Wedding Prayers Answered

We have all been living in our post-wedding bubbles these past ten days. July 18th was a perfectly perfect day from start to finish. Our intimate gathering of seventeen celebrated Carmen and Jack’s nuptials with much laughter and joyous tears. My sweet husband wore his heart on his sleeve, succumbing to emotion several times during the day. I’ve only seen that emotion from him once before, fifteen years ago, when he walked Laurelle down the aisle. Laurelle and Carmen will always be their “Daddy’s Girls”. My girls would say I was more emotional at my son, Brett’s wedding five years ago, but truth be told, I cried an equal amount of joyous tears for each of them. Seeing them commit their lives to another, makes my heart happy. It is God answering my prayers as I cradled each child in my arms as infants and prayed for them to find their life partner.

I prayed for those two boys, Matt and Jack, who are now my son-in-laws, long before my girls met them. I prayed for them to love, honour, and respect my girls before they laid eyes on them. I prayed that they would be men of integrity, honesty, compassion, and be faithfully devoted to my girls. I prayed for them to be spiritual leaders in the home, to walk humbly before God, and to be trustworthy in all things. I prayed too that my girls would honour and respect their future husbands as well. That love would bear all things, and God would be the Cornerstone of their relationship. I believe God answered my prayers as He continues to teach them, and grow them into the men and women He wants them to be.

I prayed for my daughter-in-law too, as I rocked my son to sleep after an active day. His toddler sighs filling my senses with overwhelming love. I prayed his future wife would love him wholeheartedly. That she would love, honour and respect him, and be his greatest encourager throughout life. I prayed for a Proverbs 31 woman for my son, and God heard and answered that prayer when Chandler came into my boy’s life when they were in Junior High.

It blesses my mother’s heart to see my children happy, and settled with their individual spouses. I continue to pray everyday for each of them. I am blessed to welcome grandchildren into the family, the newest one, Everett, born to Brett and Chandler on July 17th, just in time for him to see his Auntie Carmen get married!

Chandler posted a video of her three boys the other day. I laugh every time I see it! It showcases the unique personalities of each of them so well. Newborn Everett, serene and peacefully asleep in a cradle out on their back deck. Then she zooms in on her firstborn, Pax, three years old, playing with a garden hose, calculating in his mind, no doubt, the capacity and time it will take to fill up his blow up pool with water. He is our explorer. Then there’s Atti, two years old, the nudist, backside to the camera, flinging wet clothes around with wild abandon!

It should not surprise you to know I am already praying for their future brides! 😁

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To Have and to Hold

We have been in full-scale wedding planning mode the last few weeks. My youngest, Carmen and her fiancé, Jack will be wed on July 18th. COVID-19 changed so many of their original plans, but both families have adapted and coordinated our efforts to hopefully make their day so memorable. (Please pray for great weather, specifically: sunny with no wind, as the ceremony is scheduled to be held outdoors here at the Ponderosa.)

We are also on Baby watch mode, with my son and daughter-in-love expecting their third boy. Her due date is today, so I am sitting with my phone close by waiting for news. I cannot wait to hold my fifth grandbaby in my arms!

Last weekend, we helped move my oldest daughter, and family into rental accommodations until their new home is built. Moving on Canada Day is one thing, but moving during a pandemic takes on a whole new set of challenges as well. For instance, maintaining distance from their friends who came to help them move. Hopefully, their future move will be less challenging.

This morning as I prayed and had my time of devotions, I thought I would read some past entries from my journal. Wow, what a difference a year makes! Last year, I was in the midst of chemo treatments. I was battling hard and lamenting my hair loss. I complained about my chemo “ curls” the other day, and immediately felt ashamed about it. I had prayed for my hair to grow back before the wedding and it has! Yes, the curls are a new look for me, but I should be thankful I don’t have to don a wig for my daughter’s big day.

I spent yesterday mowing our lawn, watering my garden, tidying my home. Listening to praise music as I worked, I sang with gusto, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…” God held me tight through last year, and He continues to hold me in His safe and comforting arms. I hardly had strength during chemo thunder to walk up and down stairs, and yesterday I accomplished all my tasks and had energy to burn! So grateful! It’s important for me to remember how far I’ve come health wise in a year, and praise God.

I had such high hopes for 2020 after my cancer battle. I told my husband I was going to do all the things I missed out on doing in 2019. Then Covid hit and we all went into lockdown. I wasn’t able to hug on my kids or grandchildren for months. I wasn’t able to get out and about, and being cooped up took an emotional and mental toll on me. Even now with some restrictions being lifted, safety protocols still must be adhered to. I find it strange to see people masked, still protective of maintaining proper physical distancing. At my daughter’s bridal shower last weekend, I desperately wanted to hug all the ladies I hadn’t seen in person in months, but we held our distance. Instead, we blew kisses and promised hugs in the future.

Of all the lessons I’ve learned over these many months of Covid lockdown is my need to be held. God held (holds) me when I face challenges, I know that full well. I also know that human touch is vital to my well being. I am thankful to my sweet husband who has hugged me well and often, especially when my arms ached to hold my kids and grandbabies. Mother’s Day marked the first time since March 14th, I hugged my children and I thought I would never let them go. I look forward to giving hugs freely to friends again. I will welcome the day when physical distancing will not be necessary.

I think about Carmen and Jack, who will both in a week’s time, promise to have and to hold each other for a lifetime. I pray as they make their vows, they will never take for granted the need to be held. To be held in the centre of God’s Will, and to hold onto God’s promises and each other when they face challenges. To hold tight to their dreams, and take hold of ideas that foster and grow them together as a couple. I want them to know that they are held in our hearts and prayers throughout their lives. I know they can “hold their own” when they need to, but I pray they know we are here whenever they need us. Our hugs are life long!

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To Be Or Not To Be

I am sooooo done with Covid-19. Am I the only one that feels this way? I am done listening to our Prime Minister give his daily updates about the virus and how his government continues to spend our tax dollars on “helping” Canadians get through these challenging times. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out our Canadian economy will be adversely affected by this virus for years, maybe decades from now. My grandchildren will be paying for this long after Mr. Trudeau has left office, and is living comfortably on his pension.

I’m done listening to the news. The media is so negative, and adds to the hype and fear-mongering that is so prevalent lately. For my own mental health, I just have to avoid listening to daily news reports.

I’m done with masks, and protests, and long line ups, and no sports, and no concerts, and no Stampede Week, and not being able to hug my friends, and not being able to attend church, and social distancing, and running out of hand sanitizer, and, and, and……

I realized I had spent most of my morning complaining about all the things I was inconvenienced about due to Covid-19. The more I complained and fretted, the more I forgot all about a key scriptural mandate: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Apostle Paul must not to be misinterpreted here. There are no exceptions, no excuses, no way outs. We must in EVERY circumstance “give thanks”. The pattern of a Christian’s life is that we consistently, and endlessly give thanks to God.

I can feel the Holy Spirit nudge me. I know my heart is not in the right place. I have a critical spirit right now and I need it gone! I don’t want to admit fault, but I know I need to stop complaining and start being more thankful.

It’s a work in progress. I freely admit that. Two weeks ago I got another blood clot in my right leg. Just when I thought my health issues were behind me, I got hit with another health crisis. It’s knocked the stuffing out of me. I cannot find anything in this situation to be thankful about. My leg is swollen and painful, and I’m back on blood thinners. It’s hard to feel upbeat and grateful.

Still, I think about how far I’ve come since last year and I must give thanks! I was gearing up for my first round of chemo last year. Praise God that is all behind me! Sometimes I must look back in order to move forward.

To be thankful or not to be thankful? It’s not a choice. “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 message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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 3:15-17)

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