Desperation

Our Pastor has been doing a series this month called “What if?” As in what if we could make a difference in the lives of many different categories such as the vulnerable (the unborn, elderly, special needs, etc…). Those that have never heard the Gospel, the poor both nationally and globally and yesterday the desperate. The desperate include those with mental illness, physically ill, the addicted and the relationally dysfunctional.

I sat straight up during church yesterday. I know what it is like to be desperate as a result of suffering from depression six years ago; before Thomas was admitted to residential school. It all seems so long ago yet I can recall all the events of that season of my life as if they happened yesterday.  If it weren’t for the church and radio pastors I don’t know where I would be today. There are so many times my involvement with the church especially my time of serving on the choir saved my sanity. There are so many songs that ministered to me directly as if God intentionally were working through those dj’s in the radio or my choir director for me personally.

There is one such time that God placed me in the car to hear a radio preacher talk about suicide and how suicide was directly destroying a beautiful creation created by God. And why would we want to destroy such creation of beauty? There was no fire and brimstone on punishment or that one wouldn’t go to heaven if they committed suicide. It was simply respecting yourself as a creation of the Father and why would you want to destroy what God has created?  Heavy stuff I tell you. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the preacher on the radio.

I’m really enjoying Pastor John’s series, it’s enlightening and convicting. He’s a great speaker and totally gets his point across.

 

 

 

 

More renovation fun

We have walls!  And crown moulding! It’s very exciting and I feel like we are moving forward. At one point I felt like we were at a standstill such as the time between the hanging of the Sheetrock and the sanding of the Sheetrock. On Monday the tile guy is coming! We are tiling the whole first floor with wood look ceramic tile. It’s rustic with greys and browns I really love it.

I think the worst of the dust is behind us. At least that’s what I tell myself. The togetherness of hanging out in the basement as our main living space is not so bad, I’ve watched more television in the past 3 weeks than I’ve watched for the past 10 years. I’ve discovered the beauty of “on demand” TV. Well…rather Samantha has shown me how great it is.

Thomas is not having a good time lately at the group home. Twice they took him to check out a day program. The first time he cursed the people out, the second time he refused to get out of the car. As a result of his refusal/behavior he’s bored out of his mind staying at the house all day and I fear that he will unravel behavior wise. The staff and house manager have been awesome. I have not one complaint about them. They handle Thomas with ease and don’t seem to blink an eye concerning his antics and cursing. I’ve asked his Medicaid coordinator to please let us know when the next day program visit will be so Tommy can go with him. The house manager feeels having someone familiar be with Thomas as he checks out the unfamiliar  would be best and I completely agree. I’d really appreciate prayers for Thomas as he continues to adjust to this new living arraignment.

God is so good. His mercies are endless and His grace sufficient. I know He hears every prayer and collects every tear we shed. I love the visual I have of our Lord and Savior collecting our tears. I know that nothing we suffer with for how ever long the season; we aren’t ever alone. He goes before us and will never leave us. We serve a might glorious God.

 

 

 

 

Wanting the Healer

Recently we went through a scare with my dad’s health. Not so much his physical health; my dad has been battling liver and colon cancer for the past 15 months; but rather his mental health. He was discharged from the hospital last week and then admitted to a rehab facility. While there his legs and abdomen became swollen and he became extremely confused, disoriented and delusional. It was very scary and my mom was beside herself. To top it off the doctor overseeing my father’s care was aloof, uncaring and saw no hope for my father’s future health. She managed to get him out of that facility and back into the hospital.

I immediately emailed and texted my prayer warriors to lift my parents up in prayer. I also approached one of our pastors and elders at church for prayer yesterday. While praying for my father, mother and his doctors and nurses I was reminded of a song by Natalie Grant: https://youtu.be/mNkDdXhjFy0.

Essentially the song is about wanting God more for Him than for what He can do for you. “Wanting the Savior more than the saving”. While praying this weekend it hit me that no matter the outcome of my prayers, that even if the answer was a resounding, “No” I still wanted God in my life, I will still worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In years past I would become angry with God if He didn’t move fast enough, if He said No; or didn’t include me in His plans. I know now that God loves me even when the answer is one I desperately did not want. Even when His plans are different than mine. Even when He answers that resounding No. I’ve discovered that I do want the healer more than the healing.

I didn’t expect that from myself. Even though I love that song and sing along in worship when I hear it on the radio. When I first heard the lyrics I was struck at how those lyrics convicted me. Do I really want God more for who He is than for what He can do or me? Do I really want the Savior more for Him than for the saving he’s able to do and has done? The answer I discovered about myself is a resounding Yes!

God is so good and He never lets you stop growing in His love for Him. He never stops showing you things about yourself and what you can do for His glory.

As of yesterday my dad was doing much better. Less confused and my mom didn’t believe he was seeing things that weren’t there. I know God had a direct hand in his healing. And if God decided to not lay His hand of healing on my dad I would still worship Him and proclaim His goodness.

Renovation week 3

We are ending week 3 of our whole first floor renovation. We have Sheetrock  walls!  So exciting…and the contractor is in the middle of taping said walls, again very exciting. Tommy ordered the kitchen cabinets this past week so our next step is tile. We’ve already picked out the tile and the grout. Next week the tile guy will lay down the mesh and Tommy will install the tubing for radiant in floor heat. Fancy.

It’s really nice to look at smooth walls after looking at and painting (many times) the ugly faux brick we had in the kitchen and living room. I’m totally looking forward to having my house be put back together again. I do see light at the end of the tunnel. When everything was first demo’ed and I was left to stare at bare wall studs it was hard to digest what we had done.  I didn’t have regret; we had to do things this way to have the end result that we want. Its been a renovation that we’ve planned forever. A bonus is that Tommy and I seem to be on the same page with almost every decision. We’re pretty low maintenance so it’s nice that we are getting through this with our marriage intact.

We’ve spent record breaking amounts of time together now that the basement is our temporary living room. Thank God for finished basements!  We have a really nice entertainment center down there as well as microwave, small fridge and of course the crock pot down there. There is also a sink so it’s not too bad dealing with not having a kitchen.

I’m so thankful I’m working during this season of our life.

 

 

 

Updates

Thank you all for the prayers for my dad. He’s out of the ICU and in a regular room awaiting the doctor’s ok to go to rehab for a bit of physical therapy to strengthen him up before he goes home. I saw him yesterday and he looks good and still has that sense of humor he’s known for.

The renovation is ongoing. We’re getting insulated walls this week which is great! We didn’t know there was no insulation behind most of the walls of this house (how would we know?) We weren’t cold or noticed a draft or even had the heat up high during the coldest days before we began this project so go figure. My brother in law; the best electrician ever was here Saturday and ran all the wires and lines, outlets, etc…and today Tommy and I and our neighbor Benny who is a carpenter are looking at cabinets. Hopefully we’ll order them if they pass Benny’s inspection. Tommy also told me the tile guy will be here next week to lay down wire?  I’m not well versed in the steps of tile work so I’ll just be going with the flow on that one.

Work has been so busy. I picked up two more students who need nursing services every day. It’s ok I’m not running around chicken without a head busy, but it’s enough to make the day fly by. Thankfully the two new to me students are in the same room most of my other students are in. All you hear from me all day is “I’ll be in room so and so!” And my coworkers laugh because they know where I’m going yet I still announce it. In addition to the students I provide care for; there are also others in that room who are medically fragile so I’m called to go in there quite a bit to check someone out. It’s all good, the staff and I all get along quite well.

So yesterday being Sunday I of course went to church. Our Pastor is preaching a series on “What if we could make a difference?” Last week it was making a difference in the lives of the vulnerable. This week was making a difference in the lives of the unsaved. Pastor John brought up the great commission where Jesus commanded that we go to every nation and tell the Gospel. I feel I’m lacking in that department. Other than this blog, I lack the boldness to speak to others in person about the Gospel, with the exception of family members that I was concerned for their salvation. One such family member; I yelled the Gospel at him because I didn’t think I would get through any other way. While I don’t advocate that method of delivery, it worked and he now attends church regularly and even goes to bible study.

I will pray for boldness. For me to speak with the power of The Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel to the unsaved.  To tell them that Jesus lived a sinless life. He took on the punishment that I deserved for being a sinner. He took on God’s wrath for you and me so we could have a relationship with The Father. Jesus died a criminal’s death, crucified on a cross. Three days later he rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. The name of Jesus is one that needs to be called upon for salvation. He’s the only one who can save. “For whosoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life” John 11:26.

It’s my hope that all will call upon His name, repent and surrender their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ. I can testify with my own life that when you surrender to Him you experience a peace in yourself that truly transcends all understanding. That’s not to say I don’t take my eyes off Christ every so often. I then have moments of anxiety, doubt and confusion. Jesus is the answer, the way the truth and the light. He is awesome.

 

Prayer and Answers

Recently my dad has been hospitalized. It’s always scary when a loved one is in hospital because only sick people are admitted these days. There’s no such thing as someone being admitted for observation unless the doctors and insurance company are certain there’s something to observe for. My dad has been inpatient for about 10 days give or take a day or so. He’s also a chemotherapy patient so a hospital is not the safest place for him due to his  immune system being already compromised. My dad has been battling liver cancer for the past 15 months, hence the chemo. He’s a very strong, impressive fighter when it comes to his health. He’s already fought and conquered lung cancer; twice and has no intention to let the liver cancer take him over.

I’ve had the opportunity to request prayer for my dad and my mother. I have prayer warriors I turn to when prayer is absolutely a necessity. I believe in the power of prayer both individual and corporate. I know God hears me and even though His answer may not be one I would personally choose in the given situation; He does answer: Always.  I have to keep close at heart that His ways are higher than mine and therefore His reasoning is most often not readily apparent. And I’m ok with that.

I’ve seen the power of the Lord in response to prayer. It is great and glorious; but not always taking place at the time we pray. God has His own timing. I’ve witnessed Him answer prayer first hand many years after prayer was begun. It is indeed humbling and wonderful and loving and even a little unsettling when the answer is “yes”. It’s an unreal feeling and so many people like to say it’s a coincidence or good timing or being in the right place at the right time;  but when God is involved there are no coincidences. It’s simple, it’s Him the Great I Am.

 

 

 

Renovation…

I forget which day we are on but Tuesday will be a week from when we started this renovation. My whole first floor is gutted down to the studs. I’m glad we did this because it had to be done to get the house we want, since neither of us want to move. This house has had bandaid upon bandaid covering up things that needed to be remedied and/or renovated. Especially the kitchen. Before we gutted; the kitchen was a galley style with a ceiling lower than the rest of the house. You didn’t notice that so much because it was a separate room, but Tommy and I noticed and it bugged the crap out of us. Well it is no more, the ceiling had been removed down to the original studs and all will be even with the rest of the first floor.

I’m addition to taking the wall down between the dining room and kitchen we also took down a wall separating the living room and sun porch. At first we were just going to leave the sunporch for another project but after discussing things  with my mom: She suggested just going all out and doing away with this small room that we didn’t get much use out of anyway. I’m glad we had that discussion because we’re losing a sunporch but gaining a bigger living room along with a much needed entry way closet.

It’s so difficult to see the light at the end of this renovation tunnel. The demo is for the most part done thank God and some of the electrical lines are run, we just ordered a range hood for over the kitchen island and I’m told the contractor will be removing another layer of kitchen floor. My husband has been wonderful keeping us all informed and being so positive about everything. The other day we had a bad snow storm. The contractor still showed up with his guys ready to finish removing the chimney. Tommy insisted the girls and I get out of the house and drove us to the local diner in that storm. He also picked us up after we couldn’t in good conscience milk spending anymore time there. My husband had been great about everything; keeping us updated on the progress and just being a positive person through it all. He’s a good one I tell you.

 

 

The New Year

It’s 2018 the first day of the new year. We had a great New Years Eve ringing in the New Year with wonderful friends. I’m standing in my kitchen just staring at my empty first floor. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen this house empty.

When we were house shopping the previous owners were living here when we saw the house. When we finally moved in after the closing I was hugely pregnancy with Lelly and Tommy and our friends and brother in law had already brought in furniture and boxes by the time I arrived. I remember the boxes and very ugly carpet. I couldn’t wait to rip up that carpet. Tommy started right away I remember. And the wood floors underneath were so dirty after years of being covered up with padding and carpet. It was like the wood couldn’t release the dirt fast enough. I used to clean those wood floors almost daily. I also remember a very ugly kitchen vinyl tile. Tommy and I pulled up the old floor and I laid down a new one; while hugely pregnant. We moved in April 4th, 2001 and I gave birth to Lelly April 29,2001. It was quite a pregnancy and she was probably my easiest birth go figure.

I’m not that nostalgic about this first floor and kitchen. We replaced the kitchen cabinets and counter top, we had to buy new appliances at the time because the ones that were here when we moved in died within 2 months no kidding. I remember going to Sears with my 3 kids and my best friend Jenn and her 2 girls. The oldest was Thomas who was 5…we were quite the spectacle I’m sure. Jenn made numerous trips to the ladies room at Sears because the older girls who were all of 3 years old were potty training and every child had to use the bathroom at a different time. I remember feeling overwhelmed and I just wanted to go home and Jenn was like, “Oh no!  You’re buying a stove!” I did buy a stove and it served us well the past 15 years.

I’m looking forward to the end result of this much anticipated, long planned out renovation. For now I’ll just stare in awe of my empty rooms.