Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I am grateful to our older son who helps me care for my husband every day. He had been wondering when the time would be for him to come home from West Point and would constantly say to me, "Mom, I NEED to know when to come home to be with Dad." He wanted me to ask the doctor when the time would be, and I would "quiz" the hospice nurse each visit to know if THIS would be the weekend our son should not return to the Academy on Sunday. No one could tell the appropriate time and it would have been hard to ask him to leave the Academy not knowing how long he would have to be home. We were not glad about the turn of events with my husband breaking his femur on October 26th, however, it was then that we knew that it was time for our son to return home. God is sovereign in ALL things. (The Academy has been great in continuing to show their support for our son during this time.)
As our daughter said, he has been on oxygen. It has been over a week for that measure and it is just to make him comfortable. As of yesterday, he is restless and often takes it off, but accepts me putting it back in place. He doesn't always respond to a question, but is always listening. He ALWAYS acknowledges me with a smile, a wink, or an eyebrow-raise when I tell him that I love him. He is still able to communitcate how much he loves me! He reaches often for a hand to hold if a person is close by his bed and waves most times when someone new enters the room.
This morning, he did ask if we were packed and said he needed clothes and was ready to go home. I am assuming he meant his heavenly home that awaits him. I read to him from a Billy Graham devotional book given to me by a friend earlier this fall. Actually, today was the last entry in the book. It was titled, "With God Forever!" The scriptures mentioned in the devotion were: II Corinthians 5:1; Luke 10:20; II Corinthians 5:8; I Thessaloninas 4:17; and Revelation 21: 3-4. How comforting to both of us to know that when we die we will be with God forever!
He is restless and his breathing is much different that ever before. Although he drinks between two to six ounces of liquid a day, he has not eaten now in 12 days. Actually, he has displayed all of the signs that have been spelled out for me in the handout from hospice entitled, "Signs and Symptoms of Approaching Death".
I am not a writer, other than my own personal journal, but I felt this morning that I should post an entry on the blog. Many have been saying that they miss my husband's writing. I too miss it and the way his teaching challenges me personally. He has not only been my best friend and husband for 21 years, he has been the spritual leader of our family for over 15 years, and my pastor for over seven years. Our older son asks me what will I do with my time once my husband is gone. I will be grateful for the time to compile his sermons that I have access to; the emails sent by colleagues, friends, students, and former students; and to create a scrapbook of photos. All these will be part of my process of grieving and of healing. They will also be wonderful gifts for our three children to have to remember their Dad, and to know who he was and the impact the Lord allowed him to make. These will be instrumental in helping our five-year-old son to really KNOW who his Dad was. I remarked to my friend we're living with that my husband used to pray for at least 50 people at the church that we helped plant. (God is continuing to bless that church under a new pastor.) God had such other plans for my husband and gave him a pulpit on line with WAY more than 50 lives to reach for the gospel of Christ. (As of November 19th, there have been 27,911 people who visited the blog!) MAY GOD BE GLORIFIED!
We are overwhelmed by the provision of meals, transportation, boxed food and supplies, baked goods, monetary support for our two families during this time while we are here with our good friends. The phone calls, emails, cards, and other correspondence continue to encourage us. I do read to my husband, although at this point he has a very short attention span and memory. I was speaking with a friend from Georgia today about having difficulty being able to focus in prayer at this particular time of my life and she referred to all those that are lifting me and our family(ies) up to the throne for us. For that I am most grateful. That is a precious gift, to pray for God to uphold someone undergoing a trial when that particular person is in the "trenches".
Thank you all for your continued prayers! God has been and continues to be so faithful to us! Throughout each day He reveal so much to us, whether it is revolving around the strength necessary for caregiving, guidance in becoming a single parent (since my husband is unable to help me in decision-making, disciplining, etc...), or the promise of the eternal life that awaits my husband in the near future. This will be my only post, however, my husband has prepared a final post to be displayed at the appropriate time. Please pray for my husband to slip peacefully into eternity with his Savior.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
First, to those of you in our local churches that have an opportunity to influence the twenty-somethings, the college-age people:
1. What are you doing to encourage these young adults that are our future church leaders: Sunday School teachers, deacons, Bible study teachers, small group leaders, asssistant pastors, missionaries, etc. ?
2. Is there a particular ministry in which you are presently involved where you can bring a young person alongside you and train them? Perhaps as a teaching assistant in a Sunday School class. Or can you encourage a young person to get involved in the homeless ministry? Or a missions project? Or a music ministry? Or can you identify and encourage a young man to pursue a pastoral ministry? THERE IS NO REASON FOR OUR CHURCH NOT TO IDENTIFY, ENCOURAGE, AND SUPPORT A YOUNG MAN IN PURSUING MINISTRY.
3. Is there a particular young person in the church for which God has given you a burden? Ae you willing to take on this young person in a mentoring relationship?
And now for the twenty-somethings:
1. What gifts, talents, resources, etc. has God given you t0 be used in ministry in the local church?
2. In what areas of ministry is God leading you to pursue? Do you have a particular passion for a certain ministry?
3. Is there a particular adult involved in a ministry that you would like to follow?
You are the future of our local church ministry. I want to encourage you to pray about your involvement in how God is leading you.
As we gather for dinner, Larry must be saying something worth listening to, judging by the expression on my face.
Anyway, it was nice to "catch up" with old friends. And I enjoyed getting to know Scott's son Seth a little bit. A fine young man can only be the result of fine, loving parents.