Updates

Hey, friends. A quick update. Our little community has finally felt the effects of this virus and we are back in remote land at least through the beginning of next year-all except our IEPers, including my sweet daughter. She will be able to continue on site with her para so she can get that personal attention that helps her succeed. Very grateful-as is she!

My college boy for his part has continued to do so well, constantly defying the stereotypes around his autism. He also has been able to continue in person, a rather important consequence of the hands-on learning in his engineering studies (can’t transfer use of 3-D printers to online schooling, for example.😏).

This leaves two at-home kiddos for me. One 16-going-on-42-year old boy who will likely regale me on his breaks with the latest oldie he’s learned on the bass guitar and one infinitely creative 8-year-old boy who could spend all day building and drawing me cool stuff, but will likely need a lot of mama coaxing on the paperwork side of things. So…there’s that. Again. Sigh.

In addition to that, we have been consumed with a lot of tough family business.

This prevailing illness finally hit not just our community but also brought my husband’s grandmother’s time on earth to a close.

She was 93, with a scrappy reputation for so long, but, in the last year or so, had been descending into a dementia we’d anticipated would take her soon as it was.

Where I would never dream to call such a thing as dementia a positive, it amazingly proved the way God could reach her heart.

How, if her mind was going? some might rightfully ask.

Well, you see, she spent most of her life not merely scrappy, but also bitterly anti-faith. A church had burned her once long ago and that had effectively shut down any thoughts of God.

Yet, as her mind had begun to slip, something in her countenance changed.

She became receptive to the family’s “Jesus Talk” as she once disdainfully called it.

She talked of the joys of being a child and remembered better Sunday School days learning of scriptures and salvation.

She became that child again in lots of ways and, in so doing, the door opened so she could receive Jesus as such, the resistance she harbored all those years melting away in recognition of His infinite goodness to her. I truly believe she was resting in that truth as she went.

We are no less sad to have lost her to this world, yet…

Now, we know we have not lost her for good. We will see her on the other side. The comfort of this lifts the sorrow and reminds us of the joy to come.

And that we should never stop praying for our loved ones to come to salvation!

His ways are so far above ours it defies description!

I guess that about sums it up at this point as far updates go.

I tend to come and go as able these days, anyway, but fair warning-I will be fairly silent on here for an extended time as I place my energies into guiding my youngest.

As well as helping my husband with the business, which has hit some huge time crunches in the last few weeks. That could certainly use some prayer…not only that we can see the work to completion, but also that a) my body stays cooperative to the task and b) I can be of some level of use to him.

It is safe to say being married to a handyman has expanded my vocabulary enough that I know what a flange and flashing are, but it really hasn’t changed my aptitude. 😏

Still…I can always hand tools as long as I know which doohickey he is after. 😁

Well…hope this finds you all well in your respective worlds, my friends. Keep the faith! Much love and many prayers! ❤

What a Friend

Hey, friends. Lots of thoughts rolling.

Some on the cusp of creation; some more fully formed but not just there yet.

Some honestly rather heavy.

Heavy but, admittedly, necessary.

Example: the news daily brings us countless reminders of the temporary nature of fame, fortune, and the like.

Worldly accomplishments beckon us here on earth yet they still shift and blow away sooner or later, much like the foolish man’s house on the sand…

For nothing comes with us-not a guitar prowess or a cool rep or or a knowlegable facade.

Not even our own “niceness”.

No…nothing but our faith we carried in life.

Now, it might be faith in a thing.

A person.

Our own abilities.

Our bank account.

Or-prayerfully-it will be in Jesus Christ alone.

For those whose faith proved futile, unfortunately, all that awaits is a darkness beyond darkness-an eternal separation from God.

A hard truth indeed!

But, for those who have trusted Christ alone for salvation, there is an eternity of joy and peace in His presence!

So…mixed into those tough thoughts of grief for others who likely may’ve passed without placing their faith on Him alone, is the gratitude for that sure salvation and the rest in that steady companionship-both here and now and in the life to come. 🙂

And all that, be it deemed random or no in the midst of the heavyish and less heavish thought train here today, reminds me of a song.

I checked and, yep, it’s been a bit since my last song share. So…yes. It’s time.

Yay! 🙂

Today, after some (pretty major) deliberation, I decided I should share our community youth group “theme song”- “What a Friend” by Matt Maher.

Or one of the theme songs, at least. 😏 We are a seriously musical lot.

Anyway…it’s such a comforting word in the midst of troubling times!

Now, this version is likely a lot more professional sounding than what our little group pulls off with our rudimentary acoustics.

But, at any rate, may we sing along with what is the most important key- sincere hearts, rejoicing at the truth of lives redeemed and an eternal home to look forward to.

Blessings and Prayers, dear friends! Keep your eyes on Him! ❤

https://g.co/kgs/tJtP7t

Watch “Calling Out Your Name – Rich Mullins” on YouTube

Ok. I decided. These are fun. I love music. Can’t play a lick and only sing a little, but, oh, I know what I like. 🙂

And, in addition, I discover that I really like to share.

So…I will try to do these maybe weekly…ish. I have no schedule on here and do better without one, frankly, despite my need for an ordered world elsewhere, but we shall see. 😁

I have a lot of songs I am eager to share!

And this particular one begs a few paragraphs to introduce…

I first discovered Rich Mullins in high school.

Immediately, I was captivated. His honest, heartfelt voice, combined with his incredible gift for painting word imagery and ability to play a variety of instruments as effortlessly as many of us breathe had me in awe.

And oh, the songs! Each one cutting me to the quick, challenging my faith, causing me to pause in my day to soak in the truth of God.

Then, of course, as I always do with those I am drawn to, I had to know more of the man.

In reading his philosophy for life, how I longed to be able to similarly shed the trappings and give my all to others as he did throughout his career.

His mission through The Kids of St. Frank, his willingness to kick off his shoes and humble himself, his determination to live the antithesis of a successful musician…just…wow.

My grief in his passing from this earth was profound, needless to say.

Yet, his demeanor showed readiness at any time. He knew where he was going. He wasn’t worried. So, I owed it to him to rejoice in my sorrow.

For what a legacy!

I wanted that. Want it still.

Life may’ve given me a different mission and different things to care for, but I pray the essence of selflessness and assurance in my Savior can be the same.

In sitting down to determine which of his plethora of amazing works to share, I was honestly very, very torn.

I love them all. How do I ever choose?

Ah, me!

But, I knew it should be one to feature his beautiful hammer dulcimer that so captured my attention early on and one whose poetry was most inspiring.

So, I came to this one, Calling Out Your Name, which may be a bit prejudiced by the fact he mentions my home state of Kansas, where I am proud to say he spent some time studying and I once helped babysit his dog a little while through quite a chain of events. 🙂

Not to mention it just seems to suit the current weather patterns around here. 😏

At any rate, may it encourage you that God is still God. The creator of all the universe and everything in it is yet on His throne, yet speaking, yet reaching out to us in everything around us. Give it a listen and be blessed, friends. Much love and many prayers. ❤

Pastor Don is Free!

Well, here we are, friends. Mere weeks from the beginning of my request for prayer to this moment I honestly thought I’d dread to report.

And yet…it does not speak well of the body of Christ nor the glorious truth of life eternal to approach this with dread.

So, rejoicing through the tears, I will just say that at 2:40 pm, our dear Pastor Don left this earth.

He leaves behind his wife, Deb, and three grown children-Michael, Andrew, and Michelle.

They are blessed to know he is pain-free and waiting for them on the other side, but, of course, will sorrow in this separation, temporary though it may be.

They will treasure any prayers offered for them.

And, may it be noted for those of us privileged to have known him, he also gave us the gift of both a legacy of faith and a humble determination to lift the name of Jesus high.

Lord, may this inspiration continue to serve me well.

I appreciate so much the uniting of your prayers with ours. It has been such a comfort to know where we are separated by miles, we are near in our hearts, thanks to Christ.

Blessings and prayers. ❤

Pastor Don Update

Not what I want to be posting right now. I will get back to the fun “how we met” story. But this must be shared.

A quick word for my wonderful prayer warriors-Pastor Don is continuing to go downhill. Deb has requested we pray he goes quickly if that is God’s will. He is in so much pain.

This is so hard. He has been such a father figure to us. But, we love him so much we just want him to be free.

And praise the Lord we know he will be in Him!

Thank you so much friends for your continued prayers, support, and love! ❤

I will keep you posted.

We Can’t Always

Latest on Pastor Don: This is such a hard write-up, my friends. I can think of only one that’s likely going to be harder.

The progression of the cancer is profound and rapidly progressing, as is his pain. At this point, he and Deb are sure he is near his end here on earth. He can eat little, which is a heartwrenching thing to witness in anyone, but especially in one known to eat with gusto.

He cannot get out of bed except to go to the restroom and the strength for even that is fast fading.

He is understandably reluctant for hospice, but it’s looking like this is where his need is at.

It’s honestly devastating to watch one so strong become so fragile. But, then, we all are if we will admit to it.

In all this, reliance on the Lord is his and Deb’s hope and stay. They deeply appreciate all the prayers and want you to know they can definitely feel them! Thank you.❤

A small, spur-of-the-moment poem for you, friends. Well, mostly for me, as processing generally lands me here, but, it also helps the heart immensely to share…

We Cannot Always

So often, thoughts will bubble to

The surface of the brain

Only to pop or settle back down

An unreachable drain…

I have many such moments

Throughout my day;

Many things that never quite have their say.

They begin with “coulds”,

An awful lot of “shoulds”,

But too often end in being tucked away,

To be examined through the deceitful veil

Of “I can always…”.

That phrase of procrastination

That causes little but consternation

Not to mention an inescapable frustration

Of pent-up plans and dashed dreams,

Of unextended hands and undiscovered streams.

We say we can “always” go and do later on

As if all will ever keep clicking along untroubled,

But, one must only take a cursory glance to know

Even craters eventually crumble and blow away, gone.

And so goes the unanswered thought bubbles.

Perhaps, this is what regret tastes of:

All bitterness and bile on my tongue.

Ah, but God in His infinite wisdom and eternal love

Cannot leave me dangling on that unproductive rung.

Instead, He sweeps the past like so much dust,

Guiding me gently to places of deeper trust.

Kindly agreeing in, “Yes, we cannot always….

At least, not here in this earthly suit, my child.

For, eventually, labors cease for each someday.

Time comes to examine the fruit,

To shed these cumbersome boots

And dance in the beautiful undefiled.

Free at last of decay

In that which will go on for always…”

Friends, in these hard times of various trials and heartbreak, may we rest ever in the knowing where there isn’t really any reliable “always” here on earth, there is one surpassing our wildest dreams in the life beyond. May we live for Him here to the fullest each day while looking forward to what is to come! Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading! 🙂❤