Summertime

Around here public school teachers have already gone back to school & the kids start next week.  My kids start a little later in the month but either way, summer is quickly coming to an end.  I love summertime and have since I was a kid but there is something about a new school year and getting back into a regular routine that excites me too.

When you are a kid, summer is the greatest word in the English language.  The days are long, the weather is hot and each day is filled with endless posssiblity because these are the days when school doesn’t take up your whole day and homework doesn’t steal your nights.

When I was growing up, summers were sacred.  There were bikes, basketball goals, the ballfield & the pool.  The highlight of summer for me and my friends was the community pool affectionately know as “The Gordon Pool” to outsiders or just “the pool” to us members:) I think it was a like $100 for a membership for the entire summer.  We all disppeared at 12 pm and didn’t come home until after 6.  My parents and all the parents of my pool buddies had it made:)  I recently told my parents about a meme I saw online that said “I am pretty sure my parents didn’t know where I was from 1990-1995” and that sounds about right for the generation I grew up in.  Parents didn’t hover and we were fine and most of us are still fine today.

The pool was the greatest babysitter.  We all loved to go because we knew we could all meet up there.  The cute teenage boys would be in the deep end playing gator while us younger girls had our tea parties or played on the slide in the middle of the pool.  Now those boys don’t seem so much older than me & we even have kids the same age.  We didn’t need clocks back then.  We knew when the Price is Right went off that the pool was open and then the lifeguard usually told us when it was time to get out and go home so we knew it was supper time.

There is comfort in knowing what will happen from day to day and back then we knew.  We knew the gate would be open at noon and we would trudge in and hand our snack money to the ladies behind the counter to put in our box.  The boxes were like a big standing tackle box with a piece of tape across the front of each individual box displaying the owner’s name.  It would either be Mrs. Marcelyn, Aunt Trish, Mrs. Libby or sometimes Ms. Lynn manning the counter.  You could order hotdogs, french fries and almost any candy you wanted.  If you were lucky,  Mrs. Libby would write your name in ketchup or mustard on your hotdog.  There was almost any kind of candy you wanted and the chocolate was the best because it stayed in the cooler.  There was no AC at the pool concession stand.  Tracy Hawthorne was one of the lifeguards & all us little girls thought she ruled.  She was gorgeous and she drove a little red BMW which was like everything in our small town.

We all walked or rode our bikes to the pool and summer days were all spent between streets named Ann and Sitton and my grandmother’s house was sandwiched in between on Greenview Avenue. Those were the days.  Those days were golden and we didn’t know just how good or sacred they were when we were living them.  Summer was watermelon, pools, shelling peas on your grandma’s porch, sleeping late and staying up even later, bare feet, & boat rides on the lake.  One set of cousins had grandparents who lived on the lake & we went every weekend and all four of us kids were packed in the car without a seatbelt in sight.  When our our lake days ended we rode home (like 30-40 minutes) in the back of a truck the whole way but not before we went through Dairy Queen and got Mr. Misty’s.  Thanks, Uncle Greg:)

I guess summer was a good teacher, even as children it was teaching us that good things don’t last forever & things you look forward to all year long are over in a flash.  As we are all now in our 30’s and 40’s we know just how precious time is.

We have had a bit of a 1980’s/1990’s summer at our house this year.  I was down and out for 9 weeks with my foot injury so my kids slept late, swam some, climbed trees, rode bikes, read books & made the best of summer just like I used to.  I can only hope they grow up to have sweet memories of their summers just like their Mom.  My injury took the pressure off to fill this summer with endless activity and I decided I like it this way.  Summers are for fun but also for rest.

What are your favorite summer memories?  Soak up these last days and be excited for the next season!  Seasons are a gift & they will always come & go – if not for that we probably wouldn’t appreciate each one quite as much.

#sweetsummertime

Reflections

Turning 40 has been a lot of fun. I have had some great dinners, a party, & have gotten some sweet gifts. 💗(Gifts are my love language)

A few days ago, I was sitting in the cafe at Barnes & Noble. I was journaling & planning to do some work & for a rare moment both my kids were sitting with me & were not arguing.  Lawson flipped through a magazine while Bella was reading. That quiet moment left me thanking God for the gift of summer, for changing seasons, for my friends, for my husband, for Law, & for Bella. 

I have been given so much in life. I hope I have a lot more life to live but even so, it’s been a marvelous ride thus far. Not perfect & not always easy but marvelous all the same:)

I have been super reflective since turning 40. (Can you tell?) It’s a milestone birthday like #16, #21, & #30.  It has me thinking on my first 40 years – what they looked like  & what my next 40 will look like. 

The first 40 were my birth, childhood, getting an education, falling in love, working & establishing a career then marrying & birthing kids. The next 40 will look very different – my kids will only continue to grow so they will graduate school, get married & have kids of their own. Brad and I will grow older and we might even get to retire so this second half of life will pan out a lot differently than the first half.  Time marches on.  I sure I hope I can be old and wise and not just old:) 

In our formative years, I don’t think we can fathom what the stages of life will look like.  I know for a fact one thing that I didn’t anticipate as a child. From a child’s eyes, 40 is old so I assumd by 40 I would have it all figured out.  I figured I would have accomplished all my dreams and would be on the downhill slide to life on a beach or something.  The mind of a child is not always realistic and it shouldn’t be because children’s minds are designed to dream & imagine so encourage your kids to dream often.  There will be plenty of time for adulting.  

Guess what?  Now that I have reached 40, I  can certify that I still have dreams & I still have goals to accomplish.   What a travesty it would be if I didn’t still have dreams!  In my earlier years I always assumed that I would be completely settled by the time I reached 40. I guess in many ways I am settled  but I still have so much to do! At a couple of points along my career path, I had the big corner office, with a fancy title & nice salary & the world told me that’s all there is. That was the goal & I had arrived.  I am so glad to know today there is so much more to life & just as there is no one perfect size or weight, there is no perfect age to chase your calling.  I think by 40 most of us are just figuring out exactly what it is that we want to do or maybe we are finally ready to answer the call God has placed on our hearts!  The good news is that if you are called, all the details will fall into place!  I am going to start on my book and see what else is in store for my next forty years!  Keep chasing dreams, Sisters!

I am pledging that this is gonna be my best decade yet. Get out there and have a great day!

xoxo,

Jodi

Highlight Reels

There are alot of pics on social media.  I post a lot, my friends post a lot.  You have heard social media called the highlight reel.  We don’t always know the truth behind pretty pictures or even ugly ones for that matter. But it’s not the ugly ones that intrigue us. We see a smiling, happy couple & we make assumptions. This picture from our 10 year anniversary trip (in 2012) to Antigua is a perfect example.
Sometimes all the people in these pretty pictures may not even know what is going on. That was the case here. Brad was giving in to his addiction & making poor choices back then but I was not yet clued in to it all. But in a few short months our lives would fall apart & the next year would break us & test our marriage in ways we couldn’t have prepared for. This cute pic doesn’t say all that.
However, I can honestly look at this picture & in that moment we were truly happy.  That anniversary trip to the beautiful island of Antigua was one of the happiest times of my life. Ten years was a big milestone for us.  Now I look back at it & realize what a gift that trip and this picture was/is.  Looking back, it feels like a precious gift that God wrapped up just for me. He gave me that week with my husband in that beautiful place because He knew what was ahead. He gave me rest & sweet memory in that trip. I am forever grateful for that.
I have not thought about this picture or that trip in a long time, until this morning.  I opened my Facebook app & this picture was shared with me as my memory from 7 years ago. Thanks FB:)  When I saw this picture, it got me thinking.
Thinking that I am so thankful for that moment in time & all the moments since. It reminds me of what a good, good, God that we serve. He is not absent in our suffering nor is He absent in the blessing of good times.
So thankful for the way He has worked in my life & marriage & all that He has redeemed & restored.  I am especially thankful for the things he made brand new! Today, my marriage is strong & Brad is the most remarkable man I know. He is wise, discerning, honest, & oh so kind.
Brad answered God’s call to ministry & by extension I did too. The ministry he placed on our hearts all those years ago has grown & changed & is more than we could have imagined. Most of all, it is bigger than Brad or me. Our prayer from the beginning was that God would do something so big that it would be destined to fail without Him in the center of it. We are four years in, still going strong & there are big things on the horizon!
To God be the glory forever & ever. Amen.
I felt led to do this short post today to encourage somebody out there to not give up.  There is always hope – sometimes it’s a scary hope but don’t ever give up hope.  The thought of what something might be is exciting and gives us the strength to keep moving forward.  Whatever you are facing, God has got you and He is greater than all the hurt.  He is a God of immeasurably more!
If you don’t follow Cross Roads Recovery on Instagram or Facebook, please do!
All the best!
Jodi
antigua

Staring down the road to 40….

That may not be an appropriate title – staring down the street to 40 is more like it. My 40th Birthday is just 2 days away. I entered this world on June 22, 1979 at the Coliseum Hospital around 7:45 p.m. That was about 11ish hours after my cousin, Jennifer who was born in the same room. The same day we entered the world & began life, a close family friend of Wanda’s (Jenn’s mom) lost hers. Her name was Lynn & she died in a car accident right after she left our hospital room. Talk about the circle of life. God gives & He takes away.

Mom & Wanda & me & Jenn were all in one room. How fun is that? 😊 Jenn was plump & bald & I was scrawny with itty bitty eyes. (Later in life, I got plump & she got scrawny ☺️) We both favored our grandfathers in those newborn hospital pics. From that day forward, we were like sisters. We don’t talk as often these days or see each other all that much but our bond remains.

It was always so fun sharing a birthday with a cousin & we were the first grands on the maternal side so you know how that goes. Spoiled rotten was an understatement. To this day, we blame our Ma-Ma & Me-Ma for our expensive taste. Rhody & Jane are extraordinary women who had the most special friendship. They were sister in laws but genuinely loved one another & the Macon Mall loved them. ☺️ They taught Jenn & I so much but they deserve their own post so I won’t ramble on about them here.

As I prepare to celebrate my 40th year, I want to share 40 things that I know.

1. Family is everything. I am so thankful for my family of origin but also extremely thankful for friends that have become family.

2. Life is short & fragile.

3. Forgiveness is a must. It heals you too.

4. God is good.

5. God has planned immeasurably more for each of us!

6. Hurt people hurt people.

7. Harsh words sting.

8. Writing words is therapeutic.

9. Counseling is a GOOD thing.

10. Grandparents should live forever.

11. So should parents.

12. Growth is hard but so rewarding.

13. Courage is hard but so necessary.

14. Humor is so helpful but cutting your bangs is not.

15. Abundant grace is necessary for all of us.

16. Learning to have tolerance for people not like me is hard but important.

17. God loves working miracles.

18. God specializes in brokenness.

19. Little sisters are gifts.

20. Love covers a multitude of sins.

21. Exercise is good.

22. Love does.

23. Babies are delightful.

24. Colic is not. (BG taught us that)

25. Trials make us strong in weak places.

26. Hate is not the opposite of love – indifference is.

27. I don’t understand all of the Bible but I don’t let what I don’t understand interfere with what I do.

28. I was not nearly as smart as I thought I was 20 years ago. #hindsight

29. I regret having such a smart mouth & talking back to my momma.

30. The apple indeed does not fall from the tree & we are all a lot more like our parents than we care to admit.

31. One of the only things we are control of is our attitude. Make it good.

32. Choices lead & feelings follow.

33. Kids need parents who show up.

34. Life is messy.

35. Marriage takes work.

36. When you have a choice to make, choose wisely.

37. Hugs are good for your soul.

38. So is time spent with old friends.

39. You can’t make old friends.

40. Age is just a number.

Happy Birthday to me & Jenn & my best buddy, Ryan VanSon! (There is a previous post about him 😉)

Thanks for reading & please sign up to follow along!

All my best,

Jodi

A bad body day

I am really struggling with body image today. Hate is a strong word but today I feel like I hate my body – the one that currently has a cast on one leg & is 30 pounds overweight. (I know my body is mostly healthy & grew humans & has done miraculous things, blah, blah, blah but please don’t tell me that today)

I am mad that I have thyroid disease & I am mad that I currently can’t work out. 

I love social media – I love following friends, celebs, boutiques, & furniture shops. But you know what I know? That I probably would not be feeling quite as badly about myself as I do today if I didn’t have thousands of pics at my fingertips of perfect, thin girls all over my social media feeds. With their flawless skin & great clothes & amazing adventures. I know some of you have to feel this way sometimes too so that’s why I am putting it out there. It’s okay to take a little social media fast from time to time. 

I’m in my feelings today & that’s okay, I just can’t get stuck there. One thing that always helps me is making a gratitude list. I know, it’s so cliche & AAish but it really works. When I make one, I try to list everything individually like not just say “my kids” but list Lawson & then list Bella & not just list “my parents” but list Billy then list Sheryl. You get the picture. 

I have so much to be grateful for & gracious alive, I know there are much worse things than a season of discontent over your body but this is my current season & it’s okay. Your feelings are your feelings & when you have feelings, you have to own them & work through them. 

Annie F. Downs is having a day like this too. She did an Instagram post that had me going “me too, girl” Follow her if you don’t already & check it out. 

Where did all this start you ask? Like many others with body issues it started for me when I was a kid. I was a fat kid & when I was in first grade, my grandmother chopped my hair off in a bowl cut cause you know what is cuter than a chubby six year old with a bowl cut? 🤦🏽‍♀️It’s sad to think about 6 year olds knowing they aren’t the right size. You know – the size culture say we should be. Culture has one for every stage of life. 

By 5th grade I had grown taller & lost my baby fat. In high school I was always dieting for fear of it all coming back. There is a lot more wrapped up in this but I will blog about that another day. By 11th grade I could wear a size 4. WTH? My body was seriously not created to be that size. When God was handing out sizes I was in the solid 8/10 group. I maintained through college & married life & then had a kid & then had another & I’m happy for all those people that got their pre-baby body back (Princess Kate, I’m looking at you) but that did not happen to me. And not because of neglect on my part – it just didn’t happen. I did get back to my pre baby size but my body was forever altered. My little darlings are worth it though right? 😉Then three years ago I went to the doctor because my eating & exercise patterns had not changed but I had gained weight & it would NOT come off. 

My doctor did all the tests & told me I have thyroid disease & that is the reason for my weight gain & why it’s hard to get the extra weight off. She gave me a stimulant & my extra 30 pounds dropped off. But when my prescription ran out, the weight came back regardless of my workout regimen or eating habits. I don’t have a perfect diet but I was not eating fried foods or processed foods or drinking 6 packs of coke so I was baffled at what was happening. 

So fast forward to now & I want to lose 30 pounds again. Geez, that’s a lot. My foot is in a cast so I have not exercised in 4 weeks & I need to know what has worked for anyone that has ever lost weight. Was it “It works” or “Shakeology” or “Arbonne” or “Weight Watchers” or “Nutrisystem” or just leaving off kale & water? I know how to work out but I apparently don’t know how to eat well so nutritionists are welcome here too. 

My workout life is solid. I started working out in college & have never stopped. Back in the day it was a lot of aerobics – I even taught some classes & subbed a lot & then I got into boot camps & 4 years ago, I found an incredible class that goes Year round & never stops. It’s been a dream & there is a core group of us that have been doing it non-stop & it’s more than a great workout – it’s great fellowship. All that to say, I love working out, I love a challenge & I am competitive so a group setting is my fave & where I push myself the most. 

It seems I just need a meal plan & not one that costs a million dollars or $400. Feel free to share yours if you have a good one! 

That’s a lot of sharing for one day so I am signing off but if you like the things I write, please sign up to follow my blog so you don’t miss a post. This has been Real Talk Friday. 

All my best,

Jodi 

“This is Us” Series

Hey everybody!  I said that I was going to write a recap from the This is Us series from our church over the last month.  For the last six weeks, common folk from the congregation have graced the stage and shared their stories.  It was so beautiful!  Pastor B kicked it off by sharing about the church – our core values, who we are and what we seek to do.  That was week 1.

Week 2 – Junior Humprhey & me

Junior went first & he shared his life verse which is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” That word “all” throws a little kink in it doesn’t it?  Junior is an overcomer and he shared his story of struggles and how he overcame time after time.  My take away was don’t miss out on the good around you right now.  It is our human nature and certainly our culture to constantly be searching or waiting on the next best thing or something more but if we are always in that state we are certain to miss the good all around us right now.

If you have known me for any length of time then you probably know my life verse is Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us.”  I started my message by talking about prayers – bold prayers vs. timid prayers.  I shared about the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson because it changed my prayer life and I am betting it will be a game changer for anyone brave enough to pick it up.  In that book, Mark says “Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers  If your prayers are not impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” Man, does that put it in perspective!  Another fave quote I shared is by Charles Spurgeon and it encouraged me so much during a big trial in my life – it was a time when I couldn’t figure out how I ended up where I was or what God was up to, it felt like God wasn’t around at all.  The quote says “God is too kind to be cruel, too wise to be mistaken.  When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” Those words spoke right to my soul the day I found them and they still do.  There will be many times in our lives on this fallen earth that we are not going to understand why things happen like they do but the good news is we can always trust Him, no matter how painful our earthly circumstances seem.  I talked about the power of hope and the importance of friends in our lives.  We need lots of friends but make sure you have at least one friend in your life that will speak truth to you when you need to hear it.  Also, always speak your truth because that is empowering.  Whether you speak it or not, your reality is still the same so let the truth set you free whenever you can.

Week 3 – Jonica Anderton brought our message.  She is Pastor B’s wife and pastors alongside him at CCC.  Her verse is Romans 12:2.  “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  Wow.  Don’t we all want to know God’s will for us?  Jonica talked about life change and shared her story of changes in different seasons of her life and what the Lord showed her.  If we want change in our lives, we have to change.  We lead the charge and God helps us all along the way.  She said “Change changes things” and that is 100% accurate no matter what kind of change we are talking but let God transforms us and we will have a whole new view!

Week 4 – Rhett & Shannon Evans brought messages and this was really cool because they are husband and wife and it was so neat to see God use them and their individual stories to promote His kingdom.  Rhett went first and his verse was Romans 8:28.   “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  Rhett was the most surprising of all of our speakers because Rhett is such a quiet guy by nature.  He doesn’t say much but turns out he is packed full of wisdom!  God used Rhett in such a big way during this series.  Rhett talked about the importance of relationships in life and how love is absolutely essential.  He talked about Bob Goff and his book “Love Does” which is an all time faorite of mine.  Rhett defined love through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13 & reminded us all that God does his best work in the broken places.  My favorite part was when he quoted one of CCC’s middle schoolers, my very own Lawson.  About brokeneness Lawson says,  “If you allow it, God will put you back together even more beautiful than before.” AMEN.

Shannon was up next and she brought a beautiful message about perseverance.  Shannon’s verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Shannon shared about times in her life when she was called to persevere and that through God’s strength it was and is possible.  Shannon has survived alot in her life & she shared about a point last year where she felt as if she had been rejected by God.  She found herself pleading with Him and asking “why are you doing this to me?” that is when she discovered that God doesn’t do it to you, He goes through it with you.

Week 5 brought Kylie Humphrey and Brad Sappe to the stage:)

Kylie shared a message on fear.  She reminded us right in the beginning that the battle has already been won.  We don’t fight for victory but FROM victory.  Kylie shared her personal story of struggling with fear and anxiety that crippled her.  She says that her life verse quite literally saved her life.  “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.”  My favorite line from her message was “the amount of power we give to fearful thoughts determines the amount of control they have over us.” So true!  We have to fix our minds on things above and remember that fear is not from Christ – He gives us peace.

My hunky hubby, Brad was up next to wrap it up.  Brad’s verse is James 1:2 which says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  Easier said than done right?  Brad shared about how we can find joy in our trials.  He made us think about where we get our worth – is it from people, places and things or are we looking higher?  My fave quote in his message was “Our most difficult trials can lead us to our most ridiculous faith.” YES, boy, YES!  Beauty comes from the brokeness and you don’t get the beauty without the broken pieces.  God has got you!  He didn’t bring you this far to leave you now!  Claim that today for your life.

Week 6 was a panel of Pastor B, Junior, Rhett, Brad, me, & Jonica. We had an opportunity to say just one more thing!  My one more thing was centered around the idea of grace.  If you want to check out all these messages you can view them on the Central City Church Youtube channel or see a couple of them on my FB page.  It was a blessing to be a part of the series and a blessing to hear from my friends.  You should check it out, I bet you wll be blessed too.

Until next time stay cool and enjoy your summer! (I am trying but this cast on my leg is approximately 400 degrees:))

Jodi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done

Well done.  Those are words that I am confident that Mrs. Lynn heard as she crossed over into eternity a few days ago.  “Well done, good & faithful servant” Matthew 25:21.  Mrs. Lynn was so many things – she was a wife, a mother, a sister, daughter, and friend.  She was also my childhood caregiver, my all time cake baker, the key to my first job & my Mom’s best friend.  June 4, 2019 is the day God called Mrs. Lynn home & she left this world with her three beautiful girls standing around her bedside.  She raised them well and they are all strong, capable women who are gonna miss their  Momma like crazy but in her last days they assured her they would be okay & I think that’s probably what she needed to hear.  She was so tired of fighting but she needed to know they were gonna be okay.

Mrs. Lynn was a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Our families go way back & because of that we are all family.  Mrs. Lynn went to school with my Daddy and they graduated together in 1971.  He escorted her on homecoming court because they were buds & then they each got superlatives – Mrs. Lynn was “best looking” (she was gorgeous!) & Daddy was “cutest” (he still is 🙂  I can remember sitting on the floor as a child at my Nanny’s house looking through old yearbooks and I always loved the pic of Daddy and Mrs. Lynn on the football field for Homecoming.

Mom & Mrs. Lynn knew each other in high school but didn’t become close friends until Mrs. Lynn married Mr. Randy who Mom thought of as a brother.  Mom, her brother & parents were across the street neighbors to Mr. Randy, his brother Sterling, & Mrs. Louise and Mr. Randall.  Weezie and Randall were some of my grandparent’s best friends.  Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing in the their yard with Amber and Lacy and walking to the end of the driveway to either meet Mrs. Louise or one of the girls so that Ma-Ma and Weezie could swap their magazines.  The good kind – The Star and the Enquirer:)

When Mrs. Lynn had her first child, Denise, my parents didn’t have kids yet so they loved Denise like she was their own.  They kept her on the weekends when her parents were working and any other time they could get their hands on her.  As Denise grew and all the other siblings came along we always said we thought Denise was actually my Mom’s kid and my sweet little sister, Megan belonged to Mrs. Lynn.  See, Denise is a little salty like my Mom (and me) and Megan is the kindest, sweetest, purest little being just like Mrs. Lynn so we always joked about who belonged to who but if you have ever seen Denise then you know she is her Mom’s twin:)

Every day when my Mom went to work,  I got to go to the Ussery house and stay with Mrs. Lynn and the girls.  That meant lots of summer days eating breakfast bars, going to the pool, playing in the yard and watching our favorite shows.  Mrs. Lynn loved Western movies and books and my Daddy does too so between my house and Mrs. Lynn’s house I watched all of the John Wayne movies and she and Daddy exchanged Louis L’Amour books like Rhody and Weezie exchanged the Star & Enquirer.  I can still see the LL books in my head, they were ordered from Time Life or something and were these brown leather encyclopedia like books & they filled our house and Mrs. Lynn’s.  Our favorite things to watch in Mrs. Lynn’s living room were “Little House on the Prairie” & Pollyanna.  Oh, how we wore that movie out.  I grew up & didn’t need childcare anymore but Mrs. Lynn was still a big part of my life.  She helped me land my first job (shout out to the Exchange Bank crew), she baked & decorated our wedding cakes & then when I had kids she made countless birthday cakes & even a Mercer cake for Brad when he graduated.

All of that to say that  Mrs. Lynn has always been a constant in my life & she my Mom have been best friends for the last 45+ years.  They survived lots together – deaths of parents, in-laws, and friends, they raised their kids together and welcomed grandkids together.  Mom retired in March and Mrs. Lynn was set to follow in May.  They had big plans for their retirement years.  I found myself today thinking how sad I was that Mrs. Lynn had worked her whole life & then died before she could enjoy her golden years or do all the things she and Mom had planned but then I immediately thought that the joy she is experiencing right now in eternity is far greater than anything we can imagine here on earth.  But still, I wish our loved ones could live forever especially if they have reached the title of grandparent because by that point there are so many people that love them dearly.  In my world if you reach the grandparent stage then that would be your ticket to live forever.

To know Mrs. Lynn was to love her.  She was the kindest, most gentle person on the planet.  She was a hard worker, she loved well & you never heard her say a bad word about anyone.  She was quiet and reserved &  loyal.  As my Aunt Jane would say, she was a real jewel.  Mrs. Lynn was one of a kind and her absence on this earth will leave a big hole.  I am so glad that I got to speak those words to her and thank her for the impact her life had on mine.  I am also thankful that I got to hold hands with her girls and my Mom around her bed and pray over her before she lef this world.  I will cherish those moments forever.  Tomorrow is Mrs. Lynn’s funeral and my Daddy and my husband are pallbearers.  They are honored to be a part of her service & express one final act of love towards a lady who loved all her people so well.

The fragility of life literally takes my breath away.  It is hard to understand how someone is here and things seem okay until suddenly they aren’t and then they are gone.  I don’t imagine it is anything I will ever understand this side of eternity but I can trust in a God who is bigger than me and who ultimately has a good plan.  I want to encourage you to tell your loved ones that you love them (as often as you can), apologize to who you need to apologize to, ask forgivenss or give forgivness & love hard because life is short and we are not promised tomorrow.

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

Mrs. Lynn, you were a bright light & you will forever be missed.  Love you.