Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ride 'Em Cowboy!


Puppy for Auction!

Last night I had the privilege of attending the 100th birthday Gala Celebration of a very famous cowboy. It was the most glamorous, fancy, expensive and beautiful event I think I've ever attended. (I'm not using the name because I don't want people seeing my post on the internet. But it was at the museum that bears his name.) The dress was "formal western" and there were the most amazing clothes and auction items. There were 1200 people seated at elegant table settings in an enormous tent that had a huge screen that during dinner played scenes from his movies. Then there was a live auction that someone payed $21,000 for a labradore puppy. Several personal items of the cowboy's sold for over $100,000. There were lots of famous people and the entertainment was given by, well, you'll see who they are by the photos! There was a goody bag with fun items too which I'll show my loves when we're next together. I so much wish I could have had all my loves with me--will have to suffice with a few photos...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

As promised...

Here is a picture of Isaac and Katie's two little girls...newborn Jolie Ruth and two and half year old Sophia seeing her baby sister for the first time. Sooo beauitful...
And just for fun here is a photo of newborn Isaac...

For more photos, visit Katie's blog where Isaac posted some photos last night.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Safely Delivered

This morning just about two hours ago, Isaac and Katie were safely delivered of a new baby girl. Her name is Jolie Ruth and she has lots of dark curly hair. Jolie is French and means "beautiful" and Ruth is my middle name. Fred and I held each other and cried with hearts full of thanksgiving as we prayed for each of our children and for all of their little ones. On this day, we are especially thankful that Katie had a smooth and quick delivery, and we are thankful for this brand new life that God ordained before the world began. A life that was only imagined and dreamed of and desperately wanted. What a contrast to the throwaway world we are living in today.

We can't wait for Jolie's big sister Sofia to introduce this Grandma and Grandpa to her...we leave for Thorne Bay, AK, October 12...

Once there are photos, we will post... in the meantime, rejoice with us--and congratulations to Isaac and Katie and Sophia!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My little boy...

My little boy is 36 today. I remember people telling me at the delightful age of "3" "just wait til' he's older," "you think he's cute now," "it's cute now, but it won't be cute later." Lots and lots of naysayers in my life. The reason people did that to me was because this little boy was unique. He was special. He talked like a 3-year old at 1. He could read like a 6-year old at 3. He was full of personality and remembered every detail of the books he poured over from 1 year-old on. He knew every single church person's name who ever spoke to him, and he delighted every teacher he had (except the one that let him cut the end of his finger off. She didn't like him).

Today, he is a man seeking to make his faith relevant to every choice, every decision, every action he takes. He is a father to his children that in today's world could put him in a history book one day! He is a devoted husband to one wife, he is an example of a believer. He is a brother who cares, and an uncle, cousin, friend, and grandson who loves.
He is a son who has made his mother proud and full of humility and thankfulness to the Lord for what HE has done.

"How can I say thanks, for the things He has done for me...things so undeserved, yet he gave to prove his love for me. The voices of a million angels can not express my gratitude.... To God be the glory."

Happy birthday, Son.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sins of Omission

The Children of Tom and Amanda

Why do I feel guilty about anything relative to the care of my parents? When someone does something nice for them, I feel guilty as though I should be doing that for them myself. For example, the nice lady from church who goes over each Sunday evening and spends time with Mom going over the church bulletin and prays with her. Or the couple from my own church who took them out to lunch today. Or every time my busy daughter-in-law runs over to the store for them.

Then there's the overwhelming sense of guilt that had I been a better steward throughout my life, maybe I wouldn't have to work and could be my parents' full time caregiver. Last week I realized after doing our October taxes that we had given more this year than any other year, and despite our comfortable circumstances now, the reminder that had I been a better money manager I might be in a position not to have to work, and my parents' might not have had to do a reverse mortgage to pay for their in-home care--and more importantly, I could be more available to them--and on and on the cycle of guilt goes.

People observe what I do for my parents and think I'm a good, dedicated, loving daughter. But I know what I am and my conscience torments me. Attitude is everything I realize. "What you know in your heart is right to do and you don't do it--it is a sin (Becky's paraphrase)." The sins of omission are my reality.

The only time I don't feel guilty is when my siblings do something for my folks. When one brother drives a long distance to work in their yard clearing years and years of Dad's work away, or the other brother out of love for his Dad takes him to a movie or to a seminar. Or when my sister stops after church now and then and warms up their lunch for them. I suppose that's because we're all doing the best to do our part and all feel the responsibility. And my parents are so blessed to have my twin's wife and my own husband who do so much toward the caretaking and I'm incredibly grateful as well.

Yesterday I left them twice--once in the morning and once at noon. Both times their vulnerability and aloneness overwhelmed me. Dad never got up out of bed during my first visit--but he stirred when he heard me and said brightly, "Hi Sweetheart." Those are the words I will miss more than any when he can no longer speak. And Mom was so completely stressed over holding it all together and what they'll do if their caregiver quits, or what should she do about Dad sleeping so much. All the while she rocks back and forth in her chair as the anxiety increases, anxious and blind.

I left thinking I should go over and sleep there every night--just in case something might happen. I seem to have constant promptings that come into my mind of things I should do to help them--and few I act upon. On my way to or from work each day I talk to Mom on long calls. That is her lifeline--to have long conversations with anyone, really. While she presents one issue after another she's dealing with she says she wishes she didn't have to burden her kids with any of it--she never dreamed she'd be in this position.

So where does that bring me to today? First, I am thinking of the future and how I might be able to fix things so I can be more available to them. Secondly, and more importantly, I am a follower of Jesus and that should change me--guide me--and free me from the guilty feelings and motivate me to do wht I know is right.

Sins of omission? What am I NOT doing that I'm accountable to the Lord for? Between the Lord and me I will no doubt continue to struggle. But will seek His Spirit for guidance, and I will resolve to toss aside the wasted guilt and excuses and do what is right.

"Cheap grace preaches forgiveness without repentance, discipleship without obedience, blessing without persecution, joy without righteousness, results without obedience. In the entire history of the church, has there ever been another generation with so many nominal Christians and so few real (obedient) ones?" (D.A. Carson)

I John 2:3-6: We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The person who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him...This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

It's easy to be "Jesus with skin on" for little ones, but when it comes to elderly parents, it's not so easy--but just as important. So I'm dealing with some misplaced guilt, to be sure, but just as assuredly, I desire to be more available to them, and more obedient to the Lord.