This picture is of the empty parking space where they had been.
I didn’t really think about it until they were gone.
I’d not been sitting in the car for very long when she pulled into the space next to me.
My husband is feeling better, but not well enough to drive, so I was playing chauffeur.
Since, I’m not allowed inside the doctor’s office unless there’s a medical reason, I sat in the car.
I’d decided to sit in the back seat where there’s more leg room to crochet.
I’d gotten all comfy when she pulled in.
It was an SUV, so I could easily see the driver, a young woman.
A bit later, movement caught my eye and I saw her carrying a baby boy.
I love babies!
She smiled too.
As this young mother left, I figured she was taking her little one to the pediatrician’s office in the same building as our doctor.
Time passed and they returned.
I smiled and she saw me.
She smiled back.
I was a bit surprised, she just hopped into the front seat with her baby, but it’s not my business to spy on people so I returned to crocheting.
Not long afterwards, I noticed movement again.
She had gotten back out of the driver’s seat and was standing next to the car window.
She was holding her baby so I could see him.
Through the glass we both were smiling at one another.
I told her he was adorable and made a motion with my hand for the sign, “beautiful”.
She understood and grabbed his little arm and waved at me.
I asked how old he was.
She carefully held him as she put up nine fingers.
“Nine months old,” replied this sweet mother.
Still smiling I nodded and that was the end of our conversation.
It’s a bit chilly out, so I wouldn’t have wanted to keep them out in the cold.
I also couldn’t think of more to say other than, “he’s adorable!”.
She soon backed out of the space and drove away.
And it suddenly seemed a little colder.
Some how this mother and baby had brought such warmth that I missed them when they left.
How does the kindness of a stranger touch my heart like that?
I am certain, it’s Jesus.
I thanked the Lord for this little moment and I prayed for this mother and child.
I thought of our grandson and then our granddaughter and prayed for them as well.
Pausing briefly, in my crocheting, I looked at the empty space and thanked God again for this sweet moment and these two strangers.
I returned to my crocheting, but continued to pray.
The space remained empty until right before it was time to leave.
It was another young woman who pulled in and as I prepared to back out I smiled at her.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for mother and baby boy. Please put Your hand upon them and watch over them. Guide their lives and direct them into the path of peace. Lord, thank You for the young lady who pulled in as I was leaving. Place Your truth into her heart and mind. Lord, please let those who are called by Your name be lights that shine brightly. Help us to love as You love, to walk this Earth interested in those around us more than our own wants and desires. Lord, help us live open handed, willing to smile and wave to a stranger. Please be glorified through us. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. Psalms 42:8 NKJV
I read these words this morning and was surprised at how they perfectly reflect my day and night.
They speak so clearly to what the Lord is doing.
His faithfulness is incredible!
As you probably know, our family’s desire is to see God’s Word shared around the world.
The Lord blessed us with a season of travel, where one, some, or all of us were able to go to other countries to share the love of Christ.
Now that travel is no longer an option, we are looking to support others who are living on the mission field.
My husband felt God would have us sell furniture.
After prayerfully considering the best platform for us, we rented a space at an antique mall.
Yesterday, God blessed us with safety as we traveled down and set up the booth.
He blessed us with help.
First our son-in-law lent us his trailer, then got up early and helped my husband load the trailer.
They drove down with us and he helped unload the trailer.
Two other young men, friends of ours, also came to help unload the trailer.
Since I’ve had a migraine for several days, I evidently wasn’t clear when explaining where I wanted the furniture and they had to rearrange things several times.
When all the furniture was in place Anne, Jase, and the young men patiently unwrapped all the small things and helped me place them.
My mom came down to meet us and took pictures of it all.
Since the booth is a few hours away, she’s offered to check on it regularly.
When it was finished, we packed up and headed home, as I was feeling worse.
To my surprise I realized I hadn’t taken a single picture of the booth.
I texted Sis and not long afterwards I received a bunch of lovely photos.
They had returned to take pictures.
My mom sent me hers as well.
My heart was so full of gratitude to the Lord for all the help and blessings.
And during the night I was able to praise Him and pray for those people who came to mind.
Such quiet and deep times with the Lord are those watches of the night
And then I read these words:
“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime…”
Yesterday, it was unmistakable God was blessing us greatly.
Truly, each day is full of God’s lovingkindness.
“And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.”
This was exactly what my night was, singing praise in my heart and prayers.
As I read these words this morning I just had to share how good and how faithful God is.
His ways are perfect and His Word is truth.
His lovingkindness is incredible.
I am so thankful to Him.
I’m so thankful for all the people who helped us.
And I pray that your heart is encouraged.
I don’t know what you are facing today, but I do know Who is wanting to walk you through it.
May you feel the love of Jesus Christ as you walk into 2021.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all the ways You bless me each day. Lord, thank You for the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and the tasks at hand. Lord Jesus, I want to lift up the broken, the hurting, the lost, and I humbly request that You touch them, guide them, bring them to Yourself. Lord, the innocent, those in bondage, the orphan, and the widow, please provide and protect. Lord, for those who are called by Your name, please help them to live wholeheartedly for You in every area. Lord, show them how to live, give them discernment and provision. Please, return the prodigal. Lord, Your lovingkindness is amazing. Your grace and mercy are incredible. Thank You for Your faithfulness. I love You. Amen.
I know it’s a bit early, but I just wanted to reach out and say:
This has always been a time of year I look forward to.
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to praise God.
It’s a moment to remember the heritage and sacrifice of the Pilgrims and their families.
It’s an opportunity to praise God for the way He brought together both the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in the first Thanksgiving.
A holiday where we simply stop and say “thank you” to God.
Yes, we enjoy a fancy meal and normally play at least one board game.
But we also read the Pilgrim’s story (Thanksgiving, A Time To Remember by Barbara Rainey) and sometimes I read from their published journal.
This year, I’m going to be encouraging our children to write at least one letter of gratitude to someone.
It’s an idea I read in a blog and I love it.
Because it’s never too soon to tell someone thank you for their touch upon your life.
And gratitude should never be an empty cup.
For God’s blessings are all around us each and every day.
Truly, there is no end to His goodness.
Thus, there should be no end to our gratitude.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for all Your blessings. Lord, I could spend a lifetime just writing down all Your wonderous works and never reach the end. Lord, during this week, please help us to look at Your goodness and find so many reasons to rejoice. Lord, let our hearts be filled with gratitude and please grant us opportunity to thank those You have used in our lives. Thank You for a holiday simply set aside to praise, thank, and honor You for all Your blessings! I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.
The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalms 11:5 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Lord, You understand what is best for us and You also see the schemes of the enemy. Lord, Your Word teaches us the ways of sin bring death, but Your sacrifice has brought us life everlasting. Thank You! Lord, we want to be obedient children, we want Your favor to rest upon us. Please help us to walk with You in integrity and truth. Please help us to be people who are honorable before You. Lord, please protect us from the evil one. Please place a hedge of protection around us. Guard our hearts and minds. Please show us any areas where we have strayed from Your path. Thank You so much for salvation. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Please protect the innocent. Please provide for the widow and the orphan. Thank You for all Your ways. They are good! I love You, Jesus. Amen.
I sat nearby with her one month old brother in my arms.
I was burping him.
So, she began to burp her’s.
I grabbed my phone and couldn’t get a better picture than this, but it was a precious moment, none the less.
Next week our daughter returns to University.
I’m blessed to get to watch the kids a few times a week.
Grandbabies are so fun!
To look at our little granddaughter’s sweet smile and remember my own girls as wee people.
To listen to the cute baby noises of our grandson and remember the bundle of blanket which held our newborn son.
These gifts seem all the sweeter the second time around.
I love being a mother.
I love each of our precious children.
It’s compounded and multiplied when adding in grandbabies!
And it brings an even more precious memory to mind.
As much as I love these people, young and younger, God loves me even more.
Because His love is so much deeper, purer, and unmeasurable.
My sinful heart has major limitations, which hinders my ability to love as God does.
And yet He’s teaching me daily how to love more.
Grandbabies are easy to love.
Just one look at our grandchildren or children and my heart seems to expand.
Does God feel that way when He looks at me?
Romans 5:5 NKJV — Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:7-11 NKJV
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. John 16:27 NKJV
Not only does He love me far beyond my understanding, the same is true for you.
What a blessing to be loved by God!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your love. Thank You for creating us and the universe we live in. Lord, thank You for sustaining me. Lord, thank You for our family and friends. I’m so blessed by so many people. Lord, I’m humbled by Your love and blessings. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Please let nothing stand in the way of their hearts accepting Your love. Thank You for all You have done for me. I praise Your holy name. Amen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Years ago, I wanted to give my husband something he’d have at work to look at, reminding him of his little girls.
I made sure to glue in some of their artwork along with their pictures.
Often, I would add a comic cut from the newspaper.
As we pulled one after another out of a box, Anne asked me when I started making calendars.
“Honestly, I can’t remember.”
I’m so very glad I did.
It has been so fun to look back through them now and again.
At first I always used blank calendars and had to do everything, including write in the date for every day of the year.
I’ll be honest, I messed up more than once!
When I learned how to download my pictures into premade templates and order them, the hours crafting a calendar dropped significantly.
Funny thing though.
My husband liked the homemade ones better.
He’s sweet and knows it’s easier for me to do the online thing, so he’s never complained.
I think the only time he might complain is if he didn’t receive a calendar at Christmas.
Each year the whole family enjoys flipping through the newest calendar on Christmas Day.
No matter the template I use, I’m sure to include two things: pictures of our children and verses from the Bible.
Because our family wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Jesus.
He’s the reason we have memories to look back on.
His love and provision has sustained us through thick and thin, health and illness, times apart and togetherness, little and much.
The Lord is the reason we are the family that we are.
And it seems especially important to praise Him for holding our family.
Today is my husband’s birthday.
He doesn’t like parties or fuss of that sort.
But I feel secure that he won’t mind me thanking God for him.
Thanking the Lord for the memories of past years, months, weeks…days.
Thanking the Lord for giving me to my husband as wife: his beloved, his friend, the mother of his children, and a fellow follower of Christ.
I’m thanking God for the love we share.
Our relationship has deepen and grown and we are both deeply in love with one another.
I praise God for His blessings upon our family.
I praise God for His continual provision.
I praise God for my husband.
“Happy Birthday, Handsome!”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the birth of my husband. Thank You that he loves and serves You. Thank You that he loves and provides for us. Lord, please continue to guide, direct, and speak to him. Give him discernment with our family, our finances, his occupation, and our family dynamics. Lord Jesus, guard him from the enemy. Place a watch over his eyes, his heart, and his mind. Keep his feet planted firmly upon Your paths. Please let his words be full of wisdom, understanding, and Your Word. Thank You so much for all Your blessings and love. Thank You for our family. Amen.
The days have swiftly gone, like dried leaves in a strong wind.
How blessed it has been.
God has truly done marvelous things in these three years.
When our Sis married, we gained a son.
Our other children gained a brother.
We all were granted a huge blessing.
For truly, he loves all of us and most importantly, he loves Jesus.
Through this wonderful new family, God has granted such encouragement to us.
Tim has supported Sis as she’s continued to follow her education, because he knows she feels called by God to do it.
And God has blessed them in that.
Both of them have supported us as we walked this road of struggle, first with injuries to Anne and Bell, then with my illness.
Along with that, they opened their home to us.
I spent a major part of last summer living with them while we tried to figure out what to do about my inability to live in our house.
Often Jase or Anne was there as well.
When it was clear God was moving us, Sis packed, and Tim hauled things in his trailer.
They helped unload and unpack when we got in this house.
There are so many little things they have done to bless and encourage us.
Of course the best occurrence in these three years has been our grandchildren.
Both the birth of our first granddaughter, over a year ago, and the expected birth of our first grandson next month.
Near Tim’s birthday, this spring, I asked him how he felt about his birthday.
I can’t recall the exact phrase, but it was something like:
“Really blessed. I had no idea God was going to bless me so much. I have a beautiful wife and I’m the father of two children, although our next is still in the womb. Yeah, I’m really blessed.”
My husband and I agree.
God has truly blessed them and us.
So much has happened in three years.
What an incredible God we serve!
Happy Anniversary, Tim and Sis.
We love you!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for family. Thank You for creating the entire social and human relations with the first family, Adam and Eve. Lord, none of us deserve Your blessings, but we are so grateful for it. Our hearts are full of wonder at Your works. As we walk into another day, please continue to lead us. We want our families to be a reflection of You to those around us. Thank You so much for these three years. Thank You for our daughter and son-in-law and their children. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace poured out upon us. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
She wanted the house to reflect the festivities of our Risen Savior.
I had gotten up for a bit and she showed me all she had done.
It was beautiful.
I was blessed by her creativity.
She had gotten into the storage boxes and looked for anything she might use.
I commented on how nicely she had done.
“Mom, what are we going to have tomorrow?”
“Maybe Daddy can smoke us some chicken.”
With me being in bed for so long, I didn’t know what we had for groceries.
Anne decided to make some deviled eggs, and she informed me we still had some potato salad Bell had made.
My husband had to spend the day at our property working. Bell had gone down also to get a few things.
Anne and I both knew they wouldn’t have time to go buy anything.
I could tell Anne was a little concerned about our meal, but I reminded her to trust God.
When we went to bed, my husband still hadn’t arrived home.
So when I got back up later that evening to welcome them, I had a big surprise waiting.
My husband and our daughter were bringing in groceries.
A ham, potato casserole, rolls, salad, and an apple pie.
All of it had been a gift to our family.
The next day I made sure to text our thanks and appreciation.
Her response was simple:
“As I was buying our ham at Costco yesterday the Lord brought you to my mind and knowing the situation your family has been in with you being so limited with your health I figured everyone might need a little break. I only wish some of it was homemade!! At least it won’t be too much work for anyone. Hope your family has a wonderful Easter celebration together!”
Even now, I can not properly express my gratitude and appreciation.
We had a wonderful Easter celebration.
We watched service online.
Then we had our own worship and my husband taught from Isaiah 53.
Our meal was one of the nicest Easter meals we’ve ever had.