Thursday, July 17, 2008

REMEMBERING SACRED MOMENTS....

Milton, here for Kristy:


Kristy rested Wednesday night well after a very hard day on Wednesday with pain, confusion, and hallucinations. We are doing everything possible to comfort her and Thursday morning as I write she is not hurting and is calm.

Jesus is the Lord of our lives. He never fails, and Kristy and I trust Him with everything.

***

Kristy's blog has 660 posts. Just six more and that dreaded number comes up.

666

I had that number as an employee for Sears while in college. I almost quit over it, but then what's in a number as long has it's not on your forehead or hand? That was thirty years ago. Is the tribulation over yet? Just kidding. I didn't take a mark and I don't have any tattoos.

Well, anyhow, Kristy has been busy on this blog. Kristy posted the following on Friday, August 18, 2006. I had to share it again and the special comment that was written.

Kristy, here on August 18, 2006:

MARRIAGE AND THE QUESTION GAME


So Milton and I are in Savannah celebrating our anniversary this past Monday, and of all the restaurants in that charming city to eat in, we choose…tah dah…TV cook Paul Deen's The Lady and Sons. They only take reservations for parties of 10 or more. Otherwise, you wait with 200 other people for a chance to get inside. But when I tell the reservations host it's our anniversary, she says with that lovely Georgia accent, "I'll reserve a spot for you."

So we're sitting there in The Lady and Sons, eating our fried chicken and cracker salad—we chose the country-style buffet over the menu items—when Milton says, "We're going to play a game."

"A game?"

He nods, a mischievous look in his eyes. "It's called The Question Game. I ask a question. You answer."

"Okay," I say hesitantly.

"What's the funniest thing that's ever happened in our marriage?"

This is really neat. I feel like we're on our first date, trying to get to know each other, and a doodad crawls down my spine. "My 'I See Somebody Story.'" (Note: This is a hilarious thing that happened to me; it was published in the book Help! I'm A Pastor's Wife.) A look of recollection fills his eyes, and he smiles.

"And another funny time was when I said _________________." (Note: This is none of your business; but a clue is, I'm noted among our family and close friends for saying innocent faux pas that crack everybody up.)

"I laughed harder than I've ever laughed when you said that." He's laughing now. "I almost fell on the floor, I was laughing so hard. The rest of the guys were too." I roll my eyes, remembering the awful moment when I felt like sewing my lips shut.

"What's the funniest thing I've ever done in our marriage?" he asks.

"Way back, when you were a real young preacher, and you were trying to get a Bible college professor to attend our church, and he and his wife finally came to visit one Sunday, and you preached on the man that was borne of four, and the Bible says he was a paralytic, but you had him having leprosy, and you described leprosy in gory, intricate detail, how it eats your fingers and toes off, and how you used to see missionary films about leprosy when you were a kid, and I'm sitting there squirming, knowing how mixed up your sermon is…"

We're laughing pretty hard now.

"I don’t know why in the world I did that," he says. "I knew as sure as I'm sitting here that that passage in the Bible was about a paralytic not a leper."

"Maybe you were nervous that this well-known Bible scholar was visiting that day."

He shrugs. "Okay. Time for the next question. What's the thing you love the most about me?"

I don't have to think about it. "It's when you're tender to me, and patient with me, for example, that Saturday you helped me move our wall unit, and it took you three trips to the hardware store to get the right size of those slider things, and yet you were so patient and kind and tender. That just thrilled me. And then when you wrote that article about me in last Sunday's bulletin, well, it made me love you so much.

Okay," I say, "let me ask you that question. What's the thing you love the most about me?"

"When you show respect and support and appreciation for who I am and what I do…and when you express confidence in me."

He pauses. "Next question. What can I do to make you happy?"

"I'll tell you when we get back to our room." His eyebrows go up and down over eyes oozing sensuality.

He's got this half smile, and his eyebrows keep going up and down. It's an endearing mannerism I've grown to love. I know if I were sitting close to him, I'd feel his heart pumping hard. I feel that shy, new bride feeling sweeping over me.

"In our room, huh?" he says. (Milton, here again. We were celebrating our 35 wedding anniversary at a B&B in Savannah, Ga. In a past post I wrote about Kristy and the window shade falling in our bedroom at the B&B where we stayed.)

"Not that," I exclaim, knowing full well what he's thinking, and knowing what I'm thinking, that I have a sweet article on marriage I want to read to him. And what I'm thinking and what he's thinking don't match up, and it tickles me, and I laugh, and then he laughs, and a few heads turn our way. "'Course that's not all I have in mind when we get back."

His eyebrows do their little trick again. "Let's go now."

We laugh again.

"Next question," he says, when our laughter subsides. "What's meant the most to you about our marriage?"

"That you've always been faithful to me, and that I can count on you to be there for me, and that I never have to doubt you, and that I know that you're true to your word.

Now, let me ask you. What's meant the most to you about our marriage?"

"It's two parts. The love and commitment and faithfulness you've shown to me, plus the fact that it hasn't been all about us, that we've spent our entire married lives helping others. We did it together, our ministry, helping people, our television ministry together, our pastoral ministry, writing articles together, speaking together, helping pastors when we were in denominational leadership work…"

A memory washes over me, and I see people parading across my mind, all the individuals we've comforted down through the years and encouraged and helped and consoled. I see the family we comforted when their teenage son was killed in a car accident, and I see the young 20-something mother and father of the baby we buried, and I see the elderly lady whose house we re-roofed, and the single mom whose siding we repainted, and right there, in Paula Deen's restaurant, I start crying. Tears stream down my face, and at that moment……the waiter appears.

"Would you like some more sweet iced tea?"

###Shortly, another waiter comes to our table. "I understand you two are celebrating your anniversary?"

"Yes," we say.

"May I sing a song for you?"

"We'd love it," we say.

He takes a singer's pose, neck extended, hands clasped in front of him, and strikes out. It's a fairly good rendition of I Can't Help Falling In Love With You.Lyrics:

"Wise men say, only fools rush in. But I can't help falling in love with you. Like a river flows, surely to the sea, darling so it goes, some things are meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can't help falling in love with you."

***

The first comment on the day of this post was from our....

Jennifer said...

Mom, For sure you two are the most amazing people in the world! You both are truly my heroes! What an amazing example of all I ever dream to be, right in my own parents! I'm so proud you are my mother and feel so blessed. You are so special, do you know how rare you are??? You surely are a great treasure to the King! I love you.

***

Milton, here again:

When I read this a few nights back while scanning through Kristy's writings, I was overwhelmed again with the sacred moments of life we have shared. Life is sacred and so is marriage. We have been blessed with God's joy, peace, and fullness as we have journeyed together.

Kristy so wonderfully captured so many of our life experiences in her writings. I cherish them.

18 Comments:

At 8:47 AM, Blogger A Romantic Porch said...

What a precious story. May God bless you today...still holding you up to our Heavenly Father. Sincerely, Rachel Going

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing, to have this collection of 600+ writings. I know you will always treasure them.

These words of a favorite old hymn sprang to mind as I read your post today, Milton:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

God understands fully what each member of your family is going through. May He pour out His comfort and encouragement on you today.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger One Mother with Cancer said...

What beautiful memories...

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Ava Tanner said...

Our memories are a precious and treasured thing. God knew what he was doing when he designed us and created us.

Your stories have and will continue to touch so many lives. Thank you for sharing such inspiring words.

May God bless your family today with strength from Him.

Ava Tanner

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger B. J. Brooks said...

What a treasured memory and written word. The very best stories are true stories of events in our life.

I loved your question and answer game. I asked my husband what his most unique gift was the other night. It was a bracelet, because he couldn't see himself wearing one, but it was a birthday gift from his children and me last year. Now he doesn't leave home without it.

Mine was a tear shaped stone on a necklace from my son, actually it was probably the card that made it special. He wrote, "I wanted to give you a tear that you wouldn't have to cry." I had experienced a really hard six months taking care of my previous husband with Hospice's help the last three months.

It hurts so bad to see the ones we love suffer so there are a lot of tears. But the joy of memories and the strength of family and God sees us through.

You all remain in my prayers, please keep sharing your love for Kristy and God.

Many Blessings
B.J. Brooks
(Robinson)

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Milton, I'm just back from ICRS and catching up on the Kristy news. I'm glad to see Deb Raney posted about the wonderful comments about Kristy at the Christy banquet. "Kristy has shown us in graciousness how to live," the speaker said. "Now she is showing us how to die."

I still pray for a miracle, as I know you do. I'm praying the psalms over you both, trusting God through this, even though it's hard to understand why Kristy is going through this. I do believe her and your testimony is going out to the world as never before, and will remain on this blog for months and years to come as a continuing testimony.

My heart is heavy for you both, and your family. All I can do is turn to God and say, "Oh, Jesus, comfort them. Be with them. Strengthen them."

What a wonderful thing to read how the Spirit of God is so present in your home. Few people get to experience that on such a level as yours. That in itself is a miracle.

Blessings, much love and prayers,

~ Brandilyn

 
At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL...SACRED...INSPIRING...BLESSED!!!

what more can I say but thank you & thank You Lord for enabling this blessed writing!

Shalom Peace!

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Thank you for sharing that lovely time. At least, you didn't draw a blank, grab for any scripture, and blurt out, "Behold, I come quickly," like one poor seminary student did, taking a step forward. This happened two more times and he fell off the platform and landed in the lap of a sweet little old lady on the front row. He was mortified, but she said, "It's OK, sonny, you warned me three times."

One of the sweetest love notes I ever got from dh was all about getting my car fixed. Love in action.

Praying, praying for you all.
My pastor back in Florida always used to say, "Where there's life, there's hope."

Habakkuk 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
2 LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known....

The Lord bless you real good.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

Memories have a unique way of sustaining us. You're blessed to have so many beautiful memories together.

 
At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Deborah Anderson said...

Yes, the two of you share many precious memories together.

Precious memories,
How they linger....

Much love to you both.

((((((((((Kristy & Milton))))))))))

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing blessing it has been that you have enjoyed a wonderful fun filled marriage to Kristy. He has given you thriving ministries, giftedness, childen who honor you, Grands who adore you, family to help you, friends who have wrapped their arms around you and fed you wonderful meals,and the body of Christ to pray without ceasing for you. God has lavished much on your family and you have honored Him...especially through the most painful time of seeing your heart partner suffer. Know that I am praying for His comfort.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Mary Connealy said...

I think worrying about this number isn't necessary but just to defeat the weirdness of it, you might consider posting your daily blog as part 1 and part 2, seconds apart. Just a thought.

A number doesn't negate of life of gracious faith.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Cyndy Salzmann said...

Milton,

My heart is just breaking for you and your family -- and I pray for you often.

Kristy has been such an encouragement to so many people. I'll never forget the time she emailed me to compliment a post I had left on the ACFW loop about how I felt experienced Christian writers should take the time to encourage new writers by offering endorsements, etc.

I wrote back to tell her that it looked like I had "ruffled a few feathers" with this position. She replied with such sweet, encouraging words about the importance of honoring God by by speaking the truth.

I weep when I think about her sweet spirit -- and how she has encouraged so many people. This is a woman who will have a truckload of treasure when she steps through those pearly gates. : )

 
At 8:06 PM, Anonymous LaDonna said...

Hi Milton & Kristy,
Just today my husband & I were watching "Cooking with Paula Deen". I turned to my husband and said, "we need to go to Savannah and eat at Paula Deen's restaurant". We celebrate 30 years next year Lord willing. Thank you so much for the article from Kristy today. I just loved it and appreciated everything you both shared.

Still praying for you all,
Keith & LaDonna

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Dear Friends,
I loved this post and all the beautiful memories you shared. That list of questions is sure to draw any couple closer.

The way you and Krsity have truly partnered together in ministry, marriage, and life is one of the greatest lessons I have learned from you. Since Kristy and you have been writing about that often, I have taken that advice to heart and looked for even more ways to connect, partner, and support my husband in our ministry and life together.

To have a faithful loving mate is truly a treasure, and we should never take that for granted. Thanks again for reminding me of that important truth.

Love and prayers,
Carrie in NJ

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Sharlene MacLaren said...

Prayers continue going up for you, Kristy, and the entire family! We serve a gracious, giving God!

Truly, Kristy is a treasure among many--the finest of gems. She stands out like diamonds on black velvet! Thank you for sharing her wonderful stories and your precious memories...

Hugs and blessings...

Shar

 
At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Sylvia Thomas said...

Dear Ones,
What a blessing it was to spend a few moments with precious Kristy and those adorable grands! Bro Milton, Julie, and Jennifer, we continue to stand with you for the healing of your beloved wife/mother
God is faithful and will not give us more than we can bear. My request of Him still stands: restoration of Kristy's health. We love you and are here if you need anything! Love & blessings, Sylvia & Mark Thomas

 
At 6:11 AM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

What beautiful, cherished memories you'll always hold in your heart! This post reminds me of how writing can help heal and comfort during loss. I wrote when I lost my mom and baby sister. I once had a mother tell me the material her son had written in my English class was all the writing she had left from him, and she thanked me for having him write in class, when I saw her at his wake.

She said she saved every single newspaper clippiing of the writing he had published in the local newspaper when I taught him. She also had school-published writing from my class, and she treasured it like gold, though to others it might seem worthless.

I never thought about this until keying this entry, but the Lord was using me even way back then, through my love and passion of writing, to help others. He uses us in different ways.

God bless you. Tears again. Still praying for Kristy. May God bless her with a clear head and clear her confusion, so she may truly be with you and enjoy every single gift of each day.

Blessings and prayers,
Barb

 

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