Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I probably shouldn't be blogging right now....

Why? My dark mood. Feeling like I'm in a slump and want to do something COMPLETELY different with my life. No, I'm not talking about not keeping my commitments or striving to be the wife, mom, that God wants me to be. you ever just want to change something and you're not sure what? Curtains aren't enough....I'm talking something major. Like that thing way deep down inside that screams for change? What probably needs to happen is a new resolved to work out, change my diet, read my Bible more faithfully, buck up and keep working with my girl who needs And honestly..if I read one more facebook entry about people watching movies all day, or sitting by the window watching the snow fall while they quietly sip their coffee and read a book......

Yeah...probably shouldn't be blogging right now. The dark side exposed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Today..I felt like a Martha. I cooked, cleaned, took care of small and big people all in the spirit of trying to create a great day for everyone. Martha is tired. Tomorrow, I hope to be Mary. I hope to soak in the people that God has placed in my life and I long to enjoy them. them to be enjoyable.......cease the fussing, whining, screaming, and sassing. Or bring a nanny. Either one will do. Good night, everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More on faith...

Conversations with my husband have proven life changing over the past 17 years. We had such a conversation this past week. We were discussing the idea of "safety". I grew up thinking that God would always protect me from harm. I must've twisted this in my head as a child that if I was obedient, did the right things, that God would watch over me and keep me safe. I said something harsh with emotion ....."God doesn't keep me safe. He promises to be with me, but he doesn't promise to keep our children from being abducted, or disease infesting us or even rape....evil happens all around us."

His wise response went something like this....."I wonder what our lives would look like if we saw all the evil that God constantly holds back. I wonder if we would then realize how safe we really are."

Another stone to add to my pile of bricks that are building up my weak and feeble faith. Slowly, one by one, God is putting them in place. My prayer is at the end of my life, God will call me faithful, not because of anything that I can muster up, but because He has made something beautiful in me to present to King Jesus. I know that in my own strength, I would have empty hands.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I bought this Vinyl lettering today at JoAnn's.....I'm going to put it somewhere in our family room. the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.

I like this because I'm tired of all the old sayings..I won't quote them because my luck, they're probably in scripture. One way that I've been making peace with my dad's cancer is to realize that we live in a world that's broken. What if I taught that to my children? The reason we need Jesus is because everything is broken. Chris Tomlin's song comes to my mind..."He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide...".

We aren't promised life without disease, or autism or anencephaly. We are promised to have troubles. But, we can take hope in the fact that Jesus came to overcome this. He is the light. All hope then, is in Him. He promises to never leave us. To always be with us It doesn't matter if I feel it or not. I can still believe this with my whole heart. Little by little my heart is warming up again to this truth.

It's such a process.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nine Months...

Tomorrow wil mark nine months since my dad died. March 16th marked his first day in eternity. It's not for him that I'm sad. It's me. It's my family. My sister-in-laws, my husband, my neices and nephews..and my children. All the people that he touched. Nine months. God makes new life in nine months. It somehow feels ironic.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have been trying to come up with some type of witty blog to post that would make everyone happy. I'd like to publicly say, it's not going to happen. That's my sweet friend Carla's job most days. She brings joy to me as I can laugh at every day life. I think I've hesitated blogging my thoughts because much like the pumpkin losing his seeds (see earlier post), it feels messy. And, do I want to put that out on cyberspace? I feel a little vulnerable with those thoughts and have kept many of them locked up inside. The only problem with that is, I'm so foggy. Grief has a way of fogging up the brain. I'm tired of the fog and the clutter around me and inside my head. The next few months are going to be difficult. My dad's birthday....and then mine the day after, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays are a big deal in my familly. I might blog, I might not. We'll see. I could just keep posting pictures of the Davester...he brings much joy to this Mama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Pet Peeve......

When the check out clerk comments on what I buy. I will talk weather, kids, recipes, I'll even answer the generic question which I hate, "How are you?". But please, please, don't comment on what I buy. Do your shopping on your own time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You know you've had a tough year when....

I just finished opening four Christmas cards from 2007. I think I'm ready for the new ones in 2008. Really. Come on. Send them on over.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

This is the verse at the top of my reading today out of, "Streams in the Dessert". I want to quote some of it. I had just sent an email today to some friends, expressing my desire to want to trust God with my dad's death. I was saying that it was a process for me, and the process feels long, especially when I look into my precious mom's eyes and see how very sad she is. Here's my reading....

The "everything" mentioned here does not always come simply by asking, because God is always seeking to teach you the way of faith. Your training for a life of faith requires many areas of learning, including the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, and the courage of faith. Often you will pass through many stages before you finally realize the result of faith - namely, the victory of faith.

Genuine moral fiber is developed by enduring the discipline of faith. When you have made your request to God, and the answer still has not come, what are you to do? Keep on believing His Word! Never be swayed from it by what you may see or feel. Then as you stand firm, your power and experience is being developed, strengthened, and deepened. When you remain unswayed form your stance of faith, even in view of supposed contradictions to God's Word, you grow stronger on every front.

God will often purposely delay in giving you His answer, and in fact the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. He worked this way in the lives of all the great Bible characters, Abraham, Mosses, and Elijah were not great in the beginning but made great through the discipline of their faith. Only through that discipline were they then equipped for the work to which God had called them.

The discipline of faith...this just put things into perspective for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My boy's 13...

The Davester was putting on a puppet show tonight for the girls. He was behind the couch, talking away and making up stories. As he was introducing his characters, he brought up a donkey. He said the donkey's name was Bob. As he was talking away, Caleb blurted out, "No, the donkey's name is Jack."

How do you not laugh at that?

He's so naughty.

No wonder...

It just hit me today, if it's true that you become best friends with your parents after you are an adult, then I just lost one of my best friends. Not only my Dad, but my best friend. No wonder I'm in such a funk.

I was reading through my grief books yesterday. The author was talking about why well intentioned comments can be so painful. He said, when somebody is trying to comfort you, and it comes out wrong, it feels as though they are taking your grief away from you. I had one of those "aha" moments. Yes! That's it! The majority of us are uncomfortable with grief, and when we see someone that we care about in pain, we want to fix it! We want to make them all better. The reality is, we can't take it away. In God's timing, and with His healing will be turned into something beautiful. For the moment, it just hurts. And it should. My Dad is worth missing. He was such a part of our lives. And always will be.

For the record, when I've felt the most comforted is when my best friends just hug me. They don't ask how I am. They can see it in my eyes. They don't say a word. I hope I can extend that to others when it's time to comfort somebody else.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Bethany is now using the bathroom all by herself, the flush, the handwashing, all of it. This is a big deal of independence in our home. At school, they taught her to rub the palms of her hands together as she washes them under water and to prompt her, they say, "Make a snake." I thought that was so clever. So the other day, as she was washing her hands, she wasn't rubbing them together. So, I said, "Make a snake!"

In her low voice she said matter of factly, "It doesn't work."

My literal baby...cracked me up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Duct not Duck

I had a good day today...wanna know why? The duct work guys came today and vacuumed out all of my cruddy nasty dust in my duct work. I had a hard time saying "duct" on the phone today..sounded like duck. Anyway..all winter, when the furnace would kick in, we'd have that smell of burned dust, all winter..yes you read that right. Not just when we initally turned the thing on. All winter.'s clean..and it's spurned other cleaning and organizing. Call it cleaning therapy, whatever. It just felt good to control something..even if it was just dust.

No yard work yet, though.

Kelli...wanna trade? I'll organize, spring clean, and you can do flower beds in Afton.

Deal or no deal?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just for fun...

I have a two year old. If you've gotten my answering'll hear her sreaming in the backround. We affectionately call her the "screamer".

Last week I took her to County Market. She screamed because she didn't get one of those truck carts. They were all gone. You can imagine her reaction when we would turn a corner and see a mom with a young child in a truck cart and she didn't have one. Kicking and screaming like you wouldn't believe. If you're ever at Target, Walmart or County Market and you hear a screaming child, it's probably mine. We rarely get through a store without something tripping her off. I refuse to leave her home. Shopping is necessary and so far, God has helped me to remain calm and just go about my business and ignore all the staring people.

Well, today I thought we had hit the jackpot! Screamer had a truck cart! You should've seen her clapping with joy as she loaded herself in behind the black sticky wheel. She turned corners and did all kinds of amazing things in her truck cart. For the first time in months, we made it through a whole shopping trip with no screaming. Or so I thought.

As we inched towards the check out counter I heard the familiar sound. "NOOOOOOO! TWO MORE MINUTES!!!" Followed by screams. she was mad because her truck cart experience was coming to an end. I managed to pay for my groceries, bag them up, guessed it..she was still screaming.

As I was loading my kicking and screaming toddler into the truck and pushing her into her car seat..I just laughed. I can't wait to tell these stories to her children. Maybe she'll be blessed with a screamer, too. And if I'm really mean, I'll say the dreaded pat comment, "Oh, honey. Enjoy them while they're young. It goes by so fast."

And that's a bad thing?


Things not to say to a recent widow:

1. Don't grab her hands in your hands and say, "Oh, every day it is just going to get easier. And in a few months, you will wake up and will forget that this all happened." Especially if you are only in your mid 30' and have

2. "I'm a widow, too. It's been seven years and you know, each day doesn't get better. It's harder now than before. I miss him more every day."

3. At least you'll have a great reunion in heaven.

4. Pretty much omit any sentence that begins with "At least" or "Just be thankful" or, "I know how you feel" (especially if you're not a widower yourself).

5. "How are you doing?" while standing in the church foyer. How do you think she's doing? Barely holding herself in one piece. Rather, you could say, "Good to see you." "Praying for you." Hug them and whisper in their ear that you love them. Pretty much delete the whole phrase of "How are you", please. Culture shift....please.

6. And by all means...this is the absolute worst thing...please, please, don't freely share any cancer stories with her or other death related stories. She's living her own cancer nightmare at the moment, why in the world would she want to enter into someone else's nightmare? It's like when you're pregnant with your first baby and every other mother has to tell you her birthing story and how terrible it was. This is cruel to say the least.

Yes, my mother has lived through all of these statements and many more. Well intentioned stabs. Thus, the title. W.I.S.

Monday, May 5, 2008

In Between..

I'm somewhere between affliction and joy. Just read a great chapter in Piper's book, "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God". It's a collection of chapters from several authors. Not sure who I just read, but it was from a man who lost his baby son to premature death. He said sometimes when we are in pain, we don't feel the presence of God. And that doesn't mean that He's not there. When we're in between the suffering and the joy that comes after long nights of weeping, we often don't feel God's presence. He quoted Psalms 88, perhaps one of the saddest Psalms that has been written. And it doesn't end in hope. It ends in laments. He also said that in this culture, after about a week, we expect the mourner to get back to life as usual. As westerners, we are uncomfortable with grief, and we want to quickly fix it, or hide it from others. And when we see others grieve, we want to quickly assure them of the hope that they have in God for fear that they have forgotten.

It is normal to not feel God's presence when we are in the thick of grief. It is normal to not feel like praying and when you read the Bible, it often seems dormant. The pain is too great at times. But be assured, God is in the dark pit with us. His promises are true, even if it feels like He has left the building.

That's what it feels like. My heart is heavy and burdened and it took all the strength that I could muster (and with God's help) to just give the welcome last night at Latte. I didn't want to be there, didn't want to be around people and pretend that I was fine. So, I wore my dad's favorite color, yellow, with hope that it would help. In the end, it was just a shirt. God went before me, loved me through many sisters in Christ and I made it.

I was encouraged by the chapter I read tonight. And if I can think about it in spiritual terms, God put that chapter in my hands right when I needed it. My head knows He's here, and soon, my hope is, my heart will as well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Old Birthday Card

I'm up past sleeping and started thumbing through old birthday cards from my parents. Usually, my mom was the one to write the long note in my cards. This one, my dad must've picked out, because it was his black pen that underlined tons of words ( in italics below), and he had the most to say. It's one to remember. Dads out's a great way to express your love to your daughters.

First, the card.

How do you tell a wonderful daughter
just how much
she means to you
when there are no words to describe
the gift of precious memories
she's given you since the moment she came into your life....

How can you tell her
all the ways she's made
a difference in your world
when nothing can truly measure
the happiness and pride you've felt
watching her face "life's challenges"
and shape her fondest dreams.....

How can you tell a wonderful daughter
all the feelings your heart holds
for her and her alone -
Daughter, you are so very loved
and wished a world of happiness, always.

Next..his message to me.

What more could we say - we are blessed beyond words - God has blessed Mom and I with your - your love- your loyalty - your prayers - always keep on keeping on for Jesus - Never give up - Never give in - Keep moving forward.
Love as always, Dad oooxxx
Proverbs 3:5-6

P.S. You are and always will be "Daddy's little girl!"

I think my favorite part right now is the last part. Never give up, never give in, keep moving forward. I'm tempted to get stuck right now. Bogged down, and down right stuck. I feel like I'm in the middle of a novel, I've just finished a very difficult chapter, and I'm not ready to turn the page. I'm a little fearful what the author might have in store in the next chapter. To be honest. Maybe I'm not stuck. Maybe I'm just soaking in, processing the first half of the novel. I don't want to be held by the fear though. I want to trust the author and that even though bad things happen, He's still good. He sees us and He loves us, even when the last chapter totally took the wind, heart and soul of the reader and whipped it up into a frenzy.

Like I said, I'm up too late.

Hey, and the wasn't even a Hallmark.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Richard Theis Reynertson, a.k.a. Dad....

Dad and I sharing our favorite cheese for the last time. Smoked swiss. The expensive kind. We'd take turns surprising one another with it. Caleb loves it, and I told him the other day, the baton has been passed. It's our favorite cheese now, too, along with Bapa.

I miss him so much as the reality seeps in, it is almost too much to take in.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Almost ready..

I think I'm almost ready to start blogging again. I can tell because I have that funny dialogue thing going in my head again. And then there's the serious, sobering thoughts about life. I'm glad that God doesn't just stick the sobering things in my head without the funny ones. Anyway...blogging again soon. Miss you all and want to catch up on my blogging buddies. It's coming...maybe along with about Vonda chasing it down with a stick! That is funny...and brought me much joy.


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Yep...Dad tested positive. He has 103 fever, is at home with my mom. They are contemplating taking him to Rochester in the a.m. Please pray them through the night. His cough is really nasty as well. Also, strength and protection for my mom, that she doesn't get this. And that God gives her peace in the late night, caring for my Dad.


This is one of those days where time stands still for a little while. Much like when you're at a funeral, and the bustling of life just stops. You sit and you ponder what that person meant to you, what he meant to others and you think about your own life. And you think about the changes you want to make, because you know that one day, it will be you in that rectangular box. One day, all the stuff you tried to maintain will be divided off or sold. The stuff doesn't matter.

Your mind goes to the people that you love the most. You think about your children, and you pray that they will "get it". That they will be "alive" with Jesus. The one thing that matters the most is that they will walk with him daily and love him with their whole heart.

My dad came home last night from the hospital only to wake up with another fever. They think he got sick in the hospital. I guess their little town was hit with a nasty wave of influenza. The fear inside of me is being poured out at Jesus' feet for my dad. The prayers of healing, peace and comfort are constant as well as the tears that seem to follow.

I look like a train wreck. Felt heavy all day yesterday and really didn't function well beyond taking care of the necessities. I've been praying that God would do something to encourage my parents and to show himself to us in a very real way. Whenever I've been near hopelessness, God has always done something to encourage me.

He did it today. He sent it in a form of a letter to my parents, from an unbeliever in CA. This woman's parents were cared for by my dad and just a few months ago, my dad spoke at her mother's funeral, despite his own cancer and weakness. This meant so much to this woman, she wrote a two page letter of appreciation and sent a huge check. The check is in the exact amount that they will need for thier future medical expenses.

It arrived today. A day that has been filled with pain, grief, and discouragement. In my mailbox, there was card for my boys from a dear friend who is going through his own difficulties. It touched my heart so much, it felt like a personal hug from God.

Pain is inevitable in this life. This roller coaster of cancer sucks. I want to jump off of it, and take my parents with me. But, that's not God's plan. At least, not at the moment. So, for now, all He promises is to be with us on the ride. And it really is a choice of trust and belief.

Tables were turned this morning, and I prayed with my Dad over the phone for peace, healing and comfort. He has done this for me many, many times over my lifetime. And now, God has given me the honor to pray for this dear sweet saint. In my prayer, I told God that we were going to continue to trust. Through the pain, through the ups and downs...sometimes that choice is with your fingertips. What keeps me hanging on is our Lord's faithfulness. Either I believe it or I don't. It really comes down to that.

So, in this moment of feeling life's finality, pain, and separation from those that we love...God pours out his mercy and grace in a fresh way. Ahead of time, in the form of letters. He knew that this day was going to come and he answered our prayers before we even prayed them. Who else, but God could do that?

He is faithful, we just need to trust Him.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


My sweet Dad is back in the hospital. He has a fever and when that happens, he needs to be admitted right away. I'm hoping that it's a side effect from his last round of chemo and not some type of infection.

I have felt heavy all day today. I barely made it to church, was so tempted to stay home in my cave and hide. I'm glad that I went. Our pastor preached his heart out. With his words of the truth he brought me to the great throne of our God. I was reminded of God's justice and that through His justice, He has also provided a way for us to be reconciled. The One who judges, has given us mercy and grace through his very own beloved Son.

I walked into church heavy and walked out with hope once again. God sees us, He loves us and He is in control.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Davester goes on a field trip...

I accompanied the Davester on a field trip today. The three other little boys in our group were quite busy. David said, "We've got the squirrely ones in our group, Mom. Just please, don't embarrass me by like, you know, getting that sargeant voice on and yelling at them!"

What? Me????? I restrained myself and was maybe even a little bit passive in handling the squirrels of out respect for my son. I kept my eye on them and made sure that they didn't get lost. I held back many times when I wanted to....quietly admonish them. I think David thought I was being too passive because at one point, he bursted out with...

"Hey! My mom used to be a teacher! She knows how to handle kids real well."

I think that did the trick. Squirrels were quiet all the way home.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Now stands for Peri-Menopause Syndrome. It hits approximately 40 million women in the U.S. alone each year. The symptoms? Mini-hot flashes, followed by being really cold, a sassy mouth, short fuse, sassy mouth, short fuse, sassy mouth, short fuse.

The treatment?

Take her out for dinner once a week, run her a long hot bubbly bath and reassure her that you love her anyway. If you really want it to go into remission, research has found that if you take the kids and go somewhere for the weekend and leave her home alone, this one act of kindness, can be a miracle cure. The effects last for at least 18 days. When the next "cycle" hits (youknowhatimean), reapply this technique. Only, add one more day. Keep doing this for the next ten years, until menopause and then

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,
I just want you to be comforted in the fact that my DH (dear husband) has taken up your mantra when it comes to my social behavior. He doesn't say the things that you used to say like, "Sheri, be a lady." "Put your legs together, be a lady." Instead he says....

"Sheri, you can't wear those jeans! Every time you bend over..good grief!"
"Sheri, reign it in." (this is a response to my crass language at times or my sarcasm).
"Sheri, we're not in Braham." (This is where I grew up and everything was perverted, so if I hear a certain word, he'll reassure me they didn't mean it that way. Or if I sound crass, I get reprimanded. That's usually the case.)
"Where did you get that shirt? Don't bend over."
If I snap my gum in church, I get "the look".
If I put too much powdered sugar on my pancakes, I get the comment of "Think that's enough?".

Anyway..I've been in trouble alot lately. Funny thing is, just like when I was 15, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I'm almost 40. And I I've heard, "Reign it in" too much lately. I have been feeling sassy..he's right. I'll work on it. My mouth continues to get me in trouble. No worries, Mom.

Your daughter...still..trying to figure out what it means to be a lady.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Speaking of garbage...

Why is the kitchen garbage always brimming near the top of the can? Why can it never just stay 1/3 full, even 1/2 full? No! It is always near the top! Then, it spends most of the time out from under the kitchen sink, and it's

Just asking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

More cake, please..

I'm in a hotel in downtown Chicago. We attended DH's 25 year reunion from Moody Bible Institute. I was getting a little antsy and slightly bored when they all stood in a semi-circle and started singing. I told DH if they started with KumbaYah, I was out of there. Now, I love singing, don't get me wrong! But, when the tall man was in front of me, lots of unknown people around me, I started getting a little claustrophobic. So, I started looking around for some entertainment. It didn't take long and I found some. There was a man who was standing really close to the dessert table.

His pants were so very close to the taramusi cake. With each verse of "Great is Thy Faithfulness", he kept getting closer and closer. I couldn't take it! I slowly reached my hand behind this man's fanny to grab the cake before his pants experienced the creamy disaster. Whoo! I made it. Then, just to make sure, I leaned way over to check out his pants. Maybe it was the mom in me. Yes! He was all clean. I happened to look over across the room, and found a kindred spirit. A woman who saw me, and smiled. We shared the joy together. On verse 4 of the old hymn, I excused myself to call the kids.

When I returned...(this is the best part of the whole story) husband was talking to the man who's pants had been saved. I decided at that moment to exert my introverted self and to let the man know of his near disaster. I told him how his bum was very close to the fateful cake and how I moved it. I also told him that if he saw me looking at his bum, I was just checking to make sure that the cake wasn't there, afterall, wouldn't he want to know if he had cake on his bum? Then, I looked at his sweet wife who was donning a very stylish (for the 80's) gingham checked jumper with embroidered hearts and buttons, that I wasn't checking her husband out. I think my exact words were, "Hey, just want to confess that I wasn't checking your husband out!" Nervous laugh on her part.

Then, in order to take it down a notch, I looked at this gentleman and asked, "So, what do you do for a living?"

"I'm a pastor".

"Oh, really? My dad's a Free Church pastor. What type of church do you pastor?"

"Conservative Baptist".

Smile. (Evil smile, because I think to myself..I

I just told a conservative baptist preacher that I wasn't checking out his bum.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm alive....

Hey, thanks for missing me, Katie, Laura. I'm here. Just juggling a lot right now. I miss my blog friends! I'm behind on everyone, but haven't forgotten where I came from. I'll be back. A few details....

Working hard to make lists, schedules, for kids, to help our home run smoother, trying to ramp up Bethany's autism therapy at home, the biggest Latte event of the year on Saturday, Caleb turns 13 tomorrow, and flying out Sun. a.m. for my husband's 25 year reunion at Moody. Yes, you read that right. I married an older man. I'm the younger woman..forever. LOL

And, honestly, it's taken me a couple of weeks to recover from my dad's sermon. I got stuck after part 2. It was too painful to write anymore. Usually writing is therapeutic for me, but not this time.

My dad's numbers are down and he's going for a bone marrow test tomorrow to see how far the cancer has progressed. Working through anxiety and fears and crying out to God for peace as I learn to trust that He's in control.

When people email me, I'm responding in sound bites, short phrases. I kind of just feel like I don't have time. You can probably tell by this post.

I'll be back, I'm trying to take it all to God, do the next thing, and trust.

So, when the cloud lifts, the details of life settle down, I will be back. I miss you guys.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Davester gets sick....

I've got writer's block.

Not really, I'm just tired. The Davester is on day 11 of a chest cold. He has asthma and when he gets a cold, it is a pretty nasty deal. He sat and read all morning. In the afternoon, he quietly played legos for hours. At 4 p.m. he came bounding up the stairs, wanting, begging to go outside to meet Caleb because he missed him so much. At dinner time, I found myself saying, "David, inside voice." After dinner when he was trying to focus on his homework, but kept interrupting himself with another song, I threatened to send him downstairs to his room to finish his math.

Davester is going back to school tomorrow. Then, maybe, I'll have something to blog about.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dad Preaching, Part 2

There's a church on State Street in a small rural town with a billboard that says, "Our Journey". In that church is a congregation of about 450 people who love and adore their pastor of 20 years. They long to see him and hear him after 4 months and 10 days of fighting his new found diagnosis of leukemia. They wonder if he'll ever be back.

On Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8 a.m., this man returns. A might smaller, a lot weaker. But you don't notice those things once he takes the stage. He doesn't run and jump up the three steps to the podium as he once did, instead he walks with confidence and brightness. As he stands behind his new, shiny, clear, plastic podium, you get a glimpse of his diseased body. But once you look into his shiny blue eyes, you see the man you love and have trusted with your spiritual walk for the last 20 years. The glimmer of hope and faith shine brighter with each word that comes out of his mouth.

He's back. And it is this small congregation's own, personal miracle. They hang on to every word, babies aren't taken out, because nobody wants to miss anything. It is a family reunion like no other. As he stands next to the podium, with one hand resting on his Bible, he starts to share his journey with his family.

In the second row sits his wife of almost 50 years, his daughter and his oldest son. Behind and all around them are the people who have labored in prayer with believing faith that their pastor would return. These are the people who have carried them and set them before the throne many times throughout the day and night. And for the next forty minutes, the world stops around them as they listen to the words of a dying man. Their man. Their husband. Their daddy. They cry and grieve and find renewed faith and hope that only God could place in their hearts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dad preaching, Part 1

Thank you to all who have been asking about the weekend. Thought I'd just start blogging, in segments, so I can answer everyone at once. My mind is swirling with so I thought I'd just do it in chunks at a time.

We headed down to my parents home, Friday night about 6 p.m. God spared our whole family from a very tragic accident. It was the strangest weather pattern. It was lightly snowing when we left, and increased as we headed south. All of a sudden, the roads were terrible. We were in the left lane, the roads were covered in black ice, people seemed to be driving either too slow or too fast. While in the left lane, I saw a SUV coming from the opposite side of the freeway headed towards our car. I gripped the handle on my door and cried out, "Jesus!".

My husband is very calm in a crisis, thankfully. He just slowly started to vere to the right lane. Looking back, that wouldn't have even saved us. Here's what happened..

The SUV was from the other side of the freeway, headed north. They lost control, hit the ditch, headed (west) right for us on the freeway. It was going very fast, and then it hit a huge wire fence. We were so close, we heard the crunch. If the fence wouldn't have been there, Randy said it would've hit us right where he and Faith were, going however fast it was going. We looked back in our rearview mirror, we couldn't stop, but there were lots of cars on the other side of the road going in the ditch. I think I shook for about 30 minutes after that. It was so close. And, as we drove south, we didn't see any other fences. Why was that fence right there, at that exact spot? (We think that they were okay because they didn't roll, hopefully their air bags were working.)

Then, about five miles down the road, the snow stopped, and gradually, the roads were perfect. So, we thought that the drivers weren't prepared for what they were headed into. Perfect weather, a little snow, and then icy road conditions and nobody expected that to happen out of nowhere. the church service on Sunday, the congregation sang the song, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord". I have a hard time singing the part, "he gives and takes away...". I actually don't sing that part. I believe it, I trust God, but I just can't sing it. I always close my eyes and just pray. On Sunday, when it came to that part, my eyes were closed and I saw the near accident again in my head. This thought came to my mind, "It wasn't your time. I didn't want the accident to happen. I'm in control of it all." And I had this sense of a loving Father watching over me, allowing cancer, allowing my Gracie to only live an hour, allowing my family to be at the church to hear my dad preach. It all comes from Him. He is good, He is faithful no matter what happens. Through the good and the bad. It was such a freeing moment. A moment to remind me to rest in His sovereignty, and to know He is there for all of it. He loves us. He really does. Nothing happens to me outside of His plan. And, deep within, the healing of my dad's cancer grows just a little bit more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fear and Anxiety...

Now that I'm out of the closet....(comments on last post)..thought I'd share a little of what God showed me last night after my last post. I am reading Ed Welch's book, "Running Scared". Before I went to bed, I read a few pages.....just a few, but it was all I needed. I won't explain it like Ed, he's a master communicator. I'll do my best to write what I heard.

The topic is Grace....

"The story of manna is a story that points to "more". More than you imagine. More in a way that will surprise you. Our Father is the God of more grace." (pg. 142)

He goes on to describe what grace is. When I fear something, I am really saying that God isn't going to give me enough grace to get through it. One of my fears is that I'll have another allergic reaction, need an epipen and be home alone with Faith. God doesn't promise that I won't need an epipen again, but he does promise to give me exactly what I need (and what Faith needs) if that should happen again.

I've always wondered what bugs me about when people pray for healing for a loved one, God heals, and then they proclaim that God is so good. Yes..he is..yes..he is to be praised, but what if that loved one dies? Are we still so quick to praise him and say that he is good?

Ed goes on to ask the reader if they're worried about the future (Um...that's a big yes...)...I'll just quote the man....

"You will be given all the grace you need when you need it."

"What form might that grace take? Be careful here. When we try to imagine grace in some future situations, we might still be resting in ourselves. We want specific confirmation that there will be grace, and we want to calm ourselves not by trusting in the Gracious One but in seeing the future. If I am called to drown, I don't know what grace I will receive. Having never had it, I can't imagine it, and since God gives much more than we ask my prediction no doubt would fall far short. It is enough to know that I WILL receive grace. I will know the presence of the Spirit and I will die, or be rescued, in a way that pleases the Lord." (pg. 145)'s about His kingdom, not mine. And, I have experienced his grace before, but like the Israelites, I forget.

I'd like to quote the infamous Kristin Woodford in closing, "We're all a bunch of dumb sheep."

She's right...we forget.....but God's grace covers us.

Thanks for hanging with me on's a constant struggle and I want to grow and learn and not get stuck and settle for the fear or anxiety. I want to push through it, and come out the other side with a deeper trust, a deeper faith and a deeper love for the One who sustains us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to preaching....

So my dad is preaching this Sunday...and we're heading down. I'm a little nervous, just because I've been a blogging fool...(I am just being sarcastic)..and have put my heart out there on the church website for my dad's church. It was fine when I was on this side of the the introvert meets the church. Kind of like that movie, "Meet the Parents"'s "Meet the Church" time.

Maybe I could wear a wig, strange clothes and sit in the corner. With a box of Puffs on my lap...I might give myself away.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

January Blues

Seems like everyone I meet has them, or feels tired, kind of blah. I feel like if I open my mouth and say anything, you might as well say, "Blah, blah, blah" right after it. The only way I know to get rid of my whining is to have a thankful heart. So, here's my first attempt.

I'm thankful for....
a garage that my children can throw their winter garb on floor
an entry way where sand collects daily
children who have voices and can freely express their emotions
a school that is teaching my children the discipline of homework
an age where I personally, can feel every emotion known to the human existance
baggy shirts that are now in style
people who care about the details of my life
responsibilities because without them, that would mean I was alone

There..done whining.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Blog, Schmog.....

Ever feel like you've got so much that you want to write about that you just freeze up? That's me.

I'll choose one thing......

Today, after wrestling my two toddlers to Target in the cold, an emergency trip to the bathroom in the middle of our shopping...we finally get through the check out..ready to go. Can't find Bethany's hat. I spent way too much money on her hat because of her sensory issues. She picked one out that had "fuzzy balls" on it. We walked all the way to the customer service desk..they were, they didn't have the hat. I had my two in tow, (that's almost poetic), and was headed back into Target to retrace all of our steps (yes, it was noon...lunch time....) and what do I hear?

An elderly lady, bundled up from the cold, waving a hat in the air, "Hat! Is this anybody's hat?" I never thought I'd be so happy to see puffy balls being waved in the air! I ran up to her, gave her a hug and told her she was my special angel today. She said she found it in the parking lot, and was going to walk it to the service desk. She then proceeded to talk to my girls and tell me that she's a great grandma and just made a bunch of similar hats for all her grandchildren.

Thank you, thank you, dear angel in Target. Thank you for making an extra trip, in the cold, for a stranger.

Sometimes it's the "little things" that are encouraging.