Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Path to Healing

My brother still seems to be improving a little bit day by day. He is having blood drawn about 3 times/day now to keep an eye on the infection. He is still in a lot of pain, and is having a hard time with one of the pain meds. After consulting the doctor on that one, hopefully, this will be rectified. His swelling continues to improve. We are still praying that this course of antibiotics will continue to be effective and that his pain and swelling will continue to subside. I am praying ever constantly for his salvation. Thanks again, too, for all your prayers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Prayers needed

It has been a little hectic around here lately (as usual). We have been dealing with one crisis on top of another, but have seen God's miraculous hand in all things, which is awesome.

A little over 2 weeks ago, a friend of the family was cleaning the gutters on his elderly neighbor's roof when he fell and broke his neck, back and shattered his ankle. He received a miracle on 2 accounts...#1 he is alive and #2 he is not paralyzed. The doctor could only say that he was a miracle.

Just a couple of days after that happened, by brother in law was hurt at work. He was involved in an accident with a crane. A 3/8" bolt went through his arm...which ended up looking like an exit wound from a gun. He also experienced injury from steel that had fallen. In this situation, he, too received his miracle. The doctor told him there was no explanation why he was still alive. The bolt should have severed the artery in his arm. My brother in law is expected to regain full use of his arm with no lasting damage. Our God is great...

That brings us to brother became very ill Monday evening. He was vomiting and running super high fevers. Thinking it would pass, he waited it out until Wednesday morning where my brother in law found him weak and feverish and in a lot of pain. Within moments, he passed out. My brother found himself in the hospital with a horrible systemic infection. The doctor said that had he waited much longer to seek medical attention, he would not have made it. He received his miracle. God worked out the circumstances to have my brother in law check in on him at just the right time...Thank you Lord for working out those details.

So today, I ask for your prayers...both those of thanksgiving for the miracles he has already performed and for the healing that is to come. My brother is still not well, and at this point, there is still no assurance from the doctors that he is "out of the woods." The doctors are still trying to figure out what bacteria is invading his body. We are praying that there will be a combination of meds he can take that will destroy this highly adaptable and resistant bacteria. We are praying that the swelling and pain would subside and that most of all, he would be drawn into a relationship with the Lord.
As of last night (late afternoon) the doctors feel that they have figured out what bacteria is causing all of the problems. Unfortunately, this bacteria is very tricky to get rid of as it is highy adapatble and tends to quickly develop resistance to antibiotics. The doctors are hitting my brother with a combination of antibiotics in hopes that they can wipe out the bacteria. His fever has subsided. He went most of the day with no fever (Thank you God!) His pain is still pretty intense at times and is still requiring meds for that. The swelling is also subsiding. I am so thankful for my praying friends and family. I, personally, have received so much comfort from the prayers and have a real sense of peace. I am praying that my brother will come to know the one who was instrumental in his healing and that today would be an even better day than yesterday. Thanks again to the Lord for his provision and for my faithful friends who are praying and will continue to pray through this situation. Thanks again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Latest Boogie-ism

I was in the bathroom this morning just getting out of the shower when Boogie stumbled in half-asleep...

Me: "Goodmorning baby...did you sleep good?"

Boogie: "I don't feel so good today. I don't think I'll be goin to princess school. I have Croak-its in my froat."

Me: "You have what in your throat?"

Boogie: "Croak-its...they're in my froat."

Me: ***smile***

For those of you who don't know my little Boogie well, she is a princess in training and goes to princess school everyday in a land far away named Monia. She drives a little convertible and picks up her friends every day. They all wear back packs and go barefooting because there are no rocks in Monia. While she is in Monia, she is cared for by her black mom named Agey (pronounced age*e). Agey lets her eat chocolate and teaches her how to be a good princess.
Next time you see her, let her know you've prayed for Agey...she has had the flu.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Man God Chose...

It is interesting sometimes to sit back and reflect on the days passed and to see how God has worked the pieces of the puzzle we call life.

I would have never guessed 18 years ago that the man I met that summer would be the man that I would eventually marry and that he would be the person who would take me to church and share his God with me.

I never dreamed that I would eventually be able to place my trust in God to meet my needs or direct me in a path of righteousness when all the other people I trusted in my life had let me down and failed me.

I certainly never thought I'd experience an unconditional love from my heavenly father or the love that I have felt from my husband, when most of the boys in my life before them wanted more than I could ever give.

If someone would have told me that my husband would be my best friend, I would have never believed it. I had seen my parents struggle and there was no friendship there in the end.

I never thought that God would chose a man for me that would love me, cherish me and honor me the way my husband has. I am thankful for the 14 years of marriage that I am celebrating today. I am thankful for the husband God has given me and they way he continues to bless me. I am thankful that God makes the difficult choices in our lives, and though we experience pain, God takes those pains and turns them into something great. I am thankful that our past failures shape who we are and mold us into the person God wants us to be and that those failures don't define who we are. I am thankful that God did not give up on family, marriage and mankind in the garden, that his love for us is immeasurable. Today, I am very thankful. Thank you Lord for 14 years of marriage to my best friend.

***Pictures to be added per the usual, I'm having troubles uploading.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Husbands, pictures and tongues...Oh My!

I don't know what it is about my husband and cameras. Last night we went to a friends house to ride for a little bit. Try as I might, I could not get a nice picture of him. I love taking his picture, he is such a handsome'd never know it from the following pictures.

They say that women often choose mates who are like dad...I guess you got me there. When we were dating, we were on our way to see my dad. When we pulled in the drive way, he was jogging behind his pushmower wearing silky running shorts (in style in the 80's), mix-matched knee high tube socks and cowboy shirt. All I have to say least the socks match...
I have no explanation for this one.
This one neither.

Even with a telephoto lens he STILL manages to sense the camera...

Maybe he was just hot here?
I give up.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy 4th!

First off, a big thank you to those who are serving or who have served our country. Your sacrifice is truly appreciated.

In true Baldwin fashion, we spent our 4th Up North, as we have for many years. This year we stayed at the Huntin' Shack. My father-in-law worked hard to have a flush toilet functioning in the outhouse for us, which was great!

Our friends, the Olivers, camped there with us for the weekend. We had a nice time hanging out on the property and watching fireworks over the lake.

You will notice that this post is devoid of photos...silly me. I brought my camera, but forgot to get it out, which means a little bit more reading for you!

We spent a lot of time eating, relaxing, tromping through the woods and playing Canasta. I also encountered something of the creepy, slimy kind while tromping through the creek.

The manly men were down by the creek cutting up some branches and beautifying the place a little bit. While Lisa was over at the cabin with the girls getting showers, I decided to go down river with the guys just a little bit to the little swimming hole they created last summer. Me, being like the big clumsy bull I am, went too far over to the side where the mucky stuff settled. The further I walked, the more I sank. I was up to my knees in black muck and before I knew it had lost my precious croc in the muck. The muck literally sucked the croc off my foot. Not knowing what else to do, I ended up having to step out of my shoe in order to keep myself from falling over.

Dave and I poked around in the muck looking for the shoe. He used a stick, I used my feet. There I was with one barefoot in pretty much knee deep black muck digging around when I saw something creepy, slimy and scary slither up onto the shore. I let out a scream that would curdle milk and vacated the water very quickly. My squeal was Dave's signal to vacate as well. He hopped out of that water faster than me! I think everyone around there received a complimentary heart attack following that scream. I'm still not sure what it was that came up out of that muck, whether it was a little snake or a ginormous leech. I decided that finding my shoe was not that important. The nasty crawly thing could have it.

The manly men didn't quite see it that way. It was their open invitation to get the heavy equipment and dig out the shoe with the excavator. I found my shoe, all is well, and creepy slimy things can rest assured that I will not be violating their space again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stress Management 101

Today I was pondering some things with a friend. We were talking about stress. UGH! Such a nasty ugly thing. There are many verses in the Bible that speak to stress and worry, but internalizing those verses is so hard to do at times. I've blogged before about work and how slow it is...also about God's provision over the past year. I wish I could say that I have a handle on stress and worry, but I don't. There are many nights where my eyes just pop open and crazy thoughts run through my head. I try to focus on praying, experience some relief, only to have to get up and face the day, tired, because I woke myself up stressing. Then I'm stressed from stressing.

I do have to admit that I am getting better. I wake up and decide that I am not going to let things worry me and get me down. I copy scripture and leave it next to my computer, in my purse, in my car...wherever I am, so that I can pray the scripture back to the Lord. It really does help. The part that I can't figure out and the part that my friend and I were pondering...

When we take up the burdens of others or are presented with a stressful situation, how to we immediately go from stressful thought to prayer without internalizing the stress and feeling the effects? I have such a hard time making that transition in my mind. How do you cope?
  • I have to make the choice daily and minute by minute to not succumb to stress
  • I have to seek the Lord earnestly in prayer
  • I have to hide God's word in my heart and arm myself with the word

What are your stress coping mechanisms?