Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That Middle Child

On the Pike Place Market Pig ~ Dec. 2007

T-Ball ~ Summer 2008

Camping on Little Naches River ~ Sept. 2009

Fishing at Ocean Shores ~ 2010

Westwood Field Day ~ June 2011

Today our middle child celebrated his 9th birthday, and I just had to post a quick blog in his honor.  People use the term “middle child” like it’s a curse, but ours is a blessing and I just couldn’t adore him any more than I do!

Cole is as kind-hearted as they come.  He cares about other people’s feelings and has that wonderful gift of compassion!  His sweet and quirky sense of humor has had us laughing since he was just little.  Although he didn’t intend it to be funny, when we moved to our farm when Cole was 2, he began referring to cows’ udders as “milk tanks”.  Today, that’s what we still call them!

At 4 years old, Cole raced his quad at Pacific Raceways for the first time.  He was about half the size of the other kids in his class, and when he rode by us, he would slow down and honk the horn.  That’s just the way Cole is…he would rather wave at his mom and dad than win the race!  And by doing so, and without meaning to, he manages to win the hearts of everyone along the way!

As the animal lover of the family, Cole spends hours hanging out in the chicken coop and running around with our dog.  A couple of months ago, he told me that he was teaching our young new rooster how to crow; that was more entertaining to witness than you can imagine!  You can often find Cole walking around holding Ernie the rooster under one arm; I’m pretty sure Ernie thinks that they are best friends. J

I recently read an article about birth order, and here’s what it had to say about middle children: “They read people well; they are peacemakers who see all sides of a situation; they are independent and inventive.”  All those traits sure fit Cole.  Being a middle child sounds like a pretty good thing to me!

I could go on and on with favorite stories about Cole.  When I think of him, I smile.  When I hear his giggle, I smile even more!  I pray that he will grow up to be the compassionate man, full of kindness, that he’s already been the first 9 years of his life.  I know that God will use those attributes in Cole to bless the lives of many others, and I just can’t wait to see how, everyday, God will continue to use him!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Friend Jan

Volunteering at VBS with Jan and my aunt Teary

Serving together at the Tacoma Rescue Mission

Jan is one of my dearest friends. 

Three nights ago, I received news that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Although I know that Jan’s life is in God’s hands, and that she trusts Him fully, I couldn’t help but to feel so sad.  I guess sad doesn’t really describe it.  The tears started coming, my stomach was in knots, and the rest of me just felt numb. 

Every so often, I think about the ladies in my church who are my good friends; how many of them are older than me, and how, although I know life is constantly changing, it will be hard when even one of them is not right by my side.  They are the people who encourage me most and who have taught me the most about faith.  The news of Jan’s cancer brought that thought back.

Soon, I began thinking about how valuable relationships are.  Jan has touched my life in many ways in the short decade that we’ve been friends.  She has shared her faith with me, while never making me feel inferior; she always offers encouraging words and verses at just the right times; she is the first one to step up and say “I’ll do it!” when a job needs to be done…I admire her willingness to serve even when it isn’t convenient for her; she leads when there is a need, and she follows when the time is right.  Best of all, Jan loves the Lord with all her heart and she lets everyone know it.

And, she loves to have fun!  Just a few weeks ago (when she was not feeling well), Jan commented that she was sure glad she did the zip line at our volunteer retreat back in June, since she may not be able to do it at our women’s retreat if she wasn’t feeling better!  I love her spirit…she will be 68 next month, and was so thrilled to fly down that zip line and experience the adventure!

I talked with Jan last night and she told me she was reminded yesterday through the sermon at church not to give up.  Her attitude going into this battle with cancer is a testimony to her faith, and to so many things that I love about her!

I am so thankful for my wonderful friend, and although I am not looking forward to her upcoming  treatment, I do know that she will continue to give thanks to our loving God, and touch lives along the way!  She will have my prayers each and every day until she’s won the battle.