Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Lovely Retreat

Home again, although this was a  business trip for my husband, our time away from home was quite enjoyable. While my husband was in meetings during the day I would hop on the metro and head to the museums. I had no particular agenda, so with camera in hand I would get off at the Smithsonian exit and begin walking

Not a cloud in the sky, but it was hot!

World War 2 Memorial

A great place to escape the heat

The Lone Sailor at the Navy Memorial

I saw the trip as a little gift from God. I had time to sit and read (without worrying about laundry or dishes that needed done) and listen to my IPod, I have various teaching and sermons downloaded (never leave home without it) Definitely some much needed feeding of the soul going on. Came back refreshed and relaxed. And there was a little surprise waiting for us when we got back, our newest grandchild, pictures to come

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good his love endures forever"  Psalm 107:1

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Warriors Welcome Here

Just a quick update for all. Although we have no " official " news yet concerning bone scan results, we have peace that all is well.

I was supposed to have a doctors appointment tomorrow, but my husband is traveling this week and wanted me to go with him. Easy decision, rescheduled the doctors appointment for next week packed my bags and off we went.

Now to the many folks who have been praying for us, all I can say is thank you...people I know and people I only know through cyberspace, I have been truly blessed by the outpouring of support and prayers.

To the friend who stopped over my house, to pray and talk to me...thank you. To the friend who called me that evening and tried to help me see truth, then drove me to the scan and sat with me for two and a half hours...thank you. To all the friends who were texting me and emailing with prayer and scripture...thank you

It's comforting to know you are not standing alone, that others are praying when you cannot, that there are people who can remind you of truth, those who are sensitive to the leading of the spirit and will respond to his leading.

One of my very favorite Psalms is Psalm 16 , and the verse that has been most speaking to me these last couple of days is Ps 16:8

I have set the the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

The body of Christ is a precious gift we all have available to us

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Belt Of Truth

Life can be difficult sometimes. Things don't always go as we plan. There can be job loss, wayward children, death, health issues, loss of any kind.... you fill in the blank. Our responses can be anxiety, depression, fear, unbelief, frustration, confusion, feeling overwhelmed, weary, the list can go on.

We had a discussion in our ladies group the other day on how as Christians we need to battle these emotions. Ephesians tells us to put on the full armour of God, and what is the first thing we are told to put on...the belt of truth. Here are some truths I have found this morning

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Deut 31:6

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence the Lord is my helper I will not be afraid  Hebrews 13:4b-5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight  Proverbs3:5-6

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purposes  Romans 8:28

When you pass through the waters I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you  Isaiah 43:2

God is sovereign and in control  "Consider what he has done, who can straighten what he has made crooked" Ecclesiastes 7:13

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord did not decree it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things happen  Lamentations 3:37-38

The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life, the Lord will watch over your coming and your going both now and forevermore  Psalm 121:7-8

I did not realize at the time of the meeting that I would need to start preaching these truths to myself  the next day. I found out yesterday that I will need a bone scan this morning because of an abnormal MRI. When you have had a diagnosis of cancer in your past, fear creeps in very easily. With the help of others I have been focusing on what is true, putting on that belt of truth.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something to Ponder

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"  Jim Elliott

I heard this quote the other day and it has been resonating with me ever since. What is it that I am trying to hang onto to that I should be giving. This has many applications but in my own life it would be time.

Right now time seems to be a rare commodity and I have to admit I'm not always happy about the fact that it seems to be in such short supply. I want a life of ease and comfort, time to sit and watch the world go by, but is that what I should be seeking? Aren't we called to serve other's, sometimes sacrificially. Investing in the life of others for eternity's sake.

 "Saving faith has feet"  Tullian Tchividjian

There has been more demands on my time lately and I have found myself struggling.  Feeling some resentment at times, and knowing all along that it was wrong. Wanting  a life with few demands, no problems, or  complications...and messy relationships...I'll pass on that one.

But that is not reality and we should live this life with eternity in view. My life is not my own, my time...not my own. I am an ambassador for Christ. Time to get a new perspective, it's not about me... life's complications equal opportunities. The Lord working on my heart...continues to change me through the circumstances of my life. Thankful!

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold'  Job 23:10

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me"
Psalm 51:10                                                         

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Asked my sweet husband if there was anything special he wanted to do for Father's Day weekend this year, his reply... he wanted a quiet weekend where he didn't have to go anywhere or do anything.

The weekend started today...so far he has worked on the car, cleaned out the gutters, moved furniture from one room to another, hoed in the garden and water proofed the fountain. What happened to doing nothing? Turns out, it was more about not wanting to have to go anywhere, he wanted to do all this stuff around the house.

For Father's Day we will see our oldest son and daughter in law and the grand kids, will have lunch with "sweet lady" then no plans except for some grilling for dinner. Quiet afternoon of doing nothing? that remains to be seen. Maybe some hammock time?

We  will celebrate Father's Day. Thankful for the kind of dad my husband is to our two sons and daughter in law. He has a servants heart and a love for his family. He is also Mr Fix it, the go to guy when something is broken...that talent is used often. He is also pretty good at squishing bugs and opening jars, just had him squish a spider cricket in the house...yuk! So to my husband, Happy Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

These Days Of Our Life

Do you ever feel like life is coming at you so fast and furious, that you hardly have time to sit and take it all in? That has been our year. Life lesson seems to be "you know that control you thought you had, it was all an illusion"

We had a pretty ordered life, our kids were grown and out of the house, youngest was almost independent. Life was pretty ordinary. We used our off time to spoil our grand kids, putter around the house, get together with friends, we pretty much did what we wanted. We were pretty boring.

Then came cancer, that one was a  reality check. When you get a diagnosis of cancer you are faced with your mortality. Our lives stopped for a couple of months, everything was focused on getting through that. Cancer helped us gain a new perspective on things, you look at the choices you are making, you don't take things for granted. Oh how faithful the Lord was during those days, I felt his presence like I never had before.

Shortly after my second surgery, my dad got sick. He went from independent to dependent with mom the main caregiver.Things are looking better but it has been a long three months for him and my mom. Both are in their eighties, so why were we so surprised when something happened? There has been a positive outcome from this event as well. Siblings who had let too much time pass between communicating with each other are now talking on a regular basis.

Then there is "sweet lady", another whirlwind  event. She is moved into her new place, but the move has seemed to make her memory worse. I expected that, it's pretty normal. When you have memory problems routine is key.The move disrupted the routine she had gotten into at our house,(it took her two weeks to get adjusted to our home and that was with me constantly cuing her) it will take awhile for her to get into a routine again in her new home.

I went to see her yesterday and she was so confused, it made me sad. We sat and visited for awhile, talked about her day, she knew she had gone out to eat for lunch, but couldn't remember much more. We are all still in the process of adjustment. Haven't got it all figured out yet, trying to find our groove. She loves Dairy Queen, so frequent ice cream runs will be on the schedule, and church and lunch on Sundays. Praying the Lord will inspire us, show us ways to help her adjust.

So back to this thing about control. We don't have it, never really did. The events of the past year have  made this quite apparent to us. We have had to put our trust in the Lord, nothing else we could do. This is not a bad thing, takes the pressure off me.(again like I really had any control) Have I totally got it? no, this is going to be a life long process, letting go and trusting the Lord. I know my tendency is to try to fix it first then give it to the Lord. I am learning though, so, crazy year, yes, but it is a year the Lord has used to help build our faith and grow us spiritually.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul"  Psalm 143:8

Friday, June 10, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

We have two sons, one near and one far. My youngest son graduated from college in December. He decided to stay put until a decision was made on where he wanted to go to school in the fall. He lives up north, a place where snow in April is not unheard of. On one of our first visits we saw these in a parking lot .... lawn tractors with shovels?? Turns out they were sidewalk ploughs. Who knew??

This son has been working at a bike shop to pay the bills with some "gigging" on the side. He is a musician as well as a music educator. We hear from him pretty frequently but it's the calls that start out with "Can I talk to Dad" or "Can I talk to mom" that get our attention.

The light bulb went off Sunday for my husband after one such call. He finally figured out that the calls that start off with  "Can I talk to Dad" are usually mechanically related, something about the the car, which I might add, he takes really good care of and if the call starts off with "Can I talk to mom" it usually has to do with some broken or injured body part or he is cooking something.

Sunday it was a "Can I talk to mom" call and it turned out to be about an injured body part. Somehow he got his right thumb caught in a pedal and a gear of a bike... have to admit the details are fuzzy because I had a hard time listening after hearing about the snap he heard and the deformity of the thumb. Mom's advice...ice and emergency room.

Turns out it may or may not be a fracture, with his description I had visions of bone sticking out. They splinted it in the emergency room, then sent him to an orthopedic doctor who has since casted it. Casting has come a long way, seems he can shower and bathe with it and of course he got to chose the color of the cast. I asked him what color he choose, he said black. Black? Had he gone goth? No, seems he is playing in a wedding in a few weeks and thought lime green might be a little distracting.

There is plenty of good news in this and many things to be thankful for.

1. He is still able to work...he is hoping to get some sympathy sales at the bike shop because of the cast(I'm not really convinced about sympathy sales...but OK)
2. The medical expenses will be covered
3. The injury although inconvenient is minor
4.  It will not hinder his ability to play the horn (an income source)

Life is never dull is it ? Challenges part of life on this earth. Refinement continues, thankful to God for his provisions, mercy and grace, when life seems to be one "adventure" after another.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."  Psalm 107:1

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Anniversay

Thirty Six years ago today I married my best friend. We were two clueless kids about to embark on one wild adventure. The years have many happy memories. We raised two sons, watching them as adults is one of our greatest pleasures. One is married with three, soon to be four children, the other is getting ready to be a grad student this fall.

We have kind of grown up together, my husband and I, and there is not another person I would want to experience life with. This year has been one of our most challenging. We have had a death of a family member, cancer, failing health of both sets of parents, and other serious family issues.

God has been faithful in walking with us through the harder days. We both have a faith that is rooted in Christ alone. God has used the harder days to grow us spiritually and as a couple. Today we celebrate the love we have for each other. We will remember days past, the good ones and the not so good. We usually walk down memory lane on our anniversary.

We both have the day off, in addition to our anniversary, today is move in day for "sweet lady". We will spend the day helping her move. Tonight we will probably celebrate with dinner out. Happy anniversary to my sweet husband, my best friend.

Taken last January when we were celebrating a delayed 35th wedding anniversary trip

Saturday, June 4, 2011

More Memories of Summers Past

This is one of my favorite photos of my little treasures (aka grandchildren) We had just taken the grandkids out to a local restaurant for some burgers to celebrate "Missy Miss's" birthday. Arrangements for the waitress to bring out an ice cream sundae with the staff singing Happy Birthday had been made to make dinner a little special.

"Missy Miss" was delighted, but it got even better. There was another group celebrating a birthday in the restaurant, a much larger party with ballons, party favors etc. After the wait staff sang Happy Birthday to my grand daughter, a lady came over to our table, it was her daughter who was having the party across the room.  They had some party bags left over, could she give them to my grandchildren?

The children were thrilled, in the bags were all sorts of trinkets and treats but the thing they enjoyed the most were these sunglasses.

When I see this picture I think of the kindness of that stranger. A little blessing that added to our evening.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Smiles All Around

Life at our household continues to settle, finding a routine again. We have found "sweet lady" a home, she moves in next week. We looked at her studio apartment today, they are in the process of painting, she has asked them to paint it pink...so pink it will be.

She has spent the last two days there, I drop her off in the morning and she comes home with us at night. It has been a good way to transition, friends have already been made. We were greeted with hugs this morning from one lady we met yesterday...I think we are going to have some new family.

"Sweet lady" is happy, there is a brightness to her voice, she smiles more. Recently she has been telling us "I came down here to help you guys" When she told us that again last night, my husband smiled and said you've already helped us more than you know.... and she has

It has been a life changing event, but in a good way. Still in the process of trying to figure it all out, finding our rhythm. When I think over the last couple of weeks I am still amazed at God's grace and provision. I sometimes think to myself,  how did we do this? Wasn't us, it was all God!

One more reason to smile, oncologist appointment today, all is well...NED (no evidence of disease)

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance"    Psalm 16:5-6