Friday, January 15, 2010

Hope for Haiti

Haiti. It's all over the headlines. It feels overwhelming, a world away and yet too-close for comfort. And we feel helpless. What can one person do in the face of so much anguish?

Jenny from Simply Delightful Designs knows that while just one person may not be able to do a lot, when we band together we can become a strong force. On her Hope for Haiti blog, many wonderful women and companies are donating items and services to this online raffle for proceeds to go to Red Cross and Compassion International.

Raffle tickets are only $1 per entry and some of the prizes are valued at several hundred dollars! Along with my offer of $30 dollars worth of your choice of Affordable Mineral Makeup™ products the raffle items include everything from blogging conference tickets to photography sessions, books, jewelry and art. Such a great selection of prizes, and all funds raised for a wonderful cause!

Together we can make a difference! Please visit and share what you can. Every dollar helps, and you might win a great prize too! Thank you for helping to bring a glimmer of hope to such a hurting slice of our world!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do You Want to Celebrate?

What My Friends/Church Did Right...

All of these seemed possible titles for this post, but "celebration" seems most fitting.

I was sitting alone in the back row at church yesterday. I had made it, but just. I came in using my wheelchair as a walker, thankful to have gotten out the door with three kids while hubby was out of town, but wondering what I was doing there. I had forgotten my Bible, and my glasses, and was so exhausted I wondered if I could stay sitting upright through the sermon.

The service began to draw to its conclusion and members of the Family were invited to slip quietly to the back and enjoy communion during the worship music. I was physically close the communion area and wanted to go, but just didn't have it in me, didn't want to invite attention with my chair, couldn't find the strength.

And then a gentle tap on my shoulder. A whispered invitation, "Do you want to celebrate communion? May I bring you the elements?"

It may have been a small act on his part, but to me it was huge. My eyes instantly welled with tears. God sees. He knows. He cares. And He prompts others to take the risk to be His hands and feet when my own are too weak.

Thank you, Father, for the invitation to celebrate You!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When a Baby Dies

Last fall I was contacted by Gerrit Hofsink who wanted to share a song she had written after the stillbirth of her first grandson. I asked Gerrit to share a little bit about the journey that brought her to write "Still" and this was her reply:
I grew up in Europe and spent years in South Africa before settling in Canada. I have always had a love for music. When my daughter and son-in law lost David, their first child (and my first grandchild) after a nine months pregnancy, it was music that helped me heal. I wrote "Still" as much for myself and my family, as for other families who experience this tragic loss, as a ray of hope in a dark time.

At the funeral, we read verses from Psalm 139, a psalm of David:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be

I would like to invite you to listen to "Still" on Gerrit's MySpace page (first song on the player) or it can be purchased through as an MP3 file for less than a dollar!

music & lyrics, copyright Gerrit Hofsink

I’ve been waiting for you
For such a long time
You’re always on my mind

And I’m lying awake
Most of the night
Waiting to hold you tight

Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
This can’t be true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we’ll meet again

Close to my soul
Close to my heart
Right from the start

Lost in time
Lost in space
Can’t wait to see your face

Now that I do
And look at you
My heart is breaking
I know it’s true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we’ll meet again

Sometimes I find myself wondering what to do
With this pain that I’m going through
But I know one day, God will take me away
And I’m coming home to you

And when I do
And look at you
My heart is healing
I know it’s true

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we’ll meet again

In related news, Remembering Our Babies Memorial Boutique, official sponsors of October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, is having a sale at where you can take 15% off anything in the store until January 15th by using coupon code newyear2010 at checkout. This special boutique offers remembrance items ranging from ash or hair holder pendants,to bracelets and other jewelry, awareness ribbons and magnets, stepping stones, memory boxes and more.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Weekend to Remember Discount

Rick and I were blessed to attend a Family Life Weekend to Remember last spring. To say it was a worthwhile weekend is such an understatement, but I can say that if you have an opportunity to attend one, please do what it takes to make it happen.

I know the economy is tight and it's tempting to see the price tag (registration is $129 per person, $258/couple, not including lodging) and immediately decide it can't be done. But before you give up so easily, I would like to challenge you to take this opportunity to the Lord in prayer and see what doors He might open. Yes, the weekend is an investment, but one that you will look back on as a marriage landmark for many years to come and worth the sacrifices it may cost you to get there!

Because we believe so passionately in this ministry, Rick and I have signed up to lead a "group" and can offer an $80 discount (making registration $178 per couple) to anyone who registers for a conference using our group page at or by simply using the group name "Saake" as your discount code when you register from the main Family Life website.

But wait, it gets better! Yes, said in my best infomercial voice. ;) From January 4-18, 2010, when you register at the regular rate of $129 for one of you, you spouse comes free! Simply register for any upcoming Spring or Fall Weekend to Remember using the promotion code "INVITE" and go for half price, only $129 for the two of you! Please spread the news. This weekend truly might improve or even save your marriage and/or the relationship of someone you encourage to attend.

If you are facing infertility or are currently grieving the death of a child, please visit my InfertilityMom blog and read the final two paragraphs of the Family Life post there for a special review from the perspective of fertility challenges.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Patient Navigator

Patient Navigator LLC is a concept I was only introduced to today. I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have to say that the concept sounds wonderful! While the term "patient navigator" pulls up several search engine results that I have not yet had time to explore, this particular page was mentioned in a recent Rest Ministries email and their goal is work "with patients and families as they journey through illness and aging." They do so be providing "information and research, we advocate on your behalf, we solve problems and we help you benefit from an integrative care approach to your illness."

While this particular organization can only offer one-on-one local support in a few areas, they work with clients "to develop and implement an individualized action plan designed to address administrative tasks, solve problems, advocate for you and mobilize a support system. Your navigator also provides emotional support as we share your journey through treatments, decisions, successes, set-backs and healing." Free telephone consultations are offered anywhere in the U.S.

If you have experience with a patient navigator (either through this website or any other) I would love to hear your experiences!