Thursday, January 21, 2016

Those Purple Flags

I came upon a funeral processional yesterday and as I pulled over and watched them all go by with their purple magnetic flags flapping in the wind, a knot in my throat caught me off guard.  I am not sure if I had seen one since being the one in the car with the purple flag. The first one, my dad drove mom, Theodore and myself, Bethel's "I am a Child of God" in the background. The second one, my cousin Ryan drove my Grandpa's brother, my cousin Amy and myself in my Grandma and Grandpa's van.  There was the long train of his kids, their kids and many other lives they touched, you ride with a sense of pride in the sadness.  That is my grandpa, and he was a dang good grandpa. And the memories flood and you see him walking across the 3 acre lot, or hollering for his dogs to "quieten down now" or laughing as he spoon feeds your baby ice cream or coffee for the first time.  Sweet memories.  Funny how grief hits you months later in the middle of nowhere.  

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 
                                                                                          2 Timothy 3:14-15

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Extroverts and Sagging Etiquette

Winter is in full swing and since my kids really don't know what I am talking about and all my friends are hacking up a lung (that seems to be the going sickness around here) or letting their introverted-ness get the best of them, I guess blogging will be the outlet.  Lucky you dear reader.  If you are looking for something emotionally moving or spiritually uplifting today is not the day for that here.  Its winter, and I have a lot of thoughts, OK?

Don't let the title fool you, I am not combining the two but these two things are heavy, or heaby as Theodore would say, on my mind today.  I am sure extroverts do have sagging problems, I suppose I do sometimes during insanity class but lets not go there. 

As far as sagging is concerned, isn't there some etiquette to this?  I mean I am sure some saggers look at the other and think, "Dude (do they say dude?), you are totally doing it wrong, don't wear dry fit boxer briefs while you sag, that is just a no, get some boxers or some other not skin clinging drawers or you can't walk next to me in public again!" I am sure the man walking down the street today on my drive home today would not appreciate me, a non sagger, telling him how to sag.  Plus, I don't even think anyone reading this is a sagger per say...

On, extroverts....I am an extrovert through and through, I have at times questioned my introverted-ness and maybe the mom job has made me a bit more so at times because the demands of home are a lot, but maybe it has also heightened it because I really need adult interaction?  I am starting to question what it is about opposites attracting and how people are made.  I have attracted a lot of introverted friends over the years, beautiful ones with boisterous laughs and lots of funny things to say.  I am wondering if I even know how to tell the difference.  One gets their energy from people and the other gets their energy from alone time.  But is is possible the extroverts aren't always the loudest ones or most talkative in the group, that maybe we just need you people to feel alive at times?  And could someone be both depending on the season?  Do my introverted friends just want to say, "Emily, leave me alone I am being alone right now!?"  I think I need to look into this....what do you think??

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

To Flourish

I've been wanting to sit down and write here for a long while now.  A year ago to the date we listed our Lowell Street home, so as I think about all that has happened I can hardly handle it.

A LOT has happened over this past year, it feels dreadfully slow and speed train fast all at the same time.  There is more I will write in the next post, but first to process a bit....

Currently we are IN our home, Hallelujah, and it is becoming more and more of home.  We have grass growing in places where there were mysterious plants and crazy weeds growing, you would think you were hiking in nature walking in our yard- and I don't mean that in a good way.  Rooms are starting to take on personalities and be used for their designed purpose but there is much to do yet. Slowly but surely.

As if the house was not enough, we lost my 2 grandpas in a 2 months span, to.the.same.thing.  I was there for the 2nd and by the bed often of the 1st.  As I saw the story of a cancer patient depicted on a recent Call The Midwife, it was right on, the crazy talk from the morphine, the swabbing of the mouth, the deep throat breathing, the loss of appetite and glazed over eyes.  All of it...I may have truly grieved a bit more that night.

 If you don't have Jesus tell me where your Hope lies.  Mine lies in a RISEN Savior and a place I call home, where my grandpas await me. 

We have Jesus and yet it was terribly sad, we are never ready for our loved ones to leave.  Now there are two women who are widows, the first a woman who fought hard to the end and would have moved heaven and earth to put it to an end, a woman who wasn't ready to lose him "because he made her laugh".  I think I grieve the loss of Grandpa Garrett because of the memories we have, but all that we didn't, but even more, that was the first time I truly felt my parents pain, wishing I could just take it away from them.

The other, married for 69 years...his since she was 15....remember your first heart break? I imagine that is how she is feeling for the first time.

Pray for them.

Oh how I learned so much the week I was in Kentucky with my mom's side, her dad was diagnosed quickly after my dad's dad passed, we could hardly believe it.  It was if we just were watching a rerun of all that just happened.  As I watched my grandma hold my grandpas hand at his bedside I couldn't help but think of the ways Mark and I love each other, fellow Pastor and Wife.  My Grandparents had 7 children but raised plenty more than that, they lost a son when he was just a teenager, did not have cell phones so when they would leave town there was little communication and I can bet you it wasn't always roses.  She's the one I asked "What do I do?" when Mark got his job as a pastor, and she said "Just love the Lord honey, just love the Lord.".  They loved the Lord, and in my bedside time with my Grandpa I thanked him for the legacy he left for us all, the generations of love for the Lord and  not only my Grandpas obedience to preach the gospel, but his DESIRE to do so, unto death.  When he could not longer speak, Grandma did it there by his bedside, bidding anyone who wasn't walking with Jesus to do so, or they would not be seeing their Grandpa again. Not only was Grandpa a pastor, he was also a soldier in WWII.  He guarded the shoreline...and at his funeral one of the pastors said, we still need people to guard the shore line, faithful soldiers. I promised Grandpa, I will be that faithful soldier, Mark and I will do it Grandpa.  As I laid with my Grandma the night before Grandpa's passing to Glory, she gave me wisdom on being a pastors wife and it was a great moment and treasure I will keep forever.  The job is hard, demanding, but its HIS calling on your life and you don't ignore His calling on your life.  A lot is to be said about how we carry out this calling.... Grandma however did say through tears, it was all worth it...

 As the kids have started school I have high hope and lots of prayers that this year will be one of little chaos, outside of the normal raising 4 kids chaos, and one of growth, healing and flourishing.  I have questioned my calling, my ministries, my personality, and almost all of my relationships so much this year.  Because it feels like so much has changed and I haven't had the strength for so many areas.  Don't you just want to flourish?  I sure do, in my relationships, in my love for the Lord and my service to Him, in my giving and thoughts, actions and study of His word.  I want it all to flourish.

Isaiah 58 says when we do things God's way....

       Then your light will break out like the dawn,
       And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
       And your righteousness will go before you;
       The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

       Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
       You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
       If you remove the yoke from your midst,
       The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,

       And if you give yourself to the hungry
       And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
       Then your light will rise in darkness
       And your gloom will become like midday.

       And the LORD will continually guide you,                                                                       
       And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
       And give strength to your bones;
      And you will be like a watered garden,
      And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Isn't that so good?