Saturday, November 27, 2010

Goodbye to a Friend

Today is "Turkey Day #2". For the last couple of years we have had Thanksgiving with Adam's family a day or two after the real Thanksgiving. It seems to work out well. This morning I was up at quarter after seven mixing up some stuffing. The bird was stuffed and in the oven at just after eight. Hopefully it will be done in a timely manner, although dinner will be somewhat thrown off because I have to run out sometime between one and two o'clock.

Last night I went to work at the restaurant and found that a regular had passed away almost two weeks earlier and I suddenly found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks. Maybe you wouldn't understand, but when you work at a restaurant and you see the same people come in week and week, you look forward to seeing them, maybe getting a hug, and chatting with them in between your duties. You might say you become friends. And last night I found that one of my friends had died. No one called to tell me, but I'm not offended by that. After all, I hadn't worked there on a regular basis in over a year, and maybe they had forgotten that I was there for three+ years in a row getting to know these people. But I was glad that I had come in to work, because the calling hours are today and I would've missed going and giving his family a hug. His sweet mother and sister and his brother-in-law, who came in with him every Tuesday and Saturday morning... This post from three years ago might give you some insight as to how special these folks are to me. I cannot help but get attached to people. Today will be a sad day. Turkey Day #2.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Told To Go

Today is a thankful day. As of late I have especially felt blessed by our God. Why does the Creator of the Universe take the time to move in my life and work in ways to bless me? Why does He take the time to speak to me through His Word? These are questions that I cannot answer, but I know that He does do these things and I know that I feel blessed and loved. Very loved.

Back in July, I was asked by a girl when I was coming to see her. At that time, I knew it was out of the question, because she lives on the other side of the world and the cost of getting there was way beyond affordable. But I told her to pray, and if God wanted me to come, He would do the rest. My friend didn't know that a "Sponsor Tour" had been planned for her country or that the deadline for the initial deposit was only weeks away. I felt the tug of my heart, and I started to pray and fast about going to see her, even though I was sure it was an impossibility. As I was fasting, God gave me this scripture:

Matthew 12:39b " sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah." (At this point in time, the deadline for the deposit was ten days away.)

I was like, "Okay Lord... What does that mean?" Do you remember what God told Jonah to do? He told Jonah to "Go to Ninevah." Wow... Was that it Lord? Being unsure, I mentioned the scripture to my Dad, and getting an unfavorable response, I began to question the scripture and my interpretation. This was ridiculous. Did I really think God was saying to go? Ridiculous. I told the Lord, "If You want me to go, You are going to have to very clearly tell me again." Four days later I was again reading in Matthew. Chapter 16, verse 4b:

"No sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah."

Are You serious Lord? Do you know how many times God had to tell Jonah to go to Ninevah? I read the book of Jonah to see what God had really told Jonah. God had told him, not once, but twice to "Go to Ninevah." But I, being simple-minded and still not entirely sure if God really meant what He was telling me, was still doubtful. "Do You mean it Lord?" It was Sunday morning and we went off to church and questions were rolling in my mind. Would you ever begin to guess who was mentioned during the sermon that morning? None other than Jonah... God, this is hilarious! Are You for real? For the next day and a half, my mind was reeling. Monday evening, my family and I go to the nursing home for a Bible study time. As we were headed there, I sat in the back of my parent's van with my brother. Ben and I don't typically sit next to each other when we are in the same vehicle. (Nothing against him, I just usually sit next to Hannah.) And can you guess who Ben started talking about? I don't remember our exact conversation, but he is the one who brought up Jonah. I could deny it no longer. The Lord was speaking to me. And He was so patient not to say it once, not twice or even three times. But four. And He gave me no other sign than Jonah.

So after God had convinced me, then came the next test. This was a real test. The clincher. The part of the test that I was sure I wouldn't pass. I had to ask Adam. (There were now four days until the deposit deadline.) I tried to calm my nerves and cleared my throat. I said something like this, "Adam, there is a Sponsor Tour to Indonesia in February and I have been praying about going. Do you think I could go?" He had known thoughts had been rolling around in my mind about going, but we hadn't really discussed it, mostly because I was sure it was out of the question. With out hesitation (a miracle in itself), he replied. "You work hard around here, you can go." I think trumpets were sounding somewhere!! And I know that it was a God influenced decision, because a month or two later, Adam admitted that his head was not screwed on right when he gave his permission. If he had been in his right mind, he would have said no. Watching our savings account drain down to nothing was torture for him, and yet I remained confident that God would provide. After all, If God had really told me to go, He was going to provide.

So, now I have to take leave because today is Thanksgiving and I need to make a side dish. Tasty-tasty.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Maintain Sanity

Maintain sanity, maintain sanity, maintain sanity... That is my cry for the next two days. I'm feeling a little stressed, but better than I was a half hour ago. Now at least my dining room table has room on it for pies to cool after baking. I have to bake at least 11 pies tomorrow, mostly pumpkin, before 3:30. Wednesday I have to bake 22 more pies. And bring 17 of them to church with me for Wednesday night service, to be delivered. Right now I feel overwhelmed, but I think I really thrive on the pressure (as long as nothing else gets tossed in the mix). Wednesday night, when all is said and done, I will breathe a sigh of relief and say, "What fun!" And then I will miss all the commotion. But maybe when the commotion is over I will find time to fold the laundry.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Next Year"

My freezer is full of pies. My Thanksgiving turkey is buried. My ground beef is buried. If I have any sandwich bread in there, I don't know, cause it is buried too. There are 16 or more apple pies in there. And three blueberry pies. My upstairs freezer is full of empty pie shells that Mom and I made on Saturday. I think we are ready for bake day. I'll be baking all day on Tuesday and all day on Wednesday. I am still reeling from amazement. I never would have imagined that God would so bless this fund raiser. Mom and I can't help but say "next year"... We have had so much fun baking together. We have agreed that maybe we should keep our eyes open for an upright freezer, so that "next year" we have a better place to keep all our pies frozen. This morning at church, a lady mentioned to me that her sister-in-law was getting rid of her old upright freezer last week, but she had forgotten to ask me about it soon enough, and now it had been given to her neighbor. I took this as kind of a token from the Lord, as if He were saying, "If I want to bless you with a freezer, I can and I will." I mentioned making pies "next year" to my husband and he seemed rather surprised that I even thought about making them again "next year". He doesn't realize that I have had so much fun spending my Wednesdays making pies with my Mom and sister. But I suppose, if anyone has been suffering through all of this, it would be him, as he never has any clean underwear anymore... Poor man. Anyway, who knows what God will have for us "next year"?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Without My Man

I have a hard time settling in for the night when Adam is not here. Even if I clean the kitchen, mix up pumpkin for pies, sort papers, shower and prepare myself for bed, I still feel very reluctant about climbing between the cold sheets alone. Yes, I've done it before and I'm a big girl who can make my own decisions, but deciding to go to bed all by myself certainly isn't my strong point. I keep thinking to myself, maybe if I stay up for a few more minutes... Maybe he will come home before I have to go to bed without him. There is just something nice about snuggling into his shoulder before I drift off to sleep. Or being able to kiss him goodnight. It's hard to imagine being without him now. I've kind of gotten used to him being around. I think I love him. My man...

Oh wait... There he is now. Now I can go to bed. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Pies in the Eyes"

It was a daunting figure, the cost to go to Indonesia. But when God told me to go, I stepped out in faith, not knowing where the money was going to come from. Adam sooo graciously allowed me to dip into our savings, but that only went so far and he expected me to eventually pay most of it back. The idea of selling baked goods at our local farm market had crossed my mind, but when I talked to the woman in charge, I found that there was quite a list of things I needed to have done, in order to be able to sell food to the public there. I was able to pick up an extra day of work at the restaurant, but that still wasn't going to cut it. I knew God had it all under control. He told me to trust Him, and I did. But Adam had begun to get nervous about the financial aspect of trip and was regretting that he gave me permission to go. Neither he or I had any idea how wonderfully God was going to provide. By mid-late September, I was still thinking about baked goods, specifically pies. Honestly, I had been thinking about pies in August because I had been freezing blueberries with the thought that maybe I could sell pies. I obtained permission from one of our pastor's at church to have a fundraiser there and sell my homemade pies. The first Sunday I took 12 pies, made by myself, my mom and my sister. They sold before second service and I went home with a few orders to fill. The next time I took 18 pies, apple and pumpkin. They also sold without a problem. I hung up a sign at the daycare where I work. People ordered. Mom and I filled orders. We made blueberry pies, apple pies, elderberry pies and three peach pies. I even made a squash pie on special request. I sold more pies at church and took orders for Thanksgiving. God has been so amazing. A friend of my Mom's donated blueberries when she couldn't buy a pie. I never would've guessed that selling pies would be the way God would choose to provide the financial means for the trip to Indonesia. Who would've guessed that years earlier, when my Mom taught me how to make a pie, that we'd make such a good pie-making team? I even love just getting together with my Mom and sister on those days we make pies. Yes, we are on our feet ALL day long, and we are exhausted at the days end, but it is such an enjoyable time together. We have thought about finding a worthy reason to raise money every fall because the three of us have such a nice time working together. I never would've thought that apple pies would get me to Indonesia, but God did. I'm glad He's on my team. Or rather, I'm glad I'm on His team.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I'm Going To...

Breaking radio silence. Going to let the information out. Going public. Ready? Here we go...
It's been hard to contain. Everyone else knows, so why not you too? This coming February I will be joining Compassion International and traveling to Indonesia with them. I sponsor a girl there and will have the awesome opportunity to meet her. She has been praying that I come see her and God has so amazingly been answering her prayers. More information will be given later. In the mean time, keep Indonesia and the area surrounding Mt. Merapi in your prayers. They are having a rough go of it with the volcano. My sponsor child lives two volcanos over from Mt. Merapi. I guess they were having "ash rain" where she lives.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

His Plans

So, here's the deal. Maybe I wouldn't be a good parent if I had two kids. Maybe God just wants me to have one. Maybe He has plans for me that are different than having more kids. It's not horrible to have only one. It may be kind of dull to be an only child, but it's not the end of the world. That being said, Adam and I want to have another baby. I don't want Josh to be an only child. I want him to have someone to play with. I loved having siblings and lots of them. (Most of the time.) But this may become somewhat of a journey. And I want to be clear, that whatever God has for us, I'll be fine with. If God says, "No more kids for you", then maybe after Josh gets older, I will take classes, go to medical school and be a medic on a foreign mission field. Whatever God has... So I am going to allow you all to tag along with me in this little journey of conception. Step one was blood work to see what is up. The results are low progesterone and no ovulation. I could've told you that without the blood work, but now it is official. Adam seems unconcerned about this, because we were able to get pregnant twice before, the first time ending in miscarriage. Either that or he was just blowing me off. I now have an appointment with my Doctor in early December and if anyone has suggestions on how to increase progesterone levels without taking drugs, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give them to me. I would love to have another baby without taking clomid to do so! So there you are. This is why I, at one point, said that you might have to go to China to get anymore grandchildren. (You know who you are.) Except that Adam is completely opposed to adopting, so that really is out of the question.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It's Tough Being Three

Josh has had a rough time of it, being three. The first day of being three was just fine. It was a happy day, with a preschool party (though not in his honor, it just happened to be on the right day), a birthday parade, birthday cookies and dinner out with Daddy (because I was working). The second day of being three started out equally or more fun... What Josh had really wanted for his birthday was to have friends over, so we had one little boy from daycare over to play for the morning. The two of them had so much fun together playing cars, dinosaurs, trains, hide-and-seek and anything that two little boys can think of playing together. At one point in all their excitement, Josh took a dive off the couch and onto his head, but that didn't deter him from his fun for too long. When Shod went home, he begged his Mom to let Josh come home with them, but that was not to happen on this day. This was the day for cake and gathering with the family for a birthday celebration. Chocolate cake had been requested and made for a special occasion, that of my little guy's birthday. At about 7:00, Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins had arrived. People were here and there in my tiny house talking and visiting with each other. Pretty soon, Josh was crying in the basement, where he was playing with his Uncle and his Daddy. I just let his Daddy take care of him, and went about getting ready for our cake. Josh had just fallen off his riding toy onto his head and little known to any of us, had just had a concussion. We continued on with our festivities and Josh was perfectly fine and happy to open his gifts and eat cake and ice cream. It was after 9, when everything had finally settled down and we were able to get Josh tucked into bed for the night and Adam and I breathed a sigh of relief. We were tired. It had been a busy day. 45 minuted later, we hear Josh crying in his bedroom. Somewhat unusual, but nothing to cause alarm. But his reason for being upset was reason for alarm. Josh was upset because "the floor was spinning". We were more confused than anything as Adam and I recapped the day. Adam told me about how Josh hit his head and so we wondered if that had anything to do with the "spinning floor". We had Josh walk around and we looked at his eyes. He seemed okay to me, but Adam wanted me to call someone. I left a message for a nurse at the pediatric center, but it being quarter after 10, I didn't want get too hyped up for nothing. But when Josh had a second episode, in which he buried his head into our pillow and whimpered that the floor was spinning, both Adam and I decided we should take him to emergency. We don't like to mess around with things like that. To make a long story short, the doctor was quick to diagnose a concussion, mostly relying on our description of Josh's symptoms and was very reassuring. The whole time we spent at the hospital, Joshua was inquisitive and just like his normal self. We were able to return home by around 12:30am knowing that our boy was going to be okay and would be feeling like himself in a couple of days. He didn't have another spinning episode until 4:30 that morning, but this time we knew what we were dealing with. I'm so thankful that we have doctor's and for the reassurance they can give us at times like this.

And that is all because now I am going to bed.