This is new. All so new. Yes, in the past, there’s been deaths that caused us to weep, but none that so drastically changed every aspect of life. “Is there any minute of the day that I do not think of my beloved Daniel?” I don’t know.
There’s many more things I do not know. I do not know how everything will be a year from now. I do not know how God will provide for the six little children he has entrusted to my care, now that their daddy went to heaven. There’s something I do know, which is enough to get me through each moment. I just know that with God all things are possible.
Never ever before have I hurt so deeply, and indeed never before has God shown Himself so strong. Over and over I wonder what I would do if I could not surrender to the deep pain, and tell God it’s okay to hurt even more than my physical brain can grasp. Every time, every single time God picks me up. It doesn’t necessarily look or feel pretty, but in the end, peace always does come.
Then there are the children. Whew. Hurting, crying, sifting through your own feelings is one dimension; having children, from the ages of one to 10, miss their daddy is an entirely new chapter. Daniel was completely adored and trusted by every one of his children. They knew he would do anything, completely anything for them, yet they also walked in the security of Daddy’s guidelines as he taught them how self-focused children grow up to be unhappy and find it difficult to follow God’s complete call for their lives.
This past winter there were countless evenings spent as a family with Daddy in the house. We played games, combed Daddy’s hair (his favorite), gave foot rubs, or just relaxed together. Now the empty space remains gaping and hurting. Yet, with Christ as the anchor, I do not cease to be amazed.
Somehow, beyond my power, I see each little heart being provided for. Yes, your prayers are not in vain. Keep going to the Father on their behalf. Surely this traumatic time during these tender years will cause them to cry to God and trust in Him throughout their youth and adult years.
As a single mother, I am deeply aware that God alone can heal and establish their hearts. We talk a lot of how Daddy loves them and of all the special things he did with them. With all my heart, I want to build on the foundation their daddy has been establishing for them.
Yes, God is using people in so many different ways. You all know what a blessing you have been! The cards, donations, and packages have been super day-brighteners at our household.
Then there’s Daniel’s sister, Mary; if I told you all about her, you’d be listening till midnight. She stayed with us a few weeks and would do anything for us. She made herself responsible to make sure my sewing, canning, and freezing gets done for the next year. By her, and her brother Joseph’s motivation, their youth group in Ohio canned lots of apple sauce and squash, and stocked our freezer with lots of healthy baked goods!
Then there’s people wondering if I need anything in town (Daniel used to do our shopping). One dear friend stops in with a fruit basket, then retrieves it, to fill it up again. A sweet eight-year-old girl gave me a gift bag yesterday and said, “This is just from me.” My heart melts.
Imagine how I felt when I found out that our church is making a big benefit dinner next week, with all proceeds going for our little family!
There are those who are offering to go on with Daniel’s tree-clearing project so we can plant more chestnuts. Daniel’s brother John and our diligent worker, Irvin, are picking up the pieces in the furniture shop and going on despite the challenges of tying ends where Daniel left off before the logging accident.
Never will I forget all Cousin Owen is doing by helping with office work.
And, I praise God for Daniel’s family who had plans to move here the very week Daniel went home to heaven. Surely their dreams of living next to their son dashed, yet they are an untold blessing to us.
Then there’s my family! They keep cheering me on, including keeping the perspective Daniel has always had about life, and how death is only a means of giving us what we’ve always lived for. Hats off to my siblings who will probably be the ones to finish trimming out the cabin Daniel built for us this winter.
My baby sister, Keturah, now 18, who lives only a mile from our house, can always be here at a moment’s notice; she does an incredible job with the children, around the house, or whatever needs to be done.
Then there are our next-door neighbors, Josh and Joyce and their family. Though Josh is my cousin, they’ve become closer than cousins. They are my primary go-tos with questions or prayer requests.
Lastly, to those of you in deep anguish of heart, yet all alone, I have a word for you. Do not give up; hang on, look at your Savior’s eyes, He will pave the way for you.
Amish Taco Pizza Casserole
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds hamburger, fried with onions
1 package taco seasoning
1 pint pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups sour cream or 1 cup milk, scant
1 tablespoon sour cream and onion powder
2/3 cup salad dressing
Put dough into 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
Spoon meat mixture onto dough, next put on dressing mixture.
If desired, sprinkle with peppers, onions, tomatoes or whatever you prefer.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Add cheese and taco chips or white soup crackers for the last 5 minutes.