Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

prayers of a momma

A few years ago, how many I will not say, I gave birth to twin boys.  It was late at night on the 24th of April.   I was trying not to be scared.  The doctor waited until I was about to go in for the c-section to explain to me that there was a problem.  Something about placement, oxygen, and that once they made the first incision – time was crucial.  This was not something we wanted to hear or were prepared for. Wasn’t it enough that I was one month early?

I believe in God and that nothing takes Him by surprise – especially those things that catch us unaware.  I believe in the power of prayer.  Curt woke my mom and step-dad up and had them praying.  Oh, the power of a praying momma ….. Oh, the power of a praying grandma…..

There is peace that comes in knowing your momma is praying for you.

(The birth was without a hitch.  Only later did I learn that the doctor on call was the best doctor in that hospital for any kind of birth problem. Nothing takes God by surprise.)

Fast forward to today.  This past year has been a year of transition for my boys.  One son graduated from college and is juggling between work and doing the necessary preparations for the next chapter in his life.  The other son is learning how to move on from a painful and ugly separation which is now leading to divorce.

God has great things in store for both of them.  I couldn’t be prouder of how they have both handled conflict, disappointment, and whatever life throws at them.   God doesn’t promise that everything will go the way we want but He does promise to work all things out for our good.  Yes, even those things that break our heart.  (Romans 8:28)

Oh, the power of a praying momma-grandma…..   My mother has now  gone on to be with Jesus but I know that God is still answering her prayers for her grandchildren. Oh, the power of a praying momma/grandma is greater than we may ever realize this side of heaven.

Now, I am the momma who is praying.  Praying for favor, safety, comfort, healing, peace, direction, and the list goes on.

boys and their bikes

Boys and their bikes!

Their sense of adventure has definitely caused me to bow in prayer many times.  Sometimes I think it is more for me than for them.  God quiets my heart and reminds me that He is with them always.

‘Don’t panic. I’m with you.
    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.’ (v10)

‘That’s right. Because I, your God,
    have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
    I’m right here to help you.’  Isaiah 41:10 & 13 (The Message)

The prayers of a momma are far-reaching because time and distance are not an issue for God.      He is not limited by what limits us.   He has them in the palm of His hand.

Keep on praying!

til next time

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April 24, 2015 Posted by | ministry, motorcycle, Pastor's wife, twins | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dream of being a mom

Dreams — some come true.  Some don’t.  Some dreams take a slight turn and end up better than originally expected.  Some dreams are just that – dreams.

It was on this day – a few years back – that I became a mom.  I remember dreaming about this day.   How beautiful the sound of that first cry would be.  I was put on bed rest for four months so there was lots of time for anticipation to build.

Right before they wheeled me into the operating room for the c-section,  they informed us that there was a problem.  The placenta of the first baby was on the top.  Cutting through this would stop life support to the baby.  It is vital that they act quickly.  They may have to usher the first baby out to another room to be worked on.  I was not to panic if I did not hear the baby cry.  What?  Fear attempted to grip my heart.   Don’t panic?  Apparently the doctor knew for some time that delivery was going to be a challenge.  Yet he neglected to share this news with us.   I looked at Curt and asked him to call my mom to pray.

The nurse had trouble getting the epidural in just the right spot.   After the fourth attempt,  she decided that it just wasn’t going to work and they would have to put me out.  I begged her to try again.  I needed to, I had to be awake during this.  She agreed to try one more time.  What a picture that would have been.  There were ladies on both sides of me pulling me forward, so she could find the spot.   It worked!  Only later did I realize the seriousness of what she was doing and what could have gone wrong.  God is good!

For someone who is a very private person, there were more people in that room than could hardly fit.  Each baby had their own doctor, nurse, specialist, and someone else that I don’t know what their role was.  Then there was the staff there for me.  Also, I  believe there were people watching as a teaching moment.  Good thing I had the health of my babies on my mind.

Before they started, my darling husband was kneeling right beside me.  He was and is my rock!  He was saying all the right comforting things.

How did I repay him?  I threw up all over him.  We joke now, but at the time he handled it oh so well.  He didn’t even bat an eye.  It was like he wasn’t really kneeling there with vomit all over him.

It was time to begin; those precious boys were ready.

Then I heard it.   Splat!  Something hit the floor.  Panic!  What was that?

Someone told me, “It was just the placenta hitting the floor.”

What?  Well, that was comforting.  😦  However, before I could process all that.  I heard it.  The sound I had longed for.  My baby’s cry.

Doctor asked the time.  11:30

While I was still processing my joy at hearing that cry, I hear the doctor ask for the time again.  ??  The second baby was out and crying.  Relief washed over me.    Time – 11:30.  Well, the doctor told the nurse that we can’t have that, so make the second baby time be 11:31.

Later I would find out that the doctor on call was the best doctor to handle this situation.  Again there is God taking care of things.  1 Peter 5:7Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.”

even slept alikeMy precious boys in the early years!

all grown up My precious boys all grown up now!

I couldn’t be prouder.  Raising them was such a blessing.   Now seeing them as responsible adults is such a joy.  Although, they will always be my babies.

Dreams.  Some dreams come true.  Having these two precious children was even better than I had dreamed about.  That first year is kind of a blur.  I do remember  standing over their bassinets, time and time again,  with tears running down my face as my heart would swell with such joy and love.  What a precious miracle was right there in front of me.

As the years went by, that miracle became more and more real.  My dream of having more children would be just that – a dream.  I had always thought I would have a house full of children.  Having twins first just made me think God was giving us a great start.

Dealing with disappointment is part of life.  My heart breaks for those women who want children so bad and can’t have them.  As the years went by with no more children, I cherished even more the twins that I was blessed with – not once taking their precious lives for granted.  Children are indeed a gift from God.

til next time

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April 24, 2014 Posted by | twins | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

look for motorcycles!

Life is unpredictable……………plan on it!

I am married to a planner.  Make a plan,  be the plan and do the plan.   Yup, that is him.  I am sure it stems from his Marine Corps days.  You know, accomplish the mission and all that jazz.

So when I can get him to commit to a couple of days without an agenda…..  Well, ok, we kind of had an agenda.  We knew where we were staying the first night and I guess he  sort of planned out the rest of it but kept telling me that it was subject to change.   This is progress for my dear planner.

After work on Thursday we packed up the bike and   headed out-of-town.  Last year he got a big 5-0 birthday bash.  This year he got a couple of nights ‘out of Dodge’.

For his birthday dessert — Fried Cheesecake.  Some things just should not be fried.

Two and 1/2 days of rolling down the highway on two wheels.  The wind blowing in our face and the sun shining on our back!  Life is good!!   We would be traveling miles and miles on the winding river road.

Day 2 -Woke up to rain.  No big deal.  We weren’t in a hurry.  We opted to start out with our rain gear on.  It wasn’t long and we decided it was too warm for that.

What we needed was sunscreen.   It was a beautiful day.

We made it as far up as Onalaska, WI.

Yes, I do believe I was born to ride.  “Honey I’m loving this!”  was heard throughout the day.

We found a great place to eat.  Curt had smelt.  Eww, first fried cheesecake and now this.  I had chicken.  🙂 However, they have the best homemade bread there.

This picture doesn’t do it justice.  The sun was shining on the water in huge rays.  It was breathtaking.

Little did I know things were about to drastically change.  In my quiet time with God that morning I had struggled with some issues.  (You can read about that by clicking here.)

As we were coming down a steep hill  (you know the kind that they have a sign up for trucks to be aware of  the slope)  a van (on our right)  pulled out (turning left) in front of us.  Thank God Curt was watching him and realized that when he ‘glanced’ left he hadn’t seen us.

I felt the rear tire and thought for sure we were going to fish tale, hit the van, and/or be hit by the truck behind us.  (Curt told me later he would have put the bike down before hitting head on.  — Like that was comforting.)   None of that happened, which I know was the hand of God. It all seemed to happen in slow motion – just like the movies.  I think I could have slapped his van if I had wanted to. We were that close.

I know God protected us.   What I don’t understand is the way my body reacted the rest of the way home.  I found myself holding my breath on every downward slope.  Try as I may, I could not seem to stop from tensing up.    All the joy had been stripped away.  It was (and is still) devastating.  I don’t know that I will ever get on a bike again.  This makes me very sad.

“Dear Mr Van guy, You have no idea what your careless actions have caused.  You can and should thank God that today is just another day for you and that you don’t have to live the rest of your life with our blood on your hands.  Stop means stop!  And please next time really look!!  Motorcycles are out there.”

Life is unpredictable ……… I sure didn’t see that coming.

til next time

July 26, 2011 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

journey

It’s been over a week since I made the life changing decision that rushing was no longer going to be a daily part of my life.   I would like to eliminate it completely from my life.   However,  I will settle for just not having it be a constant companion.

I recently received Francesca Battistelli’s CD.   “Free to Be Me” is a great song. It pretty much describes my life when I was 20.

Wait, what am I saying?  It is a great song for my life right now.    I’m still trying to put the pieces together.  I am  trying to avoid a mid-life crisis.  Perfection is my enemy,  I have a tendency to be clumsy, and most important God still has great plans for me.  I am free to be me.

Ah, but I am not 20 anymore.

In fact, I recently had a birthday.   It was a great time for reflection.  Am I where God wants me, doing what He wants, and living the abundant life that He has for me?  Great questions to ponder.

I remember one year really struggling with the word abundant.  Just what is the abundant life that God talks about in His Word?  At that time it sure didn’t seem to describe my life.  Now, I’ve come to realize that it has much more to do with the heart than material things.  Ah, but that is for another blog.

Francesca sings another song “Beautiful“.  She sings about how God looks at us and sees who we can be — making life beautiful.

The thing I have noticed most in this last week is that rushing/hurrying were tools used to hinder the enjoyment of my life.  The thing I regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.  Yet I know that God will take that regret and make something useful out of it.

Some songs really resonate with me.  “Beautiful” is one of those.

“…. mercy reaching to save me…..”

God’s mercy does reach out to save me, especially from myself.

“…there’s a joy inside I can’t contain, but even perfect days can end in rain…

The biggest difference I have noticed is my joy is back.  It’s like my joy was buried under the heavy schedule that I ran with.

“I have come undone, but I have just begun —  changing by your grace….”

God is always at work in my life.   By His grace is the only way I know how to change.

What is God trying to do in your life?  Say yes!  It is an amazing journey!  A journey that I am taking time to enjoy and not just rush through.

Here is the song “Beautiful”

Enjoy the journey!!

til next time

August 14, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

our boys

My boys turned 21 this weekend.    Andrew left on Thursday to spend the week-end with Chris.  A week-end filled with many plans.    Chris ran his first half marathon — Go Chris!!  

I really don’t know where the time went.  I don’t feel old enough to have 21 year olds.

The first thing I notice with this picture of our boys is that Chris is in red and Andrew in blue.  This is significant because when they were little, in order to tell them apart, those were the colors we put them in.twins

I doubt that the boys even give that a thought anymore and yet many times I find them in these colors.  Which has me thinking about the impact those first few years have on children.  

I was blessed to be a stay at home mom for most of their childhood.   When they hit high school I did work full time, but it was at the Middle School. It was a toss up as to who really enjoyed snow days more.   I am glad that I was able to be there in the morning and after school.  I cherish those memories.   

Empty nesting is looming around the corner.  This is something I know needs to happen, but I also know it will be hard.  A lot of firsts – sometimes I think I am too old for ‘firsts’.   *sigh*  Yet they keep coming. 

The most recent ‘firsts’ —    First holiday that both boys weren’t here (Easter).   First time neither boy is home for his birthday.  

The big ‘firsts’ coming up – First summer Chris isn’t coming home.   First Apartment.   First time it will just be Curt and I in this really big house.     First time both boys will no longer be in Iowa.  (The are trading in the fishbowl for anonymity.)

Here’s some more recent pictures of our boys.   

   aw-motorcycle1   aw     aw1 cg-and-gs    at-the-mall2  c-g1

                 the-guys-at-christmas   at-cabin1

Things are changing.  I wonder was it this hard on my mom?  I think it must have been harder as my dad passed away right after I graduated from high school.   Praise God Curt and I will have each other.   Another reason it is so important to keep ones marriage healthy.

I am quite excited about what I see going on in our boys  lives.   They have indeed entered into manhood with style.  I couldn’t be prouder!    

til next time

April 26, 2009 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, twins | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

celebrate life

Life is worth celebrating.  I look for any old excuse to celebrate.  To pull off a surprise birthday party though, that takes effort.  Many people try.  Few people are successful.

My friend’s step-dad was turning 70. She, along with her mother, wanted to give him a surprise party.  They figured he would not want all the fuss if he knew about it.  He is a gentle, quiet man – not one for a lot of hoop-la.

The look on his face when he came through the door.  Priceless!!  Here are a few pictures. The one of him entering was too dark 😦                                              

                  b-day-boy           pat-alley-joanne-tj   

                    Chuck (in the middle)                girl talk   

                                    steve-lisa        

                                           Steve and Lisa

       zach-eric-megan-andrew               megan-eric

 Megan with her ‘brothers’             Megan and Eric (not her brother -LOL)

Life is worth celebrating.    What are you waiting for??

til next time

January 25, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, relationships | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments