Deb’s Journey…

December 28, 2009

Broken Shells…

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Reflecting on the quiet gentle beauty of the past week.  The locals in Ft. Myers thought it was “cold”, but the range was 50 - 80 to us,  it was lovely.  We enjoyed beautiful sunsets, rich desserts, watching dolphins play, touring Thomas Edison’s laboratories, but mostly we daily enjoyed the beaches…lounging, reading, walking, talking, watching the birds and looking for shells…

Our first day at the beach we looked and longed for “perfect” shells…that night browsing at a local bookstore I found a book that inspired & made me weep…

“Dawn has broken on a beautiful day here at the ocean.  I’ve come to refresh my weary spirit and to refuel my tired soul.  I’m so grateful for the peaceful calm of the seashore, where time stands still and unrushed…where I can see and feel the beauty all around me.  This is my first morning at the ocean, and as I walk to the beach, feeling the rich warm sand beneath my feet, I decide to collect a few shells.  I walk by a broken shell and leave it to search for more perfect ones…but I stop…go back…and pick up the broken shell.  I realize that this shell is me with my broken heart…this shell has had to fight so hard to keep from being totally crushed by the pounding surf…just as I have had to…yet this shell is out on the beautiful sandy shore…just as I am.

Broken shells have been tested and tried, each one has it’s own special beauty…it’s own unique pattern.  I watch the rolling surf toss new shells onto the shore and I am reminded of the many times that I too have been tossed by the storms of life, just like my beautiful broken shell…it has nothing to doesn’t pretend to be perfect or whole…it’s brokenness is clear for everyone to see.

Lord, may I be strong enough to show my pain and brokenness like this shell.  May I give myself permission to hurt…to cry…may I have the courage to risk sharing my feelings with others…help me to reach out to others who have been tossed and broken…may I listen…comfort…and love all who pass my way.  Thank you Lord for embracing me even though I am broken…thank You for holding me in the palm of Your hand and giving me the strength and courage to go on…let me not destroy the beauty of today by grieving over yesterday…or worrying about tomorrow.” - My Beautiful Broken Shell by Carol Hamblet Adams

I’m enjoying my shells today…appreciating great beauty even in the broken ones…

Broken Shells

December 20, 2009

Running away from home…

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Today we run away…away from this house with all it’s Christmas morning memories…though we know the memories will come with us…

It will be a huge day.  Tom left for church at 7:30 band practice - I’m not able to get going that early today…I’ll join him at 10:30.  We’ll grab lunch afterward with some friends who have agreed to take us to the airport.  Our flight goes out at 4:00 and we’ll arrive in Ft. Myers about 8:30 tonight.

My stomach is doing flips this morning.  I’m both nervous and excited…happy and sad…

Yesterday marked 10 months since Ian passed.  We miss him so much we ache.  Our thoughts bounce between our temporal truth and his eternal truth…our loss is his great gain.  Each end of that “ping pong match” brings tears…tears of sorrow and tears of relief…yes, tissues are a constant part of our lives these days.

Thanks for your grace in receiving even our tears…they cleanse the wounds of our hearts and bring healing…

Thanks for your prayers for us as we travel…the environment will be beautiful and will remind us of eternal things…our thoughts will be even more heavenward this week.  Please pray for rest, for our marriage as we cling together through this difficult “first”, and for peace.

Have a blessed Christmas…

~deb & tom

December 11, 2009

Grandma Mary - perspective for life

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Picture taken spring 2009 - Grandma Mary riding in my brother Jim’s sidecar

Grandma Mary turned 90 in September…she’s one of my favorite people …I was talking with her today.  We were sharing stories and talking about how God provides in our lives when she said, “Oh I’ve got to tell you how good God was to me this week”…

On Tuesday the weather was dreadful (over a foot of snow fell in central Iowa) so when the commode in her main floor bathroom became plugged, she hated to call someone in to help her (in that weather she didn’t want to bother anyone - yes, she still spunky enough to live on her own)

As the day wore on, it became necessary for her to use a functioning commode so she decided to climb downstairs (no small feat for a woman her age) to use the facilities on the lower level of her home and to her great delight she found… a plunger!  (Yes, for those of you following along it was indeed the very same plunger I wrote about in my Sept 21st post called Someday…)

Her response was delight and gratitude to the Lord for providing for her on such a blustery day so that she could take care of her needs… she climbed back upstairs (an even larger undertaking) and fixed the problem- happy as can be!

I marvel at her amazing attitude of gratitude …it certainly has set the altitude for her life!

There were so many things in that scenerio she could have complained or grumbled about, but no - she was thankful to the Lord for providing.  Boy have I got alot to learn from a woman of proper perspective!!!  I love my Grandma Mary and hope one day to grow up and be more like her.

Tonight when I was talking to my mom she said…”Oh I don’t know what to get mom (Grandma Mary) for Christmas”…I suggested a new plunger.  :)

December 9, 2009

In loving memory of Ian…

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Pictures taken by Julie West in May 2008 the weekend we received his fatal diagnosis…

February 19, 2010 marks the one year anniversary of the passing of our son, Ian, from an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG). For more information on Ian’s story, visit his Caring Bridge site.

Sometimes a child gets sick and there’s no cure this side of heaven.  Thankfully, other times sickness can be cured or better yet, prevented.

Did you know a child dies every 15 seconds due to water-related illnesses?  Our hearts break for the parents of those children.     Especially because those deaths are very preventable.  Clean water, sanitation and hygiene can cut a community’s child death rate in half.  We want to ease needless suffering caused by unsafe water supplies.  Also, we want to help prevent other parents from experiencing what we have gone through.  Would you please help us?

World Vision brings the love of Christ to children and families in nearly 100 countries to meet their basic physical & spiritual needs. With the partnership of people like you and me, they are making a real & lasting difference for millions of people.  That’s why we wholeheartedly support them.

When you donate to the Clean Water Fund, your gift will help save children from suffering or dying; you will literally change lives for generations.

Please join with us by giving a gift that will bring life-altering help, and most importantly,  hope.

In Ian’s memory, we desire to raise enough money to drill a traditional well for a needy community.  The well your gift provides will be capable of supplying more than 600 gallons of safe water a day for drinking, bathing, irrigating crops, and watering livestock for years.

The cost of a Traditional Well is $2,600, but the impact that it will have on people, people whom God loves and cherishes, will be immense.  More importantly, it will show them in a very real sense that Jesus loves them, and will provide a way for the gospel to be shared.

Thank you for joining us in this life-giving effort!  If you would like to help, here are some ways:

  • Download a brochure, print a few copies out, and hand them out to people you think would be interested in helping.  There are two pages, and they are intended to be printed double-sided.
  • Include a link to our FirstGiving page on your blog, FaceBook page or Twitter feed.
  • Most importantly: pray.  Pray that God would use this opportunity change the land of a village and heal their hearts, in his ongoing mission to bring people back into His arms.

Thanks for joining us in this life-giving effort!

Deb & Tom Henderson

Check out Ian’s WORLD VISION - Clean Water Fundraising Website

December 2, 2009


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So much to do and yet…sometimes the need is for quiet reflection…

A dear friend and mentor gave me a book a few weeks ago called “Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life” by Julia Cameron.  It’s been a gentle solace.

Today I will share two of my favorite passages…

“It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity, faith and security” - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

…I nurture a faithful heart.  When difficulties, sorrows and trials beset me, I consciously choose faith in the face of despair.  Like the mountain climber who reaches the summit one step at a time, I hold an ideal in my heart.  Despite the temptation to bitterness, despite the seduction of rage, I choose a path of temperate endurance, grounding my daily life in the small joys yet available to me.  Learning from the natural world, I harbor the seeds of hope against the long winter.  I count the small stirrings of beauty and delight still present in a barren time.  My heart is a seasoned traveler.  Moving through hostile and unfamiliar terrain it remains alert to encounter unexpected beauty blossoming despite the odds.  In the arms of adversity, I yet find the comfort of tenderness to myself and others.  I refuse to harbor a hardened heart.  Decisively and deliberately, I expand rather than contract.  Today, I choose the softening grace of forgiveness.  I allow the sunlight of the spirit to reach my shadowed heart.”

“The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.” - Eleanor H. Porter

…My heart is a tiny town welcoming those who enter.  I can choose to be open or closed to those whom I meet and so, I choose to be open.  My attitude determines the caliber of our interactions.  As I consciously choose a welcoming heart, I bring to the world a place where dynamic and healing interactions can occur.  I am a single soul, yet that soul is a bright lantern.  I become medicine for all I encounter.  I too, am healed by the balm of an open heart.  Rather than diminish my importance by saying, “I am only one”, I choose instead to be a useful instrument in the unfolding of a better world.  I consciously align myself with the highest good, asking always to be guided and empowered.  In my family and my community I work to make this earth a better place.  Mine is a hospitable heart.  Today, I greet life with openness, wonder and curiosity.  I offer respectful interest and attention to all.  I salute the wisdom, dignity and grace of those whom I encounter.”

I love the gentle wisdom of these words they bring a beautiful perspective, aspiration and hope…I pray that they may one day be reflected in my life…

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