Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Blessings and Everyday Encouragements

Sunday Blessings and
Everyday Encouragements
Sunday,  July 28, 2013

Sundays for us always center around our church and family.  What better way to spend any day, but in our family, Sunday is set apart first for the Lord, and second, whenever possible, for family.  Today was one of those that included a lot of family.  Stephen and Kristina were still here and joined us for the Sunday School class where we were studying God's Word together with a great group of friends.  Then during the worship service we started a series of Revival meetings with a young man preaching who grew up here and graduated the same year our oldest son did. 
Following church, we went to lunch at Luby's Cafeteria with my mom and Jeff's family as well as Stephen and Kristina.  They were planning to leave after lunch.  We took a bunch of photos after we ate and I guess this next one is one of my favorites.  You know how kids want to make goofy faces when you pull out a camera?  I just told them to all do a goofy face and get it over with.  We do like to have fun!  Here are Stephen and Kristina with Jeff's children.
It was hard to say good bye to Stephen and Kristina.  Stephen usually only gets to visit us a couple of times a year and so Christmas is the next chance to see him.  Even that visit will be in question since he is now the Assistant Manager at the bookstore where he works and Christmas sales and after Christmas sales are busy at the store.  The past few years they have let him have that time off, but we aren't sure if it will work this year.  Stephen is probably in his last semester at the seminary and Kristina is starting at a different school and different grade level this coming year as a teacher of pre-kindergarten students.  They will both be very busy this fall, learning new jobs and working hard.
During the time when I first lost my hearing, those family gatherings were very difficult.  The grand kids at first didn't know how to handle my deafness.   Neither did my mom, or our kids and their spouses.  It was "uncharted waters" for all of us.  It took a little while but each found ways to communicate and helped in every way they could to make my life easier.  The same thing at church.  People wanted to help but didn't know how.

When I first lost the hearing, going to church was very difficult.  I would know that people were trying to talk to me, but had no idea what they were saying.  I remember the first Sunday, I walked into the auditorium before going to our Sunday school class.  There were three people there that I had only known a couple of months, and one of them tried to tell me something.  I told her I was sorry, but I couldn't understand what she was saying because I had lost my hearing that week.  She put one hand one each side of my face and yelled in my face.  I still couldn't hear, but did read her lips enough to know she was asking how my husband was.  He had just had a very bad case of the flu.  Looking back I just have to laugh.  She didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but she did.  She had her mind set on asking about my husband when she saw me, and didn't listen to my answer. 

There are times we all do that.  We don't listen to the hurt in the answer that someone gives us.  We don't encourage them when for any number of reasons, they are carrying a load of hurt inside, and crying out for someone to care.  They may even be telling us exactly what is wrong, "I have lost my hearing," but because we were talking to them about something else, we just let that answer go with no response; we push on with our train of thought.  Thankfully, most of the people I know, did not do as that lady did, that first Sunday.  So many of my friends have gone out of their way to show their concern and reached out to encourage me.
These are most, but not all of the cards I have received over these months.  Cards have been the best form of communication.  For months I could not talk on the phone (and still have difficulty with it).  One of the things I have always liked about receiving cards is that I can enjoy them again and again.  You can see that I have saved them.  I have them in a special little mesh zipper bag that someone gave me during this time.  It is just perfect for storing these cards.  One out of town friend has sent many cards and some of them are homemade.  That is great!  It doesn't matter.  Cards and postage have gotten expensive, so we often hesitate on the investment.  I am glad these friends all invested some time and money in my life. 

This morning in our Sunday School class one lady was talking about how when God lays someone on her heart, she sends a card.  At least one in this batch is from her and it came at a time when I really needed it.  Some of you know exactly what she meant when she said "God lays someone on her heart".  For me, I have often had a name pop into my mind for the first time in a while, and I have found that when I call or send a card, very often they tell me they really needed to hear from a caring friend.  If you have never done that, may I encourage you to give it a try.  If someone comes to mind, at least pray for them, but if possible, let them know in some way that you were thinking of them.


  1. What blessings to be able to read your blogs & follow your journeys. I always look forward to hearing from you whether it be good or bad. That's the way our lives are sometimes & it is good that you have an outlet to share it. My thoughts & prayers follow you daily as you make your way thru this journey. I know some of your trials only because I went thru some of them with Ralph but long before they had the implants. They just rebuilt his eardrums; he was a guinea pig for they had never done it on an adult before. I worked thru many of the same problems you are having. My heart goes with you thru each step. As I read your blog, often I will cheer out loud which startles my family but I'm so glad for you when you clear a hurdle. Your absolute faith in the Lord has carried you & Ronnie thru this journey together & kept you close in His hands!! Hugs, prayers, & thoughts walk with you daily, my friend!!

    1. Thanks, Dottie. You are always such an encourager! It means a lot to have people praying and giving advice when they know what it is like.