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Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks

Who Knew?!
Got a chance to take pictures today of Stu standing with his therapist, Dale.

Pretty heartwarming, isn't it?

Last time I saw this, it brought a scripture to mind, from Ephesians 6:13-14  I remembered
noticing that in that passage, in my NIV translation, the word "stand" appeared three times in just two sentences.  "Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace". 

Here's what I jotted down in my journal that day:

"As I read through Ephesians, with all the standing references, I wonder if, in a way, our souls are as weak as Stu's body-----if the Holy Spirit is our "Dale", energetic and encouraging, wrapping the belt around our middle and reminding us that we do indeed have strength in our muscles to stand.  Like Stu, we are only able to do it for short periods at first-----but more and more with His help"

Praying that as we are strengthened and encouraged by God's work in us, we will stand tall and give thanks with joy!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Standing on the Promises of God

Last night, before Stu and I headed over for our weekly "date" at NewSong church for their Wednesday Bible Study, Stu's therapist bounded into the room and said "I'm glad you're here a little early-----I have something to show you." Dale, his name is, and his already upbeat personality was even more so.  Two of the CNA's stopped what they were doing and joined us, as interested as I was.  "I heard about this", remarked Heather.  "Me, too" said Jackie.

"Ready, Stu?"  Dale had already wrapped a gait belt around Stu's middle, and as we watched,  Stu and Dale went through a little performance----something they had obviously been practicing together for a while.  "One, two, three....up"  For the first time in over a year, I was seeing Stu sit up on the side of the bed.  "O.k., Stu, do some warm-ups"---Stu obediently bent forward and then straightened, to the count of ten.  He has not been able to do  anything like that since the stroke-----that was in March, 2011!

And then I watched Stu stand up, using the muscles in his own legs.  Dale helped, Dale steadied him----but it was Stu who was standing. 

My eyes filled with tears.  Who would have predicted it?   Perhaps there is mercy in a slow-release miracle----and perhaps more glory to God.   I thought over all the months of grief and sorrow, the crushing of very understandable hopes, the faith that endured, the wisdom that has flourished-----and my heart filled with indescribable gratitude for its effect on both of us.  I am seeing a kinder, gentler Stu these days----this new ability to stand is infinitely less miraculous than the change I see in his heart and attitude.  And  the story has affected me deeply,  drilling down to my very core----I hope this post conveys just a little of the wonder of this unlikely path we're on.  Paradox and mystery-----the theme continues!

Meanwhile, our association with NewSong church has blossomed over the past few weeks----I've been so encouraged that Stu has continued to go on Sundays, escorted by Aaron and treated to donuts, coffee and kindness from everyone.  This leaves me free to stay connected at our home church, Lumen Dei, but still join Stu on Wednesdays for the Bible study.

And, after a full and rigorous four months at Grower's Market, I made the decision to let the last weekend in October be my final one for the season.  I am cultivating my facebook page, (under Studabakers-Bakery!! on Facebook) where I post weekly updates and photos and take orders-----Lord willing, that will sustain me over the winter months until the weather is again settled enough to set up my tent again :-)

I'll keep you posted as we go along----I have a Thanksgiving blog brewing in my head right now, but I think this is enough for the time being.

Until next time

Blessings from Sue and Stu