Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It is only because of Him...

"You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him."
Psalm 18:28-30

Jimmy John's anyone?

Jimmy John's is the newly discovered favorite resturant, at least for Rachel and I. So when we were found with an hour and 1/2 of time to burn with a Jimmy John's in walking distance...it didn't take very long for us to make up our minds!

Josh had come to church with us that morning and had the afternoon free and wanted to do something, so we decided to grab a couple friends (that were still at church) take a quick trip to Cabela's and than out to a movie! Michal and Emily Hipps had stuck around so they joined the party. The selected movie didn't start for another 2 hours so Josh decided to run some errands and meet us back at the theatre. Much to our dismay he never did make it back to the theatre! (...he missed a good one). And the rest of us decided to wait it out at the near Jimmy John's! It was delicious just as we expected, and they even let us take home the leftover bread...which was sort of an inconvenience, right Rachel?

What crazy people!

Aaron and Rachel came too...providing me with a much needed ride home: )

Long overdue....

Bekah Rehm and I have been friends for...well, pretty much our whole lives! When we were little we would get together many times a week, and our families often did lots of things together. But when they moved out of Omaha and into the Iowa countryside, the visits became much more few and far between! But to fix that we decided that, for our birthdays we would take each other out for lunch, and then finish off the afternoon with some thrift shopping. Bekah's birthday was in January and we were able to schedule our little "get-together" the same month!

I have always wanted to know what my hair would look like straightened and then curled so Bekah volunteered and quickly the deed was done. Then, grabbing Esther to be our photographer we headed out to take some pictures.

The food and conversation at Applebee's was wonderful!
Happy Birthday Bekah!!!

I can't wait till it's my turn: )

A pleasant Luncheon

With Alatheia out of town and Amy Parsons coming in, Mrs. Larsen decided to have a little luncheon for Amy. Alatheia was greatly missed but we did manage (it was hard *smile*) to have a fun time without her.
After a delicious lunch the little Grady people went downstairs and soon came back up with a large box of hats! Mrs. Larsen have a great love for fun hats so there was plenty to go around.

Just a few fun pictures;

After the hats were put away games were got out and a rousing game of Catch Phrase was played.

Trying to make people understand what the word is...can sometimes be difficult!

Thank you Mrs. Larsen for a lovely time!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Writing things down sometimes helps.

How can I describe it, the hurt, the pain, the depth of sorrow that I have experienced? A beautiful life was cut short, cherished dreams were shattered in only a matter of seconds. A treasured wife ripped from the arms of her adoring husband. How can it be true? One minute a laughing bride, her lips curved in a endearing smile gazed up into the face of her newly married husband, the next moment finds her laying on the ground, her last words lingering on the ever whitening lips. Those last words, “I love you” would be replayed over and over again in the disbelieving mind of her husband. The exchanged words of love, a sweet kiss and smile were the last things they shared in their perfect life together. Hopes were dashed, a life full of fun and vigor ended, families were left clinging together, a newly married husband became a very young widower. Life seemed pretty bleak on earth, but in heaven let me suggest to you was quite a different story.
There, a new life was started, the treasured dreams that were dreamt of a beautiful city of gold were now being fulfilled. An adored daughter was caught up in the arms of her long awaited Father. Here there would be no broken dreams, life was perfect! Days of sorrow were over for her, nothing but perfect bliss awaited her. Worshiping the King of Kings, gazing into the face of her Lord, and living forever in His awesome presence, these were the things she had looked forward to and is now experiencing.
But what about those left on earth? Life continues even if we wish it to stop. Jobs must be worked, chores attended to, but all without the sunshine that she had brought to everyone she met. But we are not without hope, we have a blessed assurance that a peace that passes all understanding can be ours. The arms of the Father that welcomed Alaina home to be with Him, are also wrapped around us in our time of need. Even though I don’t understand why it happened I do know this; I can, and will trust God, He has shown Himself worthy of my trust in the past and He is not about to stop now. He created life and has a perfect plan for it so why should I doubt that plan? Do I think that a God who is control of everything, and made everything, and loves everything with a perfect and sacrificial love would make a mistake? Absolutely not! All throughout history He has taken situations that we have thought were bad and turned them into good.
The story of Job talks about suffering, but through it all he said “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Queen Esther was taken away from everyone and everything she loved, to become a participant in a beauty contest for the next Queen. But woven through her tale was a God who had His hand in everything and orchestrated every event, and used her to save his people! And the most tragic one of all, Jesus. He left all the glory and splendor of heaven to come and die the most brutal death. He suffered tremendously in hands of those He came to save. But because of that we can have hope. Death cannot really separate us from those we love if we believe in Him. The God of all gods, the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords has conquered death once and for all. So who am I to doubt His ways? Who am I to think that I would have had a better plan? He gives and He takes away, and though it still hurts, even though I miss her so much, even though it seems the pain will never go away, I know One who will be with me and comfort me, and I know that I will see her again!
And so in the midst of everything I will chose to say “Blessed be the name of the Lord”

I love you Alaina! And I will never forget you nor the influence you were and still are in my life!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The LORD is close to the
broken hearted
and saves those who are
crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Monday, February 2, 2009

I love you Alaina!

This was written on the back of Josh's truck...by Alaina.
What will we do without her?

Trust in Him at all times,

O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8