Thursday, December 30, 2010

"We Will Dance"

Today, we said goodbye to a dear friend. Jennifer has been fighting ALS for the last few years and on Christmas she went to celebrate Jesus' birthday with Him. The sun, which had just started shining for the first time that day, shined on her face before she breathed her last breath.

One of my first memories of Jennifer was in the church nursery many years ago. I remember how she cuddled, rocked and walked those babies all around the room. I remember the joy she had around children. Jennifer watched our kids and even in her wheelchair loved to hold babies. Before becoming sick, she would come to clean our home with her close friend, Tammy, giving this tired Mommy a break. I so looked forward to those times because I not only had some extra help and a cleaner house, but I received such encouragement and love from this woman of God. David and I were also blessed when we had a Bible study with Jen and her husband, Gary for several weeks one summer.

The love of Jesus radiated through Jennifer's life. There was not a place that she went that one could not feel that love. Can you picture a dark room and the only light you have is a flashlight? As long as you shine that light around the room, you can see. Turn that light off and it's dark again. Jennifer was like that light, except that she kept shining. She was always the person you could talk to. She always had a shoulder to cry on. You knew if you asked for prayer that Jennifer would pray. She loved to sing and praise the Lord. She had a smile that glowed. She was a huge advocate for life and the unborn. She was not ashamed of the gospel. She loved and served her Creator with passion and wanted everyone to know Him.

Jennifer was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. I have not known many people that had such a love for God and for others as Jennifer did. She was truly a beautiful woman of God and a wonderful ambassador for Christ.

Even though we all feel a tremendous loss and miss her beyond words, we know she is with her Lord at last. She has her voice again and can sing and shout praise to her Heavenly Father. She does not need that wheelchair anymore. She is walking, running and dancing before Him. Praise God that she is home! And, one day, we are going to dance beside her, giving glory and honor to the King of kings. Thank You, Lord for Jennifer's life. Thank You that we had the awesome privilege of knowing and loving her. Thank You that she is with You. Thank You for Your promise of eternal life to those that belong to You. We will all dance on those golden streets and sing the song of the Lamb. Praise the Lord!

We Will Dance

Sing a song of celebration

Lift up a shout of praise

for the Bridegroom will come,

the glorious One

And Oh, we will look on His face

We'll go to a much better place

Dance with all your might

Lift up your hands and clap for joy

The time's drawing near,

when He will appear

And oh, we will stand by His side

A strong, pure, spotless bride


We will dance on the streets that are golden

The glorious bride and the great Son of man

From every tongue and tribe and nation

We'll join in the song of the Lamb

Sing aloud for the time of rejoicing is near

The risen King, our groom, is soon to appear

The wedding feast to come

Is now near at hand

Lift up your voice,

Proclaim the coming Lamb

Monday, December 6, 2010

There Is Room in My Heart for Thee

Thanksgiving has come and gone, my Dad is home from the hospital, the snow is falling and the Advent season is in full swing. What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks has been! I am thankful for my Dad's recovery and the opportunities that I have had to spend time with him and my Mom. I am also thankful that no matter how crazy things become around our home, we continue to see God's loving hand as He daily provides for us.

Even though we do not participate in as many things as some families do, there still is a hint of busyness during this month of December. The oldest three children performed in their home school choir concert last weekend. They have a few more weeks of piano and violin lessons before our break. Christmas parties, visiting friends and relatives, viewing the beautiful lights, addressing cards, and making Christmas cookies are all on our list of things to do.

We know in our hearts that "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season", but it is easy to be caught up in all of the activities, that we still forget Him. Take away the lights, the cookies, the presents, even the beautiful music and guess Who is still there? Jesus. The Author of all Creation. The Alpha and Omega. The One who was and is and is to come. The Redeemer of mankind. The Word made flesh. The Truth. He humbly left His comfortable place in Heaven to be my Savior and my Lord. Jesus. Do we have room for Him or is He subtly forgotten while we are busy celebrating? May it never be. I want Him to occupy every room in my heart. I want Him to be first, above all earthly things. I want Him on the throne of my heart. May I make room for Him this Christmas and every day.

"Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown, when Thou camest to earth for me. But, in Bethlehem's home there was found no room for Thy holy nativity.
O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus. There is room in my heart for Thee."