Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Thoughts for John

Sometimes love is shown best in the little things.
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Whenever he is home on week days, John helps me in the morning. Except for on those rare occasions when I'm up before him, he makes my tea and brings it to me. He makes the tea that I take with me for the drive to work.  He  goes out and warms up my car for me.  If there's snow, he gets my car all ready so all I have to do is get in and go.  His thoughtful actions make the start to my day so much better. 

When I mess up in some way he never makes a big deal about it. If I stay up way late reading because I'm into a good book, he never complains.  If I'm too tired to cook at the end of a long day at work, he adjusts.

There are things about John that encourage my faith.  He has a gift for evangelism and it's a way of life for him.  He's constantly sharing his faith. He's constantly reading, listening, and watching theology, apologetics, and mystic teachers.

He's always willing to read my papers for school and provide editorial advice.  Even though I doubt that the subjects are of much interest to him.

I'm grateful for John.

Valentine's day is the day we celebrate love.  I'm sure grateful that God's given me John.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine Thoughts for Dylan

Dylan is my middle son.  He turned 21 this past November.

I'm grateful for all God has done, and is doing, in Dylan's life.

Dylan is a people person.  He's silly and funny and outgoing.  He's smart.  He's good at analyzing things and figuring out the best way to do something.

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He's my son that gave me the hardest time during  part of his teen years.  From around the middle of his junior year in high school through his first year of college it was tough.  I always loved him but his actions broke my heart.  He was a real knucklehead and got into smoking dope and a lot of other  bad pursuits.

Then when he was 19 his girlfriend got pregnant.  Dylan was already crazy in love with her so he asked her to marry him.  She said yes but they've not actually wed yet. God used their child (they named her Lillian Eden), to motivate Dylan to change the way he was living.

During the tough times in his teen years I wondered if any of the good things I'd tried so hard to make a part of our lives had any influence on him.  Today I can see that they did.

Dylan stepped up to the plate and moved in with his girlfriend.  He totally gave up smoking dope and partying.  He became both a financial and emotional support to his girlfriend during her pregnancy.  Today he works just under 40 hours a week and goes to school full time.  Every day, Monday-Friday, he stays home with Lilly and takes care of her while his girlfriend is at work.  Then he goes to work four evenings a week. He's an incredible father!  I'm awed and amazed every time I see him with Lilly - he's just so good with her.  He's learned to be frugal with money and is very conscientious about their lifestyle.  He's a good leader in their home.  He's doing well in school and is committed to getting his degree in accounting and eventually becoming a CPA.  I never hear him complain about the fact that his life is pretty challenging right now.  I frequently hear him speak about how much fun he has with Lilly and how much he loves his girlfriend.  I respect him.

Valentine's day is about love.  My husband and sons are my heart.  With the approach of Valentine's day I'm filled with thoughts of love and gratitude for Dylan.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine Thoughts for Kelsie

Kelsie is my son Dylan's girlfriend, fiance, and mother of my one and only grandchild Lillian Eden.

Kelsie came into my life at Thanksgiving time in 2011.  Dylan brought her home to visit.  Kelsie is the type of person that you immediately like.  She's small, cute, quite, and pleasant.  She's a hard worker and her old boss was crazy about her because of her skills, diligence, and desire to grow and learn.  She works in the health care industry because she likes helping people.

I don't know Kelsie very well yet and I look forward to getting to know her better.

I'm so grateful for what a good mother Kelise is to Lilly.  When I think back to how I was when my sons were babies and watch Kelsie with Lilly, she's so much better at it than I was.  Maybe it's partly due to the fact that at one time in her life she worked in a pre-school. Maybe it's just because of who she is.  Whatever the reason - she's terrific with Lilly!  It's obvious how much she likes Lilly and is grateful to be her mother.  I've never seen her tiredness, feeling bad, or the stress of daily life make Kelsie impatient with Lilly. I've seen Kelsie vomit repeatedly during the night due to her own physical distress and yet still be loving with Lilly when she had to get up with her.  I've seen Kelsie be up during the night with Dylan and Lilly both being sick, deal with her own not feeling physically well, and still get up and go to work the next morning.  I admire the mother and employee that Kelsie is.

Valentine's day is about love.  My family are my heart.  With the approach of Valentine's day I'm filled with thoughts of love and gratitude for Kelsie.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Thoughts for Daniel

Daniel is my youngest son.  He'll be 20 years old on May 29th.

Words can not express how grateful I am for the godly young man that Daniel is.

In the current world that we live in so many young men are caught up with pursuing pleasure and self gain.  By the grace and power of God Daniel lives up to his namesake in the Bible who lived righteously in an fallen
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Daniel believes in sexual purity.  He is a diligent student and not only receives practically all As in college, but he actually delights in learning.  He's studying to become a chemical engineer and has an interest in missions. At the local university of California there is an international student program. Daniel has gotten involved through his church with becoming a conversation partner and meeting with an international student once a week to hang out and learn about one another's culture.  Daniel hopes to be a good friend and also to get to share his faith with his conversation partner.   Daniel leads a Bible study with his team mates. He faithfully attends his local church each week even though he goes alone.  He's the kind of a person who is aware of the areas where he is weak and willingly seeks help and counsel from people who he sees can help him.

I'm repeatedly grateful to God for all He's doing in Daniel's life.

Valentine's day is about love.  My husband and sons are my heart.  With the approach of Valentine's day I'm filled with thoughts of love and gratitude for Daniel.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentine Thoughts for Devon

Devon is my oldest son.  He's 25 years old.

I respect the man that Devon chooses to be.  He is a man of integrity who holds fast to his values.
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He loves our county and wants to serve.  He graduated with honors from USMA Westpoint in May 2010.  He branched infantry and is currently working as an executive officer at Fort Brag in North Carolina.  He spent 9 month in Afghanistan but hasn't really talked much about it. I respect that he sincerely believes in duty, honor, and country.

I admire the way he's handled some disappointments that he's encountered in both his career and personal life.  Some rather major things did not go as planned with regard to his career with the army.  Three years ago his wife of a few months decided not to be married after all. No matter how much he tried to encourage her not to, she filed for divorce. I admire that when these things happened he chose not to wallow in self pity.  He didn't deny his pain, he just chose to move forward.  He chose to believe that through it all God has a plan and he can trust God even when he doesn't understand.

I'm grateful that recently God has blessed Devon with a wonderful woman named Rachel.  Rachel is like a burst of sunshine.  She's got a smile that takes up her whole face and lights up any room she walks into.  She's intelligent, funny, musical, friendly, and gracious.  She loves God and wants to do what is right.  She's pretty in a way that has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with who she is on the inside. The best part is that she's obviously crazy about Devon.

I adore watching how Devon is with Rachel.  He respects her.   He always opens her door.  When we visited my other son and his girlfriend at Christmas time they assumed that Devon and Rachel would share a room.  Devon didn't say anything but I couldn't help but notice that he joined me out on the couches in the living room that night.  He listens to her.  Devon is one of the most intelligent, well informed, and opinionated people who I know.  Sometimes he can get a bit intense and perhaps not be as sensitive to others as would be best. Rachael softens Devon.  They're good together.

Valentine's day is about love.  My husband and sons are my heart.  With the approach of Valentine's day I'm filled with thoughts of love and gratitude for Devon.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Some benefits come with age

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Yesterday my boss and I drove a bit of a ways to interview a prospective client to come live in one of the homes I oversee.  The drive was about an hour each way and it gave us time to talk.

I think it was one of those divine appointments.  My boss was asking about my views on things to do with our faith.  He asked specifically about time spent in scripture reading and study, small Bible study groups, church attendance, the practice of tithing, and spiritual leadership. 

My boss is a really good guy.  He loves his wife and kids.  He works diligently at a job that helps others and provides for his family.  He is crazy about his sons and spends tons of time with them, coaches their sports teams, and takes them to a mid week church program.  He speaks highly of his wife and they routinely attend church together on Sundays.

Although he didn't exactly come out and say it, it was obvious that his wife has been giving him a hard time regarding those topics he was asking me about. He was especially interested in how my husband John views those topics.  Apparently my boss is not where his wife believes he should be in relationship to those issues.  She was in some way chastising him about not being the spiritual leader he "should" be to his family.  He basically sees himself as a good guy and was puzzled why his wife doesn't seem happy with him.

I encouraged him that when I was younger I may have thought that way too.  But as I've gotten older I've come to see more clearly that we're all running our own "race" in this relationship with God.  Repeatedly the Bible tells us not to compare ourselves to others.  We have to give our loved ones the space in love to grow and develop into the individual God wants them to be - not who we think they should be.  I did answer his questions but was somewhat evasive on my views on the topics because I told him that I believe we each have to read the scriptures for ourselves and come to the truths the Holy Spirit gives us. I explained that it's not that I see truth as relative, and that when it comes to certain topics such as tithing I do have my own views. However, my beloved John has different views and I am not so arrogant to assume I am the right one.  All I'm called to do is to run my race and be obedient to God as He leads me.

I felt like maybe I was helpful and encouraging to my boss.  I realized that it was only because I am a woman who's enough older than him to not be looked at as a "woman" that we could be having that discussion.  I'm grateful that through all the too-many-to-count-mess-ups I've made in my life, I've learned some things and can encourage others.

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