Just look at what God has done!

August 16th, 2010

[To put this post in its proper context, PLEASE READ THIS ONE FIRST from two months ago.]

At various times over the years, Joe and I have needed to find homes where our children could stay when we were away from them.  Each time, without exception, I have felt some level of anxiety about doing this.

Who won’t feel flustered about having all those children?  Who will accept them and make them feel loved and enjoyed?  Who is not too busy to welcome them?  Who has the space for them?  Who will not see them as a burdensome inconvenience?   Who can provide a safe environment for them?

Many times, I would have preferred to cancel our plans, but instead have had to trust my husband’s judgment in the matter.

Well, this time we had no choice!  Nine children simply cannot stay at the hospital for days on end!  But how could we ask anyone to take on such a responsibility?  We knew God would provide somehow.  But when He prompted our friends to call and offer their home, and we realized how ideal that home would be, we were speechless at His good provision for us!

That’s not the end of the story by any means!  This formerly Amish family has made room for our children in their big home and even bigger hearts during all three of our hospital stays.  And they have called us over and over, to renew their offer to take all of our nine one day a week to give me a day to rest.  And they keep trying to convince us that we are doing them a big favor by allowing them to enjoy having our children!  Amazing!

That is still not all.  We have been watching in wonder as God has brought nothing but benefit to our children through the bonds of this remarkable relationship.  The cross-cultural experience, the new skills learned, the wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussions, the fun of everyday life in the company of good friends, the close observation of another family who desires to live out what the Bible says in their own unique setting–not only has God’s provision been good, it has been perfect!  Perfectly suited for our family, just as God had known and planned it to be.

Would we have planned to have a child with Down syndrome and a serious heart defect?  No.  Are God’s plans better than our plans?  Yes.

Thank you, friends, for bringing glory to God by opening wide your hearts to our children in this way!  We thank Him for you.  May He bless you as you have blessed us!

This Scripture sums it up~

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

The following pictures don’t all have the same photographic quality, but they were chosen for how well they captured the essence of this friendship.

Just one of the new skills our older children have learned~

Bringing in the milk~

And straining it~

All the corn they processed that day is now in our freezer.  What didn’t go into our stomachs, that is.

Who knew it would be so much more fun to wash ceilings if you did it with your friends?

Pickle-making.  Could that be Peter Piper?

The two Stephens playing together in unity~

Many hands make light work.  I mean they make tomato soup.

Joseph tuned their piano.  Did you really have to take the whole thing apart and put it back together in order to accomplish this, Joseph?

[He does have a head, by the way.]

He was also able to make himself useful in their home business.

In the process, he learned some of the inner workings of a machine shop.

Sorting machine parts.

Where parents see an excavating project, children see all kinds of possibilities.  Hmmmm, there’s some dirt here just sitting, waiting.

We can really get creative with dirt, but…

…wait, is that mud I see?

Mud has even more possibilities.  Neat house there, kids!

Yep, mud pies, too!  Nice job, Jane!

(Anyone see what’s coming?)

Enough of that sophistication.  They’re already dirty, anyway, right?

Uuuuuummmmmmm…

We’ll draw the curtain over the rest of the scene.  Moving on…

Now the real work begins.

Unless you’re one of the spectators…

How many ways are there to swing, anyway?

Lasso golf is harder than it looks.

John Michael grinding wheat on a “millstone.”

A happy Peter~

And a happy James~

My, how quickly the children are shooting up these days.  Must be the hard life.  Hard work, hard play.

Brotherly kindness~

You know it’s a bona fide table if nineteen can fit around it~

One of our big guys with their littlest guy.

Look at these poor suffering kids who have to wash the dishes and sweep the floor.

Yep, they’re suffering through it, all right!

One big happy family!  :-)

[Note:  With this post we made an exception to our self-imposed rule that we not post pictures of our friends.  We don’t want them all to feel nervous around us, never knowing when they’ll show up here in this very public place.  So a SPECIAL THANK YOU to this family for giving us your permission to post these pictures!  And to Joseph for conquering the task of posting a video!]

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12 Responses to “Just look at what God has done!”

  1. Brandy says:

    What a fun post!  The video made me laugh!  I loved the little dog running behind. :-)

  2. Joy Horton says:

    I have been wondering who this mystery family is – and I should have known!!! I enjoyed meeting them at the picnic 2 years ago and was SO impressed by the sweetness that seemed to come out of every pore!!

    What a BLESSING!!! I am SO happy about this! My heart is smiling!

    Oh, God – you are SO good!!!!!

  3. sabrina says:

    What a story those pictures tell. I LOVE all the bare feet! You were blessed and now we are blessed by you sharing!

  4. Marilyn Osborn says:

    Oh, I enjoyed this so very much! How precious!!!!!!!!!  God IS so GOOD!

  5. maureen angelino :) says:

    Thank you for letting us have a peek into all that fun!  Wow, I wouldn’t mind sending my family over there — maybe we could all learn some new skills.  :)  Our ceilings have been dirty for years.  Washing them — what a concept!  We’ll have to try that.  The mud, the machine shop, the wagon ride…..  you can bet my children were asking questions about these pics!  Well, God sure did do great things there, and since you know I’m a hopeless romantic, I can’t wait to see what else He will do.  ;)  Oh, and if Mrs. F. gets a chance, I would love to have the pickle and tomato soup recipes.  Love to all of you!!

  6. Denise says:

    Ah yes, I recognize that mother too!! 

    What fun–   I love seeing kids WORKING and ENJOYING themselves— that is key– and key is working together too (sometimes).

    That picture at the TABLE — PRICELESS!!  Makes me so excited about having MORE children!!  Makes my heart sing!!!    ahhhhh  yes– I LOVE seeing a TABLE FULLLLLLLL (of children)!!  

  7. Beautiful!  :D  Praise God, His fingerprints are everywhere!

  8. Suvilla Fisher says:

    Joe and Suzanna,
    I just want to say, your well-behaved and well-trained children have been a great inspiration to me/us. (yes, mud-holes and all (smile) they were very well-behaved and I know that doesn’t just happen naturally)
     
    Mrs. Angelino, the recipes will be on their way.
    Again, a Big thank-You for that Big box of food you sent to us.
    God Is Good! and to Him be all Praise and Glory.

  9. Misty says:

    What a blessing! It blessed (and convicted!) me to read it.  Looks like the kids are having a lot of fun!  May God bless this wonderful family for their generous hospitality!

  10. Loved this post, thanks for sharing and how blessed you are to have such friends!  :)

  11. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Our neighbor’s son said once that he’s happiest when he’s covered with dirt.  Looks like that might be true for a few others, too.  : )

    I have wanted to ask how the other kids are doing, so I’m glad for this post.  Thanks for sharing your family with all of us “out here in the interwebs”. 

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