Hi guys. It’s me, the inconsistent blogger. 😉
For once, it hasn’t been a lack of blog material, but too much! Life rolls on in our household at what sometimes seems a maddening pace, and with no housework to do, kids in bed, Jason reading a novel and no articles to write – here I am!
It’s November. Already! I am in such a different place now than I was last year. A much, much better place to be quite honest. For one, I was still very, very queasy a majority of the time (thank you, Lyla), I was dealing with a lot of uncertainty in my own person and struggling in my relationship with God. And, it was last middle and late October that two precious people in my life went on to heaven, and I didn’t get to say goodbye.
So, last November as I nestled a sweet baby in my womb and tried to get excited about the holidays, my heart was just about as broken as it could be. Being away from Tennessee has been hard; it still is. Not being there to say goodbye to two women whose lives had such an amazing impact on mine was beyond difficult. I wrote about Ashley . A couple of weeks later I got a call that another friend, Doris, had also lost her battle with cancer and had gone on to be with Jesus. It wasn’t that I forgot to write about Doris, or didn’t have time or found it too painful . . . no, there was just so much to say about this incredible individual.
While there is still way too much to say, I have to share with you all about this angel that we had the priviledge to know during our stay in Tennessee.
We first met Steve and Doris Little, a funny for Steve since he was anything but Little (he is an extremely tall guy!) and a very fitting name for petite Doris, one of the first Sundays that Jason and I visited Judson Baptist Church. We had been in Nashville since May and had visited several churches, but none had quite been right yet. Before we even visited the worship service, we decided to give Sunday School a try. Long story short, we knew after that first hour with the Littles and the couples there who would soon become some of our dearest friends that we would join Judson. And we did.
Steve had a knack for teaching (well, he called it facilitating) and getting us to talk, about real stuff, about hard questions. Doris definitely had the heart of a teacher and was absolutely in-love with God’s word. Together they were passionate about helping us understand how precious the marriage covenant was and how to be the husbands/wives/parents that God desired for us to be. They opened their own lives up to us and shared honestly about their failures and triumphs.
It wasn’t long after we began attending Judson that we were invited to the annual Christmas party. I had to work but encouraged Jason to go. He was anything but excited to go hang out with people he didn’t know very well, but the other alternative was sitting at home alone on a cold night. After I got home that night, he had this look of shock on his face. He told me how he sat down by Doris at her dining room table, and as they chatted she suddenly asked, “Jason, would you tell me about your father?” I won’t divulge the details of Jason’s difficult relationship with his dad over the years, but I have to tell ya – it wasn’t anyone but Jesus telling her to ask him that. And Jason knew it.
Doris knew how to get to the heart of a thing, to hit the nail on the head, to see through a situation to its core. She never minced words, but she spoke the truth in love. I had many lunch dates with her and sometimes with her and Steve. She was a friend to me when I didn’t have many . . . or any! She made an effort to show me what a Godly wife looked like, how a Godly mother loved, what a Godly woman, a real live proverbs 31 woman was. She was it. I know she’d roll her eyes if she read that, but it’s the truth!
Doris loved to laugh, she was creative, giving and probably the best hostess I have ever known. She loved her family fiercely, and was gifted at helping them create beautiful, meaningful memories. In particular, Doris was known at Christmas for doing a Happy Birthday Jesus cake with her kids and grandkids and a JOY stocking, where she would give gifts to her loved ones and tell them how they each brought her joy that year.
Goodness, there is still so much to say, too much for this forum. So I’ll end with this – Doris, I miss you. There are so many times I wish I could sit down with you and ask how you would handle this or that, but I know what you would say. You’d tell me to turn to God’s word, to study it precept by precept, to hide it in my heart. You’d tell me to listen intently and the go do it! I miss you. I miss having coffee at your house overlooking the lake through your kitchen, that white brick walled Sunday School room at Judson. I miss you, but I know where you are. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, getting to sit with the WORD, live and in person.
P.S. I’ve still got the JOY stocking you gave me, and it’s overflowing. 🙂