Sunday, March 13, 2016

What if God Were Writing the Bible Today?

Do you ever wonder who would be in the Bible today if God were writing it now?  I sometimes think about that.  Working with preschoolers, I find myself reading and studying the stories in the Old Testament alot.  Sometimes the New, but mostly the Old.  It is funny, I remember learning the stories when I was little, but they are different now than I remember.  I do not think it is any kind of accident that God chose the people he did.  We think of Noah and we remember the ark, but AFTER that there is a story about him being found drunk on the floor naked passed out by his son.  We think of David and we think of Goliath, but AFTER he became king, he stole someone's wife and killed her husband.  We hear all kinds of stories and think about the people who were a mess and then they found God (or he found them) and then they got it together.  But, there are stories after stories of people who were a mess.  The only thing they got right was loving and following God, but even when they had it right part of the time, they really botched it other times!  Sometimes I feel like I have it all together and others I think whoa I am a hot mess!  And even though I know about God and I love him so much, I struggle with stuff every day.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Life sometimes flips you upside down...literally

Many of you reading this blog know that I had a serious car accident January 22 of this year.  I had taken half of a Friday off work, as I do every year to help lead an overnight church camp for kids.  It is one of my favorite things to do and it is at my most favorite place on earth.  My kids were with me and we were about two hours into our drive--about 20-30 minutes from camp.  The kids were both busy on their electronics and I was thinking through what I needed to do when I got to camp.

Out of nowhere, appeared a small patch of ice.  I saw it before we hit it, but I did not have time to react correctly and it completely caught me off guard because the roads had not been bad at all for the two hours we had been driving.  I screamed as the car went out of control.  We went across the other lane of the road and into a yard filled with lots of large trees.  The last thing I remember is that we were heading for a big phone or electrical pole and that we needed to get around it.  We did manage to get around it, but just barely.  It took off the passenger mirror where my daughter was sitting.  Then I guess we started flipping frontwards three times.  We landed right side up which I remember thinking was amazing.  My phone landed right side up directly in front of my steering wheel.  My son's door had opened and closed during the flips, but thank goodness only his iPad and phone went out of the car and not his hand, arm, head.....
This is a tragic story.... but the fact of the matter is that life often hits us out of nowhere.  It might be a wreck or it might be a disease, divorce, cheating, theft, death, anything.... But often it is not expected.  Even so, we have a choice in how we proceed and how we conduct ourselves and our beliefs.  It is so easy to jump right to "why me God?", "Why now?".  "Why this?". Well, to be honest... why not?  I can look around every day and find 10, 20, hundreds of people who have it worse than I do.  Why not me?  Why them?  Trust me...I would be lying if I said that I was not terrified and wondering what my future would look like.  But I will tell you I was thankful I have a future to look at.  I was thankful that my children were spared most physical harm.
I don't remember a lot of the next few days.  I know that I rode in an ambulance with my kids to one hospital and that my friend Ellen left camp--even though I know she was needed there to come sit with me and my children while we waited for my husband and the kid's dad to arrive.  I know they were cleared there and that I then went by ambulance to another hospital in a lot of pain.  And then I was lifelined to Methodist Hospital. I don't remember anything from the moment I got off the helicopter until I was in the Neuro ICU.  I do remember thinking that I was going to try to make everyone smile that entered my room.  I think I was pretty successful with that one.  That floor was sad and it was surreal to be there because the woman in the next room was brain dead and her family got notified while I was there.  I could hear them praying and singing for a miracle for at least a full day.  I don't think they got it.  One or two other people died while I was there and everyone else was so quiet... they were incubated or just not conscious.  I remember Roy and I were laughing about some things one day--I remember thinking "this is the joy that comes from the Lord--not based on circumstances but just on him".  I am not sure I have ever experienced it like that before... but I did that day.  That verse can be found in Philippians 4:4-5.  It took on new meaning for me.
I am told that after the surgery, my first question was "Will I walk again?". The doctor said he wasn't sure... some people did but many never did again.  I told him it was ok either way, and I am not sure he knew how to take it, although I now know he is a Christian too... so maybe he did.  During this time when I wasn't sure I would walk and I could not feel my legs or feet, I remember not really being too worried about it, but being excited when I was able to wiggle my toes or feel my feet for the first time.  This verse can be found in Philippine 4:6 (Don't worry).  It was also during this time I remember thinking, "This is the peace that surpasses all understanding.". This is Philippians 4:7. 
I had several setbacks.  I couldn't walk at first.  Then I couldn't urinate.  Then I did go, but I couldn't control it.  Then I couldn't go again for like two weeks... that was scary, but I still tried to look for positives and keep a sense of humor. 
There were several things that happened that were very healing too.  My old church really helped us out a lot and someone that I used to be great friends with before some trouble came to see me and it was just really healing for my soul.  Philippians 4:8-9.
I have had to come to terms with a lot of things, needing help, bills, not driving, not teaching, etc.  It has definitely been a one day at a time kind of deal.  But, Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.". I get a little stronger every day.  I can do a little more every day.  Today, I finished the first part of a college class I decided to take and I walked 1000 steps.  Those are baby steps, but they are still steps. 
This experience helped my husband see his first miracle.  I bet he will see more.  Who knows what else will come from this.... but I know there will be stuff! 
Miracles happen every day... big and small.  Keep your eyes open and you might just see one.  And remember that you have a choice in every situation on how you handle it.  It may just have a huge impact on your future or someone else! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How this blog changed from thoughts of a single mom to a not-so single mom....

I have been meaning to write this post for almost a year I guess, but I wasn't sure where to start or even what to say.  But, I am going to give it a whirl now.

So, last year in February, I had decided that I was done dating.  I was just going to be single forever and I was going to be totally content with that.  I decided that I had been hurt for the last time and that dating just was not worth the trouble.  So, on February 16, I logged into the dating site I was on to delete the account and be done with it.  However, when I logged in there was a very nice and long, well thought out note from a man named Roy.  I could tell that he had really read through my profile and had really put some thought into what he wrote to me.  I felt like I should at least be polite and write back to him because of that.  I really thought that would be the end of it.  However, he wrote back again and again and we started talking by text because we really had a lot in common and I was just drawn to him.  

Two weeks later, after talking for hours by text... but never by phone, we decided to meet and he came to my town and we met at Starbucks.

....I need to pause here for a minute in this story to tell you this.... for years I had prayed for a man who would pursue me.  Who would be the one to lead things.... also, you need to know that through my life I have always wanted to receive flowers at work.  There is something so special about that.  I had only had that done once or twice before and we had discussed that.... Now back to the story.

So, we met at Starbucks and we talked for a couple of hours.  He was a really neat guy and again, we had so much in common.  I was just completely drawn to him.  

The next day, I was at a hearing for education downtown with my friend Beva and I got a text from one of the teachers I work with showing me a picture of an amazing bouquet of flowers that had been delivered to me at school with a poem. Roy had ordered them at the local florist before our meeting.  (Again, meaning--we had never talked on the phone or met when he ordered these).  I asked him later what he would have done if we did not click at Starbucks and he said that he would have sent them anyway, just with a different note because he knew how much I loved flowers.  

After that, we talked every day and saw each other as often as possible--he lived an hour away and we work opposite shifts.  As time went by, I realized that he had every quality that I had prayed for over the years.  I had written two lists of things that I hoped for in a future husband during my ten years of being single and I am not kidding when I say he had all of them.

In March, he asked me to marry him and I said yes.  People thought we were pretty crazy, but I felt at total peace about it which is also not really the norm.  My friends had often told me during the times I was dating that I should give guys a little more time or try not to just look for reasons to break up, but usually I would break up with all of them pretty quickly for one reason or another.  

We decided on getting married in June.  Again, many people told us we were crazy for getting married so fast, but it was just right.

Well, we did not get much of a "honeymoon period".   Roy's mom passed away just a couple weeks after our wedding and Roy really had a hard time with it.  He then suffered some health problems that were really tough for both of us.  It took the doctors several months to get things to a good place.  We had two great weeks where everything was normal and then I had a really bad car accident with my kids in January.  

We were heading to church camp, and hit a spot of ice out of nowhere.  Our car flipped over three times and I fractured my back in 7 vertebrae and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.  My kids just had scratches and walked away. 

This car accident totaled my car and I was in the hospital for a month.  Roy had to make lots of decisions about my care and had to have a crazy schedule of being at the hospital with me and helping with my son  and working.  I have to say that he was my rock.  Honestly, he put up with me being nasty to him at times when I was heavily medicated and frustrated.  He put up with me being confused and scared.   Seriously, I cannot imagine what I would have done if I did not have him. 

People may think we were crazy for getting married when we did, but I feel--no I know that God led us together for a purpose.  He knew that Roy was going to need me  and then he knew that I was going to need Roy.  Marriage is not all about romance and happily ever after.  It is about God joining two people together as a team to lean on each other.  I love this man with all of my heart--sometimes in a mushy lovey dovey way.... but also in a way that means I would go to the ends of the earth to help him and do anything in my power to keep him safe and healthy and happy.  I believe he feels the same.