Friday, May 23, 2008

Rebecca's Journey - 99

23 May, 2008

Greetings Friends!

This is Paul, and I want to update you on two things before Rebecca shares her thoughts:

~Gabriella Elizabeth Petrie was born to Matt and Stephanie on 28 April. Mother, daughter, and Dad are all doing well! Steph and Gabi were home from the hospital in two days, even though Gabi was born a month before due date. We’ve set up a web cam, so Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Susannah were able to “visit” with our new Gabi and family last Saturday. It’s the next best thing to being there!

~And Rebecca’s book is moving along, slowly. (That seems to be the normal speed of this book - slow.) It is going through another editorial check; photos are being readied; the cover is being worked on. We’re looking now at print-on-demand; soon, we hope! We’ll keep you informed. I hope the “suspense” is just whetting your appetite.

From Rebecca: "Mike, quick, look at that bird. He’s huge, he’s brown, he has beautiful blue wing stripes. He’s a stellar jay. "

These days the Lord has been sending wonderful birds to our feeder. Nothing thrills a bird-watcher more than to coax a timid bird from the forest up to the feeder. As I was enjoying my birds this morning and thanking the Lord for them, He spoke and said, “As I send the birds to your feeder, so I am carefully calling and sending your caregivers.” Now I’m not comparing my caregivers to birds :<), but as the birds have been sent for my delight and enjoyment, so the Lord is carefully preparing my caregivers. Isn’t He amazing? The scripture says that before we even ask, His love prepares what we need.

My thoughts go in this direction because we are once again in the season of transition. Our recent caregivers have been Mike and Sue Shirley. Mike is a friend from our university days who retired 2 years ago. What a blessing they have been. Sue has cared for my needs and become a dear friend. Paul has been especially thankful for Mike. It has been great for him to have another man in the house. Mike and Sue’s final day with us will be the 1st of June.

Mike is gifted in writing and editing, and we have been working to finish the final editing on my book.

Our recent reconnection with Mike and Sue was quite a blessing. I’m going to let Mike tell you how that took place.

"Through the 40 plus years since I left university, I have often thought of Paul and Rebecca Petrie. But 8 months ago, for some reason, I Googled Paul’s name on the internet. I found a picture of a distinguished looking man. I was not sure it was Paul until I did further research and discovered “Rebecca’s Journey”. It was only then that I learned of Rebecca’s accident. I began corresponding with them by e-mail. When my wife Sue and I learned of the need for care-givers, we volunteered! It has been a joy to be with Rebecca and Paul and to renew our friendship.

"I had not seen Paul and Rebecca since we were teenagers! Yet, after 40+ years, it is as if that time gap has not existed. Surely, that’s a gift from a God of great grace!"

Rebecca again! I have recently heard a definition of that “great grace.” It is God working in us and for us. Surely our reconnection with Mike and Sue is that grace well-expressed.

The God of love has surrounded me with those who care for and love me. Not only do we have these dear personal caregivers, but also Annie, Judy, our daughter Susannah, and my beloved Paul. It takes a team!

This weekend, Paul is going to Montenegro for a gathering of Balkan leaders. This is such an important region of the world, and as you see things happening there on your nightly news, pray, and realize God is working there too.

Here in my garden spring is giving way to summer. The blossoms on the pear tree have fallen and now the green leaves of summer cover the tree. The tulips have come and gone, and this weekend we will fill our central flower bed with white, pink, and burgundy inpatients. These flowers herald the coming of summer for me. God’s good grace abounds! He is working for you today too. He is putting together all that you need as you serve Him where you are.

Love from Paul and me,