Be Strong and Courageous

My mother.

My mother at home in Florida.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid . . . for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”    Deuteronomy 31:6   New International Version (NIV)


It’s been four months since I’ve written anything on my WordPress blog. I last wrote as I was getting ready to head for Israel. I was consumed with all my plans and responsibilities—things I needed to get done before I traveled.

Of all the “things” I needed to do, the one that concerned me most was making sure my mother was not alone while her 92-year-old husband, Bob, traveled to New Zealand on vacation with his son—his trip scheduled at the same time I would be in Israel.

I “knew” in my heart it was critical that she be with family in Bob’s absence—and things weren’t working out.  My brother couldn’t get away and Ron graciously offered to bring my mother to Florida.  Still I “knew” that either Dan or I needed to be there also.

Well at the last minute things did all come together—Dan’s business suddenly had a lull and he could be in Florida after all.  And I could head to Israel.

Weeks later, my mother, my brother and I all agreed—it was God at work making sure my mother was not alone, but in Florida with my brother, when the news reached her that her husband, Bob, had passed away while in New Zealand.

When I returned from Israel, we flew back to Minneapolis to begin the work of going through belongings, cleaning out the house, searching through papers, preparing the home for sale, meeting with accountants and lawyers, working with social security—while at the same time always grieving. My mother and Bob had been married nearly 30 years.

The challenges were overwhelming—mold remediation and house foundation issues—all invisible to the eye until we began the process of moving built-in bookcases. At times the challenges were more than a normal 90-year-old could possibly bear.

Now, four months later, things are coming together. The house has been sold, all repairs completed, and my mother has moved to Florida into a wonderful caring community. Almost all of the issues surrounding her husband’s death have been resolved.

Yesterday was a big day for my mother, and last night I Facebook private-messaged her:

“Sleep extraordinarily well tonight! You have had a very good day. God continues to bless you! If you feel up to it, tell him thanks tonight before you go to bed. Love you very very much.”

This was her answer:

“I have thanked him for the positive things and asked for strength to take the knocks. See you in the morning. I love you very much, too.”

Thank you, Father, for this and all your blessings.