Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So I am running out of titles for my posts, so today's does not have a title...maybe just a few random thoughts and update on what is new.  First, our van is still not fixed.  When we put it in the shop we just knew that God was going to work it out to cost $1000 or less that was promised to us, but God had other plans.  The quote we got was closer to $2000, so we thought about trading it in for something newer, God has since closed those doors and we have peace about getting things on the van fixed that will make it reliable for our upcoming move.  We do have the $1000 to work with so between Sam being able to fix a couple things hopefully it won't cost much more than that.  I know God has a plan so we are still trusting that He will provide exactly what we need in His time.
I still have not really started packing, not really because I don't need to be, but because I am such a procrastinator at times....I work well under pressure!  Seriously, I need to get busy, because going through clothes and shoes for 5 kids is not an easy task, and I guess that is why I haven't started yet.
Sam and I are both staying busy working as much as possible to save for our move.  Sam has had some recent conversations with several people about our future plans and that is very exciting!  I know God is going to do great and mighty things and I am so excited that I get to be just a small part of that.
I am excited that my mom is going to travel to Chicago with us when we move and help out with the kids.  Sam will be driving the small moving truck so she will help me drive the van, then fly home.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When we started this journey a few months ago I would have to say it was a giant leap of faith!  As I look back over the past 10 months, first I am amazed it has been that long already.  Second, I am amazed at how much God has taught me through all of this....I wouldn't change that part for anything!!!!
When Sam sent his application in to Harvest, honestly I never thought in a million years we would be going.  It is a very rigorous process and I just wasn't sure that we were "good enough" for what they wanted.  I then realized that taking away all of the human aspects of things there is a God who has a much bigger plan for us than I could ever dream!
Since we submitted to this new phase of calling in our lives I can't begin to explain how everything is falling together.  It was such an overwhelming feeling once we knew it was a go.  Moving....for only 5 months....12 hours the cold north!  Our first prayer was to work something out with our van.  Our van is 12 years old with about 130,000 miles on it.  It doesn't have a lot of miles, but has several issues that we live with, but weren't comfortable driving it that far and knowing it would be reliable.  I got a phone call from a friend last week and we were "catching up" and she then asked me about our van.  I told her we were still praying about either trading it in or getting it fixed.  She said, "that's why I called.....we want our mechanic to look at it."  Long story short, they will pay up to $1000 to get whatever needs to be fixed.  So, our van goes to the shop today--please pray with us that it will be no more than $1000.
Then, someone called me Friday and asked if we would be stopping on our way to Chicago.  They offered to book a hotel for us in Kentucky with points her husband had earned from traveling.  Once again, God has provided without people really knowing our specific needs.  There are a few other small blessings....hand me downs that are the exact fit and in perfect shape, great deals on some homeschool books.
I just want to remind you that there were days in the last 10 months that I was not really sure about what the future held.  I just knew that God was in control and that HE was able to work things out for HIS good.  There were days that I just couldn't see how we would work things out....but now I look back and see how God was working through it all.  I am just so overjoyed in my heart and excited to see what God does.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playing Catch Up

I really feel like the last month has been a complete whirlwind.  I am still trying to figure out where all the days went.  Daddy went to the hospice house on Wednesday, June 22nd.  I seriously think that was one of the hardest days for me personally.  The Saturday before that daddy wrote mom a note and said, "I'm dying."  We were a bit taken back by that because he did have some signs that his body was weakening, but definitely not what we were expecting to hear from him.  When we asked him how he knew that he said, "God told me."  So I really believe looking back that was the day that daddy came to grips with the reality that his days were numbered and God was beginning to give him (&us) the grace to deal with what the next days were to hold.  Taking care of daddy began to be so much harder in the days before we moved him.  He was to weak to move himself at all which made things hard for mom and her health.  We had a CNA that came in everyday, but we soon realized that wasn't enough help.  It was not an easy decision to make.  I knew in my heart that once daddy left, it meant he wasn't coming back home...ever!  The night before he left he had all of us come in his room.  Wipeout was on TV and the boys often watched this silly show, well really we all did, and laughed together.  By this point daddy was not really able to write very well so communication was going down hill pretty fast but we definitely knew he was asking for everyone to come in the room.  We watched the rest of Wipeout, and then the kids went to bed.  The selfish part of me that night was saying, "God, why did you have to take his voice away."  I really think that was the hardest part for me.  I wanted him to speak as much wisdom to me and the kids as he could, but I had to accept how it was and know what he was thinking in his heart.
Waiting for the inevitable to happen was not easy either...waiting on God's timing to take him home to heaven.  I knew his time was through and I had no things left undone to say to daddy.  I had spent the last three months having some great conversations and times with him that I will never forget.  I know God had a plan in letting us live here for the last 8 months.  I tell my kids everyday to be thankful that they could spent papa's last days right here with him.  They loved going to see Papa at the hospice house, even though daddy got less and less responsive to them.  They have lots of great memories and times spent and shared with Papa that they will never forget (I hope).  I had the privilege of staying the last night with daddy.  Something in my heart told me to stay.  I sent mom across the hall to sleep and I laid there and listened to daddy breathe.  The nurse came in around 5am to take his vitals and his blood pressure was 75/45, she didn't say much and I somehow managed to finally doze off to sleep.  Mom came across the hall around 7am and said, "Erin, I think he's gone."  Sure enough, he wasn't breathing anymore....we called the nurse in and it was confirmed.  It was so peaceful.  Everyone had been there the night before to give their love, our former pastor from TX and dear family friend had even been by and shared some thoughts about daddy and heaven before we went to bed that night.  I can't help but think that was where daddy's mind was.  All I know is that the moment he breathed his last breath we was perfect.  No more cancer, no more coughing, no more pain or suffering!  The selfish part of me doesn't want him so far away...but the loving part of me knows that he is more alive than ever.
So somehow all of this was part of God's big plan that just keeps unfolding to Sam and I.  The weeks and days before daddy's death I kept thinking all these thoughts about being away in Chicago and something happening....and I got to be right there with him in the same room when it all happened.  I have learned so much from watching my mom tirelessly take care of daddy from day one.  No one was ever so dedicated to my daddy.  That will be forever etched in my mind.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dad's Obituary

I really can't believe I am posting this, but here it is:

Mr. Robert Allen Kelley, 64, husband of Patricia Quinn Kelley, of Greenville, passed away Saturday, July 2, 2011 at McCall Hospice House.
Born in Linwood, CA, a son of Robert Kelley and Marilyn Buchanan Kelley, Mr. Kelley was an Educator in Christian Education for twenty years and a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Surviving in addition to his wife of the home are a daughter and son-in law, Sam & Erin Jones of Greenville; a son and daughter-in- law Adam & LaTosha Kelley of Edinburg, TX; a brother, Glenn Kelley of Pensacola Fl; a sister, Robin Robinson of Santa Barbara, CA; and six grandchildren Bryson, Landon, Ashlyn, Madelyn, Hudson & Mairin.
Funeral services will be 2:00pm Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Powdersville Rd. Burial will follow in Greenville Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m Tuesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Hollings Cancer Center, 86 Jonathan Lucas Street, P.O. Box 250955, Charleston, SC 29425.
Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Powdersville Road, which is assiting the family.