Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Called by Name

Physical therapy began soon after Dan’s surgery.  He was embarrassed to walk the hospital halls in his “designer” hospital gown. I knew his robe would be too hot and heavy for him. I was sure a quick run to the mall would produce just the light weight robe for the occasion. No such item was to be easily found.   One young male clerk informed me that men no longer wore robes but leisure wear in the form of pajama bottoms and tee shirts.  I finally found a light weight cotton robe—in the Village.

It was the one and only robe of its kind on the rack.  The name and logo of it's designer was proudly displayed on the garment. I could care less about either. It filled the need.  My mind flashed back to a time when having this particular logo on clothing was a must have.  The logos may have changed over the years but our obsession with names has not.

A dear friend and I had a conversation on personal identities.   We both felt pressured to fit into what others felt our roles should be. Recently I tossed and turned during the night struggling with all of the church and community positions others, while well meaning, were sure was a perfect fit for me.

I asked God to help me sort through it all.  The answer, “Your name is Linda.”  The message was clear.  I was feeling stress because I was being pressed into man’s calling not God’s.  Our walk with God is a very personal one.  His plans are spoken to us directly. Even though our personalities and gifts are suited for a particular endeavor, if God has not whispered in our ear, it is wrong for us.

Thank you Lord that You have called us by name!

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.

When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you.  Isaiah 43: 1-2

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bakers Dozen

Not that's funny!

Thirteen men from our community went on a men's retreat this weekend.  To keep us out of mischief (right) it was decided the girls should have a sleep over.
Captain Shelley

Agnes chillin!

Dottie and BJ

Cynthia..."I''m awake"!

Pat and Anna singing!

As soon as we got the guys off and some say it was like getting a child off to camp, we began our at home retreat.  There was much laughter and fellowship.  We learned none of us are any good at Pictionary. Creative as the group is, there was not an artist among us! It was great fun though.

In between dinner, snacks, breakfast and boat rides including a midnight cruise, there were other games. Some play for fun, others are very competitive.  I am sure we novices are a thorn in the side to those serious gamers. In any case, all had a great time.  We are so blessed to have a community of fun and loving friends.

As the conversation usually goes with us gals, the discussion of health and weight loss came up. As we munched on brownies but who's to know? I know you will keep our secret just between the two us!

One of our best friends is totally into fitness.  We are afraid she is going to totally disappear one day.  She exercises obsessively, relatively speaking, and eats very little.  She declares if one runs every day for one week, they will fall in love with running,

I decided to take the challenge.  I have begun running.  It is more like schlepping along I guess. So far I would not call it running or jogging.  I don't know yet whether I will live to love or hate. I will let you know if I make it through the week.

As I pass the lowly walkers, I tried my best to give them that superior look as runners have given me in the past. They don't have to know I am praying my next breath will not be my last and my legs have no feeling.
Who keeps moving the mile markers!
I have yet to reach that runners high I hear so much about.  One thing I would agree with my friend. I do love it---soon as it is over!

      For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

     Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Hebrews 12:11-13

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's About Time!

For quite sometime now we have tried to remember to take a clock that belonged to Dan's parents in for repair.  Finally we found a shop, It's About Time, that still practices this rapidly diminishing craft.

We were anxiously waiting an appointment with a cardiac surgeon. Due to his hectic day, our time kept being moved...8:45, then 1:30 then 3:30 p.m.  It was nerve racking.
We decided we needed a distraction. We had planned to do some shopping after dropping off the clock.  The clock shop was like a museum.  Their were walls upon walls of clocks of all shapes and sizes. We ended up filling our time learning the history of many of these priceless gems.

The gentlemen informed us the beloved clock was hand made in 1911.  The reason we wanted the clock repaired? We missed the familiar comforting sound of home.

The sentimental value is the greatest.  Still, it was good to hear all of the history of the clock. The sounds of this old gem has no doubt been a soothing balms to many before us.

The repairman said the clock was in great shape overall--particularly for it's age.  All it needed was some oiling and general sprucing up.

We have been so excited over Dan's continued health improvement. Trying to hold notes in choir practice suddenly caused him shortness of breath and chest pain.Wisely, he called our family doctor for a check up. As you can imagine, when we were informed heart surgery was needed we where totally shocked.

Apparently a stint in the left heart artery has collapsed. It was a difficult week. The shock has worn off leaving acceptance and preparation for the procedure. We have been scheduled for September 18th. Many of our friends have welcomed us to the "zipper" or "open heart" clubs.  They have been very encouraging to us.

We are now anxious to have the procedure done and resume a happy healthy life.  Just like the Jackson family antique clock, we just a need a bit of tuning.We will be running like new in no time.  Overall we are in great shape. I won't say -- especially for our age!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Heart to Heart

As my children were raising me, I was determined they would have a good education and a better life.  That is typical of we parents.We always want a better life for our children.
"Dr. Son" and Dan checking out the golf course

When I dropped them off at school in another state, I felt my heart had been ripped out of my chest. The return trips home from visits never grew better.  The further away I traveled from them, the ache grew in my heart. Raising children to be responsible and productive adults is not about us.  It is all about them. Letting go is NOT easy.

The distance is even more difficult when those awesome grandchildren start coming along. I sometimes find myself selfishly wishing I had kept them more dependent and tied to my apron strings.  That is selfish indeed.  My son's family was presented with a great opportunity for their family. Unfortunately, they will be a two day drive away from us now.

During our many discussions about the change, they were encouraged to follow their dreams.  We are very happy for them. That does not stop that familiar ache again.

Mom flew out with the younger children aided by our eldest grandchild.  Dad drove with two kids and two cats.  We were excited they were able to stop over for a visit with us.  Connor and Meg are two adventurist and outdoor lovers of the grandchildren.  As expected, they loved it here in the Village.

Nana and Papa crammed as much as we could into the visit.  They drove the boat like old pros, under the watchful eyes of Papa of course. Pleading with Dad for a swim in the lake fell on deaf ears.They tried their best to "accidentally" fall in. Much to their dismay, they remained dry. Fortunately their were many more activities that peaked their curiosity.
Meg and Connor Mining

The time of their departure came too quickly. Plans were discussed for a return visit.  We watched them drive away until they were out of sight.  They may be out of sight but never out of our hearts, thoughts and prayers!

For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives he is lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there. 1st Samuel 1:27-28