Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Morning in San Antonio

BRRRRRR: a blizzard warning in Indiana? I read about it on Facebook as I removed my sweater in San Antonio. 60 degrees on December 25. Miss the snow? No.

The tree in this domicile was surrounded by many wrapped gifts; as it turns out, there are many many many versions of LEGOs. And by evening, there would be a flurry of LEGO construction buzzing along.
Gramma is there, mostly, to smile and enjoy. But, low and behold, a box for me. As I torn the paper (I'm one of THOSE), I saw that something had been placed in a shoe box. "It take courage to buy a woman some shoes," I remarked. Foot-in-mouth, it WAS shoes. Wonderfully, it WAS slippers, just what a gramma needs, no matter what the temperature.

After much gift opening and sharing, it was time for the big meal, prepared by daughter and auntie, both much better cooks than their guest.

Watch out! We're nearing the last page.
Then, as we digested, Gramma got to read with Noah. Why would ANYONE pass up the chance to read to/with a child? THIS one has a whimsical gene or two which surface during any story. "Here's a riddle," he says. "What am I thinking about?" Then you get several chances to be wrong and he tells may have something to do with the current activity. More often than not, it is the start of some great story adventure with which he will regale.

Right here we are moving through a really cool book, a Star Wars pop-up book, with many layers upon layers of pop-ups. On the final page, we get to a huge Darth Vadar whose light saber changes color as it waves back and forth. Noah tells me it's because he used to be a bad guy and then he was a good guy.

My own personal kids (plus some legs)
Finally, it was time for that couch photo: you know, where the family poses, just so happy to be here, just so glad that the day is winding down.

Auntie didn't want to be recognized so she 'hid.' Didn't work, Auntie!

Christmas 2012 is now past; both of us got slippers from the grandboys. Our toes are warm today. And the Indiana snow keeps coming down.

Tomorrow is New Year's Day. For me, that means closet cleaning and tossing. I've been staring at a lot of bits and pieces, trying to sort out what I really want and what is just stuff that gathers dust. Tomorrow, the dust gatherers go.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

 Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Greetings again from Kokomo, Indiana.

We send our wishes for a happy holiday season to you and your families. May the beauty and joy of this most special holiday fill your with joy.  Joy to the World! The Lord Has Come!

We continue to live our lives: our health concerns are in a box on a shelf. We walk past it; we look at occasionally; we know it’s there. Once in a while, we take it down and examine it: 2012 has seen special people step into heaven, way too early in our opinion. In May, our dear sister-in-law Janelle Hayes let go of this life and ran to her Father in Heaven. Also, several men who have ministered to us, who were on the short list to step up and help me when Mike became ill, have also moved on to Heaven. So much for earthly plans.

Life’s funny like that, isn’t it?

Tis the season, also, for miracles. One side product of living in a bubble of prayer – so many people pray for us daily – is that God has opened my eyes to how He is working in the everyday. I’ve seen miraculous answers to prayer and God has given me awareness to connect these with requests. So good for those of us with short memories.

I’m blessed to be surrounded by many loving friends, like the ladies in my small group. God has honored us with a few moved mountains this year. Also, three of these ladies followed the Lord in Baptism just two weeks ago.

Like many of you, we were way too caught up in the contention of the presidential election. It got so that we just turned off the television most of the time. You may know, my guy didn’t win. But, God’s guy DID win. Don’t understand it but know that this is true.

We thank you for continuing to pray for us. When we first got our diagnosis (April 2009….I know.) as much as possible, we prepared for Heaven. We know that this extra time is not for Mike…so we want to be sensitive to what God wants both of us to do. We don’t know what 2013 will hold for either of us but we long to hear His voice in each decision we need to make.

"Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Talk about your miracles!

Merry Christmas! May God grant you a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Miracles all around us

This morning, briefly, I was listening to the radio. The partial lyric was “I need a miracle.”

Don’t we all? Do we take our requests to God and do we expect His answer? Or do we fail to see Him and see the impossible request instead. Can’t speak for anyone else but this is too often my mode. “Here’s the problem, God. And there’s no way this can be solved.” And so often, He honors my weak, half-a-mustard-seed faith and fixes the problem supernaturally. And then, gently, He reminds me that HE is in this problem with me and HE will fix it.
I have a friend whose grandson has faced some hard medical challenges in his young life. Our small group prays for him and his mommy and daddy and little brother; and now for Grandma and Grandpa who have stepped up to fill in while baby and Mom are at the hospital.
Few things are tougher than a sick child. But recently, his mom has made the choice to find something to be thankful for every day. She now starts her updates with her items of praise. This is not just a good exercise; it leads her to look for and recognize how God is working in this situation.
I know that it helps her; it also serves her brothers and sisters in the faith by spreading that encouragement. And her son’s life continues to be a miracle of healing.
I hope some of you will feel led to add Cade to your prayer list. God knows all of the details.
The other night, Mike was scheduled to get to church for rehearsal as he is supposed to play next Sunday. I found him in bed; he said he felt really sick and wasn’t sure he could make it to church. He asked me to let him sleep 30 more minutes. I did. He woke and said he still felt ill. “But I have to go,” he said. So, off he went.
2 hours later, when he arrived back home; he told me that, although he doesn’t understand this, as soon as he entered the church building, the illness lifted. Next, God placed someone in his path who needed some encouragement and Mike was able to provide it. And, while rehearsing, he said that the music for Sunday is ‘glorious.’ He said that the first song almost moved him to tears.
It is a prayer that God will answer if you asked Him to show you answers to prayers. He also will show you the miracles around you. And when you see them, it builds your faith and draws you closer to Him.
Amid all the tinsel and lights, we need to remember that Christmas is one of God’s best miracles:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mike's Huddle Address

You can now watch Mike's Huddle Address directly on this blog post! (It may take a few seconds to load)