Tag Archives: Daughter

Red Sea, Gall Bladder & a Hurricane

9 Nov

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

 

The offer to buy a companion ticket expired Aug 30.  In true form, my daughter and I made our decision that final day, purchasing two airline tickets to Indianapolis for the end of October.  Excited to introduce our new little one to extended family and friends, we were making it a ladies’ weekend away, since 6 month old Lillianne can fly free until she’s two years old.

Flying to Indy!

My mother did some strategizing of her own as she scheduled her foot surgery for nearly a month before our anticipated arrival.  Once Mom got settled following the procedure, all was well as she adjusted to hobbling around the house with her left foot encased in the boot.  After a couple weeks, I did begin to take notice that Mom sounded really tired and she often mentioned that there was discomfort in her abdomen that would come and go. Then just a week before our flight, it became very apparent that Mom was in a great deal of pain.  So those whose watch she is on, on a regular basis, took her to several doctor appointments and tests, coming to the conclusion that it was likely her gall bladder giving her fits, and that surgery was a great probability.  As Kim and I did our final packing for the trip, we switched clothing around for hospital and home instead of friends and family, restaurants, and church.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine was going through difficult days when a Pastor friend called her out of the blue and asked what was going on.  God laid my friend on her heart, and she knew she needed to call and find out how she should be praying.  We were completely in awe of God’s hand in her life at that exact time, so we named that a “Parting of the Red Sea Moment”… a moment when only God could literally move the sea, or move someone to make a phone call, or to coordinate a much-needed surgery with a pre-scheduled visit.  My oldest brother, Jay, was on vacation all week … a week set aside to cut firewood for the upcoming winter … placed in the books at the Martinsville Post Office back in December 2011.  Tim’s sister, Amy, was cleared 2 weeks prior to have Friday off from work in order to spend the day with us girls and have lunch with her mom. Instead, she was able to sit with us at the hospital during my mom’s surgery, bringing us lunch, Mountain Dew, and lots of laughs!!  God was dishing out Red Sea Moments left and right!!

Mimi Wells with 4 of her 7 great grandkids
A’yden, Leyton, Jaxon, and Lillianne

What a privilege it was for me to be caregiver for those few days we were in town.  Before settling down to bed each night, Mom and I would pull up my Facebook on my  iPhone and read all of the sweet comments from dear friends and family … from 20 different states and 2 countries!!  It was like opening a mailbox full of get well cards, knowing that they had been thinking about her and praying for her!    Each day was a new day, gaining more strength, reclaiming her lost appetite, looking more rested, and feeling better.  Family times were extra special, as babies Lillianne, Jaxon, and Leyton (all second cousins, within 4 months in age) were introduced to one another, mommas and daddies compared stories, and Great Grandma (Mimi Wells) had several photo shoots with the children.

The first night we were at my Mom’s, my husband called and briefly mentioned something about a big storm coming up the east coastline … wanted to know if I had been listening to the weather.  I laughed at his silly question, thinking back over the extremely eventful day.  With surgery scheduled the following day, there was no thought about a storm and very little time to watch TV.  Sometime on Saturday, the realization hit us that our return flight into Baltimore could very possibly be cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.  We literally spent 2 hours on hold that night with the airline, waiting to ask questions about cancellations, refunds, and rescheduling.  If we made the decision to not fly, then it would cost us.  If we waited on the airline to cancel the flight, then we could rebook at no cost.  We decided to trust the airline … if they choose to fly, then we would be along for the ride. So, on the way to the airport, we received the recorded message that our flight into Baltimore was cancelled.  Knowing that our hubbies were back east, weathering the storm alone (Troy had Cole’s assistance!), we were disappointed but yet relieved to not be sharing the same air space as the hurricane.

The first unexpected day was pretty much a wash, literally, as we were glued to the Weather Channel, watching the reports of flooding, fire, wind, power outages, and extreme devastation.  Having friends and family in the path of the storm was unsettling, knowing that our own homes could be damaged or be without power for days.  But as the hours passed, so did the winds and rain.  Grateful reports from home came in that there was no loss of electricity and that all was ok.  The brunt of the damage was closer to the shore … our beloved New Jersey beaches, the gorgeous homes and communities where we visit each summer ~ much of it flooded and destroyed.

Our last day with Mimi Wells was a productive one as we were determined to turn off the Weather Channel and work on some projects that we had already started for her.  By the day’s end, we were all packed again, ready and hoping for an early morning flight back home.

I often write about my personal relationship with God … how He and I have a special vocabulary, and He literally speaks to me through His Word.  A couple of days before our scheduled flight to Indy, my morning devotions had me reading in Lamentations 3 …

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.

 

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.

 

They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him.”

 

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:19-26

 

Those 2 days before our trip, I knew right then and there that it was Mom’s gall bladder … and that my God was telling me that He had it all under control.

A few days later, before getting out of bed the morning of Mom’s surgery, I snuggled up next to her, and I prayed for her.  I asked God to guide the doctors and nurses as they tended to her that day, and thanked Him for parting the Red Sea so I could be there with her.  Just minutes later as I was having my devotions, Our Daily Bread had me reading in Joshua 2.  My heart began to soar as I read verse 10, knowing that once again, my personal and loving God was shouting to me “I LOVE YOU DEBBIE!!”

We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea
for you when you came out of Egypt, …
…for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below
.
Joshua 2:10 & 11

Four days later and wondering if it was really safe to be flying home, my devotions were in Psalm 32.  Verse 7 jumped out at me …

 You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah

With confidence, I shared the verse with Kim and reassured her that despite the storm and the unsettled weather still along the east coast, God was safely going to take us back home.  Thank you, Father, for loving us so!

That Wednesday was an uneventful day … Lillie travels like a pro, taking everything in stride … flirting and smiling at anyone who looks her way.  Once landed in Baltimore, her eyes sparkled even brighter as her big brother held her hand all the way home.

Since we’ve been back home, Mom has gotten the pin out of her toe and is slowing making progress in getting out and walking without the protective boot.  Her small incisions from the gall bladder surgery are healing and she is regaining strength and hopefully putting some meat back on her frail little body.  I’m so looking forward to spending more time with her over the Christmas holiday … every moment with my momma is a precious moment!

Our hearts are still hurting for those still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Tim’s youngest sister and her family live on Long Island, just 4 blocks away from having lost everything.  Their everyday routines have been disrupted as the simple things like gas, groceries, and errands are no longer simple.  Our pastor friends, Del and Patsy Bieber in Tom’s River, New Jersey report that Samaritan’s Purse has set up headquarters in their parking lot, and that their church is very involved in the care of people in their area.

As we all think back over the events of the last few weeks, including the election just a few days ago, won’t you join me in continuing to pray for people everywhere whose very existence has been ravaged by the storms of life?  God wants to wrap His arms of Love, Mercy, and Hope around each of us … not just in His Red Sea Moments, but all the time.

Until next time,
Debbie

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

** The header photo was taken at Avon-by-the Sea, New Jersey … August 5, 2012.

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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

LILLIANNE HOPE … the story

11 May

Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

Lillianne ~ one name among several scribbled on a note pad belonging to a junior high girl, dreaming of the day when she would have her own daughter.  That name, along with that hope, became reality several days ago when my granddaughter was born.

Purpose was involved for several months ~ what occurred so effortlessly 3 years previous was not going to be so easy this time.  Repeated non success led to disappointment, and disappointment led to frustration.  Perhaps there is magic in the month of August … magic that Divinely and mysteriously combined that school girl’s dreams with hope, and then that hope into reality.  Reality was confirmed and then anticipation immediately hit the calendars for the first week of May…nearly the exact same day that the older sibling had been due to arrive.  As the pages of the calendar began to turn, so did the Momma’s stomach, limiting the items on the menu, and once again not able to even tolerate the aroma of brewing coffee.  Necessary changes were made without much grumble, and the family of three (plus dog) adjusted.  By early December, ultrasound photos revealed the hidden secret of gender and all were thrilled beyond words to officially refer to the ever-growing baby belly as Lillie. Along with her big brother Cole, Lillie had gifts under the Christmas tree, and was quite noticeable in the annual holiday family photo.  The New Year started and with it came some concern from Momma’s doctor which sent her to bed for a couple of weeks.  Those weeks of rest proved to be helpful, but only temporarily.  As spring dropped hints of its existence throughout our very mild winter, Kim’s body began to show signs of early dilation and possible pre-term labor.  Once again, orders were made to rest and do very little … Prayers were prayed, food was brought in, and child care was provided during those long weeks of caution.  For all of this and more, we are so appreciative!  The phrase ‘full-term’ finally made its way into our vocabulary and the little momma received professional permission to emerge from her couch. A slow but deliberate re-entry into activity began to take place, as well as ‘practice’ contractions and pressure.  Substantial dilation secretly moved in on the scene and was detected and announced by the attending physician during the final weekly visit.  A suggestion was made to have all bags packed and to expect a quick trip to the hospital before the scheduled day of surgery.  A fun-filled weekend, including movie night with popcorn and milkshakes, a family picnic on Saturday, and kickball in the park ended with timely contractions and extreme discomfort during the wee hours of Sunday.   A call to the doctor in charge during those sleepy hours instructed the waiting parents to arrive in Annapolis as soon as possible for an exam, at which time the number 8 seemed to boost workers into sudden activity.  The preferred C-section delivery was prepped, as was the patient, and at 5:50 am on Sunday, April 29, 2012, Lillianne Hope was born.

Welcome, Baby Lillie!

Having driven the hour and a half to Annapolis and arriving at the hospital around 4:30 am, I knew there was nothing I could do but sit and pray, so I did everything I knew to do ~ sit and pray.  I received an occasional text from Kim or Troy, informing me of the latest detail … until all went quiet when she said “we are going in soon”.  For the next hour or so, my mind played back to the scene three years before when they rushed my very ill daughter down the hall to deliver her first-born by emergency surgery…6 weeks early.  My heart soared in prayer as the minutes clicked by that God’s presence would be with these kids as they experienced another special moment in their lives together.  An excited text interrupted my sanctuary as the new Dad informed me that Mom and baby were fine and that I would get to come see them both soon.  As I entered that hospital room and saw the glow on my daughter’s face as she sat there holding her own daughter, my heart was full and ready to burst with joy!  No wires, no tubes, no alarms, no special machines!  Although everything worked out and Cole is an active and healthy little 3-year-old boy now … this time, it’s a new and different beginning to life!  Thank you Jesus!

Cole meeting his little sister, Lillianne

I drove back to Cole’s house where he and Papaw were playing and waiting for me to come get them.  We explained to the little guy that Baby Lillie had finally arrived and she was at the hospital with his mom and dad.  As we were getting out of our van to go inside, Cole looked over at me and asked … “Baby Lillie is not in Mommy’s tummy now?”  It was so fun to be able to tell him that she was now out … and that he was going to get to see her eyes, her nose, her hair, and her little fingers!  I believe in his little boy heart and mind, he understood.  Sporting his ‘big brother’ sticker that the nurse’s station handed him, with excitement and the thrill of many, many months of anticipation, Cole squealed with delight as he reached for his baby sister and touched her for the first time.Visitors came and went.  So did the nurses and doctors … providing care, instructions, and advice.  The little family was reunited in their home on Wednesday, just 4 days following Lillie’s birth.  One couldn’t help but remember that it was on day 4 that Mom and Dad were finally able to hold Baby Cole for the first time …still connected to wires, tubes, and machines.   Again, thank you Jesus.

Mimi with Lillie, Cole, and Uncle RyRy

The weekend was extra special as Uncle RyRy and Britt flew in from Seattle to officially meet little Miss Lillianne.  Ryan arrived on Thursday morning, giving us a couple extra days of playtime with Cole at Mimi and Papaw’s house so Mom and Dad and little Miss could get settled without added commotion. Brittany then joined the party Saturday morning ~ allowing this Mom and Mimi to feel blessed beyond words to be surrounded by her entire family for a few days.  It was a busy time – cooking, loving the babies, cooking again, loving all the babies some more, and cooking again.  Sunday night came all too quickly as Tim and I headed back to PA in order to go back to work the following day.  Reality always has a way of interrupting.  The salve to help soothe the aching Mommy heart this time is our upcoming family vacation to Seattle in July!

Another week has nearly come and gone – Lillianne will be 2 weeks old this Sunday … Mother’s Day.  I look forward to spending the day with both of my grandchildren and their parents ~ Mimi and Papaw taking turns to hold the itty bitty one while the other plays with tractors, cars, and dinosaurs.  It will be a special day, full of life, love, and little ones.

Just as her name was first written on a piece of scratch paper many years ago, all of Lillianne’s days were ordained by God and written in His book before one of them came to be … Psalms 139:16.  I count it a privilege and honor to also document this little life’s days in my own journal!  As specific and detailed her tiny ears are, or to hear every squeak and whimper from her perfect little lips ~ may I begin this journey of writing with a heart full of praise and awe of the One who created her.  Won’t you join me?

Until next time,
Debbie

Lillianne Hope … 1 week old

Baby Lillie

Bread Bites

21 Mar

Give us this day our Daily Bread.
Matthew 6:11

Definition by Domino’s Pizza ~

Bread Bites by Domino's

Parmesan Bread Bites:
Oven-baked, bite size breadsticks lightly sprinkled
with parmesan-asiago cheese and seasoned with garlic
and more parmesan.  Available in 16-piece or 32-piece orders.
Share them with everyone or no one!

Debbie’s definition ~

Delicious little bites of airy dough balls … the texture reminiscent of a Krispy Kreme donut FRESH from the production line … tastefully seasoned with garlic and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Oh SO yummy!

On top of the two boxes of pizzas that were picked up to bring back for dinner, was a bag of piping hot Bread Bites.  The aroma of fresh baked bread and its seasoning quickly filled the vehicle, causing my taste buds and my tummy to turn summersaults in anticipation!  Not to be unfair to the others, I only snitched one of the Bites from the tempting bag, savoring every morsel of garlic and speck of parmesan. That meal was over two weeks ago and I still think about those Bites … but for more reasons than their taste.

The 2nd year anniversary for Morsels of Mercy has come and gone.  I had great intentions of once again finding a new blog theme, freshen things up a bit, and add new pictures, but life has been a little crazy.  Not necessarily bad crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  Just when I think I have a few extra moments to sit down and peruse the various different new blog formats on Word Press, my attention is diverted by something more important.  It’s these little bites of bread in my world that I keep partaking of … seasoned with the spices of life and then lavished with the love of Jesus.  Bread Bites are meant to be shared … so don’t mind if I do!

Kim and Cole

Baby Lillianne … This Bread Bite is the one right up on top.  The months of anticipation have suddenly become weeks ~ with only 6 left at the time of this post.  Six weeks early was when her big brother, Cole, arrived on the scene – in a state of emergency for Mom and Baby.  Momma has done her best at preventing a repeat of circumstances, but sometimes our best is not enough.  Kim’s body seems to react adversely to pregnancy – last time with pre-eclampsia and this time with cervix issues.  After the initial period of moderate bed rest at week 24, permission to resume normal activity was given.  Several weeks later, after a routine OB visit, an exam showed early dilation and cervix issues again.  Prompt attention and concern were immediately put into place as Kim was once again placed on bed rest – this time restrictive.  Her daily routine of caring for her home, husband, and nearly 3 year old son quickly came to a halt as she found herself lying on the couch for hours on end, except when she made her way upstairs to sleep and to shower.  Appreciation beyond words cannot express my heart when I think of those friends from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene where Kim and Troy belong.  They truly do belong there, for it has been that family that recently blessed them with an overwhelmingly bountiful shower of baby gifts, and has provided meals and extra care for Cole during the week days while Daddy and Mimi were at work.  Kim’s latest appointment with the doctor showed great signs of improvement, releasing her from the bonds of strict bed rest to that of moderation.  Help with meals and care for Cole will continue as these final weeks bring us closer to the birth of our Baby Lillie!

Cole ... on purpose spilling himself.

The world of Mimi … this Bread Bite is huge, sprinkled with a lot of seasoning!  To share every speck of parmesan would require the writing of a book all of its own entitled Cole Michael.  The fun, the laughter, the non-stop chatter, the busyness, the curiosity, the tenderness, the stubbornness, the love, and even occasional frustration …   Need I go on?  With every effort to do all we can to help lighten the load for his parents, Papaw and Mimi have had Cole at their house as often as possible, or Mimi has spent weekends in Baltimore.  Cole’s world continues to be all boy – cars, tractors, stickers, balls, and monster trucks.  Despite the unusually warm temperatures this winter, we were truly blessed with a few inches of snow during an overnight visit from Kim and Cole.  A year makes such a difference in the fun of a little boy … he graduated from his protective and safe little sled to the adult long board, which allowed him to self-spill and tumble out into the snow.  Cole is very excited and shares in the anticipation of Baby Lillie … not quite sure what he is expecting, although the details of tiny, crying, pooping, and sleeping have all been explained to him.  For the moment, Baby Lillie is the existence behind Momma’s ever-growing belly, which he kisses, includes in his prayers, and enjoys her company as he raises momma’s maternity top up so she can also watch the CAR movie with him…the preciousness of a little child.

Another Bread Bite that is full of evening gym visits, lots of energy, and better health is one that I’ve already recently shared.  Tim has been on a mission to lose substantial weight, and has experienced great results … giving credit to his exercise routines at the gym and a change in his eating habits.  He has all but cut out all sodas, which is a huge change for him.  He used to drink at least 5 Pepsis every day.  Fruits and vegetables have replaced chips and Swiss Rolls, and we also recently pulled our Champion Juicer out of the archives of the basement.

Not just one, but a handful of Bread Bites represent my recent trip to Indianapolis, leaving behind the aroma of spices and specks of parmesan all over the place!!  Having arrived Wednesday evening of last week and returning home late Sunday night, the sponge of my heart soaks up as much as possible, but there’s never enough time …

Great Grandma, Great Aunt Debbie with Jaxon ... & Daddy

Baby Jaxon melted my heart as I sat there that first evening holding my great nephew and remembering special times over 30 years ago when his Daddy was this size.  It was a real treat on Sunday for his parents to bring him to my home church so his great grandma could show him off.  Hopefully he was the only one who slept through Pastor Swesey’s message!

There were 16 of us at a friends’ home on Thursday as my ‘Higher Ground’ girls gathered in for the evening.  A surprise bridal shower for another friend provided the reason to come, along with the realization that my momma and I were coming to town!  What a true blessing these girls are to my heart as they still seem to love me and miss me, even though I have been gone for over a year!  Those feelings are very mutual!

Friday and Saturday were  both busy from dawn to bedtime … a special lunch with a dear friend, sorting through bags and closets of my Daddy’s clothes, time spent with family, and some relaxing in front of the TV watching movies and special events that Mom recorded for me.  The weather was exceptional all weekend, allowing me to slip on the flip flops and capris for the first time this year.

It’s always a joy for me to attend church with my Mom on Sunday ~ the church in which I grew up in … where I found Jesus, met my husband, got married, dedicated my babies, my Daddy’s funeral, …  During the Sunday School hour, I chose to sit in the Senior Adult class with those I have known for many years, discussing the disciple Peter and his tragic failure of loyalty … a lesson from the Nazarene spring quarterly.  I chimed in with my own comment that even though Peter failed and made a horrible mess of things, because of Christ’s love and forgiveness, Peter was restored and later had a dynamic ministry in spite of his past.  I’m personally grateful that Jesus does not just condemn and leave me in a pile to rot.  But instead, he is all about redemption and restoration.

A Divine Appointment on the flight home … a pastor’s wife from Lancaster was flying back from Denver where her daughter is attending college.  It was nice to once again connect to a total stranger through the bonds of Jesus.

A very special Bread Bite remains in the bag, filled with lots of yummy goodness and extra spices … Sunday was our son Ryan’s 26th birthday.  There will never be enough garlic and specks of parmesan to express this Momma’s love for her boy.  Someday, I would love to be with him in Seattle for his birthday so we could celebrate him and his special day together.

There’s another Birthday Bread Bite still in the bottom of the bag ~ Cole will turn 3 years old on Saturday.  A low-energy level birthday party is being planned, allowing Momma to participate by sitting and watching while an assortment of little tykes and their parents, along with various family members gather to thank God for another year of growth, development, love, and lots of life in the person of Cole Michael.

As a Morsel of Mercy represents God’s gifts of undeserved favor throughout our everday, I believe that from time to time, my life has a bag of warm and tasty Bread Bites.  Moments that are full of life, saturated with time consuming events, and covered with specks of details.  Every Bite is fresh, warm, and lavished with the love of Jesus.  I just shared mine ~ find someone who needs some encouragement or a friendly visit and share your Bread Bites.

Until next time,
Debbie

 Jesus said to them,
“I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven,
but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is He who comes down from
heaven and gives life to the world.”


“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this Bread.”

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.
He who comes to Me will never go hungry,
and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”
John 6:32-35

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 Baby Shower Gift Bags  –  March 2012

Rise and Shine

17 Jan

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
Revelation 19:7

 

Rise and Shine

It had been over a month since he had been to our house for a sleepover.  We were so excited as we anticipated the next two days with this little boy who would be celebrating his third birthday in just a couple months.  As the three of us sat down to eat dinner that first evening, with chicken nugget in hand, he looked at me and his Papaw and simply said, “I missed you guys!”  Melt is the word that described our hearts at that moment.  It’s not like Cole hadn’t seen us for weeks and weeks … in fact, we stayed over at his house for New Year’s Eve, and we traveled together to Indiana for Christmas.  But, in his little boy heart, he had missed us.  We knew the feeling.  We had missed him, too.

Wearing the appropriate attire of a John Deere tractor sweatshirt, Cole was more than excited to go to his first Pennsylvania Farm Show.  He had no idea what to expect, but he assumed by the name that there would be animals and tractors there ~ and boy was he excited!  As we entered the tractor display area and he saw other children climbing and crawling all over the machinery, it didn’t take him long to figure out that he could do the same.  Papaw picked him up and placed him on the top step of a very tall green tractor, where he had a bird’s eye view of all the tractors … and he began pointing in every direction.  A few minutes later, he let out a loud and excited giggle as he ran up to an old antique, squealing “Look at the old Farmall tractor!”  He’s not even 3 years old yet …  What does a toddler know about tractors?! 

Cock-a-Doodle Doooo!!

On to the animals ~ the squeals were just as loud and just as excited!  We saw cows, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and horses ~ but his favorite was the rooster.  These birds were all confused, sounding their wake-up calls continuously … and Cole would stand right beside their cage and echo it back to them.  Cock-a-doodle Doooo … followed by a giggle and a squeal!  And on to the next cage!  As we were getting ready to leave, he wanted to know where the hamsters were.  I simply told him that I don’t think many farms have hamsters.  Silly boy!

Even a short period of time makes a difference in a little life.  Since the last time he stayed with us, his pajamas that are upstairs in his dresser drawer fit a bit snug on his taller frame, and his playtime has become more imaginable.  While in the bathtub the other night, he was on his knees, lining up all of his rubber ducks into a row on the side of the tub … separating the yellow ones from the white ones ~ describing each group as a family.  Then each member was turned around and very dramatically dove head first into the pool below.   Once the bubbles had gone down the drain along with little boy dirt, Cole was finally ready for bed.  For 2 weeks now, he’s been sleeping at home in his converted baby bed that is now a big boy bed, so Mimi and Papaw folded up his pak-n-play at our house and simply put a twin mattress on the floor as his transitional big boy bed.  He thought that was the greatest thing!  Not having a pillow in his pak-n-play before, I asked him where he wanted to lay his head and he quickly responded “on the pillow, Mimi!”  He crawled in and laid between the sheets with his head up on the pillow like a big boy – but such a tiny little bundle of a boy in such a big bed.  I know … he won’t stay little very long. 

Cole singing with Mimi

Keeping with the tradition of his usual night time routine at home, I read at least one book to Cole before we pray and he lays down to sleep.  One of his favorite books is not a story book, but a Play-A-Song book.  Jesus Loves Me is the name of it.  With hardback pages, there are 4 songs, complete with pictures and lyrics written out for each and a corresponding shape that matches a button on the side that plays the music to each song.  Jesus Loves Me is a Sunday School favorite, and he has helped me sing that song for months now. 

Yes, Jesus loves me,
the Bible tells me so!

The green circle song …

 Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!

 

I was amazed as Cole kept up with the tempo and sang every word with me.  He’s not necessarily singing on tune, but his heart sure is!  I remember singing this little chorus to him on a number of occasions in the past when he was upset, knowing that he would recognize it from our special quiet time before bed … and it has always caught his attention and calmed him.  “Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord!”

 

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

On the edge of his big boy bed, song book in his lap, one would think he was reading the words as he sat there singing to the music.  Papaw and Mimi were very surprised at how well he had remembered most of the words … and even wondered if he had been practicing at home.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer. 

O what peace we often forfeit.
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

As we sang the final song in his little book, I was reminded once again of the privilege we have to carry everything to God in prayer.  Cole’s momma went to the doctor for an unexpected visit this past week, suspecting something was not quite right with the new little baby growing inside.  Baby Lillianne is ok, but a diagnosis of an insufficient cervix was given and instructions of mandatory rest and leisure time for the next 2 weeks must be heeded.  If after the next exam no improvement has been made, then our daughter will be ordered to bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  These are uncertain days for our family … a lively toddler, a potentially serious condition for his momma and baby sister, and several weeks of growing still necessary for a healthy baby.  I believe I’ll keeping singing right along with Cole  … 

“Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong!”

 

“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.”

 

“For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.”

 

“Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!”

 

Won’t you join us?

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 Cole on a tractor at the PA Farm Show – January 14, 2012. 

 

Merry Christmas Daddy!

16 Dec

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father
deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting
and urging you to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
I Thessalonians 2:11-12 

It would only be most appropriate to sit here and sip on a hot cup of coffee (with cream and sugar, as opposed to black) as I jingle Heaven’s portals with a Christmas greeting to you.  The sights and sounds of the holidays have a way of tugging at the memories of my heart, and I always miss you so much during the holidays. 

You know that I so enjoy all of the music this time of year, but there is a distinct genre of songs that melt this little girl’s heart into a puddle of warm memories.  Just a few notes of one of these songs, and I am immediately transported back to any cold December day in my childhood. Remember how you and I would go shopping together every Christmas and buy gifts for Mom?  Every store we went into and every station on the radio would be playing Burl Ives’ “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” or Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.   I loved being with you, Daddy … your funny little quirks of always stopping at the men’s cologne counter to splash a half dozen different scents of after shave lotion on your face, often taking my own little face in your hands and lovingly pat the potpourri of manly fragrances on my little girl cheeks.  A few more songs like the musical rendition of “Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” sung by Andy Williams would serenade us as we began our quest for the right gift that year for mom.  You loved to have a lot of gifts under the tree for her ~ I always felt like it was your way of showing her how much you loved and appreciated her.  Soft and flowing night gowns with matching robes, a new winter coat with accompanying boots, and peanut brittle.  Oh, the big gifts were different every year, but we also always got her a box of peanut brittle.   I picked up that yummy tradition in your honor until a few years ago when she began to make her own homemade brittle … thinking of you the entire time she’s doing so, I’m sure.  Speaking of peanuts, on our way out of Sears and Roebuck, you would usually swing by the snack area and buy you and me a small bag of warm salted cashews.  How fun to remember how special that made me feel that you would stop and buy this special treat for me … you and me.  I don’t even know if we saved any for mom and the boys. 

I had to chuckle the other day as I was walking through the grocery store and passed by the infamous bag of mixed nuts!  Do you remember the glass dish that mom got out at Christmas and filled with all sorts of hard candy, oranges, and nuts?   I think of you every time I look for something in the utility drawer in my own kitchen and I see the nut cracker and pick.  I have so many simple, but oh so special holiday memories of you, Daddy. 

Your birthday is coming soon, which always means that Christmas is only a few hours away.  You were always so gracious, having a Christmas Eve birthday, to excitedly accept your annual birthday gift of new Christmas pajamas right along with us kids!  Still to this day, you are always remembered and sung to in the unique Wells tradition … as the birthday cake is shared by many December birthdays each year.  “… Happy Birthday, dear Daddy / Grandpa Johnny!” 

There is an unmistakable warmth, safe and secure, and happy feeling ~ embraced with all the love a little girl’s heart can hold ~ when I think of you, Daddy … especially at Christmas time.  The aromas, the sounds of the holidays, the fun varieties of cookies, snacks, fruit, and the Christmas dinner itself, … and just the presence of our family together.  Thank you, Daddy, for sufficiently providing for us, with not only the things we needed, but with lots of love, attention, and security.   I know your grandkids still remember you for your extreme heart of fun and love that always made each one of them feel so special.  You have great grandkids now, Daddy!  Tim is a grandpa to Kailee’s kids, and Jay is just weeks away from holding his first grandson!  And I will once again be Mimi as Kim is expecting her second little one in May … her own little girl!   Oh Daddy … I miss you so!

You know how busy it gets this time of year, but we all plan to be together once again at your house.  You may not physically be there, but you will be there.  Your example, your jovial and sometimes feisty spirit, and your love will always be with us!  Instead of the 5 of us, plus Mammy and Pappy ~ like it was every year for many years, there will be 25 of us and 3 babies on the way.  What a blessed heritage you gave to each of us … yes, you will be there.   Make that 26.

The older I get, the more I miss you.  There must be something about better understanding the struggles and the hard times of life ~ and wishing that I had paid more attention and spent more time on my knees then than I did.  But here we are.  The journey for me continues, and I know that my tears will continue to flow from time to time … until they will be dried by Jesus Himself as I am met by you at that great Gate … Someday.   

Well, I will hush for now, Daddy.  I promise to meet you here again, from time to time, on the pages of my heart.  Happy 78th Birthday, Merry Christmas, and I love you!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

For a nostalgic walk through some of these favorite classis  Christmas songs … click below!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtb3EtjEic

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqpyfa2EmzQ

Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives                                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1t5siifEw

Sleigh Ride by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAm9TloD2bA

White Christmas by Bing Crosby                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aShUFAG_WgM

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Gene Autry                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5VdsuQ-YfM

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIqLlBwzrc

Let It Snow by Dean Martin                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN7LW0Y00kE

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Perry Como                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KjSsTagY3s

Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards                                 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4mkRR4oJNM

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause by Jimmy Boyd                       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI8spatbGEo

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 Christmas decorations … 2011 

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