I'm Erin Jo. I'm thinking, writing, dreaming, mothering, loving, living, praising, BLESSED to be Fiona to my Shrek and Mommy to my four amazing kiddos.



Shrek is "like an onion with many layers" but has a heart of gold. He's my husband and my friend, and we just get better all the time.



Lily is my first baby and only girl. She's smart, funny, tall and kind. Keeping up with this girl is a challenge and a joy. She's terrific!



Max is one part ogre, two parts lover and all boy! Our little man has a temper but gives the best hugs of anyone I know!



Colby is as ornery as he looks. He flirts shamelessly, even with strangers. He's all mouth and curls and the loudest by far.



Luke is the baby of the family, but holds his own. He's happy and adorable. And he's a terrible sleeper. =)

Love in Child Form

It’s been said that babies are a wonderful way to start people.

It’s true. Babies are really wonderful. I’ve always been a baby person. As one of the older grandchildren, I spent many nights with my aunts and their newborns. At 14, I mothered like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve always found my peace in babies, in spite of the stress and havoc they can cause. I guess it’s not surprising that I ended up with four of my very own.

Our young friend Ava, who has been battling a brain tumor, has found peace in Luke. While my other children have befriended her and taken care of her in their unique ways, Luke has also unknowingly found his niche in making her world a better place. In February, fresh from Disney World, Miss Ava came to the house to meet Luke. It was love at first sight.

Four months have passed since that time. Our baby has grown up a bit, and Miss Ava has continued to do what she does best: she’s changed the community one person at a time and continued to brave the ups and downs of her condition.

One of the highlights of my weekend was watching Ava hold Luke again with her daddy’s help. There were smiles and giggles. Pure love in child form.

I’ve been thinking that if we could all just see each other the way kids do, we’d be in a better place. We wouldn’t see the past or the future, or the divisions we create.

We’d see that we’re all gifts from God, with our own talents to bring to the table. We’d see that a four-month-old can make someone else’s day just by his presence. We’d see that living well trumps living long.

Ava has shown so many of us that we can’t be defined by the ways in which life is unfair. We can’t dwell on the flat tire, the petty fights with our families or friends, the good fortunes of others in our own times of struggle. She’s shown us to see each other for what we are: imperfect, yet precious; different, but the same.

Ava is a warrior and a teacher. She both loves and fights like a girl. She has lived her life out loud and has been heard by so many. Ava is love in child form.

Tonight, I lift her in prayer and stand on her behalf. May God hold her in the palm of His hand.

8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sweet Ava….you fill my soul with so much! May GOD wrap you in HIS blanket of "MIRACLES!'
    Keeping YOU in my prayers, "ANGEL!"
    Susan Miracle

  2. kellythegoldfish says:

    Beautifully written. I haven't met Ava, but I went to school with her mother. I think about her all the time and am ALWAYS sending good vibes of health and love in their direction. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous says:

    That is beautiful…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tears streaming down my face as I read this. Beautiful. We have prayed for Ava and will continue to do so. What a BEAUTIFUL child of God she is. And, how amazing that our Father would use your precious angel, Luke, to minister to sweet Ava. You are so correct…she is pure love in child form.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I've been following Avas story on facebook and am keeping her in my prayers…miracles do happen!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just beautiful and what a great way to look at life.
    I have been following your blog for sometime and look forward to new post. I do know of your family (The Strahlers) and really enjoy reading the way you put things. You are very good at writing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, it's beautiful. The words made me think about some things, that otherwise, I probably would not have thought of. Miss Ava is in the hearts of all of the community. I continue to pray for her, her family and all of the people that have been a part of her young life. Dear God, please give Miss Ava a miracle. Amen

Leave a Reply