Sixteen Graduations in One Family

Brendan and I set off for Scotland from Belfast City Airport on Thurday. We arrived on good time for our Flybe flight. I was looking forward to spending the afternoon with our son who was picking us up from the Glasgow airport.

We checked our flight on the screen. It was rescheduled for a hour later. That was fine. We relaxed in the lounge. Our flight was called but we were told to wait in the lounge. Time passed. We missed our flight! A big shock! Brendan comforted me but I was shaken. An attendant arranged for us to get the next flight at six thirty without any further expense. That eased the pain. We missed seeing our son. More waiting.

Today, Friday, 7/7/17, our daughter Angela graduated from Edinburgh university. We were with her to see her receive her award along with over a hundred other students. It was a colourful and jubilant occasion.

Angela is the last of our fourteen children. All sixteen of us have received a degree from university. It is forty five years since I graduated from university. Today’s celebration was worth the waiting.

I have lived to see all my children graduate after having cancer in 2010. God is good. He is faithful to keep his promise that he will bless my children. Exodus 20. Brendan was at each birth of our children and at each graduation. That must be a record. He is a great husband, dad and grand dad.

God and his angels rejoice when we were born on the earth. God and his angels are rejoicing over us today.

When God gives a promise nothing can stop it coming about. Our own mistakes, difficulties, even missing a flight will not stop what God plans to bring about.

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An Invite for Eleven to Dinner

There is often a storm before the calm. I want to give you an example of how our unseen enemies can prevent us getting a blessing. I often remember that God said to Satan “You and your offspring will bruise the woman and her offspring, but they will crush your head.” Genesis 3. I have many offspring that can do some crushing to Satan and his demon’s heads.

Being a big family meant we didn’t get invited out to friends’ homes often. I remember one occasion very well when Rose and Seamus invited myself and ten children, who would have been under fourteen years old, to dinner. Brendan was away on a trip and I was looking forward to the treat of someone making dinner for us. I was determined nothing was going to stop me getting there. Very often when we would arrange family events some difficulties would arise to prevent us getting a blessing.

I encouraged the children to get ready early so we could get to Rose’s house in good time. Ruth offered to help her little sister get washed and dressed. She was very fond of her baby sister Angela, for whom she had prayed. There were six boys between Ruth and Angela. Ruth had longed for a baby sister.

She prepared the bath and put the baby into the water. The only problem was she forgot to put on the cold tap. I heard cries from Mary upstairs, “Ruth has put the baby in hot water!” I ran upstairs to rescue my baby. Angela was upset of course but I settled her all the while praying for her healing of the trauma and any harm done. The skin on her legs was red. I thought I would bring her to the clinic to get some cream to be on the safe side. I reassured Ruth that it can be easy to forget to turn on the tap. She was young and wanted to help.

Many of the other children were distressed at what happened and were angry with Ruth for her oversight. I continued to pray for my children to settle. I tried to calm them and said Angela is going to be alright. I’ll bring her to the nurse for soothing cream and she will be as right as rain. All the while I was aware that this mishap could cause me to cancel our dinner date. I trusted God’s word which says “He will be with me in trouble and deliver me out of it.” Psalm 91. God’s angels are around us to deliver us. I believe there was unseen evil going on to prevent our going out.

Because I had made sure the children got dressed in good time, we had time to go to the clinic and still get to dinner. All ten of the children climbed into our yellow minibus and I drove over to the clinic nearby. I took Angela to get attention and left the other children in the van. They were obedient children and knew to occupy themselves till I returned.

I was in the waiting room when Hannah came to get me. War had broke out between Mary and Ruth back at the van. I prayed again for God’s help. There was yelling, crying, screaming and upset with the younger children as they watched the melli. Mary had not got over her anger at Ruth and blamed her for hurting her wee sister. There were fists flying and pulling of hair. I ran back to the van to bring order and peace. I stopped the fight and made them forgive one another and settle down. The baby was attended to back in the clinic. She was none the worse for her experience.

Calm was restored to my children. I drove us all to our dinner date. I overcame unforeseen circumstances that could have prevented us getting there. We all enjoyed a feast. Our host Rose had made a big effort to prepare dinner for us all, not an easy task. Thank you Rose and Seamus, I  will be ever grateful for your kindness.

I was relieved we came out of the storm only with a few bruises.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

All Creatures Praise God

 

A reading from the scriptures caught my attention today.

Two weeks have passed since we remembered Jesus brutal death on the cross, his burial, and his resurrection from the grave.  There is no other grave in the whole world that is empty!
Jesus appeared to many of his friends and even ate food with him.  Finally he ascended into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of the Father.  John, the beloved apostle had this vision of heaven and he describes what he saw.
The Lamb is Jesus who was slain, sacrificed for us, forgiving our sins and giving us eternal life.

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in the air and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (‭Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

Not only are the multitude of angels praising The Father and Jesus, but so too are the birds of the air, animals on the land, even rabbits that burrow under the earth and the fish of the sea.

As one meditates on these words you will have peace.  We are encouraged by scripture to keep our minds on things above, and the peace that passes understanding will enter our minds.  This is a good way to heal a troubled mind.

Meditate on this truth.  This will keep me thinking for a long time.

Testimony Tuesday. My Son Patrick Nearly Drowns.

When some of my children were home for Easter we were recounting how some of them had near death experiences.  Here is an example of our son Patrick being saved from tragedy.

When our children were young, Brendan and I would take them out for a walk in the long summer evenings to tire them out before bedtime.  No one wants to go to bed when it is still daylight.  We would all climb into the minibus, teenagers to toddlers, all had to come along.  No time for individualism in our family.  When we went for a drive we all went for a drive.  When we went for a walk we all went for a walk.

We went to a  nearby marina along the river.  There was a play park there as well.  Children would take turns on swings, slides and roundabouts.  They sqealed with delight as they swung high on the swings.  Brendan and I could relax a little and chat,  knowing the older ones were looking out for the younger ones.

Aaron loved boats.  He  brought his canoe along with us to the river. He was paddling his canoe along the bank as the others played at the park.   He went off to inspect some boats that were parked at the marina.

Patrick followed him.  He was two years old at the time and often wanted to be around Aaron.  Next thing I knew Patrick was lying face down in the water with his little anorak puffed up with the water, his arms out and his wellingtons on his little feet.  Patrick was drowning.  Aaron was quick to act and grabbed hold of his wee brother.  We arrived to help.  We slapped him on the back to dislodge the water and helped him breath again. Only for Aaron’s quick response Patrick may have drowned.

We were all in shock at the thought of what could have happened to Patrick.  We returned in silence.  We got the children ready for bed and said our night prayers together.  We all thanked God for saving Patrick that evening.  

Brendan and I trusted God to protect our children. Psalm 91 says 

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭9-11‬ NIV)
The angels were busy that day.