Friday, January 12, 2018

What Else Happened While I was Gone?



Have you seen the movie “While You Were Sleeping?” I have. I was reminded of it recently.

In the movie, while a man is in a coma, his family and friends undergo many life changes.

We were in the car one day when Murray and Sarah were talking about the time when Sarah put her hand on one of the posts in our basement, and it fell.

Whoa. Back up. What?

“It was when you were in the hospital,” Sarah said.

Five and a half years ago, I was in the hospital for six weeks after a fall which caused a brain injury. I don’t remember much about that time, and apparently, I don’t know some big things that went on with the family then either.

So the post in the basement fell?

Murray said they called his brother Myles, who’s done a lot of home repair, and Myles said the house wasn’t going to fall, if it hadn’t already. He said just to be safe, Ping-Hwei probably shouldn’t sleep in the basement.

“What!”

Ping-Hwei always sleeps in the basement.

“Until we got it fixed,” Murray said quickly to plow over what other crazy things I was going to spout.

They had it fixed right away.

And I’m just finding out about it five years later.

What else happened that summer?

Ping-Hwei went to work at Metal Fab every day like always. All I know about Benjamin for that summer is he had band practice. That’s where they had to get him the night I fell.

Caleb, Rebecca, and Sarah were between college years, working, busy.

Besides getting repairs done on the house and taking care of whatever else the family needed him to do, Murray spent much of every day with me. I know that made a big difference in my hospital experience.

But there were six weeks of my family’s lives, in the lives of my five almost grown children, that I missed out on, that I wasn’t a part of. Thinking of this can make that missing block of my life seem even larger.

Friday, January 5, 2018

At the Feet of Jesus



I have long believed in the power of the name of Jesus.

My husband Murry is a math tutor. He says he likes to tell people that once you have a decimal point, “You can add zeros after the last digit until Jesus comes, and it won’t change.”

Murray believes that there is power in using the name of Jesus.

Recently, in a book by one of my newest favorite authors, Jan Karon, whenever people needed to pray about a hard thing in their lives, and they couldn’t think what to say, they prayed simply, “Jesus.”

I started writing this piece in June of 2016, and from that day I wrote: “In church this morning, we were singing a song I didn’t know well, but when we came to the place where I knew to say ‘Jesus,’ I had a moment of joy.”

Often, as I sing a song with Jesus’ name, I find my heart calming and my face smiling.

Not too long ago, I started reading a book I didn’t really like. When the author began talking about her and her husband’s faith in Christ, I suddenly started liking the book more and relating better with the author.

There is such power in the name of Jesus.

A few weeks ago at church, we read from Luke 10, about Mary and Martha, and how Martha was worried about getting everything done. But Mary chose the good stuff or “what is better”, by sitting at the feet of Jesus. Our pastor demonstrated “the good stuff” by giving a bakery made cupcake in a box to a little boy in the crowd.

I want to not only know the power of the name of Jesus, and it is amazing, but I want to get the good stuff. I want to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him, and learn what he thinks is important for me to know.

I plan to spend extra time in the gospels this year, praying each day that God will help me open my ears to what Jesus has to say to me.

Luke 10:38-41: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sweet Memories, Smart Little Kids


February 28, 1995: The other day Rebecca asked if I was going to give Sarah a bath. I said not right then because I had a lot of stuff to do. She said, "That could be one of the stuff you have to do.”

 

Last night Rebecca was sounding out the word LOVES, and I toldher there was a quiet E. She said, "I'm scared of quiet E's."

 

March 2, 1995: When Rebecca forgets what she wants to say she says, "I lost myword."

 

March 3, 1995: This afternoon while our new insurance agent was here, Rebecca asked, "Mommy, does Jesus even love bad people?" Theagent said, "Yes, even insurance agents."

 

March 4, 1995: Sarah was just smelling my hair, and she said that Icouldn't smell my hair because my face couldn't get to it.

 

March 9. 1995: "   I was helping Sarah get dressed later, and she said, "I'm notSarah." I asked who she was, and she said, "Somebody I don't even know."

 

Yesterday Caleb brought home a page of braille from school, andhe could read A, B, C, and L. (Almost had his name there.)

 

The other day at my Mom's house, Rebecca came in to the kitchen and said to me and Mom, "Mommy and Grandma, two planes are going toland on your heads."   

 

Later that afternoon when Murray's Mom had come, we were allstanding outside, and I was holding Sarah. She said, "There's twoGrandmas. There's a Grandma, and there's a Grandma," she finished,looking from one to the other.

 

March 17, 1995: When Sarah sees something red, she will say, "That's my favorite color balloon," or shirt, or book, whatever. This morning she was sitting on my lap and she saw a cut on my cheek by my nose where I'd hit myself on something. She asked, "What's on yournose?" I said it was an ouchy. She said, "It's my favorite color."

 

March 19, 1995: When the kids were getting ready for bed, Sarah said she was going to take her hands off. Rebecca said that when she'd taken onehand off, she wouldn't be able to take the other one off, because she'd only have one left. So somebody else would have to take theother one off.

 

At supper Rebecca said something to me, and I said to her, "Now be quiet you cute big girl." Sarah said, "No, I wasn't talking; Rebecca was."

 

March 21, 1995:   Last night the kids were asking if Jesus could carry everybody to Heaven. Then later, they were talking about taking their toys and hair pretties to Heaven, and Rebecca said, "If Jesus needs us to holdsomething, because His hands are too full, I will."

 

This morning, Rebecca and I were folding socks, and Rebecca said all the soft ones were hers. She said, "Because I'm a fancy girl. Ithank God for myself."

 

This afternoon Renato (our exchange student from Brazil) was swinging with the kids, and telling them that he's going home soon, and that his Mom and maybe his sisterwill come here to get him. When he said his sister might come, Sarah asked, "Will Fernanda get out of the phone?" She's used to himtalking to his sister on the phone.

 

March 24, 1995: Last night after the girls were in their bed, Sarah said, "We're holding hands. My sister is holding my hand because shewants to."

 

Today after supper, Caleb asked, "Is this tonight?"

 

March 30, 1995: Caleb was singing a song while ago that he learned at school atThanksgiving time, "Five fat turkeys are we!"   

 

When Renato got home, I asked Sarah to count for him. (She’d just learned to count to ten.) He said he would give her some soda if she did. She got too shy to do it, and said she would do it tomorrow. Renato said he wouldn't give her any soda tomorrow, though. Rebecca said, "But he will still be proudof you."

 

April 5, 1995: On Sunday, Rebecca told Murray that her bicycle'sname is "All the pretty bugs in the world."

 

April 6, 1995: At breakfast today the kids were talking about when they grow up and get married, and Rebecca said, "Mommy, I want tomarry your husband. I want to marry Daddy."

 

Sarah brought a magazine to me a few minutes ago and put my handon a picture and asked, "Who is this?"

 

April 10, 1995: The kids wanted to go up from the basement this afternoon because there was a spider. I was still in the laundry room. Rebecca asked me, "If the kids go upstairs, all three, will you be all right?" I said that I would. She said just in case, she wouldleave the light on for me.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Wipe Our Tears This Christmas



Father God, at this precious season, your children want to celebrate the joy of the gift you gave us, your son to pay the price for our biggest need.

But many families are filled with heartache at this time of year, for sorrow and loss, for terrifying disease, with many fears and uncertainties.

Thank you, Father, that you are the God who cares about our daily sorrows, who comforts our hearts in ways our minds do not understand. Lord, please wipe our tears this Christmas.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34: 18

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46: 1

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; Psalm 103: 13