VolleyBall ISAC

Every year our school sports teams finish their seasons by traveling to the International School Athletic Competition. Mikayla, along with the girls volley ball team, the boy's volleyball team and coaches travels to Cebu tomorrow for three days of tournaments with other international schools here in the Philippines.
Pray for safety in travels and playing!

A fun team photo

Grace in the Grieving

Each of us have been dealing with the loss of Jerard in our own ways. As time has moved on from the actual event we discuss it with each other less often. But at times, especially in the evenings, the pain of missing him can flare for a sibling or parent.

The other day, Ben was dealing with many emotions related to missing Jerard and some other school stressors he's facing.

After he and I talked for over an hour, after many tears were shed, as I prayed for him, my hurting 11 year old son, I wrote this....

Grace In The Grieving

His 11 year old brothers cries
He misses his little blind brother so much
He asks why God made Jerard with so many handicaps and
why God took him ?Did God use Jerard for what purpose?
Hard questions
Psalm 139 reminds us that it is God who knit each of us together just as we are, there are no mistakes
I tell him I don't know why God makes some people 'normal' and others with handicaps, but I do know God makes no mistakes.

He wonders what the purpose of Jerard's life was, when
his death has caused this brother's heart to hurt so much
I share with him how God used Jerard in my life to help me know deeply and fully His love for me just as I am.
I loved Jerard just as he was. God loves each of us just as we are; with all our human failings and flaws; that His love is so
amazing it is hard to put it in words.

He wonders if Jerard is really in heaven. I explain about children and babies being covered under their parents righteousness just as Jesus' blood covers us in His righteousness.....
deep theological questions and study

He wonders why God has given him a brain that has a hard time grappling with spelling and other things
Again, I tell him I don't know why
but I do know that God makes no mistakes; that there is a reason for everything that happens even though mostly
we don't know that reason while we walk through the suffering

How do I tell him that we are all failing, hurting, struggling,
not perfect. We are all heart broken, longing for Heaven
and peace,...
How do I help him understand that the grace in this darkness
is that he is being drawn closer to his Saviour, Jesus
And that is just where he needs to be, on the solid rock of Christ when all around is shifting sand.
How do I help him process this grief, these hurts?
Human relationships hurt - when siblings say and do unkind things to each other, when a parent doesn't listen patiently, when school mates poke fun, when a sibling dies,.....

How do I share the grace there is in the hurting, in the
He is in such darkness at times...
and at times he wants to join his brother in heaven so he doesn't have to hurt anymore

my mother-heart grieves

Maybe I should share with him this poem I wrote ---------

Bruised Reed

This is the grace
embrace the dark
know my Saviour closer...
A bruised reed He will not break...
I am loved.
He holds my shame.
He knows my name.
I am His.
The ugly can be beautiful.
The dark can give birth to light and life
suffering can deliver grace
and I hear Him saying, "just be, just be."

Symanzik Family Update 9/30

News from us this week:

We have had fever and cold-like symptoms going through our house this past week. I got hit the worst and am still recovering. Ben missed two days of school; Mikayla missed the volleyball tournament yesterday because of it. Kurt and Kirsten seemed to avoided it altogether.

The adoption process is in motion. Here in the Philippines an announcement regarding the adoption of a child has to run in a newspaper for three weeks. That 'ad' has been run. Our social worker is finishing up her homestudy report. Our court date for the adoption is March 4, 2013. Please pray it does not get postponed.

We are planning a furlough starting June or July of 2013 for a year. Mikayla will head off to college and we want to be in the states for her first year. There will be many cultural adjustments for all our children. Ben has lived longer in the Philippines than he has in the USA. James has never been in the USA (yet). Kirsten was 8 when we came here.

Pray for us as we prepare for furlough. Pray for our children as they go through the school year.

At The Market 9 25 12

James and I, along with a friend and her son, went to the market today to show it to the boys.

A vendor pointed at James and said, "native." He then pointed at James' friend and said, "imported." We all laughed!

Going to the market is fun!Another vendor asked me if James was my adopted son. I said, "yes." Then she asked, laughingly, if I'd adopt her, too! I just laughed, paid her for the flowers I was buying, and silently prayed for God to bless her.

A Recent Conversation with James

Conversation with my four year old -
James "when I get dead I get to see Jerard?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "And when you get dead you'll see Jerard?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "And when Daddy gets dead he'll see Jerard?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "And when Ben gets dead he'll see Jerard?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "And when Lala and Kirsten get dead they'll see Jerard?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "So when we all get dead we will all be together and we will all see Jerard and be with Jesus forever?"
Me - "Yes"
James - "I miss Jerard. I am sad he is gone. But I'll see him again, right?"
Me - "Yes, honey, you will see him again!"

Moments like these melt a momma's heart! Thank You, Jesus, for James' tender heart.