We are OK, and I Believe the Smelsers are OK, Too

I'm just beginning to emerge from the events of the last two weeks. Two weeks. It was two weeks ago last night that my dad called to tell me Adam Smelser was missing and that a man had been seen struggling in the river near his apartment in Bowling Green, KY. Dad had just gotten off the phone with Scott and posted the email he and Scott worked on together to share the news with the brethren. Scott and Bertina left a few hours later -- I got to their house just in time to tell them goodbye. I am so glad we can go through this pain with them. I know ours doesn't approach theirs, and of course none of us wants to go through pain, but nevertheless, here we are. Walking together through pain. Grieving together. Celebrating together. Remembering together. Sitting still together. Worshiping God together. I am glad to be together. I am thankful for His mercies even in this.
  • split_rock
    You all and Adam's legacy have been such powerful testimonies of faith, love, and caring. So many of us have been "together" with you, even if only at a distance. I love you.
    by split_rock at 12/02/13 8:32PM
  • aleta
    Thank you for writing and helping us connect with the good brethren there after such a sad, sad loss. I'm so glad you all have each other, to hold each other up. You all remain in our hearts.
    by aleta at 12/02/13 8:49PM
  • marmee
    Yes, being together is so important. You GB brethren are an important part of the Smelser legacy. They are a special family. We have grieved with you from our corner of His world! My girls were very fond of Adam back in homeschool camp days. Each has grieved in her own way ... I'm glad we've been together these past couple of weeks and remembered Adam moments they shared. Love to you!
    by marmee at 12/02/13 8:57PM
  • tryphena
    Scott's sermon that first Lord's day afterwards was stunning. I'm so glad to have heard it (electronically).
    by tryphena at 12/02/13 10:02PM
  • lovescats
    I'm thankful for technology that those of us far away could be "together" with you also.
    by lovescats at 12/02/13 10:11PM
  • misssonja
    I didn't realize that you were in the same location as the Smelsers... I feel for their loss, and yours.
    by misssonja at 12/02/13 10:56PM
  • lovescats
    You're sweet - you've had a lot going on!
    by lovescats at 12/04/13 9:10AM
  • ceoltoir
    I have prayed for you inadvertently as I prayed for all of those hurt by the loss of Adam. Now I can pray for you specifically. (((HUG)))
    by ceoltoir at 12/04/13 12:40PM
  • grandmadiane
    You're right, that would have been an interesting conversation. Robots are one of his favorite things and one of his gifts from his sister :-)
    by grandmadiane at 12/05/13 6:14AM
  • misssonja
    Yes, I have been hearing the kale calling my name, as well as the head of lettuce and the bok choy in my frig. But that requires me to chop and then to make the salad dressing. Not sure why that's such an obstacle, but...
    by misssonja at 12/05/13 8:01AM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    For some strange reason I'm just now seeing this entry. These are beautifully encouraging thoughts and I thank you for sharing them. Love you, Friend.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 12/06/13 12:10AM
  • magnolia
    You guys have been daily in my thoughts and my prayers since that Sunday night. I didn't know Adam, but the godly legacy he left behind has encouraged and blessed me greatly. Still praying, still thinking of you all, and hurting for your pain. I'm so, so very sorry.
    by magnolia at 12/06/13 11:49AM
  • bestill
    I found out about it Monday, the morning after the tornado. Our son Brian was a friend, cross-country and Ragnar team mate and fellow camp friend with Adam. I mistakenly called a friend's number trying to get ahold of my son. I sounded like a wild woman....

    The town of Washington has lost 47% of its real estate tax base. It will take a couple years to get back to the previous base. And, on top of that, all the costs to the city for cleanup. As a mayor that will give you a scope of the damage.

    20% of the debris has been removed and we are almost 3 weeks post tornado. Over 500 homes were destroyed. The tornado cut SW to NE through the heart of the residential area. My DIL and I worked today in 20 degree temps but you work so hard it warms you up.
    by bestill at 12/06/13 4:56PM
  • nickkrumrei
    We have been praying for you all along.
    by nickkrumrei at 12/08/13 9:10AM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Thank you ... SO MUCH ... for your comment on my blog about my Mom. ♥
    by cyber_space_cadet at 12/15/13 10:03PM
  • grandmadiane
    you are missed...
    by grandmadiane at 05/02/14 6:35PM
  • ceoltoir
    I wish you would drop back in and visit us sometime.
    by ceoltoir at 05/03/14 4:41PM

All's Well in Fleaville

I promised myself I'd write here today. I think I've discovered why I'm writing less overall -- when I sit down at the computer lately I'm usually eating, so I choose to read instead of type. "Eat early and eat often" is my motto for now. Updates and miscellany:

--"The Little Offenders": The crusade against the fleas appears to be winding down, with victory on the side of dedicated vacuuming and professionally applied poison. It's been six weeks, and folks, I'm "tarred." When The Husband and I were driving home from taking The Second Adolescent Male to Florida College, we actually talked about how much less housework and laundry I'd be doing with only a household of three mostly-tidy people to care for. Weren't we sweet in our innocence! I have no idea how many loads of laundry I have done, and I estimate I've vacuumed the entire house more than 30 times in the last six weeks, daily for three weeks save Sundays. That's three floors of vacuuming-love. (She makes her arms strong...) Yes, we ended up calling in some local pros, and I call it money well spent. They came back two weeks after the first application to hit the ones that hadn't hatched yet the first time. They were willing to treat our yard, too, but recommended we just buy a product they sell that a customer from Texas had recommended to them. I just did a repeat application of that outside this morning. I hate to hurt the good bugs, but this has been just beyond not good. Apparently, because everybody at the vet's and the pest control place and other folks keep telling us, the flea situation is really, really bad this year. People who don't even have pets have been getting infestations in their houses. I'm never happy to see a killing frost, but this year I'll have one BIG reason to be thankful for it.

--House Stuff: We are replacing our front porch, which is our only easy entry into the house. This is a project expected to take 6 weeks to complete, and I thought I'd be hauling groceries and what-not over a couple of 2x4s topped with an ever-worsening warped piece of plywood for all those weeks. A couple of brethren are earning some extra money helping The Husband with the work, and one of them built a very nice raised platform to get from the concrete steps at the sidewalk to the front door. You have to take a little step down into the house, and The Daughter has observed rightly that it makes one feel like she is living in a hobbit hole instead of a three-story house, which is actually kind of cool.

--Our gospel meeting is this week with Brother Paul Earnhart. Oh, what riches he has given us! This is the first I've been more than introduced to him, and I am so glad I've had the chance to know him a little bit. God bless him for his humble spirit and so-very-able communication of the Word.

--Tomorrow I'm off to the Big City again with some friends to visit the National Memorial of the Holocaust, aka The Holocaust Museum. I have only been there once before some years ago, and while it isn't quite right to say I'm looking forward to seeing those horrible images, I am glad to go because of the importance of not forgetting and telling a younger generation about how atrocious evil can get if left unrestrained.

--The Situation Next Door: Thankfully, the tent dwellers really were just visiting for a week. Whew! The illegalities of the number of unrelated people living in the house is in the middle of being resolved. The owner has to pay two sewer/water edu's instead of the one he's been paying, a situation he is WELL aware of. I hope we don't end up having to take him to court (the borough not my family, of course!), but if we do we'll just add it to the other matters we've had have litigated with him in the past. He's a one!

--My Digestive System: I continue to heal well. My doctor is very pleased with my progress. He cautions me that it will be several months before my intestines are truly healed and operating the way they really should, a fact I get reminded of a time or two a week as I try to keep up with their current abilities to cope with what I feed them. :) We'll get there, by God's grace. Overall, I am doing bunches and bunches better and it appears the surgery was the right decision. Just in the last couple of weeks, however, I've gone a bit backwards in some of my issues, so if you think of me I'd appreciate that you pray that A. I'll have reasonable long-term health and that B. I won't waste it on frivolous things but will be a better servant in the Kingdom. Thank you.

--And, last, today is our middle child/oldest son's 21st birthday. He is the one who has wanted the most of our parenting energy in many ways. It is good/hard/bittersweet/a relief/tenuous/necessary to snip the last few control strings while strengthening the love/esteem/comrade strings that tie us together. He has needed a better mother than he has, certainly one with more wisdom and stamina. I know I have, overall, done my best, but I'm still in the place where I hope that is enough, and of course I can't help but remember times when I just failed to be what God expected of me. I have repented to Him and to my son for those, but, but, but. I know I'm not the only mom to have these feelings. I take great comfort in the godliness of our guy, and I have confidence that his maturing process marches on, as it does for all of us who try and try again. I remind myself that God doesn't care if he loses stuff and forgets stuff and has trouble focusing on stuff, and I need not to mind too much either, and even if I do, the time for my being involved in that is passing away.

So that's life around and in me lately. If I'd write more often I wouldn't have to write so much, eh?
  • lovescats
    I've been wondering about your fleas - I'm so glad for you they're taken care of. I watached a Discovery (I think) show where a couple were suddenly struck with a plague. They lived in northern New Mexico (believe it was) and were traveling. The husband had to have both legs amputated below the knees to save his life as gangrene was setting in. They actually put him in a coma, but it didn't stop the parasite. They actually did discover the problem. It came from an infected flea in their home state. Isn't that crazy to think that something that horrible can happen from such a little thing?
    by lovescats at 09/25/13 11:20AM
  • aleta
    Enjoyed this update! So glad the flea problem has improved as well as other concerns.

    No, you are not the only mom with those feelings. His maturing process WILL march on. Be prepared to be amazed!
    by aleta at 09/25/13 12:36PM
  • shanda
    This morning I sat in my bathroom in tears and feeling helpless. I knew my boy was not giving me his best in his work but I had no clue what to do about it. Every answer I came up with seemed wrong. So I prayed. Before long he came to me ready to work, and he did his work well. So thankful that we serve a God who loves our kids even more than we do, and knows what to do when we don't. I guess the older they get the more God takes over the discipline and problem fixin.
    by shanda at 09/25/13 12:47PM
  • raifhaus
    Shanda.... thanks for sharing the above. I love you!
    by raifhaus at 09/25/13 2:10PM
  • marmee
    Hi, friend. Glad to hear you are flea-less. Those little pests are aggravating. So far, none here in Idaho. :) It sounds like life's many other things are going very well for you. So happy to hear this update. Blessings as you continue to serve in your corner of His world! Love and a hug. :)
    by marmee at 09/25/13 8:56PM
  • snickers63
    She lives! and the fleas do not ... sounds like good news to me! And thanks to your friend, I may have nightmares tonight. ;-)
    by snickers63 at 09/25/13 10:01PM
  • misssonja
    Nice update. I am probably the only person that thinks the Holocaust Museum is the best use of time in DC. The first time I went, I spent 7 hrs in there.
    by misssonja at 09/25/13 10:07PM
  • magnolia
    So happy to hear about the fleas ... and your health!! That's wonderful. Aren't week-long gospel meetings amazing? Ours is this week too, with Jesse Flowers (who, we were excited to learn, knows the Works family and Josh Gurtler - love making connections like that) ... and it's just such a "pressed down and overflowing" week. One of my favorite weeks of the year. :)
    by magnolia at 09/26/13 9:46PM
  • grandmadiane
    Glad you are no longer flea-ful!

    I have cassette tapes of Paul Earnhart on marriage that a friend loaned me YEARS ago. Wish I know how to get them on CDs.

    Healing is good... continue...backwards is not good...stop...

    Belated Happy Birthday ... we think we are no longer a baby when we become a toddler, no longer a toddler when we become a preschooler, no longer a preschooler when we become school age and no longer a kid when we become a teen. We think once we leave teens we have become an adult. And we are convinced we move from adult to legal and then we have arrived! ... none of this is true. We keep a piece of each of these with us always. All of our lives we need and want the comfort of our parents that we had as a baby, the exploration skills of a toddler, the questioning of a preschooler, the activity of a school age child, the daily change and growth of a teen encapsulated into the adult package. Everyone may not realize and utilize all their parts in the whole of their adult life, but to those who do, their lives are full and fun and fulfilling.
    by grandmadiane at 09/29/13 12:50PM
  • ceoltoir
    She knows a thing or two, doesn't she?
    by ceoltoir at 09/30/13 7:16PM
  • lromanic
    Sorry you've had fleas all this time... I quickly forgot about them as soon as Calvin left... because we don't have a dog to drag them into the house at the moment (not that the cats don't sneak in some fleas now & then, but thankfully it hasn't been bad) :-)
    by lromanic at 10/02/13 12:50PM
  • nickkrumrei
    Thank you for the update, Paul preached in St Paul Mn a hundred years ago as a wet behind the ears lad. He was an excellent speaker back then too. Making plans to work with FAR in the kitchen next fall Lord willing. H1 is an excellent sales lady. c'ya
    by nickkrumrei at 10/04/13 6:12AM
  • granny
    Maturing process--trying and trying again.
    by granny at 10/30/13 1:51AM
  • misssonja
    I think you summed it up perfectly with {{{Sonja}}} -- ugh! Perseverance!!!
    by misssonja at 11/13/13 8:12AM
  • grandmadiane
    I have been thinking about you the last couple of days. I don't personally know Adam but it is obvious he is a special young man. Those who know and love him are in my prayers along with his family.
    by grandmadiane at 11/19/13 5:22AM

"Sharing from the Heart," like Sonja said

Get ready, people, because I'm sharing something that might seem *small,* but it's really *big* in my life right now: fleas.


Calvin the Wonder Dog has fleas, and we're having a tough time eradicating them from him and our house. I do not deal well with bugs that want blood meals from me.

The history: We found some fleas on CTWD. Never had them before. We've always used the medicine you squeeze onto the dog's back between his shoulder blades each month and had no problems. But we'd run out and missed about a month. I wasn't too concerned, because he mostly only goes outside for a few minutes at a time to do his business, but fleas he got.

First line of attack: we bathed him thoroughly, cleaned his crate, and vacuumed the entire house also thoroughly (vac bag immediately into outside garbage). Three days later he went to his 4x/year grooming appointment and was bathed with flea shampoo and clipped very short (groomer only found a couple of fleas.) We got more flea medication and dosed him two days later according to the groomer's recommendation. We thought we were fine. Knew there might be eggs to hatch in the house, but thought with vacuuming and watchfulness all would be well.

But our house had to sit empty for a week while we went to FAR camp to cook, teach, and counsel. CTWD stayed with friends-in-the-woods. When we picked him up, they mentioned he had some flea eggs in his coat, they thought. They said their outside cats had a lot of fleas.

We came home and started getting bitten right away. We took drastic measures immediately. We bombed the house. We washed many, many loads of everything fabric and dried in the dryer on high heat. We, of course, washed all of our dishes, etc. after the bombing. We gave the dog a second dose of flea med. We are committed to vacuuming thoroughly every day for fifteen days as recommended somewhere on the net -- as in it's taking me about 3 hours each time -- and are doing targeted flea-spraying where we see a live flea.

And yesterday I found dozens of live fleas on that dog again. I very nearly cried.

So, I bathed him outside in a tall Rubbermaid tub in an effort to drown as many fleas as possible. Then I hand-picked them off him and dropped them into a bowl of soapy water. -- sooo thankful he is small and has apricot fur. Thought we were good. Then last night The Husband and picked off a few dozen MORE from him.

I am creeped-out and worn out from trying to deal with these critters, and it doesn't seem to be working.

I need advice from people who have been successful at de-flea-ing a dog and house. I will protect your identity.

  • cyber_space_cadet
    I'm not sure about the yard because I've never actually tried this treatment before. :-/

    Wow, the neighbors' pooches...that's ROUGH (or RUFF as the case may be).
    by cyber_space_cadet at 08/30/13 9:01AM
  • snickers63
    Not that I would know this from experience, or that my sister would and would have refered me to this stuff .... But Fleabusters works and will stop infestation in house. Spraying did nothing for us, uh, I mean someone I knew with the problem. ;-). But this stuff stopped them completely from continuing their abode in our, oops, their carpet. Of course, the dog will continue to be a smorgasbord for them. We use Advantage because that is the only flea med that has worked for us (dead fleas dropping off by the truckloads within hours - even when I had not seen that many on him), but I know others who say that it doesn't work for them. The trick is finding one that works for you. $$$ and time. :-(. With that many dogs and cats next door, treating yard will be a temporary measure for your problem and probably a final measure for many good bugs ??? Anyway, I definitely recomend this stuff, but wonder if the Borax will do the same job, since Fleabusters is a borate powder???

    The cat and I are miserably allergic to the bites apparently. Both of us developed a bad rash, as bad as poison ivy almost, not quite as bad, since I apparently had a real time comparison going on. UGH.
    by snickers63 at 08/30/13 10:14AM
  • lovescats
    I so feel for you. I went through that a few years back. I actually paid for Terminix service for the house. It was pricey, but to me it was worth it. I took a lot of the bedding to the dry cleaners and was able to leave it there until I was done treating the house. I had to vaccuum everyday and use a new vaccuum bag everyday - that was recommended to me by the Terminix guy. The Terminix guy also sprayed the yard. I brought fleas in when I brought in two kittens from the outside. Sigh... But I learned years ago you can bring fleas in on your shoes. I learned that when I had a completely indoor cat get sick from a flea allergy. She wound up okay though.

    I have Capstar just in case. I first got it from the vet. It kills adult fleas on the pet. They can be given one dose a day if they get re-infested. It's a fast acting oral medication - begins working within 30 minutes. It achieved greater thatn 90% effectiveness against adult fleas within 4 hours on dogs and 6 on cats. The number on the package is 800-332-2761. The Capstar is in addition to the regular flea medication. And my vet in Georgia gave my cats a shot to do those fleas in. I don't know if every vet has that or not.

    I also bathed my cats using Dawn. Of course they were not very happy cats! And I bought a flea comb. It catches those little buggers, and then I'd put them into a cup of water. If you're not fast, they'll get away from you. I also bought flea products at the Ace Hardware in town. You can actually spray your carpets with it. I just never felt like Hartz products were working. I have used Advantage and been successful with that on my cats.

    They do make these lights you plug in. Of course it would only work at night because the light attracts the fleas - and other insects. When they fly to the light, there's a sticky paper they get stuck on and viola, they die!!!!

    Someone above mentioned the $$$$ that will be spent, and that is so true. Unfortunately...

    I so hope you will soon be done with this ordeal.
    by lovescats at 08/30/13 10:52AM
  • aleta
    I'm a little late getting here, but I have no experience in this area. Good luck, Lori! That IS a biggie to deal with!
    by aleta at 08/30/13 11:42AM
  • misssonja
    Oh, another thing that I've read: eucalyptus oil rubbed on the dog's fur helps keep fleas etc away in the first place. And it smells good, too. I've been using it on Elle B when we play outside and I notice gnats and what not bothering her.
    And yeah, I would treat the yard or you'll just keep having the problem. UGH.
    by misssonja at 08/30/13 11:16PM
  • misssonja
    Oh, and one more: You can feed your dog a clove or two of GARLIC at least once a week, maybe more. That is also supposed to keep fleas etc away.
    by misssonja at 08/30/13 11:18PM
  • grandmadiane
    Not a clue! One of the first things I did when Wayne passed was to take up ALL carpet. Carpet is like inviting in the little beasties! I can't stand them and they LOVE me. I think I have a fan club amongst them! I believe my blood is sold on the flea black market. I think I have a special holiday named in my honor in Fleaville - there's a road and a school and hospital as well, and if we are talking South Fleaville it is a stadium that seats 100,000.
    by grandmadiane at 08/30/13 11:56PM
  • heatheronthehill
    Maybe my Dad would chime in with the exact protocol, but I remember setting out a bowl of water with some dish soap in at it night underneath a night light. The fleas would be attracted and jump in the bowl and drown.

    SORRY you have to deal with this! :(
    by heatheronthehill at 08/31/13 8:44AM
  • grandmadiane
    Thank you, dear one. That was one of the nicest compliments I've ever received.
    by grandmadiane at 08/31/13 8:51AM
  • shanda
    Flea tags work well, I bought Shadow's off of Amazon. They are magnetic tags. Sounds strange, but they work well. Dawn dish soap is great too. I used to use it for fly spray for my horse. If you use Dawn it has to be the blue "original."
    by shanda at 09/01/13 12:28AM
  • nickkrumrei
    Hi Lori, yes a bowl with a couple drops of dawn ORIGINAL blue formula ONLY, below a night light, and yes the drops between the shoulder blades, the good vet stuff, you can order from Petmed .com to save money. And first line of defense, the yard. Get the spectracide time release granules. Kills EVERYTHING. Sorry mother earth, I think it would be great if you could move the fleas ticks and roaches to the Andes mountain range that would be perfect. Treat your entire yard, or at least the dog area, if you have near neighbors treat as far as you can sow in their yard, right up to your door steps. And yes all of the above suggestions too. This is war soldier, buck up, stiff upper lip and all that, back straight stomach in chest out chin up, now go get em Tiger. Take no prisoners. Remember the worlds smallest sin, Flea fornication.
    by nickkrumrei at 09/02/13 7:28AM
  • jaydon
    Lori, I did not read all the comments so if I duplicate something please forgive me.
    2 years ago I dealt with the worse case of fleas (in 20 years of pet ownership we never had them)
    Here's what we did. Borax in all the corners of the rooms and under furniture. I left it there for a few days then vacuumed. Diatomaceous Earth went on everything rugs, dog, furniture. Get the food grain. I also switched from topical cream for fleas and now use Comfortis. When I got the house all fortified I bought a pill from the vet that kills fleas immediately then gave the dog a Comfortis tablet and haven't missed a dose since then. It is cheaper to take care of the pets every month than to do all the work that I did for over a month. Also I washed everything. Bedding, clothes that were out.... also vacuumed all mattresses of the rooms that the dog sleeps or goes in - this was everywhere. Then I banned the dog to a few rooms until everything was gone. My sister went an easier route when she had them -- she called the exterminator. They came out twice = gone! Hope this helps and I hope they do not stick around to long. Side note -- our kids got lice soon after I dealt with the fleas..... it was not a fun few months in this house.
    by jaydon at 09/02/13 8:36AM
  • grandmadiane
    I hope you haven't been defeated by your defleaing and have diligently defended your domain!
    by grandmadiane at 09/06/13 8:16AM
  • magnolia
    Oh no, I'm so sorry! :( I have no additional suggestions, but I do hope things are going better -- it looks as if you have enough info above to annihilate the beasties twice over! :O)
    by magnolia at 09/06/13 1:31PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Hoping that things have improved over there with The Miniature Invaders.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 09/11/13 2:43PM
  • granny
    by now I hope you have relief.
    by granny at 09/16/13 2:16AM
  • misssonja
    haha you made me laugh :)
    by misssonja at 09/16/13 8:25PM
  • marmee
    Thanks! I get that vital relaxed part. :)
    by marmee at 09/17/13 9:57AM
  • grandmadiane
    knock, knock... I am getting concerned the fleas might have won?
    by grandmadiane at 09/19/13 10:48PM
  • split_rock
    Me, too, Diane. Everything ok in B-ville (or is it now Fleaville)?
    by split_rock at 09/20/13 11:25AM

Life in the Slow Lane

These days are sweet. One blessing of recovering from surgery is the ability to, with no impunity whatsoever, start and stop all activities at the slightest whim. If I feel able to cook a "real" dinner, I do it. If I don't, it's sandwiches. No guilt. If I want to work in the garden, I work. When I am tired or too hot, I stop immediately. Doctor's orders. Bites of cake at 10 am? Sure. Watch a movie in the middle of the day? Go for it. Naps? De rigueur.

I thought having surgery now would "ruin" my summer, but except for the worst couple of weeks immediately surrounding the event, it seems to be giving me the kind of season I don't recall having since early childhood -- extremely limited responsibility and extremely generous freedom. Sweet.

Off to shop for a suit for the Youngest Adolescent Male this morning. *He's* off to Florida College in just over three weeks. Bittersweet. He's such a good guy -- gonna miss him and his brother a great deal. Then we'll adjust to being a household of three, which will be a new experience, or at least one we have not lived for the past twenty-one years. Always a new summit to scale, yes?

But for now, I'm just puttering around and enjoying the dear ones who are in my orbit this summer. And I'm feeling awfully thankful for blessings received and promised.
  • sirtarin
    Glad you are able to enjoy your recovery. =)
    by sirtarin at 07/17/13 10:19AM
  • misssonja
    Yes, the liberty of doing only as much as our bodies will permit is a nice respite from the normal pace of life. Take it easy so that you heal and enjoy optimal health for the long haul.
    by misssonja at 07/17/13 11:59AM
  • tryphena
    Nice job of finding the Bright Side!

    I've spent this year adjusting and readjusting to fluctuations in household size. Just when I get accustomed to one thing, it changes.
    by tryphena at 07/17/13 1:57PM
  • bestill
    The transitions into a new stage have sometimes been painful. Even this stage, I had to be patient while son and his wife and my husband and I found our places in orbit around each other's space. The change in ease of communication was palpable as son and his wife became more important to each other than we were. I wouldn't want it any other way but I forced myself to be patient and just let it work itself out.

    Enjoy the next 3 weeks. Important things will happen that will help prepare you for the transition then just be patient and know that, very soon, you will be looking at the situation with a different perspective. Trials develop patience, if we go through them the right way. I'm sure you can look back and see that when older children left for college.
    by bestill at 07/19/13 8:14AM
  • granny
    You are indeed climbing new summits. Go girl!
    And give yourself permission to a day now and again like you have enjoyed this summer with little responsibilities and the joy of living.
    Sooo glad your surgery continues to go well.
    by granny at 07/23/13 2:34PM
  • magnolia
    Thank you for the comment! :) So happy to hear that your health continues to improve!
    by magnolia at 08/02/13 11:44AM
  • misssonja
    Yes, apparently you do!
    (I feel like Sally Fields :P )
    by misssonja at 08/04/13 2:16PM
  • grandmadiane
    Thank you for your thoughts. They are helpful in framing what I have been trying to do and hope to continue. The only way to use ANY situation is to try and learn from it. I believe there has to be a reason God is allowing this to continue and it is up to me to put it into context for the children with much prayer. May it be the situation these children struggle through now makes them stronger to serve the purpose God has for them in His kingdom later.
    by grandmadiane at 08/04/13 5:09PM

Worshiping with the Saints...

...this morning was, in a word, wonderful. In a few more words, I was struck by what a privilege it is to sit side by side with this bunch of imperfect people who are doing their best to honor the creator of the universe. Parts of the class and worship were less than stellar, if we look at it from an uninvolved objective stance, but so what? It was the best that could be given by that person in that moment, and I believe it was counted as righteous by Him. Parts were objectively terrific -- the sermon, "Can These Bones Live?", built me up and put me on a high place. I have been a bit of skeleton lately in my spiritual life, and this message of hope and exhortation was balm. His mercies are truly new every morning, and this morning I felt a lot of mercy.
  • aleta
    by aleta at 07/14/13 4:40PM
  • sirtarin
    by sirtarin at 07/14/13 5:05PM
  • misssonja
    Don't we all need His mercy!
    by misssonja at 07/14/13 8:00PM
  • tryphena
    Well said.
    by tryphena at 07/14/13 8:02PM
  • nickkrumrei
    I have faith in God's providence that He feeds us what our souls need. Ours is the task of application. "Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth."
    by nickkrumrei at 07/16/13 5:16AM