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Red Sea, Gall Bladder & a Hurricane

9 Nov

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

 

The offer to buy a companion ticket expired Aug 30.  In true form, my daughter and I made our decision that final day, purchasing two airline tickets to Indianapolis for the end of October.  Excited to introduce our new little one to extended family and friends, we were making it a ladies’ weekend away, since 6 month old Lillianne can fly free until she’s two years old.

Flying to Indy!

My mother did some strategizing of her own as she scheduled her foot surgery for nearly a month before our anticipated arrival.  Once Mom got settled following the procedure, all was well as she adjusted to hobbling around the house with her left foot encased in the boot.  After a couple weeks, I did begin to take notice that Mom sounded really tired and she often mentioned that there was discomfort in her abdomen that would come and go. Then just a week before our flight, it became very apparent that Mom was in a great deal of pain.  So those whose watch she is on, on a regular basis, took her to several doctor appointments and tests, coming to the conclusion that it was likely her gall bladder giving her fits, and that surgery was a great probability.  As Kim and I did our final packing for the trip, we switched clothing around for hospital and home instead of friends and family, restaurants, and church.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine was going through difficult days when a Pastor friend called her out of the blue and asked what was going on.  God laid my friend on her heart, and she knew she needed to call and find out how she should be praying.  We were completely in awe of God’s hand in her life at that exact time, so we named that a “Parting of the Red Sea Moment”… a moment when only God could literally move the sea, or move someone to make a phone call, or to coordinate a much-needed surgery with a pre-scheduled visit.  My oldest brother, Jay, was on vacation all week … a week set aside to cut firewood for the upcoming winter … placed in the books at the Martinsville Post Office back in December 2011.  Tim’s sister, Amy, was cleared 2 weeks prior to have Friday off from work in order to spend the day with us girls and have lunch with her mom. Instead, she was able to sit with us at the hospital during my mom’s surgery, bringing us lunch, Mountain Dew, and lots of laughs!!  God was dishing out Red Sea Moments left and right!!

Mimi Wells with 4 of her 7 great grandkids
A’yden, Leyton, Jaxon, and Lillianne

What a privilege it was for me to be caregiver for those few days we were in town.  Before settling down to bed each night, Mom and I would pull up my Facebook on my  iPhone and read all of the sweet comments from dear friends and family … from 20 different states and 2 countries!!  It was like opening a mailbox full of get well cards, knowing that they had been thinking about her and praying for her!    Each day was a new day, gaining more strength, reclaiming her lost appetite, looking more rested, and feeling better.  Family times were extra special, as babies Lillianne, Jaxon, and Leyton (all second cousins, within 4 months in age) were introduced to one another, mommas and daddies compared stories, and Great Grandma (Mimi Wells) had several photo shoots with the children.

The first night we were at my Mom’s, my husband called and briefly mentioned something about a big storm coming up the east coastline … wanted to know if I had been listening to the weather.  I laughed at his silly question, thinking back over the extremely eventful day.  With surgery scheduled the following day, there was no thought about a storm and very little time to watch TV.  Sometime on Saturday, the realization hit us that our return flight into Baltimore could very possibly be cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.  We literally spent 2 hours on hold that night with the airline, waiting to ask questions about cancellations, refunds, and rescheduling.  If we made the decision to not fly, then it would cost us.  If we waited on the airline to cancel the flight, then we could rebook at no cost.  We decided to trust the airline … if they choose to fly, then we would be along for the ride. So, on the way to the airport, we received the recorded message that our flight into Baltimore was cancelled.  Knowing that our hubbies were back east, weathering the storm alone (Troy had Cole’s assistance!), we were disappointed but yet relieved to not be sharing the same air space as the hurricane.

The first unexpected day was pretty much a wash, literally, as we were glued to the Weather Channel, watching the reports of flooding, fire, wind, power outages, and extreme devastation.  Having friends and family in the path of the storm was unsettling, knowing that our own homes could be damaged or be without power for days.  But as the hours passed, so did the winds and rain.  Grateful reports from home came in that there was no loss of electricity and that all was ok.  The brunt of the damage was closer to the shore … our beloved New Jersey beaches, the gorgeous homes and communities where we visit each summer ~ much of it flooded and destroyed.

Our last day with Mimi Wells was a productive one as we were determined to turn off the Weather Channel and work on some projects that we had already started for her.  By the day’s end, we were all packed again, ready and hoping for an early morning flight back home.

I often write about my personal relationship with God … how He and I have a special vocabulary, and He literally speaks to me through His Word.  A couple of days before our scheduled flight to Indy, my morning devotions had me reading in Lamentations 3 …

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.

 

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.

 

They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him.”

 

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:19-26

 

Those 2 days before our trip, I knew right then and there that it was Mom’s gall bladder … and that my God was telling me that He had it all under control.

A few days later, before getting out of bed the morning of Mom’s surgery, I snuggled up next to her, and I prayed for her.  I asked God to guide the doctors and nurses as they tended to her that day, and thanked Him for parting the Red Sea so I could be there with her.  Just minutes later as I was having my devotions, Our Daily Bread had me reading in Joshua 2.  My heart began to soar as I read verse 10, knowing that once again, my personal and loving God was shouting to me “I LOVE YOU DEBBIE!!”

We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea
for you when you came out of Egypt, …
…for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below
.
Joshua 2:10 & 11

Four days later and wondering if it was really safe to be flying home, my devotions were in Psalm 32.  Verse 7 jumped out at me …

 You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah

With confidence, I shared the verse with Kim and reassured her that despite the storm and the unsettled weather still along the east coast, God was safely going to take us back home.  Thank you, Father, for loving us so!

That Wednesday was an uneventful day … Lillie travels like a pro, taking everything in stride … flirting and smiling at anyone who looks her way.  Once landed in Baltimore, her eyes sparkled even brighter as her big brother held her hand all the way home.

Since we’ve been back home, Mom has gotten the pin out of her toe and is slowing making progress in getting out and walking without the protective boot.  Her small incisions from the gall bladder surgery are healing and she is regaining strength and hopefully putting some meat back on her frail little body.  I’m so looking forward to spending more time with her over the Christmas holiday … every moment with my momma is a precious moment!

Our hearts are still hurting for those still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Tim’s youngest sister and her family live on Long Island, just 4 blocks away from having lost everything.  Their everyday routines have been disrupted as the simple things like gas, groceries, and errands are no longer simple.  Our pastor friends, Del and Patsy Bieber in Tom’s River, New Jersey report that Samaritan’s Purse has set up headquarters in their parking lot, and that their church is very involved in the care of people in their area.

As we all think back over the events of the last few weeks, including the election just a few days ago, won’t you join me in continuing to pray for people everywhere whose very existence has been ravaged by the storms of life?  God wants to wrap His arms of Love, Mercy, and Hope around each of us … not just in His Red Sea Moments, but all the time.

Until next time,
Debbie

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

** The header photo was taken at Avon-by-the Sea, New Jersey … August 5, 2012.

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LILLIANNE HOPE … the story

11 May

Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

Lillianne ~ one name among several scribbled on a note pad belonging to a junior high girl, dreaming of the day when she would have her own daughter.  That name, along with that hope, became reality several days ago when my granddaughter was born.

Purpose was involved for several months ~ what occurred so effortlessly 3 years previous was not going to be so easy this time.  Repeated non success led to disappointment, and disappointment led to frustration.  Perhaps there is magic in the month of August … magic that Divinely and mysteriously combined that school girl’s dreams with hope, and then that hope into reality.  Reality was confirmed and then anticipation immediately hit the calendars for the first week of May…nearly the exact same day that the older sibling had been due to arrive.  As the pages of the calendar began to turn, so did the Momma’s stomach, limiting the items on the menu, and once again not able to even tolerate the aroma of brewing coffee.  Necessary changes were made without much grumble, and the family of three (plus dog) adjusted.  By early December, ultrasound photos revealed the hidden secret of gender and all were thrilled beyond words to officially refer to the ever-growing baby belly as Lillie. Along with her big brother Cole, Lillie had gifts under the Christmas tree, and was quite noticeable in the annual holiday family photo.  The New Year started and with it came some concern from Momma’s doctor which sent her to bed for a couple of weeks.  Those weeks of rest proved to be helpful, but only temporarily.  As spring dropped hints of its existence throughout our very mild winter, Kim’s body began to show signs of early dilation and possible pre-term labor.  Once again, orders were made to rest and do very little … Prayers were prayed, food was brought in, and child care was provided during those long weeks of caution.  For all of this and more, we are so appreciative!  The phrase ‘full-term’ finally made its way into our vocabulary and the little momma received professional permission to emerge from her couch. A slow but deliberate re-entry into activity began to take place, as well as ‘practice’ contractions and pressure.  Substantial dilation secretly moved in on the scene and was detected and announced by the attending physician during the final weekly visit.  A suggestion was made to have all bags packed and to expect a quick trip to the hospital before the scheduled day of surgery.  A fun-filled weekend, including movie night with popcorn and milkshakes, a family picnic on Saturday, and kickball in the park ended with timely contractions and extreme discomfort during the wee hours of Sunday.   A call to the doctor in charge during those sleepy hours instructed the waiting parents to arrive in Annapolis as soon as possible for an exam, at which time the number 8 seemed to boost workers into sudden activity.  The preferred C-section delivery was prepped, as was the patient, and at 5:50 am on Sunday, April 29, 2012, Lillianne Hope was born.

Welcome, Baby Lillie!

Having driven the hour and a half to Annapolis and arriving at the hospital around 4:30 am, I knew there was nothing I could do but sit and pray, so I did everything I knew to do ~ sit and pray.  I received an occasional text from Kim or Troy, informing me of the latest detail … until all went quiet when she said “we are going in soon”.  For the next hour or so, my mind played back to the scene three years before when they rushed my very ill daughter down the hall to deliver her first-born by emergency surgery…6 weeks early.  My heart soared in prayer as the minutes clicked by that God’s presence would be with these kids as they experienced another special moment in their lives together.  An excited text interrupted my sanctuary as the new Dad informed me that Mom and baby were fine and that I would get to come see them both soon.  As I entered that hospital room and saw the glow on my daughter’s face as she sat there holding her own daughter, my heart was full and ready to burst with joy!  No wires, no tubes, no alarms, no special machines!  Although everything worked out and Cole is an active and healthy little 3-year-old boy now … this time, it’s a new and different beginning to life!  Thank you Jesus!

Cole meeting his little sister, Lillianne

I drove back to Cole’s house where he and Papaw were playing and waiting for me to come get them.  We explained to the little guy that Baby Lillie had finally arrived and she was at the hospital with his mom and dad.  As we were getting out of our van to go inside, Cole looked over at me and asked … “Baby Lillie is not in Mommy’s tummy now?”  It was so fun to be able to tell him that she was now out … and that he was going to get to see her eyes, her nose, her hair, and her little fingers!  I believe in his little boy heart and mind, he understood.  Sporting his ‘big brother’ sticker that the nurse’s station handed him, with excitement and the thrill of many, many months of anticipation, Cole squealed with delight as he reached for his baby sister and touched her for the first time.Visitors came and went.  So did the nurses and doctors … providing care, instructions, and advice.  The little family was reunited in their home on Wednesday, just 4 days following Lillie’s birth.  One couldn’t help but remember that it was on day 4 that Mom and Dad were finally able to hold Baby Cole for the first time …still connected to wires, tubes, and machines.   Again, thank you Jesus.

Mimi with Lillie, Cole, and Uncle RyRy

The weekend was extra special as Uncle RyRy and Britt flew in from Seattle to officially meet little Miss Lillianne.  Ryan arrived on Thursday morning, giving us a couple extra days of playtime with Cole at Mimi and Papaw’s house so Mom and Dad and little Miss could get settled without added commotion. Brittany then joined the party Saturday morning ~ allowing this Mom and Mimi to feel blessed beyond words to be surrounded by her entire family for a few days.  It was a busy time – cooking, loving the babies, cooking again, loving all the babies some more, and cooking again.  Sunday night came all too quickly as Tim and I headed back to PA in order to go back to work the following day.  Reality always has a way of interrupting.  The salve to help soothe the aching Mommy heart this time is our upcoming family vacation to Seattle in July!

Another week has nearly come and gone – Lillianne will be 2 weeks old this Sunday … Mother’s Day.  I look forward to spending the day with both of my grandchildren and their parents ~ Mimi and Papaw taking turns to hold the itty bitty one while the other plays with tractors, cars, and dinosaurs.  It will be a special day, full of life, love, and little ones.

Just as her name was first written on a piece of scratch paper many years ago, all of Lillianne’s days were ordained by God and written in His book before one of them came to be … Psalms 139:16.  I count it a privilege and honor to also document this little life’s days in my own journal!  As specific and detailed her tiny ears are, or to hear every squeak and whimper from her perfect little lips ~ may I begin this journey of writing with a heart full of praise and awe of the One who created her.  Won’t you join me?

Until next time,
Debbie

Lillianne Hope … 1 week old

Baby Lillie

HOPE

9 Feb

For You have been my HOPE, O Sovereign LORD,
my Confidence since my youth.
Psalm 71:5

  

Through tears of discouragement, shocking disbelief, and a broken heart, I listened as my friend poured out her heart to me.  A pot of mixed emotions began to stir inside of me as I weighed the injustice against a soul who has overcome so much, victorious only by the grace and mercies of God.  Knowing the fragility of her mind and spirit, I spoke very little, praying all the while that God Himself would speak through me when it was time.  When the word ‘hopeless’ made its way into the focus of our time together, I felt the Nudge … and I began to pour out my heart.  After several sentences and a couple paragraphs later, I presented a challenge to my dear friend.  Realizing that there are times when one’s heart hurts too much to even utter a prayer, I encouraged her to sit down with her Bible and do a search on HOPE.  I know that God will speak to her heart through scripture, and she will once again know that He not only offers and provides hope, He is her Hope. 


At least there is HOPE for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.
Job 14:7-9

 

Show me Your ways, O LORD,
teach me Your paths;
guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are God my Savior,
and my HOPE is in You all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

 

Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in You.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my HOPE is in You.
Psalm 25:20-21

 

Be strong and take heart,
all You who HOPE in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24

 

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him,
on those whose HOPE is in His unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in HOPE for the LORD; He is our Help and our Shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.
May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our HOPE in You.
Psalm 33:18-22

 

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your HOPE in God, for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and  my God.
Psalm 42:5-6

 

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my HOPE comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation;
He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty Rock, my Refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our Refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8

 

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior, the HOPE of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
Who formed the mountains by Your power,
having armed Yourself with strength,
Who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
Psalm 65:5-7

 

O Israel, put your HOPE in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with Him is full redemption.
Psalm 130:7

 

The LORD delights in those who fear Him,
who put their HOPE in His unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11

 

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.
There is surely a future HOPE for you,
and your HOPE will not be cut off.
Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.
Proverbs 23:17-19

 

And we rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God. 
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
 perseverance, character; and character, HOPE.
And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His
love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

 

 For even Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written:
“The insults of those who insult you have fallen on Me.”
  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,
so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have HOPE.
Romans 15:3-4

 

May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

 

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal
encouragement and good HOPE,
encourage your hearts and strengthen
you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

 

We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  
Hebrews 6:19

 

Therefore, prepare your minds for action;
be self-controlled; set your HOPE fully on the grace
to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
 As obedient children, do not conform to the
evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
 But just as He who called you is Holy, so be Holy in all you do;
 for it is written: “Be Holy, because I am Holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16

 

On my way to work yesterday morning, I spotted this couple as they walked down their driveway and out to the edge of the road  ~  a young father, holding the hand of his little boy.  Off in the distance, I saw the yellow school bus rounding the corner, coming toward the waiting pair.  I noticed that the young lad turned to look at his approaching ride, then quickly lifted his eyes to meet his father’s.  As I drove by in that brief moment, I saw a glance of hope, assurance, and love.  Even in the event of the usual, one little boy gathered confidence and courage to face another day from his strong, trusting, and loving relationship with his father.  How about us?  In the usual or in the depths of great disappointment and pain, do we seek out the One relationship that provides peace, assurance, and hope for our day? 

 Won’t you join me … and the little boy down the street, as we look to our Father for Hope?

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of my Valentine’s Day decor  –  February 2012

Blue Skies and A Hair Cut

25 Jan

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1

Escorting me on the way to work yesterday morning was the brightest blue sky I have seen in a while.  As the fog that had kept us company for a few days began to lift, so did my spirits.  Regardless of the temperature outside, if the sun is shining and the sky is blue, it is difficult to keep a smile from my face and my heart from soaring.  Just moments from work, I passed by a meadow of sheep where a few were munching on their breakfast out at the fence row by the road.  They were no doubt excited as they were finding pockets of fresh grass poking through the clumps of melting snow.  I chuckled as I realized that these sheep looked a lot like the side of the road where the snow was once white but is now dirty.  To be expected, I suppose … it is winter.  January is winding down, but there are still several weeks left of the gray, the wet, and the cold.  That’s why I love blue skies and hair cuts!

My new hair cut

Trends, styles, and the impulse to do something different encouraged me over a year ago to begin the process of letting my hair grow out.  The end result was to be an A-line cut, which I was successful in reaching the correct lengths for, but my hair is just not suited for the look.  Thanks to my Mother, I have volumes of hair … and thanks to my Daddy, it’s naturally curly.  Even after using a flat iron to straighten my locks, more times than not they become frizzy and bumpy … and I become very frustrated.  The mirror was often giggling and pointing fingers at me, reminding me that I am no longer 32 years old, but never giving any advice or assistance in slowing down the aging process.  I did, however, catch the hint that I should chop the heaviness from around my face and cheerfully welcome back the curls that smile and dance in the sunshine or rain!   So on Monday, in the midst of the drizzling cold mist of the day, the simple thing like a fresh new hair style was an immediate boost and encouragement!  Rain?  What rain?

I know I’m silly.  I know I’m sappy.  But in the midst of life with its difficult days, we all need an occasional blue sky and a hair cut!  I have a friend who is holding on to a thread of hope and sanity as her husband continues to suffer with the cancer that keeps stealing his very life from him.  Little babies and children have been battling serious illnesses this winter.  Others are in pain and have gone to the doctors time and again trying to find out what the problem is.  Strokes, heart attacks, and diseases are constantly claiming the lives of people we know and love.  Concerned pregnancies, troubled marriages, insufficient funds, and on and on and on.  Even while the unexpected continues to invade our routines of life, time marches on.  It marches on with determination and is very deliberate in its agenda.  All the while I find myself lagging behind and sometimes stopping to catch my breath in the wake of the dust.  It is in those moments that when the dust begins to settle and the clouds clear away, I look up and see blue skies.  Or I call and make a hair appointment … or I decide to do something out of the ordinary that makes my heart happy.  Maybe a quick stop at Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha!  What is it for you?  A night at the gym to work out the stress and tension?  How about a walk along the ditch bank road or wherever your heart finds solace.  For some, it may be a favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or a ride in the country on a motorcycle.  Whatever the temporary calm to your storm might be, embrace it to the fullest, knowing that it came from God’s hand of mercy and love.  It is in moments like those that He desires us to wait in hope for Him … our Help and our Shield…our Refuge and Strength … an ever-present Help in trouble.

As I catch my breath and once again expect the known and the unknown of life, won’t you join me in anticipation of the next clearing of blue skies and a new hair cut?

We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our Help and our Shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in You.
Psalm 33:20-22

~~~~

God is our Refuge and Strength,
an ever-present Help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
                                                                                      Selah
Psalm 46:1-3

 

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of the blue sky  ~  tree in our back yard, fall of 2011.

 

’Tis the Season

25 Nov

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Papaw and Cole

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  People all over our good country gathered with family and friends in celebration of gratitude and thankfulness.  This year was no exception in my own heart for realizing the true significance of this holiday.  We have much to be thankful for.  Tim and I are both employed, and we have a nice home in which we live.  Our children are healthy, happy, and will be with us for Christmas.  Just a week ago, Tim underwent a heart catheterization during which a new stent was placed inside the stent that he received in November of 2004 while living in Albuquerque.  The original was 99% blocked, creating chest pain and discomfort that necessitated intervention.  A few days past Tim’s emergency medical situation, I had a minor hernia repair and am taking advantage of the quiet days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday to rest and to heal.  We are truly blessed this year by doctors and medical professionals who know how to take care of our bodies when they fail. 

Today is the day after Thanksgiving.  Many followed the traditional holiday feast by going out late, or early, as the case may be, to shop and find the first great deals of the Christmas season.  Others are busy transforming their homes with festive garland, lights, and décor that somehow ushers in this special time of year with its music, its gifts, and its Love.  Today is exactly one month until Christmas Day.   We all have much to do between now and then, but let’s not get so caught up in the hurry and the rush that we forget the season of Thanksgiving!  It was a season in which we celebrated the birth of brand new babies and still anxiously anticipate others.  A season in which we were pleased with successful surgeries that gave hope to scary diagnoses.  A season in which there was God-given peace over life-changing events and decisions.  A season of rejoicing over long awaited answers to prayers, and the continued realization of God’s gift of breath and life, His grace, and His mercy each and every day.  Please join me as we place the Christ Child’s manger in our focus again this Christmas season, that we still hold on to the Spirit of Thanksgiving and keep it with us into the New Year. 

Until next time,
Debbie

“She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus,
because He will save His people from their sins.” 
Matthew 1:21

 

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of Christmas decorations … 2011 

Elder Care Law Firm

27 Sep

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7

 

A few months ago, following my days of being an Express Girl and having two temporary job assignments, I once again spent time looking at the various venues of employment opportunities. It wasn’t too many days later that I found a permanent part-time position, which began the Monday following Easter.   

As an office assistant in an Elder Care Law Firm, outside of the generic skills and trades that I have accumulated through the years, I brought nothing to the table from my repertoire concerning law.  But I have come to believe from my own personal experience in life that God wastes nothing, and I was immediately encouraged and reminded that God takes very good care of me.  Here are two wonderful ‘Wow!’ examples that repeat themselves over and over in my daily routine in the office of Robert Clofine, Elder Care Law Firm.

Back during tax season, while working a month and a half as an assistant to a tax accountant, my primary duty, as easy and simple as it is, was to scan.  Hundreds of various forms of documentation were scanned every day and saved to the clients’ files.  Again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put papers into a scanner and properly save them, but I had never done this before.  One of the tasks that I do often to assist the attorneys and paralegals is to scan documents and save them to the clients’ files.  With great pleasure, I was able to answer the affirmative when asked if I had ever worked with a scanner before.   YAY God!!

The second ‘Wow!’ is that at least one time per week, I make a trip downtown to the York County Court House and the Administrative Center … to the very building where I worked for 2 weeks as a temporary receptionist for the IT department.  There is no concern about parking, no concern about where to go in the building, no concern about anything!  God had already taken care of me by preparing the way before I got there.  Each week as I walk up the steps to that stately old building constructed in marble and stone, my heart is always warmed as I confidently take care of the business at hand, thanking God for His preparation for this season of my life. 

As a side note, God has blessed my daily routine with a special co-worker.  What a time we have together as we share music, scriptures, diet tips, prayer concerns, and our love for Jesus.  I am blessed that she is the one who spends the most time training and teaching me … prodding and nudging me with confidence into tackling more and more projects so I can prepare documents and do other tasks on my own.  She has a sense of humor that is unique, a real heartfelt compassion for the bereaved, along with an extra helping of patience, due to the path that life has taken her down.  I thank God for Gala, for her leadership, her friendship, and her walk with Jesus.

Our clients have given me a different perspective on life.  They were all once newly married kids, busy in life having babies, raising their families and earning a living.   As quickly as the years have marched by for them, so did the circumstances of their lives.  Their children grew up, graduated from high school, college, and began adult lives of their own. All the while, however, the now grandma and grandpa still earn a living and do what’s necessary to love their ever-growing family and to put away for retirement.  Then all of a sudden, they realize that many things have changed.  It hurts to walk up and down the stairs.  Knees and back are stiff from just simply getting up out of a chair.  There are too many wrinkles everywhere, sneezing can be quite the experience, and doctor reports are often not good.  Now this is pretty typical in a positive situation.  Many of our clients have suffered from dysfunctional relationships that have torn their families apart and there are battles within the ranks that cause heartache and distress.   Diseases and mental debilitation wreck havoc on many, literally stealing their very life from them.  Many are confused and uncertain, scared and worried.  Medicaid, Medicare, assisted living facilities, nursing home, spend down, gifting, hospice, probate, and many, many more words make up the vocabulary in our office.  For whatever reason belongs to each individual client, life is no longer the same.  They have many questions … but this elder care law firm has the answers.  

I find myself praying for our clients.  My position of employment in the law firm does not give me the opportunity to talk to them about their situation and then to hold their hands and ask for Jesus to calm their fears and to give them peace.  But I do pray for them on my own.  I not only pray for our clients, but I pray for those in my own life who have arrived at their own stages of life where nothing is the same any longer.  Unlike Rob Clofine, who is an expert in his field of elder care law, I am not an expert on life.  But again, I know that God wastes nothing.  If my experiences in life can somehow help someone else see that there is hope, I want to be there for them.  I know I do not have all the answers, but I do know Someone Who does.  In fact, He IS the Answer!!  Here are the words to a song that I used to sing with two of my best friends way back when we were teenagers … Jesus Is Still the Answer.  Click here to listen to Jesus Is Still the Answer  by the Collingsworth Family.

 

VERSE 1

Some men try so hard to prove
That God’s not really real
While others say they know for sure
His love you can not feel
But I know He’s real within my soul
For one day He cleansed and made me whole
And Jesus is still the answer
For that longing deep in your soul 

CHORUS

Jesus is still the answer
And though time and ages roll
Jesus is still the answer
He’s the answer for your soul
And though some may say
He doesn’t fit with their philosophy
I know Jesus is still the answer
He’s always been and always will be

VERSE 2

Some men pretend that things of this world
Have brought them peace of mind
But with the dawn of each new day
New thrills they try to find
Not until they meet the Prince of Peace
Can they ever hope to find relief
For Jesus is still the answer
For a world that’s seeking for peace

 

When your world is full of questions, and your heart is full of fear and discouragement, won’t you join me in going to the One Who truly IS the Answer?!

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of sea gull taken at Belmar Beach, New Jersey on September 3, 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

And Then The Floods Came …

9 Sep

I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures
of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember
the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures
of every kind on the earth.
Genesis 9:15 -16

 

Taking advantage of the final 3 day weekend of the summer, my hubby and I took off for the New Jersey shore early Saturday morning.  With the impending forecast of rain threatening our mini-vacation, we spent as much time on the sand and in the sea as possible.  Having just returned from our big family vacation with our kids and my mother only four short weeks ago, we anticipated a bit different time of relaxation.  Mingled with the usual noises of the beach and crashing surf was the distinct sound of an occasional snore coming from my husband’s resting body.  I sat comfortably in my sand chair, reading, sunning, laughing at the birds, and people watching.  The little ones were the most intriguing … so much so that Papaw initiated a spontaneous invitation for Cole to bring his parents up for the last day of this holiday weekend.  Prior plans, along with a wet and rainy weather outlook helped make their decision to stay in Baltimore.  Much to our surprise and delight, the sunshine remained bright and clear for most of the day on Monday for those of us who decided to take our chances.  After driving through and admiring the old Victorian and spiritually established beach town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, we headed home.  It was there that we found the rain.

 

Weather forecasts are unpredictable.  I guess they are that way by nature, because weather itself is unpredictable.  To a certain extent, we can be warned about incoming weather, but there always needs to be room for error, change, and adjustment.   This time was no different.  We heard that it was going to rain … the remnant from Tropical Storm Lee was coming up from the gulf coast.  Little did we know that it was going to rain and not stop raining for nearly 60 hours straight, with very small pockets of eerie silence as the rains would momentarily calm down to a sprinkle.  But without fail, the torrential downpours would begin once again, adding to the puddles and gathering ponds and lakes of water everywhere.  Now one of the things so special about south central PA are the many creeks and small streams that literally finger their way through the country side and valleys.  Branching from the stately Susquehanna River that flows through the heart of this picturesque area, they quickly began to overflow their banks and flood everything in their paths. 

Pizza Hut in Hershey, PA

In our former life back in the ‘90s when we used to live out here, a large percentage of our time was spent in the Sweetest Place on Earth.  Our beloved Hershey is one of the worst flooded areas in our local vicinity.  The Swatara Creek flows through the west end of town, where its excessive waters have gathered in great depths in roadways and parking lots, destroying restaurants, businesses, homes, and the zoo.  All up and down the Susquehanna River, from Maryland to New York, widespread damage and destruction is taking place as crest levels are rising to their fullest.

We have been blessed by living where we do … our home is located on the side of a ‘big hill’, as our grandson Cole calls it.  It certainly is not monumental, but from the perspective of this 2 year old, he huffs and puffs and grunts a bit as he carries his kick ball “up the big hill, Mimi!”  He then turns around and kicks the ball and chases it as it naturally races down the hill to the back of the yard.  It is the perfect slant and incline for snow sledding in the winter and slippy slide in the summer!   It is this slope of fun that has protected our home from water damage caused by the heavy rains and flooding. 

In a few days, the rains will cease.  The waters will recede.  The damaged will be rebuilt.  The destroyed will be cleared away and replaced.  Somehow, people will find the hope, the desire, and the motivation to do what is necessary to carry on with life. 

Life does go on … and in its course through the years, it will once again send the heavy rains causing the flood waters to rise.   Much like the circumstances in our lives, the heavy rains come, heartache and sorrow flood our lives and causes damage and destruction.  In the midst of these storms, won’t you join me in asking Jesus Himself to shower on us?  Shower His love, His faithfulness, and His mercy.  click here to listen to the song  Heavy Rain by Adam’s Voice.

Until next time,
Debbie

 

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 
and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood
came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the
coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be
taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding
with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day
your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known
at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch
and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready,
because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Matthew 24:38-44

 

 

 For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of sea gull taken at Belmar Beach, New Jersey on September 3, 2011.