Friday, February 27, 2009

The Birds and the Bees according to Benjamin

(I AM planning to post about Asher's amazing birthday weekend and our March of Dimes Event at GE, but I am short on time as Luke is in our children's program at church this weekend and we are super busy! If you live in the area and want to come see him play a mean air guitar on stage email me and I will give you the details! :-) For now here is a Benjamin funny...)

Ben: Mommy, you have a baby in yours belly?

Mommy: Yes, Ben I do.

Ben: Mommy, you have a baby in yours butt?

Mommy: (slightly stunned by his honesty) No, just in my belly. (guess I won't be indulging in my every craving anymore)

Ben: Mommy, Daddy is a boy?

Mommy: Yes Daddy is a boy.

Ben: Luke is a boy?

Mommy: Yes, Luke is a boy.

Ben: Ben is a boy!

Mommy: Yep! Ben is a boy!

Ben: Mommy is a girl?

Mommy: Yes, Mommy is a girl.

(he seriously sat there thinking for at least two or three minutes and then it was like a lightbulb went on.)

Ben: OH! Boys have a penis and girls have a belly?

Mommy: (laughing so hard I couldn't breathe) Um...well...kind of.

Monday, February 23, 2009

At a Loss for Words

Thank you all so much for your love, support and prayers this weekend! They were truly felt! Though we didn't really plan ahead for anything, the weekend was a great time for us as a family to celebrate the gift the Lord gave us in Asher. We are of course missing our boy terribly, but are so thankful for such great friends.

I want to share our weekend with you but I am still at a loss for words. (crazy I know) I need time to process and put it all together. It has been beautiful and we are so overwhelmed by the kindess extended to us this weekend.

So, just know that we are doing well and feeling loved! :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thank You God For Your Perfect Gifts!

Ok so it is late and I wanted to share these photos with you but I can't get the darn video to embed into this post so if you click on this link you can see our slideshow.

The Bolte Family Journey

Thank you all for your love and support. We are feeling so uplifted and loved right now and we are so grateful for those of you who are carrying us through the tough days! Thanks for being His hands and feet!

Honoring Asher on His Birthday

(Thanks Ginger for the cute graphic!)
Well as most of you know I have really been struggling with what to do for Asher's birthday this weekend. With the help of many good friends I think I have come up with a few things that we will be doing to celebrate his life.

Several of you have emailed to ask what you can do to help celebrate our boy with us and I am so honored that so many of you are thinking of him this weekend. If you would like to join us, here are a few things you could do to help us celebrate and honor Asher. Pick the one that works best for you!

1. Join Team Isaac and Asher and help us raise money for the March of Dimes

2. Donate to Team Isaac and Asher by clicking on the button on the side of the page.

3. Take a photo of yourself, releasing a balloon, or wearing blue, or displaying his name creatively or whatever way you want to honor him, and send it to us. ( we will only share it with your permission otherwise it will just go in his scrapbook)

4. Do something kind for someone else. Asher made so many smile. Take the opportunity to do something to make someone else smile. A random act of kindness, make someone happy in honor of Happy!

Many of you have asked also about sending cards for his scrapbook and I would love to have you send him a birthday card! Just email me at and I will get you the address to send it to!

Thank you all for loving us and for loving our boys! We are feeling your love and prayers and we know God is giving us the strength and grace to get through each day one at a time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hello everyone! This post is likely to be short as I just lack the words to even describe how I am feeling. The last few days have proven to be very difficult. I am not sure exactly what it is, maybe partly the fact that we live in the freezing cold north and I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder, maybe partly pregnancy hormones, maybe partly extremely difficult financial issues, but also likely largely because I am keenly aware that Sunday is Asher's birthday.

I have been at a loss as to how to celebrate and it is really bothering me. We don't really have the money to do much of anything, and I am not sure how we want to celebrate. I mean I want to be celebrating with a big party and chubby little hands in a smash cake, but that isn't happening so I want to honor our boy and have others celebrate him too, but am at a loss for how to do that. I can barely pull myself together long enough to go to the grocery store so I am not sure that I could handle a big deal anyway, but that is what we do for Isaac, a big picnic and it has always been perfect...February in Erie...a picnic is not possible.

So I guess...I am asking for your prayers. I know God will provide for us and I know that however we celebrate will be just fine. I am just a mommy though and I want his first birthday to be special...I just don't know how to do that without him here. So please pray and if you have any ideas of special things you have done for your little ones in Heaven I would love to hear them. Thanks!

Monday, February 16, 2009


After saying goodbye to Isaac in 2005 we quickly became pregnant again with our sweet Benjamin. It was a little unexpected, but I must admit that I had high hopes that this new baby would somehow lessen and maybe even take away some of the intense pain I was feeling. I would lie awake at night, my arms physically aching to hold my son. I somehow thought that filling those aching arms would stop the ache. I thought that immersing myself into preparing for this new baby would block out the anguish I was feeling at the very core of my being. I never had the opportunity to really bond with Isaac. I was overcome with shock and grief and it all hit so quickly I barely had time to take a breath. I wanted that time back and somehow I thought that having a new baby to dote on would allow me the opportunity to hope and breathe again.

I threw myself into preparing for our new arrival...never really allowing myself the proper time to grieve my second sweet little boy. I was almost relieved to know that this new baby was also a boy. Somehow it seemed fitting. I was sure he would fill the void left by Isaac. It also seemed perfect that their due dates were just a week apart in consecutive years. I would be blessed again with a July baby (though due in August). The month that brought such sadness in 2005 would be "redeemed" in 2006 with the arrival of a wonderful Benjamin Bolte!

The thing is that Ben arrived on July 27, 2006 after a difficult, yet quick labor, that sweet boy was placed in my arms and I looked at him terribly confused. I handed him back to his dad unsure of what on earth was going on. Over the next few days I loved him and cared for him but that pain, that ache, that sadness never went away. It was always there. My arms were indeed full, yet still aching. I had never anticipated this. I was sure filling my empty arms would soothe my weary soul and yet I just became more weary. It took me a little longer to bond with Ben because I had to get past all of those feelings first. I had to take the time to grieve my second son before I could give myself fully to my third. I never expected that. I really thought that having this new baby would somehow make life happy again.

Don't get me wrong. Benjamin has brought more joy to our lives than we ever knew possible. That joy however does not make up for anything we have lost. They are separate. We were sorrowful yet rejoicing. The void Isaac left in our hearts is one ONLY he can fill. Having fifteen healthy babies will not heal the hurt of losing one. As I think back I feel so guilty for putting all of that on Benjamin. My hope was in him, my happiness somehow depended on having another healthy baby and then when I got what I wanted it didn't fix my brokenness. I had to learn to look for hope where the only source of true hope lies. I had to accept and embrace my brokenness and my God before I could fully appreciate the blessings I had been given in each of my sons. They each hold their own special place in this family and one cannot fill the void of another.

I never anticipated being asked to walk the road we walked in 2005 ever again so when we found out we were expecting Asher we were thrilled and never once gave a thought to the idea that he would be born anything but healthy. But in November we were told that Asher had multiple abnormalities and would likely not live long past birth. I remember feeling as if the world were spinning at light speed. How could the God that I had surrendered all to ask me to surrender yet another child to Him? I could not reconcile it no matter how hard I tried. I pleaded with God and again He reminded me that my help, my hope comes from Him...not another healthy baby. The year I carried Asher in my womb was one of the most beautiful years I could ever imagine. Though at times I felt abandoned, I experienced God on a level I never knew possible. I saw the body of Christ in action and felt His love pouring out all over my family. I am so grateful to each of the people who were His hands and feet to us. His birthdate, which is a mere six days away was the most amazing day I have ever experienced. I truly experienced our Lord on a tangible level and it takes my breath away just thinking about it.

Now, here I am carrying our FIFTH baby, our first daughter and I could not be more thrilled that the Lord has trusted me again with one of His children, because if I have learned anything it is that these children are HIS not mine. He chose us to be the parents of each of our children and I am so grateful to him. He has trusted us to raise them in His love and we will do that for as long as he allows.

I have heard many people speak of children who are born after a loss as "rainbow babies" I have heard talks of restoration and redemption when a healthy baby is born after a loss. Coming from where I have been I have learned that every baby is a beautiful gift, just as a rainbow is no matter what the circumstance, to remind us of God's love and goodness, but when it comes to restoration and redemption, I have to tell you that there is only one place that this can come from and that is our Heavenly Father. There is nothing that this sweet baby girl can do to restore what has been lost in this family, and that responsibility should not be hers to bear. As I have said before I know that God is doing a new thing here. She is her own person and I cannot wait to see who that is. She will not ease the pain felt because of the void of her second and fourth brothers, her birth will not restore or redeem our family.

The word redemption means "paid for" or "to buy out". The losses we have endured can not be redeemed by me, by you, or by a healthy baby. Our redemption comes through Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins so that one day our family will be whole and that is where my hope lies. Our family can not be restored this side of Heaven but I am overwhelmed with gratitude that because of what Jesus did for me, even though I do not deserve it, that my family WILL in fact be restored one day.

So yes, our new baby girl will bring joy to our family. We are so excited that God has chosen us to be her parents and we cannot wait to see who God made her and what he has in store for her, but she will not fill the places in our hearts and lives made void by Isaac and Asher. We will always be sorrowful yet rejoicing. Our hope and our help come from the Lord and we are so grateful that even when it doesn't feel like He is here, we know that He is. He is always here. He has paid the ultimate price. Redemption is ours because of Him and Him alone. Because of his sacrifice, our goodbyes, though sorrowful are not permanent, now that is HOPE!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mothers and Daughters

As I stated yesterday, I am so thankful for the new things the Lord is doing in our lives and am very much looking forward to bringing home a healthy baby girl this spring. For a long time I felt that God was calling me to be the mother of boys for a reason and now that idea seems not to be holding up.

Yesterday would have been my own mother's birthday and the day before this I found out that I would in fact be having a daughter of my own. This has all stirred emotions in me that I have not dealt with in a long time.

I have shared before that my mother died when I was young. I grew up without a mother. I can't deny that I grew up with an amazing grandmother, but it is just not the same as having your mom. I am realizing still that I hold a lot of anger and bitterness toward my own mother. When I was a mere nine years old she took her own life. Now, as I have said before, I KNOW in my head that she was sick, I know that she was not in her right mind and I know that years ago it was very taboo to talk of mental illness. I know that but trying to tell my heart is another story.

I have seen what it has done to those she left behind. I have seen how it has derailed the lives of those who loved her most. When I think of her I don't look back fondly with love, I look back and see a selfish coward. I know that seems harsh, but it is true. I am the nine year old who had to grow up too fast. I saw my dad deal with guilt and hurt in ways that were unhealthy and to this day that man immerses himself so deeply in work and staying busy so that he doesn't have the time to feel the deep wounds she left. I saw my grandmother, her sweet mother, literally lose her mind to grief to the point of having to be hospitalized for it. I have seen her siblings and how their guilt and pain season their lives in ways they never imagined. I have grown up alongside a sister who's wounds have never fully healed.

I know she was sick, I know that, but what about everyone else? What about our hearts, what about our brokenness? Not once did she think of that. Not once did she realize that she had two daughters who would be lost without her. I am angry and I still have not been able to let go of it. I have watched as my friends had precious time with their mothers as they had lunch and shopping dates, I have wondered what it would be like to have a mother who enjoyed shopping with me for dresses for dances and prom rather than a dad who was trying his best and his only goal was just to have me covered from chin to toe :-).

I know she had pain, we all do, I know she didn't know how to properly deal with her pain, but she never had to know what it was like to be a teenage girl without a mom. To go through High School and all that that entails without the love and guidance from her own mother. She never had to know how it felt to find the perfect guy and want to share that so badly with her mother only not to have her there. She never had to plan a wedding without ever knowing the joy of shopping and planning with her mom. Her mom was there. She was always there.

She never had to know what it was like to so badly want to have a mother to share her life with, get advice from, just be close with. Yet she chose this for me. She was not there the first time Howard and I had our first married fight and I thought the world would end. (As silly as it sounds I felt horrible for sometime that Howard would never have a mother-in-law)

I was blessed to become pregnant early in our marriage, but found myself at a loss when I desperately wanted no one but my own mother to share in the joy and tell me about her own experiences. She didn't plan a shower for me. She wasn't there the day my first son was born to dote on him, her first grandchild. My children will never know what it is to have a maternal grandmother and because of that, a fully present maternal grandfather.

She wasn't there when I found that we were expecting our second son, and she wasn't there when we were told he would surely die. She never held him or knew of the beauty in his short life and she wasn't there to hold me as I lie in bed as broken as I had ever been both physically and emotionally. She wasn't there to help me figure out how to explain life to Luke or how to grieve with my husband. She wasn't there as we welcomed our third son to kiss his bright red hair and to know the joy he has brought to our family. She wasn't there when we found out we were expecting a FOURTH son and she wasn't there moments later when we were again told our child would not live. And she was not there February 22, 2008, a day I consider the most beautiful. The day that this world was graced with sweet Asher just as quickly as he left. And again, she was not there to help me in my brokenness.

Here I am expecting my first daughter and I have to admit that I am terrified. Terrified that I will not know how to be her mom. I never got to experience what it was like to be a girl who had a mother. I know that God will guide me and I know that once she arrives that everything will fall into place. I know that though I don't know the first thing about a mother daughter relationship, I will learn just as I have learned to be the mother of sons. I cannot promise her perfection, but I can promise that I will do everything in my power to be there for every joyous moment and every sorrow. I am sad, sad that my own mom wont be here to welcome her first granddaughter I am sad that I don't have a mother to be excited with and shop for sweet baby girl things with. I am sad that I don't have a mother and daughter relationship with my own mom to learn how to be a good mom, instead I have my mother's mistakes to learn from.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uncooperative...but could it be?

I know many of you have been just dying to know the gender of the newest Bolte baby so here you have are all so intuitive! She is a girl! We kind of thought so, at our 17 week ultrasound they really thought girl but wanted to confirm. She is extremely uncooperative and these are the ONLY two photos we got despite a sonogram technician who tried very hard. She just would NOT look in the right direction. So the first one is a picture of her ear and the second if you look closely you can see her face, but she was moving so it is a bit blurry.
We are still trying to grasp the idea of girliness, but I am sure we will fall right into it the moment we see her!
It is just so funny to me...this entire pregnancy I have felt that God has been telling me that He is doing a NEW thing and here you have could not be any newer than this! :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Good Ultrasound

Well we are home and I am so happy to say that the baby is still looking good. All measurements are within normal range and there appears to be no sign of any abnormalities. We are overwhelmed and praising God for that. The baby was again VERY uncooperative and it took quite a bit of time to get the measurements, but the technician felt confident that she got them all and that everything looked good. We will wait to hear the same from the doctor in the coming week after he looks over the pictures but we expect the news will be the same. So thank you all for your prayers! We are so very grateful! And tired...I am going to rest!

An Unexpected Struggle


Hello! I just wanted to thank you all for your kind words and support. We have spent the past couple of days talking about and praying about this situation and we are feeling great peace about it all. Like I said before...I do understand the March of Dimes position on this! When we speak, we are welcome to talk about God and His role in our story, but our dvd will be seen often without our presence and so it will be seen as a March of Dimes resource. They have to take a neutral side when it comes to religion, and we do understand that and we do still believe what they are doing is vital. And we believe God's work in our lives will be seen regardless of what words are used or are not used. God doesn't need words to do His work. He is WAY bigger than all of that!

God calls us to be the salt and the light and if we back away each time we come against resistance we are not doing all we can to share God with the masses. Sometimes we are called to push past the resistance in order to glorify God. We are called to be a light in a dark world, and we feel that this is a position that will allow God's light to shine through us for many to see.

I know a few of you have emailed me your concerns about the March of Dimes stand on abortion, and after looking into the issue, I have found that they don't support either side. You can find information either way and I know for a fact that the work the March of Dimes has done has saved babies and that they do not advocate abortion, it is true that they also do not condemn it, but just like religion and politics, they take a neutral stand.

In praying about all of this we are really still very excited to have been chosen for this important role and we do feel that we can honor God in it. Howard's words were so true. Sometimes words just are not necessary. God will be seen. We have learned that often times it is our actions rather than our words that display God's love most accurately and powerfully. He is bigger than all of this and His mighty hand will be seen.

Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

I am having a difficult time today and it is actually not for reasons you might think...(ultrasound). As most of you know we were chosen as the ambassador family for the March of Dimes for our area. We could not be more thrilled and honored that we were thought of for this role. We adore the March of Dimes and their goals. They are a fantastic organization.

So I was a little taken back today when I received a call concerning the photos I sent in for our slideshow. We were asked to compile pictures of our family to tell our story. I spent a weekend two weeks ago getting pictures scanned and uploaded and then editing and adding text to them, I was so very pleased with the outcome. It told our story, God's story perfectly. So today when I was told that because the March of Dimes as an organization does not take a stand on things political or religious, my photos would have to be edited to remove the text praising God for the beauty in our story, I have to admit that I was stunned.

This is the first time ever since I have become a follower of Christ that I have ever had anything like this happen, or been told I needed to leave God out of my story. The person I spoke on the phone with was wonderful, she completely understands where we are coming from, and I could tell she was concerned with how I would feel, I know this decision is not hers to make, and so I got off the phone as quickly as I could. I do understand the position that the March of Dimes is taking and I do fully respect their position, yet it feels very wrong to tell our story leaving God out. God is our story. I got off the phone and just cried out of frustration. I know fully that no one intended to insult us or hurt us and yet something about it all just feels wrong. I get that the March of Dimes does not support any particular religion, yet this is OUR story not theirs and our faith and our God are huge

I called Howard because he is always my voice of reason. He listened to me blubber over the phone about how frustrated I felt and how I felt that leaving the scripture and text out of the slideshow would not do justice to the story God is writing. He assured me that even without the text that God could be seen. He reminded me that sometimes words aren't even necessary. When we speak at some of the events we are permitted to tell our story making no exception for God and I guess I am going to just have to be ok with that.

It just is not setting well with me right now and I am asking for your prayer on this issue. Our only goal in all of this is to glorify God and if we cannot do that, then what is the point? God has done amazing things in our lives. Things that only He could do, He has brought beauty out of intense suffering in our lives and I just want to be sure to give credit where credit is due. This story we are living is written fully by Him and it seems wrong to leave him out of the credits.

All of that said, I DO still firmly believe in the mission of the March of Dimes and I do believe they are a fantastic organization. I also completely understand their position, they are reaching out to the masses and don't want to alienate anyone, I am just really struggling with how to deal with it on a personal level.

Prayers for Today

Well, as most of you know, this baby was quite stubborn for our last ultrasound therefore we will be redoing it today. Our appointment is this afternoon at 4:30 and we would really appreciate your prayers. We know that we will love this baby no matter how God has knitted him or her together but in all honesty we are hoping and praying for a healthy baby and good report.

I have been feeling very at peace lately. Despite the fact that my placenta is anterior, I have felt the baby moving quite a bit lately and that is reassuring and amazing. I have even browsed a few nursery bedding sets online. The thing is it only takes a moment of letting down my guard for that fear to begin to creep in. I have many chores to get done today and my sister in law is coming over with her little guy so the boys can all play and have lunch so my mind should be pretty busy today. The trouble is that often when I see those boys all playing together I am also reminded of the two boys who are not running along with them. Kind of bittersweet.

Anyway, thank you all for your prayers, you have no idea the peace they bring to us. We truly feel blanketed in your prayers and it is an amazing place to be. I am so grateful to experience the body of Christ as we have in such a tangible way. I will try to post an update when we get home, but again , we will likely eat out tonight since the doctors office is 45 minutes away and right before dinner time. So do not panic if it isn't until later in the evening! :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

He Lived.

Last night I had a little bit of a breakdown. I was doing our taxes, and I actually really enjoy doing our taxes, sick I know, but there is something about it that I find fun! (maybe that we usually get a refund!) Anyhow there was more to it than just the stress of numbers and money. The year Isaac died I remember calling an accountant to see if we could "claim" him and it seemed kind of wrong. He had a birth certificate, and a social security number, but I was told that because he hadn't lived with us for six months that we could not claim him (I have since learned that this was bad information and completely untrue). Anyway, I remember being upset that he would never be claimed on our taxes as our dependent, our child. I know this likely sounds nuts, but he was here and he mattered and I thought he should count. Needless to say we just let it go and did not "claim" him.

This year as I sat down with W2s, 1099s, 1098s, social security numbers, and contribution statements, I again knew that for some reason this would be harder than I had anticipated. I started crying. 2008 was Asher's year. He was here. He lived. I have struggled for a while because for some reason, we never received a birth certificate for Asher. He was born alive, his heart beat for 35 minutes, he breathed intermittently for 35 minutes and yet there is NO documentation saying that he lived. I have a death certificate and a cremation certificate. I wanted a birth certificate, even if it meant that I would receive one that was already stamped with the word DECEASED.

When I told Howard about how I felt about all of this he said, in true Howard form, "We don't need documentation to tell us our son lived, Kristy, we know that. It is just a piece of paper." A piece of paper? Maybe...but an important one. A document that verifies that a person lived, that they were here. Asher was here and darn it I think he should have a birth certificate.

As I sat there filling in our dependents, I thought to myself, this is wrong, Asher was here, 2008 was his year and there should be documentation somewhere that he existed and he mattered. So I looked into tax law myself and found that we could in fact claim him. This had nothing to do with money for had to do with documenting the fact that he LIVED! Albeit for 35 minutes, a very short time, but he lived and he mattered. He is a part of this family and in 2008 he was here, tangible, living. I was so excited and yet felt so silly for being excited about such a thing. We had to dig out the hospital records that documented his life and send them in with our taxes, but for some crazy reason, I felt victorious, like I was able to affirm the fact that his life, though brief, was real, and it mattered and that the US government would have to acknowledge that.

I do also have to admit though that claiming him increases our refund quite a bit and I felt kind of strange about that. I told Howard and we talked about it and we really feel very blessed. You see, this year our refund was set to pay for Asher's gravestone and a few bills that NEED to be paid off, but once we found out we were expecting a new baby, we were torn. We will need three new car seats to fit across the small backseat of our small car and so we were torn as to whether we should use the money to buy the car seats or the gravestone. It felt like a strange choice to have to make and now we don't have to make it. Asher's refund will go toward his gravestone and the rest of the money will be spent on car seats and bills. God does always provide! One thing we have learned is that whenever we are faced with a seemingly impossible decision to make, we pray for Him to guide us and He always does!

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support!


Thanks for your comments...I had debated whether or not to put this out there, knowing some would think it wasn't right to claim a baby who had died, but I knew there were likely other moms out there going through the same thing. It really isn't about the is about recognizing an important life.

For those who asked you can go here: IRS WEBSITE to see the law. I called HR Block and since I didn't have a birth certificate I needed to have hospital records saying that he lived and wasn't stillborn. Parents of stillborn babies are not able to claim their children, which I guess is something there are a lawsuits fighting now, so hopefully that will be amended in the future, because those lives count as much as any!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Few Prayer Requests - UPDATE

Yesterday was a crazy day in our home. I had to take Benjamin to the doctor for a minor urology issue he was born with. He will be having a surgical procedure done on March 12 to correct the problem, hopefully for the last time.

It had been a crazy morning getting everyone ready and organizing childcare and vehicles. I needed to leave early to make a stop at the March of Dimes office to drop off the photos for the slideshow. Since the appointment was at 2 and Ben would be missing his nap, I figured I could leave early and he would sleep in the car. Thankfully, he did. As I was driving my cellphone rang and I saw that it was my OB office calling, so I picked up the phone and spoke with my OB's nurse. She said that the ultrasound we had done last week looked good, but that they were not able to get all of the measurements they wanted and that the doctor wanted me to come in sooner that four weeks to try again.

This instantly sent my heart into a bit of a panic, I started asking questions, and she assured me that everything looked fine, but because of the baby's position they weren't able to get all the measurements needed (which we knew) and that the doctor thought coming in sooner would help to assure we get the proper measurements before the baby grows too big. So, our next ultrasound will be next week. It has been moved to February 11. So we would greatly appreciate your prayers from now until then. I am trying hard to tell myself not to worry, that this is all perfectly normal, but I am just not even sure what normal is anymore.

I also would like to ask your prayer for Howard. He is having a difficult time with work right now. As most of you know he is a teacher. He teaches in a public school. He really likes the district and the teachers he works with. He has always had waves of frustration hit since he started teaching, but it seems to be getting much worse. I have been in his classroom and I know he feels like what he is doing isn't making a difference, but I know otherwise. You could spend a day in Howard's classroom and see that he is "shining his light". He wants so badly to make a difference, he has a passion, but it is slowly but surely getting squashed. There is so much more to being a teacher than just teaching. Anymore the politics of it all are overwhelming and many teachers feel that their hands are basically tied. He teaches Current Events and since this is not a subject that is tested via standardized tests, there is not as much importance placed on that subject and that is a tough thing for a teacher who fully believes that what he teaches is of the utmost importance...I mean come on, in today's society, kids need to be aware of what is going on in the world around them. I am struggling to see him so torn and frustrated.

Ok...I have to go get breakfast for two hungry boys, but I would greatly appreciate your prayers in these areas. Thank you all for your love and support! You mean the world to me!


As I have spent as much time as possible in prayer for Howard this morning, I feel God has given me some scripture to use in all of this...

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-14

I am praying this afternoon that Howard is able to see that he is the salt. The salt in a rotting and rotten world....sometimes salt causes irritation in the process of fertilizing and preserving. We must live for the benefit of this rotting world even when it is hard and frustrating. Salt prevents decay, and there is certain decay in the world and the educational system today. I am praying that Howard is able to see his role as the salt even when it is hard and disheartening. I pray that God would use him to protect and preserve what is good from rotting away and that he does not lose his saltiness.

I am praying that he can see that he is shining Jesus' light in the darkness. Sometimes being that light brings with it resistance and persecution. Sometimes we make mistakes, we are human, but what is important is that we not allow ourselves to conform and become part of that darkness...I am praying that he doesn't give up, but keeps fighting for what is right and good and for the lives of our young people. The world's perspective does not define the truth of who we are, the world's perspective is skewed. Interestingly enough when we walk with Jesus, our lives instead of becoming easier, often become harder, and we suffer even more. This happens because this world is not our home and we cannot be fulfilled fully here. I pray that the Lord would fill Howard with the hope, joy and comfort that he needs right now to be that salt and light in this world of darkness.

Sunday, February 1, 2009