A Shelter For A Helter Skelter World

birdTo say the world can be a mess is not an understatement.  Life is lived at such a fast pace, you may have gone to bed last night feeling overwhelmed and got up this morning still in a daze.

When you’re seeking a refuge of safety and rest, Psalm 91 is a wonderful passage of Scripture:

He who takes refuge in the shelter of the Most High
    will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty.
 He will say to the Eternal, “My shelter, my mighty fortress,
    my God, I place all my trust in You.”
Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers,   He will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.

You only have to look at the pages of Scripture to find examples of God intervening in the lives of His children.  Joseph, as an example,  lived through a series of hardships and trials.  At the end of his life he said people had planned things for evil, but God had planned them for good.

Like Joseph, you need to take an eternal perspective on life.  The weight of the present heartache or trial can skew your perspective on the future; however, when you look from the present back through history, you can often see how your life has been more than just the victim of circumstances.

Benefit from the opportunity that you have.  Don’t refuse the refuge–find comfort in the shelter of God.

A Tribute to Mom

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One year ago today, I walked into my mother’s room and said:  “Mom, today is your birthday.  Do you know how old you are?”  She thought for a moment and said:  “No Stan, I don’t think I do.”  “You’re 101,” I said.  My statement revived her spunky and independent spirit, and she informed me that, “I might not know how old I am, but I know I’m not 101!” 

Mom died about a month later form the ravages of Alzheimers. Since Mom today is her birthday, I’m re-posting this blog as a tribute to her. . .

Times were tough in 1930. The stock market crash in 1929 had knocked the economic wind out of the United States and left it gasping for survival. Some 1,350 banks would fail and close their doors. The newspaper headlines reported on financial failures as well as world leaders like Mussolini, Stalin, and Herbert Hoover.

This was a time in our nation’s history when the price of bread was 9 cents a loaf, gas was 10 cents a gallon, and a movie ticket was 35 cents.

On Friday, June 20th, about half way through 1930, Buzz Aldrin was born. At the time of his birth, the idea of space flight was just science fiction; however, Aldrin would join Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969; and, they would be the first two people to walk on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin wasn’t the only person born on June 20, 1930. A baby girl, who would never experience his fame and notoriety, was also born. Her family had little money but a lot of love. Her fragile world was shattered a few years later when her mother died. She quit school in the 8th grade because her dad needed her to help work the fields—the fields of a farm he would later be forced to sell.

As a young lady, she married, but heartache found her again. At the age of 35 she became a widow when her husband was killed on the job, and she was left with three young sons. A short time later she married again. Five children came with her new husband. His 5 and her 3 made for an interesting life that could be as harried as it was happy.

Then it happened again—one of their children died an untimely death. Her family would adjust to the loss and she and her husband would lean heavily on each other as they moved forward as a cohesive couple. The two of them retired, traveled, and grew old together.

When her second husband died, the truth was exposed: She was weaker than any of her family knew. Her cognitive skills were becoming cobwebs; Her sense of direction failed her; and, she was often lost.

On Monday of last week, my siblings and I had to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest woman we’ve ever known and break the news: “Mom, you can’t live by yourself any longer—we’re moving you into assisted living.”

Mom’s independent spirit has served her well for most of her life. She kept going and remained positive when she had every right to be negative and quit. It’s that same spirit that keeps saying: “I’m not staying here. I’m going home.” But with the next sentence, it’s very clear that Alzheimer’s has a befuddling grip on her once vibrant mind and spirit.

Buzz Aldrin may have walked on the moon, but he stands in the shadow of my mother, Evelyn Lou Lacy–the girl who was also born June 20, 1930. She’s been a loving and loyal daughter, a faithful wife to two fortunate men, and a sometimes fearsome force who molded the life of her children.

Thanks for reading this tribute from a 62 year old orphan who misses his mother on her birthday.