Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My dad. My hero.
Sunday, after church, my dad began to complain that his belly did not feel right. He was not nauseous, but felt full. The pain was high on his middle. We assumed since the stomach virus is rampant, he was yet another victim. We were wrong.
After leaving lunch early, completely out of character for my foodie father, he and my mom would make the drive to the hospital. Thank goodness they did. My father's appendix was diseased and leaking. He was operated on Sunday night. I was with my girlfriends when my mom called. They just took him. I was there in minutes.
We sat together, it was quiet...empty...late. We chatted and when we weren't chatting, I was thinking. I was thinking of all the good things I had to think about when it comes to my dad. A man of pure goodness, he is the man anyone would want for their daddy.
He and my mother have taught us responsibility not by what they say, but how they live.
He taught me early to tithe to the church.
He taught me that real men honor their wives in every possible way.
And their daughters too.
He taught me that sometimes holding down several jobs at a time is essential to providing for your family.
He holds education in high esteem and at the beautiful age of 69 commits himself to learning every single day.
He is the smartest man I have ever known.
He can make things work.
He still works full time and he is good at it.
He has never let me down, not once. EVER.
He loved God from early on and when his parents didn't take him to church he found people who would.
He is a crier. His heart is bigger than he is.
His children and grandchildren rock his world.
My brother and I are better people because he is our father.
I may be the apple of his eye, but I share that title with one awesome brother and his five amazing grandchildren.
He believes in me even when I don't believe in myself.
I still call him Daddy...
The doctor emerged...Everything went well. Due to certain circumstances, they used a longer procedure but the surgeon hoped it would mean a speedier recovery. As they took him to the OR, he apologized to the staff they called in, he was sorry he had taken them away from their families. That is my dad.
He was groggy next I saw him, aggitated and slightly confused. I held his hand and told him that I love him. His response time was rather slow but he managed to croak "I love you too".
I know Dad. I have never been more sure of anything than I am of the love of my parents.
"Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord, your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord, your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16
Friday, February 13, 2009
I have so many items to post right now, that the thought of breaking it down into chunks is overwhelming. So, in honor of Valentines Day, I thought it may be nice to post some of the love we have been feeling here lately.
We celebrated Rob's birthday. We went to a local restaurant and then went back to Grammy and Pop Pop's house for dessert. It was a perfect way for Rob to begin a new year. We love Daddy!
We had the honor of going into Emily's classroom to celebrate Chinese New Year. Even one of Emily's dearest friends was permitted to leave her classroom and come in to join us. We read a story, answered questions, colored dragon fans and ate Moon Cookies. The kids really enjoyed it and Emily was so happy to talk to her classmates about why China is special for our family. We spoke of how we all see the same moon and serve the same God. No love finer than that!
"...as far as east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
Last weekend, we had the distinct pleasure and priviledge to celebrate our friend, Jim. His wife Sharon, a sister in the Lord and and a sister in my life, blessed her husband with a surprise. She hosted a fete to celebrate Jim's 45th birthday and his impending trip to Israel. It was divine in every way that they are divine.
Unfortunately, we also attended a funeral. Perhaps one of the largest and most ceremonial funerals our county has ever seen, it was a beautiful celebration of a life well lived. We waited in line a very long time the evening of the viewing. We had arrived early to see Chris brought in on a horse drawn carriage. The streets were crowded and many, many people were there to support the family of this fallen officer. Two of Chris' brother in laws offered that we might move up toward the front to see their family. We opted to stay right where we were. That room was filled with compassion and love. We heard stories of amazing things he had done as a police officer. We heard people speak about his devotion to his wife and children. We shared some of our own fondest memories of Chris' wife and her family growing up. And even more beautiful than all of that, we met people in that line who had never met Chris Jones. They felt a kindred spirit to his vocation or just community outpouring, whatever inspired them to attend and stand in line two, three hours at a time, it was lovely. We were blessed by that experience.
When Sharon and I began a friendship last year, I would have never imagined how the Lord would weave His plan into the fabric of our lives. Our daughters are friends, which is precious, but our families are family which is a treasure. Jim has long dreamed of taking a trip to the Holy Land to walk where Jesus walked. Jim and Sharon live their entire life in obedience and accordance to God's will. Whether it is lifting loved ones in prayer, opening their home for fellowship, or finding friends in the company of complete strangers, this family is carrying the word of our Lord everywhere they go.
The service staff at the party made comment of how much love was in that room and I concur. Jim is a special, special man. As iron sharpens iron, Jim takes this verse seriously and is a true brother to his friends. He cares. Sharon cares. Their children care. Hearing their lifelong friends speak so eloquently about Jim and his family and the ways they have touched lives was moving on every level. Friends like this are a gift from God. How blessed we are to have been in their company to have had the joy of being part of those moments. We look forward to a lifetime of loving one another. (Feel welcome to visit Sharon's blog to see all the special touches she prayerfully added to make this occasion unique and special)
Sunday, February 1, 2009
No, not the Super Bowl.
This celebration remembers one little face. A little round face atop a cheery yellow sweater. The face of an angel. I gasped when I saw her...I knew she was our daughter. You can revisit the day of our referral here.
Today marks two years...two amazing years since we caught our first glimpse of our little Jiangxi girl. With just the right blend of sweet and sassy, Hannah is a precious gift. My heart still swells with that initial joy. Each time she kisses my face or leans in to whisper, "I love you, Mommy." She hunches in her seat every morning muttering, "I miss her already." as Emily jumps from her seat and bounds into school. She is fine mix of Daddy's girl and Mama's baby, and we are thankful beyond measure that the Lord, in His divine wisdom, knew to join East and West that a family may continue being built.
She sings "His Eye is on the Sparrow" at the top of her lungs...a symphony to us. So completely perfect...His eye was on our little sparrow, which gave us peace until we could reach her and gives us peace as we love her every single day. Today, we pray for all of the families enduring their wait, knowing that His eye is on their babies also. We look forward to each new referral remembering with misty eyes the range of emotions that pour over mommies and daddies who wait to see that face, to hold their children. East meets West...hearts unite.
Yes, we heart our Hannahversaries...and will forevermore.