Friday, February 20, 2015

A Belated Valentine Story

So I came home for lunch last Monday and found these on the dining room table.
As you can see, they are for Jim and one for me.

Jim was working his five-day (yes, five-day) shift and had evidently come home briefly,
leaving these on the table before returning—before I got home for lunch.
Many times, your schedules aren't your own...
...especially when you co-manage a group home for individuals with special needs.
 It would be lunch for one...again...unless you include Hunter and Oscar :)
Nothing unusual in our household, I might add.
Okay, back to the Valentines...

If you look at the bottom, you can see they are from Joshua.
The crude drawings and juvenile printing could have come from any first-grader, at best.
Josh is in his early twenties.
He is just one of six men who make up my husband's extended family.
Jim Ray is Josh's most favorite person in the world, next to his father.
Josh is a little boy in a man's body.
At first glance, he might look much like any other twenty-something young man.
By taking that second look, you will notice that he has the face of a little boy,
somewhat timid, yet still having the trusting eyes of a child.
Josh is autistic and is also a savant of sorts...
...math and trivia are among his strong suits.
When I studied those sweet Valentines more closely, they just melted my heart.
I visualized this big, strapping young man sitting at his desk...
...pen, paper and crayons all within reach,
pouring his heart into creating these Valentine cards for us as if he was on a mission.
I thought about how we so often imagine what our lives will be like in the future...
...what we will be doing this year or next year...
  ...and remembering the changes that had taken place that brought us to this very moment.

No one could have ever predicted where the turn in Jim's career path would take him.
After thirty-six years in management with the same manufacturing company,
and two houses in two states later,
my husband found himself among the unemployed for eighteen months...
...the exact amount of time his severance lasted.

God was doing His thing.

Over two hundred resumes and a few interviews later, still nothing.

God had something else in mind...
...for He had put something special inside of Jim when He created him.

Something special, to be sure...
...but I admit I had to snicker a bit when I saw Josh's rendition of Jim (above).
And me too, for that matter!
How did Jim get more hair than me...or is that a hat on his head?
But he did get the chin hair right! :)
When I see my husband doing his job, working with these special individuals,
I have come to realize that it is way more than just a job to him... is his is his mission... is his heart.

And God knew it all along :)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21

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  1. Those special valentines are so sweet and full of love and appreciation. They have a heart of Gold. Yours is a special ministry and may you be blessed as you bless these sweet men. You are my neighbor at Spiritual Sundays.

  2. Oh Debbie! What a sweet story... Those are special Valentine's indeed! Hugs to you and much love - may the wonderful Lord strengthen you as you minister to those in need! Love, Kelly-Anne

  3. Such a sweet sweet story...he is lucky...nay...he is BLESSED to have found his calling. I think many of us miss it....

  4. What a beautiful post! Filled with love and blessings. Have a lovely weekend, Debby!
    Farmhouse hugs,

  5. Debby,
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

    What a great post!!

    we work odd schedules too as I am an RN who has worked full time night shift for 33 years and my hubby is a letter carrier for the Post office. I have to work every other weekend and holidays and my hubby only gets every 6th Saturday off as there is mail delivery on Saturdays. Out schedules often cause us to be like ships passing each other.......
    So glad that you visited and that I in turn, had this chance to visit you!!


  6. Wonderful post, Debby. Our God is amazing!
    Have a great day!

  7. How precious. Your husband must be a very special man. My sister has had a dream of opening a home for individuals like Joshua for a few years. She is a registered nurse and is currently with Hospice (which is her calling for sure), but her favorite patients have always been the special needs ones. She has a connection with them. Sounds like your husband does as well. Have a lovely weekend.

    Blessings, Vicky

  8. gosh, those are precious. bless your husband and his giving heart, too.

  9. Precious beyond words... I so enjoyed this post and I hope that Josh had a wonderful Valentine's Day, too. You and Jim make an awfully cute couple.

  10. Those are Valentines from the heart. Precious. Blessings on Jim as he ministers to these 6 men. Josh sounds like a sweetheart.

  11. A wonderful, touching, tender feature. It takes the right person to do what you both or doing. It is a blessing for the ones in need. There is a home down the street from me that does that. Those are treasured cards.

  12. A beautiful post, Debby, touching my heart, taking me back a few years to when I helped the youth of our church minister to similar group homes in our area…we had parties for them every month and there never was a better time! So much love!

  13. That is so sweet. I believe that God handpicks those special people to work with special needs folks.Sounds like your Jim is one of those special people. May God bless him for what he gives to these folks.

  14. The story is just precious, and all the more so because of the handmade Valentine cards. God's wisdom was certainly at work for your husband!

  15. Such a sweet spirit God has given your husband and what a difference he is making in the lives of these young men. I love the cards and love your story of love :)

  16. What super special valentines from a special person.

    I think Joshua did an excellent job.

  17. Oh, how sweet and you've touched my heart today.
    Shelia ;)

  18. What a precious testimony of God's Josh, to Jim, and to you! He does all things well! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  19. Thanks for sharing this Debby, a beautiful valentine.


  20. This was wonderful to read before turning out the lights and heading to bed! Thanks Debby, have a good weekend!

  21. Hi Debby! What a sweet surprise! And what a strong example of how we plan, but as you said, God knows all along. I bet your husband is just amazing with his residents. And to think that you got Valentines from a special client too.
    God's blessings on Jim's work, and on you my friend. Sounds like you had a great Vday :)

  22. How awesome! I'm glad I stopped by. Maybe just now for such a time as this God has ordained these days for us to do what God had destined for us to do. This was a beautiful story. What an incredible job/ministry! How fulfilling!

  23. Dear Debby, I firstly want to tell you how I was touched over this post! I can see how God made this come about for you and your Husband and of course Josh. We really are not our own!
    My heart was touched and changed in seeing how God has moved and shaped our hearts!
    Love your heart...

  24. Such a precious reminder of the fact that God makes no mistakes. What wonderful valentines that you will cherish for years to come.

  25. Dear Debby,

    Your heartfelt words today so touched my soul. How true; your hubby was meant to do exactly what he is doing - working with these sweet individuals, who can, in turn, teach us so very much about love and thoughtfulness and joy and hope. Thank you for sharing your belated valentine story, even though it is always timely.


  26. Yes, Debby, it takes a special heart to be able to do what your husband is doing! I have a card that I keep under my computer screen that says "Trust in God's timing, it's always right". That 18 months was His time to prepare him for his new mission. You both are so blessed.

    1. Sylvia, you are so right...God's time is ALWAYS the right time...even though many times it is hard to realize this when we are going through hard things. That's how we learn to trust Him :)

  27. Debby, you should have warned me to have the kleenex handy before I read this. This was just so precious. Dear, dear Josh - what a sweet heart. And your dear Jim. Oh Debby, what a wonderful work God is doing through your sweet husband. I can only imagine the way he is touching lives with the kindness and patience and love of our dear Lord. May he be blessed.

    And Josh's rendition of you? Certainly got that beautiful smile right!


  28. This post brought tears to my eyes. Josh such a sweet man. I firmly believe he is God's hands here on earth blessing others.

  29. How incredibly heartwarming, my friend! Yes, there are tears in my eyes...happy tears :)

    Josh sounds like such a precious soul - what a blessing to have him in your life. Thank you for sharing this sweet post at ROI. Hugs to you, my friend!

  30. They melt my heart, too, Debby. This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday this week as "the one that caught my eye".

    Happy Pink Saturday, and thank you for sharing.♥

    1. What a surprise! Thank you so much, Beverly! Happy Pink Saturday :)

  31. Aren't these precious treasures? Just love them, Debby!

    Visiting from Beverly's Pink Saturday!

    Hugs and happy weakend,

  32. Debby, these are just precious! He sounds like a very special young man! Love the drawings! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  33. Those are sweet Valentines. Glad your husband has a fulfilling job helping people with special needs. It is a ministry.


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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