We would love to have you! Message me for details.
Just a note- we ARE NOT having our community fellowship in May. I think there is just too much grief, and too much happening right now. I’m thankful that many of you probably already know this and have been so understanding. It seems like too long since I’ve been able to sit and fellowship with you.
We ARE planning for June- I am looking forward to visiting then.
We’ll post a reminder a little closer to time.
We would love to have you! Message me for details.
Please pray for our family.
My precious mama has passed on to her eternal home.
I’m not sure why, this picture just made me think spring.
This little one just makes my heart smile.
Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow;
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee!
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
Finding joy in the midst of a storm is never easy. Like all other times in life, finding joy means remembering to be thankful.
So, at a time when I’m needing to find joy, here is what I’m giving thanks for in my life….
I AM thankful to be part of this season of life with my mom. In spite of all she is experiencing, this is NOT what defines her life. It is a blessing to walk this path with her, sometimes holding her hand, always loving her, always appreciating her endurance, mercy, and love for others. This is the season God has given, I will “count it all joy”.
I am thankful for the cool, magnificent rain this morning. I find myself lingering at the windows just a little longer, taking in the deep breath of air that spring is providing. It’s a glorious, cloudy day. I am in love.
I am thankful for friends who are walking alongside right now…praying, writing, calling, doing everything they know to do to help our family. My heart swells when I think of any one of you. I am undeserving. I love all of you.
I am thankful for fuzzy socks. My Mama laughed a little bit ago, (which is unusual this first week following her chemo treatment), when she saw my black and red striped socks. (…May I add, I think I remember her buying them for me.) They, along with a cup of warm, creamy cocoa (made by my sweet daughters), in the morning, make me feel like all is right with the world- at least until I reach the bottom of the cup.
I am thankful for a new week.
“One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
– Phil 3:13-14
I’m trying to take one miraculous day at a time. I want to make the most of every moment, and every hour.
I think this season will leave me changed forever…..and that’s not a bad thing. I think I will be more dependent on my Father, more compassionate of the hurting, and more forgiving of the lost.
I’m walking forward and not looking back.
I’m here Lord. I’m waiting, and I’m thankful.
In the midst of this season, I’ve been trying to sneak in a moment or two for hope chest projects.
This is a fleece blanket for Jessica’s collection.
Fleece is easy to find on sale right now. This print was on sale for a few dollars a yard at our local Hancock Fabrics. The blue solid backing was purchased at Walmart (I’m so glad to have that fabric department back!).
Courtship is a new process to us.
Of course, Paul and I have discussed this subject through the years. I guess in December, I really began to hear the Lord whispering to my heart to begin to prepare.
I remember having a conversation with my mama in early January that I thought things were changing in our home. I guess I never dreamed just how quickly.
Barbara, a blog reader here, wrote to me early this year. After several years, she is someone I’ve come to see as a dear friend. (Somehow, we have lots of mutual friends, but have never met in person….one day! I’m determined, one day!!)
She wrote and asked if we might consider a courtship between Courtney, and a young man who is a close friend to her family.
If I tell the truth, my first reaction was “no way!”. She lives in Michigan, and it just seemed too far, and with too many unknowns to proceed.
I prayed over her letter and then decided to take it to Paul. I was shocked to hear him answer, “well, I’m willing to pray over and consider the possibilities”.
In the days and weeks that followed, there were lots of letters, lots of phone calls, and a couple of video chats.
Paul arranged to meet this young man, Daniel, in Ohio, a couple of times.
He asked lots and lots of questions. Daniel would write back with his answers and sometimes, questions of his own.
Paul and I both have spent time in continual prayer…especially the evening when we asked Courtney if she might want to get to know this young man.
At the time of this writing, Daniel has come to spend nearly a week at our home and Courtney and Josh just arrived back from almost a week with them in Michigan.
This, being our first experience with this process, don’t really have any predetermined idea of how this should progress. We are just praying and trusting the Lord to lead.
I think Courtney and Daniel are developing a close friendship. ….I hope she won’t mind me sharing, but it’s hard not to notice her bright smile at the mention of his name. (I know “ahhhhh……“ )
Regardless of what you know, or think of the courtship process, here is what I have/am learning (thoughts from this mama’s heart)….
-What an incredible experience to hear two young people asking serious, important questions about their thoughts on all sorts of things related to marriage, family, faith and the future.
-It thrills my heart to see them interacting in a way that is glorifying to the Lord….getting to know each other without all of the emotional stuff that can come and go, even in the longest lasting marriages…they are first learning if they are compatible at all.
-What a pleasure to see my husband developing a friendship with this young man…imagine if every man took the time to really be-friend his daughter’s young suitor. I think more often, daughters (and sons!) bring home someone and announce their intentions. There is no respect for the parents and very little of anything but emotion leading the relationship. We’re striving for a strong foundation.
-It’s an immeasurable blessing for my daughter to be developing a relationship with a young man I could so very easily consider a son (regardless of how this turns out for them together).
-It’s a magnificent thing to have the opportunity to mentor and pray for both of them and the person they will be with (even if it is someone else) through life.
-They are setting a splendid example for all of their younger siblings– (17 to be exact!)– in their pursuit of their own spouse, partner, and best friend.
-I’m blessed to see the unusual chance to watch a relationship, so pure, progressing in a sweet way.
-It’s pleasing to watch a relationship between two people grow without all the things this world has added to relationships…they will have no regrets, no past and failed relationships, no baggage.
I’ve spent my entire adult life watching this young woman grow. I’ve spent quiet hours of my nights and my days praying for her and the young man who will one day join her to begin a family of their own.
So, here we are…. in the blink of an eye.
I can’t explain the feeling to stand in a room with them both. Our families, thrilled with the anticipation of watching the Lord work in the coming months, are praying for them both.
These are pictures, shared with me by Joshua, of their recent trip to Michigan.
Because I wasn’t there, it’s hard to give a description, so I’m tagging Courtney first, and then each picture with a letter. You’ll have to visit her blog to read her notes on each photo, and I’m sure she’s going to post photos of her own.
I guess my one lingering question is how Joshua came back from Michigan a bow tie wearer. *smile*
Paul and I, have enjoyed lunch with Daniel’s parents and two of his sisters. They are absolutely delightful!
There is excitement in the air…..
Please join our families in praying for both young people.
There are so many things happening in our home…joy in the midst of hardship and sorrow.
Praise be to God!
Grandmother remains confused, but good.
My little girls enjoyed the time with her…they gave her lots of kisses and told them all the latest happenings in their lives.
I re-arranged her room just a little, and enjoyed chatting.
She laughed as we talked about watching Love Boat on Friday nights….so many years ago, and yet, it seems like yesterday.
My Grandmother faithfully cared for my Great-Grandmother in her later years. I remember many Saturdays running a vacuum or washing dishes. We always picked up a few groceries and Great-Grandmother might feed us lunch, or send me home with a bouquet of fresh hydrangeas from her garden.
When I see her now, those memories flood my mind. She will forever hold a precious piece of my heart.
It’s been a while since I posted anything about our latest home projects. This one has been fun and we are so happy with the results!
We have so needed new tables. We were using folding tables from Walmart- four of them seated everyone, and my mom.
Of course, I dreamed of new tables (have you seen the tables at World Market??). I finally asked Paul about building our family new tables. He chuckled and then realized I was serious.
Pre-built tables are incredibly expensive and still wouldn’t seat enough folks for our needs. I think we would need three of the largest tables we’ve seen.
It’s a long story, but we ended up with some wrought iron pedestals.
Paul and the older boys worked a few days to build the two 10 foot tops. (They are so heavy it took the family from Benjamin, up to Courtney– and including Paul, to move them into the dining room.)
Courtney, Jess and I stained and coated them with polyurethane.
(…may I add I’m glad those fumes are finally fading!)
They seat 18 folks…anyone want to come for dinner???
We had also priced chairs. We chose some we liked, and thought would be sturdy. One day when I was in a local thrift store, I realized we could buy round back chairs for about $6/chair. Add some spray paint, and now we have matching chairs. (For those of you riding by our house wondering why you always see chairs and spray paint in the front yard, now you know! )
I still need to buy one additional wooden highchair for Jackson.
I decided to assign seating at our table so all of the littles could have a bigger buddy to sit with them. This also allows me to see who needs some additional training on cleaning up their plates after meals.
For around $20, I picked up clear, heavy vinyl from Walmart….two 12 foot pieces. It worked great to cover our new tables but allow us to see the beautiful wood underneath.
After a few meals, I realized I could add a name for each place and also have a prayer reminder card and maps. My mind is going wild with ideas for adding all sorts of things in the coming months….
Now, when we sit for meals, the children can track travels or favorite friends around the world. Each night, I’ve been giving the children some location to find…they race to see who can find it first!
OK…so I think I need a lazy susan on each table. I’m also wanting to add placemats and maybe a centerpiece of some sort- what do you folks think??
With my love,