Wednesday, January 28, 2009

being in that car

As I was going along happily through my morning - I had taken everyone to school, worked out, gotten dressed, and was on the interstate on my way to lunch with Mom and Christine - when I saw at least three fire trucks, a couple of ambulances, and some police cars on a bridge above. Oh, must be a horrible accident, I thought. When I passed under and glanced in the rear view mirror, I saw all the firemen lined up along the bridge railing. Oh, I had forgotten. I realized they were waiting for the funeral procession for a local police officer who died from injuries sustained in a severe car accident. The police had the south bound lane closed to other traffic, and a few people began to pull over on our side to wait as well. When I saw many, many flashing lights coming toward me, I pulled over. I cried as I watched the hearse go by and thought of the officer's family following behind. I happened to be listening to a song that says "strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord." And I prayed for this family to know that strength. He was 21.

I have been in that car just behind the hearse. It's a very difficult ride but an important one, as I found. I needed that ride. I needed to follow behind my dad just one more time. And I can't tell you how meaningful it was to us that people pulled off the road to show respect, or show that they were sorry. We too traveled on the interstate that day, and even several people traveling in the opposite direction pulled over. That is precious to me. Remember this the next time you have to choose whether to pull off or not. As everyone else goes about their normal, busy day, the family in that procession is facing a forever altered life. As others scoot from meeting to meeting, or just have to get down the road to grab themselves a burger, or get the grocery store, or wherever, the people in that procession are numbly following someone they love for the last time. The very last time.

It will mean so much to those who are so sad if you spare a few minutes to be respectful. I guess I just needed to get that off my chest. If you don't get why I feel so strongly about this, no doubt you'll understand should you ever be in that car. Following behind someone you're not sure you can live without.

Now, I am officially off my soapbox.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just as I started wondering

how to be in the world, but not of the world, I found a Word that has given me a fresh focus. With money, or the fear of losing it all or the fear of having little to none all of the sudden, having been so in the forefront of my mind lately - well, let's just say I was in serious need of a Word from God. I've been trying to get through this book, and although it's a great book, it's been a little struggle. See, I want to be reading the rest of the Twilight books, but I need to finish Calm My Anxious Heart. I made myself take a break from Twilight for a bit to accomplish this and, much to my embarrassment, in the time it's taking me to finish the Christian book, I'm sure I would have devoured 3 Twilights. I'm so proud.

This is not to say that Calm My Anxious Heart is not a wonderful, well-written, full of scripture book, because it is all of that and more. This is more a commentary on my priorities. But I was reading it last night and found a different version of Ephesians 3:10 that really spoke to me. About money, or lack of money. About worry. About purpose. See for yourself:

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]... Amplified

If I will just make this my focus, my determined purpose, everything else will work out while I'm becoming more acquainted with Him. God is so faithful to provide just the Word I so desperately need to hear. It's taken me 32 years to truly, seriously appreciate the God-breathed word to this degree. Oh, and I'm going to go read more of this book now...

PS However, this does not mean I will not be finishing reading the Twilight books at some point. If I don't soon, someone is going to spill all the beans... and a little innocent romantic fiction never killed anyone...

Monday, January 19, 2009

january playground day

My toothless wonder...
This tooth finally gave up barely holding on one day recently while Elijah was at school. He lost it in Isabelle's car on the way home, so we supposedly left the tooth fairy a note, and she barely came through with a dollar.

And today Elijah got to choose what we did. I gave him a couple of free options and he chose to have a picnic at a nearby playground. We had talked a few times about what holiday today was and why he didn't have to be in school. He decided to call this the January Playground Day. We picked Jonathan up from the office on our way to the picnic.

We had a fun time and will miss Elijah when he's back at school tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

God is SO sending me messages...

like this one that came through my sister in law, Christine, affectionately known as Weezy. I had read and heard so many times that God uses troubles to reveal himself to us, to draw us near to him. So many times that, although I thoroughly believed it, I got to the point where that thought just fell dead on my ears and in my heart. I knew it's truth but quit spending any time figuring out what it would look like or feel like. Well, if you've read my last couple of posts, you know what has been going on around here. I keep receiving a new word from God, and just when I need it. The song by Switchfoot, the song by MercyMe, the book Calm My Anxious Heart my friend Allison has been after me to read, the version of Psalm 23 and then this. This is awesome, which is an overused word, I know, but it truly applies here. This guy has a gift for speaking. Thank you, my Weezy, for letting God first breathe this into your spirit, and then sharing it with me. It is a little long, but I promise you will be blessed by watching this. May God hold you in his arms like a shepherd:

He takes care of his people like a shepherd.
He gathers them like lambs in his arms
and carries them close to him. Isaiah 40:11

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

and then I found this...

“God is my shepherd
And I am His little lamb
He feeds me
He guides me
He looks after me
I have everything I need
Inside, my heart is very quiet.
As quiet as lying still in soft green grass
In a meadow
By a stream.
Even when I walk through
The dark, scary, lonely places
I wont be afraid
Because my Shepherd knows where I am.
He is here with me
He keeps me safe
He rescues me
He makes me strong
And brave.
He is getting wonderful things ready for me
Especially for me
Everything I ever dreamed of!
He fills my heart so full of happiness
I can’t hold it all inside.
Wherever I go I know
God’s never stopping
Never giving up
Always and Forever
Will go, too!”

Psalm 23 from the Jesus Storybook Bible

When I finally make it home

Since that last post I found this song by MercyMe. Can you tell that I've been doing a lot of thinking about Home lately? I honestly just can't wait to be there sometimes. I've found that the longing has certainly intensified lately, not solely because I crave to see my dad, but because I just can't seem to get close enough to God.

I've been pretty down the past couple of days. Add to my usual January blues the very sudden "letting go" of four guys at Jonathan's office, and reality has started to sink in about this economic crisis. Jonathan still has a job, which we of course are very grateful for, but I seem to be experiencing something like survivor's guilt and I am so concerned for the ones whose desks now sit empty.

Then today I found out about the sudden death of a guy we knew at Auburn and who's sister attends our church. He was 32 and died of a heart attack. He leaves his wife and two little ones. And I just wonder what else?

The only explanation for our troubles is that we live in a fallen world, and that is why there is sickness. death, loss, fear, sadness, depression and on and on and on. I just get so weary of the troubles of this world sometimes, but then I hear a voice say:
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:18
And then I find out why:

We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles.
2 Corinthians 4:17
So, hopefully, when I crave to be with my dad and hear his voice and feel his arms around me or see him hold my daughter or just hear him say that it will all be ok. When I worry about what this year will hold for us financially or feel like I'm waiting for the next bad thing to happen. When I'm tired. When I'd like to hang it up. Hopefully these words will continue a work in me. There's a difference in knowing something and in feeling it. I am seeking to feel these words and gain that peace that passes understanding. And one day, when I finally make it home the hard times of this life will all make sense as they pale in comparison to the glory and the reward that waits.

Monday, January 5, 2009

he is home

for the someone that wants to "climb the stairs to heaven and bring" my dad "back home"...

Just so you know... he IS home. Right where he is.

And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore,
"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Revelation 7:15-17

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to leave home to come back here. I'm just as sure that I wouldn't ask him to. Do I miss him? Every minute of every day. In fact, I need to talk to him about something right now. I need to hear his voice. To hear him say, "Oh, baby, this is nothing new" or "Let go and let God" or "remember who you are and whose you are" or just "I love you." I so need to hear something from him tonight. But as much as I may need him, he needs to be right where he is. Home. With his Father. He knows we'll join him soon.

This is home
This is Home - Switchfoot
I've got my memories
They're always
Inside of me
But I can't go back
Back to how it was
I believe it now
I've seen too much
But I can't go back
Back to how it was
Created for a place
I've never known

This is home
Now I'm finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it
Yeah, this is home
Yeah, this is home

Belief over misery
I've seen the enemy
And I won't go back
Back to how it was
And I've got my heart
Set on
What happens next
I've got my eyes wide
And it's not over yet
We are miracles
And we're not alone


And now after all
My searching
After all my questions
I'm gonna call it home
I've got
A brand new mindset
I can finally see
The sunset
I'm gonna call it home


Now I know
Yeah, this is home
I've come too far
No, I won't go back