Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today's Devotions

I recently came across a great new Website entitled: I Stink at Devotions Here you are able to track your devotions and be held accountable to others for having them daily. They have prayer requests, and what I like the most, is their section on Devotions, which give you three choices of daily devotional reads. I usually end up reading all three!

Anyway, today's 3rd reading was great. It was taken from Strength For Today: Reassurance In The Midst of Trials and one paragraph said this:

Trials are inevitable, and the pain associated with them can be very intense, but when compared to what we will enjoy in the future, they hardly matter. Paul saw them as light afflictions, or literally “weightless trifles.” He knew that their real significance is only in how they contribute to our eternal glory. That contribution is anything but trivial. Rather, it produces “an eternal weight of glory.” Concerning this expression, it’s as if Paul envisioned an old-fashioned two-sided scale that was being tipped in favor of the future by the cumulative mass (“eternal weight of glory”) of his individual sufferings. Paul could endure the pain of present trials when he was certain that they contributed positively to his life in Heaven.

The verse given was II Corinthians 4:17 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"

Great stuff! Looking forward to heaven tonight, and thanking God for these wonderful truths.

And by the way, if you stink at devotions, or just want to be more consistent....check out this site! I Stink at Devotions

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oldest turning 20 tomorrow

Our/My oldest will be turning 20 years old tomorrow, May 20th. He recently finished his second year at Penn State. I can't be more proud of my kiddos. They have overcome so much, and I feel like they have grown up with the support of each other and God alone. As I look at them now, especially our soon-to-be 20 year old, I am amazed at how mature and wise and balanced they have become...all seemingly on their own. God has been good. Looking back, Abe was just 15 years old when he lost his father (and the majority of his mother as well). He and Dad were looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars movie, and Todd was especially anxious to get alone with Abe as he was reaching this milestone in his life. He would tell me what he wanted to say to him, how he wanted to make things right between them (there were some tense times lately with Todd not feeling well and Abe's adolescent ambivalence towards life in general), and how anxious he was to just spend time alone with his oldest son, whom he loved so very much. Unfortunately Todd died 2 weeks before that special date. Now Abe is turning 20, another birthday without Dad, yet he has become a strong, wise, godly young man. I'm thankful for the right choices he has made. I'm thankful that he has not shown any bitterness in losing his father at such a young age. I'm thankful for his love for God. I hope and pray that I can be a better mom, and that my children continue to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, and minds.

Happy Birthday, Abe. I love you and am so proud of you, son.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good memories

I went to the shore today, despite several concerned friends and family members. I'm glad I went. I asked God to help me think of the good times. He provided strength, and although there were many memories, I think there may have been more smiles today than tears, or at least close. I am thanking God for Todd and these great memories, and thought I would take some time to share them with you...

Todd and I both loved the ocean. Todd was always fascinated with the strength of the waves and it would remind him of God's power and greatness. No matter what the temperature of the water, Todd would always run in to meet those waves head on, diving under the crash, and coming up smiling on the other side. I was too chicken; I would smile and wave.

I wish this was open. Todd would get me a chocolate cone with chocolate jimmies. yum! He never got anything here. Just watch me eat.

One of Todd's favorite spots. I still think he spent way too much money in this store.

Does this seem clear enough? Here is where Todd nearly crashed our surrey (he was driving the entire family!) while trying to turn around. The kids thought it was funny. I wasn't laughing. Very embarrassing with him yelling, "Look out! I can't steer this thing!"

Yes, I bought fudge. Todd always let me.

Todd's favorite pizza in the whole world. Sorry it was closed, or I would have eaten a slice in his memory.

Todd would not be happy to know that they replaced his favorite donuts with this store. We stayed at the Harris House, just so he could get those fresh donuts in the morning. oh well...

Todd loved to take the kids here to eat....they had everything and everyone was happy!

When we were at the very top, Todd would tell the kids that the man was going to unhook the chains, and that we would roll down the beach. The kids, of course would start screaming, "No, Daddy, we don't want to." And he would lovingly reply, "It's all part of the ride, you'll see." ugh. Yet every year we had to ride the ferris wheel.

Here is where we were enjoying a picnic on the field, watching the kite festival, and the sprinklers went off. Again, Todd laughed as he helped me save the food. I didn't see the humor in it (until today).

We sat on those bleachers on the top left when Todd proposed to me in the middle of the 4th of July fireworks.

This is the 24 hour diner we stopped and talked until 3am after he asked me to marry him. We dreamed and planned our future... surreal.

On the way to the shore pics:

Story Book Land....the kids' first trip to an "amusement park" ...just for them! We only had three then. Great day.

Ok. Todd loved this. I don't know why. He thought it was cool. I still think it's stupid.

God granted many victories for me today. This was a big step for me. I miss Todd so much, yet I am so thankful for him and the time I had with him. He left us with many, many GOOD memories! Thank you God for today. Thank you God for Todd.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dr. and Mrs. E Allen Griffith

One of Todd's favorite portion of Scripture was Psalm 1. The first three verses say this: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

An example of this godly man in these verses, both Todd and I agreed, was Dr. E Allen Griffith. Todd and I met at church, and Dr. Griffith was our pastor. We grew the most spiritually during those years. Todd learned much, and would often refer to the pre-marriage counseling we received before Pastor Griffith married us, and would repeat much of it to me over the years. Pastor Griffith's advice, knowledge of the Scripture, and example he gave helped us both to build our marriage on God's Word and instructions, and pray together often.

I am sure as Todd grew weaker and weaker, these are the reasons why he insisted that our beloved former Pastor officiate his funeral.

The Griffiths have been through a lot over the years. They have endured many trials and disappointments, yet they have always remained steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Their testimony speaks volumes.

Tomorrow, May 6th, will be four years since Todd died. Four years ago today, May 5th, the Griffiths came to visit us. I will always remember and be forever grateful for that visit. Pastor G prayed with Todd, and I can remember the tears. Mrs. Griffith's kindness and helpful insight changed the entire atmosphere of our home from a sense of fear and doom to one of blessing and love. There is no way to adequately thank them for that, so I thank and praise God for them and for that visit.

God works through the Griffiths' lives daily. They have five children who are all serving the Lord and love God with all their hearts. They have eighteen grandchildren who are being taught God's Word, and have a wonderful example to watch and follow in their grandparents. Currently they have a ministry called Biblical Family Ministries, where they preach and teach God's Word as the absolute truth that can solve the growing problems of broken and divided homes with all the accompanying heartache.

I am so thankful to the Griffiths for the godly impact they have and continue to have on me and my family. Today, with all the memories of Todd's sickness and Homegoing, I am praising God for the Griffiths. May God continue to bless them and their ministry as they continue to delight in the law of the Lord.

Biblical Family Ministry Website
Christianity Pure & Simple
The Cultural Collapse Project

Monday, May 4, 2009

Interesting visit to the dentist

This morning I had to take the two youngest to the pediatric dentist. Praise the Lord, there were no cavities! But while in the waiting room, I witnessed the most horrific case of verbal child abuse I have ever seen. All of us waiting were disgusted, saddened, and some were ready to attack this "mother." I prayed for wisdom, but kept silent. We all did. She was a big lady, and not very kind. I can't get that young child out of my head. The whole incident made me physically sick to my stomach. So sad.

Later, when I was called back to talk to the dr, a kind nurse filled me in on the details. She was authoratative, and I found myself instinctively saying, "yes, mam." After hugging Toby, the nurse touched my arm and said I looked familiar. She told me her name, a name from that past. Have you ever met someone years later from school days whom you thought yourself much better than? This was one of those "friends." I never liked her. I treated her badly. She was younger, and at the time, just a pest to deal with. Talk about a complete change in veiwpoint! I hope I didn't look as stunned as I felt when hearing that name.

When she asked about my family, I couldn't tell her Todd had died. It was strange. I talked as if he were at work..."we have six children"..."I met Todd at church"...we go to Chadds Ford Baptist now" felt so natural to say and it felt good too.

This morning's visit to the dentist was certainly interesting. My heart aches for that little boy. My heart aches to be close to Todd again. One day it will all be "right."

I am comforted by these words from I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and pray you are as well!

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Winter had a great time at her friend's house last night. No problems. God granted me a peace that I can't describe. I'm so thankful for His goodness and that Winter is sleeping here tonight! Even with all six of the children sleeping here, in their own beds, under the same roof, I still feel lonely. I miss Todd sleeping under this roof, yet I know he is in a far better place than here. I am so thankful for God's comfort and for His love and care for me...and Todd...and for my children!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Winter's First "Sleepover"

Wow. This is a big night for our family. Tonight Winter is spending the night at a friend's house. But for Winter Hope, this is not your average, run-of-the-mill sleepover that all little girls enjoy. For Winter, personally, this is a huge step. She's growing up, becoming more independent, and was excited to go. For Mom, this is a huge learning experience...again. You may remember Winter's story. She still requires medicine to assist her with her breathing problems, although we have not had an "episode" for seven months now. I left her tonight with her medicine, friends, lots of prayers, in the capable hands of a great Mom, and ultimately in God's all-powerful, all-knowing Arms of Love. Now comes the hard part...waiting. Waiting and resting in the knowledge that she is in God's Arms tonight, not mine, until I can pick her up tomorrow morning!

Even though I have five children here at home, I feel lonely, incredibly lonely. The other kids know Winter's history, but Todd was the only one who truly lived Winter's history with me....the sleepless nights, the fear, the panic when she would turn blue and purple, the heart-pounding "rescues," the long days and nights spent at childrens' hospitals. I can see Todd's smile tonight, but I can't hear his words, "She'll be fine." It's lonely here. I can only pray. God is here, and He is with our precious Winter Hope. I know she is having a great time.