Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Over Coffee Post #2

My goodness, it’s sure nice to visit with you. It’s been FOREVER!

Sure, let’s sit on the porch, there’s a nice, cool breeze today.

Oh no, you just sit down, I’ll grab a pot of coffee and some cookies.

We have so much to catch up on.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d start with “How have you been doing? And how is your family? I hear you’ve been through a rough patch lately. Don’t you worry, my friend. I’ve been keeping you in my prayers.”

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you how the summer brings me so much happiness. As you know, I am not a winter person. At all. The heat and the sun and the breeze is a welcome change to the bitter cold, the 3 foot snow drifts, and icy roads.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d happily tell you, with maybe a hint of sadness, how I quit my job because I realized that I made a mistake in getting the job. I’d elaborate on that with how disappointed I feel in myself for not heeding my husbands advice and getting the job anyway. But, it’s done now. I am back at home taking care of my husband and my children.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you of our most recent camping weekend at the lake. A few of the kids bought their own kayaks (kid size) and do surprisingly well on them. The weekend was fun, but it was windy. We decided to cut our camping weekend short one day.

And of course, if we were having coffee right now, I’d have to tell you about my oldest son’s relationship. She’s a very sweet girl and I like her a lot, but they are so young. They remind me of my relationship with his dad when we were that age. To be honest, it also makes me sad because I know he’s growing up and I’m not ready for that.

If were were having coffee right now, I’d also tell you that this next school year I won’t be home-schooling anymore. We decided to put the kids into private school so now I will have more time to focus on the two youngest ones.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you all about my days. It seems that although I’d have much to say, it all seems like it would be so insignificant to someone else.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you of someone that died recently that I knew many years ago and how sad it is to me because he was only 40. He also has a wife and two teenage children. Death doesn’t make me sad, it’s the thought of who the loss is really going to affect. It is just so sad to me.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you of my anniversary, nine years we’ve been married. What a life we’ve lived over these years. Nothing extravagant, but he sure has made me happy and we have created a beautiful family, but you know that already.

Mostly, if we were having coffee right now, I’d want to know all about how you’re doing. I’d ask a million questions, I’m sure. And I would listen to each detail as if it’s the difference between life and death.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d probably end the visit with, “I’m sure glad you stopped by. I have missed you, my friend. It’s been fun catching up. I hope that we are able to get together again soon.

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Life in General

A Little Goes a Long Way

We are asking for prayers and/or any monetary donation you would be willing to give to help my brother-in-law during his recovery. He’s a great man with two children who depend on him for their support. He’s kind and devoted to his family, but always willing to help others.

Thank you 🙂

His Story (as written by my father-in-law):

Daniel is my son and has been a paraplegic for 14 years. Early April 2015 Daniel was admitted to a local hospital for an infection and was an inpatient for seven weeks. Daniel was discharged with an active infection and fever. A week later, Daniel was admitted to a different hospital with internal bleeding. This resulted from loss of muscle in his back to support him.  Because of the infection and muscle loss, Daniel’s L5 vertebra crushed and his L4 and S1 suffered bone loss. As a result Daniel experienced continual pain and was unable to work or get around like he could before.

In October 2015 I took Daniel to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  After the assessments were complete they began an aggressive treatment for the infection with the goal of repairing the gap between L4 and S1 with new hardware.  Because of the complexity of the damage and the need to be infection free prior to surgery it took eight trips to Mayo to be cleared for surgery. Daniel was cleared for surgery in March 2016 and after one more trip to Mayo Daniel was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital on May11, 2016. Daniel was scheduled for three surgeries to repair the damage to his back. The surgeries took 39 hours with the longest being 19 hours, and involved five surgical teams.   The doctors at Mayo termed this surgery heroic and unpresendented in scope.  The initial recovery was expected to be six months yet due to their skills and heroics and Daniel’s determination the recovery time was cut to three months.

When admitted to St. Mary’s, Daniel’s pain levels hovered around 8 to 10 on the pain scale. His last surgery was on May 19, 2016 and by the following Saturday his pain level was down to 1 to 3 with minimal pain medications. By the end of May he was off of pain medications and maintaining 1 to three on the pain scale. Daniel is now able to sleep and eat again but faces three months of recovery with skilled care. Daniel is currently at a Mayo Clinic Skilled center in Springfield, MN. Medicare will cover this cost for twelve more days at 100% then it changes to 80/20%. We are looking to move him to Bismarck for the remainder of his recovery.

With the non covered expenses of his hospitalization in Bismarck, travel to Rochester of eight trips to date and every six weeks until October and having to pay the 20% of the skilled care from July 5, 2016 until October he is facing considerable expenses. Out of pocket expenses since May 2015 has reached over $6,000.00 which his father has covered. The amount Daniel will be responsible for the four week hospital stay and surgeries is not known yet. The billed costs are around $500,000.00 at this time prior to Medicare coverage.

It is urgent Daniel receive assistance in offsetting these costs as he is on SSDI and has a house payment and shared custody of two teenage children, Kaitlin and Brenden. The goal is to raise $20,000.00 to pay the non-covered costs of Daniel’s medical care.

Daniel’s mother and I have stood by Daniel over these last fourteen years and witnessed his determination a spirit to live his life to the fullest.  The success of raising this money will lift a burden from Daniel and his mother and I to see to his continued care  and for financial relief.  Daniel’s goal is to return to his home and live independently once again, have his children with him and return to work.

Daniel and his mother and I will be very greatful for all donations to this cause as it will mean a new beginning for Daniel.  Parents, no matter how old their children, struggle deeply when their suffer and have needs like Daniel.  Our resources have been depleated caring for Daniel in his medical needs during this time.  We must go forward and hope you can help this happen for Daniel.

Help spread the word!

Continue reading “A Little Goes a Long Way”

Life in General

Sometimes the solution is quite simple!

Mugisha Thoughts Blog

Sometimes the solution is quite simple.

by Glenn Christopherson

When the Pharaohs of this world tell us not to worship the one true Living God, Moses shows us what to do  Worship anyway (Exod 5-14).

When powerful political forces tell us there are areas off limits to prayer, Daniel shows us how to respond Pray anyway (Dan 6).

When compromised ecclesiastical powers demand silence on the exclusivity of Christ and His word, the Apostles clearly demonstrate the godly response Preach Christ anyway (Acts 3:18-21)

The Almighty may well bring down empires, part oceans, close the mouths of lions and burst open prison gates to defend the faithful obedience of His redeemed children. But even if He doesn’t Obey anyway.

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Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood, Wifehood

Week Three Kindness Challenge in Review

Oftentimes, after an argument with my husband, it’s easy to remain angry at him, but also at myself. One opportunity I had over this week to think kind thoughts was just after one such moment, an argument. Rather than let the thoughts of sadness of anger keep pulling further and further into the hole of despair, I reminded myself that although he was angry and I was angry, we do still love one another. Yes, angry words were spoken, but that’s all they are — angry words. I really work hard and pray much to let those angry words go. When I  choose to act in kindness instead of anger during stressful moments, he stops in his tracks. he doesn’t quite know how to respond. And it’s the same when he makes that same choice. In the heat of the moment, when someone is wanting to lash out, it’s quite disarming for said person which person on the receiving end gives nothing by way of argument or reprimand. As I’ve always heard, you can’t argue with yourself. A very true sentiment that carries a lot of weight. I have found it very hard to argue with myself.

Normally, I am a person that will engage in an argument for the sake of getting the other person to understand where I am coming from, what I am trying to say, and possibly to change their mind and agree with me. So many times, actually more often than not, it never works the way I want it to. In the midst of an argument, people are arguing because they disagree, are not understanding the others’ point of view, and are unwilling to let their mind be swayed. Over this week (actually something I’ve been working on for months) is to stop trying to change someone’s mind. We are all different and have something unique to offer. The differences are what create the relationship to be unique.

The other thing I’ve learned, is to be kind JUST FOR the SAKE of being kind even in disagreements. I am a kind person anyway. I always try to focus on the positive in most situations, but as I’ve said, most often I react first and think later in moments of stress. When this happens, I am not thinking of kindness. I am not thinking. This challenge has definitely taught me to think before I speak. It seems I am a work in progress.

Outside of disagreements, kind thoughts come easy for me. I generally try to be kind to everyone. As I’ve said previously, being aware of what’s going on around me and of my own thoughts and words makes it much easier to see the kindness. Sometimes, I will catch myself in the middle of a kind act and think to myself: “how nice that was for me to do or to say.” And then, just feel such a peace within myself to be followed by a rejuvenation in my spirit. I did something this past week so not like me at all and afterwards, when I was telling my husband about it, I felt on top of the world. What I did is not as important as how it made the person feel and how it made me feel.

The change in me and how I view the world around me is exciting. I look forward to the coming weeks.

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Wifehood

What I Love

Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length. – Fawn Weaver

me and luke

Happy Anniversary, my Love!

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Wifehood

My Best Friend

Twelve years ago next month, I met the man I call my husband, the man that has been a blessing in my life for these many years. In the beginning, I wouldn’t have much to do with him. It was challenging for me at first because of I was pregnant with another man’s child that didn’t want anything to do with me and who also denied the child was his. My husband understood I guess because although he would still come over to visit, sometimes, he’d visit the whole time with my parents because I refused to see him. He was insistent though and I finally realized that yes I was attracted him, but he was kind, respectful, funny, patient, full of life, and he sat for hours talking to my parents. And that was the best part, he could hold conversation with my parents. He made it a point to get to know them before trying to get into a relationship with me. So, we started actually dating. I mean we were already but now it became official. He even wanted to claim my child as his own, wanted to sign the birth certificate and let the baby carry his last name. Of course, that went against my better judgment so it didn’t happen that way. We eventually had a child together which actually turned out to be twins, two boys born on his birthday. And obviously, he asked me to marry him. And sadly, it wasn’t a romantic proposal with flowers and the words ‘will you marry me’ written in the sand or anything of the sort. It was,

“I’m driving out to mom’s, you want to go with me?”

me: “Yeah okay.”

At which point, we proceed to do exactly that. He asked me while we were driving down the rode. It wasn’t a romantic proposal by any means, but I will forever remember it. It’s tucked away, gently protected by the love and the disagreements we’ve had over the years where I will keep it always.

Now, here we are nine years later with 8 beautiful children, a home, and a marriage we work at every day.

Today, I want to wish my husband a happy anniversary. I want to tell him that no matter what has happened over the life of our marriage, my love for him has only grown, my commitment to him, to us, has only gotten stronger. I want him to know that he has been the greatest blessing in my life. He’s been a great father, a wonderful husband, and a source of strength in the uncertainties of life.His unfailing devotion to our family has shown me what commitment looks like. His unwavering love has created bonds between us that seem unshakable. His deeply ingrained integrity has been the leading image to our boys of what a man of God should look like. He works hard. He loves even harder. I am thankful for his companionship. I am thankful for the honor and the courage he carries. I am thankful for his willingness to keep going even when it’s not easy, when it’s curve ball after curve ball and then a few fast balls thrown in. I am thankful for every thing that he is and I am thankful that he chose me to share his life with. I am thankful that he turns to the Lord when he does. I am thankful he is leading our family to Christ. I am thankful for the man that he is.

Happy Anniversary, My Husband. I look forward to the rest of our lives together and the many years to come. I love you with all my heart.

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

It’s a Summer Thang

Hot, hot sun

Beaches and swimsuits

Water toys galore, boats of all sizes, and flotation devices abound

Popsicles and water-fights

Croaks of frogs and chirps of the crickets

Happy tweets of the birds

Squeals and laughter of excited children

Oh, the sights and sounds of summer are a beautiful and welcome change in the seasons. I am a SUMMER person.The heat is a welcome distraction and the water, whether in a pool, an ocean, a river, a lake, or just in a yard sprinkler is a sought after amusement. Oh, but the nice brisk chill of walking into an air-conditioned room after spending time in the heat is just as refreshing. The slow idleness of lazy days and the go-go-go on the busier day seem to balance themselves out.

Summertime is a busy time.

Lots of camping.

Many evening cookouts.

Meaningful celebration.

Summer is my favorite season.

 

Daily Encourgement, Life in General, Motherhood

Meaningful Monday: A Change in Mood

To create change in ourselves, we first be willing to explore ourselves so that we may decide what needs to be changed.

For instance, a parent that has unruly kids is forever complaining that the kids don’t listen, don’t help out at home, argue and fight with siblings, and constantly talk back to the adults in their life. Perhaps this parent is you. Perhaps this parent is me.

Honestly, I do have some of the issues with my children: not listening and arguing/fighting with siblings. My husband and I are in the process of creating change. However, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to change our responses. It’s not easy to stand firm in an area in which we have previously not stood firm. It’s funny how that works out.

In order to see the change that we want though, we have really had to reevaluate our reactions, carefully select our words, and follow through on our choice of discipline (which is grounding or taking something away or talking).  It seems the world has transitioned from God led homes to parent led homes to child led homes and I fear that we began to ever so slowly get stuck in the sticky mire. We are learning that we don’t have to, in fact, we shouldn’t give into their every whim and desire. To be honest, to do so would only derail their life. The world, more importantly, God doesn’t owe them anything, but they do owe something to God. Let me be clear about that. God loves us freely all the time, but He doesn’t control us in this life. We can choose to follow His direction or we can choose to live according to our own will. If we choose Him, His love and forgiveness abounds, but we are also making the choice to let the greater good of Him help us in our actions and reactions. When we love Him back, we want to do what makes Him happy. If we choose the latter, our own will, we live our life a bit more selfishly which consumes every facet of our life.

With God’s help, my husband and I are slowly creating change by putting God first. He’s with us as we rouse from our slumber to begin our day with morning prayer. He’s with us at every point throughout our day when we call upon Him. And He is with us as we settle down for the the nighttime routine. It’s amazing just how much the mood of our home has shifted. Once he and I changed our responses to the things that cause strife, the kids’ perceptions changed as well.

And our inspiration is of and from God. In our efforts of implementing a Christ centered home, we live the change in ourselves and see the change in the kids. It seems our trials are more plentiful, but our actions and reactions are more meaningful and positive.

What are some ways that you have practiced or implemented change in your life?

Beauty is all around us, so go out and do something to make your Monday a meaningful one.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Beatitudes Post #3

The Beatitudes series continues this week with #3.

As always, I would like to remind all readers that these posts in this series are explained in the way that I understand them. Take with it what you will, but please understand right or wrong in explanation/understanding is matter of opinion. Through my Bible studies at home plus attending Mass every week sometimes twice, I am learning. Offer comments, thoughts, prayers even but please be kind.

Today’s Beatitude

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

What does it mean to be meek? If a person is meek, is said person weak, strong, bound to servitude?

God wants everyone to come to Him of their own free will, which is the ability to make one’s own decisions based on whatever principles or lack thereof that said person chooses to live by. God wants devotion from each of us because we love Him not because He makes the choice for us. Therefore, if one is living life according to scripture and has voluntarily submitted him/herself to the Lord then he or she will do whatever God calls him/her to do. To put it simply, being meek is living a humble life, serving and seeking God in everything, and glorifying His name in all circumstances. With that said, they shall inherit the earth. Earth? I thought we God calls us home, that home would be in Heaven but Heaven is not earth. Isn’t that confusing. So, to be meek means one would inherit (remain) on earth. But why? I was speaking to my husband once about an irrational fear that I had after I laid down and was not really asleep but nor really awake. I just felt kind of in limbo like the thoughts were going through my head but I’m not sure if I was awake or not. Weird and hard to understand I know, even harder to explain. Anyway, the irrational fear just came out of nowhere and was about the kids, myself, my husband and what we’re doing here, living, breathing and then we die. But then what? I was so shaken by those thoughts that I jumped up from my bed and all the sudden just needed to be with my kids. It was weird.

I remember as a child on a few different occasions when I attended church, we were taught that Heaven is a place of beauty and constant joy while Hell was the exact opposite of beauty, no joy at all, and burning flames. I could never really wrap my head around where these two places were located besides the generic Heaven is up to the sky and Hell is below my feet. Whether that is a true explanation of each place or not is maybe not so important as living a life for God so one can get to Heaven. Actually living a life FOR God, in action, in word, in love always……If something makes your heart sing, but you can’t see what it is, taste what it is, touch what it is, basically using our sensory perceptions to identify the good in our heart then it is God. In other words, does all goodness come from God? Can goodness come from our own belief of what is considered to be important? For instance, the other day I played pull tabs (gambling) from a machine. I put in $5 which gives me five tabs to open. Out of those five, one tab was a winner of another $5 which I stuck back in the machine to buy 5 more tabs. After each of those winners, I thanked God for the win. While I was waiting to get the cash for the winner tab so I could play again, a guy went to the machine to put his money in. I jokingly said, “no you have wait until I put my money back in. Naw, I’m just kidding, but hey listen, if you win big you gotta split it with me and if I win big then I’ll split it with you.” He walked away, I put the $5 I just won back into the machine (remember, that’s only 5 tickets to open) and I believe it was the 3rd ticket that I opened and won $225. I just won $225, but wait……what did I just say? I firmly believe that God was testing my honesty, testing my integrity with that win. Would I honestly keep my word even the word said jokingly?

If you want to know the answer to that then leave a comment, I’ll let you know.

But, I got of my subject with that irrational fear story. Getting back to that, will the meek inherit the earth, nothingness, or Heaven? At whichever point that God calls his people home, the persons that served God will live in His kingdom, but where that is, I do not know. To put as simply as possible, we don’t know (none of us) whether or not we are going to Heaven. However, if we live according to scripture, completely bearing our lives to God so much so that we are an open book, believe in Him and His graces, and strive daily to be what He wants us to be then we will get into Heaven. Being meek, being gentle is something we must do to glorify God and everything He is.

As I said, take with it what you will. However, comments are welcome and encouraged.

Since this is part of a series of post, the following links can take you back to any of the previous posts in the series.

Upcoming Beatitudes Series

Beatitudes Post #1

Beatitudes Post #2

As always, tune in next week for Post #4 in the Beatitudes Series.

Thanks for stopping by. I wish you well in the new week.

 

Daily Encourgement, Life in General

Lord’s Day Sunday Post #1

I am excited to do the postings on each specified day. I believe in self-growth, spiritual growth, growth in parenting, and growth in marriage. I am devoted to growing in these areas of my life.

And I am stoked that it is finally Sunday! I love Sundays, especially now when I can attend church beings I won’t have a job conflict in less than a week. And thankfully, I have this Sunday off. Plus, it’s Father’s Day! Now I can get creative with different ways to show my husband how much the kids and I appreciate him.

But anywhooo…….since this day is set aside specifically for the Lord during church and at home, each Sunday will feature a prayer, a song to encourage growth in the Lord, and finally, a promise to keep within my family (husband and kids) that will promote growth in myself and in them OR act of kindness for someone outside of my family (preferably someone I am not on good terms with, but we will see how goes it)  for me to accomplish over the course of the week. I will post in some way when I’ve completed the promise or act of kindness. 🙂

I’m excited!

Prayer for the week:

Family Prayer

Lord, bless our family, all of us now together, those far away, all who are gone back to you. May we know joy. May we bear our sorrows in patience. Let love guide our understanding of each other. Let us be grateful to each other. We have all made each other what we are. O Family of Jesus, watch over our family.

Devotional Song of the Week:

They’ll Know We Are Christians

 

Promise for the Week:

My first thought is to refrain from yelling at the kids. I’m not terrible about doing it, but every so often, I do. But, after careful consideration and the realization that I have been doing pretty well already with not yelling, I have decided my promise for this week is to make a conscientious effort to redirect ONE disagreement with my husband just through positive responses. Anyone who knows me knows this is going to be extremely hard for me because I react first and think later. I’ve been wanting to change the way I respond for a little while now so here’s my chance.

I just can’t get over how excited I am! I am hoping this will be just as encouraging for anyone who reads this as it’s going to be for me.

As always, please feel free to drop a line or two with kindness in heart. Even if one disagrees with me on something,, anything, one can still be nice.

I hope you all have a blessed day and hope to see you here again in a week.

Happy Sunday!