A New Season Begins

“There is a time for everything, 

and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Some seasons are very predicable while others catch us off guard. When you think of summer does your mind draw you to vacations, swimming parties, maybe gardening, fresh fruit and visits to and from family. How about Winter, if you live in the North you probably think of snow, white Christmas and those long, cold winter nights. However, if you live south, Winter has a whole different feel to it. I lived in Maine for the first 15 years of my life and only knew Winter as lots of snow, no traveling and stuck in the house. In 1965 my folks moved us to California and when Christmas came that first year I felt like a fish out of water. Where was the snow, the cold weather, the hot chocolate and the warmth of the fireplace? Finally in 1987 the Lord led my son, Steve and me to where home is today, Lynchburg, VA and we experience the four seasons of year and enjoy them all.

But what about the other seasons of life? Graduation. Marriage. Birth of Children. Job changes. Illness. Disappointments and so on….. there are so many things in life that are constantly changing and namely US. But the blessing and positive thing to remember in all of life’s changes is that God is in control. He knows why things happen to us so we have to trust Him, pray through the seasons knowing that because of our struggles and challenges we grow, we learn and we develop more faith in Jesus.We recently had one of those unpredictable seasonal changes in life that really challenged us, brought us to our knees, caused us to draw closer to the Lord and trust Him more.

My oldest grandson, Andrew, who graduated from New Covenant Schools on May 25 this year, was accepted at Taylor University in Upland, IN to enter the Graphic Art program and also to play on the College basketball team. At 6’5”, Drew was an outstanding player throughout his high school career, set the school record of scoring 1,093 points and was co-captain and most valuable player two years in a row.

Right after graduation, Drew had the opportunity to work at Taylor’s youth basketball camp teaching younger players the fundamentals of the sport. His collegiate team also had the blessing of taking a mission trip to Guatemala in August, just before school started. Drew returned home to Lynchburg for a bit and packed up his personal belongings to head for college. His Mom and Dad drove him back to Taylor and then they were able to attend the parents weekend festivities on campus.

Well, just two and a half weeks into the first semester, and just days before Drew’s 19th birthday, he got very sick. A visit to the school clinic sent him back to the dorm to stay in bed because he had the flu. But after three days on medication and still running a temperature of 103º, Drew was in excruciating pain and discomfort and his Mom and Dad drove to Indiana to check on him. Drew was admitted the following day into ICU at Ball State Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana with what they thought was an “infectious disease”. The doctors ran tests but could never quite pinpoint what was happening in Drew’s body.

We claimed the promises of God’s Word from Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Philippians 4:13.

Family and friends from around the World lifted Drew up in prayer and asked the Lord to touch his body, heal him and give the doctors wisdom to know how to treat this young man. Drew’s body was under attack and his flu-like symptoms developed into double pneumonia and severe sores throughout his body. He was fed intravenously and given antibiotics and steroids, yet still no real understanding of how this happened and what was the cause. For days he laid in the ICU ward, unable to talk, barely could walk and was miserable from his head to his feet. His immune system had shut down and yet he never gave up, nor did any of us give up on him, we knew God was in control.

My son, Steve, and daughter-in-law, Heather, Drew’s parents, were by his side 24/7, all crammed into the ICU room, praying for their son and sleeping on a cot and chair every night. Finally, after nine very long days, Drew had improved enough to be released but was immediately taken to see an eye specialist in Indianapolis. The sores in his eyes were peeling, causing pain and discomfort plus blurred vision. Drew also lost 25 lbs. during all this, a young man who didn’t need to lose an ounce. Since being released, he has gained 10 lbs and has met with his professors and coaches and everyone wants to help Drew anyway they can. On Monday, Oct. 6, Drew returned to college life, a changed young man who is very thankful to God, his parents and family and all the friends who prayed for him. He is still very weak, has to apply eye drops every 30 minutes and needs good nutrition, lots of rest and time for his body to fully recover.

Birthdays: We all have one – How do you celebrate?

I read a cute little card once that said: Statistics show that the person who has the most birthdays lives the longest!

That seemed so silly to me, obviously that is true but then I thought about it. I have come to realize that it’s not the number of years we live that matters as much as how we love and really “LIVE” those years we are alive.

This year I am celebrating my 70th year of life on October 28. As I have thought about this day all year, I have to admit that I can’t believe I have lived 70 years. Where did all those years go, and so quickly. When sharing with my son, Steve, one day earlier this year I told him I did not want a party, like they had for my 60th birthday. Instead I suggested we do something special together as a family. However, my son and daughter-in-law, knowing that I like to make a memory every day and have fun every chance I can, came up with a really neat surprise for me.

On August 19 they stopped over to visit me at home that evening. At first I thought something serious must have happened because they all came over including my grandsons, Drew and Cole. As we stood in my kitchen, they asked me if I knew what day it was today. It was kind of funny because I do like reading “What happened On This Day”, trivia kind of stuff, but nothing really interesting had happened on that day. Since I had been thinking of turning 70 since January 1, my mind had time to think about when would it be 70 days before I turn 70. I thought that it might be a fun thing to celebrate those 70 days and start my own countdown. Well, Steve, Heather and my grandsons came up with the same idea and that evening they had a birthday gift bag for me. Boy, was I surprised and excited too! My first gift of a 70-day birthday countdown! They gave me a cute stuffed Moose, since I was born in Maine. How clever and how fun of them to do this for me. And yes, every day I received something special from my family or they have engaged other friends to get in on this too. When they were in the hospital with my grandson, Drew, they would Facetime me each evening and I would get a gift from the big bag of gifts they left with Chrissy, who works here at WHEEL POWER.

Although my 70 days are coming close to an end, I feel so blessed, loved and overwhelmed by their acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity. Turning 70 isn’t so bad after all. Thank you all who have been a part of this celebration with me and if you’re in the neighborhood please stop by and give me a hug, I need to collect at least 70 of them by October 28!!!

I share this story to remind each of us to enjoy each day, it is called the “present” for a reason. Love your Life – it is God’s gift to you. Make a memory everyday and find someone to bless today with maybe a kind word, a thoughtful gesture and maybe even a gift.

Ps. 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

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