Her Room Looks Empty

Her room looks empty.  Her dresser is bare.  Her bags are packed.

This is happening.  My firstborn is leaving home.  It isn’t her first adventure, but it is her longest so far.  Seeking God and helping others is her mission, taking photos along the way.

                How can I say goodbye to my right arm, the joy of my heart, and my best girlfriend?  I fear I will be overcome with testosterone and daily tasks without her.

  But I know that it is her time to fly. 

God’s timing is perfect, and His grace is sufficient for me.  She graduated two years ago, an amazing student.  She stayed to save money and help me through my hardest pregnancy and recovery yet. 

                She is a second mother to the others.  She diapered them, fed them, washed them, dressed them, educated them, had fun with them, and loved them.  They are the children they are today because of her.  I am a sane and happy mother of 10 because of her. She had a job and was a leader at youth group.  Many have been blessed by her! 

                “What will we ever do without her?”  my heart keeps asking.  “How will I bare the emptiness?”

                The truth is, we are not becoming smaller as a family, we are expanding.

We are not losing Areli, we are going to be seeing a whole new world through her eyes.  Her room won’t be empty!  Two little girls will being filling the space with feminine joy and enthusiasm soon.  And what a good change it will be.  Four year old Annalise is still in a crib in her brother’s room, and it is time for a change.  10 month old Aria will be a wonderful roommate now that she sleeps like an angel.

All the children will take a step up and grow in maturity. They will learn new skills and take on new jobs.

                Areli will be going to the same missionary school that I attended just a brief 25 years ago.

  25 means double grace, and there is double grace on her life.

To live…to love…to learn…to grow…to embrace each moment!  Our hearts are going with her, and our prayers are surrounding her. 

 One of her walls looked awfully bare. So I pinned up some photos of Areli and the family. Aria will be able to lay on her new changing table see that beautiful smile everyday. 

We are so proud of you Areli!  It won’t be long until we are all together again.

The Liebster Award

Thank you, Rachael Boley of Three Boys and A Mom, for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  When I started blogging last month, I thought I would just be practicing my writing on the computer.  But I have discovered such a lovely community of bloggers who are sweet, encouraging, and courageous.  You all have really blessed my life!  It is fun to discover the love of life and writing together!

wpid-liebster4

The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.

5. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Here are 11 random facts about me!

1. I used to wish I had bright red hair.

2. Now I just wish I didn’t have any grey hair.

3. I am obsessed with oral hygiene.

4. I don’t eat any sugar and almost no fruit or grains.  Some people feel bad for me when dessert time comes and I don’t eat any.  They may even comment, “What is life without dessert?”  I really don’t miss it because I feel so incredibly good and healthy without it and so very bad with it.

5. I grew up as a Quaker, sitting through silent meetings in a meeting house.

6. Before I became a Christian, I was obsessed with unicorns and all things new age.  I thought I might possibly be descended from aliens who had infiltrated the human race.

7. I never day dreamed about my wedding or cut out pictures of wedding dresses or wedding cakes as a young girl, yet I was the first of my friends to get married.  My wedding was fun and virtually stress-free (at least for me…other people did appear a bit stressed).

8. Growing up I didn’t think much about being a mom.  I was on the college/ career track.  Now pretty much all my waking thoughts and all my dreams at night revolve around motherhood.

9. I want to have a baby in my 40s.

10. I have been trained in Craniosacral Facial Therapy and would love to someday have a practice treating pregnant women and newborns.

11. Someday I want to live on a farmette and have a huge garden and chickens.

Here are the questions that Rachael had for me:

1. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world, and why? Right here in Central Pennsylvania, because it is the land of my inheritance!

2. What do you consider to be your best quality? Faith in God

3. What was your favorite toy as a child? A unicorn stuffed animal that I slept with.  I gave it to my best friend when she moved away …or maybe it was when I moved away.

4. If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? Give a bunch to my church and missionary friends, invest into our business, buy our dream home.

5. Who has influenced your life the most, and in what way? Jesus; all the words he has spoke to me through the Bible, through the still, small voice in my heart, and through other people.  He always changes the way I think and the way I see situations, myself, and the world.

6. What is your favorite season and why? Spring!  I love to see the trees and flowers blooming.

7. What inspired the beginning of your blogging journey? A desire to become a writer someday and reconnecting with that desire through memories of my Dad after he passed away last year.  He was an excellent writer and had a wonderful reading voice.  It was so fun for me and then for my children to sit with him and listen to stories.

8. What is your biggest fear? Falling short of the high calling that God has for me.  To get to heaven and have what I have done in my lifetime be burned like chaff because it wasn’t truely done in love to serve Him.

9. Name 5 things on your bucket list. Taking my children to Disney World, taking the entire family on a missions trip, having a book published, taking the family to Colorado to see where we used to live, taking the family to Wisconsin to visit relatives and see where I used to vacation every summer of my childhood.

10. If you could hang out with any celebrity for the day, who would it be and why? Patrick Stewart because he represented Grace in a dream I once had which you can read about in Why is Grace My Superhero? He works on behalf of domestic violence victims and something he said in a presentation has stuck with me.  He was hugging a woman who had suffered abuse and he said to her, “You are safe now. You never have to go through that again.”  That is what Grace says to us as soon as we fall into His protective arms.

11. What would you consider to be your dream job? Being a writer and getting paid for it!!!!

 I would like to nominate these wonderful bloggers for the Liebster Award!

Laure Covert at Bluebirds Always Fly

Maia at Days With Maia

Gelene Keever at Who Sees? You See!

Jennifer Garrido at In the Wide Open Spaces

Rebekah at Barren to Beautiful

Sasha at Mom Life Now

Here are your 11 questions!

1.What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

2. Did you follow it?

3. What was the best piece of advice you ever gave?

4. Did the other person follow it?

5. What is your favorite scripture right now?

6. Why is it your favorite right now?

7. What is your definition of a successful life?

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

9. What would you do there?

10. What is your best talent?

11. What is your favorite book right now (other than the Bible which is always a favorite, I know).