Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sailing Through, It's What To Do

I have such a heavy heart these days.  So many people needing prayer and all of them our family members.  Including myself.

Besides our own family battling illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis, severe colds, and ear infections, there's little Abraham.  Bruce's cousin's baby.  He got an infection in his eye, which turned to cellulitis and swelled up something terrible.  He's been in the hospital, has had surgery to have it drained, and will most likely be in the hospital for ten to fourteen more days.  He really needs to be lifted in prayer.  His parents and sisters also.  He's such a sweet little thing.  He's been in my constant thoughts and prayers since he went in the hospital a few days ago.

My mother in law, Marie, went in to see the orthopedic surgeon about having her knees replaced.  While she was there he found a heart murmur and sent her to a heart specialist.  The heart specialist said she needed a valve replacement.  While running tests to get ready for that surgery, they found a mass on her kidney and sent her to an oncologist.  The oncologist, thankfully, told us it was not cancer and we could proceed with the heart surgery.  Which was good news, but scary too.  Everything was scheduled and she had her surgery last Wednesday.  Some unexpected things happened during surgery that we were not aware of until last night.  She was in ICU longer than anticipated, but eventually moved to a regular room.  However, her heart has been out of rhythm ever since so they're going to do surgery some time tomorrow and give her a pacemaker.  I'm sad I can't be there for her.  But I know the Lord is taking care of her.

On top of everything, Bruce is on mandatory over time all week.  This has been difficult for him.  He doesn't have any more time to take off here at the end of the year.  But he's making it through long work days and getting up there to Charlotte to see his mom at night. 

As we were talking about how frustrated we feel, him having to work and me being sick, and not being able to really be there, he asked me how we were going to get through this with his mom?  My reply was, "We sail through it. That's what we do." 

Sometimes the seas of life get rough.  You can't control the waves or the storm that directs them.  You just have to hold on and sail through it. When your ship is Jesus Christ, who also happens to be the One who directs the storms and waves, there is no safer or surer place to be.  Sometimes God has to slow us down and say, "Hey, I'm in charge here.  I don't need your help today."  He'll send the waves during the storm that holds us back from staying on course.  We are tossed side to side, to and fro, until we aren't really sure which direction we were going to begin with.  But when we just sail through it, trusting He has us in His hands, eventually the storm ceases, the waves become still, and we find ourselves suddenly back on course, heading in the direction God had planned for us all along.  And more often than not, we find ourselves closer to him too.  We suddenly look up and realize the storm is over, the seas are calm, and we're sailing peacefully into the SONset.

We can worry about what people think, we can worry about our circumstances, we can worry about our health, our finances, our jobs, etc...  but in the end, it doesn't really matter.  All that matters is that God knows everything about it and He has it all under control.  So when the storms come and the waves begin to toss, just hang on, take one day at a time, and sail through because every storm ends.


Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

School, Jobs, Doctor Visits, and Thanksgiving

This has been a whirlwind of a couple of months.  Since vacation we've started school and things are going good.  We're moving right along and Harrison will be able to take December off.  Something we've done every year since we started homeschooling, providing their work was at a certain point to finish up on time by the end of the year.  His math teacher is great.  We've been doing Math You See and so far he is really doing great with it. 

Hannah is working steady at her job and is now a teacher in her class.  She loves it.  She's been being creative doing bulletin boards and decorating the outside of her class.  Her hours are more steady and she is full steam ahead with her own school work. 

Justin resigned his job a couple weeks ago and will be starting his new job where his dad works.  This is a big deal and we're very happy for him.  He is excited about starting Thursday. 

Bruce has been going back and forth from first to second shift.  I prefer him working first.  I miss him in the evenings when he's not here. 

Bruce's mom went in to have her knees looked at.  We knew she needed her knees replaced, but when the doctor listened to her heart he didn't like what he heard.  He sent her to a specialist who said she had a faulty valve and that needed surgery before her knees.  We really weren't surprised.  For the last couple of years she tires so easily, breaks into cold sweats, and a lot of times feels like she'll pass out.  She thought maybe it was her sugar, but it was her heart.  Because of her age and the fact that she isn't very stable now, they didn't want to do open heart surgery.  So they scheduled a test to see if they could go through a main artery.  The test showed that they could, but it also showed a mass on her kidney.  She was sent to an oncologist this week.  It was very upsetting for her, as you can imagine.  But thankfully the oncologist had pretty good news for her and said that he really felt the mass was not cancer.  He believes it is either a cyst or a benign tumor.  He ran other tests and we'll see him again next Monday.  If she needs surgery for this they'll have to do it before the heart surgery because after the heart surgery she'll be on blood thinners and that won't be good for other surgical procedures.  So this is a pretty delicate situation for her right now and we're just praying the right decisions are made and the doctors all together on everything.  They've all been so great.  I'm thankful for each of them.  So if you wouldn't mind helping us pray I know she would appreciate that.

We're working on a parade of tables at church.  Hannah and I took a table with two new ladies in our church.  Our tables are decorated around a theme verse.  I've chosen Isaiah 1:18 for our verse, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  We'll be decorating Wednesday night after church.  I've seen some of the tables that are already decorated and I have to say it's a little intimidating.  But it's going to be fun and I can't wait to see everyone's tables. 

Thanksgiving is coming up!  I'll be cooking this year.  EEEeeek!  That makes me nervous, but we're going completely traditional so it's all good, right?  I just get nervous when I'm cooking for more than a few people.  This year my mom and my brother and his family will be here.  Maybe one of Bruce's brothers will be here too.  This is Justin and Brittany's first Thanksgiving together so I'm not sure what their plans are yet.  We'll see.  I just want them to have a good one because they have a lot to be thankful for.  EACH OTHER!! And I'm thankful for that too!  :D

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Birthdays, Vacation, and Other Thoughts

Bruce and I were talking one day in the car about one of his old boss ladies he had at PPG more than ten years ago.  He thought the world of her.  Anyone we have ever met that worked for her at PPG has nothing but good things to say about her.  That same day, not long after he had mentioned her and told a funny story about her, we walked into Sweet Frog of Shelby and guess who was there.  That's right, Fanny and her daughter Chamile and Fanny's 92 year old mother.  They were celebrating her mother's upcoming 93rd birthday with some frozen yogurt.  Fanny mentioned they were going to have a birthday party for her with six generations of the family there to celebrate her life.  They were looking for someone to take pictures.  Can you imagine my excitement when she said that?  Of course I volunteered and told her I would be very happy to take those pictures and she graciously allowed me to do that. 

Blogger wants you to use Google Chrome to upload pictures and I don't like Google Chrome, so I uploaded one to Flikr.  You can click here to see a picture of the Birthday Queen and nine of her children.  The tenth child is her great grandson standing in place for his grandfather.  What a wonderful blessing it was to share in this celebration and with this family!  Bruce and I left in tears and after getting to know this beautiful, elderly lady, we realized why Fanny and the entire family of about 200 that showed up were so wonderful to be with.  She is certainly the heart of her family and they love her a whole lot.

The day after the party our family loaded up the rental car and headed to the beach for vacation.  What a great time we had!  And it was a relaxing time too.  We always love to go the week following school being back in session.  Everything is quiet and calm and we pretty much have the place to ourselves.  The Jacuzzi was the BEST!!  I asked my chiropractor if it would be ok to sit in one while we were away and he said absolutely as long as it wasn't longer than 15 or 20 minutes.  So I did every night.  We'd go to the indoor Jacuzzi, where I'm POSITIVE no one else in the hotel knew about, and while the kids played in the indoor pool Bruce and I sat in the Jacuzzi and just relaxed.  That was the last thing we did every night and let me tell ya, I slept like a rock.  Now if I could just talk Bruce into putting one in here at home I'd be set! 

Things seem to be progressing with my treatments.  They've started a new therapy on my neck which is very uncomfortable and causes a lot of pain right after both in the neck and my head.  Icing and drinking water seems to help.  But they strap my head and chin into this contraption that's really nothing but a metal bar that my neck "rests" on and I pump up the bar three or four times, hold it for a few seconds, then release it.  This goes on for about five or ten minutes.  Then at home I have a triangular shaped pillow I have to do an exercise on each night that is basically working toward the same goal as the contraption they use at the office.  The pillow sounds comfy, I know, but trust me, it's not really that kind of pillow.  But it only takes 15 minutes of my evening and it's working to help relieve some stress in my neck.  So...  there ya have it. I'll admit that I am tired of going back and forth to the office.  I'd like things to be back to normal.  Right now I have about eight more weeks ahead of me.  So we'll see how things go after that.

And Lord willing, by this weekend or some time next week, I will have the check for my totaled vehicle in hand and I'll be able to pursue a new car.  Driving the truck is ok, but I'd prefer to be back in a car. 

I haven't talked to Justin today but he was very sick last night.  Poor guy has the stomach virus, along with his girlfriend and several of their friends from her church.  Last night he was lookin' pretty rough.  I sent him home with some Sprite, a small container of homemade chicken pot pie (just in case he got hungry) and a container of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Maybe the ACV helped.  I don't know.  Usually you need to take it right when you start feeling sick or have been around anyone that is sick.  It may have been too late for him.  Praying they're all better soon.

It's almost 1:30 and Harrison just finished his school work.  We've had a great first week of school so far even though our days are beginning a little later than they should due to doctor's appointments.  But it's all good.  We're on our way to buy a new tie for church, drop off the picture CD for Fanny, and then get ready for church.  Looking forward to services tonight and Lord willing, going to the Cleveland County Baptist Camp Meeting the rest of this week. 

God has been good and He has been faithful.  I am blessed with His goodness and so very undeserving. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Welcome Back to School

Today was our official first day back to school.  We have started our eighteenth year of homeschooling.  Praise the Lord! 

Two students graduated and one beginning high school this year.  This is the first of the last four years.  I admit I have my failures.  One is math.  Oh dear.  I have always despised Math and thank the Lord for my brother, John, a Math WHIZ, who has always been there to help us when we needed it.  John's symptoms of MS increases daily and I hate to bother him.  So this year we decided to use a Math on DVD with an actual Math teacher.  Harrison is happy about it and to be quite honest, so am I!  We had to begin our day without that Math, though, because the company I ordered from got my order mixed up with another lady's order.  I was bummed when I opened the box and saw it was not my order.  But they assured me they would have my order here soon.  So Lord willing we shouldn't be too far behind.

SIGMA and Patch started at church for the school year.  So Harrison is in fifth gear, full speed ahead, to be number one in points.  He is bound and determined to take it this year.  We'll see. 

Hannah is still working at the day care.  She is now one of the teachers in the two year old class.  She's also still taking classes at the college.  She's a busy girl these days.  Barely see her anymore, but she's really happy where she is right now.

Justin is still working in Gaffney.  We're having a house warming party for him...FINALLY...this month.  He has everything he needs for his home, but he has some maintenance to do on the house so he's asking for Lowe's Home Improvement gift cards.  He is also seeing a beautiful, Christian young lady named Brittany.  They are planning their future together and we are very happy for them.  Their picture has been added to my sidebar.  We are very excited to see what the Lord has in store for them and are so blessed God sent her to our son and to our family.  We love her a whole lot! 

Bruce and I are still SIGMA sponsors, but we are on a "break" this year while another couple who hasn't had a team in a few years steps up and sponsors a team.  We're so happy they've been added back this year.  And we're also thrilled that Justin's buddy (my other son) Jeremy and his wife, Ashley, are sponsoring a team this year too!  They are a young couple with a strong desire to serve the Lord and be used and I know the Lord will use them with the teens this year.  It's going to be an exciting year for our youth group having new sponsors and Brother Johnathan and Mrs. Jennifer as official youth pastors.  Still cheering on that decision! 

We have many blessings before us.  But we also have burdens.  Please be in prayer for a little boy named Asher.  He was diagnosed last week with leukemia.  His treatments have started so he's going to need a LOT of prayer as he goes through those.  Also, the Justice family are in GREAT need of prayer.  A piece of furniture landed on their two year old, causing bleeding on the brain.  When testing for brain activity this morning they did not find any.  They removed her off life support shortly after.  I'm so broken hearted for these families and what they are facing with their children.  God, in all His wisdom, knows what is best for our lives.  Praying as these parents go through these fiery trials.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Red Light, Green Light

So, I was in an accident last Friday.  I was coming home from the grocery store, buckled up and waiting for my light to turn green.  It did.  I started to go and turn left onto the highway when someone sped through a red light and hit me on my side of the car.  He shoved me into a large delivery type truck and let me tell ya, that was a scary ordeal.  Oh, and air bags hurt.  They also release a nasty smoke and it stinks. 

I can't talk about what is going on with all of this right now, but I will say we need a lot of prayer and some needs met.  LIKE A CAR!  Pray we're able to get one soon and make a good decision on purchasing a new one.  We have a good friend who is a dealer and is keeping an eye out for us.  Thankful for someone we both trust and has a good reputation with his vehicles.

I'm seeing a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Talk about conquering your fears!  I do not like being touched, much less pulled, twisted, and stretched.  But you do what you feel you need to do, right?  It's definitely been a different experience for me.

That's the bad news.  The good news is, for the first time in fourteen years, I am finally under the weight I was when I had my first OB appointment with Harrison.  Gives me a positive boost in the arm to keep trying and set a NEW GOAL!  I know with the help of the Lord I can do this.  If I left it up to just me, I'd be in the closet downing twinkies.  Just sayin'.

Looking forward to beginning a new SIGMA year with our youth.  We're praising the Lord for answered prayer in our youth department.  We officially have a youth pastor!!!  Brother Johnathan and Mrs. Jennifer have been working tirelessly with the youth group the last couple of years and God opened the door for our church to take them on full time.  We could not be more pleased.  The youth love them both and I'm sure it will be a great year.

And that is all for tonight. I've iced my shoulders and now it's time for medication and bed!  Early appointment in the morning.

Hope y'all have a great night!!  :)

Genesis 22:14 "Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."