An Excerpt from the book I am working on

There is a wonderful, inexplicable participation in the life and power of Jesus when we suffer. We can have joy and comfort as we travel in this fellowship of suffering. Christ endured his suffering "for the joy set before Him" (Heb 12:2) so that we can have joy and comfort IN our sufferings. We have a host of believers who are already in heaven cheering us on.

Yes, in the midst of pain it may feel like we are alone but at the darkest times Christ works His greatest work in our lives and we must remember we are in a fellowship - a fellowship of sufferers.

Job, at the beginning of his trials, understood the wisdom of quiet submission to the secret will of God. "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord..." Job 1:21......................

The path can lead through valleys deep and dark, full of pain, tumult, confusion, chaos and also the path can be restful.

There are seasons it seems for the dark and the rest....just as in nature there are seasons.

God has a rythym and order to all He designs. But no matter where the path is leading the main thing is to keep my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen and Amen.

"Jesus has no tenderness toward anything that is
ultimately going to ruin a man in service
to Him. If God brings to your mind a verse which
hurts you, you may be sure that there is
something He wants to hurt."

Andrew Murray, "With Christ In The School of Prayer."
Old Tappan, NJ; Fleming Revell Co; 1953

above excerpt copyright 2012 Beth M. Symanzik

IV tubing, cookies and Advent

cleaning out the kitchen cabinets yesterday, looking for the
Christmas cookie cutters, I came across
IV tubing from Jerard's last hospitalization when he came home
with an IV for us to continue his medicines.
I thought I'd thrown that out a long time ago.

Tears ran down my face as I held that tubing, remembering
my little guy, his smile, his patience, his soft breath on my neck
when I held him.
And for a while I really missed the sleepless nights and
getting up at various hours of the night to give him
medicines and snuggles.

I hugged the tubing to my body before putting it into the
outgoing trash.

letting go and moving on.

Grief ebbs and flows.

someone recently emailed me that it would be great for Jerard
this holiday season to be spending his first Christmas in heaven
with the Reason for the season.

Yes, it's great Jerard is in Heaven. But there are moments
my momma heart really misses him.

His brother misses him, too. We were baking cookies and he
spontaneously said to me, "I miss my brother."

I hugged him. We took a picture of Jerard and the figurines
representing each of my children...
and soon he was busy having fun rolling out the
dough, eating the dry flour (he says it tastes good), taking
cookies off the trays after they were baked.

In a couple days we will frost the cookies as a family;
and James will be having a frosting party with some friends,

Life goes on.
Grief ebbs and flows.
Jerard is missed and yet there is a thankfulness he is no
longer trapped in a body not working right for him. He is
with Jesus!!!

Advent is the preparation of Christ coming as a baby.

John Piper wrote a great poem - I share it with you, now...

Advent Beauty
Tilting on her yearly track
Advent beauty circles back,
Flying faster with the years,
Hardly giving time for tears
First to dry upon the cheek--
Has it been more than a week
_Since we laid both young and old_

In the ground now winter cold?

Has there really been a spring
When the birds began to sing?
Has there been both summer, fall
Since the Baby in the stall
Called us with a Christmas bell
to sing, O Come, Immanuel?
Tilting on her yearly track
Advent beauty circles back,
Flying faster with the years--
Ah, but overtaking fears.
Let the Lord of advent lift
Every care (an early gift!);
See the Savior and the Son
Shine in advent candle one.

Typhoon Pablo (Bopha)

While we here in Davao had plenty of rain yesterday, just north of us was hit much harder and 81 people died in the storm.

Pray for the many affected by the storm!


I don't know what my friends in the USA are hearing about our weather here....there is a typhoon passing by about 60 miles north of us. We have lots of rain, pleasantly cool weather and breezes - with some strong gusts at times...but overall, it's just a really rainy day here.
Our kids are disappointed. The mayor cancelled schools in Davao today due to flooding but our kids' school is still in session!!!

read more at:

Mother's Hearts

A pain to deep for words stirs in my soul
A Korean friend's three year old hydrocephalic daughter died yesterday. Her daughter blind, unable to walk, talk...

We have the bond of mothers with special needs children.
Even in language difficulties we understand each other's heart as a mother of a visitor from Heaven.

Going to the visitation today stirred up the ache and grief;
their visitation held at the same funeral home we used for Jerard.

My momma's heart breaks for the son I buried six months ago
and for my friend's fresh loss of her daughter.

And we each have a son in fifth grade who have the
common bond of being the sibling of a special needs child.
Ben and his classmate share a special bond.

Both of us thankful our children are with Jesus...
Our children are friends in Heaven, playing, laughing, seeing, doing all the things they couldn't here on earth but can now in
the presence of Jesus for eternity!

but both of us aching to hold our child, our visitor from heaven.