Ever have things left unsaid that need to be said. Or people that you love that you don't tell often enough? I do. And so, after reading her heartfelt letter of things that needed to be said to her kids, I have written a letter to her...long overdue.
Yesterday I finsihed up and sent in my application for that mac daddy Mom Heart Intensive Training with Sally Clarkson & Whole Heart Ministries. As I wrote my personal story of meeting Jesus, my experience with books or conferences by Whole Heart your name & memories flooded my heart.
I don't think I've said it in a long time & mabey never as clearly as I've wanted to...so I need to say it today while it is today. Your life and sharing life with you has shaped and influenced me...a lot. Thank you for leading that Bible study in the wrestling room at Hickory High School early, early in the morning and letting me see for the first time people my age reading the bible. Thank you for writing me encouraging notes in my first years of learning to walk with Jesus. Thank you for showing me what it could look like.
Thank you for introducing me to Anne of Green Gabels. Remember watching those movies in my basement?
Looking back, one of the real reason's I went to App. was to be near you- to room with you & be around those Jesus loving cool folks at Mt. Vernon. I was captivated by the way you lived life.
That first year, when I got so 'busy for Jesus' and tried so hard to be that Prov 31 woman & started judging everyone by the same standards I was keeping that made me feel like I was getting 'more holy' or 'closer to Jesus', I judged you too. I competed with you. I looked down on your and Matt's blossimg relationship because I judged it by the standards I had set for myself (which were intirely unrealistic). I am sorry. I am so sorry. Will you forgive me?
What a beautiful sense of humor Father has in that the teacher of the conference that peirced my pharisaciacal flesh fell in love with me & married me 2 years to the weekend after that Grace Walk conf. he taught. Guess God knew I would need a good theologian for a husband to keep me straight! :)
Even tho we missed out on a few years of eachothers lives as we were both getting settled into married life, I am so thankful you chose to forgive me and we were able to share life with my first toddler & your first baby girl when we both lived in Hickory. Thank you for giving me The Mission of Motherhood & working out at the Y with me & being a safe friend to share hopes & dreams & hard spots. Thank you for getting food and coming over to make James and I sit down on a blanket & eat on our moving day to WA. Thank you for doing the hard work of packing with me & for the life giving words you wrote on my boxes that I found when I unpacked in my new home.
Your life impacts.
Your humor is refreshing.
You love out loud.
After our 1st pastorate experience, eyes opened wide, who did James and I want to be with...you and Matt. Thank you for hosting us on our healing, slow-return drive from WA to NC. Thank you for babysitting our 3 kids so we could nurture our marriage & absorb what we had just experienced & be present to our pain. Thank you for being silly with our kids at the table, for squirting whip cream in their little bird like mouths, filling them with wonder & joy. You are so darn special Laura Leigh Parker. I still get a fun silly spell when I open a whip cream bottle & glory over the squeals of my little ones lining up for a squirt! I don't think I've ever told you that. I want you to know.
And taking me to that tea room in CO. Walking in to such beauty & you saying "Today, any guest from Wenatchee gets in free." Oh you love so lavishly.
And after our 6 months deep in the woods hiking & healing & finally finding a job & moving into another rental & I began grieving on a whole new level the Whole Hearted Mama sisters I left in WA...what showed up at our door...a trampoline!@#$!- We believe in your family...have fun! the parkers.
I know you do these things & live this life of love because you have been given to, you have been so dearly loved by others & mostly by Abba. But, my oh my, what grace that my life got to intersect with yours & that I have gotten to love & be loved by you.
I'm thankful for you.
I miss you girl. I look forward to lots of tea & stories & face time in heaven.
I love you.
the parkers moved last month to be missionaries in thailand with their 3 chilren to direct a christian orphanage for girls. their story is beautiful & unique & honest. you would be blessed to check it out.