What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Day to Celebrate and Be Blessed

Today was a day to celebrate!  And so we did!  First of all, today, July 15, 2017, would be my father in law William G. Steiner's 100th birthday.  Here's just a smattering of pictures from throughout his life:






 He has been celebrating in heaven since 1995...but today we paused to remember him and the wonderful father, father in law and "Granddaddy" that he was to our family.  To commemorate this day, my hubby planted a Drake Elm tree in our back yard...not far from the one we planted a few months ago to remember my father on the 6th anniversary of his passing into heaven.




May this tree grow tall and strong and provide shade and beauty to our home for many, many years! And may we never forget the sacrifices my father-in-law made for our country and our family throughout his life.  He loved his family and would have given the shirt off his back to be sure they were taken care of.

Then, today was also a day to celebrate my mother-in-law's 94th birthday! Her actual birthday isn't until July 23rd, but due to family schedule conflicts, we had her party today at the nursing home where she currently resides.  Here are a few pictures of the friends and family that attended that celebration: (I won't identify everyone, but you get the idea...grandkids, kids, niece, friends, and people who love and care about her!)










She obviously had a great time, and was so pleasantly surprised!!!  What a blessing she is to us.

And then, after this celebration, the rest of us headed over to Cody's Roadhouse for lunch and to celebrate my husband's cousin Janice's birthday:


The pillow Janice is holding has a special story.  This is the gift that I made for her.  The cute embroidered young lady with a poodle is a vintage table scarf from the treasures I found in my mother in law's home...and I believe it was actually embroidered by my MIL's mother, "Nanny Martin", who would also be Janice's grandmother.  When I saw this table scarf, I immediately thought of Janice because she had always had poodles as a little girl as well as an adult.

The only problem with this table scarf was, in its original form, there were two ends, each having this same design.  But the other end was badly stained, and I could not remove the stain:


So, after much thought I came up with the pillow idea.  To create the pillow case itself, I used three cloth table napkins from my own table linens:

This is the back side of the pillow, where two of the napkins overlap to make the pocket where you slip the pillow inside...




And here is the front side, where I sewed the modified table scarf to the third napkin, and then sewed this to the other two napkins.

Janice was very surprised and pleased to receive this specially made gift with this link to her own grandmother.  And I thank the Lord for giving me the idea. I am not usually that creative or thoughtful...I'm being honest here!  I normally don't do that much sewing or crafts, but I truly believe the Lord gave me this idea, because He knew it would bless Janice...and in turn, it also was a blessing to me to be able to do this for her.

This was a wonderful lesson for me....to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit to show love to someone else who needed that extra blessing. You see, Janice is a recent widow, following the death of her husband from cancer...and she also lost her only son to a sudden illness a few years ago. Her sweet little poodle, "Rocky", also passed away not long after that.  My husband and his brother and their mother are her closest family here...and they share this common family history.  To be able to share this bit of her own grandmother's treasures with her brought a few tears to her eyes and a smile on her face...and it didn't cost me a dime, but its value is priceless!

This reminded me of a favorite old hymn:

"Make Me A Blessing"

"Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Refrain:
Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing,
O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing
to someone today.

Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,
Tell of His pow'r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True, every moment you live.

Refrain

Give as 'twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

Refrain:

Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing,
O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing
to someone today."

Thank You, Lord, for being at the center of our celebrations today...for blessing our family with dear parents, and for helping us to be an encouragement and "blessing" to one who is in need of such comfort.  I give You praise for providing the means and the ideas that became the blessing. In giving, I am also blessed.  Thank You, Lord, for teaching me this lesson today.  Amen.


14 comments:

  1. What wonderful family photos and memories Pamela. Today is also my son's birthday and one of my great grandsons also. Happy 100th birthday in heaven to your father-in-law. I'm sure the angel choir sang "happy birthday" to him. Have a blessed weekend my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Toni! And Happy Birthday to your son and great grandson! July 15th must have been a busy day for the stork! ;) I pray your weekend is blessed and filled with happy memories.

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  2. Oh, what joyful photos you've shared here, Pamela! I noted, too, that your MIL's actual birthday is July 23 - that's the same as my youngest granddaughter, Alexandra! Isn't that cool?
    And I love the idea of planting trees to honor those, living or dead, whom we love. Years ago, when he was Dean of Oxford College, my dad planted trees on the property in honor of each member of our family. Sadly, I've forgotten which tree is mine, but I guess that doesn't really matter. I can look at those trees now (my mother lives in a home across the street) and remember how much my dad loved us all.
    Blessings to you, dear friend!

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    1. That IS really cool! May your Alexandra live to be at least 94 and in good health and sweet spirit, just as my mother in law is! I love your Dad's idea of planting trees to honor the living...what a wonderful "gift". I love gifts that "keep on giving", and a tree does exactly that! What a wonderful treasure to have your mother across the street from you, in your family home. You truly are blessed.

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  3. Beautiful celebrations and your pillow gift is perfection!

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    1. Oh thank you, Terri! It was a wonderful day, and I am really pleased at how the pillow turned out, and especially that she loved it. That made it all worthwhile!!

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  4. What a lovely tribute to your father in law.
    The pillow turned out beautifully. Lucky girl to have you make such a lovely gift for her.

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    1. Thank you Annie. My "cousin" in law was truly thrilled with the pillow, and that made me really happy. I had gotten a little attached to it myself, and it is so easy to become selfish and hang on to "things", but this was a good lesson to me to give and see someone else truly happy and blessed. That meant more to me than keeping a pillow that really was meant for someone else.

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  5. Pam, What an amazing life your father-in-law lived--he was quite a handsome man. It's bittersweet to remember those special people in our lives who have passed away, yet if they are in Heaven how can we be sad. July seems to be full of the birth of special people: I have both parents, one grandma, and one "adopted" grandpa who were born in July (they are all with the Lord).

    The pillow you made turned out amazing!! God really does inspire us to do what we can't do in our own power.

    Blessings!

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    1. After reading your messages yesterday and here today I realize that you definitely have a lot of loved ones and family waiting for you in heaven. What a glorious day that will be for you...to also, most of all, meet Jesus face to face, and then to have that happy reunion with so many who have gone on before. In the meantime, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and give you special friends and family here to love and cherish as well. You are a precious person whom God loves very much...and I am so glad you are my friend! Have a blessed day today!

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  6. Pam. The pillow turned out beautiful. I'm sure she will treasure it forever. Your father-in-law was a good family man. I can tell from the old photos.

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    1. Thank you Cecelia. I am very pleased that it all turned out so well, and that Janice truly seemed happy with this special gift. That made it perfect. Yes, my father in law was a good family man. He sure loved his grandkids. He worked very hard during his life to make a living for his family, and they did not have a lot of material things and times were difficult, but it seems as though when his grandsons came along he wanted to make up for lost time and truly enjoyed being able to do things with them and for them. We were sad that he only lived til age 78, and he missed ever knowing his other son's two children, who weren't born for another 8 years, when my mother in law (their grandmother) was already 80 years old! But they have been a blessing to her in her "old age". Thank you for your kind thoughts. Have a blessed day!

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  7. Oh Pamela! So much good in this post. The birthday celebrations and memories of your father-in-law. My dad's birthday was also July 15. What a lovely pic of your mother-in-law with the cupcakes. How wonderful to be 94 and have so many friends around to celebrate you. You are very creative. I love what you did with the pillow.

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    1. Wow! It seems I've met several here who's loved ones had a birthday on July 15th! Must have been a busy day for the stork! LOL! Thank you for your kind thoughts. We did have a wonderful day together...and she was very happy to be with her family and friends. As far as me being creative...that was a God-thing...I don't get those kinds of ideas very often...and God knew that it would bless Janice, who needed a blessing...and so I am happy that HE thought of it and helped me figure it out! Thank you again.

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