Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weeping and Rejoicing

The wisest man in the world has often been quoted through the ages, "There is a time for weeping and a time for rejoicing.  A time for planting and a time for harvest.  A time for tears and a time for laughter."

He wrote several other comparison phrases but you get the idea.

I'm referring to Solomon's writings today because they illustrate all our lives so appropriately.  And my life especially over the past three weeks.

Weeping and rejoicing have been my constant companions lately.  Not because I'm overly emotional.  (Although I can be that from time to time.) But because of the circumstances I've found myself navigating.  It's just part of being a pastor's wife and loving people God has put in my life.

A dear man in our congregation went to be with Jesus two weeks ago.  He was far too young to die by our estimations; only 43.  We'd been praying diligently for him to be healed from his illness.  God chose to make him whole by taking him to Heaven.  

I've wept with his wife.  His children.  His mother.  His siblings.  (All members of our church.)  I've wept with my own husband when no one else was around.  This was a very personal and painful loss for us all.

Our trust in God has been the single, stabilizing factor while all the normal questions swirl around us.

May I just say, there is never a suitable answer to the question, "Why?!"

I've wept with our precious extended family (Smiths) over the intolerable wait forced upon them for biopsy results for Sarah.  I wept again with joy when the text finally came, "No Cancer!"

Benign must surely be the most beautiful word in the English language!

I've rejoiced with my dad over becoming engaged.  He will marry a lovely lady named Christine on Valentine's Day.  And I'm so happy for him.

I wept on Mom's birthday.  It was the sixth one I've had to mark without her.

I've rejoiced with amazing women at a conference where I was privileged to speak.  Amanda Bock Hoggard, who worked with us for six years, planned the conference specifically targeting young women. 

Kristin and I got to fly up to NC together.  She sang and taught; I delivered three different sermons.  We spent time with several friends in the church where Amanda and her husband have been serving.

Nicki and Ashley were also part of our early ministry at GGC - they met us there.  I got to squeeze their babies; laugh at their stories; pray over their needs.  It was such a blessing.

I've wept with another precious young lady (Jasmyne) who went into the hospital with pneumonia - 40 days ago.  The doctors still can not seem to get her lungs cleared up.  She just wants to go home!

I've rejoiced with Kristin and Cody who last Sunday announced to our congregation that they would be welcoming a baby in July..................John and Joy's new baby, that is!  (Yep, the congregation had the same response.)

And those are just the stories I can tell you on the internet.

Weeping and Rejoicing!  It's the stuff of life.

Sometimes we have to work extra hard at just keeping our feet on the right path.  Our minds tracking in the right direction.  Our spirits motivated to rehearse the best.  Our hearts believing that easier days are ahead.

  • The mountain top comes as surely as morning follows night!  
  • Our God can be trusted!

These things I know and believe - they keep me balanced during all the weeping and rejoicing.

Blessings to you, Dear Reader.  May you too find balance in the weeping and rejoicing of your own life!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wedding Bells!

--> (This post was actually written on Monday.  I had to wait for internet service to post.)

Why would I be writing about wedding bells today?

Well, for a couple of reasons –
1.  Today is the seventh wedding anniversary of John and Joy  Schreck!  Seven years ago today they became husband and wife.  

 John became the first son added to our family!  Frank was so very happy to finally have added testosterone in the mix.  So I'm cheering with them and shouting, "Happy Anniversary!"

2.  Today I met the woman my dad will marry in four weeks.   

“Wait, did she say her dad is getting married?”  Yes, I sure did.  My widowed dad is getting married.

In December, we marked the sixth year since Mom passed away.  We’ve long been praying that Dad would find someone to share the rest of his life. 

And so, he has.

Her name is Christine.  She's a kind lady who has known my dad since they were high school age. 

Dad graduated and moved to the big city of Pensacola to find work.  He found work……and my mom.  The rest, for us, was history. 

Christine stayed in the small community where they grew up and raised her family there. Such a friendly soul, she can pretty much name each person and their various family members.

She and Dad reconnected as friends once he and Mom moved back to his little town to retire.  After Mom moved on to heaven, Dad often attended Christine’s home church. 

On Christmas day, Dad surprised us all with the news.  He and Christine will be getting married on Valentine’s Day.  (Maybe “surprised” is too tame an expression.  “Shocked-the-daylights-out-of-us-all” is probably more like it.)

I didn’t want to meet the woman my dad was marrying just before she walked down the aisle. 

So my personal Sir Galahad preached two services yesterday; quickly changed clothes; hopped into the car; drove six of the seven hours with me to my dad’s home.  He has spent all of today being jovial, chatting, protecting my heart.

Then tomorrow we will get back into the car; drive the seven hours home; prepare our minds for a meeting with our board; try not to appear spent.

            Third reason I’m writing about wedding bells?  Because if I were asked today about choosing to marry Frank all over again – the answer would be YES!  A thousand times YES!! 

Any husband who demonstrates his love that clearly (after 35 years) deserves to know that he would be the resounding choice again and again!