We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Such music to my ears

   A hard hitting, forever lasting, cold virus, hit our home this summer. It wasn't the nasty runny nose type. Rather, it was the type that induces coughing, that turns into deep painful coughing, combined with horrible drainage. The cold not only hit me, it flared my asthma. It got to the point that you couldn't talk without being interrupted by coughing. And then came the day that singing was not even an option.
   I always sing to our GRAND children at rest time. I sing while I rock the youngest one to sleep. Then the next youngest gets to climb into my lap. I'm honestly not sure who enjoys it more, me, or the GRAND children.
   But the day came when with a sad heavy heart, I had to tell them I wasn't going to be able to sing today, they just needed to lay nice and quietly and rest. "Why?". "Because I can't stop coughing and I can't breathe right". Very sad sounding okay-s were replied. All was silent for three or four minutes, then with hesitancy in his young voice, just turned four years old Mr. Elliot asked, "Grammie?" "What?" "Can I sing for you?".  My first instinct was to say no. I was quite sure silliness was about to invade the room. But then I looked closer at his little face. There was such sincerity and hopefulness in it, that I just couldn't bear to say no, so I didn't.
    He remained silent for a couple of minutes, but his furrowed brow and look of deep concentration, told me he was running things through in his mind before he started. I smiled at him, partly in anticipation. A couple of more minutes passed and then he started singing. Then I had to fight the tears. His tender heart would think the tears meant he was doing a bad job, or some such. There was no way I wanted him to think that! For one, his voice was so clear and pretty sounding. And for two, his face was still deep in concentration and I didn't want tears to interrupt that. So why the tears?
    First of all, was the love filled sweetness of his voice. Just beautiful I tell you! And then there was the fact that the song he was singing, was one of the songs I sing to them. During the course of the song, it actually became a mixture of three of the songs I sing to them, and occasionally the look on his face, or the momentary hesitation in his voice, clued me into the fact that he knew it wasn't coming out quite right, but I always smiled encouraging and he'd continue on.
    The song(s) he sang, were not just songs I sing to them, but he had picked the ones I've made up and sing about them. I sing it/them all of the way through to first Analyse, then Elliot, then Rylee. And while he might of mixed the songs together, the fact that he knew them word for word, that he sang them with such love and that he included me in the list, my heart was overflowing with thrilledness. My little songs mattered to them and HAD impacted them. Thank-you Lord!
    When he was done, I wanted to hug him and squeeze him and kiss him all up, but I shakily kept my self control and told him how beautifully he sang, how much I had enjoyed it and that I was glad he knew I loved him. With an embarrassed little laugh he had said "Thanks Grammie!"  My heart said "Thank-you Lord, for allowing me to have the privilege of this precious little guy as my GRAND son!!!"
    Then six year old Analyse asked if she could sing. More sweetness! Two year old Ms. Rylee was having nothing doing with waiting for a turn of her own. And while she didn't always pronunciate the words, her melody was spot on and oh so cute! My heart was overflowing with love, gratefulness and all sorts of other GRAND motherly feelings.
    After a bit, silliness did try to poke it's head in, so we returned to silence. But them singing to me for a bit at rest time, became the way we did things, that is until silliness started showing up from the get go.
   I enjoy closing my eyes to again see their sweet loved filled faces and hear their beautiful voices singing my songs of love to them. :-]

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sticker SHOCK

     Recently our van was pronounced D.E.A.D. . We had just had this fixed, then it went back in for that, then something else happened. That third time it was the final strike. To fix the latest thing, would involve a total engine tear down / take every thing apart, which is a huge time involved task, and the process there-of would most likely reveal even more problems, which would increase both the parts and the labor.  So the van is dead. It served us well. It has over two hundred and thirteen thousand miles on it. But that means we are currently with out a vehicle of our own.  Thankfully, Papa Honey is loaning us his truck. But we need to get another vehicle of our own.
    Brian had been looking on line, such as Craig's list, etc.. Yesterday we ventured out to look on local used car lots. For one, to see what certain vehicles looked like in person, how much room they really had, etc.. And secondly, to look at how much they were priced for.
     About number one. While some have suggested that it's time for us to move down to a small little car for just Brian and I, that option does not at all fit our life style. It is normal for us to be hauling stuff, or people, or a combination of people and stuff. And sometimes it's our GRAND children and their stuff. Definite priorities to us!
     About 'secondly' - oh  my  word  did  we  get  sticker  shock !!! A particular vehicle we were really drawn to, was nine (9) years old, had over one hundred and thirteen miles on it and yet it was priced at seventeen THOUSAND dollars. And on it went. Till our sticker shock wore into sticker numbness.
    "They must be getting it, since all of them are priced like that", "I know... but how in the world can people afford it?".
   That conversation brought a multitude of various things to mind.
  ~ Things such as, hearing just how many credit cards and loans some people are carrying.
  ~ Things such as, knowing a bunch of people who have filed for bankruptcy.
  ~ Things such as, 'getting' even better why minimum wage employees want the minimum amount drastically raised, yet being confused as to why they don't 'get' that the companies will in turn then just raise all of their prices, because there is no way that companies are going to take a cut in their gross profits. 
  ~ Things such as, a conversation we had with a friend several years ago, about the price the wife had paid for their daughters high school Sr. prom. $400 for a prom dress, then $ for shoes and a manicure and a hair appointment, etc.. Made me question if it was really her Sr. prom or her wedding. I had questioned how many hours he had had to labor to pay for all of that. I was informed that you can't look at things from that perspective any more.
    WHY  NOT ?!?!? Isn't that what you have to do to pay for said expenses?  And if you put those expenses on a charge card, the company adds interest to your balance, thus raising the total you have to pay, which in the end equals that many more hours you have to work. It really does boil down to being that simple. And it really does equal out to that vicious of a cycle. But that IS the way it is!
     Another thing which came to mind, was part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, 'Farmer Boy'. In the particular section which came to mind, the dad was teaching the son the value of money. And how before you could spend it, you had to earn it. And when you looked at something you thought you wanted, you had to keep in mind just how long and how much effort was it going to take you to earn that amount. Once you thought all of that through, you could then make a realistic decision about whether or not you wanted to purchase or even start saving towards said item. 
    Seems to me, that the world needs to start spending an hour every Sunday afternoon, reading their way through that book! And reading it aloud. That way more senses are involved and thus the truths therein are more likely to get grasped / sink in. 
    If "how your going to pay for it" doesn't actually figure in, as in, how in the world do you realistically plan on paying off that loan, or that credit card, or that mortgage, etc., then no wonder people are literally drowning in debt. No wonder businesses are going belly up. No wonder our national economy is in the condition it's in. People need to read that simple children's story and take heed of the wisdom contained there-in!!!
   So how are we going to get a new vehicle? Honestly, we're not sure yet. We've placed the situation in God's hands. He's proven time and time again that He is capable of both providing for us and of doing "the impossible" (things we refer to as 'miracles'). We are ever so thankfully that He is and does! ! !