Sunday, November 14, 2010

count your blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
  • Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
  • Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    *Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
    [*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]
  • Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  • When you look at others with their lands and gold
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  • So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
  • ~ Count Your Blessings by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897

    This is my daddy's favorite song. It epitomizes who he is.

    It is hard for me to describe my dad, to give you an accurate picture. He is a gentle giant. He has a cunning wit and a ready smile. He is a good provider, a faithful husband, a dedicated father, a supportive grandfather. He is stable and true. A man of integrity. He is one goofy dude as was his father before him, and, truth be told, his mother had her own spats of silliness as well. Some people are born silly; other people have silliness thrust upon them.

    My dad turned a full-length schoolbus into a camper complete with bunkbeds. He's a smart one with that whole, engineering-brain thing going on. He likes to challenge and nourish his mind with things like complicated puzzles of all sorts and books rich in history.

    He is oft quiet but holds his own in a conversation. He is frugal yet generous. He is nonconfrontational, so he may not talk the talk much, but he'll walk the walk every time. Well, almost. ;) He is steadfast with patience like you wouldn't believe. A man of integrity indeed.

    What motivates him? Hmmm...lots of things, I suppose. The desire to do what's right. To please his God. To love his wife. To lead his children.

    It is an awesome responsibility to be the patriarch of a family. It's not easy, and all eyes are on you. But I see what you've done, Daddy. I see the man you are. How you count your blessings no matter what. Your silent strength isn't lost on me. You are absolutely right. You will beat cancer one day...and heaven will be a richer place.

    I love you, Dad.
    Your little girl...always

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    terror in the hearts of men

    It would appear as though I am raising a terrorist or two.

    For those of you who have ever lived with a small boy, this picture needs no explanation. These things, they happen. When I saw what transpired in my living room, I laughed. I laughed long and loud. Although you can't tell it, there was a set of handcuffs involved. I'm not sure what the dog did to exact such punishment.

    Allow me to dance delicately around the whole racial profiling issue, but am I not the only one who sees shades of terrorism here? The checkered fabric is somewhat disturbing. That's all I'm saying.

    I inquired of my sons why they did this. I got sheepish grins and shrugs in response. I'm not sure they knew fully why they did it. They just did. They had to. It was in their blood. More accurately it was in their genes...or jeans. Uh, well, let's just say, "Testosterone made 'em do it," and leave it at that, shall we?

    I never had a brother. Now there are three guys in the house and me. The lone female in a sea of testosterone. There is a lot I just don't understand. I laugh because they're weird. I laugh because they're different. I laugh because they stink. I laugh lest I cry. What's a girl to do?

    I don't get it. Really I don't. Why are guys so weird? Why do they snort and sweat and huff and puff and swagger and sway? Why do they lift heavy stuff and tote that barge and hoist that bale? What is it they're trying to prove? Who is it they're trying to impress? Do they know? Do they care? Is there method behind their madness? Or do they do it because they gotta? Because it just feels right. Because it's there.

    And what if they don't? What if they don't pretend to be bad guys or borderline terrorists? Will they explode? Will they implode? Will they disintegrate?

    Frankly, I'm a little fearful. I know the minds of these young boys. I know what's coming. They'll tire of torturing each other and turn their attention to me. Then I'll be bound and gagged. Don't worry about me though. I mean, they wouldn't keep me that way forever, would they? Only until they got hungry, right? Then they'd have to let me go. Even terrorists gotta stop to eat once in a while, don't they? Don't they?!?

    Please send help.