Jul 26, 2010

Memories of Mother

When the breath of these short earthly years
Give way to the graveside as they did with my dear mother, I remember the ensuing tears.
On the anniversary of her home going today, I choose to remember times of joy-
Our precious family - my mother, my dad and one happy, cow-licked boy.
Today, I recount the good times
Through the Spirit's sweet gift of a rhyme.
Mother kept such a welcoming and cozy home,
If a friend called, she sat down - although talking on a very long-corded phone.
Oh, the delicious delights that were served from her kitchen
Kept her family fed and happily (with a beater sometimes) I did some finger lickin'.
We ate out just once a week -
Recipients of the produce and work from the garden's bounty, especially at it's peak.
She made every holiday a fun and a most memorable celebration.
I remember anticipating those special days and then the expressions of great elation.
Parties and gatherings were beautiful and fun,
Her creativity never seemed limited or done.
Family was so important in our home
Time for them was freely given, never bartered or loaned.
Whatever mother did, I thought her title was "extraordinaire".
And, oh the childhood memories of her patiently de-tangling my thick, long hair.
Then the packages she mailed to my brother and me while at college across the miles
Still bring sweet memories of the love she packed like they were wrapped with smiles.
Her love language was definitely giving -
So like Jesus she was, as evidenced in her daily living.
But it is the well worn pages on her copy of The Word
That bless my heart to see the evidence of what she read and Who she heard.
When correction was dispensed, Scripture was what I heard
As she would wield the Word.
I think of the verse she marked when she received the fatal diagnosis -
She knew, without a doubt, her eternal prognosis.
With Jesus, she is alive today-
Part of His plan, His path for mother, His way.
She was of her time and resources to others constantly giving
And today, she is alive with Jesus, eternally living.
LORD, I thank you for the laughter mother brought, the joy and yes, the tears
I thank you for the memory of her 45 earthly years.

Pictures from a visit to the family cemetery today.

Jul 8, 2010

A Beautiful View

Even though a stroke at age 45 ravaged the use of one side of his body, my dad does not complain. When his wife (my dear mother) went to live with Jesus after a short bout with Leukemia, I heard his sorrow; but no complaints. Though he was not able to live alone in the home he built with his very own hands or no longer able to lace up work boots and pursue his work as a plumber and pipe fitter, no complaints. What he once considered a normal life - in a moment seemingly, it was all gone. Yet, he never complains.

In the last year, I've met two women who do not complain. In the natural, much like my dear dad, they could have a very long list. The first dear woman is Shannon. She is a precious, godly, homeschooling mother of four who loves and worships our dear Savior. Shannon just stood in front of our congregation where her husband use to lead worship on the first anniversary of his home-going to live forever with Jesus, and gave encouraging words. No woe is me speech, but evidence of a mind set on some One beyond this world.

The second woman is Shelli, our vibrant, full of life, youth pastor's wife, who is choosing life and joy as she has been battling lung and colon cancer and now has a spot on her bone and liver, a complete ACL tear, a meniscus tear, AND a blood clot running the entire length of her calf. Yet when I read an update, Shelli is choosing life, a beautiful view, a God-is-in-control-no-matter-what attitude. Here's a link to Shelli's caring bridge site.

I see people choosing to live out to live out Philippians 4:8 Amplified:
"For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."

As I think about my own life and *things*, situations, people or views that are not always pleasant, I have a choice on what I allow my mind to dwell on. There is much in life that could really get us down. Sickness, death, cancer, hurt, heartache is all around; but in and through it all, God needs to remain my focus, my choice. I am seeing others in the throes of life choosing a beautiful view.

God amazes me that this is the view I get to see from the front of our home. It is what is straight ahead. And isn't that just like the LORD, if I look straight at Him, in the midst of life, I can choose a beautiful view.

If I veer to the left or the right - oh how easily I get off track.
But the Word, the Spirit's soft voice, bids me to come back.
As You speak to my heart about what I focus on
I ask You to change the places my mind dwells that are wrong.
So today, I'm fixing my mind on You, Father, a most beautiful view.
Please take my willing heart LORD and turn it as You need to.
Let me not veer to the left or to the right
And realize that all things are by Your Spirit, not by my power or might.
In the natural, a beautiful view is not what I see every time I turn my head
But, guaranteed, when I'm looking upward to You and then straight ahead
I am choosing a beautiful view.
And what a lovely perspective You give when Your glory shines through.

A View from the front door of our cozy little nest.