Category Archives: Children

God’s answer

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Thursday was setup day for our church’s children’s camp.

I woke up that morning with a terrible headache.

Not long afterwards I began to be sick.

My husband was very concerned.

Our prayer team was texted with the request to pray and I went back to bed.

As I lay trying to rest, trying not to feel discouraged,  I remembered all the times God had taken care of me in the past.

I missed all of the setup.

Despite the days upon days of planning and work I had to simply rest and allow others to take over.

I knew God was in control.

By 6pm I was up, eating, and my headache was gone.

When I arrived at camp everyone was concerned about my health and well fair.

I kept telling them it was Jesus.

Camp began early the following day and was full of all kinds of things.

There were some bumps in the road but overall the children had fun, learned,  and ate.

As we loaded the vans their faces were full of smiles.

Saturday was also a blessing ending with skits and songs which were both sweet, funny, and taught a lesson.

Sunday afternoon saw two of the campers baptized.

It was a full weekend and blessed.

It was a testament to God and His power, mercy, love.

I am so thankful for all the Lord did.

Praise God!
For He answers the prayers of His people!

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What is love?

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I love these people!

How can I not?

They are my children.

(Okay,  God’s children He’s placed in my care.)

Yet from the moment I held each one I’ve had this deep emotion for each.

Yet I know love is so much more than an emotional feeling.

True love is deeper than anything made up in the movies.

Love is a choice.

A choice to do the hard things.

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This is love.

Allowing our oldest girl to move on.

Now love is remembering we have not just an adult married daughter, but a son and daughter who are married and designed to make their own home, their own lives, their own choices before God.

Dear Father,

Please help us to learn how to love in a new way. Please help us to be constantly listening for Your voice and follow where You are leading. Teach us how to walk in this. Bless this marriage and let them stay centered on You all their days. Thank You. All of this from birth through the wedding has been You. May those around our family see and praise Your Name!
Amen.

(Dear reader, Please forgive me not posting this sooner. I thought I had!)

Count down

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It will be here.

The ceremony.

You probably can’t tell, but this is a cow pasture.

However, this Saturday it will be a wedding.

Since we are working with our daughter and her to be hubby on the wedding I feel very much the count down.

What are the final details?

Whose driving the bride’s maids to the venue?

What was the price of…?

Yet when we were cleaning the cow manure from the area which will soon hold hay bales and guests, I kept thinking about all that still needed to be done.

I wish I hadn’t.

Throughout this process I have wanted to simply enjoy the pieces which will make the end result.

Since, I can’t go back to change yesterday or before, I am praying today.

I want to stay centered on the joys.

I want to focus on the blessings.

I want to honor God throughout the process.

After all none of this would be possible without Him.

He has been faithful daily in each step.

I keep being drawn back to Psalm 150.

“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 the 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!”

This is my heart’s desire.

That in everything, every step, every piece, I can praise the Lord! 

Where’s the BANG?

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The fireworks were lovely.

As I sat in my folding camp chair holding hands with my hubby,
I was thankful.

Living where we do is a blessing.

Literally the show was five minutes from our house and when it was over we said goodbye to some friends and neighbors.

As we drove home I thought about the year I was too sick to come and how much I’d missed it.

I thought about the way our lives are changing.

I thought about the year we lived overseas and how much our family missed the celebration.

And I nearly cried.

I realized last year was the last time all our children would celebrate 4th of July together.

I didn’t know it at the time.

None of us could have understood the changes which were a mere year away.

Our oldest girl wasn’t with us at the celebration, because she was enjoying a special seat with the young man she’s going to marry.

Next year they will more than likely be moving away before the 4th.

Where was the bang?

What happened to the change in music?

I don’t know why but I think I’ve been expecting something to “signal” me to the fact that my daughter is an adult.

Like the high pitched screech of a firework or the bright colorful lights bursting in the sky I thought raising our kids would end with a big finale.

It hasn’t.

Although as the wedding draws ever closer, it feels like a big thing, but it doesn’t feel like end as much as beginning.

I keep looking at our girl and to-be-son and think, “Wow!  A new family!” not “Wow! I finally got one raised.”.

Maybe I’ve watched too many movies and was waiting for the music change to let me know it had come.

The bang moment of being completed with child and the beginning of adult.

Funny, I didn’t hear any bang when I grew up.

Of course I’m not sure I’ve finished growing up either.

The longer I live the more I see how much I still have to learn.

So that must be why there’s nothing to tell me when I’m finished.

Even though she’s an adult doesn’t mean she finished growing.

Even though she’s no longer in my home doesn’t mean she won’t want to know her mom loves her.

If God is still working on me, He will work on her as well.

We can learn to walk a new path as sisters in Christ, while still understanding our history together.

So, on with a new way to stretch, to trust Jesus, and a new way to walk.

I might be finished with the everyday parenting task, but I don’t have to be finished with loving our girl.

In fact it’s the opposite.

Now I get a new son to love as well!

Dear Jesus,

Please bless our daughter and her husband as they seek You and begin a new family on their wedding day. Place Your hand upon them and give them an over flow of love for each other and a desire to center their lives and relationship upon You and Your word. Thank You for walking them this far. Thank you for walking me this far.
May our lives bring glory to Your name, Jesus.

Amen.

Just have fun

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Sometimes I struggle.

My kids understand, even though it annoys them.

It annoys me too.

Sometimes it annoys my hubby.

Yet, sometimes I struggle just having fun.

I want to defend myself.

If others realize how busy I am.

If those around me could just see the tasks calling my name.

If they only knew.

Of course none of this cares any weight.

God never told me I was to work unceasingly.

Infact the Bible specifically mentions a day of rest.

It talks about joy and gladness.

And deep in my heart I know my time isn’t to be filled with stuff.

Actually God makes it clear that people are more important.

So I’m trying.

I’m looking for opportunities to just have fun, even when I have other things calling to me.

In this case it was ten minutes before the basketball game.

Our son asked if he could play on the playground.

I wanted to say no.

To explain that there was no one outside to watch.

That it was almost time for the game.

That…

However, I walked him outside.

I sat on a bench in the shade.

I was able to just enjoy watching him have fun.

These days are numbered.

I won’t always have children at home who beg to be allowed to “just have fun”.

I praise God for these days.

I’m so thankful I didn’t worry about the list.

What a blessing,

to just have fun.

Blessing beyond measure

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Well,
I’m finished.

Thursday was my last day to teach at the Academy.

I wanted to hug all the kids about a dozen times.

I had to work at not crying.

I was so blessed to receive a beautiful rose bush and a gift card to our favorite restaurant.

The best gift however was this quilt and pillows

I was presented it at the 8th grade promotion.

It is made up of Bible verses and notes from my various students.

Not just this year, but from every year I’ve taught.

Wow…

My oldest daughter even got in touch with one of my students who lives in another state.

The sweet lady who was my aid this year pieced it and another of the teachers was the one who had the kids work on it, and a third lady quilted it.

To add a special touch my life chapter is the center: Psalm 23.

I asked her how she knew.

She laughed. “I was there the morning Travis asked you what your life verse was and you said, ‘It’s a life chapter, Psalm 23, because I just can’t break it up, it all fits together. ‘”

I had forgotten about that moment, but she hadn’t.

My Anne looked at me when I laid the quilt and pillows on the bed.

“Mom, you need to take a picture. You need to write a blog about how blessed you are.”

I agreed.

The beautiful quilt is only a tiny representation of the blessings I’ve had working these last 8 years.

I have been so blessed to spend many days with the most terrific people.

Each and every one of my students I have had the privilege to know and love.

The lesson were more than just reading and writing, but character and wisdom.

They have taught me so much.

I have a beautiful long list of the memories of each student.

Some I only taught a year, but each has left a blessing on my heart, even those who were a challenge.

I have been so honored  to work with so many talented gifted people.

People who ignite the imagination of the students.

I have been thrilled to watch the young adults graduate and move on, some even beginning new families.

The truth is I haven’t been working these past 8 years.

I’ve been living with the joy of doing something I love.

I’ve been drawn ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve been taught, stretched, encouraged, and loved.

It has been an absolute pleasure.

Dear Lord,
   Please hold each of the children in Your hand. Please guide each family. Continue the work You began in each heart that these young men and women will be able to fully develop into the men and women of Christ You created them to be. Watch over them and protect them. Please let them know how much they are loved. Thank You for allowing me to have a tiny part in their lives. Thank You for letting me love them!
Amen.

At a loss for words

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Not unlike this flower which hasn’t really gotten a chance to bloom is a tiny baby named Levi.

He was an emergency C-section because in an ultrasound they discovered his intestinal track wasn’t working.

After birth he was in surgery.

It’s been a tough battle since that day.

As I dropped off a boy from track practice I heard the latest news.

He’s going in for surgery again Thursday morning.

His intestinal track is still not working and he may not even have a gallbladder.

My friend’s eyes welled up with tears as she shared the news of this beloved baby.

I had nothing to say.

At school we took time to write letters to the family which will be given to the parents as our Assistant Pastor and Pastor pray for Levi in his hospital home.

One of our teachers cried softly as she related the struggles the family is going through.

I had nothing to say.

I picked up a pen trying to write.

Trying to find words of comfort.

Yet words seem so meaningless when I know the depth of pain.

I can only imagine the ache in the hearts of the parents, grandparents, extended family…

I’m still at a loss for words.

But I found something to write :

“We are praying for you.”

And it’s true.

We pray everyday for baby Levi.

I have friends whose entire family pray together every day for baby Levi.

And now I’m asking–

Will you take a moment and pray for baby Levi?