Tag Archives: Grandson

Still Celebrating Christmas!!

22 Jan

Lord, You have been our Dwelling Place
throughout all generations.
Psalm 90:1

 

There has been a cute little monkey bank sitting in various places in our home since Cole Michael was born in 2009. It has been emptied a few times, with the contents accumulating to enough cash to do something fun and meaningful. Along with the assistance of a great sale on Southwest.com, I booked two flights to Indianapolis and presented the best, once-in-a-lifetime Christmas present to our grandson… a trip with Mimi to visit Mimi Wells and family!

 

The details of our visit would be very boring for most, so I will spare you. However, the specifics about a 6 year old little boy are priceless gems to share. His views, his comments and his actions are note worthy and things I want to remember!

 

Jamba Juice! A simple act of giving him options and talking with him through making a decision was fun and I could tell he felt important as he carried his Jamba Juice cup onto the airplane.

 

Pilot Cole

Pilot Cole

So as we were standing in line to board the plane, we heard someone behind us saying ‘excuse me!’ as they made their way up through the line coming toward us. The gentleman in uniform approached us and as I ushered Cole to get out of his way, I asked him if he was the pilot. Within moments, he and Cole had a conversation that ended with an invitation for Cole to join him in the cockpit of the plane. The flight attendant just inside the plane asked my traveling companion if his name was Cole and said that the pilot was waiting for him. Pilot Tim took pictures for Mimi while Cole sat in the pilot’s seat with his hands on the controls. What a fun way to start a late night flight to Indy!

 

Our shuttle ride from the airport to Mimi Wells’ house was provided by my policeman brother and his wife. Even though Cole slept part of the way there, he was impressed with the flashing lights and loud siren display that Uncle Tim put on for him.

 

Sleeping! I gave Cole the option of sleeping alone in my old bedroom or together downstairs on a queen size bed. I could tell he wanted to be with me, but he seemed rather concerned that he might fall out of bed since the bed was not against any walls. So, I decided to sleep on the side of the bed where Cole is used to having a wall … and this Mimi became his wall. This wall was kicked, head butted, covers stolen, coughed on and snuggled against. But when I felt a little arm wrap around me and pull me tight with a ‘good morning Mimi’, all bumps and bruises to the wall dissipated.

 

Morning devotions!   Great anticipation was in the air that first morning for a fun day of play with cousins Jax and Lyla, but first Mimi wanted to start our day off with Jesus. While we were still in bed, I pulled up a Really Woolly Kids video on my phone and we watched the silly antics of Jacob and Gracie Woolly and their family, who are sheep. The story talks about The Shepherd bringing us back to Him when we have wandered away. Like a light bulb that went off with an ah ha moment, Cole chuckled and said “Mimi! Jesus is the Shepherd! Do you get it?!? They’re sheep and He’s the Shepherd!” What an awesome way to start our day!

 

Star Wars light sabers!

Star Wars light sabers!

Hide and Seek!    Jax and Cole hid while Mimi stayed in the family room counting. They usually burrowed underneath Jax’s bedcovers with wiggles and giggles, taking away all challenge of finding them! When Mimi’s turn came around to hide, somehow I was able to successfully do so by simply standing behind the curtains, feet showing and all! They ran by me every time! Jax decided he didn’t want to hide, so Cole hid alone. I leisurely looked in each room, expecting to find him beside Lyla’s baby bed or in the tub behind the shower curtain, but all was quiet and Cole was nowhere to be found! After searching for several minutes, I faintly heard a clue — something about the room where you take a shower. I walked back into the restroom and I looked behind the door, behind the shower curtain … there was nowhere else to hide, so I started to leave the room. Then I heard another small noise and I followed it to behind the door … in the clothes hamper! It’s one of those soft sided ones, and sure enough, there he was, all curled up in a ball with his hood over his head, looking like dirty laundry! Needless to say, Cole won the prize for the most creative hiding spot!

 

 

Cole's drawing of a dino

Cole’s drawing of a dino

Let’s keep movin’!    Cole woke up with a fever on Saturday morning, so our plan to meet up with family at the Children’s Museum had to be cancelled. Thankfully, his fever broke mid Sunday morning, so we decided to take him then. I think Cole fell between the prime ages for the museum … too old for the hands-on little kids’ stuff that depends on the child’s imagination … he truly wanted to dig for real dinosaur bones … not pretend that he was! Then he was also too young to be interested in reading very many of the informational placards that helped him understand what he was looking at. When I would attempt reading them to him, he kept saying “let’s keep movin’!”   The dinosaur area was by far his favorite area — he was able to draw, dress up like a dino, and interact with a group of kids his age. When going back to Mimi Wells’ house, I asked him what his favorite part of the museum was … and he said “All of it!”  YAY!!!

 

“You sleep with Papaw!” After sleeping 3 nights as a wall with a sick kid who rooted and rolled around, I explained all of this to Cole and said that I was very tired. He reminded me that I sleep every night with Papaw and that he probably moves around in the bed and he knows that Papaw snores! He then pulled some logic by telling me that this was the last night together and that since he was feeling better he wouldn’t wart around as much. Besides, he said that we need to have devotions together first thing in the morning and it would best if I was there with him. Ok, Buddy …. this one last night!

 

I’m sure Cole is old enough to remember this trip – especially with all of the pictures I took! It’s important to me to do all I can to give him some very special memories, not only of our time together, but of time spent with my precious momma, his Mimi Wells. I also show him pictures of my Dad and talk about Grandpa Johnny, wanting my grandson to know that his great grandfather would’ve loved him so much! At the same time, I want to share Cole with my own mother … so she has a chance to know that her great grandson is a very special little boy. I look forward to doing the same with Cole’s little sister, Lillie, in a few years … also giving her glimpses into the Godly heritage that is mine and hers!

 

Throughout our weekend together, I repeatedly wished Cole a Merry Christmas, wanting to express the celebrative spirit in my heart that centers on Jesus and continually prays for this 6 year-old little boy as he grows into a young man that honors Jesus with his life! Won’t you join me as we pray for our little ones daily … and those that are not so little any longer?

He tends His flock like a Shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart.
Isaiah 40: 11

Until next time,
Debbie

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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PLANES Birthday

7 Apr

They celebrate Your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7

 

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy!

Miniature race flags lined the sidewalk, welcoming the birthday boy as he arrived at his party. Having spent the previous night at Mimi and Papaw’s house, his anticipation level had reached its all-time high and he was past ready for the festivities to begin! As he opened the front door, he was transported into another world – a world where airplanes come alive. The Disney movie, PLANES, was the theme, and Cole was the birthday boy.

Puffy white clouds were hung in the sky while planes of various sizes, shapes, and personalities flew nearby. Jet streams stretched across the open expanse above while airplanes landed at the airport below. Paper airplanes, clothes-pin airplanes and wooden airplanes were constructed, and a giant Dusty Crophopper waited patiently as blind-folded little munchkins pinned propellers all over him.   Little kids and their imaginations enjoyed the various activities and games, all excited to be part of their friend’s special day.

Cole's birthday cake

Cole’s birthday cake

A tasty lunch of deli meats and cheeses were served, followed by cupcakes and birthday cake. Once again, the talented little momma baked and decorated to the hilt and the party was a flying success. The most exciting moments for the birthday boy and his guests, of course, were those gathered around the gifts. Even though most of Cole’s little friends from church are girls, they were all excited over all the toys and presents, joining in the fun of playtime following the party.

Two days after the PLANES party was Cole’s actual 5th birthday – March 24. An assortment of memories always flood our minds and our hearts at this time of year as we recall Cole’s six-weeks-early debut into our family. Those were scary and quite troubling days and weeks, but we are grateful for the miracle of life that God blessed us with in the person of Cole Michael.

Once again I find myself asking you to join me in celebrating life …it seems like I do this often, for there is much to celebrate. Even when the days are dark and life’s circumstances are darker yet, Jesus is our eternal Hope and the Giver of Life…of Eternal Life.

Until next time,
Debbie

** If you are interested in viewing all of the pictures from Cole’s party 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.10202235583145788.1073741850.1076414018&type=1&l=7c81a8c7e4

Moments Like These

23 Aug

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

“Mimi! It’s three days until I start preschool!” There was no denying the excitement in my little Bubbas’ voice as he nearly shouted these words to me on the phone this morning. It’s wonderful that he is literally counting the days, but somewhere along the way, I seemed to have lost track of time since God blessed our lives with Cole. As I know from experience with my own two children, now grown adults living a lives of their own, I simply blinked. I blinked and we are where we are today…three days from my first grandchild going to preschool.

I can’t help but think back to when we first found out that we were going to be grandparents – Kim and Troy mailed t-shirts to us while we were on vacation in Seattle that simply said the names “Grami” and “Gramps”. Those were our names until Cole began to talk, and as kids often do, he changed things up. Gramps became Papaw and I remained nameless … except for the occasional growl that he made when I was around. I wondered if the beginning sound of Grami (the GR) was too much for him, so he just growled at me. He continued to respond like that for what I thought was a long time – as he began saying more and more words. Finally, I just threw out the word Mimi to him to see what he would do with it. I used it in sentences like “Mimi loves you!” “Come see Mimi” … and I immediately became Mimi. In time, he came up with his own term of endearment and often shortens my name to Mim … pronounced ‘meem’. And for pure entertainment and laughs, Cole will on purpose call me Memaw, to which I reply and call him Bobos instead of my usual Bubbas.

Bubbas. Bobos. Cole Bear. Cole Man. And of course, Cole Michael when he’s in trouble. His little sister has her own share of names … Lillie. Lillie Lou. Lou. Little Miss. And before Cole could say his Ls, we would also could her Wiwie or Wou. I have yet to call her by her full name, Lillianne Hope … she’s not been in much trouble yet.

Monday will come and Cole’s momma will take pictures as he stands there all excited for this new adventure called school. His enthusiasm will give her heart a wonderful sense of peace to know that he is ready for this next phase in life … so therefore, she is too. Instructions, reminders, and lots of hugs and kisses will send this little 4 year old off into a world of his own – simply a continuation of learning, experiencing new things, and meeting little friends.

I’ve been listening to Selah’s latest album … and there is a song that refers to moments like these … moments that are important and ones that we will miss if we blink too long.

I’ve changed the words a little to describe my Bubbas … Click here to listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQzLnEpoatE

“He makes me smile but it makes me sad
To know I can’t get these moments back
So I’m down on my knees help me soak it all in
I want all of this life that You’ll let me live
And when time flies by
Cause my heaven on earth are moments like these”

I will not be there Monday morning, but as Cole’s Mimi, I guarantee you that I will be on my knees praying for that little boy as he walks through those church doors and enters his new classroom. As I have always prayed for my own children, I will add Cole to my request that Jesus will be his Constant Companion in every situation He faces … as a 4 year-old baby boy today and until he breathes his last breath, hopefully, many many years from now.

Won’t you join me in falling down on my knees … we all have moments like these that will slip by all too quickly. May we commit each moment and each love to God each day!

Until next time,
Debbie

Sun, Surf and Sand

2 Aug

  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
T
hey would outnumber the
grains of sand.
Psalm 139:17-18

 

Momma with the little people

Momma with the little people

The after-hours beach crowd was small as the cool of the evening settled upon the sandy shore. The excited anticipation of us big people was at its height after our late afternoon drive through the Pennsylvania countryside to the coastline of New   Jersey.  After parking along the brand new boardwalk, we took two little people to the water’s edge for the first time this season. Not knowing how young feet and tiny toes would take to the gritty sand, we all took off our shoes and walked into the incoming tide.  As the sun was setting in the west, it didn’t take long at all for a little boy to begin running back and forth in the surf, thrilled to finally be at the beach, even if for just a short time.  His sister was not as big of a fan of the sand, but was fascinated by the splash of the salty sea and the spray that made her lips taste most interesting.   There’s truly nothing like watching the sparkle and joy in the eyes of your own little people.  The next two days were going to be a lot of fun!

Dad and kiddos running in the surf

Dad and kiddos running in the surf

Having started when Cole Michael was 2 years old, an annual summer trip to the beach has become tradition. Whether the stay is 4-5 days or just a simple overnight weekend, it has been enjoyable to be part of his experiences and memories.  Of course, the gazillion pictures that I take … from every angle possible to capture every expression given … helps to keep those memories alive.  This year was no exception as we once again set up the beach tent and then accessorized our spot in the sand with chairs, sand castle molds, buckets and shovels, diggers, and dump trucks.  Adding to the fun this year was a very mobile Lillianne.  Wearing the smallest sand shoes I’ve ever seen, Little Miss strutted around with a confidence all of her own.  Her eyes were bright with the excitement of her independence, very limited as it truly was, but nonetheless, she walked through the sand and down into the water … yes, with assistance … and loved every splash, every spray, and every moment in the salty sea.

Daddy and Lillianne

Daddy and Lillianne

Family fun!!

Family fun!!

Cole with this sand castles

Cole with this sand castles

The demolition digger

The demolition digger

Sand castles were constructed by Arndt and Son, then quickly destroyed by Cole Demolitions.  A very contented Lillie Lou sat nearby in her yellow tutu swimsuit, shovel in hand and slinging sand in every direction.  As the noonday sun started its downward descent, a very gritty little girl began to get sleepy.  A quick naked douse in the ocean waves made for a make-shift bathtub, followed by a silky layer of baby powder, a bottle of her favorite beverage (milk) and a warm towel around her tired body … and we soon had a napping 15 month old.  We all took turns as the guardian on duty, while the others continued to play in the sun, sand, and surf with Cole.  By day’s end, happy hearts and tired bodies quickly fell asleep … no doubt dreaming of another fun day at the shore.

Flying kites

Flying kites

Morning brew from a local coffee shop jump started our new day … and within moments, kites were flying overhead and the little people were squealing with excitement.  It wasn’t long, however, before an overcast sky blocked the brilliance of the sun, but a little rain shower couldn’t dampen the activities of the day.  Of course the sun began to shine again as we were picking up sand toys and packing away our beach abode.  After dinner, there was a 3 hour journey back to Mimi and Papaw’s house where baths were taken and snacks were given out freely … and the final leg of the return trip rocked the little ones to sleep.

Silly Lillie Lou!

Silly Lillie Lou!

Lillie LOVES the ocean!

Lillie LOVES the ocean!

As we all sat around the lunch table late Friday afternoon, moments before heading to the shore for our weekend getaway, Cole asked the blessing for our food.  At the end of his usual prayer, he added a spontaneous tag of his own, “and thank You for the beach!”   This little person’s heart-felt prayer was a reminder to us all that God cares about all the details in our lives.

We are blessed to live near this young family … to share in the fun times of traditions, memories, and life experiences.  Won’t you join me in doing the same with those around you?  Whether it be family, friends, or even co-workers, let’s make the most of every moment, realizing that God is the Giver of all good things.

Until next time,
Debbie

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol Him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for He is our God
and we are the people of His pasture,
the flock under His care.
Psalm 95:1-7

 

Four

29 Mar

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy He has given us
New Birth into a Living Hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

He excitedly jumped up from his chair, whirled around to the crowd of party on-lookers and busted out with “Water Wheels! Water Wheels!”   I glanced over at his momma with a quizzical look, and she could only shrug her shoulders in return as her son obviously knew all about this fun bathtub toy.  CARS Hydro Wheels, along with many other nice gifts will supply my young grandson with countless hours and hours of playtime!

As I do each year when my kids, and now my grandkids, have a birthday, I take a trip down memory lane and look at pictures.  Last weekend was no exception as Cole Michael celebrated his 4th birthday.  The haunting memories of the events surrounding his emergency birth six weeks early still seem so fresh to my heart.  With tears in my eyes, I relived those frightening moments that stretched into many days as this tiny baby was forced to make an early entrance due to severe pre-eclampsia.  But those days quickly turned into weeks, months, and now years.  Four of them!  Each year comes with a gazillion photos taken, every one telling the story of how God enabled two people, instantly-turned-parents, to care for and nurture, love and provide for this little boy I affectionately call Bubbas … short for Bubbalicious!

Cole checking out the birthday cake and bird launcher

Cole checking out the birthday cake and bird launcher

Having been sick with the flu just days before the grand celebration, Cole was still alittle on the reserved and quiet side as he walked into the fully transformed Sunday School room (at their church) to find he was surrounded by ANGRY BIRDS and their pigs.  For those of you who may not be up on the latest electronic games, this seems to be a favorite among old and young alike … and is most often found and played on smart phones and ipads.  In the game, players use a slingshot to launch silly wingless birds at pigs stationed on or within various scaffold-type structures, with the intent of destroying all the pigs on the playing field.  Mom and dad’s cell  … and even Mimi’s have been handed to Cole since he was very young … and his chubby little fingers have mastered the concept of the game and have kept him quiet and entertained on many occasions.

Cole paying close attention as his Dad reads a birthday card.

Cole paying close attention as his Dad reads a birthday card.

Several game stations were set up around the birthday room, where little kiddos could throw balls and knock down boxes or pin the tail on the ANGRY BIRD.  There were fruit and veggie plates, along with pepperoni pizza … and birthday cupcakes / cake  ~ each in ANGRY BIRDS décor.  Cole entered the room and slowly walked around, taking it all in … lingering at the gift table and eyeing the packages with C-O-L-E written on each card.  The evening before the party, I heard his parents talking to him about how people will give cards with their gifts and that it is important to read each one first before opening the gift.  Troy told him that he needs to listen to what the card says and then he will also find out who the gift is from, so he can then thank them.  From Mimi’s perspective, I was most impressed with how Cole listened and followed through on those instructions.  Before opening each gift, he patiently sat beside his Daddy and listened as the card was read.  His little buddy Bella was sitting next to him as he opened his presents.  When Troy read the card that said “from Bella, Irina, and Brian”, Cole reached over, touched her arm, and with a big grin, said “Thanks, Bella!”

Saturday was the party day.  His actual birthday was Sunday, March 24th.  Even though we set aside a particular day to celebrate his birth, in all reality, we celebrate this precious little life every day!  Most days, there is usually a moment or two that Cole wants to hold the phone and tell his Mimi something exciting about his day.  This causes me to think about my relationship with Jesus.   Today is Good Friday.  Sunday is Easter.  We all have great reason to celebrate and rejoice as we consider the death and resurrection of our Savior.  But let’s not stop here.  After the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies have all been eaten, and the last chorus of “He Lives” has been sung, let’s determine in our hearts that we will continue the celebration of His life, death and resurrection … for it is only through His life that I can truly live…

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
 I do not set aside the grace of God,
for if righteousness could be gained through the law,
Christ died for nothing!
Galatians 2:20-21

It is only by His example that I lay down my life for others …

This is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16

I have friends who lost husband, father, and grandpa just a few days ago to cancer … much pain and suffering was endured ~ but now David has a new body and is celebrating Easter at the nail scarred feet of Jesus!

I want to know Christ and the power of His
resurrection and the fellowship of
sharing in His sufferings,
becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow,
to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

 

Just like we celebrated Cole’s birth, and will continue to celebrate his life all year, let’s celebrate our New Birth into a Living Hope through the resurrection of our Jesus!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy He has given us
New Birth into a Living Hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish,
spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power
until the coming of the salvation that is
ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may have had to
suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold,
which perishes even though refined by fire–
be proved genuine and may result in praise,
glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him;
and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him
and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9

 

Until next time,
Debbie

If you get this post by email,
please go to the actual website to check out
some of the new family pictures along the right side. 
http://www.morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Colossians 3 and Mimi

1 Jun

Since becoming a Mimi three years ago and having an empty nest of my own for several years now, the joy of little ones in our home once again has awakened a whole new section of my heart that I thought was sound asleep.  These little people are just that – little people.  What a privilege it is to be an active part in their lives and to watch them grow into bigger little people.

Because one of these little people is here with us this weekend and I know my time is limited to sit here in the quiet morning, this will be short.  I was just now beginning my day and having my devotions and I was directed to read Colossians 3:12-17.  As I read, my heart was nudged toward these verses as being just for me today.  Specifically me as Mimi.

Cole and Mimi

First of all, knowing that I’m chosen by God Himself, holy and dearly loved … this puts a big sigh and a smile in my heart!  Then immediately the scripture refers to clothing.  I’m sure Cole doesn’t pay much attention to what I put on to wear each day, but I guarantee that he knows when I am compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient…and even more so when I’m not.  I also must be forgiving.  He IS three years old.   In the midst of his ever-changing and growing mind, heart, and personality, he does do things on purpose.  Even when he wipes my kisses off of his chubby cheeks, he’s testing the waters to see how I will react.  I have decided to make those times special and smile real big as I remind him that the reason he must wipe Mimi’s kisses off is because they are too sweet!  He laughs about this little routine that now occurs more often because his Mimi has a wardrobe furnished by the One who loves her!  And over all of it, is covered in love.

From time to time, we need to ask Cole “Who’s in charge?”  Just in case he forgets, he is then reminded that it’s not him.  Verse 15 reminds this Mimi that the Peace of Christ rules in her heart and that I should always be thankful.  My outward circumstances may not be peaceful and would seem to be nothing that I would be thankful for, but even during those unsettling times, Jesus is my Everything and for that I am thankful.

In a past post, I wrote about Cole and Mimi singing at bedtime with his little Play-A-Song books.  Some nights he is more interested in big trucks, Thomas the Train, or Winnie the Pooh ~ but just last night, he was snuggly and wanted to sing.  I reached for my iPhone and hit the video button as we continued our hymn song fest.  Click on the links below to watch and hear Cole sing with Mimi …

Jesus Loves Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIGn5kxbJQ4&feature=g-upl

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgy6Es1s2tE&feature=context-gau

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjM4rejsYQw&feature=context-gau

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God.

 

I read this quote earlier this week  …  through the eyes and heart of a Mimi, my soul longs to do all I can to be a Godly influence for my family … which now includes my two precious grandchildren.

 

Does your one goal, one drive, all of your plans day and night
focus on how to redeem your world?
What you cry about, what upsets you, your tiredness,
is it all focused on the one thing that beats in the heart of God?
Do you see every person with the question
of how you can be a redemptive force in their lives?
Is every situation of your life viewed
with a focus on redemption for the world?
May I boldly say that if this is not true for you,
you have missed the impact of the Gospel of Matthew and especially
this initial call to His disciples [Matthew 4:19]

– Stephen Manley –

 

Verse 1 opens this chapter with the phrase “Set your hearts on things above” … followed by “Set your minds on things above”.  Won’t you join me today ~ even in the midst of all the busyness of life ~ to set our hearts and minds on things above and how we can redeem our world for Christ?  Even the little people …

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

 

Until next time,
Mimi

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17

Distractions

18 Apr

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
Hebrews 12:2

They are everywhere.  I find them lurking around the corner or out in plain view.  Some are quite intentional and are by choice, while others catch me off guard.  Seasons seem to always attract them, as do holidays and special occasions.  I can almost always count on time crunches to reveal them, but then so does a lazy summer afternoon or a cold blustery winter evening.  The sight of something familiar will trigger their appearance, or a glance at the calendar and a specific date or a particular time on the clock will take me to another place and another time.  They can bring a peaceful diversion or a stormy interruption to a calm soul.  They can be quite untimely, causing disappointment to my expectations.  Some lend to our sanity while others seem to steal any good sense we might have left.  They can brighten a dark situation or leave a cloud that hovers over a sunny day.  Sometimes they get very loud and noisy, drawing attention away from the immediate, while other times their silence is so deafening that it pierces the quiet. Some are good.  Some are bad.  Some are a blessing.  Some may lead down the wrong path.  No matter where you and I are, there are distractions.

Cole's haircut

Just recently, Cole was spending the weekend at our house and needed a haircut.  We got out the trimmers, the little stool, a bath towel, and a clothes pin.  Once he was settled and ready to go, Papaw turned on the clippers.   Hair began to fall on the towel that was draped over Cole’s little body, with a few wispy pieces tickling his face along the way.  He started to get antsy, so I grabbed my iPhone for a much-needed distraction.   Knowing that our grandson loves to watch himself on videos, I quickly flipped the switch and began to catch his little antics as he sat there squirming.  Mimi got an idea and asked Cole to sing his ABCs … then to count.  This ploy was a great success as his busy little mind was diverted away from having to sit still and instead to enjoy singing and performing for the video camera.  Needless to say, he has pulled up this clip and sang along with himself many times.  You also can click below and sing and count along with Cole.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QMbQBpbkeI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

An ice-cold can of Cherry Coke instead of a healthy bottle of water.  Family pictures scrolling across the computer’s screen saver.  A text message alert on the cell phone disrupting the present moment.  An afternoon of playing in the crisp fallen autumn leaves instead of raking them up and disposing of them.  Making mental lists of things to do the following day instead of focusing on the disagreeable at hand.  Going to the grocery store when hungry and buying far more than what is on the list.  Santa bringing gifts or an Easter bunny hopping in to leave baskets filled with tasty treats and little trinkets … and absolutely no emphasis on Jesus, His birth, death, and resurrection.  Reciting the alphabet and counting to 20 instead of squirming during a haircut.

We can all come up with our own list of distractions, and that list would not only be endless, but different from person to person.  The one common denominator between your list and mine is our focus.  Our focus determines the level of interruption that is allowed in our thought processes in order to truly define the distraction and its purpose.  Some things we only see out of the corner of our eye so they never become the distraction that is potentially possible … good or bad.  This is because our focus is already set and committed.  Obviously, distractions take place a gazillion times every day … but won’t you join me in keeping focus where focus belongs when it involves the important things of life?  Whether the distraction is a blessing or a hindrance … Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

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 spring tree ~ April 2012

 

CARS Birthday

28 Mar

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in H
im, so that you may overflow
with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

I wish little-boy excitement could be bottled up and later dispensed whenever Mimi starts to run low of her own.  Afternoon playtime at the park, a trip to McDonald’s, or a birthday party are all occasions for squeals, loads of fun, and endless energy.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Cole Michael turned 3 years old this past Saturday.  For him, the day began like any other Saturday when he spends Friday night at Mimi and Papaw’s house ~ stickers, breakfast, and playtime with Papaw.  But the rest of the day was anything but normal.  Cole must have sensed the electricity in the live currents of his parents and grandparents, for he absolutely refused to settle down for a nap, but instead cried and warted around in his bed till he was a mess.  Last minute details were loaded into Mimi’s van, including the birthday boy himself, while Papaw and Daddy went to the scene of the party before hand, to transform the church Sunday School room into a bright and colorful Hall of Fame for the Movie CARS.

Tow Mater Cupcakes
Made by Momma

As Cole walked into the decorated room, complete with friends, family, gifts, tasty treats, and balloons, his less than agreeable mood quickly was checked at the door as he began to shriek with happiness and excitement.   Not knowing where to go or what to look at first, Cole was bouncing all over the room, totally filled with little boy wonder and awe.  Since his Momma has been on moderate bed rest for the past several weeks, she had meticulously drawn out a diagram of each table, each display, and each station, creating the best birthday celebration possible for Cole, in spite of the circumstances surrounding the upcoming birth of Baby Lillie.  Playing on the various personalities of particular CARS characters, signs portraying Flo’s V-8 Café to Guido’s Pit Stop Challenge guided children and adults alike toward food, games, coloring station, and drinks.  The flow of the party went smoothly, all the while the birthday boy was bouncing with energy… now sufficiently fueled by sugar.

Camera in hand, I followed the birthday boy around, capturing as many ‘Kodak Moments’ as possible as Cole and his little friends played games, ate birthday cake and Tow Mater cupcakes, and even at times made it a group effort to unwrap the gifts.  His expressions and interactions with the little people and the big were priceless, as 30 guests came to gift him with a day of  love.

Exciting Gift Time!

Cole’s play area at home now has a lot of additional items that will bring him much fun and happiness in the days to come … not to mention the new pieces to his ever-growing collection of CARS characters.  I find it quite interesting how a small child mixes his energetic imagination with a movie that he has seen a gazillion times and how it places words into his vocabulary, influences the way he runs, and brings such joy to his playtime.  This has caused me to really think about my relationship with Jesus.  Has my love for  Him introduced new words and thought processes into my  life?  Has my love for Jesus influenced the run of life that I am participating in?  Do I find joy in my relationship with Jesus?  Won’t you join me as I reflect on the life of a little 3 year old boy ~ full of energy and love for life … do we embrace Jesus with as much gusto as Cole embraces life?

Until next time,
Debbie

Family Photo

Fix these words of mine in your
hearts and minds;
tie them as symbols on your hands and
bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, talking about
them when you sit at home
and when you walk along
the road, when you
lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the doorframes of
your houses and on your gates,
so that your days and the days of your
children may be many in the land
that the LORD swore to
give your forefathers,
as many as the days that the
heavens are above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
Proverbs 4:10-15

 

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow
with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

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’s birthday decor  –  March 2012

 

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