Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer and Changes

It has been a fun, great, busy, rainy summer full of smiles, giggles, dirty floors from wet feet, card playing, basketball in the rain, 3 vbs's, church camp, swimming, sewing projects, small garden, puppies, cousins, and friends.   We just got back from the beach last week and it was an odd beach trip this year.  Most years have all 8 children, 2 grandchildren, son-in-law, my sister, her husband and 3 children.  This year it was only myself, my sister, and 5 children, my son-in-law and 2 grandchildren.   It was great and sad at the same time.  My heart is trying to adjust to these changing times where my kiddos are growing up, getting jobs, moving out, and moving on.   
Little Old Papaws at the beach

The first day of looking out at the water brought back a rush of emotions.   Last year I was between chemos, post radiation, between surgeries, had an iliostomy, and struggling to make it a fun trip for my family when all I really wanted to do was throw up and sleep.   I pasted on a happy face and prayed for a good attitude, and tried to make it the best trip ever in case it was my last.   The Lord's grace and strength still amazes me when I glance back and realize how much He carried me through a really rough time.  Gazing upon the waves this year my heart swelled with thankfulness to the Lord for another year, the opportunity to stay at my friend's (more like family...over 40 years of friendship) beach house again, not to have to worry about the walk back and forth to the beach with an ostomy bag, ability to get into the water this go around, stay in the sun the entire time, and truly enjoy the time with my family even while missing the ones who couldn't make it.
Goofy beach picture day

Nicholas and Timothy are gone this week on a mission trip to Jamaica.  Will post updates and pictures soon.  That leaves only half our children at home which still leaves four, yet it seems so quiet.  This is our 4, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 27 year which means I will be graduating children every other year for a while and my house will seem emptier and emptier.   How I wish every young mom could grasp how quickly it goes.   You are told many times that when they are all littles by the older generation, but sometimes all you see are the endless diapers, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, bad attitudes, tears, snotty noses, and the to do list that never gets totally checked off.   As my friend Donie would say in those busy times, the years are short, but the days are long.   The years have definitely flown by, and I am so grateful the Lord changed my heart as a young mom with our plan of only 3 children to allow Him to fill our home.  13 pregnancies (5 miscarriages), 8 children and 2 grandchildren later, we are truly blessed!  That was a decision that was challenged many times over the years when we were concerned about finances, my health, the size of our home, our sanity (ha, ha), educating our children well, and more.  But the Lord was and is faithful.   I wouldn't change a thing.  The seemlingly impossible times made us lean on Him and trust Him when I would've tried to figure it all out (and many times attempted) on an excel file I am sure.   Thank you Lord for entrusting me, your very imperfect child, with many blessings and the gift of life to make more memories with our family and friends.       

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