Wednesday, January 31, 2007


We have spent the day playing in the snow! I asked Ginny if she would relay a few of her thoughts. Always reluctanct. Always incredible.

Someone recently asked us for more information about the design of the 'eliot' necklace. There are nine beads on each side of a center piece representing Eliot's 99 days with us. Also, all the beads are alike except for one that stands out from the rest. They are packaged with a note of encouragement. We are just shy of selling 250. Which means we have over $2,000, solely from the necklace, to put to great use. The purpose is a work in progress.

When Eliot was born I heard a very weak and very faint cry. I said, "he's crying! that means he's breathing right!?". Not the words usually spoken in a delivery room.

I went to the hospital where Eliot was born the other day. I sat outside of the room where he was delivered, the room where he took his first breath, room number 15. I went, not to be sad, but to remember. I thought that if I could just remember what it was like on that day, then my sadness would begin to turn into something else...gratefulness, joy, hope. I wanted to remember hanging so desperately onto Christ for strength that I could barely breathe. I wanted to remember the unknowns...Boy or girl?...Life or death? I wanted to remember the joy of that cry- because that cry meant that he was alive, that cry meant time- and I hoped, with all that I had, for time with this child I carried. I wanted to remember what it was like to stay up all night holding him that first night because we had no idea how long we would have with him. I wanted to remember, and I did. I relived day number one and I smiled.

We now know. 99 days. 99 beautiful days of relentlessly loving a sweet, sweet little boy named Eliot. 99 days that were a miracle. 99 days that I wish I could remember better. He has been gone for 3 months now, and my sadness & my missing him so badly makes everything, the wonder of his life, so hazy. It makes the joy of that day & of the 98 days that followed hazy; God broke through the haze for one short hour and helped me to see...He gave me a glimpse of His glory. I wait for more glimpses that will eventually turn into long stares at the glory of God through a little boy’s life. I know glory lives there. On day 99 I saw Eliot breathe his last breath. I was there, and despite the despair, I remembered on my visit back to the hospital that I also saw him breathe his first.

"the Lord gives & the Lord takes away. blessed be the name of the Lord"
Job 1:21

Thursday, January 25, 2007


For all of you anal-retentive folks, there will be a part 2 to the honesty piece. If you do not know what I speak of, consider yourself, un-anal.

Well, I am hitting the books and Ginny is enjoying having her mother in town for a visit. That is, we both are enjoying having her mother in town.
Ginny has been working again at a gym here in town. She likes the break it provides from jewelry. Thanks to all of you who have continued to pray and peek in on what we are experiencing.

The journey that is Eliot has brought with it so much learning- to attempt a list is nothing short of ridiculous. Volumes could not hold the ideas, once thought, and now known- the faith, once hoped for, and now battle-tested. I not only desire to never be the same, I know I cannot. Experience changes everything. With that said, here are 10 things I know I have learned through it all. The work is incomplete and will forever be on this side, but a shift has taken place, as evidenced by the list below.

→ God is not who I thought He was.
I have waded into the waters of His mystery. He did not fit in my box.

→ I will never sit idly by when another is in pain and question what good I could do.
I desire to love others the way we have been shown love throughout. The kind that digs in and won’t pretend that things are good, but won’t dare not be there. May I be the first to cut through the awkwardness, that life so often brings, and make the call or hug the neck.

→ I will find common ground with the one who hurts, through the fact that I have felt pain, and never in the idea that I know what they are going through.
Pain cannot be measured. Cannot be compared. Only experienced.

→ I will attempt to not fear what I consider my worst nightmares, because precisely therein, lies great joy.

→ Daily examine the things that worry me. Throw away the petty, and pray for the others.

→ God is most glorified when I am honest with Him, myself, and those around me.
Anything less than the truth reflects the fact that I do not think my true self is worthy of His love, thus, admitting that His grace must fall short.

→ I must be more handsome than I thought because people told me my son looked like me.

→ I will seek God by seeking out the weak and humble. For this is where He chooses to show Himself most boisterously.

→ I am capable of greater love than I knew was within me.

→ I thought I had a faith. Now I know it is all I have.

→ My wife is more amazing than I realized.

Yes, another test for the retentive...that’s 11.


Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Truth Hurts (Part I)

We appreciate your prayers.

Well, today I attempted to hop aboard the law school train again. If my posts start to appear dark, dreary, and heartless, please know that I am closing in on my career of chasing ambulances. The last week of freedom was spent at various coffee shops reading and pretending to actually drink coffee. I also managed to force Ginny into hanging out with me every waking minute by incessantly telling her that school starts soon.

My thoughts as of late have hovered around a simple enough subject- honesty. Just the dropping of the word brings back elementary flashbacks of honest Abe & cherry trees. Honesty is something pushed heavily on children. However, it rarely comes up in adult circles. The subject appears juvenile. Something we should have grasped long ago and silly to discuss. Until recently, honesty only came up if my trust was betrayed. Upon Ted Haggard-like revelations, I would gasp at the lies.

Then it all hit the fan.

You see, there was Eliot. And with him came many difficult questions from folks who cared. And this whole blog thing exposed my thoughts (admittedly, that may not always be a good thing). Early on Ginny & I felt the enticement to keep up a good face when the difficult questions came. You know, throw out the answers that come so easy and typically squelch the questioning. We felt the desire to leave a good impression on the one with whom we spoke.
We're doing good.
His will be done.
We’re hanging in there.

If we were the least bit vulnerable, there would come a tug upon us to end the sentence with a “but”, and proceed to assure that we knew in the end that all would be well. Somewhere, there is an unwritten rule in Christendom that any revelation of tough feelings or hurt must be closely followed by a warm, fuzzy about the sovereignty or goodness of God.

We made the conscious decision that we would be honest- with each other and with whomever inquired. Instead of the above, with our decision made, the answers typically required an awkward pause for thought, then such answers as:
I don’t know.
Why doesn’t God…?
We’re struggling.

Also, confessions of difficulty would hang out there, just waiting to be fixed. But I began to let them stay there. No magic fix. No smiley face sticker. Just my pain and questions.

This honesty has come with a price. I sometimes feel that my newfound honesty policy induces more cringing than toilet paper trailing behind me when I exit the bathroom. I am sure much of this is imagined. But I am just as sure that some of it is not. Let’s face it, I, myself, am not exempt from a cringe when others expose there real struggles. I’ve lived in the “I’m fine” world for quite some time- and I liked it.

Why am I afraid of this honesty? For some reason, many of us have come to believe that we carry the torch of Christianity (and we do), and that we must represent our side to the world as the super-duper-fix-you-upper. I recently got to hear a friend of mine, Donald Miller, speak- and by friend, I mean I have read his book.

He addressed this honesty problem by likening the church’s approach to an infomercial for the Magic Bullet . These commercials that promise to do it all, will only disappoint in the end. It is not our God that is the disappointment. It is the reality that He is not what the package promised.

I am guilty at times of desiring Christ to be the bullet. He’ll fix it all. However, this is not the gospel. Jesus guarantees that we will have troubles. The scriptures invite us to “join in Christ’s sufferings”. The invitation to Christianity wouldn’t sell a lick on late night.

But then again, the call is to a relationship with one whose ways are unlike ours. Where we want the Bullet, He offers His presence throughout both blessing and valleys.

So, the pain is immense. The journey is difficult. And God has not taken it from me. But, I believe He is near and will continue to draw me to a deeper understanding of who He is through it all…honestly.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Son

My son was not strong
by any measure of man.
But his song I will sing whenever I can.

It sounds of truth
and rings out of grace,
Removing the veil and revealing God’s face.

My son was a picture
painted bold and bright.
His life throwing color on world’s canvas of night.

The subject unfolded,
a new stroke each day.
Until brought into focus was true joy’s way.

In the least likely place
and hard to explain.
Joy was found in the midst of the pain.

The awe of a life
and the wonder of birth.
My son was a gift of unspeakable worth.

His heart could not hold
his song came to rest.
And I am left with no son to hold on my chest.

My son was not strong
by any measure of man.
But his song I will sing whenever I can.

So ask of my boy,
consider it no bother.
When I tell of my son I tell of my Father.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tears to the New Year

Hello again. Sorry for the absence. Ginny & I enjoyed a Lake Providence Christmas. We also trekked down to Mickey World in order to witness the hogs lose up close and personal. You know, television cannot truly reveal how pathetic we played- I’m sure glad I was able to witness it. Aside from the game, the trip was good times. To add some salt, Ginny’s beloved Alabama plays the hogs in hoops today. That should be fun.

We know that many of you do not need the following plea, but people continue to ask for information. So we give it. If you’re one that prays, Ginny and I would ask that you pray for us. If you are not one that prays…maybe now would be a good time for you to start. I can’t think of anything better for you to pray for than me.

The waves of heartache have not relented. It has been about two and a half months since we held Eliot. The subconscious hope that time would make it better only fails. Pain is a process we have only just begun.

Although we attempted to brace ourselves, Christmas and New Year’s brought anguish in unexpected manner. Returning from anywhere is difficult. Our house is painfully empty. Painfully quiet upon our return. Taking down the Christmas decorations reminded us that our first Christmas without Eliot had come and gone. When filling out the “from” of the gifts we gave, Ginny wanted nothing more than to fill the blank with, “Matt, Ginny, & Eliot”. It didn’t seem right to put it. It didn’t seem right not to.

New Year’s Eve served as my reminder that this world can provide nothing to comfort me. The setting was quite amazing. There we were in the middle of Mickey-Mania. Tons of people. Beautiful weather. Everyone celebrating a new year complete with blaring music synced with some serious fireworks. And me just trying to hide my tears. I did not want to go. The year 2006 was the best year of my life. Eliot’s entire life was encapsulated by it. Moving on holds no appeal to me. I just want to go back.

As to my resolutions, I must give an introduction. I think New Year’s resolutions are pretty foolish. They just set me up for failure and I think we can all feel like failures enough without them. However, I equate them with praying before a meal. To me (apologies in advance), praying before a meal is sort of dumb. It’s kind of the southern right thing to do cause your momma did. If it serves as just a checkbox, then I would be better not to just ramble and actually approach God at a later time. Now, talking to the Lord is a good thing. If I can use meal times to remind me to do that, then so be it. Likewise, reflecting on your life is a good thing. And if I use New Year’s to do it. Then that seems good.

Eliot’s shadow is cast over our whole world. We approach things we have done a million times in a new way. For this I am thankful. Here is a sampling of some resolutions I have made in view of my son’s impact upon me:

- Look for ways to intentionally love & serve people in a surprising way.
- Approach God’s Word out of my deep need.
- Be a cheerful giver.
- Live in the perspective that Eliot provided (some things are not worth the worry…find those things deserving of my effort and go at them).
- Realize that my failure to attain any of these (listed or not) does not affect my worth in the eyes that matter.

May we all be filled with hope for 2007.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


We are currently in Orlando with friends- watching the hogs lose, watching the fireworks.

Good New Year to you all. I've currently got 17 New Year's resolutions. By the time I post again, I'll update you on how many are out the window already.

We'll be posting again soon.

Love Matt & Ginny