January 31st, 2009
33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
A car accident took the life of a four-year old on the interstate just a few miles from our home Friday morning. Snowy roads caused the driver to lose control.
My husband visited a couple of men in jail yesterday who are awaiting trials, verdicts, sentencing. Their families are waiting too. Scared, sad, uncertain of what tomorrow holds.
A friend of ours is at the hospital this morning after spending the night in the emergency room with his wife. Doctors are not sure what has caused her seizure: a blood clot in the brain, a stroke, they just don’t know yet.
Another friend of mine stopped by yesterday to talk. She’s worried about her son’s health.
So, I read the verse above and try to find some comfort.
I remember reading this verse one night in the hospital years ago when Nick was having terrible trouble with his IV. We had been told by a nurse that she would be back around 4am to give Nick medicine through the IV but that she couldn’t promise the IV wouldn’t “blow.” These words came after many, many tears and several new IVS throughout the day.
Nick was exhausted. I was exhausted. My mom was exhausted. Tim had gone home to be with our other kids for the night, and we felt very alone in a hospital room several hours from home.
And then I read this verse. I read it out loud to mom.
I still remember her voice in the darkness when she said with a sense of sadness, “Well, He’s not here yet.”
I guess that’s where the lifelong question of “Where is God when you need Him?” comes from.
Knowing that God created this world. Knowing He is the Master of the Universe.
And then getting phone calls, emails, knocks at your door…….
All of which deliver news that does not ring with the sound of peace.
So, I sit here this morning looking out at a beautiful snow glistening with sunshine and I realize that it’s not so much about God promising “earthly peace.” It’s about him offering “inner peace.”
See, after I read that verse to mom in the darkness of Nick’s hospital room, I had this spiritual nudge to go call a friend and ask her to pray with me.
Not long after that a nurse saw me crying and came and actually prayed with me right there on the hospital floor. She then came and did Nick’s IV medicine herself. It was amazing. It was God bringing peace in a world that has trouble.
We live in a world that has been tarnished by sin.
The beautiful white snow here eventually shows the effects of dirt, gravel, and mud.
We have to remember how it started. White, spotless, glistening.
And we have to believe that one day this world will be made new!!
My prayers this morning are for this family who is facing the loss of their little boy. That God will send people to pray with them. Family members and friends to love on them. Signs from above to comfort them.
And for the men in jail…I pray the same.
And for our friends at the hospital…..I pray the same.
And for my friend who is concerned about her son…..I pray the same.
For Nick, I don’t have to worry anymore about IVs going bad or MRIs holding devastating news. Peace has arrived in the most perfect sense for Nick. He has been made perfectly whole and new!
So my prayers are for me, my husband, my sons, my daughter, my parents, his friends….everyone who has to put life back together somehow with a missing piece.
We all have missing pieces in our lives, don’t we? Somehow. Maybe it’s a loss. Maybe it’s a bad memory from our childhood. Maybe it’s divorce or a child who has rebelled or illness that keeps us from feeling and healing whole.
My prayer today is that while we all live with some sort of missing piece…….
We won’t live a life that is “missing peace.”
Remember, Jesus says, “in me you may have peace.”
Thankful for the Master’s peace in a troubled world,
January 30th, 2009
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
Oh, to go back to Bible times and see a teen dressed in scarlet playing in the snow!
Today I guess that verse would say,
“When it snows, she doesn’t get worried about her kids staying warm because all of them have rummaged through the Rubbermaid container and found gloves, snowpants, and hats….and they’ve been to the shed to find hand-me-down snow boots!”
The snow that we were so excited about has definitely arrived!!
Kids are wandering the streets looking for the next hill to slide down!
Thankful for Rubbermaid containers loaded with winter wear….
And a washer and a dryer that NEVER stop running…..
And electricity to run the washer and dryer,
And a Power Source greater than electricity to keep me smiling on a day I know Nick would have enjoyed so much,
January 30th, 2009
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways will be raised up.
This is the road to my grandpa’s house.
Long. Straight. And mostly very, very flat.
When I read Isaiah 49, I have to think that someday I’ll look back on my life and realize that as I was facing deep valleys and high mountaintops, God was there keeping all things even.
I’m in a rush this morning. There is more snow coming down.
Todd is still sleeping.
Olivia and her three little friends are still sleeping…worn out from two hours of ice skating in their snow boots on the soccer field across from our house!
And I am leaving to run to the church and help serve lunch to people who have no electricity.
But as I sat here this morning and saw this picture, I thought to myself,
“Thank you, Lord, for being the one straight constant in an ever-changing world. Thank you, Father, for keeping me level when I feel very down or very up. Thank you, Lord, for directing my steps. Help me stay on the straight and narrow for You tell us that the crooked road does not lead to peace.”
January 29th, 2009
Poor pin. Poor, useless pin.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
January 26th, 2009
January 23rd, 2009
I love snow!
Kids love snow!
Teachers really love snow!
When the weatherman even hints that snow is on the way, you can just feel the excitement in the air.
Yesterday as I was subbing, I heard teacher after teacher talk about the fact that next week the weatherman is “calling for snow!”
What is it about snow?
For me, I think it is the chance that the world might shut down temporarily causing everyone to simply stay home and cuddle up under blankets and sip hot chocolate.
White roads unmarked by tires or even footprints.
Tree branches drooping with piles of white fluff.
Snow covering up mud puddles and potholes.
The absence of imperfections in my landscaping.
Snow truly “evens out” the world’s good and bad into one big sweeping view of white beauty….
and in that beauty I find peace.
Being able to watch the snow fall is another thing I love. Witnessing the transformation from greens, browns, rocks, gravel, weeds, broken toys, bare branches……….into a white canopy of oneness.
Snowfall offers hope for all things to become “new.”
Isaiah 1 tells us,
January 22nd, 2009
He said that when he put on the jeans he had no idea that on one leg was a “three,” on one leg was a “one,” and on the pocket was a cross.
He was so excited, of course, because Nick is forever “13.” And Nick loved Jesus with all of his heart and soul….so does Brandon!
I couldn’t believe the necklace, belt, and belt buckle he had ordered! He couldn’t wait to show me and Tim!
God gave me Nick for 13 years. I had to give him back for now.
I am so thankful He left me with so many other wonderful boys to keep my heart filled with earthly love and hugs!
And special moments like this one with one of Nick’s dearest friends.
I love you, Brandon!
January 21st, 2009
January 20th, 2009
January 17th, 2009
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
The day slipped by and the choice had to be made.
Would I make the phone call or simply pretend it hadn’t entered my mind?
But the truth was:
It had not only entered my mind. It wouldn’t leave my mind.
Today was one of Nick’s lifelong best friend’s birthday.
And Nick had never missed his party…..til now.
I wrestled all day with how to handle the reality that Nick would never be at Jon’s party again. I didn’t really want to know the details of what Nick might be missing, but I also wanted Jon to know I loved him and remembered.
After all, he misses Nick too.
So, I finally got the nerve.
I dialed his number and Jon’s mom, who is one of my dearest friends, answered the phone. I knew it must be hard for her too.
I said, “I called to wish Jon a “Happy birthday.”
So Jon came to the phone and I sang,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
You don’t look like a monkey…..
And you don’t smell like one either!
I had to do something to make us both laugh.
Then I said, “I love you, Jon.”
And he sweetly replied, “I love you too, Tammy.”
Then my voice broke as I said “bye.”
Nick’s wind chime began to blow behind me as I stood alone in the darkness of our back yard.
I hung up and cried til I could cry no more.
I looked up at the sky and there it was. One bright star all alone in the sky, just like the weekend Nick died. And actually that weekend there were two. A large one and a small one. (We felt sure it was Nick and Adrienne’s way of saying, “We’re together!”)
I said out loud, “I love you, Nick, so much. I always will.” And then I told God I loved Him too but that there was so much I would never understand while on this earth.
Now I’m back in the house trying not to feel blue.
Cooking supper. Doing laundry.
The normal things a mom has to do.
But I’m thankful.
Thankful that God pushed me to the point of calling.
I want to rejoice with those who rejoice. I want to be a big girl.
But, oh, sometimes it hurts.