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Jan 31, 2009

Happy New Year to Me! ~ A Do~Over

Happy New Year!

If you’ve been following my posts since this year began, then you know about our ski trip, my husband’s accident, his skin graft and pain, my terror driving through high winds in snowy mountain passes…and all of the other stuff that has come our way!

You may also remember that weeks before the ski trip God spoke to me in a way that prepared my heart for what would come. The thing that resonates over and again with me is this thought: Sometimes God prepares your heart in ways you cannot fathom for events you would never choose. The theme of His preparation of my heart was love.
For several years now around the first week of January, I have prayed about the theme of my life for the coming year. Last year my theme was “My Times are in His Hands” based on the passage in Psalms 31:15.

Recently I told a friend that I would never have chosen for this accident to happen but I am so grateful that God has spoken to me through it. In all of my impatience, He has been patient with me. Patiently listening. Patiently speaking. Patiently guiding.

Last week while at a doctor’s appointment, the nurse asked us when the accident occurred. “January 1st,” I responded.
She said, “What a way to start the New Year!”
“Yeah,” I answered. “I want a do-over.”
That is when I began thinking, “Why not a do-over?” The more I thought about it, the more it felt right. So February 1 is the official beginning of my New Year.

Inspired by my dear friend, I am starting my new year with 3 days of intentionality toward God. I will intentionally look for God in unusual places. I will intentionally choose more time with Him. I will intentionally listen to His voice. I will intentionally choose love over any other option. I will intentionally deny myself and offer it as a sacrifice of worship to Him.
Bonus~Since an intention is a resolve, I have my New Year's resolutions, too!

So Happy New Year to me!
I may even light a firecracker tonight…after all it is New Year’s Eve!
How about you? Anyone else need a do-over? I'd love to hear about it. Do Tell!

Jan 29, 2009

When Love Bites

When Love Bites

The first week that One Fine Man and I were home from the hospital after his skiing accident in CO, our little Pekingese pup, Teddy, would not leave my husband’s side. Ted knew something was not as it should be with his master and he appointed himself as bodyguard.
Ted lay next to my husband’s injured leg, getting up only if One Fine Man got up. At first, Ted cocked his head at the crutches but after a thorough sniffing, he accepted their presence. He watched with quizzical interest as I changed the dressing on his master’s wound. Ted relinquished his happy-go-lucky “let’s go for another walk” mindset because it seemed now he had a real job. He lost interest in walks, toys, and everyone else UNLESS they got too close to One Fine Man’s left leg. For hours at a time, Ted lay next to OFM.

Every visitor was treated with suspicion. When our pastor and his wife came by the first evening we were home, Ted was on guard. He sat on the floor between our guests and his master. When our pastor moved forward to pray for One Fine Man, Ted was on alert, jumping to all fours and barking. Ted was “no respecter of [visitors]” and this behavior was repeated with each friend who dropped by.

Although Ted is not usually allowed on our bed, I made an exception and let him stay at One Fine Man’s side. One evening, it was getting late and I walked to the bedroom to get Ted for his nightly trip to the mailbox. There he lay at One Fine Man’s leg. As I went to scoop him off the bed, he bit me! Never had Ted bitten me before. I was shocked. And bleeding! As I rinsed my finger under the faucet, I felt my anger and confusion growing toward Ted. Why would he feel the need to protect One Fine Man from ME? Miffed, I banished Ted from the bed forever. No exceptions!

A couple of days later Ted “wrote” an apology to me. It was on a post-it note attached to the top of his paw. His ghost writer, Guitar Girl, delivered Ted to me, giggling over what a genius he was to have taken paw to paper. I didn’t at first accept Ted’s apology. Oh, I continued to feed him chicken and hamburger and put down fresh water. I washed his bowls, gave him a bath and took him for walks to the mailbox and beyond. But my heart was not in it because I was hurt.

Soon, however, Ted’s puppy dog eyes and wagging tail proved irresistible and I was back to loving Ted.

Since that incident I have considered how often I react like Ted and my “love bites.” Sometimes I protect my heart from the very ones I love the most. I would die for them. But some days it seems like too much work to be kind when I am dog-tired. Some days my love is snappish and short and I wonder do they feel the bared teeth in my service to them? I wash, cook, drive, assist, clean, listen, take up the slack…In my service to those I love, where is my heart? Does my love bite? So I take pen to paper and offer an apology. “I’m sorry I bit you. Please forgive me. I love you.”

Jan 27, 2009

"I Attest" by Melanie Dorsey

I Attest
by Melanie Dorsey (Bella~Mella)
To Your friendship that keeps me day and night.

To hope, even when expressed in sighs so deep.

To the kindness borne of You in another's eyes.

To flutters of joy pushing through hard places.

To Your Word that tells me A New Day Comes.

I At...Test~Attest of YOU.

attest - to affirm to be true or genuine

Written on a day which overflowed with things to do, places to go, people to help, meals to cook, thoughts to think, tears to cry, songs to sing & praise to give.
(Photography by Linda Charlene)

Jan 23, 2009

Part Two - From the Top of the Mountain

(To read part one, scroll down.)

Continued - Yet, with all of my thoughts of planning and preparation for the New Year, it was God who had done the planning. He had prepared my heart weeks before.
A day after the accident, I was standing in the hospital room and a memory flooded my mind. I was back in my bedroom, a few weeks before our trip, putting away clothes and God spoke to my heart. I remember the deep emotion that came with such a personal and humbling word that God spoke to me.

In room 205 at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, after the first surgery of four, I stood looking at my husband lying in the hospital bed. The memory of the words from God pierced my thoughts. Silently I responded to God, “So this is why You spoke those words to me a few weeks ago. This is it.”

In an instant, I understood why God had spoken that particular message to me. At the time, I thought I would simply try to do better than I had lately. Yes, I would add it to the growing list of my New Year’s resolutions.

Now, blinking back tears and swallowing hard, I promised God, “I will do it. I will do what you told me only I can do.” What He spoke to me as I was in my bedroom weeks earlier is so personal that I hesitate to share it.

I remember exactly where I was standing when God directed my thoughts toward the losses my husband has endured.

When he was sixteen, his father died after suffering from leukemia, believed to be a result of Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
A few years ago, his oldest sister passed away from the cancer that had ravaged her body for months. My husband and his oldest sister had a bond that comes from sharing the same faith in God. Although my husband has three more siblings, unfortunately they don’t see one another often.

In the spring of 2008, his mother passed away. She, too, had been in and out of the hospital several times before she passed from this life.

Although my parents have their health challenges, especially my precious mother, they are still on this earth and I can call them anytime for a quick chat or a long conversation. I never doubt their love and they tell me frequently they are proud of me. It was my parents who drove hours to our home to stay with our children when I returned to the hospital in CO.

When God pointed out the losses my husband has dealt with, He also pointed something else out.

He started with a question. "If you don’t love him with everything you have, who will? No one else on this earth can love him like you can. LOVE HIM LIKE NO ONE ELSE."

And that was it. But with that, I thought about the times my actions were right but my heart was not. I thought about instances where I did not honor my husband like I should have. I thought about times I had turned away from him instead of to him.

Of course I know there is no perfect marriage because there are no perfect people. And even healthy relationships have their peaks and valleys. Ours certainly has. But there was not just a do~ing better that was needed here. Yet not the extreme requirement of a heart transplant. Just something of a heart make-over. Soften the lines, smooth out the creases, bring the color back, plump it up...A heart~lift.

Someone asked me recently why I think this happened. This is my response to that question. “Accidents happen. I don’t believe God caused it and I don’t believe it was an attack of the enemy. Accidents happen because we live in this world. But God knew it was going to take place. And in His kindness, He prepared me in advance to care for my husband through the healing process. Through the good times in life and through the bad, we have the opportunity to grow and to learn. If we are teachable, we will learn. God will redeem the right and the best from anything we experience. Will the enemy try to take advantage of the situation? He will most certainly use every trick he can. But we are always the victors through Christ.”

These past few days One Fine Man has been in a lot of pain. The pain at the wound site wakes him up. Last night he suffered terribly and we watched the clock for when he could take another pain pill. I moved closer to him, warming him and resting my hand on his chest. I began to pray for God to intervene. I hated to see him suffer and hated my helplessness. I asked if there was any thing I could do for him. He said, “Just stay beside me.” In the dark, tears sprang to my eyes and I shifted closer. I thought again about God’s words to me. LOVE HIM LIKE NO ONE ELSE.

I do. I will.

Sometimes God prepares our hearts in ways we cannot fathom for events we would not choose. What is God preparing your heart for?

Jan 21, 2009

From The Top of the Mountain

Did you start ’09 with big plans, projects or platitudes? Or did you avoid thoughts and conversations about resolutions, change and challenges?

January will soon be over. Have you already faced failure, fallen short, fought back tears or let them flow? I can answer yes to all of these.

A few days leading up to January 1st, we were, as I have previously posted, on our annual ski trip in CO. We were skiing, the boys were snowboarding and I had lots of fun taping my Ski Tips for Living.

It was all great - until my husband, One Fine Man, had a traumatic accident on New Year’s Day.
The day before the accident, I had called my mother on my cell phone from the top of the mountain. Enjoying its significance, I remember telling her, “I just wanted to call you from the top of the mountain.” I related to her how beautiful the day was…blue skiessunshinefresh powder…and what fun we were having!

I also told her it was my last day to ski but One Fine Man and the boys had one more day to go. She asked me what I would do and if would I be bored. Me? Bored? Hardly ever! With a couple of books to finish reading, some research to do for the literature class I teach and my plans to set some goals, challenges and scheduling for 2009, I had plenty to do. In fact, with the alone time to pray, think and plan I would be in heaven with this time of preparation.

What a difference a day makes! I won’t repeat what I have already posted about concerning the accident. (It is in the first five posts of January if you care to read about it).

Platitudes? Now pleading prayers.
Planning? Flight changes, calls to make, rental car return, school starting...
Resolutions? Do what has to be done now; then do the next thing.
Change? YES!
Challenges? Continue.
Tears? Some held back. Some hidden. Some flowed silently until a stranger pressed tissues into my hand.

And I’ve been disappointed but mainly in my own shortcomings – impatience heading the list.
Yet, with all of my thoughts of planning and preparation for the New Year, it was God who had done the planning. He had prepared my heart weeks before our trip.

A day after the accident, I was standing in the hospital room and a memory flooded my mind. I was back in my bedroom, a few weeks before our trip, putting away clothes and God spoke to my heart. I remember the deep emotion that came with such a personal and humbling word that God spoke to me. What He spoke is so personal that I...

Part Two to follow...

Jan 18, 2009

The Gifted Ones part two

Romans 12:3-8 describes gifts given by God as Father. These gifts seem to be inherent tendencies that characterize a person. They are a result of the Creator's unique workmanship and have to do with a believer's identity and destiny. As stated in part one, few people are fully described by only one. But even though a mix may be found, there will usually be a dominant trait.

You can think of this gift from the Father as being what drives you or motivates you to say and do what you say and do. It is the lense through which you view the world.
To read The Gifted Ones part one, go here.
Following are clues to help you determine which is your motivational gift.
Each gift has strengths and weakness. We are responsible for developing our strengths and being aware of our weaknesses.

The gift of prophecy - to speak with insight and moral boldness, influencing others in one's arena of influence
Are you direct and frank? Do you feel compelled to tell people what you really think? Do you view issues as either black or white and are reluctant to see the "grey"? Do you speak aggressively and are willing to stand up for "truth" even under threat of criticism or ridicule? Have you ever been accused of being quick to judge and slow to sympathize?

You may find yourself in the field of politics, on the mission field, leading a Bible study, or preaching. Think of this gift as the "purifier" of the church.

The gift of service or ministry - to render loving service to meet the needs of others
Are you a tireless worker and don't mind working alone? Does it bother you when others don't seem to care about an obvious need? Do you just know what someone else needs and anticipate how to meet that need?

You may be providing meals for a family in need (new baby, sickness, funeral) and are often on committees that "serve" the body. You may sometimes disaprove of others' "inablilities" to serve. You are the worker of "practical needs."

The gift of teaching - one who researches, explains, and imparts wisdom.
Do you feel compelled to discover knowledge, to find truth and share the information with others? Do you enjoy detailed Bible studies, have a somewhat serious nature and look beyond the words to symbolism and patterns? Do you sometimes find yourself more interested in research than people? Do you "collect" books? You may be found in front of the classroom, doing research or in front of a congregation. You are the "disciple maker" of the believers.
The gift of encouraging or exhorting - one who urges earnestly, entreats and encourages
Are you anxious to please? Do you see the importance of individuals? ARe you a great networker, and one who dives into relationships?
Do you have difficulty taking criticism yet are your own worst critic?
Are you known for doing things "on the fly" or "off the cuff"?
You might be found on a platform, in sales, counseling or coaching. You are the "encourager of the spiritually needy."
The gift of giving - one who produces, supplies, grants and offers
Do you have a deep conviction to raise money to help causes?
Do you have an excellent business mind and are quite concerned about other’s financial needs? Do you have a great desire to see God’s causes advanced? Are your prayers for others often for God to meet someone's financial needs? Do you find yourself being "led" to give money or other gifts to people? You may be found giving the "big money" and having your name on a building. You are the "supplier of needs."

The gift of leadership or administration - one who influences others according to the “big picture,” purpose, mission or plan.
Do you enjoy coordinating people and projects? Are you able to pull together "manpower" effectively? Do you sometimes do things quickly just to get them "out of the way" or marked off your "to do list"? Has it ever been suggested that you are insensitive to others' personal desires if they conflict with your own?
You may be found coordinating a wedding, planning meetings, or in charge of a church dinner. You may be an office manager, project leader or pastor. You are the "organizer of the ministry."
The gift of mercy - one who feels compassion, extends help, kindness and forgiveness
Do you feel the pain of others so much that it affects your mood? Are you drawn to misfits and the underdog? Are you sensitive to others' emotions and easily go beyond sympathy to empathize with someone having a difficult time? Do you have an excellent memory for special dates and personal preferences? Do you have to guard against closing yourself off to someone you feel is insensitive? You may be found working behind the scenes of any crisis ministry, working the phones, in a nursing career or assisting in a recovery group. You are the "healer of hurting people."

(I would like to give credit where it is due, but I have been learning about this subject matter for a few years now and can't recall where each bit of information came from. Most, I believe, is from Rick Warren and the Saddelback church spiritual gift assessment study but I don't know exactly which parts. I guess that is bound to happen when your motivational gift is teaching) ; )
Photo by Linda Charlene - follow the link to see more of her beautiful photography!
So, do you know what your motivational gift is? Have you been able to identify the dominant trait in a friend or family member? I'd love to hear about it. Do Tell!~

Jan 16, 2009


To those of you who are getting an original song from Guitar Girl, I want to let you know she is currently working on them. Angela, if you are reading this, I heard yours last night. I think you'll like it!

Guitar Girl posted a humorous post yesterday. It made me smile. I think you'll like it, too. Go here.

Part Two of The Gifted Ones is on its way with more traits listed for each motivational gift.

Jan 13, 2009

I Gave My Book Away - part two

(To read part one first, scroll down.)

The day after we returned home from the hospital in CO, those words came back to me at a most unusual time. “I’ll make it up to you.” I was on my way to the grocery store and as I drove I thought about my feelings of disappointment. Huge disappointment in myself. In the first few days following One Fine Man’s injury, I was occupied with his immediate care, rebooking flights, packing, the hour and half drive to the airport…I was taking care of business. Every other breath was a prayer. I stayed positive and as focused as possible so the boys would not be unduly upset.

Once home I had two days to prepare for another day’s flight to Denver. There were bills to pay. Clothes to wash. Things that only The Mom knows need to be done. My day began at 4:45 a.m. After two flights and a layover, I arrived in Denver. I picked up my rental car and the most frightening ride of my life began. The first half hour was not bad. The rest of the trip was a nightmare.

The winds were so high in the mountain passes I thought at any moment my vehicle would be blown over the divider to plunge how far - I had no clue. Later I heard the winds were gusting in excess of 85 - 100 mph. Then it began to snow. I have lived in Florida for 19 years. Enough said. White knuckling the steering wheel, I prayed. I sang. I cried. I told myself to focus, focus, focus. I thought about pulling over for a while but the idea of driving the rest of the way in the dark was scary, too. Then there were the signs: Gusty winds, Avalanche, Falling rocks, Icy roads.
Finally, I arrived at the hospital. I sat in the car a few minutes thanking God I had made it.

When I got to the 2nd floor and stopped at the nurses desk, several of the staff on duty looked at me, their mouths open. “You drove in this?” they asked. One nurse hugged me and asked if I was all right. With her kindness, I could only nod, my tears threatening to spill.

Three days passed. After four surgeries, One Fine Man was released from the hospital. Again the day started early – 3:45 a.m. I dropped OFM off before returning the rental and boarded a shuttle to return to the airport. Even with our early start, we were running late. We had an early morning flight with crutches, carry on bags and, of all things, One Fine Man was selected for a secondary search at security in the Denver airport. They examined his shoe! One shoe. They body searched him as he sat in a wheel chair. I held three bags, his crutches and my tears. Can you spell stress? We checked 2 bags but the 3 carry on bags were my tote bag, his backpack w/laptop and a plastic bag holding 2 cumbersome boxes of injections.
Somewhere between returning the car and returning home, something came loose in me. I did not feel merciful. I did not feel good. I did not feel kind. I did not feel.
By Monday feeling returned but not the kind I hoped for. I felt mean. Selfish. Confused. Tired. Annoyed. Pulled.
Several times I asked God what was wrong with me. This is when I found myself sitting in the parking lot of Publix. Just sitting. I needed groceries but I couldn’t get out of the van. I just sat there.

In the dark, those words again. “I’ll make it up to you.” A stirring in me.

“When and what, God?” I felt the choice was mine. All of my feelings of selfishness, confusion, exhaustion, annoyance and guilt (for feeling selfish, confused, exhausted and annoyed) washed over me.
“God, I choose this - I choose for you to do through me what I cannot do on my own. I choose a heart of compassion and mercy. I choose love. I know this is a short-term situation and it’s not life or death, but I need help in the here and now. I choose this. I choose now."

In that moment, something else came loose and the wilderness of my heart became a pool of water (Isaiah 41:18).

God did make it up to me. In the parking lot of Publix. He gave me a choice. To take His strength. To lean heavy on Him. To wade into His pool of water when my heart is a desert.
Those words... I will keep choosing this.

Jan 12, 2009

Monday Magnificat ~ I Gave My Book Away - part one

Last Wednesday I was on my way from Florida to Colorado to stay with One Fine Man until he could be released from the hospital to return home.

Throughout the terrible ordeal of the injury and accompanying the boys back home Sunday, I kept telling God that I wanted HIM to be glorified in the circumstances. Accidents happen. People get hurt. Or sick. Or worse. But I believe that we can offer up times like these as an opportunity for God to redeem the circumstances for HIS purposes.

In no way do I want to minimize the trauma, the surgery, nor the recovery process that One Fine Man has faced and is still dealing with. He is on continued bedrest with his leg elevated. He is taking Percoset every 2 hours and has to inject Lovenox in his belly once a day (to prevent blood clots).

Heavy on his mind are the responsiblities of supporting our family and all of the things he normally does for our household for which he is now relying on me. Impatient Me! Today my job was to make phone calls to find an orthopedic surgeon who has expertise in skin grafts and the kind of trauma One Fine Man sustained to his leg.

I am delaying my return to my teaching job for another week to wait on him and, hopefully, drive him to an appointment for follow-up care and physical therapy.
As I said, I do not minimize what One Fine Man is going through but I know that in any situation, if we are teachable, God will reveal His heart to us. I am learning.

While on the first leg of my flight from Tampa to Atlanta, I was reading this book. (My BFF, Alisa, posted about the book here.)
I was sitting in an exit row and during the initial descent one of the flight attendants sat in the jump seat opposite me. A few minutes passed, and she asked me if the book I was reading was good. I said yes.
She said, "I was just asking God a question and looked over at your book. I got the answer from the back cover."

So I passed the book to her so she could take a closer look. She looked through it for a little while with a serious expression. She asked me what church I attended and handed back the book.
I found my place to read again. But I couldn't read it because I started to think maybe I should give her my book. I had about 1/3 of it to go and I really wanted to finish it then reread it. I said to God, "I'm willing to give her the book. Are you asking me to give it to her or did I just think it might be a good idea? Because I'm willing but I don't really know if you are directing me to do that." Plainly I heard these words, "If you give it to her, I'll make it up to you."
No more questions.

I removed my boarding pass serving as my bookmark and wrote my name and blog address on the inside. We landed and she opened the door for passengers to depart. I was the first one out but not before handing her the book. Smiling, she thanked me. I prayed that God would speak to her through the book and draw her closer to Him.

For the next few days the words, "I'll make it up to you," echoed through my mind. Hours would pass and then those words...
To be honest, I don't know if they came at all during what I referred to as the day of despondency in my post entitled Do It Anyway. From the vantage point of a few days since then, I believe that I was under spiritual attack that day. Thank God for the TRUTH of His WORD that can bypass emotion and intellect and go straight to the spirit of His child.
But today, the words came again..."I'll make it up to you."
In a most surprising way, while sitting in the parking lot of Publix ~
He did.
Part Two to follow...
My Monday Magnificat? He makes the wilderness a pool of water (Isaiah 41:18). For this I utter my praise.
Magnificat ~ an utterance of praise from the Latin magnificare ~ to magnify

Jan 10, 2009

Do It Anyway...

Yesterday was a tough one. I was feeling isolated and cold. Cold physically and emotionally. Although normally I am interested in people and what is going on in their lives, yesterday I avoided all eye contact. I didn't want to touch anyone and I didn't want to be touched. My mind was weighted by how life in the short term would change...how new responsibilities would affect prior commitments. No answers.

My own negative thoughts were my enemy. I tasted my meaness.

In the midst of the crowd I retreated to a solitary place. Stand Strong, the book I had dropped in my bag before leaving home elicited a mixed response. Though I knew I was reading truth, I didn't want to do the work of standing strong.
I stand anyway...

I thumbed through various passages in my Bible, thinking how just the day before these same passages had brought life and hope. But now I felt hollow and empty. A fleeting thought of gratitude for the lamenting Psalms.
I read anyway...

By nightfall I had no eloquent words, no bright thoughts...just a borrowed bed for the hope of solace in sleep. I fell asleep cold.
I slept anyway...

Today is a new day. The words of truth from the day of despondency bypassed intellect, bypassed emotion. Dove deep into spirit. Deep called to deep.

Yesterday was Friday...but Sunday's coming. Grateful for His presence even when I don't run to Him.
I praise Him anyway...

(Stand Strong - Judy Jacobs)

Jan 8, 2009

The Gifted Ones & an update

I often speak and write about being "gifted." I have a passion for encouraging others to pursue their purpose in life and to develop their gifts. It is important to understand that there are 3 main classifications of gifts. Each member of the Godhead gives gifts.

The Son gives the 5-fold ministry gifts for the equipping of the body, the church, recorded in Ephesians 4:11 and I Corinthians 12:28.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are recorded in I Corinthians 12:8-10, 28.

When I speak about gifts, however, I am most often referring to the motivational gifts that God the Father gives. These motivations are the way in which you view people and situations. When you understand your basic life motivation, you will understand why you say and do some of the things you say and do! You will also understand others better.

The Father gives basic life purposes and motivations listed in Romans 12:3-8. I list them somewhat incompletely for brevity.

prophecy - to speak with insight and moral boldness, influencing others in one's arena of influence

ministry/service - to render loving service to meet the needs of others

teaching - the supernatural ability to explain and apply the truths received from God

exhortation - to entreat, comfort or instruct

giving - to give out of a spirit of generosity

leadership - modeling, superintending, and developing the body of Christ

mercy - to relate to others in sympathy, empathy, respect and honesty

Do you know what your motivational gift is? Most people have a mix but one will be the dominant trait. *Added later - If you are not sure which is your dominant gift and want a fuller description of one or two, let me know in your comment and I will give a fuller explanation of the characteristics that accompany those gifts.

Here are three things I have learned regarding gifts and opportunities to exercise those gifts as I have had opportunities to speak and teach:

#1 Your gift may look similar to someone else's nevertheless it is unique.

#2 Your gift need not be fully nor perfectly developed in order for you to offer it with excellence. Remember excellence speaks of virtue, not of perfection.

#3 If you are asked to lead, walk confidently with an attitude of humilty, but BE THE LEADER.

Determine that no matter what season you are in, (I remember being in the Mommy of little kids season!) you will seek ways to develop your gift and prepare yourself for opportunities that will arise. Be a good steward of your gifts. Ask God to give you wisdom and show you how to use your gift regardless of your season. I remember a time when my children were much younger and I was so intent on knowing His Word and sharing it, yet I was also very busy being their Mommy. I felt that I couldn't "do" ministry and still be the kind of Mother I desired to be. I cried out to God and opened my heart to Him. I told Him what He already knew about the season I was in. He gently led me on a path in which I was able to care for the needs of my household while also pursuing Him with a passion.

Update on One Fine Man - I arrived back in CO on the 7th after flying home with my boys on Sunday. My mother traveled from MS to stay with our 3 children. The surgeon just left the room and told us the plan for closing the wound and doing the skin graft. He was very frank with us about the severity of the wound. We are so thankful for his expertise. We feel confident that he will do his best during the surgery tonight (1/8). We are even more confident that God's plans are to do us good and certainly not harm. I would greatly appreciate your prayers tonight. We continue to fight the good fight of faith.

The latest - The surgery last night to graft the skin went well. After 48 more hours of recovery, and barring any complications, we should be able to head home Sunday. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments and your prayers.

I am using the hospital laptop in the room. I have responded to some emails from blogger friends but I do not know if you have received them. I am grateful to be able to keep up with your blogs while I am here.

Jan 5, 2009

Monday Magnificat ~ Strength and Beauty Part I

My Men
To say "a lot has happened" since my last post would be a great understatement! But to say that God is faithful, the body of Christ is a blessing and prayer is powerful would be stating the obvious to anyone who has ever relied on God, His people and battling in prayer.

The day after writing about breaking out of my circle of ease and saying no more playing it safe, my husband had an accident while skiing. We have skiied several winters with only minor injury - if by injury you count a broken fingernail, a scraped chin and a bruised toe.

One Fine Man and Skate~Boy were skiing and snowboarding a slope on New Year's Day when, for some reason, my husband lost control skiing moguls (hills in succession), went airborn and landed on one leg. This resulted in a compound fracture (tib-fib). Our youngest son was with him when it happened and came down the mountain alone to the condo. He called on the way and let my oldest son and me know what had happened. I didn't believe what I was hearing. After waiting for Skate~Boy to make it safely back, I left for the medical clinic.

The medical staff removed my husband's ski boot and I wish I had not seen what I saw but I am glad neither he nor our kids saw it.

I made phone calls and friends and family began to pray. After surgery at a hospital in Frisco, the surgeon talked with me and I was overwhelmed to learn that my husband had a serious open wound (bone protruded through the skin) and would need a tissue graft requiring a stay in the hospital for 7 - 10 days.

Once again I made phone calls. One family member stayed on the phone and listened to me cry. She helped me begin to think clearly and make plans. I called our daughter who had stayed home and she prayed a beautiful prayer for me and I physically felt anxiety fall away from my shoulders. In its place the peace of God rested. My wonderful friend, Alisa, and her husband, Doug, assured me they would continue to pray and offered spiritual insight that strengthened my inner man. I sent text messages and emails and calls came in from people who prayed for us over the phone. I won't mention names but thank you to our pastor and his wife who called to pray and emailed offers of help and prayer!

Yesterday I flew home with my boys and my parents traveled several hours to come stay with them. My neighbors brought food and offers of help.

After taking care of some details here at home, I will fly back and stay with my husband until he is released to travel home.

The Psalmist writes, Strength and Beauty are in His sanctuary (Psalm 96:6). These past few days I have found Strength in Beauty...the beauty of God's Word, the beauty of the body of Christ, the beauty of faith overcoming fear and the beauty of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I have been strengthened physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have entered His sanctuary while making logistical plans, in a hospital waiting room, driving through snow on icy roads, and lying alone in the dark with tears in my eyes.

My Monday Magnificat? In all of those places I have found that strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. For this I utter my praise!
Magnificat ~ an utterance of praise from the Latin magnificare ~ to magnify