Consider Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1: 2-3

Grandmother

There are just some days/events/holidays that will remind me of my Grandmother. The Shelbyville Horse Show is one of those events–my Grandmother and David went every night, every year and it was “their” event. My Grandmother would plan all of July what she was going to wear–she always looked stunning! As I write this it brings me to tears because since July 16th there has not been a day that goes by that I don’t think about her or wonder what heaven is like or her. For those that know me–my Grandmother and I were extremely close! When you think “Grandmother” many think old but my Grandmother was young (69) and vibrant. This time last year she was taking care of Reese, making my bed, making sure Reese had every pink item known to man and so much more! There really is no one that can replace my Grandmother in my heart–she was a one of a kind lady. It is not fair that she her life was shortened or that she won’t be there for the birth of my next child. I continue to pray for God to reveal his glory to me with the passing of my Grandmother. I just love the two photos below (birth of Reese thanks to Lizzieloo)… she stayed in the delivery room with me until the very last few minutes and switched off with my sister. I got the shirt she is wearing in this photo and hope to one day make both Reese and I something very special since that was a very special day for us–O’ how I loved having her with me to help with Reese and teach me how to be a good mommy.

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That brings me to funeral advice. The most comforting thing that people can do when one dies is to share a happy story about how their love once touched their life or something they remember about the person. I loved hearing stories of about my Grandmother during visitation–it was so touching. So many people loved my Grandmother and thought she was a special lady. More importantly countless people said “she loved her grands” and I know without a doubt that is true. She got to spend 33 years with my sister and 30 with me–what a blessing! So, next time I go to a visitation and I know the person that passed–I will share a memory with those they left behind because I found it the most comforting thing one did for me.

Knowing someone is going to die is a odd/weird experience. I wanted to soak up every moment with my Grandmother because we all knew the end result. I tried to do that as much as possible. I got some really sweet pictures of her and Reese but in some–they just simply weren’t my Grandmother. One of my best friends advised me to write to my Grandmother everything I wanted to say because I couldn’t do it in person–I would have just cried and didn’t want to upset my Grandmother. I was ever so thankful for that advice and did just that…

Grandmother you have been so influential in my life–you’ve helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today. I cannot thank you enough for all you’ve done for me and for Reese–doctors appointments, hospital stays, picking her up from Sproutlings… the list goes on and on. I will cherish all those times you got to spend with Reese and use the many things you’ve taught me like “only good mommy’s lotion their babies” “cover dr. smith’s all over their bottoms” for my next child. You have always been so encouraging about Reese and helping me feel like she is perfect and all is right in the world. I am having a picture printed of you holding her and it will be in her room forever!

I have so many memories of you that I will never forget… like when you would let us run up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart, sitting in church with you and your purse was full of goodies, giving us a dollar for offering, taking me on a shopping spree one summer to Ann Taylor Loft, buying Matilda Jane that you say is ugly (lol), making sure Reese had every pink item known to man, being in the delivery room, being at my 30th birthday party– just being the most amazing Grandmother anyone could ever ask for. You truly have set the bar high Grandmother–you are such a beautiful person inside and out! I’ve never been more proud to tell people that Judy Sparrow is my grandmother!

I know you are in so much pain and it hurts me to see you that way. I’m so sorry that this cancer has been a monster to you. I do know that the pain won’t be there in heaven. You have read all my blog posts so you know I think about heaven a lot. I think its nothing to be scared about at all, in fact I know I will see you there one day. I believe we will be in the most perfect form and that will be amazing. Grandmother, know that I have prayed for you continuously since you first got sick. God does answer our prayers but just not in our time. His plan is so much bigger than ours… just like Reese….. if she never walks on earth I know she will run to me in heaven saying “mommy, i love you”… The bible tells us that we will know people in heaven and so I will look forward to that day I see you in heaven and of course if my Reese McClain gets there before me I know you will watch over her.
This bible verse is taped to my desk at work I read it every single day:
Romans 8:18– For I consider our present sufferings of this present time are not worth to be compared to the glory that is revelved to us.
I think heaven will be a continual worship service in the most beautiful place imaginable… pearls, gold …. breathtaking really.
A couple of other verses that I enjoy reading about heaven:
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Grandmother I love you to the moon and back. Your fight has been inspirational. I know you’re tired and I am at peace now with you leaving… but again, I know it won’t be forever until we meet again! I love you sweet Grandmother please know Kyle, Reese McClain and I will never forget you.
Love you so much!

The most amazing gift my Grandmother left behind for me or Reese was the letters/notes written in her bible. So incredible… so faithful… and just comforting. I hope to have pictures of all these letters/notes and frame them in Reese’s room…

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I would give anything to spend one more day with my Grandmother but I know she wouldn’t want to come back if she had the option because heaven is so wonderful. I catch myself thinking she is like on a vacation and will be back soon so we can chat. I go to her grave side trying to wrap my head around that her body is in the ground but she really is in heaven. I listen to her voicemail she left for Reese that says “Reese it’s Grandmother, it’s Grandmother. Tell your mommy to call me so I can talk you to sleep” over and over and over. What I continually go back to is that our present sufferings do not compare to what he will reveal to us, I will see my grandmother and know her again one day, she is no longer in the excruciating pain that she endured and ultimately this life is all temporary so live each day likes its your last.

232323232-fp53855-nu=--7;-95;-239-WSNRCG=3;3-55685-32-nu0mrjI was 8 months pregnant with Reese McClain (we didn’t know girl at the time) with my Grandmother

Since my Grandmother’s passing of pancreatic cancer I have heard of others diagnosed of it and just pray for them and their families. It’s one ugly cancer. May each of them and their families find peace with our Lord and Savior.

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