Monday, February 25, 2008

Tribute to a friend...

For our first anniversary, Mickey, Carly and I drove around to several places looking for just the right dog. This was to be my gift to Mickey, who had always had a dog in house. We ended up at a rescue in Harrison County called H.E.A.R.T. and there we found Roscoe (who was called Frisco...but hey...we were taking him to Pekin... Roscoe suited him better!)

When we got him home, we found he wasn't exactly perfect... first of all... he shed something terrible... probably because he looked like he had some husky in him. Secondly... he could get a definite odor... probably due to some beagle influence... and lastly... he had been abused, so he was really prone to submissive urination... so I have to admit that it took me roughly 6 months to get to the point where I liked this dog. Once we managed to get past the urination problems he was okay.. the other stuff I could deal with.

Over the past eight years, Roscoe has been a good little dog... over the course of the years he had earned his placed at the foot of our bed when Mickey worked late... and when Mick was working down south after Katrina... I even let Roscoe spend entire nights laying at my feet. He always shared Mickey's cereal with him in the mornings... getting the last bite... and the last bite of pizza as well... He shared popcorn with both Carly and I, always sitting patiently at our feet, ears perked up, waiting for the toss. Just this past summer we noticed that when he ran around the yard chasing our beagle Sadie, he was getting a little winded... not making nearly as many passes as he had the year before. He was beginning to get old.

On Friday, February 8th, our neighbor came to the door to let us know that Roscoe had been hit and was laying at the side of the road. A trip to the vet revealed that he had broken both hips... and it wasn't going to be easy on him. We began to give him medication for pain, and then medication to reduce the swelling around his nerves... and over the course of the home care, there was no marked improvement in his paralysis. This past Saturday, Roscoe made his final trip to the vet. As Mickey and I stood by his side, he slide off into a peaceful slumber, and I know that at the very moment that occurred, God was watching over our little friend.

It has been a tough weekend for us all, and saying good-bye to a member of the family is never easy... even when that member has four feet and tons of fur. Yesterday, as we sat around the house after church, Mickey commented that he looked up and thought for just a moment he saw Roscoe curled up in a familiar spot. I told him that while I cooked supper, I dropped something on the floor and nearly called, "Clean up"... which was Roscoe's cue to come and inspect what morsel might be on the floor. It will take awhile to adjust to his absence, but I am so thankful that we had this little guy in our lives.

And it has made us both look at life as a little more fragile... if one can feel this way about a dog, how much more will we feel about our family?

So good-bye our little friend... you won't be forgotten... and this spring... I'll be planting some flowers to mark your resting place... something that will remind us of you as long as we live here. You were a good boy... and you are missed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Looking for the Cleavers!

During a recent conversation, I found out that many of us are looking for the same thing.... Ward and June.... and we wonder why they have been absent from our lives!

Sometimes, people find themselves looking at their parents and wondering just what God was thinking...placing them in such a family. Take a look around... there are tons of people out there who came from homes that were far from functional, and most of those people are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. A little hope that they can cling to...something that says, "You can overcome all of this, and you WON'T become your parents!" And remember, God doesn't make mistakes, so the life you've lived, while full of pain, can and will be used for His glory... in His time.

While Ward and June looked good on TV, let's face it... they are just fictional characters. Yes, it would be great if Mom stayed home all day, baked cookies for your after school snack, and gave you a roast, mashed potatos AND a dessert with every meal... but in the majority of cases...that just isn't going to happen. And wouldn't it be grand if Dad was always available for a heart to heart talk, leading you to see where you are going wrong AND the way to fix the problems of life? Also, in most instances, it isn't going to happen.

So where does that leave us? Easy... as my friend Erica likes to say... the answer is Jesus! HE is the answer to everything. When your family leaves a lot to be desired, just remember... your HEAVENLY FATHER is perfect, and he is ALWAYS there for you...he NEVER turns his back on you OR your problems. And for many, while the only examples of parenting they've had are far from ideal, it's okay... it doesn't mean that you have to parent like your parents did. You can look to Christ and learn how to connect with your children in a way that will bring them so much joy it will blow you away.

So, if you are looking to God, living your life like Christ, can you become a Ward or a June??? Doubtful... remember... they don't exist... BUT you can be Jesus with skin on... and isn't that better?! And... if you want to practice baking cookies... give me a call... I'd LOVE to try them out for you - maybe we could even swap recipes!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

1: The Big Three - God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
God sent us his ONLY Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, and He has given us the Holy Spirit so that we may come to fully understand the sacrafice that was made!

2: My Husband - Mickey, who is my best friend, and I am so thankful that God brought us together. What other man could have walked into a ready-made family of teen/pre-teen girls and survived!

3: My Children - Chandra, Rachel, Carly and Michael - who are four of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. I love them all and they are truly a joy!

4: My Grandchildren - Kailyn, Camden, Emma and little Baby Vee - talk about little miracles! God knew what he was doing when he created grandchildren! They so pay back their parents for all of the little things that drove us crazy when THEY were babies... and we get to laugh about it!

5: My Friends - Now... I can't possibly name them all but today I would like to mention my friend Rebecca - I am thankful for her love of life and her gift of knitting!!! And did I mention Scrabble???

6: My Church Family - What an awesome group God has assembled at Greenville Christian Church. It is always a joy to worship and serve with a group of people who are all dedicated to pleasing God!

7: My Ministry - being able to do The Good News Monthly isn't always easy - and the funds are always low - but being able to spread God's message of love, and assisting churches to do the same... that is just pretty cool!
8: My Material Comforts - a nice, warm home - a dependable vehicle - warm blankets on cold nights - food on the table - you get the picture!

9: My Crafty Side - I love trying new stuff - painting - crocheting - floral design - and most recently knitting. I am thankful that God gave me these little pieces of fun to enjoy!

10: Cooking! - I enjoy cooking - especially baking!!! I just wish that someone would come up with a way for me to cook and EAT that didn't pack on the pounds!!! Oh well....

Happy Valentine's Day - a remember to let those you love know how much you care!! That is a much better gift than anything you could buy at the store!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

First Impressions

Recently Carly had some oral surgery done, all four wisdom teeth had to come out. We were referred to one doctor who, unfortunately, wasn't on our insurance. We ended up going to another doctor, and I must say, while he did a good job, he needs to learn a few things about first impressions.

On the day of the surgery, he breezed into the room, took a look at the x-rays, let me know what he would do, and off he went, saying he would return after Carly was prepped. So far so issues there.

Following her surgery as I sat with her in the recovery room, I had ample opportunity to hear this doctor relate to those who work with him. I found his attitude and demeanor very troubling. He spoke to the women who worked with him, both assistants and office staff, as if they were completely incapable of completing even the simplest of tasks. Every question asked was answered as if it were the dumbest question he could have been asked. The assistants were wonderful, and extremely helpful with Carly (who doesn't do well coming out of anesthetic) but I was really happy to get out of there.

Well, Carly has had a problem or two with the site healing so we found ourselves back in this office earlier this week. I kept thinking that maybe this doctor was just having a bad day the first time we were in his office. I was optimistic that we would find things to be different on the second trip. WRONG! As I sat and listened to this man speak to those around him as if they didn't have a single wit about them I was amazed.

And this wasn't just in our room... I could hear him speaking the same in each room. So this meant that not only were we being exposed to this behavior, so were all of his other patients. Each time he spoke to the assistant in our room, I could see the pain in her eyes. And it wasn't like she was doing anything wrong... in fact she was doing all that he asked... he just kept changing his mind about what he wanted and then he acted as if she were fault. I felt so sad for her... as I watched her eyes I could see the damage that was being done.

As we left the office, she apologized for all of the "confusion". I looked her straight in the eyes and said, "It's okay, it was no big deal. You are doing a good job, and I will say a prayer for you today. It looks like you need it." She got the funniest look on her face and then said, "Thanks. You know... I needed that."

I haven't been able to shake this experience, and we actually have to go back in one month. I'm not sure if I will be able to leave without saying something... but it would probably just make things worse for all concerned if I did. You see... my first impression of this guy was right on track... he doesn't care about anyones feelings, either those of his workers or his patients.... he just wants to lift himself up above them all... and first impressions speak volumns about who you are and where you are in relatinship to Christ. Carly wondered aloud if he went to church. How can you answer that one? If you look at his attitude, you would guess no, but how many people walk through the doors of a church each Sunday and put on their "game face" only to take it off the minute they leave the building?

I think that we all (and I include myself in this!!!) need to be more aware that the first impression we leave with someone is a true reflection of who we are... and while we may be royalty (sons and daughters of the King) that doesn't make us any more important than anyone else. We have been created to bring glory to the Father, and if we are busy about the task at hand, we won't have time to leave anything but a great first impression. And the impression we leave is seen by all...including the Father.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Day in Greensburg

This weekend we were happy to have Kailyn spend time with us. She arrived on Friday and I brought her home today (Monday). It was really great to have her with us, but I honestly believe that by last night she had started to miss her Mommy and Daddy.

So, this morning Michael, Kailyn and I loaded up in the CRV and headed out for Greensburg. This was the first time that I had taken this trip "by myself". I made sure to check, and double check, my directions. I was sure that I had it well in hand, but I confess, I had to call home to make sure I was still doing all right.

You see, I began to "second guess" my directions. (And if you know me at all, you know that I HATE to drive out of my comfort zone. I RARELY cross the bridge into Louisville, feeling like a fish out of water when I do!) So at one point, I called Mickey and made sure that I was on the right track. The last thing I wanted was to get lost with Michael and Kailyn in tow. He assured me that I was still on track, that I was doing fine. I felt much better hearing that, and we continued on.

I have to admit that when we hit the home stretch I was pretty proud of myself. Even with my hesitation, I had made it all the way to the goal. We arrived on time, and now I am sitting here with Michael, Kailyn and Camden as they play together.

So, have you ever started to second guess yourself where your walk with Christ is concerned? I know that I have... I have wondered if I am heading in the right direction... If the path I am on is the right one... If I can accomplish what He has set before me.... If... If... If...

The past few weeks in church we have been talking about "the fear of the Lord"... and I am learning that I can go to His word... His "email to me" (and Chad, I loved that analogy!) and if I check it daily, he will tell me just what I need to know...and he will make sure that I am on the right track... no second guessing required. And the "fear" that Chad's been talking about... it is a healthy fear... not one that leaves you shaking with fright, but one that leaves you shaking with AWE!!!!

So as your find yourself traveling through life and you start to feel like you don't know the way... make a call to God... visit his word... and find out where the turns are that you should take. I guarantee that you'll soon find yourself in sight of the goal!!!!