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Marriage

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Calling Her Blessed Again…

As I am writing it’s Mother’s Day week. This year marks the 27th year since my mother won the battle over cancer and went home. She’s victorious and happy–even blissful, and I would never will her back to the struggling lifestyle that I try to tackle every day. But, still, I miss her like crazy–even now, twenty years hence. The children of the Proverbs 31 woman rose up and called their mother blessed. I know my mother is blessed, especially now–with the Lord, but I don’t know how to call her blessed. As I look back over the chapter, though, I see some things that made the children of Proverbs 31 call their mom blessed. I wonder how, exactly, they called her blessed. Did they tell their friends about the way God worked through the good deeds of their mom? Did other people look at her children and say that those kids were a blessing to the Proverbs 31 woman? Did her children write posts about how blessed their childhoods were because of the mom that made sure they were getting the maternal care they needed both physically and spiritually? If so, where did they post these notes? I do not know exactly how her children called her blessed, but today is my attempt to call my Proverbs 31 mother “blessed”. One thing’s for sure. The ultimate blessings are in the place in which I fully believe my mother is cognizant, rejoicing and awaiting my coming. She is blessed, now, for sure.

The heart of my father trusted my mother, that she would do him good and not evil. I do not remember ever having the first inkling of an idea that my dad ever thought Mother was lying to him, that she might be having an affair or that she was tricking him into getting things her way. In fact, the whole idea of any of those things seems preposterous. My mother never asked me to lie to my father. In fact, she would have spanked me in the “spanking place” if she thought I had lied to him. Not only did he never doubt her honesty, but he trusted her judgment. He trusted my mother to clothe us, to buy Christmas gifts for all of us and the extended family, to buy the groceries and to stock the freezer. He did not have to be a micro-manager. He trusted her.

My mother sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands. Her candle did not go out by night. If I close my eyes, I can see her hands. They had a couple of little age spots on them. Her fingers were long and thin and she never had a manicure. They were hard working hands. She had a sign in the little bedroom that doubled as her sewing room that said, “Whoever dies with the most fabric wins.” She won. See, she really did seek wool and flax and polyester and cotton and rayon. She could make anything on that Singer and so she did. I remember coming home from school one day for several weeks in November to a lot of white fur all over the carpets and bedspreads. I wondered if she was having bunnies over to play every day while I was at school. That year on Christmas morning, there were three precious little white fake fur coats for my sisters and me.

I remember many summer mornings when I would awaken to find that she was already out in the hot sun. I would look out the back kitchen door and down the hill I would see her bent over in the butter pea patch. I would try and be quiet, because I knew if she saw me, I would either be picking with her or washing breakfast dishes in the kitchen. If I was ever bored, I did not say so. I knew better. No one in that house ate the bread of idleness.

We did eat well, though. My mother gave meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. I cannot remember ever going hungry. My mother knew what day the meat would be in the marked-down bin at the market and she was willing to get up very early to be there. We did not go out to eat often because that was expensive. Our favorite Sunday night place was called “Traveler’s Rest” and it averaged a full six dollars for our family of six to eat burgers there. But there was always plenty of food on the table at home and it was always delicious. My brother was allergic to chicken, so when we had chicken, we had a small dish of some other kind of meat for him. Everyone was considered and everyone counted. My mother did not carry a couple of dishes to the fellowship meal, either. She carried a huge meat casserole or a couple of fried chickens, several side dishes, some cornbread and a big cake or banana pudding. If my mother ever had a maiden, she would have had plenty to eat, too. And I can never remember one meal around that table when we did not bow our heads and thank the Lord for the food.

My mother considered her purchases and used them well. She was frugal. I actually remember her sending us through multiple lanes at the store, so we could each be a customer and take advantage of “one-per-customer” savings. I remember buying fabric from the remnant bins and canned goods from the dented bin. I remember making our own popsicles and culottes. (Does anybody remember those?) She saved and redeemed green stamps. She sold encyclopedias and she taught school in our little Christian school for our tuition and we all went to school together. She saved the remnants of bars of soap and Daddy melted them down and made big new multi-colored bars. Free outings included the library and window shopping trips. Our shoes came from a little hole-in-the-wall place called “Salvage Shoes,” but we loved going there! She made everything fun and there was no place the kids in her Sunday School class had rather be than in our yard. One of them said one day, “I love going to Johnnia’s. She’s got a gallon of kids!”

She stretched out her hand to the poor and reached out her hands to the needy. My mother sent shoes to the prison where a neighbor boy ended up after his mother left home and he turned to drugs. I remember frequent walks up the street to Mrs. Brackin’s house, when she was feeble, to carry food from our kitchen or garden. I remember how Mother cared for Kathleen and Chris and Patrick when their mother went a little crazy and left them. I remember a little girl we picked up for worship services. She lived in the basement of an old upholstery shop on the Pratt Highway. I remember she didn’t smell good, but she loved coming with us. I remember another man who often rode with our family to worship and two older women, too. I remember Mother finding a place in a Christian orphanage for some children up the street when their parents left them destitute. Most of all, I remember the years and tears and fears of her caring for my grandparents. I remember when that small sewing room was converted to a sick room for them. I remember Mother’s sacrifices of travel and time with my dad. I remember the crowded conditions and the worry about their health. I remember my mother’s attendance at their hospital beds and their death beds. I remember the agony she suffered when they left empty spaces after her years of care.

My mother made tapestries and coverings. She used quilting frames suspended from the ceiling. They made walking through the small living room next to impossible. She made at least four quilts and coverings for my babies’ nurseries. As I write, I have company up in my guest room and she is sleeping under one of those quilts. My mother was keenly interested in making all kinds of things. She embroidered and smocked and made dolls and aprons. She made sweatsuits and curtains, stuffed bears and potholders, purses and pajamas. We wore handmade dresses and coats and bonnets. We had the best halloween costumes and great parts in school plays because the teacher knew she could count on our costume designer. Christmas spilled out everywhere in our little house. We, in short, had it made. We had it all made by our mother.

She opened her mouth with wisdom and kindness. Time and space constrain me, but let me just say that profundity is when an adult can think back and still remember phrases and their intonations—phrases that were spoken forty-plus years ago. Things like:

“Cindy, if you read your Bible and find out that I have taught you something that’s not right, you do what the Bible says. Know that doing that is what will make me happy.”

“Cindy, people who make fun of you for doing the right thing are the same people who, really, deep down in their hearts, respect you for it. One day you will learn that.”

“Cindy, you had better be very careful about everything you do, because there are two little sisters who are watching every move you make and they want to be just like you.”

“Cindy, don’t ever let your boyfriend give you money. that’s just not respectable.”

My mother feared the Lord. I really believe this was the trump card that made all of the above so evident in her life. She had this amazing way of boiling all of the decisions of daily life down to the question, “What is most pleasing to God?” The question was pervasive and invasive, and we visited it and revisited it on a daily basis. Conviction took us to every service and to run the children’s bus program an hour before each service of the church. Conviction had her sew a gym uniform for me that met all the class standards but had extra length for modesty. Conviction had a class full of middle school girls learning about fearing the Lord. Conviction had her spending time with them outside the classroom in cook-outs in our yard and in flower-picking trips to make bouquets for girls who were leaving for college. Conviction had her opening up that worn-out Bible and showing us passages relevant to some raunchy attitude she was seeing in us or some discourteous remark made. If we weren’t careful, she was assigning us long passages to learn; passages that she deemed appropriate to help adjust our attitudes or demeanor (and we weren’t even home schoolers). The Bible was just like a giant magnet in the middle of the metal of our lives. It was the control, the draw, the reference point.

I cannot remember anyone ever commenting that my mother was charming. But many people of all ages filed by her casket in October of 1992 and commented that she was the best Bible teacher they had ever had. They cited that she had made the Bible come alive or that she had made even the outcast among them feel worthy. That night I was glad for the fulfillment of the prophetic proverb: Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

This has been long. If you only could know how selective I have been, you would appreciate the post for its brevity. My mother was not perfect. She was often weakened by sin, but then strengthened by the power of His might. She struggled with evil, but overcame with prayer. She sometimes fainted, but was renewed by the Spirit. See, though she was larger than life to this little girl, she was only human. I had to grow up to know she wasn’t really perfect. And, just about the time I began to see her human-ness, the possibility that she had flaws, her mortal limitations, she went and put on immortality. My mother really is sinless now. She is perfect, flawless, completely invincible. I can truly call her blessed.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Your Husband: Can’t Get in His Head?

WE ARE DIFFERENT!  The one thing that God saw that was not good at the end of His creation of this universe was a man –alone. Woman was created to fill a void. She was the missing piece of the universe puzzle and the blank space where the puzzle piece neatly fit was beside man.  She was shaped, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to “match” the empty puzzle space and fit neatly in the void space beside the man.  The very purpose of woman’s creation demanded that she be different from man.
    But you aren’t reading this  to learn that we are different.  You don’t have to major in human anatomy to know that we are physically different.  God’s purpose in designing our bodies for sexual fulfillment and varying parenting roles is obvious and wonderful.  But the difference is far more than a physical one.  We think differently.  For the past twenty years you’ve been hearing how women are from Venus and men are from Mars.  Although the difference in the sexes is not a planetary difference, it was an intentional difference planned, ordered and perfected by the planet maker.  Scientific research in recent years has confirmed that because of neurological differences, men are more logical  while women are more emotional in their thinking processes. But married people didn’t need scientific research to point this out.   While we paint with a broad brush, we understand that generally men tend to examine evidence and make decisions based on the facts: A is true. B is true.  Thus we should follow course C.
    Their wives can understand the logic.  They know that A and B are true.  They understand that choice C only follows.  But choice C doesn’t feel right.  It is likely to hurt someone’s feelings and “I just don’t feel good about C.”  Emotion trumps logic in a woman’s psyche.
    His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  His book, although very emotional, is logic based.  It is about an understandable and flawless plan, the scheme of redemption, to answer man’s desperate need for salvation from sin.   Husbands, as spiritual leaders should be drawn to the logic of God’s plan of salvation, while wives are the gentle leaders of the fragile souls of children in that vast plan. I don’t have to understand why God made us to think differently. I don’t have to understand why He assigned us different roles in the home.  But it is fascinating when I see the connection.
    Another difference is the ability of men to see the big picture…to focus on long-term goals, while women are masters of detail.  That is why when Glenn and Cindy Colley write a book together about marriage, Glenn maps out the chapter titles, and, in his writing, gets straight to the logical point from scripture. Cindy, on the other hand, (the slow-moving hour hand) takes forever, poring over illustrations and poems and details of wording.  The differences in our academic make-up produces many varied practical differences in our day to day living…differences that make us complete and whole as one (Genesis 2:24) in the marriage union.
      Perhaps one of the most formidable practical challenges in marriage comes from our tasking differences.  Men are focused creatures.  They tend to think only about one thing at the time, while women are capable of multi-tasking.  I’ve read this in books, but I didn’t need a psychologist to inform me of this glaring difference.  Women, generally, should learn to save their breath during the football game, for instance.  When it’s Saturday night and Glenn is working on the Sunday sermon, it’s not a good time to ask which shoes are better with the blue dress.  Focus is the key word when it comes to accomplishing tasks in a man’s world.
    Women are multi-taskers. I can cook supper, while working on a math problem with a middle-schooler at the kitchen counter, while feeding the dog, answering the door, reading a recipe to a friend on the phone, and addressing an envelope.  I often talk to two people on two different phone lines while I talk to two or three people in the room with me and collect a package from the UPS man at the door.  It’s just the way God made us.  Since we are the “detailers” in the home, this ability to multi-task is a great blessing!  Of course, we must  challenge ourselves to focus when it’s important to focus.  We can plan tomorrow’s menu, rehearse a conversation we plan to have with the PTA president, plan the wardrobe for the trip next week, and make a mental grocery list being sexual with our husbands. But we shouldn’t.  We can take note of Susan’s new haircut, wonder why Sister Slayden is wearing that short-sleeved dress in the dead of winter, think about whether or not we brought the coupons for the restaurant, and decide who the new elders should be—all while we sing “Take time to be Holy”, but we shouldn’t!
    The differences are not subtle.  They are fundamental and manifest themselves in obvious and practical ways.  The differences are huge obstacles to the modern feminist.  But to the Christian couple, seeking fulfillment in God’s grand scheme, the differences are dramatic displays of God’s wisdom.  He made us.  He gifted our bodies and minds with the optimum capacities to operate in the roles He assigned.  If we determine to do marriage His way, the Great Designer merges our different natures to provide a oneness that elevates our marriages to be the most fulfilling of all human relationships.  We can live in the very foyer of heaven itself!

Taken from “You’re Singing My Song” by Glenn and Cindy Colley, www.colleybooks.org

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Ally Smith

Several years ago, while speaking at a teen girls’ purity day in Tennessee, I passed out a sample “Letter to my Future Husband,” (Casey Herringshaw at https://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com). Encouraging the girls to think long and hard about the qualities in a husband that would make for happiness in this lifetime and help them live in eternity with God, I encouraged them all to write their own letters and take them out and read them every now and then. Most of all, I wanted them to have clear and godly goals for their marriages and never to veer from them in pursuit of something plastic and temporal.

At that time, Ally was probably about 13 or 14 years old. Recently, Ally and I have been meeting up to visit. She’s 20 now and she shared with me the other day that, using that letter from long ago as a template, she’d written a letter to that man who is still anonymously working to be the one who will one day walk into Ally’s heart and then through life by her side. With some recent edits, she’s given me permission to share her letter, still much like that letter from the purity day so long ago. I hope her letter will help someone young who reads to think about some characteristics that will make for a marriage that God will bless with joy; to write down some goals–maybe even write her own letter– but, most of all, to determine to have uncompromising convictions for the Lord and to never settle for someone who cannot share those convictions and the soul’s best last hope, its only hope…the hope of heaven! Here’s her letter:

To my future husband,

I have been waiting to meet you my entire life; sometimes patiently and sometimes not very patiently all. I know it won’t be long until I will not only be in your heart, but in your arms. That will be the best feeling ever. I know that God has hand-crafted you just for me. But while we’re apart, I’m sure that I am following God’s path to you. I do not know your name nor could I even begin to guess what you’re like or how we’ll meet or if we’ve already met. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking, dreaming and praying for you every day. I know that it sometimes seems like the day that we will meet will never come. But please stay strong and have faith that soon enough God will lead us to each other when the time is right.

There are just a few things I need you to promise to me….Always hold my hand and give me hugs. Hold me in your arms when you get home from work, kiss me on the forehead and tell me all about your day and whether it was good or bad. Remind me often of how much you love and care for me; even if it’s simply leaving a note on my mirror on your way to work or surprising me with cheap flowers. Ask me how my day was before we go to bed, and comfort me if I’m having a bad week. Be my biggest fan but don’t be afraid to let me know when I’m wrong. Tell me jokes–even the stupid ones that make no sense. I love laughing with you.

Draw me closer to God. Remind me how much he means to me by constantly showing faith in him. Pray with me everyday and share with me your struggles and your accomplishments. Please never place bars across your heart. Always be honest with me even if you’re scared of the reaction. I will never judge you or put you down. I want to spend the rest of our lives lifting each other up and towards heavens pearly gates. Learn about my interests and things I enjoy doing, support me in my dreams. But don’t be afraid to tell me if I’m stumbling down the wrong path.

Dance with me in the kitchen with our children laughing at us. (because you know I can’t dance to save my life). Come behind me and kiss my neck when I’m making dinner and tell me you love me. Hold me tight when I’m upset. Hug me tight when the pain is too much for words. Always kiss me goodnight, even if we aren’t on good terms. Let’s never go to bed angry at each other. Surround us and our home in God’s love, joy and constant laughter.

Always take me to church whenever the doors are open. Love children, especially ours, and let them know everyday just how much. When the devil threatens our home and shakes the foundation of our marriage, promise never to leave and to never let the word “divorce” enter out vocabulary, even if it’s out of spite. Always be the spiritual leader of our home and believe what the Bible has to say from beginning to end. Be someone that, when anyone looks at you, they see Jesus Christ. Always speak with love and kindness and teach our children the wonders and consequences given in God’s word.

Find what you’re passionate about and chase it. Be my best friend, the one person I can always go to…my soulmate… and the man I’ve been waiting to meet my entire life.

With all the love I could ever give,

Ally

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Marriage and Evangelism

This past weekend, Glenn and I were privileged to speak for the Edgewood Church in Columbus, Georgia, for a marriage seminar. We do these seminars frequently, so I was anticipating a weekend much like many others we’ve experienced. But, when we got in the car to head back home after the seminar concluded, we both looked at each other and said, almost in unison, “Wow. I’ve never seen seminar quite like that one.” 

It was not our teaching that made this special. It wasn’t food or games or hand-outs. This seminar was unique in that the visitors from the community outnumbered the folks from the congregation in the listening audience. At one point, I was sitting near the local preacher, Ben Giselbach, and I asked about the member/non-member ratio in attendance. He pointed to an entire large section of the auditorium and said “I don’t know any of those people in that front-middle section.” 

By the end of the lunch hour on Saturday, when we were leaving, I had overheard a couple of Bible discussions about salvation going on between non-members and Christians; one in the auditorium with a speaker and one in the foyer with one of the sweet women of the church. We knew of two Bible studies that had been set up and one commitment to participate in the  Digging Deep study. By the end of the day on Saturday, one attendee who had been very vocally pro-choice had studied her way to advancing a pro-life position. I keep hearing more and varied positive responses from this very spiritually eclectic group. I am privileged this week to pray for the several attendees who are moving toward a clear understanding of God’s will for their lives and eternal salvation. This weekend was enough to dampen and smother any smoldering discouragement I’ve been feeling. 

Someone may be wondering what exactly was the difference between this marriage seminar and all of the others of all of the other weekends. Although I know our God is uniquely powerful and there was a lot of prayer that preceded this event, I believe the unique variable for this one was that this church went into the planning of this marriage seminar with a very evangelistic focus. I believe their primary goal was not that of strengthening the marriages within their congregation, though that’s a very worthy goal and I’m sure it occurred. But this church placed beautiful billboards created by a qualified designer in a couple of prominent places in the city of Columbus. The billboard advertised a free marriage workshop including childcare (About 50 children of non-members were registered before the day began, and they attended fun Bible classes, watched Digger Doug and made related crafts. They practically had a VBS going in the kids’ hall and the nursery!) The graphics used on the billboard were splashed all over social media, along with other eye-catching designs. Members were encouraged to stop and photograph the billboards and share their photos on social media. They did. City security was engaged and visible so that the community felt protected as they attended and walked between the two buildings where sessions were held. Greeting crews were designated and trained prior to the event date. Handsome schedules were printed out and free snacks were always available.

All of that to say this: Sometimes our seminars and workshops have an inherent appeal to a very wide audience. The interest in marriage and parenting themes in our culture is perhaps at an all-time high. Since we have the answers in a very trusted Manual, maybe we can do a better job of advertising our seminars to the community. If we get them to attend because their marriages and families are needing answers, that’s a very good place to begin showing them their need for salvation and the church of God. 

One non-member attendee put it this way: “You all have a beautiful, welcoming spirit. I can’t wait to fellowship and learn more. I know that I’m going to have to join the body of Christ and get a closer relationship with God, so thank you.”  That, sisters, is a great start. I hope this church’s focus in planning can help other groups. I know it has already helped us and plans are in the infant stages to do a very similar workshop in our home church. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Resolution at the Foot of the Cross

As I write, there are about 15 hours remaining in the year 2018. The rapidity of its elapsing is shocking. At this time last year I was mourning the death of my father, rejoicing in the anticipation of my new grand-daughter, embarking on a formidable speaking schedule, and turning over in my head the ideas for the 2018-2019 Digging Deep study. Now, in what seems like the blink of an eye, His mercies have led me to rejoice in cradling sweet Magdalene Joy Colley in my arms. Every car trip and flight has safely departed and returned and every speech has been delivered.  We are beginning  month five of our study of Authority. Thanks to supportive sisters, four podcasts and 24 mini-podcasts are already completed for that study. The memory of my father has sweetly lingered on, but, although the human heart in me is still sad, my spirit in the image of God is comforted by hope. 

And these are the words we sang yesterday just before communing with the Lord around His table for the last time during 2018.         

There are things as we travel this earth’s shifting sands 

That transcend all the reason of man;

But the things that matter the most in this world,

They can never be held in our hand.

I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary

I’ll believe whatever the cost;

And when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.

 

I believe that the Christ who was slain on the cross Has the power to change lives today;

For He changed me completely, a new life is mine, That is why by the cross I will stay.

I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary

I’ll believe whatever the cost;

And when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.

 

I believe that this life with its great mysteries Surely someday will come to an end;

But faith will conquer the darkness and death And will lead me at last to my Friend.

I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary

I’ll believe whatever the cost;

And when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.

 

And I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down.

I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it some day for a crown.

Somewhere during the first of those verses, I noticed that my husband had stopped singing. I looked over and saw the tears streaming down his face. He, the man who has given comfort and aid to me on countless occasions when unbidden tears stained my cheeks, was weeping. I have seen him weep only about a half-dozen times in our 38 years together. I knew he was reflecting on the shifting sands of this earth. His sister is gravely ill and he is preparing to take his aged parents on a trip to see her in the next few days. I hear him bring her name before the throne multiple times each day. I witnessed Him do extremely hard things for conscience sake throughout 2018, even as some others sharply criticized those selfless actions on His part. I was lying beside him on sleepless nights, when he had internalized some marriage problem that someone had brought to him for counsel. Often, when sleep evaded him, he would get up in the middle of the night and spend time in study. I prayed with him about scores, perhaps even hundreds, of speeches delivered and about many situations in which he was doing his best to offer advice that someone needed. 

I knew at this moment during his worship that he was reflecting on the old rugged cross that is the centerpiece of His motivation; the reason for His work. I knew that he was both praising and praying for strength, past and future; for the hope that comes from Calvary. 

And so, somewhere deep in the wee hours of last night, I heard him get up and I heard the bedroom door creak open. He was walking into the kitchen and I said “Where are you going?” 

“I’m going to get a glass of milk. My sermon is keeping me awake.”

“But you already preached your sermon,” I responded. 

“No,” he said. “I mean the one I’m going to preach next Sunday.”

And so 2019 begins, somewhat uneventfully. One lesson finished…another looming.  I know 2019 will be a very blessed year for Cindy Colley. Sometimes during 2018 I have failed to be thankful. May I just stop with ingratitude. Sometimes during 2018, frustration over a distracted husband has tempted me to criticize. May 2019 find every hint of frustration changed to contentment as I bask in the protection and leadership of a husband who loves God even more than He loves me. Sometimes in 2018, my faith has been weak as we struggled together through some small crisis of this life. May I remember, in 2019, that the troubles of this world are just that: they are of THIS world and our citizenship is not of this world. My resolve is to praise Him every day of 2019 for this man who weeps at the foot of the cross and for giving him to me all those years ago. 

Everyone should make a New Year’s Resolution. I hope yours is grounded in the reality of the brevity of this life and the eternal blessings of the next.  

I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary, Words by Dale Oldham, Gloria Gaither and William J. Gaither; Music by William J. Gaither, Arranged by Camp Kirkland

The Old Rugged Cross, by George Bernard, Public Domain

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Contest Winner #3–Tracy Parsons

The very best encouragement on earth for a spouse comes from his/her Christian spouse. For many years, I’ve encouraged wives to make a list of the things they respect about their husbands and gift it to those men. This list, delivered in written form or verbally, has helped heal, bolstered self-esteem, added wealth and offered security in many marriages since time began. It’s important that we not just think  about, but communicate to our spouses the reasons for our happiness in the marriage.

So Tracy Parsons shared this kind of encouragement from her husband; just a simple hand-written note that Tracy loved reading just as she was preparing to deliver their fourth child…which is now safely home… and blessed, might I add, to be growing up in a home filled with love and His fulness. Welcome, Lillian Faith!

Happy Christmas, Tracy! She chose a Hannah’s Hundred cd for those four kids. She says she’d like to be putting the word in them during the drives to and from services. I say, “God bless that purpose!”

Here’s the letter. I wanted you to get the full effect of a husband’s own handwriting and the “realness” of this simple gesture. I think you can enlarge it and make it out.  I love the list of adjectives at the end! (And I love that it begins with “Babe.” Every marriage needs sweet pet names!)