Archive for March, 2012

Mary Magdalene

Jesus had tried to prepare his disciples for what was going to happen. They had a hard time grasping what he was saying. He talked about death, leaving them, coming back, and it just didn’t make sense. It didn’t fit their idea of what the Messiah was going to be like.

Who was Mary Magdalene?

  •  Luke 8: 2-3 Mary was a steadfast disciple of Jesus, grateful because of what Jesus had done for her. She had been freed from the terrible torment of demons and Satanic bondage. Her service to Jesus was motivated by pure gratitude. She probably was not young and sexy like the movies portray her-she hung out with older women so she was probably one of their peers. By the way-no where in scripture is she portrayed as a prostitute.
  • Luke states that the financial support for the travels of Jesus and his twelve disciples came from a group of women who had been healed of infirmities:  Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, Susanna, and Mary Magdalene, who had seven demons.
  • Matthew 27: 55-56 She was a witness of the crucifixion. Another Mary, Jesus Mother, and John stood close to the cross.
  • Mark 15:47 She was present at the burial
  •  Mark 16:1 She was among the first to come to the tomb early on Sunday morning to help complete the burial process.
  • Mark 16:6 She was the first to hear the angelic announcement.
  • John 20: 11-18 She was the first to talk to Jesus after the resurrection.

New Life in the Risen Lord

At the time the twelve were chosen by Jesus, there was a sense of joy and impeding victory in the air. Enthusiastic crowds grew daily, seeking Jesus out, listening to his teachings and longing for the touch of healing on their lives. One such woman was Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was cured of seven demons by the mercy of Jesus. Demon possession was a terrible curse. She battled insane behavior, relentless injury and the ridicule of neighbors, family and friends. The community ostracized her. She was possessed by evil that she could not control; brutal, destructive, hurtful, wild, and unpredictable.

One day when Jesus visited her hometown, Capernaum, He singled her out. She had been sleeking on the sidelines, curious, longing and drawn to this man. Was He the Messiah? Her sinfulness felt too great to bear. She must have fallen at his feet in a desperate desire for the healing she had witnessed of so many others. Jesus looked at her with piercing eyes. He cut through to the heart of her sin and longing. And then Jesus spoke. The demons convulsed within in, wretched her as she writhed on the ground, spewing vile curses as a fierce battle raged within her for control. But the authority of Jesus had power over demons. The demons shook her violently as they fled one by one. She must have lain exhausted, dirty and disheveled at his feet. Peace overwhelmed her. Now she knew; He was the Messiah! The firm, loving hand of Jesus must have reached out and raised her to new life. Forgiven, free, whole and well.

NEW LIFE!

Her heart, it must have pounded within her. Jesus. Jesus. New Life. Love replaced hatred. Confidence erased pity. Freedom won over violent torment. Her heart was light and pure and free. I can almost see her running home, tears streaming down her face. I can see her flinging off her filthy, torn clothes, scrubbing her bruised and battered body, stripping off the chains of demonism and washing her tangled, crusty hair. As she cried and stripped and scrubbed a new Mary Magdalene emerged; simple, pure and clean.

Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Joses, and Salome, followed Jesus throughout Galilee and on to that fateful night when he was brutally crucified.  For a teacher of the time to have women followers was unheard of and it shows the distinctive character of Jesus ministry and the pure love, genuine concern and gratitude of this loyal group of women.  Mary Magdalene must have been in that joyous crowd as they exalted Him as their King as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. She must have thought His time had finally come! The Messiah was finally going to liberate them from Rome.

Exhilarating, joyous, HOSANNA, palms, happiness, crowds, shouts of victory.

But then in the space of a few hours her world was torn upside down. She must have cringed at the hurling insults, vicious lies, ridicule, deceit, suffering, and agony. Her heart must have broke as she followed in the crowd as Jesus stumbled towards Golgotha. And she was there when the nails were pounded in his hands; tears, grief, numbness, hopelessness, anger, fear, noise, confusion. And Jesus precious mother, she was there also. They must have clenched each other’s hands and shook with sobs. There was no need for words. Words failed to comfort. Pain, grief, despair. Then it was over, He died. Relief that it as over so quickly. Deep loneliness. There was no way to take it all in or begin to understand. She watched from a distance as Joseph and Nicodemus lovingly removed his mutilated body from the cross and quickly wrapped it in a cloth for burial. These were quiet men. She didn’t know they cared so much about Jesus. She couldn’t even move to help.

Jesus needed a decent burial. The Sabbath hours were approaching and rigid rules legislated what they could and could not do. No one dared the wrath of disobeying them. They hadn’t come prepared for death and burial. This was way beyond their foresight and comprehension. Where could they go? This town wasn’t their home. They were exhausted, broken and numb. Grateful for the invitation they struggled to the house of another sympathetic woman.

I doubt Mary or any of the other women slept that night. The raw grief of Jesus mother; they thought they couldn’t bear it. They probably all huddled together in a dimly lit and locked room; grief, whispered conversation, exhausted, restlessness, fretful, nightmarish sleep. Darkness blacker than night, unrelenting quietness, a night that would never end. Nothing, nothing had prepared them for the tumult of this sudden change of events. They had not expected Him to die. He was the longed-for Messiah, the Son of God, their Messiah and King.

Saturday; long, dreary, confusion. News of Judas’ suicide: betrayal, questions, anger, no-understanding. Memories: His smile, miracles, healings, crowds, noise, teaching, stories and words; words that brought life, freedom and victory. Oh, He did talk of death sometimes. But did he mean this? Why didn’t his disciples protect him?

God! Where was God?

The unholiness of a holy Sabbath; repugnant, nauseating, and farce. For the first-time questions…Who really was this man? Why? Had they misunderstood?  How had this happened so quickly? Why didn’t God intervene? In huddled conversation the women knew what they wanted to do. They could at least give him a proper burial. They would anoint his body with spices.

I can visualize them quietly slipping out to neighboring houses, gathering the spices. No markets were open. It was the Sabbath! Finally, they were ready. It was still very early in the morning. Dark, damp, cool, and quiet. They had to go before the angry crowds surged again in the street. Pulling their veils snugly over their heads they talked in hushed whispers as they walked. Would they be seen? What would the guards at the tomb do? They suddenly remembered that a huge stone was put in front of the tomb. What would they do? They were women. They could not move that huge rock.

Hopelessness.

And then, they were at the tomb. The stone was gone. They stopped in stunned fear. No! NO! The unthinkable had happened. Someone had vandalized the tomb over night. Sacred ground was violated. A hurried glance revealed the tomb was empty. Earthquake!!! The ground shook and trembled. She fell on the ground shaking uncontrollably.

Paralyzing fear.

Peter. She had to tell Peter. Struggling to her feet she fled. Gasping and sobbing she told a stunned Peter and John, “They have taken away our Lord and we do not know where they have laid him.” Instantly Peter and John raced towards the tomb. Mary stumbled back to the tomb. She didn’t know what else to do.

John out-ran Peter and got to the tomb first. Stunned he gazed at the sight. He paused at the door. Stooping down, he peered inside. He could see the linen cloths lying on the stone shelf. At that moment Peter arrived and barged into the tomb. John followed. There they were, two piles; the linen cloths and the handkerchief that had been around his head, both neatly folded. They looked at each other. Sudden recollection. It is true. YES, IT IS TRUE! Quickly they turned and ran, forgetting that Mary was lingering in the shadows.

Sobs shook her body. Finally she stooped down and looked in. A sob caught in her throat. Angels, two of them. The significance of who they were barely registered. They asked her why she was weeping. Didn’t they understand? Maybe they knew where Jesus was taken. As she turned from the tomb she almost bumped into a man. She thought he was the gardener. “Oh, sir, if you have carried Him away, please tell me where you have laid him.”

“Mary!” Her heart almost exploded within her. She flung herself at his feet, Clutching them tightly. Tears continued flowing but now they were tears of joy. She lifted her eyes and looked straight into his piercing eyes “Rabboni-Teacher”.

Relief, joy, peace, worship.

Mary Magdalene encountered the risen Jesus. She believed.
Peter and John saw evidence of the risen Christ and they believed.

NEW LIFE – RISEN LORD!

Her love for Jesus was pure, sincere and from a grateful heart. Jesus came to her and even though she didn’t recognize him at first, He ministered to her tenderly in the midst of her deep grief, fear, unbelief, hurt and anguish. He called her name-she recognized the voice of Jesus.

Today we encounter Jesus through the power of the written word, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the testimony of other believers and the miracle of changed lives. Do we believe? Do we recognize his voice?

The Big 6-0

Somehow decade birthdays seem like a bigger deal.  At 10 I thought of myself  no longer as a child but an adolescence.  I was putting away my dolls and starting to imitate grown-up ways.  At 20 I got married, at 30 I gave birth to and buried our fourth and last child,  at 40 I cried, at 50 I was enjoying grandma status and now I have slid into another decade, the big 6-0.  What is this??? I hear words like “senior citizen”  discounts, social security and retirement and  it sounds like a wonderful place to be!!!   Six short decades, packed full of life, adventure, joy, sorrow, sickness, health, education, careers and  changes-lots of changes.  It makes me pause. Wow!  Where has life gone? I am stunned at the changes in life during each 10 year segment and somehow entering each new decade IS s a big deal.

The Psalmist said,  “The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalms 90:10).  The Psalmist was reflecting on human life and the average days that make up our allotted length of life.  Life is hard and full of trouble and sorrow.  But life is also full of joy, friendships,  beauty and family.  Our faith journey deepens our perspective of life giving us meaning, purpose, wisdom and service.

The Psalmist goes on to say, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”  (Psalms 90:12). We are to take stock of our days  and learn from our experiences.   The challenge to each of us is to live life with  purpose.  Life is short and soon we will leave this earth and come face to face with eternity.  Where we spend eternity is our choice, based on decisions we make during our allotted number of days.  Have I developed a heart of wisdom that comes from a relationship with God? Do I have a faith in God that sustains in the difficult trials of life?  I do not have any guarantee of another day or another decade.  I only  have one life to live and then I will fly away.  Lord, give me a heart of wisdom that I will follow you faithfully all the days of my life.

Spring Gardening

One of the joys of spring is tilling the garden and planting seeds in the soft, musty, soil.  This evening Gene tilled the garden while I was fixed supper and after we ate I hastened to the garden with my bag of seeds.

In March you plant onions, lettuce, radishes, peas, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, and other “cold” weather crops. The second wave of planting is in mid to late April as the last frost date for this area is early May. But this year it is in the upper 70’s and 80 degrees in March and has been for days. This causes a conflict with a person’s ability to balance knowledge and common sense.

The conversation in my mind went like this; everybody is doing it and what will it hurt? All I would lose is a few seeds if frost gets my beans and sweet corn. I voiced my thoughts at supper and Gene just looked at me and said nothing. That didn’t help. If he would have said don’t plant that would have made it easy…I’d have planted.

First I planted onions, spinach, lettuce and radishes. Then I dug deeper in my bag where I had “hidden” corn, beans and squash “just in case” I decided to plant them.  Looking around to make sure no one was looking, I pulled them out, pushed the rows, and carefully dropped the seeds into the soft dirt.  Sticking my hand into the soil it felt warm to the touch.  Smiling I thought of fresh corn, snaps and squash in June!  I reminded myself the weather does not seem normal this year.  The trees are pushing leaves and blossoms 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. I have already picked a mess of asparagus, mowed the lawn twice and we are running the air-conditioner and it is just mid-March.

So, there you have it. This gal that tells the world how and when to plant on her website http://www.hffinc.com/GardeningTips.htm is breaking the golden rule of planting and it is going down into cyber history!!!  Maybe I can justify my actions through scripture. The Psalmist said we should be like trees…..(Psalms 1) so I will be a tree and plant on their schedule. If frost kills my plants,  I’ll just will blame it on the Psalmist!!!

How Truman Touched Our Lives

Gene and I were asked to share at the funeral how Truman touched our lives.  I share what we wrote as it gives another insight into the life of little Truman.

Note to clarify our script for those who aren’t acquainted with the family:  Rich (my brother) and Marj Heatwole are the parents of Micah.  Micah and Krista are the parents of little Truman Lane.

Pat…
Several days after Truman was born, Richard called. He said, “We’re concerned about Truman, he’s not moving. I thought you might like to know.” A sword pierced my heart. Memories came flooding back; I remembered the journey we were called to walk, not once but twice. I began praying for Micah, Krista and Lincoln knowing deep in my spirit that they were probably called to walk the same path as Gene and I.

Gene…
So many times in our lives we ask why do bad things happen to good people and it has been discussed who knows how often. When a trial like this comes into a young family’s life it is heartbreaking experience. We also know that when we do go through it, we can look back and there are many goods things to be thankful for.  Thirty-three years ago a radiologist at St. Mary Hospital read an x- ray one night of a baby with a collapsed lung and pneumonia, not knowing that it was his niece, our daughter Karla. What a comfort it was when Uncle John Reed appeared in emergency room to console and counsel us before we made the trip to MCV (Medical College of VA).  And there was Uncle John again several years later when our 2nd son Greg coded in the hospital and then revived to come home. We always appreciated Uncle John & Aunt Carolyn and Aunt Ruth because they were the Harrisonburg family connection in Richmond with us close by in Powhatan.

I tell this story because little did we know that when we took a vacation in 2007 and attended Micah & Krista’s wedding in Alabama that Pat & I would forge such a profound connection. Numerous times Micah & Krista have made trips to Powhatan just to visit, help us on moving day in our store, or to buy chickens & other stuff that they was looking for. We have had some neat times on their trips to Powhatan.

Little did we know that this friendship was preparing us to share the same sorrow. The beauty of this is that because of our experiences we have been able to share and console Micah & Krista from our hearts as they have made this journey.

Pat…
One day in January I came to Harrisonburg and spent the day with Krista. This was very special and I will always remember and treasure our talk that day, we did some laughing and we did some crying. I don’t think there was much we didn’t cover. We talked about our struggle in understanding healing, dying and death. We talked about decisions, feelings and coping. We talked about this devastating disease (Werdnig- Hoffman Disease) and what they could expect-I could only share from my heart what we had experienced.

Truman was fussy. He was beginning to have some sucking problems and was struggling to get enough to eat. He was hungry, but he had got himself all worked up and exerted too much energy crying that he didn’t have the strength to eat. Finally I said to him, “Truman, stop it.” I had hold of his little hand and started talking to him. I told him he was going to die soon but he would get to see Jesus. We talked about his little siblings (Krista’s has had two miscarriages-I believe there has actually been 5 miscarriages in this Heatwole family) that he would get to see his Grandpa Truman. His little eyes were red and puffy but for a few minutes he cooed and chuckled as I talked. Sometime we wonder… what do babies know? Do they feel fear? Does he wonder what is happening to him? Was he frustrated that he could not turn his head and kick his feet? Did he feel trapped inside a body that would not function?

On Monday Micah called and invited us to come to Charlottesville to say goodbye to Truman. We were so humbled and honored to be included in this special time. We will never forget standing in his room by his crib watching him struggle so hard to breathe and live. They had inserted an oxygen tube forcing air into his lungs-which were partially collapsed. His diaphragm was doing all the breathing which made his belly expand with each breathe. I took his little hand in mine, pressed his fingers around mine. He still had a little strength in his fingers has he held on to my finger. As I talked to him, I again talked about heaven, Grandpa Truman and his siblings and cousins waiting for him there. Several times he opened his eyes for a few seconds, ever so slightly-you could see his eye move as if he was trying to see me and then they would close. Truman was still with us.

As Micah, Krista, Rich, Marj, Gene and I gathered around his bed we prayed for little Truman, calling on our Heavenly Father in his mercy to gently come and take him home. It was a holy moment.

Times like this cause us to touch eternity. Somehow I could envision heaven all astir. Heaven was preparing for little Truman’s eminent arrival. Jesus himself said, “I go to prepare a place for you”  (John 14:2). You prepare a place when you anticipate an arrival! Jesus was getting Truman’s mansion ready. The Psalmist said, “Precious to the Lord is the death of his saints”  (Psalms 116:15).  It struck me in such a new way how this little family was on God’s mind-right now. God was very aware of what was happening here on earth in the hospital room that night. God was getting ready, ready to give the order to bring little Truman home. Had Grandpa Truman and other family members been alerted to head towards the gate for the grand welcome home party? Was the room filled with angels just waiting for the order to carry his spirit home? I glanced around the room just in case I saw one! It felt like we were standing on the threshold of heaven in the presence of God.

Gene…
God was intertwining our lives for this heartbreaking time. We understand the heartache, the pain, the uncertainty, the doubts, the fears that they are experiencing now. We also know that because of all the love that surrounds them and God’s  grace,  they can have hope for the future. There will be dark days ahead, but brighter ones will come and time is a great healer.

Pat…
Truman was a little trooper. He fought the fight and gave it everything he had. Sin and death won and he is gone. But God has the final victory-Truman lives again. Truman has touched us once again with eternity. He lived 4 short months but his life was complete. He can not come back to us but we can go to him.

Gene…
We love you, Micah and Krista

The Life of Truman

Note: These are posts (mostly by Micah) on his fb page. I have been coping them and keeping them in a journal.

This journey for them has been especially tender and dear to my husband and I as we have walked this same journey twice with two of our children who are waiting for us in heaven.

Four short months but a life complete!

November 7, 2011
Truman Lane Heatwole was born at 10:45 pm last night! I am a proud dad once again! =) PTL

November 9, 2011
Truman Lane could use some prayers right now! To make a long story short he doesn’t have much movement of his arms and legs. It doesn’t seem as though his muscles have developed properly. We are praying that they will grow so that he doesn’t have to have more test done. This is obviously a very short note about a complicated thing but prayer isn’t complicated so CARRY ON!! =)

November 18, 2011…Back from the doctor. The standard test they ran on Truman came back clear. So now the next step is going to University of Virginia (UVA-Charlottesville, VA) to get genetic testing done on him. We are thankful for all the prayers and are thankful that the ball has started to roll into finding out what the problem is! Continue to pray for us and pray for a clear diagnosis!
November 21, 2011 …Truman will be going for genetic testing at UVA (Charlottesville) Nov. 28 at 9:30! Thankful that God opened this door because they were saying it was going to be three weeks before they could get him in!
November 29, 2011…Well we had a successful appointment today for Truman, but the waiting isn’t over. In about 2 weeks we should have some test results back and if they come back negative, then more tests will be done and so on until they find something or he starts moving!!! 🙂 Thanks for all the prayers being sent up on our behalf!
December 6, 2011 …We got the results from Truman’s test back today. It was not great news. He tested positive for Werdnig Hoffman disease. We are still praying for a miracle, but we are also aware of the fact that unless there is one we will probably be laying our little boy to rest at some point. We thank everyone for their prayers and support!

December 12, 2011…What a path we have been called to! The doctors visit, on Friday at UVA, went well. We didn’t really know what to expect. It was mostly talking to doctors, counselors, and people we will need to see in the future. A lot of talking about the decisions we will need to make in the future. Sunday night was a special night for us. Truman played baby Jesus in the church play. I will admit it was more then a little emotional to see him up there. It was so sad but yet so sweet at the same time! He was representing the part of Jesus and he may also be the first to see Jesus! Exciting but conflicting stuff!

Continue to pray for us and Truman!

December 23, 2012: Truman…Truman…..Truman! I have been told that it is a time for me to give an update……so here goes! =)

What a blessed man I am! Being that it is the season of Christ; I have been thinking a lot about the blessings that I have been given! It is easy to get discouraged and question God in the hard times, but GOD IS GOOD! Christ is worthy of my praise! When I look at the situation we are in with Truman I sometimes think of Mary. (Jesus’ mother) The doctors have given my child a death sentence. There is really no hope without a miracle!…… I wonder if Mary would have felt this way at times. Did she know the prophesy? Surly she would hear the stories of the coming Messiah, and what the prophets said about how he would suffer. When she looked at Jesus did those thoughts go through her mind? Mary probably wondered if such a sweet baby could be hated by men, could carry the sins of all men, and be the Son of God? When I look at Truman; he also seems to perfect to have a death sentence! He is starting to grow and get a personality. He looks up at me with the sweetest of smiles. Can there really be a problem with him? NO!! TRUMAN IS PERFECT!!! When God created Truman… He was pleased!! And so am I!! I am thankful for Truman just the way he is! I don’t know the plans God has for him, but He does have plans! We have seen and answered prayer this week! Truman for the last couple of week has been a really bugger! Constant fussing, not eating well, and always needing to be held. For me (and Krista) this became very frustrating! We were in constant prayer, no longer praying for a miracle, just praying he would stop crying!!=) I got very discouraged! One night, after giving up trying to fall back asleep, I went out to Krista and said, “it is not enough that our son is going to die.. but he is going to be a pain the whole time he is here.” (I immediately felt guilty for saying that and slunk back to bed) =) Well, God must have heard my frustration that night! Since then it has been like a light-switch was switched! He has been so much more of a joy to be around and much more content! THANK YOU JESUS!! Here we are in the season of a Miracle! I am praying that this Christmas Christ would do a miracle in the life of Truman, and I am also thanking Him for the miracle He has done in MY life!! Continue to remember us! We are in constant need of prayer and support! Thank you so much for caring for us!

December 31, 2012…Truman…over Christmas we were down in FL. We had a great time of being with both sets of parents! It is a bit strange that both my parents and Krista’s ended up in the same small town thirteen hours away! Christmas was both a happy and sad time for me. It was a joy to celebrate the birth of my savior, and to reflect on what He has done for me! But it was also a sad time… realizing that next year our family may not be complete! This past week Truman has began to fuss a lot again. Nearly every time Krista would feed him he would only nurse for 3-5 minutes before throwing a fit. After being in contact with his doctor it was decided that he should go in for a visit. So yesterday he went to the doctor. Up until this point the whole ordeal with Truman has seemed like a dream. We know that there is a problem, but there haven’t been many signs other then the lack of movement. Well, yesterday it became more real. At the doctor they said that they are starting to notice signs of deterioration: quivering tongue, swallowing problems, and lack of energy. It is a sad realization of what may be in the road ahead! The thought of having to watch our son die over a several month period is stating to look like an unbearable task! We are praying for a miracle, but realize that there may not be one! I was thinking recently about Jesus in the garden. He prayed “let this cup pass from me.” God did not remove the cup! One thing I do know…. God will give Krista and I the grace and strength to come through! We are in desperate need of prayer! I thank everyone who has been praying for us, but I think the hardest days are still to come! Another thing that you can pray for is Lincoln! He has become very attached and protective over his brother! Pray that his heart stays soft to God through this process. We haven’t said anything to him about there being a problem, but I am sure that day will come! Lord, give us wisdom!

January 7, 2012…Truman…the last week has been one with ups and downs. It has been a hard week but it has also been one with little victories. As I have written in other posts Truman has been fussing more. Swallowing has also become difficult at times. Due to these factors his doctor wanted us to be evaluating him last weekend. They had given us a few pointers and ideas and wanted to see if they would help. Well, Sunday was probably the most difficult day so far! I was leading praise and worship Sunday morning so had I left for church early. Truman hadn’t eaten much during the night and had only drank one ounce in the morning. During the service Krista flagged me down. Truman was crying really hard and was really weak. He struggles with swallowing so when he doesn’t eat, he gets weak, and it becomes even harder. I ended up going to Wal-Mart during the service and getting a bottle so we could force feed him. Eventually he got enough so he was strong enough to swallow again. It was really hard! It was a first glimpse of what it may be like to have to watch our son die. It is so hard to watch him struggle with living! Since Sunday we have changed a few things. We have decided to bottle feed. This has helped a lot! We can now know exactly how much he is getting and he also seems to like it better. He has gained some weight and seems a little stronger. So we are thankful. Another thing we learned is that he loves to move. No matter how much he is fussing, if we start moving his legs or arms he will stop fussing! I can’t imagine how annoying it is for him that he has energy but can’t move much! Thursday we got our family pictures taken. The photographer came to our house. It was a really special time! We look forward to sharing them with you when we get them back next week! On Friday, it was such a blessing that my sister Kendra could come over and help Krista! Krista was able to get some house work done and was able to go into town and spend some time by herself! Friday was a special day for Truman and us. It was Truman’s 2 month birthday! Krista and I have decided to celebrate his month birthdays since he probably won’t have years. It was special to have my “brother” Philip and his wife and my two sisters, from Baltimore, and their families (minus Jake) here to celebrate. We are blessed! Because of some of Truman’s issues, they have moved up his UVA appointment to Monday morning at nine. Continue to pray for us as we go through this! Pray that God will give us wisdom as we work through different decisions we need to make. We need wisdom! Thanks for walking with us!!

January 24, 2012

I, Pat, spent the day with Krista and this is a pic I took of Truman. He was fussing and fussing. I finally told him to stop it and started talking to him about heaven and his grandpa Truman who was there waiting for him.  He started smiling and cooing.


Micah’s Picture.

February 9, 2012…Truman….we had a great visit to the doctor (doctors) yesterday. The appointments were supposed to be Wednesday and Thursday, but God worked it out that all our appointments were done by 1 p.m. on Wednesday! It was a long day! It started out with a rough night. Truman has been needing to be feed at least every three hours. We think this is because of some deterioration. That makes for some short nights, especially for Krista! So Wednesday morning we sleepily left for UVA at 7. Our first appointment was with the lung doctor at the hospital. As of now Truman’s lungs look clear and seem to be doing fine. Because he can’t cough we have been outfitted with a hospital grade suction machine, and are waiting to get a cough assist machine. The suction machine has a catheter that can go the whole way down to his lungs and suction out anything that may be in the way. I am not sure how the cough machine works yet but it somehow simulates a cough. The next appointment was also at the hospital with the feeding tube specialist. Truman hasn’t gained any weight in the last 3 weeks. We have decided to go ahead and implant a feeding tube. They are working at lining up a time to meet with the surgeon and get it put in. This will include a hospital stay for Truman down at UVA but it shouldn’t be more then a couple of days. Our third appointment was with his regular doctor over at Kluge Children’s Rehab. It was a sad but also good day! It was sad because it is just another step at realizing that this is for real! It was hard to talk about getting a feeding tube especially. It was also good because we have known that it has been coming for a while and it will let Krista and I get more rest at night. A year ago we never would have thought that we would be able to get though this, but God is good! He has given us the grace we have needed. We are thankful for the Christian body that has surrounded and lifted us up in so many ways! It has been such a blessing to have Krista’s friend from Alabama here the last two weeks! She left today and I am already starting to wonder if Krista has the energy for our two needy boys! Thanks so much for all your prayer and support! One more thing. We had some prayer cards made. They have four pictures on the front and a write-up on the back briefly giving a description of the situation. If you would like one or know someone that does they will be available at our church (Dayton Mennonite) or can be picked up at our house. If you have any questions about them or anything else about the situation feel free to ask! Thanks again!!

February 16, 2012…Truman….tomorrow we head to UVA again. We will be meeting with the surgeon and doing some per-surgery things. Truman may be spending a couple of days there this weekend depending on when the surgery is going to happen. We welcome all prayers! =)

February 17, 2012…We are home again! Krista and Truman to.  Tru’s surgery is scheduled for next Thursday so we will go back down there for a couple of days then! Thanks for your prayers!

February 22, 2012…We will be leaving for UVA at 4:30 in the morning. Pray for Truman as he has surgery and gets a feeding tube! Also pray for strength for Krista and I!

February 23, 2012 …

7:37 AM…Truman went into surgery around 15 minutes ago

12:36 PM Truman is now out of surgery and we are up in a room. Truman was NOT impressed the first few hours out of surgery. He also had a reaction to something which caused a rash. All Things seem to be going well now though. He is sleeping and his rash has cleared up. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

2:31 PM… well the sleep didn’t last long. Truman has been crying most the time he is awake. (which is most the time) I think that main thing is that he is really hungry. He hasn’t eaten since 4 this morning and wont be able to eat until the morning. =( Pray that God will give him peace in his heart and contentment in his tummy!

February 24, 2012

2:08 PM Truman has been doing really well today! It was such a blessing that last night he was able to get some sleep! He has been able to drink a little milk today. They are only letting him eat small amounts every three hours. He is not impressed with stopping but is being a good sport. We will hopefully be able to come home tomorrow morning. Pray that Krista and I won’t get to hyper because it does get boring here! =)

February 25, 2012…We are all home and resting soundly! Thanks for all your prayers and support. We are so glad to have this behind us!

February 26, 2012

March 5, 2012

March 10, 2012 (Saturday)
5:56 PM Truman…well, it has been awhile since I updated. I don’t have time right now to give as detailed of an update as I would like! Truman does now have his feeding tube and it has been a real blessing so far. Krista and I would especially covet your prayers now. Krista and Lincoln have been fighting a cold the last week. It is a cold that causes lots of congestion. It seems as though Truman is now getting it. This is a fairly serious problem. In the last few hours it has been a struggle for Truman to breathe correctly and comfortably. Please pray that he will be able to get some rest and Krista and I would have wisdom and peace! Thanks!

March 11, 2012 (Sunday)
9:20 AM…Truman…Well, His night was better then expected! After I sent out the first update, Truman was able to calm down and his breathing became a lot better. This morning it is once again a struggle. Continue to pray for us! These are trying times!!

2:28 PM… Pray for Truman! He is in serious condition! Pray that he will either go peacefully or that he would pull through easily! Thanks.

3:03 PM… We are waiting on an ambulance to take us to UVA.

8:50 PM Truman….what a day! Truman will be at UVA for the night. Tomorrow we will decide what to do. They feel like he will make it through the night, but the prognosis isn’t good. Thanks for your prayers and continue to lift us up!

Posted by Marj (Truman’s grandma) on fb…We are at UVA. Truman’s cold turned very serious early afternoon. Twice they tho’t they’d lost him. After consulting w/ dr. Micah called G&W (a medical transport) to bring him to where his doctors are familiar with his disease. He’s on oxygen now, with c-pap. His little tummy still really goes up & down but not like it was. This sudden plunge came kinda sudden. Please continue to pray for Micah & Krista. It’s a hard time.

March 12, 2012 (Monday)
8:16 AM …Truman…during the night the doctors did chest x rays and found that Truman may have Pneumonia. They are now treating that. He seems to have stabilized in the night some and his breathing doesn’t seem as labored. I don’t know what Truman will be like when we take him off all the equipment. I am confident from talking to the doctors that if we hadn’t come to the hospital when we did that he wouldn’t be alive now. Pray that Krista and I will have wisdom on how far to go medically, and when it is time to just lay him in Jesus hands to take home.

2:50 PM …well, this is quite a journey! We are so thankful for all our friends and family that are lifting us up. It is humbling to know that so many are lifting us up in prayer! Some of you don’t even know us! Well, we are at a crossroads. There have been decisions that have been hard to make through this whole ordeal, but none that are quite to the degree that the decisions have been today. We have decided to keep Truman on his breathing assist for today and tonight. If there haven’t been any improvements by morning we are planning or releasing him to Jesus. Our prayer is that if it is Gods will for us to keep him here that there would be a clear sign during the night. The hardest thing would be if there was just a little improvement in the morning! Thanks so much for all your love and encouragement!

March 13, 2012
Truman Lane Heatwole ….went to be with Jesus a little before 11 this morning. We are sad for our loss but have complete peace! Truman also is at peace and I am sure he is using his energy to run around with our other two children and a few of his cousins! That is sweet to think about! Lots of love and thanks from us! Continue to pray for us as this is just the beginning to a very hard week!

Thanks so much for all the prayers and support! Funeral service is as follows:
The funeral will be taking place at HARRISONBURG MENNONITE on Friday night at 7pm. This is due to a wedding going on at our church on sat. Try to make sure people that want to come know this. Friday At 5 pm there will be a meal. The meal will be served from 5-6. This is open to everyone that wants to come. Krista and I will be available to talk to people during this time. The funeral service will follow at 7. We will have the burial on Saturday at 10am. This will be at DAYTON MENNONITE. This is also open to anyone that wants to come.

Jeannette Heatwole captured a neat picture of the sky this evening.  We are calling it “Truman’s sky”!

More pictures can be seen on Molly Whitmore’s blog  http://mollywhitmoreblog.com/2012/04/05/the-heatwoles-family/ .  Molly is a professional photographer who took awesome pictures of Truman and the Heatwole family several weeks before his passing.  You will truly be blessed.  Thanks, Molly!

A Seed of Faith

This parable is very special to me as it came to me almost word for word one time as I was praying for a friend who was struggling deeply with faith.  Maybe you too are struggling with faith…faith to believe God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do?  Then I pray that this parable about faith will speak deep to your heart.  Enjoy, Pat

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was very smart. He loved to build houses with his Legos, ride his bike and play Monopoly. The little boy also loved green beans. In fact, green beans were his favorite food, and he would even beg his mother to let him have beans for breakfast.

One day the little boy asked his mother where green beans came from. His mother opened a drawer and pulled out a small package. Carefully she laid a small white bean in his hand. “If you plant that bean, it was grow into a plant and you will have lots of green beans to eat.” The little boy looked at the seed in his hand and the beans on his plate. They did not look the same. How could that be? How could planting one seed put lots of beans on his plate? Would the seed stretch into long green pieces? Would he be grown up before that could happen? The little boy had lots of questions, and all day he thought about the seed in his pocket.

That night when his mother tucked him in bed, she noticed the bean lying by his pillow. She asked him, “Would you like to plant the bean tomorrow in the garden? In fact, you could have your very own garden right next to mine.” It sounded like a wonderful idea, and he went to sleep with the bean clutched in his hand. But during the night the little boy dreamed about monsters. A big monster with pigtails, furry skin and long ears came into his room and hunted for his seed. The monster was hungry and wanted a bean to eat. The little boy clutched the seed tighter and tried to hide under the covers, but the monster saw his toes sticking out and began to tickle them. The little boy jumped out of bed and ran, trembling with fear, to his mother. Between sobs he told her about the monster, and then to his horror he discovered the little bean was gone. His mother smoothed his hair and held him tight. Taking his hand, she led him to his bedroom where they found the bean. The monster was nowhere to be found, but the bean was safe. Suddenly a new thought popped into his head. What if he planted the seed, and the monster found it in the garden and ate it? The little boy snuggled down into the covers, and before he knew it, his mother was calling him for breakfast.

“Today we will plant your seed,” his mother said as he poured milk on his cereal. But the little boy was afraid. He didn’t want to plant his seed, but he liked the idea of having his very own garden.

Finally he asked his daddy, “Did you have a garden when you were a little boy?”

“Oh, yes,” his daddy replied, “and it was lots of hard work. You have to pull lots of weeds.” The little boy didn’t know if he wanted to pull weeds. He wanted to ride his bike.

Finally he told his mother he wanted to wait until his next birthday to plant the bean, and he went outside to play. Later in the morning his grandmother stopped by. “Do you like to plant beans?’ he asked her.

“Oh, yes,” she said with a smile. “Canning is so much fun.” Canning? What was that? There were just too many things to know about. The mailman said he would never plant a garden. He got his beans in a can at the store.

His older sister laughed at him. “Why bother? Mommy takes care of them just fine.” At the grocery store the clerk said he knew some people planted gardens, but it was not for him. Maybe when he was retired and had plenty of time, he would think about planting a garden. The barber said he didn’t believe in planting seeds. If God wanted us to grow beans, He would plant them.

The next day at Sunday School he asked his teacher, “Do you plant beans in a garden?”

“Oh, yes. I plant six long rows, and we can lots of beans. Beans are our favorite vegetable. We make it a family project,” she said with a smile. “Are you going to plant a garden?”

The little boy felt the bean in his pocket and said, “Someday when I am bigger. There are just too many things I don’t understand. I just can’t see how a little white bean can become a green bean on my plate.”

His teacher smiled and petted him on the head. “Sonny,” she said, “You just have to have faith.” Faith. What was faith? Where could he get faith? He saw his daddy put cow manure on the garden. Was that faith? His teacher told the story of Abraham leaving home and going on a long trip. She said that was faith. Would he have to leave home? Where would he go? He didn’t want to leave his mommy and daddy and toys. Faith sounded way too scary.

The next day the mailman brought a brand new catalog. The little boy’s mommy was so excited; she called it a seed catalog. All day she looked at the pictures and talked about wanting to plant a garden. She showed the little boy pictures of green beans. “That is what your seed will become,” she said as she pointed to a picture of a plant. It was beautiful and loaded with green beans. And then she said, “There are many different kinds of seeds. Some are white, some are brown, some red and even a striped seed called rattlesnake beans.” Rattlesnakes! Could his bean become a snake? That was way too cool and scary all at the same time. There was no way he wanted a plate full of snakes to eat. The little boy’s mommy assured him there would be no snakes. Each bean had a different purpose. She used one kind to make soup, another to make baked beans and another to can for green beans on his plate. They were all good to eat.

The little boy sat under a tree and thought about his beloved bean. It was so complicated. He just wanted a green bean. Did his mommy really know about beans? Why did she have to work so hard when she planted a garden? How did she learn so much? How did she know that the little bean in his pocket would become a green bean and not corn? Why did she have to plant a garden every year? What if a deer or monster ate his beans? What if his bean didn’t grow? What if his bean didn’t look like the picture in the catalog? What if his sister made fun of him for planting a bean? Finally the little boy decided it was too complicated to plant green beans. He wanted to just ride his bike and eat green beans for supper.

The little boy was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t see his mother standing beside him. “Are you asleep?” she asked.

“No, Mommy. I have been thinking about my bean. You can have it back.”

“I am going to the garden to work and I came to get you so that we could plant your bean. I will help you.” The little boy slowly got to his feet. How could he tell his mommy he did not want to plant the seed? Would she be mad at him?

The afternoon flew by as the little boy had so much fun. He took off his shoes and felt the warm dirt squish between his toes. His heard his daddy whistling as he took the hand plow and pushed little rows across the garden. His mommy showed him how to lay the seeds in the row and space them just right before covering them with dirt. Finally the garden was planted. And then his mother said, “Now, let’s plant your little garden.” The little boy forgot his questions and his fears. Quickly he pulled the seed from his pocket and stuck it into the soft dirt. He didn’t know where his parents got faith, but Mommy said he would have beans in a few weeks, and that was all that mattered. He had planted his seed.

January 5, 2010

Absolutely Ridiculous

The mutterings started in the bathroom before progressing to the kitchen…I can’t believe this, how are you suppose to open this, are you sure you got the right one….??? Then I heard my gadget drawer open and the rattling of stuff as he looked for the right tool. After I heard, “this is absolutely ridiculous” I decided that maybe it was time for me to investigate as to what was going on in my kitchen. There he was with my 8″ long, 2″ wide chopping knife trying to open a package of razor blades!!!  A quick assesment of the situation looked totally dangerous but I knew it probably would not be a good idea to express that warning so I reminded him to be careful and retreated to another room. (I considered going back and taking a picture but he wasn’t properly attired as he was trying to shave after taking a shower).

This evening (we were gone all day) I went to the kitchen to fix sandwiches and I kept finding bits of hard broken plastic on the counter and even stepped on a peice on the floor with my bare feet.  I could not figure out what it was. I asked Gene, “what did you break in the kitchen”?  He didn’t break anything-it was the packaging on the razor blades!  Not only are the packages child- proof, they are almost man-proof. He’s right, absolutely ridiculous!  Maybe they need to start including a tool and an instruction sheet with each package. But then, what self-respecting man would read the instructions?  At least it would give us gals the satisfaction of saying, “did you read the instructions”?

My Bull Story

If you are a farmer who has worked with cows, you will probably have a bull story. Well, now I have mine.

We have this bull Gene has been trying to catch to send to market because he is big, bad and mean. He is not an attacker but a runner, and we can’t catch him. As soon as Gene gets him lured into a pen or enclosed area he goes over the gate or fence. This week Gene got him! It was dusk and Gene had somehow managed to lure the bull into the corral and got him caught in the squeeze chute before he could escape. Even though it was getting dark, we decided to go ahead and load him onto the stock trailer.

The bull was not a happy prisoner. He bellowed, snorted, stomped his feet and shook the chute as we carefully backed the trailer up to the head gate. (A squeeze chute is a very narrow enclosure that tightens against a cow so that you can work on or with the animal). Everything had to be done correctly. We figured we had just one chance to load him on the trailer. We were standing by the headgate, and I was holding the flashlight, while Gene gave me final instructions on what he was going to do, where and how I was to shine the light. We were two seconds from loading the bull when suddenly the bars on the side of the chute popped loose and the bull came thundering out. I ran forward which was the same direction the bull in his mad fury was headed. He lowered his head, and with one swift bellow planted his head against my hip and sent me sprawling to the ground. It happened in a split second, but it is amazing what you can perceive in so short a time! I was trying to get my body to roll under the stock trailer when I saw the bull with lowered head coming in for the second round of attack. Instantly, Gene jumped between me and the bull. He threw up his arms and let out a yell that only a man in defense mode can yell. The bull stopped, turned away and ran off into the night, bellowing and snorting his fury.

We were shaken to say the least. After a few moments Gene said, “do you feel up to walking back to the house?” I am not sure why, but we just left the truck and trailer parked in the field and walked the quarter mile back to the house in the dark, listening to the sound of the bull bellowing his victory to the cows in the back pasture.

As I ponder on what happened, I see two precious lessons. I now know, without a doubt, that my husband loves me. I didn’t question it before but I saw him put his life on the line to protect me. Without any thought about his own safety, he jumped between me and the bull. Thirty-six years ago he promised to love, protect and care for me in sickness and in health. He demonstrated that love to me.

I also saw a picture of what Jesus has done for me. I am subjected to the attacks of temptation and evil. Satan is a prowling lion in attack mode1. Sometimes he attacks with brute force and knocks me to the ground. But Jesus with arms flung wide has planted himself between me and Satan. With a loud cry on the cross he died”2, and forever the strongholds of evil were broken for His children. Satan no longer has power over me because years ago I vowed to be Christ’s4. This is not just a “story” that I now have bragging rights to. This is what Jesus did in real life for me. He left the splendors of heaven, and firmly planted Himself in the midst of the forces of evil, knowing he would die a cruel death3. And there is only one reason; because He is agape love5.

Side note: I can thankfully say I am okay and have no injuries, just bruising and soreness. Gene didn’t see any sign of the bull for two days. Then with a twinkle in his eye he said, “I found your bull, he is limping!” MY bull!!!! It’s funny in a marriage what makes something mine or thine! And limping-ah, sweet revenge!

1I Peter 5:8
2 Mark 15:37
3Philippians 2:6-8
4Romans 5:8-9
5 John 3: 16, 36

April 13, 2008

Epilogue:

The end to “my” bull (also nicknamed Fernando) finally came two weeks later.   He allowed himself, in a moment of weakness, to be lured back into the sweep pen area.  This time we successful loaded him on the cattle trailer along with several of his fellow herd mates. The process left me weak kneed and quivering like a bowl of jelly on the inside.  I discovered this bull really does not like me and I do not like him!  Maybe hate better describes his passion.  The sight of me made him furious.  After he was loaded I decided I needed a picture of this fearsome creature for my story.  When I walked over to his prison he lowered his head and rammed the front of the gooseneck trailer so hard I was afraid it was going to come loose from the truck.  It was if I was somehow to blame for his predicament.  I quickly snapped a picture and fled, trembling.

Evil originates from a roaring mad, humiliated, fallen angel who hates Jesus with all his passion.  Sometimes Satan unleashes his fury and the attack can leave us weak kneed and trembling.

www.hffinc.com

Who We Are/Grandmas Perspective

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