Friday, September 07, 2007

"Weekly Word" for Sept. 7, 2007

"Weekly Word" for Sept 7, 2007

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; . . .
The Lord of hosts is with us . . .
(Psalm 46: 1,2, & 7)

“You look kind of surprised” she said to me. As she said it, I knew she was commenting on the fact that my son now had 5 children in his life. I had been telling her about the children, and how busy their household was these days. The moment she said those words, I guess I realized that I truly was surprised. At not only the path my son’s life had taken - but how my own life had changed as well . . .

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; . . .

The tape had been buried deep in the back of the cabinet. I had gotten into one of those moods - when you find yourself cleaning out cupboards and cabinets - doing the things you had put off - - - for years! On this day, I had decided to clean out the cabinet below the television. It is where I store all my videos and dvd’s. Some were store bought, and some I had taped from the television. I had a collection of favorite movies, as well as television shows. And then there were the “home movies”. There were only a few of those, as most had been left behind when I divorced. As I took each tape and dvd out of the cabinet, I started to make piles. There were the “favorites” - the ones I watched over and over again. And then there were the cartoons and kids movies - which I kept for the grandbabies. As I reached for what I thought was a homemade television tape, I realized that it was actually another “home movie” - one I hadn’t seen in years. “Christmas 1990” was written on the outside. For some reason, I put this one aside - as I continued to clean out the cabinet. And then - I popped it into the vcr player . . .

I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
(Psalm 16: 8 & 9)

As the tape started, I saw our old living room. We were all there, my ex-husband as well as our two children. Mike was about 13, and Jenny was 9 years old. They looked so young, as they each took turns putting ornaments on the tree. Mike was just getting to that age where he didn’t want to “be there” - as we decorated the tree. Jenny was her usual self, talking and talking about the things that interested a little girl. Their dad had quickly lost interest in decorating the tree, and was busy reading the paper. As the tape rolled, I watched as I decorated the tree - taking time to put every ornament, every piece of tinsel in place.

The tape stopped for a moment, and then it started again - and it was Christmas Eve. Mike and Jenny were all dressed up, ready to go to their grandparents, and then to church. Mike was so tall and thin, just starting to grow into the handsome young man he would become. Jenny was still very much a little girl, with hair down to her waist, and glasses that were too large for her tiny face. As the tape rolled, I heard my voice talking to them - asking them to smile for the camera. Each quickly smiled over at me - and then turned away. As I watched the tape - I couldn’t help but realize how special and wonderful, each of them had been. How had they so quickly grown into the adults they now were?

When the tape stopped again, it started on Christmas Day. The two were sitting on the stairway - waiting to go down to the living room to open their presents. I can’t say that they were patient, as they complained about waiting for their father to get out of the shower. I laughed as they said it, and then watched as the tape started again - and they were opening their presents.

There were so many presents for them! Each of them had boxes and boxes of clothes and toys. I couldn’t help but smile, as they laughed and smiled - opening the gifts I had picked out for each. I laughed as Mike held up a sweatshirt, remembering back to how he had worn that thing over and over - until it had worn out! The camera then turned to Jenny, who was squealing with delight, as she opened her doll that she had asked for - the one that looked just like her! As the tape continued, I found myself swallowing hard - fighting back the tears as I watched my two children - - - who are now all grown up . . .

I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;
Thou wilt make known to me the path of life:
In Thy presence is fullness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
(Psalm 16: 7 & 11)

You look kind of surprised” I have to admit, I had no clue the path my children would end up on - as they celebrated that Christmas so many years ago.

In the past two years, my son has gone through a divorce, and became a single dad. As he struggled with his wife leaving, I watched him put his 3 little ones first - becoming an even better daddy. And then, just a few months ago, he met a really sweet girl - who has two little boys of her own. Together, they have 5 little ones. Their lives are so full - as they struggle together - laughing and loving - down this brand new road!

My daughter is now a beautiful young woman. She works full time with little ones who can not stay in their own homes. The children she cares for have broken hearts - and shattered lives. Her job is to pick up the pieces - helping them to start all over again. She seems to have a way of helping these little ones to find hope - that maybe their lives will be alright.

Am I surprised at how these two children have grown? Yes! I had no clue - what amazing adults each would become . . .

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast - and one which enters within the veil.
(Hebrews 6:19)

Wonderment and Surprise - Those are the words that seem to fit what I call - my life. So many things in my life, are not how I expected them to be. Both good - and bad - have surprised me! I don’t think I always handled each “surprise” all that well! But then again - I don’t think most of us do. That is - until we ask for help . . .

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
For Thou wilt not abandon my soul . . .

The other day, I got a letter from a friend. It was a letter that she had written to “all of us” - her friends and relatives. In it, she told of her disappointment with each one of us - as well as her pain and grief that she was still trying hard to deal with. As I read the letter, I didn’t know what to think - or do. I had met her just before her wedding. At the time of her marriage, it had been understood that she was unable to have children. But her husband loved her very much. He wanted to make a life with her - with or without children. As the two became husband and wife, I found myself hoping that their lives would be blessed by each other - and the new life that they were going to build together. So it was a huge surprise - when we found out that she was going to have a baby . . .

In hope against hope . . .
(Romans 4:18)

Wonderment - joy - fear - as well as surprise - all were emotions that went with the news of this baby. We hoped and prayed for months, that everything would go well. But it didn’t. After 6 months of carrying her baby, my friend was told that the baby was sick - and would soon die. It was one of those moments that we hope and pray won’t happen. But sometimes - they do. The baby lived for only a few short moments, and then she was gone. Just like that - my friend lost her baby. Her grief was enormous, and we all felt terrible for her. But then the letter came. As I read it, I couldn’t help but remember the surprise of that little life - and how it had brought us all together - in prayer . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

“You look kind of surprised” So many times in my life, I have been totally surprised by the things that have happened, and the road I have found myself on. As I watched that video from so long ago, I saw a woman who was me - and yet not! She was so much younger, living in a marriage - and a life - that is now long gone. As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but look at her neck. It was long and thin, and looked nothing like the neck I see in the mirror today. There were no scars, or signs of the accident that has left my spine injured and in need of a 2nd surgery. That girl - didn’t have the courage or strength to face her abusive husband. She smiled at the camera, and did whatever he asked of her. She did all she could, to try to make her children happy. She was thinner, and prettier - and yet she did not have the Life - that I have today!

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, . . .

Wonderment and surprise - Each day, we all face the uncertainty of what lays ahead. We make plans, and worry - and then we live our lives. As we do - the unexpected - happens to each of us . . .

My friend is struggling to deal with the grief of losing her child. Her arms are empty and hurting, and we (her friends) have no clue how to help her. But as I think about her, I can’t help but realize that none of us thought she would ever have even one moment - to hold a child of her own. Her loss is overwhelming - but in the midst of it - is the “wonderment” of that gift. It is my hope and prayer that she will hang on to that amazing gift - and find her way through this awful time. It is my hope - that God will show her the way.

For Thou art my hope; O Lord God, Thou art my confidence from my youth.
But as for me, I will hope continually,
and will praise Thee yet more and more.
(Psalm 71: 5)

My life has been full of so many “surprises” - wonderments - of how I got to where I am today. In three weeks, I will be going back in to the hospital for a 2nd spinal surgery. It isn’t how I planned to spend this part of my life. But I have an amazing husband who will be right there by my side. He is able to take care of me, when I can’t. Together, we will get through even this.

Wonderment and surprise - Both fill our lives - every single day. They are there, even when we face the toughest challenges. Each day, God’s gifts are right there before us. As Ted took me to my final doctor visit before the surgery - we found ourselves laughing and joking with his nurses. As we did, we talked a little bit about our life together, and the gift this marriage has been to each of us. “I have goosebumps” one of the nurses said. As she said it, I couldn’t help but smile . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”

Wonderment and surprise - It is my hope and prayer that you will ask the Lord to walk with you each day - through whatever “surprises” lay ahead. When you do - the gifts and blessings of each moment - change our world - and our future - forever . . .

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15: 13)

God bless you and keep you - until the time we meet back here again . . .

In His Amazing Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers

Dear Friends,

I will be away from my computer for a little bit of time, as I will be recovering from my 2nd spinal surgery. I will be going into the hospital on Sept 26th. I will be there for only a few days, and then Ted will be taking some time off from work, helping me out here at home. We will try to let you all know how I am doing. With so many wonderful friends and family helping out - and praying - I know it won’t be long before I am back here again! Until then, please know how thankful I am for each and every one of you - for your love and prayers.

God bless you and keep you - until I am back - healthy and strong!

In His Love,