Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

It seems like an eternity that you've been gone....but I know for you it probably just seems like a few moments. I have so many things I wish I could tell you. So many things I wish you could see.

I do believe you would be happy with the man I married. I wish you could have known him. He takes good care of me and loves me as a Godly man should love his wife. You have three precious grandsons who inherited some of your genetic features courtesy of the Wilsons. Stubbornness seems to move closer to perfection with each generation. Your great grandchildren should be very interesting.

There are a few things I think about quite often.
What is He like? What was it like to see Jesus face to face?
Are you proud of me? I know. You have better stuff to think about now but, if you were still here, would you be proud of me? How am I measuring up to what you dreamed for me?
Did you know how badly I missed you? When I graduated from college? Oh, how I wanted to take a picture with you.
When I got married, I wanted you there to straighten my veil. I wanted you there so that I could fuss at you for not doing things my every other bride.
I want you here to see my sweet boys. To hug them, feed them candy, and remind me that it all goes by too quickly.
I want your sister to be able to go shopping with you and brag on her grandkids, because they're pretty incredible.
I wish you could see your granddaughter. She's as pretty as her mom, and acts just like her, too.
I want you to call you when I get scared about an upcoming scan or bloodwork. Lets face it, you were a pro at handling those things.
All this is selfish. I know that it's for the best. I have amazing women in my life that support me every step of the way.

I wish you could write in the sky and let me know what you think.

More than 20 years have gone by. Pain doesn't go away, but I have managed to deal. Patsy and Junior take care of Grandmother better than anyone could. Kelly and Emily keep her entertained so she's not too lonely. Fact is, we are all ok. But my heart has a hole that will never be filled. One more moment to talk with you wouldn't be enough. There's too much I want you to know. I want to see you, but also want to stay here, raise my boys, and grow old with this man God gave me. Until that day, I love you, and always will.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My thoughts on the recent ruling probably won't matter to many, but here it is. My constitutional right is now being used. You, just like me, have rights. I urge you to exercise them. I am well aware that by putting my feelings and beliefs on the web make me a target. If you think Christians are not persecuted in this country, you are wrong. It's not as severe as some places in this world, but it DOES take place.
In our small town, there are Christians who attend work every day. I know of one who does a very good job. We'll call this individual Joe USA. Joe is a hard worker. Never expects a handout, works hard for everything he gets. Joe has conservative views and does not vote for a particular party. Instead, Joe chooses the candidate most aligned with the standards God gives us in His word, the Bible. Joe helps others in need. Joe respects his employers. Yet, anytime Joe mentions God or religious beliefs - just in conversation, not beating people over the head with it - he is chastised and made fun of. In meetings, others ridicule Christians and make fun of them. Christians are basically ripped to shreds with the snide, rude, intolerant comments. Yet, these same individuals fail to ever help someone in need. They call others stingy, but refuse to share mere coins with someone who is in true desperate need of assistance. So, if you call me intolerant, I want you to take just ONE moment and tell me that Joe and many like him are not being discriminated against. In your mind, if you are completely honest, you must acknowledge that Joe is being treated unfairly. While, always standing by his beliefs, he is respectful and loves people just as our SAVIOR wants us to love others.
With that said, the Supreme Court has recognized who may receive benefits. I know there's a lot more to it, but for the sake of time and kiddos that will need my attention shortly, we are just gonna' go for the nutshell this time. The ruling does not anger me as much as the people who think they can rewrite what God defined as marriage even before the foundation of the Earth. And yes. I do believe He created it. I do believe He is the only God. I do believe that Jesus put on flesh and bore the ultimate punishment for our sin. Just so you know where I'm coming from. If it offends you, I'm not sorry. I've not been overbearing, I've not harmed you in any way. God decided what marriage is. He defined it. You can say what you want, but that does not make it true. I can stand on a street in the busiest city and declare that whales live in the middle of the Sahara. Does that make it true? Absurd, you say? That's not the same. Well, yes it is. I will not treat others hatefully because of life choices. However, I will NOT allow you to push your way into my home, the lives of my children and try to influence them that this is okay. It is not right. So, as I'm disgusted by the ruling, angered at people thinking they are higher than my God, I'm also frightened.
Yes. Frightened. Not so much for me, but for their soul. I know what God thinks of marriage. I know He values it as a precious institution that He ordained. He is protective of marriage - the way HE defined it. The way HE established it. The way HE created it. I don't believe I can even imagine the feeling these individuals will have when one day, facing The GOD of the universe, they must answer for violating His law, then also for trying to promote themselves to a higher level than Him. My wish for you is to now fall on your face and recognize His holiness, righteousness and saving grace before you must face Him after you life here is finished. This is not the end. We will see Him face to face. He will pass judgment on us. None of us are guaranteed another second on this Earth. We only have this moment. Don't waste it. Seek the face of God. You are not equal to Him. You are not better than Him. You are not beyond His reach.

For us as Christians, I believe He said......
If MY people which are called by MY name,
You know the rest.

Thank you for you incredible mercy and grace. Even though many seem to continually spit in your face and disregard your truth, you pour out compassion and mercy. You love us. You do not love our sin. Thank you for loving me and reaching down to me. You pulled me out of the reach of death and hell. I love you and worship your Holy Name. No one on this Earth can change Your truth and I am grateful that it will never change. Everything else could be removed from existence, but YOUR truth, YOUR holiness, YOUR righteousness, YOUR faithfulness is never changing.
Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dearest Mikayla,

There are a few things I need to share with you so that you understand why I think you are so incredibly amazing. I know for me to tell you that I love you dearly and I adore you may seem just like words. However, I want for you to understand what I really mean when I tell you those things.

To begin with, if I ever had a daughter, I do believe that I would want her to be pretty much like you -- completely you, exactly just as you are right now in this moment in time. You have - and always will - a special place in my heart. There is no banner, no crown, no title that could make you any more special and amazing in my eyes.

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
You are a beautiful young lady, both inside and out. However, I know that in your heart you seek to honor God, because you know that is the one thing that matters most. Stick with it! You are encouraging every one you meet to seek Him. Along with the guidance from two precious Christian parents, you are a shining example of a beautiful young lady dressing and acting respectfully towards others and yourself. You are taking the things they have taught you and coupling it with a desire to honor God. I wish that all young ladies had the spiritual encouragement and desire to please our Creator as you have experienced.

Philippians 1:3 & 6
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Being confident of this very thing, that He that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Our Father has begun a good work in you. I am sure, with every fiber of my being, that He will remain faithful and complete what he has begun. The Almighty Creator fulfills His most perfect plan when He works in the lives of His children. Sometimes, seeing where His plan will take us proves difficult. Especially when we think we know what is best for us or when our heart desires something that is not in His will for our lives. Those desires are not always a sick, horrible, sinful thing -- but if it's not in His plan, it's not what is best for us. I want you to know that no matter what disappointments may come your way, He always has something better in store.
If what you believe would be an incredible experience does not work out, your heart may experience some pain and sorrow. However, He has something even more amazing in store and our desires would not touch the content our heart will feel when He pours out His blessings.
When I think about how God will use you to accomplish work for His kingdom, it is an exciting moment. Just as He had a particular plan for Esther, Ruth, and Mary, He has an intricate plan for your life.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I'm sure you are aware that this is a directive given by our Savior to His disciples. Not many people can really handle this. Honestly, I don't do an adequate job with this command. It's not because I don't want to....just have a hard time doing it well. Many of us tend to define our role in this command rather than letting God define our role. Keep trusting Him. He will guide you. It may be the far corners of the Earth, but it could just be a unique "out of the box" kind of situation that He places you in. It's all in His time, and He will help you spread the sweet gospel message. When others around you back down, when others around you fail to proclaim His message of salvation, continue what you are doing now. Keep sharing the sweet news of our loving God and His amazing grace.

Zechariah 9:16
The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.
My sister brought my attention to this verse, and it has become one of my favorites. I can't help but think of you.
Jewels. Rare. Precious. Valuable.
These words all describe you. You are like a jewel. Your family treats you as a jewel. They care for you, protect you, help polish you so you may shine. You are a rare young woman. There are not many like you. Your value can not be measured. A perfect God became man and dwelt here on this planet. He lived wth sinners, but never sinned. Yet, you are so precious to Him, that He died a cruel death on a horrible, wretched cross. Those who love you, truly love you with a genuine love from God, will treat you in a manner that shows they recognize how valuable you are.
A crown is worn by royalty. Only the most perfect, beautiful stones are chosen to place on a crown. Those jewels must be perfect and shine brightly. Continue deepening your relationship with your Savior. You will continue to become even more beautiful and shine brightly for Him.
A crown is also worn on the head, which makes it more special. Our head is considered the part of the body that controls everything. We also usually don't wear valuable things on the bottom of our feet. We wear durable, hard, non-valued materials on the bottoms of our shoes. I think you know why we do that. However, a crown is worn on the head. It is there for all to see. The crown holds the precious, valuable jewels. Think of yourself as the beautiful, precious jewel that adorns the crown worn by our precious Savior. He delights in you and wants others to see the value and worth He sees in you.

As I watch you grow and mature, you are becoming a woman after God's heart. Know that you are dearly loved. You are adored. You are precious and have great value. With amazing gifts and a genuine love for others, you enrich the lives of people every day. I pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to you in ways you never imagined possible. May His grace pour down onto your life.

Randall & Kristi,
You have influenced my life in ways I will never be able to put into words. I count it an honor to know your family. I often tell people that when I "grow up" I want to be parents like you guys. With three beautiful children who love God, you exhibit what it is to parent with grace and love. May God continue to bless you and may He guide you down a path full of His grace and blessings.

With gratitude for all you do and stand for,