Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Compassionate & Caring

Joel 2:13 "Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil."

I don't know why I act surprised when God does amazing things in my life. God intimately knows me and cares for me. The one who created the world with a spoken word and the one who holds the universe in the span of His hand, He cares about what is on my heart and mind. How comforting is that? I have to share an amazing story with you. Really it is a testimony to how intimately God cares for His children.

As you know, we are hosting Piano Man this summer. God provided an inexpensive bunk bed for us on craigslist and I was able to find matching quilts at Target two months ago on clearance. As I was setting up the room, I told Wayne that I would love to paint the room blue. Wayne reminded me that it was tax busy season and that there really wasn't time to accomplish this task before P-Man gets here. I understood and thought that we could make the best of the room the color that it was (pale yellow). It wasn't too girly. Deep down, I still really wanted to paint the room blue. I wanted the room to be "perfect" when our social worker came to visit our house (which is happening this Friday). 

Two weeks ago, our next door neighbor, who happens to be a painter, was talking to Wayne and told him that he had some blue paint (two gallons worth). He wanted to know if Wayne wanted the paint. Wayne looked at me and smiled. He said, "Yes, we'll take the paint." 

We had dinner at a friend's house the next weekend. He happens to be a painter who has painted different rooms in our house. We mentioned to him that we'd love to have him come paint the room for us. He said that he might be able to get to it in June. I was a little bummed thinking that our social worker was coming in a week. But, I figured all in God's timing. 

On Wednesday of last week, I texted him to get some dates when he would be available, since we will be gone on our mission trip. He told me that he actually had an opening Monday (4/25) to paint the room. I was so excited. God was orchestrating everything and answering the deep desires of my heart. Gary came and painted P-man's room. The color is perfect and the room looks amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything better!!

Sometimes it may feel like God isn't there and that He doesn't care, but I have seen time and time again when God does little things to show me that He cares. This is an amazing testimony to the compassionate and caring God that we serve!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


1 Peter 1:6-9 "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Last year during this time, we were in the middle of Wayne's six weeks of radiation and chemo, along with his daily physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In the midst of the storm, it was hard to see the other end. Thankfully, with God's help and strength, we made it through the trial. From the beginning of the journey, Wayne and I said that if only one person's life was impacted for the good through all of this, it would be worth it. We wanted God to get all the glory through the whole process. Little did we know when we said that statement, that one of the people whose life would be impacted would be our own daughter. 

Here is Sophia's testimony that she is giving for her baptism this Sunday at church. It was about two months ago that she walked downstairs to talk to us about some serious questions. It was during this conversation that she communicated to us that she desired to truly surrender her life to Jesus. Here is the course of events that lead her to that decision (in her own words-she wrote her own testimony and I think it is beautiful):

"Hello church. Last year my family and I were eating rice and beans for a month to see what it was like to be an orphan. My dad called from the hospital to tell us he had a seizure and we were scared. He went to the doctor and us kids were getting babysat. On the way home, he told us that he had cancer and I started to cry. My sisters seemed to have something that I didn’t and I wanted what they had. It was a relationship with Jesus. My dad’s cancer changed my life because I saw that I needed Jesus. Just like my dad needed Jesus to heal him of his cancer, I needed Jesus to change me. A few months later when I got saved, Jesus changed my life forever."

Every time she shares her testimony, it brings tears to my eyes. God is so good! Despite all the heartache last year, God has written a beautiful story out of the storm. The one thing that I have learned this year is that God is faithful and He is trustworthy. Even if He had decided to take Wayne from us, it wouldn't change who He is or the beauty in the story that He is weaving. 

I thought I would share this beautiful testimony on the day that we received news from our oncologist that Wayne's MRI was clear! That's right, another clear scan!! As we were leaving the doctor's office, Wayne declared to me, "Well, I guess God still has work for me to do here on earth!!" Yes, yes He does. Now it is our job to allow Him to use us when and where He desires.

Thank you for your continued prayers! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Way Behind...

Isaiah 40:28-29 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

I am so thankful that God gives us strength and power to persevere. The last few weeks have been busy and chaotic. Between trying to finish up school, preparing paperwork for Piano Man, taking Hague classes in the evening (a requirement for hosting), and life, time has escaped me. The last thing I have had time for is blogging. So, once again, I'm doing a catch up blog post.

Dying Easter eggs

On April 1st, the girls had some fun pulling pranks on each other. Poor Micaela ended up with a mustache and beard. Thankfully, her sisters used expo markers on her face so it came off right away.

Micaela is plugging away on her letters. We've done the letter Z, R, and J. This week we are working on the letter B. Joella has fun doing some of the projects with Micaela and is learning quite a few letters too.

Identifying different kinds of rocks (for the letter R)

Grace has been working hard to finish up the last of her essays for the year. She only has five more to write, so she is thrilled. This time of year is always fun for all of us. We see the finish line ahead. Summer is just around the corner!

Micaela and Joella had fun with the letter J because they got to eat their letters. Their sisters got to partake in the fun too. I was thankful for the timing because I was able to score some jelly beans at 50% off because it was after Easter.

Prayer Requests:

1. Monday Wayne has his next MRI (where did 3 months go?). We don't have our appointment to find the results until Thursday, which is very unusual for us. The doctor had to change our appointment to Thursday, but Wayne decided to keep his MRI on Monday. Please pray for peace during the four day wait. We know God is in control. As Wayne has told me many times, God knows how many days He has for Wayne and for me. We can't worry or think about it, but just live each day to the fullest for Him! 

2. Please also pray for our mission trip to Canada in June that God will use the trip to bring Him honor and glory, and to change our lives.

3. Please pray for Piano Man. That everything goes smoothly with his travel arrangements and for all the paperwork we need to finish up.