Tuesday, January 1, 2019

SO LONG 2018

As we begin a new year, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it.
2018 was a very different, and often hard year. But there were also many blessings.

2018 brought about an extensive surgery for my 7 1/2 yr old grandson to try and fix his hip. He had been diagnosed with Perthes disease in 2015, but instead of getting better as the doctors had hoped, it progressively got worse, necesitating the surgery. After 3 months, it looked like the surgery had failed, but after 6 months, there was marked improvement and it looks very hopeful.

My sweet mother-in-law, who suffered from severe dementia and Alsheimer’s went home to Jesus on June 5. As we travelled to Texas on June 6, we got word that our son Todd and his wife Katy, had just become parents to a little girl named Maggie Jo. A full circle of life in a mere 24 hours. So many conflicting emotions followed but grateful for the life of Eloise Scudder, because without her, I wouldn’t have met or married Scud, my  partner and love of my life.

Early in the morning of June 30, Scud woke me up to tell me he didn’t feel well. He had never done this in our 42 years of marriage and he reports that I sat up in bed and asked, “Are you having a heart attack?”  Well, it turns out he was. Thankfully we had an ER doctor as the camp doctor that week, and along with our 2 EMT’s, he was life flighted out of Woodleaf at 2:30am. Two very dear friend at camp then drove me to the hospital.
Scud had a 100% blockage of his main coronary artery and some blockage in 3 of the others. The cardiologist placed a stent and told me that he was “glad you took the helicopter and not the ambulance”. I was glad too.
Quite honestly, the next 6 months had me living in fear, that it would happen again. That this time, we  wouldn’t have an MD close by. All sorts of fears besetted me, while Scud changed patterns in his life by getting exercise, losing 20 pounds and being so grateful to be alive.  I purposed that I would not start 2019 with fears and with the LORD’s deliverance, I am anticipating what’s next rather than being afraid that I might lose Scud at a moment’s notice.

2018 was yet another year to watch my daughter who suffers from the debilitating, chronic illness of Ehlers Danlos, to get sicker and sicker. to have 3 procedures of a blood patch to reduce spinal fluid leaks, to other procedures trying to allow her digestive system to work. It is a constant battle to one minute trust God for what He is doing in her life, to agonizing over watching her suffer. I truly believe in a GOD who loves her way more than I ever could and trust HIM with giving her what she needs day to day. But it is struggle.

2018 also brought about some significant losses. Dear friends in Texas lost their son in a terrible car accident, had a dear sweet friend move and lost the best boss I ever had as he took a new position in Young Life. And we are enduring the loss of a family members marriage that has been so hard for all of us.

It is definitely in the hard time of above that I realize God’s faithfulness to me. Begin to understand that HE is ALWAYS with me and that I am never alone. I realize that He loves me and those I love with unconditional love and that His plans are often beyond my comprehension, and YET, He knows what He is doing. I have grown deeper in my love for the LORD because of how HE has held me in supported me this year (and always for that matter!)

But oh there were blessings too. Numerous and wonderful. The picture at the top is the favorite one I took on our “bucket list trip”. In October, we went back east for 2 full weeks visiting dear dear friends and seeing the spectacular fall colors of New York and Vermont. There wan’t a day when we didn’t say to each other: “can you believe this beauty” or God is certainly the brilliant artist”. The colors were incredibly beautiful and you should plan a trip east-especially us Californians because we never see these amazing colors here.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the Hazard’s, Morgan McGhee, YL Saranc Lake and the Kane’s for hosting us.

Even in spite of Scud’s “event” as he refers to his heart attack, we had another incredible year of summer interns who worked tirelessly, one particularly in the middle of the night, without complaining and serving Christ very sacrificially. And another HUGE thanks to the Freemyers for their invaluable service in loving these amazing young adults.
Being an Intern Boss has always been the highlight for me of living at Woodleaf. What a privilege it has been to know and love thee young adults over12 summers. I have learned so much from them and been incredibly blessed being one of their leaders. I truly thank God for the blessings of the college aged kids who have served faithfully over the years. I turned in my resignation by word of mouth in December, that my time has come to an end as one of the leaders. (This time its real WINTERNS). After last summer, I realized how precious life is and I want to be able to see my grandkids more and visit friends too.
One other blessing that brought home the preciousness of ife was achieving 5 years of being cancer free this past September. THANK YOU LORD.

One of the highlights of my year was being chosen to participate in Young Life’s Good Way Cohort. We started in October meeting for 2 days and will meet again for 3 days at the end of January and April. The purpose of this time is to teach us and help us be more contemplative, To listen and not speak as much. To be silent and try to listen very carefully to what God ha to say to us, without us (me) doing all the talking.  This is something I have longed for -for quite some time.

Although 2018 was different, it was also very very good. My two biggest blessings were that God spared Scud’s life and that we have an adorable little girl who actually looks like a Scudder in our family after 3 amazing little boys.
My prayer is that 2019 will draw each of us closer to Jesus Christ and that we will become the person He envisions us to be.