Posts Tagged ‘family’

A Heart Full Of Happy

A Heart Full Of Happy

This morning I woke with a sing-song heart. A rhythm of happy blended with a spirited topping of thankfulness. You know where in the Bible God’s word tells us that “in times when we don’t know how or what to pray, the Holy Spirit will do so for us”? I was reminded of that when I realized it was my sing-song heart that actually woke me. I didn’t wake up and start this melody, this melody started within and woke me up!

I’ve never thought of that verse, Romans 8:26, outside of times that are sorrowful or filled with uncertainty. The Bible actually says that the Holy Spirit will interceded for us with groans that words cannot express. I first really learned of this verse when my friend, Jennifer, brought it forth as we were all mourning the loss of a dear friend, Mr. Philip. Since then, it is truth that I have pulled strength from in times of trouble and uncertainty. Times when I knew I needed to take situations or feelings to the Lord in prayer, but I didn’t know how to, or what to say. But this morning…

This Morning!

This beautiful, Glorious morning!

There is no mourning in this morn. I woke with such a thankful, praising heart! It’s the most amazing, beautiful start I’ve experienced! So maybe the Romans scripture is not one I should tie to this joy I have, but just like the Holy Spirit will intercede in times of angst, I feel like the Holy Spirit was interceding before my consciousness stirred today, and was praising and loving the Father through worship.

Amazing. Totally amazing. Thank you, Jesus!

This week I have had the priviledge of meeting two of my husbands dear, dear friends from his Navy days. Days that happened long before I ever knew of my husband. Bryan and Kelly are more like family to him, and over the years I have heard so much about them that I felt I had known them forever the minute I hugged their necks. I was also able to meet their beautiful daughters and their good friend from the DC area. All week I’ve been thanking the Lord for their friendship and influences in my husband’s life, because I know they played a role in shaping who my husband is today. All those paths you cross in life, you know? The cumulative experiences that become a part of your own fabric.

Our time with these friends concluded yesterday, with a day spent seaside in North Carolia. It was a beautiful day for making memories and sharing in God’s Glory.

See that picture of the shoreline? That’s what the song sounds like in my soul today. ūüôā

Thank you, Lord, for friends and family who tie us to one another in ways undeniably orchestrated by Your hand. Father, you fill me so this morning, and I praise Your Holy Name for the blessings You have lavishly given to us. Thank you for the laughter, the time of fellowship. Thank you for the furry friends who bring us so much comfort and love. Thank you for the surprise family meetings along the way, for Garland. I know it is only by Your Hand that these wonderful crossings happen. And thank you, Lord, for giving us your son, Jesus Christ. It is in knowing this we have the hope and peace of being united always. Thank you for this sing-song heart. Amen.

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Day 710

Seven Hundred Ten is a nice, even number, don’t you think?

That’s 1 year, 11 months and 10 days, exaclty.

Or 17,040 hours, approximately.

Wow, that hours number doesn’t freak me out as much as the almost 2 years number.
My gifting is in colors, not numbers, and in the case of moments away from home (which is 1,022,400!), that’s a good thing.

710.

Nice, round, evenly divisible number.
Also a great stopping point, don’t you think?

Many of you have followed my “count up” since Day 1.
            (On this blog, that would be since Day 19, the first public post of the count up)
In doing so, you have also shed some tears and smiles with me along the way.
Many of you have also offered prayers and lifted our family up to The Lord, and I’m confident that the immense strength we as a family have had during this journey has been a blessing from God, and I am thankful for the faithful prayers of friends and strangers alike.

My son will be returning soon.
That’s right! ¬†We have a count down in progress now!
In just a few short weeks, our family will be reunited, and words cannot express the excitement every one of us has, as we prepare, plan and dream a little bit louder about our reunion.

But the journey is far from over.  As much as we prepare, plan and dream, and think about our desires for the coming months, it is Our Saviour who remains in control.  We understand that it is His perfect and holy, Masterfully orchestrated script that will unfold before us.  It is in knowing this that I ask for your specific prayers.

Please join us in continuing to pray for safety & protection.

For provision.

For us to recognize the direction of the weather vane.

For understanding.

And above all else, pray for us to be yeilded to The Master’s plan, and to move in obedience with His will for our lives.

As much as I have looked forward to having all of my chics under my wings again — oh! My heart leaps at the thought! — I know that like the seaons and other things of this earth, temporary is the moment, and eternal is the life. ¬† Please pray for our time together to be an easy transition and a powerful ignition into a new chapter.

Tomorrow is a new day.
A new number.

Praise the Lord, for great things He hath done!

Counting Our Blessings At The Trash Dump

My husband called at 3:30pm:
“Honey, we need for you to come pick us up. The Trailblazer has a problem.”

The ole’ Trailblazer is down.
Broke down, that is.
Where did this happen?
Of all places, the trash dump.
On  a busy Friday afternoon.
Her shifting cable snapped in half, and she wouldn’t budge from the prime real estate in front of the household waste dumpster.
The girl has over 200,000 miles on her, and things just happen.
Still, my immediate reaction was not evident of anything understanding.
No peace fell upon me as I started calculating the cost of the repair and the discomfort of living without her for a few days.
None.
This unexpected fix would cost money we hadn’t budgeted for.
That stinks!

The big red bus needs some attention!

The big red bus needs some attention!

Thankfully, the short drive to rescue my husband and son was long enough for me to be reminded of all the blessings that abound around this mini distraction.

* ¬†Thank goodness this “break” didn’t happen two weeks ago when my husband and son were on the road between here and North Dakota!

* ¬†And thank goodness this “break” happened now, instead of three months from now when my oldest son will be driving it!

* Hallelujah, we are paid ahead on one of our bills that will allow for us to cover the cost of this repair!

* How furtunate we are to have another vehicle at home that we can drive this week!

* Could there have been a better place to break down?  I think not!  The car was PARKED, and in a place where the traffic flow is cautious and forgiving, as well as the Waste Management attendents!

* We had opportunities to serve others while waiting for the tow truck (helping empty the truck beds and trunks of others)!

* And we had the good fortune to visit with our Music Minister while we waited, since he spied us and the twinkling hazard lights of our car when he was passing through!

I am so thankful for God’s blessings and for His protection. ¬†Always, and in all ways.

It’s Friday night, and we got to squeeze in some quality family time a little early today, as we hanged out together at the trash dump. ¬†It’s been a great start to the weekend. ¬†Seriously! ¬†It has!

The Fabric Of Our LIves

Move over cotton.
The fabric of our lives is not something you can touch.
It’s not something you can outright see.
You can’t put it on and take off.
It is not always comfortable, either.
The fabric of our lives is woven into each of us, strand by strand.
By every experience.
Every encounter.
These are the things our fabric is made of.

I’m praising God today for three special artisans who have contributed to the fabric of my life:

Artisan One

When I was just a toddler, you made sure I went to church. ¬†You pulled me into your family, and the wood-panelled station wagon, for many trips to Sunday school and church services. ¬†You never treated me like an outsider, instead, creating in me a sense of self-worth and purpose. ¬†Because of your influence, I never doubted that God existed. ¬†Ever. ¬†Jesus was a part of every day, just like the buttered toast with jelly I had for breakfast so many mornings growing up in your kitchen next door. ¬†I will never forget the scanner that lived on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen. ¬†I knew by heart what the calls meant, and would sit by the table chair in the kitchen and watch you lace up your boots before you left for a fire. ¬†I always felt so safe, knowing that you were always listening for calls of distress – always willing to help when there was a need. ¬†You took me in when I needed a place to stay. ¬†And even though at that point in my life I was resistant to following you to church, you made sure I knew the invitation was always open to join you, and I have no doubt that you prayed for me ferociously during those years. ¬†The dinners you brought me home from Wednesday nights at church were so good! ¬†I always figured it must be because they were delivered by you, but now that I eat those dinners at church every Wednesday night, I know it’s because of all of the angels preparing and serving the food (you were one of those angels, too). ¬†We shared similar experiences with head on collisions, just months apart from each other. ¬†Even in that situation, I learned from your forgiving nature and love towards others – all others. ¬† You’d beep your horn every time you pass by my house – you in your infamous black pickup. ¬†And in the last few years we had together, you continued to show me – and the world! – what it meant to truly be a servant. ¬†I would get a kick out of seeing all the boys and girls, my own boys included, look forward to a “give me five – ahhh too slow”, followed by a piece of that golden candy. ¬†I admit, I looked forward to this ritual, too. ¬†And in our 42 year history, when your time on this earth was coming to an end, you continued to challenge and inspire me. ¬†In the very last conversation we had, which was a typical brief exchange by the door to the Young Hall, you asked me if I figured out my testimony yet. ¬†“You know, Toot, you have a story, too.” ¬†The fabric of my life has certainly been framed by you, and I’m so thankful for my parents who bought a house next door to you before I was born.

Artisan Two

I first met you twenty years ago. ¬†“Bestill my heart!” ¬†I had no idea what love was until I held you in my arms. ¬†You and I saw the world together for the first time from sets of eyes that were so willing to see goodness all around us. ¬†My love for you, and newfound protective nature, awakened in me a thirst to teach you all about life and to show you God’s beauty in people and in places. ¬†You had an insatiable need for touch and human connection from the time you were born until…well, you still have that! ¬†You recognized at an early age the importance of relationships – including the most important relationship with Jesus Christ. ¬†Looking back on it now, I see you teaching me far more than I have ever taught you. ¬†You challenge me, you encourage me, you pray for and with me. ¬†You show me daily what it means to live Luke 9:23. ¬†I have seen God’s blessings poured out on you, as you humbly press forth in building His kingdom. ¬†I’ve seen you hurt. ¬†I’ve seen you broken. ¬†And I’ve seen you weak. ¬†And through all of these, I’ve seen you never losing faith. ¬†I’ve been awed by your response to the world. ¬†It’s no wonder I have to wear glasses now. ¬†Somewhere along the lines, my vision stalled, where yours has never lost focus. ¬†You are definitely a thread woven throughout the entire fabric of my life, and I’m so blessed, so honored, to know you.

Artisan Three

We first met about seven years ago, even though I didn’t know your name. ¬†You were that nice guy, with the nice wife, who I would pass by as I left my neighborhood. ¬†You were always smiling. ¬†I mean, always. ¬†To the point that I would wonder, “what is he always smiling about?”. ¬†In time, I got to know you, and your name, as well as your wife and children and their names. ¬†As a matter of fact, I got to where I was spending a lot of time around you, as I was with my oldest son who was spending a lot of time around you, and I figured out why you were smiling all the time. ¬† ¬†Never before have I met someone who was completely, unashamedly, sold out for Jesus Christ and passionate about introducing Him to everyone ¬†— that’s you! ¬†That’s your smile. ¬†You don’t just preach it, you live it. ¬†It is through your walk, your honesty and your willingness to be open with every last fiber of your own fabric that anyone who crosses paths with you can’t help but see Jesus’s love. ¬†You have been a positive role model for my sons, and have willingly gone out of your way to reach not just my kids, but all of the youth in our church, with a life that is evident of salvation. ¬†No, let me rephrase that. ¬†You have gone out of your way to reach all in our church, not just the youth. ¬†And to this very day, you’re teaching us what it means to live obediently and in God’s will. ¬†I will miss you being down the street, but I know that the thread you’ve added to the fabric of my life will be forever a part of who I am. ¬†Thank you so much, my friend, my mentor, my brother in Christ.

God is so good. ¬†So, so good, always. ¬†And as a good friend of mine says all the time, “Doesn’t God just blow your mind?”. ¬†You see, years ago, when my parents chose to buy a house in Florence, God already had set a plan in motion for my life. ¬†I wasn’t even “expected” at the time they settled in Florence. ¬†But God knew that in order for me to be where I am today in my relationship with Him, I had to have all three of these artisans create important pieces of the fabric of my life. ¬†See, if my parents didn’t buy that little house on Hobart Drive back in the 60’s, I never would have lived next door to Mr. Phillip. ¬†And if I never lived next door to Mr. Phillip, chances are I might not have been exposed to Jesus in the same way. ¬†And if I wasn’t exposed to Jesus back then, I probably wouldn’t have had the same influence on my oldest son or desires to share about God’s creation with him. ¬† I probably wouldn’t live in a house down the street from a youth pastor named Justin, who would minster to my oldest son, and upon receiving a phone call from Mr. Phillip, be the transportation for my son back and forth to church for so long. ¬†And I probably wouldn’t have been sitting in the parking lot of my church, after dropping off my kids for their Wednesday activities, ¬†on the night that I felt the Holy Spirit invite me inside to find a chair in an adult ¬†Bible study group. ¬†God’s plan is perfect, and holy, and I’m so thankful that I can see evidence of this perfection woven throughout the fabric of my life. ¬†It’s made up of lots of threads, contributed by lots of artisans…and this is only the beginning.

What’s the fabric of your life made of?