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Here we are at Mandy’s job site in her office space —  Her screen saver is of her dad and her together — tricking a familiar facial expression.  We met her co-workers and enjoyed seeing her place of work.  She has an important job as she recruits folks to donate blood for the sake of saving the lives of others.  We are proud of her work and pray for her to be a blessing to all whom she comes in contact with every day.

I am catching up today on our lives.  It has been a wonderful couple of weeks, busy but good, stressful but accomplishing, wearying but peaceful at times…. isn’t that just how life is?   The mystery of days filled with a gamut of emotions and experiences all combining together to make up our days and ultimately our lives..

Jason and the girls, having dinner together in Milwaukee before seeing Hillsong United in concert.

Sometimes life is more overwhelming than other times, or maybe sometimes the work load wears us down and we get too tired to handle the daily stresses, we feel to sad to handle the pressures of everything that consumes our days.  That is when our faith becomes more real to us as we call on the name of the Lord for strength and joy and peace and patience.  We ask for wisdom, we cry out for His presence and His balm for our souls.  Our faith takes on new qualities as we experience anew His daily meeting of our needs, all of them!   Rejoicing and thankfulness is mingled together as we receive His grace and mercy for each hour and it causes us to worship, pure worship, raw and open and honest, welling out of the moment.

 

This is the secret to keeping our lives in order — the BOARD!

On this board we write phone messages, the chores for the day, appointments, etc..  I have to admit that it rarely gets completely accomplished and most days there is an item or two on the list that is rolled over onto the next days agenda.  I am still  glad to cross thing off the list and see work being accomplished.

 

 

Here is our Sammy, Rick’s race-car fan!  He was more than happy to have his picture taken with the race- car as he proudly supports Uncle Rick and recently came over just to get Uncle Rick’s autograph for his notebook.   

 

Big sister — little brother,  It is good for Sammy to be with us for the day, to experience being part of a family with a big sister to do things with and to interact with.  His father says that he enjoys his days here and I am glad that he can be with us.  It is a “little” bit like having his mother here, even though I know she is in heaven with her Lord, and I miss her so.

 

 

 

 

Sammy and Melody rescued this robin which had been outed of the nest but either had a birth defect with it’s legs or injured them in the fall.

Annie our resident animal rescuer and animal protector studied about the care of birds and went to great lengths to feed and help this little bird.  Despite her best efforts, the bird did not make it and after three days died.  It was sad, but at the same time rewarding to know that although we did our best to care for it and it fell asleep to die peacefully.   Life is fragile, for people and animals… 

 

 

Nick and Garrett Voight, friends of ours who we enjoy caring for now and then.  They remind me of our son Matthew with their tow-heads.

 

 

Melody and Lidia balancing cards–  a feat that I have never been able to accomplish at all.  Melody was struggling, hence the hidden face.  

 

 

The truth about Sammy — Sammy loves our family, every one in our family.  But, the truth is, he likes it best when he gets ALL of my attention.  His siblings are all much older as he was the surprise baby when his mother was 46!  With Donna’s death when he was 11 months old, it left him with only his father at home.  Being raised with just his father, in an adult world, he is an old soul in many ways.  He also has expressed to his father that he would like it if I went and lived at their house and was his mama.  His dad has explained to him that Uncle Rick would get really mad if that happened.  Sammy is just expressing his heart, which wants a mama, wants something of normalcy that others have but he does not.   So, this was his anniversary card to me on our 30th.  Notice that it is not to Uncle Rick, just me!  The picture is of he and I together, no mention of Rick!  Rick and I laughed when we saw this, so precious and a reminder that in the body of Christ we are family to others and that means for me mothering Sammy and giving him a sense of normal for the day — letting him know he is loved and cherished here.

 

Garden picture One

Annie made a delicious meal of Haitian food — 

Living and learning each beautiful day.   Our days are filled with work and chores to maintain our home, people coming and going, stopping in for visits and meals, Bible study and teaching — getting to the heart of the matter in all of our lives.  Times of prayer are beautiful whether out under the tree or at our table.  We replaced a chair in the cottage and the comfy chair was brought down to our house and place next to the couch, in front of the the woodstove.  This would never work come fall and the start of woodburning, but for now it is perfect as we gather in these chairs to visit and share lives, to relax for the moment before the work of life calls us to the next chore.  I do love gathering spots within my home!

This day —

We will have breakfast with a dear friend from Brazil and her children.  She wants to watch Jeni and Jason’s wedding DVD, what fun.  Annie and Kristi work at nine and Melody and I have work here in the gardens and house before we head out this afternoon to a cleaning job.  Full day — wonderful day!

Blessed in it all —

Joyce

 

 

 

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