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He is Good
by Ruth de los Santos
5 years ago today we lived in Baltimore, and I was moderately happy, though I still yearned more than anything for more babies. I’d have to look up which baby, but September of that year, I had lost yet another little life. People told me to give up.
4 years ago today, we still lived in Baltimore and I was sick, but was almost a year away from finding out from what – a year later I would be hospitalized with pancreatitis. I was pretty weak, and we had started packing our things because the sale of the house here in VA was pending. We were just a couple of months away from being Virginians. Meg was in 5th grade, and our family consisted of just the three of us — and two cats. I had two losses that year.
Three years ago today we lived here in Virginia, and I was only out of the hospital for about a month and was in a lot of pain; I was scared. I was a vegetarian, because of the disease; I ate tofu. That summer, I we had our 14th loss in a row, our Xander, and I had decided that I was not going to try for any more children. My heart was too broken and I was done. Three years ago my life was very bleak, and I was very depressed. Three years ago was an all time low for me in my life. We hadn’t selected a new church and I wasn’t all that gung ho on doing so. I thank God for Megan, because she was who I got up every day for. If it wasn’t for her, and of course Sadao – I don’t know – I may have given up. I remember Christmas day that year – Xander had been due on Christmas Day – after the gifts were open, I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. Two losses that year too.
SO, Two years ago today I was holding our Gracie who was one day old. Two years ago I was floored with the idea that we were given another child. The entire time I was pregnant with her, I had in my mind every imaginable thing that could possibly happen that would keep us from bringing our baby home. It was the LONGEST pregnancy on record for me. It had been 11 years since we brought a baby home — and I will never forget how unreal it all felt. I will never forget the joy and relief I felt when I heard her first cry. All the stress and worry melted in an instant and was replaced with a relief and a joy that I absolutely cannot put words to. I believe it was probably just a small taste of what we’ll feel in heaven.
A year ago I was pregnant too, getting ready to celebrate Gracie’s 1st birthday party and carrying Nadia. Another baby. I never even asked for her. Not that I thought God couldn’t send us another child, but, it never entered my mind to ask for another child because we already had so much. This baby I STILL look at and think “God is SO GOOD.”
And today? I’m sitting here, drinking coffee. I’m listening to Doc McStuffins and there’s cooing and giggling coming from the living room. I have piles of laundry to fold, and there is baby stuff EVERYWHERE — toys, diaper bags, shoes, clothes, stuffed animals, pacifiers — oh look, a bottle right by the computer. They’ve taken over. Meg is at the farm doing her chores and will be home shortly to start her work (8th grade now), and Sadao has left for the day. As sorrowful as I was three years ago, I am that happy today. I am that full of joy. I am that completely satisfied.
My point in this running commentary of the last 5 years of my life? God is good. The ONE constant in all of this is how good God is, ALL THE TIME. He never left me. Though my heart was broken and worn to pieces, He never left, and I was never alone — there was always something or someone HERE to pull me through. There were times I held my Bible to my chest and just cried because that’s all I could do. He always gave me what I needed, and send who I needed and He worked all things for the good of ME. As I look back, I can honestly say that I’m glad I went through all of that heartbreak over all the years — because without it, I would have been unmoldable. We NEED to be broken, so that God can take us and make us like Him. Without that broken heart, I’d never be able to have empathy for someone else going through the pain of losing a baby. With my broken heart, I can SEE others with that same broken heart. Sure, you can be sorry and have sympathy for someone — but to have your heart break WITH someone? That’s a gift I was given, and I get to use it for His glory. What an awesome gift. What an awesome God.
Even when times are horrible and my heart is so broken that it makes me wonder how it still work, still pump blood, still be alive, I have learned that I can (because although He didn’t need to, He showed me) that I can trust Him with my whole life, and with every decisions that He makes regarding it because my God loves me, no one loves me more – and that’s enough for me. That’s MORE than enough for me.
About Ruth: I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I was born and raised in NJ, where I grew up in a PCA church, but I never walked with the Lord until I was almost 30. I met my husband online WAY back when, before online dating was a thing, and we’ve been married for 13 years, living in Virginia for the last 4 years. I love scrapbooking, blogging, keeping up with politics, and I sometimes joke about running for local government office, though Sadao knows I never would. I thoroughly enjoy being at home with the kids, because what I do is exactly what I have always wanted to do and I know how blessed I am. You may contact Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scroll down toward the end to read a message from Kathryne Marple, NLICC Women’s Ministry Committee Chair
Pastor Appreciation Month is October – Sign up to bless a pastor
We thought it would be nice to have each family bless a pastor (or more than one) during the month. In order to distribute the blessing, we’d like to have you commit to a day to do something special for the pastor and/or his family. You don’t need to share with everyone what you plan to do, just commit to a day and together we’ll bless them each all month long!
Some ideas are: letters, meals, coupons for babysitting, gift cards, an invitation to your home for dinner, gift basket, off-season getaway at your rental property… Brainstorm and have fun! Make it a family affair or get together with a friend and be creative! Sign up here.
Congregational Meeting this evening – Thursday, October 2nd at 7 pm in Room 100
Offers from area cell phone companies to set up a tower on church property will be discussed.
Funeral Service for Ki Sung, Pastor Sung’s son is tonight – Thursday, October 2nd
Please pray for Pastor Sung and Eunja and their family as Ki Sung was killed in a car accident on Friday. The funeral is 7:30 tonight at Stafford Korean Baptist Church, 168 Onville Rd, Stafford, VA 22556.
Worship and Prayer Meeting on Human Trafficking on Saturday, October 4th at 7pm
Consider joining an area-wide prayer service with fellow believers here at New Life in Christ Church sponsored by Central Virginia Justice Initiative. Want more information about CVJI? Visit www.centralvajusticeinitiative.com.
Bridal Shower honoring Caitlin Puffenberger – Monday, October 6th at 7pm in the Fireside Room
Bless Caitlin as she prepares to wed Zack Ware later this month. Caitlin’s registry may be found at www.myregistry.com. Please RSVP to Kathryne Marple at email@example.com or (540)846-0702 if you will be able to come.
Pray for The Tent, a womens’ ministry in to Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab women and Children
Mary Jane has asked that we share the newsletter attached to the Update email.
Women’s Prayer Breakfast – Saturday, October 11th 9am at in the Fireside Room
Come for breakfast and then join us in prayer for our pastors and church leaders. Mary Jane Kittredge will share with us how we can pray for pastors and their families. Click here if you are willing to bring something to share.
Women’s Ministry Training – Saturday, October 11th at 10:30am in Room 217
Carrie Verbosky will be leading. Let her know if you are unable to attend. In preparation please read Chapters 5 (Focus) and 6 (Wisdom) in Leadership for Women in the Church
by Susan Hunt and Peggy Hutcheson.
Women’s Ministry Committee Meeting – Sunday, October 12th at 4:15pm in Room 217
All women attending the women’s ministry training are invited and encouraged to attend this month’s meeting.
Baby Shower Celebrating the arrival of of Mairéad Eleanor Ewing on Saturday, October 18th from 2-4pm in the Fireside Room
This will be an opportunity to meet this precious little one, pray for the family, and share a verse or word of encouragement. Gifts are not expected, but welcome. The family has been blessed and is well set with clothes and other baby items from big sister.
Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life is this Saturday, October 4th at Old Mill Park
Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center is a Christ centered medical center providing hope and empowering life-affirming choices to those facing unplanned pregnancy. If you would like to walk, you may find information here. Eileen Roberts is participating; you may sponsor her at this link.
Women’s Retreat October 24-26 – There’s still room – October 19th meeting for all attendees after morning service in Fireside Room
Contact Connie Both firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join us. Cost is $120, scholarships available if you’d like to attend and finances are an issue.
Babies, babies, babies! Do you have any used “baby” furniture to give or loan to the church until some can be purchased?
With the blessing of many new babies, there is a need for gliders, rockers, or a sofa, and a changing table for a new nursing area up in the cry room. Please contact Kathryne Marple (540) 846-0702 if you have any items that could be donated immediately.
Pioneer Girls Update
We are still in need of Leaders! We need a leader for our 3-4th grade girls to partner with Rachel Fleming. Praise for provision of Nursery help! Please let Sharon Leaman or Dorinda McConnell know if you can help in any way. Thank you!
Time with the Clark Family Running Out. They leave October 19th – Schedule time with them soon!
Fall is a great time to fold bulletins – older children are in school, schedules are more regular, and you can plan a lunch date and follow it up with service to the church! Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Sign up HERE to fold bulletins after 1 pm some Friday. Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Questions? Ask Pam in the office.
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Ki Sung Lee’s tragic passing last week. Our hearts and prayers go out to Pastor Sung, Eunja, Ki Yun, and the Korean Agape Congregation. I enjoyed getting to know Ki Sung over Korean food many a Sunday after their worship service. He was so polite, respectful, gentle, and kind with a wonderful smile and sense of humor. I am thankful he touched my life and that God gave his family such a sweet gift in him for 29 years. We’ll meet again, Ki Sung!
Do you have information or needs that you’d like passed to the women of the church, activities or studies you’d like to see? Let us know at email@example.com.
in His grace,
the Women’s Ministry Committee
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