Blind Hope, An Unwanted Dog & the Woman She Rescued

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

Blind Hope by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher is my second book to read and review from Multnomah Books.  I was drawn to this book because the cover was so adorable and I knew the perfect friend who would like to read it when I was done.

Most of this book is a conversation between the co-authors, Kim and Laurie.  Kim is the owner of the Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Colorado, a ranch that takes in horses they have rescued.  Volunteers come to help and in the process, many breakthroughs are made in their lives spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Laurie comes to the ranch as a volunteer.  She rescues a dog who she renames Mia.  In her care, she takes her to the vet and Mia is diagnosed with diabetes and eventually loses her eyesight.  As Laurie attempts to befriend this dog and teaches her how to function in the world without sight, Laurie learns many lessons that brings her closer to God and helps her see how blind she has been for years.  She says, "My dog was blind...but now I see."

One of the last conversations in this book is very profound about hope, "Mia taught me that blind hope doesn't grope around in the darkness trying to find the way.  Blind hope doesn't depend on what it can feel.  Blind hope depends on what it knows!  Authentic hope depends on what is true.  Hope that is real doesn't come from what we can see --it comes from our heart, from the inside out.  It comes from Christ alone."  (Pg 170)

I loved when Laurie shares about Mia's rescue and how she teaches her to navigate in the world.  The antidotes were very good and held my attention.  From a writer's standpoint, though, there is much telling in this book and not enough showing.  Every time Laurie switches from talking about Mia to how her little blind dog has taught her more about God, my eyes rolled and I skipped paragraphs and skimmed pages.  It was very good stuff but all so predictable.  Nothing was left to the reader to grasp on her own.  Everything was spelled out in a way that began to annoy me.

Kim has written more books about the happenings of her ranch.  I imagine they are wonderful and would love to get my hands on a couple of them.  The ranch sounds like an awesome place and God moves big in their midst.  I do appreciate the spiritual truths in this books, don't get me wrong.  I hope that people who love dogs and/or are young Christians will take hold of this book and be blessed.


Christ is Come! Christmas, 2010

>> Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010 has come and gone.  It seems like I have time to breathe now and catch up on rest before school starts up again in January.  Jim, Nik, and I got together with Jim's side of the family on Christmas Eve.  It's so hard with Ruth gone.  It's funny how the mom is the glue to a family.  She certainly is missed, especially by her two granddaughters, Kristen and Jenna.  I think they truly feel it more than anyone, or at least express it more than anyone else.

Christmas day was spent with Ryan, Kristen, and Nik.  It's so different now that they're older.  We didn't buy one toy.  How sad is that?  It was good to get together with our little family. Kristen made it from the south on some slick roads.  It took lots to get Ryan home from the north.  He went into the ditch twice, requiring two tow trucks and after the second time, he parked it and rode home with Jim.  That was an expensive trip home and puts a whole new spin on, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.  Whoever dreams that certainly isn't waiting for family to come through the bad weather!

When we were on our way to town to do our last minute Christmas shopping (our shopping was last minute from the very first, by the way), I heard this song, Christ is Come, and it really made Christmas come alive in my heart where Scrooge's bah humbug was lurking. Christ did come and He is alive, making each day worth living, even though it gets very hard at times.  Christ is come and He will come again.  I look forward to the days ahead in 2011.



>> Friday, December 24, 2010

Mari is hosting a special edition of Christmas Friday Fiction.  Go over to her blog to read some great stories.  Merry Christmas everyone!


“Nat, don’t wake us up until seven, okay? That’s the earliest,” her mom warned as she tucked her into bed. 

Natalie looked at her funny. 

Her mom repeated, “I mean it. Not 5:30. Not 6:00. Seven o’clock. Got it?”

“Okay, Mommy,” she said after a big sigh. “Love you.”

“Love you, too. Christmas will be here before you know it. It’s just a dream away.”

A dream away. That’s what Natalie thought about as she drifted off to sleep. She dreamt of presents piled high under the tree. She dreamt of Barbie dolls and Easy Bake Ovens. She dreamt of singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus as she shared a big piece of cake with Him. Before she knew it, a little sun had peeked in through her window. It was morning. She shot straight up and checked the clock. 

Too early. It was too early. Natalie lay back down. She fiddled with her blankie until it was in several knots. She sat up and flopped back down. She thought about what it would be like to have a brother or sister to wait with. Surely that would be much more fun. 

Natalie sat at the edge of her bed. Her bare feet hung down, almost touching her fuzzy pink bunny slippers. She eyed the alarm clock with disdain as she thought about the conversation with her mom just the night before.

She knew she would be in trouble if she went even a minute before seven o’clock but waiting was so very hard for a five-year-old. 

She got up from her bed and peeked out the window. Her footed PJ’s kept her warm as she watched soft white snow flakes fall from the sky. The first snow of the season is a perfect Christmas present straight from God to her and every other child in the city. She pressed her nose to the cool window. This made her shiver.

She scooted back into bed and got under the covers. She eyed the clock again. It was not much later than all the other times she looked. She sighed. She twirled her hair. She unknotted her blanket. 

Natalie began the Christmas countdown the beginning of December. It seemed to go so slow she could hardly stand it. But this – this was so much worse. This countdown to seven was a killer. 

She sat up and took a good long look at the clock again. Surely it must be time… but no, only another minute had passed. Wrapped up in her blanket, she closed her eyes and started talking to Jesus. 

“Happy birthday, Jesus. I’m excited it’s finally here. Mommy won’t let me wake her up yet. Jesus? I need to ask You something. Is it the same if I get up but don’t wake my parents?” Natalie sat quietly. She listened to see if Jesus happened to answer her. 

She lay back down. She sat up. She looked again. Frowned…lay back down…got back up. This time she went to the door and opened it just a bit. She listened. All she could hear were snores coming from her Daddy. She turned around and looked at the clock again and gave it a cross-eyed stare. She looked up, as if giving Jesus a last chance to chime in with His answer. Hearing none, she opened the door wider and slipped out. 

The hallway was darker than she expected. She wasn’t used to being up this early by herself. She tip-toed past her parent’s room; listened, and then crept on by. She set her mind on her goal… the Christmas tree. She stood in wide-eyed wonder as she looked at the decorated room. A pink bike sat in the corner. She ran over to it and felt the smooth seat. She itched to ring the bell but didn’t. 

The old cuckoo clock started to chirp and scared her spit less. She stopped in her tracks and counted. One… two… three… four… five… six… seven… Seven. It was seven o’clock! She ran back down the hallway and rushed into her parent’s room without even bothering to knock. 

“Mommy! Daddy! It’s seven o’clock. She jumped onto the bed and made a big splash, and almost spilled her Daddy out of the water bed. 

“Merry Christmas, Nat,” her daddy croaked with his deep morning voice. 

“Oh Daddy. I’ve been up forever. I didn’t think it would ever get to be seven. I’ve been up since 6-5-0.”

“6-5-0 huh? That is a long time. Merry Christmas, NatNat.”



>> Wednesday, December 22, 2010

After school today, our last one before Christmas vacation, I watched a silly movie that makes me cry every time - Jack Frost.  It's bad theology and it just plain doesn't make sense yet it touches me like few movies do.  Weird, I know.

Jack is a musician that puts his career first many times, before his wife and son, Charlie.  The time he decides to change his mind and not be gone for Christmas, he is killed in an accident during bad weather trying to get to their cabin.  So sad.

It whips you instantly to a year later.  Charlie's still grieving and lost.  He builds a snowman, like his father did with him that last winter, and then he finally got around to playing the harmonica his dad had given him.  His dad told him it was magic.  He would hear it from wherever he was and would come back to Charlie.  When Jack came back, though, he was a snowman, of course.

This snowman, I mean, Father, got a Christmas do-over, or a life do-over.  In truth, none of us get this.  When our time on earth is done, it's done.  Intentional living should be our mindset for 2011.  We really should live each day like it's our last because we just never know.  It could be.

The movie also got me thinking about do-over's.  There is so much in life that I would love to do over again.  My fear, though, is I would make the very same mistakes.  The do-over would be a bust and total waste of time.  How frustrating a thought is that?  ugh.

A comforting thought is that each morning we wake up with a clean slate.  God forgives us each and every time we ask and He gives us another day to make things right.  We're here to rock our little part of the world. Hug more.  Express our love in a good old fashioned phrase, I LOVE YOU.  Pass out compliments when they are deserved.  Share our faith by the choices we make and by what comes out of our mouths.  Live life BIG.  We've only got one life to live.  I want to live my life to the fullest and experience God's mercies every single day.

Just like a fresh snowfall in the night, no discoloring, no footprints - I want a fresh slate - no past mistakes to haunt me or make me freeze up in fear.  This isn't a 2011 resolution - living intentionally.  It's a right now one. Living life big will not be error-free.  It will be full of glaring mistakes and embarrassments.  I'm so glad I have a God who forgives and friends and family who will do the same.


Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball

>> Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul, is a whimsical little Christmas novella published by Waterbrook Press.  The best I can describe it is a Christian fairy tale with a good dose of romance, mystery, and drama.  It's a short book so it's a fast read - perfect for this busy Christmas season.

I really fell in love with the author's characters:

Cora is a young, unmarried, Christian, working woman with a past that she is constantly running away from, especially from her evil nemesis, Zee.  Cora calls her family's soap opera life, "Tomorrow's Sorrows," because whatever choices they make one day become their problems the next. 

Simon is one of Cora's boss'.  He is a serious-minded, focused, hard-working man but when he leaves work, he goes home to his mother, grandfather, aunt, and little sister, Sandy -- all fun-loving and loves the Lord lots.

Sandy is special.  She says about herself, "I won't grow up.  It's an advantage I cherish.  A gift from Jesus."  I love how she explains her special needs to Cora.  

Simon and Cora met at a very mysterious bookstore.  Soon, the serious Simon grew to love the messed-up Cora, but he wouldn't admit it.  He loved how Cora could make Sandy so happy but Cora seemed to give him indigestion.  

The Christmas Ball is the event that finally seals their romance.  I really don't want to ruin the book for would-be readers so I won't share anymore of the story.  The characters are fantastic; you will fall in love with them quickly.

One thing about the book that gives me pause is the wizards.  They are explained but honestly, I think the author could have written the book without them and it would have been just as good or better.  Mixing in wizards and so much magic is a little scary to me.  If Mrs. Paul wrote about angels down on earth creating all this interactions and mystery, it would have been easier to swallow.  

I do like how the author used so much scripture.  I truly enjoyed the book but, in the back of my mind, I had to keep wrestling with the wizards.  I guess this is a mixed review.  I loved it yet I have some reservations about recommending it.  



>> Monday, November 22, 2010

Currently, I am being held for ransom by a ruthless and conniving bacteria found in my spinal fluid during a tap.  It hasn't stated the terms for my release yet, so for now, it's winning because of it's sheer will to stay silent.  It has made it's home in me - rude little critters.  

Meanwhile, my supporters are doing all they can to try to knock it out before it has it's own way.  I am tethered to an IV pole where they are putting large doses of antibiotics into my system.  

This is what I know about the perp at this time:

#1 -- it's a wimpy bacteria.  In spite of it thinking it's so tough, it's still considered a wimpy little thing.  No wonder it works so hard.  It must keep up it's bad act.

#2 -- googling wimpy bacteria, I came across these:
(I don't think Wimpy was quite what Doctor Frim had in mind so I will continue to search.)

#3 -- Diary of a Wimpy Kid - ummm...nope

#4 -- and then I gave up:(  Nothing popped up that was an easy read.  

The wimpy thing appears to be winning or else he escaped while the getting was good.  But, unbeknownst to the wimp, I have mega-minds on my side.  bruahaha!

Today, there is supposed to be a meeting of those mega-minds.  But, as of 10:05 AM, Monday morning, the minds are not of 'one-mind.'  My neurosurgeon believes there is no infection but the infectious disease specialist still think there is.  We will see who wins this debate.

I won't be the winner if they decide my shunt needs to be taken out yet it's also the safest thing to do if there is indecision.  In my quest to find a doctor who could figure out what was going on with me, I was led to the University of Chicago, where some of the best and the brightest work miracles every day.

It is truly 'big for a reason' - people come here because they get results.  And I'm praying that the doctors become super intelligent with superior reasoning skills to stop this would-be intruder in it's tracks.  It's been in me before and knows his way around. 

And because my friend, Mari, included a picture of her cutie doctor on her blog, who, " speaks very good English, but with a thick accent. His smile, humor, and semi-sweet dark chocolate complexion..."  I will do the same:)  

I continually perplex Dr. Frim.  In that perplexion, I'm sure it's making him stronger (or else he wants to wring my neck, not really sure which.)

And so...I'm still in the hospital...waiting...waiting for my team of megaminds to come together in a logical conclusion to this crazy conundrum.

P.S.  So...the latest - I am now home as of last night late. Jim braved the rainy, windy, 50 degree weather to save me.  3 hours there for him and 3 back with supper in between.  What a guy:)

The MegaMinds decided to send me home with no antibiotics to see what my body does.  So far - I'm feeling GREAT!  Best I have in a long time.  Hoping I get to stay home and not make my way back to Chicago.  I seem to be there for the holidays way too often.

I am sprung from the pole (IV) and feeling fine:)  Thanks for all your prayers and concern for me.  And so my life with IH continues...  It's ups and downs, triumphs, and failures.  I'm so grateful to have caring and megaMind-ish doctors who just love a challenge (that would be me:)  


Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

>> Sunday, November 7, 2010

I received two books in the mail this week and could hardly wait to start reading them.  Of course, this one I chose to read first because of the topic.  Amy Inspired, written by Bethany Pierce, is about an aspiring writer suffering a bad case of writer's block.

The book is written in twenty-nine year old Amy's point of view with her thoughts and feelings, however horrid or messed up they are.  I kept looking at the back cover to make sure it was actually from Bethany House.  This book is unlike any other Christian book I've read.  It's real.  Full of real people with pasts they aren't particularly proud of and all trying to make their way in a world that appears to cater to married couples.

"My mother had always instructed me to live life before settling down, settling down requiring a seismic shift in one's energy, from adventure to nurture.  The fault in her admonition was the assumption that meeting a man marked the end of the journey.  I grew up thinking the single life was the rising action and marriage the climax.  Every writer knows climax is followed by denouement: in other words, it's all downhill after the wedding."  (p. 94)

The author goes right to the edge and pulls the reader back again, much like our lives are played out each day - with each choice we make and every memory from our past that haunts us and shapes our futures.

The book touches on many different issues: divorce, cancer, new babies, cutting, death, sexuality...  If you are an avid reader but get tired of the feel-good, everything-turns-out-right-at-the-end in so many Christian books, I recommend you check out this author.  I certainly will be looking for other books written by Bethany Pierce.


Our Hope Endures

>> Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This song, Our Hope Endures, by Natalie Grant, is special to me. It speaks to my heart. It brings back memories of when Mari sang it for a special in her church one day when I was there. It's my heart's cry.  Our hope endures the worst of conditions...

So many are hurting right now. A little boy named Casey, going through chemotherapy and his mama that walks each step with him. Friends getting over surgeries, others that live with chronic pain or looking for a diagnosis. Many with financial problems, hard decisions to make, young adults figuring out their future... So much. But God gives us hope and that hope helps us to endure it all. I honestly don't know what I would do without my faith in God.

"When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it." 

--2 Corinthians 1:7 (The Message)


Within My Heart, Bethany House Book Review

>> Saturday, October 9, 2010

I've just finished the last page of the book, Within My Heart, by Tamera Alexander, and the tears still fall.  Wow!  I think this is one of the best fiction Christian books I've read in awhile.

The book is about a young widowed mother of two boys trying to overcome the pain of her husband's death while taking care of their ranch in Timber Ridge, Colorado in 1877.  The book starts out a bit confusing but now that I'm finished, I see how cleverly she set up future scenes.

Rachel, thanks to her father, has extensive medical knowledge but because of his emotional abuse to her, she spurns any thoughts of becoming friends with the the young (single) physician in the small town - who, we learn, battles his own fears.

There is also an older couple, Ben and Lyda, who have their own struggles but cling to each other and God like there is no tomorrow.

Charlie Daggert helps Rachel on the ranch as much as he can while he helps out Ben in his shop and many other odd jobs.  This man is full of secrets and, as I read, was hoping they would be revealed, and they were.

This book is definitely a romance in every aspect of the word:  an older couple shows us how to love against all odds; a widower shows us how to love her boys and carry on after the death of her beloved husband; a young doctor shows us how to love God and give Him all the credit for his knowledge and accomplishments in his field of work; and it shows new love, full of fear but ready to keep loving the past yet love the future just as much or more.

What impressed me the most about this book was how the author tied up all the loose ends.  Not all at the end, either.  I followed her through each twist and turn and never quite had the path figured out, especially not the ending.  Wow!  Great book.  I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good historical romance.  Her descriptions are a bit edgier than what I've read from other Christian romance authors but I liked it.  Very true to life.


City On Our Knees, by Toby Mac

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

I have to say, "WOW!" I love this book, City On Our Knees, by Toby Mac.  Kids picked it up while it sat on my public high school desk, and marveled at its cover.  It is a pretty slick, hardbound book.  One kid even mentioned he loved that Toby Mac song.  It's awesome to see who the Christian kids are (and seeing them live out that Christian life.)

"If we gotta start somewhere why not here," on the front cover, says it all.  We are in this world - let's do something to make it better.  This book is a collection of short true stories of people - very young to old, from the past and current, who have or who are making a difference in our world.

As I read it, I wrote down page numbers of things I wanted to go back to write on. Page 129, I said, was my favorite.  I just now looked it up and it was the story of Charles Spurgeon and the orphanage he started.  One day he had no idea where the children's breakfast was coming from.  The kids all sat and they prayed at their empty plates.  Then someone at the door knocked....  I'll let you read that awesome story.  I'd heard it before but it still reminds me of the power of prayer.

"Prayer itself is an art which only the Holy Spirit can teach us. Pray for prayer. Pray until you can really pray."  -- Charles Spurgeon
Another favorite, probably my most favorite of all, is about a woman during the Dwight L. Moody days.  She was sick and unable to go to church.  She prayed while homebound and her prayers blessed Pastor Moody in ways he didn't understand until he met her.  One thing this woman did was have a birthday book.  I think it was like a yearly calendar.  She had people's birthdays written in there that she wanted to pray for.  She said this, "Now, will you write your name on your birthday page, and let me pray for you until either you or I go home."  Wow!  That is a ministry.  This woman's name was Marianne Adlard.  What a powerful woman she was because she loved God and believed in the power of prayer!

These are all stories from the past but the ones in the present are awesome, too. I highly recommend this book.  It really is a quick read and it's set up much like a blog, very trendy.  It's great for all ages, tweens, teens, to us 'old people.'

The author has his own prayers scattered throughout, along with verses from the Bible that fit each story. I will end this review with his:

Prayer of Hope.

Dear loving God,
Help us to remember, when we begin to lose hope,
that all the darkness in the world
is just a speck in Your light,
a light that fills the universe.
when pain and confusion invade our lives,
Let us not rely on our own resources.
Instead, lead us to seek answers on our knees.
Lord, show us Your way,
Lord,lead us to Your destination.
We thank You for being our beacon of hope,
A beacon we can always see, if we will only look.


Dancing in the Minefields

>> Saturday, October 2, 2010

I watched a music video this morning that is awesome and I wanted to share it - Andrew Peterson's, Dancing in the Minefields.

Wow!  This song reminds me of many couples who have danced in the minefields, sailed in the storms, lived and are living through times that are harder than they ever dreamed they would live.

  • A pastor and his wife, living for God no matter what.  
  • Two different husbands going through physical hardships and both wives sticking close and making the most of each day.  
  • My parents are the ultimate example for me.  They married very young, at 16 and 17, had kids when they were still young, they brought us all up in the Christian faith, they had their own troubles but they stuck together.  Are sticking together.  Will forever stick together.  That is one thing I can know because God is in the center of their lives.  They've danced through their own minefields and have survived and have grown closer because of it.  

Jim and I both dance in our minefield.  Both struggle with some physical problems but are learning to cling together through it all.

I'm praying this Saturday will bind us closer together to the ones we love.  Maybe even have take some time to cheer on another couple facing hardships.  Praying for these couple friends of mine, that they will continue to dance, always together, through the storms that blow their way. Thank you for being an example when the world screams the answer - DIVORCE.   Is hard to dance alone, for sure.


We went dancing in the minefields 

We went sailing in the storm 

And it was harder than we dreamed 

But I believe that’s what the promise was for 

Well ‘I do’ are the two most famous last words 

The beginning of the end 

But to lose your life for another I’ve heard is a good place to begin 

Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down 

And I believe it’s an easy price for the life that we have found 


Masquerade by Nancy Moser

>> Friday, September 24, 2010

The book, Masquerade, deposited in my mailbox one day by Bethany House, is truly a delight to read.  A realist, or someone that doesn’t believe in God’s divine providence, will not appreciate this book.  Even I shook my head at times at how neatly the bow was tied yet it is a reminder, when we allow God to be at the Helm, miracles can and do happen.  He is a miracle-working God, for sure.

Nancy Moser crafted a book that will stay with me.  The thesis she based everything on is this, “Who are we and who are we expected to be?”  Polar opposites collide:  rich/poor; society girl/maid; good/bad.

Lottie, a spoiled British young woman, agrees to go to America to marry into a very rich family.  Her maid, Dora, goes along as a companion.   Lottie, used to getting her own way, comes up with a plan of deception and Dora is quick to comply.

This historical romance is not always a fun read.  It deals with some difficult issues faced in the United States in the late 1800’s such as sweat shops and tenement housing.  Miss Moser plops us right into that era and we become a part of the action.

Her letter to the reader at the end of the book is also well worth the read.  She reminds us that challenges grow us into the person God intended for us to be.  She writes, “Life is not the process of discovering who we are but of discovering who we are supposed to be.”  As with every good romance, “God has finished our (Dora and her betrothed) story” yet let me go on to say that there together story has just begun.  Maybe a sequel?  We can only hope!


Hot Air Balloon Moments...

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

My brother-in-law and niece are hot air balloon enthusiasts.  As I searched through Jenna's pictures, I saw this prayer:

The Balloonist Prayer
The winds have welcomed 
you with softness
The sun has blessed you with 
his warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of mother earth.

It sounds wonderful, like you are able to hop in and enjoy a ride in the sunset or sunrise.  Not so, though.  It's lots of work.  The basket is unloaded.  The balloon is laid out.  The propane tanks filled and set up....  So much more than I know, for sure, even though I've watched this process.

But just think of the ride.  All that hard work has to be worth it.  And not only is it worth it, it's mandatory!  If something is done wrong, it could be a fateful day.

Imagine floating up in the clouds...  Ahhhh...  No wonder Jenna loves it so much.  I'm sure she would say she feels lots closer to God up there.

Airplanes are to get us somewhere, which is good.  I love when the plane takes me to Washington to fall into a Mari hug again and I love when it brings me back home to my family.

Balloons are different, though.  They don't take you TO anywhere.  It's wherever the wind directs.  And the journey is enjoyable.  The chase vehicles try to plot the plan so they can pack everything up and take balloon and riders back to every day, normal life.  Being in that vehicle is a crazy ride in itself:)  Trust me!

I want my life to be blown by God.  I don't want to book my flight according to my plans, and stay on that course no matter what.  I would choose the most direct plan to get me there the quickest.  Funny that my most memorable flights are the ones that were bumpy and a bit scary but exciting.

I want God to direct my paths every single second, even though it may be through a storm or two or five.  Along the way, He also points out others going through their own storms.  How much more empathy do we have when going through our own?  So much more.
You have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of mother earth.

and to change this poem a bit, our last ride will be into the Loving Arms of our Father, where, I hope He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Not sure what my ride will be today, this Monday or this week, not even this year.  Whatever, though, I know KNOW that God will be with me every single step of the way - through calm weather and gale force winds.  Sometimes I even get to stand up in that bucket and look down and see how far I've gone or I can look out to see what's ahead.  Life's truly a journey, and until God takes us up, up, and away...I will live that journey to the fullest.

Airplanes take us to...  Hot air balloons allow us to experience a moment.  God gives us so many moments but sometimes they get buried in the storms.

Praying for more 'hot air balloon' moments in our lives.  Stop.  Listen.  Sing.  Dance.  Remember how great is God's faithfulness.  


National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

>> Monday, September 13, 2010

This is the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week.  Check out this website, whether you have a chronic illness or know someone that does.    Below is a story I wrote for FW about a mother suffering from a chronic illness and her daughter who is made to walk through it with her mom.  My kids have had to do that and still are.  Chronic illnesses are far-reaching and have long-lasting effects on everyone it touches.

Mommy's Sick

The bell rang and kids flooded the courtyard of Washington Grade School. Allison looked around from the top of the steps until she found her friend, and then ran to catch up with the short, red-haired girl named Gracie. 

“Wanna come to my house and play?” Allison stood face-to-face with Gracie, hands on hips, waiting for an answer. 

“I dunno. I have to ask Mommy.” Gracie shuffled her feet, looked over at her mom who waited in the van, and then looked back at Allison. “Um, some other time, okay?” 

Allison scrunched up her face. “Gracie, you used to be my best friend!” She stomped her little booted foot and marched off in the opposite direction. 

Gracie stood on the sidewalk and watched her very best friend walk away mad. She bent down and picked up her back pack and walked slowly to her mom, trying to hold back the tears.

Rachel beeped the horn to move her pokey daughter along. “Gracie, come on.” 

“Hi, Mommy.” Gracie plopped her bag into the van and hopped in, her face bright and cheery. 

“How was school?” Sunglasses hid her mother’s eyes, as always. Gracie forgot what they even looked like.

“Fine.” Gracie looked behind her and saw Allison’s van right behind theirs. She caught Allison’s eye and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” Allison turned away and pretended not to see. 

“Mommy? Can I go to Allison’s house sometime?” Gracie waited for an answer, and twitched her foot in anticipation. 

Rachel looked at Gracie through the rear-view mirror. “I guess it would be okay. When?”

“Um, sometime soon. If she ever asks me again, that is.” Gracie muttered that last part under her breath

“What, Gracie? You’re mumbling again.” 

“I said, ‘whenever she asks me.’ That’s when.” She sat head down, and watched both feet as they twitched. 

“Stop thumping the back of the seat,” Rachel snapped. “It hurts my head.”

“Everything hurts your head, Mommy! I can’t go anywhere, I can’t have friends over.” The tears she had been holding back now fell from Gracie’s eyes. 

“I can’t deal with this now. Please…” Gracie hung her head, sopping up the tears on her coat sleeve. 

The drive home was made in silence except for sniffling from the back seat. Before the van even stopped, Gracie jumped out and ran inside. 

“Supper is on the table. I need to go lay down,” Rachel called to the back side of her daughter. 

“What’s new?” Gracie ate as she flipped through channels. The quietness of the house was too much so she turned the TV on loud. 

She jumped when she heard the phone. “Hello?” 

“Hi, Gracie!” 


“What’s Mommy doing?”

Gracie sighed. 

“Oh, in bed again, huh? I’m sorry. You know Mommy’s sick.” 

Tears welled up in her eyes. She could barely talk because of the lump in her throat. “I know, Daddy. Mommy’s always sick. When is she going to be unsick?” 

“I don’t know, Honey.”

"She hates me and I hate her.” 

“She loves you. You know you love her, too. I have to go now. Tell Mommy I called when she wakes up. Okay?”

Gracie groaned, “Okay. When are you coming home?”

“Tomorrow morning. Be a big girl and take care of Mommy for me. I love you.”

“Love you, Daddy.”

Gracie snuck into her mother’s dark room. She pulled back the comforter and inched her way onto her Daddy’s side of the bed, careful not to jiggle. She ached to feel her mother’s arms around her. 

Rachel woke and pulled Gracie close, enveloping her in her arms and up against her warm body. “I’m so sorry, Honey,” Rachel whispered. “I hate being sick and I hate how it hurts you.”

“I hate it too, Mommy, but I love you.” Gracie snuggled up even closer and let the warmth of her mom’s body help heal her lonely one. 

In the morning, Gracie’s dad, tiptoed into the room and found his two favorite girls lying in bed together. Rachel lay curled into a ball and Gracie was tucked up inside. Gracie’s head lay on her mom’s outstretched arm and they both were smiling dreamily. 

“Lord,” Chris prayed quietly. “I shouldn’t have worried; You’re taking care of Rachel and Gracie just fine. We don’t know what the future holds with this illness but we do know that You are in control.” Chris climbed into bed beside Gracie and wrapped his arm around them both and drew them close. “Please help us, Lord.”

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP