I want to shout out a very happy birthday to my firstborn, the one who made me a momma! Thank you for that.
When I think about you, the word ‘Honorable’ comes to mind. That is how I see you live out your life, honorably. You give your word, and you stick to it, even when it is not convenient to do so. Within the word, ‘Honorable,’ there is:
And daughter, you are ALL of these rolled into one enchilada! (Which by the way I was surprised that you didn’t ask me to make for your Birthday Dinner.)
This past year is in your horizon, and this new year is just starting to unfold for you. Dream big, sweets!! I know that whatever you put your hand to will prosper. And how do I know this? Because you are Honorable, and completely sold out to Jesus.
Love you more than you will ever know. Go get ‘em girl!!
Father God, I pray for our Rachel. Lord she is such a blessing to me and anyone around her for 2 seconds. She generates smiles and calmness. I ask you to Bless Her about all that she can ask or think of this new year of her life. Bring in the friends and relationships that will grow her, and also allow her to mentor. She is a gem, Father. Thank you for allowing me to be her mom. I pray in the mighty name of Jesus.
Signed, Christine A muse of the Remnant
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
8 years ago today, we held my daddy’s Celebration of Life party. As I look back, it was a wonderful day with so many friends and family coming together to remember a really great guy. It seems like so long ago, but then at times, just like it was yesterday. I wanted to share this once again, so that it is officially on my blog and not just Facebook. Here we go……
I have had very few Heroes in my life. My dad was the first one.
Now, what defines a Hero to me?
A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities (yes, I was his lil princess)
A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
My dad has been a Hero to many through the years, emulating God the Father to the Fatherless. People with broken families, or where the father had abandoned them were drawn to my dad. It was amazing to watch. The Holy Spirit in him was a magnet to them. Though he was a big man, his heart was tender, he always listened first and he was always ready to jump in when needed. And he always did. Of course along with the broken kids, came the broken parents. He was always trying to keep tires on one lady’s car and we would anonymously leave food packages at other houses.
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
5 God is in his holy temple. He is a father to those whose fathers have died. He takes care of women whose husbands have died. 6 God gives lonely people a family. He sets prisoners free, and they go out singing.
Most don’t know, but growing up in our house was quite musical. Not professionally, but relationally. Friends would just drop in for a visit and refreshments, and a jam session would break out. Then some other friends would run home and get their guitars and it was a wonderful evening of laughing, remembering, singing… and enjoying.
How many nights I went to bed with 3 very distinct thoughts:
I wished that old Shep the dog had lived
I wished that Clementine would have taken swimming lessons; I mean really, I conquered my fear of the water after taking beginners swimming lessons for 4 times, she could too!
And lastly, I hoped that those Ghost Riders in the Sky stayed out of my dreams that night.
Daddy usually played Mountain Railway and Amazing Grace as mom put us to bed those nights, because we were still so young and couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Then as I drifted off to sleep I could her Uncle Jimmy Whittach (Witt-Ick) and Daddy singing in the distance… lulling me off to the Land of Nod.
I was not a very good harmony singer and that disturbed me. In High School, my dad would record my part onto a tape player so that I could memorize it. That kicked it in and he taught me how to hear all the parts with one strum of the chord. He was amazing that way. And ever patient too. It took quite a while.
When we were all finally Born Again and helping to pioneer Freedom Chapel in Cleveland, I was the Music Minister and Daddy was Head Deacon and he was always there to sing a special song with me when the occasion called for it. He either played his 4 string harmony guitar which I have here today, or he would play my harmony banjo, and I would play the 6 stringer. The most fun time was the ONE when we included my mother ~ She did great, ~~only improvised, ~~ and actually made it better and funnier!!!
I remember times at home where a song would bust loose on the TV or Stereo and then next thing we knew… the whole family was up dancing around acting silly. I loved going to weddings to watch my parents jitterbug together, you could see the cares of the world drop away as he would spin her around… Or our Christmas Parties at the house on Stickney… Songs, dancing, food, friends…
Then for Daddy’s last week and a half, I had the honor of singing and dancing “My Lil Buttercup” at the hospital for him. We had to wear special yellow gowns and blue gloves to protect him, and it just made us all laugh. And we all needed to laugh.
The only way I know to finish this up is with the lyrics to a song that I have held dearly in my heart for years that reminds me of my Daddy… please listen closely to the words and you will see a glimpse of that amazing man…
I remember Daddy’s hands, folded silently in prayer And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare You could read quite a story, in the calluses and lines Years of work and worry had left their mark behind
I remember Daddy’s hands, how they held my Mama tight And patted my back, for something done right There are things that I’ve forgotten, that I loved about the man But I’ll always remember the love in Daddy’s hands
I remember Daddy’s hands, working ’til they bled Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed If I could do things over, I’d live my life again And never take for granted the love in Daddy’s hands
Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’ Daddy’s hands, were hard as steel when I’d done wrong Daddy’s hands, weren’t always gentle But I’ve come to understand There was always love in Daddy’s hands
With All My Love Daddy…. I miss you terribly.. Bye for Now,
Please take good care of my lil Hannah until I get there and tackle you both with hugs…
“13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[a] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
Hannah, my forever baby, I so look forward to this day, to be reunited with you and the family that has already gone before me. Know that you are loved deeply by us here on the old Earth. You are by far in the better place. See you in due time, my sweetness. Momma loves you.
Through all of the diversity, change, pushing and pulling, masking, shortages, challenges, meeting people in yards, social distancing, ordering groceries online, quarantining everything from yourself to food to mail, your close friends moving across the country, just to name a few things. And in these things I have been blessed beyond measure. God gave me another year to celebrate you, and some of that year in person.
You know that I can be quite the Pollyanna of the family, always seeing the blue skies and silver linings, but you too, daughter are a bit of a PA as well! I’m not certain it is intrinsic, but hey, we will take it!!!! You have had to uproot normalcy to stay safe. But in that uprooting you have kept friendships alive via Zoom, Teams, painting, reading, and baking. You have truly shown the resiliency that lies within you. Your heart after your Savior has not changed. It has strengthened.
How about you take time on your special day to just DREAM. Dream big, dream deep and dream dreams!! Then write those dreams down and bind them to you but do remember to give them time to morph and be fluid as they unfold. We can dream, and God blesses abundantly; more than what we can ever perceive. Remember that old adage, ‘Let Go and Let God?’ In your case, let Him have control. I know, I know that is hard to do… you were birthed by a control freak… (hahahha) but I have learned not to compartmentalize or micromanage my God. When He is allowed to operate on your behalf according to His Word, things change.
I love you more than life, my youngest. Keep conquering! He formed you and fashioned you for just a time as this.
Bible Verse for the Year:
5 The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Father, thank you for my daughter. I am so proud of her. I love spending time with her, listening to what is on her mind. She is kind, she is loving, she is courageous, she is tender-hearted, she is a warrior princess. Keep my little princess safe wherever you may send her. Keep her heart turned toward you; that you are her main focus. Let her be blessed beyond measure this year, that whenever, whatever and wherever she goes, that blessing go before her, jump all over her and follow in her wake. Thank you again. ILHMTL.
Son, you are a blessing; not only to me, but to anyone you come into contact with. You bring this certain kind of joy with you. It is intrinsic inside of you. You make people feel comfortable and calm. You also are a great encourager. People cannot help but to smile around you. And then there is that giggle that slips out sometimes. You know, I just love that lil giggle!
You have the gift of Helps and a few others too. The person with a spiritual gift of Helps is someone who tends to work behind the scenes to get things done. The individual with this gift will often do his/her job joyfully and take the responsibilities off of others’ shoulders. Sometimes to their own detriment.
You have done this since you were much younger. You were always looking out for your sisters, friends, and classmates, making certain that everyone was okay and had their lunches or toys and that no one was being bullied. I have seen you take that Helps ministry into the secular world as an adult as well, and that is a true blessing to everyone. It also makes for a great husband too! Your daddy is the same. He is/was a good example of how to honor your wife. It blesses my heart to see you cherish your sweet bride in the same manner. Ministry always starts in the home first and then out and about. You already have that down in stone!
The nickname that I call you, ‘handsome;’ do you remember how that came to be? You were about 4 or 5. You had just received a new set of sneakers that had light up soles when you walked, and a fresh new haircut for school. I told you that you looked so handsome. And you told me, “Mommy, from now on, you may call me handsome!” And then you knighted me with a wooden sword. So, I have. (No clue which classic book I was reading to you kids at that time. Ha)
With this next year of life, I wish for you to have the rest that you need, the joy that you show to others, the time to sit and read the books that you have been putting off and the happiness that you deserve. I also wish for added wisdom and discernment to abound in your life so that nothing sneaks up on you. I only wish for these due to the crazy year we have experienced.
Handsome, you are a treasure. I love you.
Lord, I thank you for my son, Caleb. Today we celebrate his birth. I pray for blessings and joy over him. You knew everything about him before his birth and You have a plan of prosperity and hope for his life! Let him feel confident and ready for the year ahead knowing that You have an order to his steps and a purpose for his life. Help him to find joy in every circumstance in life, knowing that You work all things out for good. I thank You for loving him with unconditional love, and for the promises You have spoken over his life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Christine (aka Mom, Mommy, Mother) A Muse of the Remnant
What a year, ‘eh? But you know what??? Today we get to celebrate the amazing gift that you are to this family! You are so full of love and compassion that you light up a room with your smile and your heart. You are setting a beautiful example to your generation! You are a true Proverbs 31 woman for this specific time in history. You are strong, you are courageous, you are tender-hearted, you are frugal with investments and finances, you take such good care of your fur-babies, you work hard at your profession, you take great care of your hubby, and most of all, you love Jesus.
Daughter, this year I wish for you all of things that make you smile and want to skip and run in the wind with hair flowing behind. I pray that this year is fun filled with many adventures. I hope that you take the time to take care of yourself and read all of the books on your list, take all of the bubble bath soaks that you want, and be waited on like you deserve.
Happy Birthday Blessings, Lauren. I love you muchly (not a word but covers what is in my heart).
Father, wonderful Creator, You rejoiced over Lauren at the foundation of the world. You knitted her together in secret and I praise You because she is awesomely and wonderfully made. You have blessed me with a daughter who continually strives to do well for her family. Help her to stand firm in the faith all the days of her life, unwavering in her devotion to the truth. I thank You for the master plan that You had for her even before she was born. She is a beam of light shining in the darkness in this old stinky world. Amen.
…“I am the daughter of a King that is not moved by the world. For my God is with me and goes before me. I do not fear because I am His.”…
Happy 33 wonderful years on this planet, sweets! From the moment I found out I was carrying you; I was excited about you. And guess what, that has never changed! These days, I so appreciate the friendship that has bloomed between us. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be your Momma first, but also adding ‘My friend’ to the mix is really a blessing.
I do not like the way we have to celebrate you this year! I would love to drive down to Galveston and spoil you rotten for an entire weekend or more. But Covid-19 stopped that right in its tracks. So, this year we will do a family Zoom whilst you open your presents. It’s not perfect, but it is something!!! I think and hope that you will enjoy the contents of all of those boxes! We had fun selecting things that you would like and appreciate.
I did enjoy the time that you were able to telework from here for a bit. That blessed me so much! I had my two girls sequestered with me! And all those games of Mexican Train!!! How fun is that!! But then you had to go back to Texas and get things prepared for an odd-looking school year for all of the students and staff. I know that you can do whatever needs to be done and do it with excellence. God has gifted you much in so many avenues and being an Executive Assistant to the Superintendent is right up your ally. You are organized, intelligent, industrious, diplomatic while still being transparent and speaking your mind. You have a unique way to get people all charged up and on to greater things too. Such a leader!!
More than that, you have the mind of Christ and walk daily in His blessings. You show the way to Heaven by your godly life and living. I am so proud of you. You are what my generation calls, “Sold Out’ to Jesus. Unwavering. Never Compromising. Always Thankful and Grateful. And you know His Word like the back of your hand too!! Thank you for being a good student in that aspect. I know you’ve learned so much at college, Bible College, helping plant/grow churches, taking mission teams, and then going on mission trips that you orchestrated. I also know that He gives you new things and ideas all the time that you choose not to share, but rather hold in your heart until the right time.
So today I wish for your dreams to come true and for you to have a prosperous year. I pray for good solid friends to surround you, for people that you may give into their lives, and for people that will pour good godly things into yours as well. I also pray that you and your sister will be able to go and travel safely in the next year to all of the places that you want to!
Happy Birthday my sweet firstborn. Truly I love you more than life itself.
Lord, I pray for my first born. As you know, she is an amazing woman with so many facets. Holy Spirit I ask you to hold her tightly to you today and hug her extra for me too. I know that she is more than just my babygirl; she is the daughter of the Most High God. Bless her on top of the regular blessings, and let more blessings hunt her down and jump all over her… In Jesus’ mighty name.
Signed, Christine A muse of the Remnant.
…“Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who is brave, strong and emboldened because of who Christ is in her.”…
I believe with all of my heart that the best half of my life began the day my babies were born. I didn’t stop being myself but adding ‘Mom’, ‘Mother’ and ‘Mommy’ to my persona is a gift I wouldn’t change for anything. Trying to be the example you needed in the world and embracing you – my children as my greatest teachers is a role I will always treasure.
You love your family, friends, food and Jesus. You have never once hesitated to embrace anything that might make you a little ‘different’ from the kids – the people around you and I love it. Not only do you recognize differences in yourself as strengths and embrace them as qualities that make you unique, you feel the same about such qualities in others. That is special and important for everyone around you to know & to remember.
From the time you were a toddler, I could see the twinkle in your eyes; a sparkle that felt as if you believed anything was possible. I still see that sparkle in your eyes, I know you still believe you CAN if you try. I mean really, how many young women earn 2 master’s degrees by the age that you did? This is a gift I would like to see you hold on to … keep believing!!!
Years ago, today, this glorious bundle of goodness rocked my world. She had a full head of dark brown hair, warm melting eyes, and an adorable smile. In past years, she has exploded into a tornado of independence and opinions, wit and funny faces, curiosity and intelligence, practicality and heart, friendship and compassion, and too many beautiful emotions to understand. Like all young women, you are forging a path – one that is spiked with opinions and independence. I want you to remember that whoever you choose to be, whatever path you follow in life, it is yours. You are not me, your dad, your brother, your sister, your grandparents or your friends. While we will always be here as a sounding board, we will guide you and offer advice, we love that you are uniquely YOU. You have your own opinions, interests, and heart. Follow them.
”Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I believe it in my soul. There will be a zillion people in the world who have ‘more’ than you- whether its height (Ha!), talent or charm, a gift for mathematics or art, or just wealth – but only you can control your heart and hustle.
As you enter this new decade of your life, I know I won’t always be able to be there in person, but I will ALWAYS be on your team. I will not always have all the answers, we may not always agree, but I promise you can count on me to be standing at your shoulder, supporting you.
Thank you for holding my hand as we have navigated this mother-daughter journey together.
Thank you for allowing me grace when I make mistakes, for teaching me the true definition of patience, for guiding me through motherhood and being part of the heartbeat of our family.
You are a gift. You have my heart, always. Happy birthday dearest daughter…
This past week I made a homemade apple pie. I was going to pull out my new peeler/corer attachment to my KitchenAid®, but I chose to do it by hand and let some precious memories flow instead.
When I was a young girl I loved going over to Nana’s (my grandmother’s) house most times. There were the occasions that I hated it as well; like doing laundry with her on a Monday! She used an old-fashioned wringer washer. Those old beasts were brutal! Sometimes when I wasn’t paying close enough attention, my fingers would get into the rollers and feed my hand in up to my knuckles! At that point it would pop open, but by then I was already screaming at the top of lungs. It didn’t get me out of finishing though. I was scolded for not paying attention (she was correct), and then she would rub my hand and kiss it… then back to work girl! Later in the day she made us the most delectable ham and swiss sandwiches on Italian bread to be washed down with Pepsi-cola while we watched the afternoon feature film. But Monday mornings were all business! She was busy getting the clothes that were drying on the line outside or hung downstairs in the winter. She would take Grandpa’s shirts and slacks and slightly dampen them with a Pepsi bottle topped with a spigot sprinkler and then roll them up and put into the freezer until time to iron. I did learn to iron from her, and you know what; I love ironing to this day. Many think it is a terrible chore but to me it is freedom from stress and worry. Just pop on some good music and boogie on down while you iron away.
Around the holidays, Nana always made the apple pies. They were glorious and I always ate way too much dolloped with schlog (DreamWhip). A few times I was there for the preparation. It started with Grandpa peeling and coring and slicing up bowls and bowls of Macintosh apples, with 1 large sweet apple added per pie made. Now this was done meticulously under her watchful eye with lots of directions. He would look at Nana and say, “Sarah, do you want these done right or done fast?” I loved when he could peel an apple all in one strip! She would just smile at us cheering away.
In the meantime, she would be working on the pie crusts. I got snippets of directions, ‘Always use fresh Crisco and icy ice water; don’t touch the dough too much with your hands or it won’t be flaky, use the wooden spoon instead; chill the bottom crust before you fill it or bake it.’ These things are hard to find in a cookbook these days. Then she used the correct amount of sugar and cinnamon with a dash of salt and cloves in the huge spaghetti pot now holding ALL of those apple slices. The pot was not for cooking at this time. It was the only bowl/pot large enough to hold everything at one time. Oh, I forgot about the cornstarch; always add a few tablespoons to the big pot and then a sprinkle on each individual pie, along with a pat of butter cut up in tiny pieces and strewn about before crowning the heaping masterpiece with the top crust. Pinch the sides just so, then she would go over it with a fork making tine marks all around the perimeter. Slits cut into the top and then egg wash painted onto the top crust and they were ready for the oven! It was so hard to smell those pies and know I would not be tasting them today! Personally, I think Grandpa should get as much of the credit as Nana for the pies. But he never would take it.
Being a foodie and a baker, I can re-create her recipe in a snap. What I cannot recreate is the fun time I had learning from her and Grandpa. So, I created times with my children through the years baking and cooking and sewing (and laundry and ironing).
I also cannot recreate how my grandparents overcame things that life can throw at you so unkindly sometimes. They were of the Greatest Generation. They didn’t throw things away just because they were broken. They fixed things or made do with them and were still thankful no matter what. They taught us not to be wasteful of anything, and to give to the less fortunate. We all are learning or relearning these things in this time of being home for safety with this world wide COVID-19 flu pandemic. Both of them survived the Spanish flu of 1917-1918, WW1, StockMkt crash 1929, WW2, and on and on….
They were officers in the Volunteers of America for a long time, but didn’t actually accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour until they were well into their 60’s. So, I can make her/their pie AND I will get to see them again in Heaven one day. My heart is so happy!
This month is the anniversary of Nana’s birthday on the 15th and their Anniversary on the 7th. When they stepped into Heaven in 2002 and 2003, they had been married for 68 years. I know they are probably up there Square Dancing for their King of Kings.
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Dear Father, Thank you for giving me such great grandparents. They weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for me. I bless their memory. Help me to give what you have taught me to others freely and openly and transparently. They knew it was okay to be a mess sometimes, and that Love wins in the end. Thank you for that stability.