Sunday, April 02, 2017

So Long, Tool - Part 1

Friday we said goodbye to Winnie, (no longer) our 2002 Ford Windstar. We welcomed her into our family in February of 2009, soon after our Burb died which was soon after Glenn got accepted to medical school. She's been a part of our family over 8 years. At least one of our kids don't remember life before her.

We've said goodbye to her before, almost 4 years ago just before residency started when her rear axle snapped on our way to NY for graduation. That time we resurrected her by putting a junkyard axle on her and on she rolled.

We said goodbye to her again last year when insurance considered her "totalled" after a hail storm. We then decided to keep her again and just roll with her dimpled and broken exterior and cracked windshield since she her only responsibility was to drive the less than 2 mile trip to the hospital and back every day and it would be a lot easier than going back to having one car. (We'd decided before hand not to drive her on the interstate since her frame was more rust than frame.)

Glenn always tells us the time you need to be most careful on the roads down here is when it is just starting to rain after it hasn't rained in a long time and oil has accumulated on the streets. That is what finally did her in last week. The mechanic who called Glenn about her after having her towed made us laugh. She doesn't look that bad on the outside but I'm not sure he'd ever seen a rustier, more unsafe frame. Even after costly repairs to the control arm and other things he told us her rusted out frame would deem her unsafe to drive. We knew that and were planning on getting rid of her in a couple of months when her inspection expired. She just broke up with us before we could break up with her.

I teared up as we left her with the guy who came to tow her away at the garage and we thanked God for providing her, for helping her last far longer than the 5 years I hoped she would last, for the many memories we made in her on road trips (especially MS4), and for keeping us safe in her despite her rusty frame even when she committed suicide into a curb.

Since we're back to one car again we get to juggle once again the "Do you need the van for anything? Do you need to go anywhere or should I just drive myself?" conversations that we've haven't had to have in a long time. Getting up early to run him to work reminds of regularly taking him to the schospital because we only had one car and parking was too expensive during medical school. This month Glenn is on Sports Med at an offsite clinic which means he has to travel farther than normal for work which will complicate things, especially when the kids and I have commitments at the same time. Thankfully, some of his colleagues are willing to help us out by taking him in or bringing him home a few times. I'm actually glad that he doesn't get to drive Winnie there because I-20 is a place of frequent accidents and a highway accident in her could have been deadly. God knows.

So, so long, Winnie. Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gaining through losing

Every time I've read Philippians over the last few weeks as we've been studying it at church this passage has stuck out to me. He invites us to count everything as a loss, to let everything else go, to count all I have treasured as trash so that I can know Him more and, in so doing, become more like Him. 

"Surpassing value." I'm not suffering the loss of all things for no reason. I'm invited to do so because gaining Him is worth so much more than anything I could ever give up.

So today, as our pastor read 2:7-14, I raised my hand in surrender with tears running down my cheeks because I do want to know Him. I do want to be dressed in His righteousness that comes through faith, not based on anything I've done. I do want to know the power of His resurrection. I do, though the idea of it sometimes scares me, want to know the fellowship of His suffering because I know He is a faithful Companion in suffering and walking through suffering draws me closer to Him. I do want to forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead. I do want to press on toward the goal for the prize of His upward call. 

"Why would you want to spend your life on anything less?"

Why indeed. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

We are walking through all kinds of emotions lately. Through all that we've been through our Father has been so faithful and we know in our heads that He doesn't change but as we look ahead to what He has next for us sometimes I get overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown and the fear of the known and all that must be accomplished in the next 135 days plus and/or minus 2 months. How grateful I am for whoever it was back at TTU that recommended reading through the book of Psalms backwards for the 150 days leading up to our wedding as we read through them again to the end of residency. The Psalms always help to put things in perspective. 

Yesterday we read Psalm 136. I read it again this morning with Glenn with him reading the first part of each verse and me quoting the constant end of each verse, "For His lovingkindness is everlasting." Oh how I love that Psalm. Whenever I read it I want to add so many more verses. Some that came to mind were:

"He provided a generous scholarship to Glenn to go to TTU, For His lovingkindness is everlasting." 
Then farther back:
"He allowed Sandy to come to know Him at camp when she was in high school and Roger when he was 8, For His lovingkindness is everlasting."
And farther back:
"Edwin and Jean to meet in band playing trombone, For His lovingkindness is everlasting."
And much farther back:
"A baby was born, the Son of Man, whose death paid the price for my sins, For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

Oh, and so many thousands of more verses. 

"For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

He works everything for His glory, His lovingkindness is everlasting, and I am so grateful. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Countdown Has Begun...

On a whim last Saturday I decided to check how many days we had left until 6/30/17, Glenn's last day of residency. It just happened to be 181 days and that made me smile because I had an idea.

In the days before our wedding and the days before the match we we did a 150 day countdown reading backwards through the book of Psalms. It was fun to do back in the summer of 1999 and gave us a way to connect knowing that we were both reading the same thing each day that last summer we spent apart. It was comforting to read backwards through the Psalms in the unknown of looking ahead to the match in the winter of 2013 as we needed the reminder to keep trusting Him as we were awaiting the news of where we would spend the next 3-4 years of our lives in training.

This year, starting with 181 days before we finish this season of our lives we have started doing a countdown again. This time we get to read backwards through the book of Proverbs as well. I trust that as we read we will be encouraged and challenged and focused as we look forward to and prepare for what He has next for us.

It's been a while. Words are slow to come from my fingers. I looked back to see what I had said about Psalm countdowns in the past and I was so encouraged to read three blog posts from the months before the match that I needed to read today and they have reminded me that I really need to write more. Maybe I will.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Surrender

START

Humperdinck: Surrender!
Westley: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.
Humperdinck: I give you full marks for bravery. Don’t make yourself a fool.
Westley: Ah, but how will you capture us? We know the secrets of the fire swamp. We can live there quite happily for some time, so whenever you feel like dying, feel free to visit.
Humperdinck: I tell you once again, surrender!
Westley: It will not happen.
Humperdinck: For the last time, surrender!
Westley: Death first!!
Buttercup: Will you promise not to hurt him?Humperdinck: What was that?
Westley: What was that?
Buttercup: If we surrender and I return with you, will you promise not to hurt this man 
Humperdinck: May I live a thousand years and never hunt again.... I swear it will be done.*

I, too, am asked to surrender.

At times I too want to make deals, like Buttercup, with the One asking me to surrender, "If I do surrender, will you promise that no harm will come to us? Will I always have my husband? Will my children always walk with You?" and so on...

The One asking me to surrender makes no such promise not to allow harm to come to us but instead He gives better promises like "In this world you will have trouble but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world" and "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you" and "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

And so I surrender. Not because I have confidence in myself, that I "know the secrets of the fire swamp," though I have been in the school of learning to be "content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want," but because I know the One who asks me to surrender. He is nothing like Prince Humperdink who has no intentions of keeping his promises. The One who asks me to surrender keeps His promises. I know that when I surrender all to Him whatever He allows to happen to us He will use for our good and His glory because He knows best.

He does not promise safety or ease but He does promise His presence, which is better by far. I know I can trust Him.

And so... I surrender.

* Quote from The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

5 Minutes in October: Paint

We don't paint much around here. Occasionally the girls will ask to paint and collect a bunch of old grocery flyers and head out to the back yard to paint a picture on a piece of paper but it doesn't happen often.

Confession: we've never painted a wall in any house we've ever lived in. I've often heard friends talk about needing to paint before moving into a place or seen the before and after pictures of the walls in their homes. I've helped others paint but I've never painted any of the 20-ish places we've lived. Most of our landlords would have been fine with it but I have always figured our time here is temporary and I can live with the white or ecru or random color from a previous tenant walls for the time we are here.

Whoever painted our house before we moved in did a poor job and even painted all of the windows closed (we figure it's a security feature along the busy sidewalk on the bedroom side of our house so we haven't pried them open.) There is definitely touch up work that needs done around here. I'm not sure if we'll get to it or just let the landlord repaint after we move out.

5 Minutes in October 2016: Walk

I've decided to try 31 days of 5 Minute free writes again this year. So, with my last few minutes of the 1st, here goes...

WALK

Sometime earlier in residency Glenn got a Fitbit through work. The band broke so he stopped wearing it for a while.

When we found bands at Goodwill we bought a couple but he still didn't start wearing it so he said I could and I did.

It was a good motivator for a while. For a few days I'd take a walk before bed to get my steps up but then the charger stopped working.

After buying a new charger my cousin invited me on some challenges. They have been a good motivation for me. I've never won but it's encouraged me to increase my steps. Most evenings you'll find me wandering my house reading Perspectives on my nook, getting more steps in, trying not to trip over the dog or the kids.

Today, ironically, is the first day I haven't gotten 10,000 steps. Yesterday was day 25 of my streak.

STOP