Friday, December 6, 2013

The Dimming Of An Era

Yesterday many of all ages gathered to say goodbye to a dear and precious man. One who had lived a good and active life, left a wonderful legacy, and had some hard physical last years.

I remember Brantley Edens as being a rock and a stable person from my childhood. He was gentle, kind, soft spoken, faithful, and was just always there. Someone you could count on.

Brant and Joan reached out to my family so many years ago and invested in us.  They mentored my young parents when they first became Christians. They had us over to their home, all 10 of us. The size of our family didn't frighten them away.

As I looked around the room at all the ones who had come to honor this wonderful man, I realized that a part of an era of my childhood is dimming. The ones I looked up to and were always there and solid rocks in my life, are becoming fewer and fewer. Many of them have gone now and only a few remain here on earth still...

It is a sobering thought to realize that now I am finding myself in the same place that I placed these ones in my life so long ago. I am their age and even older then they were, when they entered my life in the late 1960's. 

The torch is being passed to the next generation and to the next. May I be faithful, as these have been and clearly lived their lives with integrity before me.

Thank you Brantley for who you were in my life and the example you were to every life you touched.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Middle Seat

Flying home from PDX to ANC, I got an empty seat. A middle one. A seat is a seat, it gets you to where you want to go, so I was thrilled to get on the first flight of the evening. I am so thankful for the benefits of working for Alaska Airlines!

I settled in, put my bag under the seat in front of me and began to read a new book I had gotten this weekend. "What Your Childhood Memories Say About you" by Dr. Kevin Leman.

All of a sudden the Lord brought back to me a memory from my past that I had forgotten about for at least 50 years.... It was a painful memory.... One that I knew the Lord wanted to touch and one that out of His deep love for me, wanted me to see the implications of that memory and how it has affected my life today. 

What an incredible faithful God we serve. I am not one to drum up things and make things happen. I am always more on the "cautious" side of life. But I know, that I know, this was a "God moment".

So here I am squeezed in between two strangers and the tears are running down my cheeks like a river. I then, found my IPHONE, put my earphones in and turned on my ITUNES so I could just shut my eyes and listen to the worship songs minister to my heart and soul....

I am still processing the memory and wanting to glean all that the Lord longs for me to see through it.  He will be and is so faithful to heal, restore, and redeem the brokenness's of our lives. I love following Jesus. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In A Moment's Time....

Tears are in my eyes as I write this post.  My dear high school friend Frank Hatfield died yesterday. My heart is trying to comprehend the news...  He had just written a post on my face book just a few days ago.

We graduated in 1972 and lost contact. It was just a year or two ago that we connected again through face book.

Frank was my neighbor.  He probably lived 4-5 miles from my home, but in Alaska that is what we call neighbors. We rode the same bus to school for 7 years and shared the same bus stop.

Frank was gentle and kind and had a sweet spirit. I can still see his smile and hear his gentle laughter.

One memory I have of him that makes me smile is when we were seniors.  He wanted to take me to the high school prom and my parents didn't allow me to go to dances. He kept telling me he was going to go ask my dad and I kept asking him to please don't, because I know my dad would not allow me to go. He never asked my dad because of my wishes,  but I will always remember his persistence :}

Life is so fragile. In a moment's time, it is gone. My heart weeps because of the loss of my dear friend. Childhood friends hold places in your heart forever.

I loved you Frank Hatfield.....

Monday, August 12, 2013

Little hearts, little bodies, fathomless love.....

Looking at the twins laying in each of their isolates in the NICU, my heart swells.... What miracles I am beholding.  They are so tiny and so perfect and I could hold them forever....

Watching Mike and Laci care for them has been a pure joy, to see the love and tenderness in their hearts for these two girls, gifts fresh from heaven.

Oh Lord you have been good, so good to us. Your incredible faithfulness has been proven over and over again in our lives.  Even when I hesitate to trust You, You are still faithful.

Tomorrow we head back to Alaska. So grateful I have a job that gives us the opportunities to travel. Wish I could take those cherubs home with me, but know they are not mine to take :} 

Oh, my grandmother heart longs for each of my grandchildren to know the Lord and walk with Him and to love people and to love life....I wish I could shield them from the pains and disappointments of this world, but I know I can't. I do know that the Lord's grace can and will be there for each of them every moment they need, along with this grandmother's prayers.....

There really is nothing like the heart of a grandmother.....

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Friends are Friends Forever....

Last week I was able to pull off a great surprise. I flew to Portland for less than 24 hours and surprised my dear friend for her 60th birthday. We are both hard to surprise at our age, but it was accomplished and that was half the fun. Her husband was in on the surprise and picked me up at the airport.

Laughter, tears, sharing our hearts, praying, having a special dinner and saying " I really can't believe we are sitting here together" was a wonderful cherished evening. A gift to both our hearts...

I am thankful that the Lord allowed the seats to be opened on the two flights I needed to get there and the two flights home. Also grateful for the gals who covered my shifts so I could go.

Friendships are to be cherished. May we each take the time to let those friends know we love them and don't take them for granted. They are gifts.....precious gifts....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Roller Coaster

I don't like roller coasters. In fact the older I get, the more I despise them.  I have been on a few (in my young years when life seemed invincible) and they are frightening and you wonder if you are going to survive the next uphill climb or descent. Is the wheel going to fall off? When you go around the next corner at an enormously sharp speed will the wheels come off the track and you plummet to the ground 500 feet below? When you are upside down and twisting around, will the seat belt come loose?  All these thoughts have gone through my mind.

In these last months I have felt like I have been on a fast paced roller coaster. My emotions have been frightening and I have wondered if I would survive as I climb again and again another steep incline up another mountain with a different name. The next thing I knew, I was going around a sharp fast curve and wondering if I would fall out....

June 2nd, 2013, after a "long goodbye", my daddy enter the gates of heaven. 

He was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in November of 2010.  It was very emotional and hard to watch his very painful long drawn out death. All 8 of his children were able to come and visit him in the last 2 years  and to say those things we needed to say. He was faithful to the end and now he is with my mom in heaven. Grief is an interesting emotion. Each of us walk through it and each of us walk through it differently. There is no right or wrong way to walk this path. It is an odd feeling to realize we can't go home again. My parents are gone. We are orphans. So thankful that the Lord is our Heavenly Father and will be there for us. My favorite memory will be the one when I last saw him, laying in the hospital bed, with his eyes closed, and some of my siblings and I sang the hymn "In The Garden". We choked through the song but we made it... Precious memories for this daughter to carry in my heart. That was the last time I saw him alive on this earth. I honor him and thank him for the legacy he leaves behind to us all. May we be faithful.

Just one week later, my beautiful baby girl, married the man she has been waiting for her whole life. She waited for the best. She was a beautiful, radiant bride and was glowing all evening. I cried a lot. Happy tears for her happiness and the faithfulness of the Lord to answer the deep cries of my daughter's heart. In my roller coaster of emotions I had a "moment" of not walking in the Lord's grace during the wedding dinner rehearsal. :(  My forgiving bride-to-be daughter, in her grace, forgave me, and onward we went. So much to learn from her.  I pray for the Lord's grace to cover them as they begin their journey together. I am so happy for them both.

Photo: Beautiful day for the Beeson Wedding!! I am LOVING these photos!

 Today, two days after the precious wedding, my oldest daughter had to hand her children over to "strangers" for 3 weeks in Anchorage, per custody court order. Needless to say, there were more tears. The picture below was taken an hour before she had to drop them off. There is so much pain in the process and journey of divorce, and especially when children are involved. All I can do as a grandmother is get on my face before the Lord and ask Him to cover their  tender little hearts with His grace.

Photo: Love my kiddos!!!!!

In August we will welcome Ella Jean and Emma Leann to our family with great joy. We are elated for our son Mike and his wife, Laci. We will soon have five grandchildren.:)

Roller coaster emotions.... The feeling of incredible sadness at the loss of my dad. The wonderful, happy, elated feelings of joy at the wedding of our baby girl and her new husband, Brian. The deep sadness and pain at walking our grandchildren with their mother to "drop' them off for 3 weeks, to a place they did not want to go... My heart physically hurt at that pain. The emotion of joy as we await the arrival of two new little ones...

Life is full. Full of unknowns, full of laughter, full of tears, full of emotions and full of GRACE. I have needed His grace more than ever these last few months in my life. Seems like I have walked in the "flesh" more than in His Spirit. That is no one else's fault then mine. I am always responsible for my own actions and reactions. My roller coaster has made some sharp fast paced turns these last months. I haven't always passed the test, in fact, I have failed many of them but I want to pass. So, as I lay my head on my pillow tonight, and wake up again tomorrow, I will be given a new day. Fresh, a gift from heaven to me, to find His grace again and again.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Grandmother's Instant Reaction

Today, I was checking in a young child, who was flying to another state, to spend the summer with another parent.

As the child's face was all red from crying and their eyes were filled with tears because they didn't want to leave, I felt the tears well up in my own eyes and roll down and it was an instant reaction in this grandmother's heart.

How did I explain to complete strangers my reaction: Just that I understood.

In just a week my 3 precious grandchildren will begin to experience this same dramatic tearing as they board a plane to stay with "another" parent for a season and probably many seasons to come throughout their young lives.

I am reminded of the phrase from the Parent Trap with Haley Mills "like His and Her Towels"....

I know the Lord's grace can cover them and will cover them and YET, this grandmother's heart aches for them.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I remember now....

1. The smell of green grass freshly mowed

2. Baby cows so little and wobbly out in the fields

3. Make-up melting in the car in the heat

4.  The beauty of a blossoming pink dogwood tree

5.  Air-conditioning

6.  Freeway traffic

7. Cheaper prices

8. The warmth of a precious friend who is hurting

9.  Clean cars

10.  And finally, a HUG from my dearest friend....

These are a few of the things I experienced today....You are faithful Lord!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Quiet Game

When I was young growing up on the homestead, there wasn't a lot of entertainment to be had. We had to be creative and come up with our own. Wasn't to hard to do with eight energetic kids!

I usually was the babysitter when dad and mom would go into town.  I don't know who came up with the idea, but I would like to take credit, but don't know for sure, of the "Quiet Game".

So, when I found myself babysitting, I would always want to play this game with my siblings. We would all sit in a circle and roll this ball back and forth to each other for long periods of time. The rule was the first one to make a noise was OUT. Since we all have a little competitiveness in us, we all wanted to win. So, it remained quiet for a long time. The perfect babysitting tool :)

Ah...if only life was so simple today.  All 8 of us are now adults with families of our own and we all have experienced life. The deep pains and the deep joys. We will soon all gather for a funeral. My precious dad is soon to go home to be with Jesus. It can be this week, next week or a month...but it will be soon.

I wish I could take us all back to the days of "innocence" and just rolling the ball back and forth and smiling and playing together, but I can't.  Life has found us.

As we will all gather, we won't sit and play the "Quiet Game", but we just might all sit in a circle and weep together and share our hearts as adults and call it the "Remembrance Game".

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Children....

"And so what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for
them, and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up,
and do everything that they’re capable of doing. Not just to pursue their own
dreams, but to help build this country. This is our first task as a society,
keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices
should compel us to change". President Obama-January 16th, 2013 

Yes, President Obama, we should keep our children safe, and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up and do everything that they're capable of doing. To let them be able to  pursue their own dreams and help to build this wonderful country.  This is our first task as a society, and yes, this is how our country will be judged. Their voices do cry out compelling us to change, starting from where every child's life begins,  the womb.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just Between Us

I carry so many hopes and dreams for this new coming year of 2013.

But, one lesson I have learned in life is that expectations can be the death of you.

So, with these expectations, I very carefully and gently place them in the Lord's hands and trust Him to bring them to pass, keeping my eyes and heart focused on Him and not on myself or others to fulfill them. Of course, I am to do my part, whatever that consists of, but ultimately my hope and expectations are from Him. 

When we begin to look at others to fulfill our dreams, our hopes, our expectations, we become disappointed, disillusioned and discouraged. The three D's. Sounds like the friends that gathered with David in the cave when he was running from Saul.

Goodbye 2012. You have given me some of the deepest desires of my heart and also some of my deepest pain...but just between us: that is life, and I love life.