I am so honored to take part in the Summer of Psalms Project spearheaded by the immensely talented Kristin Foss @Vine of Plenty.
Each Monday, a new free downloadable print is released into the interwebs, each chosen by a different blogger. We tell the story behind tour choice and are able to share a free downloadable print with you fabulous people, because Kristin is awesome and gifted and very kind to share that gift with us.
Here is mine:
Now, I am sure this choice has many of you scratching your heads. After all Psalm 107 is not a well known psalm. True, but to me it has significant meaning. It is a tie between my father and me.
"They have seen the works of the Lord,
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
And His wonders in the deep.
For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery."
My Daddy was a man of the sea. He was a Naval officer during the Vietnam War and while at sea he saw many tragedies. One of his jobs was to fish remains of US Airmen out of the Tonkin Gulf, so that their families would have something to bury.
He was exposed to Agent Orange and in the end it is what took his life in May 2001. He fought Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma or Agent Orange Cancer for ten years before it ultimately took his life.
This Psalm is all about chaos. The chaos of our souls when we are in desperate straights and how we cry out to God and he brings us safely home. My father saw God present in those waves at sea. He called out to Him time and time again, and God was there.
My father was not a perfect man. He was a functioning alcoholic until I was nineteen, before he sought help and changed his life, and that of his family. He was always a strong man of faith with a fierce devotion to the Blessed Mother throughout his life. He died holding a rosary in one hand and my mothers hand in the other.
He was a prayer warrior, even as he battled his own demons. The quote in the header of this blog is a quote from my Daddy. He never gave up no matter what life presented him with. He loved my Mama with all he had and he loved his eight children, with equal devotion. He was 100 percent Irish and had a temper to match (I come by it naturally). He was the best cheerleader you could ask for and when everything went to Hell, he was always there to give you a hand up.
When we were planning his funeral, we read through his breviary that sat next to his bed. This psalm was underlined and next to it in his own hand he had written:
I have experienced this first hand. Though the waves crash and fall, God will never abandon me.
You see, those waves of life, sweep us up and then the bottom drops out and we are left bereft. We cry out to God to save our butts and He does. I read this psalm at Daddy's funeral knowing that he was now with the Lord, enjoying the calm seas of heaven. Daddy had finished his race with dignity and grace.
When my Courtney was dying, I cried out to the Lord through each pitch of those waves. I clung to the foot of the cross as the bottom fell out time and time again. God was there. He never left me. He was there for every crash, every wave. In my misery God showed me grace upon grace.
The print that Kristin has created for me incorporates both my Courtney, in the orange and hot pink background, and my Dad, In the anchor. I am just so pleased that she was able to bring both of them together in celebration of this Summer of Psalms. Thanks Kristin!!
I know that my sweet Courtney is now with my Daddy, and the two of them are pretty fierce pair when it comes to intercessory prayer. SO don't let them be bored y'all. Put them to work.
St. Courtney, Pray for Us!
Papa Joe, Pray for Us!
Our new goal is $3,209.00 which will eliminate the balance on a credit card used for Courtney's PT, OT and Feeding therapies and supplies used over the last five years. We have raised $720 of it so far. Only $2489.00 to go to pay this first one off. If we can raise the full amount, we can pay it off and be that much closer to our larger goal. One thing at a time. Thank you so much for your help.
help pay off medical debt from caring for our beautiful Courtney
The entire medical debt is extensive, now approx. $67,3000. It's a lot and will take years to whittle down. Anything helps. Anything. So, I will keep it at the bottom of my posts for awhile. You all have already given so much to our family. Our prayers are with you and we are so very grateful. We can never repay that kindness. So thank you...just thank you. If you would like our mailing address, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it.
Labels: faith, We Can Do This!!