I have many good memories as a child. Sometimes I don’t necessarily remember doing something a lot, but the amount of information I have on the subject makes me think I did. For example, I don’t remember watching Gilligan’s Island a lot, but I happen to know every word to the song and all the characters quite well. Maybe I did watch it more than I remember. The one that particularly bothers me is that I know all the words to every song in The Sound of Music. For some of my friends who thought they knew me well, I am sorry.
Tonight Tara and I reflected on a few of our favorite things. There are no raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens or anything like that. But we did have a few that when we simply remembered them, we didn’t feel so bad. The ones that Tara mentioned seemed significant and the simplicity of them impacted me.
Chai tea and bible study after the kids leave for school. Being there emotionally for her kids. Family prayers. A bath. Cuddling with kids on the weekend. Running with the dog and friends. Late night summer strolls with her husband. Our back yard. The family dinner table. Crawling into bed excited. Green grass. Movie night. A warm fireplace. Saturday church as a family. Farmers market with friends. Honey and peanut butter on an english muffin.
Seemingly so simple, yet once our life was rocked, that is what she remembers. I will not over-spiritualize this simple list. However Tara and I know that God is the giver of all these good gifts. He has renewed a sense of thankfulness for the things we have. Simple things, of little monetary value, that once lost, become priceless. The things of great monetary value didn’t even make the list. Not on the list: car, clothes, jewelry, nice kitchen, and many more.
Is it just me, or do you also look at the last 3 weeks of our life and only see good things that have come from it?
Lifting you up in prayer each day. Asking God to continue to heal, bless and carry you! Asking God to do amazing things in and through you. Yes, we see Christ in you. You are both such a blessing. Thank you.
I just saw that Howard Hendricks, a well-known and beloved professor of Dallas Theological Seminary, died today. As I was reading through his (for lack of a better word) obituary, I came across this passage that made me think of you,
“Seventeen years ago, Prof reported to the doctor’s office for removal of a small skin cancer. Eight hours later, more cancer cells remained. Eventually invasive surgery into his skull endangered Prof’s ears, eyes, and brain. Holding Jeanne’s [his wife] hand, he said, “Either God is sovereign or He is not. And, if He’s not, we’re in deep trouble. But I’m coming down on the side that He is.”
After the operation, the doctor reported, “It’s obvious that God is at work in your life. This cancer went as far as it could go toward your ear without affecting your hearing, as far as it could go toward your eye without affecting your eyesight, and as far as it could go toward your brain without affecting your mind.”
“If God had said to me, ‘I’ll give you another course [in trusting],’” Prof quipped, “I would have said, ‘Let’s make it an elective.’”
I’m so thankful that God is sovereign!
Thank you for sharing this! It’s an awesome testimony.
Yes, Jay and Tara, you are both such a blessing and an inspiration to all. We can’t get over how wonderful you both are. The last few things you mentioned on your list are not important. Material things come and go but the love and time spent together is much more important. May God be with you and keep you strong.
On the lighter side I pray that the honey and peanut butter english muffin sounds good enough to nourish you along with a chai tea which I would love to have with you. For now we absorb these well written words of yours, a glimpse of the trial you are walking thru together. I say “definitely” to the fact that the things that are going on inside and out are God’s fingerprints. Give an explanation, a gentle answer, for the hope that you have is what the Bible says. Jesus heals. He is the greatest physician. He raised Lazarus. He rose himself. And he sent His Spirit to help us knowing that life on earth has it’s trouble, but He’s always with you. Tara and Jay, praying for all of you, filled with sincere hope that you will be restored to health. You won’t feel great along this path, but He will never leave you or forsake you. Praying for you!! It’s all I feel I can do right now so I’m keeping it at the top of my “list”.
I echo your love of “The Sound of Music” and it has been a comfort to you and us to remember your (our) favorite (insert here words not from the movie but a more current book and song) thousand little things! How true that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift! You are singing and staying strong through many “dog bites, bee stings and sadness…” It is not unspiritual to give thanks for the ordinary which become extraordinary in your lives. He tells us to rejoice, doesn’t He? Of course He does! We rejoice with you today that God has given you sweet memories to recount.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” We love you and continue to pray!
Dear Jay and Tara,
Thank you for the reminder of what’s important in life……time spent with God, family, and friends! All priceless!
Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Your family is tangible proof that God works all things to the good of those who love Him. Tara, one of my favorite things is the memory of hiding in the playground equipment (freezing cold) with you at the retreat!! You always have been and continue to be an inspiration.
It’s Funny how when something happen’s that is so life changing that we appreciater the small things such as you have described. Jay as you know my labor of sales anymore seems in vein. i realizw kjnow more then every my reason for my existence is to share my sovereign lords good news!!
God’s Word is our counselor.
Gods’ Word strengthens us.
God’s Word is our delight.
God’s Word comforts us in our affliction.
God’s Word makes us wiser than our enemies.
God’s Word gives us more insight thn our teachers.
God’s Word is sweet to our mouths
God’s Word gives us understanding.
God’s Word renews our lives.
God’s Word gives us peace.
These words made me think of you and what you write in your entries. Tara and Jay every time I read these I reach out in my mind to god to give you and your family a big heart felt hug. Love you guys alot. Tara I have some new pictures of my grandduaghter and every time I get to spend with you I am reminder of those chats with you and the guidence you gave me to get me thru my touch time. God Bless you all.
I too am thankful for the simple things of life. I miss Saturday night church and eating dinner with your family. While none of us would choose suffering, for ourselves or our family members, I can see the hand of God in your lives. I also am learning to trust and forgive. I realized last night at Bible study that I am less forgiving and more judgemental than I thought. It was eye opening and an excellent lesson. It’s amazing how God’s word is new every day and one cannot ever reach the depths of it in this life. I think God intended it that way so that we don’t take it for granted or take God for granted. I truly miss all of you and wish I would have taken time to give Jay a hug on Sunday. Therefore, remember… God has taken us from a place where we were without Him and brought us into His presence and given us citizenship in His kingdom… paraphrased from Ephesians 2:11-18. We were without hope and now we have hope. Hope is often the only thing that keeps us moving toward the goal of our higher calling. May the God of all hope encourage all of you today. I pray a wonderful, God filled day for your family. I love you.
“I know all the words to every song in The Sound of Music.” This statement is grounds for confiscation of your man card, Jay. This is your first and only warning. 🙂
Seriously, the memories and the things that you cherish the most are God’s favorite things as well.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
~ James 1:12; 16-18
Bless you dear ones, every day, as you so generously share your experience and your amazing and inspiring insights into life. Thank you, Tara and Jay, for once again reminding me to focus on what’s truly important in our lives. Your list of favorite things caused me to pause and reflect on what gives me joy. Keeping you in my heart and in my prayers for a full and complete recovery. In Jesus’ Name, Jan
God brought you to my mind and my heart just now so I am dropping in just to let you know I am lifting you up to the One from whom all blessings flow!
I read every one of your posts, it helps me to remember to be thankful for the little…no simple things because they are NOT little. I pray for Tara and the Maier family daily.
Such great insight God provides us with! One of the greatest things I can remember during my Christian walk was to hear my kids laugh and get along so well just like best friends! I count these blessings and others like Joy,Peace,Love,Hope and Gods grace and mercy what wonderful things He has lavished on us.I love to read your thoughts like Carol said it’s like holding a mirror up to see what your life reflects! We get so busy sometimes we forget how much the seemingly little things in life matter but I’m so thankful God through you is speaking to all of us! Thanks Jay and Tara for your encouragement!
God Bless Brian and Carol Woods
Tara and Jay,
I praise The Lord that you are able to see, and that you will continue to see, beauty out of ashes, gladness instead of mourning and PRAISE instead of despair.
Isaiah 61:1-3 says:
1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Coming from the musical brain – Steven Curtis Chapman reminds us of this scripture in his song Beauty Will Rise.
Jay and Tara, as Dean and I are traveling a road of difficulty (job loss, heart issues with Dean, surgery for Steph’s knee a second time) throughout these last couple of months, our first thoughts have been: shock, anger, what is God doing, how are we going to make it, why do we have to go down this road, we are too old to start over at 50, etc. As we pour over scripture and pray with a renewed desire for God we slowly see our thoughts changing to: thankfulness, humility, praise and adoration for our Savior, how great, mighty and sovereign He is. Nothing is impossible wit Him! We see the blessings emerging…….more time together praying and reading the bible, more time in fellowship with other believers, playing games around the table with our kids, movie nights, running errands together, more compassion for those going through struggles especially the same struggle, walks around the block, more of a desire to give and serve. A verse comes to mind that my mom would always quote to me…
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on YOUR OWN understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your path. Prov.3:5,6 You continue to be in our prayers.
Jay & Tara, I would agree with “The Family Dinner Table”, as some of my favorite memories are the times spent at the Maier dinner table! I was trying to post a picture of the family sitting at that very table but was unable to. The dinner table is not only the dinner table, it is the craft table, where my beautiful nieces & nephew have drawn or made their cards or artwork for their Uncle Tim, game table etc… I also think of the picture from one of our Christmas gifts, a 12 month calendar, where Jenna is fast asleep at the table next to her plate and the caption “I’m not tired!!! This picture is posted in my office along with the many others from that calendar. The fun times we have at meal time or just sitting drinking coffee and visiting are the best! God has blessed us with His truly amazing Grace!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that my sister (ok & Jay) is a great cook, the food is always delightful!