My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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The Best Brother in The World

me huging troy with mumps

Comforting my brother when he had the mumps .

As we celebrate National Sibling day I want to take time to honor my brother and only sibling Troy. He has hands down been the best brother a gal could ever have. His long list of virtues could circle the globe with patience and joy steering the helm. God knew Troy would need a heavy arsenal of patience to grapple with the likes of me. Whether I ate his chocolate Valentines heart while he was at school, or sang “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music” repeatedly in the back seat of our Thunderbird, as he reminded a picture of calm. Rarely did I ruffle his feathers in the midst of my tomfoolery.

Like any good brother he brought protection and defense when situations proved dicey, even so far as telling my loving but frustrated mom when I was three, “Say something kind to her, she’s afraid of you”. Full of tenderhearted grace and laughter that simultaneously sparks a twinkle to his eyes. Troy has been a steady pillar of strength and unceasing joy to me and my family and undeniably his own as well.

Now that dementia has attacked his once strong body I reflect on God’s word that tells us, *“The rain falls on the just and unjust like”.  Becoming acutely aware we live in a fallen world where the excruciating truth is: bad things happen to good people; and no earthly umbrella is a worthy opponent against life’s blast of harsh realities.

My intentional steps move towards the cross laying the bitter blows of pain, loss and grief at the feet of Jesus. Solace found in the truth that You became, *” A man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief, surely you have borne our, sicknesses, weaknesses and carried our sorrows”. A trustworthy Father to see us through dark hours of our soul as we find rest in all His good promises. Reminding myself this life is a mere dress rehearsal as we await the glory of heaven where * sighing and sadness shall flee and You will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Today as I reminisce looking through copies of Troy’s baby book, I’m especially touched by what my mom recorded him telling her when I was two,  “I just love my sister, you got her because I wanted a sister “.  Heavenly Father, I want you to know, “I just love my brother, you got him because I wanted a brother” and I thank you that you picked the best one ever!

100_1044  “ Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” –                                                                                                                                                                     Marc Brown

In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:45

Isaiah 53:4 Amp Bible

Those the Lord has rescued will return.

They will enter Zion with singing;

everlasting joy will crown their heads.

Gladness and joy will overtake them,

and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 51:11 NIV Bible


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When Life Is Not So Ducky

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Life can throw you a curve ball  when you least expect it causing you to feel more like a “Sitting Duck” than a lucky one.  No longer being able to count your “ducks all in row” because it appears they have declared a mutiny breaking rank and file.

During the past month I have encountered some challenges that have increasingly escalated. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster watching my precious 80 year old mother almost succumbing to pneumonia while also having a staph infection.  Landing her in the hospital for almost a week.  Barely recovering from this, only to return to the same hospital a week later for confusion coupled with undeviating restlessness. Her determination to continually get out of bed made her a high risk for falling. Even though she had a “call cord” to pull her dementia prevented her from remembering to use it.  Her new hospital stay would reveal she had a distended bladder from her new medications.  Added to the mix was her  mysterious new state of not talking in full sentences…just a word or two at the most.  Mom’s inability to communicate what she needed and the confusion of the changing environment, resulted in her grabbing at anything she could. An arm to be pulled on, clutching her gown to remove it , or pulling on her  iv.  She would repeat this over and over again until she would fall asleep. Only to awaken shortly to start the whole process all over again.
My heartbreaking over my limited ability to comfort my mother’s suffering and fearing she may never recover. Every day  finding myself at her bed side, reading her scripture , holding her hand  and praying for her healing. Rejoicing in any glimpses of  improvements we observed throughout this whole process. Counting my blessings with  profound gratefulness  for family, tireless nurses, doctors and caregivers  all working towards a common goal of getting mom well.

Gleaning from all the current resources that I had to best help my mama, there was one particular idea from her caregiver that struck a chord in my heart.  She suggested perhaps a soft plush animal might be the solution….her thought was that my mom could hold onto it, thus distracting her from pulling on her gown or anything else like her iv. blankets, etc..

Taking action on her idea while I was shopping at Fred Meyer I went directly to the Easter section looking for a cheery stuffed animal.  I was saddened  that this fluffy friend would not be sitting on my mom’s dresser, nor hearing her comments on how cute it was, but instead clenching it in a state of toil and angst.  After carefully looking over the selection, I settled on a bright yellow ducky even if the chances where slim of it cheering her, it  might ever so slightly do so for me.

The next morning it was time for my daily visit, anxious to see mom and in a rush with the days demands.  Hastily retrieving the bag with my Bible, journal, and assorted snacks to aid me while I sat by mom’s bed side. Swooping up the ducky from the sofa table, my hand was surprised by a damp feeling on its’ plush  head, quickly  pulling it back to take a look at what was causing this abnormal sensation. Within seconds it occurred to me that our dog Buddy thought the ducky was his new chew toy. Not only sucking on this poor duck’s head, but nibbled off one of the eyes in the process. My guess was our son Trent had rescued the duck from his total demise. Continuing in the spirit of rescuing  I whisked it off for a speedy fluff of hot air from my blow dryer. Desperate times deserve desperate measures!.

Looking at that poor disheveled duck reminds me of how I feel at times. One minute cheery, full of promise and purpose, the next minute chewed on, battle worn and dogeared feeling like a duck out of water.  However….
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What a blessing when we call to remembrance  that God understands everything and nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Allowing Him to enter into our deepest pain, sorest frustrations and shattered dreams. Being a God of all comforts He is able and ready to bring needed consolation to our hurting lives. Even when our days are less then ducky we can trust in Him at all times, pouring out our hearts to Him to ease our pain and worries. Reassuring us he is in control even when our ducks are not in a row.
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“But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassion’s fail not.
They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”  Lamentations 3:21–24 AMP


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Lucky U

While anxiously waiting for my counseling appointment which I had extended an olive branch for a family member to attend, my hopes were high to come to a peaceful resolution.  It was time for the wise counseling of a professional to help  repair the severed relationship. Beginning the process of mending torn emotions to a place of strength and deeper healing.  Like tiny tears of muscle that pave the way to increased muscle mass, so too our relationship would optimistically be built up.  As my upcoming appointment drew near the prayer of King David in Psalms 139 :23-24 came to mind,  “Search me thoroughly O God, and know my heart ! Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there is any wicked or hurtful ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”   Longing that my heart would  stay on the  course of truth  joined hand and hand in love.

As the meeting came to a close, regretfully the outcome was not what we had hoped for. Deeply wrestling with discouragement the ride home was a somber one. Feeling an intensified and rather profound sense of loss, 2012 was closing its chapter to more sorrow then I had  ever bargained for. My mom’s congestive heart failure, increasing dementia, while also mourning  my only other sibling health challenges.  And now the golden thread of hope of restoration severed, swaying frayed and raw, making the approaching holidays more poignant with overwhelming sadness and grief.

Upon arriving safely at home I was greeted with a  rousing welcome from my loving husband, thoughtful son and two exuberant and lavishly affectionate dogs, Buddy and Buttons. My soul and body instantly sinking into a cozy place called home, their listening ears slowly warming my chilly spirits, thawing out the cold harsh situation. Shortly after our conversation the phone rang, it was Lawrence the husband of my dear friend Lisa from high school calling to plan a surprise for her birthday the following day. His cleverly devised plan was as follows….First, his limo driver would pick us up, then swing over to their house for the birthday girl, surprising her when she got inside with my unannounced presence.  After that, it was time to drive to the Chart House for Lawrence’s company party.  Photos were taken and hugs exchanged then off my husband and I went for over a two hour ride in the limo….all for free! Her husband’s generosity extending not only to his lovely wife but a gift to Kevin and I as well.

It’s safe to say that it’s been well over twenty six years since I have yearned to ride in a limousine with my husband. The odds never  looked good considering for twenty one of those years we have lived only on one income, while I stayed home, homeschooling our two boys, coupon clipping, bargain hunting and pinching pennies tell they squealed.  Honesty, that desire got placed so far on the back burner, I forgot it was still a simmering dream. However, God is mindful of our dormant dreams, His  word promising to give us the desires of our heart.  That same joy of watching my precious friend’s elation on her special day, so too God rejoices over us, watching our astonishment at His glorious celebration on our behalf. This was truly a magical night of sparkling cider toasts, birthday gifts and photos. Then the two of us riding in high style touring Christmas lights, gazing at twinkling stars and city lights from the heights of Rocky Butte. Finishing our glorious night eating at the same Denny’s where we first met after a college career church gathering… sharing french fries like we did thirty years ago. This wondrous adventure fulfilled in a Limo with the License plate,  “LUCKY  U”

Perhaps you too are struggling with a painful hurt or loss?  Do you feel like the chips are down and down on your luck?  May I encourage today with the promise of a God who knows your heart and heartache. He is a God that binds up the brokenhearted repairing and restoring them to wholeness.  His favor and grace resting on the broken and downtrodden. So, whether you find yourself in a luxury Limo ride or not, the Lord wants to bless you  knowing the secret petitions of your heart. This for sure, we serve a mighty God that daily loads His children with benefits.  With this profound  truth I lift my glass of sparkling cider with a toast in honor of a very highly favored and… LUCKY U