It's been almost a month since my dad passed away.
I've had so many thoughts swirling in my head since I received the phone call from my mom telling me that my dad had been out watering flowers at my aunt's house. His foot got tangled in the hose and he fell.
They were on the way to the ER.
A lot happened from the time that I got that call and when I laid my eyes on my dad lying in the ICU in a deep, deep sleep from which he would never wake due to the Traumatic Brain Injury he had suffered.
We had one final week.
For that, I am thankful.
We each had time to say what was on our hearts and assure him that we would be okay if God was calling him HOME.
But, there are a few things that I cannot get out of my head and really wanted to put them on paper in hopes that I can take what I have learned and move on.
Speaking of moving on...
I've heard this many times how after a loved one passes away that the rest of the world around you just goes back to normal. And, you feel left. Left in grief. Left in sorrow. And yet, you, too, must move on. Just in your own time. Your own way.
But, to get to the meaning of this post...
God has taught me many things over the past month.
I want to highlight just a few things that God has laid on my heart lately.
Among the many things that my dad was known for, being a hard worker was close to the top of the list.
Growing up, I remember him working...a lot.
Sometimes 2-3 jobs at any given time.
At times, I didn't really understand.
But, as I grew, I began to understand.
You see, my dad did not have much growing up.
Times were hard.
We heard many stories of how hard it was for him and his many siblings.
He wanted more opportunities for his own family.
I imagine he dreamed of that goal as he worked though college, something that was not the norm for his family.
It was his honor to send both me and my brother to great schools and then on to college.
It's funny, my dad would often comment to my friends..."I just don't know how Rebecca does it all. Husband, 6 Kids, Work, Homeschool, Volunteer Things, etc.
Well, Dad - I learned from the master of hard work and that leads me into my next point.
LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND WHY YOU DO IT
It did not matter if it was patrolling the Natchez Trace Parkway, teaching a Jr. High Science Class, directing traffic in a parking lot, taking up tickets at a ballgame...
You better bet if my dad was doing it, he loved it and gave it his all.
It didn't matter how small or menial the assignment was, he did it with all of his heart.
Y'all, if you could see the precise planning papers of various tasks throughout the years....
His attention to detail was impeccable.
I'm pretty sure this is where my OCD tendencies were born.
For example, there is only one right way to fold a towel.
Nope, not even one.
And, they have to go into the cabinet a certain way as well.
And, don't even get me started on the dishwasher.
Let's just say, that's my job at my house and I am completely okay with that. :)
Back to the point.
This verse comes to mind in covering the past two concepts.
Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.
You see, I believe when you are in God's will and doing the work He set out for you, whatever that may be, it is with pure joy that you give it your all. After all, it is that very work that He has led you to in the first place. He alone can provide the strength needed to complete the tasks set before you.
Lastly, and this one seems so cliché.
LIFE IS SHORT.
But, it is.
My dad was fortunate to live 82 years on this earth doing exactly what he loved every day.
I know many are not blessed to even make it to their 82nd year.
But, this simple reflection has conjured up all sorts of emotions for me.
I am a dreamer.
Okay, if you could hear my husband's laugh as he would read that statement....
Well, he says I live in A Rainbow World. You know, all rainbows and unicorns.
Hence, the name of this blog. :)
I have big dreams, y'all.
I have actually personally witnessed several dreams, that seemed insurmountable, actually come to fruition.
Isn't that what our Heavenly Father wants from us?
Why do small things that we can tackle on our own?
Dream without limitations
If God is leading you in a certain direction, follow.
Is God calling you to do something that just seems too big?
My favorite song right now is Hillsong's Oceans.
This song is my personal anthem right now...
You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters Your sovereign hand Will be my guide Where my feet may fail and fear surrounds me You've never failed and You won't start now
So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves When oceans rise My soul will rest in your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever you would call me Take me deeper that my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name Keep my eyes above the waves My soul will rest in Your embrace I am yours and You are mine
But, sometimes I forget that my three youngest kiddos are adopted.
I forget that they haven't always been a member of our family.
I even forget that they are Chinese.
But, it's true!
Then, I run across a picture like this.
Mike and I just returned home from a meeting about readoption.
This is something that needs to be done with internationally adopted children so they can obtain a birth certificate from the state you live in. It's not absolutely necessary, but tends to make life easier in the future.
We have already done this for Maylee, but we need to now go through the process for Sam David and Emma Claire.
So, when we got home from the meeting, I immediately went to their adoption file folders to locate the needed documents so that we could get the ball rolling.
That's when I ran across that precious picture. It's the youngest picture we have of our Sam David. A real treasure!
My eyes immediately welled up with tears.
I ached for that time he spent without a mommy and daddy to snuggle, to tuck him in at night, to kiss the boo boos.
The truth is..I forget.
But, it doesn't take much to bring me to my knees.
Oh, how thankful we are that God led us to Sam David.
I would do anything to have been with him for the first 2.5 years of his life.
But, that was not God's plan.
Our Heavenly Father is in the business of making beauty from ashes.