Bill hoped to dig for hidden gems mine for gold while we traveled full time in our Motorhome. We never did, but we still have plans! We hope to take our grandsons on adventures where they will join us in this dream! In the meantime, I just found some hidden gems that are worth more than gold to me!
My dig started when our grand niece arrived from Missouri to spend a few weeks with us. In my last blog post, I alluded to something special happening to help us with our grandsons while I recovered from surgery – and this is our GREAT news! As with most areas, so many fun things for children are closed. Thankfully, here in Myrtle Beach, things are slowly opening. If nothing else, the boys and their cousin will enjoy bike riding and the beach!
There was a weekly newsletter I subscribed to last summer to look for fun for children, wholesome and some free activities. I had subscribed to it when I lived in Sebring and worked with the youth in the county. It provides these types of activities in your given area. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it! So I went on the hunt for it, looking in old emails. I never found the name of it, but I found so many buried treasures!
Old photos have more meaning when you get the facts surrounding them. So let me introduce you to some of our family members, starting left to right. My mom’s middle sister, Esther; Bill’s mom and dad holding our first niece – her daughter is visiting with us now; my middle sister, Marsha; in front of Bill and me are my sister’s two sons; then, my mom and dad.
Since mom’s passing March 25, 2020, I have been gathering pictures for my mom’s “celebration” of life service. So finding this older one, from 1978, has our mom with her sister!
Bill’s brother and his wife were visiting with us, with my in-laws and niece, baby Rebecca. Her parents had left with us for a few hours to go visit old friends in the area. I’m not sure who took this picture. But I know I’m the one who orchestrated it as I have always done. I love family photos!
Now for more background to why this is so special in addition to it’s history! I don’t know if my daughter or son-in-love ever read any of my blog posts. I know she has heard this story a dozen times or more and I am sure it makes her cringe. I remember getting a bit irritated when my mother-in-love used to repeat the same stories over and over. Now that I am older and wiser, I understand!!! Just like our Lord, God, repeats some stories more than once in the Bible, it means, “Pay attention, this is important!”
If it weren’t for my Aunt Esther, I may not have had a baby. You see, I was getting caught up in my career plans. I was the first child of my parents to graduate from college. My dad never thought I’d become a career woman. While digging for more old photos, I found another hidden treasure, an old letter dad wrote me telling me he and my mom raised us three girls to be “help mates” for our one day husbands:
And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [mate] for him. Genesis 2:18
BUT when I started college, things changed. Something made me think I was cut out to be a career woman, not a mom. I’ve loved babies, especially after falling in love with my sister’s two babies! I also was a substitute in the Church nursery and worked as a helper in Vacation Bible School in my teens. I started babysitting in our neighborhood by the time I was 13. We had two beautiful catholic families, each with four children. They were wonderful children! I’m still in contact with some of them on FaceBook! But since I wasn’t catholic, I didn’t understand the VALUE of large families.
When Bill and I were engaged, we talked a lot about children. Maybe I was “mother material?” I LOVED how good Bill was with my two nephews. He was a natural – but yet, something made him fear having a birth child of his own. Humm, If I was going to have children, I’d want one of my own. You know nice those thoughts are while dating and being engaged? Those ideas fly out the window many times – unless a couple is grounded in the Lord and seek HIM above all things.
I loved our wedding vows, but they are lost – in more ways than one. I NOW encourage every couple to PLEASE save your vows and re-read them on each anniversary for a “check in” on how they are doing. In part, what made me think I needed a career was HOW my parents marriage was – or wasn’t. I can now look back and thank GOD they remained married for 55 years – until dad passed on August 1, 1999.
Back to the picture. Long story short, we moved from our first home together in Irwin, Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach. I just realized I didn’t blog about our first battle: where to live once we married. We were sort of homeless when we were engaged. We could live wherever we wanted.
I could complete my college education if we moved to Virginia Beach. I had dropped out the summer of my Junior year. I only had one year to go when we married. But Bill won our first battle, off to his hometown – which he left because he hated the cold! We only lasted there two years. We then moved to Virginia Beach in October 1977.
We had enough money from the sale of our first home to buy a lovely two story home on a cut-de-sac. A PERFECT home for children. But then I got caught back up in pursuing a career – especially after I graduated in December 1978. It took a few years but thanks to a conversation with my Aunt Esther, I decided to have a baby! You see, she was never able to have a child. After being widowed, she moved from California to live with my parents in Hampton, Virginia. That was such a special time and helped me grow closer to her – and she spoke life to me – have a child or I would one day regret it. And that is why I love this picture!
Sadly, she passed in July 1981. I had started praying that Bill would change his mind and agree to having a baby. No more thoughts about adopting. While we weren’t back with the Lord at the time, I still remembered a few Bible stories. So in my prayers, I remembered about Hannah. She desperately wanted a baby so she prayed to God for one. With the promise, she would dedicate her child to the service of the Lord! If you are not familiar with this story, you can read it here from I Samuel Chapter 1.
This picture brought back a flood of these memories! And I found so many other gems while looking through the old email account! I also reposted an older “marriage” blog post. Bill and I have been under a lot of unexpected stressors, well, some were expected. But let’s just say, I think COVID-19 has created some GREAT opportunities for people of faith, it is also negatively impacting a lot of marriages! Even OURS! I needed to re-read this post, then sent it to Bill. I had hoped it would open his eyes. Well – either he didn’t read it or read it and said, ok. I didn’t mention anything. After finding more gems, I realized I was the one who needed to read it and had my own attitude adjustment! And you know what else, I now have a new found sense of JOY I have been yearning for. More on this later.
The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).”