Intersecting Life and Faith

Author: Jody (Page 2 of 99)

Jody is a sojourner, wife, mom, pastor's wife and writer with a compulsion to blog about her faith intersecting real life. Living in apple country in upstate New York, beginning her day with a grateful heart and a cup of coffee.

Dusty Women

Ordinary women who love an extraordinary God. Clinging to Him, following Jesus so closely, getting the dust of their shepherd on them because Jesus walks with us in every season of life.

“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8

“I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

How can it be I began this series of posts almost five years ago? While this blog has remained quiet for 2019, I can’t seem to let it go, writing continues to be something I love to do, feel called to. This post on Daphne Stowe has been a year in the making. Her husband, Bruce became one of our church elders in January, I’ve wanted to put a face to his wife, because of her cancer she is unable to attend worship services, which she misses terribly, but would do well if we offered a service at 1 pm.

I’ve spent time with Daphne over this year and was happy to ride along with her last week to medical appointments in Rochester. What finally follows is my interview with her, my next installment of Dusty Women.

I’ve known Daphne for a long time, but since her cancer diagnosis of stage 4 Neuroendocrine cancer, we’ve spent more time together. I spent a glorious day with her last week, traveling first to Canandaigua NY where we ate lunch at a crepe cafe. Who knew there was such a thing? Delicious!! Then onto her appointments.

Daphne is a God-loving, Jesus follower who is confident in the days God numbered for her before she was even born. While those days seem fewer with this diagnosis, she is comforted that God does not change and those numbered days remain the same. Words that I would use to describe her are self-less, others-oriented who loves her husband and children. Our conversation on a very cloudy New York afternoon often centered around what can she do for others, what ministries can we begin to help others, how can she encourage others while limited in energy and stamina.

On the rare days she wants to descend into the depths of despair and attend her own pity party, she told me she chooses, she decides how she is going to live each day. She doesn’t want to waste her days feeling sorry for herself. Two words we kept circling back to were ‘attitude and perception.’ We choose each moment what our attitude will be.

A few questions to get to know Daphne a bit better.

  • Who has had the greatest spiritual impact on you and why? My mother, she had to be strong and always relied on her faith first in all things,(Daphne lost her dad when she was 11, so her mother was a single mother raising Daphne.)
  • What are three simple joys? She couldn’t narrow it down…family, friends, sunshine, wholesome nourishing food, sewing, knitting, nature, days I’m doing better than the day before, loves spending time near the water
  • What have been your consistent spiritual disciplines for every season of life? Prayer and thanksgiving, key Bible verses that specific significance to me, singing hymns, reading the Bible
  • Favorite food? super easy question…fresh seafood. Daphne is from Maine.

What Do You Do?

I was at a meeting recently where we were asked to introduce ourselves and say what we do……

…and I didn’t have an answer…

…well I had an answer but we would have been there awhile trying to explain ‘what I do’.

Homemaking gets a bad rap in the world today. Those of us who like it feels shamed by those who think we should be above it. Those of us who hate it feels shamed by those who like it. I’m neither here nor there on liking or hating or being above it. All I know is God set humans in a garden to tend, cultivate, and propagate, and so he must intend for us to do that in some form or fashion. I rarely think of that as being a Whole Life thing( as in this one thing is what you’ll do every day for all time) but more of a seasonal thing—like farming. Lore Wilbert(Sayable)

I’ve done many things from childcare, a janitor at Church, working in a couple of bakeries, doing volunteer work, and counseling women. But my main ‘job’ has been a homemaker and raising four children, who today are happy, healthy and making their way in the world. And now that my season has changed I am stumped as to how to answer ‘what do you do?’ And should I be concerned with a seasonal title? Titles change, seasons change, but today I’m thankful that God, who set me in my own garden to tend, does not change. He is the same when I may not know what the next season is….

…..and in that I find rest, peace and confidence to be who He wants me to be regardless of ‘what do you do Jody?’

Happy May Day!! And if you have any suggestions as to how I can answer this question, I’d love to hear!!

Birthday Eve

I made my way to my blog this rainy, dreary Wednesday afternoon, the eve of another birthday. What number do you ask? I leave you to figure that one.

As I looked back at last year’s posts, I was sad to see I had not written much. I cannot tell you why mostly a lack of discipline I think. While my love for writing remains, this blog was mostly silent for 2018. With a new year, one month gone already, I’ve had plenty of time to think about ‘what’s next’? as my husband and I became empty nesters the first of the year. The shock of no kids in the house after so many years is starting to wear off and I am making the adjustment. It’s just me and the hubs, who really do like each other and love our full life together. A friend sent me the following quote

I am a mother at heart, I build a home, which seems like a place to stay, but really, it is a place to leave. That is the way of it. Children are meant to grow up. I understand that now.” Cindy Rollins

She goes onto say to “take courage and allow your children to walk away with grace.”

And walk away they have. But, with courage, I have let them walk away with grace as they forge their own lives, as they follow their dreams, as they fulfill what they believe their purpose in life is. One daughter said we have raised nomads, and I think she gets it right. Four children, two spouses, 1 grandchild with another on the way this summer, individuals, people following their dreams, living in wide open spaces, or city life, they are happy and doing well, not looking over their shoulders. Our children were given to us for a time, watching them grow into beautiful individuals is a gift I do not take for granted. Remember, we are raising people, individuals made in the image of God. They are not projects they’re people.

What more could I ask for? Because in the grand scheme of life, nothing else really matters except the people you love, who surround you and care for you, some blood, some not.

On the eve of another birthday, life is full and good.

Bring on 2019.

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