Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Imagine

Each week Gypsy Mama chooses a word to write about for five minutes. No editing, stream of consciousness. Today's word is: Imagine.

Ready. Set. Write.

My imagination can run wild.  I love to dream...and dream big.  Being an only child, I found myself having to play a lot on my own, which is fertile ground for imagination.  I would play pretend school and line up my stuffed animals and teach them a lesson.  I'd imagine I was a cashier and running a small grocery store in the country where I had long conversations with my patrons.  When it got windy, pre-thunderstorm weather, I'd pretend I was a pioneer woman, and I'd batten down the hatches outside like I was preparing for a Wizard of Oz-like tornado.  When the weather was good, I'd gather various things from my yard to imagine surviving in the colonial days.  My imagination was never-ending.

Reading was also a part of my childhood...and my adulthood.  You can't get much more imaginative than reading a book and picturing in your mind the visual of what you are reading.  I would curl up for hours and lose myself in a book when I was a child and had no cares or responsibilities in the world.  Today there could be nothing more relaxing to me than the peacefulness of reading a good book and losing myself in the story.  Rarely do I read a book where I don't picture myself as one of the characters.  

I never want to stop imagining.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

God's Faithfulness

A week ago today, on May 4, Derby Day, my Dad passed from this life to his home in Heaven.  The whirlwind that has been this week (not to mention the past month when all of this began) has not been void of the evidences of God's Faithfulness.  Every time I would share something, someone would say "you better write this down!" or "you will have one great blog to write."  Since I process verbally, I've thought much this week how I could even put into one post all that I've experienced this week.  You see, when my Mom passed 13 years ago, I wasn't blogging.  But now I am.  And though I could write for days on all I've experienced, I've decided to boil it down to one word...Faithfulness.  

Dad accepted Christ 65 years ago this past Thursday, his day of visitation at the funeral home and was faithful to the end.  A rock, and the godliest man I've ever known.  God in His sweet compassion was so faithful to me.  I had prayed since my Mom passed, that Dad would go quickly.  I didn't want him to lose his mental faculties or have to suffer.  My Dad was a servant and a man who needed a purpose.  Without it, he was lost.  I saw that in a tangible way after my Mom died.  I knew if he got down physically and/or mentally, he would be hard to handle and the suffering would be worse than most.  He was completely independent all the way until the end.  God was faithful.  My Stepmom lost her first husband due to a massive heart attack that she watched happen.  I had prayed Dad wouldn't die in her presence and that should would be spared that type of vivid memory and experience again.  My Stepmom had been in rehab since Dad had started this journey and once again, God was faithful.

All along this journey, God was preparing me for what was to come. When Dad was admitted for his first visit on April 11, I drove home from the hospital that night in tears, praying and asking God to help me let him go, if this was his time.  My Dad was 87 and although I'd like him to live to 107, I knew that was highly improbable. I recalled how my Mom and Dad had let me go.  After praying for a child for 18 years and finally having one, they didn't cling to me and hover over me.  They recognized I was a gift from God, taught me independence and let me go.  And now, it was time to let my Dad go.  Over the following three weeks, God worked in my heart through my time with Dad, my prayers, devotion...even songs I'd prepare me.  God was faithful.  As we got in my Stepmom's car to head to the funeral home for visitation, Dad had a southern gospel CD in the car playing (as he always did), and the song was perfectly cued to the song "Haven of Rest."  So many of these little God things happened to assure me God's tangible presence.  Yes, God was so faithful.

Being an only child, and single, I'm a pretty independent soul.  But, facing this alone was something I was dreading.  I have been blessed with the most amazing support group anyone could ask for in this world.  My closest friends surrounded me and made sure I had food and anything I needed.  My church family was amazing and demonstrated the gospel in a way that my family and friends could not believe.  So many live without hope.  How people face tomorrow without hope in Jesus is beyond my grasp, but added to that, not having a church family seems so foreign to me.  God was faithful.  And, my Stepmom's family worked like a team to help make sure everything was covered.  My Stepmom never had children, so one of her nieces is like her daughter and she and her family were unbelievable in being my adopted siblings as we walked this journey together.  Even a week after Dad's passing I have more food than I can eat from folks, and so does my Stepmom.  Yes, God is ever so faithful.

I'm sure in the days and months to come, I will sprinkle many stories and memories of my Dad in this blog...just like I have with my Mom.  There is a most blessed peace in knowing that the two greatest people in my life are safe in the arms of Jesus.  I can only imagine my Mom's excitement to see my Dad again, and probably was peeking around Jesus as Dad laid his eyes first on his Savior.  A Savior that was always so faithful to him.  Soli Deo Gloria.