That is new. Everything so new. Yes, there have been deaths in the past that have made us cry, but none have changed every aspect of life so drastically. “Is there a minute of the day when I don’t think about my beloved Daniel?” I don’t know.
There’s a lot more things I don’t know. I don’t know how everything will be in a year. I don’t know how God is going to take care of the six little children he put in my care, now their daddy has gone to heaven. There’s something I know that’s enough to get me through any moment. All I know is that with God anything is possible.
Never before have I hurt myself so badly, and in fact never before has God shown himself so strong. I keep asking myself what I would do if I couldn’t surrender to the deep pain and tell God it’s okay to hurt more than my physical brain can comprehend. Every time, every time, God comes for me. It doesn’t necessarily look or feel pretty, but peace always comes in the end.
Children suffer as the family enters a new chapter
Then there are the children. Furious. Hurt, cry, explore your own feelings is one dimension; Having children aged 1 to 10 missing their father is a whole new chapter.
Daniel was completely adored and trusted by each of his children. They knew He would do anything, absolutely anything for them, but they also walked in the safety of Daddy’s guidelines as he taught them how self-centered children become unhappy and find it difficult to follow God’s full call for their lives.
Last winter we spent countless evenings as a family with dad in the house. We played games, combed dad’s hair (his favorites), gave foot massages or just chilled together. Now the empty space remains gaping and aching. But with Christ as my anchor, I never cease to marvel.
Somehow beyond my power I see that every little heart is cared for. Yes, your prayers are not in vain. Go on to the Father on her behalf. Surely this traumatic time in these tender years will result in them crying out and trusting in God throughout their teenage and adult years.
As a single mother, I am deeply aware that only God can heal and lift up their hearts. We talk a lot about how much Daddy loves them and all the special things he’s done with them. I wholeheartedly want to build on the foundation her father laid for her.
God uses people to help families heal
Yes, God uses people in so many different ways. You all know what a blessing you have been! The cards, donations and packages brightened the day in our household.
Then there is Daniel’s sister Mary; If I told you all about her, you would listen until midnight. She stayed with us for a few weeks and would do anything for us. She made herself responsible for getting my sewing, canning and freezing done for the next year. Through her and her brother Joseph’s motivation, her Ohio youth group has been canning loads of applesauce and squash and stocking our freezer with lots of healthy baked goods!
Then there are people who wonder if I need anything in town (Daniel used to do our shopping). A dear friend comes by with a fruit basket and then gets it to be refilled. A sweet 8-year-old girl gave me a gift bag yesterday and said, “That’s just from me.” My heart melts.
Imagine how I felt when I found out that our church is hosting a big fundraiser next week with all proceeds going to benefit our little family!
Some offer to continue Daniel’s tree clearing project so we can plant more chestnut trees. Daniel’s brother John and our hard-working worker Irvin get the pieces together at the furniture store and, despite the challenges, pick up where Daniel left off before the logging accident.
I will never forget what Cousin Owen does helping with office work.
Daniel’s family is an immeasurable blessing
And I praise God for Daniel’s family who had plans to move here the very week that Daniel returned to heaven. Surely her dreams of living next to her son have been dashed, but they are an unspeakable blessing to us.
Then there is my family! You always cheer me on, including maintaining the perspective Daniel always had about life and that death is just a means of giving us what we have always lived for. Kudos to my siblings who will probably finish trimming the cabin Daniel built for us this winter.
My little sister Keturah, now 18, who lives just a mile from our house, can be here anytime; She does an amazing job with the kids, around the house or whatever needs to be done.
Then there are our neighbors Josh and Joyce and their family. Even though Josh is my cousin, they became closer than cousins. They are my first port of call for questions or prayer requests.
Finally, I have a word for those of you who are in deep anguish and yet are all alone. Do not give up; Wait, look into your Savior’s eyes, He will straighten your path.
Taco Pizza Casserole
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1½ pound hamburger fried with onions
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 pint pizza sauce
1½ cups sour cream or 1 cup milk, just under
1 tablespoon sour cream and onion powder
⅔ cup salad dressing
Pour batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spoon the minced meat mixture onto the dough, then add the dressing mixture. Sprinkle with peppers, onions, tomatoes or whatever you prefer, if you like.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Add cheese and taco chips or white soup crackers in the last 5 minutes.
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