June 2005 Archives
Today is Wednesday, June 1st, 2005; Karen's Korner #558|
Today is the day our daughter, Merry, was born in 1973. As most of you know, she had lots of health problems and surgeries the last year of her life before she was killed in late summer of 1999.
When I dug through some of my "sent" emails a few years ago, I found this one that I had forwarded to her in early July 1999. Because of her surgeries, Merry had more incision scars and a shaved head. "Enormously Gorgeous" was written by a seventh grader who was been made to understand by her dad what "gorgeous" really meant. Most dads want to have sons, but it's their daughters who can charm those daddies:
To Be Enormously Gorgeous
My dad says I am ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS. I wonder if I
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Sarah says you need
to have beautiful long, curly hair like she has.
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Justin says you must
have perfectly straight white teeth like he has.
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Jessica says you can't
have any of those little brown dots on your face
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Mark says you have to
be the smartest kid in the seventh-grade class.
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Stephen says you have
to be able to tell the funniest jokes in the school.
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Lauren says you need to
live in the nicest neighborhood in town and in the
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Matthew says you can
only wear the coolest clothes and the most popular
To be ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS... Samantha says you need
to come from a perfect family.
But every night at bedtime my dad gives me a big hug
and says, "You are ENORMOUSLY GORGEOUS, and I love you."
My dad must know something my friends don't.
by Carla O'Brien
Today is Friday, June 3rd, 2005; Karen's Korner #559|
My mom and dad are on Motor Iowa. Mom tried to use the computer at the hotel but there were some problems. She will make up #560 on Saturday.
Here is a short thought for today from a Dr. Dobson book called "In the Arms of God."
When we submit ourselves to the soverign will of the Lord, we can say with confidence that in all things-yes, in all things-God works for the good of them who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
James 1:17 NKJV
Have a great day!
Today is Saturday, June 4th, 2005; Karen's Korner #560|
We just got home from driving our "old cars" around southeastern Iowa for a few days. My good plans were to email Karen's Korner from our motel, but somehow whatever I emailed was lost, so Jamie sent one yesterday and this one is a "Saturday edition"!
"Slowly they walk, scattering the leaves and trampling the grass under measured and heavy steps. The minister's words still echoing in their minds, they hear workmen moving toward the terrible place, preparing to cover the casket of their loved one. Death, the enemy, has torn the bonded relationships of family and friends, leaving only memories and tears.
"But like a golden shaft of sun piercing the winter sky, a singular truth shatters the oppressive gloom--death is not the end! Christ is the victor over death and there is hope of the resurrection through Him."
-- author unknown
A week ago today, the most recent past manager of our local elevator cooperative past away while attending a family reunion. He had the position in Clarion for nearly 20 years and was 54 years old: old if you are a teen; young from my vantage point.
The funeral brochure has a silhouetted profile of Al as he enjoys the sun on the horizon, over a vast expanse of water.
I liked the photo of the brighted-eyed, half smiling friend, as he enjoyed his view.
Was the sun rising? Or was it setting?
I can't tell by the photo.
Did Al know that he was close to the sunset of his life when the photo was taken?
Or as a Christian, was Al viewing the sunrise of his pending future, which will have no end?
I had never given a thought to the fact:
While we are enjoying a sunset, someone some place else is enjoying the sunrise!! But we are both enjoying the same sun!!!
Today is Monday, June 6th, 2005; Karen's Korner #561|
Once a holiday is past, I like to re-read the greeting cards. Within the past few days, I have enjoyed for a second time my recent birthday cards.
I am sharing several of the verses and words, so that my greetings can become your good wishes for today:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -- Matthew 5:16
""Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit." -- Romans 15:13
"Just as the body is dead when there is no spirit in it, so faith is dead if it is not the kind that results in good deeds." -- James 2:26
She (He?) Who Has a Great Attitude
They way she sees it,
If you want rainbows,
You gotta have rain.
So she pulls up her bootstraps in the storm
And goes out looking
For puddles to play in.
She brightens up every dark place....
Selflessly lifting, soothing, and serving.
She finds joy in the journey
In both the hills and valleys....
And just about everything makes her laugh!
For her, laughter in the face of adversity
Is the finest sound there is!
She has a great attitude!
Today is Tuesday, June 7th, 2005; Karen's Korner #562|
The writing below was emailed to me yesterday by Brenda Grummitt, who wanted to know if this forwarded email could be include in an upcoming Karen's Korner. Of course it can, Brenda. I liked it! Hope that you do too:
Who is involved
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his
wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" He was devastated to
discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There
is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr.
Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no
consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the
house." The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but
there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my
The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for
you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face
the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the
sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she
did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The
snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she
returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh
chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's
main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors
came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered
the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came
for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat
for all of them.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it
doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at
In the book of Genesis, Cain said this about Abel, his brother, to our
God: "Am I my brother's keeper?"
We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye
out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Today is Wednesday, June 8th, 2005; Karen's Korner #563|
Yesterday I spent some time digging in my flower gardens and watering some of the starter plants with a new dose of fertilizer.
Some canna bulbs have 6 - 8" inches of growth; some with red leaves and some with green ones. I noticed that several of the bulbs have worked their way out of the ground a bit. They aren't covered with as much dirt as when they were originally planted; either rains have beat away the dirt or animals have had a bit of fun in a garden or two around our farm home.
The exposed plans aren't experiencing growing leaves yet. They are still green. No leaves. So I decided to recover them with more dirt.
As I was piling dirt on several of the bulbs, I thought maybe that sometimes this happens to us with our lives too. Maybe when life piles the dirt on top of our heads, maybe we get greener and shoot more leaves faster than when we have lives with "exposed bulbs".
We might not like the dirt, but we can sure enjoy the growing!!
..."may your roots go down deep into the soil of God's love".......
-- Ephesians 3:17
And a short thought from Will Rogers (American humorist in the 1920s and 1930s):
"What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds."
-- Will Rogers
Today is Thursday, June 9th, 2005; Karen's Korner #564|
I received an update from some business friends who now live in Florida. He is a very successful ag real estate person. They are both moving into and through their 50s; between them they have four adult children. The email was of a magazine article which told in part about them and one of their most recent ventures
When we traveled to Florida a couple of winters ago and stopped in to see them, this couple was frantically working to adopt a twin brother and sister from Russia. The two children were about seven, I think. And they had been guests in this couple's home for a few weeks several months before. The program is designed for people to get to know these children and maybe.......
Well, it worked for this husband and wife team. They were hooked, but the paperwork and details had stalled. But they went ahead, battling the papers and governments' regulations. Like most things this successful couple does, they didn't give up when it looked hopeless at times.
Last summer, we attended an adoption celebration on the grounds of Iowa State University, where many of the known-names at ISU were present to celebrate with this family. The new kids are now American children, complete with American sounding first names and a new last name.
Not only have they adopted two, the agency through which they worked is once again bringing a couple of dozen Russian children to their part of Florida later this summer. And because of their business success, this family has set up a "no interest" loan fund for families wanting to adopt but without the ready cash for the process, which costs about the same amount as one year college tuition at a private college. Making it possible for the impossible to happen to even more people.
I often wondered what would prompt this couple to take on two more children. Help others to do the same thing. They have busy lives. They have most of the "nice" things that money can buy. Why not just sit back and enjoy these comforts? After all, "they aren't as young as they used to be".
Could it have been the near-fatal auto accident of the son of the successful dad a few years ago?
Or could it have been the six years that "mom" spent as a foster child in someone else's home between the ages of 12 and 18? A fact I wasn't aware of until I read the article. I don't know. Probably never will.
But it made we think of the Bible verse that says "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you". And maybe, just maybe they are "doing unto others, what has already been done to and for them"!
Today is Friday, June 10th, 2005; Karen's Korner #565|
This is a pass along email that I received from someone a few weeks ago:
The Times I Called Home from College By Scott Greenberg
When I got off the plane
When I met my roommate
When I had to select a long-distance phone company
When I wanted my stereo sent to me
When I fought with my roommate
When I needed money
When I needed to know how to make mashed potatoes
When I put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher
When I wanted to know how to get soy sauce out of rayon
When I got in a car accident
When I failed a test
When I met a special girl
When I lost a special girl
When I got lonely
When I got a kitten
When I got fleas
When I didn’t want to study
When I needed money
When they sent me a care package
When I got a good grade
When I got published in the school newspaper
When it was my mom’s birthday
When it was my birthday
When I needed help moving out of the dorms
When I changed majors
When I changed majors again
When we won the big game
When we went to war in the Gulf
When there were riots
When I gave up meat
When I wanted my parents to give up meat
When I needed money
When I got the flu
When my parents had an anniversary
When Grandpa died
When there was an earthquake
When I met someone famous
When I needed money
When I got a night job
When I needed advice
When a friend from high school got cancer
When I felt no one understood
When I wanted a ticket home
When I won an award
When I needed a relative’s address
When I ran out of stamps
When I wanted some homemade cookies
When I needed money
When I just wanted to tell them I loved them
Today is Monday, June 13th, 2005; Karen's Korner #566|
Yesterday at our early worship service of about three dozen people, Mariel limped in a bit late, using a walker. It is the first time she has been at church after a few weeks in the hospital and recovering at home. She had suffered a bad broken femur (upper leg bone) and is just getting back to 'normal'. One gal suggested during our "thankful time" we give Mariel a standing ovation.
We did, because we were so happy to see Mariel back in our midst, as we worshipped God together!
The incident warmed my heart, as I thought of all of us various ways we come to church, limping after life has battered and bruised us. Most of us don't require the walker, but we have injuries just the same! We come because we know where the Power is. Where the Healer is. Where our Family is. What Love looks and feels like.
I had thought about asking Mariel, a known cook in our midst, to make communion bread for our summer lake worship services. I mentioned that fact in our Sunday School group. "I know Mariel can't," I said, thinking out loud before asking someone else.
"We can do it!" Mariel said, referring to her husband, daughter and son-in-law (who live in a small neighboring town).
"Are you sure?" I responded. They nodded their agreement to help.
God works through all of us to make a difference in our collective worlds. Sometimes we work best after life has dealt us a recent blow. Like to Mariel and her family!
Today is Tuesday, June 14th, 2005; Karen's Korner #567|
One single Bible verse and its commentary:
Psalms 4:3 - "Mark this well: The Lord has set apart the redeemed for himself. Therefore He will listen to me and answer when I call to Him."
Commentary - "David knew that God hears his prayers and would answer him. We too can know that God listens and answers when we call on Him. Sometimes we think God will not hear us because we have fallen short of His high standards for holy living. But God listens to us because we have been forgiven. When you feel that your prayers are 'bouncing off the ceiling', remember that as a believer you have been set apart by God and that He loves you. He hears and answers...although His answers may not be what we expect...
Look at you problems in the light of God's power instead of looking at God in light of your problems.
Today is Wednesday, June 15th, 2005; Karen's Korner #568|
We have all heard, I am sure about vitamins -- A, D, B, B-12 -- and what they do to add to our health. Our Sunday School class just looked a little booklet by Dr. David Jeremiah on "Boasting your spiritual energy, by getting your 'Be-12s".
In it, he has listed our spiritual symptoms, the prescription, therapy to add to that health, and the signs of good spiritual health. I am going to list his "Be-12s" and the Bible verse location. If you are feeling a little "down" in one area, check it out:
Be 1 - be PASSIONATE -- Colossians 3:23
Be 2 - be DILIGENT - Romans 12:11
Be 3 - be PURPOSEFUL - I Corinthians 10:31
Be 4 - be THANKFUL - I Thessalonians 5:18
Be 5 - be LUMINOUS - Ephesians 5:8
Be 6 - be WISE - Proverbs 9:10
Be 7 - be FAITHFUL - I Corinthians 4:2
Be 8 - be OBEDIENT - I Samuel 15:22
Be 9 - be GENEROUS - II Corinthians 9:6
Be 10 - be STRONG - Ephesians 5:10
Be 11 - be ENCOURAGING - I Thessalonians 5:11
Be 12 - be VICTORIOUS - I Corinthians 15:57
Dr. Jeremiah is a known speaker and is featured on Christian radio and television. I heard a friend say she had heard him tell, "that the average American watches television 70 hours in a two-week time period". And that the average American could read the entire Bible in 72 hours, if we would do it."
Today is Thursday, June 16th, 2005; Karen's Korner #569|
A classmate of our younger daughter's became a mom in July of 2004. Not just any mom, she and her husband are parents of a Down Syndrome child.
I was handed an article at Sunday School last Sunday, written by mom, about baby Ava for a day care publication.
I am going to include a portion of what mom wrote:
"The thought of having a child with special needs was pretty frightening during the first few weeks after her birth. All of the insecurities and 'what ifs' were overwhelming. Very quickly, however, the joy, happiness, pride, and love that Ava brought to our lives virtually erased our fears. Our family and friends were extremely supportive and we were able to extend our system of support by getting involved with the Down Syndrome Guild....
"Ava has continued to blossom into a wonderful daughter that we are extremely proud of. Every day she reminds us of how lucky we are to have her in our lives. Her happiness and endless smiles can turn around the darkest mood. Every milestone is a cause for celebration, and every day we get to spend with her makes us stronger, wiser and more caring people.
"People told us now lucky we were to be blessed with such a special child. Others told us that only special people are chosen to have special children. Although it was nice to hear, I originally thought that this was something that people said to make new parents feel better. I no longer think that way. Not only does everything happen for a reason, we are truly lucky to be given a chance to raise such an amazing child. Every day we get to spend with Ava it is clear that she was meant to be a part of our family. Even though we were not expecting a child like Ava, I believe that Ava was expecting us."
Today is Friday, June 17th, 2005; Karen's Korner #570|
Sunday is Fathers' Day.
The Bible tells of the importance of dads and grandpas:
Proverbs 17:6 -
"An old man's grandchildren are his crowning glory.
A child's glory is his father."
And a couple of humorous stories which only kids can tell:
As most children do, we have to bless every family member, every friend, and every animal
(current and past).
For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer,
Kelli would say, "And all girls."
As this soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this at the end,
my curiosity got the best of me and I asked her,
"Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?"
Her response, "Because we always finish our prayers by saying 'All Men'!"
One particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our
'trash baskets' as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
Today is Monday, June 20th, 2005; Karen's Korner #571|
Today the "boys" (Jim and Luke) took off for town to have coffee with the uptown guys!! Last night, our grandson Luke experienced his first "sleepover" at grandma and grandpa's house in Clarion.
As Luke moves past his first birthday and as he gets closer to adding a sister to his Champion family ranks, I reflect on Luke's grandpa -- my husband, Jim.
For those of you who don't know much about our family medical history, Jim was diagnosed with coronary artery disease 31 years ago this fall. He had his first bypass surgery two years later, in 1976. He has had subsequent heart hospitalizations for additional bypasses, chest pains, and balloon procedures. It was in 1993 that doctors recommended that he retire from farming.
We have had the privilege of many additional days, family vacations and life experiences!
For a number of years as we would travel, Jim would pick up souvenirs for "his" grandchildren. At the time, neither girl had kids. Jamie wasn't even married. Later Merry was killed.
One time we got a handmade wooden pull toy from southeast Iowa. Another item was a little t-shirt from the Seattle Aquarium. Later, a Chineses snowsuit from near the Great Wall in China.
Each time he would buy something, he would get choked up because he "knew that he would never live long enough to see any grandchildren." But he enjoyed the shopping. Thinking of the future..
But God had an even more generous gift: he has added years to Jim's life!!! A gift for Jim, all of us including Luke.........and with any additional blessings....for grandchild #2 in mid-August.
Jim's life is only one of the many blessings God has in store for all of us as His Children. What we get from God many times surprises us, because it is so much more generous and complete than we could every imagine!!
Thank you, God, for your love and generosity!!
Today is Tuesday, June 21st, 2005; Karen's Korner #572|
This is a forwarded email from our daughter Jamie. She sent it to us in October 1999, a few months after her sister Merry was killed. I liked it then; and I like it now:
The Saviors words...
If you never felt pain,
Then how would you know that I'm a Healer?
If you never went through difficulty,
How would you know that I'm a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial,
How could you call yourself an overcomer?
If you never felt sadness,
How would you know that I'm a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake,
How would you know that I'm Forgiving?
If you knew all,
How would you know that I will answer your
If you never were in trouble,
How would you know that I will come to your
If you never were broken,
Then how would you know that I can make you
If you never had a problem,
How would you now that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering,
Then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire,
Then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things,
How would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you,
How would you know that I love you?
If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need Me for?
Today is Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005; Karen's Korner #573|
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with a gal from near Davenport in eastern Iowa. Their family farms there.
"Did you get any rain last night?" she asked.
"Almost an inch!" I said. We had had a rain front blow through and got a drink of water for our crops in a short amount of time. I thought maybe the rains were pretty much spread across the state.
"We have had only 3/4 inch since the first of March," she said. "We continue to pray that we will get the rains we need for the crops. They are really starting to suffer from the lack of rain."
Throughout the day, I thought of how blessed we are to have had the right amounts of rain. Our crops here are looking very good.
So are the people in eastern Iowa and neighboring states east "unblessed"?
Does God choose to "bless" some and not others? Are we "blessed" when things go as we ask and as seems right to us? And not when it is less than we expected, prayed for, wanted?
I pondered that thought as I worked yesterday afternoon. And asked God that question.
It seemed He was directing me to "The Beattitudes" when Jesus was talking to crowds of people, teaching them. "..blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the persecuted, the meek, the merciful, and others.."
How can we be "blessed" when we get something different that what we would prefer?
Blessings sometimes come from Jesus' hand.
Other times they come from Jesus' heart.
When they come from His heart, we have to continue to trust Him; and we learn some things from His perspective. Maybe not ours.
Our crops here in central Iowa aren't in the bins; neither are those in eastern Iowa!
We can count on His blessings........always!!
Today is Thursday, June 23rd, 2005; Karen's Korner #574|
I got a email press release about evangelist Billy Graham, telling of a revival that he will being leading in New York City, beginning tonight through Saturday, June 26. It may be his last in the United States, as his advancing age and deteriorating health hampers his ability of carrying out his lifelong mission of sharing Jesus with the world.
Son, Franklin, will stand by to take over preaching if the need arises, but Billy fully expects to complete all three rallies without even sitting down. "When I stand up and touch the podium," he said, "the Holy Spirit comes, I believe, in power to help me. If it weren't for that, I would not have attempted to do these three nights. I am just totally dependent on the Lord and the prayers of thousands of people."
Billy has advancing stages of Parkinson's disease and is moving through his 80s.
Christian leaders in London have asked him to speak there in the late fall, and Billy says there is a chance that he will consider the trip.
While Graham has traveled the world over the past six decades preaching God's good news to more than 210 million people in 184 countries and writing vast numbers of articles and books, I must admit that I have read only a handful of his articles and stories. And have watched only bits and pieces of televised revivals over the years.
But that doesn't stop me from admiring the person! I think that is when I have enjoyed him the most. When I see what kind of man he is when being interviewed by the media. His answers are always rich with thought and you know that he lives what he talks about.
One time I heard him being interviewed on Larry King Live. King asked Billy about homosexuality, knowing Billy's conservative, Bible-based beliefs, "What would you do if your son informed you that he was gay?" Would you continue to love him?"
"I would have to love that child even more," Graham replied.
Besides declining health, he has had the turmoil that "normal" people experience. I read a book written by one of his daughters (he is the father of five children, one son and four girls) who tells of her two divorces, her daughter (Billy's granddaughter) who had a child out of wedlock as a young teen which was given up for adoption and had a second child a few years later which she kept to raise as a single parent.
And Billy has been there, "to love that child even more".........
Sort of like God does for us!
Today is Friday, June 24th, 2005; Karen's Korner #575|
This was a recent email forward from Kim Lee, complete with a cute little hamburger graphic. But graphics don't always forward so well. Just think of a sizzling, juicy burger when you read the story below.
It is titled "Heavenly Marinade":
It’s the time of year when barbecue grills sprout like dandelions and people venture
outside to cook over an open flame. Have you ever noticed how many grilling recipes call for meat to be marinated? Marinating is used to tenderize tough cuts of meat and or to allow the food to absorb flavor.
Directions vary, but the basic concept of marinating is this: Take a tough piece of meat. Beat it senseless with a pointy-toothed implement known as a ‘tenderizer’.
Soak in marinade, turning occasionally.
Ever been there? There are times when we feel pounded by the pointed blows of life. We feel like we’ve been left soaking in a situation. Maybe we have. Maybe God is ‘tenderizing’ our hearts, so that we can absorb His flavor.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)
Today is Monday, June 27th, 2005; Karen's Korner #576|
This is a pass-along email I have had for quite awhile; don't know who I got it from. But today is the day I needed to read "God's Memo" to me! Why is it we have such a hard time remembering? Remembering who we are, whose we are, and all of the things God has for us. Wants to do for us?
Memo from God
Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes you need
to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I
may fulfill my promises to you -- to grant you peace, joy and happiness
in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am
doing, this seems very little to ask of you.
I know, I already gave you the 10 Commandments. Keep them. But
follow these guidelines, also.
1. QUIT WORRYING
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you
forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for
you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes
2. PUT IT ON THE LIST
Something needs to be done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not
YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do list. Let ME be the one to take care of the
problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to me. And although my
to-do-list is long, I am after all, God. I can take care of anything you
put into my hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care
of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.
3. TRUST ME
Once you've given your burdens to me, quit trying to take them back.
Trust in me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your
problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on my list.
Problem with finances? Put it on my list. Problems with your emotional
roller coaster? For my sake, put it on my list. I want to help you. All you
have to do is ask.
4. LEAVE IT ALONE
Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger
now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling
stronger now? It's simple. You gave me your burdens and I'm taking
care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace.
Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right
back where you started? Leave them with me and forget about them.
Just let me do my job.
5. TALK TO ME
I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy.
Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But,
there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please don't forget to talk to
me - OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include
me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about
your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with
me. I want to be your dearest friend.
6. HAVE FAITH
I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are.
Have faith in me that I know what I'm doing. Trust me, you wouldn't
want the view from my eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over
you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust me. Although I have a
much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just
doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?
You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did
you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less
fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement.
Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long
time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share
your faith with those who have none.
8. BE PATIENT
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many
diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children,
change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places,
meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so
impatient then when it takes me a little longer than you expect to handle
something on my to-do-list? Trust in my timing, for my timing is perfect.
Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone
thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.
9. BE KIND
Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may
not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I
still love you all. Please try to get along, for my sake. I created each of
you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all
identical. Please know I love each of your differences.
10. LOVE YOURSELF
As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created
by me for one reason only - to be loved, and to love in return. I am
God of Love. Love me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It
makes my heartache when I see you so angry with yourself when things
go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget that!
With all my heart I love you,
Today is Tuesday, June 28th, 2005; Karen's Korner #577|
A couple of short thoughts for today's "korner":
* Look at your work (whether it is for pay or not) as something you "get to" do rather than something you "gotto" do.
-- taken from an internet writing
* Faith is the ability to feel so sure of God that no matter how dark the day, there is not doubt as to the outcome. For God's people, there is a Glorious Future!!
--Halley's Bible Handbook
* "...no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord......."
- I Corinthians 2:9
Today is Wednesday, June 29th, 2005; Karen's Korner #578|
Some places in the corn belt haven't had enough water this spring. That isn't the case here in north central Iowa. We have had enough throughout the past few months. And this past week, we have had more than enough. Our normal water potholes in the fields are teeming with water.
Yesterday I took a walk for a mile or two down our country road. Should I take our dog Lady? I had already washed up her feet one time. If I left her in the house, she would stay nice and clean. But she likes to run when I walk, so I let her join me.
From across the road, the neighbor's dog, Flash (aka Tubby), joined in the walk.
"Maybe Lady will stay out of the water," I thought as we ventured out.
I knew better. Since she is a stray, we don't know her breeding. The vets tell us she is part spaniel. Spaniel means she likes water!
Pretty soon, she trudges back toward me with muddy feet.
One more bath is in the offing if she is to come back into our house this afternoon.
It isn't Lady's fault. She is just being and doing what she was made to be and do!
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, As a Christian, will you help me to be like Lady? Will you help to not walk by any water pond that needs me to jump in to?? Because I have Your Nature?? Help me to see things as You see them. People as you see them. The same energy and caring that You have to do the things you would have me do. Help me not to worry about getting my feet (and hands!) dirty as I do the work that You have assigned only me to do. Thank you for my new nature. Amen.
Today is Thursday, June 30th, 2005; Karen's Korner #579|
This is a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" that I received via email several months ago. It is sort of long, but hope that you like it:
The Day Healing Began By Marilyn K. Strube
Snow crunched angrily under my tires, and my car's headlights made only feeble streaks through the driving snow. My eyes ached from trying to find my way through an unfamiliar neighborhood.
As a certified medical assistant, I was making a house call to administer a flu shot to an elderly, bedridden patient. When the request had come into the doctor's office, there had been so much red tape concerning the vaccination that I finally volunteered to do it myself. I was frustrated then at all the fuss and bother; now I was angry at myself for getting involved.
I know all about frustration. One week earlier, the trial of my sixteen-year-old daughter's attacker finally ended. She had been kidnapped and raped by a stranger. He had been sentenced to five and a half years. Not long enough, I thought bitterly.
Later that day, as I relayed the judge's ruling to my mother, she asked what I thought would have been fair. I didn't know. I only knew I wanted to sleep through the night without nightmares. I wanted the tension between my husband Joe and me to be over. I didn't want to be afraid to let my children walk to school.
I glanced at the clock on the dashboard. Seven p.m. Usually by this time, I would be in pajamas and on my second glass of wine. Without the alcohol to deaden my senses, scenes from the courtroom would come, unbidden, to mind. Erica's lawyer questioning the rapist, "Which part of 'No!' didn't you understand?" And then Erica on the witness stand being asked to "describe in detail what he did to you." The windshield wipers reminded me of Erica swiping at tears as she recalled the atrocities.
I pulled up in front of the house and took a deep breath to release my tension and anger. Would I ever feel normal again? Just then, the house's front door opened and a little girl in the doorway yelled back over her shoulder. "She's here!"
Dogs barked in the background. I didn't feel like dealing with yowling dogs and a little girl in addition to an elderly patient. I wanted to give the shot and go home. A woman appeared and pushed the two dogs back so I could enter.
"Hi, Marilyn," she greeted me. "I'm Judy, and this is my granddaughter, Gwynney. Thanks for coming! Can I get you something to eat or drink?"
"No, thanks. I've got to get home and make dinner for my family," I lied. I knew Joe would have fed the children by now.
Then Gwynney peeked from behind her grandmother's legs. She was a chubby little thing with a mop of blond hair. When I looked at her closely, I shivered. Gwynney was almost my daughter's double when Erica was the same age.
"We just made macaroni and cheese," the child volunteered. "You can take it home to your 'fambly' if you want."
The telephone rang. "Gwynney," Judy instructed, "show Marilyn to Great-Grandma's room while I get the phone."
Gwynney nodded, taking her responsibility seriously. "I'm five years old," she informed me.
"No, you're not!" Judy called from the kitchen. "She's only three, Marilyn."
Gwynney smiled sheepishly then pointed to the bigger dog, a dignified yellow Labrador with a graying muzzle. "This is Barney," she said. Barney thumped his tail politely. Pointing to the other dog, a mixed German shepherd with intelligent eyes, she said, "And this is Susie." Susie woofed. "Okay," Gwynney concluded, "now I will take you to Great-Grandma's room."
I put my coat on the living room couch and fell in behind Gwynney and the dogs. Judy reappeared just as we entered the old woman's bedroom. "Mom," she yelled in her mother's ear, "the nurse is going to give you a shot!" When there was no response, Judy pushed back her mother's hair and kissed her gently on the forehead.
"I'll be in the other room if you need me," she said and quietly left the room.
I loaded the syringe and was about to give the injection when I looked over my shoulder. Gwynney, Barney and Susie were lined up in order of size against the wall. Each was watching my every move.
I stopped and explained what I was doing. "Don't worry," I reassured them, "this won't hurt your great-grandma."
Gwynney nodded. As I turned, I heard her reassuring the dogs, "This won't hurt Great-Grandma, so don't worry."
Six months before, I would have smiled. Now I just swabbed the woman's arm with alcohol and administered the shot.
The moment I withdrew the needle, Gwynney was at my side with a wastebasket to collect my disposable gloves. "Boy, you really have the program down, don't you?" I said, laughing in spite of myself.
Gwynney looked at me seriously. "Are you sad?" she asked.
"What makes you ask?" I stammered, taken aback.
"Well, your laugh sounds kind of sad."
I knelt and gave her a hug. "You sure are smart for a three-year-old," I said, tousling her fine golden hair. "You could pass for a five-year-old any day."
Gwynney bolted for the kitchen. There, I heard her telling her grandmother, "She says I could pass for a five-year-old!"
After Judy thanked me profusely for coming, Gwynney and the dogs walked me to the door. "I hope you feel happy soon," she said and squeezed my hand.
"Thank you," I answered. "Me, too."
Gwynney waved, and the dogs wagged their tails as I left. Outside, the storm had passed. It had turned colder, and snow squeaked under my feet as I made my way to the car. The dark sky was full of stars. I started the car but didn't go half a block before I had to pull over to the curb.
Tears flooded out of me, as I cried out, "God, why didn't you protect Erica?" All the feelings I had squelched over the past six months poured out. I let God have it with both barrels.
First, tears of bitterness. And then sadness, the sadness that was so obvious to Gwynney. I grieved for my daughter's stolen innocence. I was sad that with all Joe and I were able to provide, we weren't able to keep her safe.
Then a stillness enveloped my car, and I fell silent. I thought of all the things that had happened to us in the past six months. I remembered the faces of the homeless that we passed each day driving to court, and the battered women and children who lined the corridors as we made our way into the courtroom. Until six months before, I had known only the safe haven that had been our world. Our family had been so richly blessed.
Suddenly, I was thanking God for all the goodness in our lives. "Lord," I said, "I need to move beyond this and start living again. You've given me so much. Help me to focus on those who really need your help."
Tomorrow, I vowed, I would not retreat into pajamas and wine. Instead, I would go home and make my "fambly" macaroni and cheese. I would smile more and offer words of encouragement. I would brighten the world around me.
Peace washed over me. I forgave myself for not being there to shield Erica from harm.
I looked back at Gwynney's house, where the porch light still glowed warmly into the night. I smiled.
"Lord, thank you for Gwynney," I prayed. "Her resemblance to Erica and her wise words melted my heart."