April 16, 2014

A Balancing Act

It's a fine line to walk ~ a balancing act.
One that requires much wisdom and grace.  Every single day.
We are so conscious of the fact that we need the Lord
each step of this journey.  Every single step.

We desire to honour the memory of our Austin
while continuing to live out our days here with our other three.
All four will always be our children ~ regardless of where they live.
Each one is precious.  None more than the other.

In the midst of sorrow and grief, it is all too easy to elevate the child 
who has entered eternity ~ put him precariously on a pedestal.
It can be a temptation to make him bigger than life while the others 
must live out their earthly lives here ~ before our very eyes.

When we pass through the veil, we will no longer struggle with sin.

In this body of death, it is an ever present battle ~ for all of us.
Austin has been called into eternity.  One day, we will be as well.
Until then, we must live.  And, at the same time,
we must remember.

We speak of Austin every single day.

In some way or another, we remember him ~ lovingly.
But, we also desire to remember our other children.
To speak to them and to listen.  To engage and encourage.
To nurture them in the midst of our grief.  To walk with them.
To enter into their lives as they live.  Day after day.

They are here and we love them, too.

We didn't know exactly how we would keep Austin's birthday.
This was the first one since he was called Home to Heaven.  It was a little tricky.
How does one honour the day when the one being
honoured is no longer living here in the flesh?  It can be challenging.

Howie's sister had a lovely suggestion ~
"Do something for each of the children in Austin's memory."
And that's exactly what we did.  It was perfect.

Birthdays are special.  The children are treated to out-of-the-ordinary
things when their birthday arrives.  It's a tradition around these here parts.
So, for Austin's day, we wanted to make it special ~ just like always.

We had our usual morning routines of breakfast and a quiet time in God's Word.
Then, we went on our beach walk, and stopped by Austin's grave on the way home.
The children tackled some of their school work, and delivered papers after lunch.
Late in the afternoon, we took the children out to purchase a little something 
specifically significant for each of them in honour of Austin.

He would have liked that.  We know he would.

Fraser was given some new sheet music for piano that he'd had his eye on.
Calvin found a photography magazine to help him learn new skills.
Emma was able to purchase some lip gloss ~ ever the princess at heart.
For dinner, we went out to White Spot and ordered burgers in honour of our son.

Once we were back home, and just prior to sending the children off to bed, 
we had our evening Bible reading time together.  Like bookends to the day.
We gave each of the children their very own copy of one of Austin's 
favourite books ~ complete with a personal note on the inside cover.

"Little Pilgrim's Progress" by Helen Taylor has been read many times

over the years in our family.  It's been a great blessing to our hearts.
Now, the children each have a copy of their own in memory of their big brother.
The Lord-willing, they will be able to take these books with them into their 
own families to read with their own children one day.

I cannot end this post without making mention of the fact

that on Austin's birthday, so many remembered us in so many ways.  

We were incredibly blessed by God's people through emails, 

texts, cards, and flowers, blog post comments, and telephone calls. 
We know that many were especially remembering us in prayer.
We wish to thank each one of you from the bottom of our hearts!  :)
It truly is a wonderful gift to belong to the Family of our Great God.

The Lord has encouraged our hearts through His people

and carried us through once again. He is eternally good and gracious.
May you also know His loving hand upon you as you walk with Him.
His ways are perfect.  He does all things well.  Always.

Many Blessings,

**Flowers in this post courtesy of a sweet friend in memory of our Austin ~

Thank you, my sweet friend!  :)


Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

Good memories....love the flowers. Glad you made it a special day, remembering Austin on his first birthday away from you...but forever in your hearts. Hugs and prayers and love!

Nadine said...

What a wonderful way for your family to remember Austin.
It would have been my Dad's birthday on Monday...he kept popping up in my thoughts throughout the day. As I sat out in the sunshine gardening, I especially remembered him, as he loved to garden!

Hugs to you my friend!


Trisha said...

This is beautiful, Camille. I love how you are intentional about speaking of Austin each day. What many blessings you are giving to your children in the ways you continue to honor the Lord. I love you.

Cinnamon said...

I love what you did. What a wonderful way to show love to everyone :-) How sweet & thoughtful.

hugs~ Cinnamon

Oregon-Mama said...

You have such a beautiful family, Camille. Xx

Pam said...

This is so precious, and there is so much wisdom in all that you have said. I love how you are blessing and honoring your three children this way, while still keeping Austin in your heart as well. I am sure it really is difficult to keep all in balance. Hugs and Blessings to you all Camille,

Jill said...

What a wonderful way to honor him... thinking of you all! I finally got a chance to update my blog a little today. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!


Jennifer Jo said...

That is an absolutely perfect way to celebrate his birthday. What a wise suggestion. I'm keeping this idea squirreled away for a good way to remember the people we love.

OurCrazyFarm said...

Thinking about you and praying for you this Easter morning, Camille, as we stand firm and wait for the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus! He has risen! He has risen indeed! Soon, this grief will turn to joy, and it will be a complete joy forever in God's presence, with our sons.

Camille said...

Dear Becky ~ Thank you so much my friend! :)

Dear Nadine ~ How lovely that you especially remembered your Dad as you gardened. Won't it be lovely to be reunited in Heaven? :)

Dear Trisha ~ I love you, too. Thank you for your sweet encouragement...as always. :)

Dear Cinnamon ~ We were so thankful for the idea that was given to us. The Lord is faithful to gently lead us along, isn't He? :)

Dear Oregon Mama ~ Thank you for your kind words...you bless my heart. :)

Dear Pam ~ Thank you for your sweet encouragement my friend. The Lord is the One Who gives the wisdom. We need Him each step of the way! :)

Dear Jill ~ It's so lovely to hear from you! I stopped by at your place for a visit. May you know the hand of the Lord upon you all as you face the changes a move will bring. Hugs. :)

Dear Jennifer Jo ~ So glad you were blessed and plan to do something similar in days to come. How precious it is to have loved ones to remember. God is Good. :)

Dear Terri ~ Yes, our grief will be turned to joy! What a day that will be!! May the Lord continue to bless you as you follow Him wherever He leads. Hugs to you! :)

With love,

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Oh, what an awesome way to honor Austin's memory on his birthday. I hope this post gives encouragement to those who have the same dilemma. I continue to be amazed at your family's example of healthy grieving. I know God is using you guys to help others walk through grief, too. God is being glorified! Love, Jackie

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ Oh, how we need the Lord each step of this journey! We could not even get out of bed if it weren't for His great grace and mercy showered on us. He is precious!! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words...you bless my heart. :)

With Love, Camille

Lisa said...

Oh Camille, I love this! What a beautiful way to celebrate Austin's birthday!! Love you all so much! xoxo

Camille said...

Dear Lisa ~ Love you, too! :) Hugs, Camille

Donna said...

What a precious way to remember Austin on his birthday. It's a difficult day I know.
We always dine at one of Amber's favorite places to eat. We release balloons at her gravesite with lots of prayers.
Can you imagine the birthday celebrations in Heaven :)