Roaming

Just took a quick trip to St. Louis to see my high school girl friends and my niece’s first “big girl” apartment.  Fun, exhausting trip.
On the flight home (small plane) the flight attendant , as usual announced, “The captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign so you are free to roam about the cabin…But should you stay in your seats please keep your seat belts firmly fastened.”
Maybe I’m just really tired, but where would one ROAM in an airplane cabin?  Roam?! Really?
I realize this is a random post, but it got me thinking….maybe we should choose our words more carefully.  Instead of roam; maybe stand, stretch your legs, use the lavatory, but roam…. aimlessly about?
Yes, I’m tired, and didn’t really plan on roaming anyway.  But I will start thinking more about MY word usage, should I confuse anyone else into roaming.

Doves

Mom and dad were bird watchers, and squirrel watchers.  Dad still puts peanuts out every day for the squirrels and birds.   He says he knows every animal that shows up, even named one squirrel Red.
The day after mom died two doves came to his back yard.  He pointed them out to me.  “I’ve never seen them before, they’re new.  Do you think your mom had something to do with this?”  I said yes.
Spring is upon us again, and we are all thinking of mom.  Her favorite time of year.  I sat on dad’s porch this week and watched the new generation of toddlers running back and forth.  I asked dad, “What do you think mom would have thought of these kids? Do you ever wonder if she can see them?”
Before he could answer, two doves flew up and landed alarmingly close to us on the porch.  We pointed them out to the kids.  Dad says, “Look, there are your grandma’s doves!” They moved to a tree and stayed for a bit, watching over us.
Is it strange that I feel comfort from those doves?

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Perspective

Bob and I have been working on remodeling our basement.  After a few pipes burst, and then discovering that our basement floor was sinking due to some poor backyard drainage issues – we decided to turn a disastrous situation into a good thing by remodeling our entire basement/back patio.

I’ve had more than a few workers in and out over the weeks and have heard myself on more than one occasion respond to suggestions, “It’s just a basement.”  I am trying to stay budget conscious and really do not want to use the most high end fixtures or finishes.  It’s just a basement.

So yesterday while Bob, dad and I were painting and I overheard Bob respond to my dad when he thought he’d messed up a bit, “Don’t worry it’s only a basement.”  My entire basement  perspective changed.  

This morning I was reading about Caleb and Joshua going to spy out the promised land for Moses.  10 other men said (paraphrasing), “We’ll get our butts kicked!  We can’t take this land!  These people are giants!”  Caleb said, “Let’s go!  We’ve got this!”  

Perspective.  Caleb was adjusting his attitude, his perspective from a place of great faith.

Whether it’s just a basement, or a huge battle to take your promise it’s all about perspective.  I hope I keep my perspective grounded in faith.  And…good paint choices.  🙂

  

Ebb & Flow

Does everyone’s relationship with God, or for that matter with anyone, have an ebb and flow?
Definition:
: a condition or rhythm of alternate forward and backward movement or of alternate decline and renewed advance

 Saw an old friend this past weekend and had a wonderful visit.  Upon leaving I asked, why don’t we see each other more?  Why does a relationship take so much work.  Does my relationship with God take so much work, too?  

If so, am I up to the task, am I putting in the work that is required? I would say over the past few years no.

Mom’s been gone almost 3 years. I’ve missed her. That relationship didn’t take work. The funk I’ve been in over losing mom (and the myriad of other losses I’ve suffered) have caused me to ebb, and have taken me away from God. I ebbed, and I should have flowed. I retreated, I fell back. I was tired, scared, confused, and just lost. All excuses that I readily used to fall into this backward movement that I’m experiencing. Is it time to advance again? I’m praying that God will pull me into that place where I need to be, closer to Him. I want to experience a new relationship with Him. Where He can flow.

I do.

Marriage is hard.  Sometimes I think I want something out of it that may just be impossible. Doesn’t God tell me all things are possible with Him?  So I’ll keep on hoping.
But just to vent, I do not want to be the strong one in this relationship forever.  I understand that there was a season of necessity.  I stepped up when I had to.  But is this strength and perseverance meant to be constant now?  And if so, can I do this? (Ummm, chest pain?)
Sometimes I just want someone to take care of ME.
Done venting.  Will pray more, pray that God steps up
and comforts me. He has before, He will again.
The chest pain….still here, not as bad.

Chest Pain

Wednesday started like any other day, except for that nagging weird chest pain I was ignoring.  By about lunch time I couldn’t ignore it any longer, and after the persistant prodding from my sister and daughter I decided to leave work.  I just wanted to go home and ignore the pain, they wanted me to go to the Emergency Room.  

Half way home, driving through a snow storm, I became more short of breath and a little light headed and thought maybe  I should just drive to the ER.  I started to pray out loud and calmed myself a bit, deciding to just go home and relax.  At home, the shortness of breath wouldn’t leave, the pain stayed constant.  I started to freak out a bit, “Holy crap, I think I may be having a heart attack!”  I took 2 baby aspirin (the only aspirin we had in the house) and tried to remember what else to do in case of heart attack.  All I could think was RELAX!!

Bob had been home sick all week, and he was stationed in his usual spot in his recliner with all the curtains pulled.  Monday he’d spent all day at the doctor’s office getting IV fluids – he’s sick again.  Always sick again.  So, maybe the fact that Bob had been sick again, and I had dreamed the night before that I was at his funeral consoling everyone, should tell me that I was holding some stress in a bit.  Was Bob giving me a heart attack??

Aimie came over, the pain was worse, the shortness of breath not gone.  I was very light headed.  She told me that she was taking me to the ER, and this time I didn’t argue.  As we drove through the snow that was falling heavier, I listened to her giving my dad instructions on what  to do with the kids, when to feed them, how to arrange Nick picking them up….and I had to tell her, “Shhhh, just drive and don’t talk please.”

They triaged me pretty quickly into a room, “Chest Pain in room 10!”  I saw that my blood pressure was 160/100 and thought, “Holy crap, I think I may be having a heart attack!”  2 EKGs, cardiac enzymes, clotting tests, chest X-rays,  a stress test and lots of IV Morphine later – by the way IV Morphine is good stuff!! – they were sending me home with a diagnosis of pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lung).  They don’t have a reason why, but the good news is – no heart attack.

For a breif momement while laying there on that stretcher, being poked with needles and hooked up to oxygen and EKG leads I thought about my mom, “She hated this.”  And I cried.  I was afraid and I wanted her.  I wanted to tell her how much I hated that she had to go through that, I wanted her to tell me it was all going to be okay, I just wanted to cry.  Aimie was very good, very calm, and she prayed for me.  She comforted me and I stopped crying.

So now I’m home, on anti-inflammatory medicine and pain pills.  Bob is still sick, and sounds like he’s coughing up a lung.  I can’t deal with that.  My dad told me yesterday that he fainted, I can’t deal with that.  And there are contractors here working in my basement – BANG! BANG! BANG!

I’m trying to relax – BANG! BANG! BANG!  I’m going to take another pain pill. 

Thanks for Now

So I saw a short video at church that was meant to bring the message that we are to tell others about God. BUT, one of the messages that was brought out to me during this three minute video was of a man in a wheelchair who was bitter because of the handicap. He’d been hit by a drunk driver and was forced to spend the rest of his life in the chair. Bitter.
Are Bob and I bitter? Bob prays that his healing will be complete. I pray that Bob will get better. Are we not still thankful that Bob is alive? That he received a miracle healing?
Are we impatient and still just waiting for the healing to complete…and really just not thankful enough for the miracle healing that has already occured?
Need to work on this. Because really, Bob was healed. He is healed. He’s not in a coma, he’s cancer free. He walks, talks, enjoys life. All things that at one point we were not sure would ever happen again.
I am thankful for that, and maybe that’s enough.
God help me to be thankful for where we are now.

where we are now: Bob just had surgery on his eyes. Both lids were very droopy and both bottom lids were rolling into his eyes (evidently common). So he had a bilateral eye lift. The plastic surgeon has also recommended a bit more “work” on Bob’s face. We’ll see how the eye lift goes first.

Partner Weekend

Bob and I were invited to a ‘Partner Weekend’ in Vail. We partner with a local ministry. Which essentially means we donate to help send those who are called and willing to preach and offer hope/supplies/food to other countries.

We all introduced ourselves and described who we are and why we were there. As Bob and I sat together listening to a room full of approximately 15 partners, I was overwhelmed by the amount of faith, wisdom and sheer talent gathered in that room. People spoke of their trips to Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, India, Africa…etc. preaching the gospel and providing hope. They told of their visions, some still waiting to manifest and some realized. As I listened, I felt a bit intimidated, I felt small.

A Pastor of 5 churches on the East Coast. A woman who pastored a church with her husband, when her husband died 2 years ago she took over — and preached the day after he passed, and has grown that church into a full city block of buildings. A woman who helped develop software that has revolutionized phone bank systems — she happens to work closely with some very high profile people. Pastors of a church in California who travel extensively to some scary places, preaching the gospel, and have a trip planned soon that prompted us to pray for their safety. A couple who own a few businesses in the midwest, they happen to own their own private plane and are taking flying lessons together. A woman and her daughter who are from the family who founded a college in the North East. A woman who (with her husband) develops commercial properties – quite a few. A retired woman who still owns an office building, and most of the businesses that occupy that building.

After getting to talk with, and hang out with these people, these giants, I started to realize that I was only as small as I saw myself. As small, or as big as my faith. They had all gotten to where they were by believing. By ‘partnering’ with God.

It was incredible. It was encouraging. It was faith building.

I have been so bogged down in MY world…I have not seen the world around me. I want to have mountain moving faith again!

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Change

2015. I didn’t make resolutions, or revolutions this year. I just decided that it’s time for a change, period. I’d like to go back to that faith I had before mom died. Life is depressing if you are not close to God. For me anyway. I suppose once you’ve tasted that intimacy with God, nothing else satisfies. Not His fault I don’t feel the same, I’m sure it was me. And I can’t wait for life to be “Good” again before pursuing that level of relationship again, I just need to dive in. So I’m going to start with this — read my bible every day. A little or a lot, just something everyday. And pray more. Say anything to God, just keep the conversation going.
Also, it seems to help when I write, so I’ll be doing more of that. It may not always be pretty, but here goes.

Choosing New Strength

Those who trust in The Lord will find new strength.
I want NEW strength. If I believe the Bible, that means I’ll have to trust in The Lord. Okay.
Not so easy to learn to trust again after being beaten down…? let down…? disappointed in Him…?
But here’s what I’m seeing around me, everyone is let down and disappointed if they allow it. Why would I think that I wouldn’t have trials and tribulations here on earth? Why do I get to escape that? I don’t. I live in a fallen world. This world will have pain. My choice in whether I let that continually effect me is MY CHOICE. I can choose to wallow in what has happened, and be sad, offended and EFFECTED by it (feeling justified in my anger because…hey! look what has happened to me!!) OR i choose to trust in The Lord again, and find new strength.
The choice is obvious. The Choosing every day to trust Him is the work. It shouldn’t be this hard, but sometimes it just is.
Today I will trust you God.