Friday, May 27, 2011

4 Years

Happy anniversary my love.

We've been through some tough stuff together. I don't know who we would be without the other.

I'm glad I don't have to find out.

I love you more today than I did on that beautiful day 4 years ago. You are my perfect match, my other half.

Wow love. 4 years. Here's to 50 more...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I don't even know if I know what this says.

I can feel God working on my heart right now. I don't really know how to describe what is going on, but I can feel Him in there, doing something. My brain has been fighting with my heart, and both of them are giving my spirit a hard time as well. I've been mulling over some tough stuff for a while. Yucky stuff. Sad stuff. Work stuff. Sometimes I feel like I know the answers, but sometimes I don't. I can literally feel the fighting between Satan and God in my mind and sometimes I feel numb to it. Sometimes it overwhelms me and makes me sad. I've cried a lot. I've felt guilty a lot, but I didn't know how to express it until I was talking to my mom tonight (side note, I have the most therapeutic conversations with my mom. Seriously, her and I are so perfect for each other. I love her.) and I was trying to briefly tell her the jist of the situation without giving too many details or without making her too sad (I failed on part two, btw). It finally came to me - I feel guilty and ashamed about my feelings. Seriously, I've typed this twice and then deleted it. I don't know if I can even admit it...I feel guilty that while someone much older and wiser than I is praying for complete restoration for someone I am praying for the opposite. I am praying for a peaceful journey home into the arms of the Father. I can't really come to grips with that right now.

I miss my dad. I can't believe it's been a month. This was the first year I didn't send him a birthday card. I only bought two dad birthday cards, not three. That sucked. Sometimes I'm angry and sometimes I'm sad. Sometimes I don't let myself go there at all. 

On our first wedding anniversary my aunt sent me an email that said "And they said you'd never make it...happy anniversary!" There was so much bitterness and ugliness behind her words, though she typed in jest. Nonetheless, her statement started my habit of intentionally blocking negative experiences with my extended family from my mind and from my life. I built walls around my heart trying to block my family out. Trying to block their unkind thoughts out, trying to not let myself feel anything by their words or actions. I've put similar barricades up since my dad died. It started with my uncle not respecting my wishes in regards to two simple phone calls, then my aunt asking Erin for a piece of my dad's furniture immediately after his viewing, and then my other aunt rewriting the obituary I had written, and then none of them asking for my opinion on anything, despite me asking them to not burden Erin or Mark with anything, but to please call me. But why would they? In their minds I'm "just the step-daughter." Boom: big, huge wall.

Back to God working. He is, I know it. I have sadness and bitterness and hurt in my heart. But I also have joy and hope that I do not want to be ashamed of! The fact of the matter is, I have a Savior who has showered my life with love. I have a God who loves me so much he is willing to break my heart every now and again. My Jesus loves me so much that even when I admit thoughts I think are horrible, he comforts me before I can finish the sentence. Yes, I have walls, and yes, I know they must come down, but inside the walls is a very warm, safe place and He lives right there. My heart, my imperfect heart, is in the Father's hands and I am so thankful for that.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In Memory

My sister and I worked together to write dad's obituary, here is a copy with the picture we submitted to the paper.

Thomas Gordon Sutton, age 59, died Friday April 22, 2011, at his home in Rogue River, Oregon.

Tom was born May 12, 1951, the third of six children to Gordon and Gladys Sutton. He grew up in Ventura, California and frequently joined his father, brothers and friends on motorcycle riding adventures. Tom followed in his father’s footsteps and began his career in flooring installation at the age of 16. Though Ventura was home for most of his life, in 2001, Tom brought his family to Grants Pass, Oregon to fulfill two life-long dreams: making a claim in the beautiful Northwest, and purchasing a John Deere tractor.

Tom was a loyal, hard-working man. He was gentle, kind and loving and was devoted to his children. Tom would tell you his most special memories were those in which he was spending time together with his family and friends, laughing, playing and teasing one another.

Tom is survived by his children Mark, Erin and Stephanie, his son-in-law, Ben, his mother, Gladys, his siblings Marianne, David (and Linda), Donna (and Chris), and Carol, multiple nieces and nephews, and close friends Phyllis and Doug. His father Gordon, his brother Ray, and his nephew Ryan preceded him in death.

Though his passing saddens us who loved Tom, we take comfort knowing he had an incredible faith and he is now at the right hand of the Father, rejoicing with the angels.

“When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Than I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim
My God, how great Thou art!”

The last verse was added after I saw Carrie Underwood's version of the hymn, "How Great Thou Art." It's beautiful and will bring tears to your eyes.