Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I ran 4 miles the  other day.  That is a miracle in and of itself.  I tried to remember the last time I had  done that but it was too long ago to remember.  When I got to the 2 mile mark I was beyond excited.  I saw my son Jake and daughter in law Cheryl driving towards me and decided to  make them laugh.  I am usually pretty reserved and quiet....and funny is not a descriptive word for me.  Every once in a while I try to go out of my normally serious self and let my family see that I can be fun. Plus the fact that I was so happy at what I had accomplished it really was no effort to do what I am about to share.  I broke out in a celebration dance....then did a championship boxing victory dance ...did a couple ballet turns....and just to make sure they were seeing things perfectly clearly I shot them a "my eyes on your eyes" move where the index and middle finger point to my eyes then to their eyes  I repeated that about 4 times and then took an extravogant bow.  Jake flashed his lights at me in recognition of my performance.  When his Ford Edge got close enough I realized that the Ford Edge was not Jakes Ford Edge.  Oh man.  I had just made a complete fool out of myself for a total stranger.  I kept my eyes straight ahead and ran faster than Forest Gump.  Oh  man.  
There is absolutely no lesson to this story.  Not my usual moral or spiritual application ....nothing whatsoever.  Just thought Id share my most humiliating moment ever! Have a blessed day!   

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

My grandmother left a journal.  She faithfully wrote in it.  I couldn't wait to read what she wrote.  Unfortunately, It was the most disappointing journal I have ever read.  Although it has many, many entries it says basically nothing.  Nothing of value anyway. Empty words.  It speaks of dinner menus, weather, who visited when and so forth.  There is not one single entry of words that tell us of this womans heart. What she felt, what she thought, what she loved or struggled to believe or accept.  Nothing at all.  Just words like "it rained today".
If my family finds my journal I hope that they will see my very self through words.  That as they read what I wrote....they will see my heart.  It got me thinking about what I want them to know.  I want them to know that I love them deeply.  That I love my Creator and Savior; that my entire world view is based on this fact.  I want them to know that I struggled with many things and that in the end of it all I was faithful.  Faithful to my Father and to those that I love.  They will see that my favorite word is Grace and my most despised word is Sin.  If my children read my journal they will know  how much I love them and the ones they love.  They will see that my greatest joy in my life was raising them and being their mom.  They will see how much I hate sin and how much I love and appreciate grace ( I know that this is a repeat of sorts....but so worth repeating).  They will see that the words from Scripture "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" were true for me.  They will see that I hurt when they hurt and I am happy when they are happy.  I am their biggest and quietest cheerleader.  That I am ok to be in the background and watch them be husbands and fathers and leaders.  Its an awesome place to be.  Watching my boys...who have become men.  They will also know that I miss the little boys that they were.  Those chubby little cheeks that I kissed and the big blue eyes that melted my heart.  I miss being called Mommy.  I miss yesterday and if I was given one wish I would wish for one day back with them.  I would take them back to our spot in the back yard.  The place where we read books and looked up at the sky.  Where we would sing our songs out loud.  (How many times did we sing Jesus Loves Me?  I hope they have never forgotten those simple words that have so much meaning.)   I would hold them so tight and tell them how precious they are to me.  If only I could go back and live one day again...with my babies.

It is quite possible that my children will one day, when I am gone, read my journal.  My story of life.  They will see how their story is wrapped up in mine.   And how very much they are loved. Hmmm...another lesson learned today. The Holy Spirit is pretty amazing.  This morning as I wrote and thought upon these words I said a prayer that went something like this:  "Thank you Father God, for giving me another practical picture, though imperfect, of your love for me and the Words you have left to remind me! Thank you for letting me see into your very heart. For letting me see what is important to you. That your children is what your heart yearns for. That our little stories are wrapped up in yours and your love for us!" Pretty amazing!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thankfully Yours

Sunday January 30th, 2011

Im surprised that the time has come already for my monthly "things im most thankful for" post.  Time goes by so fast.  I was told that would happen....the older you get the faster time seems to go by.  Its true.

1.  Speaking about being older.  Thats something Im thankful for.  I sure loved each stage of my life.  But this one is awesome.  I enjoy everything more than I did when I was just kind of surviving...getting to the  next stage.  Now Im able to enjoy life... I dont know.... more thoroughly.  My kids have become my friends.  And, what awesome friends they are.  I love them completely...and that never changes with time.  This age thing is weird.  I know that I am the exact same person  that I have always been....but my I see  things has changed.  I see things in a depth that I didn't have before.  I look at a sunset and can sit and admire it.  Almost to the point of tears.  Until it is gone.  I love food better (not so good), nature, time with people that I love, hugs and physical embrace is sweeter, worship is more genuinely many things.  Ive figured out what is important in life.  Wow..reading this over it sounds like Im an 80 year old.  Well then...Id love to sit with an 80 year old...and hear their insight!  Thank-you God, for the good things that come with age.     

2.  Im thankful for my health.  I had a health scare this past fall.  What started out as a headache that wouldn't go away ended (after a long road) with a diagnoses of an auto immune disease called Sarcoid.  Im thankful because it has forced me to slow down and take better care of myself.  It was a a lot.....intimidating to sit at the desk of a Neuro-Opthamologist/Surgeon.  My chair was pulled up next to his his desk.  That alone made me nervous. I instantly wondered if he did this with all of his patients when he had bad news to tell them.  My body scans were staring at us on three the big screen tvs at Best Buy.  That big!  My entire insides.  My brain.  Everything that has never been seen before was exposed in pictures.  It was so weird.  He had the most serious look on his face.  He rattled off abnormalities and normalites.  The whole thing made me uncomfortable...almost embarrassed.  Then I thought about the people who sat in the same seat, next to the same man...but with different pictures and different results.   I had passed those people in the waiting area and they were hooked up to machines and bags of fluid.  They wore hospital gowns that hung on their thin bodies.  But for least this diagnoses wasn't so bad.  Thank you God for the good I found out...and for demanding me to rest! 

3.  Im thankful for my husband, Matt and for bed bugs.  Yep, you read that right.  He owns a Pest Control business and we are finding ourselves on lots of trips across the state of NY lately. He battles the Bed Bud epidemic and I get to tag along.  Its pretty fun tagging!  Today we are in Albany in a coffee shop/book store.  I really, really love coffee, books, seeing new places and eating at new restaurants.  And getting to know my hubby without interruption.  Matt is an interesting human being....who makes me laugh.  People ask us all the in the world did you guys get together?  We are so different.  He is a crazy man who loves adventure and walks to a different beat than the rest of the world.   At times he has been the kindest man on planet earth to me.  To our boys.  To our daughters in law.  Our grandchildren.  Our family members.  We love him for that.  And forgive him for the rest.   He  just looked up from his pile of books....."Interesting facts to read while you are on the toilet" book, "Inventing for Dummies" and "Koran vs Christianity".    He gave me the kindest smile and the sweetest wink.  Married for thirty years!  Thank you God, for faithfulness.               

4.  Im thankful for my Savior, The LORD Jesus Christ.  Without Him I wouldn't have stable, constant security through the aging process and the changes of life. 

Although my health may fail, I serve the Great Physician and at the end of this earthly life I will receive a new body that never gets sick!  Romans 8 reminds me that He has set me free from the law of sin and death!
And through my marriage I am able to live out a picture of faithfulness between Christ and the church.  What a privilege to walk through life with another human....flawed as we both are....and somehow glorify our Savior. Flawed people showing a picture of HIS STORY! live my life as a part of a much,much bigger picture!!  Just plain awesome!!  

Im incredibly thankful!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meet Tracker...the insane shoe lover!!

We have a little, eight pound Jack Russell terrier named Tracker.  He is a work dog and has two serious jobs in his life.  One is to find bed bugs for Town and Country Pest Control.  He was rescued from a shelter and trained by a man in Florida.  The second job he has is one that he was never trained for and one that he has made up in his head.  It makes absolutely no sense, but he believes it is his job to guard my husbands shoes.  He will growl when anyone comes near them and if the growl isn't heeded he will attack viciously.  It doesn't matter how big or small the offender is.  It doesn't matter if it is the person, me, who feeds him.  It doesn't matter if he is disciplined severely.  He never waivers from his duty.  Being "The Guarder of the Shoes" is his purpose in this life.  He loves those shoes more than he loves his own life.
One afternoon I wanted my husband to chastise him.  He had offended me greatly and just about bit my entire foot off because I walked too close to the shoes.  Matt corrected him..i moved closer to the shoes...growl.  Matt corrected him...i moved closer...growl.  If Matt wasn't holding him I would have lost both of my feet and part of my leg.  This severe correction went on for a long time.   To no avail.  Finally my sweet, animal-loving daughter in law (Cheryl) who was watching on couldn't take it any longer.  She spoke up and said "I would just hide the shoes".  So we did.
I've thought a lot about Tracker and his love of Matts shoes.  Do I love anything like that?  So much that I would die for it?  I think we are suppose to love God like that.  That love is to be the sole influence as to why we do what we do each and every day. Deuteronomy tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind."  I want to do that.  And, Tracker has given me a visual of loving something that much.  Thank you little, stupid Tracker.    I brought the shoes out of hiding.  I put them in his den area where he can see them constantly.  He sleeps near them and has a continual watch on those beloved shoes.  I praise him each time he growls and tell him what a good dog he is for guarding those shoes.  And every day I am reminded of my own lifes purpose and what it means to love something so much!  May not make sense to the world...but it makes perfect sense to me.     

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thankfully Posted

Ive decided to, at the end of each month, write about the things that im most thankful for in the past 30 days.  New amazing finds, great books, etc.    I figure...If I love them...then others may too!

1.  I read the BEST book.  I get excited when I find a book that captures my attention so much that I cant put it down!  Its called "Even Silence Has an End" by Ingrid Betancourt.  It is the amazing story of a woman who was taken captive by the FARC, a terrorist group, and held against her will for 7 years.  She wrote her story with such....class and honesty.  Its hard to believe that this kind of thing is happening today.  We live in freedom so it was hard for me to imagine.  So many thoughts were running through  my mind while reading this book. Im thinking of starting an online book club.  It would be  lot of fun to discuss books such as this one with other women who love to read.  This book was definitely a winner in my book ;)

2.  I decided, about 10 years ago, that when I became an empty nester that I would finally be able to catch up on lost sleep.  From the time I became a mother 29 years ago, I ceased knowing what it was like to really, really sleep.  And then...INSOMNIA....grrr......nobody told me that insomnia hits at about age 46.  I became a morning person overnight....and a night owl too.  Not a good combination.  Finally and reluctantly after 2 years of this nonsense, I resorted to prescription medication.  Not good.  And then recently my daughter in law, Hollie, handed me a sample of the most wonderful little chewy, NATURAL, sleep aid!!  Before I even tried it I was sceptical and didn't think that it would work.  But I was more than pleasantly surprised when I woke up after sleeping like a baby, feeling completely refreshed!  They are called Sleep Squares. They are made by Slumberland Snacks and can be ordered online at     Sweet dreams to my mid-life friends!

3.  Now.. the next thing Im thankful for is something that is not new to me in the past 30 days....but I indulged in them this week.  So they count.  Charlies Frog Pond on Park Avenue in Rochester, NY serve Sauted Banana Pancakes.  They are the best pancakes Ive ever had....ever.  The banana in the title may make people hesitant to order them.  But even if you dont like bananas Im pretty sure you will love these.  You can get them minus the bananas though.  They serve them anytime of the day...not just for breakfast.  If you live in Rochester they should be on your list of "things I must do before I die".  Seriously.  

4.  I got an early Christmas present from my hubby.  It is a wireless keyboard for my ipad. Its pretty amazing.  I cant even begin to express how thankful I am for this new high tech gadget.  I can write anywhere  and no longer have to lug my laptop around with me.  This leads me to my thankfulnes for my ipad.  Greatest thing ever.  My family got it for me on my birthday last year.  I have used it every single day since.  Its like carrying around all my books, magazines, and computer in one little slim piece of awesomeness.  Really....honestly and truly,  two of the best gift I've ever received!

5.  I am very thankful for the Christmas season.  I love the lights, songs, decorations, traditions, snow.....all of it.  But I have to say,  my favorite part is that the whole country celebrates Jesus birth....even if they don't know it. There are no words to describe my thankfulness for the gift of Christ who brought to me the gift of salvation...which brings meaning and purpose to my existence.   In emulating Christ, I love to give gifts to those I love.  I really, really love that part.  I am thankful for my family more than ever this Christmas season!   Merry Christmas!!   

That completes my December list of "things that Im most thankful for in the  last 30 days"! 

Friday, December 17, 2010


Dec 2010
17 Fri

I read the most amazing article yesterday.  All the news channels in Rochester, NY covered the tragic story.  But none came close to covering it as eloquently and beautifully as this man.  Although familiar with the writer, Bob Lonsberry, I have never met him.  Nor have I ever met the man or the family of whom he writes.  I just know that his words captured my attention completely.  I read it several times...twice out loud to others....and cried every time.  I felt like I was physically at the scene with Bob.  I felt what he felt and saw what he saw...every step of the way. Amazing, inspiring, heartfelt and sincere are his words.  I am compelled to make it the entry on my blog today.  Not only because it is so awesomely written but also because the story is a testament.  A testament to a selfLESS man, his wife and son, every person written about....who all showed a true picture of the love of Christ.  I desire to write like Bob Lonsberry, to live my faith like this precious wife, to serve others like these heroes and to finish well like Ken Parfitt.


As I ran up to him, the first thing I noticed was the Bible.

It was small, a pocket-sized book, in black leather.

It had apparently been knocked out of his clothing when the car hit him, and had landed beside him in the snow, down off the shoulder of the road.

That was yesterday, a few minutes after 7 in the morning.

It was frigid and there was accumulation and black ice and two cars had slid off the busy Interstate. He had stopped and gotten out to help.

He had been on the way to work, with his son, and he saw the motorists who needed help and he stopped. Countless others of us drove on by. But he stopped.

And got out in the blizzard and was going to render aid when out of nowhere came a vehicle.

He was struck and thrown and he landed where I found him, motionless in the snow, by his Bible.

There was a young man standing above him. A nurse from Strong Memorial Hospital was also there, and maybe another man, motorists who had stopped to render aid.

I knelt by the man in the snow. I could find no pulse in his right wrist. The nurse could find no pulse in his left wrist. She felt at his neck and I counted his breaths.

They were the breaths of someone struggling to stay alive. It was as if he was snoring.

I asked the young man what had happened and he told me that the man was his father.

He looked to be in his late teens or early 20s. He was well groomed and in business clothes. And his father was at his feet. It struck me what a horror he must be enduring. I asked him if he would pray for us, and he squatted beside his father and we three bowed our heads as he prayed and said “Amen” when he was done.

The exact details of what followed are kind of blurred in my mind, but a lady called 911 on her cell phone and I asked her if I could speak to the dispatcher. I tried to describe the gravity of the man’s condition and I told her we’d need Mercy Flight. It was a foolish request, given the conditions, and she kindly told me that they couldn’t launch in the blizzard. Then I told her that we’d need the county fly car and she told me that it was on its way.

He had a jacket on with the name of his company on it. The ID tag clipped to his shirt said that his name was Ken. Though he was unresponsive, I talked to him and called him by name and encouraged him and told him what was happening.

Traffic was heavy and slow and I kept looking up from the man to see if I could see any emergency vehicles coming.

The first to arrive was a captain from the Department of Environmental Conservation police. His presence was calming and professional. He and the Strong nurse checked the various occupants of the various cars to make sure everyone was all right.

A man from a utility – maybe the electric company or the phone company – came to offer aid.

As the minutes passed, various passersby brought coats and blankets from their cars to lay over the man. One gentleman took the coat off his back and covered the man with it. Then he took off his gloves and put them over the man’s hands.

At a certain point, the man’s wife arrived. She had been called by the son and, their home apparently being close, had arrived quickly.

“Where is he?” I heard her say. “He is my husband.”

I looked up when I heard those words, and saw a woman walking toward us. I was dreading her arrival. I did not want her to see or experience this. I could not imagine the pain and sorrow inherent in a situation like this.

She was dressed as conservative Christian women sometimes are, in a long dress, it might have been denim, and I think her hair was long and up on her head.

As she approached us, she was calm and business like. She asked how he was and what had happened.

Then she knelt and began to pray.

She may have held his hand, she may have leaned in toward his head. As she spoke, I cast my eyes down and reverently listened. She addressed God. Whether she called him “Dear Lord” or “Heavenly Father” or something else, I can’t recall. But she addressed him, and then she thanked him.

And she offered him praise.

Her words were not words of pleading, they were words of praise and gratitude.

And then she said something like, “If today you wish to call him home and take him from us – thy will be done.”

Thy will be done.

The line from the Lord’s Prayer. The hardest part of faith. At a moment when most of us would be begging God to give us what we want – to spare us our loved one – she asked the Lord to do his will, what he wanted. She trusted him, and had faith in him.

Where could there be a truer test or demonstration of faith than in the snow beside the broken and near lifeless body of your sweetheart and spouse? In that situation, there can be no pretense, no show, only the heartfelt honesty of a soul in direct communion with its Creator.

And in her moment of test, in her own Gethsemane, she literally prayed, like her Savior before her, not my will, but thine, be done.

But if it was not his time to die, if the Lord did not want to call him home, she asked for his life, for her and their children, and strength through the weeks of hospitalization and recovery.

And then she asked that this event would be turned to the glory of God, that somehow it could touch the heart of someone, that someone might find Jesus, that someone might come to salvation.

And that was her prayer.

While I listened for this man’s breaths, and rescuers sped on slippery roads, and neighbor helped neighbor.

Soon I saw a deputy and a trooper, and then a fire truck in the far lanes, and then firefighters around us and finally an ambulance.

They were angels in turnout gear.

They came with such a competence and earnestness.

One medic, a younger man, had an Avon patch on his uniform. He quickly worked to help the man breathe. Another medic, slightly older, had a Livonia patch on his uniform. He worked on the man’s body. Another medic soon came, directly from home, in office clothes, and with the help of the firemen the three of them loaded the man first onto a backboard and then onto a gurney and up into the Avon ambulance.

In a minor and unskilled way, they needed an extra set of hands, so I climbed into the ambulance with them as the doors closed and the rig pulled out.

It may have taken most of an hour to get to Strong Memorial Hospital. We stopped at one point to pick up the Livingston County paramedic. He was a stunningly professional man, and watching him and the others work was like seeing a nuts-and-bolts miracle.

It was high science and true compassion, a moment-by-moment tending of an injured man’s needs. Each medic attending to different tasks or coming together to achieve one. Like a choreographed dance or a loose symphony. I was grateful such people and such technology exist.

In his own way, the ambulance driver performed his own miracles. In stalled bumper-to-bumper traffic, over miles and miles of snowy highway, he pressed forward, moving between and around any obstacles that presented themselves, using his resourcefulness to get the patient where he needed to go.

In the back of the rig, I noticed in the pocket of the man’s shirt six or seven little tracts, religious pamphlets, about the true meaning of Christmas. The sort of thing that religious people pass out inviting others to get saved. As they pulled the gurney out of the rig at the Strong ED, the tracts fell to the floor of the ambulance, wet from the melting snow and stained with the man’s blood.

Later, I would recount this story on the radio, and receive e-mails from coworkers and church members. People who knew him and loved him.

He always carried the Bible and the tracts, they said. And he was the nicest guy they knew. He would do anything for anybody and he and his wife had eight children.

And for the past three years, he and his sons had built with their own hands a house for the family. A house for which they had only recently been granted a certificate of occupancy – a permit for the family to move in and begin its dream life.

He was a good man, doing a good thing, and that didn’t surprise anybody. He came to be hurt because he came to the rescue.

When I went to bed last night, his condition was very grave and prayer requests were echoing across the Internet.

And I couldn’t help but think of the verse from the Gospel of John.

“Greater love hath no man than this,” it reads, “that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

That happened on a cross once, and on battlefields countless times, and sometimes it happens on the side of the road.

I saw something sacred yesterday, and I hope I have communicated it adequately.

I hope I have done my part to help answer a good woman's prayer.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I am in LOVE with the Prince of Wales.....

I am head over heals in love with the Prince of Wales. The fabulous hotel in Niagara on the Lake, that is.
They knew I was coming and had prepared my room: Oranges and water on the night stand, soft and relaxing music playing, and a beautiful pink rose on the pillow.
The minute I walked into the room…I smiled a smile that never went away the entire weekend. The atmosphere was peaceful…all the staff spoke in whispers. They display fresh roses, brought in daily, all over the hotel. My husband pointed out the floor. The floor that we walked on was worth millions of dollars…. Shining, expensive wood intricately inlaid into wood. It was gorgeous. The meals in the five star restaurant were unbelievable. The lightly salt-water pool was just the right temperature and absolutely refreshing. I made the statement that I could live like this forever. Matt said he couldn't’ and that he didn’t think he was made to live in luxury. From the time I woke up to the time I…well, even while I slept…I felt like a princess. I was surrounded by beauty at every single turn. I woke up in the morning and went to the spa. There I was given a massage. As I lay on the table with fragrant oil being rubbed into my aching muscles (from exercising on the treadmill!) I was thinking what an act of ministry this is. That a total stranger would work to take away the stress and knotting in my muscles. Just the act of touching someone else is an act of acceptance and kindness (even if the therapist is getting paid). As I was on the table with my eyes closed I began to think about my wonderful weekend and how it is such a little taste of eternity. You see, I am a princess. I really am. I am the daughter of the King of Kings.,,,and my Father is preparing a place for me. For me. The Bible tells me that eyes have not seen nor can I even imagine what is going to be there awaiting my arrival. It excites my soul to try to imagine and know that I cannot. My weekend left me refreshed and contented to get back to reality. I was sad to leave…and I left with my oranges and my hotel paper and pen. But I am thankful…for the Prince of Wales. It gave me a taste of what lies ahead when The King of Kings is ready for my arrival!
P.S. Matt didn’t fool me. He could get use to this Prince-living just fine!

Until Next Time,