Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Grief: The Two Year Countdown

We've officially entered the two year countdown with the end of August happening. I was asked to share where I am with the whole grieving process of saying goodbye to daddy and learning to live without him being here in the flesh. So, here I go....

Grief is one of the necessary emotions and processes of life. I do consider to have been incredibly blessed by starting the process before we ever moved in with my parents. For the man who had been my dad in my childhood and teenage years would have never needed his daughter and son-in-law and three grandsons to take care of him. The man in May of 2005 did without question even though he did numerous times - question it that is.... until he and God got it all straightened out and he was able to accept it and no longer be mad at me/us.

My daddy and I were exceedingly close. We shared the same passion for serving God and serving others. And even in his dealing with Parkinson's and Diabetes - that did not change. It just made it more interesting at times. There were times when we simply had to laugh even though others thought it might have been inappropriate to do so. That's what happens when you had one who was healed and one who was ill. Of course - he got the ultimate healing.

At the end of August of 2006 is when daddy had his heart attack and spent the next two months in such a battle before winning the race on November 1st. What we learned about God, ourselves, and life and living during those two months - I would not change for the world... not even with the pain that was involved. Funny how God can work like that if we allow Him to.

We're still getting phone calls for daddy even after all this time. And I must confess - that can be hard and hit me/us when we're least expecting it. Yesterday there were 2 of them. One of which we've repeatedly asked for his name to be taken off their list.... It gets a little frustrating as well. If he had just been out playing golf and missed their call - I could understand. But deceased is deceased. It is the ultimate change of addresses.

One of the things that I/we do deal with on a daily basis is the fact that because of how loved daddy was and how God used him to touch others right where they were.... we are not in the grieving process alone as a family. On any given day - he is talked about and remembered... and I'm often called or sought out in person to be a support for that individual - whether it's just listening, praying with or giving that hug I promised him I would give on his behalf and mine.

It is no secret that I loved my daddy dearly. He wasn't just my dad, father in law/friend/dad to my hubby, and amazing grandpa to our three sons...... he was a very dear friend... but more than that.... he was my brother in Christ... and still is. Taking care of daddy will always be remembered with fondness even with the many tears that were cried and still are at times. Tears are a necessary part of my grief and my joy in Christ and salvation that only comes through Him.

So, that's where I am today. And I am good with it. For like I said... grief is one of those necessary emotions and processes of life. It should not be swept under the rug, or put on a shelf, or ignored. And it can reap untold benefits such as helping others who are dealing with their own grief. We were not meant to walk through life's moments alone.

It does, however, go back to God.

It always goes back to God.

For that is the most important relationship any one can ever have.

I could still have my daddy here and not have that relationship with God.

And my daddy could not save me. That's not what dads are for or moms. (nor daughters their dads.)

That's why Jesus came, lived, died and rose again conquering death.

Jesus is the Only Savior....

And while I loved my daddy and he loved me.......

There is no love that compares to that of my Real Father - God.

His love is sufficient. It is complete.

He is the Only One worthy of Worship and Praise....

Even in grieving a man I knew as daddy.

Have a story about grief to share? Feel free to do so...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"The Questionator"

One of my nicknames is "The Questionator"..... This is why:


If you're a Christ-follower.... how's your walk today? this moment?

Have you thanked God today for today?

Can you name people in your daily path that you are reaching out to with God's love?

Can you even see them for who they are? right where they are? or just where you want them to be?

Is it easier to trust God in the small things instead of the big? He's God... He can handle it all.

Where are you on your Spiritual map? Are you wanting to stay there? Are you wallowing in it? Or putting one foot in front of another? Or running? Or hiding?

If you were to lose every one in your life that you love and cherish - would you still know God loves you? Would God be enough for you to want to keep on living?

Where are you on faith? is it in yourself? in others? yourself and God? God alone?

Did you notice God yesterday?

Did you help someone else notice Him by acts of kindness? by loving them when loving wasn't easy?

Do you love generously? with a love that is not yours alone to keep? that requires the Holy Spirit?

Where is God found this moment in your life? is He in a building? on the street? kicked to the curb? on the back burner? in your hands and feet and with your eyes and mouth and ears?

The most important relationship any one can have is with God....

with Jesus...

with His Holy Spirit.

Where is that relationship today? this moment?

Listen to God's voice today.... and respond.

As always... praying!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh That Son. Those Sons. The Only Son.

His name is Travis... and he is 14 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAVIS!

He's a Christ-follower.

He is a lifestyle missionary. He helps others to notice God in the every day.

He isn't afraid to share about Him either with words... actions....

How he is with little kids? Unbelievable!

He's also a mean trumpet player.. and golfer. And is a pro at pretty much any thing Wii sports.

Every single day even when being a moody teenager at times... he helps me notice God too.

Why is that?

The Great Physician showed the medical world to be wrong again with the birth of Travis.

The medical world only knows what they think they know...

Then there's the GOD Factor. The Real IT!

Talk about WOW!

Just as another little glimpse into Travis... if we said we were moving from the highly secure gated community with her two golf courses and plans for a third to go start up a ministry in a lower economic area.... he'd be all over that in a heartbeat! He went and worked at one earlier this summer and is still talking about it.

In fact.... that's where Austin wants to go for his 17th birthday... which is coming up on the 6th of September and Travis is right there with him on it... We're taking others with us too when we can arrange it.

No fancy presents are needed. They already have the Priceless Gift of the Only Son.... Jesus.

And they can't help but want to share Him with others.

What about you? Do you know Jesus?

If you do.... do you know that God isn't found in a building on Sunday mornings or whenever the doors may be open?

Austin and Travis are proof of that as well... They accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior in our own home back when they were each in 1st grade. Austin - up in a tree... Travis in the playroom after spending some time talking with his big brother Austin.

Oh... and they both became Christ-followers during the years that I was ill... 98 to 03.

Due in part to others showing God's love to a family in need.

That's part of the reason why it flows out of them with ease.

Thank You Lord for the gift of Your Son Jesus.. and Thank You for allowing me the pleasure of being a mom.