Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet Snowy Saturday

Today brought unexpected surprises in the way of a light powdery dusting to the High Desert. We got snow. As magical as it floats, swirls and dances, I thought about those of you that about now, are quite sick of seeing all the white stuff. While for us, it creates a magical moment because it's a special time when we get to see it.

We love to feel as though we are encapsulated in a snow globe and from time to time today, we watched once more as God smiles down from the heavens to give us a shake and let the beautiful snow fall once more.

It hasn't accumulated so we can fully enjoy it, but just watching the dance, I feel like we've been caught up in a private dance between two people who are madly in love and sharing their first dance.

I hope you all have a very magical Saturday and spend time making memories today no matter what you are doing. Enjoy it all.

My nephew is home from his back surgery slowly beginning his healing process and learning how to walk and move without injuring himself during this time. He will begin physical therapy soon though that process will be slow going. We continue to pray for him and hope that his heart begins to heal as well during this time. Thank you for all your continued prayers. We have a God that loves to show His love for us and will take care of all things in His timing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Prayer Urgently Needed - Update 7:15pm

Josh is being kept heavily sedated and on heart medicine to stabilize his heart. Both of his parents are concerned because his blood pressure keeps going up and down, and his heartbeat is irregular at this time. The pressure in one of his lungs is twice what it should be and they will be retesting Josh in two days to see if he has any improvement. So over the next few days we really need to have constant prayer and please tell everyone you know to pray for him.

He is truly an amazing young man who has the potential for greatness. He loves the Lord with all his heart and would gladly love to know you are praying for him. I'll keep you updated as we hear anything more. His parents have left the hospital tonight as they are going to keep him as quiet and comfortable as they can for the next few days.

Again standing on the prayer and promise of Jeremiah 29:11 " I know the plans I have for you, Josh, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."

Please get well Josh, we love and miss you dearly and can't wait for you to come home. Believing it will happen and you will be just fine!

Update on Josh's Surgery - Prayers Requested Please!

(Josh just before surgery at 7:30am)

Update as of 2/17/2011 at 4:25pm.

Josh is out of surgery and is in recovery now. He did well except for an irregular heartbeat at the beginning of his surgery and just at the end where his blood pressure dropped and once more had an irregular heartbeat. They believe it's just due to being put out but they are having a cardiologist stop by tomorrow just to check him out. They don't want to take any changes. Great news is that he will have a new back to last a lifetime. Please keep praying that all the results will be very good and that all the irregular heartbeat was is due to being put under. His mom is so super relieved.

Urgent Prayer Request for My Nephew Joshua

Update as of 2/17/2011 at 4:25pm.

Josh is out of surgery and is in recovery now. He did well except for an irregular heartbeat at the beginning of his surgery and just at the end where his blood pressure dropped and once more had an irregular heartbeat. They believe it's just due to being put out but they are having a cardiologist stop by tomorrow just to check him out. They don't want to take any changes. Great news is that he will have a new back to last a lifetime. Please keep praying that all the results will be very good and that all the irregular heartbeat was is due to being put under. His mom is so super relieved.


Prayer Warriors, friends and family!!!

Please lift up my nephew Joshua today as he enters surgery this morning for his back. He's 18 and is undergoing a corrective back surgery to correct a 25% curvature in his spine. The surgery is expected to begin this morning at 7am PST and last 8 hours. He is terrified and didn't sleep well as he doesn't really know just what to expect. Like all of us, surgery is scary but I promised him that we would all pray for him today!

He will then be admitted to ICU for the next 24 hours and then hopefully with God's grace be admitted to a regular room for a couple days before heading home.

His next three months will be filled with physical therapy and will be required to wear a brace from his chin to his hips when he isn't sleeping.

(Great Sense of Humor - ALWAYS can make you laugh!)

  • We are praying for God's provision in guiding the surgeons hand.

  • Praying that it isn't as bad as the doctor's are diagnosing it will be.

  • Praying that Josh will make it home soon and be with family again.

(This is how we are used to seeing Josh, always wearing a hoodie!)

I'll keep you posted as I get updates but thank you in advance for your prayers.

(Josh and Caitlyn at his graduation last year! ~ BCF ~ Best Cousin's Forever!)

Praying Jeremiah 29:11 over Joshua. "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope!"

We love you Josh and know that God's got you covered!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The World of Awe!

I keep finding myself going back to my childhood days. The days that were carefree, fun, and not filled with the day to day worries and stresses that overwhelm us at times. People use to say we need to incorporate more fun into our days.

I think we need to be more like dolphins, they keep their lives balanced with priorities and fun. I mean nothing beats a huge leap from the water playing with your best friends. Seeing who can splash who first!

That's why it's great to spend time with kids. When we do, we see something we may have never noticed before because we've been there and done that too many times that it's no longer exciting anymore.

Spend the day with a child who is 2-3 years old, just beginning to talk. Look at all the things that they find amusing. From watching a bug walk across the sidewalk, to gathering a handful of dandelions because they look beautiful and they think you need flowers. Gather in that sense of awe from their perspective.

They are seeing these things for the very first time, much like you or I would if we spent our lives blind and suddenly found ourselves with sight.

Have you ever thought about it that way before? They are seeing these things for the first time which is why they can squat down and watch ants cross the sidewalk. Or look at the shapes and magnificent colors of a sunset or sunrise. Those both still get to me. They are pictures that are never the same in God's perfect sky. One of a kind masterpieces.

Yet we need to find our sense of wonder and awe once more. Our attitudes will begin to reflect that change when we can see things with fresh eyes. Perhaps once again we can find that fun and make it a part of our life again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Legacy of Love Letters

In celebration of love this Valentine's Day, I thought I would share a story I found in my email today of America's longest married presidential couple and how they keep love alive. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone on of the readers of my blog and especially to Jesus Christ, my personal Savior and my husband, Steve who remains my steadfast best friend and husband in this earthly life.

Here's the story:

Former President George H. W. Bush has had many accomplishments during his life.

In high school alone he was already showing his leadership skills as president of the senior class, secretary of the student council, president of the community fund-raising group, a member of the editorial board of the school newspaper, and captain of both the varsity baseball and soccer teams.

After the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Bush (Sr.) postponed going to college and became the youngest aviator (just days after his 19th birthday) in the US Navy at the time.

Just weeks after his return from the Pacific he married Barbara Pearce who he met at a dance when he was 17 and she was 16. Shortly thereafter he went to Yale University, graduating in 2-1/2 years rather than 4 on an accelerated program.

They are the longest married presidential couple in history having married in Jan 1945. Of course we know that George H. W. Bush became a Vice President, then our President, then the father of a President and through all his accomplishments, accolades and 12 years in the White House one thing remained constant….

President George Bush and Mrs. Bush always wrote love letters to each other. Lovingly, their granddaughter Jenna interviewed them and it seems fitting to share their story today on Valentines Day.

President Bush (Sr.) has stated that he thinks that “writing” love letters in this day of texting and emails is becoming a thing of the past. I hope their passionate story will stir all of us to see the powerful emotions that the written word can evoke even decades later and inspire us to write our own to those we love.

Click Here for the video link to the story that aired on the Today show.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

13 Years and Still Going Strong

It's hard to look back and not find something that doesn't bring a smile to my face when I think of the man who came into my life almost 16 years ago and asked me to be his wife, 3 years into being my best friend.

Yes, today we are celebrating "Lucky" number 13 of our anniversary! Even though each month on the 9th we still try to be the first one to say Happy Anniversary for every month. Today, Steve won at some point in the wee hours of the morning while it was still yet dark.

Yet we both are winners in marriage when today's society calls for divorce as easily as it is for people to quit jobs or drop classes in school when the going gets tough. We have had our ups and downs, even though Steve confessed its' been 13 wonderful years, I had to admit to him, it hasn't always been wonderful but there is still no person I would want to fight with more than him and walk through the rest of my time serving God here on Earth with.

I can rest in God's assurance that I will have an eternity with him and we will celebrate our time spent here on Earth with every other Christian. To me, besides God, there isn't a better person who knows all my quirks, moods, and deepest secrets and yet still remains the person I want to see at the end of the day and first thing in the mornings. He is all that and a bag of chips!

I don't want to give you the idea that any marriage is gumdrops and rainbows, but with God's help and a strong sense of our spiritual ideas and beliefs, we can weather any storm. It's through conflicts in our marriage that we can see the greatest growth. Some years we've grown so much more than others but in the end, God has the best plan in place when after a rough divorce, he presented me with the greatest gift in holding on to Him and my faith in God.

Steve is that gift, and like the Bible promises, what the enemy intends for our harm, God will use for good. God turned my divorce into a promise of a new beginning and in that has rewarded me for my perseverance in Him. Steve has stood by me as our boat has sailed through calm waters, rough storms and even a few hurricanes, but we look to our greatest source of navigation and see that God knows how this will turn out.

When I asked Steve what his greatest memory has been of our time together, he said it was waking up every morning, or almost every morning, with me. Life in my opinion can only get better as each day goes by.

Happy Anniversary to the Best Gift God could have blessed me with. I love you Steve!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Seeing Things Through God's Eyes

Every once in awhile we get the feeling like there is more to learn in something we experience. Over time we can look back and truly see the hand of God in it and then the lesson comes full circle.

Some say since they can't see God, it's hard for them to relate to Him. How can you draw near to someone you can't see or have never seen? Yet if we are willing to look hard enough to seek Him out, He reveals Himself to us all the time, if we are only willing to look.

Today, my youngest daughter, Kailee is experiencing fear and stress beyond anything she has ever dealt with. That's her personal opinion about it anyway. She is going to the dentist today at 3pm. She really wanted her dad with her, but he is working pretty far away today and even as hard as he tries, I know he won't make it home in time. So I will be with her.

This isn't her first visit to the dentist, but it something that needs to be addressed right away. One of her baby teeth doesn't want to leave and is causing her permanent tooth to grow over the top of it. I can probably see that the dentist will want to pull that little baby tooth out of the way. Yet it's that fear of the unknown and probable pain that is causing tears and anxiety for her. This will not be a fun day.

I know in the end, she won't feel the pain she fears in her mind, and it will all be perfect after it's all said and done. Yet as a parent, we can see the bigger picture here. We can see how this will all work out.

Why then, when we face our own fears can we see things like we do when we are the parents dealing with it with our children? Don't we see that God knows how it will all turn out? That He understands our stress, our fears, our anxieties? He really wants us to dump it all on Him and cry out to Him. He won't necessarily take it away from us, just like Kailee's tooth won't fall out today before we head into the dentist, but there is a lesson to be learned in everything that happens to us daily.

Trust God.

Lean On Him.

He is the only thing that NEVER changes and remains constant.

He will never LEAVE you or FORSAKE you.

In the end, as we look back, we can see that we dealt with the fear and anxiety and most of the time, we created more of it than what we actually had to deal with. Isn't the enemy funny like that? He wants us stressed beyond belief to the point of bringing us to tears and losing sleep.

Yet God, is like me today, reassuring Kailee that I am here, I will be holding her hand, and I will be with her every step of the way. When it's over, that fear will be gone and she will have passed her test of faith. Believing us in what we tell her and seeing through her own eyes that faith does prevail if you are willing to take that first step and try.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow, but please lift her up in prayer today as she works through her day today.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Which Balloons Will You Want, Pink Or Blue?

I found this in my email this week and it so profoundly affected me I shared it with my husband. What an interesting way that Max Lucado shared how we view death and how Heaven views it. Now it has impacted me so deeply I will never view the death of someone the same. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

When Death Becomes Birth
by Max Lucado

You, as all God's children, live one final breath from your own funeral. Which, from God's perspective, is nothing to grieve. He responds to these grave facts with this great news: "The day you die is better than the day you are born" (Eccles. 7:1). Now there is a twist. Heaven enjoys a maternity-ward reaction to funerals. Angels watch body burials the same way grandparents monitor delivery-room doors. "He'll be coming through any minute!" They can't wait to see the new arrival. While we're driving hearses and wearing black, they're hanging pink and blue streamers and passing out cigars. We don't grieve when babies enter the world. The hosts of heaven don't weep when we leave it.

Oh, but many of us weep at the thought of death. Do you? Do you dread your death?

Is your fear of dying robbing your joy of living? Jesus came to "deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying" (Heb. 2:15).

If Scripture boasted a list of the famous dead, Lazarus would be near the top. He lived in Bethany, a sleepy hamlet that sat a short walk from Jerusalem. Jesus spent a lot of time there. Maybe he liked the kitchen of Martha or the devotion of Mary. One thing is for sure: he considered Lazarus a friend. News of Lazarus's death prompts Jesus to say, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up" (John 11:11).

And now, four days after the funeral, Jesus has come calling. Literally calling, "Lazarus, come out!" Can we try to picture Lazarus as he hears those words? Heaven-sent Lazarus. Heaven-happy Lazarus. Four days into his measureless days. By now he's forming fast friendships with other saints. King David shows him the harps. Moses invites him over for tea and manna. Elijah and Elisha take him for a spin in the fiery chariot. Daniel has promised him a lion of a Bible story. He's on his way to hear it when a voice booms through the celestial city.

"Lazarus, come out!"

Everybody knows that voice. No one wonders, Who was that?Angels stop. Hosts of holy-city dwellers turn toward the boy from Bethany, and someone says, "Looks like you're going back for another tour of duty."

Lazarus doesn't question the call. Perfect understanding comes with a heavenly passport. He doesn't object. But had he done so, who could have faulted him? His heavenly body knows no fever. His future no fear. He indwells a city that is void of padlocks, prisons, and Prozac. With sin and death nonexistent, preachers, doctors, and lawyers are free to worship. Would anyone blame Lazarus for saying, "Do I have to go back?"

But he doesn't second-guess the command. Nor does anyone else. Return trips have been frequent of late. The daughter of the synagogue ruler. The boy from Nain. Now Lazarus from Bethany. Lazarus turns toward the rarely used exit door. The very one, I suppose, Jesus used some thirty earth years earlier. With a wave and within a wink, he's reunited with his body and waking up on a cold slab in a wall-hewn grave. The rock to the entrance has been moved, and Lazarus attempts to do the same. Mummy-wrapped, he stiffly sits up and walks out of the tomb with the grace of Frankenstein's monster.

People stare and wonder.

We read and may ask, "Why did Jesus let him die only to call him back?"

To show who runs the show. To trump the cemetery card. To display the unsquashable strength of the One who danced the Watusi on the neck of the devil, who stood face to clammy face with death and declared, "You call that a dead end? I call it an escalator."

"Lazarus, come out!"

Those words, incidentally, were only a warmup for the big day. He's preparing a worldwide grave evacuation. "Joe, come out!" "Maria, come out!" "Giuseppe, come out!" "Jacob, come out!" Grave after grave will empty. What happened to Lazarus will happen to us. Only our spirit-body reunion will occur in heaven, not Bethany Memorial Cemetery.

God Came Near Deluxe EditionWhen this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true:
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
(1 Cor. 15:54-55)

With Christ as your friend and heaven as your home, the day of death becomes sweeter than the day of birth.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reaping What We Sow

We've all heard the scripture, "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." - 2 Corinthians 9:6

Today when logging into my Facebook account, this came to mind while mindlessly waiting for my crops to yield their harvest in Frontierville. Yes, this is another game similar to Farmville. I was growing impatient waiting while I wanted to complete a quest and be finished. Of course what I failed to understand was in the waiting, I could be helping. Helping others get to where I am. Even though it's a game, the lesson behind it all comes full circle when we compare it to areas of our life.

I have just a few short months and my oldest, Caitlyn, will be graduating. In this short period of time, I look back and reflect just how much sowing and reaping has been taking place in her life. From the time of taking care of her when she was a baby and all the things in raising a child involve, there isn't much reaping but tons of sowing.

You hope that the lessons you are passing along the way will bear much great fruit. Sometimes, however we find as parents there comes a time to prune some of those branches that aren't producing anything.

What I have also found is that there are periods of time along the way where it seems like there are great seasons of harvest and you get back so much love in return. Now in the high school years, it seems like we sow so much and water but nothing seems to grow. We wonder if we have planted anything at all. How many times have you found yourself questioning if they are hearing us at all?

Looking ahead, I know that she will come full circle and when Steve and I are learning to harvest a different crop in our empty nest years, is when that crop we sowed with Caitlyn and Kailee will finally begin bearing much fruit. We will look back with great love and joy and see that a seed planted with God's love, will never fail to produce. It may take awhile, in some cases years, but it will come back to you.