My mom’s friend had a dream either right before Noah went to heaven or shortly after, but it was my mom’s friend hovering over the earth. She could see these little baby footprints quickly taking long strides around the earth, stepping deeply onto each continent. I don’t know all of the details because it wasn’t my dream, but the message in it is beautiful and powerful. No matter how old we are, if we allow our lives to be lived fully for the purpose of Christ, we will make a deep impact.

I heard or read the other day a saying that brings a smile to my face and even though it may not sound spiritual, it helps me view God more outside of the box that we as humans try so hard to put Him in…it went like this…God takes babies and children to heaven because He doesn’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of old people. Now, I know it’s not scripture, but heck, God likes variety in every other area of His creation, so why not heaven? This reminds me of a story. Em and I were at the mall a few years back and were waiting in line for a snack. The man behind us was very dark skinned, perhaps from Africa or an island in the Caribbean. Em said out loud, “Mom, why does that man have such dark skin?” The man graciously looked at me, waiting for my reply, of which I was not ashamed. I said, “Em, God loves variety. He thought it would be boring if everyone looked the same and had the same color skin, so He made some people yellow, some brown, some black, some pink, some orange. He just really likes variety.” The man loved the answer and Em was taught that day that God values every one of His creation.

I bring this up because I have been extremely overwhelmed lately thinking about the awesome responsibility before us to ready ourselves for the Lord’s return. I was reading 1 & 2 Peter and I came across the scripture that talks about “looking forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” Have you ever read it like that? Have you ever seen the responsibility part about “speed its coming?” It’s in 2 Peter 3 regarding the day of the Lord. As I pray and think about all that transpires on the earth on a daily basis, I am overwhelmed. I know from our experience with Noah that there are millions of other people who live daily with worse turmoil. I sometimes let my mind go there and want to puke, quite frankly. I know that every minute around the world there are murders, rapes, kidnappings, tragedies, car bombs, accidents, new diseases, stillborns, miscarriages, starvation, etc. etc. etc. Then there are the aimless, those looking for themselves in the mirror, unable to recognize the person they have become. There are so many who are sad and lonely, depressed, living in relationships that are abusive. So many insecurities, looking for man’s approval…All of this to say, I know I can’t pray for it all, but I am moved to challenge all of us and everyone we know who will pray, to start praying outside of our own circles. Is there a country, a city, a people group, a family member, an enemy, single moms, whatever, for whom you could be praying? I know I can’t solve all the world’s problems and I know you can’t either. But, if you ever feel overwhelmed about these things like I do, if we spread out the prayer responsibility, we won’t be consumed with the burden. Maybe there’s a missionary you’ve always thought about supporting? Maybe you’ve always thought it would be cool to “adopt” a child from overseas for whom you receive monthly updates. I’m asking the Lord to lay specific things on my heart to pray for and to listen to His voice as those things change. Anyway, just in writing this, I feel a bit of a burden lifted, but the needs are still there. I want to be used on this earth to make an eternal difference in people’s lives. I’ll keep you posted as the Lord leads us as to what to do as a family. (Sorry this one’s so random…)



18 Responses

  1. Thanks for the reminder to pray and care for others. If we each do our part in the body – what God brings to mind and where He provides an opportunity – it won’t be as overwhelming. You’ve challenged me…again.

  2. This speaks great volumes to me Adrienne! I have felt the nudging in one of these areas and it was confirmed through your words. Thank you for the message and I will continue to pray for wisdom and guidance in the area I feel led.
    God bless you! Love you!

  3. Well said Ade. I feel like most of my time back home has been convincing others to stop praying for my safety (cuz God’s got that one under control) and start praying for the people, for the nation, for the Kingdom to come. I get greatly saddened that many people are only concerned about the world “as it pertains to themselves.” We all need to hear the heartbeat of God and respond to it.

    I’m headed back overseas on Monday. My heart is still broken but God never said we had to be in one piece in order to love others. I’m sure you understand that!

    Give my love to Jason and Em as well.

  4. It’s so amazing how God works. I have been ignoring my heart for awhile now in re: to praying for people I don’t know w/ the excuse well Lord I don’t know them, I don’t even know where to begin. I drive past stangers on the road and God say’s Misi pray for that couple and I think how silly where do I even begin. Still I give it a half hearted try but now I have been convicted by your words. O.k. I’m in, let’s start to rock the world Adrienne!

  5. First, let me say that I will SO be using that explanation for my kids about why we all look so different. My daughter is really starting to ask those questions and yours has to be the most beautiful and perfect answer I’ve ever heard/read.

    Second, your last post – the picture was amazing. The message intense. Unless you’ve been there (which I have not) no one can imagine the whirlwhind of emotion in that decision. Here’s my thoughts/opinion to take or leave: You will forever know that Noah is in the best place any of us could hope to be. Even still, the ‘want’ to feel his physical presence will never go away, and that is only human. I would encourage you to ask yourself the questions in a differnt way. Instead of “would I want this new child to be Noah” – say “would I wish that Noah could be here to experience this new child”. The answer will be yes. A new child, no matter how he/she is brought into the family, will not be a replacement – they will be another member of a wonderful family who will continue to do God’s work and help ensure that the legacy of Noah lives on. Just my thoughts.

    Third – your post today struck me also. Two weeks ago, I’m coming to work – running late. It’s 8:15 a.m. and about 40 degrees. As I sat at a light, waiting to turn East I saw a woman on the West corner sitting in an empty parking lot trying to sell baby items. The word desparation immediately came in my head, loud and clear, along with the overwhelming urge to turn my van around and go speak with her, to find out her story… and I didn’t, because I was late for work. And I regret it to this day.

    Thansk for doing what your doing in the midst of all you are dealing with. God bless and much love from Oklahoma!

  6. Thank you again for writing such thought-provoking words. Again you have made me think and want to improve my walk with the Lord. Your words each and every post have been inspiring. This post definately spoke to me on something that I have been struggling with and your words was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  7. I believe you have a will continue to make a difference each and every day. God gave you Noah because he knew you were the perfect family for him, and through you and Noah i am learning a little more about the Lord each day. I feel blessed to have found you and Noah, and although you dont know me and we will probably never meet you have made an impact on my life and the way I look at it each day. Thank you for sharing your family and your strength

  8. Just this week I was in a horrible car accident, I must say my very first accident that was indeed my fault. I was paying attention to the car behind me not the one in front of me. I struggle everyday with living my life in the past and not looking forward to the life I have in Christ. I just want to say once again, you have hit the “nail on the head”. God wants us to pray for everyone…not just those we love and know. He also wants us to move forward with Him and not let our lives from the past control our lives now. I was made aware on Monday how God spared my life only to give HIm the glory for the past, today and the future. Whatever that future brings. You have shown so many including myself that leaving for today does not just mean forgetting the horrible things of the past, but giving God the praise for the things of the past that have made us the person in Christ we are. Don’t know if this makes alot of since. Thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement, they always seem to come when needed.

  9. I miss Noah so much….watching him, holding his hand, kissing his cheek….making sure he was still breathing…holding him…bathing him. But, I know that his little body was not made for this world, because he was allergic to everything. God gave me a little insight into Noah’s mission here in this worldly realm. His story has helped so many people to climb into the “ark” of Jesus Christ… ride out this flood of sin and dissipation that has come upon the world in these times. The first Noah invited them all to come into the ark, and so did Noah Steven. Thank You, God, for Your little messenger. Love, Bebe

  10. This is not random at all. I was just talking to a dear friend of yours and the things you just wrote hit the nail right on the head. We are both trying to find our purpose. Getting out of the box and looking at others is so often the key. When I focus on praying for others I find I thrive. When I give to others I thrive.
    Good words Ad! Good words.
    A friend in Michigan

  11. Let me start off by saying I came across the video of Noah on YouTube through another video, and it led me to this site. Last night and this morning, I have skimmed over your entries through tears and smiles. The way you write has touched me so deeply. Your connection with God seems so strong, and that connection glows through the words that you type. I’m sixteen and a Christian, but I have to admitt, at times I do question God. I know that I should have complete faith Him, but at times it is hard. My parents are Christians, too, but unlike you and your husband, they have not taught me the ways of Jesus. It has been a quiet topic in our family that isn’t discussed much, so my questions often go unanswered. My true test of faith came this last August with the passing of my Grandfather. I only really saw him three times a year, but he meant the world to me. Devastating events happened two days before my sixteenth birthday that prevented him from coming to visit. I was angry. And I asked God, “Why?” It was my first loss, and it hit hard. Reading into the life of you and your two beautiful children, I feel selfish – I got 16 years with my grandfather, and you got seven months with your handsome little boy. Noah’s story has touched me very deeply. He’s lucky to have parents who have such pride in him, and want to share his story with the world. I admire your strength to go on believing, and helping others believe. It’s amazing how a seven month old has been to all seven continents, reaching out and sharing God’s love, without even leaving his hospital bed. I went on my first Mission Trip with my church last summer to Fountain, Colorado. It was the greatest experience in my life, and I could truly feel God working with me and through me. I met amazing people, and have many incredible stories that I share from that experience. This summer, I’m going to Mississippi to work there. I will forever remember your son Noah, and I will share his story with the people that I know, and with the new people that I meet. His life is already known by many, but there are still more yearning for a sense of hope and purpose, and Noah’s story will definitely do the trick. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful Guardian Angel.

    Your family is forever in my prayers,

  12. I was encouraged to read your story through JoEllen Hummel shortly after Noah went to be with the Lord and like so many others, I have been hooked since. I am amazed at your faithfulness to grow, in the midst of a great loss, as well as encourage all of us to grow too. Your family has been constantly in my thoughts and prayers even though I’ve never met you. I often wonder, like you, how I can do more for people who are hurting. But like you’ve so simply put it – prayer is POWERFUL! Thank you.

    I also want to thank you for what an inspiration you have been to me. I have a 16 month old daughter and after reading Noah’s story, I now hug her a little tighter, prayer for her a little harder and love her much deeper. Thank you!

  13. I only started reading about Noah 3 days ago. I have to say that nothing has ever touched me so deeply in my life. Noah’s story has ripped my heart right out of my chest. I feel a total connection with your family and have never met you, not even once. I honestly haven’t been able to get Noah and your family out of my thoughts even for a second. I also was on YouTube and came upon a small picture of this beautiful little boy. I clicked on the video not really understanding what the video was all about. I soon realized and said to myself,”nope, walk away from your computer and go do something else because this will only upset you.” So, I did for a few minutes and for some reason something kept telling me to go back and read more. I clicked on the link to your blog and there I sat for about 3 hours crying, sobbing, and greiving for this beautiful little child and his wonderful family. I almost felt your pain as his Mother as if he was my own child. It hurt me that deeply.I was instantly drawn into Noah and your family and am still. It’s the strangest thing for me because of course I have always had a very tender heart for anything that has to do with children. I have two son’s myself, Ryan 8, and Brandon just turned 3!They are both my world as Noah and Emily are yours I’m sure. What I can’t understand though is why Noah’s story has touched my life so deeply that I have questioned myself as a mom, a friend, and a Christian. After reading all that Noah, you and your family have been through, I can honestly say I would not have handled it in the same way.I think I would have completely fallen apart, withdrew from anyone and everyone, and would be of no use to even my family anymore.I have seen all of your pictures more than once and still cannot keep from sobbing instantly. The picture of you holding Noah immediately after he went to be with the Lord tears my heart out everytime I see it. I could see that your nose was red and your eyes were wet with tears, I was so angry that you had to feel that kind of pain. I have tried telling Noah’s story to several friends and family and can’t even get through the beginning before I breakdown. I lack the faith you have in God as terrible as that is to say, it’s the truth, but at the same time I know God know’s my heart and I’m hoping he will forgive me for saying that. I’m only being honest with myself. I really feel the reason I was compelled to go back and continue to look at your beautiful, yet heartbreaking pictures and read Noah’s incredible story was because I have been lacking God in my life and have been depriving my own children of the MOST important part of their lives. Your son has literally changed every part of who I am and who I want to be as a wife, mother and a woman of God. It amazes me how in only 3 days, I am forever changed because of a beautiful, 7 month old baby boy named, Noah and your family. I have a long road of learning ahead of me to get where you are now in your faith and it honestly boggles my mind on where to even begin? But, I think I know where to find the book with all the answers close by. I want you to know how much I miss your beautiful son and how my heart aches to no end for you as his Mother, Jason as his Father and of course Sweet Emily, his wonderful Big Sister but I am comforted in the words you write and the family that you are, that you really are going to be okay. I have so many questions running through my head for you as his Mother that I don’t even know where to begin. I know though that any question I could possibly ask would be answered by you the same way, because of your faith in the Lord. So really, I already have my answers without even asking you. How I wish I would have learned of Noah before January 12, 2007. I would have been on a plane to meet him and your family in a heartbeat. Although, through your words I feel I already know Noah and your family as well.I think that is why I felt your pain right to my core. I have been blessed in more ways than you can imagine by Noah’s life and his story. I want to thank you and Noah from the bottom of my heart for showing me what is most important in life and also for allowing me, a perfect stranger into your wonderful world. Thank you so very much. If you ever get a chance, I would love to hear from you. My email address is If not, I am more than happy to continue reading your blog and learning more and more about God and how to become closer to him. Again, thank you so very much and I will pray for your family as well as others in pain throughout this crazy world we live in.

    Paula and Family

  14. You’re so right, Adrienne. I am often so overwhelmed by the burden of all the hurt in the world that it makes me want to give up even trying. I will pray for God to put some specific people on my heart who are outside my family/friends circle. Thanks for the idea.

  15. The idea of God wanting to be surrounded by children gives me great peace. My baby girl is with Noah and God. I look forward to the day when I will get to see her again.

    Your blog has helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life, thank you.

  16. Stumbled across your story in a bizarre way and I am just so incredibly moved. I am so very sorry for your loss and also so awed by your faith. My mind is reeling from everything you’ve shared and you’ve touched me greatly. Thank you for sharing so much!

  17. You don’t know me… I’m a friend of the Poppens. Anyway, I check your blog a lot and it helps put my day in perspective. God really uses it to encourage and see Him more. So thank you.
    I have felt the same about going out and doing good. I wrote about it this morning in my journal. And three things I’m going to try to do is…
    1. get a group of youth kids together to once a month go play bingo with some old people at a retirement home.
    2. Stop by this place called the Hope House for mothers of domestic violence and see if there are any needs to be met.. even just playing with their children.
    3. Give money to help the orphans.. there’s plenty of websites online that are legit and help the orphans around the world… because I realize i don’t think i can just hop on a plane today and go help them.. sometimes praying and giving doesn’t feel like enough.. but we can’t forget how powerful prayer is!!
    Anyway, all that to just give ideas of how we can live out our mission and FIND WHERE GOD IS MOVING AND PARTNER WITH HIM!!

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