Hello everyone!  Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this site!  Thank you all for your patience.  As most of you know, I’ve had very good reason for not participating in the blogging world the last few weeks.

Instead of retelling the story of what has been taking place with my father, I’ll assume that you all are familiar with the situation.  But if you’re not, or if you want to keep up with the latest news about Dad, please visit this site where you can read the journal my mother has been keeping for the past week or so. 

As I consider all that has taken place within the past two weeks, I am overwhelmed…overwhelmed by how much has happened, as well as just what has happened.  I can’t think about it too hard, or else I get really overwhelmed.

Although myriads of thoughts continually swirl through my head, the thought that prevails is that of knowing that God is sovereign, as well as knowing that he is good.  How freeing the truth is!  If I did not believe that God was ordaining every detail of this situation and in complete control, I would not be able to go on another day.  But, there’s such rest as I believe his word and trust him that he will work all things together for good and to the praise of his glory. 

This evening, I read a letter written by Sarah Edwards.  She is perhaps my favorite historical figure, best known as the wife of the famous Jonathan Edwards.  For those of you unfamiliar with who this amazing couple was, I’ll include a post later which gives a brief sketch of their lives.  As a New England Puritan, Jonathan was mightily used of God in early America and was instrumental in the Great Awakening of 1740.  He died on March 22, 1758.  The letter I read this evening was written April 3, 1758 to one of Sarah’s daughters.  I include it here for your encouragement, as well as my own:


What shall I say?  A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud.  O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths!  The Lord has done it.  He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him so long.  But my God lives; and he has my heart.  O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us!  We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be.

Your ever affectionate mother,


This letter has inspired, blessed and challenged me multiple times over the years, but never more so than now.  May such resignation and rejoicing in the will of God characterize us as we submit to this trial which comes from an unconditionally loving and supremely perfect hand.

We are all well here in Montana.  Ransom and I are staying with my four younger sisters.  I praise God for his providence in allowing us to live so close to them at this time.  The girls are doing a wonderful job of keeping the household running as Mom would if she were here.  We are trying to maintain a relatively normal home life and are carrying on with school and basic housework.  But, we’re also trying to distract ourselves with fun activities and events we can look forward to.  Thank you for your prayers for the family that has stayed at home.  Being separated from Dad and Mom at such a time is not easy for these girls!

With that said, I’d like to announce a new category on my blog.  It’s called For Dad and Mom Rickel.  As we are unable to be with them at this time, I hope to use my blog to keep them updated on the various and sundry happenings back here in Columbia Falls and post pictures especially for them of their sweet daughters and little grandbabies…and of course of that wonderful son-in-law! 🙂

So, without further ado, here are the latest pictures I’ve taken for their enjoyment:

On Sunday afternoon, Peggy Sue (my parents’ pastor’s wife) came to the house with her children, ice cream and a movie to boost our morale.  The above picture is of her son, Titus playing with Remember who is held by her Auntie Paige.


Here’s part of the crew enjoying the movie.  Leah Siblerud, a dear friend of Emily’s, was with us as well; she’s in the red sweater.  The cute little boy in front is Honour (21 months).  Thank you Peggy Sue for making it such a fun evening for the girls!


After the company had left and Honour was in bed, we enjoyed some quality girl time on the front porch.  Remember is falling very in love with her aunties.  The above picture is of Katie (8), Anna (almost 11), Paige (17) holding Remember (5 months) and Emily (13).

I can’t begin to list the countless ways that people are blessing us here.  As the week goes on, I’ll try and post about at least some of them.  Our brothers and sisters are being the hands and heart of Christ to us.  Thank you all so much…including the ones I’m not even aware of.

It is late, and our school day starts early, so I’d best close.  We love you all so much.  Thank you, THANK YOU for your prayers; they are truly sustaining us!

-JESSICA for all of us