Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembering...{and the winners}

Winners will be announced for the two give-aways at the end of this post!! Yes, you should read all the way to the end!!

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending our school's Remembrance Day service.  Two of my kids were involved so I made the effort to go, which, to my shame, I have not done before.  I was surprised by the emotion that it stirred up in me.

My family heritage is Mennonite, therefore, we did not participate in combat, therefore we have no veterans in our family and the whole thing didn't have a heap of significance to me.  The men in our family were conscientious objectors/pacifists.  It's only in recent years that I have begun to learn the contributions our family made and the problems they endured. Many pacifists assisted in the medical core or farmed land for those who had gone off to fight.

My paternal grandparents came here from Russia in 1925, German Mennonite immigrants with no family, a tiny baby and hope for something better.  During the war my grandfather had to head north to logging camps for his own safety, his German accent and pacifist position did not go over well with the Allies.  My grandmother never learned to speak English and took the weight of raising her eight children and tending the farm mostly on her own.

As I listened to the names on the Honour Roll I recognized the surnames of families in our community, young men who had gone off to help in the battle for freedom.  The names of my family members won't be on those rolls.  Am I ashamed of that?  No, I am not! My ancestors stood for what they believed in, that fighting does not bring peace, that the way of Jesus did not involve bearing arms.  I am proud to be of their line.

What caused me more discomfort was the many references to having 'won our freedom'.  That we walk in freedom because of these soldiers that gave their lives.  While this is true on the physical plain and I am thankful for that sacrifice, I was overcome with the realization that there was a much bigger battle for freedom that was won on our behalf and only one person died.  As a society we barely give that sacrifice a nod.

I am thankful that we haven't commercialized Remembrance Day, that there aren't all kinds of comics and decorations and what-have-you associated with it, it keeps us focused on the reality of what was given.  Not so with the sacrifice of our God.  We've mocked it and cheapened it and sold it for profit.

The battle that was won for us that day was a far greater freedom than the one we are enjoying now.  I do not for a moment make light of the veterans and their service to our country, however, I am much more grateful for the One who sacrificed EVERYTHING to gain my freedom, not just for now, but for eternity.

Eden is where the war began and Christmas is where the gauntlet was tossed down and the Resurrection is where the victory was firmly established forever and ever.  My kids will get a few days off school for that but do they really understand that victory any better than the one that we are remembering this weekend?  I guess that's my job, to make sure they do.

Jesus broke the bread and said, "Do this in REMEMBRANCE  of me."  Perhaps, tomorrow, on November 11, we will break bread together as a family and remember both wars that were fought and won on our behalf.

What's your story?  Are your family veterans or COs?

and the winners are {drum roll please}

Steve Bell CD (Keening for the Dawn) - Donna O, congratulations I hope it blesses you as it has me!  Going to need your address so I can send that to you when they get here!

Walking to Bethlehem by Katharine Barrett - Amy T. congratulations, Enjoy!!  I will need your e-mail address, which I will give to Katharine and she will send you the e-book version!

You can purchase these amazing resources here:

Steve Bell CD - Keening for the Dawn

Walking to Bethlehem by Katharine Barrett

Click here to get your print copy or Kindle version at Amazon.

This is the Smashwords link for Apple, Nook, Kobo, etc.

Psst:  If you have an Etsy shop that you would like featured here, I will be doing a link directory in the next couple of weeks!! Leave a comment to let me know!


Anonymous said...

:0)...Thank you so much for the CD...but even more so THANK you for this very well said post.
My family history is sort of opposite of yours. Growing up, my mother had no siblings but my Grandmother 5 and so I spent a lot of time with WW 2 veterans. I participated in Memorial Day parades, held my wedding reception at The VFW my Grandfather was a member of and even had the privilege of attending many 77th Division Association WW II reunions as my Uncle Gino was part of the division that took over Guam. My grandfather was a sharp shooter in the army, but one of his main responsibilities was to remove the deceased bodies under some pretty horrific circumstances. He was station outside of Germany and in France. He was forever scarred by the memories and suffered what was called "Battle Fatigue" before it was PTSD.
My father was in the Navy as well.
Although the circumstances by no means brought "fond" memories, I am proud that my family served in the way they did. Like your family, they stood up for what they believed in and served to the point of many physically ailments as a result. That being said, I know my Great Uncles and Grandfather would have chosen to not have war at all...the cost was just so high :0(.
War is never an answer and yet, I am unsure of how I would feel if my boys were "called up" as it were. I am glad we are not at that point and pray we never will be.
Your post also brought back a flood of very good memories for me! I loved my time spent with that "greatest generation" and I believe as a result of that I am a better person today. THANKS from the bottom of my warmed heart <3!

Katharine said...

"Eden is where the war began and Christmas is where the gauntlet was tossed down and the Resurrection is where the victory was firmly established forever and ever" Yes! So true and very well written! Congrats to Amy!

Gladiola said...

What a thoughtful post, Lani. My Dad was a CO (conscientious objector) in the medical corp. in WWI (Russia); it wasn't until lately writing my story that I recognized how awful this must have been and dangerous too. In WWII my bro was a CO on a dairy farm in BC. In my youth we had whole weekends of teaching about non-resistance - if only I could remember what they taught us. I remember being associated with several small towns where many non-Mennonite farmers had lost their sons in the war. They were minus that 'man-power' whereas the Mennonite farmers had their sons. There was a lot of resentment towards us, which I can understand.