Amazing Grace


 

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  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

My Dad just loves this song. He always sings it when we play it for him. He struggles to get it out but he sings. I miss his singing voice, “how sweet the sound”.

  1. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

How a year can change your life. My dad last year started having problems with his brain. We found that he had a viral tumor on his brain and then he lost his short-term memory. Our fears were just beginning at that time. Fear he would walk out the house and not know where he was. Fear the tumor would become bigger. Fear that we could lose him. But through God’s grace we knew that all in his time.

  1. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

The past year has brought many dangers and toils for my dad. My dad has endured many doctor visits to U of M and here in Midland. But nothing was ever a definite answer as what was truly causing his short-term memory lost. The tumor had disappear but he still had short-term memory issues. But now as we have come to expect that he has been suffering from mini strokes all along. Jan.28 he had his first major stroke that took his ability to swallow and move the left side of his body. Somewhere in the past week or so he suffered another major stroke the involved the front lobe of his brain and it was a big one. He stills responds to us but is sleeping most of the time. But it is grace that lets us know that God has him in his hands. And by God’s grace he will be with him until he goes home. Hospice is now helping him to be comfortable.

  1. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  2. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

The last few months Dad has become very agitated and to calm him we play hymns or read the Bible to him. ”His word my hope secures.” This has calmed him some and made him peaceful. He knows what God has promised him and many times he has told us he is ready to go. We often hear him talking to God and asking him to take him home. We know he is ready to go to heaven. “As long as life endures.”  “a life of joy and peace.”

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  1. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

My Dad has always been a Christian. As a child, we went to church every Sunday. He even sent the last three children to a Christian High School in Saginaw, Michigan Lutheran Seminary in hopes that one of us would become a pastor or teacher (that didn’t happen by the way). His love for all his children was to make sure all of us would be in heaven together someday. I have no doubt that my sister Lillian is waiting for him to give him a great big hug.

  1. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.*

Well it feels like it has been 10 thousand years instead of just a year that my Dad has been dealing with all of this. We continue to rely on God for our support and strength. We will continue to sing his praise through this storm. Letting God’s light shine on us while we struggle thru this trial. We cannot thank all of the people enough that are standing by us and continue to pray for my Dad. Your love and prayers are such a blessing to all of us. Thank you!

*Song written by John Newton.

One of favorite versions of Amazing Grace is by King and Country. Use the link to check it out.

 

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2017


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It is another new year. 2017 oh what will you bring? I am looking forward to this year. Looking forward to all the possibilities that it holds. I have adjusted my sails for this year and the goals that I have. I want to make this year more of appreciation than that of goals. As I get older I have learned to celebrate to the small things as much as the big things in life. I have learned to look at life differently.

“Only the small things in life are important.” By Joseph Roth.

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” Booker T Washington

Don’t get me wrong I still have goals because if you don’t you stand still. They are just not as important to me as noticing the small things in life.  I decided to make a list of my goals and the small things so that I can look at both throughout the year and keep myself in check. I want to make sure that I keep the small things in focus.

Here are the goals for 2017.

  • Be debt free except for house and cars.
  • Lose weight-it truly doesn’t matter how much long as I am making progress
  • Go somewhere new.
  • Try new foods.
  • Draw more

Here are the small things I will try to notice.

  • Breathe in fresh air
  • Smell the rain
  • Feel the sunshine on my face
  • Make someone smile
  • Laugh more
  • Enjoy the silence
  • Spoil someone else
  • Find something good in every day
  • Enjoy exercise
  • Focus on the people in my life
  • Be present more, less phone, Facebook, etc.
  • Tell others how important they are
  • Compliment others
  • Plant a garden and enjoy the process
  • etc.

I ask you as we have entered the new year… what will your focus be on? What adventures are you going to do? What goals do you have?

I leave you with this quote and wish you a Happy and Joyful New Year.

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you a happy. In the future think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” Earl Nightingale.

My Dad


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As I sit in the hospital watching my dad as the nurses and doctors come and go I wonder what he is thinking. My dad has a tumor on his brain that is causing seizures and short term memory loss. I think he has to know something is wrong but his memory won’t let him remember what that is. I thank God for that. It breaks my heart to see such a vibrant man a few months ago be so lost. 
    My dad served in the Navy and supported seven kids through some tough times.

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He is a great man of faith in God. He knows that God is watching over him. My mom told me yesterday that he is not afraid of dying and that he knows where he is going. What a great reminder of where our faith should be. That we should not be afraid of death or any other worldly enemy or disease.

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I thank God for all the lessons that my Dad has taught me. Even today as I watch him I see lessons. You smile and laugh even in the worst of times. 
   One thing for sure he is surrounded by family.

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Young and Beautiful


Today my mom will celebrate her 80th birthday. 80 years of birthdays and I know this one will be the hardest for her. Last month my mother lost her oldest daughter Lillian to breast cancer. I know what it is like for me to lose my sister but as a mother myself my heart breaks even more for my mother as she has lost a child and a friend. As our family goes through this year of firsts without Lillian I am reminded how fragile life is and that we should appreciate every birthday not just the milestone ones. We should love our family members and hold them close. You just never know when you might lose them.

Here is a picture of my mom. I believe this is her senior picture.

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Young and beautiful. Did this young girl know what an inspiration she would become to so many? Did she know that she would have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren? Did she know that she would be a great mother, grandmother, great grandmother? Did she know she would touch so many lives? Did she know that she would be a strong role model not just for her children but for so many others that have walked into her life? Did she know that she would be the heart of huge family?

Well if she didn’t she really should know now. All those things sum up my mother.

Here is my mom yesterday as we celebrated her 80th birthday still young and beautiful. Here is to many more Mom. Love you.

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Celebrating her birthday my sister-in-law had made a Shrimp Boil. It was fun and delicious.

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It had shrimp, red potatoes, onions, sausage, and corn on the cob with cajon seasoning, cayenne pepper, and old bay seasoning. It was not too spicy but just enough to leave you wanting more.

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I want to leave you with a few quotes about aging and beauty. My mother will always be Young and Beautiful in my eyes.

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”
― Audrey Hepburn

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

“But if we are truly happy inside, then age brings with it a maturity, a depth, and a power that only magnifies our radiance.”
― David DeidaIntimate Communion

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”

–Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Where Did The Time Go?


This is week has gone by so fast. Where did the time go? Which is what I was thinking Thursday night while watching Jon’s niece graduate from High School.  She graduated with Honors and we are so proud.

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Me, Kc and Jon 2013

Where did the time go? I still remember my High School Graduation. I was so excited to get out and start real life or so I thought.  Saying goodbye to my friends was not easy but the sense of freedom was new and exciting.

Great Friends

Tracy, Martha, Me and April 1987

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Martha,Tracy, Me and April 2012

But boy did life have other plans for me. I did not go to college, instead I wanted the freedom. I wanted the job. I wanted to get out of my parents house, I wanted to make my own money, spend time with friends and yes party a little too.  My ideas of real life were let’s say a little askew.  Two years later I was married, a mother of a precious little girl and pregnant with my second child. Two years after that, I was newly divorced and a single mom to two beautiful children. Life had other plans for me indeed. I struggled as a single mom, worked long hours and missed very important days with my children. I made many mistakes that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, but I would not change one single thing in my life.  It made me the strong person I am today. It brought me back to God and the meaning of family and God brought me Jon.

A few things I would like to tell KC on this day is to stay true to yourself, go to college and find out who you are. Study hard and look at this time as a new chapter in your life, one of many. Don’t rush into the next chapter of your life it will come soon enough. Enjoy this time of your life and treasure the small things as much as the big ones.  Call your mother and tell her you love her any chance you get. It means the world to her. Always remember we are here for you and you are not alone.

KC's family Grad Picture