Friday, December 11, 2009

Life Changes

As most of you know by now, Mom and my uncle Norm (aka "Mater") were married on October 19, 2009. It was a small, intimate ceremony attended by 4/10 of their cumulative children. One of those attendees is Jennifer. Jennifer is 43, and has been battling cancer in one form or another for a decade or more now. Most recently, stage 3 ovarian, since august of 2007. while attending chemo treatments several times a week. Her counts have been good for awhile, giving us great hope that the new protocol was working, until yesterday we found that it had stopped and the #of cells in blood was increasing again. bad news. new treatment protocol starting Monday. chemo 3 times a week. I ask that you lift my sister jenny up in prayer. prayer for healing. prayer for peace. prayer for comfort. prayer for concerns financially-whats going to happen with her insurance. so many unknowns right now.

thank you all so much for you time and effort. if you would like to leave an encouraging message for jenny, i would be happy for forward them to her.
Peace, love & His LOVE♥

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (and other words of wisdom I wish someone would have shared with me when I first married my husband)

August is a busy month for our family. Lots of anniversaries. The 4Th would have been my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Norm's 47Th, the 7Th would have been my grandma and grandpa Henckel's 68Th, the 13Th (today) is my brother Chuck and sil Kellie's 15Th, also Aunt Patti and Uncle Kenny's 5Th. You would think that is enough to make everyone go broke, but there are more yet...the 14Th would have been Aunt Laura and Uncle Frank's 48Th, the 25Th would have been my sister Missy and bil Leroy's 20Th, the 28Th would have been our parents 44Th, and last but not least, the 31st will be (unfortunately-likely our last) my husband and I's 18Th anniversary.(that's an entirely different post unto itself ♥)

Some of these marriages have ended due to death of one of the parties involved, others due to divorce. Others are still going strong. When I look at the success stories, and I think about the things I have learned from my own experiences, and I think about our Pastor at church, John, and his fiance', Melissa, who are going to be wed on this Saturday and then I think about all the things I wish I had known or that someone had told me BEFORE the big day, I know that Me, being Me, I have to impart these little bits of wisdom from the school of "been there...done that"!

so here goes:

1. Good fences make good neighbors- This is a biggie. Huge. When you and your spouse get into a disagreement...(which you will) DO NOT...i repeat...DO NOT...go to your parents & family with the trouble. Now, I'm sure you're asking "what could be the harm in that?" Let me tell and Fifi have an argument over how to correctly fold the underwear or which way the toilet paper goes on the holder, you get angry, have a big blow up...words are go to your folks...she goes to hers. You both tell your "side" of the story (cuz thats what we do) then you go home and make up and forget about it. Meanwhile, your folks and her folks don't. Five years from now they're still holding on to the hurt and anguish that "you" caused their child. I know you might be thinking "you're kidding me, right?" NOPE! Been there, done that...for 18 long, long years....with many, many t-shirts, mugs, visors, etc...with some very petty, trivial issues as well as some far more serious. Either way, if you need someone to talk to (other than prayer) a wise and trustworthy friend is a much better choice.

2. Love is a verb not a feeling- Lets face it...for most of the worlds population, the honeymoon eventually period wears off and reality sets in. Especially for those who choose to take the biblical and purity route and not live together before the marriage. Most men are NOT prince charming and most women are NOT Cinderella. Unfortunately, society does not do any of us a favor by perpetuating this fantasy life that quickly becomes a non reality for most. We snore, pass gas, leave the cap off the toothpaste (or squeeze it in the middle). Some leave wet towels on the bathroom floor, some folks have to have copious amounts of caffeine before being semi approachable and heaven forbid...some of us even have *gasp* morning breath. We have to choose to love people in spite of things that might annoy us. If I am the personality type that can get up in the morning and be alert, alive, able to function and think, but my husband needs an hour and a shower to go through his routine before he is functional, then I have to honor that, give him the space he needs and not take it personally. Its not always about me.

3. Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition-it is a 100-100. We have to give 100 % all the time to our spouses. There are going to be times that you are going to have to compromise. The question you have to ask yourself in those times is..."Is this going to effect my morals, self esteem or the law?" If not, and its a matter of pride, or tradition, then you really have to consider it and consider whether the issue is worth alienating your spouse or potentially causing division in your marriage over. There are going to be times that one or the other is going to have to put in more effort to balance the scales...either due to illness, a job, a family commitment. Whatever the case may be, it should not be that its "always" one person putting in 200%, and I have found that it cycles. Very rarely have we both been 100% at the same time. At times its been him giving 136% and me 64% (like when I had Joseph via C-section...small stuff) or me giving 189% and him 11 % (post double bypass surgery...BIG stuff) again, either way you go, you balance the scales and pick up the slack to keep everyone working together for greater good of the family. If you remember the saying "I am second" in reference to your spouse as well as Christ, your relationship will go a lot farther.

4. Husbands-Do not tell you wives " this doesn't taste like my mom's does!"

5. Wives- Do not tell your husbands "your not my father!"

6. Finally...Matthew 19:5-6 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." This makes me think about two things...the first being that the context of these verses are in relation to divorce and how God feels about that. You cannot go into a marriage with the big "D" being an option...a "safety" if you will. God is very specific about that. I understand about certain situations and grace, buh-leeeve me...i reeaaaally do. But as one feller I once heard say "you have to earn" that option. You have to fight with every thing that is within you for however long it takes, before that's an option. (Unless there are certain circumstances and those are between you and God)(and if safety of yourself or a child is an issue)

And now that I've offended most of the free world, I'm sure you're all very anxious to know what my second thought is on this passage...

well here it is...

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors and that boundaries within the family can make or break the best of marriages. Also, its imperative that we make our spouse feel like they are always our number one priority...especially in relation to our family and friends.

Sending "Congratulations" to Chuck and Kellie on 15 years together and "Best Wishes" to John and Melissa on their up coming wedding Saturday.

Peace ♥

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Banana Splits, Bible Studies and Life Changes

Okay, so I know you're wondering," what in the world does banana splits have to do with bible studies and changing lives?" Well, I'm so glad you asked. My Dad was a minister and a missionary to Scotland. I'm sure you 're asking yourself "what's so amazing about that?" Well my Dad did not become a christian until 1970, and the only reason he agreed to attend a bible study with my mom was because they were serving banana splits, his all-time fave dessert. He started attending the study on a regular basis, and church, and was baptized soon after. It was the banana split that attracted him, but God that kept him there. Unfortunately, as happens with many of us, he strayed from the flock. He would return and leave again many times over the years. He would struggle with alcoholism and child abuse issues.

My grandpa was an Alcoholic. An illness that my father also suffered. Don't get me wrong, neither dad nor grandpa were a mean drunk. Quite the opposite. They were both the life of the party. Grandpa drank his 6 pack a day and I don't remember him being mean or ugly. When I was in 8Th grade grandpa suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. A few months prior to that we had begun attending church again on a regular basis. I remember the last time I saw grandpa was at my baptism, September 25, 1982.

As it happened, dads company announced it was closing in the spring. Dad had felt the call to ministry for many years, but had run as hard and fast in the opposite direction as he could, using every excuse he could find to not answer it. " I have to support my family" "I'm too old to go back to school" "I didn't graduate high school" and so on.... Needless to say the excuses were no longer valid. He now had a nice severance package and quite a bit of free time on his hands. So in the spring of 1983, Dad and Mom travelled to Joplin, MO to the campus of Ozark Christian College to check out the campus, purchased a trailer on the campus and enrolled as freshmen for the fall semester. Little did they know how much our lives were about to change. Dad quit drinking completely...cold turkey...never again took a swallow...same thing with the smokes...he was done. It was that simple. Once he had finally made the decision. He trusted that God would get him through. Mom did not have so easy a time quiting smoking. Satan really worked her over...had nightmares that she drove to the store in the middle of the night...naked...and bought cigs...yea...not an easy time for her. But God was faithful and she did get through it. Now having a family of 6 living in a 10x60 trailer with a room added on was an absolute matter of trust, faith, and anything else you can think of. I was a freshman in High School, Terri was senior, Chuck was in 6Th grade and Missy was in 4Th. There was absolutely no privacy. No place to call your own, no place you could go to just get away and think or be still. No place for Mom and Dad to study, except the kitchen table, which was tiny, and if someone was sitting at it you could not walk through there to get to the bathroom or the bedrooms. It could get very frustrating. It was also a time of fun and connection and closeness. The campus had a beautiful wooded area with 3 crosses and benches that you could go and meditate at, that I found a great place to be still and just be able to get away.

Terri moved into the dorm the next year when she started as a freshman at OCC. She went on to graduate with a bachelor of biblical literature. Dad graduated with a bachelor of theology and Mom graduated with a certificate of biblical literature and certificate of missionary computer technology. I regret that I chose not to attend OCC. I don't stew over it and let Satan steal my joy...maybe one day I'll go back. I had some of the most amazing times of my life there.

When I think about the time we spent at OCC, and think about all the people I have met and the impact they have had on my life, it just astounds me....then I remember how it all started with banana splits and a bible study.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I cannot believe how blessed I am to have such amazing friends. I have several that are truly an inspiration to me. They make me laugh, cry, give me perspective and clarity. I know God is amazing and has truly blessed me with these wonderful people in my life.

I am gonna name a few...and I am gonna say they are in absolutely NO particular order:).

There is Greg. I met him when I was in the hospital and he took excellent care of me. Very compassionate and caring, funny and charming. I just thought to myself...What a doll! Then when Aunt Jojo got sick and was admitted to the same floor, Greg helped us to care for her. He treated Joyce like she was family. I'm not sure he'll ever know what a comfort that was. I recently found out why he is so compassionate...its because he has been there. He took care of his father when he was ill and until he passed away. It made Greg decide to completely change his profession from the finance arena to nursing...we are so much better for that choice.

Lets chat about Deanna...I have known her for about 6 years. We met at a ladies bible study when I first moved to the St. Louis area. She was so sweet and friendly...even though she was very pregnant with Syd and it was summer and she was obviously very physically uncomfortable. I love how Deanna touches so many people through both her career as a nurse and her ministry in the praise band. She truly sings like an angel. She is such a present and loving parent. Even if she has to be away physically for her job, She is there mentally and emotionally for her girls...available via cell phone, email or Facebook. To quote her "How sweet is that?" Something not often seen in this day and age...a parent who is there for their child when it counts.

I've known Sheree since I was in 7th grade. (I know I'm telling on myself, but that's 27 years) I consider her one of my oldest(OK...most longevity...not chronological) and dearest friends. I lost track of her for many years and recently caught up with her via the magic of Facebook. It was like we were never apart. She is one of the kindest, most loving and encouraging people I know. She loves her Mom, is very loyal to her friends and dog (Zach the square dog), and just a joy to be around. AND she knows how to use power tools...always a plus when you don't have a man around the house:).

Then we have Kelley and Jennifer. Two of the most interesting and adventurous gals I know. They love the Lord and Live. Loud. Period. They strive to be the change they want to see in the world. I love that about them. They love people where they are at...I don't think I have ever heard a judgemental word come out of either one of them. I met Jennifer at the same ladies bible study that I met Deanna at. Kelley and I started attending MSC about the same time. I really can't recall how we met, but she is always sweet and funny and kind. I have links to their blogs...awesome reads...both of them. Smart, funny and Christ-centered . (oh...and both of these gals sing, too)( I so admire that...I sang in choir...not the praise band...and not likely to happen either)

Last, but certainly not least, is Kelly, my sister in law. She and I think so much alike so much of the time its almost scary. Kelly and I have been together and laughed...just hard that my sides hurt for days. OMW...the day of Trevor's birthday party...she and I in the bouncy house....laughed so hard we could not get up...could not get out...I was ruined for a week. I am so surprised that video did not turn up on Youtube or Funniest Home Videos.( thanks Matt) We just have so much fun. I love that I can tell her anything and she isn't going to judge me. I love that she and Chuck allow me to pick Trevor up from school one day a week. I missed so much of his early life because I lived so far away. It is such a blessing to me to have them in my life in such a huge way. And on top of all that, to be able to worship with them on a weekly basis in the same congregation...its just amazing. I just wish that my two sisters could be there every week as well.

I'm really not sure how I got so lucky to have such wonderful and amazing friends. I just hope that I am as good a friend to them as they are to me. They set the bar pretty high.

Love you All:).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aunt Joyce

At 3:30 this afternoon, My aunt Joyce went home to be with our Lord and Savior. I was there, at the hospital, in her room, holding her hand, when her soul left her earthly shell. At her side was her husband of 46 years, Norm, My mom (her sister), Aunt Susie (another sister), her son Bobby, and her granddaughter Theresa. This is not the first passing I have been witness to. It was the most beautiful. Norm held her face in his hands, and as we prayed and told her it was okay to go home to Jesus, he looked her in her vacant eyes and said " as much as I love you, sweet pea, Jesus loves you more, run to him". and she did.

Joyce was one of the most loving, accepting, and gracious people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She knew what it meant to love people where they are at, as Christ loves us. She was non-judgemental and forgiving. She served our Lord for as long as I can remember and the number of people that visited her during the short period of time that she was ill was a testament to that.

Norm and Joyce have raised 6 beautiful and loving children, Bobby, twins Maureen and Michelle, Jenny and twins Christine and David, as well as 2 grandchildren, Lauren and Zachary. They also have 12 more grandchildren, Tim, Tiffany, Theresa, Tina, Ramon, Brittney, Courtney, Tyler, Emily, Bradley, Megan, and Austin. They have 3 great grandchildren, Brandon, Orion and Addyson. One grandson, Ethan, went home to be with our Lord shortly after his birth. The love and closeness this family shares is also a testament to this couples love for each other and for our Heavenly Father.

Aunt Joyce was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday February 10, 2009 with a diagnosis of a possible slight stroke and they were treating her for pneumonia. On the following day an MRI was performed and a tumor was found encroaching on her spinal cord. It was diagnosed as cancer that same day and a radiation treatment was performed immediately. On Friday afternoon we were told that she likely had days to live and to have the family come. On Sunday, all of her children, grandchildren and living siblings were present at her bedside to say their goodbyes. (lots of nieces, nephews, inlaws and outlaws as well) On the following Wednesday she was changed to palliative care, all meds(with the exception of the ones for pain management) were discontinued, and only the family was allowed in her room. All in all, it was a total of 14 days from the date she was admitted to the hospital until the day she passed. Even though she was in agonizing physical pain, she did not complain or fuss. She did not cause drama or make any scenes. She ministered to us. She worried about us. She wanted to make sure WE were right with the Lord and raising our families to love Him as much as she did. That was her way. She was an amazing woman and she is my role model. Rest in Peace Aunt Jojo. Even though you will be gone from this world, you will never be far from our thoughts and never forgotten.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ABC's of My Favs....

Apple slices
Aqua Shine wax
Bath and Body Works
Clarks shoes
CSI Miami
David Letterman
D:Fi D:Struct hair spray
Eggo waffles
Family (everyone else I could not mention)
Goodwill Boutique
Gerbera Daisies
Greys Anatomy
German Chocolate Cake
Harry Connick Jr
Ice Cream (prailine pecan)
Janette Oke
James Patterson
Kenny Chesney
Matthew West
Mark Roach
Mexican Food
Max Lucado
Michael Buble'
Make up
New Balance Tennies
Numbers (as in digits)
Oscar the Grouch
Plain White Tees (the group)
Pink (singer and the color)
Private Practice
Patricia Cornwell
People magazine
Pravana color
Ralph Lauren Romance
Shi by Alfred Sung
Salvation Army Store
Sara Bareilles
Socks (all colors, textures and styles)
The "Brothers"
Terri Kay
Tax Law
Tom Cavanaugh
The Mentalist
TJ Maxx
The Fray
Uniforms (and the men in them)
Vases of flowers
Vavoom take me higher root lift
You Tube
Zoning out

Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Random Things About Me....

I posted this on Facebook and decide to follow my friend Deanna's lead and post it here as well.

1. I've found my parents are a lot smarter now that I'm 40 than I thought they were when I was 16.
2. Absolutely NOTHING is more important than family. (after God of course)
3. I do not own a car, home, or anything else that is a tangible sign of success, yet I have never been happier. I truly believe the more you have the more you want. Its enough that I have what I NEED!
4. I love all things pink:). Handbags, clothes, get the idea.
5. Baking is as intrinisic to my soul as being a child of God is. Its therapeutic for me. It is something I can start and finish and see the results of my efforts almost immediately.
6. I wll read just about anything. I Heart going to the library and once I find an author that intrigues me, I will read their entire collection of work. Jeanette Oke, Patricia Cornwell, James patterson, Robin Cook, Max Lucado, and Stephenie Meyer are among my Favs.
7. I lived on the campus of Ozark Christian College when I was in High School. I did not appreciate that advantage nearly as much then as I do now. I have had the opportunity to fellowship with some of the most prolific christian people in the world.
8. I am completely and utterly in love with my sons.(AKA The Brothers) I did not think it was possible to love anyone as much as I love them. (I still can't get over the fact that A.M. is a sophomore in HS and in Drivers Ed.)( Really, I'm too young for that)
9. If I had the opportunity to have a "do over" in life, there is very little I would do differently. Its all the stuff in life that I have been through that makes me, me.
10. I am a huge fan of PJ's. not so much of nighties.
11. I still sleep with the same blankie I have had since I was in 2nd grade and not the least bit ashamed of it. It reminds me of the suits Dad used to wear when I was little and would sit in church and rub the corners of his jacket tween my fingers. I really miss him:(.
12. I could seriously eat mexican food every day of the week! Chevys and Hacienda are my favs...El maguey and El Bra are close followers.
13. I cannot stand to eat jelly, cooked spinach, greens, or fish:). I am not real adventurous with trying new foods, unless I'm the one preparing it:). (could that be a control issue? hmmm...)
14. I love technology. Am completely and totally addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and blogging! (specially reading my friends blogs)
15. I have to have Diet Coke on a daily basis. I get the DT's really bad if I don't...its serious.
16. Music is essential. All genres (cept maybe not so much rap) Music takes me to places I've been, people I've known and where I want to be.
17. I want a man to love me, just as I am, warts and all, and treat me like a queen. Like I am the smartest, funniest, most beautiful person he knows. I want a man who loves Christ more than he loves me.
18. I have a very demented sense of humor...I find the funny in most things in life. Sometimes its probably not appropriate, but I jsut can't help it! Oh...and I cannot type the word jsut....
19. I have to participate in life. i can't jsut sit back and watch. Its who I am.
20. I am a fruitloop in a world of cheerios.
21. I used to model wedding gowns and formal attire when I was in jr high.
22. I feel more pretty now, at 40 , than I ever did at 20. I've grown into my skin and realized its way more about whats inside than what I look like outside.
23. My favorite song ever is "More" by Matt West. closely followed by "Something to Say" by the same.
24. The best concert I've ever been witness to is "Behold the Lamb of God" by Andrew Peterson and friends. Bar none the tops!
25. I've been kissed by David Coverdale of Whitesnake fame.
25.1. I am a child of God. Nothing in THIS world will ever top that:).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

blip fm

Check out the fun at blip fm. Interesting site. Say it with words and music:).