Saturday, March 10, 2012


                I have four grandchildren, three that I can hug, squeeze and kiss; and one that is home in heaven.  I love them all dearly and believe they are God’s payback for my hair turning grey and my stamina diminishing.  I had the great privilege of providing daycare for two of the three.  This gave me a bond with them I hope will be everlasting. They are all in school now.  Kile is eight and in second grade, Cavanaugh is five and in kindergarten, Lauren is four and attends preschool.  Recently I made the decision to drive Kile and Cavanaugh to school two mornings a week and pick them up one afternoon.  These snippets of time have been a gift to me.  I have peeked into their young world, heard their concerns, shared their joy and listened to their belly laughs.  I only wished Lauren lived close so I could have this time with her as well.
                Each Wednesday afternoon I pick up Kile and Cavanaugh.  We drive thirty minutes to my Cavanaugh’s dance class.  As we travel the familiar road we play word or math games.  Word rhymes and antonyms are two of their favorites.  Their command of the English language blows me out of the water.  After exhausting all of the real word combinations, we slide into extreme silliness.  We also play spy games or ‘I am thinking about’  games.  The hour of driving passes quickly each week and I relish the time spent with them.
                I am the grandmother who creates things.  The youngsters anticipate handmade or crafty items each birthday, Christmas and holiday. They also realize sometimes they are given a gift “just because I love you.” Last week I found a pair of coveted pajamas for my 8 year old grandson. I designed a sweatshirt for my 5 year old granddaughter and learned the art of rhinestone embellishment at the same time.  They loved their items, but what I loved was their reactions, “What shall we make for Lauren?” Lauren is their cousin.  She lives two hours away, and is best friends with Cavanaugh. “We can’t leave her out.  You made me a sweatshirt and Kile got pajamas.  Her favorite colors are pink and purple.  Let’s make her a pink sweater with purple stripes
                The past two days, Cavanaugh was unable to attend school and came to stay with me.  She spent a good share of her time making something.  The first item on her list of ‘must do’ was to create a sweater for her cousin, Lauren.  Luckily I had a second hand pink sweater, just Lauren’s size.  A pair of scissors, an imagination a cousin’s loving hands transformed the scraps into a design for the sweater.  Cavanaugh was so pleased with her creation.  As she cut and arranged I could her humming a tune with no name.
                It definitely is better to give than to receive, at least in the eyes of my five year old granddauther.  For me to witness her generosity is a gift that will warm my heart for many moons to come.  And for this I give thanks for God, for allowing me to be a part of my grandchildren’s weekly lives.
                “Thou shalt not covet they neighbors goods”.  As I witnessed the attitude of my sweet Cavanaugh, I thought to myself, this is what this commandment means. It goes beyond longing for the things others have, but I must share my gifts and talents for the sheer joy of sharing. 
                We must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God.  I want to hang around them more often.  I have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.   Exodus 20:12

   Rick and I will be married thirty seven years next month.  We have lived close to his family and worked with them all of our married life.  I have watched this commandment in action all these years, but never as much as the last few months.  Rick, and many of his family, are demonstrating what this commandment really means.

    Last summer we witnessed the slow decline of his parents.  Up to that point, they seemed to be the picture of health.  The two of them ran a successful business.  Rick's father invented a tool and a few other items that they made and sold on a regular basis.  At the age of 87 and 84, the two of them were quite independent, yet dependent at the same time.  Many of the required tasks had become too hard for Rick's father, so the sons took care of the job.  Rick's mother continued to help full time with tool production, as well as the bookkeeping. 

     We could see it was getting to be too much for his mom, and her back was giving her fits.  Yet, she continued to work like a woman twenty years younger.  Last August, the pain took over and she was relegated to her couch.  We were gone for three weeks on a trip and upon our return, we wondered who took his mother and who was this imposter?  Her physical decline in three short weeks was frightening.

    One morning in an attempt to help herself, she slipped and fell, breaking her hip.  Within twenty four hours she was in surgery.  The doctor recommended rehabilitation facility.  As hard as it was for Rick's parents to move into the center, they accepted it as their lot in life.  Rick's family was amazing in their support of their parents.  From the rehab center, they moved quite willingly to an assisted living home.  The siblings pulled together as they helped them move, get settled and clean out their former home. 

    Rick's mother suffers from Alzheimer's and his father has dementia.  Anger can arise at any given moment with his father.  I know, I have been on the receiving end of it.  For this reason, the best way I can honor him is to allow Rick to do what ever is needed for them, and for me to help when needed.  So most of the time I am in the background supporting my husband by listening.  I have given them rides to appointments, church and meetings when Rick is unable to go.  I have learned to hold my tongue when need be.  This is my way to keep this commandment.  And I do it with love, compassion and kindness for several reasons.  First, it is just easier to avoid a confrontation.  Second, God has commanded that I honor him.  When I married into the family he became my father as well.  Third, it is the right thing to do.  He has worked hard his entire life and I must respect him, my elder.  His brain isn't functioning properly, so therefore I cannot hold him responsible for everything that he utters.

     Honor thy father and thy mother.  Some days it is really hard and some days it is a joy.  But no one ever said life was going to be an easy walk.  I just know it's worth it.

Friday, March 2, 2012


First off, let me apologize for letting you down yesterday.  I promised to post a new thought each day during lent, and I failed to do that yesterday.  Each day I pray for inspiration.  Yesterday I had a hard time grasping an idea.  I tried to write late in the afternoon, but I found the creative juices dry up at that time of day.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Today I feel especially blessed.  I have been pondering on this verse.  A friend loves at all times.  At this time of the year I think of my BFFs.  For those unfamiliar with the abbreviation, it stands for 'best friend forever'.  And I made mine plural because I am surrounded by many such people.  How can a person have more than one best friend?

First and foremost, I have a someone who is with me 24/7.  I often find myself having a conversation all day long.  I can tell my someone anything on my mind or in my heart.  I complain, make requests, praise and most of all worship this friend.  How wonderful it is to have a companion all day and  night!  I know everything I tell will never be revealed.  My friend is the first one I think of when I wake up and the last one before I fall asleep.  I imagine you have figured this one out, my friend is Jesus.

Another best friend has been with me for thirty-eight years.  We met on his birthday and my true personality was not hidden from his view.  He must have liked what he saw because before the night was over we had a date.  But that is another story for another day.  Two years later we were married and he has been there for me ever since.  To let you think it has been rosy all the time, well,  that would be misleading.  But  over time our relationship has grown stronger and  it's nice to look back over thirty-seven years and the experiences we have shared.

I am also blessed with a group of women  I like to call my besties.  There are seven of us and we gather once a summer to have a slumber-less party.   We are all old enough to be grandmothers, and some of us have the privilege of belonging to that club.   But when the seven of us gather for one or two nights, we turn back into junior high girlfriends.  We tell stories and giggle half the night.  But we are much more than that.  We love at all times.  We have raised our children together.  We had overnights, camping trips, day gatherings with sometimes as many as two dozen youngsters.  We have a bond that goes much deeper still.  Our faith is the glue the cements our friendship.  We support each other in prayer and there has been plenty of opportunities to fulfill that pledge to each other.  I know if I need anyone for a shoulder to lean on, cry on, a buddy to laugh with and most importantly a friend to pray with I can call one of these gals and I will not be alone.

I have sisters, sister-in-laws, sisters in kind, sisters in Christ, aunts, cousins and neighbors, all who I feel I can call friends.  What a blessing that is to me.  And I know there are more friends I haven't met, more kindred spirits to keep in my heart.

And as for the second part of the verse, brothers are for adversity, well maybe when I was growing up.  My brothers and I did fight, but they were also my playmates, my first friends.  I have eight brothers and I consider all of them, along with their wives, my friends.  So I don't think that part holds as much truth for me.  My family helped make me into the person I am today.