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Seattle 2015

2 Oct

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all people to Myself.
John 12:32

 

My Mommy heart was full and overflowing as I peered out the window to catch my last glimpse of Mt. Rainier … until next time. The view of that majestic peak symbolizes my excited anticipation of being with my son and his future bride … and represents to my heart the awesome Love of God that continually watches over Ryan and Brittany.

 

As Tim and I boarded our Southwest Airline early last Thursday morning, my mother in Indianapolis began her own journey … both flights converging at the Sea-Tac Airport just minutes apart. What a joy to be welcomed to Seattle by our son and my mom! Those moments of hugs and kisses were just the beginning of a 5-day adventure that will forever fill our hearts with priceless memories!

 

On the day we arrived, just a quarter of a mile from Ryan and Brittany’s apartment was the scene of the fatal accident involving a tour bus of international students and the Seattle Duck Tour. This created quite a delay in getting to their home, along with a change in our itinerary of riding the Duck Tour later in the weekend.

 

Ready for church!

Ready for church!

Speaking of our itinerary, the list of places to see, foods to eat, and things to do over the next several days was extensive, and we were successful in accomplishing all but a few. Ryan and Brittany took time off from work to be our entertaining and personal tour guides and warmly opened their home to us with comfy accommodations and delicious meals! We ate out at some of our favorite spots and enjoyed the brew of coffee that is so famous in Seattle. We drove across the floating bridge and enjoyed the misty view of the Snoqualmie Falls, and we walked through Pike’s Market as we stopped from time to time to graze on cheese curds, crumpets and tasty bakery treats. We rode the elevators to the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center and spent the afternoon with a bird’s eye view of our host city and its surrounding towns. We spent leisure time cheering for the Colts, Broncos, and the Seahawks, watching an assortment of movies each evening, and Brittany and I spent a few hours shopping at the world’s best Goodwill where we found awesome deals to compliment our wardrobes!

 

As the blood moon eclipsed over the eastern skyline of Seattle on Sunday evening, my heart knew that it needed to prepare for the inevitable good-byes that would soon take place the following morning. Our favorite Seattle brew of Cafe Vita graced our Monday-morning breakfast table and within a short time I was once again hugging and kissing my loved ones. Grateful beyond words to have finally shared the special experience of Ryan/Brittany and Seattle with my mother, I sent her in the direction of her flight back to Indianapolis, knowing that I will see her again in just two weeks for my annual birthday visit. Discussion of a hopeful visit to our home in celebration of Christmas and the New Year kept the tears at bay as I embraced our kids and told them thanks for allowing us to come and spend a few days with them. I always feel that my hug is just not quite long enough nor tight enough to fully express my love to them.

 

Five days before as we neared our descent into Seattle, my heart sank with disappointment as I realized that we were sitting on the wrong side of the plane in order to see Mt. Rainier. Knowing that the weather while in Seattle can sometimes be overcast with clouds that hide any view of the mountain, seeing it while above the clouds is always a guarantee … that is as long as we’re seated on the correct side of the plane. As I was making mental notes to pick better seats next time, our pilot began to do a dance in the sky, twirling our plane into a complete circle, literally allowing me full view of that majestic mountain that towers above everything else in view. What I’m sure was a maneuver ordered by flight control in order to get into the proper flow of air traffic, God used it as a very personal gesture, showing His huge heart of Love to me!

 

Now as I once again leave behind Mt. Rainier, the beautiful city of Seattle, and those two precious children, my prayer is that our God will continue to watch over them, that He would be their Constant Companion, and that I can rest in His promise to always draw their hearts to His.

 

Until next time,
Debbie

 

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.
John 12:32

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8

 For this reason, since the day we heard about you,
we have not stopped praying for you.
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge
of His will through all the wisdom and understanding
that the Spirit gives,
so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord
and please Him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,

being strengthened with all power according to
His glorious might so that you may have
great endurance and patience
and giving joyful thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the
inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.

For He has rescued us from the dominion of
darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14

If you are interested in viewing all of the pictures that I recently posted on Facebook, feel free to click this link…whether you have Facebook or not!  Enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205896195298804.1073741892.1076414018&type=1&l=a015608a95

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Happy New Year ~ 2015

30 Jan

You make known to me the Path of Life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

Some may think that I’m a bit late, but I choose to say that I embraced every moment of the Christmas season that I could. Now that the trimmings and the tree are all down and put away, and everyone has gone back home, I am going to devote some specific time to send greetings to all of our family and friends as yet another year has completed its chapter in our book called life.

Snowstorm that brought 23" of snow!

Snowstorm that brought 23″ of snow!

One thing most of us across America had in common in 2014 was our crazy winter weather! Our little town always seemed be in an overactive band of snow, burying us under several more inches than others in south central PA. Mimi and Papaw’s ‘big hill’ provided a lot of fun times and memories for our little loves when they and their parents could visit.

 

Enjoying a nice spring day in Maryland

Enjoying a nice spring day in Maryland

Needless to say, warm and sunny spring days eventually came, which brought new adventures, the first of which when Ryan flew in for a few days in March. He came bearing gifts for a belated Christmas celebration, and in turn we sang Happy Birthday to him!

 

In April I made a long-over due trip to Louisiana to visit dear friends, a journey of the heart that will forever be changed and grateful for much that has often been taken for granted. Mother’s Day weekend was spent with my mom in Indy, with the added joy of meeting my newborn niece, Remington. Then just a couple of weeks later, Tim and I spent Memorial Day weekend in Ohio at a small reunion of friends who volunteered and worked with us on the campus of Nazarene Indian Bible College in Albuquerque. What a blessed time we had together in those days and again at this gathering!
Mingled in between trips, the grand-kids’ birthday celebrations and the everyday routine of work and life, we were packing and preparing to move. We finally found a house to buy and de-clutter became my new motto. By mid-June, we were moved in and getting settled, excited to spend time with Ryan who was once again out east … this time on a Verizon business trip with some added time for family!

 

My Mom and our family at the Wells Reunion

My Mom and our family at the Wells Reunion

The adventures continued as Mimi loaded Momma and the kiddos in her van and we drove to Indy for the Wells Family reunion in July. What fun to share those of my little family with my precious aunts, uncles and cousins! The traditional annual August 5th weekend birthday celebration once again found us at the shore with Kim and her family, enjoying the surf, sand, and sun. Then a few weeks later, Tim and I took advantage of frequent flier points for a long-over due visit to our beloved Albuquerque! The hospitality of our host family was a blessing, the itinerary of visits with friends and church family was heart warming, and just the experience of being there in that special place we called home for nearly 10 years was simply over-whelming.

 

In Florida with Becky and her mom Pauline

In Florida with Becky and her mom Pauline

September arrived with an invitation to meet my life-long ‘best bud’ in Florida for a few days of respite with her, following the death of her husband on August 1st. Beach therapy was the theme for our time together as childhood friends tried to make sense of life and its uncertain path … all the while being confident that God is the one true certainty on our journey.

 

Another leg of our journey was our annual motorcycle trip to Toms River, New Jersey and our visit with Pastor Del and Patsy Bieber. What fun we had as we spent time with their family, shopped at a local flea market, ate some outstanding food and as always, enjoyed our Sunday morning of worship with our seaside friends. Several weeks later, it was our privilege and pleasure to host these friends in our own home as Pastor Del preached in a local revival service.

 

Tim's Mom with her children

Tim’s Mom with her children

Indiana became our destination of necessity throughout the fall months due to the 6 week battle with cancer and passing of Tim’s step-father on September 23. Life with its reminder of our fragility and total dependence upon God once again knocked on the doors of our hearts. After a lot of prayer and thoughtful consideration, Tim’s Mom …has moved back to PA to be closer to the majority of her children.

 

My brothers Tim and Jay, me and Mom

My brothers Tim and Jay, me and Mom

Christmas season! We attended Christmas programs and parties, spent time with family and friends, and simply enjoyed the beautiful season in our new home. Christmas Eve travels took us to Indiana for a few days to celebrate Jesus, His birth, and several other family birthdays with my Mother, brothers and their families. Our trip was highlighted on Sunday morning when my brother Tim and his wife, Courtney, dedicated Remington Kimber Wells to Jesus.

 

The final hoorah for the year was awesome as Ryan and Brittany flew in from Seattle and our entire family spent several days together in our home … still celebrating Jesus and Christmas, New Year’s, and Brittany’s January birthday. Gifts were exchanged, countless games of Memory (and others) were played, creative paper airplanes were flown, and so much tasty food was prepared and enjoyed! Girls went shopping, family came to visit, a few movies were watched, and we worshiped together on Sunday just a few hours before good-byes were said. Every moment of every day, I tried to soak up each and every morsel and speck of family love I could … to hold me until next time!

 

As we begin a new year, I would like to share a page from ‘Jesus Calling’ …

June 12
Let Me prepare you for the day (year) that stretches out before you. I know exactly what this day (year) will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map, showing all the twists and turns of your journey. You’d feel more prepared if you could somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today (this year): Spend quality time with Me.

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with Me, whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus, you can walk through this day (year) with your focus on Me. My abiding Presence is the best road map available.

 

2014 is behind us and a new road lies ahead. May the comfort and the peace of God’s constant Presence be the Guide and Direction for you and yours for this new year.

You make known to me the Path of Life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go
with you and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14

Until next time,
Debbie

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If you would like to read the unabbreviated version of 2014 and more,
please feel free to visit my website and read till your heart is content!  https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com/

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Picaboo, Snapfish, My Publisher… ??

5 Mar

I thank my God every time I remember you.
 Philippians 1:3

 

Hours and hours. Frustration and aggravation. The finished product just arrived in the mail yesterday … and it looks great, but the journey to get there was long and arduous. If I hadn’t already invested so much time in choosing pictures and designing several pages, I would’ve just simply quit and chocked it up for a bad experience. But every ounce of my effort and time was driven by love, so I plodded on.

I’m a big fan of family traditions, and compiling a bunch of photos each year for my mother-in-law is one of those. I used to sit for hours sifting through digital photos in my somewhat organized folders on my computer, making long lists of jpg numbers, which would eventually get uploaded to the nearest Walgreens. Those 4 x 6 prints of our family’s memories of the past year would be chronologically placed in a 100 page album and then gifted to Grandma Van Hook … and received with joy.

Inspired by my two nieces-in-law (is that a word??), I wanted to try my hand at creating my own photo book. Not knowing anything about the various companies that do this sort of thing, I randomly chose Picaboo because of a deal I found on Groupon. I remember sitting down and spending a couple days in one weekend to compile this project, then within a few short days, the 8 x 10 album arrived in our mailbox … and it turned out beautifully!

The SPRING page ...

The SPRING page …

That was a year ago. Just a few months ago now, back in October, I bought another deal, this time on Living Social. A great deal! For $25, I bought $100 worth of product from Picaboo. I knew that this would not only cover the traditional book of memories for my dear mother-in-law, but I would probably get a couple other projects out of the bundle of goodness! With an expiration date of February 28, I had procrastinated long enough, so mid month, I began to work on the year 2012. How exciting it was as I sat down with my computer and began to sort through photos of the last year, reminding me of the many, many wonderful memories our family had made! The expectation and arrival of Miss Lillianne made my task more daunting, as the volume of photos to choose from multiplied exponentially from the previous year! After several hours of gathering, I began the actual process of creating the book. What fun as I chose different backgrounds, text fonts and colors, and then added my pictures to each page! But it didn’t take but just a few of those pages before I began to realize that this adventure was quickly, but slowly turning into a challenge. The ability to move a photo, to tuck it behind another, or to rotate it into position, was not happening with ease. Error messages kept popping up, and occasional crashes occurred, sometimes totally losing an entire 2 page spread and several hours of work. By the time I was working on July and our family vacation to Seattle, I was about ready to throw in the towel. Out of frustration, I tried to contact Customer Service only to find that they do not list a phone number to call, and their ‘live chat’ would not even work. So I trudged on.

Thanksgiving Page

Thanksgiving Page

By the end of the day on February 28, I had completed my big memory book for 2012, plus a couple other smaller creations that accumulated to my purchased deal of $100, plus shipping. After placing the order for each individual project, a survey was provided, so I vented. I told them how unhappy I was with their ‘updated and improved’ web-based program. I also told them, because they asked, if I would use them again. I clicked on the button ‘I don’t know.’

That’s where you come in. Please give me some feed back on who you use. What company do you prefer when you create your photo memory books? Recommendations from experienced users is what I need, because I love my family. I love taking pictures. I love family traditions.

Through this journey we call life, won’t you join me in preserving the important things?   Relationships, family memories, and our walk with God …

  He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Psalm 90:1

Thanks, kindly, for responding!

Until next time,
Debbie

Four Special Ladies

29 Jun

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love Him
and keep His commands. 
Deuteronomy 7:9

A special gift was delivered just two days after Christmas in 1937.  Belonging to a family of two young boys and their parents, this newborn baby brought grace, sweetness, and all the other charms only a little girl could bring into their lives.  She grew up in a little town in Brown County, Indiana, later met a young man, fell in love, and they married …

Missing her older brother’s birthday by only four days, this chubby baby was the answer to that young couple’s prayers to have a little girl.  That autumn day in 1960 was only the beginning to her journey of love, family (including a baby brother a few years later), and a relationship with Jesus that has grown more and more dear through the years.

A tiny and perfectly created baby girl was an unexpected and special birthday surprise to her Daddy  ~  that most popular day in August of 1983.  Later joined by a little brother,  this sweet girl grew up surrounded by a family that loved and supported her, and the strength of faith to face the joys and challenges of life …

A most specific request of prayer was answered just two months ago as weeks of a troubled pregnancy finally delivered a beautiful baby girl.  Having been excitedly welcomed into the family by parents and big brother, this special little lady has a lifetime of Love and life just waiting for her to experience …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The townhome in Baltimore was bustling with activity as the hour finally arrived when the flight from Indianapolis was due.  Mimi Wells was the anticipated special guest of honor.  And honor it was as she held her great granddaughter for the first time.  Once again, love that spanned the years of generations melted four hearts, but this time it was even more special …

Mimi, Mommy, Baby Lillie and Mimi Wells

Since the birth of Cole Michael in 2009, our family has shared in the heritage of four generations.  But we now have a little girl that brings a different dynamic to the celebration.   A celebration that embraces giggles, recipes, hair ribbons, and shopping … and a specific way of caring for those we love.  These four special ladies have each other to go to for wisdom, for prayer, for shelter, and for love.  We not only share in the same heritage of family, faith, and love, we still have today and tomorrow to continue adding to those memories and moments of life.

The wildfires of life are burning out of control all around us … but in the midst of these difficult days, there is Jesus.  Jesus is there, giving us strength, hope, and His very presence in the middle of it all.  And then sometimes, there is an added blessing of four special ladies … with their common threads being Mimi Wells, Mimi, Mommy and Baby Lillie  — all unique and individual, but all connected by love.

Until next time,
Debbie

Four Generations

Family Home Movies

9 Jan

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.   Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”   So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

My parents are passing down a legacy of memories that my brothers and I, and our children, will forever cherish.  From my earliest recollections as a small child, all the way up into my adult years, the brightness of the light bar and the sight of my mom or dad taking home movies was a natural part of life nearly as much as was my Daddy and his coffee. 

Wells Christmas 1961

Click below to watch this clip from 1961
1961 Wells Christmas
 
Over the course of 30 some years, reel after reel of 8 mm and Super 8 mm films were recorded and added to the collection that could always be found in a box in the front hall closet.  Many years ago while still living in my parents’ home, I began to organize this wealth of family heritage as I clicked out on the family’s old typewriter detailed notes of each individual reel.  This very rough but fairly accurate list of information was kept with the reels so whenever someone suggested on a lazy holiday afternoon that we watch home movies, we randomly pulled out several reels and could read the corresponding notes.

With the ever-changing quick tempo of technology and all that it offers, my parents’ movie camera eventually became a thing of the past.   It was replaced by the next generation’s VHS cameras and now digital video.  But in the bottom of that closet still laid priceless footage of our family and friends.  My mom often thought about transferring these antique memories into something more user-friendly, since it was always quite a chore to get out the projector, the box of films, and then to set up the movie screen.  After much research on Google and then inquiring phone calls to specific businesses, a final decision was made to use Digmypics.com, a company in Arizona, to transfer our home movies into DVDs.  For a few months in the spring of 2008, I made regular visits to my mom’s house where together we took my original typewritten notes and verified dates, special occasions, and familiar faces as we went through thousands of feet of movie film.  Once reels, lists, and instructions were fully updated and organized, all 7,500 feet of our family’s memories were boxed up and shipped Fed-Ex to Arizona.  Long story short, there was a fire in Arizona around 2 a.m. on the same morning that our box arrived on site.  Due to the complete loss of the facility just 6 hours prior, the shipment was refused and sent back to us inIndiana.  Our family was stunned at the near devastation of losing our priceless memories, so we once again put the box of reels back into the closet. 

Jay's 14th birthday

Click below to watch this clip of my brother Jay’s 14th birthday
 
Life for all of us kept its usual fast pace, but this past spring, mom decided it was time to send the box back to Arizona.  Digmypics.com has since rebuilt, and is now the largest web based photo scanning and video transfer service in America.  They were extremely gracious in dealing with us by charging our order from the 2008 price sheet.  Within a few short weeks of receiving our films, they had processed each reel, cleaned the films, and then uploaded them to a website which we could access in order to view, organize, and to title.  What a thrill it was to open the very first chapter and see my own mother at the age of 6 years old with her two big brothers, out playing in their side yard in Nashville,Indiana.  Within moments, there was my Pappy driving up the big hill to his parents’ home in his ’36 Chevy.  Reminiscing has a way of stealing my time, so I lost a few hours here and there while finalizing our order from Digmypics.com.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, my gazillion cousins, friends, neighbors, church family, my own Daddy  ~  Christmases, birthdays, vacations, graduations, births  ~  Cars, trucks, fish, water skiing, dogs, cats, school buses, …   

I have come to a deeper appreciation for my Mother over the past few months as I have spent many hours working on this project in an attempt to provide something precious and most valuable to our families.  Thank you, Mom, for taking the time and making the effort to often pick up the camera and the light bar  …  and for giving us all this priceless gift that we will cherish for as long as life gives us breath… and for generations to come.

Vacation in Holland, Michigan 1971

Click below to watch this clip from our summer vacation in 1971
Summer vacation in Holland, MI 1971
 
 
The project is now complete.  We have 9 full DVDs, divided into 139 chapters.  We also ordered a portable hard drive so we can edit the unabridged version and share with extended family and friends.   Watching these memories come back to life will bring laughter, tears, and a lot of different emotions … but my prayer is that each person will be in awe of how God has had His hand of protection, His hand of comfort, His hand of love, and His hand of mercy on our families through the years.  May we not fail to go away and begin to tell how much Jesus has done for us. 

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

Until next time,
Debbie

 

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of a home movie clip  ~ my Daddy and I in our new backyard 1962.

 

 

Christmas Offering

30 Dec

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name.
Bring an offering and come before Him;
Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.
I Chronicles 16:29

 

 

“I bring an offering of worship to my King
        No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
                 Jesus, may You receive the honor that You’re due
                        O Lord, I bring an offering to You.”

The offering that I bring is my heart … my heart that is overflowing with gratefulness from Christmas.  Christmas that brought family together from many miles apart.  Christmas that bridges the gaps in relationships.  Christmas that celebrates anticipated new life.  Christmas that honors and remembers those we still love who have gone on before us.  Christmas that embraces the gift of my heart as an offering to Jesus ~ the Baby in the manger ~  my Savior. 

Our Family ~ Dec 23, 2011

My Mother’s home was the hub of our Christmas reunion as our family made its way across the country from two different directions to spend time together.   Six of us, including a dog, a 2 ½  year old little boy, and a pregnant mom, traveled from central Pennsylvania and Baltimore ~ Ryan and Brittany flew into Indianapolis from Seattle.  What a great time we had as we shared laughter, family fun, little boy antics, and the warm company of many extended family members over the course of 4 days.  Special memories were made and will be tucked away in the recesses of our hearts.

Speaking of hearts, just a little more than a month ago, Tim had a second stent inserted inside his original one from 2004.  This original stent, which he received while living in Albuquerque, was 99% blocked.  As soon as he began to shovel the heavy 6” snow that we received late October, he began having immediate pain and shortness of breath.  We are grateful for these modern day miracles that can open a blockage and fix a heart within moments.

Moments are what seems to have passed by when we look at our grandson and realize that he will be three years old in March.  This tiny pre-mature newborn has grown into a healthy, vibrant, smart, and very talkative little boy.  He says what he thinks, and he must think all the time!  His play world still includes tractors of every make, size, and color ~ and they all tip like in the CARS movie!  Dora and Diego, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, and of course, CARS all entertain him.  He loves to sing, he loves his dog, he dearly loves both sets of grandparents, and he loves life.  Cole Michael will be a big brother in May … and he loves to kiss his momma’s preggie belly ~ his baby sister.

Thrilled doesn’t even come close to describing our hearts as we anticipate the birth of our grand daughter in May.  A cheery bright nursery is being put together with love in the Arndt home, accented in pink and frills.  Kim’s first 5 ½  months of expectant bliss has been survived as she has kept up with Cole during the day, grateful for the time when Daddy comes home from work to give her some rest in the evenings. Troy has been with Booz Allen Hamilton for a year and a half, and is now a Senior Consultant.  This next year he will be working on his Masters degree in Cyber Security via an online program through UMUC.   He and Kim are members at the Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene in Severn, MD where they are part of the leadership team for a new contemporary service beginning the first of the New Year.  They are also active in a weekly Bible study, and Kim and Cole participate in the monthly Mom’s group.  We are so grateful that they have found a church home that has embraced them in love, support, and the Word. 

Words are never enough to express my love for my children.  Besides Kim and her little family being only a little more than an hour away in Maryland, Ryan is still living in Seattle,Washington.  He is an assistant store manager for Verizon Wireless, with his sites set on having his own store soon.  He still enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee with friends, watching sports, and reading.  He is still dating the most precious and beautiful young lady, who has stolen all of our hearts … Brittany Bergam.  She works as a medical transcriptionist and is planning on applying for medical school in the near future.  We were blessed to have them both join us at my Mother’s house last week for Christmas.  Time seems to slip by all too quickly when we are with Ryan and Brittany! 

Family at the beach

However, vacation in August was awesome!  Ryan and Brittany, my Mother, the Arndts, along with Mimi and Papaw, packed, overloaded two vehicles, and headed for Bethany Beach, Delaware!  We rented a condo, which was just a short drive to the ocean, swimming pool, golf, volleyball, and shuffleboard!  We played games, ate delicious meals fixed by all, enjoyed Cole’s slow progression toward liking the sand and the surf, and the company was just superb!  Four generations to love, to share, and to cherish!  The final few days of our family time included a birthday party for Tim, who turned 50 years old on August 5th.  With Ryan and Brittany still here, Tim’s mom, along with some of his siblings came for an afternoon of smoked pulled pork and birthday cake.  He was totally surprised and enjoyed every moment of the attention!

Tim is still employed by Kitchen Savers where he remodeled kitchens until he had knee surgery in June, when he had a torn meniscus repaired.  Following this procedure, he then assumed a position in the office as Installation Manager.  He measures the jobs, orders the material, schedules each crew to a job every week, and makes sure it all gets done to the customer’s satisfaction.  His responsibilities require several hours of his time each day, but we are home together each evening for dinner, and he has his weekends free to relax and enjoy life.  Now since he had the new stent inserted in November, his energy level has picked up, and he’s feeling much better! 

After working a couple temporary jobs earlier in the year, I am currently working part time in the office for the Robert Clofine Elder Care Law Firm.  Office duties are shared and we give support to two attorneys and two paralegals.  It is quite an experience to see first hand the pain, heart ache, and the decline in folks as they age and become dependent upon others.  Although the job was not posted as one of ministry, I use it as such as I daily pray for clients and especially for those with whom I work.  Since my hours are part-time, this allows me to keep up with the house, the yard, my writings, and my grandson!  Tim and I have been attending Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene in York, PA.  I am so grateful that God is faithful to always lead us to a church fellowship where the Pastor preaches Holiness in every message.  God’s Word and my early morning time with Him continue to carry me through the day-to-day routine of life.  I keep an active prayer list, gleaning names and needs from Facebook, emails and texts, and nudges from God Himself, spending time praying for family and friends.  This is my ministry for now … for such a time as this.

Click here to listen to …  Christmas Offering by Casting Crowns

Over the skies of Bethlehem appeared a star
While angels sang to lowly shepherds
Three Wiseman seeking truth they traveled from afar
Hoping to find the child from heaven
Falling on their knees they bow before the humble Prince of Peace

 

Just as the wise men traveled from afar, seeking Truth,
hoping to find the Child from heaven,
our family journeyed many miles to
come together to celebrate His birth …



We bring an offering of worship to our King
No one on earth deserves the praises that we sing
Jesus may you receive the honor that you’re due
O Lord I bring an offering to you

The sun cannot compare to the glory of your love
There is no shadow in your presence
No mortal man would dare to stand before your throne
Before the Holy One of heaven
It’s only by Your blood
It’s only through Your mercy
Lord, I come

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus, may you receive the honor that you’re due
O Lord, I bring an offering to you

We bring an offering to you
We are an offering to you
We are an offering to you, Jesus

We are an offering of worship to our King
No one on earth deserves the praises that we sing
Jesus, may you receive the honor that you’re due
O Lord, we bring an offering to you

O Lord, we bring an offering to you

We bring an offering to you
We are an offering to you
We are an offering to you

 

As this Christmas season comes to an end with the beginning of another New Year, may you join me in bringing an offering of worship to our King …

It’s only by Your blood
It’s only through Your mercy
Lord, I come …

 

Merry Christmas and a Most Blessed New Year!
The Van Hooks

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Four Generations

4 Aug

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 
Deuteronomy 7:9

  

4 Generations

Hot sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, delicious food, and lots and lots of fun!  We are on vacation!  Blending in with the other thousands of people who are visiting the Delaware coastline this week, we are unique in that we are the only one that has ‘us’ in it.  We have 8 people in our ‘us’, and we range between the ages of 73 and 2 years old, with a lot of precious life in between.  Four generations fill this beach house with the noises of life, laughter, and love  ~  and here I am … right in the middle of it all. 

Sometimes I wonder how much love one person can experience in a lifetime.  The first love of my life, obviously, would be my mother.  I felt the comfort of her beating heart long before my tiny ears could hear anything.  Still to this day, the sound of her voice puts a smile on my face and a sigh in my spirit.  Mom!  I consider it a privilege to have her by my side this week as together she and I enjoy my family, each other, and God’s signature on the beautiful east coast. 

I will never be able to fully express my heart and the love it feels when I think of my own two children.  Next to Jesus and the salvation He offers to me, there is no greater gift I have ever received than Kim and Ryan.  Thousands of miles have sometimes separated us, but I keep a connection through continual prayer that welds my heart to theirs.  I daily claim these two promises …

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
 Deuteronomy 31:8

For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able
 to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.  
2 Timothy 1:12

To share this week with Kim and her husband,Troy… and Ryan and his girlfriend, Brittany, is beyond words for me.  I will, on purpose, soak in every morsel of time spent with them and tuck it away inside my heart for another time… to once again feel the joy of their love and being with them.

Mimi’s love is like no other love.  It’s reserved for the little one who resembles so many different people in his life, but yet tie all of that variety into one bundle, and you have Cole.  His silly antics, his fresh new perspective on life, and his HUGE love for tractors and his Uncle RyRy have been the best entertainment of all!  But I consider myself blessed beyond measure to be me … and to observe his parents, his Papaw, his Uncle and Brittany, and his ‘Mimi Wells’  all experience Cole’s wonder, his excitement, his trust, and his love for life.  I have the best seat in the house … to watch everyone else enjoy my little grandson.  What joy!!  Of course, he and I have our own special moments together.  I volunteered for afternoon Mimi duty. Leaving the middle generations at the beach, my momma and I have been bringing Cole back to the house for lunch and his nap.  This allows some special snuggle time for Mimi and Cole … and special quiet time for mom and daughter.  Sigh …

Sharing all of this week of family fun with me, of course, is Tim.  He reaches a milestone of life himself this week as he turns 50 years old on Friday, August 5th.  Sharing his birthday with our daughter, who will be 28 this year, has always been a unique time of celebration ~ this year being no exception.  What fun to do so with our entire family gathered around to sing, give gifts, and to be festive in honor of these two people we love. 

As the week is beginning to wind down, and everyone will be going in their own direction of home, my heart will be full and overflowing with gratefulness to my God who has so graciously blessed my life with being me  … right in the middle of 4 generations.  To be loved, to be needed, to need, and to love.  Thank you, Father, for the morsels of mercy, of life, and of love. 

Until next time,
Debbie

I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
Psalm 89:1

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

 

*  For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of sand castles, ocean & Cole were taken at Bethany Beach on August 3, 2011.