Thursday, February 16, 2012

Final days

As you know, I spent last weekend seeing my grandma one last time before she went home to be with Jesus. I don't feel like expounding much, it was a private time and all at once cathartic and painfully heartbreaking. however, I have to share a few videos and pictures.
My Grandma has a malignant brain tumor right behind her eyes, and as it grows she diminishes. Its hard to accept and see God's grace there, but then...
When I first saw her she was disoriented and rambling, I was shocked to say the least. I hadn't realized how much the tumor had taken from her already. She would get increasingly agitated and repeat things over and over, almost as if she had early dementia. But one thing I remembered as I sat there holding her hand, trying to find my Grandma that I knew, is that she loved to wake up every morning with my grandfather and sing worship songs to Jesus and I asked her if I could sing to her. And as we sang, her mind came back, her smile came back, the anxious rambling ceased and there was a sweet tangible presence of God that said, "I'm still here, I still care, I haven't forsaken her now."
Those songs, the same three, will probably always have the ability to bring tears to my eyes now because of their meaning to me and my time with her. To see my mama hold her mama, tears in her eyes and praising Jesus, it hurt so badly and brought such peace at the same time. God has loved my Grandma, and in her last days, he hasn't left her, his presence hasn't gone, if anything He's more present than ever. Its speaking his word, speaking to Him, worshiping Him that brings peace to her...and I am so grateful I got to see that, and feel the love of an amazing God so tangibly near me.
I love you mama, and I love you Nanan Biha...Hu Guaiya hao.

(sorry my video is a little blurry and hard to hear, it is basically me praying for my Grandma before I said goodbye for the final time, I don't want to forget it)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hu guaiya hao Nanan Biha...

( I don't have a picture of my grandma here, but really this post is for my own mum)

The week before conference, I was in church praying and my phone rang. It was my mum. 
Just a few weeks earlier she had told me that my grandmother had had a seizure and that she was being flown to the states for a biopsy because they suspected a brain tumor. I remember being struck with worry, if you've ever had this moment happen you know the feeling. Its a cold snake in your belly that scares you, you suddenly wish beyond all hope, that this isn't real. Maybe its a weird dream...but you hear the quiet, deep worry in your mothers voice and know in fact, this is real.
I remember exactly what went through my mind when I saw her name on my screen; I had been irritable with the kids and was annoyed when my phone rang because I was pretty sure it was a lady calling for a ride who torments me to no end...I sighed loudly and picked up my phone and saw my mama's name. I knew she was in San Diego with my grandmother and I almost couldn't answer. What if my grandma had gone? I answered and I knew immediately something was mother holds her emotions so well, always the strong one. And I could hear the almost breathless tone of someone trying not to cry. My grandmothers tumor was malignant...also not treatable. She had about 4-6 months left with us...could we pray? I remember talking a bit more then hanging up and suddenly tears were in my eyes and my heart was racing, its a strange pain. 
I have only seen my grandmother a handful of times, but she has been the only grandparent I have known. My nanan biha. My beautiful chammorita grandma who had nine babies and lives for her Lord.
This next week I will be going to see her, and to ultimately say goodbye. It wrenches my heart to know that, I keep avoiding thinking too much about it because there is just no way to prepare myself for moment when we both realize I am saying goodbye for now...until heaven nanan biha. 
Through all this, my mother has had to wrap her mind around losing her mother. I've heard the grief in her voice, the struggle as she tries to not worry while she is away, her mother always on her mind. How do you prepare to lose the woman who gave you so much? How to come to terms with that?
In this time, my mum has started a blog for her mama, letters from her heart. And it has really impacted me on such a deep level. My mother's childhood was not a perfect one, in fact if you've heard her testimony there were some awful things that happened, and in all this, my grandmother is struck by this horrible condemning guilt as she realizes she is going home. My mum is always mentioning how tormented my grandmother is by the past, wishing it would've been different and does she have enough time to make sure everyone knows how sorry she is? And it hurt me so much to think in these final days, my grandmother is not at peace. but what began to really hit me is just how gracious our God is.
You see, my grandmother really got saved about 30 years ago, her son had been murdered but he had just gotten really saved, and his life started a revival in my mama's family. And so begins the grace of God, Joel 2:25 " so I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten"
I know that there were some terrible hurts that happened before I knew my Grandma, but oh precious Lord, how that time has been redeemed.
In her years with Jesus, there is now a legacy so different than the one that haunts her. My Grandmother is a beacon in my mind, she is a pillar of what a Godly woman is. She is the one who prayed with the man who murdered her son after she extended her forgiveness to him in prison. She is the one who sings every morning with my grandfather, as they worship together and wait on God. She is the woman who loves deeply, everything about Jesus Christ, the woman who lives a life full of God. There is no dark spot on her reputation with her grand kids, no ugly scar to remember. The time before Christ was turned in at the altar, and given back to her spotless and renewed. And that is who I know now, this woman of God that I love so dearly, who's favorite scripture is Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?"
Grandma, nanan biha, you've done that. You have done what the Lord would require of you. And it has left an inheritance for your grandchildren who love you.
As I have read my mothers letters, I have realized the sweet grace that is in her words. The gentle ushering of forgiveness, as someone begins to journey on, that they need to hear so badly. And I am reminded every time, that there is powerful, cleansing, healing power in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. A hue of perfect white, only the Master knows the color of, and only He can give it. But give it he does. And now, as it is my mothers heart, and she reminds her own mother there are no wounds is almost heartrendingly painful, but so tender to read the words of a daughter walking her mother home to heaven.
I love you Grandma. Hu guaiya hao Nanan Biha.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hola! from the absentee blogger...

Holy smokes..I wonder if anyone will even read this. It's been FOR.E.VER. I wish I had a really good explanation for my lack of blogging, but sadly there is none. I just didn't feel like it!
So much has happened since my last post, and really it was just a lot all at once and I just didn't feel like adding a blog to the mix. BUT! I'm getting back into my groove (for now) and want to update you guys!
So...where to's a pic of me and my crew..yes the angle makes Reagan's head look super long and she might also have some snot in this shot..sigh. some of you are saying uh Soph we know some pretty awesome news you need to share...for those of you who might not know what I'm alluding to...
BAM! that my friends is a very cheesy photo (HA!) of my 24 week baby bump! and its full of this little guy
yup. got an alien in there. juuust kidding, but it is indeed a little mister. I'll hafta tell you the story about the day I found out. Its pretty sweet...some other day though.
I've had a phone with a cracked screen for six months now, our contract was pretty much up and getting a new phone would mean renewing a 2 year contract, because obviously, our commercial industry is full of weird socialist Nazi's who want your soul. ahem..sorry. But seriously, we just didn't want to do the contract route. Unfortunately, its a really tempting option when you realize that with our quickly advancing technology, an iPhone 3 is now free with a contract. free. i'm serious. because they're like, sooo outdated now.
So my amazing husband, got me an iPhone. Its like finding the long lost best friend I never knew I needed. Its pretty bad. I have an addiction. I mean c'mon! Have you seen how many FREE apps there are?!? its amazing! oh brave new world indeed....
So, with this addiction I have also discovered my phone has a pretty rockin' camera, and instagram has really rocked my's some pictures of the lil' monsters.

This last one of Emry makes me smile. she is so her daddy's girl; if you know John at all, this is a classic John foley face. She was making weird faces and I asked her to just smile normal, and this is the reaction I got. classic.
Pretty cute pictures eh?
Oh! and if you have an iPhone, look up the voxer app. Its pretty much the greatest thing to happen to me. It turns your phone into a walkie-talkie. Am I stuck in fifth grade? possibly. Buts its totally rad dude. 
I spend too much time talking with this crazy...

ha! oh I love you Aly...voxing with you is like my morning cup of coffee. from starbucks of course.
okay..well...hopefully I'll blog more soon, we start revival with Chris aulson next week, and all hell has broken loose on our family, church families etc...its been pretty astounding to tell the truth. This revival must pack some pretty serious punch, because as Sam Rice says, I can tell God is real by how very real the devil is in my life. so true.
Pray for us! and pray for my mum...her mama has been diagnosed with an untreatable, malignant brain tumor and suddenly we only have a few months left with her. I will be traveling to San Diego to say goodbye..which hurts my heart so much. But I will save that for another post.
someone comment please!!! let me know you still believe in me!!!