great is Thy faithfulness

The boys were getting ready to go back to college after Christmas break when Jacob asked to speak to me and his Dad in our bedroom. He wanted us to know that he would be proposing to Brittnee. We had seen this coming, and gave him our blessing but didn’t know when or where or how and we both assumed this was a plan for the distant future, as Brittnee has another year of college and Jacob has to graduate (this spring) and get some things settled before starting a family.

Soon, it was the last week of February and they were back at home for a week-long break. We spent our days going to the mall, going out for breakfast at Millpond, and spending time together. It felt good to be cooking for a big family again and watching the kids do things like make pancakes and goof around. Everyone was busy with the last week of wrestling season and the boys helped their Dad with practice every day. Jacob and his Dad wrestled together and Rich nearly got a black eye. Jacob would tell me at home, “I don’t want to wrestle, my back hurts, my hip hurts, I’m RETIRED.” but then, once he was in the room, he just couldn’t resist having fun with his Dad on the mat. I know Rich loved every moment.

On Friday there was a major wrestling meet starting. Rich and Ethan took the team to New Haven, but Jacob had already made plans to visit the girls in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t feeling well, so I was able to stay here at home with Sarah Joy. The two of us enjoyed the quiet, and also went out shopping together (Ulta beauty, and Barnes and Noble). Sarah picked out a magic wand and a book of spells at the bookstore. I’m hoping she learns to turn things into cats for me.

Jacob left on Saturday morning looking handsome and happy, with a hug for his mom.

I had no idea he was going to propose to Brittnee.

At 3:59pm I received a photo from Jacob on my phone of a hand with a ring on the ring finger. I think I either didn’t see it or didn’t fathom it and so I didn’t reply until he also wrote, “Mom?” Then, I looked closer. I thought to myself, “Are they ring shopping? Do they want my opinion about the ring? Is this even Brittnee’s hand?” I had two more questions so all I wrote back was : (here is our entire text chat)

“? ? ? ? ?”

“Did you get my picture?”

“Yes, but I don’t understand.”

“I proposed!!!”


“YES!! Joanna is meeting us in ten minutes to take pictures”

“That’s so exciting!!”

“Yes, she cried. It was very emotional.”

(half an hour later, after I processed things and thanked God over and over, I wrote:)

“The ring is perfect, and I am so deeply happy that she will be my daughter. I felt was soon as I met her that she was someone special. I wanted to get to know her even before you fell in love, I was drawn to her in all Grace’s plays and concerts. And I say congratulations from the depths of my heart. I love you both so much and will always support you.”

“Thank you so much, Mom. I’m so glad that she has such an awesome connection with the whole family.”

“This is exciting and wonderful news!”


And that was that. Soon I was getting quick phone photos from my talented soul-full photographer-best friend, (who watched our little Jacob grow up in all my many many photos, letters, phone calls, and visits), was taking celebratory photos of my first born and his brand-new fiancé! I’ll share them as soon as I can.

So many delightful surprises all along this life-journey from my Father-God.


Seth was thinking about it on Monday morning as he got ready for school and said, “Even when he’s married, he will still be my brother.”

“Yes, Seth, you will always be brothers, nothing can change that.”

“And when I’m seventeen, I will drive to their house and visit them.”

“Yes, you will.”

“And soon, you’ll be a Grandma.”

Oh, gosh. He just had to throw that in. (not that I will mind, you all know I’ll be a wonderful Granny, I just don’t want to get excited so soon!!!). Oh gosh, did I just say Granny?………..they will (I admit) have the cutest baby in all the world, when the time comes. You know, far far off in the future…….let’s get them married and situated first, right? Thank you, Jesus.

“Blessings, all mine, with ten thousand beside.”

17 thoughts on “great is Thy faithfulness

  1. All the happy tears! Thank you for sharing. Seth’s question put a lump in my throat. So awesome that Jo was there to get photos, I can’t wait to see! -Chris

  2. Loved this Shanda. And I just listened to the song you tacked onto the end. A little piece of gold in my day. ❤️

  3. This has me crying sentimental tears and it’s not even my son or daughter!! Just makes me realize how soon my eldest, 14, could be here. They both look soooo happy!! Sarah

  4. This post brought tears to my eyes. I love everything about this story. What a beautiful message and intent in the text regarding your future daughter-in-law. You will be an awesome Mother-in-law and Granny. 🙂

    Congrats to everyone! I can’t wait to hear ‘the rest of the story’ in the future.

  5. hi shanda…….you make be laugh the other day when you mentioned the engagement so nonchalantly!! i know not everyone has to get married, but it warms a mama’s heart to know her son/daughter has found someone to share his/her life with. can’t wait to see what God has in store for those two!!!!❤️ and i must mention what great role models you and rich have been for jacob. they will do great!!

  6. What wonderful news!! I’m so excited for you….and that granny day does come! I’m eagerly waiting for my second grand baby to be born in April!

  7. Shanda,
    I too am so very happy for Jacob and Brittnee. Jacob has grown from a young boy I met at 7 years old to the man he is today. He will make such a great husband. I texted him soon after I saw the news on Facebook to congratulate them both. So excited for their future.


  8. I am sooo excited for this news and pray for the best for them in their marriage and beyond (yup, I shed a small tear of joy here too)! May the Lord surely bless them! It’ll be great to see Brittnee and Jacob in church — in due time —to congratulate them in person (can’t wait to see Grace too). Love your ever-growing family!! ❤️ And I think you’ll make a great ‘granny’ too… when/if the time comes, of course 🙂

  9. That’s so exciting on so many levels! Congrats to you all! What an exciting time. It seems that Brittnee has hit the jackpot in the Inlaw Lottery. However, we need to rethink Granny. You are way too young, hip and trendy for “Granny”. Mimi, Gigi, Shanny or even Grandma!

  10. What wonderful news Shanda ..Congratulations to the happy couple and the whole family …may they be Blessed with an amazing life together ..How exciting for you all …God Bless XXX

  11. As I try to stay cheerful and on top of my emotions and crazy postpartum hormones in the midst of this whole coronavirus thing, and am half the time not doing the best, I think often of you. Esp. since you’re not writing on here. I am sure that you, like me, are loving having your children home. I am afraid you also might be having a hard time, like me. I guess times like these really test our trust in God and His purposes; make us humble ourselves and admit our weakness and need for help; dig deep for promises and a strength to keep on, one day at a time. I know you have a good support group, but just letting you know, even though I only know you through the screen and a bit of letter writing, that you are on my heart and in my prayers. Sarah

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