Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
I will sing to the Lord for He has dealt bountifully with me!!!
(Exclamation points mine)
Yesterday I got the truly remarkable privilege of being the first of Evelyn Rose's grandmothers to hold her. What a gift from God this baby is! This gift was made even sweeter because Aaron's mom, Tina--now my dear friend, shared the moment with me. Her mom, Evelyn Rose's great grandmother, was also present! What joy to share this wow-moment with these two women whom I love and respect deeply!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Evelyn Rose Nix
6 pounds 14 ounces
Born at 3:47 pm
Daughter of Aaron and Anna Nix
Sister to Brielle Madelyn Nix
Our entire family thanks the Lord for this miraculous gift!
Mom and baby are both in excellent health
All praise be to God!
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Brielle's mama was due Sunday. Today Anna had her weekly appointment with her doctor and a non stress test was done on the baby. Both mom and baby are doing well, but no sign of labor. Anna's doctor prefers to wait patiently for his little patient to make her grand appearance in God's timing. So our vigil continues. We wait with eager joy bubbling up in our souls while praying for the safe birth of our second grandchild, rehearsing this thought: "When God wills, as God wills, how God wills." The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, pg. 22
We'll announce the news here when we have a new family member. So stay tuned...
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
We attended a wedding today. Lissie's fiance was with us. Just after the ceremony I caught the soon-to-be-bride casting this look of love at the man who will be her husband in six weeks. Seeing the photo tonight, I'm moved by the accidental composition, with her Lissie's dad in the background. Having a loving, intentional father behind her throughout her life has prepared Lissie to look forward to a bright future with the man of her dreams. She is a secure woman of strength; watching her daddy's biblically-informed way of navigating daily life as a man of God has helped her, by grace, to develop the deep faith in Jesus which an enduring marriage needs to go the distance with grace as its cornerstone.
To My Beloved Husband,
Thank you for the incredible number of hours you have invested in our children individually. When you could have been pursuing your own hobbies and interests, you have been pursuing our kiddos' hearts. Your wise and loving guidance is molding them into adults who will be able to humbly face the remarkable challenges of their world while being a blessing. On those days when work is hard, remember the impact you are making at home. I love you so! I wouldn't want to walk this narrow road with anyone but you.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Today was a travel day for us. We were on our way to visit the family of Lissie's fiance in Boston.
It was a wonderfully relaxed day blessed by the Lord with countless travel mercies. John was especially mellow. Although he's only 21, he's been working in a career position since finishing his business degree May 2012. He was quite ready for a respite from the demands of ice cream marketing.
On our layover Daria was sharing some movie out-takes with her dad and siblings.
After landing at Boston's Logan airport, we walked together through the busy international concourse... that is until Lissie spotted Eric on the other side of the security barrier. She took off and practically flew into his waiting arms.
Once they were together again, she only had eyes for him.
Did I mention that Lissie only had eyes for Eric?
She hung on his every word!
We thanked God when we counted suitcases and found we had all eleven of them.
Next it was time to pick up our rented 15-passenger van. Both the Moores family and ours waited in the car park for the van rental company to pick us up and take us to their lot. Even as we waited the fellowship began.
We traveled about thirty minutes to the van lot, and I don't think Lissie took her eyes off Eric the entire time.
Alexander was sitting next to the love-struck couple, but he was oblivious to their romance. His attention was held by a book. After switching languages at age 11, Alexander has just now acquired enough vocabulary in written English to love reading. Seeing him hovering over a book like this brought me such joy, and again I thanked the Lord.
When we arrived at the Moores' home, it was almost dinner time. Bless Tara's heart! In order to feed the 23 of us, she had three crock pots going!
Throughout the late afternoon, a great deal of energy was expended outdoors. Our Mark (left-17) and their Kevin (right--15) finally came in for water and a rest.
At dinner, I sat next to the youngest Moores and learned that Caleb really loves his mom's macaroni and cheese!
The evening ended with what else but...
..BLUE BUNNY.ICE CREAM!
Great fun was had by all today as the two families strengthened their bond through food and fun.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Eric and Lissie's wedding is less than eight weeks away. The bride is doing a fabulous job of pulling together the hundreds of details such an event requires--with much help from her sisters. Despite all that Lissie is doing, my limited role in the wedding planning has slowed the pace of my posting. I'm so behind! In order to post about even a selection of the incredibly special moments the Lord has given us as a family, I may have to do one record post with a couple hundred photos embedded. Yikes!
Suffice it to say, we can sense that God is with us as we go through this unusually busy season--busy even for a family of 14! He is our strength and peace as one daughter prepares to marry and her older sister is due with baby #2 any day now. He is our refuge and wisdom. The busier we get the more we find ourselves leaning into Him. He is our all!
"Behold, God is my helper, the Lord is the sustainer of my soul."
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Late this morning, I sat in our 15-passenger-van surrounded by most of our twelve children in the parking lot of a memory-care facility in Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Beaver and a couple of the kids were taking Grandma back to her apartment following a breakfast at a restaurant. While we waited, a news story on the radio rang true while leaving me bemused at its ironic timing.
The newscaster said that some are renaming the "Baby-Boomer" generation. Apparently, Baby-Boomers are now being dubbed, "The Sandwich Generation". This is because so many of us are involved in the care of what the story called "veteran" parents, while still parenting children of their own. In some cases those in the "Sandwich Generation" are also now grandparents themselves. Mr. Beaver and I are among those who fall in this camp.
The newscaster implied that a real stretching takes place for those seeking to meet the needs of generations on both sides of their own. Even with just the short taste we've had of being involved in Grandma's care since the death of her beloved sister and caregiver in January, we'd have to agree that it is easy to feel like a rubber band as you're pulled in opposing directions by the needs of those, both older and younger, whom you love and want to serve.
The news story failed to mention any help for those sandwiched by the very real needs of their parents and their children. But as I listened, my mind was recalling words from the Bible that were enough to encourage me. First, I know Jesus wants Mr. Beaver and I to spend our lives in service of others. Our leisure wasn't what our Savior listed as His top priority for our lives in this season. While Jesus was walking the earth, He told His followers, "Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve." (Mark 10:45 NASB) His life was about service to others, and we're to follow in His footsteps.
Second, God provides just what is needed to live selflessly: grace. While the context of this next verse was a gift of money the church in one city had promised those struggling in another location, I believe the principle behind the passage also applies to our use of time:
"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." (2 Corinthians 9:7,8)Did you see how many versions of the word "all" are captured in God's promise to His people when they set out to serve others? Grace, grace and more grace. The very power of God will be at work in us as we do His Kingdom work here on earth in His stead. Wow! All we have to do is cry out for help and He'll enable. I find that so reassuring.
Finally, the news story I heard just after breakfast never mentioned the reward of being sandwiched. I believe you can see it in the picture above. Mr. Beaver and I are well aware that we're blessed to watch as something fleeting-but-oh-so precious is taking place--the tender affection of grandparents and grandchildren who've had years to build deep relationships. Our kiddos adore their grandparents, and that feeling is more than mutual. What a privilege to witness the depth of this love! The happiness Grandma exhibits when surrounded by her grandchildren makes the tiring road trips we're trying to make monthly worth the weekends they take. The sense of belonging and rooted-ness that Grandma's love gives our children will keep us heading south to Kansas over and over. We're weary around the edges, it's true, but the reward of witnessing mutual multi-generational devotion goes a long way to energize.
So we have Jesus' command to love through service, His promise of grace to make this possible and His kind reward in watching a bit of heaven on earth in the form of a grandparent-grandchild love exchange. Perhaps its not so bad being sandwiched after all.