I have so much to be thankful for! Some wonderful things happened!
- Our youngest son, Kyle, married the love of his life, Lorraine Pollard! What an incredible day July 6th was!! Lorraine is an answer to prayers I have prayed since before she was even born! Watching them together - seeing how happy Kyle is - is a balm to this momma's heart. (She looks pretty happy too by the way!) I know God has amazing things in store for them!
- Our middle son, Cortt, preached on Friday night at the 2013 UPCI North American Youth Congress in August!
- Our eldest son, Brocc preached on Friday morning of the 2013 UPCI General Conference in October!
- Yes - I was as close to the front as I could get for BOTH of those sermons - blown completely away by the anointing and wisdom that flowed from their souls! (Hey - I taught these kids to read and write - so every jot and tittle that comes from their mouth and mind amazes me!) They both did us proud and I am humbled by the honor bestowed on my children by their peers, mentors and heroes!
- I was able to travel with my good-looking-high-maintenance-Indian-husband on several trips this year, joining him in MCM ministry in St Louis several times - and also in New Brunswick, Canada; Montreal, Canada; Illinois, Alabama and South Dakota. I was privileged to minister to sweet ladies in New Jersey, Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Kentucky and of course a couple times in Georgia... and my honey accompanied ME on a few of those trips!
- We took several opportunities to visit with old friends this year, as they celebrated lifetime milestones... our beloved friends, Robbie and Paula Chitwood's 25th pastoral anniversary and the dedication of their new facilities was phenomenal... and we could not miss the 50th wedding anniversary of our longtime friends and mentors, Don and Jo Norris... these were times I will cherish and remember forever. We shared our 38th wedding anniversary in Prince Edward Island with some awesome friends in 2013, Brent and Daphne Carter - and Kenneth and Evelyn Marshburn. Yes... it has been a year to remember!
- Jeff and I formed an LLC for our business - which really took off in 2013 when I became an independent representative for Enagic, and added their Kangen Water Japanese Medical Device as an option for my Wellness Clients.
- And even though we said good-bye to some precious friends and family members this year - the hope that we have in Jesus made the bitter - sweet.
Rev. Wayne Huntley recently preached a message at our church on the Feast of Purim... remembering and thanking God for the things that Could Have Happened - maybe Should have happened - but Did Not happen. There are many of these moments in our lives - and sometimes we don't really recognize them. However, this year, our family will celebrate the Feast of Purim!
On April 15, 2013, our son Brocc and his wife Randi - along with our three grandchildren - were with Randi's parents and grandparents in Boston. It was a momentous, once in a lifetime event for their family! Randi's Dad, David Nickell, was running the Boston Marathon! A longtime dream and goal!
As they stood among the onlookers - cheering for him - they were unaware that they were mere yards away from a deadly bomb. David finished in record time - and felt so great that his recovery time was a fraction of what he normally needed. He even told Brocc and the kids, "I felt like I had wings as I ran today!" Within minutes of completing the marathon, the entire family loaded up on the shuttle and headed out of the downtown area to where they had parked their car earlier that morning. Before they reached their car, they heard sirens and saw emergency vehicles heading downtown... and then their phones went dead. They had missed the bombing devastation by less than 30 minutes. We were so grateful when we finally made contact with them! The minutes it took us to hear from them seemed like hours! In the aftermath of it all - when I read of all the horror and loss - especially the story of the 8 year old boy who was killed - my heart broke for his family... for his grandmother. He could have been my grandson! I do not understand the "whys" and the "hows" of all the things God did for us on that day - but I am so grateful for His mercy.
On August 10, 2013, as our family journeyed home from Youth Congress in Louisville, Kentucky, we hit a terrible rainstorm! We all traveled separately, and I remember driving for a while, to relieve my husband. The rain was so heavy I could barely see - and the roads so full of water - I was only able to drive about 35 mph. Kyle and Lorraine were a couple hours behind us - so by the time they reached that area, the rain had stopped - but the roads were still dangerous. As they traveled through Greensboro on a busy six lane freeway - they hit a patch of deep water and hydroplaned. Losing control, their car spun and lifted off the ground... landing in the median - without hitting any other cars! An off duty State Trooper was right behind them and witnessed the whole incident. He told them it was a miracle how their car avoided hitting other vehicles, and how long they were airborne without rolling and flipping the car! Another witness stopped and told them she was calling on Jesus the whole time (and of course they were too!) Although their car was totaled, they did not have a bump or bruise. The worst thing that happened was the mosquito bites they got waiting for the wrecker! The lady who prayed for them ended up bringing them (and their luggage) all the way to their house... refused to take payment and insisted on giving them $100! (She was from Virginia traveling to Spring Lake to visit family!)
What could have been a devastating tragedy for our family - turned out to be quite a blessing. The insurance gave them MORE than Lorraine paid for the car two years prior. And they were safe, healthy and whole!
Yes, I think I will call a celebration Feast of Purim in 2014! We will thank God for what DID NOT HAPPEN in 2013! I mentioned only TWO things- I'm sure there are more... some of them we were not even aware of. The drunk driver who missed hitting us head on by seconds. The headache that we prayed for and God took away may have been a brain tumor! God is so faithful and merciful. Many times we wait to thank Him for His blessings. However, often the blessings are what DID NOT happen!
Happy New Year!