Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remembering her example

Today, people are remembering Sara Frankl aka Gitzen Girl. While I’ve never met her, I am thinking about her life, too. I am one of the many follower’s of Sara’s blog. What intrigued me was the way a woman who was homebound with AS was able to experience so much joy.

How did she do it? Honestly, she was dying... yet all the way until the end... she chose joy. Her friend put it here in a tangible way for me. "By continually taking joy in the lives of others, she taught me to feel bliss when something good happens to someone else… as much bliss as if it were happening to me."

I’m working on putting this into practice. When I feel a twinge of jealousy inside my heart instead of joy, I will choose to remember Sara's example. I will flip my feeling and choose joy instead. All I need to do is be honestly excited for my friend and it will give me joy.

The way Sara chose joy amidst her suffering was an anomaly. I whine and complain about the slightest little ache, pain, sniffle or cough. Her blog was full of joy… not negativity. Her love for God was magnetic. I only hope I can leave the kind of legacy behind that she did.

In honor of her memory today, how can you choose joy?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Andelise Randall! (Even if it is a couple of weeks late)

My Dear Andelise Randall,

You are too anxious to grow up. At times, it makes it difficult to remember that you are only just 3-years-old. As you try to keep up with your big sisters and imitate everything they do, it’s easy to forget that you are still our baby girl. Watching you monkey all over your bunk beds (in the room you now share with your sisters); I try to recall just when it was that you got so big. It seems like it happened overnight. Was it moving you out of the crib? When you were potty trained? Maybe it happened when your big girl haircut no longer allowed the piggy tales to keep you looking little anymore? It seems like over your third year of life, we blinked and you grew up.

I will miss the little phrases that only a toddler can say. “I got biggers” always brought a smile as we reached for the tissue to clean your nose. It was hard to hold back laughter in my attempt to discipline as you would yell “I not willy want to”. All of your little quotes (along with those of your sisters) are now reliant upon memory because I never took the time to write them down.

It is so much fun to watch you break into dance whenever you hear a good beat. Even in the middle of the grocery store, you’ll start to shake your little hips at the sound of a good tune. You beg me to play “He’s got the whole world in His hands” as we drive in the van. And while I love listening to your voice sing any note; my favorite song to hear on your lips is “When We all get to Heaven”. To hear your little voice belting out our hope of Heaven makes my heart swell. I pray you and your sisters will always find such joy in God’s future for us.

You have a way of manipulating – especially your daddy. It seems like you can always convince him to give you an extra story at bedtime. When you want a piece of candy, you simply say please followed by a great big smile at the end. Knowingly, you anticipate the payment of a kiss on daddy’s cheek before you yell “whoo hoo” and run for the candy bin. (Grams taught you to utilize this please and smile tactic to obtain just about anything. Sometimes the smile immediately turns sour after achieving your goal, though.)

It does my heart good to know you are another one of daddy’s girls. Your love for him makes you bolt out of bed at the sound of the garage door opening every morning. We open the front door and run out to the driveway to get a goodbye hug. I wipe away your tears as we wave goodbye from the front window. In being a daddy’s girl, I pray you will embrace our Heavenly Father’s love for you as well.

I find myself wanting to apologize for the flawed example I leave you to follow. As I see, in you, my negative characteristics peaking through, I desire to change. With you, I am working to teach us both to show more kindness. As I see myself mirrored in your own behavior, I long for us to learn the fruits of God’s Spirit and exercise the same. You are wired like your mommy and get easily frustrated with not getting your way. We all have our limits and we both need to learn to get plenty of sleep. (When we are tired, we become irrational.) Even though I wish you were a little less like me, I am grateful for the lessons God teaches me in raising you. I know God will do great things through you. (After all, you are wired like me.) *wink* *wink*

We’ve had three amazing years with you, Ande Randy. I look forward to the future and seeing more and more of who you will become. You can brighten up a room with your smile. Our home is filled with laughter due to your silliness. Most often, you are willing to offer up an apology when necessary. That, along with your expressions of gratitude, is an example to follow. And your hugs… they melt our hearts. I’m glad God put you in our family so we can work to live for Him together. You and I will work on choosing joy. We will work on being gentle and kind and good. We will work on loving fully. When I look into that mirror of your soul, my prayer is that, even if I see myself, I will ultimately see God.

I love you dearly. Andelise Randall, You are God’s masterpiece.

Loving you,

Mommy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blog Impact

I hear she is going home. Tears fall. At the same time, my heart overflows with joy for her. She will see Jesus! She will see her dad. I have never even met her. Still, the power of her written word changed my life. She lived her life fully. Homebound but embracing life. I pray I will continually remember her life and mine will be different for it. One more person to look forward to seeing (meeting) in Heaven.

I hope you are free to run and breathe air and enjoy all the things you've had to give up for so long, Gitzen Girl. When we all get to Heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Constant

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." - Hebrews 13:8

I don’t like change. My life is constantly changing. Therefore, I do not adjust well. Constantly, I find myself scrambling to figure out how to get through the day. There is no consistency of a routine. Wrench after wrench is thrown my way. I’m left at a loss.

Today’s devotion on youversion.com reminded me that while my circumstances may constantly be changing, my God remains the same. I need to learn to anchor myself in God. When I feel lonely: He will never leave me or forsake me. When I feel unloved: He made the ultimate sacrifice for me. When I feel lost: He is the way, truth and life. I need to feed on truth and get past the lies.

What lies do you believe today? Join me in seeking His truth.