more than enough

Most write birthday letters to their friends. This year, I am writing my own birthday letter to God in overwhelming gratitude. My heart is overflowing more than these words can possibly convey. Here is my best attempt:

Some countries count your age from the day you are born as one, and others like ours make you live a year before you count it. So, as I say I am 48 this last Saturday, I am saying God has graced me with 48 years already and I am almost a week into my 49th year. From a very early age, I knew each year was a gift. Because I have lost several people in my life way too young in my own arrogant estimation, I know well having those you love around you is a blessing.

I can’t for the life of me figure why God chose to bless me the way He has with a husband who still doesn’t know that I am not a queen after 29 years together; with grown children who still respect me even when the only reason they have to is because God commands it; for the best friends in the world who not only love me and listen to my endless ramblings, but put up with me like they even like me a lot. I have an adorable eclectic and most loving extended family whom I cherish, and who loves me, despite myself. And the list would be remiss without mentioning my faithful dog who sits even now at my feet and lives to please me. And the list really is complete without mentioning the closet kitty, though he is endeared to me in his own gastronomic way. I don’t know any other way to say it. God pours out His love to me in an outrageous way.

Some of you knew that Angie got to come to Houston for a visit. What she didn’t know was that it was party week at our house, so we went from one celebration to another, with a lot of down time in between. Just as you might imagine, she is one special woman. What you might not know about her is that she is as beautiful outside as in. There is nothing more endearing than meeting a heart first, then getting to know the rest of that person. Angie is the real deal—authentic through and through, with a love for her Lord, for laughter and joy, and a propensity to go to the deep stuff—though she can talk about lip gloss and shopping and Kevin the masseur with much exuberance as well. On Tuesday, my small circle of best friends took me to lunch before Bible study and it was such a joy. The highlight of my visit with Angie was to worship together at Bible study. There is nothing like singing and worshipping with this group of dear friends. I kept thinking of Simeon in the temple. “For now my eyes have seen Your salvation.” Each of these women, friends I count as best, have shown me the light of Christ Jesus. All I know for certain is I am one blessed woman.

Just as Simeon said, “Now your servant can die in peace,” if I did not have another day on this earth, I could die feeling my life was most rich and full as I recount the love and the joy I have known through these friends, this family, this life of 48+ years. Though I am not planning on going anywhere soon, whatever lies ahead in this life, should God decide to grant me more years, is what Cajun Louisiana people call lagniappe—a little something extra. Because what I have known already has been more than enough. And it blows me away to know eternity will be even better.


retreat – part 2

Well, time for another “retreat.” It’s hunting season, so it’s really hard for the cat to say anything about mice playing.

It’s supposed to get down in the fifties tonight with a high in the eighties both Friday and Saturday. Can anybody say, “Is it Friday yet?” I am so ready to laugh, to relax, and to be with my dear friends.

We’re headed to San Antonio to see “Menopause – the Musical“, recommended by Kathy, and then on Saturday, do some serious eating and shopping therapy on the River Walk.

Hope your weekend is rich with beauty and joy and a little roll-on-the floor laughter. Life is certainly sweet when you share it with friends.

from his mom

No other post today. This morning, I am praying for Clifford’s heart surgery, and his family. Ths is the update from his mom this morning from his care page. I will continue to post updates here as they become available. With all my heart, thank you for praying for this family with me:

October 15, 2007 at 09:01 AM EDT
Surgery started on-time at 7:30 this morning with an estimated duration of 5 hours. CJ slept up until 7:15 a.m. at which time he woke up and Abe and I both held him. He was in a good mood even though he hasn’t eaten since 11:45 p.m. When we held him he smiled through his pacifier but was sucking on it so hard, I guess he was hoping something would eventually come out 🙂 We wheeled him back and then said are good-byes. He was looking all around with those big blue eyes. Before wheeling him away all of the people who will be with him in the OR came and saw us except for Dr. Jonas. Dr. Jonas met with me on Saturday morning so we won’t see him again until after the surgery. CJ’s OR nurse is the same one he had for his Norwood surgery. Everyone here is so nice and thoughtful. We know he is in good hands here but in God’s hands ultimately. Well, we will update this once we know more. Thank you again for your prayers! We love you all!!!!!

October 15, 2007 at 12:27 PM EDT
CJ finished surgery at 11:15 a.m. and is doing well!!!! We met with Dr. Jonas, the surgeon at 11:45 a.m. He told us that CJ has a large right atrium (not a big deal, like having a long leg or a big nose). He believes that because of this the tests made it look like he had very poor function. When he looked at CJ’s heart he said the function looked GOOD!!!!! This is a huge answer to prayer. I don’t know if the function was bad before but I am giving God all of the credit for this and saying that God made CJ’s function GOOD! The first 24 to 48 hours are critical after any surgery so please continue to pray hard for CJ. Dr. Jonas does feel like he will do well and is on the way to a good recovery. We will get to see him around 1:00 or 1:30 this afternoon. He will be sedated but atleast I get to hold his hand again!!!! Thank you again for everything! I know the peace I experienced this morning was because of all of your prayers…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. As a side note, I know that I have told most of you about Dr. Jonas. He has a very straightforward approach to things and doesnt show any emotion. I was amazed when after he told us CJ was okay that he asked if I wanted a hug. God is working on Dr. Jonas too!!!!!! I will continue to update you as we progress. To God Be ALL of the Glory for our Blessing, CJ!!!!!!
October 15, 2007 at 04:51 PM EDT
CJ is doing extremely well!!! The nurse can’t believe how pink he is. So far he is extremely stable and just looks great for all he has been through! Thanks for your prayers! I will update this tomorrow morning so you know how the night went. Just a reminder that the first 24 hours are very critical so keep praying!!!! I Love You All!!!!

side by side

Where in the world would we be without our girlfriends? I am so blessed to have a few good friends that go the extra mile with me, through the good, bad, and ugly, ever faithful. I’ve heard it said that friends like you for who you are but best friends like you, despite who you are—warts and all. Walking through life with someone else makes it sweeter. Husbands are wonderful in this department, and I will write about Mike on another post, but this one is a tribute to that small circle of friends that you can count on, whether you’ve known them most of your life or just a short time, whether they live next door or far away—friends that, even when their own lives are falling apart, will still will drop everything to spend time with you, or the very few that talk the deep things of life with you that most men just don’t really want to address. Girlfriends will talk about the same thing for hours, while husbands will tell you that you just said that, and they got what you were trying to say, so could we move on, please? Thank you, Lord, for girlfriends and the way they bless our lives. I can’t imagine my life without you—you know who you are. For one, you love me enough to wade through my rambling blog, and I love you for that, too!