Monthly Archives: December 2007

It’s Friday Night


The Yutzy Clan is going out for Supper!


CIMG -- Out for supper 1
1/2 of the crew got into the Yutzy Mini Van.
Beloved Son in Law and Oldest Daughter drove their car.
Youngest Son and Girl with a Beautiful Heart rode with them.

Where, oh where shall we go???


Well, The Ohio Heart Throb loves Mexican.
And Certain Man’s Wife was thinking that sounded pretty good!
As was Certain Man.
So . . .


CIMG -- Out for supper 2


La Tolteca it was!!!


 


CIMG -- Out for supper 3


This was one side of the table.  You could almost see Oldest Son.


No, We weren’t partaking of the Mixed Drinks. 
The desserts were listed on the self-same flip menu.
(And Youngest Daughter had her heart set on fried ice cream!)


CIMG -- Out for supper 4


This was the other side of the table. 
Neither side shows Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife.
This is perfectly okay by them!


 


CIMG -- Out for supper 6


These are our two girlies — Middle Daughter and Youngest Daughter.


CIMG -- Out for supper 9


This is Youngest Son with his Fiance — Girl With A Beautiful Heart


 


CIMG -- Out for supper 5

This is Eldest Son with his Ohio Heart Throb.


I had a picture of Eldest Daughter and Beloved Son in Law.
I would like to live.
I will not show it here.


We waited and waited and waited and waited. 
People got hungry
(I won’t show you a picture of that or someone [GWABH] may lose her reputation!)
But finally they made a great big table in the middle of everything, and sat us all down.
We had great service and a wonderful time.

I am so thankful for our family.
I am so thankful for the ones God has brought to share their lives with us.
Incredible blessings.
Unfathomable love!


 

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The Songs of Christmas fall strangely silent.
I listen for their message of peace on earth, good will to men.
But the noise I hear instead is that of war.
And families killed by those born of their own bodies.
And hope gunned down, bringing murder and mayhem and sorrow and despair.

I took a dark road to my Sweet Mama’s house the other night.
For the first time in 24 Christmases, she wasn’t at our house for Christmas Eve.
Company and fatigue and pain and memories held her captive in her house.
So we went on without her. 
When all the offspringin’s left for their traditional Christmas Eve Church service
I packed up her Christmas from us and went to her.
I went in my new fuzzy Christmas socks.  But I took along my boots.
I planned to go to my Daddy’s grave on my way home.

On the way out my drive, I passed a trailer house.  There was almost no light..
It once housed a child whom I loved as my own.
Our little Latin Lupe-Lou.
She is no longer a child, though she is little.  She is a woman.
And two weeks ago, she abruptly married.
I don’t know where she is.  I don’t feel good about this decision.
As I made the corner out of my driveway, there was a sudden catch in my gut.
I thought of all the golden Christmases when her stocking hung with ours.
When her stack of presents was the same as our children.
When I would climb the stairs to pray the Lord her soul to keep.
She had her own bed, her own drawers in the dressers, her own space in the closet.
But, most importantly, a place in our hearts.
Something went so wrong.

That is when the tears began. 
I didn’t want to go to Mama’s all cried up, so I tried to stop.
I  turned on my CD of Baroque Christmas music.  I made it loud.
“Hallelujah!”  I sang at the top of my lungs.  “Joy to the world, the LORD has come!”
But my voice kept cracking, and the tears wouldn’t stop.
So, I rolled down my windows and let the cold winter air blow against my hot cheeks.
I started the Joy song all over again.  “Joy to the world!”  I caroled in my wobbly voice.
“Lord.  I believe!”  I sobbed.  “I believe that your coming to the earth lends meaning to all of this.”
I passed the cemetery that held my daddy’s grave.  He’s been so long gone.
“No more let sins and sorrows grow . . .nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make His blessings flow . . . Far as the curse is found.”

My heart began to quiet.  There would be time for tears later. 
On my way home.  In a cold and quiet graveyard at a familiar stone.
The last few miles were filled with quiet orchestra music that filled my heart with peace.
And I came into my Sweet Mama’s house at least a little composed and tried to be cheery.
I walked into the warmth and beauty of the house that was my parents home
And found myself wrapped up in love and laughter and acceptance.
My Middle Brother was there, with his sweet wife.
The nurturing, quiet conversation swirled around my aching heart and comforted me.
My Sweet Mama, almost asleep on the chair, looked over her treasures and tried to exclaim.
But the day had been long, and the night was going to be short
And she finally succumbed to the grasp of the night and slept while we visited on.

An hour later, I knew I needed to go home. 
Mama woke up enough to say a muddled “good-night.  I love you” when I kissed her soft cheek.
I had to laugh at her sleepy confusion. 
And then I hugged Nel and Rose, put on my boots, and went out into the night.
The time at my Mama’s house had been so precious.
I aimed my mini van towards Milford and thought about stopping at my Daddy’s grave.
I had those boots on and everything.  I had packed a good flashlight to light my way.
But something had changed.
I didn’t need to stop.  Somehow the gripping desire had faded away.
In its place was the quiet Joy of the song in the night.
My CD was playing.  Not so loudly, and I wasn’t singing with it.
And I wasn’t crying. 
“No more let sins and sorrows grow . . .”

The Songs of Christmas may fall silent in these days after Christmas.  And there is much in our world to mute the message.  And there can be much in our lives that seems to drown it out.  It is easy to be discouraged.  It is easy to despair.

Listen, my Sisters and Brothers.  It is up to us.  We are the ones to carry the message.   We need to sing the songs of hope when it seems there is no hope.  We need to bring the message of Joy even when our hearts are breaking.  We need to remind this old world that the angel’s song is the word for our day.

“Good tidings of great joy . . .  unto YOU is born  . . . a Savior . . . Which is CHRIST, the LORD.”

“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARDS MEN!”

There is a blessed hope.  We dare not forget.

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CE  Daniel prays


This Certain Man, the love of my life
(shown here as our family read the Christmas story last evening)
Once again, hand made my Christmas present: 


CE  the bird feeder
A gorgeous bird feeder —  (Almost too lovely to use as a bird feeder!)
This is where I perched it last night to take a picture.
This afternoon, he installed it for me out on the corner of the deck


CE  The bird feeder installed


I can see this from my kitchen window, and many, many birds visit our deck and the various feeding stations there.  If you look closely, you can see three of the feeders.
Who wouldn’t love this gift?  I am just so tickled with it!


CE  The bird feeder installed 1
Here is a closer view of it.

Thank you, Daniel.  Your love for me is still the best gift every single day of our lives!




 

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Christmas Card and Letter, 2007


 


Christmas Card for real


Christmas, 2007


Shady Acres * 7484 Shawnee Road * Milford, DE 19963


And suddenly there was with the Angel, a multitude of the Heavenly host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth, peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke2:13,14 KJV



Dear Family and Friends everywhere,


This is a bright December day in Delaware. The temps this week have been more springlike than Christmasy – maybe that is why I am finding it hard to get this Christmas letter written. You know, the weather doesn’t change the fact that the season is here once again, and it is high time to undertake the writing of our Christmas Missive.


The year of 2007 has been somewhat normal at the Yutzy Household. “Normal” in that there were the usual amounts of activity, challenges, good times, milestones and disappointments. We are all getting older, but the Daddy and Momma at this house feel it the most with each passing year pushing us farther and farther away from being young. Having young adults living at home probably makes us feel our age more intently, but we are so thankful for our offspringin’s that are still living at home.


The Daddy at this house, sometimes known as Certain Man, wears many, many hats. He has now worked for the State of Delaware as a plumbing inspector for almost seven years. Along with those responsibilities, he’s been raising chickens, taking care of our needs as a family, and still serves as deacon for Laws Mennonite Church. There are many demands upon his talents and time, but he still found time to set up one of the most spectacular Christmas villages ever. His oldest sister, Lena, was with us over Thanksgiving and she was his right-hand helper this year. The two of them made a marathon of village building and were able to complete the task in two days. The result really is impressive. Stop and see it sometime if you are in the area!


Eldest Daughter, Christina, and Beloved Son-in-law, Jesse, are one of the bright lights in our family. They continue with the same jobs that I’ve told you about in the last few letters – Jesse as a key employee of Burris Logistics, and Christina as a babysitter for two precious little boys. In the past few months, Christina has been quite involved with a local drug and alcohol recovery house/thrift store enterprise. She volunteers her services there to help wherever needed in the thrift store, and organized/prodded our youth group into providing Thanksgiving dinner for the men who live at the recovery house. She has been active in helping to decorate for Christmas at both the house and store, and her gentle heart is touched by the gratefulness of these men who have had so little kindness in their lives. Jesse is amazing in his support and encouragement to her, and he continues to be an integral part of our family as a son and brother.


Middle Daughter, Deborah, (or Beebs, as she is affectionately called by people who love her) has had a year of great accomplishment. She is a Registered Nurse! Finally! She graduated from Beebe School of Nursing in May and is working in the Intensive Care Unit of our local hospital. She has had amazing opportunities, heartbreaking situations and miraculous interventions, and it is a never-ending source of wonder to see how God is at work in her life in so many different ways. She teaches the youngest children of our church in Sunday School, and enjoys engaging them in conversation and listening to their many concerns and prayer requests. Her presence at home makes it possible for me to have some much needed breaks, and we are glad that she has decided to live at home for now. She is in the process of signing up for classes that will turn her “RN” into a degree (BSN) in nursing, but the tug of the classroom seems to have lost its hold on her right now.


Eldest Son, Raph, spent the first five months of the year in Nepal with a REACH team under Rosedale Mennonite Missions. He came home in the late spring with stories that stirred our hearts and made us thankful for his willingness to go (he does not feel called by God to make trekking his life’s mission)– and glad for his safe return, too. Since home, he worked briefly for a company that manufactures counter tops, but eventually made his way back to the employer he had before going to Nepal. So he is back to building, repairing, remodeling houses, and seems content. Before going to Nepal he met a young lady from Holmes County, Ohio, (Regina Yoder) and the two of them corresponded while he was gone. Now that he is home, they are in a relationship (which must be somewhat serious because for the first time, I am allowed to mention this type of thing in the family Christmas letter.) His car that more or less sat idle while he was gone, has had its share of trauma since he is home. On a trip home from Ohio, it tangled with a guard rail and it was only by God’s grace that he and it were spared farther injury. Then just this week, on his way to his company’s Christmas dinner, a deer with suicidal tendencies flung itself in front of his car, and so there is another repair bill. The car has been accommodating of the many demands that Oldest Son puts upon it, and for that we are grateful, but it surely would be nice to not be on such a friendly basis with the body shop that is just around the corner.


Youngest Son, Lem, has been a man with an agenda this year. He is currently a junior at Cedarville University, pursuing a degree in social work, on his way to becoming a Marriage and Family counselor. Did someone say ‘Marriage’??? Yep, they surely did! On a beautiful, warm night in June, Lem proposed to the girl that he has loved for a long time, and she said “Yes!” Lord Willing, there will be a wedding on June 21, 2008, and Lem Yutzy and Jessica Lee will become husband and wife. There are many decisions ahead for this young couple. Jessica will be graduating from Messiah College in May with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Business Administration. They plan to live in Cedarville next year while Lem finishes his Bachelors, and plans from there are still being made. We love Jessica, and believe that she is God’s gift to Lem in so many ways, and are looking forward to seeing how God will use this couple for good in this world where there are so many hurting and troubled families.


Youngest Daughter, Rachel, had her first “real” job this summer. When the opportunity came up, we were almost certain that she would never be happy helping a local couple with their flower and vegetable gardening at their spacious country estate, but she was just as sure that she wanted to try. She did a great job, even though she may not have always been happy, and the couple was effusive in their encouragement and praise. Rachel learned so much as she weeded and deadheaded flowers and watered the drought-stricken gardens. There were times of discussion and new ideas and interesting happenings that gave her opportunities to speak her faith and opinions and she grew in confidence and grace. Joe and Sally have offered her the job again next summer, and at this point, it is her intention to return. Another high point of her summer was spending two weeks in Ohio at Choral Camp as a counselor. She plans to return there, too. She is a junior this year at Greenwood Mennonite School and stays very busy with studying and other school activities such as senate, quiz team, basketball, and as a teacher’s aide in the Kindergarten room once a week. In just a few days, she will have completed her first year of driving and the final restrictions on her driver’s license will be lifted. She is her daddy’s (usually) faithful “chicken picker-upper” and is a willing helper around the house, too. We enjoy this youngest offspringin’ intensely.


The two ladies who live at our house are the same that were here last year, and we are thankful for the blessing they have been to our family this year. Audrey came in the “middle of a muddle” in July of 2006, and there have been incredible miracles in her life and mind. It is something that the state of Delaware hoped would work out, but God’s incredible grace to us as a family, (and to Audrey and me in particular) in the daily care and medication management has been the only logical explanation for how well she has done. Paranoia and Schizophrenia can be an unpredictable mix in the best of situations, but to see how God has given us what we have needed when we needed it and to see how Audrey has tried so very hard has been a miracle of no small proportions. Linda has been here for almost eight years, and we are continually searching for ways to keep her comfortable and happy. Having neither words nor sight is a dreadful thing for anyone, and Linda must often feel frustrated with our haphazard guessing. She was moved to a less “busy” room at her center, and we believe that will be a blessing to her, but she hates change of any kind, so there have been some major upheavals for her to adjust to over this past year. Another plus for her was the provision of a wheel chair for her when she goes on excursions. As of yet, she still dislikes it greatly, but hopefully she can become acclimated to over time. We believe it could be a great freedom for her.


My Sweet Mama has had many stretching experiences over this past year, and we continue to be amazed at her resilience and health. She is doing very well physically, and is committed to coping with life as it is – without Daddy. She spent some time in Pennsylvania this summer with my second brother, Nelson, and also gone to North Carolina to spend time with Granddaughter, Shana and her family. This season is especially poignant for all of us, as we mark the second anniversary of Daddy’s Homegoing. One of Mama’s doctors told her, “It is like an amputation, Mrs. Yoder. You will adjust. You will be able to function. But you will always miss what has been taken from you.” And that is so true. We will just always miss him.


Life for the Momma at this house, often known as Certain Man’s Wife, has been a little like being on one of those bucking horses at the supermarket – lots of activity, but not getting anywhere fast. I managed to break my foot back at the end of September, and it has been very slow in healing, which is quite aggravating to me, indeed. I hope to see the doctor for the final time this coming week, and I surely am hoping for good news. I enjoy the gals at my Thursday Morning Bible Study and dearly love those in my Sunday School Class. There is always a lot to occupy my hands and heart, and I am grateful for the opportunities.


We have a spare room! If you would like to visit us, please call us and we will gladly make space for you. We are so thankful for the Friends and Family that God has blessed us with, and when we count our blessings this Holy Season, we remember you! May you and your family be the recipients of God’s best blessings in the year ahead.


Have a Blessed Christmas!


Daniel and Mary Ann Yutzy and family

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Three men


These are a few of my favorite things!!!


 

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I’ve been so challenged by this prayer by Jill Briscoe:


A Prayer to Recover Our Cutting Edge


Dear Savior,
Sharpen my focus, quicken my lethargic spirit.
Show me where you need to grow me into a compliant child.
Give me an increasing awareness of the places where
I lost my spiritual edge.
And when I grieve your heart, may I grow weary with weeping.
Cause my shamefaced soul the consternation it should know
when I reisist your promptings.
Mend me, as you mind me, that you and I may be as one,
united in purpose as you bring a lost world to its senses.
Ready me for battle as you win my wars.
Steady me for conflict in the inner halls of your residence.
Teach me abandonment to your love and service.
Look upon me, and love me into your likeness —
before you bring me home!
I love you, Lord.
Amen.


From her book, Prayer that Works
 Tyndale House publishers, Carols Stream, Illinois.  Copyright 2000.

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One of my most enjoyable annual jobs is my Christmas letter and getting the cards ready for the mail.


Why then do I procrastinate so???


 

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