For my Montezuma Elementary friends or anyone who loves purple!
Purple & Silver European Style Bracelet
Purple and silver European lampwork glass beads accented with silver spacer beads on an adjustable snake chain
This one is for my Rosedale Elementary friends, but it also works for South Vermillion and Purdue fans! Add a little *SpArKle* To your favorite school gear or outfit!
Black & Gold European Style Bracelet
Gold and Black European style glass lampwork beads, with metal accents in gold and silver, on a silver-plated adjustable snake chain
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I’ll be wearing this pink and blue European style bracelet in honor of our own dear Grace and all babies lost too soon.
October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so I’m also wearing a bracelet for our local #ColtonStrong family. Get yours here! AND…. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That bracelet is coming soon! Message me if you’re interested in being among the first to see it!
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness
Adjustable European Style lampwork glass bead bracelet in Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness colors of blue and pink.
I’m not sure how to even start explaining this evening. The group that came out to the talk about losing a child was small – probably around 20, although it never occurred to me to count. We think there were six children represented. One mother lost her son at the age of 27, another a daughter at the age of 24. I think the other four were infants. The television reporter that interviewed me before we started asked if I was looking for there to be a large crowd. I said that I honestly hoped there would not be. A large crowd would mean a lot of grieving mothers and fathers, a lot of missed children. I spent some time in the last few days praying that God would bring those who needed to be there, so I trust that this was the perfect amount of people. There was a small amount of sharing that I’m not sure would have happened in a larger group.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to read the reaction. I almost felt as if people were bored. Listening through translation is hard because it just slows everything way down. But as I got into the telling of our story, I saw eyes filling with tears and heads nodding in understanding. Sweet Iwona gave me strength as I made eye contact with her and knew she was praying me through this.
Women came up and wrote the names of their children on flowers and placed them in the vase with the one for Grace. The tears and long embraces with these grieving moms needed no interpretation. I talked with others who told me about their friends who lost babies and one who told me about siblings she didn’t know she should have had until relatively recently. The evening was very emotional. Though there were many tears of sadness, I feel as if tonight I was in the center of God’s will for me. It feels good to be in that place, no matter how hard it is. I pray with all my being that those who were there really heard whatever God was wanting to speak to their hearts.
I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the prayers that were offered to support me through this. I am especially grateful for the amazing husband God has blessed me with. Before the evening started, Ben prayed over me. His words melted my heart and brought God’s peace over me in a way I’ll never forget. As I stood at the podium and waited while Andrzej gave the introduction, I just knew that there were people, literally all over the world, praying for this time. I don’t talk about things in this way often, but I truly felt your prayers. It wasn’t until later that I learned that Ben had posted a message to Facebook as the event stated. Many replied that they were praying right at that moment. Thank you, Body of Christ, for lifting me up today.
Wow. So much to tell you about today.
The sweet April Korytkowski made scrambled eggs for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch in the absence of the kitchen staff, so Anna and Ethan have eaten decently today in case you’ve been worried about their nutritional well-being!
Shortly after breakfast Andrzej and I went to meet with a couple of ladies from his church to plan the “seminar” where I will speak to women who have lost babies (as well as to their families, and friends) – sharing the thoughts I’ve published through my Embracing Grace blog. These ladies have experience doing PR work and went to work after hearing me give a brief description of what I will talk about. A couple of hours later, the entire event had shaped up to be much bigger than I had imagined! It will be held at the public meeting room at the Ostróda city hall, they are putting together fliers to send to all the churches, and an announcement via the town’s LCD Bulletin Board. Tomorrow morning, Andrzej is taking me to the “studio” for the recording of a public service announcement. I started worrying that maybe they had the idea that I’m some sort of famous speaker back in “The States”. They did ask how they should introduce me – counselor? author? I basically just said that I’m just a ordinary person and my only qualification is that I’ve been there. Please be in prayer for this event. As much as I’ve written about this topic and talked about it, I’m a bit nervous! It seems, however, that this may very well be part of the plan God has had for me being here and I am eager to be obedient. Please pray that God will bring the right people to the event who need to hear His message and that I will deliver it in a way that accomplishes His purpose.
The remainder of the day was spent making final preparations for the Holocaust Survivors. This involved hanging the Shalom banner over the cross. If you were following this blog last year, you may remember my post about this. If not, I encourage you to read Shalom, where I explained my own coming to understanding of why this is done for this group of visitors. Anna, Lydia, April and I prepare beds and checked on the rooms to make sure all was right. Ben did some mowing and continued to work on the camp’s WiFi (There is currently only one location where you can get online, but it will remain that way for the time being. This group of visitors probably doesn’t care too much!)
Finally…. around 6:30, the Holocaust Survivors arrived by charter bus from Warsaw, where they spent the day shopping and site-seeing after traveling from Israel. Just when we were finally getting comfortable with a few Polish words… let’s add Russian to the mix! My “I’m so sorry, but I don’t speak Russian” lead to a few nods and uncomfortable departures, but also a few people speaking broken English to me, so I’ve already identified some with whom I can communicate with on my own. The rest will have to wait for the arrival of the interpreters (four young adults from the Ukraine), who should be here tomorrow I think. We warned Anna and Ethan that they would get fussed over, and they absolutely did. Last year, I received polite nods as they arrived. This year, with both kids (and Lydia) by my side, I was surrounded by sweet little old ladies wooo-ing and ahhhh-ing over their hair. Touching them, hugging them, patting them on the back, and one even kissed Ethan (much to his displeasure!) I recognized several faces as returnees from last year, including my friend Erika. I’m not sure she remembers me, but I hope to talk to her tomorrow.
After dinner we had our first session with them, in which Ben and I were introduced. Ben explained who were are, where we are from and that we are there simply because we have a love for Poland, for Israel and for God and are there to serve them.
I hope that becomes evident in our actions this week.