Thursday, August 21, 2014

Does This Make Me a Grandma???

Josh has been very excited this week.

Pacing around the house and investigating progress checks like an expectant father.

Because his turtles have started hatching.

Several weeks ago, one of Josh's buddies found a nest of turtle eggs which had been dug up - apparently by a predator. Knowing Josh's affinity for all things "turtle", this buddy carefully gathered the eggs and brought them over to my young herpetologist.
Since Josh had incubated some turtle eggs last year, he had everything necessary to care for this new batch. And he got right to work making them a suitable warming station. However, not knowing when the eggs were laid, Josh couldn't predict when they would hatch. So, he's been like a nervous father-to-be for the past week, or so.
Always wondering, Are they going to hatch today?
They finally did start hatching. So far two have made it out of their eggs, and a third one has begun chipping away. (Update: As of Wednesday night, we have 10 baby turtles. Three eggs are left to hatch.) And, like a proud Daddy, Josh is recording the "births" with the intention of making a video for his youtube channel. You know, to inspire and educate other budding herpetologists.

I love watching my son caring for these turtle eggs. Particularly, since these eggs were "rescued" from an attacked nest, Josh is happy he has the opportunity to hatch them. Without Josh's help, probably NONE of these turtles would have made it. His heroic act makes Josh very proud.
Josh's careful study and application of what he has learned makes his mom very proud.

But all this hustle and bustle around the excitement of the hatching eggs - all of Josh's "new daddy" behaviors - has me asking a very important question. Does this make me a Grandma???
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Brian and I are going to Wheaton today to help move Elizabeth into her dorm room. Will be with her until late Saturday. *smile* Soooo, no blogging here tomorrow.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance this weekend!

Karen

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Story Time

Sunday morning, I took a trip.
I wasn't expecting it, but smack in the middle of our worship time - Jesus took me on a little trip to some 24 years ago.
It happened when we were singing Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and we got to the second verse. I sang these words:

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
And suddenly I was back in college - thinking I was "fine" - not knowing I was a lost little sheep in need of a Savior.

I was never opposed to God or Christianity. Hey, I've attended church for as long as I can remember. I just didn't know there was such a thing as a personal relationship with Jesus. Frankly, I thought He had done what He needed to do, and now the world was left to fend for itself.
So, there I was - a stranger, wandering from God, not realizing I should (or could) be doing anything differently. Until Jesus pursued me - very cleverly - helped me understand my need, and made me HIS.
Every time I read a verse like Jeremiah 29:13, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, I thank God that He did not wait for me to seek Him. Because I honestly thought I was fine, and I don't know when I would have ever gone seeking after Him.
Indeed, His grace is amazing.

So, that's my story.

How did you come into a relationship with God?
OR, if you haven't begun that relationship, what is holding you back?

Karen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

While I was Dusting...

...I found a sweet note.

It was on the fireplace mantel behind some pictures, and has to be at least four years old. I'm not sure WHY that was it's location, because until Saturday - when I was dusting - Elizabeth was supposed to be dusting every Saturday. And the way I have always told her to clean is to take all the items off a shelf (dusting each as you take it off) and then dust the entire shelf before returning the items to said shelf. I'm sure she never cut corners with her chores because she wanted to get on to bigger and better things. Yet, somehow, this dusty note was hidden behind some picture frames. *Hmmmmm*
Anyway, I read the note and was filled again with love and delight for my girl.
This is what it says:
Elizabeth,
You are a shining star girl! Thanks for being such an example of Philippians 2. I want to specifically congratulate you on your simple obedience to Christ last Wednesday at Impact through baptism. I am convinced that the obedience you displayed helped fuel countless others in their faith journeys. Keep running to Jesus girl! You are dearly loved and appreciated.
- Jordan

I stood by the fireplace reading that note, wanting to tell her the exact same thing. Keep running to Jesus, girl! May your heart and life continue to be used by Him to fuel others on their faith journey.

I think I'll take this note along to Wheaton on Thursday when we go to move her into her dorm. That she may find encouragement on the days when "home" feels too far away.

Karen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lessons From the Edge

Dancing is a state of mind.

Oh my goodness! We had so much fun Wednesday night! It was the Great Chili Cook-Off at Edgewood, and after we had our fill of several different kinds of chili - we sat back to enjoy the music of the Easy Idle String Band.

But not for long.

No sir! Because you just couldn't sit still listening to that music. I loved looking around and seeing all the toes tappin'. It was great fun.
I was standing next to L while the music played and she urged me to get a conga line started.
Now, I'm not used to conga lines mixing with banjos, but I couldn't refuse L - so we got one going.
And that's all it took.
The very next song was a group dance. The singer encouraged us to get a group out on the floor (We'd cleared the furniture away, "Just in case". *wink*) so Shelly and L and I recruited as many folk as we could. Then the singer and band led us through a circle dance, and we all had a blast. Hoopin' and hollerin' like we was down on the farm dancin'!
The thing is, a few of the folks had to abandon their walkers to come dance in our circle. And they were holding hands a little bit tighter than the rest of the gang. In fact, when it was time for my "corner" and I to swing each other around, I just put my hand on his shoulder and walked a circle around him. It was much safer that way! But there is no way anyone is going to be telling H that he wasn't out on the floor dancin'. Cuz you could see it in his eyes. He was dancing his heart out! And when the song was over, the nurse and I escorted H back to his chair so he could catch his breath.
H wasn't the only one cuttin' up a rug. B left his walker, L left hers, and so did S. Granted, none of them would have won a prize in a talent show, but that didn't matter one bit. Each one was dancing up a storm in their mind, and no prize could have matched the joy shining on their faces.

And that realization is what taught me this week's lesson: You can do what you love and experience joy in an activity even if you're lacking in ability. Get out there and have fun!

Dancing is a state of mind.

Karen
Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Behind the Smile

I imagine you were as devastated Monday as I was when you heard of Robin Williams' death. So many thoughts running through my head. Questions. Memories. More questions.
I didn't know Mr. Williams had battled depression. I mean, who woulda thunk it? He was always smiling, laughing, being fun and funny. How could there be a depressed bone in his body?

I thought about all the times I have laughed at his comedic acts - starting way-back-when in the days of Mork and Mindy. When a movie came out in which he was starring, I almost always went to see it. Because I knew he would have me laughing and feeling good. He as just that kind of guy. Happy, laughing, and fun to be around. I never would have suspected he suffered with depression.
After some more thought I realized - a smile can be a very convincing mask.
I mean, look at this one:
This picture was taken at our Christmas gathering in 2010. I spent the majority of that day exiting the room to go cry where no one could see me. I was such a stinkin' mess!
But when it was time for the annual family photo, I dug down somewhere deep inside and pulled out the best smile I could muster at the moment. Just to make it look on the outside like everything was OK on the inside.
And there's this one, from a few days later. Another family gathering. Another opportunity to smile for the camera so everything "looks" OK.
But, I'm telling you, the girl behind the smile was not OK.
I am so very thankful for the people who loved me enough to push me to get the help I needed. So thankful I am not living under the cloud of depression now like I was then.

Robin Williams' death is a tragedy. To be sure. However, my hope is that as result of learning about his struggle, people will be more willing to address the reality of depression. Just because a person wears a beautiful smile doesn't mean he or she isn't hurting.

If you are struggling and would like to talk further about depression - but don't feel comfortable leaving a comment, please feel free to send me an email.

Karen

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today I'm at i am servant

Top Ten Things About Sending Your Daughter to College

I saw post with a title like this last year and decided to save it for my own encouragement - knowing "my day" was coming. And, since Elizabeth is leaving for college today, I decided to re-read the list - and write one of my own.

So, here it is:

*cricket*
*cricket*

That is, I got nothin'.

I can't think of a single "Top" thing about sending my daughter to college.
*I'm going to miss her.
*I'll be the only girl in the family now.
*Dinner table conversation is going to be AWKWARD.

To read the rest, please visit me over at Amanda's.

Karen