Friday, October 4, 2013

"Hello, Young Lady, I’m Still in Here!"

To be honest, I was dreading working in the nursing home—just like every other student in my class was, I suppose. I had visions, well...nightmares, of awful smells, sights, and scenarios that we would encounter. My greatest fear was that some grumpy little old man would poop inside the whirlpool while I was bathing him. Somehow I was always by myself in this nightmare, and all of my classmates were outside knocking on the door, waiting in line with their little old people, wondering what in the heck was taking me so long. Meanwhile, I was inside panicking, trying not to throw up while I got Gramps out of the brown swirling water. Next, I imagined myself with gloves up to my armpits, scrubbing poop off the sides of the whirlpool—and off Grandpa—before I put him back into the tub to start all over again. Fortunately, for me (and Gramps) my nightmare did not come true.

Our first day of clinicals in the nursing home was one that I will never forget. In some ways it was just as I expected it to be: full of nasty smells, CNAs that didn’t want us following them around, and the overwhelming sense that I had no idea what I was doing. It was like I’d never read the book at all. And even though I care for Kenny every day, suddenly I felt unprepared to care for these elderly residents. I couldn’t even remember how to make up a bed! And by break time, I wanted to go into the bathroom and cry. I felt so sorry for these little old people and I was sure I wasn’t up to the task. But all morning long I just kept whispering to myself, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and you’ll be fine.” And I was.

By about 10 o’clock that first morning, I began taking the time to look into each little old pair of eyes. When I did, I saw Mamaw, Laddley, Mama, Daddy, my sweet Kenny, even myself…. I felt sad inside because so many of the residents looked lonely and depressed. So I decided that they would feel loved—at least while I was there. I made it a point to look into their faces and speak to them with kindness and respect. After all, they are the same people they were 50, 60, or 70 years ago, just older.

I don’t know why it came as a surprise to me that many of these little old people had a sense of humor. I remember being in the restorative therapy room one day with a thin little white-haired man who pretended like he was going to throw me the ball when I wasn’t ready. When I flinched, he got such a kick out of it that he chuckled out loud. This sweet little old man reminded me so much of my dad that I drove 85 miles to see my parents that night. Once I got there, I couldn’t stop hugging my dad.

One day I had to clear out a resident’s closet and take his things to his new room. I had assisted an aide with this man a few days before, and I thought he couldn’t talk because he’d never said one word. But low and behold, when I asked him how his weekend had been, he smiled and nodded and said, “Not too bad… not too bad.” Then it dawned on me that more of them could probably talk if I would just take the time to speak—and listen—to them.

Before we actually began our rotation at the nursing home, I was so worried about me. I wondered how I would be able to tolerate the awful smells, how I would handle having to clean up someone’s vomit or diarrhea, and what I would do if one of the residents (or CNAs) was hateful and mean to me. But in the end, it wasn’t about me at all; it was about a chemistry teacher, a WWII veteran, a preacher, a hurricane victim, a singer, a banker.... They were young and vibrant once. They lived life; they laughed and teased; they were star athletes; they held their newborn babies in their arms; they kissed their brides; and then they grew old. I’m thankful for the experiences I had over the past few weeks. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Had to be You

Who’s cool enough to be born on Super Bowl Sunday??? Oh, yeah… that would be you.

Who’s handsome enough to be called “Handsomeness”??? Well, EVERY woman knows that’s YOU!!

Who’s sweet enough to be born just a week before Valentine’s Day?? Um hum… must be you.

Who’s man enough to fall 26 feet on his head and survive??? Oh, I KNOW that’s you!

Who was fast enough to catch me and make me his bride??? Hummm… that could ONLY be you!

Who’s wonderful enough to inspire every person he meets??? Nobody but you!

Who’s blessed enough to be married to the most amazing person in the world??? Well, now THAT would be ME!!!

Happy Birthday, Handsomeness!! Today I celebrate how AWESOME you are! I’m so glad God chose to put you in this world 53 years ago. When He did, it became a much better place.


P.S. Last Sunday marked 5 years that you looked Death in the face and laughed; and I am thankful every day that you chose to keep on breathing. Who’s tough enough to do that??? You, baby, ‘cause that’s just how you roll!! I love walking by faith with you!!!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Love You 52 Ways!

Dear Handsomeness,

On your 52nd birthday, here are 52 reasons why I love you...

#1.... You kept me from being an old maid =) and....
You're the most handsome man I know.
You have great muscles, you make me laugh, and you love me like nobody else.
You're tenderhearted, you're generous, and you treat every person the same—(I've never met anyone else who does that.)
You're kind, thoughtful, and you always smell good.
You're a country boy, a mighty hunter, and a good provider.
You're brilliant and you're wise.
You can fix anything and figure out everything.
You're adventurous, fearless, rugged, and still sensitive.
You are a loving son, a gracious son-in-law, an amazing dad, a cool grandpa, and a sexy husband.
You love the way I cook, and you never say so if you don't.
You don't ever complain.
You're the most patient person I know (that's why they call you “the patient one”).
And did I mention that you're handsome???
You're easy to be around, easy to talk to, and a good listener.
You laugh at my jokes, you love it when I act crazy, and most of get me.
You put up with my dog, you hug me when I cry, and you make me feel like I'm the only woman in your world.
I love the way you love me.
I love the way you love God.
You take time for little kids & old people, and you make them feel important.
You're trustworthy, faithful, and dependable.
Oh, and did I say yet just how handsome you are?
You stand 10 feet tall.
You have a good name.
You make me proud to be your wife.
And when you fell off a 36 foot oil tank and broke your neck, you survived... I guess that makes you my “miracle man”.

Happy Birthday, Handsomeness! I love you 52 ways!!

Your “Gorgeousness” ;-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Here's a thought... The Bible says that the gifts & callings of God are "irrevocable"--or "not ever gonna be reversed". So (you might be wondering) what does that have to do with ME? Well, it very well may have more to do with you than you think.... Let me put it into perspective.

Do you ever struggle to hear God's voice? To follow His lead?? To fulfill the purpose He has for you??? If you said, "Yes", then that means that the Devil is fighting against you--with all of his might--to keep you from hearing God's voice, following His lead, and knowing & fulfilling the purpose God has for you. How do I know that? Well, you see, God has designed you with exactly the right equipment (aka gifts & talents) to find and follow and fulfill His purpose--His destiny--for your life. Then why is it such a struggle? Because the Devil seeks out those whom God has chosen (that would be YOU), and seeks to destroy their lives. He wants you to think that the gifts you've been given are to be used for you own purposes and to fulfill your own dreams and desires. Hummmmm...

Have you ever stopped to wonder why the most talented, "gifted" people on earth don't seem to be seeking God or trying to follow His will? That's because the Devil (that old snake) seeks out the most gifted, the most talented for himself.

So, I ask you again, are you struggling? Are you having a hard time hearing God's voice and following His lead?? Well, maybe, just maybe it's because YOU are one of the 'chosen ones' of those to whom God has given amazing gifts and that the devil fears that if you ever begin fulfilling your destiny, he will be sunk. Remember, the devil seeks out those to whom God has given the most gifts & talents. Then he pursues them with all his might, seeking to recruit them into his labor camp.

Are you struggling? Don't give up! The devil has big plans for your life, but so does God! "Choose you this day who you will serve..."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Housecleaning A.D.D.

I have a love/hate relationship with my house. Most of the time I feel love...lots of warm fuzzy l-u-v for my old 'mansion'. But when cleaning time comes, I feel, well, let's just say...something other than love. The reason for this wide swing of emotions is one thing: hugeness. That may not be a real word, but that's the word that pops into my head when I contemplate the cleaning process of my big old house: "hugeness". I get an overwhelming feeling when I look at the whole thing and imagine the process of getting her all spiffed up in a few hours. :-/

I think I have A.D.D. when it comes to housecleaning. I mean, I start sweeping the kitchen and notice that the window sills need wiping out. I go to the pantry for a cleaning cloth and notice that the garbage is starting to smell, so I take it out of the garbage pale only to realize that I don't have any more trash bags. I walk back into the kitchen to add "garbage bags" to my grocery list, but the pen runs out of ink. I head toward the office to grab another pen when I hear a 'ding' indicating that "I've got mail." I open my pc and check my email only to find an "alert" from the mortgage company reminding me that my payment is now past due! I rush to the laundry room to grab my checkbook from my purse. While I'm there I see that the washing machine is full of wet clothes. After I throw them in the dryer, I head back towards the office when the phone rings. As I stand there talking to a telemarketer I look out the window and notice that my poor, withering plants are in desperate need of water. I hang up the phone, fill my watering can and step out the back door. "Wow! This patio is covered in leaves!" So I set down the watering can and grab the broom.... AHHHHHH!!!!!! How can I ever get it all done???

Can you relate?

I only get overwhelmed when I get the notion stuck in my head that I have to do all of my housecleaning in one day. After all, it's virtually impossible! (Did I mention "hugeness"?) I've definitely found that it's much easier to do when I divide it up into little chunks: floors one day, dusting one day, bathrooms one day.... Sound like a plan?

As I was sweeping the patio this morning, it came to me that cleaning my big old house is a lot like cleaning things up in my life. Daily maintenance is so much easier than trying to do a complete overhaul all at once! That way the "big stuff" never builds up to the point that I feel overwhelmed.

Jesus said it this way, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean." (John 13:10) In my own words: if you regularly take care of the big stuff, then taking care of the small stuff will be a piece of cake.

When my husband and I first married, we bought a tiny little house. It was easy to clean--even if I had to do it on the spur of the moment. Someone could call and say, "I thought I'd drop by today..." No biggy! But now I have an enormous house, and clean it on the fly? Not a chance! It has to be maintained on a regular basis; otherwise I find myself totally overwhelmed with all that has to be done.

Luke 12:48 says, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." Looks like I've been entrusted with much, so I'd better keep that broom handy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Prayer Changes Things???

Today I felt so convicted that I haven't really been praying for our country like I should. I mean, I complain--a lot--about the state of affairs, and I throw up the occasional, "O God, please do something!" But I don't really get down to the nitty gritty of praying for our country on a daily basis. I should. You should. We all should. The fact is, we all must. After all, the direction of our country lies in our hands... or does it? I mean, do we truly believe that prayer changes things? Or do we just say that as a cliche'?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people pray...I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Do you think God really meant that? Or was He just trying to pull one over on us--to rope us into thinking that He is actually in control of EVERYthing?!

I can only speak for my own convictions, not yours. But as for me, I feel a gut-piercing 'stick' right about now. God doesn't expect me to fix it all, or even to try and figure out how He should fix it all. But He does expect me to repent for the sins of our nation. WHAT?! Me repent for the whole nation?? I didn't get us into this mess! ... or did I? Maybe the fact that I have sat on the sidelines and watched in silent protest as our 'Christian' nation has become something other than Christian tells me that I am, at least in part, responsible for where "One nation under God" is today.

And so, in response to this stirring sense of urgency, I have decided to make a change. Beginning right now, I am going to do my part to see that this land of the free and home of the brave, this sweet land of liberty, this 'once upon a time' great Christian nation, doesn't destroy itself from the inside out, but returns to God in sincerity and humility, and asks for His forgiveness and direction. I can't do everything, but I can do something. What about you?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Juicy Juice

I recently bought a juicer and I'm loving it already. The flavors it produces are sooooo fresh and delicious that I could almost dive right into a glass. I've already found dozens of scrumptious recipes and I'm quickly learning which fruit & veggie combos satisfy my taste buds the most.

While I always knew I'd love the fruity drinks, I never thought I'd actually like one of those "green drinks". After all, they look totally disgusting. But after having sampled quite a few of them, I now must admit it: not only do I like them, I am absolutely cRaZy about them! One of those little green drinks is like a sudden burst of flavor in my mouth and energy in my bod. Wow... now that's some combo!

You may be wondering just why I started juicing in the first place. Well, I'm glad you asked! :-)

While my husband and I are pretty healthy eaters, we definitely wouldn't be labeled as health freaks. We primarily live on fish or chicken, fruits and vegetables. We don't eat a lot red meat, though we love grilling burgers in the summertime. We eat plenty of fiber, drink lots of water, and exercise several times a week. We try not to eat too much junk food, although we don't avoid it altogether. After all, a pizza once in a while is good for the soul. :-)

So, we sound like a fairly average couple with a pretty healthy lifestyle, right? Well, one thing you may or may not know about my husband is that he became a quadriplegic three & a half years ago due to an accident at work, and that is something that radically changed our whole way of life--including how we eat. A second fact that very few people know is that I was recently diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. Amazingly, just four years ago we were the picture of health! And suddenly we were two young people (I'm 46 & he is 51) trapped in old bodies. :-(

My husband, Kenny, is on several medications to help control spasms, etc. I, on the other hand, rarely take any meds. In fact, I cannot even take Boniva for my osteoporosis due to the severity of its side effects. Yet, the two of us are determined to live as healthy as possible and enjoy living. I mean, who wants to get old and decrepit before their time, right? Not me! Enter: juicing. :-)

I recently learned that there are certain foods, such as kale, that actually build bone density. What great news! I wonder why the doc didn't tell me about this before? Well, once I heard that, I began to do some digging about which foods targeted which ailments, and was I ever pleasantly surprised!

Below is a list of "the healthiest foods on earth" and when you see what they can do for us, you'll know why.


Pineapple - Promotes joint health; Speeds post-surgery; Reduces asthma inflammation

Blueberries - Prevent urinary tract infection; Restore antioxidant levels; Reverse age-related brain decline

Spinach - Helps maintain mental sharpness; Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate; Top nutrient density

Red Bell Pepper - Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer; Protects against sunburn; Promotes heart health

Broccoli - Reduces diabetic damage; Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric & breast cancer; Protects the brain in event of injury

Tomato - Reduces inflammation; Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer; Reduces cardiovascular disease risk

Apple - Supports immunity; Fights lung and prostate cancer; Lowers Alzheimer’s risk

Artichoke - Helps blood clotting; Antioxidant Superfood; Lowers “bad” cholesterol

Arugula - Lowers birth defect risk; Reduces fracture risk; Protects eye health

Asparagus - Nourishes good gut bacteria; Protects against birth defects; Promotes heart health

Avocado - Limits liver damage; Reduces oral cancer risk; Lowers cholesterol levels

Blackberries - Build bone density; Suppress appetite; Enhance fat burning

Butternut Squash - Supports night vision; Combats wrinkles; Promotes heart health

Cantaloupe - Bolsters immunity; Protects skin against sunburn; Reduces inflammation

Carrot - Antioxidants defend DNA; Fights cataracts; Protects against some cancers

Cauliflower - Stimulates detoxification; Suppresses breast cancer cell growth; Defends against prostate cancer

Cherries - Alleviate arthritic pain and gout; Lower “bad” cholesterol; Reduce inflammation

Cranberries - Alleviate prostate pain; Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells; Prevent urinary tract infection

Green Cabbage - Promotes healthy blood clotting; Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers; Activates natural detox systems

Kale - Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer; Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts; Increases bone density

Kiwi - Combats wrinkles; Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids; Counters constipation

Mango - Supports immunity; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries

Mushrooms - Promote natural detoxification; Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer; Lower blood pressure

Orange - Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol; Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast & stomach, & childhood leukemia; Pectin suppresses appetite

Papaya - Enzymes aid digestion; Reduces risk of lung cancer; Enhances fat burning

Plums & Prunes - Counter constipation; Antioxidants defend against DNA damage; Protects against post-menopausal bone loss

Pomegranate - Enhances sunscreen protection; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Fights prostate cancer

Pumpkin - Protects joints against poly-arthritis; Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk; Reduces inflammation

Raspberries - Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers; Antioxidant DNA defense; Lowers “bad” cholesterol levels

Strawberries - Protect against Alzheimer’s; Reduce “bad” cholesterol; Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer

Sweet Potato - Reduces stroke risk; Lowers cancer risk; Protect against blindness

Watermelon - Supports male fertility; Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal; Protects against sunburn

Banana - Increases Fat Burning; Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia; Reduces asthma symptoms in children

What a list, huh? WHO KNEW??? Wow... God has already provided us with all of the things we need for living this life to the fullest. How cool is that?

After studying this list, Kenny and I decided to zero in on the foods that each of us needs to maintain the healthiest bodies possible; hence, the juicer. We can't possibly eat everything on that list everyday. But we can continue to eat healthy and drink a couple of glasses of juice a day to supplement what we're missing--or what we need extra doses of. (And did I mention that the juice is amazingly delicious??) Anyway, I just thought I'd share my good fortune with you. CHEERS!