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Photo of large family group in vacation home includes grandparents, parents and children. The two fathers aren't in the photo.

Photo by Steve Sparks

We’re coming to the end of a lovely week in Washington state with all our children and grandchildren. It is rare that we all are able to get together. We often are able to get together with 2 children at a time, but rarely with all three. It is a treasure of a week. (I’m writing this 12/30/23. The photo was taken after a fun day of activities as we met for supper.)

Our grandchildren range in age from 6th grade to a junior in college. One is in 8th grade, two are freshmen in high school,  two are seniors in high school. By next year, three will be in college, making it even more difficult for all of us to get together. So we are enjoying this rare opportunity. Ron’s traveling days will soon be over, I fear. It is more and more difficult for him to manage. As it is, we get a wheelchair to get him through the airport.

But that isn’t the point of my comments today. Much of what I want to talk about today have to do with what we are looking forward to in the new year.

I’m very thankful for the family God has given us. It is a lively group of people who are difficult to corral at times, but are very talented in a variety of ways. I am thankful for each of them. I look forward to seeing how God uses both our children and grandchildren in the future as they continue to grow and mature further. It is difficult to believe that our children are well ensconced in their middle age years.


Our personal future

We can no longer fool ourselves that we are anything other than old. Ron will be 86 in March and I will be 78 in April. I can’t believe I’ve almost finished my 70’s! The end of January we will be moving into an independent senior living apartment. They provide 2 meals a day and maid service once a week plus activities as well. Caregiving has taken its toll on me. I’m very ready to have people around to watch out for me and no longer have to deal with maintaining a house. I will still be able to give Ron his medications and we will be together in our own apartment since he is able to get around and care for himself for the most part.

Our new place is even closer to where our local daughter lives as well as where our church is. There is also free transportation provided once I am at the point when I don’t want to use the car anymore. Once we made this decision, I have felt considerably lighter. It will be nice to have others around me to give me a hand when I need it.

There is no doubt it will take adjusting to the change, but overall, I’m looking forward to this move. We have loved our house of the last 5 years. It has really been a lovely place to live. It has been a perfect provision for us. Now we are ready for the next stage…I think.

It is so weird when you get to this point. I realize we both are getting closer and closer to the end of our lives. There are times when it can be scary. But there is also peace. God is with us even as we face many undependable things in our future.

What undependables do you see ahead in 2024?

What do you see ahead in 2024 that could cause you to fear?  If you are a child of God, He is with you for whatever challenge lies ahead. This year holds plenty of uncertainty and undependability in it. But God is with us no matter what happens.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

This is another wonderful promise I have found to be very encouraging. It not only reminds me that God will be with me, but it reminds me who this God is. He is dependable and not only that, He transcends all that is going on here with His glory, majesty, dominion, and authority!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,
before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 1:24-25 ESV

These are promises that have encouraged me in the past 9 years since Ron’s first stroke as I struggled with the grief, sadness, and loneliness of it all, that tended to come in waves. These are two of the concepts that continue to come to me repeatedly from a variety of different passages of Scripture.

  • God is with you and will never leave you, if you are His child.
  • God is working to make you holy and blameless before God on the final day and it is going to happen thanks to Jesus.

I have no idea what this year will bring. But knowing God is with me and is working out His will in me is a comfort. No matter what happens, He will be right there. Nothing will happen that will taken Him by surprise. And in the end, we will stand before God dressed in His righteousness, not ours. There will be nothing to take glory in on our own. It will all be thanks to Jesus and what He did for us.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year in 2024.


PS. As you see, I wrote this the end of 2023. I didn’t get it posted while we were on vacation. When we got home, my website was on the fritz and it has taken a bit for it to get sorted out. I apologize for the inconvenience. but it looks like it is fixed. I have been in the middle of calling repairmen (for a few repairs we need to do), movers, getting the house ready to photograph for the realtor, etc. It has been crazy! We will be moving in about 2 weeks! You may not hear much from me before the move. I’m sorry. I ache all over all ready. Friends are helping me as they can. But very soon, we will be settled in. Then I will be back in my groove.

I hope you enjoy the photo of our gang. The men don’t want their photos out their for work reasons. So the 2 husbands stayed out of the photo. Otherwise, everyone is in the photo near their mom. The three women on the couch are our daughters: L-R Christy, Dawn, Holly. As you can see, the grandchildren are growing fast.