Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Conscious Effort...

I know...I know...I'm in trouble aren't I??? It's been quite awhile since I updated Ian's Reason. Not sure what I've been doing but I sure haven't been on here. I have been working, selling Rhizo Kids shirts, painting pottery,planting lots and lots of flowers, and patiently awaiting the news of my teaching position for next year. So...My mind has been elsewhere.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to someone about "Happiness." We were talking about when people go through trials and hard times in life and they turn into mush. You know just a big ole' pile of unhappiness. Come on know those people! They are always gripping and complaining about something and a lot of times blaming their troubles on someone else. They are in a pit of despair, often times blaming God for the unhappiness in their lives and they aren't working real hard at finding happiness again.

This person said something that has stuck with me. She said..."But Mary look at what you have been through. You quit your job, you took care of a sick child 24/7 for 2 years, and then your child died. How are you happy? You go on with your life and you make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to be happy." My answer was..."The difference is my faith in Jesus Christ! I rely on him every day of my life to make it just one more day and to not live a life full of bitterness" After she said that to me about making a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to be happy I started thinking. You know I think that is the answer to my prayers for making it just one more day. God helps me to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to have a good day. He pushes me through one more day with possibly a little bit more of a smile in my soul than I had the day before.

Isn't that awesome?!? I can't imagine going through hardships and trials in this life and not having the faith I have. I would end up being a miserable and depressed person for the remainder of my life. I would be mad, depressed, sad, complaining, and just a plain ole' slug for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong...there are many days when being a slug are pretty appealing to me. There are days when I don't want to talk to a single living soul and I don't want to see anyone. BUT...I don't do that! I make a conscious effort to have a good day.

Psalm 68:3 says "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;may they be happy and joyful." The footnotes in my bible for this verse explained that only in God is there hope. So there you's right there in the bible for ya'...Without God as the center of your life you don't have much hope for happiness in this life. I'm not talking about the people who have never faced a hardship. Sure those people are happy...they haven't been tested yet. I'm talking about those of us who have cried a river of tears from heartbreak and who have been pressed on all sides with troubles. There is no hope for you if you don't have God!!!

A quick quote for you to ponder..."Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times." I saw this on a church sign this week and I thought it summed up how we must make a conscious effort to be happy sometimes. I say...DEAL WITH IT! Sure things are going to happen in this life that causes heartbreak in our lives. Sure we are going to get depressed at times because our lives didn't turn out how we had planned. But deal with it. Allow yourself some "mad time" but only a short time. Then...DEAL WITH IT! Do you want to look back 40 years later and realize you wasted the best years of your life because you were bitter,mad, and depressed about something that happened in your life. I sure don't...I want to live by the words of the song "Praise you in this storm" "I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands for YOU are who YOU are no matter where I am. And every tear I've cried you hold in your hands and though my heart is TORN I will praise You in this storm."

Make a conscious effort today at happiness. It will make your day so much better. Then when you wake up tomorrow you can start all over again praying for God to help you make a conscious effort at happiness.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


If you came to Ian's celebration of life (aka funeral) you probably got a small bag of sunflowers to plant this spring in memory of Ian. If you didn't come to Ian's celebration of life and you want to join this tradition each spring in memory of Ian you can just go out and buy you some seeds. (I will have the extra bags from Ian's celebration of life at the shirt sale tomorrow.)

I have never planted a seed before in my life. I have especially never planted a sunflower seed and gave it tender love and care. Goodness gracious...I'll just be down right honest with you. If I even buy a flower to plant and grow as soon as I sit it out of my car it seems to die. NO JOKE!!! I am horrible at growing flowers. Wae's infamous words every year..."Did you buy all these flowers again? Are you at least going to TRY to keep them alive? How much did they cost?"

Back to the story about sunflowes...when it was time to plan the funeral I wanted sunflowers. In my opinion, sunflowers are such a "cheery" flower. I love them! We used sunflowers because I thought it could remind us all of Ian's happiness. We will all remember Ian's contagious grin when our sunflowers begin to bloom and it will once again remind us of what's important in life. I have had many people tell me about planting their sunflowers so I thought I'd let you all know (especially my Aunt Dottie) that we have planted our sunflowers. It is now time Aunt Dottie so you can start you a sunflower patch. : )

We planted our sunflowers a couple of days before Mother's Day. I love the idea of this being a Mother's Day tradition at our house. I took some pictures to give you some tips about planting your sunflowers. Some are genuine tips and some are just down right common sense which I obviously don't have much of. : )

Tip#1: Plow up the area where you want to plant your sunflowers. It can be big or small according to what size area you want.

Tip#2: Don't wear flip flops like I did. DUH...I was a mess.

Tip#3: You can plant seeds in a degradable pot and then when they sprout you can plant them in the bed where you wish to have them. I am using dwarf sunflowers in my little pots and I am planting them in this small bed in our backyard flower bed.

So...grap a rake, a shovel, and a hoe and get your sunflower area prepared. Grab your bag of seeds and plant them. You are supposed to plant them one inch deep six inches apart. We just threw them out there in our dirt and raked them in. This was all Wae's idea to do it this way and I just hope they work. If you know me well you know I wanted to use a ruler and place them exactly 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. Wae wasn't going to be that patient. So...we did it his quick way. I was going to bend over 1 million times and plant each seed in the perfect spot. Didn't happen though. : ) Then you must water them. A lot I think...we put up a sprinkler and are hoping to see some sprouts soon. Problem is...we have a dog named Miley who just might be possessed and she digs EVERYTHING UP!!! Odds of her letting us grow some sunflowers are very slim. Most important tip...they are SUNflowers. They must be planted in an area that gets full sun. Have fun planting and send pics if your sunflower garden works. I sure hope ours does.



Friday, May 7, 2010

Once a mother always a mother???

In two days we will be celebrating mothers around the world for Mother's Day. Moms will be getting flowers, candy, gifts, and hugs and kisses. It is the day that is actually set aside to honor mothers. For the past two years I was involved in those celebrations as well. This year though on Mother's Day I no longer have a child in my arms. I knew the joy of being of a mom and it was a dream come true. However, it was also a dream that resulted in being shattered to a million pieces.

So my question for you today is...If you were a mother and the child dies are you still a mom? If you were a mother of 3 and 1 child died are you still a mother of 3 or do you say you're a mother of 2? If you were a mother and you are left to live here without your child do you celebrate mother's day even though your arms are empty? I know what your answer will be...without even thinking you are saying to yourself..."Of course you are still a mom Mary!" But really think about it and put yourself in my shoes for a minute. You carried your child, you birthed your child, you raised your child the best you could and then the child died. You were left with no you consider yourself a mom still??? We are left with a hole in our hearts and a hole in our lives because our child is no longer with us. It is an emptiness that will never go away and a pain that will never cease. I pray with all I have the pain dulls in time, but I am certain it will never completely disappear.

Mother's Day...a day I used to treasure has turned into a day I wished didn't exist. It has opened up my wound that was healing and made the pain fresh again. I feel the pain of Ian dying at this holiday more intense than the week he actually passed. I see mothers being honored and I want to crumble to the ground screaming..."Why...Why...Why...I was a mother and it was taken away from me. Why??? How can that happen??? It should be against all rules of nature!"

Everywhere you turn there are reminders of mother's day...commercials, chain status updates on facebook, chain emails about mothers, contest on shows honoring the best mothers, cards at wal-mart, balloons everywhere, and even a celebratory dinner at chick-fil-a when I was at the mall(tablecloths and even a professional photographer)It is a holiday in which you cannot escape.You cannot hide in your home and escape it because it is inevitable that something will be on the TV about it. You can't go to church and escape it because all mothers will be honored on that day and you guessed it...BUT I'm not a mom anymore! It is a fact of life that every year in May I will be ripped apart because of this holiday. I pray in future years I will be a mom of healthy children on this holiday but as of now God has not chosen that path for our lives.

I have a request this year on Mother's Day. If you are a mom and you have children here to celebrate this day with you embrace this day with all your heart and love those chidren the way they deserve to be loved. Make the hugs last a little longer and let the kisses be abundant. Let the sound of their innocent child-like voices warm your heart and love them without holding back. Think about the moms around the world who are here and their chidren have died and they were left with one less child or like myself they were left with no children at all. Think about that Sunday morning when your children bring you breakfast in bed and think about that when they want you to play outside with them. Cherish every moment for me because I would give anything to be in your shoes with a house full of kids running wild and making tons of messes!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shirts...Shirts...and More Shirts!!!

It is time...our Spring t-shirts are ready and will be for sale on Wednesday, May 12 from 9 am to 4 pm. I will be set up at Cotton States Insurance (1450 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960).

I am taking NO PRE-ORDERS...unless you live out of town. If you live out of town then please email me at if you wish to place an order for the new shirts. I will email you back with the details.

The shirt prices are:
Charcoal Team Ian $15
White Team Ian $12
Pink Tie Dye $15
Black with Hands $15

Children's Shirts are all $10!

Thank you to everyone who supports our cause. The funds from this will help to pay for our 2010 Rhizo Kids Conference. We have 10 families and 8 doctors from all around the WORLD coming to this conference and we are very hopeful this will bring help for RCDP children.