Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Story of Jonah

A friend of mine sent me this video.  Take a few minutes to watch it and you will be amazed!  Here is a truly gifted little storyteller!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Life of a Hospital Waiting Room Dweller

Yesterday was the big day.  My husband, Bud, went in for surgery to treat the prostate cancer that was diagnosed in September.  To say that the last few days have been stressful would be the understatement of the year!  But to say that God showed Himself faithful over and over again in these past days would also be an understatement.  For He has been magnificant!

Sparing you all of the stressful details that led up to the surgery, I am very happy to say that the surgery went very well, and Bud is already back at home recovering! That, my friends, is the result of a bucket load of prayers!

Yesterday was not only the big day, but it was a very interesting day for my son, my daughter, and me.  Because for about seven and a half hours, we lived the life of hospital waiting room dwellers. 

Arriving at the hospital at 10:45 in the morning, makes you a late comer for finding any available real estate in the family waiting room. As we walked into the room, I felt like we were being checked out by a hundred pairs of hostile eyes.  It was if those who had already put in a few hours of waiting were challenging our right to just come walking in at 10:45 and expect to find a seat.

With nearly every seat filled in that place, it took a bit of doing to find a place to plant ourselves for the seemingly endless wait.  Eventually, we found a little spot by a post where we pulled three chairs in a cluster and that became our home away from home.  That's when the "fun" began.

I don't know what it is about waiting rooms, but they often seem to be in the bowels of the hospital which of course means there are no windows.  So after a couple of hours, you begin to lose all sense of time. Is it still really daytime?  It feels like an entire day has passed after only a mere three hours of mind-numbing waiting, so you figure it must be dark outside. And being in the depths of the building also means that there's no cell phone service.  So, eventually, you walk out to where you can use your phone and you're totally blown away to see that it's still daylight!

There is a tricky thing about leaving "your space" to go and make that phone call or to slip up to the cafeteria for a bite to eat (that's a story for another time).  Your group can't all leave at once or a claim jumper might come and take over your little waiting space.  Any leaving has to be done in shifts.  And someone has to stay behind and "guard" your stuff. I think it should be like camping. Once you've set up camp, that space should be yours until you break camp and leave.

The mother in me really showed through yesterday.  Before we left for the hospital, I packed a bag to bring with me.  Originally it contained my purse, a book, a folder for all the hospital paperwork and a bottle of water.  But then I started thinking that with both my kids being there, I should pack a few things to eat.  So out came by book and in went two more bottles of water, some apples, caramels, Tootsie Roll Pops, biscotti, and Triscuits.  Afterall, hospital food is expensive and I'm cheap.  And it would have all worked out great except for the fact they don't allow food in the family waiting room. 

So, here I am with a bagload of food that we can't eat, no book to read and a seven and a half hour wait.  Both kids were stunned that I hadn't brought a book with me.  Hello!  I was trying to keep you from starving like any good mother would do! Besides, I figured we could have some family time.  Well, that lasted until both of them whipped out their laptops and I was left to read year-old magazine articles where Sandra Bullock was still singing the praises of Jesse James. 

After a few hours of waiting, you begin to establish a bond with your fellow waiting room dwellers.  Even if you never make eye contact with any of them, you are sharing a very signifcant day of your life with them.  You look at the different groups and wonder what the relationship is between all of them.  Who are they there for?  A parent?  A sibiling? A child?  And as people's names are called out over the P.A. system and a someone gets up to go and talk to the doctor, you wonder if they are receiving good news or bad.  And you wonder what you will hear when your name is called.

By late in the afternoon, there were lots of seats available in the waiting room.  Most families had already received word and were with their loved ones.  But there were still a few groups that had been there before we even arrived.  There had been one large table where four or five women had sat with their laptops all day.  I had wondered if they were sisters, waiting for news about a parent.  I have done that with my sisters for both my parents.  And when they finally left, a little part of me felt like I was part of their group.

When we received word that the surgery had gone very well, we still had more than two and a half hours to wait for my husband to come out of recovery.  But, those last hours were much more relaxed. I could now listen to an elderly gentleman, who was waiting for his wife, talk the ear off of another lady in the waiting room, and smile, because I could hear my own father's voice doing the same thing. Suddenly, I knew that our time as waiting room dwellers would not go on forever.  No sir, we would soon break camp and move on!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nestled All Snug in Their Beds

It was Thanksgiving at our house this weekend!  Since my husband will be recovering from surgery when Thanksgiving actually rolls around, we decided to do the whole thing this weekend.  So why not have a sleep over?
Maybe not nestled snug in their beds,
 but stretched out on the floor after a turkey dinner!
It was the anticipation of everyone arriving Friday night that got me through a very long and difficult work week.  But by 6:00 p.m., the whole gang was there, including our "grand dog" Cooper, a golden retriever.

A little feasting on pizza helped stretch our stomachs in anticipation for the big turkey feed to come the next day. Then after dinner, we laughed our way through several games before settling in front of the fireplace for a little visiting before heading to bed.

Saturday, we had a leisurely breakfast. Then the gang enjoyed a relaxing morning of movie watching while Thanksgiving dinner came together in the kitchen.  After dinner, we took a few minutes to read the "thankful" notes that we had been stuffing in our "Thankful Box" all weekend.

But one of my favorite moments of the weekend was on Friday night when we were "nestled all snug in our beds."  Everything was silent. And as I lay there listening to our sleeping house, I was so grateful to have all of us (and a dog!) in the house instead of the usual two. It felt like old times. It felt like family.

I know that for the rest of the country this weekend was just another plain old Friday and Saturday.  But for my family and me, we were definitely in the holiday spirit!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Salute You!

Today is Veterans Day.

As the wife and daughter of two former Marines, (not ex-Marines, I learned the hard way there is no such thing!), I am especially grateful for the service and sacrifices that our service men and women have made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in this county. 

It is easy to take for granted the liberties that are ours in America.  But they did not, and do not come without personal cost to those who have chosen to defend this country and to their families as well.

Today, take a moment to acknowledge the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families throughout this country's history.  Without them, we would not enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

So, on behalf of a grateful nation (and wife and daughter), I say "Thank you" to all of our veterans for their service to this country.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Cherished Old Friend

My cherished old friend
 The other morning during my devotions, I was reading in my nice large-letter edition study Bible.  I requested this Bible about nine years ago when I really started noticing that the lettering in my regular Bible was "shrinking."  So, my husband gave me a lovely large lettered...but still not large enough..study Bible for Christmas that year.

And it's great.  Except for one thing. The pages look so bare. I don't mean that there isn't any print on them.  It's just that the margins are clean and there's very little underlining to be found.  And there's a reason for that.

I bought a Bible on April 23, 1980.  It has no concordance or study notes.  Just a few maps in the back.  But throughout those sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments my spiritual journey for the last 30 years is recorded in the margins of those pages. Dates, underlines, and notes chronicle the struggles, the joys, the griefs and the triumphs that God was walked me through.  It is a witness to my journey as a Christ follower.

As I read the dates next to a particular Psalm, I can remember the pain that I was experiencing at the time and the comfort that those words brought.  When I skim the underlinings in my favorite book of Philippians I once again find the joy and strength that prompted me to underline those passages in the first place.

My old Bible is better than any leather bond journal that I could ever write. Here, mingled on the slightly yellowed pages are my words and God's Word. This well-worn book is a memorial to how these living Words have intersected and changed my life.  It is quite simply, a cherished old Friend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Not to Wear...Or Mad About Plaid

The weather is starting to cool down so a little fleece and flannel feels pretty good with the autumn chill setting in. But when my husband donned this little outfit, I BEGGED him to let me take a picture.  I mean, no one would believe it if they didn't see it with their own eyes!

So, because he loves me, and because I pleaded and looked pathetic, he agreed to let me snap this picture. Of course there was one minor condition, I couldn't show his head...he hadn't combed his hair yet!

Behold, the Plaid-O-Rama, otherwise known as my very good-sport husband. Can you ever have too much plaid in one outfit?  Uh...yeah!

Fall Fashion 2010
Okay, try to uncross your eyes now! :-)