Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Weekend Celebration

Wow...this past week and weekend has been a whirlwind of celebrations, cookouts, cakes and remembering the real reason we celebrate Easter!

It just so happened my Daddy turned 74 this year on Easter.  We celebrated his birthday with a wonderful cookout and most of the family.  Between the hamburgers, hotdogs, volleyball and corn-hole I believe it's one of the best get togethers we've had in a long time~the weather was perfect! Unfortunately my camera decided to go dead mid-celebration but none-the-less I did manage to capture a couple of shots as Daddy opened up his fountain from the family.  In true Daddy-fashion he managed to pretty much put the entire thing together in a matter of moments without the directions!  I tell ya he should have been an engineer!

I made him a personal birthday cake.  An apple caramel cake with buttercream glaze.  It looks kinda sad in this!  He's not really into the white cakes but I did make one for everyone else to enjoy!  

Daddy putting it together while the boys were all trying to figure out how to make it flow with beer !  (Just kidding)   After enjoying his gift he passed out cigars and the guys enjoyed a nice smoke...even Jamie (my son in law) who had never even smoke a cigarette joined in this time!!

Peer pressure from the adults!!  sad!  

The rest of the evening we shared stories from days gone by and everyone had some cake before the kids started their trips back home! enjoying all of this I was suffering from a severe attack of ?? who knew what.  I kept it to myself as I hate to put a damper on any time we have together but boy oh boy did it rear it's ugly head when I tried to settle down for the evening.  I had more cakes to bake, eggs to create and a special simple surprise for my neighbor Tyler, who is 6 and plays with Jersey so sweetly!  I took the normal amount of pain meds and prayed...and I do mean I prayed diligently!  Well...before I knew it I had completed my baking and it was only 12:06 am!!  I couldn't believe it was so early!!  I decided to jump in the shower and let the warm water beat down on my neck and face and again I found myself praying that God would give me a good nights sleep.  
Welp...the sleep never came.  Tossing, turning every two was crazy!   The pain began taking over my entire left cheek , eye, teeth and neck.  Crying seemed to be the only remedy so I silently wept into my pillow.  What was going on?  Why today?  It's Easter Sunday.  Then suddenly I am reminded that it was on Easter Sunday in 1998 that I woke with Bells Palsy on my right side and ended up in the hospital for a weeks stay.  I was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis during that wonderful stay-cation at Southern Hills Hospital by Dr. Bret Thorstad.  
So....of course I'm now asking God what is it that I'm suppose to be "getting" to be "understanding" on this day?  Why would He allow me to be infected with this severe pain on Easter on two separate occassions?  What is it that I'm not hearing him tell me?  Over and over the past two months I've been hearing the Lord to pray earnestly, diligently and very specifically for every single family member in our extended family.  (Just today I shared this with my sister Debbie)  I feel like He is sharing with me a heartache and my job is to be the strong one during the trial if that makes any sense.  He is also pressing me very firmly to finish my children's book so that it can become published soon.  anyway....what all this has to do with me being in pain I don't know!  Unless....unless it's during these times I hear him more clearly.  I'm planted in a sense.  You know, not praying then jumping up and going about my business.  I'm planted to where I'm alone, I'm more one on one with Him and I HEAR His answers when I'm struggling with pain.  This may sound crazy but I'm sorta guessing this is the answer for the moment......
anyway,,,,back to Easter.  So it's now Sunday morning and I'm expected to be at church greeting newcomers.  I look in the mirror and I can't even smile.  The entire side of my face looks as though I've had an overdose of Botox!  My face is flushed and I'm burning up with a fever.  What to do??  How can I be greeting people when I'm feeling like this?  Trust me....I DO believe that one smile can change someones day but the way I'm feeling if someone smiles at me I'm liable to burst into tears!  How's that for honesty? I pick up the phone and make a phone call that I DO NOT want to make but I feel I need to rest...I need to spend time with my family in a couple of hours and God's okay with this. Just as I hang up there is a knock at the door.  It's Karen, Tyler's mom.  She asks' again for directions to our church as she tells me I look horrible.  Now that's funny!!!  I give her a brochure and retreat to my bedroom.   
 I plug the roller in, lay down and fall asleep for all of an hour and forty-five minutes but it was much needed sleeps!   Upon waking I unplug the curlers, grab my jeans and t-shirt (so much for the Easter outfit) and I load the car with the baked goods and just as I'm walking out the door Tylers mom walks out and we exchange, "hey hey" doing so she asks me why I didn't go to church and we begin a short conversation about how I was feeling.  She has just recently had surgery and we've been a great help to each other.  I would normally now write, "Funny how God works"  but I've learned how He works and it's AMAZING!  She proceeds to tell me how she took Tyler to visit our church and how much they both enjoyed it.  She even went on to say how glad she was that I was home so she could tell me because they were leaving for East Tennessee for a few days.  Now...with all this tell me God doesn't work in AMAZING WAYS!  Here I was stressing about leaving for church when all the while, had I left, Karen wouldn't have know where to take Tyler.  To boot...this was both of their first Easter service ever!!  Now I find that to be the works of GOD! I'm on the way to my moms.  Feeling a bit better after having popped my narcotics and drinking a cool cup of coffee.  I'm excited to see everyone and I'm running late...go figure!  Low and behold I arrive and I am early!!  My daughter and her family have arrived but everyone else is running late!!  I help mom pat out hamburgers and get things set up as the kids begin to arrive.  We have the men hide the eggs for the little ones and begin cooking.  The granddaughters were perfect.  No fussing.  No naps needed.  It was a blessed time getting everything prepared for lunch and their hunt! I was able to stay as busy as a bee which helped keep my mind off my pain somewhat.  The girls hunted for their eggs and I enjoyed playing on the ground in my jeans while taking pictures of them being silly!  It was magical for me!  As I was taking pictures a bird began singing a song and I felt like God had given me my "church music' right there with that little two winged fella!  Church service was coming to me!  Yep that's what I said.  I may not have seen the special guest from American Idol sing her song but I did get to enjoy the song of a beautiful robin (i think) and watch bunnies and turkeys trot and hop along the fields at moms.   
Riley asked me why I made a lamb cake and in the simplest way I tried telling her how in the Bible they always picked the best lamb to give as a gift (sacrifice) to honor God.  Keep in mind she's only 3 so I had to bring this to her level.  It was like picking out toys at Christmas to give to the needy.  We picked out of their good toys not the broken ones.  She was content with my explanation and I realized that again church had come to me.  As much as I believe in going  to church and keeping in contact with fellow believers I also believe that church is where you make it.  Like today.  
Here's a picture of our precious little lamb and our pastel eggs that I made for our Easter celebration.  

This is Tylers special "egg-shaped" cake with his black buny

The following pictures are of the granddaughters enjoying time together and finding eggs.

quick post....more to come to finish my story!!

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