Father of Fourteen Triumphs

Triumph is rarely instant. It often comes at the end of a period of patient endurance. This week my husband and I have joy. We saw the success of a long campaign as regards our children’s education.

We are celebrating all fourteen of our children having qualified with a degree from top universities in the United Kingdom. Our two youngest children just found out their results: Abraham got a 2: 1 degree in Chemistry from St Andrews and Angela got a 2:1 degree in Neuroscience from Edinburgh. We will be attending their graduations in June and July.

Psalm 128 says
“How joyful are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table.
That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭128:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I want to thank my husband. He chose to follow The Lord many years ago. Today almost forty years later I see the fruit of his choice back then. I am happy at his side and his children are successful. He has been faithful through many difficulties of family life in this generation when being a father is not honored.

Brendan chose to have as many children as God would give him. It has not been easy. One has had to be patient, endure, remain calm, pray in times of trouble and rejoice in times of joy.
An Arab taxi driver in Israel said to Brendan when he learned we had fourteen children, “You will go straight to heaven because it must be hell on earth.” A lady in Florida said “Oh your poor husband.” when I told her we had fourteen children.

I must admit I have not been as sympathetic with Brendan. But God sees Brendan’s heart and has been with him through many trials and temptations. He has strengthened him when the going got tough. But as the song says “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I would not be alive unless he believed that God would heal me. I had fourth stage cancer and I would not be here to see my children graduate.

My dad was a pioneer in his day when there wasn’t much money. He wanted his eight girls and two sons to receive an education. We all attended grammar school. My sisters qualified as teachers and nurses. I graduated from the University of Ulster.

Brendan loved books from he was young. He would spend many hours in his local library. When he visited friends with his mother he would take down the books from the shelf and read while his mum chatted. His call to be a writer was developing back then.
He encouraged his children to do well in education. There was always books in our home and a desk in each of the children’s room to do their homework. We didn’t have a TV when our children were growing up. Those children developed a love of reading books. Brendan coached his children and inspired them to be high achievers. If they failed he helped them to get going again.

We were blessed to have good schools for our children to attend, in Coleraine and Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. So a big thank you for all those teachers who encouraged and took an interest in our children.

A big thank you to each of my children who endured the difficulties and temptations that university life brings your way. You succeeded. You endured to the end. I am proud of you.

Above all God blessed us all with health and strength to achieve this success.

“O clap your hands, all you people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭47:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

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

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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.

I Have an Empty Nest After Forty Three Years

I read these words from a Psalm today.

My life is an example to many because you have been my strength and protection.
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore my life again.
Oh God you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I tell others about the wonderful things you do.  Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me O God when my strength is failing.  Let me proclaim your power to the next generation, your mighty power to all who come after me.  Psalm 71 v 7, 17, 18, 20. NLT

My husband and I are living on our own, the first time in 42 years.  Our nest has been occupied with our children down through the years.  Today we definitely have an empty nest.  But we are entering a new season, a new chapter in our lives.  I do not feel very strong at the moment after a busy summer and the passing of my husband’s mother.  But I hope in God again to renew my strength.  He will help me again as he did before.  I am looking forward to this time with just the two of us.

You may wonder how I was able to carry, give birth to and rear fourteen children and be still alive.  God has blessed me with children and he has been my strength down through the years.  Brendan has always been there , a great husband and father to help us.

There is a song that says,
“One day at a time, dear Jesus,
That’s all I’m asking of you,
Give me the strength to do every day what I have to do. ”

So I suppose the recipe for getting through life, like a little child, is one day at a time.
I did not know what the future held for me when I got married.  We had no idea.  God does not show us everything or we would be overwhelmed.
But as I look back, I take a deep breath and say “Thank you Lord for giving my husband and I the strength for the past 43 years of marriage and family.  Thank you for healing me from cancer to be alive to see all my children reared.  No sorrow, no mourning for loss, only joy at your goodness.”  I look forward to more opportunities to tell others about God’s power to forgive, heal and restore.

Weekly Photo Challlenge: Joy

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It is a new month, a New Year, and new beginnings.  I am getting rid of the empty boxes, bottles, wrappings, and cards.  The festivities are over.  It is time to recover

The Christmas preparations take their toll on ones strength.  One needs to be super strong to receive friends, family and give generously.
Did you know that joy gives one strength.  I was going through a difficult time and who does not have them, when I heard a voice say to me “The joy of The Lord is your strength.”
I built up my reserves of strength when I was in Canada in November.  I enjoyed seeing friends, making new ones and receiving love and kindness.  I enjoyed the beauty of Vancouver and the Rockies. We enjoyed the snow.
I particularly enjoy seeing the big trains at Whiterock as they trundle past and the whistle blows.  It is music to my ears.