Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

In my life I loved you more…

19 years is a lifetime. Think of all that happens in 19 years. Almost a generation of time. My dad went to be with the Creator 19 years ago this day. I miss him.
It’s hard to imagine that life has continued to ebb and flow for the past 19 years without him. Without him to watch a graduation. Without him to hear the news of a wedding. Without him to celebrate the birth of a grandson and the birth of a redheaded granddaughter…named for him, Caroline Dale. Dale. The name is on my mind everyday. I wonder what life would have been like if he had remained this side of heaven for the past 19 years. Would there have been a wedding and two beautiful babies born? I’m not sure. Only God knows.
That’s just it…only God knows. See, I believe that our days are written and counted by God long before we are brought into this world. I believe that each and every breath we breathe has a purpose known by God long before our lungs take in air. I believe that if my dad had not died my life would never have been as sweet as I know it.
My dad died in 1992. Seems like yesterday seems like a moment ago…but a lot has happened. A lot of life has been lived. I was 17. 17 and so much younger than I thought I was at the time. I was so very young. So very helpless, yet hopeful. I have always had hope.
I believe that when my dad died God set my path in motion. I believe that since that April day God has been moving metoward this very moment. The moment I just left; lying in bed with my sweet little boy as he drifted off to sleep.
If my dad had not died I would have never packed up all of my earthly possessions in two giant blue bins, in the trunk of my 1989 Ford Probe, headed south. A very northern girl heading south. Imagine! I imagine Dale laughed! I left for Virginia in May 1996. I had always claimed that it was as though my dad had orchestrated the entire move. See, my mom was a kind woman, but she was a sick woman. My mom was an alcoholic and she submerged herself in a bottle from the time my dad died until she went to be with Jesus just a few years ago. My mom and I had a difficult time getting along and I had to move…or rather run away. I needed to be free from the grief and pain and life without my dad…so he moved me to Virginia. Or so I thought. I thought it was him who moved me to Virginia. Really, it was God. My heavenly father.
God has a way of using our pain, suffering, grief for something greater…much greater. Greater than we could ever imagine. God takes us through the wilderness and brings us out stronger.
So, since I packed that hot, black Probe with NO AC and headed south, my life has been greater than I could have EVER imagined. Has it been hard? YES! Has it been overwhelming? YES! Have there been days that I wish I could do over? YES, weeks and months and years I wish I could rewrite…but not God. NO, God wanted me to endure it all. To come out the other side praising Him. And I do…do I ever! This is my life, the life I can’t imagine not living. Since that warm May day, 15 years ago my life has been amazing! I met and fell in love with Rick. Rick who God created just for me to love. I got to marry Rick. I get to spend my life loving my best friend everyday. Would that have happened if Dale hadn’t died so early? And, Rick and I get to usher two sweet little children through life. Two little children created specifically for us to love. Created by God, just for us! But most importantly through the loss of my father I found Jesus. I found and fell in love with God. I gave my life to Christ. I don’t know if that would have happened if Dale hadn’t died when I was so young. So young and helpless yet hopeful.
Yes, I miss Dale. I miss him so much my heart aches…even 19 years later. I miss him so much that I can see his face perfectly in my mind. I miss him so much that I can remember his last day as though it was yesterday. But…I am so grateful that God gave me the gift of a wonderful father. I am so grateful that God let me love the dad who I was created for, and that he gave me 17 perfect years with him. I am grateful that God took my dad home, because his death was not in vain, it was for a greater purpose. My dad’s death was in essence to bring me life. God only knows what would have happened to me if I had stayed in Michigan. But I will never know. All I know is that I think of every day as a precious blessing from the Creator.
So, today I will cry. I will miss my dad, I will wish he was here. I will cry when all I want to do is be by his side. I will cry when I feel frustrated because my dad isn’t a phone call away to hear my joy or sorrow. But, I will find comfort and give thanksgiving that I am a daughter of God. I will be joyful that in my sorrow God is always listening. I will give praise and thanksgiving that the God who created me has a great purpose for my life, clearly He has to this point!
I raise my glass to the world’s greatest father. I thank God that I got to love him and that I get to cherish his memory…always.

“There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more”…John Lennon

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The Sea.

I think that God intended for the sea to stir our every emotion.
The vast open ocean is a great symbol of our soul. Of all the wonders of nature of God’s creation, the sea is the wonder I relate to most. I spent the last weekend on the Chesapeake Bay with three ‘sisters’. Kindred spirits really. Three women, whom like the sea, I relate to most.
We spent two days doing just about nothing save for watching the “sea”.
When we arrived at the shore we were met by rolling waves blanketed in a blue known only to a sky ready to welcome the setting sun. It’s as though the waves shared our anticipation for the moments we’d share over the course of our stay. That evening we were lulled by the gentle ‘sea song’, a melody that only God can make. A lapping, lazy, evening lullaby. A calm filled our hearts and our conversation. Laziness was met with laughter; and four friends delighted in just being.

The morning dawned. As we walked along the shore, long after the sun had risen for the day, our conversation swirled in the wind. The waves gave way to a tune that can only be carried by the air of a mounting storm. The thought of being still in the wind made the day a gift. A gift that only the Lord could present. Four friends. Four friends who by God’s sweet grace possess a deep abiding love for each other. A closeness that is shared commonly by sisters. A respect and admiration that can only be expressed through praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.
The sea churned but still within the walls of our weekend retreat we remained still. Our converstation moved with ease through the afternoon into the evening. In our stillness the sea churned, pounding whitecaps against the rocks. We remained still. Still in the comfort of four friends sharing lives. Lives, that like the sea, have been calm. Lives that have been rough with turmoil. Lives that have a vastness that can only be measured in thanksgiving. Lives that have been touched and blessed by the hand of God.
The sea. The sea is much like our hearts; restless. The sea is much like our souls; searching. The sea is much like our lives; created by God.
I don’t know if God intended for us to relate to the sea, or to just marvel in it’s beauty….a beauty much like the hearts of four friends who spent the weekend by the sea.

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Sigh…..

I sigh.  I sigh a lot.  Probably too much!  I remember years ago learning that the average person sighs around seven times each day…a way to get oxygen into your lungs…I am overflowing with oxygen, or anxiety.  I find myself to be extremely anxious; especially between the hours of 6am and 8pm.  Funny, those are the hours my sweet gifts (Max and Caroline) are awake.  It’s not them, really.  It’s me.  It’s my heart.  I realized something about myself recently, I overwhelm myself, regularly.  Honestly it’s true.  Instead of just enjoying the nuiance of childhood and mothering, I make it a really big deal.  Not big deal-“streamers, balloons and  sky writing”, but big deal “man is this making me crazy.”  I seem to be overwhelmed by mothering my kids.  I love these little gifts.  I am blessed everyday that the Lord trusts me with them.  That He saw fit for me to be their chaparone through life.  Somedays I am a success and joyful, others I am a complete failure and miserable.  But!  I am not miserable with them, it’s me.  It really is.  I fall short.  They fall short, but they are just learning.  They are learning to be people.  I am inching up on 40, I should know!  I should not fall short.  But that is just it!  That’s the issue, it’s an age-old issue.  It’s one that started with a sweet girl named Eve.

See, Eve was fallen.  She led the charge.  The mother of all mankind.  She messed up; royally!  I am not excusing my poor behavior.  I am not necessarily placing the blame on her, well not completely!  She made the decision to be disobedient…to taste the fruit, to gain the knowledge.  She set the way for sin.  She set the way for our fallen, human nature.  Thank GOD we are forgiven.

Many days I think of all the things I could have done better, or nicer, or prettier, or more patient with my kids.  And then I think about forgiveness.  The Lord forgives me as soon as I ask.  Isn’t that beautiful?  What a gift.  When we sin, unlike Eve, he lets us stay where we are at…physically. But if we really repent, He moves our hearts away from our mistakes.  He gives us new life and a renewed spirit; the strength to face new challenges.

Well tonight I apologized to my kids.  To Max really, because he has away of seeing when I am feeling less that great about the way I mother.  He never makes me feel bad, well not intentionally.  As my girlfriend said to me recently, “How is it every time your kids are about to bury you, they turn around and redeem themselves?”  Good question!  How is that so?  I think it’s God.  I think he humbles us in front of our children.  I think He lets us get to a point where we are so vulnerable in our mothering and then BAM! He reveals His mercy and grace and His forgiveness through our precious little gifts.  Well, I say THANK YOU, Jesus!  Thank you that you are so kind and gentle and loving that you forgive us all day long.  That you forgive us for the same mistakes time after time after time.
So…Tomorrow I will wake up and walk into my kitchen not sighing, but smiling-because close behind me will be the two greatest gifts I could have ever received; Max and Caroline.

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