Daily Work, personal

Life Happens – Stating the Year Over Again

I started this year with good intentions. I had plans. I was going to do a lot of work on promoting my devotional books. I was going to use this blog as a showcase for writing and for my photography, as well as giving people a behind the scenes look into the mind of one person who writes. (I can’t speak for all writers of course, just myself, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at what I’ve done and not been able to understand it.) Then life happened.

There’s an old saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I don’t think God laughed and said, “You think so? Watch this!” I don’t even think God laughed, believing as I do that God foreknew all that would happen. I think God took me by the hand and said, “Get ready my child, life is going to go out of your control, but it will never be out of my control. Stay with me.”

In early January, my mother passed away. She was 90. She’d lived an amazing life. She beat death twice in previous incidents. There were tears, of course, but during this time, I learned a lot about lamenting. I didn’t even realize I was lamenting until my pastor mentioned the process in a sermon and I realized that he was describing what I was dealing with emotionally.

Then, an event that was planned a few months earlier came to pass: my daughter’s wedding. I had the honor and privilege of performing the ceremony as my daughter married an outstanding young man. I knew him before he started dating her and I thought he was amazing before. When I saw what great taste he had in choosing a life mate, how could I not see him for the amazing young man that he is. He comes from a great family too.

Life’s about to get crazier, because the next week, we flew to Orlando, Florida to celebrate my wife’s graduation as Dr. James. I joke about her letting me call her Dr. Wife, but she is just “Lucy” to anyone who knows her. I won’t go into all that she endured in the process of getting this doctorate, most people think that battling breast cancer and spitting in cancer’s eye during this time is amazing enough.

Then came the dog. When my daughter moved away, after her marriage, she took her dog with her. My wife had grown accustomed to petting her dog, so, we decided that we would finally get a dog that wouldn’t bother her allergies. She was younger than we thought. Rather than attaching herself to my wife, she attaches herself to me. But we do have a new boss of the family now.

When my wife went for her six-month checkup with her oncologist, she mentioned a concern. The doctor arranged for her to stop taking meds for a couple of weeks, because they might cause the pain she was experiencing. Lucy did that and then had no relief, so they did a bone scan. They found an area of concern. They did a CT. We are now awaiting a needle biopsy, tomorrow, and then the results.

In short, life happened, and a lot of my plans went astray. As I thought about those possibilities, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to start the year over in July? Maybe you’ve had a rough year and you haven’t lived up to your own expectations, because life happened to you, too. One area that easily gets dropped is our spiritual growth. That’s why I’ve been promoting my July-August devotional book this last month. It is free for those of you who use any kind of eReader. If you want to re-start your year spiritually as you seek God, I want to help. Click on this link and download your free copy of “Daily Enduring Truth: July-August.” If you like those devotionals, you can buy the other volumes later. If you decide these aren’t for you, you haven’t lost anything. Accept this free gift and start the year over.

Daily Work

Getting Ready for the Memorial

Yes, I’m still around. I’ve been busy with all the things I need to do to get ready for my mom’s memorial service so I haven’t taken any pictures, but I sure have looked at a lot of them! I found the hard drive that had all the pictures I really wanted – or so I thought. Very few pictures were on that hard drive and not many of my mother. Does anybody else have one of those boxes where you keep all your old pictures? You took them while things were happening. You looked at them when you got them back from the drug store after they developed them, (How do you explain THAT to people of today’s generation?) and then you threw them in a box until the next time you decided to look at them – which probably hasn’t happened yet.

There were a few pictures of my mom that I remember distinctly. I’ve seen them in the area of my box. I thought they would be cute for our memorial service. I started pulling out all the pictures from THAT box. I pulled out a couple hundred old pictures before I found any pictures of my mom. It was a lot of work going through those old pictures. Even though I didn’t find the one picture I was looking for, I found a few other fun pictures of my mom that will look nice at the memorial service. Her obituary showed up today in her local paper. My sister did a great job on the writeup and they found a picture that captures her personality better than I found so far! This picture is of my mom, my dad (on the left but you can’t see his face). my wife, and another couple who I think I know what friends they are, but I’m not sure.

My mom didn’t seek the limelight, and she wasn’t in a lot of the pictures I have of my family. I should also point out that someone has said that you need to take a lot of bad pictures before you start taking good ones. When I look at most of the pictures I have, I believe it. I have a lot of bad pictures! But this one is cute. We had a garage sale when we moved from seminary to my first pastorate. Our first child was outside with us in his playpen. People came up, trying to buy the playpen. This sign was my wife’s solution.

Still, it was a lot of fun going through those old pictures. I’m not going to say whose pictures I found, but I’m guessing that my kids will be a lot nicer to me in the days to come. Just sayin’. I also started ripping the old CDs I have. I have a wide variety of classical, Christian, and comedy CDs, and I enjoyed listening to them while I was ripping them. Then, I made my mistake. I closed down my computer when I left for church. Once I got home, it took forever to start back up and then I had technical difficulties. Eventually, I had to do a hard shutdown so I could reboot and hope that this computer will work as it’s intended, not as if it’s auditioning for Frisbee status.