Monday, May 21, 2012

Please Pray for Our Sweet Friend Howard, Father Help us to Be Still



It's been an emotional week of sorts. Sad, joyful but a bit heavy hearted.

Why?

We have a friend at the nursing home, Howard. Our thirdborn Michelle has grown close to Howard through the past year or so. I had too as of late.

I've written about Howard before, he is a darling, born in the Victorian era, a cute little German, if you could shrink him down, and put a elf hat upon his precious little head and place some pointy toe shoes on his cute little feet he would be a perfect specimen of a garden gnome. His smile is a boyish toothy little grin, a bit like a muppet wide grin, sparkling mischievous blue eyes. Plump little belly. Cute.

Michelle quickly found out that among the fact that Howard had never married and was an archeologist traveling the world over, no children...He did not believe that there was a Heaven or hell. A problem. Could be an eternal problem obviously.

The photos of his middle age years look like something from Lawrence of Arabia as he is pictured upon a camel with white covering over his head among his archeologist peers in some exotic dessert setting. Another photo has a wonderful photo of he and his sweet little dog both dressed to the hilt in U. of Texas garb. Darling. Lighthouses are his thing, he has two large beautiful matted and framed prints hanging around his bed. He is from a bay town like I am. In fact my German great uncle owned a car dealership there. Maybe we are relatives? Who knows.

Through the past year or so at least, we visit him once a month with our homeschool friends who have that heart for the Lord to bring joy and Jesus to one of the most forgotten mission fields ever.

Before we knew it Michelle would stop by and bring Howard a Bible, she would visit many times when she was in town. Howard also started wearing a huge cross necklace, very earthy and pretty but masculine. It was stolen and all the nurses banded together to buy another for him...MIchelle remembers the day she and the nurses were diligently searching for it....

...Searching for the Cross.

This past Christmas we were so excited to bring Howard his special Christmas card and a little snowman ornament to hang on his mirror. No Howard though, the nurses assure me he'll be back.

Off and on this has been the pattern.

Finally a couple of months ago, I notice two hospice cards on his nightstand. He tells me he's not doing so good.

This past week we walk in his room, and he is worse. Much worse. Oh Howard...I rub his forehead and tell him to rest. Michelle is crying, we all are inside. It was shocking to see his condition. He barely lifts his head and looks to us with barely opened sleepy eyes, oxygen going strong. The hospice nurse comes in and tidies him up, we step out for a while and when we re-enter we ask if he's talking today, she tells us: "He said thank you".

That really touched my heart, because it is so Howard. This man is suffering and he makes sure to say, thank you.

We sing around him, Holy, Holy, Holy and Blessed Assurance. He barely lifts his head, I tell him, "Howard, Jesus is in my heart and I hold my palm out to him as my heart, and I place my palm on his heart...I tell him " Jesus is in your heart? He's in your heart (as i hope for a nod)... He can be in your heart too if He's not already." I'm saying this with the softest voice ever... (I never-ever want to be abrasive with this) Only God knows the heart. I realize to many this is a private affair and I greatly respect that but yet I want to do my part, it's a great responsibility talking with someone who is dying. He later asks me if I have any problems? I couldn't believe it....I briefly tell him softly something that has been on this mother's heart so he would see, yes, others too have problems... I also knew in his fatherly way, this made him feel better to listen to maybe something that I am battling; a concern over my youngest daughter's health along with the fact that there are some who treat some in our family so cruelly having no idea what is going on behind the scenes. It's shameful. It's cruel enough even if there were nothing going on behind the scenes trust me. It's a good thing our family has our eyes on Jesus, the true Lover of our souls.

And may I add, these loves in the nursing home are the best friends we could ever ask for.

A good book to read is "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas A Kempis for inspiration on that. : ) Or the Bible (of course!) if reading through the New Testament. God is with the humble of heart true enough. The real blessing is there trust me. Jesus is there. We won't seek approval of man if we do that trust me. We see how vain the gerbil wheel of life truly is and how we can stay far, far away if we hang on to God Almighty. You see, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Yesterday morning my husband and I were tossing about what we would do for church, homechurch, the old church, a new church? The idea had occurred to me to visit Howard at the nursing home and my other sweet buddy too. I think it's good for hubs to go, the men need men to pray for them many a time. There is just something about two guys shaking hands and patting each other on the back.

My suggestion bore witness with the family, before we could turn around good, we were dressed in our skirts, Hubs went to loafers and dress pants and praise and worship was being sung on the couch and off we went in the car listening to a great Zac Poonen sermon in the car. We made a family event out of it, eating at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then to the nursing home.

When we went down the hall to Howard's room. A nurse I recognize tells me:
"This man needs prayer" She points to Howard's room.

A nurse had Christian television playing quietly by his bedside as he lay alone, oxygen perking.

Howard didn't look very good, his color was worse than Wednesday, it is strickening to our hearts. He couldn't speak at all this time, but he tried. Bless his heart, he tried soooo hard. It seemed he said, help.

We tried to help, we tried. Tears ensued trust me, especially little Michelle. I call her little Michelle but she is twenty two. This little gal turns into a woman when she needs to, trust me. Trust me.

My husband prays over Howard, we sing Jesus Loves Me. I adjust his gown making him comfortable. That is what a mother's hand does best I think. It comforts, it touches, it feels pain, it feels joy, or it should I think.

Pray for Howard, he could cross over to the other side any time now.

This is all for now. The song at the top ministered to me greatly earlier today.

Listen if you can, perhaps it will minister to your heart too?

Here is a picture that I took a couple of weeks ago from our front porch. It reminds me of Heaven.


Amelia

Friday, May 4, 2012

Berry Jam, Warm Weather, Our Four Girls




What do we have here? Hmmm...It looks like Michelle with Dad, Hubs! It takes concentration to get those so called "Pop-up" pools put up doesn't it? This was taken at the end of last summer but it's about that swimmin' time again. What is going on in the house though?



Aha. We have Mar. and Becs prepared to tackle some berrry jam. We were having a cowboy party that night too with a Roy Rogers and Trigger movie to boot. Yes indeedie. We have more fun than a barel of monkeys I do believe.



Lea is in from work thinkin' what do we have here?



Tales from our office in oldtown...



In the meantime Mar. is delicately spooning the jam into the clean jars.



The bathing jars...


All four girls have made it in, Lea has donned her cowgirl shirt and we are waiting on the jars to "pop"!

All in a day at the Forest Cathedral. : )

Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Tonight we are watching a fascinating movie:

The House on 92nd Street (1945) This is a fascinating movie! It is a true story, movie/documentary on one of our German American college students who spied for the U.S. with the F.B.I.'s guidance after being approached by German Nazi spies right here in the U.S. on his college campus. From the comments I see some young men felt compelled to grow up to be an F.B.I. agent after watching this movie as a little boy! Fantastic movie. You may be able to find clips on youtube? It has some real footage that is hugely interesting along with footage of the inside working of the huge F.B.I. headquarters....I reiterate, it is fascinating! Enjoy!

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Yes, it's berry picking time at the Forest Cathedral, blackberries are getting bigger and bigger! I went out and picked some fresh ones and put them on my oatmeal along with almonds yesterday, it was so good! So nice to be able to do that...real life. Thank you Jesus.


Goodnight to All! Love, ~Amelia

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Lil' Escapees Nabbed by Deer, The Nursing Home: Exhortations and a Call for Prayer

Yesterday it was so funny, Muffie and Charlie decided to bolt out fast when Michelle went to work; when Michelle was unlatching the gate at the driveway they heard the clinking noise and before I knew it away they bolted, their little ears a-flapping in the wind as i madly called them standing on the porch in my robe. I could tell it would be of no avail. They flew as partners in crime side by side!

I knew it was useless, Muff and Charles were on a great pup adventure. Those little toots. So what's a girl like me to do? I get hubs of course. Ha! Lea was in no better shape than I. Hubs knew the two beloved doglets were in danger of getting snatched or hit so i see hubs go down the drive in his Dick Tracey car and abruptly stop... and I see a flash of golden reflection through the pond...ears-flyin' like a little rabbit, Muffie was flying back home! Charlie was not far behind.

Two big deer had chased them back into our property back down the driveway! The two deer stood in front of Hub's car looking at Hubs eye to eye almost as if they had their hands on their hips to say..."Okay, job done."

Then the two deer galloped into the forest. Wow.

The animal kingdom is so amazing, we are thinking it was two doe? Perhaps protecting their young? We've seen so many wee fawn lately. Oh so darling.

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Two Other Things I Wanted to Write About to keep Record of:

A month or so ago we were at the nursing home. One lady is so precious, such a sweet spirit. She is paralyzed in half of her face, in a wheelchair and she politely stopped me. I squat down by her because that is what I like to do. I like to squat down with them so they will know I'm not rushing them. I want them to know I'm there to hang out with them so to speak.

That week had been a "bear" emotionally for me, I was feeling so badly on some things, very misunderstood. Sometimes there are things in life that feel like a bad recording button that gets pushed from time to time. Not often, but enough. I think most people have little thorn like that too of some sort.

The sweet lady in the wheelchair started to encourage me, saying God sees what I do. She was so precious to tell me I was an upstanding Christian woman in every way, she slowly reiterated and she was so precious, it was clearly a labor for her to even speak. She proceeded to prophesy to my heart in such a lovely way. I was in awe. I smiled and looked at her through watery eyes. God has spoken through these residents before like that and it never ceases to amaze me.

God is so Great. This was definitely worthy of an entry here for future remembrance God's Heart for His Children and His Faithfulness.

My sweetheart friend, Calvin who is almost blind in an eye and cannot speak well or hear hardly...He is so precious...He had cried out and I quickly turned to see if he needed help. The same precious lady who had spoken Words of encouragement from the Lord tells me in her labored way since her face is paralyzed...

"He cannot hear or speak" She proceeded to share how blessed we are since we can hear and speak.

Remember, this lady is also bound in a wheelchair, half of her face is paralyzed, it's a labor for her to speak. She has no one to help her with her makeup. Her sons rarely visit her and she tells me how blessed she is.

How blessed she is...How blessed we are...

What a precious, precious attitude. Awed. (an understatement) Words just cannot describe the Lord and His Saints. May we be so obedient to encourage others.

(No, I didn't cut my hair, it's pulled back in this pic) : )


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The last nursing home visit we saw Howard, he is a dear and I'm concerned for him. Half of the time he is not there and in the hospital these days. The last time he was there I spied hospice business cards on his night stand.

Michelle went back to see him the next week since she was off from work and he was back in the hospital. She has given him a Bible but we don't know what to think on where he stands with the Lord. He is a sweetheart and he may be closer to the Lord than anybody. Who knows. Some people are very private about things and that is okay. : )

Please pray for Howard because I know he is not doing well physically, poor little guy. And just in case please pray the Lord will show Himself to Howard clearly if Howard has not seen the full picture of the Heavenly Father. Howard has plenty of smarts, he's traveled the world over as an archeologist. He never married and I have no idea why, it doesn't matter really, it's none of my business. : ) He has darling blue German eyes like my dad's. He smiles like a little boy with a sparkle and a little boy grin.

Please Pray for Howard.
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Here is a photo of Muffie and Charlie a week or so ago playing with our junior kitten, Marilla. We have two other doglets too, Guisseppe and Esther. But Muffie and Charlie are the whirlwind escape artists. .... Toots. They are sweet toots though. ; )



Right now we have (had) (I need to turn it back on)...The soundtrack to the theme of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Elmer Bernstein. Beautiful, beautiful....

The girls are cooking I think zuchini and squash making Greek pitas? I hear talk of a fruit pie as well.

Today I worked on a wrap skirt, I did this one in pink gingham, hoping it will look cute when finished. I felt like something cheerful. I washed clothing too, had a great time with Beccs today in some great conversation. Hubs is off today and on the tractor, I told him this morning how I love sewing and designing clothing. I used to illustrate fashions in highschool and they usually were hung in the showcase in our school as well as me and my friend posing once in the showcase once still like a statue to see if anyone would notice. : P I try to sew in small increments along with general household needs too otherwise the house will crumble to pieces. Let's just say, housekeeping isn't easy for a creative messy like myself. : ) ...So don't drop by without giving me three hours notice okay? Unless of course you too are a creative mess! : D

In the mornings and eves I like to meditatively clip the rose bushes and listen to the beautiful sound of small airplanes flying overhead and it reminds me of my daddy flying when I was a little girl. Beautiful memories. I'll forever remember memories of my dad flying overhead, visits to the base to swim with handsome G.I. Joe friends and their families like something from an old 50s magazine.

I plan on going to the pond to read a bit, a book written by my sweet friend: House Made by Hands. by Jane Bennet Gaddy.

Blessings to All and to All a goodnight! Love, ~Amelia