Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Special note about the post below...

In case you think that I would share intimate details from prayer requests and small group meetings with the world on my blog without care, please know that I sent a rough draft of the following post to my friend for her approval.  I just do not want anyone to think that I would break the trust we held in that group. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

For Tom and Lois:

I have heard the old quote :  "Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts."

I must say I am feeling those footprints right about now.  Today I have thought a lot about some very special people in our lives.  

 I need to share tonight about friends who will be moving far far away very soon.  Tom and  Lois came into our lives about 12 years ago.  That is my best estimate.  I first met them at our church.  I remember one particular night I saw them, I don't think they saw me though.  They were sitting in our sanctuary, pretty much alone, and were praying.  That attracted me to them, and I was really thankful that before long they became a part of our small group.  We had a great small group.  It became an intimate and trusting group.  One where we could share our deepest longings and our most painful hurts.  We learned that Tom and Lois had recently spent over a year in the Ukraine as missionaries and had fallen in love with two little boys.  I still remember their names, and often I say a little prayer for them.  We all prayed back then that God would find a way to bring those boys into their lives permanently.    It was not to be.  God had plans unfolding, but we just did not know it yet.  

Our group grew closer and closer and sometimes we even let Tom and Lois know where we were meeting (inside joke) 

Nine years ago, my family experienced a major house fire, and this group carried us through that time and gave us a welcome home party after our renovations.  I still have the little bear fireman on my kitchen counter that Lois gave me to "protect" my kitchen from future fires.  

We waited, prayed, and cried for them and with them as God revealed His amazing plan and brought two perfect sons into their lives after a lengthy return trip to the Ukraine.  Watching this incredible family has been a joy.  This was always meant to be.  

We prayed for other events in their lives as well. We prayed for health issues and  for Tom to find a good job, (God , can we have a "do over" on that one?  We meant a good job close to us!)  

Tom and Lois have touched our own family in a profound way.  They love our boys and have devoted themselves to both senior high and college ministries.  Our boys have experienced genuine love and acceptance from both of them.  You know how special you feel about someone when they  genuinely love your children.  

As my health issues unfolded during the last year,  I was touched by the little things that Lois did for me.  She gave me a bracelet early on when my cancer was diagnosed to show me how God could make beauty from ashes.  When she learned that I was having trouble sleeping due to my fears and concerns, she made 2 music cds for me.  One for my days, and one for my nights.  Just today I was listening to one of them, and I thought so much about Lois.  I thought about how she ministered to me in such a real way.  About how she saw a raw and real need and met it.  

This is a couple that actually my husband and I have spent very little time with in the last year, but a couple that have made a huge difference in our lives.  They are leaving our area and I know we will miss their touch on our lives in a terrible way.  The northwest will be  very blessed when their family settles in and begins to share that touch.  

God be with you Tom and Lois and family.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

What a Deal !

I so love my coupons.  Today we were in another town to pack youngest up to come home for the summer.  While there I was able to take advantage of some amazing coupons from Target.  I had 52 coupons in all,  (glad you weren't behind me?) about half were Target printables, and the others were manufacturer coupons.  Many of them were Kraft coupons that I printed this week at home.  Target allows you to "stack" coupons by using one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon on the same item.  Big savings result. 

I love when I am able to get grocery items at such a good deal.  Many of my bargains are health and beauty items.   The total before coupons was just over $102.00 .  The receipt below shows I paid just $42.48.  I saved over $60.00!   This portion does not show all the coupons.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What happened to Gratitude?

Tonight husband and I went to KFC to have dinner courtesy of Oprah and KFC.   I left with a very satisfied tummy, but a very discouraged outlook on America. 

 Mind you, this was a FREE meal.

  When husband and I arrived there were about 15 people in line, all with coupons in hand.  After getting our meal and while dining there, at least 20 more came in, and as the others, everyone had a coupon for their free meal.  This coupon clearly states that this meal is a manager's choice meal, and  with this particular restaurant anyway,  that included which sides were given.  

Oh my, I have not heard so much complaining for a long time.  

People were upset when they would temporarily run out of grilled chicken.  What did they expect?   This restaurant was graciously replacing the grilled chicken with your choice of fried  when they ran out, and people still grumbled.  People complained about the sides, and about the fact that you could only print FOUR coupons.  

I made it a point to thank two employees for our meal and to tell them how delicious it was. 
It really was delicious.  I am also glad that we dined in, purchased drinks, and that we did not cause them to use the extra packaging on a carry out order.    

I thought though, how sad this experience was.  Our country is in the middle of one of its hardest recessions, and someone steps up to "give everyone in America a free meal".   I would think people would actually show a little gratitude.  I would also think that if the year were 1940 and someone would have done this that the public would probably have kissed the hands of those that prepared it.  

What has happened  since then ?