October 7, 2021
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.
Now, I know without a doubt that my Lord loves me as if I was his only child in this vast world we live in, I know that deep in my soul. He will restore me; he will revive me each day if that is His will. He will wipe away my every tear. He will fill me with His Joy. He will fill in those deep hurts created by this fallen world, He will lift up my face and remind me that I am His. For this, I am eternally grateful. For now, in this moment, during this day, I need to rest in Him and trust that I am truly not alone, ever. I never will be alone as the Holy Spirit resides in me, until that blessed day when I will be face to face with my Savior, what an incredible day that will be. When tears, fears and striving cease. When we get to worship Him in communion with our fellow Saints. What a joy that will be! Until then, I lean upon the One who created me for strength to get through this day and the possible difficult days to come, as I continue to grieve the deep loss of my earthly father.
Dear Lord, would you please send me a bluebird today?
Love, your daughter, Kelly Sue.
October 8, 2021
The birthday day went on as I met my beloved friend Lisa for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and was blessed abundantly by her friendship and fellowship. After lunch, I stopped by my parents’ gravesite to place Loons at each flower holder that flanks the upright stone monument. I have never ever felt any sort of emotion at any time that I have visited in the past, and this time was no different. I said a few words to them all the while gazing around hoping that the Lord would show me a bluebird flying by or one would be perched in the nearby tree. No dice. I was fine with it, and I truly should not have been expecting the Lord to be my “Genie” that answers my prayers in the exact way I think He should! 😉Silly me, after all these years being a Christ-follower I must remind myself that the Lord does as He pleases, right? This is His world; we are here to serve Him, and it is at His discretion as to how and when He may (or may not) answer His child’s prayer(s). Yet, as the day progresses, I continue to think I needed to place myself outside where I would most certainly catch my sighting of a bluebird. Ha! The Lord had other plans that were revealed as we sat down for my b-day meal at another favorite restaurant that evening with my other “besties” and their husbands. The girls gathered on one side of the larger horseshoe shaped booth, the guys on the other side. As we awaited our appetizers, my friend encouraged me to go ahead and open her gift, now was the perfect time! I agreed and as I pulled the hot pink tissue paper from the giftbag, a beautiful bluebird sat proudly at the top, and I lost it. Embarrassing being in a crowded public restaurant, but I truly could not help myself. I was overcome with emotion that the Lord had purposed this plastic bluebird to be the bluebird for which I had prayed. He knew better than I that this small gift from another beloved friend (the one that that was at my dad’s beside with me, as he took his last breath just ten short months ago) would mean far more than if I had seen a real bluebird outside. He knew that this seemingly insignificant plastic bluebird would speak volumes (to many) as to Him answering prayers in His way, His Timing, for the lives and hearts that He wanted to reach, to touch with this little yet oh so meaningful gift. After I had shared why I was so overcome with my friends who were there, it all made sense to them, and they were also in awe of how the Lord worked this out.
Thanks be to the Lord of Lords, the Name above all Names for His tender mercies that continue to draw me to Him. That continue to show me that He cares, He listens and that I just need to trust Him! I pray that this story touches your heart the way it touched myself and our dear friends at our dinner last night. May the Lord answer your prayers in unique and creative ways, so that, you may be drawn to Him in a fresh way. Thanks be to God! Always and forever, Amen.
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.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!