Monday, March 30, 2009

Filled with love...

I know I spend a lot of time talking about my dad in my blog. But tonight I want to talk about my mom. She has spent the last three months in Peru and next week we get to pick her up in NY and bring her home. I am so excited!!!!

We have been spending time going through the condo, getting rid of Dad's things, painting, rearranging, etc. I'm very pleased with the outcome so far and Jeff has been great about so many things.

Winter has been so long, and it is NOT my time of year. But I'm feeling love, which is great, because I don't recall feeling anything good in a long time.

I'm blessed to share love with my family.

Thank you God.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Streets of Gold

Today I got news that an older friend passed away. He was 65 and I held him in such high esteem.

I met him many years ago when I started to get involved at church. I considered him a mentor as well as a friend. We "worked" together and met on a weekly basis to do projects at church. At that point in his life he was looking forward to working part-time at his "day job" so that he could devote more time to the church. He had been moved by a book that discussed devoting one's life to the Lord as a Deacon of the church. He geniunely wanted to work for the Lord.

I cannot express how much I respected my friend. He had children my age, and we often talked about how his family was doing. We discussed our dreams of hiking the Appalachian Trail, by hiking it chunks at a time (which is what he was doing) and we talked about which freeze-dried dinners were worth buying for the trips.

We since changed churches, but my husband and I kept tabs on my friend. You see he was also a runner and my husband would report to me "I saw him running today". I can't recall now, what incident kept him from running for a while. But when he started walking again... I thanked the Lord for him. Just seeing him around town was a blessing to me.

I was sad when he moved to Holland.

But I still kept tabs on him by checking the church website. In my spiritual immaturity, I felt bad for him when I saw that his "title" at the church kept changing. I was afraid that the church was taking advantage of him.

Now I think I see clearly that my friend was doing what the Lord asked of him, no matter what it was. He was the kind of man who would take on the changes with a servant heart and a joyful one. He surely wouldn't let pride cloud his judgement, as I did in my immaturity.

The next time I checked the church website, I was floored to read that he was struggling with cancer. His family had shared his story on the internet and I didn't need to think twice to sign up for his notifications.

Soon after I was thankful to read that he was doing better. I felt secure in that our Lord looked after His faithful servant. My friend never took his eyes off from the Lord. It was truly inspirational.

But he wasn't able to recover fully. He had complications... then pain... then they used the C word again.

I cried as I read what his family was going through. Because if you know me, you know I just went through my own father's passing just six months before.

And you see, I respected my friend as much as I respected my dad.

This morning he passed away in his sleep....

And I picture him running again, on the streets of gold in heaven....

I'm thankful he is free of pain....

and I know that he has already heard the words that we all long to hear one day....

"Well done good and faithful servant"

Thank you Rich for all you have taught me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not put family first?!?!?

It happened again!

Pastor Darryl brought up the fact that if put anything ahead of God, it is all for nothing. That includes family...

Okay moms, I need your help here. My head knows it is true, but my heart doesn't recognize this.

If God told me to sacrifice any of my children, or husband, or mother... well, I can't even go there hypothetically.

And I worry that this is holding me back. You see, I haven't had the warm fuzzy feeling in a while. The one that comes from knowing that your walk with the Lord is strong and real.

You see, I have been preoccupied with fear regarding our economy. Worried that Jeff will get laid off, that I will get laid off, that we will lose our house...

But Jeff's job is fine, my job is more hours than before (because of other people getting laid off) and our family has recently made some hard decisions regarding our limiting our spending that we really feel good about. Both business's are picking up and things are looking better.

But I still worry.

Does that mean that I am putting something else in front of my Lord again?

Darryl has also been talking about child-like faith. About childlike abandon that we all used to have. My brain is so bombarded with the opposite, that I try to anticipate anything wrong that could happen, even if it is a supposedly "fun" event. What if someone gets thirsty, dirty, tired, or bored.

If anyone has any good resources for me... I'd gladly accept them.

I miss the warm fuzzy feeling.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


[Okay... I'm cheating. This is from CROSSWALK; GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD...
In times of stress, wondering if our jobs are in danger, if the bills can get paid, if our energy will last long enough to be a decent parent, if our health will finally make a turn for the better, etc... it is a good reminder to keep our eyes to the only thing that matters.]

Today's Truth
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Friend To Friend
I may not know which time zone I am in, but I do know that I am home from a mission trip to South Africa, India and Thailand. To describe the 19 day experience as life-changing is a colossal understatement. It will take me a long time to unpack the lessons, dreams and blessings of the trip. Even now, I wake each morning around 3:00 a.m. to a replay of memories. Smiley is usually one of the first faces I see.

I don't know her real name, but Smiley is one of about 200 men and women who live in a leper colony near one of our church sponsored orphanages in a rural village of India. Leprosy has ravaged her body, leaving her with no toes, no fingers and a death sentence. Cows, chickens and goats roam the dirty, rugged road in front of her thatched roof shack. This precious woman does not enjoy the luxury of running water and electricity and food is scarce. Personally, I could see very little that Smiley had to smile about but it was her radiant smile that caught my attention and tugged at my heart. She sat in front of me in the dirt, waiting for a message from God. I think the message was mine to hear. We had come to bring her joy and hope -- but she already had both.

After the service, I wrapped this precious woman in as big a hug as I could possibly give because she was so rarely touched by others. With the help of an interpreter, we celebrated the truth that one day she will once again have all of her toes and fingers. One day, she would be well and whole. She laughed like a little girl at the promise of being with Jesus and living with Him in heaven.
Smiley has fixed her eyes on the unseen and found joy and hope in the process. She does not depend upon the temporary things of this world for contentment. Hope gives her the strength to get up each morning and begin her daily search for food. The promise of Heaven comforts her each night when she lies down on a dirty mat to sleep. Smiley has nothing -- yet she has everything because she has learned and lives out the truth that inner joy does not depend upon outward circumstances. Joy is a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control -- no matter how it looks on the outside. Joy is in inside job and can only be found in a personal relationship with God. Smiley has joy. Do you?

Let's Pray
Father, forgive me for my shallow attitude about joy. I confess that my version of joy is often nothing more than an emotion or feeling based on current circumstances. Help me fix my eyes on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith. I want to live my life against the backdrop of eternity, exchanging temporary happiness for eternal joy. I pray that I will learn to choose joy in whatever lies ahead.

In Jesus' name,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another day off

Boy do I miss being at home during the day...

I used to at least have a day off, but then the layoffs came and I got asked to work more hours... and since Tessa is enjoying Daycare full-time, it helps pay the bill.

But yesterday I got diagnosed with strep throat and spent the ENTIRE day in bed.

The kids popped into my room after school, checked my head for a fever and then went and watched tv until Dad came home.

Trinity is spending the day with me today since she woke up with a sore throat as well. I called the phone nurse (LOVE the phone nurse at LFM) and they called in a script for her.

We've watched HSM and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Played lots of video games and are now planning on what to make for dinner.

At least laundry is getting done today and it seems that we got the meds for Trinity before it got too bad for her.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This is how much I have to pay my dad's primary physician for his certification regarding my father's death.

No he wasn't there...

No he didn't even see him after he wrote him off a year before he passed...

I think all he did was confirm that it was possible that he would have died from his illness...

Of course he is getting paid much more than $5.59 for his services... it is actually $143.

I have been avoiding this bill...

A childish way of getting back at a doc who didn't know how to treat this particular patient with respect...

Yeah... I still miss my daddy.