Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Grandpa

My Grandpa has always been one of those people who loves to joke around with you. I remember growing up when him and my Grandma would come and visit our home in Batavia, we would just be hanging out around the house and I would walk into a room and all of a sudden he would be there trying to scare us. The little sounds he would make to just get us to jump would of course scare us half to death and we would scream and he would just laugh and laugh, knowing he was successful in his plot. This would happen many times over whenever we would see him. He would even try and scare the animals. He would take his cane and bat it at them to get a rise out of our cat or dog and once again, when he was successful...just laugh and laugh. :) Another memory I have of my grandpa is that he was always apart of the clean plate club. I guess living in Africa for 30 years will do that to you and teach you to eat what's in front of you, but there were times that we would be sitting at the kitchen table finishing dinner and grandpa would literally be taking his fork and scraping every little last crumb off his plate and eating it. He was not wasteful and always I'm sure made my mom feel like she had made the greatest meal he had ever eaten. :)

When I think about my grandpa, I think of a servant. His soft sweet heart was always willing to give of himself to help others. Him and my Grandma would come and visit and Grandpa would always have to have a project to work on or something to help my family with. Just recently I remember my mom calling and telling me that he wasn't doing very well and she would keep me updated. So the next time I talked to my mom I asked her how Grandpa was doing and my mom laughed and said, "He's doing just fine....he was up at the table peeling carrots." :) That picture is what my Grandpa was about. He lived for Jesus and for others. That is so clearly seen by the way that he gave up the comforts of American living to live in Africa for 30 years to tell those people about God's love for them. He lived to give his life so that others may know Jesus in a better way...whether through his words or his actions.

Out of all of my memories of my Grandpa, I think the one that I will hold onto forever will be one that happened about 3 years ago. We were up in Michigan just all sitting around talking in the living room and it was my brother in law's first time meeting all the family. My Grandma was asking him a ton of questions and when my Grandpa got in a few words, all he could talk about was how loving and serving Jesus was the thing that was most important that we could ever do. He started to cry, and I remember watching him and thinking, "God make me that passionate for you. When I am 90 years old, I want to be as in love with you as my Grandpa is." My Grandpa loved Jesus and if you knew him, you knew that. His heart was for Jesus and I have never known anyone who was more ready to be welcomed into Heaven by the one that he had given his life to serving and loving.

I believe my Grandpa lived this long because God was answering a prayer I had prayed for many many years, without him even knowing it. I had been praying since I was a teenager that my Grandparents would be alive when the day came that I got married. I wanted them to be in the front row on the day that I walked the aisle to my husband. Maybe it was a selfish prayer, but I remember a few years ago when he would not be doing good, I would tell my mom that I knew he wasn't going to die because God was going to keep them around for my wedding. I fully believed that and it was a prayer that God answered. 6 1/2 months ago, I got married to the man God made for me and my Grandparents were both there, sitting in the front row, watching me walk down the aisle. Not only were they there, but our wedding day was September 20th, the same day 67 years ago that my Grandma walked down the aisle to my Grandpa. Pete and I share an anniversary with my Grandparents and there is no greater honor
that I would rather have. If we can leave a legacy to any amount that my Grandpa has led our family to, I know that God will be pleased. I love my Grandpa and him and my Grandma will always be my role models and my heroes. He has set the bar high and I fully intend to pursue after Jesus the way that he did.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Exodus 4:10-12 (New International Version)

10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.

These verses have been the center of my thoughts the past couple weeks. I read them awhile ago and remember thinking how amazing it is that when God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He provided everything that he would need to do it. My thought was that when God calls you to something, He will always give you the means to do it. I've know that thought process for some time now but in reading through the story of Moses and the Israelites for the past few weeks it has really sunk in and that aspect of God's character has really come alive to me through Scripture.

I've read this story many times before but this time it's different. Those verses show how Moses thought he was completely not equipped for what God was calling him to. He questioned God and God was angry with him for even questioning him! How many times does God call me to something and I question him and his purpose? Seriously. Way too often. Even the little things. I far too often hesitate. But I love how God says that he will help him and show him what to say. When God calls us to something, he will never abandon us and leave us to do it on our own. He goes with us and teaches us how he wants it done.

As the story continues, Moses goes to Pharaoh 10 times asking for him to release the Israelites to him. This is no small request. There were 600,000 MEN (not including women and children!!!). This is a TOOONNN of people to move from one place to another. I can't even imagine what they were accomplishing for Pharaoh and what it meant to lose them. But God had a plan. After 10 plagues and Pharaoh's extremely hard heart, he says okay. Moses heads them up and leads them to a better life.

Once they were on their way, God just continues to provide for them so that they may get to the promised blessing of a new land. They come to the Red Sea and God spreads it apart so all 1,000,000+ of them can walk through. There seemed to be barriers and hardships in the middle of their journey, but once again, God promised He would teach them and show them how to go and He did. They get through the Red Sea and are walking through the desert and begin to complain. Having been in Israel, I know that it is hot and dry and I can imagine why they would complain about being miserable. Dehydration is no fun. However, they forgot where they came from and even thought it was better off in Egypt where they had food and water. They forgot where God was taking them and began to wish they were somewhere else. However, STILL God provides. He hears their complaints and sends manna in the mornings and quail in the evenings. Wow. Once again, God provided for them on their way to where they were going. They wanted water...and Moses struck a rock and fresh drinking water comes out. God's presence never left them...a cloud by day and a fire by night. They were surrounded and protected as they continued to the place God was calling them.

This morning I read in chapter 17 about the battle between the Amalekites and the Israelites. The Amalekites came to fight them and Joshua led the battle. Moses went up onto a mountain and stood at the top with the staff that God had given him and as long as his staff was raised toward heaven, the Israelites were winning the battle. If he lowered his staff, they were losing. It even says how they had to put a rock under his arms because they got tired but Moses continued to raise his hands. The Israelites won the battle and I just love verses 15-16:
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD."
"The LORD is my Banner"...I've heard that phrase before but never really understood where it came from. I just love that Moses had to physically lift his hands up and that God responded with victory. It made me think about when we lift our hands in worship. We are saying, God give us victory! You are worthy to be praised!! God was with them through it all and knew the purpose that He had for them.

As I just thought through this whole story and all that God has been revealing to me lately through it, I'm just so thankful for a God who is constant and steadfast. I praised God the whole way to work this morning as I reflected on His character and how he revealed himself to Moses. What a joy to know that when God calls us to something, He leads the way. It may not be as big as leading 1,000,000 people through a desert, through a sea and into a new land, but whatever it is....He's the same God who desires to help us and teach us what to do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm laying in bed right now where I've been all day and will be all day tomorrow. I'm sicker than I've been in a long time and it sucks!! I tried toughing it out and working yesterday but I was absolutely miserable. The Spader girls were brought up to be tough girls who could take it and push through but today, I had enough. My body was screaming at me to stop and let it get better so I did just that. I hate having to put Mike and Wendy in that position of having to find a sitter last minute for Olivia and Will but I was absolutely worthless to them yesterday. My head pounded when I walked or even moved and my throat felt like I was swallowing swords. I gave in and went to the doctor today, something I haven't done in a LONG time. He put me on some antibiotics which will hopefully help me feel better.

So here I am...Wrigley and I are just chillin on the bed as I just finished watching my third chick flick for the day. He's been good today which is nice. I have mostly just ignored him and he's not been as crazy hyper as he usually is. I don't know how mom's do this when they have their own kids to take care of. I was struggling yesterday and am so thankful for a quiet house all day today. Pete came home around 3 to check on me which was really nice of him. I hate being sick but I love being taken care of by him. He's wonderful!