The date has left me, but it was either toward the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009… nearly four years nonetheless. Colton was just a little guy at the time and I remember sitting in our playroom with my eyes locked on my computer screen heartbroken by what I was reading. Finding the blog was a total accident.
I had been searching the internet for some song lyrics I wanted to send to a friend… the google search led me to Bring The Rain blog written by Angie Smith. Her story alone is one that will leave you sobbing. Angie is truly an inspiration to many – the way she handled the news of the loss of her child is heart gripping to say the least. If you have never been to her site – GO! She has a book called “What Women Fear” that is on my list of things to read!
On this particular day Angie was asking for prayer for another mom blogger whose son was having serious heart issues. I was drawn to this blog and this story because the child (a boy) was close in age to my own son. From that day up until a few weeks ago I checked in on mycharmingkids.net almost every day. Stellan had major heart issues and people all over the world were praying for him. It was amazing to see such a community of people come together to pray for this child and this mother. I could not have imagined going through anything like this… I became even more thankful for my son who was healthy.
The journey that Jennifer McKinney and her family went through was an amazing journey. Filled with high points and low points. The highest being when Stellan had a successful ablation (I' think I am saying this correctly) in the Boston Children’s hospital. It is my understanding that he has not had any heart issues since. Their family of six at the time (now a family of seven!) just made me smile. Seeing the four children all so close in age actually made me consider a big family of my own!
For whatever reason I stuck with the blog even after Stellan was better. I loved reading about their daily lives, getting photography tips, fun recipes and etc. Oh yeah, and we adapted the “one finger rule” from Jennifer… thanks for that one! Jennifer was/is entertaining, insightful, and she clearing loved the Lord which I loved to read about.
Two years ago I was able to meet Jennifer when she and her family traveled the East Coast for several weeks during the Spring. She made a pit stop in Knoxville and took our family photos. It was after posting these photos that I got a really good dose of the ugly side of social media. Something I had no idea existed. I never imagined in a million years that women could be so nasty to one another!
During the same trip I was able to meet the “MckFamily”. They traveled right through my home town and stopped for some Mexican food! Her crew was exactly what I expected. Sweet and gracious! Hee only daughter was so cute and wanted to hug and love on my little miss. It was almost overwhelming to meet and see little Stellan whom I and so many others had interceded for. He was (and is) a walking, talking miracle. Someday he is going to get to tell the world his story himself!
About two weeks ago MckMama as so many know her, decided to close the blogging chapter of her life. I was not completely surprised when she posted that her blog was coming to an end, but I was a little sad. Four years of watching her little ones grow had finally come to an end.
From time to time there was controversy that surrounded Jennifer and her blog. Little of which I could make any sense of. I have later learned that most successful “mom bloggers” have their own set of naysayer and naggers out there on the web. Baffling if you ask me! It is my understanding that if you do not like something you are reading then you just do not read it. There have been times when I have read blog post from MckMama as well as other bloggers that I have not agreed with, but never have I felt it my place to leave a nasty comment. If there is one thing I have learned over these past four years of reading her blog it is the reinforcement of the golden rule (or rules), “if you do not have nothing good to say then do not say anything at all!” and “treat others how you wish to be treated”. We teach these basic rules of life to our own children, but often adults somehow forget that these golden rules also apply to them. That conversation is for another day/another time.
I am writing this post to simply say, “Thank You” to Jennifer. Thank you for opening your life up to us, your readers. Thank you for being so bold and so brave. Thank you for letting us love your children. Thank you for opening our eyes to a world that so many of us try to shield ourselves from with your trips to Africa. Thank you for creating a community to where we could come and connect with other moms. Lastly, thank you for believing boldly and sharing your love of Christ with others.
Hugs from Tennessee!