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Taking a Break

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Ladies,

I just want to touch base with you and let you know that I am planning to take a break from online ministry for the next 3-4 weeks. I want to be able to focus on the Lord and on learning all He has for me to learn personally during this time of grief. I also want to focus on my husband and our children as they are processing a lot of very tough things and I want to be there to support them and pray for them as much as I can.

Our kids have more questions than ever about spiritual things. They are both believers – but I know God wants to help them go much deeper during this time. And they have really important questions with which all of us, at some time or another, must wrestle. This is a very good and necessary thing! It is in the most painful times that we are most open to spiritual growth.

I am excited about what God is doing in us all and what He will do through these trials. I don’t want to miss out on any blessing He wants to share with us in this time of trial and grief.

We will be celebrating Christmas without my Grandma and without Greg’s parents for the first time. That will be very, very different for all of us. And then both children have birthdays soon after Christmas. I want to be fully present and able to enjoy all of the wonderful blessings we DO have even though there will be sadness this year, too. And I want us to be able to hash through and express our grief in healthy ways.

We also have a lot of practical things to attend to regarding Greg’s mom’s estate, as well. I want to support and honor Greg and be the wife he needs right now in this incredibly difficult season.

I thank you all for your prayers, love, and support. You are amazing!

May the Lord help us all to slow down and to really focus on what is most important in His eyes in these last few weeks of 2018 and into 2019. May we align ourselves with His heart and His priorities. May we be ready to grow and to be receptive to all of the refining and pruning God has for us so that we can grow stronger in our faith and shine more brightly for Jesus. May He continue to bring about a Great Awakening in His people all around the world and may He bring a huge harvest into His kingdom in these last days!

Much love and Merry Christmas!

Another Death in Our Family

The picture is of Greg’s mom and dad with our son 16 years ago this month.

I wanted to let y’all know that our 16 year old son found Greg’s mom, Ann Cassidy (my mother-in-law), in her bed yesterday afternoon after school. He texted me to ask if Grandma was supposed to pick up his younger sister since I was at work. He said she seemed to be asleep. I asked him to see if she was breathing and to try to wake her up. He couldn’t wake her up and realized that it looked like she had been gone for hours. Greg was on his way back into town from a business trip but wasn’t to his office yet.

Our son was by himself with his Grandma for quite awhile. He called 911 and followed their directions really well. He has never had to face a situation like this before. Then he was there with a lot of police officers and investigators as they declared the house a possible crime scene and began asking him a lot of questions. Thankfully, I was able to leave work fairly quickly to go be with him and to help answer questions for the investigators.

Mom Cassidy had not been sick. She had been doing pretty well health-wise. This came as a complete shock. Greg’s dad passed away very suddenly August 4th of this year. I’m extremely grateful we have been able to help take care of her over the past few months – helping with yard work and shopping and things as her mobility was a bit limited. There are so many blessings! So many things to thank God for.

How thankful we are that she did not seem to suffer. And that she is now in heaven with Jesus and with her husband – whom she missed terribly these past 4 months.

I just read Job last week. And like him, I will continue to praise and thank God in the midst of the storm.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21

We will be grieving in the coming days and weeks and months. Especially after the initial shock wears off. And yet, we do not grieve as those who have no hope! We are not sad for Ann Cassidy. We know exactly where she is and that she is rejoicing with the greatest possible joy right now. I am beyond grateful that she was ready to meet her Savior face-to-face and that she had a very strong faith in the Lord.

I know our family will rally together. I know we will love each other and come together in unity. I know we will support each other and be there for each other. I know what an incredible outpouring of prayers, love, encouragement, and support the Body of Christ will provide and what a blessing that will be.

I know that we are going to be okay. But for the next week or two, I don’t know how available I will be able to be on my ministry sites. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

I am already thanking and praising God for the blessings that will come from even this shocking experience. I know His timing is perfect. I’m so glad that He is sovereign. And I look forward to see how He will help us all grow more than ever in our faith and love for Him and our love for each other as a family. I pray that He might be greatly glorified even in the midst of another surprising (to us) death in our family.

 

Thank you all for your love, encouragement, and prayers. It means so much! I love y’all dearly.

 

 

Our Area Was Spared in Hurricane Florence

A pic of our back yard this morning – very peaceful!

Just wanted to send out an update – the entire central area of South Carolina was spared from what we were expecting to happen with Florence. We expected to experience tropical storm force winds over 50 miles per hour and 6-12+ inches of rain. We thought there would be significant flooding, many trees down, and major power outages that were widespread. But the storm all but dissipated before it got to us, all we received was mostly a gentle-moderate rainfall for several days. There were some issues with power and trees down and some damage. But nothing like what we had anticipated.

I am thankful to the Lord that we were spared so much destruction.

And I am extremely glad we have so many first responders who were ready to help and so many linemen and power company trucks from all over this half of the country who were staged and ready to help. What a huge blessing!

My heart is aching over hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina and closer to the coast in South Carolina, as well as in the Philippines, Hawaii, Taiwan, and China who are suffering terribly from very strong storms, flooding, landslides, and destruction.

God is allowing His gospel to be shared in people’s testimonies because of the storm. I’m so grateful!

Thank you for praying with me for those impacted by these, and many other, recent disasters. Thank you for praying for me and our family. God hears the prayers of His people! I believe He will use these disasters to usher in new Great Awakenings and to draw many into the Kingdom.

May the Lord help us see how He might desire each of us to give tangible assistance to those in need and to share the Gospel of Christ. Perhaps some of us, who are able, might be able to donate to Samaritan’s Purse, our local church efforts, or other Christian organizations to help with so many facing natural disasters.

You are welcome to let me know how you and your family are doing in the comments.

 

Much love!

April

 

 

A Tribute to My Amazing Father-in-Law

Greg and his dad on our wedding day May 28, 1994. He officiated our ceremony and wrote our vows.

Last Saturday was like any other Saturday for our family. I went to work in the pharmacy for a few hours. Greg, our 11 year old daughter, and Dad Cassidy went to the two flea markets in town. They do that every Saturday, no matter what the weather.

They picked up lunch at KFC and ate at home with Greg’s mom. Everything was totally normal. He seemed happy as ever. He has had some health issues in recent years, but had them under perfect control. He had not been sick or complaining of any problems.

Forty minutes or so after Greg got home, his mom called and said, “Dad’s sick. Y’all need to come.” I got in my van right away and drove to their house, which is just around the block from us. Greg followed me a minute later.

Dad Cassidy had told her he felt nauseous. She had asked about calling 911, but he thought he would be okay, that it was just indigestion.

When I got there, he wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t find a pulse. I got a neighbor and he and Greg got his dad to the floor so I could start CPR until the paramedics arrived. Seven first responders worked feverishly on him for over 45 minutes but – he was gone. Just like that – in the blink of an eye – he “stepped out into eternity.” (He often used that phrase in his gospel presentations as he encouraged people to be prepared because we never know what moment may be our last.)

It was his appointed time for him to go home to see his beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, face-to-face on August 4, 2018 around 1:45pm.

His funeral is Tuesday, August 7, at 3:00pm.

Granddaddy Cassidy holding our son in 2002.

It’s been quite a shock to all of us that he is gone so suddenly. We are sad. We miss him already so much! But how we rejoice because we know where he is – singing and praising the Lord in heaven with so many other believers in Christ who have gone on before that he loved. We can’t possibly be sad for him. But whew! This part is hard.

We are confident that the Lord will sustain us and we will also seek to help each other through this time of grief. Things are going to be very different for all of us who are left behind. Especially for Greg’s mom, but also for Greg, and for our children.

Greg was extremely close to his dad and so were our kids. Greg’s parents have always watched our children when I work in the pharmacy one day per week. And most Friday nights, they like to sleep over at their Cassidy grandparents’ house.

Dad Cassidy has been a pastor for over 54 years and he and Mom Cassidy would have had their 55th wedding anniversary later this month. They had such a strong relationship. How thankful we all are for them both!

We were not prepared for him to leave us that day. But he got to spend his last day doing things he loved with people he loved. He didn’t miss one Sunday in the pulpit and was active up until his very last moments. That is definitely the way he would have wanted things. We are so thankful he didn’t suffer very long.

Granddaddy Cassidy baptized both of our children.

Dad Cassidy bought a used Bible for $1 a few hours before he passed and told Greg about his plan for his sermon the next day. He highlighted Daniel 12:2-3 as his text:

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

He also happened to buy 6 boxes of Kleenex. They were a great deal. Three for $1. His family will be putting these tissues to use in the coming weeks as we grieve, as we reminisce, and as we celebrate the life of this man we all loved so dearly. And we will also meditate on the passage that he planned to use in his lesson the next day that he never got to teach. What a fitting passage.

Dr. Pete Cassidy touched thousands and thousands of lives with the gospel and the love of Jesus. He spent countless hours visiting anyone who was sick in his church, helping to take care of maintenance issues at church and at the homes of widows. He was extremely generous toward everyone. He was faithful to the Word of God. He was faithful to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was faithful to his wife and family. And he was a faithful shepherd of every church he pastored.

He always made sure to speak to everyone in the room and had an uncanny ability to remember people’s names and all kinds of information about them – and retain that information for years. He seemed rather baffled that none of us could do quite as well with that. He had a photographic memory and could read a whole book in a few hours and remember everything. Dad Cassidy was active in our neighborhood association and in many city committees. He simply loved the Lord, loved his family, loved his church, and loved his community. Loving people by humbly serving them was his favorite thing to do.

One of the things we all will remember most is his joy. Dad Cassidy was a man who smiled a lot. He loved to tell jokes and stories. He had the most beautiful whistle and was often whistling or singing gospel songs and hymns as he walked or as he worked on projects around the house or at church. He enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. His was truly a life well-lived.

Please pray for our family and for his current church family as they grieve, as well, and as they search for a new pastor. Pray most of all that the Lord will be greatly glorified in Dad Cassidy’s death and in our family as we seek to shine for Jesus in this time of trial. We long to see many come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord even through Dad Cassidy’s death. There is nothing he would like better than that!

 

Greg and Dad Cassidy spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working on renovating our house. They loved to work on projects together – whether it was at our house, one of his rental properties, or his church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are Having a Medical Trial This Week

Hey, my sweet readers!

Just wanted to let you know that my 98 year old Grandma broke her leg Tuesday – had a very severe fracture. She had just gone out to eat with us at a Chinese buffet on Sunday for Mother’s Day and was doing so well. She has been living with my parents for almost 29 years now. Such a powerful, beautiful example of love. For many years, she did all of the shopping, cooking, laundry, and ironing. In recent years, she has had to slow down a bit. But she still was extremely independent, which she loved. They have done such an incredible job taking care of her.

Grandma had high risk surgery Wednesday and was doing amazingly well. Everything went according to best possible case scenario. But then Thursday she began to have some complications. Now, she has pneumonia and is not doing well at all.

I am going to continue to spend as much time as I can with her and helping my parents and taking care of my family. So I am not going to be running a post in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Grandma knows and loves Jesus and has been ready to go home to heaven for a long time. She is not suffering or in pain. I don’t know if she will recover or not. It is a day-by-day kind of thing. I am very blessed to have her for my grandmother.

I am praying for God’s greatest glory in this trial and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my Grandma and my parents the past few days. Each moment we spend together is such a priceless gift.

Much love!

  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

The hymns I have been singing the most this week:

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

And the one my Grandma liked the most yesterday when she was still coherent enough to be able to tell me:

It Is Well

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Don’t Take the Bait on Valentine’s Day! (Video – SKIT)

Ladies,

Satan would love to use Valentine’s Day to create bitterness, resentment, jealousy, division, hatred, and contempt in our lives. Don’t take the bait!

It’s fine to ask for us to ask for what we would like respectfully. But if things don’t work out – we don’t have to lash out destructively.

We also don’t have to buy the expectations the world tries to sell us.

Let’s love our husbands more than we love the world’s expectations for us. Let’s remember to appreciate all the ways our husbands do show love for us. And let’s love God most of all!

We can be content in Christ every day – including Valentine’s Day!

 

My Podcasts Are Available Now!

I have converted my Youtube videos to mp3 files so that you may download them.

Now you can take me with you wherever you go!

There is a page with a tab at the top of my home page now labeled, “Podcasts,” where you can find them all. I will continue to add to the list as I make more videos.

My Youtube videos are also available at the tab at the top of my blog that says, “videos.” Join over 10,000 subscribers on my Youtube channel when you get a chance! I also have a number of new skits on Youtube that I am not going to be able to convert to podcasts.

Enjoy! <3

 

Podcasts are available here.

I hope to have podcasts available on iTunes in the near future, as well.

 

Stop Watching Football and Spend Time with Me! – SKIT

My latest skit video on Youtube. This one is about 6 minutes.

First I share some destructive approaches to trying to get our men to give us more attention. This was the old me. These were the things I did for a long time, not realizing how much I was sabotaging the very intimacy I longed for in our relationship.

Then I demonstrate several more constructive, healthy approaches that will not repel our men. When we understand our men better, how they think, how they are wired, and what motivates them, and as we allow God to help us to grow – we can learn to approach our men in healthy, God-honoring, Spirit-filled ways rather than destructive ways that only divide and hurt our relationships.

I am not talking about being fake, but about allowing the Lord to completely change our hearts to be more and more like Jesus as we allow His Word and His Spirit to transform us.

Much love!

 

Stop Watching Football and Spend Time with Me!

 

You are welcome to subscribe to my Youtube channel, as well. 🙂

 

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