What A Difference A Day Makes

The day was all planned. I would be joining four other friends, in our small group, to go to Bay City to pay our respects to our friends, John and Jan, over the death of their sister-in-law. Jerry was staying home. John and Jan seemed so pleased we had taken the time and made the effort to support them in their grief.

As we left, to go home, we decided to stop at a pizza shop, only a few blocks away from the funeral home. We parked across the street from the pizza shop.  No cars were coming so we jaywalked across the street. When I picked up my foot to step over the curb, alas, I didn’t pick it up high enough!!! I felt myself stumbling and going down! I put my hand out in front of me to break my fall. Well, I didn’t break my fall and I did break my wrist!!! I knew it was broken by the way my hand was hanging from my wrist! My friends helped me get up.

But I suddenly felt myself getting faint and cried, “I’m going to pass out!” They quickly helped me lie down on the cement sidewalk. Sharon called Jerry. John called 911. Jerry insisted they take me to Midland Hospital instead of Bay City Hospital. Our wonderful friends met us at Midland hospital. With the help of our friend, Larry, Jerry met us all there. Many hours later after lots of tests, x-rays, and a soft cast put on my arm, we were sent home along with lots of instructions.

The next day, Friday, our friend, Rose, brought supper to us! Oh how wonderful. As we visited she told Jerry and me details about my fall that I didn’t know or didn’t remember! One detail was that her husband, Larry, sat down on the cement and put my head on his lap, as a pillow! I didn’t know that! How sweet of him!

Saturday morning I became very sick. Extremely sick! Jerry didn’t know what to do for me. He called 911. So I was taken to Midland Hospital for the second time in three days! This whole mishap was quite an ordeal! But we have such good friends! John and Jan brought a delicious meal to us and then Creston and Sharon brought supper to us! Wow! We ate good!!!

But it was two weeks before I could see the surgeon! He said it was a bad break and I’d need surgery. So a steel plate, the shape of a T, was put in my wrist with seven screws! Two weeks of a soft cast and then two weeks of a hard cast! Oh what misery!

It’s now been almost three months since I broke my wrist and I’m still in occupational therapy! Please, whatever you do, don’t break your wrist! Of course it doesn’t help that I’m almost 80 years old! I guess the older we are the harder it is to heal! Whatever would I do without my granddaughter helping me out for the summer!

What a difference a day makes! It can be a great day with family and friends. It can be a lonely day. It can be a day where tragedy happens, or a fall and a broken bone.

What A Difference A Day Makes!

 

I’m Ready, Are You?

Another funeral today… the sister of my very close friend. I barely knew the person who died so suddenly, but yet I considered her a friend. We saw each other mainly at family functions: weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Today was her funeral, her death was so unexpected. She was 78 years old, about a year and a half older than I am.

So another funeral today. There have been so many…! Lorraine, Joan, Lynne, Dean, Norma, Oates, Twila, Jim, another Jim, Jack, Bob, Margaret, Carolee, David, Evelyn, and there are more. These are just the names that came to my mind just now as I’m writing.

These are also close to my age! I didn’t name the folks who’ve died in their old age, upper 80’s and 90’s! Yes, I’m in my middle seventies. But, I don’t feel old! I know I must look old! I get offers of help at the supermarket! When I was in Haiti in June of this year, the wonderful Haitian folks wouldn’t allow me to do anything! They would hold up their hands and say, “Oh, no, Grandma. No, no!” They would then do the task I was needing to do! I do admit to having aches and pains that are new to me, but I’m not ready to die!

Well, physically, I’m not ready to die. Spiritually, I am ready to die! I’m forgiven, I’m born again, I’m living in praise of my personal Saviour! What a wonderful place to be! When my day comes for me to breathe my last breath, I don’t want anyone to wonder if I’m  ready! New haircut  Praise God, I’m ready! Are you?

My Wonderful Experience at GC15

Every four years the Free Methodist Church, my denomination since age two, has General Conference, where rules and policies are discussed and sometimes changed, our three bishops are elected and/or reelected. I’ve been privileged to attend only four in my life, but each one was a highlight for me. The first two I attended were in Winona Lake, Indiana in 1960 and 1974. The next one I went to was at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana in about 1996.

I seem to have unique, interesting experiences when I travel to General Conference, so here’s one. Later, I’ll write of another one!

I went with a friend, Wilma Kasten, to Anderson, Indiana. We shared a room in the university girl’s dorm. One morning we couldn’t get our door to open! We were inside our room, trying to get out so we could use the bathroom, down the hall, and then go to breakfast. The door would not open! We were trying, we were yelling for anyone going by to open the door from the other side, nothing worked! It would not open! Someone finally got ahold of maintenance and a man came with tools to open our door. It took a while before we were able to get out!!!  A few years later, someone wrote about this in the Anderson University newspaper. Most of the details were correct, except for one! The article claimed “two elderly ladies were locked inside their dorm room!” Believe me, I was not elderly! Yes, I was at the upper edge of middle age, but I was not elderly!

This year, 2015, General Conference was in Orlando, Florida at Caribe Royale Resort.  Orlando Caribe resort What a great place for General Conference! There were plenty of rooms for everyone to stay, there were plenty of meeting rooms, of several sizes, for large groups and smaller groups. The meals served, were great!IMG_1039 (1)  IMG_1040 (1)                                                   The swimming pool, for relaxation, was fabulous! Swimming pool Orlando  GC15 pool  Haleigh and friends swimming.

I went to Orlando early because I opted to go on a missions trip, General Conference was offering, during the same week but ending the day before General Conference ended! When I arrived on July 8, there were many folks already there. Some were going on mission trips and some were there for special meetings before General Conference began. So I got in on the last day and evening of General Conference, and what a privilege! I saw so many folks, both before and after the trip to Haiti, that I’m privileged to know but seldom get to see.

Okay, I’ll share my second funny story here. I was going on the trip to Haiti with my granddaughter, Haleigh. We had traveled to Florida separately and she arrived first. She had been on a teen missions trip to West Virginia and went directly to Florida from West Virginia. I flew from Michigan and my flight arrived late. When I finally got to Caribe Royale Resort after midnight, Haleigh was waiting for me! We went to the desk to get our key cards for our room. We were so excited! Our room was on the ninth floor! We opened our door and oh my! “Haleigh,” I exclaimed, “It’s a suite, not just a room! Oh, it’s so nice! This is the living room and, just look at the bathroom! So clean and nice!” Then we opened the bedroom door and switched the light on. What?!?? Oh, no! Someone was in bed, asleep!!!

The person in bed woke up and said, “Oh, Haleigh, you’ve arrived! I’ve been expecting you!” What? What about me? She didn’t know about me! Apparently she and Haleigh were assigned this suite. There were two queen size beds in the room. I insisted I sleep in the living room on the sofa. (I wonder who I was assigned to share a suite with?!)

The fact that impresses me the most, about the Free Methodist Church, is that we’re a global church! Being at General Conference was an exciting time with folks from all over the world! “The worldwide Free Methodist family includes more than 1 million members in 85 world areas. Only 7 percent of Free Methodists are in the United States!” Free-Methodist-Missionary-Summit1-e1438105689666This is a picture of missionaries that were present at General Conference. I see our three bishops in the picture too.

Mission:

To love God, love people and make disciples.

Vision:

To bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people multiplying disciples, leaders, groups and churches.

This I have copied and pasted from the Free Methodist Church website. I love my church. (I don’t know how to make the print smaller, or I would!)

  • IMG_1039 Myself and Pakep from Myanmar, IMG_1041  The Myanmar representation and myself!
  • My new friend, Jamie Piper from McPherson, Kansas and the new Bishop from Haiti, Bishop Eliodor.IMG_1040
  • My good friend, Becca Doyle, missionary to Asia GC15 Becca & us slipped in beside Haleigh and me during a service!
  • A short but sweet visit with Bishop David and Yvonne Roller meant so much and was such an encouragement to me.
  • Other friends I connected with were former pastors, missionaries, bishops, and friends from all over the USA and even the world! What a great time of fellowship with fellow Christians and fellow Free Methodists!

The music at GC15 was outstanding! The worship team led by David Gaulton was so good! The muscians played guitar, drum, violin, and I forget if there were more! They were excellent! The last evening we were favored with a solo by a black man with a beautiful, beautiful voice! He sang a hymn and I would love to have a CD of it! If any readers can help me out here I would appreciate it!

General Conference 2015 was a huge success! Our three bishops, Matt Thomas, David Kendall, and David Roller were all reelected. It was such a privelege for me to be a part of this very special event.  The Holy Spirit blessed us with His Presence.

Just One Granddaughter and Me

I have 15 grandchildren and I love each one of them! I have no favorites. Let me make that clear. Andrew, Matthew, Kaleb, Tyler, Annie, Max, Megan, Haleigh, Miller, Sydney, Elmise, Isabella, Mason, Armon, and Maddie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In this picture, taken two years ago, there are eleven of the fifteen. Top row from left: Matthew, Kaleb, Miller, Megan, and Haleigh. Center row from left: Annie, Me, Grandpa, and Mason. Front row from left: Armon, Bella, Elmise, and Maddie. Missing are: Andrew, Tyler, Max, and Sydney.

Haleigh lived next door to me her entire 18 years! We were at the hospital when she was born. She was a tiny preemie, weighing a little over four pounds. Haleigh Dedication  This was her dedication day. The picture is of Rob and Jessica, Tyler, Haleigh, and Pastor Dave.  I made Haleigh’s dress, as I did for some of the other granddaughters, Sydney, and Isabella. Megan and Maddie wore the dress that I had made for my daughter, Christy, when she was dedicated! So, since Haleigh lived next door, of course, we’ve been close. We have shared so much of life together. She was free to run through the woods to Grandma’s house and has confided in me.

One day Haleigh said, “Grandma, we should go on a trip together! Just you and me! My first thought was, ‘I have fifteen grandchildren, I’d have to take 15 trips! I can’t favor just one of them!’ Every now and then she’d make the same  request! Finally, I answered with, “Well, Haleigh, we can dream!”

In July of 2014, Jerry and I were at our family camp. Haleigh was with her family on a vacation. Every morning at camp we had a missions hour, which I always attended. The first morning Conference Superintendent Paul gave out slips of paper to everyone, instructing us to write our name on the paper and turn it in. Every day we were to do this. A name would be drawn at the end of the week and that person would be given a check to send them to a mission field! However, as I began writing my name on that first day, the thought came to me that I should write Haleigh’s name, not mine! So I did. Every day. Haleigh’s name!

On Friday, guess whose name was picked! Haleigh’s! She chose to go to Haiti!  I chose to go with her! Her way was mostly paid: $1000.00! Mine was not! But I felt and still feel this was of God. Excitement mounted throughout the year as we prepared for this exciting trip.

Haleigh was in her senior year of high school so it was already a special year in her young life. Haleigh grad 4 Graduation Haleigh (3)   Plans for her future were being formed for her and by her. College and then a career in early child development. She loves children!

Plans for the trip to Haiti were moving along. We chose to go with the Free Methodist General Conference Missions Trip in July. So on July 8 the team met in Orlando, Florida.

Haleigh and I hadn’t traveled together to get to Orlando so we were happy to reunite when I arrived late on July 8. We were so excited to stay in a beautiful resort in Orlando. We met in the lobby and were given the keys to our room. We took the elevator up to the ninth floor, found our room and were so excited when we opened our door! “Oh look,” I exclaimed, “It’s a suite! It’s not just a room! What a lovely living room! Look at the nice bathroom!” Then we opened the door to the bedroom and switched the light on. “Oh…no!” Someone was sleeping in one of the beds!!! We were shocked! The person, a young woman, woke up, sat up, and said, “Oh, Haleigh, you have arrived!” What?! She was expecting Haleigh! What about me? Somehow there was a mix-up in the registration. I decided and insisted that I sleep on the sofa in living room, Haleigh slept in the second bed in the bedroom.

Orientation meetings took place the next day. On July 10, 142 folks  Haleigh & Me Traveling  went by bus to Fort Lauderdale and then flew to Port-au-Prince, Haiti! We’d both been there before so we knew what to expect, however, neither of us had been there since the earthquake. Many folks on this team had never been to Haiti before this trip.

This was Haleigh’s first time to go as part of a work team. It was my third time to go with a work team. We went by bus to Providence University near Balan, Ganthier Province of Haiti .  This is a new university and is still in progress. 100_5793  100_5773  The men’s dorm. 100_5774  The women’s dorm. 100_5766  Meals were cooked and served by the Haitian staff in this pavilion.

There were several projects for us to choose from for our share of work. Eden: reforestation of trees; making desks; pouring cement; VBS; medical team, goat teams.  Haleigh chose to work with children in VBS. She also cared for the children of women who had come to the medical clinic.

I helped paint desk frames and then I joined a goat team. I left to go back to Port-au-Prince. So Haleigh and I had to say good-bye.  We would meet again  on the day we would leave to go back to Orlando, Florida.Haleigh and me parting in Haiti

I knew she would be fine and friends would watch out for her. And they did. Haleigh actually blossomed. I’m so proud of her.

Goat team #2. My new wonderful friends: Bonnie, me Lars, Linda, Ali, Marv, (sorry, I forgot the last one’s name.) Second goat team    IMG_1021  IMG_1020  Goats, belonging to Free Methodist families were treated and hooves trimmed. We traveled into the mountains to remote villages where we had a church. Folks brought their goats to us. It was quite an experience!

Haleigh loves children! Haleigh with sleeping girl  Besides working in VBS she helped care for the children of the many women who came to the health clinic.

Haleigh sponsors a little boy in Haiti Haleigh sponsored boy & family (2)  and was thrilled to get to meet him!

This trip was a trip of a lifetime!  We did it together but yet we were able to do our own thing. Haleigh blossomed as she worked and played with the children. We both made wonderful friends, Haitian and American. It was a trip and an experience for us that was meant to be! We both thank God for this trip of a lifetime!

I Don’t Like Goodbyes

Time is going far too quickly. Goodbye is coming. The two most important families in my world, here in my city, are leaving…  Moving away…   Within the next couple of months, they’ll be gone. I’ll be here. They’re excited. I’m sad.

My youngest son, Rob; daughter-in-law, Jessica; granddaughters, Haleigh, 18 and Elmise, 13; and grandson, Armon, 10, who now live next door and have lived here for 19 years, are moving to Georgia!

My pastor, David, and his wife, Leah, are moving to accept a new challenge and position. They, having ministered here to us for 20 years, are moving to Kansas!

I love a challenge and I’m not one to back away when one is presented to me! But I’m the one being left behind. The future, in my world, looks blank.

Where would I be without my personal faith in my loving Saviour? I would be kicking and screaming, heartbroken and crying!

While I am sad, I’m trusting God to take care of Rob and Jessica and family. They’ll need good jobs (Jessica, R.N. has one); nice home; good schools; good church; Haleigh as a college freshman, settled into dorm life; good friends and neighbors. They are trusting God. He knows all about their family and their move. I’m trusting God for them, even though it hurts.

While I am sad, I’m trusting God to go with Pastor Dave and Leah. Pastor Dave having just earned his Doctor in Ministry, PH.D and will be pastoring a church and teaching ministerial students in a college. Pastor Dave will need just the right treatment for his MS. As far as delivering sermons, I think Pastor Dave is the best preacher I’ve ever heard! He is truly used by God.

Because I am a true believer, I’m trusting God to give us just the right neighbors next door and to send just the right man to fill the position of Lead Pastor of our church. Pastor Dave told us Sunday how God has been leading them to this point in their lives. So…is God working on just the right man to move here and minister to me, to us?

While I still have to say good-bye, I’ll be saying it with hope in what God has in store for me…for us.

Soccer Season – Destroyers

Soccer season is over. FullSizeRender (75) It sure was fun while it lasted… FullSizeRender (76) Armon is the third boy from the left, standing.  The games were always on Saturday AM.    It was okay when they started, but then Autumn set in and cool temperatures.      IMG_0017 (2) IMG_0020 (2)    A butterfly was on the field! A woman rescued it and then sent it on its way before it got trampled by the players!                                                                                   Then really cold temperatures hit! FullSizeRender (49) Jerry and me.  FullSizeRender (44) Elmise and Mama.FullSizeRender (48) Haleigh on her iPhone!   IMG_5011 (2)  Mama and Papa.IMG_0014 (2) Jessica, Ki and Erin. Sometimes good friends came!                                                                      We loved watching the young boys play. Some were very good players and some were only there because their mother’s had signed them up!!! But even those boys got better as the season went by. Our grandson, Armon, shows great ability as a soccer player and as an athlete. He was determined and shows athletic ability! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  He was the goalie in a couple of games.  For these young boys, the positions were traded off so they each had a turn to play each position. In this picture, he was catching the ball just in time. In the next picture, he was down on top of the ball before FullSizeRender (47) it went in for a score! You can see him on the ground with the ball.  Winning or losing is not emphasized in this league, learning the game and learning good sportsmanship is what matters.  Here are the medals each boy earned and received today. I’m showing both sides of the medal. The name of Armon’s team was Destroyers!

FullSizeRender (71)  FullSizeRender (72)   He’s showing Grandpa his medal.FullSizeRender (68)