Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When It Rains, It Pours

On Saturday when I got home from the grocery store I noticed a puddle of dark syrup on the pantry floor.  Since we keep my diet root beers and my hubs Pepsis there, the source was obvious and obscure.  I immediately got rags and a bucket of water and started pulling things out of the pantry.  The fact that the floor is one of those imitation wood laminates that would swell up like...well something that swells up.

I cleaned and cleaned the floor and decided to let it dry before I did the final clean on it.  The danger of swollen laminate past, I could take my time.  Then a couple of hours later, hubs, reaching for something in the pantry knocked the cocoa powder on the floor under the pantry.  Cocoa powder went everywhere.  It is very fine powder.  Once again I was cleaning that floor.  At least it was empty and at least I had planned to mop it again anyway.

I have thought about the lesson that I might learn from this experience.  I am not sure of what it is.  I strikes me that these things that happened were accidents.  No one was at fault for them.  Accidents happen.  But, I did reflect that a side effect of spilled cocoa is the heavenly chocolate aroma wafting from the pantry.  Accidents may happen, but the effects aren't all bad.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reaching Out

As humans we are meant to reach out to each other.  A hermit or a solitary person is an anomaly not a normal state.  Humans grow in wisdom and knowledge by sharing with each other.  Faith grows more in the company of others with the same seeking for God.

Whether it is pride or shyness, I have to admit that in my family of origin we don't reach out to others for help, support or friendship as much as perhaps we should.  I say this because when the stuff goes down members of my family, myself included, have often found ourselves treading water alone.  I have found that when the stuff is going down it is a terrible time to try to make friends.  People who are largely strangers or acquaintances find themselves desperate not to get involved with my troubles.

I have thought about this as my little niece Hannah recovers from her ruptured appendix.  My brother is shy.  As an adult male who has found some success in life, a person might describe him as short tempered or maybe as a loner.  But I have known him all of his life and I know that he is shy.  So, I have done the calling to find out about my niece.  As a big sister, it is my role.

I need to try to reach out to others more, is something I have concluded from this whole thing. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, as I come to You this day, I trust You and I praise You.  I am looking for peace and contentment, but perhaps You need to stir things up in my soul.  Show me mercy, give me grace, give my strength for the journey.  And take me far.....all the way to Heaven. Amen

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Silly

Did you hear about the antennas who got married?  The ceremony was okay, but the reception was awesome.....Bump, bump, bump.....

That's all I've got today.....

Friday, September 26, 2014

Seven Quick Takes,

Jennifer Fulwiler hosts this carnival.  Go visit the rest of the bloggers.

1. This past weekend we bought an oak tree to try in the place of the two redbuds that passed on year after sad year.  Hubby said that he would name it Thorin Oakenshield.  And if it lived over two years he would call it Gandolf.

2. Monday I met with an old friend who sells books.  She worked for the main company I order from, but they had a purge a while back and now she works for someone else.  I ordered a bunch of books from her new company.  I am glad to have been in this job long enough to have friends.

3. Tuesday morning before I left for work, I received a shocking phone call.  Since it was from my brother in Quincy, I was not expecting good news at that early hour.  It seems that his daughter (9) had a burst appendix Monday night.  She lives in (near) Chicago where my brother is moving in October. Little Hannah is still doing poorly.  She has been unable to keep liquids down and may have to have a port.
This is an older picture of Hannah...


4. I have come up with a new philosophy at work--I don't answer questions on Thursdays.....(if only every day were Thursday).

5. The Tuesday phone call meant that I had to take Mom to the post op appointment on Thursday which meant another 2 and a half hour trip up the river to Quincy on Wednesday after work and the same home again on Thursday. Mom is healing well from her carpal tunnel surgery.

6. The weather is getting cooler and I have had some fun using the new stove.  I made lasagna in the oven and apple crisp.  In the crock I made pork chops and dressing.  I have been a regular Suzy Homemaker. I picked organic apples off my brother's tree when I was over checking on my brother's cats while he is up in Chicago seeing about his daughter.  I only saw one cat, but the other one is very shy.

7. Fitting it all in and having the energy for it.  That is the challenge of being over 60.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thank You, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the work I am able to do.  Thank You for the legs that still hold me up and the feet that hurt less than they did a year ago.  Thank You, Lord, for the abilities that You have given me.  Thank You for the opportunities to serve.  Thank You for the times that I had the good sense to rely on You.

Lord, You know this is a hurting world.  You know that the truth is distorted by pride and lust and self-centered thinking.  Help me to be a beacon of truth in your world.  Help me to shine with your love.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Plans That Were Meant to Be Undone

Mom is doing well after her carpal tunnel surgery last week.  She is scheduled to see the doctor again on Thursday.  I felt so blest because my siblings were picking up the slack and taking Mom to the 2 doctor appointments she has this week.  I thanked God that I had had the courage and wisdom to ask for help and that my siblings had had the generous hearts to respond. Amen.

Then, Tuesday morning I had a call from Quincy, not my mom's number.  It was early morning before work.  My heart raced in my throat.  A 7am call from Quincy could not be good news.  Something happened to Mom.  I answered as quickly as possible and swallowed my fears.  Hello?

It was my brother.  He couldn't take Mom to her appointment.  He sounded exhausted and upset.  Then he explained that he was in Chicago.  His nine year old daughter had a burst appendix.  My brother is on his way to selling his house and moving north for this very precious only child to be able to have a dad in her life.  But, the move was mid-October.  Sigh.  And Pray.

So, as it turns out I will be heading up to Quincy for a quick over night to take my mom for her post op.  I am the slack picker upper and the person of last resort.  I am Mom's helper.  All of this is making me pray and re-consider moving her closer or into assisted living.  I am getting too old for all of this.  But, I trust that God has plans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living Assistance

On my mind a lot lately is assisted living.  My mom is 93.  She lives in senior apartments that do not have an assisted living option.  Mom passed her driver's license test again this year.  She has to drive with a tester to pass this test every year and so far she can do it.  She shops and cooks for herself.  The cleaning gets left largely to my sister and I who live 2 hours away, but Mom is a fairly neat person, so except for sticking a little to the little kitchen floor, she gets by.  She does her own laundry at the facility down the hall which is free.  The place is locked and buzz through or with a key so it is pretty safe.  There are exercise classes 3 times a week and other activities that are nursing-home-ish in the afternoons during the week.  The residents can get Meals on Wheels at noon, but Mom doesn't usually do that.

The  place where Mom lives is safe and manageable and pleasant.  If Mom could not drive, she could take the bus that is offered to a local grocery store on Mondays and there is a little store in the residence during the week.  There is a Burger King across a busy street and a dollar store around the corner.  Mom's church is across the street.  Mom likes where she is and wants to stay there.

The problem is Mom.  Her body is more frail which is a concern as she drives around town and even lives alone in an apartment.  If she falls or gets knocked over to have her purse stolen, no family will be able to get to town for 2 and a half hours.  But, the bigger problem is Mom's mind.  She has been sharp forever.  But, within the last year the decline has gotten faster and faster.  I am not sure whether this doctor visit might show early Alzheimers.  There is at least increased senility.

Mom lets her prescriptions lapse or nearly lapse.  She seems to think that waiting until she is out of something before demanding that the pharmacy deliver it immediately, even on a holiday weekend is an acceptable way to live.  The doctor and I have spoken to her about it, but she doesn't remember that.  I worry that she might not be taking her medicine all the time.  Her main issue is high blood pressure which I don't think is well controlled these days anyway, so I wait for the doctor to suggest something. Mom feels that an acceptable way to handle it all is not to have her blood pressure taken after exercise or any time except the doctor's office every three or four months.

Mom repeats herself and repeats herself.  She is largely still making sense, she just asks the same questions and says the same things over and over again. It reminds me of my mother-in-law who passed away with Alzheimers a few years ago when she was at the earlier stages and still knew who we were.

So, here I am.  Mom is a worry and a burden.  I don't feel as though I can give up my life to help her live hers.  She refuses to consider moving closer to my sister and I. That seems like a better solution.

So, with my brother moving out of town, I am left worried about Mom.  I talked her into getting information about assisted living.  She is thinking in a year or two.  I would feel better if we made plans this week.  Somewhere in there is a compromise.  At least there is a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Attacks

I read something on Facebook a while back during my break from blogging that someone was getting off  the internet because they had been verbally attacked or put down by someone for their Christian beliefs.  There were many encouraging comments inviting that person to stay and stand their ground.  I didn't follow or know the person who was getting off the web, so I can't comment further on that situation, but it got me thinking.

Some attacks may be works of the devil.  He is at work in our world and attack he will.  Jesus is stronger than the devil and as long as we hold on tight to Him, we will be protected.  Social media does allow us ways to distance ourselves by blocking or not allowing those comments.  I think that is a good idea.  If the attacker can't be heard, they may give up.

But, I was thinking also of the another kind of attack.  I haven't received attacks in the social media, but rather in person.  There are some people who seem to want to pick an argument with Christians. I had a family member who was one of those.  It seemed as though every time we got together, the snide comments and sarcastic remarks began.  Most people in the family tried to change the subject and avoid any mention of church or religious practices or God.  Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.

Then one time out of my mouth came something to the effect, "It seems like the Holy Spirit must be working on you, because nobody here is bringing up anything to do with God and you keep bringing it up.  Perhaps you are having an internal struggle with God." That shut him up.  Thank You, Jesus.

And I don't know how the progression actually worked in his life because I don't live close and I haven't really discussed it all with him, but I would say from that time on he stopped attacking Christians.  Within a few years he was asking for prayers and within a short time after that, he was finding his way back to the Catholic Church.

It is something to think about.  Sometimes the argumentative folks are really just looking for answers.  Let you who are Christians pray for the words that the Holy Spirit can give you to lead that person to the truth in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, in the space and time that you give me to live this life, lead me to freedom and truth in You.  Lead me out of bondage and sin.  Lead me away from lies that would tell me that You don't love me, or that You don't care.  Let me know You and soar in the glory of the truth.  Let me soar higher and higher until I reach heaven and spend eternity in praise of You. Amen