Sunday, January 13, 2008

Remembering


I have all of these things—trinkets people have given, flowers from the memorial service, the blanket and clothes she wore, all of the many pictures that were taken—and each one of these items is special because they all have one thing in common: Poppy. We knew that each moment we had would be a gift, so I planned as much as I could to make sure there would be tangible items that we would be able to remember her by. I know that ultimately they are just things, yet they are her things, and it is their ability to help us remember that gives them their significance.

As I was thinking about this, a story came to me that reminded me of the importance of refusing to forget. I thought about the Israelites, as they were just about to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wondering in the wilderness. They stood on the brink of the fulfillment of generations of promise, yet even there they were faced with the formidable obstacle of the Jordan River. The banks of the river were overflowing, effectively preventing the thousands of Israelites from crossing to the other side, until God stepped in and once again miraculously provided for His people.

God instructed Joshua to send the priests with the Ark of the Covenant ahead of the people into the Jordan River, and once they obeyed, God showed Himself faithful. The waters of the Jordan River piled up on top of each other, allowing the people of God’s promise to walk across what should have been watery territory on dry ground. It was a miracle, and it was something that God didn’t want the people who had witnessed it to ever forget.

This was so important that God had Joshua bring 12 stones from the riverbed of the Jordan River to set up on the other side to serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to the people of Israel. It wasn’t enough for the people to just talk about it every once in awhile, or reminisce in the years to come about the exciting adventure they were a part of on the eve of entering into the promised land. Instead, God wanted a physical reminder to stand for generations to come as a symbol of His strength, power, love and faithfulness to the Israelites.

Because of this, I decided that what I wanted was a physical place in my house that was set aside to honor Poppy, but even more importantly to remind us on a daily basis of God’s faithfulness to us. With the help of my mom, I was able to set up a beautiful spot in my living room that serves as “Poppy’s Place.” On it I have a candle that contains the poppies from her graveside, several crosses and statues of angels holding babies that were given by friends and family, and an angel’s wing with a verse that speaks of being hidden under the protection of God’s wing. In the drawer of the table I have stored her clothes and blankets, the clay molds of her hands and feet, and the other sweet reminders of her time with us.

It may come across to some as a shrine of sorts to our little baby, but this isn’t what my heart’s motive is. My desire is to keep this out so that I never have a day go by without stopping to think about what God did through the miracle of Poppy Joy. God redeemed something ugly (disease and death) and turned it into something more beautiful than I have ever experienced. I am changed, and I want this spot to be my Stones of Remembrance in the years to come to keep me from ever forgetting what God did in this time of our lives.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!

Jenn said...

Amen!!!! Girl
I can't say anymore..
just I love yall

Love Jenn

Chrissy said...

What a precious place to have in your home! Absolutely wonderful!

erin said...

you should have these things out dont ever apologize for this, you need to look at her and remember her. i am glad you posted this with the picture so we could see to. i am glad you are still sharing i look forward to your posts.

Laurie said...

"Stones of Remembrance." This is beautiful Angie and it makes my heart feel so warm seeing it. Your heart is so pure on this and it is perfect. I know that Poppy's Place will always be special. Her footprints are on my heart and I will never forget what she has taught me and continues to do through her beautiful mother. I love you Angie and I am planting tons of poppies in my garden this spring.

Love you, Laurie in Ca.

Emily said...

Angie it is beautiful and so perfectly special. What a testimony of God's sufficient grace!

susan said...

How beautiful. Thankyou for sharing it with all of "us" out here. Still praying for your family. Prayers & Blessings from Susan in Amarillo, TX

Mary Lou said...

Blessings...Angie. what a wonderful idea....what a testimony. We all need to have stones of remembrance in our lives and use them to glorify Him, which you are doing. You are testifying of His comfort and what you have learned...

Mandy said...

It is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing! What a special way to remember Poppy and the wonderful way God used her to bless your family! I have the exact same poppy painting in my kitchen with a companion painting! I love it!

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Angie-

I absolutely LOVE IT! It is beautiful and a wonderful reminder of all that you want it to be- a joyful tribute to Poppy and full of praise for what the Lord has done through her!

Love and prayers,
Kenzie

Jodee Leader said...

Poppy was such a little blessing to your family and what a great way to remember her!

Alison said...

This is beautiful. Very touching. Poppy has made a huge impact on us all. Thank you for sharing. I check on you everyday.

Love,
Alison in TN

Anonymous said...

Angie,
What a beautiful space in your home. Thank you for letting us all see it. I love it!
connie

So Blessed said...

Beautiful...just like your heart.

M said...

Wow. I continue to be inspired by you! Thank you for sharing the picture. I love it.

Michelle

Jana said...

Angie, I LOVE this special place in your home that you have dedicated to God in memory of Poppy. . .I can't wait to see it in person!

Jen in Al said...

Absolutely beautiful! i do not think it comes across as a shrine AT ALL! i love the purpose of Stones of Remembrance: to daily fill our hearts and minds with the Lord's goodness! What an incredible way to honor Poppy and the Lord! Really beautiful and sweet. thank you for sharing it with us in blogland!
Blessings,
Jen in al

Brandi said...

It looks really beautiful, Angie.

Amy Buchanan said...

Angie,
I absolutely agree with you on the importance of "stones of remembrance" to serve as reminders of God's faithfulness. It was for that very reason that I still have the program from Poppy's funeral. I didn't want to forget how I witnessed the Spirit of God move and breathe that night. I didn't want to forget how 3 beautiful hours of Poppy's life changed the perspective on my life forever.

Amy

Kara said...

what a beautiful reminder of Poppy! She is truly a blessing to us all! What a wonderful place to have in your living room! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Kara
sahm22boys.blogspot.com

ali said...

you encourage people that you've never met! i think this is amazing and such a sweet way to honor our Lord. That is one of my favorite stories of the Bible. Thanks for speakinghis goodness that others would know.

ally said...

Angie- It is so breathtaking the memorial you have for your precious Poppy Joy! I'm so glad to see the "Willow Tree" with the others to show of Poppy's presence. Thank you for continuing on in sharing such deep & personal aspects of your life.Have a good week- Ally

jennyb said...

What a beautiful place in your home. I know you,Nathan and Marianna will treasure it.
Jenny B

Anonymous said...

Angie and family God bless you all.you all will be in our Prayers. Poppy Joy touched in our hearts and lives more than words can say. thanks for sharing and continue to share.

Anonymous said...

Ang,
looks so good! can't wait for lunch thurs!
love you
anna

Pam said...

That is a wonderful tribute to the Lord and how He's used Poppy to touch more than just your family.

Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

Denise said...

I have had this "Stones of Remembrance" brought to my mind on two different occasions in the past few weeks and now your post on it. This has truly blessed me today and encouraged me. I want to always remember God's faithfulness in my life during our similar journey with a Trisomy 18 baby. Today is the 6th year anniversary of when our journey began. Thank you for helping me to thank God today for all the things He has done and continues to do in our lives because of the birth of our special Deanna Grace.
Love & prayers,
Denise