Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brain Surgery to Remove Two Tumors - 12-12-12

Dec. 7, 2012,  I found out that I had to have brain surgery to remove what the MRI stated as a large, fast growing, malignant tumor embedded in my brain.   When they operated they found not one but two tumors the size of two tangerines, they were not malignant, and they were not embedded in the brain but in the lining of the brain tissue and they were fast growing so the urgency of the operation was imperative.  What an answer to all of the prayers that were going up. This was the beginning of the many, many miracles that I have experienced over the last 6 months of this journey through life with God totally in control! 
This MRI from December 7 shows the tumors one at time – there were two actually stacked on each other kind of at an angle. (Don't you just love my eyes?!!)  You can see the tumors pushing against the Optic area and other parts. It is actually hard to believe two tumors the size of two tangerines were inside by skull!!!

My 6 month check-up from my surgery was yesterday and another MRI was taken on June 13, 2013.  This was the first time I saw or I should actually say "remember" seeing either of the MRI films.  They were so interesting for me to finally see what the doctors were talking about.  The cavity where the tumors were is nearly all filled in except for the little space shown in the picture below. This should continue to fill in as time goes on.  And no sign of any new tumors!! 

Praise the Lord!  What a miracle this journey
has been!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brain Surgery - 6 month MRI Check-up

This afternoon I returned from a doctors appointment with my brain surgeon. It has been 6 months since the two tumors were removed. Time sure does fly when you're having fun!!! LOL! The MRI showed no signs of the tumors return - I will have another MRI in December. The doctor could see a lot of improvement in my speech from 3 months ago at my last visit.  He said the whole healing process with the brain was impressive and he was very pleased with the progress I have made in these last 6 months!! YEAH!! We talked about the surgery itself and some of the things I did not remember around that period of time. It all just amazes me as I look back now and how far I have come in 6 months.  I am actually not even limiting myself in the things I am now able to do and functioning above and beyond my abilities before the tumors were discovered. At 5 months I started walking again and have even lost 12 lbs. (Yeah!)  I wake up at 5:45 am every morning ready to start my day and I can honestly say I feel better than I have felt for a couple of years!! Dr. Music said I looked great, was talking fluently, and had no real side effects from the surgery!  I told him that was because I had such a "good" surgeon and a great big wonderful God!!! 

I can truthfully say, I was given a "new lease-on-life".  God's timing was so perfect in discovering the tumors which could have been fatal at any point in time.  God knows what is best . . . though I would not have chosen 2 tumors each the size of a tangerine, had I been given the choice . . . but for some unknown reason that has become a part of my life.  It has taught me not to take life or people for granted and to live each day to the fullest that I possibly can, to experience life as it comes to me through people, places, and things that really make a difference. Life can be cut short so living it to the max each and every day is important to me!  Making each day count and catching each "Butterfly Blessing"  that God sends my way is so very important to me!  Those blessing come in the form of people, sunrises, sunsets, rippling streams, raging rivers, the warmth of the sun, the rain pitter-patting on my umbrella, the baby laughing, the flowers blooming  . . . I could go on and on. I've learned to ask questions, search and find out what is going on in people's lives and I've learned to reach out to them whenever I am able to.  I sometimes wonder if someone had reached out to me (many did, of course) but would have really pinned me down, and asked me some pointed  questions - would we have realized and found the tumors sooner?  That is a question I will never know but if I sense you are acting different . . . I WILL question you and sit down and talk to you!! LOL!!

I may never know "how" I got to the state of mind I was in before the tumors were discovered and I may never know "why" God chose to let me go through this whole experience but I do know that I am all the more ready to conquer each and every new day whatever it holds for me - whether good or bad - I am better equipped to handle the raging rivers or the quiet streams of life!   "For I know what I have planned for you, says the LORD. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope." Jeremiah 29:11   I have always liked that Bible verse for I do  know God does have a plan for my life and I am trusting Him to lead and guide me in the days ahead. My hope is in Him and Him alone!  He never has failed me yet!!

It has been an amazing journey for me and my family and God has been there each step of the way, miracle after miracle! And you know what? God never changes - He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! And it is so exciting to know and see that He is also still in the miracle business - I have seen it first hand - I have lived through it - I am experiencing it . . . and I am expecting it!! Thank God He Never Changes!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ride em Cowboys!

Whatever happened to those Old Westerns? 

Someone once said, "Every happy Memory Makes happiness happen again!" Here's to some of those Happy Memories!

One look at this film clip and you'll be young and old all over again. It is "brand new" even listing 2010.

Well, this clip has pictures and names -- so after 50 or so years -- say "Howdy" to some of those mini-heroes from your youth.

(Be sure to "mute" my playlist at the top of this page) now just click on the link below, sit back and enjoy . . .

Laughter in Crisis

After finishing an out-of-town errand, I discovered that my car wouldn't start because it was out of gas.

A passer-by told me there was a service station a half-mile away, so I took a gas can from the trunk and trudged the distance in the sweltering sun.

The attendant filled my two-gallon can, and I lugged it back and poured the gas into the tank. But when I tried to unlock the car door, it wouldn't open. Just then, I noticed an identical old car parked a short distance away. That was my car; I had filled a stranger's gas tank.

Wearily I walked back to the station.

"You know," the attendant suggested helpfully, "instead of walking back and forth to fill the tank from the can, you could put a couple of gallons in the tank and then drive the car here."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Secret Fruit Salad

Our Delicious Discovery of the Day: The secret in this Secret Fruit Salad is a dry vanilla pudding delicious!  Click thru the link above to view on again to get the recipe from @[317497455009182:274:Rachel Schultz Blog]!

This fruit salad is so easy and yet so "yummy"!!  My kind of fix-in!! The secret in this Secret Fruit Salad is 1 dry vanilla pudding delicious! Try it . . . you will like it, I'm sure!

Power to Turn Life Around

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. 

 -Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rosie the Riveter and Duct Tape!

Rosie the Riverter.jpg
We managed some rental property for a number of years.  I did a good share of the cleaning, painting and believe it or not a lot of the repairs.  I felt like Rosie the Riveter at times!!  Sometimes I just kept telling myself "I can do it"!  I learned how to repair things I never dreamed I could repair.  One of the quick fixes I used on several occasions was the use of duct tape!  What did we do before duct tape??!! It is amazing how many uses there are for duct tape.  I once used electrical tape to "repair" a pipe under a sink. It stretches around the pipe nicely and works wonders for a quick-fix!  My dad was a plumber by trade.  I had him later come up to one of the apartments and do some work for me.  He opened the cupboard and said, "Diana, WHAT is THIS"?  One look at the black electrical tape and I got the "Diana, you know better than that look" . . . but it held up - it wasn't leaking!!!  LOL!  

I recently went out to my folks home and while doing dishes after dinner I noticed water on the floor.  Mom said she thought it was coming from the dish drainer. I could see that that wasn't where it was coming from.  I looked under the kitchen sink and guess what I found? Yes, I found where the water was coming from . . . it was dripping from a pipe that had soggy "black electrical tape" on it!!!!!  Imagine that - pretty amazing don't you think??!!!  The tape looked like it had been wrapped around there for quite a while and was beginning to loosen and fall off. I immediately asked mom where her "plumber" was!!  After the bad time Dad gave me over my "taped pipe fix", I was tempted to give him a bad time also.  I must have learned that trick from him!!!  At least that is what I told him . . . I had the proof!!!

I was thinking about the many problems that we may experience in this life.  It has been said that everyone has either just experienced a problem, is in the middle of a problem right now or getting ready to deal with a problem in the near future.  Everybody has one problem or another!  It may be sickness, death, financial, family problems, marital, job related problems - so many things bombard us every day.  Problems we may, like Rosie the  Riveter would say, "We Can Do It"!  Some things we really can do it - we can fix them - like I fixed the leaking pipe. I did do it - it quit leaking!  (Yeah!)  No more leaks - at least . . . for a while!  I'm afraid my tape "fix-it" would over time look just like my dad's tape fix-it for his pipe.  With time, the quick tape fix proved not to be a true fix - it only lasts for a time. It was only a "temporary fix".  

Duct Tape.jpg
Jesus is the answer for whatever problem you and I may be going through.  He knows all about it. He has the answers to the problems we are facing. He is there to help us through them, to encourage us through His Word and His Way. He is willing and ready to meet us where we are right now - today!  He fixes broken people . . . and He never uses Duct Tape or Electrical Tape!!!  His fixes are for real. They are for real problems. They are for real people. They are for you and I today.  Trust your past, present, and future to the God who knows, cares, and loves you. 

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."  I Peter 5:6-7

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Attitude is Everything Movie

Attitude is Everything Movie 
(Mute the blog playlist then - Double Click on this Movie title for some inspiration!)

Here is a video to get you thinking straight - especially when we get so run down, out of sorts, and just plan tired.  When we forget the things that we need to remember.