How the Las Vegas Tragedy Affects Me

Dear God, our hearts are wondering. They are wondering ‘why’? Why could this happen? How could You let it happen? You are Sovereign. You could’ve stopped it. And yet, through it all, we know that You. Are. Sovereign. That means so much more than just all powerful. Father, that means that through it all, you have an all-knowing mind, and even above that, you have an all-wise plan. Today doesn’t even seem real. It seems like something like this should only happen in the movies. I mean, 50+ people killed and 500+ wounded and many probably fighting for their life. But, as much as this saddens and shocks us, I can’t imagine how much more it saddens and shocks You. It doesn’t shock You with surprise like it does us. Nothing takes You by surprise. Rather, it shocks and saddens You because of all the effort and love you have put into creating each and every life. You created with love, formed every inch of those 550 victims. More than that, you even formed with caring love, the one who decided to make the sad decision to harm these innocent people. Jesus, I believe You are saddened and shocked, not by the surprise of the unknown, but because of how Your love got thrown back in Your face. How, when it seemed as if this world couldn’t get more wicked than it is, this happens. Father, we’ve all been betrayed by people, and it hurts, but never have we poured that much love into someone’s life, only to have it rejected so harshly.

The reactions of people will be mixed, but I wonder if they will even think of You. People will wonder how a God who claims to love, who claims to be merciful, how He can even allow it to happen. I don’t profess to even begin to understand how big and huge your character is, and why You allow this or that to happen, but I do know this…..In this tragedy in Las Vegas, You are there. In the middle of the devastation with the hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding in the many different places,

You. Are. There.

If people truly seek You, they will find You. They will find You in the hospital room, through the Dr.’s sympathetic and caring touch. They will find You present with the efficient capabilities of the medics and emergency personnel, never knowing the whispered prayers that are breathed over them. They will find You in the middle of the night, when it seems all they can do  is sob with pain–there is where they’ll find You. They will find You while being lifted up in prayer by the whole family of God. They will find You while in the middle of the turmoil inside their hearts, while working at their seemingly endless job, when they will feel that they just can’t do this one more day, but silently, You are giving them strength.

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They can see You with each new sunrise and sunset You give them. They can feel Your presence in the soft breezes that blow. They can find You in the center of a flower–where else could that intense beauty lead them? Their nurse on duty, that quiet, almost ‘too shy’ one…Do they realize that this morning’s Bible study with fellow Christian nurses is making her pause for only a second before she timidly asks, “Do you know my Jesus?” The hurting and confused children, the fatherless and motherless. You are there in the ones holding them close, cuddling them, hoping they can give these little ones just a tiny feeling of safety.

God, You are there.

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But, You are also here, with us, the ones who are supposedly ‘unaffected’ by these tragedies. We feel slightly sheltered and safe, and yet our heart aches for those who are ‘out there’. That ache is You speaking to us. The tears that come to our eyes when hearing of the devastation, that’s You, reminding us to pray. That lump in our throat is just a way to shut our mouths from all the cliche sayings, and instead take the time to whisper a prayer to our heavenly Father. You are also here in our freedom to come and go. That freedom is a gift from You to us, to allow us to share Your Good News. When day in and day out, I reject that gift or use it all selfishly for myself, I wonder if that’s just as much shock and sadness to You as the tragedy of Las Vegas. You are here with us, in the middle of our everyday life, waiting, watching with eagerness to see how soon we’ll see You revealing Yourself to us, and when we don’t take notice, I’m wonder if that rejection is just like being thrown in Your face as well.

Father, I wonder how the nation of the U.S. would become if we could all just open our eyes to You. I wonder, if we could actually, truly recognize You in all the places You are, how would that make a difference in our nation?

Jesus, I know I can’t change the nation–only You can do that, BUT I can allow You to change me, and then maybe the change in me will light a spark in someone else’s life. Also, I can pray. We forget the power of prayer, but prayer has such a healing benefit, and our nation is so broken, in desperate need of the healing only You can give.

Help our nation to willingly open our eyes to be able to see You wherever You are. Open our hearts to the change that only You can give.

God, please heal this land!!

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Tiny Treasures

The other day, week, or sometime in the past month or two, I cleaned my room. It was the good, “curiosity satisfying, going through old papers and stacks of things” cleaning. Ok, so maybe I’m the only one who lets it get that bad, but either way, I found something I had written back in my school teaching days, and I thought I’d share it on here, along with some changes/add-ons to make it sound better. Follow along if you dare! 🙂

“With a heavy sigh, I sank in my chair wishing with all my might for more dedicated students. Another failed quiz here, more studying of spelling words there. You see, today was a rough day. One particular student had to be worked with continuously on keeping the work up to total ability and had to be prodded so laziness didn’t become habitual.

This student was one I pushed hard, especially today. I made this one find all the answers, write and correct them all, and then study again to make sure he/she grasped the concepts. This student was the one who sighed (loudly), but was taught to obey, and, knowing I was the authority at school, went and ‘did’.

Recess came and went, and I was discouraged. Discouraged with the day, with the student, with everything that went wrong that day. If I were completely honest, I would say I was discouraged with myself. Was I too harsh? Am I expecting too much or not enough? What is a way I could have handled it better? How can I prepare myself if and when it happens again?

Story-time was soon upon us, and I soon became lost in the story as I read it aloud. After story, the student I’d treated so ‘harshly’ came up to my desk, and with a sweet smile said, ‘This is for you, Katie’, shyly laying a note on my desk. Listening as the numerous, unrecognizable misspelled words were explained, (still need to work on that spelling!) it settled in what was happening. I was humbled. Oh, to have the resiliency of a child. The note was simple, but it’s meaning was clear. ‘Katie, you’re a good teacher, and you make us happy and you give us prizes and you give us candy and you’re a good teacher and you give crafts for us, and you give us ideas and you’re perfect.’ (run-on sentences, too 🙂 )

My worst fears were unfounded. I hadn’t estranged this student. If anything, it built our relationship stronger. At dismissal, she/he asked, ‘Did you like the note?’ And in all honesty, I could say, ‘Yes, I liked it!!’, when in truth, my heart was overflowing with love!

You see, God has given me 13 ‘tiny treasures’ to teach and instruct in more than knowledge of Math, English, and Reading. He gave me them to teach important life lessons. That day, I believe I learned more than they did. That day, one of my tiny treasures gave of themselves in complete honesty a part of who they are. This tiny treasure, a child and a note, puts a smile on my face, as I think about the time God said, ‘Katie let me teach you a thing or two about Tiny Treasures’.”

God still gives us Tiny Treasures daily. Are our eyes open to them? (And, yes, I still have a picture of that note) 🙂

 

Hard Work and Moving On

Last Saturday was the day. The day all the hard work came together and actually happened. The day that was a turning point for the Eash family. The day that was filled with probably some of the most mixed emotions ever.

It was the day when history as we’ve known it, and ‘the way it’s always been’ ended. It was the day that new beginnings began. It was a day filled with excitement and uncertainty. A day that, when it was all over, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the small town of Martinsburg.

It was a day full of memories. Memories of Grandpa and Grandma and the life they had created for their family. It was a day of recollecting. Recollecting on days gone past. Days of cleaning flower-beds, crashing the golf-cart into stuff, playing with Grandma’s many dolls, and the many meals and gatherings we’ve had together on the farm.

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It was a day we could feel the support and love through the community. A day that made us (or maybe it was just me) realize we had NO IDEA how many people would show up for the turning of a new era. It was a day of catching up with family and friends. In my mind’s view, I can still see Grandpa and how tickled pink he would’ve been to see all his friends show up for this. I can see how he would’ve been proudly showing off his tractors and toys for all to see. They really were his pride and joy, and there was not much he liked better than spending a day in the field sitting proudly on his ‘green machines.’ And I can see Grandma making sure everyone has enough food and is satisfied, making sure every detail goes exactly as she planned, while we just smile and wonder if she’ll ever calm down. 🙂

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It was a day filled with pride. Pride to be a part of this family. Pride to be able to carry on the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma Eash started. Pride to be able to have an ‘Eash Family Farm’ shirt in our possession. Yes, you can label us as ‘one of those’, but until you’ve been in that situation yourself, don’t judge! 🙂

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It was also a day that was exhausting!! I wonder how many grown-ups wished they could take a nap in the middle of it all! 🙂

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It was a day of laughter, stress, inward tears, and the over-powering sense of reality. For so long, this day was talked about and planned. Now, it’s finally happening!!

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Cousin time… How many more can the golf cart hold? 🙂

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All-in-all, it was a day to remember. Not only the day itself, but the memories that came flooding back as we reminisced throughout the whole ordeal. Cleaning out the house, the shops, the barns, made for lots of good stories, I’m sure.

To all you siblings….Make your mom and dad proud. Continue the legacy they started so long ago. The Eash’s are known for their hard-working and ‘go-get-em’ attitude. Keep it alive. Don’t let this turning of a page in your book be the last of the ‘Eash Family Chronicles’.  Continue it well with your children and grandchildren. Keep Christ first and live to make them proud!

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Your hard work paid off! Great job, you all!

*All photos (except the last one, I’m not sure where/who it came from) used with permission and credited to TyNicolePhotography. Head on over to her blog  and check out her work!

So How Are You?

If I could count the times I’ve been asked this question (or a form of it), it would probably take me days to list and number them all. Well-meaning people and friends I consider very dear, and also plenty of those who are being polite and well-mannered and as a topic of conversation.

Those who know me just a little bit, would say I’m quiet. Those who know me REALLY well, will readily tell you that I have my moods. Place a hidden camera in my house and you would soon see the crazy side of me that only comes out at certain times. (I haven’t even figured it all out myself yet 😉 ) But ask pretty much any of these people and they will tell you that I can’t express myself through speaking. Speaking my words, they all funny go. 🙂 They say I’m like my dad….short and snappy….which is true. Why waste time talking and conversing when you have other work that needs to be done, and other places that need to be gone to?

So, in response to those questions, here’s my answer:

“I’m ok………but how do I explain the fear that is always at the back of my mind. What if this happens again?….around a bunch of people this time? What if I do something that triggers a reaction?”

“I’m ok……but how do I tell them that there is so much unknown in my life right now…and I hate the unknown…I live to know things. My family will testify to that, and not knowing scares me.”

“I’m ok…..but deep down, it hurts. It hurts to see everyone else living a normal life when I have these concerns and health issues that there seem to be no “REAL” answers for.”

“I”m ok…….but nights are the worst. I lie awake determined that it won’t happen again, and sleep will at times evade me for hours.”

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A blurry picture, but you get the point…

“I’m ok……..but in all honesty, it tears my heartstrings to see tears form in my parents eyes, or hear the sound of a quavering voice, as you see how much this is affecting them as well, and they seem to be taking it harder than you.”

“I’m ok…….but it feels like all I’m doing is climbing into a deeper, and darker valley. I wish with all my heart that I could experience a mountain-top experience for awhile.”

“I’m ok……..but really, I hate all these Dr. appointments and if I wouldn’t ever have to take another one of those bitter beta-blockers, it couldn’t be soon enough!”

“I’m ok………and truly, living one day at a time has been absolutely so good for me. Don’t ask me to explain it to you….it just has.”

“I’m ok…..but to tell you the truth, I miss all the ‘normal-ness’ I used to have. Getting used to a new normal is hard, but oh, so necessary in order to live a successful and satisfying life.”

“I’m ok…….but sometimes, the pain is real. Sometimes the pain is great. Sometimes the tears overflow and the pillow is no longer dry. Sometimes all the hurts boil together and overflow.”

“I’m ok……yes, I’m listening to the Dr. (mostly) and yes, I have done tests. Yes, they think they know what it is, and no, it still not always the easiest.”

“I’m ok…..but sometimes it feels like I’m not making enough of a difference. I should be out in the foreign fields helping orphan kids and here I am, still in my comfy American home, living with my parents, and doing my job. I haven’t even been able to write in here for a while because it seemed nothing convicting or exciting was happening”

“I’m ok…….life isn’t always easy, but I’m thankful for friends and family like you who care enough to ask. Please don’t stop asking, but please don’t be offended if I offer a simple answer. Maybe the answer won’t even make sense, because in my head it doesn’t make sense either. Also, be prepared…you may get way more information than you bargained for, depending on my mood! Like I said, I haven’t even figured it all out yet :)”

“I’m ok……but honestly, it’s hard to trust sometimes. I know deep in my heart that God still cares and knows all, and yet, when you’re in the hard spot, it’s tough to keep telling yourself that. I’m oh, so thankful for the teaching and upbringing that I’ve had to build that foundation. Even, if the foundation seems shaky, I haven’t been let go of yet, and I trust God for that!”

“I’m ok…….but I still desperately need your prayers. Prayers for healing, and prayers for grace. God knows, God cares, and so do my friends and family….I know. It’s just tough. It’s hard. You get the picture. 🙂

Well, folks, there you have it. The raw,   (mostly)unfiltered thoughts of me. I’m having 2nd thoughts about posting this all, as it really bares my soul for all to see. I think I will anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m not the only one who’s ever felt at least some of these!

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p.s.—any ideas of blog posts you’d like to see/hear about? I’ve had severe writer’s block lately, and nothing seems to ‘flow’ anymore when I try to write. hmmm :/

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When the Pieces Don’t Fit

Well, it’s been a year. No, I’m not several weeks behind. I know it’s already almost Jan. 31. The year that I’m talking about is that fateful day when I was freezing cold in the back of the squad with needles being jabbed in me left and right, (or mainly just left, I don’t really know), and the kind Medic apologizing profusely because she couldn’t get the IV started.

It’s been a long year, and I was so glad to see 2016 leave. From what I’ve been hearing and seeing, it’s been a tough year for a lot of people. This year, looking on it from the human side of things, treated me rottenly. This year, looking on it from God’s point of view, treated me roughly, but for a purpose.

Had I known how many needles would be stuck in me this year, I would’ve probably cringed. I’ve discovered my veins are hard to reach, most people it takes several tries to get it in. I also bruise easy, so most every little poke through the skin left a gentle black and blue mark. Had I known this, I would’ve cowered. I never knew whether I was scared of needles or not, I just kinda stealthily avoided them. (at least for the first 20 years of my life) Now I know…. they don’t really scare me, I just don’t LOVE them, yet. How do needles fit into my life picture?

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Had I known that one day, I would be admitted to the hospital with 20-some cords?? (don’t remember how many, but it was ALOT!) stuck on my head with a gritty sandpaper-like paste, strapped to the table and then given some pills that made my heart feel like a racing train, causing me to pass out (determined as I was not to), I probably would’ve ran. (run-on sentence, much?) Maybe if I just throw this uncomfortable piece away, my life can get back to normal???

Had I known that Grandma would pass away in Dec., I would’ve spent more time with her, sharing stories, and listening to her experiences. I still find myself missing her. I know if I’d tell her about my new job, she’d be happy for me (in a cautious, grandmotherly sort of way) 🙂 Hmmm, this piece seems so jagged. Maybe I need to shave some corners off, to make it fit just a little smoother.

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Had I known that on the week of my 21st birthday, I would be making the extremely hard decision of whether I should really be teaching again with all that’s going on, or if I should just give it up……I maybe would’ve tried to stay 20 forever. Down in my heart, I knew what the answer was, but it was hard to say it out loud. God, where in the world does this piece go?

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Had I known the extreme weird things my body would be doing, flashes of light, vision loss, seizure activity, extreme dizziness (I now believe it was vertigo), weak sensations where your hands and legs just don’t seem to be doing what they are supposed to, migraine headaches, brain fog (extreme in some cases), exhaustion, nights of unrest because “what if it happens again?”, my body probably wouldn’t have taken it, and I would’ve just stayed in bed. This is the weirdest shaped piece ever!! How does this even remotely look like it should fit in my life. I bet someone else is missing it from theirs. Here, You can have it back.

Had I known that one day, I would be doing a test that involved me holding perfectly still in a big tube for over 2 hours, I would’ve laughed in your face. If you know me well, you know that I don’t /*can’t* sit still that long….ever! I’m constantly adjusting my position, getting up to walk around, or anything but sitting still. So yeah, I would’ve laughed. This piece doesn’t fit (at least not on my picture).

Had I known that the words ‘brain tumor’, ‘epilepsy’, ‘Lymes’, ‘MRI’, ‘syncopal convulsions’, or any such words would have been thrown my way this year, I would’ve cowered under my bed in fear. Those are not words a 20-some girl wants to hear. (thankfully, the worst of these are not the case! Praise the Lord!) Whew! I was right on this one. Well, kinda….But why is God giving me an unsolvable piece? A piece not even the Drs. have a name or a place for?

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I’m not necessarily saying this for pity. I’m getting to my point here, I promise… slowly but surely. God has taught me so much this past year. He taught me so much about trust. It’s still not all learned, but the peace I had through this whole experience was amazing!! Ok, God, I don’t even know what to do, anymore. Take these wasted, ruin pieces that I tried to fit in myself, and use them to create the picture you want. 

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Times that I would be laying there, doing tests, or sitting just waiting on the Dr., the peace that filled my heart was un-explainable. There was a calm within myself that is so unlike me (dramatic, worry-filled me…I’m getting teary-eyed as I write this) I remember specifically a time where nights were especially hard for me, I shared with some ladies what I was going through. That night, I didn’t really get to sleep much quicker but the peace I had as I lay there was unreal. I believe it was because of the prayer they had over me, as well as any continuous prayers that were being sent up. I’m convinced the reason I’ve had no more serious episodes for 10 wks and counting is because God works miracles when people pray. It means so much to hear you’re being prayed for. (find more on my health journey here, including the latest update)

God has been leading me on a serious journey, and one thing He’s been convicting me on, is Prayer. I’ve seen prayer work drastic things last year, not only for me, but also in other healings, miracles, etc. I’ve started a prayer journal. So far, it’s been great!! If you love to write, I highly recommend this! 🙂 It makes you think about what you are praying, as well as make you realize how many ‘filler words’ you use. I’m excited to see where God will take me on this journey of prayer!

Among other things that I wanted to do this year, I decided I’m going to try the 365 project, which is simply take a picture a day. Doing it has made me stop and think about what I can take a picture of today that I am thankful for, or just even the everyday, mundane that I take for-granted. That page is here, if you are at all interested!

So, if you can’t make any sense of all my ramblings, please take this one thought home with you….The pieces to your puzzle won’t always be easy, they won’t always seem to fit, sometimes they don’t even seem to be part of your life picture, but rather should be someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, first from God, then the prayers and support of others. Allow God to use you where He has placed you (another hard lesson I’m working on learning), and He will begin to create the most beautiful picture. It will be the most beautiful picture because it is YOURS and GOD’S! Don’t give up, don’t give in, keep serving God, and the pieces of your puzzle will literally FALL into the right place. (Ok, there’s my sermon for the week. Oops!) 🙂

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(words of a song, that jumped out at me one night, when I was at a very emotional point. Thank-you for all your support and prayers! It seems like thank-you is not enough, but it’s all I got!)

‘Cause what is trust…..until it’s proven true? -Joseph Habedank

 

Memories of my Grandma

Emma Eash, you were known and loved by many. People knew you as a mom, Grandma, sister, friend, mother-in-law, aunt, neighbor and great-grandma. You left us a little suddenly, and yet, we’re glad you didn’t have to fight long. And so, although we sorrow over our loss, we’re sorrowing for us, not for you…and through our sorrow, we remember….

We remember how you loved to talk on the phone. Whenever you were curious about something in the family or anywhere else, you’d pick up the phone, dial the number (mostly always by memory), and just simply ask or tell us some news you thought we’d like to know.

We remember how you loved visitors, especially after Grandpa died and you were all alone. Visitors made your day, whether they were young, old, middle-aged, or just the daily stop of the mailman or Schwans man. You especially loved when the new great-grandbabies would get brought over to visit.

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We remember how you loved to spoil your grandchildren. As granddaughters, we were lucky, because you never out-grew your love for dolls, and we had quite the luxury of options to play with at ‘grandma’s house.’ We were the recipients of things given by you for our own dolls as well.

We remember how one Christmas, you made each of the grandchildren a comforter of their very own, knotted, serged around the edges, and ready to keep us warm each winter.

We remember how you loved to be in the kitchen making things. Your love for cooking, and all the recipes you shared with others will be missed. The week before you passed on, you made your last noodles for the family. At a family gathering, it was just a given that ‘grandma’s noodles’ would be there, and we loved that about you.

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We also remember that another understood thing for family gatherings was ice cream. You never got the Eash’s together without having ice cream. And stocked in your garage freezer was a stash of Schwans’ ice cream treats. We wondered how you would ever eat them all.

We remember your sense of humor. Although it was a little more hidden than Grandpa’s, it was still there. We remember how one time we told you we got our sense of humor from you and Grandpa, and you replied, “No, you didn’t. We still have ours!”

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We remember how on Facebook we as your family had your ongoing support in everything. We would post something, and sure enough, soon you had ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ it, or commented on it.

We remember your love of family. Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, birthdays…You wanted to have the family home, and it was meaningful to you to plan these get-togethers so that all the family would come home again.

We remember how you loved to make things with your hands. When you couldn’t get around very well, you started sewing pot-holders, or crocheting doilies to help while the time away. Many of us were blessed with a pot-holder or doily or something to remember you by.

We remember your love of games. The Florida game and golf were 2 of your favorites, and when you played, you were good at what you did because your determination to win brought out your competitive edge. This determination and stubbornness is what brought you through the hard times in your life.

We remember you were a giver. Many of the ladies in church were recipients of a bag of candy, a set of pot-holders, some other small gift, or just a birthday card in the mailbox. We also remember every year on our birthdays, we’d get a birthday card from you.

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This picture is a favorite of mine..

We remember how you loved to garden. And even though it was heartbreaking to you when you couldn’t do a big garden, you had raised beds made for you, so you could still raise your tomatoes, onions, and sweet corn.

We remember how you were a political grandma. When you told us once that you were up late watching the presidential debate, our jaws invisibly dropped, and we were just a little surprised. (if not a little horrified)

We remember you loved to give advice. Although it was not always asked for, it was often something we could take to heart, and at the very least, it gave us something to think about.

We remember how your house was always open. No matter what, we could always stop by, and you would be welcoming. We remember when we’d sit to talk with you, you’d often tell interesting stories….whether something you read on the internet, something you saw on Facebook, or some old story that you were reminiscing about. You knew your stuff, and loved to share it with others.

Grandma, I don’t think I ever got a picture taken with you, and if I did, I don’t remember where it would be. I do remember the times I sat to visit with you, sitting in the office, just chatting about whatever…those times are precious to me now. I also remember the last night I saw you, I held your hand in the hospital, gently rubbing the wrinkled skin that had worked and labored so hard all these years. I didn’t know what to say or how my heart should be responding to this. I leaned down and said, “I love you.” You didn’t hear my emotional whisper, so I said it louder…You then replied, “I love you too.” I remember also as we left for the evening, not knowing it would be our last time seeing you, we went in your room to tell you good-bye for the evening… you raised your hand in a farewell wave. I wonder if you knew? We didn’t, but we thank God for all the years we did have with you.

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Grandma, we love you lots, and we’re going to miss you lots. We cherish your legacy of following Christ…. You are no longer here, but your legacy will live on in and through us.

**Thank-you all for your prayers and support these last few days. It seriously means so much! It’s only been 4 days and yet it seems like longer. The phone rings and in my mind I think, “It’s Grandma,” until my mind remembers…Dad is late coming home and I think, “Oh, he must have stopped to visit Grandma”, and then my mind remembers. That empty house will never be the same. Keep our family in your prayers…Sometimes we (or rather I) feel ok, and other times, the grief hits in waves.

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Of Turkey and French Fries

This Thanksgiving was different. I really didn’t feel like celebrating…or being thankful for that matter. For the past several months, I’ve been writing down 3 (or more) things that I was thankful for that day, and I’m telling you, some days it’s just not easy! Sure, I can be original and put down family, friends, food, water, shelter, etc., but I wanted to be creative and try to go beyond the normal, and find out what God specifically blessed ME with that day.

Anyway, random little bunny trail there (and by the way, this a late blog post, so if it seems like I’m rambling or things don’t make sense, I probably am, and they probably don’t 🙂 ) So back on track now, this Thanksgiving was different, and I didn’t feel in the mood because the plans we had made were shattered. We planned to have a small family gathering here Thanksgiving Day, and while that meant cleaning up the house (a chore that is definitely not my favorite), I was getting excited about seeing and having family over. Then, life happened and the main person fixing the food and getting things ready, got a shoulder injury and the plans were cancelled. (understandably so, and it was in the best interest of all involved, I’m sure. Just a little disappointing)

Then, we got the news that my nephew and niece were being transferred to Children’s Hospital because they were maxed out at the local hospital. The morning was spent lazily at home, and then in the afternoon we went to take some supplies and visit with them a little. Seeing my little nephew lying there in a crib, surrounded by crib walls, sedated by drugs so the oxygen mask they put on him would stay there, and he would stay settled, was not something I would wish on anyone! Hearing his cries and whimpers as the nurses did their thing, and knowing that he doesn’t understand what is going on, just tore at my heart. Not being able to hold him or comfort him or see him give us his silly, ornery faces….Why?? On Thanksgiving Day?? (side note: He is doing amazingly better now, and was grinning, eating, and drinking…Such great news!!)

We got home from the hospital, and on the way, we stopped to pick up fries (our substitute since we didn’t have mashed potatoes. A substitute that is better, in my opinion 🙂 ) We got home, heated up some leftover smoked turkey, and baked the fries, and that was our Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m not saying this for pity. I’m saying this to remind us all, that we have so much to be thankful for. As I examined my attitude about the whole day, I realized my attitude that day was NOT on gratitude, but on how ‘pitied’ we should be. I knew it was wrong, and it was hard to change my viewpoint, but yes, I still did find 3 things to write down that night. While these are not what I wrote down, the more I thought about it, the more things came to mind!

*Cancelled plans=lazy day

*sick nephew and away from family=we at least still have each other to spend time with another day

*no time to make mashed potatoes=fries, a better way to prepare potatoes, in my opinion 🙂

*questions about when dad planted trees=good old reminiscing and laughter through some old diaries of dad’s

*drizzling rain, dreary day=thankful I have a warm house!

So yes, Thanksgiving Day with turkey and fries. It can happen. Days and plans don’t always go like we expect them to, and it’s not always easy to find what to be thankful for, or to choose to be thankful. Will you take the challenge with me to find the abnormal, the unnoticed things and thank God for them?