Tag Archive | Hope

I Found My Word For the Year

That’s right…I found my word for the year after being challenged by my  dear friend Andrea Stunz who is a contributing author on Kirk Cameron’s website thecourage.com. I absolutely Love… Love…Love what she wrote in “The one word I need for the new year”.  After reading her story, I could not think of anything else…What was my word? I thought of a thousand words but none were perfect for me. Then all of the sudden it came while I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. Of course, my word for 2018 is the most perfect word EVER!!!

HOPE

What is hope? What does hope really mean? I thought I knew but wanted to be sure. OMGosh, my heart skipped a beat as I read about hope and I absolutely loved the definitions.

Noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
            Synonyms: Aspiration, Desire, Wish, Expectation, Ambition, Aim, Goal, Plan
Verb: to want something to happen or be the case.
            Synonyms: Expect, Anticipate, Look for, Be hopeful of

Now when I was young I was taught the polar opposite definitions of hope. I was told:

  • “Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed it doesn’t happen”
  • “Don’t get your hopes up”
  • “That will never happen”
  • “We’ll see”
  • “No”

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As an adult those phrases were pushed to the back of my mind until August of 2016 when   my life completely unraveled. I had allowed myself to dream but only to have every thing come crashing down around me. The words I heard growing up became a self-fulfilling prophecy and my life was engulfed with loss and disappointment.

For some, hoping is easy but for me it is a huge risk. Taking the risk to hope again could result in more loss and disappointment. However, I’ve decided…Nothing ventured…Nothing Gained.

There is so much anticipation in the word HOPE. It’s kinda like getting to go on vacation. All you can think about is where your going and what you plan to do when you get there. You expect to have a good time…YOU HAVE HOPE!!!

My favorite scripture contains HOPE!!!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My Word for 2018 is HOPE

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It Has Been A Hard Year

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Saying goodbye to 2016 will be one of the easiest things we could ever do!  This has been the hardest year of our adult life!!

The hard stuff started with Richard working a 100 day shut down. As if working shift work was not hard enough on both of us…The plant expected him to work 12/12’s in a row, take one day off, and return to work on the 14th day. Supper tough when transitioning from night shift to day shift as he slept his days off away!

Then, we decided to sell our home. Our grandson’s wife came in and helped us sell most of our furniture and interior decor only to discover our contract fell through…The buyers backed out! So, I redecorated the whole house again. Soon after we were settled in, our daughter and son-in-law approached us with a plan to downsize our lives and build a smaller more efficient home. After much discussion we were all in and placed the house on the market again. Before we knew it the house was sold and we were moving all our belongings into storage and we moved in with our daughter and son-in-law. Yep, that was the plan…Live with the kids while we built a house.

We found our land, our builder, and the process was in full motion! We worked the land, installed the culverts, obtained permits, had the electricity ran and we were well on our way then the neighborhood flooded. While where the house would sit was above the flood plain the roads to our land was under water. The flood delayed the building process and provided us more time with the kids. Then on July 30th our son-in-law presented an alternate plan…”Why don’t you just live with us rather than build? It just makes sense” he said. He offered us the second story of their home and again, after much discussion we were on board! He relocated his game room and we moved upstairs!

Also, during that same time Richard took a new job! He was finally going to be able to work Monday-Friday with weekend and holidays off. Woohoo…I had waited over 28yrs for a “Normal” life!!!

So, with us simplifying our lives and reducing our cost of living, I decided to retire. I gave my notice on August 1st. One day later we learned of our oldest daughter’s death. Tori lived in Austin and had passed away on July 31st but because we had move, they had a difficult time locating us. Our world as we knew it was rocked to the core and a giant hole was carved out of our hearts…The following days and weeks were a daze. We had a memorial service for Tori and celebrated her precious life. I am not sure we would have made it through those days without the support of Brandi, Robi, Cheyenne, and the kind words from family and friends.

Soon we realized we needed to get back to some resemblance of a life so we started the daunting task of emptying the storage buildings…4 of them to be exact! It was good to have something to keep our minds occupied because our hearts were aching! We sold, donated, and gifted people with our “stuff” by the trailer loads!  It was hard to believe all we had worked for our entire married life was gone in less than 2 months!!!

Once we finished all the hard work of downsizing we decided to buy a 5th wheel so we could do a little traveling. Richard’s schedule was 4/10’s with every Fri, Sat, and Sun off which was perfect for some weekend traveling! That is until what would be a 3yr assignment turned into 3 months and he finds himself without work.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

While 2016 has been filled with mourning and despair, God has been faithful and provided us with beauty for ashes:

  • We have a gift of a lifetime given to us by our daughter and son-in-law. One of family, love, laughter, and simplicity
  • We have witnessed our granddaughter Cheyenne enjoy being drum major this year
  • We have an income and our financial needs are met
  • We have a home
  • We have each other
  • We know we WILL see Tori again

It Has Been A Hard Year…But God has held us Beneath His Sheltering Wings and Close to His Heart and His Promises Are My Hope for 2017

We wish you a Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year Logo

Love,

Richard & Lee

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Time to Tell My Story

Tonight as I lay here on the couch with chills and fever I felt impressed to share my story. A story known by only a few people but, today I realized is the day to finally share with everyone.

On July 4 of 1997 a storm blew through Brazoria Texas with high winds blowing down several large limbs in our yard. Of course, anyone who knows me, knows that I could not leave those limbs laying in the yard. So I got out and began picking up the limbs until the yard was completely cleared. Later that evening as I was getting ready for bed I noticed a large red raised area on my abdomen. So I thought I had been bitten by a mosquito. However the swollen area was much larger than a mosquito bite.

Fast forward to August Richard was asked to sing in a wedding in Rockport Texas. So we got a room and decided to make it a weekend get away for us. When he finished at the rehearsal We decided to go see a movie but it was too early yet. So, we went back to the room to lay down for a quick nap. It was 12 hours later that I finally woke up. Poor guy, he just thought it was exhausted and decided to allow me to sleep. The hotel that we stayed at had a really nice restaurant next to it and was within walking distance. So I got up, got dressed, and off we went to breakfast. By the time we were seated I was so exhausted I can hardly sit up straight. In fact, Richard went and got the car to pick me up at the front door of the restaurant because I was too exhausted to walk.

When we returned home I made an appointment with my primary care physician. I described for him all of the symptoms that I was experiencing aches, pains, fever, chills, and extreme exhaustion. After a brief visit I was in shock! My diagnosis was Depression…Really??? I had absolutely nothing to be depressed about! You see Richard had surrendered to full-time ministry, I would be doing agency nursing, and we were going to downsize our lifestyle and move on the seminary campus. we were elated…We were moving to the land of milk and honey!!! So how could I possibly be depressed?

A couple of weeks later I decided to go to my Gynecologist for second opinion thinking that possibly my hormones were out of whack. Unbelievable… she gave me the same diagnosis!!! DEPRESSION….

Did these physicians not realize I was not DEPRESSED! I was SICK!!!

Approximately a week later a physician was making rounds in ICU at Brazosport Memorial Hospital. He happened to catch me with a thermometer sticking out of my mouth. He asked “are you running fever”? I answered, “Yes but nobody believes me”. He said, “what is your temperature?”. I replied, “98.6”. He said, “what is your normal temperature?” I replied 97. He then responded with, “depressed people don’t run a fever come see me in my office”. He reached over and picked up the phone, dialed his office, and told his staff to work me onto the books so he could see me as soon as possible.

Within a couple of days I was seen by the doctor. He spent a lot of time with me asking questions and ordering test. As I was walking out the door, he said just for grins let’s run this one. It was a Lyme’s titer and he was checking for Lyme’s Disease…

Every day of my life, I thank God for a physician who would listen to me!!! I now knew what had caused all my symptoms…It was Lyme’s Disease and you see if the disease had gone undetected I could’ve easily died or worse been a vegetable… In fact, I already thought I was!!!

Immediately he referred me to an infectious disease doctor in Conroe, Texas. They inserted a peripherally inserted central line (PICC) into my arm for long-term antibiotic therapy. The antibiotics were to be to be administered every eight hours for eight weeks. So without fail I did not miss a dose! I wanted to get better!!!

My coworkers in ICU were absolute angels. In fact, they literally carried me through my shifts. They were right there next to me helping me by double checking my medication calculations and ensuring I was giving safe care to the patients because by now I was experiencing some cognitive deficits and brain fog.

It was at week six of my treatment everything began to go south quickly. I started developing grape size nodules all over my skull and body along with flu like symptoms and fever. I contacted my doctor and he told me just to keep taking the medication it probably was just the flu. If it wasn’t better by Monday make an appointment and come into his office and he would see me. By Monday I was even worse. In route to his office it was time for me to receive my antibiotic so I administered my infusion while driving to his office in Conroe. When I walk through the door he said “Oh my Gosh, you are allergic to the antibiotics. You must stop them right away.” So I did and immediately began to feel better he told me, “consider yourself healed”.

So I did just that. I went back to work full blast, I was in the process of organizing Ladies Night at First Baptist Church Brazoria, and packing my house getting ready to move to Fort Worth. I still had an occasional ache and pain, bouts of exhaustion, and even bouts of Brain fog but the doctor told me I could expect some of this so I didn’t wig out… That is until I couldn’t make a complete sentence and I was unable to retrieve words easily. Verbal communication became more and more difficult for me so, I decided to go and see the physician who diagnosed me with the limes disease.

I explained I had some bouts of muscle aches and pains, exhaustion and difficulty finding words in my vocabulary. Although I knew the words were there I couldn’t make them come out of my mouth!!! His Diagnoses were:

Then he proceeds to tell me “there is no cure”. I was shocked to discover I would have to live with this for the rest of my life!!!

To this day, I still struggle with fatigue, aches and pains, and the inability to get the word(s) that I want to say out of my mouth. So:

  •  When I am tired…I rest
  • When I hurt…I meditate
  • When I can’t get the words out…I type which is cognitive paired with tactile.

While many people never knew this about me…primarily because I refuse to be labeled…I thought it might help my family and friends understand:

  • Why talking on the phone is difficult at times because I can’t get the right words out and just say what does come which may not even be relevant. So, I just don’t answer the phone.
  • Why I spend so much time on social media such as Facebook…it is so much easier to communicate in written word.
  • Why I don’t often accept lunch invitations…they often require more energy than I have to offer
  • Why I try to separate myself from negative people…they just suck the life out of me.
  •  Why capturing memories in pictures is so important to me… A picture is worth 1000 words!!!

Because of my past experiences with antibiotics I am hesitant to take them. This weekend, I have fever, chills, congestion and a kidney infection and realize, my homeopathic approach is not working so I will be making an appointment with my physician tomorrow…I guess this weekend has reminded me of how I felt when I had Lyme’s.

I do not wear these challenges like a badge to draw attention to myself. In-fact, I would not be sharing now except…I have several friends battling illness and I want them to know they are not alone. When I see their posts written in despair, I pray for them but do not engage in conversation with them about their illness as ultimately it causes my focus to turn from health and the healing wings of my Heavenly Father to disease, illness and destruction.  I also felt it was time to provide insight for friends and family so they could better understand why I am like I am.

I am favored & highly blessed & it is a privilege to call each of you my family, my friends, and my sisters and brothers in Christ. God has been so incredibly good to me!!!

I Will Sing of His Love Forever…

Love Lee ♥

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My 911 Call

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, lost, uncertain about the direction you life is going?
Do you have bills that need to be paid, a heavy workload, or just seem bombarded by life?
In other words…Do you feel like you life and everything in it is falling apart?

It could be time for 911…Psalms 91:1

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Dwell:
     To reside 
     To live as a permanent resident
Abide:
     To remain in a place
     To continue to be sure or firm; endure.

Nothing can harm you Beneath His Sheltering Wing!!!

911…Give Him A Call

Love Lee ♥

Let There Be Light

For all who have visited our home in Jones Creek know all too well the importance of light in my life. In-fact, anyone who passed our home could see the lights from the street as the electric candles burned in every window to illuminate our home.

These electric candles burn 24/7 as a symbol of life to all who pass by. Life, love, and hope that filles our home served as a beacon for all to join us in our celebration. In-fact, prior to moving, I received a card from a neighbor thanking me for keeping the candles burning throughout the night. She suffered from a chronic illness and spent many sleepless nights gazing out her window across the street at our lights stating they served as a symbol of hope for her. One of the saddest moments I experienced when we moved was unplugging my lights and packing them away.

As I unpacked boxes in our new home, I came across the lights. I debated about putting them in the windows but got side tracked and put the box aside and totally forgot about them. After dinner last night, Richard said, “Hey Babe, can you come here for a minute?”. I followed him outside to the front of the house and Oh My Gosh…The entire front of the house was glowing! He had unpacked my lights…

Let There Be Light…We are Home Now!

Love Lee ♥

 

 

 

 

You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29

 

Who’s Your Daddy

In a recent conversation with a friend we discussed the effects of growing up without the presence of her father in her home. In-fact she did not even know who her father was. Life was challenging and many of her emotional needs were not met resulting in poor life choices, acting out, and feelings of insignificance.

Statistics show that children who grow up in a fatherless home are:

  • 5 Times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 Times more likely to run away
  • 20 Times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 Times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 Times more likely to drop out of highschool
  • 10 Times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 20 Times more likely to end up in prison

Wow…this is mind-boggling and is so dismal.

Fatherlessness is not only those who grew up without a father but also those who had one he did not meet the emotional needs of his family.  The father that is consumed with his own personal wants and desires without regard to the effects it will have on the family.

Growing up my home life was less than perfect…I was not fatherless but on the other hand did not receive the unconditional love and acceptance a daughter seeks from their dad. My parents divorced when I was 16 and my mother remarried. My Pappy is a wonderful man and as an adult provided me, my sisters, and brother with unconditional love and acceptance. He loves us and would go to the moon and back for us.

When it comes to my childhood…

  • Am I bitter….NO
  • Am I sad…A little
  • Do I miss him…at times
  • Would I change anything…NEVER!!!

You see, it was during those times of feeling like I didn’t measure up or feeling I had been abandoned by my earthly dad that my Heavenly Father made Himself known to me. He showed me that He:

  • Loves and adores me
  • Wants to spend time with me
  • Cares about what concerns me
  • Celebrates my successes
  • Knows what makes me tick
  • Disciplines me when I need it
  • Takes care of all my needs.

If you are fortunate enough to have an earthly father who has met your physical and emotional needs growing up…Yeah. But for those of you who have not please know all is not lost and you my precious one are not fatherless and you do not have to be a statistic.

The Lord your God is with you He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

My Daddy is God… Who’s Your Daddy?

My friend, you have a Daddy God! I encourage you to crawl up in His lap and let Him comfort you, love you, delight in you and let Him sing you a lullaby!

Love Lee ♥