The things I miss

Tomorrow (March 6) is Dad’s birthday. It kind of snuck up on me and so now I’m sad about it. Which I know I shouldn’t be since he and Mom are celebrating with Jesus. Nellie is coming to Sioux Falls tomorrow and hopefully Tracy and Patricia will be able to come over. In honor of Dad we are going to have supper together and eat crab legs and raw potatoes and onions. For reals.

I was telling the kids about our plans and Caleb says, “Mom, for dessert we should have spicy bears!”

It brought tears to my eyes. He was talking about cinnamon bears, which were dad’s favorite and the kids still love to eat them and talk about Papa.

So tonight I’m thinking about Papa and how much we miss him. And what we miss about him.

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I miss that whenever we would go visit them he would disappear. We always gave him a hard time about it. He would go work outside or go down to their rental house and do work there. We always teased him that he didn’t like to be around us.

I miss being able to call him and get an earful of advice. A good earful. He would talk and talk, sharing encouragement and advice. We would call him about anything, and he would always have an answer for us.

I miss hearing him answer the phone and say, “Hey Mis!”

I miss hearing him say “Take care.” We never said “I love you,” growing up. I think it was when I was in my 20’s that we started saying it, and even then Dad didn’t say it a lot. He said it sometimes but he mostly said “Take care,” which we knew meant “I love you.”

I miss his teasing. He was such a teaser, but in a good way. He knew when to stop and never took his teasing too far. I think everyone in our family, even our extended family, would say they miss that about dad.

I miss seeing him with the kids. Angel and Caleb love their Papa so much. There are still nights when they’ll start to cry while we are tucking them into bed. They will ask why Grama and Papa had to die and I tell them I don’t know.

I miss his laugh. Every once in a while Dad would laugh this great laugh. It wasn’t his “normal” laugh but it was a laugh that indicated that he thought something was especially funny. It was so great and made us laugh along with him.

I miss his quiet, strong presence. He was a man of few words, but the words he said were meaningful. He loved his family dearly and did everything he could to provide for us.

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A friend posted the other day about her dad being gone for 27 years. I think about that and in a way it brings me comfort. God does heal the pain but the scar will always remain when a parent is lost, especially when they seem too young to be gone. Whether is three years or 27 years, life just isn’t the same without Dad.

I’m so thankful for my heavenly father. There are so many scriptures that remind the orphan that God is their father. What great comfort that brings. We will never be left alone, we will never be abandoned. Not by the one who loves us more than any earthly parent ever good. So it’s on days like these, when the pain of losing Mom and Dad is stronger than others, that I will cling to my heavenly father and know He walks with me.

papa caleb buk

angel on papas lap

caleb and papa fishing

angel and papa

easter with gma susie and papa

 

 

caleb and papa

papa fixing belles hair 2

caleb and papa

giving-papa-a-kiss

pip-with-papa

 

 

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Turns out my kids are just kids

I love love love when I’m talking to a mom or grandma and she mentions that her child/grandchild did something similar to what one of my kids have done.  I breathe a sigh of relief and think to myself, “Oh thank you Jesus, my kid is just a kid.”

Here’s what my kids, who are just kids, have been up to lately.

The strong wills. It’s almost enough to make me eat two bowls of ice cream after they go to bed. Lately they question everything we say. And I do mean everything. I appreciate the fact that they have a strong opinion and are not afraid to express it. But I would also appreciate it if they believed at least a few things I say. I thought the “you don’t know anything Mom” attitude didn’t start until middle school!

The fighting. I know this goes hand in hand with their strong wills. And it’s probably made worse by the fact that I freak out every time there’s any sort of conflict. Why can’t we all just be happy and get along? Again, I have to remind myself that they are learning how to communicate and it’s our job to help them learn. Forbidding them to talk for the rest of their lives probably isn’t teaching them much, huh? Thankfully I don’t say that to them too often. I don’t think.

The messes. Oh my word. If I have to pick up another piece of anything off the floor, I’m going to go get a third bowl of ice cream. I’ve tried everything I can think of. Any good ideas out there? That don’t involve ice cream?

Well, I thought my list would be a lot longer. I think over time I’m learning that my kids are just kids. There’s no “normal.” There’s just these precious miracles that God created uniquely and beautifully. Different personalities. Different strengths. Different weaknesses. I want to spend less time worrying about if my kids are “normal” and more time loving on them and guiding them to Jesus.

The cool thing is that even though the strong wills, the fighting and the messes tend to send me into major overwhelmtion, those things are really only a small portion of our days. The larger portion of our days are spent enjoying time together, playing games, watching movies, reading, doing really messy art projects, and every once in a while, even cleaning the house together.

If you have been blessed with children, no matter what your days may or may not look like, I hope you’ll join me in remembering that you have been given a very special gift. Cherish those little buggers. On good days and bad days. And never forget that your kid is really just a kid, yet unique from all others. And that’s a good thing.

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My secret

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