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...