Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday Musings
Great is Thy Faithfulness
For several days I have been hearing in my mind that old hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I just haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Now, I'm not musical AT ALL! I definitely fall in the category of "make a joyful NOISE!" Thank goodness someone else was "singing" the song in my mind because if it had been me I might not have recognized the tune! Admittedly, it has a somewhat draggy tune--not peppy at all; but the words do have a message. I just couldn't get away from it.

After "hearing" the song several times, I went searching for the scripture on which the it is based--and the exact words. Thank you, Lord, for leading me to these verses--

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3: 21-24

These verses are just the reminder and encouragement I have been needing the last few days. How wonderful that we have hope because His mercy and compassion never fail. In fact, we start each day with a fresh abundance of his tender mercies--we will never be without His loving stability. His merciful love is ours. He is our portion--our destiny. All we have to do is trust, expect, and wait for His answers.

The writer of the song, Thomas Chisolm, interprets the scripture for us in the words of his hymn of praise to the Lord:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Summer, and winter, springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness , Lord, unto me!

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  posted at 7:58 PM  

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I'm still working on the direction or focus of my blog. I have always been the kind of person who needs to jump in and then figure out all the rules, procedures, fine points, etc. So, as I stumble along doing my own thing, I am discovering lots of interesting things about the blogging world. One concept that I am constantly aware of and exploring is the manner in which others organize their writing and the presentation of their blogs. I have found lots of good ideas out there that I intend to use to help me continue to develop my own little corner of blogland.

I have not completely decided what I think of memes and other lists/games that are passed around/tagged on blogs. I have never been a great fan of chain letters and these are so similar; however I see some that are fun or interesting. I like Thursday Thirteen and have participated a couple of times. I also enjoy Wordless Wednesday that some people have shared. I guess it is more the subject or purpose that makes the difference for me rather than the fact that it is meme/game/list/whatever.

Anyway, I needed to do something light hearted today. My blog has been serious for a couple of days and I have had serious decisions to deal with in real life also--I need a mind break--So here goes!

I found this at Susan's Penless Writer.
Thought I'd give it a try 'cause I do love word puzzles and games!
Feel free to use it and pass it along.
• Use the the first letter of your name to answer each of the following.
• Answers must be REAL places, persons, things. . .NOTHING MADE UP!
• If you can't think of anything, skip it.
• Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same initial.
• DO NOT use your name for the boy/girl name question.
• DO NOT use a search engine to look up answers!
• GO!

1. Your Name: Myrna
2. Famous singer/band: Madonna
3. 4 letter word: Moon
4. Street name: Mulhollan Dr.
5. Color: Magenta
6. Gift/present: Magi Music Box
7. Vehicle: Mercury
8. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Macrame Plant Hangers
9. Boy's Name: Matthew Michael
10. Girl's Name: Mary Marie
11. Movie Title: Matrix
12. Drink: Milk
13. An Occupation: Matador
14. Flower: Marigold
15. Celebrity: Marilyn Monroe
16. Magazine: Mademoiselle
17. U.S, City: Minneapolis Minnesota
18. Pro Sports Team: Mariners
19. Fruit: Mango
20. Reason for Being Late to Work: Misplaced car keys
21. Something You Throw Away: Moldy Muffins
22. Things You Shout: MOVE THAT BUS!
23. Cartoon Character: Mickey Mouse

  posted at 5:34 PM  

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Woman to Woman--Enduring Health Issues
Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
You display your power among the peoples.
--Psalm 77:13-14

Jesus performed miracles which are recorded in the New Testament. He turned water into wine, he healed people who were thought to be incurable, and he replaced a soldier’s ear when Peter cut it off. But do miracles happen today? Yes, they do. They come in different forms. Some are almost unbelievable; others seem to happen rather quietly as a part of life experiences. My family has experienced miracles.

Two years ago my husband, who has always had a neuromuscular condition and has used a wheelchair for years, became very ill. He had been seeing a pulmonologist for several months for breathing problems and sleep apnea symptoms. He was using a machine at night that assisted his breathing and provided him with an adequate supply of oxygen. However, he did not seem to be making the progress that we had hoped for. Fatigue was beginning to affect him at work and at home. I was very concerned about him.

L went back to the pulmonologist and our family doctor. They adjusted some medications, made arrangements to see him again in a month, and we went on a business trip to Chicago. It was obvious on that trip that he was not improving. Finally, after several discussions, Mr. L agreed to go back to our family doctor for consultation on what we should do next.

We never made it to the doctor’s office. When L called and asked for an appointment and told the nurse some of his newest symptoms, she had the doctor call him back. Our doctor, who we had been seeing for more than twenty years, told him that he wanted to admit L to the hospital and start some tests, He sent us to the emergency room for an expedited admission.

On the way to the hospital Mr. L called his office to let them know he would not be in that day. He never went to the office again. After three hours in the emergency room, where it was evident that L. was extremely ill, he was admitted to the hospital and was sent to the ICU.

L had respiratory failure four days after entering the hospital. He was placed on a ventilator and had a feeding tube put in his stomach. He went through several life threatening conditions including sepsis and a coagulation problem (DIC). When health care professionals hear that he had DIC they invariably question us about it because they have a hard time believing he survived. He developed ICU psychosis that caused him to hallucinate and be anxious and fearful. It was the worst time of our lives.

After a month in ICU we moved to a rehab facility for six weeks. The doctors had hoped that L could be weaned from the ventilator for at least a portion of the day. That was not to be. L had entered the hospital on June 29—the day after our thirty-sixth anniversary. He came home on September 8 on a ventilator and with a feeding tube, with great fatigue and a low-grade lung infection. Our life had definitely changed.

Gone were the trips we had enjoyed—We had traveled to Europe, Israel, Canada, the Caribbean, Turkey, and many places in the US. We left jobs we had loved and knew that God had led us to. L retired officially on December 1 that year. I followed—after taking the many sick leave days I had accumulated—on June 30 the next year. We changed our lives, schedules, habits, and routines.

During the time since we have been home we have returned to the hospital for trach changes, feeding tube changes, and one minor surgical procedure. Until this past February L did not spend a night away from home. At that time he returned to ICU for two weeks after his trach tube became plugged and we were unable clear it. Actually his heart stopped at that time and the emergency room doctor preformed CPR. Although L had not intended for that procedure to happen, we are glad the doctor didn’t take time to find that out and my husband is still with us.

We have been at home for almost two years now. Our children have been wonderful through the whole time. Our sons—and their wives—have shared every aspect of this journey with us from the first day. The son who lives near us is “ on call” at all times and has never hesitated to drop what he might be doing and come if we need him. Our younger son lives eighty miles away and has made frequent trips to be with us. They were both at the hospital when L had respiratory failure and they have been with me for every important decision. As a matter of fact, they both left work early today to come help me make some decisions about care in the future.

As you have read you may have been thinking, “So, alright, Myrna, we understand. Your husband was very ill, he did not get well, your life changed drastically, and you both had to retire before you planned to. Where is the miracle!”?

The miracles are all around us. Some of what we call miracles are really probably blessings—sort of the product of the miracles. For miracles and blessings we continually thank God for His presence in our lives. Throughout this whole journey we have been aware that He is with us and has not left us. We expect there will be other miracles and blessings. There will also surely be additional difficult times before our journey ends. Some of the miracles and blessings we have experienced include:
• Our love grows daily through very trying times.
• L survived extremely life threatening disease and physical problems which, according to the doctors, he would not survive.
• Our family has grown closer and more dependent on God.
• We have been given ”bonus” time for loving each other.
• L has found a new ministry in which to work. He writes radio scripts,as a volunteer, for a ministry that sends the gospel by radio and the internet throughout Asia.
• L had the time and energy to work on a book about the remarkable way God has blessed his life.
• We continue to be blessed by friends and family who love us and care for us.
• Although we did not consider ourselves to be quite ready financially for retirement, we have been amazed and grateful for the way God has provided for us.

Thank you, Lord! Thank you for displaying your power in our lives!

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  posted at 7:56 PM  

Monday, April 23, 2007
Monday Musings
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD."
Psalm 122:1

In remembering the events of the past week I came up with several thoughts that I might share. But, when it came to writing, I just felt led to share a discovery my husband and I have made that has become important in our lives. You might want to also visit the place we "go" on Sunday mornings.

We don't attend church anymore! WAIT! Before you assume we have turned our backs on our beliefs and lifetime habits, let me hasten to explain. Because of my husband's illness, and the fact that he is dependent on a ventilator for breathing, we are not able to attend church together. I occasionally go, when we work out arrangements for someone else to stay with Mr. L. We stay connected to events and happenings at the church through the email newsletter, friends, and our son and dil. Our dil is currently on staff at the church we have attended for over twenty-five years. We still have a church home--we just aren't there often.

We have had to be rather creative in satisfying our habit of having Sunday morning worship. Certainly we realize that we can study the Bible, pray, and worship by ourselves anytime. It does not have to be in a church building on Sunday morning. However, when you have "gone to church" on Sunday morning for your whole life it is difficult to give up that time with other believers. So we looked for alternatives.

We knew that there were multitudes of preachers on the internet and TV. Mr. L definitely understood the impact of video on delivering The Word to masses of people. After all, he had enjoyed a thirty-five year career that was based on the production of Christian video and print products. We had both used video and audio Bible study helps--in groups at church and by ourselves at home. But receiving our weekly Sunday morning worship message through TV on a regular basis was a new experience.

We tried several possibilities before finding some we enjoyed and felt comfortable spending time with. One of the first we found was a local minister from a denomination different from ours. We still enjoy watching him from time to time. We don't agree theologically on every point he makes, but we do respect his obvious commitment and dedication to serving the Lord.

We also worship occasionally with a church in another city. The well-loved pastor of this church went home to be with the Lord several years ago, but they still use tapes of his preaching in the program we watch. Seeing and hearing him preach is like a walk down memory lane because my husband had the privilege of working with this dignified man of God at one time. As you might imagine, these services are somewhat dated. Of course the message retains its relevancy! However, we are sometimes amused by the clothing styles we see in the congregation and indulge in a guessing game of what year we are watching. Yes, you can talk and play guessing games when you are in worship service at home!

As much as we enjoyed these worship services and messages, we still were not satisfied with our Sunday morning "going to church" experience--Until we found our TV at-home pastor. This man does not know us, we will probably never meet in this world, but he blesses us every week. We watched him on TV for some time and then his time slot changed from Sunday morning to some time later in the week. Which, when you think about it, is probably a better time to reach unchurched people or non-belivers. They might not be looking for a Sunday morning sermon like we are, but might find a Friday night program while clicking the remote. At any rate, we have recently started using the website to get our Sunday morning message.

If you want to hear a Good Word, or you find yourself in a situation similar to ours where you need an TV at-home pastor, we heartily recommend you find Bill Purvis from Cascade Hills Church in Columbus GA. He always has a good message, is a down-to-earth, practical, and committed follower of the Lord. We enjoy and appreciate his delivery and understanding of The Word. You can find him on the web here at

  posted at 12:27 PM  

Sunday, April 22, 2007
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Dora Dress
Is there anyone more exuberant that a three year old celebrating her birthday! Yesterday E Girl--our only princess grandchild--had her "frens" with her as she celebrated. She is always a happy child, but yesterday she was excited beyond belief. She had been talking for weeks about her party. She told me innumerable times, "all my frens are comin' and it's gonna be a Doha pahty!"

This picture shows E Girl in a special dress for her Dora-themed party. The dress has a history. Several little girls in her circle of friends have had Dora parties for their third birthday. The dress has been passed from child to child to wear on the big day. On the front of it there is a birthday cake with three candles and the skirt is full of images of Dora. These girls have a head start on the concept of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!

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  posted at 6:01 PM  

Friday, April 20, 2007
Failing Grandparenting 101
Grandchildren! What a joy! We got to have two of ours with us last night while their parents attended a banquet. They both had activities with friends before coming to our house so they had a full social calendar for the evening. Three-year-old E went to visit a friend's dance class and six-year-old L had soccer practice.

When they were brought to me they were hungry. They had both eaten earlier, but they were HUNGRY! I know how to feed children nutritionally, but, after all, I am the Grandmama! So, last night I think I probably failed Grandparenting 101. My attitude was pretty much--Go for it!
Here is what they had to eat last night:
• POPCORN--We love our popcorn! It is even better when we eat it in our tent. Our tent is under the kitchen table with a couple of sheets thrown over it to hang down and "hide" us. It is very cozy--especially when we bring books to read. Sometimes we stay there until Mama comes to get little people! Last night we didn't take time to build a tent--We just devoured the popcorn because they were so hungry!
• CHOCOLATE MILK and ICED TEA--E had "chocky" milk and L had iced tea. I know, I know. It was too close to bedtime for liquids, but--they were hungry!
• RAISINS--E loves them; L, not so much. He turned down all offers of fruit. He was hungry--just not for anything too nutritional!
• COOKIES--E found some cookies in the pantry that Poppy had gotten in a gift basket. These are BIG cookie "sandwiches" with strawberry filling between two--sort of like an Oreo, but not chocolate and bigger. I just knew she would take one bite and throw it away. She.ate.every.morsel--after she licked every bite of the icing off both cookies.
• POPTART--L saw E with her monster cookie and he needed one. Of course, he doesn't like strawberry and the only other cookie in the house was of the oatmeal raisin variety--Remember, no raisins! So he found a Poptart--with chocolate.

While we were on this feeding frenzy we played Trouble and Chutes and Ladders. At least, L and I did. He has become fairly patient with E as she learns to play games. He knows she will get tired, leave her game pieces where they are, and go to another activity. Sure enough, she went to find a her doll and a bear. Then L got competitive--He beat me at both games.

All evening we took breaks from eating/playing games to check on Poppy. The children like to be the ones to go ask Poppy if he is OK. E loves to run to the bedroom and ask, "Poppy you "tay? You need gamama?" and then back to me to announce the answer.

When E started talking about her pink bear at home I knew she getting sleepy. She got a doll, a bear, a blanket and had L and me curl up with her on the couch. We watched Nemo until Mom came for the little ones. What a precious time.

Yes, I think failed Grandparenting 101 last night! I usually try to keep things pretty calm and remember the "rules". For these two, we are the closest grandparents and it would be easy to go overboard. Last night I acted like a grandparent that only sees them once a year--You want it? You got it! I reminded myself of my own Dad. He didn't see the children often because of distance. I could say, "You have had enough cinnamon rolls/candy/brownies/etc. Don't eat anymore." Dad would be slipping them another one under the table! Grandparents! Gotta love us.

My children will be glad to let their children come back anytime because they know I will always pass with flying colors in the "loving them" category--And, of course, nothing says lovin' like a little junk food!

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  posted at 10:55 AM  

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Things About Myrna

Hasn’t this been a tough week? After viewing disaster, horror, and unspeakable grief for hours I have decided to try to regenerate some joy in my own life. Therefore, my TThirteen will focus on things that make me smile—or maybe even laugh a little. Actually, while I was writing I thought of many more that would make the list. But this is Thursday; so here is a list of 13—in random order.
1. A clean house—especially if I didn’t have to clean it by myself!
2. A beautiful sunrise or sunset
3. A bowl of fluffy white popcorn
4. Good friends at the front door
5. My grandchildren—separately and all together
6. A new book waiting to be read.
7. A White Chocolate Mocha—Grande!
8. A Beth Moore story about big hair, Keith, Jackson, or the dogs
9. Christmas-- with grandchildren!
10. My husband’s “cheesy” grin
11. My sons and their wives—Especially when we are all together!
12. My brother’s long stories about life's adventures
13. My sister’s phone # on caller ID.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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  posted at 12:08 PM  

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
God Is In Control
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:6-7

  posted at 4:32 PM  

Monday, April 16, 2007
Monday Musings
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
Help to make earth happy like the heaven above.
--Julia Fletcher Carney, Little Things, 1845

Mr. L (also known as ph--precious husband) and I have had opportunity many times in the last two years to be on the receiving end of deeds of kindness. For that, and so many other things, we are very grateful. We thank God for friends!

This weekend I was having somewhat of a pity party. You know the kind--"Not an all out boo! hoo! Woe is me! Everybody leave me alone while I complain and cry!'--embarassing public pity party. But, a "I'm tired and feeling down" little private party. I was the hostess and only guest! I was just feeling a little sorry for myself and just a bit lonely!

How wrong! I knew all along that I was wrong, but I had the visible evidence of that this morning! Thank you, Lord--and friends--for that display of caring this morning. I went to the mailbox today to get the usual load of catalogs and bills. And there--the evidence of friends thinking of us! Five--count'em, 5--cards expressing concern, love and caring for Mr. L and me.

In addition to the cards, we received several friendly emails today. Those were mainly in response to Mr. L emailing some friends about my blogging endeavor. I guess he thought I needed help rounding up some readers. That was not a part of my pity party--I may get to that point, but I'm not there now!

Look who we heard from today--
S--First she was my friend, but also loves Mr. L. Her card was to him--funny with a handwritten note that showed so much concern for his well being. She and I have been friends for about 30 years. We are the kind of friends who may not see each other for two years and can take up the conversation as if we haven't taken a breath.

T--A business friend of L. I have met her maybe two times--the last time when we met for lunch in Chicago two years ago. The card was addressed to our family.

D--A church prayer team card written and signed as she took her place in the prayer room to pray for us and others. She has been a friend for many years--our children grew up together in our church.

R--A relatively new friend who wrote me a note to just say she loves us. We didn't know R until last year and now she is special in our lives.

A group--A card signed by several friends who work together. Precious Godly people!

Such a variety of people. People from three different states. People who have never met and have no connection to one another in our lives.

Let me hasten to add that from the beginning of Lee's critical illness two years ago we have been covered up with prayers and love. We receive cards, notes, letters, emails, gifts, and visits on a regular basis. We know there are people who remember us daily in prayer and conversation. We appreciate all of that more than we can ever express! It's just that there was such a display of love on a day when I really needed to be lifted up. I know it was an answer to my little pity party!

Let me also say that I am aware of the pain several people in the blogging world are experiencing right now. Even though I have read Heather's blog and admired her design work, I do not know her or Kelli--even in the blogging sense of knowing someone. My pitifullness this weekend was not even one small fraction of a fraction of what those two ladies, and others that some of you know, are going through. I am very aware of that!

All of this has made me think about my own response to people who are hurting, lonely, or experiencing a bad day. I'm pretty good at listening to a friend who is hurting. I have friends that call me when they need compassion. I listened and advised people for years in my office at school--many teachers knew they could vent to me about problems. But, the unanticipated acts of kindness have never been my strength. Now, in this season of my life when I am at home most of the time, it is difficult to do things like visit or cook a meal for someone. I also don't have the time to give to organing an undertaking such as Boomama and other friends are doing for Heather and others like her. But, I know I can do more--more of the little acts of kindness for the people I know in real life--and maybe in the blogging world when the time is right.

So, today's musings about unneeded pity parties and acts of kindness have led me to a small personal commitment. I'm going to share it here in order to impose a little accountability on myself. I commit to remembering people more often. This means I will get my self organized (writing/postage supplies, etc.) and write and send notes of encouragement, concern, and care to friends on a regular basis. I am talking about the unexpected contact when I am aware of a need--the follow up to the more obvious incidents.

You are welcome to check with me later to see if I have kept the promise!

  posted at 4:11 PM  

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Love, Honor, and Cherish

A Marriage/Wedding Meme

Thanks, Tammy, for my first blogging meme. I enjoyed reflecting on the events and emotions of that very special day. It seems like a million years ago! It seems like yesterday!

1. Where/How did you meet?

His version or mine? We really met when a group of singles at our church went out after church on a Sunday night. The whole story is here.

2. How long have you known each other?
We met in early March in 1968, so we have known each other 39 years and counting.

3. How long after you met did you start dating?
Our first date was on April 6, 1968. We went to the movie, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
10 months--We got engaged on Valentine's Day in 1969. He has sent me flowers every Valentine's Day since then to celebrate what he calls the "monthaversary" of our engagement. The card always mentions how many months since we got engaged.

5. How long was your engagement?
4+ months

6. How long have you been married?
We celebrate thirty-eight years this year.

7. What is your anniversary?
June 28, 1969

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
Probably about 100.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?
A three-tiered almond flavored white cake with all white icing decorated with white icing roses on the top layer.

10. Where was your wedding?
In Fort Worth Texas at the church that we attended when we met. Neither of our families lived in Ft. Worth. It was an undertaking to get the two families together because his family lived so far away--Florida and North Carolina

11. What did you serve for your meal?
We did not have a dinner reception. We had fairly simple refreshments. We were paying for most of the festivities ourselves. I was finishing my second year of teaching and he was a seminary student. We weren't exactly making big bucks! We did have a rehearsal dinner the night before. Even though I helped plan it, I could not tell you a thing we ate. I was too concerned that his family and mine enjoy themselves and get to know each other just a little bit!

12. How many people were in your wedding party?
We each had one attendant.

13. Are you still friends with them all?
My step sister was my bridesmaid. We still love each other! His best man was a good friend with whom we have unfortunately lost contact. We still have long distance contact with some, but not all, of the others who participated--like ushers and people who served at the reception.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
No--Neither of us cried--We did shake a little!

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
When I started down the aisle with my Dad and saw my husband-to-be waiting at the other end.

16. Any funny moments?
Some moments are funnier when they happen to you--sort of , "you had to be there and be me to understand."
a. My veil was long and formed a chapel length train. My dad stepped on it when we were in the receiving line (I wish we had not had a receiving line--but who knew, in 1969, that you really didn't have to stand stiffly in line for an hour!). Somewhere there is a picture of me trying to move him off of it before we pull it completely off of me. He appeared clueless1
b. When we left the church several cars of friends were following us--honking and carrying on. Several of the guys had been telling my husband that they were going to follow us to where we were spending the night (They didn't know where we were going) We stopped at a traffic light about a mile from the church. We were in the left lane and a car full of people we did not know was in the right lane at the light. The man driving motioned for us to turn in front of him when the light changed--thereby escaping all the people following us. We did--and realized we were turning into the zoo! We found a detour through the zoo and didn't see our friends again for several days!
c. You know, I remember laughing at the reception, but I couldn't tell you what was funny or much of what was said in conversation with people. It just went by in a blur!

17. Any big disasters?
No--It all went surprisingly well.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Remember the teacher/seminary student budget? We went thirty miles down the highway to Dallas!

19. How long were you gone?
The seminary student had to be at class on Tuesday--So we had two days. However, we considered the whole summer our honeymoon. We sublet a student apartment for the summer and he finished school just three weeks after our wedding. We moved to another apartment when school started over in August and went back to "real life."

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
Given the circumstances of time and distance between families there is nothing I would change about what we planned. I do wish the families had had more time together.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
For most of our marriage I have slept on the left side of the bed.

22. What size is your bed?
I imagine my answer is different from what most people say--and it's not really about the bed.
We have had beds of all sizes full, queen, and king--and the last one we bought was a king size one that adjusts to different positions. He liked it--me, not so much. Now we closely share almost every moment of our lives; but when we sleep he is in a hospital bed and I am nearby in a single/day bed. I'm going to put an ADDENDUM at the end of the meme to tell a little more about our unique story. I plan to write about our remarkable journey. I will give a little preview of the story now.

23. Greatest strength as a couple?

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
Patience--But we have both REALLY improved on this in the last two years!

25. Who literally pays the bills?
He does, but he makes sure I know what he has done.

26. What is your song?
"Cherish Is The Word"--The Associations version--That's how my blog got it's name!

27. What did you dance your first dance to?
At a Baptist wedding in Texas--with the reception at the church--to a SEMINARY STUDENT--in 1969--with all of my conservative daughters-of- a-Baptist-preacher paternal aunts in attendance???? Come on now! The closest thing to dancing was the pianist who played "show tunes" throughout the reception.

28. Describe your wedding dress:
It had an empire waist with a lightly beaded lace bodice and long full lace sleeves that had long cuffs with little covered buttons. My veil, made by my an aunt, was long with several layers of tulle pulled together into a flat bow made from the same material as the dress. The dress was long without a train and the veil formed a short chapel length train. It was simple, but exactly what I wanted. My dress was made by the very talented mother of a high school friend. I showed her a picture from a magazine and she made the dress exactly like the picture.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
Mostly white roses with yellow and white daisies.

30 Are your wedding bands engraved?
My husband's is engraved with our names and the date.

Addendum-- A brief glimpse at the last two years of our lives. There is much more to be told.
Two years ago our lives changed.
We have always been on a remarkable journey together, but we had no idea how much life could change. Lee became very ill in the summer of 2005 and after four days in intensive care suffered respiratory failure. He was entubated and later placed on a ventilator. After almost three months in the hospital and rehab, it was determined that he would not be able to be weaned from the ventilator as the doctors had hoped. Over the next months he retired from his career in religious publishing and I took an extended leave from my position as an elementary school principal. I later also retired.

In the last two years we have learned more than we ever thought we wanted to know about health care, ventilators, feeding tubes and perseverance in the time of trouble. We have also learned more than we thought possible about God's care and grace, the love of family and friends, and the importance of life and living in God's will.

We still do not understand this part of our life's journey, but we know without a doubt that God is with us and will continue to guide our paths and decisions if we depend on Him. My husband is a remarkable man who continues to seek God's will, work for the Kingdom, and be a blessing and inspiration to all who know him. I'll tell the rest of the story in a post soon.

I'm new to blogging and don't quite understand the meme tagging ettiquette. Whoever has a wedding story to share is welcome to try this meme. Enjoy!

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  posted at 11:22 PM  

Monday, April 9, 2007
What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
Today was like Christmas! No, I'm not referring to the recent arctic weather we have "enjoyed" in the Volunteer State! Actually, I guess it really wasn't like Christmas--more like a birthday.

I had a bday not long ago. Several days before the big day my husband--also known as Precious Husband--asked me, "What do you want for your birthday?"

You need to know that I am not a big celebrator of my birthday. It truly has nothing to do with age. I just don't make a big deal of the day. I enjoy other people's birthdays and always planned parties for our children. I enjoy going to the parties for our grandchildren--with four grands celebrating birthdays within two months we have a real flurry of bday activity this time of the year! I just don't need a big whoop event for my day. My family knows this, but they always insist on some kind of celebration. This year it was dinner at our house--that I did not prepare--a cake, and a weekend of fun with all eight of the two younger generations. My sons planned the event. They are wonderful, caring sons and I appreciated their efforts!

Anyway--back to the gift idea request. Usually when ph asks this question I say something like, "surprise me," or "something for the soul," or "something pretty." this time I surprised him with, "I want a new washer and dryer." We seldom give those kind of gifts. You know the kind--something practical or not personal. When we were newly married and money was scarce we gave practical gifts out of necessity. But, several years ago we started being more creative and have tried to choose gifts that have special meaning or that the other would not expect. PH is very good at choosing meaningful, unexpected gifts, so when I said, "washer and dryer," he was a little shocked and probably disappointed. But, he asked and I told--so he went along with it!

That washer was definitely on its last legs--leaking like a sieve and listing to the left. Every time I walked into the room I didn't know whether to pray it would work or just kick it and put it out of its misery. On top of that, the pair did not match. Don't ever buy one of those appliances thinking you will get the other matching one later. In my experience that doesn't work. That's why for a while I had a gold dryer and an almond washer and then a white dryer and still an almond washer. You can tell the ages by the colors--gold dryer left from a pair bought in the 70s--added the almond washer in the 80s--went with a white dryer in the 90s. I'm telling you the truth. The buy one now/buy one later plan REALLY doesn't work at our house.

Yesterday and today I prepared for the grand homecoming of the new family members. I cleaned the laundry room and asked my son to move the dryer out of the way. The washer was to be hauled away by the delivery men and the dryer was picked up by a friend who needed it. This morning I painted the room, finishing just an hour before the scheduled delivery time. It was a boring, somewhat dingy beige; now it's yellow. Did I say yellow? I should have said YELLOW! I wanted bright and cheery--It is definitely bright--and clean--and bright!

The dynamic duo arrived on time and they are beautiful! Amazing--they are both the same color and style. I considered red because I really like red and thought red appliances would be really cool. But, knowing my history with washers and dryers I could just see a red washer with a purple or lime green dryer in ten years. So--they are both pristine white--which helps tone down the yellow just a bit. I keep going into the laundry room to be sure they didn't sneak out the back door while I wasn't watching. I haven't washed anything yet. I guess I don't want to get the machines dirty. Of course I need to read the manual to figure out all the lights and buttons. I know it is not appropriate to be proud--but I really do like these appliances!

Happy Birthday to me! Thank you, ph, for listening to what I really wanted!

Now I know I should have a picture here of my wonderful laundry buddies. Well, I am technologically challenged sometimes and can't always be depended on to get things to work right. This is one of those times. Oh well--I am doing some more things to the laundry room, so I'll get my camera problem (it's really a ME problem) worked out and show you the completed project in a few days.

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  posted at 9:53 PM  

Saturday, April 7, 2007
B-r-r-r! Is It Really Easter?
Easter Sunday! Where is Spring? Not here in cold Tennessee! The prediction is for this to be perhaps the coldest Easter Sunday on record. Guess some of those Easter frocks will wait until next Sunday to be worn--or they will be covered up by warm coats.

I'm looking forward to church today. I don't go on a regular basis these days. My husband has been battling a serious illness for a long time. He is now dependent on a ventilator and not able to get out (I'l be telling that remarkable story soon). Because of that we normally worship each Sunday with a couple of favorite preachers on TV. However, because our church is using a different schedule today, my son and I will be able to share caregiver duties and both of us make it to church. I have "graciously" allowed him to attend the 7:30 service and I will go to the 9:30 one. One grandchild is going to church with daddy and one will be in her preschool class and come home with me. After my daughter-in-law completes her responsibilities for the 11:00 service (she is on the church staff) she will join us for Sunday dinner.

We have planned a somewhat unusual Easter dinner. I'm not cooking and I'm sure my dil doesn't want to after a very full weekend of church responsibilities. We have some truly thoughtful friends who sent us a gift of dinner from Famous Dave's for the whole family. They know how my husband loves bar-b-que! I will make one cooking concession. My sons always request my deviled eggs for holiday meals. So, I will contribute a few eggs to the meal. Everything else is coming from the restaurant!

Have a blessed Easter!

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  posted at 11:21 PM  

Thursday, April 5, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #1

Places I Have Visited and Would Love to Visit Again

I could list several more places that have special meaning to me/our family, but these stand out in my mind as significant. Just making the list has given me a flood of wonderful memories of traveling with my husband, family, and friends. Although some of these places definitely have a greater impact on my emotions and/or memory, they are not listed in any particular order of importance.

1. Jerusalem--What an expereience to walk where Jesus walked! Visiting there was like going home; although the sights were new, the places were familar. To personally experience the places where well-loved stories took place was a joy beyond belief.

2. Ephesus--How exciting to stand in the ampitheater and imagine what it must have been like to have been there in the days of Paul and Barnabus. According to tradition, John brought Mary to Ephesus to live. Walking on the magnificent marble roads was an amazing privilege.

3. The Island of Patmos--The place of John's exile. When he was there it was a Roman prison site of bleak desolation. Today it is a beautiful green island with gorgeous wild flowers and pristine villages. The blue of the water is unbelievable.

4. Chicago--I never really thought of wanting to go to Chicago until a couple of years ago when I had the opportunity to go there with my husband. It was our last trip before he became so critically ill. It is an exciting city that I only began to explore--so many places left to discover!

5. St. Auguatine, Florida--This old--and modern--town is a peaceful, quaint and interesting place to relax and recharge.

6. Camden, Maine--A beautiful, unspoiled sailing port where you can relax, relax, relax. The deli had great coffee and there is a wonderful park where you can watch yachts, lobster boats, schooners, and small sailboats come and go all day. Taking a chooner trip intoPenobscot Bay was a thrill for this "afraid of deep water" girl of West Texas! There are lwots of delightful inns and bed and breakfast accomocations.

7. Nova Scotia--If you enjoy visiting lighthouses or old churches this is your place! We had a delightful picnic lunch near a lighthouse with a LOUD FOG HORN!!! The Bay of Fundy is a powerful body of water--take motion sickness drugs before the ride over on the huge ferry boats!

8, Glorieta and Santa Fe New Mexico--The two are inseparable in my mind! Our family has such good and meaningful memories of these places. Thank you, Lord, for Glorieta!

9. Mackinac Island, Michigan--Oh my goodness, what a treat--quaint and fudge-filled for me, lghthouses nearby for my husband! No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. If you don't like horses. horse-drwn vehicles, bicycles, or walking this is not for you! We liked it so much we have visited three times; If I ever go again I'm staying at the Grand Hotel--luxury plus!

10. Lake Barkley State Park, Kentucky--The scene of over twenty Thanksgiving weekends with our family. This was our annual "family retreat"--every year was different as two little boys grew toward manhood.

11. The edge of the plateau, Tennessee--Home for two of our four precious grandchildren!

12. Three miles down the road from my house--Home for the other two precious grandchildren!

13. Texas--Home of my childhood and where I met and married my husband. Don't Mess with Texas!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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  posted at 12:29 AM  

The Father Cherishes
Isaiah 40:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) 11 He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries [them] in the fold of His [garment]. He gently leads. . .

About Me

I am a Christian woman who shares a blessed life with my precious husband, our two adult sons and their wives, and four grandchildren. We cherish the adventures God has allowed us to have together. I recently retired from an over thirty year career as an elementary teacher and administrator.

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