Scott and Jacob kayak Lake Superior around Isle Royale National Park - August 2008
Jacob, with his Dad and Poppy, after shooting his first buck with a bow at age 13 ~ October 2011
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.”
I have started at least five versions of this blog entry in the last three weeks. My brain has been simultaneously buzzing and blocked. Thanksgiving came and went. Scott smoked us the best Amish turkey we’ve ever had. And I think I gave him COVID-19.
No idea where I picked up this virus as we’ve been following recommended public health guidelines. These microscopic invaders are insidious. However it happened, I felt lousy by the time Thanksgiving dinner was digesting and he joined me the following day.
I got better and never got tested. Scott did not improve and did get tested, as soon as he arrived in the emergency room of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac struggling to get enough oxygen in his lungs.
He has been there for six days now and thanks to Providence and excellent medical care, avoided being put on a ventilator that critical first day and is improving daily! The day after Scott arrived for acute pneumonia, I heard about a husband and wife hospitalized with complications from COVID-19 who did not survive the night. Someone had to call their children to tell them that both their mother and father had passed.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, please comfort.
No visitors are allowed in the hospital so we love at a distance with prayers. We are exceptionally grateful for excellent care and an extra-special friend on the inside, a nurse who is caregiver extraordinaire, liaison and translator, helping ease our anxiety.
If Scott is a matador fighting this bull-ish infection, his ring is absolutely full of roses representing the hundreds of prayers being launched from various corners of the globe. God is so good, providing healing, strength and encouragement!
Thank you for praying for Scott, and for Kim, Donna, Robert and Cyndi—all those struggling to recover from illness. Lord, I bless you for modern medicine and all of our smart and selfless healthcare workers. Thank you, Lord, for your goodness, healing power and wisdom. Thank you for the love of family and friends.
It has been a great comfort to have our four children together, last all home under the same roof in 2017. We made a get-well poster and sent it to the hospital for Scott and have been able to do a couple of video chats with him. Family and friends have blessed us with meals, prayers and well-wishes. I am grateful for our three-in-one LORD--Father (Abba), Son (Yeshua/Jesus/Immanuel) and the Holy Spirit (Comforter)--who is Sovereign and always good.
Aaron and Bella practice some wedding music, Johann Sebastian Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." ~ John 1:5
Jacob, 22, is about to marry the love of his life. We have prayed for this since he was young. One of our greatest desires is to trust the Lord for each of our children to meet a godly mate and become a husband/wife and father/mother.
We hope that by our prayers, teaching and modeling, our children would aspire to obey the Lord and be fruitful and multiply in the confines of Biblical marriage.
When Jacob met Hailey and expressed his love for her, we knew our prayers had been answered. This is what he has to say about his love, and we couldn’t agree more:
“Hailey Kate is the passionate, hard working, driven, kind, caring, delightful, humble, thoughtful, selfless, God-fearing, kind, blue-eyed bride that I have the honor of marrying.”
They met in a Hope College freshman biology class and decided to hang out: “We went on a walk, star-gazing that same night.” Four years later, the heavens rejoice as they are about to wed.
How is this husband-to-be feeling on the cusp of making his sacred vows?
“I look most forward to the adventure we’ll have, learning how to love Hailey deeper, joining a church and small group and pursuing Christ with her and others…I look forward to having kids, starting a family, being a dad.”
Scott and I are bursting with joy for Jacob and Hailey. We are so proud of them, making their marriage a priority and moving forward with wedding plans despite the tumult of a pandemic. We know God will bless them as they put him first in their lives, in their new life together. L’chaim!
In His Own Words
Q: Jacob, when do you think you passed from boy to man? A: I think it was a gradual succession and three moments stand out—the first is when I shot a deer by myself, at age 13. Next, when Dad gave me the code to the gun safe and lastly, when I proposed to Hailey.
Hailey said "YES!" to Jacob February 10, 2020, on a favorite hike along Lake Michigan
Among the many of my journal entries I recently perused, this one stands out:
August 26, 1998
Wow! That’s amazing. It is now four months since the day you were born, Jacob Edward. I can hardly believe it! You are so handsome. And big, too! Today we weighed you and you are 15 lb., 2 oz., six pounds more than your birth weight, and five inches longer! You are rolling over now and nearly sitting up unassisted. You have such solid legs, knees locked and toes pointed. Your face exudes a very eagerness beyond your months. You are so determined to move, you scoot and squirm and wriggle like a busy worm. You have the cutest expressions. And, oh my, how smiley you are! So completely lovable. I am so blessed to be your mommy. God smiles on me and I feel it! You are a very good-natured, sweet boy. Hot tempered when hungry, grumpy when wet, but hey, who can blame you? You still sleep 10 hours since three weeks of age! It’s like clockwork, you lie down after a good nursing at 9 or 10 p.m. and are awake and ready to nurse for a half hour or more at 7 or 8 a.m. I am so fortunate! Thanks Jake.
And my dearest Bailey June, what a sweetheart. So sensitive and smart. You are inquisitive and bright. You are a strong-willed, assertive little girl. I like that! You are a big helper to me with your baby brother. What an awesome big sister. Today you asked me why you couldn’t marry him. : ) You are very thoughtful about many things: death, marriage, physics, make-believe. Your imagination amazes me. And your memory astounds me. We have much fun playing together. You love to pretend you are Cinderella or Bambi or Simba. You love to run and jump. You’ve just finished your second session of gymnastics and this fall you’ll do ballet instead. We like to give you the opportunity to participate in fun, physical activities. You are talented in most anything you attempt. God will use you for His glory if you allow Him. We pray that you do. Our desire for you and Jacob is that you love God more than ANYTHING and follow His lead. We hope and pray you see that in us. Your Mommy and Daddy want you to see Jesus in our words and actions. We pray God uses us for parenting you both.
Well, it’s late. I’ve much to do around the house before bed. Daddy’s on the computer now doing a junior high lesson for church. He’s really committed to that. He’s a wonderful man, so caring and gentle. We have been married seven years now. Wow!
Life is so good.
One-year-old Jacob Edward with his mom ~ April 1999
Bailey June and Jacob welcome Aaron Ray ~ October 2000
Jacob got to behold his sister Isabella's entrance into the world ~ Waterford, MI, September 9, 2004
“Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy" . . . Flounder to Mermaid Bailey, he who cried for the last little piggy and the lonely bear on the beach at the end of the hunt, singing peppermint cheese, touching Bella’s head as she emerged, comic relief to us, trusting Jesus, immersed by Dad, bunk-mate and brother/friend-forever to Aaron, hunting with the squad, baseball to biology and D.C., OJ Simpson…Happy Hanukkah, Shabbat Shalom, Mazel Tov, Happy Honeymoon, Merry Christmas and Blessed 2021 and Beyond! Stay Spunky, Humble and Kind. Stay in The Word. Love deeply.
Aaron and Jacob cutbow trout fishing at Avalanche Lake ~ Glacier National Park, July 2019
The Spry Family including Hailey Kate on Trail of the Cedars - Glacier National Park, July 2019
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
In His Own Words
“My salvation means that my final resting place has been determined and that I have freedom on this earth to pursue Christ, make mistakes and seek forgiveness daily. My salvation allows me to love others and show others forgiveness and unconditional love because that’s what I’ve been given. If I had not received it, I could not give it. It doesn’t benefit us to be humble or show any of these virtues, but it’s what Christ gave to us and what we ought to show others.” ~ Jacob Edward Spry
Homage to "Fireflies" ala a Children's Chorus