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.
Although we normally stay home in the morning and homeschool, I felt it best to run to the store early.
Later in the day more people are out and it means everything takes longer.
First, I drove us to the nursery.
I want to plant a few shrubs along the fence and I only have one.
Maybe it was the pollen, maybe it was because my asthma has been kicked up, but whatever the reason my voice disappeared at the garden center.
Jase was with me and I was signing to him.
I couldn’t find the plants, they were not where they’d been.
Finally, I decided to ask someone.
I was a bit nervous as to how this was going to work, because Jase was struggling with reading my sign.
When we walked over and stood quietly nearby the worker, I prayed.
She finished what she was doing and turned to help.
I signed and Jase said what I was saying right up to the plant name.
Most names you have to finger spell and I did.
Jase simply read each letter as I spelled it and I was so thankful the lady listening was able to catch the name.
It was an answer to prayer, because I had no idea what else to do other than spell the name.
I’d forgotten my paper and pencil, so I couldn’t write it down.
(I will be asking the Lord to remind me the next time!)
The worker explained why I couldn’t find them, they were sold out.
Thankfully they are getting more in about a week.
We’d barely arrived home when Sis dropped in.
She needed to run to Home Depot and asked if I wanted to ride along.
I was happy to, although I still couldn’t talk.
Jase had school work he could do without me, so I hopped in.
As she drove I signed and we had a nice conversation.
She smiled at the stop light and said, “When I was part of the Deaf Bible Study I kept wondering why God would have me learn sign.”
“I thought maybe we would have a deaf child. I never thought I’d need it for you.”
I smiled back and signed to her how much I appreciate her knowing sign so I can converse.
We got to the store and put the babies into the cart.
As we shopped I continued to sign about the plants or other things.
Sis needed a new bathroom sink and vanity.
It was in the midst of looking them over that I looked at our granddaughter.
Her eyes were fixed on mine and I realized:
She was signing to me!
We’ve been teaching her signs along with words.
She had been watching me sign to her Mommy and wanted to be part of the conversation.
My heart overflowed!
What a precious gift!
Our family has learned and is continuing to learn a second language because of my silence.
I noticed a few people’s surprise at watching me sign to our granddaughter.
It just added to the joy.
Truly, the struggles and difficulties which life can bring God will use for good if we will surrender ourselves completely before Him.
Yesterday, was another precious reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Watching our little grandbaby carefully signing: “Yes, flowers, yes!”
She liked the plants I had placed in the cart next to her.
Proverbs 17:6 KJV — Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your Word and Your goodness. Thank You for my family, who cares so much for me. Thank You for ASL and for teaching our family. Lord, thank You for the previous moments yesterday. Thank You that each day holds blessings from You. Please help me to be aware and thankful. I love 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.
When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. II Timothy 1:5-6 NKJV
Timothy’s mother and grandmother gave him a legacy of genuine faith.
Definitely, a treasure worth passing on.
This genuine faith wasn’t a happenstance, but a choice by both women to follow God and in their devotion to the Lord they planted seeds of this same faith into Timothy.
We must be purposeful if we want to leave a legacy like this.
Our faith must be genuine as well.
Romans 3:25 NKJV — whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
For those who have believed and received salvation it should be evident in lives surrendered to Jesus.
Our choices, our time, our character all plant seeds for the future.
And God’s Word makes it apparent, our lives today leave a legacy for tomorrow.
God’s Word also clearly commands we live out our faith daily, especially before our children.
Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV — “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,
Both Lois and Eunice followed this verse.
And it’s truth is as applicable today as it was thousands of years ago.
For the Bible clearly teaches us we leave a legacy of one kind or of the other.
Proverbs 3:35 NKJV — The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
Proverbs 11:29 NKJV — He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
All the truths of leaving behind a godly legacy can be true of leaving behind a poor one.
Galatians 6:7 NKJV — Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
It is not difficult to leave a legacy of ungodliness.
History is full of those recorded for all to remember their folly or their evil.
And for each one whose life made enough ripple to be written down how many more are there who simply chose to live unto themselves rather than in service to others.
But there is hope.
It’s never too late to begin leaving a legacy of genuine faith.
It’s never too late to speak words of humility, apology, encouragement, truth, or wisdom.
It’s never too late to seek God personally so your life can be used by Jesus to plant seeds in the future.
What kind of legacy are you planting today?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for truth. Lord, please make me like Lois and Eunice, please continue to build and grow genuine faith in my life and use my life to plant seeds into our children and grandchildren. Lord Jesus, help me to see opportunities You give to encourage, love, support, and bring Your Word to. Please keep me from causing harm in anyway, but instead please use me to touch others. Lord Jesus, on my own I can do nothing, it is only in You working through me that I find ability. Thank You. Thank You for all You have done and are doing and will do. 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.
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for truth. Lord, please help those who are called by Your name to walk in Your ways. Lord, help each of us to take heed to ourselves. To be diligent with our relationship with You. Please help me to be diligent. Lord, help each of us to be servants before You, humble and grateful. Lord, help us teach our children and our grandchildren about You. Please Lord, let each and every one of us learn to love as You do. Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief, help me trust You more, help me rest in Your peace, please help me let go of expectations and simply love You. Lord Jesus, I trust You with all things. Lord, I realize that my perspective is very limited and instead of looking at circumstances, I will look to You. I praise You, Lord, for You are worthy of all praise. Thank You, Jesus for everything! Amen.
The Bible is full of relationships; examples of healthy as well as unhealthy ones.
Ephesians spells out clearly how to handle some of the fundamental relationships, beginning with the institution God began all of society with: marriage.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22 NKJV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV
There is so much here, as well as the verses between, for how God intended marriage to be.
A solid Biblical marriage brings fruit in so many areas.
Respect is not blind to sin, nor does it bend to allow that which is an abomination to God, but it instead holds fast to what is right and encourages a right standing before God.
Wives need to be right before God if they are going to be able to respect and trust their husbands.
It is from trusting in God that a wife can trust her husband, it comes from a security in the Lord Jesus.
Loving a person as Christ loves the church seems to be crystal clear.
Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to be born in a stable, to flee from an insane king, to live in a foreign land, to return after a time, and finally to begin His ministry, where He was misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed, a ministry which the culmination was being beaten, mocked, and crucified, all for the sake of the church, all because of His love.
Truly, husbands have an incredibly high standard, but Jesus will guide and direct and provide the way for those who choose to love like this.
What if you’re not married?
The Bible speaks to those who have parents and those who are parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 NKJV
Obedience to parents is not always easy, nor does the nature like to obey anyone other than self, but learning to practice self-discipline is a valuable lesson.
As adults obedience to parents can become tricky, but honoring God and serving Him first will clarify how to honor and serve one’s parents.
These verses speak directly to the father, but other places in scripture bring attention to the mother’s role as well.
Parents are to teach their children.
Deut. 6:6-7, 31:12-13, Prov. 13:24, 19:18, 22:6, Col. 3:21 are just a few verses dealing with this.
The Lord Jesus is our example in all things and since He taught and corrected His disciples with love and patience we too should teach and correct our children in His ways.
What if you don’t have any children and your parents are no longer alive?
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV
Bondservants are not common in our society, but these verses can certainly be applied to the working world.
As an employee, we can work: “in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”.
But the chapter doesn’t end there, the verse is directed to the master, but it could easily be applied to the owner of a business, the boss, the supervisor, ect.
And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Ephesians 6:9 NKJV
Ephesians 6 continues to speak about relationships.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
For whatever relationship we may be in we can be guaranteed that God will give us direction in dealing with them.
When we walk in this world we will find trouble and often that trouble will come in the form of a broken relationship.
Therefore we must remain steadfast in God’s Word and remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
Our spiritual enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come to give life and that more abundantly.
Through Christ Jesus we can have healthy godly relationships.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the wealth of knowledge and examples You have given in scripture. Lord Jesus please help us to be steadfast in Your Word and to walk in Your ways, especially in our relationships. Lord, help us to seek You and Your Word in all circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the relationships we have in our lives. May Your name be glorified through us. Amen.
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.
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.
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.