Things I Will Always Say Yes To

Things I Will Always Say Yes To

Ice cream on a hot day (who am I kidding? Yes to ice cream always!)

Hugs, snuggles, holding hands

One more chapter

Coffee with friends

Adventure, travel, exploring

Taking another picture

Singing loudly, quietly, in harmony

S’mores at a campfire

Listening to my husband play guitar

Trying something new

Catching fireflies

Star gazing

Watching my kids dance, sing, play soccer, long board, paddle board, kayak, swim. Whatever delights them, I will always say yes!

Walks in the freshly fallen snow

Hikes to waterfalls

Pizza

Reading books fireside

Church, devotions, Bible study

Jesus

I used this writing prompt- Things I Will Always Say Yes To- with my littles yesterday and their responses were magical. I am deliberately walking through the grief of the past couple years this week, trying to make sense of the heartbreak and the loss. There is deep sorrow for me in this and so I’m finding that I must couple it with simple joys; playing Yahtzee with my family, talking on the phone with my sister and my daughter, going out with friends, walks with my dog, coffee and scripture reading.

If you too are walking through a season of grief, I would encourage you to try writing out the things you will always say yes to. I hope you find the joy in this simple exercise and that you are reminded of all the good in your life in the midst of the hard.

It IS Well With My Soul

Posted by on June 20, 2022 in Daddy, Living a Legacy | Comments Off on It IS Well With My Soul

Dear Daddy,

It’s been nine years. Nine years since I heard your voice. Nine years since I saw your smile. Nine years since I kissed your cheek and hugged you tight. Nine Father’s Days without you.

They say time heals all wounds, but I am learning that there are some wounds that don’t need to heal. I don’t want to forget you. The grieving is a reminder of how much I was loved by you. And how much I loved you in return.

The phrase “grieving with hope” has been stuck in my mind since yesterday when a friend and I cried together over our losses and she reminded me through her tears that we have hope in the midst of our grief. And then I read 1 Thessalonians 4:13 this morning as part of my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. (CSB)

It’s no mistake that I read that this morning. I see God’s sweetness and his goodness to me everywhere. Thank you for teaching me to love God’s Word! What an encouragement it is to my heart. I cannot imagine going through life without this anchor for my soul. It’s too hard, Daddy! But your faithful and steady love for the Lord continues to reap benefits. I have an unshakable hope, the very thing you prayed for all of your girls to have.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and I had the privilege of singing with Lindsay on our praise team with Dave playing guitar and Ethan on the sound board. It was reminiscent of Sundays at St. Pauls when Mom would lead the choir, Janey would play piano and the rest of us would sing! What a privilege it is to serve the Lord in this way. Thank you for instilling a love for music, for praising God and for using our gifts to serve him in me. It brings great delight.

The first song we sang nearly brought me to tears of joy as I looked out over our congregation and saw our precious young ones signing the words to the song. For God so love the world that he gave us, his one and only Son to save us, whoever believes in him, will live forever!

Then we sang Jesus Messiah and I was almost brought to tears again, because it will forever remind me of six year old Lindsay singing this song with all of her heart. I will never forget the Sunday when we sang this song in the beautiful sanctuary in Greenwich, CT, looking out on the lush green trees that surrounded the building, and Lindsay held the melody while I sang harmony! It’s a memory I will cherish always. It was the beginnings of her love for Jesus taking hold in her life.

I did shed a few tears when Dave prayed for a precious older saint who had to be taken to the hospital between Sunday School and the Worship Service. Later I was reminded of the quote by Jane Austen, “I have no notion of loving people by halves”, and although it was spoken by a character I was not fond of, I resonate deeply with the quote itself. I don’t know how to not love fully and care deeply. You taught me that too, Daddy! It all started with your intentional encouragement of me to visit our older neighbor down the street, to just spend time with her and listen to her stories. I’m so grateful you did that. It’s hard when our loved ones struggle, but I never regret loving them.

Next we sang In Christ Alone and this one always affects me deeply. The line “from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny”, inevitably makes me think of the picture of you holding four month old Ainsley. It evokes emotions of joy and sorrow intertwined with the knowledge that Jesus is sovereign over all of it. And he is good. How kind he was to give me Ainsley, knowing that he would be taking you home in the same year! She is a constant reminder of God’s trustworthiness. Yes, there is sorrow. But there is also joy. I dressed Ainsley in a bright yellow dress for your funeral. She looked like sunshine and that is exactly what she was. A ray of light in an otherwise dark time. Grieving, but not without hope!

Dave preached from Colossians 2:8-15. I think if you had been able to give commentary on this sermon, you would have said that he preached with power and that the Lord used his words to challenge and encourage hearts. As I sat and watched my husband preach so passionately, I thought about how blessed I have been to have had you as my pastor in my growing up years and to have my husband faithfully preaching the Word as my pastor now. I don’t take this for granted. The criticism I have watched you both endure has been heartbreaking at times, yet I have the unique perspective of knowing the truth about these things! You were/are men of great integrity with hearts that desire God’s glory alone. I see the same wisdom in my husband that I saw in you and I am forever grateful.

The service ended with singing “It Is Well”. I knew it would be rough, but I also felt joy in the opportunity to sing “our” song, a fitting tribute to you and a joyous celebration of God’s goodness. It’s incredible to go through the roughest storms, yet to see how He graciously holds us close and carries us through. You demonstrated this to me my whole life. You lived and breathed the words “whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul”! You endured great difficulty with a faithful trust in our gracious God. This complete dependence on God has given me a solid foundation for life. Thank you, Daddy!

The last Father’s Day I spent with you is one I will cherish always! The impact you have had on my life is endless.

Love you always,

Becky

Pro-Jesus

Do you remember when we used to be able to have discussions that revealed differences of opinions and we could still walk away as friends?

The ability to reason with one another respectfully seems to be a thing of the past. I’m not sure that we can pinpoint one catalyst for this cultural shift, but it is one that deeply saddens me especially as I consider the world my kids are inheriting.

The isolation of 2020 was difficult, but now I find myself longing for the solitude and for a quieting of the cacophony of voices. Turns out that there were some positives to our forced sheltering-in-place. Everyone has an opinion on everything and if you aren’t loud or obnoxious about it then do you really care? As I’ve watched the hostility grow, I have found myself growing quieter and quieter. There is great wisdom in James 1:19 when he says, “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” ESV

I value having friendships with others who disagree with me. Their voices cause me to pause and to reevaluate my own opinions. There has been a softening in my perspective through the years as a result of these friendships. It’s why I rarely enter into the political realm or talk about my opinions on issues.

It doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion, but it does mean that I would rather sit with you on Adirondack chairs by my favorite lake and have that talk with you in person.

I won’t call you a disgusting murderer if you are pro-choice and I won’t threaten to egg your house if you are pro-life (both of these are responses that friends of mine have received for sharing their beliefs).

I won’t write you off if you’re a registered Republican OR if you’re a registered Democrat. I know why you vote the way you do and I appreciate the way you have wrestled with the difficult choices we have faced in our country.

I get why hearing “All Lives Matter” makes you cringe and even seethe and I understand the reason why you can’t let go of this statement because if you believe that all of humanity was created in the image of God, how can you NOT say “All Lives Matter”?

There are so many other issues that have played into this great divide in our country, but as I watch things play out, I am convinced that we are less concerned with bridging this gap than we are are with winning the debate.

I love football. Anyone who knows me even a little knows this about me. When my team is playing, I cheer like crazy and I have been known to smack talk with friends. I have been gutted when my team has lost (and as an adult, I have had to temper my feelings knowing that I have four pairs of eyes watching my responses!).

When I consider the current values of our society, I can’t help but think that we have turned all things into a giant football game. Everyone is expected to pick a side and then to support their side with the same frenzy of a football fan. Trash talk is not only acceptable, it’s expected. You must celebrate your side with memes and social media posts aplenty. When your side wins, you are giddy with excitement. When your side loses, you find comfort in attacking and demeaning the opposition.

But this fight is not about a trivial football game. It’s a serious fight for a country that has thrived on its unity, but is now threatened by its own people.

And so, I find myself on the sidelines, not wanting to pick a side, because I long for peace and stability. If you were enjoying a cup of coffee with me, taking in the views of the water, the trees, the mountains with me, I would tell you that I have solidly decided that I am pro- Jesus. That’s it. I want to know him more and more and I desire for my responses to cultural issues to reflect his heart, not the opinion of the day. I believe that Jesus is the answer for all of the struggles that we face, but not in a hit you over the head until you believe kind of way, but in the “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full” kind of way (John 10:10).

Every opinion and stance you take, he understands. He knows your heart and the reasons why you feel the way you do. But if those values are not bringing you hope and joy and peace, might I suggest that you seek him too? He is the only thing that will not change. He will never leave you or forsake you. He holds all things together. He is always with you. His love for you will never fail. He will not write you off or cancel you.

There is great hope in this. I have found the sustaining love of Jesus to be the one constant in my life. He truly is an anchor for my soul. I hope you know this hope, this love, this security. If you don’t, there is always a seat open beside me. I’d love to have a chat.

 

Can’t You See?

I wonder what was said to you to make you turn away,

to leave a depth of friendship and act like it’s okay;

What lies must you believe to turn your back on me,

I didn’t do the things they said, oh, friend! Can’t you see?

 

I’m still the one who cried with you when your life fell apart.

I’m still the one who prays for you and cares deeply for your heart.

I stand here with my arms wide open to welcome you back home,

why do you run the other way and face your fears alone?

 

We all are on a journey, the paths we take diverge,

will they intersect again or are we doomed to ne’er emerge

from the road we’re traveling on of heartache and despair?

We need to take a deeper breath and come back up for air.

 

Remember all the truth you know, let it settle deep,

Renew your mind, restore your soul, let your sad heart weep,

Let go of all the angst you hold, the lies that you’ve believed,

Surrender to the only One who truly knows your need.

 

Let His love wash over you, return to learn from Him,

Seek hope, seek truth, pursue His peace and let His story win,

Stop running after lesser things and let His love hold you,

He’s never left, He’s by your side, and dear friend, I am too!

 

1 2 3 238