Monday, October 24, 2011

Mama Dixie

Last week held a mix of emotions for my family.  Our Mama Dixie, who was 97 made what I know had to be a grand entrance into heaven!  She lived a full life here on earth and for the most part was always healthy.  She was spunky and funny.  Everytime we would walk in her room, there would be a smile on her face. 

I first met Mama Dixie and Papa John (her husband) 22 years ago when I entered into this amazing family.  My husband had a very close relationship with his grandparents.  Once I became a part of the family (which was the moment I met them), I feel in love with these two extraordinary people.  They showed me love and welcomed me in.  Max and I were married at there home.  We had Sunday dinners every week.  Pappa John had cancer and was getting sicker during that first year.  He died about a year after Max and I were married.  I wondered how she would go on without her love.  She did go on and she was strong and independent.  I loved to hear her tell stories about Papa John.  She saw her grand kids grow and marry.  She saw the birth of her great-grandchildren. 

Several years ago Ma Dixie had a stroke and was not able to be by herself.  My mother-in-law always made sure she was taken care of.  She stayed with her when she wasn't working.  Max, Hunter and I would spend the nights with her during the week.  We would watch Wheel Of Fortune and she would always get the puzzles first! 
She would help me cook!  haha  That's a joke, she would tell me how to cook!  She was a very small woman and was always cold so her house was always HOT!  Max and I would race to the thermostat to turn the air on just a soon as we made sure she was in bed!  Hunter loved being there because she spoiled him beyond belief!

There came a time when we all could no longer care for her in her home so she moved to a nursing home.  Within the last year she began to have more health problems.  Last week, my mother-in-law called Max and told him she was not doing well and that we needed to come up to see her.  Max and I went right then.  We could tell when we walked into her room that she looked very different.  She didn't talk to us but she did look at us when we talked to her.  She smiled a few times but she mostly just staired at the corner of the celing.  I watched her as she gazed upward.  Every once in a while her eyes would go wide open and her right eyebrow would go up.  I beleieve that she was seeing things.  Maybe glances of where she was going.  Maybe glances of WHO was there to take her.  Max and I had to take turns being there so Max had a while to be with her by himself.  I am so glad he had that time with the grandmother that he has adored his entire life.  Later that evening I went back up there while Max stayed home with our kids.  Not long after I got there my mother-in-law had to leave for a minute.  Max's brother, his wife and son were also in the room.  I pointed out to my sister-in-law that Ma Dixie was moving her mouth.  She had not been doing that.  Mandie said she was gasping for air.  It was not a violent gasp, just an open and close about 3 times and she was gone.  It was the most peaceful moment.  Her eyes didn't shut but you could tell that she was gone.  She was here, and in an instant, with three breaths, she was gone.  She was still looking up at the corner of the ceiling.  As I looked at her I could see past the small, so small frail body laying in that bed, I could see her dancing with her love.  I have never died so I don't know how it all works.  I know that it's the Lord Who calls us home, but I just know that Daddy God allowed Papa John to have a part in her homecoming!  After a few minutes my mother-in-law came back and as soon as she realized what had happened she sat in the chair beside the bed, and as silent tears rolled down her face she turned off the oxygen machine, removed the tubes from her mother's face, unwrapped the blood pressure cuff from her tiny arm, folded her hands and covered them up.  She stroked her hair and kissed her forehead.  Jane has been by her mother's side everyday.  I have been so inspired at how Jane (my mother-in-law) has cared for her mother.  She always sacrificed her own needs for those of Ma Dixies.  I know how hard it was at times but I also know that she would not have had it any other way.  Taking care of her mother was as natural to her as breathing. 

I was instantly aware of the fact that we would see Ma Dixie again one day!  I thanked God for the promise that this was only going to be a temporary separation.  So for the next few days we gathered as a family and we celebrated a life lived well.  We celebrated Ma Dixie's 97 years lived on this earth and we praised God that she is now HOME and she is now perfect.  Her body holds no disease or hurt!  She is joined with all her loved ones that went home before her.  That is how we are able to go on and live and continue to love each other.  We know it's not a permanent end.  Really, it's just the beginning =)   Oh, how thankful I am to Daddy God that He fills the parts of my heart that hurts with His LOVE and promises.  What an honor it is to have loved and been loved by such a special person. 

                                                            Ma Dixie and Hunter
                                                                Ma Dixie & Hunter
                                            Ma Dixie & Jane   (This was at mine and Max's wedding shower!)
                                             Ma Dixie playing with Hunter! 
                                                                    Max & I with Ma Dixie =)

Papa John, Mama Dixie, Me, Max, Jane & Nick (Max's Brother)


Friday, October 14, 2011

That can't be God, this dress is NEW!

I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning and she made this statement and it woke up something deep inside of me!  The subject was giving and hearing the Lord when He instructs us to give.  It's easy to give things that don't matter much to us anymore.  The example was cleaning out our closet and giving away our old clothes!  I have done it a hundred times!  I buy new clothes and or shoes and I go through my closet and pull out the things that either do not fit me anymore, are out of style, or I just no longer like!  Is this REALLY giving from my heart???  Well, I thought it was!  I mean, I am not going to wear it anymore and I could just throw it out (the sad truth is, some of it is worthy of nothing but the trash!), but I give it away!  As Joyce said, "The Lord seemed to be saying, those people that get your old stuff are doing YOU a favor by taking it off your hands!!"  I'm not saying that it is not a worthy service from the heart to donate our used things that we no longer use.  I believe it's a great thing and is good seed!  I have received used things from others and been super blessed by it!!!  But, I am saying that we should always be moved to give of our very best. 

So that brings me to the title of this blog:  Joyce heard the Lord tell her to GIVE AWAY HER NEW DRESS!  She replied, "That can't be God, this dress is NEW!"  hahaha  She said (to the Lord, as if to convince Him that He couldn't mean to give THAT dress), she also had matching earrings for that dress!!!  God then said that since she was so concerned about keeping the "set" together, to give the earrings too!!!  I love it!!!  God is so not concerned with our comfort!  Not that He doesn't want the very best for us, but He knows that all we really need is HIM!  We do not need a new dress to make us happy and complete.  Even if it comes with earrings!!!  All giving must take place because of LOVE!  All through the Bible God teaches us about sowing seed.  When our sowing is motivated by LOVE the seed is good and it will always grow!  I guess we should just ask ourselves the question, "why do we give"?  Are we looking for something in return? Are we just cleaning out our closet?  Does our giving only count if it make US feel good?  It doesn't matter if we give a cookie or a $500 pair of shoes, the heart must be motivated by LOVE!  That is how God operates.  Everything He does is birthed from LOVE because He IS LOVE!  To plant a seed through LOVE is sowing the very nature of Daddy God!  Show LOVE, share LOVE, BE LOVE!!!   Give the NEW dress =) 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

The big fall

So Max had surgery a couple of weeks ago and I have been taking care of him and loving every minute of it!  Really, I have!  It was nice to slow down and spend quiet time together.  He is doing really well and his recovery is coming along quiet nice.  He finally got out the other day and drove down the street to a neighbors house.  While he was gone I was home with the kids and needed to iron a few things.  I set the ironing board up in the laundry room, sprayed the clothes down with starch and went to get my bottle of water while the iron heated up.  Apparently, some of the spray starch got on the tile and made it very slick!  When I walked back into the laundry room both feet flew right out from under me!!!  I hit the dryer and then the floor...HARD!  I knew immediately that I had hurt my leg.  I thought it was broken!  I couldn't move it and it felt like my knee cap was twisted.  All my boys came running in when they heard me fall.  I started asking them if they could see a BONE, sticking out of my leg!  hahhaah  They said no and I had Hunter call Max to come back home.  I could not get up!  I suddenly realized what it felt like to be an older person taking a fall!!!  Max came in and I was STILL sprawled out on the floor!  Of course he couldn't help me up, after having hernia surgery, he still couldn't lift anything over 5 pounds, and I am ever so slightly over that weight limit!!  hehe  Two of the boys helped me to the couch and Max came over to access the damage!  All I knew was that IT HURT!!!  Having 8 boys in the house, I not only had an audience, but lots of little "helpers".  Before I knew it, a few of the boys had gone out to the garage and collected me a set of crutches.  I stayed on the couch for a while and put ice on my knee.  After a few hours I guess the rest of my body realized we had fallen because my back and yes, my HIP, were hurting!!  hahaha 

My first attempt to take a trip to the bathroom using my crutches was quiet an adventure.  When I was preoccupied I seem to have lost every single bit of coordination in my body!  The more I used the crutches the worse it got!  Finally yesterday (2 days after my fall), Max took me to the doctor.  They wanted to take x-rays.  Not thinking before we took off to the doctor, I was wearing a sundress!  Some of the postions they had me in on the x-ray table were just WRONG!!  There is nothing broken but the doctor said there could be other damage to my knee.  I am in a brace and still on crutches but I am believing for a complete recovery, and one withOUT surgery!  I did put a little weight on it this afternoon so I am on my way to walking free of assistance!  On top of all of this, I had just started exercising and changing my diet to live healthier.  I have lost 20 pounds over the last 5 weeks and now I'm stuck on the couch!  There are times of the day that I can HEAR the cookies in the kitchen calling out to me!  BUT....I will walk soon without crutches and I will exercise again...SOON!  I have a friend helping me change my eating habits.  I am keeping a food diary and I have discovered that I eat like a 10 year old!  Changes are on the way!  GOOD changes!  I know that the devil would love for this to get me down but too bad for him because I will NOT let this short time of being down define my progress!!!  I am pressing on!  At least I am getting some upper body workout!! 

Lesson to be learned:  Never allow the attack of the enemy over ride the VICTORY of Jesus!!!!  I have VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am speaking healing and I am claiming my health!  Supernatural healing is MINE =) 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Her nothing was EVERYTHING!

I love reading and learning from the women who have gone before us.  There are so many women in the Bible that teach us so much about how to live and how not to live!  Some have names and some are nameless but they are all very important or they would not have been mentioned at all!  The woman that I am referring to today is one of those nameless.  Although her name is not known, Jesus had His eyes on her and her intentions.  She stood in the corner of the temple, holding her last two coins.  They were worth less than a penny yet she couldn't help but reflect on how her recent past had brought her to this place and time.  She had lost her husband and struggled to make ends meet.  She had no family and no one to support her.  She had nowhere to turn.  I believe as she stood there her heart filled with the memories of the goodness of the Lord and all He had done for her.  She could not withhold from the One who had sustained her and blessed her in her time of struggle!  She had to let go!  Surely He would provide a way for her to survive.  I know she felt the heaviness fall from her shoulders as she dropped the coins into the box!  She was now TOTALLY in the Lords hands now!!!  He has invited her to trust Him far beyond the comfort zone of her faith!  I can almost feel how her heart must have leapt!  The freedom that can hardly be put into words!  At this moment, her struggle was over and Daddy God was in complete control.  There is a place of safely and she had found it!  Can you imagine the worship that must have taken place within this woman?!  To give thanks to Jehovah-Jireh, her provider, Jehovah-Shalom, her peace!!!!   Although she was unaware, Jesus saw it all.  He saw her give EVERYTHING!!!  He saw her very heart!  It went way beyond those two coins! 

I crave the heart of this amazing woman!  I crave to give EVERYTHING and gain more than I can even imagine!  I want Daddy God to have complete control of my life, my heart, my future!  I want my hand in His!  I serve a God who created everything I see out of nothing!   I BELIEVE that He will take all my nothing and create beyond my wildest dreams!!!!  There is no such thing as impossible with my Daddy God!  I am following the dreams in my heart and loving Jesus all the way.  This is an amazing path and He is just getting started with this child!  This heart is open...WIDE OPEN!!!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Husband, my very best friend!

Each year I find myself falling more and more in love with the man that God has blessed me with!  We have weathered many storms and our relationship has grown roots deeper than I ever thought was possible.  We have raised an amazing young man.  He has cared for me in my times of need and I have done the same for him.  It has not been all sunshine and roses!  There has been some hard work put into this amazing life together.  We have dealt with pride and the need to be right.  We have fought and said hurtful things and had the sweetest makeups.  After 22 years, I have to say that this time in our marriage is such a comfort.  I trust this man with my whole heart and I'm not afraid to be ME!  Our marriage is now older than we were when we got married!!  I am honored to be Max's wife and I am blessed to have the most wonderful helpmate.  I enjoy every minute I get to spend with him.

With all of that said.....Max had surgery a week ago and during his recover he has depended on me.  He is a pretty good patient!  We have had a 5 day camp out in our living room!  I know he is recovering from surgery, but I have had so much fun hanging out with him 24/7.  It 's kinda nice knowing that he can't get away!  hahaha  I just love him so much!

With all that we have been though I am thankful and I am so excited about what God has in store for us as a couple in the future!!!!  I am just looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together, loving,  growing and serving!  

Whatever stage of marriage you are in, enjoy it!  Give your marriage to Daddy God and allow Him to pour blessing into it!  If you are not married yet, pray and believe God to lead you to your very best friend!   Most importantly, always make your relationship with Daddy God FIRST!  HE gives you everything you need to make your marriage the most rewarding experience ever!  I know that because of Daddy God's LOVE, I am a better wife.  Because of Max, I am a better person =)

We really need some recent photos!!  hahaha