Tuesday, March 14, 2017

on being the Parent

Most men will proclaim his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?
The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:6-7


Last week we celebrated this man's birthday. Jacqueline & our grands had come down to our house for the kids' weekend activities.  Lucy had finished her evening dance classes and we were settling in for the celebration --
with a box full of donuts & their presents to "Daddy" & "Grandad".
Dan is parent ... and grandparent to these three kids.

Isn't it so mind-boggling how God can weave our own real-life situations to teach us something that perhaps we've overlooked... until now?

How do I begin my prayers?     Dear Heavenly Father...
If God is my Father, that makes me...?     A child of God
So, if God is the Father & I am His child...    God is my Parent

I know this is a basic principal... but I just "got it"

the thought of God as my PARENT

And God as parent is (should be... supposed to be) MY standard -- MY role model

afterall... we were made by Him & in His image


By no means do I measure up or compare myself to God Almighty. I am just a speck of dust...
but He is I AM

Here's a very short list of the characteristics I've focused on this week as God as my Parent...
He loves unconditionally... He is just...
He comforts... He listens... He is always with me

Did I mention that
He loves me (and you) unconditionally

God as Parent has never given up on His children
God as Parent always desires a relationship with His children
God as Parent shows His love for His children



I John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God!

I can never imagine God as my Parent turning His back on me.  There is nothing that I can do that would cause God to love me any less. But, I admit that I can sadden God my Parent. And in those times...
even in those times
God has never turned His back on me.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.


I am so thankful that God gave to me the gift of my husband's birth--day.
I consider Dan as my most valuable gift of all-time.
He is well-respected & walks in his integrity...
and our future generations will certainly be blessed because of him.

Have a blessed week, my friends!













Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Backstory... The Living Years




This song... wow.  The message it sends to every single one of us.  Have you heard this song? It was released in December 1988 by Mike + The Mechanics (Mike Rutherford was formally a member of the music group Genesis).


This song has been on my radar for years. And I've been trying to find the words for a blog post about this song for a long time. So, please take a listen to this song as you read through my post.
Over the years I've seen & heard people comment on The Living Years as the message of
"we need to tell our parents how much we love them because one day it will be too late."
And that is so true. We have no idea how long we will have our parents -- or maybe some have already said their good-byes to their parents.
And I completely understand this aspect.
But I think there's another aspect of The Living Years that has not been focused on. So, here's a little backstory of this song written by Mike Rutherford. It's an excerpt from the summary on Amazon of his book titled
The Living Years ...


"Now Michael, you're the son of a naval officer, you must behave like a naval officer at all times..." What Captain William Rutherford told his seven-year-old son Michael was to stay with him all his life. Born in 1950, Michael was truly his father's son, even serving in the naval section of the student cadet corps at one of England's top public schools, Charterhouse. Mike's future lay in the civil service: it was a subject that he discussed with his father at Captain Crawford's gentlemen's club. But then something happened. Mike discovered rock music. As one of the founder members of Genesis, Mike was to tour the world and achieve international fame....
 Mike would go on to crisscross the globe with bandmates Peter Gabriel and, later, Phil Collins, playing to packed-out stadiums and achieving record sales of over 150 million... 
But, in the background - and sometimes in the audience -
there was also the loyal Captain Rutherford, earplugs at the ready, Melody Maker in hand.
 A proud father still. 
 ... But this is not just another rock'n'roll memoir. This is also a book about
two men whose lives and complex relationship reflect the seismic social and cultural shifts that took place during the twentieth century. A book for every father and son.


There's an aspect of this song that I've never really seen anyone address...


Captain William Francis Henry Crawford Rutherford
(Mike's father)
I still don't understand why he decided to support me after all he'd spent on my education, but he did – he even put up some more money so we could buy equipment and then persuaded Pete and Tony's fathers to do the same. And when Phil Collins joined the band as our drummer in 1970 my parents let us stay at their house in Farnham while we rehearsed.


Did you read it... did you catch it... did you see it?
That one aspect that is overlooked...
I don't understand why he decided to support me... but he did.


and if you don't give up
and don't give in
you may just be okay


Yes, this song was written by a man who didn't tell his father (before he died) that he loved him... but I kind of get the impression that his father knew that his son loved him.
This song can speak as much truth and life into parents as it does into their adult children.
You see, my question is this...
what would have happened to the father-son relationship if Captain Rutherford had written his son off when Mike followed his own career path?
But he didn't.
Instead, Captain Rutherford supported his son and his choice of career.


And that's what relationships are all about.


Captain Rutherford had a choice --
to either support his son in the career path that his son chose for himself
or
to instill tension in the relationship with his son because of his son's career choice

So maybe the next time you hear this song...
just listen to it.
We may not see eye to eye with someone...
but maybe we can simply listen


(we all) can listen as well as (we) hear


I want my future generations to see me as a listener. 
 If I'm a listener, then I'm a learner. 
If I'm a learner, then I have listened well.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Honor of Veterans Day


I am quite late in my posting for Veterans Day 2016 ...
a day set aside those who serve our wonderful country in our great military.

I personally love reading of President Woodrow Wilson (in 1919) who set aside
November 11 as Armistice Day as our country was healing from The Great War
(later referred to as World War I)...
and then in 1954 (as our great country was again healing from World War II),
President Dwight Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation to honor those who not only served our country in The Great War, but also those who served to protect our Constitution in World War II.







 What a blessing and honor and privilege it is to live in our wonderful country...
never to be taken for granted.
Veterans Day 2016 was an honor for our daughter's family...
they were invited to sit on the platform at Arlington National Cemetery for the
Veterans Day Ceremony.
What an honor! So (like any proud Momma would do), I recorded C-SPAN as I watched to see if I could catch a glimpse of our kids (I know, such a long-shot)...

but I did ...



Our daughter with her "Jackie-O" style dress and sunglasses...
hand over her heart as she sets the example of her respect for our great country.
Words cannot describe how proud I was to see her at that moment --
tears flowed rapidly down my face.

And if you look closely in the right-hand corner behind the C-SPAN logo ... that's our Tag! And the dark shadow close to Tag's head ... that's our son-in-law Michael.
Lucy was actually sitting on the other side of their friend in the tan coat. 
(As an aside, their friend is on staff with a non-profit that does amazing work for wounded warrior families!)

I'll share another amazing God-filled Veterans Day story with you later ...
but suffice it to say ...

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you ...

Romans 8:28
And we know all things work for the good of those who love God and
are called to His purpose


Life changes with every second that goes by ...
2017 is Granny's year to live my moments

intentional


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 ... Intentional

I've been looking back on 2016 with some self-admitted guilt.  You know, the guilt of not...
not losing the weight that I had promised myself
not writing more on my blog
not completing my house painting
not tapping into my creativity
not cutting down on my caffeine (consumed solely in soft-drink)
not ________________
not _____________
not ____
well, you get the picture... don't you???


So now we've closed the year of 2016 and I look ahead to this new year of 2017.  I've really never been a person to make a resolution for a new year...
I've broken tons more than I've kept ... and have simply forgotten more within the first few weeks of any new year than I could ever remember for the entire year.
So now I'm looking ahead at 2017 not with a resolution but rather with a focus.  Sometimes it's so easy to move through the motions of each day. We all can get so caught up in our daily routines, that sometimes we (I actually refer to myself) allow the days to slip by us.  I am so very much guilty of this!
 Hence my endeavor to live daily in being

intentional


To those who already live everyday life by being intentional, I applaud you -- you are truly my heroes! 
I am learning.
 
I know that being intentional will take diligence --  discipline -- determination

But --- (through God's grace)
I'm up for the challenge!

Dan & I have had some eye-opening conversations over the past few weeks as to how we as a couple will be intentional together in this new year.

We will be intentional on what we feed our bodies as well as feeding our minds. 
We will be intentional on how we spend the finances that God has trusted to us.
We will be intentional on what we do with our time (relationships, work, recreation).
We will be intentional with how we spend our time together.
  

I'm looking forward to see what God has in store for me (Dan & our family) in 2017.
I will post some personal updates on our family in the next day or so ... it's been a very busy time in our household since I last posted!


Until I post again ...


~~ May God continue to shine His light on each of you and your family ~~



(The photos on this post are ones I have found online.  Ann Voskamp & inCourage are 2 of my favorite women's ministry connections)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Seeing is Believing ...


And then today -- Sunday -- Dan & I just needed to make the trip to their house ...


 
 

 just to make sure they are all okay ...

anxiety
soreness
apprehension
 



... but in the middle of it all ...

thankfulness

it could have had a completely different ending ...

 
 




Still need prayers for the days ahead ...

physical -- mental -- emotional
insurance ... replacement van



Thankfulness to God & His angels for
protecting our kids ...





Saturday, October 15, 2016

And in a Flash...



Weekends are getting pretty busy in our household...
Jacqueline & the grands come down Thursday afternoons for Tag's karate class followed by Lucy's two-hour intensive dance classes.
Then it's homeschooling on Fridays followed by two more intensive dance classes for Lucy.
 

 
 Lucy & Tag worked on some Halloween projects this week.



 



And then gave their Grandad a lesson this morning on making spiders...
then back to their house to get ready for their fall festival on post...
..

Dan & I were doing some outside work when my cell phone rang.  It was Michael's phone... but Jacqueline on the other line. 
"First I need to say that the kids and I are okay but... we've been in a wreck."
I sunk. 


















They were rear-ended at such a high impact that forced them into the vehicle in front of them.



Lucy & Tag were in the back seat excited to go the military fall festival -- dressed up in their costumes and looking festive.

And then the impact...

scared ...
shaken ...
extreme anxiety

Please keep our kids in your prayers ...
they had waited for several months on the transfer of their donated van -- and now the wreck...

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1






 


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Love Isn't About Agreeing... It's About Sacrificing"

I found this nugget of truth when I signed on to my Facebook this morning.  It's so refreshing when God brings hearts & minds together even through people we may never know or meet this side of heaven.

I have been thinking on this very subject for several days (actually longer, but contemplating a blog post for several days)...
I have Ann Voskamp starred as a "see first" in my newsfeed.  She is so encouraging with her devotions & messages...
and yet this can be a challenge as well.


"Love isn't about agreeing with someone"


I love my husband dearly... and I love my daughter & her family dearly... I love my parents & family dearly...

but we do not agree on everything...
and that's okay.
God made each of us as unique individuals who have minds of our own...
and we use them.

"It's about sacrificing for someone"



I grew up physically surrounded by my family... my Granny & Aunt Karen lived in the homeplace in the center -- with my family, my aunts, uncles & cousins a stone's throw away (each of Granny's children were given part of the homeplace to build their homes).
In such a big family, we all loved each other...
but we didn't necessarily agree on everything...
but we all loved each other (and still do).

I watched as sacrifice after sacrifice was made in each household... and collectively as one family.
And I've also seen the opposite side of this --
"if you loved me, you'd agree with me"
or
"since I don't agree with you, I'm withholding my love & support from you"
There's a scene from one of the UPtv movies that hits this nail right smack on its head. 
Ed Asner played the old grandfather who had disowned his daughter when she married the son of his "arch enemy".  Years had gone by...  then his granddaughter came back to the hometown to take care of her Mother's estate.  The young lady had never met her grandfather... no relationship... no bond... no anything.

Here's a closing scene from the movie that brings Ann Voskamp's message into perspective.




video


We don't have to agree ...
and if we don't, it's still okay.

Sometimes it's our own pride that we must sacrifice in order
to cultivate our relationships with others.


in families
in friendships
in the workplace
in our communities
in our churches

Just because we may not agree with someone...
it certainly does not give us God's permission to withhold from them.

After all,
didn't God give His One & Only Son for us?