Thursday, December 17, 2015

God is enough~ The Sweet Surrender through Trials and Tribulations

                          


Micah at Pilot Mountain two months and a day before he died. 
I remember this day clearly. Micah and his brothers got so far ahead of us on the trail that they went around the knob twice and came up behind us.

From the time Micah fell out of the tree, to intensive care unit in the hospital, to finding out he had leukemia, to 2 ½ years of treatment and then a relapse, to the bone marrow transplant and to Micah's death after 4 years battling leukemia, I can say God is enough. God was enough for Micah and He is enough for me. His grace is sufficient. It is hard and I miss Micah just as much today, 10 years later, as the day he died.

Happy 10 years in heaven with your Savior Micah! One day we will be joining you and I know you are waiting for us and interceding for us and cheering us on. I can remember you sitting on the window sill at the hospital looking out the window waiting for us to come in the morning. I can see you at the finish line cheering us on and encouraging us in our pilgrim's race. I am so glad you are with the Lord Jesus and free of pain and sorrow. Your misery is over and you are enjoying the Lord's presence face to face. It reminds me of Pilgrim's Progress.

“but be you faithful unto Death, and the King will give you a Crown of Life. He that shall die there, although his death will be unnatural, and his pains perhaps great, he will yet have the better of his fellow; not only because he will be arrived at the Celestial City soonest, but because he will escape many miseries that the other will meet with in the rest of his Journey.”
Although Micah suffered a lot in this life, he arrived in heaven sooner than us and has escaped a lot more misery. His journey is finished and I look forward to joining him in heaven one day.

God has been so good. I didn't think 10 years would go by so fast, yet so slow. My heart still aches and I still miss Micah so much, yet God's amazing grace abounds. God helped us through that terrible day for us that was so glorious to Micah. I still remember how he sat slightly up and lifted his head and opened his eyes and looked up and smiled. Then he was gone to be with Jesus. We said goodbye, but not forever. We knew we would see him again later.

Micah is now praising the Lord and interceding with the saints. Many have joined him since that day. Lat year Mark's dad, Granddad, joined Micah. Our dear friend Karise just recently entered into the glorious presence of our Lord and Savior and I am sure they had a joyous reunion.

I am thankful for God's work of grace in Micah throughout all his life. I remember how brave he was during the 4 years of suffering with leukemia. He hardly ever complained. When the doctors told Micah there was nothing more they could do, he put is arm around me and comforted me. His confession was, either God will do a miracle and heal me or I will go to be with Him. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Micah left us with a song he wrote to encourage us after he died. He also wrote other songs to encouraged other parents who lost their child and also for other patients. At the end of his life with not much strength to even talk, Micah spoke of God's goodness. Micah's life and death taught me that God is enough. He will never leave me nor forsake me. His grace is sufficient. Because He lives I can face tomorrow. One of the reasons Micah was able to face the suffering and trials he faced in this life so well was because of  his love for Christ and his focus on Him instead of all the things he was missing out on because of his sickness. He had surrendered his life sweetly and willingly to the Lord and lived in light of eternity. Jesus was his treasure, not the things of this world.

I am thankful for the almost 16 years the Lord blessed us with Micah and for all the things he taught us.
I miss him so much but I am thankful that because of Christ, we will see him again.
See you later Micah!
I love you.

Love, Mom

                                          All nine children after Lydia was born in 2004
Some old pictures of the children.

                                                       All the children when Lydia was born
                                                     Micah, Gabriel, Jesse and Josiah
                                            Gabriel, Micah, Josiah and Jesse at my brother's wedding
                                          Back row, Micah, Jesse, Josiah, Laura, Mark
                                    Front row, Gabriel, Priscilla, Hannah, Elisabeth and Bethany

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Attitude goes a long way


My daughters and I were just discussing today about how attitude makes a big difference in how we handle any situation. People can be going through the exact same thing, and one is grumpy and miserable, while the other is joyful, peaceful and enjoying life. I have seen it so many times with my children when we did something they didn't want to do or thought they would not like. Some were grumpy the whole day, complaining, angry and sullen while others decided if we were going to do it they might as well enjoy it .So they were happy and content and enjoyed the day.
When our son Micah got leukemia and he was in the hospital, there was a funny picture on the wall of a bird and a fish, illustrating how attitude can make a difference in how you go through trials. That poster made an impression on Micah from the very start and he decided he would make the most his hospital stays and his sickness. From that moment on he made an effort to be content and not to complain. He would joke around with the nurses and doctors and laugh and tell funny stories if he was up to it. But no matter how bad a day he was having he rarely complained. I learned a lot from him and sometimes when I am tempted to grumble and complain, I get a picture in my mind of Micah in the hospital smiling,content, peaceful even though he was so sick and had to miss out on so much. What a wonderful testimony he was to me.
Of course children are not the only ones who have bad attitudes. When we grumble and complain about our life's circumstances we will be unhappy. But if we decide to be grateful and content in every situation we can be happy.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Phil 4:11

Here is a beautiful story that illustrates this.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.  “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.” She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.” And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 1. Free your heart from hatred. 2. Free your mind from worries. 3. Live simply. 4. Give more. 5. Expect less.             ( Disclaimer I did not personally write this beautiful story but was blessed and encouraged by it. Photo by Dina Goldstein )

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Healthy Living

Healthy Living




Food is strictly fuel.

It is not comfort,

entertainment

or reward.

It is simply a tool to fuel me,

so that I can live a happy and productive life.



Blessed are you, O land,

whose king is of nobility

and whose princes eat at the appropriate time--

for strength and not for drunkenness.


- Ecclesiastes 10:17

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Take my Life




But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You are the potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

I went with my girls and a friend to see the pottery in Seagrove. We got to watch a potter making several different things from a lump of clay, from a beautiful bowl, to a pie dish, to a vase. It seemed so easy! I could not help but think of the symbolism God uses in the Bible to teach us that we are His creation and He will use us and make us into whatever He fashions. It is not for us to say what our lives will be and how they will turn out. While watching the potter, he would start forming something and my mind would quickly imagine what it was going to be, only to find out he was making something totally different. It is like that in our lives. Sometimes we think we know what God is doing and what our lives will turn out to be like. Then something changes and our lives go in a different direction than we thought. Some times it is hard but God is forming us into His image and He is changing us. The potter said he could even take object he made that was already dried and he can make it into something totally different, by crushing it up into powder adding water and making back into a lump of clay. I have felt like a piece of pottery that has been crushed into powder and felt useless for anything. But God took that powder and He is watering it with His word and His love and His grace. He is forming me into something new. I pray that God will help me to trust Him all the way through this life as He forms me and shapes me through His word, through prayer, through serving Him, through suffering and pain and joy and through the lives of those I love. When you watch the potter forming the clay it seems so silly to think that the clay has any say in it or that it would complain about what the potter made. Yet that is what we do. We complain and fear and get discouraged because God is not doing what we thought and not making us and those we love into the objects we thought he would. But clay is just there submitting to the potter and is formed easily into what he desires. God is our potter and we are the works of His hands. When we asked the potter how he decided what he was going to make, his reply was simple, he makes what is needed. So my pray is that God would make me into the vessel that is needed for His glory.
This hymn by Frances R. Havergal expresses that thought. Lord Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee.



Take my Life and Let it Be- Frances R. Havergal

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love,
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King,
Always, only, for my King

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages for Thee;
Take my silver and my gold-
Not a mite would I withhold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my love-my God, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself-and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.