Saturday, January 23, 2016

OPPORTUNITIES




Today is Friday, January 8th, 2016.  A brand New Year.

Yesterday we got the wonderful, encouraging word from Mickey's Lung Doctor that his lung x-ray shows improvement since his last visit, August 18th.  We were SOOOO overjoyed and so praising our wonderful God.

On our way home, God gave me not one, but two opportunities to serve those around me. (I don't usually share things I do, but I always try and share all the many things that are done for us.......which are SO many!!!)

When we left Dr. Schelbar's office we were literally having difficulty keeping our feet upon the ground but we needed to stop at Aldi's to pick up a few things. While waiting to get sour cream there was a little boy and an older foreign woman at that section and the little boy was having trouble selecting a yogurt he was getting to choose.  The lady, who saw me standing there waiting, pulled him back so I could get my item.  I smiled and said, "Thank you".  

When we got to the check-out stand the lady and the little boy were right behind us putting her few items on the belt.  As the belt would move the little boy was almost hugging the 2 yogurts among the other  few items.  Mickey even said to him, "You aren't letting those get away from you are you"?  We all chuckled.

In the line ahead of us was a mother with two children.  The little boy in the basket had a pacifier in his mouth and a fairly large blue ball in his hands.  He was looking at me with his big chocolate eyes and I asked his mother how old he was.  "He is 2" was her reply, "Yes, he is 2".  As they checked her out the cashier noticed a cookie had been removed from the package she was scanning.  She told the lady to go ahead afterward and get a full package.  

My items were checked and put in the basket and I was given the amount I owed.  As I was preparing to swipe my debit card the older lady, with the small boy and the yogurt, realized she did not have her card, or any money.  She was telling the cashier this and exclaiming how sorry she was.  You could tell she was so embarrassed and upset.  I quietly said to the cashier, go ahead and ring her up and put it on my ticket.  The older lady was saying, "Give me your phone # so I can repay you".  I said, "No, that's fine I want to do this."  

Mickey at this time is on the side counters bagging up our items, the young mother with the 2 children is beside him.  After I got my card swiped and was walking away the woman was still thanking me.  I turned and said, "This isn't from me it's from GOD."  She exclaimed, "Oh God bless you."

As I was walking over to help Mickey the young mother with the 2 children said, "Can you please watch my children for a few minutes?  I have to run back in."  Of course I would.  The little 2 year old with the blue ball is still in the basket, and his sister is sitting on the loading shelf with a red ball.  I asked her how old she was - 5.  I asked her name.  She told me.  I asked the boys name.   She told me.  The little boy is trying to give me his blue ball, still sucking on his pacifier.  I tell him "no, you keep it".  I said to the little girl, "You both got new balls today"?  She said, "Yes".  I said, "You got blessed".  She looked at me and I said, "Do you know what blessed means"?  She nodded "no".  I said "When God does nice things for us that is being blessed.  Do you know who God is"?  She was saying, "yes." when her mother returned and said, "Oh yes, she knows who God is.  We go to church all the time and she goes to her class".  She thanked me profusely for watching the kids.  I assured her I was honored to do so.

I'm tell you ----------- on top of our GOOD NEWS and GOD'S GOODNESS TO US and then being blessed by my GOD to be used in 2 such little ways ------- I was almost floating as Mickey pushed our cart and we headed for the our car. 

As I am writing this, at 11:50 a.m. on the 18th I am awaiting a phone call from The Breast Center about 2 biopsies that were performed on my left breast yesterday morning at 8:30 a.m.  I have been, since finding our I needed these on December 15th,  and am today, totally calm. 

God has been speaking to me in soooo many ways.  Today my 31 day Scripture Writing Plan was Psalm 27:1-3 "Light, space, zest - that's GOD!  So, with him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.  When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fell flat on their faces.  When besieged, I'm calm as a baby.  When all hell breaks loose, I'm collected and cool".  The Message - How GOD to have me writing this scripture on this day - whatever the outcome is!!!!   
   
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Friday, January 8, 2016

SHOUT IT FROM THE HOUSE TOPS - GOD IS SO GOOD





Our hearts are full and our mouths are shouting praises to our GOD.  Mickey had his 6 month follow-up appointment with the lung Doctor yesterday. 
X-Rays show his lungs BETTER today than 6 months ago!!
Yes, Faith IS the gift of God.

The story of today:  His appointment was at 3:30.  This is the FOURTH lung Doctor he have seen.  We waited, and we waited.  Around 4:30 the nurse, Michelle, who was not new and we had seen the last time, came in and thanked us for being so patient and asked if we'd like something to drink.  She brought Mickey a cup of coffee and myself a diet Coke.  We waited some more.  The nurse came back in, with Mickey's very thick file in her hand, and commented again on our patience.  She then stated that they had deliberately taken other patients in front of us to hold Mickey for Dr. Schelbar to see last.  Since Mickey had not seen him before, and he was not that familiar with Mickey's case, he wanted as much time as needed to spend with him.  Now THAT was a God move.

Michelle set Mickey's thick file on the examining table and began going through the papers.  She was asking us the dates of the various procedures, pulling out those files, placing them in order, to make it easier for the Doctor to get the whole picture.  We waited a little more.

Dr. Schelbar came in.  His first words to us were, "You've really been through it with the doctors, but I assure you I am not leaving".  Music to our ears.  We liked him and his easy going, caring manner from the minute he walked into the room.  Another GOD move, giving Mickey this great doctor to follow him now and in the future.  He, himself, was stunned with Mickey's history during that year, July 30, 2014 - July 30,2015.  He looked Mickey straight in the eye and said, "I'm here to tell you, if a 42 year old man had gone through as much as you have it would have been very difficult, much less at 82".   

At the end of the appointment he said he'd see us in 3 months for follow-up.  He told me if Mickey began to get short of breath or spit-up something bad to call the office.  He said, "I can't promise you I'd get you in that day for sure, but we will get you in within two days".  He then apologized for keeping us so late, 5:30,  and putting us out in the midst of the bad after work traffic.  We assured him we were grateful he had done so and taken the time to spend with us.

We then followed the Doctor to view the X-ray comparisons of the improvement and Michelle said, "You get the good patient award" and gave us 2 of the daily inhalers Mickey takes.

Mickey and I were having trouble keeping our feet on the ground as we rode the elevator down the 12 floors, walked through the empty building and out onto the almost empty parking lot ....... PRAISING GOD every step of the way.  

YES, Faith IS the Gift of GOD 
   


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My 2016 - WORD

My word for 2016 - GROWTH



For the past 7 years God has given me a word for The New Year. 
2009 - UNITY
2010 - VULNERABLE
2011 - PERSEVERANCE
2012- FERVENT
2013 - EXPAND
2014 - FORWARD
2015 - STEADY

It has been amazing, to me, the way God has worked those very words into the events of my life.

Since this is my EIGHTH year of words, and "8" is the number of New Beginnings I find that fact very interesting.  
  
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

MINISTRY - The Act of Reaching Out - PURSES

Tiny, baby steps~~~~ 

1)  Our small group is studying The 10-Second Rule by Clare De Graaf.
2)  Idea I saw on fb - fill an old purse with small, useful items.
3)  Obtained 5 used purses from the church Klothes Kloset.
4)  Began purchasing small toiletry items.
5)  Purchased a couple snack items.
6)  Asked my good friend, and Sister in Christ, Judy Russell to prepare 5  
     personal prayers she writes out and puts in pretty envelopes.
7)  Purchased blank notes and envelopes that read:
Dream, Hope, Believe...
the Lord is painting a  
beautiful
future for you.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Ecclesiastes 3:11
8)  Felt lead to add a $5 bill.
9)  Assemble and get the 5 purses ready.

    
Assembling
1st one completed 
All 5 filled and ready to go.

And, NOW - I have placed the 5, filled and ready to go, purses in my automobile. I am asking God, and believing I will hear His voice as HE directs me where, when, and to whom to give each purse.  Judy and I discussed her prayers, each is different.  We believe God will direct the RIGHT prayer exactly to the right woman.

I have never done anything this "random" before .  But, I know God has been directing my steps. I BELIEVE and am excited to "HEAR HIS VOICE".

Watch for follow-up reports as I am obedient to this small Act of Reaching Out.

(Usually it is not a good idea to give cash to people asking for it, because they may use it to buy drugs or alcohol.  Because God is who will be leading me to whom to give each purse, He spoke to me to add this small amount of cash.)  



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Sunday, November 15, 2015

The JOY OF SPECIAL FRIENDS

Such a great time today with SPECIAL friends.

(left to right) Kristine, Ruby, Tim, Mickey, Susan 

After church Tim & Kristine Hembry took Mickey & I to Claremore for a visit and dinner date with Ruby Curry (Sadly Andy was showing his new LED lighting at a gun show and wasn't with us.)  Ruby's 3 children and 2 foster children were also present.

Ruby fixed a yummy baked pasta dish, Susan prepared a large tossed salad, and Kristine brought 2 large loaves of delicious french bread.

In addition Ruby not only prepared a delicious pumpkin cake dessert, but even sent small ones home with both Kristine & I.

Tim and the boys built a large, roaring fire in the fireplace and we delighted ourselves with the spectacular view out the front window over the pond and acreage and the large number of free-range chickens, of various kinds, running all over.  

We talked and visited and ate and visited and visited some more!!!
Thanks Tim & Kristine for setting this up and thank you Ruby for being the special friend you are to Mickey & I.  
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Precious Gift of Precious MEMORIES

Our wonderful friends from South Africa put together the following lovely pages of pictures of Mickey & I as a gift today - our 57th Anniversary.  

 October 4, 1958 - Flagstaff,  Arizona

 Miscellaneous shots.  The top on is the most recent taken of us at Young-At-Heart Meeting a couple of weeks ago.

More Miscellaneous Pictures the larger one was the last one taken before Mickey's heart surgery year!!  You can tell one of my favorite colors is blue.

October 4, 2012 - San Francisco, California

Thank you for this special gift of photo remembrances on this our special
Anniversary Day 
October 4, 2015
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

What? ------- A YEAR !!!!! Part 4

The continuing story of Mickey's TAVR Heart Valve replacement.  Part 3 ended......April 16-30 - We are just getting by day by day, one day at a time. 

Although we are tired, and we are discouraged about the TAVR being delayed through no fault of our own, we are still confident in the outcome.  We feel the presence of our LORD & SAVIOR on a daily basis.  We stand in the knowledge and assurance that God is walking this out with us one day at a time.  I am still co-leading the Real Christianity Small Group and Mickey is still keeping informed on the Deacon issues.  Many from our Church family are such a blessing to us in so many ways during this time.  We manage to attend church each Sunday & Wednesday.


YES, it is a very l-o-n-g year.

May 1-10 - This first 10 days of May are a continuation from April 16th and the above.  We are waiting.  We get through one day at a time.

May 11 - FINALLY!!!! - pre-op is done.  This long awaited procedure is FINALLY going to be accomplished.

May 12 - We arrive at Saint Francis Heart Hospital at 7 a.m.  Mickey's brother Jerry is here with us from Tennessee. Pastor Steve, Jerry, Son Marc & I all pray together before Mickey is taken in.  Marc, Jerry & I wait in the waiting room.
 We are joined by friend Don Thompson and Heidi, the wife of John who has nursed and helped us so much.

Dr. Archer is the main Surgeon, with Dr. Ensley and Dr. Cassidy assisting.  Dr. Gierdisch, from Loyola University in Chicago, has flown in as Proctor.  This is due to the difficulty of the entry into the chest wall based on the prior Heart Bi-pass surgery done in 2008, and the issue of vein blockage in the legs, which is the first entry preferred source.

The surgery is scheduled for 180 minutes. The plan is to enter through the upper chest with a small incision.  This was the 3rd and least desirable entry.   The Transaortic - Through an incision in the chest.   


There were problems and it was necessary for the Surgeon to do open heart surgery.  This was the procedure they had been trying to avoid due to Mickey's age and why the entire TAVR procedure had been sought, waited for, and delayed for so long.  

THE OPEN HEART SURGERY WAS A SUCCESS, AND THE NEW AORTA VALVE WAS SET IN PLACE!!!!!!

May 13-14 - In the hospital.  Doing good.  Lots of company. Marc, Jacque, Jerry, Oksana, and myself are there from early morning until about 9 p.m. Jerry & I do return home to sleep.

May 14 - When it rains it pours!!  Our HHR is down.

May 15 - Mickey is released from the hospital on the 3rd day at 12:03 pm (that is significant to me and The 3rd Day Sister's Bible Study that was incorporated into my WOW Women - Woman of the Word Bible Study in our home every Tuesday evening!)

  Since the HHR was out of the picture the trip home was made in Brother Jerry's car, which reeked of cigarettes, with Jerry driving.  Mickey begins to sleep - and I might say live - on the living room couch.  

May 16 - Jerry leaves at 7 a.m. for Tennessee.  Mickey takes his 4th Pain Pill at 1 p.m. 

May 17 - We begin recording daily pulse rates & weight.  Today 157/54/97 and 156.2 lbs. 

This is also the last week I co-lead Real Christianity in our study of THE END by Mark Hitchcock.  Kent finishes up the following Sunday, May 25th and we take an extended break.

May 18 - Faithful, and talented friend, Tim Hembrey came by and installs a new thermostat in the HHR and also brings and plants 2 roses bushes in the flower bed.  A red one for me, and a white one for Mickey.  What a blessing and treasure Tim is in our lives. 

May 19-20 - Pain level is not bad and he takes very few pain meds.

May 21 - Follow-up appointment with Primary Care Dr. Aldridge.  
Mickey is gaining weight, because his body is retaining fluid, which is a bad sign - early indication of heart failure.  His feet and legs are swollen badly.  The feet so swollen he had to wear his bedroom slippers to the Dr. 
Dr. Aldridge instructs me to buy pairs of support hoses and prescribes a diuretic to be added to the daily meds. 
THIS WAS A VERY LOW - DISCOURAGING & CONCERNING few days and weeks.
Dr. Aldridge is ordering both Home Care Nursing and Home Care Physical Therapy for us. 

May 22 - Patty, a church friend brought in supper for us and she and husband Aaron visited with us.  Tim & Kristine came and worked in the yard AGAIN.  
May 26 - Thersa, the PT, arrives for the first time. 

May 27 - Nancy, the RN, arrives for the first time.  These two woman will be a great help and source of comfort for us.  The PT came twice a week and the RN once a week.  Mickey & I do the PT exercises on the days she doesn't come using the instruction sheets that Thersa gave ue.  They are helping.  

May 28 - Dr. Aldridge. Swelling doing better. 

June 1- 8 - The RN visit and PT visits continue. 

June 3 - RED LETTER DAY - We attend Wednesday night Church Services.  We have missed 3 Wednesday night and Sunday morning services with our beloved Church family and our Pastor Steve.

June 7 - First Sunday back - We made it for the DEDICATION of the completely remodeled Sanctuary.  What a wonderful day of rejoicing on so many levels.  Mickey is very, very weak but we were determined to be there.  Church is one of the most important things in our lives.   

June 9 - Follow-up with TAVR Dr. Ensley.  Lab - EKG & Echo Cardiogram.  He is pleased with the results of the Aortic Valve and is referring him back to his Cardiologist Dr. Irvin.  

June 11 - Dr. Aldridge appointment.
Mickey slept through the night in BED!!!  Our biggest issue from May 15, when Mickey was released from the hospital, until now has been sleeping.  Many, many nights Mickey would be awake through the night and I would be awake with him sitting in the rocker or trying to rest on the living room floor.  

June 13 - We celebrate an early Father's Day at Cheddars with Marc, Aric, & Jacque.  It is so noisy, we vow to never go there again to celebrate anything.  Marc gave the book The Wright Brothers to him as his gift.  We celebrated early, instead of May 21, because Marc & Gayle were leaving for a week in Branson. Mickey is VERY weak and this trip out was difficult. 

June 15 - Last home nurse appointment with Kathy.

June 17 - Last home PT visit by Theresa. 

June 21 - Father's Day and Jacque attends church with us.  That is the BEST gift she could and did give her father.

June 23 - We make a trip to The King's Kitchen to meet with Dee from Meals on wheels.  It is good to be there and see everyone.

June 26 - The Supreme Court rules and makes Gay Marriage legal in our nation. This has nothing to do with our story, but I wanted it included in here for history's sake as our children and grandchildren, and perhaps some day great & great-great grandchildren may be reading this.  We are heart broken with what we see happening to our beloved America.

June 29 - Mickey is able to attend the Deacon Board Meeting.  

May 15 to June 30 - As a recap:  Mickey is improving but is so very weak and everywhere we go I let him off at the door and we have to sit down and rest a lot.

July 1 - Eye appointment with VA.  Good report on the macular regeneration not getting any worse.

July 2 - A big day for us on two fronts.  We have our appointment with St. Francis Cardio Rehab at 10:30 and at 3:45 we have an appointment with Dr. Jeremy Moad our new lung specialist.  Dr. Moad changes his medication to Symbicort and we see immediate improvement in his shortness of breath. 

July 6 - Mickey begins Cardio Rehab.  We go every Mon - Wed - Fri for an hour. From this first day he starts to improve greatly.  We are soooo thankful.  

July 15 - Dr. Aldridge follow-up.  So pleased with his progress and tells him, "You were a very ill man.  I know I don't need to tell you that."  

July 30 - Follow-up with Dr. Irving the Cardiologist that Mickey was referred back to by TAVR Dr. Ensley.  

MICKEY WAS GIVEN A GOOD REPORT - so good that Dr. Irving does not  want 
to see him to SIX MONTH.   

When we get home and look at our calendar we are AMAZED.  This journey began on July 30, 2014 with an appointment to our then Primary Care Dr. Murrock concerning Mickey's shortness of breath.  He refers him to Cardiologist Dr. Irving - ONE YEAR TO THE DAY - July 30, 2015 the above good report.  

YES - it's been quite A YEAR!!!!  God has been with us every step of the way and we ALWAYS felt in our heart we would get through this trial and that God was not through with MICKEY yet or with us as a team.  We are in AWE - we are in WONDERMENT of God's great love, care, and healing!!!


WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE

In addition:

August 4 - Mickey takes back the reigns of The King's Kitchen after his 3 month absence.  Jimmy Arnold has done a wonderful job of filling in for Mickey, Sherry Kelly the main cook, and the entire team has done a wonderful job and has not missed a lick.  

 August 18 - Follow-up appointment with Dr. Moad.  He, also, does not want to see Mickey for SIX MONTHS.

September 30 - Final Cardio Rehab - 36 Sessions completed.  Mickey achieve and surpassed the goals that had been set for him.  

WHAT NOW???  We continue to serve our LORD.  Mickey is back in full charge and swing of The King's Kitchen.  My WOW Woman never missed a lick, although Glenda Holmes had to step in for a short period hosting the group, thank you so much Glenda for doing that.  It has been back in my home for some weeks now and is full steam ahead as we just began a Beth Moore study on DANIEL.  Kent & we are resuming Real Christianity Small Group this Sunday, October 4th.

Last, but not least, we are joining Planet Fitness to continue Mickey's Cardio exercise, including weights.  Susan is continuing to walk 7500 steps a day. 

We are HAPPY - We will celebrate our 57th Anniversary this coming Sunday - October 4th.  We are HEALTHY - We are Blessed with great family and a wonderful CHURCH family.  

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