Sunday, August 31, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes!

The past two weeks, our children have been passing around a stomach bug. Yuck! In the grand scheme of things, it has been very mild and only lasted 24 hours or less. With each child, the symptoms were less intense and the whole things ran its course quicker. But then yesterday, Ben and I got it! The same day! And it hit us with a vengeance! I wanted to die yesterday, and was truly hoping that death would come soon so I could be done with this bug that had turned into a full-fledged monster. Ben is able to sleep when he is sick, which is so nice for him. Not that he felt any better than I did, but at least when you can sleep, you miss out on the horrible stuff for a little while. I, on the other hand, can't really sleep when I am sick, so I get to experience the whole thing, play-by-play. Another yuck!

I woke up this morning feeling really so much does that work? It certainly gives me a perspective on a lot of things! For one, it shows me what a short time most things last even though it seems like an eternity when you're going through it. Secondly, I realize how nice it is to feel good. I take that for granted and every once in a while, I like being reminded of how good I have it. Thirdly, being sick reminds me that I am not in control, though I like to think that I am. God is! Whatever the reason is that He allowed me to be sick, it certainly made me slow down yesterday, put my agenda aside, and gave me time to do a lot of praying. I didn't only pray for myself, but God was faithful to bring so many people to mind and I was grateful to have so much quiet time to bring needs, desires, thanks, and praise before the Lord. I think, in reality, I might have been speaking in a bit of a fog and delirium, but I am confident that He knows just what I was wanting to say.

So...what a difference a day makes..I have already had breakfast this morning, am able to do a bit of laundry, and am feeling great while I sit here typing this. I think that I am actually smiling! :) Isn't God great?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

God is Still Working on Me

I identify with the words of Paul when he says that he is chief among sinners and that he is only where he is by the grace of God. He could have been saying that about me!

So with that in mind, I must admit that one of my biggest areas of dealing with my sinful nature is on the phone with a company and having to push buttons for a "phone tree"! Can you relate at all? Probably not...I have yet to meet another person for whom the mysterious phone tree causes such distress, anger, outrage, sinful thoughts, and, occasionally, sinful words! My family has all seen my transformation from normal mom and wife into a heinous creature the moment I am told to push one for English!

The poor person, if I can even speak to a live person!, who ends up answering my calls...I feel sorry for her, but have a difficult time being rational when she asks me to repeat exactly what I have just entered or spoke into the phone.

All this to say that Ben and I were speaking about this the other night after he witnessed me on the phone with our insurance company and not once did I raise my voice, mumble something under my breath in a passive/aggressive manner, or say something ugly! I must say that I was quite proud of myself, and God was so gracious to encourage me, because my complaint was heard and the company took appropriate actions to change what needed changing! How great is that? So over the years, and a lot of work from God, I am seeing changes in my reactions, my words, and, though my thoughts aren't always so pure, I trust they will change also over time!

So...I am chief among sinners, and I truly am here only because of the grace of God! He is still working on me and I am seeing the results and the operators in various companies are reaping the fruit!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The DeBusks at Pinecove

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Shall We Then Live?

Amidst the craziness of family camp this year, Ben and I were able to hear two short speaker sessions. (The speaker sessions are the times that the adults get to hear from a fabulous speaker.) And as God would have it, we heard a couple terrific things...things on which we can ponder, debate, and noodle on for a while. Those of you who know Ben and me, know that we really enjoy our "noodlings", especially when we don't think alike! So here is what we are currently pondering the meaning:

Live your life in such a way that you would be crazy if God didn't exist.

So...what does that mean? The best I can figure is to live out my faith daily. Another way for me think about it is an illustration by Angela Thomas in one of her Bible studies. She said that we should be drinking so much from the Living Water that we should be sloshing out Jesus wherever we go! I love that! I have repeated that phrase so many times to others in the hopes that it would begin to sink into me as a result.

So I should be living my life so that Jesus is practically oozing from my pores and by doing that, I would be labeled crazy if God didn't exist! I think that I get it. Do you? Do you slosh out Jesus everywhere you go? The great thing is that we can keep drinking from the Living Water and our cup will never be depleted because when we reach for the glass to drink more, it's all full again. So drink up! Drink until you can't drink anymore, and then reach for the glass and drink some more!

It is the only way I can make any sense out of this life. It is the only way I can gain any perspective on events and circumstances. So for me...I will always be drinking and if you talk to me and I gurgle a bit in response...GREAT! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What I Learned From a 20 Something

Seeing a friend struggling with laundry baskets with enough clothes for 14 people for 3 days, this 20 something ran to her and said, "Let me help you carry your laundry. It's my favorite thing to do!"

Same 20 something, next night...she sees the same friend and me picking up about 7 games worth of cards, tokens, pieces, etc...that our boys had gotten out and poured into one gigantic pile onto the floor. She comes over and says, "Let me pick up the games. It's my favorite thing to do!"

Now I know good and well that picking up after my own kids isn't always my favorite thing to do and certainly picking up after someone else's kids REALLY isn't my favorite thing to do....and I am a mom and love serving my family and others. This girl's attitude about serving taught me a lesson. Serving God IS my favorite thing to do and by serving Him, it might mean carrying someone's laundry, or going ahead and DOING it, or picking up tons of game pieces, or myriad other things.

So, I am trying to really believe the statement "it's my favorite thing to do". The cool thing that I have learned about God over the years, is that when I do the right actions, He is faithful to bring the feelings along. So pretty soon, I have no doubt, I will really feel that whatever I am doing will be my favorite thing to do, as I am doing it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blessed Be His Name

I have been thinking a lot about the recent events in our lives...not selling our LR house, all the changes, and most recently, Darby's diagnosis of diabetes. They seem to invade my thoughts, even when I think that I am busy doing or thinking about something else, these other things creep up in my brain, quickly moving from the back to the forefront overtaking all else. Ever have that happen to you?

In the midst of thinking of all of this, I heard the song "Blessed Be Your Name". I was driving the van with all the girls to an outing to the bookstore, talking to them, but not really focusing on the conversation, but instead on all the other things. Through the thoughts came the words to the song:

blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful
when the streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name

So I thought, WOW!, that's easy to do! To praise the Father when things are going my way; when it is obvious that He sees me and cares about me and my good.

blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering
when there's pain in the offering, blessed be your name

This is when it gets interesting! Do I praise Him when our second house, affectionately called our "vacation home" is still for sale? Do I praise Him amidst all the changes in our family life and routine? Do I praise Him when I see Darby have bruises on her stomach from insulin shots?

If He is a good God all the time, as the Bible says and I have stated that I believe; and if I think the "good" things He gives me are awesome and worthy of my praise and thanks, then I need to be praising Him when He gives me "good" things that don't look so good on the surface and then He is still worthy of my praise, devotion, and my whole life!

blessed be your name when the sun's shining down on me
when the world's all is it should be, blessed be your name

The Son is always shining down on me, and I need to remember that the world is all as it should be. He is in control! Praise the Lamb!

She Has...What?! last blog was the night before we were heading for our favorite week of the year...Family Camp! It's usually a place where the moment we cross the boundary into Pine Cove, the real world goes away, and in its place, is only ease, contentment, fun, smiles, and lots of love. We left Sunday morning with those expectations, but one of our children, Darby, threw up right as we were walking out the door. So we adjusted our thoughts that instead of really starting our vacation on Sunday, we would head to camp, but Darby would feel better on Monday and then the real world would go away.

Not to be...on Monday, Darby was worse and was looking, literally, like a skeleton with skin pulled tight over it. She was scaring Ben and me and even frightened the camp nurse. She made an appt for us at 1:30 at a local dr's office and within half an hour of making that appt, Ben and I decided to take her to the local minor emergency clinic. One of her symptoms was a stomach ache, so what does any parent give a child with a stomach ache? Sprite! So while sitting there waiting, she downs 20 oz of Sprite.

We get called back and the basic vitals are taken and then they try to get blood. She is so dehydrated at this point that getting anything from her is seriously difficult. They finally get a small vial of blood and take it to the back for testing. I am expecting a severely low iron result, along with maybe what thing she might have that would require a quick prescription and be able to head back to camp for the awaiting fun. Not to be.....

The nurse is back very quickly saying that her blood sugar number was 869! Normal being between 90-110. The lab was running a second test to verify the number, but life became a blur after that announcement. They quickly placed Darby on a gurney to try to start an IV(they were not successful), then called for an ambulance and within seconds they were there to take our baby to the ER!

I rode with her and called everyone I knew for prayer, trying to hold it together, but not being so successful. Ben followed in our van and was only seconds behind us.
We get wheeled into the ER from the back, a room had already been prepared for her and they began the process of starting an IV. This process ended up taking 2 1/2 hours since Darby was so dehydrated. After a bit, the doctor comes in with the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes and, instantly, we have a whole new life.

There have been so many blessings in all of this and I know that God will continue to provide blessings for Darby!
1. We were at camp. As crazy as that might sound to be a blessing. We know that if we were at home, we would have waited another couple of days, thinking it was a virus.
2. Our other children were blissfully unaware of the details because they were at their camps having a marvelous time.
3. Our oldest daughter had lots of help in the form of counselors to help with the kids when they weren't in their camps.
4. Tyler, TX for some reason has a large population of diabetics and has one of the most fabulous diabetes teams in the country.
5. We had just been talking about needing to figure out what "normal" was in our new home and God provided just that. We don't have to worry about our traditions and routines in Little Rock and maybe having to do away with all that. We don't have any of those yet here, so Darby's diagnosis is our new normal and we fit everything around that. A true blessing!
6. Darby instantly began to take responsibility for checking her blood sugar, giving herself her insulin, and learning what she can say "yes" to and what she needs to avoid for now.

We have always said that God meets us at Pine Cove, and it was no different this year. We feel as though Darby is our Lazarus...she was dead and God has raised her back to life for us! I am anxiously awaiting the rest of her life, because I think there is a great plan for her in all of this.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pine Cove or Bust!

Every year for the last seven years, our family has been graced with scholarship money to attend family camp in Tyler, Texas. We go to the Bluffs camp, this year during week 11...the last week of the summer. We leave tomorrow morning and our whole family is excited!!!! God always meets us at family camp and we expect no different this year. I'll tell y'all about it when we get back next week!

To Be or Not To Be...Naked

Ben and I have been noticing a trend in our children. Our three youngest ones seem to have no modesty, no compunction about running around the house, or outside for that matter, naked. They don't seem to care if people are around or understand the inappropriateness of some of their actions. Now, don't get me wrong, our oldest two did the same things as littler ones, but at some point...who knows where...they decided that there were right and wrong places for nudity and began to feel embarrassment at the thought of anyone seeing them naked.

It dawned on us that this scenario is similar to Adam and Eve and their fellowship with God in the garden. When they had perfect communion with God, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. They didn't have any modesty, no compunction about running around the garden naked. They didn't seem to care if God was around or understand the inappropriateness of their actions.

The minute they ate the fruit, the became completely aware of themselves, their shame, their nakedness. Their fellowship with God changed, for the worse, their perfect life was gone, and life was forever different for every generation after!

In the New Testament, we are called to have the faith of a child. Could that mean that we should get the focus off of ourselves, our modesty, our actions and focus, instead, on the Creator? Should we be laying bare our sins to Him? Should we be in such close fellowship with Him that all we see or notice is Him, not ourselves?

It could be that our three youngest inherently "get it" and that the knowledge our two oldest have gained as they have grown older is actually a hindrance to their faith.

As for me, I'd like to have the faith of a child...the ease of life of knowing that He is watching over me...the carefree spirit of focusing solely on God that I don't notice anything else.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Ben and I celebrated 21 years of marriage today! What a great time it's been living with Ben. He is my best friend and my very favorite person to be around. Today we did our favorite thing...we went out to our favorite restaurant-Alamo Cafe-and then went shopping! What a fun day. As I looked across the table at him, I could so easily remember the day we got married like it was yesterday. I was so thrilled and as I sat there today, it dawned on my that I love him more today than I could have ever dreamed possible 21 years ago. So tomorrow starts our 22nd year, and I am confident that this time next year, I will love him even more.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kally's Birthday!

Today is Kally's 7th birthday! I can't believe that it's already been seven years. She is a joy and I can't even begin to imagine our life without her. Kally is a chatterbox (at home only), always has
a smile on her face, and would continue to hug you forever, if you let her. We usually make a pretty big deal about birthdays here. Today was no different. My parents came by early this morning to take her wherever she wanted for breakfast, and then we had a big surprise for her. A week ago, we had been given tickets to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and so we took Kally along with Darby and Rainey for the day! They had a ball!

Then we got home, had her choice of dinner...spaghetti...and then my brother and his family brought over an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins.

So after a day of all that Kally wanted to do, including opening presents, we are concluding the day, smiling and joyous.

Monday, August 4, 2008

God Must be Smiling

In Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life, he says that we are here to make God smile. I love that thought! In all the theological discussions that I have participated in over the years, I have heard many things that I need to do...obey this command, stop doing something many things it made my head hurt. So, I really love the thought that I am here to make God smile. Every once in a while, I stop what I am doing and wonder if God is smiling because of what I am doing, or thinking, or NOT doing or thinking.

So last night, I think God was smiling...because I know that I was! It was about 8 pm and all seven of us were out in our backyard. Ben had just completed working on the playscape that we got for practically nothing, but needed quite a bit of work. He set it up next to the trampoline and the kids began to buzz around wondering if they could finally play on the playscape. They looked to Ben to see if it would be ok, and when he said they could, they ran over to swing, slide, and show us how they could make their way across the monkey bars. Our oldest daughter decided that she would head to the trampoline and she jumped and played with them as they switched from one play area to the other. By the end of the evening, Ben and the four little ones were lying on the trampoline watching the bats flying around catching the bugs and Bailey and I were sitting in chairs just talking about what she thinks God has in store for her.

It took me a minute to realize that I was smiling at the sight of my precious family, all together, having a marvelous one yelling, crying, whining. Just enjoying one another.

That's when it hit me that God was probably smiling!