Friday, April 28, 2023

Going Home

 


For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  ~2 Corinthians 5:1-10

As much as we may relish a vacation away from home, there is always a part of us that longs to be home again.  Good-byes, though, are never easy.  And, of course, that's how we all feel when our precious family must load up their rental car and drive away.

Surprisingly, it is the youngest grand, Alexandra, who voices her reluctance to depart.  She truly has enjoyed an extraordinary time with her Gammie and Papa, and tells us repeatedly that she doesn't want to go home.  Pointing to the letters on our mantelpiece, Alexandra says solemnly, "Look!  I'm already home.  I don't need to go anywhere else!"


You can just imagine how my tears flow with this declaration.  Honestly, I don't want to let my family go, but reason tells me I have no choice.  This is simply how life works, and I've lived long enough to know the rules, whether I like them or not.

On their way back to North Carolina, John makes an observation, "It sure will be hard to turn in this spacious rental car."

Alexandra pipes up, "Not as hard as it was to leave Gammie and Papa!"

Spot on!  I cry off and on for the better part of a week as I sort through photos and recollect all the fun times we shared together.  I'm trusting that in the grand scheme of things, God will find a way to reunite us all sooner than later.

Until then, I will keep the faith, and look forward to every FaceTime in which we engage.

And I can rest assured that, one day, the Father will bring us all home to Him.

Amen!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Easter Treasures

 


You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. ~Psalm 16:11


(Some of the photos in this post are somewhat blurry, and I apologize for that.  I've included them to, hopefully, communicate the enthusiasm of the grand-girls.)

Easter Day has come and gone, but not the liturgical season, which lasts for 50 days in the church year.  We should all be filled with joy at God's presence in the risen Christs throughout these weeks and beyond.  So, let's return to the family's recent visit with us, when we give the girls their Easter basket gifts and send them on an egg hunt in our back yard.  Look at the delight on their faces as they dig into their treasures!






In the first photo above, Virginia is preparing to hide Easter eggs for her sisters.  She sticks to right side of our back yard.




Her own eggs will be hidden by Danny (Papa) on the far side of the house, making them more difficult to find.  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of her actual hunt.  I thought Papa would be capturing them!

Back upstairs, Savannah and Alexandra open the eggs they've collected with great gusto.  How much money did we make?






Amazingly, Savannah and Alexandra collect 12 eggs a piece, which is the ideal.  Poor Virginia couldn't find one of her eggs, and Papa couldn't recall where he hid it.  With the help of the rest of the family, the egg is finally recovered after lots of poking around in the leaves.  It made me glad that we chose to fill the eggs with coins, not candy!  I could just envision some adventurous squirrel gnawing through the plastic to unveil a chocolate surprise!

We are so happy, too, that we could give our grands a beautiful Easter experience to remind them of the joy that Jesus has brought into the world.

Amen!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Rejoicing in Creation

 


Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth.  He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. ~Psalm 96:13

Here in Kennesaw, we are fortunate to have a gorgeous, 42-acre public park within a mile of our house.  Virginia used to love going there to play on the jungle gyms, swing and most of all, visit the dog park.  We decide that this is the perfect destination for the entire family, especially since our precious grand-puppy, Finn, has made this journey with them.


(Yes, Finn needs a haircut in the above photo, and we do take him to our local groomer's while he is with us.)

Sunday, their first full day here, is cool and sunny - the perfect weather to make that sojourn to the park.



Finn's loving it!


John and Virginia above, Alexandra and Savannah below.


They loved interacting with the dogs that others brought to the park.  After our time at the dog park, we decide to explore more of the trails around us.








The exercise, fresh air and companionship do us all a world of good; the girls, and Finn, sleep extra soundly that night after all the adventures.  When it comes to creation, we can never rejoice enough!

Amen!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Family Photo Hodgepodge

 

 

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. ~Psalm 33:21


There's never a dull moment when the whole family is here with us.  Savannah and Alexandra take such joy in our collection of "Little Animals" and the simple fun of popping packing bubbles.



And when Danny retrieves a long-forgotten tub of toys from the garage, you'd think the girls had found manna from heaven!





Of course, there are also many opportunities for quiet time together that we all enjoy.






And there's always room for chocolate cake!  See Virginia's?



I have to admit, we also experience our fair share of sugar highs, especially with the two youngest.  Between other confections, ice cream and chocolate milk are in abundance, thanks to the Papa who specializes in spoiling the grandchildren.  And it's so gratifying to see Sarah and John relaxing with an evening glass of wine.


They, of all people, deserve this vacation much more than anyone else as they both work so hard and tirelessly.

We're simply grateful that they chose to take their vacation time and spend it with us.  The moments together are nothing but precious, and the memories will last a lifetime!

Amen! 

(Next installment:  Finn goes to the dog park!)

Monday, April 10, 2023

Joyful Adventures!

 


Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12


If I weren't already acutely aware of how fast time flies, these last days with Sarah, John and the kids cemented it in spades.  Our much-anticipated visit with all of them came and went, it seems, in the proverbial blink of an eye.  When they depart for home last Saturday, it seems like they had just only arrived.

Here they come!

I'm waiting expectantly outside, phone camera at the ready, to capture the first moments as they pile out of the rental car.




Alexandra is the first  one to make a bee-line for the house.


Savannah's not far behind.

Danny chatting with Sarah, who is holding Finn, before she comes up the steps.



At long last, here comes Virginia!


And even though I've seen photos of Virginia in her new glasses, seeing her in person is a wake-up call to just how much of a young lady she is becoming.  Wow!  Where is that little girl I knew so well?  She's still there, eager to have fun times with her Gammie and Papa, and predictably, beat us both at backgammon!

I will be reliving this amazing visit with our beloved family over the next several blogs.  Will you join me in these joyful adventures?

Amen!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Blogging Break and a Winner!

 


Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" ~Mark 11:9


I can hardly believe that Palm Sunday is upon us!  Does it seem to any of you that the Lenten season has come and gone so quickly?  Personally, I'm so glad that Easter is on the horizon, and that our visit with daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, John, and the girls starts this very day upon their arrival this afternoon!  We will, of course, be celebrating Easter early since they will have to depart for home a week from today.  Here are some of the gifts awaiting Virginia, Savannah and Alexandra.










These fun and meaningful gifts should certainly make them happy!

While they are with us, I'll be taking a blogging break, not only from my blog, but from others, too.  I want to focus every precious moment enjoying their company.  I so appreciate your understanding.  Of course, I'll have plenty to blog about in the weeks that follow.

And now, to announce the winner of Cheryl's latest book, Homespun Devotions - Volume Two.  Give a shout out to Kim Jolly!!!  Congrats, Kim, and thanks to all of you who participated in this contest.

May each and every one of you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

Amen!

Our Grand Grands

  Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 Every year that our family vi...