Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Bell Sheep

I have been reading an amazing book by Elizabeth George called Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart.  I am getting great ideas and truly remarkable confirmation on some of the ideas we have used in raising our two gems this far. One thing she has really got me thinking on a lot is the thought of being a "bell sheep" to my girls. What? I prefer to never be compared to any farm animals thank you! :) But as I read further, suddenly, I could not stop thanking God for making me the bell sheep for my girls. Let me explain. 

A shepherd will watch for the sheep that stays closest to him naturally. The one that hears his voice and responds immediately. The one that feels his presence and goes to be with him. The one that walks beside him wherever he goes. Then he will place a bell around that sheep so to call the other sheep to him. Do you get that? He places a bell around the sheep to beckon the other sheep to follow the shepherd. Amazing! I am thrilled to say that this momma will be beckoning my girls to their Good Shepherd in all we do. I am so happy to have that visual picture in my brain as I think about what I do each day. Am I leading my girls to the shepard? Are my words? Are my activities? Do I speak to them about their shepard? Do I run to Him and show them that is where their safety remains? I pray as my girls follow me, they are lead directly to Christ.

I have to say....I've never looked so good! LOL!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Walking Through Life With Friends

The Perkins and Miller Girls

This past few weeks has been a truly humbling time in my life as well as such a time of faith building. I have witnessed things I never want to see again. Talked about things I never wish on my worst enemy and experienced things I will never forget. In the midst of those experiences, stands a stronger faith that God is sovereign and amazingly gracious. Let me explain a bit more.

On June 25th, I received a phone call from a dear friend of mine, Kim, around 10pm. She was emotionless as she explained that her sweet husband had been in a terrible car accident earlier that day and she was on her way to Toledo, Ohio where he was lifelined to a hospital there. My heart sank once I realized she truly was serious. Her lack of emotion at that time made me think she was trying to pull a prank on me until I realized she was in shock. She was in wife to get there...not thinking about herself at all. I called a friend who would pray with me through the night for Derek and Kim. I sent emails to friends who knew them and asked for prayers. And then I waited....I read scripture...I prayed....I texted her to keep updated on what was happening. It became apparent to me very quickly that God wanted me to be by her side. So, the next morning,  I asked my husband who naturally told me to go. So I called her and offered, she accepted and I left that day.

The next few days are so foggy in my mind. We spent hours in a waiting room with people we do not know. All of which were a part of this horrible "club" called ICU. The hopelessness in that room was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I knew why God sent me. I was to share the hope we have in Christ and remind Kim to hold strong to that when she feels those waves of emotion rise...which they will...and they did. I do not know how to explain the feeling of watching a friend at death's door. I do not know how to explain the feeling of watching the wife of a friend at death's door. Truly, the experience has changed how I look at the relationships in my own home, with my siblings, other friends. I won't go into detail about what happened each day, as I truly can not recall what happened when. I will share some of the amazing God stories later in my blog as we continue to walk with these friends on the journey God has called them to take.

But one thing I know for sure is that nothing here on earth matters when you are sitting in that room waiting to hear if your husband will make it through the night. Nothing matters when you are waiting to figure out if your man will ever be the same...or will your girls ever have their daddy again. Nothing matters when you ache for the touch of his hand, the smell of his sweaty running clothes, the laugh that echoes the house. Nothing matters when you realize that God may be asking you to lay it all down for Him. The ache is real. The ache is deep.  The ache permeates every cell in your body and your body fights it.

What I know matters at that moment is a faith that holds fast. A faith that remains firmly rooted in scripture. A faith that binds hearts together with the Almighty and bids Him to come reveal Himself to you as you deal with this new ache. A faith that God is not just going to show up but He will do as He promised and He will be found faithful. A faith that no matter how ugly the emotions, God will walk through this with you and send you those who will walk with you. God is truly showing me what it means to be a friend who loves unconditionally. A friend who digs in and gets dirty with emotional junk or whatever is needed. A friend who loves at all times...just like we are asked to be.

As I pray over this situation and see God's hand all over it, I stand amazed at the strength of my friend, Kim. In her, I see God's grace and mercy exhibited in human form. She stood beside her husband's bedside, reading scripture into his ear, talking to him consistently...beckoning him back to the family.She was a rock when she was with him.  He held on to her every word. There were times of tears running down as she read scriptures to him or told stories about the girls. We saw a grimace of either laughter or crying at times. He connected to her on a spiritual level and fought to be back with this family.

Kim has been a role model for me as she walks this journey. She is not done. She is not perfect. She is angry at times. She gets upset at why this had to happen. But she is real. She lays it out before God and gives it all to Him.. She seeks comfort in Him alone. I felt we were living the Bible story of Moses and the Amalekites all over again. (Exodus 17) As long as Moses kept his arms up, they would defeat their enemy. So he kept them up but grew weary. When he was weary, his friends held his arms up to defeat that enemy. Truly, Kim held Derek's arms up when she was with him. She helped him defeat this injury and continues to do so. However, when she is away from  him, it is our turn to hold her arms up to defeat the enemy and keep her fit for the next battle. I am honored to hold her arms up.  

 I pray for her to have the desires of her heart....her sweet husband back home in full hold her, laugh with her, talk to her about life and be the daddy to those girls he adores. I want her to have her best friend at home and I pray God will give her the desires of her heart quicker than we ever dreamed. However, if that is not His Will, we will continue this walk beside our friends no matter where God leads us all.

This song was shared with me by a friend of Kim's. 
Kind of perfect for what we are walking through. 

A Belated Tribute for Father's Day :)

Life around here has been crazy busy so I am so behind in posting on here. However, I figure it is never too late to take a few moments to update this thing and let those I adore know it! :)  I am blessed to have two sweet men in my life to honor on Father's Day, my sweet dad and my precious husband. This year I am just taking some time to honor my dad....the first man I ever loved. Here is a post I wrote about him a few years back. It all still stands true! Love you, Dad!

What is it about walking down memory lane that is so sweet? Maybe it is taking the time to really remember those moments we cherish. Maybe it is the photos we have not seen in years that allow the emotions to flood back in and cause our hearts to swell. I'm not sure, but I do know that I love Wednesdays for this very reason.

Today's walk down memory lane for me has no official photo, yet it is so vivid in my memory. I am the middle child in a family of three children. I am the first girl. My dad was my hero most of my life. He still is a man I admire greatly. I have since learned that my heavenly Father is the only one I should hold up to the standard of true hero, but as a child, my daddy was number one.

Some of my favorite memories as a young girl are of time spent sitting on my dad's lap, playing games with him, listening to him talk like Donald Duck so long it made my sides hurt from laughing and watching him with my mom. Above all else, my favorite memory of my dad as a child, will always be walking or dancing on his feet before bed. There did not need to be music, he would either hum his own or our laughter would be enough. My little sister would be there as well, since we shared a room. We would take turns hopping on his "enormous' feet and going for a swirl. How safe I felt standing on his feet, in his arms, while we twirled or stomped up the stairs together. The joy of that moment is precious to me still to this day.

Fast forward 30 years or more, I still adore my daddy and the relationship he has with my mom. I still love spending time with him playing games. I still fall to pieces laughing hearing him talk like Donald Duck. However, there is no more dancing on his feet as I would seriously cause the man pain! So where do I go for this same feeling I once had as a young girl? I run to my heavenly father. I picture me jumping up on His feet, holding his hand, wrapping my other arm around him tightly and twirling with delight. The safety returns. The joy sweeps in. I pray I never get "too old" to dance on my Abba Daddy's feet nor to remember how that makes me feel. As I walk down memory lane today, I am grateful for the Daddy I was given on earth who took time to show me a glimpse of God's love in the way he loved and tenderly cared for his little girl. This dance is for you, Dad.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin