Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I am sitting here today (the Monday before Christmas) in Metairie listening to Christmas music, burning a Yankee Candle (Mistletoe) with the lights burning on my little three foot tree waiting for my husband to come home from work (early I hope) so we can finish up a little shopping that needs to be done.

I have had some time today to reflect back on the last few weeks. I had so many plans for the holidays this year.  I wanted it to be so much more about friends and family than anything else and more than ever before.  I have never been one to enjoy entertaining, but this year this was all I wanted to do.  I began the week of Thanksgiving by preparing a seafood gumbo using an authentic Cajun recipe.  We had my dad and step-mom over on  Wednesday evening.  The gumbo was a hit and we had a great visit with them.

Thanksgiving Day was spent at my mom’s.  It was one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember.  I can’t really pinpoint why, it just was!  Everyone’s moods were uplifting and the food was wonderful. So we ate, we laughed, and truly enjoyed each other.

My mother- in- law's 70th birthday was on Thanksgiving Day this year.  My sister-in-law and I had made plans to make it special for her.  She (my sister-in-law) caught the swine flu and then got pneumonia.  She was admitted to the hospital in the middle of November and ended up in ICU.  Her condition became critical, so needless to say, everyone’s focus shifted to her.  Thankfully she is home now and doing better.  The birthday celebration had to be postponed.

I spent a good portion of my day on Friday at the hospital, giving my brother- in- law a break to go home and do some of the things he wanted or needed to.

On Saturday I put my Christmas tree up and decorated.

Sunday was the day we left for Metairie to attend the Saints vs. New England Patriots football game at the Superdome.

And the rest is history.  (See blog entitled, “An 8 Day Recap”)

I had made many plans for when we returned home that included shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, and entertaining friends and family.  A fractured rib changed my plans! 

Last year I put up three trees and had planned on doing the same this year.  The revised plan: My decorations are minimal.  The tree I put up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving is it!  I have boxes and boxes of decorations in my attic that have gone untouched and it's OK!  I have been able to enjoy the few decorations I have out this year without once dreading the un-decorating.

I love to shop and always look forward to Christmas as the perfect excuse to do so.  I enjoy the challenge of finding something that I think everyone will like and use.  I put a lot of time and thought into each and every gift I purchase.  My plan was to begin shopping right after Thanksgiving, to do so by myself, and to go during the beginning of each week to avoid the weekend crowds.  The revised plan: I had to recruit my husband and son.  And with their help, it is all done!  It was rewarding for them to get to experience shopping for others.  (Something they normally do not get to do because I have always done it all.)  They especially enjoyed knowing they were doing something to help me. I also got to spend some quality time with my daughter that I may not have otherwise had as she chauffeured me around town one day to let me shop for my husband and son. 

I had plans to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in Metairie.  I intended on  cleaning, decorating, and preparing the house for her and the rest of my family to come and spend the weekend with us as we celebrated her birthday together doing some fun things in the New Orleans area.  The revised plan: I was still able to spend this weekend with them.  We were able to do a few of the things I had planned, but more importantly I did not fret over cooking, cleaning, and decorating.  These things (which are usually very important to me) did not matter.  They took a backseat to what was really important: just spending time with my family.

All my plans to decorate, shop, clean, cook, and entertain came to a screeching halt.  I know God has a sense of humor because He went to great lengths to keep me from the temptation of over doing it.  Into the second week of my accident, when I probably would have pushed myself by going into town or going  back to work, my car broke down!  It is still in the shop being repaired.

I have had a tremendous amount of time over the past three weeks to rest; sit still; and do some things I may not have taken the time to do like watching Christmas movies, staring at the Christmas tree, but most importantly thinking about what this season is all about and mentally noting all the things I have to be thankful for.  I do not take my blessings for granted.  I have had time to think about how upset I can get when my plans get changed, but yet I am responsible for changing God’s plans everyday.  He has plans to prosper me, to not harm me, and to give me hope and a future.  Sometimes I get in the way of those plans.  Through my selfishness, I miss out on so many blessings that He has planned for me.

Our plans change and that is OK, but His should never have to!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Merry Christmas! I hope you have made plans to take some time to reflect on Him this year!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

From My House To Yours!

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

Friday, December 11, 2009


DAY 1: Monday, November 30, 2009

My husband, son, and myself went to Metairie, LA.  We left on Sunday to attend the New Orleans Saints vs. the New England Patriots game on Monday. I am not a Saints fan or a fan of football in general, but the tickets were given to us and I had anticipated and looked forward to the experience for quite a while. And, with little to no (emphasizing “no”) knowledge of football, even I knew it was an exciting game! The Saint’s fans are very loyal, loud but loyal. Several times I got caught up along with them in the cheering and rooting for the home team! The experience proved to be one that I will never forget. Not the team! Not the game! Not the victory! Not the fans! Not the cheering. No, for me it was the experience of leaving the Super Dome. I walked to the end of our row, took my first step onto the concrete steps and before I could reach the hand rails to grab on to, my feet went out from under me. (The concrete steps were slippery from all the beer that had been spilled!) I landed on my back. And to make what could be a very long story short: I arrived at Ochsner’s Hospital at around 11:30 and left there with the diagnosis of a fractured rib.

DAY 2: Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Was spent at Ochsner’s until around 4:30 am. We left to come home so my son could attend an 8:30 class that he could not miss. The pain medication that I was given at the hospital apparently made me sick. So to say the least, the two hour ride home was a very miserable one, with the pain, the vomiting, and fighting sleep because I needed to make sure my husband stayed awake at the wheel. He had been up since around 3:30 that morning. My son had his contact lenses packed away so he could not help drive. We were a pathetic trio!!

After we arrived at home, I do not remember too many details. I went to bed immediately. I also continued to take pain medication, this time along with an anti-nausea pill. I did talk to some friends and family members on the phone throughout the day as they each learned about what had happened.

DAY 3: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Again, I cannot recall too many details about the day. The heating pad had become my BFF. I began to worry about the events I had planned for the upcoming weekend. I was not sure how I was going to be able to pull them off. I want to say, also, that I had already become aware of how God had protected me from something that could have been so much worse than what it was. He protected my spine from hitting the concrete which could have possibly left me paralyzed. He also protected my head. A hit that hard to my head could have taken my life. It did not take me three days to figure this out, but it certainly helped me to put everything else into perspective (even the big weekend that was planned).

DAY 4: Thursday, December 3, 2009

I am still not much better, but did not really expect to be. (I had been informed at the hospital that this type of injury takes up to a month to get over). My husband needed to be in his office on Friday, so I made the decision to travel back to New Orleans with him and try to salvage some of the plans I had made for my daughter’s 22nd birthday. So, with the most important items packed: the pain meds, the anti-nausea meds, and the heating pad, we hit the road around 5:00 p.m. We stopped in Slidell, LA and ate supper at Cracker Barrel. It felt good to get out since I had spent the better part of three days in the bed. And all the riding (even hitting the pot holes) did not seem to bother me very much. Not until the next morning…

DAY 5: Friday, December 4, 2009

Today was the day I truly regretted not giving my ticket to one of the many people who let me know how much they coveted it, or not selling it on e-bay for a ridiculous sum. I had teased my husband for a long time about selling them all so I could take my dream trip to New York to see the Christmas decorations and to shop on 5th Avenue.

I was not able to get out of bed by myself. Muscle spasms gripped me all day long and kept me there. I hated not being able to prepare the house for company and some food for the weekend.  But my biggest concern was how to convince my family when they arrived on Saturday morning to continue on with all the planned activities and leave me at home in the bed. I was perfectly content with the idea. Actually, my back hurt too bad to imagine doing anything else. I had already experienced everything we had planned: eating out, shopping, Christmas in the Oaks, and so much more. I knew I would not be missing out on anything other than spending the time with them. I also know my family well enough to know that that is exactly why they could not have been convinced so easily. They would not have wanted to go without me.  

I did a lot of praying today, asking God to allow me to be up and running (well, at least walking) by Saturday.

DAY 6: Saturday, December 5, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL (My 22 year old baby girl)!

God answered my prayers today. I got out of bed by myself and my back felt better! My daughter, son, mom, step-dad, brother, sister in law, niece, one of my daughter’s dogs (a sixty pound lab), and my poodle, Chloe, arrived shortly after noon. We wasted zero time. My daughter opened her gifts and then literally, within minutes, all the girls were back inside the car headed to the mall. We shopped for a couple of hours (well actually my daughter, sister-in-law, and niece shopped while my mom and I sat on a bench enjoying watching everyone else hustling and bustling) and then we met the guys for an early supper. From there, we went back home to prepare for the Christmas walking tour through the park. Even though the temperature was extremely cold, and even though I had to be pushed through the park in a wheel chair, I was so very grateful for this time to spend with all of them.

DAY 7: Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today my back is better than yesterday. I could not believe the mobility I had. My mom fixed a pastry dish for breakfast and then we all dressed and went to Whole Foods Grocery (an odd, but favorite pass time of ours) and then to the Riverwalk Marketplace area.

The entire weekend could not be described as perfect. There were some “moments”, but all in all, it was fun and I think everyone had a good time. It went by very fast, and some of us understand better than others why that was!!

My daughter had Monday off so she decided to stay an extra day. And because we were in two vehicles, everyone else left to go home from the City. My husband, daughter, and myself went back to the house in Metairie, fixed a lunch with some of our grocery buys, and then took a nap. After our nap, my daughter and I got chauffeured to the mall and were able to shop once again for a little while. When my husband picked us up, we went riding around looking at Christmas lights. Supper was a meal of homemade shrimp stew brought to us by friends. It was a welcome treat and very good! We got back in the car and took another drive. This time through LaFriene Park where all the lights that have always been on display at the home of Al Copeland can now be seen. It was gorgeous!! We went home and attempted to watch a Christmas movie. Ironically, I was the only one who stayed awake to see the end.

DAY 8: Monday, December 7, 2009

The plans: 1. My husband to go to work. 2. My daughter and I to finish up some shopping. (She had been trying to make up her mind about a purchase using some money she had received for her birthday.) (We both love to shop and there is no one else in the world I would rather shop with.) 3. To pack, get the dogs, and head home.

The dilemma: I did not feel good! I was having a difficult time moving around and wasn’t so sure I needed to make the two hour trip home. I spent most of the day feeling unsure about what to do. I am usually not so indecisive, but for some reason I felt uneasy about everything. Staying put and getting some rest sounded great, but I could not let go of the desire to ride home with my daughter. The later in the day it got, the greater this desire became. I thought it was because the day was getting away from us and I knew she would be getting into rush hour traffic, as well as, knowing that part of her drive home would be in the dark and possibly in the rain.


I was so confused about what I needed to do that I asked my daughter to make the decision for me. At first, she tried to refuse, but I convinced her otherwise. I asked her to be honest in letting me know which she dreaded more: having to wait on me to pack, load up, a more crowded car, and then getting home later because of having to take me home first OR having to drive home by herself. I gave her a few minutes to think it over before giving me her answer. When I came out of the back bedroom to where she sat in the living room to ask her what she had decided, she started crying. She said she wanted me to go with her. DONE! AT PEACE! NO MORE DOUBTS! I immediately began packing.

She took a wrong turn on the way home. She took the exit to Hammond, Louisiana instead of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It is an easy thing to do if you are not paying attention. We got somewhat turned around and I had to get my GPS out. We went about 3 miles out of the way. It was dark and would have been a little confusing without the GPS. Still trying to understanding why I was on my way home and not in the bed, I felt like I now had my answer and I told her so. “K, this is why I was suppose to be here with you.” Her reply, “No, it is not.” She began to cry.

For the rest of the ride home, she opened up to me. She explained her last trip home from visiting us in Metairie and how she cried and wailed (literally) all the way home as she agonized over her decisions, her life, her attempts to begin changing things when she returned home, and her failure to do so.

(She had expressed to me several times throughout the day how much she dreaded going home. I had no way of knowing why she dreaded it so much. She feared a repeat of her last trip home. I found out later that she had told my mother how much she loved visiting with us because of it being such a great get-a-way for her.)

For a very long time I had felt the desire to have another heart- to -heart with her, and had been praying for the right moment. There had been several opportunities that I could have seized, but never felt right in doing so. Some of my family members and one of my friends knew about my desire. I had actually begun feeling like I was making excuses every time one of them who knew I had been praying for this opportunity would ask me about it after knowing I had spent time with her. I felt like they thought I was simply avoiding talking to her and making excuses. Nothing was further from the truth. Completely out of character for me, I was being extremely patient, wanting God to give me the perfect time. And here it was!! I had had no time to plan it out in my head or rehearse what I was going to say to her. It was all spontaneous, but more importantly it was completely God led. Never one time throughout the day did I understand why I was struggling with what to do. Why the fight, the turmoil, and indecisiveness? I thought it was because I was sick or because I was medicated, but at that moment knew it was God not wanting me to know just yet. It was a very sweet moment. It was a moment that I will savor. It was in that moment that He chose to make things very clear to me.

As she opened up to me I realized more than ever the dangerous position she is in. She feels overwhelmed with her life. She has made some wrong decisions in relationships, priorities, etc. which have in turn pushed her into a corner that she cannot seem to get out of. She is very much overweight and miserable because she has turned to food for comfort. She is in debt partly because she has turned to shopping for a retreat. This has caused her to not be able to leave a very stressful job that she hates and return to school. This job leaves her exhausted and robs her of time to do anything else. She has a love and passion for animals, but has turned to them for comfort as well. She owns three dogs that contribute to her financial problems, as well as, hindering her in some of the decisions she needs to make in regards to moving, etc. (It’s kind of complicated!) We discussed all of this.

There is a prominent doctor in town who lost his young adult daughter this year. She drowned in a swimming pool. I do not know the details of the situation, but as you can imagine there has been a lot of “talk around the town.” My daughter knew her name through work and looked her up on facebook after the accident. She had a poem on her profile page that reached way down into the depths of my daughter’s soul and has affected her in a way that I cannot even begin to talk about. She read this poem to me that she had saved on her phone and I was once again amazed at how my God works, allowing this tragic situation to have a positive influence on someone else’s life.

Here it is:
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone; to have a deep soul relationship with another; to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But to a Christian, God says, "No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, with having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone. Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me exclusive of anyone or anything else; exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing...one that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best! Please allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest thing. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you. Just wait, that's all. Don't be anxious. Don't worry. Don't look around at the things others have gotten or that I have given them. Don't look around at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away to Me, or you'll miss what I want to show you. And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would dream of. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time, until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I've prepared for you. You won't be able to experience the love that exemplified you with Me, and this is perfect love. And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love, I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection,and love that I offer you with Myself. Know that I love you utterly. For I am God; believe it and be satisfied."

(I am still amazed at how God presented these words to her. They have penetrated her heart. I am not sure whether or not she will allow them alone to influence her into making life changing decisions, but they have definitely affected her in a way that could very well be a catalyst to move her in the direction she needs to be going.) 

The last thing I wanted to leave her with was that “mom preached to me all the way home.” But I did not have to. She shocked and amazed me with her words as her heart spilled out. I did take the opportunity to explain to her why her discontentment (knowing where it comes from) gave me a sense of contentment. I think she understood.

What I realized I needed to leave her with was knowing how much she is loved, how much I care, how much I want her to be happy.  I know what she must do to obtain true happiness and so does she. Her feelings of despair and loneliness concern me greatly.  She is on very shaky ground.  She needs stability.  She knows where to get it, but is not quite ready to jump and allow her Father to catch her. I have to be her stability right now.  Through prayer and letting her know that I am here for her and that she is not alone, maybe I can be the one to cheer her on, into the arms of the only One who can fix all of this.  I used an example to show her how God would not storm into her life to fix everything, but as soon as she was ready to turn it all over to Him, how happy He would be to become a part of her life and would not refuse her.  His willingness to help her out of the mess that she alone has allowed is only one prayer away, but it has to be her prayer! She is not ready yet, but I feel like she is closer than she has ever been on this three year journey. I will not give up on her.
He is working in her life.  My prayer, along with everyone else's who loves her, is that she will reach out to Him as this is what He longs for.  He is standing with arms wide open waiting for her.  I find comfort right now in knowing that she knows this too.