Thursday, May 31, 2007

All Surprises aren't Good Ones

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in
the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my
God, in whom I trust.

Psalm 91:1-2

OK - today was one crazy day!! God is taking me on this journey, and I trust completely that He is walking every step of the way with me. I am learning so much, and gaining such an understanding and insight into what so many people live with day in and day out. Today started with an hour long drive to have an MRI done STAT, so that I could walk away with the films and a report. The purpose - the surgeon was really hoping that the foreign "masses" on the liver were hemangiomas, and that all of this worrying was needless. The MRI let us know that there are actually 3 masses instead of 2, and they are indeed tumors. The MRI took 90 minutes - I know - not a big deal, but it was - I just wasn't prepared at all mentally for the whole process - and if you know me at all, then you know that being perfectly still for 90 minutes was exhuasting, no music - AGHHHHH! But it's over, and we know more than we did yesterday. A friend who has walked this path, drove in from Jacksonville to spend the day with me. What a gift!! Another friend shared the scripture above, another friend brought dinner over - I still really struggle with being on the receiving and accepting gracefully end of this - it is foreign territory for me. So pray for David because he has the waiting to do tomorrow, pray for steady hands for the surgeon, and patience for me. Pray that God will continue to bless me with the good health that I have taken for granted for years. I can make the deal to turn on the treadmill when this is all over....but no deals necessary, I know that my God answers prayers, and I know that the prayer warriors are working overtime!! So dear friends, thank you in advance for your prayers that cover tomorrow!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Surprises....Calm Spirits

Here my cry, O God;listen to my prayer.From the ends of the earth I call to you,I call as my heart grows faint;lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge,a strong tower against the foe.I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.For you have heard my vows, O God;you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalm 61:1-4

A friend sent me that scripture in the wee hours of this morning. It is that scripture that rolled around in my brain and spirit all morning - it is that scripture that God heard today in constant prayer from this crazy southern YaYa. No details needed - but not good news from the CAT scan that was mentioned in the last post. Our doctor actually came over to the house on Saturday to talk to us about the results. So yesterday was spent gathering records, films, etc - today God provided a wonderful lady - friend of a friend - who was able to put me in ahead of everyone else at 7 this morning to have a very indepth mammogram. I know what the doctors were expecting - guess what - my little bitty "girls" are CLEAN!!! SURPRISED?? not really - because I know who is in charge here. After that we were off to breakfast and hanging in the bookstore - great opportunity to buy babybooks to send to noon another meeting with a surgeon - found out I need an MRI tomorrow with the results before Friday am - this began to seem like an impossible task - my doctor's office got to work on it, and kept hitting walls - no one could do it - then a rep that was in the office overheard the conversation - he was there to let them know about his company - a diagnostic center not far away - he made a call, made arrangements for the MRI first thing in the, how did that happen...SURPRISED??? - not really - because I know who is in charge here!! So today was exhausting - especially starting these days without even a cup of coffee - now, really, how are people supposed to funtion like that!?! So I am thanking God for answered prayers today, thanking all of the wonderful friends who have been calling and praying, and I am praying for all of the folks that I sat in waiting rooms with today.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What a Week?!?!?!?!

Proverbs 19:21Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

This has been one crazy week for so many, I am so thankful for the weekend that we had away from everything in Charleston. It seems that God has decided to jerk us up out of our comfort zone, and completely turn our world upside down. I am guessing that in His eyes - this is definitely not upside down, just where He wants and needs us to be right now. Let's see if I can just calmly recap the events of the past week. Even tho, Kelly was having a very difficult time physically and emotionally - we went ahead and left for a weekend away - with great reservations. My heart goes out to other parents who have a child - even a 21 year-old "child" who has health problems. The 5 years since her car accident have been like riding the old wooden roller coaster that just came down in Myrtle Beach. We got into Charleston around 11 Friday morning - stopped off at our favorite jewelry store - Garfield's We both shopped there when we were in college, and David even bought my engagement ring there - one of my sorority sisters who worked for Mr. Garfield promptly spread the news to everyone!! Mr. Garfield still remembers that story... then we were off to meet up with our friends for the weekend. First stop - Poogan's Porch for lunch - we were taken upstairs to a table - now remember this is a little out of the way place to eat - and my cousins from out of town were in the same dining room eating - STRANGE!! but a quick, great visit...then on downtown to take a carriage tour and show our friends Charleston...ran into a couple of other old friends from the years we lived there...

SURPRISE NO 1 of the week - our oldest daughter, Kaiti, called while we were on the way to dinner to let us know on speakerphone that we were going to become grandparents next January!! This is a dream come true for myself, David and Kelly - and my mom - remember the Steel Magnolia, well she is BEYOND any excitement that I have seen in her in so long...

SURPRISE NO 2 - met up with a very special couple for lunch - we have known these dear friends since 1992 - He has left an engineering job to be in fulltime ministry, she has been teaching as long as I have - while having lunch, Jerry asks David what he plans to do with his life when he retires - David's response - it has to have something to with missions in Africa, since going over the past three years - part of his heart and soul is there, but there has to be more that can be them the gospel and salvation is incredible, but these precious people are dying physically...Jerry then tells us about Water Missions International This ministry is exactly what David has been doing professionally everyday of his life for the past 26 years!!! This is just unbelievable, and something only God could put in front of us!! As soon as we got near a computer we started checking this out - take a look - they are saving lives by providing clean, drinking water where there has never been any - and it is a Christian ministry. First thing Monday morning, David was on the phone with a couple of their engineers - great conversation - they have set up two sites very close to where he is going to in Kenya this July. Now, this is our idea of retirement - and guess where this organization is headquartered - Charleston. Two states closer to the coming grandchild, one hour instead of seven hours from my Mom, close to the beach, close to old friends...Just trying to figure out what God is going to do with all of this

SURPRISE #3 - I haven't talked about this on the blog, but really need some prayers here - I was scheduled for minor, but very necessary female surgery a couple of weeks ago - went in two days before for all of the pre-op testing - got a call from the anesthesiologist the day before letting me know that he had canceled the surgery due to some significant problems with my liver enzymes - what the heck!!! So I head to the primary for more bloodwork, assuming this was all a mistake. It wasn't - the numbers have continued to climb - even after taking me off of everything that I have ever thought about putting into my mouth in the form of drugs or medicine..every tests that was run on the blood came back negative, so on Tuesday I had an ultrasound, not good news, this led to a CAT scan on Thursday - with no news until Tuesday due to the holiday on Monday. I am sure that those of you who have been on this journey before can understand wanting to know something NOW!!
SURPRISE #4 - I come home to sleep after the SCAN due to being up all night drinking that nasty white liquid to make my insides glow - called David later to check in, and when you have been together for over 30 years - you know immediately when something is wrong - the company that he has been with for the past 13 years (and loves working for) had been sold that morning. This will probably change so many things for us - life now, daily work, future plans, retirement, benefits, etc. At this point - we know nothing, there are three regional meetings this week with the employees to answer our questions. Problem - David has a new plant starting up - no meeting in Baltimore for him!!

SURPRISE #5 - Kelly's team of doctors decided to try a new medication - very scary time for all of us - her body's reaction to this med was something that I never like to see - she is better today, has been sleeping most of the day.

NOT A SURPRISE - the Monday night Beth Moore Chicks are just doing great!!! What an incredible group God has brought together - with others asking to come!?! This is truly a devine adventure!!

I know this has been long and rambling, but it sure has helped me to put it all in perspective and get my brain around everything that's going on. My prayers are for health - Kaiti's and baby, Kelly and mine...for open hearts and minds as we find out what this change in David's career means, prayers for the people of Africa that their spiritual and physical thirst needs can be met and that we can be a small part of that...So, I am just waiting to see what kind of adventure God and I are going on next week!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Headed to the Holy City-Pralines anyone??

Soooo, today David and I are actually, really, finally going away for a fun weekend. No real agenda, no one to check on or family to see. We are hoping to spend time with some of those kindred spirits that were mentioned in an earlier blog - but if we don't that's OK, too. We are going to be together, and there just hasn't been enough time for US in the last couple of years. I opened a business instead of just retiring from the world of education, and David's career /business has taken off like the shuttle - God has so blessed us both!! Kelly is staying home with Walker - so keep them in your prayers - there have been some crazy things going on in our neighborhood. So even tho she is 21, I pray for her safety this weekend - and we all know that our Walker is NOT a guard dog!!!
Who knows we may even figure out where we want to live in 5 years.....gotta pack!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Counting the Days...

30 days until we are all on Edisto Island... the one and only mattress swing

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Too Much in My Head

I don't even know where to start with this blog - I am so disappointed in some things around here...

first - Saturday evening we were coming home from having a Mother's Day dinner early, we pulled up to the intersection, there was a local pizza delivery car - i recognized the sign on top as being a pizza place owned by someone i know - the car was covered in rude and crude bumper stickers, and then on the driver's door - written in sharpie marker were messages with the "F word". Now, I am not a prude or easy shock at all, but this really lit a match under me - I called the phone number on top of the car, and asked to speak to a manager - he got on the phone, and after I very calmly explained what I was reading, he acknowledged that he knew exactly which car it was, and couldn't believe that this was a problem for me - I hadn't even ordered pizza, and I was probably one person out of a million that would be offended by what I was reading - CLICK!!!!! I emailed my friend who owns this company - no response yet....sad, sad, sad

then I am even more disappointed in myself - I thought I really had a handle on my "rush to judgement" problem...last week I pulled into the parking lot at church to pick up the Beth Moore dvds for our new Bible Study - out of the corner of my eye - I caught a glimpse of a window decal on a car - it said something about "body piercings" all I could think of was what kind of representation is that on someone's car that probably works for the church....blah, blah, blah, ...then on my way out, I thought I am looking at that again - try and figure out whose car that is...OK, did I get the wake up call - did I get hit in the face with shame and feeling ugly ugly - what the decal said was - Body Piercings Saved My Life - with a body "pierced to a cross" AGH!!!! the ugly, judgemental me had surfaced - I hate this, and I am so very, very sorry for being so quick to think the worst of someone....

BUT God is just so good - the Beth Moore group met for the 3rd time last night. This eclectic group of women is growing weekly. It is a precious group of women who God has called together "for such a time as this".

I am going through some medical issues right now, and really need to pray for patience in dealing with this - dealing with a diagnosis and being able to move on. I am such a "just do it now" person, and this is so tough for me. I know that I am making several wonderful doctors crazy!!!! So please pray for that if you are reading this.

I am just counting the days until this Thursday, when David and I leave for a long-awaited weekend away together.

And...most of all today - I am so excited - I have miraculously lost between 15-20 pounds!!!! Thanks Maggie!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Perfect Day-print by Steven Jordan

I have someone helping me with my website - she emailed me today and asked me a simple question so that she could get in my head and get to know me first I just thought no big deal, then I began to answer her email...I soon realized that this really put my life into perspective, and there was no easy answer at all...after thinking about it - this is what I sent back - now - this is not one of those chainquizzes get to know your neighbor - it is something I did today during some rare quiet time...after I watched the Beth Moore dvd again - this whole thing has really stuck with me all day - so take some time if you have it, and do this for yourself - share it with someone else...enjoy having a perfect day - at least in your heart...kb
then David just comes in and asks me - "Think about it - what do you want your days to be like in 10 years?" woa...

this is what i wrote...
the perfect day - wow, that just takes off in so many different directions - i think that because of the many facets of my ordinary life - so there would or could be several perfect days BUT right now...

this may sound strange to some folks, but right now - today would be more than perfect if Guillermo, an incredible 4th grader who recently moved here from Puerto Rico, walked through the door this afternoon - and when we began to work on spelling and writing - he would be able to write just one 5 sentence paragraph without a struggle for letters and words. This child is brilliant, but getting it from his brain through his arm out through his hand and fingers onto a piece of paper or even a computer screen is a wall that we can't seem to climb over right now.

another most perfect day would be simple - a beach, my chair, a glass of iced tea, a great novel, and my oldest kindred spirits on either side of me. one is several states away, one is watching from Heaven

another perfect day, and I have had so many of these - my husband/best friend, my 2 daughters and my son-in-law, Walker - the dog(well maybe not, since he doesn't quite weigh 5 pounds I think he would blow out of the boat) down the river in the boat - sun shining, water spraying, headed to the marsh and time for shrimping,crabbing and sun...true perfection!!

another perfect day - just a little more time to spend with my mother who is still around, or a day with my daddy or father-in-law who have been gone too long...

a day in the near future I hope - waking up and knowing that David and I don't have to go to WORK, that our day can be spent helping someone, going to Africa, rescuing turtles, or running a session of Camp Granny YaYa

another perfect day - a doctor notifying me that a cure - not just a rescue treatment - had been found for my daughter's daily migraines -

...this is an incredible way to look at what is really important in your life..

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Real Steel Magnolia

It's Mother's Day - and this year more than others I find myself thinking of my own mother. I have always thought of my mom as the original "Steel Magnolia" - it's what we love, admire and respect so much!!

Soooo - looking up the definition of steel magnolia:

steel magnolias are know for their beauty, grace and charm as well as their resourcefulness and inner strength."

This IS who my mom! She is 85 years old...

  • still drives,
  • teaches Sunday School,
  • works in the prayer room at her church - which she has computerized,
  • she still goes to art class and paints -
  • she is painting a portrait of my youngest daughter,
  • she IMs with me on the computer,
  • does her banking and billpaying online,
  • she cuts her grass with a push-mower, bags it up and hauls it to the road,
  • she had been taking care of her sister one day a week until her recent death,
  • she drives her friends to their doctor appts,
  • she cooks and takes food for funerals of friends (at this age it is a weekly occurrence)
  • she has come back from a broken hip two years ago (due to climbing up on a piece of furniture) - her attitude was that a new hip should be much better than the old one she had -
  • she has been widowed twice - my dad, the love of her life, died unexpectedly when I was 13, and she was only 47.
  • She raised my younger sister and I by herself - sent both of us to college.
  • Her own mother was killed in an accident when she was only 8 years old.
  • She lived through my dad spending years overseas during WWII, several of those not knowing what was going on with him after a serious injury.
  • She lived through my older brother spending three years in VietNam.

She has such inner strength! And where does that come from? Her FAITH! Her lifelong belief in her God and Christ.

She has spent so much of her life on her knees praying for me and my family, my sister and her family, my brother and his family.

Her Bible is worn and full of notes...years of faith and believing the promises.

Several weeks ago, she attended the Beth Moore conference with my daughters and I. I am sure she was one of the oldest women out of that group of 17,000 women. It was difficult for her to climb up and down the steps of the Carolina Center, but she did it - THE BLESSING OF SHARING THIS WITH THREE GENERATIONS WAS BEYOND MEASURE!!!

So on this Mother's Day, I thank my God for the gift of Miss Pearl aka: MeMe aka: MeMaw, a true steel magnolia, and I pray to my God that I may one day be just half the steel magnolia that she is!!!