Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you, Lord!

Give thanks to the LORD,
call on his name;
make known among the nations
what he has done.
Psalm 105:1

This Thankful Thursday, Thanksgiving 2008, I'm thankful for so many things. First and foremost, I'm thankful for Jesus Christ. There are many wonderful things about life, but nothing would be as it is without Him. He gives life purpose and meaning, and I'm so thankful for His forgiveness and grace!

Secondly, I'm thankful for such a wonderful husband who loves the Lord and seeks to honor Him with his life. That is most important to me because everything else falls into place because of his love relationship with the Lord. After all, God is the author of true love! I'm thankful for the unconditional love he shows and the friend that he is to me, and the wonderful father he is to our children. I'm thankful for the sacrifices he makes for our country and his Soldiers, and his willingness to put others before himself. He's a wonderful man!!

I'm thankful for my children and the wonderful blessings each one of them bring to our lives. This Thanksgiving our son couldn't be with us, but my parents flew my nephew to South Carolina to be with him. Praise God! It did this mother's heart good to know he would not be without family this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that each of my children have a personal relationship with the Lord, and that no matter what this life holds for them they have the Savior walking by their side all the way. And, now that we're about to give our daughter away, I'm so very, very thankful our soon to be son-in-law is a Christian, too, and was raised in a Christian home. There's nothing more important!

I'm thankful for my parents. I'm thankful they love the Lord and raised me in a Christian home. I'm thankful for their love and support all these years. I'm thankful for the example they've been to me and for their evident love for the things of God. This Thanksgiving is very special because my parents are here! What a blessing it has been to have them in my home this Thanksgiving week!! For weeks now I've been wishing my mom was here to share in the planning of my daughter's wedding with me, and how great God is that he laid it on their hearts to come visit. The blessings have overflowed.

I'm thankful for a wonderful and amazing mother-in-law. Life hasn't always been easy for her, but the strength of the Lord has ALWAYS shown through. I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law.

I'm thankful for my brothers, brother-in-law, and sister-in-laws...and all their children. Seeing our Christian heritage continue on is such a blessing. I love each one of them and I'm so very thankful to have the family that I do.

I'm thankful for friends...old and new. I can't imagine life without friendship! I am so thankful that no matter where we go God always has someone in mind to befriend us. It was so hard to leave our friends in Texas, and I struggled for a long time when we first arrived here...then one day God put Sheryll in my life. I tear up any time I think about us having to move to different Posts one day (My prayer is that won't happen and we can end up at the same Post!). She has been a huge blessing to me in this move!! (Please pray for her and her husband as her husband is serving our country in Iraq right now. Thank the Lord for our chaplains who are there for our soldiers during the holidays!)

I'm thankful for the freedom we have in our country, and the military members who have fought and are fighting to keep us safe and free! I'm thankful for the freedom we have in this country to worship God. Is hard for many of us to even comprehend what some Christians are going through right now. I'm thankful for the freedom we have in Christ and the sacrifice He made so that we might be free!

I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop here and go spend time with my family. I'm thankful for each of you that have become dear friends through this blog. I appreciate you and pray you have a wonderful, blessed day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life as it unfolds...

It's been so long since I've actually sat down to write what all is going on in my life that I find it difficult to do so. So much of what I do Monday through Friday is work, come home and cook dinner - and nothing too fancy at that - and crash. It's difficult sometimes - having little energy for other things that are precious to me. There are days I really miss the old days of just taking care of my family and anticipating their arrival home from school and work, having dinner ready and a clean house, and just time to do things like hang out with my friend, Sheryll. (I don't have a whole lot of really close friends here, but, praise God, He's given me an amazing friend in her!) We get together at least once a week and I think we could talk for hours and hours...oh wait, we do! ...but we could talk longer if we had the time.

But, back to what I was saying, I also want to be careful not to have an attitude of ungratefulness. I know the Lord provided this job for my family for this time in our life. I can't even begin to imagine how we would have been able to pay for our daughter's wedding and the travel arrangements without this job. I praise God for this job. He knows our needs long before we do, and just at the right moment this job landed in my lap. Thank you, Lord!

Yesterday I took my lunch break really early - 7:30 a.m. - to help provide breakfast for all the soldiers in my husband's unit. It probably ministered to my heart more than it did anything for them. Seeing them in uniform, gun in hand (except for my husband, of course), coming to enjoy breakfast (some with their wives and children waiting for them) made me feel a part of something bigger than just life as I see it some days. It was nice, and seeing my husband in his element always puts a smile on my face.

Last weekend we were at a marriage retreat with my husband's soldiers and I was reminded of the life so many of them lead. Difficult. Often lonely for one or both. Many without Christ. I found myself very burdened for so many of these young couples. It was difficult to shake, and hard to watch when some would show evidence of a troubled marriage. And then Sunday I felt the burden lift as God reminded me that that's why He sent us here - to bring hope to soldiers and their families. I feel so inadequate. I feel so out of place so often, and constantly ask God to show me how to minister to them. It's not as easy as you would think! Often times they don't want the help, or the Helper.

Only Jesus Christ can fill the void in their lives. Only Christ can bring hope to seemingly hopeless circumstance. Only Christ can change a hard heart. Only Christ can restore the broken-hearted. Only knowing what it means to be truly forgiven allows us to forgive others. Knowing all that, and knowing what a beautiful marriage is because of the grace of God made me want so much more for so many of them. Pray for our soldiers and families as we seek to minister to them and share the love of Christ with them. Pray for us as we seek to live out the life God has planned for us and share His love with those around us.

My mind is many things on our plate and so much moving along so quickly. I honestly cannot believe it's the middle of November! It's hard to believe in a month and five days we'll be giving our little girl away. God is helping us to let go of her more and more...and boy can that be emotional sometimes. It's a huge thing to trust God with your kid's future. I wrestle with God often on this matter! I love her so much that some days I just want to hold on way too tight and God has to constantly remind me that she is His child. His plans are much bigger than ours, His ways are much higher - isn't that what He promises?!!

If you have a child about to get married you know what I'm talking about! God unfolds much to us during these times...and all that we must have put our own parents through. Can I get a witness?! There is fear and excitement all wrapped up in a bundle of love. All of life prepares us for these moments of letting go, yet somehow we're caught off guard. We've been raising them for years and years, training and encouraging them to spread their wings and why do we struggle when they say their ready to do so? I think it's all a part of a bigger picture; part of growing us and teaching us to trust God with those things we love most - our family. We tend to forget that another little family will be born out of ours! (That just put a smile on my face.) One day our children will be having children of their own and carrying on our Christian heritage. What a blessing!

A few minutes ago I unzipped the garment bag just to take another look at my daughter's gorgeous wedding dress. I know she will take his breath away on that special day. It's exciting, beautiful, dreams are big and life is unfolding... Life is just as it should be, and God is good!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank you to our veterans...

We would not enjoy the freedoms we have today without your bravery and sacrifice. Thank you for serving our country!

I love the saying...


Thank you!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A very special birthday for two very special boys!!!

Two little miracles... Tiny and precious...Two adorable gifts from God...Melting our hearts with their sweet smiles...

...and laughterTake a good look at Dillon (in the red shorts). What an adorable look of laughter. He thought that water fountain was hilarious. They're not so little anymore, but there's nothing more rewarding than watching them grow into such fine teenagers...We've been so proud of them as we've made this transition back into the military.

Their love, support and sensitivity to others has at times overwhelmed this mother's heart. I can't imagine our lives without them. They're so very, very precious!!!

Happy 13th birthday, boys!!! We love you, and thank God every day for blessing our lives with the two of you (at the same time!). You are loved so very, very much!!! We know you both make sacrifices for your dad to be able to minister to the soldiers and their families, and we thank you for your willingness to share him with others. You are wonderful sons, and we couldn't be more proud of both of you. As you continue to grow physically, I pray you will continue to grow spiritually...putting God first and being surrendered to His will. There's nothing more important! Thank you for the love you show to others; you are making a difference in other people's lives! May this day be very special because you are very special. Love you boys! - Mom