Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Hope Rests in God

To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

I used to live in beautiful southern Mississippi in a home built around 1910. It sat on 50 acres and I used to love to walk across those pastures and pour my heart out to God. I was 21 years old.

I didn't call that time a devotional. I still don't like the word devotional. Although I am sure there are hundreds of great devotional books out there, I don't own any.

It was just that time I looked forward to.

I felt like when I opened the gate and stepped into the pasture, Jesus was there waiting for me. I believe He was.

There is still something about being outside that makes me feel close to God.

We visited Colorado a couple of years ago and when I walked around Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, I caught my breath. There was that same feeling of God being close by. The beauty of His creation lends itself to feeling His nearness. (I think staying indoors too long can be detrimental to our well being.)

Anyway, back to Mississippi. I was attending college at that time and looking forward to finishing and going off to Bible school. That was where my heart was. I had some very sure promises from God that I was waiting to see fulfilled.

But I had to set those things aside for the time being while I finished my degree. I still had hope in my heart for the dreams that I had, but it was time to get down to the business of finishing what was before me.

I would often walk and talk with the Lord. Sometimes I would cry as I tried to convey all that was on my heart.  I can't always say that I heard God speak to me. But I felt His nearness and I felt His interest in my life.

Soon I finished my degree and did get to go to Bible school. The promises God gave me did come true. But it wasn't instantaneous. It was a process.

I met my husband there and after we were to be married, we would be moving to Iowa. On the last time that I walked that pasture behind my parent's home, I did hear the Lord speak to me. He said, "I'll miss these times with you." I have never forgotten those words.

Now all these years later, I am waiting for promises to come to pass. I am staying busy with the business at hand, but my heart yearns to see what I only see by faith right now.

I still feel Him beside me. He has been a faithful friend. There are a lot of things that I don't understand. Sometimes the waiting seems like it will go on forever. Maybe I won't see the end that I am hoping for.Will I see my daughter healed? I don't know. Will I see our son healed? I just have no way of knowing. But I continue to hope. He is very kind. He has seen all my tears and my fears.  He understands as He reaches out to take my hand and walk with me through the unknown.

I always tell Him that on the day I see Him face to face, I want to know Him and I want Him to know me. It is through these hard experiences that we truly come to know God.

Romans 5:5 says this:
And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I don't know how to end except to say that I want to continue to choose to trust God.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Graduation Celebration!

Our youngest daughter recently completed her 12th grade year. She was home schooled her whole life from kindergarten through her Senior year. She told me recently that she has no regrets about being home schooled. It was a great fit for her. I can honestly say that she was a joy and delight from beginning to end.

I looked through Pinterest for ideas a few months in advance of her party. I knew I didn't want a cookie cutter graduation party. I also knew a couple of things going into the planning. It would be relatively small and it would be held indoors.

I know two very talented ladies who helped me with the cake end. Emily is a whiz at making cake pops. I asked her back in February if she could make them for a June party. She has two little ones and so I knew her time was valuable. I was so grateful when she said she could.  Another friend, Kerie, makes wedding cakes as a side business. While I didn't need a wedding cake, we found a couple of photos on Pinterest that we thought would make a beautiful graduation cake.

Here are 2 inspiration pics from Pinterest that we gave her as an idea.

Here are the cake pops and Kerie's beautiful cake. Aren't they beautiful?

The top tier of the cake was almond flavored and so good!

I wanted our dining room to look like an art gallery of photos of our daughter.

I had several photos blown up in poster sizes.

This photo was made into a large canvas. You may or may not like Walmart, but they did a great job on all the enlargements.

Here are a few other of the decorations that night.

Inspiration pic from Pinterest.

A friend loaned me an old typewriter.

This Bible verse was placed inside.

Trader Joes had the most beautiful flowers!

This was a serving idea I found on a blog ( I showed it to my husband, and even though the party was only 3 or 4 days away he said, "I think I could make something like that." And he did!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo when it actually had the food on it! This serving platter had grapes, cheeses, salami, peperoncino peppers, and olives on it. A second platter had fruit.

I am so grateful to talented friends who made the night so special and to my husband who always helps the ideas in my head come out so beautifully! We so appreciated all that came and made the night so memorable. (We are saving $$ now to take her on a trip to NYC this fall.)

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