“Egg-scapade”

 

Eggs. Most everyone eats them. We eat them almost daily. We no longer had a source for the farm fresh eggs we were so used to eating (courtesy of some great friends nearby) after our move north, to Mound City, Kansas.

We opted to try the eggs from the local markets here, but we soon found out just how spoiled we were, in eating those fresh eggs prior to our move. There are really only two different stores that we frequent here for most of our groceries. Their eggs are fairly cheap; so, in keeping with our budget, we would purchase those eggs.

We were so disappointed in not only their taste but also in the quality of the eggs. We really had to add a lot of seasonings, cheese, and other ingredients, just to make them palatable. After a few months of this, we decided we needed to find another source for our eggs. After Tom did an internet search, and after we asked around at one store, we found a great source, but it would be a somewhat rough drive over miles and miles of gravel-covered roads. As we found out, the drive would be worth it; the eggs tasted so much better than we even expected! Tasty and filling!

The drive itself was truly refreshing, as we traveled through some beautiful country; passing a few old, dilapidated barns and some brand new, beautiful barns. One such farm we passed was in an idyllic setting, that could have been the setting for magazine pictures. Rolling hills, cows grazing peacefully over the fields, and a beautiful new home and barn, with a white picket fence separating the farm from the graveled roadway.

We passed an old, deserted church with the expected typical antique graveyard in the side yard area. In my imagination, I could see the parking area full on a Sunday, with worshipers joining together for their weekly fellowship and listening to their Pastor as he encouraged his flock. Or, a family of mourners, gathered by the graveside of a loved one, who recently went to their eternal resting place.

Because we were traveling on a gravel road, it was slow-going, and we were able to truly enjoy the serene, peaceful country scenery and pay closer attention to our surroundings. At one point, we passed some cows grazing, and one of the calves near the fence took off at a trot when we drove by. I guess she isn’t used to seeing cars or at least was startled a bit. I had to chuckle at her.

At another point, we crossed a short, narrow bridge over a beautiful area with a running creek and a couple of little “islands” on each side of the quaint bridge. I’m sure it is impassable during major storms, but it would be a beautiful site for taking photographs when the trees are in full bloom.

We found out, today, on our second trip to the egg man, that they’re moving their store, next month. This would be our final trip out there, to their ‘old location,’ for our monthly egg purchase. However, they are moving a bit closer to us, but the road traveled is paved. Kind of disappointing, when I think about it.

We are out here, in the middle of the country, near the middle of nowhere, truthfully. You won’t find a Starbucks or even a McDonald’s anywhere near here. You have to travel at least 30 to 40 miles to find even a chain restaurant, such as Chic-Fil-A or Panera Bread, but that’s okay; we love it here in our little corner of our community.

Our little “Egg-scapade” was a wonderful trip, but it also shows just a small taste of our life, here and now. Still, we will always long to be with our friends and family, and we hope each of them will always feel as welcomed here, as they have made us feel as well; and of course, always loved.

Church – An Invitation

Church.

Today was the day we decided to visit a new church. We moved to this area this past October, and we hadn’t checked out any of the local churches, yet.

We haven’t been to our home church, down south where we moved from, since the Christmas party, last December. We haven’t really had any fellowship with other believers since then. Oh, we are in the Word, we listen to Gospel music on TV, and we always spend time in prayer, but it just isn’t the same as having fellowship with the ‘family’. This is the church where we were married three years ago, and it’s always going to be ‘home’ to us.

A couple of weeks ago we received a postcard in the mail from one of the churches in the town closest to us. What amazed me wasn’t that we received it, but that it was actually addressed to me, not current resident. I was impressed. Then, a few days later, maybe a week, yet another postcard, bigger than the first one, arrived, and again, it was addressed to me.

According to the postcard the church sent to us, their services were at 9:00 am and 10:30 am. OK, great. We are not ones to ‘get around’ quickly in the morning, so we decided to go to the 10:30 service. We do our morning routine, and finally get out the door a bit after 10:00.

We drive through town and head east. As we’re headed in the direction of the church, several cars are headed west, back into town. We figured they’re coming from the first service that had just ended. We keep driving and finally, the church comes into view. The parking lot is pretty full and so we’re expecting a full sanctuary.

We pull into the parking lot and Tom parks the Jeep and we head inside. Huh? We expected to see everyone seated, waiting for service to begin, but instead, there are people walking around, standing around; lots of visiting and talking and we peek inside the sanctuary and are very surprised to see all the chairs in stacks all over the place! What?!

Finally, a gentleman approaches us from inside the sanctuary and introduces himself. He’s one of the pastors and he strikes up a conversation with us. It turns out that they only have ONE service and then at 10:30, they have their bible classes. Tom mentioned about the postcard we received and how it talks about two services. Pastor says, oh yeah, we used to have two, but that just ended. He promised to look into the postcards that are sent out and make corrections to that. He was a very inviting man, and encouraged us to come back next week.

He apparently is the webmaster for the church website, and he and Tom have that in common. He encouraged Tom to check out the site and welcomes any tips to help improve the site. We gave him a little bit of our testimony, Tom did anyway, and had a very nice conversation.

As we were heading out the door, another gentleman approached and spoke with us for a few minutes.

So we left and headed back to the Jeep. It was both disappointing not to have been a part of their service, today, and encouraging that maybe we can visit there again, next week and truly check it out.

Since we’ve been in this area, no one has really recommended a church to us or invited us to visit one, so getting this postcard in the mail, twice, really impressed us.

While we always try to keep an open mind to invitations, it’s actions like this one that brings the people in; as the church does, so does the Gospel.

Redemption in a ricochet!

God is sooo good!

I met a young man Sunday evening who had his life forever altered a week ago. He was a victim of a ricocheted bullet that’s left him paralyzed.
I got a call Friday from his stepmother asking for some paperwork to be notarized. After asking a few questions, I sadly informed her that I couldn’t do it; he didn’t have his ID with him.
Well, she called me back, Sunday afternoon, saying they’d managed to retrieve it and asked if I was available that evening or Monday morning. Tom and I were only relaxing, so I arranged to go that evening.
When I arrived at the hospital, the stepmom was waiting for me in the waiting room, and gave me more details of his story; it broke my heart.
She took me into his room in the ICU and introduced me to those present; very nice people. She introduced me to her stepson, and since he had a tracheotomy, he was unable to speak. But he was awake and communicating with his eyes and his head.
While I handled the business I was there for, she quietly spoke with him and asked him if he minded if I prayed with him before I left. He agreed.
Meanwhile, more family showed up and were visiting and encouraging him. I had no idea, yet, where they all stood with the Lord, but that didn’t matter; I just knew that God had sent me here to minister to this young man.
I put my bag aside and joined the family at his bedside. I could immediately feel the presence of the Holy Spirit surrounding us. They all had a hand on him, and I laid mine gently on his and began praying. The longer I prayed, the bolder I got. (I had been asking the Lord for His words to be spoken, while I did the paperwork)
The family was in agreement with me, and we all said AMEN when I finished. (It wasn’t a long prayer, I didn’t want to overwhelm him.)
The stepmom walked out with me and gave me a big hug. I gave her my card, promising to get him on our prayer chain at church. I also asked her to keep me updated on his progress.
I came out of my little, introverted comfort zone, and was amazed at how God used me there. To God be all the Glory.
Please keep this young man and his family in your prayers, as he has 2 young children, also. Thank you!

My Insecurities

Lately, I’ve been told that I’m very insecure. This has caused me to pause and think, “Really? Am I?”  Yes, I suppose, for most of my life and for a number of reasons, I have been. And, while I’m not going to get into all of them, I’d like to address just one of them, for now.

Growing up, I suffered severely with recurring ear infections, quite often double.  Without knowing early on what caused them, they kept coming back, over and over, sometimes several times per year.  My doctor, while “old school,” was an exceptional ENT specialist who took great care of me, back in the ’60s & ’70s, but really didn’t try to find out or test me to see what was causing the infections. It wasn’t until my early teens, that the Dr. discovered that my Eustachian Tubes were short, quite narrow, and almost horizontal (instead of vertical like most normal tubes are.)  This caused the majority of my issues.  Suffice to say that while growing up, I had considerable hearing loss during and following each episode. Being the introvert and/or extremely shy growing up, I never had the nerve to ask people to speak up when in group settings, such as at school.

Having had tubes put into my eardrums several times, during one of the last insertions, the left tube failed, with the resulting hole in my drum needing to be repaired surgically. A bit of skin was taken from behind my ear and placed over the drum to seal off the hole. Still, infections returned, year after year. I’ve had several hearing tests done, over the years, confirming that I do indeed have significant hearing loss, with about 75% of that in the left ear, with the surgical repair. Add to this, from the stress of it all I have probably 50% loss in the other ear, as well.

I had always been a swimmer, growing up, and it was extremely difficult for my mom during the Summer time; everyone else was in the pool, and I had to sit out because when you have tubes in your ears, you can’t swim under water.  Plus, it seemed like I had them every year during Summer. I didn’t, but it sure felt that way! These days, if ever I DO get into a pool, it’s just to kind of float around. I can swim; just not with my head under water, as my eardrums still cannot take the pressure. I’d love to be able to scuba dive, but that’s out of the question. Even ear plugs don’t begin to take away the pressure.

Over the years, whether in a group setting or at church, if the speaker was soft-spoken, I had great difficulty in hearing them, unless I happened to be sitting right next to them. If the speaker at church is soft-spoken and doesn’t use a microphone, forget it; I might as well not even be there.  And while I have no problem hearing someone whose voice is naturally loud, Sarah, my daughter, has threatened to get me fitted for hearing aids; I suppose I should look into them. Having heard so many different things about them, I’m just not sure they’re for me. 

I think my hearing issues are one reason I became such a loner. It was really hard to go to parties or outings and not be able to hear everything that’s being said. I know most people don’t like to have to repeat themselves and I hate having to ask people to speak up all the time too. I know it’s annoying to be asked over and over to speak up, so I remain silent. My insecurity at work. I need a shot of boldness, I think.

Enter my husband, Tom; he’s actually the one that decided we needed to look into over-the-counter hearing aids. He’s my researcher, he’s excellent at finding things online. He began a search and found some very inexpensive aids at a local store he loves to frequent. So, he found and bought what they had. We didn’t wait to get home before trying them. As soon as I put it in my ear, I was overcome with emotion. I couldn’t stop the tears! I could hear and it was GLORIOUS!! Since then, we’ve upgraded and I now wear one that is a bit more expensive, but it works great and it has improved my outlook on life. I’m not quite as insecure as I used to be. A wonderful place to be, finally.

I have always loved to sing, for years as a Worship Leader. It’s amazing to me; after all these years of dealing with my eardrums and hearing loss, that I CAN still sing and stay on pitch! God has truly blessed me in this area! I love to praise Him and give Him all the glory for the voice He’s given me. I’ll always use that gift to bring Him all the Glory!

So now you know why I appear to be so and most likely I am, insecure. I know I’m an introvert which doesn’t help my cause AT ALL.

So yes, I needed to look into getting hearing aids to see what a difference they could make in my life, at the very least. I was delightfully surprised. 

His Sparrow

When you sense the Holy Spirit prompting you to do something, DO IT!!

As most of you that know me well know, I’m not one to toot my own horn, so to speak; but this is an exception to my own rule. It’s an important lesson that we all need to heed and so I’m impressed to share. To God be ALL the Glory!!

Today, as I prepared to return home from a trip to Fairfield, Rachel texted wondering what was for dinner. I had just planned to go home and eat a quick meal but was strongly impressed to stop for something before heading home.

So, I get in line at the drive-through and immediately I see this disheveled woman standing there next to the car ahead of me. As soon as she spots me, she heads in my direction. I’m thinking, “Ok, this is new.” Usually they’re standing on street corners, or driveways of parking lots, as we’ve all seen, time and time again.

So, I’m on the phone with Rachel and the woman is right next to my door, waiting for me to roll down my window; I roll it down half way and say hello. She immediately tells me she’s hungry and is trying to get some chicken. She tells me she just got out of jail, rolls up her sleeve and shows me something on her arm. She’s nearly in tears and I ask her where she’s headed. She says, “Rio Vista.” My town. The whole time we’re talking, all of two minutes, I’m also praying, listening for direction from the Holy Spirit because I don’t want to miss Him in the opportunity He placed in my lap.

I sense in my spirit that she’s being sincere and is truly in need of a meal and a kind gesture.

After finding out that she did indeed have a ride to town; I wasn’t needed to get her there, just to feed her. I decided that I would get her some chicken.

Now, I know some of you will think I was “taken for a ride.” That’s ok with me. That is not the point. The point I’m making in this is we never know when we’re entertaining Angels unaware, and yes, I may be the only Jesus she’s ever had an encounter with, thus far. God only knows.

So I place my order and drive up to the window, pay and wait for my order. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see her waiting at the end of the building for me. I make sure her food is in a separate container and drive up to her. As I hand her the bag, I tell her, “Jesus loves you and this is from Him!” She replied, “Sometimes I wonder about that.” I assured her that He does and that I would see her again.

It really felt awesome that God allowed me to bless this woman and in turn I was truly blessed. I know God has His eye on THAT sparrow and He wants to turn her life around. I’m asking you to please say a prayer for her, if you would, and ask God to divinely move in her life even more than He did today.

~Matthew 10:29-31 NASB
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

~Matthew 25:40 NASB
The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Where Am I?!

“Where am I and where in the world is this road taking me?!”

Today we celebrated my in-laws birthdays with family and friends at Hogback Island out on the river. Everyone had a good time, boating, relaxing under the canopy just hanging out and visiting.

The day was winding down, and as I wasn’t feeling 100%, it was time for me to leave; I needed to get home. With the help of my eldest, I gathered what I needed to take back to the van and made my escape.

To get home, I had to cross the river twice, taking two ferries. No big deal, except for the main ferry only runs every 20 minutes, these days. It’s a huge headache on weekends, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

I was patiently waiting in line with about a dozen or more other vehicles, when I noticed in my mirror, a lady get out of her vehicle and walk up to the car, a couple cars behind me. Common, as it happens all the time. But then, I heard her voice getting loud as she questioned the driver. I realized then that she was not a local, and needed help.

I opened my car door and leaned half-way-out and listened to her query. I then explained, simply, that the ferry only runs every 20 minutes. She replied, “That’s fine, but WHERE AM I?” She’d been driving all day, having left Idaho early that morning, and her GPS led her to this point. I asked her a couple questions, and quickly figured out why her GPS took her on this little adventure through our back roads.

By this time, the ferry and come and gone, full of cars and we had to wait for the NEXT trip over, and the remaining vehicles had all pulled up to the front of the line.

While we waited, with her husband on speaker phone, the lady was again questioning me about where she was, and how did she end up where we were. It was really quite comical, with her apologizing for her husband’s myriad of questions (like it was MY fault she ended up there?) while we both were quietly laughing at him, because he wouldn’t stop talking long enough for me to even ANSWER ONE of his questions! Finally, she got him to stop talking long enough, so that I could explain exactly why and how she could get back on track.

I know he was just greatly concerned about her safety while traveling and that’s understandable. Ultimately, I was able to assure her that she didn’t have to go back to where she made the wrong turn. I assured her I would, in fact, get her back on the right road, and that with-in half an hour she would arrive at her original destination.

I had her follow me, until she got to the final turn across the bridge and head on to home, or where ever her husband was. She had been pretty frantic, and for me, it really felt good that I was in the right place at the right time to be of assistance to her and her two boys.

If I had not left the BBQ when I did, there’s no telling what would have transpired with the lady; oh, I know, God would have used someone else. But I’m really glad He chose to use me, at this time.
Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness and helping me to calm the lady down and give her hope.

My Dad – My Tribute

Still can’t believe it’s been 2 years since his passing. I wrote this back in April but decided to save it to post in his honor for Father’s Day. This was cathartic for me in writing this and it was needed. Happy Father’s Day to all my friends who are Dads. May your day be as special as ya’ll are!

Bobby Jack Stirling

My Dad

January 31, 1927 – April 15, 2010

Country music. Dad loved country music. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and eventually the family moved to Texas, so he was raised in the south and on country music. He instilled a great love of the music in me, and to this day, I love it; especially the “Old School” Country. Dad loved to listen to the greats, such as Merle Haggard and Tennessee Ernie Ford; bet you haven’t heard THAT name in years, have you? Dad couldn’t sing a tune in a bucket but he sure enjoyed listening.

Dad’s been gone for two years, this month; on the 15th. Suddenly today, I really got to missin’ him. I was listening to a tribute to the great Earl Scruggs and something in there just reminded me of those things that Dad really got a kick out of.

I’ll never forget, and will always be grateful to the Lord, that on the day Dad passed away, my oldest daughter, Sarah, was visiting there for the evening with plans to have dinner with them. I was going to stay home and get some work done, but I was strongly impressed by the Holy Spirit to join both her and my youngest, Rachel, to head over for some family time that evening.

Dad had been having some physical issues and was scheduled for surgery the following week to replace his heart valve, and this was our main topic of discussion that evening. Still, we all had a great time. When it was time to leave, around 8 pm, I was again strongly impressed by the Holy Spirit to pray for Dad and asked him if it would be okay for me to pray for him before we left. He agreed, so I gently laid my hand on his and, in part, asked God to please bring healing to his body from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Afterward, we all hugged him good-bye, (not knowing that it would be the last hug we would ever give him,) said our ‘good nights’ and ‘we love yous’ and went back to our place.

Once settled at home, the girls were relaxing, watching TV. I was up in my office working, when the phone rang at 10 pm. It was Mom, letting me know that Dad had collapsed; she hadn’t been able to get any response out of him and she’d called the Fire Department. (just across the street from them). The first responders got there in no time and immediately began working on him. They transported him to the hospital in Antioch while Mom, the girls and I, followed in our cars. I haven’t a clue why we took 2 cars, but we did, and on the way to the hospital, I called my son and daughter-in-law, and my brother, Paul. I asked him to call our sister, Carol.

We got to the hospital front desk, where we were immediately escorted to a back room and asked to wait. Although it seemed like an eternity, a nurse soon came in and verified who we were, then very gently informed us that, although the paramedics had worked on him all the way to the hospital, they were unable to resuscitate him; he was gone. Although I think we already knew in our hearts, we were still in shock.

The next day, as we began making preparations for my Father’s Memorial and Burial Service, and after some discussion, we came to believe that God decided Dad was too frail to withstand the rigors of surgery and probably wouldn’t have made it through; so, to save all of us that trauma, He took him home after our last time together that night. I am very sad we weren’t there until the very end; but in a way, we were. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God had us go there for that last visit for that very reason.

Even though I would have loved to have been there when Dad left this earth, I also believe strongly that the prayer that God impressed upon me to pray for him that very night was answered; not in a way that I had hoped for nor intended, but as God’s ways are much higher than our ways, He had indeed heard my prayer and answered my request for Dad’s healing. All praise and glory goes to my Heavenly Father for His faithfulness to His children. Amen!

Mom – Happy Mother’s Day!

Tireless. Hard-working. Giving. These are just a few of the many, many wonderful traits that are my Mom.

Tireless – Grandma always said that Mom was born tired, later to be diagnosed with Narcolepsy, but growing up she was in bed asleep by 7 pm most nights; she just couldn’t stay awake any longer.

Even with this disease, she was always on the go, she went through Nursing School and became an RN. She didn’t work too many years though, because after she met and married Dad, she worked until I came along and then hung up her Nursing Cap for motherhood.

While she was busy raising my siblings and me, she battled being tired and falling asleep at the drop of a hat, but she still kept up with all the duties of running a busy household. Dad had a plumbing business and she tirelessly helped him with the bookkeeping end of the business and kept things like inventory organized in the garage.

When I was in my early teens, Mom went to a sleep study at Stanford University where she was finally diagnosed with Narcolepsy, and given the proper medication to help her stay awake.

Hard-working – Even today, Mom is still a hard-worker, always keeping busy, doing something, for someone else. She has a selfless, extremely giving heart and takes great pleasure in doing for others, where ever there’s a need. If it wasn’t for her bad back, I think she’d be doing even more.

She attends a wonderful church in our town and has been very active there; she works in the nursery and she spent many hours handling and implementing the organization of the church’s Library. This was a perfect job for her as she’s always been an avid reader; in fact, she instilled the love of reading in my sister and I, so her working with books was the perfect afternoon special time for her.

Giving – Not only is mom a tireless and very hard-worker, she’s also the most giving woman I know. When I was first out on my own, and I had trouble making my car payment, it just took one phone call and she and Dad would cover it for me. She’s always been very generous with her time, money when she’s able, and anything else that was needed.

There are many people, but especially her grandchildren, that have benefited from her generosity. She and dad gave one grandchild their car when they bought a new one. She spent hours when my children were young, helping them get their rooms organized. The German in her comes to play there, she’s always been very organized and my children enjoyed the results of that.

I can only hope and pray that I make Mom proud by becoming the same Godly, tireless, hard-working, giving woman that she is! I love you, Mama! Happy Mother’s Day!

Bouquet of Roses

I first got the idea for this short story when I saw an older gentleman leaving a store with a huge bouquet of roses and my muse went into high gear. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Jeremy left the florist quickly, having no time to spare. His wife of 10 years awaited him at home, ready to celebrate their anniversary tonight with a special evening out.

He arrived home at 6 pm, expecting to see Stacey ready and waiting for him impatiently. Instead, she was just stepping out of the bath; gratefully, he used this extra time given him to make a special display of the roses he’d just purchased.

He went searching for the prettiest vase he could find and proceeded to fill it with water. He removed the wrapping from the bouquet and arranged them in the vase after cutting off the ends about an inch from the bottom. He added the special powder that feeds the flowers and keeps them fresher longer.

Now, he wanted them to be the first thing Stacey saw as she entered the dining room. He wanted to see her reaction to the roses before she saw him. He then took his seat on the sofa and nervously waited.

Meanwhile, upstairs in their master bath, Stacey had taken a long, leisurely, lavender-filled bubble bath and was applying her make-up, doing her hair and deciding what to wear for this very long-awaited evening out. She chose Jeremy’s favorite, a black to-the-knee dress, open-toed shoes and a light burgundy shawl.

When Stacey was finally satisfied with how she looked, she headed out their bedroom door and down the staircase. She wondered if Jeremy had returned from work yet, as she hadn’t heard a sound from downstairs since she’d gotten out of the bath.

As she reached the bottom of the staircase she noticed the lights on in the front of the house. “Hmm…he must be home. Why so quiet?” she mused.

As Stacey crossed the living room and approached the door to the dining room, she was still wondering where Jeremy was when she saw it; A huge bouquet of 2 dozen roses, beautifully displayed on the kitchen table, with rose petals strategically placed around the vase with a card leaned up against it!

She let out a gasp, and that was what Jeremy heard before he saw her face light up at the sight of those gorgeous roses! Then, at the sound of the clearing of his throat, she turned to see him watching her with a look of sheer delight and love in his gray/blue eyes! This would be an anniversary they would not soon forget!

Healing through the fire!

The day started out as any other day; A cold day in the middle of Winter. I was blessed, as I was able to stay home with the children; Sarah, 3 years old, and Joseph, 18 months. The three of us were enjoying our day at home, while their dad was at work, as a Drywall Taper in construction.

I was going about my daily activities; vacuuming, laundry, dusting, cooking; the children, they were entertaining themselves with their toys and books.

We’d bought a house on a little Island Resort, called Vieira’s Resort, on the Sacramento River after the flood of 1986. It was a little house, but for our small family it was perfect and affordable, which was important for a young family. The previous owners had completely gutted it out after the flood, so we were able to fully restore and decorate it the way we wanted to.

We used a Wood Stove as our only source of heat, so I had to keep feeding the fire to keep it blazing away behind the glass door. The house was compact, at only 900 square feet, so it wasn’t at all hard to heat.

I had just finished feeding the fire and the kids were both near me, playing; Joseph was running away from Sarah, as she chased him. Suddenly, he tripped near the stove. As he did, instinctively or impulsively, he reached out his hand to try and stop himself. Unfortunately, what he reached to do so was the glass door of that very hot wood stove. I saw him fall, but couldn’t catch him in time. His hand was on that red-hot glass for only a couple of seconds, but that was all it took to give him second- degree burns on his palm and each of his precious little finger tips!

I pulled his hand from the glass, and fearing the worst, grabbed him up and ran with him over to the kitchen sink, where I stuck his hand under the cold running water to try to stop the burn! Of course, by this time he was screaming blood-curdling screams that carried all the way down the street! He’d always been a very loud crier. It’s hard to imagine now, as he’s a very soft-spoken young man today.

Trying my best to sooth and comfort him while I held him, I also had to firmly grip his wrist just below the hand, to keep him from rubbing it against my shirt. Then, since I didn’t have the necessary first-aid medicine for his hand, I had to call my mother-in-law to bring some out to me. That was a very stressful few minutes; holding him while trying to hold the phone, trying to quickly explain what had happened, and asking if she could please hurry and get out here!

Finally, about half an hour later, she arrives. Between the two of us, we get Joseph’s injuries covered in salve and wrapped with gauze, giving him something for the pain. He calmed down, ultimately, but only after an exhausting two-hour ordeal was I able to rock him into a deep sleep.

The following day, I took him to his Pediatrician to have him checked out, and make sure there was no infection setting in. They gave me lots of supplies for changing the dressing daily.

Joseph’s hand took about two months to heal, completely. Glory to God, there were no scars left from his injury, and he had complete use of his hand. In fact, after several months passed, you couldn’t tell that he’d even had a burn there, to begin with!

Now, Joseph has been blessed with a talent for playing drums and for drawing. Obviously you need your hands for either of these gifts; What God has purposed, though, nothing of man can withstand. We’ve only to believe, and listen, and obey where His Spirit leads us on our Journey. We may make mistakes, stumbling and falling into disasters; but He rushes healing to us, in spite of our wailing and complaining, giving us the right medicine to bring us to healing in His time. In the end, we find, He provides us with the talent and skills we need to serve Him and bring more beauty to this earth he has provided us- Our home.