Friday, March 18, 2011

When the Answer Is: "I Don't Know."

 I don't normally watch the news at night.
I watch the weather sometimes,
and I look on the internet if I hear something important
or want to check things out,
but I just feel unsettled sometimes
after hearing the news.

There's been a lot going on lately,
with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan
and the deaths of those 7 children in a fire
on the farm in our state of Pennsylvania.

Terrible things.

I found them hard to fathom,
impossible to fully grasp.

I've read about people's fears,
and their questions,
misunderstandings and uncertainty,

I felt it all in my heart,
but I pushed it aside
with a quiet prayer
needing to accomplish the necessities in my own world.

We don't realize what our children listen to,

Violet wants details,
fears earthquakes.
She questions.

Levi at 4 years old
just asks me simple things lately.

"Mommy, who makes the wind?"

"God does, Levi."

"Who makes the moon and the stars?"

"God does."

"And what about the sun, did He make the sun, too?"

"Yes, Levi, He made everything."

"Does he make the wind blow different ways,
sometimes hard,
sometimes just a little?"

"Yes, Levi.  God knows what He is doing.
We don't understand everything, 
but God does,
and He has reasons for the way He makes the wind blow."

The other night I was working on this:

Working with clay is so enjoyable to me.
I never grew out of Playdough, I'm afraid.

It is relieving to me to form things with clay.

I admire God's skills in creating man
when I try to make things with clay.
After all, He must have enjoyed it, too.

 It makes my hands and lap
and everywhere I am working
quite a mess.
The video I was watching was over,
and the news came on.
I decided to leave it
so as not to cover the remote with clay.

Then, on our news station,
they began talking about the funeral for the seven children who died
in the fire this week,
I saw this:

(click the underlined writing to see the image provided by the Patriot News)

 Something inside of me broke.

The sorrow I'd felt for the people of Japan
the thought of these people burying their seven children:
babies they'd watched grow in momma's belly,
that they'd changed the diapers on,
tended to in the middle of the night,
sang lullabies to,
watched take first steps,
say first words,
read story books to,
enjoyed the laughter of
as well as
wiped away tears for countless boo-boo's.

And now they had to do this.

I just couldn't bare the sight,
and I began to cry uncontrollably.

I sobbed for their loss.

I wondered how they'd be able to go on.
How do you move past the sudden quietness of the house,
the things that may have at some moments
felt like tedium and constant demands?

And as I called out to God to help them
I realized,
I cannot understand
or know.

I cannot.

Only God can
and only He can help them through this.

But God spared them one child. 
And mom is 6 months pregnant.
They have a future where they might not have had any at all
if God had chosen to take them all.
And He could have.
They had all those memories and years of living with those kids.
God just wanted the laughter of those little ones with Him.

 It made me look with new eyes,...

making me see each moment as a treasure,...

a very unique gift.

 The days may sometimes seem long...

 dealing with their messes, noises, quirks...

 and antics,

 but I need to remember that they aren't really mine...

they are just on loan to me...

 to love...

and be loved by.

And for these gifts of the moments,
I am incredibly thankful.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
Psalm 127:3

Stuff and Nonsense


  1. It is so hard to stay positive when the world around us is in such turmoil, but one has to remain so and remember that Mother Nature is also responsible for the beauty as well as the devastation. A lovely thoughtful post.

  2. I heard about the 7 children on the radio last weekend and could not stop thinking about it. Like you said, how can they go on? My brain cannot fathom how it must be for them. Wonderful that you posted this. I didn't know she was preganant.

  3. Tanya, Your post today is so touching and beautiful. You have such a way with words (and clay). Blessings to you and your family.
    Linda Barnes

  4. We truly can not understand, but one day we will. We just need to remember that God loves us and he does have a plan. This is a thoughtful post and the pictures are priceless!

  5. Wonderful post!

    I certainly like what you can do with clay - - - if I could do things like that, I would still be on the play dough stage of life too!

    I hadn't heard about the tragic loss of a family of children in Pennsylvania - - - so sad.

    Makes me think of the story I taught to our KIDDs club at church Wednesday night - - - Abraham being willing to give Isaac back to God, even when having another son seemed humanly impossible.

    By the way - - - I'm not familiar with the college "letters" you gave me, which college was it here in Wisconsin???

  6. I had not heard of the children who were lost in a fire. Such a tragedy, and I am grateful that all of them were not taken. But oh, the depth of that loss and the sorrow accompanying it are unimaginable.

    The suffering in Japan is heartbreaking, too. It is indeed difficult to look at the news and see the devastation.

    A bright spot today is those beautiful clay flower you made...and the beautiful words you shared in your post.


  7. I'm glad I ended my day by reading your post...thank you.

  8. Such a moving, heart-felt post. I think the events of this past week have made us all want to hug our children a little tighter, and remind others of how much we love them. Peace.

  9. Like you I pick and choose what I want to read or listen to. My heart hurts for this family, this is so sad.
    God Bless,

  10. this is a beautiful post...and if we hurt for what's happening in the world...I think it breaks His heart even more.

  11. Beautiful post! Love your profile - I'm also a believer. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It means a lot to get a comment. I'm ultra new to this whole thing. I really appreciate it!

  12. There are so many things in this world that we cannot understand. I love the faith you expressed in this post and also the compassion you showed. This reminded me of a song we used to sing in church for many years but have not sung for years now. It's called Farther Along. It goes like this: farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up my brother, live in the sunlight. We'll understand it all by and by. These words have always been a comfort to me.

  13. What a great post. Although i am sitting here with tears running down my face..There is still hope.
    Thank you for having the right words to say!

  14. A poinant post. Thank the Lord for the hope in Him.

    Your son is adorable. I love seeing children read.

  15. Beautiful post! Found you on Spiritual Sundays. I will be following you now. And you're right, it absolutely is not for us to understand. We just need to find strength in God and trust in Him.

  16. I love the way you write. You say what I think so well. I am so sorry to hear about those precious babies being gone. And the news isn't something I watch anymore either. Hope you enjoy this beautiful Spring day.

  17. Hi FW,

    This is such a candid and touching post through the eyes of a mother. I like how you say,
    "I cannot understand or know.

    I cannot.

    Only God can

    Blessings and peace.


  18. Such a bittersweet post. It made me cry and smile but you're right. They are just on loan to us and we have to use the time wisely.


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