Friday, April 28, 2006


It always seem to catch me by surprize....God cares about me? Well yes, like any other Christian in my head that is a truth that has been clear to me for years...I have even told others that He cares for them....what could be more natural????

But somehow, deep down, it´s always easier to believe that God cares and loves others more than he does me..... And even if you know this is a seems easier to live with the lie than the truth. What a heracy, but if I am honest .....that´s what I really felt.

Well, God had bigger & better ideas...(am I glad that God is bigger & better than me!!!!) and decided that today would be a good day for me to deal with this lie and pull it out by the roots! I guess I will still need to work myself out of the habit of devaluing myself...but I do desperatly want to walk in truth!

During one of our prayer times in my group of friends, God nailed me to the floor with the question, why do you feel you are not valueable? Where did that lie come in? I experienced in a depth that I didn´t know existed, in the very "guts" of my being, that God touched this insecurity in me and is done.....this isn´t going to hinder you anymore.

What can I say? It was one of those moments when time and space stop still and you are alone with God and He speaks and you listen. He speaks and you realize you can´t make it better on your own...that you´ve been trying and struggling; not willing to give in; that no one else is going to do it for you; or that you don't deserve to be valued.......................

And then with a "peace that passes ALL understanding" you surrender and God meets you. You are caught by surprize: Jesus loves me? ....yes, JESUS loves even me!!! (anyone out there remember that hymn?)

It ´s one of those kind of experiences that cannot be explained very well with words, they fall so desperately short. But in me, where I didn´t believe, I KNOW that God has done a metamorphasis. Time will show me, just how deep and final the experience of today has been. I only wish I could somehow transmit this whole experience to you....

I guess this feeling I have could be compared to the story in Luke 13:10 about the crippled woman...

She was bent over and could not straighten up and he (Jesus) called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." ...........and she straightened up and praised God.

I was "bent over "with a lie and could not straighten up , but Jesus has told me that I am set free... I straightened up and praised God!!! When JESUS speaks.....things change....always for the better!

Sometimes we walk around with these things for many years...but as the saying goes...there is a time for everything, and God in his tenderness doesn't overwhelm us and "fix"us all at once.... (if he did, we would probably decombust!!!)

It´s in these moments when I realize I have to WANT to change and WANT to no longer live with my infirmity... to be willing to step out of my comfort zone, into the unknown ...where Jesus is.........

who has just seen another part of the puzzle of my life put in the proper place. And it feels GRRRRRRRRRREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ally´s Animal Art

It´s amazing how quickly the days fly and I haven´t written anything...There are so many things that happen in one day, that after a few days go by, you kind of sit there and think...hey I let so many good ideas go and now..I don´t know what to write !!!!

I thought I would write about Laila, our mother with only 3 kittens left, cat who reminded me again how man can not control nature. We seem to think that somehow we can dominate the species, especial with pets... and to some degree we can "tame" them, but as the saying goes... ,"You can lead a horse to water, but you can´t make him drink!" Animals have a way of showing you that you are not really as much of a "master" as you would like to be!!!

I learned this afresh just a few days ago. As I mentioned, I had taken time the other day to "move" the kittens and Mum Laila, down to the garage. The kittens are getting more and more lively and well, it´s alot harder for anyone to sleep when three sets of claws are piercing into your skin through the bed covers...

Anyway, I had prepared a wonderful cosy "nook" with food, bedding and the necessary toilet facilities down in the garage. I then proceeded to collect the kittens from No 1`s bedroom and introduce them to their wonderful new accomodations. I closed the garage door and left just a big enough gap...(or "a jar"...haha.. have you heard the joke, When is a door not a door?...When it´s a jar...sorry couldn´t resist that one!!!)for them to get in and out but closed enough to feel protected. I returned upstairs to continue with my "to do´s" of the morning and felt quite pleased with getting another "situation" settled.

Lunchtime came and went, and as I was working in the afternoon on the computer, every so often gazing out of the window which looks unto the balcony where the bedroom windows also look out to, I saw something that took me by surprize. There, if I hadn´t seen it with my own eyes I would not believe it, came Laila carrying a kitten in her mouth jumping into No 2's window . She was bringing the kittens back up into the house one by one!!!

Realizing that a major event in the animal world was taking place right before my own eyes, I decided to go down to the garange nonchalantly and watch how she bought the kitten out through the "a jar" space in the garage door and carried it up. I mean, I had to see how this would work! Well, through some miracle of metamorphasis, Mum cat with kitten in mouth squeeeeeeeeeeeeezed out of this amazingly tight space, then made their way across the garden, up the stairs and directly to No 2´s window.

What can I say? I had good intentions, even acted out of goodwill , their wellbeing at heart, but nature had other ideas. Laila, obviously didn´t feel her kittens were secure and wasted no time in getting them back in the house and into what instinct claimed as better. I had to laugh...just laugh. I knew that this was outside of human control and no matter where I would put her kittens, she would move them if she deemed it necessary!

I am sure there is some really good moral to this story...some kind of parallel with the human world . There is of course....

I like to compartementalize...have everything sorted out in little boxes and separate areas, everything under "control." I even want God to be where I put him..."controlled" about when and where He can be in my life... Then God brings things in and out of my life and I realize I don´t have him as "tamed" (hey perish the thought..but I know it´s true) as I would like. He is bigger than me and loves me more than to just to let me be immature and insecure in my carefully made up world.

He surprizes me with His love, amazes me with His Care and awes me with His power. I am so glad that God is bigger than me, bigger than my idea of good, bigger than bad, bigger than the past, the present and future. I want all of who God is and not my comfort, my security, my way.

I leave you with this:

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him
and He will make your paths straight.!! Prov 3: 5-7

Friday, April 21, 2006

Afection & Afirmation: Antidotes for All

April 21st

Well it´s now 11;10pm . It´s been a full day.....basically full with being with Abu in the hospital and driving backwards and forwards to the hospital!!!

After dropping off no 3 to school at 9:00am Deb and I drove to Alcalá to visit Abu in the hospital. He was to be operated this morning on his elbow, which he broke quite badly after a fall. He needed to have a nail and wire put in it...(sounds like we are building a fence or fixing a radio rather than a human body!!!) as the elbow articulation was pretty messed up.

I finally was able to lay the theory aside of my studies this week, and put it into practice by visiting with Abu to comfort and encourage him in his fear of the op and the anesthetic. God was gracious and Abu ended up only needing a local anesthetic and not a general as was first expected.

Abu was actually called upf or the operation before the designated time and so Deb & I were able to accompany him right to the operating rooms (hey my English is going to pot....I can´t think for the life of me what the correct word is...oh well you will just have to forgive me!!!!) .

We had the privilege of waiting 2 hours there in one of those lovely hospital waiting rooms. Which I have to admit that here in Spain is a lot more lively than anything I have experienced in the land of the Britons. Spanish people enjoy everything at a higher volume level than the rest of the world, so it makes even the hospital not feel so drab and dreary...which is a great blessing...especially when the heating is on "broil" . That, plus the quiet hush in English hospitals, is enough to drift anyone off to "lala" land if you ask me..... Why do they do that ? I mean, isn´t warmth seducive to like bacteria and stuff? Aren´t there people out there who study this and then apply the knowledge into a hospital situaion? Anyway, back to the plot...

To my immense frustration, I had forgotten to take a book with me or any kind of sustenance, (we didn´t think he would go in before we left...) so I had to amuse myself with the vending machine (pressing buttons to "win" a bottle of mineral water) and ask fellow "waiter" (as in she was waiting too and not as in cafeteria serve you coffee...haha...boy am I so funny!!!) for permission to read their nice glossy magazine on the latest gossip about the rich and the famous.

Actually it was Debee who humbled herself to do the "begging" of the above mentioned mag.... I was thinking about it for a while...but hadn´t built up the courage or reached the extent of boredom that pushed me to perform such a humble activity!! Sadly for us though, this spark of excitement was short lived because the kind "donators" were called away just minutes after we got the mag. Hey so much for that...

The surgeon who operated on Abu finally called us 2 hours later and told us that everything had gone like "clockwork" and Abu would be taken up to his ward within the next few hours. Of course at this stage...we had barely enough time to buy a birthday present for the Birthday party No 3 would be going too this afternoon, and to pick her up from School.

After a quick lunch and run No 2 to football training and back(accompanied by literally SHEETS of rain) .....we were back on our way to the hospital to check on Abu again. We found him already well enveloped by visitors (which was a good thing as we weren´t able to be there when he was brought back up to his ward) and he was in good spirits.

We also were able to encourage his fellow roomie. A Portuguese Carpenter (it was the room of the carpenters....and I don´t mean the 1970´s bro-sis duet singers!!!) who had had a run in with a machine and cut some fingers. OUCH!!! Yes, pretty nasty stuff. The guy was in tremendous pain, as you can well imagine. I asked the nurse if she could bring him a pillow as the poor guy didn´t even have one....

It´s sad when the staff are so busy doing their job that the "human/social" side of medicine goes out of the window and these things go undetected.

As is spanish was somewhat weak, Deb was able to use her Portuguese skills to cheer him up a little. We later found out that he was just in Spain working for a few weeks before this happened....his wife and children are back in Portugal and they didn´t even know he was in hospital.......................Everyone has their story....

Anyway, we were able to leave Abu well, in a bit of pain, but well and with strict instructions to ask for a painkiller to help make it through the night. The anesthetic was wearing off and he was in obvious discomfort.

I am more and more convinced of the tremendous importance for human affection and emotional support as a vital part in treating older people and any "people" for that matter. With out which, medicine is just half a science........a very weak response to a very real need.

Well I am going to get off my soap box for today!!!!

It´s late, but I feel like I made a good investment into a few lives today....

Tomorrow will be busy too

sleep well