Does anything ever really stay the same? Are we not in a state of perpetual change and growth?
Hubby is preparing for his last day of work at the Plant...his last day of full time employment for as far as we can see down the path...
He will register for spring semster of classes at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte soon...he will begin his part time job (with full time benefits!!) next week...what an amazing adventure this continues to be! I have detailed in my other blog all the ways that God has worked, the amazing tapestry that He has woven to assure us that this is His plan...we will look to those stones of remembrance when the way becomes rocky and the road is so very long...
and so we go forward...at the very top of the roller coaster...too late to turn back now...with no control of our own...but only the faith God continues to grow in us...trusting and obeying...with hands high in the air screaming at the top of our lungs, knowing life will never be the same again. And being thankful for it...
Nate and I wrapped presents this evening while at home alone. Joe went out in the world to do some secret shopping, Emily is having a sleepover tonight with ice skating tomorrow.
I got a phone call from Bobo that Pappaw McNeil has passed away...he was in the hospital at Thanksgiving so it's not unexpected, but there is no way for me to get to TN for the funeral. Lots of things to be in prayer for there...safe travel for all the families...family dynamics...stress and grief always make tensions magnified.
I had a longer than expected crazy day at work, but am very thankful Daddy has taken a few days off and is home with kiddos. He'd wanted to take kids shopping this morning but I had both booster seats for Nate.
No family advent devotions tonight...I missed them, I've REALLY enjoyed the scripture reading, candle lighting and hymn singing that we've done consistently during this season. It really has helped me keep the focus where it should be this season.
Robert (Bob) Franklin McNeil, age 85, 200 Fagan Rd., Johnson City, passed away Monday, December 21, 2009 in Johnson City Medical Center Hospital following an extended illness. He was a native of Butler, TN and a son of the late Wesley and Mae White McNeil. Mr. McNeil was a member of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church and retired from Texas Instruments. He played in the semi-professional baseball leagues in Tennessee and South Carolina as a pitcher. Mr. McNeil was a member of the Unicoi Masonic Lodge # 681 F&AM and Jericho Shrine Temple.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: Jessie McNeil and Paul McNeil.
Mr. McNeil is survived by his wife Juanita Buchanan McNeil, three daughters and two sons-in-law: Marqita and Keith Tittle, Unicoi, TN, Letta McNeil, Elizabethton, Margaret and Harrison Bradley, Bristol, TN, three sons and daughters-in-law: Ricky and Vickie Buchanan, Unicoi, Steven and Betty McNeil, Butler, Spencer Jim and Becky McNeil, North, Virginia, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, three brothers and sisters-in-law: Fred and Betty McNeil, Hampton, Spencer and Louise McNeil, Otis and Maude McNeil, all of Elizabethton, two sisters and one brother-in-law: Roxie Reece, Zionville, NC, Nancy and Jim Murray, Hampton and two special friends, Jim Murray and Bob Bennett.
The funeral service for Mr. McNeil will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 24th at the Tetrick Funeral Home with Rev. Maurice Quillen and Rev. Bill McDaniel officiating. Music will be under the direction of Patricia Vines. Interment will follow in the Roselawn Memory Gardens, Johnson City. Active pallbearers will be Jim Murray, Steve McNeil, Bob Bennett, Keith Tittle, Jake Tittle, Wesley Murray, Barry Bennett and Ricky Buchanan. Honorary pallbearers will be men of Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Jack Tipton, Jack Murray, Gene Woodward, Bill Standley and Luther Goodman.
Frank or "Pepsi" as my grandma Oliver always called him was not related to me yet, he had a profound affect on my life. He was my Momma's first husband. The father of the only siblings I've ever known...a part of my families family. He always had a smile for me...I have pictures of him holding Emily and marveling at her. He always opened his home to me and I felt comfortable there. Yet, their family has suffered immeasurable hurts that continue to affect the generations after them because of the circumstances of this divorce.
It had recently occured to me that if he and Moma (Evelyn) had stayed married...if all had been well and there had been no divorce in a time when divorce held quite a stigma...my life would have been quite different. She would not have been where she was (next door when I was being abused) when she was to be my "rescuer"...she would not have become my Moma...
God works all the time to bring good to those who love Him and He is sovereign...
Nate's been facinated by our bones...wants to know if Bella (the dog) has a skeleton under her skin. We told him that she did. He's been feeling everyone's ribs.
A few nights ago Daddy told him that I have a machine at my work that I use to look at people's skeletons. He thought that was pretty cool.
Tonight...after sitting looking at the few presents under the tree...he came into the kitchen and asked, "Mommy...can you look at presents at your work and see what's in them?"