Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wow! I thought this mornings service was awesome. God was so there, so real!!!! I felt Him there. I wonder if ya'll felt His presence like I did. Unbelievable. I also thought Pastor's message was equally good. I will certainly make me pray for God's will for my life in a totally different way. I will look at asking for His will in a different way. Ohhhh, God is Faithful.

I loved the prayer that the Pastor read at the end of the message. I thought I would love to pray that every day. I was taking notes but it was off the screen too fast so I didn't get the author. If any of you know where I can find that I would love to have it.

Matthew is camping tonight in the Wichitas with a group of his friends. He said that he really needed it. I am glad he gets to go. He may not admit it, but I think he is a little stressed. He told me this morning before church that he worries about me and the kids. Bless His Heart. He seems too young to carry this burden. I wish I could take it from him.

We have been so blessed. Someone has given us season passes to White Water. I couldn't believe it...nor could the kids. I told the kids...that it was all the Lord. That it wasn't just that the people thought of it and did it....I told them that God moved and led them to want to do it.

I told Matthew this morning that out of all of this I want them all to have a personal relationship with Christ. That they would see His hand of mercy, His loving care, His forgiveness of sins, His faithfulness. I want them to learn from all that we are going through.

My prayer requests are:

Pray for Matthew's safety and that he will have a relaxing time while he is away. We still haven't decided what to do about vehicles yet. Of course, I haven't had time to meet with David yet.....but prayer for guidance and direction. I don't want to take a step without the Lord's direction........I want to do His Will!!!!

Pray for each of the kids. That in everything they will see God's hand at work. That they will learn from this....

Pray for me...when I am on the mountain top I will praise God, I will sit at His feet and learn from Him. That I would grow in my knowledge and wisdom concerning the things of God. And, when I go through the valley, I will do the same...AND all ow God to carry me "as the shepherd does his sheep....close to His heart." But, pray too that I will be able to make it through the valley to the other side! Through the know His Will.

Pray for Jay and Marilyn. I know they are still hurting badly. Each in their own way...but still in so much pain. Pray for them.

This may sound silly, but pray that grass would grow in John's place. I still haven't asked the kids about going out there tomorrow, but I kind of don't want them to right now, with it looking so terrible. But, pray that if they do, all they will see is beauty...God's beauty. If they don't go, pray that the grass will grow by Father's Day. I really hope they will go there. I am not sure Isaac will be going anytime soon. This morning in church he thought they may put up the names and pictures of the loved ones that have passed away in the last year. He told me right before church that when they started that, he was going to leave the sanctuary. I started crying and told him that he was fine. Then I sat and held him and we both cried. I told him it was okay to cry...even good. I knew it was coming by the way he had been acting. He is hurting so much. Pray for him please.

Pray for peace in our home. Pray for each of the kids to be blessed with God's salvation.

Thanks for all your prayers, support, help etc....I could not be the person I am today if I didn't have you to talk to.

In Christ,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Well, it's been 3 days since school let out. I have kept myself busy. The first day off I was so lost. I didn't know what to do with myself...or my kids. They seemed to have kept themselves busy for that day.

The next day seemed a little harder. Isaac and started riding. It was really hard for me...again. It's funny that sometimes its okay and then others...I would just rather not go.

One thing that was funny...but sad and hard for me was my first bike wreck. Yea, first one of the summer...I am sure not my last. I fell over and have quite the strawberry on my knee. Isaac laughed and laughed. Glad I could bring laughter to his day.

But that made me remember the times I fell or crashed and John was there. He would quickly jump from his bike to help me, make sure I was alright, then he too would have a good laugh.

The girls had been wanting me to get out and unpack their summer clothes. I decided to do that the same day I crashed. I have their summer clothes in tubs, in fact, all of our clothes are in tubs...not marked. As I was going through the tubs I opened one and shockingly there were John's t-shirts. He had so many!!!! All Bethany, softball, baseball, basketball...etc. I was shocked to see them. Forgot they were there. Hannah and Rachel, I could see, was watching my response. I was pretty good. Just took a deep breath and dug them out and put them in a bag to send to Goodwill. Glad that was over. NOPE! Surprise.....several tubs later I open one and it is his sweatshirts. Again..all many. I said aloud, "Oh Lord, why are you doing this to me?" I started digging them out and bagging them. Then, at the bottom of the tub were a pair of swimming trunks, probably 20+ years old, Hawaiian looking, bright orange. He would wear these to school for mismatch day, clown day...whatever, whenever he had to be crazy at school. As I held them and sobbed, Hannah started giggling, and said, "He was so goofy." Then Rachel started giggling, and then I started crying and laughing at the same time. Hard time, but I am glad that they could laugh and remember him that way.

I have been able to keep myself fairly busy. I have cleaned out the back garage room, my closet, and the garage. I am running out of cleaning things!!!! Now, I am re potting plants and working on the yard. Not much to do there! That I know to do that is!!!

The kids are another story. It is only a few days and they are starting to get bored. Kind of whining and crying. They love to swim and have asked and asked that I get white water passes. I explained to them that I just couldn't pay that much.....course they don't understand that. It does sadden me when Hannah heads out to swim at a friends house, merrily, and unknowingly, hurting Rachel and Isaac. They would love to go. I told them that we would go to Ripper. But they said that it is boring there cuz there is nothing to do.

It does worry me that I won't be able to keep them busy. It seemed like it was so easy when John was here. He would keep the boys playing and having fun and I would keep the girls playing. Now that it is up to me....well, I am not that good at it!

I am worried about Isaac. Today around 11 he said, "I really want to is so hot." I told him I was sorry. He got up from he couch and went to his room. When I went in a little later he was laying in his bed watching t.v. It hurt my feelings. Gramps even asked if he wanted to play golf....nope he didn't want to. I asked if he wanted to go look around at the golf store..nope he didn't want to. I went back in later and he was sound to sleep and slept until 5.

What was really sad was when I told Rachel that he was sleeping, she said, "Yea, I am going to also. It makes our days go faster." It really hurt me. But I am hoping that if I have their friends over and visa versa that that will help fill their days.

Marilyn said the grass still hasn't grown over John's place. I don't know what to do. Someone mentioned some kind of grass stuff you can put down. I can't find it. I thought about sodding it. But don't know how. We now have a concrete bench there. I can't wait to sit there and talk with him and just be quiet before the Lord. We also put a shepherds hook there and hung a flower on it. I wish, so wish, that grass would grow there! I am planning to ask the kids Sunday night if they want go to the cemetery on Monday to visit. I don't know if they will want to or not. I really hate for them to see his place like this.

I think I have decided to sell the explorer and get a car for me, then sell the Saturn and with the money from that and hopefully money left from the explorer (after I buy a car for me) buy a little inexpensive car for Matthew. Nothing expensive. Midsize for me, and a little one for Matthew. He is really getting the gas hog thing. The saturn is starting to give up the ghost. I am almost afraid to drive it and certainly don't want Matthew to drive it to work. So we are trying to share the Explorer. Which is hard...and with him going so far to is terribly expensive. So I am going to talk with David and others and get their opinion.

So, my prayer requests for today would be for me to keep busy myself, and for the kids to find things to entertain themselves.

That David, the others and myself would have wisdom to do what is best with the car situation. That God would direct our thoughts and decisions.

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. Thanks for reading. I know that it is hard to take time with the kids home, so I really appreciate it.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 26 2010

Who would have dreamed that I would wish that I had to go to work today? Yeah, not me either. I am scared of summer.

John and I were off all summer as well as the kids. So the kids could be off and doing their thing and John and I would do ours. Ride bikes, work on the house, or just sitting and enjoying one anothers company. I am terrified that I will find myself alone....with my thoughts....which will just be horrible.

I have given the summer to the Lord. I should not worry. But...I am a worrier. Pray that my time wiill be taken up with Friends and things that I can find to do.

I have been worrying about this for a while. But on the 25th of May, in my devotional book Jesus Calling, I read this...and reworded it as if it were coming from my own mouth.....
I will turn from my problem to your Presence and my load is immediately lighter. My circumstances do not change, but you carry the burden with me. My compulsion to fis everything gives way to a deep satisfying connection with you. Together, YOU and I can handle whatever this day brings our way.

You know...I know a lot of you may feel this can read it, and re-read it...can believe it....but have a hard time living it. That is where I am right now in my thoughts of summer. I know I am probably worrying for nothing. But, I have to keep returning my focus on His Presence. I have learned that when I take my focus from His Presence...things, or rather I, start to fall apart.

I am going to try and sit down and make out a responsibility list for my kids. Pray that the Lord would help me and guide my thoughts. Pray that the kids are accepting of it. I just cannot do it all.

Pray for us.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 23 2010

I hesitate to write what I am about to because I think there will be people who doubt what I have said all this time. That there will be people who doubt Our Living God because of my failure. But, I talked with a friend today and she said to me that my kids will have UPS and they will be doing great and all of a sudden they will be DOWN. This made me realize that I, too, will have those feelings. It is normal. I don't have to hide my down days.......

And I am having one of those today. It started yesterday when I was looking at Hannah's yearbook and saw the wonderful tribute the Mr George gave to John. It made so many memories come to my mind. So, on my way to get groceries, I thought I would stop by the cemetery and spend some time and also look at the new grass that we had planted one week ago.

When I drove up I immediately started crying. Just not believing why I was there....for my Husband. For John. When I got closer to his place I realized that no grass had grown. The ground was still just dirt and hard dirt. There was no way that they grass could grow. I began to cry and just laid my head on the dirt. I said the Lord's Prayer...and the 23rd Psalm. I sat a little longer then got in my car. I had decided that I was going to walmart and buy some garden hoses (enough to get from the water faucet to His place. I would also buy some dirt and some grass seed.

When I got in the car I called Marilyn just to let her know that no grass had grown. She said to wait there and she would be there. When they arrived Jay took a rake and raked up the very hard dirt. Then we carried a couple of buckets of water and got the dirt wet, planted some seed, wet it again, then covered it. I am hoping to see grass next week.

That just set the tone for my day. Not to mention that I was so very lonely. Hannah gone, Rach with a friend, Matthew gone, Isaac doing his thing. I was so lonely.

This morning I woke with him on my mind. Wishing he were beside me. Took a shower and woke the kids. Matthew was running behind so Isaac and Rach and I walked to church. Another very lonely time for me. If you ever passed 42nd and College on Sunday would see us walking....John and I holding hands with Rach and Isaac in the front. I reached over and took Rach's hand...I needed to hold something.

All the kids had walked home by the time I was out of Sunday School, so I started walking. It was more than I could bear, as I started crying walking through the campus. It was so lonely. I missed him so much. Those were such special times to me.

One thing that is a concern of mine is that I feel taken advantage of by my kids. Literally, and not to whine or cry about it, but I do literally everything in this house. Laundry, sweep, mop, dust, meals, taken garbage out. If John saw me doing something he would help or do it for me. I can't get the kids to help. They are all too busy or say "just a minute" and it doesn't get down. I am overwhelmed. I am tired. I today...for the first time...since John has passed away...I want to go away. Just to get away from the pressure of raising the kids alone. I want to get away from the burden of the household responsibilities. Is that wrong? Somebody tell me???

I haven't lost my faith in God. I am just tired. I know he is here. He is here as I type this. But I am tired.

I shouldn't be crying about it. I know there are people much worse than I am in this situation. Forgive me. But I had to sound off. Remember...this is my sounding board. My prayer request message board.

So, this is all a prayer request....this is my most urgent need today.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I just had to share this with you.

God has been so good to good. Everyday I am drawn closer to Him. Everyday I learn more and more of His faithfulness.

I want to preface this with the fact that I used to have panic attacks often. Very often. With John's help and support, with the Lord's grace and mercy, and with God guiding doctors, I am now on medication that helps me with depression and panic attacks. But sometimes, when I am very tired, stressed, depressed, struggling etc...those panic attacks...or now I see them as attacks of the enemy...seem to creep up.

Thursday evening was one of those times. I felt one coming on....and I tried to ignore it. Took my meds to help me sleep and went to bed. When I awoke, 30 min before it was time to get up for devotions, I woke with a semi-full blown attack. I jumped out of bed and came to my quiet place. I immediately prayed the Lords Prayer and used Me in place of all pronouns. Then I read Psalm 23 and quoted Psalm 91. All the time praying for His presence to be real to me. By the time I finished these prayers, and God's words, I was at peace. I felt God's presence...with a doubt. He was here. He was here.

I read this in Jesus Calling that very morning...God had more for me!!! It said...I, the Creator of the Universe, am with you and for you. ....your part is to trust me, refusing to worry about anything.....Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life.....switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving, and watch to see what I will do. I AM THE LORD!!!!

WOW!! That was exactly what I was doing before He made His presence so real, and His word so real to me that morning. I was focusing on my panic attack and not on Him. The moment I put my focus on He and His word and Power, and Glory....I was free. I could sense and feel His presence.

Boy, isn't he good? Oh, that everyone knew my God! He is awesome. I had a good day yesterday. Not one time did my mind go back to the night before or the morning. I stayed focused on the present and on MY GOD. I can honestly say...I had joy.

But then, last night....I went with Rach and a friend and rented 2 movies for us. When I got home they went to their room to watch their movie and Isaac decided he didn't want to watch the movie I had. It wasn't a girlie movie either!!! He just didn't feel like it.

I came out to watch it and felt very lonely. There was no fun in it. So I called Hannah and found that she and Tara were out just walking around campus. So I asked Hannah if they would come and watch it...neither having seen it before.

After her I called I thought to myself, "How sad that I had to call my child to come and watch a movie with me!" I began to feel like a loser, like a failure. Then, I know...its okay. She didn't mind...I didn't force her...and I am not a failure. Just this morning, God showed me that I am His. And if I am His...I am love, cared for, and special. It's okay. God will send a special friend that can watch movies with me...can be here for those times. Patience, dear....that is all I hear.

I just wanted to share that with you. How faithful he is...and good.

Pray for Hannah to get a job. She may have a part-time babysitting job...but not quite enough hours or pay. We need something a little more. I do have one job I am looking at. I am waiting to hear. Just pray that something will come along for her.

Be with Isaac. He went to bed with a high fever Thursday night. Seemed fine last night. Just help him to get his strength back. Give him wisdom for his tests this Mon and Tues.

Thanks for sharing my joys, sadness, happiness and good news, and prayers and praises with me. I appreciate your time.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 17 2010

Today was long. As I look back over it,the only explanation is that I had so much on my mind. Isaac's grades, Isaac's allergies bothering him, Hannah and job, Matthew and job, Rachel's infected eye, doctor appointments, prescription pick ups....and then work. It just seems like it was endless things on my mind. At one point I told Jay that my mind was just boggled. We were trying to make plans for Thursday evening...and quite honestly...I couldn't even get there!

I have been reading alot about how God wants us to just live by the moment. He has our days planned before we even wake up. So, there is no reason for us to even plan....unless we went out of His Plan for us. It just seem like today was overwhelming.

Isaac and I have been on 3 bike rides now. We love it. But it has been a comedy of errors for us. The first time, Matthew was gone, so we didn't have a bike rack, so we decided to ride to Olverholser. We went down 39th Exp and got just past counsel and Isaac yelled "Mommy!" I looked back and he had slowed. I rode back and he had a flat. We called for help and got a ride home. At that point I didn't know how to change a tire. I have since learned.

Then this past Sunday, we decided to ride at Lake Hefner. We we on the opposite side of the lake when Marilyn text me and said a storm was coming. OH, that's what those black ominous clouds are! So, we hurried back as fast as we could, put the rack on, put the bikes on, drove home as fast as I could, and just as we turned down our street the wind started whirling.

We drove in the drive, took off the bikes, brought them in the house (of course!!!) and then hopped back in and drove to grams and gramps. That was where Hannah and Rachel were. Isaac walked into their house and said, "We are never going to get to ride!"

But after school we headed out to Hefner again. We didn't go all the way around, but went from the west side to the restaurants and then was 10.3 miles. It was fun. But, that may be why I am feeling so melancholy tonight. All the other times we have ridden I thought of John, but tonight was different. I just really missed him with me. I missed him riding away and coming back to me. Riding with me and talking, then riding away and back to me again. I missed resting and talking with him. I missed watching him ride. I missed loading and unloading....I really missed our ride home. We would load the bikes then drive all the way around the lake, slowly, just talking.

So, by the time I got back to the car I was ready to come home. I was sad. So, dinner was especially hard. Since I had planned to make fruit with sour cream and marshmallow cream dip, I came home and started making it....and then again...realized that John loved to have that after a ride. Sometimes he would eat only that...nothing else. He said it was just too hot to eat anything else.

Went over to Jay and Marilyn's later. Shared with Marilyn how I was feeling. Of course she understood. But, I admitted that while I was riding and thinking of John, I thought, "if it wasn't for Isaac wanting to ride so much, I think I would give it up for the fact that I don't enjoy it as much as I used to." It just isn't the same.

You all would be proud of me though. Marilyn, Jay and I went to the cemetery Saturday night. As you know we went there on John's birthday. I was having a hard time dealing with the mound of just "Dirt". I don't want my kids to go out there and see it like that. It looked awful. So, since the ground was wet from the previous days rain, we raked up the dirt and planted quite a bit of grass seed.

What was so surprising, was that it felt "alright" to do it. I was okay. I did decide that one of the things I want to do for the kids...and get a little concrete bench of some sort to sit next to his site. I know, I already want to go out there and sit...I just want to sit and think and pray. I want to be there. I noticed that some of the sites have those and I am planning to get one once the grass comes in, and the stone is put down. I want to make it look nice for the kids. I am hoping that they will want to go there either on Memorial Day or Father's Day. Pray for the grass to grow quickly.

Had the neatest thing happen. Came home from work on Monday and was so exhausted. So I sat in my recliner and crashed...literally for about 1 1/2 hours. Later, Rachel had a game so we were leaving. I walked out the door, got in the car and turned it on. When I looked up to see Rach coming out the door, I realized that there were flowers planted and the baskets that I had bought 2 weeks ago were now hanging! While I slept, some Angels came by and planted the flowers in my front beds and hung the baskets!

I found out later that the Angels work at BES. I was so surprised...and happy. I just hadn't had time to do that and wanted it done. The flowers that I had bought were dying just sitting in their containers. I am so blessed.

My prayer requests would be:

Matthew has a job at Lincoln Golf Course, but he needs another...

Hannah needs a job...desperately. Hannah is also going to Branson, MS with the school chior. Pray for traveling mercies.

Isaac needs help passing his Semester tests. Pray for wisdom.

Rachel needs help in passing her Semester tests. Pray for her to also have wisdom.

Pray for our family to bond together in love. Pray that we have patience and understanding with one another.

Pray for my children to find the Salvation of Our Lord.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, Saturday a.m.

After I finished my devotions this morning I was thinking over my week and thought only of how it was definitely a week of learning for me. Learning from the Lord, learning from my experiences. Being taught.

As Pastor challenged us to do, I have been saying the Lord's Prayer 3x daily. It is amazing, how you really can be in constant communion with our Lord. When I set my mind to remembering to say the Prayer, I found myself thinking of it, and its implication, and Him almost every minute! It definitely drew me closer to Him.

I found myself wanting to find out how I could become closer to Him even yet, how I can become more perfect in Him, more pleasing to Him. So, I began searching. I found myself going to the Jewish rituals, customs and traditions. They are God's chosen people. Why? What and how did they live that God chose them.

Now, some of you may be laughing...because you know the understand all that. But, for me...this is all new. I have never really studied the Bible. I have read it, time and again...but studying it is a different thing. My sister and I believed that if we could learn more about these people, that we could incorporate some of their rituals, traditions, and customs into our more modern become more like Christ wants us to be.

We (she) found a website that I am loving. It is called Hebrew4christians. It helps us understand why they did what they did. But the most amazing thing to me, was that they took the Lord's Pastor is doing....line for line...and explains it to you. I am finding some rich lessons in this Prayer. I am so anxious to get back to church to hear more of what the Pastor says. To put together what he says with what this website says and learn understand more.

The Hebrews use scripture daily and for everything they do. Now, why not me? Why can I not do that? They have a custom of putting a scripture above their doorways. I thought how much I love the scripture. I trust God's word. I want it to surround and be in my house. So, I am going to do that. They have a little tube-like thing that they use. But I am just going to type up a scripture for each of the doorways of my home, a promise if you will, for each person that enters that doorway. I am going to search the scriptures for one that applies to each of my children, letting the Lord lead me to the one that He knows should be prayed for them. As I enter that door, I will repeat that prayer. I am going to show it to my kids, and ask them to do the same.

To them, to you, this may sound strange. But this is what God wants of me. To surround my home with Him, and with His word.

Another thing I am going to each bathroom, on the mirror, I am going to post the Lord's Prayer....and even after we leave this sermon series, I am going to ask my children to read it every morning and I will continue saying it 3x a day. As they begin to grow, and understand, I am going to request the same of them.

Did you know that the Jews have a prayer for pretty much everything they do in a day? How awesome is that? But, the most amazing thing. They do make sure they pray at least 3x a day. Do you know what their first prayer of the morning is: yep....The Lord's Prayer.

It is becoming more and more interesting to me. I only wonder why we as Christians, have taken some of what they did and do, out of our religion, our beliefs? It can do no harm. God is continually a part of their lives, through prayer, traditions, customs.

Don't get me wrong...I know their beliefs. All I am saying can it hurt to take some of their customs, rituals and traditions and apply them to our lives. How can that hurt when all it does is put God in the Center of our lives daily.

I am becoming richer in Christ. Fuller in Christ. I believe he will use this to make me more of what he wants me to be. A better mother, a better friend. I have asked him to break me, mold me, fill me and use me. As I become more of what He wants me to be, it opens the door wide open for Him to use me.

I am excited. I have a brighter future because of all He is teaching me.

My devotions this week have applied to my life so much. For instance, a song that came to me while having devotions one morning...and I ended up singing it most of the day (along with the Prayer) was "In Christ Alone":

In Christ alone, I place my trust and find my glory in the Power of the Cross. In every victory, let it be said of Source of Strength, my Source of Hope is CHRIS ALONE!!!!

As I wrote these words in my journal, I thought, "Wow! How true that is of my life recently!" My trust lies wholly on Him. And every victory I have had, every one today, everyone in the future, was, is and will be Christ alone!!! I have NO power, but Christs. I have NO hope...but in Christ.

My kids are doing great. Matthew is really becoming the man I believe God wants Him to be. John would be so proud of Him. He is trying to make right choices, trying to be an example to his siblings. I also believe, he is trying to find the Lord. Trying to make heads and tails of this life he finds himself in. Searching for answers. Pray for him.

Hannah, bless her. I think she is one confused little girl. She has finally come to the place where I think she is trying to find herself. We have had our share of talks. But I know she is confused. Pray that the Lord will give her wisdom. That she will find Him. That she will open her heart to Him.

Isaac is doing better. He is just such a strong willed child. God is helping me deal better with him. I am learning to walk away. He still thinks I am always out to get him, and that I am always unfair. He is never wrong...I am never right. It is that age...I know. But I am praying that the Lord would just give him a desire to be obedient. I think when he begins to be obedient to me...then all else will begin to fall into place.

Rach is doing well. I thought she would be the one that would share her feelings with me. But I am finding she shares more on facebook and with her friends than me!!! That is okay. However she needs to get it out is okay by me. I just pray that God will draw up close to her and comfort her. Give her peace and understanding. She is the one that stands out to me of the one that God has a mighty plan for. I don't know why. Oh, I know he has a plan for all of them. But for reasons unknown, I just feel like she is going to great things!!!

Pray that God will Bless my children. I read somewhere that we need to continually ask God to bless them daily. We don't even need to be specific. God knows what they need....and he will Bless them with that need.

I know this has been long. Thank you for sitting through it and reading it. But I told you it has been a week of learning for me. And I just wanted to share it. God is good. He is faithful.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for being there..sharing my fears, pains, joys etc...thanks for not forgetting me/us.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

This week has been good. Really good. God's presence has been so real to me.

I have been doing just what Pastor requested we do (say the Lord's Prayer 3x a day). I can't believe the change it is having in my life.

The first day, Monday, it was funny but I had to read the Lord's Prayer for my devotions!!! Then I prayed it as Pastor asked us to do. Throughout the day it was so close to my mind. I even found myself singing it while I was on cafeteria duty!!!

When I pray it, it is as though the spirit comes right along beside me. It is an incredible feeling.

I have been studying the Jewish traditions, rituals, etc...just to find out a little more about them. Why they did the things they did, why they had the customs they had. One of the customs/rituals they had was to say a prayer 3x a day. Some Jews pray more than this. But they MADE a point to pray. Before the sun came up, at noon, and before the sun went down. Not only that....but their first prayer of the morning? You guessed it...The Lord's prayer. I just found it ironic as I learned this I am learning the meaning of the Lord's prayer. I am really enjoying it.

You ought to try it.

Matthew is looking through God's eyes lately. He has never treated his siblings as he has this week. Taking them to Sonic, taking them here and there. They are together a lot.

He took Isaac to the golf course on Monday to try out some new golf grips. Took them all to sonic that evening. Hugs me almost every time he walks in the the room! My prayer has been, that he would begin to see us/them in/through God's eyes. God is answering prayer.

Isaac is still stubborn. But, thank the Lord that he isn't as stubborn as he normally is. He seems to be more understanding. He is more loving and thankful for things.

Hannah, she is still in that stage of "It's all about me". Tonight Isaac and I went for a bike ride and Isaac got a flat. I called her to come and get us...because I had yet to learn to change the tires. She was at the gym running, and said she had to "cool down yet". I told her that her mom and brother were stranded and needed help. She whined and whined about it. I hung up, called gramps and he came to our rescue, though he was quite a ways away. It was all about her. We had a talk when she got home. I apologized for my frustration and she apologized for thinking of herself.

We went to the bike shop and had them change the tire, and show us how. Now we know!

Rach is doing great as usual. She lately though has had a hard time dealing with John's death. She seems to bring him up quite a bit. But it is okay. She is dealing with it in her own way.

Well, I just wanted to fill you in on what is going on. God is so good, so faithful.

Love to you all,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thank you for the beautiful prayer. Actually read it the day you wrote it, but wasn't able to get on a respond. It was so moving.

And, Teresa, Thank you for the song. I have heard that song many times, but didn't know all the words. How true they are...and to know that someone is feeling the same thing is incredible. It was so unbelievable when I read it.

Well, today was actually harder than his birthday. I'll begin on Friday.

It ended up being only Jay and Marilyn, Dawn and Matthew and me. When it came down to it, Rach said she just couldn't do it. I told her it was fine! They came and picked us up. I tried to not cry, but tears were pouring even as I walked to the car.

We arrived and all walked over to his place. I sat down and just put my hand on the dirt. And that is when the tidal wave hit. It had been a long time since I cried so hard. Dawn knelt beside me, with her hand on my shoulder, we cried together. It felt so good having her there beside me. Matthew also knelt and held his arm around me. When I looked up into his face, I saw tears running down his face. I think he was trying to hold them back, because when I looked at him, he tried to quickly wipe them off.

I sat for a long time beside John. Whispering how much I missed him, how I love him and told him Happy Birthday. I know he isn't there. I know there is just an empty shell of his body. I know he is with our Heavenly Father. But, for me the grave site is a point of reference.

I told Sallye that I had to go out there. That if I didn't I would feel guilty for the rest of my life that I didn't go. I wanted to go, but my faith was lacking. When I thought about it, and prayed about it...I had to believe that as my Father has carried me this far, he was not putting me down at this difficult time.

It was good for me to go. First I got a cry out that was probably festering to come out. It was a good, hard cry. Then, I made it. I went. There will never be another first for me there. AND, I have to go and prepare it for the kids now. We all came to the same conclusion that for them to see it as it is.....all just seemed so unkind, so trashy. The grass has not grown back, and as hard as the dirt it I don't think it will in a long time. So I am going to go out and put some top soil on it, kind of rake it and seed it. Hopefully, by Father's Day the grass will be grown, the stone will be there, and the kids will want to go visit.

I count it a blessing that when we got home it wasn't long until we left for Ardmore for Hannah's Track Meet. It was kind of hard driving down there. Matthew drove, I slept a little bit...more because I didn't want my mind to wonder, than I was tired.

Jay and Marilyn, and Grandma Ginny arrived a little after we did. Hannah ran a great race, as I am sure everyone has heard by now. She took 3rd for State! Awesome run. She also broke the schools record. It was a great day.

We went to eat with the team afterwards, Jay, Marilyn and Grandma Ginny left and we went to our hotel.

The next morning, we drove down to Winstar Golf course and Matthew and Isaac played Golf. The girls and I actually went on into Gainesville and left the boys there. As I was leaving them, I had tears in my eyes, as I saw them driving off in the cart. All I could think about was that John should be with them. How sad it must be for them as well. I am sure, if not Isaac, then Matthew was thinking the same thing. I know it. He misses playing golf with John, not to mention Isaac. They did it on his birthday if it was possible. But he wouldn't be with them. They just looked so lonely out there by themselves.

We arrived back to get them around 4 and headed home. One thing John tried to do whenever we passed Paul's Valley was to stop at this place called Ballard's for a peanut butter shake. He loved them. The kids remembered and wanted to stop. OH! How I missed him then!

This morning I woke with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to face the day with out John. But I got up and had my devotions. I went in and woke Matthew, then Isaac, then the girls. No one moved. I went back through. Then, I remembered how that was always John's job on Mother's Day. While I was in the shower he would get them all up, and they would be waiting for me in the living room, gifts in hand, for me when I got out. We would celebrate mother's day.

I cried as I told them to get up. Then Matthew came to me and told me that they hadn't got me a gift because they didn't have any money, but they would do something. I almost passed out. I really believed he would take after his dad. But, I understood the money situation. And just hugged him back and told him that it was okay..I would have a hard time celebrating anyway.

It was nice to have them all sit in church with me. Hannah usually goes to second service with her friends. I loved having them all there.

Then I asked, after the service, if anyone wanted to go to Sunday School class with me for mother's day. Matthew and Rachel both said they would. Dave did a great job speaking about mother's, and the prayer of a mother. Great.

When we got home, all but Hannah disappeared. A little later they came back and had bought me a day lily and a card. It was so sweet of them. But it hurt at the same time that John wasn't there. Bitter-sweet is what I would call it.

I dreaded going to Marilyn's. I knew as much as I was hurting today, she was hurting the same if not worse. Her son. Her flesh and blood. The day he would be celebrating her....and he was gone.

When I walked in, all my kids told her happy mothers day, then I went and hugged her. We just held each other and cried a little bit. Gathered ourselves and went about dinner. Gifts came after dinner...and I don't think she could read all her cards...for fear of losing control of her emotions, which was the same for me. I just could not read all of the card.

When I hugged her good-bye we held each other and cried some more. She whispered in my ear, "It's been a hard week hasn't it? But, it's another one of those "firsts" that they talk about. It's done!"

I can't imagine it being any easier next year. But they say every year is easier. But, my stomach and heart have ached all day...and continue to tonight.

Normally, I couldn't stand the thought of Monday coming. But its okay. I can't wait until tomorrow. Just to get my mind busy again.

Yes, it was a hard week, a harder weekend. But my Father in Heaven carried me all the way. I know he did, I know he is, and I know he always will. He is faithful.

Thanks for all your prayers, you were vital to my making it through the weekend.

Love you all so much,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Darling. I love you.

This is where...when my kids are hurting, wishing their daddy Happy Birthday, that I start asking questions again. I start questioning God. I start asking about that scripture that says, "Ask anything ........" .

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where do I begin? How do I begin? My faith has not faltered? I believe God is with me. I believe He is sending His Comforter. I believe He is carrying me. I believe He is catching each tear. So why do I cry so much now? Why is my heart breaking.

These are the questions I am facing tonight. Just when I felt like I was doing great, I feel like I am falling again. Drowning in pain and anguish. I read in my devotion this morning... in 2 Corinthians 4:18...that "I will not fix my eyes on my circumstance, but on your presence. Because my circumstances are temporary, but your presence is eternal." I know that, but right now it is so hard.

I have been putting off thinking of what tomorrow is....John's birthday. I realize that because it has hit me so hard tonight. It has nearly crushed me. I want to do something for him. But I didn't know what to do. I thought I would not want to go to the cemetery because I cannot imagine him just laying in that mound of dirt. There is no stone there yet. It can't be pretty.

Tonight I went over to Jay and Marilyn's. Jay was checking the oil for me before we left for Ardmore tomorrow. Marilyn asked me if I wanted to do something for his birthday. I said that I did, but didn't know what. She then told me that she was going to the cemetery. I told her I didn't think I wanted to do that. Dawn said she would go with her. Jay said he didn't think he could.

When I got home, I was doing laundry and thinking about it. The more I thought, the more I cried, the more I missed him. I want to be with him. I want to be with him on his birthday. I started praying, asking for guidance. And I really want to see him. That is hard for some of you to understand. But, going there would be seeing him, being with him. That is as close as I can get to him. I knew then, that if I did not go out there tomorrow that I would regret it. I told Sallye that I would rather have the short lived pain of going out there, then living with the regret of missing this birthday with him.

I called Marilyn and told her I would go. Then I went to Matthew and Isaac (both in Matthew's room) and told them that grams, Aunt Dawn, and I were going out to the cemetery for daddy's birthday. If they wanted to go they could. If they didn't, that was okay too. Isaac immediately said he couldn't. Matthew said he wanted to. I then went to the girls and did the same. Hannah said she didn't want to. Rachel said she wanted to and wanted to take Hot Tamales out too. (Those of you who knew him well, know that Dr. Pepper and Hot Tamales were his favorite) and Rachel remembers too. I left telling them all that they needed to sleep on it, and really make the decision tomorrow. So that is what we will do.

Pray for us. This is another step. Another first. Another hurt...more pain....but it all goes along with the whole circumstance. I think if I can get a grasp of that fact, and the fact that "I not focus on the circumstance, but His presence in our circumstance" that I can do this and come out on top. I will, we will.

Pray, please pray. This is a step I am not looking forward too. For me, or the kids. I am not sure what will hurt more, my being there, or seeing the kids in so much hurt and pain.

Thanks for praying. I will let you know.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday, May 3

I am surprisingly doing pretty well. I have been subbing pretty much all day at school. That keeps my mind very well occupied.

I tried to get out and plant a few flowers in my back flower bed. But there is a few things that need to be done to the flower bed before I can do it. Man power things. That made me miss John. He was always right there to help. Then that made me start to really miss him and go into thinking about Friday. I just had to quote scripture to myself and I was able to work through that moment.

But tonight my heart aches. It aches so much that it physically hurts. I wont' go into great detail. I don't think it is necessary. But, Isaac was being disobedient towards me and very disrespectful. Matthew came out of his room and lost his temper with Isaac. I was afraid he would hurt him. As soon as I could get to them (they were physically fighting) Matthew started towards his room. I told him to come back and explained to him that that is not how we handle things in our home. I asked him if daddy would have handled it that way. He answered no. I asked him if daddy would have approved of that, he said no again. Then he went to his room.

I sat down with Isaac and tried to explain to him why Matthew reacted the way he did. Matthew has really stepped up. He sent me a text the other day that said, "You are doing a good job. I love you." That is all it said. Anyway, Isaac was very hurt, emotionally. Tears streaming he tried to make his wrong, right , with excuses. But, I did apologize for what Matthew did.

Then, I went to Matthew and told him again that that was unacceptable. I also told him that as of late, Isaac has really been looking up to him. He needed to set the example. He needed to control his anger. I also told him to mend it before they went to bed. I have always hated when any of us would go to bed any way.

It wasn't long until Matthew went to Isaac's room and they talked, then Matthew took Isaac to Sonic and now they are in Matthew's room together.

My heart breaks for Isaac though. For this birthday he got a new bb goal, and only once, with my prodding did Matthew go out and play with him. He is such a lonely little boy. When things like this happen my heart breaks for the loneliness he must feel at that moment. And I am sure he is missing John ever the more.

So, tonight......I have but one prayer request. I want you to urge the Lord to mend their relationship as brothers. Not only mend, but bind it. So the enemy does not try to separate them. Isaac needs Matthew. Pray for a love and bond to grow between them that has never been seen before. I believe God can do it. I believe He can. Please make this an important matter of prayer. I need to see a miracle in this.

Thanks for your prayers,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010

Well, tonight I feel pretty good. This weekend has been long and hard. I am....God keeps his promises....I am okay.

Hannah had a track meet in Watonga Oklahoma yesterday (Saturday). She ran the 2 mile in 12:50. Pretty good. Got her second, and now she is going to state next weekend.

The hard part for that was my trip up there. Alone. All alone. It gave me time to think which was not a good thing. As I went through Kingfisher I was reminded of the last time John saw her was there. I was reminded of the time I went to a golf tournament with him to watch Matthew play. How much fun we had driving in the cart together.

Thinking of all that, brought me to the fact that in 6 days will be his birthday. Wow, the kids and I always did his birthday up big. We had fun. He always made it fun. Even if we wanted to do something goofy with him..he went along....and made us laugh.

Then, that took me to Mother's Day..........enough said. Yea, I am not his mother. But, he made the day so special for me.

I saw Marsha Adams today as I was walking home from my in laws and I told her, I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up and it would be Monday the 10th. Everything done and gone.

I guess I need to do something for his birthday. I want to. I want to celebrate him. But I don't know how.

I don't want to hurt the kids. I don't know what to do.

Matthew talked about him for the first time today. We were watching golf on t.v. and John's favorite player was on. Course I didn't know that. But Matthew said, "There is daddy's favorite golfer." It was just a statement. It was like he was seeing how it sounded, how I would react, how it made him feel. But, it was so sweet.

It is really awesome what God is doing in my life. At first I was assuming that when I gave everything to God, that I would be free of the pain and hurt and sadness. But, those are all results of a fallen world. I am not free of them, but God helps me through these times. They are growing times for me.

As I was on my way to the track meet, and crying in the car, I called my sister Chris. I told her how I was feeling. I just needed to hear a devotion, a scripture...something. She shared a devotion with me and then a great story that she heard.

It was a story about a lady that was in the ocean swimming. She got caught up in a riptide and started being pulled out farther from the shore. She fought it for a while, and then she was reminded that she was to just relax and be still, not fight it......and sure enough the riptide took her out to the calm waters, and she was able to swim around the riptide and into the shore.

Chris said that sometimes that is what happens to us. We have troubles, sadness, hurts and pains, and we feel like we are in a riptide....we fight it and fight it, trying to do it with our own strength. If we would just relax, and be still in God's arms He will bring us out to calm waters.

I feel like that is what I will have to do this week. In my mind, I keep telling myself I CANNOT make it this week. As it gets closer and closer to his birthday. But, I try to remind myself that I need to rest, relax and be still and let God bring me through the week. No matter what I face. Oh, it is going to be so hard. I am asking for an abundance of prayers.

I don't think the little ones..Hannah, Isaac and Rachel even realize it is coming....I think Matthew does....but hasn't said anything to me. Either way....there is going to be hurt for all of them. Pray for them also.

Pray for God's angels to be around us this week. To lift us up .... to carry us when we think are are falling and failing.

I love the Pastors message this morning. I have been praying that God just take my all and fill me up. When pastor spoke about being broken and spilled out...I wanted that. I want to be spilled out....I want to be used. I want God to use His opportunities for me to show someone His faithfulness, His worthiness, His goodness, His salvation. I am excited about what God is doing in my life.

Then in Sunday School. Wow, I felt convicted when Dave talked about what is stopping us from witnessing, what is keeping me from hurting for others. I knew it was my past that kept me from doing it. I have had to give it to God all over again. So, the enemy cannot hold it against me. I am forgiven. I am broken. I am spilled be filled and used by My God, and Father.

Hannah goes to Ardmore for the State track meet this Friday and Saturday. I think all of us are going down to cheer her up. It means for the kids to miss Friday at school...this is when she will run in the 2 mile. Then we plan to stay overnight. I thought it would be fun for the kids to have some family time while going to the meet. will be John's birthday and I am hoping that being away, and focusing on Hannah and her meet will help me to at least get through Friday.

Pray for Hannah. Give her strength and speed. Pray for me. It will be so out of my realm to go on a trip without John. Pray for wisdom for me. To know what to do when checking in to the hotel, food, money...all that is involved in doing a trip. That was John's job. I just didn't have to worry. He took care of everything. He was so good to me. Pray for the kids to have a good time.

I want to ask you to pray for Marilyn too. She is hurting so much.......not having her son to celebrate with on Mother's Day. I would say I can't know the pain she is feeling....but I feel the pain...I know how she is hurting...and I don't want her to hurt as I am. Pray for her. Pray for peace. We share a lot together...our feelings, tears, sadness, thoughts. We know each others pain. Please pray for her.

Cherokee Forsberg, and Doug and DaVonna have been heavy, very heavy on my heart. You know, I know the pain of not knowing whether your love one will be with you the next day or not. Yes, it is their child, it was my husband. But, I still think the pain, whatever kind, hurts, saddens, and overwhelms them. I know they must be so weary......pray for them. Pray for Cherokee.

Pray, pray, pray. That is the only thing that will pull us all through.

If you are reading this...thank are faithful.