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Apr 13, 2010

Untitled ~ part One

The 25th of this month is Andrew’s 13th birthday. We never expected not to
celebrate his entry into the teenaged years with him. Just a few months ago
Andrew and I were joking that he would be driving before his older brother
who was showing no interest in obtaining a learner’s permit.
Yesterday, I watered and pulled the dead parts from the plant that rests at the
head of Andrew’s grave.

One day, several years ago when I was home schooling my two oldest
children and Andrew was nearly 18 months old, I was fasting. Although I
had not eaten I was finding it very difficult to snatch time here and there for
undisturbed prayer. Life just kept coming! I was fixing meals, doing
laundry and teaching math and reading. Andrew, at only a year and a
half, was “into” everything.

Frustrated and feeling spiritually inadequate, I finally heard my husband’s
car in the driveway. I handed Andrew to Dan and asked if he could take care
of him while I went in our bedroom to pray.

I retreated to our bedroom, closed the door and knelt by my bed. Tears trickled down my face. I
felt like such a failure. I asked the Lord just what He expected of me as a mother who desired to serve Him whole heartedly and who longed to be in His presence. Tearfully I whispered to Him that my life and children were a blessing and although I did not look at them as distractions,

sometimes the duties of motherhood intruded upon my time with Him. Sighing, I rested my wet cheek upon the bed.

From the family room I heard Andrew crying for “Mommy.” My husband

tried to calm and placate him. Still on my knees I asked the Lord again, “What do you expect of me?”

I sensed this gentle response, “Go to your child.”

Just then the door burst open and a teary eyed toddler ran into my outstretched arms.

I heard my husband call out, “I’m coming. I’ll get him.”

“That’s alright,” I answered, “I’ve got him.”

I stood up, holding my son and speaking softly to soothe his frazzled nerves, a reflection of my own only moments before. As I held him I noticed his bare feet were dirty and I went toward my bathroom intent on washing his feet in the sink. Turning on the water, I heard that quiet voice again, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me."

The overwhelming love of God seemed to suspend time, when in the mundane act of washing my little boy’s feet, I sensed I was washing the feet of Jesus. The atmosphere in that small bathroom seemed to thicken as the holy presence of God descended upon Andrew and me. I dried his feet and we both breathed deeply, satisfied with this unpredictable turn of events.
My son had simply longed for the attention of his mommy, and to have her gentleness soothe away the frustrations of his day.
I had wanted to be in the presence of my Father and hear His gentle voice speak truth to my spirit.
That day my son and I both got what we wanted.

(There is more to this story…Part two occurs 10 years later.)


  1. What a beautiful story. I'm so thankful you are sharing your memories with us. Love to you on this beautiful spring day. Days that are so brilliantly clear and bright with promise make me think of heaven where it will be so bright that there's no need for the sun. Amazing to think on.

  2. This is so beautiful~ thank you for opening your heart and your sweet memories with your boy so that we can see God throughout his life.


  3. Makes me think of the scripture about doing every thing "as unto the Lord". The times and seasons in all of our lives change. At that point your task was to love and nurture your young children. That was your spiritual service to the Lord. Loved reading this!
    You know, I'm with you in prayer, it's a daily stand in agreement.
    hugs and love, dear Melanie,

  4. I read this precious post earlier this morning and did not leave a comment...all I could think was, Dear Lord, please touch this Mother's heart..

    But your shared memory stayed in my mind, so I came back to write...the same gentle response the Lord gave you about Andrew..."Go to your child"...is what He is doing now for His child Melanie....

  5. Oh Melanie this was so good. I love that you heard His voice and felt His presence in such a real way doing such a simple act of service for your boy. What a picture. Your love and care of Andrew and your other children is such a big part of your service and love of the Lord. Looking forward to part 2. Always praying, HUGS, Debbie

  6. This was always one of my favorites... I think it's when I fell in love with you! Such a beautiful moment and I'm so glad you can hang on to it. Can't wait to read the rest.
    You. Your text. Yesterday. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Such a hard day. love you, melanie.

  7. Thank you for sharing these precious moments engraved on your heart with each of us.
    Hugs and prayers, andrea

  8. This was beautiful and left me in puddles! Thank you for sharing this story about Andrew and bringing it home in our relationship with our Father. I look forward to reading part 2.

  9. This was so beautiful! Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life. It only strengthens our faith to know that we are His children, too, and thet He will come to us in our needs and through our tears. Beautiful.

  10. Oh Melanie, this story...speaks to my heart. So precious and so real! Tears roll as I invision you holding baby Andrew in the presence of the Holy Spirit. You cause me to pause before I respond to my own children, as grumpy mama or mama there to serve their needs.

    Andrew's birthday, a day you celebrate this precious boy's life. I will spend time on my knees, in prayer for your family this day. Praying, the "overwhelming love of God" surrounds you all.
    my love,

  11. Hi Melanie. Oh I am crying here. That was beautiful. Oh my gosh, i'm crying here. I really believe that the Lord uses you to speak to us. Thank you for sharing with us.

  12. what a neat tribute to Andrew, and how beautifully said... it's our own expectations about what we are supposed to be doing that sometimes trip us up. He wants our hearts, and He saw yours and you were freed to be the mommy that day in the highest sense.

  13. oh melanie, i don't even know what to say. it is just such a beautiful piece of writing from you. all about your baby boy. how lucky he is to have such a wonderful mother. every child should be so lucky. i looked at one of his pictures, and he looks so much like you it broke my heart. i am trying to find some peace in all of this happening to you but it is very hard. God Bless you dear mom of all moms! love robin

  14. Andrew...sigh. Precious memories. I hope you realize the impact Andrew has on my life. Because of Andrew, I cherish each moment and things that I used to complain about or would frazzle me, no longer bother me. I don't feel like I can complain about anything after what you went through. I love you in Christ.

  15. I love this story. It is so easy to get frustrated with our daily things, yet the things that frustrate are the blessings. Laundry (we have so many clothes!), meal planning (abundant food), running kids here and there (we have a car, money for activities and the kids themselves!). God is so good to encourage you and show you that your service to your children are a service to him. The season of motherhood - long days make up short years.

  16. This is a beautiful thing the Lord shared with you. Thanks for sharing it today with us. B

  17. Beautiful. Tears.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Love Karen's comment and I think she's right.

  18. Simply and profoundly beautiful...I am eager to hear part two!!

  19. What a wonderful story one that I can relate too right now. I have followed your journey through the emails sent to our ladies ministry at HCC in MD about Andrew. I have cried and prayed along with you and so many others. I have a little boy, my first, who is 8.5 month old now and every time I look at him I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God has given him to me for this time. Your story has helped me see that will be a short time before he is off doing his own thing and no longer yelling for mommy, so I will treasure it while he does. Peace Always

  20. Melanie, what a precious memory of love! We all have those moments of frustration with loved ones. After all, we are human. But your Andrew wanted his mommy after all. And I love how you ran to God for the comfort and wisdom you so needed at that time. That is the best place to go!

    May you be comforted knowing that your blogging friends are praying for you and thinking of you as you go through your grieving.

    Hugs to you,

  21. Melanie, this was so deeply touching.

    All I could think as I was reading this was how much the Lord longs to take us up into HIS loving arms to comfort us and soothe away all our frustrations, disappointments and calm every raging storm inside.

    Thank you for sharing this touching picture of God's faithfulness in the midst of our every day lives. He is there, always... Love you~

  22. I keep hoping and praying my faith will be half as strong as yours one day...

  23. Undone by the beauty of this holy moment. I see Jesus. Thank you.

  24. I think this is a beautiful story and I am glad you shared it on this blog. I can't tell you how much I identify with what you have written, but of course you already know. Just this week I asked our Father the same question, "What do you expect of me?" I'll have to call you to tell you the answer...
    Love you,

  25. What a precious spiritual picture you painted for us today--a beautiful memory for you. I have followed your story of Andrew's sudden illness and early home call....and I have wept and my heart has anguished with your heart. I have suffered great losses in my life, but never a child and to be honest it is beyond imagination to even imagine--My heart aches for all of you as you approach this 13th birthday. What a sweet, beautiful little boy--you were so blessed!

    My children are all grown many years now, but your post today took me back to the years of little ones and having the same questions you posed to the Lord on that day. I found myself a single mom with three children, teaching full time to support my family, and wondering the same question--about having quality time with the Lord.

    I went to a wonderful, much admired Auntie of mine, who had raised four outstanding children, one of whom was Jim Elliot. She had had a medical practice in her home, while her husband traveled as a preacher. I questioned her for her secret as a busy mother, and I so clearly remember her saying to me, "Joanie, the Lord knows exactly where you are in your life and what demands are on you--learn to pray and reflect as you go, and always remember that He has given you these children to raise for Him." Her words were to return to me again and again over the years,as I learned to pray as I ironed, folded clothes, reflect on the verses I posted above my kitchen sink and learned to "seize the moment."

    So my lesson that day I received her wisdom wasn't earth shaking, but it was the beginning of wisdom for me as a young mother.

    I tend to ramble--there was just something about your post today that caused me to reflect on my own early days in parenting. How quickly the years fly by.

    I trust that you will have a wonderful day of celebrating your Andrew on his birthday. What lovely memories I know you have, but I also know just one more day to hug that darling child would sooth your heart like nothing else!

    Bless you dear family as you walk this path you would never have chosen for yourselves.

  26. So very beautiful sis, love you.

  27. Mel,
    Thanks for this great reminder to moms everywhere.

    I'm a new reader and already feel connected to you in several ways. Good friends of 2 Thinks Heidi, oldest son named Andrew, and my daughter-in-law ran the 15K in Clearwater last weekend. And know the death of my sister's oldest grandchild to SIDS.

    Blessings on your family for your son's special day.

  28. what a beautiful story, I have tears in my eyes....Jesus has such a way of coming through to us like this, thank you for sharing this...

  29. How blessed you were to feel and meet your child's needs, and hear and honor your saviour's voice.....this was so beautiful Melanie......:-) Hugs

  30. Wow! What a tender, sweet story. You must miss him so much. My heart goes out to you time and time again. I am learning in my life, that my Heavenly Father loves to have me run to His arms, just as you loved when Andrew came running into yours when you were praying. You are in my prayers.

  31. I've had times like these also..Desiring for my 'alone' time with the the Lord and the pull of motherhood calling out to me. Feelings of inadequacy, being overwhelmed and just every other emotion under the sun..than the Lord enters in,,,,,and I realize as I am in the moment of motherhood,,or right now caring for wee ones in the daycare, Christ is there in the midst..and I see these precious faces and see the face of Christ...sigh

  32. Your shared thoughts here are always an encouragement in the Christian faith to me and I am ever so thankful for the privilege of reading them. Thank you.

  33. I could FEEL it Melanie. What a beautiful two part blog. "How beautiful are the feet of him
    that brings good news."

  34. Mel~I read this last night and cried and cried. I came over to find a picture of Andrew as I mentioned him on my post today on my blog. This is so beautiful and I remember when you first shared it. So breathtaking. I have had to clean a body before in my job in home health, but never someone so dear to me. I can't imagine how precious this moment must have been for you. You are such a blessing & you're on my heart so often.
    love you,