Joyful Joyce and Amazing God

This past week has been such a roller coaster week of emotions, duties, responsibilities on so many levels. I have wanted to write every day, but no time. 

First, so thankful for the healing words of the Lord from my friend Calvin who assures me that the Lord has justified me and loves me and that I should follow His precepts which I have tried to do before and especially this week going forward. Sometimes, I realize I get a little zealous in my conversation from the every day to world events-last week was a biggie if you were watching Obama and Israel-to my own conversations and revelations from my Lord God and also from fellow bloggers. We don’t meet up ahead of time and all same we are going to blog on the same subject and have the same opinion but it happens over and over. And because we all are Christ followers led by the Spirit,  I believe the Lord is speaking through all of us to the world, so as I said last week, Take Heed!  All of us should be examining our lives to see if we can offer ourselves as living sacrifices to our Lord. And even as I say that, I am wondering if you know what I mean or what the Word means as it is written?  Of course everyone knows what living is, but the dictionary defines sacrifice as the offering of something precious to  deity; loss,deprivation.  Ok , so I am offering my Precious self to my Lord-He says I am precious to Him. and then secondly, the loss and deprivation part: well, that’s exactly what nobody wants to do anymore. We want what we want, when we want it, how we want it; no doing without it, or waiting on it. No having it and losing it.  All of this is one of His precepts for me, besides the trust factor! And guess what this is a hard one too! I am used to going and getting just what I want, when I want it. Now I am in a position where I can not do that in regards to physical possessions. But I have found that even in regards to those that I can have, I am really careful and selective now. I ask myself, what do I really need? Not just want? And I have found that as I am faithful to Him in the small things, He is so faithful to me in the BIG things. Just this week, one more time I was amazed at the overwhelming care of people for my needs that I truly had no expectation of except advice, not tangible help–but even the way that it was given, with such love and care and assurance, it alone brings you to your knees. Thank you Father!!

Second roller coaster was finding out that the gamma globulin that I get monthly for my immunity disorder does have a very rare side effect. Guess what it is? yep, you got it! Clots! And here, supposedly,  I have had  2 in the first year of taking it!  Of course, now the doctor can not raise my dosage either as he was going to do because I have continued to catch the bacterial infections, virus’, and  mold infections that come with this immunity. so what to do? After talking and prayer, we are going to ask to be taken off of the drug.  We will consult with both the MS neurologist and the immunologist who both have said this side effect is so rare ,  but then neither of them know me very well yet, do they? I was also supposed start testing in April for food and drug allergies because for months now I have been waking up with severe itching and hives. It started off that I could just take a couple of Benadryl tablets and go back to sleep but now I usually awaken 2 or 3 hours later and have to take more. Not good. Last night, I tried an experiment. I didn’t take anything except my Coumadin. “that’s the blood thinner I ‘ve been on since last July when I had that embolism–and yes I’ve been itching at least that long.” And sure enough, here it came, very strongly last night. so here is another one to talk to the doc about. Finding out I have sticky blood wasn’t the greatest thing either, but it certainly explained a lot of things-the multiple miscarriages and the tendancy to  make clots. Lots of up and down emotional moments in the decisions, in the new knowledge, in the gratefulness for the new knowledge.

And then there was Joyful Joyce!  Joyce Zahner was the 85 year old mom of my half/way adopted sister Julie. Julie is the same age as the sister who lives in Orlando and has done so much for me and with me. She and Julie were inseparable from the moment they met and their friendship has stood the test of time. And to me, Julie was a little sister and then a friend and babysitter for my two children when they were little before I married my husband. So the Zahners have been in my life, one way or another since I was 16. In the years past when we were visiting in Atlanta, we were often invited out to Julie’s house where she lives with her 2 children and great husband and very often Joyce would be there too. Over the years, Joyce began the same decline that my mother did. She had dementia. It was hard for her as she had been a very smart professional woman. But Joyce never dwelt on circumstances, she drew from within that joy that only comes from the Lord and had peace as she drifted more and more into another realm. She always had a smile on her face. She always was telling you she loved you and you knew that she meant it. And then on her 85th birthday, not long ago, God did a wonderful thing-a little extra birthday present-He gave her a day of clarity. How wonderful that was! And most of it captured on video to be visited and revisited time and time again. At the end of it all, Joyce let her family know that she knew she was going home to her Savior soon.She was tired and so she was ready. She was very careful to give her last instructions about her grandchildren to her daughter whom she loved so much-holding her face between her hands, looking her in the eye and speaking! How very, very precious is that? How amazing is our God to know that we still need our moms to tell us stuff, important stuff? And we all know that after months and years of decline with less and less moments of clarity–to be given a DAY!!  Our God is such a Loving FATHER and He Knows Just What We Need.

On Saturday, March 16th at 11:45 am, Joyful Joyce went home. This past Thursday and Friday there were joyous celebrations of her life at two churches that we attended. I am very sure that Joyce was watching and laughing and smiling as we all talked of our memories of Joyce. And I am sure too that she would have loved the message of hope and salvation given by the pastors and by the family and friends through the scriptures read and the testimonies given that faith and hope and love were so important to Joyce. Of course, Joyce was warmly welcomed by so many friends in heaven, my parents among them. I am sure they are all up there telling there stories about all of us. 

The glory in all of this to me is that God was so kind to me to let me experience growing up in a family that taught me faith-whether I embraced it or not immediately-I KNEW what was true. He has surrounded me throughout my life with family and friends who love me and whom I love dearly. And now he has placed me back home to be in the middle of them. I say perfect timing, Lord! Thank you!

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know that plans I have for you , declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.

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Thanksgiving Week!!

We have arrived back home from a week in Atlanta. We so enjoyed seeing everyone and know that this is the right move for us as I announced in my last post. A Pre Thankful is that I have had no reoccurance of the crazy neurological happenings, but we did think that my extremely high coumadine count could have made a little bleed happen? Who knows. But I seem to be fine now. We left a day early because my husband had a bad cold and we knew that we needed to be home should he need a doctor. So as of this writing, my first Thankful is that we got home safely. And he is tucked up in bed with Vick’s and cough syrup.

My second Thankful is that I was able to make a lovely lady a job offer which she accepted and that made my client happy. This will make my bank account happy in January! Actually I have been very Thankful for this client this year. As they have grown, I have enjoyed the interaction with candidates and clients alike. I do so love my job and my third Thankful is that I will be able to do it in Atlanta, just as I have done in Tampa for 29 years. Of course, I will not be leaving MRI or my office-simply expanding their borders a bit. And fishing in a bigger pond!

My fourth Thankful was the extremely loving and warm response I got from my children -both grown as you might remember with their own lives- and my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband. In fact, I couldn’t ask for a better response from anyone. My granddaughters were squealing! That was exciting! I know we will be seeing a lot more of them. And I am absolutely thrilled.

My fifth Thankful was really that my girls had turned out so very well! I was so proud of all they put together in the feast that we had on Thanksgiving Day. There were appetizers, then soup, wonderful homemade mushroom soup. And then more food than you could really put on your plate! For the first time in a long time, I truly ate too much and was uncomfortable for quite awhile. I didn’t eat anything the rest of the day and we had started the lunch at 2pm. As I looked at everything spreadout and  the 3 tables set (16 adults) I had a moment when I realized how my mom must have felt when she passed the torch to me. It was bittersweet. I still miss them so much…4 years now. I thought how proud she would be if she were here today.

My sixth Thankful was that as a family, we all know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Only the very small children have not come to know Him yet. But they do know of Him. Even my 8 year old granddaughter knows how the Lord answers prayers. So I am sure that by now somebody is saying somewhere, come on Cindy, get on with it! So with my seventh Thankful is as of right now I am able to write freely of my love for Jesus Christ. The fact that I am a follower of His, has not gotten me arrested, shut down, shut up, or killed like in so many other countries around the world. I do not take this privilege lightly nor do I expect that we will always have this freedom. The day is coming when you are going to have to make a choice. A choice for Jesus or a choice for the government and the way it plans and wants to do things. You may not see it as clearly as that choice, because too often truth about evil is camouflaged. You’ve heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? so here is the same. Be careful of your choices. Jesus says that many will be surprised at judgement, but He will say depart from Me, I never knew you.  This past week as I would monitor email as best I could on my phone or tablet, I saw again Prophecy being fulfilled. Now truly Israel is surrounded by her enemies with Egypt now having a dictatorship instead of a democracy as the people were promised.

And so my eighth Thankful is that I have read the last chapter of the book. I know who wins! And I am already on the winning team for eternity! I know that when one really stops to think about eternity and what that is, what it was before time was started with us. I don’t think that really means very much to the Father. He said that He created us to have fellowship with Him. A relationship with Him. Naturally as He is Holy God, He would want a special, holy, Godly, relationship with us-He didn’t just put us here to watch us struggle while He sits on His throne and laughs about it! No, I would imagine, that when I cry, He cries. That when I hurt, He hurts. That was the point of sending Jesus to become God/Man so that God could know what it meant to be Man and God too. He doesn’t make a mistake in anything He does. And if anyone deserves to say that He does make mistakes, I would be one of them, but I am not. My Abba Father, has a plan for my life to prosper it and to keep me from harm. Oh I could write a lot about my eighth Thankful! But suffice it to know that in spite of all that is going on in my life right now, it is well, it is very well with my soul.

THE LORD IS WORKING ON MY TRUST FACTOR

And now it has been a  week again! This time, except for a couple of Doctor appointments, I was in all week, but once again dealing with a bacterial infection. and not much   voice either, but God has beenvery plain spoken with me and I have read the most wonderful  scriptures and devotionals t hat were directed right to me in terms of trusting and of course faith.

I have not been given permission to share all of this yet. but I will share what  I can.

the last 2 -3 weeks have been very difficult physically, regardless of being on antibiotics. I have still had C Diff which is not any fun to have  even if you are on meds. and it was still August, my worst asthma month-it has felt like I have had it all month. Now it  is September and I am starting it off the same way!  And not only me, but I have watched as my family has been attacked. My sister’s husband started his chemo this week. Part of  the “cocktail” is Rituxin. He was on it 20 min, when he started reacting.;He had hives, then the nausea , then a small seizure–all of  this totally freaked both my sister and my brother in law out.And did I mention her youngest son had been out with a virus for most of the week, and her car engine blew something up to the tune  $900$ She called me while I was on the phone with my new BSF Bible teacher–so we immediately prayed.  Then my daughter called. She was on the way to the hospital with my 7  yr old granddaughter. She had a pretty bad  case of bacterial pnuemonia!! I reassured my daughter as much as I could, reminding her that she had also had pneumonia twice one winter and her sister once!! That medically things were so much better now and that I was sure that our girl was going to be fine.I would be praying and so would all my great friends.  (of course I was right. the doc thought 4 days. she was only in for 2)

Suddenly my eyes were opened and I could see that my family is being attached even more than usual==I immediately got on my face before the Lord. I asked Him for  protection because I was going to have to confront this  devil -, I am even having to type this a third time-my words keep disappearing on me!  I remind you Satan who won? I did! Because of Jesus!! Go Back to Hell and Leave ME and MY FAMILY alone in the name of Christ Jesus the Son of the Living God!

So let’s go back to last Sunday night and my first scripture. I will type what I can, but there is a lot. I may have to let you look up too.  or I am send you to a particular blog .  Numbers 23: 19-20  God is not a man,  that he should lie, nor a son of man, t hat he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless;  he has blessed it, and I cannot change it

Is that not just the most beautiful 2 verses? And given to me 2 minutes after I asked for confirmation!  The Lord really wanted me to know, didn’t he?  And then the next day He sent me to Avie’s Place a blog I follow-what a wonderful teacher of the Word she is! Today is was Psalm 119:1658 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make you stumble.  I wait for your salvation, O Lord, and I follow your commands.  I  obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you.  This post was about peace, the peace you get when you trust absolutely. and then I think this was next although I wondered why it wasn’t 2nd.  It is 1st Peter 5:8 -9   Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil  prowls around likes a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  Now you see why I needed this verse reminder a little earlier?    

Then we went to Ecclesiastes written by the way by Solomon -son of David, a man after God’s own heart When I read David’s story or even Solomon’s story or anyone’s story for that matter, I know once again that God can forgive anyone, anything, anytime, anywhere–JUST BECAUSE HE LOVES US.  But we do have to be obedient…as Solomon discovered late in life as he also finally found the purpose in life. He had looked for it everywhere,  in everything, But of course our purpose is only fulfilled in our Lord–when He fills up that hole in our hearts  we all come with  —and that hole is only filled by the Holy Spirit of God Himself, then, can you know your purpose. We will be talking about that in the future.”

So my week has been all about the Lord talking trust me, Trust me TRUST ME. The first night that He spoke to me, MY  Lord God said “Cindy, I love you, I love you, I love you, I  love you. ..but you don’t trust me.”…his first words almost and when I said,” no,I do trust you,” He again replied,”” no, you don’t trust me, but you will.”  I have come to find out that Trusting the Lord  with all my heart is the most important  thing to Him NEXT to  Honoring and Loving Him and Putting Him first in all Things.-which is the first and greatest commandment. And I will tell you that it is easier to follow than the learning to trust so completely. How very, very hard it is.But  it is what we are called to do and when the Lord singles you out for something and  He consistently confirms it,  You know you have to do it, even if it scares you, and it doesn’t seem the right thing to do. But Obviously I will know soon if I must do this thing.   and if I must then I will be calling  on you to pray for me like never before. I feel like the t he guy in the Raiders of the Lost Ark or the sequel when t hey   were looking for Jesus’ chalice from the last supper.  He had to take a step out on faith that there was a bridge when there was no evidence of a bridge–but of course as soon as he put his foot out there-it was there for  him. I am hoping for that for me. And I should be able to explain further later this week.

 

             

Asthma Again! But He Answers So Many Prayers Today!

Guess what happens when you get just a little big for your pants? at least that’s what my Daddy used to say to me, when I was getting a little smart mouth on me. I went back and read what I wrote last night all of which I certainly meant. But I must have been getting a little too smart mouthed for the Lord, because at 3 am I woke up coughing and wheezing like never before. I don’t wheeze. Everybody knows that. But Today August the 7th, 2012 I wheezed for hours! We tried everything but when nothing worked, we just went to the ER.  I didn’t want to get so sick that I would have to stay again. I just wanted my meds and to go home. Of course I got the doc who doesn’t understand about cough variant asthma again. He was so happy I was wheezing-that he could understand and diagnose! So I got my meds (IV Solumedrol-miracle drug) and also a breathing treatment of their special stuff I don’t have at home and after they had stuck  me a half a dozen times we were able to leave!

I am absolutely dependent upon my God for my very breath and that very breath that allows me to talk and do my work. I acknowledge that in all my words and deeds. I can do nothing without Him, but what I can do WITH  Him is amazing and wonderful to me to be used as I am. Truly tonight I am doubly blessed by what my sharing of His  Word and His Ministry did for others, because they shared it back with me. How wonderful is that!!!

The first story is from one of my candidates, an attorney  who is a believer and because of our shared faith, it has been easy to become friends. When we were first talking about the particular position, she had already had a first interview and really liked the person, already liked everything she had read and heard about the firm; but she asked me-Cindy ..”How will I know that this is the right opportunity for me?”  I told that’s easy. You turn to Isaiah 30:21 and read where  it says that God will whisper in your ear the way in which you are to go. She liked that apparently, looked it up and claimed that promise for herself.  Today she reminded me and said...”Remember when you told me???” 

Yes, I remember. Turns out she’s had this horrendous case for 4 years. Everyone including the senior partners of her firm wanted her to settle -for a $1million-but something in her just said this isn’t right. So she prayed about it and the job possibility as well and then laid down to go to sleep.  Then clear as a bell, a voice said, Don’t settle, you’ll win the case. She said,“Cindy I knew that was God’s voice telling me what to do just like you and the scripture said He would. But if you hadn’t told me that I would have thought it was my imagination and I might have settled. In the meantime, because we are preparing for court, all of the right, needed pieces are dropping in from heaven and we are going to win our case.” Of course I am very happy that she is going to win that case, but I was happier and so blessed by the fact that she would take what the Lord had said through me and do it and of course the Lord  would act-He does not lie- but my thrill was that she brought it back to me to tell me. Oh that was incredible how blessed I felt!

The second story started a couple of weeks ago. I might have mentioned in a posting that I had met someone from London who had introduced me to an attorney in Washington, DC.  This young woman and I are going to be fast friends if we ever get the chance to have a full conversation. Our first one was 15 min-but we did get a lot crammed in there. For starters the most important thing-the way that I could help her right now.  You see, she lost her dad just about 5 weeks ago now. At 3 weeks she was just like I was when I lost my dad-a mess. Even thought you know absolutely where your father is and you wouldn’t want to make him come back for any reason, you still miss him so much. Here it is 3 years later and I still miss him the same. But at least I don’t hurt like I did when I was first grieving-I couldn’t really think straight even. I was such a mess that my dear BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)  friends said you have to go to GriefShare. What is GriefShare? I had never heard of it, but dutifully I went online and found a group that met at a place and time convenient for me and I went.  Of course I went to be comforted.  I needed comfort.  What I found was hurting people who in many instances had no hope at all.  I went to all the meetings and thought why don’t we (our church) have a GriefShare Ministry? I should learn not to think thoughts like that! Because of course I wound up as a GriefShare leader for 2 1/2 years until God took me away from it because of my immunity issue.

So back to my friend. We talked about her grief and she really was barely hanging on. Oh, how I understood!  So of course I told her about GriefShare and what it had meant to me. I asked her if she were near a computer and she was. I told her to type in GriefShare.org and then her zip code and it would bring up any and all meetings close to where she lived or worked depending on what she needed to be close to. She was so surprised to find a good many. I urged her to call and make arrangement to attend. check in.  And here is my blessing: I called her tonight just to check in with her,  had to leave a message, she called me backShe was at her first GriefShare meeting and was calling me back during their break! She sounded quite happy and said she’d call me tomorrow and then she thanked me again for telling her about GriefShare.

I would love to take credit for being so good at listening and anticipating needs, but I ‘m not. Any Good Thing In Me Is God and He is the one who knows all things, knows all needs. I was once again simply the conduit that He used to do His work.  I am so privileged to be that person.

I do thank each one of you who prays for me. I can’t begin to tell you what that means to me.  Your comments, encouragement, and examples sometimes have kept me going when I just wanted to stop for a while-when I just need a little break. I am going to ask you to pray for something specific for me and my sisters this time. Women of Faith has their annual conference in Orlando in October 12-13. My Orlando sister and I have always gone to the conferences for years! We love them. This year, we’ve invited our other sisters. The youngest one has a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old and of course that means leaving them with Dad.  On a Thurs and Fri night no less.For her to come she needs his cooperation and really his desire for her to come be with us. My Philly sister I am asking tomorrow. I ask that she would want to come to this conference and that it and we would be important to her to come as she is important to us to ask to come. I know my God is big enough to handle these requests, but there’s power in numbers and I happen to know I need the power for these requests to be answered positively.

So please all of you pray I believe it could be life changing for all of us. Thank you and I love you all with the love of the Lord God.

“I Talk About God Too Much” Deuteronomy 11:18-19

My 2 oldest granddaughters came to visit us last weekend.  Saturday afternoon I took the youngest one with me (7) and the oldest (9) stayed with her granddaddy. She likes helping in the kitchen and they were cutting up vegetables. Of course the Justice  store for girls was right next to my store and is the kids favorite store, so we just had to go in there , Mimi!! I was told! Lucky for me, there was a huge sale going on and also lucky for me I had learned to check  through my phone to see if there were any online coupons! There were! I scored 40% off of the total purchase which was already 40% off! Yes, I have to be cheap. I have to be a good steward this time around.  This coming week is the older one’s 10th birthday and for the first time in a long time, I was able to take her to the store and let her pick out what she wanted and what fit. The girls although close in age, are not at all the same when it comes to taste in clothes. Nor do they fit them or wear them the same!

We were on our way home when the young one says “Mimi, you talk about God too much” then she added that her sister thought so too. I asked her why she thought that. She said we just weren’t talking about regular things–I asked what regular things-so she thought about that a minute because it’s school, ballet, playdates,  I need this or that! She laughed and said yes. and said, I guess we wouldn’t talking about stuff like me and my parents talk about everyday;  and of course, I agreed with her. Then she turned the tables on me, and asked me about who made the rainbow.  By then  we had arrived home, as we got out of the car, I asked her to look at the front yard and then up in the sky and tell me all that she saw.  Of course she saw all of God’s  creation. Then I said  to her to come on  in the house, we’d get her sister and the Big Bible with pictures and talk over why I love to talk about God so much.

That was exactly what we did. First I explained that although they hadn’t known that I had been very, very sick in the last 2 years, I was.  And that just the day before they came, I had gotten out of the hospital again and yes, it was serious but God wasn’t ready for me to come to heaven yet…Like my parents …they remembered their deaths over 3 yrs ago.  So first of all I am thankful to God that I am able to be here  with you. But the most important reason that I talk about Jesus is because I love Him so much for His sacrifice for me–then we had to talk about what a sacrifice was. They got that. Then we opened the Bible to answer the question about the rainbow. So I read the whole story and of course there were a million questions, but then there are lots of  other pictures in that Bible and they wanted the story on each one of them.. When we finished, I asked now do you understand why I talk about God or Jesus so much? Yes, now they understood .  They would understand by some of my questions of them too.

The Bible has a lot to say about teaching our children. I know we can not cram it down their throats like little birds, but sometimes I wish it were so. It would certainly save a lot of heartache if one really learned the important lessons when they are young. This is the scripture that reminds how often I am to speak of the Lord to my children and their children.  Deuteronomy 11:18-19  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and mind;  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the  road, when you lie down and when you get up.    All the  time it seems I am  to be talking about my LORD GOD  to my children and their children. Jesus made that command even greater by opening up the world as brother and sister in Christ are united, then we must teach  those children too.

Todays’ News-Aurora Colorado Mass Shooting

In Isaiah 24-most of the chapter is about how the Lord God is going to devaste the earth-this will happen in those last 7 years before Jesus comes back to triumphantly defeat Satan at Armageddon.  Already we are seeing the beginnings of this as our world’s face is ruined and people scattered due to “natural weather events” which are more violent, more often, in evey place in the world than ever in history.

Now we have mass killings starting-sometimes for stated reasons- like in the name of Allah, or “we hate everybody–but in Colorado, just a guy who went into a theatre armed and ready to kill and once done, just giving up to the police-no explanation, no brave words. I guess he didn’t like the movie! Of course this all plays into our Attorney General’s hands and his “we have no right to have guns policy” and his determination to get rid of what we Americans have always considered our inalieable right to bear arms. He will say if we had a no guns policy this would not have happened. I say if you are the criminal element, you can always put your hand on a gun. It will be the average citizen who will be hurt in this.

Still, the reason for my writing this morning is not my particular soap box, but to call you to pray for these families who have been suddenly hit by death or were one of the more that 40 wounded.  Pray this :You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord , the Lord is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26: 3-4

Remeber, the countdown has started in heaven. Things are only going to get worse here. Don’t delay your witness to your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors. What will it matter what they think when very soon they are facing eternity without a safety net? The ONE you could have told them about-if you believed enough, cared enough, loved enough-because this is what it comes down to. Satan will get them otherwise.

Oh how I love you all with the love God has put into my heart! How I understand so much better Paul’s writings now and his willingness to be poured out for those so that they too could know his Savior. As I told a Doctor this week, after you’ve had the Lord in your corner in the ER, how could you not tell everyone you meet of HIM and His love for them-and His Plan for their Salvation?

A Tribute to My Dad re-written almost 4 years later

I am Cynthia, soon nicknamed Cindy, the first born of the Hungerford clan.  I was the first girl in several generations in the family and so a big surprise for everyone.   My dad cared for me in those first months of my life as he was finishing his PHD and my mom was working as a designer in Knoxville.  I’ve carefully read my baby book and believe that for the first time in his life my Dad experienced unconditional love with me. He wouldn’t have characterized it as such, because he didn’t know what it was nor had he experienced it aside from my mother’s love. But as I grew up and until he went to be with Jesus, Daddy and I had an understanding and a special relationship. 

I believed everything he said and tried — until my teens anyway — to do everything he wanted me to. In first grade, I told my teacher that my dad said the moon was made of green cheese. She said absolutely not! But I argued with her and got sent to the principal’s office. I explained that my dad said it—so it was true! Poor Daddy, he had to go down to the principal’s office and explain and apologize!

When Dad died, I had all these flashbacks of him and me. At six, my first Christmas I remember the handmade doll furniture for my doll. My first bike and teaching me to ride without training wheels. A Halloween parade where he made me the most a awesome tail that curled and pitchfork for my devil costume—this was before we knew any better!

When I broke my arm playing Tarzan and Jane and he ran all the red lights to get me to the hospital. The weekend trips around Texas, to San Jacinto Memorial, to New Braunsfels where I rode my first horse.

Of course in my teens things changed a lot! I wanted to be a part of the crowd. Dad didn’t want me out there at all. I seemed to get grounded all the time. When I was 15, I was grounded and had to ask him to please let me go with my boyfriend to his prom-he relented and let me go. But I had to be home by 1am and couldn’t go to the beach with everybody or have breakfast with them. I didn’t understand why? When I was 16 and had my birthday party at home and the kids started dancing—he shut it down. I was mad at him for a long time. I didn’t care that our church preached against dancing and he was a deacon—and needed to adhere to the church’s doctrines. But that was Dad-at that point in his life he was still about works and earning his salvation.

Life with my dad was not easy as a teen, but after I married my Dennis at 29, I seemed to finally grow up and when we moved toTampa in 1984, I purposed to have a closer relationship with both my parents. This led to much visiting and really getting to know my father as a person. For this, I really have to thank my husband. Because it was to him that my dad opened up. Dennis is a little older than I and studied and read quite a bit about World War II. I guess he encouraged my dad to talk, because talk he did! I would be around for some of it, but I would use that time to take my mom out to shop, do her hair, nails, etc. So Dennis would fill me in when I questioned him about the rest of the stories!   For the first time, I heard about his early life and his war years. I finally understood why he was the way he was—military straight, absolutes because of his nuclear physics education and lack of love in his home growing up. When he stood at my mom’s funeral and said  that she was the first person to love him unconditionally-he was being truthful.  I am glad that I had come to love him unconditionally long ago.  First in obedience to God‘s word, but then simply because I loved my dad and could never stay mad at him long!

After mom’s funeral, he came to stay with Dennis and me for three weeks.It was a precious time I am so thankful for now. We talked about his salvation experience and his great regrets in his life. How very much he loved his children, but couldn’t express it. How proud he was of everyone for their teaching their own children about Jesus. That we, his children were believers. That was his greatest legacy.                                          I was sent a card by one of my staff at work.  It said  “Remember that your father left the world a legacy in the good and caring person that you have grown to be. And in this time of sadness may it help comfort you to know that he is still a part of all you are and do.

I had thought to write a Father’s Day tribute, but this one which I tweaked a little from the eulogy for him is the best one I could have ever written for him. The Bible has a lot to say about Fathers. They are to honored.  We are to heed their instruction. In fact it says several times to honor and to heed. At least in the last years of his life, my dad knew I loved him-even on the day that he thought that he would lose my love if he told me his story. All I cared about was that he had a story!

The day that we cleaned out his apartment and we were on our way home coming across I-4. I was crying and praying. I asked the Lord for a sign that Mom and Dad were up there with Him and singing and dancing… I knew (or thought I knew, I was wrong) that God didn’t give signs but please God give me a sign. I need a sign so much. And just a minute or two later, here comes a little red plane buzzing by our car and then up in the sky he goes and begins to draw…a … smiley face…and then he is writing…Jesus…loves…you! well, there was my sign. How else could an airplane draw up by our car, then do draw a smiley face and write Jesus love you-right after I have asked for the sign? to read a sign in the sky, you have to be in just the right place as we were. I called all my sibs and told them. I think they were just as happy to hear this as I was to see it!

There have been a lot of changes in the family since Daddy died. My youngest sister has had 2 little boys a year apart. My oldest granddaughter has accepted the Lord Jesus into her heart.And she has a new sister who is now 3. A couple of my brothers kids have graduated high school and started college and he and wife Lesley had one more little girl  and my sister’s kids-Anna graduated college this year and Beau started this year and made DEAN’s list. Dad would have been proud.  He would have been thrilled with all the babies! He might have had a hard time interacting with children especially as he got older and couldn’t hear, but there was no one that loved having his family around more than he did.

I am better with my grieving now of course than I was even a year ago. But I still cry and I still miss him-and my momma too of course. I had no idea that they were so much my foundation–but in losing them, I found my God who said He would now be my father. He would be my Rock and my Foundation. He would provide for me, protect me, care for me, teach me all things-including trusting him implictly. Hard lesson to learn but wonderful peace to have. Not that He was not there before, but now it is only Him. I love you, Daddy.