Monday, July 28, 2014

Babysitting, Old and Young

Two big events this past week added to my already exhausted body. But I wouldn't have missed them for the world.

Vacation Bible School with my two granddaughters was wonderful. Watching them do the motions and singing the celebration songs, learning about how to trust God through the story of Moses, seeing their eyes light up with a new craft each night. These were priceless moments I was privileged to share with them.

Then yesterday was Jenna's big 6-year-old birthday bash. The kids went swimming in their apartment complex pool, enjoyed a bouncy house, and of course, the traditional ice cream and cake. I loved every minute of it. And so did Dean. Although I was beginning to worry about his third helpings on the eats, and how many times we had to refill his soda and chips.

But we made it through the week. I have made up for lost time with more sleep this weekend. Bracing up for another week of babysitting my three charges (I include Dean in the count.)

Babysitting for the young and the old certainly has its challenges, but it has also taught me about the human condition. When I am weak, He makes me strong. Some days I'm weak on patience, but strong on perseverance. Then sometimes I stumble with my physical ailments, but He gives me strength to get through it. I'm constantly reminded of my humanity, but also of my need for divinity to step in. Thank you, God, for getting me through one more week.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." II Corinthians 12:10

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Father Knows Best

This past week has been a repeat of something that has happened to my car for the last six months to a year. Every month or so I go to the garage to go somewhere and the car won't start. Even my totally expert mechanic son-in-law couldn't solve the mysterious car behavior.

There have been times when after several tries it will start for us. Or it may start as they are backing it out of the driveway for the tow truck to pick up. Once they got it towed all the way to the garage and before they could get their diagnostic equipment to locate the problem, it would start again.

But this week we actually solved the dilemma. It was a leak in the crank sensor. Don't ask me any more than that, but we got it replaced and now I'm hoping our worrisome non-starter has kept me home for the last time.

As my son-in-law related the problem to me, he was also relieved that this refusal to start only happened in my own garage at home. We both felt the hand of God in the situation. I could be tempted to wonder why God was not able to just make the car start when we needed it to. We did pray for it many times to start and it didn't.

This seems to be a pattern for God. He doesn't promise everything will work out as we would like. But that doesn't mean He isn't in our lives working things out as He sees best. We won't know this side of heaven all the times He has intervened for us, keeping our way safe, in ways we hadn't imagined. Surely, our Father knows best!

My dad's '96 Lincoln Town Car

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our Tame Holiday

As with most people, I still look forward to holidays and celebrations of important events. Problem is the older we get, coupled with Dean's dementia issues, our holidays are getting more and more tame.

For the Fourth of July we casually watched the neighbors' fireworks from the safety of several blocks away. This wasn't always necessary before our new next-door neighbors moved in. Even last year we could serenely take in the festivities right from our own front yard swing.

These new younger families are the firecracker-light-'em-yourself type though, so things got really noisy and festive on our street last night. (Besides, I was afraid the air would get too smoke-filled. Being on oxygen, I'm sensitive to that. Learned my lesson with that a few years back.)

Finances what they are and keeping the food diet trimmed down with the healthiest foods we can afford, we didn't exactly splurge on holiday treats either. But I relented and got some vanilla ice cream to go with our frozen strawberries and blueberries, presenting a patriotic red, white, and blue dessert to eat while we watched the colorful displays in the sky.

I can totally relate to soldiers suffering with brain injuries and P.T.S.D. though. They must not have looked forward to hearing the pop-pops all through the night. What terrible memories these fireworks must hold for them. Or anyone who comes from a war-torn country.

Not having had their experiences though, I try to focus on the glorious appearing of Jesus in the clouds someday. That event will make all our attempts to beautify the sky on the Fourth seem like nothing. But there will be people then who will also dread it and others who rejoice that it's finally happening.

"...and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30

Let's all be ready!