2011 - The Year That Was
There is a frequent saying, "It is what it is." I will just say that this was the year that was. There is a reason I haven't posted in a while. 2011 has been a very difficult year for me, but through it all, I was reminded that we only grow when we are stretched past our comfort zones.
A Shoulder to Lean On
I had surgery in May to repair a torn rotator cuff. I spent 6 weeks in a sling. It was during that time that I was struggling with the fact that my oldest son's marriage was breaking apart. I felt helpless. I was helpless. My grandchildren are helpless. It was my reminder that the only shoulder I can always lean on is Christ's. Trust is all I have left when I am helpless to change something. "Jesus, I trust in You!"
Coasting in the Spiritual Life
In August, I went on a 5 day Caribbean cruise with my husband. I am reminded that I must always be actively pursuing Christ. How often do we sit back and coast in our spiritual life when things are going well? It is so easy to do that when life is moving along without any bumps, but we should never just coast. "I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:13-14
A Death in the Family
My elderly father passed away at the end of August. He was a great learner. That also made him a great teacher. Before moving into nursing care, my dad had a balcony garden in the assisted living center where he grew tomato plants and flowers. He also grew 6 lemon trees from the seeds of the lemons in his iced tea from lunch. His lesson to us was to turn negative events into something positive. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." If we focus on the positive, we will recognize the work of God in our lives.
Henry Ole Martinsen
b. 2-4-1917 d. 8-27-2011
A Close Call
In September, my niece was hospitalized three times for blood clots in the brain. She suffered two strokes that affected the right side of her brain where visual centers are affected. She could not spell and she recognized people by their voice rather than what they looked like. By the Grace of God, she enjoyed a complete recovery from the strokes. She is now on medications to thin the blood. It was a close call for her and a lesson for all of us that we could be taken at any moment from this life - no matter what our age.
My son and his wife gave birth to their first child - a beautiful little girl - in mid-October. Her due date was January 7, 2012. Doctors tried to stop my daughter-in-law's labor, but after 3 days, her water broke and birth was immanent. Thankfully, she was given two doses of steroids to help my granddaughter's lungs develop. Because she was so early, my son and his wife had not yet learned lamaze to help her through her labor. My husband and I arrived home after a two week vacation just in time. I was able to help my daughter-in-law get through the contractions and I was present for the birth of my granddaughter. She weighed in at 2 lb 9 oz. Just after her birth, the doctor showed me a knot in the umbilical cord. So many times, babies are stillborn when there is a knot in the cord. I truly believe that God provided for my granddaughter. He has a special plan for her life.
Our Future and Our Hope
My oldest son broke the news to us in May that he and his wife are getting a divorce. They have two beautiful children. Their marriage didn't last but 5 years. My son is a better father since the separation. By the Grace of God, children are our future and our hope in this world.