Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cost Rica

Our minister of music asked me to give my testimony about going to Costa Rica.  I have read that the fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death.  This is true for me, but I knew that it was something that I needed to do. My testimony is below.
(This is a picture from the front porch of the compound.)
(And this is the URL for their blog.)
The Kingdom
This is my conversation with God on the way home from church after Bro. Chris announced that our church was going on a Medical Mission trip to Costa Rica.
Yes Lord?
Bro. Chris said the church is going on a Medical Mission trip to Costa Rica.
Yes Lord.
You are a nurse.
Yes Lord.
You could go.
Yes Lord.
You are about to be 56 years old.
Yes Lord.
And you have spent most of those years doing things for your self.
Yes Lord.
And it's real easy to write out a check to Lottie Moon or Margaret Lackey missions isnt' it?
Yes Lord
And you are really selfish with your time and effort aren't you?
Yes Lord.
So don't you think it's time you got out of your comfort zone and actually DO something for My Kingdom?
Yes Lord....and I'm taking David with me!!!
The Doubts
Doubts began to creep in. 1. I'm "fluffy." 2. I have health issues.  3.  I'm scared of "not water."  Some people are afraid of water, I'm afraid of not having water.  Because we didn't have running water in our house until I was about 10 years old, and it was my responsibility to draw the well water, I have always been very respectful of water as a precious commodity.  In the times when we have been without water, David will tell you--I am crazy.  All I can think about is water.  I need to brush my teeth, I need to wash my hair, I need to take a shower, I need to go to the bathroom.  I need water!
I addressed these doubts to the team because I wanted to be a blessing not a burden.  The team reassured me that if God wanted me to go, all my needs would be taken care of.  So that's out of the way.
The Passport and The Rock
I began to make lists, gather data, calculate medication costs, talk to another nurse that had gone, had her come and talk to the team...I had done everything except one little tiny crucial thing...I procrastinated about our passports.  See David was having doubts and two passports are a expensive commodity if you never use them.  Everybody was asking me, have you gotten you passport yet?  I would say no...but I'm working on it....The time came down to the lat minute and David and I had a heart to heart talk.  I told him that I didn't care if he didn't want to go. I needed him to go.  I was afraid to go without him.  David is my safety net.  He makes me feel safe, he will take a bullet for me.  He is my rock, and quite frankly, Kingdom or no Kingdom, I wasn't going without him.  God intervened and David committed to go.  We had to jump through quite a few hoops to get our passports quickly and pay extra and got them in time.
The Hair.
Except for one time for medical reasons, I have had my hair long.  Not long after I made the commitment to go to Costa Rica, I became obsessed with the idea that I had to cut my hair.  Not trim, but cut, short.  Very short.  At first I thought the reason was because if water was in short supply I wanted most of my water to go below my neck.  (If you get my drift)  And it would be easier to care for--wash and go. And it also seemed to me to be a visual reminder, or covenant if you will of my commitment to go.  So I cut it.  My hairdresser said she had never cut hair from that length (below my shoulders) to an inch or so.  (The pony tail went to Lock of Love) However, after I cut it I found out the real reason I was so obsessed with cutting it.  People who know me and people who don't know me, but know me..does that make sense say "You cut your hair!!!" Which gives me the opportunity to say, let me tell you why...and will you please pray for us? 
If you are a praying person, please pray for us.
For me:  Pray that God will give me a spirit of strength and courage...and water...that there will be water in adequate supply.
For David:  That God will show him what the other reason(s) are for him to go. (I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only reason.)
For our marriage:  That it will be strengthened and we will bond in a way we never have before.
For our team:  That we will be safe, that we will have wisdom and discernment as we minister to their physical and spiritual needs.  That they will see Jesus in our faces, and feel Jesus' touch in our touch.
Pray Pray Pray...and Pray some more!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Before and After

This is me Tuesday morning.
I have had my hair to at least my shoulders most all of my life.  I suppose since I was a child of the late sixties through the 70s, that is all I know.  I started growing my hair long when I was in the 10th grade.  Prior to that I had that short sixties look, but since the 10th trade with maybe one or two exceptions my hair has always been to my shoulders.  Right after David and I married (almost 17 years ago) I grew it out to almost my waist. Hmmm....
But at the end of July, David and I are going on a medical mission trip to Costa Rica.  Right after my 56th birthday this past December, our new preacher said that "the church" was going to Costa Rica on a medical mission trip and if anybody wanted to go, call him. I was intrigued.  Long story short, not long after that, I was driving along in the car and God said, "well Angelyn, you have spent the past 56 years doing things for yourself, don't you think it's time you spend your next 56 years doing things for "The Kingdom."  That was it.  I was in.
To be frank, David is mostly going for me. I think that his heart is open, to what God has for him, but he is mostly going for me.  Which is fine, because quite frankly, I'm kinda scared.  We will be out in the middle of nowhere and I'm not the healthiest fittest person in the world.  In a word--I'm fluffy and in poor shape.  And Costa Rica is mountainous.  When I met with the team, I told them that I wanted to go, but I wanted to be a blessing not a burden.  Everyone assured me that if God wanted me to go, he would pave the way. 
Anyway back to the point of the story, if you read this blog any you know that I'm a nut when it comes to water. Bathing and washing my hair in particular.  So that said, if water is going to be in rather short supply, I would rather the bulk of it go below my neck, if you now what I mean.  Therefore, I did this.

In addition to the water thing, this is unbelievably easy to take care of.  No blow drying, no hot rollers, no Velcro rollers, no round brushes, no flat irons, no bobby pins, no clips of any kind, no elastic bands.  Amazing--I gathered all of that stuff up, put it in a plastic bag and stowed it in the closet. Just a little gel or hairspray, maybe a puff or two of the blow dryer and I'm done. I touch up the grey at my temples with a little mascara.  I just can't see buying a whole box of dye for that little bit of grey. (I HATE having grey hair).  Some women look lovely with grey hair--I look tired.
David loves my hair (surprise) but my daughter and daughter-in-law and gchildren hate it. Hmmm.
Plus, this may sound crazy, but in a way, cutting my hair is symbolic to me.  It is symbolic of a commitment and maybe other things...but I have to think about it more in order to put it into words.
If you are a praying person, please pray for us.  If you are not a praying person, then please keep us in your thoughts.
I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

These Stones....

have been following me for years.  In fact we have been together since I was born.
These sandstones were dug up from only my ancestors know where in the early 1800s and piled one upon the other to make the chimney of the old home that I rattle so much about.  These are the smaller ones, the larger ones (much larger) are still at the old home place.
When Mama moved to the city...I'm smiling as I write this...the city is Winona...( the kind people that bought our home place told me that I could move them whenever I wanted.
So one day my sweet hubby moved a trailer load of them to our previous home in Winona.  I used them to surround my flower beds.
Then when we built this house,  (that's it in the above picture) last summer he surprised me and moved them here and built these two flower beds on either side of our driveway.
So these old rocks and I have been together for 56 years.  Oh and the well bucket that you see hanging up, I drew many a bucket of water with it.  I have had it with me for years...and it just this spring found it's final resting place...   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Mama

I have written about this before, and was going to copy and paste part of my rattle here, but since I couldn't find it without a lot of looking, I decided to rewrite it.
This rattle is a combination of memories, self hypnosis, relaxation therapy and something I use to fall asleep at night.
Yeah..I'll explain.
I have always had this memory in the back of my mind, but it really came to the forefront of my memories when I began to use it as a relaxation technique.
Many years ago when I was going through a terrible bout of depression and was in therapy, my therapist taught me to use happy memories to relax and relieve anxiety.
I have been thinking it about even more so lately when I downloaded one of those white noise apps on my iPhone.
When I combine the wind and rain sounds, I am immediately transported back in time.
This is the house where I grew up and lived until we built a new one when I was about 15. The house faced due east and the front half was ancient logs. It stood until only a few years ago when we tore it down when Mama moved to town.
At the time of my memory, the roof was overlaid with tin, there were large hedges closing in either end of the porch with tall Nandinas and other flowering hedges around the front.  It was quite cozy and welcoming. 
There was only one window one the front of the porch which was located on the far left on the area of the kitchen.
If it started to rain, I would go to the old chifforobe and pull out two ancient ragged quilts, take them out to the front porch and choose my place to snuggle down. 
My place of choice was usually right in front of that one window, I could hear Mama puttering around in the kitchen which was very comforting to hear.
Depending on how hard the wind was blowing and how hard the rain was falling was how close I would get to the edge.  I wanted to be able to feel that gentle mist that the rain drops kicked up, but I didn't want to get wet.  I would then place the most ragged blanket on the porch, carefully folded so that I could slip in the center of it like an envelope.
Daddy had bought Mama 2 rockers and a settee many years before for their anniversary and I would take the settee, turn it over with the rockers facing outward.  I would then place the quilt over the entire settee to make a nice little cosy place.  I would crawl in there with a book or a magazine and the cat if I could catch her and coax her to stay in there with me.
I would read, listen to the wind and rain on the tin roof, pet the cat and periodically lift up a flap of the quilt to check on how far into the edges of the porch the wind had blown the rain.  Sometimes when it was raining particularly hard I would have to move to the center of the porch.
When I think about it now, it's not only the sounds, that I remember but the insulation that was so pleasing and comforting. 
I was insulated by layers.  The first layer was the rain, the second layer the hedges, the third the porch itself, then the next layer was the quilt, next the settee and with my back to those ancient logs that had sheltered my great great grandparents I was in a cocoon of safety and peace.
But the main thing was Mama, she was at my back always within earshot.  I could hear her puttering around in that kitchen but most of all...she could hear me if I needed her.
Happy Mother's Day in Heaven Mary Emily Box Jacks.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mr Bluebird

Isn't Mr. Bluebird handsome?
He lives on this tree in my driveway.
If I wasn't so ashamed of the flower bed around this tree, I would have included it in the picture. 
But I promise Mr. Bluebird, I'll clean it out and make it pretty this weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rattles To Catch You Up

I'm baaaackkkkk.
Here is a few rattles to catch you up on what has been going on in my Rattly Life.
I finally bought a new laptop after killing my other one. (The reason I haven't been posting) I hope the IT dude at work will be able to get my pictures and files off of it.  But if I have done without them this long,  I guess I don't need them.
I also killed my iPhone 3GS and I got a new 4s.  When I killed the 3GS there were a ton of pictures on there as well.  Now here's the thing, right after I got my new iPhone, I lost the old one.  I could still boot it up and view my pictures...but it is somewhere in this house or maybe my car.  I can't find it.
I seem to be losing/destroying a lot of things lately.
I have lost my last set of keys that had a clicker on it.  I have one more car key left.  No clicker.  No house key of my own.
So, since my car is 11 years old, (bless her, she still looks pretty good and runs good) I just leave the key in her.  I don't keep anything in there worth stealing and I doubt anybody would steal her.  I wonder if the old adage that your insurance won't pay if you leave the key in it is true....
The other day I opened the refrigerator door and I had put the bars of soap that I had bought at Wal Mart in there.
I can't hear well.
I sure can't see well...I'm up to 2.00 readers now.
And....are you ready for this,  I keep getting to work and realizing that I haven't zipped up my britches.  That's right.  I button 'em, but I don't zip 'em up.
Now that said, I have read that this is a sign of senility. Don't yawl see old men walking around with their britches unzipped?  I now that I have...but I'm not an old man...I'm an old woman...but I never wear skirts or dresses....
And here's the other thing, I absolutely can't keep up with my house work.  I spend my Saturdays cleaning house.  And I think that if I can just get it really really clean, I can keep it up through the week.  But it never happens.  Never.
David and I are going on a medical mission trip to Costa Rica the end of July.  And I as was running around one day a couple of weeks ago getting ready for a meeting with the rest of the team, I said to myself, "I have just got to get it together."  And then this little voice said to me, "Angelyn, if you haven't gotten it together in the last 56 years, it's probably not going to ever happen.  Sigh.
I'll be back her much more now, but I want to leave you with this picture of Fontanna napping with his monkey.  It always makes me smile....and I bet it will you too.