Sunday, May 31, 2015

Happy Day

We've been counting down the days, and the time has come......

They're here!

We were so excited that we were at the airport at least an hour and a half early. We entertained ourselves during the wait by walking the terminal and sitting at the coffee shop sipping large cups of flavored tea...which in turn resulted in several trips to the Ladies Room. 

When we first spotted them, we hugged and cried then hugged some more. The next couple of weeks will be busy for them, so many people have missed them. 

We are not sure what the next two weeks are going to look like but it doesn't matter because for the moment...they are here!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Needed Reminders

What is your only comfort
 in life and death?

That I am not my own
   but belong with body and soul
   both in life and in death
   to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins
   with his precious blood,
   and has set me free
   from all the power of the devil.
He also preserves me in such a way
   that without the will of my heavenly Father
   not a hair can fall from my head,
   indeed, all things must work together
   for my salvation.
Therefore, by his Holy Spirit
   he also assures me
   of eternal life
   and makes me heartily willing and ready
   from now on to live for him

from the Heidelberg's Catechism-The Lord's Day 1

This may seem like a random post, but these were words really spoke to my heart the other day. I bought a book by Elyse Fitzpatrick several years ago called "A Steadfast Heart" included with the book was a CD with readings from scripture, poems, prayers and a couple of songs. I was running errands yesterday and decided to listen to that CD. (I've listened to it before but it's been awhile)

I probably let that CD loop four or five times and this reading was the one that keep getting my attention. I heard "I am not my own" "not a hair can fall from my head, indeed all things must work together for my salvation" "he assures me of eternal life" over and over. There is something to be said about hearing something repeatedly....I was listening

It had been one of those days, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything I had to do, add to that a little self pity and you get the picture...not pretty.  Listening to this reading helped me take my focus off what was driving my emotions. It was a reminder that my days are in his hands, even when I feel like they are out of control. It was a reminder that he was working every situation for my good. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The Roses are blooming at the Garden's. I get really excited when the first flowers of Spring start blooming but when the Roses start blooming in the Garden's it's quite spectacular.

A trip to the Garden's on a Sunday afternoon after church is probably one of my favorite things to do.  You can take a leisurely walk or ride a free tram around the Garden. The last couple of weeks we haven't made it much further than the Rose Garden (near the front of the Garden) I start taking photos and before I know it we've been there two hours and it's time to go home.

The Garden is a peaceful place for us. It's a place to slow down, it a place you sit  for hours, if that's what you want to do.  I've been known to sit a spell and take all the beauty in, not for hours but for a good long time. You can do a lot of thinking in the Garden's. 

The roses are just about done now, but the Perennial  Garden is just coming into bloom. That's the nice thing about the Garden, something is always in bloom.

I have roses in my garden too. I'm not great at growing roses but I try. Roses can be kind of fussy and mine always seem to get black spot or mildew. The rose below is blooming in my garden and is called Coretta Scott King. I found it at the Garden Center at the end of last summer, it looked pretty pitiful then and needed rescuing. I didn't really know what it was going to look like when it bloomed, but like the two toned colors, I hope it does well this summer. We will start to have Japanese Beetles soon, the roses will be covered, so now is the time to enjoy the blooms. Anything pretty blooming where you are?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Caring For a Loved One

Can it really be four years since we received that phone call about my husband's sister. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We had spent the day before at the Garden's celebrating Mother's Day.
It was a call from an unfamiliar number with an unfamiliar voice on the other end.

My husband's sister was having problems and we needed to come as soon as possible, no easy task since we lived an eight hour drive away. Lots of story line in between that call and her arrival at our home, but God's hand was seen at every turn.

We settled her in a place close to our house and that's where she remained until they closed down the facility last summer. Moving her from that facility proved to be hard on her. The differences in the two places are pretty significant, and in the end we have decided to move her again...sigh!

Here are some of the things we have learned that may be helpful to you, if you find yourself looking for a place for a loved one to live. Some things you need to consider.

1. Location
The facility has to be convenient for you to get to, the closer the better. The facility my SIL is at right now is only 15-20 minutes away but it's on a side of town I rarely travel, and I have to time my visits around traffic.  Consequently I am not able to get over there as often as I would like.  If you work and are the main caregiver, finding a facility close to your place of employment may also work. Bottom line, convenience is top priority.

On a side note,  your frequent presence at a facility often makes a difference in the care your loved one receives. They are often shorthanded and an extra pair of hands is always appreciated. Even if it's only to put your hand on the shoulder of a lonely soul that just needs someone to listen to their stories.

2. Layout
This was something we never really though about until our SIL was at the new place. She loved to walk, but there are no places to walk in her current facility. The lobby is very narrow and acts as a multipurpose room. She finds it difficult to navigate the narrow space, encumbered by wheelchairs and walkers from other residents, so she stays in her room more. Result...she walks less and that is never good.

3. Odor and Cleanliness
You know what I'm talking about. An occasional odor happens, but when it's the first thing to hit you when you walk in the door every time you visit, it might not be your best choice.  This wasn't really an issue at our SIL facility but I know it is at many places.

Why not keep them at home you ask? Well, it's an option for some, but you have to consider safety issues, mobility etc., for us the choice was Assisted Living. Sweet Lady was able to keep some independence and privacy and still be safe.

Okay, so here's the test question, what's the biggest factor in choosing a place for your loved one to live? You just have to trust me on this one, it's LOCATION.

Sweet Lady has been on a waiting list for for a place very close to us for a couple of months now. We were getting a little anxious because our grands will soon be here. We didn't want an impending move to take away from any grand time. My prayer was that we would hear from the new facility after the 15th of May (that way we wouldn't have to move her until after grands left. ) God answered that prayer. All the preliminary paperwork will be done before they arrive and her move in date will be after they leave. Thank you Lord for your perfect timing!

By the way I would still be thankful even if it didn't work out the way "I wanted" but it's nice that it looks like it might.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Too Good Not To Share

Some things are just too good not to share. This excerpt came from Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" from the reading of May 11th.

"It is well there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, set not thine affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set thine heart upon him who abides  forever faithful to thee. Build not thine house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world, but found thy hopes upon this rock, which amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure. My soul, I charge thee, lay up thy treasure in the only secure cabinet; store thy jewels where thou canst never lose them. Put thine all in Christ; set all thine affections on his person, all thy hope in his merit, all thy trust in his efficacious blood, all thy joy in his presence, and so thou mayest laugh at loss, and defy destruction."

Life is like a roller coaster, or at least it has been for us in the last year. Circumstances have rooted out where we have really put our affections and revealed how much we cherish comfort and order. This little reading pointed me once again to the One who remains unchangeable, who is our hope and is faithful in all things. Will I ever really get this?!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thoughts on Mother's Day

Before you all get the wrong idea about what I am to write, let me assure you, I had a very nice Mother's Day. I heard from the one's that I love, I was treated to an afternoon at the Gardens and served a scrumptious meal of Soft Shell Crab by my husband. (complete with a small fire on the stove top, caused by splattering oil. I had to giggle a bit over the fire, it really was quite small, my husband is very competent in the kitchen, so this kind of thing just doesn't happen) In the end everything was delicious and he did an amazing job cleaning up the mess.

What came to mind yesterday morning when I was thinking about Mother's day was how difficult a day it was going to be for a lot of women.  I thought of those that wanted to be moms but couldn't. The moms with estranged children, or prodigals or those that have lost a child. What about those that have lost a mom or who's mom isn't like the one in the Hallmark commercial. My heart was heavy with the thought of it.

I am not anti Mother's Day, being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world, having a day to honor them is a good thing. What we need though is to be aware of is the pain that this day may magnify for so many others. (I know I'm a little late on this one) I know you know who these ladies are in your life, pray with them, encourage them, point them to the Savior who sticks closer than a brother.  Remind them of the truth of the Word. Be there for them, let the Lord direct you in how you can best serve and minister to them.

                          Photo below taken of my mom and I almost thirty years ago

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April Moments

I may not have done much blogging in April but I did manage to take some photos that painted a picture of what our month looked like.

The biggest thing that happened in April was that our weather began to warm up a bit and our garden began to wake up. It's been nice to get outside again cleaning up all the winter debris. I enjoy discovering perennials under all the fallen leaves and dead foliage, it's like finding "old friends"

We made another trip to DC to see the Cherry Blossoms. Timing was good, the blossoms were almost at peak and since the weather was a little drizzly the crowds on the first day were light.

Little Miss celebrated her sixth birthday, and thanks to face-time we were able to share some of the excitement with her.

We also made a couple of trips out to the Botanical Gardens, a sure sign it's Spring. Had our first picnic of the season and even though it was in the 60's it felt really good to be out and about. The day we were there the azaleas were starting to bloom.

The end of April makes us a month closer to our long anticipated visit with the grands. Apparently my oldest granddaughter found an "App" that is counting down the days to the hours and minutes. I love that they are excited as we are.