Easter

What a joyful time … we had a wonderful service at church. I am so eager to share: when the altar invitation was given, Davaney, our 7-year-old granddaughter, began to nudge me and then nod at the altar. It touches me beyond words — she wants to do this every service, so I go along. On Easter morning, as we knelt together, I prayed with her. And it was not long after my “amen”, that I heard her sweet voice. She prayed for her family, thanking God for us, and asked God to take care of Nanny on her trip back home from Florida. While it was hard for me to hear all her words, it was a sweet blessing to witness.

We are constantly striving to teach and share with our children and grandchildren. And the reward comes when you can witness, first hand, their response… the outcome from the lessons we teach them.I hope someday that my children and grandchildren can reflect on special times such as this.  It truly was a very special day!! As I celebrated the resurrection of our precious Savior, I, too, was revived as I listened to our sweet granddaughter lift our family in her prayers! It was music to my ears and  joy to my heart.

Friends, it’s these little things that mean so much — they add up to the big stuff. I encourage you to embrace the special times, the small stuff, and focus on the daily blessings that are so easily overlooked.  Do you have any Easter stories you wish to share?  any events that impacted you in a positive manner?  touched your heart?  Feel free to share — I’d love to hear from you!

Count your blessings and let Him shine in all you do!

Advertisements

March 2014 — Spring Time

It’s that time of year to spring forward, are you ready?   The thought of those crocus bulbs pushing through the ground just excites me … a new life, a new season.  A time to come out of our ‘end of winter blues’ and enjoy the goodness of the outdoors, gardens, dirt, green grass … are you with me?

Is there something special about spring time that makes you happy? Do you have childhood memories of certain activities?  For us, March is the onset of garden time, and that’s a big deal at our place!  It is the time we begin to plan, prepare and even plant (some of) our garden.  I find so much joy in gardening.  As I reflect on this, I feel certain it is because we are able to witness, first hand, the complete garden cycle, from beginning to end.

It starts with seeds. We drop them into the tilled soil. We fertilize, weed, and even water.  We witness a complete cycle:  a wide open dirt-filled plot that turns into a garden, filled by beautiful plants and vegetables that eventually land on our table.  What an incredible transformation!  You see, the garden cycle is so familiar that we even know what to expect.  In fact, we even anticipate occasional setbacks (drought, bugs, and even lack of manpower).  Even so, our past experiences have always included a harvest – maybe some years not as much as others, but historically, we are rewarded with vegetables (and even beautiful sunflowers).

Christians also experience drought, in the form of job loss, financial hardships, illness, etc.  But just as we jump back into a new garden each year, we should jump back into action with our Heavenly Father, trusting Him to see us through our drought season … looking to Him for guidance, comfort, strength.  We may not feel we are blooming every day, but I encourage you: don’t lose sight!  Our gardens usually improve as we grow in Christ and feel His mighty presence and workings during our drought season.

I encourage you to embrace spring time.  If you’re in a personal drought season, consider blessings and past hardships and reflect on how God has led you, step by step.  Reflect on His word and apply them to the situation.   Be ready for a new season ahead, and for now, keep growing!  The drought will pass and those bright blooms will reappear … in the meantime, keep shining for Him.

Love in Christ,

Amy

A new year, a new BLOG … learning in progress :)

Dear Family and Friends –

Surprise – I’m mailing my cards in January!  You know, I’m thinking Christmas should be celebrated more than one day a year.  It’s truly a remarkable day so I figured there’s no time like TODAY to say Merry Christmas, and acknowledge the birth of our Savior.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I encourage you to reflect on His birth throughout the upcoming year.

I have to tell you, 2013 was a very crazy year for our family.  In January, Bill fell, broke five ribs (not long after his December back surgery).  Then in March, our world seemed to really crumble – our precious granddaughter, Emma Grace, was delivered still born.  Simultaneously, Bill was admitted for a frightening infection that required emergency surgery.  This period of my life was devastating; to hold my daughter and experience her hurt, her pain; then shortly after, as I sat in Bill’s hospital room, a nurse arrived to take him to surgery – and I had NO clue he was headed to surgery for the fog that surrounded me!  I prayed, I cried, I hurt …I wanted to fix my family’s pain.

Surely, you have heard:  there’s light at the end of the tunnel?  Do you have a favorite verse that helps you get through tough times?  I definitely repeated “I can do all things through Christ” many times during that day in March, and I’m here to share:  I made it!   I was provided strength.  We all made it.  The fact it was one of the most difficult times experienced doesn’t go away, but I can reflect on the closeness it brought to our family; the closeness with our Heavenly Father; the touching outreach from many. We had a period of healing and our family pulled closer together.  I was able to spend time with Amber and Elizabeth in New Orleans in July; they also got to visit Chincoteague with Granny over the summer.  Bill, Elizabeth, Mom and me visited Lancaster, PA and saw “Noah”.   Elizabeth got her license – our ‘baby’ girl is driving! We enjoyed a girls’ day (4 generations!) trip to Natural Bridge zoo (with animals eager to get inside our car).  I even managed to pull off two trips with (with bff’s) and made even more memories.  And to wrap up the year, I turned the “half a century” mark in December, and the celebration lasted one week.  I was surrounded by friends, gifts, surprises; I was touched beyond words!

Bill faced yet another back surgery in the fall, and it was then that I felt the awesome presence of God!   They were able to remove all the hardware from Bill’s back (which had created more problems, including the infection in March)!   I cannot ever really know why the sequence of events, but each time I face a trial (happy or sad), I trust that God has a plan for me.  It’s not always something I understand at the particular time, but it usually comes full circle.

Heading into 2014, we have some milestone events we already know about:   we’re anxiously awaiting the birth of our granddaughter in late Feb; Bill and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary; and Elizabeth will begin her senior year in high school. It’s exciting stuff!   While I don’t like to make ‘resolutions’, I have some goals!   Most of all, I just want to profess that even during our year of sadness, we pulled through; our family grew closer; our faith increased, and we trust that what lies ahead will happen according to God’s plan for our lives.  For now, I strive to continually recognize the birth of our Savior each and every day, and never lose sight of what He means to us.

Best wishes, from our household to yours, for a great new year.  I pray to experience Christmas in my heart repeatedly throughout the upcoming year and hope you will also!  You are very special to our family, and I just want to remind you that we love you and praise God for our awesome circle of family and friends.  We have, indeed, been blessed.  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

-Bill, Amy & Elizabeth