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Faith-full Friday!


I will praise the Lord at all times.
      I will constantly speak his praises.  –Psalm 34:1

It’s FFFrridddaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!

Just that little phrase tends to bring a smile to my face.  Friday brings the promise of rest, relaxation, and fun.  It just makes you step a little lighter, smile a little brighter, feel a little more cheerful.  The light at the end of the tunnel has shown itself and you realize you are gonna make it.

Around this time of year, everyday is busy.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get things done.  Although it’s a fun time of year, it is also stressful.  For others, the stress comes from trials they are facing.  The holidays can take a toll on those who are dealing with broken relationships, financial problems, or the loss of a loved one.

Last year, my family was dealing with the loss of my step-dad.  We were just happy to survive the holiday season.  Our hearts were too heavy.  The loss was so close to Christmas, we were in shock.  It seemed unreal.  This past year has been so hard.  This year, the reality of the loss is upon us.  And although we ARE excited about the holidays, there still remains a sadness, a cloud that is there.  Our family is incomplete.

This week, it seems tragedy has been all around our small rural area.  Three children perished in a house fire.  A beloved father lost to a heart attack.  Serious illnesses have befallen several families.  I don’t understand all that has happened.  I don’t understand or know why.  But I do know that God is in control.  And He is holding those left behind in his hands.  I know that although I may not ever see the big picture, He does.  He knows the pain we suffer.  After all, His own son died a horrible death…..for me and for you.

I will choose to trust Him.  To lean on Him.  And to praise Him.

Today, I will choose to have faith that He has our best interests at heart.  I will choose to have faith in His plan, even if I do not understand it.  Today, I will choose to have faith in the plan He has for MY life…. faith enough to step out and follow.  Today, I will choose to lean on Him for comfort, peace, and even joy.  Because to know Him is to be loved unconditionally.  To know Him is to be full of faith.  Full of hope.

Today, I will thank Him.  Praise Him!

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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Life, Loss, and Love


 

Life is fragile.

It would be amazing if we could just handle life with ‘kid gloves’ so that maybe we could lengthen it’s stay.  Maybe, if we didn’t take it for granted so, extra time would be granted.  Precious time. If only.

Sadly, that’s just not how life works.  Our time here is limited. Borrowed, really, from the almighty Creator.

Not one living thing is exempt from it’s grasp.

Fame.

Wealth.

Power.

Social position.

Nothing. can. keep. us. from. death’s grip.

You can’t run from it, avoid it, stop it.

Why then, is it so easy for us to forget how easily, quickly, and without warning, death can snatch us, never to return?

We walk about our day, usually with little thought to saying good-byes and living in the moment as if it were our last.  We get bogged down in minor irritations and declare our day a loss.  When in reality, every breath is a reason for celebration.

Last night, a dear family friend lost her husband unexpectedly.  Without warning.  Today the family still can’t believe it is real.

I understand.  Ten and a half months ago my family lost my step-dad to a work-related accident.  Suddenly. Without warning.

One minute he was working, anxious to get home after being gone for a few months.  The next, Elvin was gone.  Lost to us in this life.

One minute we were eating lunch, Christmas shopping, and laughing at silly jokes.  The next, my brother and I were picking my mom up out of the floor of the Golden Corral….literally. Lives changed.  Shattered.  In an instant.  Love lost in the time it takes you to simply breath in.

When my mom talked to him that morning, she never dreamed it would be their last conversation.

The last time he would call.

The last time she would hear his voice.

Her last good-bye.

It’s still, almost a full year later, hard to believe.  Hard to allow it to sink in, that I will never drive up to their house to see him working on the tractor out in the field again.  Hard to believe that the grandbabies will never again be able to climb into his lap as they so often did.  Hard to believe that at every family get together from now on, we will be missing one who was loved so dearly.  So, so hard.

The only way, the only light through all of this…..has been provided by my refuge, my strength, my Savior.  Through the tears.  The pain.  The longing.  He is there, carrying us.  After all, His love for us is greater than any we have for each other.  His love cannot be contained.  I can rest in Him, trusting, knowing…. that although I may not see the purpose of His plan, there is, in fact, a purpose.  Our dear loved one was not lost in vain.  God is in control.

Today, a dear friend is only at the beginning of this terrible, painful struggle.  A life lost.  Many lives left behind, changed forever by his absence.  My heart hurts.  It aches for their pain.  It opens up old wounds that had finally begun to heal, if only a little.  I’m right back to that day.  That moment.

Today, as you go about your day, hug your loved ones a little tighter.

Pay attention to their words. Their expressions.

Don’t leave words unspoken that need to be heard.

Live life with the reality of it’s fragile state.  We are blessed to be given wonderful family and friends to love.  Every minute spent with a loved one  is a blessing.  Don’t let the irritations and frivolities of life keep you from cherishing every moment.

It just might be the last one you get.

 

My Mom and Elvin at their wedding.

Elvin and Cameron on the tractor….

We have more pictures of him on the tractor with the grandbabies than we can count!

Happy Birthday!  He LOVED ALL things John Deere!

Elvin and Mom at my brother’s wedding….

Only a few months before we lost him.

He drove through the night to come in from out of state to be there.

Elvin Loggins

April 20, 1948 – December 4, 2011

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in It's my life.....

 

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