Wednesday, September 19, 2012
What A Heavenly Birthday!
I previously wrote a post about our son, Ian's birthday on Sept. 6th, being his "Earthly" birthday, and this post is about his "Heavenly" birthday yesterday.
What a glorious thought...think about it....Although our loved ones that have moved ahead of us in life/death, are no longer celebrating here on earth, and we cannot shower them with love, gifts and of course cake and decorations, in Heaven, can you just imagine what kind of celebrations they must have on birthdays there!?!?!
I can imagine Ian, sitting on a tree limb, holding a plate with a giant slice of cake and no fork or spoon (as I'm sure there are no messes there, and no need of forks or cutlery :P), with a huge glass of milk sitting beside him, balanced precariously on the limb. A smile the size of Texas on his face, and the fluttering of thousands of butterflies swimming in the breeze around him as he takes that first chocolatey bite. His smile intensifies as the taste of the chocolate hits his taste buds and his eyes are sparkling and twinkling now. Jesus is there, handing him a blessing from his earthly family....a bubble filled with love and kisses and birthday wishes held out to Ian to take and enjoy. Wow, can you just feel it? The love Jesus has for him alone and the love he's offering to our son?!!
Ian takes the bubble in his hands, takes a quick second bite of the molten goodness from his plate, and holds the bubble up to his face to see the joy there inside, like a snow globe. There in the bubble are his parents, his sisters, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his cousins and his friends. All smiling, with tears of sadness and joy on their cheeks, their hearts shining just for him, and though he knows their sorrow, he sees only their love for him. They are all holding up balloons filled with messages and kisses and spoken love, to release on his earthly birthday. Ian knows that Jesus has captured and saved all that was released that day and has held onto them to present him this gift on his heavenly birthday. What a gift of love. Not only that he is celebrating with Jesus by his side, but being able to feel, smell and see the love that his family and friends have sent to him.
Ian takes the bubble gently and slowly turns it around to see all of his loved ones, one at a time release their balloon, hearing their unspoken love, seeing the messages inside each balloon as he rotates the bubble. There is his mom and dad, he can see they are still broken but that their love for him has only grown stronger over the years. He can feel that they miss him but he is not saddened by this, as there is no sorrow in heaven. He simply knows that one day he will see them on his side of the pearly gates. There are his three sisters, though they are crying, he sees the love they have for him. Even Kaylee, who never had the joy of meeting her brother, has shared words of love and happiness, because she has been shown how her brother loved everyone and everything he did here on earth. She is sad that she never got to hear his voice, but through videos and family movies, she has heard him. She has even asked if God would let her go to heaven for a day just to see him.
There are his grandparents, whose love for him has left holes in their hearts as well, but whom have shared him with others through their stories and tales of his recklessness, and bravado, and even stupidities, like the scorpion!
There are his aunts and uncles, who are sharing stories of his humor and muddy days, his bathroom contests and swimming abilities, they are laughing about some of his adventures with their children.
There are his friends, the ones who loved him even then, quietly offering up their balloons with a sad look on their faces, still not understanding why God has taken him from their lives at such a young age, but still loving him enough to share in this time of celebration. Taking time out of their busy lives to show that Ian is remembered and thought of, showing the family that they have never forgotten the young boy that kept them laughing, and climbing, and hunting, and racing, and other endless hours of fun and mischevious deeds they shared together.
Ian slowly leans into the bubble and gives it a gentle kiss and the bubble pops....love, in the shape of butterflies, are everywhere, he laughs and the joy that comes with his laughter, is contagious, and Jesus, and John D. and J. H. D., Ethan M., and others we have sent to Heaven are running, jumping, and laughing. True laughter, true joy, true love is like a scent that fills the area.
God is good, He is joy, He is grace, He is mercy, He is above all things, LOVE!
Ian can't see the sorrow, but I'm sure he is allowed to know that we miss him. He can't see the tears, but I'm sure he is allowed to know that we still long for his hugs, his laughter, his smile, his ingenuity! He knows that though we are all still here, we think of him, we miss him, and we love him, even as if he were still here.
I know that he loves us, he loved us all enough to pray every night before bedtime for our safety, our lives and above all, our salvation. His favorite phrase was this, "When I die, I'm going to Heaven, where are you going"? Ian loved the Lord even as a small child, and it showed. He was fearless, for Christ. He was absolutely sure that Jesus lived in his heart and was never afraid to tell anyone that.
There are stories I could share with you all about how Ian knew he was going to Heaven, but in short, I'll just say that he knew it. He told me several times, about his "dreams", and his knowing that God had whispered things to him about how things would be and Ian had told me that God had told him it would all be ok. God told him that He would be there with him and with us when the time came. Ian was ready and as prepared as a 7 year old could be. I live with the content of knowing this and having the peace of knowing that before the accident ever happened.
Thank you all for sharing Ian with us, for not being afraid to say his name around us. Oddly, it is better to hear him spoke of than to feel that he has been buried in memories, as he was in the earth. It is comforting to know that many of you have pictures to share, (and I still encourage you to send me copies for his album if you can), so that we can share with you, the times he was part of your lives. Thank you to those of you who continue to think of us this time of year, each year, and send words of encouragement, love and prayers. Though the years have passed quickly, it still seems as if it were yesterday at times. I can honestly say that though is has gotten easier to live with the loss and sadness, it has never really gotten better. Just more of a routine of things, and the "firsts" are not as often, but the triggers are still plentiful. Thank you for being with us on this journey, and thank you for helping us make it until the end of our journey that will place us at God's throne, and then with our beloved son once again.
I ask you all to think of this question: All the things we say we will ask Jesus when we get to heaven, will they actually mean anything when we do arrive at Heavens gates? Will we really need the answers once we are there? Do not question, merely know that all things will be right and true when we get there. We will meet Jesus, face to face, we will see our loved ones, we will know joy unlike any we've ever known, we will have peace and no more tears or sorrow, we will live there for eternity, in Heavens' glory! So really, who cares about the answers at that point!
This said, if you do not have a personal belief in Jesus Christ, how do you expect to survive the hard times here on earth? I often wonder sadly, about those who've not had the faith in Christ, the love of our Lord Jesus, to carry them through the hard times, to lift them and hold them, and to comfort them, who've lost parents, children, and loved ones. How do they survive? Many of them do not. They end their own lives, their marriages fall apart, their lives become chaos, uncontrollable, and end in more sorrow and loss. Friends, family, please find someone around you who walks with Christ, and talk to them. Visit churches, find one that is the right fit for your life, ask Jesus to live in you, to walk with you, find time to have a personal relationship with Him. Believe that He will love you, and wrap his arms around you in times of trial and sadness. Just knowing you are loved as His child, is sometimes the grace you need to carry you through. We are all learning every day, that He has plans for us, to prosper us, not to harm us! Let Him show you what His plans are for you. Allow him to direct you, not choose for yourselves.
Here is the verse that gets me through each day and every sleepless night:
Be strong and of great courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with the, withersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
I know this post is a bit scattered, but then, so am I! Love God, love those around you and love yourself. It's hard to love others, if you can't love yourself. And, do not, like me, hide yourself behind masks. God loves us as we are, not as we think others should see us. When you are happy, share it, when you are sad, accept help and prayers, when you are depressed, let someone know, because prayer works, when you are in pain, do not hide it, live through it with Christ as your strength. Allow others to see you, who you are, do not hide yourself, or cover over the things you think others might see, because it may be that they are in need of seeing someone else hurting as they do, they may need a prayer just as you do, they may need a simple smile, just as you might be in need of one.
Blessings and hugs,
ps... Ian, though you are missed daily, nightly and with every breath and heart beat, I know that you are in a place where pain and sorrow will never touch you. I know that you are playing football on those fields of ever blooming bluebonnets. I know that you are singing and dancing and I know that I will love you, "TO INFINITY AND BEYOND"! My son, you are missed, you are loved, and you are a part of each day that I am still here on earth and a part of everything I do until I see you again, on those golden streets of Heaven. I long for it, but I long to finish my task her on earth first. Whatever the task, God's plans for me will allow me to see you again! For that alone, I am grateful for my faith! Until then my sweet little man, Happy Heavenly Birthday!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Some days I have so much to say and it seems that there is no one there to hear me except my Saviour, and sometimes I am sure He's tired of hearing from me. I know better but it sure feels that way on some occassions.
My head is swimming with all the current "fish" swimming through it's murky waters.
I have a "staph fish" - bothering me about taking my antibiotics...(that I haven't picked up yet)
I have a "surgery fish" - that is a constant bother, because, unlike my 3 sisters, I struggle to put together schedules and lists and pre-plan for things...I just do them as I need to
I have a "child fish" - Well, truthfully, I have 4 of them, from guppies to full grown swimmers
I have a "fear fish" - I'm honestly afraid of many things but that is where another couple of fish come in handy
I have a "relationship fish" - This one is my biggest concern lately
I have a "butterfly fish" - With my recent injury to myself, I have missed time at my shop (which I love more than most will ever love their job), I have been unable to work
I have a "home fish" - I am TOTALLY loving making my house back into our home (a long story in and of itself)
I have a "fair fish" - I won't be able to set up at the fair due to my up coming surgery, so I'm entering as much as I can without freaking out the new shop coordinator
and next to...last but not least,
I have a "satan fish" - that tries to tell me what to do in most all situations (and I ignore him about as much as I ignore myself)...
and then...last but definitely not least,
I have a "faith fish" - this is the most important fish that I have because it is what gets me through all of the others. It feeds the ones that are hungry and settles the ones that are getting crazy or stirred up. It calms some of them and it holds some of them in it's tender and gentle arms. It lifts of and holds some of them high above the "low spots", and it reminds me constantly that all my battles have already been WON, I'm just watching the battles play out.
There are a couple of fish that no one will ever see, like the "depressed fish" - which will stay hidden even when I'm not safely hidden with invisibility. This particular fish is one that I share only during my daily talks with Jesus. (He is a very patient listener...believe me)!
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Thursday, November 26, 2009
To others, it is a day to be thankful for what God has blessed us with throughout the year and the blessings that we've received...until next year when we do it again..
Two thoughts come to mind:
1. This year, do we take for granted that there will be a next year?
Do we just automatically think that there will be blessings?
Are we just expecting God to bless us?
Is it time to really think about the blessings?
2. What if there is NO next year?
When do you actually think to Thank God for the blessings?
Do we wait until Thanksgiving to offer our thanks?
Is it time to realize that each day we wake up breathing, in itself, is a blessing to be thankful for each
and every day?
So, my thoughts are these:
1. Of course we take for granted there will be a next year. We would not survive thinking otherwise. It would mean that we would be thinking we'd be gone before the next one and that would make us think of all that we'd lose, miss, and so on.
Of course, we think there will automatically be blessings each year. If not, how could we survive? God promised to bless us, to prosper us....therefore, we will be/are blessed. It's up to you to find them. I even had to thank Him for bugs and roaches a few days back! (BLECH!)
Of course we expect God to bless us...we are human after all. The question is, are we seeing the blessings He's giving us? Do we realize that some of them are so small and simple that we could be forgetting to count them? Happens all the time.
Of course it's time to think about our blessings. Sometimes it is with joy and sometimes with pain, but we must think about them in order to appreciate what God is doing for us and through us. You never know, one day, you might be the blessing to someone! Think about that!
2. If there were no next year, would you be at peace? Would you feel that you had said what you wanted to say to those who need to hear it? Would you know where you would be spending eternity?
Would you consider the blessings that you might have given someone else that you neglected to do because you had your own plans? Get my point of thinking here? I'm scattered because I thought there would always be another year. For my son there wasn't. And for many others there were no more years as well. For friends, family members that have lost loved ones; We just assumed there would be another year.
We have friends, loved ones and family members that are serving over seas in the military in countries where they are despised, treated poorly and even tortured. Do we count them as blessings? Certainly. They are doing something to honor the American code of life. FREEDOM! They are fighting for us to be able to sit here on FB and write about God, the creater of all things, and the giver of life and the freedom to praise him and to thank him. All on Thanksgiving day. While they are in combat, in huts, in the sand, in the heat, without the comforts of home, their loved ones, their children, their parents, their Thanksgiving celebrations. Please, please remember these men and women that give us a blessing each and every day by having the heart for our country and the foundations on which our great nation was established.
For those of us who are seperated from loved ones, be it by death, or relocation, we are still thankful that we have the ability to count our blessings. Even in the hard times of seperation, when you want to have them near, some will return, and some will not. For me, I have it both ways. My son will never return, yet my sister and her family will. Still blessings, either way can be found. Ian is celebrating each and every day of his heavenly life with the Creator of ALL things...WOW!
My sister and her family are trying to find the blessings of celebrating without the large gathering to which we have all become accustomed to and they are having to deal with the cultural differences that make it near impossible to celebrate even close to how we do here. Simple things we take for granted, big ovens, A/C, availability of items needed....yet knowing them as I do, they will find blessings, even if through tears.
My tears seem to flow much more easily these days but I know, above and beyond all else, that I am truly blessed. God, even through my trials, blesses me each and every day, and if even only for the new breath I take each time, I am grateful.
Do you thank Him for your blessings constantly? Is it just a habit or is it the actual joy of knowing you've been blessed? Do you thank Him for the good and the bad? We learn from each so don't you think we should be thankful for both ways? For the cool breeze, and the roach that runs across the floor? For the new baby, and for the loss of a child? Seems harsh but it's reality. God has a purpose for us, as we have meaning to Him. Be thankful, even for the bad..."don't sweat the small stuff", does not mean don't be grateful for it!
Do not wait until Thanksgiving to begin to show thanks...show it year round...so that others can see that as Christ followers, we find that giving thanks to our Lord, is an honor, not a chore. Do not wait to give thanks until Thanksgiving, just because that's when the "whole" family will be there and you want to boast of your blessings. They are not to be boasted about. Share them, spread them, be them!
Every day when I wake up, I'm grateful for a new day. A new day to see more, to be more, to thank more, to share more, to do more, to learn more...etc. Though somedays, I hurt so deeply, physically and emotionally, the blessings still shine through. You will find many many more than you think when you start to consider the little things, for example...toilet paper!, running water, indoor plumbing....clothes washers and dryers...keep going..you'll find more and then the meaningful ones will start to surface...a childs laughter, your daughters smile, someone singing in the shower, the flowers blooming in your yard, the gentle frost gathered on the grass in the morning, the bird that flies overhead while you are griping about the heat...you have heat..others could be freezing....see where I'm going here...
Though this note is long, I pray you are blessed over and over and that you will begin to see the little things that bless us each day, and not just the big things that come to mind.
Be thankful! Our God is amazing and gives us countless blessings...find them, see them, spread them, share them, be them.....get it? got it? GOOD!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
(Ian, I miss you so much and I think of you every moment of each day. You are and were a blessing and though you are gone, I count you as many of mine each and every day. I love you son)
(Andrea, Tommy, Jakeb and Anna, I miss you all so much already. Only a few short hours ago, I shared your home and the blessings that we had together. I know that this year will be hard for you in many different ways, but through them all, know this....Each of you blessed me in different ways while we were there and I have thanked God over and over for that opportunity to share them with you. I know that you will be blessed, even if you can 't cook a turkey, or make the sweet potatoes, or whatever, there are blessings all over your home. Invite Janey! Let us be a blessing to Tori while we know you are apart during the first holiday seperated by many miles. Know that you are loved beyond comprehension, not just by our heavenly Daddy, but by your family. You bless people on a daily basis with your kindness, your honesty and your lives...I know that your Thanksgiving is already over and that you have "turned off" FB for a few days, but when you get back, I hope and pray that you have found the blessings you needed to find to make it through, and I hope you are able to share them with us!)
3 of my blessings!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Singing In Singapore
We have seen some places and bought some things and eaten LOTS of different foods and tasted some incredibly yummy and totally disgusting things....(keep on laughing Anna).
Our stay has been catered to by Andrea and she has thought of everything. She even had an umbrella, a coin purse and a bus card AS WELL AS a cell phone for us to use in an emergency....WOW! She's been amazing....
Let me just say that if you are a guest in this house, there will be nothing lacking! Can you say big flat screen tv...2 air cons, and a fully stocked (with our fav beverages) fridge?!!!!
Andrea and Tommy have done everything possible to make things easy for us and they have driven us around as much as possible to help with our feet problems...I know that they are missing out on some alone time but I can't say that I'm sad...haha I'm loving this... I am really enjoying the place, the people, the food (well some of it) and the atmosphere. Here, things are much different but they are all the same at the same time.... just different...
There are many cultures living on this island and they have all seemed to find a way to work out their differences and exist together in the space allowed... Even in the hawker centres, there are dozens of similar and vastly different food stalls just waiting to serve you....begging sometimes...to serve you. I love this...
Well, as to the title of this blog....I was outside late one evening, about 9pm here, and was just looking up amazed that there were no stars, when all of a sudden one appeared. It was the only one I could see but I loved it. I genuinely loved it.
To me, the stars represent Gods gift of life for us. There are as many of us as there are stars...etc...
When I am at home, in my yard, in the dark, there are billions of them just smiling at me and it is at those times, that words come to me....many of my poems begin just standing under the night sky and loving that God chose to display them for me. (not just me, but you know what I mean).
Sometimes, while I'm standing there, I will just start singing a poem, a song, a lyric that comes to me in the moment. I love this. God uses my willingness to love what he has created to teach me, to show me to love me!
So, the other night..haha I was outside on the front porch of Andrea's home when I just began to sing. The first thing I realized besides that I was singing, was that I was looking at ONE star, in the big sky it was all I could see. The second thing was, a wondering if Paul could see the same star (I know better, but it came to me that way). The last thing was that HE, God, could still see me wherever I was, no matter what, no matter where, I was visible to Him. This made me smile and I sang more! haha Not that what I'd be saying could really be considered a song but it was from my heart and was meaningful to me...and maybe to God, not sure about that.
I was wondering if He could feel my love, feel my heart, hear my song.
Weird blog, but it is what it is...
I WAS SINGING IN SINGAPORE!!!
Wish you were singing here with me!
Monday, October 19, 2009
When God Answers
I believe with a passion that God answers every one of them...In HIS TIME!
I pray all the time. I pray while I'm eating, driving, shaving (sometimes I actually pray that I can see my legs to shave them)!. I pray while I'm alone, with others, with my daughter, and at church. I pray when I'm hurting, laughing, crying, sneezing (this one is to not crack ribs), and I pray while I'm writing. I pray all day. It's as if I am carrying on a conversation with Him that goes on all day...sort of like an "Instant Message box"....
I pray for health, healing, safety, needs and most of all for my loved ones. I pray for their lives to be blessed and that they are healthy and happy. I pray for my own too. I pray for the ability to love others as He loves them. This is something I learned from a dear friend who was trying to make her marriage work... She finally realized that though she loved her husband, she needed to love him as God loves him. That is a difficult thing to do if you really sit back and think about it.
I have been trying to love all others as God loves them. Sometimes it is just not meant to be... you may try and try but the feelings are impossible to muster.
When God answers a prayer, it might not be what you expected, what you wanted, or even what you asked for...He answers in a way that the end result is for His plans for you/me. His answer might not become apparent for a very long time, but I feel that this is His way of teaching us patience, as well as the lesson of being faithful.
When God answers prayer, the response might be physical, heart felt, and even a hard knock upside the head...(I prefer these replies to my prayer since I am just a bit hard headed...at times). He might answer out loud even, or just whisper his response to you from the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you.
When God answers prayer, it is up to us to choose to accept the reply or ignore it. What we pray for and what we expect the answer to be, might just turn out to be something totally unlike anything we were thinking of when we prayed.
When God answers my prayers, I know that I have been blessed beyond measure and I accept that I have a new direction on that particular prayer request...and I love sharing my replies with my daughter..
When God answers my prayers, I enjoy telling others so that they can see that I truly believe, and that I am willing to hear...but sometimes my ears get plugged up with every day wax/junk, and I do not hear/see or feel the answer. Sometimes it might even be longer time periods between the prayer and the answer...days, weeks, months or even years...
When God answers my prayers, I pray again...I pray a prayer of thanks for the always hearing me part...when sometimes others can't hear me, He does.
Like the George Strait song says, be careful what you ask for cuz sometimes you get it.
Be careful what you pray for, and don't be foolish with your prayers. You may not see the answer coming but you'll know that it has been answered when the time is right.
side note: I have been praying for months that God would bless my business so that I could take my trip with my mother across the world to see my sister and her family. Finances have been difficult for us lately so I've been all stressed about how I'd pay for the plane ticket, the meals, souviniers, and just about everything. I have prayed for the money, my health, my moms health and so much more.
God is answering these prayers abundantly. I have remained healthy for the last 2 weeks, I've not been sick from my med-pump in almost 2 weeks, and other than my feet, Im pretty sure I've prayed for just about everything else that this trip will entail too, such as the airports, the plane trip, the airports, our luggage, our carry ons...etc and etc...my list is enormous. I have begun to physically see His answers each day as the trip draws near. I know that I am truly blessed.
Here is my prayer for you this day,
Father God, Thank you for showing me that my prayers are heard. Thank you for not only hearing them but answering them. Thank you Father for being my sounding board, my champion, my friend. Father, thank you for my family, my parents, my husband and my children, without whom I would crumble at your feet. Thank you for my friends, who bless my life daily, thank you for my business and the ability you have given me to use for it. Thank you for my church, my small group and all those I come in contact with throughout my life.
Father, I ask you to bless my family, my friends and those who might read this as well as those who will never see it. I pray you heal those who are ailing and touch those who do not know you or know to ask you for your help. I pray for all the ones that I will intrust my moms life and mine as we travel across the globe to new lands that are also created by you. I pray that you will show me new ways to glorify you while living in a different world than my own. I pray you allow me to see things through your eyes, the eyes of love and hope.
I ask that you deliver us safely to and from our family with new hearts filled with a passion to love you and to love others as you do.
In Jesus name, Amen
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I AM A WILLOW
It’s sorrow deep and dark
I watched it bend low to the ground
And saw the cracking bark
I watched the tree lean down so low
As if to lay a spell
I watched it listing to and fro
That tree I know so well
I watched the willow almost broken
It’s heart so filled with pain
It’s leaves could almost touch the water
As I watched it bending even lower
I watched the willow that seemed to call
Out from it’s lonely hell
I watched it laying there so sad
That tree I know so well
I watched the willow begin to rise
It’s leaves began to rustle
I watched it raise it’s precious head
And saw it use it’s awesome muscle
I watched the willow stand in place
It’s head raised straight to God
I watched it smile as if to say
Twas saved by His amazing grace
That tree I know today.
Colleen Easley Cooper ©8-17-09
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
In Memory of a dimpled boy
In loving honor of
Ethan Chery Michael McCormick
4-14-1991 to 4-11-2009
BEGAN ONE DAY
A PART OF LIFE
A PART OF ME
A BROTHERS BOND
WITH WORDS UNFOLD
BEYOND IT'S YEAR
LAUGHTERS COLD TEARS
NO SONG UNSUNG
WITH ALL MY SOUL
AND ALL MY HEART
ETHAN MY DEAR
MY HEART HEARD YOU
WHISPER IN MY EAR
DENIED BY DEATH
UNTIL IT TOOK
HIS FINAL BREATH
CUT SHORT TOO SOON
I'LL LAUGH FOR YOU
AND WATCH THE MOON
GOD'S GIFT TO YOU
AND HEALTH ENSUE
A LOVE DIVINE
AND LAUGH YOURSELF
OFF HEAVENS WALL
I am blessed to have known you, to have shared part of your life and to have been your friend. I was shown many blessings and taught something by you, even so young, you gave me hope many times. I can only hope and pray that I, if even only for a mere moment, showed you what a mother’s love feels like, because with you, I was able to feel what being a mother of a teen aged boy felt like! And I chery’sh that! Rest in peace my “adopted” son. You will be missed and you have carried another piece of my heart away with you. When I feel it missing, I will smile and share a joke with someone for you.....
©Colleen Cooper 4-14-2009....
I CAN’T SEE THROUGH THE TEARS