Sunday, January 29, 2006


What is it with doors? We use them to enter or exit. I'm a little tired of doors right now. I guess sometimes they are a protection...sometimes they give us a choice...sometimes they present a mystery.

Last week was a LOOOONNNNNGGGG week. Weak. Yes, that is how I felt. I'm so glad my God is strong. I felt like I was in the hammock of His pocket. I did not balance my time well the first part of the week. By my day off I was wasted. I have to own the choices I made with my time. I was spoiled by a very gracious husband. He was my knight in shining armor...and he was still willing to "muck out the stalls." He opened doors for me...even the car door, coming around to open my car door when I was in the passenger seat. I liked that. I miss that.

I took my son to sign up for baseball. As I approached the door a dad person held the door for the boys with him and then promptly let the door go--right in front of me. Ick. I'm practicing "choose not to be offended." (with appreciation to Bonnie Floyd) The men and women inside blessed my socks off with their kindness and helpfulness in a process I am just getting used to. I hate the forms: (failed twice trying to fill it out on line and then had to repeat it there.) The lines that say: Father's know the rest. I want to write Michael's name in big bold letters, but then they would want to know his cell phone number.

After spending large portions of the day in bed Wed. and Thurs., I went to make some lunch and the fridge door FELL OFF. Spare the details and bless Larry W. who came to scope out the situation and fix it that evening after I rounded up the part. Is the part AVAILABLE for a mere 10yr old U.S. made product??? (no) I went to my McGyver kind of neighbor to see if he knew of any parts places that may have a secret stash of this part and over the next 4 hours he actually FABRICATED a piece that seems to be even better than the one that was on there. I'll keep hunting for the part--just in case. Let me know if you are a sleuth and I'll get you all the part numbers!!! (Okay...and it's a Sears Kenmore).

The next door was Friday. The garage. Who needs a garage door anyway? I would not mind helping someone FIX the garage door...but I hate calling companies and scheduling estimates...and figuring out which door is the best thickness and how titanium ball bearings are better and parts that will last for a lifetime. Hmmmm.

Parts that last a lifetime. Now there's a thought. While my gracious neighbor was back and forth to my house fabricating this door support, I took my drained self to an appointment with Michael's doctor. She spent an hour with me. Michael appreciated her care of him. I needed to tell her that. I shared with her how I believe in God's sovereignty. But, I needed to know some technical medical it helps with my healing...and may help me help others some day. I don't really struggle with "what ifs." I see more stepping stones towards other doors: Encourage people with high blood pressure to do their best with diet and exercise therapy. Keep up on regular check-ups. Know EVERY sign of a heart attack. Know the Jesus of the Bible. Get life insurance. Build quality relationships. I know there are more 'doors'...the titles will come.

I need new panels on my garage door. The strength of the metal was compromised. I'm thankful God doesn't compromise with His care. My heart is heavy for friends who are hurting. I feel the frustrations of single moms...even though they can tell me I don't know the half of it yet. I'm thankful I can hammer a nail. Praying for John and Carol, D. and A. G., T.M., Elise's daughter, lost jobs, other widows...can we just skip February 14th?

Like in entries past, my thoughts are scattering. I have other pieces to enter...but trying to get well and prepare to be away at a conference I look forward to all year will keep me from writing for a bit. I was so grateful for all the hugs at church today...and 'the garage door guys.'

I have to face the bedroom door. Do you have 'stuck' doors...or broken doors??

Annie B.

Friday, January 06, 2006


I did it!
We did it. The big boys and I went through Michael's clothes. My plan was just to go through the polos (old man shirts to the boys), but we laughed so hard at times and the "air" was very light when we finished that part (so we kept going). Picture a standing-room-only walk-in closet for one...and there were three of us in there.

We found 4 identical Padre hats and other different Padre hats...remembering sitting in the 'nose-bleeds' and watching many a game...eating cotton candy and singing the 7th inning song?? Our daughter smitten with Tony Gwynn...We found Pastor Mike hats, Emmaus culinary institute, Dill pickle hat from Arco Idaho??? (was that from our Seattle friends???), Burns security...guess he's pretty secure now. Maybe he should have taken his Jesus 24/7 hat??

They wanted more of the long-sleeved shirts than I thought they would. I was surprised at some shirts they wanted and laughed at others that they said, "uh, NO." to...almost before I indicated which shirt I was talking about. And then there was the shirt that "I could keep that with the costume stuff." (Was that a compliment or??) Nevermind.

I weeded through the sock drawer turning socks right side out. Michael always pulled his socks off inside out so I just washed them that way and he turned them right side out when he put them on. I figured since he told me how to fold his chonies, I could tell him how to fold his socks and if he didn't want to turn them right side out for the wash then we could all deal with that.

Even if his dresser top was a whirlwind of menageries...coins for magic tricks...(surprise!)...hankies and pictures, notes from our kids and church kids...(to Pasture Mike...Love Thea'), biking gear, a bendable Oreo man, and a rubber band gattling gun...his drawers were neat and orderly. They are empty now--except the t-shirts. We'll save those--for the younger ones to look at with us. He left me an Olive Garden gift card. Maybe I'll go eat some soup and salad and ...ahhh...The bike clothes all went in a box for now.

Another chapter finished. I turn out the closet light...time to rest...a friend starts chemo this week...and she encouraged me.

I hope I don't wear you out,
Annie...thanks for sticking with me.

Michael wrote...September 12, 1985:
"Hebrews 4:1-13, Proverbs 18 Taking rest isn't an option--we need to find physical rest to restore our bodies. God's peace and forgiveness provide rest for our souls. As we find a day of rest it needs to include spiritual rest--seeking God's face."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year

New Year.
I pigged out on Buffalo wings (and pizza) with my daughter....after spending the day battling ants and thinking I may have broken my fridge. (my neighbor fixed my bumbling error.) My 3 boys ended up at parties. I did not feel like partying. My emotions are right in my throat. My mind is a whirliwind. Christmas cards have been such an encouragement. I cry for my saddness but my thoughts also turn to other friends. My dear friend C. who faces one year today...she has 8 she is raising. Also, D. and K. and A. and J. and 3 pastor's wives...

A thought comes to my mind just now. "Strengthened in the inner man." I believe God will strengthen me as we walk together through the new year. Please be honest with me when you are hurting. I will need you more than ever just now. Andy, what a BLESSING and encouragement to hear from you. I know those babies will bring you such joy. John--your notes were amazing. Thank you!

One son just came home. He said, "it is 2006! We have made it." I smile and cry. Yes, we have walked this far, but I am tender-footed about the new.

Thanking Michael for introducing me to Buffalo wings...with Blue Cheese...(a substance that as a child was like green eggs and ham...I would not eat it in on a train or in the rain...)

As we begin 2006. Heavy sigh....pause...losing it...composure to finish writing...

Michael writes--1-22-84 (a reflection on) Exodus 3:7-17 God's commission to Moses
"He is our completion, our adequacy. He sees our needs, knows them, and meets them in the best possible manner. He also requires us to "step out" and trust Him. v 16 "...I am indeed concerned about you...""

Willing to step out because I know He is are there. Grateful for both. Grateful for the gift of my husband. Grateful for Christmas with my family in Texas....little children, golf balls, swimming trips and an abundance of Mexican food...NOT a problem. Grateful for my father-in-law who diligently keeps up with the midst of his own grief.