Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blessed beyond Measure

Tonight was one of those nights you imagine in movies. I never thought I would ever get to sit outside my life and peak in on it and just study how incredibly blessed I am. I found myself sitting a little ways off from “the action” and able to just soak it all in.

Our kids planned a family evening of food and fellowship at a local restaurant where our oldest son is a waiter. Of course the plan was to get a big table in his serving area and all be together. Well, as things sometimes go, they had just seated a party of twenty in his area shortly before our arrival. They could split us up and put some at a booth and some at a table. We had them seat all our kids together and we sat at a table close by. Instead of being disappointing, it was amazing! We were just far enough away that they had their own conversations and interactions, but close enough that we were a part of the group. There was an awning over the area where we were eating and their booth was brightly lit so it had the feeling of looking into a window from the shadows outside. I know they caught me starring at them occasionally as they laughed, talked, and enjoyed each other’s company. I just couldn’t take my eyes off that sight! My blessings all in front of me; my children, my daughter-in-love and soon to be son in-love (I hate the "in-law" thing - it was love that brought these precious people to our family not law!), and my precious granddaughters! Van and I sat for a while in the shadows talking and giggling in our own world and then just soaking it in!! I am incredibly blessed!

Mother’s Day came early this year. That snapshot in my mind and in my heart that brings such deep and penetrating joy is priceless!! Thank you God for my family! I am blessed beyond measure!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Child-like faith

I haven't been on here in a very long time. It's been a very difficult school year and it doesn't look like it is going to get any easier anytime soon. My daughter and a dear friend have double tagged me so I will answer that soon; however, there is another post that must come first. When I got on my blog for the first time since this fall, I couldn't believe that my last post was about a student's death. That is what brings me here again. One of our precious 1st graders died one week ago of complications with asthma. It has been so hard to believe. We were just beginning to see daylight again since Ashley's death. We had just made it through homecoming on Saturday when she, as the reigning Homecoming queen, should have crowned the new Homecoming queen. Instead, her jerseys were retired and she was remembered and the tears flowed once again. Then during the night on Sunday, a precious little 6 year old boy gasped his final breath. J.J. had an enthusiasm for life that you couldn't help but catch. He found such joy in every moment of life. Despite his own hardship, he made everyone who came in contact with him feel like life was the greatest thing ever! His death has been such a shock. On Tuesday his parents and grandparents came to school to attend chapel with all his classmates, friends, teachers, and staff. It was a wonderful time of healing worship, and community. As the classes were dismissed from chapel, each class waited their turn to give his parents and grandparents a hug from every child and teacher. We all felt better by having the opportunity to love them. Later when the teachers were talking about the children and how it had gone, one of the teachers told what J.J.'s best friend had said when he found out. His words were profound, heart wrenching, and faith building all at the same time. He simply said, "Well, I guess it's all right if he's in Heaven and he doesn't have asthma anymore." Oh to have the faith of a child that it's all alright!! Those words of wisdom came from a best friend who shared a similar disability with his friend. He has cystic fibrosis and understands all too well how his friend felt and what his words mean. I want to have that kind of faith!