Category Archives: Children

She finished them!

It’s a shame I didn’t think to get before pictures of most of the furniture.

With my husband’s vacation being cancelled, Anne was in more of a hurry to try and get these done.

But I can tell you, they needed work.

There was definitely a reason all of the pieces put together was $50.

The tall dresser was in the best shape, as the long dresser had water damage on top as well.

The night stand had three burn marks and water damage.

The bench had stains on the top and a really big black widow spider living inside.

(One of those moments when I moved faster than normal!)

It was definitely an opportunity.

Anne learned a lot about the joys of renovation.

She also got to add her own special touch by painting flowers on the different pieces and the knobs.

Through it all I prayed and praised God.

Because I really didn’t help her very much.

Monday and Tuesday I helped some, but by Wednesday she’d learned each step and took over.

When it came to painting the mirror she took her time and was super careful.

Last night, Tim and hubby carried the dressers upstairs.

The smaller pieces we did previously.

We all commented on how her hard work paid off.

I love that God gave Anne this project.

I love how the furniture looks.

I love that Anne has gained a skill along with confidence to try something new.

I love that she now has furniture to take with her, whenever and wherever God leads her as an adult.

God’s ways are always best.

I’ve needed to be reminded of that this week.

I’ve been reading the book of Job on my Bible app, but didn’t have it bookmarked in my Bible.

So, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence when my Bible fell open to Job 38 yesterday morning.

God’s words to Job were exactly what I needed to hear.

I had wanted to do this with Anne, every step of the way.

But that wasn’t what happened, because God knows best.

Yesterday, when Tim was asking about the project I honestly said, “No, I really didn’t help much. She did this.”

Instead of me working alongside her, it was Jesus.

As a mom, I find it difficult to let go.

I want to be with our children, no matter their age, to help, to encourage, to listen.

But that isn’t always what is best for them.

And God knows exactly what is.

I’m still learning how to let go and trust Him for each of our children.

And what a great reminder to that truth, these beautiful pieces of furniture that Anne and Jesus did.

Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Job 38:36 NKJV

God did, and I’m praising Him for it!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for this opportunity. Thank You for teaching Anne how to do all these things. Thank You for giving her this opportunity not only to learn, but to stretch out into something new. Lord, please continue to guide and direct each of our children. Let their hearts be molded by You, that their lives might bring You glory. Lord, thank You for reminding me that Your ways are best. Thank You for teaching me another opportunity to let go. Please continue to speak into our hearts and minds. Please continue to bring us closer to You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Simply love

It was last Friday.

Jase had gone out to get the mail.

He came in with news, but it wasn’t the mail which brought it.

“Mom, the neighbors are having a yard sale!”

I smiled.

We’ve gone to yard sales for years and the last two summers I’ve joined with Sis and Tim in having one.

Jase really enjoys them.

So, I told him if he could get Anne to go with him they could go to the sale.

I was busy cooking.

Anne knows how much Jase enjoys a yard sale and I think she likes them too, because it wasn’t long before they left.

What surprised me was how soon I heard the front door open.

But only one voice responded to mine, when I asked how it went.

“Mom, I thought you would like this. I know you love hydrangeas, and you had to leave all of yours when we moved, I hope you like it.”

Her worried smile startled me as much as her words surprised me.

She was holding a fairly large potted hydrangea, about a third of it was rather dead looking.

“Oh wow! Honey, thank you! What did it cost? Can I pay you back?”

“No, Mom. It was only $2 because it’s dieing. Do you think you can save it?”

“It’s worth a try!”

I wiped my hands and thanked her.

Since I didn’t have time right then, I gave it some water and went back in the house to finish cooking.

It was a while later when both returned from the yard sale.

Jase had bought a scooter.

His other one is a cherished gift, an antique from the UK.

He doesn’t ride it much, because it’s a bit small for him now and I’ve asked him to be super careful with it.

His yard sale find is bigger and definitely seen plenty of use, so it’s perfect for everyday around the block.

Anne’s other purchase was a pot.

One of the trees on our other property had beautiful yellow flowers every Spring and we all loved it.

So, I was determined to bring a tiny sapling which had grown the year before we moved.

Over this last winter I mentioned the thing looked dead, but my husband wisely advised we wait for Spring and see if it was.

To our joy it put out leaves.

It’s now in need of a new pot.

Anne had thought of this and bought me a the pot.

When I had time I looked over the hydrangea.

The part which had died was putting out new growth.

The pot was really small and it was very root bound, so I decided to place the hydrangea in the new pot.

Our tree can wait till it goes dormant for a new pot.

I have really enjoyed the new plant.

But what warms my heart is my daughter’s love and care for me.

Both the plant and the pot were her way of letting me know she noticed what I had to give up with our move and was trying to give it back in a small way.

Years ago our oldest did something similar.

She had bought me some books which I’d left behind in the UK from our move.

Both girls showed me their love in simple ways of remembering my little moments of letting go.

Simply loving me like this is such a blessing.

I am humbled by their love and attention.

I know it’s a reflection of Jesus’s love.

1 John 4:19 KJV — We love him, because he first loved us.

John 13:34 KJV — A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Romans 12:10 KJV — Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for my family. Thank You for our children. Thank You for Your love which has been poured out upon us. Please continue to help us be people who love in the simple things, people who look for the details, because it’s the small things which add up to the large. Please help us to be faithful in the little things. Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us such love, mercy, patience, and understanding. Please let our lives bring glory to Yours. Amen.

Because sometimes…

things don’t go the way you expect.

Which seems to be more normal lately.

The main problem with my schedule is me.

I’m having a difficult time not wanting to stick to my plans.

But God has better ones, and it only takes a moment for me to realize such when I’m willing to stop and look at it through prayer.

The Lord has been stretching me.

Ever since our Bell moved her dresser out of the spare bedroom, I’ve had a pile of homeschooling papers sitting on the closet floor.

Obviously not a good plan.

With moving I’ve had to change many of my past ways of organizing including the homeschooling papers.

I currently have a place for recent work or needed documents, but the past years’ work no longer has a home.

So, I’ve been praying about what to do.

Coupled with this prayer, I’ve been praying for Anne’s bedroom furniture.

Her dresser was old and very used when I bought it over seven years ago.

It’s now missing more handles and the drawers are less than easy to open.

So, I figured God would want me to set aside some time to refurbish her dresser.

These two things have been a topic of conversation with me and the Lord often of late.

As the days grow closer to autumn, my window of opportunity to work on anything outdoors is coming to a close.

Thus, I have had to put my own opinions and ideas into God’s hands multiple times about this.

So, when I felt like God was talking to me about looking for used furniture on Craigslist I was a bit apprehensive.

“Lord, is this me or You? Am I just trying to force something to solve this instead of waiting?”

Instead of hearing an answer, I just felt like I should punch dresser into the Craigslist search engine.

I did so, and then stopped to pray again.

Something the Lord had spoken to my heart at first came back to mind.

It will be in the city nearest you.

So, with that I began to scroll.

I found something which would work for the spare room.

It was hideous and obviously “well loved”.

The price didn’t sit well with me, but it was in the city nearest me.

I figured I could email and see if they’d come down on the price.

I asked the Lord to make it clear if He wanted me to buy this.

Their response was my answer, “no”.

So, back to the search engine on Craigslist.

“Lord, I really don’t want to do this today, I’m so worried I’ll make a mistake and buy the wrong thing.”

I’m teaching you faith.

Two more dressers.

Two more emails.

Two more closed doors.

Of course, I was working on other things so all of this was poked in between math lesson, history, reading assignment, and cooking.

By the early afternoon, I was ready to give up.

But I still felt like I was supposed to try another search.

This time I found not one dresser,but two and a bedside table.

The posting said, “$50”.

Well, that wasn’t super clear.

And at first I thought this couldn’t work at all, but I stopped to pray.

Through this moment of quiet I realized we could use one dresser in Anne’s room and the other in the spare room as well as the bed side table.

They need painting, but Anne’s been asking me if we could do another project ever since we painted the living room furniture.

I emailed the seller.

I was surprised at the answer: $50 was for everything.

Of course now I had to get some help picking up all this.

I prayed again, that if this wasn’t God’s will it would be obvious.

I knew our son-in-law’s day was busy with taking Bubba and family to the doctor.

I dropped a quick text and after a conversation over the phone we worked out a plan.

Then it occurred to me, if they were heading down after the doctor’s appointment, they’d be hungry, so I invited them for supper.

I was about halfway through cooking supper when I realized this was definitely God’s plan.

My husband’s work has him on call 24/7 and he had come home late the night before only to eat and return to work, arriving home some time after 11.

When things are like that, I know better than to expect him home at any particular time.

But halfway through supper preparations he called me.

He was off work and on his way home.

And he was thrilled to hear our family was coming over for supper.

When he arrived, I told him about the furniture.

He smiled and said, “Sounds great!”.

Not long afterwards he and our son-in-law drove together out the cul-de-sac to pick up the furniture.

Anne was so excited when it got here.

She can hardly wait till we can begin sanding it down and painting it.

I praise God for His guidance in it all.

I’ve already told Anne all this furniture belongs to her.

I’ve tried to make sure each of our kids have some furniture of their own to take with them when the time comes.

As we were all sitting around the dinner table eating, God had one more surprise in store.

My phone started buzzing with several texts all coming in at once.

It was the same family we got the furniture from.

They had forgotten another piece of furniture that was part of the set, a window seat with drawers.

They were texting to let me know we could have it too, no extra charge.

Of course I let them know we would have to get it today, but they were fine with that.

I’m still amazed at how God took a small desire I had and turned my day into a blessed lesson.

Because buying furniture wasn’t in my schedule.

Sending emails and searching Craigslist wasn’t in my plans.

But God reminded me that my ways are not His ways.

His plans are perfect.

His ways are best.

And all of this was more about teaching me to listen and trust and obey than it was furniture.

Because I could have gone out and bought Anne a new dresser anytime.

I could have ordered something to store the homeschooling papers in online and had it delivered to the door.

But instead of either of those things, God has taken me through days of prayer and heart checking.

He has shown me my tendency to want to solve every item I see as a need in my own strength.

He has used this to teach me to listen and be willing to be wrong, to be willing to say, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, I’m still praying about it.”

And hopefully He is using my life as an example to my children that waiting upon the Lord is the best way, no matter how insignificant the “thing” is.

Because furniture is not a forever thing, but the lessons I learn through dealing with the temporary are.

Praise God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for providing this lesson. Thank You for stretching me in an area I thought I’d already completely surrendered to You. Lord, thank You that things and items are all temporary and yet can be used by You. Lord, I want to honor You with all that I call my possessions. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is actually mine, it all belongs to You. Please help me to be wise and generous with anything and everything. Lord, You alone are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Thank You. Amen.

Bubba and Faye

Being a Grammy has been more fun than I could ever have imagined.

My husband can tell you I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.

As a teen I used to say, “I can’t wait to be that sweet grey-haired old lady who gives out cookies to kids.”

I’ve learned a great deal since my teen years about being an adult and dealing with children.

Parenthood taught me a lot and I’m still learning daily.

Now as a Grammy I’m learning more.

Proper boundaries are super important.

My husband and I value our daughter and son-in-law too much to purposely ignore their “do”s and”don’t”s.

We have enjoyed getting to watch them teach Faye things.

I’ve also enjoyed sharing moments with her as a Grammy.

Something we’ve done, since the weather has allowed, is go outside and pet the plants.

It might sound strange, but I wanted her to be safe.

Before she was old enough to understand this lesson, she got a handful of my potted indoor plant and jerked out a large section.

I didn’t mind the damage to the plant, but it brought to my attention the need for her to learn what is okay and not.

Since both her parents had taught her the word gentle and it’s meaning, I thought she’d be able to put it into practice in the garden.

After all, little people often put what is in their hands in their mouths and many plants are not for eating.

So, she went on many garden walks with me and knows how to handle the plants.

She gently touches them, sometimes over and over with her little fingers very carefully.

She has pulled a few blooms off now and again, but each time is another opportunity to instill in her how to touch without harm.

So, I was extra blessed when we got to see her with Bubba.

Her little hand reached out to explore this new sibling and her momma cautioned, “Gentle.”

Softly, like on a rose petal her hand touched her brother.

Then she let go.

All of us made all kinds of happy noise as her little pink lips placed a gentle kiss on him.

It was adorable!

I’m already praying for their relationship as brother and sister.

I pray they will love and support each other.

That they will look out for the other’s best interest.

That they will grow to be great friends.

Most importantly, that they will know Jesus and put their trust in Him.

That they will encourage one another in righteousness.

What a wonderful gift God gives when He blesses a family with a child!

Truly they are precious in the eyes of the Lord.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Matthew 18:10 KJV — Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for children. What an incredible blessing it is to be with them. Lord, often it can be difficult to know what to teach and what to let go of. Sometimes our own desires get in the way of hearing from You as to what is best. Please help our children be wonderful godly parents. Please help us to be parents of integrity, truth, and love. Lord, help us know how to support our children as they support the little ones. Please help us to not grow weary in doing good as we have fewer children at home. Please help us to finish well. Thank You so much for these blessings. May we honor You in all we do. Amen.

Grandpa John

I had a dream last night.

My mother’s father was in it.

He smiled big, laughed with joy, and hugged me tight.

My husband and our children and grandchildren were there, too.

I was so excited to introduce each one to him.

But before I did Grandpa just kept one arm around me and looked into my face.

We were both enjoying getting to see one another.

Then, with a smile, he spoke, “You know, you are a real beauty.”

This caught me by surprise.

It also made me feel treasured.

I smiled back.

“Grandpa, of course you would think so. I look like my mother, your daughter, and she looks like her mother, Grandma Ruth.”

He laughed and squeezed me.

I went on to introduce him to our family.

When I awoke this morning, my heart felt rosy with love.

Because I didn’t grow up with grandparents.

My mother’s family are from Michigan and we’ve always lived on the West coast.

My father’s mother died when I was four, I have no memory of her.

My father’s father traveled a great deal and I can’t remember a single conversation he ever had with me.

He died when I was in highschool.

So, this dream was sweet for me.

Although, my memories of my mother’s father are fuzzy and less than the fingers on one hand, I remember him laughing and hugging me.

I was pretty small, small enough to sit on his knee.

But last night’s dream brought me a new gift.

I know it’s from God.

If I can feel blessed by a dream of my Grandfather’s kind words, what an impact my words can have in real life to those I love!

My grandchildren (I love saying that!) are an incredible opportunity.

To love them for Jesus, to teach them about God’s Word, what a wonderful heritage!

The same is true for my own children.

To love them daily, to make sure I am speaking words of encouragement.

To lovingly speak words of truth, and to stir up righteousness in them.

To pray for each one, lifting them before the Lord, that I might be centered on Christ’s will for them instead of my own ideas.

The legacy I can pass on does require being purposeful.

To be open to the LORD’s leading in the day-to-day things so I don’t plant weeds but seeds of life.

But I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than leaving a legacy of following Jesus.

I praise God for this dream of my grandfather.

It has reminded me of my value to Jesus and my opportunity to value others.

Our soul waits for the Lord ; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Psalms 33:20‭-‬21 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for this encouragement. Thank You for reminding me of the truth, that I can pour into others as You pour into me. Lord, thank You for loving me more than any person on Earth, because it is in You I find myself, a child of God. Lord Jesus, please help my husband and I to be honorable parents and grandparents. Help us to live with integrity and humility. Please shine through us into those around us and our loved ones. Thank You so much for placing us near our grandchildren. We are so blessed to be a part of their lives and the lives of our children. Lord Jesus, may we bring honor and glory to Your name. Amen.

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.

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.

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.

Once upon a summer

Many things we have as traditions in our family have grown from a single circumstance.

Years ago, when we only had one very small girl, my mom and I went to the coast.

We wanted to visit a garden that originally was private property, but now belongs to the state.

As well as do a little shopping.

The garden has it’s own private beach and is a beautiful place to visit.

After that time, I tried to take the kids to the same place every summer.

Sometimes, my Mom would go too.

Sometimes, my husband would.

A few years some of our close friends (we call them our UK family) went with us.

The first year Tim joined the family, he came with us.

Of course there were a few years we missed our annual trip.

Last year was one of those.

Since our move, I’ve been wondering what God would have me do about our summer day trip.

We could travel down there, but the time would be much less at the garden and much more on driving.

So, taking into account many current factors, I’ve simply prayed and let go of my expectations.

The last two years we’ve added a New Year’s tradition to our family.

We head for the Aquarium and stay in a hotel on the beach with an indoor swimming pool.

We always eat at my favorite seafood restaurant.

It’s a trip we talk about all year.

Honestly, I thought we would simply trade one tradition for another.

But God answered me differently.

After church Sis looked at me and asked, “Do you guys want to come with us? We are going to the beach.”

I was so surprised.

I prayed and felt this was the answer to my prayers, at least for this summer.

We packed our sun screen and towels.

Made sandwiches and fruit salad.

It was such a blessing.

Our granddaughter learned how to dig in the sand with a spoon.

Anne, Jase, and Tim all played in the surf.

They built a sand castle.

It was all lovely.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to go to the beach.

But I’m holding it lightly.

I know that sometimes we will continue to follow our family traditions and other times we won’t.

Every year is different and that is how it should be.

I love it when we get to do some of our favorite things, but I’m alright with letting them go.

Because God’s plans are best and when one door shuts, He always leads me to another which is open.

And the journey from one to another is really precious.

It’s where I learn how to let Him lead.

Stubborn refusal to relinquish my past to Him is waiting at a closed door trying to force it open on my own.

It never works.

So, I’d rather walk with my hand in His, and enjoy the journey.

It’s a two fold blessing.

I get to bring my memories along while experiencing healthy change.

Most importantly, I learn how to walk with Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for past traditions and new memories. Thank You that You are doing something new today. Although it is not easy to let go of expectation, please continue to help me surrender all my wants and desires into Your perfect will. I know Your ways are far better. They are life eternal. Thank You for saving my soul. Lord, as I step forward into today, I’m reaching up my hand. Please take it and lead me. Thank You. Amen.