That one there is mine

I was lucky enough to get to know my grandparents. I had three of the most wonderful grandfathers ever. My great-grandfather was with us until I was 19 and I cherish the time I had with him. As kids we would sit in his little cabin at night and laugh until our stomachs hurt. We would mess up his hair and he would poke us with his Lignavita brush that he used to scrub his back with while taking a bath. I remember the name of the brush because grandpa Travis explained that Lignavita is a kind of wood that wouldn’t get water-logged and sink. His cabin at Priest Lake had the most wonderful smell to it and there was a little stool with a bell on it that we would pretend was a horse. When we were with him he made each of us feel special. Those were some of my favorite memories as a child.

Grandpa Travis’s son in law was my Dad’s dad. We called him Granddad and he had the biggest hands ever. He would hook his fingers together so his hands made a seat and he would bend over and hang his long arms down so you could sit on his hands and hold on to his arms like they were the  chains of the swing. Because he was so tall and so strong he would give us kids the best ride as he swung us back and forth. He also had his special chair and there was always room on his lap for a kid or two. When you were in his lap you would wait for him to give you “Whiskers.”  Whiskers is what we we called it when he would rub his 5 o’clock shadow on the side of our check and neck. We would laugh so hard because it would tickle. I remember wanting him to stop because if felt so funny but yet loving every second up it as I laughed because it was such a special time with him. I can still hear the sound of his voice as he would say, “Let me get in there, you need some whiskers.”  In a group of grandkids he made each of us feel like we were the only one there.

My mom’s dad was whom I got my sense of humor from.  I was blessed to have him with me into myphoto[1] forties and he was a character. He would introduce himself as “Bob…. Bob with one ‘o’.”  He had a line for everything and I use them still. My favorite because it seems to apply to me on a regular basis is: “You can’t be smart and beautiful on the same day”. Let’s just say I find myself having a lot of beautiful days because I can do or say some of the dumbest things ever. I was close to all my grandfathers but my grandpa Bob and I had something very special. At the hospital one night when he was sick I will never forget what he said to the nurse. He said, “you see that girl right there” as he pointed at me. “She is my girl, my special one.” I was overwhelmed with love by him at that moment. I was “HIS GIRL.”  That night was when things began to come to an end for my grandfather here on earth and it would be the beginning of his eternal life with God. He would in the months to follow go to meet his maker.

I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather but, that night we really began to talk about life, about morals, and about God. My grandfather let me know he believed in God and he was ready to see him. He never missed a chance to tell me how much he loved me and he told me he trusted me to take care of Grandma. To have someone you love so much trust you and love you with so much love right back is the greatest gift ever. My grandfather was a strong man and he would do anything to protect me. I remember standing behind him in college as he put a landlord in his place that was not doing his job or obeying the law. He stood there and said, “No one messes with my granddaughter like this. From now on you will deal with me.” My grandfather was my hero. He told me that he felt children were a blessing and that they should be loved and cared for. I have the scripture that says children are a gift from God (Psalms 127:3) hanging on my wall because of him.

God is like that. He wants to stand in front of us like my grandfather did for me. He wants to protect us and he wants to be able to look at us and say, that one there is mine! He wants to hold us in his arms and share those special moments like I had with my grandfathers.

If you will let him, God will make you feel so special that it will be like you are the only one there is. He wants you to feel like the Apple of his eye.  Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

To feel loved like that gives a person the strength to hang on in the hardest times. Knowing we can run to our father in heaven and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is there waiting to scoop us up into His loving arms is such an amazing feeling. When we are hurting we can hold tight knowing He will step in front of us and say, “ No one treats my child like that, and you will have to go through me.” When we fall down, it is He who will pick us up without judgment, dust us off and put His healing love over our pain.

I miss my grandfathers. Each made me feel special, in a different way. I look forward to seeing them again when it is God’s time for me. Until than I cherish the memories of those three special men and I give thanks that my God, my father in heaven, is there for me always to make me feel so special, so loved, so protected. As life gets hard at times I know that God is saying that one there is mine, she is my special girl. He has got my back always. How he longs to be there for each of us like that.  He longs to be there for you if you are willing to let him

Dedicated to LeRoy Arthur ”Roy” GRAYHEK (10/20/1922 - 02/11/2014), The loving grandfather of my sister in Christ, Erin Bishop.


Training and conditioning….It’s not just for athletes

I have a friend who for some reason thought she was “Travis Pastrana” and she took her ATV at a high speed up a sand dune. When she reached the top she caught some serious air and was thrown like a rag doll off the back end.  Her story is nothing short of a miracle and in it is a lesson for the body of Christ. 

Let me back up and tell you a little about my friend.  She is a fitness model and National figure competitor.  She has put in intensive training to reach her level of competition.  I can’t help but wonder if it was her training that saved her from an even more very serious injury that day.311494_10150246936772706_477461619_n

That piece of information is very important and with that being said lets get back to her story.  After about an hour after being thrown from her ATV she began to have some convolutions and she was taken to the hospital for an exam.  The Doctor ordered her x-rays of her neck and read them himself instead of waiting for radiology to look at them.  The Doctor explained to her that her injury was just whiplash and that she should get some heating pads and stretch her neck.  She did just what the doctor told her to do.  When she woke up the next morning she still was not feeling good.  In fact she was miserable.  Shortly after waking up my friend got a call from the hospital telling her to come in immediately and not to move much.  Panic started to set in as she heard the hospital staff talking outside her curtained off room? What could be wrong with her, why were they all talking about her?  Just the night before, the Doctor had sent her home with no brace and told her to stretch.  Now she is back at the hospital listening to the staff whispering about her with concern.

As it turns out she had a broken neck.  This time she was sent home in a neck brace and told to see at doctor in her hometown.   It was a very painful 11-hour drive to get home and I can only begin to imagine what was going through her head.   Her neck was broken and she was told to stretch it!!  By the grace of God she is not paralyzed now.

As the weeks of healing passed she told her doctor that she could not take a deep breath.  She had also told this to the doctor at the hospital where she was first seen but they never x-rayed her chest.  Her new doctor ordered x-rays they revealed one more injury.  My friend had been walking around for few weeks with not only a broken neck but a cracked sternum as well.  I was blessed to spend a few days with her at Priest Lake Idaho shortly after she was injured and I was amazed at her take on the whole thing.  She never seemed to let it get her down.  She joked about her neck brace being the perfect accessory to whatever she was wearing and she kept giving thanks to God for protecting her.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 9.00.28 PMDuring our time at the lake we had some serious talks about our faith and the miracle that she was not paralyzed and surgery would not be needed.  As we talked, I asked her if she thought all of her training and strength conditioning was key in supporting her neck during the ATV ride back to their camp and holding her neck in place while she stretched with the doctors orders? She did feel it was her training and conditioning that gave the muscles the strength and ability to hold her head up despite her broken neck.

The lesson in this hit my Midlife Domestic goddess heart with full force and I want to share it with you.   God’s word tells us that 2 are better than one and when one falls the other can lift them up.  I am paraphrasing that but it is out of Ecclesiastics.  My friend’s body was functioning like the body of Christ is to function when a person (part of the body) is hurting or has fallen in sin.  We (the body) are to rally around them and lift them up.  For that matter carry them until they have the strength to stand on their own.  In order to do this the body of Christ must also be “trained” and “conditioned”.  It is in study, prayer, fellowship and worship that the body trains its self as a whole so that when one of it’s members or “parts of the body” is hurting the other members or “parts of the body” have the strength to hold them up through their time of brokenness and healing.

My dear friend is a miracle as far as I am concerned.  She should not have been able to take the ATV back to camp, take a ride in truck to the hospital, stretch her neck and, take another trip back to the hospital the next day.  It was her will trained and conditioned body that supported her broken neck.

So many have given thanks to God for this miracle in my friend’s life.  She is healing up great and I hope she slows it down the next time she gets on that ATV. As you have read her story I hope you seen the importance of training yourself in God’s truth so that you can help to hold up others who are hurting.  It is an on going process of training yourself in the word and conditioning yourself to have a strong prayer life.   I hope you are making time for God each day so that you are strong, trained and conditioned just like the muscles that were ready to support her neck while she healed.