Monday, March 14, 2016

Oh, to not even smell like smoke!

It's been awhile since I have shared my heart with whomever happens to read this blog. 

Not much has happened since I last wrote, but God has been teaching me so much.  

My husband and I spent a few days in Iowa over Christmas saying goodbye to my childhood home and memories. We packed up Daddy's office books, papers, memorabilia and pictures from the walls and then I folded all his clothes and put them in boxes, too. We also helped pack some of the household stuff for Mama. A week after we left the movers came, packed up the rest of the house and she moved 1700 miles away to live with my sister. It was a difficult Christmas but I have never felt the love of God and the prayers of others like I did that week. Even though my heart was breaking, I knew God was holding me in His arms. He taught me that things are not important. Just as I have Daddy's memories and love in my heart I also have God's love and nothing of material value on this earth can ever replace that. As I was going through his books, I found a Bible study book he had done. The last few pages he was to write down his servant profile. Under passion he had written "handicapped." I was confused as to what he meant and thankfully in parenthesis it said to refer to an earlier page. On that page he had written, "I have a passion for the handicapped. My granddaughter, a neighbor, and those in the hospital." I burst into tears. Daddy and Amy always had a special bond, but to see that in his own handwriting was so precious to me. 

The end of January I started a weekly women's Bible study here at my house. We are studying the life of Daniel with videos from Beth Moore.  It is good to get together with other ladies and know we are all studying God's Word together. She has taught us that our present day is much like the Babylonian world that Daniel lived in. She challenges us to stand up for God's truth like Daniel and his friends did. Although we are only half way through the study, the most important lesson to me so far was the one of the fiery furnace. Daniel's three friends always had Daniel as their rock. When the time came for the three to bow down and worship an idol, Daniel wasn't with them. They chose on their own to disobey the kings command, to honor God, and not bow down. They were then thrown into a furnace. You can read it from the Bible HERE.
I realized that Amy was my Daniel. She kept me pointed toward God. She radiated God's love just by being alive and after she died I was a little lost without her. I didn't have my daily visual aid of God's love.  God also taught me through this study that every time I go through a trial there is always another one in the fire with me. Jesus is with me no matter what trial He leads me to and through.

Amy's 34th birthday was last week. Bill and I went away for four days over her birthday. We enjoyed some beautiful spring weather, visited with Bill's sister and her son, wife, and four darling children. We were able to see the Brethren Service Center where Daddy stayed when he was 16 before he shipped out to Poland with relief horses after WW2. We saw some Civil War battlefields and hiked to the top of a small mountain. A butterfly fluttered ahead of us as we hiked. We talked. We remembered Amy. 
Bill with his sister, nephew and niece
The building Daddy would have stayed in before he left for Poland.

View from Sugarloaf

Now we are waiting for the birth of our third grandchild. He is to come any day. My next post will have his picture and his name!

I'll end with these verses from Daniel 3.
Verses 17 & 18, "If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” and I really like verse 27," And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them."
They had walked around inside a burning furnace, their bonds had been burned off from them but they themselves or even their clothes had not been burned! They didn't even smell like fire! 
That is my desire. That even though I go through fiery trials, I don't even want to smell of smoke. Only of Jesus~ only Jesus!