Monday, December 31, 2012

Checking In

Well it's been a while since I've posted, and a lot has happened.  My youngest got the flu....yuck....I had surgery....yuck and yea....Christmas came and went.... happy/sad.....I had another birthday....yea....and now it's almost a new year!  WOW!  Told ya....a lot has happened.  E was so sick the week before Christmas....fortunately she was able to take Tamiflu, and it helped her feel better in time to go to her class Christmas party.  I, on the other hand, did not fair so well.  I went in for exploratory surgery on my shoulder and to repair a bone spur and possible rotator cuff tear.  It turns out that my rotator cuff was nearly severed, and the doc had to put a screw in.  Needless to say, a lot more invasive than I thought. So from Dec. 20th -27th.....I've slept in a drug induced state of seriously strong pain medication.  I vaguely remember Christmas and my birthday.  Fortunately we had a birthday do over yesterday, and it was fab.  My family has been taking good care of me.  NPayne is the best at taking care!  He really is!  As weird as it sounds, I'm thankful that I had enough health issues that caused me to reach my deductible this year.  Otherwise I might have put the shoulder surgery on hold, and then it could have been really bad.  We have moved B up into part of the playroom as her "own" room...what she asked for for Christmas.  Now all of our children have their own rooms.  I think, after we moved B out of the room she shared with E, everyone was a little envious of E's room; because it's large and clean and large!  We rearranged Drew's room, cleaned out a bunch of stuff, and will be ready for NPayne to build a wall to give B some privacy.  Soon....and very soon....we are starting a remodel.  I can feel it coming.....I am hoping that NPayne gets it moving very soon.  I'm so ready for that laundry room, private bathroom and newly renovated kitchen.  I think that's why it's 2:15 am, and I'm still up....day dreaming or I guess it would technically be called night dreaming.  I'm so excited to get stuff done, but I'm mainly excited to get organized.  Living in chaos makes me grumpy and very unhappy!  I really can't stand it....it consumes me!  I know it may seem silly, but it really really drives me nutso!  Of course I can't do a lot to help right now, with the sling and sutures and all, but I can certainly give verbal cues!  ;)  Thought I would check in and say HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I'm striving for a simpler, uncluttered 2013!

Monday, December 17, 2012

King St.

I joined many from my church family last night at Los Pasados.  Although I was not able to participate in the singing or the readings, not because I am not fluent in Spanish, but because I forgot my glasses and couldn't read the screens....UGH!  It was another wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Christ!  I love learning others' customs and traditions.  The candle lighting in Los Pasados is the best part to me.  We all sing "Silent Night" in Spanish then English as each person's candle is lit, and then we follow each other out of the sanctuary carrying our candles out.....taking the light out into the world.  That is what we need to be doing every day, and I don't necessarily mean literally....or maybe I do.  What I mean is our world can be a very dark place, and it seems darker and darker as of late; but I have the belief that there is still so much good.  Why do I believe that?  I've seen it, experienced it, been part of it, and seen so many lights shining.  My Sunday School class delivered gifts to many of our neighbors this past weekend.  We had a huge turn out of volunteers to help including many children and teens.  We were able to give every single child in this small community a gift, and it was a wonderful sight to see.  Because NPayne and I had done most of the organizing and planning, we were getting lots of credit towards it being a success....I was hearing lots of "Thank You Lorie" and "You did good".  I didn't want to come across rude, but honestly I wasn't sure how to respond.  I wanted people to know that  I did nothing that I wasn't asked to do....

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35


At first, I was responding with things like...."it wasn't just me, or you all made it all possible, or thank you too", but I finally started answering with...."It was Him, it wasn't me".  Later that night, I received a text from one of our good friends who also helped tremendously with the gift delivery, and it said...."Just want u to know.  U did an awesome job Lorie Payne!  What a blessing".  I know exactly what he was trying to convey, but I also wanted him to know that it wasn't me; so I replied with...."It wasn't me.  It was Him".  Shortly I received another text from him that read, "Why does He do it better through some than others?"  I didn't even hesitate when I replied with, "He doesn't!  He gives us the tools and shows us the way....we have to be alert, listen and follow His lead".  It was weird, because there was no hesitation when I replied....almost like I had no control over my fingers as I text it....sort of like it was Him typing it.  The next text said...."I have a hard time listening. Usually think I can do it on my own".  To which I replied,  "We all do!"  And don't we?  We all have a hard time listening....sometimes because we don't make time and sometimes because we don't want to hear; but I think many of us face that struggle.

I told NPayne about the text conversation, and we talked about how although we had made connections and adopted this community as our friends, offered assistance, fellowshipped with them, and grown to love them....it took us a while to do it.  We both felt the nudge, a few years ago, to help the people who live on King St.  We both felt it differently but the same, and we both discussed it; and then we put it on the back burner.  We listened, but we didn't follow His lead until much later.  This year, I have tried diligently to follow my Father's lead and be encouraged by my husband's heart for service and decided to move forward with King St.  We finally reached out, and we have been so graciously embraced that I think we have been more blessed than those we have helped on King St.  We call them our neighbors, our friends, our family....and they are our family....they are God's family!


video
Above is a video that Addi shot during the gift giving....at the end you will see many gathering around a table to eat.  The King St. residents surprised us with a feast they had made for us....including home made tamales!!  We closed our time together with a prayer circle, lots of hugs, and see you soons!  And we will be back....very soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

XOXO

So thankful I get to give and receive these every day!

Newtown Connecticut

I started my day Friday by reading to my kindergartner, Elliot's, class!  She dug around on our bookshelf, where we have literally hundreds of books, until she found the perfect book.  She was so excited to have me come in her room that morning and so were her classmates.  They all sat up a little taller, wide eyes shining brightly, and big smiles on their faces.  As their teacher introduced me, I looked at each face....trying to recall all of their names.  I showed them the book and told them how we had hundreds of books, and this is the one Elliot wanted me to share with them; so it was really special.  They were ready to listen.  I read the story, and they all sat intently listening....not a peep.  After I finished the book, I asked them a few questions about it; and they asked me a few.  The whole time I could see my little girl's face, on the back row, grinning from ear to ear....she was so happy to have me there....they all were.  It was awesome and made me miss teaching kindergarten.  They thanked me for coming and were genuinely grateful.  I gave my baby girl a big hug and kiss and walked out with a full and grateful heart.  Shortly thereafter, the news came about Sandy Hook....and I kept picturing those sweet faces from that morning.  How could he not see those faces at Sandy Hook the way I  had seen those faces that morning....wide eyed, innocent, precious.  I don't understand it...some say it's pure evil, some say it's mental health, some say it was a payback....but I still don't understand it.  I've heard over and over and over through many losses and tragedies that we will understand it when we get to heaven, the answers will be there; but honestly....I don't think I will even ask the question.  I think the glory of heaven will override any looming or questions or wondering that I may have here on earth.  All day today, as I looked at each of those faces of the children who were killed....my heart hurt more deeply.  Seeing their faces, looking in those eyes, seeing their tiny hands....it made it that much more real.  I keep telling myself that they are angels, and they don't see it the way we do.  They aren't scared or hurting, but they are in the arms of Our Savior...where everything is as it should be!  The ones left behind are the ones who are hurting, but those angels.....they are perfect!

Someone shared this with me today.....something they read on Facebook. 

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate. Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there. They were filled with such joy; they didn't know what to say. They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day. “where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. “This is heaven" declared a small boy. "We’re spending Christmas at God's house”. When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near. He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. Then He opened His arms and He called them by name. And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring those children all flew into the arms of their King and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face. And as if He could read all the questions she had He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad. “then He looked down on earth, the world far below He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe, then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, “Let My power and presence re-enter this land! “May this country be delivered from the hands of fools” “I’m taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools! “Then He and the children stood up without a sound. “Come now my children let me show you around. “Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can. And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, “in the midst of this darkness,” I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:5

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Can't Wait

Fourteen days until Christmas!! Shopping is almost complete! Wrapping not so much! NPayne is such a great help and will be doing more shopping this year! He has some great gift ideas! I can't wait for some time off to spend with my family! I can't wait for the bids in our remodel to start coming in (hopefully)! I can't wait to spend the day in my pjs drinking coffee! I can't wait to drive around looking at Christmas lights! I can't wait to eat a piece of Jesus' birthday cake! I can't wait to watch my kids embark on a Wii tournament! I can't wait to sleep late! I can't wait to sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve! I'm so thankful for the things I'm looking forward to!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Beginning To Feel A lot Like Christmas!!

This is the first Christmas, in a very long time, that I am almost in the Christmas spirit.  I'm as busy as ever, exhausted as always, overwhelmed by everything like usual; but I'm not having as difficult of a time forcing myself to be in the "mood for Christmas".  I think it's because I feel good about the direction my family is taking with this season and the fact that they all....mainly the kids....realize what Christmas is about.  Sure they like getting gifts, but they realize it's not all about gifts and decorations and carols; and that the reason we celebrate is about the birth of Christ.  They have never been greedy or expected too much, but I feel like they are getting it more and more.  Even though our decorations are not up yet, I may actually put up more than I have in the last few years!  The part that my family may not realize quite yet....is that....they will be taking them down, because I will be in the midst of recovery from shoulder surgery!  :/