Saturday, April 14, 2012

Misunderstand not sickness...

A friend of ours died yesterday.  After a battle with liver cancer, Dave knew that the time that remained for him on earth was short and that Jesus was waiting.  Our friend had accepted the Lord's will for him.  He even embraced it.  He willingly became a vessel through whom God would teach us all about how to die well.

Even as he sat in a wheelchair in a hospice facility, Dave's words described how God had been pouring out grace upon grace in his last days.  With joy lighting up his face, he shared with wonder about all that the Lord had been showing him...and all that He was doing around the lives of the people who visited him and in the lives of the others receiving hospice care.  It was truly amazing.

And, the Lord was faithfully preparing him to die.  He shared with us the following words from Richard Baxter's Directions for a Peaceful Departure...and they have stuck with me:

Misunderstand not sickness, as if it were a greater evil that it is; but observe how great a mercy it is, that death has so suitable a harbinger or forerunner: that God should do so much before he takes us hence, to wean us from the world, and make us willing to be gone; that the unwilling flesh has the help of pain; and that the senses and appetite languish and decay, which did draw the mind to earthly things...

Dave's cancer...though terrible...brought with it sweet blessings.  Because he allowed it to, his disease became a tool in the hands of God to wean him from this world and prepare him for the next.  And, because Dave trusted the Lord, He became our teacher as well.

Suffering loosens our grip on this temporal world and causes us to yearn for the next.  Jude has shown me that over this last year.  Now, Dave has shown me that as well. 

Thank You, Jesus, that because You live, death no longer has the victory.  Thank You that the separation from the ones we love is only temporary for those who trust in You.  Loosen our grip on the things of this world, and teach us to set our hopes on things eternal.  May our lives be lived in light of eternity.  Amen.

Source: via Geri on Pinterest

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This man...

36 things on his 36th birthday

  1. is my best friend.
  2. points me to Jesus.
  3. is the reason behind the vast majority of giggles in our home.
  4. charms me with his beautiful smile.
  5. is a wonderful, fantastic, amazing dad.
  6. amazes me as he trains for a half marathon.
  7. works hard...sometimes too much so.
  8. gets me sucked into silly tv shows such as Storage Wars and American Pickers.
  9. is a man of character and integrity.
  10. is gracious when I leave wet laundry sitting in the washer until it starts smelling.
  11. likes grande decaf mochas extra hot extra whip in a venti cup.
  12. is really intentional about taking care of our cars.
  13. has wisdom that blesses, surprises, and encourages me daily.
  14. reads more than anyone I know.
  15. is a really good driver...but scared me with his aggressive driving in Mexico.
  16. understands me sometimes more than I understand myself.
  17. is intentional in our marriage...often initiating marriage conferences and date nights.
  18. has worked so hard on our house over the years...and learned all sorts of new skills.
  19. is growing in flexibility when we travel.  :-)
  20. is resourceful.
  21. has helped me grow in more ways than I could ever relate.
  22. is a thinker...though for our first months of marriage I thought he was staring into space.
  23. is really fun to watch basketball with.
  24. has taught me so much about financial responsibility.
  25. pushes his son on his swing.
  26. speaks truth to me when I need it.
  27. is trustworthy.
  28. accepts me as I am.
  29. has a wonderful sense of humor that is currently developing in his son. 
  30. likes life quiet.
  31. still opens the car door for me when we go on dates.
  32. trusts God with our family and our future...and helps me grow in trust as well.
  33. loves to play with fire.
  34. doesn't second guess his decisions...which is so good for me and my indecisiveness.
  35. is such a wonderful gift from God to me, Caleb, and so many others.
  36. turned 36 years old today, and I am thankful for every single one of them.
Happy Birthday, Babe!
We love you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

For Easter

I thought I would share two songs that I have been loving lately.  They come from *this wonderful album* which I love and listen to all the time (Thanks, Sarah)!  Check it out.  It looks like you can listen to the entire album online.  :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Welcome to Poppy World!"

For eight years, I have waited for the poppies.

I once saw a photo of the Organ Mountains surrounded by fields of yellow,
and I wanted to experience it for myself.
The conditions, however, never seemed to be exactly what those pretty little things needed to grow.
And, each spring came and went...with no flowers in the desert.

 But, we have them now. :-)
Beautiful yellow fields blanketing the mountainside.

Caleb had a cute reaction when we stepped out of the car.
With arms opened wide, he spun around and cried:
"Welcome to Poppy World!!!"

Thanks, Lord, for such a timely gift.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So thankful for her...

Today marks two months that my mom has been staying with us,
and we celebrated with a little party.
It has been a really great experience for all of us, and I don't want it to end.

Caleb has been able to spend priceless time with his grandma,
and Brandon and I have loved the conversations we've had with her as well as her daily presence in our lives...
not to mention all the wonderful meals she makes us.  :-)

I will be forever grateful to God for this opportunity to have so much precious, quality time with my sweet mom.

And, I am so thankful to my dad for sacrificing so she can be out here.

We love you, Mom.

You're amazing,
and I am so proud to be your daughter.