Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Friday, May 26, 2017

Year 2, Day 147: Not Feeling It, or Am I?

My brain is fried (but not as much as I thought because wow, this is long!)  Today was our friend's funeral, and going to funerals wipes me out.  Why?  Well, first, since I've been through both of my parents' deaths and funerals, I know what it feels to greet everyone and listen to them talk about my loved one.  I know the exhaustion of trying to put an eulogy together the day before, or even hours before the service.  I know there's tons of decisions to be made as well.  Never mind the actual grieving you do.  But, this particular friend was so loved and her life affected 1,000 or more people through her teaching and counseling.  Her and her family are a big part of the Johnson's lives, so this death was very personal.  Even Gary got choked up, and as Leah said today, when Gary starts crying, there's no dry eye in the place.

Also during the service, I start thinking about how is my life impacting others.  What are my friends and relatives going to say at my funeral?  Am I going to be like my Dad, who had very few friends towards the end of his life?  Or am I going to be like this woman today, who allowed God to touch many people through her life, wherever she was?  I definitely need to frequently reevaluate my focus these days.  I seem to be happiest about TV shows and not always about my faith walk.  I know that, and God and I are working on it.  Even Benaiah, who can be very wise beyond his years, noticed that in me.  Speaking of Benaiah, he ran the man camera today again.  I'm so proud of his servant heart.  He received a card from a fellow tech person for helping with Easter, and he said that if you get a compliment from this person, who is hard to impress, than you are doing something right.  So, what are my life goals?  Do they align with God's?  Where is my focus?  As we move into our new house, how will I make it a home where teens want to spend time there, in a safe and loving place?  How can I make it hospitable for Sunday dinners and Bible studies?  How am I going to set it up so learning can take place for my kids?

Purposeful. Intentional. Goals.

Psalm 37New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 37[a]

A psalm of David.

Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

I have used these verses many times with big decision.  I take v. 4 to NOT mean that whatever I want, I will get but rather, God will put His desires in my heart and they will become mine.  And that's what I'm trying to get back to.  I lost some of my trust in God when my parents died.  I ask the "Why?" question a lot still.  But, we have turned a corner, closed a chapter and opening a new one, so we will take the next step, and the next, and the next.

Meanwhile, I do have to share a funny from today.  I was trying to hang around after the funeral while most of the crowd went to the cemetery and came back for the funeral luncheon because I knew that I won't have much social time in the next few days and the younger 3 were being watched by "E's Mom." (Ethan, Benaiah's best friend, his mom babysits at home anyway during the day, so what's 3 more?)  So, Jared, Benaiah and I had some rare time just the 3 of us.  These days, we are getting along fairly well, and we can have a lot of fun!  Jared was working on getting some thumb drives for e2 ready for Gary to take back to Johnson U. that afternoon to sell while he's teaching down there.  Leah was also in the office, but had stepped out for a moment.  Well, the men/boys decided to joke around and sip their teas VERY loudly (which Leah hates!) and THEN they BOTH gargled with it at the same time!  And they did NOT plan this!  I tell ya, Benaiah is more and more like Jared and it's so unintentional!   It cracks me up so much!  And I think Benaiah actually embraces it and takes it as a compliment.  Benaiah is different than Jared in that he is much more extroverted than Jared is.  Benaiah also doesn't stick with one thing for too long (but that could be a part of this generation and its' culture).  And we aren't the only ones that see the resemblence.  Someone today even said, "Jared? Jared." to Leah when they saw Benaiah on the man cam.  Leah at first thought the woman was having memory loss, but she was truly just comparing Benaiah to Jared.  Anyway, I enjoyed spending time with just my two older "boys."  And I'm so grateful that we are through most of the pre-teen/teen transition to adulthood.  It was rough for awhile, but we held on like our other friend's mom counseled us to, and we have come out on the other side still intact (at least we think so, lol).  1 down, 3 to go.

Speaking of the other 3, they are so bored!  I can't find enough jobs for them.  Abishai is ridiculous sometimes because he just doesn't know what he wants.  Justin and Keturah try to find other things to do like board games and reading, but it's so easy just to sit in front of the TV because then they are quiet.  But then they get up from that and they are loud!  Our poor neighbors!  I don't like telling them to be quiet because they are kids and should make noise.  So, pray for our sanity in the coming weeks and all the way until mid July.  We have camps and trips and moving, etc.  It's going to be busy soon enough. Sigh.

Now THAT'S how you mass produce thumb drives!  And here's the story: Gary's been at Johnson U. this week and ran out of them.  He drove up yesterday for the visitation and today's funeral and left right after the funeral to go back.  So, Jared ordered the bright green thumb drive (e2's color is bright green) and they came DURING THE FUNERAL to the main office.  So, he quickly got to work making them and labeling them.  Gary was able to take about 20 of them back to Johnson U. within the few hrs he was home.  Way to go, Director of Operations Jared! And the funny part is not only I pulled out my phone to take a picture, so did Jared and Benaiah so they could put it on social media, too.  Leah said, "Well, I'm glad I'm not addicted to social media!" because she was in the office at the same time.  Yup, it's a generational thing.

Yes, Jared, I'm posting this because I LOVE your quirks!  Jared was being kind to the funeral luncheon prep ladies and took out his pre cooked sausages from the fridge to make room for food for the funeral.  And where does he put them?  Under his desk!  Also, his plant pot leaks and sweats when he waters it, so when he watered it today, he didn't want it to leak on his desk and warp it.  So, naturally, he put it under his desk.  What a goofball!  But he's MY goofball!

Aw, his and hers vehicles at church.  And apparently we can't seem to park in the lines, lol.

Baby knows how to use his toes to prop up the tablet!  Again, it's such a generation thing.

Check out those toes!  Oh, and we are working on him saying "E's mom." and "Lisa."  And he can now say very clearly, "Red Bus" because we pass a church with red buses when we take the back roads to church.

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