Monday, June 20, 2011

Reality

Sometimes you wake up in the morning, never knowing where you will be by evening.

This became very evident this weekend.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, a house addition update.


On Monday, my sister came to help me paint. Because of her help, I finished the trim painting on Wednesday.


One Friday, our construction crew came and installed the trim. I love the finished result.


Sometimes it is the little things, like finally installing the door hardware, that are appreciated the most.


Ed spent his evenings working on the brick in front of the house. I don't have any photos of him working since I took the children to Bible school every evening. Ed was able to work uninterrupted and I was pleased at his progress.

On Saturday, we decided to take some time off to do some fun things with the children. Sometimes it feels like our lives have been consumed by work. We went to watch some radio controlled airplanes for a while in the morning, worked in the garden a little, then packed up our camping gear. Ed was helping with the chores at my parent's dairy farm this weekend. We thought we'd camp out at the little cabin in their woods.

After the evening milking, we joined my parents at a community picnic. Ed had just sat down with his plateful of food when his cell phone rang. It was one of those calls where time sits still and you think you have to be in a nightmare that you will wake up from soon.

Ed's brother-in-law Jason was also spending some time with his children on Saturday. They were playing in a small river near their house. The river is very shallow but unknown to them, there was a drop off where the water was 12 feet deep with a strong undercurrent. The children got into this current and were struggling. Jason went in to help his teenage daughter. All the children got safely to the bank, but Jason drowned.

Within an hour after the phone call, we had left the children with my parents (at least we had their pajamas, toothbrushes and Sunday clothes since we planned to camp there) and headed to North Carolina to be with Ed's sister Jean. It doesn't seem that long ago since Ed's dad's sudden death when we waited in the hospital for Jean and Jason to join us. We arrived at Jean's home in the wee hours of the morning. Sunday was spent planning the funeral and crying together as a family.

At this point I feel numb and emotionally spent. I know God is good and has all things within His control, but I still can't help but ask the questions. There is such a need for Godly men in our world. Why take a man who was so faithfully serving the Lord? A man loved and needed by his family?


The above photo is Jason, Jean, and their family when we visited them at their home last summer.

The reality is that everything on this earth is temporal. The homes we enjoy will not stand forever. The people we love will some day die. Our time here on earth is brief and fleeting.

I wonder if my heart is set too strongly on earth. I love making a home and enjoying our garden. But if Jason could talk to us today from the glories of heaven and the presence of God, I'm sure he would encourage us to release our grasp on this world.

Today we are frantically trying to finish up our work so we can head back to North Carolina for the viewing and funeral. I plan to take a break from blogging for the rest of the week. If you have emailed me recently, I apologize that it may be a while until I respond.

Go hug your children and husband. Look around at your lovely home. Thank God for it, realize that it will all be burned up, and heaven is more wonderful than you can imagine.

48 comments :

  1. Yes, Gina, it is all temporal.

    I am so sorry for your family's loss...it is Jason gain, but oh, so hard for the family.

    What a precious man to have lost his life saving his daughters.

    Deanna

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  2. Oh, Gina. I just started following your blog, but I am so so sorry to hear about your brother in law's death. I will be praying for your entire family, but especially for Jean and her children.

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  3. Gina,

    I am so truly sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how devastating it must be to lose a love one so unexpectedly. I'm reminded of John 10:10 where Jesus said, "The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy - but I have come that you might have life." It's a terrible thing to know that in this fallen world sometimes Satan is successful in taking out a godly man like Jason. I just thank God that he is there ready to receive his own until we are reunited in heaven.

    I, too, have been gently reminded lately to set my eyes on the big picture and my heart on the heavenly goal. The pull and distractions of this world can make me so short-sighted that I often forget that this place is just a temporary stop in my journey 'home'.

    Praying for you and your family...
    Pam

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  4. Dear Gina,
    I am so sorry for you loss, and that of your sister-in-law. We will be praying for your family.

    Susan

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  5. I am so very sorry for this heartbreaking loss of Jason. I agree, we have such a shortage of godly men and I do not understand God's ways. Dear Lord, please help this family to feel your presence and comfort.

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  6. So sorry for your family's loss.

    Dana

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  7. Dear Gina~

    Words can't say what I'm feeling...I'm so sorry for ya'll having to go through this painful time! Most surely doesn't make sense to us, but God is sovereign, as you know, too...praying for ya'll as you continue to trust Him as He carries you and the rest of Jason's family during this time.

    Hugs,
    ~eunice

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  8. Gina, my heart goes out to you and your family! I believe God doesn't take a righteous man before his time, but that sure doesn't make the loss any easier to bear. My prayers are with you! And I'm taking your advice to go hug my hubby and babies right now.

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  9. That is so, so hard, Gina. Sharing tears with you just now. But remember that God IS good, no matter the hardships of this life. Praying He will hold Jean and the children close in the months and years to come.

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  10. Oh Gina...I am so sorry. I'll be praying for you all and for Jason's family as you gather to bury him this week. Sudden deaths like this are SO hard.

    But God is good...all the time. And He will give you all grace and strength to make it through the next hard months.

    Love,
    Lydia

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  11. Gina,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your family's sudden loss. Will keep you and your family in our prayers!!

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  12. your right Gina, I doesn't seem to make sense. Many prayers are with your family, as well as Jean and Kids. (Your blog is such a blessing to me-my heart aches for you at this time)

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  13. Ed, Gina, and family,

    Prayers are extended to all of you! Yes, we do need to hug our loved ones, letting them know how special they are to us!!!!

    Blessings,
    Debbie S.

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  14. I'm so sorry to hear this. We'll be praying for your family and for the entire family.

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  15. Oh my goodness...Break my heart. My prayers are with your family. May grace and strength cover Jean as she faces each new day without her husband and the father of her children. And you too, as you offer your love and support to their family.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss and for his wife and kids. I will be praying for all of you.

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  17. So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother-in-law, it sounds as the family will have the much needed support at this time. I pray for all your family in this time of sorrow.

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  18. I'm so sorry about this devastating accident! I pray that you will feel God's arms wrapped around you and your family as you go through this time with Ed's family. Praying for you...

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  19. Oh, Gina, I am so sorry for your family's loss. That is such a horrible accident. You are so right, this life is temporal. Our focus needs to be on those things heavenward. I will be praying for you all.

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  20. Gina- I am so sorry for your loss. I will be keeping your entire family in our prayers. There are so many things that don't seem to work out the way we think they should and yet we know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for our happiness here and eternally. Take comfort in the promises of the Lord and may His peace comfort you in this sad time. And also know, that you are thought of and loved by many...even those of us that have not yet met.
    Carol

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  21. Gina,
    I am so sorry for you loss. Although its your loss is heavens gain, I pray the Lord will wrap his arms around you all and your family and the children involved and just give you all a peace that only he can provide. Praying for you in this hard time.Praying for Jason's family as well, what a trying time, I am so glad for our precious hope though that we will see loved ones again and soon I feel so very soon!
    Joy

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  22. So sorry for your loss and times of trial. In our church a husband was taken early on too, he left behind a wife and 9 younger children. Thank God his wife continued in faith and endured her burden, the children grew up and are active members within our church.

    Its a loss that nobody can understand the weight of, excepting those parties involved. For us we can say all the "right" words but the truth is nothing will bring this Godly man back and everyday the family will grieve their loss, especially those times when they remember; how he would react in a certain situation, what he would say, his smell when he comes home from work.. I cant imagine how I could cope with such a loss, will be praying for the family.

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  23. Gina, Sorry to hear of the loss. God be with you all and comfort you.

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  24. Gina and Ed - I am so sorry for your loss...what a terrible thing for his children to have witnessed. I will keep his family and yours in my prayers. Jason is in a better place, but it is so hard to grasp that when we are suffering so here. Your post was amazing beautiful and a poignant reminder that this is not where our true treasures lie. In an instant it can be taken from us. But God is good always, his mercies never end.

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  25. My Gina! How tragic! Praise the Lord for such a man to make a sacrifice like that- what a beautiful and powerful testimony of laying one's life down! What glory can be given to the Lord for such selflessness that can be found in a godly man! I'm certain that the significance of his death will impact generations hard as it might be to bear right now.

    I'll pray for you and your family that you might find comfort in Him, may His grace be sufficient, that His strength will be made perfect in your weakness, and that you may glory in this sad time so that the power of Christ might rest upon you.

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  26. We are so sorry for your loss.May God give you all the strength you need to do what needs to be done before you leave.What a day that will be when God shall wipe away all those tears.Praying for you and Jasons sweet family in the days ahead.

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  27. Gina,
    I will be praying for all of you.
    Your post was very tender and also realistic. I am sure there will be seasons of emotions as you all walk forward. I am thankful that the Lord will provide just what everyone needs. Please know we are lifting up your family.
    Annie

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  28. I am so so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of Jason. This is a hard, cruel world and if we did not have God to turn to, where would we find our hope?

    Praying for peace.

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  29. Dear Gina,

    I am so sorry for your family's loss. Take comfort in the thought that he was called home by his Father.

    Claudia

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  30. I recently started following your blog at the recommendation from my mother-in-law and have really enjoyed it. I was astounded to realize you're related to Jason. I don't know the family at all, but had a friend from NC request prayer for their family on Facebook and we prayed for them in our Sunday morning church service.

    I'm so sorry for your loss and, like you, struggle with the question of why these things happen to folks who are faithful followers of Jesus. But then, we are also part of this fallen world and subject to such heartbreaking circumstances. Our prayers are with you all!

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  31. Our prayer is for Jean and her family right now. We do have a wonderful glorious home in Heaven where we will be reunited with those who have gone before, but that just doesn't relieve all the grief and sorrow of this present world. I pray that the Lord will give them strength and courage and for you and Ed as you try to console and help them out. It's just never easy, but thankfully the sorrow is only temporal too.

    God Bless.

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  32. Gina
    You only know me through emails but I just want you to know that my prayers are with you and your family at this time. God is carrying you ALL right now, continue to lean on HIM!!
    Sincere Prayers,

    JoAnn

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  33. Thinking of you and praying that you will feel God's arms of comfort around you in this time of loss.

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  34. Gina, I too am sorry for your loss. I will be praying for your family.
    ~Tammy

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  35. Thank you, Gina, for sharing your heart. I am praying for Jean, for her and Jason's children, for you and Ed and all the family. What a sad, sad event. I can so relate to how you must all be feeling. We have lost friends and loved ones in similar events. All we can do is cling to the fact that God is in control and that He is good -- all the time. Somehow He will bring good out of this heartbreaking situation. Simply cling to the Lord and His promises. He will never fail you.

    God bless you all,
    Mrs.T

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  36. oh Gina. How terrible - I'm so sorry. I'm praying for you all. And yes, I will look around at my family and home with new eyes and then look to Jesus.

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  37. I am so very sorry to hear of your family's great loss. Often we don't know why. I am certain Jason gave his life willingly to save his children, but that does not make the loss easier to bear.
    I, too, lost my husand unexpectedly so I can fully sympathize with the family's pain. My prayers are with you all, and yes, even when we can't fully grasp the "whys", God is good.

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  38. Darling I am so sorry. So much heartache for this young family. My heart is heavy for the daughter too in a special way. Such love her daddy had. Traveling mercy for you and your family. Praying for you all.

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  39. Gina,
    so so sorry for your husband's family's loss. Wow. I also sometimes wonder why someone who is so needed here is taken away, but he is so happy where he is right now that I know you all take some comfort in that.
    Anyway, God bless!

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  40. Dear Gina,

    I am still sitting here shaking my head with tears in my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss. I will definitely be keeping your whole family in our prayers. I pray that God will give Jean the strength & courage she will need in the years ahead.

    God Bless,
    Wendy

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  41. Gina so sorry to hear of your families loss.

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  42. Just read your comment to my post . . . and came on over to see who you are and where you blog. Nice to "meet" you.

    I am so sorry about the recent death of your brother in law. So so hard. Tears are on the surface! What a true man to give his life in rescuing his children. May the Lord give much grace and strength to you and his family in the days ahead.

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  43. Gina, I'm so sorry for your loss, however temporary it may be since you will all be reunited with him in heaven. I'm reminded that Jesus grieved over Lazarus' death despite the fact He knew that He was going to bring him back to life. Death is just ugly - the result of a fallen world. What a joy to know that someday we will never see death again!

    Dear Lord, comfort this family as only You can do. Use Your children to be Your loving arms around them as they grieve. Let them feel your presence and love despite the sorrow and loss that is difficult to understand. Help us all to trust you, even when it hurts sometimes!

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  44. Darling, I am so sorry for the loss of such a sweet family member. Families are forever. My thoughts will be for you and your family today.
    Melissa

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  45. My heart breaks for your family and Jean and the children. How devastating to lose someone you love so much. It is such a beautiful comfort to know that he is with the Almighty Him Who made the earth and all that is in it. I am so sorry for your loss...and I apologize for somehow missing this post previously.

    Lovingly,
    Katy

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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