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Showing posts from November, 2012

Paradox

As I wrote in my last post, the joy of God's gift is overwhelming, often bringing a flood of tears.   During our church service recently this scripture was quoted:

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:35, 38-39.

Anyone who has borne the grief of a loved one's illness or death knows the feeling of "keeping it together" only to have someone put their arms around you in an unguarded moment.  This scripture was God's arm around me, and it brought those oh so ready tears to my eyes.  Agony and comfort intertwined that morning, so that one was almost indistinguishable from the other.  

For everyone who grieve…

Joy

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" (Luke 2:10-11 NASB)

Like the wise men from the east I am searching for the Savior.  Like the shepherds, I want to see with my own eyes the miracle that is Christmas.

I went to Hobby Lobby today and filled my cart with Christmas decorations - new, shiny, joyful.  The search for lights and shiny green and red ornaments was like a frantic pilgrimage to the Christ Child.

When I hear a Christmas carol I cry, tears streaming down my face as I drive home, or work in the kitchen.  The joy that is part and parcel of the Christmas season breaks my heart.   Christmas is the sound of bells and songs, of bonds broken, of hearts and lives restored.

I can see the promise of Christmas in Lacy even as his body is betraying him.  He never ceases to "sing his p…

Why? to What now?

I have read a great deal of Adam Hamilton's book Why? and am finding nuggets of understanding.  This is an honest book that deals with the reality of suffering in everyone's life, but especially in the life of one who puts faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Hamilton recounts examples of faithful Christians who go through a struggle to believe in God when awful things happen to them - death of a child, assaults, divorce - and what conclusions they draw through the struggle.  They feel God's sustaining presence through their anger and disbelief, and are lead through that fire of pain and suffering from the question "Why?" to the question "What now?"

We've been there, and are still there.  We have come from the initial "Why?" to a kind of "What now?" that lead us to plan a walk to benefit HDSA.  The money we raised will benefit others who are walking this road.  We pray for researchers that they will find a cure.  We hope for future …

Thanksgiving 2012

My side of the family got together yesterday.  My brother and sister and their families, Mom, and Kenny and I.  Lacy was not with us.  For the first time in 31 years, he was absent.  When Kenny went to get him, he was simply too tired to come home.

Our meal together was a welcome blessing.  Great food, great times together.

Kenny and I visited Lacy yesterday afternoon.  He lay in bed, resting, as we sat next to him and talked with him.  I think he wants to see his family, but he's just not able to make it to our celebration.  We'll try to get everyone over to see him this weekend.

Today I feel strangely lost.  I am looking forward to seeing my family the rest of the weekend, and know we will have a great time together but a puzzle piece is missing, the picture incomplete.

While we celebrated our time with those we love, our hearts were divided, thinking of Lacy in another place.  Time will tell if this is the way future celebrations will go.   We have to adjust our expecta…

Why? Part 1

Since last week, I have been reading Adam Hamilton's book Why?.  I find that the understanding he came to about God's will resonates with my own conclusions.

"Among the assumptions I once held was that the Bible teaches that if I believe in God and try to be a good person, God will take care of me and bless me and nothing bad will happen to me."

As he continues to write, Hamilton shares that when he really read the Bible, he found that it was a book full of stories of people who held on to their faith not in the absenceof suffering, but stories of people who never let go of their faith in the face of suffering.

Sometimes the awful things that happen alter us forever.  We can't go back to where or what we once were.  We walk with a "limp" the rest of our lives.

I am just as sure that God is faithful and walks with us through the pain.

I will be writing more in the next few days as I read through this book.  It's short, but full of comforting truth.


"You don't know their glory 'till you know their story."

Little glimpses of God's faithfulness sometimes catch me by surprise.  This last Thursday, while attending a conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, I stood waiting for an elevator.  I feared I would be late for my next session, and the elevator was taking forever.

Waiting with me was one of the "invisible people" at a conference.  A smiling African-American gentleman had a cart of drinking glasses that was destined for an upper floor as well.  We had exchanged "hellos" as we waited.
"Are you all teachers?" he asked.  I told him we were.  "Where are you from?"  I replied that I was from Northwest Arkansas.  "You know, a couple years ago, I saw one of my high school teachers at a conference here.  I called her name.  She didn't expect to see me, was kind of surprised to see that I had made a success of myself."  He chuckled.  
It was then that I noticed he had a compression sleeve on one of his arms and glove made of the same mate…

The Worst Thing is NOT the Last Thing

"The worst thing is not the last thing."

This was the quote that stuck with me on Sunday morning.  Adam Hamilton, in his video series "Why" made this statement.  No matter what it is...no matter how bad it is...it is not the last thing.

Our Sunday School class discussed how bad things happen.  Being good, doing good; this kind of hard work doesn't give you immunity to the effects of evil.  We will suffer and have pain.  Sometimes that pain is very hard to bear.

Horrible things happen.  There is no reason, no "why."  Trying to find the "why" is one sure way to lose your way, to lose hope.  

Hope is what we have to hang on to in every circumstance, and it is what I am most grateful for tonight.  The worst thing is NOT the last thing.

"What then are we to say about these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave Him up for all of us, will He not with Him also give us everything else?…

Grateful for a Safe Haven

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Our son lives in a wonderful safe haven made possible through LifeStyles in Fayetteville.  Their dedication to our son - and to the many other adults who have supportive living services through this organization - is appreciated beyond our ability to express.  I have added the link to LifeStyles to my list to the right on this page.

Madeline, the lady who takes care of Lacy, sent a picture yesterday.  She had just shaved Lacy and cut his hair.  He looks happy and content.  

What a blessing she is to our family!  She is dedicated to our son, loves him, and wants the best for him.  We can talk candidly about how to deal with the day to day ups and downs HD brings to Lacy's physical and mental abilities.  
The weekend staff Lacy has are just as caring.  J is easy going, which gives him an advantage when trying to get our boy to cooperate on one thing or another.  D is loving and perhaps a bit indulgent, but we would rather have that than someone who is always complaining or wanting L…

Teach us to number our days.

I am thankful today that God knew Kenny, Lacy, and I before we were even born.

I am thankful that He knows all of the days that we will live.  None of the events that occur around us, none of the experiences we will have are a surprise to Him.

Infirmities and diseases:  we must endure and live with them.  There is no "reason" (i.e. God gave Lacy Huntington's because He knew Lacy could handle it.)   I do know that God gives us grace to live above the challenges we face.

"Teach us to number our days." Psalms 90:12.  God is teaching me to cherish each moment I have with those I love.  I take every opportunity to spend time with those close to me.

Numbering my days....not taking one day for granted.  I am thankful for that today.