To My Daughter

Many years ago a mom and dad sat in a doctor’s office watching the heartbeat of their soon to be baby girl. Her tiny body seemed to be announcing, “I am here!”, like the town of Whoville with Horton.

From the point of her announcement through modern technology, until this very moment, Victoria Louise has been a precious joy in our lives.  Having children changes you. It’s no longer “just us” but a soul to care for and a life to nurture.

So the adventure began! I remember you walking on your first birthday in our trailer by the river in Gloucester, VA. You had a pretty white dress on, and you were all smiles–“Look at me!  I can walk!”

Life was an adventure with you as we traveled with your daddy during his time of management with Peeble’s Department Store.  We would spend the day in Nashville, enjoy the rides at Carowind’s Amusement Park, make crafts, or just hang out watching The Land Before Time.

Like all little girls, you grew up and each season of your life–elementary, middle, and high school brought even more adventures with plays, singing, mission trips, friendships, and fun! Moms can flash back in their minds and play a movie of the journey with a thousand pictures coming forth.  I am overwhelmed with joy!

So, here we are–A Wedding Day!

I think of your wedding day and how beautiful it is to see your Woman of Worth sisters surround you with love and guidance. What a gift that is boundless!

I think of our family who sat in the waiting room to see your face for the first time and all the years of cheering you on in sports, plays, and vocal contests.  Every birthday, event, and transition in your life through graduations and moving out on your own–friends and family have been there to see you through and cheer you on.

This weekend your mom and dad will walk beside you as you “leave and cleave” to the one God has chosen for you. This covenant relationship will be sealed and presented to God.  Family and friends will gather to offer their blessings.

This is it Victoria.  This is the day the Lord has made!  Let us rejoice and be glad in it! You will be Mrs. Lamb. A wife. You will build your home with Mr. Lamb.  So from the day of your announcement, “I am here!”, God has blessed us with unspeakable joy! This joy will be carried forth into your God story with Spencer. God is good and faithful.  I am a blessed woman of God to have experienced this journey with you–my sweet Victoria Louise.

Thank you Victoria!  I’ve enjoyed every minute, and I look forward to the coming years as you and Spencer build your home.

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Giant Meatballs

This weekend is the weekend before the big day–the wedding.  This weekend has been filled with last-minute flower shopping, just the right earrings for her and her sisters, rehearsal dinner dresses, shoes, haircuts, and an “at home” spa night with classic wedding movies!

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Victoria’s Beauty Day with Shannon at Gabe’s

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My girls talked me into a new haircut! Thanks Shannon!

…and a daddy who wanted to make Martha Stewart’s giant meatballs. Yuummmmmmmmmmm.  The abundance of the meal reminded me of the blessings we have and the great joy and anticipation of the wedding day!  Celebrate!  Enjoy!

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The greatest joy was finding just the right thing in unique shops on Cary Street.

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We love finding that special book, item, or card.  My little girl found the sweetest book on how ideas can ultimately change the world–believe and follow your dreams!  We read that together with great anticipation of our future and God’s will for our lives.

What Do You Do With an Idea?

We also read funny quotes on cards and laughed.

To end the day with a loving meal was a reminder of the best place — home, and the good things we create when we are willing to share of our gifts are treasured.  Thank you to my husband for filling our home with the sweet aromas of his love and gift of cooking.

Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/1092192/giant-meatballs-ricotta

INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch pieces) crusty white Italian bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground beef (80 percent lean)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups Marinara Sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil; set aside.

Place bread in a bowl and add milk to moisten. Chop bread into small pieces no larger than 1/4-inch and place in a large bowl. Add veal, beef, pork, egg, onion, parsley, oregano, cheeses, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, gently mix until well combined.

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Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a large meatball. Transfer meatballs to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20
minutes.
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Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a large saucepan. Transfer the meatballs to the marinara sauce and simmer, partially covered, until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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People Get Ready

When all areas of your life categories collide into a beautiful reminder of how much God is faithful, you are reminded of things to come–heaven.  Heaven will be a place in which all our earthly treasures, endeavors, troubles, and sorrow will be gone in an instant. No more. Nothing but Jesus, and He is all we need.

Through Bible study, I’m reminded that Jesus is our hero.  We are not perfect! We serve a perfect Savior.  He carries us in the hard times, and He wants our minds on heaven. The bills, relationships, job stress, and health issues invade our minds and home until we can’t see the other side of it. Consumed.

Today I was listening to the “People Get Ready” version by Eva Cassidy.  In the middle of typing the third report, I looked up from my desk to “feel” the presence of Jesus.  I smiled as I thought of heaven and things to come. Until then, I will not be shaken by earthly things, and my eyes are focused on being victorious!

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I had the opportunity to visit my Aunt who is not of this world–her mind has trouble with memory, speech, and understanding. She says very little; yet, as I rolled her out to catch some vitamin D, I asked her how her day had been.  She said, “It’s always better when people are on the train.” I teared up and laughed a soul giggle.  God took my train song about heaven, His message, and spoke through a Godly woman, who certainly will ride that train to glory one day.  We talked about heaven and our eternity together.

God is faithful to carry us….

….to remind us when times are hard that He is our hero

….to speak to us through any means He deems worthy

Matthew 18:18

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

One of my favorite preachers, Joyce Meyer, spoke candidly about her eyes on heaven. If something is not in heaven (gossip, pain, insecurities, judgment, anger, depression, bitterness, …..), she spends little time entertaining that which is earthly, and she sets her heart and mind on those things that are above! Glory!

PEOPLE!  GET READY!  THE TRAIN IS COMING…..

Love

Thomas ‘a Kempis

Jesus hath now many lovers of his heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of his cross.  He hath many desirous of comfort, but few of tribulation.  He findeth many companions of this table, but few of his abstinence.  All desire to rejoice with him, few are willing to endure anything for him, or with him.  Many follow Jesus unto the breaking of the bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of his passion.  Many reverence his miracles, few follow the ignominy of his cross.  Many love Jesus as long as adversities happen not.  Many praise and bless him, so long as they receive any consolations from him.  But if Jesus hide himself, and leave them but a little while, they fall either into complaining, or into too much dejection of mind.  But they who love Jesus for the sake of Jesus, and not for some special comfort of their own, bless him in all tribulation and anguish of heart, as well as in the state of highest comfort.  And although he should never be willing to give them comfort, they notwithstanding would ever praise him, and wish to be always giving thanks.  O, how powerful is the pure love of Jesus, which is mixed with no self-interest, or self-love!

 

Line Upon Line: May, 2012- May 9, 2015

Never underestimate the power of a moment. Awaiting my daughter’s graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University, our family sat directly in front of the those graduating with their doctorate in education. A woman my age stood up to walk the stage and her courageous and confident smile, as well as her hands raised in victory, moved me.  The Holy Spirit shared, “It’s your turn!”

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Victoria’s Graduation from Nursing School

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So, as my middle child began high school, I began my journey in the doctoral program at VCU to study Educational Leadership.

For three years, time, money, and energy were sacrificed to follow God’s will, and to embrace a dream I spoke in my B.S. program at VCU in the 1980s.  I am truly grateful for the years of hard work, and the encouragement from friends and family.

I remember my mother sharing with me during a difficult time in the journey that I would finish, “line upon line”.  Each step was meaningful and counted.  Each step brought me closer to realizing my dream and God’s direction for my life.

Graduation day was May 9, 2015.  On this same day, my sister-in-law and mother gave me an open-house, graduation party. Friends and family came to celebrate and show their support and love.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity and words of encouragement spoken into my life.  It’s etched in my mind and soul forever–all the cards, prayers, gifts, hugs, time, and laughter…..

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Thank you….

President Rao shared that we were to become leaders in our community and be a part of changing the world we live in.

VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., told graduates they represent the future of Virginia and the world.

“What you discover in our classrooms, laboratories, clinics, studios and in our community are not the ends to get you here today, but the beginnings of the ways in which you will someday conquer humanity’s biggest problems and needs,” Rao said. “You are graduating from not just any university, but from one of the world’s premier research universities that’s committed to discovery, creativity and advancing the human experience everywhere.”

Our Governor motivated us to truly take the next steps with courage!

Always think big. Always take chances. Never be afraid to fail,” McAuliffe said. “If you follow these three pieces of advice, you will do great.

My favorite moments during graduation were the intimate conversations with my family and friends. Awaiting the stage, driving to graduation, and leaving my home to attend the ceremony were all moments to talk about the heart things and to look into tear filled eyes. “Almost 50 years old” changes your perspective. You are deeply grateful, your soul aches over the smallest of details, you remember the eyes of those who changed you–mentored you, you appreciate the journey, you laugh heartily, and you know that moments like these come once in a life time-soak it up.  Remember….

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I will remember all you’ve done for me.  If you are reading this, you are a part of my life and my journey, and because of you, I am forever changed for the better.

Thank you Harvey for the AMAZING video of the graduation, and thank you to the folks who were a part of creating the video memory!  I hope you can watch and rejoice with me!  FOREVER GRATEFUL….

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=5ccbeecb8cf422b4&id=5CCBEECB8CF422B4%21767&ithint=video,mp4&authkey=!AI3Zo9OCF46Irec

 

 

 

 

The Curtain

Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.  Exodus 26:33

Jesus and His radiance lives within you. We may feel disconnected, confused, or abandoned, but Jesus made a way for us.  His death and resurrection brought a new and life-giving way for us to know Him and bask in His presence.  We no longer need a mediator, or person to gain access to Him. As you read the verses below, imagine the sound and the amazing occurrence of a 30 by 60 curtain that was so heavy it took most of the priests working together to hang the curtain.  Yet, when our Lord, and Savior gave his life, the curtain was torn from top to bottom!

At 3:00, the hour that most priests would have been about their priestly duties near the curtain, God provided a visual–a miracle–upon the death of His Son.  Many priests believed after this miracle occurred!  Just imagine being there!

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split Matthew 27:51

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Hebrews 10:20

We studied the curtain miracle in our small group Bible study of Hebrews by Lisa Harper. We were reminded of Jesus’ love for us, and the access we have to the Supreme God of the universe. He has all authority and power; yet, He also walks with us day by day. He calls us friend.

Our leader shared the importance of Hebrews 6:3 in her life:

And God permitting, we will do so.

We agreed with her how comforting it is to know that God, in His supremacy and sovereignty, will guide us in all our seasons and life decisions.  Today, think of a life decision or circumstance.  Sit with Jesus and talk to Him.  Rest in the knowledge that He will guide you and direct you according to His good and perfect will for your life.

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Mary’s Song to Jesus

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You were conceived by the Spirit

I carried you inside my womb

They crucified you on the cross

You left an empty tomb

Blessed am I to be a part

Of God’s great plan to save us all

My heart is filled with so much joy

As in His presence I am called

My Jesus, I am in awe of You

You have conquered the world and sin

You have laid down your life for us

So that we may live  again

My Lord, teach me to be your servant

And answer to your perfect will

To abide in your peace and love

And to worship you and be filled

Written by Anna Hebb to my Aunt Polly 1/25/1991

I Corinthians 13:5

Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Jesus!  We love you.  Today, for this moment, help us to love one another and serve in such a way that we do not dishonor others with our actions or words.  Help us to look outside ourselves, and when we are hurt, help us to forgive and to not choose anger. Help us to see this morning as new, even a moment in the day as new, so we can keep no record of wrongs. Help us to walk in love!

Love never fails….