Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And One Survived

I can’t stop thinking about it. There is no judgment. I didn’t know her. I did not see and feel what she lived through. But there is a normal anger mixed with sadness. And perhaps doubt that one can carry the burdens of life upon shoulders needing rest of people who carelessly manage consequences not realizing they would still be there years after the initial choice. Or is it a matter of sin? And if so, then are we not responsible for the choice we make? Can we simply blame sin and be rid of the guilt? No. Either way, sin or good, we are capable of making the choice. We are not robots computing actions and reactions.

My sorrow lies within the survival of the youngest, the baby, innocence. Will she grow up thankful for her unknown endurance? Or will she be attacked to thinking she should have died as well? I pray now, she will be a light in this world. And for all the hard times when she too feels like giving up, I pray her heart can teach the world there is more to live for than this world. My prayers began yesterday. To a child I don’t know. A little girl the whole nation is aware of. She will grow having people hate her mother for what she did to her sisters. But let us remember to love. What is our place as people sharing this world together? What is our place as Christians? Do we hate the people who are easy to hate? Didn’t Christ say it is easier to love someone easy to like, yet when we are faced with loving someone difficult, loving someone we have no clue how to understand, this is Christ’s love. It is so huge and big, that we could never possibly comprehend it. Loving someone who has committed such an act does not mean supporting the act. Love reaches beyond the outside and has compassion on the heart. It requires wisdom only Jesus was able to represent, and now we can learn it as well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Olivia, Texas

If Texas goes on for miles and is said to be a grand state, then of course it includes a wonderful little town called "Olivia." Hey maybe they have a town named after you! You never know.

History in a Pecan Shell:
The town has a similar beginning to nearby Danevang. Both were started as Lutheran Colonies within two years of one another (Danevang 1894 and Olivia 1892). The primary difference was Danevang was Danish while Olivia was made up of Swedes. The Reverend C.J.E. Haterious brought the settlers to the area and then named the town after his wife, Olivia Olson Haterious. Cotton was the primary crop and after taking their cotton all the way to Edna for ginning in 1893; they soon bought a small gin to use right where they were. The town had only 50 residents in 1927, but improvements like a highway and electricity brought the population back during the 1930s. The school was consolidated in the wave of statewide school consolidations during the early 1950s. Today it has about the same number of people as it did in 1914.

See, I'm famous!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yummy Dinner

So THIS is what a 5-star restaurants' food is like,
both yummy and pretty!

Thanks Cyndi & Casja for a beautiful evening.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy 1st Bday

Happy 1st Birthday to my favorite niece Ilona Olivia!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Needa Laugh?

How you know a Catholic is driving too fast...

I was forwarded this photo and I thought it was too
funny to pass up posting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Sleepless Night

I can’t sleep. I want to, but my body refuses to trigger the needed elements. So I got up and ate some cereal and cleaned the kitchen a little bit. I truly believe my inability to sleep is altering my life. If only I were normally sleeping, I would be able to accomplish much more. But there is seriously nothing else I can do that I am. So many people have their ideas of what to do. Suggestions include; taking a bath right before bed, have warm milk to drink before bed, not eating heavy sweets of foods before bed, reading, and taking herbal remedies. But nothing works. I believe it is stress related. And yet the only “stress” right now is good stress. There is such a thing! Stuff like getting married, getting promoted or moving. These are good stressors, but stress nevertheless.

I pray vigorously for sleep and I am encouraged sometimes with it. I know the Lord hears me. I know He says, He grants sleep to those He loves. That verse makes me nervous. But I know I fear and love God, and His love for me surpasses worldly love. He loves me in the eternal. And that can never change. So I must not make the conclusion and listen to the lie, that because I am not sleeping, God does not love me.

Trouble sleeping became an issue beginning when I was hospitalized fro 3 months. All the trauma and procedures frightened my sleep. I wouldn’t know who would come in my room in the middle of the night to draw blood or inject medicine, so I began to sleep lightly and had an uncomfortable time getting to sleep. This continued even after the hospital as Chemotherapy persisted for another 2 ½ years.

I was forced to create a habit of not sleeping. I would wake up frequently and do things like I am now, writing what is on my mind to vent and empty my head. It is something more productive then watching TV.

I have sleeping pills, but they are addictive and not good to use. I even took one tonight and it did not help. RATS!

But I am blessed. I think during these times of all the things I HAVE. All my blessings surpass these irritating times. My God is working all around me. I have a front row seat to His miraculous intervention. He has blessed Bryan and I so much this week. I don’t want it to stop. I also know, when we finally give up, we are able to let God do what He needs. Yet, “giving up” is so hard because it literally feels like you are giving up yourself and all the things you want. But it is not like this. Giving up is a choice that Satan perverts. “Why would you give up your right to do that?” he says. “Surely, God knows you need money? Get the most you can in anyway possible!” he slithers around and smiles. But you know. You know he is testing you and trusting God on this one is going to be very hard. But you do. You take the risk because the lie would cause a domino effect. It brings hurt to you and a consequence to your family and future. Then, right when you think you made the wrong choice, God does something amazing!!! He rewards you for your faithfulness and brings to you a situation that works out almost perfectly.

Taking the risk is hard, but it is always worth. It is always choosing between your way and Satan’s way.

There is a verse in the bible that says the Lord speaks in the night to His people. Maybe this is my “season” of listening to God in the night and being willing for Him to supply rest.

Please pray for me as this continues. I want to not just obey and trust. I want to do it with the right attitude and heart.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Friends in Unexpected Places Part 2

Last Saturday Bryan and I were given two tickets to take part in the Kiwanis’s Pancake Day as their fundraiser to support their group. I ate Kiwanis pancakes before and I have to admit, it was hard to not only have one plate…especially since seconds are readily available. We walked in and greeted some people we knew, grabbed our stacks of fluffiness, got drinks and syrup and headed towards the huge room full of picnic tables. Bryan asked me where I wanted to sit and I looked out in the crowd and knew sitting off alone was not what the Lord was about to do. I noticed a very old couple sitting by themselves and motioned to Bryan that we should sit there. He agreed and we walked around to the other end and went down as they were sitting in the middle of a large row. Bryan asked if it were OK for us to join them and they said "yes." I introduced Bryan and myself and small talk was underway. But I knew it. I knew I wanted to know this beautiful old woman. Her hands were warn and swollen. Her eyes courteously peered through wrinkled skin and her lips painted with bright red lipstick maintained her femininity and grace. She had stories. She lived through war and peace. I must ask her and I did. Our conversation began by asking her husband, Joe, how to live as long as he was. 92 is a great work of art! He squinted to understand the question and on our third repetition, he smiled and began to tell us that learning from other people’s lives is valuable. Others in his life did not make smart choices as they resolved to liquor and drugs and did not work hard. Joe said that work is hard and no amount of work is going to "kill ‘ya." He chuckled quietly as if remembering something we all so desperately wanted to know. I turned towards Ellon and asked her about when she was a child. She said she grew up without plumbing. She rode a horse to school with her sister. Then she mentioned that her younger sister died. Penicillin would have saved her, but was not available back then. I had so much empathy for her. Ellon said, “no one should ever have to loose a child.” My heart stopped and tears began to swell in my eyes. I said to her I understood because my daughter is in heaven. I told her I couldn't wait to be there with her and that when we are all together, she, her sister, and Natalie, and I will have a party! Ellon smiled brightly and nodded. She was thinking of heaven too!!! Ellon told me she was diagnosed with an adult form of Leukemia and just recently had lab work sent away to see what type or level it is. She does not know the expected treatment yet, but her outlook on the illness is realistic. She knows what life is and is not afraid to live it. I told her about when I was diagnosed and people did not know what to do. In their inability to understand they ignored me. I understood why they did this because it is hard to know what to say. But we agreed that people should at least understand that it is important to talk to the hurting and scared even if all you say is “I hate that you are going through this. And I wish I knew what to do or say, but I don’t. I know I love you and I am afraid and I am praying for you and your family.” If people would say this, it would make it so much better.

Bryan and I talked with Joe and Ellon a little longer. She wrote down her information to contact her and I promised I would call her and see what the tests said. As I stood up to leave, I told her to stay there so I could come around and give her a hug. She was small and frail. But it was one of the strongest embraces I ever had. I took her hands, small, swollen, and so fragile, her tool of affection and love throughout so many years, and told her she was a great blessing to me tonight. She encouraged me greatly with the things I have been worried about. Her treasure box was open and she allowed me to look through it. I appreciate her so much and pray that no matter what happens in her time left, she will keep being the light she is.