Celebrating Every Moment

Celebrating Every MomentI’m celebrating every moment I have with my kids this year!

Just keeping up with the daily demands of life is borderline crazy.  But now, I have to add travelling, speaking, and writing to my already-crammed schedule as a mom.

Now that I have to fight even more than before to make time for my kids, I’m realizing how easy it was for me to take some very important seasons in life for granted.  We just expect our kids to grow up, graduate, get married, give us grandkids and find a job to support their family.  But do we take the time to slow down and enjoy the “stages” of our kids’ lives?

Personally, I have a daughter that I never had the chance to give birth to.  I have a son who almost never saw the age of four.  These painful experiences have also reminded me that time is precious and possibly shorter than I expect.

My other daughter is just now turning sixteen and getting her driver’s license. But that’s the small challenge; the big challenge is knowing that in two years she uses her license to drive off to college. My middle son is in junior high.  He’s just starting to chart his course through the teenage years.  He’s also travelling and speaking with his parents and signing books nearly every day. My youngest is learning karate and is definitely enjoying being the youngest.  Colby has the gift of bringing laughter to our “mostly serious” home.

When I was younger, I never thought we would be out of the bottle, diaper, and pacifier stage.  Some of those moments were rough, especially when I was sleep deprived.  But don’t wish those times away!  Cherish them and take lots of pictures!

Sonja Burpo and her husband, Todd, are the parents of Colton Burpo, whose trip to heaven (and back!) is told in the New York Times bestseller Heaven is for Real.


  1. 2 years ago
    LaVonna Castle says

    Sorry we missed seeing you at Chase County Fair last weekend! Someone said they saw Todd on the float. I missed seeing him, I guess. Were you all on it?? Have a Blessed week and keep Praising the Lord!!!

  2. Dear Sonja,
    It’s Angie again… reading your post also reminds me of why I celebrate the small things at our home too. I wanted to share this link to my stories about raising a young family with a PD husband. Here it is:
    Thank you for inspiring me,
    love, a

  3. 2 years ago
    Angie Hott says

    Your post certainly hit home with me as our children are now all in school! Although all the preparation for sending them to the next school year seems hectic, I appreciate that they are home today for I know that all too soon they will be off on their own. (Our oldest is an MBA graduate and moved to the “big city”… it all happened so fast!) Please allow me to share with you my personal story here: http://momsoffaith.com/2012/08/do-you-have-the-back-to-school-blues/

    I recently finished Colton’s story in “Heaven is for Real”. Thank you for sharing your son and his experience with the world. As a mom of four with young husband diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I am inspired today by your blog “Celebrating Every Moment” and strive daily to enjoy God’s blessings t.o.d.a.y! This experience has taught me to appreciate my husband’s health t.h.i.s very moment because a future with PD can be, well…, a bummer.

    love, a

  4. What was supposed to be a just a routine well child check up turned into a wake up call. My 6 year old, Julia has been a very healthy child all of her 6 years of life and very active. She chooses to eat healthy on her own. Our regular pediatrician was not available this particular visit due to her own health issues. The substitute pediatrician was listening to Julia’s heart and turned and looked at me and said she heard a click noise she thought and would be ordering a echo-cardiogram for Julia. I think time kind of stood still as I heard her say that. I was shocked. It definitely was not something I was expecting to hear about this perfectly healthy child.
    Well I reasoned with it of course and decided well this was a newer doctor and she was just extra curious, so we would go along with it, but I was sure everything was fine. We went to have the test run and no alarms sounded from the staff, so we left and I even forgot about waiting for the call for the results, so once again I was shocked when they called me with the results the following Friday. They told me that Julia had atrial septic defect, which is a hole in the heart that had not closed ond its own, so since it was rather large we would need to have it repaired. Otherwise Julia would be at risk later in life for heart complications, that could be fatal. I was definitely more concerned now. We met with the cardiologist and was given a choice to have it repaired non-invasive up through an artery in the leg or by open heart surgery. My husband and I kind of smirked well of course we would choose the less major way to go, that was a no brainer.
    We scheduled the surgery, got Julia all ready to go to have the procedure done and she is actually kind of excited about the experience. We were on track to be ready to go back to school after her short recovery time. We had explained to her after this minor procedure things would be good and back to normal for her. Then only a short time after they took her back to surgery, the surgeon comes out and tells us that he is unable to repair the hole this way that we will need to schedule to have open heart surgery to patch the hole. The size of the hole was much larger, more like the wall dividing the the two upper chambers wasn’t there. Needless to say I was heart broken. I did not want my baby girl who had been so healthy to have to have this major heart surgery. I knew she had to, but I didn’t understand why God had not let us take the easier path.
    The big surgery day has come and gone and Julia is recovering wonderfully. The surgeons and the nurses told us how amazed they are at how well the surgery and her recovery is going. I know that most of the universe was calling out to God, my Father to have mercy on my child and let her have a successful surgery and recovery. That is what I know I can trust. We do not always know the way that God will answer our prayers, but we can have the faith that He is always in the process of answering them the way that He knows is the best. I am so blessed and grateful that I have a praise story to share. Even through the sorrow I went through, it has made my joy that much more wonderful. Through Julia’s experience all of the hundreds or more that had passed my burden on about her on their prayer chains and social outreaches so many got to see how through their prayers God worked amazing results.
    A nurse had told me after the surgery that she was amazed how Julia had not had any symptoms because the hole was so large. I know that my Heavenly Father was keeping a hand on my baby girl and that He will continue to be there for her and me and the rest of our family.
    You definitely can not take one day for granted. We are not all given those second chances, one more tries or one more days, to have with our loved ones. I thank God, that He allowed the right Dr. to hear the murmur that found the hole and blessed us with great surgeons to give Julia a second lease on life. May God bless each and everyone of you with as much joy that I have. I can say that I am amazed too by God’s amazing grace, but I am not surprised, because I know that my God is an Awesome God and He will never fail me.

  5. 2 years ago
    Sharlene Burton says

    My precious baby boy is about to turn 13. I miss the times I could pick him up and just hold him, his head on my shoulder, my cheek to his. I stepped out on faith and stayed at home, simplified and slowed the pace of my life and still these past 13 years have flown by at warp speed. Yes, please do cherish every moment.

  6. 2 years ago
    Nancy Gindlesperger says

    I have read Heaven is for Real and this is one book that I will not give away or resell! I will buy another to give to someone but this is a keeper to read and reread again. What a lovely son you have and to be so blessed by what he saw and shared. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. God’s blessings.

    Nancy Gindlesperger

    • 2 years ago
      Sky Weatherlow says

      I bought 2 copies of this book, After I read it I signed my name and the date I finished reading it and passed it on for others to do the same. I’ve read it about 4 times now and get something new out of it each time.

      God be with you all.

  7. 2 years ago
    Selina says

    Today I celebrate God’s amazing blessings! He gave us a car (we had none) and also I’m celebrating that my husband is finally in school, studying something he’s passionate about.

  8. So glad to hear how life in the Burpo famil is progressing….even if at break neck speed. Thank for for sharing the insight and mindset that I try to embrace as well. My childrens’ stages have been so diverse, that it’s difficult to be all that I need to be to each one. At this stage, my oldest daughter is 33 w/ 8 yr. old twins (boy/girl) and a 4 yr. old boy. She is a single mother finishing an RN degree and trying to work weekend nights at a local nursing facility. We are on board as supportive parents and caregiving grandparents to our 3 grandchildren. Our middle son is 26 and just married this summer. He is an Army Cpt. (explosive specialist) stationed w/ his wife in Ft. Polk, LA. A new chapter of our lives begin as “in-law’s”. Last but not least, our youngest 17 yr. old son begins his junior year at Decatur Christian H.S. today and is miraculously able to play sports after major hip surgeries his 5th and 6th grade years. Early parenting years presented the multiple challenges of dealing w/ a baby boy, an adolescent middle child boy, and an extremely rebellious teenage girl…. while being aging parents. Hormones are still colliding today in our household as a teenage son wants to spread his wings and mother is perimenopausal, trying to do everything possible to stay afloat. Personal challenges of providing pastoral and grief care for hospice patients and their families leaves me little emotional energy at the end of many days. The challenge of being a farmer’s wife in a devastating drought year also takes its toll.

    Sonja, thank you for the much needed perspective that your family provided in writing “Heaven is for Real”. And thank you for the much needed words of encouragement today. God bless you and your readers and may we drink in each moment. We never know when it may be our last.

  9. 2 years ago
    Beth Hoffmann says

    Thank you! I really enjoyed Heaven Is For Real and shared it with a colleague who also found it delightful. I remember washing dishes and seeing my toddler son come around the corner of the kitchen. The expression on his face as he looked toward mine gave me a picture of Numbers 6:26 — “lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” This summer I heard his description of his 8-year-old daughter: “I love to hear her whistle, because it means she’s close by and she’s happy.”

    I too am a “mostly serious” family member, and I’d reorder the list of expected events: get a job, marry, give us grandchildren. I remember a friend’s list to her daughter: finish high school, finish college, get a job, THEN think about getting married.

    I followed my recommended sequence, and while I didn’t meet my stated goal of giving my parents a grandchild before they were fifty, I’ve been married for more than forty years (last month) to the same man, and he keeps coming home, and I keep being glad, so as I affirmed to my daugher’s “Mom, you are such a prude,” more than 18 years ago, “Yes, I am.” There is something to be said for “prude”.

    Blessings to you in your ministry!

  10. We have three adult sons and two younger children. Also three grandchildren. Life is full of all sorts of stages. I’ve learned to simply say “it is what it is” and go with the day as an adventure captured in Gods hands!

  11. 2 years ago
    Darlene Ramsey says

    Every moment of life is special whether it is a moment of joy or of growing through pain. When I read Colton’s account of meeting his sister in Heaven I remembered how my husband and i felt when we lost our first baby to a miscarriage. But, Colton made me feel great joy and hope by making me realize that I will meet our child when we are reunited in God’s presence. Thank you for your message today.

    • 2 years ago
      Lynn Odnovyun says

      Thanks for your wisdom. I have the same vision for keeping my three daughters at the core of my priorities. We lost their father to suicide two years ago after he battled severe depression and anxiety and our whole world collapsed. He had been a Senior Pastor of a large church for almost 20 years and we lost everything when we lost him. My job at the church as head of children’s ministry department and pioneer of a successful Preschool prgram, my daughter was our gifted worship leader, and the congregation and elders did not understand the implications of an undiagnosed underlying mental illness. I still have two of my daughters in college and the oldest one got married 6 months ago. After 25 years of marriage, I had to walk my daughter down the aisle, escort my daughter at Homecoming court on the football field of her High School, move them in and out of college dorms and drive uhauls across the country. With God nothing shall be impossible. He has never left me or forsken me. I am writing a book and I hope to join the Women of Faith team someday to declare that I am an overcomer by the blood of Jesus!!! If I got through all this, so can other women. I have been a college professor for 15 years and I am comfortable speaking in front of audiences. Please pray for me as I let God lead me into this new season of my life now that I have navigated my daughters onto their paths. They are now 20, 22 and 24.. I give GOD all the praise and honor and glory!!!!!