We spent yesterday at the hospital with my Dad again. The numbness returned and was worse. He felt just awful, so we took him to the ER. The doctor ordered an MRI of his brain this time, and it showed that he had indeed had a slight stroke. They kept him overnight and discharged him this morning with perscriptions for a strong type of aspirin and cholesterol medication. He is to make an appointment with his doctor and with a neurologist for next week.
He looked fine this morning - just tired. You don't get to sleep much in the hospital. My Mom is totally worn out too. So we took them home and quickly left so they could both take a nap.
We are relieved to finally have some answers and thankful that it was a mild stroke. God is good. Thank you for all of your prayers on our behalf. I really hope to get back to normal next week and visit everyone. If I have a bit of time on sunday I'll try to visit then.
Last Sunday was one of those days I wish I could wrap up and put in a special container to be opened on a cold winter day in January or a scorching day in August when the temperature hovers in the mid-nineties. It was a day of open windows and refreshing breezes blowing through the rooms of our home.
The rest of my devotional is here today - at Laced With Grace.
My first order of long over-due business is to thank Mary for this award. My tardiness doesn't mean I don't appreciate it more than I can say. I just seem to be having one of those "spells" where there aren't enough hours in my day to do all the things I both need and would like to get done. Thank you for thinking such kind thoughts of me Mary. It blesses and encourages my heart more than I can say.
I am meant to pass it on to ten others, but I can't think of one of the blogs I read that aren't worthy of this award. So to all my fellow bloggers - I pass on this award of Excellence and thank you for enriching my life with your amazing posts.
More thanks - for all of your kind words, prayers and support for Todd. He is so appreciative, as am I. You never fail to go above and beyond anything I could imagine. I pray that you will be blessed as you have blessed us.
A little bit of an update on my parents: The results of my Mom's ultra-sound show that she has gall stones. The doctor doesn't think they need to do anything about them just yet. We are so thankful it wasn't anything more serious than that. My Dad, however, isn't doing as well. The day after he visited the doctor and was told all his blood tests came back fine, he began having that numbness in his arm again. This time he also felt it in his face. So they have made an appoint for tomorrow afternoon with a heart specialist. I cannot imagine why noone has thought to check the arteries for blockages and am concerned that that is what it may very well be. They have always said his heart is just fine. So....we pray that all will be well. I will keep my blog updated as we find things out.
I am feeling so guilty when I check my bloglines and realize I just don't have time to read and leave comments the way I would like. I am trying to read as many posts as I can - but I haven't been able to leave comments every time. I always think I have this all settled in my life and then it seems to get out of control all over again. I just have to try the best I can to prioritize my life and unfortunately my time on the computer has to be limited. I wish I had about three more hours in my day.
We had another Open House for realtors here yesterday. Lots of people buzzing in and out. We've lowered our asking price and are praying that that will generate more interest. Isn't it funny how protective you feel of your home when strangers are giving it the once-over? I love this little house and want them to love it too!
My energetic husband is getting the bikes ready for our ride, so I must get out of my bathrobe and nightgown and put on proper attire. It's a beautiful, crisp clear day. Our weather can be so erratic. It was 92 degrees on monday and this morning we awoke to ice in the bird bath. It's already warming up though and should get into the sixties today. So....we're off to hit the road (not literally mind you!)
Thank you again for all you've done. You are a wonderful group of ladies - so dear to my heart. I thank God for you.
"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord." Psalm 104: 33, 34
86. I discovered them yesterday. They are growing right by the front porch - the first tiny harbingers of spring. They are the first ones to make their appearance every year - a sweet reminder of God's faithfulness.
89. The privilege of taking piano lessons from a talented lady who has become a dear friend.
90. Answered prayer and the comfort that comes from knowing friends have prayed for us.
91. Seeing an eagle for the first time (in person). We were riding past the field with all the hay bales, and there he was. It was such a thrill to watch him spread his enormous wings and fly across the field.
92. Letters from a precious friend.
93. A prayer partner
94. Sitting outdoors at a little table enjoying a delicious ice cream cone with my husband.
95. Precious promises from the Living Word: "I will go before you andmake the rough places smooth;" Isaiah 45: 2a
96. "Behold I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49: 16
He’s our Yankee Doodle boy – born on the fourth of July thirty-five years ago. He was the only baby born that day in our small town hospital, and the nurses put a little flag on his bassinet. In those days Daddies weren’t allowed in the delivery room, so he and three year old Scott were at the fourth of July parade. How different things were in those days.
It hardly seems possible that thirty-five years have gone by since that day. He is now a husband and father with two sweet little girls. He was an easy-going baby, but always so full of energy. He has run circles around the rest of us since the moment he learned to walk.
These days he is the building manager at a large firm that produces car products. He is just like his Dad – handy at everything you can imagine. They work on cars together, do carpentry, plumbing – just anything that needs fixing. That is what he does at work – anything that needs doing. There are times we wonder how he does it all. He is the kind of person everyone calls on for help – and he never says no.
In his other job he is called Pastor Todd. He and his wife Sarah were sent out a few years ago to plant a new church in a town about twenty miles from us. They both work tirelessly – doing everything from cleaning bathrooms to street preaching, to knocking on doors, to preaching sermons, working in the nursery, and providing the music for worship. They pour their hearts into their small congregation. Many of the people they minister to are very needy. We have seen them take whole families into their small home to live with them until they can get on their feet. They simply love the Lord and want to share the gospel message to those in need of a Savior.
In October Todd began experiencing blurred vision in his right eye. He tried to ignore it – hoping it would clear up, but when the side of his face became numb he knew he had to see a doctor. To make a long story a bit shorter, a very astute eye doctor sent him for an m.r.i. and it showed that Todd has multiple sclerosis. A spinal tap confirmed the diagnosis.
It is difficult to find the right words to describe how our family felt. It was devastating news. Todd has a wonderful neurologist, who has provided excellent care, but the best care in the world will not cure this disease or reverse the affects it has had on Todd’s body. There are some different medicines that are available that they hope will prevent more lesions from forming in his brain. The one he has chosen is a daily injection.
Todd and Sarah are doing well. Their faith remains so very strong. One little incident best illustrates Todd’s heart. Our daughter was terribly upset by the news. She just couldn’t take it all in. When I told Todd about it, he said, “I’ll have to call her and encourage her.”
That is not to say that it hasn’t been difficult for him. I think the hardest part is adjusting to a new life style – one in which he just doesn’t have the energy to do the things he once did. We were talking the other day and he told me he had tried to play basketball with friends but his vision got so blurry he just couldn’t continue. And there are days when he feels rather weak. It is hard for one who has a heart to serve to suddenly have to be the one who needs some help. It all takes getting used to.
The company Todd works for has been very supportive. They have hired someone to be an assistant for him – to ease the workload. There is going to be an m.s. walkathon on March 1st and they are going to walk as a team in support of Todd. We’re all going to walk with them.
If any of you have been touched by this disease and would like to support the walk I will add this link to the m.s. walk
I do so very hesitantly because I don’t want anyone to think I have written this to solicit money. All of the money goes to research. I simply wanted to share a bit of what is going on in the life of my family, and to say that God is good. I absolutely could not do without Him. He has given us such a sense of His peace and love. I pray daily for healing, knowing that God is sovereign; that He has a plan for Todd’s life that is better than anything I could possibly imagine. He is our hope, our joy and our salvation. He has blessed us immeasurably. I write this simply to glorify His name and to state emphatically that He is all He has promised to be.
I cannot adequately express how much it means to know you are praying for us. It is such a blessing to be prayed for. Thank you so very much. I love y'all and will try to visit during the next couple of days (tomorrow is the day we're gone all day). I am blessed to call you friends. You are the absolute best!
Please join me at Laced With Grace today. We'll talk about driveways, life and heaven. I'd love to visit with you.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!!
" We love because He first loved us." I John 4:19
A listening heart – the words make me think of my Heavenly Father, for surely His is a listening heart. When I think of all the noise going on around me, of the multiplied thousands of voices raised to Him in prayer at any given moment, it is of infinite comfort to know that He hears my voice as though I were the only one in the universe. For those moments I am His only child, and He inclines His ear to me. But He doesn’t just hear the words I speak; He hears my heart. In those moments when I don’t have words to express my feelings He understands. When I am afraid, He tenderly draws me in. When I ache with the hurts of life, His compassionate heart feels just what I feel. When I weep, His tears are mingled with my own. When I rejoice, His heart overflows with joy. When I am burdened with guilt and remorse, His heart is filled with mercy and grace. When my heart overflows with love for Him, He responds with a love that knows no bounds. When I have a heart filled with gratitude, His heart is blessed. What comfort, what joy to know that I am known by the Living God is such a way. He listens to me with His heart.
Oh to have a heart that listens; to hear more than just the words. I want to hear the heart of those who speak to me – to hear the notes below the melody that reveal the true feelings. I want to hear with compassion and grace. I want to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. I want to give the gift of a listening heart.
I haven't written much lately. I've been doing a lot of thinking. My thoughts are not always "deep" thoughts. I often imagine myself a bit like Pooh, sitting on a log tapping my head and saying, "Think, think, think..."
One of the things I've been thinking about is Lent. It is a fairly new idea, this setting aside a time to contemplate - to sacrifice just a bit - to prepare for that day of days when Jesus secured my salvation with His own precious blood and then three days later rose from the dead conquering the last enemy. Raised in a religion where Lent was not observed it is something I want to know more about.
In thinking and praying about what I would do to observe Lent in my own life, I thought about areas of my life that needed change. Could my sacrifice be one of letting God work on those things in my life He very much wanted to conform to the image of Christ? My speech for instance.
When I begin to examine my own heart, it inevitably leads me to thinking about what I have "done" for the Lord. It is sometimes difficult for me to step out of the "works mentality" I somehow adopted when I became a Christian. I have grown enough to know that that isn't something from God. It is my own need to feel I have been a good girl and won His approval. In truth, there is no amount of good works I can do to earn my salvation. It is grace alone. I understand that, but there is always a little part of me that wants to "measure up."
This thinking led me to think about the women I have known in my life and what it was about them that I admired. My Mom always comes to mind. Hers is a simple, steadfast faith. She has never written a best-selling book, never spoken to crowds of people, never had her name "up in lights", but she ministers to our family and the myriad of friends she has made over the eighty-four years of her life in her own unique way. Her home is always open to all of us. It is a home made warm and welcoming by her special touches: the quilts she has hand-sewn spread over the beds, the curtains she has made, the little pieces lovingly collected and displayed, the family pictures on the walls, the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen, and the warmth of a hug and a kiss. Wherever she has lived, it isn't long before the house is filled with family and friends enjoying the welcoming warmth of real hospitality.
She has maintained friendships from as long ago as high school. She writes letters, sends notes, and never forgets to send just the right card for every occassion. She is a good listener and so easy to talk to. I have so many friends who have told me they just want to adopt her as their mother. I am happy to share. She has more than enough love to go around - and besides, I am still her "Sweetie."
My Mom has been my brownie leader, the president of the PTA, a deaconess, a sunday school teacher and so many other things - serving where she felt God would have her serve. Even now, she and my Dad work one day a month at their local Food Bank - distributing food to those in need. She has bloomed where God has planted her, and her life is a blessing to so many.
The other woman I always think of is Aunt Ethel. She died many years ago, but she was a powerful influence in my life when I was a little girl. She is not my aunt by birth. I didn't meet her until she was already well into her sixties. She was the leader of a group in our little church called Christian Girls In Training. Girls from the ages of eight to eighteen participated. We met on friday evenings. It was a time of singing, Bible lessons, and learning handcrafts. I loved every minute of it, as did all the other girls. How we looked forward to friday evenings.
There were campouts (my first taste of s'mores), cook-outs, special programs at the end of the year and the Christmas candle-light program. It was in CGIT (as we called it) that I memorized whole chapters of scripture for my memory work. Aunt Ethel set a high standard for us. I can see her still, her gray hair pulled back in a bun with pretty waves framing her face, always wearing the CGIT unifrom - a white middy blouse and navy skirt and sensible black shoes that tied up and had two inch heels. Whenever she gave you a hug, you caught the sweet smell of lavender.
She had a lovely smile and a ready laugh, but she was also a strict disciplinarian. Not one of us ever wanted to disappoint her. There were occassions when she had to give us a bit of a talking to. I remember some of those "talks" to this day. One in particular, about being very careful of the way we used the name of God. She was the perfect blend of fun and Godly principles, and we all loved her dearly. To this day she is my ideal of the Godly woman.
There are many other women like my Mom and Aunt Ethel, faithfully,quietly serving God where they are planted. I need to remind myself of that every once in while - when I feel discouraged because I haven't done anything "big" for God or look around and see what others are doing and long to be like them. He has planted me here, in this home and given me a ministry that seems so ordinary but is deeply rewarding. Noone else can do this particular ministry. And so...I am created unique and special for this place and this time.
Keep me faithful Father to do the things and care for the precious people you have placed in my life. Make me ever willing to do whatever you would have me do, but let me never minimize or compromise the place where you have planted me.
Please come visit me at Laced With Grace today. We have each been created with unique and special gifts. You are very special to the Father.