Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good Friends, Good Times , Good Memories

Alice with her cake

Ruth, Donna Marie, Donna Jean, Alice

Many "moons" ago, before I was married, I lived in a house in Ft. Wayne with 3 other girls. We were all nurses, and we worked at the old Lutheran Hospital. We have gone our separate ways, and haven't actually been all together in a very long time. I became a missionary to Haiti for 2 years and then got married to my 1st husband. We eventually moved to Oklahoma and I lived there for 19 years. Alice went to Bengladesh as a missionary, and was there until 1999. Ruth and Donna Jean both stayed in Ft. Wayne, so it's possible they saw each other occassionally.

Alice now lives in Marion, Indiana so we all decided to go down and celebrate her birthday. At some point, while she was still a missionary, she developed spasms and twitching in her neck and face. She's had 3 brain surgeries for this. They said it was caused by an artery lying up against the nerves, and every time her heart beat her face and neck would twitch. I had never heard of this but they actually put little pieces of felt between the artery and the nerve. She still has difficulties from time to time, and it is now controlled by botox injections, which I also found interesting.

We ate at Cracker Barrel; my sister Lou joined us for lunch, as she lives in Upland, and had known all of these ladies as well. We then went back to Alice's for cake. Needless to say, we talked and talked and talked. So much to catch up on! We got there at about 12 noon, and I thought I'd be back by 4 pm but I didn't actually get back home until about 7 pm. Wehad a really good day and it brought back lots of memories!

What a blessing to be able to catch up with life-time friends. One of my blogger friends wrote a blog on "Abundance". I feel like I have an abundant life, and my friends are so much a part of that.

Proverbs speaks about friends in several places:

Prov. 18:24 There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother
Prov. 17:17 A friend loves at all times
Prov. 27:6 wounds from a friend can be trusted
Prov. 27:10 Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father

Thank you, Lord, for blessing my life with abundance, and many friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Look for the New Year

I've been wanting to pay a visit to my sister Brenda to get some computer training, and the weather finally co-operated. I especially wanted to post a new background and needed her expertise to help me do that. But then she went completely "above and beyond" the call of duty, and added a picture to my header. We first took the picture on her camara, and then she figured out how to post it on my header.

Brenda loves to figure out how to do new things, so she enjoyed the challenge, and I'm enjoying the new look.

I am also signed up on face book, which is a new thing for me. It's been kind of fun to see what my "friends" are up to via face book. If any of you want to add me as a friend, I would love it.

Now...If I could just get a new look for me in one day, wouldn't that be wonderful?! However, I'm learning to be very grateful to the Lord for who I am and content with my current look.

Blessings on you all!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Faith Foundations

My pastor is doing a series on Wednesday nights on Hebrews 11 and the men and women of faith mentioned there. This week it was about Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. He said that this request from God to sacrifice his son would not have seemed foreign to Abraham, because it was the custom of some of the other countries to sacrifice their first-born in order to appease the "gods".

However, it was an emotional sacrifice, to sacrifice his own flesh and blood. And more than that it was a spiritual sacrifice because Abraham had a promise from God that his seed would come through Isaac--he was the child of promise.

From Hebrews 11:19 it seems that Abraham had complete faith in God, not that he was going to keep him from sacrificing Isaac, but that he believed with all his heart that God could raise him from the dead.

What was important to me from all of this were 2 things: (1) God is Able! He is able to supply all of our needs, to protect us, to give us direction. And (2) God will provide! I was thinking about our economy, and how we tend to be concerned about finances etc, but we have His promise, He will provide for us.

Something I hadn't thought about; our pastor said that Isaac is a sort of prototype for us as believers. Isaac was spared by the intervention of the Spirit of God (in the form of an angel). Only through the intervention of the Holy Spirit in our lives are we able to sacrifice our own wills and desires. I'll have to think about that for a while; but I do know that I need to be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life, so that I can be better used by Him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Seven Random Things

I was tagged by Cindy to tell 7 random things about myself that people might not know. I'm not sure if there are 7 but I'll see how this goes. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged also.

1) Cindy tried her hand at being a Mary Kay Consultant and color consultant and so did I. I actually was a Mary Kay consultant for about 15 years. Like Cindy, I loved doing it, and helping people feel good about themselves, but I wasn't good at sales or getting others to want to be a Mary Kay Representative. I made enough money to break even on my inventory.

2) I like scrapbooking (although I might have mentioned this before). I have done one for my son and for my daughter, and am now working on one for my husband and I. When my daughter passed away, I took the scrapbook to her viewing and her friends loved looking at it. It's a great keepsake that I have of her.

3) I went to Israel in 2000. It was one year after my first husband passed away. It was a life-changing trip and helps you see the Bible in a whole new light. (That trip is what started me scrapbooking, as I did a scrapbook of my trip).

4) I like writing poems. Most of my real-time friends and family know this one. I write a poem every year for my Christmas letter. This year it was based on the "12 days of Christmas", reviewing the 12 months of the year.

5) I love reading christian fiction, and always thought I would someday write a book. Since starting this blog, and reading other blogs, I am now convinced I would not be a very good writer. But if a good idea comes my way, who knows(?), I may try it!

6) I like classic musicals (Sound of Music, West Side Story, etc). Recently I also enjoy comedy movies and family drama's--heart-warming stories. I also like Chonda Pierce, as she makes me laugh and laughing is healthy (It increases your endorphins that boost your immune system.)

7) I love keeping in touch with old friends--I talked on the phone with an old friend yesterday for 45 minutes. I have also really enjoyed making new friends through this blog. It's been a real blessing.

I didn't think I would find 7 things, but there you have it. I'll be looking forward to seeing some of yours.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tribute to Step-Mother

Step-Mom, Kay, with Niece Amy

As most of you know, my wonderful, sweet Dad passed away on June 26th. As I mentioned in the previous blog, we really felt his absence this year at our Christmas gathering. It just wasn't the same. However, we did have our Step-Mom Kay with us. She and Dad had been married almost 20 years, so she is definitely very much a part of this family. We all participated in putting together a scrapbook for Kay, with special memories and just letting her know how much she means to our family. This picture was taken on December 29th, Monday at our Christmas gathering. She had a good time and seemed to be doing well. She stayed with my sister Lou, and then Lou took her back to her home on Wednesday morning. She talked on the phone with her own daughter on Wednesday evening and seemed to be fine. She did say she was very tired.

Thursday, New Year's Day, both her son Jerry and her daughter Linda tried to get in touch with her by phone. She didn't answer, so they finally had the police go check her home, and found that she had passed away, sometime between Wed. night and Thursday when they were trying to call. It was so sudden, and so unexpected, since we had just been with her. They said she had a massive stroke. ( She has had 2 mini-strokes in the past). We will miss her very much.

We know that Kay knew the Lord as her Saviour, so we can rest in the knowledge that she is now with her Lord and King, as we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. She and Dad are most likely having a wonderful reunion!

Christmas is Family

Maddie (Madeline)

Ice Cream at Ivanhoe's

With such a big family, it is often difficult to coordinate a family get-together. Such was the case for our Christmas this year. We had a few missing, but we had a great time. If my count is correct we had 29 there out of a possible 42. We had lots of food, sang the Twelve Days of Christmas with everyone participating in a part (this has been a tradition for many years), had gifts for the kids, and even some for the adults, and just had lots of fun. We played Family Feud, with the men against the ladies--the ladies won of course! We were awesome! There were lots of activities--swimming, ping-pong, playing Wii,etc.

We met in Upland, Indiana and whenever we go there, it is almost imperative that we make a trip to Ivanhoe's. It is an ice cream place with I think 100 different sundaes or shakes. Even though we had tons of snacks, several of us decided it was a must to go have our ice cream. We walked the 8 blocks there and back, so that we could justify the calories.

Alas, I was having so much fun, I forgot to take many pictures. I had to include one of our sweet great-niece, Maddie. She's a little doll and the youngest in a family of six kids.

Mostly, Christmas is about family and relationships. We just really enjoy spending time together. This year it was different of course, as our sweet Dad passed away last June. We all really felt his absence, but we can still celebrate, knowing he spent Christmas with his dear Lord.