Eternity is Only a Breath Away

I’ve been contemplating eternity today.

Actually I’ve been thinking about it all week.

I read the touching FaceBook post my writing friend Kim wrote shortly after her husband took his last breath as he lay next to her.

I read an email from my sweet friend Cheryl, just moments after she received a phone call that her mom had passed away.

A devoted husband. A loving mother. Gone in the blink of an eye.

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the day I held my mom’s hand and watched her chest rise and fall for the last time.

So surreal. Such a sadness and joy all mixed up together.

Mom holding Gabe

Sadness at the thought of not hearing the clanking of her spoon as she stirred the coffee she shared with great conversation.

Sadness because I miss her smile and her laugh that always added to an encouraging word.

Sadness when I wish she was here to listen to my broken heart and give me advice in these changing times.

Mom and me at my wedding 26 years ago

Joy in understanding that in the instant she breathed her last breath she was escorted into Heaven because she loved Jesus.

Joy in imagining her dancing with my dad without the limp she walked with for seventy long years.

Joy in knowing I will one day see her again.

An encouraging word before my big day

I’m not going to take today for granted. How about you?

In an instant. In a breath. In a moment. It could be gone.

Take a deep breath and smile as you thank God for another day.

God Bless Your Heart!


Bishop of London at the Royal Wedding – Sermon


I was so touched by the words of the sermon given by the Bishop of London at the Royal Wedding. I found the transcript at the official royal wedding website. I share them below.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.  

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.

A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:

“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,

Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practise and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life. And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen, that way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.     

AMEN and AMEN!  Words of wisdom for all of us to live by. Chew on them today and ask God how they apply to whatever is going on in your heart.

God Bless you to be who He meant you to be.



Monday June 1 2009 7:30 am | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

I’m feel like I am back in 1978 jamming in the car to Boston, Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago. But it’s 2009 and I’m on a road trip with my son Zane. My hands are drumming on the steering wheel as I maneuver the winding turns between Pullman to Liberty Lake. Zane grooves to the music with me. He likes these “old songs” as much as I did when I was his age.

“Hey bud. We need to make sure these songs are on your play list for the wedding reception.” I advise as I snap my fingers and sing “Shake your groove thing.”

“Got it covered. They are definitely on the list, Mom.” Zane joins me in the groovin‘. He’s an awesome dancer. I taught him everything he knows. Ha!

My family loves to dance. We’ll be shaking our groove thing in less than two weeks when Zane marries the love of his life – Kelsey. I am delighted to be adding a daughter to our testosterone filled house. Only they won’t be living in my house. That’s the purpose for the road trip.

I’m on my way to move Zane into the condo he will bring his bride to after their honeymoon. We left home at 5 am with a van loaded full of wedding gifts that were sent in advance, a bed, dresser and book shelf, snow tires, you name it. We picked up the keys and unloaded the van on a hot Sunday afternoon.

On the road again we drove to Pullman to pick up a couch and table donated to the happy couple from some college friends. Then we swung by his old apartment to pick up a heavy mirror. Thanks for your help Andrew. All of these things were heavy! We appreciate you.

Once we arrived at the condo again, Zane called his friend David. We were grateful for an extra pair of arms and some strong muscles. In ninety degree heat these young fraternity brothers used their youthful strength to help us get that heavy couch up three flights of stairs. The maneuver where we swung it out over the railing to make the hairpin turn scared the wits out of the neighbor observing us from her deck. But we did it.

With air conditioning turned on full blast, Zane opened the boxes of new beginnings and thoughtfully placed each item where he thought Kelsey would if she were here. She guided him on some things over the cell phone. Then he took photos and emailed them to her. She’s back home squealing with delight as she puts the finishing touches on the wedding planning.

How exciting to be starting new. Both college graduates, Zane and Kelsey have a full life ahead of them. They are truly precious and excited to begin married life in this nice third-story condo in the corner unit overlooking the hot tub and fitness center.

Zane and Kelsey should be commended for doing things right. They’ve been dating for four years. On June 12, 2009 they will marry in a beautiful ceremony with our large families looking on. They will say their vows before God and express their love and devotion to His will in their life. They have honored God in purity. June 13th will be the first morning they’ve ever awakened together in the same bed. I am so proud that they will begin their life the way God intended. Pure. Holy. Devoted to God.

I leave this place with very very mixed emotions today. His condo is set up and ready for him to carry Kelsey over the threshold after they return from their honeymoon. I am so proud of the man Zane has become. I love Kelsey and welcome her to our family.

But this also means that my oldest will be living across the state from us as he begins a new life with a new wife and a new job. However, I’m reminded that there is nothing new under the sun in God’s eyes. He’s been with them all throughout their lives and He will never leave them or forsake them. Besides, we set up the guest bedroom too, so we’ll be able to visit often enough.

As we drive away from this condo I pray. Lord, bless this union with Your wisdom and grace. Allow them to remain Holy in Your site. Keep them pure in everything they do. Show them how the plan You created for them is set in motion this day. Father, I’m so thankful for these two young people. I am truly blessed and I give You thanks. May all the Glory be Yours. In Jesus Name! AMEN.

Mother of the Groom!

Sunday March 15 2009 9:48 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

This weekend we celebrated with our future daughter-in-law Kelsey at her first bridal shower. It was so much fun to see her college and work friends. I was so blessed by “homies” from our home group and my sisters and nieces who joined in the celebration. We all had a great time.

I love being included in all of the bride’s activity. I only have two boys so I’ll never have a daughter to shop with for a wedding gown. But Kelsey graciously let me come with her and her mom while she tried on dresses. And boy did she find a beautiful gown. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone what it looks like but I will tell you that she looks like a princess.

Boys don’t tell their moms much about the wedding. So I really appreciated Kelsey filling me in tonight at dinner on all the sweet little touches they will have during their ceremony. It’s going to be a glorious day. I cry just thinking about it. God is so good.

It’s hard for mom’s to let their sons go. At least it is for me. Zane is my first born son. He is a jewel. He used to crawl on my lap and snuggle. I loved to rub his back when I put him to bed. I’d sneak out of the room when I thought he was asleep. Just as I got to the door I’d hear his little voice. “Mommy, you aren’t done yet. One more time please.”

I miss that time. It seems like hundreds of years ago. In a couple weeks Zane will turn twenty-two. Oh how I’ve been blessed these twenty-two years. Incredibly blessed.

Zane is home for spring break. He has the flu. I don’t like him to be sick but I rather like taking care of him. When he asked me to get him more Advil and water the other morning, I stopped to think. This is likely the last time I get to take care of him when he is sick. Kelsey will do that for him when they marry. Another transition. A passing of my caregiver hat to someone else. So I’ve savored the weekend of pampering my first born.

Being mother of the groom is harder than I thought it would be. But the wonderful thing is that he is marrying a treasure. So I’m gaining a beautiful daughter instead of losing a son. I like the sound of that. God’s favor is definitely on this marriage. They have honored each other and honored God all through the years they have dated. To God be the Glory! I’m so proud.