Friday, September 30, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Sometimes it's hard to face another day.

I talked to B this week and saw this lesson in full color. He was in the hallway looking lost, so I stopped to ask if he needed any help. B looked up at me and said he didn't want to be here anymore. And I knew the "here" to which he was referring wasn't his wheelchair, or the hallway, or even Edgewood. He told me he doesn't know where he is half the time, and he's lonely because his family hardly ever visits, and he's tired of the aches and pains. I've heard him say these things before, but this time he seemed more sure of his feelings. The fact of the matter is, B is tired of living here on Earth.
I knealt down in front of B, grabbed his hands, and said, "Let's pray."
B thanked God for his many blessings, and I prayed for B's heart. I asked God to bring him peace, and to buoy him with hope for the day when the confusion, the loneliness, the pain, and every tear will be no more.
Sitting there with B, seeing the tears running down his cheeks, I realized I cannot understand the extent of his feelings. I cannot comprehend what it must be like - feeling trapped in a body that hurts, and which cannot do the things it used to do. I can't imagine not wanting to wake up to live another day.
It's beyond me.
But that's right where B was sitting.

Sometimes it's hard to face another day.

Yet, we still have hope. Because there will come a day when all the confusion and loneliness and pain and EVERY tear will be no more.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mom Jeans Graduate

Do you remember my little 'issue' with jeans? And my kids' evaluation of my Mom Jeans? Well, it seems I have moved up in the world of teen-approved-fashion!

I went shopping last weekend and found a pair of jeans which I liked. They fit me in the waist. And they were $15. As long as the waist-size and price criteria are met, (Which doesn't happen very often!) I will buy a pair of jeans.
So Monday after work I put on my new jeans and went to the kitchen to start making dinner. Almost immediately, Joshua asked, "Did you get new jeans, Mom?" Elizabeth looked up from what she was doing and commented, "Oh. I like those!" And I responded, "Why yes, I did. You do?"
Elizabeth said, "They look like jeans I would wear. They're nice." And I sputtered, "You would? But, look. The waist goes all the way up to my waist!"
She said that was OK. Because they aren't baggy in the thigh, and they kinda flare out at the bottom. She would wear them if they fit her.
So I asked the question. The big question. "You mean, these aren't Mom Jeans?" And Elizabeth said with a smile, "No. They aren't. Looks like you've graduated out of Mom Jeans."

My kids are so proud of me.

And I feel so cool. *wink*


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Change of Plans

Many are the plans in a man's (woman's!) heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:21
I pray that today you will be sensitive to God's purpose - allowing Him to alter your plans according to HIS perfect will.

So said my Facebook status Monday morning.

I had no idea - as I prayed for my Facebook friends - that God would use that same prayer to soften my heart later in the day.

Monday afternoon I was sitting at home after work, talking with my daughter, when my phone rang. It was the program director at Cran-Hill Ranch, where I was scheduled to speak for a women's retreat this coming weekend. I imagined he must be calling to go over some final details.
Not so. Instead he said, "We had to make a hard decision today to cancel this weekend's retreat." He went on to give some explanation and I could tell from his voice, he was feeling very sorry to cancel the event.
And I would be lying if I said I was not twice as disappointed as he was sorry.
Oh, I have been sooooo looking forward to the retreat. Excited about the content; the hope I believed God was going to deliver; the opportunity to minister grace and peace. Yes. I have been living and breathing this retreat as I've prepared.
And now it was cancelled.

As I was letting that piece of information sink in, the program director made me an offer. Besides telling me he wants to have me come as the speaker for next year's retreat, he said I could still come to Cran-Hill this weekend if I wanted - to have a personal retreat.


If you know me at all, you know I didn't have to spend two seconds debating that offer.
I've already got the day off from work Friday. All the plans have been made for my family to survive without me for the weekend. Goodness, I even have next week's menu and grocery list ready to go. (My usual Sunday afternoon chore.) So there is nothing holding me back from fully enjoying time alone with the Lover of my soul.
Yes, I want to have the retreat! But I trust God knows a better time for it to happen. And, I am going to be speaking for a different women's retreat next weekend - which has NOT been cancelled - on the same topic. *grin* I realize that I don't see what He sees, nor do I know what He knows. So I am simply choosing to trust the change of plans.

Besides, as I consider all the plans which have gone into this coming weekend, it delights my heart to realize God's purpose was to get me alone with HIM.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taking a Sick Day

I have been fighting a cold since my birthday last week. Soooooo tired am I!

And sooooo not feeling creative enough to write.

Sooooo I'm taking a sick day today. Hope to be back into the swing of things tomorrow.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Loving 40!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Grumpy people need love, too.

So, there's this man at Edgewood who is kinda scary. He's grumpy and he yells at people frequently. He drives around in one of those automatic wheelchair gizmos, and sometimes a person might fear that he's going to run them over. Seriously.

The first time I talked with him, I didn't know he was grumpy. In fact, he seemed nice. But as time went on, I learned.

Or did I?

A few weeks ago he wheeled by me when I was kneeling down, petting our nurse's dog. And he stopped to see why I was on the floor. We started talking about dogs and funny things they do, and had a delightful conversation. *That was a surprise!*

Another day I chatted with A for a few minutes after I made announcements at lunch time. It was during our conversation I learned that A used to attend church regularly, and I suggested maybe he should come to our Bible study some Monday. He said, maybe he would.

And this past Monday, he did! There were a few individuals who were surprised to see him there. But everyone received him kindly.

And Wednesday this week was A's birthday. A balloon was waiting for him when he wheeled into the dining room, and everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him. After I made announcements I went over to A's chair, gave him a hug, and wished him a happy birthday. I'm telling you, that grumpy old man had the sweetest smile on his face!

It's true. A yells. He complains. Often times, he is a very unpleasant man. But it is as though he's a totally different person when you're pouring love out on him. It's beautiful!

Soooooo, is there a 'grumpy old man' (or woman, or young teen, or needy toddler...) in your life from whom you feel like running away? Will you accept a challenge to pour love on them, and see what happens? It could be beautiful!

Because ~ Grumpy people need love, too.

Congratulations to Lorri ~ winner of yesterday's give-away!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Birthday for Me, a Gift for (One of) You

Yes. It's true. I am 40 years old today.
Ha! I remember when 40 sounded old. LOL
Not so much anymore. Especially since most of the people with whom I spend my days now are at least twice my age. (Our oldest resident turned 104 yesterday!)
Anyway, it's my birthday today and I have a gift to give away to one of you! Well, technically, I don't HAVE it. But I have the privilege of giving it away and sending the winner's address to the appropriate person - who will then send said gift.

Here's the deal: Coca-Cola wants to help families enjoy time together with Coca-Cola Family Night through My Coke Rewards. And to help get you started, they are offering a Game Board Prize Pack worth approximately $100 and consisting of:
• (1) $25 Amex Card for snacks and supplies
• (1) Coca-Cola Coupon
• (1) Yatzee Board Game
• (1) Monopoly Board Game
• (1) Coca-Cola Polar Bear Puzzle
• (1) Checkers Mat
• (1) Set of Playing Cards

Can you say "FUN!"?
So, who wants it??? Just leave me a comment saying so, and make sure I have a way to contact you. That is, if your email address isn't already connected to your comment, please leave it in your comment. I'll choose the winner at 9:00 EST tonight.

Here's to having lots of fun with the family. *grin*

The prize was provided by Coca-Cola, but Coca-Cola is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Coca-Cola.
• Entrants must be 18 or older and located in the US or Canada only. Winner to be chosen at random.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Have a Dream

I want to go to Ecuador to meet my Compassion child and her family.

I recently heard a story about a woman who sponsored several children in one family and was able to go meet them. I saw video footage of the meeting, and it was just beautiful.
Of course, seeing that video inspired me to want to meet my child. (I've seen pictures. She is ADORABLE.) And I started day-dreaming about it. Honestly, I enjoy writing to Noemi, and it is a delight to pray for her. But to meet her face-to-face and to be able to pick her up and hug her would be a dream come true.

Then I received a letter from Noemi's mother (She doesn't know how to write yet!) and at the end of it she asked, "Will you ever come to Ecuador?"

In my reply I said I would come if God makes the way. I know He can do it. And I'm praying He will!

Remember, I have a fun give-away tomorrow. Be sure to visit!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


God must have been chuckling.

HE knew how things were going to proceed Thursday morning, and when I said, "Hurry, please. I don't want to have to drive you to school, too!"
He must have been chuckling.

Wednesday night Elizabeth came to me a bit teary, asking if I would drive her into school a little early Thursday morning. She'd forgotten to sign up for something and needed to take care of it ASAP, or she feared a detention. I wasn't so sure the consequence would be that severe, but I knew I'd have time Thursday morning, so I agreed.

Upon arriving home, I saw that Matthew was up eating breakfast, and Joshua had unloaded the dishwasher. Two good things. However, something happened to throw Joshua off schedule and he ended up missing his bus. He walked into the house and told me it had just driven away. And would I please take him to school?
I'd just gotten out of the shower. Had wet hair and was wearing my bathrobe, but I grabbed my purse and said, "Let's go."

Upon arriving home the second time, I found that Matthew was taking his shower. Not knowing how long he'd been in there, I knocked on the door and asked, "Are you almost finished?" Matthew said he was almost finished, and I relaxed a bit. Silly me. That's what he always says!
Five minutes later I was knocking on the door again. This time I said, "Turn the water off, Matthew. You're DONE!"
And a few minutes later I was back at the door, just checking his progress. Was he dressed? Had he brushed his teeth? Then I made the comment which came back to bite me in the, well, you know.
"Hurry, please. I don't want to have to drive you to school, too!"
He scurried around getting his shoes and coat on, then ran through the back yard to take the 'short cut' to the bus stop. I went into my room to finish my make-up and get dressed, and after a minute or two, I heard the door shut. Uh oh. That can only mean one thing, I thought to myself. And, sure enough, the next thing I knew Matthew was standing in my room with tears rolling down his cheeks. He'd made it to the bus stop just in time to see the bus going around the corner as it left his stop.

I was going to be driving him to school, too.

All I can say is, it's a good thing these events all took place on my day off. Cuz if I had to do all that running around and still make it to work on time? Yeah. Matthew would've been walking to school! LOL

By the way, I have a fun give-away coming up Thursday. Be sure to stop by!


Monday, September 19, 2011

HE Knows

Sorry about the background noise on the video. Especially when the fan on my computer turns on. I re-recorded it but couldn't get rid of the noise.

Anyway, I know God can speak through the noise, and I pray He'll reach your heart with these words today.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Forgetful people are gracious people.

Has this ever happened to you? You go into a room to get something, but when you get there you can't remember what you're after?

If this is a foreign concept to you, feel free to close the window. You need not read further. But, do come back for Monday's devotion please. *wink*

For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I have a story to share.

Last Tuesday was Pizza Night at Edgewood. Once a month I host a pizza party in the Activity Room, and we always have a good time. So, anyway, I was getting the Activity Room set up and discovered I needed to get another table. I knew the card tables were all in the library and I walked down the hall to get one. Now, the Activity Room is a good distance from the rest of the world atrium, office, dining room and library so it took me a couple of minutes to get there. Yes. I am totally trying to justify what I'm about to say. And when I entered the atrium I looked around at the five or six residents sitting there talking with each other, and I realized I had completely forgotten why I was there. Completely.

The look on my face must have conveyed my embarrassment, because one of the residents asked, "What's wrong?" I sort of shuffled my feet and replied, "Uh, I just came down here to get something, and now I can't remember what I was coming for." *blush*

The rest of the residents chuckled and said, "Don't feel bad. We do that all the time!"

I knew they were speaking the truth, and I thanked them for understanding.

And I made note of another lesson learned. Forgetful people are gracious people.


By the way, after our interaction I said to myself, "What's going on tonight? Pizza Night. So why might I be here? Oh, yeah! To get a card table out of the library!"

All's well that ends well. *wink*


Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm the Rubber, You're the Glue...

...It bounces off me and sticks to you!
How many of you remember calling out that little rhyme when you were a kid - any time someone said an unkind thing to you?
Well, I didn't say that line out loud yesterday, but I thought it. I know. I'm so mature!

You must understand. Joshua has a habit of frittering away his time in the morning and tends to miss the bus. No big deal, he says, because he can just ride his bike to school. And I'm not about to argue that one. If he wants to waste his time and miss the bus and ride his bike, instead? I say, Go for it.

But Wednesday morning as soon as Joshua opened the door and stepped out into the garage, he turned around and came right back inside. "Mom, can you drive me, please? It's too cold." (It must have been all the way down to 53 degrees. Poor kid was probably concerned about frost bite!)

I looked at him, paused with a sigh, and said, "Uh, no." I mean, seriously??? Did he really expect me to drive him to school? After all the lectures I've given about taking responsibility and not wasting time in the morning? Did he now want to sit in the van with me for five or six minutes and listen to another rant about timeliness? I couldn't do that to him! LOL

So I said, "NO."

And at that, Joshua turned back to the door, grumbled, "Mean parent!" and was on his way.

I imagine he thought he really got me with that parting statement.

Little did he know what I was reheasing in my head. I'm the rubber, you're the glue. It bounces off me and sticks to you!

Yep. Maturity at it's best, folks! What can I say?



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Order My Steps

Do you ever feel like life is more than you can handle? There's too much to do, and simply not enough of you to go around?

Silly questions. I know. *wink*

I was feeling that way last week.
I was getting ready for our big Grandparents' Day celebration at work and, as much as I love holidays, I was even more overwhelmed because I didn't go into work on Monday. Felt like I was a day behind on Tuesday, and wondered how I would get it all done.
Wednesday morning as I sat down to pray before going to work, I laid out my day before God and said, Father, You know everything I need to get done today. You know how overwhelmed I feel. You know I can't manage it all. So I'm asking You to order my steps. Order my steps, LORD, and please lead me through this day.

And can I tell you? That is exactly what He did.

I walked through that day amazed by God's hand in every circumstance. Delighted by how obvious He was making Himself. So very thankful that He truly was ordering my steps.

So, I'll ask it again. Do you ever feel like life is more than you can handle?
Remember none of it is too much for God. Trust Him to give you strength as you lay your life at His feet. And ask Him to order your steps.

How have you seen God order your steps?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nobody is Driving Me Nuts

A couple weeks ago I noticed a hole in one of the cushions on the living room couch. I asked Elizabeth about it, but she knew nothing. Matthew said he didn't do it. Joshua professed his innocence, as well. (But he pointed out to me that I could just flip the cushion over. Nice.)
So, it wasn't the kids.
And it wasn't me or my husband.
I guess Nobody did it.

Last weekend Elizabeth asked me to buy some bagels. I got a bag of twelve mini-bagels, thinking it would be a nice snack - which should last for a few days. The next day, she asked me how many bagels I'd eaten. I told her I'd not eaten any, and she looked puzzled. She said, "Dad ate one, I ate one, Mary had one, Matthew had two, and Joshua said he only had one. There are three left. Who ate the other three?"
That must have been Nobody, too.

And this isn't new behavior. Nobody has been doing stuff like this for quite a while. Like Joshua's school picture in the hallway. One day I was walking past it and noticed there was no glass in it anymore. Looks like it was broken and thrown away. But none of my kids knew a thing about it.
Another mess, made by Nobody.

Recently, I noticed a spoon laying on the living room floor. I was about to go in and pick it up, but I stopped myself. I thought, I didn't put that spoon there. Surely, whoever left it will come back and take it to the kitchen. That would be the responsible thing to do, right?
But the next day when I walked through there again, I saw the spoon.
Nobody put the spoon away!

I found a hole in another living room chair, two holes in a pillow on the couch, and there continue to appear finger prints and smudges on the mirror in the living room. But the only responses I get from my kids about these issues are, "It wasn't me," "I didn't do it," and "I dunno." And that can only mean one thing. Nobody is wreaking all this havoc in my house.

Nobody is driving me nuts!!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Hope, Joy, Peace, and TRUST

Oops! I said Romans 5:13 in the video. It's really Romans 15:13.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

We're doing things a little differently this week for Lessons From the Edge.

I made this video with D on Wednesday. It's for his granddaughter, but I enjoyed it so much I just couldn't NOT share it with you. *wink* Besides, there are some good lessons in here.
For school children. hahaha


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Are We Having Fun Yet?

My apologies to any unmarried friends who may be reading here today. But this post really is intended for my married friends.
Do you remember when you were newly married?
Or when you were still dating?
Remember how everything was fun? and new? and exciting?
Several years of marriage, maybe a few kids, and a whole lot of familiarity can really change things, can't it?

Brian and I recently had a fun exchange, and today I want to encourage you to have fun, too.

I'm sure I've mentioned Brian's new job here before. It is really stressing him out. He works at work, and works at home - just trying to get all that learning into his head and out onto the computer.
The other night as I was saying goodnight to him and the kids - I walked over to where he was sitting with his computer on his lap, and saw that his phone was also there. So when I went to bed, I sent him a text.
"I'm going 2 bed n*ked. Thought u might want 2 know."
His reply? "I'll b right there!"
We were giggling like teenagers when Brian came into our room.
Imagine! Cutting out on work to be with your wife. And while the kids are still up. Scandalous!
It still makes me smile to think about our little rendezvous. Just having fun. Being spontaneous and playful. It's good!

I don't know what ideas are coming to your mind, but may I encourage you? Go with it!
And have fun. *wink*

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Power of HIS Love...

...and music.

I don't understand either one, but I'm thankful for both!

Sunday night I sat at the computer with a less-than-happy-heart. It had been a long afternoon and I was simply in a foul mood.
So I turned on Pandora.

Because music soothes my soul.

And after a while, this song started playing. I found myself humming to the music. I was feeling peaceful. The 'stuff' of the day was over and I was convinced once more of my Father's love. *ahhhhhh!*

Are you in need of a heart pick-me-up today? Why not pause a minute here, click the play button, and let God sing to your heart?


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Beginner's Luck

I believe I have previously given adequate information for you to judge what an avid fisherman Joshua is, have I not?
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
The boy LOVES fishing.
He breathes fishing.
In fact, I'm wondering if he's going to exhibit any withdrawal symptoms now that school has started and he won't be able to go fishing nearly every day. For several hours.

Yeah. He's that into it.

Joshua reads about fishing, looks fishing information up on the internet, watches YouTube videos about fishing, dreams about fishing, and loves spending time at the store just looking in the fishing aisle.
So you can imagine his feeling last week when he took his sister fishing with him.
Thought he'd teach her a bit about this fascination of his; help her cast a few lines; you know - give her a little taste of this fine activity.
Joshua let Elizabeth use one of his new lures and she was delighted when a little Blue Gill bit the hook. Rather than reeling it in, Elizabeth wanted to let the fish swim around, like it was her pet on a leash. Only, as the little fish swam around, a 20-inch bass caught sight of it and decided Elizabeth's pet looked good enough to eat. So he went for it.

Before Elizabeth knew what was happening, she had a 20-inch bass on her line!

Joshua helped her reel it in, and they let it go. But Joshua couldn't let go of the fact that his sister - the Newbie! - just caught that big fish. Without even trying.
He showed me the lure and said, "Mom, look at how small this hook is. She shouldn't have been able to catch that fish with this hook! I can't believe she caught a 20-inch bass! It was her first try!"

I just smiled at him and said, "Joshua, that's what we call Beginner's Luck."

And hoped his ego isn't permanently damaged. *wink*


Monday, September 05, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

God sets our appointments.

Wednesday when I was leaving work I found out about a scheduling problem for Thursday morning. Two of our residents had appointments in opposite directions - at nearly the same time. Since it was not physically possible for our driver to accommodate them, my boss was going to take one of them. But she was the only one scheduled to be in the office that morning. (My day off, co-worker on vacation...)
One of the appointments was near my house, so I volunteered to take J. I planned to get up and work out, go pick him up, and come home to shower while J was seeing his dentist. It just seemed like a reasonable option.

Thursday, as J and I were driving to the dentist office, we had a delightful conversation. J used to be a minister and was telling me stories of God's goodness. Including the struggle he and his wife faced trying to have children. She was not conceiving, and even adoption wasn't working out. They finally accepted that God must have different plans for them besides parenthood. And shortly after their surrender, she became pregnant. Twice!
When we arrived at the dentist office, I signed J in and started to ask how long his appointment would last. Wanted to find out how much time I had to go home and shower. That's when we found out - his appointment was September 15, not September 1! Oops.
So we drove back to Edgewood.
And continued our delightful conversation about God and His goodness. It was a great morning!

After I dropped J off and was on my way home, I realized his appointment Thursday was with me, not the dentist. He'll get his crown and filling on the 15th. But the plan for the 1st was mutual encouragement and delighting in God's glory. God knew it would be that way. He wasn't surprised by the 'mix up'.
Because, God sets our appointments.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Cell Phone Prayers

"I'm in the van with Mom. So make sure it's appropriate."

So said Joshua last week, as we were driving along.

At first I giggled to myself, finding his comment quite humorous. Then I thought about it a little more and began to pray.
I prayed for my son's heart, asking God to capture it and shape it. Asking Him to bring Joshua to the day when the desire to do and say good things would come from his heart, rather than from his motivation to avoid a lecture from Mom.
I mean, for now I understand his motivation is external. He doesn't want to get into trouble, so he tries to do what is right. But as I listened to him on the phone with his sister that night, God was prompting me to pray for his heart. Reminding me I can trust Him to work in my son to complete the good work He's already started.

As their conversation ended and Joshua explained the reason for the call, (Elizabeth's friend was having boyfriend troubles, and they wanted to talk to Joshua to get a guy's perspective.) I was prompted to pray again. This time it was a prayer of thanksgiving. Thinking back to all the fights the two of them have had - and the moments I have wondered if they would EVER get along - I couldn't help but be glad for this picture of friendship.
It was a ray of hope for me.
A reminder that God works in the hearts of my children.
And since I was just praying about my son's heart, this was an appropriate encouragement for me.

Hmmmm. When Joshua made his list of 101 reasons why he should have a cell phone, he didn't include, "So you will be reminded to pray for me."Perhaps that inclusion would have gotten him a phone sooner. *wink*