Friday, July 10, 2015

Is is well...

As I woke this morning, and began to thank God for giving me the gift of another day, this song came into my heart:

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

This song was written by Horatio Spafford, who had just lost his four daughters in a ship wreck. What faith in the midst of crushing tragedy! Later this morning we will honor the lives of Wayne and Celeste Shelton. Their family and friends are living through a similar tragedy as the author of the song. Pray for their comfort and their faith to be strengthened through this trial. 

Memorial gifts can be given HERE:


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The 4th will never be the same...

The 4th of July has always been a BIG deal for our family. We typically blow up way too many fireworks and eat too many burgers and dogs. Not only are we the patriotic type, but my brother-in-love was born that day. In 1992, our son was born that day, too! As this firecracker baby of ours was growing up, I would fib to him and say all the fireworks were just for him!!

The night that our Richard Wayne was born, James slipped out to celebrate and shoot fireworks with his best friend and our best man, Wayne. Yes, we did name our son in honor of my husband's childhood BFF. Wayne was as close as, possibly even closer than a brother to him since they were very small boys. They were equally at home in the other's house. Brother from another mother, that is how they might have described each other. 

Over the years we moved all over the country and back, Wayne served our country overseas and at home in the National Guard, babies were born, and the messy stuff of life happened to us all. Through all the challenges and all the changes, James and Wayne remained close. It is a testimony to their character and loyalty that they stayed so close for 40-ish years. A friendship like theirs is a rare and precious gift.

This year, the 4th of July was changed forever. I was still groggy when I got the call that morning. I couldn't quite follow what I was hearing on the line. Something happened...Wayne and his wife, Celeste...accident..."slow down," I begged. "Was Wayne hurt?"

He was dead. Celeste also. Oh Lord, no...
Wayne and Celeste Shelton

They had just celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary the week before. This couldn't be happening. I could not bear to break the news to Richard...much less on his birthday. 

Left to right: Wayne, Richard and James

Wayne and Celeste had collided with a disabled vehicle that was blocking the highway. They got out of their vehicle to inspect the damage when a tractor trailor rig came along and plowed into the vehicles and into our friends. They both died at the scene.

It's tragedy enough when one parent dies, but both at the same time? Wayne and Celeste left behind four partially dependent young adults to take care of all of the arrangements. Can you imagine the kind of heartbreaking and grown up decisions they are being forced to make without their parents there to guide them?

While their parents affairs are being settled, these four kids are responsible for paying all the bills, the rent, upfront expenses of the funeral arrangements as well as finding new places to live...all while grieving for their parents. It's hard to wrap my mind around this tragedy. It's unthinkable.

There is a memorial fund set up in honor of Wayne and Celeste. Funds raised will be used to cover the expenses related to the funeral costs and settling of affairs. Any remaining funds will be split four ways between the kids, Heather, David, Chelsey and Madison.

Can you spare a gift to bless these kids? To honor their parents? Even $5 would help. I'd love to see their expenses covered and have enough left over to get a good start on their new normal, forever changed lives. There is a memorial fund set up HERE or you can click on the link below. I would be so grateful if you would pray for this heartbroken family, and help to ease the burden they must bear. Thank you.