Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ties that Bind in the Year-End Hodgepodge

 Here we are, folks, at the last Hodgepodge of 2015 on the penultimate day of the year. (Not only do I have a penchant for pens, I have a penchant for the word "penultimate".) 

Anyway, big shout out to our hostess, Joyce, who has kept rolling out the questions each week, give or take a holiday ,as the calendar pages have kept flipping faster than a trout on a fishing line.

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.

For sentimental reasons, I loved having all my kids together for Christmas Eve service at my sons' church. 

For funny reasons, my favorite memory was during the gift exchange. My little niece was here and I was eager to see her open the pair of winter boots and some Hello Kitty slippers (which she calls "spurs") that I bought for her.  My sister has trained her, by example, to say "ooooooh!" (very sing-songy) when the present is opened. Well, Jordan would start with the "oooooh!" as soon as she ripped the first piece of wrapping paper off.  It's quite the hilarious build-up coming from a 2 and 1/2 year old.  

Then, the very second she saw her new pink and purple boots, she started peeling off her dress shoes. Then she grabbed out the first boot, tried to put it on, then looked up at me and asked, "Hee-ulp?" (Help?) That little Midwestern drawl that she has picked up from my sister and my mom is just too cute.  I  gave her hee-ulp with the left boot and then she wanted hee-ulp with the right boot. As soon as her boots were zipped up, she exclaimed, "Walk!" then got up and started her sporting the new boots.  Lacy, frilly Christmas dress and all. 


2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?

Genre: Non-fiction, inspirational
Title:  When Grown Children Pastor their Parents: A Story of the Healing of a Marriage and Family by the Grace of God

We celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary by going away on the 27th and 28th (the latter being our actual Day)  and it felt really, really special.  It's like I can't get enough of my man these days. He pretends not to like so much attention, but we know better. (Wink, wink.) We went to St. Michael's, Maryland--a quaint, fishing town on the Eastern Shore. (I found out while visiting that The Wedding Crashers movie was filmed there.)
Monday evening we ate the Harbor Tavern, al fresco, by the fireplace. Yes, we'd had 68 degrees during the day and the night air was comfortable with this romantic fire so close.  I was having a bad hair day, but --oh well. Does it matter when you're in love? (Hubby hates selfies, so I have to catch him in the first three tries or he's done.)

3. What made you feel patriotic this year?

Seeing men and women in uniform. Still proud to serve their country. Still sacrificing for freedom. Almost every time I see someone in fatigues when I'm out and about, I'll make the effort to shake their hand and thank them for their service. 

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?

Visit my sister in Kentucky.  And not just because she has turned a log cabin into the coziest, warmest, most beautiful home in the middle of lush, green countryside with horses grazing. (And she did it herself while facing an impending divorce.)  But I'd do it all over for the closeness we now have as sisters that was lacking before on a spiritual level.  She and I could never talk together about the Lord and things of God because she was calloused toward Him. My depression interfered with experiencing the fullness of His love, too. However, we both had personal transformations that drew us back to God and, as a result, to each other. Suddenly we were encouraging each other with scripture and devotional passages. We were connecting at a heart level as never before. What we have in common is not just our parents and siblings anymore. 

Spending time with her, seeing her joy despite the incredible betrayal and anger and extreme sadness caused by her ex, was exactly what she and I needed this past summer. 

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll, 
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?

First half, 5.  Second half 10.  So let's meet halfway and call it  a 7.5.

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?

Well, right now, as I write this, my husband is six days away from a major heart surgery. I am at peace, but it makes one think harder as never before, about life and death, life after death, life after an extreme operation. So to think about being "excited" in the new year is relative.  

I have been praying for a grandchild, and while there has been no announcement, I am in faith that 2016 will bring either a baby or the glad waiting during pregnancy. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

All I ask is for prayer for my dear husband and our family for next Tuesday and following. It's sure to be a difficult road to recovery, but this surgery is meant to prevent a ruptured aorta. He'll be operated on by one of the top three cardiac surgeons in the world and is ultimately in the Best Hands --those of the Great Physician. 


Marla said...

I am secretly praying for a grandchild in 2016 too! At least the announcement of one arriving in 2017 would sure be nice!! Sending another prayer out - for your husband's upcoming surgery. May the surgeons be successful, and may your husband's recovery be quick and painfree. Amen

Cathy said...

Praying for your husband's healing through this surgery and thanking God for bringing you and your sister back closer to Him. That is so awesome!! God is so very good.

Love the song you picked..."It Is Well With My Soul" Such beautiful words...and it truly is well with my soul!

Happy New Year!

Wendy said...

I hope all goes well with your hubby's surgery and that he makes a speedy recovery so you can get on with enjoying 2016.

Paula Kaye said...

I will say a prayer for your husband and for God to guide the hands of the doctor. I will pray that you will not have much anxiety!! Here's to a Happy New Year to you and yours!!

Mary said...

Will be praying for your husband and for the doctor performing surgery.
Your sister is one brave woman! What an inspiration!

Lea said...

There was just a whole lot of sweetness in this post, especially in #4. So thankful for the restoration of you and your sister's relationship. And, didn't know about your husband's surgery this next Tuesday. I will certainly be praying for him and for you as you wait during the surgery and care for him afterwards. Blessings abundant

Joyce said...

I will also be praying for your husband and the surgeons snd you too. I'm so glad you had a little anniversary get away. St Michaels is s romantic spot. Wishing you good health and a grand baby in the new year!

Preeti Harris said...

Sending hugs and best wishes to you for the new year.
Best wishes and prayers for the upcoming surgery.