Monday, May 18, 2015

Some Thoughts

I'm just going to openly plagiarize here for a bit.

I think the hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye, but rather learning to live without them.  Always trying to fill the void, the emptiness that’s left inside your heart when they go.

"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do what is best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." C.S. Lewis. Remembering precious lives...a beautiful little girl, a young mother and her newborn, and a wonderful grandfather...all lives that once were and thankfully, 'forever more will be' just not here and with us. Death has a way of raising real fear and some hard questions that trite 'cliched' answers won't fix. Lord, breathe your peace over us all please, in the name of Jesus ‪#‎FlorenceMarigoldinBloom‬  Heather Dawn Kuhns

These quotes stuck out to me when I read them this past week. I could expound about each of them individually, but I think I will let them speak for themselves.  I would also add this that maybe sometimes the heart is too overwhelmed by the losses to even begin grieving when the person draws their last breath.  Maybe time has to pass for a few weeks before the heart is able to grab a hold of the loss and begin to grieve.  

Adventures in Saying Yes by Carl Medearis

Product Details

A Journey from Fear to Faith

This is the story of a man with a lot more courage than I have ever possessed.  He looked fear in the face and seemed to laugh at it a lot of times.  He lived in the Middle East for about 11 years. He wasn't afraid to ask the Imam if they could host meetings in his mosque to talk about Jesus. By saying his talks were about Jesus and not Christianity, he was able to open many more doors than he would have otherwise.  But he did mention that he had to learn about Jesus and who He really was to be able to really talk about Him.

Carl spent some time in prison, he was kicked out of the country of Lebanon, but he wasn't afraid to keep going forward.  If he felt God was calling him to do something, he said Yes and then jumped in with both feet.

He admits you can tell God no if you want to, but what will happen is you will eventually stop hearing God's voice and you can miss out on some grand opportunities.

While I wish the book would have been more chronological in its stories and even included more stories of the years in Lebanon, it was a well-written and challenging book.  It definitely included the adventures in saying yes. I guess I was just expecting more of the adventure to be shared. The back of the cover says how the Medearis family "has faced Middle Eastern prisons, death threats, being kicked out of a country twice, and war." There is very little of this in the book. One story about a night in prison and a little bit about the first time they were kicked out of Lebanon and that's it, so in that regard it was a little disappointing.  However, Carl is a great storyteller and I would recommend this book.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Product Details

This was a chick flick; one I think I decided I wouldn't really like before I started reading it. Not a very good way to start a book, but my perspective did change a bit with reading it.

After the events of the last couple of weeks, having a light book that required no deep analysis or applications to my own life was nice. The story line certainly wasn't very real to life in my mind-- stranded on an island with the boy you thought you hated, but of course fell in love with. The island just happened to have been the place of a new resort that was wiped out before opening by a hurricane, but which just happened to have lots of canned food so survival wasn't a real issue there. Of course, the bad guys were also using the island and the rescue was touch and go as the plane was shooting at Summer and Bray and the helicopter was returning fire.  But of course, they were rescued alive.

But we can't stop there-- there always has to be another girl that comes on the scene and drives Summer away.  By the time, she's ready to be reconciled, Bray is sick and in a coma, but her coming to him and talking to him wakes him up the first day.  Nice? Of course.  Realistic? Not in my mind.

But let's face it, I'm jaded here.  After having sat by the bedside of my Dad for a week waiting for him to wake up, I'm a little annoyed that the author would have Bray magically wait up within hours. I want to say--"Listen, that's not how it works." I know it can work that way, but it didn't for me and I'm not hugely interested in hearing about people it did work for, even if the work is fiction, maybe especially because the work is fiction. I do recognize that it is not Heather's fault that I read her book when I did, but it does affect my feelings about it.

The other thing I wasn't that keen on was the lack of God in the story. Yes, Summer started to pray again and seemed to renew her relationship with God, but never does it talk about Bray and how he felt.  Yes, he was willing to abide by Summer's commitment, but it never shows him being committed to God or purity or anything really. Unequally yoked comes to mind and I don't like it.

All in all, it was a nice story, not exceptional and I would say not at all realistic, but I would read another book by Heather before totally negating her as an author.  The book is certainly nice-looking enough especially to those of us up here freezing away in Northern Wisconsin.

This book was given me by Book Look Bloggers for  the purpose of reading and writing a review

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Monday

Today is Monday. The company is going home, but the real work is only beginning.  Even for me, I am able to go home and somewhat forget about the events of the past two weeks. But mom? She is faced with it every day, every evening when Dad's little white truck doesn't come rattling up the driveway, she is reminded that this is the new normal.  That breaks my heart.  To go to family dinners and Dad's seat is empty; his chair sitting unused in the living room, those are the things that drive me to tears much more than the well-wishers of the past few days.  Don't get me wrong--I appreciated every one of you, but my tears had left me. I felt dry-eyed and numb.

But now?  I don't know.  Life goes on and we find a new normal and as Dan preached yesterday, we will try to learn to fly again, but until that pray for us, especially Mom as she is the one that has to face this the most head-on of all of us.

I love you Mom and I'm sorry Mother's Day was not so happy this year.

I know some of you are looking for a recap of that last day with Dad and someday I will write about it.  Will it be this week?  I don't know for sure.  We will see, but keep checking back.  I will someday write it.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dad's Visitation and Funeral Service

Amos Mast Visitation & Funeral

15571 W Co Hwy B
Hayward, WI 54843

2:PM to 4:PM Saturday
5:PM to 7:PM Saturday

Hayward Wesleyan Church
10655 Nyman Ave,
Hayward, WI 54843

Visitation 1:PM
Funeral Service; 2:PM

Gravesite Service;
Northwood Mennonite Church
14547W Cty Rd K
Hayward WI 54843

Meal served at Northwoods Church afterwards

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dad has Gone Home

Dad passed away peacefully this afternoon about 2:05.  Viewing and funeral on Saturday and Sunday.  Details to follow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Special Kind of Prayer Request

Yes, it's me again asking for prayer again.  Dad is being anointed this evening at 6:30. I firmly believe God is ABLE to heal; I struggle with the faith to believe that He will heal. I want Him to very, very badly.  We are asking that, if you think of it, to pray for Dad this evening at that time and any other time you think of it as well!!

Dave and I were talking about Dad's prayers on the way home.  He often started out his meal prayer with "Our gracious heavenly Father, we come before you this...(often a little pause as Dad tried to remember which meal he was praying for) :) :)" I would give so much to hear Dad pray this prayer again.  As someone else pointed out, Dad's prayers had a lot of "We thank you for..." and right now, I'm thinking that would be concluded with "all the people who are praying for us."

In other news, Dad seems to be doing much better today physically.  He does have an infection, but they are hoping to get some of his extra IV lines out today and a PICC line put in.  This is an IV generally put in in the upper arm that can stay in a lot longer than the other IV's without as big of a concern for infection.  His blood pressure and oxygen seem to be much better today.  We are praising God.

Mom was able to have a really good night's sleep. She was out tilling her garden this morning which was great therapy for her.  She was also able to talk with some really good old time friends last evening which she said was better than any medicine.  I talked to her on the phone and she sounded so upbeat again.  Thank you for those who have been praying for her as well--while this is hard on us children, it doesn't begin to match up to what Mom is feeling as she watches her husband lie there.

Thanks once again for all of your prayers and we ask that you continue to pound heaven's door.  I/We want to be submissive to God's will, but I want to be good and sure that God knows what we want!!!! I know He does, but He also says we must ask if we hope to receive.