Tuesday, December 29, 2009

on the fourth day before wedding bliss...

...I am wondering.

Since I was able to check several things off my "must be done" list, why does it appear to be as long if not even longer today?

Monday, December 28, 2009

wedding countdown...

Well, I had intended to be more diligent in chronicling the countdown to Jessi's wedding. However, it is now days away. Six days if we count today. (and believe me, I need to count today.) Today's list of must do items include 12 things. So, I'd better head out of here and see what I can accomplish.
smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I must be crazy.

The man-child is growing up too fast.

I can no longer see the chubby faced baby in his whiskered face or hear his sweet voice in the deeper pitch of adulthood. The happy smiles of his toddlerhood have all but disappeared in the moods of a teenaged man-child.

And I miss him.

Which may be why I cherished a few moments from this morning.

Sometime yesterday evening, the flu beast made it's presence known in the body of my boy. After a long night of cool cloths, prayer, hand holding and soothing words, we headed off to the doctor-him with blankets and a fever of 103 and me with scriptures to pray, a box of kleenex and a bucket (just in case.) As we sat, waiting, he asked, "can I lay my head on you, mama?"

And so we sat, him with his head on my chest and me stroking his head, kissing his hair, whispering a prayer.

And I cherished the moment.

Because mostly he is 6'2. Too tall, too old to call me "mama". To let me kiss the top of his head and offer a mama to lean on. To tuck him into bed and bring him a drink of water. To sit by him while he sleeps and offer up prayers for the man he's becoming.

So yes, I may be crazy, but today was a moment to cherish...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It was spirit week recently. On Career Day, The Boy decided he wanted to go as an undertaker. (actually, he looks a bit zombie-ish, doesn't he? Or maybe he looks like someone who wishes his mother would put the silly camera down.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

canine capers

I can't decide if they are making sure dad can't go anywhere or they are annoyed that he's in their chair and they're trying to make him move...
(I guess he doesn't have to worry about that leg getting too cold this winter.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gratitude

holy experience


I was having one of those mornings recently. No clean school clothes, (yes there were. Just not the ones he wanted to wear.) why wasn't breakfast ready, the biscuits are too brown, the cars parked in the wrong order, the lightest of rain...not enough to water anything but certainly enough to provide curl in my hair where no curl should be, running behind for work, driving behind a school bus...thinking of of the chaos left at the house, knowing that the mess would still be there when I returned home for lunch. Normally I pray on the way to work but on this particular morning, the only words that left my heart and lips were, "show me Your Glory, Lord." My soul was too weary to utter anything else.

As I turned to the right, I noticed a most glorious sunrise on display before my eyes. Vivid pinks and oranges. And I tried to be grateful for the display of His handiwork before me. Really, I did. I found myself thanking Him for the picture He provided...but there was a small part of my heart that muttered, "I've seen sunrises before. Yes, it's beautiful...but it's nothing new."

And on I drove.

Somewhat ashamed of my less than grateful spirit.

But still wallowing in my weariness.

More traffic. (because I left the house a few minutes late.) More sighing.

But then...

I noticed something smack in the middle of my windshield.

A tiny bit of color.

I peered closer, not sure what the little splash of red might be.

As I watched, it seemed to expand. And as it did, I began to smile. The color grew longer...bigger...and I had to laugh...with tears in my eyes.

Because right in front of my face, where I couldn't possibly miss it...God gave me a rainbow! It's been years since I've seen a rainbow and here was one, just for me. I could almost here Him saying, "So the sunrise didn't impress you? Well, here my child...take a look at this. Here is My Glory..."

My heart sang. My spirit was refreshed. And I was grateful.


Won't you take a moment and share what He's done for you lately?

Monday, October 5, 2009

gratitude

holy experience

Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.
Matthew 8:3


Counting these blessings over the past days...

The last of the plumeria blooming beautifully...(before they head off to their winter home in my mother-in-law's spare shower.)

three (!!!) lemons on the lemon tree...

a man-child who still has some boy in him...(I came down to breakfast to find dragons battling it out on the counter.)
Possibly the last blooms from the tropical garden Josh put in this summer. (since we are not tropical climate dwellers, most of the garden will be dug up to be replanted next spring.)
freshly laundered quilts and blankets as we prepare for cooler fall nights...
Won't you consider joining the gratitude community and offer thanks for your daily blessings?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

smiling...

Smiley Faces Pictures, Images and Photos

Words like "small bulges in two of his discs" and "signs of arthritis" might not normally make a mother smile.

Unless they are preceded by "no signs of cancer" and "no spinal tumors."

So, we keep doing what we are doing.

Praying and resting.

(and we'll add praising to the list as well!)SMILEY - happy rolling Pictures, Images and Photos

Honestly, I suspect that a certain 17 year old boy doesn't mind resting a bit every now and then. (and I'm pretty sure he doesn't miss garbage detail either.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peace

This has been a unique summer. (Did we even have a summer? I seem to have missed it.)

At the end of the school year, (a lifetime ago) Jessi was dealing with some health issues. Several trips to the doctor later, a diagnosis was given, medication prescribed and off we went, waiting for life to return to normal.

Only...it didn't.

Little did we know, the medication prescribed causes feelings of anxiety in people who don't normally deal with anxious feelings. For people who battle anxiety, it unleashes a tidal wave of endless panic attacks.

So we spent endless weeks fighting unseen demons as we waited for the medication to work it's way through her system. Words cannot do justice to the trauma of four or five panic attacks a day, literally confining her to her room as the only place of real safety. Finally, towards the middle of July, she began to return her normal routines.

Just in time for Jonathan to go to the doctor for his constant back pain.

The initial diagnosis was/is a fractured vertebrae. Huh? (We're still not sure how that happened.) He ended up being fitted for a back brace and we settled down, anticipating a return to normal.

Silly me.

A week passed. Then, Jonathan stopped eating. We've been through this a few times before. Three years ago he became ill for a time and lost 30 pounds during the summer. (He has some reflux issues and hates to throw up. The easiest way to avoid that is to stop eating. Not.) At the time he was getting a bit "fluffy" and the first ten pounds lost weren't really a big deal. By the time he lost the entire 30, he was underweight and extremely skinny. Several doctors visits, food adjustments and some medication later and he began to eat...not enough to gain weight, but enough to not lose weight. In the years since, we have had a few "episodes" but we have kept them under control and everything was fine.

Until the end of July.

He couldn't/wouldn't eat, drink or sleep. From Friday until Monday.

Saturday night, I started forcing him to eat ice chips every 20 minutes so that he would stay hydrated. We did not sleep. He did not sleep. He could not leave his room or even his bed. (It was during this time that his sister began to read to him.) Finally, when Monday morning came, off we went to the doctor. By this time we were sure that this was an anxiety issue and that he could starve himself if we weren't careful. Fortunately, the doctor was able to find the right dose of anxiety meds for him and he slowly began to return to "normal."

At least everything but his back did.

School started. We obtained two sets of textbooks so he didn't have to carry them back and forth to school. He wears his brace and doesn't bend or lift. Yet still there is pain.

Pain when sitting too long.

Pain when standing too long.

More pain than there should be considering the length of time that he's had the injury.

So today we went to have an MRI.

To look for defects in his spinal column.

(Of course, during all of these months we've also been immersed in planning a wedding.)

Then you can throw in a trip to the ER Sunday morning (it was after midnight so it must have been morning) with the bride-to-be who was certain that she was having a heart attack. (She wasn't. She was having a pleurisy attack. Which, while uncomfortable, is certainly much better than a heart attack.)

And I'm still waiting for our return to "normal." Except I'm beginning to think that maybe this is the new "normal."

But that's okay. God has been with us every step of the way. We have found comfort in the written Word, in scripture memorized, in prayers prayed. And we are blessed.



"For He Himself is our peace..." Ephesians 2:14

Monday, September 7, 2009


Sometimes I wish I could drink grace, mercy, and compassion (or at least a little verbal discretion) the same way you'd drink a morning cup of coffee. I have a feeling it might make the day a little smoother...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Weeks ago, when he was so very ill, she began.

Sitting at his bedside, she read to him for hours. The sound of her voice, the characters brought to life, distracted him from illness as nothing else could. He began to look forward to the ritual, even as he began to heal.

Nightly he asks, "will you read tonight?"

Nightly, as I sit in the kitchen, I hear their voices echoing down the hall. Laughter fills the room.

I think she looks forward to the reading as much as he does.

They converse, he and she, about things other than the book they are reading.

Talking about school, friends, life. Nurturing the roots of their relationship.

I wonder if they both long for this time together as the day of her leaving grows closer.

And perhaps not just my mother's heart recognizes the swiftly passing days...


Monday, August 31, 2009

LPM Scripture Memory Verse 17


anybody else want or need a heart to know Him? I'm claiming this one as a promise I want to see fulfilled...

Friday, August 21, 2009

There's something bittersweet about watching your man-child head off to school with all the usual "guy" stuff--sideburns he hopes no adult will notice, shirt tail hanging out, backpack tossed carelessly over one shoulder--and a big yellow gift bag with artfully arranged tissue paper (courtesy of his sister) concealing carefully chosen birthday gifts for his girl.

Where does the time go?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday


Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word,
Ephesians 5:25-26



May each of us allow the Word to cleanse us this day...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Remember this?

Now she looks more like this...
last time I saw her, she slept. And slept. And slept. Apparently all that sleeping is good for growing tiny puppies into much bigger puppies. She's still a doll, though.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

we'd probably prefer locusts...

You'll be happy to know that there's a possibility of flash flooding again today. That's on top of the flash flooding/heavy downpours from yesterday (not to mention the flooding from last week.)


I'm trying to remember that we usually are paying to water our lawns/plants/trees this time of year. (Remember--thorns have roses.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Thousand Gifts...a Journey

holy experience


Some people are always grumbling
because roses have thorns;
I am thankful
that thorns have roses.
Alphonse Karr

Like most, there are days when I struggle to have a grateful heart. Some days seem heavier than others. However, I'm coming to believe that on those days, finding that which I am grateful for is a gift, a day brightener of sorts. And truthfully, as I review the day, I often find it wasn't as heavy as I thought.

This week my list includes:

a prayer of thanksgiving that no lives were lost during our "surprise" flash flooding...
(picture courtesy of the weather channel)


heartfelt prayers of dear friends as I took the boy to the doctor on Monday...

blessed sleep...

sounds of laughter coming from a room that hasn't had much laughter recently...

cupcakes!

the comfort of a well loved Bible...
(if you can't see the words, they say, "Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say: Here am I.)

much needed vacation days...

the hope of accomplishing things around the house...

more wedding plans...

the antics of our pond frogs...

What are the "gifts" in your life recently? Won't you consider writing them down and sharing them?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday

Trail Pictures, Images and Photos

You're blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You're blessed when you follow His directions,
doing your best to find Him.
Psalm 119:1-2 (MSG)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

waiting for the locusts...

You may remember our visit with hurricane Ike last September. Or perhaps our epic battle with the white blanket of death in January? Well, apparently our tango with weather anomalies is not over. Yesterday we had a brush with "flooding of biblical proportions." (weather channel's phrasing, not mine.) Two storms brought up to nine inches of rain to our fair city. (6 inches fell in one hour, setting a new record. Yippee!)


The basement of the main library downtown flooded. Unfortunately, it contained the server for all the libraries computers, the computers for the newest branch (set to open Monday), new books, reserves that were shipping out to other libraries and countless other items.
These are the bookmobiles. Obviously they have some issues as well.
An apartment complex close to the book store was struck by lightening during the storm. Fortunately, no one was hurt but these apartments were completely consumed.
This is the race track at Churchill Downs. Fortunately there's quite a few days before the first Saturday in May.
Flooded streets...
Flooded businesses...
However, I guess if you can't beat the rain, you might as well drag out the kayak and make the best of it.
I hope you are staying dry where you are!
(pictures courtesy of the CJ & weather channel)

Monday, August 3, 2009

One Thousand Gifts...

holy experience


I've pondered this thing called "gratitude" as I've begun my my list of a thousand gifts. I sought the definition of gratitude and had to smile at the footnote that instructed me to "see grace." (Is that not the truth?) When I searched here, I was delighted to find this instruction from our Lord in the Message--"Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done." I need no other encouragement. I want my life to be one of gratitude that reflects and honors Him...I want others to see Him through His work in my life.

These were just a few of the things that I've been grateful for this past week:

...for the care of an older sister as she reads to her younger brother late into the night, hoping to bring him some comfort as he wrestles with illness.

...for the delicate shades of color as a new plant blossoms in our little corner of the world.


...for the comfort of knowing that believers are praying as we struggle through a difficult time.

...for a husband who enjoys creating beautiful things and spent days creating a tropical garden in our not-so-tropical backyard.

...for family who comes to our aid when we have no idea how to unclog an air conditioner line or fix a broken part on a car or caulk a bathtub.

...for unusually cool days this July. I've seen so many glorious skies, uncluttered by the sweltering heat and smog that normally smothers us this time of year.

...for Isaiah and the fact that his love and obedience of God outweighed his fear of what man would do to him as a prophet. Each year as I read through this book, I see so many beautiful pictures of the God who pursues us that I cannot help but be grateful. (and hope that I too might be just as obedient.)

Won't you take a moment today and write down the gifts He has blessed you with? It just might change the way you see your life...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunday


My soul yearns for You in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for You.


Isaiah 26:9

LPM Scripture Memory Verse 15

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday

Candle flame 2 Pictures, Images and Photos
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

since we speak wedding at my house...

...when Kelly said that she'd be doing wedding dresses on "show us where you live Fridays", I thought I'd see how my dress has held up over the years. Twenty two years to be exact.




My mom made my wedding dress. I remember going to the fabric store downtown because the regular fabric stores didn't have fancy lace and fabric. (and I still remember how much the lace cost and how shocked my mom was at how expensive it was.)





I saw the dress in a bridal magazine while I was doing mission work in California and we found a pattern that was fairly close, with princess poofy sleeves and lots of buttons. Lots and lots of buttons.










There are thirty three buttons down the back and fourteen buttons down the sleeves. Teeny tiny buttons. Fortunately, I have small hands. Unfortunately, I couldn't button the back of my dress up myself.










Mom also fixed the veil as well. Some sort of crown thing that was popular during the eighties. I think it was meant to sit on the head and not mush down enormous hair.







I'm not sure if you can tell it here, but I was thin when I was young(er.) um...maybe thin isn't the word. I was skinny. I measured the waist tonight and it measures 24 inches. I'm happy to report that I measured one of my thighs and it's not as big now as my waist was then. Almost but not quite. Don't as me why I torture myself with things like that. In my head, I think that I should still be that thin. However, 22 years of birthin' babies followed by lots of pie and cheese fries have not been kind to my waist. (They have, however, been more beneficial to other parts of my figure...if you get my drift.)

Anyhow, the dress is all tucked away again. Maybe someday I'll drag it out and show it to my grandbabies. Far far down the road.