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Today would have been Jim’s and my 45th wedding anniversary.  Happy memories of our life together help diminish the pain of missing him.

  • Our wedding day ….
  • The birth of our first child, then the second, then the third…..
  • Happy times as a family……
  • A son and daughter-in-law and six grandchildren added to the family…..
  • Ministry together in four countries on three continents…..

The memories are endless.Image

Without a doubt, my greatest memory is of a husband who loved me unconditionally and sacrificially ― who showed me his Christ-like love in countless ways.

This truth was confirmed in my heart when one of Jim’s former seminary students shared his memories of my husband.   In one particular class session, he told me,  Jim had taught the Bible’s instruction regarding the love a husband should have for his wife:  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

With tears in his eyes, recounted Jim’s alumnus, Jim shared his heart: “If anyone hurts my wife, they hurt me.”

I thank God for giving me a husband who loved me just as He instructs in His Holy Word.  I can enjoy happy memories because he applied God’s principles to his life.

Today I celebrate 43 years of memories shared with a man who lived the truths he taught.  Happy Anniversary, my Love.

Question: Do we know and apply God’s principles to our lives?  Do we live them in our family relationships?

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Grace-Blessed Days

I begin my morning praying for the older of my two sons, out of the country on a business trip. I later greet my youngest son before he leaves for work and I babysit my two youngest grandsons (ages 3 1/ 2years and 23 months, his two sons) for the day.

That afternoon I bring my six-year-old granddaughter (the boys’ older sister) home with me for an overnight with Grandma.  We take an evening stroll, make colorful wooden-bead necklaces, and stir up our family-favorite creamed eggs and biscuits for dinner, making the day complete.  She says good night as she happily tucks herself under the covers in my newly decorated guest room,feeling very special.

My day is made complete with a phone call from my wonderful and caring daughter, the oldest of my three adult children.

Next morning begins with scrambled eggs and a morning walk with my granddaughter. We play dolls together.  I fulfill my promise of making chocolate-chip cookies with her, at the same time chatting across the kitchen counter with a missionary friend from Brazil and another dear friend.  All of us enjoy the hot-out-of-the-oven, melt-in-your-mouth delicacies.

My friends ask me how I am doing.  “I think probably better than average,” I answer regarding my seven-month-long journey through widowhood.  “I could have done without this new wrinkle, however,” referring to my recent diagnosis of breast cancer, “but trusting God for His purposes in the outcome.”

I answer a few ministry-related phone calls and make calls to confirm doctor appointments, while my granddaughter patiently waits for me to play with her.

My daughter-in-law, along with the two boys, comes to pick up my granddaughter. As my resident decorating expert, she helps me decide with of my late mother-in-law’s beautiful oil paintings to include in my home redecorating projects.

The children play chase, chocolate chip cookies in hand and smeared all over the mouth.  Some smeared on walls and dropped on carpets. We momentarily lose the 23-month-old only to find him in the bathroom,  happily spreading hand lotion all over the floor and fixtures, and a little on himself.

We drive to a local department store, shop, and enjoy Swedish meatballs for dinner. While they travel to their home, I return home to clean up hand lotion in the bathroom, chocolate chip cookies from walls and carpets, and tidy-up the kitchen. Who minds the cleaning up when you think of the joyful moments that produced the mess in the first place? I eat the remaining two cookies myself (which somehow don’t taste the same without the house full of people).

My oldest brother calls with an update on his own battle with lung cancer, also checking to see how I am doing.  His call is followed by a call from my other brother, also concerned for his younger sister’s health.  My day is made complete by a phone call from my dear friend and sister in Christ from our Hispanic congregation, concluding with prayer for me.

Two days from my life. Grace-blessed days: blessed with a loving family, enriching friendships, and a fulfilling ministry among the local Latin culture.

What more could I ask?  Even though the past three years have taken me on an unexpected and unanticipated path through my husband’s illness, my widowhood, and now breast cancer, God’s blessings far outweigh the trials in this amazing journey through life.  I am blessed: “Blessed by the Grace of God.”

Questions to ponder:

What fills your grace-blessed days?
How have you been “Blessed by the Grace of God?”

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