Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Could we walk away from it all???

When Dave and I were children;s evangelists at Chambers camp many years ago we were talking about past evangelists they have had in the past.  They were telling us about this one family that was no longer doing the ministry, and was not doing anything for God...I Remembered thinking...."How could that ever happen."  God was soooo very real in our life I could not fatham anyone who was serving God so faithfully able to walk away from Him and His work.  I thought..."That would NEVER happen to us.  I could never imagine being a family that does not go to church....the week would not even be complete...
I am not saying it has...but I now can see how it could happen.  It starts with little things....This has been a tough year for my family...we have lost alot, and our faith has been strianed. 
There were many times I would look at my family and feel like we were so "Worldly".  The summer was so crazy we got out of the habbit of going to chuch...we only prayed at meal times...and Dave and the kids really seemed to be struggling with God being real in their lives.  Brandon was angry at God for Grandmas suffering, Dave was disappointed in the whole church situation, and the girls just seemed to care more about sports and friends then God.  He did not seem real to them.  It seemed like every time we were doing things with "Christian" organizations or people we got burned...  We had alot of that this summer...Plus Dave was in pain....his soulders were hurting like crazy, we spent all this time getting in shape and loosing weight, and now he cant even lift a glass of water without hurting.  The job of delivering  papers were throwing us so off schedule.   We really have not had time to go to the gym in a month...and no matter how many jobs we took on, we never seemed to be able to catch up on bills...ONe thing after another, and we seemed so far away from God, that I started to panic!  Each of my girls came up to me this week and told me that no matter how hard they pray, they can't feel God. ...I told them that it is normal process, and they have to "work out their salvation...meaning, Although they are saved, God has to become, not something mom and dad told us to do, but something they want to do... they did not see that happening.Brandon was just plain angry at God, and Dave just was apathetic.  Not that I was Ms. Spiritual during all this, but, I just kept praying....God, make yourself real to my family....and each day somthing else seemed to fall apart!  Both of our cars are in need of over $500 in repairs,plus inspection is up in 4 days on car and it wont pass inspection,  Brandon's car is undrivable and needs about $1000 in repairs...Rebecca tore her miniscus and could not swim, Dave was saying he was in pain all the time, and I got an infection in my eye and cold sores in my mouth...the microwave stopped working, the dishwasher broke, and every time we opened the mail it was another bill....and the house was filled with flies...no matter how much I cleaned.  I felt like we were living in plagues, or a demented country music song... everything happended but the dog dying (which at this point may have been a blessing, since he still is not house broken....)
 I just kept praying....God, somehow make yourself real to my kids....my husband, myself...
Rebecca was really upset that she could not swim.  This was her senior year...she was going for the school record and scholarships.  She had worked all summer long at gym so she would be in shape for swimming.  It killed me to tell her she could not swim.  The specialist could not see her until October 10th.  The season was over the 18th...we knew she was done for the seeason.  It was heartbreaking to see her hurt.  I was talking to a friend and they suggested I try another specialist.  I called and got an appointment for both Becca and Dave for Oct 1 (which was still 2 weeks awaay at the time)  it was better, but it still did not help her with her swimming. Rachael, Brandon and I have been going to University of Buffalo for swimming and her for Diving.  I have enjoyed swimming, and have been doing 100 laps in the pool about 2-5 times per week, depending on the week.  I was swimming and all of a sudden I knew I had to go talk to the swim coach about Becca.  It was as if God told me to do it.  At first I ignored it,  and after the 3rd time...I decided I better listen. Didn't I just pray that day for God to make himself real to Becca....I walked up to the coach, told them what had happened to Becca and asked him if he knew of anyone that could help...he said he really did not and walked away.  I stood there for a minute in shock...was I not just told to go talk to this man???? Then the still quiet voice told me to go ask him again...I wanted to go back into the water and forget the whole thing...but I knew I had to listen....I walked back up to the coach looked him right in the eye and said..."Isn't there anything you can do?  It is her senior year, she needs to swim....she needs this schoolarship" and I just stared at him...with, as my brother and sister would say, my puppy dog eyes.  He looked at me and then said, " Let me make a phone call..." and walked away. He was gone for like 10 min. I thought he had forgotten me, but when he came back he had a piece of paper in his hand....he explained that 5 years ago, when he was still in college,he had lived with a family of whose children swam in high school.  They were orthopedic doctors (both husband and wife)  He called them and told them the situation.  He handed me the paper and said to call them in the morning and they will see if they can fit her in this week.  That was Wednesday night.  Thursday morning I called at 7 before I left for work.  I thought they would be closed and I would just leave a message...but no they answered right away...once I explained it all to her, she looked at her book and said, "Well, we just had a cancelation, can you have her in here by 9!"  I told her we sure would!  Dave took her in, They were wonderful.  They said she she definatly hasd a torn miniscus that only surgery would fix and  needs to see a specilaist. They made a call and she had an appoinment for the next morning!  She went there, they said she needs surgery, and they would do it monday morning!!!THey also told her it would not hurt her too swim...she could swim that night...She ran home just in time to leave on the bus for the swim meet!  She made ECIC (that was her goal, so she could get a chance to go on to state competition)  in both of the races she swam in!   Now mind you this is all happening so fast we barely have time to get all of the approvals for insurance,,,but for once they came  through without a hitch.  They did the surgery Monday morning.  It was actually torn in two spots, and it definatly needed surgery.  They had her on the bike 15 min after surgery!  They wanted her to do physical theropy the next morning.  As we brought her home I was just amazed at how God worked out every  little detail....I hugged her in the kitchen and started to cry...I told her..." You said two days ago no matter how much you pary you cant feel God...I have been praying that God would make Himself real in your life...and He did...I just want you to see how much God loves you!"  I walked into the office and a book caught my eye..."The Power of a Praying Wife"  Right then I was convicted...I had been praying for my kids, but my husband is in so much pain,,,, I need to pray for his healing...I stopped righ there and had a talk with God..." Pleas heal my husband...so he can see how much you love him."  I then got the idea.....if they could help Becca this quickly, maybe, they could help Dave too...when I called for Becca's appointment I also asked for one for Dave....They were able to get him in at 8:45 and Becca in at 9:00  Now those of you that have made appoinments with specialists know that this just does not happen. These were not just any specialist, these were the doctors that work with the Buffalo Sabers....sports doctors..."They also just happened to have a cancelation!"  God also told me to tell Dave to ask for an injection.  Now I have had injections many times in my neck...but never on a first visit evaluation...but I was not running this show...God was...I was just doing what he told me to do...Dave did not look to thrilled with my suggestion  (I did not even tell him where I got the idea from)  When I came home from school later that day, I looked at Dave and immediatly knew something was different.  I could see it in the way he was standing, and the pain was gone on his face...when I asked him what happened, he told me the doctor gave him an injection (he did not suggest it)  He would not admit that he felt better...The doctor also said Becca was doing wonderful,and that the stitches would come out Friday, and she would be good to go...she could start swimming on Monday! ONe WEek after surgery!!!  I kept watching Dave all eveining...and finally he looked up at me and said.."The pain is completly gone!"  I looked at him with tears in my eyes and told him...."I prayed yesturday moring for your healing!  God did it!"
I know this was a long post...but you have to see that God does care about the little things...The hurt knees, the sholders that ache...the cars that are broken (tonight at my meeting someone gave me a name of a mechanic around the corner from my house that is wonderful and half the price of my mechanic)  Now I am not saying that everything is magically fixed...Only time will tell, but I know that my family now knows that God loves them and cares about them.  God answered so many prayers...when I opened up facebook this evening the first thing I read was my Beccas posting...it was this....
when all of the sudden, i am unaware of the afflictions eclipsed by glory. and i realize just how beautiful you are. and how great your effections for me.

Tears came to my eyes.... we serve an awesome God!
Keep praying for my family...he is doing something wonderful, I can feel it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am so glad I listened and went to my mom's house tonight!

I Am So Glad I Went To Mom's House Tonight!

Tonight I got the best gift I could have ever gotten.  If I did no listen to the voice inside that said GO, I would have missed out on a memory that will be with me the rest of my life.  I wanted to share it with you so you can see how much God cares about our feelings.  He knows that we needed to have peace about who we were selling the house to.!  It is a hard thing to give up the last piece of our parents we have…but today I can honestly say, I am excited for what God has in store for it….
I had a show in Hamburg.  I was performing as CoCo the Clown at a 3 year olds birthday party.  The show went better than expected. I just had so much fun clowning around.  The whole time I was there I was thinking about mom, and the house…knowing that the new owners were supposed to be there to start working on the house. I kept thinking, "should I go or not?" I texted the person  who was renting and asked him, “Are they there?”  He wrote back “They weren’t when I left but I will be home in 15 min. and I will let you know.”   I told him that I was doing a clown show that was ten min away.  He said, “oh, my kids would love that, can you come over?"  I really only wanted to go if the new owners were there, but I did not want to disappoint him.  I was having an internal conflict with myself…arguing out loud in the car…My heart wanted to go…but time wise, I wanted to just go home and rest, Finally the voice that said “Go!” won and I found myself on my way to moms house.  As I pulled onto mom’s road, I remembered the last time I  came as a clown.  Mom always loved it.  She would get such a great big smile on her face when I came in as CoCo the Clown!  As I remembered the last time that happened, I started to tear up. I had to tell myself to "Straighten up…clowns shouldn’t cry!"   As I pulled into the driveway Little Camden (Mike’s son) ran out of the house as soon as I got out of the car.  He was so excited! He was jumping up and down and saying, ”This is so cool! You are soooo cool! You are the coolest clown eve! I can’t believe you came to see me!”  I got my balloon pump out and told him I would make him balloon animals.  He was so excited.  They had me come in the living room.  As we walked in, Camden spread his arms out real big and motioned around the living room and said..."Don't you just love this place!"  That was it...CoCo the Clown had tears coming down her face... I looked at him and said, "Yes, honey I love this place very much..."  Then Mike explained that I lived here from the time I was  a little girl.  After that Mike, His wife Jen, daughter Maddie and Son Camden watched and laughed as I made balloons.  I made a sward and a belt for Camden…which of course made Mike say….”I need one too!”   I made a dog on a leash for Maddie and then once I made a flower I told Camden to take it over to his mom and tell her it was for her and that he loved her!  Once he did that, and the whole family went, ”Awe How cute!”  a sword fight broke out between the boys… which of course made me  produce 3 more swords and we all had a sword fight in the living room.  It was so great to hear so much laughter in the house.  It was a gift I will never forget. If I would have went home then I would have felt fulfilled…but it gets better. 

I walked into the kitchen and looked out the window and saw two guys working on the barn…I looked at Mike and said,  “Is one of them the one buying the house?”  He pointed to one and said he thought it was that one…I   asked him…”well, should I go as CoCo the clown or go change and look like a respectable person?”  He gets that special smile on his face that reminds me of dad puts his arm around me and gives me a squeeze and says, “I think you should go out just like you are!  I will go out with you!” 

As I am walking out toward the barn the guys look up and start laughing at me.  They look at Mike and me and say, “They sure do dress different out here in the country don’t they!”  Mike then introduces me as one of the owners of the house and the mans eyes light up…He grabs my hand shakes it and says, “Thank you so much for selling me your house!”  He goes on to tell me it is his dream house.  Then he says, “Wait, I have to show you something….”  He looks though his phone and opens up a picture of moms wooden message box in the front entryway.  He says, “  Look at this.  This is my moms. It is almost exactly the same. I grew up with this from the time I was little. As soon as I saw this I knew I had come home, and that this is the house for me.”  He shows me the picture and I am amazed. It is the same saying (If at home you do not find us, leave a note that will remind us) and it had pictures of Teddy bears on it.  He then shows me another picture…it is of mom’s kitchen…with her table in it…but with the walls all redone and painted.  He is planning on putting white wood going half way up the wall (vertical) with a wood trim, and painting the top a tan color….It looked so beautiful.  He had taken pictures of every room in the house he told me he wants to live in it just the way it is for a while…but he spends every spare moment with photo shop dreaming of what he can do with the house.  He told me he matched the brick outside and with photo shop came up with the colors he is painting the house…a tan and brown.  He also told me he drives by the house 3-5 times a week, at different times of the day, just to see what it looks like at different times of the day! He told me I could come by any time and see what he has done with the house.  He also told me he could tell the house was made with much love and could feel it in the house as he walked through.  He even asked me if mom sewed!  When I told her she had quilting classes one day a week in her kitchen, he got a big smile on his face, and said, “I knew it…mom was a sewer and so was yours…they would have loved each other…” He told me about his mom.  She is 93.  Where they live now he has to carry her up the stairs for her to use the bathroom.  He can’t wait for her to see the bathroom downstairs When I asked him which room she will get, he looks at me and says, “Oh that is up to her, she gets first choice!”  Then he asks me if he could take my picture as a clown to show his mom!  As we are talking his phone rings, he looks and says, “Oh, that is mom now!”  He tells her he has someone very special for her to talk to and hands me the phone.  Tears came to my eyes as I heard her voice, she called me honey and sounded just like grandma Serena.  She asked me what I was doing there and I said, “Oh, just clowning around!" (which made every one laugh) and then I told her, “Actually, I just came to say hi to your son and see if he was working hard enough….”  She replied…” He’s a hard worker that son of mine…I just love that boy so much!”  I told her I would stop by and see her sometime and we said goodbye he again invited me back to see the house any time….

I went into the house (actually Camden came out and said his balloon sword popped and asked me to make him a new one) I made two flowers out of balloons and took them out to him and told him that those were for “mom”.   He thanked me and told me he would take good care of the house and love it so very much….

What a precious time God gave to me today…I have such a peace about selling mom’s house now.  It may not yet be filled with kids…but today it was…It was filled with laughter, joy and fun…just like it always was.  God let me meet the wonderful family that is moving in.  They are people that will love the house and appreciate all the things in the house!  I am so glad I listened to the voice that said “Go!!” instead of listening to the voice of reason that said….”You don’t have time for this!”  I would have missed out on a precious last memory of moms house.  Listen to those still small voices….they usually are something great that God has planned for you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ths time last year I still could hug my momma!

This Time Last Year I Could Still Hug My Momma!
This is a hard time of year for our family.  A year ago on the 14th of September, my mom went home to be with the Lord. I was so close to my mom.  I talked to her 1-4 times a day, and thought I could never live without her.  Well, a year has gone by.  Although we have a huge whole in our hearts, we have made it. As I reflect on all that has happened this last year, I cant help but say, "Mom would have loved to see what we have done..." Not just Dave and I personally, but my whole family.  We have all grown this year...My brothers and sisters and I  talk on the phone every two weeks- for over an hour.  At first it was just business, but it has become more then that. We have become so  much closer.  We share with each other our hopes, dreams, accomplishments, and failures. We laugh together, cry together, and pray for each other.  This was something good that came out of mom's leaving us.  We know she has no more sorrow, no more pain...but our hearts are heavy this week.  It is a week of remembering...the last month with mom, the last week with mom, the last days with mom, and the last hours with mom. She was an amazing lady, a Godly lady. As I told my children, she was the real deal.  She loved God with her whole heart.  She lived each day to the fullest. 

That is what we need to do. We do not know how much time we have on this earth.  We need to dream big...and accomplish those dreams.  It is possible.  I look back at the pictures of Dave and I from a year ago and wonder "who were those people.."  How could we have let ourselves go so  much?  Did we stop caring? Did we become to busy?  What triggered it?  All I know is I never want to go back to being that couple that was living half a life. We can do more now then we ever could. We have a life that we can be proud of. So can you my friend. Anyone can accomplish anything they set their mind to.  I   know it is hard work. Believe me,  I know...but it is soo worth it. 
Thank you all of my faithful readers for all that you have done to show your support.  Your comments, your love, and your faithfulness never ceases to amaze me.  You are the reason why we have succeeded.  When I was ready to give up I would think of you and knew I could not let you down.  Please know you are all very special to me. As we go through this week, please keep my family in your prayers....we are all feeling mom's loss this week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I can swim!!!

I Can Swim!

Last Saturday was a sad day for me. They closed the community pool.   This year I have used it more then ever before.  Just about every day I would go over and do  my laps and exercises in the pool.  I got to know a lot of people, and sometimes got 3-5 people joining me in my "Runs" across the pool.  As the summer came to an end I was filled with fear and sadness.  What was I going to do? The high school pool does not open for another month. I have no pool.  God provided an answer....

Rachael is a diver. She is not just a diver, she is a very good diver.  for the past three years they have not had a diving coach at Springville.  This year she was tired of it and was going to quit the team and do cheerleading instead.  I was so sad...she had such talent. I knew she would love it if she had a coach. She thought about it and decided she was going to do something about the no coaching situation...and join diving.  Every year we have wanted to send her to the University of Buffalo for diving coaching...we never have had the money to do that. It cost $300 at a time where we are always low on  money. This year she took the matter into her own hands....and made it possible.  I suggested, since her Grandpa Jeffers was a lifetime member of the Moose lodge that she wrote them a letter asking them to sponsor her. (one of the moms on the swim team suggested it)  She did that and they said they would sponsor her for $100.  She knew that was not enough so she organized a garage sale too.  She cleaned out every nock and cranny of my house and we put tons of stuff out.  We made her $200 the night we were setting up and another $200 the next day. So she had her money for coaching.  Tuesday night was the first night.  As I watched   my daughter work one on one with the coaches, I was filled with such pride. She made this happen. All the other girls were goofing around, and playing in the hot water...not Rachael. She was focused and determined to learn as much as she possibly could.  She did 10 dives, to the other girls 1 dive...and she enjoyed herself so much. The coaches enjoyed her so much they said she could come any day, every day (for the $300 you are supposed to only get 2 days per week.) Of course Rachael would love to go every day. This is after doing her first day of school till 2:30 swim practice from 2:30-5 and then diving practice at UB from 6-8.  That would be a very busy schedule.

As I walked around that huge, Olympic sized pool, I got the water bug.  I wanted to get right in.  I saw people coming in, and asked about it.  For $20/month I could go swimming as much as I wanted...plus, I could use the indoor track, racket ball, weight room and classes!  I was so excited!  I paid my $20 and got my cool plastic UB pass like Brandon has for his college! So the next day I was ready.  I had my swim suit supplies all in a bag, I had dinner in bowls ready to walk out the door and I was ready to do my first day of swimming.  I am not sure what happened, but once Rachael came in..."Hurry, hurry mom we got to go..."  things got a little hairy there for a few minutes.  We finally got into the car, got to the college, and I asked Rachael to grab my bag.....She looked in the back, and said, "There is no bag here mom!"  I had left my swim suit and towel home!  I was so disappointed...all day I had thought about swimming in that humongous pool!  I dropped her off and punched "SEARS" into the GPS.  I ran into Sears and grabbed about 25 suits off the rack and quickly tried them on. Some were too revealing, some were to big, some were to small. I found a black one...that was ok.  It would have worked on our cruise we are planning but really not appropriate for swimming.  Things were looking pretty slim. There were only a few left.  As I looked at my choices, my eye caught a black one that I had grabbed on a whim. It was size 10!  It looked like a swimmers suit...like my girls wear for the team!  I put it on and it fit like a glove. It was perfect for me. I know that was the one.  Then I looked at the price tag.  It was normally $88 marked down to $37. That was more than I had to spend.  I took it to the register and they confirmed that it was indeed $37.  The customer at the register was using a 20% off coupon. I asked her where she got it.  She told me that she got it in the mail.  When she finished her purchase the sales lady handed her back the coupon and said she could use it the rest of the day! She then handed it to me.  My $88 swimmers swim suit cost me $27! I was so excited.  I had a suit I could be proud of!
Off to the pool I ran.  As I was standing by that huge pool my heart was overflowing with gratitude to the wonderful God that we serve.  He cares about us.. He cares about not just our needs, but our wants and our desires.  He know my name!  He loves me and wants to see me happy! Boy was I  happy!  As I swam 50 laps in 45 minutes (it is sooo big there is no way I could make 100 the first night).   I was so thankful that God gave me the children and family that I have.  That Rachael took the initiative to make her dreams come true.  He loved me enough that He provided a place for me to swim, the desire of my heart. Not just any place to swim, but the best possible place in all of Buffalo!

When you get discouraged, please realize that God loves you with an undying love. He cares about you, and wants to see you happy.  Be specific when you pray.  Ask God for the desires of your heart. He may just shock you and give them to you!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You have got to see pictures of both Dave and I!!!

This is us in our new outfits...I had to keep ordering smaller shirts...first 2X then XL then L and that is getting to big on me...could go with a med!

The new Dave and Kathleen...210 pounds lighter then we were a year ago!
I have loved this man since I was sixteen years old.  I thank God that I have such a wonderful, Godly man to share my future with! I am truely blessed!

We are ready for anything!
We thought we were doing good then...the beginning seems like so far away!  Thank the Lord that He gave us the strength to make it through!
This was us when we started!  I am so glad God brought Fawn into our lives and gave us the stamina to continue. 
I still have a ways to go...I have another 40 pounds to loose...so dont think you are donw with me yet...but God is doing some awesome things in our lives...I know He has great plans for us.  We could not have done this without all of you faithfully cheering us on...Love you guys so very much!!

This is the post I wrote one year ago today about my goal!

Will I Ever get skinny enough to fit into a size 10????

When I first wrote the title I wrote "you need a goal to work towards for when you get skinny but with all that Fawn has taught me I had to change it...it is not a matter of getting skinny..it is a matter of getting healthy. There are alot of unhealthy skinny people out there. My brother Larry is using this program to get healthy and gain weight. He has been plagued with rhumetiod arthritus for years. Since he started on Fawn's eating plan he is feeling better than he ever has. He is not hurting near as much, is able to walk upright, and last I heard he was going to be doing painting at church....it is working. You can be skinny and very unhealthy. So I had to change the wording.....
Choose you this day whome you will serve. As for me and my houe.. We will serve the Lord!

Anyways, I needed a goal. My mom was soo excited about our weight loss. She never told me how worried she was getting about our weight. (found out later from cousin after she passed away. We had gained so much and she knew it was not healthy for us. She is my inspiration. She would be so excited as I would tell her what we were doing. She was able to be a part of the first three weeks of it. She cheered us on through all of it! The week before she died I shared with her my goal. She had soo many beautiful dresses that she has worn all over the world on her trips, and her cruises..I told her I wanted to find one that could be my goal dress (size 10-12) I found a beautiful purple one. I told her when we get skinny enough, Dave and I want to go on a cruise and I will wear her dress. I had my daughter Becca put on the dress. She went into mom and I told her..."I know you wont be here to see me get this small, but this is what I will look like one day!" She looked at me with a big smile and said.."You can do it honey, I know you can!" I cry as I write those words...see for the past five years mom has said that to me soo many times. Every time I struggle with something...I would go to my mom and hear those words..."you can do it honey!" She was my biggest cheer leader in everything I did. So... how can I stop, how can I get descouraged when I know that my mommy is up in heaven cheering me on. She probably got a whole cheerleading squad up there! Just for me. Do I miss her terribly...you better believe it...I mis her so much that it hurts...but every time I get desouraged I look at the beautiful purple dress hanging on the back of my door and I hear the words, "You can do it honey... I know you can!"
This reminds me of my mom and I so different...but yet the same!

Jesus says.."I have come to give you life!" We need to live as each day is our last just like my m

I made my goal...almost a year to the day!

I Made My Goal! Almost a Year to the Day!
IF there is ever a time in my life that my heart is filled with joy, sadness, pride and a sense of accomplishment it is today.  One year ago, almost to the day, I asked my Becca to put on this dress for me.  I walked her beside my dying mothers bed and said these words to her...."Mom, this is my goal dress, someday I am going to wear this dress.  I know you will not be here to see that day, but I want you to be able to visualize what I will look like  when I am in it."  She looked at
Becca and said the words that I heard so often  out of her mouth," You can do it honey...I know you can and you will be so beautiful!"  She looked at my Becca and I know she was seeing me in that dress..
There were times that I did not think I would ever get into that dress. There were time I wanted to just sit down and give up1 But, as I look at this picture I feel so proud!. Mom would have been so very proud of Dave and I!  She would have loved to be a part of it.  But God had other plans.  Yet she was a part of it.  Each day I felt like I wanted to give up I would hear those special words..."You can do it honey, I know you can!"
I am copying and pasting those words I wrote so long ago below.  Read it, but get some tissues first.... love you guys...thanks for cheering me on...