Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Daddy....just memories of a time that is gone

I have been thinking about this post for a while. My sister's post inspired me to put it into words. I guess dinner and that coffee on the screen porch will have to wait. We need a pilot and a plane in the family!

Fading memories are all I have left of the man whom I called dad for a very short 13 years. The sound of his voice is barely a whisper now. For my sisters even less. I sometimes wonder how different our lives would be right now if the choices he made had been different. But then again...we wouldn't be the women we are today if our past journey hadn't happened.
This post if for my sisters and my children.

This is the man I remember:
A Tucker High School graduate who held many records in track,football and baseball
Married his high school sweet~heart...I think she's the most wonderful lady that there ever was!
They had 3 beautiful daughters..He he!!!
Loved horses
Loved hunting...quail,deer,pigs.
His dad's pride and joy...only son
He loved his mama....We did too!
Welder by trade
Loved to have fun
Loved motorcycles and took many long trips with my mom to Gatlinburg. He even took us on many rides.
I think two of the funniest things I remember was watching him ride our go-cart around the neighbors dirt bike track late one evening...he had drank a few beers before that. I often share this next story with my kids and our youngest has found this to be her most favorite hiding spot. One evening we were playing hide-n-seek. My dad, who was maybe 5'11, hid while it was my turn to find him. I will never forget seeing him perched on top of our refrigerator with a big ole grin on his face! A smile I often see on my own two son's faces.
Played the guitar..mostly country and bluegrass
He liked Hank Williams Jr's music
He smoked
Loved Pepsi... The highlight of our day was to get him a glass of cold Pepsi when he got home. And served it to him as he sat in his recliner. Often fighting over who would get to serve him.
Loved popcorn...and popcorn seeds
Gardened a lot with his dad(Grandaddy Melton) Not sure how much of this he enjoyed. But he was a devoted son. They did make a beautiful garden!
Let us work in the garden with him....well maybe a strong request. We hated picking green beans that were climbing on the corn stalks!
He loved boiled peanuts!
I remember hunting snapping turtles with him and grandaddy for turtle stew...it really wasn't that bad!
Those dirty work boots at the door...we all liked to step inside them. Especially Kathy!
Levis jeans were his pants of choice
Always had a hat on....to hide the hair he lost.
He used hair spray for ...yes he had a comb over! That explains the hat!
Kelly always liked to do anything he did. You could always find her by his side. I think she would have gone hunting with him had he let her.
He loved baseball and was still playing on a company team up until the day he died.
The day of his funeral I remember looking back as we drove down 78. All I could see were cars for miles and miles with their headlights on. Thinking... all these people loved my daddy!

I wish I could say so much more about him and the things he did that had eternal value. I wish I could say what a Godly man he was and what a strong leader he had been in our home. But I can't. The man I knew at 13, I loved. I thought he hung the moon. He worked hard to provide for our family so our mom could stay at home. For that I am very thankful! But I'm sad to know all that he has missed because of the choices he made. And didn't make.
Drinking,driving and no seat belt played a role in his death that last day. A choice that changed the lives of 4 women who loved him dearly.
My dad made many poor choices in his life. Many that cost him his family and ultimately his life. Had he known June 20th would be his last day...would he have chosen differently? Only God knows.
I do have a memory of him at the altar with my mom. Did he truly surrender his life? That's between him and the Lord. I guess his life was so much more than my earthly heart can comprehend. Because of his choices....I weigh mine much more carefully. My poor kids know my feelings and fears. They can thank their grandad for the warnings of what making poor choices can lead too. I guess in some way he has left an influence on the legacy I will leave. Also, my husband can thank him for my constant encouragement to be a better father and leader in our home. My family may see this as nagging but I see this as a road I never want to repeat. I don't have many memories of the man I knew as daddy. I wish I did. But I have come to realize that the weakness that I knew in him has become a strength that I otherwise may have never obtained. Learning to count the cost in every thought and deed. I guess in some strange way what he has left does have some eternal value.

I guess Fathers Day is a bitter sweet time in my life. But it is also a reminder of the mercy and grace my real Father has shown our family for the last 33 years. He has truly been that father that my heart longs to know.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Surprise! Unexpected Harvest!

Let us not

Grow weary

while doing good

For in due season

We shall reap if we do not lose heart....

About 12 years ago, I sent off to the Arbor Day foundation for a  pack of seedlings to plant in our somewhat treeless yard. Every year since we have watched as those seedlings have slowly transformed into real trees. Several summers questioning if they would even survive this dry Georgia heat.
Our land consist of about 1 1/2 acres of grass. Cutting the yard takes a while. It's funny how you can be surrounded my something so beautiful but never really take the time to notice the details. Until today! You would think after our weekly trips around the yard we would have noticed. On occasion I even walk the tree line just to look at the health of the trees. It took my husband nearly being knocked in the head with the branch of what we thought was just a flowering tree to see this amazing treasure. It turned out the branch was loaded with apples! They weren't there last week. I thought this was a Washington Hawthorn, just a flowering tree that put off beautiful purple buds in the spring. This tree has taken 12 years to get to the size it is today and we have never seen a hint of an apple on it. Why today?

Had I known 12 years ago this tree might produce fruit...I probably would have given up dreaming of the day we might actually harvest something sweet and beautiful! Talking about never lose heart! 12 years to reap a harvest?! How many times have you prayed for someone or for God to do something in your life and just gave up hope because it was taking a very long time? Thinking He wasn't really listening?  God's seasons are different from what our Earthly minds can comprehend. He never gives up hope!  He's working on the details and our eyes are blinded to the beauty of the transformation that is taking place.

I listened to a story of a lady who had prayed for her sister for many years. A prayer for her to surrender her life to Jesus. For years and years this lady laid her request before the Father on her sister's behalf. Never giving up hope! Many years later this sister in her 80's said yes to call. Yes, to the prayer! We shall reap if we do not lose heart....

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

I must confess I do lose heart at times. I'm not a very patient person. I really chuckle when someone says"You must be a patient woman to have so many children!" Ha! If they only knew! I too, wonder at times if God hears my cries! I am a worrier...not a good thing with so many children  under one roof.  But He's teaching me little by little to trust him. To NEVER give up hope. To NEVER grow weary. For in HIS season I will reap the very best harvest!  Even the unexpected ones!

So thankful for the reminders God gives to never lose hope! Maybe you too have prayed for someone for years....NEVER give up hope! Maybe you have prayed for a job....NEVER give up hope! Whatever it is you are praying for....God hears and He's working to ripen your request to perfection.

 Keep planting those seeds....you never know what you might get  might happen!

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper