Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grateful Part I

Our trip to Nebraska was amazing. The entire week I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I was reminded over and over that God loves us, that He enjoys blessing His children with all sorts of fun things, and that He will meet every need and fill every void in our lives. Simple truths, I know, but ones that were reiterated to me during my time in Nebraska. One of the main things for which I am grateful is Gene. Gene is my mom's new husband....I thank God for him.

Gene, I know you will never read this, but just in case you decide to turn on your computer.....I want to say thank you. Thank you for jumping in and receiving my kids just as if they were your own grand kids.
I hate death. I hate that you and mom both lost the person in this world most precious to you. I hate that I lost my dad and my kids lost their grandfather....I hate that your family lost their mother and grandma....I hate that there is a little heartache in each of us at all times because of the loss of my dad and your Martha. But this past week I was reminded of God's goodness through you.
God is so good to us. This week I found myself overwhelmed with emotion time and time again: when I would see my children's face as they were in your arms, when I would see my mom's face in your company, when I would feel the peace in your home...God has used you to fill many of those voids that death so fiercely left us with when dad died. Thank you for embracing all of us. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with mom once when you two first started talking. She said she was going to wait to tell you how big our family was. I didn't get it. I said, "Why would you do that? He would probably love to know that you have you 5 kids, 4 son-in laws, and 6 awesome grandchildren....I think most people would consider that a huge blessing." She said, "Holly, I think most people would consider that a lot of baggage!" :) Thank you for not treating us like baggage :). Thank you for loving and serving us in multiple ways: By teaching my boys so many new things, by allowing them to tag along and "help" even when I know it made things much harder and slower for you, by holding Annie until she fell asleep in your arms time and time again, by letting me tell you things about my dad, by praying for us by name everyday, by introducing us as family to your church, by fixing fresh coffee every hour :).

I am reminded of this verse: Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Thank you for being Jesus' hands to us.....for gathering our kids in your arms, carrying them close to your heart, and gently leading our family. We love you.

Here's a letter from Max:
Papa Gene,
Thank you for letting us go to the farm. My favorite part was feeding Abe. I loved riding him too. I love you. My daddy laughed when I gave him the pheasant's fetter (feather), foot, and tail from you. Mommy and I laughed really hard too. Thank you for letting me pee outside in the snow.
I miss you and Grandma.
Love, Max


Melanie said...

Ahhh... This made me cry. I loved the part about Max peeing in the snow. That is ehy you should never eat snow.

paige said...

WHAT GREAT PICTURES!!!! I cried too!!! I hope he reads this one day!!!!

Faith said...

Oh dear, this brought tears to my eyes! I am so thankful that the Lord has worked in this way for your family. He is good, all the time!

I loved seeing all the pics from your trip. It looks like it was an awesome time!

Rebecca said...

How beautiful Holly...thank you for the "good" cry

Anonymous said...

Holly - this is beautiful! I hope he gets to read it too - what a blessing!!! Love ya.


Anonymous said...

Oh - it made ma anonymous - not good at this obviously!


Anonymous said...


I wanted to cry! It sounds like your Mom married an awesome Man. Oh yeah, never eat yellow snow!!! We miss you guys!

Bill Brown

Kristin @ Blue Skies said...

Holly ~

What a sweet letter! I'm so happy that you're mom & family found such a great guy!

Tiffany said...

Holly, what a touching expression of love and gratitude you just shared with us. It brought me to tears. I think I may need to meet this guy Gene :-) Looking at your pictures reminds me of my visits to NE to see my family. The pace of life is slower and there is certainly peace. My dad has horses too but the boys have always been too scared to ride, maybe this is the year! Glad you made it home safely and sanely!!!
Also...are you on facebook???

Anonymous said...

Holly, Gene isn't home right now but you can bet he'll read it. Thanks for being so sweet to Gene. He is an awesome grandpa. And a WONDERFUL HUSBND! Mom

the burchard bunch said...

too sweet:) what a great post... sniff, sniff

Both Gene and your mom (and Mel & Jeff and Katie & Tim and Paul & Ashley...) have been such a blessing to our family! What an amazing story and an amazing family:)

Thanks for sharing

steph said...

Great post, Holly! I am so happy for your Mom & for you guys...that God brought Gene into your lives. He sounds like a wonderful man. And the pictures are great! Thanks for sharing your Nebraska trip with all of us :)

Liza Delgado DeArmas said...

Thanks for sharing your feelings. God is so good! What an awesome story to share. Your Mom and Gene are blessing to the world. Max, Jack, and Annie will have the love of Grandpa straight from heaven through Gene. God Bless.

Van said...

Your post moved me. What a blessing to know the world is still full of good and generous men. Also what a story - God does still rescue. He is never finished, not even in the midst of the saddest of times.

Anonymous said...

He cried. Love, Mom

Glowing 4 Him said...

Wow...I think crying will be the only theme for this one. What an amazing and beautiful gift Gene is...not only to your mom, but to you all. I am tickled pink that God has spoken volumes to you on your trip and through Gene. I pray many more blessed moments spent with family.....and many more reminders of how loved you are.

Brian J. Norris said...

Hey Holly,
We heard that you and your husband had moved out of Charlotte and were in ministry.
So I googled you. I couldn't keep from reading and loving this post. Curriosity normally kills the cat but this time it inspired a young man.
(We are still young, right?)
Max's note at the end is awesome- what a great son!

Laura has one on the way; so it's got me thinking about kids.

May the Lord bless you guys!

Jenny said...

This was such a sweet and special post! I'm so thankful the Lord has blessed your mom with such a wonderful husband! It sounds like you had a really special trip! Glad your home safe and sound!

Holly said...

thanks guys, for all the encouraging comments. God is so good to bring joy out of heart ache isn't He? for those of you who love a good cry--your welcome. those who hate a good cry--I'm sorry :). If makes it any better, I cried the whole time I wrote this post.

karla and bill--thank you both so much for stopping by and commenting. miss you both!!

brian--so glad you stopped by. please tell laura hello for me ad congratulations to you both on the upcoming baby. parenthood will change your life in a great way. it is so good to hear from you.