Tag Archive | going home

What Eye Cannot See

 Though I see so faintly

The outline of my home’s shore,

I know it’s there as always,

My Father standing at the door.

Though the light is far away

Appearing wane and weak,

I know the hearth fires burn,

Love the language that it speaks.

Though my eyes fail me now,

In my mind I see the window,

I know my Father is peering out,

Looking for me high and low.

Though the fog hasn’t lifted

And it blankets the way home,

They will wait a bit longer now,

This life has me on loan.

Though I see so faintly

The front door flings open wide,

Closer today than ever,

To the day He calls me inside.

Though my eyes can’t see

As clearly as I want to,

I’m on this journey for this time,

The most fulfilling thing I’ll ever do.

                dfav 11/20/16

—Donna

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Love is Here

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The aroma of chocolate in German chocolate cake,
Two nine-inch rounds of warm, moist, perfectly baked chocolate,
Baked from scratch without a written recipe,
My all-time favorite melt-in-mouth cake,
Bake it for my birthday, Christmas, anytime cake,
Caramel, coconut, pecan luscious frosting,
I’m eight, spend all my money to win Mama’s cake at the fair,
Here love is found, here love is found.

The smell of freshly baking biscuits,
A cookie sheet full, perfectly round circles,
Cut with a recycled Vienna sausage can,
Except for one triple-sized “Daddy” biscuit,
And one half-size “Baby Sister” biscuit,
Bacon frying, grits simmering, eggs being scrambled,
I’m twelve, p. j. clad, wiping sleep from my eyes,
Here love is found, here love is found.

The scent of deep-fried special occasion only chicken,
Between oil and chicken affording it is hard,
Took an hour to get the oil hot enough,
Calling dibs on the legs and wings,
Daddy wants the other parts, no wings,
Potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans,
I’m sixteen and Mama’s food is about all we share,
Here love is found, here love is found.

Aroma of Mama’s preparing her chicken and dressing,
Chicken stewing on the stove with herbs,
Cornbread browning in the oven just right,
Onions, breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning,
All the ingredients, her secrets and other perfect “seasoning”,
Everyone will be feasting with this one dish,
I’m twenty-two aghast she added Cayenne pepper!
Here love is found, here love is found.

Smell of Thanksgiving dinner with “The Dressing”,
Turkey, sweet potato casserole, corn, mac-n-cheese,
Extra cornbread browning in the oven,
Deviled eggs and potato salad in the frig,
Mama’s recipes, only I’m cooking, my oven and frig,
I’m thirty-three, cooking for our first holiday and the in-law’s,
Her recipes from her head, my memories, into my computer.
Here love is found, here love is found.

Smell of other people’s food drifting,
Through the house with chatter after the funeral,
Her funeral, our Mama’s funeral, ’cause she is gone,
Conversation turns to her food, her cooking,
Cakes, mashed potatoes, biscuits, her cooking,
Everyone has a story, weddings catered, birthdays,
I’m thirty-five and it hurts to hear, to remember.
Here love is found, here love is found.

Familiar aromas have wafted through our home,
My family and friends talk about my from scratch carrot cake,
They plea with me for Grams/my dressing,
Mama loved mine better than her own dressing,
I’m fifty-one and Hospice comes almost daily,
My death will be no surprise and I pass recipes to our daughter,
Here love is found, here love is found.

I awaken to the smell of Mama’s biscuits baking,
Bacon frying, coffee brewing, and I’m confused,
I’m alone no one is here and no biscuits baking,
All day I smell them and I think I’m losing my mind.
Or is this medication playing tricks with my mind?
Then my Hospice nurse arrives and I ask,
“Do you smell biscuits baking? ” And I explain.
Here love is found. Here love is found.

When I’ve met Jesus, and the initial welcome home is done,
I’ll walk arm-in-arm with Mama to home within home,
Where’s there’s a pan of love in the oven.
Biscuits and dressing in the oven.
God’s love has sight, aroma, sound, feel,
I’m seeing Him, smelling, feeling safe in his Him.
Here love is found. Here love is found.
dfav 9/20/15
-Donna

Going Home! Crossing Jordan!

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Have you thought about crossing Jordan?
That perfectly crystal river that flows?
It splashes and gurgles, flowing, having the time of its life?
O it’s Jordan at last my spirit surely knows,
Hooray! At last! At last!

Have you thought about your first sight of Heaven?
Gates of huge pearls beaming smiles everywhere,
Angels singing praises and we join in songs familiar and old!
Not a single tear again will be shed here.
Heaven! At last! At last!

Does judgment cross your mind at all?
When we’ll be held accountable one and all?
Do you turn your head away?
Or wait your turn feeling guilty and raw?
One day soon! One day soon! Oh soon!

I’m set to go over Jordan
No bags to pack, instructions given, name in the book.
Won’t you come with me over Jordan?
I can’t wait to go, can’t wait to look.
Home at last! Home at last! Come praise the Lord!

Come down to the river my friends,
Come down to the shore, souls are coming home.
Boats are gliding up to the pier,
Just give’em your hand, no one is alone.
Step up! Here they go! Watch them go!!!

Heaven’s sounding more inviting all the time,
Jordan’s water never run so swiftly in all its days.
What a Homecoming this will be!
Listen to me one more time, hear me say,
Crossing Jordan! Going home! Going home!
                         —d.f.a.v . 4/27/15
—Donna

Grandma’s Journey

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In memory of Grandma Joyce Manuel.

Death made its appearance
Another person has gone on
Their journey is complete now
They hear the angels song.

Their passing was peaceful
Life’s pressures felt no more.
God has welcomed them to Heaven
There to live forever more.

Aches and pains have drained away
Eyes feast upon the sights
Angels and family rejoice with them
In the warmth of Jesus, the Light.

Here on earth we will mourn our loss
Recall the love and good olé days
While up in Heaven joy flows on
A party done in Heaven’s ways.

Her life was put a vapor
Though she lived ninety years
With all lifes joys and sorrows
She laughed and she shed tears.

But in Heaven now it is not silent
Joyce Manuel kneels before God’s throne
As all of us must someday account
For how we made the trip home.

On earth we’ll miss your presence
There was truly only one of you
And Heaven gained a new citizen
For on earth you just passed through.
         d.f.a.v. 9/30/14

♤♤Donna

The Station, Part 2

“So you’re beginning to understand this station Miss Ace! Care to explain?” Albert asked.

“You already know Mr. Albert but this is like a central station, people come here with and without tickets already. So some are just making their decisions and some are here, like me, to redeem their tickets.” Ace replied, looking at Mr. Albert seriously.

“Very good Ace. Very good indeed. Does this mean you have no more questions for me?”

Ace smiled, “Now you’re being awfully silly! You know I ALWAYS have questions. Like, what about those people who keep darting in and out? What are they doing?”

“Those are the ones who know they need to get a ticket but keep waiting until the last possible minute. Some are sure they can never live up to the standards they imagine are necessary to make this trip. Some want to be sure they wring every possible moment of worldly fun out of life before making the decision. All of them just keep putting it off for one reason or another.” Albert tried to hide a sigh from his young charge.

“The ones who keep glancing in but never really turning their heads as they walk by, who are they?” Was Ace’s next inquiry.

“Those are the ones who can’t help but be curious but whose minds just won’t allow them to accept things as they are, they want things complex and puzzling so they can boast they have figured out the secret to life. They keep glancing in because a part of them knows the truth but the larger part just can’t accept it yet.” Albert answered. “We’re happy when most of them eventually make the decision to come on in.”

“Those men and women on the steps who keep calling out to the people, why are part of them saying, “Come on! Hurry up time is short!” and the others saying, “Don’t worry, it’s still a long way from pulling in!” Ace asked next.

“Those would be the truth tellers and the deceivers. Can you tell me which group is which?” It was Albert asking the questions now.

“Oh yes! The truth tellers are the ones telling people to hurry for there’s not a lot of time left to decide. The deceivers keep assuring everyone they have plenty of time so people feel safe in putting off their decisions.” Ace replied seriously.

“You are very smart for an 8-year-old Ace.”

“Thank you.” Ace paused, looking around and then staring at another group of people before asking her new friend another question, “Mr. Albert what is wrong with that group of people? The ones standing there holding their boarding passes but instead of moving into a line they keep looking and shaking their heads?”

“Those my dear one, are people who made the decision to take this trip, got their tickets and now can’t believe it’s good.”

Ace giggled, “Why that’s silly! Didn’t they want the ticket to begin with?”

“We will help everyone, we’ll have it sorted out shortly.” Albert pointed out a line of people in uniform like him and smiled as he said to Ace, “Speaking of help, it looks like some of my team members have their hands full with a load of babies this morning.” Albert pointed to a group of men and women of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors who were strolling right into the station and onto the train platform, each with one if not two babies safe in their arms. “Those are the youngest and the most innocent they never have to decide they are too young.”

“Mr. Albert, where did they get all those babies?”

For a brief moment Mr. Albert’s smile faded as he replied, “Ace you know that sometimes, no matter how much a child is wanted and loved it is called home. Some of those babies are babies just like that.”

“The others?” Ace looked up a quiet knowing in her eyes.

“Those are the ones who weren’t wanted.”

“No Mr. Albert, they were wanted, just not by the mommies who had them in their tummies. Plus, God wants them. God wants us all!”

Ace looked around her, absorbing the scene. She’d never seen such a diverse group of people before. Old people, babies, young children and every age in between. There were skin tones she’d never seen in real life and a mix of males and females. Some people looked poor and others looked rich. Some looked relieved and some looked frightened.

“Come along now Ace, your train is approaching, you’re too go with the group with all the babies. Maybe you can hold one!” Albert remarked, pulling Ace to her feet and moving with her pass the platform gate to the group of men and women holding the many babies.

“Oh!” Ace stopped and stared as a group of people looking very sad on the other side of the platform caught her eye. “Oh Albert are those…” her question trailing off.

“Yes Ace. They are.”

Ace knew those were the ones who made the wrong decision and now their journey would take them to a most different destination. But she knew it was not her place to judge the final destination of anyone even though it certainly looked like it was a group who were now headed far from the presence of the Almighty.

“Albert, will I see you again?” Ace asked suddenly as the train pulled into the station and was slowing down to stop so the passengers could board.

“Most definitely! Now, you go on, lots of people are waiting for you as well as Our Father!” Albert joyfully replied. Putting her hand in the hand of the conductor who would help her aboard the Express.

The train pulled away and Albert waved and smiled as he watched through the windows of the car where Ace had settled. Indeed she had offered to help with one of the babies. Albert knew they would be to the next gate in no time at all.

“In no time at all Daddy?” Ace asked her daddy. She lay in a hospital bed with IV’s, monitors and oxygen attached to her, machines trying to make her comfortable, like the medicine they’d given her that made the pain seem far away.

Through his tears Ace’s dad spoke, his voice choked with tears. “In no time at all Baby.”

Ace’s mommy stood behind her husband and tears streamed down her cheeks unrestrained. “I’m glad you told us…about…where you’re going Candace…”

“You can come too Mommy.”

“I know and I will. Are you hurting sweetheart?”

But Ace didn’t answer, it seemed her parents were fading away and with them a light was filling the room. There were shadows in the light before they came into focus and Ace could see she was looking in the door of the station.

She was going home in no time at all.

The End

Losing a child at any age is heart wrenching to parents. Ace is a fictional character, as are all the people in this story. But the reality of not putting off the decision about your eternal home is very real.

-Faye

 

Wheeltracks in the Sand

During worship yesterday the poem by Mary Stevenson Zangara “Footprints in the Sand” came to my mind. Since her original poem is copyrighted I will not repeat it here and besides many of you will have read it numerous times. However, I offer a poem that I hope will also be inspiring.

Though inspired, in part, by Mary Stevenson Zangara’s poem, “Footprints in the Sand” this poem below is my own work and from a different perspective.

 

I’ve no doubt I’ve come thus far

Through all life’s ups and downs

Because when I was unable to go on

Jesus helped me get around.

One set of wheeltracks,

One set of footprints.

Into His arms He’s lifted me

And carried me through the fight

Soothed my weary soul and heart

Through many day and many night.

        One set of footprints.

 

When death came knocking at the door

Jesus held me close to Him

And death has passed me for now

This time, that time and time again…

        One set of footprints.

The road ahead I cannot see

I trust in God to see me home

The wheelchair now shows its use

And Jesus footsteps show the way.

        One set of wheeltracks,

        One set of footprints.

 

Yet shining clearly in the evening sun

Is a beach at Heaven’s shore

And just at the ocean’s edge

I can see Heaven’s door.

        One set of wheeltracks,

        One set of footprints.

The wheelchair tracks are clearly seen

Deep grooves dug in the sand

Then Jesus steps and takes my hand

And at last there are two sets of footprints

Two sets of footprints in the sand.

 

As Heaven’s door swings open wide

My last earthly breath a brief goodbye

Then our feet walk through the door

Two sets of footprints left in the sand.

And on the other side, just out of sight

With tears rolling from my eyes

I’ll kneel at my Savior’s feet

Before Him prostate I will fall

 

Then when He bids me rise

A look of joy on His face

He’ll give His nod of consent

And I will dance, and run for Him.

I know in Heaven I won’t look back

To this earth again

But if I should I know I’d see

An empty wheelchair on the shore

And at the end

Two sets of footprints in the sand.

 

Till we’re all home together,

-Faye

Who Am I? (A Guest Post Story by My Daughter & “Charlie”)

This story was written by my daughter & her very lively puppy “Charlie”.  On her own initiative she decided to make her writing project for her 6th grade Language Arts a story about adoption.

She graciously agreed to allow me to post it on fvbf (Faith View by Faye) to help bring awareness to the need for adoptive parents.

The story of our adoption of her will be part of the overall focus of National Adoption Awareness Month during November 2012.

CHAPTER ONE

Once there was a baby named Bella.  She was a newborn and she was as small as a Cabbage Patch doll.  She had a bald head.  Little did she know she was going to need to be adopted.

Four years later and Bella had grown to be a beautiful little girl.  Bella’s eyes were brown, her cheeks had a few freckles, her black hair was so long that even when it was braided it reached a long way down her back.  When it wasn’t braided her hair was straight as a board, very shiny and smooth as puppy ears.  She was one hundred percent Caucasian.

Her birth mom’s name was Amy Duncan.  Bella’s granny’s name was Mabel.  Bella remembered that they fought a lot…a real lot.  Amy couldn’t take care of Bella by herself and that was the problem.  Bella was taken to an orphanage, although she had no idea of what was going on when her birth mom left her.  Bella started to cry.

CHAPTER TWO

It had been a year since Bella’s birth mom left her.  It was a normal day, or so she thought.  The dorm mother came behind Bella and said, “Hello dear.”

“Hi!” said Bella.

“Are you okay?” the dorm mother asked?

“Why does nobody want me?” Bella asked as she looked out of the window.

“People do want you.  You just have to stop hiding.”  The dorm mother said. (Her name was Mary.)

Just then the telephone began to ring and Mary went to answer it.  When she came back she was smiling.  “Bella someone wants to adopt you!” Mary said.

Bella didn’t say anything.

“Bella you must lighten up!” Mary said.

“I don’t want to go home with strangers!” Bella cried.

“We wouldn’t send you home with strangers Bella!  Remember that nice couple you spent a few weekends with back during the summer?  The same ones who took you to the beach for a few days?  The Chase’s?”  Mary explained.

“I remember but that was months ago now!”  Bella said.  She couldn’t remember exactly how long but it seemed like a long time.

“It wasn’t that long and they’ve had their attorney working on adopting you this whole time!  We didn’t want to tell you in case something went wrong.  But nothing has Bella.  The Chase’s can be your forever family.”  Mary assured the child.  “Oh Bella, these people will take care of you something your biological mom couldn’t do.”

“I know.” said Bella.  But she was still scared.

An hour later she was going home with her new parents.  “We have a surprise for you when we get to your new home.” Jason Chase said.

“Really?!” squealed Bella.  “What is it?  What is it?”  Bella was overjoyed.  She knew she was going to like her new parents right away, she remembered how special they made her feel when they had been together.  They didn’t feel like strangers at all.

CHAPTER THREE

They were going all the way to the State of Kentucky.  That meant they spent the night at a hotel and the hotel had an indoor swimming pool.  The three of them had a great time swimming and splashing around and her new mom promised to teach Bella how to swim.

The next day when they drove across the Kentucky state line her new dad teased Bella.  “You live in Kentucky now, the home of KFC!”

“Awesome!” said Bella, but then she asked, “What’s a KFC?”

“Well little one, KFC is best experienced.  What about we stop there for lunch?” her mom asked.

Bella just smiled.  She kept smiling for later that day when they got home they showed her to her room.  In her room she saw her favorite color everywhere!

In her room you would see a hot pink wall, a hot pink canopy bed, hot pink quilts, hot pink sheets, a hot pink pillow, a pair of hot pink slippers, a hot pink dresser, hot pink shelves with all the toys she ever imagined and on her bed was a white box with a red bow on top.  Then all of a sudden the box…MOVED!

When she picked it up she noticed it had pencil sized holes on the lid.  Could they be air holes?  Bella was confused.  She carefully untied the ribbon, lifted the lid and…

??????

(To be continued…)

The Girl, the Woman, the 30 Year Reunion-Going Home

Last night I got all dressed up for my 30th high school reunion.  I was nervous.  I’d skipped all the other reunions and now I was facing people I hadn’t seen, at least most of them, for 30 years and back then we were all young, healthy and had all our body parts.  Now I would face them minus an entire leg and from a wheelchair.

I hadn’t been able to face my Sunday School class at a swim party the weekend before and I see them usually once a week.  They had been with me every step of the way through the “before amputation” stages, the actual “amputation” stages and the “after amputation” stages as well.  What made me think I could face a room full of people who may as well now be strangers?  I just felt like I had to.

 

Like I have that “need” to do a tandem sky jump…

 

 

…to write…

 

 

…to push the envelope when it comes to my independence…

 

 

…to drive my husband crazy with my crazy ideas…

 

 

I’ve long loved this verse of scripture found in I Corinthians 15:10a; “But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect.”  I am what I am.  God’s grace makes me what I am and it has its effect in and on me.  Despite feeling awkward as I wheeled around the room last night, I kept repeating that portion of scripture to myself.

Later in the evening as I sat at the table with my high school best friend and my husband and was re-acquainted with old classmates I realized something else.  The girl I was in 1982, who wept at the thought of never seeing some of the very people I didn’t recognize last night had been desperate to feel part of these still slim and beautiful, successful people.

Sometimes in that quest I paid a high price.  Not just with stupid diet decisions but in bad decisions that shredded my self-esteem.  I gave away parts of myself to men who were not worthy of them and who in the end didn’t appreciate the gift at all.

In those high school years I was the girl sitting at home on prom nights because I wasn’t one of the cute girls or at least a thin one.  I imagined magical nights of dancing with a number of handsome boys I knew and danced with none of them, ever.

Last night the only wish I had been that “Mr. Cool & Cute” who was spinning the tunes would play one slow song so I could “dance” with my husband one time.  That one song, that lasted I’m sure no more than four minutes, meant a world of joy to me, so much I wept through most of it.

Those slim and beautiful girls from high school were, for the most part, still slim and beautiful.  Those cute guys were still visible beneath the 30 years of aging we’d done.  Oh, time had marched its way across all of us.  But for a bunch of folks in our later 40’s we all looked good.  Yes, we ALL looked good, even me.

Most of all, when I left last night, I felt like I loved the woman I am now, far more than I liked the girl I was then.  I also had more compassion for the girl I was then than I did then for I know her complete history and can freely acknowledge every bit of it.

Now the second part of I Corinthians 15:10 came to me, “No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was within me.” (N.I.V.)  My life hasn’t been any more traumatic or hurtful than anyone else’s, I dare not claim that, but I can also say I was one of those who had to allow God’s grace to work in me harder because I fell for the world’s version of what beautiful and successful was really hard.

Furthermore, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”  (I Timothy 1:15 N.I.V.)  One who enjoyed that one slow dance better than any other dance in my lifetime so far.

Furthermore, I have a sure assurance now that when this life, with all its issues, woes and sorrows is at last over, I am going home.  “Going home, I’ll meet you at the table.  Going home, I’ll meet you in the air…and you are never too young to think about it…I’ll be going home, I’ll be going home…” (CD “Conversations” song, “Going Home” as sung by Sara Groves.)