The Caskey Family

Preserve My Life. . .
October 1, 2011, 7:33 am
Filed under: Discipleship, family news, Friends, grief, Jeremy, Ministry, Seminary

“Teach me O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:33-37

This morning I wake up to sad news. One of the most godly men I have ever known in my life has been diagnosed with brain cancer. This man and his wife ministered to my family spiritually at times when others didn’t know how to. They loved us, taught deep truths, prayed for us and did the hard things God calls some church leaders to do.

In a nutshell, “Uncle Neil,” as us children called him, buried my mother, baptized my brother, married Jeremy and me, and took a hard (but necessary) stand of church discipline with one family member. Some of my earliest discipleship as a believer came from his wife as she was my prayer partner, and from him as our family’s pastor when I most needed solid Biblical teaching.

The longer I am a Christian, and the more I spend time with God in His word and with the Church, the more I realize that “preserve my life” means more than “God, keep me alive.” This last verse (37) is one of Jeremy’s favorites, and I find it fitting as I reflect on the impact a very godly man has had on our family. Though I beg God to “preserve his life” now that I know he has cancer, God HAS ALREADY preserved His life according to HIS word. Uncle Neil is not perfect (I’m sure his wife or son could give examples) but God has preserved Him spiritually and given him a long ministry not just to our family but to many others. And though his body may not last as long as we would really like, the effect of his life and faithful obedience even in the hard things will be serving the Kingdom far beyond what he can see.

I can’t help but find this a bit poignant as we set out in ministry. We didn’t expect to be here. But God expected it. He planned it. And in HIS great mercy, He has given us godly men like Neil, and Frank, Chris, Jim and so many others who have discipled us and been tools in the hand of Almighty God to shape us into instruments for HIS glory. We are thankful. And humbled. May we be found faithful, and may God see fit to also preserve US according to His word.

Marking Time or Making Memories
September 14, 2010, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Adina, grief | Tags: , , ,

Lately I have struggled with just marking time – with feeling like I’m just surviving as a mommy of little ones.  Once one task is done, we are on to the next: eat, sleep, prepare food, bathe, shower, brush teeth (did my oldest really say to me today, “mommy we forgot to brush my teeth”??)  Some days we go to sleep and I realize I haven’t read aloud to one of my children, or spent time snuggling them (which we all love!)  How is it that the things I love most get pushed off ’til last?

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 53rd birthday.  In a matter of weeks I leave 32, living past the age my mother had her first heart attack.  Some days I wonder if I will be here ’til 40 like my mom was.  Micah is just a few months shy of the age that my youngest brother was when my mom died.  Of course my brother has no memory of my mother.  How many days do I have left with my children?  Our lives are short, in comparison to eternity.  What am I doing to point my children to Jesus today?  If I am gone before them, what have I left them to point them to Him then?

So, I sat down tonight and wrote again in their baby books.  Just in case.  We aren’t promised tomorrow.  Being aware of that isn’t morbid, it’s being realistic and honest.  I also realized I hadn’t written a letter to Micah yet.  I have one written for Merry and Elijah for them to read now, or when they get older, whether I’m alive or not.  In that letter I share with them my highest hopes and prayers for them, and of course about my love for them and my love for the God  who made them who I pray they have faith to love and serve someday soon.  In their baby books I try to write all the funny stuff that we forget when they grow up. . .the funny stuff you say you will tell their future spouse, but totally forget when they are old enough to be married!

What do you remember your parents doing to make memories or what memento do you treasure most from your family?  What do you do with your children to show your love in a memorable way?

Changes With Death
July 14, 2010, 2:42 pm
Filed under: family news, grief | Tags: , ,

The big question Jeremy and I, and perhaps other family members have right now is, “What does Joe’s death change for the  future?”  We know that some things in life will be different.  When we took pictures as a family, there were only three boys, not four.  We know that there will be a big hole at holidays and at times when we would have celebrated as a family.  The list goes on, and is different for each family member.  In fact, part of our grief is for family who will have a bigger hole in their lives than us.  Like the older cousins who remember Joe very well, and of course Jeremy’s parents and Jeremy’s brother who was stationed with him in the Marines.

When everyone else moves on with their life, in essence closing that chapter of their lives and beginning another, those closest to the one who died wonder how they will continue on with a huge chunk of their life’s book torn out.  How will their story go on?  Is there a story to continue?  And if the story continues, will it be a good story, or have a happy ending?

Decisions we need to make in the near future seem daunting right now.  That is the nature of grief.  I usually try to give an answer, a solution to any problem I introduce in a blog post, but today is different.  In the days when the grief is intense, there are no clear answers, so we hold on to what we know. . .and what we know is that we are human, and God is God.  Because God is God, we grieve, and ask questions, and cling tightly to Him who made us, the One who ordains our days and who guides all that goes on in the universe.