Monday, January 31, 2011

My Turn

Last Friday I was happily working away at Shep's office when the first glimpses of sickness began to hit.

I went from feeling fine to rotten in about 30 minutes.

I kept thinking things like,

"Are my calves aching?"
"Do my arms hurt?"
"Why are my thighs hurting too?"

Then the sudden notion to silently moan fell over me...and that is when I knew...I was sick.

The whole ride home I moaned. Softly and to myself but still.... I moaned.

Does your body speak to you too?

That is always my sure sign.

I never silently moan to myself otherwise.

Anyway, this weekend slipped past me as I avoided as much contact as possible from my family. (We are sick of sickness)

The agenda was pretty much what you would expect with the flu....aches, chills, fever, and hacking cough.

I must brag on Shep.

He just stepped in and took over.
Took care of me.
Took care of the kids.
Took care of the house.
Took care of food.
Took care of himself. Never once complained and just seemed pleased to lighten my load.

I have said it before....but dang...."What a man!"

Today is Monday and things are looking up. We got me the medicine super quick so my recovery time has been pretty fast. My body still feels weak and I tire out pretty easily but it could have been worse. It could always be worse.

Please pray that the two youngest children in my family will not get this flu bug. So far they are the only ones who have not been hit by it.

Alright off to go be a blessing to my family while trying not to breath on any of them....

Friday, January 28, 2011


Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Because I have been raised in the church I have always had a certain picture in my mind of how this verse plays out..

Can you just see it?

Strong men.
Sold out for God.
Grounded in their faith.
Marked with their love for God.
Changed by His Word and grace in their lives.

I can see them meeting together. Praying for each other. Bearing burdens for one another and studying the scriptures for life application.

This is easy for me to see because my husband is so blessed to have such men in his life. These same men are like brothers to me.

They press in close when others walk away.

They believe more when others settle for less.


Just recently this verse has changed slightly in its meaning for me.

We have rituals in our home.

There are certain things that I do.

There are certain things that Shep does.

One of Shep's nightly rituals is bedtime for Zeke.

Zeke is 2 and a half and thinks that his daddy is "the stuff".

Every night after teeth are brushed, kisses are given and necks are hugged... Shep and Zeke walk toward his bedroom.

I usually stay away to let them "do their thing" but sometimes a momma just has to eavesdrop to enjoy the sweetness of such moments.

What happens with those two is nothing short of (big) iron sharpening (little) iron. It blesses me to no end!

Shep drops to the floor and his arms open wide. Zeke rushes in with his head buried deep into his daddy's chest. I love yous are exchanged. Next comes the prayer of blessing from father to son. Oh, how I love it!

Shep not only prays for his son. Asking for blessing, protection, Godly influence and character, strength, wisdom, courage, and humility. But with each night that passes and each prayer that is prayed....Shep is teaching his son how to pray....what to pray...and how to be a man of God.

Isn't that a glorious picture of iron sharpening iron?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Burn the Ships!

I am still chewing on the message from church yesterday morning.

We had a visiting pastor who lives on the island of St. Vincent. He stirred my heart with his broken English as he challenged us to be committed Christians.

He was not an amazing orator.
He was not showy or flashy in any way.
He did not do any demonstrations or use visual aids.

He just challenged us to be committed.


I know lots and lots of folks (including myself sometimes) who would say they are committed people.

Committed to their marriage...
Committed to their family....
Committed to their jobs....

But, to Christ?

Words are cheap. Actions are the real indicator.

-Do we put aside what we want, how we feel, what others' think for the cause of Christ?

-Are we compelled to tell those around us that HE is the only way to Heaven?

-What about when God allows hardship, suffering, pain and disappointment to collide with your plans?

-What about when your schedule is just too full of stuff you have to do to serve, minister, and reach out as He has commanded?

The pastor reminded us of the story of those who came to the New World to explore and inhabit the land. Their fearless leader knew that his men would become tired. He knew loneliness, fear, and the enormity of the task would weigh heavily on them. So he went ahead and made a decision for them. He did what any committed leader would do.

He burned their ships.

There was no turning back.

No plan B.

No safety net.

No running home.

I thought about myself. My life. My commitment to Christ.

I have been in the same place for a long time.

The place called "waiting".

This place is unknown to me. To live here requires faith alone. Most of my questions have long since gone unanswered. Nothing looks familiar. Nothing feels right. If anything, I just feel like I have gotten good at being wrong.

But......there is no other place I supposed to be.

Sure, lots of other places would feel better.

But faith can't grow in that kind of environment. Where everything feels good.

Endurance comes from long periods of waiting.
Faith blooms from the valley of doubt.
Perseverance pushes through when forced to go the whole way...

I've burned my ships.

I don't get where we are. I don't get why we are here. I don't understand why He hasn't acted yet.

But I do know that I am not to move until He moves me. I'll stay.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A stolen quote...

Got back from my beach trip refreshed and ready for the week ahead...or so I thought.

It was so strange.

I had a blast. I missed my husband and my family. I felt ready to jump back into the demands of my life.

But as soon as I walked through our door, the demands of my life hung on me like an ill-fitting coat that weighed 500 pounds.

We have had a very strange start to this new year. Lots of sickness in my house. Despite 5 days at the hospital, and a lot of re-coop time....Caroline is still struggling to get back to her baseline behavior.

I don't have an answer for this.

No one else does either.

So, because life is tough and we find ourselves constantly battling to keep our thoughts fixed on Christ so we won't lose our ever-loving minds...God was sweet to let me hear a quote that melted into my soul.

Beth Moore was teaching on "The Patriarchs" and she said, "Easy lives don't make great stories. An easy story is one we want to put down at chapter 3 and never finish. There has to be some near misses, some impossibilities, and twists in turns. Our lives were meant to be great stories!!

God I pray that my life story is one that others will read and see Jesus all over it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From snow to sand.....

While Georgia was recovering from a wonderful week of snow...I got to get away with some of my dearest friends and see how the folks in Florida get to enjoy the winter.

We soaked up our time and filled it with food, laughter, sunshine, shopping, and our amazing Lord.

One of these girls has been my best friend since we were little girls....the other two have been around since my early teens.

We know each others' secrets, regrets, habits and pain. Best of all, we can laugh at the most ridiculous things. It was medicine for all of our souls.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Will Laugh

I could not resist taking pictures of this and blogging about it.

I gave my husband fair warning.....

Let's face it, I have been sitting in a hospital room or at this house for days now and God knew I needed a laugh.

We have had our 2nd snow of this season. This is very rare and an unexpected treat for us Georgians.

I will post some prettier pictures of the white covering soon.

About midday yesterday we discovered that our television was not working.

Most of you know the national championship was coming "not working" wasn't gonna be an option.

Shep immediately felt that the problem was that our dish had ice and snow on it and just needed to be cleaned off.

So, he did what any farm-raised, red-neck, quick-thinking, good ol' boy would do~ he taped a hair dryer to the end of a fishing pole and hung out our upper level window to thaw out the dish.

Of course he did need my help and direction so I couldn't resist grabbing the camera to document this feat of brains and creativity.

Well, you can see that my direction wasn't good enough from down below so he had to resort to getting a ladder.

If at first you don't succeed....try, try again.

What was the result you might ask?

This little trick paid off....we watched Auburn beat Oregon. (We were rooting for anyone to beat Auburn! Kind of makes me wish it hadn't worked.)

Anyway, more posts to come of our snowed-in fun!

For those of you still praying for our girl....she is getting a little bit better every day. She still isn't back to herself but we think she will be soon! Thanks so much!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I never thought...

that the flu would send us to the children's hospital.....for almost a week!

Shows what I know...

As mentioned in my previous blog (from almost a week ago) Caroline and Shep got the flu.

Because of Caroline's disability, her little body has had a much more difficult time dealing with and bouncing back from the flu.

I would not have even driven her down to the ER except that she had some symptoms that were a bit scary to us.

The doctors performed every test known to man on our little trooper and the only conclusive news that they can give us is that the flu just threw her for a loop.

So, after 5 days of laying around, praying, thinking, hoping, reading, eating, and diagnosing (you know you do it too) we are finally home!

Of course I have asked God why and so far He hasn't let me in on the reason.

So, I will just trust Him for what I don't understand.

We are thrilled to be home! Our other two kiddos were beyond ready for mom, dad, and Caroline to get home. We are bracing ourselves for some cold and snowy winter weather.

Thank you to all of you who knew where we were and prayed! God heard and answered. He gave us strength and patience during this whole process. Continue to pray that Caroline will successfully mend here at home. She still isn't quite back to herself yet. We are trusting that will come soon.

So long room 323...I won't miss you.
So long 4 flights of stairs to the cafeteria...I won't miss you, even though I need you.
So long middle of the night vital sign checks....I won't miss you.
So long masks, hospital gowns, and gloves....I won't miss you.
So long I V pole....I won't miss trying to work around you.
So long tiny plastic thing they call a couch/bed....I won't miss you in my cozy bed tonight.

So long Starbucks on the first floor in the lobby....I will miss you!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shoo Flu!


It has been a wild couple of days....

Caroline hasn't been feeling well for about a week now. She has been lethargic, whiny, snotty, and running fevers off and on.

Shep started to go downhill on New Years Day. He has a wonderful deep voice all the time but on New Years Day it took on a Barry White tone. (No lie)

By Sunday he said his skin hurt.

So today Shep and Caroline were confirmed with the flu.

I guess God had handed out generous portions of mercy and grace for me today because Zeke began throwing up this afternoon.

Thankfully a sweet friend took Ava for the day (and night) and got her out of this sick, germ-infested house.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Shep was in the bed with chills while me, Zeke, and Caroline were all whining together in our big red chair.

Caroline was whining because she felt crummy, Zeke was whining because he felt crummy and wanted something to eat (however I wasn't really that anxious to clean up yet another puke stain) and I was whining just because I wanted someone to come take care of me. Ha Ha!

Anyway, I am winding down around here. It is 10:15 and I am listening to the peace and quiet of my family getting some much-needed rest. I plan on joining them soon. Right now I am just soaking up the sound of everything being OK. It is the first time today that things seemed settled instead of shaken. That includes my nerves.

If I knew Shep wouldn't kill me I would totally take a picture of him for you. He is in the bed with a sweat shirt on....the hood pulled over his head... and his North Face jacket on. Oh yeah...and the covers are over him too.

Now that is what sick looks like! Poor sweet man of mine!!:)

I thank you LORD for the grace that not only got me through this day but got me through with peace in my mind and a smile on my face. Thank you for the people you have provided in my life to offer help in so many ways. Thank you for Isaiah 26:3 and 4...thank you for helping me hide that Word in my heart. Thank you that Your perfect peace has held me today. I trust You for whatever tomorrow brings. I ask for healing and restoration for my family. I thank you that Ava and I have been spared so far. Help me to learn through all of life's trials...even this one. Thank you for the gift of rest. I ask for it tonight and strength for tomorrow. Amen.