Sunday, October 10, 2010

Waking to the sound of a power tool

It is 644 am and a few minutes ago I awoke to the sound of a power tool.  Work, work, hard grueling work has been happening here. A smell of mildew, dishwasher leak, floor replacement turned into reframing the support under the kitchen,bath and laundry with plumbing changes and some major structural support addition.  all discovered along the way to changing the floor out to be rid of wet wood.  Along the way more wet wood discovered and today mold behind exterior wall drywall awaits us. 

We live a life of ease, most of the time, until it is time to work on the house.  Now we eat on the front porch, which I am so glad for.  The pantry and cupboards are spread through the back porch,dining room and all the way into my room.  and the sound of power tools and hammers is continual.

Small errors ignored, short cuts and cob jobs revealed bring forth more work.  Injuries are quickly dealt with as fingers and skin get owwies and the men who are true men press on, working,sweating and encouraging one another for the job that is ahead.  how blessed we are to have guys that embrace our painful situation with us.  Who have the vision to tear up the floor and put terra firma beneath.  who ache and hurt but do not allow that to sway them to leave.  and in this day of "i deserve" they do it out of care and concern and not the greenback- for the insurance funds will cover materials, if we are fortunate.

It is not often that folks in middle class america work so hard, that we have opportunity to enjoy the community that comes with hard labor.  this week it is happening at our house.  Young men are getting a chance to learn life skills and watch men be men and work hard. 

another trip to the box store that has it all is on the horizon, time to get the paper and pen and make the list.  another day of work lies ahead.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Living among sinners, myself the chief among them

Family life can be longed for and sought after, idolized and idealized.  The reality is that it is work and joy, pain and pleasure.  As much fun as we have together we are individuals each with our own private struggles, visions and desires.  We live and breathe together, sometimes well and well, sometimes we wonder why we are together. 

Amidst our recent weariness we've had some of those well days... where things have not gone so well.  Yet the glue sticks and we struggle along side by side, desperate and needy together and as individuals.  Sometimes so worn prayer is hard to even speak, but even then aware that the Lord is aware of our neediness.   He is ever watching this sinner, and all those that surround me.  He is ever orchestrating events in our lives to bring us to the end of ourselves and allowing opportunities for brokeness and dependence upon Him.

In Exodus when God first tells us of himself - "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."  I am reminded of how great He is and how far reaching his love is.

The word of God goes on to tell us how He reveals sin to allow future generations to deal with it and find healing.  For that I am greatful for as much as I long to not carry on the sins of my family again and again I am living them out.  I have become my mother, my father, and all my relatives, as though drawn with invisible strings through the passage of time, and all the while proud and arrogant that I am in the right, and I know best and it is not me.   And then the Lord brings another along to nick my vaneer and reveal my sin, my pride, my false front and shine the light of His truth and I am once again undone.

And God picks me up, holds me as I recover from my shock, which is not a shock for Him, and forgives and guides me again.  he gives strength to my weariness and hope to my dispair.  He is the peace within my heart.

And my family somehow continues to love and forgive and live among me- with all my quirks, annoyances and demands that I am so very clueless to.  And I somehow receive their grace and am able to face them even though I am a mess.  the blessing of family- knowing we dont have it all together and enjoying the journey even though there are pitstops when the mess of our sin comes to the surface. 

And so we move along ... slowly, thoughtfully, prayerfully, a bit humbled, aware of our need, desperate for God to show Himself once again... and being the loving gracious God that He is I know He will show up and shine. 

So as I begin a new day I thank the Lord for family, for sweet times of fellowship amidst the business of life. For each of the members, each of my characters and the way he made them each individuals.  I am thankful for the grace they bestow and the way they pull together rather than flee in weary seasons.  I am thankful for each of them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Worn and weary

The past few weeks have been full of life - school prep, home repairs and travel.  All good, well all of the outcome has been good,yet sometimes the journey has been hard.  Now as we settle into a new normal for the fall I find that I am weary, worn out, and I have wondered why.... and then I think back to all that life has held and I begin to realize thata journey with lack of downtime leaves one worn and weary.

As our hot water once again heated up- to scalding my prayer rose to heaven ... God could you  please end this season?  His clock seemed to indicate it was time for after a week of stressful coping once again, with tempermental hotwater heater an agreement with manufacturer came forth.  They would take back their 3rd heater, and give us a refund, we would leave them alone and our huge file would be closed.  A local plumber quickly came and made the exchange and the season of tempermental instant hot water heater has ended.  We rejoice in the answered prayer and provision.  We rejoice to have hot water without thought again.  We rejoice to not be wasting our time, energy and thought on hot water heaters that should not be failing and yet are.  This is our 4th hot water heater in as many years. 

We have spent time visiting friends on the East coast in the past weeks.  What fun to reconnect, share life and dream with them of future hopes.  Some longing for the pattering of little feet through adoption, others looking for new normal to settle amidst job changes, one longing for health to return and another looking to the future as he transitions to a new location and vocation.  We rejoiced at the returning of a solider, enjoying a day by the airfield and the reality of the sacrifice and service of our military families.  God walks beside them and in the midst of their lives... we rejoiced at the way He gave height and strength to one for future use and the early return of a loved one.  Relationship time... lots of it, so much that I found myself weary and wondering if I was repeating the same stories to the same friends.  Yet what fun to cook with a friend who I once started on the path to using a crockpot and baking a cake, a sweet fruit of past labors.

Time was spent in travel and touring our nations capital- amazing was the architecture and beauty as well as the volume of people and the  sacrifices made that we take so lightly.  It was fun to take our youngest to places he has read about, to see monuments of men we have come to esteem after hearing their stories of sacrifice and commitment.  We rejoiced at the ease of travel with a metro system and the delight it was to ride what is norm to many, yet a treat to us.

Home again to the destruction of two kittens.... oh how quickly one forgets what life with kittens can be like.  We have two- double the fun or mischief.  While away they won the battle of the wreath- what a great source of play toys are the fake flowers for the picking!  Since then pin cushions, safety pin bins and many other quick toy resources have had to be restricted.  They still may pluck a nut at will for a new toy to scoot about the rug.  Home to home cooked food, school starting, daily chores and a garden to clean up, deweed and harvest.

And so goes life, full of sweet memories, full of delight and yet wearying at the same time.  Many beds do not always make for restful sleep always.  the other night I realized I was using the "other" pillow and now better sleep comes.   All part of life... joyous and taxing, rich, delightful and active. 

And so in the midst of this season of busyness I found myself surfing the internet, visiting a blog and finding a sanctuary- or maybe a portal to sanctuary.  A blog that encourages contemplation, slowing down, simplifying.  Taking time to sit with the Lord, to reflect upon His bounty, taste of His sweet spirit  to seek to connect with Him, the creator of all and the nurturer of my soul.  I am drawn in.  I looked around a bit found a network of blogs that seek to (in)courage women   and later another grouping that desires to walk through the work of life with one another that we might glorify God in our dailiness.  I am convicted by my lack of dwelling, my lack of sitting at the feet of the One who rests my soul.  I choose to make the short journey there, and I feel the refreshment as I enter in.

So like a weary traveler I am home again.  Slowing down my pace, taking time to rest on the back porch, seeking time at the feet of the source of life.  To slow down on commitments, turning off autopilot as much as possible.  To rest, to restore, to enjoy and consider and dwell.  I am finding blessing in this slower pace, in more communion and less doing, doing, doing. 

And so I am entering a season of rest- pausing to refresh and reflect and listen anew to the creator.

a few days ago while driving a group of deer were crossing the road.  one made the journey across, another backtracked.  the fawn sought its mother and then rejoicing in life romped about momma.  More energy and joy to be spent the fawn raced in figure 8's around momma a few times, in and out of the woods.  A treat of nature we had not seen before, and  was a delight to behold.  it would have been easily missed had I chosen to just continue to drive, but the willingness to slow down and enjoy the created creature reaped a special treat. 

May you find a quiet place to catch up to yourself amidst the pace of this life.  to seek the Savior, contemplate His truths and allow His peace to permiate your life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

simple things can be so hard

This morning I caused some brain cells to burn. The assignment was to create the letter C with upside down cups- on the floor- spaced so you can dribble between them. Simple? maybe, maybe not.

the "c" started out more like an O, then a bit heavy on the bottom, snuggled close to the island. the ball was dribbled, but then it took over and skooted a cup across the floor. Then the island jumped in the way. thoughts of enlarging the C were not within my boy. Earlier we had enlarged and dialogued about how and why with two other letters. Frustration rose and the word hard was used many times.

Again enlarging was demonstrated and talked about and then dribbling through was completed with greater ease. He was worn out. 3 letter, 15 cups and a ball- enough to challenge the brain some days.

And so life goes here, some tasks simple, some tasks simply too much to process and execute without great challenge and frustration. If only I fully understood what it is to walk in his shoes, with his brain struggles. Compassion continues to grow within me as I live alongside many who struggle with large and small "issues" and life events.

So often judgement comes fast and first without ever considering the story behind the person. Covers do a good job of just that - covering up what lies within... stories take time and trust. so much lies beneath a cover- more than the presenting activity, there is depth and history.

Oh to take the time to understand and walk beside, modeling, teaching and encouraging as the brain burns new pathways to success. slowly we shall master this new challenge just as we have other "hard" things that are now easy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, monday

What a Monday this has been, full and to the brim with life.

I started the day in the garden in my nightclothes- it was hot and sticky and rainy, but i knew i needed to shower so why bother to change - the tomato harvest was nice, the weed pulling overdue. As the day got rolling with plans to bless therapists with banana muffins my son came seeking a ride to work, his 297,000 mile car was acting odd. Scramble to regroup, remember neighbor has second car and get permission to borrow and he is off in the van. As I try out his car all seems fine, so fine that I later take it to him, swapping for my van.

And so we launch into therapy, library, bowling- never broke 100 but had fun trying, and thrift shops as well as BK for lunch. First thrift shop no major score, but second- God did it agaiin! My dear neighbor who allows us to rack up pool points has found her tall outdoor chairs falling out from under her- she was down to one and in dire need of replacements. She had scoured the new stores, and found they were $$$, but so functional that she was willing to buy replacements. As I walked into the shop today what awaited once again amazed me- a set, almost identical to what was at her house, a bit fancier- 4 tall chairs and new to her table for what she might pay for one chair new! When she found out she went and bought it, and my husband, who happened to have his truck in town, picked it up and delivered the set.

What fun to see God care for needs and wants once again.

Home again I tornado cleaned to restore order to our house. Mondays out are always a bit of a stretch. I had posted things on ebay- they sold and were packaged- a blessing to me- a $20 purchase netted an abundant gift to relatives, and about $100 in sales- more than compensating the original cost and many little girls will be enjoying the bounty of the original purchase! fun!

We redeemed some pool point time- what fun i have enjoying the kids in the water and then when Dad joins in it ramps up the fun. He becomes the leach that they cling to and are launched from. Sam wrestled with other boys- being tossed and tossing them into the pool.

As I anticipated the evening ending our son returned home, and he and Dad gave a look see to the car. A few hours later a minor tuneup is done, with more work ahead as a radiator leak was found and new wires are yet to be installed, but a quieter, happier engine seems to be in the faithful transport. They are now gladly holding down cushions and waiting to rest.

Monday- a bit full but also abundant in blessings and bounty of life!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The new stove is in

Just wanted to share the new stove- a little thing but another testimony of God's provision in my life. The old stove had a incident of "thermal shock" where the front of the door left sponatanously (sp??)- it blew apart and fell to the floor all by itself. not fun, not cheap to replace - it was 17 yr old downdraft Jenn Air. We really wanted to keep the downdraft fan as it was great. We really did not want to spend over a thousand for a stove to do so.

We prayed and waited upon God and one day as I "happened" to pull into a thrift shop that I "happened" to remember was local to where I was there sat the new stove- for $50. It works great, it is digital and all the old stove parts fit in the new stove so we have spares. Three hours sweat equity and we are renewed and rejoicing!

ARt FuN dAy

Tomorrow is Art fUn dAY!! It is sure to be fun.

I have had this idea for a few years.... Art on the Porch. Art fun day is my trial run of this idea. Last week we had a fun time playing with art stuff together. Tomorrow more families are joining us. The neighbor girl is earning entrance by being a gofer for me in the morning. It looked that fun from afar last week that she did not want to miss out. I think others felt the same way as they are returning.

Tonight as I look at the numbers 14 parents and at least 30 kids I am wondering what was I thinking??? Fun... mess... creativity. using up supplies.

I was remembering all the days at Helderberg Workshop as a girl where I am sure I attended on scholarship... daycamp at its finest. Bussed to a school campus and allowed to immerse myself in creative things for hours.... a bit of heaven on earth.

Summer is here again and I know how long the days can be... how boring they can get without the normal structure of life. So we are adding a bit of variety to our days and thinking forward even now of if we should do this again and again... Art on the POrch?! sounds like fun to me.

Tomorrow the kids will paint t shirts, carve soap or plaster/vermiculite, paint with tempra and or create with wood scraps. Not the norm for at home art projects...just as I like it; hands on and a bit messy.

And in the midst of all that moms will share life, kids will "socialize" and community will be built. folks will leave richer for the time given to others and the service given to one another- that is the ticket- parents serving to help pull this all off. After all arrive and directed mine is the easy part, circulate and guide. The moms and dads runs the stations as the kids are busy creating.

it is fun to see an idea start to come together, start to form and learn what works and what needs tweeking as you work the idea into fruition. I am blessed to have this opportunity and the resources to share with others.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life is Life

This morning is the start of a busy day... therapy, haircut, library, oil change, home depot and maybe even staking tomatoes at the community garden then home - whew- I am hot and tired already. Such is life some days here in Toney.

Last week we had many families join us for an Art Fun Day- a trial run for my vision of Art on the Porch... a dream I have of fully using our wonderful wrap around porch for creative space for kids. The kids got messy with paper mache, clay and paint. This week they will have time to explore wood scuplturing and plaster carving as well as tshirt decorating and paint. paint is a great standby and often not freely allowed at home. The messy stuff is what I enjoy allowing in our art time- open ended creative time with good supplies that allow kids to explore mediums of mess!

I was surprised the evening after the Art day when a critter was found upon my porch railing. A cicada dressed up for more art fun in bright colors! creativity at its finest... later it was revealed that a dad was the artist this time. Fun!

We have had visitors come and go in recent days. Our old stove, without a full front has by now been recycled for scrap metal and the new one that God provided is working wonderfully since my husband installed it. The garden is growing and the battle against the bugs is on. We had a catepillar invasion so I donned protectitive gear and "fogged" it well... waited and watched and 5 days later not a bug to be found... only the skeletal remains of their attack. It remains healthy and we sigh in relief.

This summer project is white- stain the fences and paint the wood. all too soon the heat has come upon us and the desire to be out in it has not remained, yet we go. Soon the fence will be done and the taping of the porch will begin- sparing the concrete of dots and sprinkles of white. How fresh a new coat of white makes all things look. it also has given us opportunity to note areas where attention is needed to repair wood that is no longer with us.

So we continue on in Toney life. living, playing games, making changes, adjusting to changes, experiencing new things, learning new skills and just living. We'd love to share it with you- come for a visit, the front porch is a great place to sit and rock and visit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another home improvement

For the past four years we have wondered "what were they thinking?" about the sink in our kitchen. The beautiful Kohler sink and faucet came with the house, yet did not transfer warrantey to us, the new owners. The faucet leaked, the spray nozzle was a dud, but worst of all the water from the facet leaked to the back of the sink, onto the tile and caused us concern of water damage growing. We are a dish doing family, we have a dishwasher, yet it is only used part time- this sink was a 1/3, 2/3 style- not great for handwashing.

Friday as my husband lingered away from the home it was not a linger but a shopping spree. He came home with all the needed supplies. Early Saturday he began and the sink was pulled, and so the adventure began. With the sink came 4 partial tiles. Oops- yeah for extra tiles under the house, so they were replaced and the new sink installed, along with a high speed Moen faucet- easier to get parts if needed than Kohler :). We now have a large, spacious double sink with 9" depth. It is great to do dishes in. It is built to direct water back into the sink rather than to the tile. It is functional to us who work hard in this kitchen.

Home Improvement projects- great times, memories made and happy changes. In this house that has needed much functional maintance work the blessing of changes that are wants/needs are a blessing. No more leaky sink/faucet, no more wet tiles and towel laying beyond the faucet to absorb the water. We are blessed with another home improvement!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Working away

Life in Toney has been full... of wood! A few weeks ago my dear hubby told me to find a tree guy to take out a few diseased trees. The yellow pages quickly brought a family run business with men anxious to work. Kind of rare these days to have an employee thank you for hiring him, they did several times... affirming our choice to do the job that day. Down came 3 trees, a fourth one topped and many trimmed.

The result has been a yard full of wood, brush and logs. Slowly the yard ornament- a downed pine tree - dropped in one piece so my hubby can play with his chain saw, has gone away. Today was the last as the youngest and I cleaned up the pine needles and stray branches. The divets and dents will get filled in with the next load of cotton trash compost.

While we were busy in the front yard there was a work crew going in the back yard. For the past few weeks the chainsaws could be heard chunking up the 2 tall downed trees and getting ready for a wood splitter. Today the men spent 6 hours splitting up logs- 3 full cord of wood is now drying beside the fence. The branches that came down are halfway gone, more trips to the branch pile awaits us. I have begun to rake up the stray wood- who knew there was so much work in cleaning up after a tree downing.

I am not sure I will ever again take for granted the sheer physical labor of tree surgeons again. There were 5 folks working in the back yard and still work remains. 24 man hours and several yet to go ... I guess the thought of how wood warms you several times is true as today folks who started with sweatshirts soon were in shirt sleeves.

Dinner was a kind of quiet meal- many exhausted bodies around the table. yet there is satisfaction in a day spent moving muscle, moving nature and accomplishing tasks that were set out to be done.

I thanked the Lord for the blessing of work, for the priviledge of it.... a jail work detail reminded me of how many are not free to work outside, health issues trap others within their bodies and homes. Ahh the blessing of moving leaves, limbs and dirt... spring is here again!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts I never considered that would occur

Another call last night..10:35pm; " I think S is having a seizure", the scramble for clothing and the dash up the stairs to find our son in the midst of a brainstorm. Part of life, stuff we deal with yet never simple and never totally "normal".

How can it be normal to see your child "gone" and the body taking over, seemingly with a will of its own. To see a body in unnatural contortions and manners, to see the vacant stare as you count the minutes. As a parent you wonder when will this one stop? what caused it? what needs to change? To realize, again that you are not in control, and cannot truly control the life and breathe of your child. To recall that the one you birthed is truly in the hands of his Creator. To trust that He has numbered your child's days and pray that the number is much greater than what he has lived thus far.

And the minutes tick, as the brain does its dance, the dance floor being your child's body. The moves shift and change, not always following a set choreography. Unexpected moves bring about new concerns or sighs and hopes that this dance will soon stop. Questions are in our mind, as the clock ticks and the dance continues, should we make a call? why did we not stock the drug to call a sudden stop to this brainstorm dance. And the dance goes on, seeming to increase in passion. And then with a sigh it is over. A body rolled over and a head lifted that tells me that my child is back.

Sweet is the fellowship and communion between parent and child in the moments declared to be "post ictal". The hearts of these parents breathed a sigh of relief that their child has returned to rule over his brain. That the boy that brings such delight is now with us again and we cope together with the life that we live together. Sleep soon will come, but not before we pray and thank God for life, for health and the days ahead.

Who knew when the word epilepsy was first spoken that such thoughts and experiences would come, I sure didn't. Life is always full of surprises, adventures and opportunities to live dependent, trusting God to care all of us in the midst of life. That trust has helped us to walk through this journey for alone I think the journey would be much more of a challenge.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Amazed again

God works in lives in different ways. For some he gives the gift of music, to others wisdom, service, teaching. For some there is a gifting to work with youth, babies or lead mission trips. For many years I had a family member who never struggled to find a job, it was as if God gifted her with employment as time and again His provision was seen with jobs coming out of circumstances unexpectedly.

In my life there are times when I feel like I have a similar blessing- the gift of provision through yard sales and thrift stores. Many times folks have mentioned a need or desire and within days, sometimes within 24 hours I have been able to call and tell them of an available option. Angel needed a printer, the next day one was found for $10. Joy wanted a food processor, it was found for less than $25- for a high end model. Rugs, clothing, swim trunks with built in diaper, zippers, and the list goes on. I tell friends that if they have needs and wants to let me know as I might run across the item they desire.

Rarely do i expect the answer to the need/want. Often I am amazed at the provision because often I have only thought of the need, hardly truly praying for it, but rather just talking in my head. I am overwhelmed some days that God has cared so well for me, for my needs and provisions with such specific provision. It does not make sense to me as I see many in need and see others struggling to meet needs. I understand it not. some tell me that perhaps it is because we are willing to care for others with stuff that stuff is provided to us. perhaps, or perhaps it is just DaddyGod loving in a way that glory can come to Him.

So let me glorify my God... He has done it again. My art class will soon start up again, soon we will have a day of card making so the students can prepare for Valentines Day. In my mind I was thinking of needing to find cards and envelopes- homemade cards are so much better with envelopes that they will fit in. Yesterday I went to a local indoor yardsale and amongst the jumble were two packages of blank cards and envelopes- 100 total for $2! Score! to get that many envelopes at the craft store would have been 5-10x the cost. yeah!

I was a blessed woman, a busy woman and my day got back to "normal". Then my husband asked me to go to a military show with him, not really interested in leaving the house, but wanting to bless him I compromised. I would take care of errands so he did not have to drive to a strange place. I went to a infrequently visited thrift shop. My eyes zeroed in on a slide in stove in the yard. We have a slide in stove, with a downdraft fan- not a typical stove, and not cheap to replace. A few months back the front of our 15yr old stove decided it was time to leave, so it did, promptly. they told me it was thermal blast- all I know is it is gone and looks odd without a handle and front. We love the stove, but didn't really want to spend $1,000 to replace it so that we could continue to have a vent situation.

Back to the yard, the stove was the same brand, downdraft and made in '01. I was told it just came in, part of a remodel job, still works. $50! SCORE!!! I was elated- I almost didn't leave the house, i just thought of making the stop after dropping hubby- never anticipating that I would be buying a new to us stove. And once we got it home the parts of our present stove will fit in this one, so we have spare parts! Amazing- only God could do this ... connect lives and stuff... meet needs and bless so specifically.

God is amazing in so many ways... I am blessed when He does these things. I am thrilled to tell others of how I have seen Him move in my life. Yet, that is not what I delight in the most while following Him, today at church I had time to share that there are many attributes that delight me. I think the character of God and Him being my strong tower are what brings me the most comfort to my heart. I guess generosity is part of that character, it is a joy to be a receipient of as well as a vessel of... a joy to give as well as a joy to receive. It is fun to watch how God works in lives around us- how does He work in your life?? where does He show up that you might glorify him??

Friday, January 15, 2010

Topics spoken about quietly

This has been a day of remembrance, a day of gratitude and thanks, a day of praise and glory in the graciousness and goodness of my Creator. This is a day when I considered that which once I would not speak of, was ashamed to speak of, or maybe to proud to speak of.

A few weeks ago my trusty computer wrote me a note: time to schedule your colonoscopy. Not a big reminder, yet a reminder, one I forgot about, don't look forward to and try to avoid thinking about much, but there it was, again. I laughed about it, shared its arrival with friends and after a few days of avoidance called the doc to get the referral. Today was my appointment. Today was a walk down memory lane as I looked at medical records and recalled December 1992.

That December I had a baby and an unexpected surgery, a baby that may have saved my life as did the surgery. After the baby the unspoken part of my life came to light. I had been growing a very large colon polyp and did not know it, yet I knew something was not right within. I was too afraid, shy or proud to speak of it honestly and openly. I had cried out to God, for in my heart of hearts I knew whatever was happening in my body was more than I could deal with.

After the baby's arrival the polyp showed itself and was dealt with. The reality of my ignorance came to light. The possiblities of colon cancer came to our conversations. My pride was laid out to what it was- foolishness. Brokeness was one of the fruits of that season, one that continues to bring sweeter fruit in my life than I ever imagined- bodily functions are not longer shameful and whispered, they are reality that are honestly dealt with.

So today as I walked in my memory to those scary days of '92 I recalled how the baby was in ICU where he received wonderful care as I was getting cared for on surgery floor. How my Mom was available to come help with childcare (2, 5yr olds). How the church reached out and cared for my family while I could not. How what could have been cancer was pre, pre cancerous. What could have been abdominal surgery did not have to be. How we were cared for on so many fronts and advocates and quality health care folks surrounded us. How we saw God show up thorughout thos days that felt so ovewhelming yet had rays of being cared for spread throughout them.

In that season of life I began to learn anew about my body, the importance of paying attention to it, to seek care, research oddities and be willing to speak of and face the "shameful" parts that glory may come from the parts that are due honor. I now give honor to the "shameful parts" by followig doctors orders and routinely fasting and prepping and undergoing checkups- small price to pay for more years of life.

Once I wondered if I would be around to see my baby turn 1. This past December he turned 17- we both lived that long and have lived alot of life in those years. Oh how grateful I am for that.

So, if your body is doing odd and weird things, please seek out answers. Care for it well and seek solutions, even if they are uncomfortable... life is worth living to its fullest and part of life is some discomforts. And if you are over 50 - get a scope, just to be safe.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Last night I logged on and was surprised at the passing of time since last posting- months in fact.. where did it go? Life lived in 3D is the reality... sometimes life happens and the thought to pause to record and reflect just isnt acted upon and before I realize it months have passed. Rich full months, months of blessing and struggle.

November came with the cool weather and the question of where to spend the turkey day of thanks. The woods is what my prince often opts to. my homebody nature is always reluctant. Our pop-up was totaled this year in a freak accident and the new one had a freak oops on the way to be given the once over, so it was looking iffy, but God had other plans. Mr Persausion caused parts to move where they did not seem to be in movement prior to converstations and we had a pop-up again. The weather warmed and off to the woods we went. A great choice, spoken honestly by this homebody.

Nature again renewed and rejuvenated us. Many folks dropped in for a visit and many for a meal. A blessing of reunion from Iraq days for my bear ( and for me the personal of a loved brother in his "twin"). My son discovered the origin of fireworks- bamboo in the fire goes POP!!! A family that faced TV dinners came instead for smoked bird and treasure hunting and a couple we only see in church were blessed to spend time in nature and continue to consider adding camping to their life again.

December again caused this homebody to shudder. A trip to NY was on my daughters agenda but I was hesitant... the drive, the timing..the... the... the. But a sisters desire and a daughters desire and the reality that this type trip isnt a given every season and we were off. Sweet reunion for my part time daughter Paula with old roomate who hosted us in WVa, much landscape and a few stops to ooh and ahhh and breathe deeply at the wonderful coffee shop in PA. Then to the cabin in the woods we nested for a few days. Snow, sledding, wood stove, pancakes with real maple syrup and other delights from my sweet mom. We knit and visited and had an old fashion christmas with a real tree. Sam played chess and schooled and sled with cousins. I made the rounds to a few V relatives and then on to tour the capital bldg in Albany, we felt the place was ours to enjoy as few were about. We stood in the Senate lobby with ornate "curtains" and velvet seating and enjoyed the craftsmanship about us. We then dined on Equidorian food around my dear sisters table and enjoyed her roomate. The girls then headed to NYC for a few days of snow and city. I spent time knitting and visiting with anothe sister in her new house- had fun dreaming and scheming for the renovations ahead.

As we prepped to travel home I had a sweet surprise, a whisper from the Lord of a friend along the way, 10 years since our last visit. She opened our home to the five of us and we enjoyed sharing life and struggles, a treat from the Lord for both of us as we were reminded that this path of life is not one tha is not shared by others. We arrived home in time to nap repeatedly and have a leisure Christmas with the family +one= wonderful.

Along with memories I brought home a sore arm. My left arm started to ache as I drove west out of NY and was throbbing as we entered PA and OH. Tuesday I hardly drove, it was not feeling well. Holiday medicine are not to be mixed so i dug in my drug stash and after Christmas I went to see the doc. We still aren't sure what happened but I was in pain and muscle relaxaters, anti inflammatory and more pain meds were Rxed. Relief but also reality- I was one armed- no knitting, no quilting, my hyper activity was squashed, much physical activity was unrealistic. Not easy for this busy gal, but I watched TV, did puzzles, rested, read and colored. And my spirit settled and reflected and quieted, good stuff. Slowly the pain has subsided and the muscles are aching less, but wisdom is also reigning that less heavy lifting and movement for a season is in store. I have adjusted and am taking a sabatical from some activities for a bit. I am limiting typing as needed. I am adjusting.

And so our new year has begun. the passing of time continues, often marked only by the calendar. Then this past week I had Sam read, and read, and read. Before he knew it an hour had passed. We had read together for an hour. not a big thing for most... for us a milestone. Time has done what time does, bring growth and change. Slowly, daily, bit by bit fluency has increased and endurance. A few days ago I felt a rumble, over and over... jumping jacks... once beyond understanding were being executed without pause... another sign that time had passed and skill had developed.

Patience is often something I think I have... reality indicates otherwise. Oh, I endure many things beyond what other tolerate but my nature is quick and now... and so I have been blessed with a patience builder. God continues to intersect my life, taking me out of my comfort zone to slow down, try new things and show His glory in the midst of my life. I am able to have moments where I look back in time to appreciate all that has occurred. This week has been one of those, seeing progress, seeing how He has helped this homebody leave home and return home richer for having stepped out.

I am not cured of my homebody nature but slowly I am gaining more reasons for walking beyond my comfort, because each time I do my comfort grows to include a greater base.