PAPA: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Papa the look (2)It’s now spring (let’s see if the weather catches up with the season.) Since early January Virginia, your A.W.O.L. Blogger, has been a bit occupied with Other Things.  After enduring a severe two week bronchial infection, a week in the hospital for heart failure, a 10 day stomach virus, and then a deadly urinary tract infection, Virginia’s dear Papa went to rest in the Everlasting Arms of God on March 8, 2014. 

Although attempting to write about it yesterday went bust, my sister brought over a program from Papa’s 65th Birthday celebration that included a prayer I wrote while working overseas.  Even after 18 years, it’s a prayer close to my heart today…

Oh God, I come before You on my knees with a special prayer of thanksgiving for Mama and Daddy.  My heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness for so many things, it is hard to know where to even begin, but I do thank You for their life and dreams together as one.  Together, through Your love, they have dreamed the impossible.  Indeed, they are still living what might seem to the outside eye incredibly impossible.  They have passed Your light from their hearts to ours.  They have given us a gift – the gift of life – that will continue even as they pass into Your Kingdom.  That thought fills me with peace to know the legacy of Your love in them will continue in us and all those touched by Your love through them.

Daddy’s words and teachings live on in us, because he taught us Your principles through his life and in our lives.  “God loves you anyway… I love you anyway… I can’t but He can…”  So many times Daddy loved us anyway when we struggled to face the storms along the paths of our lives.  So many times he persevered when the dark clouds loomed into his life.  Seeing him now filled with so much love and enthusiasm for Your Words, even though he can barely move, is the greatest testimony of Your life in him – to Your grace and power surging through him to me, to us, to others.

Mama’s love and deeds, which reflect Your person in the mirror of her soul, continue in us.  Her love for You and Papa is amazing – she and Papa are the ultimate team, the ultimate unit of one, so that sometimes it’s hard to see where one ends and the other begins. For her servant’s heart of hope and powerful faith, I come before You humble and grateful.

Mama  & Papa’s dreams – with our family, with the Virginia Beach Community Chapel, with the move to Williamsburg and the Chapel there, with the Mini Bible College – what realities!

Mama & Papa’s life and dreams are like many seeds, planted when we were young,  that have grown as we have matured into servants of Your Kingdom.  What a legacy, far more valuable than silver or gold!  For they have instilled in us the gift of Your love and life.

Oh Lord Jesus, I am so grateful, so VERY grateful for Your grace to me through them.  Such light, it blinds the eye, yet is so real through laughter and all that is human as well.

Oh, how I love them and am grateful for them.

Oh Lord, I thank You.

“Ginny Lea” Woodward
Bethlehem (October 6, 1995)

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18 Responses to PAPA: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

  1. Beatrice says:

    “Pole Sana” Virginia:” BABA APUMZIKE KWA AMANi”.

    • Virginia says:

      Asante sane, Beatrice. Mungu ni mwema, wakati wote. Baba bado anaishi katika mioyo yetu. Bwana asifiwe. Unpendo wa Yesu Kristo na Baraka – Virginia.

  2. Rosemary O'Shaugnessy says:

    What a beautiful prayer! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you slowly work your way through the darkness that is now towards the lighter days that tomorrow promises!

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Rosemary. We are so glad that Papa is no longer suffering, but it’s hard because we miss the living, breathing version of him so much! But after night, comes the day – what a beautiful reminder. Blessings & hugs to you – Virginia

  3. Dean Woodward says:

    Hey Ginny,

    I love you so much! This prayer makes me cry as it fills my heart. Thanks for your faith. We share the exact same heart for all of these things. The combination of the spiritual and the down to earth elements packs quite a wallop. God has heard your prayer. Thanks for sharing it with me. Looking forward to our future together!


    Old Subject: [New post] PAPA: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

    Virginia posted: ” It’s now spring (let’s see if the weather catches up with the season.) Since early January Virginia, your A.W.O.L. Blogger, has been a bit occupied with Other Things. After enduring a severe two week bronchial infection, a week in the hospital for hear”

    • Virginia says:

      Dean – thank you so much for your love & awe inspiring message at Papa’s Memorial Celebration. For sure he must have been smiling as you preached it(!!) I have run into a number of folks (at the grocery, in the neighborhood, on FB) who said they want to change their lives after hearing your message. Thanks be to God for the legacy of faith Papa & Mama prayed into us & for the special anointing on your gift of preaching.

      Love you, Big Brother, heaps & heaps!!! gL : )

  4. John Paine says:

    SO great to see a new post from Roses! I’m thinking about your Dad all the time, and continuing to pray for your family. Welcome back to the blogosphere!

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you so much, John, for your prayers, encouragement & support – especially these last few months. The lovely food you & Marion brought over (that lasted for a week!), offers of hospitality, hugs at the Memorial Celebration & so much more lifted our spirits.

      Papa’s teachings will be with us for years to come – but, still we miss HIM. There’s a huge hole in our hearts that hurts even though Papa’s love will never depart us there. His love will continue in us as we remember him – & the love of Jesus in him.

      grace, peace & gobs of Agape – Virginia

  5. Carol-Jo says:

    Thank you, Virginia, praying for you..

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, so much, Carol-Jo for your prayers, the lovely cards you have sent & the encouragement these past few years of intense care-giving. What a blessing to open the front door to roses & treats & inspiration from you, dear one, that definitely lifted our spirits (even though some were left anonymously, we knew it was YOU! : )

      Looking forward to teatime, soon!
      grace, peace & encouraging inspiration – Virginia

  6. Thinking of you and your family. Sending prayers for comfort, peace, and joy in the sure and certain promise of the resurrection.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, so much, Sharron for these words of encouragement. We are very grateful that Papa is free from his suffering for all eternity, (it was especially bad the last few weeks), but oh, how we do miss him. Lots. I know Jesus said, ‘Blessed are they who mourn’ – & our family has been very blessed with lots of love & laughter amidst our tears as we have gathered together – but our hope, as per your reminder, is in the SURE and CERTAIN promise of the resurrection, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

      grace, peace & HOPE – Virginia

  7. Domeka says:

    What an amazing prayer. I could hear your heart as I read every beautiful word. I thank God for you and your family, with Gobbles of Love.


    • Virginia says:

      DOMEKA!!!! So glad you & your lovely wife made it to the Memorial Celebration. Papa loved you SO MUCH! I know you miss him lots & lots, like we do (!!) but i know his love & faith & mentorship will continue to encourage beautiful things for God’s Kingdom in your heart & life & ministry. Isaiah 40: 27-31 (!!!)

      Thanking God for you!
      grace, peace & Gobbles of Love – your sis, Virginia : )

  8. Paulette Parker says:

    An anointed an edifying prayer. A couple verses for you: II Cor. 5: 1-4 and II Thes. 4: 13-18

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Paulette, for these verses & for your prayers & encouragement. Your amazing son, Josh, has been such a HUGE TREMEMDOUS BLESSING to us for so long, but especially these past weeks. Every time we looked around, Josh helped take care of something (even Laura making me delish Vegan burritos? to pull out each day from the freezer?) … We were so blessed with what he shared at the Memorial Celebration. You must be so proud of him, as we are, & Papa is (for sure) in the Heavenlies.

      grace, peace & Heavenly Hope – Virginia

  9. jaymers says:

    Oh, Virginia, thinking of you and your family. Every single time you write about your caretaking of the Saints (as you call them), I get the impression that they are just that. Beautiful prayer, lovely sentiments. Rest in Peace, Virginia’s Papa.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Jayme, for your encouraging words. It’s been hard to write the past few months, but i hope to get back the blogging grooves soon. We started calling my parents the ‘Savvy Saints’ over 10 years ago when they let us know they no longer wanted to be called “The Fossils” (a name that stuck when i learned about fossils as a 10 year old in school – a name they had for a Very Long Time that, coincidently, i am now qualified to be. ooops.) Of course, they were the “Fabulous Fossils” … & my younger brother & i were the Frisbees.

      Papa always said Mama is the saint in our family (truly, she is!) Methinks, though, that he is now a Savvy Saint up there in the Heavenlies. Oh, how we miss him, but how glad we are that his earthly suffering is over.

      grace, peace & Savvy Saints – Virginia

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