Friday, December 27, 2013


Early this morning my beloved Mr. AGPMan's Father, Raymond E. Nelson, passed away.  I would sooo greatly appreciate your prayers as we say goodbye to our loving Father, Husband, Grandpa and friend.  He will be greatly missed by all of us...especially by Steve's mother.  They were married for over sixty years and I'm sure she will have some challenging days ahead.

You can read more about Steve's father HERE.
  My hubby's father honorably served in the US Army and was awarded a Purple Heart for Bravery after being severely wounded during the Korean Conflict/War.  He was blinded in one eye and suffered a traumatic head injury and yet lived to be almost 85 years old.

God is good.
Raymond was a dearly loved husband to Doris and loving Father to my husband, Steven Kent...

Adoring Grandfather to Brandon Kent...
And to Adrienne Rachelle....
 We hold many precious memories inside our hearts of him...
 Seems like yesterday he was a giddy Grampa to our two beautiful (and young!) children.
He helped us celebrate in the best of times...
 And loved me from day one.
He left us far too soon...

Today was his first day in heaven!
We rejoice in his home-going!

Thank you for your prayers during these tough times.

Blessings to you for a wonderful New Year.  This was a truly challenging year for us and we are looking forward to a fresh beginning.

Love to you all...

Thursday, December 19, 2013


~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

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
be Merry and Bright.

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