Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I believe I needed this object lesson to open by own selfish eyes and examine things that I truly need to be thankful for. The bruises my heart feels from my gifts being mistreated are nothing compared to God's sorrow and righteous anger over His Son being crucified. Today I want to pause and give thanks to the Lord for my salvation through faith in Christ. In addition, I want to acknowledge the blessings He has poured out into my life. The treasures of my family, friends, job, health, home, freedom to live in this great country and worship the Lord without fear.
This emotionally charged experience this month has given me insight and taught me the value of a "gift" and being thankful- two principles I hope continue to transform my heart.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Since it is difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple people and time-share availability, this trip has been in the making for over a year. We had originally intended to come in June but November was what we were able to arrange. Hard to complain when it is paradise here year-round. With all the hard things Mike and I have been dealing with we weren't sure if we would enjoy ourselves so we arrived with mixed emotions. Glad to report that those changed immediately after stepping off the plane into the "heaven" of Hawaii.
We have gone exploring the major areas of the island with the Waimea canyon being the most spectacular. It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. A mini-version of the real thing. The weather was too beautiful on Monday to pass up the chance to do some hiking up there so we spent the day snapping pictures as we trudged along the rocky trails. Tuesday we hadn't had enough of the canyon views so we took a helicopter ride that gave us not only the view from above the canyon but the whole island. Breathtaking and scary !!
Last night we stuffed ourselves at a Hawaiian luau as we enjoyed the show featuring native dancing and music. Today I decided to chill out by myself as the boys explore Pearl Harbor and Waikiki beach on the island of Oahu. It is a picture perfect day outside (as usual) and I am basking in this time alone to read, stroll, nap, listen to my new Hawaiian CD's, and of course post these pictures !
Friday, October 31, 2008
In June we were cruising in fifth gear. Mike and I went to Ohio to visit my family and help my parents get ready for their move to their new home. We celebrated Father’s Day together, went out to eat, played lots of cards, relaxed, watched TV, and laughed a lot. Life was good.
In July we downshifted a bit as Billie went into the hospital at the Cleveland Clinic to have heart surgery. What was to have been a 5-7 day stay ended up becoming a month long nightmare of medical problems. Finally, at the end of the month he was able to come home to Dayton to finish recovering. We were cautiously cruising again.
August was filled with planned fun activities. I got to attend the Women of Faith conference in Dallas with 3 special friends- Martha, Joanne and Georgia. For two days we and thousands of other women basked in God’s word, singing hymns of praise, listening to messages of encouragement and teaching from the entertaining and Godly speakers including Patsy Clairmont, Lucy Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, and Marilyn Meberg. Afterward, we stayed up late in our hotel room eating snacks, laughing and having girl talk together. An abundance of heartfelt fellowship.
During the drive home from the trip I spoke with Debbie concerning Billie. Great news, since his healing was going so well, she and Mark were leaving him in the Cleveland hospital for a few more days while they headed back to their jobs in Dayton.
Early the next morning Mike called me from Texas saying Billie had taken a sudden serious turn for the worse and Debbie and Mark were speeding up to Cleveland. I got a hold of my sister while they were driving and through tears she shared the news of his critical condition. Life slowed down abruptly and then came to a grinding halt when later that morning Mark called me from Cleveland with the news of Billie’s death. The flood gates of my heart burst open with emotion and I felt like a car spinning out of control on ice, heading for a cliff.
In October Mike and I went back up to Ohio for a visit. Life was moving forward slowly but surely. Though the week was filled with emotional moments we spent lots of quality time with my family even celebrating Chip’s and my birthday at a party my sister Sherri had for us.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
God breathed life into my nephew Billy 20+ years ago and He took it away yesterday morning, Wednesday Sept 3rd.
In the scheme of eternity, life is brief. Whether we live one month, 20 years, or 90 years, we are momentary.
BUT, in the moments we have, in the moments Billy had, he made a precious, significant contribution in the lives he touched.
In my life.
My memories, my moments with Billy began when he was just a long, squirming crying baby. Never content with anyone but his mom, my sister Debbie.
It wasn’t until he was out of the baby phase that I was able to begin knowing him and discover his unique personality and tender heart.
-His artistic abilities became apparent when he was still a “little guy”. He drew all sorts of pictures and gave them as gifts. He spent hours constructing Leggo masterpieces.
-At the age of 4 or 5 he could beat me 90% of the time at the memory card game “Concentration”, squealing with delight at his victory over us “old” folks.
-Skateboarding became a passion as he got a bit older. He loved to show off with stunts of flying off the porch steps, spinning in the air, and racing at top speed down the drive way. He made it look so easy! Ha.
-I remember being impressed with his karate moves and his “chop-socki” (num-chuk?) sticks that he could twirl around like batons without hitting himself or me as he performed.
-His big sister Melissa was relentless in keeping him on his fighting “toes” as the two of them had sibling battles.
Billy….Oh Billy. What a joy filled boy and then young man- William.
Mike and I spent a special time with him when he came to visit us in Texas several years ago. We dragged him around to all sorts of Fort Worth sight-seeing stuff. He was such a good sport making everything we did so much more entertaining and meaningful. We spent a whole day at an RV show going from RV to RV with Billy paving the way, giving us his assessments and opinions of each one. His main focus was whether our dogs Biskit and Cookie would find them comfortable. He had a way with animals.
-More recently he became quite a technology geek. Lots of expertise at online video games, computer and I-Pod stuff. In June, just a couple of months ago, he gave me a beginner “text messaging” lesson on my cell phone. I am pretty remedial, but he was patient in teaching ol’ Aunt Kathie several times. I never did figure it out.
Though Billy faced lots of things in his life I would consider “hard”, like seeing his dad become ill, going through multiple surgeries, experiencing countless illnesses, he was characterized by his positive/fun filled attitude, his warm, caring, loving and gentle heart, his brilliant smile and non-stop sense of humor and wit, his love of kidding around.
We all wish we could hear his voice once more, see his handsome animated face, hear his laughter, feel his embrace. We can’t.
His moments on earth weren’t numerous enough for us, those he left behind, BUT they were moments that he packed with life and love.
I can no longer see Billy physically, but my memories of him are just a blink of the eye away, hidden in my heart where I can visit him all the days of my life for all the rest of my moments.
Thank you Billy for enriching my life.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sandra- This godly woman came into my life about 7 years ago at my first church. I had not known the Lord long and felt out of my element- going to church by myself, trying to find an area to serve, getting to know about fellowship with other Christian women, and learning about drawing close to the Lord through Bible study. Sandra came “beside me” (whether she realized it or not) and because of her maturity in the Lord encouraged me, and helped me plug into Bible study. Along with my "soul sister" Terri, see my previous blog, the three of us became friends. As you might imagine the icing on the cake was the fact that we are dog lovers! (she is holding my dog Cookie in the picture). Our trio made some fun filled trips together. I remember going to Chattanooga, Tn. several times to attend a national women’s conference featuring our favorites teachers, Kay Arthur and Beth Moore, driving to Houston to a Precepts training seminar the day after the 911 terrorist attack in New York, spending a weekend at a retreat in a beautiful area in east Texas in cramped bunk beds and an overheated cabin, and going to the Billy Graham training sessions at a nearby church. In all of these events we spent lots of time not only studying God’s word, but growing our friendship and making memories. We each have a weakness for purchasing books, study guides, and study "paraphenalia". This was hugely manifested when we left the Chattanooga conference on a spiritual high and with Terri’s suburban loaded to the max with almost every book sold at the conference! I still chuckle about this, since after 7 years I haven’t made a dent in all the material I just “had to have” that day!
Well circumstances in life took me to a different church and over time I lost touch with Sandra.
Surprise! About 8 weeks ago I was revisiting my first church with a new friend, Joanne, when who do I spot sitting about seven rows in front of me? Sandra. Gosh, sweet memories of our times together flooded over me and I rejoiced to hug her and say hello. Later we had a chance to chat and as God would have it she invited me to the Precepts Bible study she is leading. This was an answer to a prayer I had been lifting to the Lord. I had recently “graduated” from the 7 year BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) course and was asking God to guide me to a new in depth study. To make a long story short, He gave me the answer in bringing me to my old friend Sandra and a brand new class of lovers of the Lord. Praise Him!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
1. Mike built the shed in ONE day. Yes, it came in a box ready to be put together, BUT he still had to read the book of directions and follow them, not any mans strong suit. It required a bit of MY input, of course, on how to arrange the tools and equipment so they look "nice" …but Mike gets most of the credit. It has now been in use for 3+ weeks and the convenience of getting at all the yard stuff has made the investment worth it.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
This year he decided that a new walkway was needed behind our garage. The area is so shaded and narrow that it has become a muddy mess. Cookie and Biskit run across it while chasing squirrels, getting their feet covered with mud that requires constant attention when they come back into the house. Or, as often happens, they run into the house and track the floor with their paw prints compounding the cleaning issue. After multiple trips to Home Depot and Lowes, and much discussion, he decided on constructing it with cement blocks that look like individual bricks. Since this is his project I have tried to stay out of his way physically and with my verbal “tips” and watch the making of the walkway. Landscape had to be removed, bags of base dirt hauled in (requiring MANY trips in his little Honda Civic) to make the area level, edging installed to hold all in place, stones cut and laid (sometimes three to four times just to get them perfect), sand spread over all the bricks and between the cracks, new landscape purchased and planted, gutter run off rerouted, gate bottom cut so it would close over the pathway....more steps than I had ever imagined. After three weeks it is finished and looking most excellent. The recent rains have given us a chance to check its drainage and I am glad to report the problem of muddy paws seems to be solved! Of course, one success spawns ideas for more improvements so I have been informed a shed is next on the list. I’ll keep you posted...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I can’t believe it has been several weeks since I got back from the “Girls trip” to Sedona, Arizona with my sisters Debbie and Sherri. I had been looking forward to it for months, and now it is just a great memory! Mike went with us on the condition he would do all the driving and let the girls be in charge of the daily agenda. He agreed! Sedona is one of the places we discovered on a road trip to Arizona in 2001. We stumbled on this tucked away paradise after visiting the Grand Canyon and fell in love with its red rock beauty. My sisters have never been out west. The beautiful greenery and farmlands of Ohio are far from the barren beauty of Sedona and I was excited about sharing this special place with them. Our four day adventure together was crammed full of activities. The first day we spent enjoying Tlaquepaque a unique and artistic shopping area in the heart of Sedona. We didn’t buy much (it is very pricey) but we looked at everything! A trip to the Grand Canyon took up our second day. I never tire of visiting this awesome, overwhelming, HUGE, and beautiful wonder of the Southwest. I put a few of my pictures on my website http://www.mikeandkathie.com/ .
We spent the rest of the time sightseeing, talking, eating, talking, shopping, talking, watching chick flicks, talking, drinking coffee till noon in our PJs and talking. Talking was the main event and since we don’t get to see each other often we made sure we logged an abundance of our time together doing just that.
Mike needs to get credit for his excellent company. He patiently listened to our non stop girl chatter, took us to all the sightseeing and shopping areas and even watched a couple of chick flicks.
The bummer part to this vacation as well as every other trip is that it comes to an end and the moments of excitement and closeness become memories to revisit and treasure. In my head I am already planning the next Girls Event…Gatlinburg? Las Vegas? Smoky Mountains?….more memories to be made.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
“Charlie’s Angels”, a popular TV show I loved to watch in the 70’s, focused on three beautiful, big haired, adventuresome young women out to solve all sorts of crimes. My Dad had three “angels” of his own to deal with during that same time, and although not beautiful, and big haired, we certainly added adventure to his life spelled
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
RECALL NOTICE :
The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Subsequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as SIN, as it is primarily expressed. Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
9. Self control
Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), for further details on the use of these fixes. WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will need to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.
Thank you for your attention!
Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "kneemail."
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Last week was special, I was home alone. Mike went on a ski trip that I cancelled out on when ALL the other women decided not to go and I for sure wasn't up to being the lone woman with six men, (even if they are really great guys). I decided to keep my vacation from my job and spend the week doing my own thing. No husband to tend to, no job to go to, no cooking, just Biskit, Cookie and me. I don't know why this should be so exciting but it is. I endeavored to do all my favorite things which of course is impossible since I have way too many...but that didn't stop me from trying. Instead of the usual 5 am alarm buzz, I slept in a bit each day waking to licks on my face. Spending a morning breakfast with my friend Krista was a delight for both of us, something we rarely get to do and we took full advantage of the 2 hours we had together. My buddy Jan and I went to dinner and then to see "Chicago" at the Bass Hall one evening. That gave us something to talk about for sure-both good and bad, (if you saw it you would know what I'm talking about). Christ Chapel gave an awesome concert of "Gershwin and Friends" music that 5 of us ladies attended another evening. In addition I read a book, worked in my yard, went to the park almost every day with my two four legged buddies, talked on the phone, took pictures, worked on my computer, rented a bunch of "chick flicks" that Mike refuses to watch with me, ate popcorn for supper, didn't shave my legs, no makeup and a day of PJ's, and lots of time spent with the Lord. It may be a years before I have this opportunity again, but I'm making a "home alone" list so that I will be prepared whenever that time arrives!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The four of us layed around the rest of the evening attempting to stay conscious to watch some loser rented movies. We weren't successful and lots of snoring was had by all until we gave up and went to bed around midnight.
Sunday morning was beautiful and after loading up on coffee we went on a romp with the dogs to a park near Lake Arlington. I posted a couple photos on my website. It was late morning when Deb and Katie got in her new "Hot Red" car (very cool) and took off for their home in Austin. Can't wait for a repeat visit!