Where have we been? Stuck in the winter snow, missing it seems, just like spring. I am looking out the window at a flock of Wrens flying among the branches going back and forth between the bird feeders- eating, and large puddle – bathing. Spring seems to be still far off and time is not stopping the year flying by, April well under way. I have just finished up my quiet time working through a Priscilla Shirer Bible Study “The Armor of God,” after I thought – I should reach out and share!
Today would have been my Auntie Ella’s 85th (I believe) birthday. A sweet Great Aunt now at home with the Lord. It is a wonderful gift to know the loved ones we have who share in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus, we will see again in time to come. Thankful to have known her generous, selfless, self, and an excellent reminder to me today that the only earthly gifts we get to take from this life are the people we love.
My heart has been occupied with decisions and plans these past couple of months. Working hard to find the right solution to an issue my grandma shared with me while we were waiting for hours in the ER checking on her sore back. She told me about how she felt tired, overwhelmed, and felt unable living in the current home they are in. That at this stage the clutter, and possessions they has accumulated are taking so much life from her. My grandparents live independently in a home they had built themselves many years ago. Practically a three story home with lots of steps just to get in, and a long lane that stays icy and bumpy throughout the winter months – well into the spring. It was the home I was raised in, and the only one I have known them to live in. To me this home is a part of who they are – the dream log cabin they built together after a few disappointing turn of events.
Their home has been a gift to them the past 20 years or so, they have found rest and peace in the certainty of its existence provided to them by another family member owning the home. Growing up there this security has given me an anchor in something solid knowing it (family too) would be there for me. God has had His hand on and in this home from day one, horrible events that might break up families due to stress or fear – my grandparents trusted God to use for good. His light has reflected into the lives of so many people with obedience and generosity that was theme and purpose of their home.
Getting older is a such a blessing, every birthday a gift of life to be celebrated. But old age comes with lifestyle changes maybe never considered, steps that have kept them young for years seem to be harder each morning. Three floors that held rooms for the large family they raised, now bring uncertainty when balance is lacking. Weak spells in one area of the house while your partner is in another, become frightening when you call out and no one can hear you. The weight of being far from town with an aging driver, relying on others for constant (normal everyday) needs, can become what feels like a burden weighing heavy in your mind as your body goes weaker.
Joel and I felt for the past few years God laying on our hearts to offer help with the solution. Not sure exactly what that would be, or mean. Knowing though we would not be alone, as we have a support system of family close by, far, and further. We suggested loosely the idea of an addition to our home, a separate, small, one-level apartment. This would keep them in a home independently, while still close to family, and the life they have created here (active in their church and small group). We had no idea the journey that would take us on when we threw that idea out in February. Grandma seemed excited, and Grandpa came around to the idea of moving onto the next step.
So that is where we have been hiding. Planning, talking, throwing ideas around. Trying to line up finances, and weigh the cost of this decision on our family. We are now are in the final week of waiting before we sit down to make official plans, and apply for a building permit. Exciting, scary, and what the heck are we doing stage.
I want to ask you for prayer – prayer over our family, and all involved as the next week unfolds. That God would show us His good and perfect will clearly. That we would all be open to His direction, whether it is to continue with this, or another solution would pop up with a flashing ‘Vegas style’ sign above it! Pray for peace, wisdom, for forgiveness, and love. That we would walk in His light, not in anger or frustration. That extended family would see our hearts in this, and see this addition as a blessing to the whole family. That we would be an encouragement to them by stepping into the roles God has called us to. That His peace would surround the whole situation.
This passage from Ephesians stood out to me from the study homework, when I prayed over my family earlier.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.