Archive | August 2014

Bringing Lunch, Hugs, and Tears

“What do we do?  Is it too soon to start showing up with food?  Do they need space or people around them?  I never really know what to do in situations like this. I like to get task orientated in these moments, but I don’t know where to start. It feels like it should be different this time, right?”

“I know.  I already asked if we needed to clean the house or do laundry or anything.  Let me just be here a little more and find out what’s needed.  Maybe you could bring lunch out here.”

 

There’s really nothing to offer your friend when you hear the news that she’s lost her husband. There’s even less to offer when you look her sweet babies in the face and think about their loss of their father.  

Even still, I found my way through their back door. And I offered lunch.  And hugs. And shared tears. And the promise that they are deeply loved and fiercely prayed for. And I tried to find things to do for them, but really—there’s nothing you can do aside from just being there.

Today, I am feeling a little less task-oriented, and my mind is flooding with questions. Questions that have no answers outside of Jesus and really… that should be enough. But if we’re honest… in situations like this, I struggle to really rest there. So today, I’m thankful that Jesus welcomes my confusion and tears, and I’m trusting that He will use this for His glory. And in the spirit of fleshing this out, I offer you notes from my journal that inspired the very first blog I posted…

 

I am reminded that God is the ONLY one who can bring peace to a whirlwind of emotions.

I am reminded that, no matter how hard you try, you can never prepare yourself for the loss of a loved one.

I am reminded that God is still in the business of picking up the pieces to broken hearts.

I am reminded that, no matter how many memories you recount, it’s not the same as making them.

I am reminded that, even in the death of one of your closest friends, God can still bring glory to His name.

I am reminded that it’s still OK to cry. “Life” doesn’t give us that permission.  Tears have great value. Not one tear that is poured out before God ever goes unnoticed… God not only gives His children permission to cry; He rather encourages it.

I am reminded that, in a room full of people that you’ve known your entire life, you can still feel like you’re very much alone.

I am reminded that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so remembering to tell each other today that we love each other is a must.

I am reminded that, no matter how much you’d like to avoid it, “goodbye” comes whether you’re ready or not.

I am reminded that God is who says He is and can do what He says He can do.  Which means, He is absolutely capable of using the death of one of His children to bring glory to His name.  He is God.

 

Now… go hug your loved ones and be thankful for the time you have together. And be bold enough to tell that stranger looking “down” that they matter. Bake a pan of brownies and walk through that neighbor’s door that’s struggling.

I’m learning that to just be is enough.  And to those of you that come beside me to just be when that’s what I need… thank you.

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T’was the First Day of Kindergarten

T’was the first day of Kindergarten

And all through our house

Every creature was stirring

No one quiet as a mouse

 

The supplies were all labeled

And her lunch was packed

Her picture was taken

Nothing was lacked

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The drive was not far

We were greeted with care

The moment was coming

We’d soon leave her there

 

We made our way down the hall

She held my hand tight

I knew that we could do this

In our God’s great might

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The tears rolled quietly

This task was not light

It was harder for me

My mom was right

 

Nervous for her

I prayed all day

I know she will do this

She’ll learn the way

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I left as soon as the clock chimed five

I was ready to get to see her

She talked ninety-five miles an hour

Everything was quickly becoming a blur

 

 

She loved it!

This little one we’ve begotten

We lived it.

This first day of Kindergarten

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When God Smiles At You

When I was in college, Sunday nights used to be one of the best times to call home and catch up.  That was until my parents started going out every Sunday night to meet good friends at our local Pizza Inn.  It didn’t take long for me to be jealous of that pizza place; it was quickly edging me out of my calls home.  I would call just to hear “Can I call you back?  Your daddy and I are at Pizza Inn and Will’s visiting with us right now.”  Who would have thought that the relationships he was building then would later become his in-laws!

It’s the place we first met.  It’s the first place that our (now) family went out together.  It’s the place that welcomed the husband back with arms wide open when it was time to return to work.  It’s where the littlest girl in our home and I go to see Daddy, share cheese bread, and leave with kisses and balloons.  We celebrated turning five in its corner.  It’s a staple in our family.  It’s Pizza Inn.

pizza inn

And yet… it’s a door that God is closing in order to swing another one wide open.  Our season of waiting for our family to be on the same schedule has come to an end.  And we breathe in deep and sigh slowly, thankful.  Thankful for what Pizza Inn has given our family and thankful for what my husband is going to take with him when he leaves.

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We sit at our kitchen table and I watch as our little one learns why her new after-school plan makes more sense than what we had told her just two months ago.

 “Our family has been praying for something for a long time now.”

She raises her hand.  “Daddy, I know what it is.  Can I tell you?”

“Sure.”

“For you to get a new job!”

“Yes.  Well, God has answered that.  Pretty soon I will be taking a new job at the YMCA.”

“That’s where I’m going to camp!”

They go ‘round and ‘round in conversation, trying to help her understand how this is all going to work and I smile.  Our family is already breathing lighter.  I can feel the pressure alleviating.

family meeting

Tonight, our prayers changed.  Instead of “Lord, please”, we begin to say “Thank You.”  And we give thanks for all the ways that God is allowing our family to move forward together.  And our little one gives thanks that Daddy’s going to be home by the time we walk in the door in the afternoons.  And I give thanks for a husband that is not only brave enough to lead our family, but is willing to sacrifice the comfortable to move towards what’s best for us.

And I thank YOU!  You who read this and joined us in praying.  You stood in the gaps for us when I was tired of praying for it.  You sent encouraging words our way and we are so thankful to have you walk through this with us.

We’re excited!  Y’all pray that my husband still likes me now that he actually has to hang out with me more.  🙂