Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrating my niece's birthday...

Happy Birthday to my sweet niece, Chloe G.! Sending you love... Aunt Tricia

Monday, July 13, 2009

More than enough

I walk at the park a lot. Sometimes I just sit there and read and pray.

While I was there, a mom and her daughter, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hannah lookalike, parked and wondered down to the lake's edge. The mom was lovely, even in her "grubbies," and I have to admit a twinge of envy at how slender she was, how perfect her ponytail was, how so "put together" she seemed.

I half-read my book, half-watched the duo, amused to hear the young girl talking a mile-a-minute like Hannah does with me.

Eventually they threw some food out to the ducks. Now, these ducks and goose (I call her Mama Goose) obviously have taken and complete their "Be Assertive Today" course--they are *not* shy about getting real close and cozy. Too close for Hannah's comfort, that's for sure.

Anyway, the girl eventually gave a mild shriek and ran back to their vehicle. With my windows down, I heard her clearly begging her mom to unlock the car. She may be a drama queen, but I detected a true note of fear in her voice. But the mom, this woman who I thought was oh-so-pretty, replied harshly, "Oh come on! You're stressing me out; this is supposed to be a nice walk, and you're making it stressful for me. Now just STOP!"

I know, I know; I've had moments like that, too many to name, when I speak sharply to Hannah. But I have always tried to listen for the times when she really is scared. And maybe this little girl was just vying for attention and being melodramatic, but maybe not. All of a sudden, I didn't care to be like that lady. I didn't care to turn a deaf ear to my child's pleas. I realized I just want to be me, the me who listens to my girlie; the me who cares if Hannah's frightened. All of a sudden: just being ME was enough. Plus-size, curvy, giving, loving, don't-you-dare-hurt-my daughter me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stitched card and swimming

Here's a card I stitched for a friend, to thank her for her hospitality and all the good food she provided.

I took Hannah swimming today and we had a great time--we swam for over two hours! Great exercise, that's for sure. Hannah's not gotten to swim as much because John usually takes her and with his kidney stone, he just doesn't feel up to it, of course!

It was nice to get to know a couple of our neighbors better while swimming in the pool. In an apartment complex, there's so much "turnover" of tenants, it's hard to get very well acquainted with any of them, or meet many who even care to get acquainted. So that was nice.

I've been reading a mystery series that is really good--the author's name is Aaron Elkins. His character is called Gideon Oliver and is called the Skeleton Detective. I like the books because they're not too scary, not bad language, well written and I love how the detective solves the whodunit by simply looking at the bones and using his knowledge as a forensic paleontologist. I don't like it that the books are all filled with evolutionary stuff (Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal Age, etc.), because I am a creationist all the way. But they are still very well written and a lot of fun; the author obviously has a great sense of humor, too!

Anyway, all for now!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Trials and Triumphs for the Williams family

Last Friday brought about yet another round of "say it isn't so!" for our little family. Poor John developed a kidney stone yet again. And when this guy has one, they aren't just "stones passing in the night" (sorry, poor pun); John goes through days of extreme pain while the doctors/technicians haggle over whether the stone is large enough for a lithotripsy, surgery, what-have-you. Why they don't ask the one suffering? I say! This is John's fifth or sixth stone--and when I see the pain on his face, I feel so bad for him.

The last few weeks and months have been particularly trying for our household. It has not been necessarily "one thing." Just an accumulation of trials that have brought us to our knees. I thought I was holding it pretty well together (with God's help), and even doing a fair job of hiding the stress.

Apparently not.

The night we came home from the ER, we were absolutely beaten down. I tried to keep up a semi-brave face for my girlie, but realize the day's events must have been written all over my--and John's--faces.

When I went into Hannah's room for love, worship and bedtime prayers, I could tell something was wrong. Fearing I'd somehow been short with her because of my exhaustion, I asked her what was wrong. At first she denied anything, but then, as I knelt down, she finally answered:

"I just feel so bad for you and Daddy," she said. Two big tears fell down her cheeks. "You guys have had the worst luck lately. Why do bad things keep happening to us? I feel like we're so alone in our problems."

My sentiments exactly. I have to admit, I'd been asking God the same thing. Oh, I don't talk about our struggles much on this blog. No matter how a person spins it, when writing about troubles in life, invariably it sounds like whining or complaining. So I haven't. Up till now.

Finances, poor health, unskilled veterinarians, breaking down cars--all spell disaster. Who wants to read about disaster? I don't!

But maybe I need to share at least a little about the troubles. Because if I share about them, I must share about the strength God gives us, the endurance, to get through each day. If I share about the financial woes, I must also give testimony to just-as-we-need-them provisions.

The same goes for health, car trouble and more. For each time something goes wrong, Someone makes sure to make something very right. An unexpected check in the mail...a better veterinarian with a less costly guinea piggy diagnosis...a mechanic who has our best interest at heart and gives rides home again and again when we face the prospect of extreme heat beating us down on a long walk home.

Problems? Oh me, oh my! More than I care to admit. But for every problem, God has given us a solution. For every time our bank account is running precariously low, God has sent food, money, or work--just when we need them most.

So how did I answer my precious lamb?

Thinking of the ever-possible teachable moments (only by His help), I told her that the Devil is very real. He doesn't like it when we are following after God, when we are trying to obey His will. We read from her Bible that Satan is depicted in the book of Peter as a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8, 9). The text goes on to say, "Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings..."

In comforting Hannah, I could not deny the comfort my heavenly Father provides me, day in, day out. Through His Bible, through a friend, or a sermon, He reveals His truth of "I will never leave you nor forsake you" again and again.

I praise Him. I love Him. I share my testimony in love.


p.s. John goes to his urologist Wednesday. If the doctor does not reach a firm decision on his own, I will personally wrestle the man down to the ground and "help" him reach a decision in great haste! ha!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Overheard around the Williams household...

Snippets of conversations heard around a certain nine-year-old member of the Williams family:

After a day of swimming with some friends:

Mommy: So, Hannah, were you excited to swim with so-and-so?*

Hannah: No, I don’t have a crush on him anymore.

Mommy: Really? Because he didn’t like you back?

Hannah: Yeah, I guess so. Besides, I’ve moved on. I have a new crush. I like Chris now (Texas Rangers ball player).

Mommy: Is that so?

Hannah: Yes. (Hand to her chest) It’s the end of an era. The end of my first crush. (Gives an impish grin)

Mommy: Sounds good to me!

*Name has been changed to protect the no-longer-crushed-on boy


A conversation at bedtime:

Hannah: Mommy, did Satan turn himself into a serpent when he talked to Eve in the Garden, or did he live in the serpent?

Mommy: Well, I believe he lived in the serpent, because God cursed the serpent later in Genesis, so it was like the serpent “had a choice” sort of. Hard to explain, I guess.

Hannah: Oh.

Mommy: Yes, you know Satan (or his angels) can live in people, too. That’s what it means when someone is demon-possessed. You hear more of that in the Bible, but it can happen today. More in terms of that Satan has control over our lives with sin, such as taking drugs, being mean to others, etc.

Hannah: (dramatically folds hands as in prayer) Oh, Mommy! I’m going to pray every day so the devils won’t live in me! Now I’m scared!

Mommy: You don’t need to be scared! A person has to pretty much be turning his back against God, and tell God to “go away” in his life for that to happen. But if he/she does, they’re fair game to Satan.

Hannah: Is that like when Jesus sent the demons from the man into the pigs, in the Bible story? The pigs went all crazy and oinked all the way over the cliff!

Mommy: (laughing) Yes! That’s exactly right!


While driving around town:

Hannah: Mommy, there’s a car accident! I’m going to pray for the people involved! “Dear Jesus, be with the people in the wreck. Help them not to be hurt. Help them to be OK. Keep mommy and me safe on the road. And help Daddy to enjoy his peace and quiet while we’re gone.” (FYI: Daddy did! Ha!)