Thursday, November 12, 2015

To honor Lucas......

Yesterday marked one year since our family was hit with the devastating blow of the death of Lucas.  It was such a shock coming off of the wonder and joy of his birth and being sent onto this path that we had never thought we would walk.  As November was approaching, Gwen and I talked about finding a meaningful way to honor Lucas' memory - something that the kids could participate in and understand.  We hit upon the idea of filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  This program lets you select a boy or girl and an age range and then fill a shoe box with toys and gifts as well as health items (soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, band aids, etc) and school supplies.  We decided that this would be a good way to share the love of Jesus in honor of Lucas.
I decided to fill 4 boxes for the youngest boys - ages 2-4.  It was good to purchase the small gifts and fill those boxes yesterday, even while feeling the sadness of missing Lucas so much.  It felt so right to be passing on hope and love for a child somewhere around the world.  
When my four boxes were filled (and I mean filled - I stuffed those boxes as full as I could get them) I was so happy to find out that you can actually track where your boxes go!  I was able to print a bar coded label that will send information to my email address, and I will know when and where my boxes are delivered.  I included a short note, some prayers and Bible verses, as well as a picture of our family.  Gwen's family also spent the day doing these boxes.  Six of them.  It will be interesting to see if we ever get any response to our notes that included our address.  

Yes, yesterday was a day of remembering and missing.  In the morning I went to my small group meeting.  I have said it over and over on this blog, but one more time.....I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS GROUP OF WOMEN!  Their prayers, their love, their support have been the glue that has helped me hold it together over this year.  They have listened and laughed with me and cried with me.  And they presented me with these......
Aren't they just beautiful?   When I look at these wonderful blooms, I see the faces of my friends.  Each of us growing closer to Jesus, each of us surrounded by the others.  Yes, we make a beautiful bouquet of fragrant prayers!  

So this year has passed and we have gotten through it.  It has not been easy, but we have done it.  Our family will always be missing Lucas.  There will always be that wondering what it would have been like.  But this is not something that is changeable.  It just is.  Yesterday I was reading another blog and I just resonated with it so much, that I decided to share it here....An Inch of Gray - Grateful.  
The writer lost her 12 year old son in a flash flood and she blogs often about grief.  I especially liked this blog, because I also feel grateful... in the midst of this last year.  It is another one of those things that just can't be explained.  

Next week I will deliver my shoe boxes to the drop off site and I will continue to pray for the little boys who will someday open those boxes.  I will pray for all those that handle these boxes along the way, and for the many other people who are putting together there own little boxes of hope.  If you want to be encouraged and lifted up today, take a couple of minutes to watch some of the videos on that Operation Christmas Child site.  They have story after story, of children who were impacted by the boxes they received.  It does make a difference and it is an easy way to send love to a child in need.  And it is a fitting way to honor our sweet little Lucas.  

Jesus, thank you for helping us to find a meaningful way to honor Lucas.  Bless all who are involved in Operation Christmas Child.  Continue to stir hearts to help and touch many through this project.  Thank you for flowers, for friends and for other blogs that bring your love and peace to us.  Thank you for your love and care surrounding our family during this year.  Amen

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