Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Really Matters

We had a bit of a scare this weekend. It was one of those "could have been really bad but turned out okay" deals. And it made me take some time to stop and think about what is most important in my life.

Sunday morning, my hubby wasn't feeling well, and complaining of chest pains. A call to the dr. confirmed what we felt we should do: head to the ER...ASAP!

Well, after over 24 hours of multiple tests (yes, he feels like a pin cushion now!), they were not able to determine exactly what caused the chest pains. However, they were able to say that his heart is in great condition, and he was NOT having a heart attack. WHEW!

Since we have two young kids, hanging out at the hospital for 24 hours was not an option. During our time here at home, waiting for the phone call to say my husband would be released, I spent some time thinking about what really matters.

The car needs repairs? So what. It's just a big hunk of metal and fiberglass. Sure, it's an important item in our lives. But cars come and go.

The kids are misbehaving? Yes, they need correction. But they're kids. They're growing up too quickly. Correct them, then get back to life.

The computer is being glitchy? Well, it's getting on in years, too. Yes, it's important in our lives. But it can be replaced.

It's snowing to beat the band, it's frigid outside, and the roads are nasty? Well, time to grab a shovel, bundle up and play, drink some hot cocoa, grab a good book, and pray for my husband's safe travel to and from work. Spring will always come.

That man who loves me so much, and those kiddos of ours, who give me so much joy? They're what really matters. If I lost everything else I own, and still had them, I would still be one of the richest women in the world. Our faith, that we cling to when the car needs repairs, the kids are acting up, the computer is glitching, and my husband is in the hospital? That is our most sacred treasure.

In the big picture, those are the things that really matter.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Voice for the Little Ones

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is a day we should never forget. It is a day for us to take a stand for what is true, right, and just. It is a reminder that there are those among us who cannot speak for themselves--and so we must speak up for them.

I have been acquainted with a few situations regarding abortion. In one case, a coworker opted for abortion in order to keep her boyfriend. In another case, a sister in the Lord revealed a past secret in order to try saving another baby's life. I know some young women who have bravely carried a child nine months, only to give that child to a childless couple. Or, they made the decision to raise the child, no matter what society said. Those young women are my heroes. I know several couples who are the grateful parents of adopted children. In every one of these situations, the reality of the sanctity of life has become even clearer to me.

In the psalms, it is written, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward." (Ps. 127:3) To me, this speaks volumes about the tragedy of abortion. We are losing the lives of precious little ones. But also, as this verse implies, we are losing our heritage! That is so grievous to me.

My dear friends, let us remember to pray for the young women who face the decision of life v. death every day. Let us not judge them, but pray for God to bring caring, loving individuals into their lives (maybe even us?) to point them in the right direction. Let us pray for those who have already chosen abortion. They need God's healing touch. Let us pray for the boyfriends, husbands, etc. Let us pray for the grandparents. Let us pray for the doctors and nurses who work in the clinics. Let us pray for our heritage: those little ones whose lives are at stake.

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live..." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thoughts from a 40-Year Old Pilgrim

Yes, it's true. The big birthday has come and gone. I still don't feel old enough to be 40. How is that possible??? But, it is true. I even have the gray hair to prove it!

Our trip to see my family turned out really wonderful. The weather was rainy the first day, but sunny and crisp for the second day of travel. My sister Marsha, who lives in Colorado, was able to come to Kansas for the week as well. She and her husband braved some treacherous weather to make the trip!

While in Kansas, I was able to spend time visiting with my parents. On the 8th, my parents watched our kids while we joined my sisters and their spouses, as well as a couple of nieces and a nephew, at my oldest sister's home to watch Ohio State in their "big" championship game. The game was a big disappointment, but we had a great time together.

The next night, we took in a high school basketball game that was quite interesting. The other team's crowd and coaches were the type that think a high school game is going to tip the balance of the universe. They yelled at the referees. They stomped. They threatened (after the game). A couple of their players got thrown out for throwing punches. Yikes. Definitely not your typical small-town game. At least not how I remember them. Of course, I'm 40 now, so I suppose my memory is a little in question. Ha!

For my birthday, my sisters and their spouses all gathered, as well as the nieces and nephew who could be there. They surprised me, and showered me with a good time, gifts, cards from friends, and some quite yummy cake!

Our trip home was a bit difficult, due to the big ice storm. We stayed at a hotel in the St. Louis area, which was filled with people from the area whose homes had no power/heat. We were thankful for the Lord's protection, as we really had no big problems. We continue to pray for those who are suffering from the storm's effects.

Thanks again to everyone (especially my wonderful, wonderful husband!) who made my birthday so special. I am a very blessed woman to have such a great husband, kids, sisters, nieces, nephews, parents, friends, relatives, and in-laws.

And so here I am...all 40 and everything. I suppose I should have some great words of wisdom to pass along to those who aren't as far along on the pathway of life. To be honest, though, I don't feel that wise!

A few things I have learned, though:

--Cherish your family and friends. They are the ones who stick with you through the tough times as well as rejoicing with you in your good times.

--If you are married, shower your husband with the love he deserves. You have a long road to travel together. If you're not married yet, pray for God to send you a man (or woman!) who will love you and walk the road, no matter how bumpy it gets.

--Let your kids be kids. Don't rush them into being grown up too soon. The rest of the world is doing enough of that already.

--Give God every day of your life. I mean, each day, offer yourself and that day to Him anew, and ask Him to help you make the most of that day, moment by moment.

Well, I guess that's not too much wisdom. So, I'd like to ask my readers to pass along some of your own words of wisdom. Some of you are older than me; others, younger. But we all have something to share. I look forward to hearing from you!