Jimmy & Rach ~ Valentine's Day 2007

Jimmy & Rach ~ Valentine's Day 2007

Were we young, or what?

Were we young, or what?

Joshua & Meghann

Joshua & Meghann
I've got some good looking kids!

13 February, 2009

For Joshua

I used to sing this little song to Joshua all the time when he was little. I found myself singing it this evening as I was missing him. Missing him, but knowing he's safe in the Lord's care, a comforting thought for a Mother!

Click on the playlist 'For Joshua' to hear a snippet!

Close to you!

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon-dust
In your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue
That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon-dust
In your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue
That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

The Fam ~ January 2009

 
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11 February, 2009

Coming Home!

Tonight as a family, I feel as though we are whole! Joshua has come home! I say home, and yet he's leaving in the morning! He's come home to God! At Church tonight, for my family, it was so special. To see the lost sheep that Jesus cared/cares so much about brought back is so beautiful! To know that you have prayed for this moment and to experience what you've prayed for is an awesome feeling. To feel the power of God that close to me and to these dear ones that I love so much; Jimmy, Joshua and Meghann, is one of humbleness, thankfulness, and I must say it again, more proof. To be able to go to the Sacred Alter and pray as a family and place our hands upon one another and pray in thankfulness to our loving Father and lose all abandon to everyone around us and just know that God is in our midst is one of the sweetest things I've ever done! To just be able to sit at the Foot of the Cross and rest in His peacefulness and just know with everything you have that everything is going to be okay...oh how I thank you my Father God!

We have a dear family of friends who pray for us and for this too, we are grateful! And I want you to know that we pray for you and yours too. What a special thing for someone to ask you to pray for them. It's a privilege and an honor. And I know when I put in a request for prayer, my name or whomever or whatever situation it may be is being brought before the Lord by someone who not only cares for me, but by someone who truly loves the Lord, and I find great strength in that!

God's timing is so perfect, is it not? He's heard our cries and He's known our hearts! I just can't tell you how deep my love is for Him. I'm so glad we didn't give up. I'm so glad, I didn't say, 'it won't matter'. I just chose to believe in His promises. Every single time doubt would come, I'd say aloud, 'I believe Lord, help thou mine unbelief'! It was so hard to do sometime, but I remembered Scripture in Romans 8:38, 39 (one of my life verses); 'For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord'. I think that pretty much covers everything, doesn't it? This shall be my family Scripture from now on.

I'll miss Joshua, but I'll know at least that he's living for the Lord, and not that old prince of darkness. It's so hard to see when your child is hurting themselves. It's even hard to pray for conviction upon their heart, but what kind of Mother would I be if I didn't. Some call it tough love, I call it God's love. He's going to become the man that God wants of him, and one day his testimony will be even stronger for our Lord and Savior. It's already begun!

I'm just so thankful.

10 February, 2009

I just had to share this and I don't have time to say all that's on my heart so I just copied what I wrote the other day to go along with it, coz it sure does go with the news I just heard and coz my loving God just showed me more mercy and lovingkindness! HE just showed me more PROOF! Psalm 30:5; 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning'! Brother Wiggins just talked of this Scripture today.

Jimmy just called me and we shared some joyful tears! Joshua called him and said he's going to go to Roloff on Thursday! Praise my sweet, loving God! I ask that anyone who reads this, please be a prayer warrior on his behalf! That ole tricky devil sure would like to get him to change his mind before Thursday! I thank you if you've been praying for him and us!

Thank you so much to Brother Wiggins for helping him. For not turning your back on him, and for being a Brother in Christ, a Counselor, a Shepherd, showing him God all the while!

I wrote these words the other day and it fits, so I'll share them again!

I thank God every day for seeing to me. I don't know why it took so long to get a diagnosis but I do believe in God's timing. These last two years, a lot of different things could have happened had I of felt better. Maybe I was supposed to go through this in order to draw closer to my sweet Saviour! I just feel so blessed! I feel as though I am right in God's care every moment. I know it sounds crazy, but it's like He has finally proved to me how much He loves me. I know I shouldn't need proof, but that's the only word I can come up with.

He's proved it to me before in Joshua's life. He's proving it now even. I know He is working on Joshua's heart. I must believe this for I without it I think I'd go crazy with worry over him. I feel sorry for Joshua. He's my son, and I love him so much, but I see what he could be and it hurts me to know that he doesn't want better for himself. I know it sounds crazy but I worry if he's eaten today, does he have clean clothes, even if he's bathed. Maybe that's why that Scripture came to mind from Matthew 6:33, 34! I'm hurt by what others may think of him, becoz I know what he 'looks' like. I feel bad that I think he looks bad. I feel bad when people tell me about him. I would just as soon they wouldn't.

Someone told me Sunday that they he came to see them and they wished they would have had a cattle prod. I didn't understand, and so dummy me says, 'oh, was he talking too much', and they said 'no, I think he was high'. I'd like to know how does that person think I should feel? I truly deep down know that it was not meant to hurt my feelings, but it did all the same. Maybe some people don't feel the same way about their children that I do mine, I don't understand that, but he is my son, my child. No mother wants to know that someone would like to get a cattle prod after their child. I know he's 27, but he's still my baby. And he's in a fight for his life or that's how I feel! I felt so disrespected that someone would speak to me like that, and especially a Christian friend. But as I said, I truly know deep down know that it wasn't meant to hurt me. People just don't understand.

Sometimes I feel so desperate for him that I feel I have to rescue him, but I know I can't. Only he can give his will over to God. And so, all day long I'm lifting him up. At night, while I lay there from no sleep, I look at my picture of Jesus from Moma and I pray so hard that God will protect him, that he'll make him see the errors of his ways. Sometimes I pray that His will will be done, and I add, but please please God don't take him from me.

I pray so hard that I will never have to feel what my Mother felt. Me and Moma would talk about that sometimes and I'd tell her that I really did not believe that I would be able to take it if I lost one of my children, (ITIB 1 MILLION X'S!) and she'd remind me that God will give me nothing that I can't bear. She thought she couldn't either and she went through it 4 times, 2 to car accidents and 2 to murder and there were some bad, bad days but she always looked to God. She said, He'll make you strong! I remember that and I miss her so much in these moments. She was always so strong, so faithful! It's a funny feeling that she's not here. Just knowing that she was 2 miles down the road and I could call her and go by and I wouldn't even have to say anything, but she'd know if something was wrong and somehow she always made me feel better, just by being here! I guess Moma's have that way about them! But she used to tell me all the time...when I finally go home to heaven, don't you be getting sick and nervous. That would make me very sad. And so I remember those things and even with these tears that I cry right now, it makes me feel better!

She had a sweet, dear love for Joshua! And he had sweet, dear love for her! I wish he'd think more on her and straighten up. She'd tell him like it was. Didn't mean he'd always listen, but sometimes he would.

And she loved Meggie too. She respected Meghann so much. Brother Wiggins was talking about Bailey's 'silky' the other day and me and Meg looked at each other coz Moma had cut off a sleeve from her silky nightgown and gave to it Meggie when she was a baby and she'd rub that silky nightgown sleeve between her fingers to go to sleep. I still have it. One day I'll give it to Meggie's baby. To this day, she loves to sleep in those kinds of gowns. I try and find her some at the thrift stores and such and she has some of Moma's.

He's proved it to me before in Meghann's life, when she was so hurt by a bad relationship and I prayed so hard that His will would be done in her life, not hers, not mine! Something she seemed to want so desperately, and her Dad and I were so concerned, yet we gave it over to God and prayed that if it truly was what He wanted, that we would learn to love that person as much as she did. So, when it fell through, it wasn't all that hard to not be glad, however, it was so painful to see her suffer from an other's hands that claimed to love her. He proved it to me when Meggie lost her dearest, bestest friend, Amber Haines, and the privilege and honor it was that Amber's parents asked her, my daughter, to speak at her service. She was so eloquent and spoke of the real Amber, the Amber that some didn't know. And she glorified God when she spoke. Even in her deepest pain, she saw God first. I thank God every day for this lovely daughter of mine, who is so caring to her Dad, brother and me. She is so convicted by the Spirit on what God wants for her life now, that she sometimes scares me, coz here I'll be doubting her decisions and she'll be trusting so hard that she don't listen to me! I'm glad! Really, I am!

I'm glad Moma's 'finally home' in heaven with her other kids. She used to tell me, 'I can't wait to see them again'. I'd get so sad when she'd say that and she'd tell me that we kids were most of the reason she could carry on without the others, but she longed and craved to see Bonnie, Billy, David and Miss M. And I know she's glad to be with Daddy again and I believe that there is a replica of that old house she loved so very much that she's living in, only it's her perfect mansion. I remember when she died, I had the strangest thought and I don't know why. But I could just see Jesus caressing her little wrinkled, weathered face, and her hands and not saying a word, and instantly she was made beautiful again with no pain or suffering or wrinkles from a hard life and a smile was brought to her face instead of the many tears I'd see her cry.

So see, He's proved it to me even in such a hurtful situation as losing my Moma. I know where she is and in that I find the greatest, sweetest comfort. And...he's given me Elaine, Ms. Warden, Ms. Lola, Sue, and Ms. Oleta. I don't know why they make me feel a Mother's love, but they do. Elaine will always hold the most special place in my heart, besides my own Moma. The most loving, caring, compassionate, kindest woman I have ever met. And too, Ms. Warden. I always thank Ms. Vickie for sharing her with me. I remember when Moma first died, I'd just look at Ms. Warden and cry coz I'd miss Moma so much. She reminds me so much of her. I pray that's a compliment to her. And Ms. Lola, she's the sweetest, most loving little lady. Sue is the Moma that tells me like it is and makes me 'straighten up', but she has a soft side with me that maybe others don't see. And Ms. Oleta, she is a mixture of Mother, friend, and sister!

And even in my sadness and tears, I am joyful! Memories can be a good thing. It honors those we love. It makes me feel like Moma is up there now knowing how I'm feeling and helping me to remember her words of love and care. And I know I'm not alone. I know that God is with me and I know He's put me in the path of some dear people. All I have to do is call upon one of them. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I wait, coz I know that He wants me to seek Him first. And in seeking Him first I grow closer and more intimate with Him each day! I pray every day that I will never lose Him. It's the sweetest relationship I have, next to Jimmy!

09 February, 2009

With A Grateful Heart!

I was reminded today of the song on my 'A Porch Sitter's Life' playlist, (to your right, click on it and listen to a snippet), Gratitude! 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 'In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you'.

Everything! Wow, that's so hard to do sometime. Like yesterday, I did not feel well physically or emotionally! It was Emily's birthday and of course the 'missing her' was strong on my heart! And not just her, you miss one, you miss them all it seems! I have to share this, it's one of those ding dongs! I wasn't strong enough yesterday to share this!

Warning, this is going to be somewhat graphic!

Emily was murdered in 1993. A cruel, senseless death! The guy that shot her, shot her first in her face and had to reload! As he was doing that, she ran around the house and was beating on his brother's window to help her, and he came and found her and put the gun (a 22 rifle) to the back of her head and shot again as she was screaming for help! He then went into his house where his parents, and brother and sister were and put the gun in his mouth and shot himself! My niece lived next door and his sister went and got her and she stayed with Emily until help came and I have always been grateful and saddened by that fact! It hurts me to know that Deb had to go through that, but somehow I think it must have made her feel good in the long run. I don't know though! The shock of it must have been horrifying!

Emily was the baby girl of the family. I used to always say about her, 'when she's happy, she's very, very happy, but when she's sad, she's so very sad'! We had already lost a brother to murder, in 1979, David! Stabbed to death! And we had lost Billy to a car accident in 1977, and Bonnie to a car accident in 1976 not a year before. How could someone who knew this, kill another of us?

Again, warning...Graphic!

The bullet hit Emily's brain stem and so there was no hope for her at life! But he survived. Now, how often do you hear that? His bullet missed everything important. You actually couldn't ever tell, or I couldn't, although I couldn't stand to look at him much!

I remember Deb and her aunt coming and telling me and I have to say I truly did not think that it was that bad. I thought maybe they argued and he shot her in the leg or something. Shock is a wonderful thing! I still didn't understand when Deb's aunt took her back to her house and was going to leave her there coz she was sick and she was sick, but I thought she'd go with us. It just did not occur to me how extreme it was.

So her aunt drove me to the hospital and on the way I had grabbed some shoes that had stickers all in the shoe laces and I was trying to get them out. Not realizing at the time that the Lord was giving me something to do. When we got to Burnet, we went to Nick's house, another sister. Closet to Emily. I ran into her house, the door was wide open and they weren't there, so we went on to the hospital. When we turned into the hospital, I must have been rattling on about nothing and the Aunt told me, 'Rachael, this is bad, he shot Emily and then he shot himself'. That scared me bad! And I thought, 'now why didn't Jimmy come with me'. He had stayed home with Josh and Meg! We just did not realize! Oh, but how the Good Lord made me strong in Jimmy's absence!

When I saw Nick, I was so hurt, so extremely hurt to see her like that! I'll never forget that! She was so silent, so still! She couldn't say anything, nor Jess. He looked just as hurt! He mouthed to me that it was bad. They had been there when the ambulance got there! I wanted to see Emily. All I could think of was that she was scared and she needed me to be by her. I don't mean this in a boastful way at all, but in the most loving way. Those younger kids and me were close, they depended on me and I loved being there for them and I had always tried to be. I asked the lady at the desk to please let me in to see her. She kept looking back and she stuttered her words as she said someone would come out and talk with me, poor thing.

Nick started getting sick and me and Jess was taking her to the bathroom nearby and she started throwing up. While he took care of her I went back out, coz I was afraid that 'someone' would come out while I was in there. As soon as I came out, a nurse came out and said that they would let me in to see Emily in a few moments, they were cleaning her up. I almost fell apart at that news! I asked how she was, was she going to be alright? I didn't know what 'cleaning her up' meant. The nurse looked so funny and she said so plainly I can hear it now, 'you do know she's dead don't you'. DEAD? Oh God, I thought, oh God, oh God, oh God. Dead, dead, dead! I know what dead means! Oh, poor Moma, poor Nickie! All I could of was getting in there by Emily and praying for her. I know I could have done it right there, but I think I fell apart for a few minutes and THEN, the strangest calm came over me. I promise you it did. Strength came to me that I did not know that I had. Always before, since I had gotten married Jimmy had been my strength! I asked the nurse to please let me know when I could go in. Another sister had shown up and was trying to tell me that I didn't need to see her like that, but I refused to listen. I was led to go to her!

I called Jimmy as I waited, we cried together, and he said he'd be right there! I called Moma and that was the hardest, most painful conversation I have ever had with Moma! I'll just hold our words to one another close to my heart and not share those! By this time Nick and Jess had been told. I always felt like she should have been told by me!

They told me I could go back. When I walked in I was amazed! Emmy looked so normal. As I drew closer to her I could see that perfect little circle where the bullet had gone in her chin and I couldn't imagine that such a little thing could have taken her very life. I didn't know about the second shot. I took her warm hand in mine and I prayed with her! It felt so sweet and peaceful! Jimmy and I had led Emily to the Lord, and so I knew without a doubt that she had accepted Jesus into her heart and that she was saved! What comfort that brought me! I prayed for Nick and Moma and all of us! So many memories came flooding to my heart and mind as I spent my final moments with her. I was crying and I have to mention Les Ware, he was so sweet, he came to the curtain and asked if I was okay and he came in and gave me a hug. I'd always 'known' Les, but never really knew him, but I thought that was one of the kindest acts of a 'stranger' I had ever encountered! He was part of the EMS crew and I think had driven the ambulance!

As I walked away from Emily, I was grateful for her salvation, for God's strength, for even thinking to pray, and for the kindness of a stranger. Now, I had business to take care of! Nick and Jess! I went and talked with Nick and she wanted to go in and see Emily but she was afraid they wouldn't let her. I told her if she wanted to, I'd get her in. See, I knew how Nick felt. I too, had lost my closet,dearest sister! In the end, she decided not to, but I was willing to do whatever she needed me to do coz she was hurting so. Jimmy arrived and God, how good that felt. He was like me with the kids. We were all close. He loved Emily like a sister and more.

I made this longer than intended but I guess I needed to release these thoughts from my heart. I hope you don't mind, you can always stop reading I guess. Later, we would learn the facts of what happened and it was so hurtful. Unfortunately, I can't say I felt that peace and calm after it all came out. I actually ran as far away from God as I could possibly get! I'd have nightmares of Emily being at the windows of my house, beating on them, begging for me to come and help her and I'd get to the window and she'd be at the next window, and it would go on and on until I just circled this house, but was never able to help her and then I'd awake. Horrible, horrible feeling! Instead of turning to God, I got madder! I wanted to hate Him, but I was scared to, forgive me Lord, but you know it more than I! I was scared to hate Him coz I was afraid He'd take somebody else. But I didn't talk to Him anymore. I became very hard! Steeling myself for the next event! Protecting my heart from another hurt, I decided I wouldn't love anybody. Even myself! And I didn't. I kept people at a distance. Ask any of them! Maybe except for Moma. I couldn't have been mean to her. I pray I wasn't.

And every year on Emily's birthday or on the anniversary of her death, I was reminded of how she was killed and of the nightmares that I would have and I was so sad, and hurt and so very mad! The injustice! Even though 'he' got 99 years, he was still and breathing! I just wanted her here!

But...then when I did change...I changed! The Lord is amazing to me! Through all of that, I believe He stayed very close to me. I may have refused Him, but He knew all there was about me and knew of the hurt, the awful hurt. How could He not know of injustice? How could He not know of the hurt of losing someone by someone else's hands? He touched me! He truly touched me. I committed my life to Him in February of 2003 and even though I'd still have the nightmares occasionally and I'd still feel the injustice of this crime, I changed! But every year I'd still remember the facts and I couldn't get past it. Until last year. On her birthday, I decided that I wasn't going to spend a lot of time at the cemetery, although I did bring her flowers. After that, I just stayed home and prayed. And He made me see something. Instead of thinking about how terrified Emily was, instead of remembering all those facts of the case, I needed to hide myself behind the Cross. I needed to change my thinking. Of course, it did happen the way it did, but I needed to remember Him in Emily's death.

A picture began in my mind that I now always try to remember. When she ran for her life, when he shot her the second time, when she went down...God sent her Debbie. Instead of her being afraid, someone was physically with her. As she was lying there taking her last breaths, His angels were attending to her. She was His child, she felt His peace, not the physical pain (which was proven by where the bullet went). Instead of the terror and the pain and the hurt and the fear, He sent LOVE, He sent PEACE, He sent GRACE, He took her SUFFERING! He HEALED her by taking her! How much more love could He have shown her?

And even though I remembered them today to express my love to Him, I will always embrace these thoughts and pictures becoz they make me strong in Him, and make me feel His precious, sweet love! Every day I feel loved even more by Him!

And so today let me say how even in the midst of such a great tragedy, I am grateful! Thank you Lord!

(Be sure and look below and watch the movie in Memory of Emily, it only takes a few minutes)!

Happy Birthday Miss M! We will Remember You! February 8, 1970 ~ September 15, 1993

video

25th Wedding Anniversary!

25th Wedding Anniversary!