Tag Archive | heaven

In Memory of Joey, Happy Birthday in Heaven

001 (1280x931)My first born son, Joey,  10/9/64-11/26/2002

Today, October 9, 2014 would have been the 50th birthday of my first born child, my son Joey.  I’m remembering him this day and how I wish we, his family,  could be celebrating this day with him. Sadly, we cannot, since he went home to be with the Lord 12 years ago when he could no longer handle the struggles of life.

Today is a bittersweet day for me, along with his brother and sister and nieces and everyone else who knew and loved Joey.  You are asking why I use the word ‘bittersweet’ I’m sure and there is a very good reason for that.   It is bitter (sad) of course because he is no longer with us and he is missed very much by all of us. However it is sweet because we know that at some point in his life, before he left us, Joey accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior and asked him to come into his heart.   For those of us who are believers, we know that someday when the Lord calls us home with him, that we will once again be reunited with Joey.

Praising God that Joey is with Him in heaven, waiting for the day when the rest of us join him, all because God sacrificed His son on the cross to pay the price for all of our sins because He loved us so much.  We just need to invite Him into our hearts and our lives,   John 3:16 says it so clearly:  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are many other verses in the Bible that also speak of salvation.  I won’t list all of them, of course, but a few that touch my heart are these:

John 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Ephesians 2:8,9 –  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John 20: 31 – But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

I am so thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf, all so we could be with him in heaven one day just by accepting the free gift that God gives to all who believe and accept that gift.  I am so thankful to know that when I pass on some day that I will be with the Lord in heaven also.  I don’t have to wonder if I will be or hope that I will be.  With acceptance of the Lord as Savior, it is guaranteed!  How wonderful is that!

So, my dear son Joey, Happy Birthday in heaven on the 50th anniversary of your birth.  I love you and I miss you so much, but I know I will see you again one day.

Simplicity is a great word

Frozen thorn

Frozen thorn

Red at Christmas

Colour at Christmas

Both photos used with permission of photographer MeticulousMick   http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/iced-thorn/#comment-4712   and  http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/colour-at-christmas/

Simplicity is a great word to describe the above photos.  I used to like much busier photographs and art work when I was younger but of late simplicity has been the key for me–simple and peaceful,  just the way I would like my life to be.   When I said that in my comments on one of the photos, the thought occurred to me that it sounded like the beginning of a blog post!  Ideas come from everywhere!

I love the peacefulness of simple art like much of the art of the Impressionists–Monet is a particular favorite of mine.  Depending on my mood, I will usually listen to more peaceful music of all kinds.  I found long ago that the more popular “rock” music of the last few years is mind jittering!  Now when I am in the mood for lively music,  give me that old rock music I grew up with in the 50’s and early 60’s and I’m happy as a clam at high tide!     Sometimes I just enjoy the peacefulness of no music or tv running when I am at home.  that’s not to say I don’t like to be around people.  I certainly do!   I love being in my church, visiting with friends in small groups.  I enjoy going out to eat even if it is by myself, wandering around a book store or a quilt shop (my budget shivers with fright when you let me loose in a place like that!)   A few days ago, one of my granddaughters asked me to go shopping with her while she chose fabrics for a quilt.  That was such fun!  She didn’t “need” me to be there with her–she has a great eye for color – but to be asked to go along and help just made my day!  A simple time of fun with a precious young lady and her Mom.

At one time in my life I thought that to be happy and to live well, I had to amass a lot of “things” as a way of showing others how successful I was in life.  If I didn’t have money in my pocket (which was often) I looked upon me as a failure.  I have to admit I still do like to have nice things and there isn’t anything wrong with that as long as those “things” don’t become the priority in my life–taking it over and keeping me from enjoying real living.

I found a quote which says it well.   “It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all.”   Laura Ingalls Wilder    When I saw the above photos, sweet and simple were the words that came to mind.  Don’t they just look like they are coated in sugar?  Sweetness and simple beauty in the midst of a stark winter background to remind us of the beauty of simplicity in our lives.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Philippians.  Philippians 4:13 is a verse I cling to and has helped me through many things in my life, but leading up to that, Philippians 4:12 speaks to me also.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
(Philippians 4:12) NIV

The first part of the verse is true in my life as in many lives.  I strive for the last part of the verse-learning the secret of being content no matter the situation in my life at any given time.  Contentment –sometimes I feel it; often I do not a clue what real contentment is.  Definitely something to ponder and to work on improving in my life.  Proverbs 15:16
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.  
  How very true!  After all, we can’t take it with us when we leave this earth so isn’t it better to spend our time learning to be happy and content with less and store up our treasures in heaven instead of on earth?     Lots to ponder on!

I feel like I kind of wandered around with Random Thoughts in this post and I hope it doesn’t bore anyone who reads it.  Perhaps I should change the name of my blog to Elaine’s RAMBLING Random Thoughts!   hahaha

Have a blessed day everyone!  Praying for a simple, happy day for all and for those of  you who are in the snowy areas of  the country, be safe if you are out on the roads.

Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven (a Children’s Carol)

I heard this for the very first time this morning on a blog post from the site Adopting James, http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-best-christmas-songs-youve-never-heard-part-iii/. He has posted multiple songs in this piece and though I have not yet listened to all of them, this one caught my eyes and then my ears as I listened.

It brought to my mind the greatest of all the gifts we receive, not only at Christmas when we celebrate his miraculous birth, but every single day of our lives if we just ask Jesus into our hearts. He loves us, He will always be with us. He said it himself–“I will never leave you nor forsake you”. What more could we ever want in our lives than this precious love and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?

I cherish this gift more than life itself. So many changes have happened since I asked Him into my heart and even more wonderful gifts as I have grown in my walk with Him over the last year.

I can’t say it any better than my friend Skye states in her blog post today (http://ohthethingsweshallsee.com/2013/12/09/the-presence-present/). Unwrap the gift of His love given freely to you through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son ~ The ultimate gift. Inviting Jesus into your heart to reign as Lord and Savior is the best way to acknowledge and accept this precious gift from God.

My sewing room/office Christmas tree.  I love Christmas trees!

My sewing room/office Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees!

Happy Birthday In Heaven, Joey

October 9, 1964 I gave birth to my first child, a wonderfully beautiful son named Joey.  I have to smile when I type his name Joey–I was the only one who he would allow to call him that as he got older.  I smile at a lot of things about that boy.  He was a very kind, loving son, very smart, but sadly he never believed that.  Oh how I wish he had believed me and the many other people who reminded him often of his talents and his abilities.

Joey is now my angel in heaven, having died at his own hands 11 years ago.  October 9, 2013 would have been his 49th birthday.  How I wish he were here to celebrate it with his family.  I know there would have been a lot of teasing about his age and reminders that he was almost 50 and all the usual stuff families tease about.  He would have loved it!  He would have had a few things to say about that and I know he would have let his brother and sister know that they should be careful what they say because they would very quickly be 50 themselves.  🙂  I can picture it in my mind clearly!

What gets me through the birthdays and the holidays, is all the memories of times spent with him as he grew up to be a man and until his death, plus the support of the Lord Jesus and, of course, the love of friends and family.   I am very thankful that Joey did accept the Lord as his savior a few years before his death, so I have the blessing of knowing that when it comes my time to be called home by God, i will be reunited with my firstborn child.

Happy Birthday in Heaven Joey!  I love you!


With Love from Mom

Courage, Strength and Forgiveness

13357252-red-rose-on-the-open-book-in-the-dark

Some time ago I wrote a story here about my struggle with forgiveness.  I’ve also written about courage and strength as well in another story.    God has guided me through all three of these things and many more as well.

Today I want to share with you how my faith in the Lord  worked to get me through an experience I had not expected I would ever be able to do.

Recently my ex-husband became very ill and on June 27th he passed away suddenly   Before he died, the Lord  put a burden on my heart that I must tell him that I had forgiven him and with the help of my daughter I was able to let him know.  I was unable to tell him in person myself because of the distance he was from me and talking on the phone was not an option for him.

My children asked me to speak at Joe’s funeral and I agreed to do so.  I would like to share with others some of the words I spoke at his funeral, not to bring any attention on myself, but in the hope that it will help others who are in similar situations.   A lot of the eulogy I wrote is about family stories and I will not include all that, but I want to share the opening and closing paragraphs.  Many of my friends were praying for me as I flew back to CT for his funeral and I am very appreciative of all those prayers.

Many of you probably wonder how or why I am here to share a few  stories about Joe since we have been divorced for many years and quite frankly, when  my daughter asked me to do this my first reaction was “ARE YOU SERIOUS?  I am NOT a public speaker!   That is why I wrote my words out and I am reading them to you.  When I talked about it with my son  and with a couple of close friends, I was encouraged to do it.  As my daughter said, “ Mom,  you and Dad were a big chunk of each other’s lives.  Who knows him better?”  Almost half of our lives we were dating and then married—a total of 32 years!    I prayed about it and then I remembered about two verses in scripture that mean a lot to me, enough so that I recently wrote a post on my blog about courage and strength.  The first is Phil 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me which I have adopted as my life verse.  The other  is Psalm 31:24 – “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”   With the guidance and strength from the Lord, I will do my best to speak clearly and share with you some of the fond memories I have of him.

And now the ending:

Joe played many different roles in all of our lives. We all will remember many different things about him – he was definitely a character!   Some things were hurtful, yes.  But I have found in my walk with the Lord that forgiveness is something we all need to do and God tells us in Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

This is another verse that God put on my heart to get my attention.    A long time ago, I forgave Joe in my heart for the things that went wrong in our life together, but I had never told him that.  We remained friendly towards each other for years.  God put a real burden on me that I needed to let Joe know that I had forgiven him before either of us would be at total peace.  With my daughter’s help, I was recently able to give him the message that yes I had indeed forgiven him.  I am told he had a great sense of relief when she told him what I had said.   I only wish I had told him those words sooner.

I was told that Joe went home to be with the Lord with a smile on his face because he had accepted the Lord as his savior quite a while ago.  I know that smile was because the Lord held out his arms to Joe and welcomed him home.  I also suspect that right behind the Lord waiting for him was his wife Judy and our son Joey.  He is now in his new and perfect body and living in paradise.

To my children and granddaughters: He loved you with all he had in him and he will remain alive in your hearts forever because of the memories he left with you.

Rest in Peace Joe. 

* I have removed the names of my children and grandchildren in this other than my son Joey who is no longer with us and the same with Joe’s second wife Judy who has also passed on.