Tag Archives: family

September 27

Today’s prayer.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord ! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.
Psalms 119:1‭-‬3 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these verses. Lord, I humbly request that the hearts of the people would return to You, that we would see a true softening of the heart. That the eyes would be opened, the ears would be opened, and the truth would be seen. Lord, restore the family. Let husbands love their wives and their children. Let wives respect their husbands. Let them love them and their children. Lord, let us be full of wisdom from Your Word, not seeking man’s wisdom, but seeking it from You. Lord, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Convict us of sin that we might repent. Please help us to walk forward into Your perfect truth today. Lord, please be with our leaders. Please raise up people who love and honor You and put them in authority over us. Let it be obvious that only through You can we find peace. Thank You. Amen.

September 13

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
Philippians 1:3‭-‬5 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for my family and friends. Thank You for these dear people who join together in belief and love of You, Jesus. Please continue to guide and direct each one of us. Help our hearts to remain steadfast before You. Help our eyes to see You and our ears to hear You. Lord, please remove anything which would hinder our personal relationship with You. Show us our sin, that we might repent and turn to You. Show us our priorities and passions, that we might be able to keep You on the throne of our hearts. Lord, please let us put off the old man and walk forward into Your righteousness daily. Lord Jesus, whatever You call us to, whatever the day holds please let us not stop praising You, let us not look away from You. Lord, please protect our firemen and Emergency workers. Please heal the sick and hurting. Lord, please restore the lost and comfort those who are displaced. Let our hearts be knit to Yours. Thank You Jesus for all You have done and are doing. Amen.

Taking time to say “thank you”

Maybe, it’s because I’ve had more time to think and remember.

Maybe, it’s because yesterday reminded me of so many heroes.

Maybe, it was the text message I received in the evening.

But for whatever reason, I just feel the need to say “thank you”.

“Dear friends and family,

I can’t even begin to type all of your names because it would fill up pages, but I hope you each know how much I praise God for you. My heart can not contain the overwhelming gratitude I have to God for the unmeasurable gifts, services, care, love, and support you have given to me and my family. Thank you for coming to visit me. Thank you for checking up on my husband or the kids. Thank you for the meals. Thank you for the groceries. Thank you for helping us move. Thank you for supporting us in our ministries. Thank you for donating your time and talents. Thank you for your feedback on skits or children’s classes or other teachings. Thank you for having us over to dinner or coming over to our house. Thank you for texts and prayers when distance separated us. Thank you for cards and letters and phone calls. Thank you for filling my husband’s guitar case with notes before shipping it to us. Thank you for supporting and loving us when God moved us again. Thank you for the gold watch, which I cherish. Thank you for visiting us and letting us visit you. Thank you for standing with our family while I worked at the Academy. Thank you for years of volunteering and support. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to teach your children. Thank you for being the best Principal I’ve had the privilege to work for. Thank you for being the Dad I’ve missed and needed. Thank you for coaching our children. Thank you for teaching our children. Thank you for sign class. Thank you for letting me live with you. Thank you for treating me like one of your daighters. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for friendship that hasn’t changed no matter how far we are from you. Thank you for stepping in when we asked for help. Thank you for breakfast at the restaurant. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting or liking or reposting. I’m so humbled that anything I wrote is used by Jesus to bless others. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. May God bless you, each and every one.”

Every day holds a blessing, whether it’s a message of love warming my heart or kindness from a family member.

Truly, no matter the circumstances, no matter what difficulties, God brings gifts of blessing daily.

And I’m so very thankful for each and every single one.

In fact, I’ve asked the Lord to help me never miss any.

Because it is in these daily blessings where hearts are knit together.

Mine with those people God brings as well as mine to His.

And I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to love, care, and pray for others.

To share the deep joy and overflowing love Jesus gives me.

In these days of uncertainty, loss, tragedy it is vital that we remain thankful.

Sorrow can often swallow up our ability to see anything positive, anything good, but they are there.

Therefore I’m taking the opportunity to say “thank you”, because it needs to be said.

My gratitude extends to so many whom I’ve never met, but have been part of the good.

Firemen, Emergency workers, medical staff, military, police, and even utility crews, all people who are doing their jobs day in and day out to the benefit of their communities and countries.

Most of all I must say thank You to Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your daily gifts and blessings. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation and the renewing of our hearts each day. Lord, thank You for helping me see the blessings. Thank You for walking through every circumstance. Thank You for today. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

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.

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.

Rewriting, again

It’s been more than ten years.

This effort to obey, to write, to put in words a story from my heart.

It’s been a reoccurring question.

“When are you going to finish your book?”

Most of the time, the voice was my husband’s.

I’d written.

I’d rewritten.

I even printed it off a few times.

Yet, it never felt right.

Something seemed forced.

Lifeless words, just black lines on white paper.

I’d put it away.

I’d stopped trying.

Until yesterday.

Sis had found a copy on one of her jump drives and enthusiastically given it to me.

“Look what I found! Now you can finish it.”

I thanked her.

And I prayed.

“Lord, it’s been years. I don’t feel able to get this book into shape. I’m afraid to even try again.”

Why did you write it?

“You told me to.”

Who were you writing for?

“Our children, but especially our daughters.”

With the fresh vision and focus, I plugged in the jump drive and settled down to work.

Because writing is work.

I rewrote the first chapter.

I’m going to work on it again.

When I feel chapter one is ready, I’m going to make copies.

Then, I’m going to give them away and ask for comments, corrections, and critiques.

In this way, I am trusting the Lord to fulfill the vision.

Because my very own family, who I’m writing this for, will be a part of the creation.

I’ll be honest.

I’m nervous.

But I trust God.

He will guide and direct.

He always has.

May He be glorified through this effort, no matter how the book turns out.

Writing letters

Some I’ve received and some ready to mail.

It began this summer.

A dear friend, sent me a beautiful handmade card.

Inside, she suggested we write to one another.

She was aware of my struggles, wanted to keep in touch, and she doesn’t text or email.

It’s been lovely.

Among the bills and junk mail, I get an old fashioned letter.

She doesn’t always write in a beautiful hand-made card, but it doesn’t matter.

It’s the personal touch, the time and thoughts and love.

And it’s been inspiring.

Talking on the phone isn’t something I do well these days.

Either I’m busy with homeschooling or my asthma sets limits.

So, I’ve been writing letters.

Especially, to my mom and sister.

They’ve kindly been taking the time to write back.

This week I was blessed to receive a letter from someone else.

She was writing in response to my Christmas card.

How fun!

Of course hand writing letters isn’t easy.

There’s no spell check to automatically fix my errors.

There’s nothing to prevent me from using poor grammar or poor penmanship.

Yes, I’ve started writing and thrown them out, only to begin again.

At first, I was critical of all my efforts.

But the Lord reminded me of what’s important.

It’s not the handwriting, the grammar, or the lined notebook paper which makes the letter.

It’s the love, the content, the sharing of ideas and emotions and day to day things.

It’s also the time.

In this fast passed instant world, putting pen to paper is an effort.

But a very worth while one.

Infact, I am so glad God has encouraged me to take the time to do this.

And it reminds me of Scripture.

I’m so glad the Apostle Paul took the time to pen letters or dictate them.

I’m thankful for the letters written by John, James, Peter, and others.

The Holy Spirit inspired words bring such joy, peace, and perspective.

Hebrews 13:15 NKJV — Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Today, I’m praising the Lord Jesus for both the spoken and the written word!

May He be glorified!

Dependant

He’s legally our dependant.

And in many ways he depends upon us to provide for his needs.

Yet, I was very aware yesterday (it was his birthday) he may not always be.

Although his life is vastly different from the average, he’s made some astonishing progress.

He’s not going to meet the same milestones as other people do, but I’ve been encouraged lately about his future.

With our move and my health I’ve come to depend upon him for several things.

He takes the trash out and he makes sure the cans are on the curb Monday morning.

He vacuums.

He does nearly all my yard work.

He helps in the kitchen or tidying up around the house.

It’s been an incredible blessing.

I depend upon him for his love and kindness.

He’s often ready to make me a cup of tea or sometimes he just holds my hand when I don’t feel well.

He goes with me to the allergist to get my shots.

I asked him yesterday if he wanted to go.

He looked at me a little surprised.

“I’ve never missed one yet.”

He’s very good at remembering landmarks and notices details faster than I do.

Which has become great when driving in unfamiliar areas.

I’m a country girl and this town driving has me often lost.

He prays for me.

His eagerness to learn about God makes Bible study a joy.

It’s been such a blessing to have all of our children.

Each one is special and valuable.

Each one so very precious.

All of them have made personal commitments to follow Jesus and I pray for them daily.

As they grow and leave home (I’m down to only two at home!) I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had.

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

It’s so true!

I praise God for our dependants, may they always be dependent upon Jesus.

Lovely connection

Anyone who really knows our Bell isn’t surprised by this photo.

She’s such a light-hearted, fun loving person.

Infact I am nearly certain I’ve called her our Otter.

(From the insightful talks by Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. John Trent.)

Yet, our Bell is serious too.

She’s been seeking the Lord for His path for her and we are expecting Him to speak during this trip of work and friends.

After all it was a similar time when our Sis heard the Lord direct her calling and she is currently walking in obedience to it.

Truly, the connection on my phone while video chatting with our Bell this morning was nice.

But connecting heart to heart with our Bell, even for a few minutes was lovely.

I was also blessed to hear from our friend who the girls are staying with and to see Bell’s best friend smile.

The lingering warmth of love between our daughter and myself is a cherished moment.

I love that our relationship is merging from parent and child to parent and adult.

I’m blessed to watch her choose Jesus and serve Him.

I have the privilege of standing aside to see what God will do.

And in about two weeks time, I’m excited to hear all the Lord has done.

What a lovely connection we share together.

Our love of one another and our love of Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this opportunity for these young ladies. Please bless them. Open their hearts and minds. Let them see You in a fresh way. Let their personal relationship with You deepen. Please bless all those who are hosting our girls. Please bring them safely home again. Thank You for the wonderful relationship we have together. Let it continue to be the mirror which shines Your love to those who have yet to know You.

Surprised by love

He’s not the average guy.

I remember the way my heart fluttered on our first date,

and my dreams becoming true at our wedding.

I recall the way my emotions overflowed when he held each of our newborns.

My husband has blessed me in so many ways in the past twenty-two years.

Of course neither of us are perfect.

We’ve had our struggles, disagreements, disappointments, and even deeply hurt one another.

But none of that has been allowed to keep us from love.

We choose to love both Jesus and each other.

And these past two days have reminded me of just how deep God’s love is.

Sunday was rough.

I was very blessed by a visit from a young man who is a missionary and a family friend.

Unfortunately, I was struggling a great deal with asthma and the conversation was rather one sided.

(It’s difficult to talk when you’re not breathing well.)

My husband came in afterwards and realized I needed to take my nebulizer.

So he helped me get it setup and sat with me the whole time.

He spent the next several hours just hanging out.

Yesterday my asthma was worse.

Just as I was really struggling with breathing my phone rang.

It was my husband.

He spoke a few sentences.

I tried to answer.

His voice came across with such urgency.

“Honey, you’re having an asthma attack! Stop trying to talk. I’m coming home.”

I know the job my husband does and dropping everything to drive the twenty minutes home isn’t a small thing.

I tried to communicate to Anne to call him back, to tell him he didn’t need to come, to let him know I’d be fine, and she finally understood.

I took my nebulizer and improved.

Anne and Jase had gotten me a drink and a blanket and I was sitting in my chair feeling better than I had all morning.

Suddenly my bedroom door opened and my husband crossed the room in a few strides.

He still had his radio on, his clothes showed dust, but it was his eyes which surprised me.

His eyes held such love and concern which had prompted his actions.

It blessed me to the point of tears.

I told him he didn’t need to come home.

His job is difficult enough without adding my health to his burdens.

He looked at me and smiled.

“Honey, I think your health is just helping me keep my priorities straight.”

We talked about what we needed to do.

It didn’t take long for the decision to send me back to Sis and Tim’s.

I breathe better up here.

I’m still surprised by the depth of love my husband has for me.

It’s really a gift from God, because I certainly haven’t earned it.

To see Jesus’s love pour out of my husband with such depth, such beauty, such sacrifice.

And it’s not a first.

I really shouldn’t be surprised.

Scripture tells of this same love from God poured out from one person to another.

And history tells story after story of people who lived that same love.

I am very blessed to have that same love bestowed upon me from my husband and our children.

I have not earned it.

It’s a free gift.

It’s a daily choice.

It’s such a blessing.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for filling those around me with Your love. Thank You that they are so patient as we walk this path of my health struggles. Lord, please encourage others who might doubt Who You are or if You’re really the loving God they have been told. Let our family’s story shine Your truth. Thank You so much for my husband. Please walk closely with him while we are apart. Thank You for Your incredible love.