Sacrificial Mites

8 years.
8. Years.
Kevin, my sweet husband, died 8 years ago today.
February 21, 2008.
How can that be possible?
8 years ago I was 36. Now, YIKES, I am almost 45!

In so many ways 8 years seems like a blink of an eye. But in other ways, 8 years feels like an eternity. A. Really. Long. Eternity. In fact, it almost feels like a different lifetime.

Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of JOY in the past 8 years. TONS! But for so many of the days, I have felt like I was just existing. I love my 6 kids fiercely. I love being a mom. But to be perfectly honest, I NEVER wanted to do it alone. It is hard. Really challenging. My hands have been thrown up in defeat so many times, more than I can even count. I so often feel like I have failed. That I have screwed my kids up. That I am totally worthless. That I haven’t done enough or become enough. And after screaming, cleaning (it’s how I vent), getting frustrated and angry with my kids or dogs, I remember that I am not alone. I remember to look up. To cry out to Him. To surrender all of the pain to Him.

And Jesus, in His ways that so often don’t even begin to make sense, has led me to this:

Mark 12:41-44
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor WIDOW came and put in two MITES, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but SHE, out of her poverty, PUT IN EVERYTHING—all she had to live on.”

As I read this Scripture, what stood out at me is that this widow GAVE EVERYTHING that she had. All of it. She spared none. These 2 mites were a sacrifice for her. They were her ‘skin in the game.’ She felt this. She could have used those mites for so much more, but she still gave it all away. I have always thought about this passage in reference to money, specifically 2 mites. But this time when I read it with fresh eyes, as a widow myself, I thought about this sweet lady giving more than just money. I pictured her to be exhausted, lonely, desperate, longing for more. So for her to give above and beyond her capacity is a complete sacrifice on her part. I’m going to call it the widow’s Sacrificial Mite.’ And as I applied this new phrase to my life over the past 8 years, I looked at my Sacrificial Mites.’ Where have I truly given it all? Where is my ‘skin in the game?’

Here are a few:

*Being the only parent to clean up puke in the middle of the night (More times than I care to count! In a future post I will tell you about the missing iPod that was thought to be in a garbage bag with puke rags. Let’s just say it wasn’t in the bag! EWW!)
*Endless hours of driving
*Saying yes to friends coming over even when 6 was more than I could handle
*Sitting up late at night talking with my teenagers about real life issues
*Holding my kids while they cried for their dad
*Saying “I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?” like 100 times in a day
*Dealing with broken appliances
*Being Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Birthday Shopper all by myself so that the kids could still enjoy gifts and traditions on holidays
*Teaching 4 kids how to drive
*School programs
*Dental surgeries and orthodontist appointments (Big reminders that Kevin isn’t here)
*Graduations, Proms, Homecomings, College drop-offs
*Taking the kids on vacation
*Sports practices and games (This is basically torture for me because I hate sports!)
*More endless hours of driving

Now trust me. I may have given. Sacrificially given, even. But I haven’t always had the energy, strength, or even the desire to give in these ways I mentioned. My Sacrificial Mites have not always had the best attitude accompanying them. On more occasions than I care to admit, I have been ticked off that I have even had to do them, and most of the time I would strongly prefer doing other things instead. And trust me, I NEVER SIGNED UP TO DO ANY OF THESE without Kevin. EVER. As a result, I may have had a meltdown about that more times than not as well.

So in order to survive the past 8 years, I have had to admit that I am weak. There’s a zero percent chance that I could do these things totally on my own. Zero percent. I’m not a math person AT ALL, so I’m not sure if there can be negative percents, but if there could be, I would most definitely fall below zero percent! What was required of me to make these Sacrificial Mites’ MIGHTY was to fall on my face before Jesus, get real, and tell HIM that I needed to trust Him to provide for me. I needed energy. Strength. Endurance. Patience. Rest. Balance. Some time for myself. And then some more strength.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Like Paul, I have pleaded with Jesus to take it ALL away from me, though I am sure that I have begged more than just 3 times!! And I have to continually ask Him for strength. I am weak. Really weak. I blow it all of the time. But when I turn my gaze upward, admit where I fall short, the grace of Jesus gets me through. And it’s in these times where my Sacrificial Mites’ become MIGHTY!

This is a daily battle. Selfish, prideful Suzie wants to win. But it’s when I truly surrender that I MORE than just exist. This is where true life is found. This is when I can say that I possess a ‘Widow’s Might.’

The story that God is writing in your life is different from mine. Some of you may be struggling with sickness, divorce, loss, abuse, emotional struggles, doubt, shame. Whatever your hardship, I encourage you to get real with God. Pour out your heart to Him. Acknowledge to Him that you NEED Him. His grace is sufficient. It won’t erase your pain. He may never take it away. But His power will be perfected. He will sustain you. His peace will surpass all of your understanding. I can tell you that this is the ONLY reason that I am still standing. It is only by God’s MIGHT that my ‘Sacrificial Mites are MIGHTY. It is by His strength alone that I am able to put skin in this game, to totally give it all. It is only by His grace that I am even still alive. I would have given up long ago. It’s just too much for me. I am way too weak. But He is the MIGHTY warrior who saves.

I am so excited to share with you more about this journey of healing, grace, and redemption that God has me on. Throughout this past year, my heart has really begun to stir, longing for more and wanting to make an impact in the lives of people who are hurting. I have felt restless, questioning my purpose and feeling like I was created for something, but unsure of what. I know that God has written a story in my life that is rippled with all sorts of twists and turns. It is messy and raw. It is tainted with poor choices as well as victories. The tapestry that he has woven together is the epitome of ashes to beauty. Lately I keep coming back to the first 2 verses in Psalm 105. The psalmist says, “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him, yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds.” I want to use my story to glorify Him and to encourage others walking though dark times. He is the only source of my hope, and He is faithful even when I am not. I want to thank you so much for reading this and for being willing to walk alongside me. This journey has been an adventure. And while I have not exactly enjoyed every minute, I am grateful that I have grown in my faith and am a much deeper, braver, and mightier widow for Jesus.

 

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48 thoughts on “Sacrificial Mites

  1. Beautifully written, Suz. You have done an amazing job bringing up 6 children who are lovely inside and out. I am grateful to know you and call you a friend.

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  2. Thanks for this sweet friend! This widow is a little stronger because of what God is doing through your weakness. Thank you for being faithful to Him

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  3. Once again, you inspire me! Many years ago, after Kevin passed, I had the opportunity to hear part of your story at LifePoint. I knew I had been touched but I didn’t realize how many times I would reflect on your words. A few weeks later, I had to tell my two sons that their father died. It was the worst moment of my life. I am so glad you are writing because Your words carry such magnitude in the lives of others. I can relate to the 100 apologies for “ruining” my children’s lives! Anyhow, great to hear more from you!

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    1. oh lisa, i am so sorry to hear this. isn’t it the hardest thing that you have ever had to do? telling the kids was a knife in the heart for sure. thank you so much for reaching out. i am getting ready to start a small group for widows if you’re interested???

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  4. God definitely has a plan for you Suzie Lawyer!!!! Not at all what you thought, but still a plan for a future and a hope 🙂 Love you to pieces. xoxo

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  5. Im looking forward to reading about your amazing journey. You’ve got a lot of strength to offer, more tools to deal with this crazy life then you probably ever wanted, inspiration to give to others who’ve lost their hope…
    Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us

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  6. Suzie, I have always admired you. We are just acquaintances but I had the pleasure of teaching few of your children. I am sure, it wasn’t easy but whatever you did in adition to their beautiful spirit, it has been amazing seeing them grow. Take good care.

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  7. Hi Suzie,

    We were shocked and saddened when we heard of your husband’s death, and that the kids had been with him. Dr. Lawyer was my son’s orthodontist. I am so glad, as hard as it has been for you, that the kids were raised by someone with your character and beliefs. My daughter became a widow last year at 32, with a 3 year-old daughter. I will share this blog with her. God Bless You and Your Family richly!

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    1. Lisa, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. It’s so hard. Is she local? I am getting ready to start a small group for widows, and I would love to have her join us. I love knowing that Kevin’s dental influence carries on!!!

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  8. Suzie, this is beautiful. My husband and I had the true blessing of working with Dr. Lawyer. He was such a pleasure and a had the best, happiest spirit to work with. He nicknamed me “stretch” because I’m fairly tall and would be known to bump my head a lot on stuff in the office. 🙂 For the longest time I didn’t think he liked me. Then I mentioned something about it to Dr. Sorkin, and she later found out it was because he couldn’t remember my name! It gave us some good laughs for a long time! Man, that day when we got home and I had a message from the office. My husband and I relived the day before. The last day he worked at the office in Hampstead. That man always had a smile on his face and everyone could not wait to work with him. I didn’t know him for long, but it was long enough for that man to be remembered consistently by my husband and I on February 21 and so many other days. We didn’t have kids at the time, but the next year we got pregnant. 14 weeks in, we found out we were having twins. Man, I always wished I could have asked him for advice! At the time, you guys were the only one’s I knew with twins.

    I’m sorry to ramble, but I felt led to let you know, as so many have, he inspired so many. Even two employees just starting out at Dr. Scott’s. He left a great impact on us. There is no doubt in my mind, that this day, 8 years ago, when he stood in front of the throne, he heard “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    God bless you and your family Suzie. You are inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing this with everyone. You will continue to be in our prayers and we will continue to have very happy memories of Dr. Lawyer.
    Heather

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  9. Suzie, I weep for your loss and for all you have had to do without you dear Kevin for the last 8 years. Reading your words makes me long for Jesus to come back and make all thins right and dry every tear and let you see your husband again. Thanks for your raw honesty. You and your kids are in my thoughts so often. Blessings on this new chapter as you co-author the next chapters of your life with The Author.
    Love,
    Kelly
    Ps-I LOVE your tatto.

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    1. KELLY!!!!! So good to hear from you!! Thanks so much for your sweet words!! I would love for Jesus to return STAT!!!! Kevin adored Bruce, and I know that their friendship was instrumental in his growth with Jesus!! Thanks for all your family does to serve the Lord!! I love the tattoo too!!! It is Kevin’s signature off of the card that he gave me for Valentine’s Day the week before he died. It is such a reminder to me every time I look at it!! XO

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  10. Hi Suzie! You and your family are on my heart today. This blog post was just perfect! You are one of the strongest people that I know. Yet, throughout your post you are so real about how weak you are and how strong God is. Your openness and honesty is such a beautiful part of who you are, because it allows others to truly learn from you. I am can’t wait to see where your journey takes you because you are such a special and amazing woman! I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time with you and Kevin and the kids before he passed. Your love for each other and for God made such an impact on my life!❤️

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  11. My sweet friend, Suz. I was honored to be a part of your life when you met your Prince Charming and be there for a small part of the incredible journey. So many amazing memories! Your beautiful family is a true testimony. Miss you!

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    1. OH! MY! GOODNESS! Dana, I miss you so much!!!!! Thank you for reaching out!!! How did you even stumble upon this??? We could totally talk for hours!!! Please lets try and set up a visit some time soon!!! XOXOXOXOXO

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  12. So truthfully and beautifully written. When I saw your full name I was gripped in my heart, so remembering Kevin’s passing. His sister, Michelle, was in my Core Group at CBS when it happened, that’s why I remember it with such sadness. May your words inspire many, how very much He loves us, and how very much we need to be honest with Him. Jesus isn’t surprised by our outbursts, I’ve found that out during my times of despair and heartache. Many blessings to you and your beautiful children.

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  13. Just read this-I too am a widow that had the most amazing husband. He was a Godly man, brilliant dentist and best husband and father. It’s been 6 yrs (today would gave been his birthday) and he also died suddenly “in the blink of an eye”. I’m sorry for your loss but so happy you are His princess and heir! Yes we want desperately to do more than exist–we want to thrive as the song says. Blessings to you and your family! Becky

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    1. Becky! Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. Our husbands sound very similar – even the dentistry. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so happy that you know Jesus too. I don’t know how I would have made it without Him. Much love to you and your family too.

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  14. Suzie, your story is one of amazing strength and resilience. God is so good…even when we don’t always understand why things are happening. I have always admired how you held things together. Your family is beautiful inside and out – just like you. Your honesty is refreshing. God bless you and your family.

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    1. Awwww… Jackie! Thanks so much for reaching out and for all of your kind words!! Can you even believe how long it’s been since the boys were in kindergarten together??!!! Crazy!!!!! I hope that you guys are well!!! xoxoxo

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