Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In Jesus' Arms

Beautiful Sarah Jordan Neal entered into the presence of our Lord and Saviour very early this morning.  

Please continue to keep the Neal Family in your prayers as they prepare final arrangements, and grieve over their immense loss.  Grief is not a magical formula of a specific time where you "heal and get over it."  One never gets over the loss of their loved one...and especially a beloved child.  Fore we know that in the natural order of life, a child should never perish before a parent.  In this broken and sin filled world, unfortunately, reality is that children die everyday.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

When Tragedy Occurs in Our Scope of Influence

*Today I ask for prayer.  Please read!

In this day and age, we hear of tragedy every single day, unless we cut ourselves off from the media (via computer, radio, print, or Television).  Often I find myself in the odd ball out category of not knowing a lot about current events because, quite frankly, it's depressing. But unless one lives literally under a rock, we cannot avoid the reality that life in this world is sad and broken.

So we hear this bad news here and bad news there.  And we think in our hearts and minds: oh my, that's awful;  I will pray for them.  Some news stories touch us more than others, even if it's "just a stranger."

However, when the worst happens to someone within our scope of influence (family, friends, neighbors, etc.), it takes the breath out of you.  Literally.  

I'd graciously like to ask for prayer for the Neal Family.  They are friends of ours from the first time we were stationed in Texas.  In fact, they were our awesome neighbors that taught me a lot of stuff about raising kids that I was absolutely clueless about (because I had only Ethan at the time and they had 3)!

But back to the prayer request...their 15 year old daughter, Sarah, has terminal cancer.  She was diagnosed September of 2010 with Ewing's Sarcoma.  At the time, her prognosis was good.  However, the cancer returned the next year, and it's been a battle ever since.  An absolute gut-wrenching battle in which I cannot even begin to imagine.  

About two weeks ago, the doctors told our friends there was nothing more that could be done, and that the cancer was spreading.  Sarah is now resting at a nearby Army hospital, waiting for the good Lord to carry her Home.  

Pray for peace and comfort for Sarah.  

Pray for her pain to go away.

Pray for peace and comfort for her parents and her two brothers, and her multitudes of family and friends.

Pray that the Lord will be glorified in all of the pain and suffering.  

Pray that the lost may be saved, and find Jesus because of Sarah's strength and courageousness.  

Thank you.

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble:  and He knoweth them that trust in Him.  Nahum 1:7

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Rattlesnake Incident...Again

The snake looking at us through a widow by the front door of our house.
 Those that know us personally know that we live out in the country.  Living out from the city has way more benefits than drawbacks, in my humble and honest opinion.  The one huge drawback is critters!  We've had our fair share of scorpions inside our house.  And unfortunately, we've had our second Western Diamondback Rattlesnake visit our property.  

Baby rattlesnake that bit Peaty in 2012.
The first rattlesnake incident was in January of 2012, and our beloved vizsla (dog) Peaty was bit by a baby. Baby rattlesnakes are worse because they unleash all of their venom on their victim.  Peaty was in bad shape, but thankfully, a veterinarian lives on the 75 acres behind us, and he saved Peaty's life!

The second rattlesnake incident occurred just the other day, April 3rd.  I was walking up our driveway from getting the mail, at around 4:15 PM.  As I got close to our house to enter in through our garage, I heard a very distinct rattle that can only be that of a rattlesnake.  The snake was extremely close to me! I believe it was so close that it was within striking distance! Being dreadfully afraid of snakes, I screamed for help and ran!  But hubby and my son were inside the house and didn't hear me, so I ran into the house from the backyard door.  

Rattlesnake of 2014 by our front door.

Hubby went outside to find the snake, and it had slithered onto our front porch!  And then it decided to slither into a window sill and look at us through the window!  Both very scary and cool at the same time!!!

Peaty after the venomous attack in 2012.

Well, to not bore my readers and to make a long story short, hubby and I stood out front and he tried to get the snake off of the porch so that he could shoot it.  Because of the trauma and damage done to our beloved dog (BTW, our son was saved by our dog from being bit in the 2012 rattlesnake incident) by the first rattlesnake, we do not let them live freely on our property.  Our son plays outside everyday, and for his safety and the rest of our family and those who visit, we cannot risk letting a venomous snake live.  We love God's creation, but at the same time, I believe the Lord understands why we had to kill both snakes.  

Hubby finally lured the snake into my herb bed.  We really wanted it in the yard so that it was easy to shoot.  Hubby was able to get a shot at it with "ratshot" in a revolver. Unfortunately, we only had two rounds of that, so we had to resort to my gun.  So I took the first shot at it, and then hubby was next.  It's not easy nor practical to shoot a snake with a handgun!  

Rattlesnake slithering into my herb bed.

Finally, he was able to get the snake with the shovel and the SWAT style standoff was over!!!! I was SOOO relieved!!!

Most of all, I am thankful to the Lord for protecting me, and my precious family.  I hope this is our last rattlesnake incident!

Snake stats:  45 inches long, and 12 buttons on the rattle...YIKES!!!

Note:  I was terrified beyond words!!!!