Silver Lining

Every cloud has a silver lining. This long-time American phrase designed to bring encouragement to those facing tough times has proven itself true once again — this time in our family. Don’s mom’s illness and hospitalization, as difficult as it has been, has given us unplanned opportunities to spend time with his family. And that’s not always easy to do since none of them live nearby.

Over the past week or so, our kids came home for the weekend (which is a silver lining in itself), and each of Don’s siblings have paid a visit — some of them a couple of times. We got to enjoy an extended visit from Emily, his sister from Ohio whom we hadn’t seen for over a year and a half, and with each visit from one of her out-of-town kids or grandkids, Mom has been given reason to smile. The photo above is of Don with his sisters (Emily on the left, Susie and Jeanie on the right). Pretty good looking bunch, huh? Don’s brother Steve missed being in this shot by just one day.

Of course, we would rather Mom be healthy and there be no need for unplanned visits, but since that isn’t the case, we can certainly try to enjoy the opportunity to spend some time together. Let’s just say there have been more Barker stories told in the past 10 days or so than should be legal. In fact, if I have to hear one more time how the Snickers bar got cut into 6 pieces, I may lose it altogether :)

Seriously, I’m thankful for our silver lining. Thankful for family. Thankful for shared memories that can bring much needed laughter to a trying time. Thankful to our God who grants blessings that see us through.

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 18:28

p.s. Mom is still going through ups and downs. Looks like we’re in for a bit of a roller coaster ride. Sure appreciate your prayers!


  1. I’ve always found it interesting how God weaves some of the most precious family times into the most challenging. He’s done it again and again in my own family; I’ve found it to be a precious side of His faithfulness.

    Blessings to you and ALL of yours,

  2. Family coming in over the last year has been a tremendous blessing to me as well as my parents. I am sorry you are on the roller coaster ride, because I know how tired of the ride I am in my life.

    I pray God continues to pour out His mercy and grace and healing power on Your mother-in-law, I pray she is spiritually, mentally, and physically comfortable and is filled with His peace.


  3. I’m praying for you and your family. Even in the midst of sadness and suffering, God is with us and can use it for good. Thanks for sharing your silver lining and reminding me of this truth.

    And thank God for His faithful and that His mercies are new every morning.


  4. Seeing family is always good for the soul…glad you all are having some time together. Your mom is in my prayers as is your family.

  5. Thanks to everyone for the prayers. So needed and appreciated!

  6. When my mother was dying of cancer it did indeed bring our family closer. My sister and I now have the tradition of getting together every other week, which is something we never did before. Mom has been gone for 2 years and we still meet twice a month. God truly works in all situations to bless and work out His good things. May He continue to bless you in the midst of your trials.


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