Today is Memorial Day--a day to remember those who have given their lives or freedom. And for many of us a day also o remember those who have greatly impacted our lives but have gone before us. I am humbled and blessed by their giving. And I am so very grateful...
15. For Jesus Christ who so willingly and lovingly gave His life so that I might be free...so that I might share eternity with Him.
16. For the many men ad women who have fought so valiantly for freedom--in past and present wars.
17. For the men and women who sacrificed their lives for that same freedom, paying the ultimate price so we can live and worship and work as we desire.
18. For the military men and women who come home, wounded or well. They go on but their lives are inevitably changed by their experience.
19. For three sons who have sworn their own lives to duty, honor, and country whatever the cost. They are my own personal heroes. Semper fi...
20. For Marine training. I can trust that my sons have been trained to be the best...to protect, to serve, and to survive. I've seen all three sons graduate from basic training, witnessing the intensity of their instruction and purpose. To see each one in their time stat at attention in full uniform as he received his Marine pin...Words can't describe it adequately. A mother's heart lodges in her throat as her boys becomes men because of the Marines.
21. That when I can't do anything else while my sons are deployed or when all of my children are making their own way wherever they are, I can still pray. How could I get through the worry if I couldn't place them in the hands of God each day? Knowing that He holds them gives me peace.
22. When my Marines come home from overseas. Seeing them get off that plane or the bus is an experience I can't explain, but if you are a mom, a wife, or a loved one left behind, you understand.
23. For God's protection through minefields, IED explosions, and dangers I don't even know about. I just pray that God will meet my sons where they are when they need Him most. I remember the call...Mikey and his men were crossing a bridge and an IED exploded..."He was hurt but he's ok." He chose to stay with his men. Overwhelmed by his courage and willingness to endure, with tears of relief, fear, and then thanksgiving that he survived streaming down, and still a mom's desperate need to see him or hear his voice so I can know he was really ok--not just his body but also his heart. Outwardly the scars are a simple reminder but no doubt he will never forget that fateful moment...Nor will I.
24. For the son and daughter who chose a different path--making their mark on their corner of the world in a different way. Their life purpose and impact is no less that my military sons. They are no less as patriots and my heart swells. I am so thankful that God designed each child uniquely and has given each one their own "assignment."
25. For the men and women who served and protect right here among us--on American soil. Policement, firemen, medical and emergency personnel... All those who put their lives on the live to keep us safe.
26. For Joe and Delores Burger. Joe served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and died in a helicopter crash. When my own dad was in Vietnam and he was stateside, he came by regularly to check on us. He loved my mom's fruitcake and coffee, he played with us, and took care of little things that needed to be done around the house. They brought a lot of laughter and love to our house. I didn't understand ti so much then but they enriched our lives, understanding what my mom needed the most during my dad's absence. I especially remember their presence in a thunderstorm. I crawled in Delores' lap and he made me laugh taking away my fear. He was a good man and taken oo soon. He served and protected in Vietnam but also at home. I am blessed and honored to have known him.
27. For Memorial Stones and a pastor who speaks truth. As we honor those who have died, he reminded us that life is for living. That we are to make our lives monuments--testimonies to His life-changing grace in such a way that our life may be a memorial stone of faith for those who come behind us--a memorial stone that points to Christ.
28. For Life Change Sunday--a Sunday meant for Life not death. We witnessed 12 lives that have inevitably and eternally been changed by grace. Even as we honor those who have died, we can commit and celebrate life and legacy to that those who have gone before us have not died in vain.
29. For the living legacy of Albert Cadena seen through his family. No, he wasn't a soldier in a distant land but a life that was changed by grace and taken from us too soon. Sunday, we saw his legacy live on in his mother and sister as they followed him in faith through baptism. His life is a memorial stone to those left behind--as each one who
remain strive for justice, seeking to stop the violence and start the love.
30. For justice. This year we have witnessed justice first-hand in the courtroom and we've seen healing truly begin. We continually pray for justice to become a way of life so that the men and women who have died or suffered in war in distant lands or war in our city streets. They will not be forgotten and their legacies meant for the good of men will live on.
31. For those whose lives have deeply touched mine in their living and dying. My my own life be lived as a legacy to whose who have made such a difference in me.
32. For Leisa, who came into my life a just the right time. I learned a lot about living as she fought cancer. Even in dying, she didn't let go of her dreams and I have been honored to see some of those dreams come to pass.
33. For Arnett, my father-in-law, who loved me not matter what. Throughout his life, he endured struggles most of us can't imagine but even in dying, he said, "Be happy in Jesus" and lived it every moment. We should all live that legacy.
34. For Lenora--sweet lovable Lenora who showed me a lot about joy--real joy. She never let life get her down. Even in tough circumstances, her smile and zest for life proved hat joy comes from within--the Christ within us. She had no reason to love me but she did, never failing to remind me every week as we sat side by side.
35. For Bill Pope, who was a rock in the building of my faith. He never wavered in faith or even in the depths of loss. He was staunch in what he believed and didn't back down, yet he had the courage to admit when he was wrong. Sometimes a can still almost hear his strong voice booming those old hymns, "The Comforter has come... Take Time to Be Holy... Just as I am withou one plea...
36. For Albert Lovell, a man who truly overwhelmed me with grace I had never known. I'm not sure I understood it until he became grace to me and restored me with his patience, his love, and his willingness to stand up for me.
Lord, thank You for those whose lived have been lived for You. . .For those who were
willing to give so freely of themselves so that others might live a fuller and blessed life.