Saturday, March 13, 2010

This n' That

We said goodbye to an old friend this week. One of my favorite foods is popcorn--not just any popcorn, but the kind popped in a popper that sits in a hot plate type heat source, not the fancy new types of poppers or the microwave, though I don't turn much down. Tom sent me a popcorn popper from the commissary in 1967 when he was in Vietnam and we've used it ever since. Thursday I got it off the shelf to make an afternoon snack, heated the oil (so I thought), added the popcorn and it just sat there. I tried replugging; I tried other plugs; nothing worked. Upon investigating the coils, I discovered a broken one and I knew it was time to say "goodbye."
I wonder how much it has popped in all these years. It was older than my children and it triggers lots of memories. The heating unit is gone, but I kept the pot. They just don't make things the way they used to.

Colin has a fever and we're waiting to get the report on this morning's visit to the doctor. They took him yesterday, some tests were run and they were to return today for results. We don't like for our children to be sick at any age, but running a fever of unknown causes at six weeks old makes parents--and grandparents--concerned. I'll be glad to get an update today!! Big brother was sick last week, but the two don't seem to be related.

Yesterday a friend took me to Corinth for what I think was the last treatment in this series. Thursday we go to Memphis for scans and follow up with the oncologist. The new drug has been effective and none of the wierd side effects have been present or visible. It was the chemo drug that caused any problems suffered. We are, of course, hoping for a period of rest before I need more treatment. Chemo effects are cumulative and I can just hear my bone marrow begging not to send it any more just yet.

Tom has had good days and bad days this week. Wednesday, he got shakier and shakier as the day got older. He did go to church supper and Bible study, but it was noticeable that he was nervous. Only when I fixed his pills for the next day, did I realize I had forgotten to give him his afternoon meds. Dumb me! The problem was all my fault. He's doing well with therapy and the blood pressure is pretty consistent. That's good news.

Last night we went to Tommy and Liz's to visit and eat supper. Tom had not been to their house since we celebrated Mer's birthday on December 21. I don't know which he enjoyed more, being with them and playing with the little girls or the wonderful dinner Tommy concocted. Tommy and I had just been talking about veal parmesan and how almost impossible it is to find veal locally. So, he took a whole pork loin, sliced off four chops, pounded them thin, breaded them thin and pan sauteed them. In a pasta dish he put a serving of fettucine, a layer of alfredo sauce, the pork, covered that with a thick tomato sauce, topped with grated cheese. He makes his own sauces and that, of course, determines the taste of the dish. We had enough left to bring home for another meal. Talk about good!

During the past week I began a personal study in The Good and Beautiful God, a book by James Bryan Smith to teach us how to become more Christlike. He says: The number one enemy of Christian spiritual formation today is exhaustion, then goes on to say, We are living beyond our means, both financially and physically. Lately, I've been in the doldrums--tired most of the time, in a rut spiritually, basically blue and not satisfied with much. I read Smith's words, coming face to face, with the reality that I am exhausted, for good reason, but not doing much about it, thus the spiritual rut. I keep thinking that I'm "super woman" and can do all the things I've always done and I'm frustrated when I can't. I sleep more and it helps less. It's just easier to sleep than to think sometimes. Lots of medical bills have been coming in, to say nothing of the weekly checks I write for all the sitter help we have. I see many dollars going out that are not matched by what comes in. That can be frustrating, as well as causing mental exhaustion. Smith asks how the Christian fellowship or community has acted in your life and later the work of the Holy Spirit is manifest in the area of community? (That is my interpretation of those two questions.)

My answer came this way: Friends made in the fellowship of the Church are the most meaningful because for the bond shared. Some of those friendships are deeper than others for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is prayer partnership. These friendships often have been cultivated over many years; others have a shorter duration. This past week two such friends called to check on us. One even commented that in her prayer time that morning, she felt moved to call--the Holy Spirit was nudging. Each friend brought healing to my hurting heart and encouraged me in both spoken and unspoken words. The fatigue improved and my spirits lifted. The point? Becoming more Christlike doesn't just happen. We need to be actively involved in the process and to do that we must be fully rested and alert to those through whom the Holy Spirit works. In my case, the two friends were used. Those wake up calls were even inspiration for tomorrow's sermon.

Pastor Margaret

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