Saturday, July 30, 2011

Victor Update

Don't know if anyone really reads this blog.  It seems like there is so much competition for our attention these days, blogs are just another thing to read. I've discovered some great ones, though.  That said, I realize I haven't said much in a while about how Victor is doing, just in case others DO check in from time to time to see about him/us.

Victor has more energy these days.  His back doesn't hurt constantly, just regularly... every couple of days, he says.  I imagine it will constantly improve as it has been doing this past month and 1/2 since he's gotten out of the hospital. 

Let's review: 
Victor had his accident: May 14th.
Victor got out of the hospital: June 13th
Victor has been home for seven weeks.

We have been so blessed by other's giving.  Just the other day, an anonymous donor put $100 in our mailbox.  A very good friend bought us a new mattress, so Victor is now sleeping on it in our bedroom. 

I have noticed that Victor is using his laptop now. He is paying bills and catching up on his emails--but don't expect one if he promised it while he was in the hospital! :D He doesn't remember much about his first 2-3 weeks there. ;D  He wants to begin working out at the gym again. (Therapy?!!)  He has driven a bit.  We have gone on out to eat as a family a couple of times.  The stimulation of a public place still weighs on him--it's hard to filter out distractions. He is beginning to cook for himself if I'm not available, and do some housework.  All good things.  Still, he is tires easily.  It's a slow road, but he's making his way. 

He has been asking questions about the accident, and has pretty much interviewed everyone that was there at the time--except of course the paramedics!  He's trying to piece everything together... The other day he mentioned wanting to go back to the hospital so he can see it from another perspective.  Being a patient was not much to his liking. 

Both Victor and I are challenged to work through issues that were perhaps easier to ignore before the accident. I call it "before the fall."  With the disruption from our daily lives of the accident--we seem to be seeing things through new eyes.

We still appreciate your prayers and encouragement!  Thanks to everyone who has rallied around us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Laugh, Don't Cry

Our camel's back has
Small straws
Lost necesities
Library books
Shampoo and soap
Garage door opener
Larger straws
Car wreck
Law suits
A sick child
Broken bones
Bad backs

Fear and paranoia
Feral and fierce
Laser focus
I can't stand up to
So ridiculous
I hurry to laugh
Hold my hand
We pray
Frustrated fighting
Falls flat
In the face of Faith

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mary Tyler Moore Lives Here

Canned laughter floats through my home over the roar of the air conditioning. 

Ever since my husband has come home from the hospital, he has watched tv to distract him from all the back, ribs, shoulder pain.  Nostalgic channels seem to work the most miracles on him. You know the tv shows he watched as a kid that are rebroadcast regularly. 

Oh there's Lucy and Ricky, The Brady Bunch, and even The Twilight Zone. But Mary Tyler Moore seems to work her magic the best.  I love the old Dick Van Dyke show with Rob, Laura, Richie, Buddy, Sally, Mel, and of course the neighbors Jerry and Millie.  But MTM also has Mary in the 70's--you know Oprah's idol, the news producer alone in the city.  These two shows are back to back sometimes twice a day. 

They say laughter is the best medicine and in this case, I guess it's true!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More on Rebekah, Isaac, Jesus and You

Rebekah means Bound. Wow!   On a whim I looked this up.  If we, the church, are Rebekah, the Bride of Christ, we are bound to Him.  Awesome. 

I had wanted to write more on what I learned from the Chumash, (see last post: Isaac and Rebekah.)  It mentioned that while Rebekah approached from her camel, she inclined towards Isaac.  I see this as a picture of us as we are journeying towards Jesus, our husband. We are inclining towards Him as we worship him in both large settings and privately,  and when we read, study and pray the Word. 

I have always been a bit flustered since I heard a sermon on the word, prayer.  It means "to kiss."  Like a girl on her first date kind of flustered.  Pink cheeks, flustered.  I mean what kind of intimacy is that?  Something most of us can relate to!  Are you "praying" this intimately with Him?  Is He touching your heartstrings like a lover?  Do you feel the same intimacy with your Maker as you do your boy or girl friend, or spouse--at least in the good ol' days when you were newlyweds!  Hopefully, you are still in that wonderful stage--but I digress.

In the Chumash the commentary says, "Finally, Isaac brought [Rebekah] to his mother's tent, and there it became apparent that she was a fitting successor to Sarah, for the holy presence of Sarah returned to the tent of her son,  It was then that Isaac loved her..." 

Sarah means princess.  The Jews see her as a princess of their people...maybe more like a queen.  The Chumash seems to make her into a saint in the above quote when they talk about her "holy presence" in the tent.  A bit creepy.  Kind of like making love in your in-laws bedroom... But my point today is that Sarah does, in a sense, bequeath her royalty to Rebekah.  We, too, receive a royalty when we become a child of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

So, whethter you are a male or female, prince or princess, we are going to wed the Prince of Peace. Shouldn't we be doing a lot of kissing?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Isaac and Rebekah-A Picture of Jesus and His Bride

The book is heavy.  It is bound in a dark blue leather.  The sides of the pages shine, slick and golden. It is read from left to right. It is called the Chumash: the five books of Moses.

I discovered a similar copy at my dear friend's house. In awe I opened the beautiful tome and wondered at the Hebrew text that fill the right side pages.  The left side translation was my mother tongue, my heart language.  It was the scriptures I knew from childhood, but through a distinctively Jewish lens.  I had to have a copy of my own.  I used a gift card from a student which didn't cover the entire price... I believe it is worth every penny. 

So today I read my favorite Bible Story (or at least Torah story,) how Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, goes to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham had just taken Isaac with him to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him to the Lord.  We know that God halted him with knife flashing in mid-air, ready to slice his "son, his only son," 's throat.  We know that God provided the ram in a nearby bush that "just happened" to be there.  What I learned today is that in Jewish tradition (unlike in the old movies like The Bible,) Isaac was 37 years old!  [...which is a good age to find a wife. My husband was that age when he married me!]

God knew Abraham was devoted to him because he was going to sacrifice his "son, his only son," even though he had waited almost 100 years for him!  And here begins the great analogies that give us life and grace today: Abraham now knew how God would feel a couple of thousand years later. 
Here's where it gets interesting.
Abraham calls Eliezer to him to send him to his brother's house to get a wife from his own people for Isaac.  Here the Jewish commentary says: (and there is a LOT of commentary!) when the text says "lay your hand on my thigh and swear that you will do this," thigh refers to his "loins" (euphemism for penis.) So, I'm thinkin' woah, Abraham, this is really serious! But it doesn't seem to phase good ol' Eliezer.  He promises, he goes back to Haran, where Abraham came from and looks for a kind girl, one who will not only think of his but of his camels' welfare.

To me the analogy began to flow.  Jesus, God's son, His only son, has a forerunner, Isaac.  God wants a bride for His son!  He sends his servant, one who is willing to believe for the best, and look for the best possible wife. Do you see Believers here as Eliezer, the servant who has traveled a long way to find the Bride for God's Son Jesus?

Throughout the Scriptures God has painted picture after picture of His plan of salvation for His lost. My pastor friend preached a great sermon about that last Sunday when I visited the Vineyard.  I have gone 2 weeks in a row just to hear these sermons on Loss (going through quite a bit of that now.) Here's the link to these great messages: Restoring God's Loss 7/18/11.

Back to Isaac/Jesus and Rebekah/the Church, the Bride of Christ--we are both  Eliezer, the servant. when we seek to introduce others to Jesus; and we are Rebekah, the bride, once we accept the Son.
When Isaac saw Rebekah from afar off, he had been "supplicating"--praying, waiting for his wife to be brought to him.  She "inclined" which the commentaries say means leaned towards him (from atop her camel) and put on her veil, preparing herself for him.

"Then he took her into his tent, and made her his wife."  They knew each other intimately.  Precious and beautiful, don't you think? Even if you are a guy, you could get that part if you see it from Jesus'/Isaac's point of view.

More on this later...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our First Family Outing in 2 Months

We are headed for the Macaroni Grill!  Victor has not wanted to leave the house for this past month and he was in the hospital for the month previous to that.  I got a gift card for a teacher appreciation gift from Home Ed Plus.  All four of us will pile into the unairconditioned car this evening.  Victor can't drive yet.  I wonder how much stamina he'll have?  Pasta pictures are coming! I'll need to get a family pic as well just to remind us that we can be a family.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Best Part of My Day

...was holding a baby.

          Head like velvet
          Tongue clicks softly
          Blue eyes look up
          In my face
          Like I've hung the moon.

          Head bobs
          Arms akimbo
          Relaxing into
          Peaceful slumber.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Opposites Attract then Drive Each Other Crazy...

unless there is mutual trust and of course, love, "which covers a multitude of sins."  :D
I finally got to the store Saturday to complete my anniversary bouquet that I was headed to get on Friday when the accident occurred. It is the perfect visual for my marriage.  I highly value symbolism, irony, metaphor... oh and puns... the lowest form of humor according to my husband.  Keep the above in mind when you see our anniversary bouquet.
Guess who the puffy, frilly hydrangeas represent and the spiky, thistle-like "flowers" represent?  But don't they look good together?  The contrast of the shapes and the colors coordinate so well. This is what God intends for our marriage.  Don't they kind of look like fireworks?
      It's interesting that today, more than one person on Facebook has said, "Independence doesn't make you free."  Only Jesus can truly do that.  Funny that only in submission to our King are we truly freed. 

Happy 4th of July everyone! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Food Journey


BLT Salad a la Everyday Foods.  Today's "lunch", a relative term here, since it's almost 4:00 p.m. Let's see if we can avoid "complications" (read nausea) for Victor.  Bacon = turkey.  Another success!  What better comfort food than croutons made from scratch...and homemade Ranch Dressing.  It's just buttermilk, mayo, apple cider vinegar and chopped green onions.  I added a bit of sour cream for thickness otherwise it can get  watery. 

I first found this recipe in  Issue 19 of EF, Jan/Feb 2005, in their special light issue--New Year's Resolutions, you know, turn over a new leaf by quitting all the rich foods that you stuffed your face with between (if you're a mom) Halloween candy and Christmas cookies.  It's by far my most worn issue, with about 10 of my favorite recipes.  Turkey chili that uses cocoa powder and molasses--SO good.  It's the Super Bowl issue too, so there are several meals for a crowd.   

Now I just call up the recipe from my Zip List Recipe Box. My husband, Mr. Organized, knows that we save more money on buying groceries if we go with a list that was made with a menu in mind.  I pick my recipes and it automatically adds the ingredients to a shopping list that I can print and take to the store with me.  If I had a smart phone/iPad, which I don't, I could just look it up there.  Oh wait, I do have an iPhone--but I promised I'd send it back!  I will.  I haven't even turned it on or anything! But it sure is tempting! :D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What do you do when everything's new?

I love to cook.  My grandmother cooked the same 10 recipes or so with most things coming from a can or a box.  It was that generation, I suppose.  My mom worked and didn't cook much.  So I have to confess that Martha Stewart basically taught me to cook.  As a new wife 16 years ago, I was eager to try new things in the kitchen.  Victor liked the order of the Martha Stewart magazine and the Good Things, so we ordered the magazine.  Real Simple came next.  Dwell.  All with cool style and some great recipes.  Finally we found Everyday Food--still under Martha's eagle eye of style but with other chefs in the mix.  We have every issue of this cute, smaller magazine--I mean smaller in size--like the old Reader's Digests. 

I still like looking up recipes at the Martha website because of the zip list link.  You just  pick the meal you want from her site and it automatically adds all the ingredients on a list for you at as well as adding the recipe link to your virtual recipe box.  We've been taking Everyday Food magazine since 2003 and I can look up the recipes on line, find where they are in the magazines and not have to print out hard copies to have in the kitchen when I cook.

Ok, so because of V's nausea, it seems like he can't eat much that he used to eat.  He doesn't know what he can eat, and neither do I.  I actually started praying about  what to buy when I'm at the store.   Jesus ate fish, so I bought some (even though we haven't eaten much in a long while.) And, he actually ate it! 

At least today I got some more help directly from him.  "Comfort Food" is what he wants.  Now for me that's chocolate and PB&J.  Hardly his favorite.  This is still challenging. 

Success!  He said yes, to potato salad.  That's  his comfort food. Yay.


It feels like we are right now.  I can't drive my wrecked car, just in case fluids leak and can cause worse damage.  Victor wants us not to be rushed by the insurance company's "machine" that railroads you to go to their authorized body shops.  He and I have both had bad experiences with badly done body repair on wrecked cars.  I told him that I respected his desire to go slowly and find a reputable car repair place that we can trust.  But that's not until Tuesday.

But I can't really leave the house.  Remember the broken garage door?  That's the one that is in front of the car that works--and our bikes.  So I call neighbors to see if I can get a ride to run errands.  No one is home because I suppose it's 4th of July weekend. 

Of course, in the spirit I am not trapped.  When my efforts to struggle to make things happen come to naught, I have to look up and ask my Father what He has intended for today (this weekend for that matter!) My flesh wants convenience, wants things to come easy.  Right now, not much in my life comes effortlessly.  Why do we even think life will be like that? 

Victor is now being honest about his pain. It is hard for anyone to admit they are disabled who is independent and isn't used to having to depend on others.  He tells me his back feels like a hot iron is poking him (3rd lumbar- low back). He has numbing in the right hand and can't hear well out of one ear.  Not to mention the ribs or shoulder blade pain.  The kids and I can only imagine.

My son gets frustrated because his dad sits on the couch in pain (watching tv to get his mind off of it) where he wants to be playing video games on the Wii. Mark gets irritated that Daddy asks him to bring him water, etc.  I know he's only 11, but I wish he had a bit more compassion or understanding.  I pray that will come for all of us.  Compassion, I'm seeing, is something from above.  Our natural compassion just isn't enough for the long haul like this. Intellectually and spiritually, I can see that we are growing, but we all four need lots of grace, because we fail to be loving every day.   But we also succeed a bit each day too.

I am rereading a book on Psalm 91.  I have begun to pray this Psalm again.  I can't believe I haven't been praying it everyday since the accident first happened.  You better believe I'm doing it now.  My friend gave me Psalm 20 when I called her right after the accident yesterday.  I prayed it while I was waiting for the policeman to arrive.
Psalm 20
 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
   may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
   and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
   and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
   and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
   and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

   May the LORD grant all your requests.
 6 Now this I know:
   The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
  He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
   with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
   but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
   but we rise up and stand firm.
9 LORD, give victory to the king!
   Answer us when we call!

I don't know how people do it without God's help.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From the Sublime to the Crime

I spent the morning at the Tabernacle Experience, taking in the symbolism and the significance of it all. 
 Prayers rise like incense.  
 My time with the Lord is tender and powerful. 
I lit the menorah. 

I took communion at the shew bread table.  Notice the stripes on the matzo; they symbolize the stripes on the true Bread of Life. Jesus bore stripes so we could be healed.  

And then, BOOM! A lady pulls in front of me from the Vanderbuilt Square parking lot this afternoon near the intersection of Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway. My first thought is, "Satan hates me."  It seems like the days I spend time praying for Israel, or doing any kind of spiritual warfare, he definitely sends attacks.   Like in 1 Peter 5:8  "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

As soon as we pulled out of traffic (yes, the car is still drivable,) an ambulance just happened to be in a nearby parking lot.  They saw the accident, called the police for us, and checked to see if we were ok. My daughter was in the car too, but fortunately in the back.  She called her friend right after the accident.  Her friend and mom just happened to be nearby and offered to buy us lunch right near the accident scene. The lady I hit was very sweet.  She and I spoke and I'd like you to pray for her.  She was distressed that it was her fault. I definitely feel like this was a Psalm 91 experience.  The funniest part was that she asked me if my baby was ok... yup, it's time to lose weight. Even funnier is that I was flattered that she thought I looked young enough to be pregnant! 
So, here it is, my anniversary and fourth of July weekend.  I will probably spend it here, at home.  Where else can I go?  I have a healing husband and no car. 
I'm not really feeling sorry for myself.  How can I when I have such protection in the midst of strife? I will leave you with a couple more Victor pictures for my attempt at anniversary honor. 
                                    More of my house that my hubby designed and built. 
Our upstairs is down, and our downstairs is up. That means bedrooms on first floor and living spaces upstairs.  It's like a treehouse!