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 Chronicles 7:14).
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