My Heart, His Words

Let the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your site, O Lord.


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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


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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


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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

 

 


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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


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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


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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

 


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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