Friday, February 20, 2009

A Sneak Preview. . .

God is so gracious to bless us with a sixth child. We are all so excited about this little miracle and the life God has planned for this coming blessing.

We are of the persuasion that sonograms are a wonderful tool for not only seeing the miracle of a child in the womb and evaluating his or her God-given health a little early, but it is downright exciting to learn the gender of this precious one, too! ;-)

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go for our sonogram and look into this window at our little darling. We were so thankful to learn that our baby was growing well and in wonderful health.

Then came the exciting news. . . .this little sweet potato is a boy!!!

Our prayer is that he will grow to be a man of God and walk boldly in His ways all the days of his life. We pray that he will be a boy and a man who

". . .walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2).

Our vision for him, as well as all our children, is that he will come to saving knowledge of Christ when he will repent of his sins and put his faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then grow to love God with all his heart, learning to walk in His ways. We pray that he will boldly evangelize those around him and point others to the cross of Christ:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

We desire for Little Brother to be mission-minded and servant-hearted: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).

Just like many parents, we hope for the best for our children. However, we must keep in mind that the "best" is not always what our American culture considers best. We too must have the mind of Christ, not the mind of this world:

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).

Hubby and I know that despite all our best efforts, anything good and worthwhile that comes to or out of our children will be a result of the grace of God. Join us as we beseech Him and pray for our own family, committing ourselves and our children to Him and His grace as we humbly "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4b).

In the Heart of our Home,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

God's Grace is Sufficient

The last several weeks have been very hard. As most of you know, at least from a recent post, my mother was not doing very well. She was admitted into the hospital on January 1 due to extreme pain and increasing weakness in her legs.

Within the first week of her hospital stay, we discovered her Lymphoma had returned. Being 81 years old and in such a weakened health, Mother did not want to pursue treatment. We were told she then would not have "long."

Well, what is long? What is long to people who love someone so very much? A whole year would not be long when you don't want to lose a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend. The doctors would not make an attempt at such a guess.

Those cold January weeks in the hospital were very painful for Mother. She suffered greatly. It was very painful to watch. But the time was precious, and it was an honor to serve her.

She spoke frequently of heaven and her longing to see Jesus. I honestly had never heard anything like it. At first, it was hard to accept. But as I watched her deteriorate, part of me began to long with her, in a submission to the Lord I never imagined I would have to experience.

You see, I wanted to beg God to heal her so she could go home and so that we could fellowship as a family like all the days in the past. But I knew I had to pray for His will. On January 23, the last night she could verbally communicate, she lifted her arms toward heaven and cried out, "It's OK! It's OK! It's OK!"

About 30 hours later, in the early hours of January 25, she did go home. Jesus accepted her home. He did find her OK. . . .because she was His child, bought and paid for by His own blood.

It is "OK" for us because we trust Christ. We know He is in charge. One of Mother's very favorite passages was Proverbs 3:5-6:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

It is not enought to trust Him when times are good or even when we have a tough decision to make. True peace only comes when you trust Him in the hard and the bad times, too. He must be trusted even when He cannot at all be understood.

In my own little way and through Christ's grace, I trusted Him in Mother's death. Now I am trying to trust Him in this road we call grief. When I wanted to go see her after our baby's sonogram, I had to trust Him. When I wanted to call her when my husband was in the hospital in another (3rd world ahem) country, I had to trust Him. When I go visit my Daddy, and she is so blaringly not there, I must keep on trusting.

But it is "OK" for me, too, because "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

All our children have struggled, but Little Sister just cannot understand. She asks unending questions about death, sickness, and heaven. We explain the best we can. The day of Mother's death, she asked several questions about where Heaven is and whether you take a bus or a car there. Finally, she asked, "Did [grandmother] know how to get to heaven?"

"Yes," my dear husband answered, "She sure did."

What about you?????????

In the Heart of our Home,