When the Waves Subside: There is Hope is written by a daughter for her parents out of appreciation for their strength, love, and perseverance since the disappearance of their youngest daughter, Heidi M. Allen.
My parents started to look for glass rocks while they were dating and after my sister and I joined the family, the tradition continued. "When the Waves Subside" represents the similarities between broken glass and the parent grieving the loss of their child.
Some of you may be surprised to see this as the first book in the spotlight, but it is the first book I published. Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey released on April 3, 2013 but When the Waves Subside: There is Hope released on February 1, 2013.
My sister, Heidi Allen, kidnapped on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, left a forever hole in my parents' hearts. As they looked in the mirror after more than a decade they only say how much they aged. Regardless of how much I tried to encourage them, they only saw the sped-up aging process. What I saw was strength, determination, and beauty.
We aren't a mushy family so instead of shedding tears and still not coming up with the write words to express encouraging words, I went to my pen and paper. I wrote a poem . As I set the poem aside for the night, "to sleep on it", I awoke in the wee hours of the morning with an idea. I developed the poem into this book. An artist I am not, but I do enjoy taking pictures and do a decent job with it.
My idea was to take pictures, use my photo program, and turn them into pencil drawings or a watercolor. The pencil drawings came out the best. A tidbit many don't know is that the pictures in the book are of my daughter and our foreign exchange, French, daughter. I messaged her parents to explain what I'd like to do and sent them the poem. I asked their permission to use the photos. You can't tell who the kids are but I still wanted them to know. They were honored and looked forward to seeing the book.(I sent them one of the first proof books, then a few copies of the book after its release)
My parents were gifted this book for Christmas in 2012. It was still in the publication phase so it was the initial proof, held together in a binder because the publisher's proof hadn't arrived yet. I still remember my parents opening the box and they were silent. They read it together, more silence. neither of them spoke. I'll be honest, I was nervous. I wasn't sure if the lack of words was good or bad. When I couldn't take it any more I asked, "Well?"
My Mom looked up with tears in her eyes. Dad stood up and said, "I need more coffee" but I noticed dampness in his eyes. It was a proud moment to know they finally understood the strength and beauty I saw in them. No more words were needed.
This book was published but not with an intent to be available to the public. Once the proofing process was complete and the book arrived, my parents started to share the book with their friends. I remember coming home from school and Mom asking me if I would be interested in selling the book. I shrugged my shoulders, "I don't care. It's yours and Dad's book. It's up to you."
I made the available for purchase on Amazon and order 20 copies to have on hand. Within a month, almost 100 copies sold. I was amazed, humbled, and blessed. My gift of encouragement to my parents in the form of a book is now a blessing for other parents who have lost a child. This is something I didn't expect and thank God for. I pray this book of hope encourages grieving parents for generations to come. A special thanks to my parents for sharing the book in those initial days, because of them, you know about the book today.
If you've read this book, why do you recommend it to others?
Where to find Michelle Weidenbenner ---->>>>>
Thank you for sharing your gifts and passion Michelle!
Yup, I've gone to the dark side, or I should say the brighter and healthier side...organic and fresh. Guess what, I ENJOY it and feel the difference. Just to make sure I'm not imagining the difference, I bought regular, or "non-organic" vegetables. Here's the real deal, I didn't notice any flavor differences BUT my body's ability to metabolize them was notably different. So organic it is...
Then there is the protein powder. I've been a Young Living Independent Distributor for more than a decade. I enjoy and benefit from their essential oils and up until this past January, their various shakes and protein drinks. In January I was introduced to Thorne's Mediclear - SGS. I noticed the difference right away, then when I started adding organic kale and organic spinach to the smoothies, the benefits only increased. In March I switched back to the ones I used to use and within a week...it was clear (pun intended) not all proteins for a smoothie are not created equal, at least for my system.
I've given away four containers of protein powders and made the switch to the Mediclear for now on. My digestive system, energy, and sleep quality are worth a healthier and more natural smoothie.
Why do I share this with you? My simple answer, 1) to keep it real and 2) if a woman like me can make the switch to a healthier life style and eating patterns...you can too.
As I enjoy smoothies, I'm looking for some new recipes to try. Do you have a favorite to share with me and other smoothie fans?
Thank you in advance for sharing
your favorite smoothie recipes
and/or protein powder supplements...
I look forward to hearing from you.
On the flip side, I think the date of Spring gives hope to people who haven't felt their toes and noses in months. For me, the date reminds me to get my spring cleaning done so when warmer weather and sunshine returns I can be outside raking, digging in the dirt, and reading a good book on the deck.
As I dropped my aunt off after Bible study tonight, she opened her door and we were serenaded by the peepers!! Peepers...this is a true sign of Spring. It might be snowing tomorrow but for tonight, the peepers are singing. Spring is coming...snow and peepers!
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
Song of Songs 2:11-12 NIV
What ignites your spirit of Spring?
As a child, our parents only let us participate in one thing at a time. Today it seems kids are involved in at least one, if not two or three different things - sports, scouts, clubs, and such. This doesn't allow time for family when you are running from event to event, especially when your kids are in different sports on different schedules.
I can't change the world with this blog or my post yet I can change my prayers for people to find time with their families, especially their children. I was a "mean mom" when our daughter was younger because she was only allowed to do one thing at a time, often forcing her to make tough choices yet as an adult, she's learned how to prioritize and budget her time. We need to choose what matters the most and make time for that.
If you are already borderline in agreement then my next statement might push you over the edge, there were things my daughter wanted to do as a child that I told her no because it happened on Sunday. We all need a day where there aren't commitments to organizations, others, and teams.
Families shouldn't have to choose between team God and x, y, or z. Sadly, this is where society is. Instead of Sunday being a day of worship, rest, and relaxation...it's become a day to cram in the tings people couldn't fit into the week or one more game or meeting. I want to challenge you...time is valuable.
Can you carve out time for yourself? Your family? For God? This weekend...you deserve it and God's waiting to hear from you and has your back, even when we are too busy to recognize it. Please take a few minutes to listen to "Here's my Heart" by Casting Crowns after reading this blog, mute your phone, hit the play button, close your eyes and take time for you...for you and God...you deserve it!
How did God speak to you during this quiet time?
Each day I put my feet on the floor, there is a prayer and hope for the new day. May this be the day Heidi is returned home. May this be the day my parents, now my dad, can know where there youngest daughter is. Life is full ups and downs.
We have people in our lives that support us and people who attempt to bring us down. The goal and hope is there is a balance with more good than the latter. I encourage you to focus on the good, cherish each moment, and never...never...take a moment for granted. When given the opportunity to make a memory with someone you love, choose the memory making over the mundane. Tomorrow, or a minute from now are not guaranteed BUT this very moment is. It's here.
Thank you for remembering Heidi and all our missing. As you light a candle this evening at 7:42 p.m., say a prayer for Heidi's return and if you will, say a prayer for all our missing and their families. May all the missing be reunited with their families and may their parents not have to close their eyes one more night without knowing where their precious child is. Pray no more children and adults are taken against their will...may this epidemic come to an end.
Thank you for remembering Heidi and all our missing...
25 years later
Heidi remains missing
We remain HOPEFUL
Mark your Calendar ~ April 3, 2019
On one hand it seems like yesterday and on the other...the weight of twenty five years is evident. You wouldn't think both feelings could happen at the same time, yet they do. It's hard to explain unless you've experienced a tragic or unexpected loss. If you understand this, I'm sorry, may The Light encourage you too.
The pain doesn't lessen and our hope doesn't falter...25 years later we still hold out hope for Heidi. To remember Heidi, and all the missing, instead of a public gathering ~ we hope to fill social media with pictures of candles...lighting the way home for Heidi and all our missing. This is one way to spread hope as we remember Heidi on a difficult day. Thank you in advance...there will also be a special blog tomorrow for Heidi.
and all the missing tomorrow,
April 3, 2019 at 7:42 p.m.
as we LIGHT THEIR WAY HOME!
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