05.27.19 Memorial Day Tribute to the fallen Heroes of the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry of the Mississippi National Guard

The soldiers who serve in our United States Military are the bravest, most giving, honorable, strong, and best men and women I know. Not that we need any other reason to honor those who’ve sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, but Congress has given us one anyway. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill created the National Moment of Remembrance to be observed every Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time. It’s one minute we should all take to pay tribute to those who have given their lives to protect and defend our nation.

I’d like to specifically honor today the young men who gave their lives in the Iraq war in 2005 at FOB Iskandariyah with the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th. The information below comes from the Mississippi Rifles web page. Our oldest son served with these men and I can still remember the grief we felt when he told us about each of them when they died.

Freedom Is Not Free

…in memory of our fallen comrades

Sergeant Robert Shane Pugh Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Robert McNail Bravo Company, 150th Engineers

Sergeant Timothy Osbey Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Joseph Rahaim Alpha Company, 1-155th Infantry

Staff Sergeant Saburant Parker Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Daniel R. Varnado Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Bryan E. Barron Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Corporal Audrey D. Lunsford Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Major Gregory Fester Bravo Company, 490th Civil Affairs

Captain Lowell Thomas Miller II Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

One of the displays after two of these soldiers were killed in Iraq.

05.05.19 A Quiet Thought, by Bro. Bob Adams

Our culture screams with fear.

We are constantly told that sure disaster is ahead, attended by pictures of disasters in faraway places.

We are warned to buy or not buy certain products and take certain actions or our future is probably doomed.

All this makes fear a dominant factor in this present day.

Unless we guard against it the fear that runs our culture will run our lives.

Even though we sing about trusting Jesus we may panic like those who have no great, living Savior.

The fear of the Lord is the only appropriate fear in a believer’s life. This is not a fear that terrorizes us, makes us cringe in the corner, or slump in despair.

Fear of the Lord is a deep trembling in the soul, often beyond words, that comes from seeing some measure of the Lord’s infinite power, holiness, and love.

It is being overwhelmed with His glory.

It is the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos falling down like a dead man when seeing Jesus in all His glory.

Let us fear the Lord and live boldly! Grace to you.

Written by Bro. Bob Adams

04.27.19 Easter, Senior Adult Luncheon, and Baseball!!!

We enjoyed a great Easter at our home with some family members of our daughter in law Misty.  The weather was magnificent and we enjoyed visiting with Misty’s family and their neighbor Ellen who brought me a beautiful daisy plant!  It wasn’t until after they left that I realized I had planned to hide Easter eggs and play some games. I can only shake my head about that one…

Misty, Chip, Madisyn and Kallie
Gary, Connor and Haylee

 

Thursday we enjoyed a wonderful Senior Adult Luncheon at our church, Trinity Baptist. The food was delicious and we were treated to hearing Rev. Bobby Holder speak to us.  I got to sit next to an older couple from our church that I did not know. It was nice getting to know Sheila and Sammy!  Also, I got to sit across from my friend Cindy and her husband Bobby.  I always say that when I grow up I want to be like Cindy!  She is such an inspiration and I enjoyed getting to catch up on life with her.  I did not take one photo.  I was talking too much!

Saturday we went to see two of our grandchildren play baseball. They are so precious!  They played on two different fields right next to each other.  We sat between the two fields and our necks turned in whatever direction the action was happening!  Wow!  Our grandson, the older of the two grandchildren, played last year and plays really well this year.  He got some good hits, scored, played excellently in the field and their team won.  He’s the tallest on the team! The younger ball player is a granddaughter whose first year playing is this year.  Her focus and attention to the game was impressive for a first year player. She got a couple of good hits, she scored, made some good catches and was just flat out adorable!  Her age team doesn’t keep score but she was a winner in our eyes! We got a big smile and hug from our precious grandchildren and loved it! Sorry, no pictures, per their parents!

I’ve asked Roy to write about his eye surgery done on the 18th of April and I hope to get to post that next!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

 

04.28.19 My Two Mothers, by Joann Snow Duncanson; and a personal note

Your Mom with dementia may still be here or she may have passed on. She will always be with you, as close as your heart. Bless us all in this journey 💗

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Two Mothers Remembered, by Joann Snow Duncanson

I had two Mothers – two Mothers I claim
Two different people, yet with the same name.

Two separate women, diverse by design,
But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,
Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.

She was the one whose features I bear,
Complete with the facial expressions I wear.

She gave me her love, which follows me yet,
Along with the examples in life that she set.

As I got older, she somehow younger grew,
And we’d laugh as just Mothers and daughters should do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,
And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.

So quickly she changed and turned into the other,
A stranger dressed in the clothes of my Mother.

Oh, she looked the same, at least at arm’s length,
But now she was the child and I was her strength.

We’d come full circle, we women three,
My Mother the first, the second and me.

And if my own children should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes and the old goes away,

I’d ask of them nothing that I didn’t do.
Love both of your Mothers as both have loved you.

For support for this journey of dementia, join Memory People on Facebook. All the members, both dementia patients, and dementia caregivers, walk this with you, each step of the way. You are not alone. 💜

This is the link – Memory People on Facebook It is a closed group so you will need to join to see anything. I don’t necessarily feel that this is the “Best” Facebook group about Dementia but it is a very active group and you get to learn from others there.

On a personal note, the dementia I have has been on a roller coaster ride recently. I am still on the strongest dose of the medicine Galantamine. About two weeks after passing out due to my blood pressure being low I started taking my blood pressure medicine again. My blood pressure stopped being so low and is back to normal to a bit above normal. I am now taking my blood pressure every morning to see how it is that day and if I need the medicine or should skip it that day. This is so totally out of the norm for me and is just another weird thing my shrinking and holely brain is doing.

I’ve had difficulties recently putting my thoughts together or even having thoughts to allow me to write a blog post. Even things that other people wrote that I repost just don’t bring any thoughts to help me post it and share with ya’ll why I am posting it. It is a terrible feeling to start to do something I’ve done almost a thousand times now and nothing happens in my brain. I think nothing and that’s something that has been going on

from the beginning, just not all the time. I use to describe my dementia as not being able to think and that is a really accurate way to describe how it is sometimes. It’s not always that I can’t remember something, a lot of times it is that my brain won’t begin the thinking process to get to what I need to know.

I get great anxiety when I go to social events and want to talk to someone but then my brain stops thinking, I panic and can’t say anything. I just want to go in a corner and cry. I have never in my life had a problem talking. Anyone who knows me knows that talking a lot is probably something I was mostly known for. In addition, I can listen to others talk but when they get complicated with their talking my brain stops and I get anxious about what I will reply because I don’t know what they said. If this happens I don’t say anything to the person talking, just nod or smile every now and then and hope my brain starts working again.

I ask that when talking to me please tell me the basic substance of what you want to say not all the details leading up to it or surrounding it. Oddly enough I have always been a person who did exactly what I am asking people not to do. Please don’t avoid talking to me, just please try to understand how I handle conversations best. The frequency that all of these things are happening let me know that this small and holely brain thing is progressing. I am thankful that God has seen fit for this to be a slow moving brain thing and not a quick downward disease. I was first diagnosed in 2011 which is 8 years ago. Vascular dementia has a time span of between 8 to 12 years and I’m hoping I’ll be a special case and hang on longer than that!

I want others to learn about dementia from my experience but don’t want to sound like I am bitter. I do hate having this and would prefer to be able to think clearly and not have to avoid some social settings. But I know it’s all part of God’s plan for my life and He will be with me every step of the way. I did not intend to write so much today but when it comes into my brain I want to share! Hope each of you has a very Blessed Week!

04.17.19 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die – ever. Do you believe this? John 11:26

Susan Adams Moffett shared this piece below on Facebook recently.  Her sister Lisa died from cancer just a few years ago.  She wrote about that in her book “My Sister,Her Cancer, and the Cross.” She says “This is the story of walking the journey of my sister’s cancer…but it’s more than that. This is the story of God’s grace because my faith is weak and imperfect, but He is so good.”   I found what she wrote in the article below to be very meaningful. I hope you do as well.

When Lisa died…
I asked Tim, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Dad, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Mom, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked friends, “What is this ‘O death, where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”

But I knew that scriptures couldn’t be wrong.
I felt like something was missing in my understanding.
Maybe I was grieving wrong.
Maybe I had to work harder to get over it.
Maybe I didn’t believe enough.
Maybe I wanted to hold on to the sting because it’s all I had.

Then I read the story of Lazarus for the 378th time.
But it was like for the very first time.

Jesus said, “Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever.”
Ever. Never. Ever. Die.

In that moment, I heard and understood. Death had no hold on Lisa.
She did not die!

She isn’t here.
That brings sorrow and loss and grief so deep.
But death has no hold on her.
Death has no sting to it. It is powerless!

Lisa isn’t here. Most of my grandparents aren’t here.
Several dear friends aren’t here.
But they didn’t die.
They are all fully alive! More alive than they ever were here.

Maybe today you have a sting.
Or a grief.
Or a maybe.

Let’s walk this week towards the cross, watching, looking, listening to the work of Jesus.
We have to walk this week, so we can deeply celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
(Spoiler…Death is about to be defeated. Keep watching.)

Ya’ll have a Blessed Holy Week!

04.16.19 Passing Out, Soggy Brain, Easter picnic preparation, Painted Cross Rocks, Easter church music, Roy’s eye surgery on Thursday

Oh my, could the title above be any longer!  I started off writing about passing out and then lots of other things started pouring out in my writing so here it is!

Saturday before last I ate a good breakfast, three homemade blueberry muffins, water, and coffee.  I went outside to plant more of my precious little sprouting vegetables in the main garden.  I was sitting on a small stool so there would be no bending over and mostly so I wouldn’t resort to sitting my but in the dirt while planting.  I began feeling lightheaded but since I was just sitting I figured it wouldn’t get worse. It did.  I went to get my phone out of my pocket to call for Roy and had difficulty doing that.  I got it out and called Roy.  He didn’t answer.

I called again and heard him come out of the house saying he was on the phone with someone about $2000 being charged to our credit card fraudulently. I dropped the phone and things are foggy after that.  I heard through the fog that he told the phone caller we had a medical emergency and he’d have to call them back. I don’t remember how but I know he got me to a nearby chair and he put a cold towel over my head.

Roy later told me that while sitting sprawled out in the chair I passed out with my eyes rolling back in my head and that lasted a while. The eye rolling back thing happened when I had to be rushed to the hospital two years ago because of a bleeding ulcer. Both times this scared Roy a lot. I don’t remember getting inside but I know that I stayed in bed for a long time that day.  Roy took my blood pressure and it was low for me at 90/50.

I take blood pressure medicine, Avapro 300 mg once a day.  I’ve taken it for 20 to 25 years and it always keeps my blood pressure at 120/80 which I have always been very happy about.   This was the first time ever that I can remember that it has been low.  Because every time I go to any doctor or hospital my blood pressure is always perfect I never attribute feeling bad to low blood pressure so it’s never been taken at that time, before Saturday.

Sunday I still felt bad but not nearly like Saturday.  My blood pressure was more normal each time Roy took it.  I never thought to stop taking my blood pressure medicine, duh………….

I love, love, love this song!

Roy “allowed” me to go outside in the garden for no more than 30 minutes at a time and then had to stay in bed or on the sofa for a while after that.  He helped me more than usual with the gardening and it allowed me to get more done with less effort.  He’s kinda good like that!  He knows I usually prefer to handle it all myself but he pitched in when needed.  All of the remaining vegetables were planted and today they are all so happy and growing beautifully.

Last Monday when I contacted my doctor he said for me to stop taking the blood pressure medicine for two days, drink 6-8 glasses of water and take my blood sugar and blood pressure often.  Being the brilliant lady with dementia that I am, I took my blood pressure medicine Monday and Tuesday because I forgot I wasn’t supposed to.

Anyway, I made a sign on fluorescent pink paper that said to not take my blood pressure medicine so on Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t take it.  My blood pressure has been fairly normal both days.

This medical event sent my dementia into a tailspin.  Last Wednesday I was, however, able to have a nice visit with our pastor, Bro. Avery, down by the pond and I was thankful for that. Later I realized I bounced all around in our conversation and told him things he may not have wanted to know (!) but he didn’t run off which I appreciated!

The last few days I’ve worked in the yard pulling weeds and moving some vines from one location where they are plentiful to another location that needs them, planted carrot seeds, pulled weeds and lots of other things outside. As long as I keep it under an hour I seem to be okay and don’t see any signs of possible passing out!

On one of the dementia facebook groups I am a member of I asked if others with dementia had issues with passing out from low blood pressure when they’d never had that before.  All those that responded said yes and that it was caused by a change in their brain that made the blood pressure medicine not work in the correct manner any longer.  Time will tell if this is a new brain thing for me or if it is something different.  It’s been normal every day so for now being off my blood pressure medicine seems to be the thing to do!

We are having our daughter in law Misty’s family over for a picnic on Easter next Sunday and we are really looking forward to getting to visit with them.  I’ve stuffed candies into plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt and just finished wrapping the utensils in Easter napkins with homemade decorated paper napkin holders. I love having family visit and also love these events because I do special cleaning so they don’t think we live like slobs!!

I gave to several of the kiddos at church one of my painted rocks that have 1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given painted on a cross.  I asked them to hide them to help share with others about Jesus.

On Sunday our adult choir at church sang a beautiful Easter Cantata titled Jesus, Only King Forever.  I always love hearing them sing and especially Easter and Christmas music.

Roy’s eye surgery to remove the spidery floater is back on and will be this Thursday, the 18th in Baton Rouge at 9 am. Please pray for him and his doctor, Dr. Robert Mason.

We’ve had some magnificently beautiful cool sunny days here in Louisiana recently.  So thankful for a God that provides us with days like this!

Ya’ll have a blessed Holy Week!

 

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04.05.19 Roy’s Eyes and Heart

Many of ya’ll will remember Roy’s eye doctor issues last year.  The doctors said Roy needed a good pair of eye glasses to see if they would help with the various lingering vision problems.  Our new health insurance, People’s Health, covers eye glasses so we found a doctor in Amite, Dr. Wroten with Bond & Wroten, whom we visited to have our eyes checked.  We both liked him and ordered bifocal glasses.  Since having my cataracts removed a few years ago my vision has decreased a bit so glasses have made a difference for me.  They have made a difference for Roy also which we are very happy about. Since it seems that one doctor visit for us always leads to another different doctor visit this one did also!

Dr. Wroten’s office in Amite
Dr. Robert Mason

While Roy’s eyes were being examined he told Dr. Wroten about a spidery looking floater that’s been in his eye since the original surgery.  Dr. Wroten recommended Roy see Dr. Robert Mason in Baton Rouge who specializes in vitreoretinal surgery with the Retina and Vitreous of Louisiana.  Roy saw Dr. Mason who agreed the spidery looking floater needs to be removed and surgery was scheduled for March 14.

Before the surgery Roy had pre-op tests and visit with our primary care Dr. Hugo Valdes to get clearance for the surgery.  Blood work done at Quest was fine but the EKG done at North Oaks as usual showed Roy has extra heart beats but this latest showed more extra heart beats.  This is called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).  Because of the PVCs Dr. Valdes wouldn’t clear Roy for surgery until he was examined by a cardiologist.  He recommended Dr. Georges Khoueiry with the Heart Center of Hammond.

Dr. Georges Khoueiry

We saw Dr. Khoueiry who ordered a nuclear stress test and an Echocardiogram.  Those tests results were abnormal, possibly showing blockages.  The eye surgery was postponed at that point and an angiogram was scheduled. If blockages were found Dr. Khoueiry would put in stents.

Roy had the angiogram this past Thursday at the Cardiovascular Specialty Care Center of Covington.  Our son Chip, my sister Harriett and brother in law George were there with me.  Roy came back with good news that no stents were needed.  A slight blockage was found but not enough to need a stent.  Yay!  But there is still the premature ventricular contractions issue, so now we go back to Dr. Khoueiry on Friday, April 5th to look further into why Roy has these extra beats.

Just came back from Dr. Khoueiry’s office.  He gave Roy clearance to have the eye surgery.  He did not prescribe anything for the extra heart beats because they haven’t affected Roy’s heart.  He did prescribe cholesterol medicine to help keep the slight blockage where it is and not get worse. Sometime this year Dr. Khoueiry wants Roy to have a halter monitor to further check his heart beats.

Back to Dr. Mason now for the eye surgery. For someone like Roy who detests going to the doctor you can imagine how he feels about now.  He’s now seen 6 different eye doctors over the last two years.  Hopefully when this is over, Dr. Mason will be the last!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

03.27.19 A Quiet Thought, March 24, by Rev. Bob Adams

A quiet thought for this Sunday morning, March 24th, by Rev. Bob Adams

Are you a good person? I am sure you are! But what does it mean when we say someone is “good?”

Sometimes we mean the person performs at a superior level. He is a good singer.

Sometimes we mean the person is kind. She is not harsh or cruel, but sensitive to others.

Often we mean the person is morally true. This good person behaves in ways that are clean and right.

Is this what we mean when we say God is good? Our Heavenly Father is perfect in what He does, kind beyond our understanding, and morally pure.

But these definitions of “good” yet fall short of the core meaning His goodness.

The goodness of the Father is a profound care for wayward children that moves Him to pour out His life to save them in body, soul, and spirit.

He is more than perfect in His acts, more than nice in His demeanor, more than morally pure.

He is good because He infinitely and always pours Himself out for us.

Let us sing with hearts overflowing with gratitude, “God is so good . . . God is so good . . . God is so good, He’s so good to me!”

Rev. Bob Adams was our interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church for two years.  His ministry at our church was filled with so many blessings!  It is an honor to share from time to time his quiet thought with ya’ll.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week and Yes, God Is Sooooo Good!

03.26.19 7 things every good Christian Mom does, by Marisa at “Called to Mothering”

I’ve said before that I wish these types of encouraging information for Christian moms was available back when I really could have used it while my sons were growing up.  We did the best we could back then but had someone put this type of information before me I believe I would have been a better mom.  I hope all the young Christian moms I know will read this.  There are links within the article to other articles of hers about being a better mom.  They are all great and I recommend reading those as well.

There's no way to be a perfect mom, but here are at least seven ways to be a really good one! #biblicalmotherhood #christianmotherhood #momencouragement #christianparenting

What makes a good mom? If you ask 100 people this question, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.We often imagine someone who is always patient, available, and bakes cookies from scratch. Someone who never has emotional outbursts or gets irritated with her kids for making messes.

The ideal standard is hard to live up to. And Christian moms face this pressure even more. In our quest to elevate the role of motherhood and encourage one another that it is a worthy calling, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of equating mothering with sainthood.

I can think of no mother I know who would even remotely qualify for this status. Because we’re all human. We’re imperfect, saved sinners just trying to do our best to raise children for Christ.

The good news is that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one. Here are seven things every good Christian mom does (and none of them involve baking).

One of our most important and rewarding tasks as a Christian mother is helping our children grow in faith. It is so much more than just taking them to church on Sunday. We play a vital role in our kids’ discipleship because we are uniquely positioned to walk beside them daily in a close, loving relationship!

Reading the Bible consistently with them and teaching them how to apply verses to their everyday lives is paramount to their own walk with Christ. We should also help them establish the spiritual discipline of prayer and Bible study for themselves. Using the Scriptures to correct them and teach their hearts to obey God as you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is key to your children’s spiritual development.

The other day, I flipped through a book my son had borrowed from the library. Its first chapter introduced a main character that had several negative traits such as deceitfulness and pride, as well as a plot that contained some dark fantasy elements. After I talked through the themes with him and we read Philippians 4:8 together, he decided to substitute it with a better choice.

As moms, it’s sort of our job to be nosy. It may not make us “cool”, but it will make us a great parent. We need to be aware of what our children are being taught, the kinds of media they’re consuming, and the peers they’re being influenced by. God gave us that “gut instinct” and we should listen to it! We have the power to influence and guide, and we shouldn’t allow culture to replace us.

We often get discouraged at our shortcomings and flaws, believing that we can’t reach our children because these would make us seem hypocritical. The truth is, our failures can still teach our kids, because they reveal our need for the very Savior we’re teaching them about.

They are also a great opportunity to grasp the meaning of “your grace is sufficient”. God can still be glorified, because when we admit we don’t have what it takes on our own to homeschool, or raise obedient children, or manage a home, God shows up mightily and we can give all the credit to Him!

Being a good mom sometimes means recognizing that we can’t do this mothering gig all by ourselves. The sheer amount of daily tasks is overwhelming, especially with littles. And besides, God created us to be in fellowship for a reason: to bear one another’s burdens, spiritually and literally.

Reaching out to ask a friend or your husband to take some of that stuff off your plate will allow you to decompress and relax a little. When you’re recharged, you’ll be a happier, more focused mom.

Whether it’s getting up before the kids in the morning to do your quiet time, or after they go to bed, spending time alone with God is vital to your motherhood lifeline. We can’t pour into our kids day in and day out without being refilled by the Spirit.

A good Christian mom recognizes her utter dependence on God for all the things that mothering requires of her. She knows that a habit of being in God’s Word every day will give her a renewed mind, as well as the fuel she needs to make it throughout the busy hours with her kids.

One of our biggest responsibilities is pulling out the weeds of bad behavior, and it seems like a never ending task. As soon as you prune a few, others ones grow up right in the same spot. It can become discouraging, and sometimes we end up feeling like failures (see Point #3).

But those behaviors and attitudes are actually excellent ways to point each child to Christ! When they keep disobeying and express in frustration that they can’t be good, we say “Yes exactly! That’s why Jesus came to redeem you by His death on the cross”. In those moments, we can present the Gospel very clearly to our children.

Finally, a good Christian mom knows that prayer is one of the best parenting tools at her disposal. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

Prayer brings God’s power and blessing to our kids’ lives, and it can lead them to genuine, godly repentance. It equips us to fight the spiritual battle for their hearts and minds, something the Enemy desperately wants to take over.

We can influence and impact our kids for eternity by kneeling with them and showing by example that since we trust God with our concerns, they should too. When we don’t have all the answers, we can lead them to the One who does!

 

Being a Christian mother is extremely hard.  I made more mistakes than I ever want anyone to know about.  I am now a grandmother and take that responsibility as seriously as I did being a mother. I don’t want to make the parenting mistakes I made, with my grandchildren. I want to be the kind of grandmother that takes seriously the points in the article above.  You may no longer be a child’s mother but are now a grandmother like me.   Our influence in their little lives must always direct them towards learning all about Christ.

This quote below makes a strong statement.  

Children becoming strong Christians is the most important aspect we should devote our lives to as grandparents and parents.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!