I love awards shows, particularly country music ones. My husband hates them. (Please don’t hold that against him, he says ‘there is no substance to them’.) I like them not so much for who is winning the award per se, but for the music in-between the awards. The recent CMA’s were amazing as always, however, the “In Memoriam” song that was performed by Carrie Underwood was beyond amazing. It was moving, heartfelt and true. It was the hymn, “Softly and Tenderly.”
Lyrics to Softly and Tenderly
“Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me. See, on the portals, He's waiting and watching; Watching for you and for me. Come home, come home, Ye who are weary come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling; Calling, "O sinner, come home! "O for the wonderful love He has promised, Promised for you and for me. Though we have sinned He has mercy and pardon; Pardon for you and for me. Come home, come home, Ye who are weary come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling; Calling, "O sinner, come home! “Come home, come home, Ye who are weary come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling; Calling, "O sinner, come home!"
Alan Jackson. Written by Will L. Thompson • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group.
See the CMA tribute and Carrie Underwood's performance here.
Are we just getting older? I mentioned to a friend recently, "Do you find it odd that so many people that we know died this year?" And, not to mention all the mass shootings we had in the USA alone. A quick“Google search pulled up these stats: 317 mass shootings in 2017 and over 2000 wounded or perished. Tragic. Yet, life as we now know it. We are all aware (I hope) that we live in a fallen world. That Truth is easier to swallow when life is going along swimmingly, isn’t it? However, when people you know, or even know of through a friend perish, it’s a tougher pill to swallow.
My main purpose with this blog was to remember and honor the deaths that touched my life, as well as dear friends lives in 2017. I will list them below (in no particular order), so that the family members of these beloved people will know that their loved one(s) will never be forgotten.
Solomon writes in The Book of Ecclesiastes, “…the day of death (is) better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Eccl. 7:1-2). Yes, we should take this to heart, we should be reminded afresh of our main purpose and hope. And, we should grieve each person who has left us this year.
Robert C. Lanman
Roy Gene “Jay” Willows
Stacy Lynn Walker
Dr. John Carver
David Lee Schildt
Donald O. Hilligoss II
Timothy Eugene Lynch
Sean Patrick Johnson
Neal and Jeanne Patterson
Would you agree that there are some things in life that we choose and some things we do not? Things we would never choose, for instance Covid or Cancer or any other seemingly awful disease or situation. However, the Lord in his omniscience sometimes chooses to allow these seasons in our lives, for His purposes, ultimately.
Every response from us, however, is a choice. We can choose to accept the situation or not. We can choose to fight back, or not. We can choose to praise Him above all, or not. We can choose to heed His promptings, or not.
If you think about it, everything from the moment our feet hit the floor each morning till our head hits the pillow each evening, everything we say, think, and do are choices. We can choose to love people each day, we can choose how we respond to others, and on it goes. Every minute of our lives involves a choice in how we respond.
All this to say, we can choose to be obedient to the Lord’s calling, prompting, and commandments, or not. There have been two specific times (many more actually) but for this blog I am choosing to focus on two specific instances the Lord has called me to thus far in my life.
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.