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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. 🙂

 

Dealing with Difficult People at Christmas

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

I know that Christmas can sometimes be a challenge with difficult family dynamics and hurtful things people say at times – whether it is unintentional or intentional. I’d love to remind us all that just because someone says something doesn’t mean that we have to engage in that particular conversation. We can say something to stop intrusive questions or unsolicited advice about our lives while still being respectful of others.

Inappropriate, and sometimes downright rude, questions from others are part of life whether we are single, dating, married, or when we have children. We can simply smile and respectfully say something (as God’s Spirit leads us) like:

  • “I love you, too. Thanks for caring about my happiness.”
  • “I’m really thankful for all that God has given me right now and I trust Him to lead me in this area.”
  • “Let’s talk about something else.”
  • “I’ll take your concerns into consideration.”
  • “So, how is your family/your husband/your mom doing?”
  • “I’m content in my life and in my relationship with God. There is no better place to be in the world.”
  • “How about we talk about you! What’s going on in your world these days?”

You could make a pleasant joke – humor can be really helpful in these moments! Or you can just change the subject completely. That is totally fine. You don’t owe an explanation about your decisions to anyone but the Lord, ultimately. And you don’t have to lash out at people even if they are rude.

Keep in mind that sometimes people will try to get you to honor the same priorities they have. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to engage in a conversation about politics, or about how many children you should have, why you work or don’t work, why you choose to educate the children the way you do, or why your husband acts the way he does. You don’t have to take the bait. Also sometimes people ask questions that feel so hurtful to us but they truly think they are just being friendly and loving. They just don’t realize how they come across. You don’t have to agree with their assessment of your life or their criticisms of your decisions.

You can know in your heart that a close walk with Jesus is the most important thing in the world no matter what anyone else may say or believe.

Don’t let anyone pressure you or get you to engage in a pity party! Satan would LOVE to get you in a place of dwelling on negative thoughts, bitterness, resentment, envy, divisiveness, gossip, and/or strife. Recognize his strategy and refuse to let his tempting thoughts set up shop in your mind. Your value doesn’t come from having the perfect husband, the perfect house, the perfect children, the perfect career, or the perfect Christmas celebration.

Your value comes from the God who lovingly created you and who gave His Son to die in your place. You don’t have to have people’s approval – only God’s. 🙂  You don’t have to be chained to all of the world’s ways of doing things and cultural or family expectations. There is such freedom in realizing this!

You can be un-enmeshed emotionally/spiritually with other people. Just because they are upset or unhappy, doesn’t mean you have to be. Isn’t THAT great news?!?

You are responsible for your emotions and your spiritual well-being. They are responsible for their own. (If you have a very toxic family dynamic, it could be helpful to review what healthy vs. unhealthy relationships look like.)

I would love to encourage my precious sisters in Christ to:

  • Enjoy your family, friends, and time alone.
  • Don’t absorb any toxic messages, only the truth of God about yourself.
  • Weigh anything anyone says (even your own mind) against scripture.
  • Focus on positive and good Philippians 4:8 things no matter what your circumstances.
  • Lay down expectations of things being a certain way or of other people being a certain way.
  • Seek to love and bless those in your life.
  • Be flexible and able to roll with unexpected changes in plans and problems that may arise.
  • Spend time with God before seeing other people to get your spiritual bearings – and if you have especially dysfunctional people in your life, spend even more time with God preparing so that you can respond in the power of His Spirit not the flesh.
  • Shine for Christ to all those around you.
  • If you are facing trials, count them as joy, asking God what He would have you to learn and asking Him to prune and refine your faith, taking you deeper and closer to Him.
  • Be aware of ways that Satan wants to discourage you and the kinds of thoughts he may try to use to get you off balance, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’ if these are difficult times for you. Don’t let him catch you off guard. Be prepared to defend against his attacks with God’s truth.
  • Be open to ways God may want to use you to reach others with His love.
  • If you have a lot of time alone this week, spend extra time digging into your walk with Christ and seeking to grow closer to Him, or ask what ministry opportunities He may have for you.

Each of you are so very precious to God and so very precious to me. I am thankful for each one of you – here is my prayer for you:

Lord,

Let my sisters (and brothers) in Christ know Your love in a more powerful, tangible way today than ever before. Help them to look past the craziness and busyness of this world to the throne room of heaven from which You reign in complete sovereignty over the universe. Help them to rest in Your love for them and in Your goodness, Your perfect wisdom, Your timing, and Your good plans for them. Help them to long to know You more.

Give them a desire for Your approval that is far greater than their desire for people’s approval. Help them to stand strong against those who are critical of them this season. Let them have Your eternal perspective and Your love for everyone in their lives, even those who are difficult to love. Help them to develop a heart of thanksgiving and praise to You that continues each moment of every day. Let them truly experience more and more of the abundant Life You have already provided for each of us.

Let them stand firm in Christ, trusting You completely to lead them each day for their ultimate good and Your ultimate glory. And let them know they are deeply loved and cherished here and in the body of Christ. Help us all to really “get” that we are united and one together in Christ – that we are never alone. We are part of an eternal family of brothers and sisters and we are part of Your family if we are in Christ.

Amen!

SHARE:

What are some of the struggles you have around Christmas? What wisdom has God shared with you that may be a blessing to our sisters in Christ?

RESOURCES:

Control Girls and Family Christmas – by Shannon Popkin

Responding to Insults, Criticisms, and Rebukes

post by Leslie Vernick about dealing with toxic and critical people that may be a blessing.

The Snare of People Pleasing

 

Taking Our Thoughts Captive – a Peaceful Wife video

A Lightbulb about Loneliness

My Security and Identity Is in Christ

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