Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

I’ve always enjoyed Christmas Eve- sometimes more than Christmas Day itself! Being the last-minute person that I am, I am usually up late wrapping presents! Christmas Eve is a happy day for me- full of anticipation for the next day and peace over the fact that all my shopping is done! But, there is another reason that Christmas Eve will forever be special to me. Back in 1994 my family was in Iowa at my grandparent’s house. Surprisingly, Christmas was on a Sunday that year like it is this year! That year I had just turned 8. All of us kids, my siblings and cousins, had been sent to bed before the adults. I remember laying in the makeshift bed on the floor and unable to sleep- thinking and wondering. I guess that was the moment. When all that had been taught to me about Jesus and Heaven and eternity was finally starting to make sense! A Sunday School teacher had questioned the class I was in a week before and asked those who knew they were going to Heaven to raise their hand. I knew everyone else was, so I raised my hand. But that night in Iowa, I knew I had lied and I knew that I didn’t know for sure if I was going to Heaven or not. It bothered me enough that I went and found my mother. I don’t know what I told her, but she understood and took me into the sunroom where we talked in private about Jesus and how He saved me from my sin by taking it on Himself when He died on a cross. How He proved He was the Son of God by rising from the dead and how God simply desired me- a simple child- to tell Him that I believed it was true and that I knew I couldn’t save myself from my sin. That night, close to the Christmas tree I got on my knees and trusted in Christ alone to save me from my sin. That night, the Holy Spirit came into my life. That night, though I did not know it then, my life was changed! That night, in the house my mother grew up in, I found my Heavenly Father! This is why Christmas Eve is so special to me!

                Tonight I attended a Christmas Eve service and was so touched by the music and truth from God’s Word. They took the passage John 3:16 and talked and sang about it piece by piece. The very same passage my mother shared with me 22 years ago! As we sang of the angels bringing glory to God and the hope that the world will join in those praises, I see it! Maybe not the whole world- at least not this world- but I can see a people who have heard and understood and can finally praise the God who created them! I can see a hope for every nation because God has made a way for them to come! And I see my little nephew, innocently looking at me, and I know that one day he too will come to know the Jesus who we sing about! I think of the house in Iowa and hope that one day another child will find the joy of Christ within its walls! And, within the brokenness and strain of my little world I am reminded of joy and God’s faithfulness! Jesus wasn’t born into perfect circumstances and neither are we. So, tonight I am thankful! Thankful for His grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness extended to a young girl so long ago. Lord, help me cherish every aspect of those truths and remain faithful!   Merry Christmas!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Light in the Darkness

Three years. Three years ago I said goodbye to my sister. Sometimes it feels like she was just here and other times it feels like it was so long ago. I see my niece and my nephews and realize how fast life goes as they learn new things every week, as they grow and change. And then life seems to crawl when I look at my financial goals and the time it will take to get there!

Our church has a ministry for local children that I started helping with just this past year. It has been a challenge to me. Some of these kids have extremely difficult lives and are so desperate for attention. To explain a loving God and an absolute forgiving Savior is so difficult at times, but I want them to see it, to get it, to have hope. Yet it seems so dark and impossible.

A acquaintance posted a link yesterday that touched me more than she will ever know. It was on Psalm 139. Psalm 139 became precious to me several years back when I was attending Columbia International University. There was a dear friend from the church I attended who mentored me. Her favorite Psalm was this one and we read it often! Such precious words and promises! Years later, I read it to Amy and the family the last Sunday we spent together when we sang and worshipped in her bedroom with flowers and balloons and sunshine all around. The video showed just a part of the Psalm, but was so beautiful because of the precious people who quoted it! Here is the link to watch it…

 It made me miss her so much more. Fearfully and wonderfully made, The body that made her so unique is no more. Words have come to her lips and strength to her legs. Yet her eyes still sparkle and her infectious giggle is probably bringing smiles to all! She was beautiful and she will continue to be until we see her face to face!

I grabbed my Bible to read the entire passage again and this time verses 11 and 12 jumped out to me. “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Darkness is as light to the LORD! It can be so easy to get depressed over life. I freak out and think it is too dark, too impossible, it will take too long, change will never happen. Yet the darkness is not dark to Him! Especially a child’s soul! He sees the light and I need to trust Him! I need to trust that He will save. I need to trust that He will provide. I need to trust His timing and the tasks He wants me to accomplish.

If you think about it, please pray for these kids that need to understand and be changed by the saving love of Jesus Christ; that their lives and the lives of their families may be changed with the knowledge of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Pray for us on Wednesday nights- that the darkness will not hide the truth and that every word spoken from God will be clearly understood. Thank you! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Wonder of Change

Well, I feel for some reason I need to blog again. I am not very consistent with posting- simply writing when I feel led to. Thank you to those who are truly interested in my life and supporting me with your prayers.

This week I am taking a trip with my Mom. I’ve been desperate for a vacation and glad it is finally approaching. My life has had some changes in it and I know it always helps to get away for a while- to escape the normal and cherish it a little more when you return!

Two months ago I was laid off. Leaving work that day the radio sang out, “I know He holds my life, my future in His hands” [Because He Lives (Amen) by Matt Maher] and I knew all would be for His glory! The Lord graciously allowed my little niece to be born on the same day and gave me so much joy in the disappointment. I’m looking for a job and that comes with an entire bucket of frustrations, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the “time off” to love on my niece and nephew! They are growing so quickly and I keep having the nagging feeling that I won’t always be a part of their daily lives. They bring a smile to my face and heart!

I’ve been taking this time to go through all the boxes of “stuff” I’ve acquired through the years. It’s been a lot harder than I thought- not the decisions of what to part with, but the re-living of the memories. Realizing my selfishness as a teenager and the foolishness of my heart. How I wish I had cherished the people that matter the most. Friendships come and go- that’s part of life, but, I know now that my family will not always be there. My sister isn’t here to make any more memories with and I know that other families face that fact too. It’s a reality check, one that I am reminded of daily.

That is why a circumstance that could be upsetting is a precious gift from God! To spend time with my family and with the Lord has been such a huge blessing! Seeing the wonder and excitement of a child and knowing that I am God's- yet where is my wonder and excitement at the new things He shows me?

I have had some amazing times in God’s Word and He has been filling my dry soul with the water of His promises! I am amazed at how the Lord places me exactly where I need to be! I have watched Godly people speak His truth into individual’s lives and I am ready. I am ready to be the one speaking! Yet I am so humbled by my inadequacy and an overwhelming reality that I will never understand fully His grace, wisdom and sovereignty.

So, change is here once again. How will He use me? How will He instruct me? How will He love me? It's a wonder to discover! 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

     The hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" has been a favorite song that has followed me throughout my life but especially through my college years and beyond! It was one that I struggled to sing when times were hard and it took almost a year before I could play it in church after Amy died. I love the passage of scripture where it is quoted.... Lamentations 3:22-24 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.""

     This past year has been a busy one: my sister's engagement and marriage, a new car, a baby shower, my nephew's birth, a friend's wedding, a conference in Arizona, many friend's came to visit, a niece on the way, time together with family, and work. Work. That's a crazy word that satisfies many people's wondering's about my life. Well, the happenings of the past two weeks has jolted my life a bit and I would like to write a little about my one "job" that I had. It was a different kind of work and one that I am most grateful to have had and gone through.




      Dale and Dorthy had attended my church since I was a little girl, but I never really got to know them until I got a call from my pastor, met with their daughter, and started caring for them every weekend! It was a blessing to have another part-time job! Even though their health was bad and they were elderly, they taught me so much! They opened up their hearts to me! They were joyful and accepting of the help I gave them. Never have I met any couple who has been so thankful for each little thing that I did for them no matter if it was cooking super or combing their hair! Dorothy would kiss my hand and hold it to her face- her sign of affection and thankfulness and love. Dale was just so thankful and joyful for the smallest thing- like gumdrops and compliments! His laugh was infectious! They taught me so much about marriage, about life, about love. Many people knew them when they were younger and could get around better and communicate better. But the Lord knew I needed to know them now. Now, when Dale struggled to talk understandably and when Dorothy was so forgetful. They both struggled with various pains. Soon after I started working there was when Amy went into the hospital and joined the Lord shortly after. It was hard for me to care for Dale and Dorothy because of the various reminders of Amy's hospitalization, but it was so good for me to face them also. Through caring for them, I was able to force myself to see miracles in the little things again. I had time to study God's Word while they took their morning naps and I learned to sing again! They were much like my own grandparents that had entered heavens gates not too long ago. They had attended the same church and had "hung out" together! Dale was a veteran and so was my grandpa! Dorothy had loved to cook and garden, and so did my grandma!


      Two weeks ago, Dorothy joined my grandma and grandpa and sister in heaven. She had struggled with a sickness and was ready to go. It was sad, it was hard. I was "The Greenawalt Girl" to her. She taught me how to do crossword puzzles and to realize that it can be exciting to watch cows! We enjoyed doing laundry together and eating and talking!

      Three days later- the day of Dorothy's funeral- I heard that Dale had joined her. It was unexpected and all were in shock. In all reality, I think he just wanted to be with her and couldn't wait any longer. There were times when they "put up" with each other, but there were other times that they were so sweet to one another! Dorothy may have forgotten many things, but she seemed to always remember that Dale was her husband! He checked on her often and if she got too worked up he would get up to find out what was wrong. He had a compassion and a love for her and for those who cared for him. He spoke his mind, but laughed things off- somehow forbidding the moment to turn awkward! He was the most fit and active older man that I have ever met!   


     Grief is a weird thing for me. There are little precious things that I see or experience that reminds me of the one I am missing. I tend to hold these moments in- not wanting to share them in case they may spoil simply by sharing them. But sometimes it is better to share- to help someone else see the legacy an individual left. It's how they continue to teach. When I experienced the lose of my sister, the thing I missed the most was sitting and holding her hand. Well, the Lord knew that and gave me such a great gift: to hold the hands of these two dear people and feed them and brush their hair and to sing to them- all the things that I had missed doing with my sister so much. It was a wonderful, wonderful gift! Though days were wearysome- it never really felt like a job. I was so blessed to have had these two people in my life! Heaven has healed them both entirely and I have healed through serving them. God has faithfully been weaving my path and has given me the strength I've needed so desperately at times! I am so thankful for His love and grace that have seen me through and will continue to surround me in the future! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 9th

    Today is March 9th. It would have been Amy's 32nd birthday. I don't know how to prepare for this day. Instead of celebrating, we take balloons to the cemetery. Missing her on my birthday is one thing, but missing her on her birthday is a whole different ball game. We are going away, it'll be a good distraction. 

    Last year around May or June I noticed a scripture calendar a friend gave me had been forgotten about in all that was going on. It was stopped on this day. And it remains on this day because this is what it says:

 "We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:2 MSG" 

    It sits beside the pictures I have of Amy and reminds me that this day and every day she is standing tall and shouting her praise to the Lord in the glory of His presence!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


    Birthday's can be a strange thing sometimes. It's the day people celebrate the day that God chose to bring them into this world. Today is my birthday. I realize I have been blessed beyond measure by the people God has brought into my life. From far and near, he has surrounded me with love! 
     Knowing my birthday and Thanksgiving was ahead, this week was not the easiest. Realizing Amy would be absent in it all is such a hard thing to swallow. Tears as I remembered birthday's past and knowing it would be different. But, Amy is in Heaven. And I started thinking- if we celebrate the day God brought us to this world, maybe we will celebrate the day God brought us into the next. Maybe there will be birthdays in Heaven- it may be on the day we accepted Christ Jesus as the only One who could save us from sin and Hell or it may be on the day we stepped from this earthly life into the Heavenly one! Maybe I'm a little crazy, but this was a thought I had and it gave me joy since Amy loved birthday's so much! 
       My co-workers celebrated my birthday on Wednesday because of the upcoming holiday. What a blessing they have all been to me! I felt so special! My family and I celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday and since the family was together we opened presents. Blessings from friends from afar and thoughtful gifts from family. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Today I am shopping with my sister-in-law! Grateful for a day off and an adventure ahead as I tackle my first black Friday shopping!
        Amy is missed, it is hard, but- I am going to be thankful. Lately thankfulness has been hard to come by. I have let myself be led down paths of selfish resentment and depression. I have been avoiding God's Word and the results have not been the greatest. This must stop and I must begin to be thankful. 

This was my birthday last year- the pictures aren't the greatest, but Amy was there. I'm so glad for the birthday's I had with her!

God's love still amazes me. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Corn Tunnel

Throughout my life I have seen that I go through tunnels of waiting, discontentment, and fear at different stages. Then a big decision is made.

       Every day I drive through a farm just down the road. This Summer they planted the corn on both sides of the road. Some didn't like to drive through it because of the blind curb, but I saw it as a challenge. A challenge to God- a dare. Because my life was and is in His hands and He will take it when He chooses.
      But as Fall approached, I started to see that this stretch of road reminded me of where my life was at. I felt claustrophobic- I couldn't see what was next in my life. I was driving along and becoming tense over the curves in life, sometimes angry. I needed a change. I felt like I had been in a fog since Amy's heaven-going and my life was going nowhere. I wanted to be vibrant and beautiful and joyful like the bright colored leaves around me. I could see no way out, yet God knew- He knew the right time and place. He knew when I was truly ready. 
       And the decision came and the next step was presented. I was offered another job as a secretary/receptionist a little over a month ago. I had been working at Homewood for over two years. I loved the people and my co-workers. If I accepted this other job I would have to leave my comfortable road I was on and venture out. I was scared. I felt guilty. I was so close to thinking God had given up on me and my family- that He didn't care. I thought and prayed a little and made a decision. It was time for the corn to come down. It was time for me to break down the walls of my own selfishness and fear. It was time for a hard, but necessary change. God knew what was best. It was time to trust Him. 
       So three weeks ago I said goodbye to the job I knew, the people who had lifted me and my family up in prayer during the hardest time in our lives, and the dear friends I had made. I sobbed buckets as I walked to my car that day. But I was at peace and knew it was right. 
        And I started anew. A new job, new hours, new co-workers, and new things to learn. Once again I'm the new kid on the block! God has blessed me so much and He knew I needed this! I love to experience new things. Every experience and every job is either preparing me for something or shaping my character to be more how God wants me to be. He has provided and I am happy.
        The past two weeks the corn has been cut down on the farm- stored in barns for the winter, a new scene and a new speed. Looking towards the spiritual change about to awaken also! Missing Amy, but looking ahead through the tears to discover His love in the midst of it all.