June 26, 2009

Our Great Teacher

I have started again to read the proverb that corresponds with the day of the month. On the 24th, I read Proverbs 24:3 "Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established." Years ago I had read this verse and the one following it and shared them with Jim. We then later decided to have them used in our wedding.

That will be ten years ago this fall, and sometimes I feel like a girl staring through a window watching and wondering about the family I see within. I reread this verse again and again. So often I don't feel wise and I feel that I don't understand much at all. Somedays I feel it is all I can do to keep this family from crumbling to the ground.

Jesus is such a Great Teacher. The following day I was reading in Job. And chapter 28, verse 28 was a lightbulb for me: "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding"

Okay, okay........ so if I use this as a definition for the verse in Proverbs then----- I am taught that through the fear of the LORD is a house (or family) builded; and by departing from evil it is established. Jim had a deep understanding of this. And when I followed his leadership this is how our family was built and established.

This is also the practical plan to keep following. "...fear the LORD and depart from evil" Proverbs 3:7b The same words we taught our children to say and think when the lightning flashes and the thunder rumbles. "Fear the LORD and depart from evil."

And the tide comes in.......

Sharing memories always has a flip side. As Father's Day came to a close, and the boys were settling down to sleep, Snapp says to me, "I wish I could have given Daddy my bookmark." And I knew the tide was coming in. The next morning a grief wave hit us hard. I couldn't stop the tears and my heart was just breaking for my little ones. As they got out their Daddy journals to draw in, I text several praying sisters. My heart wanted to call someone, but I knew I wouldn't be able the talk through the tears. So I used technology to ask for prayer. And as I held my son and we talked about his picture, my phone rang. One text came as a response, then came another and another. And I wept some more knowing my boys and I were being lifted up in prayer by loved ones at that very moment. More texts came in and as I read their messages I felt the loving arms of my Heavenly Father being wrapping around me, hugging me close: "love you, but Jesus loves you more" "..understand completely" "call anytime" "XO XO" "I will be praying for you" "I know how hard it is with a teen I can't imagine..my prayers are with you" New tears fell as I curled up spiritually in the Comforter's arms. And I could just rest in the prayers of my sisters and know it was going to be okay. I thank God for my praying sisters.

June 21, 2009

Father's Day

This Father's Day seemed to creep up on us this year. One of my sons had already been deep in a grief wave, and I had been prayerfully, tenderly coaching him through it. I wasn't sure what to expect on this 4th Father's Day without Daddy. I let them sleep in and met with the LORD and read my Bible. Then I got ready for the day uninterrupted, a very nice gift from GOD. The boys got up and we did our usual routine of reading their Bibles then having breakfast. As we ate, Snapp shared how he had a dream about ice fishing. Then Snurr spoke up.

"Mama, I gots to tell you sumpton.....GOD loves me.........and.........Daddy loves me....................... And Daddy kissed me.........."

My heart just melted and I didn't know what to say. Tears threatened to spill out of my eyes. This wasn't a memory for him to remember; Snurr was still in my womb when his daddy went to heaven. I don't know how I responded. I just know how I felt. This wasn't little boy chatter. This was another gift from GOD. "See his hole isn't as big as you think. I got it covered:) I keep my promises."

After this jewel, we continued on our morning routine. On the way to church, Snapp asked for me to tell him a story as he often does. I pondered whether to share one of Jim or not. Then I felt the LORD prompting me to share about memories of my dad when I was a little girl. So I shared how he held me during the Christmas eve candlelight service, and took out my slivers, and made us scramble eggs with cheese on top, and wrapped me up in his beach towel the time I was shivering so much my teeth chattered, and other things. Sharing became a theme for the day.

Our pastor's sermon was on "Things My Dad Taught Me" and the Jr. Church leader for Snipp felt God directing him to share memories of his own dad then open it up to the kids. For almost half an hour, they shared. At one point, Snipp raised his hand and said my dad used to work at __________ _________. The teacher was then able to share how Jim came to his house one time and helped him repair his van. Oh, the warmth inside one's heart when someone has a memory of your loved one. Mean while, Snapp and Snurr were in their Jr. Church making bookmarks. As I shared in my other post, Snapp's said "I love you, Daddy!" on it. It was covered in scotch tape because he had told his teacher he wanted to put it out at his daddy's grave.

After church, Snipp shared the story of Daddy helping his teacher with his van and Snapp showed me his bookmark. (Snurr had had too much fun with cutting so his bookmark didn't survive.) I followed the LORD's promptings and ordered cheese sticks from Pizza Hut; this was a Sunday tradition of Jim's. Then I took the boys to a quiet place where Jim would go sometimes on his lunch break to eat and read his Bible. We ate our cheese sticks, then we went to a store to get hats. Each year for Father's Day, we would get Jim a new straw hat. A vivid memory to Snipp is Daddy riding the lawn mower wearing his straw hat. Snipp was really excited about getting a straw hat his size because just this year, I have allowed him to drive the lawnmower with supervision. As we checked out the hats, I snuck a KitKat to the checkout lady. Then we sat outside the store and shared our chocolate treat. I also shared how Daddy would sneak home icecream and also leave chocolate "Mommy"treats for me to find in the cupboards as I put away the dishes.

On our way home, we dropped of a gift I had gotten for my own father. Ever since Jim's death, it has been a struggle at times to honor my own dad on a day we feel such hole in our lives. I am so thankful to have my dad still here and a part of our lives. Yet I feel almost guilty, because I got something my boys don't have.

Another memory of Daddy was watching Monday night football with Uncle Ben. As Snipp got older and the commercials got worse, we watched it less and less. But it was a tradition for me to cook scrambled eggs and ham for the game with big glasses of orange juice. So for lunch, we had just that. Then we watched the Daddy Movie. It is one of Jim reading a story to the camera for Snipp when he was around two. It is just refreshing to see Jim moving and joking around. We read the story with him. Then we watched a DVD of our home video of the 2000 Mopar Nationals. The boys love watching the burnout contest!!

After naps, we drove to the roadside memorial to hang Snapp's bookmark. We had wrapped it in sealer tape to help it against the wind and rain. Snapp and I waded through the high grass and he placed it over the cross. The ribbon made it hang just right. He was very satisfied to have it reach the destination he had wanted it to go.

Then we headed to church for the evening service. We miss Jim extrememly!!!!!!! But it felt so good to celebrate him and the things he did.

Sealer Tape

My son made a bookmark during Jr. Church today. "I love you, Daddy!" it says with two stars and a sideways moon that Snapp says is Daddy's face smiling. On the way home, he tells me he wants to hang it by its ribbon on the roadside memorial. So I needed to find sealer tape. We hoped to cover the scotch tape already on it with sealer tape to really help it against the elements.

I will be the first to admit that I don't have a place for everything and everything isn't in its place either. And I hadn't seen the sealer tape in my desk for awhile. So as I walked into our pantry after lunch, I whispered a prayer, "LORD, I need......" And before I could finish saying "sealer tape." THERE IT WAS!! At eye level, the roll was sitting on the pantry shelf:)

So once again God reminded me that HE knows exactly what I need before I even pray. And that HE has the answer before I even ask:) GOD is so good!!!!!!

June 16, 2009


Through our church's Jr. Church program, Snipp received a dinosaour fossil kit. It was a rather cool project for him. First he had to unwrap this dino egg. We had him do this over a cookie sheet; the instructions said an easily to clean surface:) Snipp used a tool to dig in the dirt excavating "bones". Then he diligently used the brush to remove the dirt. Finally, he worked tediously to assemble the bones. He worked on this project for at least an hour.

When I checked on him, Snipp had just the two front arms and one leg to assemble. Now the instructions said to check for dirt in the holes if assembly was difficult. But my frustrated son noticed that the pieces themselves were not fitting properly. I took a look at it and three minutes later, I was frustrated too!

I decided to just superglue it together for him. Twenty minutes later, I still had no progress. Pieces weren' t glueing well and others were falling off!! Temptation to just give up was strong. My son encouraged me to remember not to quit................

Twenty more minutes went by........some success as well as superglue on six of my ten fingers! I still wanted to quit, throw it in the garbage, and just cry. Yet I did neither. My love for my son compelled me on, as did Snipp's belief in me that I would get it together. So I continued.

Twenty more minutes later, after one leg that was glued fell off as I attempted onced again to glue on an arm, and more glue on my already gluey fingers, I finally succeeded to get it together though it looked very frail.

Carefully, as not to bump the table, I slipped away to take a mental break almost expecting it to be in pieces again the next time I looked at it. Amazingly enough, it stayed together so very, very gently I move the fragile Parasaurolophus to my china closet. And I went off to find a nail file to file off the dried superglue from my fingers.

God's lesson to me in all this: Don't quit!! These little ones are believing in me! Out of love, persevere and don't do anything rash (like smashing up a parasaurolophus and throwing it away). Just keep going when it seems like things will never go together as I envision it.

Another note: A day later, my son was in tears about something he was to do, that he thought he was unable to do. "I can't" echoed off the walls of our home. I took him to the china closet to my friend the Parasaurolophus. Amazingly, he was together, though he still looked as though he would fall apart any minute. I haven't even touched him to see how sturdy he is. Anyway, back to my son.
Through his tears, I had him look at the dino who had caused him and me such frustration. I shared with him that I didn't think I could either. And that he had told me to not give up, not to quit. I shared how his words had encouraged me and how my love for him made me press on. Then I encouraged him to do the same. To not give up and just say "I'll try". Then really try. And out of love for Jesus just to not give up.

June 03, 2009


This morning an adorable little Snapp gave me a charming smile and said, "Yes, ma'am!" as he scampered down the stairs to obey my command. I called him back up and thanked him for speaking so respectfully to me. He said, "You're welcome!" Then rushed down the stairs again as this words floated back up to me, "I like it when you speak respectfully to me too, Mom." And as he went on his errand, I sat and let those words soak into my mind and my heart. As a parent I am trying to teach these boys to show respect to authority and elders. Often I feel like I am teaching the wind. My mind travelled to years ago, a lifetime ago, when my husband was here on earth. I pondered our relationship and remembered how from the beginning it was saturated with respect for each other. We did some things wrong, but this one thing we did right. We had great respect for each other. And that respect keep us from doing or saying many things that entered our minds. I know it did on my end. I have a quick, deadly tongue at times and yet it didn't flare out at Jim. Even when I was very upset, I could tone it down when I shared my bundle of emotions. My respect and love for him made me keep my tongue in check. This was something Jim taught me by his example. An example the boys and I now lack.

As I sat and pondered Snapp's comment, I thought of how we as parents are so quick to expect and even demand respect from our children. Yet we forget it that they learn best by example, our example. When we speak respectfully, they learn to speak respectfully. When we treat others with respect, especially them, they learn how to be treat others with respect. I will admit I have really dropped the ball on this these past three years. Thankfully, the Lord used my child to teach something yet again.

Be Holy

"Be holy, for I am holy" the Lord says in His word. Forever I felt like this was saying be perfect, be without fault. And in my mind I knew it was unattainable. Like always being corrected on every little thing from a pertectionist teacher, I threw up my hands and said "I give up, I'll never do it right." Then a friend gave me a book about holiness. It sat for months on the shelf looking pretty. But I had no desire to read it. Recently when I rearranged the book shelf, curiousity over took fear of condemnation and I took a peak........and continued reading.

Then....... lightbulb!!!! There is more than one explaination for holy. Holy is pure and undefiled, yet it also means special, set apart. I am called to be set apart to God, special. Like the ground Moses stood on, it wasn't pure, it was special,set apart because of God's presence. I have the Spirit of God living in me. That makes me special, set apart because of God's presence. And once again I stand amazed at the truths of God.

I will have to share more as I read more. I just had to share this in case someone else thought it was unattainable to be holy as God calls us to be.