Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Team Teddy Tuesday

http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/jun/29/mom-pleads-guilty-killing-2-kids-found-home-freeze/How does this even happen? No one noticed these children missing? Sorry for the shock value. I don't want to know the details. But we need to watch and be better neighbors. Lord, help us.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Am Humble


  I am humble.  I prayed over yesterday's celebration of pride. I am not proud. I am humble. This image with those words floated in my mind this morning as I woke.
Maybe I am one of the dinosaurs. Maybe I have not as our president has, evolved. I read, I listen. I am not swayed, although, I am afraid of being judged, just as those say I am judging because I cannot embrace this pride celebration.
I am humble. This man has loved me for thirty five years. I am not always pretty or nice. I can be downright ugly and offensive. My tongue flashes mean words, dirty words and degrading words. My husband reminds we, "We are known by our love." I hear his meaning of the Christian song from the 1970's. He teaches.
Our love grows instead of diminishes. We have had hard times. Sometimes a snippet of the man I fell in love would knock me over during those times we struggled with children, housekeeping, and life. I remembered the early love and that would carry me through. Now that shared love multiplied over and over, as different hardships challenged our union.
As an irritations arose, he reminded me,again and again, of the vows we made "before God and four hundred people." He continues to always love me. He wants the best for me.
Some may say all should have this. I understand, but I can't embrace it.
Makes me a hater, I suppose. I don't know Jesus teachings, I'm told. But instead of fighting using the arguments heard all over, I prayed. I am humble. God loves the humble. Read that how you want.
These verses in Proverbs 30 resounded in my mind this morning as well:

18There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which I do not understand: 19The way of an eagle in the sky, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a woman.
And from Ephesians 5:

 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

These are only my reflections in the deep quiet of an early morning of a gloomy day. I shied from expressing them. I, like many, have close relatives not embracing these ideas. I love them. I will never turn away any in my professional nursing. Currently, I have a convicted pedophile sometimes in my care. I have to medicate him, help him hold a glass of water and treat him like any other.
I am humble.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Turtles resting in Lake Julia

Monday, June 22, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday


I hope you will take a look at these links for safety for our teens. I'm working on more material for next week. Tuesdays are getting to be busy days for me. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's All about Surrender

As I started yesterday to write, I have had many ideas bombarding my head, but my focus to formulate a public writing piece met with several obstacles. The frequent one a grinding tiredness overtaking my body and emotions. The kind that manifests itself with crying at the drop of a hat- even when no one is dropping a hat.
I do totally agree with feelings are not a ruler. Yet, in late spring, early summer, as that daylight grows, I find sleep elusive. I want to do. Wake in the early sunshine. Some days that was the only sunshine I'd see all day, so I cultivated gratitude with the early wakefulness. I also wind down at night after work. In the winding down, I'd find stimulating material to absorb like a sponge.
The last few weeks as more and more controversial topics arose, I held back commenting. I know what I believe, but will it come out hateful I cautioned. Some days, I remind myself, limit reading only to the Bible. Refrain from commentaries either conservative or liberal. Go to the Word.
I came back to Jesus always asking, "What do you want?" "Do you want to be healed?" "Be careful, you don't sin worse." Jesus healed, but He asked, "Do you really want to change?" And He was always and foremost concerned about sinning and our relationship with the Father. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He came for salvation and getting right with His Father, not our happiness. I'm not saying, we won't have happiness if we surrender to Him. I do have life and life more abundantly.
The Gospel is about surrender. We pray, "Thy will be done." in the Lord's prayer. As we surrender, we become a new creation. The old passes away and the new comes in. In some people this is an overnight sensation. My father smoked cigarettes before, as we called it then, he was born again. Someone asked him for a cigarette, he handed over the whole pack tucked away in his shirt pocket, "Take the pack, I won't be needing them any more."
Dad, though, still understood the power of nicotine addiction. He often say it was the hardest thing to overcome. But that is the joy of salvation, it is not our strength, but Jesus in us. We are over-comers.
A person must come to the end of himself sometimes to accept that change. We are all born sinners. Children do not have to be taught how to be bad. Adults teach them the rules of life, how to be good, kind and considerate. All sin and come short of the glory of God.
As church people, though, our conversations about the leadership in our church can be misconstrued. What we hold for our leaders is not the standard to enter our doors. Too often it is heard that way by those looking into our doors. Come in, should be our invitation and allow the Holy Spirit by the Word of God do the convicting. As Jesus always asked, "Do you want to be healed?" We have to admit we need Him first. It's all about surrender and losing our life, so we may gain it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Not Lack of Material

My soul contends with being unsettled. Some days I have been very tired, with either a sore back or sinus headache or both. Today I feel pretty good, but still tired for the one day off-yes, I will serve cheese and crackers with that whine. I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to track down information on James Satterfield, getting lost in that time and with the people of David and Mary Thompson's Mt. Hickory. Returning to tasks required determined effort. I found out Mary had the nickname Polly, I hadn't seen that in earlier research.
I wonder, am I afraid to finish Outside of Time? I have put it off, thinking about my article for The Way It Was. Now, I have a dog who wants me to scratch him. More distractions. I love the forceful nudging of the nose under my right forearm as I try to get back to typing. He is really shedding, too, with the warmer weather. The Rainbow(my vacuum cleaner) will get a workout soon.
Harrison, bored with my half hearted compromise of petting and typing, jumped off the couch. The taupe cat, Clarence, replaced him, but he doesn't know how to be demanding.
I seem to have lost the visual for my cursor, as well, now. Always seems to be something. I guess this is the light hearted attempt in my writing.
I think sleep deprivation factors greatly here. I may scrub this all or I may not and no one really knows. I miss that cursor. I want to see where the next character shows. Somewhat like life, yes? We want to see the whole path, and we can't.
I played around in my head with what I need to write. I just wanted to write quotes from Jan Karon's Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Monday. I finished it on that day off. But I ended up not posting here, but did write much on the work in progress. I posted those wonderful quotes on Facebook.
My life waits in the middle of a great big thought, not completed yet. I think of million things throughout the day, but time to polish those thoughts vanishes.
I also have my wonderful week in the Poconos that I have hinted about, but again, time for publishing evaporates. I feel pummeled some days.
To ease the back pain, I purchased a pool membership at the local motel, not as local as I like, but about fifteen minutes away. I watch the clock, timing the sessions for back relief. I'm sure stress adds to the pain.
I sense change lurking. I pray for a change, like suddenly. I fear a change not to my benefit. I know mishaps feel that way. Yet, all things work out for the good of those who love the Lord. Like last night, my battery died at work. Someone drove my daughter and me home. This morning, I called my brother for a ride and in the bargain got to see my niece and great nieces. Visits from out of town are whirl winds sometimes. Add to that, my schedule and time eludes a chance to see the girls. I fought frustration last night, but found joy this morning.
I try to hold on to that affirmation. Frustration at my work schedule blew my lid yesterday. I am so tired and want to have two days off together- ready for more cheese?- I cry. I weigh writing with my nursing career. What do I want to be doing in five years, even? I need to work within this situation of great co-workers and wonderful residents and families, close to my house. I don't want stress of management or a commute. I do miss home health with more weekends off and more respect. Yet, I withered there fighting with insurance companies, crawling around dirty floors doing wound care for smelly feet, kneeling for difficult blood draws, forgetting to call back with important information when the line is busy and the grinding computer work that never quits.

 I decided to leave with Father Tim's quotes in Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. It does fit, as do many things lately in my life teaching me.
"I think you could say I came to the end of myself. I really did want a show all my own, and He had to hammer me pretty hard to make me see it was all His. We don't like relinquishing the power we never had anyway, even though running the show ourselves never works.
"I surrendered everything to Him. What did I have to lose? What I had to gain was- believe it, Henry-everything. It's so simple, it baffles us; we're more enamored of what's grinding and hard."
Then he continues...
"What I've come to have - out of all that was grinding and hard- is a relationship. Bonhoeffer said it's not about hero worship, but intimacy with God."
I thought how I had to give up Jacob, the schemer, part of me. I plot my way to my dreams. I relish the hard work. I feared losing sight of Jesus, with my despair at the grinding. With that one prayer for humility, the world fell through. A tug of war, but I learned before I gird the armor, I need to put on love, as stated in Colossions three.
A discipline enforced from God, not to punish, but to refine. Someone else told the story of the goldsmith, heating the fire, skimming the dross and repeating to purify the gold with the result

of seeing his reflection in the pure gold. I yield to the Refiner and many times the fire heats. We do get everything as we surrender to Jesus, Yeshua.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Kool Aid pitcher in Charmed Coffee Cafe window display

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Prayer focus this week and continue through summer is vacation Bible school, camps, and other summer programs.  Pray for the children attending. Pray for the teachers, volunteers and any others involved.
May the children enjoy, learn and be safe in all activities. May they grow. If home life is dismal, may these outings shed a ray of sunshine.
May the adults, first be safe havens for the children. As clearances are the law now and in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has waived the fee, may predators have a difficult time being around the children. As awareness grows, may the adults be tuned to signs of abuse.
Over all, we want a safe summer for our children. The days we dream of with carefree times are over and for some never existed. Let the children be kids and have fun. Join me in praying for that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

June 15, sixty nine years of marriage. The real love stories.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Remember the opening of The Incredibles? As the super heroes had to blend into society, because they caused too many problems saving the world, the black and white newsreel, voice over, warned, "They walk among us." I have encountered in the last week, "They walk among us," with sexual predators.
Years ago, when Jeffery Damer was caught, I thought, he looks normal. Ted Bundy actually was handsome. We want the bad guys, well, to look like bad guys. Can't they have horns and a tail? Please?
They don't. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our teachers, even family members. Now, just like we are warned in spiritual warfare teaching to not look for a demon under every rock, I don't want us to be paranoid.
We need to be aware, as I have been writing for two years. I warn again, to keep a guard by praying for discernment. I pray for children, who have innocence and don't know about the evil yet. Pray for those affected by all abuse, that light will shine, expose and protect the children.
Open your mouth, if you see it. Please, don't be passive. It doesn't go away. Pray for those who are on the front lines, like policemen, FBI, Child Protective Services and our schools, who expose the abusers. Pray the teachers, nurses, janitors and volunteers will possess boldness to report. We can't sit by any more.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Unsettled As a Late Spring Day

I had set up deadlines for the novel I'm writing and watched the days flash by. Writing at my husband's apartment was not as comfortable as I thought it would be going into the vacation. He also took an extra day off, although I did write that day, too, in the evening. I still hope to have Outside of Time ready by July 18 or 25 for two book signings I'm doing.
Nine days off were wonderful and the week before I had a great schedule. Coming back, though, the Piper had to be paid and I struggled through seven days. I thought yesterday, even God only worked six days. Friday night, I hit the wall, as it were. Tired, sore, to the point of tears, I'd lean over that med cart to gather strength for a smile. Then the weekend I got through without too much difficulty. I guess that is what runners feel? I have no idea. Just hearsay.
I had a wonderful vacation. I wish the two places, Northeastern Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania could be one, at times. I loved the mountain lakes, the mountain views, the food and Scranton. I wish I had a better camera than my Instamatic phone. The phone ran out of memory or battery, just when the best photo op came. Still, I got some great pictures.
I spent a great deal of time at the North Pocono Public Library. I received an enthusiastic welcome to place my books on their shelves. Susan, the head librarian, bubbled. The high school steel drum band had just played, so maybe it was a bit of the islands overflow. I took no pictures of this library. I thought I'd get a snap shot of my books on the shelf, but they didn't have a chance to catalog them. Next time I venture to the other side of the state, I'll take some.
I feel as unsettled as this late spring day.
And the techno demon messes with how I want this post to look. So I think I will try to post more later.
Behind the scenes at Shenango Valley Community Library                                               

Inside the Farrell Library

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lives Slip Silently By

Two of our men passed away this weekend and again, as reading the obituaries, I get a broader view of their lives. The one I have taken care of since I started there and he gave me some of the nicest proposals, but he always remembered I was married-"Will there ever be a chance for us?" He rejoiced in my writing accomplishments. I rejoiced not that he remembered me, but that he remembered. I knew some of his story, but not all. 
The other one, I had no idea of his background, because he was new and I didn't get to know him well. His story amazed me. We never know a background when we first meet. And as a person grows quiet, losing memory and approaching death, I don't know much of their stories as I care for them.
So even though I had planned on another post, I feel it has to wait, as I republish this poem I wrote about another death. The stories behind these end of life people I push pills into are often not known until after they have departed. I wish I often had more time with them.

Lives Slip Silently By
Mollie Lyon

 Lives slip silently by.
Who knows what's
Behind that hollow eye,
In dark recesses
Lie past successes.
Gray heads bent
Troubles for a time lent.
We can't see them now
Under that vacant brow.
A sketchy obituary
Read in the paper
Tells some of the story,
But then it's late to know.
We can't reach in.
Sometimes we can't begin.
No one around to start the story
And we find out too late
The story trapped
Behind a precious one's fate.
As Death stalks our hallways again, I wonder at the lives we touch, and the lives that touch us
My father-in-law, memory gone, with my daughter, "Good bye, for now Grandpa."


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Lake Scranton, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

I have an early meeting at work, so this is only a quick post. I read and shared on the Team Teddy Facebook page about displaying pictures of your children on Facebook. Be careful who you friend. We need to raise our own awareness to protect our children and grandchildren. We can't be scared, but we must be smart. Keep eyes open and keep praying.