Arkansas Mourning and Hollywood Celebration

I am sitting on an airplane headed to L.A. to attend an event that is directly tied to my passion to speak into the lives of moms—a time of celebration.

Oddly, my heart does not want to keep this commitment made months ago.  Celebration seems frivolous at this moment.  My heart wants to retreat back to Arkansas, the state I called home for eight years, because there is mourning there.

Why would I choose mourning over celebration?

One of my husband’s favorite verses is Ecclesiastes 7:2, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”  This verse is alive in me. My heart is pondering it as it is squeezed with grief.

I am mourning the deaths of a dear, godly man, Rob Tittle, his 20-year-old daughter Tori, and his 14-year-old daughter Rebekah.  My husband and I work with him at FamilyLife.  Though I did not know him well, he is family because he and his family are co-laborers with us for the family through the ministry of FamilyLife.

We passed and greeted each other in hallways, we gathered together in prayer, we sat in meetings together, we even chatted on the phone.  And now he is gone and two of those he loved, as only a daddy can, accompanied him to the arms of Jesus on Sunday night.

He was kind, giving, hard working, diligent, and oh, how he adored his family.  Here is what I know—he and his precious wife were little concerned with the things of this world.  They have always been attentive, loving, sacrificial parents to their nine children.

I am certain there are no regrets of time wasted chasing after the things of this world at the cost of family—they pursued God and His plans for their lives.

Pray for this precious family, that the assurance of eternity that only Jesus Christ provides will give them peace and hope.

My husband and I prayed, discussed, and agreed I would travel on to L.A. to celebrate motherhood and support the Moms’ Night Out film because I believe in its message so passionately. He is in Arkansas supporting this family and other families. My son called some of his Roof Crasher friends this morning and left our home, gloves in hand, stating unwaveringly, “I am going to help,” with a look of determination and his compassionate heart burdened.  He is God’s warrior.

We all are, and we each have our assignments on this day.

God is speaking to my heart as wet tears drip onto my lap and He nudges, reminding me afresh my assignment: Tell them what matters most.

I am compelled, with fervor, that the message God has burned into my being and commanded me to share with any who will listen is important and matters.  If you are a parent, your priority must be your children and family.  Your life is a vapor and training your children in the way they should go, pouring into them and sacrificing self for them is what you must do.

Do you prioritize your family over the “things” of this world? For many in Arkansas all the “things” toiled over just blew away.

Choose wisely.

Pray diligently for God’s heart on this matter in your life.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)


If you would like to help the Tittle family, please click here to find out how. 

You can also listen to a special FamilyLife Today© broadcast, where Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine discuss how we can respond in faith when a tragedy happens like the tornado that ripped through central Arkansas on April 27, 2014

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3 thoughts on “Arkansas Mourning and Hollywood Celebration

  1. Beautiful words, Tracey! Thinking and praying for you as your heart is torn between two places. And, of course, praying for the Tittle family and all those who suffered loss in this week’s storms.

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