Thursday, December 25, 2008

The best of loves

Christmas is over. At least the day is, but I want to make it live longer. To love wildly and totally - longer than just one day. So I will pray for God to give me that kind of heart. Merry Christmas dear friends. May you all be blessed beyond measure and know how He cares for you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

waiting for the furnace to come on...

I know I've told you before about my little Pekingese. Right now he is sitting patiently waiting for the furnace to kick on. Then he'll hunker in closer and sigh, before falling asleep. That makes me laugh. Today God blessed me with so many little things that brighten my day. How many of them did I even pay attention to? I don't know. So, while I have a few moments here, I am going to list 10 of them. My dear friend Deb just did a list of 7's. Guess I'm a bit of a copycat? Oh well, here goes.

10 NOT
-So-Obvious ways I was blessed today.

1. I am warm. It's 5 degrees out. With a major wind. How bad is the wind? Well, my sweet hubby just went out (in a short sleeved shirt, but this was of mega importance.)and TOOK IN HIS STEELER FLAG. Yup. It's folded neatly, almost reverently (good grief) on the living room floor. Pete put in a wood burner for us a couple of weeks ago and between it and the furnace we're toasty warm. Thank you Lord for caring about our physical comfort. How amazing is that???

2. I laughed a lot today. I consider myself blessed with blondness..and find it hysterically funny at times. Go ahead and laugh at me, chances are I'm already there... For example, I went to breakfast with my daughter and darling little grandson Friday. I threw my glasses in the trash, but of course didn't realize it til I was home. Now, I've only worn glasses for 40 years, so how in the world did I drive home without them? Beats me, but I did. I only took them off cause I had raindrops on them and was going to search out a clean, lotion free tissue before putting them back on... Funny ending here..someone found them, dug them out of the trash and at 4pm I was able to pick them up. My mother and brother are still laughing about it... Thanks God. For humor. Funny, clean, belly-laughing humor. How do You always know what I need...

3. The Cantata. Oh, the words. There was a song that was an alter call. Now, if you know me at all, you'll know I LOVE alter calls. The invitation to begin to really live, the reminder that all we were is gone... The song was titled "Come" The chorus said, "Come to all you long for. Come to all you need....." How simply, perfectly accurate. All I long for. All I need. Each time we sang it in practice I was blessed and touched all over again. Thank You, Father for being all I long for, for putting the craving in my soul for Your presence in my life above all else. Thank You, Father, for being all I need.

4. The Cantata. More smiles. What a great group of singers. I am so blessed by music. Something I had to discover over the past few years, though, is that as much as I love music, I love Him more. I used to say music was everything. No, it isn't. But it's so much. One of The Father's special gifts to us. But I looked beyond the music with this group of singers. Wonderful, loving people who weren't as concerned with perfection as they were with kindness. Smiles. Joy. More blessings than I can say. Thank You, Dear Father for teaching me lessons I can't even put into words, for gently chastising my borderline elitism in music. You are the Potter, I am the clay..and yet you still love me in the midst of my lumpiness.

5. My niece. She is so dear with her two little babies. I watched her today as she struggled to be the best mom possible. Running after her three year old, while burping the baby on her lap. Mary Beth, you are loved by Aunt Dawna..very much. Thank you Lord for reminding me of the wonderful, wild, exhausting, exhilarating days of early motherhood. What precious memories You have blessed me with, how full my life has been. My cup runneth over...

6. Debbie, my friend. I am doubly blessed with two dear, wonderful, silly, amazing friends named Deb. Debbie W. is the choir director. She has come far in music and I am so thrilled for her. The music she is choosing is exciting and moving and "happy". So much of her personality shines through. She is sincere and serious, but at any moment, with any minor faux pas, she will giggle like a little girl. She and I once did a chorus girl routine to some song the choir was singing...of course not publicly. And considering we both are old and decrepit (ha!) we about fell over laughing while we did the kicks. She got me a wonderfully yummy smelly light thingy for Christmas. She knows just what I like. Now each time I smell the Apple Pie scent I will think of how much she loves me. And I love her. Thank you, Keeper of my Heart, for giving me friends more than skin deep. Friends to lean on, friends to learn from, friends with whom I can love and worship You. Thank You for taking me out of the alone place I used to live in..You know my heart. And love me. Amazing love, how can it be?

7. My new Study Bible. I just got an amazing Women's Study Bible from Amazon for only $.99. I love things from a woman's point of view. (women like Ruth Graham and Joni Erickson Tada) I just read an historical account about shepherdesses. I didn't even realize there were any...duh. Just another reminder that God uses women in all areas and when we are squashed into a box..well..that is not God. Thank You Father for enlightening me, for trusting me with knowledge and for giving me a thirst for truth. You know I will continue to seek You. How blessed I am to know You will be here for me...always.

8. Soft Tissues/cold symptoms waiting til after the cantata to rear their ugly head. I knew I was getting a cold. I laughed when my friend Joyce (aka Joycie) called and said her throat was feeling mushy. mushy? Guess what? Tonight my throat is feeling mushy and I can't stop sneezing. And the cantata and my solo are over. So, I just popped open a new box of ultra soft Kleenex and some vitamin C cough drops. could have been worse. Thank you Lord for allowing me to complete what I had started for Your glory. For keeping my voice strong and letting me once again, proclaim my love for You. I am in awe that I matter that much to You, yet my heart tells me....... I do...

9. Wal Mart. I needed more flannel. We live 1.425734756 miles from Wal Mart. So tonight, with my open (freezing) toe leather sandals still on from the cantata role, I traipsed (dragging Dave along to keep me from falling on my keister onto the ice)off to the local Wally World and found more marvelous flannel. Pretty, soft, wonderful flannel. Tomorrow I am going to sew until I can't see straight. And every person in my family will have sleep pants whether they want them or not. More gifts to give, I am so excited! Lord, I know I take so much for granted, the convenience of stores and heat and light. Help me to see Your world not as a place for my comfort, but as a place full of opportunity to witness to others about You, to glorify You. How easily we take all You give and forget the Giver of The Gift. Thank You Lord, for every little and big thing.

10. David. There is not a day in my life I don't thank God for my husband. He is strength. Quiet and kind. Strong so I don't always have to be. For the first time in my life, I find myself at a place where I can lean, trust and be happy being imperfect.I just kissed him good night and we talked for a couple of minutes about how blessed we are to grow old together. Tomorrow it will be single digit cold with a lot of wind. But my Mail man will be out there delivering mail, cheerfully, with good conscience. He is reliable. He is capable. As I struggle with being a submissive woman, a woman who has strength and uses it as God ordains..Dave talks openly about what he needs from me as his wife. Thank You Dearest Lord for giving me a man of honor. For blessing our home. For our children. His and mine. For grandchildren, wild and silly.

Tonight, with my chronic insomnia in full bloom, I will work on more Christmas things. But if I had nothing more to give and received nothing more than the love of my Savior, my family, my friends..well, I am wealthy beyond measure. It's going to be a wonderful Christmas..The Birthday of my King. Have a blessed day and we'll talk again soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Olivia's dress.

I am obsessive. Not a problem usually as I have learned to live (and love) my own skin. A couple of nights ago I began working on Olivia's dress...a surprise Christmas dress that matched my granddaughter's dress. I was worried it might be scratchy so I lined the bodice. I haven't lined anything like that since 1970 something. But it turned out ok. I worked on it til 1:30am and finally finished it. Yesterday..I only wish I had a camera. When I surprised her with it she grinned a precious crooked little grin. She loved it. That was all I hoped for. So sweet. When I was out of earshot, Deb said she told her..."IT Has A BOW!!"

So, Thank you Olivia for being so real, so dear. Such a beautiful little girl inside and out. And thank you Deb and Randy (aka Brillo Man...geez Deb...) for sharing such a joy with the rest of us...such a blessing. This is what Christmas giving is all about for me. Thanks little Miss Olivia. Hugs....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pat and Terry's Chicken Wings

About twenty (has it really been that many? oh dear.) years ago while camping our family met Pat and Terry. What a nice couple. They went to a picnic the campground held and sat at our table. She brought some of the best chicken wings I have ever had..and I'm not a wing person at all. This couple was funny, gregarious, caring and sweet. We got along well right from the beginning, even our dogs liked each other.

There was only one teeny fly in the ointment. When we met my ex said, "We're so and so. (of course he used our know what I mean) In response this big bear of a guy said, "and we're Pat and Terry. Nice to meet you." My kids(imagine 10 and 12 year olds) were already doing the Paaaat routine in their minds from SNL. (It goes something like this...what is Pat short for? Paaaat.) I gave them "the look" and they knocked it off. So nice to meet a couple with whom you "click". But the entire evening and for the week afterward, we kept looking for clues as to who is Pat and who is Terry.

How did they address each other?....Honey, dear. Did they have other friends we could have asked?...not really they weren't from around here and were only camping for the week. Finally I asked her, "Stupid question here, but are you Pat or Terry." She laughed til tears fell. And never answered me.

I guess it's just one of those things I'll never know. So here's her wing recipe. Either Pat's or Terry's.??? Whatever, she was a great cook and remembering this story still makes me giggle.

Blue Cheese Hot Wings
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup milk
mix and let sit.

2 chopped cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parsley
1 cup Mayo
1/4 cup blue cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
mix together.

In crockpot put 1 stick REAL butter (these aren't at all low fat..but then real butter is the BOSS)
1/4 to 1/2 large bottle Red Hot
and all other ingredients. Cook 1 hour or more. This can also sit overnight in the fridge and be reheated when ready to use.

Bake bag chicken wings til crispy. Pour sauce over wings and bake 15-20 minutes more at 350.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

something new to keep me hopping...

Evie will be home in six more days. I worked on this little dress for her yesterday. I hope she doesn't think the material is too "scratchy". She has her grandma's sensitive skin so I understand totally.

This week has been so busy, but I am thankful for the good that has happened. In my present state of mind I have learned to continue being thankful. If I have no pain, I am thankful. Today I went to see a holistic physician. I am hopeful and for that hope, I am thankful. It's the only thing I really understand. If I maintain a thankful heart, God can work with me. If I become negative and depressed, I am not open to His voice. So, as I continue to seek ways to fill my time that have merit, I also seek to be obedient and open to the Will of God. As I anxiously await the arrival of my little princess, I will praise Him for the wonder of love He has placed in my life. As one of my pastor friends always says, "It's all good."

Friday, December 12, 2008

tired but praising Him...

So much has happened since I last posted. I decided to step down from the praise team and will be part of a congregation for awhile again. Relief. It's been a journey. But I'll keep that between God and me.

Brian is healing slowly. Now I'm just hoping his mother will finally take care of him as she should. His uncle said he's been living on Mountain Dew. I can't imagine...but then that's another thing I'm giving to Him...the Great Physician.

Dave and I are so in love, so close. We got a big old woodburner and I put a chair in the basement so I can sit and watch the fire. Isn't that pathetic? But I love watching the flames and feeling the heat. At night it gets a little cool in our room, but we can cuddle and hold on to each other. So it's all good.

Randy is here and such a joy. His little daughter will be here for a few weeks starting next Saturday. I just finished making her Christmas dress and am working on a matching vest for Nathan. I adore being a grandma.

Physically, I am the same, but calmer about it. It's hard to not work after 25 years of nursing, but I decided I am going to just tell people who ask, I am retired. Oh the joy of turning 50!

I have missed seeing Deb and Debbie the past week and feel a bit lost without my friends. So, if either of you read this..just know I am missing you.

Last night at choir, I sang the solo part and the man who is singing the other solo sang his part, then when we got to the was magical, wonderful. We both looked at each other and smiled. Praising God should be like that. Magical, wonderful..joyful. I love how He teaches me new things and reiterates so many other things. I need His encouragement. How blessed I am. So, it's off to sew some more and continue praising Him in my heart..humming and singing as I's a good day to be His. Always. Love and blessings to all....Dawna

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A week from today..

My son left 13 years ago for the Air Force. He has had a wonderful career and visited home fairly regularly. But I am a mom. Above all. With a heart that craves my children in close proximity. Maybe it makes me weird, but I don't care. My son is moving home. I am ecstatic. The bedroom is cleared out. Ready for him to settle in. Now, in my heart, I know he is moving home very temporarily, but I intend to take advantage of this tiny window of opportunity. I intend to remind him how precious he is to me. How proud of him I am and always have been.
I am looking forward to cooking for him and doing little things. Oh, I know it will get old and that we'll have some trials. But please bear with me while I take advantage of this time. For the past thirteen years I have wept as he was deployed to Saudi Arabia and I didn't hear from him for months. I have cried hidden tears on Christmases and Thanksgivings while the family gathered and he was somewhere else and unable to come home. The sadness of not seeing my granddaughter until she was about 6 months old because they were in Alaska at the time. Yes, he is going to have some rough times. His wife left in January and a huge part of his getting out of the military is to be with family again. But I am here, with a mother's heart, waiting and loving. Six more days. And a few hours...My firstborn...home finally. Thank You Father.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My heart longs for Thee

This summer our six year old grandson,Nathan always insisted on swimming til he ran out of "gas". Here he is getting some TLC from his number one fan. (Me.) He and I have this thing we do, well I've done it with my kids for thirty years, even though they are adults now. When we have to be separated, we always run to the windows. We point to our eyes , then our hearts, then to each other, whoever does it last has to hold up two fingers. And we always laugh. Our own version of signing "I love you."My kids did it from school bus windows, from across the yard, at night as the last kisses and hugs and tucking in was taking place. It's a family tradition of the nicest kind.
Nathan, being Nathan had to learn it with his own flair. A few weeks ago we were doing that and I added the two fingers up (two) of course meaning too. He ran back to the car and signed I love you, and held up four fingers. More than two. I adore this boy. Totally. Much more than four. On his birthday card later in the week, I wrote I love you more than four. He giggled. So now we have a new secret thing we do..just us. Our own language of love.
Tonight as I sit here writing, I am thinking of how much I love Him. Certainly, much more than four, but not as deeply as I long to love Him, the One who guards my steps. I once read that inside each of us is a God sized hole..I think that's only partially true. Inside each of us is a space just made for God, then he comes along and fills it and keeps adding and adding. Always more than we would have ever asked for, more than we knew He would. I am amazed by a Heavenly Father who loves me more than I know I can be loved. With a grateful heart, I continue to learn and to lean.
Nathan's Blessing...honestly. I just had to share it with you.
"God is Great. God is Good. For Our Blessings.(he refuses to say 'let us thank Him') For our food. I hope this tastes ok. Thanks God. Amen."
Just about says it all, but one of these days his mother is gonna brain him for the 'hope this tastes ok' bit, it aggravates her every single time. But then, I think that's part of why he says it. Sometimes He gets wordy and adds a whole big thing about God watching the people who don't have any food and people who are mean to each other and people who nobody loves. Sometimes he asks God to help the people who are left alone on earth now that someone they love has died.I keep my eyes closed a bit longer when he prays like lets the tears dry a bit. Kisses to my sweet little Nathan and praise to the Father who blessed our family with him. Nathan has been teaching us all lessons on love for six wonderful years. Pure and sweet as only a child can do. Thank You Father.

Friday, November 14, 2008

struggles, resolutions, blessings.

Daily, God is making me thankful for the little things in my life, as I stated in my previous entry. My dear, sister of my heart, Deb, has been ill with a cold, then last night we had a bit of a scare.I'll leave the telling of it up to her, but suffice it to say, I have had some lightbulb moments today because of it. First of all, I confess, I trust few women. Unfortunately my experiences with women in the nursing profession has usually been one of superficial friendships and short-lived alliances. I guess in retrospect, that was been pretty much the story of my life with friends in my twenties, and thirties. Over the past few weeks, Our Lord has made it clear to me, I am blessed with friends of tremendous quality. My cup runneth over.

So, today I want to list some of the realizations being a mature friend and having mature friends has given me. It's just a start...

Having a true friend means

I don't have to worry about being alone. If we need a sisterly hug, it's just a simple matter of a call or an email.
She likes my yucchy clothes that are old and worn but ever so comfortable, I like her baggy tees too. It makes us, us. And the 80's are still in style. So are the 70's if the size is right.
All of our kids are perfect and in the rare instance they aren't we simply reassure each other they will be fine..and they are. Ditto husband. Ditto mothers.
Her friends are mine and my friends are hers and if any person doesn't treat one of us kindly, they will probably get a dirty look from the other.
She listens while I audibly think through doctrine issues, music questions and medical problems. She knows the difference between seeking guidance and just venting.
Five minutes laughing with her is better than any antidepressant ever created. Period.
She doesn't laugh at my sudden urge to have long hair one more time before I get old, and she doesn't kindly point out that age 50 is well on the way. Or that long hair won't make me thirty again.
We can sit and crochet quietly together...saying nothing and hearing each other perfectly.
Sharing a pact to speak only positives about our spouses not only strengthens our marriages, but solidifies our friendship.
I understand her tears. She understands I can't cry. It's all ok.
We can openly gush about how we love the Lord.
We can complain about the total lack of a good support bra without underwire that is affordable and lasts at least 500 washings. Now how many others would get that?
We know time will change us, so we are making memories today. Each day.
Nothing is off bounds to talk about..boogers, facial hair, hot flashes...

I love being imperfect with my friend. It's ok, it's something we have in common. Thanks Deb, You are a jewel and I'm so blessed to call you friend.
Hugs to all other friends too. I can't wait to meet you...I bet God is smiling at our laughter...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

...the little things.

This morning I am thankful for the little things. This morning Dave took me to breakfast at the local Stone Arch restaurant. The french toast was just the right shade, the ham perfectly salty/sweet and the coffee deeply flavored and piping hot. It's an "up" day and for that I am thankful. I came home and wrote six emails to friends and relatives with my trust dog lying at my feet. Nathan was over this morning for his half hour with grandma and was as always, delightful. Is it cold out? You betcha. Is my house perfect? Not in this lifetime. Am I having a good hair day? I'm laughing at that one too hard to type...well, you get the pic. But is life, real LIFE good? Mostly. Dave is working, I slept over three hours last night without pain. Deb visited yesterday and was delightful as always. Joyce called an uplifted me with her own unique brand of sunshine. And most of all, I am HIS. The God who knows me and loves me anyhow. So, for today, I am thankful for the little things. Like you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sprinkles on chocolate donuts..

This is Teddy Z Bear. No I didn't name him, well, I gave him his middle name. I was afraid his feelings were hurt because he was the only one in the family without a middle name. Hence, "Z". He is a little white Pekingese and is absolutely the best dog we have ever had. Daily, I am thankful he chooses to let us live with him. If you have ever had a Pekingese, or any small dog for that matter, you know exactly what I'm saying. This post could also be titled, "Ode to Dog."

About three months ago I mentioned to my hubby I would like a dog. A little dog. Four years ago, my other dog had to be put to sleep at age 18. I checked our local "freecycle Mercer County" website to see if anyone had a dog we could adopt. Well, a relative saw my ad and she had a friend of a friend.... Dave gave me "the look" when I mentioned there was a little Pekingese I thought we should go see. He and I met Teddy around 5pm on a nice warm summer day. By 5:05 we knew he was perfect for us. He rarely barks and he loves being loved. Perfect. I have never looked back.

Last winter I had three back surgeries. I was cooped up and lonely. (Some have even said grumpy!) I spent days sitting in a funk, wishing I could be a nurse again and wondering what God had in store for me. This year I vowed to find some positive way to "put in" another long winter. I prayed for some diversion to allow me to face being indoors for long periods of time without going bonkers. God's answer was in the form of our little furball. He is my cat/dog, but becomes highly offended if I meow for him. He actually thinks he's a big dog. We just let him believe....

Tonight, after having Burger King for supper, and bringing home a cheeseburger for Teddy Z, I started thinking of how unexpectedly God keeps adding extra, wonderful things to my life. Things that will make me smile through snowy roads and days stuck inside, unable to risk falling and loosening the hardware that holds the bottom part of my spine intact. Things to make me think outside of myself. It's hard to look at Teddy and not smile. With his smooshy little face and huge brown eyes, he is ugly/cute. Perfectly imperfect. When I look at him, I see love. Simply uncomplicated. Furry and occasionally messy. So soft and cuddly. But not at all wimpy. He simply stares at me when I tend to obsess over my messy closets or when the neighbors leaves blow all over my yard and I need to vent. He's a wonderful listener.

I have what most would consider a good life (and I do too), not Polyanna (boring)perfect, but solid and stable. Yet, with all the blessings God has placed in my path, He still offers me little special touches. Undeserved blessings to make me realize no matter how unlovely I may feel in my imperfection, He loves me. As is. Period. Wow. So with all the obvious things for which I am very thankful (Precious family, special heart-friends, a wonderful old creaky warm home, etc) I also need to take time to thank God for the sprinkles on donuts (I love them) and for little pets that love to sit on my freezing feet. Isn't God something!

So, please forgive my rambling tonight. I'm sitting here with warm feet and a warm heart. Thanks to little Teddy Z Bear...and a Heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need. Always.

Oh, and Little Olivia got Teddy a Halloween costume..I'll post a pic soon. Thanks again Deb and Olivia. If there ever was a little dog that will help her get over her dogaphobia, Teddy Z Bear can do it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

more thinking out of the box...

Each Tuesday a small group of us meet for coffee. And talk. And connect. There is no bitchiness here. No room for backbiting and sarcasm. Just us. We pray for each other, we pray for our friends, we pray for the coffee house. We laugh and act silly. We cry and hug sometimes too.
A few weeks ago one of the women said she couldn't wait til we could have our meeting in the local Christian coffee house that is about ready to open in town. Joyce, one of our dear friends who has a heart the size of Texas, remarked we should stay where we are because we are a testimony to each and every person within earshot of our corner. How right she is! What we say, what we do and how we act is always important but never as important as when we are in the secular world. If we were gossiping and belittling someone and it was overheard, what kind of a testimony is that?
Pastor's mother, Dee told us about some bracelets she heard of. Ones that remind you to not be negative. She said each time a negative comment comes from your mouth, you move it to the other arm. I think if I could "snap" it like a rubber band, it would be more effective for me. (I'm a bit odd, but I like me anyhow) I also figured I could say something negative, realize it and respond with, "These bracelets are a pain" then not have to move it to my other arm cause I just said two negatives. Not sure anyone else follows my logic, but I got me.

My prayer today has been to stay positive even when under attack, when I don't feel like being positive and even when the other person doesn't deserve my sunshine. Not that I'm going to always avoid unpleasant things, because that would be impossible. But I will continue to try to not be hurtful with my words and to see both sides of things. I'm also thankful my mother had surgery on her foot this morning and it went well. I just hung up from talking with her. And laughing. How I love that!Praise God for mothers!!

One last thing. Just wondering if anyone else has heard of True Women 08? I just heard about it and am looking for feedback. From what I read, it sounds awesome! Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping in...see ya soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to me....

Today began much as any other day. Wonderful church service, with the words reaching deep inside me and convicting me of things I have long ignored. We were scheduled to have lunch with Mindie and Jim, but they aren't in church. I know they will be nervous about having everything just "so" since Mom and CR and Dave and I will all be over around 1:30.

We took the dog for a walk and talked and had a usual Sunday relax-a-thon waiting til time to leave. I asked Dave if he minded if I took Teddy (da dog) with us since I hadn't seen him all morning and he was acting "clingy" Sure.

SURPRISE!! I couldn't believe my eyes. Dave was smiling and talking fast. Now if you know my husband he NEVER talks fast..calm, cool and collected. There were cars all over the side yard. A party. For me? I'll be 50 Thursday. I'm so touched the tears are just there. I can't believe all these people came out for me. It was amazing. Dear friends, cherished relatives, beloved people from my present and past. Mindie's phone rang and I talked for a few moments with my son from Texas...only he wasn't in Texas. He and his wild angel baby girl came walking out of the house. I couldn't even see them for the tears. I am so blessed. How I praise the God who knows my heart. All the gold in the world aren't worth being surrounded with so many people I love.

What an afternoon. Beautiful, I am without words, except to thank Him. The One who knew just what I wanted for my birthday and put it all in place to make it happen. Mindie and Jim made me a scrapbook of memories. Priceless. But even moreso was the way they welcomed everyone into their home, how they picked Randy and Evelyn up at the airport and kept him "hidden" until today. I feel so loved. My darling hubby working hard to get pictures, chairs and more out of the house when I was away. My wonderful parents digging in their attic for keepsake photos and Mom making her own spectacular home baked cheesecake. I am blessed. Friends from the church surrounding me with love. Deb and Olivia, quiet love. Solid rock. My dear brother Denny and his family, again surrounding me with their love and gentle teasing. I am blessed.

There are so many more who I haven't mentioned (Pastor Bill, Jim and Amanda, Tim and Loretta, Emmy and Allie, Troy, Sandi, Tom and the girls, Dave's parents, Paula and Larry, and more....) I am a woman who invested a little love and feel as if it has grown tenfold. Joyce even got me a pattern for new dishcloths to crochet. Does she know me or what??? And lunch with Evie...we'll have a blast. Gina and Ron had a huge bag of gifts, funny and more funny...those pamphlets she got me, well, she'll be getting them back one of these days! (My women friends from our Tuesday morning group are nothing short of awesome) There is so much more. But overall I feel loved and cherished. Funny, I already knew I loved all of them...guess I never thought they might love me as much....I am blessed...

Isn't God good. Not a question, but a statement uttered in awe.

I looked for love in the red rose but saw thorns.
I looked for love in the rainbow, but it faded away.
I searced for love in the eyes of strangers, and found naught.
But in the heart of believers, yes, there I found His love.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Time to blog again.

This past year has been the hardest one I can remember in a long, long time. I have had to learn to live with chronic pain and loss of self identity. Without my Savior, I wouldn't have made it. Each time I think I can't handle this pain anymore, He brings someone new and meaningful into my life. A phone call, an email, sometimes just an assurance someone is praying for me. I have been so blessed by family and friends, even a new little dog. When I think of all the minute details God has handled perfectly in my life, I am in awe. How in the world could anyone deny His power and love? I couldn't. Many times I have asked, "How can you love me so much?" Many times the realization of how much leaves me in awe.

This blog is one of hope. One of cheer. In it, I plan to occasionally vent and hopefully hear from you about the important as well as the mundane things in life. Since the number of characters this site gives for an intro just doesn't cut it for me, I'll write this as an introductory blog.

I'm blissfully married to my mailman, Dave. We've been married 5 years and I am thankful for each moment. We do a lot of laughing together. The only yelling in my home is during a Steeler or Pirate's game. For that I am eternally grateful. I love a peaceful home. We have a little dog, Teddy, that we both spoil and make a fool of. He is a white Pekingese. Every night he and Dave (sometimes me) have ice cream together. Yet, every night we laugh as he gets brain freeze. I keep saying I'm going to nuke his ice cream, but haven't tried it yet. Like I said, we laugh here a lot. I am learning to be a housewife and not see it as a "just a housewife." It's a blessing to be home to fix him a good lunch every day and to be available for others most of the time. Doing for others helps me forget myself.

I have two grown children. Randy (31) is in the Air Force but will be moving home in November. I miss him horribly and hope he finds life outside of the military is what he is seeking. He's so smart and dear to me, I just cannot wait til he moves home. He has a beautiful little four year old daughter, Evelyn. She is a giggle-box and such a little wild thing. Sort of like grandma used to be... My daughter Melinda (29) is the spitting image of me twenty years ago. Except she is so self-assured. Such a beautiful young woman inside and out. She's a geriatric nurse and I have no doubt she is one of the best. Her husband Jim is more like a son than a son in law. He is funny and warm and takes such good care of her and my little grandson Nathan. I couldn't ask for a better "other" son. We've adopted him completely.

Nathan is five, almost six and thinks the world turns completely around him. Of course I had NOTHING to do with that perception. He was a born prematurely and in the beginning was so sick. Once when Dave and I visited him in NICU, I began to cry in the car on the way home. Working with medically fragile children, I knew his numbers weren't good, his lungs weren't responding. I feared permanent disabilities. I called mom, she called Sue at Crossroads and prayers started, then I phoned Dave's mom and she got them going from her end. When we got home we had a message waiting on the phone from Mindie. In the hour it took for us to drive home, Nathan had done a complete turn around. God. No other answer. I am not surprised, but I am ever thankful. Nathan is our miracle. He's an average little boy who is perfect in his grandma's eyes. Always. Our gift from The Father.

Mom and CR (my step father) live about 3 minutes away. If you ever try calling me and I'm not home, chances are that's where I am. Their home is probably the cutest, cleanest house I've ever seen. They are good stewards of what God has given them. There is a certain welcoming feeling the minute one walks through their door. Nothing fancy, everything nice. They are so dear to me. I hope I'm just like them at their age. Much loved and loving. Serving God and serving others. A full life.

Dave's parents live in Jamestown. His mom I consider one of my dearest friends. They both could write a book on how to be good inlaws. Such wonderful people. I am blessed. The only fault I can see is that they weren't in my life earlier. They are strong Christians and again, I am blessed.

Dave's oldest, Tiffany, lives in Greenville, but we don't see her often. His middle son lives with his mother in Sharon. Dave's youngest Joey, I know well because he visits us regularly and we al text each other through the week when he is gone. He is a nice boy. Well, he turned 18 a week ago so I guess he's a young man. But still nice. We have a nice relationship.

So, in closing, this is a very short overview of me. Not that it is so important, but hopefully if you choose to read this and travel with me, we can learn more about who God wants women to be. I used to think earning $45-$50 grand a year had merit. Not even close. I also used to think a new car and fantastic house mattered. Nope. Wrong again. But when I read His Word and He speaks directly to me, THAT matters. Again, it's all about relationships. The one I hold the most dear is the one between The Savior and me. Hang in there with me....let's take this journey together....I'll make the coffee...