Friday, December 21, 2007

We are Celebrating Jesus' Birthday Party :)

We watched The Nativity Story with our children tonight. I thought it was done really well and we all enjoyed it. In the beginning the kids weren't overly thrilled w/ my movie choice, but after explaining to them that this is the TRUE meaning of Christmas and that there would be no presents for them if they didn't watch what we are really celebrating, they changed their tune. ;) And, they really liked it. There are many things that I had to explain to them like the killing of all the babies under the age of two, why the people were looking down on Mary and Joseph b/c she was pregnant while they were to wait a year as she still lived at home even though they were considered husband and wife, fast forwarding the births of John and Jesus, the fact that in the end Joseph didn't take Mary and Jesus to Ebay, but to Egypt :), and why the angels had no wings (took a while to let go of that one). But, the things I really loved explaining were the prophecies that came forth years before to tell of a Savior. Seeing the wise men follow a star that they knew was going to lead them to a king greater than they. To hear the words...
"The mightest of kings born in the humblest of places."

The fact that my Jesus did that for me!

Seeing that little baby in Mary's arms~ my Savior.

Seeing the shepherd's come bow down to their new king.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! I just love all the music... Silent Night, Away in a Manger, O Holy Night. It all depicts so wonderfully the fact that My Jesus came to Earth for me...

For You!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I pray you will be filled w/ such joy and peace as we celebrate His love for us this Christmas season because He came to Earth in the humblest of births for YOU.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby Steps and Abundant Blessings

My mom...
I really feel very thankful and blessed for my relationship with my mom. Oh, we butted heads while I was growing up, and I shutter at the thought of how hurtful it was when I told her I hated her which the reason escapes me now and probably did 30 min. after I said it. I do remember the nights of sitting up in my room and just chatting about her childhood and her hopes and dreams.
I am so thankful that she hung in there with me while I was growing up. I wasn't a bad kid, didn't smoke or drink and if I was at a party where my friends were drinking, I would call her up and she would bring me home. But, I was dramatic! I can't even say I laugh at myself about it b/c really it was just... pathetic! :)
My mom who is just 64 was diagnosed with cancer this past January. It was in her intestines, which they successfully removed, but then it traveled to her liver. She was on chemo for a while, but has stopped b/c she stopped eating. For 2 months straight she only ate Activia and applesauce. That's, what, about 300 calories a day.
A DAY!!!
So, she ended up in the hospital about 3 weeks ago for malnutrition and dehydration. She sounded horrible! Not to mention the fact that she weighed in at 77 pounds. SEVENTY~ SEVEN! She probably only weighs about 110 to begin with, but still! My sister went down there to see her and help around her house for 2 days. The nurse at that point said that she would be really happy if my mom made it through the new year. Was my mom going to die in 5-6 weeks? HORRIBLE! I can't tell you the sadness there is in that.
On an aside... I haven't really experienced a lot of death. The closest person to me was my Grammy, but she lived in FL and I only saw her once a year at best. The next closest was a sweet little girl in our church nursery that I would take care of once a month on my rotation. So, when I thought of losing my mom~ man~ that was just plain sad. I didn't want to be sad, quite honestly! I know there is rejoicing in death IF our loved ones are going home to be with the Lord. But, I am not 100% sure where my mom falls on that topic. I know that she was walking with our Lord before, but has sort of fallen away, and I am just not sure where her heart stands now.
BUT, she really is getting stronger. Even the same nurse that said my mom could die soon said she was doing better and she didn't need to see her anymore. She is up to 86 pounds and now has her appetite back. As far as the cancer, it had significantly shurnk during the last round of chemo, so we are waiting for her to take her next PET scan to determine if it is all gone, which is obviously our prayer. I am just so thankful that she is eating! That was my biggest concern.
I just got back from my visit with my mom. I must admit that I was a little taken aback by the way my mom looked after just having seen her in Sept., still skin and bones, but not a lot of hair, using a walker and barely getting around. While I was there, though, she did get out on the patio to visit with us which was a major step. Even her physical therapist sees major improvement in my mom's baby steps. But, I will take any and all improvements! I so enjoyed her company and my time with her. After all the time I debated whether or not to go, I am so glad that I did!!!
I want to write down all the ways God went before me on that trip! The fact that my dear friend, Do, took a 1/2 day off from work and met me in FL for the weekend so that she could watch my ROO while I helped my mom~ priceless. My brother~in~law pointed out some really great tickets that were the perfect times for my friend to meet me there and we both went home at the same time. That was huge b/c with her living in a different state neither of us had to wait around too long b/c of our different flight times. The day before I was to fly to FL, my youngest girl, Berry, got a decently high fever. Fear tried to creep in over what would happen if I left her. I told my man that we needed a miracle. That evening as I went to bed, with Berry next to me, she warmed me up b/c she was so hot. But, in the middle of the night her fever broke and the next morning she was hungry. PRAISE THE LORD!!! So many nice people helped me while I was traveling in the airport and on the plane. I sat next to some really great people who adored my ROO, so that was nice. ROO slept on the plane ride down~ enough said. ;) The weather was about 50 degrees higher than my home state, so that was AWESOME!!! I was wearing shorts and a t~shirt, while those at home had on snow boots. tee hee! ROO took right to my friend, Do, whom he had never met. My visit with Do was wonderful. Old friends are so great, aren't they?! I really feel so thankful that she was there to listen and just be a wonderful support. We both almost missed our flights b/c I forgot to fill up the rental car and they were going to charge me $6.99 a gallon to fill it up. So, we left the airport and went to the closest gas station and filled it up for only $4.49! If only I had remembered before, we could have filled it up for $3.11. But hey, at least we only paid $48 instead of the $78 the rental company wanted to charge me. My friend and a little praise singing to our Lord totally kept me calm while I cried out to Him that we didn't miss our flights. And, we didn't! We both checked in so quickly and got in the shortest lines to go through security. Now mind you, when I got to the gate, the plane was unloading and about to load our flight, but I made it. And, the sweet little girl who sat next to me on the way down was on this flight too, so she helped with ROO again. The turbulance was so bad on the way home. I mean, the absolute WORST flight I have ever been on, but the Lord kept us safe. Then when I got to my car to drive home it was pouring rain! And, b/c the rain was melting all the snow, there was an abundance of water on the road. But, He kept us safe once again. And, I am thankful for my Chris Tomlin CD that was playing while I was driving. It's nice to keep our attentions on the only One that can truly help, isn't it? I think the real highlight was joining hands with my mom, step-dad, and friend before I left to pray over my mom and her home and situation. I haven't had a chance to do that with my mom before and it was really wonderful. Not to mention that fact that while I was cleaning parts of her home I was praying over her and the house. She is covered in prayer all around!
So, if you happen upon this post, I ask for your prayers that my mom continues to gain strength & heal. That she truly knows our precious savior, Jesus, and for peace for my family and me. Thank you so much in advance and God Bless! :)