Thursday, December 27, 2012

This is holy ground.

It's been a long time since I've blogged.  Life has been humming along and I've been busy enjoying it.  I've been busy welcoming new grandchildren into our family, five as of now and another on the way! I've been enjoying the lifestyle of empty nesters, doing what we want, when we want, and how we want.  Life took an interesting turn in June of this year.  I can't say it was unexpected because Daddy had been very sick for quite a while and had defiantly cheated death several times.  Still, we weren't really ready.  There were still important discussions that needed to take place.  I hadn't gotten all the detailed directions I would need to take care of Momma and all their affairs.  He didn't like having those conversations.  I guess he felt like it was giving in to the inevitable.  After all, this is the man after a fifty day hospitalization/rehab. stay, came home and bought a small boat to take fishing because he was too weak to stand that long!  He had bounced back and come home to Momma so many times, we just thought he would again.  This time was to be different.  He bounced back and went home all right, but he bounced all the way to Heaven and went home to his Savior and Creator.  I'm happy for him.  No more transfusions, no more pain, no more weakness or picking up nasty stomach bugs during long hospitalizations. 

On June 2nd, one day after their 58th wedding anniversary, Daddy died.  This began a journey for my Momma, my brother and me that we hadn't prepared for and weren't sure where to begin.  You see, Daddy was Momma's greatest love, biggest fan, and fiercest protector.  He wasn't just her world, he was her whole world.  Momma was suppose to go long before Daddy.  As she said, "They had a deal."  That's why he hung on and endured so much pain, so much suffering.  He was determined to keep his part of the deal and let her go first.  He was determined to take care of her.  Momma has congestive heart failure and dementia.  Daddy took care of her every need and whim.  He totally spoiled her and she was totally dependent on him.  She hasn't prepared food, driven, or managed their financial matters in years.  Daddy took care of literally everything.  That's where my journey in being a caregiver begins and that is what brings me here to blogging again.   Writing helps me hear myself and helps the stress involved slip away.  This is the hardest role I have ever played with so many fragile pieces to keep in balance.  I want to honestly journal the journey; the highs and the lows.  While it is sometimes funny and joyful and at other times just plain hard, exhausting, and tearful; it is at all times sacred and holy.  Make no mistake this is holy ground we are traveling. 

Monday, October 05, 2009

If you have never heard of the Zoe Conference, you need to learn of this awesome opportunity in Nashville, TN every October! This was our 4th year to go and it was the best yet! The worship times were awesome, the classes were unbelievable, and the fellowship was soooooooooooooooooo fun!!!!! One (out of many) of my favorite moments was the renewal of our vow as the Bride of Christ to Him. As a body of believers all who wanted to do so were invited to stand and repeat their vows to Christ. The speaker then led the audience in saying the traditional wedding vows spoken by His bride – the church – to Christ. It was the most meaningful and moving thing I have experienced in such a long time! I knew in my head that the church is the bride of Christ, but I guess my heart had never completely embraced that concept. As we stood pledging our love, devotion, and honor to Christ in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, and forsaking all others because of our love for Him, my heart simply could not hold all the significance of those words. It was one of those moments that forever change you. There were so many ah-ha moments this weekend when I understood my Savior better. It was an amazing weekend to glorify an even more amazing God!

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 thoughts

I usually don’t make resolutions because they seem to be traps by which to measure failure. It’s not that I think they are a bad idea, but my personality doesn’t exactly shine in the consistency and long-term goal area. The only resolution I thought I had ever kept was one to not make any resolutions, but alas, in making that resolution I had already failed by making it!! AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! This year I’m making intentions. Somehow the word seems less binding than resolutions therefore my free spirit still has room to wiggle, soar, and chase the occasional chicken! Here are my intentions for 2009:

Spiritually – to seek God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a more intimate relationship. I want to explore spirituality and come to understand if there is a difference between it and Christianity. How are they different, how are they similar? Are they one in the same? I want to be very intentional about spiritual relationships. I want to have spiritual conversations and relationships that go deeper than usual conversations of friendships. I want to “live in the moment” of every moment with God close at my side.

Personally – I want to achieve some semblance of a healthy lifestyle. Hitting the amazing 50 this last year really got my attention. I celebrate my age and am very happy to have made it this far! I want to honor the temple God gave me by physically, emotionally, and mentally taking better care of it.

Now for just the fun ones:
I want to try one new recipe each week. I get so tired of the same ole’ things for dinner all the time!
I want to work on a different room of the house each month. I intend to clean, purge, organize and decorate! While it’s not all that consistent with my personality, I love to organize stuff! Those clear containers for storage are almost as good as diamonds to me! Good news for Van!

That’s it. I’m really a very basic and simple person. My goals are realistic and as random as the rest of me! I'll let you know how it goes! I'll try to post my recipe of the week and occasional other insights as the year goes along.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the Pledge of Allegiance

This is worth your time to watch. Red Skelton is one of the first comedians I remember from my childhood. I love what he had to say about our nation and our pledge.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Love, love, love, love (feel free to hum along)

The theme of love keeps coming up all around me. That is just sooooo like God. It's that time of year when I begin "full steam ahead" into school planning. I had decided at the end of last year that our first Bible lessons this year would be about love. In my classroom, in a private Christian school, I have the privilege to explore with children how God meant for us to love one another. You see we are not just an assortment of people there to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic; we are a community of believers there to love and support each other while we learn reading, writing, and arithmetic! We are there as a community of believers to draw closer to God and each other. I just love that about teaching in a Christian school. I’ve taught this way for so many years now that I’m not sure I could do it any other way. I have the blessing of not only being able to talk about God openly, but He's part of the curriculum!

For all the Christian teachers out there teaching in the public school systems, you have my admiration and thanks for teaching God’s values and love to your students without violating school board policies and politically correct requirements. You are true missionaries and heroes in the Kingdom and greatly appreciated!

For our study, I don’t want us just to study how much God loves us – that alone is an amazing study! I really want to dig in with my students and begin to develop an understanding of how He requires us to love each other. As I was getting ready today this quote came through in an email from Real Simple magazine's quote of the day:

“Love is not blind–it sees more not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see
less.” Rabbi Julius Gordon

I love that! Here’s how God said it:

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 17:9
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

May we learn to love each other the way the Father loves us!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why do we do that to each other???????

Have you ever caught yourself saying or at least thinking, “I would never …” ? I think when looking at the lives of other people, rather than our own (Matt. 7:3), we often are tempted by satan to think these thoughts. I know I am.

A post by Shane (God works powerfully through him) brought these thoughts to my mind fresh again today. How often when I see someone in a struggle with a particular sin, a fight for their child, their marriage, their occupation, or even their life do I immediately conclude, “Well, if they just would have …” or “Well, if they just wouldn’t have …”. Satan tempts us to pass judgment on others constantly.

Surely this is why scriptures speaks so much to Christians about not judging one another (Matt. 7:1-2) and yet admonishes us to “carry each others’ burdens”(Gal. 6:2), “cover a multitude of sins with love”(1 Peter 4:8), die to ourselves and serve EVERYONE !! What would our world be like if our love was so great for each other that it literally suffocated and choked out the sins of others? What would our churches by like if that was how we treated our brothers and sisters in Christ? Please God, help me to learn to love more perfectly!!!

Matthew 7
(1)"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (2) For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (3) "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Galatians 6
(1) Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (2) Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (3) If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (4) Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, (5) for each one should carry his own load.

1 Peter 4
(8) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (9) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (10) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (11) If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Awwwwwww, summer!

Well, I’ve been absent from the blog world for awhile! Since I lasted posted in April, my knee has gotten better and I’m doing fine most of the time with it. I also have turned 50 and don’t think I said much about that. Funny, but just today I came across a quote that describes the significance of being 50 yrs. old.

“The years teach much which the days never knew.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love that quote and I value every year. Yes, 50 is indeed fabulous!!!

In other news, school was finally out the end of May. This year I had taken the job of After Care coordinator as well as worker. I did so to pad the wedding budget which was good, but it really did add a lot to the stress and strain of the year. I’m glad it’s over, I glad I experienced it, and I’m glad I’m not doing it again next year! I’m looking forward to being able to concentrate my attention on just my classes. For now, I'm enjoying summer and finally getting to do some reading and studying that I've looked forward to. I'll share more on that later.

Still, in other news, our daughter, last child at home, our only girl and baby of the family – does that clue you in on how big a deal this was – got married on June 14th. I have to say it was one of the most wonderful, beautiful, and yet intense moments of my life!! She was absolutely beautiful and radiant, he was designed by God just for her, and the wedding was wonderful! She later thanked us for making all her hopes and dreams come true! I’d call that a successful wedding! I treasured each moment, but as with so many things in life, I’m glad it is behind us now.

Now, for the latest breaking news, WE ARE EMPTY NESTERS!!!! It is now just the two of us again. We are a couple again. Don’t get me wrong, your life is still blessed with your children and still very connected with theirs, but the dynamics do change. It is fun to suddenly be just the two of us. I just hope I can figure out how to cook for two again. Really, with our schedule from the last year, I just hope I can figure out how to cook again – period! We are enjoying more quiet moments even though our lives are still very busy and we talk to our kids quite often, being a couple again is amazing!