Monday, November 30, 2009

My Grown Up Christmas List

No more lives torn apart, That wars would never start, And time would heal all hearts.
Everyone would have a friend, And right would always win, And love would never end.

I heard this song the other day, never paid much attention to it before. Can't say it's one of my favorites. It's on the same list as "Do They Know It's Christmas?" But that last phrase caught my attention..."love would never end." Seriously, can love end? We attach the word to too many things that are temporary so it seems that love, by association, can end. The romantics out there would like to say that true love never ends. So if it ends, it wasn't meant to be. I have a different notion.
The day that the Mr. informed me he no longer loved me, I was flat-out shocked. Panicked, speechless, terrified. I don't know what business I had being any of those things since I'd spent a good many discussions telling him how I could stop loving him at any given moment and walk away without a glance back. Imagine my surprise when he called my bluff, he'd learned that us not loving one another was an option he could live with. My assumption had been the very threat of it was going to keep him in line. So our love ended?
I've buried four grandparents in the last several years. I was close to each of them in a different way. Grandparents have that special kind of love, the love that you don't ever wonder about. You know, your parents are ruining your life, your siblings are your arch enemies, the teachers hate you, the kids at school don't like you, the cutest boys don't notice you. But your grandma and grandpa...they love you like crazy. None of my grandparents died following lengthy illnesses. It was all with a week or two to start to think about the fact that they were probably going to pass away soon and then they were gone. My Grampa Gerhardstein was first, had a heart attack and his second bypass from which he never recovered. My Grandpa Trent was next; another heart attack in his home. He died before the ambulance arrived. Gramma Gerhardstein looked like she had Alzheimer's but with much pushing from all of us her doctors discovered cancer throughout her body and she died a few weeks later. Grandma Trent went to the hospital with complaints of abdominal pain and was diagnosed almost accidentally with cancer. She was gone within several days. Each of their passings was difficult and yet; not so difficult. There's the mystery of love; a husband in the bed next to you whose love has ended and four people whose funerals you attended and their love survives.
Daboyz have certainly tested the theory of mother's love. From not wanting to even be pregnant to being certain I was entirely unqualified to be someones parent to being sure one more 2 a.m. feeding would send me around the bend to feeling burdened by the weight of children to just the general feeling of wanting to slap them in the head has found a new description. All of the negative residing within walls of devotion.
I love coffee, jeans, pajamas, my house, clean sheets, the smell of fresh cut grass, my fireplace, my truck, my job, my wedding ring, Christmas trees, weekends, Thanksgiving dinner, music, Donny, old photographs, reading, good hair days, Organza perfume, Gold Toe socks, e mails, the Hustle, laughing, etc.
I don't know which ones of the above would qualify as love that never ends. Parents hurt and abandon their children. Divorces happen. We seem to constantly love and then leave. Then again we also learn to love better in some cases.
The obvious is that the love of God is the only love that never ends. Even my love for him, should I be honest, has its moments of wax and wane.
Love, for me, is like the ocean. I can be miles away and entirely sure of it. I can stand on the shore and admire its beauty and never touch it. I can sail across it and walk away on the other side. I can swim in it and be fully immersed in the power of if, greater than that of myself. Surrendering to the ocean means being swept away in its current and sometimes being pulled into its undertow. It can be glorious and terrifying all at once. In its comparison, I become almost invisible in my smallness.
So much to learn about love it is no wonder that we look to elderly couples after sixty years together and crave their wisdom. I think it takes a lifetime of learning to know love.
No, love doesn't end. It is we who pull ourselves to shore and walk away looking for another place more beautiful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Job 12:12-13

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? To God belong wisdom and power...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I don't understand...

1. Shopping on Black Friday
2. Going to bed with a dirty kitchen
3. People who say, "you know how I feel" but won't say, "I love you."
4. Not drinking coffee
5. Why I overeat
6. Sleeping until noon
7. Christmas specials on DVD, doesn't that make them not special?
8. Having ungroomed nails (gross!)
9. Waiting until the light comes on to put gas in the car
10. People who don't like to read

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forever on Thanksgiving DayThe heart will find the pathway home.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let The Holidays Comence

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
As far as I am concerned, we have entered the final 24 hour countdown to the official start of the holiday season. I love this time of year; and I'm all the more thankful in the remembering of years I didn't love the holidays. Years when we were a couple charading as happy, when I knew in September that we'd be choosing Christmas gifts over mortgage payments, when the dread of the bill collector's phone calls were like a giant wall preventing me from seeing any beauty in the season.
How divine is it, as in the birth of Divinity Himself, that such pain can be the seed of greater joy?
Part of that joy is, of course, the simple reality that the financially lean times are less lean now. But the greater portion is the growing up I've done and the peace in my spirit that increases every year not to mention the maturity of my marriage that has outgrown the arguments about money and presents. I have outgrown the propensity for a disappointing holiday season.
Two days ago I was driving home and noticed a neighbor down the block had Christmas lights up and shining, it was so exciting! I wanted to send them a thank you card for ushering in the celebration before us!
All is not perfect in my life (or my body or my bank account!) But all is well with my soul.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Regarding Adam Lambert; whose AMA performance I did not see live...please do not make this a matter of homosexuality and what might be perceived as my bigotry. Smut is smut. I don't want to see this behavior between two men, two women or any combination thereof. I am offended by the cheapening of the passion that was created by God to establish a relationship set apart from all others into a sideshow.
We have become accustomed to sharing that part of our lives that was once hidden. How then, do our children call sacred what we have called common?
No, it isn't that I am unable to acknowledge passion or sexuality. It isn't that I am embarrassed or ashamed of acts of intimacy. It is that you cannot scatter the ground with diamonds and think they will retain their value.
We have scattered the ground with sex and in the process, the value of love is destroyed.


I just got up and I feel like the day is going to be too short! Days off always are. I am finishing up my last load of laundry, need to run the vacuum and then to the Folks. Dean's back to work after a three week lay-off which is obviously GOOD news. But they need some housework done and a few groceries picked up. I am hoping that will only be a few hours so I can get a little bit of me stuff done this afternoon.
I have had a sinus headache since yesterday that I can't shake and my joints are achy. Yesterday I was freezing until I finally got into bed and so exhausted after work I zonked out on the couch. I am hoping this is just a combination of Michigan weather and work weariness because being sick is not acceptable. Both of the Mr.'s folks are sick, seems like head colds. No fevers and I'm praying that this isn't the start of the flu.
But anyway, isn't it a beautiful cold Autumn morning? I miss the Mr. after having him here for three weeks but then again, I remember how much I like quiet mornings with my cup of coffee and my thoughts. After talking to some people about caring for their parents, the challenge of blended families and just home life stress and disappointment; I am again reminded that having a peaceful home that is a place of respite is not to be taken for granted. There are many people who have no where to run when they need refreshing.
Time for a refill on my coffee. Then I'll fold my towels, vacuum my family room and get this day started.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Proverbs 10:25
As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


1. Jeans that fit.
2. A clean house.
3. Good hair days.
4. Thanksgiving Day & not working!
5. Going to the movies, eating too much popcorn and hiding for a few hours.
6. A dependable car.
7. Potlucks at work.
8. Sleeping well.
9. Christmas trees (mine goes up next Friday!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Walk In The Snow

Inspired by a story I heard on the radio a few years ago during a snow storm. The teller was the now grown little boy...

There was a blizzard in the Metro Detroit area where a little boy lived with his family. Michigan blizzards are nothing to be sneezed at and this one was a whopper by comparison. Everything was closed; schools, businesses and government. The snow had fallen for hours and hours and was several feet high. Knowing there would be a snow day, the caller was happily snuggled into his childhood bed when shortly after midnight he awoke to hear his parents low voices in the kitchen.

The young man went downstairs and asked what they were doing. His mother was packing his father's lunchbox and pouring coffee into a large thermos. His father worked in a steel mill and knew he'd have to leave the house by 1:00 a.m. to make it through the snow for the start of his shift. He had called the man he carpooled with and they had agreed to meet a few blocks away and walk toward the nearest main street hoping that the bus was running. There was no way to dig out their cars and the snowplows were not expected for a few days.

And so the child's father left the house bundled up beyond recognition to begin his long walk to the bus stand. The little boy and his mom watched from the living room window until they couldn't see his dad for the blowing snow. Then they knelt at the couch to pray for he and his friend during their walk and to thank God for the job they were walking to.

The little boy went back to bed and the next morning he and his brothers enjoyed the promised snow day with their mother making cookies and planning a warm supper for their father with the surprise of cookies for dessert.

When his father walked through the front door at 7:00 p.m., he was later than his usual return from work at 4:00. They knew the roads were still covered and snow and so weren't really worried. When dad finally unwrapped his layers of coats and scarves and put away his empty lunch box and rinsed out his empty thermos, he told his family about his day.

He and his friend had walked for five hours to get to the bus stand just in time to catch the bus to their factory. Luckily, they had both had the foresight to take their snow shovels as they had to clear their path the entire way. When they arrived at the bus stand, it was silent and covered in mountains of snow. The main thoroughfare hadn't been cleared. There was no traffic. After standing there for half an hour with fingers crossed, they realized the bus wasn't running.

And so the man and his friend began second leg of the long and cold walk. Not back home, but to the steel mill. They walked for hours and hours clearing the path and stopping to share their thermos of coffee. They walked until almost lunch time but finally arrived to find the factory locked up and silent. The blizzard had even shut down the steel mill, something that had never happened before. The third part of the journey now began; back home the way they had come. The father told his family how this was a much easier walk because the blowing snow had settled and they had already cleared the path. They ate their lunches on the steps of the factory before they started back. They were grateful that they had both brought a thermos of coffee because they enjoyed the warmth of the second one as they walked home.

The little boy added the hours up and realized his father had spend sixteen hours walking for nothing. He said to his dad, "Boy, you must be mad! You should never have even gone to work today!"

The father looked at his family and gently corrected his son. "No, I was scheduled to work today and it was my job to be there. As it was, I would have been terribly late. What if the factory was running? What if I had not showed up and the men who had made their way in through the snow were sent home because of me? God was good enough to build that factory and give me a job to do there. I will be there to work. God will decide the rest. This was a good day. Now I must get to bed because I have to work tomorrow."

That story took place over forty years ago. Today the United States looks around in confusion and wonders what has happened to us.

I look around and see very few people who would've made that walk, myself included.

The answer is clear.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One scone and a fabulous hat please...

I love this little girl, she seems to be having tea and perhaps a scone. If I knew where she was, I'd join her. Although she seems quite content with her snack and fabulous hat. I think we'd all be better off if we, on a regular basis, had tea and a scone while wearing a fabulous hat.

If you know me at all, you are well aware that I am generous with words and stingy with time. So there has been a lot of stretching lately with The Folks to care for and who require that time I so like to hoard. As for stretching, I invite you to envision me on a medieval rack. Since it's just the two of us here, I will even admit to only you that I do not want to stretch. I want to curl up with a book. I do not want to add two more people, I want to be alone. And I am pretty tired of hearing this from myself, "I'm Sara. SARA. Dean's wife. DEAN. Your son, Dean. DEAN. HIM. He is your son. I am married to Dean. SARA. Never mind."

What I have learned is not to be a martyr. Although how satisfying is it, really, to tell everyone (well, just via Facebook, my blog, in person, through e mails and by word of mouth) how much we have done. How haaaarrrrdd it is. How tiiirrreeeedddd I am. How frrruuuussttttrraaating.

Oh poor poor me. Oh, I forgot, I am not supposed to be a martyr.

People are so lovely, they encourage me and tell me what a good thing we're doing. They shake their heads and tell me they couldn't do it. Ahhh. I am such a....never mind.

See, the thing is that most of us are not really martyrs, we're just human beings who on occasion are called upon to act like such. Very few martyrs have cable.

Here's what I know; I am allowed to take care of myself. You know the old lesson; as the airplane is crashing put on your own oxygen mask? That's the trick. I am constantly discovering new ways to feed my spirit the fuel I need to do what I need to do. And I am only recently learning that it is not allowing myself some special luxury to care for myself and to draw boundaries. It's my responsibility to stay in balance so that I can do correctly whatever it is God instructs me to do. Without wailing about my misfortune or seeking out pats on the back; both of which are irritating when other people do it so might be equally so when I do.

I am taking days off from work to sleep in. I'm going to the library to keep a stack of books at bedside. I'm getting the occasional Starbuck's holiday latte. The Mr. and I are talking about what needs doing and planning to do it all without breaking ourselves into pieces. We are reserving time to pop popcorn and watch DVR. And we keep our dates even when it's just to both be home by 8:00 to relax together.

Sometimes it's being a little bad; my jeans are too tight. This is because I'm falling back on comfort food. I need to stop it but I don't need to hate myself. It's not ok but it's understandable.

Sometimes it's not doing. Not checking my e mail, not writing a blog, not posting on Facebook. Not doing more than needs doing and being smart enough to know the difference.

There are probably thousands of things that refresh and renew me. It's not spiritual or even smart to deny myself those things. It's my responsibility to minister to myself so that I can properly minister to others.

And sometimes, you just have to wear a fabulous hat and eat a scone.


I'm listening to an audio book called Light From Heaven. I ran across it in the library and it's part of a series of books by this author, one of those Rated G sweet kind of stories that just feed and quiet your spirit. In the book, Father Tim Kavanaugh has been given the position of reviving a church in the Appalachian Mountains that has been without a pastor for many years. His right hand in this endeavor is Agnes, an elderly deaconess who founded the church as a missionary many years ago with another young woman (now deceased) named Jessie.

Agnes is talking to Father Tim about the church's beginnings as they travel through the ridge visiting people to tell them that their church is finally going to re-open its doors. Jessie and Agnes came to the ridge as young missionaries to the poverty-stricken region. They built the school and the church with the locals as a place of community, worship and help. Agnes tells Father Tim that "Jessie always served people for God's sake. I served them for their own sake. It took me many years to learn her wisdom." Agnes came from Chicago to the poorest place in America drawn by her compassion for the people of the mountains. She dedicated her entire life to not only their spirits, but their physical and emotional health. But she learned that serving them from her own heart of compassion was not enough; because she too was flesh. Her ability to be continually humbled and continually available to be pulled from her bed into the freezing Appalachian winters to care for the sick had its limits. Jessie taught her that service for God's sake was without flaw; it can be done despite aches, pains, tiredness, anger and the realization that the recipient is not worthy. It can be done when doors are slammed and when there is no reason to believe that one's efforts are making an impact. It is a kind of blind service; I will do thus and so because I am commanded of God. No dependence then on human flesh to cooperate. There is nothing so remarkable about the person who is touched by anothers need who tries to help. God is truly in the midst of the ones who will admit to themselves, "I don't want to!" and do it anyway. Holiness is there when it is completed by obedience between Christ and his servant without announcing the whats and the whys to the world. And in fact, the glory of God can only shine on the one being served if the servant is all but invisible. Then will the poor and the sick look up in their moment of help and say, "God truly came."
Agnes learned that she spent far too much time telling her congregants that "God sent me." instead of Jessie's way of quiet service and then withdrawing to allow the Lord's to be the greatest presence.

Agnes tells that she and Jessie did the same work on these slightly different paths for many years. But only when her spirit saw the truth of service to God and not to man did she truly accomplish the work of God. Until then, she was doing the work of Agnes. Lovely and good and important though it was, it was for the Kingdom of Agnes.

Agnes teaches Father Tim that this was not sin in the early years, but simply a child growing up to do her Father's business. All the joy of the beginnings remained with the addition of glory when she finally understood what Jessie had always known.

Perhaps this seems no lesson at all to you; but it was like a sermon to me. I just thought I'd share it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Homefront

Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Wow, has this blog gone lame or what? Sheesh! We are still not back to our old routine nor have we figured out our new routine! It seems like by the time I've worked, taken care of our house and tried to help with The Folks, I forget that blogs even exist. Plus I've not much of interest to say!

Mac left yesterday to go hunting with my dad. Dean and I spent all day at the new apartment trying to help sort through approximately 3,000 giant boxes and cram them into 500 square feet. No, it can't be done. And no, the Mil has not accepted the fact that one doesn't need 20 "good" water glasses and 20 "everyday" water glasses. She has a soup pot large enough to simmer a human being that fits no where and presently resides on top of the dryer. And where does one store 3 punch bowls in an efficiency apartment? And...why? Yesterday we spent a good amount of time trying to explain that it might be time to discard her "pretty statues." By this I mean actual statues, like in the zoo gardens! Apparently we need these.

The Fil is confused and worrisome. Can't relax or sleep with the noise of the apartment. It's not even a particularly noisy place but it's not a senior facility either so people come and go and talk and watch television late into the evening. The stairs to the second and third floor are at their door so all the foot traffic is clearly audible. His dementia makes him that much more fearful not understanding why there are people right outside their door. He also can't really understand that they do not own the entire building, gets frustrated that he's not allowed to look upstairs. He is forever trying door handles and playing with locks. Somehow two stove burners were turned on with a box sitting on the stove top causing a small fire. The Mil is not open to discussion about the dangers of the situation. Yesterday she told her sister they would be living there for about three years before moving to the senior apartments. This is disturbing to The Mr. who was planning to move them as soon as possible, less than six months for sure.

As for around here? I am doing home therapy! While everything else is kooky, I de-stress by keeping my surroundings organized and happy. This morning Dean awoke with a flat tire and so took my truck to church leaving me stranded (I am not going to spend six hours there like he does!) So I happily stayed behind to do a little housework, watch an old movie and light some candles. Did me good. Going to make kielbasa and sauerkraut for dinner and really don't plan on leaving the house until work in the morning.

I bought a bag of cinnamon pine cones at Bed, Bath & Beyond which smell WONDERFUL. Putting them in a basket on my kitchen table and daydreaming of holiday decorations and looking forward to Christmas carols which I will listen to starting the day after Thanksgiving.

Happily, at this point in our lives we have gained a little wisdom. We're trying to choose our battles; our ideas of a better life and The Folk's ideas have not yet found a compromise but we are taking it as it comes. We know to be good to one another instead of venting on one another. We're keeping things at home sweet and peaceful so we have a respite. Movies and popcorn on the couch after a long Saturday does a world of good.

So happy Sunday to you all! Please bear with me as I figure out this phase of life! Your prayers have been so appreciated and surely have sustained us when we could have despaired.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tonight the folks are spending the night in their new apartment for the first time! They are excited to begin this new part of their life and to no longer worry about a large house and yard to care for. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and support during the past few weeks. They were looking forward to bologna sandwiches, Campbell's vegetable soup and sleeping in their own beds.
Dean's dad went for his first doctor's appointment today. After a lengthy examination, the doctor strongly suspects that Fil (father-in-law) does not have Alzheimer's type dementia but vascular dementia. An MRI will need to be done to confirm his theory. In other words, for two years Fil has been wrongly treated for a disease he doesn't have. Meanwhile the real disease has not been treated and therefore the damage done is permanent. The thought is that this dementia is the result of multiple mini-strokes, which makes sense. Two years ago Fil was still working when one day he did not return from lunch and was found in the parking lot confused and unable to tell anyone who he was. A month earlier he drove his car into a field and didn't know what happened except that he says he "saw stars." A year ago he went to visit Mil (mother-in-law) in the hospital (a building he had helped build) and he got lost. Prior to the incident two years ago; there was no Alzheimer's like symptoms. And since starting on Alzheimer's meds there has not only been no slowing down of the disease but a startlingly fast progression. Dean's dad was able to perform several tests successfully that a person with Alzheimer's should not be able to do, and yet he has deficits that do not match up.
Fil has also complained periodically of feeling "like everything is spinning." He gets panicky and weepy and disoriented. Probably more mini-strokes.
This is a frustrating thing to deal with because if it turns out to be correct, Fil has sustained a lot of preventable brain damage with multiple episodes that were never treated. Please pray for the wisdom of the doctors now treating him and that successful treatment will take place. He will have a complete medical work-up, physical and MRI. He'll be back at the doctor after these things are done in the first week of December.
Whew! As for us, the Mr. is off to practice and I think looking forward to a few hours with the band and away from his caretaking responsibilities. I've been sitting in front of the fire eating the stuffed cabbage my mom made us. Daboyz aren't home yet but will be any minute now. I'm going to do my Thursday night linen change on our bed and probably crawl right in with my latest Tamar Myer book, Assault & Pepper.
Working tomorrow and then the weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

Of course, the most important thought today is to express my gratitude for those who have served their country which is really a fancy way of saying that they have made themselves servants of us all. Words are inadequate but my heart overflows with admiration for my dad and the rest of the men and women who have defended our freedom even when we in our homes didn't realize we were in harm's way. And some of us still don't.
Secondly,the folks signed a lease! The apartment is next door to the senior housing they had originally planned on. It's a two bedroom with handicap access. Not senior, so we'll need to step in and provide some help that they will have gotten in the first apartment. Also need to do some creative modifying to keep Dean's dad safe given his Alzheimer's.
Well, off to work today with a brand new opportunity to impact my world for God's glory!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Oh my. The senior apartment complex that we've been planning on since May gave their final answer and the folks were declined. In other words, with belongings on the truck and no address they are "homeless." Disappointment is an under statement. As is worry.
In a scramble to find a safe and acceptable solution, we applied for a regular apartment that has handicap accessible facilities. The rent is comparable but of course, the services for their needs are nonexistent. This will present its own challenges as times goes on including that all of their needs will fall on us 100% whereas in the senior building, they would've have had enough assistance to maintain more independence (if that makes any sense.)
We are hoping to hear this morning whether they are accepted in this new building. If so, we'll pay the security deposit and hope to move in a week from tomorrow. In the meantime, they are staying with Dean's grandma. For now at least, she is enjoying their company and they are comfortable. If it starts to become a strain we will have to move them here to our house.
Dean made the executive decision not to cancel our anniversary trip to Marshall because there's nothing more for us to do but wait at this point. His cousin and our boys will keep an eye on the home front to be sure everybody continues to do well while we are gone. We'll be leaving this afternoon once we've done some errands, returned the moving truck and taken a few things over to the folks. We'll spend two nights away and return on Saturday.
So there we are. My head knows that God's plans are beyond our own but my heart is trying to catch up. I am sure that once they are moved into this new place and we can start to establish a routine we will all feel great relief. I am so glad that my God is big enough for me to whine, cry, act less than mature and even question him.
Because I know we are surrounded by praying believers, I do know that God has ordained this turn of events. And I do thank him for his love that stops and redirects us even when it's against our will and our own judgement.
Next week I go back to work but the Mr. is laid off and will be continuing the business of Michigan identification, opening bank accounts, doctor's appointments and the like.
Thank you for your support and love. As for us, we need a break! See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Christ Revealed

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

This verse, on Kelly's face book today, just knocked my spirit back into place. Can we talk? I'm having a hard time this week. We all are. Dean's poor parents are the ones at the center of what is fast becoming an intolerable situation and I feel so badly for them. I want to kick someone on their behalf but the Mr. says I must behave, which does not come naturally.
Speaking of the Mr., my heart is breaking for him. He is stuck between two households. How to make moment by moment decisions that are best for everyone? His mom and dad are staying with his grandmother for the moment. And for the moment, that's somewhat ok. I mean, they need their apartment but grandma is enjoying the visit and it's familiar enough to Dean's dad to help ease his anxiety. But it's Wednesday of the week that should've begun with a move-in on Monday. As of today we are being charged $100 per day for the moving truck that we can't unload. And as of tomorrow, Dean and I were supposed to be on our anniversary trip.
And as of an hour ago, I was good and fed up and still not allowed to kick anyone.
But we will not be abandoned by God. We are perplexed but I refuse to despair. I almost went there. But just in time God posted on Facebook.
We can do this because He will do all that he has promised and beyond what we could imagine to ask for.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


OK, so here we are on Tuesday evening and still no lease. The information was finally submitted and accepted from the eligibility standpoint however, now it sits in the office of corporate compliance to confirm that all the documentation is correct and adequate.
And apparently the office of corporate compliance works within a time frame all its own. Seriously, this is where I need to work because there is obviously no need to feel under stress to get things done by any particular time, day or even week.
Needless to say, we are trying to keep a positive attitude but discouragement is hard to avoid. The folks are staying at The Mr.'s grandmother's house. She has an extra bed and the familiar surroundings seem to be better for Dean's dad than over here at our house. Of course, this also spreads the strain to her 90 year old self as well.
Dean's dad has been doing pretty good at keeping straight exactly what is happening and what the plan is but with every passing day of feeling "homeless" and worrying about where their belongings are, he is showing a little more wear and tear. The mom is very tired and of course, when a person has medical problems they always seem to get a bit worse when dealing with stress. They really just need to be able to lay down on their own beds in their new home and feel like the journey is over.
Please, please continue to pray and believe with us that on Wednesday morning, we will get the call to come and sign that lease.
On a selfish note, Dean and I were planning on a late anniversary trip on Thursday and Friday after settling the folks in. If this move does not get settled we will obviously not be going away. I am back to work on Monday and it seems our long week to get everything done is being chewed up with waiting.
Thanks in advance for your love and prayers. I am hoping that my next post is to announce that Mr. and Mrs. Smith have a new Michigan address!

P.S. A big thank on behalf of the entire household over here to my mom for supplying us with a pot of chilli. A homemade meal not made by me was MUCH needed! Love you!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Jesus take the wheel!

Well everything actually did not go.
We got a phone call this morning that the paperwork for the lease was not quite going through right and that we should wait a bit before coming in to sign it. Dean and I decided that was not acceptable so we drove to the apartment complex to try to light a fire under the manager. They submitted the original paperwork and then did not update it when there was a change so now the folks are not qualifying for this senior housing as they originally thought they would. We are pretty frustrated because we checked, double-checked and called constantly to make sure everything was ok.
The Mr. & I spent the entire day running from the apartment to the bank to Great Grandma's house and then hauling the folks all over to try to start this six month process over from scratch and try to push it through in a matter of hours. Dean's poor dad has no idea what's happening only that he's moved away and now doesn't have a house to live in.
At 2:00 p.m. the lease still was not approved. I informed the management that we have moved two elderly disabled people 700 miles and have everything they own in a moving truck in front of our house. This is not ok.
So tonight the folks are sleeping again at Great Grandma's house. The manager of the apartment building is working diligently and we are hoping to hear good news by 11:00 tomorrow morning.
Needless to say there is frustration and worry all around. We trust in the Lord and know he has plans to give us good things but we need some info! Ha ha!
Please pray with us. Right now these poor people don't have a home or even an address to forward their mail, open a bank account or transfer their medical insurance.

UPDATE: As of 3:00 on Tuesday afternoon, we have made no progress. If the moving truck is not returned at 9:00 tomorrow morning, additional fees will start to accumulate on that as well. Feeling discouraged.


Hi everybody!
First of all, I cannot say enough to you of my gratitude for your prayer coverage over the last three days. God's hand was on us and his spirit surrounded us continually. There is such perfect peace is knowing that there are people in our lives who hear the call for intercession and are faithful to stand before God on our behalf. That was the greatest reassurance from beginning to end of the last weekend; that we knew you were there talking to Jesus.
The trip down on Friday seemed to go quickly, our hotel was great and we enjoyed a relaxing evening with Mac and Paul. On Saturday we headed to the folks' place to load up. Everything was not as organized and ready as we had hoped but peace prevailed and not a single complaint was heard. We dealt with the job before us with humor and support for one another and throughout the day you could say moments of hugs, pats on the back and winks exchanged to ease the tension and difficulty. The house was loaded onto the Penske truck in about three hours (a miracle!) allowing Mac and Paul to head back to Michigan and sleep in their own beds, albeit arriving at 3 a.m. on Sunday! Praise God for safe travel!
On Sunday morning we were ready to hit the road with the folks at 5 a.m. to find my m-i-l crying and moaning in pain. She has a bad hip and arthritis along with a host of other medical and physical problems. By the time we were in the truck she was nearly beside herself with pain and the possibility of a 12 hour car trip to Michigan was out of the question. She said, "I don't think I can do it." and I thought, what's the option? You have no furniture in Alabama! So when you're out of options there's no choice but Jesus, right? Lol. I had purchased heat wraps for Dean's back predicting soreness after the car rides and moving but he hadn't needed them so I had a brand new package in my purse which I applied to the m-i-l's lower back despite her insistence that nothing would help. Then noticing she was headed into a panic about the pain and the trip ahead, I gave her a Benadryl for its sedating effects. Finally although she insisted it never helped, I convinced her to take 6oo mg of Motrin. With much tears and crying out in the backseat, we pulled onto the freeway with Dean & I holding hands and praying in the front seat. A half hour later she mentioned between gasps that she was having moments of relief. An hour later, she was fast asleep and snoring! Hallelujah! Although her pain never disappeared completely, she said it ranged from like it is on a normal day to almost gone! In fact, she slept more than half of the journey home.
Dean's dad has lost some ground since May. He is starting to lose physical coordination now and his thought process is more muddled. He appeared to be in desperate shape on Saturday. But he slept like a rock through the night in a strange hotel room and walk up calm and ready to go to Michigan! Usually when Dean's mom becomes upset with pain or problems, his dad can't cope and starts crying and panicking. He was the picture of serenity on Sunday morning, comforting his wife quietly without ever losing his sense of peace.
We made it to Michigan at about 4 p.m. yesterday and dropped the folks at Dean's grandmother's for the evening. We had a good night's sleep in our own bed and are leaving in a moment to take them to sign the lease on their new apartment.
A few more days of unpacking and settling and we are hoping to sneak away overnight for a belated anniversary treat.
Again, thanks for your love and support and keep it up!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

heading back!

hey all,
it's 4:30 a.m. in alabama and we will be on the road for the 12 hour trip home with the folks in about half an hour. mac and dean's cousin, paul, drove straight through last night with the moving truck and made it home safely at about 3:30 a.m. thank you for your prayers on their behalf. i imagine those guys will sleep today away!
dean's dad is significantly worse than when we last saw them in may. for some reason, his doctor stopped one of his medications a month ago; refused to give a refill to last him through to moving here. now in addition to his cognitive struggles (which are worse), he has lost some motor function. he's stumbling and having difficulty feeding himself. he's paranoid and terribly anxious. with Alzheimer's disease the function lost is lost forever so even restarting his medications may not gain us a lot of ground back.
this morning they are ok. please continue to cover us in prayer, we have felt God's hand with us keeping us safe and helping us to get things done in a timely way and to stay on a good schedule despite some disorganization and difficulty.
we will keep you updated and if don't hear otherwise, assume we made it safely to michigan this evening. the folks will spend tonight with dean's grandmother and tomorrow morning we'll ask for your prayer again as they sign the lease to their new apartment and with the help of some wonderful guys...marty, chad and mac; we'll move them in. pray that the paperwork goes easily as the apartment complex office manager is pretty disorganized herself, that the physical move-in is easy and without injury and of course that the folks settle peacefully and happily into their new home.

love to all of you and words cannot express our gratitude for your generosity in covering us with prayer.