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… and learned just how much we REALLY appreciate our siblings! Smile


You know, there are times in life when you imagine something beautiful… something perfect… something romantic…… to commemorate, bless, or honor someone or something or some occasion… you just want to make things extra special. You imagine a peaceful atmosphere, complete with candles, a well-thought-out note of love, maybe even roses or daisies…

And (sorry to tell you this), there are times in life when your dreams of fun, fluff, and fantasy just don’t happen!

That’s when you get a prime opportunity to trust in our Sovereign, loving God and blossom right where He places you!

We let you all know about Sibling Appreciation Day, all the while mentally preparing for our own celebration (a lovely picnic by the river). Then……………

There was mulch to spread!

(A HUGE, double-load.)

We faced a choice. Not exactly whether or not to spread the mulch, but whether or not to spread it with joyful hearts, accomplishing the duty set before us with smiles and laughter.

By God’s grace, the Team collectively chose to do right.

Though the evening’s events were completely different than we had anticipated, we were all reminded again just how much we really appreciate our siblings (just you imagine trying to spread that trailer heaped with mulch all by your lonesome! Smile) and we really did enjoy the project. It was work… hard work… hot work… exhausting work… but it was rewarding work and quite fun as we did it together.

The tire went flat on the trailer, so instead of being able to drive the truck around to all the different locations, we had to dump it and then cart it by the bucket-full. :-) BTW, notice the size of this trailer next to 6ft. 3in. Dad -- and it was heaping! :-DTracter driver -- we put some of the buckets in the wagon to deliver to faraway places :)

IMG_8598Go Team!

Happy HelperThe duo - Simultaneous Shoveling

Photo of the evening!

Just darling!Labor-dor superviser :-D

Atop Mulch Mtn.Way to go!Taking a much-deserved break (but even that was work... she was keeping the tractor from rolling away :-D)

Team workBuild those muscles!Preparing to fill...

... one shovel-full at a time...IMG_8623What we neglected to tell you was that each shovel-full was done one HANDFUL at a time! Diligence!

Hauling away to dumpSpreading the mulch around the trees by hand for a smoother finish

"I'm helping Daddy...""...change the flat tire!"IMG_8643

Returning for another loadIMG_8648Seest thou a man diligent in his business?

Smiling the job to completionOne of the rewards of diligent work :-D

So, be encouraged next time your plans for something wonderful are altered… or maybe even blown away completely. There are treasures in the darkness… hidden riches in secret places… a delicious-grilled-salmon-rice-sauteed-asparagas-sweet-peaches-dinner-made-by-Jessi-at-9:30 pm (with chocolate-mint brownies for dessert!) awaiting you when your work is finished –  if you will simply trust the hand of God as He takes you through the process of life.

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile (aka 12 happy Neelys)

7 Responses to “How We Celebrated Sibling Appreciation Day…”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Flexibility is a great character to to instill in our lives, and practicing it makes for lots of accomplishments and lasting fruit for God.
    Loved the pictures and the happy hearts that went with them.

  2. Christina Says:

    Very nice!!!!! I’m glad ya’ all love your family so much and want to work together!!!! Hopefully very soon I will post want we did a lot like you all did!!!! 😉 Great minds think alike!!! 🙂

  3. Christen Says:

    Very encouraged by your post. I was reminded of these encouraging words yesterday, when all plans were continually being blown away. It became a wonderful day that God had planned for us, and I am thankful for how He guides our lives.

  4. The Childress Family Says:

    What a wonderful time spent as a family! Despite all the cute pictures of all of you…. I have to say my most *favorite* picture is #4…. of the mulch!
    That is beautiful mulch! Yes, that is spoken from a mama who loves soft, brown, fresh mulch in her flower beds. 🙂

    With love,
    Mrs. C…. for all of us!

  5. Michael Says:

    When imaginations become expectations, disaster waits.

    You faced the door of pain, toil, and disappointments,
    and found strength and opportunity and memories waiting on the other side.

    Now if I only had the time, to find a way to make this rhyme. 🙂

    Y’all keep on strengthening your arms!

  6. Jenny Wilkes Says:

    What great team work!! I love the pictures!!
    It truly is a choice to see God in everything. Especially when plans change and things happen differently then you hoped.
    Praise the Lord for His work of grace in each one of you. May we all continue to respond as Christ did – not my will but Thine be done.

  7. James Says:

    Looks like a ton of fun!

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