- Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
My Dad just loves this song. He always sings it when we play it for him. He struggles to get it out but he sings. I miss his singing voice, “how sweet the sound”.
- ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
How a year can change your life. My dad last year started having problems with his brain. We found that he had a viral tumor on his brain and then he lost his short-term memory. Our fears were just beginning at that time. Fear he would walk out the house and not know where he was. Fear the tumor would become bigger. Fear that we could lose him. But through God’s grace we knew that all in his time.
- Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The past year has brought many dangers and toils for my dad. My dad has endured many doctor visits to U of M and here in Midland. But nothing was ever a definite answer as what was truly causing his short-term memory lost. The tumor had disappear but he still had short-term memory issues. But now as we have come to expect that he has been suffering from mini strokes all along. Jan.28 he had his first major stroke that took his ability to swallow and move the left side of his body. Somewhere in the past week or so he suffered another major stroke the involved the front lobe of his brain and it was a big one. He stills responds to us but is sleeping most of the time. But it is grace that lets us know that God has him in his hands. And by God’s grace he will be with him until he goes home. Hospice is now helping him to be comfortable.
- The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
- Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The last few months Dad has become very agitated and to calm him we play hymns or read the Bible to him. ”His word my hope secures.” This has calmed him some and made him peaceful. He knows what God has promised him and many times he has told us he is ready to go. We often hear him talking to God and asking him to take him home. We know he is ready to go to heaven. “As long as life endures.” “a life of joy and peace.”
- The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
My Dad has always been a Christian. As a child, we went to church every Sunday. He even sent the last three children to a Christian High School in Saginaw, Michigan Lutheran Seminary in hopes that one of us would become a pastor or teacher (that didn’t happen by the way). His love for all his children was to make sure all of us would be in heaven together someday. I have no doubt that my sister Lillian is waiting for him to give him a great big hug.
- When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.*
Well it feels like it has been 10 thousand years instead of just a year that my Dad has been dealing with all of this. We continue to rely on God for our support and strength. We will continue to sing his praise through this storm. Letting God’s light shine on us while we struggle thru this trial. We cannot thank all of the people enough that are standing by us and continue to pray for my Dad. Your love and prayers are such a blessing to all of us. Thank you!
*Song written by John Newton.
One of favorite versions of Amazing Grace is by King and Country. Use the link to check it out.
It is another new year. 2017 oh what will you bring? I am looking forward to this year. Looking forward to all the possibilities that it holds. I have adjusted my sails for this year and the goals that I have. I want to make this year more of appreciation than that of goals. As I get older I have learned to celebrate to the small things as much as the big things in life. I have learned to look at life differently.
“Only the small things in life are important.” By Joseph Roth.
“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” Booker T Washington
Don’t get me wrong I still have goals because if you don’t you stand still. They are just not as important to me as noticing the small things in life. I decided to make a list of my goals and the small things so that I can look at both throughout the year and keep myself in check. I want to make sure that I keep the small things in focus.
Here are the goals for 2017.
- Be debt free except for house and cars.
- Lose weight-it truly doesn’t matter how much long as I am making progress
- Go somewhere new.
- Try new foods.
- Draw more
Here are the small things I will try to notice.
- Breathe in fresh air
- Smell the rain
- Feel the sunshine on my face
- Make someone smile
- Laugh more
- Enjoy the silence
- Spoil someone else
- Find something good in every day
- Enjoy exercise
- Focus on the people in my life
- Be present more, less phone, Facebook, etc.
- Tell others how important they are
- Compliment others
- Plant a garden and enjoy the process
I ask you as we have entered the new year… what will your focus be on? What adventures are you going to do? What goals do you have?
I leave you with this quote and wish you a Happy and Joyful New Year.
“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you a happy. In the future think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” Earl Nightingale.
As I sit in the hospital watching my dad as the nurses and doctors come and go I wonder what he is thinking. My dad has a tumor on his brain that is causing seizures and short term memory loss. I think he has to know something is wrong but his memory won’t let him remember what that is. I thank God for that. It breaks my heart to see such a vibrant man a few months ago be so lost.
My dad served in the Navy and supported seven kids through some tough times.
He is a great man of faith in God. He knows that God is watching over him. My mom told me yesterday that he is not afraid of dying and that he knows where he is going. What a great reminder of where our faith should be. That we should not be afraid of death or any other worldly enemy or disease.
I thank God for all the lessons that my Dad has taught me. Even today as I watch him I see lessons. You smile and laugh even in the worst of times.
One thing for sure he is surrounded by family.
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So it is your second birthday in heaven. I think of you often and wonder if God lets you have a peek into our lives. I hope you see us happy and living the best we can without you. I hope you see the laughs and smiles on Hayley and Evan’s faces. You see that is where I see you the most in Evan’s crazy ideas and Hayley’s sweet smile. I hope you see Jen laughing and enjoying being a wonderful mom just like you. She is such a great mom and you can see it in the kids. You would be so proud of her.
Jen and Hayley
Jen and Evan
I hope you see how much Buzz still loves and honors you. I hope you see that you are missed dearly and that we are missing a piece of our heart. I try to smile each time I think of you but a tear still comes to my eye. It’s a sign of I miss you, not one of goodbye because sometime we will be together again. I hope you are listening all those times I talk to you. It makes me feel better knowing you are listening.
I stopped by to see you today and brought you some beautiful roses.
As I visited you I found myself wondering what you were doing in heaven today. Were you baking, were you reading and enjoying the relaxing sunny day or were you watching over us as we were about to celebrate your birthday? I just wanted to reach out to you and give you a hug and let you know how much you are loved and missed.
Today we celebrated your birthday. Buzz got everyone together for a fish fry and he grilled roast too. We all brought a dish to pass. You would have loved having us all together. All your grandbabies and neices and nephews were there laughing and smiling and having a great time. I still try to picture you laughing and talking to everyone. Making everyone feel welcome and loved. You were always the life of the party. Happy Birthday Lillian. We all love and miss you so much.
I wrote Walking in the Dark because I have been dealing with grief since last summer. Most of you know that I lost my sister almost a year ago. It has been the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with. Grief is something I never understood until July 19th of 2013. I never realized what others who have lost a loved one were going through. As I struggle with my loss I wonder if others are where I am at in my journey through grief. I wondered if others felt like they were walking in the dark. The dark to me represents my grief but it could be depression or other hurts as well. The glimmers of lights are my friends who help me everyday see that it will get better even though I am walking in the dark I have them. When I was feeling all alone a friend came along and said I am here for you. The light hole is my husband. He will never leave me and he is not trying to get me out. He knows I have to walk through the dark and get out of the dark on my own. I know that I will not feel whole again because my sister was part of my heart. That part of my heart left me when she left. My hope is that one day I will walk in the light. Everyday I try to see the light that my husband and friends are showing me. I am posting this not to be all gloomy but it is a reminder to myself that everyday is a new day, a new day to try.
Walking in the Dark
I have been walking in the dark for almost a year now. It seems to surround me everywhere I go. I have seen glimmers of light but not enough to get me out of the dark.
I feel my way to get from one place to another but never quite know if I am where I should be. My emotions are controlled by the dark. They bounce from thinking I am happy to crying uncontrollably. I become angry with the dark and it seems to laugh at me. I feel heavy from the dark it seems to weigh me down. My life in the dark is very predictable. I go day by day through the motions. I have begun to think I will never get out, that this is my life now in the dark.
I have seen glimmers of light. Those glimmers try to pull me out. Some are stronger than others and at those times I feel like I am almost out and then I get sucked back in. Once back in another one comes trying and trying to pull me out but it doesn’t work. Some are not even glimmers they are small light holes that never leave me. That light hole stays by my side to make sure I don’t lose my hope to get out. It stays to remind me that there is light. I am hoping that the glimmers never stop coming in to try to save me. I hope the glimmers realize I need them to keep reminding me that there is light and with the glimmer’s help I can reach the light myself.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I believe that is one of those difficult things to do. So many times we find ourselves in a decision of who we are and who everyone wants us to be. As I grow older I find myself really not caring what everyone else wants me to be and care more of who God and I want myself to be. The younger version of myself not so much. I remember always worrying about what everyone thought of me. Social functions were a killer. I never felt comfortable with myself always wondering if I was good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Why do girls do that to themselves? I am sure I am not the only one. High School was horrible for me. Never felt like I fit in. I had friends but always seem like I was looking from the outside in. After High School I felt more confident but still always had that social awkwardness. Dating was worst. Settled for less because I never felt like I deserved more than that. That cycle continue until my thirties. So many questions would flood my mind. Am I accepted? Do I look good enough for this crowd? Is my hair ok? Do I laugh to loud? Am I skinny enough?
When every doubt and insecurity floods your mind it is easy for others to convince you to be someone you’re not. They can change who you are just so you fit in or be part of the in crowd. I think we should be taught from an early age to look in a mirror and say the line from “The Help” movie. ” You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” And maybe add you are beautiful, brave and so courageous. You are God’s child you can do anything with him. Can you imagine if you said those words everyday to yourself. How can you not be confident after saying those words? So I leave you with this. Be yourself no matter what because you are kind, smart, important, beautiful, brave, so courageous and a child of God.