Welcome to " I MISS MY KIDS"

I am finally falling captive to the blogger craze. I hope
to be an encourager to those of us who have
entered mid life and all that comes with it.
Jesus is the answer...
We just have to stay focused on him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A New Life

Jeepers...almost 2 years since I have posted on my own blog.  It has been a ride the last year and half. I won't explain it all.  We survived prostate cancer.  We survived a tough year with our granddaughter with her many surgeries.  We are still surviving with aging parents.  We are more than surviving...we are living in our little mountain cabin in Virginia.  We moved sold and moved out of our house in January and visited with our kids for 3 months waiting for the weather to break here.  We moved in at the end of March and so life as a retired couple has begun.  It's kind of wigging me out...but I am adjusting.  My husband of almost 37 years is finally relaxing.  His work ethic is incredibly strong so I was not sure how he would adjust to a no work schedule and remarkably he is thriving.  I still feel like I might wake up at anytime and find this has all been a dream.
This all began as my husband was teaching Sunday school and it was continually all about "selling all that you have and give to the poor and follow me" (Jesus).  We had known for probably 2 years that we were not in the right place.  We were so restless and just couldn't figure out why.  We loved our home and love our church family but we knew that God was quickly closing that door.  We were offered an opportunity to consider.   It was doing ministry in inner city Cleaveland,OH.  We were ready to jump and go so we put our house up for sale and it was under contract within weeks.  We continued to pray for peace about Cleveland and it just didn't come....oh great we sold our house...what are we going to do now??????  Thus began our journey to this cabin.  Never in a million years did I think we would ever make this our permanent home.  We are our on a beautiful spot and I see wildlife and I hear the river at night....but we are in the middle of nowhere!!!  It's just Billy and I. Yes he is with me all of the time and yes he follows me everywhere and you know what?  It's been really good for us.  We drive each other a little crazy, but this how it all began.  Just the two of us.  I told him the other day that I feel like our lives just stopped and here we are alone and just really what are we doing?  He reminded me that God has a plan for us.  My mind and heart had lost it's focus and I am slowly rebuilding that relationship with Jesus.  Ladies we talk a lot about those masks we wear and believe you me I am really good at it.  I think ever since Billy was diagnosed with cancer I went into the "I got this" mode and I stayed there.  The Lord helps them who helps themselves...right???  Wrong that's not Biblical!!  In the months away  I have heard sermons from my son-in-law and my own son that have rocked my thinking about being in control.  My son spoke about how deep do you really want to go with Jesus?  I heard from our new pastor tonight (yes we are attending a new little church) about how self centered we are and that makes us a lot like the prodical son.  I think I am finally waking up and seeing how God has moved me to get my attention by stopping my whole world and taking me so far out of my comfort zone that I have to rely on him.  Oh I think he has plans for us and has ministry waiting on us..but I am seeing how much he yearns for my fellowship.  He has changed my whole world to make me seek his face.  I am special in his eyes and I had forgotten that.  Ladies that I love and miss so much hear my heart and realize how much our Father loves you and hears you and wants to love you intimately.  This is not punishment for me not flying straight. This is the love of the Father that desires my full attention because I am his daughter.  He is lifting my chin up that I may look into his face without shame.  I just get to do all of that surrounded by his beauty and with my best friend and love of my life.  I miss my friends and family  so very much and my heart aches at times for their smilng faces.  I miss my mother so very much.  I know there is purpose behind all of this and I am thankful that Jesus loves me enough to get my attention.  I promise my future blogs will be more often as I finally have time to think.  Hey it's 12:19 am...yikes...no wait I can sleep in.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

I just got back from a wonderful dinner with whom my husband calls "The Mob "  This group of ladies are sisters in Christ that I am honored to call friends.  We laugh together ( a lot ) we cry together and we absolutley pray together.  Tonight we laughed a lot. 
 My mom is in a nursing home and is suffering with Alzheimers disease.  My mom is 85 and she is lovely.  She still thinks it's important to put her make up on everyday and hates it when she doesn't remember to comb her hair.  She still likes creases in her slacks and won't wear a shirt if it looks wrinkled.  She is confined to a wheelchair but still insists ( on a good day ) to walk me out when I am leaving.  One of her biggest fears was that she would grow old and lose her mind and she never wanted to be a burden.  I wrote a couple of weeks ago that she was in the hospital and I really thought we were going to lose her.  Her weeks of recovery since then have been well hilarious.  We started back in a new room at the facility because I didn't have three hundred dollars a day to hold her room.  She stayed a total of 3 days in the new room and we had to move her because of bad care on that hall.  So we decided to move her back to her old room minus her window view.  Needless to say all of the above sent her mind in to orbit...literally!  I came in the first day back to check on her and she was flying on a plane.  She was flying on an international flight and she couldn't believe I was late.  She remained on that flight for 14 days.  She stayed in a lovely resort that my brother Jeff had stayed with her that night and she couldn't believe he had "wallered in that bed next to her and left it that way"  Well for those of you who know my mom she was not raised in the South and I have never heard her say "waller" in my life.  She also has been grinding her teeth which sends me into orbit and I told her on one of those flying days that she had to stop grinding her teeth and she poked me in the leg and said "well when you get me off this plane I will stop grinding my teeth"  I thought to myself I can't get you off this plane!  So I went home.  Her new roomate is Mary and she is 95.  I introduce myself to Mary everytime I visit and then I introduce her to my mom and my mom to her.  This is 3 times a week we do this.  I hear them exchange niceties and they both share their ages but this week my mom told Mary "you have asked me 85 times how old I am and I have told you 85 times I am 85!"  Then she leaned over to me and asked "now who is she?"  Last week some time I came in and checked with her nurse first to see how Mom was and Donna informed me "she has landed"  So suddenly the trip was over and she remembers nothing.  Hopefully you are chuckling....come on now you have to laugh.  Putting my mother in an institution was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  Leaving her there every time I visit is awful.  Just knowing that her mind slips a little each week is heartbreaking, but God in all of his mercy and grace has given my mom adventures that she never got to experience.  She raised 4 kids instead and loved each one of us well.  She always wanted to travel and now she gets to.  She meets new people every day even though I know Mary sleeps in the same room.  She has conversations with her Dad and her grandma Momma Mae.  Last week she got in trouble for climbing Momma Mae's crab apple tree.  I asked her why she was climbing the crab apple tree and she said it made "Momma Mae crabby" he he.  One of my mom's best qualities is her laughter.  She doesn't laugh much anymore so to hear her humor is a blessing to me.  God has chosen to bless my mom with peace.  She is not afraid and not anxious.  She is always ready to go home to heaven.  She  thinks my Pastor has a little crush on her, but told me not to tell his wife.  We live in a fallen world but we have to find laughter in some of all of this chaos.  I imagine Jesus chose some of his disciples for their laughter.  My mom has been faithful in her walk with the Lord and he continues to be faithful to her by blessing her inspite of this disease with happy thoughts.  One of the sweetest times I have experieinced with my mom was over lunch in her room and she bowed to bless the food and prayed for what seemed like forever.  It was the sweetest prayer I have ever heard.  She mostly repeated "I love you Jesus and I know you love me"  He gives her what she needs to sustain her peace during these last days and he gives me laughter as I watch her become childlike in all she does.  She still ends all of her visits with me " I love you too honey" now thats still my mom in there.  I love you Mom so very much.  Can't wait to see you tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2014

"The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength"

  It has been a full year! Wow I must admit this is pathetic.  A whole year since my last blog.   Many  ups and downs.  At times the downs seemed to be taking over.  We have survived prostate cancer and now diabetes II.  I told my husband the deal was you were not supposed to get sick this summer.  I absolutely forbid it!  So I guess I am still not in charge.  I think the  saddest part of my year was losing my high school friend Mary to the evil-C ( as she called it).  Mary and I reconnected on a classmate site.  It was so fun catching up and we continued to keep up with each other on FB.  I met Mary in the 8th grade.  I was new to this particular small MN town and she was nice to me within the 1st couple of weeks of school.  We lost contact for years and then poof Mary reentered my life.  I got to see her last May.  It was as if no time had passed at all.  We shared so many interests with the most important being our kids and grandkids.  I know she is with Jesus, but I miss her so.  We will meet again sweet friend.  Billy and I have had many ups and downs with our parents.  Most recently with my mom being in the hospital.  I really thought I was going to lose her.  She had some sort of wacko throat infection.  She was on a ventilator for 3 days.  Her heart stopped 3 times.  At her age of 85 they  will let them go when the heart stops.  Mom's heart just started beating on its own.  God is not finished with her yet.  All of this to say life is not easy and finding joy within all of the chaos is hard.  Billy and I were talking about where had our joy gone.  He mentioned "the joy of the Lord is our strength".  I pondered on that all day today.  I was putting all of my mother's things away after moving her to a new room.  I watched her sleep and really thought how does the joy of the Lord affect me?  I seem to lose it at the drop of a pin.  I eventually find it, but always the long way around.  Do I grow on those detours?  I don't think so.  They are my detours.  I choose a different path when I step away from joy. So in essence I am stepping away from the Lord who is my joy.  The key is my joy means nothing.  "The joy of the Lord is my strength."   I think he takes joy in me when I remain close to him and let him take care of me. Not my joy in the Lord, but the actual joy of the Lord.  I think the sweet name of Jesus is joy,  his presence in my life is joy.  I remember telling Mary a couple of months before she left this world that sometimes just saying the name of Jesus will give you that sweet peace.  She told me that she had done that many times when she was afraid or sad and it was working.  We can't work for joy He is joy!  I am praying that God will remind me of that daily.  God never moves it is always me.  I am so thankful he is true to his many promises. "The joy of the Lord is my strength"!   Now that's a good one.
You know I really do like blogging. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Today is Sunday.  It has been a good day and a better day after spending time in God's house.  Sometimes it's good to listen to God's Word spoken out loud and of course to worship in song.  We settled in on God's promises for those who trust him as savior.  One particular verse stood out John 10:27-28  "My sheep listen to my voice: I know them and they follow me. vs 28 I give them eternal life and they will never perish.  No one can snatch them from me."  I love the fact that no one can snatch me from the Lord's hand.  I so often feel like I am getting sucked into this vacuum that we call the world.  It's like one of the modern vacuum's.  We spin round and round and we continue to collect the dust of this world. I feel like I am stuck and will never get out.  Well that is wrong thinking .  The Lord says no one can snatch me from his hand.  I might jump into that vacuum all by myself,  but God never  lets go of me.  The key is to listen to the shepherd's voice and follow him.  I think I tune out that voice at times and miss God's whole purpose for me.  I used to tell my kids you hear what you want to.  I think I do that a lot.  I get lazy and afraid and I think I know a better way and alas I fail.  This summer has been really hard and it has been hard to listen to the shepherd.  I know he loves us and wants his perfect plan to be executed in our lives.  We are trying to follow him, but his voice gets muffled with other voices and opinions and of course our ideas.  He is the good shepherd and he has given me eternal life and I will not perish.  That just has to be enough sometimes.  I think knowing I will spend eternity with him, in his actual presence is more than I can fathom.  This life really is a vapor and this summer is like a drip in the vast ocean of eternity.  My prayer is that I listen for His voice.....I know his voice because I am his.  Lord teach me to block out the enemy and hear you loud and clear.
My sweet baby Molly is on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic.  She sent me a video of the bathroom..random...no her Daddy asked about the bathrooms.....a Daddy's girl all the way.  What a wonderful way to end my day seeing my sweet girl's face.  I don't care how old they get when they are out of the country they stay on my mind and in my prayers.  I am so proud of the woman she has become.  I am praying she and her husband Dan grow in Christ during this trip.  My kids have truly become followers of the Shepherd.  They hear his voice and follow him.  What a blessing.  God is so good.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Life Does Move On

I have had so many thoughts mulling around I just had to put some of them to paper or in this case the computer.
I am not sure if it is my age or the age we live in that life just seems to keep going no matter what. I remember as a teen I thought the world would come to a stand still every time I had a crisis.  Every time  we moved to a new place  seemed like time stood still.  Every thought revolved around " I can't wait until...,"  Now I find myself saying " I wish I could have..." or "I just blinked and it was over"  I was reminded tonight how life keeps going even when we can't breathe.
A dear friend of ours from church slipped into eternity early Sunday morning.  We had all been praying for God's perfect will for our brother Terry.  Of course our desire was that he would be healed.  God in all of His sovereignty brought Terry directly into the presence of Jesus on Sunday morning.  We arrived at church to hear the bittersweet news that our brother had gone home.  I just stood there and thought " "wait I am not ready for this".  I knew his sweet wife wasn't ready for that or his sisters or his children.  I wanted time to reverse so I could have prayed more or said more..., The list goes on.  Time moved forward from that moment on.  Life didn't stop for his family to catch their breath.  We went to the viewing tonight and we brought my father-in-law with us and he brought  along his lady friend (Boy has life moved on). The church was packed and I just watched as people went through the line and smiled and hugged and wept along with Terry's family.  A little over a year ago we were at my mother-in-law's viewing I was in that line.  It was such a hard day and the following day was even harder as we put her body to rest.  My friend Cindy hugged me and I said "this is so hard".  Time seemed to stand still that night.  Tonight as I hugged my dear friend Brenda who was Terry's middle sister ( I am a middle sister too) she said "this is so hard".  She also said tomorrow was going to be hard and I said"yes it will be really hard".  "That is why we are praying so diligently "  It was at that moment I thought "life kept going".  We have come full circle from last summer.  Death does not stop life from moving on and sometimes it just seems like it should.  I want Ellen and Brenda and the rest of the family to catch their breath and wait a minute to soak in all that has happened.  When my husband was diagnosed with cancer I wanted to sit down and not get up.  I wanted time to catch my breath.  That didn't happen.  Surgery and now 5 weeks post surgery we are beginning to catch our breath.  Life all around us keeps moving.  Our brother Terry lived his life as if tomorrow might not come.  His life was a testimony to Christ until the end.  He glorified God all through his illness.  I know  the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:8 says ..."My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness". Terry lived that out loud even when he felt horrible.  I am praying for the family that they know His Grace is all they need.  His power will hold them up tomorrow and the next day and the next.  Life will keep going but His promises will sustain them.  We are praying dear sisters.  Love you so much!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Post Surgery and Then Some!

Well it is 3:24 in the afternoon and I have stolen away to write a few thoughts.  My hubby is fast asleep taking a much needed nap.  He is recovering from prostate surgery.  He has been a super good sport and I have grown so accustomed to his foley catheter bag I find myself double checking if he has it by his side.  I usually get pretty squeamish about such things,but the Lord has given me extra strength.  We are having our devotions in the mornings.  We are doing a study all about God's promises.  It's been fun to study together.  The pathology report was not exactly what we had hoped for.  They think they got it all,but oh yeah there is one corner of the margin that showed cancer cells..whatever...I need truth right up front.  We have to wait another 6 weeks to find out the real truth and we might be looking at radiation after that.  It truly is in God's hands.  Last year at this time we were recovering emotionally from my mother-law's death and I remember Billy saying life is forever changing.  He said who knows what next year will bring..wow was that an understatement or what.  I hated the word cancer last year and I hate it now.  I am learning to rely on God's presence in my life and the fact that he will not leave me hanging in this trial.  It's funny how Billy is the one with cancer,but I swan nee I feel like someone punched me in the stomach because I can't breathe at times.  I look at him resting and all that lies ahead and I panic.  I also know that God is NOT the author of fear and fear is a lack of faith.  In Deuteronomy 31:8  it says "It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you: he will not leave or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.  I am standing on that promise and I really do take comfort in that.
I had the privilege of taking care of my granddaughter Rylie and my grandson Hudson a week before Billy's surgery.  Wow now that was fun!  God's timing is always so perfect.  He knows when you need joy you can actually hold onto.  We will see them soon and my daughter Molly and her family are coming tomorrow.  Family really sets things right in so many ways.
My final thought is this "Lord make me a willing servant"  I am learning this everyday as I care for my husband.  I don't say that lightly.  I am finding out that when he is at work all day I really do what I want as far as my schedule goes.  I mean really who talks a mile a minute at 6:30 am with a bowl of cereal waiting.  I am still trying to measure my coffee.  Who eats at 11:00 am for lunch??  I guess when you eat at 6:30 am that makes sense.  Who watches Gunsmoke 12 hours a day???  I am starting to really like Chester!  I love my husband and I have always thought I was a pretty good helpmate,but I am finding that my servant hood is lacking.  Every time I get a little attitude I am reminded "Kelley be a loving servant"  I know God is using this part of this adventure to teach me that.  God is good all of the time even through prostate cancer.
Thank you all of my dear sisters who are praying for us.  My prayers are running deep for a friend who's husband is really sick.  God is good all of the time... life stuff is not good but, God is!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What Next???

All I can say is " I SWANEE ".  Just when I think my life might be slowing down a little...here we go again.  First of all my husband's scans all came back normal so we are looking toward surgery sometime in June.  We now have a plan and are moving forward.  When we went to the cancer center to talk with  the radiology oncologist I had to wait while they took Billy back.  I sat there and looked around at so many sick people.  Some with no hair, some in wheel chairs and some that looked so sick.  I thought wow we are really in the cancer world now.  I told the Lord I don't really want to be here.  I think I have learned something from all of this so I want Billy to be cancer free right now.  The Lord keeps reminding me that His ways are not mine so I sit back and rest in that.  So many things are getting ready to change in our lives.  I am trying really hard to find comfort in His word and looking for His face in all of this.  Psalm 34: 8 "  Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him."  I want to live by that.  I want my refuge to be in him.
My mom was re-admitted to the hospital last night.  That's the " I Swanee part ".  She went in on Memorial Day and was released Thursday only to be admitted in the wee hours of Saturday morning .  Monday her heart rate was 40 and Friday her heart rate was 135.  My mom is calm and has always been regal in every way.  Last night I watched as she thrashed all over the bed agitated and out of her mind.  She was so sick.  I prayed more than once " Lord what is the purpose in all of this?  Take her home."  I had to rest in him again and know that we live in a  fallen world and he doesn't like to see her suffer anymore than I do.  My mom loves the Lord with all of her heart.  She is ready to go...but again he always has purpose in all he does.  How did life get so tough.  I am reminded of Peter in the boat during the storm and as Jesus approached he didn't hesitate to step out onto the water as Jesus was walking on the water and calling to him.  He stepped out bravely and began to walk and then looked down at the swirling sea below him and began to fear and sink.  I know I am in the midst of a stormy sea and that I am trying to step out bravely into it.....my resolve is to keep my eyes on the Savior and not sink.  The enemy continues to throw out false life savers...I have to keep my eyes on the Savior!  He tells me as He told Peter " Don't be afraid. " " Take courage I am here!"  Lord thank you for all of the good you place in my life and all of the bad.  I am taking courage because I know you are here.  Thanks to my sisters who have been praying for me so diligently.  Love you all