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Archives for October 2013

Tender Mercies

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I’ve got to admit it—it’s hard getting back to blogging (and other things) after the unexpected loss of my mom. Let me start by thanking you all for your prayers and many expressions of love and concern over the past couple of weeks. Each one has touched my broken heart. Each one has been much appreciated.

It was so difficult to see Mom lying in a hospital bed injured beyond repair, but you know what—God was with us each step of the way, granting tender mercies and reminding us of other mercies he’s given leading up to this last event. I won’t try to recount them all. There are too many. But I would like to share a few and offer God praise for them all, told and untold.

Ah, the tender mercy of seeing God’s hand in the timing of Mom’s home-going. Though it felt too soon to let her go, God allowed us a great year together as a family this year.

Mom and Dad celebrated their 60th anniversary on January 1st, and we celebrated Mom’s 80th birthday in May. Even though she suffered a TIA in June and another in August, Mom and Dad were able to enjoy our family reunion trip to Tennessee in July. After finally getting her blood pressure stabilized, Mom and Dad were also able to take a little trip back to Missouri (their home for twenty-two years before moving to Tulsa last year) just a couple of weeks before the accident. They had the best time renewing their friendships and visiting their church. All of these things were gifts—tender mercies as my friend Karen called them—to all involved.

Even the timing of Mom and Dad’s move last year—which was hard on all of us at the time—is a gift beyond compare now. God knew it was time for Mom to go home so he moved them close to family in plenty of time for them to get settled in their new home and church. If they hadn’t moved, Dad would be three hours away from family today. Instead, he lives in the same town as my sister Carolyn now, and I live just seventy-five miles away. A tender mercy indeed.

God’s merciful timing was evident on the day of the accident as well. Carolyn just happened to be at home because her boys were on fall break. The accident happened right outside the hairdresser’s shop—and she just happened to be a friend of Carolyn’s. She called Carolyn and told her Mom had been in an accident, and Carolyn was able to get to the scene in a few short minutes because it was just blocks away. Since my nephew Cody was home from school, he was able to go pick up my dad and take him to the hospital—which again, just happened to be blocks from the accident scene. Pretty amazing in a city the size of Tulsa. Coincidences? No. More tender mercies from our loving Lord.

Even the way Mom died was a mercy in the grand scheme of things. Her dad died in the months following a major stroke, and it looked like Mom might be headed in that direction. As hard as it was to see her poor sweet body go through the trauma of an accident, she went into a coma almost immediately and didn’t suffer. How much better than to endure the effects of a major stroke or the cruelty of cancer or Alzheimer’s. Yes, another tender mercy—though it still hurts like crazy to have lost her so unexpectedly.

The few days we had with her in the hospital were another gift from God. Dad especially needed those days to accept the fact that it was time for her to go to heaven. Those days were precious to us all. Even though we didn’t know if she could hear us, we were able to tell her we loved her.

These are just a few of God’s tender mercies to us, and oh, what comfort he gave us through them. What peace they offered in the midst of heartbreaking pain. What a kind and loving heavenly Father we have. And yes, I’m singing his praise through tears right now, but oh how worthy he is of our praise.

Thank you, friends, for standing with me and my family during a time of such great sorrow.

“Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:32

*Flickr photo by Flower’s.Lover, Creative Commons License

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is still underway. Details are in my Oct. 17th post and sign-up is to the right. Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Mother of the Bride – Needed and Loved

DSC_5906Mother of the Bride, when tension or uncertainty in your role pays a visit to you and your daughter during her wedding planning days, remember this: Your daughter needs you and loves you.

For some, days will come when you and your grown-up girl seem to be constantly at odds with one another. For others, you may even be unsure of what your role is and how involved your daughter really wants you to be. Whatever your particular situation, never doubt your importance to your darling daughter.

You see, no one else can truly take your place. Whatever your level of involvement, you are filling a deep need and desire in your little girl’s heart to share this special time with you. At a time when she’s getting ready to start a new family unit, you are the rock of her past and the support of her present. She still draws comfort, strength, and love from you. Yes, you are important.

Don’t let the little dramas of life rob you of the joys that are possible during these once-in-a-lifetime months. Remember—you are the mother of the bride. She needs you. She loves you. And she’ll forever remember the ways you are there for her.

*What can you do to diffuse any tension or uncertainty that tries to undermine the joy of it all?

*Photo by Will Flowers

*My Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is still underway. Details are in my Oct. 17th post on my home page and sign-up is to the right. Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Mother

The original Hoy family by Aaron

My mom was in a serious car accident on Friday the 18th. She went home to be with the Lord on Monday afternoon.

My mother was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Our family misses her more than words can describe. We’re thankful to know that she is in heaven and that we will see her again one day, but for now our hearts are broken.

Please pray for us all during this time of great loss.

*Photo by my nephew Aaron Henry

Mother

The original Hoy family by Aaron

My mom was in a serious car accident on Friday the 18th. She went home to be with the Lord on Monday afternoon.

My mother was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Our family misses her more than words can describe. We’re thankful to know that she is in heaven and that we will see her again one day, but for now our hearts are broken.

Please pray for us all during this time of great loss.

*Photo by my nephew Aaron Henry

Table Décor Finishing Touch: Fresh Rose Petals

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Mother of the Bride, here’s a quick decorating tip for your daughter’s big day—ask your florist to sprinkle fresh rose petals on all the tables at the reception. Guest tables, cake tables, photo tables, buffet tables. They look beautiful everywhere. All it takes is a few scattered here and there.

Fresh rose petals add the perfect finishing touch—a splash of color and oh so delicate. They might even provide a whiff of fragrance. Plus the lush look of fresh rose petals just can’t be duplicated with the silk variety.

At our daughter Kristin’s wedding, it was actually our cake baker and not our florist who added the final cake decoration of fresh roses and then surprised us by scattering petals from some of the same roses on all the tables. Not only was it gorgeous, but it helped tie all the décor together by incorporating the flowers from the cake. Thanks so much to Emeline from Grandeur Affaires: Nibbles Café in Tulsa, OK, for adding so much to the overall beauty of the reception.

So check with your daughter, MOB, and see if she might want to add this delicate final touch to the tables at her wedding. Tell her I highly recommend it! :)

*What flowers—or colors—has your daughter chosen for her wedding? If roses aren’t available in that color, a coordinating color will work just as well.

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

*My annual Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is now underway. All current and new subscribers to Life Notes, my free quarterly inspirational newsletter will be included. Winner will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Sign-up is on the right sidebar. Read all the details here.