Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marriage Monday: Surviving the Loss of a Child {Link up}

Welcome back to Marriage Monday! I hope you are enjoying my series of posts on how to build your marriage during a crisis. There are many types of crises that couples might encounter as they navigate the storms of life together.  Many times these trials tear marriages apart, as couples lash out at each other instead of clinging to one another and to the Lord during troubled times.  

If you have a marriage that has survived a fiery trial, such as, a debilitating illness, the death of a parent or a child, deep depression, infidelity, loss of a job, loss of a house, financial reversals, infertility, a wayward child, etc., I would love to hear from you! Please email me at with your story!  I plan to feature different stories in the coming weeks!   

Today I am really blessed to be able to feature the amazing story of Amy Roberts from Raising Arrows.

Emily's Rose Bush

I didn't walk down the aisle expecting heartache. No one ever does. Yet, when our 5th child died from complications of malrotation of the intestine, we were suddenly plummeted into the worst thing our marriage had ever faced.

Grief isn't pretty and there isn't a handbook on grieving. Everyone does it differently and everyone must find their own way out. But when you are married, you somehow have to find your way out...together.
Shortly after Emily's death, I was told that nearly 75% of married couples divorce after a child's death. Even though I found out later those numbers are grossly exaggerated and tend to be more like 9-16%, I still found myself worrying that figure would somehow touch us. Yet, as we walked this road, I realized with the Lord guiding us through our heartache, we would come out on the other side stronger. Today, I want to share with you what I've learned from God's Word and wisdom concerning weathering the loss of a child as a married couple.

First, let's talk about blame. People need someone to blame for a tragedy. They want to believe they could have done something to prevent it if only certain circumstances were different. And often what they think should be different is what another person's role was in that event.

No matter how "faultless" a tragedy is, somehow we are still able to see places where we could blame others. My husband and I could have blamed doctors, or small town hospitals, the med-flight crew or each other. We could have found something anywhere we looked that we could have chosen to focus on rather than God's sovereignty. You see, when we choose to blame another, we choose to question God's sovereignty. Yes, doctors do make mistakes. Yes, some tragedies are the direct result of someone else's actions or inactions, but Romans 8:28 says,
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
If I had chosen to lay blame, I would have been telling God He didn't know what He was doing. I would have chosen to put up a wall between myself and my husband and between myself and God. I would have ended up walling myself in with bitterness and blame, dwelling where I could see nothing but the bad.

We do not know the mind of God and spending time blaming our spouse will only lead to a bitterness that will eventually eat us and our marriage alive. 

When any tragedy strikes, we must ask the Lord every day to reveal to us His perfect will in our tragedy and choose to honor and glorify Him in it all.

There is also the stress that losing a child brings. Stress just happens. It sneaks up on us, fills every crevice of our lives, and eventually wears us down. Stress is debilitating. It can cause us to stare at walls for hours, sleep for hours, and totally neglect everything else beyond our own thoughts. It causes headaches and tension and it never, ever seems to stay contained. More often than not, stress spews over and out onto those we love the most. So, while stress is a natural result of a tragedy of this nature, the outward expression of it is rarely a good thing.

Philippines 4:6 tells us:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
The answer to stress? Prayer. Supplication. Thanksgiving.

Don't hesitate to beg of God the things you need in order to survive this as a married couple. Beg him for mercy, grace, patience, and a strong marriage.

And be thankful.


More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I can speak from experience that suffering truly does produce endurance and character and hope and an understanding of the Holy Spirit unlike anything I had experienced before. Our daughter's death brought tremendous heartache and tremendous blessing alike. My husband and I shared both the heartache and the blessings.

I want to tell you something very personal. A few months after Emily's death, I had a very strange dream one night. I dreamed my husband and I got a divorce. I was preparing to remarry (in my dream) when I realized there was no other person on this earth who understood my heart better than my husband. There would never be another person who could share our daughter's death in such an intimate way as him. I realized it was foolish for me to leave that behind.

That dream was a gift. It was the realization that no matter how difficult my grief was to navigate, God did not leave me here to struggle through it alone. There are still many mornings when I wake up and remember our little fuzzy-haired daughter lying between us, smiling and pulling her daddy's ear and there are many mornings when I wake up and remember our daughter's lifeless body in my husband's arms as I tucked her hair behind her ear. She was ours and what we share is much too important to be the thing that comes between us.


Have you or someone you know suffered the loss a child? I invite you to visit The Grieving Mother page on Raising Arrows where you will find resources and articles to bring comfort and healing in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Amy Roberts of has been married 17 years to her high school sweetheart, Ty, and is blessed to be the homeschooling mother of 7 living children and one precious little girl named Emily being held in the Lord’s arms.  As a conference speaker and author of several homeschooling and homemaking ebooks, it is her deepest desire to encourage moms in the trenches to stay focused on what truly matters and live a life of abundant blessings in Christ.

Your Turn to Share:

Wow!  Wasn't that powerful?!?  I trust it touched your heart as much as it did mine!  I encourage you to share from your heart by leaving a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged!

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is Mine

Happy Wives Club


The Alabaster Jar

Courtship Connection

I Choose Joy!


Messy Marriage

Wifey Wednesday button

Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks! :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Blogoversary!

Today is my Blogoversary!  I started a blog, blinked a couple times, and suddenly five years had gone by! Unbelievable!

While it is true that keeping up with a blog adds one more item category of items to my to-do list, I love blogging and find it very rewarding!  It has enriched my life so much!  Not only do I enjoy sharing about my daily life and what God is teaching me, but I've learned so much from other bloggers that I've met along the way!  Also, I love encouraging others and it blesses and energizes me when I learn that I have been able to encourage one of you in some small way!

Being a godly wife and mother, managing a home, and teaching and training our children is a high and noble calling, worthy of all we have to offer.  It is an investment that will reap eternal dividends!  However, it is also exhausting and draining and overwhelming at times!  There is nothing that I love more than encouraging women to give it all they have, to turn their hearts toward home, to pour themselves out in loving service to their families, and to persevere in investing in the next generation!  

Thank you so much for visiting here, for taking time to read and comment on my posts, for sharing my blog with your family and friends, and for encouraging me in many ways.  Your comments, emails, and private messages letting me know that I have encouraged or blessed you and that you are praying for me and my family mean more to me than you will ever know!!   :)

I hope you will always be encouraged and refreshed here.  Please let me know how I can serve you in the future or what topics you'd like to see me blog about. I truly desire to be a blessing to all who stop by.

Friday, September 27, 2013

From My Front Porch ~ September 27, 2013

from my front porch

Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps even a glass of lemonade, and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  

I had to laugh at my own introduction -- this was supposed to be a weekly series!  That was the plan; but, it sure hasn't worked out that way!

I have been crazy busy lately!  Thanks for understanding when I just don't have time to sit down and visit with you every Friday!  It will continue to be my goal to post a weekly update, but when I don't make it to the porch for a chat, just know I will catch up when I can!  :)

Last Friday, I was in Boston with my husband!  It was a great trip and I hope to share the highlights from my adventures in Boston in another post!  This is me outside of the JFK Presidential Library on an absolutely gorgeous New England fall day!  :)


Around the House

Before I left for Boston, I was enjoying getting reacquainted with my new house and had fun adding a few autumn touches here and there. Fall is my favorite season, and I love decorating for fall!  :)  The sights, smells, and tastes of autumn are definitely my favorite of the year!  :)

One thing I've learned is that you don't have to "go all out."  Just use what you have and do what you can!  Simple items can still create a special feeling!

Here are some of the simple ways I got my house in the mood for fall:

I added this Thanksgiving plate (a gift from my sister) to my entry table.

I added a garland of fall leaves and some harvest candles (purchased a couple years ago from Cracker Barrel) to my mantle, and added fall flowers to this urn.  

I added a pumpkin-colored tablecloth and a simple garland of fall leaves (from Dollar General) to the dining table.  

I hung a fall wreath (purchased several years ago from Kirkland's) on the front door.

What about you?  Have you been decorating for fall?  What do you like to do to make your house feel cozy, warm and welcoming as the seasons change?

Family News

Speaking of Fall, today has been a beautiful fall day!  It was such a delight to sit on the porch this morning with my family, enjoying the touch of crispness in the air and savoring the cool, refreshing breeze, while drinking my cup of coffee!  It was just my kind of day, which is perfect, since today is my birthday!  :)  

(Perhaps you noticed "my" special birthday greeting from Google?!?  Not everyone gets a unique Google Doodle on their birthday!)  ;)

My day started off very special when the young man that lives with us, Tyler, got up early to make me an egg for breakfast before he left for school!  Isn't that the absolute sweetest thing you've ever heard of??  Truthfully, he's more of an outdoorsman than a cook -- but that made it all the more special to me!  His thoughtful gesture really touched my heart!!!  Thank you Tyler!!)

Later, Chris mixed up some pumpkin pancakes, which I flipped on the griddle for the family, making the house smell pretty amazing!

There's nothing my family loves more this time of year than pumpkin pancakes with maple/butter syrup! :)

While Chris and I were busy with the pancakes, Hannah created a special table setting for me on the back deck, and Tiffany snuck out and made a Starbucks run.  She came back bearing a yummy pumpkin spice latte for my birthday enjoyment!  :) So, here is a glimpse of my second breakfast of the day!!  :)

I went on to enjoy a fabulous day full of phone calls, birthday cards, more than 100 birthday greetings on Facebook, supper out at my favorite pizza restaurant, and many expressions of love from my family and friends!  :) Thanks to everyone who took the time to make my day special!  :)

I wish you all could have had a piece of this amazing birthday cake that Tiffany made me!  Wow!  It was incredible!  :)

But perhaps you should be thankful if you missed hearing my family singing the traditional birthday songs in our house -- Happy Birthday (in both English and Chinese) and George Washington's Bridge!!   (It's rather loud and obnoxious to a trained ear!)  ;)

Thanks for stopping by today!  It was a perfect front porch sort of day!  :)

Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit!  If you have time, please drop by and visit with my dear friend, Lori. She blogs from the front porch of her cozy little log cabin nestled in the woods of the South Carolina mountains.  You will enjoy her warm and witty writing style!  Tell her that Elizabeth sent you!  :)

Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!!

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