Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Lander, Wyoming

On Tuesday, my mother had complications at the hospital, so I made the decision to come to Wyoming to be with her. I thought it was a 12 hour drive, but it was really 15 and ½. hours, 1023 miles. I left at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, and I arrived at the hospital at 9 AM, here in Lander, WY. I definitely feel these long over-night drives more as I get older.

My mother has a challenging road ahead of her. I expect her to be in the hospital for at least three more weeks, and then she should probably go to a rehab facility for three months. Hard decisions for her may have to be made in this next month, and my heart aches for her and other elderly people who start losing their independence for I know it has to be frustrating.

Thank God for the awesome blessing of my job. I am allowed to work from my mother’s house for the twelve days that I am in WY, so I will spend business days working from her house and be able to visit her each morning, lunch and evenings.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kristina's First 1/2 day at Wayzata East Middle School

Today, Kristina attended Wayzata East Middle School for her first day of being 1/2 home-schooled and 1/2 day at public school. She walks to/from school and is gone about four hours. She is taking American Literature, Math, Social Studies and a course in social skills. She is one very happy girl.

Here are some pictures of her with her pets before taking off to school.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Foreclosure Avoided

Thank God, Chris and I are not foreclosing on the gentleman who bought our commercial property in Enon, OH. This is such a relief to me. It was not an easy decision to foreclose on the buyer, but he was eight months behind on his payments. I tried to connect with him on his cell phone (he never would answer my calls), his business number (his associates told me always that he was not available), via email (again no response.)

Chris and I bought this property when Chris was self-employed, and we sold it about a year before we moved to MN when Chris hurt his back and the self-employment dream came crashing down.

Finally, we contacted a real estate attorney in OH. We also contacted our real estate agent to let her know that we would probably list with her again. The agent was wonderful and was able to contact with the buyer.

His story: He had a heart attack in August, and he had an associate at his business making the monthly payments. He claimed that he was not behind. He contacted the bank where he made payments and the associate had made the payments into the wrong account for six months. So, someone was getting our payment for six months – and they never called to find out why, and they SPENT it. Amazing… Our buyer then got an attorney to try to get some of the money back. And on it went.

Finally a deal was supposedly worked out, and our buyer said that he would pay us six payments out of the eight from bank deal. We never got it. After a week, we told the attorney to proceed with foreclosure this Monday (1/26/09.) I called the buyer and told him that we needed some cash by Monday or else.

Yesterday (the last day before foreclosure was to start), we got payment. Thank you, Lord.

I struggled with foreclosing on the buyer. I know that economic times are hard, but for everyone that is in foreclosure, the person or bank that they are not making payments to are now missing promised income. This promised income is hurting them, and so it goes.

The verse of forgiving someone 7 times 70 came to mind. Does this apply to money? Love is patient – was I being patient? Love is kindness – how far backwards does one bend in kindness? And the questions continued.

For some who advised me, the answer to them was simple – business is business. To me, it was not simple -- everything that I do should reveal Jesus Christ. Was I representing Jesus in all my communication to the buyer? I hope I did, but when someone calls up and says “Pay up or Foreclosure” – ugh… I still struggle with that is what Jesus would do.

Perhaps, it is as Chris suggests to me – “I think too much!” I just know that I am very, very thankful that we did not have to actually foreclose.

Thank you, God!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Privacy and Prayer

God’s timing is incredible!

This week, I was reading in the newspaper about the privacy act and churches. The article was about how ministers should not ever announce the specific illnesses publicly of someone in church without a signed release from that person or the family. For example, it is against the law to print or announce from the pulpit, “Please pray for Fred as he is in the hospital with a heart attack” unless the church has written permission to talk about the heart attack. It is OK to ask for prayer, but not what his specific problems are.

I was startled when I read this, as it never occurred to me to think about the lack of privacy for people in prayer requests. The article made excellent points on how there was really no need to announce the heart attack to get people to pray. God knows why the person is in the hospital, and the congregation just needs to pray for healing.

When Chris and I were talking about this, I was not surprised that my husband, who is a very private person, agreed with the article 100%. Being an open person, my first response was there were more important things to worry about, but after 17 years of being married to a private person, I immediately realized the importance of the article for other people.

It seems that this week God has been working on me respecting people’s privacy. Even in my blog note from yesterday, when I was typing it in, I had written my friend Debbie’s personal comment to me on the book. As I thought about it, I realized that I did not have Debbie’s permission to quote her, so I removed her comment before I published the blog.

And then….

Yesterday, my mother was admitted to the hospital. :) See, I told you God’s timing is incredible. My mother has told me frequently that she is a private person, and so with that in mind, I just ask for prayers for her. My siblings and I also need prayers for God’s wisdom in dealing with the situation.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"The Love Dare"

My good friend Debbie told me about a book she was currently reading for her daily devotional called "The Love Dare", a book challenging one for 40 days to read and help build true intimacy and develop a dynamic marriage by three important daily elements: 1) each day an aspect of love is discussed. 2) A daily dare to do for your spouse, some easy and some difficult. 3) A journal to log how /what you are doing.

I mentioned the book to Chris casually and suggested that maybe we could read it together. After I bought the book yesterday and read “Day 1”, I excitedly knew that this book would be a challenging journey for me as the first day convicted and motivated me. So last night Chris and I read together Day 1 of the 40 day “Love Dare” challenge, and for the next 40 days we will be using this book to improve our marriage.

I will also be using the principles of the book to work on my relationship with Kristina. Day 1’s principle is “Love is Patient”, and I struggle with being patient with my child more that I do with my spouse. So, when I take the daily dares, I am going to try to apply the dare in some way to my relationship with Kristina.

Though Chris and I are only on Day 1 (and he liked the book/chapter too), I would recommend this book to anyone. Even if you aren’t married, all relationships would benefit by having unconditional love practiced, which is what the book is about. If you are married, esp. for several years (when the romance dies down and disappointments come) consider taking the dare along with Chris and me and making your marriage stronger!

If anyone does read it, I would love to know your opinions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Blog

I am once again falling behind in my correspondence to others. Sigh! Letter writing to me is important. It is taking the time/effort to really show that you care about that individual. I try to use letter-writing as a way to accomplish what Gregory Boyd writes: "With every person we encounter, the only question that should be on our mind is, How can I, right here and right now, affirm the unsurpassable worth of this person for whom Christ died?"

Frequently, I become determined that I will write a letter a day or some other "goal", but life always intervene with something. This week is some cold bug which leaves me sitting around and reading or watching TV in evenings as I don't feel well enough to accomplish much.

For awhile now, I have considered creating a blog so that others can (if desired) keep up what is happening in my life since my writing is always lagging behind for some.

So, I am not sure how this will turn out. Hopefully, better than my web pages that I never updated after my first month. :) This blog will be a combination of updates to my family life and my journey through life working on becoming a better follower of Christ.