Sunday, September 30, 2012

All For a Q-Tip

I was up rather late last night, simply because I had been babysitting for the grandchildren at their house earlier. Suddenly I heard a loud thud and a familiar moan come from the room next to me. I rushed in to see that Dean had once again fallen. This time he was sitting on the floor of his closet, and simply asked me to help him up.

After much effort to get him back in bed, my nephew heard the ruckus and came in to help him get up from the floor. I asked Dean what he was doing out of bed and he said he got up to get a Q-tip. What a price to pay for a Q-tip. But once again there didn't seem to be any injuries to report, so we tried to make light of it and all went back to bed.

How many times we pay enormous prices for the momentary pleasure of something as fleeting as a Q-tip? It makes you want to examine your life for anything that just isn't worth the cost of your salvation. God has a better plan that won't end up with us helpless on the floor, needing others to help us up.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Prayer Works!

The most outstanding part of my day was when I got some news about my brother-in-law's father, who has been sick in hospital ICU this whole last week. He's had a fever of 102-103 for several days, which they could not get lowered, plus couldn't eat, stay awake, and had low blood pressure. And did I mention he's 87-years-old? He was fading fast.

After many tests, they finally determined today that it was West Nile, which is often fatal, especially for the young and old who contract it. So, this afternoon some elders of his church arrived and anointed him with oil and had prayer. By 5:30 his fever broke and it appears he might be on the road to recovery.

I will say that Vern and his wife are probably more healthy than the average 80-year-olds of today. Their healthy, vegetarian lifestyle has kept them active in service and in this case, it may have just kept him alive. But, of course, we aren't downplaying the part prayer had in his healing.

This modern-day miracle is just one reason I have faith to carry on. It gives one the shivers, to think of what God can do for us when we put our trust in Him. God knows what He's doing!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


There were a couple of highlights in my day. The first was when I had to rush outside in my bare feet to prevent Dean from going out to get the mail in his underwear this morning. Our new mailman comes unusually early now. Didn't realize how many acorns there were on the driveway till I found myself trying to avoid them in my bare feet.

Then this afternoon when we went to get some new eyeglasses for Dean (we've been looking over a month for the ones he lost), he almost fell once by not clearing the receptionist's desk enough, and then he actually did fall when he was about to sit in a chair to get fitted for glasses. I'm talking about a full sprawled-out-his-whole-length-on-the-floor kind of fall. Fortunately, he didn't hit any dangerous objects coming down and wasn't hurt, but getting him back up was the hard part. It took three women staff members to do the trick.

He falls so slowly, like in slow motion. Reminds me of the big trees that he used to fell when he logged in the mountains of Montana when we were young. One is almost tempted to shout "timber" before he actually lands.

Even though his angels didn't bear him up today in their hands (Psalm 91), they did send plenty of human "angels" to get him up off the floor. And that's what the good Lord does for all of us. We can count on Him to get us back up when we fall into sin. No matter what kind of fall it is. And no matter what kind of sin.

Fond Memories

Today is a day of importance in our family. Not only was it the day my mother died two years ago, but it's also the birthday of my niece, a grandchild my mom was especially fond of. She was her first grandchild, but she and her little brother were also the only two grandchildren that she actually lived in the same town with. Even if it was only for a couple of years when they were preschoolers many years ago. As you can imagine, she and my niece developed a special bond for each other, as over the years she would connect on the phone with her grandma for comfort and advice. To feel that amazing grandmotherly love that we all crave.

All the grandchildren experienced it at one time or another, but especially Tammie, the first. As mom slipped away from us in the hospital room that day two years ago, our first thoughts went out to Tammie. How devastated she would be to learn of this event on her birthday. But then again, how fortunate that it did happen on her day. It illustrated the closeness they had, and I pray that time will heal Tammie's wounded heart, but that she will also remember her grandma fondly each year, as perhaps none of the other grandchildren will.

For now, you still have your parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins to share your loss and remind you that your grandmother's love lives on in the rest of your family members. We are all healing together, Tammie. But thanks to your birthday, your grandmother will be remembered for generations to come.
my parents--what a "show" garden they had! (fond memories we share today, Tammie)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting Knowledge

There was good news at my eye appointment today. The eye surgeon said everything looks fine in my eyes now. The laser surgery improved my angle and he doesn't see any risk of glaucoma. What a relief it was to hear that!

I was under the impression I had glaucoma when they did the surgery a couple of weeks ago, but evidently I was just at great risk for it with that narrow angle for drainage, because of my farsightedness.

It's amazing how your knowledge increases every time you see a doctor like this. In spite of my effort to research glaucoma on my own, only the doctor could give me specific information about my eyes. Even though he attempted to explain the procedures, I still had to ask questions to make my education complete.

And that's how we get our knowledge of spiritual things too. We have to go to the right persons, at the right places, at the right times, and ask the right questions. Deuteronomy 4:29 says "But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." And it's a life-long pursuit.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Hiccup

Don't ever let your husband break his foot on top of having dementia. Ever since Dean's fracture last year and then his cracked ribs this year, he has asked me to wait on him like he was still injured. He constantly expects me to be at his beck and call, mostly delivering food for him non-stop from the time he gets up till he goes to bed at night. Many times I just refuse and tell him to get it himself. Which often leads to a stream of profanity. I don't mind. I just go on with what I'm doing and pretend the volcano didn't blow. A minute later, he's back to his sunshiny self.

I don't know why I'm pouring all this out tonight. It's been my life for over ten years now, and I know there are lots of women out there who have experienced much worse.

I'm just so anxious to see Dean when we get to heaven. Both of us, in our glorified bodies and minds, will think all of this was like having a hiccup, compared to the joys that await us for an eternity. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ice Cream Toppings

Dean and I thoroughly enjoyed a musical program this evening at the small church of our in-laws that we have attended on occasion. Dean seems to fit in with this smaller congregation better than our larger home church right now. He misses fellowship with other Christians so much. So I do appreciate the warm welcome we felt in God's house tonight.

And one of the sweetest parts was the ice cream they shared with us afterward. A regular old-fashioned ice cream church social. Served with all the toppings.

The Lord's blessings to us are so sweet. We not only get the basic two scoops in a bowl, but our gracious God showers us with all the "toppings". He isn't stingy in the least. Just look around at all the beautiful nature He has created for our enjoyment. That's one blessing we can all enjoy. Like the toppings on ice cream or the icing on the cake. Not needed, but oh, so welcome.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Early or Late?

Dean's "Meals on Wheels" dinner had not arrived when I got home from church today. At least it appeared that it hadn't arrived. Either it had arrived and he forgot he ate it, which was a possibility. Or they neglected to bring it. I was almost ready to call to find out because it had never come that late before, when the doorbell rang.

There was his meal delivered by a totally new person, who apologized that we were last on the list. He said it was his first time to deliver, and he discovered that he had started from the wrong end of the list. So, Dean's lunch which usually comes on the early side, first on the route, came last, rather late. We were still happy to see it, even though it needed a bit of warming in the microwave.

Whether we come to the Lord's table early in life or late, it doesn't matter. It's nice when you're early. You are nice and hot, ready for service. But those who are there late are welcomed with open arms too, even though you might need a bit of warming up, in order to be ready for service.

The important thing is to just come. Someone is waiting for you, hungering for the Bread of Life.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Team

I can't help but think of my mom today. This was her birthday and birthdays were always so important to her. She would be 81 today. My dad's day was just two days before hers and I think they rather enjoyed celebrating their birthdays together. Mom usually made Dad's favorite cake. Yellow with chocolate frosting. Then she might follow with a special dessert that she liked. She made great cream puffs.

One thought I had of my mom today though was how she was able to cope with life. Of course, Jesus was her constant confidante, but she also felt comfortable sharing her burdens with her children. My sister usually had a handle on her aches and pains, from her swollen hands and feet to the pain in her eyes. Even though my sister lived hundreds of miles away, I could find out from her how mom was feeling, because I knew Mom shared that with her.

My brother was her sounding board when it came to marital matters, the many hurts and frustrations that came with living with a high-maintenance man like my dad. He gave her much needed comfort and understanding of those issues from his unique male perspective.

And finally I was there to share her frustrations with being blind those last ten years or so. I was the only one who lived close and was taking her to doctor's appointments and listening to her heartbreaking concerns of not being able to see and how much quality of life it was taking from her.

We were a family team all along and didn't recognize how our combined efforts were lightening Mom's load. But I'm sure it was. Thank you, Lord, for helping us be there for our mom. And she felt our combined presence, I'm sure, right to the end.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scrabble, Anyone?

I used to get so frustrated playing Scrabble with my husband. Before his accident, he could whip me every time in a game of chess, but he could never outshine me in a game of Scrabble. His creative vocabulary, along with fairly good phonic skills but very poor spelling ability, resulted in some pretty loud shouting matches, as we argued over what words were acceptable.

It's getting winter. And I felt like getting out the Scrabble game again today. Most every winter since Dean's accident I get it out and set it up on the kitchen table for family members or any passersby to think of words to add to the puzzle. No score is taken; the only goal is to make words using all the blocks. Some days I fill the board several times myself. It really is a challenge to use every block. I just leave it up for several days to help pass the time.

I'm really curious to see what words Dean will contribute this year. Will they be as recognizable as they have in the past? I guess we'll find out. But whatever the outcome, I'm going to try to be unemotional and patient. Perhaps sharing a chuckle with him when he tries to explain his word choices.

And while I'm at it, I'm going to try not to take the Game of Life so seriously either. Lord, help me handle the stress and drama in my life more leisurely. With more patience and chuckles.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"A Spit and a Promise"

This day has been full of memories. It was my dad's birthday today. He would have been 83. What a coincidence that my nephew would think of washing the car today. It's my dad's car that I inherited two years ago. My parents kept it immaculately washed, waxed, and detailed numerous times a year. Often by their own sweat and muscle.

I feel close to my mom and dad whenever I use their car. They used it to drive to a local truck stop every evening to relax and socialize with friends. It was more than a vehicle for them. It was a link to the outside world. I know they were more proud of it than they were their old house.

Thank you, Jason, for reviving some memories for me today. Mom and Dad may be gone from this world, but their car lives on, as do our memories of them both. They live on in our hearts. We look forward to seeing them again on that glorious Resurrection Morning. God has promised a grand reunion for His people.
Here they are at the truck stop a few years ago...

After a good wash, it still shines!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling Used

Dean and I were reading a passage this evening that was very meaningful to us both. It said, "If He sees fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that thus God may be working for our good." Then later it said, "...under the rod of affliction the Christian may sometimes do more for the Master than when engaged in active service." The statement was referring to the time when Paul was first under house arrest in Rome and must have felt like his work for the Lord was coming to a close.

I pointed out to Dean after reading this that even though we aren't at this time in our lives able to serve God in the capacity that we'd like, He can still use us. As a matter of fact, our disabilities may be allowing Him to use us MORE. Just like He did for Paul.

Our disabilities can become His-abilities. Awesome.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Filthy Rags

While Dean was occupied in the living room today, I sneaked off to the bedroom to arrange his clothes to wear for tomorrow. For years now, I've had to put his clothes in the hamper on the sly because he never thinks they're dirty enough.

As I was changing the suspenders on his jeans and transferring his pocket contents to the clean pair, I thought of how many times Jesus has probably taken care of me when I wasn't aware of it, when I didn't trust Him enough with my care, or when I thought I knew what was best for me when I really didn't.

Dean is so vocal about telling people what a good wife and caregiver I am. I need to do likewise and let as many as possible know what a wonderful Lord and Savior I have.

Jesus has changed my filthy rags to clean ones more times than I can count. But only because of our love for each other. My love for Jesus and Dean's love for me. You have to love and trust your caregiver.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our Last Surviving Tomato

The Last Tomato
We stopped watering our garden over a month ago when the city started enforcing watering restrictions. The tomato plants were about through producing and were looking pretty sorry and soon were pitifully dried up, with just a few marble-sized green tomatoes clinging to the vines.

Then after all summer with no rain we got a whole inch last week and when I let the dog out a couple of days later, I noticed something red on one of the tomato plants. I was shocked to see this one little ripe tomato survivor, just waiting to be picked.

It reminded me of the last days of this earth's history. The Bible says there will be a "time of trouble" (Daniel 12:1). Amos says in ch. 8:11 that there will be a famine, but not of bread, and not a thirst of water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. But a remnant survives, those with the patience of the saints. Revelation 14:12

So, I honor my patient little "remnant" tomato. It gives me faith and courage that God will see us through to the end, even through enormous trials and persecutions.

The Pill Organizer

Having just retrieved Dean's new pill organizer that his nurse filled earlier in the week, and replaced it with the empty one I am reminded that today, Sunday, is truly the start of a new week. When you look at most calenders I also find that Sunday does not come at the end, but at the beginning. It's even referred to as the first day of the week in dictionaries.

When I read the Ten Commandments, it's like having a pill organizer. In the very center of it, we are told with great detail to remember something that involves a weekly reminder. The Sabbath reminds us of our Creator. The world was created in six days, and we are invited to share a time of rest with the Creator of the universe. We are able to rest on that day, because it was the day God blessed.

Daniel 7:25 speaks about a world power that will change times and laws. Don't underestimate the power of the master Deceiver. I believe he has been at work on this for a very long time, with much success.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

God's Zip Code

The other day when the nurse came over to dress Dean's wounds from his little fall in the driveway, as a part of her examination she asked him what day it was. Then what his zip code was (I assume to check for a possible head injury when he fell).

He quickly gave a zip code that I vaguely remember as the one we had in Idaho, and told him so. So he gave one that I was sure was when we lived in Iowa. I barely remembered either one of them myself and was surprised that he did. The nurse gave him another chance and he slyly looked over at some mail sitting on a table by his chair.

The nurse and I exchanged glances, smiled, and she made some notes. I thought he should have at least gotten credit for thinking to check the envelope for the zip code. He may not always know the answer, but he still knows the right place to find it.

Often I need answers for problems in my life. I pray that I will first remember where I've been, and then look in the right place for the answer. There's a letter from God in several places in my house. Bibles are everywhere. I have no excuse for not knowing God's "zip code".

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wardrobe Changes

There's one good thing about seasonal weather changes, and that's the wardrobe changes that it requires. At least in my part of the country--the good ol' Midwest. I especially love switching to the warm weather clothes in the spring because it means no more winter for awhile. But the changes for cooler weather are almost as welcome.

I've recently called my long jeans into service again. And the exciting part is how loose they fit around my middle. Summer is usually my time for dropping a few pounds, but this summer I have really made an effort to slim down and get fit. has been a big help in providing an excellent online food and exercise diary. Check it out and see for yourself. It's a free account.

Another fitness tool to check out is called your Bible. It will help you be fit for heaven, a much worthier goal. And you guessed it, it's free. Don't wait for the weather to change though. Just like we see signs of winter approaching, we see signs of Christ's Coming already here. But it's not too late to start getting fit. Let your Bible be your guidebook for better spiritual health.

Fix My Jeans, Please!

I was peacefully on my laptop yesterday when I heard Dean come in the front door from his adult day program. I knew the van that transports him was due anytime. As usual, he was scolding our little, yappy dog at the door, but I heard him say the words "Leave me alone, Minnie, I'm hurting."

I rushed out to the living room to see what had happened and saw him with a paper towel rapidly getting soaked with blood from his finger. Of course, he had fallen somewhere outside between the van and the house--just the short length of our driveway.

Dean's attention wasn't on his hand though. He pointed to his knee, and I was afraid of what injury might lie there too. But he informed me that his concern was for his torn jeans! There was indeed a couple-inch rip in the knee of his Levis. Peering through the hole I could see some blood from a scrape on his knee perhaps, but it didn't seem to be bleeding profusely like his finger.

He wasn't going to allow me access to these wounds, I could tell, so I went to the phone and called his home health agency and they sent his nurse over. Fortunately, it was his regular nurse and she set about getting his two injuries cleaned and bandaged. She had him "all better" within an hour, sitting comfortably in his recliner (fully dressed, without his jeans on, if you can picture that).

Shouldn't we all insist on waiting for the "Real Nurse" to come on the scene when we have an accident in our life? God is on call 24 hours, just like our home health agency. The trial or problem may still be plaguing you, but you and those around you will feel "all better" about the situation after a prayer call and His always rapid response.

Was surprised he didn't ask the nurse to mend his jeans too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Surgeries Compared

Talk about an easy surgery. Nothing to fear about laser eye surgery, at least the kind I had today. If you can stand drops in your eyes, you can stand having a laser light drill a hole in your iris. It really was nothing, compared to a total spinal fusion, for instance.

The spinal fusion for my scoliosis when I was twelve was so major, they had to do it in two parts too. First the lower back, then the upper. I was flat in bed for a month, followed by six months in a body cast. Fifty years later, I still remember those details. And the pain was almost unbearable right after the surgeries.

So, even though this eye surgery for my narrow angle glaucoma was in two separate parts, one for each eye, I was pleased that the discomfort was minimal. I even drove myself home just an hour later. If it can just keep my glaucoma in check and prevent an acute attack, it seems totally worth it. Just like the spinal fusion has kept my curvature from getting noticeably worse after all these years.

Our conversion stories, how we individuals come to the Lord, are different too. Just like these different surgeries. Depending on the sin to be overcome, the past experiences in our life, and many other variables, all of us have different stories to tell. But whether the pain is little or great, whether the recovery time is short or long, the end result of turning to Christ is all that counts.

When you know you have a sin problem at any point in your Christian walk, take it to the Great Physician. He will know just what kind of surgery you need to be well and whole again.

sixth grade, in my last cast--second row, I'm the one sitting right in front of the teacher

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering to Ask

It amazes me what Dean has the power to remember and what he forgets, as he struggles with his dementia memory loss. No matter how conscientious we are about asking a blessing before we eat, for instance, there are times when we all forget to say a blessing before a meal, and this is not considered out of the ordinary. Once in awhile, Dean even forgets.

But there is another time when Dean virtually never forgets to ask a blessing. It is whenever he is about to open the Word of God or study anything of a spiritual nature. He always opens and closes our worship times with prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds to a right understanding of the Scriptures. In all our years of marriage, I have seldom seen him forget this very important practice.

As we began our worship just this morning, I took note that it is usually Dean who remembers to ask for the blessing of our spiritual food, the Bread of heaven. His presence is always welcome, but I know even God likes an invitation. Jesus counseled us to form this habit when He said, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:13

There you have it. We have only to ask.

P.S. During our closing prayer this morning, Dean almost forgot MY NAME! I told you it was amazing.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yard Swing

My outdoor front yard swing got a makeover today. My nephew spray painted it for the first time since we've had it--over ten years now. It has kept amazingly well, minus a few rust spots. But now it looks so fresh and new and I know it will last many more years with the kind of paint we used.

One of our in-laws had a birthday party tonight. It had to be a surprise one, because he probably wouldn't have attended had he known the festivities were about him. But it was a milestone birthday and his family just couldn't bear to let it go unnoticed.

As with each new decade of life we enter, there surely are some mixed feelings about it for us. We all know these bodies of ours don't stay young forever. We start to rust out, just like my old swing. And it is a bit intimidating to think of entering a different stage of life.

But different can also be good. I think my old swing, newly painted, will be around awhile, barring the Lord's return. And I think we can count on the same thing, even if we do need a fresh coat of paint at times (or a new fitness program) to get us through the years. We can continue to provide a restful oasis for tired souls, just like the comfortable old swing right out my front door.


Don't know when I've felt as sick as I was this afternoon and evening. Oh, yeah, it was when I went to an emergency room a few years back for a migraine. Today I was so nauseous with a headache, I didn't eat all day, except a little applesauce before bedtime. And I turned down babysitting for two of the sweetest granddaughters around (my own, of course)!

I've finally discovered by my own research that my headaches, which I get every few weeks, but which last more than one day, are related to carbon dioxide buildup in my blood. When you've had respiratory failure like mine and are on oxygen therapy, it can happen.

Problem is I don't need oxygen much during the day. I mostly use it at night. But it seems when I'm particularly active, or skip my naps (with oxygen and bi-pap machine), I tend to have these headaches for awhile. Just hard to regulate how much oxygen I need, since I'm not on it all the time. (The opposite effect of having too much oxygen is feeling dizzy all the time. I've been that route too.) Finally woke up at midnight tonight and noticed the headache was gone. And what a relief it was to feel like myself again.

Balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide, like balancing all areas of life, is really tricky. Only when God, properly understood, fills your life can you have true balance. How great it is to feel like yourself--your best self, the one God intended.

Friday, September 7, 2012

God Blesses

We have taken another recliner into our home and it has passed the sleep test. God is so good. Dean fell asleep in the "new" chair today and I am so relieved that it has worked out so well for him. The recliner he was sitting in was in pretty sad shape. But I didn't know how I would ever afford a different one.

It wasn't just that the old chair looked bad or was uncomfortable for him to sit in. It had gotten to where it stayed in the reclining position and he could hardly get himself out of it. He'd give himself a good heave and ho, if no one was there to give him a hand, and he'd finally stand up. But he'd sway back and forth like a reed in the wind, well, make that a big tree, until he could get his balance and move forward. I would hold my breath every time, afraid he'd have another fall.

It was a coincidence, or rather providence, that the picture of the old recliner that I put on Facebook got noticed by someone who told someone else about it, who both just happened to be at a meeting we were attending. This new chair was graciously donated and I am so grateful. It was a real Godsend for us. And an indicator to me that when God gets His tithe, He will bless the 90% left so much that you won't even miss it. We have seen it time and time again.

Thank you, friend, for allowing God to use you in blessing our 90%.

Dean in the new chair--doesn't he look comfy?!
the old chair--it's had better days...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fit to Serve

This evening my daughter and the two granddaughters and I went to hear a motivational speaker talk about improving our diets and to offer us ways to accommodate special diets. See and There was even a free dinner that featured totally vegan foods. We could sample three kinds of "meatballs". Ones without gluten and ones without nuts, plus the regular vegan ones for those of us without allergies. There was a "cheese" sauce made with cashews, and another one made with rice, for those with nut allergies. They were all quite tasty.

There is so much to learn and improve when it comes to healthy living. But all too often we wait for a diagnosis to startle us to renewed resolve. Or even worse, the tragic loss of a loved one via a heart attack or cancer.

Recently my daughter saw the doctor about her migraines, for instance, and he suggested that she try cutting out cheese from her diet. He may as well asked her to cut off her hands! After giving him her dirtiest scowls, she agreed to try it for a couple weeks. Lo and behold, she has discovered that cheese and even dairy were her migraine triggers.

The bottom line is we should all be spending 99% of our time in the produce sections of our grocery stores and leaving the processed, refined, and concentrated man-made products alone. There is ample information out there on this subject to convince us. (See the video "Forks Over Knives" or read "The China Study".)

There are many reasons to take care of our bodies, but to me the one that trumps them all is to do it for the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31 says "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." In other words, we can serve Him better with a healthy body, as opposed to a sick one.

Besides, taking care of myself helps me be a better caregiver. (and would I be even better without butter?~!)

A Sacrifice Worth Remembering

This morning my stomach is growling. I am purposely skipping breakfast, because Dean has forgotten to ask for it and I think a bit of a morning fast will be good for him. He overate last night, some of the wrong foods too, by the way, so maybe his body isn't telling him he's hungry this morning. Either that or his short-term memory mind is working to his benefit. In any event, I haven't offered to fix him anything or asked what he'd like for breakfast, so it looks like we BOTH may be fasting.

And why do I have to fast with him, you wonder? Well, if he sees or hears me eating, his fast will be off. The sight and sound of food speaks louder than his body growls, totally overruling even his brain's desire for food. (Don't have to worry about smell--he lost that sense when he had the brain injury.)

It's a sacrifice for me to refrain from eating. I'm counting the minutes when I can sneak in the kitchen and get a bite to eat. I'm quite a breakfast person, so this IS rather hard. But I will do it for my man. He's worth it.

I'm so glad I was deemed worth it to God. So worth it that He gave the supreme sacrifice, His very life, for MY benefit. No sacrifice can compare with that. That is one thing I don't dare forget. And the sacrifices that come with caregiving remind me of it daily.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dropping in on Blindness

I'm still putting in anti-inflammatory eye drops four times daily since my laser eye surgery last Friday, but today I got busy and missed a dose. You wouldn't think it would be so easy to forget since I try to do it around meal time and then once at bedtime. Especially as important as it is to keep down any inflammation in my eyes following the surgery for glaucoma.

It says in the directions to gently close your eyes for five minutes after putting in the drop. Even that has been hard. Sometimes I have purposely tried to continue doing things with my eyes closed, just to see how it would feel if I couldn't see. It's a harsh reminder of how valuable my eyesight is. It's not a welcome thought.

But then it also reminds me of how my mother lost her sight over the course of several years. She was often discouraged about her fate, and I tried to lift her spirits every time I took her to the eye doctor for another useless appointment. Hope kept her going, but it was faith that made her strong.

This topic of blindness always hits me on Tuesdays, the day I volunteer as a book narrator for Christian Record Services. Ironically, my sessions are cut short due to my breathing problems, not my eyesight. But some day, who knows? God has a plan. I'm just here to live it for Him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Garage Makeover and Over

We did some cosmetics on my garage today. In other words, covered up some major flaws. Like not being able to park my car in it...again. Mission accomplished on that one at least. We are under cover now from the elements. Tomorrow is trash day too, so we chose wisely the right day to lighten our load around here. The curb now features various unwanted items for pick up.

The hardest work of the day didn't involve physical objects though, but very tender, broken human emotions. How easy it is to fix an ugly garage, compared to fixing family misunderstandings. Someone wisely said, "I am responsible for what I say. I am not responsible for what you understand." Therefore, responsibility usually falls on both parties, and how sweet it is when we come together and accept that responsibility and put our differences behind us.

I am happy about my garage looking more presentable, but even happier tonight that one of my most valuable family relationships is looking better too. Because if there's one thing I don't want to end up on my curb, it's family peace and harmony.

A few years ago, when our grass was actually green!

For the Birds

I'm getting used to seeing some of Dean's hoarding manifestations, but yesterday I was still amused to see the little yogurt cup (the kind with a disposable lid you peel off) all rinsed out and in my dish drainer by the sink.

It was there by a couple of his plastic cups and lids he gets every day with his "Meals on Wheels". He saves everything from the paper sack that comes with it to the little Bible verse on a slip of paper that comes in the sack. It's a miracle he lets me throw away the empty milk cartons and aluminum trays the food comes on. It took a lot of persuasion and explanation, but he did make that concession. Fortunately, he doesn't know how many plastic cups and paper sacks I've thrown away when he isn't looking. I keep just enough of them around to make him feel comfortable, and for our house not to look like a hoarder's heaven.

But then, he saw me throw away some crumbs yesterday off the bread board and when he started to protest, I asked him what they were good for. Not expecting that he had such an immediate answer, he said, "To feed the birds!" Oh, well, they were already in the trash can. What can you say?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every person on earth were valued that much? That all of us were deemed worth saving? But then, that is how God feels about each and every one of us. He's "not willing that any should perish." I'm thankful for such a loving, hoarder God, aren't you?

P.S. If you come to visit us with a water bottle or aluminum can, please take it home with you!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Tractor Tragedy

This marks an anniversary of sorts. The fact that it falls on the Sabbath makes it all the more poignant. I believe it was on a Friday thirteen years ago that Dean actually had a tractor run over him, causing him multiple life-threatening injuries, including coma and brain injury. So, we celebrated Sabbath on the Labor Day weekend by his bedside in ICU, wondering if he would live or die. And our family has never been the same since. It hasn't been all bad, by any means, but it definitely has been changed from what it was.

When we come to God, we likewise should expect some changes. And it also stems from a life-or-death experience. In many ways, our faith has grown immensely from what, at the time, was an overpowering tragedy.

Tragedy has the power to uplift us, but it also has the power to bring us down. The decision is ours. The attitude we have about even small inconveniences in our life are shaping us for the big stuff. The biggest predictor of success at handling the trials that come to us is the faith and walk with God we have every day.

The trials will come, but they don't have to catch us unawares.