Friday, March 27, 2009

Great first day home for Dad...

Last night we all slept well and Dad has had a good 1st day home.
It really is remarkable how well my dear father has gotten along with his recent surgery. Whenever my parents' friends have called today inquiring how Dad is doing, once they hear that he came home last night, usually the response is: "You're kidding!"

We're all just thrilled to have him home and doing so well, and to know that the checklist of surgeries is completed!

The difficult part ahead will probably be keeping my dad from doing all the things he should not do (mainly no lifting over 10 pounds)for 3-6 weeks. He's a mover and a shaker, a go-getter, and a hard man to keep down. But he'll be good; he has to. :)

As far as how he's doing with stroke recovery, that continues to improve also. The anesthesia from surgery has temporarily impeded progress just a bit...(you know it makes nearly everyone just a little loopy)...but still Dad's coming around.

Dad's humor is even coming back....and that's a wonderful thing to see! I really wondered if ever I'd hear him tell a joke again but it has happened! Tonight he told his first joke (correctly!) since he had the stroke. Mom and I were telling him goodnight and I commented that I smelled the cough drop Dad was sucking on....and Dad replied, "That's like when the man asked the guy,'Do you want a cough drop' and he said, "Sure! I haven't coughed for a long time."

Oh, I love my dad; what a great guy!
And I'm so glad he's coming through this so well!
Praise God!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

He's Home :)

Dad was released from the hospital this evening and arrived home around 8:00. It is wonderful that he can be home. He is dozing now in his favorite chair and Mom is in bed. Please pray that we will all have a good night's rest, particularly my dear parents who both need rest very badly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Great Report on Dad!

I am so pleased to write tonight's blog entry because Dad is doing so very well following today's surgery to repair the aneurysm on his aorta.
Surgery lasted about three hours. Near the end of that time there was some slight concern because his arteries were not straight which made it a little difficult for the doctor to weave the tubing through his system, but within a short while things turned around and the surgery ended up well.
As Dad left the Recovery Area and was moved late this afternoon in his room in the Intensive Care Unit, the nurses noted that he was happy and smiling and said, "Wow! This man is doing really well." The primary care physician came in and said to Dad, "You're a Bionic Man! You have good blood flow into your feet, and you have a strong heart. You may live to be 90!"
Dad was eager to tell us all this when we saw him this evening. He stated to us visiting there with him, "You guys are fun to be with!" :) He was conversing well and cheery and very comfortable during our visit.
In fact, Dad is doing so well, that if he continues to do this well, there is consideration that he may even be sent home tomorrow, which would be a day or two earlier than normal for this kind of surgery.
So this is all a great blessing and an answer to prayer!
We are rejoicing in this wonderful news tonight, and so relieved to have this surgery behind us, and now are hopeful for a speedy and successful recovery.
Once again, let me say THANK YOU to all of you who are praying for my dad. And thank you as you continue to pray for continued strength for Mother (she's doing very well...) and for Dad during this time of recovery!
And may you be blessed in return!

Brief Update on Dad

Dad came through surgery well today and is resting in his room in ICU. We thank you for your prayers and ask that you will keep them coming for a safe recovery period!
More later....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Greetings from Florida...

Today has been a lovely day here in the Sunshine State, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s.

Yesterday I had a wonderful flight down, and was so happy to be greeted at the airport, first by dad waiting for me at the gate, and by my mother and our friend Gail, seated and waiting in the baggage claim area.

It was apparent to me right away that Dad has continued to improve in his conversational abilities since I saw him around a month ago. This is most encouraging; and I so proud of my dad and his determination to continue to press on and have patience in the progress.

I was informed by Gail that my dad did the driving to the airport, from Brooksville to St. Petersburg, and he did a good job! Hurray for Dad! Dad feels so good that he is able to some driving again.

Today it's been so nice to simply be together, not in the hospital, but here at home. Dad, Mom, Gail and I enjoyed lunch together on Mom and Dad's deck, which Dad himself built last fall. Here's a picture of the four of us (thanks to our neighbor Ruth, the photographer!)...

And so, tomorrow the real adventure begins.....we are to arrive at the hospital at 7:00 in the morning and Dad's surgery time is set for 9:05 am. We expect that he will be in the hospital 1-3 days.

So, please keep Dad in your prayers as he goes through the surgery and recovery. This surgery to fix his aorta definitely has its share of risks involved, yet the risk of not doing this surgery is far we entrust him into the care of a very capable and experienced doctor, and mostly, to the care of the Great Physician, who is more than worthy of our trust, and to Whom we give great thanks for what He/God has already done and what He is going to do.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Celebrate the Commonplace

On a Sunday in mid-November, I remember feeling restless in the afternoon; bored, longing for something 'new' in my life. I recall saying to Tim in a complaining sort of way, "Everything is just THE SAME".
Little did I know what was going to happen on the following Thursday; I'd get the sad news that a life-changing event had happened: my dad had a stroke. Suddenly, nothing was the same; everything had changed, and it was not for the better.
Recently I have expressed myself saying that I liked life a lot better as it was five months ago... :)
I'm writing this on Thursday, March 19th, and it's been exactly five months ago today, on Thursday, November 19th, that Dad had his stroke. Life for many of us has changed a lot since then, and while we have much to be grateful for, life's been quite challenging and rather difficult since that date.
Last weekend, as I consulted the calendar and booked flights for my upcoming trip to Florida to once again spend time with Mom and Dad around the dates of Dad's next surgery and recovery, out of interest I was counting the number of days January 1st-April 2 that I will have been home vs away. I've been home 59 and gone 27. That's only 2 days home for every 1 away.
My reflection this morning is: let's celebrate the commonplace. As I prepare to leave again and be gone from home for another ten days, I am savoring sleeping in my own bed each night, relishing having a friend come over for a chat and a cup of coffee, loving having my dog Jake follow me loyally around the house, enjoying watching my teens Tyler & Emily live their lives, soaking up the music that they play on the guitar and piano, thankful for wisdom and insight that my wonderful husband Tim shares with me, so thankful for his willingness to connect and communicate with me; loving the sights, sounds, smells & feel of HOME.
Home is a beautiful place. Yet it is also where the "ordinary" can sometimes seem lack-luster and boringly common, and we tend to take home and our loved ones for granted. Indeed we take out our frustrations on our most loved ones in the entire world; the ones who live with us under the same roof.
I challenge myself and you today to thank GOD for the ordinary. Thank God if your life is without undue drama and change. Thank God for stability and cultivate appreciation for the commonplace.
If I had it to do over again, hindsight teaches me that I should have made the statement "Everything is just the same", not negatively-toned, but stated with gratitude.

Gratitude is the title of a song I wrote a few years back, and it seems appropriate to end this entry by sharing those lyrics with you:

With gratitude to You for all You've done
And all You're going to do,
O Lord, I thank You.
You're in it all, working out Your plan,
Though I cannot see Your hand,
My hope is in You,
Accept my gratitude.

With gratitude to You for who You are,
Mighty King who won my heart,
Beautiful Savior.
I was bound in chains until You set me free,
Once was blind but now I see,
Gracious Redeemer,
Accept my gratitude.

You have blessed me, Lord,
So much more than I deserve.

With gratitude to You for all You give;
Every day of life I live
Flows from Your mercy.
Your gift of grace is far beyond belief,
Providing all I'll ever need,
You are so good to me,
So good to me!
Your gift of grace is far beyond belief,
Providing all I'll ever need.
You are so good to me,
You've blessed me so abundantly.
Accept my gratitude.
(c) Head For Home Music - w/m Paula Davis-Stitt

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Peace in My Presence

I would like to share some words from a book called "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.
This is to be read as though God was speaking to you:

Don't take yourself so seriously.
Lighten up and laugh with Me.
You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about?
I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will.
The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you.
Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts.
When you look at Me and whisper My Name, you break free and receive My help.
Focus on Me, and you will find Peace in My Presence.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dad's next surgery date....

....will be on Wednesday, March 25th. We just learned this week that Dad will be able to have the stent procedure inserted in both legs (groin area) to fix the aneurysm on his aorta, instead of having an open cut procedure - so we're glad about this simpler, less invasive way....although there are still plenty of risks involved however you look at it.
Thanks for your prayers for Dad - they are holding him together during this waiting period! They are holding all of us together - and boy, do we need it!
And again, I'll be going down to Florida again to be with Mom and Dad for this event. I'll be leaving on Monday March 23rd and staying for around 10 days.
I'll keep you updated. Thanks for caring!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Emily, my baby daughter :) turned 15 on February 28th! Wow - time flies. Emily's a joy and a ray of sunshine....a truly lovely young lady.
On the weekend of her birthday, she performed in My Fair Lady. She and her fellow performers did a great job!
The following Saturday, March 7th, her basketball team, the Hornets JV Girls won the regional championship game, and advanced to the State Finals which is taking place this coming Saturday! I had to miss the regional games since I was in Virginia, so I am so excited to get to watch these girls go for the State Championship this coming Saturday! GO HORNETS!


What a privilege it was to be in Williamsburg, Virginia this past weekend for Discover the Joy - a conference attended by over 500 wonderful women! I am astounded that God gave me the awesome privilege to serve Him in this way to these beautiful ladies. My friends, Sarah Schieber and Lisa Beals, pictured here, joined me in leading in worship and we each also spoke in a seminar.
The keynote speaker of the weekend was Evelyn Husband Thompson, whose husband Rick died in the Columbia space shuttle accident of 2003. Evelyn is a marvelous woman of God, humble and transparent as she speaks of God's greatness and good plan for our lives no what matter what the circumstance.
What I took away personally from the conference is that, despite our feelings, despite whether we feel able to go on, God goes on ahead of us, holding our hand, preparing the way. And he accomplishes his purposes and allows us to be used in the process.
Stress decided to take its toll on my body last weekend: headaches attacked me every single night of the conference. I never get headaches and when I do they are not this bad..thankfully! So to say I didn't feel my best was putting it mildly. :)
But that's okay because I saw God work despite my humanness, despite my weaknesses, faults and frailties. Isn't it wonderful that no one can interfere with what God has ordained?!! His ways are best!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pure Joy

I am up late getting things done in preparation for the Discover the Joy conference in Virginia which I'll be leaving for on Thursday morning.

It's an interesting time when God is getting me ready for something like this.
I am learning more and more, after many repetitions of this same type of scenario, that I cannot FEEL prepared going into these ministry events. Oh yes, sure; the worship sets are planned, the powerpoint presentations have been created, the notes for my speaking assignment are on the printed page, and I have prayerfully studied and prepared my thoughts. Yet, I do NOT feel prepared at all. In fact, I strongly suspect that I will be heading to the conference with the same questions that all of the women attending will be having: "hmmm....I wonder what will be taught at this conference? I wonder what I'll learn from this? I wonder what I'll hear God say to me?" :)

In fact, I think that maybe God is just as interested in teaching me, the teacher, just as much about my topic as He will teach any woman there. After all, I am certainly still a learner, growing, with so much farther to go on this walk of faith.

It just goes against my 'only child' perfectionistic tendencies to go into this with any loose gaps....any undotted "i's" or uncrossed "t's". Yet, I embrace this! I count it a privilege. Over and over God has proven in my life that in my weakness HE is STRONG. He has a marvelous track record! So, if I am confident because of anything, my confidence is in this: that God knows me and I know him.

Since I have done my best to prepare and am attentive to whatever He may choose to do or to say, I can confidently state that the results are in His hands and I am sure that He will accomplish His purposes not only in my life, but in the life of every lady there this weekend who is seeking more of God and his love in their life. God is God, and is totally able and free to do whatever He chooses. And it is pure joy on my part to be used in His kingdom!

Monday, March 2, 2009

And on the schedule for this week...

I am getting ready to leave on Thursday and will be gone until Monday. Two dear friends and I are traveling together to Virginia where together we will have the incredible privilege to minister at a Women's conference - DISCOVER THE JOY - in Williamsburg, Virginia. Here's the link to the website if you want to come!

There we will lead in worship in the general sessions, sing a 'fun' concert on Saturday night, and each of us will be teaching a workshop. So, as you know, before any trip things are always crazy and that is truly the case this time! There are way too many things TO DO to cram into the next two days; but somehow, we know, it'll all get done!

Meanwhile, down at my parent's home in Florida, both Mom and Dad are getting over very bad bouts of sicknesses (colds, coughs, fevers) that have taken a bit of a toll on their bodies. So it's been a tough week or so for them. But they are starting to both feel closer to normal now, which is good!
Dad will be going in for an out-patient test at the hospital on Wednesday (having an angiogram) that will determine what type of procedure will be used to repair his aortic aneurysm. So we're hoping and praying that this will be helpful and informative, and that the end result will verify that the simpler of two possible methods will be able to be used for his aorta repair.
Your prayers are always appreciated and they certainly make a difference!
Have a wonderful week. Thanks for reading. :)