Our family has been slowly adjusting to this new season.
Of course we still miss our Anne, but Grandma is so thankful for the help.
(She’s doing very well, and the doctor removed the stitches yesterday. Praise the Lord!)
Jase and I are coming around to a new routine.
Which has included furniture.
I’ve been thankful for the ability to spend many of my early mornings working in the garage.
The rest of the day is spent in homeschooling and housekeeping.
Jase is learning to do more cooking, which has been a blessing.
Through it all, we are learning, stretching, and seeking the Lord.
Because we want to follow His lead and we want to make changes based on Him.
As we continue to walk through the summer, I’m reminded to praise God.
For wherever we are and whatever is occurring, He is worthy of praise.
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 so much for Your faithfulness! You are worthy of all our praise, all our worship belongs to You. Lord, You are our Savior, the Lamb of God. Thank You! Lord, as we walk in this day, please continue to help us to worship, to remain steadfast in Your ways. Lord, when we are struggling with things, please remind us of Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness and love. Lord, please set a guard over our eyes, that we might not look on evil. Please set a guard on our hearts and lips that we might harm others with our words. Thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV — To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
It’s important that we realize change is part of life.
For those who don’t live in the tropics, the weather is a continual reminder of change.
Four seasons, each vastly different, each one important.
Our lives need change, our very bodies thrive on it.
We were not created to sleep continually, when someone does it’s a sign that something is wrong.
We were not made to eat continually, even animals who graze have times where they lay down and chew their cud.
For us to be healthy and whole we need change.
But it’s not always comfortable.
It’s certainly not always fun.
But the season each of us is in holds value and is an opportunity.
Where we struggle is when we try to resist change, holding on to a specific time or season of life, rather than embrace the place one is.
God knows what is best for each of us and His wisdom is far above our understanding.
Therefore we must trust Him and seek His face for the place we are in, thanking Him.
It is with a humble and grateful heart that we can truly embrace change.
Let us praise God for change.
Let us be aware of the changes, whether it be the season, the time, or the place we are in.
Let us be thankful for the blessings of yesterday as well as those of today.
Let us trust God for tomorrow, guarding against fear of the future.
For truly there is a time for everything and the Lord is Master of it all.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 NKJV — A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your wisdom and truth. Thank You for Your Word and how You help us through each day. Lord, please continue to shine through each circumstance, to teach and guide me. I want to be more like You in all things and I thank You for the change You bring in my life, that I might grow. Lord, You know many things are difficult, please help us to cling to You and to walk in Your ways. Lord, please help us not to charge ahead in our own plans, but instead to rest in and wait upon You, even while we work. Lord, please keep us from devising our own plans or using others to “make” things happen. Lord, if there is any place where we are using another for our own benefit, please show us that we might stop manipulating others. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. May the knowledge of glory of You fill the whole Earth! Amen.
The older I get, the more I find myself learning this truth.
As a young woman change was terrifying.
I lived in fear of bad things happening and did all I could to ward off danger.
But after living through years of loss, I learned change is healthy.
He used those years to teach me about the frailty and blessing of life.
Not to waste my time trying to avoid whatever may come (because many things are completely out of our control), but instead to invest in the day I have.
Which is why I can walk through our current changes and smile, even though my heart aches.
Our son-in-law and daughter and the grandbabies moved almost three hours away last weekend.
Our youngest daughter will move in a few weeks.
Our home will hold just three people, something we’ve not had in over twenty years.
Yes, my heart is missing them.
Yes, it’s a time of grieving a loss.
No, I’m not unhappy.
Because God is doing this and I’m so thankful for His guidance in each of their lives.
I’m practicing praise.
Praising Him for all He has given us.
Worshipping Him, so thankful He is directing their lives.
Honoring Him, because these people, who began as babies in our arms, never belonged to us, they have always been His.
I’m expectant, because although I don’t know what the future holds, I know Who is holding us.
May our lives, wherever we are, bring glory to His name.
Psalm 86:12 KJV — I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for change. Thank You for using life’s changes to shine into my heart and mind those things I would not have willingly learned otherwise. Lord, thank You for the patchwork of experiences which have brought me to this place. Thank You that You are using life to hone our hearts and help us learn dependence upon You. Lord, I rest in the knowledge that You have each of these dear people in Your hands and I thank You for all You are doing in their lives. Please continue to grow them in their walk with You. Please continue to provide for their needs and guide them in each day. Thank You for these dear people we love so much. Thank You for using them to teach me about You and Your love. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
I came into the office this morning to get my shots.
And found, they are closing our branch.
My shot nurse is retiring.
The remaining staff is moving to the other office.
I feel like crying.
I know that sounds silly.
But these four ladies (shot nurse, doctor, nurse, and receptionist) I care about.
They were the encouraging smiles and gentle listening hearts as I began this journey with my allergy shots.
We had just moved to a new city, didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a clue where anything was and we were fairly ignorant about a great deal in this area
I remember the nurse taking my blood pressure and telling how to find Walmart.
The doctor (before the virus) telling me it was okay to bring both my kids and our grandbaby to my appointment, because I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving them home.
I remember the ladies’ sweet comments about our baby granddaughter, as we all came to the office for my shots.
Then, after the virus, the care continued in asking to see pictures of our granddaughter, then of our grandson.
Discussions with the receptionist as we both had highschool children.
One time I shared my favorite Youtube link about crocheting.
And many other little moments which have been a blessing.
They have made this time a joy and something to look forward to.
Especially nice, as I rarely go anywhere.
I’m praying for each of these ladies and the changes they are all making.
Although, I’m sad, I know change is part of life and oftentimes a blessing.
Change helps us to value the things we have.
Like today, I am so thankful for the past year and a half with these ladies.
I’m praising God for His provision of what I have had.
No matter what this change brings, I’m thankful.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your blessings. Thank You for the medical professionals who step beyond treatment and into caring for each individual. Thank You for the courage to continue to get up each day and work to help others. Please bless those who are serving. Please shine Your love to them and through them. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
I find myself both looking forward to and mourning the change in season.
No, not from winter to spring.
From one season of life to another.
I’m so thankful and happy that our oldest girl and our youngest girl will be graduating together,
one from University and the other from highschool.
They have worked so hard and I know will continue to do so until they meet their goals.
As we get closer and celebrate the small wins of daily achievements, my emotions are mixed.
It’s the closing of a chapter in each daughter’s life.
It’s the beginning of a new one.
As one season gives way to another,
as my emotions are mixed,
I have comfort in daily walking with Jesus.
Praise the Lord!
Proverbs 22:6 KJV — Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all You are doing in the lives of our children who are adults. Thank You for walking with them in all things. Lord, thank You for allowing me to be a part of their lives during this. What a privilege and blessing to support and encourage our adult children. Please teach me how to continue to love and support them in this next season. Help me not to miss the joy as I grieve the change. Lord, every stage of life is a precious gift and I want to cherish each step. Please help me to do so. Lord, keep me from focusing on the wrong things, but to instead focus upon You and Your will. Thank You for Your gift of life and these precious children! May our lives glorify You. Amen.
The weekend before last was a new experience for me.
The weather warning was freezing rain and I thought I had a general idea of what to expect.
Of course, I should have known better.
The freezing rain began Thursday night.
It didn’t seem like a big deal until I walked out to the car Friday morning.
It was like someone had poured a coating of ice over the entire thing.
Hmm… freezing rain means it freezes as it’s raining!
(Don’t ask me why I hadn’t figured that out before.)
It took some effort, but we got it cleaned off and the steady rain helped since the temperature was no longer low.
We cleared off the ice enough to see, get into the car, and start the engine.
But I had no idea what the following night was going to be like.
My poor husband was up throughout, listening to the trees all around the neighborhood crack, break, or fall over.
I asked him to get some pictures the next morning since he was going out to assess the damage.
It was a sad and amazing landscape.
I can’t express to you the beauty!
The trees which could handle the extreme weight of every branch encased in ice was extraordinary.
But right along side these beautiful unique artwork were the broken limbs and fallen trunks of those which could not handle the weight.
The only other time I’ve seen so many trees uprooted and laying on their sides was many years ago when a child.
A severe wind and dust storm came through the city I lived in and trees all over were knocked down, roots still cling to bits of sod combing the air, unable to withstand the force of the wind.
It seems an age since I thought about that and here I am, living in a different state, realizing that weather can make an incredible mess.
But, the beauty was apparent as well.
Ice encased trees was brief, but the landscape will never be the same.
Our backyard will take many hours.
The positive side of things is the opportunity for new.
New growth in plants and trees will happen.
New trees will replace the old.
We are replacing the cedar with an apple tree.
New opportunities will be available once the clean up is finished.
It’s like our lives.
Things change, we experience loss, grief, trials, but there’s always something beautiful in it and God is always working through it.
Lamentations 3:25 NLT — The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.
Psalm 27:14 NKJV — Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Lamentations 3:26 NKJV — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all Your wonderous ways. How great and awesome are Your works! Lord, oftentimes I get shortsighted, and can not see beyond myself. Please help me to live and love on a much broader scale. To walk with You in all things and to trust You in all ways. Lord Jesus, You know what today holds and I know You are holding me in today. Thank You. May those who are called by Your name live our lives understanding Your truths. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
I’ve been finding blogging a bit more of a challenge.
Perhaps it’s because I have been busier than usual.
Maybe it’s due to some personal circumstances.
More than both of those, I’ve simply lacked the words.
Because life sometimes leaves you speechless.
This year, more so than past years, save one.
In 2011, when the Lord walked me through what I think of as my “Job” experience, I too was speechless.
This year hasn’t been like that one.
But the amount of unexpected change has been pretty nearly the same.
Because I’m someone who finds routine and plans comforting and in a way a security, all the rotation of change has been less than relaxing.
But I know better than to allow stress.
Instead, I’m learning a new way to rest in God’s will.
To take each change as an opportunity to learn and a sign to seek God.
Because I know that God is working through each circumstance and I want to join with Him.
I want to serve Him during and through every step of each day.
Not all change is bad.
This month is “birthday season” for us, where three of our four children have birthdays.
Yesterday, it was Jase’s.
I’m so thankful for the birthday of each of our children.
Blessed beyond measure that they are another year older.
But it’s always held a tinge of loss.
I’ve always understood each year means one step closer to the finish line where I hand them into adulthood and change rolls completely.
As someone who has poured my life into my children for the past 22 years, it’s a sobering reality.
Yes, we have two adult daughters and are blessed by our sons-in-law, whom we love very much.
Yes, I adore being a grandma and I’m so thankful for the way God is working in our adults.
Yes, it is a change which is a blessing and a beautiful opportunity.
No, I don’t always look forward to it.
Because once they cross the finish line our relationship changes forever.
It’s a good change.
But not an easy one for me.
So, personally, I’ve found all the changes a bit overwhelming.
Both the ones I can see coming and those which have been unexpected.
As I walk through these things with the Lord I hope you, my dear reader, will pardon me if I’m without words.
Or maybe if I speak on other topics the Lord is walking me through during it all.
Because I know He’s got my best at hand.
He’s working through each day and in my life in incredible ways.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. I John 4:15-16 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word! Thank You for Your faithfulness! How I love the fact that You never leave me nor forsake me. You walk with me in all things. Your ways are perfect and Your truth is life. Lord, thank You for each of the changes. Thank You for the blessings of birthdays. Thank You for giving us so much to cling to in Your Word. Lord Jesus, thank You for another day. Please help me to live resting in Your presence, walking in Your will, surrendered to You. Please help me to serve You as I complete the tasks at hand. Thank You for all You have done and are doing. Most of all, thank You for salvation. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
We’ve learned to let go of experience and learn new ways of doing things.
It has been overflowing with change for our family as well.
My husband’s brother and wife had a son.
His sister and her husband had a son.
Sis and her husband had a son.
Bell got married.
Anne is now a Senior in highschool and Jase a Freshman.
Sis is in her final year at University.
Anne is learning to drive…
You get the picture.
From my perspective 2019 was also immersed in change.
Our first grandchild was born.
I had to quit my job due to my health.
My husband changed jobs.
We moved three hours north.
Bell remaining behind to attend college.
We sold our property in the country and reside in a rental in the suburbs.
As 2020 winds closer to an end I can look backwards at these and other changes.
I could long for it to all return to the way it was before, but how far back would that be?
Would I want to return to the years our girls were in sports and school?
Or would I want to go farther back to when they were all children?
What about back to diapers and no sleep and…
Then I look at today.
Today is as full of blessings as any of my favorite memories.
Today is as valuable as yesterday was.
Today is where I am.
It’s good to look back and see where God has brought us.
It’s valuable to reflect on the changes God has made, because He is working through each one.
But it is vital to live in this day.
To look for what He is doing in my present.
For God is at work right now and I want to be a part of that.
I want to live in today, because it’s where He is.
Psalm 118:24 NKJV — This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for today. Thank You for all You have done in the past. How You have walked me and my family through so many things. Lord, thank You for working in and through those things and for giving us new understanding, new perspective. Lord Jesus, You alone know what this day holds and I humbly request that You hold me as I go throughout the day. Hold me in Your ways and in Your Word. Please teach me how to respond, teach me how to love. Please help me to do all I do unto You and not for self. Thank You for Your patience with me and Your understanding. How great and mighty You are! May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth! Amen.
Many years ago, I learned it’s best if our family doesn’t take long breaks from school.
So, when Jase finished his American History book last week, I knew.
Highschool level World History was next.
I’ll be honest.
My heart had concerns and I took them to the Lord.
I asked the Lord a long list of questions and He answered each one.
So we began on Monday.
Jase did catch that this was not only more difficult, it requires a lot more work.
I was impressed, though.
He didn’t complain.
Easy, it’s not.
Yet, he has jumped in and I’m so thankful.
Change doesn’t come easy for him.
The older I get the more I realize, it’s not easy for me either.
Yet, it’s a blessing.
To grow, stretch, learn, and surrender is so valuable.
Allowing Jesus lordship over every single bit of my life.
Which means I go where He guides.
I live as He directs.
I honor His changes in myself and my life with praise and thanksgiving.
His ways are best.
Including a new challenge.
Jase in highschool.
Yup, our youngest is entering the 9th grade.
When he finishes his science curriculum we are currently doing, he will begin Physical Science.
He’s working away on Prealgebra and of course will go into Algebra 1 when he’s finished.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Just like following Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for change. It’s not what I look forward to, but I know You use it for good in our lives. Lord, please continue to change my heart and mind to be more like Yours. Please continue to use outside circumstances to hone my character. Lord, I humbly request that You help me to be an encouragement and support to others around me who are also experiencing change. Please let me words, prayers, and attitudes be a blessing to those around me. Thank You for loving me enough to encourage me to grow. Thank You for change. Amen.
And the process is an important part of becoming more like Jesus.
I was reminded of that yesterday.
There was a lot on our schedule.
A few extra things got thrown in.
While at the doctor’s office I was writing about how God uses trials even though I rarely see that side of it.
I had only seen the discomfort of so much new.
My view had been focused on the long lists of “to do”.
I’d been looking at the new places, where everything is unfamiliar or yet to be learned.
It was God showing me how His circumstances of change have been a blessing to our family.
Not an hour later I was driving to pick Anne up when Jase and I were protected from an automobile accident.
My mug, full of hot freshly brewed tea, went all over the passenger seat.
At first I wanted to be upset.
But that gentle voice reminded me of the truth.
We didn’t get hit!
Instead of speaking the words, which lept to my tongue, I was able to change.
“Well, praise the Lord! I’m so glad God kept us safe from that wreck!”
Jase from the backseat asked me what happened.
Then I was able to praise God even more.
“Buddy, I’m so glad you sat in the back seat like I asked. I know you didn’t want to, but because you were willing to trade your seat to your sister you didn’t get burned by my tea!”
His reply was a happy one.
I’m not sure if that moment meant as much to him as it does to me, but I’m trusting God to use it.
This year has taught me that God can and will use life to hone us, even the kids.
I know He has a perfect plan for each of them.
He has a unique calling on each of their lives.
When He created them, He placed exactly what would be best inside each.
He guides and directs their lives and circumstances to hone them as children and young adults to prepare them for that calling.
And all these things are part of His wonderful plan.
It’s a blessing to experience areas that stretch and challenge us.
Lately, life has been so full of change I’ve been blind to the blessings in each one.
Until an appointment at the doctor’s office caused me to pause and reflect.
What an incredible blessing to see God work through another change.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all the opportunities to stretch us. Please continue to help us look at challenges, changes, and trials as opportunities. Thank You for loving us so much that You give us what is best, even if we don’t first recognize it as such. May our lives bring glory and honor to Your name.