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.

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

God Is In Control

Wow what a week!  So many changes coming our way in the upcoming months.  First things first.  My husband was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer a couple of weeks ago.  We have been told by more people that if you have to get cancer this is the best one.  I am thinking REALLY???  The best kind of cancer in NO CANCER!  People really do mean well and I was actually believing some of that.  We had a biopsy done and found out it is more invasive then we thought.  We have two options surgery or radiation therapy.  We are heading toward the surgery most likely.  Now for those of you who understand what the prostate does you will know and understand that our lives are getting ready to change. My husband has always been super healthy so this is totally hard for him just to face surgery and all that it entails let alone learning to live life without a prostate.  Through all of this my husband knows God has a plan and this did not take him by surprise.  He believes that God will be glorified through this.  I am too in agreement however; I don't always stay focused on those promises.  I think as a woman I need to bask in all the emotional upheaval that the word CANCER brings.  My friend Ellen's husband has cancer too and his struggle is hard and scary.  Her husband has become the face of God in many ways throughout his journey.  He chooses to know God is in control and lives his life in Christ with such confidence.  Ellen and I were discussing cancer stuff tonight and I realized we are in the wives cancer club ( a club neither one of us chose) but here just the same.  When her husband was diagnosed last year I was so sad and scared for them both and they remain in my prayers it's just so strange that we are walking this trail together.  My husband has scans next week that will show whether or not this cancer has spread to anywhere else in his body.  It's right there haunting me..but I am not scared...just ready to get on with it....God you are in control!!! 
 Which brings me to a new discussion.  As I have read over and over in the last weeks how prostate cancer is silent, no symptoms, no real sign of trouble until it has begun to work it's destruction with in the body and we will know next week just far it has eaten away at new cells or has stayed within the prostate.   I have decided sin works just like cancer.  It starts quietly and can go on forever undetected and all the while it eats away at who we are and the people we love.  If not treated in continues it's destructive path and the fall out goes on and on and on and it will eventually kill who we are in Christ or reveals that maybe we were never really in Christ to begin with.  That last part will bring eternal life alone without Christ at all.  I watched in such sadness tonight what a life time of sin produces and how it scars and continues to reopen all of those old wounds that seem to never heal...because the sin continues on.  It has been detected all right but it continues to grow and the fallout seems never-ending .  I want God to step in and make this better...but it seems He is not hearing my dear friend's cries.  All the while I know He hears her cries and sees her every tear and I know one day He will set all things right.  She needs to know God as her protector and her saviour in motion today and tomorrow and the upcoming days.  The sin I am talking about was not hers but fallout sin from one that was supposed to love and cherish her forever.  He chose sin and it continues to eat away at at the good things in her life. We were talking the other day about God's pillar going behind the Israelites and covering Pharaoh's army in darkness,but continuing to give light to the Israelites.  They were about to see The Red Sea be parted in other words God's mighty hand was getting ready to produce a miracle just for them so they could see who God really is.  I believe with all of my heart that God's word is true and He is the "I AM"  today as he was in the Old Testament.  He is bigger than fallout from any ones sin.  I am praying just as I need to stay focused on who God is through this cancer journey that my friend will stay focused on The "I AM" .  The enemy remains in the darkness but you and I friend are in the light waiting to see God work a Red Sea miracle.  I have no clue how that will look, but I know " he is able to keep us from falling" and He never let's go of our hands.  Love you friend and know that I am praying for you.  Just so this is not too sappy....I know you really are jealous of my way cool cat book bag.  Be honest...you want to have it!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

God Really Meets Our Needs

Can you believe it?  Posting 2 days in a row..I must be sick.  Just a quick praise.  On Mother's Day it is really hard not being able to hug your kids.  I have been sick all weekend so I did not make this morning's church service.  It is always about moms and I watch all the moms and daughters hanging out and going to lunch together.  To be honest I am always happy for those people, but at the same time I get sad....so I was glad to be sick this morning.  I also was up late last night and happened to chat with an old friend that just happens to be married to the worship leader at my daughter's church. It was so random that we were on line at the same time.  I had been a little worried about my daughter as she was entertaining in-laws and I know she misses her Mama on those occasions.  I was elated to see Carmela online and made a beeline to get her a message.  I asked her if she was in town and she said yes so I asked her to please give my baby girl the biggest hug ever and tell her that her Mama loves her so much.  I was so excited at the prospect of me giving her a hug that she could actually feel.  I thought God you are so good and you saw my need and made it happen.  Little did I know that when Carmela gave her that hug and explained how random it was that we chatted on line that Molly just cried.  Apparently she needed that hug as badly as I needed to give it.  God is so good and he cares about all things in our lives.  He knows the unspoken heartfelt needs of a mama and her daughter that are states apart.  I love you Lord!  Thank-you for meeting that need.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Mommy Always You Will Be

Many of you may recognize the phrase in my title.  This came from a book my sister gave me years ago to read with my one and only son Paul.  We were struggling a little at that time.  Paul was wanting to grow up and I was holding on a little too tight.  I got the book in the mail and my sister instructed me to go in right away to a quiet room just me and Paul and read the book together.  The book encourages you to make up a tune to some of the lyrics and we did.  We read it all the way through and of course I was crying my eyes out by the last page.  Paul and I continue to sign our cards to each other with that phrase and many times during his growing up years he would bring the book in to me and we would read together when we were having a rough patch.  Now don't get me wrong I love all of my children,but this year I am going to dive in on raising a baby boy all the way up to him becoming a man.  On the night that Paul was born I remember them bringing him in to me late in the night for his first feeding.  I was startled when I first saw that black haired chubby baby.  He was screaming and he had scratches on his face and long black hair that already needed a trim.  I held him close and tried to nurse him for the very first time and he was not having any of it.  Mad and screaming I was at a loss.  Then I laid him on the bed and really looked at him.  Checked all his fingers and toes and from one inch to the other amazed that he was mine.  Paul was my first child and my only boy.  I thanked Jesus for him right away and I just picked him up and talked to him and finally he stopped crying and listened to my voice so intently.  I prayed that God would use him and that he would already begin to prepare his future wife.  I gave him to the Lord that night in the quiet of my room.  He finally ate and nestled right down and we fell asleep together.  Little did I know that I was going to need all of that sleep and more.  Paul was colic for 4 long months.  He took 30 minutes to eat was happy for 30 more minutes and cried for the next 3 hours until it was time to eat again.  I remember watching him cry and just feeling so helpless that I couldn't fix it.  I never got angry or wanted to throw him out the window like I have heard some mothers say.  I just loved him right through it.  He was mine and I was thrilled.  The bond that a mama and her baby boy have is unexplainable.  We were a lot a like and we butted heads many times because of it..."His mommy always I would be" remained true.  The last time I really felt like his mama was when he broke his leg two weeks before his wedding.  He was really sick with a temperature and he called me and asked if I could come down.  I was out the door within a few hours and down we drove three and half hours.  I walked in and met his fiance' at the door.  She was trying so hard to do everything right.  I walked into my son's room and the look on his face was one I will treasure forever.  He needed his mommy one more time and I was thrilled.  I knew as I was passing that baton to my wonderful daughter in law Lorie by explaining why Paul won't eat Ritz crackers when he is sick and why he only drinks  7-up I was indeed losing my boy in a whole new way.  It hurt when he went away to college but this was different.  He was walking away from me to the woman of his dreams and I knew my boy was all grown up and now a man.  There was never a regret.  I prayed for Lorie the night Paul was born and I knew this was God's plan.  Paul and Lorie have been married for nine years ( I think ).  My son is a pastor and a father of 2 children.  He has grown into a man of God that I admire and respect.  Just when I am feeling sorry for myself because  all of my kids are out of town I open up the card my son sent me for Mother's Day.  It is a hour before Mother's Day is officially here.  It is quiet my husband is already asleep.  I love the cards from my son because I know he looks for these himself.  So I begin to read and get to the last sentence and it says " I'll never outgrow you Mom"  I love my boy and am so thankful  that God chose me to be his Mama.   What a privilege it is to be a mom.  Paul Jacob you are special to me and Your Mommy Always I'll Be! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where Does My Peace Come From?

Wow I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted any of my thoughts to this blog.  As I was reading my friend Cindy's blog I came to the question " Where Does My Peace Come From?"  We are both in a circle of friends that go way back.  Within that circle of friends we have watched many of our friends going through crisis.  At my friend Tracy's mother's funeral I connected with another friend Katie who was getting ready for the birth of a new grandson.  We both laughed at how fun grand babies were and her daughter was due anytime.  Her grandson was born several days ago only to go home to be with the Lord just a few days later.  Where does our peace come from.  My heart is broken for my friend and her daughter.  I remember changing that daughter's diaper many a time.  As Katie's family was reeling from this tragedy she called another friend to come over and minister to her daughter.  That friend lost her son many years ago.  We raised our children together.  Where does our peace come from?  I am in such a quandary as I grow older with each and every day as to why all these things happen.  When my friend lost her son those many years ago in a horrible accident I remember being so angry at God for the way that child had to be taken. I sat many days with my friend with not a word spoken.  I had no words that would even begin to seem appropriate. I remember her quiet grieving but more so I watched her incredible peace.  She seemed to be washed in it.  Did she cry? Yes Was she broken hearted? Yes  Would her world be forever changed? Yes...but she had such peace.  I don't think I ever told her how much my walk with Christ changed watching her bask in that peace.  Where does our peace come from?  It comes from the life giver, the lover of my soul, the one who gave his very life for me.  All of the friends I have mentioned, we have life strings tied to each other as we raised our kids together,grew up together, and have kept that common bond that only Christ can give to his body of believers.  Life will continue on...on these hard days I pray for peace for my friends.  I want them to be washed in it.....Christ will return and every tear will be washed away but until that day His promise of peace will sustain us.  I am choosing to believe this very promise for my friends as God sings over them in sweet sweet love.  Tracy....praying for you.