Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Sarabeth

Sarabeth, what an honor it is to watch you as a mom. 


It brings me great joy to see how happy Aspen is because of how you nurture her. 


You embrace the challenges of motherhood with ease. 


Your boundless love and joy shows in everything you do. 


Happy Birthday Sarabeth! 


You are a wonderful daughter and mom. Love and miss you so much. Can't wait to see you.

Love,
Mom

I will never stop praying for you and praying blessings over you. May you become the mighty woman of God that He has called you and gifted you to be. May you delight His heart as you have brought delight to me. May you always know the peace of God in your heart and the power of God in your life. May you sow peace in the lives of others. May you always know the prosperity of God, your provider. Keep making a difference in this world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eye Opening

A few years back, my family rented a house so we could gather together for a family reunion. About the second night, I happened to catch a glimpse of my only son scrubbing a toilet. Incredulously, I stepped back. My son, Christopher, was cleaning a toilet. I beamed with pride.

I thought about how sweet it was that Christopher was doing this for his wife, Lauren. They were about to announce to extended family that they were expecting their first child. No doubt Lauren still had moments of running to the bathroom to expel the contents of her stomach that her body deemed inappropriate for her child. What a thoughtful son I had raised!

Fast forward a few months. I was staying in another rented home. Lauren's brother was getting married. As we prepared, her father made a comment to me I will never forget. He told me he was going to clean all of the bathrooms in the house so when we were getting ready for the wedding, the bathrooms would be clean. He said one of his biggest pet peeves was a dirty bathroom, especially the toilet.

Ding! A light went on for me. While I was busy taking credit for a thoughtful son who cleaned a toilet for his nauseous pregnant wife, I realized I was completely off base. My son wasn't cleaning because I had trained him in some particular way. My son was cleaning because his wife had that expectation! She grew up with a father who had cleaned the bathrooms. My son was cleaning because it was what his wife expected. Her father set this example for her while she was growing up.

I cried. Not because I felt I had failed. I cried because my son was honoring his wife. What more could I ask? He was fulfilling her expectations of a husband.  He understood her needs, and chose to meet them.

Honestly, we never spoke about this. For all I know, Lauren might have tried to clean it herself but became so nauseous she asked him to take over. Or I could be wrong about everything.

It doesn't matter. It was an "aha" moment for me. I can't take credit for his actions. My son chose to honor his wife. For that I am so very proud.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Abstract Saturday


What do you see?


This one has intrigued me for a long time. 


I see a female, profile.  She has long hair with a snowman atop her nose touching her eyelashes and peering straight in her eye.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Inconvenient

Pregnancy sometimes happens at inconvenient times.  Trust me, I get that. I totally understand. It happened to me I was 18.

During the last half of my junior year of high school, I had surgery and missed 4 weeks of school. I had to drop classes like chemistry because I couldn't make up the labs and choir because it was a participatory class. It was difficult making up the credits my senior year. Consequently I was 1 1/2 credits short. I didn't graduate. In order to complete my education, I attended summer school. I found out I was pregnant. This was not a convenient time to become pregnant. I didn't finish high school.

I married, had a baby girl, and never received any government aid. No food stamps, or help with medical bills. Nothing.

Two years later, I was divorced and working 7 days a week as a single mom. I met a man and moved 1000 miles away with him and my daughter.  We didn't get along. After a couple of months, I move 1,000 miles back to my parent's home. Not only am I a single mom, but now I have no job. Two weeks later I find out I'm pregnant. Not a convenient time to become pregnant.

I reconcile with my boyfriend. We marry. We have a son.

Life wasn't easy. It never is. I became pregnant 3 more times, actually 4-one I miscarried. None were planned. None were convenient. We never received government assistance. I was a stay-at-home mom. I raised and cared for my children while my husband worked hard to pay the bills. We've been married for over 33 years.

What became of those inconvenient pregnancies? That first baby girl? She has two degrees, works full time as a hospice nurse,is married and raising 3 beautiful children. The difference she has made in the lives of our family but of her patients and their families is amazing. The times she held a grandmother's hand as she took her last breath, comforting her and not allowing her to die alone. Or her attentiveness in recognizing a father, close to death and alerting the family so they can be there for his last moments. The comfort she gives, the pain she alleviates, the prayers she prays wouldn't have happened if I had decided it was an inconvenient time to have a child. And truthfully, many will spend eternity in heaven because she is here.

That little boy? He could have been aborted. He earned a degree, married, went to law school and he and his wife are raising two beautiful daughters. He is making a difference in the lives of all he meets. I would love to be there at the end of his life to hear the untold stories told of how lives were changed because he is here.

I am deeply saddened by the inconvenient pregnancies that end in abortion. I don't believe life is ever an accident. God knows each and every one.

Those other 3 inconvenient pregnancies? The youngest, a girl, is getting married this summer. She has a great job, and graduated from college last year with a dual engineering degree. She is making a difference in lives.

The second to last, another daughter, graduated from college and married. She too had an inconvenient pregnancy. It happened right after she and her husband moved, and she began graduate school. She has a beautiful baby girl and will continue her education in women's health in the Fall. She will continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

The third inconvenient pregnancy resulted in a girl. She married in 2014. Three months before her big wedding, she found out she was pregnant. Not a convenient time to become pregnant. How would she ever fit in her dress?  She and her husband are currently raising a sweet baby boy. I have never seen a happier baby. She is making a difference.

Funny thing about these inconvenient pregnancies, they came on the heels of fertility issues. That surgery I had my junior year? It was for PCOS. I was left with partial ovaries and told I most likely would never be able to have a child.

That pregnancy that happened three months before the wedding? Yep, she was being treated for fertility issues.

The baby girl conceived when her mother began graduate school? In 2011, she had surgery for an 11 cm. dermoid cyst and lost one ovary.

We may think it is our right to conceive a life, or abort one at will. I believe life is a precious gift from the Father. We may go to extreme lengths to try to conceive, or try equally hard to prevent pregnancy but ultimately God is the author of life.

There's so much more I could share. I think I've made my point. Life matters.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." (Ps. 139:13-14)



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Day

I can't believe I'm averaging one post a month. I have no excuse, except I've been sick. Sick for way too long. I've had to turn down watching some really cute grandkids...on more than one occasion.


 I had started face timing at night with Ethan, reading him books before he went to bed. I haven't been able to continue.

I have hardly left the house in nearly 3 weeks. I am sick of being sick.

Okay, I have posted.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick." Mt. 14:14

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Catching Up

It's been awhile. So much happening. So many changes.

Towards the end of March, Ethan was here for 10 days for his spring break.The weather didn't always cooperate.

 Because it was last minute, I wasn't terribly prepared with activities for him.

He is such a joy. He has matured in so many ways.
In April, both Ethan and Josiah were here for 4 days. It was Josiah's first time overnight with Gramma and Grandpa.

He did wonderfully. He was a snuggler, which typically he isn't.

 So fun to get to know him better on his own.


The last day they were here, Ethan was able to play with the neighborhood kids. I cried.

He enjoys a version of "cops & robbers" with his aunts and uncles. 

That day, Ben and Grace both willingly played along with him.

A little later two more boys joined the fun with nerf guns. Ethan had friends that interacted with him.

They shot at the bad guys. They protected their turf.

They chased each other. I cried. I want Ethan to have friends like this every day of his life.


The following weekend, we went to Colorado Springs to celebrate my oldest daughter's birthday. I have been a mom for 35 years.


That's almost 2/3 of my life. What joy to see Christina grow from a sweet, compassionate, smart little girl into a very wise, intelligent, thoughtful, hard-working, creative mom.

It's a busy, blessed life. I couldn't be more thankful for my family and the rich full life.


Truthfully,
Joanne

"Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence."