Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Anchor Held!

I know I ended my last post saying I would return to the list but I must put the list off for a bit! This really isn't a traditional blog post. I am writing this so I will remember!

Boy, have I got a lot to say to myself!

The past week has been unlike any other in my life. First, I want to say the events in Japan are almost unspeakable. I cannot wrap my mind around the destruction, around the horror or heartache. I cannot imagine how it would have been to survived and to have everything I understood as life just gone. Gone. Not knowing about family or knowing. No way to recover anything, anything, anything the least bit familiar. This would be difficult to walk if I was walking hand in hand with the Lord. I truly cannot imagine attempting to navigate these days without Him. Oh my, how I pray. I have had several sleepless nights this week and I have felt the Lord call me to conversation with Him concerning the country of Japan and its people. The needs are so great and I know that I am not wise enough to know how or what to pray, so I continually ask the Lord to do what He does best, extend His grace and mercy and draw harrassed and helpless to Him. Lord move our hearts to help. Thank you, Lord that you invite us to cling to you, especially when we are living what is unexplainable.

A week ago today, I believe the day the destruction began in Japan, I had a bit of trouble myself. I had been asked by BJB to pick up Eden from Thursday school. She and Nika had been caught in traffic coming home from a Women's Ministry meeting out of town. I realized that I was picking Eden up at about the same time KJV was picking her two youngest after school. AH HA, a chance to meet up with cousins! So, KV and I planned to meet at the Starbucks on Denton Hwy by the shop. BJB & NM caught up with us there. The three youngest J,K & E had a blast being the decision makers. We just had a great time! (How could you not with that group!?)

We parted and started to make our separate ways home. I happened to be following BJB down Watauga Road. Just before I got to the Chase Bank on Rufe Snow all in the same moment I saw a pick up truck coming hard and fast out of the shopping center by the JPS Clinic. The truck was not coming out the exit but through the landscape! As soon as I saw him, he hit me. The driver hit my suburban right in front of the driver door (again, thank you, Lord!) knocked my car over the curb and he crashed into the corner of the Chase Bank. I just remember my head hitting the door side of my car, going to the other side and forward. I had my seatbelt on.

I was taken to the hospital in the ambulance and the man was taken by helicopter. After x-rays & scans I was released that night about 8 or 9 o'clock, I think. The other driver was released too. Amazing, just amazing. (The Bank is still in poor condition.)

I cannot believe that I did not have a broken bone, not one cut...just a very very large bump...actually the whole side of my head was swollen and all the parts that were not broken or bleeding hurt!

I was in a bad wreck last Thursday but what I experienced was the grace and mercy of the Lord. He was the shield around me. I was stunned by how quickly friends can fill a waiting room. Thank you, Lord.

I cannot imagine sweet BJB & NM as the events unfolded. I am so sorry. They did not know I was behind them. They were aware of the man hitting the landscaping and heard the crash, looked back and recognized my car. It looked awful. She & Nika prayed. She wheeled into the bank parking lot. She called MJ, Andy & Tony. She called Kelly. She called Sam & Em. They called Tim & VG. I remember raising my head and seeing Beck and wondering what she was doing there. I could tell she was scared. It took me several minutes to begin to put things together. Very soon MJ & AJ were at my side. (Just an aside, my husband is just the best at many things. The traffic had been stopped and was backed up for several blocks back toward Denton Hwy...when he & AJ turned onto Watauga Rd the firetruck was turning also...they got in the center lane right behind the firetruck & followed it and were there in mere minutes!) Kelly was picking up Tori after school when she got the call. Tori's school was blocks from the accident. She was there in minutes. (Aside #2 when Kelly came over to me Tori & Kadi stayed in the car. Tori's very favorite teacher from last year was leaving Albertson's& saw Kelly. She came to check on Kelly ask about Tori. Kelly told her Tori was over in the car. The teacher went to Tori. Later, I asked Tori what her teacher said," She got in the car. She sat with me and prayed with me until mom got back." Thank you, Lord.)
My family is wonderful every day, our love runs deep and wide and is spoken well daily. I hope I never forget the sweetness and tenderness of my family on this day. I could see fear in their eyes. I could see love and tenderness to me in their eyes and feel it in their touch. I could hear it in Sam's voice over the phone. I could tell he wished he was with us. How I love them.

A week later...
*I am much better. Still sore but not as sore! Fatigue is a part of this some how. Resting is what I have done best this week. My sister Vicki came and stayed with me on Friday, just to watch me sleep! She came back Monday and got 4 V kids and I brought us to Baird and has cared for all us this week. They left this AM and MJ is on his way. Hip, Hip Hooray for Vicki! I could not have made this week with out her. I am a blessed woman. Thank you, Lord.

*My 4wheel drive suburban was totaled. RATS.

*The line from a song that kept going over and over in my mind while I was laying in the hospital..."gotta be ready when He calls my name"

*Don't try to explain what God does and does not do. You can't do it. You don't need to. He is Who He Is, and He is Good. The outcome of an event does not change His goodness.

*One person I thought of several times before I left the hospital was my chiropractor. I knew we would be renewing our relationship.

* I also really wanted to see Jessica and talk with Emille. Love those ladies to pieces! I was also able to talk with TB & RV. Four mighty anchors in our family.

*Even during the unknown time at the hospital we laughed...the Jeffrey Family sense of humor is delightful!

****Life can change so quickly. I was just driving down the road going home after a very sweet time with some of my children and grandchildren. I realize I must live this life ready to make my exit at any moment. ( I knew that before the wreck, I can just say it with a bit more fervor this week!!) I truly do not know the day or the hour. I intend to live even more intentional with the days ahead. I do want to hear Him when He calls my name. Of course, I expect to hear Him call when it is time to be called home but I want to be intentional in responding when He calls me to go and do here on earth. Thank you, Lord. I love you, I absolutely love you! ****

OK, I have gone way too long, but I could have gone longer!

Friday, March 4, 2011

What a week!

Well, you know I had a wonderful visit to Virginia...Sam, Emille, Bailey, Brylee, could it have been anything but wonderful!? Highlights everyday with that crew! I do not have the space or time to tell you how I love them! (Aren't you glad that I am not going to try!?)
Sunday we were so pleased to be there on a Sunday when SJ led the communion service. I know the Lord was pleased. I was thrilled. SJ is a spiritual man that has great ease speaking before a large group. You can feel the love that church family has for them.
On Monday S& Em had the idea for Em & I and the kids to ride the metro into DC to go through the National Archives. Sam would meet us there when he got off work. It is an amazing building to go through. Full of American History...original history exhibits. The last we saw was in the rotunda, the orginal Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The only frustration of the day was me loosing my cell phone! I fully expect to return some day and see it in a nice glass case, with a very good story about it being a very useful tool back in 2011! It will be sitting there with your phone number in it. (jk...we cancelled it very quickly)! I did find out that I had been way too proud of my address book! I am working my back though, I am up to four numbers. I do have both of my daughters numbers. I realize I have neither of my sons...wonder when they will call me???
Leaving VA is always a sad good by, but this time it was with a bit of added flair. Sam was getting my bags, Em was coming around to get into the drivers seat & I was bending over into the back of the van to kiss sweet Caleb good by...he and I both were a bit teary. I felt sweet Brylee stick her leg between mine & plant her leg on the floor, pinning mine next to the seat. and I heard the click...she had locked us in the car. She thought she had this one figured out! Her parents did a bit of straight talking and she opened the door. I loved it! Love those kids to pieces. (Also over the top love Tori, Timothy, Jonathan, Kadi, Payton, Benjamin, Eden and June that I left behind her in NRH!)

MJ and I are at the ranch this weekend waiting for three couples to come join us later this evening. . These three are a mentoring group that we are blessed to enjoy. I know the weekend will be a rich one, lots of getting to know each other better, a lot of outside time, time in the Word and whole lot of laughing! We love these kids...they are the age of our kids!

My Come before Winter team leaves next Friday for a renewal in Honduras. I am going to miss going with them. I know I am doing the right thing staying behind on this trip, but it is hard. I love each Come before Winter renewal and I love my team mates! Each renewal (and each team mate!!!) has its own uniqueness.

I have done quite a bit of rambling on this one...I will get back to my list next time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Virginia Jeffrey Clan Here I Come!

Well, I am just beside myself this morning!
I get to fly to Virginia to visit our eldest son and his ever so precious family! I can hardly wait! We last were with this clan for a week at Thanksgiving and we all would tell you, it was marvelous (ok, MJ would never use that word to describe the time but I know that is what he thought!). We were so thankful for that time, but we all knew it was not going to be long enough, and it wasn't.
I am happy that I get to go, and MJ will come tomorrow, but how I would love to pack in the Vaughn, Brooks & A,J & baby J for the trip. It blesses a mother's heart in a unique way to have all her adult children together. It is an over the top blessing to know that they all long to be together. One delightful memory from thanksgiving is the sound of uproarious (is that a should be) laughter in the house, not hard to imagine, is it? They are all four funny, they married ones who love to laugh and being with each other kicks the humor up a notch or two. Oh my.

Better than the laughter was the wise counsel they shared with each other, the challenges issued and the prayers prayed for each other and for their parents.

So, here I go. I go carrying the family love to despense in VA. I will do my best job! I know Emille & the kids will pick me up. I am so excited about looking into the van and seeing three of the most precious faces ever. They will be smiling, saying, "Precious!" (If they are true to g'kid form they will say next, "Where is Paw???" I am so glad I am paired with him...they love him so and I get in on his card a good bit of the time! Sam will join us soon after and my VA joy will be complete!

I do have to go! I get to lead a Coffe Break Bible Study before I go! My goodness, this a blessed day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life Well Lived Looks Really Good

I an taking a turn from Allison's list today.

Today MJ and I did something we had never done before. We attended two funerals on the same day. One at 9:30 this morning and the other at 11. The first one was for the mother of a dear friend, the second was for a dear lady who had been our friend for 30 years.

My life would have been better and richer if I had known Martina Turner. Her son in law spoke eloquently about his love for her, for the family he had married into. He spoke boldly and affirmingly to his wife and to her three siblings about the care they had given their mother as she journeyed her last days here. Two of her grandchildren spoke. They spoke of her teaching them to love to learn, to love the Lord and to love each other. By the time they were through I knew it was time for me to up my grandmother game a notch or two! We saw the blessing of love of the Lord and family being passed from generation, to generation, to generation because of life well lived.

My life was better because I knew Gaynell Phillips. She was the mother of five. I was a mother of four. I think she could recognize the glaze over my eyes. She blessed and encouraged me as a young mother. She taught me not to just love my children but to enjoy them. She had laugh out loud funny children and so did we. Her youngest was a year or two ahead of our oldest and they became dear friends in high school. Gaynell was the one who assured me I was going to survive KJ leaving home to go to college...that the relationship was going to be different but it was going to be wonderful. She was right. She and her husband Don spoke words of blessing into MJ and I when we were young. They along with another couple watered seeds that others had planted in us then began to tend the little seedlings plants for the love of being in the Word.

Over the past several years Gaynell she suffered losses almost too deep to be spoken here. Yet she never allowed those losses ot define her. She continued to bless, encourage and affirm until the end of her journey. Children and grandchildren spoke at this service too and once again we saw the blessing being passed down from generation to generation, to generation because of life lived well.

Life well lived looks really good. Well done good and faithfull servants, well done.

Friday, February 18, 2011

#2 Continued!

I neglected to mention why I started with the last post with the story that I did. Wed night leaving church a dear young friend ask me about writing a bit more...I told her I would do more if someone would give me topics! Low & behold later in the evening I checked email & I had a message from her with the topics she wished to hear about! So, I just started with the first on her list...How did you meet MJ!

I am just going to work through her list!

Before I go on to number two on the list I need to finish up number one! After our meeting at the stoplight we dated the rest of the way through high school. It caused my (and I trust his) senior year to be very sweet. I left for college in the fall and he stayed home to both work and attend school. I broke up with him soon after I started ACU...actually that is another whole post...that break up gave my dad the longest drive of his life back from Abilene to FtW! Can't believe I did it, but they had driven somthing out to Abilene for me...why I don't know, but that seemed like the right time to break up! What on earth was I thinking? (Obviously, only about myself!) We stayed broken up until April of that year. (Really broken up, we did not see each other, we did not call.)

When we began to date again it was husband has always been a model of extending grace. I finished college in three years and we married in August before my last year began.

I must tell you that my family fell in love with MJ very quickly! My father loved him quickly and deeply. Frank was the father of three girls that he delighted in but here was someone that loved to hunt and fish! They became fast friends. It never occurred to us (3 girls) that our father loved to hunt and fish! I still remember wandering out into the garage with them and seeing my dad show MJ old fishing poles that I never noticed before. They shared a bond so tight. My dad introduced MJ to the Lord through the life he led. He showed him how to lead with love and discipline and have all kinds of followers. I have so many treasured memories of their friendship...I remember the stories they would tell after hunting trips that would have tears of laughter...good good memories! My father had insight into MJ early. I remember him telling me, Suzy, I like him. I really like him.
My mother and sisters loved him from the beginning too. If I was not ready on time when he came to pick me up, my sisters (the twins! two 1/2 yrs older than I) would entertain him until I got ready. He wanted me to be on time.
I know my mother loved him early, but oh my the love she had for him during the last years of her life was amazing. We all knew he was the favorite. During the season of her ife when her children were having to make decisions for her she would resist her three daughters. He could come in and talk about what needed to happen and she was ready to follow what ever he said. (It did not take us long to start sending him in first!) She knew we loved her but she really really knew he loved her. Don't know if this makes sense but I think she loved his love!

I am so sorry, I am getting way off the stated subject...MJ and I married on
August 1, 1969! We are in our 42nd year of marriage. What an incredible journey this has been. He can still just about make my heart explode with love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How I Met The Man!

Well, this is just about the most amazing story in my life! When I think about it, I know the hand of the Lord was orchestrating plans that I could have never imagined. I did not know to dream as large and exciting as my life has been with MJ!

We met the summer between our junior and senior year in high school and I am telling you the truth that my dear mother passed away 4 years ago and she went to glory without getting all of these details from me. (The statute of limitations did not run out with my mother!) I know enough about my legalistic self back in those days that I did not come right out and lie to her but I am sure, you might say, that as junior in high school, I was creative with my answers. I also must say, that if either of my daughters had followed in these particular footsteps of their mother I would have probably lost my hair in clumps.

Here is the story as I remember...this post may come as multiple posts...

After church on a Sunday night a friend asked me to go "riding around" (which was what you did in the summer back then) with her. After we had been to the usual stops on the east side we decided to drive over to Arlington. There was this gathering place for the high school crowd, it was a place like a Sonic. We pulled her nice car in and right next to us were these two very cute guys in a convertable. One was MJ and the other was his cousin. We began to talk and not only were they cute they were funny...I really remember us talking a while and doing a lot of laughing. Next, is what I can't believe I did, because I had not done this before, we gave them our phone numbers!!!!

We gave them those numbers, they called us about a week later and ask us out. MJ asked the other girl out and his cousin asked me out. Neither one of us could go. We did not hear from them again.

In October of the next fall, the same girl ask me after church if I would go with her to Arlington to take something back to a friends house. Sure! We took an annual back to her friend were driving down Park Row, pulled up at a stop light, MJ pulls up right next to us! We pull into a 7/11 parking lot and talk again. He calls me the next day and we have been chatting ever since!!!

There are so many details here that are amazing to me even yet...I was the church going girl, he was not raised in a family that churched anywhere. Our backgrounds are as different as could be. NOW, this will have to come to a close because this man that was that young handsome boy that did not know the Lord at all has just called me as handsome funny older man leaving the elders meeting and is ready to drive to the ranch at 10:30 PM...the adventure that is my life continues...more later, my friends!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well, here I am...

Today is just a good sweet day for me! Time with family and friends going back over good good memories of ones in the family line that have gone before us. We come from a long line of really good people, people who invested both time and treasue in us. They spoke words of blessing, words of discipline and words of encouragement at just the right time during years when I am sure we made some days not all that pleasant for them.

Oh, I am so thankful for those good people. I am thankful for the way they loved each other, loved their country and loved their Lord. I love the way they communicated their love to us.

Pondering the ones who have gone before in the family line sure does cause me to want to pick up and play the best game I have for the ones following after me! (I had that thought inspired in a conversation with one of my sons yesterday...hope to let you know more about those thoughts later.) I do not want my life to be a distraction to ones following me in life.

I want to say a great big more than thank you to my niece,Valerie Goode, serving in the Peace Corp in Bulgaria, who heard of my great need of a blog update and voi-la here one was!!!! She is an amazing woman and we all love her her so and miss her so much that typing this makes my eyes fill with tears of longing to see her beautiful sweet face!

More later...