A Legacy of Life

dads 40th birthdayA cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV

I grew up with my Daddy speaking the last line of Ecclesiastes 4:12 over our family. It was “his” thing; what he truly believed about God’s innate ability to get us through absolutely anything-together! And he was right!

A year and four months after his passing, and our family is still deeply touched by my Daddy’s legacy, which lives on forever.

Today marks what would have been my Daddy’s 75th birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s not here to celebrate it with us. Instead, my mother and I are spending the day together, making new memories, and bringing him along for the journey through our conversation and thoughts. There’s not a single day that has passed where we haven’t thought of him or mentioned him in some way. He left a mark on our hearts so few are able to do, and we cherish and miss him deeply.

As I reflect on the past year and four months without my Daddy, I realize the truth in this profound verse he chose and just how accurate it has been for our family. Even with losing him, he’s still with us, and our family has drawn closer together through the loss. Together, we’ve questioned God for taking him from us. We’ve been angry together, cried together, laughed together, comforted one another and reminisced together. But the key in all this is together and that is exactly what my Daddy wanted for our family-togetherness.

In my Goodbye post to my Daddy, I wrote,

“Daddy, we will be not only okay, but we will be good, because God is good! Our hearts will forever have an emptiness for you, yet your legacy will live on in us. We will mourn for a season, then rejoice again at all God does through your legacy as we continue to carry out His will in our lives.”

I remember the night in January I wrote that letter; it was less than three months before he passed, and I had just been with him, my Mom ans Sister at the hospital because he had choked on his dinner so had to be taken to the ER. I was an emotional wreck, because I saw the signs; his esophagus was closing up and making it more difficult for him to swallow. I came home with my heart breaking in two, and so much on my mind I wanted to say, so sat down at my keyboard to write and the words just came pouring out. Then the tears came, and I lost complete control and cried so hard I couldn’t type, or breath! It was one of the gut wrenching cries. I never knew what that was until that night. The pain was so deep; just knowing how important it was to me, to get the chance to share my heart with him, and then realizing there would actually be a final goodbye very soon… it crushed me.

I remember that night like it was yesterday, but I also remember getting to read that letter to him as he laid in his hospital bed. How he cried with me, hugged me and kept telling me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me.  I also remember all the countless other memories I shared with him during his lifetime. Those memories are the ones he wants me to focus on and talk about!  LIFE is what he wants me and my family to LIVE, so that is what we shall do.

Today, August 30, 2017, we honor the man who made us all stronger, livelier, happier and wiser. The man who taught us to question everything, “say it like it is”, and live life to the fullest, “to thine own self be true”.  He made us better all the way around.

Daddy, life wouldn’t be what it is today without you! May your 75th birthday in heaven be more than we can possibly imagine, as you celebrate your wholeness and healing in the presence of our Omnipotent Father: Jehovah Rapha!

All my love-always & forever,
Your Baby,
with love satin

Today, I Choose Joy

choose joy

This morning, as I woke up, my husband declared, “Happy Anniversary! One year ago today, your Dad got all his questions answered.” I smiled.  What a wonderful way to view today, and I truly believe my Daddy wouldn’t want it any other way! He wasn’t one to “wallow in the mullygrubs” rather to move past the pain and difficulties and enjoy life to the fullest!

Today, I choose to focus on the good and the blessings!

Today, I choose joy!

Not a single day has passed without me thinking of my Daddy and remembering him with great pride and joy. He was my truth teller, one of my best teachers, one of the people I trusted most to give me solid, Godly advice, and always, always there for me when I needed him most. While he is no longer here on earth, he is such a huge part of who I am that I feel him with me every single day.

I’ve embraced his love of butterflies and incorporated them into my yard decor. When I work with my plants I feel closer to him. I remember his smile, his contagious laugh and his immensely strong hugs.

When I take a stand for something I believe in, or am passionate about, I think of him and how he instilled that strength in me by teaching me to know what I believe and to stand up for it!

When I face adversity, I face it head on-refusing to buckle beneath the burden and crumble-because my daddy taught me to be a fighter for the right reasons! He taught me to press on, because we gain nothing by quitting!

When all I want to do is succumb to the looming depression of loss, I reach out to someone I trust for support, and carry on, because my Daddy taught me to ask for help, to embrace it and to push past the pain and focus on the good in my life.

When I’m feeling lost, alone, and like I don’t belong, I remember my Daddy’s words as He shared how he too never felt like he belonged; how he felt like the odd man out and how lonely that felt at times.  I find solace in knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way and that if he could make it, so can I.

When I lack understanding or direction and long to hear my Daddy imparting wisdom as my truth teller, I recall his words telling me “I’ve given you everything I can give you. I’ve taught you all I know to teach you. You have all you need, inside of you. Stay close to the Lord and He will be all you need.” For that reason, I continue praying and asking God for wisdom and understanding, direction and guidance.

When I wonder how God could give me a promise that He would always provide, yet isn’t doing so yet, I remember how my Daddy taught me to question everything-even God. To ask the hard questions, but also to be prepared for the hard answers. So I ask those hard questions, and then God answers with, “I have provided-it’s just not in the ways you expected.” I can’t help but smile, because that is a lesson my Daddy would have loved to watch me grow through and one he and my mom could truly relate to, being business owners themselves.

When someone trusts me enough to come to me for advice, I remember my dad’s own struggle with being a truth teller and how it often ostracized him from those he loved for a season, because people struggle with truth, even when they ask for it. Like him though, I refuse to hang back in fear just to preserve a relationship-so I speak truth at all cost, because I love the person enough to risk their anger, in hopes of protecting them from experiencing deep pain later.

When life rains times of trouble, pain and heartache, I Choose Joy because the joy of the Lord truly is my strength. It’s not a cliche verse, the joy God gives me is deeper than a smile on my face-it’s embedded in my heart, because amidst all the pain, one thing remains true: I am truly blessed and that alone is enough to bring joy to my aching heart.

Today, Choose Joy… you’ll be amazed at just how much it will change your life!

love satin 2015

Life is Complex, but Jesus is Complete!

We’re approaching the one year anniversary of my Daddy’s entrance into Heaven April 11th, 2016. On one hand it’s hard to believe a full year has passed, while on the other hand, it seems like just yesterday he was here laughing and giving words of wisdom and advice.

I miss him more than I ever imagined possible, and here I thought I had prepared my heart for the loss, but turns out this simply wasn’t something I could prepare for, regardless of how much I tried!

Life is so different without him.  Recently I watched a little old man shuffling in front of me and my mind went back to my Daddy and how I’d always envisioned caring for him as he aged, holding his arm as he walked, and slowing my stance just so I could walk beside him. Then I started crying as I faced reality: I will never get that memory with him!  It’s over, he’s gone and I had to watch him die a very slow and painful death.

His passing has made me view life differently… more finite than I have ever viewed it before. We grow up envisioning our lives as an infinite amount of time, dreaming of it turning out a certain way; college, career, marriage, family, house, supporting our parents as they journey into their silver years, and then growing old with our spouse. Alas, life doesn’t always turn out that way, it’s not cookie cutter perfect, predictable or even pretty. Life is hard. It’s tattered with pain, lots of pain, buckets of tears, as well as amazing adventures, loving memories, joyous celebrations and many blessings.

Life is complex

I am slowly learning that it’s not so much about making a perfect life, but rather about choosing to

enjoy each imperfect day as a finite opportunity to be enjoyed before it passes.

We tell ourselves “there’s always tomorrow” when it comes to setting aside time for ourselves, planning a trip away, visiting with family or friends, or wearing that special necklace or outfit. But reality is, there isn’t always tomorrow and it’s up to us today to determine how we want to spend that day if it were our very last one here on earth!

Life is finite-how do we want to spend it?

I may not have been able to slow my stance to walk beside my Dad as he aged, but I still have my amazing Mom who I get to walk beside and enjoy life with! I still have the opportunity to support her in her silver years and make new memories with her that last a lifetime! When her stance slows, I’ll slow mine just so I can walk beside her. When she forgets she told me something, I’ll smile because one day I’ll forget too, and patience is something precious. When she can’t hear, I’ll speak louder, laugh louder and love louder so she knows how much she is treasured by this daughter.

Trust me, this past year has been the absolute hardest year of my entire life. Sadness, depression, confusion and anger have all been part of my journey. Yet one thing has been a constant: God’s immeasurable love and mercy.

There have been days all I wanted to do was cry and lay in bed. Days when I was so angry I just wanted a punching bag because I was afraid I would use someone’s face as one! Days when I felt so insanely alone and misunderstood, and my heart hurt so bad I just couldn’t stand to look in the mirror or face another human being. Yet, in His infinite grace and love, God provided me with the support I needed. I may not have wanted to get through the pain, but God has carried me through. He has completed me!

I’ve always loved Footprints, but this year that writing became real-life for me, as I have literally fallen into the arms of Jesus and leaned, all in, completely and utterly broken and feeling unfix-able. Jesus has carried me through, day after day and amidst all the pain, He’s brought so many incredible blessings! God completes me.

I have no idea where you are in life or what you’re going through, but I don’t need to, in order to be able to tell you that while life is insanely complex, God is willing and able to complete you if you’ll lean in, all in and allow Him to comfort you and provide for all your needs. I only know this because He’s doing it for me.  So if anything else, just be comforted in knowing you are not alone… we’re in this together! ♥

love satin 2015

 

 

A Not So Merry Christmas

As you know, this has been a very difficult year for me as I journey through the loss of my truth teller, business advisor, and Daddy. I miss him deeply, so although Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, this year, it’s not quite as merry for me.

Then it dawned on me… the first Christmas ever, wasn’t really all that merry either!

Here’s Joseph and Mary journeying to Bethlehem via a donkey for miles on end, all while Mary is pregnant! Talk about a road trip, they had the ultimate road trip! (ha ha) Upon their arrival, they discover there is “no room in the inn”; so ended up in a dirty stable surrounded by stinky farm animals. Talk about disappointment and discomfort! Then to top it off, Mary goes into labor and gives birth to Jesus amidst the stink and filth of this barn.

And there it is: right smack dab in the middle of the chaos, discomfort, stink and dirt.
Beautiful LOVE is Born.
Jesus, God as Love in the flesh, came to earth to save us all!
isaiah-61-1-3

This realization helps put my life into perspective this Christmas. I might not be perfectly put together with a pretty bow, but nonetheless, I’m here. My heart beats on for the One who Created me and placed me here For Such a Time as This. My heart may hurt for a season, but God has amazing plans for me as I walk this journey of grief and allow Him to turn my mourning into joy. There truly is a season for everything and for now, my season is one of mourning and that’s not something to be ashamed of nor to hide! It’s reality and it’s part of the growth necessary to heal.

In due time God will turn my mourning into joy and my Christmases will return to Merry, but for now I embrace this time as I reflect on all that God has done in and through my Daddy’s life and now his legacy. He was an amazing and Godly man; passionate about Truth and justice and living life to the fullest while staying true to ones self.

Daddy, this Christmas, you get to sit next to the Savior of the world and bask in His presence, surrounded by His infinite love and wisdom. May we too be surrounded by that same Love and wisdom, compassion and joy as we enter a season that truly is about the One who loves us so much He humbled himself and came to earth to redeem us for all of eternity!  That truth is what makes Christmas Merry.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas as you bask in God’s goodness and love.

love satin 2015

God’s Provision Isn’t Always What We Expect It To Be

Last year I wrote about The Beauty Of God’s Provision and in my post I shared the promise God had given me regarding our business when we first started Pelfreybilt:

“I will provide. I will always provide.”

We are now in our fifth year of the business, with changes galore, including Tyler quitting his full-time job this year to work in our business full-time, as well as moving the business to a bigger facility.  Our sales have doubled every year and tripled last year, yet we still aren’t showing  a profit yet, so there are days when my faith is tested and I take God’s promise to Him questioning His provision.

In the past, money was always available just in time so bills were paid on time and I was reminded of God’s provision as I sighed a sigh of relief and gratitude.

This year, God apparently wanted to test and grow my faith because the funds haven’t always arrived in time for me to pay bills on time, which meant I had to make calls to our vendors asking for grace and extended terms. Through God’s mercy our vendors have been gracious and worked with us.  I have to be honest though, it was in those moments, when bills were late and I had to make those calls, that I cried out to God “You made me a promise! You said you would not only provide, but that you would always provide! You’ve never been late to deliver, so why are you late now? Did you forget about your promise?”  What He spoke in response cut deep to my core as He reminded me:

“I said I would provide and I did.
It just wasn’t the provision you expected.
Did I not soften the hearts of those who extended you terms?
That is provision; it just looks different than you expected!”

Wow, right? Talk about jaw dropping, heart stopping amazing truth!? God is amazing and He never ceases to amaze me as He continues to keep His promises to me and our family.

This lesson was one I’d never learned and one that sticks to me like glue now, so I am tremendously grateful for the testing of my faith in this area of my life!

As the year is quickly coming to an end, and I look back at all this 2016 chapter held, I am moved to tears. God is good regardless of the pain. Losing my Daddy, though the most painful thing I’ve experienced, has pushed me to a deeper faith in my walk with God as I put the truths my Daddy taught me into action:

Question everything and everyone-even God.
God is a God of Truth and He desires nothing more
than to give us the answers we seek if we will seek Him.

That said, whatever it is you may be questioning or seeking from God-don’t quit asking and don’t quit questioning Him! Some people are afraid to question God for fear of damnation, but my Daddy taught me to Question the Man with all the answers in order to have Truth only He can give and that’s how I choose to live my life! How about you?

So question on… but remember, the answer(s) may surprise you!

Blessings,

love satin 2015

Go On Without Me

bigger than life-daddyToday is a rough day for me, as it would have been my Daddy’s 74th birthday, yet he’s celebrating his first birthday in Heaven, without me.

I’m a bundle of emotion as I think about his life; the good, the bad and the indifferent.

There’s a song by Bret Eldredge titled, “Go On Without Me” and the first time I heard it on the radio, I bawled my eyes out (and still do). The words hit home because it was as if my Daddy were singing them to me himself. I realize he wants me to go on without him, yet my heart hurts in doing so…

I cannot candy coat it for you or I would be flat out lying. The past four months have been living hell for me as I discover how lost I really feel without my Daddy here to share this life with me.  Truth is, I never imagined missing him this much, and yet I do. It’s amazing how little we realize the depth of our love for someone until they’re gone. I won’t go as far as to say that I took him for granted, because I was blessed with many intimate conversations with him and took every opportunity I had to share how much I love and respect him. However, there’s part of me that never gave him full credit for the impact he made on my heart and life, nor did I fully grasp just how much he meant to me, until now.

All of me aches for his strong hugs, the twinkle in his eyes when he laughed, the sound of him walking beside me, his voice & the passion in it when he was really driving a point home. Part of me is angry he left me here to live this life without him; as if he even had the choice to do so. Yet all of me knows he didn’t want to leave us, he told me that! However, he was confident we would be held in the best hands of our Father, so he left us for Heaven.

On my Daddy’s birthday, I wish I had some profound truth to share, some statement of passion to honor his life and make him proud, or even news of my personal growth during my journey of grief. However, honestly, all I have are tears from a broken heart missing her Daddy something fierce and longing for more time with him. I am told that time will heal this broken heart of mine, yet I’m starting to question whether it will ever hurt any less because simply said: he made a lasting impression on this daughter’s heart and the love I have for him runs deep into my core.  He will always be my Daddy and I will always be his little girl; for that I am immensely grateful.

So for now I shed many tears as I remember my Daddy with pride.  Today I honor the man who taught me what love looked like this side of Heaven. Today I smile as I think about his first birthday in our Father’s presence… it’s sure to be the best birthday ever for him… and one day I’ll get to celebrate alongside him again…

I miss you, Daddy; Happiest of Birthdays to you!

love satin 2015

 

Finding The New Normal

God gave me you
{Mom and me}
We’re sitting across the table, eating dinner, enjoying a delicious meal accompanied with chatter, laughter, and even a few tears.

We talk about life, our days now, and then it turns to reminiscing on our life together with my Daddy, so consequently we shed some tears, because the truth is, we both miss him terribly. Yet we’re sitting at a new restaurant, trying new food and making new memories together, doing our best to embrace the “new normal”

What does the new normal look like after losing someone you love? I’m learning the answer to this, one day at a time, but from my perspective, the new normal is simply choosing to make new memories… even though it’s painful to do so, without the person you love and lost.

Guilt tugs at my heart strings as I struggle to embrace the new normal, for fear of losing the old memories of my Daddy. That same guilt threatens to keep me hunkered down for a long winter of sadness, for fear of somehow hurting my Daddy by moving on without him. However, his words resound in my heart and triumph over all: “When I am gone, don’t spend your days crying over me! Move on! Live your life and be happy. No wallowing in the mulligrubs

It’s easy to get in a rut, staying where we are comfortable, and when something as painful as death rocks our world, it’s even more difficult to branch out into something new and unfamiliar. However, I am finding that part of my healing process requires that I put myself out there, embrace the change and make new memories to help heal my hurting heart.

For me, the new normal is tattered with smiles and laughs as well as reminiscing and tears. Though guilt throws its nasty daggers at my heart, I refuse to let those daggers sink in, because reality is, my Daddy is very much a part of who I am! In order to honor his wishes for my own happiness, I must choose to make new memories.

Making new memories doesn’t mean erasing the old memories; it simply means that while I make these new memories, I carry my Daddy’s memories along for the ride. There may be tears, as I hike up to the top of a waterfall, or sink my toes in to the sand..  as I choose to make new memories, yet wish my Daddy were there to share them with me. However, like I said in my goodbye letter to my Daddy, those tears aren’t bad, they come from a heart overflowing with love. Those tears mean my Daddy made an impact on me in such a way that even when he’s not with me in person, his passion, his spirit and his love for adventure lives on in me every single day.

The “new normal” doesn’t have anything “normal” about it, it’s new and unfamiliar, yet I’m choosing to embrace it one moment at a time.

Amidst this ever-changing life, one thing is certain: God is forever faithful.

love satin 2015

 

 

Better Than I Deserve

DSC_0219 better than i deserve500I met one of my friends in a cute local shop while browsing around.  She happens to be the owner, and the moment I met her, I fell in love with this vivacious and loving woman! Over the course of time, I’ve observed a few of her key phrases when interacting with others.  One phrase in particular really stands out to me. Whenever asked, how she’s doing, she always responds with, “Better than I deserve, thank you for asking!”

I’ve heard those words roll off her tongue a lot.  Words are powerful and being a word girl myself, I really take notice to how things are said and the context in which they are spoken.

The phrase, “Better than I Deserve”, makes me think of Job and how he lost everything, including his family, and yet he still worshiped God saying, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” {Job 1}

When Job was miserable with leprosy he still declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” {Job 13:15}

As you know, losing my Daddy to his Final Destination has been deeply painful for me. My struggle to embrace the love and support of friends and family, as well as the realization that I can’t do this on my own, so need to reach out for help, has been a topic in this beloved space. Not wanting to burden others, yet not wanting to mask my pain has served as a challenging balancing act, to say the least. Yet still, if you ask me today, “how are you?” I would choose to respond with, “Better than I Deserve”, because the truth is… I really am better than I deserve.  The pain is deep, the tears still flow, my heart aches, and yet reality is, I am truly, madly, deeply loved and blessed by my Heavenly Father.

Amidst all this pain, I am seeing such beauty all around me. Beauty in the love and support from my amazing husband; his tenderness, compassion, and loving heart blows me away as he daily walks beside me. Beauty in the encouragement and kindness of my friends and family. Beauty in the growing unity among my siblings.  Beauty in the legacy my Daddy left within my own heart, being carried on every single day.

The verse my daddy used as his determining factor for not choosing medical treatment for his cancer, was 2 Samuel 24:14.  From this verse came his own words, “I would rather fall into the hands of God, than the hands of man”

By choosing the response, “Better than I Deserve”, I too am choosing to fall into the amazingly strong, yet loving hands of my Heavenly Father and allowing Him to envelop me with His grace; for it is more than sufficient for me, especially in my weakness. {2 Corinthians 12:9} I don’t need to “have it all together”, it’s okay for me to be a “wild mess of emotion” as I walk this painful journey! The key is  remembering that I am “Better than I Deserve”…

…and so are you!

love satin 2015

 

Beautifully Broken

flowersI have no shortage of support, as I walk this journey of grief, yet my heart still feels lonely, as an emptiness abides deep within.

It’s been three months since my Daddy entered heaven’s gates, and not a single day has passed without me missing him something fierce.

The flowers stopped arriving at the house , the cards quit coming in the mail. People check in less frequently by phone, email and text.  Because after all, life does go on.  For me however, life will never be the same. Don’t get me wrong, I’m intentionally living my life just as passionately and purposefully as my Daddy wanted me to do, I’m just not the same person I was before he left.

The pain I feel inside my heart is so indescribably deeper than I ever imagined. The loneliness I feel in the middle of a crowded party, is astonishing to me. The waves of emptiness and sadness are all so foreign to the girl who’s always been viewed as “having it all together”, being the “hostess with the mostest” the “social butterfly”, or the goal setter and achiever. These days, I find more contentment by being alone, or in a small group and my goals are more short term and simplistic: Getting out of bed. Focusing while working. Getting through my list of “to do’s” and quitting at 5pm. Supporting my family and friends. Allowing myself to grieve.

I’m broken to the core and there’s nothing anyone but Jesus can do to heal that brokenness. However, one thing I’m realizing in all of this, is something so basic, yet something I’ve never learned to embrace.

I’ve spent my entire life doing for others: supporting, loving, encouraging and praying for friends and family, during their greatest time of need. One thing I’ve rarely needed though, is that same level of support, because until now, I’ve never experienced the level of grief I’m experiencing right now.

Three months ago I was still the girl trying to keep it all together, trying to be strong and focused on supporting those I love.  However, today, I’m the girl who is a wild mess of emotion, hurting at the core, and just trying to remember to breath in between sobs of pain. I’m the girl who loves so deeply, yet finds it difficult to allow myself to be loved back. I’m the girl who gives without reservation, yet finds it difficult to accept anything from anyone else. I’m the girl who strongly encourages others to share so I can support and love them through their pain, yet doesn’t want to burden others with my own pain, so shells it up inside.

For where two or three gather together because they are mine,
I will be right there among them.

Matthew 18:20

Today, this verse means something new to me, as I realize that Jesus isn’t talking about two whole & unbroken people coming to Him… He means that if just one other person comes alongside me and we agree in prayer together, He meets us in that place of brokenness. This sets me free to be beautifully broken before my family and friends and to allow myself to need them, to reach out to them and to be comforted and loved through this painful time in my journey.

Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better.
If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I find much comfort in these two scripture verses, as I am learning the beauty in reaching out to those who love me, and choosing to embrace their love and support. Not only does it help heal my hurting heart, but it also gives them the opportunity to be wanted, needed, appreciated and valued as well as giving them a place to use their gifts to bless someone in need {beautifully broken me}.

My heart is so very grateful for the love and support God has brought into my life “for such a time as this”.  Thank you for your love, support, prayers, encouragement, time, listening ear and generous hearts… You’re a blessing to my aching heart. ♥

love satin 2015

Butterfly Wings

Fathers Day 2016

Today marks the first Father’s Day without my Daddy. Simply writing those words brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. My heart aches to have him here, yet knows he’s in a better place, it just doesn’t make me miss him any less.

They say to have loved and lost is better than to not have loved at all, so I accept the beautiful truth in those words, and am grateful to have loved and been loved by my amazing Daddy for 37 years.

Since my Daddy passed, I have fallen in love with an insect that was always his favorite:

~The Butterfly~
butterfly

The butterfly’s long journey in the cocoon, their painful process of becoming a butterfly, and then their ultimate accomplishment in spreading their wings and flying, is something to behold.  They have such grace, beauty, and bring such joy and happiness to anyone who sees them.

I have much to say about all that I am learning regarding the metaphor of the butterfly and our spiritual re birthing, but I’m saving that for another post.

Today, I want to want to honor my Daddy and all he is to me today and always.

Today, I proudly wear a butterfly in my hair, accompanied by a white flower, as a tribute to the first man I loved, who now has been given his wings & who’s presence is felt flying around me, like that of a butterfly.

In my Mother’s words, he was “Bigger than Life” and like a butterfly, he could enter a room and bring with him smiles, joy and laughter.

I miss his presence, his hugs, his laughter and that sparkle in his eyes, when he would smile with pride and affection.

He will forever be with me, his words echoing in my heart. I thank God for gifting me with a Daddy who loved God and taught me to love Him just as much!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! Enjoy your first Father’s Day with Our Heavenly Father.  I miss you and love you!

love satin 2015

Daddy, Goodbye…

Yesterday, April, 11, 2016, my Daddy entered Heavens gates! While my heart misses him already and aches for him to hold me in his arms and reassure me everything is going to be okay, God has blessed me with an incredible husband who has stepped into that role beautifully and graciously. God knew what He was doing when he brought Tyler into my life and for that I am truly grateful.

Below is a letter I wrote and then read to my Daddy back in January, because I had no idea when my goodbye would be the last, and wanted to make sure he knew exactly how I felt about him… It was a beautiful moment as I read it; we cried together, he kissed me, hugged me and reassured me of his love and pride for me.

***

January 16, 2016

Daddy,

Not very many people ever get a chance to say everything they want to say to the ones they love the most. Consumed by bitterness or anger they miss the opportunity to mend the broken, before it’s too late. I have none of those things in my heart towards you, so I get to sit here and enjoy the peace that passes all understanding, and savor each moment with you. I am truly blessed.

On that note, instead of trying to stumble through the random words that are on my heart, I wanted to organize them and put them to paper. I have a lot to say, so please bear with me as I process my heart and bear my soul to you in an effort to ensure that I don’t miss the opportunity to tell you exactly what is on my heart.

Holy tears!!! There will always be tears from this daughter of yours! Ha Ha!  My sensitive heart became apparent to you at the age of 2, when I cried while singing “Jesus Loves Me”!  That tenderness remains, even now, at the age of 37. So please, when you see me cry, don’t feel bad, don’t feel guilty and don’t feel as if it’s your fault! This daughter cries because her heart is so full of LOVE that sometimes it overflows into tears.

Daddy, I need you to hear my heart and to listen to my words. I need for you to let go of the past and embrace today. Stop holding on to the regret of past mistakes and embrace Jesus’ forgiveness, redemption and healing in our relationship. What we have today wouldn’t be what it is, had we never experienced the heart break and pain from our past. How could we appreciate the beauty of our relationship today, if we had never experienced the pain? Please, let go and be at peace; your past is under the blood of Jesus and I have left it there as well.

I know you don’t want to leave us. I know how much you agonize over saying goodbye that final time. I know how it pains you to see us cry, but please, PLEASE hear me when I say, our tears here will be replaced by tears of joy one day, when we all are reunited in the presence of Jesus; free of pain, free of suffering and free of sin.

This life we live on earth, is only a chapter;
for our real life begins when our life here on earth ends.

I know you have wrestled with knowing about your cancer and at times wished you didn’t know. But as for me, I am truly grateful. I am grateful because I have watched how God has used it in our family to bring healing.  To teach us quick forgiveness, over anger and bitterness, and unity in difficult times. Most of all, I see the growth in each of us spiritually as we learn to embrace the frailty of life and just how short it really is in the vastness of eternity! Learning to see things through the eyes of Jesus, rather than our own. Learning to cling to Him for comfort and peace. Trusting him to provide for all our needs and watching Him keep every promise He makes.

Walking beside you and Mom through all of this has been a gift to me that I’ll never regret nor forget. So, thank you for allowing me to share this time with you and for not selfishly walking it alone.

Daddy, you are one of the absolute strongest men I know. You’re the first man to love me, hold me, hug me, kiss me, hold my hand, comfort me, teach me about Jesus and instruct me in His ways. You’re the first man to care enough to speak the truth, even when it hurt, to protect me when it felt like you were hurting me, and to push me when I felt like giving up. You raised me to be an independent thinker, to question everything, to embrace heartache with my eyes on Jesus and to stay open to His leading. You taught me forgiveness and love, strength and humility, vision and trust in Jesus. You taught me all of this, not so much as with your words, but in your actions. When you fell, you got on your knees and allowed Jesus to pick you back up. When you didn’t know the answer, you asked and He gave you truth.

Don’t you get it? I have no regret! I only have pride in you for allowing Jesus to work in your life the way He has and to mold you into the amazing man you are today.

Now for the hard part…

I don’t want to say goodbye… ever. The thought of losing you and Mom has always terrified me. But its reality and being a realist I’ve known the day would come… I just don’t think I’ll ever be ready for it. Ever.

However, I want you to know that while I’ll never be ready to lose you here on earth, there is nothing that motivates me more to be the woman God wants me to be, than knowing that one day, I’ll run through Heaven’s gates and into the arms of all my parents: Jesus, you and Mom.

So while I will lose you here on earth, I truly look forward to spending eternity with you at Home. So please leave the light on & make sure my cloud car is faster than yours!! {ha ha}

I promise you, that I will take care of Mom just as if it were you caring for her yourself. As God provides, I will make sure she has everything she needs and more. I will love her, protect her, fight for her, pray for her, support her and care for her just as you have so faithfully done.

Daddy, we will be not only okay, but we will be good, because God is good! Our hearts will forever have an emptiness for you, yet your legacy will live on in us. We will mourn for a season, then rejoice again at all God does through your legacy as we continue to carry out His will in our lives.

So please don’t be afraid to leave us. As difficult as it is for us to let you go, we are confident that you are in the best of Hands and we too will be held in those same Hands. So in essence, you will still always be with us.

Daddy, when Jesus calls you home, run along, I’ll be home soon.

I love you with all my heart!

Always and proudly your daughter,

Satin Sharee Klitzke Pelfrey

love satin 2015

Through The Pain

daddy & satin

Death is an ugly and painful reality, isn’t it? I’ve lost friends and family to death, and have ached for those who have lost the same.

As you know, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer April 3, 2012. That day, our family began changing; in hindsight, it’s all been a blessing in disguise, as we have chosen to take a closer look at our relationships and embrace each one with sincerity, love and forgiveness.

We are approaching the four year mark since my Dad’s diagnosis and the past five months have brought an unfortunate decline in his health which has been incredibly difficult to watch; no one deserves to suffer, so we are praying that God will be merciful and spare him the worst of it.

I recently had a friend reach out saying although she knows God is good, she just can’t wrap her mind around the “why” behind the loss of someone you love.

I got to thinking about this and wanted to share my heart here…

Watching my father battle cancer the past 4 years, has been incredibly eye opening in many areas, but specifically to death. While I am experiencing the absolute deepest pain of my life, I also have grown tremendously as a result of the pain.

I am a firm believer that as humans we tend to have preconceived notions as to how life should be, especially when it comes to the timing of someone’s death. However, I am clinging to the verse that God numbers our days, not man.

A person’s days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5 NIV

To us, it feels as if our loved one(s) were taken too soon, but God knows every hair on our head and every breath we will take before we are ever born. (Psalm 139)

I believe that it is God’s immense LOVE that gifts us with people for however long the season may be; whether long or short. We all have a purpose and that purpose is to draw closer to God and to point others closer to Him.  However God asks us to do this is what makes us uniquely US and when He deems our work is done, He calls us home to be with Him.

Walking this journey with my parents, while as painful as it is, shows me the incredible amount of God’s goodness and faithfulness. The healing and restoration God has brought to my relationship with my Dad is such a beautiful miracle. I am so immensely grateful that these last years get to be among some of our best years together; patched together with endless memories of my childhood years with him.

I am so grateful for the legacy my Dad is leaving behind; the strong woman he taught me to be and for the Godly character he exhibited in his own life. Perfection? No, but Godly character and true repentance day in and day out? Absolutely! Those are two of the most valuable things to me and should be for every believer.

Death is painful, yet it is not final, so I choose to cling to the life we have now as well as the life we are promised for eternity, as believers in Christ, laying aside this short window of painful loss to focus on the bigger and brighter picture.

In no way am I diminishing your pain, my pain or anyone’s pain, only sharing how I am personally walking through this very thing right here and now.

“Through the pain, still I will trust you, Jesus.”

love satin 2015