I chose the name of our blog based on Psalm 31:14-15a.

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in your hands."

This verse struck me over these past few months since Rodney, our dear husband and father passed away in July 2011. The footnotes in my Bible say it so well. "In saying, "My times are in your hands." David was expressing his belief that all of life's circumstances are under God's control. Knowing that God loves and cares for us enables us to keep steady in our faith regardless of our circumstances. It keeps us from sinning foolishly by taking matters into our own hands or resenting God's timetable." Our lives as a family have been tough for us. I think anyone would agree. It is easy to resent God's timetable. I would have never imagined being a widow and a single mother to three daughters at 37 years old but ultimately I am learning to cry out as David "My times are in God's hands."

I am starting a blog and ending my writing on Caring Bridge. We began a Caring Bridge site in late August 2009, over 2 years ago. You can look back through our journey as my husband Rodney was diagnosed and battled Leukemia. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/rodneylamfers

I began writing a journal out of necessity and found that I loved it. Writing became more than sharing our medical journey. It became sharing our hearts; our joys, our fears, our struggles and most of all our hope in God. I hope to continue to share these same things.

This blog is our new family of four walking this earthly path; hour by hour and day by day, in God's strength realizing that - OUR TIMES ARE IN GOD'S HANDS!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

4 years ago...Rodney went to his heavenly home

In Memory of Rodney Lamfers
August 6, 1973 - July 15, 2011

You have all maybe heard what they say about the dash (-) between our birth and death written on our stone at the cemetery.  The dash represents a life and the question is "how will you live that life?"

In remembering Rodney today I wanted to use his words.  These are words abbreviated from his caring bridge entry in March of 2011.  These words represent a life well lived for first and foremost God, then his family and friends, then his work he loved as an accountant.  What he wrote is all about those priorities and how to keep them in proper balance.  I hope remembering him in this way today will honor the memory of this man I love and I cannot imagine has been gone to heaven for 4 years already.

Here are Rodney's words:

"Life is GOOD and God is GOOD.  Just remember to enjoy life and not focus on all that is bad.  Even today we see things that are good."

"Even in the midst of all of this I have a peace that is unexplainable.  I am incredibly sad, somewhat mad, I have shed many tears but yet there is a peace and calm that overcomes after those periods.  I know that when I die I am going to Heaven where there is no pain and suffering."

"God numbers our days.  Make wise use of your time."

"Work is important but work is never done.  Spend time with family.  I have clients that are fun to work with.  But at the end of the day (or the middle if I could) I wanted to be home playing with the kids.  Going to their activities.  Just sitting together watching a movie.  That is life and what is important to me."



I love this picture because it reminds me again where his priorities were.  He is all dressed for work but taking time to go to the classroom with one of "his girls" as he referred to me and his 3 daughters.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20

May 20, 1995 our wedding day....and now 20 years later.
And so the day I was dreading is here....It is dreary and rainy out just like I feel!  I have been busy watching and cheering Ashley on at state golf the last couple of days so that has been a good and fun distraction.  A few months ago, knowing this would be a hard time for me and I did not want to sit around all weekend thinking about it I planned a trip to Omaha with the girls.  We are leaving on Friday morning and coming home late in the day on Monday (Memorial Day).  So that too will be a nice distraction and planning something fun to look forward to on those really hard days helps me get through.

I watched our wedding video on Sunday afternoon and invited the girls to join me if they wanted.  I told them I may shed a tear but the intention was not to cry while watching but instead to remember and share with them great memories!  I admit I did fast forward some since it was a long service....but it was fun to see again and remember those happy times.  One, of many, favorite memories I have is singing a duet to each other during the service.  The words to the song we sang, "Cherish the Treasure" ring so true for our marriage and I truly treasure these words in regards to the promise we made that day as we were lifelong companions as we followed the road of life God led us on. 


I cherish the treasure
The treasure of you
Lifelong companion
I give myself to you
God has enabled me
To walk with you faithfully
And cherish the treasure
The treasure of you

As I obey the Spirit's voice
And seek to do His will
I then can see the wisdom of His plan
For as He works His will in me
I then can love you selflessly
And by His grace, can pledge my love to you

This sacred vow I make to you
Does not contain an "if"
Though I'm aware that trials lie ahead
I will love you and pray with you
And through it all, I will stay with you
Our home will be a refuge of
Unconditional love





"The Best is Yet to Come" by Scott Krippayne

The race is long, sometimes I stumble
He helps me up each time I fall
When I lose hope he gives me courage
So I'll press on and give my all
'cause I know I never have to run alone
and I can hardly wait to make it home

The best is yet to come
The promise of heaven awaits
I'll finally see my Lord and Savior face to face
For He has set me free
For all eternity
When my life on earth is done
The best is yet to come

In every joy In every trial
I need to keep my eyes on him
He is the way My sole provider
No matter how the road may bend
When earthly treasures cloud my point of view
He reminds me that I'm only passing through

CHORUS
Nothing can compare with what's in store
When we join with the angels singing
Holy is the Lord

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn9xny6xSik


Saturday, May 16, 2015

His hands

I wanted to share a few favorite pictures that when I see them remind me of the hands I loved to hold.  I can still remember exactly how they felt in mine and each day I am reminded of them because Emma has the exact same hands!  Long, skinny fingers in comparison to my much shorter, fatter ones! :)

Our hands on our wedding day.
   Our hands on Rodney's Bible in the fall of 2009 right before his stem cell transplant.
 And our hands still woven together as we battled Leukemia in February 2011.
As I held Rodney's hand as he took his last breaths here on earth, I felt and could envision handing his hand over to Jesus and thanking Him that I was able to hold them for the 19 years we dated and were married.

Oh how I miss those hands each day!!  They did so many things to serve me and his beautiful girls.  He was always helpful and loving with those hands.  As Rodney, I do not want this terrible tragedy in our lives to be for nothing.  So today and each day; hold your loved ones hands, serve each other and love each other with those hands.

As much as I miss those hands woven together doing life together I now need to envision the hands of my loving God holding my hand and leading me through life.  Holding me up in His giant hands and protecting me and my daughters in the hollow of His hands.

The beautiful song by JJ Heller "Your Hands" is a beautiful picture of God's hands holding each of us each day.  I had to let go of Rodney's hands here on this earth and he mine....BUT unlike that I will never leave God's hands! 

"Your Hands"I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

Here is a link to listen to the song with the lyrics.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l3CEMWCxSk

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Graduation from Dordt ... 20 years ago

I am continuing again on my reminiscing of 20 years ago and focusing on our love 20 years later.  I cannot believe it has been 20 years this weeks since we both graduated from Dordt College where we met as Sophomores.  I look back on those years with such great memories of friends and the education we received.  Our college friends have been so great and we have reconnected with so many during the years when Rodney was sick, through his home going and now as I face life afterwards.

I, of course, have to share a picture from that happy day!  It's a little light but the best I can come up with before the age of digital photography. :)


We graduated one week from college and got married the next so needless to say it was a happy and busy time of our lives!  I remember being so excited for the future together that day and so in love!

I have heard a song recently that I have enjoyed.  It talks about the constant love of God through all of life.  I have known that constant love from childhood, as I graduated from college and into the future.  You, my God, have been faithful and constant on this life's journey.  I can truly say "You have been my God through all of it."

"Through All Of It" by: Colton Dixon

There are days I've taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn't make again
I've had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

You were there when it all came down on me
And I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story's always gone

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Through all of it

And this is who You are
More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives
I, I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I'm always going to

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy
I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

So I am going to depart just a bit from my trip down memory lane this month, go out of order and skip to the last Mother's Day Rodney was here with us.  He was, of course, in failing health only a couple of months before he went to heaven.

I have the note he wrote me that last Mother's Day framed and hanging in my house.  He could no longer go to the store to buy me a card and gift so he wrote a note that I will forever cherish!  I decided to share it today in honor of our love that I am focusing on this month.


"To my wife and mother of our children, there is so much to say.  You honored me by accepting my hand in marriage and promising to stay with me in sickness and in health.  You gave birth to our three beautiful girls and gave up your work and career to care and raise them.  You have treated me with dignity & respect along with some timely encouragement while I attempt to battle a disease that is ravishing my body.  I feel a growth in our relationship even over the past months.  I appreciate your witness on our Caring Bridge site.  What I can say is this:  I Love You"

This is a picture of us together during that time period.  Obviously, we never expected as a couple to have to go through what we did but I would not give up a single hour of the deep love and connection that happens when as a couple you face something hard together.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lifesong

So I started at the beginning of Rodney and I's relationship and now we move to the next step....engagement!  Rodney asked me to marry him under the fireworks in my hometown in July of 1994.  I thought I would share an engagement picture next in celebration of our love!


This week has been rough!  No sugar coating it!  I had been dreading the start of May and all the emotions it would bring this year.  What I was not expecting was to spend the first day of May in the hospital overnight with Claire in extreme pain trying to get her arm set back in place after a bad break and getting no sleep.  You also realize how alone you feel when standing at the bedside having to make decisions and not having Rodney there to help.  It was certainly not how I pictured starting May!  Claire's pain has been improving each day this week and we will go to the doctor tomorrow to hopefully get good news that it has stayed in place and get a permanent cast.  This too will heal and we are trying to keep that in perspective!

It reminded me of my life and how I never expected it to take the path it did.  Certainly not on our engagement day many years ago.  It again reminds you of the brevity of life and the urgency we have each day to live for God, enjoy our children and let our lifesong each and every day sing for Him alone!

It also reminds me of the legacy each of us leaves.  I am so glad that I and the girls can truly say that Rodney's Lifesong in life and in death sang to Him!  What will your Lifesong sing today?


"Lifesong" by Casting Crowns

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You

Monday, May 4, 2015

May....20 Years Ago

On May 20, 1995 I married Rodney Lamfers, best day ever!!  20 years later...here I am still not believing at times that he has gone ahead to heaven and still missing him every single day.  It would have been our 20th anniversary this month on May 20.

In memory of Rodney and in celebration of what would have been our 20th Anniversary this month, I decided to post a few pictures throughout this month on my blog and facebook of us together along with a verse or the words to a song to help me remember and work through all the emotions this month will bring and to remember the great love that God gave us in our short 16 years of marriage together.

I thought I'd start at the beginning....the dating years at Dordt College where we met our Sophmore year.  This is a picture from that year.

 

"Before The Morning"
Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
Feel the things that hurt you,
If there's a God who loves you,
Where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
That you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
Can't compare to the joy that's coming

So hold on, you got to wait for the light
Press on, just fight the good fight
Because the pain you've been feeling,
It's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
And you know where you're going,
You just don't know how you get there
So just say a prayer.
And hold on, cause there's good who love God,
Life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
But you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
That you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
Can't compare to the joy that's coming

So hold on, you got to wait for the light
Press on, just fight the good fight
Because the pain you've been feeling,
It's just the dark before the morning
Yeah, yeah,
Before the morning,
Yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
All your pain will fade to memory
Once you feel the way of glory,
All your pain will fade to memory

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
That you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
Can't compare to the joy that's coming

Com'n, you got to wait for the light
Press on, just fight the good fight
Because the pain you've been feeling,
It's just the hurt before the healing
The pain you've been feeling,
Just the dark before the morning
Before the morning