A Teenager in the House

Camden Waiting to hitCamden. I am so glad you waited to celebrate your birthday with us. I hate that we live so far away and miss all the special moments in your life.

You are now 13. Officially a teenager? Do you feel any different? Was it a big day for you? Has it been one of those, “I can’t wait” times? Did it come and go and you wonder what all the fuss was? Were you left disappointed and hoping for more? I know you enjoyed this right of passage by playing golf with your Dad and Grandpa for the first time. Even if it did mean you lost the “ice cream hole.” I have a hunch that while you weren’t thrilled with losing that hole, you were very proud to treat Dad and Grandpa to ice cream. 🙂

Your life will be full of the “I can’t wait” moments. You’ll be wishing for all the fun things that getting older offers but you won’t like some of the growing up responsibilities that come along with it.

Jesus was 12 when his parents had to go looking for him in the temple after they had assumed he was with them. Jesus knew his calling even before he was a teenager but the Bible says he was obedient to his earthly parents and he grew in wisdom.

Luke 2:51-52

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Life will continue to open up more opportunities for you. Not everything you will have before you to choose to do will be good for you. You are responsible to seek God for His wisdom and direction. Sometimes that will come in the form of a parent saying yes and sometimes no. There will be times you will know in your heart what is right and good, when to say no to or to walk away.

I’ll be praying that you’ll have the courage and strength to do what is right and to be obedient to not only those in authority over you but to God.

I love you Camden. Praying for a good year for you and that you find favor with God and man (mom and dad). Remember even Jesus was obedient. Grandma

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Happy Birthday Kynzi

This smile says it all of who you are. Full of life and joy. Strong, confident and ready to take on the world. And ready you will need to be.

KynziGenesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

This next year will be filled with unknowns as you will move from the known to the unknown, much like Abraham. And like Abraham you don’t know where that will be. Or where you will live.  With maybe a hint of what you’ll be doing. That is a lot to undertake for a young woman. I admire your courage to step out in faith trusting God to go before you in this next step in your journey with Him.

I’m sure this will be a year of finding yourself. Discovering your strengths and determining the path you want to take for your future. Enjoying new places, people and situations. At the same time I would guess you are hoping there is an open door for a permanent position. And most importantly discovering God in a new way. Leaning on Him in ways you haven’t had to in the past.

Happy Birthday Kynzi. I’ll be praying for you this next year as you embark on new adventures with God.  Jackie

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Happy Birthday Noah

Noah HappyWe celebrated your birthday yesterday. While I forgot my camera to get a picture, I love this picture of you. It is the best of who you are. Fun and filled with joy and mischief.

You will soon be 9 going on 30, or maybe 40. Not only are you growing up fast, you are smart as a whip. “Just like my dad” you would say. I love talking with you and listening as you give me your words of wisdom, fun facts and wild stories.

Proverbs 4:5
Get wisdom, get understanding; 
do not forget my words or turn away from them.

It seems a fitting verse for you for this year and I’ve already seen evidences of God working in you. You know a lot of facts. And that’s a good thing. But what is better is God’s wisdom.

God’s wisdom can…

defy logic
make you think
grows you

God’s wisdom is not always what we want or want to hear but it is..

always good
always best
always worth heeding

You are growing in God’s wisdom. You greeted us at the door yesterday as any good host would. And then ran off to be with friends as any 9 year old boy would. But then a couple of times you stopped playing and came to just say a few words and run off. Wisdom in knowing others are there to celebrate with you, even if they are not on the play gym.

I’ve watched and listened to you as you would take care of Grace with your wise words. Or warning her of consequences if she continued down the path she was going.

Did you know your Dad would do the same thing with his sister, your Aunt Kristen, when she was doing something she shouldn’t? And just so you know she didn’t listen to your Dad any more than Grace listens to you. And between you and me, it has nothing to do with you, nor did it have anything to do with your Dad. I suspect that your Aunt Kristen and your sister Grace both knew the wisdom of your words. But as with most of us, they need to discover it for themselves.

I’ve heard stories of your wisdom as you befriend those on the sidelines or help someone even if it isn’t “cool.”

So Noah, keep learning, growing, and discovering God’s wisdom as He is working in your life.

Love you Noah and Happy Birthday, Grandma

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Grandparents and Grandchildren

Grandma, Grandpa Me

People say my granddaughter, Grace, looks like me. I would hear that as a child as well, that I looked like my grandmother. I know I am a lot like her. I had a special bond with my grandmother.  One that couldn’t be expressed in words. One that I need to put into words.

I loved to go visit and stay with her. She never did anything that could be considered “special.” No walks or visits to fun places (she didn’t drive). She didn’t garden or craft or teach me anything that I didn’t learn somewhere else. Nothing about her  life was “grand.” She didn’t pass anything down to me but time. I would sit at the kitchen table and she would cook and from time to time sit with me.  Sometimes she would talk. Sometimes she didn’t. Maybe it was the “sameness” that we shared.  There was a silent understanding between us. Both of us were very “private” (I heard that often growing up as well).

As she got older and was alone, I would pick her up and take her to the doctor, other appointments or grocery shopping. Afterwards she would take me out to lunch at a diner nearby. Nothing fancy. But a treat just the same as I liked having the extra time with her as well as a meal out (rare in those times). I remember she would tell me stories. I wish I had written them down as they have faded from my memory.

I don’t remember much about my grandfather. He was there, but I don’t have any images of him being around as I relive the times with my grandmother at that kitchen table. He must have held a special place in my heart though. He passed away before I was married and I was heart-broken that he wouldn’t be there.

I still miss my grandmother. More than any other family member who has passed. I wish I could talk to her and tell her what I’m doing and where my life is now. She lived a simple life, so I’m sure mine would be beyond what she could understand. She would listen and say little I’m sure, but I’d still want to tell it. And to listen to her story, really listen. Though another part of me thinks we would just sit in each other’s silence and understand. No words spoken.

Now as a grandparent, there is no greater thing than spending time with my grandchildren. That they love coming to visit is a priceless treasure I hold dear in my heart.

Proverbs 17:6

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

There is a difference however, between the generation of my grandmother to my grandchildren. I prayed for my grandmother. Prayer, God, and my Risen Savior were not a part of her life.

And now I pray for my grandchildren:

Kynzi
Bryce
Camden
Colson
Caiden
Noah
Grace
Christian

That my God will be their God. That they will walk with Him all the days of their lives.

That I can pray for them, see God work in their lives (even the very youngs ones) is an even greater treasure I hold dear to my heart.

Genesis 17:7
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Blesses many times over. On the Journey, Jackie

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As a Martha …

I can’t sit still
I’m always on the go
Or planning the “next thing

Anyone who knows me, knows this. Which makes my word for the year, “rest” even more difficult. So God in his wisdom is using this…

2017-02-27 12.51.21.jpg

for a second time around to help me learn what rest means or at least slow me down. What started as a 4-6 week inconvenience has turned into a 3+ month ordeal. Sadly I don’t think I am learning my lesson well as I should be.

Because…. like Martha…

Luke 10:41 
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

I keep thinking of all the things …

I “should” be doing
Want to be doing
Or that I’m behind on.

So I’m wrestling with God, with myself and the concept of rest.

to sit with God as Mary…

Luke 10:41 
but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

So does how does God take a Martha, like me, and have her become more like Mary.

The thing is, I like Martha. I like me. I don’t want to be a Mary. I’m not even sure I want to rest.

I do want to be the best me, which is the best of what Mary and Martha have to offer. So that the …

Places where I want to go
The people I want to see
And the things I want to do

are of His design and His timing. There is where my rest will be found.

Learning what it means to “rest.” On the Journey, Jackie

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Happy Birthday Bryce

You were 10 when you became part of our family. Your quiet, fun nature was a joy to be around. I’m not sure if you remember this Christmas, being bombarded by cousins and younger siblings. I think you were 13 in the picture below. The age to be “cool”. To find a spot to tune out everyone and play video games on your phone. Instead you made a point of playing and wrestling with them.

Bryce with cousins

Now years later, you’ve traded in holidays surrounded by family for the demands of college and sports. Still having fun, doing something you love, but I’m sure with a little bit of sadness.

Life is full of challenges and changes. Knowing you will face so many unknowns and demands on you as a young man, the verse that came to mind for you this year is …

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Bryce 2

You know what it is to run like the win as you go for the ball. You’ve had the high moments of a great play. A win. But I’m sure you’ve experienced your share of disappointments, in your sport, and in life. I imagine there are times when you are tired, or frustrated and discouraged as well.

When those days, moments, and times hit, remember the excitement and strength you have as you move down the field to make a play. Remember your days with family and the fun and warmth you found wrapped in your family’s love. They will help carry you through. Your gifts, talents, interests and abilities are God-given. He will give you the strength as you play, study, make difficult decisions and move forward in life.

So as you celebrate your birthday, take joy in knowing you are God’s and He has His hand on your life and He’ll give you the strength, courage and guidance in this coming year.

Have a great birthday this week Bryce and remember we love you. Greg and Jackie

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He Has Risen…

…and I am forever changed.

Bird in sunrise

What about you?

Matthew 28:6

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

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