Monday, June 27, 2011

Hairy Scary

Yesterday was Sunday. It should have been a pleasant, restful day. Well at least it started out that way. We went to church, visited with some family afterwards. Ran by a local bar-b-que place for lunch and then home for a quiet day, or so we thought.

The husband man decided he would cut the grass earlier than planned, because the forecast was calling for thunderstorms later in the day. I'm sitting on the couch reading the Sunday paper, when he comes barreling in the door looking like he saw a ghost. Or maybe looking like a ghost, because he was white as a sheet in the face! Being the calm one in the family (yeah right), I asked, "What's the matter with you?" To which he replies, "There's a spider in my shoe, a big, fat ugly one!" I begin to laugh, hysterically, because I'm just that caring and loving. I'm thinking just kill it and move on with your life. He's obviously concerned that the big, fat, ugly, black spider bit him. I try to feign some concern, but the husband man is not buying it.

Eventually, I get off the couch and go in the garage to find the culprit. Hairy Scary! It was nasty and I can't imagine what it felt like on his foot. Don't want to either, it gives me the creeps just thinking about it. So I do what any other caring and loving wife would do…I smack it with his flip flops! Here's a before picture.

And just in case you're wondering, he cut the grass in his flip flops. Not sure he'll ever wear those shoes again!

Later that evening the thunderstorms moved in. We watched the trees in our backyard, sway and tip and prayed none of them would fall over. (One did a couple of years ago!) The husband man decided to run an errand, and here's what was in the driveway.

Obviously, we forgot to look in the front yard. The husband man got out his chain saw and cut it up. When we pulled it to the back yard, here's what we found back there!

So how was your Sunday?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Three Letter Word

This weekend the little man had an allergic reaction to some eye drops. The drops were supposed to clear up his "pink eye". Unfortunately, he ended up with a "flaming red eye" that looked horrible. He assured us constantly that it didn't hurt, but those of us around him just knew that it did. Did I mention it looked awful? Painful?

We took him to the pediatrician who sent us straight to the local children's hospital. The concern was that his eye may be damaged. Thankfully his eye is fine and that was a great relief. However, the Saturday morning mad dash to the ER with the little man was a bit unnerving. Immediately I was able to text a few close friends and ask them to pray for the Mister. There is nothing like knowing you have "peeps" who will pray for you and with you. I am incredibly blessed and we are thankful, as a family, that we have such friends.

I had to ask myself, though, am I that kind of friend? You know the kind that will stop immediately and pray when asked to or the kind that has compassion for another's struggles. The honest answer for me is sometimes or it depends. Too often there's an excuse involved. It's not pretty, but it is the truth.

"Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3 ,4

Recently I studied this verse and I realized that I had been copping out on encouraging and comforting others. It was so easy to say I can't relate, because I've not walked in their shoes. Or I've never had that situation, so I don't know what to do. A closer look at the verses above would tell me otherwise. First, God is the God of all comfort, not me. (Duh? I know.) Secondly, God comforts us in all our troubles. This one I sort of got. I typically don't have a problem believing that God will comfort you or me. It's the last part I hadn't fully grasped. It says, "…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." That three letter word, a.n.y., covers e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. God doesn't allow me or you an "out" because we don't get it. He comforts us as we need it and that same comfort can be used for others, in any situation. So when the opportunity arises again, no more excuses.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Facing Your Fears

Do you face your fears? Not me. I'm good at just knowing what I can deal with and what I can't. For instance, I don't swim because I don't like anything over my head. I'm claustrophobic and the thought that water could be over my face and envelope my head is just too much for me to handle. A few days ago, I had to face a big fear…an MRI. Before I tell you the story, let me just say that everything is fine. The MRI was requested by my doctor to make sure that all was well and it is. Thank you Jesus.

I enter the imaging center and this Dear Woman (DW) takes me in the room with the long white tube. I tried to stare it down, but it wouldn't budge! It just sat there, taunting me. I'm sweating so profusely, that I think I'll probably get electrocuted from all the water. So DW says for me to lie down and put my shoulders all the way to the top. Then she has the nerve to put a CAGE over my head. I'm getting a little panicky, but think it will be o-k. I tell myself it's like wearing my daughter's pitching mask when I catch for her. I can see; I can talk…we're good. My breathing is fast, but I'm hanging in there. Then I start to move into the tube. All is well, at least I think so. Before I can close my eyes, DW hits the "up" button. Seriously, this thing is in my face. I'm pretty sure I could touch it with my tongue, and that's just way too close. Did I not mention that I am claustrophobic? She should have known better. I'm in a full blown panic attack, yelling for her to get me out. NOW!!!

I sat up for a few minutes and tried to gather myself. Then I realized that this is the path to finding out what the sharp pain in my head is all about. At least it will confirm that it's an inflamed lymph node pressing on a nerve and nothing more serious. So I've got to do this thing. Really Jesus, I'm thinking. Surely You can make it just stop. But it's not and the tube is still there, waiting. DW asks if I would like a cold cloth for my head. Not so much. Nothing else on my head is required. Thank you very much. Bless her heart. She then asked me if anyone was with me that could come in. NOBODY is getting in this thing with me lady. It's crowded enough. (I told you I was in a full blown panic attack!)

However, I did ask for a panic button. It made me feel better and it was really loud. So we try this thing again. This time I keep my eyes closed the whole time. The first test is 8 minutes lonnngggg. At first I'm still thinking it's not happening, and my finger is on the button. But then I start to pray. Jesus please help me to calm down. Jesus please help me not to push the button. Scripture begins to come to my mind about God being bigger than my sad, pathetic claustrophobic self. Romans 8:37 is a verse I memorized a couple of months ago. "NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." I'm thinking No Satan you are not winning. No, weak flesh you are not giving in. I'm thinking I am a conqueror through Jesus. The next verse comes. Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Did I mention that I had to be very still…no moving allowed? I've got a death grip on the panic button, but I'm still. Yeah God. It's working. DW says, "You're half way done. You're doing great!" The last few minutes were pure bliss…at least for me. My breathing slowed down and I was hearing this song, The Power of the Cross, playing in my head. The first test was done.

If you're still reading, there was a second round of tests. This would require about 20 minutes in the tube. The tests would run about 2-4 minutes each. I could come in and out of the tube or just work straight through. Mercy. Grace. I didn't commit either way. Just put my head down, got locked in and waited for the tests to begin. These tests came with loud noises. One was like someone using a jackhammer; the next was like gun fire in the distance then close by. A longer one, about 4 minutes, almost got me. It sounded like a freight train and I kept thinking I can't get up. There were a few more and we were done. I MADE IT! ALL THE WAY!!! Thank you Jesus. Fear is gripping, but the power of Jesus and His Word is bigger and able to handle any fear we have. This is not the way I would have chosen to experience the peace and presence of Jesus this week. But without a doubt, I am so glad that I did.

Now if we can just figure out what to do with the 600 images of my brain....