Just a Little Taste of Heaven

Easter was different for me this year.

With my parents and single daughter in Branson, and not having been there since Christmas, I knew I needed to head that way.

This would mean leaving my husband to preach in Kansas, missing the celebration with our church family, but only having a 3 day weekend occasionally available, it was now or wait until June.

I left after work on Thursday and as I drove, I reminisced about the times when as a family, we were usually together. With four of our five adult children married now and spread apart, it was happening much less often.

None of them are in the same vicinity of each other. Branson, Idaho, North Eastern Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas have called all of them in different directions, making it a stretch to get together more than once a year.

I must admit that this causes me to envy my friends who live within a reasonable range of all their families, where they will fill a weekend with multiple family gatherings, enjoying the food, worship, Easter egg hunts and building memories.

It isn’t that I regret my life or choices. Ultimately, I know that all of them are about God’s sovereign lead and call. He has a plan for each of us and it is not always the same. Nonetheless, at times, I must admit, I miss my whole tribe being together!

So, with my parents staying put, my daughter and I headed to an outdoor Good Friday service with her church that was being held at a ranch. Many people were there and it was a treat to sit with some of her friends and share in the service.

After some worship and prayer, the girls and I made our way to the barn area and as I was waiting for them to return, someone grabbed me for a big hug and I realized it was a friend of my daughter’s who happened to notice me standing alone. I hadn’t seen Nathan for awhile and it was such a surprise to have him find me in the crowd.

As a part of the service, we were asked to find our way to a table of twelve where a host and hostess would serve us communion. It would be a reminder of the last supper when the intimate group of Christ followers shared in the breaking of bread and drinking of the cup before the crucifixion that was to come. It was to be a family feel in a small intimate setting as we reflected on these last hours leading up to the cross. I hadn’t thought about the table we were sitting at until I realized that I was being served communion by two friend’s of my kids, who were on staff at the church. Out of all of the tables that were there, and we sat at the one where they knew our names!

It was a special time as another friend joined us and our table was full with familiar faces. Call it an epiphany or what have you, but the Lord seemed to be opening my eyes to realize that someday, in his kingdom, every face will be familiar and everyone will be family.

There will be a day when we are no longer separated, lonely or missing our loved ones, but all who are in eternity with us, will be a loved one because they loved “the One”. They will know our name, we will know theirs and we will have a familiarity with one another because of the spirit of Christ who unifies all believers.

We will be one big, happy family, under one roof, sharing a banquet table that will seat us all.

Until that day, when I am finally home, it is a comfort to know that God is able to meet my every need right here and right now, even if it means providing a family in the absence of my own.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

The Personalities of Thanksgiving 2019

I have always been an observer of people and am convinced that each and every one has gifts in their personality that God knew the world was going to need.

More specifically, I think that each family is blessed with exactly who God knows they need to fill in the missing pieces of who He created them to be.

So of course, I love it when the holidays roll around and most of the family is all together, celebrating, giving me an opportunity to enjoy the gift of who they are.

The more people we add to the mix, the more gifts are brought to the table.

We have introverts and extroverts, artists, poets, writers, musicians and techies. We have theologians, mathematicians and teachers.

We know exactly who is going to make us laugh, who will bring the fun, who will challenge us with engaging topics of conversations and who will be the first one to offer to serve or help.

We know who will lose their phone or keys, who will find them, who will organize and who will assist, who will chill, who will stress, who will be the Martha, who will be  the Mary (the secret is out that I can be one or the other, depending on the moment!)

Most of all, we know who we are the most thankful for.

Every…single..one…

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours!

 

 

 

YOU REALLY SHOULD THINK TWICE BEFORE BECOMING A PARENT!

You really should think twice before becoming a parent.

Trust me on this because I have had five children and I did so without a clue as to what I was signing on for.

First of all, they are expensive.

They need doctors, dentists, clothes, food and frequent trips to Walmart.

They get sick at all hours of the night and day, refusing to cooperate with your own schedule and needs.

As infants, they strategically plan to spit up on you right after you get ready for church, or better yet, orchestrate a serious diaper blowout in the middle of the service.

As soon as they can walk, they will stand by your bed declaring their stomach hurts and before the words “get to the toilet!!” can escape your lips, they throw up all over you, the bedding and the floor.

They do heartbreaking things like graduate from story hour or pre-school and cause their mothers to cry as they accept their certificates and march across the stage, ready to pass on to the next season of life.

So, see, you really should think twice before becoming a parent.

When they enter adolescence, the hormones kick in and moods swing with the unpredictability of a Midwestern thunder storm.

This adds more expense as you have to double your intake of caffeine and Ibuprofen, not to mention the very real possibility you may have to add an extra bathroom on to the back of the house!

Before the hormones are fully under control, they begin to notice the opposite sex and also the family car which adds an overwhelming amount of added stress and sleepless nights to already exhausted parents.

You really should think twice before becoming a parent.

Finally, they reach high school age and you find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of activities that keep you wishing you lived in an R.V. instead of a house.

As you race from one event to another, snapping pictures, cheering their successes and standing beside them through many a teary failure, you suddenly see it is all coming to an end.

This brutal blow should definitely cause you to think twice before becoming a parent.

Somewhere in the midst of all the craziness you realize that there was laughter, joy, love and family.

There were friends, memories, milestones and growth that didn’t take place in just your kids but yourself as well.

You look back over the years, reflecting on each season and the epiphany comes:

YOU ARE GOING TO MISS THIS.

Just remember, I warned you.

You really should think twice before becoming a parent.