Monday, August 11, 2014

Total Randomness

I have nothing to post today. I am taking a 'mental health' day to recover from a very busy but blessed weekend. So I pulled up a random number generator and my iPhone picture album just to see what would come up. And here it is...

My buck: November 2013. Pine Lodge Inn Hunting Club, Crossett, Arkansas.

Preparing for George Strait and Jason Aldean: January 2014. I sent this picture to Rosa, Dana and Kristy during our countdown to The Cowboy Rides Away concert in Bossier City.

Tuesday Night Bible Study with Beth Moore: February 2014. It was a packed house for what we soon learned would be the last study at Houston's First Baptist. When this study (Breath) releases, I highly recommend it as one of my favorites so far.

My Hero taking care of business at Hobby Airport: May 2014. Getting ready to leave for our return trip to South Africa.

The Jetties from the air: July 2014. My 50th birthday party diversion, a flight down the Texas coastline with Steve & Rosa.

Derrick, Drake and the catfish: August 2014. William and Davin were dip net fishing in the pond to see how big our catfish were getting. Drake (Derrick's nephew) loves coming to "the farm" for the adventure.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Table of Grace

Once a month I gather with three sisters in Christ for lunch.  We met twenty plus years ago at the church we were all attending.  We prayed together, studied the Word of God together and served together in various ministries on a regular basis.  But that all came to an end fifteen years ago when the congregation went through a split and the church was eventually disbanded.

During that difficult time, we hurt one another with our words, with our actions...and perhaps the worst of all, with our silence.  A silence that remained for the better part of thirteen years.

Until one of them reached out two years ago and suggested we meet for lunch.

I had not seen one of these sisters at all since the split, another only a handful of times and the third, though we were in contact, it was random and limited.  So, it was with lots of trepidation that I walked into that first restaurant in the summer of 2012.  I was unsure of how I would be received.  I was wary that we might not have anything in common anymore.  And I wasn't sure if the forgiveness was real...mine or theirs.

As we gathered around that first table, it didn't take long for the conversation to move from stilted to lively.  We shared about our families, our church homes and what the Lord was doing in our lives.  Each month, as we shared our hearts and our stories, I could feel a healing happening within.  

When we gathered at a popular Mexican restaurant last fall and bowed our heads to pray over the food, I had a overwhelming feeling that the Lord was whispering to my soul, "Fonda, this moment is My grace."  I thought of how others looking on might see one picture (that of friends gathered for a meal) but really it was a miracle of forgiveness, grace and a love that goes much deeper than our emotions.  

From that moment on when it was time to enter our next date on the calendar I wrote "Table of Grace".

Today we met at that very first restaurant once again.  And I had the opportunity to share my heart with these beautiful sisters about our gatherings.  There was confession and tears and offers of forgiveness.  In other words, there was Grace.  

I'm sure it wasn't our last difficult conversation.  I know that each of us carries wounds that need healing.  But I am also sure that our God who began a good work in us will continue it until completion.

The Table of Grace.  It's not one, single table.  Actually, it's not a table at all.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

In Loving Memory

Sometimes you just know that The Lord is loving on you. This weekend has been one of those times.

Bri sent me a message on Friday morning asking if we would be home on Saturday. I responded, letting her know that we had a day trip planned and wouldn't be back until late. I found out later that her and Meagan had been thinking about coming over but would wait for another time.

At the time of her message I had not yet connected the dots between the request and the date on the calendar.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when our plans fell through at the last minute and I sent Bri a message letting her know that we would be home after all. Jim and I ran by the grocery store and picked up some ribs to cook...even if it turned out to just be us at dinner.

The day's agenda quickly changed from a day trip to an afternoon at home with Bri, Meagan, Derrick, the kids, Will and his girlfriend, Taylor. We grilled, visited on the back deck and taught Davin how to catch catfish from the pond in a dip net.

Meagan and I also had an opportunity to share our desires to honor Desi's short life in some way that we couldn't quite explain...but knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was stirring in our hearts. It wasn't a long conversation. Or even a particularly sad conversation. Just a few minutes of speaking from our secret places.

At the end of the evening, when Meagan and Derrick packed up the family and Bri loaded up the grand dogs, Jim and I looked at each other and said, "this is how today was meant to be". It was good and we were thankful.

During Worship service this morning, I was thinking of Desi and our conversation the night before when the Pastor shared the following verses:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139: 13-16

Immediately following the reading of the Scripture, our Worship leader spoke of friends of his who had lost two precious babies and their testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God in spite of their great loss.

This launched us immediately into the song that has become an anthem for our family since that fateful day three years ago, "Blessed Be Your Name".

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Between the thoughts already on my heart, the verses that we have held on to regarding Desi's purpose, the testimony of others suffering this kind of loss, similar losses in families we know and love, and that song which moves me to tears on its own...well, I lost it. Right there in front everyone. Not so much because of the grief and pain...but because I knew in that moment that:
He has not forgotten me.
I am seen by Him.
I am loved.
And He is faithful!

Blessed be His name!!!!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 1, 2014

How Did It Get To Be August Already???

Seriously.  How did it happen?

I cannot believe it has been EXACTLY three months since I even posted here.  THREE!  And it's not like we haven't had any news to share.

In the past three months we have:

  • celebrated my niece, Jana's engagement
  • helped host a Mother's Day Variety Show at church
  • traveled to South Africa 
  • celebrated our 33rd anniversary
  • welcomed another grandchild into the family
  • adopted two puppies
  • attended a fire sprinkler conference
  • celebrated Father's Day with the family
  • attended a Swim Party at Robin's 
  • turned 50 (Fonda)
  • thrown a big surprise party (for Fonda)
  • been surprised by my Girlfriends with another night out to celebrate
  • celebrated Bri's 25th birthday
  • enjoyed a visit from my mother
  • attended 'Godspell' with some of the ladies from church
  • spent a few days on Galveston Island with the grands
  • visited with friends at a welcome home party
  • celebrated a 70th birthday with sweet Mrs. Linda from church
  • attended a swim party honoring Davin's 7th birthday
and other odds and ends like appointments with doctors, dentists, vets, stylist; lunches and dinners with friends and family...etc. etc.

Okay.  I guess now I understand why it has been three months since I last posted here.

And so I will wrap up this post with a whole lot of cuteness to forgive my long absence.

Our precious miracle baby, Dayton Everett Rodgers.  
Pappaw deemed him to be 'Everett' upon first holding him.

He was born the day after Jim and I returned from South Africa...which also happened to be our anniversary.  The last two weeks of the pregnancy were wrought with tension over his health.  Upon delivery they found that he had the same knot in his umbilical cord that took our sweet Desi from us three years ago today.  Though he was a bit small, 6 pounds & 9 ounces, 20" long...he is healthy and perfect.  The best anniversary gift we ever received.

What a happy face!
This is a picture that his mother sent to me this morning.  His first 'captured' smile.  The sweetest thing ever!

I'll be back soon with pictures and stories from our other Adventures In Goode Time!

If you think about it, would you please lift up Meagan, Derrick and family as they remember Desi over the next week.  The anniversary of her delivery day is tomorrow and the anniversary of her burial is the 9th.  I appreciate each of you who have prayed for and supported our family through this life long sense of loss.