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In Memory … Scottie

5 Jun

Satisfy us in our earliest youth with your loving kindness,
giving us constant joy to the end of our lives.
Psalm 90:14  TLB

Four years ago today,
Our family’s 15 year-old Miniature Schnauzer,
Scottie, passed away…
In memory and celebration of his life,
this was written a few days following his death
**  June 5, 2008  ** 

Scottie not feeling well
May 28, 2008

The other evening, I took it out of my purse and very tenderly clasped it back together.  I lovingly touched each shiny little black bone that decorated the red plaid print of the fabric.  I gently shook the jingles that had always represented life and activity, reading the information listed on the bone-shaped tag.  With a heart filled with gratitude for the gift that has been ours for so many years, tears from a broken heart filled my eyes as I hung Scottie’s collar on the corner of his picture frame.  Our precious Bubby Dog went home to Jesus on Thursday afternoon around 2:45 pm.

Scottie ~ shaved for better health

Scottie Von Schultz Van Hook was purchased on a discounted price tag by our family from an Amish kennel on March 20, 1993 at the age of 4 ½  months.  The runt of his litter, he had contracted ringworm from a fellow cohabitant, so our new pet was quickly taken to the Hershey Veterinary Hospital where they shaved him down and stripped him of his Schnauzer identity.  Looking like a mangy gray Chihuahua, he spent the next 6 weeks in a strict regime of being bathed and dipped, all the while we were very careful to wash our hands as we loved and nurtured our little pup.  We were greatly successful in correcting his skin condition, bringing health to his young body and staying clean ourselves.

Scottie on the back deck
1995

The new friend and playmate for all weighed in at 7.4 pounds on that very first trip to the doctor in Hershey.  By the time he was nearly 6 years old and eating treats from the Work & Witness teams along with chips and salsa in Albuquerque, he tipped the scales at 12.7 pounds!  But within the next few years, he and I began to take morning prayer walks along the ditchbank road that ran beside our home, so he became quite fit and trim.

Our children
1995

Scottie loved the outdoors!  In his earlier years in Pennsylvania, he would insist on going out in the snow with the kids … and I mean snow!  Deep snow!  Snow that would engulf him as he tried to run through it, always coming back inside the house with ice chunks hanging from his Schnauzer fur.  In the summer, he even enjoyed going for nice refreshing dips in our friends’ swimming pool  ~  doggie paddle, of course!   In Albuquerque, we all learned the hard way about sticker burrs and goat heads.  When we first moved there, Ryan and Scottie were out playing and began chasing each other around the house.  Before long, Ryan turned around and wondered where the silly pup had gone.  Not too far!  After a few laps around the yard, he began to slow to a dead stop.  He had prickly thorns and stickers in the bottoms of his precious paw pads and all in his under belly Schnauzer fur!  Once again, it was a great identity icon for the boy, but he was always a portable Velcro strip!  A few years later when our daily routine included the ditch-bank road, we visited with the cows, horses, lamas, other canine-type creatures, and birds.  Scottie always thought he was bigger than he really was, so when a cow or horse was up against the fence row munching on the tree leaves, Scottie would stand there kicking out his back feet and would growl, as if they better take notice that HE was there.  Since moving from the desert to Indiana, we adapted to our new outdoors.  Here he barked and got all upset at the many deer that would visit our front yard and surrounding areas.  They were big enough for his aging eyes to see.  The squirrels, rabbits, and wild turkeys would usually go unnoticed.  He had become an old-man dog …

On the back of his favorite chair
2003

In his earlier years, Scottie was well-known for his yappiness.  He wasn’t a yippy dog, but a yappy one.  One that loved to bark.  After comparing notes with other Schnauzer owners either at the vet or at the groomer, we found that this breed of dogs was quite vocal.  So much so that when camping at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with all of our friends, the campground officials requested us to come to the office one day when we returned from the beach.  Apparently, our yappy pup didn’t like being cooped up in the camper all afternoon and announced this continually to anyone willing to listen.  Needless to say, in order to finish our vacation at the ocean, we had to quickly find a dog kennel and board Scottie for the remainder of the week.  Much to my dismay, a few other times he had to stay in a kennel overnight.  No matter how nice the kennel mom was or how many interesting yard ornaments she had for him to pee on, I just couldn’t stand the thought of him sleeping in an out building with only a fence between him and a strange dog.  Thankfully, after that when he couldn’t travel with us, he was able to stay with friends or family.Scottie was the happy and excited door greeter!  Just taking the garbage out and coming back into the house 20 seconds later you would get the royal treatment!  He was the rug under the table that picked up the crumbs.  He was the one that snored first in bed every night.  He was the one that left dirty paw prints across the floor when it rained.  He was the one that when aggravated because you were gone too long, got into the bathroom trash.  In his failing health and picky appetite, he loved the food brought home from Higher Ground’s dining hall ~ BBQ meatballs, prime rib, chicken strips, hamburgers, pulled pork, roast beef, etc.   He was the one that would always come looking for you if he woke from a nap and didn’t see you nearby.   He was all of these and more  ~  but to me …

Scottie and his Mommy

He was by all means, my third child.  I am now, for the first time, an empty-nested mom.  Kim got married in 2005.  Ryan just graduated from college & will soon be starting a new job in Seattle, WA.  Up until now, I still had my 15 ½ year old.  Sigh …   Scottie was also my exercise partner ~ we walked many miles together in many places.  He was my confidant ~ always a great listener and never tried to interrupt.  Many times, he was my altar.  I would kneel beside wherever he was resting and I would pour my heart out to God with him right there.  I’m sure he felt the cry of his mommy’s heart and his precious little spirit joined me in prayer…he was my prayer partner.  During difficult days, Scottie’s love was faithful.  In the midst of transition, Scottie’s love was steadfast.  When the home was filled with tension and turmoil, Scottie’s love was authentic and constant.  That little being gave me companionship, joy, purpose, and an assurance of knowing that I was very, very special to him … and that he loved me.   Dr. Gaston prescribed stronger meds for Scottie on April 17, knowing that his aging heart was tiring.  I began whispering words of love into those precious ears that couldn’t hear very well anymore.  I would tell him that he’s been the best gift God has given to our family.  I would talk of Heaven and the fact that Jesus was there, along with his Grandpas and some of his friends.  I even told him that when it got too hard to breathe, it was ok to go.  I promised to see him again soon.  Thursday afternoon as Tim cradled Scottie’s near-death body in his arms, I smothered his little face with teary kisses, breathing in the sweet, sweet smell of his skin for the last time.  Within moments, he was finally at peace.  Real peace.

About two weeks ago, Scottie became very restless during the dark night hours.  I felt him chilling at the foot of our bed where he slept.  I tried to console him by reaching down and petting him for a few minutes, but to no avail. My Mommy heart couldn’t stand the distance between he and I, so I pulled him up to my pillow and snuggled him close to my heart.  He curled up tight and nestled his tiny face up under my chin until the warmth from my body took the chill from his.  It wasn’t very long at all before I heard the quick shallow breathing of my precious love begin to slow down, giving him some relief and rest.  His body relaxed and he began to snore.  I laid there overcome with praise to God for this gift.  The gift of love, of life, and of need.  Need for one another.

One of my favorite songs came to mind that night  ~  and I softly sang it to Scottie …  Click on this link  Christ For the Nations Institute to listen to Kari Jobe sing …

The more I seek You, the more I find You.
The more I find You, the more I love You.
I want to sit at Your feet,
drink from the cup in Your hand,
Lay back against You and breathe,
feel Your heart beat …

This love is so deep,
it’s more than I can stand,
I melt in Your peace,
it’s overwhelming.

God is love.  That’s why we can love a tiny Miniature Schnauzer for over 15 years and experience pain and sorrow when he is no longer with us.  Scottie knew and understood love.  That night two weeks before, Scottie melted in my peace and it gave him the comfort he needed to rest.  Thursday, June 5, Scottie sat at the feet of Jesus, then jumped up in His lap and laid back against Him  ~  and breathed!!!    Then, he melted in the peace of Jesus …

Until next time,
Debbie

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Prayer Mowing

17 May

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 
Philippians 1:3

Following a couple days of consistent rain and clouds, the sun has once again graced the sky, drying up any lingering puddles and moisture in the yard.  After filling the tank with gas and checking the oil on the riding mower, I set out on my weekly adventure to keep the grass cut and any new pesky weeds pulled.  For an hour and a half, I ride back and forth, across, around, and up and down.  What would seem to be quite the mindless activity is nothing of the sort for me.  I take full advantage of the ‘quiet’ alone time to pray.  Usually, it’s not just the hour and a half prayer meeting, but if I have planned on the afternoon duty since morning, then I have already spent the day in a special attitude of prayer.  Yesterday was no exception.  With my list of names already fresh on my mind and in my heart, I began my week’s assignment of lawn maintenance and heart care.  Having had Kerrie on my mind all day, I continued to pray for her as she had heart surgery earlier in the morning in Oregon.  Just having talked to two friends on my way home from work, both hurting from life’s hard blows, my mind then immediately went in their direction.  My friend, Louise, lost an older brother a few days ago to a heart attack.  A family crisis has reared its ugly head in another home, leaving my dear friend to wonder what will happen next.  A text on Monday from my precious friend, Wendy, brought a smile to my heart as she wished me a happy Mother’s Day and then requested prayer for her friend Sheila.  Cancer has returned to Bob, my childhood best friend’s dad, wringing out the hearts of those who love him and Pauline.  Many many miles separate Becky from her parents … and I understand the ache that is caused by that distance.  The memories associated with the anniversary dates of loved ones who have passed away, graduations and unknown futures, expectant families, marriages that are in trouble, those who are in pain and have unanswered health questions ~ and of course, my own precious family … Kim and Troy, Cole and Lillianne, Ryan and Brittany, and Tim.  It truly seems like the list goes on and on.  I name names on purpose.  I know that most of you have no idea who I’m referring to, and that’s ok.   But behind every name is a soul that needs Jesus.  I read something on Facebook the other day that made quite the impression on me ~

Peace is not the absence of trouble …
Peace is the Presence of Jesus.

Not only do I pray that for my friends, and their friends, but I pray that for myself as well.

May flowers

As spring quickly flows into summer and the grass continues to grow, I will be busy mowing.  It’s certainly not the only time I pray, but I do feel like it’s the perfect time to make it a day of prayer and fasting, interceding on behalf of those in my life who need the Presence of Jesus.  I would love to pray for you and your concerns.  Please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog, and I promise to add your name to my list.  If your request is too personal and you would like to share it privately, you may email me at dvanhook@hgcrc.com.

Looking forward to praying for you and yours …

Until next time,
Debbie

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy?
Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick?
He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him
with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will
make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned,
he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and
pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:13-16


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
  

I thank my God every time I remember you.  
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will
carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you,
since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or
defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s
grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all
of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more
and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be
pure and blameless until the day of Christ,  filled with the
fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—
to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:3-11

***  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 the latest pictures of our granddaughter, Lillianne.        https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Express Girl

17 Feb

But now, this is what the LORD says–
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
 I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

 

 

I’m Debbie, the Kelly Girl!   Well, sort of…   Those of us dating back to the era of the ‘60s are very familiar with this term, originally signifying a woman who accepted temporary clerical work in office settings for her source of income.  In all reality, however, I am an Express Girl!   After being so frustrated with Craigslist and their onslaught of SCAMS and bogus ads, I was referred to an employment agency for help.  Express Employment Professionals are not only looking to find permanent part time work for me, but they also offer temporary assignments that are short term and fill a void for companies in need. 

I am currently working for the County of York, Pennsylvania in the Department of Information Services.  Located in the downtown area, I have experienced quite a change in my daily life style since becoming an Express Girl.  To prevent paying nearly 2 hours worth of wages just in parking each day, we spent some research time on line to determine the best alternative, and I now ride the Rabbit Transit to and from work.  I have a photo ID that clips to my clothing, allowing me access to the necessary areas, and I am continuing to tweak my new skills at answering a 22 line telephone system.  These temporary days of being a county employee begin early, full of new experiences and interesting people, and are filled with great anticipation of pulling back into the garage and closing the door to the outside world at the end of the day. 

Having been out of the employment loop for a while, along with the unknown of city traffic, downtown parking, and an unfamiliar work environment, unsettledness was found knocking on the door of my heart for a few days.  Now, I know to Whom I belong and am confident that none of the circumstances of my life march past God unnoticed.  To remind me of these truths throughout my work day, I jotted down some notes that I received from my Constant Companion … and the blue note card now sits on my temporary desk, ready to encourage and settle any unsettledness that might try to return.   

 “Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile…”
From Streams in the Desert ~ Tuesday, Feb 15

    

“But now, this is what the Lord says – He Who created you …
fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have summoned you by name … you are mine.”
Isaiah 43:1

“Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
‘Peace be with you!’”
John 20:26

 

 “Let us sing Hallelujah by ANTICIPATION”
From Streams in the Desert ~ Wednesday, Feb 16

 

I am always in awe of how God takes care of me!  The Red Sea was rolled back personally for me in waves as I experienced His undeniable intervention on my behalf these past few days.  While I heard various ones around the office comment on how crazy quiet the phones were,  I felt like standing up and informing them all that it wasn’t an odd occurrence … it was MY God taking care of me and allowing me the time I needed to learn this new phone system!  Then after researching and noting the scheduled bus stops and transfers and having accepted the fact that I would be walking 2 – 3 blocks to where I needed to be, God WOWed me!  Since the bus driver undoubtedly recognized an amateur passenger, he inquired of my final destination, informing me that if I stayed on the bus at the transfer center, he would then drop me off at the next stop which is directly behind the Administration Building, leaving me with a 30 second walk to the door!  YAY GOD!!  At the end of the work day, all I do is take the same 30 second walk back to the bus stop and within 15 minutes, I’m picked up and headed toward home.  $1.18 each way and I’m singing His praises!! 

 

As an Express Girl, my desire is to truly represent the various meanings of the word EXPRESS …

Verb 1                         To articulate, communicate and convey

Adjective 1                   Fast, direct, nonstop and prompt

Adjective 2                   Precise, definite, exact and specific

Verb 2                          Squeeze out, extract

As these days of temporary employment transition from downtown York to possibly other assignments as an Express Girl, I will be praying.  My prayers are that as I learn new things, meet interesting people, and experience the expected unknowns, may my need for dependence upon Jesus ‘squeeze out’ and extract His love from within me.  My short term missions will require quick, nonstop, prompt, precise, specific communication between my Lord and I … that will be reflected gently to my ever-changing world by a heart that loves Jesus.  Won’t you join me in being an EXPRESS person … depending on Jesus and then taking Him to our world?

Until next time,
Debbie