“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man
lay down his life for his friends.”
The American flag waved proudly under a rich blue sky as we drove through the entrance to the Leavenworth National Cemetery. In the back seat, sat three of my sweet nieces (Abby, Bethany, and Tina), accompanying me for this little excursion.
At our first stop, we climbed out and looked at some of the headstones, and I explained things about them. Then, we crossed the street and came to a section where a number only had one date listed. All that was known about these soldiers was their name, their rank, and when they died. No birthdate.
The girls gazed around at the rows and rows of white headstones, signifying those who gave their lives for our freedom. We drove a little further, and I saw a whole section with dates from World War II.
Christina, who is almost 6, does not remember Grandad, but she knew he served in the military. I loved hearing her say in the most heartfelt tone: “He was so kind to do that for us!” Yes, she could see what freedom costs. Although Grandad didn’t die in combat, he earned two purple hearts and was seriously wounded in Vietnam.
One sees rows of headstones in a beautiful national cemetery, but what one doesn’t see is the heartbreak behind those lives. People who are forever changed because of their loss. Their loss to gain our freedom.
I looked at my little niece standing between two headstones, her sweet poise, her adorable smile, and yes, her spunky braids: they died for her freedom.
While they obtained our earthly freedom, Jesus bought eternal freedom with His sacrifice for those who repent and believe on Him.
Thank you to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for securing our physical freedom.
Thank You to my most precious Lord and Savior for securing my eternal freedom.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes ye were healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
Happy Birthday to GiGi (mom’s mom!)
Twenty-eight years ago, we moved from Washington to Kansas to be near my grandparents. We have so many memories of growing up near GiGi and Grandad. Grandad went home to be with the Lord four years ago.
GiGi is a very special woman. She can enter a roomful of strangers, and you would never know it by her incredible conversation skills. She’s interested in others and remembers pertinent details and asks about them.
GiGi is a big encouragement on my book projects, always asking about them and interested to hear. She loves to motivate with her cheerful words.
Most of all, GiGi loves the Lord Jesus! She gave her life to Him in her 40’s and has served Him ever since.
Happy Birthday, GiGi! Please leave GiGi a birthday comment below. It’ll make her day!
GiGi and Mom
GiGi and me on a visit to a little town that I’m patterning my book from.
GiGi loves her great grandbabies.
Celebrating at a Chinese restaurant recently.
“… The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”
What are your tips for dealing with writer’s block? That’s definitely my biggest fear/frustration.
This question came in a recent post about writing, and I wanted to share some thoughts.
- Pray. Yes, pray. I stop trying to write and pray. The Lord is the Author of creativity, and He knows exactly what the story needs! I’ve often found that praying gets me back on the right track.
- Leave the computer, and go do something. Even in the midst of tight deadlines, it’s okay to leave your writing for a few hours. Go take a walk, bake something, eat chocolate (ha, I do that regardless of writer’s block!), go run an errand, whatever. That break often gives the needed energy and drive to get back to writing.
- Ask others. It’s a common practice in writing circles to have critique partners. I’m so blessed because critique partners live right here! If I’m stuck, I talk through it with a family member. Seriously, sometimes in less than a minute, they’ll have the idea needed to move my story forward. Or, just talking through the scene gives me a fresh idea.
- Move on. If the first 3 points don’t work, I’ll simply skip the section I’m having trouble with and come back to it later. Eventually, I get it!
As tough as writer’s block is, it shows me my continual dependence upon Jesus. This story is not my own. It’s His.
For those who write, please share your best tips on overcoming writer’s block in the comment box below to encourage others! I can’t wait to hear them.
“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
for ever and ever:”
I want to share with you what our Mother’s Day looked like. We began the day with Mom’s special breakfast of choice: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and yogurt + fruit + granola (sorry, no pictures there).
After church, our immediate family plus GiGi enjoyed lunch together.
Late afternoon, we gave Mom gifts + cards, and then in the evening, all the relatives came over. What a happy, full house!
At church, Christopher’s family gave out roses to all the mothers.
Mary with one of our friends
Nathan dropped flowers off for Mom!
Cheese crisp for lunch.
Our lunch group!
Arnold intrigued by the curling ribbon
Working to arrange all the littles.
Handing out dessert
Instead of expanding the table since we weren’t having a meal, some stood. Love the action going on here!
Tina collected up the paper plates and took Ellie into the other room to let her lick them off. Ellie = SUPER happy
Tina asked to help Lydia read her verses. Tina, at not quite 6, can read the Bible well! Lydia “reads” by repeating phrases.
Hmmm, those two boys again, one going after my lens cap, and my phone is probably next.
I’m so grateful for a Mom who is an incredible woman of God, loves her family, and serves Him in any way she can.
“Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Recently, Nathan took Melanie and Benjamin with him on a business trip + special time away. He asked if Anna could watch the children, and of course, she said yes! In addition, Mom and Mary helped out.
Mom’s “job” brought back memories of her by-gone days: she taught school to the kids. The girls and Drew liked their grandma-teacher!
Mary’s work schedule didn’t allow her to help tons but she took opportunities to when she could. My sisters know how to make ordinary out-of-the ordinary and throw in some special things too.
Anna reading with the children.
Mary was babysitting some friends’ kids, and they stopped in to say “hello” to us and then Anna’s crew!
Taking them on an adventure walk to the secret stream.
Anna brought a Cheez-It snack for them which they enjoyed after exploring.
Cheez-Its powered Ellie home who thought it was too warm to keep walking. But the Cheez-Its worked as a motivator to help her home.
Anna and Mary planned a Joshua + Tina birthday party (they’re 2 weeks apart). They invited all the nieces and nephews and then our immediate family. Here Betsy is prepping grilled cheese sandwiches.
Jesse enjoying the kids and weather.
The cake I made: chocolate and yellow cakes (stacked) and decorated in purple (Tina’s fave) and green (for Joshua).
The lunch menu was: grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices, Pringles, and cake.
Calia arrived a little late, and she was pretty cute giving her colored picture to Joshua.
It looks like Jesse is telling everyone a story.
One of the kids made Joshua those green glasses.
Legos from Grandpa and Grandma.
The birthday party planners!
Stopping at a playset!
SpikeBall, Abby learning from Jesse
My sisters have such a servant’s heart. Because Nathan and Melanie would be home just about a day before Mother’s Day, Anna planned a menu Melanie loved for breakfast and took the kids shopping.
See that huge Mother’s Day card?!
She planned delicious meals, and Drew was often her helper.
“… but by love serve one another.”