Friday, August 26, 2005

Rebecca's Journey - 66

Dear Friends,

Many weeks have passed since we last wrote - and much has happened in all of our lives. Our biggest event here was the marriage of our son, Phillip, to Josie, a lovely young Swedish girl whom Phillip met here several years ago. (She came to help care for Rebecca. Phillip picked her up at the airport. The rest is history.)

Notes from Rebecca:

"I was awakened by the resonant sound of male voices coming from the kitchen. At first I thought the neighbors must be here. Then as I became more awake I realized with a surge of joy it was our own sons gathered around the early morning coffee pot. Everyone was home for Phillip's wedding.

"Please forgive us; it's been so long since we have written to you. I feel like there is so much we need to 'catch you up on'.

"On August fifth, Phillip married Josie Ahlback. Josie was, if you remember, my fist caregiver two years ago. She is Swedish, and was with us for nine months. During that time, she and Philip met and fell very much in love. They were engaged at Christmas time last year.

"The unfolding of their relationship has been such a joy to all of us. Josie was a daughter to us long before she married Philip. They have settled now in Cleveland, Ohio where they are both in school, and Philip is working.

"About a week after the wedding when all the guests had left, and there was quiet time for reflection, I said to Paul, "We have shared a beautiful moment, and we will never be the same". It is a blessing to see the ongoing purpose of God in the lives of our children, and in life all around us.

"Two weeks before the wedding, we had a weeks' vacation back near the seaside. You will remember a year ago when I first was able to return to the sea, and how much it meant to me. Then it was a celebration of simply being alive - Father's gift of Life.

"This year we were able to go back to the same hotel/care facility. Susannah and Steven went with us to help with my care, and to share the joy of the time together.

"It was interesting this time as the days unfolded that Father turned my heart in a new direction. Rather then simply a celebration of life, this year I found a growing reaching-out within myself to the future. I'm not sure yet all that it means, but please pray with me. Father has given me life, and I want to run my race and fulfill all that it is which He has called me to do. I am reminded of Paul in Philippians 3 when he said:

"'Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.'

"It is almost September, and for some reason, (probably because the children go back to school, and life settles into a normal routine again) I always feel like September is a time of new beginning. Let us pray that as the autumn unfolds, each of you will have the upward sense of a fresh call to the good task that Father has given you. As you put your hand today to whatever it is that you have to do, may His grace be with you, and His joy in it all.

"'For we are His workmanship, (poem), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.' Ephesians 2:10."

We hope to be back to you soon with other events.

Our love to all - and His grace be yours,

Paul & Rebecca