Tag Archives: God’s plan

What Did You Do Today?

It was you I came to see, I chose this to do with my day
In tears, I left, just how much do these troubles weigh

Tone, I can handle some, but I tripped over the string,
The slim grasp of matter from where the words you sling

Love is hard sometimes, but it’s always better than the dark
Where the evil dwell, taking aim to hit their mark

I can’t put myself in your skin, in kindness I visit each time
Are we that close to the end, there’s no telling what we’ll find

Looking for a sliver in the shredded mound left of hope
Measured, I smile, looking for my way along the tightrope

My eyes peer down, lit with love, and warmth inherited
Objective, careful, and with respect, I thought, words merited

Maybe God’s will and the plan in that mind are the same
I know for sure there’s no one across from you to blame

So, wearily I’ll lay my head to rest long after the sun has set
Thinking on you, my last thoughts long for your rest, you can bet

My Aunt Janette Remembered

I find myself staring into the beautiful spaces that God created and letting my mind wander over the hills, through the valleys, and along the streams. In my mind all of it is wild, all of it is untouched, and all of it is revered by mankind. From the path my mind wanders along, I see the people who now walk the streets of gold, the ones we loved here on earth. I long to sit and visit with them again. I long to hear the familiar laughter that each of them often contributed to our family gatherings. I ache to look into the eyes of those heroes who have gone before me. In those eyes, there are windows to all-time, the windows dressed in love are unmistakable. The eyes invite you in to sit and stay for awhile, they exude love, and portray a confidence that all will be just fine, for where we are gathered, He is there also. Try looking into the eyes of a loved one, maybe an older one, but one who has assured their eternal salvation by giving their life to Christ, and tell me you don’t see all I have described here, and more.

I wrote this piece two years ago, and this morning, I honor my aunt’s life by posting the original words I wrote.

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God’s Plan – A Tribute to Marjorie Leech (Peterson)

Somewhere around the world today there was another selfless soul born, of that I am pretty sure. And even with all the newborns today, there’ll never another Marjorie be.

I ended the phone call with …”my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.” As I promised I would, I dialed the number to my parents house and waited for Mom to answer. Usually, it’s been her making those dreaded calls to me, but tonight I had a message to pass on and an inkling that she already knew what I had just confirmed. She answered the phone and both of us seemed a bit scared to say the first words, knowing why each of us was on the line. I passed on the message I had promised to share and we talked about what we feared to be the case. Our dear, sweet Marjorie had passed, no more than an hour before.

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Remembering, God’s plan – A tribute to Dennis Traynor and his family

It’s been two years. But in some ways I am sure it feels like no time has passed, yet, in other ways it may seem like decades have run past. This morning, I awake with both the Traynor’s and my brother’s family on my mind. I share this again, in remembrance and in tribute to Dennis. Time passes, and supposedly heals all wounds, but still there lies a void where a man once walked among our lives. He’s still better off than he was here, and as a man, I know his legacy would matter to him, while it doesn’t replace him, it speaks volumes of his life and all he left here. There are many traces of him here, and plenty of people who will never forget the man.

 

I sit here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, as I cannot seem to make myself move a muscle. This is another tribute piece, not much different from one I wrote just weeks ago. Some of this is unchanged as truths and observations needn’t be corrected or updated here. That said, this is specifically and uniquely a tribute to the life of Dennis Traynor. He was taken from us all before we would have been ready to let him go. It was after 10pm when the phone rang. It was my mom. No offense mom, but those late night calls are never good ones. I am glad she called though. The news; my youngest brother Pete just lost his father-in-law, of course this means Pete’s sweetheart wife Louise lost her dad. Their four boys, age ten and younger, have to hear their mom and dad tell them about their grandfather. My heart sinks for those Mr. Dennis Traynor left behind.

I started thinking about the last few hours or so. I started thinking about the afternoon into this evening and where my thoughts and actions took me. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The dark sky and torrents of rain reminded me that God is All Powerful and there’s nothing we can do it about it. As it should be. I ventured out after dinner to get my son to hockey practice. We left the house and I thought about caution as we drove through the pouring rain in the dark. At that same time, God, the Creator of the power unleashed from the heavens, was sharing a part of His plan for this still young father and grandfather, and his family. Maybe the night sky was emptying itself, a cleansing of sorts, to bring another of God’s children home.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, teacher, reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power washed over the northeast.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see anything positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Dennis’ life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Dennis was doing, Dennis was leading. He was the straw that stirs the drink for his family and those who knew him. Personally, I am honored that I knew him. I am so glad I got to spend some time with him and talk to him at Pete and Louise’s house back in October. I am sure it’s virtually unthinkable that the family will go on without him. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Traynor family is and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with Dennis’s family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a tough time  for them all. As wonderful as the Christmas season is, Dennis is in the most wonderful place right now, so beautiful, that none of us can comprehend. Have faith, know, and trust that it’s God’s plan.

My Aunt Janette

Janette A. Peterson

Janette A. Peterson

Janette A. Peterson

It’s a bright, beautiful Saturday morning, but suddenly time has lost its grip on the day. I sat down and wrote most of this over the last two weeks, in the present tense, about my Aunt Janette, a remembrance and tribute to her. Last night, just before 9pm (Eastern) God called her home. My Mom called to give me the news that I had been waiting to hear but hoped I would never actually receive. We talked for a moment or two and then I prayed. I prayed for Lloyd and Janette’s family, all of them, in every direction. I prayed and I prayed. I prayed for me and for my family too. So that we can be and will be the strength, support, love, voice, or shoulder to lean on for any who might need it. This certainly includes me too. I prayed for all of us, any of us related to the Peterson family one way or another.

Facebook says that we are friends. The family tree says we are related, she’s my aunt, and I am her nephew. Yes, we are friends, and yes we are related, but that doesn’t begin to sum it up.

My Aunt Janette. She’s my aunt. She married into the Peterson Family as did my father. Blood, or not, she chose to love my brothers, my sister, and I; my whole family. It seems to me that she and my Uncle Lloyd and their family always had a special place in their hearts for our family. We would travel from New Hampshire to New Brunswick for visits in the summer and sometimes over Christmas break as well. The homestead we visited was just a little further down the dirt road, then was my aunt and uncle’s farm. We passed by their farm every time we went to visit the old farmhouse. We were able to see them often when we visited, in part, because we could see their farm from the old homestead.

It seems that Aunt Janette would show up with something cooked, baked, made, prepared, whatever it might be, but always good. She would bring it by, with a smile, a laugh at the ready, and was always lightly armed with her sense of humor.

I very much enjoyed having my aunt, my uncle, and many cousins around when we visited the farm. We created our own excitement, entertainment, and passage of time. Family was the thing to do, the main attraction, and visiting with family was the best way to spend time.

Looking back at growing up, visiting my family in Canada was among the favorite things I ever got to do. Now, grown, with kids of my own, it remains a favorite thing to do.

I love driving out there to the farm lands. I enjoy turning up the dirt drive to my aunt and uncle’s farm. The open views, rolling hills full of fields, and the clean, sweet-smelling air are all pieces that enhance the experience. Amaris and I, and three of the kids have been out to the farm for a visit. In recent years, visits have included riding four-wheelers around on the farm along the old rail bed between Lakeville and the Little Presque Isle. It’s a blast, with or without, the rides. Just visiting, talking, laughing, and catching up are more than enough for an enjoyable visit.

There’s even more to it. I know my Aunt Janette expects a visit from us anytime we are up that way. And if they’re home, then there’s an open invite. Period. We are always welcome, and warmly welcomed when we arrive.

When the twins were just 4 months old, we were in Canada for my cousin’s wedding reception. We visited the farm on an August afternoon, and there was Aunt Janette, willing, offering, and able to watch the twins while the rest of us went for a long ride on the four-wheelers. That’s just her, willing, offering, and able.

When I think of Aunt Janette, for some reason, the color yellow comes to mind. I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s the tall sun flowers that always grew across the dirt drive from the house. Or maybe it’s my aunt’s blonde hair, that also drew references to Marilyn Monroe from my Dad. Maybe it was an outfit, or something yellow that my aunt wore that stuck out in my subconsciousness growing up. Yellow is associated with happiness and maybe that’s the correlation.

Janette means, “gracious”, or “God is gracious”, and I think this name is so fitting. One definition of gracious is this; “Courteous, kind, and pleasant, esp. toward someone of lower social status”. I love the last part because, to me, one of the things I have long associated with my Aunt Janette, is her ability, or willingness to side with the underdog, the less fortunate, or the one whose voice was otherwise muffled among others. From the commoner, to the kid, they always had a friend in my Aunt Janette.

Where’s that woman who used to embody farm?
She would work and still pull off that striking charm
 
There’s an empty spot in the garden over there
A place vacated by the mother with golden hair
 
Can I walk for a while where she would tread?
O’er the grounds many visitors she had led 
 
That child’s hand isn’t held walking next to us
It would’ve been by the girl who grew up in Texas
 
May I enter her home and just sit for a while?
I can smell the bread and still see the smile
 
The room is full but something’s out-of-place
There’s a smile missing, absent, a friendly face
 
Can I say a little something to remember her by?
How she’d reach for the frail and let them fly
 
There are stories shared, each must be told
Recalling the wife that never did look old
 
Is it just me or is there happiness found here?
“…there am I in the midst…”; He is near
 
Gathered there is strength, and even more love
Missing here, we need only smile and look above
 

My Aunt Janette resides in heaven this morning. She is much better off than she was 24 hours ago. I understand her family was there when she drew her last breath here on earth. She wouldn’t have wanted that any other way. I don’t want to get to know cancer any better than I already have through the battles and sufferings I have seen in my own family. But I am glad that it touched not her mind, her spirit or her heart, for those are the things that made her so beautiful.

I have written too many of these tributes for my own liking. It means that friends and loved ones have left us. But, I cannot get through this without sharing thoughts I have shared before because it’s too important to miss.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, a teacher, a reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power was evident in the parting of the evening clouds, allowing the reds and pinks to provide a most beautiful backdrop.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so painful could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see the positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Janette’s life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Janette was digging in and getting things done. I am so glad I got to visit her and the family last month. It’s been my pleasure to be a part of their family and to cherish the interactions we have shared over the years. The members of her family, their family, are strong, they are versed in the Word, and they have the prayers of thousands in their favor, they will endure. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Peterson family is, and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, our prayers, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

I, we, are here for you all. I am going to miss my Aunt Janette and the life she brought to every day. I am so very thankful that my wife and kids had the chance to meet her, and interact with her in her element, out on the farm. It was our treat to be out there with her.

From birth, all the way through to adulthood, that little stretch of road encompassing the Peterson farms was all I ever needed. There was an entire world of adventure, exploration, love, support, and good times within that single mile of country. I long for those days and those places often. Aunt Janette, Uncle Lloyd, and their family have remained as a strong bond to those times and places for me. I hope never to lose them. I hope never to forget them. I hope always to visit and share in them, the greatest days, the greatest people in my life. I love you Aunt Janette and I can’t wait for the day we meet face to face again.

http://1inawesomewonder.com/2013/04/15/generation-jumping/

My Aunt Janette

It’s a bright, beautiful Saturday morning, but suddenly time has lost its grip on the day. I sat down and wrote most of this over the last two weeks, in the present tense, about my Aunt Janette, a remembrance and tribute to her. Last night, just before 9pm (Eastern) God called her home. My Mom called to give me the news that I had been waiting to hear but hoped I would never actually receive. We talked for a moment or two and then I prayed. I prayed for Lloyd and Janette’s family, all of them, in every direction. I prayed and I prayed. I prayed for me and for my family too. So that we can be and will be the strength, support, love, voice, or shoulder to lean on for any who might need it. This certainly includes me too. I prayed for all of us, any of us related to the Peterson family one way or another. Continue reading

Burdened Heart

I sit here with a burdened heart, a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes, unable to separate myself from my own thoughts. Dwelling not on the past, negative, or the dreary, I search for ways to share, to learn, to pray, and to heal. Maybe, just maybe, I’d be fortunate and blessed enough to help someone else along the way. Not that I need to, I am starting to lose track of the stories swirling around me that are heart-breaking, tear-jerking, and just plain sad to hear. My brother-in-law’s father, my aunt’s battle with stage-four cancer, Boston, Texas, and all the daily battles won and lost.

I read the articles today. I watched the video clips, headlines and updates today. There’s so much pain and hurting in the world. There are people far less fortunate than I. People who don’t know God the way I do. They don’t know the peace and comfort found in prayer and in the reading or sharing of the scriptures. They just hurt and they wander in wonderment of the mammoth-sized cloud of darkness and negativity that looms in the day’s headlines.

Then I started thinking about my last week or two. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The gorgeous, perfect blue sky I looked at this morning brought a smile to my face and inspiring descriptions to my lips. At the same time, God, the Creator of the beautiful sky, has a plan for all of this. I have often thought about how God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at different times so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, a teacher, one who would recite the scriptures; he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his funeral service, the day he was to be buried, and a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat, a cleansing for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time.

There’s a plan for all of these things. God has a plan, God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that we imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

All I have to do is look at recent events within my own family, and certainly the local and national events that everyone is aware of. With one bit of news, one event, somehow thousands, maybe millions of people are linked together by one story. The news that shatters tranquility here on earth for many is the same news that confirms a loved one’s arrival into eternal happiness. In these moments there is more good news than bad in most cases. The immediate outpouring of kindness, support, love, concern, and protection by banding together as one is heart-warming and sends chills up my spine. The images of those lost, those hurt, or the ones we know affected by the tragedies, or sickness, or disease, make us all wonder. These things make us cry, they make us mad, the make us think, and they make us feel. It’s all part of the plan; God’s plan.

Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we have a role in it. We are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, and the stories of the amazing coming from out of a story that is discouraging, evil, or unfortunate. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running, the stories stop circulating, or the services are done. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. Our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example of God’s love they were looking for. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments are not all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that deed, action, or thing that helps them cope and overcome.

My thoughts and prayers are with my sister, her husband Adam, their girls, and Adam’s entire family. It’s a tough time for them all. My thoughts and prayers are with my Aunt Janette and my Uncle Lloyd. I pray for a miracle in her life and God’s will in regard to her battle with cancer. I pray for, and hold in thought, their entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings. People died. People hurt. People saw things they need never see. People were stripped of the beautiful innocence that accompanies the harmonious gathering of strangers when they come together in support of fellow-man, simply because they can. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people and families affected by the explosion in West, Texas. If we want to settle for the face value, there is pain, suffering, hurt, darkness, and despair all around us. If we look a little harder, there is hope, there is goodness, and there is solidarity in a world filled with more and more independent individuality.

I don’t know God’s plan anymore than you do, but I trust it because it is perfect. I take solace in God’s Word, and communication with Him through prayer. There is comfort in the gathering and sharing among family and friends. God is where I go to get help with my burdens. God is who I ask for peace when my mind gets the best of me. God’s plan; at least He has one, which is more than I can say most of the time. Thank God He has a plan. Amen.