"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

November 29, 2015

The memorial

Last Saturday, we celebrated my hubby's life!
It was a beautiful service.
I've always known that he would have an exceptional turn out for his memorial. Always. It is kind of weird how many times I'd thought of that over the years, but it was because of the way he lived his life. I knew that one day a building would be full of people that he had impacted. And it was!
 (I just never thought he would be 48!)

I remember telling him more than once that when he died, a whole lot of secrets would be buried with him. Not his secrets, but the private things that hurting people were constantly sharing with him, which was a burden and a blessing. They were things he never repeated.
When people met him, they felt safe and in 10 minutes or more, they were telling him their whole life story and that often included their secrets.
 I cannot tell you how many people considered him their best friend.
He was amazing.

I never looked behind me during his service to see the crowd, but I was told that there were close to 400 people there! And almost that many came up and hugged each one of our family members. I'm told it took over an hour for those in that line to reach us but they stayed anyway. How sweet is that?!
So many precious people!

My hubby started a family worship band when our kids were young and we all used to practice on Tuesday nights. (which sometimes required brownies as bribery)
Those were often some frustrating practice sessions. Just picture four kids with instruments they barely knew how to play...
The active keyboardist especially had trouble stopping his playing to listen to Dad's instrutions. : )
And there were times when we may have told the little electric guitarist that he didn't actually need to be plugged in... LOL

The kids grew up and grew into their gifts and have often thanked their dad for giving them the gift of music. They all have and do use their gifts in our church and in other worship settings.

As you can imagine, I was so proud when they decided to play at the memorial!

It was just beautiful hearing them (and two of our special friends) sing a song that meant so much to
their dad during this battle. (House of God by Jon Foreman) It is a rendition of Psalm 23 and we often heard him belting out the chorus in the house or the car..."Your love is enough."  Amen!

And I had to look twice, during the service because I didn't know that Joy was going to sing one of the lead parts. No one will ever know how much that meant to him or our family! What a treasure that was! And she nailed it! : )

I guess, all that is to to say, it was a day that was as special as I always knew it would be!

And my unending thanks to all who helped made it happen!

November 24, 2015

The video

This is the video that Nathan made for Hubby's memorial service.
It is raw and real!

One Thursday night in the hospital, Hubby had a serious talk with our children about God, life and faith. We didn't know it at the time, that it would be his last talk with them about these things.

I'm so grateful that Nathan recorded it. You may need some tissues.

Nathan's video for Dad


November 23, 2015

In memory of "a life so well lived"

John was born in Boulder, CO. 
After high school graduation he took a year off of school and worked in a ski shop. 
After a break up with his girlfriend, he moved to San Diego, CA to get a new start in life and live with his brother Paul. They were both searching and one night Paul picked up a Bible and said 
"I don't know what we are looking for, but I believe it has to do with this book," and they both started trying to read the Bible.
While enrolled in the community college,  he saw a sign for a Bible Club. He decided to attend and the man leading the club led him to the Lord and became his best friend. His life was never the same.
He met Becky at church one Sunday night but thought she was too young for him! : ) 
He was 20 and she was 17 at the time.
They along with 6 other students, left San Diego to attend a two year Bible college in Florida

John liked to say that during spring break of that year, on a bike ride to Burger King, cupid hit him with an arrow and he was immediately in love with Becky. But he had to keep that to himself since she had a boyfriend. 
They got together over the summer of that year. 
After graduation, they moved back to San Diego and attended San Diego State. 
During that year, John felt God move upon his heart to move back to Tampa to help start a church. 
He broke up with Becky, gave away all his possessions including a Night Hawk 350 motorcycle and arrived in Tampa with $20 in his pocket, ready to obey the Lord

He slept on a friend's couch and took the first job that he found, which was painting. Since he was a college kid who didn't know how to paint, he didn't even make minimum wage. He helped work on a this start up church and eventually, he asked Becky to marry him. (finally!) 
They were married in San Diego and she moved to Tampa after their honeymoon. 
When they landed in Tampa, to start their life, he had her kneel in prayer with him in the corner of the airport and asked God to use them in this place.

He had a passion for teenagers and became the volunteer youth pastor for two churches. 
And he also decided to become the best painter he could possibly be. 

John and Becky felt the Lord tell them that they would someday have 4 children so, they got busy obeying the Lord.  LOL 

John was often asked why he didn't own his own painting company. He always felt like owning his own company would hinder his ability to be fully present for his family when he came home from work and he wanted to be able to be "A Saturday Dad" as he called it, meaning one who was able to attend all the sports events and activities his kids were involved in.

He gave up youth ministry when God spoke to him that his children were his disciples and it was time to pour into them. They were 3, 5, 7, and 9 at the time.

He felt like God gave him his own strategy for parenting his children and it included these things: 

1. Worship God together:  As a result he got everyone music lessons and formed a family worship band 
2. Teach his children to be able to lead Bible studies so that they could share the Word of God with their future families 
3. Spend 15 uninterrupted minutes with each child each night so he could hear their hearts
4. Take each of them on 'dates with dad' on a regular basis to do something fun

He had a passion for the local church and believed in being planted in it and serving. 

He felt so deeply honored to be a deacon at VLC and he loved the people he served with so much! One day, on the way to church, the family was talking about the wifi at church and how theywere having trouble signing into it when we were in the building. Becky joked that "maybe our favorite deacon can look into that" and Joy said "Yes! I will talk to Mrs. Tracy about it." LOL He loved that and went to find Tracy when we got to church to let her know that she is Joy's favorite. ; ) 

He had an undying passion for the Word of God and people.He believed that those were the only two things that would last forever!

And he deeply loved his wife....

When he found out he had cancer he decided the family needed an anthem and he chose a song by his favorite band, Switchfoot. He chose "Hello Hurricane" 
Here are some of the lyrics:
Hello hurricane 
You're not enough 
Hello hurricane 
You can't silence my love 
I've got doors and windows 
Boarded up 
All your dead end fury is 
Not enough 
You can't silence my love, my love 

Every thing I have I count as loss 
Everything I have is stripped away 
Before I started building 
I counted up these costs 
There's nothing left for you to take away 

Hello hurricane 
You're not enough 
Hello hurricane 
You can't silence my love 

He believed he would live through the second bout with cancer but if he didn't he expressed to Becky that he had already done everything he ever set out to do.
1. He had a wonderful marriage
2. All of his children love and serve the Lord

He felt he'd already 'arrived.' And that no matter what it was a "win/win" situation for him.

His whole life centered around the Lord and he would be happy to be with him.
 But he fought just as hard, to stay here for his family. 
(from Hubby's memorial service)

November 19, 2015


My hubby went to be with Jesus on November 18th, 2015 at about 4:45 AM.

This is what Zac posted on Facebook yesterday:

Today our hero went to go be with his Hero.
"On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song
And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong"
(My Dad's favorite band)

 I will be back here, once I have the words... 


November 11, 2015


At this present time, my courageous husband has cancer
 in his liver, spleen and abdomen. There is also some internal bleeding...
I have no words,
except to say that God is with us.


November 6, 2015

When cancer comes back or maybe never left

The scan that showed no evidence of cancer last week...
showed quite a bit of it this week.

Same scan,
7 days later
 and doctors baffled.

Praying and believing, knowing God is able!


November 2, 2015

In the hospital

Ever since we heard the good news about the scans, Hubby has been feeling terrible and vomitting several times a day due to that chemo 3 weeks ago. He became very dehydrated and this morning we had to go the ER.
-You know your hubby needs fluids when you see the IV machine and feel like hugging it!

They also had to do a blood transfusion.
 Now the color is back in his face, his voice is stronger and he is more alert. They suspect an infection so he is also on antibiotics.

All in all, this hospital stay is a good thing.
He desperately needs to gain weight and I'd appreciate your prayers for that. He only weighs 5 more pounds than I do. And he is 6 feet tall. (a whole foot taller than I am)  : ( : ( : (

It might be rocky but it is still the road to recovery!