Thursday, April 9, 2009

Scrapbooking Hope

I would really love to be an amazing scrapbook-er (if there is such a word!). It seems so many of you all are. I have all the "gear." I actually completed one of the small books for my daughter the year after we had moved here to VA; but it never seems I have enough time or space to get it all organized and done. Shutterfly has become my version of photo books for now.

But there is just something about the handmade isn't there? My daughter adores her album that I hand made for her. Just last night we were looking through it together. I am not one of those people who can just whip a page together. I agonize over which photos should be used, where they should go and how to lay it all out on the page. When I look through her album now I can remember painstakingly putting it together. One of the photos that I went back and forth on to include:

This is from the burial of my father. (I am the brunette holding my son's hand & my sister is kneeling. My daughter had just placed her rose petals on the casket. I'm not even really sure who took this picture, but I believe it was my best friend from growing up.) As you can see, it was an emotional time for all of us - even my children clearly understood that Grandpa was no longer with us. I debated back and forth about adding this picture; but it was a big part of our life. He was a big part of our lives. And it was a photo book of that year of her life so in the end, I included it. I left the page simple. The dates of his birth and death and his favorite Scripture.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

You see, my dad was a factory worker who had gone through a bitter divorce (after having two children) when he met my mom (who was 16). They got married and had my sister and I. Life had not been easy. My parents marriage was rocky. Then someone at his "shop," as he called it, showed him a video and shared the hope of Salvation through Jesus Christ with him. And he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. His heart was changed. His mind renewed. His life forever altered. 2 Corinthians 5:17 became his life verse - his testimony.

Growing up, I remember how he would tear up (this is a man's man mind you) singing songs like, "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace" at church. He knew this grace first hand. He had experienced the love, forgiveness, and he believed that his Redeemer lived.

He died close to Easter. But the joy in that is the immediate reminder of the hope that this season brings. Jesus died on the cross as payment for each of our sins. What separates Jesus from other "wonderful men," is the fact that not only was He the Son of God, but that He rose from the dead 3 days later. He (through the power of God) defeated death and made a way for us to one day be in the presence of the almighty and holy God.

If you are interested in reading my personal testimony of Salvation through Jesus Christ, click here. If you have questions or would like for me to pray for or with you, please e-mail me at ateachableheart@gmail.com.

(As a side note, I am not interested in debating issues of faith. I understand that not everyone will believe as I do and that matters of faith can stir up strong emotion. If you have sincere questions they are welcome here.)

Rejoicing in the Hope of Easter!

Shanda

19 comments:

Belinda said...

Love the post, wish I had been a little older when my father pasted(I was 4)treasure your memories of him and what God did for him. NEVER apologize for your faith sister.......celebrate it and share it.

Laretha said...

That is beautiful. My father is aging, still living and I remember when he walked the isle - a man's man himself - and became a changed man. It was Easter Sunday.

Thank you for the sweet reminder.

Carla J Schuchman said...

What a beautiful post. My father went home March 16th 2007. It was a sad time but also a time of sweet reflection. It was saved a year before. we a Jewish so you can imagine what we went through.
I love reading your blog. It's wonderful to hook up with sister's in Christ!
Love you!

Kathryn said...

Shanda, what a joy it must be to know that one day you'll dwell forever with your dad where "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (reference Revelation 21:4)!

Re: the scrapbook issue. I haven't made "real" pages for Katy's albums since she was three years old! (Nine years of NOTHING!!) I've got oodles of photos, even all organized chronologically with page ideas, but ... nothing. Sigh. :-(

Kelly Deneen said...

I think that is an important picture to include.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday!

HappyascanB said...

This is an absolutely beautiful picture. I think your scrapbook page had to look perfect. I try to scrapbook; I find it easier when I get with others and we do a night of it. They are much better at it than I am, so they help me tremendously. I can't wait to read your testimony! These days leading up to Easter always cause me to want to shout my faith from the rooftops!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Awesome story of faith, Shanda. Thank you for sharing it at this special time of the year!!! :) I am going to read your testimony today.

If you are interested in winning something cool (to combat the Easter goodies your kiddos will get on Sunday!), check out my giveaway I started today! :)It was my 100th post!

Lora said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father. Thanks for sharing.

Sheryl said...

I think it's great that you included that picture. It was part of her life during that year. I believe we need to teach our children young not to be afraid of death, it part of life and God's plan.

Thank you for sharing, it had to be hard to post the picture. My father past away 5 1/2 years ago and at times I can tear up pretty easy.

Have a great day.

Southern Bride To Be said...

Precious post!

That's Who I Am said...

I am glad you used the picture in your daughter's scrapbook, because that is a memory you don't ever want her to forget. Hope you have a Happy Easter!

rhemashope said...

Your description of your father reminds me of my father-in-law. He was such a rough, tough man before the Lord saved him.

God is still being glorified through your dad's testimony. And here you have honored your father and your Father. Thank you for sharing the Gospel message - the most important message - the true meaning of Easter.

Love!

Gretchen said...

This may sound strange, but what a beautiful picture. Your father had gone to his reward. I think we're awfully afraid of death in this culture. Not that I think all photo albums should have casket pictures in them, but if that is life...that's life.

I think you do have the right stuff to be a scrapbooker, Shanda, because you don't rewrite history in some sappy way. Rather, you live it, show it, and move on.

I'll be thinking of you and I'll pray for you as you think of him. Because even though he's with Jesus, I know you must miss him terribly.

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of your father. What a beautiful tribute to him.
Have a wonderful Easter.

Jill said...

Oh...what a wonderful post.
Thank you.

HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

Blessings!
Jill

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful testimony of a changed life...and the assurance you have of seeing your father again one day! I love the photo...and I, too, would love to be a scrapbooker. Right now, I'm an avid scrapbooking supply collector!!

Thanks for sharing your faith...I'm going to go back and read your testimony, too. Have a wonderful Easter!

Danielle said...

That is one thing I love about scrapbooking. The fact that I can document the moments in our lives when I want to remember the sights, the smells, the feeling of it all. For me, it's a release. I pray that your family has a Blessed Easter.
He Is Risen!

Blessings~~~ Danielle

joanofalltrades said...

I think it was a good choice to put the picture into the scrapbook. Touching story about your dad. I love your disclaimer. People need to understand that when you are a follower of Christ, no one is capable of changing your mind, so there is no point debating the topic. Happy Easter!

Pam D said...

Oh Shanda, that is such a beautiful post! And, in it's own way, such a beautiful picture. My dad has been gone for nearly 15 years, and I STILL miss him. He, too, found salvation later in life, and he valued it.. treasured it.. savored it. He went to a school called The Great Commission School in Nashville and earned an associates degree in his 60's. Not because it would bring him monetary gain, but simply because he wanted to know more about God. I have the battered New Testament that was in his pocket when he was hit by a car and taken home. Sudden.. shocking.. and yet, he had prayed that he wouldn't be one of those who lingered and suffered. At 75, I think God simply said "It's time, good and faithful servant".. and he was gone. We didn't lose him, though.. because we KNOW where he is. Your dad and mine have probably met up in Heaven and could very well be buddies.. sounds like they would get along great as they serve the God they love so much!
Blessings, sweet friend... and I know that WE will rejoice together in a better place someday, too!