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Fridays Bless Me Every Week

Today is the day I post my blessings, and how I look forward to this. Some weeks are harder than others, since it’s a choice to have the peace of God’s love and thankfulness in His blessings, and some weeks just blow me away.

Those that read me know I’ve just come back from a huge blessing in my vacation. I hadn’t been home in 12 long years to Oahu, and hadn’t visited Maui since I was 5. The fact that my son is now five and I took him and my husband to my home was HUGE for me. The obvious blessing was being in a tropical low key, laid back, beautiful environment. Who couldn’t see the blessing in that and thank God for His creation? The not so obvious blessing and the main one for me was to experience it all again as a 5 year old through my son, which really took me home ten-fold. The fact that my auntis, uncles, and cousins got to meet my family is a huge blessing.

Today as I look toward this past week my heart is somewhat heavy as I know I’ve not treated my husband as well as I should have this week. The phrase, submit to your husband keeps going through my mind. This is often a inflammatory biblical instruction for a lot of female liberals. What does it mean…submit? To me, it’s not letting a man walk all over me, as some people like to twist it. To me, it’s having compassion for the man God has chosen for me…letting go of some of my own control and giving my husband his way more than I choose my own.

I’ve been very controlling this week and I don’t feel good about it. What is the blessing in this? That I have a wonderful husband!! He puts up with me and loves me…frustrated or not. I know I need to make it up to him and I’m blessed that he sticks around so I can.

I’ve had no job this whole month…I’m unemployed! HA! How cool is it that this is NOT stressing me out. <—-(blessings right there) This whole month is the only month, before my son starts Kindergarten that I’ll have had all this time with him. I had no one calling me for work…well not for most of the month….so my time was truly “MY” time with my family with no interruptions. I’ve never experienced that freedom before, so this has been a huge blessing.

Now that it’s back to reality and the bills need two incomes…what am I going to do?? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to supplement our household income since I quit my sales career. I have my photography business that I started last October, but that’s not going to take off overnight.

This week my son’s school hired me as a substitute teacher. I turned my new hire packet in this week. I was told that it my be pretty infrequent for the first couple of months, but after that get ready for it to get crazy. I’m not sure how it’s going to pay, but I know God will provide. I’ve also run across a couple of jobs to pay the bills for the next couple of months until teaching kicks in. I’m not sure if they’d be something I’d be interested in, but it’s what they provide that counts. This is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to have something ‘professional’ working that went along with my degree. I finally realize….MY JOB DOESN’T DEFINE ME! I do…being a Christian mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grand-daughter, and friend defines me. This has been a blessing to get this.

Today would have been my Grandfather’s 100th birthday. If you’ve not read about him, you should…because he was and is still, to me, an amazing human being. He died in my arms, and I saw him see the Lord first hand. Seeing his pupils dialate, his breathe quicken, and his head pop up after being in a coma scared me at first. Hearing the monitors scream at me that his heart rate was bottoming out freaked me out. BUT seeing the look on his face when he saw angels come for him…there’s no way I could doubt that he saw the face of Jesus. And even though terrifying for me at the age of 19 or 20, I know this is a blessing now. For one because they say, those that have come back from the dead, that they see their surroundings when they leave their bodies…so this means my papa knew I was with him too.

You see I got there too late to see him before he went into his coma. He went into his comatose state asking for Kimmy and wanted me. I was selfishly on Spring Break in Texas…but took the first flight out as soon as I heard he went into the hospital. I was just too late in saying my goodbye. I have the peace and blessing of today, his 100th birthday, of that lovely man and his love for me. He was my role model growing up, in what to look for in a man. He was truly one of a kind. Please honor his memory today and go read this post about him and my wonderful grandmother, as she too, was truly one amazing lady. For those that don’t know, he was a photographer and the reason the love of photography is in my blood and heart. I hope he’d be proud that I’m trying to make a living at it.

Lastly the fact that we all came home from a long strenuous trip unharmed and well is a huge blessing. Other than my husband’s small fall, which we think he cracked something…we’re all fared well. My son is an amazing traveler! And no one got sick. Praise God for that!

Thank you for tuning in to my little corner of the web world. Next week is the last week of this contest. You can view the video at the post below to see who’s almost winning. If it stays this close in the running, I may have to extend this by another week to get a clear defined winner. I pray you’ll consider counting your blessings…it truly IS life changing. Just ask Terri…you can read why it’s changed her outlook, here.

I think I’ll leave you with a pic I took of my husband and son, on Maui. Have a great weekend all!

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Feed the Children

So my son’s 5th birthday party focused on Feed the Children as it’s annual charity. I only asked that each child bring $1.00 with each gift, if they felt the need.

It resulted in about 10 dollars worth of revenue toward donations for Feed the Children. Not very much, but every little bit counts. I only listed the information in the birthday invitations, but didn’t ask anyone at his party for any donations they might have brought. I didn’t want to push, b/c I figured those that wanted to give would. The last thing I’d ever want to do is guilt anyone into giving. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been a true gift. A few other parents, that I know would have donated, ended up canceling at the last minute.

I don’t care how much or little we’re giving to our charity of choice this year. All that matters is how my son feels when he can personally delivers the cash to them, knowing how it will help other people in need. Their main lobby has large photos of kids from around the world. I know as he looks around, it will hit home how even just 10 dollars could help.

So tell me what do you all do to teach your children about the world and it’s needs?

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One year here…

I’ve been blogging here for one year now. I started at the first of Jan of 2007. So in celebration I’m re-posting my first blog.

PhotobucketOne thing that always gets me is when people call me ‘lucky’ or when something good happens in their own life-they wonder at their own good luck. I think too often in our society we overlook our blessings! I know firsthand how many miracles have been preformed in my life, and luck had nothing to do with them. I know non-believers can’t give credit where credit is due because they don’t believe God is at work in their own lives….especially when it comes to the small stuff.

Trust me people–God’s miracles aren’t just in the Bible! From the moment we’re born we’re blessed with relationships, jobs, safe travels, a comforting shoulder when we’re upset, a smile from a stranger. We never know what God is delivering right in our own lap if we don’t pay attention. Someone asked me lately how I stay in tune with God even when life gets so bad. That’s when I try to stay more in tune than ever by counting my blessings.

I have made subtle little comments in previous blogs on difficult times in my life, but have never given any insight to my friends, who have asked, what thoses are. My real friends know these things, but you—reading this— probably don’t. I won’t bog you down with life’s trauma, but I will try to uplift you by telling you about God’s inspiration in my life.

My husband a few years back had a severe case of adult on set allergies that we were unaware of. He was allergic to many foods that he unknowingly kept eating until one night it was too late. We were heading home after a night of food and beverage, and my better half started acting irate and irritable due to the supply of oxygen slowly being cut off. Being a newly wed, I just thought I was seeing a new side to my husband and was clueless. We started home and was about a mile from our house when he pulled over claiming he was not feeling well enough to make it that last mile.

By the time it took for he and I to switch places and fasten our seatbelts…he was passed out with his neck swollen past his chin and clavicle. His face was so swollen that his eyes were sunk in and he wasn’t breathing. Thank the Lord for LARGE miracles, we had pulled over in a parking lot across from a hospital. So I took off running red lights, stop signs and driving into oncoming traffic….all the while beating his chest with one fist and trying to steer with the other.

Our life flashed before my eyes…the years we would never have, the children we’d never conceive….and all I could yell was, “God No, Please NO! Help me!” I pulled into the ER after driving around it twice trying to find the ER entrance….it wasn’t clearly marked back then like it is now. I rolled down my window and started screaming to get a doctor. It felt like an episode of ER. The doctor’s would not let me back to see him once I parked and came inside. From what I learned later … if I had gotten him there 20 seconds later, he wouldn’t have made it. His air way was so constricted that they couldn’t even bag him to get a tube down his throat. Afterwards, a nurse told me they weren’t having any success tubing him and didn’t think he would make it. She told me I was lucky. It wasn’t luck that my husband made it, & with 20 seconds to spare!

That night, God provided 1 of countless miracles in my life and I’ll never forget the panic and fear I felt. He kept me sane enough to drive with out crashing into oncoming traffic and around cars at stop signs. He got me to the hospital in the nick of time, and he saved the love of my life.

I just wanted to share with you that He loves all of you.

You all have miracles in your life as well. You just have to stop and pay attention.

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God blesses us in the most unexpected ways…

Just a few Fridays ago, I posted in a Faithful Friday edition on how blessed we still are even in the midst of financial strain. I wasn’t trying to tout my own horn in how I gave to someone else, when I really needed help myself. I felt led to share my story b/c I thought it may make someone out there, reading this, stop & think. I thought it may make someone get that no matter how hard we feel our life is, someone else always has it harder and to focus on how truly blessed we really are.

My husband & I are not the type to take hand outs. Even when we’ve been tight before…we’ve never taken something for free or accepted help because of our pride. We want to make it on our own. However lately I think we’ve been so stressed that our pride is slowly crumbling…and the kindness of others has been completely humbling.

Since I wrote that last post I’ve cried a lot at the most random acts of kindness toward me and my family. I’ve been so amazed at the giving spirit of those around me…family, friends, and total strangers. Maybe God blessed their hearts toward us due to the act of kindness I showed to that sad lady in my previous post, mentioned above. What ever the reason, I’m completely humbled.

Last night after my Church group, the lady I help teach with at the 4 and 5 year old group stopped us and gave my son a Christmas gift. It wasn’t just a little truck or a coloring book…but a very nice rug with a city on it to drive his cars around on along with some hot wheels. She blew me away with her gift and it made me cry.

Last weekend, I had a plumber scheduled to come fix our toilet. He had to replace all the hardware and reattach the tank to the base due to the leaking tank and rusted nuts and bolts. It was going to cost a lot more than we could afford. When I pulled out my check book, he told me not to worry about paying him. He told me that this service call was on him and to have a Merry Christmas. Maybe he noticed that our tree was bare with no presents below, or maybe he just felt like giving in the true spirit of the season. I know God was knocking on his heart for our benefit. My eyes are tearing up now just thinking about it. Here this stranger offering us such a treasured gift during a rough patch in our lives. I cried at the sound of his words, and he told me not to cry but to enjoy the new toilet and my family. I’m sure he didn’t know how to react to my tears. I’m sure he saw all the Christian things around our home, because when we asked how we could repay him he said, “Just refer me ma’am. And pray for me…I’m not a religious man but if you could pray for me — I would appreciate it.” My husband and I are truly blessed and God blesses us in some of the most unexpected ways.

Thank you Lord for your angels in this world…whether they’re knowledgeable of your ways or not.

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When is it time to let go??

In the last 6 months my dog has become very geriatric. His weight has gone from 110 to the low 80’s. Keep in mind this is a Chocolate Labrador of 14 years. He’s been with me since he was 10 weeks old.
Not too long after a heartbreak, at the tail end of college, my dad bought Hershey for me. Hershey helped me through a really rough time in life. He was not just any dog either. He was in ‘tune’ with me.

When I got sick…so did Hershey. When I was stressed, Hershey got hot spots and started scratching. When I was sad, he would instinctively know to come lay his head on my lap and nudge my arms around his neck. It was the best therapy a girl could get!

When my roomate’s cat had unexpected kittens, it was Hershey who would lick them and love them. A male 90ish pound dog nurturing new born kittens was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen. He’d nudge their little behinds to help them walk, and put his paws on either side of their path to keep them in a straight line. Hershey was and is an amazing animal.

My second roomate came along, and had some undesirable company over once. I say once because my then 100 pound lap dog leaped at this undesirable’s throat with his teeth gnashing–before this guy could even step two feet in our front door. This person never darkened my door way again.

Hershey was the center of my world for so long, and was my measuring stick on who was good and who was not! I knew my husband was a good man, when Hershey couldn’t get enough attention from him. Hershey had found a new love when my husband started coming around.

After my son was born, I obviously shifted most of my attention to this brand new baby in our lives. I didn’t forget Hershey, but if truth were to be told…I feel I neglected him a little bit. I didn’t do it purposely as I still hold so much love for him in my heart, but when a new mom is so sleep deprived she can’t stand up straight…it’s hard to focus on anything else than what is right in front of you.

A few months ago, my vet told me it wouldn’t be long before Hershey gets too far along to live comfortably. He told me I should consider when I would want to let him go. I’m tearing up right now even thinking about it. He’s been a big part of my life, and I can’t imagine my life with out him. But I’ve seen such a change in him even in the last 2 months, and don’t want to put my own feelings over his well being either.

His ears are still so silky smooth, as how the rest of his fur used to be..but now he’s got hard course fur that’s not really growing back in. Some of his fur is peeling off and not growing back. He’s getting as blind as a bat, and I’ve had to direct him in the dark on how to get out to the back yard. He’s run into a few porch cover posts trying to go pee. Most of all, he either pants non stop or is completely subdued…neither activities are normal behavior.

I want him to be comfortable in his last year(s), and when I see that he’s still able to jog back to the back door after doing his ‘business’, I feel that he’s still OK! I know the humane thing is to let him go if he needs to be put to sleep, but I just don’t think that time is now. I don’t know when it would be time, and pray I don’t have to make that decision!

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Hershey’s Big Adventure

Thank the Lord for His continued blessings. My husband was out until after 1 a.m. this morning, putting up 13 huge signs and scavenging the entire area with a flash light. I had to force him to come home and get some rest.

I just kept praying, “Lord please give Hershey’s guardian angel strength, so they he might lead our doggie home. I know he’s probably crashed in someone’s hallway some where, snoring, while I’m here worrying. So I give it over to you and I know you’ll take good care of Hershey.” I let go of it after mid night and tried calling my adorable and worried better half, to give him the same peace I felt. About an hour later, we both we in bed ready for the phone to start ringing the next day.

My son whimpered through his sleep, obviously upset from the whole ordeal. And I kept praying in my sleep, “Lord if you could please hold off on the rain until Hershey’s home, so that all those signs wouldn’t get wet…and the ink wouldn’t run.”

At 6:40 a.m. our phone rang for the first time, and we both bolted out of our sleep. My husband grabbed for his cell and his side of the conversation was music to my ears. Our old dog, wandered into a neighbor’s garage a block and a half away, where he stayed the night. They offered to bring him home to us.

We jumped up and started getting our shoes on, as the phone rang a second time. Another neighbor saw a sign and said she had a Hershey sighting on her street as well. She told us she played ball with him for a few minutes. She said he was too sweet not to have an owner who was looking for him, so she told us she said a prayer for him and his safe return home. What a sweet feeling that was to hear her comforting words. As he was on the phone with the second neighbor, I heard my son, through the monitor, giggling in his sleep. It was as if he sense the sigh of relief we were feeling.

Many of my blog friends gave me comforting words, so thank you to all of you who responded so kindly. One sent me the sweetest message:

“Awe…bless your sweet little heart…You are not absurd at all..I have a 7lb Yorkiepoo that drives me nuts, but is my little loyal buddy and I would just be devasted if he went missing! He is so little that from time to time he slips out of the slats in my fence and everytime I find him out front, my heart does a flip flop..

I will lift your buddy up in prayer right now!

Father, we come to you with what would seem the smallest of request to many.. Hersey has wandered from home Lord and his owner is heartbroken…Lord guide his steps and bring him home safely to his family. We know Lord that what seems silly to most you count as all important because its close to our hearts. You know how many hairs are on our head, every detail. So we know Lord that you can return him, no problem.

We thank you Lord for caring for everything that brings us joy and happiness and we come to you believing in results very soon…We pray this in your son Jesus’ name! Amen.

Sweety…He will be back..get some sleep and you will see!

Keep us posted!”

Hershey is happily home and exhausted from his big adventure. He’s out cold in our hallway, sleeping peacefully. My son hugged him so tightly when he woke up. All is good in our home. Thank you Jesus for bringing our family pet home safe and with speed.

Thank you to all of you who lifted him up in prayer. I know losing a pet is nothing like the loss that thousands of families feel, when they lose a child. So I don’t even try to compare them…because it’s not. I have a little boy and it would be ten times worse. This just proved to me how much of a basket case I would be if anything happened to my baby. Thankfully it was just my beloved pet, and all of us are home safe.

PS…it just now started to thunder.  The rain held off just long enough.

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Thank You To Our Guardian Angel!

I met my mother, son, and sister for lunch today at Panera Bread. It’s a treat I don’t get to do very often, so I reveled in spending time with my son during the day when I’m on a lunch break from work. I usually like to look around and people watch whenever we are out. It’s the military brat in me too-knowing where everyone is, where the closest exit is, and taking in my surroundings.

Today I noticed a few familiar faces at the table next to me, and smiled. My mother greeted them as well, so I figured they were from our church. I also noticed another woman, eating solo, at the next table over. She was focused on praying over her food, with her hands folded at the table. It was touching! It was a glimpse of God’s work even at a busy lunch.

After we made our way through our meal and almost through, my son started sucking on the very oversized ice cubes in his cup. I’ve told him many a time..not to suck on ice, unless it’s Sonic ice, because it’s a choking hazard. The ice at Panera would be a choking hazard for an adult, let alone a four year old. They really shouldn’t serve ice that big. After warning him to spit it out, which he did, the next thing I noticed was him popping another piece in his mouth. I told him to spit it out immediately, and then he sucked it too hard which resulted in it being lodged in his airway.

He was across the table from me, and he face was turning bright red. He couldn’t breathe, so my first reaction was to put my finger in his mouth to sweep the airway clear. There was nothing to pull out. Then I pulled him forward to bring his abdomen toward the table top, to try pushing anything lodged up and out. That didn’t work, so I did the next thing and yelled for anyone who may know CPR.

The dutiful prayer warrior, from a couple tables over, ran over grabbed my son and leaned over him to preform the Heimlich. He thankfully had a minorly obstructed airway, which allowed a minute amount of air through. That was probably due to the ice melting. He still had a little air to breathe. The ice cube never came up, so it must have made it’s way down. Whatever she did helped and I thank God she was there. He suffered from the fright of it all, and spit up some from the pressure on his abdomen, but otherwise bounced back really quickly.

Our Guardian Angel left Panera without incident. I was so focused on trying to calm my child into knowing that he was okay, I didn’t even get to thank that wonderful woman who saved him. First and foremost…Thank you to God for putting a qualified person with in feet of us, when we needed help. Thank you to my mystery angel who reacted quickly and saved my son. And thank all of you out there that help those in distress every day.

A side note the table next to us, that held two familiar faces, were from my church. It was actually my pastor’s wife and daughter. I didn’t recognize them outside the church…out of the area where I would expect them to be. The reason I found out was because my social son, after calming down and bouncing back, went right over to them first thing to explain to them what had just happened. He wanted to give them a blow by blow detailed account of his experience. That’s my boy…wanting to connect with the human race…just like his momma!

Although I had a few minutes of fright, it was just a warm reminder of God’s love. It was as if He was telling me that He’s always there. The Christian woman, praying for her meal, saves my son. The pastor’s family at the table right next to us. And then EMSA arriving for a lunch break after it was all over. It was clear that He was sending me a clear message that He was in control and protecting us. Some days I wish I could give Him a big hug, just like I gave my son. One day I’m sure I will.