Friday, July 11, 2008

a priceless memory

I have a priceless memory, tucked safely in my heart, of Lil that I know I won't soon forget.
A lesson that I hope to teach to my girls. A vivid image of a fragile woman sitting in her hospice bed, having accepted what would probably be her pending passage to Heaven. She offered her prayer of thanksgiving said just moments after the nurse had brought in her lunch, served on a silver platter with a crystal goblet full of pink lemonade. With her precious husband at her side, she tearfully & tenderly thanked her Lord for this day, thanked Him for the hospice "this place" she called it where they would take care of her. She asked Him to take away her pain & help her to feel better. She told Him despite her condition, she would still praise Him, that she would always praise Him.
I've learned that is called sacrifice of praise. A heart that has prayed but yet had different answers given. A brave heart, accepting what ever will be, will be. Not one of denial but one whose hands are open to where the Lord will lead them, even if not the road they would have chosen. A sacrifice because it would be much easier to be angry or have dispair. A sacrifice because it is a choice to praise Him in the storm.
It's easy for any of us to have hope & joy when life is going as "it should". When the bills are all able to be paid, everyone is healthy, the roof over our heads is strong, & we live with those we love. Of course its easy to say Thank You Lord, on those days & yes we'll praise you.... of course we'll praise you. You've allowed everything to work out just great.
But oh what truly lives in our soul is seen when things are going as they should.
& I saw that in Lil that very day.

Years ago, I had somewhat playfully, as those converstations seem to go, asked for her bible, The Bible when & if "the day " ever came. She knows how much I love family heirlooms ( & the color red too-wink!) Her King James leather well worn, well read bible---notes on every page, completely tattered & falling apart, even has a piece of duct tape in the back! She had quit using over the last decade because of its fragile condition.
Days before she went to hospice, I asked her if I might take her Bible...not to have , but to use during my quiet times. I thought that if I read her notes, prayed with her bible in my hands, maybe my prayers would mean even more. Maybe they would carry with them the years of faith Lil had, the years of faith she truly lived.
The same hands that made that ole red leather bend & soften "just so" in my hands too were the same hands that folded that day & offered a sacrifice of praise.
What a legacy she left me & I am so thankful that I was there that day to witness it.


I want to thank you , each of you for your words of comfort. Just days before she passed, Lil asked me " have you gotten anymore of those notes?". I knew she meant comments on my blog related to her. She knows I have a website but she had no understanding of what a blog is. But she did know as I had printed for her, all the comments those of you left for her. They meant so much to her--the fact that others around the world had taken a moment of their day to pray for & think of her.
I thank you dear ones.

The days surrounding her passing were totally overwhelming full of events. Tickets purchased & reservations made long in advance. Besides planning a beautiful memorial service for his mom, Dan had many other things to keep him busy & totally surrounded by his family. I'll upload & share those images later. For now, I'll add yet more pictures from our trip to Seaside--seems like a lifetime ago already....
if I'm really still & quiet, I can hear the ocean now....































28 comments:

Cyndi said...

I always love seeing your pictures. You have a beautiful family and the love shines through.Have a great weekend.

Rita Weiss said...

What a beautiful family. Hi Paige! Working on (or I should say, finishing!) some layouts (finally!) I'll email you :)

Sean, Mandy, Mack and Levi said...

Such beautiful words Paige - thanks for sharing - you are right - praising during the storm is never easy. The girls are beautiful! Did you hear the good praise about Donna (Nunnally)??? They are expecting Jan 16 - a definate time of praise after what they have been through. Thanks again for your words.

velvet brick said...

Paige, such power behind those tender words. What a beautiful testimony to an obviously beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing it with us. I have to say that you look fantastic! Red is SOOO your color... my favorite picture kept changing as I scrolled down...but I loved the one of you and Dan walking on the beach holding hands....but I also liked the one of you and Caroline in b&w...but I also liked the one of Dan and the girls...and the one of all of you..and the one... oh, gosh... I love them all!!! : ) I want you to know that I am sending a prayer upstairs...for continued memories to bless all of your hurting hearts, for understanding and patience and for comfort and peace each day. xoxo
VB

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Oh Paige, what a priceless memory for sure. I love the red bible and the worn out pages. It shows her love for the word of God. What a priceless treasure for your girls to know their grandmother valued those words and read them regularly.
Your pictures are so breath taking. The first one of you and Dan and the one of you kissing are so touching and romantic.
Your girls are just precious.
How blessed you all are with God's blessings.

Jake and Taryn said...

Paige,

I absolutely love the story about Lil's Bible. What a special treasure for you and for your whole family. My Dad was very close with his grandmother all through life and she gave her old, marked on, tattered Bible to him and it is something he has ALWAYS treasured!

As far as your family photos, they are amazing!!..as always! :) We went to Cabo in late May early June and my only regret was that we did not get any beach photos like yours...next year I guess!

Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Paige,
I have to tell you that in reading your words over the last 3wks... since I sat across from you that day in GA...I am inspired! You will never know how much inspiration you have given me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have always believed-and still do- that GOD works in mysterious ways. You sent me the web link to this spot, so I could see the photos of your girls! Who knew the INSPIRATION I WOULD FIND!You words, your feelings, your honesty, and your faith have made ME different. I am inspired to walk closer with the Lord. I am inspired to praise him in good times and BAD! I am inspired to share His GLORY with OTHERS in addition to my children. I am inspired that thru my prayers, God will speak to my husband. I am inspired to continue to have faith! I am inspired to continue to pray. I am inspired to be quiet and KNOW HE IS LISTENING. I am inspired and encouraged in dark times to give the stress and worry to Him! To know all things happen in HIS TIME!I have had such heartache this year! So much overwhelming stress! And so much fear! I have cried and prayed and cried some more! I have become inspired to release these worries and know that this may not be my chosen plan, but His. I am inspired to continue praying for peace and strength. I am, once again, reading my bible each day. Taking quiet moments to thank Him. Taking time to listen. I know now that to accept HIS PLAN for me gives me peace and a new strength to hold fast and strong thru the storm! I am so very thankful for YOU! Thankful for that day in the call center, where we had the time to talk, if only briefly while we worked. Paige, I believe God has a plan, and uses us to make his plan work. Thank you for sharing these words. You may never know all the lives you touch just by being the wonderful YOU! I will continue to pray for strength for your family! I know you miss Lil already-hold on to her memory! Know that she was an inspired and an inspireing woman at peace with God's plan for her! Thank you for sharing Lil with all of us. Your openess, honestly, faith and your strength is inspiring! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you!


Sharon RN

Somewhere In The Sun said...

Simply beautiful. I read with tears in my eyes and chills down my arms. You described that moment so vividly. I'm so glad you got her Bible. It's the one thing I've asked for of my mother's as well, when the time comes.
Blessings to you,
~Lynn

Firefly Hill said...

Paige,

I know you all will cherish your beautiful memories of Lil and I am so happy you have her red bible. As always, I enjoy seeing all the pictures of your beautiful family!

annie

Mommabelle said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I really appreciated your post today. It was just what I needed today! Thanks,
Tamara

Cottage At Dove Canyon said...

Paige, your account of lil's faith was beautiful and touching. My mom has my grandmother's bible, which is fragile and worn with decades of prayer, filled with her notes and highlighted passages. What a truly powerful gift to receive! I hope that God will bless you and your family with comfort in this difficult time.
Kristin

Bella's momma said...

Paige your words touched my heart~ it is a wonderful tribute to what must have been a precious lady.

Thank you for sharing this post~

And for the stunning pictures of you and your family!

Prayers are still being said, may God's peace continue to surround you now and always!

Chris & Deb said...

Paige,
My eyes are filled with tears as I type this comment. Lil left you all with such a womderdul legacy and how blessed you all were to have her in your family. She also left you with the hope that you will one day meet again! How wonderful!

Thanks for sharing your amazing pictures from the beach too! Absolutely beautiful!

Blessings to you all!
Deb

Colleen said...

Paige,
I have stopped by your blog several times and this is my first time I believe saying hello! I find your words to be so inspirational. This is a beautiful post in tribute to a remarkable lady.
Your photos are amazing! What a lovely family you have. The photos of your girls together bring back memories of my own childhood growing up with my 2 sisters.
Many blessings!

Robyn said...

Oh Paige!
What a beautiful posting...here I am sitting running my hands over my own bible that was given to me by someone who thought I didn't have any faith. That was years ago and my bible too,has many notes and highlighted areas. Areas that at one time brought me much peace at a time when my world was crashing.
I am better for having know of your dear Lil! I am even more blessed that she is high above watching over all of us.
I know this time is probably toughest on the children. I am still holding you and your family high with my prayers and warm thoughts.
Paige you are incredible woman and thank you for always inispiring me with your blog. I find much solace her. And for that I humbly thank you. Thank you also for our newly forged friendship!
Much love to you and Dan and the children!
Hugs,
Robyn

Kristin said...

Just beautiful sweet friend of mine. Your words are lovely towards Lil. I have not seen these images. You know some of them are going to find a place in my new home. Love to you friend.

melissa said...

Such a beautiful,inspiring post - thank you!
Blessings to you and your lovely family!

Melissa

http://mcc.typepad.com/

Jboo said...

What a sweet post -- Lil sounds like such a special wonderful person -- what great memories you all have of her.
Love your vacation photos -- they are wonderful! Take care.

Janet

Team Houston said...

I am so sorry for your loss and thinking of your family. Thanks for sharing.

What a special treasure to receive her Bible. It brought tears to my eyes.

I found your blog via another.

Hang in there.

~Michele

Mia-Bella said...

What a precious post to honor her legacy. I am just so sorry for your family's loss.

Your pictures of your gorgeous family are plain awesome. That color of red is simply stunning on you! I love that your girls see such a great example of love between you and your husband.

Seaside is my absolute favorite place to go on earth as well. We went in May and miss it already, can't wait to go back.

Melissa

kacee said...

Your words are so touching and moved me to tears. To hear what a strong and faithful follower Lil was is so inspiring and she has left a beautfiul legacy.

Years ago a friend of mine had the song "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord" played at her 2 year old sons funeral. It is now one of my favoirte songs because in reminds me that I am living a life that He gave me and that I should always praise Him even if I would have the circumstances be different. The song is exactly what you conveyed in your story of Lil praising Him through the storm. What a precious memory you can hold tight.

Pixel Fairy Princess said...

Your are priceless! I just can't move past that image of the Bible lying there. You are simple an inspiration to me! We must do lunch! I can't imagine moving form here with our getting to meet you :D

BTW- Ws just out at Rita's blog and saw the LO! They are amazing :D Beautiful and I recognized Caroline right away!

Ladybug hugs,
;D

Robyn said...

Paige!

I know you have a lot going on...thought I would put a smile on your beautiful face! I did something VERY out of my box! And had a blast and giggling fit in my masterbath! Come take a peek dear friend!
Hugs,
Robyn

Jodee Leader said...

What a sweet post about Lil. I am so glad she enjoyed all of her "notes."

Your beach pictures are adorable!

Simply Me Art said...

Your Photos are as Gorgeous as your Family. Jamie

Clare said...

Dear Paige,

Thank you so much for sharing such amazing faith and strength...what an inspiring post, and I thank you! I have been thinking of you and your family! Sending hugs and prayers, Clare

sara said...

Wow. First, the Bible - then these gorgeous pictures of this amazing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, faith-driven family! You guys have a beautiful tradition. I hope it lasts forever!

And you are looking GREAT, girl!!

Sheree said...

It is obvious where your girls get their looks...you all are a beautiful family! Enjoy summer!

Sheree