Friday, April 25, 2014

Dementia vs. Crazy

Dan was reading a magazine article on the signs of dementia.  As he addressed each item he immediately attributed our symptoms to other issues or illnesses.  He ignored my warnings to stop while we were ahead.

Some of the symptoms not listed in the article may be grounds for its impeachment.  It failed to mention why one washes their face with their glasses on.  What about searching the house inside and out for your phone then realizing you are holding it.

I posted on our social media page about our attending two movies this week.  That is highly uncommon for us.  The first movie was the late show.  It was after 1: 30 a.m. before we finally settled in for the night. 

Dan wisely decided to sleep in and take his morning walk in the evening with me.  Unfortunately it was raining when he arrived from work.  When the down pour became a drizzle, we decided to walk.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  By the time we began our final ascent toward home, it was dark. We were sure we were taking special care with our footing. During the night Dan experienced foot pain. Once again, he is sporting a boot for a stress fracture.

Last night Dan called to say he was working late. Once again we had been experiencing rain.  The early morning severe thunder storms had given way to light rain.  Rainy day plus home alone for dinner equals trouble for me.  Before long I was munching away on semi homemade cinnamon rolls for dinner. (I know you will keep my secret.)
photo Liz Street jpg
Driven in part from the guilt of my unhealthy binge, I decided I should take my run.  It had worked out pretty well earlier in the week minus the foot thing. The sky was clear but I took my umbrella just in case. 

It was hot and muggy. When the light showers hit it actually felt good.  Then the light rain suddenly turned into a full blown storm.  Thunder, lightening, flooding rain as such that Noah might respect. 

I abandoned the trail for the street to get back to the safety of home. The streets were flooding so quickly; I could only run through the middle.  It is typically a busy street but I reasoned that only a crazy person would be out it this weather.

I passed by the homes of at least three friends with whom I could have taken shelter.  I really wasn’t that far from home so I pressed on.  I popped up my umbrella which worked okay for a few seconds.  The high winds grabbed the umbrella turning me into a backward sail. And yes, genius that I am tried to turn it forward in hopes it would propel me.  Not so much.  It immediately collapsed.  Then it occurred to me; umbrella, metal, lightening, not a good combination.
Forrest Gump Movie 1994

The line “Run, Forrest, Run” from the movie Forrest Gump kept coming to mind. I did try to run as fast as I could.  I am no Forrest Gump!  It seemed the faster I tried to run the slower I became. Of course, no sooner had I arrived home and dumped my soaked clothing into the wash, the rain ceased and the sun came out.  

And then there's that other line from Forrest, "Stupid is a stupid does."  Dementia or just plain crazy? And the survey says?

Guide my steps in the ways of Your word, and do not let any sin control me. 
Rescue me from the torment of my human oppressors that I may live according to Your decrees. Let Your  face shine upon me to learn what You require.  
Psalm 119:113-135

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Headline News

As I listened to a national news network this week, I heard a familiar voice.  I turned to view local news anchor from the community and church we use to live in.  He was reporting bad news.

Saturday we took our long walk around the trails.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Birds were singing geese were honking at the babies and laughter rang all around.  Children both young and not so young were visiting, celebrating hiding eggs and other activities.  They were sweet and comforting sounds.

Back at the house, Dan unfolded his newspaper. Our usual conversation followed.  “Is there any good news yet?” I ask.  “Not yet”, he replies.

Friends are scheduled to leave for Ukraine Easter Sunday.  Plans have already been changed due to the military conflicts.  We wait, watch and pray for them and the people of Ukraine as they depart.

We pray and anxiously await news from our friends from Nigeria.  A report of the murders of Christians is alarming and heartbreaking.

 reuters news service photo

Conflicts surrounding Israel is ever present.  We must remember to pray and support this nation.  If Israel fails, so does America. We pray that America once again will be a nation under God, one of prosperity and respect.

After Bible study this morning we headed to the Men’s Mission to serve lunch.  We did not attend our church worship service.  But, serving Easter meals and the message of Good News, IS church!

As it turns out, serving these families was both personally humbling and worshipful.  I have a deeper respect and admiration for those like my husband who serve them daily.  It was almost too overwhelming for me.  I fought tears more than once.

Like all things there is a stereotyped homeless.  True there are those suffering from mental illnesses and addictions.  There are also families with young children due to varied circumstances find themselves in dire straights.  It is only but by the Grace of God there go us! We are His hands and feet.

There is very little good news in the headlines of the world.  Thankfully we do have THE GOOD NEWS.  Friday came with pain and suffering. Today Easter has arrived with the joy of new hope for the world.  Christ has risen from the dead. This is indeed good headline news!

The Jackson household extends our love and wishes for a blessed and worshipful Easter!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Whom are you seeking:  Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Little at a Time

We enjoyed our short visit with family and friends.  Our friends let us tag along to their grandchild’s soccer game. It was so much fun watching those little petite girly girls aggressively tackling their goal. All the while looking cute as all six year olds are expected to be!

We attended church in Corinth with a sibling.  She has been talking about how awesome her church family is.  After visiting, we are in total agreement.  If you are ever in the Corinth area, drop in for services at Oakland Baptist Church.  You will not be disappointed—unless you want to be totally rejected and ignored. The odds of that happening at this church are not favorable.

After returning home, we began our flooring project.  This time we decided to tackle it a little bit at a time.  We found the job went much faster this way.  Taking a break when fatigue sets in makes for a much more effective outcome.  We humans have a tendency to push ourselves to exhaustion leaving for poor health and work quality.  What is the rush really? I already have the next project planned so might as well not rush.

I have to say I have the best husband ever.  He takes special care not to disturb my sleep even though he is an early riser.  When I awake, I generally find my coffee and paper waiting for me.  How awesome is this man I ask you?

Preparing for race!

Having such a spouse, I found myself voluntarily out of bed and on the road before 6:00 am on a Saturday morning. The men’s shelter he works for was having a 5K fundraiser.  How could I not support him and this ministry?  The time together enjoying the beauty of the Ouachita Mountains in the back drop made for a wonderful early Saturday morning.
The family that races together....this little guy (bottom right) won in his category!

The participants of the 5K ranged from 5 years old to 79.  We were particularly fond of the families that raced together.  One little guy was more excited about finding and capturing a bug than the race around him.  He was as adorable as he proudly announced his find to everyone!  There was a family of four who also captured our hearts.  The five year old totally decked out with matching outfit and spiked hair raced alongside his Dad.  The daughter twirled her baton and cheered us on as her Mom pushed her in her stroller. A very fit and handsome 79 year old gentlemen chatted about his race from the previous weekend and how next year he would be bumped up to the 80 plus racing category.  How is that for a personal challenge?

It is the little things in life that brings us joy and huge precious memories. May we always remember to enjoy each morning a little bit at a time!

“For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that, a little here, a little there.”  Isaiah 28:10

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Trails

Dan and I are excited to take a mini road trip this weekend. Since visits with old friends and family have long since been over due, here we go!

Yesterday I was in a bit of a race with what appeared to be a major storm brewing.  It was as muggy as a sauna out. That is not a good sign in the spring.  I ran across this marking on the trail.  The first time I saw it I actually asked Dan what a “liart” was.  As you can imagine the look on his face as he asked, “You are kidding right?” As the meaning took shape in my little brain, I covered badly by saying I was in fact joking. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
The "Liart" Trail
Last night we attended a fund raising banquet for the local Teen Challenge Mission.  The guest speakers were the parents of former graduate and Navy Seal, Adam Brown.  They recounted the good life Adam had growing up, the fall and recovery from drug addiction to his ultimate sacrifice of his life in Afghanistan.
You can read about Adam's inspirational  life in the book "Fearless:.
Even though Adam’s life had an enormous immortal impact on many, we wept with his parents as they struggled to speak in the honor of their precious son. Thoughts of our family members that grieve over the loss of another fallen soldier, great nephew Barry. I cannot imagine the weight of the grief they feel everyday. Our sorrow certainly pales in comparison. Thoughts of broken relationships prick our hearts. 
I am so happy to see the little Dogwood tree I planted last fall survived the harsh winter.

The trail of life is not always clear cut.  It is paved with many pitfalls. Some we never will understand on this side of Heaven.  Last night’s physical and emotional storms are passed.  Today is a new day. Trees are beginning to bloom in signs of new life. We hope to make every effort to walk a happy trail today!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Loves me? Loves me not?

Remember the children’s loves me daisy petal game?  We would pick wild daisy’s and pluck petals until we received the right answer to suit whatever our hearts desire was for that moment.

We have lived in our house long enough to decide on a few things we at first thought we loved but now have decided not.   After much deliberation, we decided to put new flooring down in a portion of the house. 
Loves me, loves me not.
Yesterday I spent several hours dismantling a row of book shelves.  In our continued efforts to be more organized (sigh), we have designated one area to be our offices. That is were I reassembled and restocked the book shelves.

Among the many books we also house special treasures within these shelves. Many memories came to mind as I moved these objects around. I wondered if the play dough handprints of our soon to be sixteen year old granddaughter would last much longer.  There is the dinosaur given to us by our middle grandson.  When we asked if he was sure he wanted to give it away he replied with a big grin “Yep, I took it from my brother.” 

Dan and I have always enjoyed being part of care teams at our churches.  I laughed out loud recalling one encounter.  A very sweet soul whom was part of our care family kept asking us out for a meal.  We determined we must make time as not to hurt their feelings.
Truly there can be a very fine line between love and hate?
Before the meal began, we were wondering if we could pick another daisy.  “We noticed you clap your hands when you worship. We don’t like that.” There were several more comments followed by, “We just don’t care for that. No offense to you.”

We have no doubt these precious ones really do love us.  No offense was taken. We found humor in their candor. After all, life is not filled with daisies.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8