What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Moments of Grace: Reflections of Praise

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
Psalm 30:11-12

This past week was our son's birthday. Our son who is in heaven, that is. He left this earth almost two years ago, at the age of 41.  This year would have been his 43rd birthday. I don't write this to make you feel sad or to feel sorry for me. Perhaps I am writing this for myself...as a way of dealing with the grief.  Even though we still miss our son and will always long to see his face again and hear his voice and laughter...I can honestly say that God has given me a true sense of peace and gladness.  You see, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will see my son again someday. There is no doubt in my mind that he had accepted God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, (see Ephesians 2:8-9) and that when he left his earthly home he went immediately into the Presence of God Almighty. Therefore, I have joy in my heart...and I can sing praise to God and not be silent.

For his birthday, to honor the memory of our son, we planted two trees in our yard.
Our sons planted two apple trees in the front yard.
Hopefully they will grow and prosper and bear much fruit!
 Something alive and growing and beautiful to remind us of his beautiful life...and to remind us also that he is still alive. He's just a breath away in heaven.

We actually started this "tradition" the very week of his memorial service, by building an arbor and establishing a small memorial garden in our backyard.  This has become a special place to sit and pray, watch the birds, enjoy a time of communion with the Lord and His beautiful creation.

My sister donated this beautiful wind-spinner
in memory of our son.
 On the first anniversary of his passing, we planted a tree in the front yard.  That idea has now spread to other parts of the yard, so that everywhere I look outside I am reminded of the life of my son.

You may think this is a bit morbid or even eccentric. Well, perhaps if these "memorials" caused us to become sorrowful or even a bit depressed or angry, that could possibly be construed as carrying grief too far.  But what I have discovered is by having these living reminders of our son, it has "turned for me my mourning into dancing"...and has helped to "put off my sackcloth and has clothed me with gladness."

I could not do this if I did not have total faith in God and His provision for salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.  Without that hope and promise there would be no reason to rejoice or dance again. But because Christ lives, I know that not only my son, but I, too, shall live!

I can sing along with Job (Job 19:25-27)

"For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, 
and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!"

And as the Psalmist said above:

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."

In loving memory of our son
Matthew E. Steiner
"Weeping may endure for a night,
but joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5b


  1. I think the living memorial of the two apple trees is a very fitting way to honor your son, and the arbor too. Bless your heart.

    1. Thank you Terra. Matthew was an avid outdoorsman when he was well, and so we honor his memory by planting things outdoors. I think he'd approve, although he wouldn't really want all this attention. But that's okay. God knows what we need to heal our hearts.

  2. Has it been two years, time does pass and with time, God does heal and bless our faith in Him. I think your memorial garden, is a wonderful way to give praise to God for the gift of His Son and His giving you a son. Till you are together again Pamela,sing,dance and praise God for his never ending Love!

    1. Thank you Sylvia. That is how I feel. Matthew would not want us to be sorrowful. He loved the outdoors, and that is where I feel his presence most. I think God totally understands this and has given us these ways of dealing with our grief. So thankful for the the Great Comforter.

  3. You are a rich example of how walking with God brings peace that passes understanding Pam. It can seem nonsensical to others but still bring sweet comfort to you because you get it. You know that you will see him again. Just beautiful. Bless you!

    1. Thank you Susie. I appreciate that you "get it" as well. Yes, so thankful for the great hope we have in Jesus. Without Him, there would be no reason for dancing and rejoicing. We would have no hope at all. But praise God! Our Redeemer Lives!!!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you for the (((hugs))), sis!!! You need to come visit the woods again soon.

  5. Pam, I think you memorials to your son are a great idea, especially if he was an outdoor type of person. The promise of heaven is so comforting, for those of us who have Jesus as Savior. The hope of heaven is something to focus on during those hard times--our journey on earth is so brief in light of eternity. ( I deleted my first entry due to a typo I caught AFTER posting.)


    1. Thank you Kim. Yes, Matthew was definitely the outdoors type. I expect he is enjoying the beauty of heaven today, which I am sure must have rivers, trees and gardens. (I think they have been described in God's Word) I find the outdoors to be a comforting place where I feel closer to the Lord...and also to Matthew. Someday I believe we will all be surprised to see just how close heaven really is. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words today.


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