May 10, 2018

Quote | As our children grow...


As our children grow more and more independent, they spend less and less time with us. Although we cannot accompany them through all the ups and downs of life, God can. He can be where we cannot be. He can guide when we aren't able to guide. He can protect when we are not present. Without prayer, we may feel fear, insecurity, and doubt as our children move out from under our wings. With prayer, we can feel hope, security, and trust in our partnership with the very One who created our children. - Jill Savage, Professionalizing Motherhood


May 9, 2018

a few of my favorite things | Roots backpack



When we were expecting Annie in 1998, I knew I didn't want the typical diaper bag with cute things like teddy bears. Roots was our favorite store back then, and we found the perfect bag! Twenty years and three babies later, I still use it!


May 8, 2018

Slice of Life | Jim's Mom


In June, it will be nine years since Jim's mom passed away.
Today I reread the eulogy he wrote for her.

 .......................................................................................

How to squeeze a lifetime of memories into a few moments? We all knew her in different ways – friend, co-worker, volunteer, aunt, niece, cousin, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter, grandmother and finally mother. Some knew her for many years, some only briefly, but she has left a lasting impression on us all.

A tribute to mom has to begin first and foremost with her faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She walked through many physical and emotional peaks and valleys hand in hand with the Lord and emerged with a stronger, deeper and steadfast faith that sustained her to the end of her days. A popular Christian song says these words,

“May all who come behind us find us faithful, may the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe and the lives we’ve lived inspire them to obey.”

Her greatest desire was to leave a legacy of faith that would be passed on to her children, grandchildren and beyond. She prayed earnestly every day for her family, never imposing her faith on anyone, but always ready to share when asked. Through her faith example, several people were led to a personal relationship with Christ.

In looking through her Bible the past few days, we found these highlighted verses from Romans 5, which sustained her through her final battle with cancer:

But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Her biggest task was raising three boys. While patience was definitely one of her virtues, there were times where we certainly pushed the limits. Like the time we pestered her to the point of breaking a paddle in half by slamming it on the kitchen table or the countless times we fought in the car because one of us had crossed the “invisible line”. But those were the exceptions not the norm. She provided love and guidance as we grew up, faithfully supporting us in our athletic and musical pursuits.  Perhaps her most difficult decision was to step back in faith and give us the independence needed to find our way to adulthood. It was not easy for her to see us take wrong turns, make rash decisions or fall flat on our face, but she put her faith in Christ and we indeed found our way. She offered advice when we asked, correction when warranted but above all - love.

She was determined to raise us to be self-sufficient – teaching us to cook, do laundry, iron and even clean. She raised us to be men of faith and integrity, valuing family and emphasizing the value of investing in our own children’s lives.

Her grandchildren brought her tremendous joy. It was not uncommon to find one or more sitting on her lap listening to her tell them a story or see her on the floor playing a game or at the kitchen table helping them with a craft project or even out in the yard playing catch. Her retirement dream was to buy a motor home and travel the ‘birthday loop’ from Grand Rapids to Delaware to New Brunswick and back again, spending time with her grandchildren and seeing the sights along the way.

Mom was also unassuming, preferring to work behind the scenes, not bringing attention to herself, but working diligently with absolute dedication and excellence. It didn’t matter what the task, if she committed to it, she would follow it through to completion. When our youth group decided to take yearly bike trips, she jumped right in to organize the support vehicles to ensure all the riders had food and drink and were following the direction correctly. She never missed a band festival or concert and was an 8 year member of the Red Navy parents – a group of parents who followed the school swim team from meet to meet all over the state.

She was proud of her work at Steelcase – going from third shift in the factory to the IT department at corporate headquarters. It was common to see her lugging a pile of papers, seemingly bigger than she was, back and forth from home to work. She invested many hours over and above her normal work day to ensure the job was done and done right.

She was a woman of high character and integrity. She had a passion for Jewish history and was fascinated with the Jewish customs and festivals. In 1999 she took a missions trip to Brazil to help build a church. It was a trip that fueled a fire for missions. Although she was physically unable to take any other trips, she supported a number of different organizations delivering aid and the gospel to those less fortunate.

She was strong and strong-willed. Her battle with cancer was a private one – never showing her pain, but always showing a smile. She attacked cancer the only way she knew how – head on with strength and dignity. She read, researched, changed her diet, tried alternate therapies and remained positive even through the setbacks.

Mom, you were the ‘home base’ to our families and while we rest in the certainty that you are indeed home now and pain-free and celebrating with Jesus, you will be missed by all who knew you. We are proud to call you ‘Mom’ and will cherish our many memories of you, and we will honor you by living out the legacy of faith you passed on to us. Although you are now gone, you will certainly not be forgotten and we will ensure our children and their children know that you were faithful to the end of your days.

We love you!

Ken, Jim and Jon

 .......................................................................................

Karen Druart
August 25, 1943 - June 8, 2009 


May 6, 2018

Sunday's Photograph | Digging for Worms


Tonight it was encouraging to hear Eliza say,
"You took really good pictures of us when we were little."
She had gone through the albums the other day
and this is one of the photos she pointed out to me.


May 5, 2018

akr inspired | 76


Tweeted 16 May 2013

Nothing like being unexpectedly reunited with an item left in a coat pocket (e.g. a good hair scrunchy, or that one good pen)

So true! Lately, I was very thankful for it to be a pair of magnifying eye glasses.




May 4, 2018

family music 47 | I Have a Peace in My Heart



Lutes Mountain Church of the Nazarene
Revival Meetings 
1987

In this 30 year old recording, Paul Mullins is singing and playing the accordion with Dad on the organ and Karrilee on the piano. The photos are of Mr. Mullins and Dad in their older years.

When I hear this song, I am reminded of Aunt Carole. In my memories, I remember her asking Karrilee to play it whenever we were near a piano. She would light up as only Aunt Carole could! 

May 1, 2018

Slice of Life | Message Boards


I noticed a small white board on a wall the other day. It had a message written on it and I had a flashback! When I was in university, we had white boards on our doors in the dorm. If someone dropped by to see us and we were out, a note would be left on it. If someone took a message on the phone in the hallway, a name and number would be written on it. I haven't been in a dorm in many years, but I have a feeling students do not need white boards anymore!