Faith in Action

As I was reading in Jeremiah 16 this morning, I couldn’t help but think of you. God asked Jeremiah to do some hard things. He asked him not to get married, which meant no hope of children or grandchildren, and he also told him not to even attend wedding ceremonies. It must’ve been hard for him to follow God’s instructions, don’t you think? But he did exactly what God asked him to do. Just like you.

No, God didn’t ask you not to marry. In fact, he sent you a beautiful Godly woman. He gave you children to carry on your namesake. God just asked you to suffer greatly for him. He asked you to walk in a six-year battle with cancer. He asked you to share your faith with others while you were in the midst of great suffering. You did exactly what he asked you to do.

Do you realize the impact of your faith? Do you know that even after 42 years your life and how you lived it continues to have a profound effect on me? Do you know why? Because your response to God was just like Simon Peter when Jesus told them to put out in deep water and cast their nets again, “because you say so, I will”. Luke 5:5. Like Simon Peter, there may have been times of doubt. However, your unwavering faith brought and carried you through any season of doubt. You remained strong, steady and faithful until the end.

A couple week ago Mom discovered this photo and sent it to me. A little girl with her Daddy on bended knee. As I’ve thought about this photo, it occurred to me that on your 29th birthday, you and Mom were anticipating my arrival. By the following year, you received the initial diagnosis of cancer and then just six years later, cancer took your life. But, you believed in the power of prayer, you believed that God would take care of your family once you were gone. He did and gave us Ned. (I can only imagine the conversations the two of you have had this past year) You believed this little girl would one day believe and have a faith of her own. She did. It took until she was 22. Your life, albeit short, continues to make a difference in me. Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me how to pray. To believe in the power of prayer and always putting action behind your faith.

Happy birthday!

The Lamp

This lamp came to my house via my Moms house. As we were walking through her monstrous house and trying to decide what she wanted to keep or donate, we came upon this lamp. She pointed and said, “That’s going to the donate pile.”

I said, “Mom, that’s a great lamp. You’re not keeping it?”

To which she replied, “Honey, it’s been sitting on top of the file cabinet all these years. I really don’t know where it came from.”

I didn’t hesitate to say, “Well, if you’re not keeping it, I’ll take it.”

It took about three weeks from that point to sneak it in my car and bring it home. Why did I sneak it in my car? Because I knew better than to tell Terry I was bringing home another one. He would notice anyway. He always notices.

Before choosing its spot, I left it in the garage. As afore mentioned, Terry noticed. I swear. He’s got hawk eyes. I didn’t try to hide it. I just didn’t have it blatantly obvious. He waltzes in the great room and announces, “I see you’ve brought another lamp home. I’m guessing you brought that from your Mama’s. Where are you going to put it? Every room in this house has at least two lamp i don’t know why you’d need another one. We have plenty of lights.”

By the time he finished his speech, I was already moving lamps around and bringing this one in. I found its perfect spot. Once in place, I turned to him and said, “See! It fits perfectly here.”

He agreed and then said, ” It really is a cool looking lamp. I like it.”

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by his response. We then to have similar taste in furnishings.

At that point, I explained how the lamp begged me to bring it home.

When I first looked at the lamp it reminded me of the following, “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Psalm 23:5b-6. As I moved my hands from the top of the base to the bottom, it was as if the Word of God came alive in my hands.

As I finished my spiel, he looked at me and said, “I see it too.” It’s a good thing ’cause the lamp was not going anywhere. It serves as a good reminder to me that I am announced, shielded and protected for all the rest of my days. What a great reminder to have right in front of me every day.

Halloween Shenanigans

A few years ago I decided to make a confession. My confession went something like this.

When the children were young and going trick or treating, our rule for candy was as follows: no eating candy until we got home and checked it. Then, we would generally allow them one or two pieces before bed. All the while, telling them it was for their protection. To some degree that was truth; however, it was more because Terry and I wanted to take out our faves and keep them for ourselves.

To be honest, one of my favorite times of the year was Halloween. Not only did our kiddos look forward with great anticipation, Terry and I enjoyed dressing them up and taking them to gather candy. In fact, some of our fondest and funniest memories are Halloween memories.

The one we talk about the most is this particular Halloween pictured below

Matthew’s costume was a vampire. It wasn’t a total epic fail but obviously my bother, the makeup artist, wasn’t available to get the makeup just so-so. There was no Pinterest, not that it would’ve made a difference.

Before going to the Pumpkin Patch, Terry decided we should just let them stroll through our neighborhood. So we loaded Alex in the stroller and began walking. Ryan and Matthew got a little ahead of us. The road ahead was steep, and boys will be boys. They move full speed ahead. Terry suddenly burst into laughter. Between laughs he said ” I didn’t realize we were taking James Brown trick or treating. Look at the back of Matthews wig. He looks just like James Brown running down the street.”

For years we’ve howled over that night.

I think our most memorable Halloween, for me, was our first one. We took Ryan and Matthew to Pumpkin Patch. Afterwards Terry said, ” Those boys need to get more candy. They’ve never been trick or treating, have they?”

We drove over to Druid Hills, an Historical District, in Hendersonville. The rain had subsided leaving behind piles of wet leaves. Terry decided it would be a good idea to let me and the boys out, while he followed behind at a slow pace. Ryan, being the candy fiend he is, darted off from house to house. Matthew’s little legs trying to keep up. When suddenly, Matthew, sporting a firemen’s outfit that year, ran right out of his boots and kept trucking. Leaving me behind to locate his shoes in the wet leaves. All the while, Terry following from inside the warm truck, laughing hysterically at the sight before his eyes.

I knew then and still know now that life with Terry will always be an adventure. It will always be a life filled with laughter and a life filled with special memories.