Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Romans 8:24-28

One of Pappaw's favorite passages of scripture was Romans 8 and subsequently is becoming very special to me. In honor of him I wanted to post one of my favorite sections. The picture below is the last one we had of all the grandkids and Mamma & Pappaw (taken at Christmas 2008).

Romans 8:24-28
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Final update on Pappaw

Early on Saturday morning, December 26th, 2009, God lifted the burden of pain and suffering and welcomed Donard into his loving presence. While we miss him intensely, it is comforting to know he is worshipping the Savior with family and friends who have gone before. Each one of us who have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior can look forward to being reunited again one day with Donard for eternity in our heavenly home.
We are forever grateful for every expression of love throughout Donard’s illness and especially for your faithful prayers for Donard and now for the family.

In Christ,

Rose Ann for the family

 
"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-23

Sunday, December 20, 2009

True Love Waits

The other day at Mardel's I found some of the True Love Waits rings and realized that it was exactly what I've been looking for without even knowing I was looking! I had heard of the idea in the past and seen pictures of the rings but it never really occurred to me to get one. More recently though I'd been wanting a symbol to remind myself of my faith that God has me exactly where He wants me.

The traditional meaning of the phrase has been centered around moral purity but for me personally it was much more than that. It's also about waiting for that perfect one God has for me and not just the first nice Christian guy that comes along. But as I thought of this I thought of other applications in the lives of friends and family members. What if you found your true love...but it has been lost along the way and you must wait for God to bring it back? This is also not an easy thing to wait for and many along the way encourage you to give it up. But true love waits.

Waiting seems to be a constant classroom God has me in. I guess I haven't learned patience yet because it seems every time I turn around He's telling me to wait for something. Waiting for people, waiting for answers... Do you know how many times the theme of waiting on God is in the Bible? I think of Joseph and how much of his life he was waiting on God--in the pit his brothers threw him, in slavery to Potifar, in prison. I think of Abraham waiting for God's promised son, Jacob waiting for Rachel, David waiting to be king...and many others. Over and over again people waiting for God to work in impossible situations that sometimes they tried to change on their own and failed. But you know what? God makes beautiful promises for those who do wait on Him. Isaiah 40:31 says "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 30:18 tells us "blessed are all they that wait for Him."

So I wait, and wait, and wait some more. And I look at this ring and I don't just think of the one out there somewhere I'm waiting for but I think of others I know who are waiting in various ways. I think of how God waits for each of us to receive the gift of Love He gave us on Christmas. I think of waiting for Christ to return for His bride. I think my new favorite verse is Psalm 130:5--"I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope." Instead of looking at my ring as waiting for someone, I am waiting for the Lord to do great and marvelous things for me and for the ones I love.

There's a song that has been especially meaningful to me lately in regards to waiting. It's called "Time In Between" by Francesca Battistelli.

You were there when your Father said
Let there be light
You obeyed when He whispered
Son, You have to leave tonight
To spend nine months in a mothers womb
Three days in a borrowed tomb

But it’s the time in between
That brings me to my knees
Knowing you came for me
And all that I can't be
I'm amazed, so amazed
And I thank You for the time in between

Don't take much for this crazy world
To rob me of my peace
And the enemy of my soul
Says You’re holding out on me
So I stand here lifting empty hands
For you to fill me up again

But it’s the time in between
That I fall down to my knees
Waiting on what You'll bring
And the things that I can't see
I know my song’s incomplete
Still I'll sing in the time in between

So many ways
Your love has saved the day
And I'm grateful for them all

But it’s the time in between
The middle of two thieves
That says everything
It’s the reason I believe
I'm amazed, so amazed
And I thank you for the time in between
Oh Lord, I thank you for the time in between

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pappaw & Granny

Donard’s pain was mostly under control shortly after Thanksgiving for a couple weeks but now appears to be stepping up another notch. While sleep has consumed about 18+ hours daily, he has been able to wake up for short periods during the day and for about 4 hours every evening to have supper and visit with us. This pattern will be interrupted for a week or so while his body adjusts to additional medication to meet the new pain level. Specific answers to prayer have been encouraging: Breathing treatments have proven to be helpful, and swallowing difficulties have lessened some, at least temporarily. God’s intervention in these areas definitely lowered our stress levels, for which we are especially grateful.

Please forgive an additional update here, but for those who know my mom, here is a bit of news about her. She had three seizures on December 12 and 13, but thankfully she was not alone and did not fall. Even though I was with her when the third seizure happened, she suffered a hairline fracture of her left arm (apparently because of her osteoporosis). A definite sign that she is on the mend is that she is beginning to want to get up and walk around again, keeping the caregivers on their toes. For anyone that wants to drop by The Hampton with a treat, she loves McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies. :)

Thank you for your many expressions of love and especially for your continued prayers for Donard and the family. Our prayer is that you will have a very blessed Christmas and New Year and that each of us will know and trust Jesus more every day. He alone is the reason for the season.

Rose Ann for the family

"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-23

Monday, December 14, 2009

time flies when you're really busy

It seems like it's been a long time since I blogged anything significant other than Pappaw reports. It certainly isn't because nothing has happened! It's more likely just that I've been so very busy. At the end of August I became a nanny to Kennedy (5) and Garrison (3).



They are great kids and I've really enjoyed being paid to have fun with them! We've had our ups and downs getting to know each other but I think we are finally becoming friends. Garrison who hasn't really reciprocated my hugs not only gave me one on my last day before Christmas vacation but even gave me a big kiss (unprompted!). :) It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!

Between all of my jobs (Bazaarvoice & nannying mostly) I'm now working 40-50 hours a week which is definitely a culture shock for a homeschooler who has worked almost exclusively from home the last two years. Yikes! The first couple of weeks were very hard as I adjusted to the new schedule which included leaving my house at 7 AM four days a week and not getting home until 7 PM most nights. I finally settled into somewhat of a routine but it's definitely been a challenge.

The other big change has been Pappaw becoming bedridden. He has a hospital bed in the livingroom and enjoys visitors when possible. We've tried to spend some time over there but with our ever increasing busyness it has been hard to carve out time for anything extra. I unfortunately fail at being a good granddaughter these days and visiting all my ill grandparents regularly. Some wonderful friends helped come and sing for him one night and despite being heavily medicated that night I think he did enjoy it. We hope to do it again very soon.

Really though the biggest struggle for me lately has been the really overwhelming mountain of things that scream for my attention and the complete feeling of helplessness in keeping up with it all. It seems like the harder I try the further behind I get. Time management was not my strong suit in the past and now that it is non-optional I've found myself very easily discouraged. A week ago was especially bad because Joanna was very late getting home which put me even later getting to my home and for nearly a week all I had time for was to bring my things in from the car and grab some dinner before devotions and bedtime were upon me. I am learning a little bit at a time to do little things that help me keep from falling so desperately behind...simple things like every time I'm in the bathroom choosing one type of thing to do like gather all the toothbrushes and put them away or pick up the dirty towels. Unfortunately there was no hope at all for my bedroom which was drowning me in unfiled papers and baskets of laundry. This extra long holiday vacation is being super helpful for catching up on those things though and hopefully I will be able to maintain it to a point that I won't fall so far behind. It really just has been a nonstop stream of activity since I started working and my room was already a nightmare. I do not know how moms with full time careers besides their kids do it!!

One thing I've noticed about being so busy is that time seems to really go by quickly. I feel like I have that watch from the story and that I'm somehow speeding up time because every time I think about it the time seems to just go by faster. I can hardly believe Christmas is already here. As I put up the lights up outside and shivered in the very definitely wintry weather it seemed almost unreal. I'm not finding the Christmas "mood" coming very easily this year, I just feel almost indifferent. I want to be in the Christmas mood but somehow it eludes me. Every time I try to play my Christmas music in the car or as I work it just doesn't feel right and I switch back to my normal stuff. I've been Christmas shopping and bought some gifts I'm super excited about giving and yet it still doesn't feel like Christmas. It feels as if Christmas will just fly right by and I won't have even had the chance to enjoy it at all.

Well one thing I will say about my new schedule is that I finally do want to go to bed at decent hours again!! My body tells me it's after 11 PM despite the fact I haven't had to get up early this week. I think the chiropractor said that's a good thing, 10 PM - 6 AM is when we get the best sleep. I'd prefer that number to end up a bit closer to 8 or 9 AM myself. ;) And now that I have an entire book typed up I believe I can post this and feel accomplished. Writing is something I do miss at times and this seems to be my only outlet for it.

In case I don't get around to posting again before then, have a merry Christmas. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Prayer update

Increasing pain has necessitated stronger meds and, as a result, increased sleep. Breathing problems and difficulty swallowing have recently compounded significantly. Please continue to pray for God's presence to be evident, for strength to finish the course, and for His perfect peace.

Rose Ann for the family

"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:21-23

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Please continue to pray

Pain control and other basic needs for Donard is now being managed at home. He is extremely weak, unable to walk, and on continuous oxygen supply. We are grateful for your continued prayers and are trusting God for wisdom, direction, strength, and peace for each day for Donard and for each family member.

Rose Ann for the family

"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:21-23

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 9th update

It's a little late because we've been at Family Camp all week but here was the latest report.

On Tuesday, October 6, Donard was admitted to Conroe Regional Hospital because of fever and shortness of breath. After being diagnosed and treated for pneumonia, he was released on Thursday night and is home again with oxygen available 24/7. The coronary angiogram that was scheduled for today (Friday) had to be postponed. Progressing cancer in multiple areas remains the primary issue, and the resulting need for increasing pain control is a continual challenge. The decision this week to end his recent employment and focus on his health was difficult for Donard but non-optional.
Until we can relay our gratefulness personally, please know that your faithful prayers and many expressions of love and concern mean more than words can express.
 "This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:21-23

Monday, October 5, 2009

Donard continues to experience shortness of breath periodically and is scheduled for a coronary angiogram on Friday, October 9th, at 12:30 p.m. This will proceed if he is free of fever for 48 hours prior. Tylenol for pain and fever relief was eliminated early last week because of skyrocketing liver enzyme levels. He is now using the nighttime prescription pain med 24/7. This prescription will compound other problems, but our primary care physician is attempting to address those as well as the continuing anemia. Even with no Tylenol he seemed to be free of fever for several days but had a low-grade again tonight (Sunday). Donard has missed at least one day for each week on the new job but is determined to endure as long as possible and as long as the employer will tolerate his unpredictable health issues.

Prayers for my mother have been answered! She has recovered from her fall and is able to walk comfortably again.

We continue to be so grateful for your many expressions of love and for your faithful prayers.

Rose Ann for the family

Saturday, September 12, 2009

latest Pappaw report

In spite of continuing health problems and resulting weaknesses, Donard began a new job on August 31 after being off work since February 6th. It didn’t seem possible that he even had the strength to make the long drive every day, but he did so and worked for 8 to 10 hours, then drove back home. He was both determined and successful, coming home early only one day the first week. The second week brought increased challenges in several areas of his health, but we saw God bring about miraculous answers to the prayers of those of you who have been so faithful to lift Him to our heavenly Father. On Friday evening (Sept. 11) Donard made the decision to go to the emergency room to get help, since his shortness of breath had reached a critical level. God spared us from hours of waiting, we saw a doctor within the first hour, he received the needed oxygen, and a diagnosis was made within a short time: shortness of breath was due to fluid in the lungs caused by failure of the heart to function efficiently. Donard was admitted at Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands for treatment, and we are hoping he will be released on Sunday or at the latest Monday, September 14. We do not know what lies ahead, but nothing surprises God, and He is our refuge and strength.
 
For those who may be interested in other family members, here is a brief update:
My mother (Ruth Baker) had a fall about ten days ago that left her limping and very limited in movement. Surgery would be extremely difficult at her stage. Please pray for healing so she can continue to walk as she loves to do.
Misti and Wesley have a beautiful new baby daughter, Allison Rose Danson, born August 14, weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz. Misti had to return to the hospital a week later with high blood pressure problems, but we are grateful for each day’s progress toward recovery. Allison is a ray of sunshine for our whole family, and we are looking forward to showing her off.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
 
We are so grateful for your love and continued prayers.
Rose Ann for the family

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz

I call, You hear me
I’ve lost it all
And it’s more than I can bear
I feel so empty

You’re strong
I’m weary
I’m holdin’ on
But I feel like givin’ in
But still You’re with me

I know I’m broken
But You alone
Can mend this heart of mine
You’re always with me

And even though I’m walkin’ through
The valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him
Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone
And I’ve been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will
Ever need
And He will carry me

And even though I feel so lonely
Like I’ve never been before
You never said it would be easy
But You said you’d see me through
The storm

And even though I’m walkin’ through
The valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him
Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone
And I’ve been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will
Ever need
And He will carry me

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conversations with Joel

The funny thing about Joel these days is 75% of his conversation consists of the following two phrases: "Huh?" and "How you know?". This can be very frustrating but also highly amusing.

Joel spots me with a box of cheezits and holds out his hand for one
me (handing him one): "They're spicy."
Joel: "How you know?"
me: "Because I ate one."
Joel: "Huh?"

Today however my favorite conversation went something like this:

Joel: "Going to the beach?"
me: "Yes."
Joel: "Can I go too?"
me: "Yup."
Joel: "What's a beach?"
me: "It's um...sand and water."
Joel misinterprets this as being sand IN water and babbles something about getting the water dirty.
Joel: "Can you swim it?"
me: "Yes, you can swim in it."
Joel: "Will you swim too?"
me: "Yes."
Joel (thinking of the pool in our backyard): "Is there a ladder at the beach?"
me: "No there's no ladder you can just walk into it."
Joel: "Huh??"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Overheard at CI....

"Scare the womens every day!"


"If you make the princess in the story named Miss Megan she will like it and loosen up so you can finish it."


"I have all that stuff you guys do at home because I went to Big Sandy!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 17 update

On July 3rd we saw the oncologist for the report on Donard’s latest tests. All previous areas of cancer had grown since the former tests in November, and there is additional new growth in the lungs. Most discouraging was that cancer has reappeared where it had been removed in February (along with 2 vertebrae and part of a rib) during surgery to protect the spinal cord from disease in that area.

We were told that the recent cough is likely caused by increased disease, as well as the discomfort and pain in his back that we had blamed on slow recovery from surgery. The slight improvement in stamina was short-lived. After being up a couple hours, his back has reached its limit, and he goes back to bed to rest and sleep. The past year has been a long, discouraging exercise in futility to control pain and slow and/or conquer growth and spread of cancer. Donard has decided against further chemotherapy and plans to once again try non-traditional, natural therapies to continue his battle. Eleven years ago the surgeon gave a grim report after his first cancer surgery, but God had another plan. The future has always been and remains in the hands of the Master, and we know He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf.

Rose Ann for the family.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Conversations with Emma

(on our way home from VBS)
Emma: "Did you know that in Australia they call suckers 'lollies'?"
Me: "Like short for lollipop."
Emma: "Yeah."
Me: (singing) "Lollipop, lollipop, lifesaver, lollipop"
Emma: (obviously impressed) "You know a song for EVERYTHING!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 10, 2009, 4 months post surgery

In spite of concerns that testing was beyond his limitations, Donard was able to complete follow-up tests on May 28th, and the surgeon reported that everything looked good from the surgery perspective. This gave him a green light with the insurance company to go back to work – if there is any available. He has not been strong enough to work before now but will give it a try beginning June 15. On June 3rd we learned that long-term disability was denied due to a glitch in timing of the surgery. It was a big disappointment but obviously not God’s plan. He has already been warned that he will likely be laid of after working two weeks.

In the medical arena, the doctors are now ready for him to resume chemo, but Donard is currently processing information and deciding if he is going to break away from mainstream treatments at MD Anderson and opt for an alternative. The last two chemo regimens left him very weak and with ongoing side effects that raise questions as to whether benefits of continuing such treatments outweigh the consequences. Surgery removed the immediate threat to his spinal cord, but there is still cancer in what remains of the rib that was partially removed, and there are also tumors in both lungs. Unless God chooses to heal miraculously, the battle is not over.

Getting the needed exercise to rebuild strength and stamina has been complicated by foot problems, back discomfort, and general, severe weakness. While Donard was specially blessed to be cough and sneeze-free for 3 months after surgery, that reprieve ended about a month ago with a relentless cough like Mendi and Misti and many others have had. After several nights with little or no sleep and a visit to the doctor, we discovered a combination of meds that helped him finally get some rest. A more recent complication is periodic extreme coughing spells laced with hard sneezes that give him no time to catch his breath and leave him exhausted. At four months post surgery, he has come a long way but is anxious to have more than one or two “good” days each week. Thankfully, today was one of those rare good days.

We are grateful for every expression of love and concern and for your continued prayers for wisdom, clear direction, and for the ability to see everything from God’s perspective. Needless to say, a miraculous healing would also be gladly welcomed.

"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-23

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

pharisees


You don't want my perfection
all you ask of me is that I show up broken at your feet
you don't want my religion
you are looking for devotion that is more than just routine
so show me what it means

to take up my cross
and count it all as loss
all for the sake of knowing you
to bow my head and knees
and care for those in need
show me what it means
to follow you

if I become like a pharisee
passing by the needy while I'm speaking Jesus on my lips
will I walk with you on raging seas
will I turn away when you want more than what I want to give
so show me what it means, what it means


to take up my cross
and count it all as loss
all for the sake of knowing you
to bow my head and knees
and care for those in need
show me what it means
to follow you

to love as you love
and live as you lived
to never give up on giving you my life
to love as you love
and live as you lived
to find out what it means to be a light, to be a light

to take up my cross
and count it all as loss
all for the sake of knowing you
to bow my head and knees
and care for those in need
show me what it means
to follow you

I will follow you
I will follow you
show me what it means
I will follow you
Meredith Andrews "Show Me What it Means"


I've had this draft saved for awhile, I'm not sure why I hadn't published it yet but I remembered it during our church's afternoon service on Sunday. A group of our young people went to SMITE last week and a song was used in the service that reminded me of my post.

How many times have we in seeking favor with God refused to "associate" with people who appeared less "spiritual" than we? Just because a a brother or sister in Christ doesn't share the same views we do doesn't mean we should not allow ourselves to associate with them. I know that I myself have told my brothers to be careful who they hang out with because I don't want the wrong kinds of people influencing them. However we must be careful to not hold other members of the body of Christ at arm's length just because we don't agree with them over some trivial matter.

Sometimes we even hide away from the lost world in our attempt to be different and "set apart". Jesus ate with the sinners did he not? He didn't only choose to visit with the good church people but He spent time with those who the pharisees despised. In Matthew 15:24 He said "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Sometimes God calls us to befriend the friendless. You may never know what your friendship could mean to someone who is hurting and how you can touch them for Christ by reaching out to them. The lost world doesn't want snotty religious Christians who pride themselves in looking "different" from the world...they want people who care and have answers to the questions that all of us face. Some would think that if your family doesn't follow the perfect little Christian mold that you are a failure as an example to others. I don't think so. I think that it gives you more of an advantage because they know you've BEEN there. You've felt those same emotions they have, you've had those same problems and yet you have an answer for the hope that lies within you.

This is the song that was used in the background of the photo slideshow from their week. Click this link to listen to the song (it's not a professional recording).

He walked along the shores of Galilee
From clay He formed the healing bond
That caused the blind to see
When stones of wrath weighed heavy in their hands
He knelt to write His mercy in the sand
Jesus came to set the captives free
Showed us by the way He lived
The way we need to be
All love is more than words can ever say
We must touch them with compassion
To help them find their way

Chorus:
How can we reach a world we never touch
How can we show them Christ if we never show them love
Just to say we care will never be enough
How can we reach a world we never touch

Verse 2:
Could we so busy being saved
Trying to impress a world
That's long since lost it's way
We pride ourselves in being set apart
Yet we don't take time to touch a broken heart
Even if we found the time to care
Would we take the risk involved in always being there
Oh we hold the very thing they need so much
Sometimes the Word of God can pass through just a simple touch


Chorus

Verse 3:
We hide behind these walls
And the security of friends
While beyond the stain glass windows
The world is lost in sin


Chorus

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Houston IBLP Seminars

 

IBLP Houston Seminars - Basic, Advanced, Anger Resolution

Mark your calendars! The IBLP seminars are coming to Houston on July 23-25 at Sagemont Church.

Seminars that will be offered: Basic (available in Spanish), Advanced, and Anger Resolution Seminar
There will also be a Children’s Program offered for children ages 5-12.
Click for Times and More Info

Seminars Overview

Basic Seminar
The Basic Seminar addresses seven Biblical principles that apply to every person, regardless of culture, religion, age, education, or social status. It emphasizes the factors needed to develop and maintain healthy, growing relationships with God, family members, and friends.

Advanced Seminar
Building upon the foundational principles taught at the Basic Seminar, the Advanced Seminar discusses more specific application of Biblical principles to the areas of marriage, family, education, and finances.

Anger Resolution Seminar
The Anger Resolution Seminar equips individuals with the tools necessary for identifying and removing the root causes of anger and shows how God’s truth and power can achieve what our resolve cannot. It also explains how to avoid anger by learning to give verbal blessings.


IBLP Houston


For additional information concerning IBLP Seminars and other resources:
IBLP Headquarters - Oak Brook College of Law - Verity Institute - International ALERT Academy - ALERT Cadet

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a song in my heart

While I'm on the topic of music I thought I would post a little about the title to my blog. It has multiple meanings of course but the one that stands out right now has a lot to do with my personality. I love music and I think anyone who knows me would know that. I had noticed this about myself before but it has been more obvious this last week than in a long time and made me begin thinking more about it but you can tell a lot about my mood by whether or not I am singing. If there is music on and I know the song it is just inevitable that I will begin humming or singing along.

I remember the Psalty books from when I was young and more specifically a book about his daughter Melody. Something happened in the book and Melody "lost her song". She was only able to sing again when she had confessed whatever it was she had done wrong and asked for forgiveness from her dad. I have found that to be true of myself. When I am in a bad mood whether it be because I'm annoyed with someone or sad or frustrated I have a hard time singing. Normally I won't be able to KEEP myself from singing and I think it would be a very effective method of torture for me if someone were ever to say "I'm going to play this music and you can't sing all day or you will die". I'd probably end up dying within five minutes haha!!

It's been a good check in the past to nudge me that I need to straighten up my attitude but this weekend it was different. I just had a hard time singing and I didn't know why. Since Thursday I felt very burdened about a lot of things and just felt like I surely couldn't go on any longer. on Sunday we had both Sunday School and morning service all about faith in God to do the impossible for us. It was convicting in some ways and encouraging in others. I know I talk about faith a lot and truly believe in it but sometimes if you take your eyes off Jesus just for a split second to look at the water you begin to sink. I told God I can't do anything about my current situation...I've done everything He's shown me to do so far and it seems now that I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place with a hammer banging away on top. The rest of Sunday I was very drained emotionally but it is true that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Today when I plugged up my ipod I could feel my song coming back. Nothing has changed, no audible voice telling me how to proceed or special instructions arriving in the mail from God...I just felt that my batteries had been recharged and I was able to go again. It feels so much better when I can sing. :)

When God Is Silent

At the first year I attended The Wilds' Music Conference this song was included in one of the free books I received. At the time I remember thinking it was a nice song but didn't really think much more about it. Throughout the last couple of years the words to this song, mostly the chorus, have come to my head multiple times when I feel like I've reached the end of my ropes and God doesn't seem to be answering any of my pleas.


When God Is Silent

When God is silent, and we don't know, the way before us that we ought to go;
When we've attempted to do His will, and yet His silence continues still;

Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall yet be praising once again; for His silence never means that we're alone.

When God is silent, and all seems lost, as o'er the waves our boat is tempest tossed;
When answers fail us and doubts arise, but God seems distant, hid from our eyes;

He is in the mountain praying that our faith will never fail, though our souls be sifted through.
O'er the wind and waves we soon shall see Him coming to prevail.
We can trust Him for His promises are true. They are true!

Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall yet be praising once again; for His silence never means,
No, His silence never means that we're alone. He will never, ever leave us alone.

-Jeanine Drylie

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some would gather money
Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin;
I would seek a golden curl
And a freckled toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And the roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But oh! the laughing children!
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to Heaven,
I can take them in with me!

~Isabel Gray

The Houston CI has a website!

Thanks to several people the Houston IBLP seminars have their own websites now including the Children's Program! You can check it out here. It's pretty spiffy. :-) You might also see some faces you recognize...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Luke's non-virtuousness

Just to set the scene--Mom and Savanna were at Walmart past 9 and we usually start devotions at 8. She asked if Micah could read the Bible and we could start singing until she got home. This is the conversation that ensued.

Micah: Which scripture should I read?
Me: Just read the Psalm of the day. 14
Micah: Maybe I should add 30 or 60 to that?
Me: Do whatever the spirit leads you to do, I trust your godliness and virtuousness
Luke: Your virtuousness is better than rubies or something.
Micah: FAR above rubies. You are NOT virtuous because you can't even quote the verse right.
Luke: I own a bass guitar so I can't be virtuous anyway.
Me: You are definitely not a virtuous woman.
Micah: And your price is not far above rubies!

disappointment

This is mostly for informational purposes for my family who reads my blog as I try to not bore anyone with too much of my day to day life. :-)

Just like about 90% of the US right now I've been having some financial stresses mostly in the last six months. I was really feeling the strain anyway and just barely keeping my head above water so to speak and I began having a lot of car trouble the last month or two. I found I needed new brake pads, three new tires and my serpentine belt is just about kaput when I started having some strange electrical trouble. My dear brothers took the alternator off and Haley ran it to Autozone for testing but found nothing wrong. I had finally broke down and bought two of the new tires (one kept going flat on me) so having no money and this being the really tight paycheck I was going to grit my teeth and pray my car through another month.

We were very busy (read stressed!) today, Mom had a shift, I had two, the girls worked this morning, Haley was busy all afternoon, we are trying to prepare the house for the exterminator to come on Monday and Micah's birthday is tomorrow so we were needing to do some prep for that. I had just made dinner and was making birthday cake when I got a call from Mom that she had hit something in the road and it made an awful clacking sound so she was on the shoulder. She tried to start it back up again and it wouldn't so I began trying to locate Dad or Haley who had the other functioning vehicles (the van has been out of commission since that fateful trip home from the rodeo in Marc) to meet her. While I was on the phone with Dad I got a voicemail from Mom. Whatever she hit had torn a hole in my gas tank and the entire contents emptied onto the shoulder. I suspect that was $20 worth of gas alone as I had only recently filled it up. :-P To be quite honest I shed a few tears. Having just bought the tires I really don't have the ability to pay for more repairs. Mom said she wasn't the only one who hit the mysterious object and that several people were on the shoulder with flat tires. We were grateful that having discovered it was the gas tank Mom had not been hurt when she tried to restart the car. A wrecker came and towed my poor little car to home up into the driveway alongside the van where it will sit until I have some money. I'm really afraid to find out how much it will cost. :( So I guess God is really teaching me right now what Bro Joe was talking about a few weeks ago--giving everything you've got and then trusting God to take care of the rest since we have no way to get the entire family anywhere (including church I am reminding Him :) ) until either the car or van is running again. It will be interesting to see what He does!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Only at my house

Only at my house could we have some of the crazy problems inadvertently caused by Hurricane Ike. As some friends noticed when they visited us we have had trouble with a family of raccoons who made their home in between the floors/walls of our house after the hurricane. It was VERY annoying because being nocturnal creatures they made all kinds of thumping sounds and talked to each other in the night when we were trying to sleep. We borrowed a trap from a neighbor and caught two or three I think but there were definitely still more. Just a couple of weeks ago the sounds in the bathroom began to sound like babies to me and I thought oh joy they are really here for the long haul now.

When our friend came out and fixed our roof for us he also showed the boys how to seal off a place in the garage where we thought they might be going and coming. While we were happy to have it done we suspected that we had just sealed in some of the raccoons. The ones under the bathroom floor made a lot of racket for about two days before that stopped. Then a couple of days ago the smell began. At first I could only smell it when I first came home from somewhere, it would be one little whiff and then it was gone. A little later I could smell it fairly well if I stood in a certain spot in the school room which is directly under the bathroom. Today the smell was BAD. I had been afraid it would get like this and hated to think about how long we'd live with it like that.

We decided the worst smell was in the hallway/bathroom upstairs and in the big boys' room. Mom decided someone should at least investigate the attic to see if any of them were up there because we could remove those. If they were in between the walls and floors though like we suspected that wasn't going to be a fixable situation. Josh apparently volunteered to check it out and went upstairs. A minute later he yelled down to us. "I FOUND ONE!" He had opened the door to the attic and it fell out onto the floor. I was really surprised because I thought for sure we'd been in the attic fairly recently but I guess not. It was a little baby like we'd thought and while I didn't dare look when Dad removed it Mom saw it and I thought she was going to cry. "It's so cute! How HORRIBLE!" she said with a distraught look on her face. "It's just like the baby mice we caught in the trailer..." This was exactly why I didn't want to look because I was already feeling guilty for trapping baby raccoons until they starved/thirsted to death. I kept telling myself that I have nothing against raccoons whatsoever, even the big ones are usually cute (except for the massive dog-sized ones that have been seen in our backyard but I'm fairly certain can't be the ones that lived in the house because there's no way they squeezed their humongous bodies into our walls). But they do NOT belong in my house. Sealing it up so they can't get in had to be done and there was no way to be sure none got stuck inside before we did that.

I waited a good long time after they removed it to go back upstairs again. The scent has GREATLY improved but we can still smell it in the boys' room and a bit in my room. I'm sure there are more as after a quick Google check we discovered typical raccoon litters are 3-5. I'm hoping though that the others are buried in the walls still and won't be as horribly noticeable...one can hope right?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

more on grace

I'm sure everyone I know is about sick to death of hearing viewpoints on grace vs legalism but I just had a few more musings that have been slowly penetrating while I've been reading various ones such as Kristin and Mr. Wychopen and others notes. Before I get into it though I will reiterate again that these are truths God has been showing me personally about incorrect concepts in my own life. I do not seek to tell others where they are wrong but rather share what God has brought me personally to.

Mr. Wychopen posted a little while ago something that has taken only until a few days AFTER he posted that to really sink in. Despite the fact that I have been saying it somehow it was one of those things that took a certain wording before it finally broke through some little imaginary wall in my own head. I can't find at this moment the exact article I was remembering but the idea was basically that there is NOTHING I can do to earn any more favor with God than I already have. It doesn't matter how "good" I am, it does not make me any more special in His sight. By the same token just because I am not as "good" as others it doesn't make me any less to Him. The only thing God sees when He looks at me is Jesus' righteousness and none of me. Now I have said these sorts of things before and fully believed that only Jesus saved me but somehow I still had this little lie in my head that to make God "happy" with me on any given day I should read my Bible, be kind to those around me, do my little list of things for the day etc etc. It was another root of legalism that had somehow worked it's way into my heart.

The article Mr. Wychopen had written kind of hung around in the back of my head for most of a day before it finally occurred to me. Everyone had gone to bed and the house was quiet. I had finished my shift and was thinking over the day's events as I got ready for bed. It literally was a light bulb moment in my head. I was still somehow trying to "earn" God's favor each day. I was still in my head saying "well today went badly but tomorrow I can be better God". There is no way for me to accurately describe how much of my life this lie was touching and perhaps no one close to me would even be able to tell a difference but there is one even if it's only between me and God. I can't tell you that suddenly I have this amazing desire to just spend hours in my Bible but I do have more of a longing now than I've ever had in my Christian life TO read it.

This song has a lot of similarities to the way I felt. There is therefore now no condemnation...

I’ve been searching
Wandering and hurting
Ashamed of the shape I’m in
Afraid you’ll see who I really am

But you invite me in
Doesn’t matter where I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

How can this be
A love so unfailing
Reached down and lifted me
From ashes to beauty

And you invite me in
Doesn’t matter where I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

You invite me in
Doesn’t matter who I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
Holding me to your side

Now I am walking away from the life I once knew
And running into your grace
It covers my shame again and again
I find my life in you

You invite us in
Doesn’t matter where we’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

You invite us in
Doesn’t matter who we’ve been
Your arms are open wide
Holding us to your side

Your arms are open wide

Monday, April 6, 2009

You Are the Music In Me

Micah and I had the opportunity to sing karaoke-style at my dear friends' wedding this weekend. I told Micah it was his big debut and I expect him to sing with me at church now. :-) The audio quality is not the best but for what it's worth, here is the video of us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the wiles of the devil

Pastor's sermon Sunday morning reminded me of a song that has taken a new level of meaning in my life. I don't think people realize just how easy it is for Satan to get his foot in the door of your life. I know that preachers frequently warn of it but until it happens to you, you tend to think "ahhh but I won't let that happen to ME!" Satan rarely comes at you straight off with something you would never do. It's a gradual descent, little by little, so subtle you may not notice. That's why it's critical to be sure your foundation is on CHRIST alone, not on works, not on standards or any thing else--because everything else can crumble beneath you as Satan chisels away at your so-called "standards" bit by bit.

"Slow Fade"

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade


Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking


It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day


Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good news & bad news -- Pappaw update

Donard had tests on Monday and saw the oncologist for a report on Tuesday. We never give up hope for a good report, but the doctor was not surprised that there were more new spots in both lungs, and the original ones had grown larger in the period without chemo since last November. Also, the tissue around what remains of the rib that was removed has grown. His CEA (cancer indicator from blood work) was around 7 in November and is now 18.2, the highest ever.

It has been six weeks since surgery, and there is one drain tube remaining. The oncologist wants Donard to call when the last tube is removed and he is feeling better in order to schedule a new round of chemo, probably a repeat of a formula he had last fall. While the oncology report was not good, Donard's ability to be awake during the day is improving, and he is feeling better overall. We are grateful there are still absolutely no symptoms from the lung tumors, and as unbelievable as it sounds, pain from surgery has never been a major issue. Weaning off all the pain medication he has been on since December, however, is a very slow process. Physical therapy is planned to begin next week. When Donard is strong enough to return to work, the surgeon wanted him to begin with half-days at first, but Mustang does not want him to return until he can work full time. That may be another couple weeks.

Your prayers, cards, calls, visits, and e-mails have been a continual source of encouragement to all of us. Thank you so much for being an important part of the recovery process, and we are very grateful for your continued prayers.

Gratefully,
Rose Ann

Saturday, March 21, 2009

video

For everyone set up to receive my posts jerry-rigged into their emails if you actually click through to the site there is a video embedded in this post. :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Joel-isms

*The kids are all in the livingroom playing Warhawk.*
Joel: "Don't kill me! I don't want to die!"
Me: "Baby that's the point of the game. If you don't want to get killed don't play the game."
Joel: "I don't want to be the point of the game!"


*Joel is messing with the laptop Mom was working on but left for a minute unattended*
Me: "Stop messing with Mom's work."
Joel: "Why mom's working?"
Me: *mumbles something I don't remember what*
Joel: "Buys the food and water and soda?"
Me: "Yup buys the food and water and soda."
Joel: "I like soda."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clearplay trouble

I've done a bit of Googling and checking on Clearplay's site but haven't found anything that really addresses my problem. When watching a movie it randomly glitches and the video goes black for various amounts of time (from a split second to ten or more seconds). I thought at first there were scratches on the disc but have determined this is not the problem as it did that with a brand new movie that we opened and put straight in. The sound is never interrupted so I thought perhaps it was the cables we were using but those are also brand new. I intend to eventually give customer service a call but thought I would put this out in case anyone else has had this trouble. It has really made such a problem we avoid watching things on it (if we think we can get away with it at all we use the PS3).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Almost four weeks after surgery, Donard has done well according to the doctors, but some areas are yet to improve. He is not gaining strength, sleeps most of the time, and his back and legs tire in just minutes. Blood pressure extremes continue to be an issue, as well. Little to no pain is the good news, and he was able to eliminate the morphine about two weeks after surgery. Since slowly reducing and eliminating the steroid, we are hoping the swelling in his face and neck will subside. One drain tube was removed last Tuesday, leaving only two in place, and the collection bottles were reduced in size, which has made everything simpler. We are grateful for many demonstrations of love that have encouraged us through recent weeks and for prayers that continue to strengthen and sustain us.

You're Not Alone

I search for love
When the night came and it closed in
I was alone
but you found me where I was hiding
and now I'll never ever be the same
It was the sweetest voice that called my name
saying

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
and I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life

You cry yourself to sleep
cause the hurt is real
and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost
With heartache your closest friend
and everyone else long gone

You've had to face the music on your own
but there is a sweeter song that calls you home
saying

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every tear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest nights
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life

Faithful and true... Forever
For my love will carry you....

You're not alone
for I... I am here
let me wipe away every fear... Oh yeah
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through your darkest night
Your darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Official update

Donard came home from the hospital Friday (Feb. 20) around 5:30 p.m. Micah (oldest grandson) spent the night here in case we needed him in the absence of an adjustable hospital bed or for any reason at all, but everything went well. Donard is very weak, and sleep consumes more time than being awake. Everything requires great effort, but we continue to be grateful for good pain control. For now we will concentrate on being content with baby steps of progress and attempting to discover a workable routine that keeps up with med schedules, drain tubes, wound care, bandage changes, and meals fitted somewhere among periods of rest, rest, and more rest. Thank you for every investment of time, expressions of concern, and especially for your faithful prayers. Being home four days ahead of schedule is just one of many evidences of God’s blessings.

With a grateful heart,

Rose Ann



"This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:21- 23

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pappaw is home!

I realized that I haven't yet updated now that my Pappaw has come home from the hospital! He is still doing very well considering the major 12 hour surgery and was able to come home in less than time than they thought he might. He is getting around the house a little bit with the help of a cane. Thank you so much for your prayers and please continue them as he still has 6-8 weeks of recovery at home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For good

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
I've gone awhile without posting anything "deep" but I have had this saved in my drafts intending to write it down for awhile. It kept being in the back of mind through various events in my life and in those of friends.

I suppose this verse is one of the most used verses in the Bible, right alongside Psalm 23, John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13. As we are all well aware sometimes the most used scriptures and stories get somehow overlooked in their significance to our lives. How many times have we quoted these verses without much thought to what they really mean? Surely I am not the only one to do this. :-)

As you go through the valley of the shadow of death you often wonder--okay God you said that ALL things work together for good but I just don't know HOW you can mean this to be good! I've asked that myself many times over the last few years. How can this be good? It isn't even YOUR WILL that these things should happen, we know it from Your Word! How can You let it and how can it be GOOD? I mean some of the testings in the Bible I think well duh, God made good out of that sad situation--but that wasn't a situation that seemed to go against His Will. During one such time of pondering I had one of those light bulb experiences...God didn't say that it WAS good but that it would work together FOR good. A simple thing to some but a dramatic difference to myself and the way my silly little mind works.

When I looked back over the events of the last several years it amazed me just how many "good" things had happened because of the place I was in. Things that would never have happened if I hadn't been there and yet they were able to happen because of the trials and testing God lead us through. It has been hard, and it has hurt and still hurts and we are still in that valley but as I looked back I could not wish any of those things away. If you had asked me five years ago to choose a path and shown me all the hurt and despair of this road I still can't say honestly I would have chosen this path. But I have seen how God can use this FOR good in my life and in the lives of my family. And perhaps one day I will say that I would gladly walk through that path again for the good that it brought...but right now I am just clinging to faith and hope that God knows what He is doing and that we are walking through the valley of death.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Latest on Pappaw

From my Mamma today:

"The doctors seem to be surprised at how well Donard has done in only 4 days post surgery, and we give God all the glory! It is possible that he won't have to be in the hospital for the expected two weeks. Being in a significantly weakened condition for some time before surgery has made getting out of bed, sitting, and standing require even more effort than would have resulted from surgery alone. The smallest tasks are exhausting, resulting in extra sleep during the day as well as at night. We have to keep reassuring him that family members are there to assist when he needs help and not to visit. It is okay to sleep, and visiting can come when he is well again.
MD Anderson is strong on pain control, and for that we are very grateful. Donard has experienced no nausea and is in good spirits. Thank you so much for all your prayers and expressions of love!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joel

Random quotes from Joel today:

"My nose is running out!"

"Oh it's the Muffits!" (Muppets)

"It's not lipskip it's makeup." (lipstick)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

6:30 (ish) Update on Pappaw

This was a bit longer of an update because the main doctor was finishing up and came out to personally fill the family in. He says overall his part went well, took longer because the tumor had to be drilled out of the bone (usually the bone is softer in radiation patients and can almost just be scooped out). He had to have a small infusion of blood, some extra platelets because of the length of the surgery (it is much longer than anticipated). The titanium cage was not needed, only two ribs were removed and some sort of concrete filling was made to go in the place of the ribs. The doctor was very optimistic and said things went very well and says Pappaw should be back up on his feet in no time (hah hah!). He did say that the cancer was invading one of the ribs quite a lot and expanded it to 3 to 4 times it's normal size which could be what Pappaw had been interpreting as gall bladder pain. This is good news in that it seems a lot of Pappaw's pain should be relieved after the recovery. Plastic surgeon started about 6:30. His job is to somehow pull the muscles up over the concrete so that it does not rub directly against Pappaw's skin. If he is able to do it the preferred way it will take him two hours, but if he has to do something they referred to as a flap it could take three to four hours so we are definitely still in this awhile longer. Thank you for your continued prayers!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pappaw's surgery

Pappaw's surgery begins around 7 AM tomorrow morning. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! I will try to keep updates posted on my facebook/twitter status as they are available.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This cracked me up

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

lots of sick kids :(

We have had lots of sick kids around here lately!! Starting on Friday last week several of them began running fevers and coughing. By Sunday six of them were sick from Luke all the way down to Joel. They've been pretty pathetic and the couches have been covered with invalids huddled under throws. ;-) Reuben in particular has been spiking some high fevers several days in a row (in excess of 103). The others seem to be mostly better although there are a few fevers here and there.

Me: "Why aren't you watching Macgyver with Joel?"
Reuben: "I'm going to throw up on Mom's bed!"
Me: "You think you're going to throw up??"
Reuben: "Yes."
Me: "Micah can you give him a bucket?"
*a few minutes later, Reuben has a bucket and goes upstairs to watch TV with Joel who shows up shortly thereafter*
Joel: "I need a bucket too."
Me: "Why?"
Joel (in his most pathetic voice): "I'm sick."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

surgery scheduled for my Pappaw

Here is the latest update from my grandmother about Pappaw.

February 1, 2009


Numerous complications have delayed updates, a downed computer being just one. Thanks to Micah’s efforts (our oldest grandson), we are back online again.

Donard is scheduled for surgery on February 10, 2009. The projected 8-hour surgery will involve removal of the 10th rib (right side) and one to three vertebrae.

A titanium cage with rods on each side held in place with screws will replace the vertebrae. The hospital stay is expected to be two weeks with additional rehab possible. A variety of neurological symptoms led doctors to the conclusion that this area must be addressed through surgery, since chemo had no positive results there and all other options are exhausted. Delaying surgery could ultimately result in paralysis. Disease in the lungs will continue to need treatment after surgery recovery.

Needless to say, we may be out-of-touch for a lengthy period of time. There may be opportunities to read e-mail, so please continue to send us your news. We may have little or no time to reply, but we will welcome any connection with the outside world. We are grateful for your notes of encouragement and for your prayers on our behalf.



“This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Thy faithfulness.”


Lamentations 3:21-23

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why we do what we do

This post is the culmination of a great deal of discussion and meditation. I'm not sure that I have it still completely put into words yet but I've definitely finally thought of a way to put down something I've been meaning to blog about. As our preferences and convictions have developed over the years there was always something that I couldn't put my finger on that seemed to separate things into two categories. Today it kind of sort of clicked.

As I've made decisions about what things I participate in and what things I don't there was always a struggle. What would God think of this? How does this fit? The Bible doesn't really address this or that issue. How do I know what He wants me to do? Some people say that a certain activity is wrong and some think it is okay. Why the difference between one Christian to the next? Obviously we all have to hear from God about what He wants us to do but something that has helped me to better understand it is that there are essentially two different kinds of activities I should not participate in. One kind of thing would be the things God clearly spells out in the Bible--thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, you know the drill. The second type is the one that usually causes all the division however--things that we abstain from because of the appearance of evil.

What kinds of things appear evil can change through the years. Something considered wrong in Bible times won't necessarily be considered wrong today and vice versa. Here is the key--to focus on the principle, not the application of it. Don't get so wrapped up in specific applications of things that you forget the point of it. For example, modesty can not be defined. You can't give someone exact guidelines on exactly how their clothes should fit and know that will always make them modest. Some of modesty is attitude and how you wear your clothes. If you have completely modest clothing but act like the woman Proverbs warns us about, you are not modest. Something that made even more sense to me was when Dr. Innes who we heard speak at The Wilds used the example of playing pool. Years ago pool was seen as something associated with drinking and worldly behavior. Now it does not have the same connotations and we can play pool without those same appearances of evil. It is all about the principle not the application of it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

more kid stuff

I heard from my Mamma that she very much enjoys hearing these conversations with the kids so I figure I will keep posting them if for nothing else but her. :-) And one day I can use this as blackmail...


Josiah: "Be glad you only have to double buckle with Joel--"
Me: "Just knock it off right now!"
Emma: "I wasn't saying anything!"
Me: "But every time you have to double buckle we end up with this conversation. Do you remember how long we were crammed in a station wagon and the AC didn't work very well in the back? The missionaries in St. Lucia don't even HAVE seat belts!"
Reuben: (in a very Steve-Martin-Clouseau voice) "Good one Megan."
Me: (slightly flustered) "What did you say??"
Reuben: "Good one Megan. You know like when he kicks the guy under the table..."


Emma: "It's like an air refreshner!"


Reuben: (singing as he runs across the house) "I need to go to the bathroom really bad...I need to go to the bathroom really bad..."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

kids say the darndest things

During prayer time lately Joel and Reuben have begun praying for each person by name. While cute and sweet this has sometimes been slightly annoying as they don't do any rhyme or reason to it and forget who they have prayed for and who they haven't. Tonight after Joel did his Reuben had a slightly different prayer than normal.
"Thank you God. I pray for Micah the stinkiest." Snickers went all around as we had just been giving Micah a hard time about not putting on enough deoderant.
"Luke the awesome one." Elbow jabs and more snickers.
"Megan the prettiest. Haley the not prettiest." Some of the kids were laughing by this point. "Josh the meanie head." More chuckles and Reuben is definitely feeding off the crowd. He walks around pointing to each person as he prays for them.
"Emma the lamest. Joel the coolest. Mom the prettiest. Josiah the coolest."
I was hiding my face and trying to not let him see me but he wasn't quite through. "Reuben the awesome one." At this point we all erupted in fits of laughter. I'm sure we will be in for more of the same since got a good reaction out of us. This is the kind of thing that makes me so enjoy living in a house of little kids, they just say the darndest things. :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pappaw

I don't probably ask for prayer often enough for my Pappaw. As some of you know things have been very rough for awhile now and it seems to be getting worse. This is the last update my grandmother wrote. Today was the appointment date and they were gone to the Dr most of the day I think. We really covet your prayers right now.

The tumor marker was down a little, but it appears from the CT scan that some areas in the lung are possibly slightly increased.

More importantly, the MRI revealed that the tumor surrounding the vertebrae has definitely progressed and is beginning to put pressure on the spinal cord. Some of what we have blamed on chemo side effects are likely symptoms of that pressure, and he is again experiencing some pain. The neurosurgeon ordered a steroid to hopefully reduce inflammation and reduce pain until after the holidays.

New tests are scheduled for January 9th to see what has happened since chemo was discontinued on Dec.19th. We have an appointment on Jan.12th to discuss pros and cons of surgery and other treatment options, though chemo options may be exhausted. We already know the surgery to relieve pressure on the spinal cord is very severe and life-altering and would leave the other areas of disease unaddressed. We are so grateful for continued prayers as we face decisions in the days ahead. In our weaknesses, He is our strength and the provider of every need:

  • good counsel
  • wisdom
  • clear direction
  • confirmation
  • peace of mind
  • that we would glorify the King of Kings in all things