The perfect place for general chat (non-writing related). Please, no political discussions.
Condolences to our Christian brother on the porch.
We will keep praying for you and your family, Don.
Here is about five minutes of spiritual encouragement for us all from a great American leader.
I'm doing pretty well. Sleep is still the main issue, as I can't get more than 1 to 2 hours at a time, which is getting really, really frustrating. Overall, I'm getting enough to function without napping, but then again I'm only sitting at home playing on the computer, watching TV, etc. for the most part. I'm hoping I'm done with the walker by the end of this week, and I MIGHT get to go to church this Sunday. We'll see.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
Thanks for the report, Allison.
I hope you'll steadily get stronger and be able to sleep more.
I'd no idea what a blessing would be mine to be a great grandmother! Children will keep you young! Dennis was born when I was just 21, and Debra when I was 24. I "grew up" with them!
Don, that is the most beautiful obituary I've ever read. I pray that those who read it will be encouraged in their own lives, and bring people to Christ.
Your love and pride in Carol came through so strongly in what you wrote, Don. And even in an obituary, your witness ministers to all who read it. I couldn't help but think you were blessing your wife as a Proverbs 31 woman. I pray you will experience God's nearness in the coming days that will be so hard.
"God has not called me to be successful, God has called me to be faithful." Mother Teresa
"...not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep.". Brother Lawrence
Don, thanks for posting a link to Carol's obituary. Such a nice picture of her. Thinking of you in these days leading to the memorial service.
Allison, glad you're coming along, but it's too bad you can't sleep better yet. Sleep deprivation is so hard to deal with.
Verna, I'm smiling hearing about your great grandma status.
Over the past couple of days I have jotted down several random thoughts surrounding events of the past few weeks. Here are some of them:
~ ~ ~
In the final weeks before Carol was called Home to be with the Lord, we both sensed that the end was near. We would spend as much time together as possible, sitting hand in hand at her bedside with tears flowing often at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, just praying, sharing our inner feelings, our memories, and comforting one another. It was during those times that I could picture in my mind’s eye God-sent angels positioned on each side of her bed with wings wide-spread and touching wingtip to wingtip forming a shield of protection over us. Carol and I had an unbreakable bond between us, but our bond with our Lord and Savior was even greater. He promised to be with us until the end...and He was.
~ ~ ~
Not long ago Carol told me she wished she could be a little mouse in a corner during her funeral. She wanted to hear the Pastor's message and enjoy the music, and greet everyone who was there. Well, there probably wouldn’t be any mice in the Chapel, but I know she would be there in our hearts and thoughts.
From within heaven’s gates I believe that Carol would be shouting loudly to surviving family and friends here on earth. She would warn that if they are not absolutely certain they are a sinner saved by grace alone, and know they are a heaven-bound child of God, then, they must to do some business with Him today, and receive His free gift of salvation. As Carol knows, there is no promise of a tomorrow for anyone.
~ ~ ~
I believe that today Carol is strolling hand in hand with Jesus along the streets of pure gold. I believe they are chatting, singing and laughing as they stop beside the flowing River of Life with its water sparkling like liquid diamonds. She is with her Savior and Lord forever. One day soon I will join them there. I can’t wait!
~ ~ ~
Almost 50 years ago we made a promise to each other in the presence of a church full of witnesses and Almighty God that we would love, cherish, honor, protect, and care for one another as long we had life and breath. Oh, there were bumps along the way with twists and turns in our path, but with God leading us every step of the way, we did just that with everything that was within us. Now that 50 years have almost past by, the memories linger on and will never be erased from my mind. Would I do it all over again? Yes – in a heartbeat!
~ ~ ~
I have much faith in the Lord and was always trying to provide encouragement to Carol, but in my quiet times, in a quiet place, when I was alone with my thoughts, I felt so sad for her and my tears would flow. When I was on my knees in submission to Him, seeking His face in prayer, and looking to Him for peace, comfort and strength, He always told me to wait on Him for He will never leave us. He told me we are safe in the palm of His hand, He cares for us, and to only trust Him for He is in control and that His Will be done.
~ ~ ~
When we lose someone we love so dearly, it can feel as if our heart and soul has been ripped apart and shredded, then, blown away like confetti in a wind storm.
Carol was my beloved bride and best friend for almost fifty years. She stood close by me through good times and bad, through sickness and health, and through times of sadness and joy.
But wait! Carol is not lost! Oh...although I cannot touch her...I cannot see her smiling face...and I cannot hear her voice, I know exactly where she is. She is safe in the arms of Jesus!
Carol went on down the path ahead of us to be with her Savior and Lord. Until we meet again, the roses will never fade and the memories will linger on in my heart.
~ ~ ~
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
"My Journey To Jesus"
"The Israel Connection"
"I have a story to tell...the saving gospel to share...and the fire of the Holy Spirit burning deep within my soul."
Don, such beautiful words. I have tears... You were so blessed to have love like that. What a great hope to know that you will someday reunite.
Thank you for sharing those beautiful and heartbreaking reflections with us, Don. I weep with you, my heart knowing something of how it feels. Praise the Lord, He has not left us Comfortless.
Forgive me if I've posted this story, before, that I heard at the funeral of another dear saint. (She was 99 years old, and she so prayed to leave this earth before she made 100! We all wondered why such a strange prayer request! God heard her prayer. She made it!) Anyway, a grandson told us about this lady's experience after the funeral for her husband. Her children didn't want her to go home to an empty house, but she assurred them that is what she wanted to do. As she wept, alone, she said she literally felt arms around her, giving her all the Comfort she needed.
I pray that experience for you, too, Don, whenever you need it.
Here's a day brightener for everyone. My grand niece's husband posted this on facebook:
My delightful little Kelly posted this comment:
Wasn't that a wonderful question from the "random man" - who could have asked, "Are you kids in love, or what?" Now, I will have to try and post a photo of my darling Kelly & Kevin.
Don, thanks for sharing with us. I'm glad you treasured time with Carol while she was here. And you were such a devoted caregiver for so long. It's wonderful that you shared so many years together. We have hope even in our grief, knowing our saved loved ones are with Jesus and that we'll be reunited with them someday. But until that someday comes, I realize there will be a lot of tough days for you. Praying for you.
I posted yesterday---I thought.
I wept with you, Don, for your own obituary for Carol. What a lovely witness to Christian marriage.
Edy, thanks for re-enforcing what Christian marriage is like. May your great niece and husband share a deep and lasting commitment like Don and Carol's.
Don, everything you've posted the past couple of days is so beautiful. Praying for you!
I'm starting to use a cane instead of the walker some of the time! I was advised by my PT not to switch over all at once, and after using the cane a bit, I can already see the wisdom in that advice.
Nights are still long and hard. I've been waking up every 1 to 2 hours, just enough to notice how uncomfortable I am, so I have to actually get out of bed and walk a bit, use the restroom or something, even if I don't actually have to use the bathroom. It's getting highly annoying. Other than that, I'm doing really well!
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
Praying for you, Don, as you have Carol's memorial service tomorrow. I think of you often.
Allison, I'm glad you're gradually changing over to a cane. Good for you. The sleep thing is tough, though, I'm sure. We have others on the porch who I'm sure can relate. I have some sleep trouble, too.
Joanney, how are you doing this week?
Mariane, are you eating any better?
I absolutely am not up to doing all I've had to do lately. I'm exhausted from this low thyroid or whatever it is. I'd hate to know how many hours I've spent baking and cooking so I have as much food prepared as possible for the next two months. With these food allergies, I spend a TON more time on food prep. than in the past - so this is quite an undertaking. I've been running errands and trying to pick up pretty much everything I'll need over the next two months. And I'm setting things up at home to make it easier to manage when I'll be alone. My mom will help, but she can't be here all the time. It's such a challenge to carry anything when you're on crutches. I'll have my microwave and toaster oven on my table as well as medications/supplements, silverware, dishes, etc. - so that will help. I have things ready to set up so I can sit in the shower. And I'm working on making it manageable to lay on my couch and use the recliner I'm borrowing from my mom. Both give me headaches because of my allergies. So I bought plastic to cover them. Not sure how I'll tolerate the plastic smell, but I'm airing it out. I washed up sheets (in hot water - to kill dust mites) to put over the plastic if need be. It's just ridiculous, but I have to try all I can to prevent having a constant headache. Boys from the church will shovel snow for me. And I have a problem in my garage in the spring. When the snow melts, it seeps into my garage, putting a big puddle at the bottom of the steps, and then it freezes over (have tried to get the problem fixed, but obviously more needs to be done - but of course, it can't be done until it warms up). So they'll also help with chipping away any ice. When I had my last foot surgery (14 years ago), it took a fraction of the time to prepare. When I had my first foot surgery at age 19 (28 years ago), I don't remember preparing at all. I lived at home and didn't have to think ahead because there was someone right there to take care of me.
Don, I just now read your lovely thoughts about Carol. It came from your heart and it's what we would have expected you to say because you were faithful, caring and loving til the Lord Jesus led her Home. I'm wondering if you are alone now or if someone is with you. I pray that you sense the warm presence of Jesus as you pick up and sort through Carol's things. I'm sure it will be hard but God will give you strength and grace to do it. Everywhere you look in your house, you'll see memories of your beloved wife.
This is the first I've been able to get on the Porch for days! For two weeks, except for one day, my computer has been in the shop. John would bring it home, and still the problems would remain, so he'd take it back. This week the serviceman just let it sit in his work room and didn't even look at it, so Friday afternoon John went to the serviceman's place of business and said, "Let's see if we can figure out what the problems are together. My wife badly needs this computer!" So step by step, John showed him the problems and slowly the repairs were made so John could bring it home. We are at such an advantage here with only one serviceman in such a tiny town. I used my grandson's computer in the interim but it's in terrible shape and wore me out just trying to use it. I could get into Facebook on his computer but FaithWriters would not accept my password, even after many inquiries and Emails. So now my computer is back and I pray it works for awhile. I couldn't even get into several of my other favorite places either so I'll enjoy catching up there, too.
I read back and caught up with the latest postings and am praying that God will meet every need represented here. God bless.
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
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