Update May 13th

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections, Updates at 8:23 pm by Libbie

Hello again. Nothing particular to report, necessarily, just a general update.

The Lord is carrying us daily, and as a result we are all doing well. There are still hard moments or days, of course, but they seem to be fewer and farther between, and we are very aware of Godís constant love for us.

The students at Westminster, on their own initiative, wanted to have a time to remember and honor Al, so they dedicated the final chapel of the year, Wednesday, May 2, to that end. It was wonderful. Six students shared memories of Al that captured who he was and the legacy he has left behind. Al would have been so blessed and encouraged. We certainly were. The kids got out of school, and Becky and Lauren took long lunch breaks from work, so we were all able to be there, and afterward we picked up lunch and had a picnic with some friends by Alís grave in the beautiful sunshine.

The weekend after that I went on our churchís annual womenís retreatójust for the day on Saturday. To my complete surprise, I spent almost the whole day crying. Maybe it was because the retreat was at Harvey Cedars, where we have spent vacations as a family, and it triggered lots of memories and also reminded me of places and times Al will never share with us again? Maybe it was because I stepped out of the busy-ness and responsibility that keeps me occupied and had the leisure to let emotions run unchecked? It started the moment I opened my mouth to sing the first song of the morning: one of Alís favorites, one that we often sang as a family, and one that Al had everybody sing in the car on the way to the emergency room when Alden broke his arm very badly as a four-year-old. Remembering how tenderly Al had handled that situation (I was away at the time, on the womenís retreat, ironically) reminded me of what a wonderful father he was, and that turned on the faucets of tears. I couldnít turn them off the rest of the day. In the afternoon I purposely found a solitary spot on the beach with no one around and just cried for several hours with the wind and the waves, the sea gulls and the Lord surrounding me. It was therapeutic. The retreat itself was awesome.

Iím discovering that there are different aspects to this patch of life weíre in. There is a time to focus on the present and just put one foot in front of the other and ďdo lifeĒ in faith, nothing more elaborate than that. There is a time to look ahead and dream and plan for the future, embracing whatever the next phase of life may turn out to hold. And there is a time to step off the path of either doing or planning and to look back at the past, to savor sweet memories and re-live precious times. Each aspect needs to be given room and time to happen. In each there is grief, and there is joy, and there is Godís faithful presence.

Prior to the special chapel and the retreat I had been starting to think creatively about ďwhat I want to do when I grow up.Ē On the basis of the advice of experts who counsel people about job searches, I tried to think about what I am passionate about and to dream big and think of what I would like to do if there were no limits of any kind. The chapel and retreat put those thoughts on ice for a time, quite appropriately. We found ourselves instead looking back and savoring memories of Al, being thankful for the years we had with him. Planning for the future simply couldnít fit into the same space. And I think that was perfectly fine. Now I am coming back to thinking about the future again, tempering dreams with realities and seeing what possibilities that produces. Itís an adventure. In some ways I feel like a college student contemplating future employment with the wide world in front of me. Of course Iím a long way from being college age, which both limits and increases the options available. Itís exciting, actually.

So, life goes on from one day to another. Becky, Lauren and Alasdair are in the season of going to weddings, weddings, weddings. Alasdair and I are also taking final exams. Eowyn is closing on her second term paper, and last night she and Alden were part of a talent show of sorts put on by the junior and senior high youth groups to raise money for world hunger (related to World Visionís 30-hour famine that I mentioned earlier). It was a hoot and a great high-energy time.

Today I woke up to find Alden and Eowyn making bacon and crepes for me for Motherís Day. Wow. Iím blessed!

May you be richly blessed as welló



  1. Judy Parnell said,

    May 14, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Dear Libbie,

    It is amazing how I just still check your blog from time to time and am excited to see an update. Thank you for continuing to let us be part of your lives. It is this time of year when I especially miss Westminster as graduation is almost here. Al was always so gracious as we all were a little tense with all the preparation. His smile and kind words would always bring calm to the madness! Precious memories.

    Praying for all of you.

    With love,
    Judy (& Ray)

  2. Donna said,

    May 14, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    hola libbie… thanks for sharing from your heart, I still remember a walk I had with you on the beach at one of those women’s retreats, you probably don’t remember but it was special for me. Thanks for always giving of yourself, thanks for your friendship – love you and praying for you guys,

  3. Kathy Peat said,

    May 16, 2007 at 12:41 am

    We continue to uphold you in our thoughts and prayers dear Libbie and family. We are excited that there is to be a WTS Alumni reunion in London next month and no doubt there will be many anecdotes shared about dear Al and how his life and testimony blessed us all in so many different ways.

  4. Michael said,

    May 16, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for posting again. The site continues to be an encouragement to me, and a way I can find out how to pray for you all.

  5. Vince said,

    May 17, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Hi friend. I just wanted to let you know that the John Piper link seems to have been changed. I tried listening but received an error.
    This seems to be the new link

    Bye and thank you.

  6. Chris Fisher said,

    May 23, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Lib, it’s very hard work and sounds as though you and Our Lord are doing each day, one foot before the other,very good work.
    Love and prayers,

  7. Bill Snodgrass said,

    May 23, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Libbie and the gang:
    I just want you to know that our Wednesday night prayer meeting remembers you often in our prayers. We have a list of people whose spouses have gone to be with Jesus
    ( a state which is better by far !! ) and we regularly pray for the Lord to impress on you his closeness to you and his incredible love for you.

    In Christian love,
    Bill Snodgrass (Grace Fellowship OPC in Germantown)

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