Prayers for the Week – RIP Martin Harris

Image ©ourdailyblossom.com

Image ©ourdailyblossom.com

Thank you for joining us in this week’s prayers for the week post! The Pixie Family learned of the passing of the husband of one of our own this past Monday.  Martin Harris, the husband of our dear sister Leslie, passed away, leaving behind a grieving wife of 14 years and three young boys, aged 4, 8, and 11.

I have not met Leslie yet, but the Pixie family is just that — a family, and I have shed many tears this week thinking about the grief and sorrow that she and her family is going through.  At times such as these, I turn to the Bible for answers, and while we will never know why God called his Servant Martin home so soon, we do know that he is in a much better place, where there is no sorrow, no sadness, no pain, no sickness.  Looking through my Bible this week, I keep coming back to John 14 for inspiration.  Verses 1-4, in particular:

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

My friends, I do not know why Martin was called home so soon; but I do believe that he is where we all strive to be one day — at home, with our Heavenly Father, looking down at his loving family and waiting for the day that he is reunited with them once again.

Prayer Requests

  • In addition to the obvious prayer request for Leslie and her three boys, as well as for all of their other family that are grieving, we have other prayer requests as well.  Starting us off, though, please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend up on Leslie and her family as they continue dealing with the loss of their husband/father/son.  Please, Lord, be with them constantly during their time of grief, lifting them up, giving them the comfort they so desperately need, and helping them to find the strength to carry on, even though they don’t want to.  Lord, we lift them up to you — please comfort them as only You can do so.
  • Please pray for my friend Karen.  Here is what she passed along to me for her prayer requests and praises: “Thank you Mike! I do have a few praise and prayer requests. First I’d like to praise the fact that both my sister in law and myself have both lost 10lbs on our diet so far. We both have medical problems and weight loss is recommended. One prayer request is for my older brother who has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from the Navy. The other is for my sister in law. She has MS and the summer heat is her worst nemesis. We also live in Phoenix, AZ so it’s that much worse. God bless you and your loved ones.”
  • Please pray for my friend Elisha and his mom. She had surgery on June 3rd, she is in recovery. Please pray for her healing, Peace, and comfort at this time, and for strength for the family to get through these days.Thanks!
  • Christa is still in need of prayers for her husband — he is looking for a job, and has been for quite some time.  Please pray that he would be able to find a job quickly and end this struggle that they have been going through.  Here original prayer request came through on March 24th, and they have been looking for quite a while before then, so please continue to lift them up until we hear the great news that her husband has found a job, and we can give Praise to God for that blessing!  Thanks, everyone.
  • Please pray for my friend David and his family. David’s mom passed away, so please pray for the Peace and Strength that the family will need in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks.
  • Please continue to pray for my Cousin’s husband Tim as he goes through his colon cancer treatments.  Please also continue to pray for my other family members Aunt Ginny, Aunt Carol, and my cousin Kelly as they also go through their cancer treatments.  Please pray for their strength and comfort to beat these diseases!

Praises!

  • Lord, we give thanks to you in all of our things, but most of all, we give thanks to you for your son, Jesus!  Thank you for bringing Him into our lives, and help us to lead the kind of life that would be reminiscent of Jesus.
  • Lord, thank you for our health, for my job and Cindy’s job, and for the blessings that you have given to us.  Please remind us daily to remember to thank you for all that you have given to us, especially Sophie.
  • Lord, thank you for Sophie’s teachers, for another school year completed, and for all that she has learned.  Lord, help her during the summer months to remember and expand on what she has learned, and keep her mind active for the things that we would have her do to improve her knowledge.
  • Lord, thank you for my niece Stephanie and the rest of my family.  Stephanie has been struggling, and she successfully went through some tests yesterday, so hopefully what they came up with is all that it is.  Whatever the outcome of the tests, please be with her as you always are, and lift her up and deliver healing and comfort to her at this time.

At the end of the day, my friends, we find ourselves continuing to be in a battle with the darkness.  On the one hand, there are so many prayer requests — more than I know about, certainly, and the Devil besets us at every opportunity.  However, God is always there for us if we just ask Him for help, and we thankfully give Him praise every chance we get.  The true blessings, my friends, as I see it, anyway, is in the little things. The sunlight that returns after torrential rains; the wonderful companionship of friends and family; the wonderful smell of the roses in bloom.

The beauty of the world is in the gifts that God provides us every day, if we just open our eyes a little bit more and see them.  Take time each day to observe what’s around us, and to appreciate it for what it is — a miracle from God.  Thank you for reading and praying all week with us, and please, include any prayer requests and praises you have in the comments below!

Friendship Friday – Happy Birthday Leslie

Leslie

Today is Friendship Friday, and in honor of my niece Leslie’s 25th birthday, she is the person that I am writing about today! In my sister’s clan, I have honored Leslie’s Dad Jim, Mom Robin, and sister Stephanie, and now it’s Leslie’s turn! Don’t worry Brett, I’ll get to you too!

Leslie is the middle child of my brother-in-law Jim and his wife (my sister) Robin.  That has it’s share of benefits and pitfalls, but all in all, I think Leslie has been a great older sister to her baby sister Stephanie, and she’s tough enough to take (and dish out, too!) the nonsense that her big brother Brett tries to dish out (or used to in days gone by).

Leslie is, in many ways, similar to me in that it took me a while to really settle down and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  It really wasn’t until I got the job down here in North Carolina that I felt like my career was going in a positive direction!

Leslie has always had an outdoor flair about her, and a love of animals that continues on to this day.  She has had cats, dogs, fish, horses, and boyfriends to fall under the category of “animals” (just kidding Leslie about the boyfriends!) and her compassion towards them really knows no bounds.

As part of her post high school years, Leslie actually did join the U.S. Army to be an MP, and made it through basic training, but she had an injury that she was unable to overcome, and as a result she has had a medical discharge.  However, that hasn’t stopped her, and she is working on getting a degree at school in some sort of law enforcement avenue — perhaps criminology or something along those lines?  I’m not 100% certain of that.  Her goal is to become a police officer, and while that can be a dangerous line of work, I take great pride in knowing that part of Leslie’s makeup is to help those that are less fortunate

Image courtesy and ©Joe Ellis

Image courtesy and ©Joe Ellis

During her teenage years, Leslie was fortunate to be able to own and take care of a horse.  This picture was from when Leslie was 15, and I remember all of the time she would spend with her horse taking care of it and making sure it was well looked after.  I expect that nurturing spirit is something she gets from both her Mom and Dad, and it is something that will serve her well later on as she settles down and gets married.

Throughout all of the years I’ve seen Jim and Robin’s family develop and grow up, the one thing that I’m left with is that, beyond the brother-sister-sister drama that kids like to heap on one another, there is a bond among all of them that will stand the test of time.  When Stephanie was married last November, who was there wishing them well with tears in her eyes and in her voice — Leslie.  And who was there crying like a baby when his baby sister was married — Brett.  The bravado and all of that gets in the way sometimes, but at the end, what it comes down to is this: Robin and Jim are blessed beyond measure — and if they ever doubt that, all they need to do look at their kids, grown ups now but still babies to them, and they can rest knowing that they have done their job, and done it well.

As you all know by now, I learned of Friendship Friday from my great friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  Please click on the image below and see who she is honoring today, and thanks for stopping by!

Friendship Friday: My sister, Robin

Robin's Family

The Cunningham Clan, from left -> Right: Brett, Stephanie, Leslie, Jim, and Robin.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life.  Family, friends, I have have learned that some of the best moments in life happen when we are willing to let God take over, and just “be” in the moment.  Today’s Friendship Friday tribute is in honor of my sister Robin, both the little girl that annoyed the crap out of me, and now the woman that has a very dear place in my heart.

Robin is my only sister, and she is the oldest.  Born a couple of years before me, I don’t remember much about my sister until we all moved to Sterling when my parents bought their first house.  I have a lot of memories of my childhood, and almost all of them are good memories.

Robin was a tom-boy as a girl, always out and about getting into things outside.  Unfortunately for Robin, this came back to bite her on more then one occasion.  For example, Robin lost both of her two front top teeth in separate accidents.  She lost the first one by having a board come loose as she propped up the neighbors sandbox so I and other kids could look for salamanders.  Thinking back on that, it’s kind of amazing that she didn’t have a concussion too as the board slipped out of her hands and hit her square on the chin.  Ouch.

Like all little girls I expect, Robin was a Daddy’s Girl.  She loved it when Dad would come home from work.  If memory serves me correctly, Robin lost the second tooth by running down the hallway to welcome home Dad, and slipping on the tile floor.

Add to those two accidents the time she had to have a tetanus shot because she stepped on a rusty nail in the woods, the teeth she had to have pulled for her braces (I think), and the time she egged me on enough that I put my fist through our storm door glass insert (I’ve still got the scar from that on my thumb!) — and it truly shows that God had a plan for her simply because she made it through childhood in almost one piece!

Robin and Jim were married on May 25, 1985, with Robin being just 19 years old — two months to the day before she would turn 20.  Their first child, Brett, was born in June, 1986, just a month before Robin would celebrate her 21st birthday!  So Robin grew up in a hurry.

Really, it wasn’t until Robin moved out of the house that I began to appreciate her good qualities (yes, I’m a slow learner.)  Robin isn’t afraid to try anything once.  Proof positive is the fact that she has gone back to school, and is *thisclose* to finishing her work to becoming a full-fledged teacher!

The biggest compliment that I can give anyone is the one that I have for Robin.  She knows Jesus, and Jesus knows her.  Robin and Jim have had three children in their almost 28 years of marriage, Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie, and the surest evidence of the success of Jim and Robin lies in their kids.  Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie have been raised into adulthood by two loving parents, and are making their own mark on the world in which they live.  Their success is a direct result of the role that Robin and Jim have played on nurturing, mentoring, and leading them on the path they are meant for.

I hope that I have conveyed in my post what my sister Robin means to me.  It isn’t always easy writing about a loved one, and I wanted to capture as best I could the love I have for my sister.  In the end, I think the last thing I have to say is this:

I love you, Robin.