Saturday, December 18, 2010

Only By God's Grace

December 18, 2010

It's been exactly one week since Bonnie went home to be with the Lord. In some respects is seems just like yesterday we were with her in the hospital as her soul was lifted from her body and united with Christ's for eternity. In other respects, it seems like this was just a difficult dream and at any time she'll pull into the driveway and open the door to say "I'm home!". The reality is, Bonnie IS home and she has been healed and has no more pain or suffering.

Reality is also setting in for us as the memorial service is now behind us and a NEW "new normal" is ahead of us and still unknown to us what it looks like. The initial "new normal" following Bonnie's bone marrow transplant never fully developed, so we need to regroup and refocus. The four of us are going to spend some much needed R & R time alone together over the Christmas break.

Please continue to pray that God will fill the void in our home and that He will give me the gentleness and compassion of a mother's comforting touch that children, no matter their age, earnestly yearn for during trials. Also pray that a plan will come together in the next couple of weeks in order to continue Caleb's and Callie's home education for the balance of this school year, including Caleb's graduation. We have close friends working on ideas while the four of us are doing our R & R.

Thank you for your prayers for Cassandra during finals at Spring Arbor. She received confirmation that she got 4 pts in both her Communications and Rhetoric classes. She has an incomplete currently in her Constitutional Law as well as her International Conflict Business Management class as she missed both classes on Wednesday for the memorial service. The faculty at Spring Arbor have been incredible working with Cassandra throughout this entire ordeal. We are grateful to them for creating an environment for her that is enabling her to succeed.

Finally, I want to share a poem with you that was written by someone Bonnie held in high esteem; Wanda Burdick, a friend, a homeschooler pioneer and advocate and founder of Teenworks. Wanda shared this poem with me yesterday and I asked permission to share it with you. At the memorial service, we heard about the phrase Bonnie used frequently while teaching our kids: "Let's be a blessing...". Another phrase I was reminded of in Wanda's poem was "It's only by God's grace...". So I will end with the poem and update you after our R & R.

Love Steve (and Cassandra, Caleb & Callie)

Only By God’s Grace
Wanda Burdick

Bonnie I met many years ago,
I don’t think she ever had any foes.
She was a friend to everyone
And she worked until the task was done.
But when asked why? She simply stated,
“Only by God’s Grace.”

She devoted her life to others,
As a helper, listener, wife and mother.
I know she got tired and weary,
But she still worked in a furry.
And I asked why? She simply replied,
“Only by God’s Grace.”

I watched her do the menial jobs,
Like cleaning toilets, and wiping door knobs.
I used to think, she is so willing,
If only the world had two Bonnies, how thrilling.
I still asked her why she did this and she still said,
“Only by God’s Grace.”

One day I had lost a loved one,
She listened and said loosing one is no fun.
She understood and comforted me,
And helped me to look to Jesus and to see.
As she said we will all someday be there,
“Only By God’s Grace.”

One sad day Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer,
But she did not dismay, but looked for the answer.
So she could continue to be a wife and mother,
Her desire was to get better to serve others.
When I asked how she was doing, she humbly replied,
“Only by God’s Grace.”

Bonnie prayed she would suffer well,
Even though she knew she would say her farewells.
She became so concerned for her family
As she so loved Cassandra, Caleb and Callie
She asked me how do I prepare them?
I said, “Only by God’s Grace.”

Bonnie did all she could do,
To be there for them to see them through.
The good times and hard times of life,
For she wanted only to be Steven’s wife.
But she knew it was,
“Only by God’s Grace.”

On December 11, 2010, the death bell rang,
And Bonnie went with Jesus as the angels sang.
Bonnie woke up in to the arms of Jesus,
To be a part of heaven and its sweetness.
She said to Our Father,
“Thank you for your Grace.”

Bonnie will be missed and remembered by many,
And there is nothing that can help us to be ready,
To deal with the pain and loneliness,
To deal with missing Bonnie’s closeness.
Except: As Bonnie would say -
“Only by God’s grace.”

Bonnie was a good friend and example to all. This is a tribute to a Godly woman who was given to us by God’s Grace. So often I heard Bonnie use this term and these were the last words I heard from Bonnie. “Only By God’s Grace.”

Thank you Wanda!

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful poem and tribute. I hope you all are enjoying the much needed R&R. Bonnie will be missed, and not forgotten. She was a very special person and is now a very special angel.