Saturday, November 8, 2008


I had an adrenalin rush this morning. My hair was still wet from my shower and as I turned on the hair dryer I heard a loud "pop!" I can't tell you what fraction of a second it took me to turn off the hair dryer but it was off! "What was that?" Karl could only answer that it had to be the hair dryer. I waited for my heart to beat normally again. I know what is going on, a dysfunctional electrical appliance and wet hair, not a good combination although I'm still holding it in my hand. Finally I turn it back on and everything is normal. But it's not on for long.
It's the smell that stops me. You're probably thinking my nostrils were being assaulted by that horrible burning electrical smell, but you're wrong. It was an intense smell, but pleasant. It stopped me almost as quickly as the loud pop had, but without the adrenalin and near panic that I was about to electrocute myself. "It wasn't the hair dryer." I know I had Karl curious now.
He noticed the smell too and felt badly that the cord of my hair dryer had knocked over one of those frosted glass bottles of perfume that had been given to me as a gift from a family member. As I carefully cleaned up the glass of my Melaleuca "Mystique" bottle, Karl brought me a towel to soak up the perfume that had pooled on the sink counter.
As I finished cleaning up the mess, I realized what had captured my attention first, the loud sound. It was a little scary as I wasn't sure what it was from. The smell was the next thing I noticed and it filled the room and eased my fears about what had caused the noise. Now I knew I wouldn't electrocute myself. Instantly my mind was taken to a home in Israel when a woman who had been given another chance at life broke a perfume bottle. As the sweet scent filled the air it was an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
I also remembered the song "Broken and Spilled Out" recorded by Steve Green. As the last of the perfume liquid was mopped up with the towel, I found myself praying that I would be willing to be broken and spilled out for Jesus and that my life would bring a pleasant aroma to others.

musings and cogitations

Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm liking my new job. There are certainly some things that are different from where I used to work, but most things are very similar, just a little rearranged at times. I did get a surprise today. One of the office personnel I had filled in for previously when I was a floater came by my new office with a gift. Everyone at their office had signed a card for me and they gave me two pair of "Socks to Stay Home In."
I'm wondering why I don't have a pair on right now, but then I would probably fall asleep and not finish writing this little post. It is nice to be appreciated. It is nice to read all of the nice comments from the people in that office, even the doctor.
Now that the work week is over and I'm enjoying the blessings of a relaxing Friday evening; I'm so grateful for all God has done. I've listened to my daughter trying to learn a new song (a hymn from my hymnal), the children laughing and even saying "ick" when they saw Karl and I kissing (doesn't stop us though). God is good and I'm glad He built in special time each week for us to soak in His goodness and just be thankful.
musings and cogitations

Friday, October 17, 2008

Endless Summer

I can't believe I let two months go by without posting even once! Shame on me. I won't bore you with the details, but this was the summer my body fell apart. I heard from a coworker that it happens to most people, that they have one bad year. Well, this was my year. In addition to the arm injury, I ended up having a surgery and another ordeal as well. I'm thankful summer is finally over.

The last straw: I got transferred to a different department at work, that was being laid off. I told God I didn't know how much more I could take. His promise is that we will not have any more than we can handle, and that promise was kept. Today, I accepted an offer for a new job. I'm grateful for the Lord's providence. My two weeks notice would be about the time that the layoff would be final and my new employer needs me sooner than that. So, my current boss was kind enough to accept a one week notice. God blesses!

Through all of my ordeals this summer, I've had opportunities to share how God was with me despite everything. Some of those opportunities I just plain screwed up. There were others where I was able to keep my focus on Jesus and share how He was getting me through. It's been a long hard journey and it's still not over yet.

Music is still a comfort for me. I listened to a favorite song today, shockingly it is in Latin. Usually I despise music with words I can't understand. However, it's in English also so I guess that makes the difference. As I listened to this song and the building of the orchestration as the vocalist prepares for the "big finish" I find myself wanting to praise the Lord more than ever before. Even though I've had a horrible summer, I see others with so much hurt, despair and loneliness. These health struggles are temporary (please God), but the things I see in others are for life and they are so painful. I praise the Lord that He wants us to have an abundant life. God has been good to me. Non Nobis Domine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inventory and Standards

While I'm off work for a couple of weeks, I'm getting some stuff done. Don't worry, I'm also taking care of myself. I rest often, especially after doing my physical therapy exercises. Hopefully I can do them soon and they won't hurt or agitate my injury anymore. It's a long process, that's for sure.

One of the objectives I have tackled is cleaning out the kids' closets in preparation for school. This is how it went last year - with two boys going to school. We made sure they had plenty of pants of whatever colors that fit well and had no holes. We removed all shirts that had writing/inappropriate pictures or logos (did you know an old Bible School logo is inappropriate?) and hung them in the boys' closet. They could wear these on the weekends or when school was out. The clean and approved shirts were put in their drawers to make it easy for them to get to each day.

Things are a little different this year. Now we have all three children to prepare for school and the rules have changed. Blue jeans, jean shorts and khaki pants are allowed on the bottoms and on the tops - polo style shirts, without pattern or color limits as long as they don't have writing or inappropriate logos (I suppose they have to allow the little insignias because there are very few polo style shirts without them). We removed a majority of the shirts from the boys' closet and drawers, because even the shirts passable last year with no writing were no longer good because they weren't polo style. Of course they kept some of their favorites, but Goodwill is getting a nice little donation this week.

Greta's wardrobe was the worst. I had to dig through her size six clothes to find a single pair of blue jeans she could wear. Most of her jean shorts are too short for school. She had not one single polo style shirt in her drawers or closet. Alas, we shall be doing the inevitable back to school shopping, especially where Greta is concerned. Greta still has a closet full of dresses for church and fun shirts to wear (thank you to our friends who share their still good clothing), and now we'll get to add to it a little bit of khaki and polo.

What I found interesting is that last year, when it was just shirts with writing, we kept many shirts out for the boys that had some of their favorite slogans/designs on them. The boys both love flight stuff and air force things so all of those aerospace things stayed. There were also many others that stayed and stayed and stayed in the closet, never to be worn, but we kept them.

This year, with an even higher standard to attain for school clothing, it was a lot easier to get rid of those shirts that were never worn last year. Some of the aerospace stuff still remained, but the boys also realized there were things they just didn't need; because there just weren't enough "non school" days to wear them.

This afternoon, after piling up three bags of donation clothes (one of which was nearly full of Michael's blue jeans that he outgrew this summer - still in great shape with no holes in the knees or even wear marks - doesn't it make you sick), I found myself contemplating the difference. As the school uniform standards were raised, I realized there was less and less that met that standard. I began to think about God's standards. They're always there and never change, but in His mercy we aren't always hit with everything at once. As we grow in Christ, we realize how high God's standards are and each year we realize there are more things to weed out as we seek to meet those standards.

As we cling to some things we know don't meet those standards at all, saving them for "off days," I believe we come to the realization as we get closer to God that there are less and less of those "off days." Just some random thoughts from a mom getting her kids ready for school.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Six Months to a Year - a Different Kind of Sentence

I'll admit that when I hear things like six months to a year, it makes me think of prison sentences. In a way, this is.

My six months to a year is the recovery time for my arm. It still boggles my mind that I bump my arm on a door jam and my life changes so much. My left arm is starting to be painful at times now, because I'm using it much more than normal. It's kind of like when your shoulders hurt because you've been on crutches. Because I'm using my left arm so much, the muscles actually ache at times. But we'll make it through.

The good news is that the nerve I traumatized, the radial nerve, doesn't require surgery for healing. I'll need physical therapy, possibly a TENS unit (oh joy, more electrical shocks going through my body) and medications specific to nerve pain and two weeks off of work to get it all going. Whew!!

Six months to a year seems like a long time, but I'm praying that if I follow instructions and take care of myself in all ways I know how to, that the healing will be even faster. I know there are many others praying and I'm grateful.

In all of this, there are many reasons to praise God. First of all, I didn't break any bones. Secondly, God has sustained me through having one bad arm and being the back up for all the other office employees who are going on their summer vacations. A friend was able to get me a quicker appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and I was able to get the EMG (Electromyogram) done before Dr. B. went on vacation for the summer. Some people were afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep working the rest of the day after the EMG and all of the electrical shocks and needle readings, but again, God sustained me.

One problem with a long recovery is that people forget I have a bad arm. Someone patted me a church, FIRMLY on my right arm and I about hit the ceiling. Then my daughter doesn't quite get it either. Even my sister forgot and meant to give me a sisterly tweak and did it on my right arm. She felt so bad and I asked her if this made up for all the times when she had a broken toe when we were little and I kept running through the house and squishing her sore toe.

We had a good laugh over the toe story, but in the end, I'm glad Susan didn't keep score and try to pay me back. I'm also glad that God doesn't keep score in order to "pay us back." I suppose I'll learn a lot about God's ways over the next six months. I pray I'll be open to His leadings and let this experience mold me more into the person He would have me to be.

Friday, June 13, 2008


It's kind of hard to post when you can't type. Well, actually I could use my left hand. In fact, I've been using my left hand a lot. Here's how it happened.

Two weeks ago, I was putting something away in my linen closet, certainly not one of the most dangerous jobs ever. As I was putting towels away, I bumped my arm on the door jam. So what? People stub their toes all the time. People "bonk" their elbows on a regular basis. Not me, no I had to do it to the max. I hit the elbow area (not exactly on the elbow itself) on the door jam and the pain shot all the way down my arm and through my wrist and to my fingers and thumb. I thought my thumb was going to explode the pain was so bad. Thinking that this would go away like all the other bumped elbows and stubbed toes, I just tried to deal with the pain I knew would be temporary.

When the pain lasted through the night and all the next day, leaving me unable to use my right hand and arm for anything (and yes, I'm right handed), I ended up going to the emergency room. X-rays revealed I had broken no bones, but the fact that my right hand was swollen almost twice the size of my left hand, as well as swelling all up and down my arm and the fact that my fingers were so stiff I could barely move them, obviously meant that I had bruised a nerve. My ER discharge papers said to follow up with my doctor in about four days if it wasn't better. They gave me a sling to wear and some pain medication. This was over the weekend. By Thursday, I'm still in a sling and have learned to adjust to using only my left hand. I can use the mouse on the computer and even check patients in and out without using my right hand. I typed notes on the computer with my left hand only and skipped anything with writing. That was a challenge to say the least.

I saw my doctor and he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. I'm still experiencing shooting pains in my hand and my thumb is in excruciating pain, so much so that I'm crying during lunch. My appointment that afternoon left me crying all the more. The doctor said I was fine, I just need time to heal and I have to work through the pain and live on pain pills for two more weeks - no sling. I have to force myself to endure the pain of using my right hand. It has been a miserable few days. Typing hurts, but I do it. Writing is nearly unbearable, but I do it. putting charts away in the office leaves me shaking my hand to get rid of the sudden pains. I still have no real power in my right hand. It hurts to use the stapler, too much to bear. So I staple still with my left hand, as well as use it for all heavy lifting/pressure activities. My right hand has become the supplemental hand, letting the left hand bear the load.

My friend and I who carpool to work and back were discussing the whole mess. She exclaimed what many others have done - what a freak accident. None of my coworkers had ever heard of someone bruising a nerve to the extent that I had. It was entirely a freak accident. I told my friend that could mean only one thing - I'm a freak!

Despite the pain and frustrations, there have been many blessings. Karl has done so much to pick up the slack with me unable to do all I had done before. Many of my coworkers were more than willing to write a few things for me when I needed it done. One of the guys at the cafeteria was worried about me because they had run out of trays and I was trying to carry my plate full of food on a flimsy styrofoam plate. He made sure I had been taken care of and didn't have any problems.

Tomorrow, June 14th, is a special day. Karl and I celebrate 17 years of marriage tomorrow. I'd rather have no pain and normal use of my right hand, but I suppose this is what the vows mean when it comes to sickness and health; for better or for worse. I'm blessed with a wonderful husband who has done everything he can to ease my pain and assist me in any way possible. That is certainly something to celebrate!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Black Beauty

We watched a movie recently, Black Beauty. Through the story of this horse, you can learn many lessons. I like (is like really the correct word in this situation?) the line about how much pain the horses go through by learning to pull a cab with their heads high - all for the sake of fashion. It seems we humans aren't content to make ourselves miserable for the sake of fashion, we extend it to animals as well. I could go on about dog breeding and various other things about animals - for the sake of fashion - but I won't.

Near the end of the movie, when the emaciated horse is desperately trying to neigh and whinnie to get the attention of his former stable boy, Joe, I felt a lump in my throat. The final moments of the movie are with the horse in recuperation, with a promise that he'll never be sold again. I can be emotional at times, but what I didn't expect was 6 year old Matthew to come climbing into my lap after the movie was over, sniffling. Eventually, as he tried to get comfortable, he broke into full sobbing. His question to me was why would people be so mean to a horse?

I talked to Matthew about selfishness and greed. I explained that it wasn't uncommon at the time represented in that movie for owners to try to get the most they could out of their animal for the least effort and expense. I think Matthew was most struck by the skin and bones Ginger, barely able to function, shortly followed by her body being taken out. Seeing Black Beauty in the same condition was probably too much for little Matthew.

A beautiful part of the whole incident was explaining to Matthew that there are people who want to make a difference and care for mistreated and abused animals. I reminded him of the time that we cared for a Great Pyrenees that friends of ours had rescued. They had been working with her for some time and we worked with her as well, to show her love and acceptance and kindness. Matthew and Tilly bonded instantly. He still remembers her fondly. The children knew from the beginning that we were only watching the dog for a few months while our friends were out of the country, but it was still hard to see her go. What made the whole experience so sweet, was knowing that we had made a difference for that dog, helping her to trust people again.

I am just so thankful that my son has a heart tender toward God's creatures. I had no idea the movie would have the impact on him that it did, but I'm glad that he knows now that animals need to be cared for lovingly.

Since people can often treat each other in a rather inhumane way. I wonder if Matthew would cry and ask - why would people be so mean to other people? Would the answers be the same - selfishness and greed?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Graduate

Matthew has his diploma now. It's official, he's no longer in kindergarten. He's already been reading 1st grade level books, so he'll be thrilled to be in 1st grade in the fall. He'll also be totally happy with the fact that he won't be required to take a nap anymore.

Yep, of all the wonderful things about kindergarten, Matthew hated nap time. He tried playing possum a few times and teaching his best friend to do the same. He had teachers at school, but during nap time, he referred to them as guards. Evidently nap time was more of a prison than a rest for him.

Perhaps some day he'll be wishing he could still have nap time. We'll remind him of kindergarten and the guards.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Too Many Rocks

You haven't heard from me for a little while because we've been very busy with a two week series we did here at our church recently. The series was called What Did Jesus Do? So many people say what would Jesus do that we decided it was time to look at what He actually did to give us some guidelines.

I was doing a children's program on the same topics. The kids were great! On the night that we talked about what Jesus did - bearing our sins, I gave the children a rock. Actually, it started with a question - "How many of you have every disobeyed your parents?" Bless those children, they were so honest and all raised their hands. Funny, they weren't ashamed to admit their mistakes like adults often are. So, each child who raised their hand got a rock. Next I asked about hitting a brother or sister or telling a lie.

At first, the kids thought it was fun, until the rocks kept coming. Finally one of the children began to complain that they couldn't hold any more rock. They asked if the rocks could go somewhere else. I explained to the children that our sins have to go somewhere, but they can't just be thrown out. On the floor nearby, we had an area taped off with masking tape in the shape of a cross. I told the children the only other place they could put their rocks was on the cross. Some of the big kids got all their rocks in one trip, some of the littler ones had to take more than one trip, just like many of us find ourselves going back again to the cross asking for forgiveness.

The end of the program was the best, because I asked how many of the kids wanted to tell Jesus they were sorry for their sins and let Him take them away. Nearly every child raised their hand. Wow!

Though it was an incredible blessing to be with the children, it was also very exhausting as I was still going to work everyday as well and trying to come home and feed the family and get to the program. God answered many prayers though, including making sure that I got home on time each night. There have been times when I didn't get home until 7pm, even though I get off at 5pm. Such is the situation with medical work though. So, it was a tremendous blessing that each evening, I had no problems getting home on time and to the programs. God is good!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm in a floating situation right now. Wherever there is a need, that is where Sharon is sent. So far, I've worked in pediatrics, internal medicine, wound care, urology and soon an ENT office. It's definitely been an interesting experience and quite fun.

I suppose I'll get tired of the wandering around after a while and it will be about then that they'll find a permanent home for me. I've noticed several things the past two and half weeks. For instance, not every office is the same and not every doctor is the same. The doctor/nurse/officer coordinator relationship is different in each office. In some offices, I do it all and in others the nurse does it all and in still others, it's a well oiled machine, where the doctors, nurses and office staff all work together almost as if they can read each others' minds.

One doctor asked me today if I liked working in urology; if it was okay or not. I told him it was actually very interesting and it's not so much the field of medicine as it is the atmosphere of the office. I've been greatly blessed to be in some very healing and healthy offices. At the pediatrics office (maybe there is a clue here) several of the staff members went to the playground for lunch. We got our meals from the cafeteria and took it to the park. We ate, let it settle for a bit while we went one lap on the walking/jogging track (yes we only walked) and then we played our little hearts out. I really needed that, more than I could ever explain. Pediatrics is a busy and fast paced office, but it's doable because of the fun and friendliness of the staff.

It's also been interesting to see the needs for prayer. People are hurting everywhere, from the patients to the staff members. I pray that God can use me to bring some sunshine and to cheer up someone who is going through a rough time, because I've been there.

I guess that's why the book of Hebrews makes the point over and over again that Jesus became human in order that we might be understood and saved. He's been here and He knows how to help us.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm Back!

Frustration doesn't even begin to describe what I've been through trying to put a new post on my blog. There were problems with passwords, requirements that you now have to use a google account for blogger and all sorts of things. Finally, it's back!

In the process, I've changed my passwords so many times in attempts to reset it and gain access to my own blog, that I couldn't keep up with what my newest password was. It didn't matter anyway because nothing worked for a long time.

It must be bugs. The requirement was that you have a google account in order to be on blogger. Now mind you, my blog is still associated with my yahoo mail account and that is still part of my sign on. Makes no sense, but oh well, that's blogger and google and their mess. Whenever there is a new directive, it seems that there are also things that weren't thought of beforehand and it takes a while to work out all the "bugs" in a new system.

I'm glad that Jesus' directive is a lot more simple. Go. Go into all the world, starting in your own neighborhood and I'll be with you ever step of the way. That's better than any help desk from google, blooger or any other cyberspace entity!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Retreat. Wow! Not the fall back in the face of the enemy kind, but the come apart and rest a while kind.

I'm grateful for the retreat for the pastors' wives in Texas. Not just because it was at the Crowne Plaza and we were treated like royalty, but because we were blessed in so many ways and there were many opportunities to mentor and be mentored.

I enjoyed the weekend so much and almost felt guilty for such a wonderful retreat. Then, one of our church members put it into perspective. "Karl gets paid for what he does."

There are many things a pastor's wife does, and often without pay or anybody even knowing. So, I suppose a weekend retreat to be refreshed and encouraged is a good thing. It certainly is Jesus' words in action "Come apart and rest a while."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big piece of pie

Today was a day to eat a big piece of humble pie!

I went off to work without my keys. Not my car keys, because I carpool with someone and I usually don't have to worry about that. No, I left behind my keys to get into the office itself and other things in the office. Joy!

Thankfully, someone from maintenance was able to let me in and my sweet husband found my keys at home and brought them to me after he dropped the kids off at school. I'm so glad that I can make a simple mistake like this and not be preparing for the backlash of being zapped by a lightning bolt or something of the sort.

True, God doesn't want us to have any problems, even making mistakes, but He doesn't sit up in heaven just waiting for us to screw up so He can point our our faults either. I am thankful that God gave me a peaceful spirit about it all. After all, I could have tried to blame it on someone else or just made up my mind that today was going to be a terrible day. Instead, God asked me to be willing to eat Humble Pie and then be thankful that the world is still rotating on its axis, even if I did run off without my keys.

Then there is that issue of promising a sermon was available and it wasn't. Hmmm. Maybe God's trying to tell me something there too!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Great I Am

I asked Karl about his sermon, and he said we can email it, since it was recorded. So, if you would like to hear the sermon on the Great I Am, just email me and let me know. I'll send it your way.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Our memory verse for our study on Gender and Discipleship was Luke 1:38 where Mary says yes to God's plan.

I heard one commentator say that they thought Mary wasn't really a disciple. After all, it was obvious that a woman was needed to give birth, so what's the big deal. There are other women to study who were truly disciples.

Well, my thoughts are that those people have really missed the point! The answer is an Mary's own words. "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be unto me according to your word." Let's see if we can put it in a way that is a little more understandable for 2008. "God, when you look at me, see a willing servant. Whatever your will is, that's what I'll do."

Is that not the true essence of discipleship? Sorry to disagree with the good folks at Pine Knoll, but it doesn't get any simpler than this. When was the last time you asked Jesus to look at you as a willing servant?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pear Tree

For worship this evening, Karl asked everyone what was something they were looking forward to about heaven. Since we were at the home of friends who invited other friends as well, we had lots of children to participate. We got amazing answers such as riding on an orca and climbing through the city.

Matthew said he wanted a pear tree of his very own. He loves pears. He devours them! It reminds me of a time I met a neighbor at the grocery store months ago, when we still lived in Arkansas. She was preparing to have her grandchildren visit and she said she was struggling to find foods that she could put on the table without guilt and still be something her grandchildren will eat. I mentioned that as soon as I cut into a pear, my kids come running. Her comment was that my children were raised to enjoy good food.

I nearly laughed, because my kids love pizza and mac and cheese and snack cakes like other kids do, but they have also learned to appreciate the lovely foods that nature has provided. I've heard before that you don't eat what you like, but you learn to like what you have to eat.

Jesus said those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are going to be really blessed because they will get filled up. How hungry are you? Have you tasted lately of the Lord to see that He is good?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Was Am or Will Be?

Karl's sermon today was about where God is today in our lives. Do we see Him as the great "I was" as Gideon did when the angel first appeared to him? Gideon even asks why aren't we seeing the miracles that our fathers have always told us about? This is of course after Gideon is hiding in the winepress to thresh his wheat so the Midianites won't take it and the angel greets him and says Yo, valiant warrior! God does have a sense of humor.
Then there is the story of Mary and Martha. Their brother is dead, but Jesus could have changed that if only He had been there. Now they're talking to Him and they say yeah yeah yeah, we believe in the future. They believed in the "Great Will Be" God, not fully comprehending that Jesus, in their midst could fulfill all things at that moment.
So today, I take my husband's challenge to consider my thoughts and actions (because thoughts lead to actions) about Who God is. Do I seem God as the Great I was? The Great I will be? Well, He was awesome in the past and He will do awesome things in the future, so there's nothing wrong with that, but am I allowing Him to be the Great I AM in my life right now? God is still working miracles, we see them all around us if we'd just take the time to look. So, I'm choosing to believe in the Great I Am. God is present tense with me and I want to be a willing servant and watch the miracles happen!