Monday, December 15, 2008


Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.
He named it Ebenezer, saying,
"Thus far the Lord has helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12
For over a year I have had this idea brewing. Well, my idea is finally coming to fruition. Last Thanksgiving Anna was part of a worship dance at my brothers church. She and 7 of her girl cousins were a part of it. It was to the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." There is a verse in the song that goes as follows...

Here I raise my Ebenezer

Here by Thy great Help I've Come.

And I hope by some good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home.

So my idea has been to raise our own family Ebenezers. Just like Samuel did at Mizpah and Shem. He raised the Ebenezer, or rock, and said, "Thus far the Lord has helped us. " I wanted us to have a tangible, visible reminder of how the Lord has helped us. Little did I know how desperate we would be for His continual, moment to moment help this year. My thought was for us to incorporate it into our family devotion time at dinner or breakfast. I wanted to pick out different times in our life as a family that God has shown himself in outstanding ways.

So that brings me to last July. I had never mentioned the idea to Greg until then. We were up at my parent's cabin where there is an abundance of rocks down by the lake. I asked my dad if we could take some home with us. You can picture the look on Greg's face when I told him I wanted to collect a bunch of rocks and take them from Wisconsin to Missouri and then to Oklahoma. We were in the midst of packing up our whole life and moving... now we were adding a pile of rocks to the rest of our belongings. He was game, in the back of the minivan the rocks went.

The kids knew they were for something, they just didn't know what specifically. So this morning I finally brought in one from our front flowerbed and we talked about what we wanted to paint on it. On each rock we will paint a word to represent God for who He is to us in different seasons of our family's life. So today we painted COMFORTER on our first family Ebenezer. The verse that we are memorizing to go along with this Ebenezer (I love that word) is...

Jeremiah 31:13b

I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

This rock is to represent this time in our lives, a time of grief over losing our sweet baby Samuel. We are in desperate need of God's comfort. We trust His promises that He will turn our mourning into joy and give us gladness once again. When I realized that the verse in the Bible that is referenced in the song "Come thou Fount of Every Blessing" comes from the book of Samuel and refers to Samuel raising the Ebenezer my heart is touched. I will always remember we started raising our family Ebenezers right after losing our Samuel.

So the plan is to continue on with our rocks during our family devotions. This morning the kids were throwing out all sorts of seasons we have gone through... our time at the seminary when God was our provider, when Greg had his cancer and God was our healer, the birth of our 5 children when God was our life giver. We plan on putting them back out in the flower bed so anyone who comes into this home will know who we put our trust in and who He is to us. The kids were already discussing who gets to keep which rocks when they get older and move from home. Yikes! I told them they can then start making their own family's Ebenezers. I will try to take a picture of different Ebenezers that we paint.

During this time I think it will be a great for me to continually be reminded of all God has done for us. It is so easy for me to settle back into how I am feeling which hasn't always been real great these last 6 weeks. I have felt sad missing my son. I have felt uncomfortable as the tears can come at any time... (ask Greg they even come uncontrollably in the middle of Hobby Lobby). I have felt my empty arms ache to hold my baby again. I have felt physical reminders that I should be caring for a child that is no longer with me. I have felt despair when the reality of my loss sets in. I have felt lonely in the middle of the night when sleep is hard to come by. I have felt despair and hopelessness. And I have also felt thankful for my wonderful, ever supportive husband who continues to love me regardless of the peaks and valleys I go through each day. I have felt blessed to spend each day with my four living children.

God is still God, He is still seated on the His throne and the throne of my life. I will continue to put my faith in Him no matter how I feel. We will continue to raise our Ebenezers and thank our God for HIS HELP THUS FAR.


Lisa said...

Beautifully put, Sara. What an awesome tangible reminder. Thank you.

Beth said...

This is so cool. I never knew of Ebenezers. What would T think if I suggested bringing rocks back to MA? I may have to come up with a different plan, but if you don't mind, I would love to follow your lead. What a wonderful testimony.

Eric Hutchison said...

What a wonderful family tradition. Thanks for the little bible lesson too. I on vaguely remembered what the Ebenezer stone was. Come Thou fount is my absolute favorite hymn.