Monday, October 31, 2011

Hintz House Halloween

Halloween has never been a personal favorite on my list of "Holidays."

I don't like the history of today and I especially have a hard time with the celebration of death. Because I don't feel like death should be celebrated, it's an enemy of mine and I hate death, so there you have it.

I do however, enjoy Trick or Treating with my kids. I think they are so adorable all dressed up and walking from house to house, bravely ringing doorbells and receiving their reward of sugary sweets. I also really appreciate the excuse to see all my neighbors. What other day of the year do you get to check in with everyone at once? Mark and I see Halloween as a great chance to befriend our neighborhood, to be involved and familiar with those living near us and to meet other kids we often see running around.

Someday we'll have to go more in depth with Emma and Hazen as to what "Halloween" means. And at that point, we hope to be honest and practical. I'm not worried about that day. Its good for our children to know that not everyone is like us, that we believe different things than many other people do, but we still love on those people. We want them to understand the culture they are being raised in, and to have a full understanding of the differences between what they see and what Jesus says, so that they can make informed and wise decisions about their own perspectives.

And until that day comes, I'm going to continue to enjoy seeing a certain little Green Fairy and a seriously strong Space Hero running around with those giant smiles on their faces!

Friday, October 28, 2011

10 Months

I don't know what to write today, except that I am heartsick.

When Emma was 10 months old, we became pregnant with Hazen. Which is not going to be the case, 10 months after losing Jairus. Medical concerns have yet to be resolved (again, posts for another time) and we are in a waiting game. But it makes Jairus seem old to think about that, how his sister was on her way to becoming an older sibling at this age. 10 months. Wow.

Its a beautiful, chilly fall day. Probably the last 28th of the month without snow covering the ground until spring. Which means soon, going to the cemetery will be reminiscent of the day we placed his body in the ground. And that will be another hurdle for my heart to adjust to as well.

I've started Christmas shopping online, trying to get it over with before I get too upset about my baby not being a part of Christmas morning this year. But its not helping much, I feel choked up and tightness in my chest just looking at toys, much less deciding which ornaments we'll add to the kids' collections this year. We'll be starting a new collection, but not one we'd hoped for. But holidays will be discussions for other days, I am sure.

Sorry for my random thoughts, but that's where I am at today. I feel tired and sad and busy and scattered and joyful and weary. All mixed up together within me. Its not such a different day than others. Each day has its hurts, its trials. But it also has its joys, its own 'echos of Eden' its times of laughter and silliness and hope. That's where we're resting somewhere in the middle of all that this life has for us today. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I find myself continually blessed to be surrounded by people who love and know me well enough to still speak to me and ask me about Jairus. I know it is not the experience many people have when they are in grief.

We have also experienced the opposite...people find out about our stillborn son and it equals the end of a conversation. Or people know us but don't know how to bring him up or ask about the impact of Jairus's journey to heaven on our family, so it is never mentioned. I completely understand this, it's hard to talk about the hard things in life. And I know that the more time that passes, the more Jairus's death becomes a part of what is going on in our life, rather than the sole thing we are dealing with on a daily basis.

I guess I just wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who allow me to speak about my heaven baby. And also welcome those of you who have questions to share them, I'd love to get some feedback and ideas for blogging. Whether its about grief in general, faith, stillbirth, suffering, parenting or marriage during grief or specifically about my own experience...anything. Just know that I am willing to talk and answer questions to the best of my limited ability.

Sometimes we just don't have a place where we are allowed to question things, or fear that we'll come across as insensitive or stupid. But its not always so. Without being in honest communication about the harder things in life, we can't grow in understanding of the unknown. Feel free to drop me a line, I'd be really hnonored.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tending the Earth

This summer was my second summer gardening. I started it to save some money and have fresh produce on hand. What I didn't expect was how much work God would do in my heart as I worked in the dirt this year. It became a garden of healing for me.

I struggled a lot in the spring with the fact that I hadn't planned on having a garden at all this year, because I was planning on having a new baby. But I planned and prepped. Working in the dirt was scary and reminded me of Jairus's burial. But I got down on my hands and knees and planted, sowing the seeds with my (literal) tears, praying for healing and sense to come, praying for faith to keep going. Praying for faith that God would grow beauty from ashes.

I tended my small plot in the front yard of our home (the only space that gets enough sunlight without having to tear out a tree) and grew a small variety of veggies from seed: spinach, peapods, tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, basil, dill and oregano as well as some flowers and perrenial plants. I've been able to can pickles and tomatoes, freeze carrots, dry seasonings and have lots of fresh salads and snacks throughout the season. And I love it, I loved watching the plants come in, tending them daily, seeing the fruit ripen and enjoying the delicious fruit of our labor.

When I garden, I meditate on what God's up to in my life, a pray, I get dirty, I focus on the project at hand. I think about God being a gardener, (In the creation of man, God Himself got down in the dirt and formed His treasured creation with His own hands. What an intimate and loving way to create people!) I cry, I teach the kids a new skill and about caring for creation, I practice faith in a real time experiment. After adding each crop I worried that it wouldn't really come up or that I would find a way to ruin it. But the Lord designed those seeds to do their thing, and He delights in showing that faith works. And up came the seeds and out grew the plants and them one day we had veggies galore!

Nothing in this life is really in our control, though we try so hard to convince ourselves it is. God is orchestrating His beautiful love story through history. He has designed His Goodness to penetrate creation, to produce Fruit for the good of His children. I couldn't do anything to make those seeds grow. I could tend the garden, make preparations and do my part to help them, but only God could make them change into the great plants they were designed to be. I can't take the mess of my own life and do anything with it, but if I can give it to God and trust Him with it, He will turn my mess and my pain into something beautiful, healing, fruitful. And I am counting on Him to do just that.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I sat down to blog while the kids watch TV, but being that they are watching a video that is all in rhyme, everything I write seems more like a Dr Seuss book than anything constructive. On the other hand...they ARE watching one of my favorite Veggie Tales stories.... A Snoodle's Tales (we stream it from Netflix)

Love it. Speaks so well of how what others say to us and about us changes the way we see ourselves. But we are ultimately not who they say we are, only who our Creator has made us to be. And with that understanding, of HIS great love for us demonstrated in His Son Jesus dying on the cross to bring us into the family of God, nothing else really matters. 

Side note I'm just messing around with the blog design so bear with me as it continues to change :) Thanks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organizing my Chaos

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am NOT a naturally tidy person. Actually, I really like organizing things and setting them up, but keep-up is not my friend. Which means my closet is more likely to be clean than my kitchen floor.

Last winter this became a serious issue and we started drowning in a mess of dishes, dirty laundry and melted snow. I was in such a terrible fog of grief that I could hardly remember to feed my children, much less think of what needed to be done on the housework side of my life. So I didn't do anything. God, on the other hand, sent innumerable blessings by two main roads...

My Momma delivered me God's grace in the first days following Jairus's death. She (and my sister) took care of all the cooking and cleaning and childcare that was needed. About 2 weeks later, the time came for her to go back home. I was terrified. She was confident and encouraging. And she told me all I had to do, was start by giving Hazen and Emma each 15 minutes of my undivided attention everyday. And find one chore to complete, everyday. So what if I couldn't keep up, I couldn't think straight. But I could sweep, or wash laundry, or shovel snow. And tomorrow I could try something else. Just do one thing, everyday. And I did. I knew she would ask (and she did, which I was thankful for) what one thing I had done on a day we spoke on the phone or saw each other. And that was enough to get me started again. To help me begin to focus.

Secondly, God brought women from my church. They organized cleaning teams, and every other weekend for 5 months I had Saturday mornings that included childcare for Emma and Hazen, free time for Mark and I to be together, and a team of women who cleaned our home top to bottom. I can not express in words my deep gratitude toward those beautiful women of God. What they gave my family was a HUGE weight off my shoulders and a fresh, relaxing home to enjoy (until about a week later when I again fell behind...)

Over the summer it was becoming apparent that I was in over my head. To this day I have a hard time focusing on what needs to be done on any given day, I get dates mixed up and double book myself and forget appointments way more often than I care to admit. And I was feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with running the house, not remember what I had or had not gotten around to was frustrating and usually meant I just redid some chores and totally ignored others until they were nasty sick dirty.

So, just like I do for my kids so they know what school / lessons are going on each day, I started making myself lists and charts and calendars to get organized. My household duties are now all assigned to specific days of the week and month, I have a monthly calendar for all of us as well as weekly calendars for my stuff and the kids, shopping lists are easy to see and add to and recipes are separated from coupons so I actually use both. I also stockpile dry erase markers and sharpies when they're on sale ;) If none of this sounds like you, I understand, its not my natural way either. But it really does help me out.

Not a great photo, but an example of my monthly housework chart
A work in progress...
but you can see my weekly calendar, shopping list, character quality list
 and an entire  boat load of paperwork and pictures!
As is my natural tendency, I still do fall behind occasionally and do over schedule my days when I'm not thinking ahead. But it's much better than it was before. Better even than before we lost our son. So I am learning, slowly, to think ahead, to plan, and to make small accomplishments on a daily basis, instead of waiting until I'm in so far over my head I need to call for back up. And I'm learning to let myself off the hook too. After all, there are only so many hours in everyday.

Monday, October 3, 2011

9 months past

Last Wednesday, Jairus would have turned 9 months old.

The 28th of September was quite different than the 28th of every other month this year, mostly because, I forgot about it. I didn't even realize the 28th had come until it was already gone. I had never done that before...never not worried about another month passing, never had a good day on the 28th of the month in all of 2011. This time, I never even noticed. And once I did remember, the afternoon of the next day, I felt strangely unemotional about it. Some people tell me its good, a sign of healing; others express sadness that its so normal for him to be gone. I guess I think its both.

9 months sounds like such a long time for anything. I feel simultaneously surprised that its been 3/4 of a year since Jairus died, and also like he has been gone far longer than that, this year has felt so much longer than years past.

Whether I know the date or not, not a day oes by we do not miss his presence in our family, There is a gap. A lack of giggles, crawling and cheer. Emma and Hazen don't get to play and watch and love on Jairus. We have so much joy in our lives, so much to be thankful for. And in the midst of it, we remember our son, who's honor it is to live with Jesus forever, and whose absence is a deep wound in our hearts. A wound healing by Christ's love and promises. A wound with purpose, and love, and joy.

I'm beginning to read the book of Jeremiah now, and it opens with a promise of God to Jeremiah that has warmed my heart and brought me so much hope for my little boy in Heaven. A promise of God's purposefulness and plan for my son, who has shared Jesus with people through his life's story, through his Home-going and through the family left behind him.

Jeremiah 1:4-5
Now the Word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. And before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."