Saturday, August 16, 2008

To Encourage You

Hello, Friends...

I thought I'd check in to say THANKS for your words of encouragement, and of course, to thank you for your prayers! It was extremely hard to say "goodbye" to my grandma. We lived RIGHT BESIDE them RIGHT UP UNTIL the time we got married and started lives of our own. We were LITERALLY RAISED in my grandma's yard.

I cannot begin to say what a TREMENDOUS influence she was.. I'm SO VERY THANKFUL that we were able to watch how she lived her life, day in and day out. I'm THANKFUL that she was so BOLD in her love for CHRIST.

The first feelings that I felt when I learned that my Mam-Maw had fallen ill, were of grief, but also of REGRET! We live only about 10-15 minutes away from where she spent the last few years of her life. Over the past 5 years of MY life I allowed TIME to become an excuse not to visit like I should've. There was no reason I couldn't have visited weekly.. many times I'd let it go much longer between visits. I guess I'm saying this to encourage YOU to take the time to spend with your loved ones. Time CAN be made no matter HOW busy we are. It'll either be spent in what little it costs us while they're still here... or it'll be spent grieving and with guilt when it's too late. (You'd THINK I'd have grasped this after having lost a child?)

I know my friend Randy would get on me for being so hard on myself.. I suppose I'm sharing this with you today in hopes that I might keep you from being in the place that I am now.

As a child of GOD'S, I do have the BLESSED ASSURANCE that we WILL see her again! I'm also comforted knowing that she's up there "lovin on" my sweet Brent. Yes, I can only imagine the hugs and kisses they've exchanged... I can't help but smile as I think of him telling her ALL about things he's learned since he got there.

I hope to check back soon to share some neat (and humorous) family stories. Today, I just wanted to remind you to stop and listen as your little ones are talking to you. (If you have them) I wanted to remind you to give your undivided attention to your spouse (again, if you have one). I also wanted to encourage you to make CERTAIN that you're not letting precious time slip away from you and those who need you.

Take care, my friends...

I love you all!
Tonya

8 comments:

Greg P. said...

Tonya, it is very normal for someone to feel as though they could have spent more time with a loved one that has passed on. I don't think I ever met anyone that has not felt that way. I know I felt it also. We get so caught up in raising our families and working that we make ourselves feel guilty, when really we shouldn't. It's a very normal reaction.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Just thank God for the love and times you shared with her. I'm sure she is proud of the way you turned out.

Stephanie said...

Tonya,
I have missed you, my sweet friend!! I haven't checked in on YOU as I should have this summer. I had serious spiritual doubts over the past couple of months and I was afraid of discouraging anyone in their own faith. So, please accept my apologies!

I am so sorry to hear about your Mam Maw. You and I are fortunate to have something that a lot of people don't have~loving relationships with grandparents. God placed a gift in your life with an influence like that for you. I hope that we will hear more about how she helped shape the wonderful person that you have become as you feel led to share.

When I read your post, it made me even more thankful for a decision that we made within the last two weeks. My son's sixth birthday was last Saturday and we always have a family party here at my house. For health reasons, my grandfather has been unable to attend for three years now. Since he is wheelchair bound, this would have posed an even greater challenge for this year. I could tell that they both wanted to be a part of the celebration, so we decided to move the party to their house a couple of hours away. I will never regret that decision! Thank-you for the reminder that I should be doing more of that, not less!

Love to you! I may have been absent from blogging, but I never forgot to pray for you.
Love,
Stephanie

Kristin Amato said...

Tonya,
I am so sorry to hear about your wonderful grandma. She really does sound like such a special lady. (She reminds me a lot of my Grams who passed away in January 2007.) We were very close, and she had such a sweet spirit and left a mark that will forever be imprinted on my heart. Jason told me just the other day that he feels like a better, more enriched, person for having known her.

I know your grandma received many crowns when she arrived HOME, and I know she was met by an adorable little boy ready to share with her about all of the adventures heaven brings. It is just the beginning...

You are in my prayers. We are always thinking of you and your family.

Love, Kristin

Reba said...

It was such a sweet picture thinking of your grandmother loving on Brent in heaven. Oh the stories they must be sharing with one another! I am so sorry for your loss though. Thank you for reminding me to take the time...I am always using the "time" (or rather "no time") card instead of stopping to just visit with loved ones.
Reba

Sheryl said...

Tonya,
What a legacy your grandma has left behind in you! I do understand what you mean about not making the time. What I have learned through my illness is that people don't need to give me hours, even 10 minutes shows that they thought of me.

Your Mam-Maw knew how very much she was loved I am sure! You know not to be hard on yourself, but thank you for the reminder to take the time.

I love the picture of Brent being the one to tell Mam-Maw!!

-Sheryl

Amy S. said...

Tonya,

Thankyou so much for words of encoragement. You are so right and Im going to take your advice. Im sorry to hear Grandma passed away. It sure does seem what earth has lost, heaven has surly gained.
Much love to you at such a difficult sad time.
Im thinking of you my friend!

Love and Hugs...

crispy said...

What a blessing to have such a wonderful example of a Godly woman. I am sorry to hear about your Grandmother and I am sure these days are filled with wonderful memories.

((hugs))

Cris

Jenileigh said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank-you for your kind words of encouragement. Lifting you up in prayer.