Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 106)

Remembering My Dad I’ve been going through hundreds of thousands of photos, letters, cards, and many things have reminded me of years gone by.  One of the best examples of reconciliation and redemption has come through my relationship with my father, James Lester Niermeyer.       
     Only God could have brought about the necessary transformation in both of us, so that we could be there for each other in the last few years of his life.  It’s been hard to me to have a box of his things from high school football and college which I don’t personally want to keep, but which I don’t want thrown away.  I’ve been in tears a number of times when I see symbols of what he worked so hard for and wonder if all of the pain and suffering he went through in life was worth it. 

A Man of Faith One blessing of having a blog is that people who knew my dad years ago have contacted me and told me what impact he had on their lives.  I know that my dad’s true worth had little to do with his successful career, large homes, luxurious vacations, expensive cars, or corporate accolades.  I have some measure of peace knowing that he is finally where he knows he is appreciated and loved for who he is, not what he does. 
     Lord, thank You for our fathers.  Please give us the courage to learn from their wisdom as well as their mistakes.  Guide us in seeking Your will above all else, so that we may one day join those in Heaven.        

What’s Left I guess it makes sense since it’s been less than six months since my grandmother passed away and still under a year since my mom sold the family home that I’m sorting through many boxes, yet again.  The things I’m hanging onto (though there are lots of them) are: photos, letters, cards, and journals.  I have boxes and boxes of pictures, journals, cards, and letters from high school, college, my time studying abroad in France, dating Kevin, as well as recent years.  I know that others in my family would have gotten rid of many such things, but I’m grateful I rescued them.  I firmly believe that God can make something beautiful from the scraps, pieces, and fragments of our lives, and I trust He will help me use what memories I have and lessons I’ve learned to bring others closer to Him. 

Girls Day Out Last Sunday was an answeredprayer for a dear friend of mine who won’t be with us much longer.  She wanted a day out with her closest girlfriends to pick out a dress, find the perfect shoes, relax, have fun, and enjoy quality time before she goes.  We had a blast, and she was given her requested a day out with the girls, something she had hoped for a while ago when she discerned her vocation and knew she’d be a different kind of bride.  It’s hard for me to think that my dear friend and sister in Christ will be leaving and not coming back.  Michele Morris, the director/actress who wrote the original play “Teresita” based on the life of St. Teresa of Avila and her own discernment process, is performing one last time in Richmond, then she’s moving on to a new life in a cloistered monasteryin Carmel, California.   
Final Performance If you are nearby and able, I hope that you will join us for the final performance of “Teresita” on Sunday June 23, 2013 at 3:00pm in the sanctuary of St. Benedict’s Church.  The one woman play written and performed by local actress and prayer warrior Michele Morris is quite an inspiration to Christians.  There is no fee or reservation necessary.  A love offering will be taken up to assist Michele with her dowry, the remaining things she needs for her entry into the Carmelite Sisters by the Sea on August 6, 2013.  I have seen the play many times, and I guarantee you will be entertained, edified, intrigued, and given hope by this performance and this woman of God.

Les Misérables I finished reading Les Misérables this week.  Yes, it’s another classic that I’ve only just read in its entirety for the first time.  I loved it!  I’ve read a lot by Victor Hugo in French (as it was one of my majors in college), but I thoroughly enjoyed the masterpiece in English or in some parts franglais, as we say.  It brought back memories of my time in Paris to read the book and watch the movie. 
     More than anything else, the chef d’oeuvre has reminded me that Our God is God of many chances.  We are given so many opportunities to redeem ourselves and others in this life.  Actually, the first two relationships I thought of after watching the movie were with my two sisters.  I’ve felt awful that I wasn’t the big sister that I thought I should have been for them, but God’s shown me, in part through the book and the movie, that there’s still time to make amends.  Just as was the case with my dad, there’s room for reconciliation, vulnerability, honesty, healing, and closeness deeper than has been there before.

The Good We Do This week a friend got in touch with me to tell me how work that God prepared her to do last fall has been coming to fruition.  I find it so easy to see the Holy Spirit at work in this woman’s life.  I am grateful that the Lord has seen fit to give her a glimpse of the impact she has on others because she is so hard-working, compassionate, and caring.  It’s encouraging to know that when we are open to God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, He works in mysterious,powerful ways often without us even realizing it. 

Check out Jen Fulwiler’s tradition of 7 Quick Takes Friday at her tremendously popular blog Conversion Diary.
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