Running the Race

Lynn | Thoughts & Reflections | Monday, August 4th, 2014

I am not sure why we often hear the same message several times without it having any significant personal meaning and then all of a sudden, a light bulb moment comes over us.  My recent light bulb moment came while I was running up a hill in my most recent attempt to reestablish my cardio-fitness regime.  The success of that goal aside, I must count the effort a success simply because of the light bulb moment.

While chugging up the hill I was reminded of Biblical instructions to “run the race” in life and “finish strong.”  Having run a few marathons in the (distant) past, I always thought, “well right, that makes sense” but I never felt any personal application other than in the context of running.  But those phrases, combined with the message at church about taking a breath, saying a prayer, and plunging forward in sharing the Gospel resulted in somewhat of an epiphany for me. (more…)

Oops, I did it again

Lynn | Thoughts & Reflections | Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I did it again. I just bought something and thought to myself, “Rhys would have thought this was pretty cool.” It’s very strange how we continue to ponder what our sons (or daughters) would think about some benign action that we take as we move through our lives without them. I hear a song, or see something in a store, or make a purchase, or see something in his daughter about which I think Rhys would really have something to say. Then I pause and think to myself, “I guess I’ll never know about that.”

What’s odd is that our son is stuck at that one age. We knew what he would think about all kinds of things at that age. But our minds play tricks on us. We see Rhys’ friends making grown-up adult decisions and having adult opinions about everything. We always wonder what Rhys’ opinions would have become. And that my friends, is the saddest part. What would our son have become? What would we be talking about on a Saturday afternoon? Would we have feared multiple deployments? Would we talk about the economy? Kids? Parenting? (more…)

What “Old Glory” means to me

Lynn | American-Hero | Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Today I contemplated the flag; not just any flag – the American Flag. As the full sized stars and stripes fluttered on the early evening breeze in our backyard, I considered just what “Old Glory” means to me.

I remember learning the Pledge of Allegiance early on in grade school. We always said the Pledge and then we sang America the Beautiful. Every kid in school knew all of the words to both and although early on we had no idea what “allegiance” meant or why we were singing about a “fruited plain,” we all eventually figured it out.

The flag always held a special meaning, although I’m not sure I ever realized how special the US flag was until Rhys joined the military. Somewhere along the line, the flag became just a routine item in the landscape, its true significance lost in the business of living. In fact, for most of my adult life I don’t remember the flag’s comfortable presence on streets throughout America, certainly not here in California.

Then came September 11, 2001. The flags went up everywhere. Those of us lulled into the comfort that is America woke up. The American flag truly symbolized a national spirit again. It symbolized the fighting, patriotic spirit that built America. It was an awesome thing to behold. (more…)

The Juxtaposition of Sadness and Joy

Lynn | American-Hero,Thoughts & Reflections | Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I’ve been often reminded recently that as a child of God, no one can take away my joy. There is solid foundation in this statement. From personal experience, I can tell you that this is true. We can be sad. We can be angry. We can be lonely, among a host of other emotions. But we own our joy because it is God-given.

Two years ago at this period of time between Rhys’ burial and the birth of our granddaughter, overwhelming sadness and unbelievable joy were intertwined in a tangled web in my mind; a web so complicated and counter intuitive that I only now realize the web is purposeful and ordered. The purpose and order are a mystery to me, as it is God’s perfect design, not my chaotic and ever-changing plan. But I do realize that sadness and joy can coexist.

Rhys’ death was so huge and so devastating that there really are no words to describe it. The death of a child is so unexpected, so unfair, so utterly wrong that one barely functions. The best I could do on some days was to reach out to the Lord and ask, “For today Lord, please let me just rest in Your arms.” As parents we had the life experience to draw on. But we were watching Stephanie, who was only just beginning to form her life experience as a wife and as a mother, become as the most delicate of glass, ready to shatter into a million pieces at a breath of wind. We had to be strong.

God is truly faithful at all times. He let me rest when I needed to but gave me strength when that was necessary. I learned to balance sadness and joy; the sadness of a life gone, the joy of a life beginning. I witnessed the joy of the birth of London Eevie and Stephanie’s joy at the sight of her. We laugh together at little quirks London has developed that remind us of Rhys. We cry that Rhys missed this part of life that he so joyfully anticipated.

The sadness is ever-present but tucked away in a place saved for quiet moments of reflection, away from the day-to-day tasks of living. The joy is also always present, for it is truly God-given. The sadness and joy are juxtaposed on a parallel path, no longer knotted and tangled, but moving together towards a destination determined by God before time. It is a destination known only by Him, but a destination that is perfect and true. It is a destination where we will be reunited with Rhys again. The journey is often sad for a moment but always joyful in the promise that the place and time of arrival are exact.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24

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