September 29, 2010

I don’t like this whole, getting old and dying thing that seems to be happening recently. My Mom’s dad died at the end of January and now my Dad’s dad is very sick in the hospital. Until this year the only person that has passed away in my family was my uncle (Dad’s, sister’s husband) and he was dying of diabetes for a VERY long time so we were as ready for it as you could be. My Papa on my Mom’s side of the family was expected as well since he had cancer but it was still a bit of a shock that he went so quickly… we were expecting a few more weeks with him at the most, not a few days after placing him in Hospice.

My Papa on my Dad’s side has been in the hospital since September 16th when he fell in the bathroom and hit his head. After that everything went down hill, he was by no means “in good health” before he fell. He’s been suffering from small strokes and diabetes for some time now. He’s had to use dialysis for over a year now so he’s clearly not in good shape. After he was put in the hospital on the 16th he flat lined and was placed in ICU on the 19th then hooked up to a breathing machine since he couldn’t breath on his own. Since then there’s been a few ups and downs but he hasn’t really been “there”… he’s mostly out of it and even when he opens his eyes they are all grey and doesn’t seem like he can see anything. He does respond to you when you are there but just by shaking his head and trying to open his eyes. On Monday (27th) my family decided to take him off the breathing machine since you are only allowed to be on the machine for 3 days and he was clearly on the machine much longer. He’s been breathing on his own since then which is amazing but like I said before, he’s not really “there” and to be honest with you, my Papa hasn’t been himself for years now.

You may ask why I am blabbing about this on my blog but I was hoping that by everyone reading this and understanding everything that’s going on right now in my family’s life you could understand what to pray about. I know that everything is in God’s hands and so does my family but it’s still hard and frankly it still sucks. We found out today that the next decision to make is about the dialysis. We were told the only thing keeping him alive right now is the 13 hours of dialysis that he takes every night in the hospital… he can’t even except the IV of “food” anymore since his body is rejecting it. We all agreed that the best thing to do is end the dialysis and move him to the Hospice House so he can be comfortable and someone can be with him 24/7. We were also told that after he is moved there and the dialysis is ended he would live 14 days at the most. He moved their this afternoon around 5 and everything started getting much worse. (Side Note: The room my grandpa was put in is the SAME room that my other grandfather was in earlier this year... there's 31 rooms in this place and they put him in the SAME EXACT ROOM.  I'm still baffled by that!) I went to the Hospice House after dinner tonight and was told that he had a matter of hours.  He goes through periods where he stops breathing for almost a minute and then he will finally take a breath, it's incredibly sad!  I left at 10 tonight because I have to wake up early for work tomorrow morning... 

So with that… I ask for prayers for my grandpa and my family. I really appreciate it and I am so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life to help me through this. The messages I have been receiving on Facebook really have helped more than you know!

Thanks again, Cas

The Room...

September 15, 2010

So, I have put this up on Facebook before but never on my blog.  I wanted to share it again because it still leaves me with the overwhelming  truth of God's love!!!  We are all so lucky and that's an understatement.  Once again... Thanks Jocie for sharing this so long ago!  :)  

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt, they started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

-joshua harris. "the Room"

Everyone To Know!

September 14, 2010

Here we go, let in light from my window
Say goodbye to my sorrow and hello, new day
My soul needed a rescue... Hero, it had to be You
I know You’ve changed everything

So I want everyone to know....
Everyone to know....
I want to tell the world about Your love....

I’ve thrown years away and every chance to change
It took so much to see my pride
I’ve thrown punches in the air
Chased after love that wasn't there
I know only You satisfy

So I want everyone to know....
Everyone to know....
I want to tell the world about Your love....

To all the broken hearted....
The crippled and the weak....
We are all invited to taste and see....
To all of those who are searching....

Come find what you seek....
It is the truth that we all need 

So I want everyone to know....
Everyone to know....
I want to tell the world about Your love....

-Everyone To Know, Bethany Dillon

Just a little something from the WONDERFUL and AMAZINGLY talented Bethany Dillon!  If you don't have her newest CD, Stop & Listen (or any of her others for that matter) buy/download it RIGHT now!!!!  She sings and writes beautifully about God's unending love!  

.....and it's wonderful to do some crunches to! Ha. relaxing and motivating!!  

Atlanta Fun!!!

September 1, 2010

So, on the weekend of August 21st I took my mom to Atlanta for a girls weekend for her Birthday (September 9th)... and why did I take her so early, you ask?!? Because of this...... 

(11th Row Seats)

We had a date with my future husband, Adam Levine.  My mom has been DYING to see Maroon5 ever since their first album!  We almost got to see them once a few years ago but after that didn't happen every single time... and I do mean every single time we heard a Maroon5 song she'd say "I could have seen them in concert!!!" so yes, I am the best daughter ever and needless to say, she was very excited.  AND just in case I forgot about her excitement she would remind me about every 10 minutes by screeching "I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!"  It was entertaining... 

We had such an amazing trip filled with great food, shopping, ADAM, and creating some wonderful memories together!  I am so lucky to not only have an incredible best friend but Mom too, she is precious!  We arrived in Atlanta, checked into our King Suite room, changed our outfits, then searched all over for some yummy Mexican food (aka Margaritas) and after about 20 minutes we finally found the PERFECT place!! 

It was SOOOOOO good, and they had the BEST Margarita EVER!  It was made with Peach nectar and Tequila!  YUM!!!  I was in love! We had such a great time and we were stuffed!! 

The following morning we got up pretty early and had a very successful shopping day!!  THEN we got ready for the show and we had our faces rocked off.  It was amazing... possibly best show ever!  I've never heard a band sound SO good live!!  His voice was heavenly!!  Kris Allen opened for Maroon5 and he killed it too!  It was such a fun time!!  

Favorite picture from the show... love the disco ball and bright colors!  I also have a new favorite picture of Mom and I!! 

On Sunday we slept in after a late night at the show... and then we went to The Flying Biscuit!!!  If you are a fan of brunch you MUST try this place.  It was my 3rd time but mom's 1st!  She loved it too... it's so great!  Then we went to Ikea and it was my turn for a 1st!!  I LOOOOOVED IT!  I found my dream kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom!!  It was so much fun and a wonderful weekend!!! 

Then for the second weekend in a row I went BACK to Atlanta for Fadi's Birthday!!  It was a lot of fun, especially since Mimi and Jane got to come with us.  It was at Fadi and Joy's house and she made some AMAZING food... lots of carbs and cheese which we all know is definitely yummy!! ;-)  Here's some highlights from the weekend with the Eliya Family!! 

Such a great picture of the Happy Couple, about to celebrate there 1st Anniversary this weekend!! 

Enjoying the Birthday fun! :-) 

The Fam (minus Jane) going to sight see on our last day. 

Very happy I got to have 2 amazing weekends in Atlanta... I'm a very lucky girl!!!  I feel like I say that a LOT but it's so true!! 
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