Thursday, November 29, 2012

It wasn't that bad--or was it?

2:26 p.m. Today's project was to appreciate and cheer on my son-in-law Nick who has worked here at the house four days this week. The garage is now cleared out and categorized, up to the rafters! And today he was organizing another area of our home, preliminary to my decision as to what can be sold, trashed or donated.  His ready diligence reminds me of the description of the returning exiles in Nehemiah 4:6 rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem, and how much they accomplished:

So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

With long-neglected work taking place at the house, I was free to go help my dad on Tuesday for several hours and get some rest later in the afternoon. This little nap kept me wide awake for my early evening event-- opening a Heart to Home cookie decorating class at church with a devotional and then enjoy learning professional techniques.  I wrapped up the evening observing Steve's bed- time routine at Raincross.

Yesterday, in addition to taking a brief peek at Steve in the morning, I was able to go select and reserve a live, growing Christmas tree at Sandhaven Pines, where we've been getting our trees as a family for decades. I'll have help from my older daughter and her husband on Sunday afternoon to bring the tree home and set it up in the living room, but it was a bit eerie picking out a tree by myself. At most, we had seven people present to help pick, and at the least, Steve and I went together last year. That's the normal progress of life, of course, as children become adults, move away and marry...and produce grandkids, like Adrian and Xavier, pictured a couple of years ago at the tree farm with Steve.


But going to the tree farm alone? Unfathomable! No arguments over the fine details in the search for the perfect tree, no leaving a person to mark the one we'd probably get unless we found better one,  no Steve on the ground  examining the straightness of the trunk, or actually sawing it down himself in earlier years. I tried not to become too sad, and focused on the incredibly fresh oxygen emitted by thousands of pine trees. "This is my Father's world," the hymn reminds us.

God is good, even when life takes the worst turn imaginable, such as having a husband who may not know exactly who I am. As I heard from a radio pastor this morning, God has a reason for each believer to be in their situation, and it is to glorify Him. We don't have to understand how He is glorified by a strong, able, believing husband and father losing all ability to function in normal activities of life. But God will be glorified, and is already glorified, as others see our family walking through this valley of permanent disability and premature death with trust in Him for everything.

Because we can do nothing to slow, ease or halt Steve's disease, Jesus' words to His disciples in John 15:5 (and to all believers who wish to walk with Him in fruitfulness for the kingdom) have even more weight:

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.

Even though I was lonely, and not sure exactly how to proceed alone with a positive mindset, God cleared my head. He allowed me to enjoy my time out on the open hillside, and I think the tree I selected is tall, straight and gorgoeus, about 11 feet tall! Jesus even blessed me with a business lead, the counter gal at the tree farm, to give her a facial. After Christmas, of course!

Maybe my solitary expedition wasn't all that bad, simply because Jesus was with me the whole time.


  1. The LORD will be your husband--remember the verse, and you are his bride.

    What a great son-in-law to help you organize. Does he hire out? Oh wait! I live on the opposite end of the country.

    I am thinking about not putting our tree this year, or just a small one, because we will be away for Christmas. Many in my church downplay this holiday because it is so secular. On my part I have mailed packages already to several states, but have five gifts to finish making.

    Hugs and prayers,

  2. Hi CArol, I do love that verse from Isaiah! I was going to get only a 6 ft. tree, but my other son-in-law said, "NO! You get any tree you want, we'll put it up for you!" And my daughter chimed in, "A small tree would look reicidulous with your high ceiling!" Oh well, from the mouth of babes-no-more, God ordains both praise and wisdom! Yes, I can see how a toned-down celebration might be in order, and financially, it's a must this year anyway for millions of Americans out of work, or only able to get part-time, seasonal work...