Where Did Mommy Go? Book Review

Where Did Mommy Go? 
by Sherry L. Riffle

After reading the book with my children I asked what they thought. They said:

I like it because it talks about heaven in a way kids can understand. I like the pictures. It teaches to not be just sad when someone dies because they are going to heaven. It’s okay to be happy. I liked the illustrations. I could relate to the little girl because I lost my Grampa.

Death is a hard concept for children to understand. To make matters worse the adults in their life are often too busy or so involved in their own grief they don’t take the time to find out what the children’s questions are.

This summer my children lost their Grandfather. We lost a mentor and friend.  It’s hard to deal with the emotions. The ups and downs.

Where Did Mommy Go?is a good reminder to slow down and get my children’s perspective on what has happened and what they are struggling with.
Sherry Riffle shares wonderfully how the things adults say make no sense to children. In trying to get ourselves off the hook with tough questions we can cause more confusion for our children.

Jesus is always our comfort. Loss is a time to model and teach our children to find comfort in him.

My one caution would be to be very sure your children understand God requires us to accept his gift of salvation. People do not simply go to heaven when they die, no matter what. For young ones this can be as simple as ABC. Admit we are sinners in need of a Savior. Believe Jesus did all that was required for us to be right with God. Confess Jesus as Lord.

If, or when, your family goes through loss Where Did Mommy Go? may be a helpful reminder and discussion starter for you.  

Tomorrow I’ll share an interview with Sherry.

Contact Sherry: wheredidmommygo@yahoo.com

Where Did Mommy Go is available at numerous websites including www.wheredidmommygo.com , www.Amazon.comwww.barnesandnoble.com and www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61739-720-2

Christmas is About Jesus: December 1 * SnowFlakes

I will be sharing daily thoughts, links and activities @ Christmas is About Jesus. I hope you will follow along 🙂

Christmas is About Jesus: December 1 * SnowFlakes: I praise you becuase you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. …

Will I Ever Get This Right?

“You guys! Stop that!”

Unfortunately this was me, sounding just like I do not want my children to sound.

Raised voice, sarcasm and sharpness have been too frequent here lately. Life seems to have gotten the better of me and I find myself short of patience – grumpy, stressed and a bad example. 

I have grown and it happens less often, but I need a refresher on occasion. Yelling: The Cause, The Causalty, The Cure by Lorrie Flem came at such a time.

Slowing down to read Lorrie’s ebook I was reminded of many things I know, but forgot, like:

  • The difference prayer makes. – How can I forget my greatest resource? 
  • Taking time to train my children. – They are children. They don’t know everything even when they try to tell me otherwise! 
  • Prepare for our life – as it is – not as I want it. Being prepared and realistic saves so much stress, thus reducing the tendency to yell. 
  • Give myself grace. I’m a work in progress, just like my children. I will mess up. I will try again. 

I liked this specific, practical idea as well:

  • Schedule a funny movie. – I’m not very good at fun. I need to lighten up. 

If things are a less pleasant than you would like in your home right now pick up a copy of Lorrie’s book for some good reminders. She included a great list of verses on prayer and forgiveness, too.

I’m off with a new commitment to bathe myself, my children, and my day in prayer. I will never get it right, but I m loved by the One who already has.

Here’s where to find it as well as Lorrie’s many other helpful tools:


I really wish I would follow my own advice. I really can be quite wise. I have stores of God’s truth and great teaching to draw from. However… lately I don’t realize it until I hear myself telling someone else. Frustrating!
Frustration is far too common an emotion for me, especially recently. We have had some big changes and losses this year as a family. Dealing with hard things in relationship is my largest weakness I think. 
My son and I often clash. This leads to frustration between us and toward ourselves. He is so much like me in his self talk. It really makes me wish I had done so much more growing before he was born, yet often I fail to do the work to grow now. More frustration. I have grown. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I have grown. Trouble is I can’t pinpoint what changed things for me. I can’t give my son the “fix” for his hurting heart. More frustration.  Worse yet, sometimes I’m still doing exactly the same thing! FRUSTRATION!
I know that living out my growth in front of him will be most helpful. He has to know how to turn to God – no, to abide in God. He will learn it best by seeing it lived out. So I will continue to learn to abide and to grow.
Yesterday I was looking at a personality profile for some reminders on what my son needs. I remembered thinking there was helpful information for my parenting when I had taken it a couple of years ago.  One of the charts shows typical irritations for each personality type. Sources of irritation for my son include: indecisiveness, lack of – discipline, plan, purpose, direction, authority, control, and challenge (this list describes my typical day if I’m not really on top of it!) Sources of irritation for me: incompetence, disorganization, foolishness, dishonesty, inaccuracy, wastefulness, inconsistency, false impressions (the things on this list I don’t do, he does) No wonder I’m frustrated. I do most of the things on my list of irritations! If you’ll look at the list you see that means I do most of the things on his list, too!  
His responses to pressure are also like hair triggers for me and mine for him. It’s helpful just to know, or be reminded. I realized when he was very young that God was going to use my son to shape me into who he wants me to be, who I need to be to fulfill my destiny. I lost sight of that though. All I was seeing was the conflict, the hurt, the suffering relationship. I’m not sure how to keep my focus, but I will learn.  I have to. My relationship with my son may not survive and certainly won’t thrive if I do not. Neither of us would be who God designed for us to be. He will strengthen me and I will soften him. Soften not crush.
Everyone needs tools to be successful, even in relationships. My tool box is far too empty. Even the good tools I’ve picked up over the years have been going unused. My children will only know how to use the tools I use. Lately that’s been yelling, ignoring and talking too much. So it’s time to go tool shopping. As I discover new tools or rediscover old ones I’ll share them here and I hope you will do the same.

What relational tools do you use?
What tools do you wish you knew how to use better?
Is there a need in a relationship you need a new tool for?
Personality information taken from Uniquely You Resources www.myuy.com

13 Random Things About Me

  1. My favorite number is 13. It’s like rebelling against superstition I think.
  2. I have a weird perspective on wasting things like tape and aluminum foil.
  3. I think the only time in my life I lived in a finished house was when I roomed with a friends family for a semester in college.
  4. I have never met anyone else with my name, or even anyone who has ever heard of my name.
  5. I love my name 🙂
  6. I have 3 brothers.
  7. I love to sing. In a castle turned hotel in Germany the shower room had amazing acoustics. I didn’t realize everyone in the yard could hear me as well 🙂 I hope they enjoyed my singing at least half as much as I did!
  8. Places I have been around the world: Canada, East Germany, West Germany, Poland, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, China, and Mexico.
  9. States: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Louisiana, and Florida.
  10. Air Supply’s Greatest Hits will always remind me of the Red Light District in Calgary, Alberta. We got lost driving through many years ago. I guess that was the tape we were playing.    
  11. I love dark chocolate cover cherries.
  12. I have a very hard time not being productive, though I sometimes get very distracted when I’m trying to be productive. 
  13. I like to create things. The medium really doesn’t matter: paper, fabric, yarn, wood, paint, clay – anything to make a mess I guess!
Now you know a few things about me. I hope you enjoyed my list!

Do we share any of the same ramdom things? 

Have you ever done a similar post?

The Counsel of the LORD

There aremany devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

                                           Proverbs 19:21  

LORD, I submit every thought in my heart to you for only your plans will last.

In our schooling we do a verse every week. On Friday we draw what we learned, what the verse means, whatever God puts on our hearts. They are quick sketches of an idea.

In the Dark

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him: he hears their cry and saves them.

Psalm 145:19

During our devotions on Friday we asked God to show us what he wanted to say to us through this verse. I got this picture. I felt like my family was all inside a very dark room. It’s sad, lonely, heavy, and confused.  There is a blinding light shining through the crack of the door. The light is frightening. It hurts our eyes. Yet as we gaze we know everything we are longing for is in the light. Intense warmth and comfort. Enlightenment. Understanding. Peace.
Unfortunately the door stayed closed. I don’t know if that means we have not opened it or something else or nothing at all. For myself I think I have not opened the door. My head knows all I need and long for is in the light, but my heart is afraid. I will continue to rest in what I know is true. This too will be shaped by his loving hands for my good. I will learn to know him more and bask in his light.

Thinking on this yesterday I had some more insights I wanted to share.

Inside the room is my perspective. Out in the light is God’s perspective, not limited by walls.
Jesus stands at the door and knocks and he will come in. Having Jesus in me, in my circumstances, in my dark room is good. 
However, I have to leave the room, step out into God’s light to be in Jesus – to be abiding. This is where I am going – abiding. Abiding in him, in his light.

Spoons of Grace

A friend shared this article with me a while back on The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. It is well worth the read. Christine has Lupus and created The Spoon Theory to answer a friends inquiries about life with Lupus. A handful of spoons begins to represent the resources available for the day. It is a powerful illustration of the choices and mindset of someone with health issues.

While I have never had a serious illness or disability The Spoon Theory made me think about how we all need to guard our time and emotional resources instead of taking so much for granted. This came to me again as our family is dealing with some big losses. One morning when my second son was having a particularly hard time I introduced the idea of emotional spoons. Each day we start with a certain number of spoons (emotional energy, capacity). Normally we have more than enough to get through a day.

With a handful of spoons we went through a day talking about what would normally use a spoon or gain one. I took spoons away for school work, chores, and arguing. I showed when we are grieving we may be short some spoons, or they may be harder for us to hang on to. Every day is different.

Since I was using the spoons to represent emotional capacity we talked about ways to preserve spoons and to get spoons back. Being kind. Patient. Remember others are hurting, too – even if it looks different for them. Being in a family that is all grieving it is a relief that not everyone experiences the same emotions at the same time. What a wreck we would be then.

Keeping the grief inside costs you a spoon. Sharing someone else’s grief helps you both hang on to one.  

I considered having everyone actually have a container of spoons they could take from to show how they were doing. I really like the idea. It would be a great visual. However the chances of me following through to have it be meaningful are not very good. I decided we would each decorate a spoon to hang on the family board as a reminder that we all need more grace, for ourselves and each other.

While they finished their spoons I read to them from A Time to Grieve by Kenneth C. Haugk. It was helpful to hear what grief is. They felt better knowing their questions and emotions were normal and would get better. As we do more reading I’ll be posting other books we find helpful. Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebertis one I really like. It puts the process of grieving in a story that is more relatable to children.

On the Family Board