About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Journey Began With A Smile

Oh, the power of a smile! I will always be in awe of the way I met Pat. I looked across the hall in the hospital and saw her looking at me - a complete stranger - and smiling at me! What??? Someone looking across the hall, smiling at me as if I were her best friend? Little did I know that smile would be the start of a journey where we would develop a deep relationship, where I would learn more about her, and about God. I stopped by her room and told her I loved her smile. The doctor was with her, so I couldn’t visit, but left with her on my mind. I was so intrigued when I walked home, I knew I had to know more about her and went back that afternoon to meet her.

From the moment I saw Pat I knew there was something different and special about her. After meeting her, I realized what made her so special. Her faith and love for God were awe inspiring, to the point she smiled in the midst of her storms. Considering the magnitude of her storms, this was truly amazing! Something had attacked her body and she was in a sense, paralyzed. Other than being able to squeeze my hand, there was little more that she could do with her body. To make matters worse, she had a trachea, was on a ventilator and her only communication came by reading her lips.

In the middle of all Pat was going through, she was quick to offer me hope and encouragement when I was going through a couple of hard times. One day I shared a concern with her. Without hesitation she said, “You have to promise me you won’t worry about this. God has something better in store for you. Promise me you’ll trust God with this.” Knowing my battles with worry, I couldn’t give her that promise. Pat wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and insisted that I make the promise. It was hard for me to do, but I made the commitment to her. That simple act changed the way I looked at the situation, and helped me keep worry at bay.

I can’t begin to understand the ways of God, and the way He answers our prayers. Pat trusted Him for a healing. Friends anointed her with oil and prayed over her. Many prayers went up on her behalf. I prayed for her, prayed with her and read Bible verses to her. Almost daily I saw a decline in her health. As I watched her slowly fade away, I thought more and more about God. I sensed He put Pat in my life to teach me more about trusting Him. Instead of trusting Him to do what I wanted, I needed to be trusting in Him to do His perfect will for her life!

Yesterday Pat received complete healing, and Heaven got a little sweeter, as she went home to be with our Heavenly Father. No more pain and suffering for her! She’s rejoicing and praising God with all the angels. In one of our many conversations, I told Pat when she got to Heaven she would be running and singing all over the place. The angels would be chasing after her, telling her to slow down, she has all of eternity to praise God. After being confined to a hospital bed for months, and only able to communicate by someone reading her lips, I can only imagine the rejoicing she’s doing!

I told a friend I wish I could have had one more hour with Pat. She asked if there were a lot of things I wished I had said to her. And there isn’t! I can’t think of one thing I would say, that I hadn’t already said! I would just love to tell her again how much I love her, how much of a difference she made in my life, and see her smile one more time. I’m so thankful that God chose to put this beautiful person in my life. The brief time I knew her, has forever changed my life.

To read more about Pat, check out the tags on my blog, "Pat."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Since I had to take Cade home yesterday, I thought I’d go out and spend some time with Dad for an early “Father’s Day.” It becomes increasingly harder for me every time I go for a visit and yesterday was really bad. I didn’t stay long and felt guilty about it, when I left.

Dad always seems glad to see me, but I'm not sure he knows who I am. The way he acts, I think he knows that I’m someone close to him, someone he should know. As I watch him, I sit and wonder what he’s thinking. Gone are the days of sitting and having a conversation with him. He mumbles a lot, making it hard to hear him. What he does say, makes no sense. To add to the confusion, Mom asks him to repeat what he says. He can’t remember what he says, so he gets a blank look and shrugs his shoulders, or says something different than what he originally said. I don’t know why Mom is so insistent on having him repeat stuff. The only thing I can figure out is she’s hoping he’ll say something that makes sense, and she doesn’t want to miss that moment.

It’s so hard for me to watch some of the things Dad does, as it reflects just how bad his mind really is. He is so confused in so many ways. One time he broke up his cookies, put them in his coke and started eating them like you would cookies and milk. I ask him what he was doing, and he looked at me like I was the one with brain issues. He said he had been doing that "all his life." Another time he poured his coke into a gallon of ice cream. Yesterday he picked up a piece of chocolate candy and ate it like he would a cracker, with his red beans and rice. Then he put a piece of candy with the wrapper on it, in his mouth. When I told him he couldn’t do that and to spit it out, he looked at me as a child would, that had just been scorned.

A friend recently said that both of parents were here one day and gone the next. She said that after hearing what others have gone through with their parents, she is thankful that God blessed her, and her parents, with a quick death. I’ve thought a lot about what she said. Up until Dad started getting so bad, I had felt blessed to have him and Mom with us. Now it’s hard seeing him the way he is, and watching her as she tries to cope with the changes taking place with him. I’m not sure which way is easier and I’m thankful God is the one who determines all of this. For me, it’ll be a relief when my dad passes and I know he’s out of this state of confusion and home with Jesus. As for today, I’m going to focus on the memories, and I have lots of those to be thankful for!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Corn and Blueberry Salad

I love a summer salad and when I read the ingredients in this recipe, I knew it would become a favorite of mine. Not only does it tastes yummy, it makes a pretty, colorful salad. I changed the original recipe up a little, so here is my version:

Corn and Blueberry Salad

6 ears fresh sweet corn
2 cups blueberries
2 small cucumbers, quarter and slice
½ cup red onion chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 Tbsp lime juice
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt

Cook corn and cut off cob. Let cool. In serving bowl combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and jalapeno pepper.

In screw-top jar, combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin and salt. Shake well to combine. Add to salad and toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you want to serve it right away, let it sit at room temperature for half an hour, to an hour to let the flavors meld.