Saturday, November 28, 2009

Secret to Survival

I knew Monday would be a hard day.  I was dreading the emotions  I would face going back to the house one last time, visiting the cemetery, and helping with the blood drive.  How did I get through it?
That morning I paraphrased 1 Peter 1:1-13 and wrote it on the palm of my hand.  It was right there all day as a reminder to maintain an eternal perspective.

"We have a living hope in Jesus Christ
and an inheritance in Heaven that can never perish.
  Therefore, set your hope fully on what is to come.
There is great joy ahead
even though now for a little while you have had to suffer grief."

That is how I survived Monday and how I survive every day when I want to crawl back in bed and give up.  I press on.
And so should you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Years

Five years is too little
We let her go
We had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from her mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior?

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

We are held

("Held",  by Natalie Grant--with a couple of changes by me)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blood Drive Pics

Here are a few pictures of all the fun you can have at a blood drive.  Thank you again to everyone who came.

Nicolle putting up signs.

Kay and Sittie decorating the sign-in table.  (K is giving me "the look" for some reason.)

Teri, Me, K, and Jennifer making Anna ornaments

"Hugs and Kisses from the Salamy Family"

Autographed football, pink roses, butterflies, and books for the hospital

Sittie's beautiful hospitality table

It was Teri's first time to donate and she had to have both arms poked.  Notice Austin in the background--this was before they had to elevate his feet!

This is Nicolle laughing at Austin.  (He was fine!)

Stacy left her 5 boys at home and came to "relax" and give blood.
 Anna's nursery teacher Ms Mary worked the sign in table for the second year in a row.
 Ms MaryAnn and Papa Tom stopped by to say hi.
 Lance "The Man"  gave double red cells and his beautiful wife Shawna  took me to Sonic happy hour.  Thanks Shawna!

Pastor Ben couldn't decide which t-shirt to take, so he took one of each!

Butterfly face painting by Susi

Emily hates needles but did it for Anna.

Spencer, who saw the sign while driving by and stopped in to donate, won the autographed football.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Anna Salamy Memorial Blood Drive

Just a reminder that Anna's blood drive is tomorrow at Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City from 2-7pm.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone there.  If you can't donate, you can bring a book or a snack food item to donate to the Ronald McDonald Family Room at OU Children's Hospital.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A thankful heart

Yesterday Will's journal topic at school was, "Name a place that you are thankful for."  Will told me about his friend Katie who said that she was thankful for China because that is where she was born.  I asked him what he wrote.  (Thinking of course that he was going to say "Oklahoma".)  His answer,  "I said Dominoes."  Dominoes Pizza?  You are thankful for Dominoes Pizza?  "Yep.  It's good."

Today's journal topic was "Things you are not thankful for."  Will's answer to that was "broccoli and bleu cheese."

Today I am thankful for the 12 men outside who are cleaning up the leaves in our yard and parking area.  Leaf removal is a HUGE deal when you live in a forest.  The city actually has machines that clean the leaves off the streets.  The trees are beautiful, but they are a MESS.

Don't forget Anna's Blood Drive on Monday from 2-7pm.  If you can't donate blood, you can donate a book or snack for the Ronald McDonald Family Room or you can donate your time as a volunteer.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Don't faint

Today in the mail we got the final bill for Anna's grave marker which was installed last week. Ugh!  Ordering and installing grave markers is NOT something I should have to do.  But I do.
The next thing I opened was a package from my friend Marianne.  I haven't seen her in 10 years, and we've never exchanged gifts, but for some reason she just happened to make me a cute little clip board with butterflies on it and it just happened to come today.  It has this verse on it,
"...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
And so I will renew my hope.  I will keep walking.    I will be strong in the Lord.  I will not faint.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quote from Will (who is no Charles Spurgeon)

Yesterday Will decided to wear his pajamas until dinner.  When he went to bed I told him, "Don't put those clothes in the dirty-clothes."  He asked, "Why?"  I explained that he had only worn them  for a couple of hours.  He said, "But I got them OUT of the dirty-clothes."

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to my favorite husband.  You have a strength and wisdom you cannot see, but I am thankful I get to live with you and lean on you when times are hard.  I look forward to pressing on together to the future God has in store for us!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Quote from Charles Spurgeon

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is a sandbank; should some one ask, “Why does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel and deviate so much from a straight line?” His answer would be, “Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at all if I did not keep to the deep channel.” So, it may be, you would run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little, you are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto perfection. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, “Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows.” Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Richard's birthday is Sunday.  A few days ago he made up a bday/Christmas "wish list" and gave it to me to send to our parents.  At dinner I casually mentioned that I added a few things to his list.  Richard  looked at me and Jacob said, "You didn't add socks did you?"  I paused, then said, "Well, he needed some white ones."  They all burst out laughing.  "MOM, socks are not gifts!"  Can I help it if I have received socks and underwear every year for Christmas my whole life and so to me they are perfectly acceptable gifts?  My family knows me too well and for that, they are ALL going to get socks for Christmas!!!!

All Richard REALLY wants for his birthday is for our house in OKC to close so that it doesn't keep us from buying the house here.  Hopefully all the paperwork will get where it needs to be....SOON!

Try, try again

At Audra's old school she loved being the star of the show.  She loved to act and sing on stage and the music teacher gave her plenty of opportunities.  Recently she tried out for a solo in the 5th grade Veteran's Day program.  (She has a beautiful voice and I would say that even if I wasn't her mother.)  She didn't get it.  So the next week, she raised her hand indicating that she would like a speaking part.  She didn't get it.  BUT on Friday she came home and told me that her teacher had chosen what she thought were the four best Veteran's Day essays.  She read them in front of the class without revealing the authors and then the class voted on which one they thought was the best.  They chose Audra's!  So she gets to read her essay at the assembly this afternoon.  I am so proud of her.  I am mostly proud that she doesn't give up and she keeps trying.  You go girl!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Restore unto me

Yes, I am excited about the house.  Yes, I am enjoying the fall colors.  Yes, I have much to be thankful for.  Yet, this time of year is hard.  It was hard in OKC and it's still hard in VA.  Call it "seasonal affective disorder," "post traumatic stress," or whatever else you want, it's still hard.  I have to work to keep the tears from spilling out.  They are so near the surface.  The smallest bump makes them overflow.
So this is my prayer and my song today--for me and for anyone else who struggles with overflowing tears...

Cast me not away from Your presence, O Lord
And take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of My salvation
And renew a right spirit within me.

(Lyrics from "Create in me a clean heart", taken from Ps. 51:11-12)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The time has come

"The time has come, the day has arrived.  Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller grieve..."  (Ez. 7.12)
I read those words and wrote them in my journal on Tuesday.  That was the day we were expecting a FedEx package with the closing papers for our house in OKC.  Little did I know that at the same time our realtor was sending those papers on Monday, a family in Richmond was  putting their house on the market and preparing to move to Chicago.  I have checked the MLS updates at least twice a day since July so I saw pictures of the house the first day it was posted on Monday.  I loved it!  I emailed my realtor and told him that we wanted to see it, but that the kids were out of school the next day, I had parent/teacher conferences,  and we were having to get our closing papers notarized and sent back to OKC.  On Wednesday I was scheduled to work so I asked him to set something up for Thursday after my class.  On Tuesday, the realtor called and said that the house already had TWO "strong" offers and the agent felt sure that one of them would be accepted that night.  I was frustrated and angry, but finally accepted God's sovereignty in the whole situation.  Then, yesterday afternoon I got a call from my realtor telling me that BOTH offers had fallen through and we could go see the house if we wanted to.  I got the kids and we picked Richard up at work and went to the house at 4pm.  At 5:30 we were still there and another agent came in with her clients.  Yikes!  We went home and  finished writing up/signing the contract at 11pm.  Our realtor delivered it this morning and at 4:30 this afternoon he called and said, "Congratulations!"  Whew!  Everything is contingent upon our OKC house closing this week, so hopefully that will all go as planned.
We are exhausted, but feel great about the house and are thankful to God for his blessing.