Helping Others and Being Helped

I know how it feels to give care and to receive help. I got blessed to go to Montrose Christian Writers Conference the week of July 12-17, 2020. On July 11, we drove a number of hours to go to a wedding. I love hearing the vows and the reminders from the pastor to be kind to one another and to be quick to forgive. I always commit to treat my husband better at these celebrations.

We went to the wedding in the evening, and then to the reception. A lot of sitting in one day. We stayed at a hotel and then joined the family at church in the morning. We found a pew and the service lasted about 90 minutes.

            Then we drove to Montrose, PA a few hours away. When we stopped at a deli for lunch, we ate in the car because of COVID 19.

           After getting settled in to my room, and then eating supper, I headed to an introductory lecture by one of the faculty members-more sitting.

            Monday came and went with many classes, and three meals. With this pandemic, practicing social distancing in the dining area, we did not stand and interact as usual. We got our temperature taken first thing in the morning, wore masks and quickly found a seat.

When I awoke on Tuesday, after a quick shower, I began to get dressed when my back sent a jab of pain. I needed help to finish up, and being alone, I hobbled to an adjacent door. I knocked and when an instructor, Tiffany Amber Stockton answered, I thanked God!

            After she maneuvered the clothes and my leg, she asked if I was okay. She offered to stay with me, but I knew she had responsibilities, so she left.

            The day proceeded as the day before, but I sat and rose from my chair for the various events carefully. That night, just about ready for bed my back spasmed. Pain like I’ve never experienced hit.

            I opened the door and the lady across the hall empathized. She had gone through the same thing one week at Montrose and needed to pull herself up the stairs by means of the hefty railings. She gave me a natural muscle relaxant from her chiropractor and I borrowed ibuprofen. I’m not much for medicines and their side effects, but I didn’t ask any questions except for the amount to take.

            The contractions hit every three to five minutes and I froze like a statue as the waves of pain overwhelmed me. My neighbor asked if I’d like to go down stairs and speak to the director. She helped me get there. Some women visited in the lobby. The choices offered: go to the hospital or go home. On Tuesday night! Neither seemed right.

Common Spine Problems Explained With Pictures
Common Spine Problems Explained With …webmd.com

Another conferee offered to sleep in the spare bed in my room because I was warned the back stiffens overnight and the pain gets worse! Dear God. I told her no but I did say I’d call her if I needed to get up.

            She helped me twice and once, at 2:30 a.m. I didn’t want to bother her. To arise from bed without her arm for leverage made me realize I didn’t choose wisely.

            I didn’t hesitate to call around 7:00 a.m. and she praised me for calling and allowing her to help the night before. The next day I admitted the 2:30 a.m. blunder and she scolded me! I haven’t been reprimanded like that since I was a child. She said, “No wonder you were so much worse in the morning.”

            I missed Wednesday morning breakfast and the morning worship, plus the faculty presenter before our class began. Jeanette Levellie promised to throw chocolate candies to the audience and she gave lively talks earlier on. I stayed in bed under the comfy covers trying to find a position that didn’t hurt. The Executive Director’s wife stopped in and then brought me tea and buttered toast with jam and crackers. I didn’t want more.

            The pastor’s wife asking me to call her for assistance and her gentle care-even the talking to-from a relative stranger blew me away. What a demonstration of love!

            Then, around 9:30 a.m. I called my friend. She has the gift of faith, which, in my pain I had forgotten. As I prayed, I thought God was telling me to stay. So, I phoned her and said, “I hurt my back. I don’t know what to do, stay or go home, would you pray about it?”

            “Of course, you’re staying. We’re praying!”

            Isn’t it weird when pain overwhelms? I prayed and others prayed for peace and relief, but when I picked up the phone it didn’t occur to me to ask for God to heal me. That’s unusual.

            She asked me if I remembered the “Happy Hunter’s” from years ago. I did. When we held our hands on our hips and asked God to heal us, our body moved this way and that. They said God showed them. I wasn’t sure I wanted to move at all. My friend told me to put my hands on my shoulders and she prayed my muscles, ligaments, etc. would relax so we could pray the “Happy Hunter’s” prayer.

            I was willing, but I admit a little concerned. Then, my hips moved a fraction of an inch to either side and I felt something twinge gently in my back. The pain was about 95% gone! I changed clothes and went bopping down the stairs. I told myself to be careful!

            When I reached the lobby, some of the ladies from Tuesday night saw me. They came rushing over. “What happened?”

            “God healed me!”

            At the end of the week, one lady said, “Connie, I can’t believe the difference. Do you realize you looked gray with the pain? Now your face is a healthy color!”

            When I first got home, after sleeping, my back stiffened some. Each day it’s better when I wake. Thank You, Jesus. I sat in a recliner with no pain today for the first time.

            This last Tuesday night, a friend’s daughter called to see if I could free up my Wednesday so I could visit her mom. Her mother had surgery on Monday and she didn’t want her to be alone. It worked out and I was able to visit and bend to pick up her phone charger when it fell. Scrambled a few eggs and made toast for our breakfast. I started this blog post because I’ve had company over pretty steadily lately. She slept in her recliner on and off, so I took the time to write.

            We talked and talked. She showed me video clips, and Scriptures that inspired her. What a wonderful day!

            Then, I went home to see my grandson and my husband. The next week my other grandson came over before school starts in September!

            I hope you are well. May God bless you!

A Change in Techniques

I just got back from TN tonight. I went down to attend my granddaughter’s wedding, which was simple and relaxing and great! Our family stayed for a few days before and after, so once again I fell behind in blogging.

I decided with all the holidays and trips here and there being scheduled, that I would publish snippets of favorite things.

Here is a poem on a parchment gift from close friends with a matching Scripture:

The Grace of God

will enable you to be

what He made you to be

and do what He has called you

to do.

Then, there’s a pretty feather for effect.

Then, the Scripture:

“The one

who calls you

is faithful and he will do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

May God bless you!

Rejoicing in Life!

Today is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24. Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday! Really worth rejoicing over.

I went to a wedding today and saw celebration and fun.

I interacted with a grandnephew on a deeper level. I think the last time I saw him, he was tiny. Now, he’s five years old and practiced mastering his knife and fork at the reception.

He snuck tiny cubes of cantaloupe and carrot sticks off my plate with the ease of a master thief. When I went back to the hors d’oeuvre table I took extra carrots and cantaloupe to accommodate his small hands.

His grandma laughed and said he helped himself to their plates at home habitually. A thought came to mind, at five he’ll be entering kindergarten. I can’t picture other children offering their fruit and veggies to this little fellow unless he charms them like he’s charmed the adults.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Helping oneself to food off a new aunt’s plate is one thing at a tender age.

Imagine him at thirteen, meeting another person at a meal. It’s not so cute to see a youngster of that age lifting a crunchy carrot without permission off a relatives’plate right after introductions.

“Excuse me? Get yourself a plate,” is the most likely response.

Children learn lessons at home and if not there, life steps up and teaches us, sometimes the hard way.

I didn’t want to tell him to keep his fingers off my plate, just like his grandma. Deep inside I knew it’ll come up some day. He’ll find out he’s not the center of the universe before long.

We all do. It’s a good lesson learned. I’m just glad he’s not my responsibility to correct. Such a cute kid.

What Are You Stressing About?

I couldn’t get a picture to copy on my blog last night for over fifteen minutes, so my blog posted at 12:02 a.m. sans picture. My husband couldn’t get Netflix to work for him so he tidied up instead. I made my sounds of frustration and then pressed the publish button.

Life goes on. Do you stress over big things, little things, many things? Stress is good for us in small amounts to motivate us to get moving. In large amounts over protracted periods of time, stress endangers our health.

I went to a couple of appointments with my youngest daughter today as she prepares for her “big day” in January. She got a little stressed over some of the things we ended up talking about. After that, I read the last few chapters of Daniel in the Bible which are visions he had of the end times on the planet. He also encountered angelic beings and possibly Jesus if I understand it correctly. They explained the visions and/or dreams that he had.
angel and daniel

photo from neviimtovim.com

There’s nothing like reading about conquering kings and subterfuge and possibly the anti-Christ offering abominable things on the altar in Jerusalem to change my frame of mind. I tried to decipher if these things are about to happen now. Wish I understood it better.

Any concerns about ordering supplies for the wedding or getting dresses altered in time went right out the window.

What are you stressing about?

Wedding Gowns

Wedding gowns come in many styles, some fancy, some plain. My daughter, Sarah and I have been on a mission to find the perfect dress for a price that suited her budget. I finally began to pray we could find the dress this week and have fun doing it. We’d be on nine hour shopping expeditions a couple of times. Two times just a few hours squeezed in after a hectic day. Come to find out, Sarah had prayed the exact same prayer.

This is a model from Brides.com in the photo above. There are some beautiful gowns available. Sarah did not choose this gown. 🙂 I wouldn’t want to ruin AJ’s surprise.

Her co-worker discovered that the bridal shop in the small town of Canisteo, NY, “Elegance,” was having a 50% off sale because it’s closing its doors in the near future. So we made our way there on Veteran’s Day, since Sarah had the day off.

Not only did we find more than one dress she really liked, but they came in under budget. Then my daughter asked us to send a picture with Sarah smiling. So the proprietor told us a joke so the picture came out with a great smile, even though I was late taking it. I’m not a photographer, so some were fuzzy, too. But the bridesmaids and the maid of honor agreed, the dresses were lovely. I texted pictures from that town to cities hours away.

She made up her mind, without much trouble. We talked and laughed with the owner of the store. On the way home Sarah said, “I liked the way she listened to what I wanted, helped, but didn’t push. She didn’t bring out dresses higher in price hoping I’d spend more.”

We celebrated, her friend Laura, Sarah, and I with a bagel and drink at a local coffee chain store. Finished our day with smiles and a sense of relief. This wedding planned with only three months to spare seems to be on the right course. I love answers to prayer.

I saved this draft to add a picture of a wedding dress and with the holidays and bridal parties, it’s been nineteen days! I truly lose track of time!