Tag Archives: daughter

Learning by trial and error

Anne and I had so many things planned for our two weeks without the guys.

So, when they came home on Sunday we were unsure what to do.

Obviously, her furniture had to be done, so we worked together on it Sunday, when ordinarily we’d rest.

Our thought was, “It’s in the way. We’ve got to free up space in the garage.”

Of course, we couldn’t get four pieces of furniture done in that amount of time.

My husband understood and appreciated our efforts.

While they unpacked the truck, Monday, Anne and I worked on the furniture.

I’m only able to do some of it because of my health.

So, when it was time to put the top coat on her night stand I went back in the house.

Much later, Anne showed me the table.

She wasn’t happy.

I could see why.

Brown streaks were all over the top of the table and one side had them as well.

Being relatively new to this I wasn’t sure what we were seeing, bleed through or top coat.

The decision was made to let it sit over night and figure out what to do in the morning.

Tuesday came and it was still there.

Anne and I decided the best approach was to sand it back off.

I felt bad for her, as she’d carefully painted flowers on the top that had to come off.

After sanding, she repainted it.

It was definitely the top coat, not bleed through.

So, she switched brushes and reapplied the top coat to a drawer. (Much easier to sand down if it didn’t work.)

Thankfully, it worked beautifully, no streaks.

During all of this, my husband set up a temporary spray tent in the backyard, went to the store to purchase primer, and sprayed all the drawers to the remaining two dressers and primered the long dresser.

This way, Anne can do the painting today and hopefully the top coat tomorrow.

Jase even got involved, he helped sand off the streaky top coat.

Anne and I were thrilled with all the help.

So, when my husband got a phone call from work yesterday, I was praying.

It turned out he cancelled his remaining vacation and returned to work this morning.

His two days were spent with us, just at home.

Cleaning and reorganizing the gear with Jase, painting the dressers with Anne.

Yup.

It was a good two day vacation.

The reason being, our family spent time together.

God is honored when we love and honor one another.

And He was definitely part of all.

No matter what changes come next, I pray our family will honor God through each one.

Psalm 104:1 NKJV — Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for these two days. Thank You for guiding and directing our family. Lord, we give You our lives, our plans, our family, and we humbly request that You be the center of it all. No matter our task, we want to honor You with our actions, attitudes, and words. Lord Jesus, You see the heart. If there is anything standing in the way of us following You, please remove it. Let our lives shine brightly before You. Thank You. 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.

Not a typical Monday

What is so different about this Monday?

Well, some things are pretty routine.

I’ll water the garden and eat breakfast.

I’ll be praying and writing.

Yet, this week’s schedule will color all I do.

Because on Saturday our girl is getting married.

I’m very thankful to the Lord for this!

He has been so faithful to us.

He has guided us through all the preparation and here we stand on the brink with very little to do before set-up day.

Of course, we have to travel down and since “running home for…” is out of the question, I’m checking our packing again.

Sis helped me go through the decorations yesterday.

She’s the wedding coordinator and therefore it’s important she understands all the details.

I’ll be asking Anne and Jase to pack their things today.

It’s a shot day, and I’m praying.

Sometimes shots make me very tired.

We are expecting visitors today and tomorrow.

So, I’ll have to plan a few meals.

Throughout all these things, one thing is foremost on my heart.

It’s something God talked to me about at the beginning.

Enjoy the journey, don’t rush through just to get through.

I want to focus on praising the Lord no matter what.

Marriage is His blessing.

He  who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord .
Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

My heart’s desire is to be free from worry and stress during this.

To simply walk in peace and thanksgiving to God.

Because I know, He has all the details in His hand.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for everything You have already done. Thank You for walking with us each and every day. Lord, I don’t know what today holds, but I know I can rest in You throughout. Your will is perfect and although I have my own ideas and plans, I surrender them before You. Please help me to walk with You in all things and to be gracious, patient, and loving. Thank You for this journey. Thank You for Your love. Amen.

Every detail

Although the days are flying past and the wedding date is rushing upon us I wasn’t concerned.

My husband’s outfit hadn’t been purchased yet, but I was trusting in the Lord.

He had already spoken to my heart about it.

In fact it had been more than once that His gentle voice said,

Do not worry, I have it all in hand.

So, when my husband looked at me on Saturday and said, “Let’s go buy my outfit for the wedding,” I was excited, but not anxious.

When we arrived at the store, I realized I had forgotten my dress.

My husband suggested we go look anyway.

After all it doesn’t have to match exactly.

To our pleasure and surprise he found some slacks which were not only a great color, but also on sale!

From there we headed to the ties.

I’d been praying for my hubby since we got up that morning.

He has a bad back and he’s been suffering neck pain for a while now.

I could tell his neck was really hurting.

So my mind wasn’t on the shopping.

I think that’s why it caught me off guard.

We found the ties.

Blues, black, tan,…no gray, not even one.

“Well,…we can try somewhere else.”

“No, I think I have a gray tie that will work.”

My brow crinkled up as I tried to recall all the ties in the closet.

Unfortunately, I didn’t just trust my husband to know what he was talking about, nor did I stop and pray.

“Babe, the only gray tie you have is the one from my dad and it won’t work.”

He didn’t argue.

He turned toward the check out and said, “I need to go.”

I realized he was hurting.

I saw that I’d stopped trusting.

I began to pray silently.

We had other stops to make and when we reached home he tried on his pants.

My time in prayer had restored my peace.

The slacks were very nice.

His white dress shirt went well.

He retreated to the closet to find his ties.

I followed, just because.

To my surprise and delight he drew out a beautiful gray tie with stripes.

Honestly, I don’t remember ever seeing it before and said so.

“I got this for Oreste’s wedding.”

It matched perfectly.

When my husband went to Oreste’s wedding, our Bell went too.

It is a special memory.

This tie is so much more meaningful than a new one from the store.

As I fingered it, I remembered the Lord’s voice.

And thanked Him for all His faithfulness.

He truly has every detail in His hand.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for this added blessing of the tie which will hold even more memories as my husband walks our daughter down the aisle. Lord, truly You are the beginning and the end, and Your understanding is beyond anything I could ever imagine. Thank You for bringing something so small into the last pieces of the planning. Thank You for loving us so much. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Finishing touches

We are making a few little things for the wedding.

Yesterday, we were rolling napkins, Sis and I.

Handsome had made me over a hundred and sixty yellow paper circles to serve as napkin rings.

I enjoyed sitting across the table from Sis rolling napkins.

She talked about her time as a waitress while we worked.

Later, it was Jase and Anne sitting around the table with me.

Anne and I were folding pinwheels from gray paper and Jase was tracing holders for the flower petals.

(We are not allowed to throw rice or birdseed, so we will be throwing rose petals.)

Today, along with homeschooling, I’m hoping to finish the pinwheels.

I’m also planning on doing some staging.

Since we live so far away from the bride, she can’t see the decor.

Therefore, I’m going to set one table up with all the items and take a picture and send it to her.

I plan on doing this for all the decor that I can.

These pictures will be with lists of the items required, inside numbered totes.

I’ve been putting together totes with numbers to correspond with my decor list.

The plan is to have all of it together for when we go to set up.

That way I am not trying to explain each area, nor handle everything myself.

Hopefully, it will streamline both the setting up and the taking down.

It’s been such a journey.

Learning to live differently.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel frustrated over all the limitations.

But each time I do, it’s like a warning light.

Reminding me that’s not the proper way to see it.

God has allowed all these changes and many of them I’m very thankful for.

I think of Job’s words:

Job 2:10 KJV — But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job didn’t sin with his lips, because his heart was right before God.

He didn’t understand all the changes in his life, but he served God faithfully.

I want to walk in the same way.

To accept either “good” or “bad” in life as an opportunity to walk with the Lord.

Because most of the time, my perspective calls something either “good” or “bad” depending upon how I feel or perceive it.

Obviously, God’s view point is far superior.

As we put the finishing touches on the last details for the wedding, I want to remember.

No matter how it all comes together nor how different it all has to be due to the current restrictions, it’s a wonderful moment.

The beginning of a new family.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all the changes. Thank You for allowing the things I do not always understand nor want. For I know I can trust You completely. Lord, thank You for teaching me and my family so much through all these changes. Please continue to hone our hearts, to guide our steps, and to guard our words, that we might not sin against You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Three years ago today

Wow!

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.

Rejoicing in the day-to-day

Boy!

This was a long time ago.

I ran across this while searching for something else.

So many memories return with a look at our girls grown big before they were large.

How does it happen so fast?

You simply try to deal with life day in and day out while the miracle of childhood turns into the blessings of adulthood.

And suddenly:

Those tiny fingers and messy heads and snuggly cuddly bodies have stretched out.

You look and see not a child.

And it’s a common phenomenon.

On Saturday we traveled to a wedding ceremony for a man who we used to know as a little boy.

He too stretched out and changed in the day-to-day growth of children.

But I haven’t forgotten the little boy that he once was.

My voice was absent as I hugged him, all polished and ready for this major life change.

But he looked down on this tiny lady who loves him and said, “I love you”.

I signed, “I love you” hugged him again and let him return to his duties.

What a joy!

To daily walk in this miracle of children growing into men and women.

Only God could come up with such a wonderful blessing as babies to child to adult.

What an incredible honor to have years of daily opportunities to instill character into the future generation.

Of course we can only do that through Jesus.

He’s the One who guides, leads, and directs us, we simply have the privilege of holding, comforting, caring, and training those littles He for so brief a time.

And He adds the blessings of loving other littles too.

Children of our friends or church family.

Neighborhood children or those I was blessed to work with.

So many opportunities to share Jesus with those who have yet to leave childhood behind.

As I cherish memories of my children’s childhood, I praise God for the day-to-day.

Praising Him for today and all those which have come before.

Psalm 35:28 KJV — And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for today! Thank You for all the days we have shared with our children and with others. Thank You for pouring into our lives. Please continue to guide, direct, and teach us as we purpose to do the same with our remaining two who still live with us. Lord, please shine Your truth into other parents, that they might use these precious years of childhood to raise amazing adults. Thank You for Your love of children. Thank You for Your love of each one of us. Thank You for all You are doing day-to-day in our lives. We love You, Jesus. Amen.

Holding my hand

For some time now, I’ve been praying for this.

I’ve learned from the past.

My heart knows that the best way is to ask God and then act upon what He directs.

Of course, I also spoke with Bell.

I wanted to give her a shower which would bless her.

We agreed that it would be a pleasure to work along side her fiance’s mother and sisters, her best friend, Anne and Sis, as well as my sister and mother.

Bell blessed me by requesting that I handle the decor.

So, after getting the things which were important to her, I began to prayerfully prepare.

It has been a truly wonderful walk with the Lord.

From small details to making things, God has guided my every step.

As the date approached I found myself worrying.

“Lord, I have to drive down, meet up with…”

Trust Me.

“Father, my asthma is struggling today, what about…”

Trust Me.

“Lord, I love this outfit, but shouldn’t I wear something else and change, or maybe…”

Trust Me.

The night before the shower I prayed.

My emotions were in control, but my thoughts continued to bring in worry.

Finally, I felt I had placed it all back in the Lord’s hands and fell asleep.

And I had a dream.

I was with the Lord.

He was simply listening to me.

Because I was telling Him everything I was concerned about.

He calmly reached out and took my right hand in His.

He squeezed it gently and said,

You don’t need to worry, I’m with you.

When I woke,

the memory of the dream was so fresh I could almost feel His hand holding mine.

The day was so full.

I didn’t have much opportunity to rest, but it didn’t matter.

Jesus was with me.

Details and the schedule changed, but it didn’t matter.

Jesus was with me.

As always, the unexpected happened, but it didn’t matter.

Jesus was with me.

Throughout the entire day, God’s peace just clung to me.

I walked through every moment with His abilities carrying me and found such joy in it all.

God brought many people alongside to give what I needed at the moment.

He brought people we love, to share our daughter’s celebration of her wedding.

When it was over, He brought many helping hands to clean it all up.

I wish I could have written each person’s name down, so I could thank God for each individual.

But even in that, God knows.

When my husband asked the next morning, “How did it go?” I knew exactly what to say.

“It was a miracle.”

What a joy it is to seek God, listen for His answers, and then walk in His ways.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all You did to bless our daughter and soon to be son. Please continue to pour into their lives that they might being this new family by seeking You, listening for Your answers, and walking in it with faith. Lord, You are incredible. I love You. Thank You for first loving me.

Answering the tough questions

It was obvious something was on her mind.

So, instead of just ignoring it and going to bed, I asked what was wrong.

It took a little bit of conversation to uncover the issue.

“Mom, I just can’t deal with the possibility of you dieing. Not again, not right now.– Mom, I need you too much.”

Words can’t express the emotion we both were feeling at this juncture.

“Honey, you have to let go of me and cling to the Lord.”

“Mom, are we going to make it?”

This isn’t the kind of question you handle flippantly.

Because anyone who has lost a loved one knows, you are never the same after the loss.

Of course my heart hurts for my daughter.

Of all the things which have been difficult during this illness, watching my family watch me struggle has hurt most.

But God is so good!

He already had an answer ready for this really tough question.

“I don’t know what is going to happen. But God has all of our days in His hands. None of us knows when our last day is, but we can trust God. We can do the task at hand and worship and praise Him, for every day is a gift from God.”

“I want you to remember that heaven is a real place. And it’s incredible!”

Our conversation continued a short while longer, but it was obvious the question had been answered.

Sure, we will probably need to chat again, covering the same ground.

But that’s true for all of us.

No one is immune to fear, doubt, or worry.

But Jesus and His Holy Word are the cure.

I praise God for tough questions.

They give me the opportunity to pour into the lives of our children.

And I was blessed to be able to remind our daughter of something I’ve said many times.

“I don’t like the fact that you and your siblings have to walk through this with me and I know it must be scary and hard. I can’t help but think that God has a plan for this. He is going to use it in your life. Somehow He will use it, maybe to prepare you for the future He has for you.”

The same is true for all of us.

Whatever we are going through God can use it.

He can use it for His good in the lives of others.

Isaiah 61:3 NKJV — To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

I don’t know what may occur.

But I want to bring glory to the Lord Jesus.

May He be glorified!

A Mighty Man of Valour

When our son was born a phrase jumped out at me from the Scriptures.

1 Chronicles 7:9 KJV — And the number of them, after their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour, was twenty thousand and two hundred.

It’s actually used several times in Scripture.

1 Samuel 16:18 NKJV — Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.”

David made mistakes, but he was the greatest King Israel ever had and more importantly, he was a man after God’s own heart.

So, I prayed this over our son.

“Lord, make him a Mighty Man of Valour.”

I don’t remember exactly when, but within the last year, I was praying that same thing for our son again and the Lord spoke.

Why don’t you pray this for your other son?

I was like Job.

Nothing to answer.

However, I began to add our son-in-law to my prayers in a new way.

I was praying for him regularly, but not in the same ways I was praying for our son, born into our family.

It was clear, I’d missed a step.

Marriage is just as much a joining the family as birth.

We were thrilled when our daughter married our son-in-law.

He’s a godly man, who truly loves all of us, and we love him.

And I praise God for him.

Infact, getting to live in his home with our daughter and baby was such a blessing.

He treated me as a cherished guest.

Sometimes, when I couldn’t leave my room, he’d bring me a plate of food and sit on the floor to chat while I ate.

There are so many thoughtful things he did for me while I was there.

He’s always willing to help in anyway he can.

He’s a humble guy too.

When I try to let him know how much I appreciate him, he simply points to Jesus.

Or he’ll say, “It’s all God.”

So why am I going on and on about him when I know he’d rather me not tell everyone what a blessing he is?

Today is his birthday.

And this is my small way of thanking God for adding this young man to our family as a son.

Because:

Psalm 127:3a NKJV — Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,…

And I think that includes adult children who marry the ones born into our family.

Happy birthday, son!

May God richly bless you!