Monday, October 31, 2005

After Midnight

I realized that I was awake when I saw the hour change on the clock. 2:00 a.m.

Why had I awakened? I listened carefully to the different sounds in the house.

Asleep in the bed beside me was my beloved husband. His almost rhythmic snoring indicated that his sleep was undisturbed. I got out of the bed and padded down the hall to check on my step-daughter. She, too, was soundly sleeping, snuggling comfortably beneath her favorite blanket made with love by her grandmother.

I laid back down to sleep the remaining few hours of the morning, but I was unable to re-enter dreamland.

I rose and made my way to the recliner, pulling an afghan over my lap. As I looked around the silent, dimly lit den, my eyes fell across items that I took for granted during the day.

The early morning hours somehow made them all look different.

I looked at the family portraits on the wall. Seeing our family together reminded me of our closeness. I felt blessed and told the Lord so.

My eyes fell on the bookshelf by the doorway. I saw Steve's Bruce Lee figures and remembered the smile on his face when he opened them as birthday presents.

I looked at the fireplace and was reminded of the gifts he had given me. Two porcelain dolls on the mantle, another on the hearth.

I remembered the night we bought our television. I remembered the fun we had picking it up.

I looked at the carpet, the sofa and the glider rocker.

Then I looked at my Bible. Picking it up, I read. I didn't read a specific chapter. I read a few of the underlined passages that God had used to speak to me in the past, and soaked them up once again.

Blessing upon blessing. I prayed and thanked God for my salvation, praising Him for the salvation of my family also. I asked for His protection for my family. I thanked Him for our jobs, for our extended families. I prayed about work and knew God was listening to my prayer. I almost heard an audible voice saying, "Sleep now, my child. You've seen what you needed to. My love and presence is in every part of your life, even when you are normally sleeping."

As I climbed back into bed almost an hour and a half later, my husband stirred. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing, honey. Nothing at all. Everything is right." I answered, rubbing his back.

He turned over and pulled me close to him, my head resting on his shoulder.

Yes, I slept. In less than five minutes I re-entered the sleep from which God had awakened me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My opinions are changeable and I like that about me. I adapt and incorporate, not to be a willow, but the acorn of an already growing oak.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I am an incredibly selfish person. I realized this during prayer time this morning. I was praying for my grandmother and begging God to let her have one more Christmas with us. I remembered pleas from last year for the same thing.

I went to see Maw-Maw at the hospital last night and it broke my heart. Oh, we had a good visit, but Alzheimer's is a thief and a destroyer. She is winding down. I can tell. I really think something is up because my dad, who has a very very strong dislike for my grandmother and has NEVER spoken positively about him (strangely she still loves him, despite the emotional abuse and alcoholism that just about killed me) called me on my way from church to the hospital to ask me mom's cell phone number (which he knows) so he could call her and check on Maw-Maw. I was moved by his compassion but almost had to pull over the car when it hit me that he doesn't even like her. She must be bad off.

My visit with her was great. She was a little addled and confused, as are most Alzheimer's patients, and I had to repeat things like what church I went to, what I thought made her fall, assurances that she was going to be okay (oh, you think it was because of the dehydration? I never thought of that!) a gazillion times. I don't mind. I loved our visit and she was really more alert than she usually is and we even watched a television show together. She laughed at it at the appropriate times (and some not so appropriate - it was Who's Line is it Anyway) and followed the skits.

Still, I was depressed over our visit. She's weakening and she's starting to say things like, "I'm getting old, I guess. I can't remember anything anymore." She never used to say that. We were talking about church and she said she wanted me to take her to her church that she hasn't been to in years (she went right up until the time she was admitted to the retirement home and has gone a few times since then) and I promised her that as soon as she got better I would. She said she'd have to get her hair fixed first. Now that is Maw Maw, LOL!

Still, this morning as I prayed for her to get better I listed all the reasons I thought she should. Christmas being a big one, Kristyn's wedding in March, seeing the boys (I have 5 year old twin cousins) grow up and get a few years older, etc. I realized what an incredibly selfish person I was when I told God that I wish He'd let us keep her until Christmas.

I was suddenly dumbstruck by the absurdity of my prayer. Christmas and then what? Let her die after we've had our picture perfect wonderful family get-together or stick around for the New Year, Easter, her birthday, Mother's Day, repeat the same year over....I cried over this during prayer time this morning as I realized I had to surrender my grandmother to God (not that she already wasn't His but I surrendered to His will and not mine.) I'm not a boo-hooer. Well, I must be because I NEVER cry but I did a few weeks ago when I saw The Notebook. Anyway, I wept. I was so glad that no one was up. Wilson looked at me like, "You are one crazy woman!" but he let me hold him and love on him. That was comforting.

I have a reassurance that God is in control and if He wants her to be with us at Christmas she will. If He wants me to focus more on Him and less on family at Christmas then He has gotten my attention. God is good and His mercies never fail. When we falter, as I did in my selfishness, He waits with loving arms and holds our heads against His chest so we can hear His heartbeat and get back in rhythm with Him. I feel more centered after my surrender this morning. Much more peaceful and confident that God's will is best, not mine. Yes, it can be painful but God is there to heal our hurts and wipe away our tears and draw us closer to Him when we need it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I was 15 minutes late for work this morning!

My reasons are valid, I believe. They include, but are not limited to:

1. Trying to get a puppy out from under the bed so I could check his stitches.

2. Husband let above-mentioned puppy outside and he went wild with glee at the roofers working on the next door neighbor's house. He just wanted to catch the shingles they were throwing off the roof. There was a pursuit by said husband, some colorful words said to puppy who led him on a great chase and either wore himself out from being weak or just plain gave up the marathon running because of the words, which included stop, kill, ticked off, and you better get your %$@ back in the house right now!!!!!!

3. Roofers in the street, going back and forth to their trucks with wheel barrows. I know pedestrians have the right-of-way but come on!

4. A loud police siren and Officer Friendly reminding me that tapping my break at the stop sign and just going on didn't qualify as coming to a complete stop. He was really nice, though. He said, "I know it's busy in the neighborhood and that you're in a hurry, but we have to encourage safety." Big time thanks that whoever was on the other end of his CB said nice things about me and I wasn't ticketed.

5. A quick stop by Chevron for breakfast proved eventful. Above-referenced husband stepped out of the car before me and I noticed his britches were split, probably from chasing puppy referenced in reasons 1 and 2.

6. Quick trip home to let hubby change.

7. A freakish amount of traffic on the highway.

Monday, October 10, 2005

“ Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. ”- Proverbs 19:20-21

This was the Verse of the Day on's website.

I think about the number of times that I say I'm going to do something and the door slams shut in my face, or the times I say, "No way!" and end up having the best time of my life.

God's purposes always prevail. He has led me through valley's, mountains, deserts, stormy seas, and drifting in the clouds at different times in my life.

May I always listen to His instruction and trust that His will will prevail in my life, not mine.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

In a group I'm in, a friend posted this, "What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? Have you "been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29)?

::::::: I thought I lost a very good friend for not backing down from my religion. She referred to God as the Sky Fairy. In the past we had always respected each other's right to believe what we believe. She just went right past that and attacked my God. I had no choice but to distance myself from her. When I did, I lost a lot of friends. One stuck by my side. Thanks, friend. You know who you are. I missed my friends so much. We'd have get-together's once a year and I was no longer able to attend since I listened to God and reconciled my marriage. They thought I was a loon for going back to my husband. God restored my marriage. Again, only one of those friends believed in me or respected my choice. Thanks, friend. And thanks, God, for sticking by my side. Though I suffer for You, You always bless me and that is my reward.