Friday, April 27, 2007

Here's my little punkin', Dylan Michael Brady. He had his first birthday on March 21. He has been the apple of his grandma and grandpa's eyes, and we LOVE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of precious grandbabies. More, more, I want more!!!

This is my big boy, Dakota. The last time I took him to the vet for shots, check-up, etc., he weighed 109 #! He's big boned, tall, and a has about 20# of fur, even though I take him to the groomers once a month! I will admit, he's got a bit of a paunch under all that hair, though. But he's so, so lovable and sweet. I am such a pet lover--although one cat and one dog is my limit. ABSOLUTELY NO RODENTS EVER ALLOWED IN THIS HOUSE...and I don't care how much my children might have begged. I drew the line on that one. I'm go glad God created dogs and cats. They add so much to our lives.

This is Mocha, my 16 pound ball of fur. He's half Himilayan and half Siamese, and 100% big baby. He loves to be carried around, cuddled, loved on, and combed. Every morning while I'm getting ready for my day in the bathroom, he jumps up on the counter and begs for me to get "his comb" out of the drawer. Then he'll sit there and purr as loud as tractor while I comb through his long hair--all the way from the tip of his nose to the end of his long, thick tail. I just love this big guy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What an Easter Present!

On Good Friday morning, hubby and I set off for Orlando to visit The Holy Land Experience. This is an amazing park with incredible exhibits and live musical dramas and presentations. Hard to explain what it's like. You just need to "experience" it for yourself. I hope we have the opportunity to go again sometime because we only got to stay an hour or so before I fainted in the ladies' restroom and was whisked away by ambulance to Orlando Regional Hospital. Two days and about 13 tests later, it was determined that my fainting spell was just that--a fainting spell. I hadn't been feeling well, and the combination of drugs I'd taken for my headache, the Florida sun, and maybe some dehydration caused me to pass out.

That wasn't what I wanted to share, however. Let me tell you about my wonderful God experience on Saturday afternoon. Lying in the hospital bed after 36 hours of tests and still more to go before the doctors were satisfied, I was beginning to feel the onset of a major panic attack--and I mean MAJOR. I had the shakes, couldn't still my heart rate, developed diarrhea and nausea, and was hyperventilating. Since I tend to have a history with anxiety, I recognized the signs, but no matter how hard I tried, reciting Bible verses and praying unceasingly, I couldn't get a grip. It seemed the enemy Satan had decided to begin whispering lies in my head about my being on the verge of a breakdown, telling me my panic was about to increase ten-fold, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Well, while in the throes of panic, I was laid on a board to prepare for yet another test, this one a 20-minute series of pictures taken of my heart during which time I was not permitted to move a muscle. I told the technicians that I was having a panic attack and wasn't sure I could handle one more test. The notion of lying still inside a "rocket-shaped" machine only increased my agitation. Seeming to ignore my situation, one technician patted my arm and mumbled something like, "You'll get through it." As if that were any consolation. Then off they went into a little room to operate the machine--leaving me alone to listen to the pounding rhythm of my rapid heartbeat.

Ah, but I wasn't alone. Jesus was there, the resurrected Jesus! How could I have forgotten?

After lying on that hard, narrow cot for all of one minute, encapsulized in a solid steel vessel, it suddenly occured to me that Satan had been toying with me. In my head (I couldn't move a muscle, so I figured that included my mouth), I said "Satan, leave me alone." But then I thought to myself, Wait! He can't hear me, he's not all-knowing, all powerful--he can't read minds. But Jesus can! So 'in my head' I said, "Jesus, would you please go tell Satan to leave me alone?"
There is only one word to describe what happened next, and that word is INSTANTANEOUS.
Up and down my body flowed an indescribable peace and rest. My panic rolled away and I became so comfortable on that 12-inch board, right arm lying on a pillow-type extension, left arm tucked up under my head, unmovable. Tears of joy fell silently down my cheeks as I lay on my newfound cloud of comfort and experienced God's divine mercy and love.

In those freeing moments I realized anew that Satan is a defeated foe. I pictured him (more likely his pesky messengers--remember there's only one Satan--he cannot be in more than one place at any given time like God can) fleeing as fast as they could go when Jesus came along and simply said, "Scram! She's mine." That little word picture had me so blessed I could barely keep from shouting Hallelujah in that steel rocket!

When they wheeled me into that testing room I was one panicked individual, but when they wheeled me out I was NEW, different! My husband noticed it right away. "You look like a different person," he told me. I said, "I am. God healed me of my fear in there." I told the technicians, the nurses, and even a couple of doctors what had happened to me, how God had rescued me from my panic, completely removed it with a simple little plea of, "God, please tell Satan to leave me alone." Most smiled. Some nodded their heads and looked a little skeptical, while others said, "That's cool." Bottom line, I really didn't care what anyone thought because I knew what I knew what I knew... and that was that God intervened for me that day.

I serve a big God, and when I call on His name, He hears and answers!