Posts Tagged ‘church’
As our children grow into adulthood, it can be difficult to look at them in this new light. Sometimes, it takes much longer to realize that they are grown adults than perhaps it should take. It isn’t that they are immature, its just that we can’t get past the picture of that child that has lived in our minds all these years. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be your own children either. Nieces and nephews can seem like they just shouldn’t be grown adults…and yet they are. That’s the way I feel about my niece, Jenny. As a girl, Jenny was a teeny little princess type with a cute little smile. She rarely took anything seriously, but rather just liked to have fun. I know, pretty typical of a little girl. Yes, she was typical of little girls, but Jenny was going to become something different…a faith filled woman.
Now, Jenny is grown and has a family of her own. Somehow, it has finally hit me I think, what a very special woman she is. She has been through so many things in her lifetime, and yet the woman I see before me is strong and charming at the same time. She doesn’t let the sadness or problems she faces, define who she is, but rather turns to God to lead her everywhere she goes. As a teenager, like most teenagers, she just didn’t seem like she would have become this strong faith-filled woman, but now, here she is. It is an amazing transformation.
I think that you can tell what a person is really made of as you watch them walk through the trials in this life. Some people are broken by the trials, and some stand firm in their beliefs, and strong in their faith. Nevertheless, you wish there was a way to keep them from going through any trials at all, because you love them. You can’t protect them from everything they will face in this world, but you can equip them with the necessary tools to see them through the trials of life…namely God. Now, as I see Jenny posting on Facebook about how happy she is to be going to church to worship the Lord, it makes me feel very proud of how much she has grown in the Lord.
The person Jenny is today is a direct result of the prayers of her mother. My sister, Cheryl, like the rest of my sisters, my parents, and I, have prayed over our children. I can’t imagine trying to walk through this world without prayers being said over the journey, nor can anyone in the rest of my family. Jenny too, has learned that life must be handled with prayer, and that while sorrows may come, God still has a plan for you, and that miracles still happen today. Those prayers brought Steve into her life, so they could walk the road of faith hand in hand. Jenny knows that God really does still answer prayer today, and when He heals your broken heart, it is in the most wonderful way. And she knows that while sorrows come, God will restore what is missing in their lives, back to them again. Today is Jenny’s birthday. While life has not always been easy for her…Jenny has come through it all, her faith intact and her joy complete, because she has her miracle. I’m very proud of her. Happy birthday Jenny!! Have a blessed day!! We love you!!
Memories come from many different places. They can be triggered be sights, sounds, taste, touch, and even smells…which is exactly what happened to me this morning. Bob and I were having breakfast at Perkin’s, and when they brought my food and I poured syrup, the view of the food on the plate, and the smell of that syrup, sausage, and eggs, took me back about 45 years or so, to those hurried Sunday mornings when we were all scrambling to get ready for church. Five girls and two parents trying to get ready using one bathroom…well, you can imagine. My dad usually got up early and got out of the way…it was safest that way. Getting in the way of 6 women getting ready to go somewhere can be very hazardous, and since Dad had been around us all our lives, heknew very well when it was time to get out of the way of his girls.
We usually went to church after a quick bowl of cold cereal. It wasn’t much, but we knew that breakfast would be brunch that day, when we came home to have a relaxing and lazy Sunday afternoon. I remember the smells coming from the kitchen after church. bacon or sausage and eggs cooking, usually toast, but sometimes pancakes. I would get so hungry waiting for everything to be ready. The smell in the house was incredible. I remember watching my mom or dad cooking the eggs in the bacon grease, carefully flipping the grease over the yoke, so the yoke stayed runny. It was great for dipping your toast in, after it broke and ran all over your plate. There really was a reason you had toast with eggs and bacon.
Finally everything was ready, and we all sat down at the table. After we said our prayer, we were finally able to take that first bite. It tasted so good. I think sometimes it is a good thing to delay a full meal, because when you sit down to eat…finally, there is just nothing that tastes better. Then we would sit around the table, and talk about our lives. It was a time to catch up on things. As we all got older, we were so busy, and you can easily lose touch with what is going on with each other, if you do ever take time to catch up. As Bob and I sat there eating, I found myself missing those days very much. Since my Dad is in Heaven, and the rest of us have families, we are as busy as our parents were then. We seldom have time to catch up like we did in those days gone by. I really missed those days today.
Remember when life was simple. You were a kid with no responsibilities. You went to school and then you went outside and played with your friends. Sometimes, when life gets to be too much and my stress levels are through the roof, I really wish that I could go back there again, but then I suppose many people do. Life wasn’t always so complicated. Back in the old west, people didn’t have so many places to go. Families spent time together. Kids seldom went to play at someone else’s house, and spending the night was something saved for trips back East to visit family that you had not seen for many years.
The kids in a family had really two places the went…school and church. Other than those places, they were at home, helping out around the place or doing their homework. With no television or radio, there was no big news story to occupy their minds. They used their imaginations to pass the time. Kids might pretend to have families, or they might pretend they were on a train to visit famiy, or maybe even fighting Indians, although I seriously doubt that many girls played that game.
Today, the kids get bored if they don’t have a video game to play, or the MP3 player playing their favorite tunes, or television coming up with newer and more exciting ways to entertain them. Reading books is almost a thing of the past, and I don’t mean because of the Kindle, which I consider to be a form of reading a book, but because they would rather watch a show on television than read about it. Their imaginations don’t seem to be able to take them into the book like we used to be able to do. It’s all about what action is put in front of their eyes, not about turning words into pictures in your imagination.
Now, life is so hectic. Most people have several places to be right after work, and they can’t go home for an hour or more after they get off work. Dinner is often late, or picked up at a fast food joint along the way. There is just no time for a home cooked meal, unless maybe it is on the weekend or in a crock pot. No wonder TV Dinners became so popular…and the microwave, of course. I mean who has time to cook stuff in the oven either. No one!! Life was so simple then…what happened?
When I first met my nephew, Ryan’s future wife, I liked her, but it was early on in their dating and so often you brush those first encounters off. I guess you don’t get too attached, because in dating, there are those that come and go. Soon, however, it became apparent that Chelsea was the one for Ryan. I think I was surprised at just how fast it became apparent that Ryan was gone on Chelsea. There were a few struggles…such as when she wanted to move back home to Seattle, because we hated to have them go, even though we know that her family felt the same about her living here. Nevertheless, I always liked Chelsea, and that fondness has grown over the years that she has been a part of our family.
I think most of us really come into our own…once we leave our teenaged years behind, and that is certainly what I have seen in Chelsea. She has such a sweet spirit and a wonderful sense of humor. She is a business woman who has worked very hard to bring in a second income for the family while remaining a stay at home mom, which is a top priority with her. She first started out making jewelry, with a flare for the beautiful and sometimes unusual, at Sophisticate Jewelry. She also has a new venture, which is baked goods, at Momma H’s Tasty Eats. I have personally had her muffins, and I highly recommend them.
Chelsea has almost effortlessly worked her way into the hearts of this family, and we all love her very much. She is a good wife and mom, and those two things go a long way toward earning our love and respect, but what warms my heart today is that in the short time that Chelsea has been coming to our church, I have watched her grow spiritually into a strong woman of God. It is a beautiful thing to see. She is in church every week, and many Wednesday nights, literally absorbing the Word of God. Her family is there and little Ethan is always so excited to go to Sunday School, as I’m sure Aurora will be when she is old enough. Chelsea glows with the happiness that can only come from living in the grace of God. Today she did something that many Christians don’t often do. She brought her neighbors to church, and they were excited to come, because she was excited about her church. That is spiritual maturity and continued growth, and that is something to be proud of. Chelsea, I want you to know how much I love and respect you. You are a blessing to our family. I am so proud of you.
Jessi is the type of person who can always bring a smile to just about anyone’s face. Her sense of humor and quick wit make her so easy to like and so much fun to be around. She isn’t one bit shy, so she gets to know people easily. That has placed Jessi in several positions of leadership, and she has performed her duties with a knack for easy perfectionism. The people she has worked with have found themselves thankful to have worked with her, and even more, glad to have known her. I can’t say that I blame them there. Jessi is very capable and very responsible, and yet she maintains that sense of the carefree.
I love to hear Jessi laugh, because you can hear the joy that lives in her spirit. She doesn’t waste time being depressed, because she finds joy is the everyday little things, as well as the big things. Life doesn’t get better than that. I know that the joy Jessi has comes first from her deep belief in God. Jessi is our church’s youth group leader, and all the kids enjoy going to the weekly meetings. She has a way of making it fun to get together and yet to learn good Godly moral values. Our kids need Godly leadership in all the areas of their lives, because without it, our children will fall victim of all the false beliefs out there. Having Jessi teaching them how much fun it can be to live for the Lord, is a great way for parents to supplement their good teachings.
Jessi got married this past summer to a wonderful man named Jason. Their love for each other radiates from their faces every time they look at each other. I am so happy for Jessi and Jason. They both deserve that kind of love and happiness. The future is not set for them yet, but they want kids, and I know that when they have them, they are going to be great parents. I have watched them both around their nieces and nephew, and the love they feel is so obvious. I personally can’t wait for them to have kids, because I think that will be a wonderful day for both of them. Today is Jessi’s birthday. Happy birthday Jessi!! We all love you very much!! Have a wonderful day!!
My younger sisters, Caryl and Alena were in high school, when our church decided to have a church camp. All the cool stuff happened after I went through, of course. I had always thought church camp…or camp in general would be great fun, but there just wasn’t one when I was the right age. Anyway, the girls went to church camp for a week, and everyone had a great time. That was a week that the girls would remember for many years, filled with friendships, both new and continuing, and new boyfriends, but then what was camp for anyway, if not for finding a new boyfriend.
It’s funny how camp always seems to end up with those boyfriend/girlfriend situations. Most of them don’t last very long, because other than camp, what did you really have in common anyway. But sometimes, there were a few that lasted as long as any other boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. The friendships the girls made at camp, whether with boys or girls, did last for years to come, however.
You never know how far reaching those friendships can be until years later. And you also don’t know how strong family resemblances can be either. About 5 or 10 years ago, I was approached by a man at the mall, when Bob and I were in the food court having a lemonade, and he said, did your last name used to be Spencer. Amazed, I said “Yes, how did you know that?” He told me that he had gone to church camp with my sisters when they were all in high school, back in the late 70′s, and he knew that I had to be their sister, because we looked so much alike. Now, I have always known that we looked a lot alike, but seriously, the last time he had seen my sisters was about 25 years earlier. I marveled at how he had picked me out of all the people at the mall, and without my sisters there, and he just knew I was their sister.
We talked for a couple of minutes, with him reminiscing about the fun times they had a church camp, all those years ago. Then he asked me to tell my sisters hello for him and he went his way. I don’t remember his name anymore, but the girls were sure surprised that I had run into him and he knew I was their sister. They were even more surprised that he still thought about church camp after all those years. But then, some experiences just stay with you. Maybe it’s about wishing we could have our youth back, maybe about lost loves, and maybe it’s just about the fact that some experiences are just so much fun that we want to reminisce about them once in a while, just for the fun of it.
I was talking to my niece, Chelsea after church the other day, and she mentioned that on the previous Sunday, when her daughter, Aurora simply would not settle down, she took her back to the nursery to play. That went ok, and the next week, they asked Chelsea to bring her back again. When she did, Aurora was so excited that she practically jumped out of her mother’s arms to get into the room. Chelsea said she just about cried.
I was reminded of Amy, when she went to pre-school. She was so ready…just like Aurora. Being the second child, Aurora has watched her brother get to go and play with the neighbor kids, and other assorted cousins, while she is stuck in her mother’s arms, a highchair, stroller, or other such item of…confinement. Like most children with older siblings, this matter frustrates Aurora, and there seems to be no solution…just a life of total unfairness, in which she wonders if she will ever be big!!
So, when she finally found a place where she could go and play with the other kids, and nobody says she can’t, she was delighted. Maybe there was hope for a good life after all!! Aurora was taking no chances. Chelsea brought her back to the nursery, and she knew that Mommy was going to leave and let her stay…just like the big kids get to do. Aurora was the most excited little girl in the world.
So, as soon as she got there, she was off…hoping that her Mommy wouldn’t make her leave just yet. Chelsea, on the other hand, got to stand there feeling just a little bit lonely. Her baby was growing up so quickly. I’m quite sure she was feeling just like I did that day so long ago now…like her baby was going to be all grown up and off on her own, before she hardly had time to blink, and she didn’t like that feeling one little bit.
Children grow up so fast, and once they are grown, we look back on those past years, and wish we could go back somehow, or stop time all together. Unfortunately, time simply will not be stopped. It passes without concern for our feelings. Today is our Independent Aurora’s first birthday. Happy birthday precious baby girl!! We love you so much!! Don’t grow up too quickly, ok!!
Love is in the air, and it has landed on my niece, Jessi and her fiance, Jason. Today, they will say, “I do!” and begin their life together. It is the dream of most young girls…to meet their prince charming and live happily ever after. And it is the dream of most young men to find that one special girl that will make all his dreams come true…his princess. Today that dream comes true for Jessi and Jason.
When you see these two together, it is so obvious that they are in love. They are full of laughter and fun, but it’s in their eyes that you really see it…love. They are two people who are so full of life, and I love their sense of humor…both of them separately…and together. It’s funny, but their combined sense of humor seems almost better than each one separately, which seems impossible. I enjoy watching them together, because they can be so funny.
Yes, there are lots of laughs, but there is something in Jason that that I really liked…it’s how he lifts Jessi up…almost on a pedestal. We were having a cake auction at our church to raise money for the Sunday School. Jessi’s cake was up for auction, and the bids has been raised to a good price. But, that was not enough for Jason. Jessi’s cake had to bring more…it had to be spectacular…Jason insisted. So, out of the blue, at the top of his lungs, he yelled out, “What!!! That’s not enough!! I bid $100.00!!” Everyone in the place was shocked when he yelled out, but very please and impressed for Jessi when the bid was placed. It was just such a sweet thing to do, and in doing it, he placed Jessi up on that pedestal. He showed what he thought of her…how much he thought of her. I was so pleased with him and so proud for Jessi. To be lifted up that way is something every woman wants, and he nailed it. Well done Jason.
So today is the day!! The day when the two shall become one, and travel the rest of life’s journey together, and I am so excited for them. Marriage is such a wonderful place to be. And I can’t think of two people who are better suited for each other. I know that their life together is going to be wonderful…filled with much love and much laughter…and all of God’s greatest blessings. Congratulations Jessi and Jason!! I’m so happy for you!! I love you both!! Happy Wedding Day!!
Thanksgiving is a time to remember all your blessings, and where they came from. As I looked at this picture of our family at Thanksgiving, so long ago, is occurs to me just how blessed we are. This picture shows a pretty small group, but the reality is that our family has exploded with growth since that time. Most families do grow and change over the years. Children grow up, get married and have children…the blessings continue to grow. We have so much to be thankful for. Most of us live in the area, and have had the chance to stay very close. Our children know each other, and their children do too. We go to church as a family…taking up 3 rows of chairs these days.
Yes, there are some who have gone home to be with the Lord…Dad, Alyssa, Laila, Nancy, Marlyce, as well as grandparents and some aunts, uncles and cousins, and we miss them very much, but we are thankful that we will see them again, and that the Lord comforts us concerning those have gone home, and gives us the strength to move forward, in spite of the pain. And, I am thankful that my mom and my in-laws are all doing well, and I pray that continues for a long, long time. And I’m thankful that the rest of the family is also in good health. We are so blessed in that way, and I thank God for that.
So often, we dwell on our problems or disappointments, and forget to notice our blessings. Today, I want to focus on all the positive things in my life, and all the loved ones I have been blessed with. I want to focus on the freedoms we have, simply because we live in a country that values those freedoms. I am thankful for the men who have fought and died to win those freedoms. And mostly, I am thankful for my savior, Jesus, who came and died for me so I could have eternal life.
We all have so much to be thankful for. It is my hope today, that all is well with you and yours, and that you never take your blessings for granted. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.