Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Walking Her Home

"He is a saint".
That is what Mary Jane called her husband.
He understood her.
He loved her.
He walked beside her always.
He allowed her whatever she needed to worship God.
He joined her...held out his hand for her ...helped her along the way.

The day was expected.
The day was anticipated.
The day was a Monday, just like a million other Mondays, except, this Monday, during Holy Week, Mary Jane went to celebrate the resurrection in the grandest of ways. She is whole, healthy, singing praises and hearing the most beautiful music. She has earned her reward.

She told me once that she didn't need gold and jewels and all that when she got to heaven. She thought Heaven was just exactly whatever one wanted it to be. She wanted wide open pastures...grasslands, filled with beautiful horses.

I believe Mary Jane has seen that pasture and there are the most amazingly beautiful animals there. Her husband, Don, walked this earth with her. He walked beside her for all of her days.
He never left her side as her days became apparently very limited. Jenn said, "Dad is amazing. I watch him sleep by her bed every night. It is a blessing witnessing that kind of love." He was by her side and had the honor of "walking her home."

Mary Jane was such a role model for so many of her friends and family. I told her that once, and she said, "I don't try to be. I am just doing what anyone in my position would do." I very much doubt that. She was a very special lady. She was on a journey. She was convicted. She was confident. She was willing. She was believing. She was steadfast. She was preparing. She was amazing.

Mary Jane taught me so much. Do not whine, do not waiver, do not complain. Smile. Be kind. Know in your heart what is right. Know in your heart what is true. Keep your eyes on the prize.
She did not ask to be delivered from cancer. All she ever asked of us was to pray for her pain management and her peace.

Thank you, Mary Jane, for what you mean to me, for what you have taught me, for what you have shown me.

Our quartet sang for Mary Jane. She asked us to sing for her celebration on Saturday...a couple of her favorites, "Whispering Hope" and "Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place." I am so honored to be called upon! I too, will be a part of "walking her home".

"The seeds of her faith, planted in prayer, will bring forth life, and grow into fruit that is eternal." -Stormie Omartian

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Full Plate and Spilling Over

A High School Play-"North Woods Nonsense"

A Junior High Musical- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

A State Bound AAU Volleyball team-playing up

A face painting booth at a Kindergarten Rodeo-

A daughter-all grown up-here with her Kindergarten teacher!!!

A Prom to decorate-"Eastern Elegance"

Time with the Grandbabies-

Lots of talented Art Students-

*speaking, writing, listening, counseling, crying, laughing, praying, creating, helping, cleaning, sorting, giving, receiving, planning, caring for, singing, meeting, traveling, getting sick, worrying, wondering, worshiping, and working hard -It's a very full plate....full and spilling over!

There's water in the basement, trash on the lawn, laundry to do, dishes to do, meetings to go to, students to teach, the household to run, papers to fill out, bills to pay, Sunday School to prepare for, volleyball tournaments to go to, Grandkids to help with, a wedding to plan, worrying about Mary Jane, waiting each day for the news to come, having compassion for my friend, also named Carol, who just said goodbye to her mama last week...and sometimes I just HAVE to sleep.

I am extremely busy emotionally, physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually. It's hectic, challenging, stretching, rewarding, disappointing, upsetting, and sometimes downright over the top. It takes all I am and all I have – a lot of energy, heartaches, headaches, and just plain work!

I am sure most of you feel exactly the same way. Pray with me now that God will fill our lives with calm, and that we take the time to talk to Him. This weekend, during the many hours in the car on the way to state volleyball....come to me....calm me....fill me with peace. If I were not so busy, what would I do? Thank you God for my health, my job, and my abilities which are in such demand.

My plate is full...full and spilling over.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Girls Night Out

It was my first "Girls Night Out"-
It was my first trip to Panera Bread-

The art teacher in me noticed the awesome paintings-

-We had some bread tonight-
-We shared some bread tonight-

We met some awesome new friends-

We heard some great stories-
We shared our hearts-

We discussed hair-

We discussed a heart healthy diet -

We discussed the importance of sharing with girlfiends (like Suzanne and Luanne of KNWC)
We discussed fitness and wellness and nutrition and exercise-

Some people say that God speaks to them when they are walking, or God speaks to them when they are reading the Bible, or God speaks to them when they are in quiet meditation.

I have been known to say that God speaks to me through KNWC.
When I need a song, I get it from KNWC.
When I need some powerful words, I get them from KNWC.
When I need a positive outlook on things, I get it from KNWC.
I listen to Suzanne in the mornings. She gives me words of hope.

I first met Suzanne at the Jeremy Camp Concert, and now I speak to her on facebook. She reads my blog sometimes. Tonight, she spoke to me and a group of 24 ladies who signed up for "Girls Night Out' on KNWC. I am her "Girlfriend from Iowa"-

I heard what I know to be true, but need to be reminded of:

-We are all created in His image.
-We are beautiful. God made us beautiful."
-We all need to hear positives, such as, "You have such a beautiful heart".

"Our bodies are so much like our spirit. It needs to be challenged. Our bodies want to be challenged. Our bodies want to change, to get stronger, but our bodies need a reason to change. We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable."

"Maybe we need to ask God, "What do You want me to eat today? What can I do that is the best for me today. Show me something that will be challenging for me and rewarding for me."

There are so many excuses , and I have used them all.
-I don't have time-
-I am so tired-
-I am embarrassed how I look-

*Guess what, if you watch TV, then you have the time.
*If you surf the internet, then you have the time.
*It doesn't matter how you look-you have just as much right to begin taking care of yourself as anyone else.
*If you do work out, you may find that you are no longer as tired.
*If you don't take care of yourself, how can you be of any good to anyone else?
*Find what you enjoy-mix up your fitness routine-
*Take baby steps-
*Listen to your body-
*Do it for yourself- You are SO WORTH IT!!!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Phillipians 4:6

Thank you for this night out with the girls. Just so you know, I got up this morning and listened to my favorite station, KNWC, and my favorite announcer saying, "Life is a process. It is not, start at A and go right to Z. It is the process along the way that counts, what you do with the path you have been given." Well, now I have my K (KNWC) and my S (SUZANNE), and I have definitely been throughthe F (FIRE)! What is in store today, God? Bring it on, and thank You for this day! My mama quoted over and over and over in her last days..."This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!"
Suzanne, I too am honored to call you "Friend"!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let the Sun Shine In

Well, you just can not take the sunshine out of the girl...or something like that.

I am STILL annoyed by the wet soggy weather, but it is getting better little by little. It was 40 today and I have heard of it getting into the 50s this week. The mountains of snow are disappearing, the water in the basement is coming and going, but not getting any higher than the root cellar so not damaging anything. The gravel roads are not quite as dangerous as they were last week. Busy, busy, busy weekend with a kindergarten rodeo on Friday, with a face painting booth courtesy of my art students, our daughter's volleyball tournament, earning a trip to state later this month, a wedding, a surprise birthday party for my brother Mike, a dance, overnight guests, singing with the children in church, teaching Sunday School, and a houseful of family all day Sunday. I took a couple of catnaps today and that is all I needed to keep on going. I am thankful for a day of rest.

I have a student named Swen. He has been drawing a series of "sunshines". I asked him if I could feature his work on my blog today. When things were so down for me last week, Swen was busily drawing sunshine for me. I was not able to see the sun outside, but thanks to Swen, we saw the sunshine inside our classroom.

This brings me to my Sunday School lesson for my 4 year olds. God loves us even when we do bad things. He loves us even when we are unlovable. He is eager to welcome us back when we have gone astray. Our story was the one about the boy who left his father, wasted all of his money, had to eat with the pigs, and then returned to his father who welcomed him with open arms.

I left my Father last cry and wallow and wail and moan. I was down. I was tired. I was sick of the mud and the cold and the wet and the snow. I forgot to have faith in my heavenly Father that the rains will cease, the sun will return, the mud will dry, the grass will come.
I am sorry for my unbelief and I am so blessed that my Father was waiting with open arms to welcome me back to Him. Amazing! ( Sorry to second guess you Lord, but I am still asking for some sunshine!)

Until then, I thank you Swen, for sharing your gift with me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Troubled Tuesday

So....I am human.

I try and try and try to "Choose Joy", but I am just having one of those days...
a water in the basement....mud tracked all over....rainspouts down....dirty van...endless piles of laundry....muddy shoes...soft, soggy, gravel roads...headache...frumpy, lumpy, wet, dreary day....

So....could you all join with me in asking for strength for the day and sunshine for tomorrow.
These wet soggy days are going to be around a while with all the snow melting, but it is part of the process to get to spring!

Will you also pray for my friend, Mary Jane and her family. She is nearing the end of her journey here on earth but looking forward to earning her eternal reward.

Keep on being brave ! It will bring you great rewards . Learn how to be patient , so that you will please God and be given what He has promised.Hebrews 10:35-36

Even when we don't know what to do , we never give up . In times of trouble , God is with us , and when we are knocked down , we get up again.Corinthians 4 : 8-92

Prayer for Joy- Gracious God, like a flower, I want to push through the cold winter soil and share my gladness with the world. I want everyone to experience the wonder of life that I feel right now. Let my joy shine forth so that those cloaked by sadness may find their sorrow lifted, if only for a moment. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"WAY, WAY More than you know..."

This past weekend, we said goodbye to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It will be a memory I will not soon forget. Being in that musical filled me with such joy....unlike anything else I have ever done. To be able to play dressup, sing and dance and act crazy was right up my alley. The grandkids weren't too sure about me being their Grandma when I was in my stage makeup and costume. Instead of running up into my arms with their ususal, excited "Grandma!", it was more like....grandma, could that be you?
All of this singing and dancing and playing dressup aside, I missed my Grandbabies. I know how very blessed I am to have them so near, and I can not imagine the grandparents who do not get to spend much time with their grandbabies. I do have the gift of having them near. BUT, life got busy and I missed them! I wasn't able to see them and have them come over to play much the past 2 months. SOOO, on one of my first nights at home, what did I do? I picked them up and brought them to our place for some playing in the snow, wrestling with the puppy time, and WE HAD a Ball! Crazy woman? Crazy in love with these babies! What blessings they are to me.
In the words of Marianne Richmond in her book,
"I Love You So..."
"I love you."
"How much?"
"So much."
"How much is 'so'?"
"WAY, WAY More than you know..."

"I love you as BRILLIANT as each sparkling star,
and as WAY OUT as space, I love you THAT far.
I love you as GIGANTIC as a great lion's roar,
and as DEEP as the ocean, I love you MUCH more.
"That IS a lot," you say, "but WHERE did love come from to be in your heart?"
YOU put it there, really, when you and I met. And I knew for certain WITHOUT you I'd fret.

From MY HEAD to my TOES, I was feeling inside, a devotion for you SO DEEP and SO WIDE.
And now, it's ENORMOUS and wonderfully real, and hard to describe HOW MUCH I FEEL.
I love you as AWESOME as a thunder sky, and as SOARING as mountains, I love you THAT high.

I love you as SILLY as a puppy dog's kiss, and as QUIET as midnight.
I love you like THIS.
I love you being NICE,
and when you're CRANKY too.
I love you without liking the NAUGHTY things you do.
My 'love you' DOESN'T change like the temper of the days.
It's a CERTAIN kind of thing in many DIFFERENT ways.
I love you NEAR or FAR.
I love you HIGH or LOW.
My love is there with you WHEREVER you may go.

I CAN'T Imagine life before YOU came there singing senseless, no MEANING to my song.
Call it MEANT TO BE or simply blessed fate, you with my heart with LOVE...and for THAT I celebrate.

"I love you."
"How much?"
"SO much."
"How much is 'so'?
"WAY, WAY MORE than you know..."