Tag Archives: baby

Ash Wednesday

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It always seems Ash Wednesday sneeaks up on me no matter how prepared I think I might be.  But this year it seemed to come out of no where and not only was I not prepared for it but I wasnt feeling it either.  I just had some surgery a week ago today and have been pushing myself a bit more than I should lately.  I just want to get back to normal and go about being a pastor and not having others worry about me — usually it’s me doing the worrying about others.  

I’m blessed as many of you know to work with my husband in team ministry and I seriously contemplated asking him if he would mind if I stayed home tonight because I just didn’t think I could mange a service, even if I was just sitting with my littleman.  But something inside me, that still small voice that speaks and makes itself known spoke load and clear that I really needed to go.  So off I went next door to the church.  It was good to be seen and folks seemed happy to see me but I started to second quess listening to that voice as I sat in the pew with a growing uncomfortableness in my belly and where my incisions where.  Why had I pushed myself again I wondered — and wondered how long was it going to take me to recover again.  Up and down I went as we would stand and sit through out the liturgy and the singing of hymns.

Something shifted inside me as we came to the point in the service that my husband placed the cross on each forehead….ashes from the burnt palm branches from our last Palm Sunday Service.  The choir was singing “Create in me a Clean Heart” as the congregation was supposed to come forward as one felt lead.  The most eager and therefore the first one up was an almost 5 year old of the church.  He wanted to go all by himself and that he did.  He brought tears to many of our eyes — an eager little guy wanting to have the cross placed on his forward a sign he knew that Jesus loved him and had died for him.  I’m not sure I know all that went through his little mind as I didn’t get to talk to him but it was through him that I knew why the still small voiced urged me to church.  If we could all enter into the lenten season with such eagerness and passion.  If we could all cling to Christ’s love with no what if’s or no preconvinced ideas of what Christ should do for us instead of what we should do for Christ.  I looked around the sanctuary as this proud little boy returned to his seat where his parents still where and noticed there were a lot of tears in peoples eyes.  Children indeed have a lot to teach us adults and I’m grateful for his witness to those gathered at Fries Mememorial Moravian Tonight.  I’m blessed to be his pastor and to have watched him grow over these 2.5 years and I look forward to watching his continued growth.

 

At the end of service our younger child were finding their way up from the nursery and several of them wanted crosses on their heads also, which we gladly did.  It was wonderful that they were not afraid of the ashes but in many ways awestruck by them.  On sweet little girl who will soon be 2 got a cross on her forward and she was so proud of it that she showed it off saying “cross”.  She doensn’t have the deeper knowledge that some of the adults have but she had one thing for certain she had a cross on her forward and in time she will continue to grow into the knowledge and the love of that cross.   

So despite my intitial feelings Ash Wednesday turned out to be a moving and memorable days.  I’m sure that this Ash Wednesday is one that I will remember for years into the rest of my ministiry. It also serves to remind us that Children have a faith bigger and deeper than any of us can even begin to imagine.  And when we do hear that ever small voice so strongly urging us to go and do something, maybe we ought to listen because it’s often in those moments that our lives are forever forever changed.  Thanks be to God for using the youngest among us to remind us of a love that runs so deep that Jesus would give his life so that we might live.  Thanks be to God!  What a joy and blessing to serve such a rich church.

 

And of course how could I not include a cute selfie of my two boys:

 

Pictures taken by Kelly L. Moore of Joseph L. Moore and may not be used without written permission.

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One day and Two Days Old….

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I missed yesterday’s post and not because nothing happened of significance 8 years ago but because I’ve been trying to get ready for that certain 8 year old’s 9th Christmas.  So let’s go back to 2005….

My little man was a day old and I was determined to stay away from the hospital till noon~ish so that I could get some much needed packing done (by this point my boss at Hallmark had given me a few weeks off).  I even had a college student over for the day to help me pack up some stuff.  Moving day was coming quickly and we needed to be out of the apartment.  Well, I couldn’t stay away and I said to Allison (the young lady helping me) “Hey can you drive me to Dekalb Medical so I can see him and hold him?”  I threw in “you will be the first to meet him”.  When we got there the social worker meet us at the door and for a moment my heart stopped — but she just happened to be down there waiting on the birth father to come in to sign some paper work they needed on their end.  Of course he was a no show but she assured me this was not a problem and in fact she had good news that I could visit the nursery now without going through the birth mother.  We continued to talk a little and it was my prayer that the birth mother would take us up on the offer for a safe warm place to spend Christmas and then head into rehab.  And then who comes walking down the hall but the birth mother herself, needing at least a smoke.  Then we all went back up to her room where the nurses came in and did Littleman’s hearing test (which he passed).  Allison and I stayed awhile and I held my baby tight.  We left late afternoon with the promise to him and to the birth mother that Joe and I would be back by dinner.

When Joe and I returned for dinner I knew I could go straight to the nursery and we could spend time together just the three of us for the first time.  But my heart couldn’t do that without first going to see the birth mother.  The nursing staff stopped us to tell us the baby was in the nursery and that he had just stopped crying and feel asleep.  I indicated that we were on our way to check in with the birth mother first.  Joe nor I felt really sure about what was going on because the atmosphere at the nursing station told us something was up.  When we got to the birth mother’s room, the sheets where off the bed, the hospital given diaper bag contents where on the table but the bag itself was gone but the room itself was a mess.  It became clear to me that the birth mother had just left, left without checking out or anything.  I knew earlier that day she was looking for a hit of something she couldn’t get in the hospital.  Joe thought maybe she was discharged.  But I knew if that were the case the room would have been cleaned completely and the nursing staff would have just told us that.  She simply left — somewhat abandoning her child — yet knowing he was in our care.  So from there we went into the nursery and for the first time spent time with our baby  — just our family!  What a treat that was and the nursery staff said every time he hears your voice he quiets down and he’s bonded with you just as if you had given birth to him.  I was so touched.

We left that night, feeling a bit anxious not knowing what would happen since the birth mother had sort of disappeared.  I couldn’t wait to talk to the attorney first thing the next morning.

So day two of Littleman’s life began with a frantic call to the attorney’s office.  But my frantic nature quickly turned to utter surprise.  Here it is December 23, 2005 and the doctors were clear he wasn’t going home or anywhere in 2005.  But the attorney said, “Well, Rev. Moore I was just getting ready to call you because the hospital social worker just called and needs us at the hospital by 11 am.” I asked if this has to do with the “missing birth mother” and he said “nope but it helps our case if she tries to fight the adoption.  This has to do with your baby coming home today.”  I didn’t know whether to scream cry or what to do.  I was totally unprepared for this – other than a few diapers, bottles, the formula from the hospital and of course the car seat.”  Oh not to mention we didn’t have a car quite yet because it was in the shop with a major repair (we sort of said well, we NEED it by 10:30 and they got it done).  My baby would be home for his first Christmas!

We were overjoyed and scared to death at the same time.  In the state of GA the birth parents had 10 business days to revoke their surrender but beyond that I felt so unprepared for a baby to sleep in my house that night — there wasn’t a bed for sure.  But ready or not he was coming home — all 4 pounds 8 oz’s of him.

When we arrived at the hospital I felt as if we signed our lives away as we had stacks of paperwork to fill out for the state, for the hospital and for our attorney (not sure which was worse the purchase of our home a few days before or this).  Then the doctors went into their speech how they really couldn’t explain why he was doing so well and didn’t really seem to have the withdrawals that he should from the drugs that were in his system.  I finally said, “I don’t know what you believe but I believe in an awesome God and we’ve longed to be parents and this is our Christmas miracle.”

That night I braved Walmart to buy a bassinet because I couldn’t bear to have my baby not sleeping in a real bed his first night at home.  I’m not sure there was ever a quicker trip into a walmart and back into the apartment.  And we even got the thing put together without to much trouble — but nothing was a trouble because we had a baby to love and care for.  We were mommy and daddy!

A love hate relationship for sure!

A love hate relationship for sure! 

 

Daddy's the popular one today!  It's definitely LOVE!
Daddy’s the popular one today! It’s definitely LOVE!