Tag Archives: testimony

Our Semi-Annual Visit with our son

We drove nearly 1,000 miles each way to visit our older son earlier this month.  This is an annual trip that our whole family anticipates with great preparation and joy!  We’ve lived five states apart for almost five years now, and it never gets any easier.  We  miss our son like crazy!  He’s loved beyond words.

We always break up the long trek and stay overnight at a hotel at a halfway point, which we’re all ecstatic to see!  We usually eat breakfast at the hotel the next morning before we head out, which is not a stellar spread, but passable and convenient.  We’re always grateful, especially for the strong cup of coffee!  My younger son enjoys the pastries whereas my daughter selects the healthy oatmeal.  That pretty much reflects the contrasts of their personalities.  Haha.  Twenty months apart … and so unique.

When we arrived our son and his girlfriend had dinner ready to go in the oven.  We all could practically kiss the ground when we arrived at our destination!  🙂  Ah, one hug with my son and it made the long trek so worth it!  This mother truly relished our time with him, noting the changes in his maturity level and personality since our last visit.  Yes, he’s entirely more mature than most his age, but he’s still my little boy on the inside.  To think that once I held him as a helpless baby and now he stands so tall and strong, independent and wise.  The prayer of my heart is that he will walk so close with our Heavenly Father, listen to His voice and live out his days according to God’s plans.  I pray that for all of my children.

Our visits are never long enough as there’s so much that we pack into each one!  We had dinner at an Italian restaurant with my son, his girlfriend and her parents.  This was the first time we’ve met them, so everyone was a little nervous, I think.  But, they’re very nice people.  The lasagna was likely the best I’ve ever had!

We had lunch with our former pastor and his wife at Outback.  We shared such a special time of fellowship with them, as always.  They are not only our former pastors, but dear, dear friends of ours.  They’ve visited us at our house as well.  Whenever we get together, it’s as if no time at all has passed since our last visit.  We just pick right back up.  Kindred spirits.

Putt putt golf … minor league baseball game … Mother’s Day lunch … the beach … shopping … dinner with special friends … reconnecting with other family …

And, that’s our week at a glance!  Our time there was so special and so valued, always a real shot in the arm.  Exhausting, but exciting!  We always leave with full hearts and smiles on our faces.  The morning that we were packing up the SUV to head home, I tried to stay strong, but tears were welling up because six months is such a long time until we see our son again.  It really tugs at the heart strings.  But, until we meet again, our prayers remain…

It was our best trip to date, for sure.  We stayed overnight at the same hotel on the way home and were happy for some much needed rest for the trip ahead the following day.  We left the hotel around 10:30a.m. or so and were anticipating sleeping in our own beds for the first time in nine days.  We were just four minutes from home when we were rear ended by a drunk driver at 10:15p.m.  We wouldn’t go to bed until after 5a.m. the next morning after we were released from the hospital.  Rather than focus on the negatives of the situation, we are trusting God to heal us and guide us continually.  We are praying for the others involved in the accident for their physical and spiritual healing.  There were 11 people involved in the 4 car collision and all were taken to the hospital.  God knows all about this.  He knew this would occur.  Sometimes it’s hard to process the bad along with the blessings of life.  We love the blessings, but we don’t understand the bad things.

I was just mentioning to my husband last night that it was too bad this drunk driver couldn’t have veered into the turn lane right beside me, rather than plowing into the car behind us, into us and sending us into the mini van in front of us.  But, then, a small voice said, “What if he was right beside you and crashed into your door?”  Yes, sometimes the bad is truly ugly.  But sometimes we may never really see all that God has spared us from that could’ve been even worse.

Our family will move beyond this accident.  We still have aches and pains, some worse than others.  But, we are all grateful for the mercy and grace God extends to us daily.  We never walk alone.  A dear friend of ours picked us up from the hospital at 3:45a.m.  That’s the test of a real friend!  I hesitated to call at that time of night, but thankfully she was up!  That was so sweet of her and we appreciated seeing a familiar face early that morning.  Another friend brought us a tremendous dinner the other night: salmon, shrimp, green beans, rice and chicken.  So thoughtful.  My dad has been so worried and reminds me each time we talk on the phone that he’s been praying for us and that he loves me.  Our accident has been hard on him too.  Other friends have taken him to the lab for his routine blood work during my recovery.  What a blessing that has beeen!  God truly provides for every detail of our lives!  God knows all things and He holds us in the palm of His mighty hands!  My three siblings have called often and continue to pray.

Prayer, I have long realized, is one of the greatest gifts we can offer on behalf of another.  It is inviting God’s power and presence into a situation and asking Him to intervene as only He can.  It is beckoning God’s super into my natural.  It is the awareness that apart from God, I am a helpless mess; but with His help and grace, I am a work of His mercy and power.

And so, our trip to visit our older son seems to be intertwined with our accident.  But, it’s all a testament to God’s love and grace.  His love was displayed over and over as we visited with our son and his girlfriend, as well as enjoyed great fellowship with sweet friends.  His grace was revealed through sparing our family from what could’ve been a catastrophic accident.  And in all these things, we remain grateful.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Parenting

A Stranger Paid for our Groceries

Last April, my husband and daughter went to the grocery store for a few things for dinner and came home with the most incredible story!  They were in the check out line when they noticed the lady in front of them kind of hung back even after she’d paid for her own groceries.  A few minutes later, she told my husband that the Lord told her to pay for our groceries!

(My husband kept asking her if she was sure, not really wanting to accept her offer.  More on that aspect in a future post.)

What?!  Pay for our groceries?  It wasn’t just a few dollars either.  It was $45 worth of food!  We live in an area where the mode of operation is much like a rat race!  Every man for himself.  Survival of the fittest.  The early bird gets the worm.  You get the idea… That’s what makes this an even greater miracle!

It was not only a real blessing to us, but also humbling.  Humbling that God would show His great love for us in this practical way.  That evening I posted a status on Facebook and a pastor friend of ours wisely noted, “God uses people to demonstrate His love for us.”  I have to agree.

We had a special prayer as a family that evening, thanking God for this blessing and praying that the Lord would especially bless and provide for this woman, who was a vessel of God.  We are confident He is continuing to bless her.

This incident reinforced the belief that God knows all about us, all the details, our address, our needs … and desires to bless us.  Were we in dire need of provision?  No.  We could have paid for our groceries with no problem, but that is what makes this miracle so amazing.  Despite our ability to purchase the groceries, God blessed us anyway.  In a way, it was a blessing on top of a blessing.

We used this blessing as an object lesson for our kids, who are really teens, but we call them kids.  We reminded them how important it is to be tuned in to the voice of God, those gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit.  Also, how we need to be swift to obey the promptings of the Lord.  And, lastly, how there are tremendous blessings when we give!  Giving has been modeled before them their entire lives and they know the joys that accompany an outstretched hand.  You see, when our hands are clenched tightly, we are not in a position to receive anything, are we?  Contrastly, when our hands are extended and open, we are free to receive all that God has for us.  Hold loosely to the things of this world, friend.  We’re just passing through!  Our real treasure is on the other side, waiting for us.

May we all be Christ’s hands extended to a world that desperately needs to know the love of Jesus!  Listen for His voice today, friend.  He speaks all the time.  The question is, whether or not, we are still long enough to hear.

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

Counter Culture

I was recently pondering the plight of our youth as a mother of two teens and a twenty something.  (Not to mention as a Jesus follower, who is concerned with the fact that many die every day without making Jesus their personal Lord and Savior…)

Teenagers … You see them all around us.  They used to be us.  So many grow up without proper role models, morals, manners or the ability to become responsible, independent adults.  The Bible says, “A child left to himself brings destruction.”  (Proverbs 29:15)

The thought occurred to me that – “You cannot lead where you have not been.”  As a society and particularly as believers, we must be the examples and mentors of our youth.  The need is great for all believers to remain counter culture, follow Jesus’ teachings with our whole hearts and model Christ’s love at all times.  The standards are high.  But, with God’s grace and strength we can do all things!  The standards are high, and so are the stakes.  You see, eternity hangs in the balance for many.  We must be that city set on a hill, that shining light for all to see Christ’s love through us.  (Matthew 5:14)  No, there is nothing good in ourselves, but when we allow God’s love to flow through us, we become an awesome vessel that God can use!  We have a high calling to lead others to Jesus.  “He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  (John 14:6)

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

 “Once you had no identity as a people;
    now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
    now you have received God’s mercy.”

 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors.” ~ I Peter 2:9-11

What exactly does it mean to be counter culture?  It means that we have a different set of standards, lifestyle and desires than that of those who do not follow Jesus.  It means we remember daily that this world is not our home and do not set our affections on the things here.  We should fill up our souls with the Word of God in such a way that we naturally walk in God’s love and share it with others.

What holds your affections today?  Don’t hold too tightly to the temporary.  For, you see, one day it will all vanish.  There is coming a day when what is seen will be no more.  One day, “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  (Philippians 2:10)

Our witness as Christians can only be as effective to the degree we follow Christ’s commands.  If we live our lives parallel to the world, our testimony becomes dilluted and of no effect.  “And if the salt has lost its flavor, it is no good, but to be trampled on.”  (Matthew 5:13)  We are the salt of the earth, folks!  We must be the difference makers.  We must reflect Christ in all we do and say.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” ~ I Corinthians 13:11

It’s time to grow up spiritually.  Stop acting like those who have not heard the Good News.  Stop walking in the paths that were never meant for you as a believer.  It’s time to rise up and walk with God.  Let Him lead you into the amazing future He has for you.  He has only good things planned for you.  It’s up to us line our lives up with the Word of God and put ourselves in position for the blessings of God.  He cannot bless sin.  So, we must submit ourselves to God.  Blessings follow obedience.  (Deuteronomy 28 — one of my favorite chapters!)

God’s laws are not to siphon all the fun and enjoyment out of life, but to steer us clear of sin and its torment.  “The pleasures of sin are but for a season, and in the end destruction comes.”

If we, as believers, conduct our lives with utmost integrity and in alignment with the Word of God, think of how great our influence for the kingdom of God could be?

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

My Husband, My Best Friend

134

Okay, can I just brag for a moment?  This June, we will celebrate nineteen years of marriage!  Whew!  Time flies.  It really does.  Has it all been wedded bliss?  Not hardly.  Our journey has been replete with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, victories and valleys…just like most.  

Our secret?  God has been at the center of our relationship from the very beginning, and, how we’ve relied on Him to see us through!  We would have failed miserably if we rested on our own strength, but thank God for His mercy.  His never ending grace has not forsaken us.

I am so thankful for my husband.  He is wise, kind, generous, loving, compassionate, intelligent, hard working and creative.  Whenever I have a problem, he tries to fix it.  When I’m sick, he prays for me and nurses me back to health.  When I’m discouraged, he speaks uplifting words.  When I try to take on the world, he urges restraint.  😉

He brings me flowers, sometimes for no reason at all.

Is he perfect? No, but he’s perfect for me!  God brought him from half way around the world just for me, and I am ever grateful for that!

When we’re apart, I’m looking forward to our reunion.  When we’re together, I am at peace.  He completes me and we complement one another.  He is my best friend.  I know I can confide in him.  He holds my deepest trust and I am secure in his love.

We’ve been through many difficult and challenging seasons together and our love is richer for it.  Young love is a many splendored thing, for sure.  However, mature love, love that has endured decades, has a depth that is gratifying and fulfilling like no other.

He loves to sing and we often enjoy singing together.  In the quiet times, his melodious voice soothes my soul.

My husband strives to do things that he knows will bring me happiness.  He really tries to please me…and I him.  That’s what love does.

Just to “keep it real” … When we’ve argued, he forgives me and I forgive him.  We don’t keep score.

Love doesn’t attempt to change what it cannot.  It accepts and keeps rolling on. I think that’s one of the greatest keys to a happy marriage.

He captured my heart twenty years ago and holds it still.

…Thanks for indulging me to brag on my husband for a minute.

What do you love most about your spouse?

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” – I John 4:7-12 MSG

8 Comments

Filed under Love, Marriage