Friday, January 30, 2015

Grace Period

1:47 a.m.  It's just the Lord and me awake in this house, and I'm reflecting on everything that has transpired in our lives over the past several days.  I'm trying to take in what I'm witnessing and struggling to know how to put it into words.  I've never seen anything like this, and I want you to see it, too.

We are living in a grace period.  Days where God is pouring out His grace and peace on us in our darkest times, yes, but more than that.  Days where we are witnessing my dad being rewarded for a life of living out grace to so many who have had the privilege of crossing his path on this earth.  It's an amazing gift that God is giving him:  to have time at the end of your life to see what your influence has meant to people. 

As the news of my dad's failing health has spread these past several days, we have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love toward him, as person after person has shared their individual story of how his life has impacted theirs. People from all periods of his life, and from all over the world, many whose lives have been changed for eternity because he introduced them to Christ.  This is what happens when a person truly lives like Jesus, and chooses every day to be guided by His Spirit.  

He has lived a life of humility, never putting himself in the spotlight, always unassuming.  That's why he's moved to tears as he reads your messages and hears you speak of your love for him.  And as we watch these things unfold, we know what we witness.  It's a preview of his heavenly reward and a testimony of God's promise in Luke 6:38.  My friend gave me this verse, and I realized: this is exactly what's happening.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

He has been giving all of his life, and now you're giving back to him.

I can't believe how good God is to do this for us.  How, in the midst of our most difficult days, we are experiencing His grace... in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

If you're not sure what it means to truly know Christ as your Saviour, please contact me.  This is what my dad's life is all about.  I'm sharing all these moments with you because you should know that life can be full, and peaceful, and rewarding if you know Christ.  

Thank you so much for your kind comments, support, and prayers for us.  Every single one means so much to me and my family.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hard Things

It's another Pray for Me Monday!  It's that time of the week when we get the chance to really connect.  It's been on these Mondays that some of you have entrusted some of the most fragile thoughts of your heart to me.  And on this blog, there are times when I open the door, of not only my house, but of my life, and I entrust some of my most fragile moments to you.

In this house, you can chart the seasons by the chalk art on my walls.  And at times, you can just as clearly see what's happening in my heart because I chalk that out, too, for everyone to see. 

This week, it's Psalms 46:1.  I know I already shared this verse last week on the Facebook page, but it's on my mind night and day.  I need this.

The only gift my mom asked the grandkids for at Christmas was for them to memorize and recite some of her favorite verses.  This one was the first on the list.  The irony was that, while they thought they were giving her a gift through memorizing it, they were the true recipients.  

The words are now hidden in our hearts, so when trouble does come, we are reminded.  It is God who is with us.  He is our strength when we have none.  He gives us the ability to do hard things.

These past several days, we've relied on this.  We have recently learned that my dad's 12-year struggle with cancer will soon end.  Now, as always, we are fully aware that it is God who holds our lives in His hands.

We will never be able to count the ways that God has been gracious to us.  He has extended my dad's life 12 years longer than we expected when we first heard the word "cancer".  My dad has seen 5 granddaughters born in those extra years, and influenced countless others with His Christ-honoring life during that time.

And even now, God has been so gracious to us to give us these special days, where we can live in awareness that life is short, precious.  Days for my dad to counsel us on how to let him go. And laugh with us as we remember how wonderful our lives are together.  And cry with us because it's so very hard.

So, even though I started Pray for Me Monday so I could pray for you all, I'm asking again if you'll pray for us.  Pray for my dad.  He is living his life to the fullest right now, as he always has--a smile always on his face.  Pray for my mom-it's hard to let go of someone you've loved since you were 18.  Pray for my sister and brother who are the only other 2 people who know what it's like to be blessed with having him for our dad.  Pray for my kids and nieces--they adore him.  Pray for his very dear church, who had to learn yesterday that their Pastor may be leaving for Heaven soon.

And please pray for me. I love this man.  If he lived to be 99, it would be too soon to let him go.

Thank you for being here when I have to write the hard things.  I have shared my dad's story all along because I want you to have the benefit of being influenced by him, too.  You all have been a wonderful support to me.  I thank you for that, and I know I will continue to need you in the days ahead.  

The Psalms 46:1 download is here if you'd like this reminder for yourself.  And as always, if you have a prayer request today, please let me know.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pretty Preppy Party Features: January

It was another fun Pretty Preppy Party this month with bloggers from all over sharing their DIY goodness for us all to see.  All the party hostesses have chosen a few favorites to feature, and here are a few that caught my eye...

Shirley from Housepitality Designs shared her taste of Spring in the sunroom, including a gorgeous iron gate and boxwood wreath!  See more details and read all about it here.

And Darrielle is always making over something fabulous at DD's Cottage, but this piece is extra unique!  See the story of this little horse here

And since I'm one of Valentine's Day's biggest fans, these hugs and kisses caught my eye.  Iris, over at Around the Watts House gives the step-by-step right here, so be sure to check it out!

Don't forget to visit these hostesses to see who they have featured this month!  And join us again next month on the third Thursday!