Thursday, December 19, 2013

~THE JOURNEY~

~My Momma and I~
My Birthday 12/17/13

Gosh...where to begin!  

Before I update you on what's been happening in our lives I want to take just a moment to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who've written such thoughtful notes and have kept my Mr. AGP Man and I in your prayers during the past six months. Your friendships have become some of the best I've known in my life and I'm humbled by both your remembrance and kindness.  
~Birthday Roses~
From My Beautiful Daughter

"The Lord is the One who will go before you.
He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not be afraid or discouraged."
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

In mid July my husband was laid off from his job of nearly 17 years.  After the initial shock set in we struggled to process and understand the reasons behind the termination.  All I can tell you is that outsourcing and downsizing won out again in America.  It is as simple and as complicated as that.  We don't understand it...but have accepted it for being what it is.

Just life stuff.

And life stuff is always going to happen.

"Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth
trembles and the mountains topple into the depths
of the seas..."
(Psalm 46:2)
What I want to share with you today isn't so much about how we meandered the winding and unpredictable roads of life since the summer, but more about something I personally learned about keeping my faith strong while struggling to trust God with, well...absolutely everything.

I've come to understand in a fresh, almost encouraging way, the twists and turns, gains and losses, successes and failures in life can teach us something new if we will only allow them to do so.

I've also learned the word "devastating" needs to be removed from my vocabulary and used only when speaking of the most difficult of circumstances.

Sandy Hook comes to mind.

I've carelessly tossed the word around and used it to describe minor disappointments and unforeseen non-tragic occurrences in my life for who knows how many years.  I've also learned the defeat is not in fighting life's adversity, but in giving in.
So, both my guy and I pressed on.

Even when we were both overwhelmed, discouraged and even sometimes afraid we refused to give in.  In addition to running my AGP website, having a local booth space and taking special Christmas and Holiday orders, I also took a part-time job to help supplement my hubby's unemployment check while he helped me more than ever with all the aspects of my business.  There were many days we found ourselves coming and going and production of product sometimes suffered.  My website wasn't as full as I would have liked, special orders took longer to complete and my booth offerings dwindled down.  And blogging...well...blogging...
it took a backseat to
everything.

I tried my best to encourage my beloved as he applied for many jobs, sent out countless résumés and then waited...and waited and waited.

Tough days for sure.
But, not devastating ones.

Over Thanksgiving we celebrated with our family and thanked God, in the midst of the job loss, we were all healthy, strong and together.  As another Christmas Season frosted it's way into our lives I began thanking Him early for the abundance we had enjoyed in the past, the comfort of our La Chaumière de Briarwood, continued business from both new and longtime customers and His never-ending grace and peace.  During the moments when I prayed quietly alone I wasn't afraid to boldly ask God for a wonderful job for the husband of my youth.

Trusting was sometimes hard.
And sometimes we felt alone.
But, deep inside I believed that even
during the dark days
He would provide.

And He has...

An amazing new job offer has come and we are beyond blessed by the fabulous news...

  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you."
(Jeremiah 29:11-12)

A couple of days ago I celebrated a birthday and I'm grateful for another year of life.  I lunched with my beautiful mother (who will turn 80 next year) and visited with my ailing father who is almost 84.  Through the good and the not-so-good of life I'm beyond amazed and thankful that in those in-between days
when the grass is green for someone else,
when blessings are bestowed upon another,
that my Father, in heaven,
continues to love and care for us,
hear our prayers,
and answer them
in His time.

I'm not sure what the New Year holds.

But then, do we ever?

I can only tell you a heavy yoke has been lifted and pride shattered.  We've been left with a profound sense of God's tender care and with His help
we will begin again.

Thank you again for your prayers and concern.
I hope to share more with you soon.

Love to you, as always, and may
CHRISTMAS 2013
be Merry and Bright.

55 comments:

Terra said...

A heavy yoke lifted, I love that. You are learning a lot since your husband's downsizing and thanks for sharing it with us here. Our family experienced downsizing many years ago and it is a shock, but you are making great progress. Stay well sweetie.

Theresa said...

Oh dear friend, I will pray and promise to continue to pray. While it hasn't been easy, you have certainly leaned on the one who can help you through it all! Love to you dear Rebecca, BIG HUGS and loads of prayers!

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

God bless you dear Rebecca! ((HUG))

Julie Marie said...

You and your mama are both beautiful dear friend... inside and out... I have so missed our visits, but have thought of you and prayed for you often... I mentioned to you this has been a very difficult year for our family as well... I have not posted about it, just confided a bit in you... and like you, I have kept my faith and known that God would get us through anything life brings our way... you and I have said this to each other before... blogs or no blogs... we are friends forever... hope you had a wonderful birthday with your mama... wishing you and Mr. AGP a very Merry Christmas... much love, as always... xoxo Julie Marie

ga447 said...

Things like that does shock your lives and you ask why why. My DH and I have been through it twice. We did survive and my husband got closer to God that was a gift. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Jan Tanis said...

Rebecca...may God's Blessings continue to pour down on you and your hubby. Hugs...Jan ♥

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rebecca, I pray God's blessings upon you. I pray the job situation comes through with a wonderful position for your husband. If you know April of the blog Straight From The Heart (on my sidebar), she went through this with her husband, and God provided. It was several months, but he has a job exactly where he needs to be. We serve a mighty, God! Hang in there, my friend. Sending you big Christmas hugs...

xo

Sheila

Shirley said...

Rebecca, A belated Happy Birthday, Your mother is a pretty lady. I think they look absolutely beautiful with the white hair. The roses are beautiful and I can almost smell them through the computer. I have been praying for you and your family. I know that god continues to be there with us in the good times and bad. We have learn a lot in the past year, both you and I, but we haven't given up our faith. Take care Many Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend

Victorian1885 said...

Dearest Rebecca
I just know the New Year will bring good news for your Family...
Merry Christmas to you & yours...

Life is not about waiting out the Storm....
It is about dancing in the Rain...
By Vivian Greene

Hugs,
Wanda

Shelia said...

Oh, darling, I will amp up my prayers for you and your dear family. What a blessing you are and a true believer to really 'cast all your cares on Him'. What strong faith you have and what a witness to us all of your walk daily with our Savior. I pray for God to pour out His bountiful blessing on you and your family and to Him be the glory.
Blessings,
Shelia ;)

Glamour Girls said...

Hi Rebecca,
I'm so glad you all are doing good. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, it is very inspiring. I will continue to pray for you and Mr. AGP man. I believe the Lord has a special job planned for him and he will prosper and find more joy than he could ever imagine. Take care my friend.
Vikki

Teresa said...

I am so glad to see your blog today! It sounds like you have been beyond busy! What kind of part time work did you find? Please keep us informed on how you and your hubby are doing!
I hope you had a great birthday. Tell your mom that she doesn't look 79 (i think you said that she would be 80 in a year).

Phyllis said...

Praying the New Year will bring new possibilities for you both.
Wishing you a Happy Birthday. It's great you got to spend time with your mom.
Merry Christmas!

Stacey said...

Rebecca, bless your hearts! I hope your husband will find a job that he loves. Losing a job is terrifying, I guess on a different level than the other tragedies that we hear about. It is huge for your family though.

Happy Birthday to you. :)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

A beautiful picture of two beautiful ladies, Rebecca! Happy belated Birthday! : )

I'm glad to hear things have turned and your husband has a new job offer. I know only too well the fear that comes with companies "reorganizing" things. My husband's position seems to always be something we have to keep our fingers crossed over as they tend to discontinue positions or merge others.

Merry Christmas!

Tamara said...

Dear Rebecca,
What a difficult time you've had and what a beautiful testimony you have turned it into. One of God's grace, love and faithfulness. It's so obvious that He is honored and glorified in your heart and home and business. Blessings to you dear sister in Christ. May He continue to shine upon you and through you.
A Merry Blessed Christmas and a New Year that is beyond all others. Thank you and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!

Love, Tamara <3

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

God is Able.....can't wait to hear more from you....

Melissa Bishop said...

Hugs to you dear, Rebecca. Merry Christmas to you and your family. May God continue to richly bless you all. It is a comfort to know that in the midst of uncertainty, we remain certain in His love for us. I am thankful for His constancy.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love you right back, and I rejoice with you!

xoxoxo

Sheila

Amy Jo said...

Rebecca,

I knew God would not leave you stranded! He is awesome and wonderful! I'm so glad it is all looking up.

Blessings and hugs,
Amy Jo

Melissa Bishop said...

Your sweet words have touched me deeply. Thank you for your prayers. We are also lifting you and AGP man up in prayer for provision and favor.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful testimony about the faithfulness of God! I'm so happy for you and your hubby. I know his new employers are thrilled to have him. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging us. Have a lovely Christmas!

Maryellen said...

Quite a journey you and your husband have been on. So thankful God provided and showed Himself faithful as always.

Thank you for sharing it encourages all of us as we too pass through difficult times on our journeys.

God Bless and Merry Christmas

Mari said...

Rebecca sooo beautifully written my friend, I'm so glad for you and your hubby may God continue to bless you and your family, this month was a very difficult one for me as I have lost three dear love ones and took a fall from my attic and nearly killed myself, but like you I have the good Lord to hold on to, can you believe I feel from my attic and only injured my ankle so for that I'm very thankful for as we all know it could have been a lot worst.

Bless you my friend~
Mari

joanne said...

It's so nice to see a post from you, especially one that starts out with two amazing, beautiful women and ends with a new opportunity for hubby. May the Lord hold you near and bless you this Christmas season and through the New Year!

ShirleyC said...

I'm glad to see things are looking up for you, but then hard work and dedication seem to always pay off in the end. Plus trusting in God for guidance.
I've been lacking on my blog also, and I need to get back in the blog mode. Life just keeps us all so busy lately which can be a good thing for sure. It keeps us from getting too lazy.
Blessing to you!

NanaDiana said...

Happy Birthday, dear Rebecca. I know the trials you have been through this past year. It looks like God has opened a path for you. You won't have to move, will you? xo Diana

Maggie said...

Hi Dear Rebecca,

Sounds like you had a happy birthday after all - how wonderful that you could celebrate your husband's new job offer as well! Thanks for sharing your story and your struggle and your faith through it all. I know too well all about the downsizing and outsourcing, and know faith is what gets us through the tough times.

Wishing you, your husband, and all you hold dear a VERY MERRY and BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

xoxo,
Maggie

lynn said...

wishing you a blessed christmas and the very best new year yet:)

A Romantic Porch said...

Though I haven't know what to say to you, I have continued to pray for you. I am so thankful that you are seeing God's hand at work.
Merry Christmas dear Rebecca.
Love,Rachel

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Prayers have been answered sweet Rebecca! We never know what God has in store for us, we just have to roll with the flow. congrats to hubby! May the new year bring you much happiness and joy! Merry christmas!

Hugs,
Debbie xxoo

Celestina Marie Design said...

Dear Rebecca, Happy Birthday. What a beautiful pic of you and your sweet mother.
Many blessings to you and your hubby for a wonderful new path our Lord has set before you. HE will see you through. My DH and I have been at this place 3 times and without our faith we would have not seen past the trial. But as we know, God has a plan for our lives and through the difficulties grows our strength and faith.
So thrilled your hubby has a new job and big congrats all around.

Wishing you and your sweet family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year.

Love, Celestina Marie

Marilyn said...

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to you and your family and may you be richly blessed in 2014. I can understand about changes, as my daughter and SIL have moved home to live with me. It is an adjustment for all of us, but as you say, it is not earth shattering. Although, there is a lot of Buster hair everywhere because that dog sheds more than any animal I've ever had in the house.♥♫

Jen said...

So happy to see this up-date from you. Firstly, Happy Birthday! I hope you had a fun day.

I guessed the problem your hubby was going through was job related. I'm sure it hurt that much more because he has been studying to better himself, so it doesn't make any sense. That is life today, no guarantees at all and job security is long gone. I've witnessed that with some family members. Anyway, what terrific news that he found another---better---job! Congratulations

This for sure will be a very Merry Christmas for you and your family. Blessings for sure!

Take care, Jeannette

Shabby chic Sandy said...

So sorry for your husband losing his job. That is never fun. I wish you the best! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

So happy for your post. Some great spirited days ahead, as you do Trust in the Lord. I raised 2 young sons with somewhat the same situation only alone. It's scary, stressful and when things fall into place once again, you become a stronger person. God does not fail us.
Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY too. My birthday was the 18th and I truly don't know where these years have gone. Love the photo of you and your mother.
Enjoy the busy days ahead sending Blessings to you and yours

jeanniemc said...

I almost cried when I read todays post...so happy for you & Mr. AGP...I couldn't help but think of Proverbs 3:5-6 which has been my theme this year...Trusting when you don't understand but trusting anyway...Have a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!

Hugs, Jeannie

Pink Paper Rose said...

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and aVERY Happy New Year! God Bless you and your family, I so missed your blog posts and truly happy things are working out for you and your hubby!

Pink Paper Rose said...

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and aVERY Happy New Year! God Bless you and your family, I so missed your blog posts and truly happy things are working out for you and your hubby!

Simple Pleasure said...

My wish for you and yours is continued health, happiness, and peace. I am very happy for you on so many levels…your post has added a sparkle to my day! I will continue to offer prayers on your behalf.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2014!
Busy Hands…Happy Heart
Patricia

Trisha said...

Rebecca,
So good to hear how God has Blessed you and your Mr. AGP man. God is good and very good. Have a wonderful Christmas, Trisha

Minnie In NYC said...

God is always there listening and we with faith will never give up. Many blessings for your entire sweet family for the new year. I am sure your sweet little granddaughter's prayers for her Grandpa were heard loud and clear by our Lord. I specifically remember asking a young child to say a prayer for my husband and me and within a month a very needed prayer was answered. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Ann said...

Happy Birthday! Good news to hear Mr. AGP has a new position. With his degree in hand, it worked out perfectly - prayers answered. Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year.

lynn cockrell said...

It is comforting to know that God is always there during our ups and downs. It is a difficult thing to let go the reins and allow Him to take full control. I am so glad that your husband has found new employment. God is faithful to open a new door when an old one has been closed. Have a blessed Christmas and a bountiful New Year!

~willa~ said...

Rebecca, I can relate to your words. My husband's job ends the last day of this month. He has been applying and interviewing but so far no job offer has come his way. I feel a great sense of God's peace in all of this. Thank God it is His peace because my peace would have collapsed by now.

Happy belated birthday and may you and your family has a Merry Christmas.

~willa~

Christy Buchanan said...

Such good news Rebecca! God is so good, so very very good. Happy to see your post, wish I'd checked in sooner! Happy Belated birthday sweet friend, Christy

Marilyn Stevens said...

My Prayers & Holiday Blessing are with you my Dear ! !
It is not the trials we go through but the way we process them that counts ! !

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

This is such good news, Rebecca! Many of us can relate, including me. It is a tough road and along that road are many twists and turns which eventually lead to many blessings from HIM. Happy Birthday, my friend, and I am rejoicing with you! Have a Blessed Christmas with your loved ones and I pray a Happy and Healthy New Year for you too.

Christmas blessings & hugs,
Sandi

Carolyn said...

Oh my!! So happy to see this post, Rebecca!! I had so many emotions swell up within me! I am smiling from ear to ear ....to getting a lump in my throat and wanting to cry!! (Why is it that happiness sometimes bring tears...of all things! lol!!) God is ever so faithful and always good. Makes me think of the hymn "Thou art the Potter, I am the Clay"...always drawing us closer to Him and molding us into His image. So happy you received this good news and answered prayers in just days before Christmas!! How much sweeter it will be for you and your dear family!! Praising God with you and your hubby in his new employment!! Merry, merry, merry Christmas, my sweet friend!!!

xoxo Love you! Carolyn



"Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Deb said...

Wow, this is about as timely for me as it gets! I lost my job last Thursday and I consider it a blessing, although fear of the unknown has kept me a bit unsettled. I found a new job already that pays me $18,000.00 a year MORE than I was making before. God is good and I kept the faith. He is good and knows best.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

As you can see by the many comments, people care! Life happens to all of us and the loss of jobs AND homes in some cases are devastating. I think you will always be fine, Rebecca. Your heart and your soul are in the right place and in all of the years I have known of you, you have been the dearest and kindest to everyone. You are blessed and so is your husband. The ends will all come out even. They will for me and they will for you. Your dear mother and I were in high school at the same time. :) She is lovely!
Mona

Queen Of Dreamsz Art and Collections said...

Merry Christmas Rebecca.

My Thomas and I found ourselves in the same situation in the spring of 2010.

So yes, I feel the pain and agony and shock that you and hubby have been through.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and it comes from God. ♥

Prayers and Blessings for today and always,
Stephanie

White Lace and Promises said...

My friend, I had lost touch and I am so sorry. Your blog no longer showed up on my reading list so today I was thinking about you and wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and intentionally sought you out. I am so glad that your burden is lifting and that you have found His grace to be enough. Your words are an inspiration to me and give me hope. I can't say that I have walked where you walk, but I have not been in a good place for the past few years. God is beginning to bring light-or the light was already there, I just couldn't see it. I praise God with you that you have found His peace. Prayers continue. Thinking of you and believing with you for a Happy New Year.

Blessings,
Bonnie

SHAWN said...

Hello,Rebecca. I would like to say thank you for sharing your story. I am hugely blessed by it. I have been going through some hardships of my own and the reminder that our Lord in heaven has a purpose for all that we experience in this world has given me a new sense of real peace. I am so glad to hear your husband has been offered this new job. Thank you again. God Bless You and your family. Shawn

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Love you Rebecca.... xoxox

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