Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, what a year it's been

Beckham West Moreno

Yesterday Alicia was sharing some new music with me from one of the song leaders at their church. As I heard this song the tears just fell. I needed this reminder as we sat together in the waiting area of the hospital. This is my song for 2012 and as I head into the new year.

My word for 2013 is HOPE. He is my hope with each new day. I long to grow in my faith and grasp in a deeper way what His hope is all about.

 Happy New Year and may we all seek to know Him more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Baby Beckham makes his entrance into our hearts and lives

I always sleep with my phone right next to my bed.  Getting an early morning phone call is never good.  I heard the phone ring and saw Lindsey's name on the display and my thoughts were, "Oh no, this can't be good." I answered and Lindsey asked if I was asleep.  It was my first day off after four days of working and I was immediately wide awake.  She told me she was at the hospital and in labor.  Her water broke and things were started.  Okay, here we go!

Just a few days prior we found out that Lindsey would be induced on January 14th.  We got busy and booked our flights for the weekend before.  I thought we were home free....BUT, deep down I knew this baby was coming early and Dave thought the very same thing.

I hung up with Lindsey and began to scramble.  Alicia called and we talked about getting our flight changed and heading to Chicago to get to Texas asap.  We booked tickets to Chicago to save some money and the kids are there and could help to transport us.  Alicia checked all flight, flights from all airports and there was none to be had due to the Christmas holiday.  We were stuck in Michigan.

After calling Dave at work he hurried home and a plan was made to drive the long trip to Texas.  Alicia called us back and surprised us with the news that she would meet us along the way by Chicago and drive with us!  She's the most upbeat person and such an encourager and has brought huge doses of peace for me.  It meant another driver for the 17 hour trip (which we made in 16 hours this time.)

We left home about 9:30am and met up with Alfred and Alicia a couple of hours later.  Alfred had to stay behind to work so he kissed his wife goodbye and sent her off with us.

Jenna was able to be with everyone in the labor and delivery room so we were blessed with a moment by moment account.  There was much cheering, tears and joy in our car when little Beckham entered the world at 12:22pm, one month early.  Jenna was in total awe of her sister and her new itty bitty nephew.

Lindsey did an amazing job and her prayers were answered for a natural delivery.  Her team was amazing and allowed her to do it her way which made for a wonderful experience and a great recovery.

We arrived in Dallas at about 2am and went straight to Jenna's apartment.  Lindsey was all set with Beto's sister staying with her for the night and Beto and Beckham had been transported to Children's Hospital a few miles away.  We were excited in the morning to go see Lindsey and bring her to her baby boy.

Five days have passed and they are already beginning to blend together and I have lost all sense of what day it is.   The waiting room has become our home.  Stricter rules have been put in place due to the cold and flu season so as of today there can only be two people with Beckham and two in the waiting room on his floor.  We've all moved a floor lower where we can be together, but it's the main entrance and it's busy and noisy.

It was such a blessing that on Christmas Eve and Christmas day we were blessed with turkey dinners with all the fixins from the hospital and it was wonderful. The hospital is a strange place to be on Christmas.  Needless to say I spend a bit of time in the bathroom alone crying.

There is no doubt that baby Becks has captured our hearts.  He was born the spitting image of his momma at birth which shocked us all.  The sono pictures looked just like his daddy.  My heart flooded at the sight of this little 5lb 13oz baby boy who looks so perfect.  He truly is his is momma and daddy's little buddy.  He has their features and fits perfectly into their little family.

For now we wait.  Beckham's heart surgeon has been on vacation for the holidays.  He will be back next week and is currently be informed of all that has transpired.  We anticipate surgery by mid week next week, but have no idea until the surgeon is back.

Beckham has been doing wonderful.  His blood levels have sent us into a scare a few times and we pray for him to be stable.  We ask for your prayers as well and we believe the many prayers are the reason he's doing so good and has bounced back previously with the breathing issues.  Thank you hardly says enough.  As I type this we just had another scare and it's been a more magnified one.  Wow, how we realize our need for the Lord in every detail.

Where do I begin to express what my heart feels?  I write this blog as a journal for my family to keep in the years to come and to know my heart, my faith and my failures.  This is more than a simple blog post can express.

I AM IN LOVE.  This child found his way into my heart many months ago.  Now as I look at his room filled with many machines connected to sensors which connect to him I'm lost for words.  I long to take it all away, the pain, the uncertainty and more just to bring him home.

I woke up the other night after a dream where Beckham was crying in his nursery at home and I was afraid the kids didn't hear him.  It was only a dream, but I hold it close to my heart and long for the day he will be in his crib crying to be fed or held.  His momma told me today that hearing him cry as the nurse changed his diaper was a good thing.  She's hardly heard him cry.

Beckham's nurse, Doug, commented today on how spoiled Becks is.  By the way, we love Doug, he is great!  When Beckham snuggled against me Doug reminded Becks that he is one spoiled little boy.  We are holding him all day long just switching arms.  We marvel at every sound he makes.  We go crazy when we see his eyes and laugh when we know he's messing his diaper.  We are all crazy fools for this little life that has been added to our family.

As the time approaches for surgery I feel the sadness of knowing what he needs to go through.  It's tough to know what lies ahead and how repairing Beckham's broken heart will indeed break mine.  I pray that the Lord will constantly remind me that this is necessary for us to see our little buddy come home.
I sit here waiting for my next baby holding fix.  My camera is constantly close to take as many photos as I can and every time I see someone snap another picture of me with my grandson my heart fills with pride.

God's fingerprints are all over Beckham.  We know our God does not make mistakes and He sees each and every detail involving Becks little heart.  We give thanks for the surgeon who is known to be one of the best in the country and pray for him daily and his staff.

Our little boy is resting safely in the palm of his Maker.  We covet all the prayers of family, friends and those who know us only by way of the internet, but love us just the same.  Please continue to pray for us.  Pray for strength for our kids and endurance as they walk this journey with Lil Becks.  Pray for rest at night to renew physical strength.  Pray for Dr Forbess and his team to be well prepared and tack sharp with their skills. Pray for me as I'm already dreading the day I need to leave my girl and her baby boy and go home. 

We give thanks for all of the meals that have been brought to the hospital.  We give thanks for the support of Lindsey and Beto's friends who have been amazing.  We give thanks for the gifts for Beckham and the gifts to allow us to live inside of a hospital and not have to stop to plan for anything other than caring for Beckham.  To each one of you we deeply say a huge thanks!  Thank you to each one of you who have called or texted us to encourage us and just check on how things are going.  It means so very much.  Thank you to my coworker for working out the schedule without me, you rock and are priceless to me.  I love all of you!  Most of all thanks to all who are praying.  We know the prayers of a righteous man avail much and God hears each prayer uttered on Beckham's behalf.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full. 
Psalm 139:14 

Friday, December 7, 2012

I close my eyes and see the night...

I ran out of the house today to get a few errands done.  Right before I left I grabbed a few Christmas CDs to listen to while running around town.  When I got in the car Josh Groban's Noel was at the top of the stack and so I popped it in the player and headed out.

It wasn't long before I'll be Home for Christmas was playing and I was brought back to the first time I heard this rendition and how it brought me to tears thinking of all the families that would be missing a soldier that year.  An empty chair at the dinner table,  gifts that would not be opened, and hugs that would not be shared on Christmas day

After the intro to the song my mind began to wonder to my Christmas this year.  I began to look back over this past year and realized how really tough this year has been. It has been by far one the hardest years of my life.  It certainly was not the year I had planned.

Now here I am, just weeks from Christmas and  I'm searching for it's true meaning.

For me there is no hustle and bustle.  There are no gifts to be wrapped and no big tree to put them under.  There will be no beds to get ready for kids from out of state and no food to prepare purely out of love rather than the love of cooking.

It's a year I'm sure I'll remember in years to come.

So as I drove today in my car with Josh Groban singing his heart out I found myself missing Christmas.  Me, the Grinch, actually missing Christmas.

When I got home I let my mind settle.  I knew in my heart that Christmas was not just about gifts or food.  It's wonderful to be with family, but that's not really Christmas either and sometimes it's just not possible to be together.

So today I focus on the Christ child.  I lay my Christmas down and pick up the real meaning of this day.  I will press on without a lonely heart or the reminder of an empty house to plague me. I will turn my eyes to the stable, the cross, and the empty tomb.  I will ponder the miracle of Jesus both as a babe and as my resurrected King.

I may not chose to listen to I'll be Home for Christmas again this season, but I'll prepare my heart focusing on when Love was born.

May our hearts be filled with awe as never before and may our homes be filled with His spirit and His perfect peace.  May we all close our eyes, block out the busy chaos of this world and with awe cherish the night that Love was born. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Daughter of mine

Daughter of mine

I miss you.  

I miss you every day.

You are in my thoughts constantly.  

I want to take the fear and unknown away.

My heart feels broken.  
I long to lay my eyes on your precious son.  

Like you,  I long to touch him and hold him.  

Tears fall at the thought of not knowing 

when my lips will touch his face.

It hurts me that you are in pain 
and discomfort every single day.  

Stress does cruel things to our bodies.

You still amaze me even in the toughest of times.

You will be an amazing mommy!  

You are such a strong tower.

You are so beautiful and you've radiated 

the inner beauty of a mommy to be.
I am here for you...


I pray for you always.

I am already in love with your child..and will be ALWAYS.

 We walk this road together.

We walk by faith, not by sight.

Lindsey Joy 

I love you!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dallas, daughters, Beto and Beckham

After a much anticipated trip I boarded a plane on the 31st of October to Texas.  I wanted to be able to see Lindsey pregnant at least once before the baby came.  Little did I know that when I booked my flight that this trip would be more meaningful than ever.  Finding out about baby Beckham's heart made the trip priceless.

Alicia decided to book a flight from Chicago and join me for a little visit to the heart of Texas, Lindsey and Beto's house.

All three of my girls in the same place!  This has not happened since Christmas so it was a joy to my soul to see them all together.  Jenna was very sick so she asked that I not take a ton of photos of her.  She ended up at the doctor to find out she had an ear infection and a sinus infection.  Such crappy timing for her to end up sick.  She had to work and go to school so her time with us was so short to begin with.


Day 1, all three girls

We had a fun night at Sissie's for dinner enjoying some southern food and a hillbilly quartet consisting of 5 people (thus, the "hillbilly" being added to the quartet by the groups lead guy).  They played some good ole gospel music and I really enjoyed it!  It was fun to see people singing along and raising their hands while enjoying dinner.  Trust me, I've never seen that in a restaurant in Michigan.

The next night was the baby shower.  Beto and Lindsey's photography friends did an incredible job of hosting a wonderful night filled with much love, food, and gifts.
My oldest two.  Jenna was very sick and opted out of photos.  These two are like twins only 21 months apart in age.  I love seeing them together.  It's like they are little girls again and BFFs.
The kids were thrilled with the carseat - stroller combo gift from Alfred & Alicia and Dave & me.

The food consisted of a chili bar, ice tea and coffee and this spread of desserts.  Oh YUM!  Yes, I had the chocolate pie of course.

It's tradition for us to visit Waxahachi and the Dove's Nest gift shop and luncheonette.  Jenna had school so it was just the three of us.  Always good food and fun shopping after.  Note my purse made by Momma Roar.  I was glad to have something nice and light to carry on my trip.

The three of us also did some shopping for Beckham's room and for ourselves of course.  I can't miss a chance to visit the Lush bath store and load up before heading home.

Since Jenna would soon be celebrating her 24th birthday we decided to enjoy some time with her and go to dinner and for dessert a bit early.  Sitting outside while eating our pizza was amazing.  This time of year in Michigan you just can't do that.  Alicia and I were basking in the 80+ degree weather knowing all too soon we would be back home in the colder temps.
I've said it so many times it's ridiculous, but I do have the best son in law ever!  He's so patient and he endured us 4 women without a single complaint and with a smile on his face.

After pizza we headed to La Duni's for dessert.

We all enjoyed some yummy goodness and celebrated Jenna!
Happy 24th birthday today to my baby girl!  Can't believe she's all grown up.

Each trip to Dallas we've been watching the construction of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge.  I finally got to ride on it.  I was so busy trying to figure out my new phone to photograph it that I missed the drive over it and missed the photo.  Thanks to Alicia I have this picture to remember the ride I missed.
One place Beto has been talking about is Emporium Pies.  After an afternoon of shopping for a baby mattress and more we loaded up on some take out pie for later.  Yes, we do love to eat when we are together.  I saw this wall outside of the pie shop and thought of my friend JM.  She sings like an angel, or so I believe and she came to mind as soon as I saw this spot.  Oh how I wished we were sitting there eating pie and drinking coffee together.

I forgot to mention these little guys.  I tried my hand at knitting and it bombed.  I decided to give felting a shot and ended up with these little toys to add to the shower gifts.  They are stuffed with jingle bells from Lindsey and Beto's wedding day.  I hope Beckham loves them someday.  (Ahhh blogger, I do not like it when you post my photos sideways!)

Beckham's room is filling up quickly.  By the time I left his crib was stuffed with baby gifts.  The mattress arrived after I got home.  His momma has a new crib sheet to put on  and soon she will have curtains to hang in bright and fun colors.  The rug for the floor is being shipped.  It's all coming together for the day he can come home!
This entire trip was filled with much laughter and love, but also more emotion than I can write about.  We were all able to attend the echo-gram for Beckham's heart.  It was a time of many questions followed by many tears.  I'm thankful we are a close family and we can laugh together, but also cry together.  My daughter is a very strong woman, but the unknown is filled with so many questions for her.  Please continue to pray for her and Beto as well as for Beckham to enter this world with great promise and joy.  There is so much more I could say, but for now this is enough.  (You can find a FB page at Beats for Beckham to show your support.)

On the day I left we had brunch at The Porch where Jenna works.  The food was fabulous and way too much of it.  Jenna served us well and it was time for the first goodbye.  I see so little of my baby girl.  It was hard to walk away once again.
We walked outside and found a nice little place for a few last photos.

They are so good together!

Beckham was spoiled already by Grammy and Auntie Leashie.  We LOVE this baby and his momma!

We loved on this belly over and over.  We longed to feel him kick, and kick he did.  We wanted to shower Lindsey with love and get every last touch in before we had to leave.

We are a crazy bunch, but a bunch who love one another and care deeply for each other.  I'm so thankful, thankful beyond words, for this trip.  I needed to be with my daughter right now.  I needed to love on her and her unborn son.  I will treasure this visit far more than any before it.  It was such an emotional visit, but a gift for all of us that cannot have a price tag attached.

Friday, October 19, 2012

He scattered the stars in the heavens

Lord, it's me again.  I'm sure You've noticed that we've been talking more than usual lately.  It seems I'm finding that moment by moment I need to be reminded that You are there.  I know, You promised me that You would always be here for me and never leave me alone, but boy do I feel alone at times.  It comforts me to come talk with You.  I always find that peace that the world seems to rob me of.

Lord, I know Your Word is truth and life.  I learned this as a very little girl.  You know, as I grew I began to realize that life is not always so easy.  There are these times when the rubber really meets the road.  Father, I'm thankful that You have been there all along.  ALWAYS.

I've walked through some tough times in my 52 years.  I've hurt so deep in my core that I wondered how in the world the wound would ever heal.  You, my God, are the great healer.  You, my God, brought me out of places that burned and scarred my heart and soul.  You brought me out whole again.

So now Father, I walk an unknown path once again.  You never said life would be piece of cake.  You never promised me smooth sailing.  Yet I know You promised to bring me THROUGH to the other side and bring me out refined and more like your son Jesus Christ.  Oh how often I've prayed, "Whatever it takes Lord."

Two weeks ago when Lindsey called and gave me the news of baby Beckham's heart I felt the bottom drop out.  It felt like my heart was ripped right out of my chest.  I shut down for a few hours.  I couldn't cry, couldn't process.  My baby girl was facing life head on with a huge hurdle and I couldn't take the pain away.  This is a mother's nightmare.

As I think back on each step I smile knowing that You were there.  In the midst of my heartache Your Word was in my heart.  Your hands were holding me up and carrying me.  Yes Lord, You are faithful.

The next week was a place I hate, a roller coaster.  I remember the last time I boarded a roller coast I promised You that as  mother I would never EVER get on one again.  It was insane and I needed to keep my feet on the ground for my children.  Well, that was a literal roller coaster and now I was on an emotional one and no matter how hard I was screaming and crying I needed to ride the ride to arrive at the end and see that during the ride I was being held on to by the hand of GOD alone.

Lord, here I am two weeks later.  My heart feels peace even as the world is screaming at me.  Some scream FAITH, HOPE, MIRACLES!  If we don't believe we sin!!!  You know Lord, I DO believe in healing.  I just don't understand the preaching and condemnation of some. Others mourn for things lost even though Beckham has not even entered this world yet.  I'm torn Lord.  I'm confused.  I want to plug my ears.  I need love and support, not preaching or doubt.

So today I fight to close out the noise of this world and cling to You.  I believe Lord.  I believe that the Maker of this world makes NO mistakes.  I believe that if You could hang the moon and the stars then You alone ARE a miracle worker for Beckham.

My faith may only be the size of a mustard seed at times, but Your Word assures me that it's enough to move mountains!  I will stand strong and trust that You have a plan and purpose for Beckham.  You are directing the path of our family.  You have knit Beckham in Lindsey's womb and he IS fearfully and wonderfully made.

I thank you Lord, my Father, my God for each and every promise you have given to ME.  You are a loving God and the picture You see is far more than my finite mind can fathom.  Oh how I pray that when the unbelief wiggles it's way in that You will restore my faith and trust in the One who created the universe, in You my God.

I'm mystified at how much I love this little boy.  The very thought of him bring tears to me eyes.  He is already a huge part of our family.  What a gift, Lord, what a gift!  

I give You THANKS for BECKHAM.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say, on the Lord 
Psalms 27:14

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

For my daughter

Lindsey Joy and Mommy 1983

I Loved You From The Start

Author: Unknown
I loved you from the very start…

You stole my breath, embraced my heart.

Our life together has just begun,

You’re part of me, my little one.

As mother with child, each day I knew

My mind would be filled with thoughts of you.

I’m daydreaming of the things we’ll share,

Like late-night bottles and teddy bears.

Like first steps and skinned knees,

Like bedtime stories and ABC’s.

I’m thinking of things you’ll want to know,

Like how birds fly and flowers grow.

I’ve thought of lessons I’ll need to share,

Like standing tall and playing fair.

When I first see your precious face,

I’ll pray your life be touched with grace.

I’ll thank the Lord from above,

And promise you unending love.

Each night I’ll lay you down to sleep,

I’ll gently kiss your head and cheek.

I’ll count your little fingers and toes,

I’ll memorize your eyes and nose.

I will linger at your nursery door,

Awed each day that I love you more.

Through misty eyes, I’ll dim the light,

And whisper, “I love you” every night.

As mother with child our journey’s begun,

My heart’s yours forever, little one.

 I loved you from the very start…

You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
 Lindsey Joy ~ 22 weeks
Lindsey Joy, this poem speaks the very words held deeply in my heart 29 years ago.  Now look at you, so beautiful, so happy and so filled with wonder.
Your little boy is growing.  Each day you are noticing him more as he kicks reminding you that he is there.  I cannot even begin to tell you what the months that are ahead will feel like.  There's nothing like it, a growing baby within.  You'll feel the kicks.  You'll feel the hick-ups and before you know it you see little hands and feet moving across your belly.  He's right there tucked up under your heart.
I know you wonder what life will be like when he arrives.  Will you lose apart of yourself?  Will you be a good mom who loves to play with her little one?  Will you be able to handle the challenges that come with a new baby?
Trust me my daughter, you will be the best!  You are filled with love and all too soon this little boy will fill every single corner of your heart to where you can't imagine there's any room left.  He will smile at you and just that small little turned up mouth will melt you into a thousand pieces.  His eyes will sparkle when he sees you.  Your heart will feel like exploding.  And when his little head snuggles up in your neck and he falls peacefully asleep you will quietly utter a prayer that this moment will never come to an end.
 Lindsey, I wish you all the wonderful and magical moments I felt with you.  I still hold on to the memory of your little face against mine.  I can see your little smiles and sparkling blues eyes when I close mine.  I can feel your heartbeat against my chest when I think of you right there so close and such a part of me all those many years ago.
Oh yes, life will change for sure. 
 He will steal your breath and embrace your heart.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

I left therapy in tears today.  I didn't want to cry.  I tried hard not to cry, but I cried.

Therapy, it's a weird thing.  You walk in with some sort of need to be made well.  People all around you are fighting to regain their life and their independence.  I look around while I'm there and see so much pain combined with so much progress.  It's an interesting place.

Today I listened intently to people.  Lots of idle chatter going on.  Some girl talking about food.  A guy talking about fishing.  Another guy talking about his early morning college classes.  Yeah, lots of idle chatter.  That's part of the experience.

Me, I walked in expecting nothing today.  I was a bit down and out.  I think I was just tired.  I dreaded going to see Mason, my therapist, because I was in a funk of a mood.  I wanted to be all cheery and full of smiles saying all was well, but I wasn't feeling it, inside or out.  It didn't talk long for that to change.

Mason, the guy I called an angel after helping me overcome severe hip pain in a very short time.  Mason, the last guy on earth I expected God to put in my path to really be so much more than a therapist. 

It's pretty normal to share that idle chit-chat with your therapist.  Each time I've gone I've had a different person work with me.  Each time we began by talking about my health issues and then moved on to getting to know one another.  The common questions about how many kids you have or where you live are just a part of the process.

With Mason it turned very differently very quickly.

On my first visit we started the usual talk about family.  Before I knew it Mason was not only helping my hip feel better, but he was reaching a place in my heart that I had begun to close off.  We talked about our faith, our kids, our struggles.  He shared things from his life away from the Lord and how he found his way back.  He shared things that were new and eye opening to me leaving me to face the hard cold fact that my heart was shutting down and closing the door on areas that needed prayer and a new preservative to fight the good fight and never give up.

It's weird how in the most unusual places God shows up.  Why do I find it so amazing?  Isn't that who God is, amazing?  Doesn't He desire to show up and knock us off our feet leaving us in awe of His ways and His greatness?

Mason and I have been working together for the last two weeks.  Today we just sat and talked as he worked on my sore foot.  We talked about our goals as parents.  Even though his kids are younger and mine are adults and on their own we still have the desire to speak life and truth to them.  He began to share thoughts about the work of the Holy Spirit with me.  He reminded me of how at times there can be a cloud brought about by the enemy to cause a person's focus to become distorted and unclear.  He was reaching my heart.  He was being God's instrument in the flesh.

It was time to leave.  Mason had been out of the room for a couple of minutes and when he returned he looked at me with a smile and told me that he would be praying for my family, for answers to things I do not understand.  He made me promise to come back in time and share the good news of answered prayer with him.  He spoke faith, hope, and love in those few words.

Oh boy, that just did me in.  That's when the tears came.  This guy, this therapist guy just ministered to my sore and pain filled heart to the point where I knew, I KNEW the Spirit of the Living God was there, right there in the doorway of the therapy room. 

I left the building and drove away.  I then wept.  I soaked in the goodness of the God I serve.  I love the way He cares so deeply for me that he chose to use a physical therapist to reach me and remind me that I am not alone.  He cares so intently that in the middle of my day to day this and that He shows up and blows my socks off. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Lord, thank you for being a God that is so personal and so real that You can reach down in my every day life and bring hope and healing not only to my body, but more importantly to my soul.  You never leave me on my own, but You show up and lead me by green pastures.  Your tenderness and gentleness can even be found through a therapy session where I never thought about Your presence being so real and so strong.  You truly are a personal God who not only knows the very number of hairs on my head, but also the deepest pain and hurts in my life where you long to bring healing.  I thank you Lord for reminding me that You alone are the balm that heals the broken hearted and You alone never stop giving to your own.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Peachy Pie Just Ain't Gonna Cut It

 Lindsey at 20 weeks

It was Tuesday and I knew the kids were heading to the doctor for the big, "We're finding out the baby's sex" visit.  Lindsey's appointment was mid morning and I was at work just chomping to find out what the news would be.

Somehow without even really giving it much thought I just assumed it was a girl.  I guess after giving birth to three daughters and then raising three girls for all those years I had forgotten that there was a 50/50 chance of it being a boy.

I walked into the lab at work and found a note on my computer monitor to call Lindsey.  My coworker was smiling while she said, "Call Lindsey!  Call Lindsey!"

I reached the kids cell and Lindsey immediately asked if I wanted to guess.  Nope, no guessing, just tell me!

I heard Beto say, "It's a boy!" 

I responded with, "Really??"

Lindsey piped up and said, "Yup!"

Wow, a baby boy!

I left work right after my quick chat with the kids.  It was my lunch break and I quickly drove home with tears filling my eyes.  I just sort of sat there my entire lunch break soaking in the reality of the news I'd just heard.

Once back at work I walked in and the tears fell.  I smiled at my coworker and explained that this was no longer all about my daughter being pregnant, this was about a little precious baby boy being added to our family. 

I began to wonder what he looks like.  Will he be fair skinned like his momma or brown like his daddy?  Will his eyes be brown or blue?  Will his nose be turned up like his momma's was at birth or will he have a crease between his eyes when he is serious like his daddy?

The one question that stuck in my mind was the very same one I asked myself over and over when I carried his mommy, "Will he know just how much I love him?"

It's been a couple of weeks now and I'm still floating around on a cloud.  I pray for this little guy each day, many times a day.  I want to find little things to send to his mom just so she knows I'm thinking about her and her baby.  I'm in awe of the photos she sends me of her tummy growing each week. 

No, he's no longer called Peachy Pie.  It just doesn't fit.  His dad and mom have not decided on his name quite yet and even if they do it might be their secret to keep until his birth day.  So for now he's just Baby.

I wonder what life will be like when this little boy arrives.  I know one thing for sure, my life changed completely the day I found out that a little boy will enter my world and call me grandma.  He's captured my heart already.  Yup, I'm in love with this little gift of life and I can't wait until January to meet him.  I sure hope he loves kisses.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Peachy Pie

My girl and little, itty bitty Peachy Pie at 16 weeks.  For now that is the name I'm calling the baby.  I love, I mean I LOVE peach pie and so why not?  Hopefully in a few weeks we will know if little Peachy Pie is a boy or a girl.  I may have to find a new name if it's a boy.  Somehow Peachy Pie sounds a bit too sweet for a boy.  Oh well, I'm sure by then this little one might even be given a real name and this Grammy won't need a nickname anymore.

Friday, July 27, 2012

May I be all that and much more

 My gram and me ~ 1960
 My mom and me ~ 1960

Growing up I never once thought about what it meant for my grandmother or my mother to be moms.  I never gave a single thought as to how they viewed their lives or if being a mom and grandmother made them happy.  I never had to think about it because I knew from the very depths of my heart that being a mother and grandmother were the number one most important things in their lives.

As a child I remember vividly my grandmother's bible always being on her kitchen table or close by.  Her day began first of all with the Lord before she faced whatever task was hers.  It made an impression on my heart that her values were strong and good.

My mom was and is the most selfless person I know when it comes to her kids.  Not once in my life did I feel like my mom put herself before me and my brothers.  It was just a fact that her kids were her life.

I'm pondering a lot these days.

I miss my grandmother just as much as I did 14 years ago when she left this earth.  I miss her tender and caring heart.  She was the one person that I went to when I needed a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.  I loved seeing her cater to my 3 little girls as she lead me to believe they were her very favorite great grandchildren even though she had many and each one was a treasure to her.

As a girl and even into my teens my mom was my best friend always.  She never let me down and made sure I felt secure and valued by her in all ways.

Yes, I'm pondering.

Was I a good enough mom?  Will I make a good grandma?

You know, my mom never played games with me.  She never crafted or loved cooking and baking.  Often we think these are the things that make a great mom.  For me it's something far deeper.  It was her undivided attention and unfailing love for me.

Although I never played Scrabble until I was 50 and I never realized all of the ingredients in the world to make amazing food I did know deep down in my heart the a mom's love was constant.  If I needed her she she would drop everything to be there for me.

My memories of my grandmother were a bit different.  She was an outstanding cook.  Her baking was hard to beat. She could sew and crochet beautifully.  She loved to read books to me as a child and to my children when they were big enough to sit on her lap.  Still the most important thing I remember about her was her heart.  To me it was as big as the world and she made me feel as though I filled every corner of it.

And so I ponder.

Will my daughters remember me like I think of my mom?  Will my grandchildren smile as they grow and think of their grandma as the best in the entire world.

I pray daily that I am a mother to be praised and a reflection of two amazing women who have graced my life and both "did it right

Thank you Lord for the blessing of my godly grandmother and mother.  Thank you for the memories I have as a little girl of being a treasure to both of them.  I ask you Lord to make me into the woman that reflects You in all things.  May my legacy be one of love beyond measure for each child You have given me and hopefully someday to many little ones to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Part 4: Walking, working, and seeing clearly

Needless to say, this was a Mother's day I'll remember forever.  I can honestly say that it made up for all the years that I had no children at home and sat in a heap of loneliness and self pity.

A dear friend once gently reminded me that Mother's day is just another day.  I needed to reflect on the blessing of being a mother, the blessing of having a wonderful mother of my own, and focus less on my empty heart.  I know she was right, but boy let me tell you that having them home and within my reach to hug is really the best way to enjoy being a mom.

The day after the kids left I returned to work.  It had been 9 1/2 weeks of recovery and I was finally feeling strong enough to go back to my part time job, part time.  I did some half days and even though I was not very strong and my foot hurt I felt a sense of regaining my life at last.

Soon I was out of the big, old, black boot and into a shoe.  What a day that was!  My shoes may not be pretty, but they beat a cast and a boot any old day.

So here I was, back to work, walking pretty good and daily reminding myself of the enormous blessing of walking out of my house on my own.  Being able to drive my car with my right foot was huge.  Yup, life was getting more of a regular routine each day.

While busy at work I got a phone call from one of my daughters.  Knowing that I'm working they normally don't call me unless it's important.  I have to admit that phone calls from Texas these days have set my heart racing.  Between Lindsey's health and Jenna having a car accident while heading to work in Dallas traffic I'm always a bit nervous when their names come up on my phone.(Working hard to get over this issue.)

This time was a very pleasant surprise.  Lindsey was calling to check what our plans were for the 4th of July.  Plans?  Huh?  We never have plans.  We sort of had some plans to attend our church camp out for part of the weekend, but the kids always come first.  They wanted to fly home and spend a week with us!  What great news!  Once again the unexpected visit home from the kids was pure joy.  Alicia decided to hop a train again and come for a couple of days.  Alfred had to work, but she was able to come home.

We had a great time just soaking up the heat here in Michigan.  We spent hours in the pool.  Dave and Beto got to experience some father/son time on the bikes.  We went to the beach which is a must if the kids are home in the summer.  It was my goal to get in the sand this summer and I did it!  It was just what the doctor ordered having the kids home and relaxing together making some good memories.

 My sore and tired feet feeling pretty happy in the beach sand.

 Dave and Beto following a bike ride.

Just relaxing.

The "momma to be" :D

 Sisters at the beach

As always life goes on.  The kids returned to their homes and Dave and I are back to just the two of us.  Things are slightly different these days as we spent countless conversations talking about becoming grandparents.  We have no idea how this long distance thing is going to feel and I just don't really want to think about that part of it right now.  We are just having fun thinking about that little life that will change us forever.

I hope to fly to Dallas this fall to see my sweet girl pregnant.  I can't go the entire time and not see her tummy growing.  With the baby due in January they will not be coming home for the holidays.  There are weddings to photograph and then the time is too close for travel.

All in all I feel over the top blessed and even though my time of recovery didn't give me a super spiritual experience I did learn over time to see the hand of God constantly at work in my life.

I watched Him bring me through a very difficult surgery and recovery.  I witnessed the loss of our precious first grandchild only to be reminded that He never took His eyes off from our kids and He never forgot about us.  Walking through that valley His presence was so sweet giving comfort to us and hope.  The news of another baby on the way was a promise to us that He cares for His own blessing us with the desires of our hearts.  He protected Jenna from harm when in the car accident and extended His loving shoulder to lean on throughout a long and drawn out nightmare of getting the claim settled.

Yes, I DID have an over the top spiritual experience.  It just turned into a daily walk with the Lord once again learning to lean, trust, and hope.  In the lowest of times He was there.  In the height of happiness He was there.

It might have taken me time to process His goodness and faithfulness, but just as He promised He was there all along.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 (NIV)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Part 3: Dealing with the pain, loneliness... and hope!

It was a very difficult time to be so far away from our kids and unable to hold them, cry with them, and love on them.  We were able to Skype which at least allowed us to talk and cry together.  We encouraged them to grieve, but to also keep their hope in the Lord.  He had done great things for us all those years ago when after our first loss came a beautiful baby girl named Lindsey Joy!

You know, it's only God that can remind you in the midst of sorrow and pain that there will be, "... beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:3)  After a long and rough week where Lindsey was down in bed with a throat infection we began to see hope arise.  Although pain was still present for all of us, we could feel that God had allowed that ray of hope to rise up within our hearts.

It gave me great joy to hear our kids talk about the future and the hope of another pregnancy.  Once again my thoughts went back all those years ago when Dave and I walked this very road and in His timing we were able to look ahead hanging onto the reality that we had once been blessed with a pregnancy and now there was hope, real hope that it would happen again.  I prayed daily for our children and the hope of a new life for them.

Time passed.  Lindsey healed.  Hearts hoped.  As for me, I was in pain and just plain lonely.  I wished each and every day away just waiting to walk again.  I fought guilt for not relishing this time that so many had encouraged me to look forward to before surgery.  Many friends reminded me of this precious time to seek the Lord and just rest in Him.  I felt a sense of guilt for not wanting to spend every waking moment seeking the Lord.  Don't get me wrong, I needed the Lord daily, at times minute by minute, but I just wanted to find this rich place of dwelling in Him and instead found myself tired and just so alone.  I knew the Lord was there with me the entire time.  He made himself known in ways too many to number.  I just needed to look hard to see them and to let go of the self imposed guilt brought on by my own disappointment of not having a "spiritual" experience that was extraordinary while being laid up.

The recovery from my surgery went as well as could be expected.  I had a few set back such as a nerve issue in my leg and pulled back muscle, but the foot seemed to be healing.  Boy, I didn't have a clue pre-surgery that it would be such a long haul.  Each day was the same.  I woke up, struggled to get through a shower and breakfast, rested, struggling to get through lunch and cleaning up the house a bit and more rest only to be watching the clock until Dave came home.  What a HUGE blessing to have a husband who was totally and completely selfless and made me feel loved when I cried, cared for when I couldn't care for myself, and reminded that if he needed to care for me like this for the rest of his life HE WOULD!

I was blessed beyond measure by friends who brought meals and made visits.  If you ever feel the tug on your heart to go visit someone who is house bound, DO IT!  What a blessing a short visit from a friend made in my 9 1/2 weeks at home.  Those of you that took the time, I have no doubt that the Lord has bless you for your willingness to minister to me with your time and love.  (A special thanks to Jan B, Millie H, and Shelly H for all of your visits and the huge blessing of food which helped me to relax knowing David was fed well!  The biggest thanks of all goes to my niece, Heather, who saw me through from the beginning and was there through the good and the bad of this whole experience.)

After 6 1/2 weeks in an expandable cast and then a fiberglass cast I was transitioned into a boot, but still no weight bearing.  Just about that time Mother's Day rolled around.  Beto and Lindsey would be flying home to photograph a wedding here in Michigan and Alicia was coming in from Chicago for the weekend.  I was still not quite up to much, but was thrilled that at last there would be a break in my boring routine and I would have family around me for a few days.  Oh, and the walking could slowly begin little by little.

It was Alicia's birthday that week and she arrived late at night by train on her birthday.  We did a bit of eating out and shopping, a real chore for me at this point, but still good to get out of the house.  I made the best of it and looked forward to Sunday when my girls were going to take over in the kitchen and I could just soak up the blessing of my family being together, well most of us anyway.  Oh how I missed Jenna and a family time is never complete without Alfred!

Mother's day morning arrived and Lindsey and Beto gave me a mother's day card.  I read it thanking them for their thoughtfulness.  Lindsey asked if I had read it.  Of course I had.  She told me to read it again, every word.  I reopened it and saw she had addressed it to "Grandma".  What???  Seriously???

Once again my precious girl was carrying a baby.  It was very early on and Lindsey had just, I mean just found out.  She privately shared with us and her sister once again swearing us to secrecy.

(Deep sigh)


Tears, oh yes tears

Heart bursting, bursting, bursting so that I thought there could never ever be room for more joy.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Part 2: Surgery day arrived and a whole lot more.

March 1st quickly arrived and off to the surgical center we went.  The couch was made up with sheets and pillows.  The little basket of necessities was full and next to the couch.  The bathroom was now complete with the raised toilet seat (oh Lord, really?  Yes, really!)  The tub had a new shower hand held sprayer and a tub seat.  The walker and crutches were all set to be used.

Surgery went well, really well.  I came out of it with little pain and was ready to get home and get well.

The first couple of days Dave was able to be with me, but his vacation was all used up and I was dreading being alone and helpless.  Lindsey called and offered to come care for me for a few days.  She would fly in on Sunday afternoon and stay until Thursday giving her time to get back to Texas to photograph a wedding on Saturday.

By the time Linds arrived Dave and I had figured out a good plan of getting me from one room to the other and making sure I was well cared for.  I was so thankful to have Lindsey with me once Dave headed back to work.  The pain had set in and I was helpless.

Lindsey and I spend our time talking and sleeping.  I was on strong pain meds and she was now pregnant.  I relished each moment with my daughter and knew the Lord had shed his goodness upon me by having Lindsey home.

During the few days Linds was home she was able to share their exciting news with family and friends here in Michigan.  It was fun to let the cat out of the bag and start telling my friends and family as well.  I'm a talker and it was hard to keep my mouth shut for a month.

Thursday came all too quickly and it was time for Lindsey to fly back to Beto in Texas.  Dave loaded me in the back seat of the car and off we went to the airport.  I was still on heavy meds so the trip was not a big deal and it was good to get out for a short ride.

Lindsey made it home and by the weekend they had pretty much shared with family and friends about the news of the baby.  They had the wedding to photograph on Saturday and then on Monday would post their news on Facebook for the rest of the world to know.

I knew something was wrong when she called me Saturday late morning asking questions.  Wow, I can't even write this without reliving the moments, hours and days that followed.

She called her doctor, rested until she had to leave and then headed off to photograph the wedding.  What a day it was for her. Alfred and Alicia had come home to be with me for the weekend and we waited, prayed, and hoped. We talked on the phone with Lindsey off and on and by Sunday morning she shared that she had lost the baby.


After walking this road in my own life twice I knew just what she was going through.  I knew the feelings of loss, disappointment and sorrow.  I knew the dreams that had begun to bud were trampled on and destroyed.  What I didn't know is that it hurt me more to watch my children walk this road than it did for me to walk it out in my own life all those years ago.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The new year arrived and so did a bucket load of emotions

It's hard to imagine all that has happened around here over the last 5 months. Although I have not been blogging I've decided to try to record the events so that I can remember them and cherish each part for how it impacted out lives.

Part I: Pure Joy

It seems like the new year had just arrived and all too soon I was looking at foot surgery.  Alfred and Alicia invited us to come visit for a weekend in February and we hopped at the chance knowing I would be laid up for quite some time and the opportunity to head their way would be out of the question for at least awhile.

We hit the road first thing in the morning on a Saturday.  Our 3 hour trip was uneventful.  Just before we were ready to exit off the highway to the kids neighborhood I got a text from Alicia asking us to let them know when we hit the exit.  I didn't think anything about this since it was getting close to the lunch hour and I figured she was getting lunch going and maybe had something to put in the oven.

I sent her a text back just a few minutes later and before we knew it we were at their condo.  We were excited to see them and they quickly ushered us inside and said that Jenna was on Skype so we could all chat.  We sat down and started talking when out from the bedroom popped Beto and Lindsey yelling, "Surprise!"  Huh?  What in the world were they doing there?

I turned around and saw Lindsey holding a little photo of a sonogram and smiling from ear to ear as she told me I was going to be a grandma.  We all hugged, cried, laughed and shared this precious moment together, even Jen was able to see the excitement on Skype.

The weekend was filled with lots of baby talk.  We laughed about all the options for grandparent names.  We all looked ahead to the fall when our first little one would arrive.  I don't think I could have been happier in that moment.

Dave and I love babies!  We both talked during the drive back to Michigan about how hard it would be to have our first grandchild in Texas.  We talked about how excited we were and no matter what we would be in this child's life.  We had a secret to keep for awhile, but it was fun and thrilling.

We had no idea what would lay in store for all of us just around the corner.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From work outs to working it all out

So, what's new in my life these days you ask?  Oh, you didn't ask?  Well, I'm here to write it all down as usual just because I feel the need to get it out of my head and neatly tucked away somewhere else and that's just what this blog is for.  So, read on if you feel like it or just click out if you don't.

The past month has been a wild one.  As I mentioned before, the new year was for me a time of new beginnings.  Knowing my birthday would be just a few months away I wanted to start the year out with a new passion for feeling better, eating healthier, and getting a grip on turning another year older.

Little did I know that all the exercise would bring another foot issue to light.  If you know me at all or have read my old blogs, you know that my feet have not been my best friends for the last decade or so.

I started out January first hitting the WII fit every single day.  I felt good, really good.  Oh, the old body was screaming as it wondered what in the world I was doing to it, but basically I mentally was feeling better.  Winter tends to bring me down and out and the exercise was fighting that in a good way.  Each day that I buckled down to do a workout I finished up with big time pain in my foot.

For many years I was sure I had the beginnings of a possible bunion and nasty looking feet like my mom.  Oh boy does she have nasty looking feet.  I'd have days where I'd feel pain and then long stretches with no pain at all.  Now the pain was 24/7 and a visit to the doctor was on the list of things to do.  She took one look at my foot and said I needed a specialist to evaluate what was going on.  Off I went with Vicodin in hand to wait three weeks to see the specialist.

During this time Dave started to not feel well.  He was in pain and had found a lump that caused some alarm.  He called me at work to say that he was really hurting and I asked him to call the doctor right away.  The doctor didn't even want to see him, but rather sent him directly to the hospital for an ultra sound.  We were thankful that same evening when the report came back that he was battling a really tough infection and meds would get him back to feeling good again.

A few days later we headed to the foot specialist.  I was dreading the appointment.  Several people had felt the need to share how painful bunion surgery is and I just didn't feel like being off work for a period of time and dealing with pain.  After having ex-rays taken and speaking with the doctor I was left in a heap of tears.  Little did I know it wasn't just a bunion, but a fallen arch needing repair along with a tendon that needs to be lengthened.  The kind doctor said he could just shave bone off my foot, but it would not bring about the solution to my pain.

I cried for three hours straight.  That seems insane now, but at the time I just needed a good old pitting party.  I dreaded the surgery.  I couldn't even wrap my mind around 8 weeks of NO walking and a cast.  I was frustrated that my girls live far away and would not able to be here with me.  Oh, and how in the world was I going to tell my coworkers that they would be working short yet once again?  Yeah, it was a pathetic sight and sound around here for those 3 long hours.  Bless Dave's big old caring heart as he consoled me.

As the days past I found myself coming to grips with the surgery.  We scheduled a date of March 1st and the planning in my head began.  I would have a bunch of stuff to get in order and the next four weeks would fly by.

By this time weeks had past for Dave and the meds were doing nothing.  He was in more pain than ever and getting frustrated.  He finally saw the doctor leaving both of us feeling far worse.  We both agreed that worry would do nothing to change the situation and we needed to just trust the Lord and wait for a report.  Our doctor sent him on to a specialist with the words, "This could be a tumor and we need to get you seen ASAP."  Needless to say that did not bring much peace to my mind.

We waited through the weekend and on to Tuesday for the next appointment.  I was not able to leave work to go along and let me tell you it was so hard waiting to hear how things went.  Bless my dad's heart for going along with Dave so he was not alone.  The specialist confirmed a nasty infection and prescribed different meds to ease the pain.  What a relief!  Okay, that's an understatement.  The enemy sure knew how to attack my thoughts.  I kept trying to hold fast to the fact that everything would be fine, yet I wanted to be prepared for reality if it should be cancer and we needed to head into a big time fight.

Finally we have arrived to today.  David is beginning to feel some better despite a head cold.  Oh how thankful I am!  I am getting small things set around the house to help me cope with crutches for 8 weeks.  The exercising has stopped and that makes me sad, but it's not worth the pain.  I was continuing with non foot related stuff, but then a stiff neck hit.  Oh brother, how can such a small thing cause so much discomfort?  It made me laugh at myself and the lack of being able to turn my head for several days.  Still, it was a pain in the neck!

I'm still not at total peace with the surgery, but I realize that my quality of life is hampered and it will only get worse if I don't go ahead and get the issues fixed.  I'm working hard to not stress.  Again, if you know me, you know that's an ongoing battle for me.  I'm blessed to have a husband that is encouraging me and reminding me that we will make it through this time of less money and more pain.  We both know without doubt that the Lord will provide for us, He always does.

So we press onward to March 1.  I try not to think too much about getting to the bathroom during the night, about the cat jumping up on the bed and snuggling in by my feet where she loves to be, and about many, many weeks of not working.

Yup, it's a new year and I am praying that all of this will find me stronger.  In times like these where surrender is a hard thing to do, I find myself working to lay it all down and just give it up the One who knows my future.

Help me Lord Jesus to surrender all to Thee.

Ever have one of those days?

A friend sent this to me in an email recently.  I think the message is loud and clear.  How often we forget.

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

Me: Promise you won't get mad?

GOD: I promise.

Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

GOD: What do you mean?

Me: Well I woke up late,

GOD: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start,

GOD: Okay....

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait

GOD: Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call

GOD: All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh...

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road

Me (ashamed): ............

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work

Me (embarrassed): Oh.....

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered

Me (softly): I see God

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm sorry God.

GOD: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust all things, the good and the bad

Me: I WILL trust you God

GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.

Scriptural References: II Samuel 22:31, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 2:13

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My WORD for 2012

As I entered this new year I noticed many of my online friends sharing what word the Lord had impressed upon their hearts to be their daily focus.  During the years of my regular blogging this has been something many of us have done and we shared our words and later shared how the Lord worked in our lives over time to teach us the true meaning of the word He'd given.

I didn't really search out a word, but I knew change was what I wanted.  I was tired of the extra pounds I had gain, tired of my lack of exercise, and tired of being 51 yet feeling much older on most days.

I set a goal for the new year to try to get a bit healthier.  I began on January 1st by instituting a daily exercise routine.  Although it was slow and very beginner like I knew I needed to begin somewhere.  I agreed with some friends to be held accountable for the next four weeks as to what I was eating, drinking, and how much exercise I was actually doing.

I was sure God was telling me that CHANGE was my word.  I didn't like it.  I didn't want to know what else would come with such a tough word.

It's been almost a month into this new way of life.  I've lost some weight slow but sure and feel a sense of accomplishment as I watch my clothes loosen up a bit and my body feel stronger. Yet, slowly I could hear that still small voice telling me that change was not what the Lord was leading me to.  Although changing my lifestyle was huge, it was not meant to be my word for the year.

Today I realize that the Lord has lead me to a word that I know without doubt is meant for me to focus on and meditate on daily.  My word for 2012 is humility.

It's funny how God works.  He slowing and steadily was showing me that being proud is a sin.  It's wrong to be proud in the face of others about what you know, who you know, and the things you have accomplished.  I believe the Lord desires for me to reflect Christ in all things and pride is the complete opposite of what Christ is.  Not only does the Lord desire for pride to be cast out of my life, but He desires for pride to never be held up as a substitute for His goodness and His grace.

I recently read that many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility, or being humble. They think being humble means groveling in front of others or thinking we're no good and others are good.  That’s not how the Bible demonstrates being humble. 

God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.  You are able to be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You are able to walk humbly in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, not your own personal power.   

Godly humility is being comfortable with who you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The meaning of humility in the Bible is one of loving others.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Being humble allows me to not feel the need to always be right in every argument, nor do I need to always win.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

Being humble means that I can respond to unfair treatment without being overcome by bitterness.  I do not need revenge.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Being humble means that I do not have to act like a big shot.  Because in knowing God I have nothing to prove.  I can also deal with my failures without being emotionally hurt.

Being humble allows me to ask for forgiveness no matter how much or how little I might have been wrong.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).

Being humble allows me to talk with a gentle spirit and in love even if it means I need to be firm and strong.  Again, I do not need to prove anything.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

Being humble allows me to act in a godly manner and therefore I will not regret my words or my actions.     

So, with all this being said, I can only pray that each day the Lord reveals these things to me in such ways that I cannot close my eyes to them, but rather have a teachable heart and a heart that is open to change (there is that word again).  May I be a teachable child of the King and may humility be seen in the things I say and do.  I have a long road to walk and much to learn, but in Christ all things are possible.

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).