Archive for June 2011

Memorial Service Fishboil   Leave a comment

This is the sign one sees when entering Gills Rock

This little town is where my parents came as newlyweds and our church was my Father’s first head pastor position.

This place meant so much to my parents and my Dad always kidded that he wanted one of his daughters to marry so that he could come here for vacation.  In God’s perfect will, I was able to make that wish a reality for  my dear father as I married a local fisherman who I met on one of our family vacations.  God is good!

That is our son, Matthew with our good friend, and fellow fisherman Mark dropping the fish in for the fish boil.  Our dear friends, the Weborgs, and our friend Heather worked so hard to put together a fish boil for all of our extended family who came to Door County for my Dad’s memorial service.

This was, again, another time of being blessed by living in community.  Folks came and helped us every time we turned around, from bringing food to helping with work and offering their homes for my family to stay in.  It was precious and moved me to tears more than once.  This fish boil gave us time to be together and visit and relax before we headed to the service up at our church.  What a blessing!

Delicious white fish, ready for the boil.  My parents have always enjoyed eating the white fish boils that we would do when they visited —  this is the tradition of Door County and so fitting for Dad’s memorial Weekend.

We gathered in a circle and sang the Doxology, all 50+ of us who gathered together.  It was beautiful with all the harmonies blending together.

This picture is of the men of our family that were there —  Uncles, brothers, cousins, fathers and sons, all part of this large Heikes family, and given the responsibility to raise up their children for the kingdom of God.  I am glad they are all strong men as it is not for the faint of heart to be raising children in this day and age.

This was the family that was able to make it.

The Heikes clan is now well over 180 members strong, that is just my grandparents descendants!

I am so glad that so many could come.  Never underestimate the power from the love of family when hearts are sad and life is hard.  God knew what a gift He was giving us when he gave us families.

Choosing Love –even when remembering one who I love hurts a little.


Posted June 28, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Photos

Dad’s Memorial Service   Leave a comment

How do you honor someone the best?  How do you, in one short service, represent a man that you love so much and who has blessed your life in too many ways to share in one hour?

These were the thoughts that went over and over in my mind as I listened to my mother explaining how she wanted the service to be put together.  It was one of those times when I am so glad to be in the church that we attend as most of our funerals fit my mother’s ideas.  Worship, read the Word and share.  That was what I was accustomed too and so that is what I tried to put together.  Here are some pictures to show the service.

My sisters and I lead the worship along with our children.  It was our parents that encourage us to sing in three part harmony when we washed the dishes or were driving down the road, so how fitting for us to lift our voices to our Lord in honor of our dear father.

Our sixteen treasures — honoring their grandpa by singing his favorite ( well, at least of few of the hundreds he loved) songs together with beautiful harmonies.

In between the songs, the firstborn of the families read some of my father’s favorite scriptures.

Our Matthew and Jeni read.  Yes, Jeni cried, she was real and her pain at losing a man that she highly respected and admired and loved dearly caused her voice to tremble.  We like to keep it real in the Johnson house so this was precious to me.  Matthew read beautifully and strongly the beloved verses that he shared.

My sweet brother Billy, worshipping his Lord, choosing joy in the sadness

After the service there was a moment of time where were were just staying up front comforting each other.  My husband had been running the sound in the back so after he had shut the system down he came up to my sisters and I in the front.  As Jason comforted Jeni, and Guy and Billy hugged, my sweet husband took my sisters and I in his arms and hugged us close.  I am amazed that our dear friend caught this on his camera as it shows my husband in his truest element.  He is a rock and brings such peace and strength to people.  What a blessing he was right then to us.  What a precious faithful man he is!

The cousins (and friends) table.

The guys

My brother and sister, Billy and Laurel

Melody and her friends

My mother and her three brothers.   Precious men, precious family.

So we celebrated and reflected on Dad’s life —

fellowshipped together

hugged and cried

rejoiced in my Dad’s life here on earth

rejoiced in my Dad’s new body in heaven — walking!

Choosing joy


Posted June 28, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Photos, Uncategorized

Boat Trip in honor of Dad   1 comment






Boarding the boat —

My dad loved the water.  It was from this very dock and in this very harbor that he would take my mom for cruises on his sailboat and later his jet boat, another treasure he acquired from Door County!

So it was only fitting that we, his family take one more ride together out on the water to honor our father and his love for all of God’s beautiful creation.  We read scripture and sang and wept, we paused in silence ( a rare moment for this very boisterous family), and smiled and prayed.  We made a memory that will bless us forever.

This one is for Jeni —

I really love this picture of my brother and my mother comforting each other — what a precious love they share.

My husband, who does everything correct according to my mother  :)…..  chose this beautiful spot for us to stop and have our time together.  He wanted us to see these white bluffs from Gills Rock and remember this beautiful time together.

You’re right Mom–   he really does know how to do things well!

A mother and her children —

Rick had Grayson steer the boat all the way home —  he thought that was pretty neat!

Some of the teens headed to the top for the ride home

Joe, looking mighty suave I might add!

My father’s brother, Bruce and his wife Marcia

Blessed by the beauty of God’s creation and the beauty of eternal life that we all have an opportunity to have by God’s grace.  Blessed to have a father who loved God, who served God and who desired to obey God’s Word.

Blessed to know that he is with his Lord and heavenly Father.

My Dad loved God, there is nothing more to say —-



Posted June 28, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Photos

Father’s Day 2011   2 comments

      It has been quite a few seeks since I have written here at our family blog.  Lots has happened and I will be working this week to update the events of the last month.  We have had celebrations and wonderful times with family and friends and there is much joy to write about.  There is also a gaping hole in my heart which occurred in the last month.  On May 24th, my precious Father was called home to be with our Lord.  Dad had been ill for years with different issues but because of my Mother’s tender care he lasted years beyond what was to be expected.  Although there is great joy when a saint goes home, and great joy in the fact that he is with God and walking once again….. there is also great loss.  My Dad was such an encourager and support.  He blessed me so many times by voicing his happiness in my family and how we have lived our lives in seeking to please God.  He never thought we were perfect in all that we did, but he blessed us all the same.   In many ways I am my Father’s daughter as much of my passions for life and God were modeled before me by my Father.  I will be eternally grateful for having so many years to learn from him and to love him and to grow in knowing him.  It was not enough time for this daughter’s heart but I trust my God who knows me best.  

This is Father’s Day, my first without a father on earth to call and talk to, my first to experience with a deep longing to hear the voice of the one I called Father.  It has been bitter sweet and precious all at the same time.  I am so glad for memories and so glad for tears which heal and calm and help me as I work through this time of grieving.

Heaven is more real to me then ever before…….

Choosing Joy,


Posted June 20, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Family