awesome parenting models for us all! Raising a family is an incredible gift and responsibility! You touch more lives than you'll ever know! Thanks for your influence!