Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Having enjoyed a few days in the Smoky Mountains,
we continue our journey home tomorrow.
It is a very long drive, and we are taking our time...
simply being together.

I am currently reading O Love That Will Not Let Me Go by Nancy Guthrie.
It is a collection of thoughts about death by contemporary and classic theologians,
and it is where I read the quote I posted yesterday.

In it, JI Packer points out that up until the twentieth century,
death served as one's constant companion.
People had to walk near cemeteries to get to church,
and most children died before the age of ten.
 Death, the one certainty of everyone's life, was not the "unmentionable" it is today,
and believers saw this life as preparation for the next.

 Today as we were driving in the mountains,
we stopped in a church graveyard that dates back to the nineteenth century.
As we walked amongst the tombstones, we saw a surprising amount marking the graves of babies.
I took several photos of them, but this one in particular caught my eye.
Offa Sparks lived two months, 
and her stone says, "Gone But Not Forgotten."

Tonight, I am thankful.
I am thankful to live in a time and place where
Jude was able to receive the medical care he received
that allowed us to be able to get to know our sweet little boy.
I am thankful to be the daughter of the One who is sovereign over my baby's life
just as He is sovereign over the lives of my husband and 5-year-old son.
I am thankful for this peaceful time with my little family.
And, I am thankful for all this beauty that is only a dim reflection
of the beauty that is yet to come.


Andrea Moberly said...

Mandy, your words and thoughts on Jude's life continue to touch me. I am still in prayer for you and your family. Words are difficult to put together to say what I think and feel about your recent love and temporary loss... but God has surely moved through Jude's life. Much love to you and your family.

anne said...

That tombstone feels like a gift from Jesus. How amazing that he sees you in the Smokey Mountains and speaks to you in such a profound way. Still grieving with you and celebrating Jude's life with you! Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

mary Lou said...

so glad for time for your souls to be restored. Psalm 23

Jen said...

I am so glad you are able to spend time as a family in such a beautiful place. The bond all of you have made Will Pass The Test of Time. Hope to make it to that concert sometime. Miss all of you!

Katie said...

I wish I always thought of this life as preparation for the next. What a great eternal perspective.

Nancy Guthrie is great!

We continue to pray for your family and hope you have safe travels.

Bonnie said...

Mandy - your pix are so beautiful! I'm using the awesome tree pic as background on my computer at work. It will remind me to keep praying for you guys! We'll put Caleb's blanket in the mail. Love, Bonnie

Post a Comment