Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just Lazy . . .

Blogging has not been a priority lately. Maybe my lack of computer in October pushed me out of the habit. Or it could have been that my brain was on overload. Whatever. When I looked at the date of my last post I was surprised that it had been two weeks and I've missed you.

During my weeks away, we have celebrated my 70th birthday, had Thanksgiving and partially celebrated Liz's birthday which fell on Thanksgiving day. She braved the crowds for Black Friday shopping and though I didn't leave the house, I had a credit card number stolen--and used. One of the reasons for brain overload was my trying to get Advent devotionals ready in time. I didn't make it, but at least I'm a step ahead for next year.

Another day I participated in a program for an older adult luncheon at the church. It didn't require major preparation because I've done this one many times, but I did have to get organized. We called it "Gifts You Give Your Children" and focused on end of life decisions, funeral/memorial service plans and documenting your life, especially your spiritual life. I enjoyed doing it and came away with ideas for future activities.

The highlight of the day was when the church playschool children walked quietly through the fellowship hall where we were having lunch. Elisa saw us and immediately said, "Maw Maw, Paw Paw" loud enough for everyone to hear. You know that tickles us! Next whe looked the other direction into the kitchen and saw her daddy and in an even more excited voice called his name. A friend said she had never seen such a grin on Tommy's face. Her reaction made me think about a book I gave Tommy on his 21st birthday. I think the name of it is I'll Love You Forever and it tells of a little boy's birth, his life in his family and how the mother was always there to care for him, saying, "I'll love you forever." The illustrations show the mother holding him in her arms, lifting him when he couldn't lift himself. Toward the end, the roles reverse when the boy becomes a man and cares for the mother, holding her and lifting her when necessary. I am experiencing that role reversal. As I saw the looks on Elisa's and Tommy's faces there was nothing but love, acceptance and trust in their eyes. I had this thought: our children really cannot comprehend the love we have for them until they have children of their own. It's a special thing to see your children with theirs, to see the love you have for them reflected on their faces as they care for their children. We give thanks everyday for our children and their families!

Advent begins tomorrow. I trust it will be for you a time of anticipation, of hope, of peace, of joy and of love as you look forward to celebrating the first coming of Christ.

Pastor Margaret

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lots to Share . . .

Tom, Tommy and I were in Raleigh this time last week for Colin's baptism. We left on Thursday, spent the night in Ashville, North Carolina and were greeted at breakfast that there had been snow at 6 a.m. Fortunately, it was gone by the time we were ready to resume our travels. We arrived in Raleigh in time to meet with one of the associates at White Memorial Presbyterian Church where Marty and Kevin are members. Saturday we awakened to a slow, steady rain, but it didn't prevent our going downtown to eat a BIG country breakfast at Big Ed's, a Raleigh favorite. The baptism was at the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday and was followed by lunch at Marty's for family and friends who were present. Sunday night Marty and Tommy went to the store where Tommy planned dinner and bought what was needed. He prepared a real feast! Monday we headed home, spent that night in Knoxville and were home by 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The trip was wonderful, but really tiring. Tommy did all the loading and unloading and all the driving, plus numerous other things to help. I don't know how we could have made it without him! I may be as hard headed as ever, but not as tough as I think I am.

Colin is just over nine months old and weighs a solid twenty four pounds. Both he and Christopher had colds, but nothing could keep him from smiling. During the service I made a few remarks about baptism, asked the usual questions, then took Colin in my arms to administer the sacrament. He smiled and watched every movement I made as I touched his head with the water three times and welcomed him into the Covenant Family of God. He kept that precious smile all the while the associate walked down the aisle to present him to the congregation. Once again, I am reminded of the privilege it is to baptize a child, but especially your own grandchild, and the responsibility we all have to teach them about our amazing God!

Trees along the way were dressed in their fall finery--a bonus for us. Since we've been back to Jackson I've noticed how much trees in town have changed just in a week. The crepe myrtles are a brilliant red and yellow orange; the dogwoods are a softer shade of red; the Bradford pears are multi-colored; and the maples and a tree I don't recognize are splendid in various shades of yellow. This morning I spotted a big ghinko that is bright yellow, but know it will have dropped many of its leaves by morning because of much needed rain we're getting today. I do love fall and all its colors!

Thursday we went to Memphis for scans, bloodwork and a visit with the oncologist. We both were a little apprehensive, mainly because my CA125 has been slowly rising and the extreme fatigue. Dr. Reed told me: "The disease is stable--it has not decreased, but neither has it increased. In your situation and as your doctor I want you to know that this is a good report." I could hardly concentrate on his words for offering my silent thanks to God. Dr. Reed also asked if I'd like to take a brief treatment break to let my body mend some. So, right now I'm enjoying an eight day rest from treatment and will resume next Friday. Yesterday I called to get the CA125 number and learned that it has gone down three points since last month. Getting back on the Avastin has definitely helped. God constantly amazes me with His grace and goodness!

It was a BIG week--spending time with family, baptizing Colin, getting good news. We are so blessed!

Pastor Margaret