The World I Dream Of

Owen, you are a special boy.  We all love you so much and miss you every day!  I always wonder who your friends would be.  I wish I could help you with your homework and teach you how to do things like hunt, fix things, play sports, general home maintenance, and other life skills.  I am waiting with great anticipation for our joyous reunion in Heaven.  For now, I will do my best to take joy in all the great things that your mom, Charlie, Levi, and Grace are doing. They are such wonderful gifts and do so many awesome things!  I am so proud of all of you!


To Kimberly, Charlie, Levi, and Grace,

You inspire me every day to be the best man/husband/dad that I can be.  Your unconditional love, support, and calling me out when I need to step up my game help me so much to work toward this.  Thank you for being the great people that you all are.


To all my neighbors,

Reading all the warm, loving messages today sent by our family and friends through text, Messenger, Facebook, and cards in the mail have brought tears to our eyes.  We are SO thankful for this!  It feels so good to know that people remember Owen, love him, and miss him with us.  We have cried so much that we don’t “feel” much anymore.  It feels good to be able to wash away some of the sadness. It relieves our bodies of some of the stress that builds as we approach these significant anniversaries.  Being surrounded by great friends reminds me of my childhood.

Growing up on the farm, I saw first hand the thoughtfulness and greatness of having “neighbors.”  A neighbor typically refers to the people who live next to you.  In my mind, a neighbor is someone who lifts you up in prayer, word, and deed no matter where he or she may live.  A neighbor reaches out and acts as a light guiding and helping you be the best version of yourself that you can be.  A neighbor doesn’t sit by and think only of him or herself when someone else is hurting.  When a farmer became seriously ill or injured and the fieldwork needed to be done, his or her “neighbors” dropped the important things they had going on in their own lives and took care of that farmer and the fieldwork.  This is the kind of world that I want to live in, and I believe we all need.

I am so thankful for my neighbors.  You make it possible for us to face every day and try to be a light in this world to our family, friends, neighbors, and those we encounter through our travels.  What a wonderful world this is when people lift each other up and encourage each other to be the best version of themselves that they can be.  If everyone does this everywhere we go, we bring Heaven to this Earth and we can enjoy the glory and wonder of God’s incredible creation.

Thank you for being a guiding light in my life and those around you.  You make this world a better place.


8 thoughts on “The World I Dream Of

  1. Kirsten Stiegel

    Such a beautiful tribute to Owen, your family, and all the neighbors that lift you up in prayer each day. Since you and Kim joined Living Waters I have so enjoyed watching you both. The love you have for each other shines from your very souls. Watching you bring Charlie into your family just added to that radiance. And then there was Owen. That smile. That joy. His zest for life. I remember exactly where I was when Pastor Larry called me to ask me to start praying for all of you. Though my prayers for saving Owen were not answered; my prayers for your strength certainly were. I am in awe of all of you and the love and compassion you show for each other, and also to those who grieve. Many prayers again for you today. May God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand, today and always.

  2. Jessica Fink

    Chris, your words bring tears to our eyes and are inspirational. We miss Owen everyday and think of what shenanigans he would be getting into with the other kids when our family is together:). He was such a vibrant little boy and an inspiration to us all.
    We love you all very much and pray for strength and guidance everyday.

  3. Shannan Houghton

    Incredible insight, Chris! God is working through you as you share not only hardship, but love. We will always remember Owen, and will never stop praying for strength and comfort. God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers. Remain in good faith, for your son is rejoicing with our Heavebly Father.

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