Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Chains are Gone!

My Chains are Gone.
As I sat at moms memorial service, listening to the song “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone”, I was overcome by strong feelings of Joy and Peace. I missed my mom terribly and was confused to be feeling joy in the midst of sorrow,  joy at such a time as this? Joy in Sorrow, How can that be?
 The last few weeks of mom’s life were very difficult, full of pain and struggle.  While she was in the hospital I stayed with her most of the nights, watching over her, not wanting her to be alone. I awoke one morning after having a dream.  In my dream there was someone sitting in a chair looking out as if they were watching, waiting, and full of anticipation. In my dream there was also a little girl, she kept trying to sit down but was too excited.  The little girl was so full of joy and excitement she couldn't help but to keep jumping up and twirling around.  Everything about her was happiness and joy!  We are told in Hebrews that we have a Great Cloud of witnesses cheering us on. I couldn't help but think that those in my dream were those  in heaven, looking down on my mom, watching, waiting, knowing that something exciting was about to happen. I could feel their joy; joy in knowing that my mom’s battle was almost over. They knew they would soon be welcoming her into heaven with them.   I shared that dream with my mom. I told her she would not be alone, that her arrival was much anticipated in heaven.
That day at her memorial, as I listened to the words, “my chains are gone, I've been set free”   That dream came to mind, I felt the joy of those in my dream , joy and peace know that my mom is now with them in heaven, she has been set free. Thank you God for giving me that dream, so I can now picture her as that little girl. She is free, twirling around, full of happiness and Joy.  Surrounded by those she loves, she is now part of that Great cloud of witnesses, continuing to do what she has always done, cheering us on!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mary Beth Huffman

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana May 7, 1943. Mary Beth Van Gilder began her journey through life. Mary was the youngest daughter of Fred and Ethel Van Gilder. Her early years were spent with her mom who was a traveling school teacher, living in a variety of hotels and boarding houses. Little did she know that this nomadic life was a foreshadowing of her lifestyle in later years. Although she  loved being with her mom and traveling around, in order to maintain some stability for her teen years, she moved in with her Grandmother Harrite and Grandfather Oscar. She loved her grandparents very much, they became like her second parents.

Mary was very outgoing in high school. She showed off her spunky personality as a majorette in the marching band as well as a Jr. Attendant for the football queen during homecoming. She met the love of her life Charles Huffman when she was only 15 yrs. old. Chuck often joked that he fell instantly in love with Mary but had to wait for her to grow up so he could date her. He didn't wait long and they were married in 1960 when Mary was 17 yrs. old. Mary showed us in her marriage to Chuck what a true helpmate was. Her love and support of Chuck was genuine and steadfast. She knew when to come alongside him, and when to step in to keep him in line. Chuck took excellent care of Mary in their 52 years of marriage, loved and adored her to all the ends of the earth.

The earlier years of traveling with her mother helped prepare Mary for life as a military wife for 20 years and a Pastors wife of 24 years. Mary became a first time mother in 1961 with the birth of her first born, Beth, shortly followed by Carol’s arrival in 1962 and then Donna in 1964, her last bundle of Joy. Mary loved life and was always up for an adventure. She loved people, and had a gift of knowing when someone needed a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just a big hug. Mary was lovingly nick named "the card lady". A big part of her ministry was sending cards. She touched the hearts of many with an uncanny ability to be able to choose just the right card, in perfect timing that brought words of blessing and encouragement to the recipient.

Mary loved spending time with her eight grandchildren and she was more than excited this past year with the arrival of her first great-grand daughter.  She prayed daily for them and loved them with all her heart. She left a lasting impression on each one of them.

The last few years of her life showed Marys’ strength and determination more than at any other time of her life. As she battled cancer she amazed us with her continued love of people, stopping often to ask others in the hospital if they were okay and if she could pray with them. Even though she herself was battling she took time to make sure those around her were cared for, including the doctors. She let Jesus love shine through her to those she came in contact with.

Now looking back on Mary’s life journey, we can confidently say she has fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.  Now we know she has received the crown of righteousness that the Lord will award to her on that day.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A little glimpse of my moms heart.

Wanted to share just a little glimpse of my mom heart.
She is currently at an in-hospital palliative  room. This past week she was having a really bad day so we thought a roll around the hospital might help to lift her spirits. Our nice, young nurse Katy got my mom situated in a wheelchair along with her iv pole and oxygen tank headed off down the hall. My nephew Justin and sister Beth walked behind her  pulling her extra equipment along. My mom was very quiet as they walked through the hospital floor, not saying a word. When they approached the nurses station my mom made them stop There was an older male nurse walking by, she reached out to touch his arm stopping him.  His name is Scott and while he had not been one of her nurses this time around he did help care for her on one of her previous visits to the hospital.  My mom took his hand and very quietly wanted to thank him for the kindness, compassion and wonderful care that he showed to her when she was in there a few months ago.  It took him a minute to recognize my mom, smiled and softly said thank you.  Then the parade of equipment and my mom continued down the hallway and back to her room.
A few days later Scott was moms assigned nurse. She was having a difficult time and was struggling. Scott came in to help make her comfortable. She started to apologize to him for being so much work, he took her hand and said , Mrs Huffman, it is my pleasure to care for you,  he proceeded to thank her for taking the time the other day to stop him in the hallway. He had tears in his eyes when he told her that she would never know how much that meant to him,  that it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him since he started working in the hospital.
My mom, in the most difficult circumstance, stopped for a moment to minister to that nurse. Thank you God for once again allowing me to see this special moment, a reminder of who my mom is . I truly believe one of our jobs here on earth is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. For people to be able to see Jesus in us, and that is what my mom has done and continues to do even now.
My mom Mary and her grandson Justin. Getting ready for a walk.