...faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God's goodness in spite of life's tragedies

Today was back to school and 6:15 a.m. came WAY TOO EARLY!!  When I got up, I asked Tessa if she'd slept well and she said, "yes, when I finally fell asleep" which was my exact situation last night.  As we talked we both determined that we were both o.k., we hadn't been laying in bed crying, we weren't feeling overly stressed or anxious, just "awake" . . . which makes for an EARLY morning and a long day!!  But it's good to know that GOD doesn't sleep, and HE was there with us, even in the wee hours of the morning (I finally fell asleep a little after 1:00 a.m. - and slept like a baby until the alarm went off).

Speaking of GOD being with us, and the encouragement He sends to us each day . . . Tessa came  home after school today, the rest of us stayed for the Jr. High basketball game (Taya had cheer practice, and Kajsa was cheering.  Tim, Rochet & Addie came up to the game and the games were good!  The 7th grade team won BIG and the 8th grade lost a nail biter, but made it interesting right up to the end!) . . . anyway, back to the story . . . Tessa had gotten the mail and it was laying on the counter when we got home.  She had opened the cards that had arrived and came with a smile telling me that the one on the top was so sweet . . . it was a simple, nondescript sympathy card, with a return name & address I didn't recognize.  I assumed it was from someone whose home Rick had worked on over the years, I was wrong!  Following is the letter that was included in the card in it's entirety (minus identifying names):

Dear Sheila,

We are praying for your family during this time of loss.  Although you and Rick never met us we did have the chance to meet Tessa, Taya and Kajsa as they helped our daughter (babysitting).  We were just as impressed with the girls friendliness and good manners as was our daughter.  WE know kids grow up that way thanks to people like you and Rick.

I wanted to share some words out of my prayer journal with you, and just happened to open up to this story written by the parents of a 17 year old killed in an auto accident, "We prayed.  But Melissa was killed.  Now what ?  Do we stop praying?  Do we give up on God?  Do we try to make it alone?  Absolutely not!  Prayer is even more vital now.  God is in control.  Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God's goodness in spite of life's tragedies."

We pray God's love will comfort you and you will find the strength needed to deal with everything.  I hope you remember you are never alone and people like us and our friends, that you don't even know, are praying for your family.

God Bless You.

WOW!!  What else is there to say after getting a letter like that?  People from a state 1/2 way across the country from us, who don't know us (except for meeting the girls - once, I think) AND their friends are praying for us . . . and LOVING on us . . . and ENCOURAGING us . . . there are not really words to express the emotion I felt reading that letter!  Love was evidenced at the funeral home, yes, love has been evidenced EVERY SINGLE minute of every single day for the last 16 days, but this was an over the top REMINDER of the Lord's LOVE for us - a love extended through a dear couple who I have never met, who CHOSE to encourage us in JESUS!! :) 

"Do we stop praying?  Do we give up on God?  Do we try to make it alone?  Absolutely not!  Prayer is even more vital now.  God is in control.  Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God's goodness in spite of life's tragedies."

My mom came over for a little bit when we got home and we had a nice visit (which is rare - we are usually SO BUSY) - she offered to help out with some township things that I had let "slip through the cracks" (THANKS MOM!!), she helped me re-hang the curtains I put up last night (we added another panel) and we had a very nice chat - another reminder of how thankful I am for being raised in a Christian  home by parents who love and trust in the Lord and taught me about HIM even before I could say my ABC's!! 

As I sit writing this, Tessa is catching up on sleep lost last night as she has another early morning of Parli-Pro practice tomorrow morning and then she is going back to work tomorrow night (another first - but I think another good first - she enjoys her job and is so fortunate to have a Christian boss as I do {her boss is my bosses wife!!}), Taya & Kajsa & their sweet cousin Addie are in their room whispering (loudly) and giggling and giggling and giggling . . . what a beautiful sound!!  Tonight, I will rest, thankful AGAIN for the constant blessings the LORD sends our way, for friends who we don't even know, yet they reach across the miles to shower us with LOVE and for the laughter of (little) girls who love the Lord and even in the midst of this storm in their lives have not forgotten how to laugh and have fun and love life and Jesus! ♥

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