Friday, August 27, 2010

God Prints

As I look back over the last year, and especially the last few weeks, I can see God's hands so clearly in our situation.

--My dad started going to church. After he had seizures in August of 2008, he started attending church with my mom in Keysville. When Kim and I talked about him, she said that sometimes she would just look at him and think "What a miracle that he is here." Truly it was.

--My mom had knee surgery in July. I was torn between going down and staying here. Summer had been hard, and Dad was not always very pleasant since he was hurting so much. He had a hard time when Mom had surgery in March though, and ultimately, God changed my heart and I went. I got to spend time with him just 3 weeks before he died. We had some good conversations and it was good. I'm so thankful that I listened to God and went.

--When Chris called me and told me that I needed to come home, I was about to meet up with my prayer partner of 10 years. We talked while I headed home to God-only-knows what disaster. She was the first person I called after Chris shared the news with me about my dad. She told me that all week God had put my dad on her heart, and that she had been praying for his salvation all week. When I finally got to my parents' house, Mom told me that she and Dad had a conversation about salvation the night before and he told her that he knew he was saved because he had asked Christ into his heart. That is a gift from God!

--At the service for my dad, the pastor chose to read Psalm 139, the Psalm I had memorized several years ago when I struggled with anxiety, panic and pain. How precious that God would remind me of those things then.

--The sermon on my first Sunday back was on God's grace. I had had my doubts about my dad's relationship with Christ, but our pastor and the Lord reminded me from the Word that God's love and grace to us is unconditional, not based on our performance but on God's faithfulness.

--I was able to pray with my family for the first time ever, and to share God's Words of peace and comfort with them in many different ways.

I'm sure there are many many more evidences of God's faithfulness throughout this trauma like the church people who brought food and baggies and paper products through the weekend, my friends here who have taken care of us since our return, and God's sustaining hand to help us walk through each day. He is truly so faithful. The scripture that He has been bringing up to me since about May is Isaiah 43:1-2. It worried me for a while. I'd ask why I needed to hear that.

"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel....."

How grateful I am for those words!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dad

The last picture I had taken with just the two of us. This totally epitomizes my dad. Look at his expression. I'm mean, not to be messed with. But he's wearing a boa and crown so how rough can he be? Abbey had him around her little finger. I guess I probably did too.
Doing his favorite thing--walking through car shows.

My parents on their 43rd wedding anniversary in June. I love this picture of them.

My dad passed away on Friday, August 13th. What a terrible day! I think the reality is starting to sink in. With the shock that comes with such suddenness and then the tasks that need to be attended to, and the people who surrounded us, we were pretty busy over the last week. But now as we get back to "normal," there is time to think and realize. I stayed with my mom for the week in order to get some things done for her and with her. When I hadn't really done anything by Thursday, it dawned on me that perhaps I may just be there to be there. We shared a lot and cried some and laughed a lot. Coming home Friday was hard, but getting to my home and having to make lunch for everyone seemed impossible. Each day is better. Time is a healer. God is so gracious and merciful to us. We have friends who have called, sent cards, brought meals, and held us up in prayer. I'm sure I'll post more later, but as I went through some pictures, I just wanted to post them for right now and remember.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I adore my nieces and nephew. I wish they were closer so that I could see them more often. I suppose it's similar to grandkids--I don't have to discipline them, but I get to enjoy them. All but one of mine are younger than my own children, so I get the joy of little ones again when I am with them, which is not enough. I just got to spend a couple of days with Ashley in South Carolina. I hope to see Lily, Tommy and Rosie for a day in September. It's been two years since I've seen them! In June Abbey and Nichole came up to spend the week with us. We had so much fun. Being the mother of sons, I miss out on many "girl" things, which I suppose isn't all bad. When Abbey and Nichole were here, I had the opportunity to indulge. We shopped, we ate, we laughed, we tried on clothes, we went to a tea party. We even tried our homemade slip and slide. I am so blessed to be Aunt Paula. The boys love being with their cousins as well. They get to do things and experience things that are outside of their normal lives: girl things. I love that my boys are so close with their cousins in Virginia, and how I hope that they will have more opportunities to connect with their other cousins. Those are connections that are unique to cousins--a belonging that doesn't exist in other relationships.