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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What Happened When My Second Son Left Home to go to Canada

It is a month now since a second son left home to work in Canada.
Isaac, my twelfth child and seventh son, graduated from University of Ulster with a degree in Public Relations.  The twelfth child to get a university degree in our family.
He worked hard and was diligent in his studies.
His graduation ceremony was in the morning and he started his journey to Vancouver that night.
Isaac desired to go to Canada again but he was not sure when to leave.
He had secured the important two year visa.
He had been given a token for 500 dollars towards a flight to Canada after he helped an unruly passenger on his last trip.
He looked at flight prices at the end of June.
After the third of July the prices to Canada went up.
He was able to book a flight on the third of July, the day of his graduation, and the price was covered by the token.
We had a great day celebrating with family but all too soon he was away.
I returned home that evening with the celebration balloons, which are a bit deflated now.
A bit like the way my heart was feeling.
image
Over the next few days I was very tearful when I remembered Isaac.
The car mats were all that was left of his car.
His football gear was left in his room.
Would he wear the Downpatrick shirt again?
The towels on the floor of the bathroom and the empty bottle of aftershave were other memories.
Isaac had lived at home for the past year and was a great support to my husband and I.
Isaac means laughter.  He brought joy and comfort to us.  He helped us both with IT skills.
He helped with the house move.  He got on well with other family members.
He helped keep the home fires burning over the winter.
He helped kept our home warm as well as our hearts.
After Isaac left we both were a bit down.
We both suffer silently our pain of two sons leaving home to work in Canada within a month of each other.

In Genesis 3 v 16

Because of disobedience, God said to Eve, “I will greatly increase thy labour pain and thy child bearing.  And in pain will you bring forth sons.”

I believe this scripture means one will have pain not only in having children but also in rearing children.  Hence the heartache of separation after rearing children.
My husband spent some time making a photo album of the graduation day.
We remembered Isaac as we looked at the photos.
God comforted our hearts and the pain has gone.
It is now their time to make their way in live.  Like the young birds they have to leave the nest.
It is the way of life.  We lay down our lives as parents to give life to our children.
I know God has good plans for Isaac.
I am proud of him.
He will prosper whatever he puts his hand to.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11-13‬ NLT)