I marvel at the generosity of the Lord.
Lately difficult circumstances brought on distress and a battle with hopelessness.
God, in His goodness, delivered various gifts to help me through: music, promises from His Word, an uplifting sermon at church.
But He also brought the gift of one person who helped me tremendously in these recent weeks.
That person is my brother, Bob.
A number of years ago, my brother started to come to Florida from Fairbanks, Alaska in the winter near Christmas. In past winters he stayed for two weeks at the most. Then he had knee surgery and didn’t come for several years. This year because of a less than full work schedule, he was able to stay over seven weeks.
The Ben Franklin saying, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days” has not applied to brother Bob.
The time we have spent together has meant so much to me. We enjoy doing many of the same activities, which include walking on the beach, bicycling, and working on puzzles together. We also enjoy watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy in the evenings (something I also do when I visit my parents.) We get to enjoy the Olympics together this year since his stay has extended into February.
It was great to visit our parents together on the other coast of Florida during his stay here.
My husband gets along well with Bob, and the two have worked on projects at the house together, which I so appreciate.
One reason I enjoy my brother’s company so much is that he possesses an easy-going nature. He maintains a calm demeanor, and that calm overflows onto me. Also, he speaks words of wisdom and says gently, “Here’s something I noticed…” and then he tells me what he observes in my behavior or in my personality. He corrects me gently. I feel like I have a therapist staying at my house, and I like it.
We also are getting to know each other better as we talk about our families and what’s important to us. We talk about our faith in God and our goals for the future. He comments on the difficult circumstances I face, but not in a negative way. Yes, that’s another reason I enjoy being with Bob: he maintains a positive attitude. And he laughs easily.
I thank God for bringing the gift of extended time with my brother during a difficult season when it comes to other relationships. There’s something wonderful about being with a sibling—someone who has known me all my life. We faced childhood traumas together and survived, which brings a deep bond.
My brother leaves today, and I will miss him.
We’ll talk on the phone in the days and weeks ahead. And as I look at all the puzzles we worked on together, I will feel uplifted. (I have them spread out on the table and coffee tables in the dining room/living room for now.)
And I have something to look forward to; he says he’s coming back again next winter and will stay at least a month.
Although I still have difficult circumstances, my brother has reminded me to have a grateful attitude as he showed me his in regard to his battles with hard times.
This verse comes to mind:
“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMPC
I thank God that in the midst of grief and heart ache, He continues to bring me gifts to cheer and console me.
My brother may be leaving, but God’s blessings never do. I know fresh blessings are just around the corner.
Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of having my brother stay with me all these weeks. May he be encouraged even as you have called him to be an encourager. Thank You for helping me through these difficult days. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I’m happy and enjoyed your post. I too thank God for you and it showed me a couple things — though times always come …. and go but Jesus never leave us. I don’t post lately as I always think most people don’t want to hear it — perhaps I could be wrong? Thanks Elaine … A snopshot of times of Grizzley … me LOL I’ve had 6 MI’s and 6 Strokes and 3 cancers and multiple fractures in my body but Jesus has kept me whole even after my wife went home … about 20 years ago .. or so! I pray your year is the bst yet! Sending all of God’s blessings you can handle! Rick =)
Hi Elaine hope I can pray for you now & in future. The relationship with your brother is marvelous. I do not have that with mine but glad to hear that it is possible! Love Bobbie
It is your old friend and news editor Gwen, I just wanted to let you know that you have blessed my life by sharing both your struggles and your faith over the years with your blog. I enjoy it so much, Elaine. Your writing – like your faith – gets stronger with each passing year. I am still at email@example.com should you ever need to reach out. Do you ever regret the past, or find it hard to forgive yourself even though you know Christ has forgiven us? I do & would love to see a column about past regrets or forgiveness sometime. Hugs and much love…
Thanks, Elaine. You make so many good points. There truly is nothing like family–the blood family that God has appointed for each of us. This article blesses me.
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