Jesus, The Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and me

MP900314130A conversation (in my head) with Jesus (He’s in italics)          March 31, 2006

Ok, Jesus, here I am, sitting in this place. If I were married, I wouldn’t be sitting here with my husband. I’d be getting both our tags, and he’d be working.

or maybe he’d be sitting here and you’d be working.

Well, here I am anyway. The chair next to me is empty, have a seat.

thanks. So how are ya?

Happy. I like this idea of praying for healing for all the people that I see who need prayer. But, that means it’s just praying for people who I see with my eyes who need prayer. You saw people with your heart, or God pointed them out to you, or what?

both.

I’d like to be able to see that way –with my heart.

that’s what it means to pray that the eyes of your heart would be opened. (1)

Oh yea. Makes sense…..

Say- when you went around healing people, and preaching to them and stuff, what made you so bold? Was it knowing you were gonna die, so you figured you’d just be out there anyway?

-no- it was the Holy Spirit that gave me boldness. When you pray for people, it is the Holy Spirit that gives you boldness.

Well- I don’t always know when to pray for someone. Sometimes I get a tingling in my hands when I’m about to pray for someone for healing. I do feel goose bumps when I am telling a God story and  I’m just happy to be talking about you to anyone who will listen.

-well- it’s partly a gift I’ve given you, and partly the presence of the HS. You walk in Him enough of the time that it’s sometimes second nature to you. Ask others who are not as bold as you. They will tell you they could never ask a total stranger to pray for their arthritic shoulder.

-heh- you’re not limited to only praying for people with an obvious physical need. Remember the times in Ann Arbor that you prayed for people because I put my heart feelings on your heart?

Yea- but remind me.

-ok- the heaviness in your heart lead you toward the guy who’s brother had just murdered someone. You felt intense chest pressure with Mary Elaine’s heart attack. Your heart felt Marsha Swiss’ sadness for her kids. On the way to prison fellowship I put it on your heart that there was a prisoner who was worried what his dad would say when he got out of prison. Jesse’s whopper headache and me telling you to tell him I saw his pain and I am there for him. Stuff like that. When I take up residence in your heart, I speak to you in your language. That’s what being intimate is all about. Us talking to each other, us communicating with each other, in our own language, in our own way. At times when you need me most, or even at times when you want to share a God story with me. When I need you to help me out- to pray for someone, to call someone. Whatever. Developing intimacy is like learning how to dance. You’ve got to hold me closely, but let me lead. Then, the music starts, and you watch the dance instructor, and you try it out, and bingo, we’re dancing. All the stuff we do together fosters a deeper and deeper relationship between the two of us. It is like that with another person. Being intimate with another person involves the same kinds of things. Spending time with them. Learning their language, learning the dance steps, which songs they like to dance to, stuff like that. I know what you like. I made you. So I am gonna start with songs that make your toes tap. I gave you a Bible you could understand. I gave you a friend who knows me (Judy). She told you about me from her vantage point. You heard just enough to wet your appetite. Then, you took me into your heart, and we took off on our little journey. It’s turned out to be a BIG, long journey, eh? But I’ve had just as much fun as you have had. Even more. I’m in on things that your human brain can’t fathom. The pain you felt, I felt it too. It’s like when Erin cries, and you feel her heart. Or when you prayed for that guy at church, and you felt my compassion for him.  What I want you to pass on to others is that they need to find me in their language. In the things that they like. When I put on music for them, it will be the kind that makes them want to dance with me. It won’t always sound like your be-bopping’ stuff. Like- Judy is learning to hear from me, and she’s getting stuff- but it is not what you would have thought. And Joni- when your prayed for her the other day to have me sit down at the dinner table with her, and you asked me to come and speak to her, you had in mind that I would tell her something, or hug her. That is what YOU would need to feel comforted. She saw me sitting next to her, and she merely rested her head on my shoulder, and she knew I was there, and that I was comforting her. She felt OK. Help people to find their own language. Encourage them to wait on me, to listen for me, to see me in their heads, to have me make myself known to them. The theophostic stuff is right on. I will come to them, I will make myself known to them. Look in the Bible at several examples of how I healed, of who I talked to, of how I communicated. Help everyone to dance with me, or sing with me, or paint with me, or whatever. I am an expression of them, and they are an expression of me. Ok- now go. We will talk again later. You have some dancing to do!  Enjoy!

1) Ephesians 1:17-19 
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My God and My Doctor

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I have a wonderful Christian doctor. I call him Dr. B and he prays with me when I have an office visit and I am sick. Also, once or twice a year he goes on mission trips since he’s a family doctor.  One October, while I was at home, God put him on my heart, and shot his name through my brain over and over again, so much so that I really prayed hard for him, but I didn’t know exactly what was going on with him. I even sent a note to him at his office: “Dear Dr. B, God has really put your name on my heart over the last few days, and I have been praying for you. I don’t know what is going on, but I felt like God wanted you to know how much He loves you, and that He knows what’s going on. Not to worry, trust Him, and know that He loves who you are and what you are doing.” Well, I didn’t hear from him, so I wondered if he ever really got the note, or I thought maybe I was off base. (Why do we doubt when we know His voice so well? -whatever).

Anyway, 3 months later in January, I had my routine physical, and when Dr. B came into the exam room, he stuck out his hand, and with a beautiful grin shook my hand and said, “I want to thank you so much for that note you sent me in October. It meant the world to me. I was going through a hard time, and that was just what I needed.” He said he was much better now, and I asked him when he was going to Honduras so I could pray for him. He told me he’d be going in February and that he was really excited about this particular trip because it was his first mission trip with his two sons. He told me the dates in February, and after my doctor visit, I went home and put the dates on my calendar.

So, February comes, and I pray when I see Dr. B’s name on the calendar, but the last day, Friday, I got this warrior-like feeling. Like I should pray really hard, press in, and pray for travel mercies. And so I did. I even called the office and asked if he made it home OK. The secretary said he wasn’t going to actually be home until Saturday. So, I kept praying every time the Lord put him on my heart. I called the office on Monday to see if he made it back OK; which he did. Then I told his nurse to be sure and tell him  that I prayed really hard for him on Friday and Saturday- that they’d all be safe. I prayed for their protection and travel mercies. “Be sure and tell him. Promise”. She said she would, and that was that.

Well, a couple months later I spent the night in the emergency room with abdominal pain, and it turned out I had diverticulitis, but that’s nothing compared to what happened next. The ER doctor said to follow up with my family doctor the next day, so, the next day I went in to see Dr. B.   I’m in the exam room, and he comes in and says, “Patty, I’m so sorry to hear you spent the whole night in the ER. How are you feeling now?” and I say, “Never mind that!- Tell me about your mission trip.”

Well- his eyes get really big, and all of a sudden I can see the Holy Spirit all over him, and he’s glowing practically! “It was the best trip I have ever been on, but also the most dangerous.” He told me they had to travel in overloaded jeeps across washed out roads, ford 5 rivers in their jeeps, go around mountains while leaning into the mountain so their jeep wouldn’t fall down the side of the mountain, and then, get this: “The last day, we had to go for 8 hours down a river at night- pitch black, in two canoes. The canoes were overloaded and they were leaking. We had no flashlights at all, no life jackets, and crocodiles were in the river.”  “But,” he said, “I was at peace. I knew someone was praying for us. And then, I got home, and I came into the office on the following Monday, and Jamie tells me about your prayers. I was, I was….well, (you could see him searching for the right words) and I said, “BLOWN AWAY!”

“YES!!!!” he said. “I couldn’t believe it . You knew!. God told you to pray for us. Wow!” then he got closer to me, looked me straight in the eyes and said slowly and beautifully, “You  and  I  have  a  God connection!” and I said, “Yea- God is good!!!”

Awesome, Huh? Man- I didn’t care that I had diverticulitis. If it took a night in the ER to get me to see that look on his face, to see him glowing, and to share God with him, I’d do it again in a heart beat.

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The Fetus Moved

Pregnant woman

When I was a Labor and Delivery nurse educator in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I shared an office with Dianne, and the office was so small that she and I could not be in it at the same time. Consequently, whenever I worked in my office, I left the door open to feel less claustrophobic. Having a tiny office, and then leaving the door open, brought many God opportunities my way.

One such opportunity came on a Thursday afternoon, around 2pm, when I heard a lady in the hall, talking on the pay phone. “Please pray for Sherry. The baby hasn’t moved all day. They’re thinking of doing a C/Section, and they think something’s wrong with the baby. OK- OK- yeah- I’ll let you know how things go. Just pray. OK- Bye.” As she hung up the phone, I walked out into the hallway and asked the lady if she wanted to pray right now, in my office for her daughter?  “Yes- Oh yes. Please”

So, she came into my office and so did the Holy Spirit!  His Power and His Holy Presence filled us both up, so that we both prayed fervently, powerfully, and expectantly. Whew! She thanked me, and I asked her what room Sherry was in, and would she mind if I came down to her room and prayed for her? “Oh – please- come to her room. Pray for her and her baby.” “Ok,” I said,. “I’ll be down in just a minute.”

I called Laura, one of the labor and delivery nurses, and asked her if she could come to my office right away. She did. And I told her what just happened, and that I was totally filled up with the Holy Spirit, like the people were in Acts, in the Bible, on the day of Pentecost. I said that I wanted to go down to Sherry’s room and pray for her, but I felt so drunk in the Spirit, that I was afraid I would walk wobbly. “Watch me walk. See if I look normal.”

So, Laura watched me walk, and laughed, and said that I looked fine. She was a believer too, so it’s not like I asked a random nurse. Standing next to the wall railing, I carefully and deliberately walked down the hall to the young lady’s room. When I came into her room, another nurse was watching the fetal monitoring strip. She looked up at me and said, “Patty, what are you doing here?” And I told her I heard that the fetus hadn’t moved all day, and that I was gonna pray for Sherry and her baby. The nurse told me to make it snappy ‘cause Sherry was probably gonna have a C/Section soon.

I went over to the side of Sherry’s bed and introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Patty. Do you mind if I pray for you?”

“OK.”  I could tell she was worried.

“Do you mind if I lay hands on your belly so I can pray for your baby too?”

Now, as I’m doing this, the nurse is rolling her eyes and looking at me like I was a lunatic, but I felt so full of the Holy Spirit that I didn’t care what she thought. So I put my right hand on Sherry’s belly, and even before I prayed one word, IMMEDIATELY the baby moved- BIG TIME! We all saw it- and the increase in the baby’s heartbeat from moving could be seen and heard on the fetal monitoring equipment. As I prayed, the baby seemed to be having a good old time in there, jumping and rolling all around and the nurse looks at me and says angrily, “What did you do!? That baby hasn’t moved once all day! We’ve tried everything we know to get that baby to move.” (Why was she mad?)

“It wasn’t me. It was God- He did it. I was just His hands.”

“Yeah right- whatever you did, you’ve got the magic touch.”

Well, Sherry ended up having a normal delivery and a healthy baby, and the nurse kept telling everyone on our unit about my magic hands. How is it that some people can believe in magic easier than they can in God?

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Short and snappy

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The day after I gave the ride to the old lady and talked to the other lady at the hospital, I woke up, took the kids to school, came home and listened to Insight For Living, with Chuck Swindoll, and In Touch, with Charles Stanley. This was kind of my daily routine. These two radio programs really helped my walk with Jesus. I had a voracious appetite for the Word, so I’d read the Bible, and listen to these two programs, and then I’d be on fire for the Lord. It was a great time in my life.

OK. So after I listened to these two programs, I was about to leave the house to run errands. But right after I opened the front door to leave, I heard (in my head) “Wait.” It was the same voice I’d heard yesterday, and I knew it was God, but I have to admit, I was impatient with Him. I had errands to run, and a tight schedule before the kids came home from school. I thought, “Wait for what?” No answer. “Grrr.” I shut the door, and said, “Well, if I’m gonna wait, then I’ll make good use of this ‘waiting time’ and I’ll balance my checkbook.”

So I sat down at the dining room table and started to do my checks. Then the phone rang. I knew that’s what God had asked me to wait for. I can’t tell you how I knew it, but I knew! So, with great expectations, I said, “Hello.”

“Hello, Patty? It’s Trish (my sister-in-law). What are you doing?”

“Waiting for you to call.”

“Huh? How did you know I’d call?”

“Well, I didn’t know what I was waiting for, I just knew that as I was leaving the house, God told me to wait. So I did, and when the phone rang, I knew that’s why I was waiting.”

“Oh wow,” she said. “That’s awesome, because a few minutes ago, my boss really yelled at me, and I was pretty upset. I went back to my desk, and said to myself, ‘Oh God, what do I do?’ and then, I thought, I’ll call Patty.”

And I listened to what Trish had to say, and then I told her that God loved her so much that He had me be at home so she could talk to me. So, we prayed together, and Trish felt so much better. God is good!

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The lady with the Coke bottle glasses

May 1989MP900314142

This is when I started hearing God’s voice on a regular basis. I had heard Him at 3am in 1977 and in 1984 when Charlie nearly drowned. I didn’t hear Him personally when I accepted Him into my heart in 1987, but I ended up with an unquenchable thirst to read His word. I also wanted to be used by Him, like my friends Jim and Beth who were missionaries in Brazil. I wondered what God would have me doing. And on a clear, spring day in May, He talked to me again.

I’m in  front of the thrift store , about to buy gym clothes for Charlie. I get out of my van, and smile and nod at this cute little old lady who is standing smack in the middle of the parking lot. She has on a tennis hat, is leaning on a cane, and her glasses are as thick as the bottom of Coke bottles. She smiles back at me, and I hurry into the store. I’m always in a hurry. 5 minutes later, I leave the store, without finding any gym shorts. The lady is still standing there. We make eye contact once again, and as I open the door to my van, I hear in my head, “Ask her if she needs a ride.” It was God’s voice! The same one I had heard twice before, but I didn’t believe He would say such a silly thing. So…I ignore it. I must be mistaken.

I shut the door, and I hear, “Ask her if she needs a ride”, and it’s the same voice, but a little more insistent. OK- I’m going crazy! I put the key in the ignition, and for the third time I hear, “Ask her if she needs a ride!”  I ignore the request, only because I doubt that God would say such a thing. But right after I start my van, the little old lady hobbles toward my car, and with her cane, she reaches up to the van and knocks on the window. I roll the window down, and she says, “Excuse me, honey. Could you give me a ride?” Oh my. Oh my. I’m amazed! “Yes. Yes!” I say, and I get out of the van and help climb into the passenger seat. She buckles up, as do I, and I say, “Hi, I’m Patty.” And I stick out my hand to shake hers. She says, “And I’m Agnes.”

Well, before I ask her where she needs to go, I say, “You know, Agnes, you’re probably not gonna believe this, but I swear I heard God telling me 3 times to ask you if you needed a ride, and all three times I ignored Him.”  “That’s OK, honey… He was talkin’ to me too.” Wow! I was blown away! I took her where she needed to go, and just grinned that I had had an encounter with God.

OK- so, I vowed that if He talks to me again, I’d obey Him. That evening, it’s 5pm, and Charlie’s playing a soccer game. It’s hot, and I can tell he’s thirsty, but I didn’t bring him any water. So, half time comes, and I drive to the closest place that I know has bottled water- the hospital. I pull up to the entrance, and as I am running inside to get him water, I see a young lady sitting on the steps, smoking a cigarette. I have no idea who she is, mind you. I say “Hi” to her, and go inside, get the water, and return to my van. I’m in a hurry again. Charlie’s thirsty.  “Ask her if she wants to go to Charlie’s soccer game.” It’s God, and I argue with Him! “No way. Why would she want to go there? She’ll think I’m crazy.” He doesn’t repeat Himself this time. His words are sitting in my head.  I know it’s God, and I promised Him I’d obey His requests, so I take a deep breath, and say, ”Pardon me. Would you like to go to my son’s soccer game with me?”

She stands up, smiles, and says, “Yeah, that would take my mind off of things.” Just as she’s about to get in the van, she changes her mind. “Oh maybe I better not. What if they come outside and tell me bad news?”

“Bad news about what?”

“Oh, my boyfriend’s here because they think he has cancer. He’s only 28. I got nervous waiting inside, so I came out here to wait. They might be done with the procedure and come looking for me. I’d better stay here.”

“Wow- that’s a heavy load. Where are you from?” and I begin a conversation with her. She unloads on me. She talks for 15 minutes. I pray with her, I hold her, she hugs me and cries. At some point, we go our separate ways. And I marvel at how God used me. I’m in awe that He’s talked to me twice in one day. I’m full of fire in my belly, and I feel like I’m glowing like Moses did, when he came down off the mountain, after having seen God. And on I go, to Charlie’s game, coming away from the hospital with more than a bottle of water.

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How I came to know the Lord

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In 1987, I was having a very hard summer because of a difficult marriage. I was working full time while my husband was trying to start a dental HMO. He was under a lot of stress, we were living on my measly income,  and we were in debt up to our eyeballs. One Wednesday afternoon in August, right before I was getting ready to leave work, the charge nurse asked me if I would stay over an extra 4 hours and work.  I called my husband, and he agreed it was fine.  However, instead of taking it easy and caring for the same 4 moms and babies I had taken care of for the last 8 hours, I was given four different patients. Mind you, I was not happy about this.

One patient’s name was Judy. She was 23 weeks pregnant, but her bag of waters had broken while she was on a camping trip with her family and her prognosis for delivering a viable fetus was poor. As I walked into her room to introduce myself, I repressed my anger about my assignment, smiled, and began a conversation with her. She told me she had two young children at home, and that she had two miscarriages before. I felt so bad for her, and told her that her kids could come visit her. That little bit of information made her feel better. By the time I was ready to go see my other patients, we’d made a wonderful connection.

Two days later on Friday morning, I found out Judy was in Labor and Delivery but that she had delivered a stillborn little girl. Her husband, Joe, was there. I comforted them, and Judy asked if we could get together next week or so because she felt such a strong friendship developing.  I said sure, but that I would call her after a couple of weeks, since I was going on vacation to the Smoky Mountains with my kids.

That next day, my two kids and I drove to Tennessee.  My husband stayed in Columbus, since he was busy with work. After the vacation, I came home and learned my grandma had died.  The stress of my sad marriage, and the death of my grandma sent me over the edge, and I had a nervous breakdown, and ended up in the psychiatric ward of our local hospital.  But while I was there, Judy sent me flowers. And when I got out, we became great friends. We’d go camping together, have bonfires, picnics, and even birthday parties for our kids.

Soon, I started going to her Bible study on Tuesday nights, not because I wanted to feel closer to God, but because I thought studying the Bible might be “interesting.” But the Bible and God called to me, and soon, I felt such a wonderful love for the Lord. The kind of love Judy had showed me. It blew me away that Jesus died for me.  It was personal.  He died for me!  While I was still a sinner, He died for me.  Not when I cleaned up my act, but while I was still messed up, God sent His only Son to die for all of us who accepted Him as Savior.  So, I accepted Him into my heart, and He began to change me into a new creation.  A loving, kind person.  Not an angry, bitter wife.  It was awesome. Looking back on it and reading what I have written,  it sounds so easy and simple. Right now, as I am writing, I wonder how non-believers would react to this story. Oh well- on with the show…..

In the meantime, I helped Judy and Joe find an obstetrician who specialized in high-risk pregnancies. A year later, they delivered a healthy baby girl named Anna. She is now a delightful young lady, a beautiful believer and (like her parents) so on fire for the Lord.

So, I look at it this way.  God looked down on the earth.  He saw 2 people who needed “new life”.  I needed it spiritually, and Judy needed it literally.  He got us together, and BAM!  We both got new life.  Awesome, eh?

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Healing Harriet

In May, 2000, I lived in Ann Arbor and attended the Vineyard Church. I was fairly new at praying for people, but rather outspoken about my faith. Every month I’d drive to Columbus to visit my mom. She was 77 at the time. My sister, Julie, found out I was gonna visit Mom, and asked me to go to the hospital near Mom’s place to pray for her father-in-law, Henry. (He had a massive blood infection from open heart surgery).

When I arrived at my mom’s retirement center, my mom was busy playing bridge. So I figured that this would be a good time to go to Riverside to pray for Henry. When I told Mom and her 3 friends that I was going to the hospital to pray for Henry, Mom asked if I could visit Harriet, a friend of hers, who was very ill. “Sure” I said. While driving to the hospital, the Holy Spirit filled the car. It was awesome! The Lord let me know he wanted me to lay hands on both of ’em, and lead me to feel both would be healed. I had prayed for a lot of people since coming to the Vineyard in 1997, but never had experienced such assurance that the people would be healed.  Furthermore, I had never met Henry or Harriet, yet I was filled with such boldness and a positive attitude. As I entered the hospital I felt like I was Moses, glowing from head to toe.

Well, I went to Henry’s room first, introduced myself to him, and after a few minutes, asked him if I could pray for him and lay hands on the bandage on his chest. He was very accepting. I laid hands on and prayed for Henry, and then I went to the next floor to visit Harriet. She was on oxygen, wheezing, and could hardly get her breath, and her color was kinda ashen/gray. I pretty much approached her the way I did with Henry. Harriet also agreed to let me pray for her and lay hands on her. She showed me her bruised abdomen and pointed to a huge, hard mass (the size of a grapefruit) in her belly.  So, I laid hands on her belly and prayed for her too. I left the hospital thinking that Henry had a chance, but Harriet looked so bad, and she said her heart was giving out, so I thought maybe God’s way of “healing” Harriet was to take her home with him. 20 minutes later, when I entered my mom’s place, everyone asked how Harriet was. “Holding her own,” was my reply. I didn’t want all those old ladies to hear about another one of their friends dying.

Anyway, about 2 months later, I nonchalantly said to my Mom, “What ever happened to Harriet?” (Henry, by the way, was healed!), thinking that my Mom would say, “Oh, she died”. But here’s what my Mom said: “Oh my gosh, the craziest thing happened. She was so sick before you went to visit her, then, all of a sudden, she just got better, and was out of the hospital that next week, and now she’s runnin’ circles around her husband. I’ve never seen her so spunky!”  “Wow” I said. It was then that I told Mom the full story.

After Mom heard what happened, she took me around the retirement place and had me pray for all her friends. Awesome!!!

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Holma

Girl Holding Plant

(republished on 5/17 as a request from Mike)

When Erin was in middle school, she came to me one Saturday morning and said, “Mommy, I love you more than words can describe. There is no word in the English language that means, ‘I love you higher than the sky, like, I love you to infinity.’ Let’s make up a word that means infinity love, OK?”

So I said, “That’s beautiful, honey. I’d love to have our special word. Let’s pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to give us a word that means ‘Love higher than the sky’.  So we prayed and Erin said, “Now what?”

“Well, expect Him to answer us. There’s a scripture verse that says to pray/ask expectantly. After we pray, then we’ll just trust that He’ll give us that word. So, pay attention to words that pop into your head, and when you get something that you think is from God, share it out loud with me. I’ll do the same thing.”

So, over the next several hours, when we’d have something pop into our head that clearly wasn’t English, like kadeeba, we’d speak it out loud , and we’d weigh it. “Kadeeba doesn’t sound loving, Mom,” she said. Then, she’d get a word like hassahn, and I’d say, “Well, that’s better than kadeeba, but I don’t feel that love that you describe. We spoke out a few more words that came to us and then around noon, Erin says, “How about this one, Mommy: ‘holma.’ ” As she said it, my heart seemed to melt. “Oh, Erin, I love it. Say it again, and as you’re saying it, put your heart into it.”  So, she looked me square in the eyes, and with a softness and love that came from her heart, she said, “Holma, Mommy. Holma.”

We both got teary eyed, and we agreed that that would be our special word to each other. We thanked God, and went about our day. That was in 1996. Over the next 7 years, every time she had to leave me to go to her dad’s for the weekend, the last thing she’d say was, “Holma Mommy.” Sometimes at night, when I tucked her in bed, she’d say it. Or, I’d say it when I really felt so dear and close to her. It truly was our special word.

In the fall of 2003, Erin was attending college in North Carolina and I was a mother-baby nurse in Ohio. Now, more than ever, saying the word Holma made it feel like there was no distance between us.

One night while I was at work, I called Erin with the surprise of her life. “Are you sitting down?”

“Who died, Mommy?”

“No one. Just listen. I’m taking care of a couple who are from Africa and Persia, and they asked me to pronounce several Persian girls’ names for them. They wanted to name their baby a name that Americans could pronounce correctly. They gave me 6 potential names, and explained that in their town, it’s the custom to pick the name of their baby using the first letter of a relative who had recently died. All six names started with the letter, ‘J’. They all had meanings too. The third name was Jilpa, which means in Persia, ‘Giver of life.’

After I’d pronounced all six, they asked me which one sounded the best. I told them I liked Jilpa for two reasons; I liked the meaning, and it sounded like a beautiful word that my daughter and I say to each other, ‘Holma.’

The mom said “Oh, our word meaning ‘higher than the sky, like it stretches to infinity.’  ”

“What????” I said. And I spelled it out,  “H..O..L..M..A.?”

“Yes”, she said, “that is the correct spelling.” I nearly fell over. I told the mom about our special word, and how God had picked it out for us 7 years ago!! How awesome is that?”

And on the other end of the phone, Erin said, “No way!” and I said, “Way!!” I could almost hear the tears well up in Erin’s eyes. We were both blown away! She proceeded to gather all her friends into her room to tell them the story, and then the next day, came an email to me and every other person that Erin knows or has known, relaying the story. To this day, I have told this God story to as many people as I know. And it will go on for infinity…….

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Go Get Your Son

In 1984, my husband and I and our two kids, Charlie (age 2) and Erin (2 months), were living in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a warm weekend in June when I packed up my kids to head for Memphis to visit my friend Linda, and her family. The four hour drive went smoothly. Once in Memphis, we goofed around, reminisced, watched videos, and played with the kids.  Linda and Mike lived in a large house with a screened-in porch that was used as a playroom for their kids and they also had a nice pool out back Continue reading

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It’s a Miracle!

Hispanic and white hospital workersEons ago I was teaching OB Nursing in northwestern Ohio. I usually went to the hospital where we had our clinical rotation an hour before the students did, so I could have plenty of time to pick out their patient assignments, and match up each student’s leaning needs with an appropriate patient. This particular Thursday morning, as I was figuring their assignments, a nurse aide named Ruby walked up to me, and looked me straight in the eyes. She took my hand and said, “I was awakened last night by God, and He told me to tell you that your parents are OK. They are safe. You don’t have to worry about them.”

Now, no one had ever said anything like that to me before, so I could have thought she was looney. However, when I was in the 10th grade, Rosie, a family friend of ours, put her hands on my forehead, and prayed for my migraine headaches to go away. After that, I never had another one! And Rosie said she knew President Kennedy was gonna get shot ‘cause God told her, and she wished she had called the White House some how and warned them. Rosie felt really bad about that.

So, when Ruby imparted these words to me, I didn’t think she was crazy. I just wondered what she meant. I wasn’t worried about my parents even before she came up to me, so I smiled and said, “Thanks.”

‘Round about 11am, as my eight students and I were busy doing whatever, the secretary at the nursing station held the handle of the phone up really high and yelled at me to come get the phone.

“Hello?” I said.

“Patty, It’s Mary (my older sister). I just want you to know that Mom and Dad are OK. Don’t worry about them. They are safe.” (What is this with people today? Everyone seems to be more concerned about my parents than I am.)

“Mary- you’re the second person today to have said that. What is going on?”

“Mom and Dad called me from Guatemala and said they are OK. The hotel where they were supposed to stay at Mexico City- the one that was totally demolished by that massive earthquake this morning – they weren’t in it! They were supposed to be in Mexico City last night. They were supposed to stay at this hotel, but their plane in Guatemala had engine trouble, so they had to spend another night in Guatemala. They’re alive! Everyone in that hotel in Mexico City died.”

“Wow”  was all I could get out.

Mary said, “I’m the second person to tell you? How can that be? They just got through to me and asked that I call everyone.”

“Uh- my friend here at work said God told her last night that they were OK. But Ruby didn’t know any more than that. She didn’t know they were traveling. She’s never even met Mommy and Daddy.”

And “Wow” was all that Mary could say too.

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