Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

32 years of love and devotion :)

Love and Devotion: The Webster's Dictionary defines the two words as profoundly tender and passionate affection towards someone and profound dedication or ernest attachment to someone or something.

What do those words mean to you? We all say I love you to the people we care about in our life, often many times a day, but how do you actually show those words to your loved ones? My husband has been showing me abundant amounts of both of those everyday for the past 32 years.


Tomorrow is my 32nd Wedding Anniversary. On May 26th, 1978, my wonderful husband and I were married in a quiet and private outside ceremony under a beautiful tulip tree near a small church by a ordained Minister. My hubby had been brought up Catholic, and although I had no strong church connection, I was baptized a Methodist. We had no church affiliation at the time, or family in the area, but we did want to get married in a church, by a minister, so we opted for a small ceremony so as to not offend the families that could not join us for the occasion.

It was 6 o clock at night and it was a beautiful evening. It was just the two of us and our two dear friends. It was a lovely ceremony, and because it was so lovely and warm, we opted to get married outside, instead of inside the church. All the flowers were in bloom and it was just a gorgeous setting for the union of two young lovers starting out on their life journey together. I remember clearly thinking when I was saying my vows "I really love this man, and I am so happy he is in my life. This is a good thing I am doing." I didn't think it was possible to feel more love than I was at that moment because my heart was overflowing with love and emotion. I was very wrong about that, because 32 years later, my heart and everything I am is bursting at the seams with love for this man of my dreams.

When we took those vows 32 years ago, I think we were both pretty serious and totally knew the committment we were making to each other. We have had a wonderful life together, with two beautiful children. I would be lying if I said it's all been wine and roses. It hasn't, and I don't think anyone that's been married as long as we have can say it's all been fun and games. Just the stress of daily living, holding down jobs, paying mortgages, raising kids, etc. Life basically - can put tremendous strains on a marriage, but we've hung in there and I'm so glad we are still together after all these years. Wasn't that a Paul Simon song? I wouldn't want it any other way.


When I got sick 13 years ago, I could never, in a million years, have measured the total love and devotion that the man I married showed me. He has been there for me, through thick and thin, every step of the way, since the day I got sick and every day since then.

Having multiple sclerosis is not a little illness that you get over and then you are better. MS is a lifelong, chronic, progressive, debilitating disease that my whole family, especially my husband, has had to live with each day since my diagnosis. It moves right along, and over the years since my diagnosis, I have gone from being a totally self-sufficient person, who was taking care of my family including my two young sons, working, traveling, vacationing, and totally engaged in life, to someone who can no longer drive, can hardly walk, has trouble thinking, cooking, standing or doing housework, or anything else for longer than a few hours at a time. It has been a big difference for everyone in my life, especially my husband, but he has stood by my side without flinching. I know it hasn't been easy. I can be a very difficult person when I want to, but I will be forever thankful to him for his continued patience, and his many daily kindnesses and generosity towards me.


I feel so incredibly blessed to have someone who loves me despite all my increasing physical challenges. What a lucky girl I am! Many men would have hit the road long ago. Not my guy. Did you know that MS'ers have the highest divorce rate around? After having lived with this disease and seen what's it's done to me and my family, I can understand why. It can't be easy to watch someone you love slowly disappear right before your eyes. My husband has always been so loyal and so steadfast in his love for me that he blows me away each day. He is the strongest man I know; physically, emotionally, and mentally.

God was really smiling on me the day I married Steve Watts, 32 years ago. I want to shout it to the world, and so I am! I will forever be grateful to our Lord, for putting this man of such character, such love and so much devotion in my path. Talk about a "God" thing as I say about watching God at work in your life. My Creator has been working in and through my life for many years with this wonderful man I married. The Lord has been all over me my entire life and I will be forever grateful to Him. Thank you Jesus!


Happy Anniversary Honey. You are my knight in shining armour. I wish we could be together tomorrow but please know that you are here, with me right now, in my heart. I will see you soon and we can celebrate together :)

I will love you always,

Nicki



My verse for today is on love from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13



"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails...

...And now these three main: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love."



My prayer for today:


Thank you Lord for this amazing man you put in my path 32 years ago. Thank you for his abundant patience, kindness, love and devotion towards me and our children. Watch over him and protect him. Give him strength to get through each day. Guide him in all his business decisions and our family decisions. Thank you Jesus for each day we have together. Bless everyone we love and keep them safe.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Surrounded by God's beauty

Today was the Sabbath day and I have been abundantly aware today of the beauty surrounding me up here in God's Country as North Carolina is often called. As we set outside this morning, it was so quiet, clear and beautiful. All you could hear were the birds singing. The sun was bright with a slight breeze and cool temperatures. What a way to spend God's Sabbath day, totally encompassed by His creation.

Michelle and I were blessed with a visit from my son and his girlfriend Jessi who live in nearby Asheville. We had a lovely afternoon, filled with great conversation. catching up on our lives and we shared a delicious dinner together. It was great to see them together again after about 8 months. They were particularly happy to spend some time with our little Mollie, our Bichon Frise, who I got as a birthday present, almost 10 years ago. Biff was only 15 when we got her and she was our first dog, so she has a special place in his heart. Mollie loves Jessi and has since the first day she stepped into our house over 3 1/2 years ago. They bonded very quickly. Ever notice how sometimes dogs just gravitate to certain people?I've had a couple of friends that Mollie just loves. Cindy, Jessi and Michelle are at the top of her doggie list :) The bad news today is that Pop is back in the hospital with another kidney infection and pneumonia. I feel so bad for Pop. He has been through so much these past few months.

Being up here in these glorious mountains, I feel especially close to God. The air is clear and cooler, and everywhere you look you see His glory. The view from our deck looking down into the valley is so spectacular and is ever changing with the clouds moving in and out. It is so breathtaking, it's impossible for me not to sense the presence of my Creator in everything I see. But, I think you can see God's beauty everyday and everywhere, if you slow down and pay attention, stop and Be Still.

We all get so caught in the business of life, we forget to stop and thank God for the many simple blessings we have each day. Do you thank the Lord for your many blessings? A happy and healthy spouse and children who look to you for your support and love, and are the first ones to greet you with a loving smile when you come home each night. A warm place to lay your head at the end of a long day. Watching your children in their recitals, or baseball games, or school plays or whatever their interests are. Your doggies that give you much comfort and love. I know that all of these things and everything I have and everyone I love are blessings from the my Father in Heaven.

There are so many things to be grateful for. I feel I am blessed beyond measure and I am so thankful to my Lord for all the people in my life. My loving husband, terrific kids, wonderful friends and family, and being able to spend some time up here in God's Country, for these past weeks.

Are their challenges each day? Yes, I face challenges each day, same as you. Do I have things go wrong? Do I agree with the all the decisions that the people in my life make? No. Do I get frustrated sometimes? Yes, but that is all out of my control and in God's capable Hands. What is in my control is my own happiness and my choice to be happy.

I choose to be happy, in spite of my daily circumstances, in spite of my physical challenges, in spite of things around me that may seemingly be falling apart. I choose to spend my days Praising God and fulfilling His purpose for my life. I choose to spend my limited time on this earth spreading the love of Jesus to everyone I see. I am surrounded by God's beauty up here and I can feel His presence and it has not gone unnoticed. I am thanking Him each day for everything I have, and everything He does for me.

My verse for today is from Psalm 100:4-5

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and Praise His Name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.


My prayer for today:

Thank you Heavenly Father, for everything I have. I know it all comes by Your Hand. Lord, I pray for my Dad tonight. Please Lord, Heal and comfort him. Surround him with your loving presence. Let him feel the comfort that only You can bring. Be with my Mom and my brothers and all of my family in Tennessee. This has been such a difficult thing for them to go thru. They are worn out from dealing with all this sickness and the pressure of running back and forth to the hospital and nursing home each day. Be with them Lord, comfort them as they go about their tasks. Thank you for allowing them to be there for my Mom and Dad. I pray for my husband and my son in Florida. They are going through some challenges. Be with them and let them feel your love and peace. Protect everyone I love dear Lord I pray,

In Jesus Name,
Amen