Saturday, January 12, 2013

Some Days...

 Dear Readers,
  First off, I want to thank all of you for the encouragement, prayers, and love that you have blessed me with since Monday. I have been so blessed by each and every word you have said! Thank you. 

    I know this world is not perfect...I know that some days are hard, awful, terrible. In fact, my family teases me, saying I "dwell on the sorrows of the world".  I personally look at it the same way Roger Arnett did. "It is our responsibility to help bear the great burden of grief that rests upon the world." Because there is always someone hurting. Every single day. There are always orphans waiting, and there are always people dying. Every day of our lives. It would be ignorant for me to pretend that's not true. And some days that makes me just cry. 

    However. I don't believe God placed us on this earth to whine and moan and groan about all of its sadness! Although every day brings about trouble and sadness, each sunrise also begins a new day of beauty and majesty and hope in the One who created this world we live in. 

Yesterday could have been a day where we all focused on the sadness of the world. We spent the morning at the hospital...watching very sick, very sweet kiddos walk past me as I came out from my  appointment. It would have been easy for me to come home and felt sad for each of those precious little kids who I'm sure would rather be playing than at that hospital. It would have been easy to forget the marvelous gifts God has blessed the world with, and just focused on the pain that is also here. 

But that was not His plan for that day. 

Not too long after we got home from the hospital we were enjoying a visit with our sweet friend who went to Argentina with us. While we were talking, there was a knock at the door. Mom went to answer it and we continued talking. After a few minutes I heard her say "Claire!"...I got up to see what it was and saw my sweet friend standing there (who I was thinking "Is in Ireland right now!")!! I was shocked  but was so elated  to see her sweet face in person that I just ran in there to meet her!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I kept thinking I was dreaming or something crazy! Had I fainted again? Haha!! But it really happened! I hadn't seen her for about, I don't know, eight months...and so it was just the biggest blessing to hear her voice and hug her!! I still am having trouble believing it really happened. It was one of those blessings from the Lord that is just too big to hold in your hands! Or wrap your mind around!  It was the best surprise ever, and I will always remember it and how wonderful it was! 

This blog post is not even doing justice to it. Seriously. It was such a wonderful gift. 
And you know what else? 

Benjamin was supposed to get his cast off at 3:00. My dear friend got there probably about that time. 
I can't even imagine how upset I would have been if we had missed her!! I could cry just thinking about it.

But, as Betsie ten Boom says, "There are no what-ifs in God's Kingdom". 
The Lord knew this wonderful surprise visit was going to happen even when I didn't. And He had it all under control! Benjamin got his cast off as soon as my appointment was finished. And we were all home at 3:00. God is so amazing. He blows my mind! This visit blessed my heart, while at the same time strengthening my faith. 

You know what else blows my mind? The goodness of this world. Because this is one of those days where the good outweighs the bad. By far.

I pray that even if your week didn't include a wonderful surprise visit, that you are still able to see the joy this weekend that God has for you!!

Your Blogger who is still smiling from the surprise, 


Monday, January 7, 2013

A little note from me to you!

                                                         I thank the Lord for blessing me with my family! They are

Dear Readers,
   Happy 2013!!
I honestly can't even believe it's here. I didn't really want 2013 to arrive...I kind of wanted to snuggle down in gingerbread, Christmas trees, and endless family time. But alas, Christmas passed and the new year began. We started school again today, and so although I still made some gingerbread cookies last weekend, I'm coming to accept the fact that Christmas is over whether I like it or not.
    Today we started back to school, as I know a lot of people did. It was a hard day, but not really because of the return of Geometry and Chemistry (although those were no fun!). I fainted at the gym this morning and so have just felt shaky and strange all day. I went to the doctor today and so we will see if they can figure out what's going on with me. I'm hopeful it was just a blood sugar problem and I'm really fine! Amazing how things can change in one minute. This morning I had my day perfectly planned I would come in from the gym and do my devotion and get a head start on school, then walk the dog,  diligently work at my schoolwork and perfectly end the day with my first lesson with my new violin. hmm... That is not how my day turned out at all!! I did come home and do my devotion, but couldn't walk the dog, and ended up not getting to go to the much-anticipated lesson because I was at the doctor's. 
     "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'" ~James 4:13-15
     This verse came to mind as soon as I was alert and leaving the gym. I kind of laughed at my silliness in thinking I could plan out my day like that. I would have never added in fainting at the gym! And although I sincerely hope I never do that again, I will try my best to never plan like that again. Because the truth is--only God knows what tomorrow holds. If we try to plan it ourselves, well, that is just plain goofiness! So I'm going to try to stop planning like that...and stop worrying...and entirely surrender tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next to the Lord. I challenge you to do the same thing! 
   Any way...back to Christmas. 
 We had a wonderful Christmas! Although we felt like it was a little rushed...and although the surgery mid-December put a little damper on the mom has a gift for making things that could be unhappy the happiest of things ever. So we sewed matching Christmas aprons, baked over 200 Christmas cookies that spelled out the word JOY (our motto for the year),  saw a beautiful performance of The Nutcracker, and spent time just being together & watching some of our favorite Christmas movies (along with Newsies...four or five times!)
Christmas eve!!
     It was definitely a Christmas to remember! We had so much fun together.  
Baking fun! One of my favorite memories!!

It was such a sweet blessing to celebrate Christmas
with Stephanie this year!! She is a gift!
Another fun memory: making a Christmas sign to adorn our door
and bows to match!

It was such a wonderful Christmas! I hope yours was wonderful, as well. 
   Thank you for listening to me on my soap box as I talked about this morning, and for hearing me reminisce about Christmas! I pray your 2013 is filled with blessings, and that no matter what it holds, you will be able to find JOY and trust in the Lord!
Your blogger,