Daily Archives: May 24, 2008

A heavenly perspective

I want to write but once again I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to say. Hopefully my thoughts will start flowing once I start writing, like it often does. If this is too rambly I simply won’t publish it! ūüėÄ

Last weekend we were facing the 3 month anniversary of Jenna’s heavenly birthday. Hubby and I were out of town in the company of my mother-in-law, our pastor and his wife and another dear couple from church. We were just killing time in the early part of the day waiting to go to a meeting in the evening.

Killing time when you are remembering your last day with someone you treasure, is excruciatingly hard. It is easier to be busy and not to notice the passage of time. It is a small mercy that Jenna died at the same time that we have our church services here. Instead of being acutely aware that yet another week has passed without Jenna, I spend every Sunday surrounded by my church family, worshipping Jesus and being filled with a renewed sence of his peace and his goodness.

Anyhow, so last Saturday at around this time I was re-living my last day with Jenna. The time we spent shopping for a pair of shoes for daddy. Jenna sleeping in my arms in Woolies, and later resisting my efforts to buy her the South African dress that caught my eye a few weeks before. Buying treats and goodies for the flight home the next day. Opening one packet of candies in the store, and watching the muffin enjoy them while she stood in the shopping cart. (I still have that empty candy container). Seeing Jenna follow the patterned lines the tiles made on the floor of the mall as we exited, and secretly enjoying the fact that one young couple pointed at her and smiled and said something to each other about her cuteness.

Cuddling her for the last time next to the pool at my sister’s house, her wet body wrapped in a towel, her head tucked under my chin, and my inward laughter at her for once again insisting that the towel covered all of her, despite the fact that her feet kept trying to pop out at the bottom. Our last precious conversation in the bathroom about ‘curly hairs’ (Jenna’s word for hair accessories). Sensing her little presence next to my right leg for the last time whilst I was standing in my sister’s office sorting through our photos before going home the next day. And then she was gone.

I wanted so badly last week to do something in memory of Jenna. To let a balloon go…anything. I didn’t push for it though since there were other people to consider. We were just aimlessly driving around when we passed a bead shop. I asked hubby if we could stop and go in. I have a watch face at home that I want to make into a bracelet, but there wasn’t anything in the store that caught my fancy. I simply had to get something for Jenna though, just to do something in her memory, so I bought two beads for a ridiculous $4 each, in the hopes of incorporating them in my watch bracelet. My mother-in-law whistled under her breath at how over-priced they were, and I don’t blame her a bit. But I wasn’t in my right mind. I was missing my girly-girl and I wanted to do something physical to show it. Whether I will use them I am not sure. I don’t even really like them but the color matches my other beads and they had pink roses on them that reminded me of Jenna.

That night, I begged God to re-connect my tied tubes so that perhaps I could fall pregnant again and have another little girl. Jenna was my companion in enjoying everything girly and I find it so hard to walk past the pretty shoes in Walmart or the little pink dresses and to realise I won’t be able to shop for her again. So I do shop…but instead of twirly dresses and barbies and little tiny doll house accessories I now buy pink flowers and foil balloons for her grave, and beads and small things that can serve as a reminder of Jenna. I even went back to Bealls and bought a pink velour night gown for myself, since the last time Jenna and I shopped there she couldn’t get enough of rubbing her cheek against their luxurious softness.

All of this just brings home to me how I am still so caught up in this physical world. I want another daughter, to enjoy and shop for. I need the physical expressions of letting balloons go and putting flowers on her grave to demonstrate the fact that I love and miss Jenna. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet I am aware that these are all temporal and worldly things, in a world that is actually more spiritual than we often realise. A spiritual world where Jenna now resides.

It is a struggle sometimes to turn my gaze from the here and the now and focus on the eternal. I can feel God calling me to come up higher with him, and sense a call to enter into something which is just as real as this world can ever be. Something heavenly…a heavenly perspective. To adopt another girl so that I can recapture a lost dream is a yearning of my heart right now. But I think that God is asking me to seek his kingdom first, to focus on what he is calling me to rather than to try to restore what I have lost in this world.

Perhaps actual physical restoration will come, in its time. I will absolutely rejoice in that if it happens. Yet what I truly want goes deeper than that. I want to fulfill God’s call in my life. I want to be able to say, like Paul that I have run my course, and I have finished my race. I want to run with all I’ve got and I only want that in my life which he has intended for me. I don’t want to take a side-road and take my focus off of Him.


What’s in a name

A few weeks ago I sat here at the computer digging into the meanings of my name and those of my kiddos.¬† I did some research on their names before they were born, but a refresher course was nice. Since the kiddos have biblical names, E-sword’s Strong’s Concordance feature is a great tool. You can¬†study the root words behind the names to¬†get an excellent grip on what they mean.

I was reminded how each of the boys’ names are so perfect for who they are. When I did a study of the etymology of my middle boys’ name a few years ago, it blessed me so much that I printed it out and put it in the front page of his homeschool portfolio that year.

My name is a compound of my grandmothers’ name: Susanna Maria. So I looked up both names. Susan¬†means ‘lily’ in hebrew, and comes from a root word¬†that means to be bright and happy.¬†¬†The connection between the root word and the flower has something to do with the whiteness (as in¬†brightness) of a lily.

Maria means bitterness, or stubbornness. Some people say it is akin to the word myrrh which is a very bitter substance but releases a very sweet fragrance when crushed. I like that explanation for the name, though I am not sure how accurate it is.

I like the thought that in my bitter, crushed brokenness, a sweet fragrance may come forth. I like the thought too, that my life might stubbornly blossom into a pure lily despite the bitter sadness I have had to bear.

Jenna’s name can have two meanings, and I like them both. It is either a pet form of Jennifer…which means white and smooth, or ‘white wave’ in Celtic. Alternatively, it is a derivative of Jenny, which comes from Jane, which is the female form of John. John means “God is gracious”, from a root word that means to¬†bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, to bestow,¬†grant graciously,¬†have mercy¬†upon…

I can understand it to mean that God, in his gracious mercy, and infinite kindness gave me a precious little gift in Jenna. Oh, what a sweet treasure she was! I enjoyed her so much and miss enjoying her now. It really sucks. Yet I am hoping that in celebrating her life, and in my efforts to cope with her death, His presence will wash over me like a wave and make me like Him.