#life

Sweet Summertime!

It’s summer time, and what a busy summer it has been for us. We have been on two mini vacations so far. First, we went to Hershey Park where Ryan and Anaia went on every roller coaster, spinny thing, freefall, and zero-gravity ride in the park. I, on the other hand, am much to smart for all of that. We all did enjoy the water park and eating our body weight in chocolate, though.

A few weeks later, Anaia and I were asked to go to Kalahari, another ginormous water park in Pennsylvania. We went with one of Anaia’s friends and his family. We had a blast and highly recommend it. It is an indoor/outdoor water park where the indoor portion is inside a giant hotel which houses several restaurants, bars, stores, and an arcade. The decorating theme throughout is an African jungle.  The hotel is adorned with a huge imitation elephant head hanging on the wall when you walk in the hotel. At the entrance of each corridor there were near life-sized statues of various jungle animals. The kids loved climbing all over the silver back gorilla while waiting for the elevator.

While at Kalahari, I found myself in the middle of a real life mystery. After wearing my sunglasses all day, back in the hotel room, I looked in my bag for my regular glasses. They were gone! I took everything out of my bag and shook out my towel; my glasses were nowhere to be found! We looked in the car, no glasses. I emptied out my bag again, no glasses. I finally gave up hope and decided to tap into my inner Roy Orbison (if you are too young to know who he was, Google him). When I got home Ryan went through my swim bag and guess what he found? My glasses! My bag, which has a black lining, also has a black interior divider dividing the inside of the bag in half. My glasses had slipped into the back portion and I couldn’t see them. I just got over the excitement of the great-glasses-caper when I got an email from the director of the summer camp that Anaia really wanted to go to, but couldn’t because it was full. The message informed me that one of kids that enrolled in camp had dropped out and now they have room for Anaia! Talk about a hallelujah moment!

In the middle of all the busy days and excitement for the Denerley’s, Anaia chose to get baptized. She was baptized as a baby but she asked to get baptized again to show she was giving herself to the Lord. Anaia is only nine, but she’s turning into the most amazingly beautiful young lady inside and out. I’m so proud of and happy for her.

Ryan and I went through Soul Care last year. Soul care is a Christian based therapy that is a process in which a believer confesses and repents unhealthy deep rooted issues to another believer in order for the holy spirit to speak into their heart to heal and eradicate damaging patterns that interfere
With the spiritual growth and God’s purpose for their lives. It’s coming together in talking, listening and prayer with each other and the holy spirit.we use the book entitled Biblical Foundations of Freedom: Destroying Satan’s Lies with God’s Truthby Art Mathias. It teaches you how to apply biblical truths to issues that pop up that cause difficulties in every area in everyday life. Our pastor at the time is trained in it and we were having some issues in our marriage. We both brought our own personal issues in our marriage. We needed help. Soul Care definitely helped.

A few weeks ago our old pastor suggested to Ryan that he go through Soul Care training and said that I would be good in intercessory prayer.  Intercessory prayer is the other half of Soul Care. It’s praying on behalf of another person.  While the leader guides the person or couple to get to the root of the issue, another person engages in intercessory prayer away from the counseling session. Last week we began our training,  and hopefully in the future we, as a couple and a team, can help others as much as Soul Care has helped us.

I also began hosting my church’s small group in my home along with the new pastors. It is every Thursday night at 7pm if you are in the Warwick area! Everyone is welcome, young and old. So as you can see, we have been busier than a gofer on a golf course. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Glory be to God.

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#God, Family Life

Lessons Learned As Grief Grows

He Heals the BrokenheartedDelayed reactions are my thing, and I’m having one at the moment.

As some of you might know, Ryan’s dad, Rob, died a few weeks ago. I have been trying to be strong and holding it together for Ryan and Anaia and in the process not letting myself grieve.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. ~2 Corinthians 7:10 *

Now, it’s hitting me. One thing has been eating away at me for a long time even before Rob got sick. One day right after Ryan and I got married the phone rang. I answered, “Hello?” By the way, why do we do that? Like we want to make sure there’s another person at the other end? Of course, there is. We should answer the phone by saying something like, how’s it hanging? Or, hey buddy nice to hear from you again, or if someone is asking for money, oh it’s you still why do you always call when I’m eating dinner?

But I digress.

I answered, “Hello?” Rob replied, “Hi, it’s Dad.” Something came over me, and I was completely silent. I couldn’t say anything. I just handed the phone to Ryan who jokingly said to his father, “Linda thought she was getting a phone call from beyond the grave.” (My father had died a few years before.) To this day I’m not sure what came over me. Maybe it was because I was overwhelmed that he could saw me as his daughter. That I could mean that much to him. Perhaps it was me missing my father. Maybe it was a combination of them. No matter what the cause, I was completely silent. Rob never said that again.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..~Ecclesiastes 3:1

When Anaia came around, he always said: “it’s grandpa.” I always felt embarrassed and guilty for my reaction to his loving gesture. Now I feel guilty for not telling him how honored I was, and am, by him calling me his daughter. I let myself get in the way of a wonderfully beautiful thing, and I am so sorry, sad, guilty and regretful because of it. I loved and miss him much. I am blessed to have had him in my life, and Anaia is so blessed to have called him Grandpa.

I guess what I have learned from all this is never wait to tell someone how you feel and that you never know how much you mean to another. The way you see yourself is not always how others see you. I never dreamed that I could mean that much to my husband’s father and that I think comes from how valuable you see yourself.

I am so very grateful for you, Rob.

 

*For anyone wondering the difference between Godly grief and worldly grief, Godly grief asks for mercy and recalls that our sins go heavenward. It fosters the difference between regret and repentance. Wordly grief that leads to regret makes us feel sad and bad about our past sins, thoughts or emotions but Godly grief leads to repentance–which makes us turn completely away from the sinful thought or action. Regret is crying, feeling bad,  being burdened with guilt, getting it out of our system and moving on. It doesn’t lead to change. Repentance, does. It leads to better relationships and salvation through Christ. So in reading this, I nod in agreement with Linda. The lessons learned run deep. ~ Jennifer

#life, Family Life

Ryan’s Corner: In Memory

In Memory of Robert Allan Denerley    

If I were to describe my relationship with my father and categorize our time together I would place our story in the adventure section.

Dad would read some of Genesis story to answer my typical boyhood questions about life and creation, subtly laying a moral foundation for me, which would be really important later for family volleyball games where the rules were negotiable.

My dad taught me that it matters how we treat others and how to be a team player. We are to be people of character; honest, giving, faithful, fair, and forgiving. We are to lead balanced lives.

Learning about relationships with women was of particular importance. Dad continued to counsel me during my time in college for I didn’t struggle academically as much as I did relationally.

The help Dad gave me paved the way for me to venture out and start a family of my own.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~John 14:1-3

The ten years my wife and daughter spent with Dad can be described as kind, supportive, and encouraging. Marriage and parenthood ain’t for wimps, and Dad was my model for maturity when stress became overbearing.

My daughter’s 9th birthday party was themed after Disney’s “Descendants” and the same week of her party Dad entered Brigham and Women’s hospital for his surgical procedure. As we know now, Dad’s procedure can hardly have been called a belly check…

Brothers and sisters, friends and relatives, young and old, we are fellowshipping in the midst of Robert’s death and simultaneously celebrating his life. We are coming together to move forward in our lives without Robert—without Dad.

In Disney’s “Descendants” the future is uncertain for the characters who are the sons and daughters of famed Disney villains. These are school age youngsters from the Isle of the Lost thrust into attending the Aura Don Academy—the school for the children of Disney heroes and heroines. One of the movie’s songs sung in the midst of decision making is “There are So Many Ways to Be Wicked.” And it is true, there are many ways we can go about living our life for ourselves, but I want to encourage you that it matters how we treat one another. This was important to my father. Even truer, there is only one way to be righteous and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~John 14:6

We all have to face death and if we are honest, we are all facing a final judgement.

Jesus Christ is no joke. He takes away our failures and gives us His perfect righteousness as a gift.

Sure, dad was a good husband, father, coach and leader, but make no mistake, it is Christ and Christ alone who delivers souls from hell into eternal blessedness. Robert couldn’t do it; Moses couldn’t; not Buddah, Mohammad, or some pagan animal spirit.

The Lord says: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever live and believe in me shall never die.”

Please pray with me:

O God, you are Holy and Just. Please receive my earthly father Robert into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Wash him in the holy font of everlasting life and clothe him in God’s heavenly wedding garment. Let his heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God. May your angels surround him, your saints welcome him in peace; may he gaze upon you Lord, face to face, and taste the blessedness of perfect rest in Jesus Christ.

~Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

#God, #life, Family Life

Three Strands.

You and I against the world; this statement is pretty new as a concept in our marriage.

We’ve had our ups and downs. I think both of us got caught up in our own inner conflicts and baggage from each other’s past so much so we couldn’t see or comprehend that, basically, marriage is two people coming together as a bond not even this world can break. We’ve come to find out it’s not really each other we’re fighting against. In our case it’s the ghosts in each other’s pasts, the lies we tell ourselves, and the illnesses and conditions we have that haunt us.

When you start looking at the issues and problems between you and your significant other as the enemy rather than your significant other, it’s a game changer. Ryan and I have adopted the point of view that we’re going to join forces and fight against the things coming in-between us. Doing that forms a sense of unity. It creates a feeling of having each other’s back and always being there for each other. The more you put this tool into practice the more it  strengthens and grows.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

This is so important when issues arise that threaten your marriage because then both of you can come together and stand firm against them. Ryan and I have been going to SoulCare. It’s a type of therapy based upon the values of the Christian faith. Our pastor/counselor, who is certified in SoulCare, uses the book Biblical Foundations of Freedom: Destroying Satan’s Lies with God’s Truth by Art Mathias. SoulCare teaches techniques and ways to apply the Bible’s teachings and truths into everyday situations. We really do feel that it’s helping our marriage as well as our individual wounds. It brings those scars out into the light where they are dealt with, prayed over and hopefully left behind.

I’m hopeful about our future. I do believe through SoulCare and doctor prescribed meds (God gave us doctors to help us) Ryan and I will gain the tools we need to weather any storm that comes our way. We will be able to live a long and very happy life together. Come to think of it, it’s not Ryan and I against the world, it’s Ryan and I and Jesus against this world.

How can we fail?

Family Life

History Matters

This past week and weekend starting Wednesday night and ending Saturday night my home town of Warwick, NY celebrated its sesquicentennial, 150 years.

Festivities included outdoor concerts at Railroad Green which is the town square, games in the park for the kids, a watermelon eating contest, best mustache, beard and side-burn contests and, of course, a parade and fireworks on Saturday night. The town also dug up a time capsule, first buried in 1967. The contents of it are on display at the Legion Hall.  When town officials dug it up I did see there were letters, plates and cards inside, but as yet I’ve not had a chance to go look at them.

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. ~Deuteronomy 32:7

I saw friends and people I knew growing up that I haven’t seen in decades. One friend, Tracey, who used to live next door but has  since moved, returned and spent the weekend with us.

Ryan was in the parade as one of Warwick’s firefighters.  Anaia and I were excited to see him in the truck rolling down Main Street.

True talent, right here….

Although… she was so exhausted from the other fun happenings in town that she fell sound asleep right on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to begin!

The parade was the best one  I’ve ever seen. There were bands, bagpipers (which promptly woke Anaia up), mounted police, and Uncle Sam shaking hands with everyone. There was a float with a dancing apple, followed by local orchard owners on tractors, and farmers riding field equipment. Town officials proudly waved to the crowd. The mayor of Warwick England (our sister town) and his wife were even there. People were dressed up in old time clothing, too. Anaia was really excited when she saw the clown that was at her birthday party goofily dancing down the street.

It meant so much to me. I’m very proud to be part of this close knit community. I’ve family members that go back in Warwick to the Revolutionary War and are buried in the town cemetery. Now I’m raising my daughter in the same town I grew up in. It doesn’t get much better than that. She sees the same sights I did when I was a child. She swims in the same lake, plays in the same park, goes to the same firemen’s carnival and runs around in the same yard as I did.

I’m grateful for every moment like that. I truly know how special it is. My greatest gift that I can give Anaia is wings and roots; Wings to show her what she can become, and roots to remind her where she came from.

Family Life

Turn! Turn! Turn!

Ahhh…. summer

What’s been going on at the Denerley household this summer? Lots of excitement, some sadness, tons of projects…

We started the summer getting a season pass to Greenwood Lake Beach. It’s a spot in a nearby town where one can swim, grill and enjoy a small playground. All of us really love going there. Along with the good times at the lake we’ve had some sadness as well.

A few weeks ago Ryan’s grandma, and Anaias great-grandma, passed away. She was the kind of person accepting of everyone. In her long 90 years she took in and cared for her sons and grandchildren for many years. She always had a smile and a kind word, and she could most definitely bake her little New Englander housewife butt off!

Alice Denerley, you will be greatly missed by many.

Anaia also went for a week to, Son World, a vacation bible school focused on making good choices at a local church. It was based on Joshua 24:15 and set in a made-up adventure park. Anaia had a blast playing games, making crafts, and singing songs.

I also found out that I, yes little old, handicapped me, holds a state records in squat, bench, and deadlift! The record is 79.3 lbs, bench is 71.6 lbs and deadlift is 187.3 lbs. I’m continuing to train hard for my next competition in the fall or early winter

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…~Ecclesiastes 3:1

I’ve lived in the house I grew up in, the one we now call home, on and off my entire life. The curtains in the family room were older than me and, well, the entire place looked like the 60’sand the 70’s heaved all over it. A few weeks ago I was blessed enough to have Jennifer and another college friend, Robin, come for the weekend.

While Ryan took Anaia and Robin’s daughter to the lake, Jennifer and Robin went to work on my family room. We had so much fun! We went “shopping” in my basement, which is filled with amazing old furniture and unique antiques. They moved out chairs, and brought up a very cool corner cabinet that was a perfect addition to the dining room. It gave the place that old country feel I was going for.

We put slipcover on, added new throw pillows, and Jennifer, with her art and museum background, rehung my paintings so they’d be pleasing to the eye. We hung new lace curtains on new rods, rearranged the furniture, and painted a wall the most spectacular shade of blue. My family room is beautiful! It’s amazing what small changes can do to spruce up a home.

Thank you Jennifer, Robin, and Ryan for going above and beyond the call of duty to help me achieve what I envisioned. Now Ryan is sanding, taping, and priming our kitchen so it can be painted a different color. We also plan on getting new flooring. How exciting!

Not my living room but thank God I’m a country girl…. see what I did there?

Maybe that’s the secret to finding happiness? Little changes? Maybe doing something a little differently each day can reveal something within you that needs to come out. I had no idea what kind of style of decor I wanted until I got into changing it. With a ton of help from Jennifer texting me photos of different styles and me picking out what I liked, I somewhere along the line found out I loved primitive country and some country-chic.

I had no idea what those styles were at the beginning but now they make me extremely happy and calm inside. I’m finally making the house I’ve always lived in and known to be my parents’ house mine and I did it in a very simple way.

More importantly I find myself going to that room more often to do more than eat and watch television. I find myself getting up early before anyone else and thanking God for all the blessings He has put before me. I talk to Him more. I sit and just be quiet with Him more often now, trying to get closer.

That, my dears, is a very good thing.