Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Proverbs~Quiet From Fear of Evil

Me and Dad at the only book signing of mine he was able to attend

Two months ago, my dad was put on Hospice. Dad died on April 5. His funeral was April 12. You may read Dad's obituary.

I miss my dad.

Proverbs 1:33 says, "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."

This verse has proven true over the last days after Dad passed away. I sense a quiet in my spirit. A quiet that proves I did my best to reach out to Dad and love him even though we saw life a bit differently. A quiet that also proved he did his best to love his stubborn first-born.

During the Hospice period, we talked about Jesus.

I sang to him the traditional Gaelic hymn "Morning Has Broken," by Eleanor Farjeon. You may listen to the hymn here by Cat Stevens. I then sang the song with my daughter Jami at Dad's funeral.

The next day after I sang that hymn to Dad, he asked for me.

The following day Dad died.

To give history of our relationship, Dad and I took care of our large family after my mother became ill when I was ten years old. Dad would get me up even before the sun rose, so I could get us breakfast and to the bus on time.

My dad was a fun daddy. He played the harmonica as we danced about in the living room. We rode on his back as he bucked about to us off. We always fell off playing Bucking Bronco.

The song "Daddy's Hands", by Holly Dunn, is a near perfect song about my dad.

I married young and left home. Dad wasn't too happy about that, and I believe he carried the hurt with him for the rest of his life. These last five years, living close to him since my marriage at age 17, has been a healing time for both of us.

I miss my dad.

When my sister called to say Dad was leaving us, we jumped in the car and drove the hour to his home. I missed his last breath by twenty minutes. That shook me. I wanted to be there when his spirit left and went to the great beyond. God had other plans, and so I accepted that.

Our large family of siblings gathered together that morning, streaming in one by one. We prayed together. Sang together. We anointed our dad's body with oil and said our goodbyes.

I have no regrets. I grieved with a passion as the coroners carried Dad from the house. I didn't want to take the grief home with me. You know what I mean. The inconsolable grief that tears at your heart until you feel as though you may faint.

I still miss my dad.

Both of my parents are gone now. Us children are the elders. How odd.

I pray each day before I rise that God will continue to hold my hand, as my dad once held mine. Seeing me through this time of grief and loss.

I love my dad and he loved me.

Until next time . . . maybe you, too, can make right relationships that need righting.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ecclesiastes 11:8~Let Him Rejoice

Jean playing with her goats

Dear Readers,

The Preacher says:

"So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity." Ecclesiastes 11:8 ESV

This verse speaks plainly of my outlook these past years. What is that you may ask? To count the many richest of blessings the Lord has given to me and my family, and to understand dark days will always come.

Of course it was hard to always look at the good those first four years after Joshua died by suicide. Even in my greatest sorrowing in the early grieving years, I worked at remembering my blessings. I understood that as a healthy response to an otherwise horrific challenge of losing my son.

Did I count my blessings that my son was gone. No. I did not. The mind, though, can only take on so much grief. We have to give ourselves a rest from the continuous weeping and grieving of the heart.

What I believe the Preacher means is we need to live in the realization that our days will be clothed in some darkness. We can still rejoice, though, that our life has a purpose and meaning within the protection of God our Father.

Let us remember the best of what God has given to us.

I'd like to suggest a song by Wayne Watson, "Such A Time As This." It fits with today's scripture.

Until next time . . . live for Lord God.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Proverbs 27:27~Thou Shalt Have Goats' Milk

My best milker's kids, Glow and Moon

Dear readers,

Some of you may know that I have goats. I drink my goats' milk and make cheese and butter.

God knows the wonderful properties of goat milk for He mentions it in Proverbs 27:27:

"And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens."

That about covers it for a family, doesn't it? God is saying there will be an abundance of goats' milk.

What does this have to do with the loss of my son? Or the loss of your loved one?

When Joshua died by suicide, I craved dairy foods. I felt guilty for indulging in them, but looking back I understand the foods gave me comfort. It helped me to not resort to stronger drink.

Four years after Joshua died, my baby brother Eric died as a direct result of the Iraq war. Joshua had favored Uncle Eric in every way. I grew closer to Eric after Joshua died, for Eric and Joshua thought a lot alike. So when Eric died suddenly, it was more than I thought I could bear.

After Eric's funeral service, I came back home and found a source of goats' milk. I drank it morning, noon and night. I made hot cocoa with my goats' milk. I drank it plain. I made cheese. Not only did this comfort me as I grieved over the loss of Eric, but I decided to buy my own goats and start a farm.

Fast forward to six years. I have had as many as six goats at a time. I enjoy them for all their curious natures and how they enjoy my pats and hugs. I laugh out loud when a goat kid twirls in the air like a ballerina.

Ah, and the milk. It is delicious here on my Nana's Goat Farm.

Thank You, Father, for making the perfect food of goats' milk. You knew it could also be a comfort in our time of sorrows. In Jesus' holy name, I'm grateful. Amen.

Until next time . . . look for the simple blessings.