Category Archives: Hope

Everything to do with the spirit – hope for the future, comfort for the past, courage for today!

Putting Your Baby in the River is the Easy Part!

We are always being prepared to “let” our children go into the mission field. It seems like a big sacrifice, “Yes, Lord, please use our children for your kingdom!”

Looking back its pretty self-righteous! How presumptuous! There is no knowing how God intends to use the children he places in our care, and there is no “let” involved with grown children.

Claiming promises
Claiming promises

I’ve recently come to know Jochebed. Her mother story is truly epic! What a long-suffering, patient story. If you know the name at all, it’s probably more to do with her faith than patience. But for me, it’s the patience that’s striking. Who is she?

She’s the mother of Moses.

She was strong in faith for sure. She most likely could have been killed for putting that baby boy in the basket to try to save him. She had to be concerned she’d sent him to his death herself. But its pretty clear she knew God had a plan for him and she acted on that promise. Immediately, she was rewarded. You know the story – the princess saves the baby, Jochebed even gets hired to nurse him, and instead of being killed, he’s raised in the palace. Indications are both she and Moses knew he would someday save the Hebrews from bondage. They knew that he was a covenant child. They knew God had formed him with a future and a hope.

Positioning for a takeover?
Positioning for a takeover?

So…things were looking good. They were doing everything right. The boy was safe; the future was bright for him to do great things for his people. Taking over from within maybe?

Time passes. A lot of time passes. Forty years pass. What’s he doing? Where’s the rescue. What’s the plan? One day (still living like a prince) he’s tired of seeing the injustice to his people and decides it’s time to act. No consultation with God. No consultation with wise counselors. No consultation with anyone. He seems at this point to be pretty sure of himself and really…he’s a prince of Egypt…he’s got this!

He jumps out there and takes action, killing an Egyptian to save a Hebrew, he hides the body. When he’s found out, he gets scared of both sides and flees town.

Taking Control!
Taking Control?

Forty more years!! Yes, he flees and is gone forty more years. Here is where I’m thinking of his mother’s patience. This is when she thought “Putting him in the river was the easy part!”  She had to have been so sure on that day she was hired to nurse him that God was going to do mighty things with her son for the Hebrews. I’m sure those childhood years were full of relief and hope at his salvation. His twenties must have gone by with wonder at when he would act. Then in his thirties she might have started questioning if she understood God all those years ago. But with her great faith, she’s hopefully hanging in there – waiting. But then, instead of mighty works, he’s a murderer on the run! He’s in hiding and she is still in slavery. She doesn’t hear from him for forty years! He’s abandoned them.

I had to use Charlton Heston at least once!
I had to use Charlton Heston at least once!

Yes, he’s 80 years old when he gets about the task she had so hoped for when she placed him in that basket! How many times did she question? How many times did she wonder if she misunderstood God’s promise? Did she wonder if God would keep his promise? Did she even live to see the day the promise was realized? How many times did she pray?

God used Moses His way – Not Jochebed’s way or Moses’ way. When we are blessed to raise children for God’s kingdom, we have to trust God with them even when He uses them in ways we didn’t expect. We must not loose hope or faith when they wander past our patience or outside our expectations. We must pray for our children and recall to God His promises. God’s promises are true and He is faithful!

Isaiah 49:25 For thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.”

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You Should Let Her Die

A Tale of Two Mothers

 When our daughter was born at 28 weeks gestation in 1985, she weighed only 2 lbs and 8 ounces.  She lost down to 1 lb and 8 ounces after being born 12 weeks early.  The doctors gave her a 30% chance of living. They gave her 100% chance of being blind due to the oxygen in the incubator, cerebral palsy due to undeveloped lungs, and several heart surgeries in her future – if she had a future. Lots of people told us “You should let her die. What kind of life will that be? She’s going to die young, it might as well be now before she suffers.” They were educated and seemed to know what they were talking about. I was young and had no idea what we were in for. I did have one sweet doctor who encouraged me, and a still quite voice that said “trust me.”

She stayed in the hospital eight weeks, came home at 4 lbs and 8 ounces. She was a tiny little spitfire! She never did have any heart surgeries, never developed cerebral palsy, and no eye problems, well, she is near sighted – like me.

Here’s a photo of our daughter and her son. How thankful I am that Christ held me up, made me strong, and we ignored the educated advice.  Happy Mother’s Day to our sweet daughter who’s now the most amazing mother!

When my mother was 63 years old, she suffered what they call sudden death or cardiac arrest.  Her heart just stopped beating in her sleep at 2 in the morning. Paramedics were able to get her back, but not before her brain was severely injured. She didn’t wake up for weeks. The experts told us “You should let her die. What kind of life will she have?” She finally woke up. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t even swallow. Her memory was missing the most recent 20 years. She couldn’t walk or use her hands well.  The doctors gave up on her and we brought her home.

She could, however, smile the biggest and most warming smile and a still quite voice said, “trust me.” My dad worked tirelessly with her and soon she was talking with us, crying with us, and laughing with us.  We enjoyed ice cream, reading, talking, two more Christmas mornings, and just being together. She lived 22 months before the Lord took her home. Those months were such a sweet gift.  On the last Mother’s Day before she died June 4th, she and I sat on her deck together and planted container plants.                     I planted and she sat in her wheel chair and talked and laughed with me.

Here’s a photo of my beautiful mother. I am so thankful the Lord gave us those 22 months to let her know how much we love and appreciate all she is in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!

This Mother’s Day I am acutely aware that my savior, Jesus Christ, gave me both of these sweet mothers in my life.  They both have impacted me beyond words and I’m glad I listened to His quite voice instead of the experts.

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Thanksgiving 2010

Cooked all day for Thanksgiving. Its at our house again this year. Earlier in the week I fixed chicken dressing, pecan pies, and sweet potato casserole. Today I fixed lemon icebox pie, deviled eggs, congeal salad, carrot slaw, and giblet gravy. I think that’s got it all!! My second daughter was here the second half of the day to help. She worked at her job the first half. She helped me cook, cleaned the house, and decorated the tables. What would I do without her?? I hope when she moves out someday, she comes back to help or maybe our boys will be inclined to do more then. They helped a little this time, but they are young and something their help is only helpful so long. ☺ Our oldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson came by for a visit today too, which is always nice. ☺ They’ll all be back tomorrow along with my Dad and my sister and her family. We’ll eat and laugh too much and then all be on our way to other events. For us it’s my husband’s family for the afternoon where we’ll eat again, laugh again, and then hope to never eat Thanksgiving food again. Of course, when we get home late that evening, we’ll dig into those leftovers for midnight snack. How BLESSED we are to have so much family to enjoy so much food to consume and such comfortable houses and cars to do it in. God has surely shown us mercies beyond measure and we are truly Thankful.

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What kind of pilgrim am I?

I’ve been reading “Stories of the Pilgrims” by Margaret B Pumphrey and Lucy Fitch Perkins to my sons. Our homeschooling friends Laree Hart and Carlene Raspberry recommended it to us. It’s wonderful. It starts with the Pilgrim’s hardships in England trying to worship during the reign of King James. We follow the pilgrims to Holland and finally to America. We read a few chapters (they are short) each night as we go to bed leading up to Thanksgiving.
Today, while I’m cooking for Thanksgiving and the boys are eating lunch, we are watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. The boys start to notice the similarities between the two stories like Captain Standish, the long voyage across the Atlantic, and of course the Indians – especially Squanto! As I cooked and listened, it struck me that only 20 adults and 30 children survived from the 102 people that arrived. As they watched one after another die – friends, spouses, parents, children – and it got down to just 20 adults, what must have gone through their minds as they looked out and no one – no one – else was around anywhere. Would you be the next to die or would you be left completely alone – the sole survivor – in this new wilderness?
I’ve suffered heartache, some that don’t heal. I’ve suffered hard times, some I thought would never improve. But I’ve never faced that kind of hardship. What kind of pilgrim would I have been? With those folks in mind and the difficulties I deal with this day, I believe I have more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving than I can possibly even recognize myself.
Praising God for ALL my many blessings and prosperity. Thankful for my family, friends, home and country, but mostly thankful my redeemer lives!!

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June 1st

The first of June has come again
For most another day
But you went home six years ago
And here I still stay

My sweet Mama
The most wonderful Mother ever!

I long for you to talk to
To tell me all is well
You never tire of listening
To all the tales that I tell

Heartbreak I know I brought you
Though you’d never let me know
Shortcomings I have a plenty
But you’d say they never show

Many difficulties you faced
And overcame them all
You finished well faithful servant
And responded to His call

While you enjoy sweet Heaven
All of paradise without a care
I pray I teach your grandchildren
The path that leads them there

For Christ alone can soothe this pain
That rears it ugly head
The time is short. The war is won.
The Lord Christ Jesus said.

I’m so thankful that you taught me
And so I’ll see you there
Someday when our work is done
I’ll have years of stories to share

I know you’ll listen lovingly
And show me your heavenly gardens
While we wait I’ll teach what you taught me
To my blessed little darlings

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Time marches. Better keep up.

When I was a child we always went to my maternal Grandmother’s house for Sunday, Easter, and Christmas dinners. As my Grandmother aged and was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease someone had to take over these duties. So it moved to our house. My Mother took that over very easily, or so it looked to me. Looking back I remember occasionally having it at this Aunt’s house or that one’s. But quickly it moved to always being at my mother’s house and with time the Sunday dinners turned into just our family and Christmas moved to another Sunday in December. Then we moved our Grandmother’s birthday in with Christmas since it was the same month and consolidated two get-togethers into one since there were so many folks (not just grandkids, but great grandkids) to coordinate with now. Time passes and now my Grandmother has moved to Heaven and my mother too. And the duty and honor has to fall to someone if the family is to continue to get together. Now I’m the mother and grandmother. My sister, female cousins, and I are in that transition mode of trying to keep it going. We haven’t landed on a “we always go here for holidays” just yet. We had Christmas at my cousin’s home. This year we are having Easter at mine. So we’ll get together here the Saturday before Easter. No mother and grandmother for me. My cousins, sister and I are the mothers and grandmothers. I’ll be hosting the get together not just for my children and grandchildren, but also for their siblings and cousins, nieces and nephews.

My sister, cousins and me!

My mother’s great grandchildren will be here, my grandmother’s great great grandchildren. What an honor to know these ladies who went before and have shown us the way. What an honor to pick up the quilt and keep the family wrapped together. Women do this. Sorry – two cousins are missing in this photo!

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Hard Choices. Hopeful Returns.

Just now getting back to my blog and realized I haven’t updated since we moved last OCTOBER! Working on the consistency thing. ☺ So…we’ve moved closer to our church, work, and activities. This also allowed my widowed father to downsize to a garden home. My sister bought his house, we bought her house (which are across the road from each other), and he moved down the road to home he can manage better. Its working out great for all of us. We really miss the 5 acres we lived on for 10 years.

View From the Heart

That was our pasture. But, boy, is it nice to get to and from everything we run to in 5 to 10 minutes instead of 45 to 60. Makes getting to church at night so much easier. Now Daniel can make choir on Sunday nights, dinner & Pioneer club on Wednesday night, and all those Cub Scout meetings through out the week. Not to mention I’m close enough now to actually shop at the Whole Food Market!! YAY! We are much, much more regular at Church and more involved in the activities of life. It was a hard move and hard decision. But I think the sacrifice is definitely worth it. Before we were almost sequestered from society. We don’t want to be of the world, but we do want to be in it. We can’t impact the world if we are shut off from it. And while life out there was nice and had its practical purposes too for a time, it was beginning to cut off the impact we could have on the world. It was beginning to be all about us and not about anyone else. Now people can stop by (and do) much more often, and we can get out and see others too. We are so thankful for the great times and friendships we held there. Now, I’m very excited to see how God plans to use us here.

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