Monday, May 9, 2011

"Meet My Friend Monday"...Kara Chupp

Today's guest post is by Kara Chupp, wife of Jason, mommy of five (4 here, 1
in heaven), part-time homeschool-mama who enjoys writing, reading books,
taking walks with close friends, going to garage sales, spending time with
her family, and NOT doing laundry. Most importantly, she loves Jesus.

I met Kara last year and although we have only actually talked a few times, I feel as though I know her through reading her heartfelt blog, the chuppies. She has a passion for life and graciously emulates what it means to have faith in Christ! It has been through life's toughest times that she has learned to trust in God and to have joy that passes understanding.

Thank you, Kara.

I Don't Want Our Kids To Feel At Home Here

*photo credit
I don't want our kids to feel at home here.

This is not their home.

Yes--I want them to enjoy life.
And be healthy.
And feel comfort.
And know safety.
And taste success.

But not if it means that they--

Feel too much at home.

That's why we often talk about death.

I know...
I probably just lost 3 out my 5 readers on that one.
And I very much want our children here, with us...
We've felt the pain of losing a child and I never want to know that hurt again.

But we actually do talk about death quite a bit around here.
Or on the flip-side--

We talk a lot about Heaven.

And yes--I get it.
There's a balance.
We're not trying to load them down with more than their little hearts and minds can handle, but if anything--the see-saw is weighted too heavily on the other end.

We live in a mirage of security.

Where we think there is a medicine or method or mystic or mantra that can keep us from being


But it's a dangerous illusion to uphold--
Creating myopic vision.
Eternal fervor dampened under the delusion of here and now.

For those redeemed by Christ are not citizens of this here and now.
No--"our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
~Philippians 3:20

So, we do talk about death. We don't shy away from it.
Because for most people, in most places, in most times throughout history--
Death is a common foe.
And in the midst of the grief, something healthy comes from that heartache.
No one has to convince us that--
"...we are but dust."
And a man comes to know that--
"his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and its place knows it no more."
~Psalm 103:14-16

A couple weeks ago, our daughter's close friend came to spend the night. She has childhood diabetes and she is seven. As I watched her prick a tiny finger, adjust the insulin amounts and wait patiently for the numbers that would determine if she could stay over...
It made me long for Heaven.

Just today I was reading a post by the lawyer who finalized both our adoptions. For years, he's watched his young daughter battle cancer, and now his wife is in the final stages of ALS, a terminal disease. Reading his pain...
It made me long for Heaven.

Yesterday was the date of Selah's death. It took me back to that season when grief was so heavy and Heaven was our only hope. And even yesterday...wondering about three-year-old-Selah...
It made me long for Heaven.

Heaven changes everything.
It shifts our dreams, our goals, our direction.
It affects our pain, our sorrow, our fears.
Heaven gives us hope.
"We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope...Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words."
~1 Thessalonians 4:13, 16-18

Heaven moves us to invest in what will endure--
Heaven gives us courage to sacrifice for what will last--

We spent last Wednesday night with some good friends visiting from Niger. Our friend, who is a doctor, told story after story about the broken, sick, hurting people who enter the hospital where he works:
--twisted arms wrapped too tightly, requiring amputation
--babies dying from typhoid infested waters
--too-young mothers laboring for days with newborns already gone
Death on a daily basis.

There is no semblance of security in Niger--
Only true hope, Heaven's promise.

And when my own child hurts...
I wrote that--
I would take her thorn.
But no--
"I will be thankful.
For the hurt that makes her more compassionate.
For the struggle that makes her more persistent.
For the pain that makes her need Him
Because I want her to live for Heaven now.

So, as I said...
I don't want our kids to feel at home here.

I want them to know--
To really know that:
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more..."
~Revelation 21:4

I want them to believe--
To really believe that:
Jesus said, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may also be."
~John 14:3

And I want them to live--
To really live in such a way that when they reach Heaven they will say:

"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here."
~C.S. Lewis The Last Battle

Practical ideas for renewing an eternal perspective:

--Read Randy Alcorn's Heaven for Kids or any of the other excellent resources offered by Eternal Perspectives Ministries. When Selah died, Randy donated hundreds of Heaven booklets for us to share at her memorial and we were so thankful for something that could explain why our grief is not without hope.

--Subscribe to The Voice of Martyrs magazine. Reading about Believers around the world who are facing persecution always shifts my perspective.

--Develop relationships with some of the older, faithful Christians in your church family. After Selah died, our four year old said, "Now I know four people in Heaven...Mrs. O'Neil, Grandpa Wink, Selah, and Johnny Cash." While he was a little confused about Johnny Cash, Dorothy O'Neil, an older woman in our church, had a huge impact on our family. We only knew her during the last two years of her life, but when she talked about Heaven, you knew it was real and she was anxious to meet Jesus face to face.

--Read or listen to missionary biographies. We highly recommend those offered by Desiring God. For younger children, we also recommend YWAM's Hero Biographies, Dave & Neta Jackson's entire series of Hero Tales, Catherine Mackenzie's Little Lights series, and The Torchlighter's Heroes of the Faith movies. My personal favorites are biographies of Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, and William Wilberforce.

--Read Krista Horning's book Just the Way I Am and Heaven by Joni Eareckson Tada.

--Talk about real life. Our oldest son became a Christian on January 22, 2008. I know the exact date because it was the day Heath Ledger died. We were talking about his death at dinner and how much changes the moment a person dies, which led to a longer discussion that God used to transform our son's heart. More recently, the Tsunami in Japan was such a tragic picture of the brevity of life. My husband is great about pointing the kids to an eternal perspective in whatever we're reading. If you want to grow in that area (which I do) Everyday Talk is an excellent book about incorporating biblical conversations in everyday life.

--Begin every morning thanking God that "we are looking forward to a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." ~2 Peter 3:13


  1. Very interesting read, I am a new christian just startinf to explore these things.

  2. Thanks great talking with you last night...

  3. Lovely post. Came here via The Chippies and am so grateful to have spent some time here this afternoon.

  4. Love this post Kara! Congrats on being a guest blogger here! Your words are inspiring and always sincere. Thank God you and I know why we were put on earth here: to help guide our loved ones to their heavenly reward! God bless!

  5. What a lovely post about Heaven. I have a true testimony that we will see our loved ones again in Heaven. Thanks you for sharing your poignant thoughts.
    I jumped over here from The Chuppies and it was delightful.
    Blessings to you!
    Living Waters @