Last night I got some unexpected news from my Mom. She called to tell me that my grandmother was taken to the ER over the weekend and they have found she has cancer in her pancreas and liver. More tests are to be done to determine how bad it is and how much time she has, but there it is. She's not been well for a couple months now, fighting a respiratory crud of some kind. We just had a great visit with the whole family last month in Missouri as we gathered for a memorial service for my grandfather. Sine his passing in January, I know she has been grieving, strugglng to get through the sadness. At the same time she is an incredible Christian woman who loved him dearly and knows he is in a better place. I know that is some comfort to her. My folks rushed back since they were gone when it happened, but thankfully my brother was there to get her to the hospital. She is a strong, wonderful woman whom I have looked up to all my life. I cannot imagine her not being here. I am very thankful for her legacy, her example of faith, endurance and determination to make the most of every moment of life. I am so devastated by this news, and of course my Dad is just absolutely jolted by it. I cannot imagine what he must be experiencing already having lost one parent then to find out the other is seriously ill all in such a short period of time. As we wait and pray, I am reminded how brief our lives truly are and how important it is to make the most and the best of every moment we have on this earth. I am looking forward to telling her how much I love her, admire her, and that I am not ready to let her go. But I know she is okay with it all cause she has had such a great life. I am so thankful for her. I hope I have the same lasting impact on my children and someday, grandchildren.
Today I experienced something new. While in the shower, about 5:30 am this morning, we experienced an earthquake. Yes you read it right--an earthquake in Indiana! The news reports stated everyone from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky felt it. Something like 5.4? Nothing for those Californians but a wowzer for us! About 11:40 we had an after shock. I was standing sorting mail in the office and a lady across from me said, "Did you feel that?" and several of us said, "Oh yeah!" Is that crazy or what? Well it will be a memorable day for me and I couldn't resist posting something about it on my blog. I was so tired last night, another whirlwind day. I had a sleepy quiet time and this morning was refreshed by my time in prayer on the way to work. I don't want to miss a single day of my morning prayer time as I drive to work. It keeps me grounded, humbled and very thankful. It also keeps me aware of those around me and prepares my mind and heart for the day ahead. I always feel a little bit more focused by doing this. Prayer is our opportunity for open communication with God and it should be without ceasing. I find as I get older I am having more open communication throughout the day with God. I think it is the way he truly intends for prayer to be. It doesn't have to be some fancy ceremony at the same time everyday, done the same way, like something on a to do list. I always want it to be authentic, real and refreshing.
I can't believe the little things that can drive me crazy each day. Now that our car is fixed, we have to get the tags and registration which Ryan was planning to do this week. No surprise, they required some kind of documentation he didn't have on him. It is frustrating and ridiculous the differences in what one state requires for registering your vehicle versus what another state requires. At some point this is one of those things that needs to be universal. It would save us all a whole lot of time and frustration not to mention making it paperless will be so much more beneficial for our environment. You know I could go on about the frustrations of this life for me, but for now this is it. Nothing comes easy in this world and there is always something unexpected and required of us. I got to thinking that God kind of works that way. As we walk through this life, living as Christ followers, we should expect the unexpected and not be surprised by what is required of us. Isn't that true? Weird. I read in my quiet time last night about the festivals the people of Israel were expected to observe. The festivals, what to eat and what not to eat, what ceremonies to perform and what you could or could not do on certain days. I think if I had lived back then I would have had to keep a running list with a calendar, much like I already do--ha!, so I didn't forget anything. So what's on your agenda today? Is there something frustrating you, and has something unexpected and required of you crossed your path? More than likely you will answer the same way I did. It never ends, but we can choose to live it out with integrity and joy knowing God has a purpose for every single moment of our lives. Even the frustrating, unexpected and required ones we are simply hoping to get over with or avoid altogether.
I know I haven't been as consistent with my blog as I should, but I've got more in my schedule now than before. Taking on a full time job on top of being a wife and mother of three makes getting everything done a whole lot more challenging. There are days I feel like I need to apologize to everyone because time with my family is so short. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for my job and hopefully I am that much more thankful for my family. Still, there are days I am just so tired. I wonder sometimes how long I can keep this up. Today our pastor spoke to us about compassion. I thought about myself, how I see the world most days. Like everyone else I have an agenda, a list of things to accomplish. At the end of the day, I take a mental inventory of what I got done or did not get done. I have to admit it has been awhile since I checked my compassion....did I show it today? I came away from worship today hoping I have a better fix on compassion. I have made it a habit to pray each morning on the way to work, and I always ask God to give me the opportunity to be like Christ to others, show love and share the Good News. I think I need to take it up a notch, deliberately look for the chance to impact someone's life in a new way. I know I try, but I really need to make an effort to do more, live it out. A new week is ahead of me, here goes!
Today is a good day. We all should say that and think that daily to get our minds and hearts in the right frame of mind. I am finding once again that I don't have enough time in my day to get it all done. That looming to do list that seems to grow with time. As I adjust to working full time again, I find I have to remind everyone in my family to do the same. I did my quiet time in a bit of a hurry this morning but it was good. My habit is to do it when I sit down for breakfast. It is the perfect time cause I am the first one up and to head out the door. Usually I have about a fifteen minute window of pure solitude to enjoy just me and the Lord. I read the familiar passage about the woman who touched the hem of Christ's robe in her desperate desire for healing. I love this passage because it is a reminder to me that even this woman who dealt with a lifelong battle of illness, simply had faith and obviously carried a more positive outlook on life than most. But she was not prideful. She didn't cry out to God and draw the attention of onlookers like many of the people seeking Christ's healing. She was discreet, but of course He knew as soon as she touched his robe that his healing powers had blessed someone. Her faith, her humility and her determination are inspirational to me. I hope to have someone say the same for me.
Okay, so I just finished week one on the new job. I really, really like it. I could see myself doing this for awhile. It is enjoyable, a great office/workplace with a great group of coworkers and the benefits are awesome. Of course the down side is the time away from the kids, and we just don't have the family time we had before. Everyday I have twinges of guilt, sadness cause I miss being at home with my children so much. I am praying for God to provide that again one day when the time is right. I know and trust that He will. I had the opportunity to attend a ladies unity event at ISU tonight with a group of women from our church. It was so good, great speaker who was very funny and inspiring. I enjoyed time with a few ladies in particular in my group, we enjoyed a bite to eat, fellowship with one another and just enjoying being girls! On my way home tonight I was thinking how much I needed it. Let's face it, most of us women don't do much for ourselves with all we've got going on in our lives. I don't want there to ever be moment in my life where I feel guilty for having fun, doing something just for me. God wants us to take care of ourselves, and part of that is intentionally treating ourselves from time to time. I want Rylee to have that value too. I was praying today for consistency and I can think of a lot of areas in my life that need that for a lot of reasons. It is a lot to think about, makes me a little tired. I suppose it is a goal to work toward.

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...