Reflections On Our Mom

About a month ago, my healthy 59 year old mom went into the hospital for chest pains. What was initially diagnosed as pneumonia, quickly became known as pulmonary fibrosis, and she died from it three weeks later.

Today we had her Celebration of Life service, and it was so very sad and so very good. Though I couldn’t help my steady flow of tears, I was so incredibly proud of my parents and my siblings. God was glorified and Mom was honored-and I couldn’t be more proud. Here’s what us kids had to say 🙂 IMG_3234.JPG

David:

Our mother died on August 1st 3:30 p.m. during her life she was a fairly unique individual whom we love very much she had the odd habit of watching the same thing on TV over and over again one of her favorite things to watch was the Christmas carol I don’t know how considering she could barely keep track of the remotes but somehow she got the VCR to play that darn cassette over and over again without having to ever get out of her bed soon as it reached the end it would rewind itself and start over again

The movie is about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge he’s rejected by family goes through  the loss of loved ones lose his people’s respect  friends  and what’s important and only by taking a personal inventory and scrutinizing his life and the way he lives does he realize his mistakes  he sees the horrible harmful things others have done to him he sees the horrible harmful things he has done to others he sees how others choose to live how they have overcome their own adversities and he is forced to see what is life could end up being

Our mother was a wonderful person despite all of her faults she experience loss of loved ones rejection by family she battled addiction struggled in her own personal hookups and doubts with God and faith but she found salvation she became as good a wife as good a woman as to be found anywhere and it could be said she truly understood the blessings of God not just in church on Sunday but everywhere and all year long the final words of actor Alastair Sim as Scrooge are I don’t deserve to be so happy, then with raucous laughter and joyous tears he exclaims I just can’t help it

Our mother died on August 1st at 3:30 p.m. and in heaven she will now know uncontrollable joy and eternal laughter and she just can’t help it.

Betty: 

Hi, I’m Betty- the middle child-please don’t hold that against me.

Mom, was wonderful in so many ways. She was strong. She was selfless. She was humble. She took us on walks and talked through things with us, she helped us with homework, she did countless crafts with us (some of us were worst than others), she was mom. A mom who cleaned up bloody knees after we crashed learning how to roller blade. She was a mom who volunteered in our schools and brought in snacks and taught us how to do chores and how to decorate. She took us on vacations, and shuttled us to soccer games volleyball practice and shows. She cared about who we were friends with. As we grew she talked with us about sexuality (often times a LITTLE too explicitly), and about the value of education and being a life-long learner. She invited us into her work world and vice versa showing us the value of loving every human being and of hard work. She taught us about finances, and wise decision making, and the importance of being responsible for my own emotions. She believed in us-and thought that we could do anything we put our minds too. We know that she loved us deeply. And I know I can speak for all of us when I say, we are extremely thankful for her.

As many of you know, and as David alluded to, Mom also had some really hard things in life.  But here’s the beautiful, wonderful things about her life and legacy. She fought and she won and by the power of God her life ended with SUCH GRACE. She fought through the mental illness of depression and anxiety. She fought through the addiction of alcoholism. She fought for faith and for family and for relationships. It was not easy. And transformation did not come overnight. It took a long time-but I will forever remember Mom’s legacy as one of perseverance and victory.

The song of Mom’s life ended beautifully. The melodies she and God wrote the last few weeks, months, and years were among the most beautiful of her entire life. Mom’s story is a reminder that you are never too far, and it is never too late to grasp a hold of God’s loving hand. And when you do—thought it isn’t easy-oh my goodness is it good.

I am heartbroken that mom is gone. I hate that she won’t see my wedding day, and I’ll never be able to laugh at her over FaceTime for being distracted by the filters. I hate that dad’s alone, and that there is no one to defend David now when we all gang up on him at family functions.

But even with the heavy sadness, I have peace knowing that she ended with a grace that makes me so incredibly proud to be called her daughter, and right now-even as we meet here today- she is in heaven, and happier and more fulfilled than we can even begin to imagine. And that is a reason to celebrate.

Glenda:

As we gathered around Mom’s bed to say our final goodbyes we all cried a lot. It was so sad to see her like that and to know that going forward she would not be here.  We sang and cried and prayed and then the nurse asked each of to tell her about mom and before long in true Pompell fashion we all started laughing.  I can almost hear mom saying “Cry just a little bit for me, maybe a few tears but then be happy” So that’s what we did. And while we miss her greatly there are so many awesome and fun things to remember about her….

Like she loved dessert! So much so that she more often than not ordered it as her main meal! She love to take naps any time of the day and anywhere! She loved coffee, especially coffee with her daughters! She loved Stargate, Star trek and LOTR. So much so that she named her dog Arwen…whom she also loved. She loved to eyeore. She loved pepsi maxx (never ever coke) she loved watching the christmas carol over and over again. She loved her sisters and the time she spent with them. She loved her church and Jesus.  She loved our dad and how he loved her! She loved us kids and all her grandkids and spending time with each of us. And she especially loved it when we would take a nap with her!

If you ever spent anytime with Mom you know that she had a quirky and dark sense of humor. Sometimes she would tell jokes that only she would get but her laugh was so contagious that she then had us all laughing! I will definitely miss her laugh! She was sweet and thoughtful and when I think about how she loved each of us kids it was different in that she was able to see the differences in the three of us and love us the way we needed to be loved.  One of the last gifts she gave was to say thank you for something. When I told her she didn’t have to get me anything she said “i know but i also know that gifts is one of your love languages.”

When I was 15 or 16 mom spent several months reading Pride and Prejudice with me. Each of us taking turns and reading it allowed to each other! It is still my favorite book and that is my all time favorite memory of me and her. Mom claimed a children’s book for each of us that she felt represented our relationship. Our book was I’ll love you forever. It’s a tear jerker! But it is so true to life! Life wasn’t always perfect. We had our ups and downs…I was a teenager once upon a time! And we both did things over the years to make each other angry and we made decisions that the other one didn’t agree with.  But at the end of the day I knew that I was her daughter and she was my mom and I never doubted her love for me!  And the last paragraph of that book has never been more true “ I’ll love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living my mama you’ll be”

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Our little favor:
Mom's Favor.jpg

My Parent’s 40th Year Anniversary

Forty years ago today, my parents- Robert and Karen Pompell- promised themselves to each other, for better or for worse, in richness and in want, in sickness and in health-till death do they part. I have seen them faithfully love each other in each of those circumstances, and have been deeply blessed by both the delightful and the difficult aspects of their marriage. I asked them this weekend what sort of lessons they have learned over the 40 years, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Mom said she learned…
    • He cannot read my mind, he cannot read my emotions, and so if I want him to know what’s on my mind or how I feel–I have to tell him!

    • He doesn’t do stuff to particularly make me mad–that’s just my perception, and I had to learn to let it go and believe the best about it

    • Just because we see the same thing, doesn’t mean we see the same thing

    • I’ve learned to love him more, to be a friend, to be a confidant, and to enjoy his company.

    • I’ve learned to support him in all his endeavors

    • I’ve learned that it is never good to say negative things about the man you’re married to in front of your children, or in front of friends.

    • I’ve learned I DO need a confidant, but you have to pick that confidant very carefully

    • I have learned what true human unconditional love is. ❤

    • I’ve learned to replace negative thoughts playing in my mind with positive thoughts and to let God’s spirit shine through me in our marriage

  • Dad said he learned…
    • As you grow older together, there are different stages you go through in life, and you adjust to meet each others needs and changes

    • If you love unconditionally, she just gets more beautiful every day

    • When I feel my worst, she gives me her best. She is a great encourager to me and is supportive.

    • Over the years, we learned how to become better communicators

    • We had to keep God at the center of our marriage. When we depend on him-in prayer and in Scripture-he takes us through the storms and helps us stay focused in our love.

    • There may be times you don’t like each other-but you still have to love each other

    • With love, comes true forgiveness. When you have your disagreements- you don’t say “Remember when” , that’s not forgiveness. Forgiveness is the way Christ forgives us-it’s gone! It’s forgotten!

    • Don’t dwell on the past, focus on the present, work on the future together.

    • Holding her hand or rubbing her feet is a love language I have learned over the years. It means just as much as me looking at her and saying “I love you”>

    • There is nothing she loves more than getting her feet loved-so she gets her feet rubbed everyday

    • We are going to mess up and get mad at one another, but it’s the forgiveness. And keep working at pleasing one another

    • Prayer together, keeping Christ at the center is when our marriage is the strongest

    • You need friends you can confide in, to talk to, to pray with you, to encourage you, when things are not going so well. Don’t share it with everyone, but find believers you can trust and pray for me. I have seen so many miracles in our marriage!

    • My wife is the ultimate gift I. I have been so blessed. I could not ask for more beautiful, loving wife. Not always been easy, it has been difficult, very difficult at times, but my love never wavered and I just thank God every day for every day that we have together. I think no matter what comes our way, all I can say is “thank you”.

Thanks for your wisdom, love, honestly, and example Mom and Dad! Happy 40th wedding anniversary! I thank God for you and pray He gives you many, many more!

Love,

Betty

A Single Believer’s Guide to Attending Weddings

I love weddings.

The beauty.

The joy.

The tears.

The message.

The speeches.

The creativity

The eating.

The dancing.

 

But for some of us who are not on the precipice of marital bliss, weddings can be…well…painful.

 

For the single mom who regrets her wedding day.

For the guy whose girl just left him.

For the girl who guys never fall for.

For the recently widowed.

For the girl who “wasn’t enough” to marry.

For the guy who was too late in asking her.

 

What do these people do as wedding invite after invite flood their mailbox? How do they prepare themselves for walking into yet another celebration feeling alone? How do they look forward to:

 

Sitting alone at the ceremony

Sitting out during the “couple dances”.

Sitting with all couples or families.

Or perhaps worst-sitting at the “single” table?

If you are a believer, I have 3 encouraging verses to share with you to help you honor God and enjoy the weddings you attend. These have wonderfully changed how I attend weddings and I can honestly say they are a JOY. Though during the wedding/reception the sting of singleness may still arise, its pain doesn’t linger, and I am truly able to rejoice in the day! I hope these help you to attend weddings with gospel rooted happiness, clarity of mind, and focus on others!

  • Pray for selflessness
    1. Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. So, as you are tempted to think about your loneliness, your heartache, your etc. etc. etc., remind yourself that this. Is. Not. About. You! Yes, it may hurt, but take your eyes off your own pain and pray for eyes to see and rejoice in the excitement and joy of others. Pray for the ability to put your mourning on a shelf, and for the night, focus solely on praising the Lord for how he provided for this couple. How he blessed this couple. How he led this couple. Because it’s okay that he chose not to do that to you. His timing and his way is perfect, and he is to be praised in the land of plenty, and the land of drought.
  • Look for others to bless
    1. God is a God of comfort, and he desires and commands us to comfort other (2 Corinthians 1). Chances are that in this situation (as well as most situations) if you are slightly uncomfortable, there are others there feeling that exact same way as well. Try and find a person who looks like they need love, and make it your job to encourage them and help them have a joyful experience! By taking your eyes off yourself, and onto someone else in need-both you AND the other person will be blessed.
  • Let their love point you to a bigger Love
    1. In my opinion, the MOST IMPORTANT point to focus on during weddings is this one. Ephesians 5:25-33 talks all about how a husband and a wife are simply a PICTURE of Christ and the church. So during the wedding think deeply on what their love tells you about God’s love for his people. Think about your “conversion moment” when you hear about when the couple first fell in love. Think about your “salvation prayer” or when you dedicated your life to Christ as they exchange their vows. As you drive to the reception, reflect on the journey of life God has given you. When you reach the reception, know that when you arrive in Glory, there will be a celebration for the Groom and his Bride that will go above and beyond anything this life has to offer. And as you feast, and dance, and laugh, know that love IS worth celebrating and in Christ you have the most glorious, perfect love ever offered.

So before you apply your waterproof mascara or put that church’s address in your GPS, pray. Pray for someone to bless. Pray for a heart of gratitude and joy. Pray for eyes to see the parallels between husband and wife with Christ and the Church. Pray that your affections for God are strengthened and increased. Pray that you can impact others at the wedding with the love of Christ. And know that when you pray, the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind (Phil. 4:7)-and I guarantee your wedding experience will be better because of it! 🙂

Also, quick shout out to the 2015 weddings I went to that were FULL of worship and joy: Amber & Christopher Gomes, Amy & Blair Fisher- I love the four of you DEEPLY and am SO thankful for your love, example, and friendships! ❤

P.S. Below are some of my favorite quotes about marriage! Enjoy!

"Marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love & consolation, a haven in a heartless world." Tim Keller:

"The love language of all marriages is self-denial." (Burk Parsons):

John Piper on marriage:

John Piper, Momentary Marriage:

I have this marriage, so blessed.:

Marriage:

Marriage:

And this one..hee hee hee…

A Question for my Married Friends

So this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

The Old Testament is full of the relationship between God and his chosen people being compared to a husband and wife. And then Jesus, in the New Testament of course, says that awesome bit in Ephesians 5 about husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the church. So I infer that the opposite is also true. Wives then are to love their husbands like the church love Christ, right?

So I’ve been asking myself, what does that really look like?

This is what I’ve come up with. God/Christ/Husband Figure is supposed to be the pursuer, the delighter, the sustainer, and the provider. That is what God does with his people. He chooses us, he lavishes love and (TOTALLY UNDESERVED) grace upon us. He is the one that keeps the relationship together. Though we are prone to wander (Lord, I feel it!), it is HE who fights for our unity. He gives his children all that they need and satisfies them.

The proper response of the church-is to be crazy about Jesus, right? We are to be all about praising Him, and lifting Him up,and helping others see Him as glorious and awesome as He truly is. We should LOVE being with Him more than ANY other thing, and we should respond to his love with delight and thanksgiving. We should be ALL ABOUT serving Him, and ALL ABOUT pleasing Him because we are so grateful for the way that He loves us.

Right?

And our marriages are supposed to reflect that, right? OBVIOUSLY, no couple will ever be perfect. And OBVIOUSLY we should NOT worship our husband, and we DON’T save our wives. But in a smaller, defaced humanistic sort of way, isn’t that what it should look like to the outside world and feel like to us?

I need to know what my married brothers and sisters think, because I know I dream big and am a die hard optimist. Am I seeing this correctly?

One day I hope to be married, and I so badly want people to watch the interactions my husband and I have, and say “that’s awesome”. So that my response will be: It’s awesome because it’s a reflection of God and us. And then they’ll be all like “whaaa” and I’ll tell them the gospel, and how awesome God’s love is, and how easy it is for me to serve Him with my life because of his love. Then I want to look to my awesome husband, and point out that though he is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from perfect (am I equally, if not farther from it), he loves me awesomely, which makes it’s easier to selflessly serve him.

Where am I wrong in this analysis? Where am I right? Help a sister out!

Mounted Scripture Art 16x20  Ephesians by ToSuchAsTheseDesigns, $45.00

A Prayer for My Future Husband’s Future Wife

 


Dear Lord,

I pray for my future husband’s future wife. I pray that she is fervently dedicated to being in your Word. I pray that she passionately pursues you for wisdom and constantly grows in likeness of your son. I pray she has an unshakable sense of humor, and a delight in the “everyday”. I pray that she is a woman of discipline and of character who can live your commands from Titus 2 and invest into younger women. I pray that after you dear Lord, she always puts her husband first-before herself, before her kids, before her career. I pray that others look to her as an example of how to love someone RIDICULOUSLY well, and that she has an entrancingly, deep delight in serving him. Incline her heart to hear your Spirit’s direction in how to best serve you both, and give her energy to follow it with a spring in her step. I pray that she is gentle and full of grace-but that she balances that with the strength to humbly call out sin she sees in him to make him holier in every aspect of their lives. I pray that she always delights in being beautiful to him, and that she fills him with confidence and joy. Help her to be slow to aggravation, exacerbation and judgment. Help her to be quick to repentance, compassion, and prayer. Give her the strength to always see the best in him, stay eternally focused, and forever have an encouraging word on her tongue. Bless their marriage. Keep it strong, godly, and joy-filled for your name’s sake.

Love Always,

Betty