Remembering

One Year

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We do not grieve like those who have no hope. Our hope is in Christ. Our hope is secure. We will see you again!

We love you Greg!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord Will Provide!

What a tremendous blessing we received this morning! We are getting ready to do some exterior renovations on our home and needed to have some shrubs and trees removed. I mentioned it to a friend of mine and that’s all it took….this morning he had a whole crew of folks from his small group here to take care of it! It just so happens that a guy in his group owns a tree service business…..the Lord provides yet again!

This whole renovation project has been such a daunting task for me. It’s something that Greg and I had been talking about needing to have done for the past several years. We had just about gotten to the point of getting it started when Greg was diagnosed with melanoma, so everything was put on hold. There were some issues with the siding and I was really afraid to let it go any longer, so I fearfully started the process of getting estimates. I am so thankful that Greg and I had already been talking about it and many of the decisions about we wanted had already been made.

The process has been difficult and very stressful for me, but the Lord has been faithful to provide guidance and help with every step. He has led me to a contractor that I feel very good about using, someone who I feel I can trust and who will look out for my best interests. He has provided a dear friend that works in this same industry to lead me and guide me in the decision-making process. My friend will be around as the job is being done to be a second set of eyes to make sure things are done properly. The Lord has also provided another dear friend that is helping me with landscaping….another thing I know nothing about. :)

The Lord continues to show me over and over that He is with me, that He loves me, that He will provide for me and that I can trust Him! What a wonderful thing to be a part of the Body of Christ!!

Here are a few pictures from this morning’s blessing.

Before

Before

Before

Before

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The Crew!

The Crew!

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After!

After!

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Now…..on to phase 2!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

You Never Know

“My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.” Jer. 8:18

That is the first verse that I read this morning in my devotion time, and I must say that it pretty much sums up how I feel today. It’s been an emotional week. It’s a struggle to keep my joy. Can’t sleep at night. Can’t turn off the “recording” in my mind that plays over and over and over. Replaying the last few days that Greg was here. It’s coming up on a year now….October 20. How can that be?? How can it seem like yesterday, but also like an eternity? It seems like yesterday because the feelings, the emotions, the memories are still so fresh, so painful, so raw, so real. But at the same time, every day without Greg feels like an eternity. Looking back on my blog posts from this time last year, we had no idea what was coming. We had no idea that when we left our house for Houston on October 15, 2013, that the kids and I would be coming home six days later without Greg. When we were getting ready to leave for the airport that night, we were planning to be back home in 2-3 days. Whenever we traveled to MD Anderson, Greg always took his computer so that he could continue to work. That night, he decided to leave his computer home saying, “We’re only going to be gone a couple of days, I think I’ll just leave my computer this time.” We had NO idea. We knew he was sick, but we had NO idea. He was supposed to be going out just to receive a treatment and then right back home. We had NO idea. We didn’t know.

But God knew. He was not taken by surprise. And He was with us every step of the way…He was with us. In the midst of heartache, and confusion, and desperation, and aloneness…..He was with us. He provided for us in so many ways those last few days in Houston. (I’ll try to share some of those in later posts) He made it abundantly clear that He was with us and that even though our lives were about to be completely changed…He NEVER changes. Yet, it is still hard. And there are still tears. And there is still sorrow. And there is still grief and mourning. But it’s okay, because He understands and He is with us. It’s okay, because He tells us that this is the way of life. There is a time for sadness and grief and sorrow and mourning.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecc. 3:1-8

I look back to a year ago and could never have imagined that I would be in this place today. A widow with three kids trying to make sense of it all. Trying to figure out how to keep going, even if I don’t feel like it. Trying to figure out what God’s purpose is in leaving me here without a husband and my children without a father. But, that’s just it, isn’t it? We can’t know what is coming next year, or next week, or even later today. That’s why we need to really know the One who does know these things. Our world, our situation, our circumstances are always changing. That’s why we have to hold fast to the One who NEVER changes. The One who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the One that can help us through the things that we never saw coming. He is our Hope!

And although, I start my time in the Word with this verse: “My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.” I end my time in the Word with this verse: “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

I pray that you know the One who never changes, because you never know when YOUR world is going to change.

These pictures were taken in New Mexico in October 2012. One year before Greg’s death. We didn’t know.

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Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

God Is Just Too Cool!!

October is such a beautiful month. The crisp air, the cool breezes, the chilly mornings, the changing colors. October was always Greg’s favorite month of the year. He would always take some of his vacation time during this month so that he could spend time enjoying the outdoors. Whether he was biking, hiking, doing yard work, or just sitting on the front porch, he loved October!

But for me, October has become a very hard month. In October 2011, Greg was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. In October 2012, we learned that the melanoma had returned. And in October 2013, the Lord took Greg home. So, here we are in October 2014. I have struggled some this month. Struggled with sadness, struggled with loneliness, struggled with feelings of hopelessness and insecurity, struggled with memories….both sad memories and sweet memories.

Tomorrow, three years ago, was the day that literally changed our lives. It was on October 10, 2011 that we heard the words “malignant melanoma” and our lives were turned upside down. So yes, I’ve been a bit down lately. And once again, God shows up! He shows up to let me know that He loves me, that He sees me, that He knows my pain, that He is FOR me, and that He has not forgotten me!

This morning as I was having my quiet time, I picked up one of my daily devotion books. My marker had come out of the book, so I wasn’t really sure where I was, so I just “randomly” chose a spot to pick back up at. One of the verses that I read just really spoke to what I was feeling and I felt so encouraged by it. As a matter of fact, it encouraged me so much that I sent it to two of my friends that are also grieving the loss of their husbands. I told them that I was praying that verse for them today. It’s a verse that I’ve read many, many times before. But the Lord knew that I needed it today! It’s Romans 15:13 which says: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Fast forward to this afternoon…
I get the mail out of the mailbox and have a card from a sweet friend (a different friend than the two mentioned above). The card itself was such an encouragement, but God had even more for me! In the card, she wrote such an encouraging note. She said that she wished she knew the right words to say that would bring comfort to my heart. And then, guess what scripture verse she referenced at the bottom of the card??? Yep……Romans 15:13!! Talk about comfort for my heart!! I love that I was praying that verse for others and she was praying the exact same verse for me!! She may not have known the right words, yet the Lord did and He used her to say them to me! I told you that God is just too cool!!

In the famous words of my friend, “But wait….there’s more!” I sent a message to my friend telling her how much the card meant to me and how the Lord had used her. I told her that I was thankful that she had heard the Spirit tell her to send me a card and to mention that verse. I told her that because of her obedience, I was blessed!! What she then told me just made me shake my head at God’s goodness, His attention to detail and His timing. She told me that she had put this card in the mailbox on Saturday, but it didn’t get picked up. So she took it to the post office on Monday. I didn’t get the card until today….Thursday! How’s that for God’s perfect timing. He knew that I needed that card not on Monday or Tuesday or even Wednesday. He knew that I would read that verse on Thursday and He wanted me to hear it again in that card on that same day! Like I said, God loves me, He sees me, He knows my pain, He is FOR me and He has not forgotten me!!

Yep….that’s the God I serve and He is just TOO cool!!!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Thankful Thursday

These last three years have been very difficult for me. One of the main things that has kept me going is my three wonderful kids! These years have been so hard on them, but despite all that they have gone through, they keep going! I am so proud and so thankful for them!!

Katie is in her junior year of college. She is taking a full course load and is working two jobs. She also just recently signed up to serve in the preschool ministry of her local church. Emilie is a sophomore in college and is also taking a full load. She works about 20 hours/week at Chick-fil-A and usually averages about 2-3 babysitting jobs every week. She also serves in the preschool ministry at our church. And, even with everything that was going on last year, I just found out that both Katie and Emilie made the Deans List!! So proud of their hard work and God’s grace in this accomplishment!

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Jacob is a sophomore in high school and we continue to homeschool. He continues to make all A’s and B’s. He has also really stepped up to the plate in helping me with things that need to be done around the house, taking on a lot of the things that Greg used to do. He also just got his learner’s permit!!

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What a blessing my kids are to me! Although it saddens me that they have had to go through so much, I am thankful I have them to journey with me. I love you Katie, Emilie and Jacob!!

At the rehearsal dinner

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

28 Years

We did it!

We did it!


Today would have been mine and Greg’s 28th anniversary. I’ve actually been dreading this day for several weeks now. But after much prayer (aka whining and complaining), the Lord began to show me that I needed to celebrate this day…..not sit around and feel sorry for myself. An anniversary is a day to remember a significant event. September 27, 1986 was one of the very best days of my life. I look back on that day with much joy and happiness! It is a day that I always want to remember. So, today I choose to celebrate (with some difficulty and a few tears :( ) the gift of marriage and the fact that He chose to bless me with that gift for 27 years!

My day was filled with sweet surprises…from thoughtful texts and messages from friends and family, to flowers and gifts, to a delicious dinner out with my three great kids. If I can’t celebrate my anniversary with my husband, then celebrating with the three biggest blessings that came from my marriage is the next best thing!!
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I am so thankful for the Lord’s sweet reminders to me that He loves me and remembers me. That He is always with me and will never leave me. That He is for me and not against me. So tonight, although I go to bed with a lonely heart, I also go to bed with a full heart! A heart full of love for my husband. A heart full of love for my children. A heart full of love for my family and friends. A heart full of love for my Savior!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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