Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve Angel -Guest Heart Thursday

The holidays have been hard this year.  This was our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without our Dad.  It has been an emotionally hard time for our entire family.

It was Christmas Eve day.  I was working on Christmas presents, when the phone rang.  It was Sissy.  When she told me what had just happened, I laughed and laughed--It was exactly what we all needed.  I asked Clytie to send me the story of the Christmas Eve Angel so I could share it with you.

Sissy writes, "I was walking down our rural country road, picking up cans to earn a few extra dollars. It was Christmas Eve, and I was short of money for the month.
             I had just picked up a bottle and put it in my bag, when I heard a car come to a stop behind me. I turned around and saw a small Volkswagen Jetta, the window rolled down, an older lady behind the wheel. "Miss, Miss", she called.
            "Hi," I said, walking towards her car.
            "Oh, I don't want to scare you." she said, with a thick accent.
            I thought she was lost on our windy country road, so I asked her if she needed directions.
            "No," she answered. "God told me to stop".
            I backed up a bit - "Okaaay".
            "God told me to stop and give you something."
            I figured she was going to give me a religious tract or something. At least she was   being nice about it! "Oh," I answered "That's very sweet, but you don't need to do that."
            "Yes, I do. God told me I had to. If you don't take it, then I will leave it here on the middle of the road for someone else!"
            With that, she shoved a piece of paper into my hand ... and drove away.
"God bless you," she called as she went. "Merry Christmas!"
            I opened my hand, and tears flooded my eyes as I saw what she had given me.
A clean, crisp $20 bill.
            Was she an angel? Maybe.
            Do angels drive Volkswagen Jettas???"

Isn't that a wonderful story?  I think about what happened and I know Dad is smiling.  I am so grateful for Clytie's Christmas Eve Angel.

For more heart art, photography and altogether fabulous heart stuff from around the world, visit Clytie at Random Hearts for Guest Heart Thursday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Heaven Bound

Three weeks ago, Dad had a major stroke. The affects of this stroke are catastrophic. He is unable to swallow, or to speak. Dad is at the VA Hospital and has been on complete comfort care for about a week now.  He is getting ready to slip into heaven.  Mom has been staying there full time until Daddy goes Home.

I was visiting Mumsie a couple of days ago and I brought my laptop, so we could look at old family pictures to pass the time. We had so much fun laughing at pictures of ourselves from long ago.


Then unexpectedly, we came across a series of photos from last August.  I didn't even remember taking them.  They seem almost prophetic.  Do you see that sweet little smile and the love in his eyes? 

Then especially this one of glory light on Dad's empty chair.  This is the chair where he always sat.  Mom and I gasped when we saw this picture.  You see--when Dad had this last stroke, Mom knew before anyone else that he would not be returning home.

Soon Daddy will be with Jesus in Heaven.  He will be able to leap, jump, run and walk again.  Dad will be free of that chair and the neck brace he had to wear day and night.  He will see his own Dad, Mom, brothers, sisters and dear friends who have gone before him.  We rejoice over the day Dad will be free from his earth suit.  Though those of us who are left behind will grieve.  But we do not grieve as those who have no hope. 

"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for  you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."  (John 14-1-3)

We will see Dad again. In this we have hope.  God bless you all.

11/17/2012:  This afternoon, while setting up for a performance,  I suddenly became so dizzy I could not stand up.  It felt like a piece of me was suddenly missing.  I knew Dad was gone--15 minutes later a phone call confirmed what my heart had already told me.  Thank you for your warm thoughts and loving prayers for me and for my beloved family.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Grammie's Precious Prayers

With Mother's Day so close, I thought a story from my talented Mom about her own dear Mother, would be a delightful way to celebrate the Holiday.

I had the privilege and honor of living in my Grandmother's basement for nearly three years.  She and I became best friends.  I still miss her with all my heart.  This amazing event happened in the weeks before she flew away to heaven--it is one of those miraculous things one cannot explain.

Here is my Mother's wonderful story:

As I chopped vegetables into little pieces for the soup, the phone rang. It was my friend Jane.  "I tried calling everybody on the prayer chain," she cried, "but you were the only one who answered.  Please, will you pray for my daughter, Alicia?  She's been in a car accident and she's in the hospital with a broken hip.  Her baby girl, due in three weeks, is coming right now.  Oh, Eva, please, please pray. They're doing a C-section."

We prayed together on the phone.  Afterwards I went into the kitchen and finished putting together mother's lunch. Alicia and her baby were still heavy on my mind as I walked across the field to mother's house and opened the door.  

There Mom sat in her wheel chair, wandering in her own little world, a folded piece of paper on the tray in front of her, a pencil poised in her hand.

She looked up, smiled, then handed me the paper.  I put her food on the table and took the paper, curious as to what she'd been writing. But this list was different from the one where she'd listed chocolate pudding ten times.  On this one was written just three words, "Alicia, Emerg. Pray."

Sudden goose bumps popped up on my arms.  "Did the phone ring," I asked my brother Dale as he came into the room. "Did she answer it?"

He looked at me strangely.  "She hasn't answered the phone in months, you know that.  Nobody called."

But I couldn't figure it out.  "Did someone come to visit?"

Another strange look.  He shook his head.  "She's just been sitting there all morning with me."

I told him about my friend Jane, whose daughter Alicia had been brought to the hospital and who, even as we spoke, was having an emergency C-section.  "She asked me to pray and I did."  

Then I pointed at the paper with the words only God could have given my mother, "Alicia, emerg. Pray."  

Later, when I told my pastor what had happened he shook his head in wonderment.  "God isn't through with your mother yet," he marveled.  "Just think, God loved Alicia so much He asked a little 95 year old lady with Alzheimers to pray for this girl and her unborn baby. And when she prayed, God worked a miracle of love and healing."

God's call is a very real thing; consider the coincidence of a frightened soon-to-be grandmother, calling her friend in another town who was preparing lunch for her shut-in mother.  Think about the little old white haired lady sitting alone in her chair, who, without talking to anyone, was moved by God to pray specifically for Alicia, a young woman injured in an accident and whose unborn child was in danger. 

Miraculous, amazing--there are times when God calls us to pray--Sometimes we don't even know why--but the burden is so heavy we fall to our knees.  It is only later we see His miraculous hand.  Our loving Creator reaches out through us and works His will and way in the heart of that one for whom we pray. 

Today Alicia's little girl is a happy eight-year old with shiny brown curls and a happy smile.

The Blessing of answered prayer continues on--moving outward like ripples on a pond.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sissy's Christmas Angel

Time for another Angel Story. My darling Sister Clytie sent this one to me a few months ago.  Wow--sometimes angels are people, you know.  It is Spring, I know--but with our recent snowstorm, I thought this story to be perfect for a snowy wintery Spring day.

Sissy writes, "This story started a long time ago, but the interesting part happened more recently. I had been searching for an affordable digital converter box, as a promise to Victoria, for months. They were hard (nearly impossible!) to find, and the few that I did find were price prohibitive.

Then in November I found an ad in the newspaper for a converter box - at a very cheap price! I went to the store mentioned in the ad, and found they didn't carry them at that particular location. I checked 3 more stores in different towns, before I gave up.  Then, just before Christmas, I found another store ad! Again, though, the converter box was not available in any of the stores I visited. In all, I searched 6 stores - only to come up empty handed.

Finally on Friday, I stopped at one last Rite Aid ... and found a spot on the shelf for the box - but the shelf was empty. I waited at the service counter, and asked if they were going to get more in, or maybe one was behind the counter. Sadly, the clerk said they had only received a couple of them, which sold out quickly. They did not expect anymore. Ever.

I started to leave the store, when the pharmacist, who had been listening to my questions, came over. "Do you live here in town?" she asked. "No, I live in Wilsonville" - 10 miles or so away. She turned away, then turned back "I live in McMinnville" she said - 10 miles or so the other direction. I wasn't sure why she felt I needed to know this. Suddenly she said "I have one at home. It's brand new, in the box - I've never used it, and never will. If you can come back tomorrow, I want to give it to you."

I started to cry, telling her I would be back. She said her name was Pam.

This morning I went back to Rite Aid. It was a glorious day, and I enjoyed driving the winding country road. I tried to rehearse in my mind what I would say ... what if she forgot to bring it? I would hate for her to think I would be upset! I wanted to reassure her that it didn't matter - her offer alone was enough to bring joy to my Christmas!

I got to the store, took a deep breath, double checking my pocket to make sure the special card I had found for her was still there, and went into the store. I asked for Pam, and there she came, a huge smile on her face. She went behind the counter, and came back out with a box. Can you believe it, she actually apologized because the box had a tear in it!

I thanked her, tears raining down my cheeks. Then I handed her the card. She looked startled, saying "Oh, you didn't have to do that!".

"I know," I said. "Neither did you."

Pam will forever be my beautiful Christmas angel, who brought a joyous light to this total stranger, and I will never forget her generosity and beauty ... and how she taught me once again the true meaning of Christmas ... and faith.

I am so grateful to the angels in our lives.  They appear unexpectedly, bringing joy and leaving wonder in their wake.

You can visit Sissy at Random Hearts.  She is an amazing, talented, incredible person--I am SO privileged to be Clytie's big sis.