Friday, March 31, 2017

This time last year

This morning when I was looking at Facebook, I clicked on "See your memories".  This is one of my posts from this day last year:

"My grandmother passed away today.  I was blessed to be able to hold her hand as she took her last breath.  My childhood is full of memories of time spent with her.  My heart hurts, but like my grandpa said when he heard the news "Praise the Lord!"  There's no more pain and suffering and she's in the presence of Jesus."

That was a tough day.  There has been a lot of tough days this past year.  There are days that I miss her so much it brings me to tears.  There are so many days that I want to call her and share with her things that are happening in our lives.  There are days when I drive by her home or the nursing home and I want to stop in to visit and see the smile on her face when I walk in the room.  I want to hear her tell me that she loves me.  

I spent this past week with a friend.  During that time we talked about my grandparents.  During the conversation my friend said, "It's such a precious legacy they left for you."  I looked up the word legacy.  One definition is:  anything handed down from the past.  

My grandma definitely left me a legacy.

My grandma could not leave me the gift of salvation.  Salvation is something personal between Jesus and me.  I am not saved because my grandma was saved.  But my grandma did lead me to the foot of the Jesus.  My grandma faithfully took me to church starting at the age of two.  She taught my Junior Church class.  She helped me with my memory verses.  She showed me what it meant to serve.  She prayed for me.  She prayed with me.  She read her Bible faithfully and in front of me.  The list goes on and on.

It's all a part of her legacy.

Last Sunday we baptized five people at church.  My grandma loved baptisms.  She loved that people who had accepted Jesus were following Him in baptism.  Grandma knew that baptisms don't save people, but that it is only a picture or symbol of what someone has already done in their heart.  But she saw it as such a time of celebration.  I remember being small and helping her gather towels and robes in preparation of a baptism and afterwards gathering those same towels and robes to take home to wash.  It was never a burden to her.  It was time of joy.  Last week as I stood in her place handing out towels I couldn't help but think about how excited she would be about the baptisms.  Later I cried because I wanted to pick up the phone and share the excitement with her.

It's another part of her legacy.

I miss her.  Occasionally the tears still come and my heart still hurts, but I am so thankful for  her legacy.

On another note...just to leave you with a laugh...

My other Facebook memory from this day last year says:

"I just heard from downstairs 'Hold him!  Hold him!  I can get his nipples'"


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I've Missed This.

Ahhh...I've missed this.  Writing.  It's a creative outlet that helps me to process information...and emotions...and relationships...and scriptures...and parenting issues...and well, lots of stuff.  My family has gone through some sad times in the past year and over and over I've thought to myself that I wanted to get back to writing, but I just never made the time.  This morning I decided the time is now.

My prayer is that God would use my writing time to strengthen my faith and relationships and that by sharing others might also be encouraged and strengthened.  So as I sit here on the couch this morning,  I pray to our Father, the one who loves us more than any other, that he would use my words to work in not only my life, but yours too.  I'm praying for you, dear reader.

A few weeks ago during my devotion time I came across this verse:

 "And the Lord said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'' 
Exodus 33:14. 

It is such a comforting verse.  I've been focusing on the first part "my presence will go with you".  It's one of those things that I learned in Sunday School so many years ago. I know it in my head but day to day I don't really grasp it.  As I sit here and really try to comprehend what that means it's overwhelming.  The presence of God is with me.  With you.  The same God that created the earth, that split the sea, that rained down manna from heaven is here.  In this very room.  Isn't that amazing?  How do I so often take that for granted?

The view from the deck at The Cove.
Last fall Denver and I had an amazing opportunity to attend a retreat at the The Cove.  It's the Billy Graham Retreat Center in Asheville, North Carolina.  Each year Church of God Ministries and Christians Broadcasting Hope, rent out the facilities there and hold a retreat.  Denver and I were able to enjoy some time away together and to attend a few classes especially for pastors.  It was a great weekend and I hope we can go back again sometime.

The speaker during the retreat was Jim Lyon.  He is the General Director of the Church of God.  He weaves a lot of storytelling and history into his messages.  He shared a lot with us over the long weekend, but one simple thing he said continues to come back to me much like the scripture above.  He said, "Whenever you enter a room, the Spirit of Jesus Christ enters with you."  It sounds simple but something about it really spoke to me.  I kept entering different rooms in the beautiful buildings with vaulted ceilings and giant fireplaces and each time I would cross the threshold, I would think "He's here."  It's amazing how differently you think about things, how differently you treat people, how differently you speak when you first think "He's here."  I want to get back to that way of thinking again.

I've started today.  When I walk into my kitchen "He's here".  When I head down to do mounds of laundry "He's here."  When my boys fight or ask what's for dinner for the hundredth time "He's here." When I'm serving at the food pantry tomorrow "He's here."  When I feel like someone isn't treating me fairly "He's here."

"And the Lord said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest'" Exodus 33:14.

"He's here."

Friday, April 22, 2011

He's Alive Buns

It's Easter time already.  Everyone is thinking about dresses with ruffles (well, except for in our house), Easter baskets, jelly beans, peeps, egg coloring, and Easter Egg hunts.  Easter doesn't seem to be quite as busy as Christmas time, but it's still so easy to become so distracted by all the "Eastery" things that we forget to take the time to remind our ourselves and our children why we celebrate Easter in the first place.  Our family is no different.

Last year I ran across a repipe for "He's Alive Bun's"  I've heard others call them Resurrection Rolls.  Ben and I made them together last year, but this year all three boys are going to help.  I am excited to be able to share the story of Jesus' resurrection with them in a way that they can see and a way that they will find a way that will keep their attention.

I will post the recipe below.  It's really simple.  For those of you that have never made or heard of them they are simply marshmallows wrapped in a biscuit.  The really neat thing is that when you bake them, the marshmallow melts....leaving the inside of the biscuit empty!

I plan to make the buns with the boys and then while we are eating them we'll read this:

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they
had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering
about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground,
but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men,
be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'"
Luke 24:1-8

Here's Ben with a "He's Alive Bun" last year.

We also plan to make enough for the boys to take to their Sunday School Classes on Easter.  We'll attach the scripture to the plate of buns so that the teacher have a little something extra to share with the students.

So what are your Easter traditions?  Do you have a neat or interesting way of sharing the gospel with your kids?

He's Alive Buns

1 roll- Refrigerator Biscuits (Pillsbury or similar)
Large Marshmallows - 1 per biscuit
Melted Butter
Sugar and Cinnamon mixture- Just enough to cover the buns.


Wrap one biscuit around 1 large marshmallow. Brush on melted butter and roll in cinnamon/sugar. Bake as directed on biscuit pkg. The marshmallow will melt and the bun will be hollow inside.

Note: Make sure to pinch the dough together as much as you can. Some will still pull apart and marshmallow will spill out. Also, your pan will be a sticky mess, but it washes with a little scrubbing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Favorite Memory - Caleb

Yesterday I posted a favorite memory of Ben here, so today I thought I would share one about Caleb.  Oddly enough, one of my favorite memories of Caleb also has to do with an elevator, but there are no alligators or crocodiles involved.  ha!

Once when Caleb was around age three I took him to the eye doctor by myself.  (It didn't turn out well...he refused to let the doctor look at him without Denver there to hold him.) 

Anyway, the eye doctor that Caleb goes to has an office inside the hospital in South Bend.  That day Caleb and I found a place to park in the parking garage and then made our way to the nearest elevator.  When we got there we pushed the button and then waited. 

As soon as we pushed the button, a lady walked out of the parking garage and stood behind us to wait for the elevator.  I didn't think much of it or pay much attention to her because Caleb was talking a mile a minute.  Several seconds later the elevator dings and the door opens.  I stepped forward toward the elevator and said to Caleb, "Let's go, Joe".  Caleb stepped into the elevator and without missing a beat turned to the lady, waved his arm for her to come inside and said, "Come on, Joe."  The lady and I busted out laughing.  It took a minute to explain to Caleb that I was talking to him and not to the lady who he thought was "Joe".

Caleb will be 5 this summer and now says these rhyming things with me...when it's time for bed he often says, "Go to bed, Fred" or when we are in a hurry he'll say "Hurry up, Chump"....but I'll always get a chuckle out of the lady named Joe.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Favorite Memory - Ben

Today, for some reason, I thought of one of my favorite memories of Ben and wanted to share.  Over the next several days I will post a favorite memory of each of the other boys.

I think Ben was about 3 at the time.  It was Christmas and a group from the church was at a local nursing home to sing Christmas carols, to visit with the residents, and to hand out lap quilts.  We had a pretty large crowd and a good mix of people from small children to grandparents.  Everyone was having a very festive and fun time together.

When we finished the first floor and were on our way to the elevator, I told Ben that we were going to ride on the elevator and let it take us up to visit other people.  A few seconds later we stepped on to the elevator and pressed button number two.  After a second Ben said, "This is an alligator?"  Everyone chuckled and I answered that no, it wasn't alligator.   Before I could again tell him it was an elevator, he responded...  "Oh, I know.  It's a crocodile."  That was it.  Everyone in the elevator busted out into full belly laughs!

To this day, whenever I get into an elevator with Ben, I think about alligators and crocodiles.  :o)