A look at the small things in life. I’ve wanted to start this series (not sure I would exactly call it a series…) of posts for some time but just have not. My goal, for this blog, has always been to encourage others, to keep their eyes focused on Christ, and to glorify Him. Somehow I feel this constant need to find better content in order to do so. But the overthinking – and over criticizing – is not only self-defeating but really just turns the focus on me. On my words. My clever insight or deep wisdom. No doubt, you see the problem. The goal is completely missed.
I’m sure this will be an ongoing struggle for me; however, I want to keep refocusing. I want to use my time writing posts to redirect my own focus. To turn my own eyes upon Him. To reflect on His goodness and to increase my own gratitude. Perhaps, in the process, it will encourage and help others. One way for me to do that is to notice and appreciate the small things. The simple things and the everyday things.
The posts in this series will, prayerfully, do that. They may include things I am doing or something I have recently made. Things I am learning or things I have been reading. Or things for which I am simply giving thanks. Random and every day but worth my reflection. I hope they will be a blessing. This first “installment” comes from a look back at the week just passed. I call it – The Funeral Edition.
Somewhere I went. Last week, my husband and I traveled about three hours south of us – to Roanoke. We attended the funeral of a best friend’s father. I met Deb my first semester of college…well, about a lifetime ago. We become lifetime friends almost instantly. A lot of life has happened for both of us and too many miles separate us but our friendship is still very dear to both of us. I was so privileged to attend her dad’s funeral – or celebration of life. Because it really was a celebration and recollection of a life well-lived. A life that impacted many and will continue to do so. Oh, he will be missed but the sorrowing last week was certainly not without hope. What a difference Jesus makes – not only in a life but also at a funeral!
Silly things I have been remembering. Spending the day with Deb and her family brought so many sweet memories to mind. Deb was from upstate New York and, as well, her grandparents had a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. I visited both places several times with Deb and it was a whole new world for me. At one point, I was convinced I wanted nothing more than to be a dairy farmer’s wife and to live the magical life I experienced each time I visited! I loved life on the lake in the summer and snowmobiling in the frigid New York winters. Deb and her family had their struggles but they were (and are!) such a happy family. And they shared that happiness with anyone and everyone they welcomed into their home. The college years were hard for me. Some of my worst years..and God knew I would need that influence. I am so very grateful.
Something that made an impact. A couple of years ago, the church Gene attended compiled a book of stories. Life stories and testimonies of many from the church – and Gene’s story was included. Written in his own words. His story was read from that book at his funeral. It was so personal, so special and so impactful. Many things – wonderful things – were said about him. But to hear his story – of his childhood, of meeting his wife and “the wonderful team they made” and, especially, his salvation story – in his own words was incredibly meaningful. I think it is something all of us should do. Not only should we tell our story more often…but we also should write it down. Put our words onto paper and then tuck it away for someday in the future. It will a gift to many.
It has been a while since I have been to a funeral. Thankfully, I should say but, truthfully, the funeral I attended last week really challenged me. Strengthened my faith and, yes, encouraged me. I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended.