Monday, June 30, 2014

The Wonderful Cross

It's more than I deserve. 
2 different places. 
3 different testimonies.
All affected by 1 life. 
A life that wasn't perfect. 
But pointed to the One that is. 
I listen to Senior testimonies. 
New beginning's in the horizon.
A life hurt by the loss of his friend. 
July 28, 2013 etched in his young mind for ever. 

Questions raised throughout the year. 
Hearts hurting. 
But the power of the holy spirit was working in his heart. 
And God's love broke through the barriers and the hurt 
and reminded that pilgrim along this journey of His power and His might. 
And he shared that. 
He disregarded his carefully thought out testimony and shared from the deep place in his soul. 
And this mama was blessed. 
The second testimony reminded us of our need; our dependence on God for our future. 
He too walking with the deep loss of Elijah's friendship. 
How God uses those moments to allow me to see the impact my sons life is still having. 
The day became even sweeter as Clarissa and I went to witness 
her friend enter the waters of Baptism. 
A long awaited decision. 
New life. 

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

A decision we learned was influenced by a young man who fell asleep 
at the wheel and was suddenly called home.
 July 28, 2013 forever etched in her young mind. 
Elijah's death prompted the deep questions we all wrestle with; 
Where am I going?
Even in Elijah's death God began the redemptive work in others. 
This is a gift. 
This is unmerited Grace and Mercy. 
Neither of which I deserve. 
God chooses at will to bring about the purposes He deems. 
To see this glimpse is holy.
 I am grateful. 
To stand this side of eternity is the hardest walk I have ever had to do. 
I long with all my heart for my boy. 

My soul aches for him. 
 To see purpose and God's mighty hand at work is powerful. 
Knowing souls are being ushered into the kingdom is humbling.
There is much rejoicing in the heavens.
The day has left me exhausted, grateful, sad, encouraged. . .(Elijah hated my use of ellipses)
The cross will remain my guide. 
Surrender my work. 
I will wait upon the Lord. 
He will renew my weary soul. 
He will bring about His purposes.

Oh that wonderful cross. 
Oh that wonderful cross
bids me come and die 
and find that I may truly live

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fill My Cup

She stands at my door. 
She who has lost much. 
My mind flashes to the first time I saw her at my door. 
Standing there.
He, with his mug ready for filling. 
Hot coffee was needed. 
A twinkle in his eye
A kindred spirit. 
She stood there quiet while I filled his cup. 
She now stands in the same space. 
But the life long partner has been called home. 
She stands taller.
More sure of herself.
She gives me encouragement. 
She fills my cup. 
Isn't that what we need to do? 
Aren't our cups empty; needing to be filled?
We can choose to pour into them bitterness and wrath; vile thoughts and cheap actions.
Or we can step back and allow God to fill our cup. 
He will fill it right up.
He will take his mercy and grace and pour them in.
Even when your heart is breaking.
He will meet you in the quiet.
He will fill that cup.
He will be your portion.
So take your empty cup and let it be filled.

Psalm 16:5
LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Hope For Today Lies In the Surrender

The sun rises in its glory. 
It will be another beautiful day. 
Such a gift to farmers.
It is 11 months today. 
A journey I do not want to travel, but must. 
This place is uncomfortable and unpredictable. 
I long to change the path. 
I will for it all to be different. 
I want to hear Elijah's voice.
I long to have my 17 year old be 18.
I wrestle fiercely in my spirit. 
We are not of this earth.
This. This is not our home.
We are on a journey to eternal life.
This path is lived with bowed knee.
In humble submission. 
A place where there is strength beyond words.
I reach for that strength.
Because I can't walk 11 months.
But God can. 
He will strengthen us.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

I am weak and I am weary. 
I step into the strength He provides. 
I wrap my arms around the Ancient Word. 
I step onto the porch. 
The sun continues it's ascent.
The warmth hugs me like a blanket.
The hope for today lies in the surrender. 
It's not my day. 
It is the Lords and He knows what's best. 
So I lay all of my expectations at the foot of the cross. 

Youth will gather at the farm today for the end of the year, beginning of summer gathering. 
Everything has changed. 
I am changed.
It is all different. 
I trust for the way in this new walk.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint.

One needs to embrace the change that God brings. 
Hold loosely to the things of this earth. 
They are fleeting. 
But God is never changing. 

The Lord Our God   Kristian Stanfill

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness
You will lead us 
And forever we will say 
You're the Lord our God 

In the silence in the waiting
We can know you are good.
All your plans are for your glory.  . .

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Beginnings

 Our newest employee. 
Selling all he has.

Leaving the familiar.

Moving to a new land.

A new climate.
New job.

Traveling many miles to get here.
Actually he is not here yet.
His wife and 3 of his children have made it.
He and his son are still on their way.
Delays and cancellations changed plans.
I look at this family and I think how courageous they are.
Abraham heeded the call to go.
He left all he knew to enter a land God was providing.

Genesis 12:1
The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, 
your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.

God gave a promise when he asked him to do this hard thing. 
He would bless them. 
He would change Abram's name to Abraham because He is a God of second chances. 
New beginnings. 
My prayer for this family is that they would see and know God's blessing. 

Genesis 12:2
"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; 
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

Lately we have been learning that God's blessing doesn't always look like we think it should.
We watched as our mother succumbed to the ravages of cancer.
The cancer she called a blessing.
The lessons she learned through the hard times.
The death of our dear, 17 year old son.

 So quickly. So suddenly.

A diagnosis of cancer while the hard work of grieving was just beginning.
The blessings we see as our eyes are opened to the ways God provides
 in the midst of great heartache and turmoil.
How His word never fails. 
He said He would be with us through these times.
And He has never left us. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

We are beginning a new chapter in this book of life. 
I do not know how this will play out. 
These are blank pages. 
Waiting for the ink to be pressed in. 
For the story to be told. 
The story will be beautiful. Because all the stories by this Author are unique and personal. 
We wait with anticipation to see how He will use this for His glory. 
We need to remain open for His love to pour in. 
He can take an aching heart and gently hold it.
He can guide each step of your weary way; right into His Kingdom. 
Waiting to see How God will write this new beginning. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Stepping Right Out Of Fear

The rains come. 
The earth eager for nourishment. 
The sound triggers memories. 
All senses alert. 
These are the pre-death days. 
Each moment so vivid. 
Such technicolor. 
Each night I fight against the jagged thoughts. 
The waking from sleep. 
The flashlights playing on my window. 
The knocking on the door. 
The deep dark. 
Knowing something is not right. 
The air conditioner. 
No lights. 
It all threatens to tear at me. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The fear needs to flee.
My walk steady.
The day dawns and the night a memory.
The tasks for the day before me.
Hope of conquering the day.
Trying to not give way to sadness.
I pick up his room.
The smell of him still evident.
My fear; it will fade.
What will I have left.
The child I bore and raised, no longer part of this earth.
We are forced to step forward without him.
No matter how many words I tap out.
It will remain the same.
The one constant I want to change; the one thing I long for to be different.
There is no fear. 
Perfect love casts out fear.

I John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear

Carefully guided steps to the place where fear is surrendered.
I gather what I need to from his room.
I have said goodnight to all the other kids.
I get halfway down and holler good night; I love you.
They each respond. 
But one. 
And that is the way it will be.
I continue down the stairs to the rest the night will offer.
I know there will be no fear.
And I know there will be strength.

Isaiah 46:4
even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.

I was chosen to carry you Elijah.
It was an honor and a great privilege to be your mom.
For me, it was such a short time.
But there is another story here.
And long before you were born I gave up all I am to follow Christ;
 to live a life guided by the One who calls us into being. 
Who calls us by name.
And He loves us far beyond our earthly minds can grasp.
His sacrifice complete for me; for you.
It is now with Him you dwell.
And oh what joy you are experiencing.
His promises fulfilled.
I will Praise that One with all my being.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Walking To The Beat Of The Rain

The sound steady on the tin roof. 

We've had more than 6 days of sunny, beautiful weather. 
Such a gift. 
I can't remember the last time we had such a stretch for that long. 
Now the rain comes. It is needed.

The earth needing hydration. 
The sea of green dependent on water and sunshine. 
Our prayer. 
Good pastures this year. 
Our hope. 
A 3rd, even 4th cutting.

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us,

Winter looms. 
A desire to continue to find solid ground. 
The rain, a promise of what is to come.
Keep the beat.
New growth; watered.
Crops tended to; cared for. 
Diligence each day. 
I have been distracted from my morning time with God.

The sacred. 
It is missed. 
A beat skipped.
The well worn path needing some maintenance. 
Noxious weeds threaten to spill over. 
Making it hard to distinguish the path.
Needing to find the rhythm.
My heart, fragile at times; needing some care. 
Pressing through each day. 
A decision. 
A commitment. 
Opening the Ancient Word to read the never ending promises. 
Quiet time spent; filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Blessed assurance. 
A never ending beat.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!

The rain continues; steady.
I step back in to the soothing cadence.
I surrender the days chores and "to do" lists. 
I breathe deep the promises. 
I hold onto the grace given for just this day.
I walk to the beat of the rain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Is There Ever The Right Time?

I brush the dirt away. 
Dirt from the farm of his years. 
Splattered on the stone from rain, while it sat on the patio. 
While we waited for the right time. 
Is there ever the right time? 
Is there ever the desire to place a stone at your son's grave? 

There isn't. 
This stone. 
Another gift given by the community. 
Etched in love by a teammate apprenticing with a Master. 
A teammate that knows the loss of a brother. 
The analogy is not missed. 
We are here on this earth; apprenticing with the Master. 
We each have work to complete. 
Lives to change. 
Impacts to be made. 
The Ancient Word our guide.
Prayer our compass. 
Stepping forward in faith; our work. 

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Each day given to bring forth His kingdom. 
Being molded and shaped. 
The command given. 
Whatever you do. 
Go. . .and make disciples of all nations. . . 
God didn't mention when you have time. 
If it's the right time. 
Wherever you are.
And we did. 
We placed the stone. 
A marker. 
A memorial to our son. 
To the memory. 
To his short life here. 
A life guided by the Almighty's Hand.
We prayed that his life here will continue to impact those around us. 
I still don't like it. 
This plan is uncomfortable and abrasive. 
So we will press on through. 
We will, Go; wherever we are, and make disciples. 
Living out our faith. 
Walking the Talk. 
Sharing the love of Jesus. 
A life changed. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Living Fully

Another perfect summer day. 
The wind blows. 
The sun is shining.
No humidity.
Shows and a wedding.

These are days that the living flows.

Days that take little effort. 
The ease with which to work. 
It's easy to find hope on these days. 
Yet my heart still holds back.  
 Each day healing. 
Each moment filled with grace. 
But just under the surface the pain and the missing reside. 
Forever changed; yet today needing to be lived through.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made. 
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Gratitude changes the heart.
The rhythm of one's step united with God's Holy purposes.

Grateful For:

A full weekend of dance, family, weddings and pictures.
4 days of sunshine and warmth
Hay for winter's wrath
Blue skies and fluffy clouds
Lessons learned in the midst of pain
Deep joy given by our heavenly father
The assurance of the things to come
Friendships and dance directors
Visions and dreams being fulfilled on stage
Cool evenings
A messy house that has been so full this weekend
Coffee. Coffee beans. Ground coffee. Coffee.
A heart that is held

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Look Up, Look Forward

Psalm 8:4
What is man that you are mindful of him,
 and the son of man that you care for him?

The performance is over. 
The after party a memory. 
We head home. 
There is still a wedding tomorrow. 
I walk towards the house. 
I look up. 
My first reaction is to fall to my knees. 
The sky is ablaze with twinkling starlight. 
The richness powerful. 
I can not absorb the vastness. 
The Universe. 
The galaxies. 
How marvelous. 
I say it out loud. 
What is mere man that you are mindful of him?

The heaven's declare your majesty

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God, 
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 

I am overcome by the beauty. 
I am grateful for a Savior that loved me enough to show me grace. 
I continue to gaze. 
It is late. 
I think of Elijah. 
I long for his presence. 
I think of his words in his Senior testimony. 
He had just talked about his earthly father's desire to go to heaven and travel through 
space and see the wonderful creation.
He then says, "And that instills in me this looking forward that I want to fight the good fight now for what lies for me ahead. I share that want, to just travel through God's beautiful creation, past this earth. 

He wanted to travel through this creation. 
And that is just what he is doing. 
In glory. 
What he must be able to see. 
Ah, the sheer wonder. 
My mind can not grasp. 
Look up.
I saw the night sky. 
Look up.

I saw his mercy. 

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God 
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Pressing onward. 
Looking up. 
Keeping eyes focused. 
I shift my gaze to the path toward the house. 
I am left with a peace that transcends all understanding.  
There is a kitchen to clean. 
A wedding to celebrate. 
Look up; when the way is rough. 
Look up; to see. 
Press on.

Blessings on this Lord's Day. 
May all you do today be for His glory. 
And may peace be yours. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Carry On

They take the stage. 

The story about injustice, redemption, and restoration.
A changed life. 
They tell the story through dance. 
I marvel at the ease with which the movements flow. 
These children I bore. 
Expression through dance. 
We all long for. 
To be made whole. 
Wars begin over injustice. 
It takes one to start revival. 

I Thessolonians
 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

A life lived surrendered to the One who is Peace. 
Daily laying down one's own Agenda to follow a better plan. 
Place your expectations for today at the foot of the cross. 
Let God guide your path. 

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path

Let Him determine your steps. 
We see the underside of the tapestry. 
He sees the masterpiece. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Keep On, Keeping On

The words on the pole begin to fade.

The area around the site; bare. 
The remnant of something. 
Unknown to passers by. 
A cross. 3 flags.
A memorial, one thinks. 
Each drive along that route, I cry out to the Father. 
I ask for mercy in this process. 
I beg for the pain to be softened.
I long to know why. 
Yet I don't remain there. 
There is still purpose and work left to do here.

The tension of how to move on and remember, pull. 
A desire to hide from all that is moving on; strong. 
Effort made each day to surrender my spirit and step forward.
So we will keep on keeping on.

Joshua 1:9
This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. 
For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

I am only strong when I am weak.
The journey to the cross purposeful.
Denying all for Him. 
Pushing aside the worldly chatter.
Trusting the process.
Laying it all down.
The steps and the path ordered by the giver of life.
Our feet on solid ground.
Our hearts yielded and willing.
Open to the Spirits leading.
Stepping into joy. 
Stepping into purpose.
Clinging to promises.
The words are fading. 
But the memories are alive.
The hand that hold us; strong.
I will redeem the last drive he took.
I will fervently pray that route each time; for years to come.
Do you have a route you need to redeem?
Is there a path you journey everyday and wish there had been a different outcome?
Come to the place where you are held. 
Take up the Cross and rest in the One who can redeem all different endings.
Give your soul rest and peace.

Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Searching, Seeking

As I mourn one.
An extra is at my table. 
One who ponders the questions in the night. 
Comes to the barn in the wee hours. 
Wrestling with the heaviness of life. 
So many come. 
They seek the solace and rhythm of the barn.

Something deep and rich.
It is truth they seek.

Elijah sought truth. 
His life on this earth plagued with the inconsistencies he saw.
You say what you claim to be, but act as if you knew not.
Wise beyond his years.
Destined not for this world. 
It is a small solace to know he has all the answers he needs.
The unknown plagues him no more.
The one now, that sits at the table; seeks truth in the dark of night.
I pray for him. 
He came, searching, as wise men sought the new King.
God will reveal himself.
He is truth.
He will make a way.
We are kept. 

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, 
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Said Yes, When Every Ounce Of Me Wanted To Shout, "No!"

I choke back the real answer I want to give. 
I hold my emotions in reserve. 
Every ounce of me wants to shout, "No!"
She wants to go to the drive in with her friends. 
She needs money. 
Another night spins in my head. 
I didn't want him to go. 
I asked him not to go. 
I give her the money. 
I make popcorn and put it in a bag. 
I want her to be small again. 
I want to bathe them all and read stories while they all fight for a space on my lap. 
I want to pray and hear their gratefulness for the day. 
And then I want to tuck them into bed. 
Kiss them good night. 
Lean into the door frame and silently pray a blessing over them.
Deep gratitude for being a mom. 
That was then. 
This is now. 
And now rips at my heart. 
The now forces my hand. 
I can not cave to fear. 

I John 4: 18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
 For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

The enemy seeks to devour. 
I will not fall. 
I will stand on the truth I know.
I thank God for my daughter.
I need to let her go. 
She needs to see the strength in me; not the fear. 

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
 I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

She needs to see that when I am weak, then I am strong. 

2 Corinthians 12:10
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

She is well aware of my angst. She texts and calls. 
I pray. 
She's been very understanding. 
But she still went. 
She stood her ground in a gentle and firm way. 
We made it through. 
I am exhausted from being up so late. 
Yet I am encouraged. 
She is much like her dad. 
Each moment a choice. A decision. 
A walk into peace. 
A peace that is above all earthly expectations. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Thank you God for the lessons you teach us. For the ways you force our hand to conform more to your likeness each day. Thank you for your gentle and loving spirit that carries us through. 
Thank you for loving us enough to change us. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When The Missing Rises Up To Meet Me

The missing rises up to meet me. 
I drive past the site. The forever slams my soul hard.
I try to work through the pain. 
Shaking my head, I continue to drive.
My heart cries out to God. I beg for him to lift the hurt.
I want to hear Elijah's voice and cook him a meal. 
I am tired of his bed being empty. 
Never to return. 
I'm tired of hurting and aching; of longing. 
I say his name over and over. 
Elijah, Elijah, Elijah.
There is something soothing about saying his name. 
We chose his name. 
A prayer. 
A nudging from God. 
Call him, Elijah. 
I remember it clearly. 
Standing in the doorway to the barn. 
Heavy with child. 
The heat of the day upon us. 
Chore time. 
Lactating cows. 
Pulsation of the milking machines audible. 
Elijah. Call him Elijah
It's the only time I've ever been so sure of something in my life. 
A few months ago when my farmer was so sick from his treatments, I stayed home from church. 
I wanted to go. But couldn't. 
I was riddled with racking sobs. 
The missing, like today; rising to meet me. 
I glanced at a video. Service men surprising their families. 
The reunion.
Oh, the sweet reunion. 
The hugs and the warmth of knowing their loved ones are home. 
The tears start to fall. I will never welcome Elijah home. 
There is no sweet reunion this side of heaven. 
And my heart breaks. 
I cried out to the God of the universe. Why does it have to be this way?
Why does there have to be pain this side of eternity?
I let the sobs come. 
Relief that chemo was over and there was 1 more day of radiation. 
Pain over a desire to hug my son. To hear his step on the stair. 
All the million little things you know about your kids. 
And the future. The hope that we have in our children. 
Yet, I was reminded my journey is still here. With more children to raise. 
With a hope that God is building here. 
While my pain may never go away, the work for me to do is still here. 
I ran to God's word as my heart ached. 
I opened to Jeremiah. I didn't want to read that. 

I closed the bible and begged God to show himself to me. 
Please be my comfort. 

I opened the bible again, randomly and my eyes fell to an underlined passage.
The first word I saw were Elijah.
2 Kings 1:10
I read the passage.
Call it coincidence. I consider it a gift.
A gift I remember today when the missing is great. 
Elijah. The prophet. The Lord is my God.
Elijah taken up in a whirlwind in his death.
The similarities not missed.
We are a chosen people.
To lose sight of that is a weary journey.
To embrace the cross, that is the choice.
No matter where God may lead.
Each step through the pain and the plan.
A journey not easy.
Trusting each moment.
Resting fully in the hope and assurance of the things to come.
We are not alone.
God will make a way.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fencing With My Farmer. . . The Poor Man

The grass is growing and fencing needs to be done.

The farmer heads out. 
He's been to church, out to lunch and had a little down time reading. 
But now it's back at it. 
After awhile I call to check and see how he is. 
He's headed across the river. 
I tell him to wait, I'll go with him.
I throw on my jeans and a t shirt, put on my boots and head out the door. 
The wind, gentle. The sun; warm. 
I meet up with him at the river crossing. 
He drives the tractor over. 
It's been years since we have worked like this together. 
I have missed our times. 
I breathe deep. 
(Probably not a good idea)
It is not long before my allergies kick in.
I had taken my medicine.
I walk through the (waist high on me) grass,  pulling wire.
I can feel my eyes start to itch.
I ignore it and keep pulling.
Why didn't we do this in the fall?
Why didn't we pull up this fence.
This is such a waste of time. 
The river floods every year. The fence needs to be removed.

It is then I remember.
Between a sneeze and an itchy, runny nose. 
We were grieving.
We were walking into a journey with cancer.
I continue to pull sections of wire out of the grass.
The farmer is now half way around the field.
His long legs an asset in this lush field.
I head back to the tractor.
I will receive the award for most pathetic farm wife. 

I gaze out over this breath taking (literally) view. 
Each one of those flowers is out to get me. 

I do love this farm.
 I close my eyes (to ease the burning) and revel in the quiet. 
I think of the verse in Isaiah. 

Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; 
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, 
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

They will clap their hands.
The imagery, stirring.
All of creation waits for the return of the Savior.
This is what God created.
The temples and Churches all God inspired - but man made.
All this inspired by the Creator -  made by the Creator.
I wipe the runny nose.
I squint through the burning eyes.

The memories of years gone by circle my mind. 
Elijah was my farmers fencing buddy of late. 
No need for me. 
My eyes take in the landscape. 
The earth that misses it's farm boy. 

These woods echo with the sounds of forts and a civilization the kids built years ago.
Remnants of lean to's and other structures visible.
We head back to my car because I really am miserable.
My farmer carries on as he always done.
Through death, cancer depression.
I turn the car toward home.
I sneeze.
My eyes water.
I thank God for memories.

I am Grateful For:

Time with my farmer
17 years
Legacy of love
Pain that helps you grow
One step in front of the other
Friends and Neighbors who continually hold us in their hands
The God of the Universe who is fighting each day for my weary, weary soul
The gift of our children
A grand daughter that gives love a new definition

Sunday, June 15, 2014

He Called Me "Tink"

He called me "Tink". 
Not one to show emotions or say endearing words.
Later it was thunder thighs.
His way of showing; teasing; by doing. 
A new deck. 
Remodel a room. 
My go between in a volatile relationship with mom.

Each week a different city for his job, he clocked many miles on his car. 
But he made it for my concerts. Showing up to surprise me. 
Fishing trips. 
Last minute Christmas shopping for mom. 
Drinks and hot dog night at the Yacht Club
Planning moms surprise 40th birthday party. 
Talking on the boat as we listened to the clips keep time on the masts. 
Now, we eat popsicles and read jokes.
We watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and NCIS.

The memory thief  creeping in. 
Our conversations on the phone, repetitive.
A steady cadence I have grown to love.
This man who provided and loved in his own way.
His dad gone when he was 12.
Staunchly concerned about our image;  good grades.
Kind words.
Work hard.
Keep your nose clean, he would say.
Into everyone's life a little rain must fall.
He went to a different church.
But drove us to our Sunday School every week without fail.
No options.
No discussion.
I am grateful for that. 
We'd come home to Sunday dinner at it's finest.
Roast, potatoes, carrots.
We'd gather in the dining room.
I think back as to how he must have needed that time alone at home.
His home.
The home my mom meticulously care for.
His cooking; a way of serving. 

Chin upShoulders straight, Fly right,  He would tell us.
No matter how rough it gets.
God balanced the sweetness of mom with the practical of dad.

Dad's best advice to me was, marry your best friend. 
And I did. 
I inherited a Father in Law that words can not describe.
His love and devotion to his family beyond all things.
We miss him dearly.
His work ethic like none I have ever seen. . .
except in my husband. 

I have been blessed by a wonderful earthly Father and a devoted Father in Law.
God went further to allow me the gift of  watching my husband with his children.
Through the loss of a child; birth of a granddaughter and, the ravages of cancer and depression;

 I fall to my knees in awe and appreciation.
There stands a Godly man.

A Godly example of strength in the midst of grief.

Grit in the midst of cancer.
Faith through it all.

We have received much. 
Happy Father's Day;  Dad, Clayton and Gary.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance 
about what we do not see.