Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jesus Carries Me

Four weeks ago, about this time, I was heading for surgery. Calm, trying to recognize the OR personnel. I wasn't scared, I knew I was in God's hands. I didn't think I would stay in the hospital for a whole week. By the end of the week, tears suddenly overwhelmed my eyes, as I thought how close I must have been to death. I really was in the valley of the shadow of death, yet I feared no evil. The tears on Friday and Saturday following that week of the beginning of recovery, were the kind you have after adrenaline left your system and you realize you have no idea how the strength you needed was there. I came home on the ninth. I hadn't read my Bible for a week, because the Gideons hadn't visited my room. My own is falling apart, so I didn't ask for it. So that Sunday morning after I got home, I read Isaiah, about the LORD's suffering servant, 53:4 "Yet, it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down." I thought back at how I was living with this infection and tears sprung to my eyes. I wrote in my journal, "I am overwhelmed.
"Yet it is Christ who carries me and then I read that passage.."
I had calm and peace going into that OR because Jesus carries me.
As I think of loved ones who are not following Jesus as they did, I remember John 10 and the peace of our Good Shepherd. The Father will not allow one sheep to be snatched away from Jesus.
Isaiah 53:6 affirms the New Testament, "All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all."
When Jesus is so real to me, I know I must testify about Him and my words must glorify the Father. Do I always act right or put Jesus and others before myself? No.
I guess the Christian life can be like my recovery from extensive surgery. At first I needed someone to help me out of bed. Then I could master that. On Sunday, four weeks ago, the nurse basically washed me. Two days later I gladly washed myself. But a day later, I didn't feel like washing or walking as I developed an ileus.
The surgeon explained to me on Thursday, we don't go in a straight line from day one to "Ta da" you're tops again. It is jagged trajectory over the six weeks, but you don't get as low as day one this far out.
I am still overwhelmed and thankful that Jesus did carry me. And He still does. I truly wasn't scared four weeks ago. Even on the Monday when cancer was hinted at, I felt no anxiety. I know Jesus is carrying me. Maybe the themes of my novels are working their way into the fabric of my life.
Three weeks post op, January 24, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Pymatuning and Bald Eagles have been on my mind

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Team Teddy Tuesday

As I write on this page a final time I would like to thank all of the positive people I met along the way. In 2013 Theodore Foltz-Tedesco passed away by the hands of a murderer. To add insult to that his mom tried to cover it all up. Over these 3 years I have seen a lot of good done. But I also seen a lot of bad. Because I am a better person. I'm choosing to take the high road. I have successfully cut out all of the negative people in my life and have tried to move forward. Each day is a stepping stone. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think of Teddy and what could have been. But I find comfort in knowing he is in a better place. Again I would like to thank everyone who supported me and my family.
God bless

Team Teddy page is closing down today. R.I.P. Teddy Foltz will now be the page to learn the progress of Teddy's Law.

I sent out invitations to like this page. Teddy's death reached deep into my heart three years ago for a God given reason. After all, Theodore means "Gift of God."
The purpose of my Tuesday writings is child abuse awareness. Please read past posts. I still choke and push back tears when I talk about Teddy, so it remains meaningful to me. I look over the invitations, international, all careers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, and young people. I look forward to hearing ideas of how to detect and deter child abuse. Please, share your thoughts.
I am also making a habit to share the child abuse hot line, if you suspect abuse. Please call.
                                                              1 800 932 0313

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Waiting for Mommy to get better.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Team Teddy Tuesday

Last week, Teddy would have turned seventeen. I wonder how many children do not see adulthood because their parents abused or let them be abused. The mothers trusting their boyfriends or being cowed into allowing the abuse. This abuse that killed Teddy.
Teddy lied to protect his twin brothers. He lied because that was his family, for better or worse. He lived with his mother, who betrayed him to her boyfriend. Children need to trust and love their mothers. Mothers cannot esteem lightly that trust.
If you see a woman isolating herself with a new boyfriend, watch for signals. Social isolation may be the first sign. Try as hard as you can to stay involved in her life and her children. We know from Teddy's case, this is difficult and I don't know the answer. I just know, we can't turn a blind eye, if we want to learn from Teddy's life.
My prayers still go to Teddy's dad, Shawn, who is fighting for better laws to protect abused children. He was kept from his son. The system failed this family, by not detecting the abuse going on. It was too easy to remove Teddy from two school districts and this law would help with a more stringent process. Pray for our lawmakers, especially Capri Cafaro, who is working on this legislation.
Again, if anything just doesn't sit right with you, call the: 
                                                     Child Help Hot Line 1-800-932-0313

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Love Being a Writer

Two weeks post surgery. Face is a little strained, but I couldn't pass up my writers gathering. Top row: LK Hunsaker,  Rhonda Paglia and Joseph, of Haitian Sensations. Bottom row: Daisy Townsend and myself.  


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Word and Picture of 2016 Reveal

One step back to move forward may be a saying for my beginning of this year. I have been having a word and picture of the year since 2012, when I read Mary DeMuth’s practice on her blog. This isn't unique to her and I read several that year from other writers I followed. I adapted this and start thinking, maybe July, how my life is going and what would represent the on coming year. I click pictures throughout the year and after the first year, when I had the picture in my mind, but couldn't find it anywhere until August Farm Days at Munnell Run Farm, I use my own photos taken with my puny cell phone. All right, it still amazes me what I get from that little guy, even with the limitations.
Last year, my theme was Rest. “Come sup with Me,” Jesus invites. I gave up scheming to advance the publishing career. I had to wrestle with my faith and “Rest” of last year led to a certain peace that must grow.
As I glance over my last month of journal entries, the theme seems to be physically tired, over and over. Working at a new job, groundbreaking in all the expectations, I wasn't the only one who didn't know exactly what we were doing. We had staff quitting or others refused by the private duty. Yet, I kept reaching down to the foundation of Jesus and seeking His rest. I found out on January second, yes, last week, that I fought an infection, in a ruptured appendix. The surgeon and I believe the days before Christmas, when I said I had the stomach bug- my lower abdomen hurt all over for a few days- then felt better by Christmas Eve Day, my appendix ruptured in that period of time. Then the infection increased the pain by New Year's Day and being a good nurse, I waited another day, because I am calm and don't panic.
Emergency surgery on Saturday night, with the expected complication of ileus (the bowel stops working) Thank God, no naso-gastric tube. I only vomited a half a basin of clear bile. I lost six inches of bowel. Most days, I only wanted to sleep. And no eating, if that is what you want to call the clear liquid diet, but I couldn’t have been tempted with anything.
So I’m starting the New Year with last year’s word- “Rest.” But what popped up around every corner, especially in December, was “Hope.” I feel the door barely containing itself with the wonderfulness behind it. The picture I took in December 2014 at Hermitage Historical Society home main entrance.
My verse came when I was reading The Case for Hope, by Lee Strobel, Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Many verses on hope can be found and I had another one planned, as I was getting ready to reveal my word and picture for 2016. You can say, the whole Bible is hope. We have our blessed hope in Titus 2:13, waiting for the glorious appearing of Jesus. Yet, every day, my Lord does not despise small hope.
I’m adding a song this year, too. This hymn made famous by George Beverly Shea with Billy Graham ministry. I like the gospel spin of the version I’m sharing.
I wish a sweet Sixteen to all my readers. I know many, like I, were surprised by attacks on their health at the beginning of this year. May we all hope, not blindly, but knowing what is just beyond that door with assurance. I plan this year, as I read on Hope, to share my insights on my journey toward Hope.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Team Teddy Tuesday

Theodore means, "God's gift." The story coming through the radio waves that morning almost three years ago grabbed my heart, burrowing a steely resolve to never forget. I knew that day, before all the details emerged, like how I knew Shain, the mother, this story would live with me. I couldn't only hear it and go on to the next.  Teddy's attack first and then his death became a gift of a voice needed. Only in the sense, it awoken an alarm that cannot be silenced. I knew I needed to shout to people to look around at the children. So many are being abused and we cannot ignore it. I don't know why Teddy's story did that when others did not, only that Teddy's did.
This past fall, I haven't been able to post every week. Demands of a new job made me feel I was running out of words to tell the same theme every week. Teddy died at the hands of a monster, while his mother allowed this dastardly deed. I urge all to pray for teachers, school nurses, bus drivers, volunteers and so many other people to have sharp eyes and ears to notice abuse. Like a disco ball revolving around, every ray of light shines a new way to look at how we can be aware. This is no dance, though. Children are suffering every day.
I also taught how we as adults can prepare our children against abuse. Passwords, if someone tries to lure children away. Code words to save face, if children are at a place and don't feel safe, for parents to come and retrieve them. I told about an article about a camp for abused children and had hoped to explore that more.
I pledge in this new year to come back at this important topic with renewed vigor. We need to get involved with our legislature, no matter where we live. Teddy's Law is championed in Ohio. Find out what you can about child abuse laws in your state.  I will post the hot line with every article. I have mine on speed dial. Suspect something? Report it.
                                                       Child help 1-800-932-0313