Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Help Families at Riley Children's Hospital

More and more as I see the evils of the world we live in and as I get older the pain seems more real.  And frankly, it is real.  It's easy when you're young to see the world through naive eyes, especially when you have parents who try to sugarcoat what's really happening and when you grow up not calling sin what it is--sin.  I have lots to write, but I need to form some clarity of thought before I try to do so.

Instead of rambling, I'd like to share a burden of mine. During Malachi's life we were consumed with the health (or lack thereof) of our son. Every day was an up or down, there were no "easy days". We are no longer faced with that day in and day out as God chose to take our son, but that is not the case for many families. Many families will spend the holidays hurting and worrying and hoping for their son or their daughter's physical well-being. We were blessed during our hospital days to have family and friends to pray for us, to encourage us, to support us in ways that we don't even fully comprehend. Unfortunately, many of the families we saw didn't have that kind of support. We could see hopelessness written all over the faces of those we passed in the hallways. Despair, multiplied during "the hap-, happiest season of all." 

John and I had high aspirations of coming alongside the Ronald McDonald House within Riley Hospital (an oasis for us during a very dry time) and preparing a large meal to encourage parents who are stuck at the hospital this Christmas. Our schedules, sickness, and pocketbooks have altered those plans. We need to do SOMETHING for these families. Even if it's not much, we plan to deliver as many goody bags as possible on Friday, December 21.

We would like to include items such as the following in the bags:
-$5 McDonald's gift cards (there is one located in the hospital)
-snacks (cookies/fudge)
-healthy snacks
-hard candy
-tea bags or hot chocolate packets
-single serving fruit/applesauce cups
small crossword puzzle/word search books
-hand lotion
-notepad with pen
-ponytail holder
-bobby pins
-small Christmas ornament
-face wipes
-anything else you'd like to pitch in!

 If you would like to help by donating something physical to place in these bags email us at marissasharbaugh@gmail.com. If you could donate financially, please use the chip-in widget below (to use debit/credit card or paypal).  Thank you for your consideration and help!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

buttering up

In reference to the paper snowflakes we cut last night...

Daddy:  Emma, but how are we going to hang them up?
Emma:  Uh, with Daddy's awesomeness!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Jackson, do you want to go on a date with mama and daddy tonight?

No, grandma and papas. See cousins.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Emma, why are you crying?

You broke my feelings.

Operator error

Jackson got to pick out a sticker at the dentist this morning. I turned to schedule the next appointment and all of a sudden Jackson is screaming, "Sticker no work! Sticker no work!"

Yeah, he was trying to put it in his shirt with removing the backing!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Today marked the first day of Jackson joining the 2s and 3s class at church. That means he is with John and I during the song portion of our morning worship service. John was giving Jackson a little talk of expectations and one of them was being quiet during announcements etc.

At one point Jackson looked up at me and whispered. I couldn't make out what he was saying so I whispered, "What?" Again I couldn't make out what he was saying so I replied "What?"

He exclaimed, "Quiet!"

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Emma: I think we should take all the money I've saved for my college and we can go to Disney.

(Good try, punkin')

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Grieving the holidays

Funny story. I was just about to publish a similar post two minutes ago and my app froze and I lost it all. More often than not i would just say forget it, but insomnia wins and im back At it. Here's to a fruitful second attempt. Now you just get the cliffs notes version.

Most of the time it feels like I'm more or less enduring the holidays than truly celebrating them. Overanalyzing and apathy and emotions all over the place make it difficult for me to be with large groups. Even if those groups are primarily family and friends. I prefer to be reclusive than perceive myself to be the drag of a party. It takes a lot of energy to hold back tears and pretend like everything is fine.

So Thanksgiving.
When we take time out of our normal routines to be reflective and thankful for that which we've been given, it's easy to remember and dwell on that which has been taken away.
And Christmas.
Also for those of us who have buried a child and are left with empty arms, it's hard to be festive during a holiday commemorating a birth (as miraculous and amazing as Christs birth is, it's difficult).

This year I choosing to be thankful for Psalm 34:18 and the promise that The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are crushed in spirit. That's me. God is close to me. If I will choose to draw near to Him (which is an act of grace from Him in itself then He will draw near to me (more grace).

I also am learning that there is a perspective I've been given that not all have received at christmastime. Mary knew the role Jesus would have. How many times did she hold Him and rock Him as a baby praying for another way--just as I had day after day with Malachi in the hospital. Or maybe she didn't know. Maybe there was hope until the end when all other options were exhausted, when there was no other way. It was no surprise to God when Jesus was hanging lifeless on the cross. He ordained it from before the beginning of creation. Just as He ordained the death of my son just before reaching seven months, when the last door of worldly hope was slammed shut. Ordained by God.

I'm not really sure what my intent for this post is. These are just a few of the thoughts I can piece together as I lay here unable to sleep. The rest are spinning too fast for me to grasp and put into words. My heart is heavy as I know I am not alone in this battle; that this grief is shared by many mothers and fathers. I feel like most people are afraid to speak of Malachi or Jordan for fear that it will be hard for me. Yes there may be tears, but its harder for me to believe that he has been forgotten. And that I am expected to be silent about the issue because its hard and awkward and sad for others. Just another reminder to the world that Heaven awaits.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Unintentional blasphemy

So it's that time of year again.  The Christmas tree is about to be set up and decorated, the stockings will be hung, and the kids' nativity set will be brought out to be played with once again.  I'm bracing myself for where I might find our Baby Jesus and what kind of trouble the wisemen might be up to.  We haven't gotten there quite yet, but there is one phrase I've heard a lot the last week or so...

Emma keeps describing Jesus as our "sented Savior"...

but I keep hearing "scented Savior" and my mind automatically jumps to my favorite candle aromas!

But seriously, what did it smell like at the manger scene?  It definitely wasn't pumpkin spice or vanilla caramel latte scented.  It's easy to read the pages of Scripture and to trace the words of Jesus' birth without really putting ourselves there.  Jesus, the creator of all things, was born as a baby.  And not only was He born, but there were no sterile instruments, clean floors, or flat-screen TVs (thanks IU-West!).  It was a stable.  It was dirty and stinky and no televised distractions for Mary.  The closest comparison I can come up with in my mind is a petting zoo.  I can't even begin to fathom leaving (willingly!) the glories of Heaven to take is first breath on earth in a stable.  There are no other kings who would be willing to do this for an undeserving people.

Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you for being a redeeming God--one who can take a phrase like the "scented Savior" and give it an entirely new meaning, a meaning that points to You and Your glory.  Help John and I as we seek to honor and glorify You this season especially as we feebly attempt to point our children to You in all the materialism our world calls christmas.

peter, peter, pumpkin eater...

Two new gentlemen with interesting similarities have recently entered the Sharbaugh household...

Meet Peter the Observer {FRINGE}

and Peter, our Elf on the Shelf (a different kind of observer)