Saturday, October 03, 2015

Happy Anniversary to us!

It has been 23 years! How old do you think my husband is in this picture? Take a guess.

Friday, October 02, 2015

I Showed Up!

I set my alarm early this morning so I could get to school by 6:50. That would get me there early enough to park, walk into school, unlock the library, boot up the computers and get to the room of the teacher who hosts Friday morning fellowship.

I found out about four more Christians who are my coworkers. (Can't say I met them because I had met every one of them already) That's four more besides Lynne...the woman who I met yesterday. I was also told that our superintendent is a Christian too. I feel very blessed!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

He hears me!

I was thinking about my Christian coworkers at Martha Brown MS. I miss seeing and interacting with them. I got into the car and started the commute to my new school. And then I said to God, "Could you show me a Christian at my school, Lord?" I knew that there had to be some. That was the prayer I lifted up either yesterday or the day before. I don't remember which.

Today a woman came into my library. She asked me if I had any Christian books in the collection. I said, "Do you mean fiction books, or information about Christianity?" It didn't turn out to be either. She was looking for a specific title. She couldn't remember it though. I said we could look on Amazon to see if we could figure it out if we knew part of the title. Then we tried Christian Book Distributers.

I told her I was a Christian too...because I assumed that she was. Then she told me that there are a few others and they gather on Friday mornings before school in a teacher's room. I told her about the prayer I had lifted up a few days earlier. I said, "You're the answer to my prayer!" She told me that she didn't really know why she had asked me if we had any Christian books because she knew we really didn't. I said, "You asked me that so that I could find out you are a Christian!"

Tomorrow I will try to make it to the fellowship group.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

30 Years

The weekend before last, I did something that I never thought I would do. I went to my 30th high school reunion! I had always been afraid to go. I was afraid that I would see that someone. That is totally foolish because God clearly spoke to me on the bus 28 years ago and told me that I would never see him again on this earth. Oh me of little faith and unbelief! There was always a lingering doubt for me...thinking, "What if?" I knew that seeing him would never be a good idea for me...and God knew it too. That is why He promised to protect me from that. Have you ever hear the saying, "Is that a threat, or a promise?" This saying just came to mind and it actually made me laugh out loud. I had originally viewed his message to me as a threat...but now see it as a loving promise. I am now happy to say that my faith and trust has grown so much that I no longer fear seeing him at all. There is no "what if." I'm so sure of this, that I am positive that we could both be wandering around the same department store, at the same time...and the Lord would never have us see each other. Why did it take so many years to really believe this? I don't know! It's crazy that I would have ever doubted my Lord.

Anyway...back to the reunion. I had a surprisingly wonderful time! It was really fun. I was afraid that I wouldn't have anything to talk about with anyone. I can be quite introverted at times. However, I had no trouble at all. What was unexpected was how much I had to talk about with people that I never even hung out with in high school. It was like we had been the best of chums or something. I had been rather quiet in high school and was convinced that most people probably didn't even remember me. I was proved wrong. I'm glad I went. I almost didn't, but was talked into it by Phil S. He is now a parent of one of the kids at the high school I work at. He saw me during open house and told me I should go. He and I had been friends in high school. He told me that I may regret some day that I never went to one. I got to thinking about it and decided he was right. I should go to at least I did.

Jamie came to the reunion with me. I have a running joke that I can never take my husband with me anywhere where he doesn't find someone he knows. I thought that my 30th reunion would be safe. Nope! Not safe! We get to the reunion...which was packed full of people milling around, hugging each other, etc. Then I see one of my classmates wave to Jamie from across the room, and he waved back! It turns out that they know each other because LaBarge Media (my husband's place of employment) worked with the company she works for to produce some promotional video for them. Of course! She was very surprised to find that he was married to someone she had gone to junior high and high school with.

It was really quite fun to catch up with people. The only thing that bothered me was that I also had hung out quite a bit with kids who were either the year ahead of me or behind me...and I would have loved to see them too. Since it was not their reunion, they naturally were not there. I would have posted a picture, but I did not take any. A friend of mine sent me one of him and I...but he asked me to please not post it anywhere...because he is now a Catholic priest. He didn't think that it would be a good idea for a photo of him with his arm draped around a woman be published on the Internet. Especially while he was wearing his liturgical clothes. It was really quite innocent...just his arm around my shoulders to pose, but I really understand his concern so I am honoring him by not posting it.

I was also quite complimented by a classmate named Richard who told my husband that the woman my husband married had been the "queen of nice" in high school. His exact words. (Never mind that he was a bit sloshed when he said it) It is very nice to be remembered in a positive light.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Another Really Cool God Story

This story just happened sometime this past week and was relayed to me Friday night after returning home from Hannah's bridal shower.

Audra had called while I was away and had spoken to her father and had told him the following story:

Audra and one of her roommates, Molly had gone to the dining hall to get dinner. It was quite crowded, so they took two open seats at the end of an otherwise crowded table. It turned out that the table was full of students from The International Club.  Many of them were international students of course. They were all very friendly and engaged Audra and Molly in conversation. They asked where Audra and Molly were from. Audra usually answers this question by saying, "New York State" or "Near Rochester, NY." But this time she said, "Canandaigua, NY." Immediately, the boy sitting next to her, who was from Sri Lanka, said, "What?! My mother was an exchange student to Canandaigua, NY!"

Wow! Small world! But it gets even better. Apparently his mother became so close to her host family that they still keep in close contact. Her host parents consider her to be another daughter. They have even gone to Sri Lanka to visit her, and her family has flown to the USA to visit them." The boy told Audra that he has been to Canandaigua to visit his "American grandparents." He asked her if she knew the M_______ family. Audra said that she did not. At this point, he probably thought that this would be the end of the discussion. Oh no....God is much too cool for that!

I came home and Jamie told me the story. As soon as he mentioned that there was a boy sitting at the table from Sri Lanka, I thought to myself, "Oh...that's the country Sally M's exchange student was from." (I had actually met this former exchange student when she and her family visited the US. Sally had brought her along to Community Bible Study) When he finished telling me the story, I said, "I know the host family!" It was so exciting to me. Jamie does not know them because I only knew Sally and her daughter Julie through CBS. Jamie doesn't go to that.

I immediately texted Audra: Find that kid from Sri Lanka again and ask him if his American grandparents are the M_______s!

I also messaged Julie on FB: Does your former exchange student from Sri Lanka have a son who goes to IWU? If so, my daughter just met him. They ate dinner together.

I got a text back from Audra: Yes, that was definitely the family. He had asked me if I knew them.

Then I got a message back from Julie: Yes! I love it when God connects people together like that!

I also got a message from Sally today because she was pretty excited about it too. I told both Sally and Julie that I have a son and a daughter going to IWU and that they have a car. If their "grandson/nephew" would like to visit them over a break, he has transportation!

Now isn't that a really cool story? Of all the Christian Universities in the US, he ended up at IWU. Of all the crowded tables with two empty seats, Audra and Molly chose that one. And Audra including the name of her town when saying where she's from. I know that God orchestrates these very fun things because He just loves blessing his children!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Pinky Grip that Still Remains

So over the years I have come to peace with many things. I understand exactly what happened to me many years ago. I've accepted it as God's plan for me. I accept that it was not God's plan that I be with this person I had loved but that the relationship would end in pain. It was his plan that I would meet and marry Jamie instead.  I've accepted that the one I lost was supposed to marry a girl he met at his university. I'm glad that God chose her for him...because I have figured out that she really is a devoted Christian. From what little I know, she seems like a wonderful woman of God.

I understand that all of what I went through...every bit of it was orchestrated by the Lord. Even my mother and the one I lost believing that I had simply abandoned the relationship for another. It's kind of funny (not really, just kind of), but all of those years ago when I was in the middle of the chaos of being afflicted with that illness, that relationship crumbling, and being powerless to do anything to save it, I knew that my mother and the one I lost believed that I was choosing to destroy the relationship. I knew that I was under suspicion. Things kept happening that made me look guilty of being unfaithful, but I really wasn't. I remember thinking to myself, "I feel like I'm being framed." Now I believe that I actually was.

It was part of the planned trial that I had to endure. It was the pain of people I cared for so deeply, believing that I was not a person of integrity. They believed that I was shallow in my commitment. To be honest...this is the last "pinky grip" that this trial has on me. It still bothers me so much that he probably still believes that. I don't want it to bother me any more. I want to be free of this grip. I want to be at total peace with this. I want to totally not care that he most likely believes this to this day...but as of now, I still do care. Sometimes I think I'm almost there, but I'm not quite there yet.

I am not going to write about the thickness of the trial on this blog anymore. I may still mention it...but never get into the "thickness" of it. I will write about how I met Jamie and the joyful years directly following this trial because that is an important part of this story that often gets neglected. I get so distracted by the trial itself...that I forget to include the blessings that came out of it.

I am asking my readers to pray for me. That I will be completely loosened from this last hold that this pain seems to have on me.

Thank you.

Friday, September 04, 2015

What I Learned in August

1.  It is harder than it looks to drop kids off at college.
I don't really consider myself to be an overly emotional person. I've never been the helicopter mother. I've allowed my children space to grow up and be independent. I know college will be good for them, but at the same time I worry and I really miss them. The house seems very empty. Eight and a half hours away is very far.

2.  Life has some crazy surprises.
I never expected to be hired by Wayne CSD this summer. I hadn't even applied for the job. The principal of the school called me up to tell me he had learned about my credentials and asked if I would consider interviewing for the job. The first question of the interview was a disaster and I was sure that I had lost the job at that very moment. They liked me anyway!

3. My regular reader from Mountain View, CA is using a proxy IP address.
I was curious about this regular visitor so I decided to do a little sleuthing. I figured out that the IP address connected to that visitor is a proxy IP.  I don't know why this person thinks they must hide their location while reading my blog. Maybe they will comment about this and enlighten me.

4.  The school district that hired me over the summer does not have air-conditioning in its library!
This is horrible. This is not just because I am self centered and like to be cool on hot days. (Although that might be part of it) It is very bad for the books to be subjected to heat and humidity. I've noticed that some of the books, especially the older ones, smell a bit musty. I will be trying to change this.

5.  My new office has a motion sensitive light. When I'm working at my desk, it will turn off and then I'm in the dark. it isn't totally dark, but this is still quite annoying. Especially since the motion sensor cannot "see" me so I cannot simply wave my arms around. I must get up and go around my desk to turn on the light. I will be buying a desk lamp very soon.

6.  The woman that the Lord impressed upon me heavily to pray for approximately 11 years ago had a bout of cancer right around the same time.
I just found this out last weekend. When I was lead to pray for her many years ago, I felt strongly that it was her health and that it might be serious. I begged the Lord to heal her and spare her life so that her husband wouldn't be broken-hearted and alone. After my prayer, I "reasoned" with myself that I was being rediculous and that my obsessive thinking and imagination was getting the best of me. I still prayed 'just in case', but figured that it was probably nothing. Last weekend I stalked her on the Internet. (Yes, I admit it...but don't we all do this with people from time to time?) That was when I learned of her bout with cancer.

7.  This same woman is a beautiful daughter of Christ both inside and out. 
This fills me with joy. I think she must be a wonderful woman and I'm glad she was the person the Lord chose.

8.  My son is an impressive leader and is very comfortable taking on roles of great responsibility.
This summer, he took on the job of being assistant program director at a Christian camp in the Adirondack Mountains. My husband and I went up to the camp to pick up our daughter who had been a camper for a week. We got to see Allen (age 20) in his role as assistant PD. He lead with authority and even prayed for all of the campers and the camp speaker who was about to give a message. It brings great joy to us as parents to see him growing into a responsible adult who follows the Lord.

9.  Allen has climbed 41 out of 46 of the Adirondack high peaks!
I am so impressed and proud of him!

10. Our daughter Alicia is quite knowledgeable about the constellations.
We were in the backyard at Jamie's sister's house. They live in the country, so you can see a lot of stars on a clear night. Alicia pointed out several constellations to me. She was able to name them and tell me about the Greek and Roman stories behind them. She is a quiet girl and I was impressed with her excitement and willingness to share her knowledge with us. I asked her if she had learned it in school. She said no. She learned it because she was interested in it and researched it on her own. Her librarian mother was so proud of her!