Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking the High Road

Last year in my reading, I read two books that really "grew" me as a person and the way I interact with people. One of those books was this one, "25 Ways to Win With People" by John Maxwell. The title kind of sounds like it may be ways for you to "get ahead" but that is NOT the premise of this book. It's more about seeing things from other's perspectives...realizing that there is so much more to people than what we see on the surface.

One of the chapters that has really stuck with me is about "Taking the High Road." Maxwell points out that when people "do us wrong" or we have a situation with someone, we have a choice to take one of three roads. The Low Road, where we basically "get back at them" or "do them dirty." The Middle Road, where we act just like they do. Or, we can take The High Road, where no matter what has been done, we act according to the character that drives and defines us. That does not mean we sit down and get walked all over nor does it not mean that we don't stand up for ourselves. It means that things like vengeance and retaliation are put aside for the sake of character and integrity.

My dad is such a great example of this. He truly sees the good in people and I don't know that I've ever seen him get mean or ugly with anyone. I know he isn't perfect but taking the High Road is pretty much a way of life for him. That's the kind of example I want to be to my kids. When the chips are down, no matter what, they can count on their mom taking the High Road.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I've been trying to teach this to my kids. Each in a different situation and while it is harder to take the high road, in the end, you are the winner and, in time, the truth will always come out...and if you are a believe, God, in the end is glorified.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yet Another Prayer Request

Please keep my Aunt Sue in your prayers. She had a major stroke last evening and surgery today to relieve bleeding in her brain. We don't really know anything else at this point. Please also remember her family.
Nothing has changed in my condition either. Ears and sinuses are still terribly stopped up. Looks like I'm going to have to go see an ear, nose, & throat dr.
Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still Sick

This is what I feel like! I could use one of those gigantic ear horns just to be able to hear something...anything!! I'm driving my family crazy because I have to have everything turned up so loud. Ugh! It's been a very long week and there's no sign of improvement!!

I told Cliff the other day that I could use a good old-fashioned nerve tonic. You know, the kind they'd give to older women who would just get nervous? Cliff's response to me was, "Yeah, Rebecca, they call that liquor." Ok, forget the nerve tonic. I'll just ride this out and hope my ears and my head clear up soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sick Again!!

In the past month, I think I felt like myself a total of three days!! I had to make another trip back to the dr. this week. Cough and cold symptoms still lingered and Tuesday when I woke up, I felt "sick." Found out I was running a fever again, had another nice sinus infection and two very nice ear infections. To say I can hardly hear anything is to put it mildly!!
I'm on steriods and some heavy-duty antibiotics that are hard on my stomach. I feel terrible, can't hear and feel generally irritable because I've been sick for a month!!
Tomorrow will be a good day. Church in the morning which always helps to improve my frame of mind.
Then the BIG Race!! Daytona 500! We're heading to some friends to have a party after church. I don't care if I can hear it or not!! It will be a great time with great people!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I attended Baby Gabrielle's funeral yesterday. She was laid in a little baby bed and looked like a tiny porcelain doll. Her mom, Chrissy, was a picture of grace and peace. I was so proud of her. I've know Chrissy since she was a girl, just graduated from high school. We've been friends for about 12 years and yesterday I saw a woman who exuded God's Amazing Grace and Peace.

The scripture the pastor used at the service was II Samuel 12:23, where King David is speaking of his infant son who passed away. His words were, "I will go to him." There is the hope that I know Chrissy clings to. One day, she and Wes and everyone who loved and cherished little Gabrielle will go to her. What an awesome thought.

I have been so moved and touched by watching my friends go through this journey. I have learned so much about faith and trust through their examples.

This is the song Chrissy chose to be played yesterday:

Homesick - Mercy Me

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gabrielle Lauren

Baby Gabrielle entered into heaven on Tuesday evening. I know that Jesus was there to welcome her with open arms...

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

Tomorrow we will attend her funeral. We, as a Body and as dear friends of Gabrielle's family share in their loss and grief. There are no words to say at a time like this. All we can do is hold them up in our fervent prayers, be there for them, and walk this road with them.

This morning, Gabrielle's grandma, Carla was at our prayer meeting. She shared something her daughter, Chrissy (Gabrielle's mommy), said,
"I can hear Bob (my dad and our pastor) say, she's (Gabrielle) breathing air that is celestial." Yes, Chrissy, Gabrielle is breathing celestial air...on her own. No tubes or oxygen needed!!

I posted the words to this song when my grandmother passed away and I think it only fitting again to post it today:

Finally Home
by L.E. Singer

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!

Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,

O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!

Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

Carla, Chrissy, Wes, Hannah & Mike - You are all in my fervent prayers!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baby Gabrielle

**Please continue to keep Baby Gabrielle and her family in your prayers. The following was written by her mom.

Thankful for each day...

OK, so instead of having our parents over while one of us is here, we start leaving the house. Well, Wes has gone back to work and he leaves M-F, but I'm here all the time 24-7 to be here with and for Gabrielle. I know that leaving the house is a good thing for me, because it's happened so very little since we've been home from the hospital. Anyway, lately, the last 2 Fridays I should say my parents have come over and I run little errands or have gone to get some fresh air, or slept... and when I'm out I call them about 2-3 times checking in: Does she need anything, is she ok? Before I leave them I run down the list: This is how to feed her thru her feeding tube, this is what to do if she has a seizure, if she starts fussing like screaming and shaking her head back and forth for over this amount of time let me know and I'll come home and give her some morphine to calm down. Call me for ANYTHING!

Saturday has become a Date day. Wes' mom Connie comes over and we go over the same list. Wes and I have been trying to find somewhere to live so, we go for a ride in the car, have dinner somewhere, pick up last minute grocery/baby items. We went to a movie once. I left my phone on during the movie, ya know just in case...
This Saturday, yesterday, we went to look for a place, ate at Outback and came home to check on the baby. Picked up Sadie and Yogi and took them to the dog park by our apartment. It was so much fun... but then I start to feel guilty. Why am I having so much fun when my baby is sick? Then a woman walks by with a baby strapped to the front of her. I think I want to be that Mom. I think to myself don't do that. I need this time out of the house, to feel like a human being. To breathe fresh air, to spend time with my husband.

So, we got home and we're talking with Connie and she said, "she's not breathing". I don't panic I get up and ask how long has it been? She's not sure. I go immediately to the kitchen and grab her meds from the fridge. Wes, picks up Gabrielle and he's trying to talk her out of it (like we always do, it's like we think if she can hear our voices or something she's going to snap out of it, I think it's more comforting to us then helpful to her). I can tell its not like any of the other seizures but the tone in Wes' voice. So, I shake up the stuff and it's like syrup it's not supposed to be like that it's supposed to be liquidy and thick and I cant get it out. I get the phone and start to dial our Carousel nurse. Wes yells to me get over here!! I turn around and she's purple. I've only seen her this shade one other time and we we're in the hospital... I still stay calm give Connie the phone and she puts it on speaker. Of, course it's after hours and I have to leave a message with the answering service. Same thing each time you call after hours...tell the who you are and spell Gabrielle, I'm her mother spell my name. I say (still calmly) Please have a Carousal Nurse call me immediately, she's not breathing! I'm holding my little girl... she's purple has no emotion just blank. I can hear Connie crying and Wes is tense. I kiss her face... "come on punkin head, it's mom" nothing... she's just in my hands all 6 lbs of her limp. Wes, says she's not gonna make it. I hear it but, not responding I don't know how, but I knew it wasn't time yet. I'm doing everything in my power to stay calm. I just stand there holding her willing her to come back. Then I see it... she takes a few little tiny breaths. I'm waiting for her to come out of it like the other seizures waiting for her to cough and gasp for a breath and comes out.. teeny tiny breaths, "come on baby, you can do it" slowly she comes out of it. I hug and kiss her. Then the phone rings. Janet tells me to put the meds in a cup of warm water and give her the morphine then give her the ativan(sp?).

I ask if she thinks this is it? She can't tell me when but this could continue to happen over and over until she expires, it could happen over the next hours or few days, few weeks. But, it's coming soon... as babies with this disease you'll never know when it's going to happen. As they age their brains already not functioning normally can't handle growing. So, now she's drugged up and sleeping. Wes, he's quiet. We all sit down and start to relax. You just never know what 's going to happen. I'm so glad I was home. What if I would have been farther away? What if I was in the store? But, thank God I wasn't. So, Connie goes home after visiting a little longer. We take her to our room and put her in her crib and she's resting peacefully. The 2 of us get into bed and I always think... maybe I should stay up with her... But, I know that I can't.

So, I'm thankful for each day with her and I appreciate every second. So, I may not have gone to church today, and it may happen that she dies and I'm not holding her... but today, I'm I'm blessed.

Monday, February 2, 2009


As I have mentioned in previous posts, one of my Sunday traditions is to get up extra early on Sunday morning so I can watch the "Hour of Power." Currently, Dr. Schuller is bringing to his pulpit some of this country's foremost pastors.

Yesterday, the speaker was Bishop Kenneth Ulmer from Los Angeles. I have had the priviledge of hearing him previously at a leadership conference. I found his message to be extremely inspiring. I shared some of his thoughts with several people at church and I wanted to share the last story he told here on my blog.

Given the state of our world, our economy, and the fact that these are fairly uncertain times, I thought it to be extremely relevant.

Two men were in an art museum and came upon a painting of a chess game. One character in the painting looked like an ordinary man, but the other character looked a little like the Devil. The man is down to his last two pieces on the chessboard. The title of the painting is “Checkmate.” The impression is that for the man in the picture, all is lost; the situation is hopeless.

One of the two men looking at this painting is a chess champion, and something about the painting troubled him. He begins to study it. He becomes so engrossed in it. His buddy gets impatient and asks what he’s doing. The chess guy says, “There’s something about this painting that bothers me. So, he stood there studying the painting.

Several minutes later, the chess-master said, “I need to locate the artist and tell him that either he has to change the picture or he has to change the title. There’s something wrong with this painting.”

His friend asked him what was wrong with the painting. The chess champion said: “Well, it’s titled ‘Checkmate,’ but the title is wrong. The painter either has to change the painting or change the title, because the king still has another move. If he makes that move he will win; the king has one more move.”

That was the case when a man named Moses convinced a nation of oppressed slaves to run away from the most powerful man on earth. At last they’re standing on the shore, with the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind them. The Egyptians are shouting, “Checkmate!” And the people said to Moses, “What were you thinking?” Moses says to God, “God, what were you thinking, but then Moses begins to understand…

The King still had another move.

And then there was the Good News of a teenager by the name of David who went out into the battlefield. He heard about a giant named Goliath who was challenging the people of God. David spoke out against him and before he knew it, he was face-to-face with a giant. David tries to put on Saul’s armor, but Saul is a 52-long and David is a 36-short, and nothing fits! He can’t even handle a grown-up sword. Goliath and his Philistine cronies are shouting, “Checkmate!” but David knows something they don’t know…

The King still had another move.

Then there was a man named Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den because he refused to stop praying to the true and living God. The lions were hungry and Daniel was defenseless. The Emperor Darius says: “Checkmate!” It looked like the end. But when Darius checked to find out how quickly the lions devoured Daniel, he discovered that the lions had a case of lion lock jaw…and Daniel is fine. Why?

Because the King had one more move!

And on Good Friday, they tried Jesus and judged him. They whipped him and beat him; they mocked and scorned him; they hung him up on a cross and they laid him in a tomb. And everybody said: It’s over. It’s done. It’s time to go home! Checkmate!

But they were wrong.


Because the King still had another move.

And when God makes that move, love wins; hope wins; light overcomes darkness; courage overcomes fear; faith overcomes despair.

And you and I are born anew to a living hope.

The promise to you and me is that no matter what we face, whether it is pain from the past, or fear about the future, or struggles with the reality of your life today, whether it’s physical pain, or a troubled relationship, or a trying circumstance, you and I can remember our inheritance and claim the promise.

You are “born into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

By the way, the next time life seems to say, “checkmate,” don’t forget! The King, the King of Kings, always has another move