Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You Are Going to Die

I was sitting outside on our back deck wrapped in a blanket, enjoying the peace and quiet of the day.  I was still very weak from the radiation therapy, but the pain, at long last, had lifted.  I had spent quite a bit of time in prayer and felt very much at peace.  For three days after my surgery to remove my thyroid, I had felt a strong sense of God’s presence, stronger than at any time before.  And I needed it then more than ever.  My husband, Wayne, had left for his deployment to Afghanistan after receiving a good report from my surgery.  The day he left, however, I was told that not only was there cancer in my thyroid, but it had spread to my lymph nodes.  The battle was on.
For now, though, I felt no battle.  I was almost content.  So I was very surprised to hear within my spirit “You are going to die.”  Hmmmm, I thought, with no sense of panic.  I’m going to die.  OK.  I’m so grateful to have time to plan for this.  What do I need to do first?  Take care of the girls.  I know, I’ll start a journal with my hopes and dreams for them to look at when they need encouragement.  I need to write a long letter to my parents and sisters so they finish what I have started in raising my girls.  What about Wayne?  I know, I’ll…  then without any warning waaaaay down deep in my spirit came a resounding “NOOOOOOOO!”  “You will live and not die!”  I remember physically shaking my head as if trying to clear my thoughts.  First I heard God say “You are going to die” in a still small voice.  Then, I heard “NOOOOOO!” screaming within me.  Almost instantly I realized the words about death were not from the Father, but the father of lies.  The words seemed so quiet, so seductive.  I had bought them, hook, line and sinker. 
Ø  The lie came naturally:
John 8:44  (NIV) …He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Ø  The lie came to the surface so smoothly, almost seductively:
Acts 13:10-11 “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?"
2 Corinthians 11:3  "I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 

Ø  The lie can be resisted:

     James 4:7  "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Most importantly to me was how merciful God was in this situation.  I was seriously meditating on what I thought was a word from God.  That word was so gentlemanly and orderly.  The screaming from deep within is not what I would have thought would come from God.  Yet, that is exactly what happened.  Imagine your child in danger, contemplating something deadly.  You would do whatever it took to protect your child.  Screaming does not sound so unreasonable anymore.  Thank you, Father, for your willingness to do whatever it took to keep me safe from destruction.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Bicycle

When I first moved to Bryant, Arkansas, I had to switch family doctors.  After several recommendations, I picked a friendly, knowledgeable doctor whose wife was our children’s pediatrician.  After the first visit, we realized that the doctor lived on the same street as my parents.  In fact they were only two houses down. 
When the doctor realized who my father was, he kept wanting to discuss my dad.  More specifically, he wanted to talk about my dad’s physical fitness regime.  For several visits, the discussion would go something like this:
“Saw your dad riding his bicycle yesterday.” 
“Oh,  good.”
“Yep, he rides his bike every day, rain or shine.”
“He sure does.”
“I mean, he is always on his bicycle.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” 
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Silence.  I mean, there comes a point when talking to your doctor about your dad’s bicycle riding seems a little strange.
Until you see the bicycle.  Pictures will be coming, I promise. I’m not sure words will do this justice, but I’m going to try.
It starts out innocently enough.  A sturdy ten-speed bike.   Imagine a boom box duct taped to the front of the handlebars.  I’m not talking MP3 player or walkman, but an honest to goodness radio strapped with large amounts of duct tape.  I even gave the man an MP3 player for Christmas one year, but apparently the radio fits his needs better.  He plays the radio loudly (no headphones) while riding around the neighborhood.  Because the sun sets so early, he also has a flashlight duct taped to one of the handlebars.  He was never in the boy scouts but he sure should have been.  And finally, for effect, when it is raining, he cuts slits into garbage bags to wear as a poncho.  The man has a poncho.  I’ve seen it in the closet.    
There would have been a point in time that I would have shrunk in horror imagining my dad in this getup.  Now I laugh and thank God for him.  My dad will never be known as someone trying to conform.  I have inherited some of that from him, and I am thankful for it. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed...

I started a blog over a year ago when my husband was deployed to Afganistan for a year.  I had a few posts, but then struggled because of a serious illness.  My hubby is back home safe and sound, and I am finally feeling stronger, so I thought I would try this again.

For people to understand me, I thought I would put down the 25 Random Things About Me that I did for Facebook. I had just started Facebook and thought I was supposed to really pour my heart and soul into it. I didn't realize it was one post in a never-ending line of requests I would be getting, so I worked on it like a college assignment. I think it was good therapy for me, and would recommend others to do it as well.

  1. get cranky when I’m tired or hungry.
  2. I have the most wonderful children in the world. No, really, I do. I’m not the only one who thinks so.
  3. I am homeschooling my girls and know that when I look back later in life, I will be so glad I made this choice. No regrets.
  4. I have always wanted to work with moms and teachers to help them with young children. My sister Kathy and I even made a website (, hoping it would help others. It didn’t catch on, though. Kathy and I are the only ones that use it. Sigh.
  5. My husband has more energy than a class full of two year olds. I should know, I’ve spent time with both. He is my perfect mate, the one I turn to in both good times and bad.
  6. My bootstraps are broken. I’ve spent so long pulling myself up by my bootstraps that they finally broke. It’s a good thing, really. Sometimes I think I am so capable I will try to solve my problems rather than turning them over to God.
  7. My earliest memories of my dad are precious. He was pushing me on a swing, singing “Hallelujah” (old, slow song). Anyone that has heard my dad sing may wonder why it is precious. It’s probably like giving birth. You don’t remember the bad parts. I just remember the security and love I felt. My other earliest memory is climbing all over him with my sister while he lay on the living room floor. I love that my earliest memories are of my dad and that they are so loving.
  8. I’m a twin, and I have twin girls. My uncles are twins and one of them has twin sons. My great-grandmother was a twin. In my family, we don’t care whether it’s a boy or girl – we want to know how many are there!
  9. My younger sister is a personal trainer. I am the opposite of a personal trainer. I am sometimes jealous of how well she is doing in life. Maybe even intimidated by her. She is beautiful inside and out, a fabulous mother and always there if I need her.
  10. My husband is always right. I mean it. He always is. He doesn’t say it, he just is. It drives me crazy sometimes, but it sure comes in handy.
  11. My favorite place I have visited so far is the Cayman Islands. So peaceful. We got a German Shepherd puppy right after the cruise, and I named him Cayman so I wouldn’t kill him when I found him chewing something.
  12. Our family has a camper and one of my favorite things to do is spend the weekend camping. We have so many great memories to enjoy. Arkansas is a beautiful place.
  13. My most embarrassing moment was during a youth trip to snow ski in Colorado. I was riding up the hill sitting on a pole that had a Frisbee for a seat. I was so afraid I would wait too long and meet a certain death that I got off of the seat too soon instead. I began to slide backwards down the hill as other riders were being shuttled up. I was knocking people off of their seats left and right. The ski patrol came to rescue me. He asked, “Where are you from?” I said, “Arkansas.” I still remember the way he rolled his eyes and directed me to the bunny slope. Every picture of me “skiing” on that trip actually shows me on my rear end. I’ll try to add a photo of this trip. Indian Hillers, anybody remember that?
  14. When my twin girls were born, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. I painted Megan’s big toenail red before I cut off their hospital bracelets. I didn’t need to worry. A mom just knows.
  15. It is critical to get plugged into the church God has for you. Makes all the difference in the world.
  16. I love to laugh.
  17. My twin sister and I would sometimes switch classes on April Fool’s Day. We never got caught. We even switched places when she was a third grade teacher in Redfield. The kids were suspicious, but didn’t completely catch on until she walked in the door.
  18. I like to be the leader.
  19. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve taught babies through college, deaf children, and students with extensive criminal backgrounds. It’s still magical when the lightbulb comes on. I have never taught in a regular classroom. I’d like to give that a try some day.
  20. I’m learning that simply being busy trying to do good may not be God’s best for me. I need to slow down, listen to what He wills, then follow that. I would get a lot more done.
  21. It is great having a twin sister. I truly think she understands me better than anyone else. Watching my girls grow up as twins has been a fantastic experience.
  22. When I grow up, I think I would like to be a missionary.
  23. I have been blessed with tremendous friends. My childhood friends hold a special place in my heart. Who else would dream with me to live in a trailer and work at Western Sizzler when we grew up? Thankfully those dreams changed!
  24. I went to a birthday party once with my girls. The parents were all in a corner discussing issues with their step families. I soon realized I was the only one there that had been married one time. After hearing the others try to solve problems like which family would have them for Christmas, I was thankful for my little family.
  25. If you have made it this far, you probably have too much time on your hands. I will end it as you probably would expect. I am blessed. I am loved. I am overwhelmed with what God has given me. It’s an amazing ride and I know there is much more to come