Posted in Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk: A Toy Garage Blessing

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Stephen garageould you believe that God cares about a toy garage for a two year old  . . .  well, really, for a mom? Today my husband and I were watching our youngest son, age 2 1/2 playing Kids playroomwith his cars on my jewelry storage boxes.  He was inventing his own little garage, with all the noises and rumblings.  It caught that little heart jolt in both my husband and I as we watched him, remembering our oldest three playing cars together.  I am sure one of the reasons God sent our baby son to us is to help us remember those memorable busy days when our oldest three were toddlers.   It was decided in my mind, he needs a car garage.

A few hours later we had to go to a doctor’s appointment.  We don’t go to this section of town often, but it’s very close to a resale store.  I convinced my husband to go for a quick 15 minute visit.  I was praying that I’d find a play garage as we were driving in.  I was still whispering the prayer as I walked through the store.  And when I got to the toy section, I asked, “Okay, God, where is it?” as I glanced around.  Yup, there it was!  Baby GarageI was so thrilled!  My husband saw the glow on my face as I almost skipped back to him with my garage blessing. (Being only $2.99 helped too!) I called home to tell the kids, “I prayed for a garage for the baby . . . guess what I got?!?!”  My daughter laughed.  She knew.

And the baby loved it and played with it for hours.  Precious memories remembered – precious memories being made and savored – thankfulness and renewed awe to my Savior who even cares for little things . . . like a toy garage.

This post is in participation with the  Wednesday’s Walk meme.  Read other’s memories and join in!

Posted in Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Memory Walk ~ A Time for Everything

This past week was one of so many precious and bittersweet memories and memories in the making.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill & a time to heal;
A time to tear down & a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3

Celebrating a birth - 8 years later!
A time to celebrate a birth - for the 8th time!
Thankful for 16 years - missing him these past 5 birthdays.
A time to remember 16 yearws & a time to mourn the 5 birthdays we've missed him.
A time to plant - plant memories with daddy
A time to plant - plant memories with daddy
Our two oldest sons on each end, standing up for their best friend's (middle) wedding - precious memories.
A time to embrace friendships & rejoice together - Two oldest sons on each end, standing up for their best friend's (middle) wedding.
A time to love & dream - my three youngest girls dreaming of their wedding
A time to love & dream - my three youngest girls dreaming of their wedding

Join with the others on Wednesday’s Walk.

Posted in Baby, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Memory Walk ~ A Breastfeeding Funny

W ith our lives being filled with many doctor’s visits and adjustments with my husband being sick and recovering, I’ve not participated in many  Wednesday’s Walk for well over a month or so.  I don’t do this often, but decided to go back a few years and read some posts I had put up . . . and came across this one I had forgotten about.  Laughter is good medicine!

Revisiting April 16, 2007:

BethanyOur youngest daughter [then almost 4] was certainly observing, as I was getting ready to nurse her baby brother [then not quite 2 months old]. She totally ADORES him – did before he was even born, talking to my belly everyday. But on this particular day, she wanted to make sure he knew that I was about to nurse him. Suddenly, in just a matter-of-fact voice, leaning down to inform him, says:

READY OR NOT . . . HERE SHE COMES!

I wish you could have heard it in the tone of her voice. We split laughing. Then she could not understand our peels of laughter, and began sobbing. She thought we were making fun of her. We got her calmed . . . we calmed, but it still makes us all laugh when we think of it.

Thankfully it was not in church during a quiet moment as I discreetly try to feed him.

I will have to remember to remind her of this someday when she is about to nurse her baby!  Join with the others on Wednesday’s Walk.

Posted in Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk ~ Fooling, but not being a Fool

D o, you have April Fool’s Day memories?  I had fun today.  I don’t always get my kids.  They always know when I am teasing about something by just looking at my face.  One of my boys just started a new job.  He did not have to work until the afternoon, so he was sleeping in . . . and it was 10:30 a.m. and he was still in bed.  So, I opened his door, and exclaimed, “You got to get up!  Mike called!  He wants you to work at 11:00.  HURRY!”  He bolted out of bed.  I don’t know how he did not hit the ceiling with being in the top bunk bed.  I heard him scurrying around, and finally came running out in the living room, in his uniform asking where some specific shampoo was.  Instead, I handed him a very nice “man” breakfast . . . sunnyside up eggs, bacon and homemade bread.  “I don’t have time for this” as he looks at me weird.  “Yes you do . . . it’s April Fool’s day!”  Poor kid . . . he could not stay mad at me too long, especially if he wanted to eat his special breakfast that our other children were drooling over.  Ohh, I got him good!  And so far today, the kids have not gotten me, yet.

Years ago when we had goats, the children woke their dad up who used to work second shift to tell him we had baby goats just being born.  He made it all the way out to our barn, to hear “April Fool’s”.    He was not happy either.  But our children were disappointed later in the day when the goat DID really have her babies, and their daddy did not believe them!  🙂

We can have fun on April Fool’s Day and make fun memories.  I don’t like the kids doing things that hurt each other or put one down to make fun of them.  I encourage them to do things in a loving, fun way . . . something they will not mind having done to them.  We have talked about how it’s okay to try to fool someone, but, we don’t want to be a fool.  The worst kind of fool, is to not believe in God.

“The fool has said in his heart, “there is no God.”  “ Psalm 14:1

“The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.
All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”  “
Psalm10:4

We can have fun, joke and fool someone.  But the most important decision we will make in life is to not be a fool and putting our complete trust in Jesus.

Join with others on this Wednesday’s Walk
on Lynnette’s blog,
Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Grounds
.

Posted in Meme, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk ~ Easter Bunnies & Vitamins

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S o, you are wondering, what in the world does Easter bunnies have to do with vitamins?  It’s my Wednesday’s Walk from a childhood memory.

My daddy was a news director of a large radio station in Milwaukee.  He went to work early in the morning.  Every night he packed his brown paper bag lunch and set out his breakfast for the next morning.  He’d put his Cheerios in the bowl along with his vitamins, right next to the bowl.  Some mornings he’d get up and Cheerios would be scattered, and his vitamins, gone.  My parents thought for sure, either my sister or I were getting up, and messing with it and/or hiding the vitamins.   We even got spanked for it.  But, it kept happening.

Soon it was discovered what was happening because of our Easter baskets, which were left on the kitchen counter.  Just days after we got them, our big chocolate bunnies had big scratches on them – mousesome of the tinfoil was chewed off other pieces.  IT WAS A MOUSE – a very health mouse – eating Cherrios and vitamins, snacking on chocolate!  Weeks later, when my mom cleaned out a corner kitchen cupboard, a mouse nest was discovered, with a pile of vitamins in it.

So as I walk through the grocery store and see all the chocolate spring bunnies and chicks (which we call them instead of taking away from Resurrection Sunday) I am reminded of the disappearing vitamins and the discovery of a mouse eating my chocolate bunny.

Posted in Books, Contest, Family, REVIEW, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk ~ Remembering My Uncle & Book Review/Giveway: Classic Bible Storybook by Kenneth N. Taylor

H ave you had someone in your life that just kinda embarrasses you with their quirkiness, yet you know deep down, they are right, love God and probably have a better relationship with God than you do?  Maybe one of those people that just kind of rubs you the wrong way . . .  might it bug your your conscience?  I had an uncle that way.  Uncle Bob was my dad’s only sibling.  He never married, and lived in the inner city of Milwaukee as a missionary, in a back room of a church.  I don’t recall ever even seeing where he lived.  “It was too rough”, my parents said.  I know he did not have a stove, but used a heating burner to warm up his food, usually canned soup.   If my kids would have known him, they’d probably call him “nerdy”.  He dressed kind of dumpy – it was what was handed down to him, and he really did not care.  My parents would often give him new clothes or a new suit.  He’d give it away to someone who needed it more than he did. He’d break out in song at the dinner table., making my mom clear her voice louder than his singing, to get him to stop.  He had  a snorty kind of laugh, and he probably thought at times we were laughing with him rather than at him.  He’d put us on the spot, usually asking a question about our relationship with God, at what we thought was the wrong time, such as “did you read your Bible today?”   He knew sign language and would often talk to us that way or do it along with songs.

Uncle Bob would ride the  city bus from his church to as close to our home as the bus would come to our house, in the suburbs and my dad would pick him up.  I remember often one of the first things he’d say when he’d walk in the door was “who’d you talk to about Jesus today?” He’d go on to tell how many he talked to on the bus and about the tracts he passed out.  He would not hesitate to talk to the drunks and homeless laying in the back alleys of Milwaukee.  He called at least once a week to talk to my parents, probably because of some loneliness and to see how they were growing in the Lord.  Christmas gifts from him always consisted of some kind of Christian book or new Bible.  He died within a few weeks after I first started college.  Stomach cancer took over quickly, probably from all the nasty food he ate at the greasy local diner.  He was proud of me going to a Christian college.  He was “weird” but he was a pure example of loving God with his whole heart, soul and mind.  I imagine him good friends with Paul in heaven.

taylor1I remember very well one of the books he gave my sister and I.  It was a big hard covered Bible story book for children going through the whole Bible.  My parents read us stories from this book for many years.  The reason I share this now, is because I was given a book from Tyndale House Publishers to review, Classic Bible Storybook.  As I have held this book, seeing the pictures, and reading the stories to my little ones, it’s brought back memories from my childhood of that big ole’ Bible Story book from my uncle.  I did some research, and sure enough, that Bible storybook that my uncle gave us was “Taylor’s Bible Story Book” published in 1973 of over 400 pages, holding 198 stories.  Looking inside the cover at the publishing and copyright information of this new book, Classic Bible Storybook, it says it was adapted from Taylor’s Bible Story Book.  As I shared last week for Wednesday’s Walk, I do not hold many tangible items from my childhood, and with this book, I got a piece of it back.  It’s made me think of my uncle, the one we laughed at, yet the one who was part of laying a foundation of faith in my life.

taylor21Just as this book brings nostalgia to me, it may for you too . . . possibly from the Bible stories that were read to you as a child. Classic Bible Storybook is a collection of more than 120 Bible stories along with 3 or 4 comprehension questions at the end of each story.  The author, Kenneth N. Taylor, is best known as the translator of The Living Bible, the founder of Tyndale House Publishers and the author of many children’s books.

I am delighted to be able to give away one of these books to one of my readers! You have two ways to enter.  The first, is the easiest – just leave a comment above that you are entering this drawing.  If you want an additional chance to win, write about this book review and drawing on your blog  with a link back to this post and leave an additional comment with the link to your blog.  This book drawing will run for one week, ending on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 10:00 p.m. EST.

Posted in Faith, Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk ~ A Letter

fuller-letter

I do not have many tangible items from my childhood, but this is one I am so thankful to have.  A few years ago my pastor’s wife from my childhood sent this letter to me.  How precious she saved it.  It was the letter I wrote to her on November 30, 1974, just a few days after I asked Jesus into my life, to be my Lord and Savior.  I remember the Sunday, knowing I needed to do something, knowing I needed to make that decision.  I slipped my hand up for prayer, but did not walk the aisle.  As we were leaving church Mrs. Fuller took me aside.  Yes, I was ready.  She took me to her husband’s office, and there we talked about how Jesus died on the cross, that He would have if I was the only person in the world, and how I had to accept and believe this and ask Him to be mine.  I prayed, and she prayed.   Years later, Christmas Eve of 1982, my sister and I were baptized together, both of us proclaiming together of our salvation.

My childhood pastor & his wife have been very dear to me through the years.  They have remained faithful in their faith, in their service to God, to each other and in praying and loving others.  They went through many ups and downs with me and my family.  They also have been like family to me in many ways, and were with me during the time of my mom’s death and at her memorial service.

One of my favorite verses, which I also use as a basis for my Bracelet Stories (personalized bracelets with memories and stories spoken through birthstones and charms) is:

“Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us,
for it has heard all the words of the LORD
which He spoke to us;
thus it shall be for a witness against you,
so that you do not deny your God.”

Joshua 24:27

How thankful I am I have this piece of paper for my witness that I accepted Jesus in my life.  It’s something I can pass down to my children.  For now, it’s staying in my Bible.

Posted in Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday’s Walk: Mushroom Memories


Imushroomwas not sure what to write on this week, so I started going through pictures on my computer. Well, I came across this picture from a little over a year ago.  This is my baby with a BIG mushroom the kids found in the woods.  We’ve found several of them. (And that black spot on the mushroom – it’s a fly!)

I have a similar picture of one of these mushrooms on a CD I’ve saved, but did not have the time to go searching for it.  But, I think of it as one of the first times we really laughed after our son’s death.  It was the first time we found one of these mushrooms, and we were searching for info on it and trying to decide what to do with it.  Our oldest son was being to himself.  We were thinking he probably thought this mushroom was dumb and why waste time on it.  We were going to cut it up and fry it and see how it tasted, but one of the kids had a better idea. We put a bunch of birthday candles in it, and took it down to our oldest son’s room and we all sang, in a very silly way, happy birthday to him.  It was not even close to his birthday! He thought for sure something was wrong with that mushroom that was making us all sick.  I remembering laughing so hard . . . it was good.

It’s a good reminder that, joy does come again.

Join the others on Lynnette’s Wednesday’s Walk.

Be sure to join my book drawing for an encouraging book for any bereaved person.

Posted in Family, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday Walk: First House ~ First Disagreement

I invite you to participate in the drawing
for a wonderful child’s book below.

OFirst Houseur first home was a very small shoebox of a house.  It was under 800 square feet, with no basement.   I have wonderful memories from this house  from bringing home our first two children here, my husband building a deck off the back, my first dog, and a vivid memory of one of our first disagreements.

My husband plays the piano, and we got our first piano from down the street at a garage sale.  We rolled it down the road to our house.  (I wish I had a picture of that!) Somehow we squeezed it through the front door, into our living room.  And here, the debate began – what wall should the piano go on?  Despite how small the house and living room were, it became a MAJOR discussion.  We pushed it back and forth, observing it from different angles.  I wanted it on one wall – he the other wall.  The discussion abruptly ended after my husband announced, “My MOM would like it on THIS wall.”

Now, I love my mom-in-law, BUT, this did not go over very well.  Funny, now I do not know who wanted it on what wall or which of us that won, but . . . we remember the disagreement.  We laugh about it, now.  And we remind our children that when they get married, what NOT to say to their spouse!

Join the others on Lynnette’s Wednesday’s Walk.

Be sure to join my book drawing for a wonderful child’s book.

Posted in Baby, Family, Grief, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday Walk: Remembering My Baby & Aborted Babies

These past several weeks you have joined me in watching a miracle unfold before us.  Eleven years ago tomorrow, we also were part of another miracle.  One little life went to heaven; my life was miraculously spared.

It was just three weeks after we brought Jessica home from her eleven week stay in ICU after two open heart surgeries, many of those weeks near death’s door.   I took Jessica to her cardiologist for a post-op check-up.  I was 36 weeks pregnant with our 8th child.

We were barely in the cardiologist’s office when I thought my water broke, to find out I was hemorrhaging.  I was rushed next door to the adjoining hospital and within a few minutes an ultrasound showed that our  little baby girl, Angela Hope, was already with her Creator, seeing His face before mine – touching His hands before mine.

An emergency c-section was done to save my life.  After the surgery I asked my doctor if I’d be able to have more children and he told me “God will fill your quiver.”  Later I was told that had any other doctor done my surgery, I would have most certainly had a hysterectomy.  This doctor valued life – before it even began.

Angela Hope died January 22, 1998, the 25th anniversary date of Roe vs. Wade.  I will never forget driving to the cemetery, and looking behind us as we were coming down a hill, seeing all the cars following us.  Her short life was being honored and remembered.  I thought of all the aborted babies being thrown away, trying to be forgotten by mothers,  fathers, doctors, nurses, etc.  I made a commitment that day that I would would not let her death be in vain and that I would remember aborted babies too.  For quite a few years on special occasions I would still buy that special Easter dress or Christmas dress I would have gotten for her and donated it to a prolife pregnancy center.  We tried to do something in her memory and memory of others who lost babies and children, along with remembering aborted babies on Sanctity of Life Sunday in our church.  But as the years have passed, I’ve neglected in doing as much.  It was renewed this past  Sanctity of Life Sunday at church,  as I heard about a new law that is trying to be passed.

Do you know about FOCA – the Freedom of Choice Act? I had heard “something” of it, but sometimes we get so bombarded with one law after the other, it’s easy to become numb and just let it pass, not giving it another thought.  We need to give this great thought, and take some quick action.

Information below in red was quoted from here.

If FOCA passes, it will “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”  Here are just a few:

  • Christian doctors and nurses will be sued if they refuse to participate in abortions.
  • Religious hospitals will be forced to do abortions or shut down.
  • Babies will be aborted up until the day of birth.
  • States will have no say in any abortion law.
  • Military hospitals would now be required to provide abortion the same as any other health procedure.
  • Abortions would no longer have to be performed by licenses physicians.
  • All informed consent laws would be overturned; all parental notification laws would be nullified; all laws requiring a waiting period before abortion would be eliminated.

President Obama was quoted as saying,

“The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.

So, what can WE do?

As my pastor said this past Sunday, we need to step out of the stained glass windows of our church, and the safety in our homes.  We need for this to trouble us greatly. We need to fight for our children and our children’s children, for safety in our doctor’s offices and hospitals.  We need to protect life even before it begins.

Today as I (and many of my readers) participate in Wednesday’s Walk Down Memory Lane, think of what we want to remember by the stand we take today, that makes memories for tomorrow.

Posted in Faith, Family, Jessica & her heart, Matthew, Wednesdays Walk

Wednesday Walk: Remembering Life

As I have been in awe of all God did to orchestrate the sparing of Jessica’s life just three weeks ago, the thought of “if only God would have spared Matthew‘s life” passes through my mind.  I missed him even in the hospital, remembering bittersweet times of him spending a lot of time with me when Jessica spent 11 weeks there as a baby.  He was only nine years old, but he enjoyed helping me, running to Wendy’s Restaurant in the hospital to get me my Chicken Nuggets cravings (I was pregnant).  He “helped” a doctor, named Matthew, by getting him food.  One time the doctor even gave him his pager and told him to take messages for him.  The doctor called our Matthew, “Dr. Matthew”.  Jessica would not remember any of this, but the bittersweet memories of him being with me eleven years ago, came back.  I sure wish I took more pictures then.

Another unique timing, I believe of God, is before Jessica’s surgery, I began reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven.  My dad is also reading it – my mom passed away just six months before Matthew, so this has been something to relate with him, and talk to him about.  I cannot even go into the depths of this book, but since Matthew‘s passing I’ve pondered often on the Hebrews 12:1-3:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Reading this book, made me think not of only all our family, friends and readers here encouraging us and praying for us, but I imagined Matthew being a part of that great cloud of witnesses,  personally pleading with God to save Jessica’s life and encouraging us to “throw off”  those doubts of why and what if and to fix our eyes on Jesus and to not grow weary and lose heart. On Earth Matthew was one that believed in prayer, even for the small things, I can only imagine how much more he talks to Jesus now!