Monday, January 27, 2014

Her Life's Song: A Tribute to Rebecca Petrie

This past week, one of the greatest women I have ever known went home to be with the Lord. Her name was Rebecca Petrie and she and her husband, Paul, have literally impacted thousands of lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. From one continent to the next, their message of life-giving relationships centered around the love of Christ, have strengthed families, and radically changed the local church. Mark and I would not be walking in the fullness of what God has for us if not for these two people, nor would our children. So, I write this post to honor - in a small way - a woman that I admired and loved. I know many of us are mourning her loss this week but at the same time grateful that she is no longer confined to a body that limited her to a wheelchair.

As I write these words, I am keenly aware the our language does not adequately express the presence of God at work in a person's life. Rebecca exuded His presence. She lived a life laid down for the purpose of God and as a result, 1000's of people, all of the world, have felt His love and known His presence. I am one of the blessed women that got to learn from Rebecca. Many of the teachings she shared over the years still ring in my thoughts. Paul and Rebecca planted churches in Europe, North America and Africa. However, in 2001, while ministering to Belgium Parliamentarian wives, Rebecca fell down the stairs in her home, breaking neck, and lived as a quadrapalegic for the past 13 years. In 2009, with help from her friends and family, Rebecca published her book, Falling Into Grace.

Her life's message was the heart of life is in our relationship with Him and one another. To honor Rebecca would be to the Lord God with all of our hearts and to love one another as He loves us.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saying Good-Bye

I love Christmas...celebrating Christ's gatherings...parties...the music...the food...everything. It thrills my soul! Every year, when I open the Christmas boxes, I am filled with memories and think about the special people and events attached to each ornament and decoration. And for as long as I remember - the kids would be so excited when I unpacked the special stocking that always hung in our kitchen. It was special because of the count down calendar on the outside of it. Each morning one of the kids got to mark off one more day closer to Christmas. The child that most enjoyed this ritual, was my youngest, our daughter, Caroline. She is now 17 and is the last of my children still at home.
     This year, there were no children with me when I opened the Christmas boxes.We're all busy with various schedules, and no one was around to hang the calendar stocking in the kitchen. So I did...just like I did last year too. And no child was there every morning to mark one day closer to Christmas so I did...again...just like last year. And after Christmas was over and all the decorations as well as the calendar stocking was packed away, I came to the realization that it was time to let go and say good-bye to this family ritual. Seems simple and somewhat silly, but I cried. I cried because it means that my season of parenting is coming to an end.
     I have to choose to embrace this next season in my life but I am filled with mixed feelings. Saying good-bye to family rituals that are no longer relevant in your family's life is natural and inevitable, but for me it is difficult and sad. BUT...and thank God with Jesus there is always a BUT...I know that He was faithful to me as a young mother and I know He will be faithful to me during the next transition in my life.
     I would love to hear your experiences with letting go and saying good-bye to family rituals.