Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mom's Turn for Tests

Now, it's Mom's turn. She is going in tomorrow morning at 8:30 for a Chemical Stress test to check out the condition of her heart. I'd sure appreciate your prayers - and I'll let you know how things go and what we find out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mom and Dad Update :)

I just have to brag on my parents....
As you know from my posting a few weeks ago, Mom and Dad put their feet down: NO MORE HELPERS - no more caregivers!!! They were ready to resume 100% care of themselves on their own. They would allow the cleaning lady to come in twice a month, but other than that - they could handle things.

While I was very apprehensive about the timing of this decision, I decided to count my blessings (always a good thing to do) and be grateful that, instead of Mom and Dad adopting a 'poor me' mentality, Mom and Dad were pulling their energies together in a positive way and taking action to do their very best!

That was three weeks ago, and I am pleased to report that they are doing very well.
Dad continues to be able to drive them safely to places they need to go, they are both working hard to eat right (as best I can discern from what they tell me), and in general they are pulling together to make things function well around their place.

AND the most exciting news of all.....(drum roll please!)...Mom is going to the pool to exercise her legs with a friend each morning. She has gone four days in a row this week. This is particularly wonderful because it will most likely raise Mother's degree of circulation in those legs, which would be such a wonderful thing! It's a tremendous step that my mother is taking. I am SO proud of her for doing this, and am hopeful to see it continue. [Thanks, by the way, to Mom's friend Maxine for being such a good exercise buddy!]

Dad's speech therapy will hopefully resume next week after a long pause around the time of Dad's surgery and recovery, then the therapist was ill, then the insurance had some problems....but all is set to resume next week, and we anticipate more positive results once that starts again.
So, all in all - Mom and Dad are doing very well.

It's funny, earlier this afternoon as I was thinking about posting this update on my parents, an email came in from Mom in which she typed, "Dad wants me to ask you if you think we are getting along good, taking care of ourselves??" :)
**Yes, Dad I do! I think you're doing very well....I am proud of you and thankful for both of you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


That's pretty much me. I like to be CLEAN....wash those hands. Sickness is going around? Let's wash them even more....
"Don't touch the bathroom doorknob on the way out! Be careful! We don't want to get sick!"
Eat right, get enough sleep, take your vitamins...Take care of yourself; stay healthy.

And all that's only referring to health from a physical standpoint....

When it comes to computers I am the same way - I wouldn't want to get a virus! Been there, done that! Getting a virus on the computer is a major inconvenience, and just this week I've spent lots of time taking steps to avoid getting a virus. My paid anti-virus subscription ran out, so I was testing some of the freebies offered online....and they worked well as far as I know but they also slowed my computer way down. Such a after two days of back and forth with the freebies, I am back to paying for my subscription again.....why? Because no one wants a virus, do they? Nope, not even on their computer.

That's why when I read this sentence yesterday from Lloyd John Ogilvie's devotional book Quiet Moments with God, it caused me to stop and think. He wrote:
"It is so easy to catch the emotional virus of frustration and exasperation."
Ponder that with me for a moment....
Isn't that such a true statement?

I find that in my own life, I am less quick to think of avoiding these emotional viruses of frustration and exasperation than I am the other kinds of viruses mentioned earlier...
Why in the world is that? It seems so easy to give in to the frustration; to give in to the finally feel that I'd "had enough"!

Yes, it is easy to catch the emotional virus of frustration and exasperation, but now that I've read this phrase, I think I'll be able to start looking at this a bit differently.

I want to remain healthy: not only physically, but mentally, spiritually.
In all ways, I want to be well.
God's peace and tranquility, freely offered 24/7 is the anti-virus protection I need. I want to stock up!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye Preston Overway

Preston Overway, the father of my dear friend, Lisa Beals, passed away very unexpectedly early this morning, in his sleep.
A more caring, kind, gentleman than Preston, you'd never meet.
He was a man with a gentle, quiet strength.
Everyone who knew Preston Overway greatly respected and thought highly of him.
Through the years my friendship with Lisa allowed Preston and I to forge a special connection as well. He made me feel very special. He said "I love you" to me every time we were together, and I knew from the look in his eyes that he truly meant it.
This week we say Goodbye, and while we experience loss to no longer have him with us, our loss is heaven's gain, and I'm sure that Preston is basking in the radiance of heavenly sunshine.
Preston Overway, you are greatly missed and loved. Thank you for your life and example.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Something to Think About....

Here's something I read that is good food for thought by Sheila Schuller Coleman:

When the request is wrong, God says, "No."
When the time is wrong, God says, "Slow."
When we are not right, God says, "Grow."
When everything is right, God says, "Go!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Variety.... the spice of life! so that's why I keep changing the look of my blog. Sorry if it drives some of you nuts! I just like a new look every now and then. :) It's FUN!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Terrific Teens

Allow me a moment to brag....I'm a proud mama. Tyler and Emily returned on Sunday night from a missions trip to Arizona and it's so good to have them home.

I am tremendously proud of who they are as individuals. I am thankful for the initiative they exhibit to serve those who are in need. Tyler and Emily are outstanding young adults and I blessed to be their mom.

Additionally, I am grateful for the wonderful friends Tyler and Emily have to do life with! And I am also thankful to our church and the leaders of the High Schoolers who arrange and organize many wonderful serving opportunities all year long!

Today Tyler got vaccinated for his next missions trip, which will be in June to Zambia, Africa. This will be with high schoolers from our church as well, in conjunction with World Hope.

Enjoy a few pictures of their time in Arizona..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reflections from the Caboose

This morning I was reading in Psalm 127,
"Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders build in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchmen stays alert in vain."
This caused me to reflect on how so much of the time I feel the compulsion to plan, plan, plan; to know what's coming next and number all the steps out in order: 1,2,3.
And, while there is often a need to do just that, and it really feels good to have that order in place, there are times when planning and trying to foresee the future that things just don't easily fall into place.
For me, I often sense it's time then to pull back a bit and wait for God's plan to come to the forefront. At times I think I try a little too hard...

This morning I wrote the following paragraph in an email to a friend who has a parent having health difficulties...she and I are sharing similar experiences in our lives right now:
Since Dad's stroke, I have gotten a fresh glimpse of how little control I have; none actually! EVERYTHING is in God's control. While I am certainly not perfect at the right response 100% of the time, I am realizing more and more, that my efforts to get something done, if not being led at that time by the Holy Spirit to do so, are totally futile. What I'm referring to is like planning ahead for the future - the 'what ifs' down the road....At times I feel like I need to do more to organize the 'next step' but how can I know what will happen next - what needs to happen next - and what that next step will actually be???? God will make it known to me at the time. And I am amazed at how, for such a trying time - God has given me a great peace through it all....not that I am totally at peace all of the time - but most of the time, for the situation I find myself in, I am experiencing the peace that only God could give.

I was looking through some pictures that Tyler and Emily had taken on their trip to Arizona. On the way out there they were riding in the caboose, and took many pictures looking back at where they had been....

...and I realized how much beauty we can see when we look back at where we've been, and draw strength from the many times that God has pulled us through life's challenging times. Sure, we need to focus on what's ahead and be prepared for the twists and turns in the road ahead....yet what we have already come through contains so much beauty, so much richness, so much to soak in ....I want to remember to enjoy the past and the present and not waste time and energies wondering about tomorrow!

In a devotional I read this morning, Lloyd John Ogilvie states similar thoughts this way:
"My courage is based on the assurance of your ever-present, guiding Spirit; therefore, I will not fear. My hope is rooted in trust in Your reliability; therefore, I will not be anxious. Your interventions in trying times in the past have made me an experienced optimist for the future; therefore, I will not spend my energy in useless worry."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

It's been a great Easter Day. It's been a very busy day. I played keyboard in the three services at our church this weekend; one last night and two this morning.
The music all weekend was wonderful; great and powerful songs with full choir, band and orchestra.
Many people took the 'walk' at the end of the service representing that they had come to know Christ this past year. It's a great highlight at our church every Easter to see many people whose lives have truly been changed forever because of the message of Easter: Jesus not only giving His life for us, taking our place of punishment, but also His coming back to life and offering us that very same power, to live in us each day through His Holy Spirit!

This afternoon Tim and I went to my in-law's home where we enjoyed dinner and good conversation with Tim's parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and uncle and aunt. All in all there were 22 of us there. I wish I could post pictures of the event, but I don't have my camera with me....Tyler borrowed it to take on his trip to Arizona.
Which leads me to the subject of Tyler and Emily; they were conspicuously absent at the family Easter dinner today. I missed their presence there!

They will be arriving by train tonight at 10:22 pm. Tim and I will go and eagerly greet them! It will be exciting to have them back home, and to hear about the experiences they've had these past ten days while serving the Navajos in Arizona.

I truly hope you had a wonderfully blessed Easter!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Turning the page .....a new chapter

Dad went to the surgeon today and got his staples out. Ouch!!! He, of course is delighted to have them gone. Apparently he checked out well at the doctor, and the doctor even gave Dad the okay to resume his driving once again.

While all is well on the standpoint of Dad's surgical recovery, I'd just like to assure you that your prayers for Mom and Dad are still very needed!! You see, Mom and Dad are doing it "on their own" again. They've turned a page and are into a new chapter now: Dad's surgeries are complete, and because of that, the part-time medical caregivers hired since December to assist them a few hours each day have been let go. This was the deal, that they'd have the caregivers assist them until Dad surgeries/recoveries were completed...and then, we'd let them go, to save money and encourage Mom and Dad's independence. This was the deal and we're sticking to it!

Please pray for fresh strength and health for each new day (and night!), wisdom and patience with each other, wisdom, discernment and direction for Tim and me and our roles in this, Dad's continued improvement with communication and comprehension issues leftover from the stroke. He's come so far yet still has a ways to go.

God is certainly good; all the time. He is faithful. We're trusting him for each day and each new challenge as it comes along.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Overdue Update

Hello everyone!
Sorry that I have gotten behind recently in my postings. After Dad's first day home I didn't post anymore because each day just continued to go well, so it was a case of "no news, good news".

Dad IS doing well, but this doesn't mean that each day does not bring it's share of challenges. He is having difficulty getting a good night's rest. He is also somewhat restless periodically, but hopefully, in time, things will settled down a bit. Your prayers that he'd get good sleep and be less confused and restless would be appreciated!

All in all there is just so much to be grateful for. Dad and Mom both have shared since the surgery that they were both thinking that Dad might not make it through this last surgery. Mom felt as though she was telling him "Goodbye" and Dad said that he had been thinking that maybe his "last chapter was through." But God intervened through the capable hands of a wonderful surgeon, Dr. Mallik Piduru, and saw fit to sustain Dad's life for more time and blessings here on earth. And we're all so thankful, and humbled, by God's continual goodness and favor poured out on our family.

Meanwhile, I flew home to Michigan yesterday, so I am back home again. After being gone for 10 days, it was good to be met at the airport by Tim, Tyler and Emily. Emily gave me an extra LONG hug and that meant so much to me!

Then at 6:45 this morning Tim and I dropped Emily and Tyler off at the Amtrak Train Station here in Grand Rapids. They, along with 31 others from our church's High School group are going to Flagstaff, Arizona by train and will be working in that area all next week on various projects and assignments as part of a missions trip with the Navajo Native Americans. They were excited to go, and I am so happy for them that they have this opportunity! But, I must admit that I miss them already!

I think that brings you up to date for now. Thanks for reading!