I wrote this post on Thursday while I was waiting for the surgery to be over. Praise the Lord all went well and now we just wait to see what God has planned for his vision.
How quickly life can change within a week's time. Last week I was working on my daughter's wedding dress when I posted on my ladies page and this week I am sitting in a hospital waiting for my husband to get out of a surgery that we had no idea he would be having. All the little things I wanted to finish before the wedding seem so trivial to me now. Retina detachment surgery is not a life or death procedure but your mind can tend to think about things like that when your signing forms concerning anesthesia. When your husband is giving you instructions on the drive down "just in case". When you kiss him as they wheel him away for surgery. As I lay in bed last night with my best friend sleeping next to me, I prayed and thought about many things. I thought about this post and I wondered if I could sum up my feelings in one word. The first word that came to my mind was grateful. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought about everyone that was praying for us. I feel that my words can't even come close to describing how thankful I am. I'm so grateful for all of you, all the prayers and the outpouring of love. I'm so grateful for a God who hears us even when we can't utter a word. Our awesome God who can hear the prayer of thousands at the same time and our God of all comfort who makes me feel even now as if He is carrying me through with a peace that passes understanding. I know everything is going to be okay because no matter what, my Savior will be holding Mike in His arms. And I am grateful. 💗
Today I am working on my daughter's wedding dress. My last child to get married and leave the nest. I'm sure I might be a little more sentimental than other women, but I'm also sure there are women who feel the same way I do. It's hard to let your children go, bottom line. Whether that means your baby's first day of school, first year of college or first day taking another's last name. Kathryn went shopping with me the other day and we had the three oldest grand babies with us. On the way home that night she asked~"when do kids get easier mom?" I laughed and responded~"never". I cried as I watched their tiny little hands wave goodbye to me on their first day of school and I cried all the way from Pensacola, FL to Caseville, MI when we dropped each one off to college. I knew and still know in my heart that everything will be ok because I gave my children to the Lord the moment they were born. I prayed for them every single day and I knew that when I could not hold their hand any longer, no matter how far away they might be~ my Savior was holding their hand for me. That doesn't mean there hasn't been heartache, wrong decisions, late nights with no sleep, but only worry and prayers. It hasn't always been easy, but I knew in my heart that whether my kids lived right down the street or in Japan serving the Lord as a missionary (as Andrea was leaning toward), they would never have the peace of God if I held them back from His calling. So, I will let go of Kathryn's hand soon as she becomes Josh's wife and trust my Savior with their future, knowing that He will not only be holding her hand, He will be holding my empty one as well.
What is it about grand babies and the crazy love grandparents have for them? Maybe it's because when we were younger we were so busy "living" that before we knew it our own babies were grown and had babies of their own. And maybe it's then that we realize how quickly time goes by and we cherish each and every minute we have with their babies. God is continually showing me His love through them. The Bible tells me that if our earthly fathers (or grandfathers) love us and want to give us good things, just imagine how much more our Heavenly Father wants to. I couldn't help but think about this the other day. As my daughter Andrea was cleaning, she overheard little Ethan. She turned to see him talking on his play phone. She asked who he was talking to and he told her BaPa. (Mike) He continually asked BaPa if he could come to our house. The little guy didn't give up. Andrea thought it was so cute that she recorded him and sent it to us. Well of course it melted BaPa's heart and he walked down with his other two grand babies to pick up Ethan so he could play here. The Bible tells us that we should have faith like a child. When BaPa knocked on the front door, Ethan wasn't surprised at all that he came. He shouted "BaPa's here!" before Andrea even opened the door. And he was thrilled. He knew BaPa answered his call! What a lesson that teaches us. To have a faith like that in the God who created us. Our Father. To know how deeply He loves us despite our childish ways. To call out to Him over and over and know that it doesn't frustrate Him or drive Him crazy and to know He will answer. To be thrilled to come into His house and to spend time with Him. Don't ever limit God. He is the Father of all miracles and His love for us cannot be measured. Don't ever lose your faith in Him. When you have prayed and prayed and prayed and you feel like God is not answering, don't lose your faith. Think about little Ethan and his persistence and how it melted a human father's heart and then think about the Father who gave everything for you, for your eternal life. And ask again. He will answer. He will come. He will make a way.
Have you ever seen a commercial of an energetic, happy go lucky woman that was smiling about everything and then wished you could be like her? I have. Often. Sometimes I feel like such a mess. A mess as a mom, a wife, a Christian or a friend. Instead of being excited and energetic about events on my calendar I tend to get too overwhelmed with all the "to do's" within the next month (and before the wedding) And I freak out a little. Or I will read a new devotional and think I must be doing things all wrong in my walk with God. I get down on myself. But then God does something amazing. He keeps nudging me and telling me to keep at it. Keep praying. Keep reading His word. And He shows me He loves me because I read about David, a man after God's own heart who wrote many of the Psalms. A man after God's own heart that admits he is overwhelmed in Psalm 102. So overwhelmed and sad that he doesn't even want to eat. He pours out his complaints to God but it doesn't end there. In Psalm 103 our amazing Savior tells us that He understands. He knows we are only human so He is merciful and gracious and slow to anger. His mercy is as high as the heaven from the earth and the east from the west. From everlasting to everlasting. And He tells me He's got this and He understands and He loves me. I don't need to beat myself up about feeling like a mess or compare myself to a TV commercial. I just need to talk to my Heavenly Father. He forgives, He redeems, He pours out His loving kindness. He satisfies us with good things so that we are renewed. He tells me "It's okay Charisse. I love you". David didn't have a devotional telling him the right way to live for God. He just talked to Him and poured out His heart and I think that's a perfect place to start. 💗
My granddaughter Clara is a ball of energy. She always has been. Non. Stop. Crazy. Clara. Her big sister Ellie was always so quiet and good when she was Clara's age. A little princess, who for the most part did whatever grandma asked. Then Clara was born. She's a whirlwind and if she's not supposed to get into something, she will. As tired as she makes me, I will never tire of hearing her shout "look grandma, look" I will never tire of her reaching for me or having her ask if she can "hold you". I will never tire of her whispering "so much" back to me when I tell her I love her. Lately Clara has been having issues with falling asleep. It's nap time and Ellie is out cold while Clara does somersaults on the bed. So I have been laying down next to her, trying to get her to calm down. The other day I noticed that as I whispered softly in her ear "I love you so much", she calmed down immediately. I started to whisper songs as I held her close. And as I whispered softly to her, her tiny little body relaxed and she fell asleep. Do you want to know what makes a grandma's heart burst with joy? To hold her grand baby, sleeping in her arms. To lay in the quiet dark and watch these angels God has placed in my life. God spoke to my heart as I lay there whispering softly to her. My Heavenly Father feels the same way about me. He longs for me to call out to Him, to ask Him to hold me and to listen to His whispers when my life is full of somersaults. When I toss and turn and can't sleep. When my mind is a whirlwind. That feeling I have that brings tears to my eyes as I hold my dear babies can't even compare to the love my Jesus has for me and that's almost too awesome to imagine. I don't know why grandma's whispers calmed her to sleep as we snuggled under the covers. Maybe it was just the reassurance that I was there, so close and I wasn't going to leave her. Just like my heavenly Father is right here with me and wants me to know He will never leave me. And I can always ask Him to hold me until I fall asleep, knowing He will.