It's been several weeks now, since my sweet friend, Joanne went to be with the Lord. She was only 52 and left behind a loving husband, and two amazing kids. I miss her. I can't imagine what her family is going through. So many questions....how can God allow such an amazing woman, who meant so much to so many people, suffer and then die at such a young age?
After the funeral, many gathered at Joanne's home to fellowship and pay honor to her life. As I was helping wash dishes, I noticed something.....her dishtowels and dishrags....
They didn't look like the perfect ones you often see in magazine pictures......
They were worn, stained, and tattered. You could tell that many meals were prepped, dishes washed and dried, and precious memories shared while using these towels.
It simply breaks my heart knowing that Joanne will never be able to share in another one of these memories with her husband, son, and daughter, but I'm so thankful that she was the kind of mom who was a part of her childrens' lives, so they have wonderful memories to hold onto.
When I get sad, I pray for her family and find comfort in these words...
"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."
- Isaiah 57: 1-2
"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." - Deuteronomy 29:29.
"He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." - Matthew 5:45.
The Lord doesn't promise our lives here on earth to be easy. In fact, He tells us that we will face trials of many kinds. It's during these trials that we grow. When we're in the valley, we can only look up and look to the Lord to illuminate the way.
We can praise Him in both the good and bad times. It reminds me so much of the symbiotic relationship between the peone flower and the ant....
Our peonies just recently bloomed. They are magnificent! The dew holds on steady while the morning sun reflects in each divinely fashioned crevice.
What most people don't realize is that as annoying as ants are, they actually aid in the process of the blooming peone.
They love to eat the nectar of the bud, and encourage this tightly, compacted ball to bloom to it's fullest....
It's very similar to how we grow in times of adversity. We need those "ants" in our lives to help us blossom into the people that the Lord created us to be.
Our lives here on earth are but a vapor....here today and gone tomorrow. We must make the most of them, in the good times and the bad.
I look forward to seeing Joanne again one day.....
This Mother's Day, hug your mama a little bit harder and together, put some stains on those dishrags!
"HAPPY MUDDER'S DAY!!!"