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One Year at CASA

16 Mar

When Jesus spoke again to the people,
He said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

While the world around us is focused on candidates, primaries, and all that goes with an election, life still happens…the good and the not-so-good. In my immediate work day, little children continue to be taken into protective custody and placed into foster care homes. Physical and sexual abuse, neglect, deplorable living conditions, drugs and alcohol addictions, domestic violence – and the list goes on and on …

 

Nearly every day in the York County CASA office, I sign children into our playroom … a safe and fun environment where kids can be kids while their world comes together in a court room to discuss their future. ‘Bio mom and dad’ stand before the judge, usually stammering and stuttering, full of excuses as to why they have not made much progress toward the goal of getting their children back … if they even show up at all. Foster parents, attorneys, caseworkers, service providers, a CASA and other professionals speak on behalf of the children whose lives are currently upside down.

 

Today is March 16 … my one-year anniversary as the receptionist for York County CASA. I am blessed beyond measure for the awesome opportunity to be a part of this program! Even though I am not personally trained and sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children, I do have direct participation in the process of being a voice for the children.

 

Not only am I thrilled with the mission of what I do for CASA, I thoroughly enjoy making new friends with many people who also work in the County Court House! We have laughed and cried together, shared stories and prayer requests … and it always warms my heart to look across the hall to see a smile and a friendly wave directed toward me as I walk by!

 

I always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in my prayers.
I remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,
your labor prompted by love, and your endurance
inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:2-3

In the midst of major election campaigns that are full of promises to fix, to renew, and to make great again, I am committed to be fully devoted to the Only One who can make good on those kind of promises! While I celebrate my 1 year CASA anniversary today, this song will be playing in my heart as I walk through my mission field that God has laid before me in York County, PA. Won’t you join me as we stand united in the wonder of His love .. we follow after the One who gave it all, Christ alone be praised!

Click here to listen to the song  …    https://youtu.be/LW3XPazLHg0

 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

Until next time,
Debbie

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Dear Daddy …

7 Jul

This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Dad and Mom on their wedding day. July 7, 1956

Dad and Mom on their wedding day.
July 7, 1956

Happy Wedding Anniversary, Dad! It’s been 57 years today since you married that pretty young woman from Friendship Church. Considering all the stories that have been told of your wandering years from early teens until you met this special lady, committing yourself to her in marriage was a huge life-style change. And as they say, the rest is history.

25th Anniversary

25th Anniversary … 1981

It’s that time of year again, you know…between the middle of June into the first week of July, my mind and heart are heavy with thoughts of you. Father’s Day comes and goes with much celebration for those in my life who are dads, but there will always be an ache as I card shop, knowing that I must once again overlook the cards that say ‘To Dad ~ from your Daughter’. Then right around the corner rolls the 24th of June. It’s so hard to believe that it has now been 19 years since I have held your hand and felt your scruffy face against mine. And then today is your anniversary with mom. She and I were just talking about you on Friday and how much you have been on her mind … and how much she misses you. Especially on days like today. But today will very quickly turn into tomorrow, and the next day … and before we know it, the weather will begin to cool and the seasons change. There will be a nip in the air, along with the smell of burning leaves, and the realization of another year soon coming to a close. Another year without you…

Grandma and Grandpa Wells with baby Kimberly.

Grandma and Grandpa Wells with baby Kimberly…August 1983

I will always question why, you know. Why did you have to die at such a young age? 60 years old is right in the middle of loving grandchildren, just before retirement, and too soon to walk your beloved down the aisle at your grandchildren’s weddings and to hold their babies in your arms. Why? But the answer to that question is known only to God. In the midst of my tears that still fall, I continue to relinquish you and my loss of you to Him. And to trust Mom to Him, as well. She is most precious … but then you knew that 57 years ago.

Just a few weeks ago, Mom and I drove down to West Virginia to see Uncle Johnse. I had flown into Indy to attend the Nazarene Church General Assembly, and we decided to be spontaneous and make a quick trip to the boonies. What fun we had as we drove through the beautiful countryside, chatting about this and that, and reminiscing a lot about years gone by and our annual family vacations to visit relatives in West Virginia, Virginia, and Chattanooga. I’m sure you remember those trips well!! Especially the train trip into West Virginia … or more specifically, the return trip back home. I had gotten sick the last few days of our stay, so this 6 year-old little girl was still not feeling well when we began our journey back to Indy. I still remember vivid details of a large train station where our family was seated to eat breakfast. Orange juice, my sick tummy, a yucky mess all over me and the table, and you taking me into the men’s restroom to clean me up. I remember feeling very special and cared for by you … Oh the memories! I would love to know what you remember about that moment!

As mom and I meandered our way along the twisty-turny roads that have not changed much through the years, we eventually arrived at Lick Creek Holler and slowly drove the remaining 2 miles of gravel to the old home place. I know that you and mom loved to come visit Uncle Johnse and Aunt Bert … and as we pulled in, I wondered what all Mom was thinking and feeling as she returned yet another time without you.

Me and Mom with Uncle Johnse ... June 20, 2013

Me and Mom with Uncle Johnse … June 20, 2013

The next 6 hours were full, Daddy … full of stories and tales and lots of love. There Uncle Johnse laid in a hospital bed in the living room, unable to get up any longer, eye sight nearly gone, but a mind that was sharp with memories, dates, and details, and a heart that was so sweet and kind and thrilled that we came to see him. Your big brother, now 82 years old, laughing about how spoiled you were as a child, but all for good reason, he said, since you had asthma and were so sick ever since you were little. I felt like a sponge that day as I sat there and listened to stories … some I have heard told over and over, while others were new, each one full of life and love. From the portals of Heaven, I’m sure that you had gathered together as many family members as possible to join you and dear Aunt Bert in having a reunion of your own as Uncle Johnse so fondly spoke of his Elizabeth and his brother, John D. Obviously we couldn’t see you two, but we could feel your love in our hearts. Before we left, mom and I, along with Cathy and Uncle Johnse, held hands and I prayed…feeling as though I was standing in the gap between you and Jesus and Uncle Johnse. As I leaned over to kiss him ‘until next time’, I knew that someday you will be at the Gate waiting for him.

So here it is, July 7th. We all will make mention of this special day to those we are with, and even shed a tear or two as we continue to think about you and our loss. But as a child of God, I cannot help but believe that you are simply having the time of your Life. You are fishing in a new spot every day. You have been reunited with your hunting beagles and have no doubt rustled up a few rabbits from the bushes. You are surrounded by the elite of eternity, not to mention family and friends.  And above all, you get to celebrate this special day, and every day, with Jesus. It is because of Him that my questions can remain unanswered. It is because of Him, that I know all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes. It is because of Him that “I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

Happy Anniversary, Daddy!
Thanks for always loving mom … back then and still today.
More importantly, thank you, for loving Jesus…back then and still today.

Until next time,
Your Bobbie Naw

Dear Daddy

23 Jun

He asked you for life, and You gave it to him—
   length of days, for ever and ever.
Psalm 21:4

 

Father’s Day was just a few days ago … and tomorrow is June 24th.  I just wanted to tell you that I love you and miss you.  You have been in my thoughts and on my heart so much lately … more so than usual.  I think it’s because of a combination of things.  My job has me sitting in an office at an elder care law firm, where clients come and go, discussing serious subjects like health care, money, relationship issues, and death.  My thoughts of you and mom at this stage of life are never too far from my heart these days.  Another reason would be that Tim and I are now grandparents to little Cole, and I often dream about how much fun and joy this little boy would be bringing to your own great grandpa heart.  I’m sure he would have given you a name that’s special … like Papaw Johnny.  I like that!  Cole loves tractors and trains, loud cars and trucks, motorcycles, fire trucks, and balls … all the usual things that a two year old boy likes.  He’s at the age now where you would have had him outside helping you to wash the cars … and he would’ve kept you entertained by his constant chatter the entire time!   Oh what fun the two of you would’ve had. You would’ve fixed him a fried bologna and cheese sandwich for lunch and he would’ve  loved it because it came from his Papaw Johnny!  I look forward to telling him all about you someday when he’s old enough to understand about a great grandpa’s love, life, death, and Heaven.

It’s been 17 years now … tomorrow.    So much has taken place in our family since that day.  Births, relocations, deaths, graduations, divorces, weddings, accidents, surgeries … but we have remained intact, always loving, praying, and supporting one another. 

Mom is doing really well these days.  You know she fell last spring and shattered her elbow.  What an ordeal that was!   She pretty much lost all of her summer since she was so limited in the things she could do.  But she is a trooper and has shown quite some spunk when it comes to making sure she stays active.  She bought a riding lawn mower a few years ago so she could still be responsible for taking care of the yards…and she does a great job, too!  She is the life of the party when our families invite her to come along on vacations, and she enjoys the convenience of hopping on an airplane and quickly and comfortably arriving at her destination.  I know she misses you, though.  When we lived in Albuquerque and she would fly in to visit us, I knew her heart was aching to share the experience of that special place with you.  Just like she does now when she is surrounded by family and friends … I see it in her eyes.  She’s wishing you were still by her side to enjoy these slower and less hectic years of life.

You left quite a legacy in your sons … their looks, their humor, and their character.  You would be most proud of the men they have both become.  Me?  The best thing you passed along to me was the tenacity of never letting go of Jesus.  I know that life was not always easy for you and there were some really difficult circumstances that knocked you down from time to time.  But you always kept grasping the hand of Jesus who would always pull you back up.  Thank you, Daddy, for your faithful example to my own heart and life. 

Me and Daddy 1968

The reality of Heaven became very intimate for me since you died.  I have always pictured in my mind’s eye that you will be waiting at the front gates for me with arms wide open, saying “My Bobby Naw!  My sweet little girl!”  On that day when my heart is reunited with yours, I will also see Jesus face to face!  What a glorious day that will be!

Well, I will hush for now, Daddy.  I promise to meet you here again, from time to time, on the pages of my heart. 

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

 

Scriptures that I read to Daddy while he was in the hospital …
and later read at his funeral.
(When I was a child, Daddy was often referred to as “King”.)

The king rejoices in Your strength, LORD.
   How great is his joy in the victories You give!

You have granted him his heart’s desire
   and have not withheld the request of his lips.

You came to greet him with rich blessings
   and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

He asked you for life, and You gave it to him—
   length of days, for ever and ever.

Through the victories You gave, his glory is great; 
   You have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely You have granted him unending blessings
   and made him glad with the joy of Your presence.

For the king trusts in the LORD;
   through the unfailing love of the Most High
   he will not be shaken.

Psalm 21:1-7

 

 

Divine Appointments

3 Mar

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
   all the days of my life…
Psalm 23:6

Happy Anniversary to Morsels of Mercy!!  It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been an entire year since I posted my first entry.  As you can see, I’m throwing a festive celebration by changing the theme of my blog to something bright and vivacious, updating family photos and periodically switching items around.  The new look will add some pizzazz and excitement as I continue to share more of the precious mercies of God.

Since I’m on the subject of mercy, I want to throw out a couple morsels for you to chew on…

While living in Albuquerque a few years back, I used to travel often to attend conferences, meetings, and to visit family.  With every flight I took, I settled into my seat with anticipation of the Divine Appointments that God had on my schedule for that day.  Conversations would take place, names would be exchanged, and nearly without exception, another request would be added to my prayer list.  Even though the travel isn’t as far, nor the destinations as exotic, God is still sending Divine Appointments my way. 

I have had the privilege of meeting Lavonna, whose father was recently diagnosed with cancer.  I do not consider it a coincidence that I rode her morning commute to downtown York for two weeks while on my first temp assignment.  Divine Appointment.   Surgeries  …  Bill, Bruce, Michelle ~ all people associated with the County office where I was working.    All Divine Appointments.   Another co-worker who is a concerned mom with a son deployed in the Navy… Divine Appointment.    As I have left one job and am starting another temporary position, I will continue to pray for those whose paths I have crossed, and anticipate the new journey that God has in store for me around the corner. 

Prayer requests are made each time I get on the phone with my dear friends in Cincinnati  ~ more Divine Appointments.  Having our precious grandson in our home from time to time for overnight visits is a most blessed Divine Appointment.  This little guy, who is nearly 2 years old now, needs to know that his Mimi fervently prays for him and for his family.  Another vital Divine Appointment is time spent on my knees daily for our own son and his sweet girlfriend.  Some appointments are kept faithfully everyday while others are unexpected and given prompt attention.

As said so perfectly in Streams of the Desert  ~  March 2 …

“Meet Him alone.  Meet Him regularly.  Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act.”

 It is a privilege to open God’s appointment book each day … to thumb through the scheduled times along with the unexpected moments  ~  all that lead to Divine Appointments … and Divine Appointments lead to more morsels to share with you.  Thank you for your continued interest and support while we celebrate a new year of Morsels of Mercy together!

Until next time,
Debbie