Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pink Eye...what has it taught me?

I woke up on Friday morning feeling like I had fallen asleep with my contacts still in my eyes, especially in my right eye. When I discovered that my contacts were indeed in their case, I thought that maybe I had scratched my eye somehow. I spent the rest of the day dealing with a watering eye and it becoming very sensitive to light.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I discovered I couldn't open my right eye. It was swollen shut. Lou suggested that I call the doctor. As you know we live in Germany now and things are much different here. I said "It's Saturday, there is no way the doctor is going to be in." Well, we called and Dr. Schmith himself answered the phone. I told him what was going on and he said to come on in the office. [It turns out he lives right about his office so he had a short commute.] He determined that I have pink eye. Gave me some drops, told me to rest and that it would take 3-5 days to get over.

I have discovered I'm quite a wimp when it comes to my health. I have been so fortunate to have good health. When I get mildly sick, I become very wimpy and complain a lot. As I was dealing with the fact that I couldn't see well, I was reminded that this is a VERY temporary thing. A inconvience of maybe 5 days! I began to think about my friends and family who have had to deal with much worse health issues and their attitude has been a true inspiration.

We have a dear colleague who has been fighting brain cancer for over a year. Lou has a professor whose wife has struggled with chronic illness most of their marriage. Our daughter has rheumatoid arthritis and has since she was almost 2. Yet, she doesn't let it slow her down much. We have a nephew who has partial blindness in one of his eyes. He is nine years old and has been dealing with this all of his life; I have clouded vision for two days and I am nothing but a whining mess. I have been convicted by the fact that I am quite a weak vessel. A mild thing like pink eye and I found myself full of self-pity. What is wrong with me!

As I have reflected on my friends and family these past few days, I have prayed for them. God has reminded me that I have a blessed life. Yes, it's had its ups and downs, but I'm blessed. I know our Cadence friends have struggled with the whys of her cancer; but we have seen them be honest with their emotions, rely on God and I have learned much from them this past year. They have been a true inspiration to me and many others.

I am very thankful that God has given me good health. I soon will enter my 50's, I hope that He will continue to bless me with good health. More importantly, may He continue to work on my character. I know there will be other things that I will walk through as I continue this journey of life. I want to be able to handle whatever crosses my path with honest emotions, with grace and strength. I know within a few days I will be able to see out of my eye, but I hope that I will see the bigger picture of what God has in store for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Joyful Christmas Season!

We have made it through another holiday season. It was a great time. We had fun serving at the Miskolc Orphanage. The kids taught us Silent Night in Hungarian; we make ornaments and cookies; we decorated the tree and opened up gifts. For some of these kids, this was the first Christmas gift that they ever received!
We followed our trip with a busy Christmas weekend and we might add snowy! Unfortunately, we had so much snow and ice that our Christmas Eve service was cancelled. It's the first time since we have been married that we have not been able to worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve.

We spent Christmas morning with the singles in our ministry. Folks came over for pancakes & presents. We opened presents, ate pancakes & other yummy breakfast fixins! We watched - what we were told would soon to be a Christmas classic - Elf. [Yet we still think It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street are still the winners!]

We ended our day with a traditional Christmas dinner with about 60 folks. Turkey, ham and all the yummy sides and desserts were available for people to enjoy.

We enjoyed a fun time with our Cadence colleagues. We had a party a few days after Christmas. We spent time playing games, eating some amazing food and enjoy the company. We had people from Cadence House ministries, along with Cadence Student ministires. Can you tell which people might be associated with youth? Needless to say, we had a great Christmas season! Despite Bailey's desire to nap after all of the activity; we feel blessed to have so many dear friends here in Germany!