Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's a new day

On Sunday I posted about my eventful summer, and the day my Daddy died.

Yesterday I posted about why my family was able to rejoice even in that difficult time because of the things we know for sure.

Today I want to tell you about what happened next.

  1. I drove back to San Antonio, where Brian and I packed for a longer stay. We headed back to the Valley, heartbroken and teary-eyed, but praising the Lord!

  2. We arrived at my parents' house and embraced my mama, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephews. We cried. We prayed. We laughed. We rejoiced. My brother and his family stayed with us at my mom's house all week. We planned a memorial service for Friday. We decided that my brother would deliver the message, and he worked tirelessly to craft the message God gave him. And WOW. It was powerful. Thank you, Lord! We prepared a slide show and a program and music, and asked several dear ones to speak. The week passed by in a blur of tears and joy, photos and memories and hard work.

  3. We had wonderful friends and family ministering to us. We were so blessed. So many people stepped up to love on us and feed us and help us with details, both large and small. Julie, Kirstin, and Stacie, you were a special blessing to me!

  4. We had a precious, beautiful memorial service for Daddy. I can't tell you how healing it was for all of us. Oh, how we praised God! For the privilege of knowing my Daddy, for the fact that he's well and whole now, and for the promise of eternal life! And we had a sweet reception afterward. My parents' church blessed us later with a dinner together with loved ones who had traveled down for the service.

  5. When we finally had time to breathe and relax and remember, we rejoiced again at the things God had done for us over the summer. Because Mama & Daddy were planning to move to San Antonio, we got to see them both a lot more than usual! Because they had a contract on their home, they came up even more! Because my brother had to close his business and was visiting with churches in San Antonio, we got to see his family more often that usual, and we all got to spend a lot of precious family time together. Because the home sale fell through, we went home for a special weekend to help with the open house, and had precious time with my daddy before he died. Also, because the home sale fell through, my parents weren't in the middle of packing up when Daddy died, and Mama didn't have to rush out of the house. Because my brother didn't take a job in San Antonio, he and his family were able to spend that whole week with us after Daddy died. Because I didn't leave for the Valley on Monday night, I was not too far away from Brian when I got the news about Daddy, and I was able to have him at my side when I needed him. Because Daddy was on chemo this summer, we got to have the best of him, right up until he died. These may seem like circumstancial things, but we know for sure that God was working out His plan for us, so that we would be encouraged and so that He would be glorified. Thank You, Lord!

After the service, my mom encouraged Brian to take me to Comfort for my birthday, as they had planned. It just ended up being me and him. But it was a precious, healing time. AND it gave us time to get our initial adoption application completed. (I told you I'd get back to that!) We were so excited to have it completed! So, we sent it off and in September we went to Waco to have our orientation meeting with Generations. We knew right away that this was the place. God affirmed and encouraged us so much! This month, we went back for our training - even more affirmation. All that time dragging our feet, and now we're raring to go! We've been reading books and studying and praying and preparing our home. We've had inspections and worked on documents. We've almost finished our formal application. We hope to send it in this week. Then we'll be getting close to a home study...we're so excited!

It has been an eventful summer. Life-changing. I have more to say about the changes and that Ebenezer Stone, but I will save that for a later day. For now, I am looking ahead and trusting God for the future and praising Him for the things He has done!

Monday, October 26, 2009

What we know for sure

Yesterday, I shared some of the major events that have taken place in my life since I last posted in May. I say some, because there are more events I still need to share!

But first, I need to tell you about the things we know for sure:

  1. We know that Daddy loved God and God loves Daddy. God loves people!

  2. We know that Daddy was human, and that as a human, he was a sinner. The bible says that all have sinned. That means we've all done things that did not please God.

  3. We know that the Bible says that when we sin, the penalty is death. Daddy had a problem. People have a problem.

  4. But because God loves people, He has a plan for us...to save us from the penalty, the punishment for our sin problem. He loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross, a criminal's death sentence, to pay the penalty for our sins! The Bible says that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will not perish, but have eternal life in heaven.

  5. We know Daddy believed these things to be true. He believed by putting His faith in Jesus Christ. That means he knew that on his own, he wasn't good enough to save himself from the penalty for his sins. Daddy was a very good man, but he knew he wasn't good enough to get to heaven on his own. He believed in Jesus, believed that Jesus died to save him, believed that Jesus Christ was buried, and that He rose up from the grave. We know Daddy is in Heaven because he was saved. Not because of anything he did, but because of what God did.

  6. And even more joyous is this: My mama, my brother and his wife and children, my husband and I have all believed this! We will be reunited in heaven. And in the meantime, it does my heart good to picture my sweet daddy singing praises to God!

My family knows those things for sure, and it is cause for great rejoicing. Yes, we grieve, because we miss Daddy. But we wouldn't bring him back here for anything!

Do you know for sure that you are going to be with God in heaven when you die?

If not, please click here or here. And drop me an email. It would be my honor to pray for and with you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The hardest day

So...I haven't posted since May. After being "gone" that long, it's been hard to get back into the bloggy swing of things. It's been an eventful summer, and I've found it hard to proceed in light of those events.

I know there aren't many of you reading this. I hope that those of you who are will forgive my indulgence as I catch up a little (or a lot), because I'd like to have a written record of these events. If you aren't in the mood for a novella, skip ahead. Once I get these thoughts recorded, I intend to forge ahead with the regular posting, for better or for worse!

But this summer's events mark many turning points in my life and the life of my family, so I need to place an Ebenezer stone here. I need to remember what God has done and is doing.
  1. We started this summer by investigating and eventually proceeding with a new adoption agency. Friends of ours used them and recommended them to us. You may remember that I mentioned that we were pursuing adoption here. Yeah, way over a year ago. The desire and call didn't go away, but we were scared...and feeling kinda old...and we drug our feet. Well, God blessed us with these friends who introduced us to Generations, and the more we've learned, the more excited we've become. We spent the summer making preparations and filling out our initial application. More on this in a bit.

  2. My parents began planning a move to San Antonio. We were all so delighted, and were looking forward to living in the same area again.

  3. My dad (who had 2 rare blood cancer disorders) started chemo to build up his blood. This kind of chemo actually makes the patient feel better and stronger. He seemed like the old Daddy, with lots of energy and enthusiasm.

  4. My brother closed the doors on his woodworking business. The change in the economy was making it less than profitable, and he was feeling a tug toward a more ministry-based career. He and his family made several visits to SA as well, as he visited with area churches. We were blessed to spend time with them.

  5. While we were still in the process of working on our application, Mom and Dad had a buyer for their house, so they came to SA to look for homes. The buyer had to back out and the sale fell through. They (together with their realtor) planned an open house to reintroduce their home on the market. Brian and I went down to the Valley to help prepare for the open house and to celebrate Brian's mom's birthday. Our whole family spent a great weekend together, celebrating with a delicious meal, working on the house, relaxing in the pool, etc. Brian & I left the Valley on Sunday evening, July 19th to return to San Antonio. Brian had made secret plans with both of our families to meet in Comfort the following weekend to celebrate my 40th birthday (a bit early).

  6. On Monday morning, July 20th, my mom called me to let me know that my daddy was running a fever. We'd been through this before, several times, and she just wanted to let me know so that we could be praying for him. A bit later, she called to say that she was calling an ambulance because he was unable to get out of the bed. What followed were several hours of spotty communication, as we waited to hear what was going on and how he was doing. He seemed to rally at times, then falter at other times. Late that night, I spoke with my mom and my brother, as we tried to decide whether I should return to the Valley. Everything was too uncertain, and we were having a hard time reading the reports from the doctors. We finally agreed that I would wait until Tuesday morning, and then decide. Brian & I decided I would go by myself, and that if things became more serious, he would join me later. This was hard, as I haven't traveled by myself since we were married.

  7. On Tuesday morning, July 21st, I stopped by the office to pick up some things to work on, then started heading to the Valley. I was shaky and teary, and worried about my daddy, but God was just blessing me with the best worship time. I felt He'd chosen special music to play on KLove. About an hour out of town, I called Brian to ask him a question. He told me he wanted me to come back and get him. I asked him why, and he told me he didn't want me to drive alone. I asked him if something had happened, and he told me that my daddy was already with Jesus. The official cause of death was heart failure/pneumonia. His body just gave out. I was shocked, because the chemo had allowed him to be so hearty and happy the last few months. He'd been so...so...alive on Sunday! This was the hardest day of my life, thus far. All of us were hurting. We grieved. We prayed. We loved. And then...then...we rejoiced!

We rejoiced, because we recognized all the good things God had done over the summer to bless us. We had joy because we knew some things for sure. I'll share those things with you tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jesus Saves!

BooMama is having a GREAT giveaway for Travis Cottrell's new LIVE Worship CD. Can I just tell you how much I would love to have this CD? I love this song (above), as well as "In Christ Alone" and "Mercy Seat". And I've been clicking around on Travis' website and listening to samples of the others. It's been a little taste of glory! Be sure to stop by BooMama's and enter to win this wonderful CD!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Woo-Hoo! Kohl's ROCKS!

Originally uploaded by thingspondered
I totally scored at Kohl's yesterday! I received a $10 promotional gift card from Kohl's in the mail a few weeks ago. I shopped the clearance racks only, and found some great bargains!

Last year, I received the same promotion and used it to purchase 2 blouses, 1 pair of flip-flops, and 2 pairs of sunglasses, and I actually had money left over, which I shared with the lady in line behind me.

This time, I bought this great pair of trouser jeans (they're a little long, so I'm going to experiment with hemming them with the original hem later today) for $4.80, originally priced at $48, and this darling olive green purse for $6.50, originally priced at $65. A total of $113 original prices, for $1.41 out of pocket! LOVE those $10 Kohl's freebies! And Kohl's has the best clearance prices! Perfect combo!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Heart This: 05/01/09

I'ts been a few weeks since I posted a "Heart This', so some of these links are not "fresh", but there's some great stuff here! I'm in a crafty mood!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Heart This - Easter Edition 04/10/09

I've been saving up great links, special ideas, projects, etc. all week for today's "Heart This".
But then....

  • I read this post by Beth Moore. "He knows it's scary to be us." Jesus truly does, because He chose to be one of us.
  • And then, I read this post from oh amanda. "In a letter to the Philippians, Paul writes that Jesus humbled himself and became OBEDIENT to death on a cross. Jesus LET himself die. He wasn’t forced into it. Many men died on the cross, but Jesus CHOSE to die on the cross." Did you get that? He also chose to die...for us...on the cross.
  • Please, Please go read both posts in their entirety. Then click the link at the bottom of amanda's post to hear Andy Stanley's version of the story.
  • Or, go here to download it from iTunes.
  • Jesus Christ chose to live as one of us. He humbled himself. He chose to die for us. He became obedient unto death, even death on the cross. He chose the wounds, the scars. And By His Wounds We Are Healed:

  • But the message of Easter, dear ones, is this: It's [Good] Friday, but [Easter] Sunday is Coming!