From sadness to celebration

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

For this post, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • The holiday season is a time of family, friends, food and fun.
  • For many of us while we enjoy all of the above, we especially miss our the loved ones who have passed away around this time of year.
  • Bouts of sadness are normal. It is human to miss the physical presence of a person.
  • My very dear friend and sister in Christ, Jewel Taylor, shared her feelings about losing her beloved mom—and then decided to do something tangible to honor her, moving her sadness to a celebration.

Today my mom would have been 58. I miss her more than I ever have over these 23 years. When you grow up without a parent, you spend a lot of time in your imagination. I imagined what it would be like graduating with her there or getting married…

But for the past few years, especially since I had [my daughter] Rae, I imagine how she would have reacted to each of her grandchildren. That has been the hardest.

Baby Jewel and her beautiful Mom, Veda Lynn Steward.

I haven’t mourned her in a long time. But today, I’ve decided to allow myself to do so. However, in the spirit of WWVD Day (What Would Veda Do? – thanks for the idea Tarah), and despite being a bit achy, I will pick one of her favorite things to do.

We loved movies. We’d watch them all day if we could. And popcorn. And potato chips lol. I imagine that we would have all piled in the bed with my kids (after shopping for them, of course) and watched movies together. So that’s what we’ll do tonight. Pile in the bed with popcorn and potato chips (I’m really going to need a dustbuster) and watch movies until we pass out. I predict that:

part0 4
Richie, Ryan and Rae

-[My oldest son], Richie III will wiggle & talk through the entire movie.
– [My middle child and only daughter], Raelyn will fall asleep first.
-[My baby], Ryan will be chunky and cute.

And I’ll imagine that my mom would have been smiling from ear to ear, while wrestling my hand to get into the popcorn bowl.

Rest in Power Mommy.

In loving memory of Veda Lynn Steward 11/23/1960 – 08/13/1995

BCU Family, in thinking about this post, Psalm 30:11-12 comes to mind. “Thou [God] has turned for me my mourning into dancing, Thou has put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness”. To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. See how talking to the Lord can bless your heart in a matter of moments? He is SO wonderful!

What are your thoughts on Jewel’s idea to honor her mom? What do you do to honor those who have passed away? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can continue our conversation!

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Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!



Series: Lessons from the book of Ruth (1:15-22).

Welcome back BCU family!

Please click on the icon for the podcast, if you’re on the go, otherwise take a few moments to read written account–I am sure you will find it a blessing!

So, as we continue from our last Life Lessons from Ruth (part 1) Orpah left Naomi to go back to her parents house leaving Naomi to fend for herself. On the other side, Ruth’s love was in action as she took on Naomi as family, and even starting serving God!

What an awesome testimony of conversion, as even in a strange land where idols were worshipped (notice Orpah went back to her gods). The Word doesn’t say what Naomi did or said–obviously she impacted Ruth through her love and dedication to God. Are we aware of who is watching how we interact with people? Are we impactful for Christ? Could we be living and loving for Him differently, more consistently?

Something else I noticed in Ruth’s insistence on staying with Naomi was the promise made in verse 17:

Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts you and I.

WHEW! That is a SERIOUS vow–from woman who was willing to travel from her homeland to a strange land with her mother- in-law. How deep did the love roots go in that relationship? How willing are we to give up the familiar and love and trust God for where He wants to take us?

Let’s look at the thought behind the vow.  In that time especially people relied on your word and the integrity of you keeping it. A good name is rather to be chosen above riches (Proverbs 22:1a). We also talked about vows and promises in a post entitled,  “Five lessons the Lord taught me in 2015 (Part 1).” In short, when you promise something, you need to mean it and follow through with it, with the help of the Lord. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen, but we still are accountable for what we said and need to do what we said.

Now the ladies are back in the city who is all abuzz with Naomi’s arrival. Naomi, obviously still grieving, instructs to people to call her Mara (meaning bitter) rather than Naomi (pleasant), because the Almighty had dealt bitterly, left her empty, testified against her and afflicted her (verses 20-21). This is proof that grief is biblical, Family! This woman was HURTING! While Naomi did not curse God, she was direct in how she felt about losing her family. This coupled with the fact she likely felt she was destined to be poverty-stricken among these people who once knew her as a secure, married woman probably exacerbated the mourning. We covered the topic of dealing with people who are “mourning aloud” in the post, “Five lessons the Lord taught me in 2015 (Part 2).” Bottom line: Be directed by the Lord as to what to say.  Or if you should say. Our chapter ends with the ladies landing in Bethlehem, right at the beginning of the barley harvest—a good time to get some work. We’ll look at that next time.

So our take-aways:

  • Obedience is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 5:22).
  • Love is an action item–even more so when it’s not easy (I Corinthians 13).
  • Love provides for others (Ruth 1).
  • Honor your vows (Ecclesiastes 5).
  • Pray for what to say (Isaiah 50:4).

I pray this blesses and challenges you to do continue or start to do better in God–I know I saw myself in much of what is written here, so now that God has showed us better, with His help, we’ll do better. Amen?! Amen!

Lord will, when we come back, we’ll look at Ruth chapter 2 and “glean” some of the awesome lessons God has for us! Thank you and may God bless you so much for stopping by and until the next time we’re together #StayOnTheWall.