Making Connections On The Timeline Of History

Sorry for my absence. My husband took a bad fall last Monday, and I didn’t have time to post. He is recovering slowly, but we’re grateful to God that he didn’t break any bones. He’s just very sore.

Photo Credit: brighthorizonsacademy.com

Photo Credit: brighthorizonsacademy.com

We homeschooled our three children through most of their primary education years. It was a privilege to do so, but it wasn’t easy. I tend to be a quitter when things get too hard for me. But by the grace of God I haven’t quit my marriage, nor did I quit my goal in being primarily responsible for the education of my children. Doing this allowed me the privilege of teaching my kids history, which is a subject I’m passionate about. Mostly, I loved doing biographies and seeing how God’s hand provided for them in their trouble.

When we began I set up a timeline in our laundry room that covered both B.C. and A.D. centuries. When reading the Bible we were able to place those people on their place in the timeline of history. It was a great visual. When we began studying the Industrial Revolution it was astounding to me. I had never put all the facts I had learned in school together on a timeline to see the progression of this time period. I discovered famous people who were friends and how God used those friendships to facilitate new discoveries.

Photo from Flicker

Photo from Flicker

One of my favorite stories is of a young boy who was born in a little village outside of Paris, France, in 1809. His father was a tanner and made leather goods of all kinds. The boy was a smart three year old and was already starting to read. He had always been curious and even though his father had forbidden him to touch his tools, he couldn’t resist. One day while attempting to punch a hole in a leather strap like he had seen his father do many times, the awl slipped and pierced his eye. Within days his eye became so infected and spread to his other eye, which in turn caused him to go blind.

The boy had loved learning to read. He was saddened when he realized there weren’t many books for the blind. This was due to the fact that they were made up of raised letters in the alphabet. Each page contained only a couple of sentences, making them cumbersome to handle and difficult to read. Each book was so large and expensive to make that there were only a few in existence.

This is the story of Louis Braille. His curiosity and love for reading compelled him to discover a way for the blind to read as easily as those who had sight. What you may not realize is that it was his discovery which enabled Helen Keller, who was born deaf and blind, to lead a normal and productive life. She was invited to honor him a hundred years after his death when his coffin was relocated to Paris during a solemn ceremony to honor his accomplishments for the blind community. This video is live footage of the ceremony.

Another interesting connection is the friendship which developed between Helen Keller and Thomas Edison, who was partially deaf. Seeing how God used both of their disabilities to motivate new inventions that helped those with similar disabilities function independently in life is inspiring. I love making these connections and seeing how trouble and/or weaknesses can end up being used for good.

“Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree.”
― Michael CrichtonTimeline

This helps me look for the bigger picture when I’m facing trouble, and I’m hoping it will help you as well. Knowing history helps us make sense of our own story as it’s being written. After all, it’s all His Story and for His glory!

What stories on your timeline have inspired you? Have you made important connections by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture? 

Children Are A Gift From God

Photo Credit: Denise Janz Photography

Do you believe this truth from the Bible?

I certainly do. And I know my family has had a rich heritage of welcoming babies into this world. Some babies left this world way too soon dying from infant illnesses back in the early 1900’s. But many more lived long and fruitful lives.

This brings us to today’s Question #7:

How many brothers and sisters did your grandparents and/or parents have?

I have wonderful news! Our family is growing…we found out on Friday that our son and his wife, who are expecting in September, are having a son! Our son is having a son, and the Walter name will live on! We are doing the happy dance around here, and thank God for this unexpected gift. You see they have two beautiful daughters, and we expected a third for some reason. But after a sonogram where the little guy was showing off his stuff, there is no doubt that Bristol and Willow will soon have a baby brother to love and hold. 🙂

When was the last time you received an unexpected blessing?

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This is post #7 in the challenge to post everyday in April.

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Joy In Heaven

Mom's 90th birthday party last year. L. to R.: Me, Mom, Bill (my brother), Bettie at top (my sister)

Mom’s 90th birthday party last year. L. to R.: Me, Mom, Bill (my brother), Bettie at top (my sister)

My last post talked about Grace’s birthday which was March 2, 1889.

I want to share another birthday with you–my Mom’s, who would have been 91 today. She passed away 3 months ago, but it feels like only yesterday. I guess you’re never prepared to say good-bye to your mom. After all she is the one person who has known you literally from birth. If it wasn’t for her willingness to go through the pain of pregnancy and delivery, I wouldn’t be here.

So much has happened in the past three months:

  • We cleaned out her home, put it on the market and got a contract the first week. We’ll close before the end of March.
  • My niece found out she is expecting her 3rd baby in July, which is Mom’s 11th great-grandchild.
  • My son and daughter-in-love found out they are expecting their 3rd baby in September, which will be our 6th grandchild and Mom’s 12th great-grandchild.
  • My book is doing well, receiving 5 star reviews along with great encouragement for me to write the sequel.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Life continues when someone dies. Only those who are mourning actually slow down to ponder the loss. We do well to ponder in such times.

My heart is heavy today for another family in our church that we love dearly.

Tomorrow we will attend the memorial service of a newborn baby who never took a breath in this life. Her parents and three big brothers have slowed down to mourn the fact that she will never come home to see the nursery prepared for her. She will never try on any of the cute baby clothes received at her baby shower. She will miss so much that was planned for her.

But what she has far outweighs what she’s missed.

Consider this: She took her first breath in Heaven. She was embraced from the womb by her Savior. Her life will impact hundreds who hear the testimony of how God has helped her parents face the tragedy many parents fear. God’s faithfulness will be on display at the memorial service tomorrow in a way many will find perplexing.

flier

 

Her name is Esther Grace. Her parents believe she was born for such a time as this, like the story of Esther in the Bible. If you don’t know the story, I encourage you to read it. She faced the plan marked out for her, not knowing if God would give her life or death. This is true faith on display and it brings great glory to our Heavenly Father who deserves such praise.

The service is at 2p. tomorrow. Won’t you pray for this dear family that they would sense God’s nearness in their dark night of the soul.

The good news is the fact that there is great joy in Heaven today. Let this fact fuel our resolve to press on towards the mark, for we know that we do not run in vain.

What things are you facing today that requires such faith? How can I pray for you?

A Rut Can Be A Good Thing

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I have always loved maps. Maps help you see where you are from a different perspective, and they help you get to where you want to go. Traveling without a map would be unheard of, unless you are familiar with the layout of the land.

In Grace’s day, maps weren’t readily available to the common traveler. Instead, they followed ruts in the ground using a compass to make sure they were heading in the right direction. The ruts were well-worn paths that were a good thing. It showed many people had traveled that way and they most-likely led to the next town.

The map above shows what Oklahoma territory looked like in 1905.

You can see Noble County, where Ceres (pronounced like the store–Sears) is located, as well as the Creek Nation, where Jenks is located (marked with a yellow arrow). Both towns are where my book takes place. How Grace would have loved to have had a map like this when she discovered she would be leaving everything that was familiar to her in Oklahoma Territory for her new life in Indian Territory. But she didn’t. She had to rely on the advice of those who had traveled that way before, and it was frightening.

How often we are forced to depend on the advice of those who have gone before us as we face a new normal. The Bible provides an excellent map for Christians to follow day in and day out, and the wisdom there is not a well-worn path, but a proven guide that is not limited by the time in which it was written. Maps expire. GPS systems are practically obsolete from the moment an update is finished. Time marches on and marks are made along the way. Only those who are looking for guidance find the help they need.

What are the well-worn paths in your life that you can’t do without? What paths would be best to leave behind to pursue a new way?