Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
the Cougars arise again...wow...canya believe it?
Where did the time go? How can it be? May 16 was an awesome memorial date for my beloved and me! FINALLY ...our HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION! (and now they tell us that it has been 50 LONG YEARS! That seems absolutely Impossible!
Yes, now I am planning ANOTHER PARTY...one of my favorite things to do in life. I love planning reunions for our class, our school, our family, friends and groups....I JUST LOVE to plan parties.
Naturally...in planning the party....I've called and spent hours on the phone with all the old (ouch) classmates and friends....and families. What fun! Everyone's life has been so different, but ever so interesting, each in their own way!
Some have been awesomely blest... while others have been the greatest blessing...even when the ladder they had to climb in life had a lot of broken rungs...and some even collapsed during the 'paint job' itself. (ha ha)
But they are still tops and have a special Message to Man from God by just their walk through life. Each Special.
I have had the absolute JOY of blessing my dear, dear friend who is in the depths of descending Alzheimer's disease....whom... in a broken voice and flowing unstoppable tears of brokenness...she cries and shares how HORRIBLE this dreaded diseases is to accept...to live...to endure...even with God...with prayer...with dear family and friends. PTL...she has always been one of the most devoted Christians that I have known throughout the years...but again---ONLY GOD can really know the depths/heartache/pain of ANY disease. Pain is truly not something that can be explained. It comes to us physically, mentally, spiritally by forms... but millions of ways. But it is NEVER FUN!
My friend has had her car keys taken away....so sadly....because she has always been so independent ....driving in the impossible Houston traffic with ease for years. After a very successful life, they now live in an awesome new home in rural private estates--country life atmosphere... She built her own beautiful 'little prayer garden' to God's glory...where she spends her favorite times. (she's always made Him an altar in her home thru the years) Physically, she is tiny in stature... but she is a giant in her Chrisitianity.
The day she lost her car keys, started off innocent. She simply went to the nearby grocery story for a can of tomato soup. The store was only about 5 blocks away....and SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY....she found herself in northwest Houston...about 100 miles away...driving around ...not knowing where in the world that she was...what she was doing???
With greatest humor and laughter...she so cutely tells that she saw a POLICE CAR and so she stopped her car and him....and told him, 'Sir...I have Alzheimers and I am LOST, WILL YOU TAKE ME HOME?"
She said the man was soooo very nice....took her keys---which she handed to him first...he looked into her glove compartment for her insurance information/address--(she couldn't even remember her own address/name/phone number.
Thus the policeman kindly TOOK her home....100 miles away. (as she said she 'rambled on and on in embarrassment and graditude to him...and kept telling herself to 'shut-up' but she couldn't shutup.)
Later her son went back to Houston and got her car.
But on our phone call she went on, very acutely & shared about 'this freaky/horrible disease of confusion... her constant fear...horror, desparation, confusion and being so ashamed and guilty....for a disease that she has absolutely no control over even by taking tons of medications...that so often don't work.
Equally important to share.. because EVERY human being needs to know and realize the horrors of this dreaded disease. Throughout our years...50...of friendship....and esp. since she has been told about having this disease....she has constantly told me about 'how awesome and wonderful that her husband...our school mate &...dear friend from childhood....about HOW GREAT he was to her in taking care...helping her...his kind heart, love, etc. etc.
Yesterday however, her first words...(remember the disease)....'Oh, Gloria, I am so glad that you called, (over, over & over) ....you have no idea but all I have been thinking about is you.... and I WISH I HAD MARRIED YOUR HUSBAND...I know ...with all my heart that he would be so kind to me and not like my husband. My husband is soooo mean....soooo this ....that....on and on ....and on & on it went....
All the opposite of 2 months ago...and years of past. The disease had her tears... rampant...I say disease because....NO way....was this my old friend. (yes, the good part...but not the negatives... that have OVERTAKEN her once positive brain cells of appreciation. This disease is unspeakably horrible. It tortures everyone that cares for you...plus you!
Needless to say...my response was stuff that only God could bring forth....humor...old memories and silly jokes/events of the past ...things that she dearly loved....dearly needed...severely deserved. She was roaring in laughter. Her tears turned to those of hilarious joy... and memories that 'just NEEDED to be brought back INTO her brain...for survival. (I have to say...it was such a joy for me as well. So wonderful to hear her laughter once again...as we had as kids...as young MOM's...as retirees. Wow, God is so good, while satan is so rotten!
My heart very deeply went out to her poor husband (along with my friends own dear hurts and heart)....because most likely.... he is giving or has GIVEN HIS ALL ..or all that he CAN give..but this disease won't let her see/realize the truth. This is certainly a case where DEAFNESS is a blessing. (he was a very successful Houston Contractor building sky scrapers, lost hearing due to jackhammers.)
Anyway, today, I just wanted to pay a special tribute in writing to all dear families who are hit by this wicked disease that steals the human brain first...then the body... then the life---but regardless.... for my friend....GOD has her forever!
Also, another of my phone calls to another classmate was where I found her also crying as well because they had just called to tell her that her beloved brother (our neighbor) had just died also.... from Alzheimers. He, too, has suffered for about 8 years...along with his family.
So, again in that phone call, God allowed me to minister with MEMORIES of funny events that we had all done back in our youth and childhood days. Again, God turned sorrow to laughter. If I could say 'what I learned yesterday....it would have to be....'TREASURE EVERY MEMORY of life---esp the funny stuff'....because someday you may be able to HELP somebody else (even 50 or 60 years down the line..ha ha) get through their bad time or horrible health situations. We never know how we will be called upon to 'be God's instrument' to help and heal our brothers, sisters, friends, enemies and strangers.
So...for the party....it's STILL ON. Our Lord wants us all to 'make the best of everyday' and.... SO.... we, Old cougars....OLD cheerleaders...Old football, basketball and baseball players, OLD HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS....and EVEN.... our favorite homeroom TEACHER...(who is also in stage 5 cancer and my best buddy/friend...but fighting like a warrior) .........
WE SHALL CELEBRATE to the max....THAT 50th HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.
We chose to have a simple Dinner together, followed by a small River Boat Tour/Trip of the beautiful beloved Brazos River. (remember the song..."Across the Brazos at Waco"...well, that's our plan. ha ha) (we've done this a couple of times before in our family and it is so wonderful and beautiful...peaceful drifting along....
oooops I drifted off...just thinking about it. ha ha
Well, we'll update the blog later down the line...after the event.
Meantime...may God bless your day ....in a very special way.
Please remember to pray for all those in need....as well as for...YOU and Me. hugs/smiles. g
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
(What's for supper tonight?)~~~~ ; )
Monday, April 7, 2008
As Jim and I wander around this year ....trying to live long enough to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary in December...we find that we laugh constantly...at the stupidest junk under the sun. It's a good thing...this thing called laughter....but even WE wonder/wander ....ha ha... ''are we doing this out of our SURVIVAL instincts...or are things.... REALLY that funny?".
Maybe we have BOTH just 'lost it' together...because we are constantly... daily... laughing our stupid heads off at big things...little things...everything. (ourselves as much as others).
Each night at supper it seems we spend much toooo much time...reviewing...our ('Jeff Foxworthy') ...events of our day...you know STUPID stuff that happened that day. (our OWN blunders/flops, etc)
Sometimes it's just plain stupid people...and SOMETIMES...it's SMART people saying and doing absolutely STUPID stuff.
Sometimes it's to the point that you wanta say, "knock, knock...are YOU in there?" : )
Naturally----I AM NOT referring to ANY ONE who READS MY BLOG. HAHAHAHAHAHA (you know me better than that! or at least I hope so anyway ha ha)
Yes....since I am NOW a senior citizen...., yes, I camp out.... daily in some sort of manner with my beloved friends...SENIOR CITIZENS.
(some are a bit senile...some a whole bunch.... and some super awesome...... and my Lord knows that I treasure each one!
It's just that some make me laugh because of WHAT they say/do...sometimes it's intentional... good old wise humor...and yet....some speak in humor and greatest entertainment...... and THEY DON'T even know it.
(hummm, is there a mirror around here somewhere...mercy I hope not.)
But the funny part about aging...or least with Jim & me...we 'fall out' in laughter...just trying to do 'everyday things'...such as help each other 'get to bed' at night. We can easily laugh til we cry...however.... instead of the HOT romance of years gone by...it's truly... panting for a breath of air...you know real oxygen---that wonderful stuff that keeps us alive....give me my darn breathing MACHINE and "shut up...your confounded laughing and popping old age jokes about our physical inadequacies. compromises, & comparisons with our high school prom night or wedding night...both of which drew zero's even back then---though 2 children later... proves the electric current was always there...even tho, today....(oh, mercy, I shant go there)...or I'll be laughing again in hysterics... and not be able to complete my blog. Anyway....The fire's still there...the memories as well....but as anyone over 50 can tell you... just like your car....'sometimes...ya need new tires.' ha ha enough on that.
But life has been wonderful...we have been so very, very blessed throughout our wonderful 2 years of being popular high school sweethearts and 50 years of wandering over 'hill and dale' together...in the moonlight...in the hot summer heat and a whole heck of a lot of winter storms/ice...snow...HAIL...regardless how you spell it. (these are 'the LEARNING times, you know) ha..... We have learned a lot together on this 50 year journey....but the best part is that the JOY out numbers the sorrow and that's what counts. We are sooo very blest!
I thank God for our laughter....it's carried us through the years..
I thank God for my troubles....erased by His special gift of tears...
I thank God for my unmerited worries.... with His Grace for my sorrow...
For so greatly He has blest ....my yesterday, my today....and my tomorrow .
Now before I get all mushy here in my poetic world that I love...below is the purpose of this blog...to make you smile and have a chuckle for the day. My Blessings, in His love, glory-b
Wisdom comes through the years.....wise things to Ponder!
Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earnin' his salt..... that he forgets his sugar.
Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good!
When a man marries a woman, they become one;
but trouble starts when they try to decide 'which one'.
Whether a man winds up with a nest egg....or a big fat goose egg...
depends a lot on the kind of chick that he marries
If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred,
she will never turn into an old nag!
On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past---but never the present...
Only a foolish husband will say to his wife; "Honey, you stick to the washin', ironin', cookin' and scrubbin'. No wife of mine is gonna work.
Many girls like to marry a military man - he can cook, sew, and make beds and is in good health, and he already used to taking orders.
Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't even paved!
How old would you be..... if you didn't know how old you are?
You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up or leaks.
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled...
and bald that they don't even recognize you.
(hope you found one or two that gave you a laugh---TWMA--have a happy day, everyday!) g
Friday, April 4, 2008
Maya Angelou and Mother Teresa are two of my favorite Christian women. (along with dear...
but blunt... haha ..
smile...love her humble honesty)
Each of these super women have hearts .....that reflect God Himself to the world. Their hearts are shown by their actions...and I love it....I love the examples, their courage and their open/honest hearts for Christ and all mankind.
Each one is different....serve (d) God so differently... but they are each " awesome women of God" And...just as He teaches ... THEY reflect to the world a glorious fact that...race is never a factor...for there is only ONE RACE..... the human race... that He created us all to worship Him.... and to be Blest BY Him...of which He does daily. Amen & amen again ; )
Maya's writings and her inspiring words are always... very s l o w l y spoken, very intensive, ....soul penetrating and... constantly brings honor to our Heavenly Father.
This is one of my favorites.... and today...(OR anyday) is perfect for sharing one of my keepsakes with you, my delightful blogger friends. Enjoy!
I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven'.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
I'm just a simple sinner....who received God's good GRACE...somehow!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
But carnally---Easter is also a blast of fun for kids...parents. grandparents (& adults who are kids at heart).... with the traditional Egg hunts, baby animals...everything symbolic of honoring the New Life through Christ...the colors of flowers...the eggs...and kids smeared with the egg dye. Oh and the picnics and EGG hunts...the baskets/bags, giggling and laughing. So, although Autumn is my favorite time of the years...good old SPRINGTIME is right in there in the close running. ha ha
But Easter is also a time when we are taught to REFLECT, remember...and since Easter 1995 has had an even deeper meaning...in it's reflections to me and my life.
Yes, I choose to worship via the Baptist denominations....as a Christian...yet I have learned so many awesome things and respect....in and through OTHER Christian believers/denominations as well.
In 1995, I had my first bout with cancer and deadly staff infection that destroyed my immune system. But also God chose to have me complete my education thru Southwestern Theological Seminary as a female chaplain.
Needless to say....ALSO during this period of time...I was forced to go through some REALLY awful, carnal JUNK that could have (and almost did) destroyed my life. (have I not heard it said that 'Life is unfair??? ha ha How true! How Awful...) At the time I thought....er...thought it couldn't get any worse! ha ha (lesson learned...never say that....cause it certainly can....and did)
However, at that time in my life...in the name of Christianity...LoL "I was also UNFairly nailed to a cross". Unfortunately...I didn't die...though I wanted to. My world crumbled in a jillion directions. I couldn't understand a million things. I was betrayed by dear, dear friends. I prayed a jillion prayers. Although I had numerous 'companions' around every day....I WAS ALONE.
I stuck to... and stayed 'the course'. Yet, all I WANTED to do...was vanish. Crawl into a fetal position and 'tell the world...so long, Charlie. I am Outta Here. "Take this job and shove it....take this life...period.
THEN came; my Easter....my walk of Emmaus....7 miles from Jerusalem!
In the book of Dr. Luke in the Bible....Chptr. 24:13-35 is the story (Easter Sunday) of the broken hearted disciples of Jesus...walking along together....brokenhearted..., upset, angry...troubled in their darkness...alone with their sorrow.
They'd been to the tomb...they expected to see JESUS, their master/friend just as he told them on Thursday night---the women had just told them that morning that the tomb was empty....so that meant Jesus was not there...something awesome/different REALLY did happen---just like Jesus had said it would....but walla, walla----there was simply...no Jesus to be SEEN anywhere. Just that SAD, long dusty, dirty lonely Emmaus Road lay before them. They felt totally Hopeless, dispare, rejected, dejected and alone.
The disciples were so deep in THEIR own sorrow, (as you read their story)....they failed to actually SEE Jesus when he was walking along with them on their sorrowful 7 mile journey.
I was just like this during my own hours of darkness above...almost 2 years. Broken, deepest sorrow, confused, seeking answers of where there were none; only MORE troubles to follow, one after another...some worse than the previous...all a stack of misery with a bright red ribbon with my name on it.
Yes, I prayed constantly through my situations that constantly GREW bigger and worse...because Satan also is alive and well doing his job...to steal, kill & destroy...and I was one of his favorite choices at that moment.
He did not want me in chaplaincy work. He did not want me succeeding in 'helping broken kids'...but I did anyway---not because of me---but because JESUS/GOD really WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME...WALKING RIGHT BESIDE ME. Like the disciples...I too, had a vision problem.
FORTUNATELY....even though I was CLOSER to God than in most of my previous years and believe me...by HIS goodness and grace.... I had already been blessed beyond words, with awesome Christian experiences MANY, MANY times...& repeatedly, I was personally USED by God to reach and help so many, many other people prior to this period of time; I was even part of MIRACLES, AWESOME.... UNBELIEVABLE MIRACLES...and yet....at that time..
-...I had a problem accepting help when I was the one in need.
I simply 'couldn't see through the..... darkness'. UNTIL.....
Most ironically...the UNveiling...came for me...when I stepped OUT of my comfort zone...stepped beyond 'my regular people. I joined TOTAL STRANGERS....Christians of another walk---a walk/retreat/conference called simply.... "The Emmaus Walk".
There I,---timid...to a point...not my nature---began to humbly fold.. (or maybe it was UNfold???).......listen to 'His still quiet voice.....then suddenly heard the world's most beautiful praise songs and music...and saw this.... gigantic wooden knarled cross at the front of the auditorium...
I once again followed my heart...not caring WHAT those strangers would say, think or do....I silently went down to the cross and knelt...constantly praising/praying, slowly, I quietly slid prostrate beneath and in front His cross...tears mixed with words...unknown silence...yet almost deafening roar to my ears(hard to explain) and as always before...when I had turned totally to HIM.... my heart was ripping right out of my chest as awesome music captured every part of my inner being and my soul... (it was truly, as the song says... "I Surrender ALL")
Many others followed my lead that night...but that was NOT my purpose...just anothere of God's richest blessings! Many shared later...that my example that night (or failures) had moved them to the greatest event of their life. (we all walk down rough roads like Emmaus...we all have secret hurts, compartments & departments that only God see or can reach.)
All at once that night-----I KNEW PEACE...I gave FORGIVENESS as never before....I received it for my bitterness; my confusion evaporated and like the disciples that Sunday (Sabbath) night on the road to Emmaus...then in Jerusalem----I was no longer blind, no longer in the darkness of my own sorrow, my own brokenness, my own UNforgiveness. IT SIMPLY DID NOT MATTER ANY MORE.
I too...remembered! I was never alone the whole time. He WAS there...He had BEEN there the whole time!!!.
My 7 mile journey to Jerusalem was going to be okay. Like the disciples...finally, I saw & REMEMBERED... that Jesus was standing with me that Saturday night (Sabbath) and everyday.
Shortly AFTER the above event...God blest and placed me in the most awesome leadership position of starting a brand new ministry for the Baptist in Texas. ...to be the first to virtually OPEN up the youth prisons of Texas to Bible Study, worship, crusades and saving souls for Christ in 15 youth prisons. This had NEVER been allowed. Today there are 1000's of Protestant Christian ministries behind the wall/wire of youth prisons. Hooray.
God chose to give me the honor of being His commissioned Missionary whereby we named our ministry...New Life....and then "His Kids, too"---both ministries have awesome successes and purposes...through Christ...SALVATIONS and changed lives and lifestyles.
(oh yes, I have to add...to the Glory of God, because He gave it ....due to the above work in these two ministries for the State of Texas....and Out over 1600 wonderful volunteers, many doctors and professionals....I was chosen and named "Texas Volunteer of the Year"....and IF YOU know politics very well... then you KNOW that is a miracle of God! LOL but so true!!! Through God and lots of hard work, my life was blested through recruiting and training over 200 Christians from all denominations to become leaders in the youth prisons of Texas.
Yes, Satan is still alive & well....and he will constantly try to kill, steal & destory....esp. Christians...that's his job and he is never in the 'unemployment line'. (but only til Jesus comes tho yea!)
BUT.more importantly...GOD ALMIGHTY is also right beside us when we are hit....or we make dumb choices...even when we have our Bible in our hands...praying and sometimes yet, we still only see darkness---
He holds us...hears us...helps us--even when we are walking blindly 'down that lonely, Emmaus road of dust, dirt, confusion and brokenness.
HE IS THERE! He erases the darkness. He is "THEE LIGHT".