Grandma’s Hands

Joann Jeanette Platt

February 6, 1932 – September 16, 2018

Grandma’s hands told a story of love, right down to her fingertips.  At the age of 11, grandma’s mother passed away, so her hands set about the work of the household; the cooking, cleaning, laundry and tending to her two brothers, while her dad worked the farm.  Her hands toiled hard to make a home for a family without a wife and mother.  At 18 years of age, Grandma gave her hands in marriage, and loved, held, and honored one man faithfully, for 67 years.  Her hands made clothing for her growing children and crocheted blankets to keep warm with.  Her hands sewed and reaped from her vegetable garden, and lovingly led the flowers in her garden to bloom with life. 

Grandma’s hands first answered the call to learn to play the organ so that there would still be music in her small church after an aged organist retired.  Even up to her last weeks on earth, her hands would glide across the keys, praising her Lord and Savior.  Grandma’s hands served many children and youth in her church and community as they prepared lessons and illustrations for the classes she taught.  Her hands raised 5 children of her own, teaching them, giving discipline when needed, and loving embraces the rest of the time.  Her hands could always be found lifting or holding one of her many grandchildren; this was one of her favorite joys.  Grandma’s hands would often hug you, and not let go.  Her hands would just linger around your neck as if she was giving you all the love she had to give. 

Grandma’s hands held the Word of God as she read, and folded in prayer often…bringing her before her God, the only one who could answer the deepest prayers of her heart, and speak into the concerns and circumstances of her life.  Her hands never stopped serving the Lord, and they never stopped giving love to all who needed it.  I have no doubt, that upon entering the gates of Heaven, she wrapped her hands around Jesus and didn’t let go for a long time.  And now she has joined the heavenly chorus with grandpa, and the many others who have gone on before. 

We love you grandma, and oh my, how we will miss your famous “never-let-go” hugs, your sweet smile, and kind spirit.  But one day when we see Jesus, we’ll see you again too.  We all look forward to the “never- let-go” hug waiting for us there.

Love, Deanon                   

Grandpa’s Hands

Don Junior Platt

January 19, 1931 – August 20, 2018

Grandpa’s hands were worn and tired, but what a story they told. His hands helped keep the boilers going on the U.S.S. Valley Forge during his service in the Navy. His hands drove the “big rigs” on the roads to provide for his growing family, and his hands toiled and tinkered under the hoods of cars and in farm equipment for 35 years as a mechanic. Grandpa’s hands built pulling tractors with his children and grandchildren, and drove them in competition as the whole family looked on with joy and excitement. His hands enjoyed holding onto the fishing pole and reeling in the catch. His hands indiscriminately helped family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Grandpa’s hands showed love to his children and also served up needed discipline with his children. His hands held, hugged and loved one woman, his wife, loyally for 67 years. Grandpa’s hands loved the embraces of family, especially those of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Most importantly, grandpa’s hands took hold of his wife and children and led them to church each week. His hands held the bible so he could read the word of God, and folded in prayer so he could listen to, speak to, and humble himself before God. Grandpa’s hands set about the task of serving the Lord as best as they could. So, while grandpa’s hands may have been worn and tired in the end, they were so full of beauty because his hands gave life and love to so many. And now, I have no doubt that his hands are unashamedly raised in worship before the throne of Jesus Christ.

We love you grandpa. We’ll never forget you. And one day, after we’ve seen Jesus too, I hope you’re there to wrap your hands around us for another warm embrace.

Love, Deanon

Hope Shines

It was a day that will forever be etched in my mind and heart.  Every detail, every cry, every tear, every shred of emotional and physical pain…I will never forget, and neither will my husband.  The doctor came in and said that word, the word we didn’t want to hear, the word we prayed we wouldn’t have to hear. 


In early February we found out that I was pregnant with our first child, and we were elated, busily calling our family to let them know the good news and ask for their prayers.  We were excited to be a mom and dad.  We had waited and prayed for a long time, and here we were, finally pregnant. 

We had walked through stores and talked about clothes, toys, and other things we would be getting soon for our child.  We had already picked out the kind of crib we would have and the way we would decorate the nursery.  We started to dream of the things we wanted to do with our child and teach our child.  We had so much love stored up in our hearts to give and lavish on the little one to come… but our hopes and dreams came tumbling down that day in the hospital. 

The doctor passed through the curtain on his way out, and seconds later, our pastor and his wife walked in…and we found ourselves having to repeat the same word that had caused all our pain. 


They didn’t say much, they just took our hands and began to pray, and the pain we were trying to hold in, began to overflow.  We wept and cried from a deep, guttural ache that rolled into loud verbal cries, broken deep breaths, and burning tears that we couldn’t stop.


We had to repeat that word over and over again as we called our family, informed our friends and shared with our church.  Every single time we tell the story, it triggers pain and throws us back, if even for a moment, to the struggle of that day and the life we lost.  We don’t know if it was a girl or a boy.  We never got to hear our baby’s heartbeat.  We never got to feel our baby moving and kicking in the womb.  We never got to hear our baby’s cry or see their smile.  We will never get to hold him or her in our arms on this side of Heaven…and it hurts. 

It was late when we were finally released from the hospital.  We were both emotionally spent, mentally exhausted, and physically hungry.  We stopped into Denny’s for a late supper, and as we were sitting there, in the midst of our grief, my mind immediately went to…Why?  Why did this happen?  Why did God allow this to happen? 

We could ask God a million times why these things happen, and we could probably come up with a plethora of ideas as to why.  But my husband wisely encouraged me to set aside the “why”, and cling to the hope of something our Pastor said that day as he prayed for us.  He prayed that God would use this terrible circumstance for HIS glory.  So our hearts and minds are set on that course.  We pray that God will bring glory to himself through the brief life of our unborn child.  

Is it still painful?  Yes, it hurts so deeply I can’t even put it into words.  Our hearts are still broken and we still shed tears, but God has entrusted this pain to us, and He is working His will through it.    

Hebrews 5:7-8 says,

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.

Jesus prayed and pleaded, with loud cries and tears, and even though God heard His prayers, Jesus was not delivered from the death He was facing.  God could have rescued His Son, but He didn’t.  and Jesus could have chosen to be disobedient, but He didn’t.  Jesus learned obedience through suffering and pain.  There is no pain we could face that He hasn’t already felt and to a deeper extent than we can imagine.  There is also no pain we face that goes unnoticed by our loving God.    

You keep track of all my sorrows
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.

-Psalm 56:8

He sees our pain and He knows our pain, and He loves us.  No matter what, we will have trouble in this life.  We will go through pain because we live in an imperfect, sinful world.  Jesus said so.  But even more than that, perhaps there are depths to God that we can only discover through pain and suffering.  Perhaps there are places or things for us that God can only prepare us for through pain.  I don’t have all the answers, but I have to believe that He knows what He is doing.

What is your pain?  I wonder what word would define it for you right now? 















From one broken heart to another, there’s hope; and it shines in the pain to carry you through.  His name is Jesus.  Seek Him.   

Our Story

How a    =)  Led To God, Food & Love.

(As experienced by Deanon)  On January 8, 2014, I decided to put a profile on “christianmingle” as a last ditch effort to meet someone.  I had tried several different Christian dating websites, and even “christianmingle” before with no success, so to be honest I wasn’t expecting too much. But I wanted to try one last time.  The month-long membership that I paid for flew by quickly with no activity or connections to be spoken of, so I went ahead and allowed it to expire on February 9.  When it expired I said to the Lord, “Ok Lord, I guess it’s just you and me.” It wasn’t a moment of sad resignation, but rather a consenting submissive one.  After 15 years of praying and searching, I decided that it must be God’s will for me to remain single, and surprisingly, I was ok with it.  After all, God has brought me this far in my life, so why not trust Him to lead me all the way home? 

The day after my profile expired, February 10, I received a “smile” =) from someone on “christianmingle”.  Yes, the dating websites allow you to receive “smiles” and standard, one-line messages from others on the site even though your membership is expired, but the catch is…if you want to respond to those messages or chat with those people, you have to pay for another membership.  Oh the joys of modern techno dating!  I looked over the profile that the smile had come from, and I liked it.  So I prayed, swallowed hard, and paid for another month-long membership.  Then I responded to his smile with a simple message asking him his name. 

THREE DAYS LATER, (what seemed like an eternity to me!), he responded.  His name was Jon.  From there, we began to converse online through instant messages.  We found that as each day passed, neither of us could wait to get home from our day to spend time talking to each other.  I would find myself laughing out loud at the things he would say, and I began to yearn for those times when I would get home, eat supper really fast, and then jump on the computer to see how he was doing.  We would spend hours every evening talking and laughing through instant messages.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…”how can you possibly get to know someone for real on the internet”…but on February 28, with no fear in my heart what-so-ever, (which was very unusual for me, and truly from God), I met up with Jon Morales at a “Starbucks” in Sarasota.  What I found was that he was the same man in front of me, as I had grown to really care about online.  He bought us coffee and we sat and talked for hours.  Having lost track of time because the conversation was so good, he suggested we grab something to eat, so we went on our first adventure together…to find a unique restaurant for supper. 

We shared a great meal and great conversation once again.  For both of us, it was the first time we were really able to be completely ourselves and comfortable with the other person, and it felt so good.  As time has gone on, we have discovered that our conversations typically revolve around two main topics, God and food.  Sure, we talk about our day, things we have to do, politics, goals, plans, our hurts, victories, struggles and joys, but somehow we always come back to God and food!  “God & Food” will most likely be the title of our book…should we ever write one.  Ha! J

As our relationship has progressed over the last several months, we have both witnessed and acknowledged how God has been involved since day one.  I could tell you story after story about how God brought us together, but there is one very interesting detail about our story that you have to know.  It’s what started it all.

What I did not know is very important for you all to know.  Three months into our relationship, Jon told me his side of the story of how we met online.  We were talking one night and he said that he needed to tell me something.  I was immediately a bit nervous, but I said, “ok, what’s that?”  He proceeded to tell me that he never sent me that first smile on “christianmingle”.  I thought he was joking, so I kinda chuckled and said, “yah, right.”  Then with all seriousness in his eyes and face, he said, “no, I didn’t”.  He then told me that the evening he put his profile on “christianmingle”, he didn’t even look at any profiles.  He had been annoyed because he kept seeing commercials for this particular website, and when he went to bed, he couldn’t sleep.  He knew the Lord was prompting him to put his profile on “christianmingle”, so he just quickly threw a profile online through his phone, and then went to sleep.  He never pulled up any profiles for anyone on that site.  He never looked at anything.  But somehow in the few hours between the time that my profile expired, and his profile was added, a smile was sent from his profile to mine, asking me what my name was. 

As he told me his side of the story, I was just in disbelief.  I kept saying, “Well, how did it get there?”  Finally, with a smile and a nod, he pointed up.  He said, “It had to be God”.  The first time that Jon saw my picture or profile was after he received my message when I responded to the mysterious “smile” that appeared in my inbox.  The website does not send out messages to others for you.  Personal messages can only come from the person who owns the profile.  But Jon didn’t send it.  The only explanation is God. 

There are so many stories of how we have seen God’s hand at work in our relationship, many things.  What is important for you all to know is that the most important things that make a relationship, common interests, goals, faith, beliefs and desires are perfectly matched, and even our differences compliment one another perfectly.  There really isn’t a better matchmaker out there than THE ONE who created us.  What we have found is a love that goes beyond our similarities and differences, beyond our dreams, hopes and desires.  It’s a love that was founded in and is centered on Jesus Christ.  Who could ask for more?     

But there is more!  A few months ago, Jon and I started talking about marriage.  Obviously when you are our age, (late thirties), you are looking for a mate, not someone to date, so you don’t waste time in determining whether this person is the one you will spend your life with.  Both of us praying a lot, and asking all the questions we needed to, we both came to the conclusion that God brought us together.    

Back in May, we scheduled a trip on Labor Day weekend for us to travel to Indiana so that Jon could finally meet my parents and the rest of my family.  We spent a couple months before the trip on “facetime” with my parents.  Every Sunday afternoon for 2-3 hours we would talk and laugh and spend time together so that when he went to Indiana, he would already know them pretty well.  As we continued to talk about marriage for the next few months before the trip, we began to plan out how we wanted to do the engagement.  Or at least, I thought “WE” were planning this.  Little did I know that Jon had his own plan.             

We talked for weeks about the trip to Indiana and he kept saying that he did not want to ask for my dad’s blessing the first time that he met him.  He felt that was wrong.  So we were going to drive up for the weekend a month after Labor Day weekend and surprise them and he would ask for dad’s blessing then.  For those three months, he was consistent on that point, no matter how much I tried to hint that I believed dad would give his blessing when we went up the first time, he refused.  He kept saying he felt that was wrong to meet him the first time and then ask for my hand.  So I just settled in my heart that I would let him do what he felt comfortable doing.  Meanwhile, we begin to plan a wedding with no help, because of course, we aren’t telling anyone about our plan…or so I thought.    

August finally rolls around and we are getting excited to go on our mini vacation to Indiana, and he begins to insist that he wear a suit to our family gathering that weekend.  My parents had invited both sides of my family to come together for a little open house so they could meet Jon.  I kept telling him that a suit wasn’t necessary because most everyone would probably be wearing shorts and t-shirts, but he insisted on wearing a suit because he wanted to make a good impression.  I went along with it and packed a nice skirt and blouse to wear, even though I knew we would be over-dressed.  But I would support him so he wouldn’t be the only over-dressed person at the party. 

A couple days before our trip, Jon tells me that he is bringing all his computer technology equipment on the trip too so he can help my mom fix her computer while in Indiana.  He told me that if security stops him, to just go on ahead and wait for him at the benches outside security.  No big deal.  I bought it…hook, line, and sinker.  The trip was wonderful!  We had an amazing weekend, and then Sunday came.  The night before, mom and I convinced dad to wear his suit too, which he made a big fuss about…all an act put on by my father apparently.  We went to church and then rushed home afterward to get a quick bite for lunch, and then we were supposed to head back to the church for the family gathering.  We were going to have to set up the tables and chairs and prepare the snacks and drinks.  Well, dad and Jon got hung up at the house, so mom and I went on ahead to the church and started setting up tables and chairs.  Jon and dad would bring ice and be there shortly. 

We got to the church at 1:30, and people were already starting to arrive.  The party wasn’t supposed to start til 2PM, but they were coming now.  “Interesting”, I thought.  But I put it out of my mind and went on about my business.  Then I noticed that people were dressed nicely with skirts, blouses, nice pants and shirts.  Thought that was interesting too, but I put it out of my mind.  Then I noticed my uncle busily running around taking pictures of everyone at the party, and wondered why he was doing that, but I put that out of my mind too.  Jon and dad finally arrived, and Jon was so nervous.  He even disappeared a few times.  I just thought it was because my family is a big family, with a lot of people and he was overwhelmed, so I put it out of my head.  I was rushing around trying to introduce him to everyone.  Then he left my side for a few moments and I saw him talking to dad. 

The next thing I know, mom and dad stand up in front and hush the crowd.  Mom invited us to come up front, so Jon came and puts his arm around me and we walk to the front.  I just thought I was supposed to introduce Jon and tell people how we met, so I did so, and then I figured we would go on with the party.  But then Jon started to speak.  I don’t even remember what he said.  It’s all a blur.  I remember looking at him and thinking, “What is he doing?”  Then he turned and looked at me, with my hand in his, and I actually said what I was thinking, “What are you doing?”

Then he said, “I want to ask for your hand in marriage.”  With that, he took the ring out of his jacket, and got down on one knee, and said, “Will you marry me?”  I was in such shock that I took a step back and said, “WHAT?!”  In my shock, I forgot about the moment we were in, and he said, “You didn’t answer my question…are you going to marry me or not?”  I was jolted back to my senses, and of course, I said “Yes!” 

He pulled off a surprise engagement that took three months to plan with the help of my parents, and my entire family!  After the party of course, I heard all the details of how long this went on.  Jon received my dad’s blessing over the phone in early June, and then asked him again in person upon arriving in Indiana when they went to breakfast together.  He purchased my ring in June, which was the reason for the story at the airport if security stopped him due to the ring.  And everyone who was dressed up and taking pictures and arriving early was ready for the occasion. 

So, I was the last to know.  Jon’s entire family knew of this plan, in fact his mother was watching the whole proposal unfold via “facetime” on his phone.  His friends knew.  The church I grew up in at home, even knew.  Hundreds of people knew, but I didn’t.  It was a really wonderful surprise!  There were so many signs that I should have recognized as indicators that it was coming, but Jon had me so convinced that we were waiting until October that I dismissed them all.  What an amazing man the Lord has given me! 

So, we begin our journey as a married couple on February 7, 2015, and we can’t wait!  We want to thank you all for being such an important part of our lives, for bringing us up and pouring into us all these years.  And especially thank you for the prayers…the Lord has answered, and we are on our way.  We hope our story has touched your heart.  More importantly, we believe that our story is really God’s story since HE started it all and will carry it all the way through.  All the credit goes to HIM!  Praise the Lord!

Jon & Deanon