Prayers, Tears, and Comfort

graceThis morning as I logged into Facebook, I read several things which game me pause — the death of a young child, the pending death of a parent, surgery of a friend, sickness of friends, cancer treatments of family and friends, and other losses.

Tears came to my eyes and I said this prayer, “Lord, please give comfort to this family as only you can, please stretch out your healing hand to those who are sick, help us be a comfort to one another and help as needed, and please watch over us. Amen.”

The child, Patrick, passed away on Saturday.  He wasn’t quite a year old and had been sick with congenital heart disease.  His mother has been writing a blog about his illness, which is very touching.  I didn’t know them very well but this boy’s aunt is a friend of mine from high school.  I also knew her brother, Patrick’s dad.

Another friend has been called in by hospice for her father.  He has been ill and now the family is gathering with him.  It will be time for them to say goodbye.  So hard to lose a parent, no matter how old we are.

Also a dear friend is having another surgery this morning.  She has already had several and hopes this will be the last one and that comfort will be coming soon.  Other friends are sick and having issues, and some are in the midst of chemo treatments.

prayingSo much loss, so much heartache, so many tears, and so much pain.  Yet there is hope and comfort.  Comfort in hugs, comfort in knowing our loved ones will see us through the pain, comfort in prayers, comfort in our faith, comfort in our memories, and comfort in time.

There is an expression that time heals all wounds.  I am not sure if it heals them or if we figure out a way to deal with them as time goes on. Perhaps it is a combination of both.

Here are a few verses of scripture that are especially poignant this morning:

  • Ecclesiastes 3:4 — a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
  • Psalm 30:5 — Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
  • Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Philippians 4:7 — And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 23:4 — Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

May God be with you at the beginning of this new week.  If you are in pain or are suffering loss, may you find comfort.

September 24 – Loud

Sept.24_POD_LoudToday’s photo challenge is Loud.  I decided to include an old picture of my family.  We are loud, boisterous, silly, theatrical, and fun.  This photo is from the early 1990s.

Come to think of it, both the 1980s and 1990s were loud — with the music, clothing, and hairdos.  And, I loved it!  That was the era that I grew up in, graduated from high school, went to college, earned my degree, and then started my first job.

Many years ago, Saturday Night Live did a sketch called The Loud Family.  We called them “The Louds.”  This family would yell at each other at the dinner table.  My family mimicked that a few times and it was so funny.

I don’t think we meant to be loud, but all of us are passionate and have good lungs, so our voices carry.  That and plenty of singing and theater experience has helped all of us to project our voices.

Now, Ian is carrying on our fine family tradition.  He often has a loud voice and loves to talk and play. I think he too will have time in his life on a stage.

I love my original family and all of our fun times we have had together over the years.  My parents, sister, and brother are my favorite people.  Now all of us kids are married and have kids.

Dinners together were always important growing up and still are to all of us.  Now, we have all of the kids, as well as cousins, aunts, uncles and others to join in the fun.

I wonder when I will get to be loud again with my goofy family?  I sure hope it’s soon!  Love you all.

Throwback Thursday – Summer Fun

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Throwback Thursday.  Since summer is winding down, I thought it would be fun to post an old photo of my son with my dad at the beach.  This was taken in July 2010, so Ian was a few months away from turning 3 years old.

I love how dad is showing Ian the fun of the ocean waves on your toes. And the feel of wet sand, and the importance of holding hands so you don’t fall over.

Four generations of my family have enjoyed this beach and I just love that.  There is much history there and many amazing memories.  I am so blessed to have gone there as a child and now to be able to take my child. It has also been fun to be there with my husband.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Summers spent at our family’s beach house
  • Toes in the sand
  • Feeling the water on our toes and legs
  • Spending time with parents and grandparents during the summer
  • Small feet that have grown quite a bit
  • Many years of fun memories
  • A chance to have four generations at the beach a few summers ago — something I will never forget
  • Our smooth transition from summer to school
  • A family who I love dearly and who love me
  • Friends who make me laugh and help me smile
  • Prayer support

I wonder what other fun things we will do before summer officially ends on September 23?  I look forward to finding out.  And, I also am looking forward to the fall/autumn season.

August 22 – Words

Words_POD_8-22-14Today’s photo challenge is Words.  I decided to include a note that is one of my favorites that I ever received from Ian.  It says, “Mommy, I will love you forever.”  Honestly, what is better than that from your child?

The photo is a little fuzzy since it is hard to take a photo of a piece of white paper.  I did the best I could. Ian wrote this for me last year when he was regularly calling me Mommy.  Now, he’ll say “Mommy, I mean Mom.”  Still not used to the new name, but I am getting there.

Seeing this sentiment in writing from my son was so very special.  This note is on the side of a photo that he drew for me.  I think it was for Mother’s Day.  Honestly, it was more special than any store-bought item could ever be.

I don’t know about you, but I love words.  Just love them!  As a writer, I spend a lot of time with words and can’t get enough. The written word in my writings, books, songs, and other writings are very special to me, as are spoken words.

One of the funniest commercials on television right now is about Words and that Words can truly hurt you.  It is a Geico commercial.  Have you seen it?  I sure hope so.  I crack up each and every time I see it.

As an editor, I have had to check the correct spelling of words as well as their usage.  This is something I also enjoy.  Another thing I like to do with words is Word Finds.  I can spend hours and hours on these. And, some days actually have.

Most people seem to either like numbers or words.  I definitely am a words person.  A few of my favorite words (but by no means all) are:

  • Love
  • Family
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Mommy or mom
  • Daddy or Dad
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Husband
  • Wife
  • I Thee Wed
  • Hug
  • Friend
  • Trust
  • Forgiveness
  • SRP
  • Brigadoon
  • Home
  • Clumping
  • Prayer
  • Belief
  • Faith
  • Be still and know that I am God
  • Trust
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Happiness
  • School
  • Learning
  • Celebration
  • Compassion
  • Reading
  • Singing
  • Fun
  • Laughter
  • Aunt and Uncle
  • Cousin
  • Niece and Nephew
  • In-laws
  • Beautiful
  • Waves
  • Ocean
  • Beach
  • Beach house
  • Breath
  • Imagination
  • Blessings
  • Jesus loves me this I know
  • I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From

What are some of your favorite words? Please share them with me and our other readers.

Throwback Thursday – Kirk

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA DSC05822 (2) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn honor of my husband’s birthday tomorrow, I decided to include a few old pictures of the two of us and of us with Ian.

This first one is of the two of us in 2006 – pre-Ian.  We were in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The second picture of us kneeling with Ian was taken in San Diego at Balboa near the organ pavilion.  I don’t remember the year. As you can see we like hats and sunglasses when we are outside.

The third picture of us sitting on the grass was taken on Easter Sunday a few years ago.  I just love Ian’s pose.  He is a ham for the camera and certainly was in this picture.

Happy early birthday babe! I love you very much!

Throwback Thursday – Pam and Patti

img067For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a few pictures of me with my cousin Pam.  In honor of our recent visit, I thought I’d go back a few years for the photos.

This first picture was taken in the early 1990s.  I don’t remember what year.  I love it of both of us.

Since this was taken, we have posed for many pictures, including our recent visit.  We have also laughed a lot, cried a little, and had so many fun times together.

girls 2Pam is one of my best friends.  And, I love that we are family.  No matter how long it’s been since we have seen each other, we pick up right away and chat like no time has passed. Vacation 2006 185The friendship we have is rare and I cherish it.

This second picture is (from left) of me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie. And the third was taken on that same day while shopping and walking on the boardwalk of Beckie, Pam, and me.  These were taken in 2006. Fun times with my girls!

Shared stories, laughter, togetherness, time at the beach or pool, and talking over a glass of wine are some of the many things we enjoy doing together.

Now that we are both married and have families, our circle has grown.  There are more people to have fun with and to love. Our families are so important to both of us and I just love that!

A verse in scripture (Proverbs 17:17) says that a friend loves at all times.  And Elbert Hubbard said, ““A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”  I am blessed to have such a friend who is also my cousin.

I wonder when I will get to see my dear cousin again?  I do hope that it’s soon!

Birthday Wishes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AIDEN AND PAUL!!!!!!!

Today, June 29, is my nephew Aiden’s Birthday.  He is 12 years old today.  To him, I want to say Happy Birthday and hope you are having a great day!

Tomorrow is my cousin Paul’s birthday.  He is six months older than me and so much fun.  Happy birthday to you too Paul. Love ya cuz!

I hope that both of these great guys have fun days.  Love you both so much!  I wish I could be with both of you!

(I am not on my usual computer so I can’t post any graphics with this post, but hope to soon.  Take care!)

Five Minute Friday – Hands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s Five Minute Friday word is Hands.  This photo shows Ian using his hands when he was a little guy. He had just finished putting the puzzle together.

On your mark, get set, write… for 5 minutes.

Hands… I have enjoyed seeing Ian’s hands grow and change throughout his young life.

The day he was born, he was taken to the NICU in another hospital for a few issues.  That night Kirk went to see him.  As he was holding our newborn, Ian grabbed Kirk’s finger and held on really tight.  He seemed to know his daddy and that was a comfort to him. I think it was a comfort to both of them.

He was in the NICU for 4 days and nights before we could bring him home.  After having carried him for 9 months, these were the longest days of my life.  Each time we went, we held him and his hands and he held onto us; we fed him with the bottle and worked on breast-feeding, and we changed both his clothing and his diapers.

Now we hold hands when crossing the street walking to and from school.  There is nothing like the feel of that little hand in mind. I also like holding hands with my husband and always have.  And sometimes all three of us hold hands together and that is fun as well.

When our family gets together for parties and holidays, we hold hands to pray.  The circle of love is awesome and very special.  It is great to be a part of this circle and to hold hands with another family member.

Hands build, work, create, cook, bake, comfort, feed, communicate, and celebrate.  They are the most common way to touch someone else.  And, we praise and pray with them as well.

Before starting to write this blog, I hadn’t thought about how much I use my hands and take them for granted.  I will do my best not to do so anymore.

Times up!  I wonder what we will be doing with our hands today?  I look forward to finding out.

5minutefridayThe rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

To read about other thoughts on hands, please go to http://lisajobaker.com/2014/06/five-minute-friday-hands/

June 3 – Family

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Family.  Here is a selfie or should I say ussie of my family and me that I took recently.  We were having a fun day.

I have been blessed with a great family.  The family I grew up with, my husband’s family, and now our family with our son are all a blessing.

I have a circle of dear friends who are also my family.  Many of them I don’t get to see as much as I’d like to, but when we are together, we always have fun.

I love the family I grew up with – my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  From my family, I learned all about love, humor, laughter, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

I love that although many of us are different, we have found a way to get along and have fun together.  That is rare and an amazing blessing.

With my family, I have always felt loved, appreciated, and valued. My family is so very precious to me.  I am truly honored to be a part of these people’s lives and for them to be a part of mine.

A few quotes about family:

  • “I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” ~ Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck

I look forward to family time this summer and many fun memories that we will make.  I wonder how soon we will have that time?  I hope it is very soon.

Four More Days

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAStarting this morning, Ian has four more days left of kindergarten. I am both happy and sad at this idea.  Happy that it is almost summer and that he will be a rising 1st grader.  Sad that our baby is growing up so very quickly.

The year has flown by and he has made some good friends.  He has also really liked his teacher and her assistant.  And, he has liked all of his special area teachers as well.  We have truly been blessed.

I am so proud of all he has learned this year.  It has been amazing getting to watch him learn and encourage him as he has done so.  We have had more blessings that I can count.

The kindergarten students will have a very fun last week.   Today is beach day, tomorrow the music program, Thursday is field day and a picnic, and Friday is pajama and movie day.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  I just wish I could be there all week with him to enjoy all of this.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Making hot chocolate for Ian in the morning
  • Listening to Ian’s thoughts and ideas
  • Playing games with Ian and Kirk
  • Listening to Ian read a book
  • Having Ian assist me in the kitchen while making meals
  • Being able to enjoy the last week of school before summer starts

I wonder if this week will be as fun as I think for him.  I have a feeling that it will.