So Long for Now…

Dad Todd Jr028
Dear Dad,

I wasn’t really expecting to write you this kind of a letter so soon, but here we are anyway.

It’s hard to know where to start, but “thank you” seems most appropriate.  Thank you for your love and support through the great times and the difficult ones.  Thank you for loving the high-pitched, stubborn, fiery, mini version of me… and the teenage, even more stubborn version of me… and loving me and supporting me as a wife and a mom and a Nana.

I always, always knew that you were praying for me, and I treasured those prayers more than you could ever know!  I always knew that I could come to you for advice, and you would be slow to speak, but when you did, you would pour into me your Godly, hard-earned wisdom.

You were an amazing teacher!  I grew up under your instruction at home and in the church, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I truly understood how you chose to lead with love and grace and compassion, even though you didn’t always receive it in return.  I learned how to believe the best about others and to love and forgive through the most painful relationships.  I learned the immense power of gentleness and kindness.

I observed your life as a living example of a servant of the Most-High King.  You never made things about yourself, but served those around you with patience and generosity.

It’s crazy hard to summarize a life, but I don’t really have to.  I have cherished our conversations and discussions throughout the years and don’t have the regret of leaving things unsaid.

You were my first love, and I remember being shocked when you told me as a little girl that I couldn’t marry you.  But it all turned out very well for me.  Because of your example, I chose a husband with a heart like yours, and I am so blessed by that.  So thank you!

I do have one complaint, though.  Several years ago, you told us that you wanted the song “How Great Thou Art” sung at your funeral, and since that time I’ve never been able to sing that song without crying.  I’ve had it on repeat since you went Home, though, and it has brought me comfort.  It really was the cry of your heart.  And now, you get to tell Him face-to-face!

I can only imagine what you are experiencing now!  To say I’m a little bit jealous is an understatement!

Thank you, Dad, for a life well-lived.  I know it wasn’t an easy life, but you represented your Savior and King so well!

Led by your example, I will finish my race before me with strength and courage, looking forward to the day that we meet again.

So, I’m not going to say goodbye, just so long for now, Dad.

Love,
Joy

Dad-3

PC: Kathy Wommer

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Intention

We live in such a crazy, fast-paced world.  The very things that were created to help us slow down and enjoy life have, in fact, complicated and compounded our busy-ness.  While thankful for technology and the conveniences of the time we’re living in, I sometimes long for the unplugged version.

It’s so easy to be cooking dinner, doing laundry, listening to a podcast or music, and checking e-mails or social media all at the same time that I can miss an opportunity to interact with a real live person right in front of me, exchanging that soul connection for a digital one.

One word that has been running through my mind lately is intention.  Living with intention frees us up from being tossed around by the circumstances of our daily lives.  It causes us to gravitate towards and focus on the things in our lives that we deem priority, which will help us to keep the secondary and lesser priorities in their place.

I certainly don’t have it figured out, and I know that I miss opportunities to speak into other people’s lives because I allow the secondary things to squeeze out the most important things.

So, for me, I’m setting my sights on being more intentional in every area of my life.  It means setting down my phone and making eye contact in my interactions with others.  It means scheduling my personal quiet time and sticking to it.  It means scheduling and keeping a regular date night with Todd.  It means being present with what is in front of me with laser focus.  I’m not talking about a schedule so rigid that it feels like bondage, but a schedule that prioritizes the things with the most meaning in my life so that I have freedom in those scheduled times as well as the unscheduled times to live fully present.

I realize I’m processing this for myself as I write this.  Hopefully you’re able to follow along and make sense of it all.  Welcome to my brain…

One of the areas I mentioned above was my priority for quiet time which for me consists of reading my Bible, journaling, and prayer.  Last summer I purchased a new Bible which I love.  It’s called the She Reads Truth Bible, Christian Standard version.  In the back is a one-year Bible reading plan that I have been using to supplement my own independent Bible study.

Read Scripture

This past Sunday, our pastor Tom proposed a Bible reading app and had us download it during church so we all would have it.   It’s called Read Scripture.  If you don’t have a smart phone or prefer to read it online, the website is http://www.readscripture.org.   I’m three days in, and I love this app!  It does a great job of giving history and breaking down the Bible into sections.  There are short, informative, well-done videos, and then it takes you right into the Scripture.  Each day you finish with a Psalm for meditation and prayer.

Tom encouraged each one of us to follow the daily reading plan, and then we would all be reading and learning the same things together.  Great idea!

I want to extend the same invitation to my family and friends!  It’s not too late to get started and join me.  I think it would be fun to be reading the same thing in community and be able to share how God is using it in our lives.

Once you have the app, go into settings, and you can set a time for a daily reminder and then to either read at your own pace or read every day and choose your start date.  I chose to read every day starting on January 1st.  You can also choose font size if you prefer larger print like me 🙂

So what do you think?  Will you join me?  The Word of God is living and active and powerful!  And who doesn’t want more power in their lives?

Comment below if you’re going to join me!