For the past few months, the world as we know it has spun into chaos. Our eyes, our ears, and our hearts have been overwhelmed by words of fear and scenes most terrifying to behold. From the threat of an invisible killer to the hungering flames consuming homes and business’s our senses have been overwhelmed with the realization that our world is in danger of spinning out of control and descending into a heart stopping chaos.
At times is feels as if every pillar of our society, and every thread of the fabric that holds our society together is being torn apart. From the familiar rhythm of society, the comfort of the daily routine, to our favorite corner shop, all has been pulled out from under us. Leaving behind a sense of confusion as we blindly seek to inch our way around this unfamiliar world where every landmark has been or is in the process of being removed.
No matter what side you stand on, these times have a power to impress the heart with its deepening sense of uncertainty and humble us with the realization of how fragile is the framework of the world we like to believe is iron strong. Overnight our society went from reaching new heights, robust and seemingly unbreakable, to shuttered and broken. In a matter of days we tumbled from a financial pinnacle to a financial dump. Truly it can be said of the last few weeks that men’s hearts are failing them for fear and love of mankind for their fellow man, is indeed in the process of growing cold.
During theses trying times, it is worth taking a moment to be grateful for one bright spot. And that is that even during this nightmarish times, there are those who are willingly to lay their all on the line. That there are those who are willing to face the ire of the mob, to endure the scorn of the crowd, who are willing to endure threats, insults, and and to be pelted by rock and bricks, knowing that their very life is on the line.
Why? Just to save the lifeless bones of an ancient building or to keep a pile of bauble from becoming useless ruble? No, but to save that which is most important, the lives of their fellow man. To these heroes, who race towards the devouring flame, I dedicate these humble words of thanks.
Its that time of year when we take a few moments to pause and thank our fathers for all of the things, big and small, that they do for us throughout the year, and to take some time to lovingly recall all the ways that they have sacrificed in order to make our lives better. As this special day of thanks to Father’s draws nears, I want to pause and take a moment to thank not only my Father, but the millions of selfless Father’s who willingly put their dreams on the back burner in an effort to make their children’s dreams come.
Unfortunately we tend to pass by your hard labor and save our words of thanks for this one fleeting day. But though we all to often fail of giving you words of gratitude in due season, I want to take this moment to say, thank you for your love and watch care. And to let my own Father know how much I appreciate his patient love and care.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! And a very special thank you to my Mother and Grandmother. Sadly I do not have the money to take you out to lunch or buy you flowers, but I would like to show you my appreciation by sharing this little poem thanking you and all the selfless mothers who work so hard throughout the year by giving up many of your own comforts so that our lives will be a little bit better. Thank you so much and may God repay you for all that you have done.
And a very special Mother’s Day to my own Mother. I want to say thank you for the hard work that you do all year to make my life and the life of each member of our family more comfortable and productive than what it would be. May God bless your many tears and prayers on our behalf.
It has been an exhausting but amazing few days since I posted Waiting to Make Our Dream Come True. When I wrote that post late Thursday evening, my family and I were digging in for a three long weeks of hoping and praying that our land would finally be cleared. After months of dead ends, unexpected delays, and a seemingly endless round of excuses we had reached the point that we were ready to call it all quits and put our dream land for sale. Confident that by the brick wall we seemed to hit each time that we attempted to get our lot clear, the Lord was telling us to stay where we were.
After a heartfelt round of prayers we finally made the call to the realtor who had found our small slice of heaven on earth that we had been postponing for months. To our great surprise, and relief, instead of jumping at the opportunity to earn a commission, he not only personally offered to find someone to clear the land for us, but had personally met each one at our lot to show them where the markers were and get their quotes.
The first person had given a fairly decent quote and even a small discount if we accepted that day and allowed him to start Monday morning. Nearly giddy from the idea of the land being cleared so soon we were instantly ready to accept even though the price while fair was pushing our already bulging budget. But there was still one more estimate which when it came in over a thousand dollars cheaper than the first was a positive delight to our reeling budget, only we would need to wait about three weeks before the work could begin. But with a tight budget what other choice did we have but to accept the cheaper offer and settle back and hope that at the end of three seemingly endless weeks we would not hear the dreaded words, I have fallen behind so it will have to wait a little longer, and the land would finally be cleared. And that is where that Thursday evening found us, stuck once more in the rut of hoping, praying, and waiting that another delay would not come our way.
Friday morning our minds were one place as we imagined the joy that would hopefully be ours as we finally enjoyed the privilege of a clean lot devoid of a forest of trees. The work of the day moved sluggishly as our minds naturally gravitated to the topic so dear to our hearts. Yet amidst our hopes was the nagging fear that for the sake of our budget we had made the wrong choice, and that at the end of three weeks we would hear the dreaded put off that we circumstances had risen which would require us to wait longer. And that despite our real estate agents kind efforts, we would once again be sitting on the train to nowhere, and our land would have to go for sale.
With our thoughts jumbled and our emotions running every which way focusing at mundane task was nearly impossible. Every thing took a hundred fold longer than what it should as our thoughts and conversations repeatedly returned to the mixed bag of soaring hopes and heart dropping fears. Unable to focus, we decided that it was senseless to keep spinning our wheels at home, but would clear our heads by getting the necessary grocery shopping out of the way, and with a clearer mind could devote the afternoon to working around the house.
After several unexpected delays, that included me mildly injuring my ankle, we arrived home well past lunch time. Our hungry stomachs weary at its delay we were rushing to empty the car and put together a quick meal when the phone rang. My heart racing from a strange confidence as I hobbled over the table, I was already certain I knew who was calling and why. My expectations met I did my best to rush from the family room to the garage where my parents and sister were still bringing in the groceries. My confidence was so certain that I simply handed the phone to my Father and returned to fixing our meal. Certain that our unspoken prayer and that at last we would have a concrete date for when our land would at least be cleared.
But even though I sensed that our prayers had been answered, I was not prepared for the magnitude of the answer. For I had assumed that the second person who had given us the lower of the two estimates had at last settled his schedule and we would finally have a date that we could circle on our calendar and look forward to with complete confidence. With that hope firm in my heart I had not bothered to hang around and listen to the conversation that ensued. So it was with great amazement that a few moments later I listened to my Father as he revealed that we not only had a date, but that thanks to the never failing love of God and the extreme kindness of our real estate agent, a miracle had been worked that not only put us on the schedule for the very next Monday, but would decrease our cost by several hundred more dollars! So that for six hundred dollars less than what it had cost a nearby neighbor to clear one acre, we would have all three of our acres cleared!
The burst of joy and thankfulness that filled our hearts at that moment far outweighed the sorrow of the last few months. As with trembling hearts we thanked the Lord for caring for us so much that he would move upon the heart of our real estate agent to first turn down a chance at commission, then lay aside his work to personally travel to our land so he could assure that we got a fair bid, and then even after we had accepted an offer to quietly work one bid against the other so that we could get an even lower rate.
Even now as I look back at the sudden and wonderful change in circumstance and my tired muscles remember the long, daily drives to watch the trees fall, my eyes tear up with joy as I think of the love of God in bending low to help my humble little family. For there is something about human nature that we do not think it such a big deal that God would help a rich family or one with great prestige, but that the King of the Universe should take His time to help one of limited means and whose name is unknown to the masses somehow still manages to come as some sort of surprise to us. Perhaps it is because we are accustomed upon this earth mankind rush to move heaven and earth moved for the rich, the famous, and the royal, yet without a second thought push off the needs of the quiet, the poor, and the humble, that without meaning to we figure that the Heavenly King would have no time or interest to intervene on our behalf. Yet in spite of our unworthiness and lowly place upon this earth, He had listened to and answered our prayers. And only a four days after writing the article about waiting to make our dreams come true, the very first of several hundred trees fell victoriously to the ground.
It is a shame that we need a special day to pause from our busy schedules to remember the people that we love. Important days like Valentines, Mother’s, Father’s, and Grandparent’s Day should not have to be on the calendar for us to stop and schedule a few hours at the dinner table with or call on the phone.
The mere years of love and faithful devotion required by our Mother’s for us to survive the tenuous journey of totally dependent infancy to independent adults ready to stand upon our own two feet should be enough for us to daily show our gratitude through little acts of attention and words of love that let our precious Mother know that we are grateful for her years of sacrifice on our behalf.
But sadly it is so easy to get caught up in the minutia of life and the daily grind to survive. The once daily calls we promised that we would make grow sparse as work and exhaustion blend one day into another. Before we realize it, days and weeks have gone by since we last said those words our Mother’s hold so dear, I love you Mom, thank you for all that you have done.
I know that it has been quite awhile since my last post. I have wanted to post for quite some time, but have been enduring a rather strong flare up that has left me curled up in a tight ball for days on end. Leaving me little time to accomplish important task like helping with the dishes or assisting with the family budget. By the time I was ready to log onto Word Press my small bank account of energy had been overdrawn and it was not long before I had to turn off the laptop and curl up in a tight ball once more.
The past few months have been far from easy. Filled with long days of pain, fatigue, miserable migraines, the intense body chill of Reynolds, and a slowly increasing heart rate it seemed at times like someone pressed the pause button for my life. Though it has not been easy, I had one great comfort. The sustaining trust that I was not going through the hour of trial alone. My confidence that every groan, every ache, every tear of misery had been marked by Jesus.
In those long hours of suffering I found myself often thinking of what it must have been like for Jesus during those last few hours before the cross. My iron low leaving me cold and struggling to get the strength to walk the few feet from my room to the sofa, I wondered how after being beaten multiple times and having already lost a fair quantity of blood, Jesus endured what must have felt like an eternal walk from Jerusalem to Golgotha. Then, weak and in great physical pain he was hoisted upon a crude cross.
In some ways, after years of being chronically ill, I have found myself becoming s somewhat cynical of the world around me. It is not something I set out to do, and it is an attitude I try to repress, but years of discouragement and disappointment take their toll.
Friendships that you thought would last a lifetime come to a quiet end as life for them continues and you remain an frustrated prisoner of pain. Caught up in the excitement of a big new world begging for them to explore, the idea of visiting an old school chum locked in time soon loses its appeal. Thoughts of that old friend are replaced with the joy of reaching new milestones such as graduating from college, getting the first job, dating, marrying, buying a home, and having children. And without meaning for it to happen you have been reduced to a memory entitled “What was her name again.”
Happy Father’s day to all the Fathers out there. Thank you for your faithful watch care, loving concern, and patience throughout the year. And a special thanks to my own Father who has sacrificed time, money, and comfort in an attempt to find a way to help me get well. Thank you for all that you have done and being one of the few to believe me when I said that something is wrong.