Great Read

1408935414471

Hello friends! I just finished reading this great book and wanted to share it with you all. If you have experienced a loss of any sort…death, divorce, etc…I highly recommend this book. It was excellent and so good at putting into words so many of the feelings that I have experienced.

Here is one of the many, many excerpts that I found so helpful:

1408936615775

I’ve been really busy lately with starting a new year of homeschooling, along with all of the day-to-day things that need to be done. I’ve missed blogging and hope to get back to it soon. The Lord continues to show me that He is who He says He is, and that He will be faithful to keep His promises. He is my Protector, He is my Defender, He is my Provider, He is my Redeemer! He IS all that I need! He is teaching me much and I am eager to learn more and more! I hope you all have had a wonderful summer and are preparing to enter this new season with great expectation of what God is going to do in your life!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Birthdays And Welcome Homes

***Warning*** LOTS of pictures!

This past week, Emilie and I spent a few days in Chattanooga celebrating her 19th birthday! (Her birthday was actually June 30) We started out by attending the Sunday morning service at Scenic City Church. This is a church plant that was started by our friends Daniel and Heidi Hicks. Emilie used to babysit their children, Isabelle, Carson and Kylie, when they lived in Newnan. I think her favorite part of the weekend was being able to spend time with them. :)

Emilie and Isa

Emilie and Isa

Emilie and Heidi

Emilie and Heidi

After church we got a bite for lunch then checked in at a cute little Bed and Breakfast on top of Lookout Mountain. Our room was called Marsie Doats and was decorated in a 40’s theme.

IMG_5697

IMG_5690

IMG_5691

IMG_5692

IMG_5693

IMG_5694

IMG_5695

IMG_5698

IMG_5700

IMG_5714

IMG_5715

Later that afternoon, we visited Ruby Falls! Unfortunately, pictures of the actual falls didn’t turn out too well. :(

IMG_5718

IMG_5723

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls

IMG_5737

IMG_5742

Beautiful view of the city!

Beautiful view of the city!

IMG_5746

IMG_5747

The next morning we enjoyed a lovely breakfast out on the porch.

IMG_5749

IMG_5750

Peach French toast!

Peach French toast!

Breakfast Crossaint  Sandwich

Breakfast Crossaint Sandwich

Rita...the resident dog.  She refused to look at the camera!

Rita…the resident dog. She refused to look at the camera!

After breakfast we went to the Tennessee Aquarium! Isa and Carson were the perfect tour guides!

IMG_5761

IMG_5763

IMG_5769

We loved watching the otters.

We loved watching the otters.

Emilie hates escalators, so Isa held her hand so Emilie wouldn't be scared.  :)

Emilie hates escalators, so Isa held her hand so Emilie wouldn’t be scared. :)

Emilie loves owls!

Emilie loves owls!

Touching a shark!

Touching a shark!

Loved holding the butterflies!

Loved holding the butterflies!

IMG_5776

IMG_5782

IMG_5789

IMG_5793

In the shark cage!

In the shark cage!

IMG_5803

IMG_5805

Then….on to lunch at Mellow Mushroom.

IMG_5806

IMG_5807

IMG_5808

After lunch, we headed to the children’s hospital to visit with Isa and Carson’s four-year old sister, Kylie. Kylie was just recently diagnosed with leukemia. Please keep this precious little girl in your prayers.

IMG_5809

Emilie and I ended the evening at the Starbucks sitting atop Lookout Mountain.

IMG_5810

The next morning, after another delicious breakfast we headed to Coolidge Park. It was a beautiful day!

A view of the park from the pedestrian bridge.

A view of the park from the pedestrian bridge.

IMG_5813

IMG_5814

IMG_5818

On the other side of the pedestrian bridge we ran right into an ice cream shop….so we decided we must have one! Great way to end a great trip!

IMG_5815

So, that’s the birthday part…now for the welcome home part! We picked Jake up from Camp Winshape yesterday. He had a GREAT time and is already talking about going again next year! So very thankful for this opportunity that he was blessed with! I am so glad to have him back home! Unfortunately, he didn’t bring back just dirty laundry. He also brought back a cold and sore throat. :(

IMG_5824

IMG_5825

And…another welcome home, as Katie should be coming in from her summer job at Winshape Camps late tonight! Unfortunately, it will be a quick in and out for her as she has to be at a retreat tomorrow evening for all of the CLM’s (RA’s) at her school.

So thankful for the joyful and happy times that the Lord provides for our family to enjoy!!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Life Goes On

Life is filled with ups and downs, happy times and sad times, joys and sorrows. There are many days I wish I could call it quits, gather up my kids, exit this world and go ahead and enter our eternal home. Where we would be reunited with Greg. Where we would no longer have to experience sadness, sickness, ugliness, disappointments, tears and sorrow. Where we would live in the very Presence of our Savior. But…that’s not an option. Life goes on. And although life can be difficult, the Lord continues to be good to us. He continues to bless us, to provide for us, to protect us, and to be faithful to us. And in the midst of our pain, He continues to give us glimpses of beauty, and joy, and happiness and laughter.

Today I choose to focus on the good. I thought I’d share some of the “beauty” that He has blessed us with over the last few weeks.

In June we celebrated the marriage of my nephew, Michael and his lovely Bride Molly. Jacob was honored to be asked to be a part of the wedding!

The bride and groom at the rehearsal

The bride and groom at the rehearsal

Jacob at the rehearsal

Jacob at the rehearsal

At the rehearsal dinner

At the rehearsal dinner

Sibling love!

Sibling love!

Fun with family!

Fun with family!

Beautiful sunset in Atlanta

Beautiful sunset in Atlanta

Wedding day!  Two handsome guys!

Wedding day! Two handsome guys!

Look Mom.....no Braves cap!

Look Mom…..no Braves cap!

IMG_5653

IMG_5654

IMG_5655

Entering the reception.  Michael had chosen Chipper Jones' walk-up song to be played as Jacob came in.  Of course, Jake loved it!

Entering the reception. Michael had chosen Chipper Jones’ walk-up song to be played as Jacob came in. Of course, Jake loved it!

Mr. and Mrs!

Mr. and Mrs!

The girls and I redeemed a gift certificate that we received from a sweet family at Christmas, and enjoyed a relaxing pedicure. Christmas in June!!

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

We celebrated part 1 of Emilie’s 19th birthday! Part 2 is yet to come!

IMG_5669

My nephew Ryan was able to come and stay with us for a week. He and Jake had a great time!

Pool time!

Pool time!

Belated birthday lunch at Steak and Shake compliments of Nana!

Belated birthday lunch at Steak and Shake compliments of Nana!

1404408705018

Jacob has been blessed this year to be able to attend Winshape Camps for Boys for the first time. We are so grateful and humbled by an anonymous donor who made this possible! He left this past Sunday and will be gone for another week. I can’t wait for him to get back and tell me all about it! I have received one postcard from him and he said that he was having a great time. What a wonderful opportunity for him!

Saying goodbye.

Saying goodbye.

Look how tall he is!!

Look how tall he is!!

Ready for the time of his life!!

Ready for the time of his life!!

Sometimes the ugliness overshadows the beauty….but it’s there. We just have to have eyes and hearts to see it. Today I thank God for the beauty that’s always there and I pray that He will continue to give me the eyes and heart to see it!

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy! Psalm 126:3

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

It’s Not Meaningless

My heart is heavy tonight. This heaviness has been building over the past year. So much pain. So much suffering. This past year has been filled with much sadness for me. It began in June of 2013 when Katie’s best friend’s Dad passed away from brain cancer. In August, Greg and I attended another funeral for a friend who also passed away from cancer. And then in October, the love of my life went home to be with the Lord. Still grieving and somewhat in shock, just a couple of days after Greg’s funeral, I attended the funeral of one of my cousins. In February, I received the news that a dear friend that I used to work with had passed away….yet another funeral. In June a friend that I met through facebook lost her husband to cancer. She is left to raise three young children alone. I have three sweet friends who have experienced the death of a parent over this past year. Just in the past week, we have found out that the four-year old daughter of some of our friends has been diagnosed with Leukemia. And today, another dear friend has gone home to be with the Lord….again cancer. Also, at this very moment two more sweet friends of mine are at home with their husbands who are under the care of hospice.

What is going on??? Why is the Lord allowing all of these things to happen? It’s all so sad. It’s all so painful. It’s all so heartbreaking. Why are parents being taken from their children? Why are parents having to bury their children? Why are sweet, innocent children having to go through harsh treatments while their parents stand by feeling helpless? Why are children having to grow up without their Mom or Dad? Why are marriages being ripped apart because of death?? I don’t get it! It doesn’t seem right; it doesn’t seem fair! It all seems meaningless!

Although this is what my heart feels, God’s Word tells me differently. God is Sovereign and His plan is perfect. As believers, everything that happens to us is for our good and His glory. I’m not pretending to understand this, but I believe it to be true. I struggle with this, but I trust my God. But just because I trust Him, doesn’t mean that the pain is any less. But I do believe that He is who He says He is, and that He has a good and perfect plan for each of us. And the things that happen in our life are not meaningless, but instead are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” And because of this, I will still praise Him!

Please take a few minutes to watch this. I have posted it before, but it is so good it’s worth posting again. I pray it encourages you and helps you to realize that the things we experience in this life are NOT meaningless.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Oh, What Freedom!

Greg and I on this day one year ago

Greg and I on this day one year ago


Today we celebrate the freedom of our great nation! A freedom that came at a great price…a freedom that came as a result of the sacrifice of many lives. A freedom that many still fight and sacrifice for today. A freedom that is anything, but “free”. My heart is filled with gratitude for those that have fought and sacrificed so that I may benefit from this freedom. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those that continue to this day…..fighting and sacrificing on my behalf. Not just the soldiers, but also their families…they are all in this together…and I am grateful.

And as wonderful as that freedom is, there is an even greater freedom to be thankful for. Christ came and died and rose again to give us freedom from sin, freedom from oppression, freedom from addictions, freedom from sickness and disease, freedom from worry, freedom from fear, freedom from whatever holds us captive, freedom from condemnation, freedom from evil and darkness, freedom from punishment, freedom from pain, freedom from death, freedom from heartache and disappointment, and most of all…..freedom from being eternally separated from God. And although, that freedom is a free gift to us, it was not free. Christ willingly gave His life so that we could enjoy that freedom. How I am humbled by His love for me, that He would do this. How I love and respect and admire Him for what He did on my behalf.

We won’t experience all of these freedoms this side of heaven….but as believers, we WILL experience all of them once we are Home! So today I rejoice that this is my future. Today I rejoice that this is Greg’s reality NOW!! That’s what I call FREEDOM!!

And even though I know this Truth, even though I know where Greg is and that he is living in that ultimate freedom, and even though I can rejoice in that…..it still hurts. The pain is still real. I still miss him like crazy. But…Praise God! I have a future that also includes the ULTIMATE FREEDOM!! I can’t wait!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy your day reflecting on the freedoms that you have been given and hug your loved ones tight. You never know what your life will be like one year from today.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

The Lamb Has Overcome!!

THIS is what keeps me going every day! Without this……what’s the point??

A Father To The Fatherless

IMG_6318

Jake, Katie, Dad and I

Today is a tough day. A day that is hard to put into words. Today my heart breaks for my children, as they experience the first Father’s Day without their Dad. Today my heart breaks for my children whose father was taken from them “too soon”. And even though we think it too soon, and we don’t understand….we believe that God is sovereign and we trust in His timing. That doesn’t mean that we like it or understand it, but we choose to trust it.

And so today, like every other day, I cling to God’s promise:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

I am so thankful that my children have this assurance that not only is our great God the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, but He is also the Dad of Dads! But even so, they miss their earthly Dad terribly (and so do I). Their hearts break for the void that they feel especially today, and my heart breaks for them.

IMG_4798

IMG_5468

IMG-20120509-00205

If the Lord should bring us to your mind today, would you please pray for my children and all the other children that have lost their Dads “too soon”?

Today is a tough day, but we choose to continue…….

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 624 other followers

%d bloggers like this: