Monday, November 30, 2009

November Happenings.....

I cannot believe that tomorrow is December 1st already! Wow time goes by so fast. It is all a blur but God is good and I am so grateful for His constant guidance and presence.

What has happened in the past few weeks?..........

Rixxi got a job. Yeah! We are happy for her. Her employer is working her continually too so we hope that it can turn into a full time position for her after the holidays.

Pippin is still job searching so I am trying to be an encouragement there for her. The rules are.....conservatively at least 10 job applications per week and up and dressed for the day with a plan of action by 9am every day. I am sure some would say that is way too easy but I think she is doing good.

Puddin' is adjusting to her sophomore year completely now and God has been working on her to feel a sense of purpose in school instead of wanting to hide from it all.


The middle of November we had opportunity to volunteer at Father's Heart for their Thanksgiving Dinner. Can I even begin to explain the explosion of emotion that went through my heart that evening?

I think I am not alone in being honest about viewing homeless people with a mixture of emotions. When I see them on the street corners with signs in hand I want to at least smile an encouragement their way but then I worry that they would think I have something for them or that I am making fun of them in some way. So instead I stare at the light and will in to turn green and release me.

I know full well that each person has their own individual story and yet society stereo typing is the first thing that comes to my mind and that shames me.

And yet, fueled by my own ignorance I was shocked and so blessed to be around the 90 people that we cared for that night. Why in the world would I not expect them to have manners, to offer polite gratitude, and wait patiently for their turn? Why did it make me stop in my tracks to see so many with so little offer what they had to one another?......"This is the last milk but I think you should have it instead."......."Here you can have this seat and we will make room.".

The thing that most left a mark on my heart was towards the end of the evening when a young couple came in for help. She was 18 and disowned by her family. He was 25 and lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan. though he receives full disability, the money doesn't matter because is is plagued by panic and fear that makes him more non functional that a blind eye ever could.

We fed them, listened to them, and then prayed with them. Have you ever seen peace wash over someone? That night it became more than a phrase to me as I watched this man go from raw adrenaline panic to slow breathing calm simply by speaking God's truth over him. We spoke thankfulness for his service and destiny and purpose of his life. We spoke worth and value over his being and restoration healing over his body. They both hugged us and cried, grateful for receiving the love and compassion that had been so craved but absent anywhere else.

I think of them often now and wonder how they are doing.
I plan to volunteer for the Christmas dinner too so maybe I will see them again.


I used to sew all the time. I had taken a basic class in high school and then fumbled around from there on learning from mistakes and going forward. I learned to create patterns from thin air and became the drama department seamstress for all of the low budget plays. That was fun!

Later, when my girls were little, I was constantly on my machine making clothes or baby blankets for all the new babies being born in my husband's unit. But then cost, time, and desire all welled up against me and I didn't feel like it anymore. Why take all that time and cost when I could get it cheaper and more quick at the local department store? Last year I even thought of posting my 17 year old machine for sale but then figured I should keep it around for hemming pants and mending holes.

That has all changed for me now and I have been completely bitten by the sewing bug.

It all started with a simple desire to make our new grand baby a towel. I have always had a disliking for those little store bought baby towels that are about as thin as paper. So usually when a baby is born I will sew a couple of regular towels and washcloths together to make something much more comfortable. As the babies grow into toddler-hood they still love their towels and are frequently seen streaking around the house after a baby with their "hooded cape" on and squealing in glee.

So I figured Abbigail needed just such an item and I made her this....

Then, since Rixxi just happened to be hired on at a craft store....I thought it couldn't harm anything to walk around the store for a bit. How I ended up in materials I don't know but I came home with an old tried and true pattern in mind and ended up making this for Abbigail too.....

Over the weekend, Hubby and I went back to the fabric store and came home with material to make each of our son's step-children a quillow (a personal throw quilt that has a pocket to fold the blanket in and become a decorative pillow) and also a baby blanket for my dear Angel-girl.

Shame on me for I even started looking at new machines!

See, as I was sewing, my 17 year old machine went out. I thought about servicing it but Hubby suggested that maybe I could buy a used one for the same price. It was a quick find but I should have done more research. The machine I bought used is missing the back stitch button. I figured I could get it replaced easy but it is proving to be a hard part to acquire. So for now I am using a friend's machine and I am so grateful.

Oh but golly I have my eye on a computer model at the sewing center down the road.


I'd like to update you about my daddy.

I talked with him on Thursday and he was sounding a bit discouraged.
Though originally the pathology report from his kidney biopsy said the results were indeterminate on whether he has one form of cancer or two, the pathologist has since conferred with a few other doctors and decided that the mass on my dad's kidney is most likely the same cancer as what is in his esophagus.
Because of this, they are going to choose to be a bit more aggressive in treatment and remove his whole left kidney instead of just what is left of the 2 masses after therapy.

As for his treatment, the oncologists are telling him that he isn't going to be able to start treatment until the middle of December. That is frustrating him too since we have known about his cancer for well over a month now and he is getting pretty uncomfortable. The mass in his esophagus is too tight for him to swallow anything but thin liquids. He went in early last week and had a feeding tube put in his abdomen to help out with nourishment. And he plans to sit at the hospital today and wait for his doctor to have an opening in his schedule to try and dilate his esophagus a bit and relieve the pressure.

I have step-siblings and a cousin in the town where he lives, but he chose to stay home alone with the tv and 8 dogs (yes 8) on Thanksgiving. I know he was discouraged with not being able to eat and I know he was in pain and tired from the feeding tube placement but I don't want being alone to become routine for him.

I know he worries about me being gone from home for a long time and so he has asked that I not go to be with him until his surgery. He feels he can handle treatment on his own. That is so hard for me to accept. I want so badly to be there for as long as possible. My hubby says I should leave and go be with him in January regardless of what Daddy has asked for.

At this moment, I don't know when I am going........but I will definitely go.
At this moment, I am trusting.......trusting that God is with him and is orchestrating each moment.


So that is my November.
I pray that yours has been well.
I thank you for your well wishes, prayers, smiles, and faithfulness even when I have been so out of touch. Knowing you are there blesses me.

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Next Generation.....

Way back when....
when Hubby and I were first dating, there were children already.
She was 9 years old and he was 5.
He was such a cute little blond boy with a never ending supply of energy and questions.
His excitement at daily living and pure innocence were always infectious for me.
His tender heart; even with the ups and downs of growing up,
it has never lost it's softness.
Now a little over 20 years later....he is the brand new daddy.
He is going to be really good at it too.

Welcome to the world Little Abbigail!
You are such a miracle blessing.
So many doctors said you would have problems but we knew the truth.
We knew that you were resting in God's protective hands the whole time.
Oh how I wish we didn't live 6 hours apart.
I am so looking forward to holding you and whispering God's precious truths in your ear
that you are a princess, a treasure and delight with a purpose and destiny
made special just for you and you alone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The MP3 Player....

The past week here has been rain and shades of grey constantly. I was most acutely aware of it one morning while driving Puddin' to school. Though it was only 8:30 in the morning the grey canopy of sky was deep. It was the kind of dark that makes one want to hide under blankets and ignore the world. Despite the heaviness that those clouds warned of, the light of the sun seemed to burn right through and find victory in creating patches here and there of liquid gold.

As I was driving, I smiled. I smiled because the sky around me very much reflected what has been going on in my heart. In the midst of groceries, laundry, youth events, and social dad is always on my mind. I feel that heavy burden of what if trying to creep in and grip me. And yet, I also feel that liquid gold coursing through the fibers of my being. God whispering the truths that I must pay attention to.

It is your job to is My job to perform My will.
It is your job to is My job to work all things together for My good.
Don't listen to the world child........listen to Me and rest in My abiding protection.

It is a good feeling.
Thank you God for your guidance and grace.

The doctors have found a second mass on my dad's left kidney. While they are 99% certain that it is of a different cellular structure than what is in his esophagus, they will be performing a biopsy on Friday to determine for certain and plan from there.

My plans are to go and be with him for a bit of time when he begins the chemo and radiation treatments. While I don't have travel dates just yet, I have been thinking here and there in my mind of what to pack, what to buy, and what to arrange.

God and I have been talking back and forth about what kinds of things I will be experiencing on the trip. While Dad is sounding positive, I know there will be times of needing encouragement. He will be having treatments 5 days a week and that is taxing to the hardiest of statures. My step-mom had died a couple of years ago from cancer and so I know in some way that must be looming over Dad and my step-siblings. Most importantly I feel that this will be a time of showing Dad more and more of God's grace, mercy and love.

With all of the preparations, I told God that I would really love to have my own source of reminders around me. How wonderful it would be to take my encouraging music and audios to help me keep my eyes on truth. The only problem was that I cannot afford to go buy an mp3 player.

As soon as I woke up Friday morning, God placed a thought in my head.
"You need to place and ad on Craig's List for an mp3 player."
Hmmm...that was interesting. I fiddle footed around a bit and then did what I was told. I placed an ad in the Wanted section stating the facts as basic as I could. This is me, this is what I need and why I need it. I held back nothing and expressed very definitely that I wanted it so that I could keep Godly encouragement flowing through my mind in the midst of taking care of my dad. Then I asked simply for favor in being thought of, that if someone had an extra player laying around and not in use could they consider my situation.

That same day I heard from a young man who had acquired a player from his friend and had logged online to see if it was worth selling. In the midst of looking at prices he found my ad and wanted to bless me. His one request was if there was a way I could possibly prove my story. I wrote back that it was a reasonable request but I wasn't sure how to prove anything. I don't have tickets yet.........
I decided to send him here to by blog and assured him that he was free to look around anywhere and learn my character.

Goodness if you could have seen me jump up and down when he wrote back that he was pleased and thrilled to be able to help me in this way. He apologized for the size and condition of the player he was offering. 'It is only a 4 gig and has a couple of scratches on it' he wrote. Again I jumped......that was the size I had hoped for.

It turns out we have some common ground. He works in the next town over in his church as a children's teacher. Amazing!
I drove over there this afternoon and met with him. He was so sweet as he explained to me how to use the device and what each of there features are for.
And it is beautiful! I mean, it truly isn't important what it looks like. But it is so sleek and stylish. I feel like it is just another God kiss, a perk.

God is so amazing. He could have made a player materialise in my hands. He could have had me win some sort of drawing. He could have done a million different things. But He chose to orchestrate things in a way that blessings could multiply.

I am blessed to have what I desired.
I get to share what God did over and over again.
That young man must surely feel blessed to be a part of helping someone in need.
I can only imagine that here and there my dad and I may come to his mind and he will pray.
I wonder about the joy he must share with his friends in telling why he stepped out of class to meet with me.
It is an amazing cascade affect.

Thank you God for caring even about the seemingly trivial things on my heart.
Thank you for delighting in making me smile.