Monday, May 13, 2013

Stones of Remembrance

A year ago today, I was driving down M-18 on Mother's day, May 13th.  My mom and sister had called me before church and decided to call 911.  My dad was in trouble.  After church was over, they called again to tell me that he had a stroke.  I decided I needed to go be with them.  

Homemade cards!
That drive seemed really long and lonely.  I prayed and I prayed some more.  I could not begin to imagine how this day was about to unfold.  My plans had no room for a stroke, a scared mother, a worried sister, a weak me.  I prayed a usual prayer...God you got this, I can handle this.  

Me and my beautiful mom!
But over the days to come, my parent's world began to crumble.  My world began to be shaken to pieces on the ground.  Everything I knew to be reality, no longer existed.  Within days, my dad could not move his right side, talking was a huge problem, and so many other issues.  My mother was broken.  My husband and I had to make tough choices about our own journey in life which meant leaving our job.  Everything that spoke security was gone by the following Sunday. One week changed everything.  How could I even begin to understand what was about to happen on that long drive to the hospital?!

But God knew all along what was about to happen.  Mother's day 2012 was the day that He began to break the chains that bound my family.  
It was the beginning of really showing me that...
She is too adorable and loves every spinny ride!
He chases after us relentlessly.
His ways are far better than anything we can even imagine.    
His joy will be my strength.  
Who I am is not what I was going through.  
He is in EVERY detail of my life.  
He is truly forgiving, merciful, full of grace, tender hearted, patient with me, and a healer of my brokenness. 
He bends down to me, hears me, and knows my name.
He is not ever going to break me. 
His light cast out all darkness.
His love washes over me.
He caries me, holds me, and covers me with His feathers.
When He calls me to follow Him, I must lay everything down....EVERYTHING!

This past year, has changed me for the better.  The struggle, the wrestling with God has helped me become more like Him. There have been angry walks with God.  There have been countless tears shed until I could cry no more.  There have been quiet moments of just listening for Jesus to speak.  In the struggle, tears, words, and listening something inside of me has been redeemed.  All that I was holding back now lies at the foot of the cross where it needed to be all along.  

My son's first carnival ride ever!
Where does that all leave me a year later?  It leaves me with a thankful heart and determination that what lies pass does not define my future.  God alone defines that!  

Jeremiah 29:11

New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

So this Mother's day we rejoiced in our God who rescued us from the pit.  We thanked Him for His faithfulness. We remembered His power working in us, changing us.  We celebrated His goodness.  And we marked Mother's day 2013 with stones of remembrance just like Joshua had the tribes of Israel gather stones to mark God leading them from the desert, through the Jordan, and to the promise land.  (Joshua 4:1-9)

Some of the best people in my life now and we are playing BINGO!
We determined that this would be no ordinary Mother's day...nope we CELEBRATED!  My parents and sister came to our home, we went out to eat, and of course there were cards and gifts.  In the late afternoon, we went to our church's huge celebration for God's faithfulness and we had no problem joining right along with that declaration.  We went on rides, ate tons of food, played bingo, laughed, and surrounded ourselves with God's beautiful people.  We then went and sat in hot tub and pool at the hotel...a perfect end to a perfect day.

My sister about to spin her guts out!
I laid my head down at the end of the day and marveled at His goodness.  My heart is so full of thankfulness.  Thank You Lord, for healing my dad inside and out.  Thank You, for being my mother's strong comforter.  Thank You, for my courageous husband.  Thank You, for my loving children.  Thank You, for a strong sister.  Thank You, for extended family who runs to our aid.   Thank You; for the dearest friends who call, encourage,pray and love at always the right time.  Thank You, for the most priceless new friends that have entered my life. Thank You, for such a beautiful healthy church to call home.  Thank You, for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are so merciful and kind.  Thank You, for Your love that has amazed me time and time again.  

As my parents drove away from my home today Monday, May 13th, this verse comes to mind....

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

and My heart was full and overflowing!  


This picture cracks me much here. 

Psalm 139

Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
My adorable kids!

    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.
My beautiful sis and her vegan ways!
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

Grandma's gift stones with hand prints from the kids.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

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