Friday, March 23, 2012

Potato Chips & Trust

Below was shared with me via email: Enjoy!

Potato Chips

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word..

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever..

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!

Have lunch with God.......bring chips.

My thoughts

I have so much to be THANKFUL for. I'm blessed beyond measure! There are words enough to adequately express my gratitude for God's undeserved touch on my life. I could testify about many times or moments I felt God's gentle touch in my life. One that happened recently and has a profound impact on my life... I hope and pray you see God's handiwork & footprints throughout what happened.

I started my blog as a way to communicate how I was doing in my recovery. At first, it recounted the physical differences that were occurring, but it's become more. In all of it, I've sought to give God the glory for where I am. In posting my entries, I didn't think much about who was reading it. I think I assumed a few family members and friends might keep up to date, but God has reached further. Just this week, in viewing the demographics of those have visited my blog, I've been humbled & amazed that quite a few people from around the world have stumbled upon it. I don't know why or how often these folks have visited, but just once is cool. A few months ago, I discovered where I could read comments that people have posted in response to my postings. I came across one that struck me greatly. I posted about rainbows and God and there was a comment from Stephanie who shared she had come across my post while she was planning her sons birthday. She went on to share she was a young widowed Mom. I noticed she too had a blog and I went to it and began following it. Life remained busy and I didn't ever post on her blog my thankfulness for visiting my blog and saying something. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and God placed her in my heart, nudging me to visit her blog. I made a mental note with great intention to visit it. As you can predict, life again remained busy and I didn't follow up. As this years Lent season began, I made the decision to do a daily devotional along with giving up desserts & the like. Last week as I was headed to the gym at 4:50 am (yes, you're seeing that correctly), again God placed Stephanie in my heart. I told myself I would visit her blog during quiet time/ nap time that afternoon. I worked out as usual and returned home. In the quiet of the morning hours, I sat down with a cup of coffee and my devotionals. The scripture focus for the days was Proverbs 3: 5-6, which says,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I really love those scriptures! I began my morning as usual, getting my boys ready for the day. We did breakfast and some chores. A few hours later, Zach asked if he could take his brother upstairs to play. Side note: Kadin's two and we are working on stairs independence - as I'm writing this he's working on going up & down without hands (ahhhhh!!! Growing up so fast). They went upstairs and I followed a few minutes later. I went to our computer room to upload our recent email messages and while I was there I decided to visit Stephanie's blog. Opening the page, I noticed quickly a picture of a man, whom I assumed was her husband since I knew from briefly visiting before that she started the blog three days after her husband died. Under a picture of him was Proverbs 3: 5-6. You could have slapped me in the face, I was so awe-struck. Instantly, I knew God had been instrumental in all of this. I briefly viewed parts of her blog, read the last posting she had and made a comment. I promised myself I would visit the site again during quiet time as it was time to usher the boys back downstairs to prepare lunch. In my pursuing later in the afternoon, I discovered that when they were in high school, her husband Matt, had been in a terrible car crash resulting in him having a brain injury and being forced to learn to walk and talk again. WOW! Anyone who knows me knows I would empathize with this and be super excited for the returned ability he had. Looking at all these 'coincidences', I could help but see how God orchestrated it all. I will probably never meet Stephanie, but I'm committed to praying for her and her two children as they do their best to adjust to their new 'normal.' My heart hurts for them more than I can say!

Through it all, I remind myself that God is in control.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I don't know what it is about this time of year, but there's something about Spring and the craving I get for egg dishes.  I become enthralled with egg salad & egg mustard salad.  I was getting everything ready for egg mustard salad today to bring to ST. Patricks Day dinner and I had a hospital flashback.  As I chopped the hard boiled eggs up, I remembered how when I was in Rehab, I had to prove I was safe in the kitchen.  This was done by preparing something to eat in which I had to use the stove to make.  It happened to be spring time so although I couldn't eat, I offered to make egg salad.  By memory, I recalled to my Occupational Therapist which ingredients we needed.  The next day, I made egg salad without a recipe & without the ability to taste.  I was able to feed quite a few family members.  It was spot on. I remember thinking how silly it was that I had to prove I was safe in the kitchen, but I've learned the importance of it. The kitchen is full of 'ouchies.'. It's funny, I used that no taste method of cooking for a year and I got lots of compliments on what I created.   Most everyone has their own version of egg salad but here's  the recipe for egg mustard salad. Egg Mustard Salad: Head of Romaine lettuce or spinach chopped 4 hard boiled eggs - yolks removed & reserved for dressing, whites chopped 1/2 lb bacon - cooked & crumbled Bunch of green onions, chopped Dressing : 4 egg yolks, mashed 2 tsp yellow mustard 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar 6 tbsp sugar Assemble Romaine lettuce, chopped egg whites, bacon pieces, green onions, and top with dressing right before serving. Enjoy! Blessings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness

March Madness - Spring is on it's way! It's that time again! Time to pick your favorites and stare at every game until your eyeballs feel as if they'll fall right out. Okay, that was kinda gross. Sorry!   March Madness has been celebrated in my family (Dad's side) since I can remember.  My Grandma Loraine (Grandma Raine as we called her) was the biggest fan EVER! I don't think she missed a moment and that includes the era where you had to stick to one channel at a time, no DVR or split-screen.  I have fond memories of her sitting in her chair sipping beer and clutching the bracket schedule that had been printed in the paper.  The schedule was nicely folded & carefully filled out as she tracked who would make the sweet 16, the Final Four, and onto the victor.  I recall she always cheered the loudest for UNLV.  She could recite statistics and could tell you what transpired in each game.  It was fascinating to watch! You learned early on to not bug Grandma during this time.   She loved basketball & I'll always be reminded of her especially during this time of the year.  My Dad has carried on the tradition of staking out the recliner for each tip off, but doesn't write down all the results like Grandma use to.  When I was in the hospital, March Madness coincided with my time in Rehab and as I worked hard in therapies, my Dad watched the games from my room, always updating me when I returned between sessions.  It was nice to have that familiar sound of the ball traveling back & forth down the court, the squeaking of the shoes, and the school's fight songs & cheers.  It was almost as if I had a piece of childhood transported to my hospital room for me. Much in the same way, I wish I served God with the excitement my Grandma had for that tournament.  I don't want to come across as I don't think my relationship with God is good, because it's better & stronger than it's been in years. I'm just in the beginning of a revamp.  I'm getting more excited about going to Church & doing devotionals.  I'm trying desperately to lean on God & surrender all that I am. Is it easy? NO! But, I'm trying.  I long to be able to cite stories & scripture the way my Grandma rattled off scores & other stats.  I know I've picked a favorite (God) so that's settled, but I've yet to write a 'fight song' or any cheers.  I want nothing to stand in my way or hinder me from being whom I'm meant to be.  This I'm working on and there's much to be done.  Will I fall? Yes, I'm sure I will, but there's always tomorrow & I know who hold those days.  Many things are different about my Grandma's excitement for March Madness and my excitement for being a follower of Christ... God's book is clear about who the winner is and it's more than one page long, God offers erasers (forgiveness) if you make a mistake with your stats keeping (Christian walk), it doesn't matter how much is going on, how many games are being played, God is there all the time, watching it all! Here's to Spring! New beginnings & new life! Blessings.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

I - did - I -did - I - did - the Iditarod

Okay... does anyone remember that catchy tune, I did, I did, I did.... the Iditarod Trail? So, my title comes from that.... I'm sure only Alaskans will get that, especially those that were around in the 90's...... anyways, I digress.

Fur Rondy continued into this weekend and with it the beginning of the Iditarod. We headed downtown this morning (Saturday) to catch the train expo at the Alaska Railroad Train Depot. I think the boys would have loved to play with the displays as opposed to watching them. After that we headed to a churches parking lot located along the mushing route to watch the dog teams. It was so exciting to see those first teams head out. The boys were excited to see the 'puppies'. It has been great to be involved in community activities. Unfortunately, my youngest Kadin was a tad fussy as he didn't want to wear a snow hat anymore :) Goof! We only saw about 7 teams head out, but it was still fun. Next year, we'll aim for more. We headed home and while Darren and Zach snow blowed the driveway, Kadin and I watched some more of the dog teams head out on the local cable channel. He was busy making sure my head was protected by his brother's bike helmet, rather than watching 'puppies' and their mushers head out.

Speaking of Fur Rondy events, I'm going to the Empty Bowl next weekend as it has become a tradition with the ladies in my family. My Mom, Mother in Law (Luann), sister (Jaime), her Mother in Law (Bonnie), and our great friend (Aimee) go. This would be our 10th year I think, but they didn't go the year I was in the hospital. It is an awesome event that raises money for Bean's Cafe, a local homeless shelter that serves hundred's of warm meals every day. You go, select a one of a kind hand made & decorated pottery bowl donated by various pottery artists in town and the chef at Bean's Cafe prepares two kinds of fabulously yummy bean soup. You can eat as many bowls as you want along with warm yummy cornbread, Oh, its fabulous! If you are in Anchorage during this time some year, you should check it out. In regard to new events I want to see the 'Running of the Reindeer.'

Side note: the church cleared viewing location was quite slippery - Darren was holding Kadin and went down. Just like 'normal' I reached out trying to save them and I too went down. The only one left standing was Zach. I felt angry & frustrated with my balance until I heard another spectator say, even with the warnings of slippery ground & the gravel, we are all still falling down. After that new perspective, I let go of the anger & realized no one was making fun of me (us) for falling, they wouldn't pinpoint me because I was walking 'funny' before that. What a remarkable experience! I'm reminded in this moment that everyone isn't looking for my faults, they're just taking note of their environment. I need to be less hypersensitive because in reality 'normal' people fall all the time and how does someone differentiate me from that? They don't! Thank you Lord for that lesson learned.