Tuesday, May 12, 2015


A little over ten years ago our family moved from South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia.  I soon discovered that God had already made arrangements for me to have a best and life-long friend all ready and waiting for me.  Susan is a woman of God who is not content to stand still spiritually.  We share many of the same loves, for things like a good book, a good chat, a good cup of coffee, and our families.  Susan's mother came from a part of East Tennessee, a part with which our family are quite familiar.  Mrs. Evelyn used to love to talk with my Dad ~ her pastor ~ about places and people they both knew back in Sequatchie County.  Mrs. Evelyn quickly became one of my "Other Mothers".

When we moved to Georgia I was still wheelchair dependent.  Susan and her husband just happened to have a van complete with a wheelchair lift.  She made it her mission to take me wherever I needed to go, whenever.  I'll never forget the time we were going and neglected to strap the chair down; for some reason I was riding in the chair that day instead of the front seat.  Susan stopped and I went over backwards with my legs straight up in the air!  We got a lot of laughs out of that one.

Susan shared with me the memories of her daughter Sarah, who died just before we moved to Augusta.  I loved hearing her Sarah-Stories and could listen for hours.  She shared with me her precious daughter Rachel.  Rachel may not be able to use a lot of words, but she speaks volumes with her eyes.  Rachel still always checks my hands when she sees me to see if I have painted my fingernails for her or not.

Susan is also married to a Mr. Marvelous.  Her Mr. Marvelous grows flowers, mine grows vegetables.  Neither of us really understands why our men can't grow vegetables AND flowers....or flowers AND vegetables.  Her husband and mine are similar in a lot of ways.  They are both very thoughtful and very deep spiritually.  As our son has grown, her husband has often taught him things that he needed to hear from someone other than Dad & Mom.

Susan was a huge help to me when our Beloved Meaghan died.  She was able to say things about losing a child that I needed to know in order to support my sister.  She prayed with a painful understanding for my sister, my brother-in-law, and my parents.  As my parents age, she reminds me to treasure every opportunity to be with them, having already lost her own parents.

I hope that I am half as much a help to Susan as she has been to me over the years.

Today Susan, her Mark, and their daughter (Her Most Royal Highness and Princess of Practically All) Rachel are getting on a plane.  They will fly to Atlanta where they will get on another plane and fly for fourteen hours.  They will have a four hour lay-over before getting on yet another plane and flying for another four hours.  They will spend a month there with Mark teaching, Susan grading papers, and Rachel teaching folks there about the treasure she is.  It will be a challenging month in so many ways.  Rachel is completely dependent with all of her ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).  While the place they are going is an English Language Learning campus, outside the campus is not.  New culture.  New people.  New world.  They will stay for a month before coming home.  Then they will make a decision about what it is God is calling them to do full-time.

Please pray.  Pray first of all that Rachel does not have any major, frightening seizures on the flights.  They have the medication she needs and they know what to do but Susan is concerned for the others on the flights having to experience those.  Pray that God will protect their health while they are traveling and while they are there.  Pray that God will show them very clearly what He wants them to do.  Pray that He will use all three of them for His glory and His Kingdom.  Pray for protection, especially spiritual protection.  Pray for Mark's mother while they are gone.  As you think of them between now and June 9th, please continue to remember them in your prayers.

As you pray, realize that you are taking part in God's work to spread His Gospel.  You may not be able to travel to where they are going in person this year, but you are a part of the going.

His peace to your homes.

Mark and Miss Priss waiting to board the plane

Mark, Susan and Rachel

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