Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of Year Reflections, part 1

I have been in denial for some time now that Christmas is very close by and that also means an end to the year 2008. They say that it is a sign of old age when time flies .... "they" always seem to know what "they" are talking about. The years are moving swiftly, much more swiftly than I wish them to, however, that is totally out of my hands. (Thank God for that.)
For the last few months, I have made the very dangerous statement that this year needs to end. Dangerous in the fact that I have no right to make that judgement. Only God in His infinite wisdom and His unending mercy and kindness is worthy to make that decision. And so I have changed my outlook. Journey with me, if you will, through this year.
March 1st was a turning point in Ben's life. His moped accident left us all a little drained. How he got through those pain-filled days is beyond me and how we, as his parents, coped with the rehabilitation is definitely beyond me. He could have lost his legs, he could have been paralyzed, he could have died.......instead, he was named first team, all-conference. But more than that, he fell in love with the God of his salvation and turned his life completely over to him.
August 11th was an extremely difficult day. Rich's brother, Don, passed away after a very short battle with an illness durinItalicg the summer. It was also the day that Rich hit rock bottom. His illness had been creeping up on him through late spring and early summer and came to a peak on that fateful day in August. We watched him literally self-destruct and shrivel up right before our very eyes. We watched a man who never met a stranger suddenly become a stranger himself. He could have cashed it in, he could have overdosed, he could have died ..... instead I watch him now loving life like never before.
Yes, looking back, one would be tempted to say that it does need to end. But I say it has a way of helping you to refocus your priorities. It has a way of helping you determine your very core and definitely helps you determine WHO is in charge.
It has been a great year for growth, a great year for reflection, a great year of blessing and we have only the LORD to give the credit to. Blessed be His name.

I Peter 1:17-19 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Maw Maw's Birthday

Today was Maw Maw's birthday. This is a woman who belongs to everyone. She is timeless and tireless. She is love and life all rolled into one. Today she turned 79 years old and thinks that she is slowing down. She always tells me to stop and smell the roses. So, in honor of Maw Maw, I am stopping tonight to smell the roses of my life with her ....
When I think of her, I remember ....
blackberry picking
fishing on the bridge
shaking in the shop on the shaking machine
beach trips
"gettin' greased"
camping trips
sleeping at the foot of the bed
Vicks Vapor Rub
snapping green beans
ironing pillow cases
vacuuming EVERY day
canning green beans
blackberry jelly
Bible School refreshments
going to see Sadie
singing around the piano
singing while washing dishes
singing while in the car
singing "Everybody oughta know"
crying with exhaustion after caring for a sick husband and little babies
coming EVERY single time I called her
and showing up when I least expected it.
I love her. She is a wonderful woman and the best Maw Maw ever invented.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Andu!

Some days you get up and do the normal routine and don't even realize your life's about to change that day. Imagine if you will, having a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old running through the house and getting ready for day care, and here you are about to give birth. Crazy! Twenty-five years ago today I gave birth to Andrew Ryan Erdman. He was an adorable tow-headed kid and sweet as apple pie. As Andrew grew, he added an extra little touch to the household as he ran around with the "big" boys. Andrew was very much his own person and his own little entertainment center. He was daring and adventurous. One day I chased him through the trees on a battery-powered four-wheeler when he was only about two. I think I hit more trees than he did. He broke his arm at age 15 months (I still have the cast). He used to call his dad "Rich".
The most worst (I like that phrase) thing that ever happened to Andrew was that his parents made him move in the 7th grade -- that was absolutely awful -- but Andrew was okay eventually and made good friends during his life there.
Now, 25 years later, it has been interesting watching his life unfold. I have watched him struggle and overcome many obstacles. He told me he wanted to go to a major university and I really did not think it possible. We found a program at NC State that was perfect for him and so, there, he accomplished his goal. (I still remember the day his acceptance letter came - I had to open it and I cried and laughed and jumped and yelled all at one time.)
The name Andrew means "manly." Andrew fits that perfectly. My prayer is that God will bless him beyond measure because he really does strive to do His will.
So today, as I have done every year for 25 years, let me ask Andrew a question: "Did I ever tell you about the day you were born?"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rich!

Today is my Mr. Rich's birthday !!! There was a time this summer when I was wondering if we would see another birthday for him. Praise GOD we still have him and he has recovered. It is so good to have the old Mr. Rich back ---- I love him.