Happy 74th Birthday, Pappy!

Happy Birthday to my Pappy! He’s 74 today, but having his 14th birthday with Jesus.
He has my mom and baby brother with him, as well as many other family & friends.
My birthday present to him is remembering what a good man he was.

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He served in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He was on one of the ships held hostage/in the crossfire
of Cuba and America’s famous standoff.
He was up every single day by 5am until he had lung surgery in 2003.

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He worked hard, took care of his wife and family,
including those he took in as family,
and did whatever it took to make sure they were OK.
He was a very active and loving granddad to Anthoni.

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He gave his all to his family,
and towards his latter years to His heavenly father.
His pastor was his buddy.

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Thank you, Dad, for all that you did for us (your family)!
Thank you for being a man my son could look up to and count on.
Thank you for your unconditional love.
It helped me to see a very valuable side of our Father in heaven…
how much He loves us, His patience, His mercy, His grace,
and leaving His wisdom for us to grow in.

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Thank you, Father God, for giving me the dad I had!
For giving Anthoni the granddad he had!
And for all the love and sweat you helped my daddy with
in providing for and caring for his family!
I sure do miss him. So much it hurts. I miss mom and Charlie too!
But I know you are taking care of them, and that I will see them again… SOON! ❤

Happy Birthday, Pappy! I love and Miss you!! ❤

The Loss and Gain of a Godly Man

Lord, my heart is broken… for the loss of a friend… for the heartache that his precious daughters and lovely wife (who are also dear friends) are bearing… because a good and godly man lost his battle to Lymphoma. Willie S. was such a patient, thoughtful, good-hearted man. He made a huge impact on the life of my son and I. He was Anthoni’s principal in junior high through high school. This was a christian school with the same church we were all a part of.

He put up with a lot dealing with my family, while being patient, forgiving, compassionate, wise, and able to calm very ugly situations. A godly mediator gifted with wisdom and discernment, and favor… with God… and our family. Irene (who passed away in 2016) was grateful to him for leading her son to the Lord, and being so influential that her son cut his hair, shaved, and cleaned up, wanting to be a good example like the one who lead him to the Lord and made him feel so welcome.

His lovely wife has been just as loving and godly, a prayer warrior with a heart for others. We are blessed to be friends with her as well. And her precious daughters. There just doesn’t seem a word capable of describing how much I value their friendship. Role  models, shoulders to cry on, to cry with, to laugh with, to celebrate with, to worship and pray with. Personal challenges that we got through together. I hate to know they grieve. They loved their dad. They were a very close family. And praise God a family of faith!

This is what brings me comfort… to know that their dad has not lost a battle… he lost the ability to feel pain! Forever! The Great Physician gave him perfect healing! He did not lose… he gained! He gained perfect health, eternal life, and a mansion that Jesus went away to prepare for him and promised to come again and receive him unto Himself… and Jesus kept His promise! His wife and daughters have gained a new hope in heaven… a new motivation to long for heaven… a new encouragement that pain and suffering does not last forever… and that just when it seems like life is only about loss, Jesus will bring permanent gain! He will be faithful to keep His promise. And they will see Willie S. again!

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So I take comfort in knowing they have the Comforter embracing them as only He can. The one who suffered His own loss in Lazarus and in John the Baptist knows the grief they are stricken with. That is why He left His Word, His hymns, and His church, and the access to His own presence. His arms are open wide to welcome them any time… and closed so gently when holding them as tight as they need! Thank You, Father, for granting His gain, and for strengthening their hope with a peace that passes all understanding… but not Yours! ❤