Tuesday, June 30, 2009



I thought I would share a few more photos with you from St. Louis. Man, we love that city... so many free things to do with the family. There are lots of wonderful people there too:) We miss them.

Praise God today was a better day... In honor of feeling better, can I share something crazy and really rotten that happened yesterday that just helped add to my crazed, sad mood? I know, I am a little weird.

I was on the way to church with 3 of the kids, Greg had taken Caleb with him earlier in the morning. I took the back country roads. I was low on gas, but knew I had time to stop to get some on the way. Right after a stop sign I got pulled over by a police officer. Honestly, I didn't know why he had pulled me over. He was not the nicest fellow. He sat in his car laughing and visiting with another officer that had pulled over behind him. Finally after about 10 minutes of letting me sit wait and squirm, he walked up. I nicely asked him what I had done wrong. He told me I didn't stop for the stop sign. I asked if maybe I didn't come to a complete stop? He said no, that I had blown through it. Honestly, I was completely shocked. I know that stop sign is there, I drive that road all of the time. Actually, it is kind of a bad intersection, so I am always careful there.
Now if he had said I made a rolling stop, I could have admitted to that, but to blow through it??? If I had done that, I would have blown through it at 40 mph... meaning I would have completely missed it. It was one of those Twilight Zone kind of moments. Were we really talking about the same situation? I was shocked, he was rude, honestly I had to wonder if maybe he wasn't a Christian, and maybe it was obvious that I was on my way to church. Even Louis in the front seat said, "But mom you stopped. There was other traffic at the intersection." Now I would be the first one to admit if I did something wrong, or was caught speeding, I deserve the ticket. But I wasn't going to argue with him. When he came up with my ticket, he had the guts to peek in my car and tell me that I better be careful with my kids in the car, that I better watch those stop signs.
It took everything in me to not just freak out right there. Obviously, I know he really doesn't care about me, my life, or what I have been through. But having lost one child this year... I am extremely careful. I usually am not an anxious person... but that is one thing I have been anxious about is losing another child. Good grief, if anyone is careful with their kids it is me. I home school my kids, I really watch what and how much they see on TV, I could go on and on. I was on my way to teach my son's Sunday school class for Pete's sake. Anyone who knows me, knows how much effort I put into raising our kids like Greg and I feel God has led us to at this point.
Well, needless to say, that had me totally fried. Thanks for lettting me vent... ahhhh, I feel a little better now. If anyone has any advice for me I would love it. I am going to go to court for it, mainly on the principle of it. He said I blew through it, and I didn't. Really, I think he had it out for me. Anyways that set me off, my gracious husband found someone else to teach the class. Thank you Rich! I was a total mess, it was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I am embarrassed to admit it.... but this previously very independent, have it together kind of girl, completely loses it sometimes. Having someone living with us for the past 2+ mos., knowing we will have someone who is getting to be noticeable pregnant living with us for the next almost 3 months, has had its stresses and challenges, living with all of the "what ifs" of what may happen with this whole adoption situation, still dealing with my loss of Samuel, the daily tasks of raising my family... can be enough. Add on some crazy situation and it can put me over the edge. It is not something I am proud of. I know I need to find a better way to deal with things when I encounter a situation that can get me to that point. I sat and talked with my dear sweet husband for a while and he helped me pull myself together. What would I do without him?
So tomorrow is a new day. Praise God for new days, new beginnings. I am longing for a new beginning. I am longing for complete healing and restoration. But for now I wait for HIM and HIS timing for HIS plan for our family to be revealed.
I know I have probably posted this verse before... but I love it, it is one of my favorites:)
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have HOPE, because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are NEW every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. Yet, I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore, I will wait for Him.
Lamentations 3:23-24

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A very sweet girl from my church sent me this video that she made for our family. What a precious gift to me. Thank you Jamie, that meant so much to me. I thought I would share it with you all. Don't forget to pause the music on the side of my blog so you can hear the music on the video.

So tomorrow will be 8 months since our precious Samuel left this earth for his heavenly home. 8 months sounds so long. He has been gone almost as long as I carried him inside of me. That makes me so sad. Somedays it feels like 8 years, somedays it feels like we had him here just yesterday. Oh how we miss him. I know I say the same things over and over again. I am just shocked with this journey of grief and how others expect you to cope. It is such an individual journey. Every person is different. Each persons circumstances are different. I am so thankful that the Lord walks this journey with me... but at the same time that doesn't make this journey a fun one or one I would ever hope to travel again. So I know in these 8 months most people have moved on and maybe think that I have too. Nothing could be further from the truth. My heart breaks the same way it did 8 months ago when I knew he had already died. It has gotten better in some ways. And in someways and on some days the pain is just as intense as it was that night when I laid in the hospital bed waiting to deliver my still son.

Just the other night both Jojo and Louis went to bed crying because they missed him. Jojo wanted to kiss the picture he has in his room of him and Samuel. He wanted to kiss his little brother good night. Louie kissed it too. My heart breaks for them still.

I had a brutal day today. I sat in the Walmart parking lot sobbing (yep it was an ugly cry), praying, screaming because I just wish things could be different. Some days it is easier to accept, and on other days not so much... not at all. Obviously, this is God's will for us, but that doesn't mean that I always have to like it, it hurts! So I really didn't have anywhere else to go, so I drove to walmart, walked the aisles because I left my purse at home, came out to my car and did part of my bible study and filled in some of a journal we were given in the hospital. I just needed to be alone. I know I am pathetic, I went to the Walmart parking lot... to be alone. It kind of makes me laugh just thinking about it. I cranked the air... because it is stinkin crazy hot here in OK. So after 1 1/2 hours I headed home. I can't really say I felt much better. Today is just one of those days.

I think I reach a point when things just add up and then watch out.... I am on the edge, and I just slip over. I can't describe the ache I have in my heart for my son. I feel like a part of me has been amputated, gone forever or at least till I join him in eternity. I am so homesick for heaven. Each day I live with out my son, it makes the ugliness and sin of this world more and more apparent. This isn't my home and my longing for my REAL home grows with each day.

To my son,

My precious Samuel, I miss you more than I can describe. I long for the day that I can join you in praising our Savior. Samuel you will always be such an important part of our family. We will never forget you. We talk about you every single day. I am so thankful for the 9 months and one day we had with you. We treasured that time with you. Even though the pain of not having you here with us is so real and fresh still, I would do it all again, just to have had that chance to be your mommy for those 9 months. It was worth it. You were worth it. You were God's perfect, beautiful creation for our family. We miss you sweet boy. Until I can hold you in Heaven...

Thursday, June 25, 2009






Well, we are back from St. Louis... it was too quick. Honestly, all day I kind had a pit in my stomach as we drove back. I miss the life at the sem. and all of our friends there. I think part of it is that we have just had such a hard year since we left there that we remember life there as pretty carefree and happy. (I know I wasn't the one studying like crazy:)
Now life is far from carefree. Sometimes the reality of my life just hits me like a ton of bricks. We can't go back, we are forever changed. The ignorance and bliss of life is gone. I want to embrace this new life we have. But honestly it can be difficult. Each day is not easy, and it takes perseverence and determination just to get myself out of bed some morning. Not to mention all the prayer:) I continue to pray that the Lord will guide us as we journey forward as a different family than we were last fall. I pray he will use the pain we have gone through to somehow bring him glory.
I have such a way of getting off track...
I knew when we were living there, at the seminary, it was kind of like living on this Christian island, certainly it wasn't perfect, and certainly not real normal life. But it was such a good life, such a precious time for a few years. I remember thinking before we went to the sem. that we were pretty much going for Greg's education. I never could have anticipated making such incredible, precious, life long friends there.

Right when we arrived it was about 7:30 on Sunday night... Yeah!!! Just in time for Ladies Night Out. When we were living there a group of my friends would try to get the kids down for the night, or at least close to it:), and then we would head out for a couple of hours. It was such a precious time each week... so shortly after we pulled in we were able to get together with those that were still at the sem. A lot of the families have already left for the year, but it was so sweet to be together again with some of them. I know I am a sap, but for me it was so wonderful to be able to sit, laugh, talk, share, and just be together.
Our friends were so sweet to arrange their basement so we could all eat together in the evenings, the Boggs, the Hayters, and our crew. It was such a great time of just getting to hang out together like old times... I know I am getting all sappy again:) You know those friends where you just pick up right where you left off, that is how it is with them. And we so treasure our friendships with them.
It was soooo hot and humid... like CRAZY hot, but the kids loved getting to spend time with their friends again, playing games inside, splashing around in the water and just being together.
On Monday morning we went to the zoo. On Tues.-Wed. I got to go the home school conference. We tried to see a few things while we were there since our birth mom had never been there. Greg took her and the kids to the arch and Grant's Farm. It was so nice to have Greg with us, I had planned on going by myself with the kids, but it was so much nicer having him with us. We desperately needed that family time.
So we headed home today... shed a few tears saying goodbye, as usual. We pulled in around 4:15 and our company arrived at 5:00. Yeah, we are so happy to have the Stinettes here with us for a couple of days. They are headed to their vicarage in Texas so they stopped on their way down. We are so thankful these days for the distraction of having company and being busy. Normally, I love company, but don't necessarily like being super busy. But right now it feels great as we sort of look towards September with anxious hearts.
I will try to share more pictures and more about the conference soon. Ahhh, heading to bed in my own bed tonight:)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We are all exhausted, but happy! We will be off to St. Louis tomorrow... still trying to pull together all of the packing....Yikes!

We had our Waiting Families workshop this past week for the ministry we will be adopting through. It was really great, but emotionally exhausting. We covered everything from the birth mother's heart, the hospital stay, trans racial adoptions, interrupted adoptions, the legal part of adoptions, drop off babies, etc. There were times throughout the weekend that I thought... How did we get to this spot, how did we arrive here at this point in our lives? It just seemed shocking, then there were moments of pure excitement, fear, and moments of feeling that this is really God's will for our family.

Let me explain part of the reason why we feel this is God's will for us...

We have always had adoption on our hearts (I will share more about that in a later post:) but after losing Samuel we thought maybe it was God's will for us now... In January we sent in our application and completed our homestudy and lifebook in February.

At the end of April, almost 2 months ago when we received an email from the director of CPO(Crisis Pregnancy Outreach), that they were in need of a host home (outside of the city) for a 15 year old pregnant girl. We felt the Lord tugging on our hearts. It was unexplainable. I have had so many emotions since losing Samuel which have made being in certain situations incredibly difficult, one of those difficult situations is being around pregnant women. (When there is a deep desire in your heart for that and it NEVER comes easily and sometimes comes with much help, you know that it probably won't just happen for you, like it does for most. Now I know this is all in God's timing... I get that, but that being the case doesn't just take away certain difficulties for me) I wondered how could I do it, have a pregnant girl living in my home, yet we felt led to let her stay with us. I even told the director that I wanted to be up front and honest... I didn't know how I would feel as she got bigger. I didn't know if I would be able to handle it. So we agreed to just do it for a time and see how I felt down the road a month or so. There have been a few rough patches but really it is by the grace of God that it has for the most part been a great situation having this young girl here.

So we opened up our home to this sweet, precious young girl about 2 months ago. She is a delight, and the day she came I told her and her mother that there was in no way any part of our minds or hearts that had her come here in the hopes of getting her baby. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY! Greg and I agreed fully that we had to just take her in and hope to love her and help her through a difficult time. We spent the first 2 weeks just getting to know each other. She is a sweet heart. We were able to have lots of great conversations and she was very open and honest with us. It was kind of fun to hear from a birth mother, her desires and heart.

Well, one evening a couple of weeks after she arrived here, Greg and I were sitting on the couch late one night. We were laughing because of all that this girl experiences with us. She sees us all disheveled when we wake up, she sees us discipline our children, she sees the kids getting at each other occasionally, the craziness of the kids, and she sees all of the love we have for our kids. She sees it all! We both agreed that there was probably NO WAY that she would ever consider us, and we were both totally fine with it.

Well the next morning at breakfast she just kind of blurted out... "Miss Sara, you know how you said you didn't mind having an African American child, well I would like you to have my baby." I was shocked quite honestly. In all of our conversations over the previous couple of weeks she had said that she was looking for a family with either 1 or no children. So I asked if she wanted to interview the other families that she thought she would interview, and she said no. I called Greg right away... he was just as shocked.

So we just kind of let it simmer for a week or so. She kept bringing it up and I spoke with her mother about it. After about a week she told me to let the director know that she had chosen us. We just mentioned it to the kids last weekend. Obviously we are all thrilled about it. But yet we are very guarded. Our hearts have been broken and we are still reeling from the loss of our Samuel, but could this be the answer to our prayers? The tough thing is... we just don't know.

I have been able to really share my heart with this young girl, letting her know we would be absolutely thrilled to raise her baby. The other side to that fact is that we just recently had a tremendous loss and hurt to our hearts... all of our hearts. Greg and I are so fearful for our own hearts but even more so for our children's. They have already lost a brother this year... could their hearts be broken again? Obviously there is always that possibility. But I have told this sweet young lady that if she is at all having feelings along the way that she might be changing her mind to please just be honest and let us know right away. I explained that although we would be thrilled... at the same time with all we have experienced with Samuel we are not ready to pull our all of the baby clothes again, baby blankets, the bassinet, the whole nine yards, we don't want to get it all out until we have a baby in our home. That is our hearts desire... another child in our home. But I am not sure that our hearts could survive packing it all up again. She has seen the daily struggle with our sadness over losing Samuel and our everyday joy of life as a family so I think for the most part she understands our situation.

We fully trust that God knows our future child or children, where they will come from, my womb or another woman's. We want the child that He has for us. So with that being said we know that if this is the baby God has planned for us we will receive it with extreme joy in our hearts and if it doesn't go that way... we will know that this wasn't our baby. I say that easily, but know that if that is the case it won't be an easy thing. So we guard our hearts, we are cautiously optimistic. For now, we want to continue to share God's love and our love with her. That is part of our ministry right now and if we end up with a baby at the end of it... that would be a HUGE bonus.

We know that in NO WAY would this baby replace our Samuel. We hope and pray that people will understand that this baby may fill our arms, but that we will still miss him tremendously and are still grieving the loss of our son Samuel and his place in our family.

So with all that being said we ask again for your prayers. Please pray for God's will to be done and that we can enjoy our summer and time with this precious birth mom. Please pray that the Lord will bless our relationship with her. It will be an open adoption should it all work out as planned:) Please pray for the Lord's protection over this sweet girl and the baby in her womb. Please pray for peace for our whole family as we wait and for wisdom for Greg and I as we go through this new experience with our kids. Thank you so much for praying!

So we wait... Will Anna be a big sister?

and will Louis, Caleb, Jojo and Samuel be big brothers...

to a sweet precious BABY GIRL this coming September?

Only God knows... and we trust in HIM!

Friday, June 19, 2009





For the first time Greg and I watched the video he took of Samuel at the hospital. We maybe have 1 minute of video. I had to watch it over and over and over again. I so regret not taking more video, why didn't we? In the video it was just maybe 10 minutes after he was born. I look totally calm and normal, wierd, can you say shock?

To see him being stroked on the head, face, chest and hand by my midwife and Greg and to see no response from Samuel.... oh it makes my heart hurt. Greg commented that he just couldn't get over how quiet it was. Greg says he just has that same vivid picture in His mind of Samuel. I don't, I really can't remember in my mind what he really looked like, kind of, but not completely. Oh that makes me sad, as much as I was trying to sear that memory into my mind... I think my mind was just out the window that day. Our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer did an excellent job editing the pictures to make his skin not as noticably dark. But I love my color pictures too, because to me they look more like him. Does that make sense? The color pictures really look like him.

So here are my random thought for the week:

Sunday I almost choked on my communion wine because I was crying so hard. Yep, I am an ugly crier:)

I got so much less done than I was hoping to while the kids were at VBS this morning. I did get a run in though:)

Most of the baby bunnies are gone except for one the neighbor mom is going to get for her daughter. Caleb called and left a message for the mom yesterday, "Miss Tommy, Savannah's package is ready for you to come pick up anytime." Her package??? He is so funny:)

The other day JOJO wanted some powder on his rear, (I know this is probably too much information but this is how he asked, "Mom, I want some fertilizer on my crack." Really, I am serious, fertilizer??? and crack??? This kid cracks us all up.

One step at a time, one day at a time, laughter, tears, and all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009





So tonight I find myself feeling a little strange... feeling in a way I wasn't really expecting. The sweet pregnant girl who is staying with us is not here with us this week. I had told her mom that she would be alone A LOT with Vacation Bible School at church every morning this week and then our Waiting Parent's Workshop Thurs. - Sat. pretty much all day every day. She is staying at the Transitional Home that our agency owns. The more I learn about the agency we are working with the more I am amazed at it. It is purely all volunteer, every single bit of it. That helps to keep adoption costs down, but wow, what they do for the girls who are in crisis is inspiring. The transitional house is a great house with a delightful house mom.... really, she was so sweet. She takes great care of the girls and her love for them is so evident. Girls that are pregnant or just had babies stay there till they are ready to go back home or to a new home. I am praying that she has a great week there...
But the strange thing is... I find myself missing her. When she left, Louis kept saying, "Why does she have to go?" I kind of laughed at the time... but then I started to think... Good grief what is going to happen come Sept. after she has the baby? She does have a life that she is planning on and is excited to get back to. I know we will see her after she has the baby, but it will be really different not to have her here like she has been. I know we will enjoy this time with just "our Hintz Family". It is really nice to just be completely free... well not completely, but you know what I mean... be completely at home in your own home:) So we will enjoy it, until we lovingly welcome her back this next weekend. So many adjustments for all of us.
So she will come back on Saturday and then we will all head to St. Louis on Sunday. I can not tell you how excited I am to go, we all are. She has never been there so it will be fun to show her our old stompin' grounds.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


I think I have finally gotten used to the fact that Samuel isn't with us.

I don't like that, and it doesn't feel good.

Sometimes just that fact alone can freak me out a bit. I have gotten used to the fact my son has died... did it really take me almost 8 months to get used to that idea?

I should be changing dirty diapers,
comforting him as he nurses,
seeing him scoot and crawl around,
watching him giggle at his precious brothers and sister,
admiring him as he sits in his daddy's lap during dinner,
(that is one thing my sweet hubby has always done, hold the babies during dinner... so I get a chance to eat, how I miss seeing our precious baby in his arms:),
There are so many things I should be doing with my son. (I know I sound like a broken record... but I guess I keep feeling and thinking a lot of the same things I have been for the last 7+ months.)

What I mean by the fact that I am finally getting used to it is that I am finally used to the fact that my life has completely changed. He really isn't here like we thought he would be. I am not spending my time caring for my baby like I thought I would be. And my mind is always kind of thinking about him... sometimes so fresh and raw on the front burner in my mind, sometimes just below the surface, and sometimes thoughts of Samuel are just subconsciously there. So much has changed, life is SOOO different than I ever anticipated my life to be.

I am finally getting used to him just not being here, a daily physical presence with us.

I am finally waking up and not feeling like I should have a baby to care for, I wish I did, but the fact that I don't is starting to feel a bit more normal. Those first few months when you have all of the physical reminders of your recovery that make it PAINFULLY obvious that your baby is gone and things are not as they should be. I thank God that now there are less of those physically painful reminders. I would say that some days, my heart still aches like I never thought it could. And my arms do still physically ache to hold my son. But mostly now it is more just the mental reminders.

For months after Samuel's death, because we had loved, planned and anticipated him for 9 months, I just felt like I was forgetting something, someone. When we would head to the grocery store I would count heads, where was the baby? I felt like I had forgotten him at home. I had planned, thought out trips to the grocery store, trips to soccer games, sitting in church with 5 little ones alone. It all seemed so not what I was anticipating and had planned for.

Now going to church with just the 4 kids is starting to feel normal.

Now, heading off to go shopping with just the 4 is starting to feel normal.

Now just counting heads for 4 is starting to feel normal...

It doesn't feel good, but it is starting to feel normal.

I still ALWAYS feel like someone is missing, I think I always will.

But even that feeling of someone missing is starting to feel normal. How can my life be one, where knowing my son is with his creator before I made it there, is normal...

So we settle into the "NEW NORMAL"
We are trudging ahead one step closer each day to eternity.

We enjoy the simple pleasures of life... family walks at night, constant checks of the garden to see is anything new is popping up... reading books together....

Our "NEW NORMAL" is a life missing our precious Samuel EVERY single day,
it probably doesn't seem normal to most others...

But it is "OUR NEW NORMAL"

Some days I am OK with the NEW NORMAL.

Other days I just hate it... I know my mom wouldn't like that I said that word...hate... I really do reserve it for things that I truly hate, I don't take using that word lightly.... But really, some days I don't just dislike the fact that Samuel isn't here... I hate it.

So I guess I end this post thinking... I sound more confused than ever... We thank you for your prayers. They are so appreciated... and as you can tell, still so very needed. I miss him so badly today!

Friday, June 12, 2009




Nebraska is beautiful. I don't know if I have ever seen Nebraska except for maybe driving through it as a kid. I thought it would be all corn fields and flat land. But it was so pretty, green, rolling hills and so many trees. And the little town of Seward was just so charming. Lots of older homes with amazing porches. It even has the cutest little old town movie theatre. We loved it. Greg will finish up his class tomorrow and will head home shortly after... Jojo said today, "I want my papa at home:)"
It was really nice to get away for a bit, even if it was a really short trip. We were so blessed to be able to get together with our dear Seminary friends brother and sister-in-law, Seth and Megan. They were so very sweet to have us all over for dinner. It was great getting to know them. They were so gracious in asking about Samuel and wanting to get to know more about him and our time with him. I can't tell you how much that touches me, someone who is just getting to know me, but still wants to hear about our son who is gone. They were sweet sweet people and we are so thankful for the prayers that they have prayed for us over the last months. I just love how the body of Christ can do that for one another, you don't REALLY have to have known each other forever, to be the hands and feet of Christ in the flesh for someone who is hurting.
So when I came home in my mailbox was the photo book that was pictured above. I LOVE IT! My sweet friend Heather from up north had it made for us. She too lost a son, her first child many years ago, sweet baby Noah. The book was so neat. It had pictures of our WHOLE family in it. Samuel is splashed through out the whole book. Just like he is a PART of the family. I know he is... but I know many others, because they don't see him, and we lost him so early in his life, they certainly don't think of him as the BIG PART that he is. I think most people have moved on, and think that we have too. Nothing could be further from the truth. I still miss my son just as much as I did last October 30th when we left the hospital without him. So to see all of the kids with Samuel and all of the pictures of him with pictures of the other kids, all such important parts of who we are as a family just touched my heart.
What a sweet and precious gift. I just sat at the table crying... that someone would be so kind as to do that for me, acknowledge my sons important part in our family was so wonderful. She was the same person who sent me a letter a couple of months ago telling me all of the ways that Samuel has touched and changed her life. Wow, that is ALL I want is for people to not forget my son, not think that we have forgotten him or moved on, to value his short precious life, and for his life to have had meaning. We know it has great meaning to us, but when someone else shares that, I can not tell you how wonderful that makes me feel.
My friend Becky too just mentioned when I was talking to her on the phone, how our whole situation with Samuel has made her look at things so differently. She said her eyes have been opened to others who maybe need someone to reach out to them. Wow, sweet words of how my sons life HAS made an impact on others outside these walls of our home. I was so thankful that those 2 women took the time to share that with me.
So we are off to another Christian concert by the river walk, John Waller who sings the song, "While I'm Waiting" from the movie fireproof. We have Vacation Bible School and the waiting parent's workshop for the adoption agency we are working with next Thursday through Saturday. Then Sunday, the kids and I will be off to St. Louis for 4 days. We will hit the home school conference there and stay at the Seminary. We are so looking forward to seeing our friends there... many of them have left already but a few special friends are still there. It will be a busy next couple of weeks. I am actually REALLY thankful for the busyness of it all.
I can't believe that it is the middle of June already. I have never been one to wish the time away. But I do find myself just wanting to get through this first year without Samuel. I am ready for the firsts to be over... I know that really won't make much difference but for some reason in my mind it is a comfort to know we will have made it through, survived, the first year with out our son. And we are one year closer to spending eternity with him and our Savior. So thank you for your continued prayers for us. We are clinging to the HOPE that we have in Christ each and every day... and I do mean clinging:)

Monday, June 8, 2009


I received the following in an email from a friend at church who worked in Hospice. It was an eye opener for me. I know how I am feeling but I can't always describe it... This described it for me. I grieve for my son everyday. My sister laughed the other week when we talked. I had told her that I still haven't made it through a day without shedding tears over our loss of Samuel. She asked what makes me cry. I went on to tell her, it might be a song, looking at his pictures, something someone says to me, or something nice that someone has done for me, or just my empty arms aching. We both agreed it might be MANY more months until the tears stop falling on a daily basis. So I grieve deeply for my son, but I am also mourning... I never really understood the difference until I read the following:

“Let’s remind ourselves of the importance between the terms grief and mourning. Grief is the internal thoughts and the feelings of loss and pain, whereas mourning is the outward, shared expression of that grief – or grief gone public. All bereaved families grieve when someone they love dies. But if they are to heal, they must have a safe, accepting atmosphere in which they can mourn.”

“To companion the bereaved means to be an active participant in their healing. When you as a caregiver companion the bereaved, you allow yourself to learn from their unique experiences. You let the bereaved teach you instead of the other way around. You make the commitment to walk with them as they journey through grief.”
Alan Wolfelt

The above quotes recognize that we need each other when journeying through life’s losses and this includes our need for God as well. This past Memorial Day marks a day of remembrance for those living and for those who have died. It is through the life experience of bereavement that we realize how important remembering is to the healing of those who are grieving. It is in the remembering that we attend to our grief. The phrase “time heals all wounds [our grief]” is a myth. Like any wound, it takes time to heal, but the healing usually does not happen without careful attention. The careful attention of a physical wound might include cleaning, debriding, stitches, and the application of medicines. In the same manner, the careful attention of someone with an emotional/spiritual wound like grief would include:
*Remembering the one who has died in his/her fullness (things he/she did well and not so well)
* Honoring and accepting the pain (tears) of the loss of the individual
* Remembering that the healing process leads us through the grief, not away or around it
* Learning to adapt to the major changes in life (there is no getting back to normal — whatever normal was)
* Walking through the grief with others at times and sometimes walking alone (yet always knowing that God and other trusted loved ones continue to be a resource)
* Realizing that the grief work does not get easier ­— we adjust, though, and get stronger in dealing with life.

Thanks for letting me share that with you. I am praying it helps you in your interactions with those around you who are grieving and mourning.

Peace and Love in Jesus<><

Saturday, June 6, 2009


We will be bugging out of here tomorrow after church and heading to the big state of Nebraska. Greg will be taking his class and the kids and I will be finding fun things to do around Seward and Lincoln. We were even invited to have dinner with my sweet friend Becky's brother and sister-in-law. We are really looking forward to that. How kind of them to invite us strangers:)

So we hosted the neighborhood block party tonight. One of our routines is to take a family walk each night. So when we first moved in if anyone was outside we would introduce ourselves and visit with them a bit. I was amazed that it seemed like many didn't know each other even though they lived next to each other. Greg and I have been saying that we needed to do this since shortly after we moved in. Then when everything happened with Samuel dying, entertaining was not high on the priority list... Heck, I could barely get dinner on my own table. I didn't actually for a good month... others did.

It was beautiful night, besides the crazy Oklahoma wind. We only have 16 homes in the neighborhood so it isn't real big. And we had a great turnout. The kids had a blast playing together and all of the adults REALLY visited with one another. Everyone was mingling and getting to know each other. It was great. Everyone even wanted to do it again... so that was good... mission accomplished. I learned a lot more about many of them so that was really nice. With having little ones, getting to know my neighbors has always been a priority for me. We love our neighborhood, it is perfect for us. It is far enough out of the city to feel like country. There are enough kids for the kids to have others to play with. Our yard is big enough to keep this homeschooling family busy and have lots of space to run around. It is also pretty quiet and we are thankful to have really nice neighbors.

Well, I better go run, I need to prepare to teach the big boys Sunday School class. I told the boys I wouldn't have treats every week like Miss Shelley did, I think they are already disappointed that they have a new teacher:) Actually, they seem excited that I will be doing it. It should be fun.

Not much else is new... I kind of feel like I don't have too much to say... lots of the same, missing my sweet Samuel like crazy and forging ahead day by day... step by step appreciating the blessing of each new day. Thanks for joining us on this journey.

Praying you have a blessed Sunday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I know that I post a lot of pictures of the little ones sleeping. I just can't help myself... they look so peaceful. It gives my soul rest to just sit and watch the kids sleep. I always go in to check on each child before I go to bed. Usually I am so tired that I think I will just buzz in and out of their rooms quickly, but when I see them in all their preciousness sleeping I can't help but just sit and watch a bit... even the big boys. I think it is the fun fact that they are NEVER that still during the day. Anna and Jojo sleep together in the same bed... the bottom of the bunk bed and the top stays open every night. They just love to be together and that warms my heart. Sometimes I even crawl in there with the two of them for a bit.
Anyways, not too much else is new. The big boys and the birth mom who is living with us went out to a farm today to work all day for some people at church. The boys were looking so forward to it. We will head to Nebraska next week for Greg to take a family life class there. I think the kids and I will just go for a couple of days. So seeing as how it is time to pack again... I should probably unpack from our trip to Texas THE WEEK BEFORE EASTER. YIKES... so unlike me to let something go like that.
I would love for you to pray for me... I really feel the Lord stretching me in BIG ways. Having another person in our home full time is part of it. I love having company but I have never really had another person other than family live with us for an extended time. She is a real delight for the most part. We really do enjoy having her here, but sometimes my own selfishness kicks in and I long for some good "alone" family time. And just today I was stretched when her morning sickness got the best of her on the Living room floor and I had to clean it up:) (I really did feel so bad for her) I would love for you to pray that we can continue to have things go smoothly with her here. Pray that we can love on her and serve her while she is here and that the Lord protects her and her baby. Pray that she is drawn closer to her Savior during this time. I would also ask that you pray for the Lord to sustain me over the next 3+ months until she is due. (It isn't easy to see an ever growing baby belly in my own home with the longings I have in my own heart) Thank you so much for your prayers...
That is one of the best parts of being a part of the body of Christ, that we can go to the Lord on behalf of our friends. When we went to the sem, we started our family prayer board. It has REALLY helped hold us accountable to pray for people when we say we will. I love it and I love that we get to see answered prayers. The kids love that and I also love that the kids get to focus on praying for others and not just ourselves. That prayer board has been one of the best things we have done as a family. That being said I would love to pray for any of you that need prayer. So just leave a comment or email me if there is something that you would like prayer for. My email is gshintz@yahoo.com if you don't feel like posting it for everyone to see:)
What a journey. Sometimes I feel like it is an ever present balancing of myself... grief and joy with my family, longing and contentment. I am so thankful that the Lord walks this road with us but it can still be exhausting at times.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31