THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

November 4, 2009

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Those of you who read last week's newsletter, know that I was originally planning on joining Jon in Singapore again. He didn't get to complete the testing he went to do the first time we went, so was required to make a second trip. This time he will be gone for two weeks; which thankfully, isn't quite as long as the last trip was. We made reservations and planned on me going with him. But things didn't quite work out that way.

I have been going to the doctor off and on most of the summer, and have had various tests run. It seems like this has been a lengthy drawn-out process to figure out what is going on with my body. The last two tests were on my gallbladder. The first was an ultrasound, and the second was to test the function of my gallbladder. I had tried to call my doctor three times to find out the result of that last test; which was a bit frustrating. Finally, he had his nurse call me on Wednesday, which was only three days before we were scheduled to leave. He is referring me to a surgeon, and believes that I will need to have my gallbladder removed. I won't know anything definite until after my appointment with the surgeon.

Jon and I discussed it and made the decision to cancel my flight reservations and for me not to go with him. Not knowing whether or not surgery will be required, we felt that we needed to save the money that we would have spent for my trip expenses. If surgery is required, then we won't be struggling to pay our part of the cost that insurance won't cover. If surgery is not required, then we will have that extra money for other things. But in not knowing for sure what will happen, we felt it was wise for me to stay home. The longest Jon and I have been apart since we've been married is two days. It's going to be a really long two weeks for both of us.

But sometimes in life we have to make the tough decisions. There are occasions when life has disappointments that we have to face and are required to deal with. It's not always fun, nor is it easy, to make the choices that we know to be best.

Facing disappointments is something that we begin dealing with when we are children. Kids can't always have every single thing that they want. It may be something as simple as wanting to eat cookies instead of eating vegetables, and being told no. Little kids don't always understand why they can't do what they want, but adults have to make those choices for them and teach them right from wrong. It may be the disappointment of not getting that new bike for Christmas, or having to wear underwear with pictures of Bambi on them instead of Superman. Kids tend to pout and throw fits when they don't get their way. But hopefully, as they grow up and mature, they learn how to deal with the disappointment of not always getting what they want; or at least they should!

Teens deal with the disappointments of being turned down for dates; or not being asked out by anyone for Prom. They aren't always happy when they have to ride the school bus as teenagers; especially when all their friends have cars to drive to school. Having to sit on the bench, instead of getting to play during sporting events, can be disheartening. Planning for a big event, then waking up with a pimple when the day arrives, can be upsetting.

Young adults deal with different kinds of disappointments. It may be not getting the job they really wanted, or not getting a promotion. Perhaps it's wanting to get married and begin a family, but they just can't seem to ever meet the right person. It may be cooking a special dinner for their spouse or person they're dating, only to have it burn and be a charred mess.

On throughout adulthood, until retirement age, and even in the golden years, disappointments will be something we all will deal with from time to time. They are a very real part of life. Parents are at times disappointed in the decisions that their children make. Grandparents can be saddened by the road their grandchild chooses to take in life. Retirement plans can be hindered by health difficulties or the death of a spouse. Vehicles can break down at the most inconvenient times. Promises are broken. These things all lead to disappointment.

So how can we deal with disappointing situations? We can't just ignore them, hoping that they'll go away. We can't disregard them and always make choices that will make us feel happy. We can't pretend that they don't exist, because they do.

The one and only way I know to deal with disappointing situations is by trusting that God is in control and knows what He's doing. I can't see the big picture, but He can. He knows what's best for me and has my best interest at heart. He promises to never leave nor forsake me. Regardless of what happens in my life, God is there.

Yes, Jon and I are both really disappointed that I was unable to go with him on this trip. It would make the trip a lot more enjoyable for Jon, and would make the next two weeks pass quicker for both of us. I spent a lot of years being single and alone -- been there, done that, and really don't want to do it again. We enjoy spending time together and doing things as a couple, and we love being married to one another. So yes, we would have preferred that I had been able to go with him. But that was not how things worked out.

As much as we don't want to be apart, we have to believe that God is in control and knows what He's doing. Two of my sisters have had major gallbladder attacks where they had to go to the ER. Both said it was the worst pain they have ever experienced; even worse than childbirth. What if I had of stubbornly chosen to go with Jon to Singapore, only to get there and have a major gallbladder attack? We know nothing about the doctors or hospitals there. I sure wouldn't want to have emergency surgery in a foreign country; then have to end up staying longer for recuperation before being able to fly home. And I also wouldn't want to try and make a 25-30 hour flight back home while in pain; thinking I could make it home and see my own physician. I'm not saying or thinking that I will have a major gallbladder attack during the next two weeks. I pray not! My point is, God knows our future and sometimes our disappointments are His way of taking care of us and protecting us.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven."

Verse 4 tells us that there is, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."

So each of us will endure a season from time to time where situations may not be quite so joyful and pleasant. We will go through times of weeping and mourning; which means, we will go through seasons of disappointments.

But on the flip side of that is the promise that we will also have seasons of laughter and dancing.

Just as we have recently left the summer season and embarked upon autumn; our life will experience seasonal changes from time to time. But during each change, keep your eyes on the Lord and trust that He will be always be with you.

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

For good parents, one of the hardest things in life is to disappoint their kids. But sometimes it's what's best. I'm glad not to have to deal with it. I don't think I have the kind of wisdom it would take to decide when to give in or when to say, "No".

Fortunately, God has infinitely more wisdom than we do. I don't understand many of His decisions, but understanding is not required.

ON THE MENEWE:

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 cups each - chopped carrots, onions and celery

2 bags frozen broccoli

1 Tbsp. Chicken Bouillon (suggests using the paste)

Cover with water and cook until vegetables are tender.

Add 2 cups milk and make your own roux (1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup flour)

Add roux to soup along with 1 quart of half-n-half

Add 1/2 of the 3 lb. Box of Velveeta Cheese and stir constantly so it melts but doesn't stick.

Sprinkle white pepper over the entire pot.

LAMB TALES:

(I will omit names to protect the innocent!!)

When a family member heard that Jon was going back to Singapore, the husband wasn't sure of the exact location of where that was. He asked his wife, "Is Singapore located in Florida or California?" She wasn't sure, so she looked it up. Thing is, this wasn't a joke but they were both very serious about this. They both felt pretty silly when they found out that Singapore was a country in Asia! The wife told me that apparently the two of them should have paid more attention in geography when they were in school. Even though most people may not know exactly where Singapore is located, they do at least know that it is not a city within the US!

When we had been there the first time, the husband had sent me a link on facebook and I had sent him a message asking if he knew that the two of us were in Singapore. I thought his reply kind of strange, but thought maybe it was just in his wording. His reply was, "That will make a nice little trip for you two." I thought, "Okay, this is not exactly a little trip! We're around 9,000 miles from home and 13 time zones away, so it's a pretty major ordeal." I had no idea that he thought we were in Florida or California! Needless to say, this gave me and Jon a good laugh when we found out about this.

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

God understands our prayers, even when we can't find the words to say them.

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We hope everyone is having a wonderful fall season.

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

E-Mail: shepherd@grayengineers.com

http://www.graysheep.org