Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy Friday!

Last night exhaustion finally caught up with me and I kept falling asleep on the couch snuggled next to Bruce. So finally Bruce said “let’s just go to bed and you can write tomorrow.” I agreed and slept pretty well.

I spoke to Daddy today and he has done as much of the paperwork as he can to complete the business end of Mom’s death. And today he wasn’t sure what he was going to do as all of his errands were finished.

As for me I completed the first of the tasks on my list. I finished the paper I had begun for my intensive study class and have sent it to Bruce for editing. He is so great! I need to turn this paper in tomorrow. Since the professor lives in Minnesota an email copy will be sent sometime tomorrow.

Tomorrow will begin my second task. I have to tear apart (exegete) John 9:1-41 in preparation for the first sermon the class will deliver in preaching class. This is a huge body of text and it is due on Tuesday. Please pray for the writing and study I will do and that I will be focused and clear thinking as I study and write. I have never done this type of writing before.

Prayer: “Loving Father, as I rise from my bed of rest and prepare for today’s activities, may I be conscious of Your precious will in every detail of my being. As the servant looks to the hand of his master for instruction, may my eyes be turned to Your ways and may my ears be open and obedient to Your soft and gentle guidance. Give to Your servant a listening spirit and an obedient heart. I sincerely pray this in Jesus’ name—the name above all names. Amen.”

1 John 5: 12 “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

A very long time ago when I was a girl in school we were studying shapes in geometry. My daddy told me one time that a square was a rectangle, but a rectangle was not a square. I usually challenged my first graders with this and gave a prize if they could explain the statement. This statement seems to be a contradiction. In this scripture verse I think this type of thinking could apply. There are people who are alive, but do not have life. Life is not about what or how much you have. Life is about Whom one has. What we have in our pockets, in our homes or on our bodies is a really poor judge of what we have in our hearts. If the number of cars we have or the designer shoes we wear is the accounting of our worth then we are not worth very much because all of those things are temporal. But we who have Jesus, the Son of God as our Lord and Savior have more riches that all of the wealthiest folks the world offers. John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” Jesus offers eternal life when we enter into relationship with Him.

Eternal life is the abundance that cannot be taken away or ever be depleted from our accounts, closet, garage or our hearts. When we have Jesus we have everything and those who do not have Jesus have little. Some have abundance but have no life—but for those of us who are in Christ have life and much abundance!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings giving thanks for the abundance of God’s grace and Presence. Say your prayers, praying especially for those who are hurting from loss, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Love you all and giving thanks for you each day, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer request: Special prayers to be offered for my friends Nancy Toombs, Stephanie Burns and their families in the loss of their mother and grandmother. Peace, gc

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Last night’s writing was accidentally deleted before it could be sent. Not sure how it happened, but recovery was not in the cards.

I have so many things to do and have had some trouble organizing my thoughts since Mom’s passing. One of the ladies in her Sunday School class took attendance on Sunday and marked Mom, “Promoted to heaven.” I really did not want to go to choir practice tonight, but I went and it did make me feel better. The prayer I wrote for this meditation is from a song we worked on tonight. I made the right decision to go to choir and sing God’s praises and being in the presence of others who love God and me. I pray for God to strengthen me and those who are believers in Him each day by His Word.

The grief I am experiencing now is different than the grief I encountered after Casey’s death. During the last year of Casey’s life, I was able to work through grief through writing. The suddenness of Mom’s passing has left me with this grief that seems to hit in moments that cloud my thinking. This is so very different than before. I know that working through this will take time. Sometimes Bruce tells me “Gaylene, stop and remember to breathe and then take the next step.” I love having a husband who is so loving, so wise and who holds me when I cry, even when we are pumping gas.

I am so busy that the kids are stepping in to help keep the household running. Tonight, Geni prepared a beef pot pie for dinner. To top it off, she took some leftover crust and crafted a large happy face on the top crust. It really made me smile. Thanks, Baby girl!

I have three major things to accomplish by Tuesday evening: 1) completing a paper from the intensive study class, 2) prepare to preach a sermon at Hurst Christian Church and, 3) write a paper due next Tuesday. I ask that you pray for me that I remain clear-thinking as I strive to accomplish these tasks. It is my hope that I can get caught up on studying next week as Brite is not holding classes.

Prayer: Lord, show me Your ways that I may walk with You. Show me Your ways that I may hope in You. The cry of my heart is to love you more and live by the touch of Your hand. Stronger each day. Show me Your ways. Amen.

Matthew 10: 32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus tells us in this verse that if we confess that Jesus is Lord and tells others then Jesus goes before the Father and tells Him that we have spoken His name and claimed Jesus as our savior. Jesus confessed God the Father and showed us how to do the same. What an honor that our Savior would tell the Father that we who believe are not only getting stronger each day, but are loving Him more, are placing our hope in Jesus and are believing that by the touch of the hand of Jesus we will be shown the ways of God.

Our faith is not a faith of silence, but a talking faith. Talk to someone about Jesus as Lord and ask Him to show you the way.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Please offer a special prayer for the family of Stephanie Burns and Nancy Toombs as they lost their grandmother and mother tonight. Also continue to pray for our family, especially Dad. His name is Jerry Helvey. Love you all so very much, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Monday!

The hardest part of the day was leaving Daddy. Dad, Bruce, Sheena and I went to the church this morning and collected all of the flowers. There were so many flowers at the service that it looked like the most beautiful garden ever. Sheena and I took some of the green plants and Dad took the cut flowers to the rehab center where mom was, the hospital and over to my aunt’s house. We followed Dad back to the house and his yellow truck with all of those flowers, he looked like a rolling florist.

We arrived home around noon today. It is nice to be home and sleep in our bed and play with our dogs. Once we got home, I spent the remainder of the day tidying up around the house, laundry and then it happened! I opened my mini netbook we purchased a couple of years ago for my work at Brite and it crashed. Fortunately, I had bought a service plan on it and so took it back to Fry’s tonight. They kept it and gave me a loaner. I really hope they can diagnose and fix it soon. The good news is that we were able to pull all of My Documents onto a flash drive. Praise God!

Prayer: “Lord, I begin this day in amazement that You love me and gave Your life for me. Thank You for demonstrating Your love at the Cross. Thank You for showing me love each and every day. Help me to show and speak Your love to others this very day. In Your loving name I pray. Amen.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Just some brief thoughts tonight as it is quite late and I am a bit tired. This is a memory from my past. Do you remember when you were younger or even now, these little statues of various characters and there were little sayings written on their bases? I got one for Daddy one year for Father’s Day. The little guy on the statue was standing with his arms stretched out as far as they would go. The words said, “I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.”

Have you ever thought about the height, depth or breadth of the love of God for each of us? Two thousand years ago the Son of God hung on a cross with His arms stretched as far as they would go to show us His love for us. God gave His perfect Son to die for imperfect souls. This love is extravagant love. So, how much does God love us? “Thiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all so very much and thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and compassion in the last few days. We love you “thiiiiiiiiiiiis much” too. Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Greetings from Howe, Texas

Blessed Sunday to you all.

Tonight at the Howe Methodist church we gathered together with family, friends and church family to celebrate Mom’s life and to glorify God. The service was really wonderful. There was lots of congregational singing, my cousin Tony absolutely torched the house with this beautiful gospel song titled, “I Can Never Walk Without You Holding My Hand.” Mom and Daddy held hands all of the time and this piece was at Daddy’s request. One of the beautiful lines in the song said, “It was not until I was on my knees that I learned to stand.” I closed the service by singing The Lord’s Prayer” (also at Dad’s request). The pastor of the church then pronounced the benediction and directed everyone to the Family Life Center for a wonderful fried chicken and pot luck dinner.

In our looking through different boxes and searching for memorabilia of Mom we found her high school diploma and some report cards, but the greatest treasure was found inside the diploma. Mom was the salutatorian of her graduating class. Located inside her diploma was the speech she gave at her commencement exercises. It was typed on six 3 x 5” note cards. If you looked at the cards you could see where she edited her writing. She titled her speech Yesterday’s Dream. My brilliant and eloquent brother took parts of that speech and spoke of Mom. Her opening lines were about women and men, which was pretty gutsy of her during a time when women were not supposed to have dreams. She spoke of the extraordinary value of education. How profound when her two children have been lifetime educators and five of her grandchildren are serving as professional educators. She also spoke of the value of hard work by saying that “no achievement was ever attained in haste and without consistent hard work”. Our Mom was one of a kind and, at times was far ahead of her time. We were gifted by this tiny woman who was the rock of our home, who loved us with a passion and knew if we could dream it, we could achieve it. Her faith never waivered and she and God were on a first name basis.

Just prior to singing “The Lord’s Prayer” I shared the events of her last 24 hours. What I did not share was this bit of prophetic knowledge. My brother and I are five years and eight days apart in age. After we got older we began to celebrate our birthdays together at Thanksgiving because our birthdays are both in November. Shortly before our birthdays this year Mom asked me to find a picture (representation) of Jesus for Ken for his birthday gift. She asked Sheena (my sister-in-law) to aid in the search. Sheena found a picture of Jesus she thought Mom would like. After showing the picture to Mom, Mom said, “That’s not what He looks like.” Now I have to tell you, we have laughed hysterically over this response. That was just this past November and on January 20 Mom met Jesus face to face. Maybe…just maybe she was given some special knowledge not meant for us and she really did know what Jesus looks like.

I heard in a movie one time that a lady knows when it is time to leave. I have shared Mom’s last 24 hours with you in an earlier writing. Dad said when she died she had the most pleasant, peaceful look on her face. (Now, if I had gone to meet God with my hair done, I would have a pleasant look also!) I am pretty sure that the conversation between Mom and God went something like this, God: “Nita, your hair is done. Are you ready now?” And Mom’s little heart stopped and no amount of man’s efforts or abilities would restore her to this earth. I am positive the next sentence as she was welcomed into the citizenship of heaven was, “Nita, your hair looks great! Welcome, good and faithful servant.”

Take joy in the journey, Mom. We love you so much and will miss you until we are joined with you in eternity.

May we all find ways to take joy in the journey. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.