The blog’s been quiet in recent weeks. If you’re connected with me on Facebook or Instagram, I’ve shared a little of the mess we’ve been in, but I’ve been silent both places about big things we’re walking that makes nothing else matter.

We’re facing the final days with one of our parents. Something families experience all the time. We’ve faced it before. But this time it’s different. Last time it was sudden, unexpected, and devastating.

This time, we still don’t know when, but it’s coming soon. And because we know it’s coming, all other things which don’t pertain to family and time with our loved ones are put on hold. Because as much as I love interacting with you, being involved in ministry, the last days with someone we love is far more important.

Death shapes life priorities in ways like nothing else. As I’ve experienced heart-wrenching moments in the last ten days, here are 5 things I’ve learned in the process:

  1. Our lives are truly lived in intimate moments. As I reflect on the life and legacy of the one we are cherishing, the culmination of his life is best expressed from the daily moments we’ve lived with him doing ordinary things that poured into his children, grandchildren, church and community. The words of wisdom he gave around his kitchen table, in a card, or in the barn that made you want to be with him–just because.
  2. God’s word shapes the lives of those who honor it. I’ve watched two parents live humble lives where they knew God, His word, and how to treat others not because of church doctrine, politics, or social media, but because of knowing God through His word. The Bible and a pair of glasses were on the kitchen table most days in his home. Before his busy day as farmer, elder, father and grandpa, he spent time, probably early morning, in God’s word. I have the same scene on my own kitchen table now, which messes with my decor, but my husband follows the path of his dad. It’s not extravagant, but it’s the consistent, daily faith whose roots go deep and impacts every aspect of life.
  3. God’s blessings are not tangible. I don’t know how else to say it when you release a life that’s been invested in eternal things while on earth. Love, impact of legacy, and what that person has invested in far outweighs monetary value in the lives of those who leave godliness, humility, and love behind. This stuff can’t be bought. And it gives me perspective in this political climate. 
  4. Godly parenting can’t be imitated. It’s not a formula or a trade book you can buy on a shelf. Godly parenting comes from living a life responsible and accountable to God and no one else. The impact of godliness as a parent spills onto the subsequent generations when roots are deep and strong and firm. A passion for the salvation of your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren cannot be conjured up. It’s either real or it’s not. I’ve seen what real looks like. And it moves me.
  5. Words can’t describe the greatest moments of life. Photos don’t either. In an age of sharing everything, certain things are to be treasured in your heart and valued for the joy of being there. In the days and weeks to come, as our busy life goes on, my words may be fewer so I can be in moments which are very personal. Even if I could pen them, I’m at a loss. Perhaps later. But for now, I encourage you, too, to be fully present in moments where you need to be. Just be there. Take in the moment. Hold it in your heart. And love those who are in it.

Thanks for being part of the Life Beyond the Picket Fence community. I value you. I encourage you to sink your roots deep right now in the moments and people and relationships most important to you.


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