Surprise!

Yesterday was a bit crazy.

But it was a really good day!

Before I got school going my daughter called.

She was requesting our Anne to come help for the day as pregnancy had kept her up most of the night.

Our granddaughter is a busy one-year-old, so we completely understood the desire for extra help.

All of us piled into the car a short time later.

Originally, I was just going to drop Anne off.

When I went in to give my love to Sis, I realized things had changed.

She was having contractions.

We stayed to see if they’d leave.

They didn’t.

Thankfully, our son-in-law was only a little over an hour away, so he headed home.

We are staying at their house so it’s more comfortable for our granddaughter.

Our school day had major changes, but valuable lessons in it all.

It was obvious that our sweet little girl was trying to figure out why her parents had not returned.

But good news was on the way!

There’s nothing like that moment when you see a text from your son-in-law after hours of waiting.

Our precious grandson was born yesterday evening and we are so thankful!

What a wonderful surprise!

He wasn’t due until the 26th of this month, but God’s timing is perfect.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 40:5 KJV — Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for our grandson. Please continue to heal and strengthen our daughter. Please keep Your hand upon this precious baby. Lord, from the moment we heard another baby was on the way I have lifted them up to You. Please bring this child up in Your ways and give his parents the understanding of how to raise him to love and honor You. Lord, place Your hand upon him and guide his steps that he might be a godly man, a mighty man of valor. Lord Jesus, thank You so much for this precious new gift! We are humbled by Your blessings. Thank You. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth. Amen.

This morning’s teachable moment

Anne and I spent some time painting yesterday evening.

I hung this on the wall in our bathroom yesterday.

This morning as I was busy about the house I realized I hadn’t signed it.

So, I grabbed a pen I’d found in the bottom of my Bible bag and took down the painting.

The ink didn’t flow very well and I figured the pen was nearly out, but managed to get my initials on the corner.

As I replaced the picture I noticed a blob of black ink on the painting.

“Oh no!”

I got the painting back off the wall and saw black ink all over the back of the canvas and on the wall.

I grabbed a wash cloth and wiped up the mess.

Unfortunately some paint came off the painting as well as the ink, but I expected as much.

Once, I turned to the sink to wash the ink off my hands I saw my dress.

Black ink on the front.

“Uhg!”

I took off the dress and began trying to remove the stain.

Most of it came out.

I turned to head back into the closet and there was black ink on the tile!

“Yikes!”

Again I began cleaning as fast as possible.

Thankfully it all came up.

I got what I needed from the closet, took my dress to the laundry room and treated the ink.

Then I went to the kitchen.

I’d forgotten my pot of boiling potatoes due to the ink mess.

I quickly turned it off and removed the lid.

The topmost spud was so cooked it was beginning to fall apart which would greatly hinder me pouring the water off without sending potato down my drain.

I grabbed a utensil and tried to get the potato.

Of course it broke and splashed boiling water all over my right hand.

I dropped the potato which went to pieces.

More mess.

Eventually the potatoes were cooling in a bowl.

My hand felt better after running cool water over it and I decided to take a break.

Not long after this I received a text:

“I pray your day is well.”

-smile-

“Thank You, Jesus.”

The Lord knew I was going to have all this occurring and He had put me on someone’s heart.

As I related the story to our daughter she commented.

“I’m so glad all that ink didn’t happen to the carpet.”

-Wow-

I hadn’t even thought of that!

With this came several other things to be thankful for.

To name a few:

I’d almost worn my white linen top and cream colored skirt this morning, but felt I should go with the grey dress instead.

The boiling pot of potatoes could have burned me much more if potato had plastered my hand instead of water.

My attitude could have degenerated into frustration and anger, but throughout I felt comfort, that everything really would be fine.

And there is the lesson I learned in my teachable moment.

Jesus doesn’t act as a safety bubble, cushioning me from every discomfort.

Instead, Jesus walks with me, guiding and speaking with me, training through the circumstances.

Because pain can be an incredible teacher.

Thankfulness can bloom into praise.

Life is a wonderful gift, given by God.

And He’s using every part to teach my heart.

Psalm 86:11 KJV — Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for walking with me this morning. Thank You for keeping me in all these things. Lord, please continue to help me walk with you through each circumstance. Please shine Your truth into my life daily. Lord, thank You so much for teachable moments. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth. Amen.

A fresh new day

I awoke after bad dreams.

My heart felt the need to pray.

After a while of laying quietly in bed, I removed to pray where I wouldn’t disturb my husband.

Several people came to mind as I prayed.

Both those who have sent me prayer requests and those who have not.

Of course I prayed for each member of my family.

Eventually, I returned to bed, but not to sleep.

Since, I wasn’t able to sleep I continued to pray.

Just before my husband’s alarm went off, I got up.

Headed to the kitchen to make his lunch.

Made a cup of tea.

I’ve had a desire to make some freezer meals, both for us and our son and daughter who are expecting.

Yesterday, God blessed me with the energy to make some and I’m already well underway at more this morning.

I stopped briefly to eat, take my meds, and reflect.

The early morning light on the back garden is lovely.

And it occurred to me that this is a fresh new day.

Clean, without spot, and Jesus is giving me another opportunity to serve.

Sometimes service means rest and prayer.

Other times it means hard work and patience.

Often it means surrendering my schedule to His plans.

But whatever this day’s service is, I do it for the Lord.

After all, He gave me the day, shouldn’t I use it to honor Him?

Therefore, while I’m doing the task at hand, I’ll be praying and praising God.

After all, He is worthy.

Psalm 18:3 KJV — I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this fresh new day. Thank You for giving me life and tasks to complete. Lord, thank You for Your Word, which teaches, guides, and encourages me, daily. Lord, I want to live unto You this day. Please help my thoughts, my attitudes, and actions to align with Your will and Your Word. Thank You! Amen.

The cheering section

This is one of the stations I staged ahead of time.

I’m so thankful the Lord had me do things this way.

I’d prayed a lot about the best way to organize and plan everything.

Experience has taught me things rarely go as planned.

Of course this was true yesterday as well.

Setting up was nothing like I thought it would be.

But God had spoken to my heart ahead of time and I knew He wanted me to be flexible and at peace no matter the circumstances.

I’m glad He did.

Because I really hadn’t expected to be one of the cheering section.

I thought my name was on the “play” roster.

But God knows when it’s best to “bench” someone and that was me.

So, I was really glad I had pictures of things to show the players.

Not everything stayed as I had planned, but that’s fine.

It’s lovely.

I’m praying for all the details to come together smoothly today.

That our daughter will be blessed as well as her husband.

I’m praying for both families as we let go of our children into a new family of their own.

I’m praying for the Lord to touch the hearts of those attending.

I’m praying for…

Well, you get the idea.

The longer I walk with the Lord the more I realize just how little I know what is best.

My plans and ideas are so far from the knowledge of God.

So, when He changes the game, I need to enjoy the position He’s given me.

Yes, at times I’m disappointed.

But that too can be an opportunity for the Lord, if I’m willing to let go.

I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to direct today.

After all,

I want to enjoy this special day for my little Bell.

She’s beginning a journey of a lifetime.

It’s one I’m so blessed to be called as well:

Wife.

And the Lord God said, “ It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Genesis 2:18 NKJV

Truly, God’s ways are best!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the institution of marriage. Thank You for my husband and how blessed I am to be his wife. Thank You for walking with our two oldest daughters and giving them husbands. Please guide each if them. Lord, hold them in Your paths and teach them how to walk with You in all things. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for walking with us each and every day. Today belongs to You. May we glorify Your name in all we do. Thank You. Amen.

It’s raining

Which seems fitting.

In all our activities of packing yesterday evening, I forgot to water the garden.

Tim and Sis left before dawn to travel down.

Tim still has to work (he travels all over the state) and it’s easier for them to travel when the babe is sleeping.

All the wedding things were carefully packed into the trailer.

We double checked everything.

Today, I’ll be heading to Sis’s garden to cut the flowers she’s been growing.

I’ll head down early tomorrow morning.

My sister grew a lot of flowers for the wedding as well.

It’s nice that the gardens will get a good soak before I have to start chopping.

I know that a little rain might damage a few, but why worry?

Although our weeks and days have been filled with planning, changes, purchases, and working, none of this is what is important.

Pictures and decorations are all nice, but they are not the priority.

The truth is, the wedding is really a tiny moment on the timeline.

The priority of Saturday is the beginning of a marriage.

Marriage is a holy institution created by God from the beginning of man’s history.

It is the building block God chose to start all of society.

It’s where we find the future generation being nurtured or neglected.

A healthy marriage is a product of two people and God.

It takes all three for it to work exactly as God designed it.

As Mom, I want each of our children to enjoy a healthy marriage.

Of course, it’s not up to me.

But I have been and will continue to be praying for all of our children, those married, those yet to marry, and those about to be married.

I’m praying for them as individuals.

That they would seek God with their whole heart every single day.

Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

It’s the best way to walk in marriage; complete devotion to Jesus and loving others more than oneself.

And it’s reward is beyond anything this world has to offer.

Because this life is temporary, but life with Jesus is eternal.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the rain. Thank You for the truth You are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. Thank You for being good to all. For supplying our daily needs. Thank You for numbering our days and knowing the plans You have for each one of us. Thank You for loving us more than we can ever imagine. Thank You for new beginnings. May our lives bring glory to Your name, Jesus. Amen.

…all you peoples!

Praise the Lord , all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalms 117:1‭-‬2 NKJV

We see clearly the psalmist calling us to praise God.

He gives two reasons for the peoples to praise.

“For His merciful kindness…”

And “…the truth of the Lord” which endures forever.

It is through God’s Word that we can see ourselves clearly.

In the light of His scripture our hearts become aware of all that we lack.

The Ten Commandments alone are enough to show anyone how unable we are to live without sin.

And the truths of scripture are everlasting.

When we sin the consequences are death.

We might not see it right away, but it happens.

Yet, our Lord Jesus is the answer.

God’s loving kindness made a way to save us!

And He’s working daily to redeem the time through those who have submitted themselves unto Him.

Both these things are truly worth praising the Lord for.

Because the truth of scripture contains such hope.

For those who follow Christ there is such a wonderful future: life eternal with Jesus.

And all of this is a free gift to any who would receive it.

“Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117:2b

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your loving kindness! What an incredible gift You freely give! Lord, I am humbled by the truths of Your Word. I do not deserve anything from You outside of judgement. Yet, I thank You for how You have extended to me and all people both mercy and grace. Thank You. Please cleanse me heart and soul. Make me clean and teach me to walk in Your ways. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

What am I willing to give?

I was praying.

It was just the Lord and myself.

My heart was pouring out my emotion.

Grieving the loss of my daughter.

Yes, marriage is a gift from God.

Yes, I’m happy God is doing this.

No, this time I hadn’t walked the path of letting go yet.

What are you willing to give?

I knew.

God’s question centered me at the heart.

My pain was due to my refusal to accept reality.

She doesn’t belong to me.

She never has.

I love our children so deeply, sometimes I cling to them when I shouldn’t.

A memory surfaced.

At a little over a year old I had to grapple with the fear that she might be severely unwell.

In that season I had to learn to let go and give her to who she belongs to: God.

My thoughts turned to Job.

None knows grief like he.

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord  gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Job 1:21‭-‬22 NKJV

“Lord, forgive me. I surrender all to You. Our children, my husband, our lives, everything.

And the pain subsided.

“Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise.”

“Thank You for all Your gifts and blessings.”

I don’t know what today holds.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings.

But I do know Who is holding me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for forgiving me of my selfishness. For my error in claiming something as mine which is actually Yours. Lord, I repent my mistake and my emotions from yesterday. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for helping me see correctly. You alone are the One who owns it all. I trust You with each step and each day. Thank You for again guiding my heart back to resting in You. Thank You for Your love. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Not a typical Monday

What is so different about this Monday?

Well, some things are pretty routine.

I’ll water the garden and eat breakfast.

I’ll be praying and writing.

Yet, this week’s schedule will color all I do.

Because on Saturday our girl is getting married.

I’m very thankful to the Lord for this!

He has been so faithful to us.

He has guided us through all the preparation and here we stand on the brink with very little to do before set-up day.

Of course, we have to travel down and since “running home for…” is out of the question, I’m checking our packing again.

Sis helped me go through the decorations yesterday.

She’s the wedding coordinator and therefore it’s important she understands all the details.

I’ll be asking Anne and Jase to pack their things today.

It’s a shot day, and I’m praying.

Sometimes shots make me very tired.

We are expecting visitors today and tomorrow.

So, I’ll have to plan a few meals.

Throughout all these things, one thing is foremost on my heart.

It’s something God talked to me about at the beginning.

Enjoy the journey, don’t rush through just to get through.

I want to focus on praising the Lord no matter what.

Marriage is His blessing.

He  who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord .
Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

My heart’s desire is to be free from worry and stress during this.

To simply walk in peace and thanksgiving to God.

Because I know, He has all the details in His hand.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for everything You have already done. Thank You for walking with us each and every day. Lord, I don’t know what today holds, but I know I can rest in You throughout. Your will is perfect and although I have my own ideas and plans, I surrender them before You. Please help me to walk with You in all things and to be gracious, patient, and loving. Thank You for this journey. Thank You for Your love. Amen.

“Praise the Lord! Praise God”

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord !
Psalms 150:1‭-‬6 NKJV

There is never an end to the reasons to praise God.

If every word of praise was as numerous as every drop of water on Earth, it wouldn’t be enough to compare with His mighty works.

Mind can not comprehend the length of His goodness.

Yet, just a tiny peek into His creation brings forth such reason for praise.

Add to the wonders of creation the salvation of our souls through Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t require many words or fancy music.

True praise simply requires a humble and repentant heart.

Psalm 147:1 KJV — Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

Praise God!

Psalm 143:10 KJV — Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for so many things. First, for creating us and second for saving us from sin. After that Lord, thank You for providing for us, thank You for grace, truth, scripture, and Your Holy Spirit, which comforts and guides. Lord Jesus, without You, we are blind, foolish, selfish, and lost. Please continue to guide, exhort, love, and save. Please, lead me into the land of uprightness. Thank You. Amen.