One of our favorite photos!  She is 3 with a new puppy.  I love the necklace!

The beginning:
I had her when I was but a babe myself.  I was 15 and scared to death.  I remember crying on the school bus and seeing a beautiful sunset and knowing that God did that just for me because I was sad and it was beautiful.  He was showing me HIS glory! I begged asked God to allow her to be the child that ended a long line of unwed mothers.  2 for sure 3 possibly (I think my grandmother married because she was pregnant)I dedicated her life to God on that bus.  I knew she was a gift from God and I was not going to mess this up. 

Some things I am thankful for about her:
  • She increased my faith in God's plan
  • Made me grow up
  • Gifted
  • Christian
  • Beautiful
  • Wise beyond her years (we joke she was born 30)
  • Serious (she is more mature than me)
  • Loves babies
  • Going to school to be a nurse
  • Level headed
  • Faithful
  • Obedient
  • My mom got to love her before she died
Some background tidbits:

She went to public school until 7th grade; but then she decided she wanted to be homeschooled.  She was not allowed to date.  She was very active in church.  She went on mission trips to Mexico and The Czech Republic.  She learned to drive in our "Big Black" suburban;  she is a great driver and I miss that suburban.  Her favorite book as a teen was Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy.  She made funny videos with her best friend that provide laughter-until-tears to this day!  At 17 she got a dog named Snickers that I call my "grand dog."    

Another beginning:

She came to faith in Christ at 6 years old.  The person that led her to the Lord? her future mother-in-law!  Who would ever know at 6 that she would marry her son--GOD! Now you have to know these were also the people who invited us to the church in the first place.  We were not close friends.  Just coincidence? I think not.  It was God working out his plan long before we ever knew anything.  There were many things that happened in the the years between this young couple coming together.  But I love how it all ties back to the beginning.  

She was 14 when she started talking to Clay.  At 15 we knew it was more serious than a friendship.  We allowed them to court to determine if their relationship was "the" one.  That continued with more "good times" than bad and without either of them hating us for keeping them apart (though I am sure they had their moments).  We allowed time together in family settings.  The goal was for them to be above-reproach.  They weren't allowed to go anywhere alone together until she was almost 18.

He proposed shortly before she turned 19.  We proposed they had a long, tough road ahead of them because they were young; but that they would have our support.  Our, sorted, history would benefit them; because we know how many pitfalls in marriage there can be; and we would be sure to point every potential one out; which can sound negative when you are young and in love, but it is us just being honest. 

Here she is 17 years later (than previous photo) shortly before our beloved precious had to be put down.  We had to "re-create" one of our favorite photos.  Precious was very sick so we couldn't make her roll over.  She was 20 and Precious was 17. 

Another, another beginning:

Here she is on the night long awaited and asked of God.

Where HE showed me HIS faithfulness and beauty in His creation and timing.  A night where an all consuming peace came over me and I felt like He was saying to me "well done thy good and faithful servant." As we gave her away to her husband, we knew God was with her and was in this future the way He was in the past.  She married a man of God, she saved her self for that night, to present her self as a spotless bride.  A good friend of mine said "you did it" and it meant the world (she knew the back story); but we both knew GOD DID IT!

This couple has an army of believers backing them up on this journey.   They are girded on every side. For that I am THANKFUL!

This is an "In Everything Give Thanks" post started by Steffany

See the top right corner of my blog for more of what I am thankful for.   

*I am adding to this post a link to A Place Called Simplicity Memorial Box information.  I want to start a Memorial Box and this will be my first story.  I will represent this story with a "SCHOOL BUS"  


James 1:27 Family said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post! Tears are streaming. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love the part about her mother-in-law. It really shook me to think that I should be inviting more people to church! I could be inviting my future daughters-in-law!
Thanks so much.

Becky said...

Amazing!! I am blown away! That at 15 you clearly heard God's voice and watch it all come to fruition. You are lovely! And your daughter is radiant.

Laine said...

Beautiful...I'm crying! I've prayed many nights and times with you over this child who is now a woman! You are such an inspiration and a source of encouragement! I love you Jen Poe!

steffany said...

God is incredible!
Tears are flowing.
How evident is His hand in your life.
15! On the bus. You are such an encouragement!

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

That was such a beautiful story! Oh my... God is so good and He loves His children!

Thanks for checking up on me! We went out of town for a couple of days and I didn't have internet accesss! Well, I could have for a fee but we didn't want to spend more than what we had to.

I am going to post about our trip soon.

You know, I'm going to post about what an "awesome homeschool mom" (yes, bragging! Just kiddin) I am but YOU have finished the race! YOU are an awesome homeschool mom and an awesome GODLY mom! Good job!

AMEN sista!


Deborah Ann said...

Your daughter is beautiful inside and out! Sounds like her mom had a lot to do with that...