Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Poem for her Son-in-law

My mother writes the sweetest poems for each of her children and their spouses, 
and for each of her grandchildren on their birthdays.  
The one she wrote today for my husband's birthday was especially sweet...indeed, it made me cry.

This one she wrote in Spanish.  I'm going to share it exactly as she wrote it.


Había una vez un niño
Que nació lejos de aquí
Pero Dios en Su providencia,
Quiso traerlo junto a mí.

Ese niño crecía y crecía,
Y quería estudiar.
Dios lo trajo a San Cristóbal
Para que se pudiera preparar.

Su cubeta de agua caliente
Nunca le faltaba cada día
Para mí no era una carga
Porque la responsabilidad era mía.

Era un privilegio para mí cuidarlo
En la ausencia de su Madre
Y el Doctor Tomás
Lo disciplinaba como si fuera su padre.

¿Fue el destino lo que trajo ese joven
Un domingo en la tarde?
Tal vez sí, pero creo que fue Dios
Quien quiso que yo tuviera una parte.

En la vida de Andrés
Su suegra llegúe a ser.
Cada mañana oro por él,
"Señor, cuídalo por doquier."

Espero que el siguiente año
sea el mejor que has tenido.
Que el Señor te guarde y te cuide,
Mientras celebramos otro año cumplido.

For a more detailed description of my mother's role in my husband's life, please click here (written last year on my husband's birthday).

Happy Birthday, My Love.  May we spend many more happy days together.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

By My Side

I grew up with you in the home.  I watched you keep a clean house.  I watched you prepare delicious and nutritious meals.  I watched you handle wisely the money Dad gave to you, and watched you organize your shopping so we always had plenty.  I watched you do the mending in the afternoons...sitting in the rocking chair next to the window in your room.

You were there when the little neighbor boy was mean to me.  You were there to read to us after we were all in our pajamas.  You were there to brush our hair into little pig-tails every morning.  You were there to play the piano and sing with us.  You were there when neighbors popped in for a visit, and you were such a gracious hostess.  You were there to teach us hospitality.

You were there to faithfully teach us the Scriptures...around the breakfast table every morning you taught us Bible helped us memorize hundreds of Scriptures and dozens of passages. How thankful I am that you were took time for the important things in our lives.

I watched you every morning through sleepy little eyes, sitting at the dining room table, faithfully reading your Bible.  Through little eyes, I watched you as you served the Indian preachers who came to Daddy for counselling.   I watched you bravely walk down the banks of the rivers with your accordion to play for the many baptisms in our missions. I watched you prepare meals and clean up after us with little or no water.  I watched you at night as you strained water through a cheese cloth so we would have enough drinking water the next day. And I watched you clean beans and rice...sometimes killing little bugs in them.... You made the best beans and rice!

I watched you get us ready for bed in Ixtapa with the light of a karosene lamp.  All eight of us had a clean bed and clean pajamas.  What a comfort it was to me to look across the room and see you there, just before I closed my eyes to sleep!

I watched you serve sandwiches and lemonade to the homeless bum whom Daddy cared so much for. He sat at our table many times and you served him as if he were a very important guest.

I watched you nurse Daddy back to health during dengue fever. I watched you clean up after sick babies...change diapers for my siblings...and wash out cloth diapers for my baby sister.

I watched you be the nurse when Dad's patients came for a diagnosis.  I watched you serve cold lemonade to unsaved neighbors while Daddy talked to them about salvation.

I watched you home school eight children.  Patiently.  Thoroughly.  Organized.  Stedfastly.

Stedfastly, You have lived your life as a missionary's wife, and now as his widow.  Faithfully.  You never quit, never ran away, never gave up, and never got bitter. Even when so many turned their backs on never left. You were by our side every day. You were always there.

You were there to encourage us to reach our full potential for God's glory.

And you're still here.  Just as stedfastly and faithfully.

By our side.

I am so privileged to be by your side today.  Celebrating your life as a mother.  You've done it so well. I can honestly say there is no better mother than you.  You have loved us, in spite of all we have put you through.  You didn't let your hurt be more than your love.  Only a mother can love the way you love.  Purely. Lastingly.  Un-grudgingly.

You are worthy of honor on this day.  I praise you for your works.

I Love You.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


On this day, when love is in the air, my thoughts turn to my beloved and all that he means to me.  I wonder if I could survive if anything ever happened to him.

I watched a movie yesterday of a man who suddenly and tragically lost his wife, and watched how he grieved and struggled to deal with her death.

I saw a picture of a friend who recently lost her husband to death.  The picture is of them together last Valentine's Day, and a short time later, he was taken from her with no warning.

Life is but a vapor.  Here now, vanished in a second.  Treasure your spouse.  Love him/her.  Tell him/her what they mean to you.  The next instant could be too late.

Through my kitchen window, I can look out onto the street, and I see many, many people from my neighborhood walk by my window on that dusty, gravel street all day long.  I see school children; I see men walking to work; I see women on their way to the market.  And I see couples. 

I like observing couples.  Sometimes they're holding hands, and I smile; sometimes they're laughing about something.  But sometimes I see the wife with a hard look on her face, and the husband looks distant.  No conversation going on; no touching between the two. 

I wonder, what created the distance?  What did they allow to creep into their lives that created this distance?

My husband says that I'm extremely compassionate toward others' pain and troubles.  I grieve too deeply with those who grieve, although they may be thousands of miles away.  I wake up during the night praying for babies I don't even know, but who are in heart surgery.  And I literally beg God to put couples back together; I spend time begging God to get the "other woman" away from the man so the wife will have a greater chance at taking him back.  And I pray for the children of couples who have decided there's no reason to stay together.

The home is an institution created by God.  The home begins with a man and a woman who decide they're better together than separated.  And what God hath joined together, let not man put assunder.

I think about when my husband and I were united in holy matrimony...that day we vowed before God and man to love, cherish and honor one another through sickness and health, poverty and wealth, for richer or for poorer.  Since then, we've experienced many emotions, disappointments, troubles, fears,...but as we've looked to God through those times, He has kept us together, as a more twain, but one. ONE.

As we live in this sinful world, we all struggle with seeking to live a life that is pleasing to God, as our flesh takes over and seeks victory.  But taking one moment at a time, thinking before we speak, preferring the other before ourself, uplifing him in honor and in reverence...then I say we'll be advancing toward a whole lifetime with our spouse...'til death do us it tomorrow, or forty years from tomorrow.

On this Valentine's Day, re-evaluate your priorities.  Make today a time of thinking about what's truly important in this life.  Not a career...but working at unity, harmony, and love in your relationship with your spouse.  Not dreams of building a house...but the building up of those within your own home, edifying them through wisdom and establishing through understanding.  Not plans of driving the latest model vehicle, but the desire of steering your marriage always in the direction of Bible principles for living as husband and wife...and doing all for the glory of God.

Love your spouse.  And tell him/her today how important he/she is to you!!!