Tuesday, 20 September 2011

My how times have changed...

In keeping with my promise to be a little lighter this post, I share with you part of one of those emails that people send.  You know - the ones where they forget to blind carbon copy everyone's email addresses and then proceed to send it to every person in the universe...resulting in a whole new onslaught of  "male enhancement aid" products sent to your inbox.

Anyways, I got these from such email and thought they were worth a grin or giggle...

Monday, 12 September 2011

a letter to Julia

On this day, 26 years ago, I said goodbye to a woman that I really didn't know very well, but her very existence has been extremely important to my life today.  She was Julia Ruth Adkins - my mother-in-law.  I knew her for 9 months.  She was my mother-in-law for only 12 days of those 9 months.  In that short time I discovered how remarkable she was.  This is my letter to her...

Dear Julia - Mom,

It kind of seems weird calling you "Mom".  The time that you were technically my mom was so very short and I think we only saw each other for 2 of those days.  It seems like so long ago that we stood beside your bed and released you into God's presence.  Those days were a surreal time for me - being a new bride of 12 days, it isn't the usual way to spend your first days in a new family.

Twenty six years have now passed, and your fingerprints are still all over this family.  I remember spending time with you when I worked at the hospital the summer before our wedding.  I would take my coffee breaks and lunch hours and find you in your hospital bed, huge smile on your face, even though I knew you  were in so much pain.  I remember talking about wedding plans - showing you pictures of the dresses I was making for the bridesmaids, working on the thousands of crepe paper flowers for the trellace, discussing the details of my wedding day.  I don't think I realized then how little time you had left.  I honestly believed that you would get better.  But now, those minutes are so treasured.

I remember you telling me during one of those visits, that you were so happy that Daniel had someone to look after him.  You told me that you believed that God had chosen me especially for him.  What an incredible gift you gave me in your affirmation of that.  Now that I am a mother of a son, I fully understand the depth of that confidence.  Thank you, first of all for believing it and secondly - for telling me.

I want to thank you for Daniel.  The results of your loving care are evident in him every day.  He is just like you.  He loves very deeply.  He shows affection without hesitation.  He is an amazing father to Alyssa and Riley.  He prays without ceasing.  He's a man of integrity.  He has hundreds of friends all over the world.  He is funny and goofy and people love to be around him.  He lives everyday to the fullest.  He is more concerned about what God thinks than what people do.  He is the greatest gift I have ever received.

I wish you could meet Alyssa and Riley.  Alyssa carries your name.  I know that you would have spent countless hours with them if God had chosen to let you stay with us.  They have been told many stories of  "Grandma Julia".    They have often said that they wished that they knew you in person.  One day they will.

Our family has changed so much in the past few years.  Both Alyssa and Riley are now married to two wonderful spouses that I too believe are God's chosen for them.  I had my 50th birthday a couple of months ago - the same age that you were when your cancer was found.  This has given me a small glimpse into how you might have felt in those last days.  All I can think of is that you were just too young.  I know that I am still very young and have many more adventures that I would like to experience...grandbabies, retirement, growing old gracefully...  I'm sure those things came into your mind when you were faced with the end of your life here on earth.  I'm sorry that you had to die.  I miss you.  I would have liked to have you live down the street and spend Christmases with you and Dad.

You live on in my family...the family that you gave to me.  For that I will be always grateful.

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."  PROVERBS 31:29-31


Tuesday, 6 September 2011


In my blog-hopping tonight I have come across some great thoughts from mommies of little ones.  There have been a few words of frustration and fatigue, some of wonder and delight.  Sometimes I have a hard time not giving advise.  I remember getting advise not asked for or appreciated, so I just remain silent and say a little prayer for that dear mommy for patience and love when both seem hard to find.  I pray that they will not only survive, but relish the good and the bad because it really does come to a fast end.

I have been asked by friends with little ones how to raise good kids.  

I have no answer...except this...

Understand that YOU can't.  They have been given the ultimate gift from God - free will - and they will use that freedom to make choices, both good and bad. 

I made a million mistakes in motherhood - I yelled too much, forgave too slowly, used guilt on a regular basis, I even sent my 6 year old to school with chicken pox because she told me she had pimples on her back.  I told her to "get used to it"...

However, in spite of my mistakes, I hope I showed my kids that I was human.  That I could fail and needed forgiveness on a very regular basis.  I guess that's what they learned from me...how to fall flat on your face and then get up and by the grace of God move on.

I wanted to share something at Riley's wedding reception, but in the complete be-fuddled state of my brain that day, I just completely forgot, so here I will share it.  

When Riley was about 6 or 7 he did some "catastrophic" thing that warranted a little reinforcement on his back side.  He was left in his bedroom to think about what he did and about 10 minutes into that part of the process I heard him whisper under the crack of the door..."mommy!....mom!"

"Riley, you were told to sit in your room.  Be quiet"

"Mom, come here for a minute"

I then heard a noise of something being shoved under his door.  I went over and found this piece of paper all folded up sticking out....

The other side...


This little piece of faded note paper has a special place in my treasure box - a small basket filled with the most important things in my life. They are symbols and keepsakes from the lives that God has entrusted me with.  There's no money, diamonds, or jewels in there.  Only letters like this, a rose from my mom's funeral, a copy of the cross-stitch that I made for my daughter that I gave to other parents, and many more treasures. These are the things that I will grab in case of a fire, flood or tornado.  Reminders of a time, not so long ago, but so very very precious...

What are your treasures?