I wasn’t ready for this

It’s starting to feel like I only write when I’m asking for people to give or when something bad has happened. And let’s be honest, today fits right into that mold.

I used to talk to my mom on the phone every day. She would call me on her way home from work, and we would chat for that 15 minute drive. Then my brother started working with her and since they live 1/2 mile apart, they started carpooling most days. That meant that my mom only called me on days when my brother wasn’t with her. It was hard (annoying) at first, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Normally on Tuesdays my brother rides with my mom so I was obviously surprised when my phone rang around 5 and it was my mom. She thought she was so funny telling me how sorry she was that she wouldn’t be able to see us the next day. She was sorry that I decided we wouldn’t be able to see her. (Wednesdays weather permitting the boys and I go to my mom’s house to spend time with Grandma Jo and then see my parents. The weather is a lot less permitting in the winter that the other 3 seasons.) Finally asked why “I” decided we couldn’t go over. My dad and Grandma Jo were both sick with the flu. We talked the rest of her drive home and said good-bye when she pulled in the garage. It should be a few days until I talked to her again.

You can’t imagine my surprise, my shock, my panic when about an hour later my phone rang and the caller ID showed my mom’s name. I had been messing around on Facebook and answered on the first ring. She doesn’t call me at night. My phone should not have rang.

My mom was a mess and the strongest she’s even been when I answered the phone. She said, “I think Grandma had a stroke. The ambulance came and got her. I’m on my way to the hospital.”

I can’t even tell you my reaction. I got this same call 2 years ago, but this time is worse because I know how that story ended. The last time I got this call Grandpa had brain cancer and died. And that was hard and I didn’t want to lose Grandpa. I wasn’t ready for that, but I’m really not ready to lose Grandma.

And as broken as I felt, I held it together. I got the information Mom needed to give me. I was strong for her. I hung up the phone, told my husband what happened and took 1 minute to fall apart. Then I made the calls that she needed to me to make.

They made it to the hospital and confirmed that she did have the flu. They didn’t think it was a stroke, but the flu was bad enough they were transferring her to a bigger hospital. Okay. I can do that. The flu is extra bad this year. They transferred her and did an MRI and EKG the next morning. She has the flu, and it was a stroke.

If you know anything about my grandma, you know she is so ready to be in Heaven with my grandpa. She’s been telling us all since Grandpa died that she just wants to be with him. So my first thoughts with all of this is that she was just going to give up. I’m not ready to lose her. That may be super selfish, but I need her for just a little bit longer.

But the one thing she wants more than to be with Grandpa is to not be a burden on her family so she keeps fighting. The location in the brain where her stroke was just affected mobility on the right side. It didn’t affect her memories or attitude or personality. She is as ornery ever. Her speech is slow and affected, but she makes jokes with the doctors that they don’t get.

Grandma and Grandpa always thought that she would die first. They planned for that. We know she has an aneurysm in her brain. Any day it could move and kill her. But it hasn’t. This week we learned things about her heart. It is bad when your aorta is enlarged. At 3cm they do surgery. Grandma’s aorta is 6cm. That makes your heart pump too fast and, instead of sending the blood out faster, your heart is pumping too fast and the blood can’t get out of the heart and instead pools around in your heart and starts clotting and that clot is what caused Grandma’s stroke.

We’ve been told that with the kind of stroke she had that with medication there is less than a 15% of her having another stroke. I guess if you must have a stroke, it’s the best kind you could have. Although that information came before we knew how swollen her aorta is.

Mostly we are being told that with rehab, Grandma will get back 60% mobility on her right side. She will be able to walk, but she will probably have to use a walker. They want to do heart surgery eventually. It’s hard for some people to understand but she is looking for quality of life over quantity. She’s been ready for Heaven for 2 years.

So today I’m feeling the same feelings I had 2 years ago. I feel selfish and guilty. I want Grandma to live, to be healthy and strong and for us to have years more of Wednesday visits. But I don’t get to make these decisions. I don’t get to pick. And my mom sits at the hospital all day and I think I should be doing something, but there is literally nothing I can do. Even if I drove to the hospital, they wouldn’t let me and the boys in.

So it’s all in God’s hands. And I pray for His will. For the right thing. If He chooses for us to have her longer I will rejoice in that and if He chooses for her to be with Grandpa, I will mourn for our lose, for the world’s lose, but rejoice in knowing that she is with Grandpa.

If you, dear readers, would pray for my family. The selfish part of me wants you to pray for healing and the unselfish part asks for you to pray that His will be done. Either way pray for Grandma to be at peace and for God to be with us all.

 

 

Advertisements

Super Duper Tuesday

It’s Super Tuesday in the United States. During election season, this is the day that the most states vote in the primary elections and tends to set the tone for the rest of the election season. It is very hard, if not impossible to come out of Super Tuesday without winning several states and continue on to win your party’s nomination. Today is an important political day.

I love politics. I listen to talk radio. I watch the shows. I read as many of the articles as I can stomach. I follow this stuff closely. Today is a big day for me even though my state isn’t voting today. In fact, if I could find someone willing to entertain my husband and children this evening so I can watch the election coverage on TV, Facebook and Twitter that would be super awesome. Since that probably won’t happen, I’ll be watching as much coverage as I can without my family losing their minds.

I like to talk politics. I like to argue politics. I have always been a conservative, both socially and fiscally. I am against big government. Until the last 6-10 years, I have considered myself a republican. However, as I have grown and paid more and more attention to the state of the world around us, I no longer consider myself a republican. Technically, I am probably an independent, but I lean hard to the Libertarian party. Because while I am very conservative in my personal beliefs, I honestly don’t give a crap what you want to do as long as it doesn’t affect my personal freedoms. I want the government to leave me alone and I want you to leave me alone.

So I’ve been watching this election cycle closely. I am amazed by the direction both political parties are going. I made up my mind about my vote more than a year ago (before people even began announcing that they would run). I have known for a while who I would like to see as the next president. And while I have made my decisions, there have been other candidates come and go that I could consider voting for. And there are some candidates that I would never vote for.

In the past I have normally voted straight republican, but that has changed. In our last state election, I voted for the libertarian candidate over the republican (who I know) because of the votes cast at the state capital. I have contact several of the people claiming to represent me because I will not vote for them again. You can not just assume you have my vote. I have actually contacted the democrat senator for my state on more than one occasion to thank him for at least doing what he said he was going to do, even when I don’t agree with what he is doing. At least I know where he stands on the issues.

There is one thing that I can guarantee you this election cycle. When it is my turn to vote, I will not cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump. I also will not stay home on election day. I will vote third-party. I will write in a candidate to vote for. I am tired of accepting someone who I can not stomach. I am not going to hold my nose and cast my vote.

I have prayed more over this election than any other in my lifetime. I truly believe this is the election that will decide whether the United States stands or falls. I have prayed that God would give us not the leader that we deserve but the leader that would bring us back to the path of righteousness. I pray that we will not vote with hate or fear or anger but that we would vote with love. That we would vote with a love for our nation and a love for God.

If you live in a Super Tuesday state, please vote today. But before you go to the polls, please pray. And know that there are people out there praying for you, too. I pray that the right person comes out on top tonight. I pray that God’s will be done. I pray that goodness and righteousness win out over name calling and lies and backroom deals.

These are heart issues not political issues

There is so much going on in the world right now. It makes my heart heavy, and I imagine it affects many of you the same way.

Right now thousands of children are coming across the southern border in the United States. Many are coming across alone and I can only imagine how scared they must be. This past weekend Mercury One took truck loads of food, clothing, teddy bears and soccer balls to help the churches that are housing this children.

Israel is under attack from people who wish to wipe them off of the face of this earth. The Israelis are God’s chosen people. As Christians, I believe it is our duty to support them in any way we can.

I don’t normally talk politics on here, but I don’t believe either of these issues are about politics. I believe these are issues of the heart. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about the border issue, as long as those children are here it is our duty to provide for them. And as a Christian, I believe God Himself gave that land to the Israelis.

If either of these issues are on your heart, I would ask you to give. I would ask you to pray over both of these issues. I would ask you to pray that God would be with everyone involved.

And if God leads you to give financially, I would ask you to give through Mercury One. Mercury One has fund-raisers to pay for their overhead so every penny given to them to help either of these causes or any other cause they support, like disaster relief, goes straight to helping people. 100% of the donations goes right where you want it to go. You can also pick exactly who you want to help. If the children at the border are on your heart, give straight to them. If Israel is on your heart, give straight to the Israelis.

You can find more information about Mercury One here.

Mostly I’m asking you to pray.

Sometimes God’s Blessings Really Do Come Through Rain Drops

Laura Story’s song Blessings has given me some new perspective. It’s an important way to look at some of the things that happen to us and around us. I really felt led to it. I heard it for the first time a couple Saturdays ago and thought it would be a great song for our Worship Wednesdays. The next morning, it was one of the songs we sang at church.

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way to much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
It the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if the trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

 

 

What a way to look at life! I can look back on my life and see so many times where, if God had answered my prayer with a yes or given me what I asked for I would not have the blessings I have today. Had I not had the heartache years ago, I would not have the amazing husband and crazy little boys I have today.

We went on vacation for the holiday weekend. Most of our electronic devices use the same charger, but my husband’s phone uses a different one. Both chargers were packed, and his was seen by both of us, not only before we left, but once we arrived at the campground. Somewhere between the car and the camper, his charger disappeared. We didn’t realize it was gone until his phone was dead. It was very frustrating to us that we couldn’t find it.

It was later that we realized what a blessing that missing cord was to us. Things happened that would have angered and frustrated both of us and taken away from the fun and family time we were having with our 2crazylittleboys. It was nothing that couldn’t wait and things we had to eventually deal with, but God blessed us with that night without frustration. (Although it would be nice to have that cord back now.)

I look at the illness and pain I’ve had and at the time I wondered why I was suffering, but now I have an amazing story to tell. Look at my oldest and how much he went through at birth. That hardship has blessed us with so much. We didn’t know until he was four that he had hearing loss, which was so heartbreaking to learn (more to learn so late than the loss in general), but because he had trouble hearing, he has learned to pay attention to the smallest of details.

There are times in all our lives where God loves us so much He just says no. There’s are those times of such darkness when we think God is so far away and He is just loving us and setting us up for so much more. He’s loving us through the hurt and pain and frustration straight into something so much more.

Look at what you are going through right now. Look at the hardships and heartaches of your past. Where have they led you? Where are you going? What if His blessings are coming through your tears?

I talk about God’s plan a lot. This song is just another reminder that His plan is bigger and better than ours. And while we may not be able to see the road ahead, know that He is using this time in your life for His betterment and yours.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesdays posts here.

I Pray

It has been an exciting week around here for our crazy little family. Doors have been opened, new possibilities are happening, and prayers are being answered. It’s been amazing to be a part of and to watch it all unfold.

And it got me thinking about prayer and the way we pray.

Prayer is an amazing thing. A way to talk directly with God. And He always answers. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes it’s no. He answers with wait. Or trust. Or peace. 

Sometime God answers with silence or opportunities.

The more that I’ve prayed, and the older I’ve gotten, the more my prayers have changed. When I was younger, I prayed for things, for actual items, for stuff. “Dear God, Please let me get a bike for my birthday. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

These days my prayers are much different. I still pray for specific things but it’s more people than items. And because I know that sometimes God answers prayer with opportunity, I’m thoughtful in how I pray. I know that if I pray for courage there’s a good chance God is going to give me opportunities to be courageous. Sometimes instead of what we normally think of as prayer, I just cry out, “Oh, Lord.” More and more I just pray for help.

I pray for my military brother that God would keep him safe at home and abroad.

I pray for the health of my parents, my husband’s parents, and our grandparents who are all in fairly good health and none of which am I ready to lose.

I pray for safe travel for any of us when we are traveling.

I pray that my husband and I make the right decisions for our boys so they grow strong in God.

I pray for the girls that my boys will someday marry.

I pray for my country, which I don’t recognize some days.

I pray for the President, for his safety and that he would make good decisions for our country.

I pray for vague concepts for people because I may not know what you need me to pray for but God knows.

I pray for Justina, a 15 year old girl I’ll never meet.

I pray for people I haven’t spoken to in years.

I pray for friends and family and strangers.

I pray that if something is right it will happen, and if it’s not, it won’t.

I pray for His will over my own.

And I know that God answers all of these prayers. And some of the answers, I won’t understand this side of Heaven. But I do know that He always answers. I may not like or understand the answers, but He always answers.

I pray.