“Can you believe he will be getting married in one week?”rising in the flood of goodness 2

Our eyes met in the mirror of our master bathroom. My husband and I were getting ready to go our separate ways for the day when his words inserted a ‘pause to consider Goodness.’ I was grateful for his heart to slow the pace and within seconds, I felt the sting of tears.

“So, so much Goodness. How can we hold it all?”

We hugged and I noticed the tears in his eyes too. No more words were necessary.

Life has felt like a flood of Goodness.

Over the past several months, our family has had many occasions to celebrate…graduations, awards, recoveries, achievements, safe travels, safe returns, moves, new jobs, and birthdays. But the biggest celebration for our family is yet to come…

Our son Grant will be getting married in one week to dear, sweet Lauren.

rising in the flood of goodness

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Oelsen

Be still my heart. Yes. It feels as if Goodness has unleashed a flood after several years of trials. Those trials the enemy meant for harm only grew my faith and trust in Goodness to larger proportions.

“When life is sweet say “thank you” and celebrate.
And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
-Shauna Niequist

I. Am. Celebrating!

There was a time when I was scared to celebrate big for fear that someone would think me selfish and prideful. But no longer. I am choosing JOY. I have had more fun observing love in action than ever before.

I still have yet to purchase a gift for them…my heart has not settled on any one thing.

But there is one gift I am settled on that I can offer any time, day or night and that is the gift of my surrendered heart in prayer and faith.

Dear Father:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For all the people you have brought into my life who have stood in the gap and prayed for me and my family.

I pray and ask your blessing upon this holy union. I pray with a heart of thanksgiving and praise for the years you have allowed me the privilege of mothering our son, your gift to us. I thank you for your blessings you have poured into our lives through his precious presence. Thank you for the blessings of joy and laughter and pain and sorrow that have grown me just as you have grown him and shaped him into the man he has become for a time such as this. I pray thanks for your provision of blessings and love in the life of his wife that have grown her and shaped her into the woman she is. Thank you Father, for bringing them to each other.

Now Father, I ask the Holy Spirit to pray for their marriage and their hearts in accordance with your will. I pray you will give them courage to be brave and ask for help when they need it with hearts wide open to receive it when you send it.

Thank you Father for restoring and growing my faith and opening my eyes and my heart to my story, to expose your stealthy footprints where your Goodness and Mercy have followed and led me and my family.

And, Father, could you help my heart settle on a gift? Help me to let go of my need for the perfect thing because you have already provided the perfect gift in Jesus.

So now, Lord, as this week unfolds, please keep me ever aware of my choice to pause in the pace and notice your Goodness and your Mercy. Thank you for my husband who has given me the gift of the pause. And thank you for the warriors who have fought alongside us and our family for our spiritual freedom.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen

In a few days our family will grow larger and spread out farther. Each of us will inherit new names…Mr. and Mrs., mother-in-law, father-in-law, brothers and sister-in-law. New names and new titles. But I am choosing now to change my title, perhaps not legally as the world would dictate, but nonetheless, I am changing it.

I want to be known as a mother-in-grace. I want to be “that mother,” “that woman” who stands in faith to offer my prayers, my presence and my stories with an open heart, dependent on God’s power, grace and mercy for healing and hope for our children and our children’s children. Not only mine, but for our Kingdom family.

How will I hold all of the Goodness?

I won’t. I will share it. All of it. With tears and a heart full of praise and gratitude.


photo-4Ellen Oelsen lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 26 years. She is a mother of 4 children and loves their 2 dogs and 1 cat. Her hobbies include cooking, nature, reading, plays, and two stepping. She delights in offering hospitality of the heart and creating spaces of care, rest, play and reflection to inspire hope. She is beginning to expose the writer within her.
&nb