Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Moving Update: Painting, Migrane, and the Wooden Bowl

Hey all you blogger friends! We are still in the process of moving. I have to paint the new laundry room tomorrow then we can put down the lanolium ( Be advised: My dictionary is at the new house, and spell check doesn't work in Blogger for me... so, forgive any stupid errors please!) Saturday will be the BIG furniture move (Dave has a few friends from work that are coming to help...PHEW!) We'll do the old Thank You with Pizza for the crew.

Bonnie has been doing an awesome fill-in study at Seek and Ye Shall Find for us. We'll restart our Bible Study of Hebrews after the move is finished.

The past 10 days have been very trying...I've had some kind of virus which triggered a migrane that would not go away. I haven't had a migrane for about 2 years ever since I got put on my blood pressure medicine. For some reason (maybe the stress of the move?) this migrane has been stubborn and a killer. It totally incapacitated me for at least a week. Anyway, it is mostly gone now...just a little pressure at the back of my skull now. But poor Evan caught my flu and I was up all night with the little guy. He does seem to be better now...love how the young ones kick back so easily!

Well, I thought you all might like to read the following e-mail that my Dad sent out a few weeks ago. It is really powerful and it explains a lot about growing older. I'm glad that we are moving in with them...it will be good for all of us. And don't worry, we won't EVER use wooden bowls! (You'll understand after you read the following...)

Hi y'all,

We close escrow on La Foret today and enter into a new lifestyle, living together as a family with Mimi, Dave, and Keegan and Evan. We know we are in the Lord's will and are looking forward to what His plans are for us.

The attached story is very meaningful to us at this time and thought we'd pass it on to y'all.

John and Syl (Mom and Dad)

The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now...

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about father," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?"

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these things: a rainy day, Elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Family Forever by Brenda Coulter

"A Family Forever is a superbly written and heartfelt story. Brenda Coulter brings to light real-life faith struggles and God’s healing grace."--Romantic Times BOOKclub

This month’s book review is on A Family Forever by Brenda Coulter (published by Steeple Hill copyright 2006).

To the guys who are reading this post I must tell you that my husband decided to read this one too…and he couldn’t put it down. He read it in two sittings (it would have been one but I MADE him go to sleep!) It is THAT good! Even though it is a "Romance Novel", the story is so good that you will forget you are reading a "chick book!" I can tell you that this had to have been a "NO BRAINER" about being published. After the first chapter you will be hooked…I bet the publisher said, "PRINT IT NOW!" Man, I am not exaggerating; this book is a MUST READ!

Okay, so I have you interested, right? I hope so! Here is what it is about:

It starts out in a café with Shelby staring at her mushroom omelet with revulsion. Now, the ladies who have gone through morning sickness (and the men who have watched their wives go through this lovely process) can relate…I’m not really giving anything away by telling you that Shelby has just realized that she is a little bit more than three weeks pregnant. The problem is that her fiancé, David, just died three weeks ago…she is sitting in the café with her fiancé’s brother, Tucker, and they are discussing how each other are getting along and dealing with David’s death. Suddenly Tucker puts two and two together and gets ‘uh’ baby.

Shelby is embarrassed.

She and David were supposed to be getting married…she knew she shouldn’t have slept with him, but she thought it would be okay since the wedding was to be soon. She is a Christian and David and his family were too.

She feels that God is punishing her. She also feels that Tucker never approved of her…that she wasn’t good enough. He did not want his brother to marry her.

Tucker knows that Shelby cannot afford to have the baby. He also feels obligated to take care of Shelby for David’s sake.

Tucker feels guilty.

He thinks that his brother died because he didn’t stop him from riding his motorcycle without a helmet on the wet street that night. David’s last words were, "Take care of her?"

So, Tucker asks Shelby to marry him…he would take care of her and the baby.

Shelby wants to keep the baby and sees no other alternative…she agrees but on the condition that it is only for the baby’s happiness.

That was what the first chapter kind of covered…I’m not going to tell you EVERYTHING! I will tell you that Shelby had suffered through much abuse in her life and she must deal with a lot of trust issues during the book.

So, what do you think? Can two people who do not love each other find happiness in a marriage of convenience? Will a baby be happy in such a family? What about grief? They haven’t even had time to grieve! What will people say? What will their families say?

I laughed and cried while reading this book. I literally had tears streaming down my face as I bawled like a baby. (I know I am sounding way too cliché but it is all true!) This book will rip your heart out and then replace it with a larger model. It has some great Christian lessons also.

Man, I think I’m going to go reread it! I hope you decide to read it too. If you want to order it from Amazon.com click here.

Also, Brenda is a blogger! She very sweetly sent me my very own autographed copy for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Blog Tour. Go say "Hey!" to her at her blog, No Rules. Just Write.

A Family Forever is Brenda’s second 'Love Inspired' book. Her first was Finding Hope...I’ve got to order and read that one still.