... it started out as "one of those days"!

This morning, I woke up in a “funk” . . . which is not normal for me under most circumstances.  I CAN get crabby, that I know (just ask my girls), but usually it’s not a lasting “state of being”.  As I got ready for church, I prayed that I would let GOD fill my every thought and that I would focus on HIM.  The girls all seemed a little “off” as we got ready as well, just “one of those days”.  I told the girls that I wasn’t going to ask them “what was wrong”, because that is glaringly evident.  There is one HUGE element of our Sunday morning getting ready routine that is WRONG . . . DADDY is missing from it.  What I wouldn’t give to be picking up that stray coffee cup that was always left sitting in some strange out of the way spot!  Before we left for church, I reminded the girls how much I love them, that I KNOW that I can never take the place of Daddy in their lives, but that I’m doing the best that I know how to do.  I reminded them that I am always  here, and they can talk to me WHENEVER about WHATEVER they want . . . We headed off to church, a little later than we had planned, but still on time, and at least being together and assured of our LOVE for each other!

Once at church, I was able to share some of my heart with my dear Aunt Peggy who always lifts my spirits, and encourages me in the Lord and in my faith and in my day-to-day walk.  I had planned to leave church after Sunday School (I guess to go home and have a “pity party”), but did not end up doing that and we stayed for the sermon which was from Luke 2, primarily verse 11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”  What magnificent words and what a beautiful promise.  He wasn’t just the “adored” little baby in the manger, He was OUR Savior, CHRIST THE LORD!  We also sang a beautiful song before the sermon called “Speak O Lord” by the Getty’s.  One part of the song goes like this: 

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;

Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.

Just more reminders that HE is there, HE is always with us, SPEAK to me O Lord, and RENEW my mind, help me grasp the HEIGHTS of Your plans for ME . . . truths unchanged from the dawn of time . . . and by GRACE we’ll stand on Your Promises and by FAITH we’ll walk as you walk with us.  HE will ALWAYS walk with us, I just have to remember to reach out for HIS hand in my times of “desperation”.  HE will NEVER let go, but I often let my gaze wander and my grip on His hand begins to “slip”.  When that happens, I’m DOOMED!  The remainder of the afternoon still found me kind of “weepy”, but not so much in a “pity party” type of way.  Just in the reminiscent way, they missing “how things were” way, the reaching up to God for direction kind of day!  And those feelings are absolutely fine!  I know these days will (and have) come, sometimes hitting at the most unexpected times . . . so, there is even peace in the knowing – when they DO come, I know that they will pass, and if I hang on TIGHT to Him and not let my gaze wander from HIM, I’ll make it through!  Besides the wonderful service, we received a beautiful card with a “CHRISTmas” gift in it from another family that Rick had “greeted” many weeks.  Because I’m usually running in 10 different directions on a Sunday morning – he had pointed them out to me, but I’d never actually ben introduced . . . that didn’t matter to them, they chose to bless us with a Christmas card which contained memories of Rick as well as a CHRISTmas gift for us … I also “needed” to see and give a hug to Jim, Rick’s “boss” – the guy who Rick has worked with since before Kajzi was born . . . hadn’t really gotten to do that since the funeral and he really feels like a connection to Rick for me – after their working together all these years, we are all more like family – I can’t believe I actually miss those early morning calls from Jim reminding Rick what he had to run down to Wallace (building supply) to pick up!  I was also hoping to be able to see, talk to and hug Kevin – the guy who Rick was working with the day of the accident – the person who spent the last hours of Rick’s life here on earth with him!  Thankfully, Kevin & his sweet wife Helen were at church today and we got in hugs and a nice little chat.  It was nice to let him know that I so often think of and pray for him, as I’m sure he has his own bad memories from that day to work through . . . GOD is GOOD and I want Kevin to know that he will remain in my prayers – for restoration and healing as well as thanksgiving for his friendship to Rick for a long time to come. 

After being at school for the girls to make sub sandwiches, and me to catch up on some work, we delivered subs and came home to watch the 1st half of our GREEN BAY PACKERS!!  All I can say is I’m sure if they are watching football in heaven, Reggie & Rickey were doing some “hootin’ & hollarin’”!!  Tessa commented in Sunday School today that if the Packers played on a Monday night “when she was a child”, there was no going to bed, because as “quiet” of a person Rick was, he was quite VOCAL about his PACKERS!!!!!!  Another SWEET memory – watching a game will never be quite the same without all the high-five-ing we did each game day!  But, they are now 13-0, another fact that would bring a smile to Rick’s face (his “lucky” number was 13 ~ not that he honestly believed in “lucky numbers”, but he always went against the grain that way and LOVED the number 13 (and, funny story, so did Nick and Ashley – WITHOUT knowing it was their dad’s number), that and the finding of 4 leaf clovers – which I could NEVER do, but you can bet next summer I’ll be on the lookout, with Rick helping me to find one!

Shortly after the 3rd quarter started, we headed to church for the Sunday School Christmas program (after the traditional “girls in front of the tree” picture – yes, we HAD to do it, it is a TRADITION!). 

CHRISTmas program . . . something we have been doing forever.  We grew up “doing” and then “going to” these programs.  For the past 20 years, as “Rick & Sheila” . . . so this year was another FIRST – this time it was “Sheila & the girls”.  And this first had me concerned because I wanted to enjoy it, relish it, soak in all the goodness of the season, but being “teary” all day, how was I going to do it?  Especially when just after I got there, I quickly checked my phone and found this picture that Taya had put up on her Facebook wall with the caption, “best dad ever . . . can’t wait to see him again ♥

“ . . . yes, there is a “hole” in our lives, in our hearts, in our home, in our church . . . yet, even in the “sadness” of the photo and the comment, it also held HOPE . . . “can’t wait to see him again”!  YES, baby, you are right, WE will see your DADDY again . . . when the Lord will wipe EVERY tear from our eyes . . . what a promise to hang on to!

The service was BEAUTIFUL, the gospel message was brought forth CLEARLY, the girls all did their parts well (Tessa had a reading/speaking part and played the piano, Taya was a shepherd (in a hot pink bathrobe)! And Kajsa played her flute (barefooted with one of the Northland College girls).  The program ended with me feeling so “filled”, so thankful that I had been there, that I had been “still” and let Jesus speak to and calm me!  I could go on and on with songs and verses because there are so many, but I’m getting TIRED and tomorrow starts a new week . . . the last full week before CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!!!!!!!!  But, to wrap it up, the day that started out with jitters and teary eyes ended up being a beautiful day with many beautiful reminders (again) of the LOVE that God has bestowed upon us!

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  Hebrews 11:1

The splendor of a King, 

clothed in majesty

Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God 

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