An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hospitals, Kids, and Wise Men


December 28, 2010


 My dad went into the Tex San Heart Hospital on December  20th and I brought him home today.  They were unable to put the stint in as the blockage was rock hard and bypass was not an option for him.  This has caused his heart to have some fibrillation problems and finally they decided to put a defibrillator in.  I am very aware that the roles have been reversed as my parent have aged.  With mom needing full time care and dad in the hospital it took my brother and sister me to all juggle life to help out.  Since Joe passed away 14 months ago, one of our parents has been in the hospital 7 times…I really do feel right at home in the hospital setting but I wear out quite quickly.  I have noticed I seem to function well in the crisis but my body and heart feel the affects later…at times I feel like my heart is being jerked around…   One day while at the hospital I had a vision of this big hand and I was right in the center being held.  It was comforting and I love how the Holy Spirit ministers to me in the middle of all the uncertainty I encounter.

I have totally loved having my kids home and all the commotion that 5 extra people in the house brings!  The boys have been big hunters and have taken the challenge of bow hunting.  They got two deer and made jerky.  My kitchen frequently looked like the local meat market!   At 1:30 on Christmas I finally took off my nurse hat and ventured to buy things for our traditional Mexican Christmas dinner and our Christmas Day meal.  Mallory was a big help and I had fun cooking with her.  Even though my dad was in the hospital, I tried very hard to keep things as normal as possible complete with our traditions as this was our first Christmas at home without Joe.  We had lots of laughter and our traditional Christmas Eve reading of the birth of Jesus.  We also shared what God had done in our lives this past year.   I stand amazed again at the goodness of God to all of us.  I saw only a couple of tears and I personally only got choked up when I opened the cookbook for the eggnog Joe always made.  We’ve come a long way since last year.  Yea God!

I was thinking the other day about how when the wise men saw the baby Jesus they saw The King, not a baby.  Others did not recognize Jesus true identity.  That problem still occurs today.  Many of us do not see others true identity.  In other words, we look at each other with natural eyes, see faults and don’t see each other or their potential thru the eyes of God.  I am guilty too of seeing people with natural eyes instead of seeing their potential and seeing them the way God does.  But I do frequently ask God to show me how He sees others and to give me His view of them so I can help them discover their God given value and be part of the restoration process.  I also ask God to help me see myself the way he sees me.  He recently took me to Deuteronomy 7:6, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.  That is how He sees you and me…a treasured possession.  Imagine how cool the body of Christ would be if we began to relate to one another according each persons potential and treating one another as a treasured possession.  The world might really see who Jesus really is in us!

Ok…2010 is almost over and I will begin the New Year going down a huge slide into the Guadalupe River…pretty crazy but oh well…Thanks so much for all the prayers for all of us during the holiday season.  Your prayers really made a big difference.

Love to all,

Kathleen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HUMMMMM

Hummmm...After several days of tests on my dad, it was determined that he had a 95% blockage in the lower left chamber of his heart and that one of the five stints that was put in 10 years ago had collapsed.  The only option for him was to put another balloon stint to open the blockage.  Another bypass wasn't an option for him because of the risks in his condition.  Today after attempting for an hour and a half they could not get the stint in because the blockage was as hard as a rock.  They will medicate him to try to correct the rhythm problems (heart beating real fast and erratic because of the blockage).  His heart is strong and he is a fighter but I am not happy that that the problem can't be fixed.

I have been thinking about peace and how the angels came declaring peace and how Isaiah 9 talks about Jesus coming and being the Prince of Peace.  The truth about life is that it is full of more pain and suffering than any of us think will come our way.  Disappointments come in life that we never would sign up for.  But peace is available when our world shakes. Peace usually doesn't just drop down on us...we have to pursue it, fight for it and take a hold of it when our emotions want to lead the way.  I have had to pursue peace and remind myself that God promises that "all things work together for good for those who seek him."  I seek God so I know this will be true.  It just doesn't feel true at this moment.  Tonight as I washed dishes for my family I longed for Joe and the support he would give on a difficult day.  The comfort of his arms around me holding me and yet I know it will never be.  When I was with my friend Lin a few weeks ago, one highlight was when I was fighting tears and he held me and said, "just cry and get it out."  It was wonderful to be held in my grief because so many times I cry by myself. 

Pursuing Peace,

Kathleen

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dusting off the nursing hat

December 20, 2010




Luke 2:14 says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (NIV) Truly His grace is sufficient for us in each situation and I constantly have to remind myself and it keeps me steady. Favor is God’s presence, grace, joy, peace that is available to us in each situation. I love how the angels declared praise to God in the highest form they could think of and declared peace to us because His favor rests on us. The problem is most of us forget what is at our finger tips and don’t access it. I am constantly trying to remind myself and re-train myself that these are always available and discipline myself to live from the inside out. Today as I prepared to leave for the hospital I actually thought..."I know this is working for my good."  That is a huge change for me.



Currently my father is in the Tex San Heart Hospital in San Antonio. We checked him in today after tests revealed there were real problems with his heart…not exactly how I planned to spend my holidays but oh well…once again my plans have been changed. Here we go surfing again! It was funny today as I was navigating again in a hospital it actually felt quite normal. That’s when you know life for you really isn’t normal anymore. It was the most normal I have felt in a long time…After 7 years of looking after my mom with her illness, Joe and dad or mom being in the hospital 7 times since Joe died I wonder if I missed my calling to be in medicine. I will not try to understand why…just grow in the process. I know that there is something to learn in this situation. I am getting plenty of opportunities to grow inside. The short version of dad’s situation is that there are two problems with the rhythm of his heart and with the lower chamber and perhaps a blockage. We will do more tests tomorrow and then go from there. He is in good spirits and felt so bad he said he was glad to be there.



Austin, Laura and Price are home for Christmas and it is good to have extra people around the house. I am very thankful for all our friends that have shown us how much we are loved. Thanks to those of you that have been praying for our family with the holidays and the latest development with my dad. My continual prayer is for more healing for all our hearts…



Dusting off my nursing hat again,



Kathleen

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favor, Chestnuts and Surfing


December 15, 2010

 
I love the Christmas season and all that it represents. As I ponder what life must have been like for Mary I stand in awe of her. Here was a young girl with her future planned and full of expectation. All of a sudden there was a big change of plans and she had to adjust to the new plan... God’s plan vs. her plan for her life. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? But I found something that I think helped Mary. As I was reading the story of Jesus birth the other day in Luke, I noticed that several times it mentioned how Mary had found favor with God. I looked the word up in the Greek and found this: favor- divine influence upon the heart, grace, joy liberty, and pleasure. God’s poured His favor upon Mary and I am sure that helped her with all the sudden changes. It is cool to me that God still pours His favor upon his people today. Psalms 5:11 says, “Let all who take refuge in you be glad;let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  For surely O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”  I am very thankful for God’s favor upon my life and that I can be righteous simply because of the gift of Jesus. It has helped me as I have journeyed through recent days. In one short sentence, sign me up for more favor! Isn’t it good to know God loves to pour His favor upon us? What a wonderful gift!

I went on a walk the other day and when I returned I knew it was time for more letting go. I had saved some of Joe’s ashes from when we sprinkled them in the Guadalupe River this summer. I didn’t know at the time what I would do with them but knew that at some time I would know. I felt it was time to deal with them…so I took them and sprinkled them on the front and back lawn at our home. He spent countless hours enjoying his yard. I also spread some in the dark brown soil of my lemon tree. My kids tease me and say I love my lemon tree more than them but it is not true…I love them more but my lemon tree is very special to me. I shed some tears but it actually was not as painful as I thought it might be. I knew Joe would be pleased and felt this was necessary to go on with my life without him.

This Christmas season I have had fun enjoying some things that are new to me like chestnuts roasting on an open fire, I went to a Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley California one evening and that is where I saw what it was like to see chestnuts roasting.! I also met the children of the man I have been dating…I felt things went real well but driving to meet them I had to admit this did not feel like my life I was living. I felt like I was living a new movie but I told myself it is good to be 50 (at least a few more days) and still discovering new things and people. I have also had another huge wave of grief hit. I think it has been a combination of having a date and being around another man and the holiday season. So many Christmas carols remind me of holidays in the past. This wave caught me totally off guard and I have to admit I have been mad at Joe for leaving me to pick up the pieces of my life, and trying to figure out how to live my life without him. At times I feel I navigate well and at others I feel totally lost. It is a good thing my date was understanding and knows it is best for me to cry and embrace the pain. I hate how grief clouds things for me and reminds me that life will never be the same for me. That makes me mad too…but it is what it is and I must go on. Although I enjoy the adventure of discovering a new life everything is so different for me and I miss my old life.  On a lighter note, I have encountered so many waves of grief in the past two years that I have decided to sign up for surfing lessons so if you hear of any let me know. I figure that it could be a fun way to ride the waves. I have to keep having fun in life!

Where ever you find yourself this holiday season, join me in trusting God, asking Him for favor and finding a cool way to ride the challenges you face and...breathe.

Looking for surfing lessons,



Kathleen

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trying More New Things

My life is anything but normal anymore but oh well…it is certainly interesting! Christian Women's Job Corps is the beneficiary of the Polar Bear Splash on New Years Day. There is a 40 ft slide that ends in the Guadalupe River! Although I do not remember sliding down a slide into freezing water  being part of my job description I will slide because it will be a different way to start the New Year, I believe in the cause and I think this should be on everyone’s bucket list…the worst that could happen is I could die and be with Joe and Jesus! You should really join me or at least sponsor me…www.cwjckerrcounty.org for information. Anyway, today I was on a local radio show promoting the event. After my radio debut I went to do the Hill Country Today Show, a local TV show and showed up early on and got an invitation to co anchor the news! I thought to myself, “You have done so many other things for the first time this year, why not add one more thing?” It was actually fun; the station had technical difficulty and they invited me to do it again…I love walking in God’s favor and all the adventures He offers me. You can watch it if you are bored by going to www.kvhc.com and click on watch KVHC live and then the e-diet ad and go about to the middle of the download and also click the picture of me for the Polar Bear Splash or click on the link above…it is pretty funny.  I am not quitting my day job to be a news anchor!   I also had the opportunity this week to go to Big Spring, TX to help start a Christian Women’s Job Corps in that community and enjoyed helping this ministry expand.

I was singing a song at church this weekend and the words really spoke to me. They were, “I don’t have time to remain in regret when I think about the way that you love me.” Wow…God has poured His love out on me this year in the toughest year of my life and I just felt the Lord say that it was time for grief to bow its knee to God’s love and for me to not look at all I have lost but at the things I have gained. That is very hard at times but I am determined to press through. I must focus on His love…it has sustained me in more ways than most people realize as it has been one of the few things that has not changed for me. I was reading this weekend and found a powerful scripture in I Samuel 2:8 and felt the Lord say it was my promise. “He lifts the needy from the ash heap; he sets them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” Sounds good to me! Sunday I had the opportunity to pray with several people and to me in praying for them I was able to get vengeance on the enemy. I prayed with someone for depression – I have overcome depression and now I get to set others free. I also prayed for someone and their loved one who is battling cancer, someone else that was in a cast…I was in one for 19 months a few years ago and it took a lot to get through that battle and prayed with someone else battling fear. God set me free from many fears 18 years ago. Each time I prayed, I had total confidence in God’s ability because I had experienced His overcoming power myself and it is payback time! Now I have not only God’s permission to set others free but also His authorization.


I am enjoying the holiday season…much more than last year. I love the lights, the quite of my home,have another date this weekend with my friend from California, am planning to have lots of fun with my kids in the days ahead and will be celebrating another birthday soon. My how things change in a year! Change is my friend-

Celebrating still trying new things,

Kathleen