Monday, March 24

My Daughter - my sweet friend

I love you sweet Ashley!

My sweet daughter with my other sweet daughter!

I will never forget this photo taking day!!
3 months.

My baby is a mommy!

I love you Ashley - Happy Birthday!

Yesterday, March 23rd, 2014 was my baby girl's birthday!
Ashley Marie - this momma loves you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow!!

Today we celebrated my second born - or as I sometimes still call her - my baby girl.
How can it be sweet One - that you were born 29 years ago - how can that be?
I hardly feel old enough to have a 29 year old (or a 32 year old)
Where does time go?
O my, where DOES it go?

We had birthday breakfast today - and then birthday cake after some hot tubbing
It works this way - with the boys self employed - actually all of us are self-employed and can make our own schedules, along with the boys WFD schedules.
Breakfast - pancakes, hash browns, bacon, sausages, fruit and eggs
Oh dear, scratch the eggs - I forgot to make them!

Sweet Daughter - where did the time go -
I watch you and you are a mommy to our first granddaughter.
I watch you and see so much of myself - so much of dad.
You are a unique but sweet blend!

I think back to this time 29 years ago - you were sleeping in a little hospital bassinet, in my room.
The room I shared with 4 other women.
I remember feeling like God had given us the desire of our hearts.
We had prayed for a little girl, a sister for Josh.
And we only had a girl name picked out.  Although the second name was either going to be Marie or Nicole.
I love Ashley Marie.
So did Oma especially, since it sounded like her name, which was Maria.
I remember bringing you home - all the snow had melted the two days we were in the hospital.
The snow was gone and the ditches were full of water.
The first night you slept right through the night - and when we realized that, we went running into your room.
It was before the days of the baby monitor - and we were scared cause you hadn't made a peep.
You were a little blond hair munchkin.
We called you pumpkin.
Well - then Dad, who is famous for nicknames - added a few more sweet endearing nicknames.
Pump, Pumpkin, Pumpy, Ash, Ashes, …
but most of all you were my sweet little one, and man, my mom heart was so thrilled.
Josh loved you too.
Sure you guys fought a little - more so in  your teen years -
I remember the time you told him - "the two things I love, piano and singing, and you want me to stop!"
Oh sweet siblings.
You brought joy to my life with your twirling,
and your stubbornness
and your singing - oh,
you loved to sing!!
You and I spent many hours in the car - driving to Mennonite Children's choir practices, and performances.
You and I rode into the city alone, when Josh went to kindergarten.
You were the only one that wrote on the wall …
and well, you also stuck Sweet Tarts up your nose and got your brother in trouble.
You loved little animals
You loved your friends
You loved your grandparents
You loved your brother
You loved your teachers
You loved LIFE …
You grew up, and I watched as you cared for your friends
I watched as you got hurt by your friends once in a while
But the one thing I noticed was how forgiving you were.
You were quick to forgive
and seemingly quick to forget.
I love that about you.
You are an encourager - and have always encouraged me as your mom.
You have accomplished so much in life-
And you have also walked over a few hurdles.
You have shown me how to overcome things …
And I love that about you - how you continue to model to me a life of walking with Jesus!
You sweet daughter - are now grown up -
You are my daughter first - and sister - and sister-in-law,
You are now wife, mom and daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law.
I have to share you now - :)
I just want to say how much you mean to me -
Words can't describe it.
On this birthday - I wish you an amazing year ahead - beginning with moving into your brand new home which has been lovingly built.
I am so happy and proud of you both.
Sweet Daughter - Ashley Marie - I love you.
happy birthday!!
love mom

PS  I love you MORE than 55555555555555555555 and always will.
Remember when you thought 5 was the biggest number!!

Sunday, March 16

She would have been 92 today

Today is her birthday.  The sweetest woman in the world to me.
She would have been 92 today.
But I picture her in heaven, looking the most beautiful that I could ever imagine.
And somehow, in my picture, she doesn't look old.
My mom, oh how I miss her.
I wish she had seen the kids grow up, and fall in love and get married.
I wish she could have held the grandkids, although I know she has been spending time with Jay.
But the ones here - I wish she could see them growing up.

There are so many things that I remember about my mom.
I long to be like her.
She was just like no other woman I know.
Never said a bad thing about anyone.
She did not gossip.
She was kind, gentle and loving.
She packed parcels for families on the mission field
And took meals to those who needed one.
Even when her eyesight failed her, she still wrote notes, using a black felt pen so that she could see her words.

So often, I have wanted to talk with my mom.
To get her feedback on something.
To hear her tell me that things would be okay
To hear her pray for me
Or better still, to come upon her, as she was quietly spending time with God.
Those were sacred and holy moments.

She taught me alot about life
She used to fix her hair and put on a bit of blush and lipstick before my dad got home from work.
She used to have this way of giving her anxious and worrisome moments to God
She showed me how to be a mom, but also how to be a wife who stood by her man
She taught me alot about trusting God for everything.

My mom - oh how I miss her.
Today, as I met with God this morning, I asked him if he would just let my mom know how much I missed her, and love her.
I know we will be together again.
I also know that she is not longer in pain with her diabetes caused issues.
She no longer has a foot that needs to be healed
She no longer has to give herself three needles a day
She no longer sees only shadows, but sees clearly.
How she must have loved to see the face of her Lord whom she loved and served.
My mom.
The kids Granny.
My grandkids Great Granny.
It has been almost 18 years
it feels like forever
it feels like yesterday
how does that work?

Happy birthday Mom.
I love you
I miss you
I will see you again
I hope you have had an amazing birthday in heaven.
You are forever in my heart!

love your daughter,

Tuesday, March 11

He has removed the Scarlett Letter and I am HIS

Today I was sitting in front of the fireplace once again, having my QT with the Lord.  I was reading and meditating on the following Scripture.

This Scripture has always intrigued me.

John 8:1-11

New International Version (NIV)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I have always wondered what exactly it was Jesus was writing in the dirt.  It doesn't say that anywhere.  But when He was being pushed to prove something, the Leaders of the day were really trying to trick him it says.  They come with a woman.  And they challenge Him to say what should be done with her.  Seriously - what were they thinking?
And Jesus bends down and writes something in the earth.  They were obviously not prepared for what He was going to say.  But they push him on it.  I can just picture it.  For some reason, I knew as I was thinking about this story recorded in Scripture - that I needed to write my thoughts from "her" perspective.  I have never been an adulterous woman - at least not in this way - not in the adulterous way with men.  I thank God for my husband.  However have I been untrue to my Lord and Saviour at times when I have allowed other things to push him out of the number One place in my life?  Have I allowed other things (hmmm… perhaps my struggle with food?) become another "lover" in my life?
All of a sudden I am wondering how often I have been untrue to Jesus - the true lover of my soul?
Maybe that is why I felt like I needed to write from her perspective?  I think God is bringing something to the surface in my soul, and I am thankful.  Here are my thoughts.

He Removed the Scarlett Letter and I am HIS

I stood there, after being pushed roughly before this man
The one that is called Jesus
Just another man?
But NO
He teaches and his words cause fear and anger in these men
These "leaders" so to speak
They ones who are so "holy"
so justified in their condemning actions
Their hands gripped so tightly around my arm
leaving fingerprint marks when they let me go.
Bruises were already showing on my arms, and no doubt my face

dirty  - both outside and inside
coming to a halt at the feet of this man Jesus
was a relief.

I heard their words of condemnation
"Jesus - she is an adulterous woman
What do you say should happen with her?"
I did not have a visible scarlett A on my chest -
And yet the invisible scarlett letter burned a brand deep into my being.
Perhaps being stoned to death
the jeers and sneers
and obscene comments.
Bring on the stones!
May it be a swift end.

But Jesus ~
he didn't speak.
Instead he bent over
and wrote in the dirt.
What IS he doing?
Just get it over with Jesus
please ...
announce my sentence!

The men gripped the stones so tightly
their knuckles were white.
Women stared me down
making me feel dirtier
and lower than the mud itself
that Jesus continued to write in.

"Jesus, what do you say?"
Their question lingered ~
there was a sense of something happening in the unseen world.
I held my breath
not wanting to miss the words from the Teacher.
And then he stood up and turned to them
And with a strong voice he told them ~
Encouraged them actually
"If you are without sin, then throw the first stone"
These were not the words I expected to hear.
But the reaction to them literally took my breath away.

All around me
THICK SILENCE that fell.
And then, one at a time
I heard the stones falling,
but they weren't being thrown at me.
They were dropping to the ground from palms that were opened.

I looked at Jesus
He was stooped down
His index finger writing in the mud again
I don't know what he was writing
But he gave it his whole attention
as if oblivious to the crowd around him

I watched
The old men left first
out of sight.
And then the young men followed suit.
Women stood and watched their leaders backing down
Normally outspoken, the women now said nothing
but walked away with bowed heads.
I couldn't believe it
I had a feeling of unbelief wash over my body
tattered and torn…
and yet something inside me felt alive
more alive than I have ever felt before.

All of a sudden - it was just me.
Me and the Man who saved my life
and Jesus.
He straightened up and looked at me.
Not like men normally looked at me.
No - Jesus looked at me with the most gentle gaze I have ever experienced.
His eyes looked right into my soul
and instead of feeling dirty ~
I felt freedom.
explain it.

He spoke to me with such love
and asked me "where are your accusers?"
I could barely get it out
but with all a voice that was quivering, I spoke up
looking him in his eyes
I told him they were all gone.
Noone condemned me.

And then I heard the words that brought healing to my being - complete healing
He ~ my LORD, said "Neither do I condemn  you."
Jesus did I hear correctly?
You don't condemn me?
O but LORD, you should!
I should have the scarlett letter.
I should be stoned.
I am guilty of being unfaithful
of being untrue
I wish it was not true

"Neither do I condemn you.
Go now and leave your life of sin!"

He has given me life.
My Jesus ~ my LORD.
exposed but forgiven
a clean slate

Forgive me
help me to walk
Washed Clean

And in the eyes of the ONLY ONE that counts in my life


He has removed the scarlett letter and ...