Saturday, June 30, 2007
Michael did excellent. His lip revision will look awesome when the swelling goes down. His nose already looks different, and he still has tape on it! It will be interesting to see the finished product when the tape comes off. Right now...he just looks a little pitiful. I felt so bad for him last night, but he is returning to our happy Michael little by little. He would love to get up and play, but he still has to remain "calm" for a bit. Try and keep an active four year old down. Hopefully the Tylenol with codine will help in that department. As long as it doesn't backfire on us!!!!
I was a little nervous yesterday as they took my boy to surgery. Although I knew that God was in control of everything, I still didn't like the feeling of Michael being removed from my control. I couldn't be with him to calm his fears...to hold his hand...to tell him that everything would be all right. All I could do was reassure him that Daddy and I would be there when he woke up. He would have to learn to have faith that we would do as we said. He had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia. He was very tearful...it took two shots of morphine and a does of Tylenol with condine to get him back to sleep. We took him to his room and there he slept for a few hours, although it was fitfully. After his 2:30 AM does of pain meds he finally fell into a deeper sleep. Even though he seemed to be resting comfortably, he would periodically just raise his head to make sure that I was still in my chair. True to my word... I didn't move all night. Each time he looked over I was right where I said that I would be. (I finally convinced Daddy to go and get a few hours of sleep because he would be driving the next day. He reluctantly did so...but I am grateful that he did!!)
Michael awoke at 5:00 AM, bright eyed and more alert, and he and I spent the next hour watching cartoons until Daddy came back to the room. I hope that Michael learned to trust us this weekend...I hope that he learned that we aren't going to leave him, and that we will always be where we say we'll be. He can count on us at all time.
I pray that he will learn through these experiences what I have learned...that God will be there with us at ALL times. No matter what we are going through, when we open our eyes, he will still be there with us, and that we can count on him to remain with us. No matter what HE is in control of everything, and when we are confused, lost, hurting, or worried about a loved one, He will still be in control, and we can rest easy in the knowledge that he will do what he says he will do!
Thanks to everyone for your prayers and your support... we could feel it in Indy...and we are sure that Michael felt it as well. We ask for prayers for a smooth recovery and for the ability to keep this little guy calm for a few days. His stitches come out on Tuesday...and while that isn't very long to wait... to a four year old that can seem like a lifetime!!!
Friday, June 29, 2007
When my girls were all smaller they each knew that they were the favorite...they didn't realize that I loved them all the same, they just knew how much I loved them individually. It wasn't until they were older that the "you love her more" chant began to surface. Now, they will all (jokingly???) say that I love one of them better than the others. I am sure that Michael will pick up the chant one day as well!
Isn't it amazing that God gives us, as parents, the ability to love each of our children unconditionally and all the same? For me, it is easy to not have a favorite. I have tried to love each of my children with all my heart, and to love them individually. They are not all the same, and they never will be. I love the qualities that God gave to each one...they are unique.
The kids that I have accumulated along the way??? I love them too. They are great, and they are a part of my "God family", each created to be who they are, and each brought into my life for a season. Many have come and gone, but I love them all still.
So, who is my favorite??? The one I am with at the moment of course!
(Please be in prayer for our Michael. Today he will have lip revision and rhinoplasty at Riley Chrildren's in Indy. Thanks!)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I spent my junior high and high school days in the school's band program. Naturally, we marched at every parade...and that hasn't changed. Both Rachel and Carly have carried on the "band geek" tradition, and Carly will again march this year. Practices begin tomorrow night for the parade, and when that happens I begin to feel a sense of excitement...the 4th is almost here!
If you come for a 4th in Pekin, you might not get what all of the hub-bub is about. The parade lasts about an hour. It is filled to the brim with old cars, and horses. Candy is still thrown to the kids lining the streets. The queen candidates ride past on floats, or atop convertibles. The Prince and Princess candidates do the same. A few groups put together floats. It isn't much, but to the nearly 10,000 people who flood into town, it is important.... it is tradition!
Following the parade, which runs down main street, and then down Hwy. 60 over to the park, (and YES, we DO shut down Hwy. 60 for the entire hour!) those who have lined the street walk over to the Pekin Park, which was originally known as Gill's Grove. There are still those that picnic around the fringes of the park. Many go and grab a sandwich in the Shelter House, or a corndog from a vender. Most go to visit friends that they haven't seen since the last 4th.
You see... in Pekin, we still believe that being patriotic is important. We still open our festivities with the Pledge, a prayer and the National Anthem. We still feel a sense of pride at being able to live in this great nation. We still believe in "One Nation Under God". This homecomeing is special...it is about remembering the past so that we can have a brighter future.
While there may be those of you reading this who aren't near Pekin... or Indiana for that matter...I encourage you begin looking forward to the 4th of July. I hope you will remember that it isn't just about getting the day off...or the fireworks displays...or the parades...or the cookout you might enjoy. This is a celebration of our freedom...our independence...and we must remember that we were given both by our founding fathers who were guided in their decisions by their belief in God! As we make decisions concerning our country and where it is being led, we need to prayerfully seek God's guidance. We must be in prayer that our political leaders will do the same!
And most importantly...don't forget to be in prayer for our men and women in service. We owe them a huge thank you. We will never be able to repay them for protecting not only our freedom but the freedom of those around the world.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
As I first began to read I tried to imagine what it was that he was seeing. I tried to piece it all together in my mind. I just couldn't do it. It was far to confusing for me. Oh, I guess if I took each piece and tried to place it in it's proper spot (and if I were a great artist!) I might be able to get a decent likeness. But honestly, I don't think that his discriptions cover even a small part of what he saw!
That is kind of like our vision of heaven. There are bits and pieces in the bible that give us a glimpse into what is awaiting us. But we can't fully imagine how grand it will truly be. There is just NO WAY we will be prepared. Even putting all of the bits and pieces together isn't enough.
So...as I continue to read Ezekiel, I think I am just going to try and glean what I can, and let my poor little imagination take a break. The same with the whole heaven thing... do I really care what it looks like? Nope... I'll be too busy keeping my eyes on the Savior, praising Him.... I know it is there, and that He is preparing a place for me.... that's all I need to know.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Now... a few things that have hit me lately... having been diagnoised with OA (degenerative arthritis), my hands just don't want to work the way they used to. So, will I still be able to do things like this when Carly and Michael are older?
I recently spent all day putting together wedding flowers for a young couple I know. By the end of the day I found myself working 45 minutes and resting my hands for 15. That seemed to help, but I was definitely ready for some additional medication at the end of it all. Then it struck me... would I be able to make Carly's bridal bouquet? Yes, she is only 15, but in 10 years will I be able to do for her what I have done for her sisters and countless others?
Last night, I began working on Emma's dress. As I finished the major portion of the dress (at 1:00 AM!) Carly looked at me and said, "Maybe you can just make another one so that I can put it back so that if I have a girl someday she will have a dress from Nanny." Wow....
There is something inside each of us that longs for that attachment, that little something that says "I am a part of a family who loves me". Whether it is the bouquet of flowers you carry down the aisle, the dress for a christening, or a blanket created with love, when we look at these items we know that the creator had us in mind when they were creating it.
I guess the greatest gift we can pass on to our children can't be created by us... just passed down from generation to generation....and that is a longing to build a realtionship with Christ. We can't create our children's relationship for them, but we can begin to weave together a foundation on which their relationship can be built. The coolest thing is that this gift won't collect dust, won't need to be stored, and won't fade with the years...it can be new and fresh every day. The Creator of all things was thinking of you, and me and everyone else when He created this world and placed us in it. He was longing for a relationship with us, and waiting anxiously for us to hear His call and answer. The gift of his Son, and eternal life through His saving grace places us in the greatest family of all time... and we are loved!!!
Maybe I will have to create a bouquet for Carly to carry down the aisle, or flowers for Michael's future bride. I might even have to make a dress for their future daughters (which will ensure they only have sons!) More importantly, I will need to continue to lay a foundation for both Carly and Michael on which they can build a solid relationship with Christ. After all, that is only gift I can give that will truly last!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
All of those who attended our church's gathering today seemed to have a great time. Held at "the Ranch" the church's new property in Harrison County, the anticipation of what is to come could be felt by all. It was great to sit and imagine the possibilities.
A giant "slip and slide" was set up for the kids. I am not sure who "the kids" really were...the young children who were enjoying the slide, or the adults who were in charge. A few people took the ride that had no intention of doing so....but... those who got wet were dry soon enough!
As I wandered around taking pictures and video of the day, I couldn't help but watch the faces of everyone there. Each face held the hope of a new beginning. A sense of peace and contentment filled the old barn where we took our meal. A new beginning....
I can't wait to see where God takes GCC.... I think we might just all need to hang on for the ride.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
In the back of the house I have a good sized section of petunia's where I have never had any before. I really thought that was odd, and then I noticed that I also have some growing in the front of the house as well. I also had an entire pot of purple waves emerge from a pot I had last year. I saw these small green leave in the spring and decided I would just see what happened. Well... beautiful purple waves happened!
I have never checked out this type of flower to see if they self-seed....it seems that they must. I am just enjoying the free flower show that God has provided.
I would never dream of pulling up these flower just because I didn't plant them in their locations. To discard something beautiful just because you didn't personally place it somewhere just seems wrong somehow. As I carefully pulled the weeds from around these little surprises I couldn't help but wonder how they arrived where they are, and marvel at how beautiful they look.
I guess that life is kind of like these flowers... there are surprises in your life that just crop up, and you aren't sure where they came from. Many of us don't like surprises and we try to discourage them from growing...maybe we just need to take a second look at what has been sent our way. Instead of trying to pull them up by the roots and removing them from our lives, we need to sit back and see what God grows from them. It might be weeds, or it might just end up being the prettiest patch of flowers you've ever seen. Sometimes, it is just worth the wait!
Friday, June 22, 2007
By the time we returned home it was nearly 6:00. Mickey threw some chicken on the grill as I took Carly to practice and returned home to make a side dish. I was tired!! As Carly and I sat and watched So You Think You Can Dance at 9:00, I began to go over all that I had to do today...it just made me a little more tired!!
As I prepared for bed, my mind was continually going over each task that I would do today: run over to an interview at 10:00, go to Salem and discuss band shirt options with the printer, look into the design for a backdrop for marching season, call about the pick up of the next issue of the paper, finish the bridal bouquets, cut out the pattern for the dress for Emma... the list just continued to grow.
I climbed into bed a little after 11:00 and as I looked at my devotional, I thought... "I am just too tired tonight!" Yet something prompted me to just pick up the book. As always, when I get into a bit of the Word, I began to feel a sense of peace, a recharging of my batteries. And it hit me... I had been running on empty at the end of the day, and all that I really needed was to spend some time in God's Word to get recharged!!
Looking over my day, I think that I may have to learn to take it a little easier...at least at some point! Running out of gas isn't fun... but isn't it funny... the best fill up you can get doesn't cost you a dime... just a little bit of time... spent with the Father....
Have a wonderful day.....
Thursday, June 21, 2007
My friend Rebecca and I walked out together and we began to chat. Before we got out of the parking lot Denise arrived and added to the conversation. Soon I was calling home to let Mickey know that I was chatting in the parking lot, and after I hung up, our conversation continued. What seemed like minutes later Rebecca's phone rang (twice...while in a fit of laughter she opted not to answer the first time!) She looked at her watch as to she talked to her husband and said... "I didn't realize it was .... 10:20!" She then proceeded to melt into laughter as we all did.
Isn't it amazing how a brief conversation can turn into 2 hours? How laughter can make the time just fly by? When I got home Carly wanted to know what we had been talking about for 2 hours. I could honestly say, "Everything". We talked of church, our children, our friend Stephanie who recently went to be with our Father in Heaven...we talked about many things and laughed until our sides hurt. In short...we left our own worlds for a brief time and entered a time of cleansing from our days...it was like a gentle breeze had blown away the frustrations of the day and had left us feeling lighter and happier than when we first arrived...at least that was how I felt!
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 I kind of like the version written in The Message... it reads How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! I think that sense of unity, that sense of belonging is very important to everyone. We all long to feel accepted and loved by those we call family...and isn't that what a church is... a family of believers?!
Last night...in the parking lot at GCC...I enjoyed some family time. I enjoyed the conversation, I needed the laughter, and I felt a sense of peace when I left.... thanks for the chit chat ladies!!!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Mickey has nearly 23 1/2 years on with the State Police. When we married eight years ago I was working for the State Police in the office. I knew the risks involved and the hours required when I said yes to becoming the wife of a police officer. God has watched over our household and has watched over the Sellersburg Post. For that I am thankful. Mickey and I made a deal early on in our marriage...he never leaves the house without waking me. I want the last words that he hears when he leaves to be "Be careful...I love you." More importantly, I want to be able to ask God to watch over him as he is pulling out of the driveway.
I am fortunate that Mickey is now in the post most of his shift as the duty officer. He reminds me of that often, yet he still works overtime, and he still stops for motorists who are stranded when he runs across them. There are still dangers for an officer, even when they feel that there aren't. So, I'll continue to have him wake me when he leaves, and I will continue to ask for God's protection.
Today I will ask you to be in prayer for the family who lost their son...their husband...and their daddy. I will also ask you to pray for the family who's son is laying in the hospital with a shattered hip. I will ask you to pray for the family of the young shooter...his family must be numb with shock at what he did to the offiers and to himself.
I will ask you to pray for every officer who steps out the door today to protect you and yours...asking God that they return home to their families who love them. Their job isn't always easy, it isn't glamourous, and it can be dangerous, yet every day they put on their uniform and step into the unknown. Prayer is all that stands between them and the world....
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I enjoy putting together The Good News, it is so interesting to see what is going on in the churches around us. I love the fact that we have so many great writers willing to help fill our pages. And... I get to meet some amazing people along the way. While the money isn't great (but PTL I am finally getting a pay check!!!), the perks are fantastic.
- I get to be home with Michael and Carly
- I can get out to run errands any time I need too
- I can fix dinner AND work at the same time
- I get to spend the day with my grandson (and sometimes both granddaughters!)
- I get to think about God's call on my life daily
- And... I don't complain about my job a great deal...I really like my boss!!!!
Okay...now seriously... did I mention that I get to be home with the kids? That is the greatest part. Mickey and I were determined that we didn't want to stick Michael into a daycare so that I could work. We wanted to be able to guide his progress, and to have him attach to us. Every time that it has seemed that I would have to go and get a full time job, God has provided the means for me to stay at home. He has been very faithful in answering this prayer for our family. I have been and will remain faithful to the call He has given me... to produce this paper for our community, helping not only the churches but the readers as well.
If you are sitting and pondering what God's call is in your life, then I would suggest that you try and remain open to whatever he sends your way. I don't have a degree in journalism... I have never worked for a paper...I have not been published before....I never took a journalism class in high school. All I did was open myself up to the possibility that GOD could work through me...even as weak as I am in the "publishing department". It hasn't always been easy, and there had been a lot to learn, but as I have remained faithful to Him, he has been faithful to me.
Sit back, open your heart and your mind, and explore the possibilities...I can't wait to see where God may lead you!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Compared to today's standards, the quality of the movie wasn't great, and neither was the acting. I must admit, I hadn't see the movie in years. As I watched it this time, I was watching with my "mom eyes" so that I would be able to answer any of Carly's questions. It definitely made a difference in how I felt about the movie at the end. I found many instances where I sat back and went "Wow"...
I probably wouldn't use the movie as a tool to bring people to Christ (I doubt that there are any movies I would use for that - but I've never seen the much touted Jesus Film). Yet, I often felt that much of what was shown along with many of the songs was very relevant to today's society. One of the first songs that struck me as such was "What's the Buzz"...and that song has stuck with me over the past two weeks.
When we first hear this song Jesus is beginning to serve the Last Supper...while he is talking the disciples begin to sing one by one... 'what's the buzz, tell me whats a happening'... adding to the volumn until Jesus can barely be heard. The song is played again later in the movie..and both times I was struck with this thought.... How often are we so busy asking 'what's the buzz' that we are drowning out the answers being given to us by Christ? I would guess that we are all guilty of this more often than not.
At the end of the movie, Carly had a lot of questions. Being only 15 she isn't very familiar with the "hippie culture" that was represented in the movie. I did my best to help pull things together for her, and I hope that I was able to sort out the story line for her. The movie ends much as it begins...with the group of actors re-entering the bus they arrived on. One by one the camera panned the face of those who got back into the bus...one by one those faces turned towards the lone empty cross sitting on a hillside. Those faces were filled with a sadness and a longing. As the last person gets on the bus, Carly looked over and said, "Where is the man who played Jesus...he didn't get back on the bus?" The answer...no he didn't.
I believe the reason for that is simple...even the retelling of the story of the life and death of Christ is so powerful, that to have seen the actor return to the bus would have diluted the movie's impact. The changes on the faces of those shown was powerful, and the viewer should be left with that longing to know more about the life, death and resurrection of the man who was no longer visible.
So, the next time you are seeking a conversation with the Lord...think about this song. Stop talking, stop thinking, stop asking what's the buzzz...and just listen. And go back and revisit the Jesus Christ, Superstar Era... it's amazing how different you see things when you are really looking for reasoning behind each scene!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Next...off to Madison to visit with Mickey's dad and family. It is always enjoyable to get with everyone and catch up. Then we were off once again to Pekin to visit with my Dad and Mom.
Getting to spend this much time in the presence of so many wonderful dads remarkable. You come away from a day like today with a lighter heart, knowing that there is so much love that has been given to you and to others.
I realize that there are those out there who have lost their fathers, or who just don't get the opportunity to share their lives with a dad... but I just hope that they realize they are not alone...there is a Dad waiting for them who will never leave them...God.
Isn't it nice to know that He is there when we have a problem, when we have a joy to share...even when we are just relaxing...enjoying all that He has created? I can think of no greater Father to thank today than the father who has given us the most precious gift imaginable.... the sacrifice of His only Son to cover the cost of our sins.
Thanks Father... and Happy Father's Day....
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The kids all came over today and we celebrated Father's Day with Mickey. When Mickey and I married the girls were 18, 12 and 7. Over the past eight years they have all developed a bond with him, each in their own way. We have always felt very blessed that our "blended family" was just the right mix. That doesn't mean that we don't have our ups and downs...all families do, blended or not.
Church families are no different... we are a blended family, all coming from somewhere different in our lives, to live with one Father. We have our ups and downs, but the great news is that we have been CHOSEN to be a member of this family. No matter what our differences, we will always be brothers and sister, and God will be the head of our house.
Tomorrow the kids will all go their seperate ways, and Mickey and I will take Michael to visit Grandpa and Grandma and then head over to Pa and Grammie's. Yet, no matter where are chldren go, they know that we are family, and that at the end of the day, they are always welcome home.
Hope everyone has a great Father's Day...
Friday, June 15, 2007
As we neared the final 15 minutes of last night's program, I noticed that our satellite was beginning to act a little crazy. I immediately went to Intellicast and found that a small storm was headed our direction from the north. Now... was this a huge system... no...just a small blip on the screen, headed directly for Washington County. It was just enough to mess up our signal, and all at once we were unable to see the show.
Kind of like life isn't it...we work really hard at our relationships with Christ, our family and friends. We go along fine for awhile, connected to everyone with a very clear signal and then WHAM...a storm pops up and we somehow begin to lose the signal that connects our lives. And it doesn't even have to be a big storm...it can be a small blip that won't last very long at all, but with the connection broken we begin to wonder how we will ever get it back.
For Carly and I it was relatively easy...we were able to go to a smaller TV, not hooked into the system, and pull in the local channel. We didn't miss the end of the show...so we aren't out of the loop! It isn't that easy in life...but the concept is the same...we need to look for a way around our problem. We have to look around the edge of the storms in our lives and remember that the signal is still there on the other side. It never leaves!
If you find that you have lost your connection with Christ, then look around the edge of your storms...He is still there... He will never leave you...and when your storms are over, you will find that the SON still shines down on your life, and you may just be a little stronger for having withstood the storm.
Have a tremendous day in the Lord!!!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
As Michael, Carly and I played in the pool last night a few thoughts occured to me....
1. What an amazing little guy God created ... and he was created for us. "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord..." God knew that we would adopt Michael, and he knew that we would be faithful to his call to do so.
2. Since God knew we would adopt Michael, what wonderful plan has He got in store for our son?! What great things will he accomplish in his lifetime? I am excited to see how Michael's life unfolds. I want to be deligent in helping him to build a relationship with the Father who brought him into our care.
3. What an awesome responsibility we have, and what a great gift we have been given. We often joke about being "older parents", but I always say that 'old parents are better than no parents'. Since God chose us to bring up this child, we are responsible for making sure that he is not only physically cared for, but spiritually as well. A huge thanks to Darryl and Denise Manias, his Sunday School teachers. They have done a fantastic job of getting him to come out of his shell in class. He is not only learning to love God at home, but he is seeing that church is a place to learn about and worship our Savior!
4. I could go on and on...but I will end with this.... I feel so blessed that Michael has fit right in to our family. Our three daughters love him, and feel like he has just 'always been here'. He and our granddaughter are the best of friends, and the babies will learn to adore their Uncle Michael.
I believe that God's plan is perfect, and if we listen closely and answer his call...we will just get our socks blessed off!!!! And right now... bare foot is feeling pretty good!
Have a glorious day!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Today is a day of finishing up the paper for the printer, and trying to get all of my ducks in a row. Unfortunately, many of my ducks have minds of their own, so I always give myself two or three days extra on my "deadline". I would love it if you would visit our website for the paper. The link is at the right. The Good News Monthly is still in the baby stages, but we are doing all that we can to let God lead us, and we are seeing souls saved. That is all that really matters!
Hope you enjoy the verse of the week...I love to find little jewels in the Word. It is like getting a prize in a box of Cracker Jack's (okay, like the prizes used to be way back when!) You never know what you'll find until you open the box!
I am excited about our new pastor's first day in the pulpit. Chad Doerr is coming to Greenville Christian Church beginning June 24th, and I have a feeling that he will be great at digging through the gold mine that is the Bible and finding little nuggets that will keep us all growing in Christ!
Have a great day in the Lord....
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Now... Carly said she knew that I would do this...hum...does that mean I really have no secrets? Probably not, at least from Carly. She is just too much like me for comfort.
I look forward to learning all of the ins and outs of blogging, and sharing what thoughts flit through my mind...there are too many for a monthly paper so I hope that this will fill the void!
So...for now I will share this with you....
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation...." Isaiah 52:7
Have you checked out your feet lately? Spread the word... "God Reigns!!"