Monday, February 28, 2011

Why I really don't like the song "Daddy's Hands"

For no particular reason I have been reliving the morning of June 20, 2009 in my head. I can see mom, Shane, and I standing around Daddy's hospital bed. I can see the machines, the tiny window with a view of the parking lot. I thought about what I was wearing. What he looked like in that bed... looking at us, but not really looking at us. I think he realized those were his final glimpses of us... I looked scared... he looked peaceful. What his heavy hand felt like in mind... so strong, so rough... calluses of a life of hard work and commitment. Those hands always made me feel so secure. From the time I was the littlest to that very last day, I loved to hold my daddy's hand. Not only did the protect me, but they loved me... provided for me, more importantly they prayed earnestly for me. Every day.

That morning I held on to him as long as they would allow me to. I didn't want to physically let go... and I never will emotionally or mentally let go. I will forever cherish that feeling of my hand in his... what his rough skin felt like that last day as we took our last breaths on earth here together. I squeeze my hand into a fist wishing I could remember what it felt like... it kills me that some of those memories are going... the physical memories. The things that a picture or listening to him sing on my iTunes can't remind me of... scents I can still recall, but his touch I can't.

All these thoughts bring me to one I have contemplated since Mawmaw Cole's death. Daddy truly felt that Mawmaw was robbed of Heaven when she was revived after she stopped breathing in the ICU in August of 2007. He was angry with the doctors who had not yet received her DNR orders... but I disagree with daddy on this one. If that would have been God's time for her, no amount of resuscitation those doctors and nurses tried would have worked. God did not mean for Mawmaw to come home that day. And no matter how much I wanted the doctors and nurses to do something more for daddy... to do CPR or something... I know that if that had not been his day to go Home something would have prevented it. I often wonder if Daddy would have been angry at us if we had requested to overrule his DNR order. I think he might have... because I know that he was already seeing Heaven in those last hours, and as I have said before... no matter how much I wish he was still here, that I could feel those rough, loving, hardworking hands of his I would not choose to nor would I have the power to rob him of his planned and timed entrance to Heaven.

Before daddy died, I liked the song "Daddy's Hands"... but because of everything written in this blog tonight... I just can't listen to it without breaking down (which I did when it was sang at my great uncle's funeral). However, I still think the lyrics of the song are beautiful, so that's what I leave you with tonight...

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.

I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.
Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.'
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.There was always love .....In Daddy´s hands.

*** Please pray for a precious baby girl Helen Claire Lucas. She is 8 months old and has been in the hospital for a week with pneumonia and bronchitis. I have not been able to talk to her mom Jenny... but I am so burdened for my friend who is doing her best to take care of her baby girl. I just can't imagine what they are going through. HC has been on oxygen and antibiotics... please pray for a speedy recovery for this sweet little one. ****

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Warning: this is written by a Joy stealer!!

I heard the word Joy a lot today... and it has been on my mind a lot over the last 24 hours. I truly feel that joy is an uncommon emotion. Joy is unique in that it comes from something else... joy is dependent on forces outside of us as individuals. By definition, joy is " the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation." Personally, I think joy is one of those emotions that when once you experience it... you have to relish in it... and cherish it. Afterward, you crave it. But joy can't be created... joy is can be rare... joy is special. We can seek out things that may give us joy... but I also believe you have to be in the right mindset to experience joy. I think that the feeling of joy is about as close as we can get to the feeling of God's love for us... and how happy that should make us.

I can honestly only think of a few moments when I felt joy... pure, unadulterated joy. The one that comes to mind first would be the first time I held Savannah. I think I might have even cried... I'm sure this is an emotion that most moms feel when they first see their child... and while she is not mine, that moment of holding Kim's first born in my arms was the moment I committed to being her confidant, teacher, friend, protector, encourager, accountability partner and prayer warrior. It was the moment I decided I would take a bullet for her... the moment I knew that this kid (no matter how she acts) would always know that she is loved.

(I also am committed to do the same for my other little cousins...
Anna Catherine, Wyatt, Cassidy, and Will...
but my first meeting with them is not as vivid.)

My first weekend with Savannah... she slept on me for hours.

Another example of joy... honestly, I have to think about that one. Like I said... joy is rare and special. I have had glimpses of joy doing missions work in Latin America and working with children. It is hard not to experience joy when you see such pure love and unwarranted trust in some one's eyes.

Checha - met him in an orphanage in Guatemala... left a little bit of my heart with him there.

I felt joy when I watched my friend Callie, who after what I would consider the toughest year of her life (she dominated cancer) saw one of her heroes, Mrs. Dolly Parton in person at the Opry. I wasn't watching Dolly when she came out on stage... I was watching Callie. This is literally the picture of her first sighting of Dolly... whom she has loved her whole life. It was such an incredible moment to share with my friend I felt joy in that moment because I knew that she was so incredibly happy... and she deserved to be.

I looked up a lot of verses about joy... and I invite you to read them and apply them to your day. One warning though... consider what factors might steal your joy??? WHO and WHAT can make that happen? Consider those things and watch for them... don't allow them to take away that rare and fulfilling sense of Joy in your life. Honestly, I think I can steal my own joy better than anyone else. I am my own worst critic. My biggest personal flaw is that if I become angry with myself, usually over something little and stupid, I tend to ruin my whole day. This is something I constantly work to improve... because that stupid mistake I made... well, last time I checked I don't own a time machine... I can't go back and redo that moment. Therefore why should I allow myself to stress over something that is out of my control??

I hope that you will take some time to read these verses. It is very evident from them that Joy comes from the Lord, and anything from Him should not be taken for granted. I pray that we will all examine those things that we allow to steal us away from those unique and beautiful moments in which we see the love of God in the life He has given us.

Nehemiah 12:43And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Psalm 16:11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 19:8The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 28:7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 30:11You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Psalm 43:4Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 94:19When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 126:3The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy

Luke 6:22-24
22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.

John 15:10-12
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Philippians 2:1-3
Imitating Christ’s Humility 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

James 1:2-3
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Please keep Little Norman in your prayers... and also a precious baby girl named Helen Claire who is about 8 months old and has pnemonia.

Love Y'all,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Update on Lil Norman

Hey friends... I have been thinking about a lot of different things lately... I have not yet collected them all to cohesivly blog them, so I wanted to give you an update on my blog from last week. Little Norman's mom sent mom some pictures and an update. Friends, please keep this precious little boy and his friends in your prayers.

A few corrections from last weeks blog. Little Norman has been diagnosed with Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis. According to Jessica, this is a pretty rare disease and affects only about 200,000 people in the US. Because of this diagnosis his doctors are testing him for Mass Cell Leukemia. So at this point we do not know if he has Leukemia... so let's keep praying that he won't have it!!

I maintain that I am thankful to God for this new relationship between Mom and Jessica. Some of the questions and things mom mentioned led Jessica to ask more questions from Little Norman's doctors. What a blessing it is to once again be reminded of how in control our Lord is.

Love y'all,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

God doesn't do coincidences... part 2

So as I have said before I don't believe in coincidence. Here's another example of why:

Mom is currently at the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, MS. She is showing Happy on Friday and Saturday and went to Jackson a few days early to practice and get settled. Yesterday, she was getting ready to ride Happy (Miss Happy Trails) in one of the arenas and this lady and her son walked up and asked mom is she would mind if they watched her ride, and maybe take some pictures of the horse.

Mom said she didn't mind and began talking to the mom and son, Jessica and Little Norman. Jessica's husband is in the military and she has a few other kids. They were visiting the Arena between doctors appointments...

... because the doctors think Little Norman has Leukemia.
{chill bumps anyone???}
Mom told Jessica about Daddy and his Leukemia and they talked for a while ... Little Norman got Happy and mom led him around. Jessica took pictures of Norman riding Happy and she and mom exchanged email addresses so that Jessica could send mom the pictures of Norman on Happy and also updates on how he is doing.
By this point as mom was telling me the story we were both crying. How can you question God's providence when of the hundreds of participants at Dixie National... Jessica and Little Norman walked up to mom?????
I an thankful that God created this experience for mom... I think she was finally able to recognize how much of a blessing she can be to people, and how God can use her heartbreak and loss to help someone else through a valley of their own (I know you are reading this mom... and this is SO true!!). Experiences like this help me remember that prayer I prayed after Daddy died... that God would allow me to learn from the experience and use it for something positive... to help someone else deal with a trial or tragedy in their life.
There are still millions of emotions... but if something positive can come from the most negative thing that has ever happened to me... then it makes it not as bad. (That sentence made sense in my head... I hope it did here too)
So friends... pray for this little boy and his family. For Little Norman and Jessica. I'll keep you updated if mom hears anything.
Love y'all,
Btw: Mom told me this story really quickly, so I hope I got it all accurate!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is home... in one picture.

I miss them so much... I know they are rejoicing together in Heaven... but tonight is one of those nights where I hurt because I miss them so much. Especially Daddy. I can't wait to see this vision again...
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