Thursday, April 21, 2011

He's with Jesus...

This isn't a normal post- it's mainly for me to reflect and remember--

About 2 weeks ago we had an elderly friend of ours admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain-- long story short, several CT scans were done, emergency surgery, etc- and he was on the mend (considering all his body went through).  Last night he died.

Yes, what a shock to me too.  Sometime we take life, and God's miracles/healing for granted.  It never even crossed my mind that he would not be coming home.  I was looking forward to taking them (him & his sweet wife) dinner and letting Brynnen play and laugh with them.  You see, this couple loved Brynnen before she was born.  When we joined Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church, I was pregnant, so of course we had to check out the nursery.  We went by one night with some friends who were picking up their son, that's when we first met the legend that is "Mrs. Frances".  She was so sweet, had us register "baby" (at the time we didn't have a name picked out), every time she saw me she asked me how I was doing.  When Brynnen was born, the first card she ever received was from The Ellison's (Mrs. Frances & her husband).
  As you probably know, Brynnen loves knowing what's going on, doesn't want to miss a thing, and has to be in all the action.  She wouldn't sleep in the nursery, are you kidding, there are too many people to see!!  Mrs. Frances sensed my distraught, and that week when I came to pick up Brynnen, she was sleeping. GASP- really?? Wow.  She has what she calls "the sleeper hold"- and can put any, ANY baby to sleep.  Amazing.

 As we would leave the nursery we would always see this nice man sitting at the end of the hallway.  He was so sweet.  I don't even know how, but I then learned that was Mr Frances (Mrs. Frances' husband) totally made sense, he would sit at the end of the hall, and wait for her to do her nursery "duty", no matter how long it took.  We would say hi, and he would always want to see Brynnen, and as she got older he would talk to her, wave at her, make her laugh.   Our friendship grew.  Mainly between Mrs. Frances and I (so the husband's were in by default), she would call when she knew Brynnen was sick- I would call for this or that, they were great family friends.  Mr. Keith was pretty quiet, but I can't help but smile when I think about his interactions with Brynnen.  He loved that little girl (as I'm sure he does a lot of kids at the church).  Stephen told me last night that Mr. Keith was the first person he saw/met at CHBC- asked him to come to the front to pray before the service.  What a bold thing to do, he didn't know Stephen from the next guy, but he did know Jesus.  He did know prayer. 

I'm so thankful Mr. Keith was the kind of man that his life showed where he would go when he passed.  I didn't have to ask if he was a christian, he lived it (so does Mrs Frances).  So why am I sad he is gone?  I know he is with Jesus, a place I long to be-- but never again will I see his sweet face as we leave the nursery- never again will Brynnen be able to lift her shirt and show him her belly, or blow kisses to him.  Then I think about strong Mrs. Frances, how she will never get to kiss him good morning, or sleep beside him at night.  My heart aches for her.  Makes me really cherish the time I have with my own husband and daughter (among others).  If nothing else, death teaches us something- it is inevitable, we don't know when we will take our last breath.  So, maybe we should start focusing on what really matters.  Living a life that pleases God, imitate Jesus with righteousness and obedience.

We love you Keith Ellison, and we'll see you one day soon!!

ps a little disappointed I lost Brynnen's birthday pics in our computer crash, so I don't have a picture to put up of her with them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do you have something PERSONAL??

This is one of my favorite mugs, a gift from my brother & sister-in-law before our wedding (Stephen has one that says "Mr. Right" with his name- very cute).  Anyway, you can easily see why it would be a favorite- I mean, it tells me I'm Always right, holds my energy for life (coffee), and reminds me of the day I became a Sene.  Well, that's not all of why I love this broken-handled-making-it-extremely-hot-to-hold mug-- it's mainly because it says my name.  Kari.  4 letters that probably mean nothing to most other people, but to me,  it represents me.  It holds a lot really, my ups & downs- greatest achievements and deepest failures- it makes some people smile, others just out right laugh :) it means friend, secret keeper, bargain hunter extraordinaire, super fun playmate, and the best hug-giver ever!  Wow, all that from 4 letters?  Oh no, there's more---I'm just humble ;) (wink) Not very many people would be willing to buy this mug even at a yard sale because it has MY name on it.  Branding it.  Making it appealing only to those who know a "Kari" or may be so lucky to be named "Kari" ;)

We all love personalized objects don't we?  Before Stephen and I were married, I went to Las Vegas for my brothers wedding, guess what I brought back-- that's right, a tin of mints with "Stephen" on the front- (and another that said "Gangsta"- but that's another story...)  Personalization makes an ordinary object very special- it is created, printed, and purchased specifically with me (or you or whom ever) in mind.  There is one thing so personalized that will give your life meaning, fulfillment, purpose, happiness, it will be with you through the ups, downs, everything and most importantly- it will save your life.

Jesus Christ purchased YOU for a very high price, HIS LIFE.  You can be free in Him- to have LIFE EVERLASTING!  He comes right to you, on your level, has YOUR name on the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16).   No other relationship can offer you that (yes relationship- Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship).   He will never let you down, He will never leave you, He will be right on time, every time.  It is your choice.  He wants to have a personal relationship with _________ (insert your name).  See, if this were his blog, your name would have been filled in- I can't do that, I can't make this blog personal, I'm human (one of my many flaws).
I can guarantee, if you ask Him to have a personalized relationship with you- He will, and you will be'll rock your socks off!  =)

ps- coffee is not necessarily my "energy for life"- I do like it...a lot, but I'd be in big trouble if that truly were my "energy for life" - thanks for understanding my fun side ;-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

how we do...

how i do things...

 how Brynnen does things...

If you know me well, you know I don't really like things messy, or cluttery-- And you know (from previous posts), I'm slowly being forced learning to let little stuff go and focus on what's important, sharing life (messy or not) with some pretty awesome people.=)  So, don't be surprised next time you come to our house if Brynnen has "done things" for me- and I leave it just how she has it is!!  ;-)