Joy on a sad day

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As you may know last week on Tuesday was Mom’s birthday. This year seemed more sad than last year, because all of us kids were spread out across the US. Last year we had an awesome celebration together and it helped ease the pain. Plus we were still probably in a little bit of shock.

I was scheduled to work 8-noon on Tuesday and then my awesome Ask-A-Nurse employees were throwing me a going away party. I figured it was the perfect way to spend at least part of Mom’s birthday. But then after that I wasn’t sure what to do. Drive up to Aberdeen to see Nellie? Go to a movie, out to eat or shopping? Or all three? I found myself getting depressed and then I got a text from Tracy, who had been out in Portland on a mini vacation. He said he was planning to have lunch with Mom’s cousin Kathy.

His text inspired me. What a great way to celebrate Mom’s birthday! Not by being sad and depressed, but by doing things and spending time with people who would honor her. It certainly wasn’t easy and the day still had its ups and downs, but overall it was a good day.

The morning sunrise.

Seriously, can the Lord proclaim His love and care for us any more clearly? Thank you Lord.

I normally don’t let myself get the froo froo coffees. But of course it was Mom’s birthday so I had a good excuse. Turtle Mocha from Caribou. Wow.


The verse of the day for August 13th. Well yes, of course. Mom was so about preaching to us kids about doing what God called us to do. That He had good things planned for us! Thank you Mom and thank you Jesus!


I had a meeting at the church at 3:00 and I got done at work about 1:30 so I had a little time to burn. I thought I’d stop at Crossroads (Christian book and gift store) and look around a little.

I walked in the front door and right there was a display of Bibles. It said, “10% off purchase of Bibles donated to Lifelight.”

I might have broken down crying right there.

You see, Mom loved Lifelight (a huge Christian music festival held in our area every year.) A few years her and dad would bring the girls they were house parents for at St Joe’s Indian School. No matter what she tried to come every single year. She loved Jesus. She loved music. And she loved being a part of the body of Christ.

And then it hit me. Of course. I would buy two Bibles – one for Dad and one for Mom and donate them to Lifelight in their honor.

This it the one I found for Dad.


This is the one I found for Mom. She loved all people. But she really loved her teens. She was so amazing with them and was able to cross the generational gap and love them and care for them and be the hands and feet of Jesus. At the time they died, part of her job as a drug/alcohol counselor was to go into a treatment center in Chamberlain and do Bible studies and group meetings with teens. I prayed over the Bibles and just hope and pray that whoever receives them will someone know that they are receiving a very special gift.


I meandered around the store a little more and came across this display. For Moms. Gah!

But I ended up finding a really awesome bracelet.


That’s how she always signed her name. MOM.

“God put His Spirit in your heart and mine.”


Pat, the kids and I were going to meet for supper but then that ended up not working out. I had posted on Facebook earlier in the day that even though I wanted to go to the movie and drown myself in Coke and popcorn, I wasn’t going to. I really needed to start making choices that were honoring to God and my body. And Mom. She was always such an inspiration to me and she told me so many times how I had inspired her to get healthy and lose weight. I’m ashamed to think of her seeing me now. But it’s never too late and so instead of eating 3000 calories in popcorn and pop, I decided to have a Better Body Party. It was such a blessing just to hang out with new friends and old friends and learn how we can make healthier choices to honor our bodies as God would want us to!

During the day I got a phone call from my mom’s brother Pat. It was such a blessing to visit with him about Mom and just how things were going. I also thought back to the rest of our family and friends, many of whom we heard from on Mom’s birthday. We are so blessed.


Ok, so I did end up going to the movie. And I took a picture during the no cell phone usage threat. I know I’m such a rebel.

Why did I go to a movie after that big pep talk earlier? Well because I had extra time before our Better Body Party, and it would have been exactly what we would have done with Mom.

Only because of that big pep talk, I actually had some self-control and didn’t get pop and popcorn!

 Tracy sent me this picture during the day… he was out sight-seeing. Exactly what Mom would have loved!


   Danelle texted me and said she was sending me something via email. She sent me this…


And then I was a complete mess of a person.

Isn’t she awesome! Isn’t God awesome! I’m so glad she sent it to me to share with you.

God’s Word is truth. Despite what circumstances or suffering or addictions you face today. With Him, ALL things are possible.

I got home about 9:00 pm and since it was Mom’s birthday after all, we had to have some cake!


Love my family.

I couldn’t sleep that night. Angel had crawled into our bed about 4:00 am and I went out and laid down on the couch. I listened to this song over and over and over and over.


I know that my suffering, when compared to others, is really nothing. However, God works suffering in each of our lives differently.

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

I love this song because I have never in my life felt such pain and grief and heartache. And I have never in my life experienced such a love for my Lord.

Tracy ended up having lunch with Mom’s cousin the following day. But he still sent me a picture.


(Kathy in front, Monica, Erin and Tracy in back.)

Mom and Kathy had so many stories of growing up together. It was great that Tracy was able to spend some time with them!

Jim and Leana had to work all day on Mom’s birthday. But the next day (the 14th) Jim sent me a text that he was going to find a bat tower!


We took a family vacation to Florida in January 1997 and part of our trip included going on wild goose chases looking for all these landmarks that Mom thought would be cool to see. One ended up being a old gross deserted bat tower, and we never let her forget it!

Leana sent me this picture, saying it was her favorite.


Wow. What a beautiful picture.

As I look at this picture the tears come much easier than words.

There is no greater joy than to think about Mom, having finished her race, sitting at the feet of Jesus.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7



3 thoughts on “Joy on a sad day

    Jerri McKinley said:
    August 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Missy, I am always so encouraged by your postings of your family and your parents. Mom has been gone for 34 years and I miss her everyday! She is in heaven and I hope she has met your awesome parents. To God be the glory for what He has done and what He will still do in our lives. Love you sister.

    Missy responded:
    August 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks Jerri. I appreciate your comments and your continued prayers for our family. Love you.

      jerri mckinley said:
      August 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      So thankful that God has gifted you with your creative writing abilities to share with me.

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