Oct 23, 2014 - Devotional Thoughts    1 Comment

Life is Messy

This week my husband and I went to a conference for sponsors of teenagers.  As the speaker began to talk about working with teenagers, he said, “Life is Messy”.  He talked about getting involved with the teenage generation, spending quality time with them, giving up what you might want to do, learning to live in community, and  living life real.  It made me think that working with teenagers is really not any different than working with the elderly.  Life is just plain Messy no matter what age you work with.

Life is Messy here.  With everyone that lives at this house and comes and goes through it we certainly live in community.  Isn’t that what Jesus taught.  To step out and help one another.  When our daughter was younger I read that it takes a village to raise a child and it certainly did take a village.  It is taking a village to work with the grandparents.  Mostly it is that same village, that same community we used when our daughter was growing up.  How can that be?  It is because we have continued to grow with that village.  Our daughter still contacts those people when she can’t reach us or needs a listening ear.

I’ve learned that working with the grandparents is almost harder than raising a teenager.  Yes you read that right.  They already have friends and family and then they are displaced.  Not everyone thinks we are caring for them correctly.  Everyone has their opinion.  Many agree with the lifestyle we have chosen or should I say been commanded to live. There are also others that disagree with what we are doing.  Some people don’t speak to us now and others have to give their two cents on everything we do.  So yes Life is Messy but do we really want it any other way?

Without the Mess, we wouldn’t learn and grow and develop into who God really wants us to be.  Without the Mess, we wouldn’t experience the parts of life that we had never dreamed we would learn about.  Without the Mess we wouldn’t learn how to really love people that don’t really love us.  Messy Life is what caused the disciples to scatter and spread the gospel further to new parts of the world.  I don’t know that caring for grandparents is spreading the gospel much but it is agreeing to live life at a new level.  A level that stretches us each day.  A level that makes us count our blessing.  We count you as a blessing in our life as you continue to encourage and pray for the day by day living we experience in our Messy Lives.  Thanks for living life with us and encouraging us as we continue on the path we have been called to for as long as we are called .

Oct 21, 2014 - History    2 Comments

Hot Dogs

Today I told Papaw we were having hot dogs for dinner.  He loves hot dogs and he loves them burnt.  This is the story he told:

Hot dogs aren’t good like they were when I was a kid.  I used to go do odd jobs at the tanning factory and we got paid in hot dogs.  They were short and fat and tasted really good. Nothing like hot dogs you get today.  I think they were made of real meat.   I loved those hot dogs.  Then some days, they would need help when they sold the hides.  When they got a hide tanned, they would lay it flat, fold in the legs, and cover it with salt.  The hides were very heavy.  When they sold a hide, they would hire us kids to shake off the salt and roll up the hide and load it .  I loved shaking those hides and rolling them up.  I don’t know why I loved doing that.  I liked the smell and the feel.

I never heard him tell this story before.  He got the biggest grin on his face.  And for supper, he ate two burnt hot dogs.


Oct 16, 2014 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

The Bee Hive

Last week, Mom and I had the opportunity to have lunch out.  She heard of a new coffee shop/tea room called The Bee Hive.  For any of you that knew my father, you know he raised bees.  When I was a kid, my father planted clover in the backyard.  It actually looked pretty in the spring and summer.  I always went barefoot outside so that meant lots of bee stings on my feet.   After awhile you just learn to deal.  I didn’t know until I got much older that other kids had grass in their backyards.  Dad always told me that bee stings would prevent me from developing arthritis in my feet when I got older.  So far he has been correct.  Sorry, I digressed here.

A think the name of the restaurant was intriguing to my mother and she wanted to try the place out.  So we did.  The shop was very cute.  They had coffees and teas (hot and cold).  They had soup, salads and sandwiches.  They even had a little market with organic fare and to top it all off, you could get frozen yogurt.  We only got soup and sandwiches.  I might add the the shop was very cute, lots of great decor and well thought out.  The food had a bit to be desired but it isn’t always about the food.

The lady that owned the shop started it because her father was also a beekeeper and had recently passed away.  He never got to see her dream become a reality.  I want to make it perfectly clear that my dream is not to start a restaurant!!!  Mom found the story touching and  she loved the lunch out together.  When we were through, I took her for a long drive to check out the turning leaves.  The lunch was not about the food.  It was about the time together.  Too often I feel like the grandpas have taken away time I would love to spend with my mother.  She never seems to care but sometimes I feel that I neglected the quiet, easy person in the household.  She is helpful beyond measure, never complains and just enjoys the time I spend with her.   I pray that the Lord will grant us some very special time together in the near future when we can both enjoy each other.


Oct 14, 2014 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

A Much Needed Vacation

We finally did it.  We took a vacation we had needed to take for a long time and I must admit I was not ready to come home.  We went to Nevada mixing a vacation with a 3 day business conference for me.  Not till we were gone did I realize how exhausted I was.  I needed the quiet., the lack of schedule.  no cooking for large numbers and no schedule.  I have gotten to a point I just plod along doing what needs to be done and not thinking about what I would rather do.  Then I had a chance to do it.  I needed the time away.  Everything went fine.  Papaw fell but that could have happened with me here.  He was taken care of, fed and loved.  Why is it as human beings we think we are the only one who can do the job?  I may never know the answer to that but I know that we all need respite.  Even Jesus withdrew from the crowds.  He needed time to get away and be alone.  I won’t wait so long next time to spend some time away.Nevada

Oct 9, 2014 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever read the book, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?  We used to read it at our house and laugh but it came true yesterday.  It was just one of those days and every time I thought it couldn’t get worse it did.  Papaw got up at 7:30 AM, he usually gets up at 4:30 PM, so I knew something was up.  He told me he was headed to Florida.  The truth of the matter is, he had his memory yesterday.  This used to happen to Dad from time to time but it’s one of the first times it has happened to Papaw.

You read about moments like this when the patient gets their memory back and they have great conversations and talk about what will happen to loved ones in the future.  Well, that might really happen somewhere on earth but not here.  Papaw was angry.  He was going back to Florida, he was getting a driver’s license, he was renting a houseboat.  His feet hurt, he wasn’t hungry, I never feed him.  He didn’t want to go anywhere but he didn’t want to stay.  He was just having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and he wanted all of us to join him.  My husband was working.  Mom was trying to help and a friend even came over to help.  Nothing worked.

I actually cannot imagine what it is like to lose your memory and depend on everyone else to make your decisions, know who you are and where you came from.  I would assume to him it was like waking up from a memory fog.  He wanted to take control of his life again.  I don’t think he meant to be mean.  I think he just wanted to make up for lost time and he made everyone else’s day miserable as he made up for lost time and lost memories.  He talked about things I had never heard him mention.  The day ended like any other with all of us safe in our beds.  And I might mention it did not end soon enough.

The good news was, just like Alexander, there are always plenty of things to be thankful for.  Papaw was safe with us.  We learned stories we had not heard before.  Friends stepped in to try and help when we were overwhelmed.  It made us take a step closer to Jesus.  Days like this bring me to my knees.  God cares and loves me through it.  I didn’t always act appropriately but thank goodness God forgives and Papaw doesn’t remember.

The next day went back to normal, whatever that is.  Papaw doesn’t have a memory again today.  He doesn’t know there are bills to be paid, places to go and people to see.  So until next time, I’ll be thankful for my day to day routine.  One day, Papaw won’t be here and I believe that will be one day way to soon.