Saying Goodbye to My Daddy

Saying Goodbye to My Daddy

I had been praying for over a year now that when it was time for Dad to say Good-bye I would be able to stop fighting for him and let him go.

I’m a fighter you know, I have always been that way, I’m convinced God made me that way.  I wanted to be ready to let Dad go so I would not bring him undue pain and fight a fight that wasn’t mine.

I knew he would not live forever but I never expected that I would be saying goodbye now.  I knew he was sick, but I never dreamed June 25, 2018, would be the day I would say goodbye to my Daddy.

Dad had surgery for a blood clot on May 20th. He did surprisingly well with the surgery and started on the bumpy road to recovery.  We had to place him in a rehab facility to get his strength and mobility back but the day he was released to go home he seemed to be improving.

Since he couldn’t safely navigate the stairs in his raised ranch home we did a quick update of the basement and moved him in.  He seemed to know he was home and relax into the new routine.  It did my heart good to see him home.

He continued therapy and was in good spirits, but his recovery soon started to slow down.  The wound on his leg wasn’t healing and he didn’t seem to want to eat much.  I continued to pray for wisdom and strength to care for him at home with my sister and our caregiver team.  It was a much bigger job than I expected.

I was exhausted emotionally and physically from the long days.  I continued to spend time with the Lord, asking for wisdom and grace.  There was a lot of stress and I can’t say I handled every moment of every day well, but God is Good and provided all I needed.

Thursday morning, I awoke early and went to Dad’s bedside as I had the 5 mornings before, but this day Dad seemed different.  He was in less pain, he was more affectionate, and he seemed to radiate peace. He wasn’t interested in eating, he just wanted to hold my hand.

I sat with him and I prayed silently as I had each morning, praying for Dad’s healing, for my heart and for me to love all those around me well.

As I talked with the Lord about Dad’s healing that morning He reminded me of my prayer throughout the last year to know when the right time was to stop fighting and to gracefully let him go.

He went on to whisper to my heart it was time, it was time to make the shift.  I said really, Lord?  He said yes.  I said really?  He said yes.  Help me do that Lord, I’m not ready.  But as I looked at Dad I knew he was.

Later that day for the first time the home health nurse told us Dad was dying.  His body was tired, and he was not going to pull through.  It was difficult to hear but I already knew it in my heart, the Lord had prepared me.

I will not say that the next 3 days were easy nor was watching my Dad pass away an easy experience but what I can say is that our God is Good and faithful!  On one of the most difficult days of my life, I felt loved, cherished and strengthened by the Lord.

I’m so thankful for all the days I had to share with my dad.  I’m thankful for the relationship with my Lord that allowed the struggles of caring for Dad to be more than just struggles but also opportunities to grow in my relationship with Him, with Dad, my sister and the many caregivers who touched our lives.

This month has been a difficult one.  I am just starting the transition of life without my Daddy.  I am so thankful that I have experienced the truth of Isaiah 41:10 and I will continue to calm the truth of His promise in the days to come.

“So, do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41

Review by Rayna: Find Rest

Find Rest:  A women’s devotional for lasting peace in a busy life

 

Find Rest is a beautiful devotional written by one of my favorite authors, Shaunti Feldhahn.  This is a departure from her typical books.

Shaunti is a social researcher who has found the common struggle in woman trying to do it all only to find themselves feeling frazzled and frenzied due to the crazy business of life.

This  60-day devotional is packed with great insights and encouragement.

Some days we juggle all the balls of life well but many we wish we could just have a do-over.  Shaunti reminds us of the words of our savior, ”  Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”  Matthew 11:28-29
Through daily devotions, reflection questions and room to journal a little she walks with us to a place for finding rest.

(Not to mention the book is beautiful.  The illustrations are joyful and peacefilled too.)

There are 8 elements Shaunti shares that will help you Find Rest

  1. Build Only on Rock
  2. Love According to Your Design
  3. Set Aside Supermom
  4. Connect with God
  5. Shift Your Perspective
  6. Create Life=Giving Relationships
  7. Walk in Obedience
  8. Have No Fear

Each of the elements is the theme of the daily devotions and definitely help you discover lasting peace in a busy life.

I enjoyed this devotional so much my friend Nancy Booth and I will be using it as a support resource for our new group coaching opportunity, BE Peacefilled.  You receive the beautiful hardcover edition of this devotional when you sign up to be a part of the class. (Want to know more, don’t miss out on the chance to join us  LEARN MORE.)

Does rest make it on your to-do list?

To do List Rest

Does rest make it on your to-do list?

Today

There are so many things to do just to keep our worlds spinning these days it can be difficult to remember what rest is much less to be intentional about pursuing it.

In the Past

Benjamin Franklin said, “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”  I would venture to say rest is not valued the same today as it once was.

The Importance of Rest is well known.

Research is showing us over and over again how important rest is to our lives.  Healthier bodies, less stress, deeper relationships, the opportunity for reflection, balance, increased production and reserve for life’s emergencies are just some of the benefits Joshua Becker shared in an article, The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/resting/

If you were to put rest on your to-do list what would that look like to you?

When I asked my Facebook friends I got a variety of different answers, here are just a few…

Rest can look like many different ways no doubt.

Ways to embrace rest.

There are many resources to learn how to embrace rest in your life.  Try breaking it down into manageable steps. You can think in seasons, Spring is here and Summer is on its way, how can you plan to embrace rest at the change of your routine.   Find rest for your brain take up a new hobby, maybe even take a class to learn something new, find rest for your soul by going on a retreat, or find rest for your body by getting outside and enjoy the sun. Need a smaller step?  Take a daybreak.  Plan a day of rest.  Focus on the areas of your life that need it most. Can’t fit in a full day?  Set aside minutes here and there throughout the day.  Find a way to keep the kids busy so you can enjoy a good book.  Call a friend, enjoy a wonderful conversation or even a coffee date.  Go to bed early, it might be just what your body needs.

Seek Rest in the Lord.

Finally, jump into the scriptures and see what God has to say about rest can give you great insight. 

One of my favorite verses about rest isBefore I love the thought of Jesus displacing worry in my life with peace.

This scripture has been true in my life over and over again.  Whether it be walking through a divorce, buying a business and moving to a town where I knew no one, or marrying again even after a failed marriage the peace of Christ always drives out fear.

 

In what ways have you experienced rest through the Peace of Christ?  I would love for you to comment below!

Review by Rayna: Daring to Hope

Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and Beautiful is an amazing and encouraging read.  I was so blessed by Katie Majors’ amazing commitment and obedience to the Lord.

 

As a teenager, Katie went on a mission trip to Uganda which changed her life forever.  When she returned to the states her desire to follow the dreams she had before she went we completely gone.  She decided to make the move to Uganda permanently rather than to head to college.

 

In Uganda, she started a nonprofit called Amazima Ministries.  Her mission is Helping to educate and empower the people of Uganda with God’s love.

 

She is passionate about helping people, in this book she shares how she works with woman and families to find the love of the Lord and improve their lives in any way she can.

 

She is active in fostering orphans, providing lay health care, helping families be united after the death as well as adoption. This book is filled with stories of raising those beautiful girls and the challenges of loving and losing.

 

I was so encouraged and blessed by her open heart and home.  She shares how looking for blessings in even the small ways helped to heal her broken heart when one of her girls has to be returned to her mom after 4 years of being hers.

 

The wisdom shared in this book will bless and challenge you as you look to live out your life loving and serving as God has called you to, in your life, right where you are!

How to Settle In During a Hard Transition

How to Settle In During a Hard Transition…

According to Bella

Just 4 months ago Bella joined our Neises pack.  Bella is an 8-year-old pug.  I am a pug lover and had been looking for a female black pug to adopt for a couple of years.  Life had gotten too busy for her former family and they decided it was best for her to find a new home.  R Farm was just the right retirement home for her.

Moving to a new home is a BIG transition for anyone, even a dog.

This transition has been a challenging one for Miss Bella.  Since her move was something she couldn’t prepare for or even understand I think it was especially hard on her.

After Bella came home to live on the farm she became very frantic.  The panic got even worse when she couldn’t see me.

It took over a month before she would even stay in a room when I walked out of it.   It is hard to even describe how upset she became when I had to leave her.

Today she is doing much better.  She loves to relax on the back of the couch and look out the window.  She still sticks rather close, but she is even willing to go on short adventures around the farm.

I am still her favorite safe place, but trust is growing, and she seems to be embracing life as a Neises and all that entails.

As I sit in my prayer chair with Bella snuggled in my lap the Lord shared some special things with me about our relationship.  He brought this verse to mind and then shared with me how life with Bella has shown me this verse in a very real way.

Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Making big transitions in life is so much easier when you know the Lord.  When we make transitions, we can often be stressed by all the changes.

Like Bella, we can run around searching for anything that makes us feel safe.  Make sure you run to Him.  He is the only one who is always there, and He always knows what is going on in our lives.

 Be strong and courageous.

Learning to stand strong in your faith and courageous in the midst of change is an important habit to develop.

Find your comfy couch….Learn to rest and relax in Him.

Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean He isn’t there providing and protecting us.  Remember even in the difficult times we can rest in the confidence of His love.  As Bella has learned to enjoy lap time with me and time alone on the couch we need both too.

Time just sitting with the Lord, listening to His loving words and singing praises to Him is a must to grow in faith and trust in Him.  This faith and trust bring the courage to not be afraid even when we don’t understand what is happening in our lives.

Do not be afraid,

With fear behind you like Bella, it is ok to explore and to try new things.  If everything you have known has changed then I know you aren’t feeling much like exploring, you are actually longing to settle into a new safe routine.

Try a mindset shift, it will help you embrace the change.  Keeping in mind the Lord is everywhere.  There is nothing to fear.  These truths can help you make that shift so you can leave fear behind.

For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

I love how the Lord helps me learn in the most personal ways. I hope you find the lessons Bella has helped me remember have blessed you as well.


I would really like to hear how you have experienced peace in the midst of change in your life.  Please Share below.

 

If you find yourself in transition without peace I would love to talk with you about how coaching can help you learn that there is hope when life stinks! Let’s Talk.  Contact Me

Review by Rayna: Glory Days

Living here on earth is not easy, no doubt.  It might appear that some have it easy but that is just how it appears.

Glory Days by Max Lucado reminds us of how hard it can be living this life by walking us through the book of Joshua.  His goal is not for us to just see the battles but rather to learn to see the God who fights for us.  Joshua’s story reminds us we can overcome because He has already overcome. 

Like all of Max’s books, Glory Days is well researched and Biblically based ENCOURAGEMENT.  His style of everyday life stories related to scriptures followed by great questions that help you reflect on your life and what God has for your life.

Hearing all the ways God fights for us brought such hope to my heart as I read, I was blessed.  Finding the courage to cross over the Red Sea and establish our home in the Promised Land is possible with the reminders Max provides in this book.

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