Month: November 2008

  • How Many Blessings I Enjoy…


    I am so grateful for the gift of LIFE today!
            Physical life – the amazing gift of simply being alive…
                     Eternal life – the miraculous gift of knowing I will be with the Lord forever!

    I am so blessed!


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    [some pictures from a family night on the islands a few weeks ago, trying to take the family pictures (with a tripod, not a good idea!!) before I get too big and pregnant!]

    Yesterday was my birthday. 26th actually. Rather scary reaching these numbers that before I thought were only for the mature and old. Now I know a person can still feel very young at this age.

    There were several things on my heart and mind yesterday…

    • my sister, Jana. We were born on the same day, two years apart, so have always kidded that we’re kind of twins. :) As children growing up, we didn’t think it was very fun to share a birthday, much less a cake, a party, and sometimes what felt like presents ( I don’t think we actually ever did share presents though!). But now that we’re older, we just love this day together and think it’s so special that God planned it that way!

      Our parents did a wonderful job of celebrating us on our birthdays as kids. We felt like princesses for sure, and had royal treatment all day. Then there was the treasure hunt all though the house to find the presents, building such anticipation our little hearts would be beating wildly by the time we reached the “treasure.” And the squeals of excitement from younger siblings, namely Ervina (sorry darlin’, just had to add that for old-times’ sake! :) ) only added to the high emotion. I remember feeling it was the most wonderful day ever.

      And Jana and I were talking that even though we’re older, sometimes we still want that breathless excitement of younger days. Still want that Starbucks-in-bed as teenagers. That treasure hunt as kids. Want that feeling of wonder.

      But I am ever so grateful… Even though as a wife and a mommy it’s pretty much impossible to party all day as I used to. :) The baby is still teething, the floors are still dirty and need to be cleaned, the packing still needs to be done for the weekend… But it’s okay. Because perhaps now I’m at the place of giving back to God and others what I’ve received.

      But to continue the celebration of Jana…She is one of my very best friends, and I can’t imagine life without her. Ever the drama queen (well, which of my sisters isn’t?!), the tender one that always sticks up for the under-dog, the one who was traveled to many countries with me and who has made many Spanish bloopers with me in Guatemala, the one whose beauty and talents will one day make a man feel like a king… I love her dearly!


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    • Sadness is thinking of the passing of my cousin, so sudden and so tragic. He was always so fun to be around, and family gatherings were better when he was there. I still find myself thinking that he’ll be around for the next Christmas dinner…

      Yet that very sadness also drives me to live life to the fullest while I’m yet living. It makes me realize my own life could be so short, so quickly cut off, and I desire to live, fully and truly. To love passionately, to not hold grudges or bitterness toward anyone. To live with a heart wide open, trusting God to care for me in the times of misunderstandings and pain inflicted from others…





    • Gratitude for the blessing of Zoe’, and also for my unborn baby. We had quite a scare this past week… I went in to the doctor for a prenatal exam at 16 weeks, and there was no heartbeat to be found. 10-15 minutes of trying with two different dopplers, but no heartbeat. The nurse also commented that I didn’t look like I was 4 months pregnant. The reasons they gave me for not finding one scared me. Perhaps the baby wasn’t as far along as I thought, they said, and is too small to find a heartbeat. If I was pregnant, and I was, then I knew how far along I was. Maybe off by a day or two, but not by weeks or a month. I was scheduled for an ultrasound the next day.

      (And I do have to throw this in here: I was still in the doctor’s office after not being able to find a heartbeat and feeling very scared and sad, when one of the nurses came up and asked how Zoe’ is doing. Sweet lady, but her next question made me quite upset. “Is this baby planned?” she then asked of my current pregnancy, oblivious to the fact that I didn’t know whether the baby was dead or alive. I looked up in amazement. Basically she was saying she felt sorry for me that my two babies will be 21 months apart and we surely couldn’t have wanted it that way. I told her that yes, this baby was planned. And I didn’t go on to say this, but even if it hadn’t been planned by my husband and I, it would have been planned by the Lord, and that is planned enough. And I say to everyone out there: never ask anyone that offensive question!)

      The next 24 hours were a difficult time. Tears, praying, and surrendering to the Lord our desires for a family, our desire for this child in particular. I know I will be a busy mother when this little one arrives, but I was so excited about how close they would be. And even though going from one child to two seems like a huge difference, feels like we’re going from a newly-married-couple-with-a-cute-baby to a real live family, we are just loving where we are at in life right now and looking forward to being a real live family. It was a hard time, a sleepless night, but a good time as well. We came to a place of peace with whatever the Lord decided to do, told Him we will still trust Him and believe His goodness even if He chooses to take this baby, but we also realized how much we wanted this Little Love!

      Ben and I went into the ultrasound together, and the technician started the machine. “Well, there’s the baby, and…. there’s the heartbeat!” she said. “The heartbeat??” we asked in disbelief! She must have wondered at our surprise, so we told her we didn’t think things were okay with the baby because there was no heartbeat found the day before, etc. We were amazed! The baby is perfectly fine, measuring exactly where I thought it was. Why there was no heartbeat the previous day, I have no idea. There was no reason found or given. 

      So we are some very grateful souls! The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, and either way He is Good. This time He has chosen to give, and we are so grateful!


    More could be written from this full heart of mine, but we must save some for later.

    To all – a Happy Thanksgiving, and wonderful weekend!


  • Heart-broken



    What sobering news we received last night… News that is tragic in and of itself, yet the tragedy doesn’t end there. My cousin, Brent, was in a terrible automobile accident yesterday, ran headfirst into the front of a combine in East Earl, PA. It took the emergency crew 1/2 hour to cut the vehicle, which was completely under the combine, and get him out. He was then life-flighted to the hospital from the accident scene. I think you can see pictures of the accident scene on here.

    For the first 24 hours he was in a coma, on life support, and the doctors were saying a recovery looks impossible. His parents were overseas at the time of the accident and returned just a few hours ago – to a son that was pronounced brain-dead. Their only son.

    Apart from the fact that this is the 3rd death in the Stoltzfus family in 4 years, is the heart-break of losing a cousin and a friend who was in the prime of life. One week away from graduating from college, the epitomy of “tall, dark, and handsome,” ever ready with a joke or some dry sense of humor. He and I were several years apart, but we always hit it off together.

    No one is ever prepared for news like this. I can’t stop thinking about it, and was desperately praying for a miracle… The miracle of healing that we wanted to see didn’t happen, and Brent is now no longer with us. We will miss him terribly.

    Even in all this, my heart is drawn to God like never before. He is still God, and He is still Good.

    Please pray for the Stoltzfus family…