The Caskey Family

Hatty Birtday to Dadda
July 31, 2008, 1:27 am
Filed under: Deployment, Jeremy, Video

Happy 30th Birthday Jeremy!!

We love you very much! From what it looks like, Jeremy will spend his birthday in TWO different countries! WOW! Talk about being a travelin’ man!

Jeremy’s Vacation
July 29, 2008, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For those of you who are praying for us. . . Jeremy is done with this particular mission, it was successful and safely conducted.  He is actually waiting for a few days in a lovely military vacation-like spot (at least compared to where he has been) to catch a flight back to where he needs to be for the next few months.

We are doing well.  God is gracious to us and we are thankful for his provision!

Merry is working on changing into a big girl bed and we are trying out cloth diapers (I can’t believe it myself!!)  Elijah escaped that experiment since he is doing so well as a big boy in real underwear!

Pleading in Prayer

“He (God) requires us to plead with him, and to bring forth our strong reasons, As Isaiah saith, because this will show that we feel the value of the mercy.” (quote by Charles Spurgeon, who Elijah is named after)

This past week in my Bible study on Prayer (see link to “At Home Studies” on the left) I have studied about pleading in prayer. As Jeremy participates in different military activity now in the second half of his deployment, I find this learned skill of pleading in prayer to my Heavenly Father a comfort.

Some have commented on this blog and in person to me that we seem to be doing very well with this separation as a family. Only by God’s grace do we gracefully – at moments – and with joy endure it. You all don’t see me at my weakest (when I choose not to or cannot write,) and none, except God my Father, can see the war of submission that wages in my heart as I struggle to lay down my will for our family and pick up and embrace HIS will, the very will of the Creator of Heaven and Earth (who made me, my husband and each of our children.)

Our Sunday school teacher’s wife encouraged our class a few weeks ago to be transparent when God ordains and provides opportunities of suffering. . . so here I sit, at one of my weakest moments, and share with you a portion of a letter I wrote to Jeremy this evening.

“Tonight is your first real “mission” from what it seems. I struggle a little to keep my thoughts captive and trained on the truth that God directs your very life and determines every outcome of it, even your end, whenever he has chosen that to be. You are not a victim of anything (the military, politics, or even the enemy) but simply a product of God’s providence. He has and will provide all we need (Psalm 31: 14-15.)

“I plead fervently for your safety, knowing that God does not leave the righteous forsaken; I pray that he spares your life on this earth for your children’s sake that they may be trained up in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Psalm 37:25-28.)” May GOD’s will be done, not mine.

I know many of you pray regularly for our family, and Jeremy and I treasure that; God is glorified in the prayers of His children. . .thank you for blessing our family and glorifying God in this way.

Jeremy’s Romans Bible Study
July 23, 2008, 11:19 am
Filed under: Deployment, Friends, Jeremy

Pictured from left to right:

Shawn, Robert, Me, Zach, Dave (our leader), Dan, Sami, Mark, and Matt

The other night I had my last Romans Bible study here in Iraq before I move to a different location in country. I have been blessed to know these men. Each one seeks to honor God and know Him in all they do. Despite our various backgrounds, both Semi-Pelagian and Calvinist (me being of the latter persuasion), we got through Romans 9 and election unscathed.

I have befriended several of these guys, but one in particular that stands out is Zachariah Spurgeon Maxcey (same middle name as Elijah). We are kindred spirits. You can always count on him for a warm smile and loving exhortation. He will leave the service next year to pursue his Masters of Divinity at either Providence Theological Seminary or Reformed Theological Seminary, depending on where his wife is assigned in her last year of service. Please pray for him as he makes the transition. Two interesting facts about Zach: He’s a West Point graduate and his wife is actually here with him, deployed in Iraq (kind of neat)!

Sleepover and Other Fun
July 21, 2008, 2:05 am
Filed under: Friends, Video

Just a few videos from some recent fun with friends!

Summer Blessings: Sunflowers and Blueberries
July 18, 2008, 1:20 am
Filed under: Elijah, Merry, Pictures

I don’t know where to start with this blog, except to say that God is SO very good!

This morning we ended the very first slumber party of my children’s young little lives with our good friends in West Ashley. . . what can I say – we haven’t had that much fun since the spring (daddy’s departure). . .

This afternoon I decided to take the children out to a blueberry farm to pick some blueberries (find a Pick-Your-Own farm close to you by clicking here.) It was cooler today, and by the time we got on the road out there it was well after 4 PM.

Right before we got there, we passed this massive field of absolutely breath-taking sunflowers! I had to stop, turn around, park the van so the children could see it (on the other side of the car there was a little horse pen with a mommy and baby horse in it too!) I had my camera, so I took a few photos. Sorry, Jeremy that these aren’t the most artistic photos, but I didn’t want to go into the field, so I took the picture from the road.

When I was done, I got in my van and was about to drive away, when an older gentleman, pulled up in his pickup truck across the road and rolled down his window “do you want some?” He asked. I didn’t know what to say! “Did you plant these?” I asked. He told me that the field belonged to a Mrs. Somebody down the road but she let him plant them just for the beauty of them for people to look at. Now, for those of you who are worried about me talking to a stranger and being out of my vehicle, this was on “Central” Road right off the main highway in Summerville, SC and Rt. 17, a VERY busy area with many cars around (it was also rush hour, and there were houses right there and roadside stand too with people selling).

So he tells me that I can have as many as I would like, that he wants people to enjoy them. He says people always stop to take photos and if he sees them he likes to give them some to take some home. “How many do you want?” He asks. . . how do you answer that? I told him, “oh, whatever you want, is fine, I would love any you want to give away,” to which he answers, “oh, no, it’s whatever YOU would like, how many could you enjoy, and do you want the bigger ones or the smaller ones that haven’t opened up yet?” I’m still in shock. So he cut me about 7 or 8 sunflowers and told me to pick more if I ever come back by and want some again.

I almost cried driving away. A complete stranger gives me flowers he’s grown himself (that was a generous heart). . .and he just happened to be driving by when I was taking a photo (that was God). 1 Timothy 6:17-19 describes the selfless actions of this elderly man: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. {Instruct them} to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (NASB) As a footnote, the act of “instruct”ing was done in this situation by example, action and deed. Thank you Mr. Sunflower Farmer!

The blueberry picking was a very pleasant experience. I picked from the higher branches and took pictures until my camera ran out of battery life

Elijah picked from “the little trees” as he called the smaller trees or lower branches that held ripe blueberries

Merry picked from the ground while Elijah corrected her and instructed her to “dump ’em out, Mimi” when she would put the dirty ones in her basket!

By the end, Merry was picking very well from the lower branches too.

It was the quietest activity we have engaged in, probably ever, besides sleeping! Everyone was consumed with finding and picking. I conversed with them, recited Jamberry, by Bruce Degan, one of our favorite books, but we would get so intensely engrossed at times in our own picking that I would realize that nobody had said a word after about 3 or 4 minutes.

Elijah says after about an hour, “you have enough Momma, I have enough,” and he sat down in the shade of one of the blueberry bushes. We had two quarts total of sweet beautiful blueberries and it cost just $4.50 (plus gas, of course!) I think we will go back within the next two weeks or so before they are done ripening. The children said they enjoyed it and I’m going to see what tasty things I can make with the blueberries.

Elijah’s Three-Sister Request
July 15, 2008, 2:00 am
Filed under: family news

I’ve had lots of comments about Elijah’s request for three sisters. Many ask how Elijah did when I told him he was having a brother, not a sister.

He was totally fine.

It was obvious he just couldn’t comprehend a brother (he’s never had one, so how’s he to know it’s something he wants?) and came around to the idea once I explained the facts to him and showed him pictures of the ultrasound. I love how trusting he is and how he does not seem the least bit disappointed, though he was very insistent before that he wanted a sister. Now that he knows what a brother is, he’s excited about that. If only life was that simple for us sometimes!

Again, I love Deuteronomy 32:4, which says, “He (God) is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” I am so glad that God knows what our family needs and has given us a special gift in a second son that has been perfectly designed for our family to bring Glory to HIM!

Also, 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18: 30 say, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”

I am thankful for a God Who’s ways are higher than my (and Elijah’s) ways and Who has already determined so many details of our new child’s life that are different than what we would choose.

What an amazing place to rest!

Besides finding out that we have been given a son, we found during the ultrasound that so far everything looks healthy and strong with him, a blessing we are very thankful for!