Remembering my Dad

Remembering my Dad

I'm so thankful for the man that GOD chose to be my earthly father. I wish I had had more time to get to know him as a person. He died young ... just 60! Twelve years on earth less than I have had to this point.

Here are my reflections of my dad from a post 2 years ago. I hit a grief that caught me by surprise:
An Unexpected Grief, first posted November 2016…

There I was, sitting at the stop light. All of a sudden, an overwhelming grief ... not primarily for my mom who died an exact year before, almost to the day. No, for my dad ... who had died in 1983 right before Thanksgiving.

But why am I grieving now ... why this year, when I hadn't thought of him at this time other years?

I tried to track my train of thought and realized that my thoughts had gone from grieving over my mistakes in my parenting to the difficulties in my own childhood home.

Read More

Lenten Meditation: a Word of Reunion

Lenten Meditation: a Word of Reunion

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

So goes a traditional nighttime prayer taught by American moms to their children for generations. It may seem odd to us today that there would be the mention of death in a child's prayer.  But scientists say that sleep is the closest we come to death while still alive.  The Greeks even had a proverb,

Sleep and death are brothers.

However, in the first century, Jewish moms taught their children a different bedtime prayer...quoting Psalm 31:

Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.

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Dust to Dust but Glory to Glory!

Dust to Dust but Glory to Glory!

From dust you have come, and to dust you shall return. 

Ash Wednesday has taken on a new meaning for me in recent years, since my 91 year old mom passed away early in November 2015. There was something that arrested me right in my tracks the day of my mom's funeral. I was undone by deep sobs of realization. And the depth of it had been helped along by the incense and the reverence afforded the treatment of my dear mama's frail little body being put to rest (or so they say).

But it wasn't the finality of it all. It had already been final when she had breathed her last, days before.

No! It was the Sacredness that came crashing through!

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Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

Lenten Meditation:  Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

Read More

In Sorrow: Redefining Death ... and Life!

In Sorrow: Redefining Death ... and Life!

A wise person thinks a lot about death,
    while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 NLT

Death! 

The word puts terror in our bones! We know it's coming but we ignore it when we can, and we act like we will live on this earth forever. But then there's the health crisis, the loss of a loved one, the thoughts in the darkness of night, the day-mare or nightmare. And the realization of the truth of where we are all heading (some of us sooner than later) comes sneaking or crashing in. And then we have to face the inevitable or drown it all out with some artificial comfort.

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A Time to Live & a Time to Die: Reflections on Time & Eternity

A Time to Live & a Time to Die: Reflections on Time & Eternity

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
    A time to be born and a time to die...
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a,4a (NLT)

Time, that fleeting commodity that holds us while on this earth! Yet, we can't hold onto it! And for all of us, time is ticking away. We are closer to the end of our earthly journey every second that we live.

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Peace for a Dying Soul: there is a Shepherd!

Peace for a Dying Soul: there is a Shepherd!

Lord, bring Your Peace into the room as we go.

So I pray as we enter the hospice facility. Jesus can bring peace because He IS Peace! And how much darkness could be ready to rush in when souls are hanging between life and death.

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I AM there in their midst.
Matthew 18:20 NASB

And so HE is here!

In the room a sweet, familiar voice speaks the eternal Word:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

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Arrested by the Risen Christ: Brenda's Story

Arrested by the Risen Christ:  Brenda's Story

Every Easter I think of family and friends who have died in Christ.  Somewhere and sometime on their earthly journey they each met the Risen Christ in a unique way...some quite dramatically, some softly and quietly.

During this Easter week, I'd like to tell you about a friend who was arrested by the Risen Christ.  She's virtually unknown, except by those whose lives she touched.  Her name is Brenda.

Read More

Lenten Meditation: a Word of Reunion

Lenten Meditation: a Word of Reunion

Now I lay me down to sleepI pray the Lord my soul to keep If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take

So goes a traditional nighttime prayer taught by American moms to their children for generations.

It may seem odd to us today that there would be the mention of death in a child's prayer.  But scientists say that sleep is the closest we come to death while still alive.  The Greeks even had a proverb,

Sleep and death are brothers.

Read More

An Unexpected Grief

An Unexpected Grief

There I was, sitting at the stop light. All of a sudden, an overwhelming grief ... not primarily for my mom who died an exact year before, almost to the day. No, for my dad ... who had died in 1983 right before Thanksgiving.

But why am I grieving now ... why this year, when I hadn't thought of him at this time other years?

I tried to track my train of thought and realized that my thoughts had gone from grieving over my mistakes in my parenting to the difficulties in my own childhood home.

Read More

Craig's Song: I Am Waiting for the Dawning . . .

Craig's Song: I Am Waiting for the Dawning . . .

The beauty of aging is that long-term memory starts to kick in (don't ask me what I had for breakfast!).

And that's what happened in the midst of a hard time, a sweet yet bitter time, when many gathered to share our corporate sadness, yet rejoicing, at the graduation to glory of our dear brother and friend Craig Steffen.

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Why? Why one but not the other?

Why? Why one but not the other?

While my husband and I made our way to the East Coast to spend time with our daughter and family, grandsons, my own siblings and their families, word came to us of the sudden death of our friend Craig. Shock beyond words! Grief and heart-break for our friend Cindy, his dear wife as well as for ourselves and all those who have known him and loved him. No time for prayer, beseeching, begging!

Then a few days later, word came of my friend Linda, who had just suffered a stoke at 73 years of age...

So that's always the dilemma.

WHY? Why one and not the other?

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Grief and Joy and Love and Life: for a Friend in the Loss of Her Beloved

Grief and Joy and Love and Life: for a Friend in the Loss of Her Beloved

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name... 
Isaiah 54:5

My dear friend,

I heard a song and I thought of you!

I remembered a poem and I thought of you!

And I thought of grief and joy and love and life...and I thought of you, my precious sister-friend!

And I remembered your delightful, creative, godly love of your life Craig, who is now "exploring the mysteries of Christ."

Read More

Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

A  very sobering reminder...and I took it all very seriously.

Even though I'm not a part of a liturgical congregation now, I think it's a good thing to remember that death is up ahead for each of us.

But why death?  The Bible says,

The wages of sin is death...  Romans 6:23a

But the good news is

...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23b

Pastor and Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, takes the symbolism of the ashen cross a step further.  He says,

The mark is a sign of Christ's ownership of the person and a symbol of sorrow for sins...We are His possessions and a true appreciation for the cost of our salvation begins with an understanding of the seriousness of sin.

So while Ash Wednesday reminds us of our sin and our mortality, we can look ahead to Good Friday and Easter Sunday because we are His possession.  We know the end of the story, and (as someone has said) "We win"...because HE won!

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1Peter 2:24

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:54-57

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For more about Lent and Ash Wednesday, visit the Voice blog.

Coming soon: 

Lenten meditations:  Jesus' Last Words from the Cross

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Joy & Grief & Love & Life all mixed together: for Shirley

For your Maker is your husband,    the Lord of hosts is his name... Isaiah 54:5

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows    is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5

Don & Shirley
Don & Shirley

My dear friend,

I heard a song as I was walking this morning...and I thought of you!

I remembered a poem from days gone by...and I thought of you!

And I thought of grief and joy and love and life...and I thought of you, my precious sister-friend!

And I remembered your delightful, "crusty," out-spoken husband Don, who is now "exploring the mysteries of Christ."

Most of all, I remembered Jesus who has experienced grief and joy and love and life...all of it, so He knows!

So for you my darling Shirley (and for those you love and who love you and your Don) as you face the loss of your dear husband:

Grief Joy Love Life

And so first the poem:

Life, Paul Dunbar
Life, Paul Dunbar

Life Paul Laurence Dunbar

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, A minute to smile and an hour to weep in, A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double; And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious, With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us; And joy seems sweeter when cares come after, And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter; And that is life!

And then the song:

God Is Love

All we hold is frail and briefPatched together by beliefThe pattern only partiallyRevealed for us to seeWhat are tears but seeds we sow?In fields unseen such harvest growWhose joys will one day overflowThe measure of our grief

REFRAINIf God is loveThen love we trustIs strong enough to hold our sorrowIf God is loveHe carries us We will not fear what comes tomorrowLove will heal usFor God is love

Then suffering's no enemyAnd poverty, no povertyAnd death our greatest victoryWhen swallowed up in life

REFRAIN

Though sorrow surge at every stepYet goodness is assuredFor none that harms or troubles hereWill speak the final wordLove speaks the final word

REFRAIN

Don & Shirley & Jim D & me
Don & Shirley & Jim D & me

Remembering to not Forget

Mom, Mommy the beautiful
Mom, Mommy the beautiful

Mom's graduation into glory has settled deep in my soul.  I'm writing so that I don't forget. In fact, that's why I started writing years ago...so I don't forget. So today I'm writing down the memorial, the remembrances in scripture, song, and prayer. Listen in..enter in if you would like...

Remembering the Lord as He lived through one humble little lady, my mom, Jeanette Agnes Galuszka Renner.

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things Enter into the joy of your Lord! Matthew 25:21 NKJV

Prayer

Response: “We give thanks, O Lord.”

  1. For the eternal life Jeanette received through her faith in Jesus Christ…
  2. For the example of her consistency of love and devotion to Christ…
  3. For the love Jeanette unselfishly poured out on us her loved ones…
  4. For the mercy of God in allowing Jeanette to live long enough to see even her great grand-children…
  5. For the blessed hope of being reunited one day in the Kingdom of God…

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace...And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,14 NLT

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:4-11 NIV

Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:21-27 NASB

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:1-6 ESV

An excellent wife [mom, Babci, big Babci, sister, friend, neighbor…], who can find?For her worth is far above jewels…She opens her mouth in wisdom,And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.She looks well to the ways of her householdAnd does not eat the bread of idleness.Her children rise up and bless her…“Many (daughters) moms have done noblyBut you excel them all.”Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.Give her the product of hands,And let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:26-31

Conrad's Letter / Eulogy

TO MOM WITH LOVE AND THANKS WHILE ALL MOTHERS ARE SPECIAL, YOU MOM, (BABCI/BIG BABCI) ARE ABSOLUTELY THE BEST! WE KNOW YOU NEVER WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR IMPACT ON OUR LIVES, HOW MUCH YOU'VE MEANT TO US BUT YOU'RE HEARING IT NOW.

WORDS CANT DESCRIBE WHAT YOU'VE MEANT TO ALL US. THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, THE SACRIFICES, THE SELFLESSNESS, THE ACTS OF KINDNESS THE HARD WORK, WHILE NEVER COMPLAINING, MAKE YOU TRULY A GIFT FROM GOD TO US. WE THANK GOD FOR HAVING YOU AS OUR MOTHER. ACTUALLY THE ONLY TIME I CAN REMEMBER YOU COMPLAINING WAS WHEN YOUR FATHER BLAMED YOU FOR NOT PREVENTING THE BAD THINGS YOUR YOUNGER SISTER DID AS A TEENAGER. YOU KEPT THE FAMILY TOGETHER DURING DIFFICULT TIMES.

THROUGH DAD'SSEVERAL HEART ATTACKS, THROUGH MOVES OUT WEST AND BACK, THROUGH FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS, THROUGH ALL OF OUR TEENAGE YEARS AND ALL THAT CAME WITH THAT..AND WITH 7 CHILDREN A LOT CAME WITH THAT! THANK YOU MOM! YOU'VE ALWAYS SUPPORTED EACH OF US TO THE POINT WE ALL THOUGHT WE WERE THE FAVORITES. SEVEN FAVORITESI THANK YOU MOM!

YOU LEARNED NEW SKILLS AND TOOK A FULL TIME JOB WHILE CARING FOR 7 PLUS 1, DAD. AND THEN YOU GOT YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE IN YOUR FORTIES SO YOU COULD CART US AROUND, GO TO WORK AND ATTEND OUR GAMES WHILE DAD WORKED. THANKS MOM!

YOU SURVIVED AND FLOURISHED FOR 30 YEARS AFTER THE BRAIN ANEURYSM, FINALLY LETTING SOME STRAIGHT FORWARD FEELINGS COME OUT. BUT YOUR LOVE AND KINDNESS STILL CAME THROUGH.

YOU NEVER LOOKED FOR CREDIT ONLY GAVE IT, NEVER ASKED FOR ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF ONLY GAVE TO OTHERS, NEVER SPOKE BADLY ABOUT ANYONE, ONLY NICE WORDS. YOU WERE NEVER HURTFUL ONLY KIND TO EVERYONE.

WE DO BELIEVE YOU ARE A SAINT SENT FROM GOD. YOUR FAITH IS UNDENIABLE AND ALMOST GOT ALL OF US TO BE NUNS AND PRIESTS. (WELL YOU GOT ONE FOR A TIME ANYWAY.)

YOUR ACTIONS ARE WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM ALL OTHER MOTHERS. YOU "WALKED THE TALK"AND LOOKED FOR NOTHING IN RETURN. YOU TAUGHT US THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE, TREAT EACH OTHER AND LOVE THE LORD JESUS. THESE ARE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, MOM. I DON'T THINK WE HAVE USED THAT TERM WITH YOU, BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE TO US, A LOVING, FAITHFUL LEADER OF THIS PACK GIVEN TO US FROM GOD THE ALMIGHTY FATHER.

YOU HUNG IN THERE WITH US OVER THESE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, IN PAIN AT TIMES, I THINK TO PREPARE US FOR THIS DAY. THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE!

SO NOW HE'S CALLED YOU HOME. WE KNOW YOU'RE RENEWED NOW WITH HIM. WE WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU! WE THANK YOU, MOTH,' FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE FOR US AND OUR FAMILIES. DON'T WORRY, WE WON'T FIGHT. LET SNICKERS, PJ AND JUNKIE REST ON YOUR LAP. GIVE DAD AND BABCI A BIG KISS FOR US. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WILL MISS YOU!

Remembering to not Forget

Mom's graduation into glory has settled deep in my soul.  I'm writing so that I don't forget. In fact, that's why I started writing years ago...so I don't forget.Mom, Mommy the beautiful So today I'm writing down the memorial, the remembrances in scripture, song, and prayer. Listen in..enter in if you would like...

Remembering the Lord as He lived through one humble little lady, my mom, Jeanette Agnes Galuszka Renner.

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things Enter into the joy of your Lord! Matthew 25:21 NKJV

Prayer

Response: “We give thanks, O Lord.”

  1. For the eternal life Jeanette received through her faith in Jesus Christ…
  2. For the example of her consistency of love and devotion to Christ…
  3. For the love Jeanette unselfishly poured out on us her loved ones…
  4. For the mercy of God in allowing Jeanette to live long enough to see even her great grand-children…
  5. For the blessed hope of being reunited one day in the Kingdom of God…

 

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AmFu58Tk2Y']

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace... And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,14 NLT

 

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmFM4jZasvs']

 

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:4-11 NIV

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc0QVWzCv9k']

Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:21-27 NASB

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrLafWZxczI']

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:1-6 ESV

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRFNg-Eyt_0']

 

An excellent wife [mom, Babci, big Babci, sister, friend, neighbor…], who can find? For her worth is far above jewels… She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her… “Many (daughters) moms have done nobly But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of hands, And let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:26-31

Conrad's Letter / Eulogy

TO MOM WITH LOVE AND THANKS WHILE ALL MOTHERS ARE SPECIAL, YOU MOM, (BABCI/BIG BABCI) ARE ABSOLUTELY THE BEST! WE KNOW YOU NEVER WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR IMPACT ON OUR LIVES, HOW MUCH YOU'VE MEANT TO US BUT YOU'RE HEARING IT NOW.

WORDS CANT DESCRIBE WHAT YOU'VE MEANT TO ALL US. THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, THE SACRIFICES, THE SELFLESSNESS, THE ACTS OF KINDNESS THE HARD WORK, WHILE NEVER COMPLAINING, MAKE YOU TRULY A GIFT FROM GOD TO US. WE THANK GOD FOR HAVING YOU AS OUR MOTHER. ACTUALLY THE ONLY TIME I CAN REMEMBER YOU COMPLAINING WAS WHEN YOUR FATHER BLAMED YOU FOR NOT PREVENTING THE BAD THINGS YOUR YOUNGER SISTER DID AS A TEENAGER. YOU KEPT THE FAMILY TOGETHER DURING DIFFICULT TIMES.

THROUGH DAD'S  SEVERAL HEART ATTACKS, THROUGH MOVES OUT WEST AND BACK, THROUGH FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS, THROUGH ALL OF OUR TEENAGE YEARS AND ALL THAT CAME WITH THAT..AND WITH 7 CHILDREN A LOT CAME WITH THAT! THANK YOU MOM! YOU'VE ALWAYS SUPPORTED EACH OF US TO THE POINT WE ALL THOUGHT WE WERE THE FAVORITES. SEVEN FAVORITESI THANK YOU MOM!

YOU LEARNED NEW SKILLS AND TOOK A FULL TIME JOB WHILE CARING FOR 7 PLUS 1, DAD. AND THEN YOU GOT YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE IN YOUR FORTIES SO YOU COULD CART US AROUND, GO TO WORK AND ATTEND OUR GAMES WHILE DAD WORKED. THANKS MOM!

YOU SURVIVED AND FLOURISHED FOR 30 YEARS AFTER THE BRAIN ANEURYSM, FINALLY LETTING SOME STRAIGHT FORWARD FEELINGS COME OUT. BUT YOUR LOVE AND KINDNESS STILL CAME THROUGH.

YOU NEVER LOOKED FOR CREDIT ONLY GAVE IT, NEVER ASKED FOR ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF ONLY GAVE TO OTHERS, NEVER SPOKE BADLY ABOUT ANYONE, ONLY NICE WORDS. YOU WERE NEVER HURTFUL ONLY KIND TO EVERYONE.

WE DO BELIEVE YOU ARE A SAINT SENT FROM GOD. YOUR FAITH IS UNDENIABLE AND ALMOST GOT ALL OF US TO BE NUNS AND PRIESTS. (WELL YOU GOT ONE FOR A TIME ANYWAY.)

YOUR ACTIONS ARE WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM ALL OTHER MOTHERS. YOU "WALKED THE TALK"AND LOOKED FOR NOTHING IN RETURN. YOU TAUGHT US THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE, TREAT EACH OTHER AND LOVE THE LORD JESUS. THESE ARE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, MOM. I DON'T THINK WE HAVE USED THAT TERM WITH YOU, BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE TO US, A LOVING, FAITHFUL LEADER OF THIS PACK GIVEN TO US FROM GOD THE ALMIGHTY FATHER.

YOU HUNG IN THERE WITH US OVER THESE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, IN PAIN AT TIMES, I THINK TO PREPARE US FOR THIS DAY. THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE!

SO NOW HE'S CALLED YOU HOME. WE KNOW YOU'RE RENEWED NOW WITH HIM. WE WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU! WE THANK YOU, MOTH,' FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE FOR US AND OUR FAMILIES. DON'T WORRY, WE WON'T FIGHT. LET SNICKERS, PJ AND JUNKIE REST ON YOUR LAP. GIVE DAD AND BABCI A BIG KISS FOR US. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WILL MISS YOU!

 

Shepherd Me, O God...Remembering my Mom

my beautiful mommy
my beautiful mommy

My brothers and sisters and I were orphaned this past week. Our darling "mommy" went home to Jesus. We knew it had to be coming one day...she was 91. But no one is ever ready. As we said our good-byes and laid her sweet, humble, precious little body to rest, we cried, sobbed, remembered, prayed, sang, ate together, hugged and were hugged. It was hard, but full of love!

There's a song and refrain from her service...one that we had chosen... that has settled deep in my soul. In fact, My sister Nancy said yesterday, "Janet, you keep humming that song!" And I was...and I am.

I would love to share this song with you...I'll never forget it!

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

1. God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want, I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love, I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

2. Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul, you lead me by pathwaysof righteousness and truth, my spirit shall sing the music of your Name.

3. Though I should wander the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope.

4. You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred, crowning me with love beyond my pow’r to hold.

5. Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of my God forevermore.

To read about the precious life of this precious lady, click here: http://www.abranchinthevine.com/my-mother-my-hero-2/

For the story behind the hymn go to http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god

Shepherd Me, O God...Remembering my Mom

My brothers and sisters and I were orphaned this past week. my beautiful mommyOur darling "mommy" went home to Jesus. We knew it had to be coming one day...she was 91. But no one is ever ready. As we said our good-byes and laid her sweet, humble, precious little body to rest, we cried, sobbed, remembered, prayed, sang, ate together, hugged and were hugged. It was hard, but full of love!

There's a song and refrain from her service...one that we had chosen... that has settled deep in my soul. In fact, My sister Nancy said yesterday, "Janet, you keep humming that song!" And I was...and I am.

I would love to share this song with you...I'll never forget it!

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

1. God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want, I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love, I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

2. Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul, you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth, my spirit shall sing the music of your Name.

3. Though I should wander the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope.

4. You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred, crowning me with love beyond my pow’r to hold.

5. Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of my God forevermore.

 

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmFM4jZasvs']

To read about the precious life of this precious lady, click here: http://www.abranchinthevine.com/my-mother-my-hero-2/

For the story behind the hymn go to http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god