Something So Big

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coming Home

Dad used to say, "There are worse things than dying."  He was deeply spiritual, and he taught me to rest assured in the loving hands of our God and Father in heaven.  "This too, shall pass," he would say...often.  I know I'm probably repeating myself, but I am so grateful for the faith that my Daddy lived and shared with me.  It is taking on a whole new level of meaning and comfort now.

A few hours before the funeral, Mom & Dad and us kids gathered at the farm (now Tim and Maryellen's home) so that Dad could have one last "look" at the Homestead.  The place where he was born, lived, worked and raised a family.  The land that was so precious to him.  Our home.
 Daddy was probably looking down on our circle as we held hands and said the Lord's Prayer.  I know he was there with us in a new way!
 There are so many things I want to write about, so many many things I've learned from my parents and from my God and His Word.  But daily demands of work and playing catch-up...along with the emotional and physical exhaustion of the time...I will have to find another time.  
My Mom and siblings asked me to deliver Dad's eulogy.  It was an honor and a privilege.  I had so many things I wanted to say, and I felt like Dad had so many things that he wanted to say, too;)  I prayed that I would be able to get through the message without breaking down too much to carry on...and I had a few friends praying about that, too.  God took care of everything and sent His Spirit to come in and help deliver the words.  Glory to God!!

As hard, sad and painful as it is to realize that Dad has left his home on this earth, it is so very heartwarming and joyful that he has finally made it to the Home we all should be looking forward to, thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!  Love you lots Daddy!!  

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.--2 Corinthians 4:16-17  (The scripture Dad and I shared the day before he left us for Eternal Glory!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Daddy

My Dad went home to be with our Lord Jesus this morning about 24 hours ago.  I can't sleep...I feel the need to look at pictures...and write.  But the writing is not coming easily this time.  How can you compact a man's life of nearly 82 years into a few paragraphs?  How can you do it justice?  So I just linked a few blog posts here to bring you "up to snuff" on who this man was and is and always will be, to me.

All I can say is - praise God for the life He gave us in Dad...and for the sweet, sweet promise of eternal life with Him for all who call upon His name and believe.  Dad was my first faith teacher, the one who "hooked me up" with God.  And I know he did that for countless other people through being a husband, a father, a grandpa, and in A.A.  Daddy, I love you and I miss you sooooooooo much, but I know you are breathing a lot easier, walking and laughing and reuniting with David and Grandma, Grandpa, and so many other loved ones!  I love you!!!

his 80th birthday

their 60th anniversary

last year 81st birthday

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."  John 11:25-26

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter Morn

I will forget how tired I was and hang onto the memories of an early Easter morning.
 The hidden eggs discovered......
 ...the excitement of discovery on their faces...
 ...and in their eyes...
 ....The snack attack after weeks of restraint...
 ...the teasing that only a tween or teen can find humorous...
 ...the joy and gratitude that fills my heart.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.--Colossians 3:15 ESV

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Best Friend

The Sunday School girls (and moms) were having their own fun for the last 5 Sundays in Lent!
We just finished a study of Dannah Gresh's book My Best Friend Jesus.  It may sound corny, but it really dug to the core of what friendship means, and how Jesus is the perfect model of what it means to be a friend.  Jesus picked his disciples, and we are to pick our friends in much the same way...not asking "What will I get out of this relationship?" , but rather, "Who looks like they could use a friend?" and "What can I bring to this friendship?"

I personally learned a great deal about how to imrove my own friendship style, and how to nurture the relationships that I already have.  Paige and Shae were excited to participate, and I hope that they learned to be a little less selfish, too.  Ally sat in on a few sessions (when she wasn't being my photographer).

It was a great "break" from routine to split the boys and girls apart for Lent.  Definitely something we will pursue again!
Happy Easter and thank God for His perfect example of FRIENDSHIP :)
 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.--Romans 12:10

The War is Already Won

Mark and a few other dads spent most of Lenten teaching to the Sunday School boys about the Armor of God from Paul's letter to the Ephesians.  There were video illustrations, Nerf wars, tackling exercises, and football analogies!  When I asked Mark to take on this Bible study with the boys, I promised him 2 things:
1) I would write the lessons and he could just "show up and teach" (Yeah right!)
2) He would help from one or two other dads.  (Which he did...and I thank them ALL so much for "tackling" this study with enthusiasm!)

Anyway, Chris August's song "Battle" really comes to mind when you're studying the Armor of God.  As John Eldridge writes in Wild at Heart, boys & men are created by God with a warrior mentality, to fight for what's right, for protection of their families, etc.  The lyrics of "Battle" tell the whole story of the greatest Battle ever fought...and won... by our Lord and Risen Savior Jesus Christ!!

There's a battle between good and evilAnd it's raging inside of meThere's a struggle, it's God and the devilIt's love against the enemy
Whoa, noI'm not giving up nowWhoa

Cy, Nolan, Ayden, & Shane preparing the "armor"

Life's a fight of wrong and right, that's tearing me apart
Oh, but what the cross has done
Yeah, the world will try to battle for my heart
But the war is already won

Shane, Mark, & Eric lead a tackling drill this "Sunday School" or "Sunday's COOL"?!
There's a snake that's hiding in the garden
There's a beautiful apple tree
There is trouble on the horizon
But I'm claiming victory
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.--Ephesians 6:10-11

Palm (Stick) Sunday

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”--John 12:13

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Hoppy" Easter!!

From Bill to You:
I hope everyone enjoys Easter...(especially after seeing this picture :)
I will be seeing you soon... hopping around, setting out Easter eggs.
But, always remember the true meaning of Easter, for that's why I even have a reason to come out for little boys & little girls...(grown-ups too :) 
"Hoppy" Easter!!!!

           Bill, the Siegert's rabbit...already at work!! We got this rabbit last year on Easter,

                                                                           so HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!! 

                                                      This Post Was By: Ally Siegert (Amy's daughter)

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Pioneer Spirit

Guess who we've been learning about for the past several weeks in third grade?
The girls read Little House in the Big Woods while the boys read To the Frontier, the first in a series about young Buffalo Bill. True stories by true pioneers!
I wanted the students to realize that not all pioneers were white men and women. We spent a week reading historical fiction and biographies of Black Hawk, Sitting Bull, and Black Elk. One of the boys in class said, "I feel bad for how the Indians were treated". (I was kinda going for that response...) We came to appreciate the strength, good will, courage, and giving spirit of the Native Americans who tried to keep their way of life and yet forged relationships with settlers. We also read about black settlers such as Bass Reeves (Deputy Marshall of Indian Territory for 32 years), Mary Fields (stagecoach driver and laundry shop keeper in Montana for over 20 years), Nat Love (African American cowboy-turned-Pullman Porter), and Chinese-American workers who helped build the transcontinental railroad. Hopefully the kids learned that to be a pioneer, you need a spirit of perseverance, flexibility, and courage. It doesn't matter what color your skin is!

Shae worked hard to learn her lines as Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak. We know "him" as Black Hawk! I like what she wrote: "Black Hawk was more than a football team (because we play the Black Hawk Warriors); he was the leader of the Sauk tribes who fought to keep their farmlands (in Illinois and Wisconsin)". Shae took her role very seriously and worked hard to memorize her lines!

Paige was eager to play Sitting Bull, someone who most of the kids quickly related to, through a wonderful re-telling of his childhood. I have to admit, I didn't know much about Sitting Bull except that he was one of the Native Americans responsible for "Custer's last stand" at Little Big Horn. By the time I read his story with the children, I was cheering right along with the Lakota Sioux for their courageous victory over the US soldiers! It was neat to make the connections with Bill Cody (now all grown-up and known as "Buffalo Bill"), who invited Sitting Bull to join him in his Wild West Show which toured all over America and Europe. Paige was very respectful in her interpretation of this honest, open-minded man who befriended many and spoke on behalf of women and Native Americans everywhere.
After 15-some years of directing middle school and high school students, my expectations were probably a bit high for these third graders. I was disappointed when they didn't always speak loudly and broke character, but for the most part, they did a great job. Go All-Stars!!
We worked hard on the Pioneer Unit....including our grandparent essays (of our own family's pioneers), reading, writing, social studies and science studies of landforms. ("This land is my land....this land is your land...from the Mojave Islands....go high and're on a plateau...this land was made for you and me!")

God is spirit, and the people who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. --John 4:24