Friday, November 30, 2007

Sweep Over My Spirit

This morning I am thinking about waves.
My grandparents lived for a time in Southern California when my mom and uncle were younger. Despite their Michigan roots, the brother and sister still love the warmth and sunshine of their days as transplanted Northerners. Maybe it is the thinking of my gramma's life than makes me think of those California days before my birth. Mountains and fruit trees in the back yard and trips to the ocean. And waves.
I've found my grief to sweep over me in waves, crashing against the quiet shoreline of my heart just when I think my waters have settled. I don't have to be remembering anything to find myself suddenly crying. Then again, I can think about The Farm and moments with my gramma in her home without tears.
This morning I awaken on the day of Eleanor Meszaros Gerhardstein's funeral. And yes, the waves are approaching. I feel like I am standing on that Southern California beach with my feet spread, waiting for the force of the ocean to overwhelm me. But today the sand is warm under my feet and the gentle western sun bathes me from head to toe. Today the waves are not threatening to knock me over and drag me away in their undertow. Today, the waves sweep upon me and their name is "Peace." I am awash in an ocean of peace today.
It has settled into me quietly and then wells up from my toes so that I catch myself smiling over the rim of my coffee cup. I am peaceful, even joyful.
I suddenly found myself this morning. Perhaps I have finally inherited my gramma's vision of myself? I think I am quite able now to guide my family the way I needed to be guided. I think I know how to make a place within these walls for my children and one day their children to come and ask about King David and I think I will be ready to answer. I think I have wisdom tucked away from these forty years with my gramma that I didn't know was there. If my gramma's work was complete, surely her prayers for me are complete as well.
I don't imagine the waves of grief are subsided. After all, grief will not finish its work until I am there with my grandparents in heaven.
Today I find myself swept away on fathomless billows of love.

Job 9:8
He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perfect Submission, All Is At Rest

So what do you write on the day your gramma dies?
That you've laughed and cried at the same time? That you couldn't wait to get to your family when you heard the news and you need to be alone a few hours later? That you spent half the day worried that your skirt and pants would not fit for the two days of viewing and as soon as you got home you tried them on, and once they fit you felt you could now proceed with mourning?
I will write to tell you that I think yesterday was a perfect day to die. It is Christmas time which is shining and sacred and soothes the edges of my heart. It's cold and windy and it calls for warm clothes which wrap my body in comfort and lulls me into sleepiness.
It is perfect because her son was here for a few days to be with her and she went to heaven on his birthday. Her life begins on the same day his did.
Now I will tell you a secret. I asked God to give my gramma a soft death a few months ago. My gramma hated doctors and hospital and procedures and tests and even identification bracelets! If you are wondering how she died, she had cancer. Pretty bad cancer it seems. I don't know how long she had it but probably a long while, we never knew. And yet, she lived independently and ultimately spent just a few days in the hospital where she was diagnosed and then sent home with hospice. She never knew she had cancer. She never had to endure treatment or chose to refuse it. She had pain when she came home, but it was quickly managed by hospice and her loved ones.
She slept and slept in her own home while her family prayed and sang over her. She slept and slept while she was kissed and stroked and loved.
And then she died softly.
It was a perfect death.
My peace is perfect too.
My Gramma. (Click here)

2 Samuel 22:31
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Arrangements: Martenson Funeral Home, Allen Park, MI
Viewing Thursday 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Funeral Friday 2:00 p.m.

Pictured: The Farm. Perfect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

With Jesus

Psalm 50:2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Dear Gramma,
Now I chase after you.
I love you.

Eleanor Margaret Meszaros Gerhardstein
7/23/1922~ 11/27/2007

Arrangements: Martenson Funeral Home, Allen Park, MI
Viewing Thursday 5:30-8:00p.m.
Funeral Friday 2:00 p.m.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just a Minute

I'm ironing my clothes and for the moment not thinking about my gramma or hospice or anything except whether to wear a warm hoody or light shirt.
And into my heart drops a sentence from the throne,
"Your gramma's going to heaven in a minute."
I don't know how long the minute will be, but my heart rejoices and there is laughter in the depths of my soul. God, you are so ever-present. Thank you.

James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007. 10:43 a.m.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Come Now Angel Band

What complicated things we Christians are.
I am convinced that my gramma's death is imminent and equally convinced that this is a good thing. The reward for her life lies just beyond her grasp now. The deepness of her sleep and the far-away look in her eye tell me that more of her is already in heaven than what remains. It's just the temporal shelter of her body that is slowing winding down.
I don't ask God to heal her or to extend her time with us. I ask for quickness, take her now Lord. Receive her to your throne where sickness and pain find no stronghold. Give her that immortal body promised, strong and perfect. No, I do not want more days or even hours for her on this earth. I came to her bedside in the middle of an episode of apnea. I stood quietly wondering, is it now? She inhaled then and I was almost sorry. I found I was holding my own breath as if in anticipation of her entrance to the throne room of God.
Still I walk in mortal flesh and am caught by wrenching grief that won't be still. I wonder how many tears can my body produce before I am finally dry? Nothing is interesting to me except rest. I am not depressed, I don't even think I'm sad. But I am entirely focused on my gramma. On wanting her to go but not wanting her gone. I think I found something of my grampa in her, and I wonder what will remain when she's gone. I don't know what I want, maybe for time to have moved more slowly.
I hunger for aloneness right now. My mind cries out for solitude and quiet to settle my soul into what is coming. I don't want comfort but to empty out whatever in me remains of the days of having four grandparents, then three, then two and I want Jesus to fill in the spaces she will leave. I am not undone by her death. I do not have unfinished business or unspoken words with my gramma. For this I am grateful and even now my heart celebrates my great blessing. I just need to be quiet as the sun sets on what my life has always been and take a breath to receive the new sunrise.
Let my gramma not linger in this world. But let me bravely walk forward on feet of clay until I too awaken in heaven.

Psalm 62:5
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

November 25, 2007

Isaiah 51:1 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


1. I FINALLY got my hair cut & colored! 2. I lost a few pounds. 3. I can now wear my Santa scrubs. 4. My Christmas tree (yes, the slim one) is up and sparkly! 5. I've got a dog. 6. It's the weekend! 7. I'm starting a new adventure in January...tell you more about that later. 8. I am blessed in ways that astound me and prove that God goes ahead of me. 9. I have new warm pajamas with a coffee cup on them. 10. My gramma.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Arm & Hammer

I'm tired and don't feel like writing anything today, so here's a little something I wrote when I got home from the hospital last Sunday night after my gramma was admitted. Five days later, it's amazing how fast she has declined. It's also amazing how in Christ, that is a blessing. Love you guys.

My gramma has always been, ahem, proud of her looks. She is very discriminant in her choice of clothing. The list of acceptable colors and fashions is relatively short and always classic.
Likewise, she has always been very aware of her figure. Never an extra inch on the woman. Continually on the look-out for those who might be wearing a hair piece.
So we're in the hospital and I'm trying to comfort, calm and soothe her. I am holding her hand and talking in low and peaceful tones. I am being quite the Nancy Nurse.
She reaches up a frail hand to touch my arm.
"Is this muscular?"
She touches my arms.
"No, it's soft. It's big and soft."
Me, "It sure is, it's just fat!"
Gramma, "That's not funny. Good bye!"
And that was that.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good Night

Our Thanksgiving was tiring and long and sweet and good.

Gramma came home last night from the hospital to settle into the care of her family with hospice assistance. I spent the night at her home with my mom. We slept in short bursts either awakened by my grandmother needing our help or awakened simply due to our own hyper-vigilance. At 5:00 a.m. we finally gave up and started our Thanksgiving preparations with bleary eyes and over-tired minds. It's a wonder anything made it to the table at all!

Because Gramma arrived home late in the evening last night, she'd not been officially seen by hospice so they came by this morning to settle her in and show us how to comfort her best. Thank God for these special people. They allow us to be strong and weak at the same time.

We made a traditional Turkey Day feast and the family gathered at 1:00 for dinner just as Lynette, the nurse, was leaving. My dad's mother, my aunt, sister and Sarah brought their special dishes and together we enjoyed a bounty as though nothing but celebration was on our minds. And in a way, it was true. I am sad, to be sure. But I am more peaceful and happy.

Please pray for my mom tonight. She is home alone with gramma as Amy and I had to go to our own homes to prepare for work tomorrow. I had myself halfway convinced to come home and pack a bag to return but the Holy Spirit checked me. Tomorrow my uncle will arrive from out of town and then on Saturday a cousin will come to stay for the duration as a caregiver for my gramma. I felt the Lord tell me that tonight my mom needs to be home alone with her mom. There was much bustle and talk with a house full of people today but this evening there needs to be quiet with a mother and daughter together. I think it is a private night that should be for the two of them, prepared by a loving God. Please pray that the evening is gentle and peaceful. Let there be quietness and an opportunity for this mother and daughter be wrapped in each other's love. I wanted to stay and "help", but the Lord assured me he could take care of them without me for this night. I would ask that you intercede on my gramma's behalf that she be pain free and able to rest. And for my mom, let there be a great peace that there is nothing left unfinished between them when the sun rises.

Thank you. On my mom's and gramma's behalf, we are filled with wonder and gratitude at your love. I am sure my mom will blog about her experiences in due time. As for my gramma, you'll have to talk to her in heaven. Plan on it.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sending My Regrets

I am not sorry that I slept really hard last night and didn't hear the Mr. get up for work. I am also not sorry that I slept until almost 8:00. This wasn't my plan but I'm not sorry. Rest is not a luxury to apologize for.
I'm not sorry I took the day off work. I hope everything is going well there because my co-workers are my friends and I'd never want them to have a hard day because of me. Because they are my friends, I know they understand that this day is not a vacation day. Being with your family when they need you is not a luxury to apologize for.
I'm not sorry I had french fries with dinner last night. They tasted good and filled my stomach and yes, I am a comfort eater. They comforted me. Finding small comfort when you're anxious is not a luxury to apologize for.
There is much I'd regret about my life if not for the Lord reassuring me that keeping myself squarely in his hand, if not always his will, releases me from regret. God is a good and loving God who wants us to rest and be comforted and feel assured.
Today, do not let the enemy of your soul speak regret. The only regret is a life not lived for God. It's a regret easily mended.

1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Times

It's not an easy time. Then again, it's not so hard either.
My gramma is coming home so she can go home. Hospice will now take over where doctors and hospitals end their care. I think it won't be long. I'm good with that. It's very good, in fact.
She looks to me very comfortable. She looks peaceful and I see no fear. I sort of think of it as most of her is already in heaven, that is where she is when her eyes are closed and when she doesn't know us. I think that is very good too. I imagine she is seeing Jesus and talking to him. She knows exactly who he is. Why would she want to talk to us?
I will admit something to you. I have been trying to be organized and helpful and wise and I think I need to rest a little bit tonight. I was on my way to an appointment after work and I found myself crying on the Lodge Freeway, that's not a good thing. My mom has gotten everything ready for my gramma. Now I feel that I can put on my pajamas and cry a bit. Not because I'm sad, because it's time for that too.
Actually, I am crying because it's all so good. Being loved and cared for is good. You see, you love and care for your children and grandchildren and then they do the same for you. Having a home to rest in until you rest in your heavenly mansion is good, and having family who will stand by when you don't know they are there is good. Planning the end of your gramma's life in a country where there is care and comfort and help is good.
Knowing your gramma knows Jesus is good. Not being afraid of her death, or your own, is good.
Crying happy tears in sad times is good.
God's favor is so good.

Psalm 102:13
You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sore Afraid

The Mr. has launched a rebellion. He has determined in his heart that he will purchase a pre-lit slim-line Christmas tree.
Now, I ask you, how will I every year change my Christmas tree lights if he does this abominable thing? Multi-color, white, solid's my right as an American!
His reply? Apparently in all his 42 years NO ONE has EVER helped him with the tree and so he is taking matter into his own hands. He has carried a mighty burden in brave silence. If you listen carefully, you'll hear me weeping for him.
He showed me the tree he wanted in Target. Here is an actual picture of him with his tree.
This was my reply...

Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all that children call, Their favorite time of the year Snowflakes in the air, Carols everywhere, Olden times and ancient rhymes, Of love and dreams to share Sleigh bells in the air, Beauty everywhere, Yuletide by the fireside, And joyful memories there Christmas time is here, We'll be drawing near, Oh, that we could always see, Such spirit through the year, Oh, that we could always see, Such spirit through the year...

The box the tree comes in fits in my pocket.
And this my friends, is why I was playing the Charlie Brown Christmas CD on Saturday.
We'll just see about this.

Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Season Greeted

Does it seem to you that the holidays are just suddenly here? Maybe it's the warm stretch of weather we've enjoyed here in Michigan that has caught me off guard. How can Thanksgiving be in just a few days? The Mr. and I were running errands and driving past the mall we noticed the parking lot was packed to the curbs. It's begun, with or without us, the holiday rush.
With my gramma's decline over the last few months, I think we've been distracted as well. My sister usually hosts Thanksgiving at her home but this year my mom invited us to her house because of my gramma's presence there. I am determined that this will be a lovely fully celebrated holiday season. I will not be so distracted that this glorious time passes without its due attention.
I, for one, was grateful for the Christmas decorations in Target this weekend. I welcomed the reminder of all there is to enjoy and let the holiday spirit envelope me. I even put on the Charlie Brown Christmas CD for a little while. I had ulterior motives, but more on that in a future post. The Mr. picked up some pumpkin spice candles and we made a list of groceries needed for Thursday. We picked up the pork sausage that I will put in my stuffing. We are going to have Thanksgiving, beautiful and bountiful.
I have learned to celebrate on purpose. When daboyz were little it seemed that the holidays unfolded on their own, ready or not. Now they could easily sneak by with minimal fanfare. With two grown sons, two full time working parents, an elderly and failing gramma and my over-worked and tired parents there is something in the corners of my mind that says, "Just take it easy this year..."
No. I will not.
I will take it thankfully and joyfully and open-armed. I will fill my home with good-smelling food and pumpkin spice candles and be in awe of the sparkling lights at Wal-Mart. I'll listen to Christmas music a little bit early if that helps infuse my heart in the season's beauty.
I don't know where my gramma will spend Thanksgiving this year. My guess is that she will be in the hospital. I could think of this with sadness and grief. But I am not built for mourning. Doesn't the Word tell me that I grieve not like those without hope? She will be safe in the arms of Jesus on Thanksgiving and surrounded by a host of angels. She is just walking the last steps of a long journey. She is closer to pure joy than I am this year. In the foolishness of redemption, I am at peace with my gramma's life. She is loved better by Jehovah than I could love her, whether at home, in the hospital or finally and gloriously in heaven.
I have every reason to laugh and eat and look forward to the holidays. All the magic and goodness that promises to unfold in the coming days is only the shadow of all that awaits us. I will indeed embrace it all as my due inheritance. A small portion of my future. I will let God fill my soul, I will open wide my heart and hands with pleasure. I will not grieve but will rejoice.
Our days are indeed sacred.
Begin the celebration.

Nehemiah 8:11,12
The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve. " Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

November 18, 2007

John 10:27 My sheep (and dogs) listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

**My parents just took my gramma by ambulance to the hospital. She had a very difficult night. It seems unlikely they will be able to bring her home to continue her care. Please pray for gramma, my mom & dad and all involved in her care. Thanks.
UPDATE: After several hours, gramma was finally admitted to the hospital. My mom is headed home for some long-overdue rest. Thank you for praying, please continue. Love you guys.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

About Donny

1. He always carries an accessory...fuzzy, ball, bone, rope...
2. He likes to run outside in giant circles around the yard.
3. He dreams more than Joseph.
4. He hasn't howled yet except when dreaming.
5. He thinks he's a lap dog.
6. He does not beg for human food.
7. He gained 13 pounds in a little over a month.
8. We talked about changing his name and it just never happened. He's stuck with Donny. What a ridiculous dog name.
9. He often has eye boogers.
10. Per the Mr., "We couldn't have gotten a better dog!"

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My gramma is at home with my mom tonight.
Thank you for your prayers. There is more to this time in life than chores and tasks. There is wisdom and searching after God's plans. There is knowing that the plan is not yet complete while we breathe here together in mortal bodies. This has been a few months and a few days of feeling pulled in certain directions and then doubting ourselves.
My mom has hoped to convince my gramma to come stay at her home since the summer and my gramma has just plain refused. A few falls yesterday required that my mom stay at my gramma's home. Today it seemed time for a decision to be made, although in heaven it was decided as God scooped out the oceans. It was ours to quiet ourselves to hear our instruction.
After work I had a hair appointment and then I was going to gramma's to check in and try to figure out what next. Got to the salon and they had double-booked my hair dresser. I was asked to wait until Saturday. Ok God.
Got to my gramma's where my mom had been surviving on jelly beans and Jesus for two days and looked my gramma over. My mom felt certain that the time had come to take gramma to her house. We told gramma this and she agreed. After months of refusal, the final wall came down. She is weak and sore from some falls so we had to be careful. The Mr. and Mac came over and we carried her to the car and caravaned to my mom's house. We settled her in without incident and she went to sleep immediately. Truly, she looked more peaceful than I've seen her in a very long time. Quiet sleep, like someone who knows they can finally relax and let someone care for them. Almost like the surrender of a child to a nap long overdue.
My mom was so happy to have this thing that she had felt she was to do finally happen.
Mac said this was one of the best days he has ever had. He said that he had been feeling that great gramma needed to live with grandma (my mom.) He felt relieved when he finally laid her in the bed.
I felt like I had finally gotten the Israelites into the Promised Land.
My mom, I do believe, was one hallelujah short of a Jericho March.
So thank you, my friends, brothers and sisters. Please continue to pray and praise God for this step. We'll keep you updated.

Pslam 84:3
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Please take a moment to pray for my mom and my gramma today. My gramma took a fall this morning so they spent the day together at the emergency room, where six hours later they were informed the x-rays were negative. My gramma is sore and not doing very well. The time change and longer hours of darkness seem to be making things harder. My mom is there daily and is getting very tired trying to make things better but not being able to really fix it for my gramma.

This afternoon when I got off work I went over to my gramma's to sit with her while my mom did a few errands. She is spending the night there so she needed to go home to pack an overnight bag and then to the store. My gramma was groggy and her whole body hurts. She was sweetly confused. She and I chatted about a lot of nothing but somehow, it was a precious moment. I will admit to you that I did not necessarily love heading there straight from work. I have been sick for two days and I was tired and I remain selfish enough to want my time to myself. So often I do things knowing they are right but with a very not right heart. I didn't really mind helping for a little while, I just would've rather that all was well and so my own desires could've been first.

Gramma chatted and chatted and it seemed she was imagining I was still a little girl. Yet, she told me it had been over eleven years since my grampa died, and so she was not entirely incoherent. I think what was happening was that something in her allowed the very center of her spirit to rise to the surface, and at her very core she was enjoying my company. My gramma loves me, she loves me so very much. She loved me as a child but as I grew up and became my own person, I think she found it harder to relate to me in that unguarded and passionate way she had loved me when I was young. In adulthood she became worried about how I was managing my life (and probably rightfully so) and our conversations often ended up sounding less than loving.

Today, she loved me again like she used to. I don't think she ever stopped loving me but we can get so tangled up in ourselves, can't we? We can worry this or that idea to death and forget that the worry comes from love. I loved my few hours with my gramma today. I was not sad. I talked to her about whatever thought rambled across our paths. We discussed the furniture she wants me to have some day. She called me a "doll." She held my hand and we kissed on the lips. It was all well and good with us today. For a moment she nodded off to sleep and I sat in her chair looking around her house. I wanted to get up and go exploring like I did as a child, finding treasures everywhere. I know many of those childhood keepsakes are still there, like the doll dresser that stands against a wall in my grampa's room. I wanted to bury my face in her sweet-smelling blankets where we used to snuggle when I spent the night. But she is a light sleeper and I knew if I got up to wander she'd awaken and I was afraid she try to stand and fall again. So I sat there quietly asking the Lord to fill this house with angels' song. I asked him to surround my gramma with joy. I asked him to express his love to her as well as she once expressed it to me.

I love my gramma and she loves me. I have wanted to scream as she criticized me and pushed my buttons. She was not correct, then again; neither was I. We didn't grow up well together. I am grateful that now our guard can fall a little bit. Now it is like she is the little girl and I am the adult. I pray that she will know great love has been hers, from God and from me.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Monday, November 12, 2007

All His Jewels, Precious Jewels; His Loved & His Own

Several events of late have taught me a lesson I shouldn't need teaching; just do it. Just take a minute or a breath to do something inconsequential for someone. Give thirty extra seconds to a conversation instead of hitting the major points and moving on. Notice the guy that doesn't demand your attention. Know his name and know that he is ok. Hug someone when words fail, maybe that is the reason you haven't the words in the first place.
I have thought today of my interactions with others. Not my relationship, per se. I am not talking about the people I am bound to by blood or friendship. I am thinking about people with whom I have rather transient acquaintance. People with whom I am not in it for the long haul. People who I could tend to my responsibilities toward and move along, be that a courteous nod at the check-out or the administration of medication at the hospital. These people are on my heart today.
Of those interactions, I picture my hand filled with pebbles. Which of those pebbles that I hand out are in fact, precious jewels that will last into eternity? Might I hand someone an emerald or a pearl or ruby if I only search through my stones to find those worth giving away. I'd like to imagine someone, someday, in a dark moment looking into their hand to find there a shimmering gem of mercy, justice and grace that fell from my fingertips as we passed one another. Do I leave eternity in the hands of those I touch? Do I leave something to give them a reason to believe in a Redeemer, even if we too briefly met to have mentioned his name?
Dear God, let the prisoner look into his hands and if he has crossed my path, let there be a shining stone there to remind him of his worth. Let me drop not common pebbles but diamonds into the hands of those you bring into my life, even if only for a moment.

Matthew 25:40
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

Dear Father,

Today I ask you to be with and guard our soldiers, both those in active duty and those who have laid down their arms. Bless them with peace and strength. Let them find a deep sense of love from those who are too often silently grateful for their service. Guide their every step in righteousness and justice. Be a hedge around them and keep them safe from the attacks of the enemy, both man and in spiritual places. Send them brothers and sisters to stand beside them that they may never feel alone. Be real to them in the darkest nights. Let the voice of your Spirit be greater than the noise of any battle.

I also ask you, Lord, to bless and keep the families of our military men and women in perfect peace. We thank you for these brave people who have opened their arms to let their sons and daughters step between we, who are strangers, and those who would harm us. Let their sleep be restful and never may they lay down their heads in fear or worry. Give them what they need in your perfect timing to know that their loved ones are guarded by you even as they guard their country.

Thank you, God, for those called to be soldiers. Thank you for the liberty my children and I were born to at the expense of those we will never meet. Thank you for the heart of a warrior that you prepare for battle. Let us then, who remain in freedom here, bear the banner of our country and of Christ in a manner honoring those who are willing to die for us. Bless and keep our soldiers...past, present and future.

And especially Lord, be with Mrs. Mac and Patrick.

2 Timothy 2:3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

Joel 2:23 Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

mr. meme more than 10

How long did you date? - 4 years

How old is your man? - 42

Who eats more? - whoever is the quickest

Who said "I love you" first? - him

Who is taller? - He is...

Who sings better? - me!

Who is smarter? - it's a draw.

Whose temper is worse? - mine, like it's any of your business.

Who does the laundry? - i do mine; he does his and daboyz. they are often dirty or naked.

Who does the dishes? - who ever eats slowest.

Who pays the bills? - well, he reads them and frowns a lot.

Who has bigger feet? - him; barely.

Who has longer hair? - Me.

Who is better with the computer? - me. and it makes me FURIOUS.

Who mows the lawn? - mac

Who cooks dinner? - who ever loses.

Who pays when you go out? - him.

Who is most stubborn? me.

Who is first to admit when they are wrong? - draw.

Whose parents do you see the most? - mine. he's an orphan. just kidding. he was hatched from a pod

Who kissed who first? - he kissed me. the nerve.

Who asked who out? - i tricked him into asking me.

Who proposed? - my parent proposed he marry me and get me out of their house.

Who is more sensitive? - me; he's a pod person.

Who has more friends? - me, although i'm always trying to downsize and he likes more people.

Who wears the pants in the family? - him, but don't tell him.

Friday, November 09, 2007

All Creatures Great & Small

In the space of this week God has been so present with me. Not in constant joy or peace or fun. But with me, so very real to me. Things that were bad were tolerable. Sadness softly faded to a deep tiredness, which is what I needed to rest in my spirit. Things that no one but me understands turned out just exactly right making me feel like I stand squarely in the middle of the hand of Christ. Tragedy reminded me to pray for those prayer requests we sometimes only glance at with the same earnestness that we pray for the people closest to us. Opportunity came wrapped in challenges forcing me to see blessing in a different light.
I remember when Jazz died, writing about laying next to her in bed and feeling my tension roll off as I nuzzled her furry face. I hadn't decide to get a dog until Saturday when we saw Donny. I thought of that as an impulse, bringing home another pooch. Then this week with one thing or another to cause me tension and I found myself at work looking forward to going home to nuzzle Donny's furry face and realized, how great is the love of God. There is always some small comfort for those who seek. There is always enough good to overcome the bad.
My life is defined by more good than I could ever dream of and yet Christ continually adds to my abundance.
Yes, I am glad this week is over.
No, it has not been altogether a nice week.
But I cannot imagine feeling more loved, safe and peaceful than I am right now.
Thank you, Lord.

Thank you Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you Lord, for making me whole. Thank you Lord, for giving to me; thy great salvation so rich and free...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Too Doggone Tired To Blog

Long day for me. Here's a pic of Donny. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Family First

2 Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?..."

There was a time when family was the axis upon which culture turned. I don't think that this axis has been replaced so much as I think we are no longer turning in the right directions. We've spread ourselves out too thin and reached too far away from home. This is, of course, strictly editorial.
In Mrs. Weinlander's fourth grade class, she read aloud all the "Little House" books. I loved the descriptions of the Ingalls family, together in their cabin, building themselves into a family. Every year as cold weather settles in I reach for small nuances of what I heard in that classroom of warm rooms and love bringing us back together and of the ability for us to find what we need in one another.
I hear some of your typing your comments already, about reaching into the community and of connecting with others. I am not sure why we think these two ideas are mutually exclusive so let me clarify that I'm not trading one concept for the other. For today, I am thinking about family.
I fear that we are losing our ability to be truly a family unit by forever reaching outside of our homes. Once, we kept the family's issues within our four walls. This was not altogether good. We lacked insight, wisdom and support that would've been a positive thing in our lives. There can be abuse and pain kept within four walls if we cling too tightly to family loyalty.
Then again, it is not wrong to feel loyalty. It is not wrong to recognize that the care and protection of "our own" should be the priority. It is right to tend to the needs within before we devote ourselves to the world at large. Why would God have created the family unit if not for this reason? If not to say, when done right you will care for your own and thereby create people who can go care for those who have no one?
We have found it too easy to apply our energies to the "out there" while the people who live under our roofs beg for someone to nurture them. We call it the work of Christ to stay busy while our mothers and fathers sit alone waiting for a visit.
Do not be caught up in the gathering of friends if it distracts you from the family you were born to. Don't leave your spouse and children behind while you pursue some higher calling, because there is none. Don't gather opinions from a hundred sources about your marriage and parenting while you are unable to communicate with the people who live with you. Create such a strong foundation in your family that you can as individuals change the world. Make your family one that God can use for generations beyond you.
We can make ourselves so available to everyone else that we become unavailable to our own. So then what? Will God have to send someone else to care for my husband, children and parents? God forbid.

1 Timothy 3:5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Five Minutes

I knew her for less than five minutes.
She was in a wheel chair and being pushed by someone, a friend? a sister? I saw her approaching and did the head to toe assessment that nurses do to everyone. She was bald, shaved. An ugly scar from the crown of her head to the top of her right ear indicated recent brain surgery. It looked as though something was implanted just under the skin. Disturbing in its unnaturalness. Her eyes were dark. She had on a sweat suit that hung on her, causing me to presume recent weight loss. Dark circles surrounded her eyes. Her fingers had a waxy cast. A ring on the right hand, left ring finger bare. About my age? Yes, give or take.
As we draw within speaking distance, I smiled and said "Hello there." She smiled back widely. "I love your shirt!" she exclaimed. I was wearing my official Thanksgiving turkey shirt. It's bright blue with orange pumpkins and silly fat turkeys. "Thanks, you can't miss me; can you?"
"You have just reminded us all to get off our butts and get ready for the holidays! What a great time of year, isn't it?"
And away she went, wheeled by her companion.
Not even five minutes.

Job 8:21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Heerrrre's Donny!

Introducing our new baby boy! He was adopted on Saturday, November 3! He is a 4 month old Basset mix. The Mr. was dragged into Petco by me as I feel the need to semi-regularly look at animals and weep. Well, there was Donny because it was adoption day! Believe it or not, this was not a set up!
Donny's caretaker said that the animals would be arriving soon including Donny's twin sister Daisy if we wanted to come back later. So we took a drive and came back. Sure enough, there was Daisy. And Sandy and Reba and Dora and many more making this a very difficult decision. Sandy was fabulous because she looked like a liger (ala Napoleon Dynamite). Daisy looked just like Donnie. Reba was a boxer mix who had a wacky sense of humor, this I know because she had made a butt hat out of the newspapers in her kennel.
And Donny. We were trying to decide male or female when we found out someone else had requested Daisy. We figured we'd take that as a sign and we applied to adopt Donny. Yes, we applied. It was a pretty lengthy process!
Finally he was officially declared Donny Smith and they even took a family portrait! The adoption folks tells me Donny's foster mom will have a hard time parting with him but we are so very happy to have him. He is already house-broken, caught up on shots and fixed. We have been pretty remiss in those areas with Jazz so it's a good start for Donny that we intend to keep up. We even signed up for training classes. More for us than him I think. He has a sweet disposition. Loves to cuddle and was described as a couch potato, so we figure he'll fit right in. We bought him home to surprise daboyz and they were thrilled.
So there's a new baby in our house!

(hey, anybody see a resemblance between Donny and another pooch?)


Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Am So Over...

1. Trying to decide if people deserve one more chance. They do. 2. Tension-filled shoulders. 3. These extra 12 pounds. 4. Wearing glasses. 5. Mac leaving his homework notes all over the computer desk. 6. My feet being cold. 7. The same conversations. 8. Whiners. 9. My alarm clock. 10. Myself.