Friday, November 30, 2007

My Beloved

I am in love with Him, my Beloved.

I long to be with Him, feel His presence. I listen always for His voice.

I remember that day when He came and rescued me, I replay it, amazed still that He found me and He wanted me.

Even though He is the King of Kings, He loved me. Even though I didn't deserve it, He took me in His arms and He will never let me go, although I am free to walk away.

He listens to my cries and He fights for me. He rejoices when I rejoice, He comforts me when I am broken and downhearted.

He never forsakes me, never leaves me on my own.

And there is nothing, not one single thing that I would trade for the opportunity to see His face.

This world has dissappointed me, I have been let down, but not by Him, never by Him.

He is the sweetness that sustains me, the courage that infuses me, the love that lifts me.

He is my truest friend.

I want to live my life in such a way that You will be honored by the love I have for you. I don't want to leave room for questions or for doubts about my closeness to You. I know that having a relationship with You is the most important thing in my life. You are my Love, my Life, my All.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Enemy

I have an enemy. I have an enemy that hates me, that wants to see me suffer and wants to see me fail. I have an enemy that rises up against me, seeking ways to devour my faith, my family, my strength.

This enemy struts around, puffed up, roaring at me about my secret fears, stalking me in my weaknesses, wanting me to tremble, wanting me to falter in my walk so *he* can move in for the killing of my faith.

But, I also know my enemy. I know his voice, the measure of his steps.

And I also know he is truly a coward. He is a coward in the way he attacks. He moves in darkness, trying to slink in through cracks in my armour, hoping to catch me unaware and wanting to get a hold on all I hold dear before I even know what has happened.

Egar Watson Howe said, "If you knew how cowardly your enemy is, you would slap him."

Does anybody understand that?

I can't cower down in the face of the adversary. I must face him like the bully he is. I must not be afraid to strike.

But I'm not facing him toe to toe, because that is not where I am my strongest, my balance may get shaky and I may stumble or fall.

I am facing him on my knees. It is there he will hear my battle cry as I lift my voice unto the hills from wince my help comes. I am not waiting for him to make the first move. I am initiating this battle. And I am not afraid.

I want the light within me to shine so brightly that it will expose all his devices. I want that coward to know *I* am not afraid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

To My Children....With Love

Dear Babies,

Oh, I know you are no longer babies. The years that have passed confirm that. But, to me, you'll always be my babies. I just can't help it.

I am so in awe of you both. I mean that. You are so amazing and incredible. And I think of how I was when I was your ages and I cannot imagine how you both came to be my children. How could I have a part in the making of who you are? It is a mystery.

I think of your tiny bodies with the huge spirits, it seems so long ago. But sometimes when I sleep, God brings you back to me. And I once again see your shining faces, hear your sweet laughter.

The years pass too quickly. Life happens too fast.

I don't know if I'll ever be ready to let you go from me, let you make your own lives. But I know I must.

I would give my life for you both. In a second, without a second thought.

I would take on anything that is brave enough to come up against you, because I know no fear when you are at stake.

I want to shield you from every hurt, protect you from every pain, keep you from every dissappointment.

I want to...

My sweet wonderful children. I hope you know my love will always be yours. My strength is yours, my prayers are heart is yours....

Forever, and ever, and ever.

And beyond.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

How Ironic

Each minute there are 245 births and 110 deaths.

"Death comes when memories become more powerful to us than dreams."

I don't know who said that. I agree.

I want you to probe the depths of your heart right now. Delve deep into the center of what makes you who you are. Think of your life 2 years from now and where it is you will be.

I bet you have some dreams wrapped up in there, some plans, some hopes. Even if it's having a garden or paying off a bill, you have something that you would like to see happen.

"I've had visions,
I've had dreams,
I've even held them in my hands,
But I never knew,
They would slip right through,
Like they were only grains of sand...."

Years ago I was having a conversation with a girl I worked with. I was telling her some of the things I wanted to happen in my life. She was a negative, sour person anyway, so I shouldn't have been surprised when she bitterly replied, "You want too much!"

I was shocked! I had always been taught by my Dad and Mom I could have anything I set my mind to. I remember telling her "What would life be if you didn't have dreams?"

And I have been blessed to see so many of the things I had hoped for come to pass. They weren't elaborate dreams, I dreamt of an education, of a home of our own, of having some money in the bank. But I guess to her, these things were out of reach. How sad.

They sailed. They sailed. Then spoke the mate:
"This mad sea shows its' teeth tonight
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave admiral, say but one good word.
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
"Sail on! sail on! and on!"

My parents have come to a realization that it may be time to let go. I cannot imagine how it must feel for these two people who taught me how to dream to know that their own dreams may die. I cannot imagine what they feel knowing the irony of it all, with all the time they now have to fulfill their dreams they now find themselves virtually trapped in their home, prisoners of circumstances.

But in the midst of the death of their dream of travel comes the birth of new dreams: a new kidney for Dad, the possibility of spending time closer to my brother and sister, the thought of new babies to hold and love somewhere down the road.

"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

I think Hellen Keller must have been the expert on feeling with her heart. She didn't have the ability we do to see or hear, she could only feel. And today as a dream breathes it's last breath for my parents, in their heart, new dreams are born, new possibilities, new hopes.

I believe the Bible calls this "FAITH."

"NOW FAITH is the substance of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

I like how the commentary in my Bible describes this chapter. (Hebrews chapter 11) "demonstrates the nature of the only kind of faith that is acceptable before God and that will triumph in the worst of situations. It is a faith that believes in spiritual realities, leads to righteousness, seeks God, believes in His goodness, has confidence in His Word, obeys His commands, regulates life on the promises of God, rejects the spirits of this present evil age, seeks a heavenly home, perseveres in testing, blesses the next generation, refuses the pleasures of sin, endures persecution, performs mighty acts of righteousness, suffers for God, and does not return to 'that country from whence they cam out' i.e. the world."

Isn't it ironic how things turn out sometimes? But if we hold on, God has a purpose and a plan. I see His plan unfolding even now.

Death comes, swiftly and slowly, but it still comes. But if the numbers are correct, it seems for every death there are 2 births. Just this fact should give birth to hope within us.

I read an article about a nurse who has lived her life doing missionary work. She was there after the tsunami devastation and listened as one man spoke of having to make the choice of whether to keep holding on to his wife, or whether to hold on to their 3 year old child. He wept bitterly as he spoke of letting go of his wife's hand.

There are times when we have to let go of something we love in order to preserve something else. I am thankful I have never had to make the decision that this man had to make, but I can see his reasoning as painful as the decision was and even though it must still haunt him, it preserved the life of the child, the culmination of the dreams of he and his wife.

But letting go always hurts. Always. It is the possibilities of tomorrow that keep us going.

I am so grateful for the many dreams You have allowed me to see come true, and for the many dreams that are on the way. I am thankful for all my tomorrows and blessed by all my yesterdays. I am glad I know that sometimes things have to die in my life in order for me to give birth to something better, even if it is a dream that dies. I am living each day, dreaming of that day when I see Your face. I love You so, so much!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do You Believe In Magic?

For those of you who think I may have fallen off the face of the earth and into an alternate universe since I have been strangely silent, well, I guess I have. We are about to enjoy our last day at Disney.

It has been so wonderful. I can't begin to describe. I am sad to see it end. I have been strutting around in full ostrich mode knowing my sister gave up her Thanksgiving break so we could be here.

I was reading a journal entry from Bobby's cousin Barbara whose son Tyler is fighting cancer. She was talking about turning 40. I don't think time prepares you for all life brings your way. Some days I feel so overwhelmed. But each day I just wake up and face it. I don't know how I make it through sometimes. It is surely not by my own strength or will, only by my precious Savior. He is my strength, my shelter, my song.

I don't usually subscribe to magic, but this week has been...magical. The last of my lifetime with my kids at home. I'm looking forward to sharing the *magic* with the next generation. I missed my babies this week!

Thank You for You NEVER put more on me than I can bear. You have blessed my life in so many ways. Thank You for my sweet family, for touching my Daddy, for the love of my brother and sister, for making MY dreams come true.

See you real soon....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Extraordinary or Extra-Ordinary....You Pick

I was walking Lance this morning for Mama. Daddy had to go back to the hospital this morning. He was a little short of breath when I left him last night, but he will sometimes get that. By the time he got to the Emergency Room he felt like he was going to die.

While I was ambling along in the crisp air this morning the word *extraordinary* popped into my head. Why I don't know, but then I am never really certain why things happen the way they do in my head. I just go with it.

So, I was thinking I guess there are people who would love to be described as ***EXTRAORDINARY***

Me, not so much.

I'll settle for being ==EXTRA-ordinary. Yea, that's my goal.

I want to live a plain, dull, boring life with no bells and whistles. I want to glide through life, under the radar of excitement and popularity.

I want to grow old and die in my sleep as my body simply decides "Enough of this monotony-I feel like traveling on."

Any points I have gained over the years toward being labeled as "Extraordinary" are up for grabs. If they were like the old Green Stamps, I probably only have one or two on the first page, but hey if it will put you over the edge so that you can receive the the *Label* of your dreams, they are yours with my blessings.

I'll take an ordinary life, please==As a matter of fact==throw in some extra!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007 have won 753,437GBP

Well, I opened my email this morning, and to no surprise at all, I once again have won some large sum of money from a foreign country I have never heard of.

IF all these email were legitimate, I would be richer than Bill Gates by now.

*You mean, they're not legitimate?????* Uh, no. And if YOU have responded, you might want to run a credit report.

Email is a crazy thing. Every time I open mine there is something new to immediately delete without opening. How do these people find out about me??

I know that every time you visit a page there is the possibility of trouble. This is why I am so careful about where I go and what I visit. Well, this is one of many reasons that I am.

We are having a special service tomorrow night at the church here in Douglas. My husband and daughter were out Saturday morning sticking up fliers. One of the places they put one was in the door of one of the liquor stores.

Denise said when they got it up she bolted for the car. My husband asked her why she was in such a hurry. She said "I don't want anybody to ride by and see me coming out of a liquor store!"

He said, "Well, you know what you were doing there and God knows what you were doing there so it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks."

She said, "Daddy, the Word says abstain from the very APPEARANCE of evil!!!" She knows she has to be careful where she goes because people are watching her, just like these crazy computer programs that watch where we go and what we look at.

I don't mind so much deleting the emails from diet sites or home improvement sites and such as that, but, I don't even want to think about some of the junk I could get if I looked at some of the JUNK out there.

It would be so nice in life to really get emails and be able to deposit large sums of money in your accounts even though you have done nothing to earn them. But life doesn't work that way.

And even though my own bank accounts are not fat, I am rich beyond measure. Remember, I am an heir of the King of Kings!!

Psalm 23 is probably the most well know of all of the Psalms. But have you ever REALLY read it?

"The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

So, thanks anyways Sir Charles from the island of Timpokwa, but as you can see I am WELL taken care of.

**As a side note** My Dad is doing very well. He should be home this evening. He had some abnormal brain activity during his surgery yesterday and we spent several hours praying that he would not have the neurological damage the doctor mentioned was possible. He is not happy that he can't drive for 2 weeks, but other than that, he seems fine but sore.

I never run out of reasons to praise Him!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Hardest Part

I am sitting here this morning.

There is a lot not said in that simple statement. Let me fill in the "unsaids."

My father is in surgery as I write this. He is in Jacksonville. I am here.

I sent out this little email that my sister sent to me that asked for one word that the person responding would use to describe you.

My responses were...



Dedicated daughter *I know this is 2 words*

I think out of all the responses back I got it was only my daughter that said something different than the above. She said *amazing.* Her response was my favorite.

I told her that in a way I was offended by my responses. What about *witty* *fun* *happy* *insightful*? I asked her "Is this all that I am now?"

She, of course, said, "Mom, you're reading WAY too much into this. They meant this as compliments."

I know this.

I sit here this morning, waiting...

Waiting to find out how everything went. Waiting to find out he is fine. Waiting for my world to turn again.

The truth of the matter is, I am a caregiver.

And because of circumstances today I sit here, and he is there, and I feel helpless and out of control. What if they have a question my brother doesn't know the answer to? What if he doesn't understand the lingo when they finally come out to tell him how Dad is? What if there is a problem tonight and he needs me, or something happens on the way home from the hospital?

Though I have not yet had any rest, and I didn't rest yesterday thinking about today, I feel nausea rise up as I contemplate getting ready and making the 3 hour trip just so I can see with my own eyes he is OK.

Crazy, huh?

Yea, I know.

But I will wait here on the Lord, and I am of good courage, knowing He will strengthen my heart.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm In His Hands

I have noticed many things lately. It is almost like I have aquired a heightened sense of the nuances of life. Moments that pass bring about reflection. And tonight as I sit here, reflection comes once again. It has become my friend, allowing something even greater to develop...introspection.

During these moments of introspection I can not only see moments where God had His hand on me, I can also see moments when I was in His hand. My name is written there, so He'll always remember me.

But I also see moments when I took myself out of His hand.

I faced a situation Sunday that I did not know how to face. And as I lay in bed much later and reflected on what could have been a horrible and life changing situation for me, I could see myself there, cradled in His hand.

You see, for almost an hour I thought I was about to lose my precious Daddy. I was at church when the call came frantically from my Mama. I couldn't get there fast enough.

And I was afraid. So very afraid.

But somewhere between where I was and where my Daddy was, it was as if my Father came and scooped me up and held me close.

"You're in My hand."

I'm in His hand because I placed Him in my heart.

Bad stuff has come, and no doubt will return. No doubt the fear of losing my parents will happen one day and that fear will be reality. And the sun will come up again the next morning and shine just as bright, the same way it did when my parents lost their own parents.

But as I reflect tonight, as I delve into introspection, I am comforted once again.

Thank You for Your strength. Let me have You always in my heart because I never ever want to be out of Your hand.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Clean Up...Isle 9

Oh if the whole world were more like me...the epitome of gracefulness.

OK, yea...I'm kidding...

I have spent my life bumping into various things, and falling over various other things. I once asked the doctor why I couldn't walk a straight line. His answer was very doctorly: *You have something wrong with the balance center in your brain.*

Translation...You are a klutz.

Yea, I wasted my money on that one.

There are some days that I go into work knowing I will be performing my very best Jerry Lewis imitation throughout the night. It is my poor unsuspecting patients that get ringside seat to my clumsiness.

My family offers me much support though. But not positive support. They are in support of my remaining a klutz because of the hours of fun they have telling stories about the remember whens...

Added to the fact that I was blond as a child and I have frequent flash backs, I provide endless entertainment.

*Remember the time Mama locked the keys in the trunk of the car and we sat at the gas pump for over an hour before she remembered there was a button in the glove box that opened the trunk?*

*Remember when she asked Dad to take the lamp apart because the knob was on the back side and it was hard for her to turn on and off and Dad just got out of bed, walked around and turned the lamp around?*

*Remember when Dad was interviewing for a job and the man asked Mama what her name was and she said "I don't know."*

It is usually when I am trying my best to appear normal that problems creep up. While in Louisiana for my niece's wedding I was trying to help clean up and flipped up a table to fold the legs. I didn't anticipate the weight of the table or the velocity it would have when I flipped it. I caught it with my foot. How'd that go, you may ask. Not too good. I still can't bend my big toe all the way and now every morning when I get off my foot is swollen.

My brother was kind enough to pray for me right after it happened. He prayed "Lord, bless her in her clumsiness."

So this morning as I was bending down to pick up the box of cremora I spilt on the floor at work and noticed that I had orange all over my white jacket from my snack earlier in the night that I couldn't help but think of some of my other award-winning moments.

I long ago came to the realization that I would never be the poster child for gracefulness. And that's OK. As crazy as it may sound I like myself just the way I am. And I don't mind sharing stories about my *moments* because, well, they make me laugh too.

I have to think God finds pleasure in my klutziness since He formed me and He doesn't make mistakes, right? And so the next time I am walking around the grocery only to realize my buggy has been leaking chicken blood for 4 isles when I finally almost slip down in it, I'm just going to smile.

He knows me, YET He loves me. That's all I need to know!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I am Yours

Let's see...

My Dad has been so sick this past weekend I am afraid to even call to check on him *I'm in ostrich mode*

It's almost two o'clock and I haven't even gotten dressed *not counting the fact that I have been up about an hour after working last night*

My house is...well...if the board of health showed up right now they'd either condemn it or call the police because they'd think they stumbled upon a crack house or something *if only there were about 5 more hours in the day*

I have a serious pain in my neck that I am sure is stress related *or as Chicken Little would like me to believe some kind of huge mass in my head pressing on the nerves*

For the second time in as many days I woke up because of a strange noise and realized it was me wheezing *and I don't have the 8 hours to wait in my doctors' waiting room even if I could get an appointment which, you know, is impossible for a sick person to do*

I got sent home Saturday night because of low census and I don't have any time to spare *which means I'll probably have to work an extra day which I have NO personal time to do*

One of the instructors at the Technical School asked me to apply for a teaching position which is my dream *but I had to say no because of my topsy turvy life*

But all whining aside....

What, don't tell me you never whine...don't tell me you have never sat down and said..OOOOKKKKK!?!?! Can I have a little break here?!?!?!

I are sooo spiritual...walking around with no cares....your life is just floating from one cloud to the next...sunshine and rainbows...

HUMPH...bah humbug...

So what makes it worth getting up everyday??

It's another day...that's what...

Full of good and bad, because that's life, and I'm living it.

Everyday has the potential to be good or bad...It's what I make of it...

Some days the bad seems like it is overwhelming...oh but the good is sooo good.

When I am weak, that's when He is strong. He comes to me, reminding me again.

He reminds me....

That I have two wonderful parents and because of all they are going through I know without a doubt what each day that I have them means...

I have a job that I love and allows me the flexibility to be sitting here at this time of the day in my gown AND allows me to be off every day to take care of any issues that arise...

My family live in this house and love in this house...this is our HOME...our refuge...the place I long to be when the day is done...

I am in good health, even with my fat rolls and stiff neck...I am blessed

God has blessed us financially, allowing us to pay our bills and still enjoy life and pour back in to His work!

Even though I am still coughing I am sooooo much better than I was, and I know *this too shall pass* because I have visited the Great Physician with my ailment!

And someday when the time is right I'll be able to teach nursing, which is my desire. I'll have the time to finish up my education. But God has me where I can do something I enjoy and take care of my family. Not many people can say that... two weeks I'll be at Disney with my family!!! wooohooo yippeeee!!!!!

You see for each problem, there is a blessing...

Sometimes my vision gets clouded by situations, and then He comes...

"I'll never leave you, nor forsake you"

"I'll shelter you under My wings"

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light"

"I'll restore your soul"

"I am your salvation, whom shall you fear?"

There is a song that I have been listening to over and over lately...the chorus says

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours.....

Oh God, Oh God....I am Yours today...all of me. Who I am that You even know my name, that You would come down to the earth as a man just so I could know You? Me, a whining petulant child, yet You love me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You Might Be A Redneck....

So, I have a love for vehicles. I get this from my father. I have been dreaming of the day I can cruise through town in my Lexus, driving in comfort and nice it will be.

Last weekend my husband came home with a truck he was test driving. And after looking at another place we found the perfect vehicle for us; a huge Dodge truck.

So now I'm sporting around town in a truck 10 times bigger than anything I have ever driven. I have to park way out in the distant corners of the Wally World parking lot to keep from running over unsuspecting villagers. My daughter says I have now become one of those irritating old women driving something entirely too big for her. I told her I'll get used to it.

It has everything your modern redneck needs from the low profile tool box to the dual exhaust that rumbles and roars along with the Hemi engine. It was instant love for me.

And I have found something interesting about the whole big truck experience that I never experienced in my little SUV, all these other big truck people now nod their heads with respect when I go bouncing by. I have become accepted by the whole big truck loving society.

I am very thrilled, to say the least. I have only managed to run over a curb so far, so I feel like I will be just fine in my new machine.

But just to be on the safe side, you might want to stay out of my way for a little while longer.

Well, I'm off to bed to dream of my next BIG adventure. I'm ready to go where ever the huge tires will take me once I manage to foist myself in. I just strap on my seat belt and I'm ready for take off.

Do you think they make a big 4 door Lexus truck?? Aww, who needs it anyway.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tea Time

I just finished a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. MMMMMM....

When I was able to have a brief visit at my brother's home the weekend of the wedding they fixed me a cup of some kind of berry blend. They are so cool. They even have this cool electric kettle that sits on the counter. I always warm my water in the microwave. I definitely need to invest in one of those pots.

I have this really great spice cabinet on my counter. It has not really held anything since I got it, never served a real purpose, so I dug out all of my teas and put them in the drawers. Now I have a *tea cabinet.*

Last night at our Fall Festival I won the *Hot Tea Basket* and so I had more to add to my collection. My cabinet runneth over!!!

As I sat here tonight enjoying my tea, letting it relax me and hopefully help with some of this congestion in my chest I was thinking about my old Pastor and his precious wife.

I don't think I ever drink Earl Grey that I don't think about her. I had surgery while they were here and she brought me some Earl Grey along with some butter cookies. Every afternoon while I was recovering I would brew a cup and eat some of the butter cookies, it became a nice routine. I can understand why the British do it! What a great break in the day.

They were such precious people. They were traveling down in this area in their motor home. They had retired and were just enjoying life. Someone told them the church here was vacant. They just stepped up and filled a need. It was just their desire to do something for God. My children and I were not able to go to church at that time for certain reasons and one night I said "that's it, we are going to church." So we loaded up and started the drive to another town to be in church.

We had to pass by the church here on the way. There parked in the front of the church was a U-Haul. We pulled in and it was then we met this beautiful couple.

They had such an impact on my family. Even though my husband did not go to church while they were here, he told them when they were leaving that they had made a difference in him and it was his sincere regret that he had not given them a chance.

They have gone back to Indiana now. I received an email from her just the other day letting me know that he is not doing well. It is feared he has cancer in his colon and will be undergoing surgery this week.

This precious couple needs our prayers now. I could never, ever, express what they meant to my family. I remember how I felt when they told me they were going to leave, I thought my heart would break, but I knew they needed to rest, and I knew he would not have made such a decision without much prayer.

He taught me so many things about God. Aside from my Pastor now, he has had the biggest impact on my walk with God.

And she was the epitome of grace and graciousness. She truly had a servants heart.

It is amazing how God places people in your lives at just the right time, bringing just what you need for that moment and beyond. Like my love for Earl Grey, and the gentle love from a Pastor and his wife that brought me strength and growth to last me a lifetime.

Lord, bless Brother and Sister Synesael today. Touch them Lord, and strengthen them during the days ahead. Lord, You have the final say in any situation, and I know You are in this situation, too. Remember them today. Remember them and bless them as You have me by making them part of my life. I love You, I love You, I love You, You're the Sweet Rose of Sharon to me.