Archive for September, 2013

“Stay Faithful”

Sep
30

Those were Grandma’s words to us the night before she died. A lot of her family were gathered together in her room. She woke up and began to tell us that “the circle is not unbroken yet, but it will be in a couple days. I want to see each of you there (heaven) – STAY FAITHFUL!” She even had her finger out pointing to us and saying again, stay faithful. Wow, impacting words that we will never forget.

She completed her race of life in her home, September 24, 2013 at about 12:30 a.m., one week ago tonight. She finished well, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of her faith!

Sunday, September 22nd. We attempted to sing some hymns to her but kept breaking down in tears, especially when we sang about heaven, knowing she would be going there soon.

Aunt Janis flew in from NC Sunday night. We are grateful she was able to come and have one more day with gma before she died.

In the last post, Charity explained that gma was making each of her 8 granddaughters and her great-granddaughter a butterfly quilt. Aunt Jackie has taken the initiative to finish the quilts, and will present them to us when they are completed! =) Here are the 9 quilts all lined up and pinned onto the hall wall. I’m sure lots of tears will be shed on these treasured quilts.

Is this what you call a quilting bee?!

Johnny (dad), Jimmy, Grandma, Grandpa, Janis, and Jolena. This was taken about a month ago.

Earlier this month, we celebrated Gma’s older sister, Aunt Anna’s, 80th birthday. This ended up being the last time gma came to our house.

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Before we started the quilts, we spent a lot of time working puzzles with gma.

We sure will miss Grandma. Some of our favorite things about her were the way she would cock her head and smile, holding her precious hands during prayer, her big bear hugs, and hearing her pray. We were blessed to live close and spend so much time with her this past year during her sickness. It is a relief to know she isn’t bearing pain any longer! But she will be greatly missed.

This past week has been very thought provoking. It’s so easy to get caught up in the here-and-now, life on earth, trivial things. But when you see someone die, no more breath, their spirit gone from their body, still and cold laying on the bed, and realize they have now entered eternal life – forever, it get’s ya to thinking more about eternity. It’s for real and we need to live like it! As Christians we are just pilgrims passing through, this world is NOT our home, we should be telling others about Jesus while we do have breath!

Pray for us, that the Spirit of Truth will guide our hearts during this time of grieving. That we will cleave to Him who will never change, even if everything around us does. Pray that we will run to Him for comfort and trust Him. Thanks.

As Grandma said: “Stay Faithful!”

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The past several weeks….

Sep
16

…we’ve been really busy! But with lots of great things. =)

Kimray (where Dad and Caleb work) celebrated their 65th year with a festival for their employees and families! Lots of fun rides, good food, and fellowship.
The Ferris wheel was a big hit!
=)caleb and charitymaggie and calebhavin fun

We threw a party for our Great-Aunt Anna’s birthday! She has been a huge blessing to our family! She is a lot of fun to be around, she is the life of the party, she loves to bake food and give it away, and she is an encourager. Happy Birthday, Aunt Anna!
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Dad and Grandma playing with cat’s cradle. Jacob’s ladder, tea cup, Eiffel tower, broom, seesaw …
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Maggie and Grandpa
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We are remodeling one of our bathrooms, so some friends came and helped us pour concrete to redo the foundation! We were so grateful for the help. More on that project later.
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Last week, we had a family reunion of sorts! Lots of our family came to see Grandma and Grandpa so we got some pictures together!

Family picture.
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All the girl cousins.
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Cousins…are the best!dsc_0044

Grandma is making a butterfly quilt for each of her granddaughters! So we were all busy sewing on the hankies. You get some really pretty hankies and fold them to look like butterflies, then hand embroidery around it and embroidery a head and antennas! Sorry I don’t have a picture of a finished one.DSC_0074

Abbie and Aunt Jolena
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And last but not least… John-Clay is in Haiti for a film project! We all wish we could be there too, but as you can tell he’s having a really good time! Keep him in your prayers!
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Until next time…

Ps. 91:1-4    "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

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The gift, or the Giver?

Sep
06

“The greatest adversaries of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts.”

“It should not be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of his most precious gifts.”

After reading these 2 lines from the book “A Hunger For GOD” by John Piper, an allegorical story began to come to me on how to illustrate this. Bear with me please, I am not a writer. =)

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“There was once a young girl who walked along a path, hand in hand with her Father. They were on the narrow road which leads to heaven.

As is the case with most dads, this Father loved his little girl very much, more than she could even imagine. He had proven his love to her several years ago on a day she would never forget. The day he bought her out of slavery with his own blood, adopted her, showed her the narrow road that leads to life, and promised to go with her, never leave or forsake her. (Heb. 11:5) The more she understood of the sacrifice he had made to purchase her, the more she loved him in return. Since that day, her Father continued to demonstrate his love to her by giving her gifts, just to remind her how very deeply he loved her.

On this particular morning, He picked a beautiful bouquet of flowers and gave them to his precious daughter. (the flowers in my story represent the people in our lives, grandparents, parents, siblings, friends…) Oh what a variety there were! One had a very strong perfume fragrance, another had thorns that poked her fingers and hurt sometimes, another had so much pollen that she sneezed every time she sniffed it, there were bright ones and pastel ones, some even had petals that glittered in the sunlight. But one of  her very favorites was a little red one, although it looked a little wind blown and faded, it must have been alongside the path a very long time, but oh how she loved it.

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As they continued on their way, often she would bring her bouquet up to her face and inhale the beautiful aroma, then she would remember who gave her those flowers, gaze up into his smiling face and say thank you.

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Too soon however, she let go of her Father’s hand, ran over to the roadside by herself and set the treasured flowers up on a rock so she could just sit and gaze at their beauty…as time went on she began to spend more and more time with them and soon forgot everything else and became obsessed with her flowers. She had just finished tending to them, making sure they had fresh water, and plenty of sunlight for fear she would lose one, when she heard her Father calling to her from the path to come and walk beside him. He knew and had told her that in His presence was fullness of joy. (Ps. 16:11) She could only be satisfied when in close intimate fellowship with Him…

She ignored his bidding however, and clutched her flowers tightly. You see, they had become her reason for waking up and now consumed all of her thoughts.

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Sadly, one day she awoke, and as she glanced over her treasured bouquet, she was very dismayed to find that her little windblown red one had begun to wilt. Suddenly, remembering her Father again, who not only gave her the flowers but had created them too, she picked up the little red one in one hand and grabbed the rest in her other hand and quickly ran back to the path where her Father was.

As she stood with him again, she suddenly realized how much she missed spending time with Him. She showed Him the now very wilted red flower and asked Him to touch it and make it fresh again. He responded by holding his hand out and asking her to give him the flower, assuring her that he would take care of it.

She had a choice to make. Oh how she loved that little wind-blown, red, faded flower. She wanted to cling to it tightly,spend time with it, and hold onto it forever. As she stood there with tears in her eyes, she thought back to the day  her Father had purchased her with His very own blood, adopted her as His child, and promised to walk this path with her. Reassured of His love for her, and knowing that He was asking only out of a heart of love for His daughter, she lifted up the wilted flower and placed it in His hand.

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He reached down and wiped the tears from her eyes, took her little hand in His strong one and began to lead her down the path again.

Although she missed her little red flower, and her bouquet just wasn’t quite the same without it, she was much very relieved of the burden of worrying about it and was able to rest assured that her Father could care for it much better than she could. 

A valuable lesson had been learned that day, even though she loved the gifts from her Father, they should never replace the love that she had for her Father, the Giver of the gifts.”

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The little red, windblown, aged, fading, and wilted flower in the story is my grandma. She is dying of cancer. We spend a lot of time helping take care of her and as a result, our relationship with her has deepened. As the days go by, she is getting weaker and more feeble. I don’t want to let her go, I want her to stay with me as I walk this path called life, I hate to see her in so much pain.

My heavenly Father is asking me to let go of her and cleave to Him. She is just a gift from the hand of a very loving Giver, who loves me more than I can comprehend. And He only asks me to surrender her back to Him, out of a heart of love for His daughter. Am I willing to give Him all of my “flowers”? Is He my greatest treasure?

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph. 3:19

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