Thursday, March 26, 2009

When Your Hut's On Fire

Our family and most of our friends know what my family has been through over the past year and a half. Bryan lost his business of about twenty years that he had put his sweat and blood into. This was very hurtful for him to have to "let go" employees that were loyal and faithful, and just good people. And, to be honest, they were family to Bryan. He has told me a couple of times that going to his shop and seeing the empty building almost makes him cry. He always thought that HE would decide when it was time to close the doors. But, the economy and the death of the building business decided for him that it was time to close the doors. So, we have had to accept this and try to move forward.

One day I was scanning through Craigs List and I ran across an interesting post in the "wanted" category. A gentleman had posted that he wanted anyone who was struggling with losing their material possessions to contact him. He just felt a need to share his story. He said he had never posted anything like this before, and I have never seen it since (even though I haven't really been looking for it). I thought "oh, great, this must surely be some kind of perverted weirdo, right?" But, I sent him an email and told him briefly about what was going on with my family, and he responded back with his story of loss. He (Mr. Dagel) was very encouraging and told us to walk away from it as quickly as possible and to get refocused on what God has planned for us. And, he sent me this little story that I have read several times over the past months when I needed to be reminded that God is in control.

When Your Hut's On Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day, he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?" Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his 20 rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart because God is at work in our lives - even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

You never know who feels as if their hut is on fire today.

I will probably post more later about Mr. Dagel's words of wisdom.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time Change

The time change has been an adjustment this week. Isn't there something wrong with dropping your kids off at school when there is a big gigantic moon in the sky? The full moon has been beautiful, but it feels like the middle of the night when Hadrian goes to school in the mornings. She gets to school at 7 a.m. (if we are doing really well) - usually a few minutes later. It has been kind of funny watching the kids go into the school building this week. Most of them are literally sprinting so they won't be late. I think a lot of people might be having a hard time adjusting to the dark mornings!

Speaking of school and Hadrian, I must share about a wonderful award that Hadrian received last week. She was picked by the staff at Grayson High School to be the Sophomore Ram of the Month for February. I was pretty impressed since there are 861 sophomores to pick from! They pick 8 kids during the year - one for each month from September through April.

One of the reasons Hadrian was honored is because she made it to the state level of competition for the Governors Honors Program. We were so surprised that she made it past the regional level for GHP becasue there are SO many kids from Gwinnett County! One hundred kids were chosen to be interviewed at the state level, and they are picking only 14 of those kids in Hadrian's subject area of Business Management. Apparently, it is a big deal to advance this far as a Sophomore. Juniors are usually chosen for these slots. Hadrian has not heard if she made it through to the summer GHP program, but we are not really expecting it because she is just a 10th grader. But, we still are very, very, proud of our little princess!

There was an award ceremony at the school which I attended. I had to lie to Hadrian about why she was staying after school because they want the kids to be surprised. And, boy was she! She had no idea what was going on! And, now her picture will be plastered on the wall in the foyer of the school for her Respected Ram Award! : ) How embarrassing, huh?

One other note: Our Grayson Lady Rams varsity soccer team is undefeated this season! That may change after next week due to facing our two toughest opponents, but we are enjoying the season so far! Hadrian has been playing very well.

Speaking of proud, I have to mention how proud I am of Haley and Hannah and how hard they are working in school. They both are SO tired and SO ready to finish the semester, but they keep pushing forward! Hannah had spring break last week, and Haley has spring break this week. Maybe the short breaks will be enough for them to make it the rest of the way!

Well, I better go to bed since I have to wake up in the middle of the night to drive Hadrian in the morning! : )

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rejoining the Living

Today is the first day in over three weeks that I have actually eaten food without being in severe pain or getting sick! Thank you, Jesus! Bryan brought me breakfast in bed this morning. He made me a pancake and a slice of bacon in hopes that I could actually eat today. It was delicious and I ate every bite. And, then I ate some pasta for dinner. Maybe I am finally getting better. This has been a very long three weeks - the sickest I have ever been with my Crohn's Disease. But, I know people have been praying for me to feel better, and today has been a turning point. Thank you very much for caring! I honestly feel like I have just rejoined the living.

I have had no cokes during this time - maybe it would be a good time to give these up permanently. : ( And, I have learned to like gatorade. I never drank it before I was sick, but I have had it every day since. I think it has saved me.

And, today was the most wonderful snow day! We just sat and watched the beautiful snow fall. The snow flakes were as big as goose feathers! This was the perfect snow. Fluffy and gorgeous, but gone in a day! I love to see one snow fall each winter, and then I am ready to move on to spring. I am thankful for the enjoyment my family received today from having snow! Haley even had snow all the way down in Warner Robins! She was so excited! But, Hannah totally missed it because she is in Florida for spring break. She is probably not really caring that she missed the snow since she is on the beach.

Today was a great day - feeling better and snow all in the same day. And, we had movie night at home tonight. Bryan, Hadrian, and I watched the Holiday. This was the first time we have seen it, and we enjoyed it.

Optimistic for better days this week . . .