It has been nearly a year since my last blog post, and what a crazy year it has been! I hope and pray you and your families have been and are currently healthy, safe, and well. Like many of you, the past year brought about many blessings for our family, but sadly some losses as well. Several dear friends passed on and/or experienced the loss of loved ones from coronavirus and other causes. Our hearts grieve and hurt for them, especially in this time of social distance. We long to embrace those we love and miss so, so much. Thankfully, the four of us have stayed well and avoided getting COVID ourselves. Our hearts and prayers are also with those on the front lines caring for the sick, educating our children, protecting our country, etc. Thank you! We appreciate you tremendously.
Last spring when COVID-19 began spreading in our area, Todd received
permission to work from home. He continues to do so, and what a blessing that
has been. I sure do love having Todd home. The gift of this extra time with him
is priceless. We are of course, truly thankful to have his income as well, particularly
with so many families facing financial hardships and job losses right now. Our boys have been home quite a bit also, and
likewise it is such a wonderful gift to be able to spend more time with them
too. Depending on the number of COVID
cases in our community, the boys fluctuate between in person and virtual learning. Our oldest, Jack, is a senior in high school and
our youngest, Joseph, is a freshman. It
is crazy to think that in a few months we will have a child in college!
Speaking of college, Jack has decided to attend the University of Missouri. My
mama heart is happy. The University is
not far from home, which means I can easily stalk er…, visit him often (would
daily visits be too much? Asking for a friend.). In addition to Jack heading to college, Joseph
will turn 16 this year. Mercy.
While the boys have been busy growing up, we have also added another member
to our family! Last June, we added a GIRL to our brood. Woohoo! Go estrogen! We need more girls in this house full of boys! Penny Sunshine, our miniature Goldendoodle has brought so much fun and love to our lives. Now, we cannot imagine life without our Penny! She has truly been a wonderful addition to our family and good therapy for all of us. We love her so.
Well, now that we have caught up on life a bit - if you are
a regular reader of my blogs, you know I enjoy incorporating my faith into my
posts. The sharing of my faith in Christ
is really the reason I write, and I am so incredibly thankful you opt to read
my ramblings. Lord knows they are full of grammatical errors and typos, but I
pray you see past them and that the words and experiences I share encourage
you, inspire you, give you hope, and most importantly point the way to Christ. So…that
said, for many weeks I have had the old, beloved hymn, “Come, Thou Fount of
Every Blessing” stuck in my head. A man
named, Robert Robinson, wrote this song in 1758! It amazes me the age of many
of the hymns we still sing today! I find
the lyrics of these old masterpieces still so very applicable though. Mr. Robinson, this guy…he was a bit of an ornery
one. As a teen, he took to gang life and drinking. Fortunately, he turned from
his ways after attending an evangelistic meeting. The words spoken by the preacher at the
meeting struck Robinson, and some years later he devoted his life to the Lord. Robinson later pastored at churches himself,
and he penned the words to this hymn as a prayer while preparing to give a
sermon for an upcoming Sunday service. The last verse of the hymn stands out to
me and so, I want to share some thoughts with it in mind. If you are not
familiar with the song, there are several covers of it easily found on YouTube.
Check them out. Here is the lyrics to the last verse:
Here’s what I think (in layman’s terms) what Robinson was likely praying and writing… “Lord, let your goodness be bound like shackles on my heart. I love you, but I know I am prone or likely to wander from you, and I do not want to do that. So, please God, please take my heart and hold tightly to me so that I won’t wander and so I can spend eternity in Your courts and in Your presence.” Now, I do not know about you, but I do know that prayer, or something very similar to it, is one I often pray myself. We all struggle with skeletons in our closets, demons of bad decisions, and sin in our lives. And, we are all prone to take ours eyes off Christ and wander from Him. Robinson struggled with the demons of his past, but he knew the safety and security of God. He knew the promise of eternal life, free of struggle, pain, and sin. The promise of a life spent in the courts of heaven and in the presence of God. So, he prayed. God, hold on to me. Put shackles on my heart and bind yourself to me, because I am prone, Lord. I am prone to wander. But, You can save me. You can seal me. So, here’s my heart. It’s all yours. Take it. Seal it. I don’t want to me, without You.
It’s no secret there’s a lot of unrest in our nation…in our
world. Between politics, a pandemic, etc.,
it is disheartening, scary and unsettling. Nevertheless, God promises security
and peace if we turn our hearts and lives over to Him. He says in His word, if
we will humble ourselves before Him, seek Him, pray to Him and turn from our
wandering ways, He will hear our prayers, forgive us, and heal our land. (2
God take my heart. Seal it. I’m prone to wander. Forgive me.
Turn me from my wandering ways, and heal our land. May my life and my eyes be
fixed on You. I pray this in Your mighty, holy name, Lord, Jesus. Amen.
If you would like to chat further about turning your heart to
the Lord, I would be glad to talk with you about doing so. I’d also be honored
to pray for you if you have any requests you would like to share. Feel free to
message me through the Slickery Road page on Facebook, by commenting on this
post, or through the email address listed on this website.
One final thing before I close out this post…a health update
and prayer request of my own. Several
years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease. A recent CT scan
of my liver indicated the disease has likely progressed to cirrhosis. On
Wednesday, I will have a liver biopsy to stage how far along the cirrhosis is.
Additionally, cirrhosis increases one’s risk for liver cancer, so my physician
will also be looking for any cancer in my liver as well when he does the biopsy
on Wednesday. Further, I also have a PET scan coming up next week. The PET scan
is for monitoring my bladder cancer – which, thank God, has been in remission
since undergoing chemotherapy two years ago! For those curious, the liver
condition is completely unrelated to my bladder cancer. Your prayers are much
appreciated for the outcome of these upcoming appointments. I know God works
all things for the good of those who love Him. So, no matter what may come, God
is still good and I pray you see Him and His goodness in me. Much love, my
friends. - Angela