I love South Dakota. It gets under your skin. I know a lot of people have their opinions, but if they have never visited then they just don’t know that small towns, prairie landscapes, and really wonderful people live there. One of my friends lives in L.A. and wants to move to a small town where the corner diner serves a good cup of coffee, a fried egg, and a piece of buttered toast and the owner knows her name. Those aren’t found a lot in L.A. but I know of a couple in Eastern South Dakota. I mean, if it weren’t true that SD has a lot to offer, then why did a lot of my friends marry wonderful people from there? And though it’s probably different for a native who wants to spread their wings a bit and see the world, I hear a lot make their pilgrimage back ‘home’ whether to stay or just visit because it’s peaceful, beautiful and feels right. Maybe it’s because you can’t help but feel what ‘Pa and Ma and Laura and Mary and Carrie and Grace’ felt when they pioneered there. (Yes, memories of sub-zero temps all winter fade when spring arrives, but they don’t totally disappear, which is why we haven’t moved there…Anyway.)

I had a great trip! I got to see a lot of people I love and now I love a lot of new people, as well! I really enjoyed my time in Sioux Falls with the MOPS group where I shared. The women of this group are wonderful moms with so many different stories. Looking around the room at all their faces made me even more excited to continue to share not only Noah’s story and our journey through it, but mainly God’s message of hope and love through Jesus Christ. I came home totally inspired and recharged, which does not usually happen after taking a trip. I’m usually a little fried and ready for down time, but meeting these women, as well as connecting with family and old friends, and sharing tears and laughter with them really inspired me! I am sure when people hear that a woman who lost her little boy is coming to speak to a group, they envision sadness and tears, and frankly, aren’t too excited about the prospect of listening to something so sad. However, I really feel like God has given me a lot of grace to be able to share our story with hope, total honesty, and real joy. That’s why I know it’s God and not me.

MOPS, http://www.mops.org/ stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. It’s a great group that meets in many cities, maybe even yours, to provide an opportunity to connect with other moms in the same stage of life as you. I love the way it’s set up because they have mentors for each table of 6-8 or so. Mentoring is one of my favorite things, so the structure of their organization is something I appreciate.

One of the ladies on the steering committee encouraged me to open it up for questions after I shared. I hadn’t done that before but loved the opportunity. There was one question in particular that had me thinking long after we all left the meeting. To summarize since my memory is not the best, the woman asked how we worked through this with Emily, how we protected her, essentially. I said something about how kids are way smarter than we are and have a less complicated faith…that accepting that God is good, that He loves us, Heaven is a real and wonderful place, that there are castles, no sickness or disease or sadness, it’s God’s home and ours, and that we might even get to pet tigers there. As I thought about it later I realized that Heaven and the knowledge of Heaven is not something to protect our kids from, which means death is a topic that cannot remain taboo. If we really believe God is not a liar, that His word is true and that Christ literally endured the cross for the joy set before Him and to make a way for all who believe, then the main thing to protect our children from is the fear of death.

Imagine if the next generation, as well as your own, were to be free from the fear of death. It’s difficult to do when your perspective is everywhere below eye level. But it’s not impossible because with God, all things are possible.



12 Responses

  1. I want SD now more than ever! Why I would plop myself in the middle of this crazy town I’ll never know. I hope you’ll continue to experience these types of great joys cuz I think that might help to ease – if just for a moment – the pain. Have a request – to whomever happens to read this – I need prayers for peace, hope, and confidence measured with patience. And help seeking God with ALL my heart and allowing him to comfort me. Miss you. xo

  2. i love your eternal perspective here. 🙂 i too have bridged the subject of life/death/eternal life with seth. you are so right – they just simply believe when you tell them the simple message of the promise for those who love Christ… i decided i wanted to mention it early on to him (he’s only just 5 and i told him a while back) so that it wouldn’t be taboo or a scary surprise to learn of.

    ps – mops was such a blessing to me during such a lonely time. it’s a special group for moms of young ones. i’m so glad you were able to share your story of HOPE with those ladies. i imagine the blessing will live on with them for years to come. well done. 🙂

  3. Just found your blog – WOW – you are so inspiring. God does work in mysteriuos ways and I am in awe of the work he has chosen for you… I have to read further to understand the whole scope of your blog, as to Noah and what actually happened. AND – I’m from SD! That wonderful no man’s land. Great blog, and I can’t wait to read more.

  4. those of us who live here by choice and even with the knowledge of warmer climates and much larger pay checks elsewhere, like to consider God’s country…even when we’re socked in with a 30 below zero blizzard.

    i am so sorry to have missed you on this visit. summer?

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Each woman was truly touched, in awe, ministered to and now in love with Noah and his mommy. You are a light and a blessing and I know there are a couple of MOPS groups that would warmly welcome you back to SD next year! Thank you to Jason and Emily for sharing your wife and mom with us. It’s easy to see why you love her so much!

  6. Jodi,
    Go to the first blog posting in 2006 and read forward from there. You will gain a whole new perspective on not only the author of this blog, but more important, on how gracious and merciful and sustaining our God is in the midst of the most howling storms of life. How He brings us through things we would rather walk around is testimony to the power of His love for us.

  7. Hy Adrienne!! So glad you had such a wonderful trip!! Where’s all teh pics?? LOL…WOW, what a lesson I learned in this blog of yours…My 4 year old just asked me yesterday,”mommy, what happens when you turn into a REALLY, REALLY old lady?” hehehe…but my point is, i didn’t know whether to have that conversation with such a little guy or not because i didn’t want to scare him…I think I know now how to walk him thru that conversation if it ever comes up again!! Thanks girl!!

    Paula and Family

  8. I love SD too! I love that where I live is a small town and I know a lot of people. I love going to the store and running into at least 2 people I know just to say hi and carry on with my business. Glad you had a good trip and were able to share your wonderful journey with great women. Wish I could have been there!

  9. Adrienne,

    I just found your blog yesterday and went back to sort of catch up. I’m without words…except to say thank you for sharing your journey with your little boy and I am ever so touched and humbled by what you have been through.



  10. I’ve been to SD…it is beautiful!

    I don’t understand how people can claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior and be afraid of death….HELLO….I can’t wait to be with Jesus! (but won’t do anything to speed up His time frame!) Heaven is real. And hell is real…it’s time we start talking about it to spare people/loved ones/friends/co-workers from going to hell.

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