The Old Brown Recliner- Happy Birthday Dad!

Christmas 1985. The last year that I got to put the angel on the tree because then Bek was born. :)

Christmas 1985. The last year that I got to put the angel on the tree because then Bek was born. 🙂

When I’m feeling sad, I find myself snuggled up to my “Daddy” in the old brown recliner. This is where I feel safe. I know my mother is cringing right now because I don’t think there was ever a piece of furniture she hated more than the old brown recliner. When I was young, I remember sitting on my dad’s lap in the old brown recliner. I was safe there and there was nothing that could touch me. No brothers would pull my hair or try to wrestle me to the ground. In the old brown recliner in my dad’s lap, I was safe from any chaos in my life. This is where I go when I don’t feel safe in my adult life. I go right back to sitting on my “Daddy’s” lap in the old brown recliner. I say “Daddy” in quotes because I don’t want my readers to think that I go and snuggle up on Gordy’s lap in a recliner at 30 years of age. No, I sit on God’s lap in the old brown recliner. It is my safe place to fall when chaos shows it’s ugly face.

There are so many things that I am eternally grateful for in my life: one of them is my Dad. I don’t think I’ve ever given him the true props that he deserves so I’ll do my best here. I’ve always considered myself to have a really good grasp on who God truly is: His Grace, His Hope, His Love, etc. He has always been someone I can count on and who will never abandon me. I know I can trust Him. Through my interactions I’ve learned that not every young woman has the same outlook on God as I do, and I know why.

5 months old and surrounded by my favorite things: my dad and a kitty.

5 months old and surrounded by my favorite things: my dad and a kitty.

When I was growing up, I was never told that I was ugly or worthless by my dad. At least once a day I was hugged and told that I was beautiful and could do anything I set my mind too. Even when my math homework wasn’t sinking into my brain, my dad met me with patience rather than anger. When I couldn’t remember my memory verse late Saturday night that I needed to remember for Sunday morning church, my dad sat in the old brown recliner into the night and helped me break it down to learn it. Of course, I had to do the dishes for a week because I SHOULD have memorized my verse months ago, but the punishment fit the crime and I learned self discipline. The only time my dad ever yelled at me (to my knowledge) was the day I spooked the cows and they went running the opposite direction from where he was trying to put them and then through the fence. Again, the punishment fit the crime and I had to run the furthest to get them rounded back up and help fix the fence. That day, I learned to respect others. My point being, I didn’t grow up with a push over dad that let me walk all over him. When I did something naughty or disobeyed, the punishment fit the crime. I wasn’t torn down and told that I was worthless or stupid. At the end of the day, I could always feel safe in my dad’s arms. And for this, I am eternally grateful. I was blessed to have such an amazing dad. He’s not perfect because he’s not God, he’s a man. A man who’s not afraid to admit when he’s wrong and whom I respect more and more each day because of his imperfections. I learned from him to be self disciplined and have a high sense of self worth, I also have an amazing vision of who my Savior really is. I know God is always there for me. I can lean on Him and He will never abandon me. He loves me in spite of my flaws and inability to keep cows in a pen or calculate simple math problems in my head. He loves me for me. I have strengths and I have weaknesses, but nothing will ever change that I am loved beyond my comprehension. Should I ever need a safe place to fall I can always find comfort in knowing that the old brown recliner lives on in my imagination. (Since I’m pretty sure mom burned the actual one.)

Happy Birthday to the best Dad in the whole WORLD!!! I am VERY fortunate to be your daughter!

P.S. I could have told Dad’s favorite story for his birthday but I already posted that here.

My wedding day...

My wedding day…

Putting God First

A wise friend of mine recently embarked her wisdom on me. She said, “it’s amazing how God’s love and grace trickles down to all of those pieces of your life that you’ve been trying to control ( and failing) when you put Him first”  Humm… Putting God first. Do I do that? Over the past few days I’ve examined myself and my life. I praised myself for the parts of my life I do give to God. Amazingly, those are then parts that make sense, and are easy for me to give to Him. But I also have those things that I try to control. Sadly, at the current moment it’s my friendships. I want to help and love on these wonderful ladies God has put onto my life. I find myself wanting to strangle some because of their unwise decisions, but then I am reminded that I’m not in control. God loves these beautiful women more than I ever can imagine. I am merely His steward, doing His work in their lives. So how do I put God first? I pray. All the time throughout the day, in my sleep, and any other time that God places them on my heart. So the next time I want to say, “No! Why do you want to do that? Here are a million bible verses to back me up that say you are wrong. And in case you still didn’t get my point here’s a lengthy sermon to back myself up.” I will remember to pause, put God first, and pray that He gives me the words to speak and the patience to listen. When I put Him first, my relationships are stronger and built on Him. He will give me the actions and the words to speak that my friend will need to see His loving grace. He doesn’t need me to control any situation for Him, or tell Him how to handle it. He knows my heart and my love for Him. The next time you feel yourself trying to control a situation, remember; God wants to be your everything. Speak the truth, and then leave the rest with God. Remember how good it feels to ask someone else to do the job you don’t want to do, know that God wants to take that responsibility for you. Put God first.

The woman I never had the privilege to know

A question that has been on my heart is “Why do bad things happen?” This past month I’ve been touched by a story of a young woman who just recently passed away due to cancer. She and I went to the same college but I never knew her. However, through a lot of facebook stalking and posts from mutual friends I have learned of her story. I saw many struggle with the question, “why do bad things happen?”  She was 24 years old and recently gave birth to a baby boy last February. Please see the link below for more details.  I’ve seen many posts offering prayers of encouragement to her and her family.

As I stated before, I  never knew this beautiful young woman. And yet, her story has touched my heart and forced me to look inside of myself. From my stalking, I’ve learned that she was an amazing woman with a strong faith and love for the Lord. I’ve seen pictures and tributes to her and one thing that has touched me more than anything is seeing this young woman holding her newborn baby and knowing she will never see him grow to be a man. She was smiling and glowing with the love of Christ for her family. She had her husband’s admiration and her faith radiated out of her smile and cheerful demeanor. Granted, it was only a photograph but the beauty that shined off this young woman struck me to my core.

So, this leads me to my question. Why do bad things happen? Why doesn’t this woman, who was living for the Lord, get the chance to raise her child? Why is her journey over? The fact that her story has struck me; someone who is her sister in Christ but under different circumstances never would’ve known her, and the fact that her life has touched mine and many others is how she will live on in all of us. In John Chapter 9, Jesus says, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in (her) life.” What an amazing legacy this young woman is leaving behind for her son and all of us that are privileged to be touched by her story. There are mothers out there that are cherishing their children more because of her story. There’s a wife, right here, that will cherish the love of her husband because of her example of how short and precious life can be.

Rest in peace dear sister, you have touched my life and demonstrated Christ’s love to me in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Know that your legacy lives on not only in those who were blessed to have known and loved you, but also in those of us that have been touched by your example of faith and courage for His glory.