Sunday, February 27, 2011

The rain is useful. The storm is beautiful.

I wonder if this is the first of many nights I will spend time talking to my son about why lightning and thunder exist? Calming, talking to him about the usefulnes of the rain and the beauty of the storm around our house. My own words enlighteded my thinking.

I have very blissful, memories of the rain. I have many not-so blissful memories of the rain- in the storm.

Like: Walking back from All College HIke, Sophomore year with Mandy Bristol. When we got home we laid down on the tennis courts and watched it rain. We danced, jumped in puddles- like little girls and soaked up every drop of the rain- almost literally.

Like: Standing at Agape next to my (someday) husband worshiping in the pouring rain, lifting my hands to my creator and feeling His Holy Spirit raining down on me, like the physical drops of rain on my face. Soaked to the bone.

Like: Sleeping in a 5 person cabin with 10 Jr. High and High school students- Paul and I the division between boys and girls. Laying there- in a warm dry bed, surrounded by love and complete JOY- while outside our tents laid in the mud- soaked, flooded and floating.

Like: Being allowed to torment my sister with my wild sleeping habits when it stormed.

Like: Sitting on a cooler in that creepy, Kansas cellar in the summer. Cob-webs, canned pickles, in the candelit night. Never knowing what might crawl up my bare legs and into my jammies. Always thankful to return to my own bed, but shaken by the fear of the storm.

Like: Driving across town to pick up Grandma Stout so she could come to our cellar, all the while the tornado sirens blaring their warning.

Like: Laying in our trailer at Sky Lodge, hoping the towels that we had duct taped to the ceiling would hold up through the night. Praying the rumbles of the booming storm wouldn't wake our sleeping son.

Like: stading in the bedroom door and telling my mom that I was scared of the storm and that it was making its way inside of our house by way of the front door. She didn't believe me until she was picking up the golf ball sized hail off of the floor in the bathroom a moment later.

Looking back I can remember the same soothings. We need the rain. God is making this storm, just for us. He keeps us safe even though we are in the storm. Talking about why lightning and thunder exist. Wondering what God looks like when He paints the storm.

Tonight- I am wondering more what He is thinking about when he paints the storm. Rain is useful. Storms are beautiful. I can look back and see the beauty within those drippy moments- the JOY that came from them. I can look back and see His protection of me in those violent Kansas storms. I even like to talk about them now.

Still the storm continues. I am trying to admire its beauty and appreciate its usefulness. This storm, though, is long. It's raining hard and I'm feeling a little like Payton, unsure, scared, not convinced. Even still, I'm listening intently for the whispers to my heart that the rain is useful and the storm is beautiful. I do believe it, I know I'll admire this rain someday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thanks Mom for....

These thoughts will never be finished for me. Her influence continues with me daily and I am deeply thankful for the time she took to be MY MOM, and to love me like did, always unconditional, and always putting me before herself.
Happy Birthday mom.

Thanks for...

Singing “Practice makes Perfect” and pretending to hit the wrong notes) and “Kid talk” (the boy part) with us.

Buying me chicken pot pies and Kraft dinner when it was just us for dinner.
Remembering that I love cherry, vanilla, Dr. Pepper frosties from The Frigid Cream- even last August

Teaching me to shave my legs

Worrying about me.

Putting a blanket and a pair of coveralls in my car

Explaining sex to me

Buying me the glasses that I liked because you knew it was important for me to feel pretty

Sending me so many little notes in the mail and collecting things like sample credit cards to mail us

Loving my son

Knowing that a girl really needs her mother in times of hurting

Packing for me and cleaning my kitchen when it was disgusting

Doing things for me that were really hard work- because you just wanted to take care of me

Teaching me to love AUTUMN

Giving me your favorite word as my middle name

Sharing your heart with me even when I was young

Being a home away from home for my friends

Driving me to State music, in Concordia, 4 years in a row, and paying for a hotel so I wouldn’t have to wake up early and sing with a tired voice- and always thinking I deserved an AP…and waiting until I was a senior for a I+ …being so proud EVERY time.

Crying with me when I lost my baby

Getting to know my husband- really investing in him

Calling me your little “Tiffin-Annie”

Teaching me to dress modestly

Being my biggest fan

Keeping envelopes in your desk of things ready to mail to your daughters and grandchildren

Buying the stuff I really wanted

Panties in my stocking

Making dance team costumes (for 16 girls) even though you didn’t want me to even be on dance team

Giving me toys that were mine as a child for my son to play with

Reading to me

Helping me write the next chapter at the end of “James and the Giant Peach”

Being the person I could brag about myself to

Teaching me how to teach kids equivalent fractions using a piece of paper folded in a hundred directions

Cleaning up the mess when I baked cookies and got tired of it in the middle

Being “strict”

Flinging your arm across the seat of the car whenever you slammed on the breaks to hold me in

Taking me shopping after Christmas and buying me things I loved

Hugging me- lots- tightly

Taking me on a ferry boat ride because you thought it would be fun for me…it was!


Letting me cook for you
Always thinking that I deserve the best whether it was quality basketball shoes to
wear when I sat on the bench, or my husband
Knowing what I like

Laughing at yourself- helping me learn to laugh at myself

Saying, “You still have to have babies!” while proceeding to lift whatever heavy item I was formerly trying to move.

Buying Payton the most fun toys!

Planning my wedding

Getting the water stains off of my dishes


Telling me your hurts for other people, and sharing how you try to help them

Writing to/about me in journals

Singing hymns around the piano with us, making us sometimes

Building forts on snow days- and letting us keep them up forever!


Taking pictures of your children and grandchildren

Finding the JOY in circumstances

Making me made-to-order clothes, including swimsuits, and ball gown from the 1880’s

Teaching me to ‘cast out tens’ so that I could learn to add more quickly

Reading whole chapters of books to me (in jr. high) to get me interested so I could finish the book and write the report that night, and reminding me not to procrastinate the next time, and doing it again when I did

Letting me paint my room the color of a Care Bear

Valuing what I would want to know about you when you left this world

Singing, “You are My Sunshine, My only Sunshine” to me a bedtime…and I believed it.

Playing in the leaves at the cemetery with me…when I was 19, and filling your truck with bright RED ones to take home
Missing me

Praying with me when I ask Jesus into my heart

Sending me to camp

Being my friend.

I love you

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mom told me that this year I did the same thing that she used to do lots at Christmas....make another present because there just needed to be one more thing. It's true. SO- I decided he would love to have a bathrobe- weird, Iknow, but he really loved it and more importantly that he doesn't have to wear a diaper when he wears it. Here's a glimpse of the warm-up, (after bath) of our little boxer "P-Did." Just a lot of running- some jumping, what else?!?!


SO much to talk to you about. I feel that way nearly every day. It’s true- hundreds of times you told me how wonderful, creative and inspiring I am. Hundreds. You had a way of telling me that made me think that you might not be the only one who thought so. It’s not that I need someone to stroke my ego. God tells me the same things about myself that you always did. I believe HIm too. It’s just that I Miss you so.
I keep finding cards from you to me-everywhere. Birthday, Christmas, Sympathy in the loss of my GiLana (how fitting- your own words to comfort). I read them over and over and can feel the deep expressions of your heart through your pen. You missed me so often. Now it's my turn.
Love you. Tiffany Autumn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gone Home. See ya later.

My sister Wendy Miller shared this on her blog. I'm borrowing until I can find my own words.

Sunday Night January 9th my Mom went home to be with Jesus. She shed her earthly shell and snuggled up in His arms. Now she never has to worry, or be anxious. She never again has to fear. She left behind the struggle to find her place to belong and now belongs perfectly to Him. He fills her every need. No more sorrow, no more pain, a comforter to wipe away every tear. No more empty longing for love to fill her up, no more brokenness for now she is made whole, perfected by His sacrifice. Now she knows fully even as she is fully known. She is seen for who she is, she is loved for who she is. She knows Him not in part as though she were trying to see through a thick fog, or a thick and covering veil, but fully in all His glory, face to face, heart wide open, presented perfect by the blood of the lamb to the one who paid the price for her to be there. What gratitude, praise and worship must overwhelm her. I can almost hear her singing, but this earth distorts the song and I hear her earthly voice, not her perfected heavenly one, playing the piano and singing, not a hymn of longing any longer but a hymn of completion, a praise of journeys end, a joy of peace. I can’t quite make out the words through the mist, but I catch the spirit of laughter behind the song and I rejoice too that she has gone home. We’ll miss you, see you later Mom.