Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Parable of the Cat

I wanted to share a story with you that helped to bring about a turning point for me this week. As you all know, my big brother went to be with Jesus almost 3 weeks ago. As some of you do not know, I have had a really hard time with it. Grief - yes, but at times I also felt myself slipping into depression. I didn't want to see or talk to anyone. I rarely answered my phone. I only did what I absolutely had to do - and had to make myself do that! It was a dark, lonely place, and I wasn't sure how to escape it. But I knew that I really needed to. Enter - the cat...

One of our cats disappeared a while back, and our tom cat, Cloudy, was acting kind of lonely. We also were starting to see more mice around, so we decided to get a new companion for Cloudy. On Wednesday evening, after prayer meeting, we went pick out our new feline of the female persuasion. Mike works with a guy whose wife is cat crazy and has 20-30 cats of all shapes and sizes. "Wonderful", I thought, "We'll get our pick!" After looking them over (which was a challenge in itself, because they were not "house cats" who were used to being held and petted) we decided on an all black, young female who would let Katie and I hold her without trying to tear us in pieces in her attempt to get away. She rode quietly on my lap all the way home, and we decided to name her Molly.

We had decided to keep Molly inside for a couple of days so that she could get used to us and realize that this was her home now. We showed her where the kitty litter, food, and water were, and then I let her down. First mistake! Things had been going fine up until this point, but now Molly was off like a shot - dashing under the furniture for cover. We went to bed, and everyone drifted off to Neverland - except me. I seemed to be the only one who heard Molly's plaintive cries, so I went down periodically to check on her. At this point, she was holed up under the bathroom sink. She didn't eat or drink, or use the kitty litter (although she did go to the bathroom in various places). The next morning, she was no where to be found. It wasn't until afternoon that we found her hiding in a corner behind the dryer. But she refused to come to us, or let us near her at all. That night, I again listened to her lonely cries, and contemplated our options. I mean, how crazy is that! She has the whole house to explore, and she stays secreted away in a small, dark place. She has food and water (and kitty litter - hint, hint!), but she avails herself of none of it! We try to get close, to reassure her of our good intentions. We want to love her, to snuggle her. We want her to be our kitty! But she refuses. Suddenly, I feel like King David when the prophet Nathan got done telling him a story and proclaimed, "Thou art the man!" It felt like the Holy Spirit was showing me plainly, "Thou art the cat!" (Now, at this point, any of you who ever questioned my sanity, have real grounds for concern:)

But this was my turning point. Like the cat, I was holed up in the dark place of grief and isolation while all the time God had a great storehouse of Grace and Love for me to explore. He had made provision for all of my needs - my hurt, my grief, my confusion, my loneliness - but I did not avail myself of any of his provisions. He was there, trying to help and comfort, extending His hand of mercy to me, but I was too afraid. Afraid of what? Who understands better than God the reality of loss, of pain, of death. Who cares more than God about our burdens, our distresses. How crazy was that cat? How crazy was I! But God is so faithful - so loving - so wise. He remembers that we are dust - and sometimes we're dustier than usual.
So, I'm on my way back! I'm on my way out! I'm on my way up! I'm not there, but I'm on my way.
Great is thy faithfulness - thy mercies are new every morning!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tag, I'm It!

I've just been tagged by Jodi and Wilma to tell 7 random things about myself. (Even though I was tagged twice, I'm not going to bore you with 14 things;) Then, I'm supposed to tag 7 other people. So here goes (keeping in mind it's after midnight here...)

1) Before being married, I was a night owl. (Now I am only if I can't get my brain to shut down, i.e. TONIGHT!
2) I was born 16 days late - thus beginning an unfortunate trend:(
3) I have a husband, son, and brother with the name Michael.
4) I have lived in 6 different states - NY, OH, AK, IN, MO, and CO!
5) I learned to tie my shoes (NOT Velcro them:) when I was barely 4 years old.
6) I have had 6 surgeries on my right ear.
7) My favorite dessert is CHEESECAKE!

I now tag - YIKES - most of you have already been tagged! Well, here are a few who haven't responded yet - sorry girls/guy...
Kim Marshall, Sherilyn Bozone, Amy Bryant, Connie Downer, Chris/Esther Hilling, Heidi Echols, Lyndi Weingard.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Welcome, Autumn!

Here are a few "Autumn" pictures. Today is a cool 60 degrees, so it felt like a good baking day to me. While the kids were outside "decorating" their log cabin with mud and rocks, I baked up a batch of whole wheat cinnamon rolls. The top row is the rolls and the kids enjoying them inside their cabin. The second row is Katie and Hunter dressed for church on the 1st official day of Autumn. And the bottom is 1)cucumber boats the kids made for a craft project 2)Katie's Corner where her school papers get hung daily 3)the mountain (Lamborn) behind the house got its first snow early this morning! Fall is definitely in the air here in Colorado!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Goodbye for Now, Grandpa!

Edward Haynes, Mike's Grandpa, went to join Jesus, his wife, his son, and my brother today. Grandpa had a peaceful passing at 8:20AM this morning at the hospital in Moberly, MO. He was greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew him. He didn't like to fish, but always took Mike fishing as a boy. He didn't like to hunt, but after Mike shot his first turkey at the age of 12, Grandpa wore a feather from that turkey in his hat for years! After Katie was born and we would visit Missouri, he would watch and wait by the window until we arrived with his first great-grandbaby. Heaven just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter! Goodbye for now, Grandpa, but not for long!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Welcome to Our House!

Hunter - My Little Man!

Hunter's Bedroom

Here is Hunter's new bedroom. Obviously the theme is wildlife. This room used to be part of the attic, and after a couple of months of intense labor (by my husband), Hunter has an awesome room. (And I have an awesome husband:)
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Katie's Bedroom

This is Katie's recently remodeled room. She wanted a garden theme, and we had fun finding new ideas!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Copy of My Brother's Obituary

Michael Oliver Zimmer, 39, of Easley, SC, after fighting like a warrior against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, joined his maternal grandparents, Howard and Gladys Whittaker and his paternal grandmother Alice Zimmer in Heaven to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, September 10, 2007.

Born in Governeur, NY and raised in Canton, NY, Michael graduated from Hugh C. Williams High School in Canton in 1986 and continued his education receiving his Bachelors of Science at SUNY Plattsburgh; then continuing towards a Master’s degree at SUNY Albany. Michael was an employee of Citizens Loan Center, in Greenville, SC; a mortgage division of Citizens Bank of TN.

Michael was an avid hiker, loving the trails at Caesars Head and across the Upstate. He was a soccer coach for Easley Recreation, formerly Burning Hills Soccer Club. He was the “Coach of the Year” for the club in 2005-2006. In the spring of 2006 he led his U-8 team to a second place victory in the Kohl’s American Cup SC State Soccer Tournament, earning the first trophy for the Burning Hills Soccer Club. In the spring of 2007, after receiving a stem cell transplant in January and while still enduring Chemotherapy, he co-coached the Girls U-10 Tournament Team to a first place victory in their division at the CESA Spring Challenge.

Michael was a member and worshipped the Lord at New Image Outreach, in Easley, SC.

Michael was a devoted husband and father. When he and Karen married they melded their families into one. He is survived by many including his wife Karen Zimmer, formerly Karen Myers, and his 2 precious little ladies, Kirstyn Zimmer and Kaitlyn Zimmer all of Easley, SC. He is also survived by his mother and step-father Kay and Bob Church of Governeur, NY; brother and sister-in-law, Greg and Kay Zimmer of Rensselaer Falls, NY; sister and brother-in-law, Kim and Mike Sayler of Paonia, CO; father, Calvin Zimmer Jr. of Foxboro, MA; grandfather Calvin F. Zimmer, Sr. and his wife Mandy of Canton, NY; in-laws Gordon and Connie Myers of The Villages, FL; brother-in-law Steve Myers and his wife Linda of Swanzey, NH; brother-in-law Doug Myers and his wife Cindy of Honea Path, SC; brother-in-law Ken Myers and his wife Sue, of Burke, VA; 12 nieces and nephews, Andrew , Emily, and Madison Zimmer; Katie Joy and Hunter Sayler, Ken, Joe, David and Julie Myers, and Austin, Jason and Matthew Myers; and numerous Aunts and Uncles.

Cremation Services will be provided by Palmetto Cremation Services in Greenville, SC. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 11:00 AM at New Image Outreach on Hwy. 135 in Easley, SC; presided over by Pastor Eric D. Branch.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the family in care of New Image Outreach, at…
Zimmer Family C/O New Image Outreach, P.O. Box 1844, Easley SC 29641

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Tribute to my Big Brother

Michael Oliver Zimmer, my wonderful big brother, made his final journey tonight. Jesus came to get him at 11:50PM(EST). Mike was born on 11/24/67 and died 9/10/07, just 10 1/2 weeks before his 40th birthday. We celebrate the fact that his pain is over, and that he has gone to be with the One he had come to know only through this horrible disease. I miss him already, and look forward to that Great Reunion Day when we will never be separated again. "There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear. No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there. And forever I will be with the One who died for me. What a day, glorious day that will be!" I can't wait! See you soon, my beloved brother - see you soon.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Around the Farm!

Here are a few pictures from "around the farm"! Top row: Bear, Drake, Cloudy. 2nd row: Chickens sitting & Mermaid and her 1st chick! 3rd row: A few of the flock & the kids' log cabin playhouse, equipped with a real wood stove!
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Mike's Boone & Crocket Antelope

Here is the antelope that Mike got last year; we just got it back from the taxidermist yesterday. This is Mike's first trophy book animal! Good job, honey! It's a wonderful addition to our den!
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Kids Singing "Baby Face" to Mike (my brother)

When my brother was a pre-teen, we used to call him Baby Face just to aggravate him. If we really wanted to get him going, we'd start to sing the song "Baby Face". During our Celebration Weekend, I taught the kids to sing this song, complete with motions, and they "performed" for Uncle Mike (and Daddy:) Mike thought it was great (notice him clapping for the kids)- they did a super job!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Home At Last!

We are home! It is about 2:30AM Colorado time, and we have finally arrived back at our humble abode. And as Katie so earnestly said when she stumbled, bleary-eyed from the car, "There's no place like home!" I will update more later today, but just had to touch my own computer keys, and look at my familiar screen , and say "hi" to my friends before dropping wearily into my own log bed:) Goodnight from Colorado. (Zzzzzzzzzzzz...)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Still in the South

Hi, y'all! We're still here in South Carolina. The southern drawl is starting to affect me;) Just wanted to give a quick update. My brother, Mike, is still with us, but is desparately longing to go home to be with Jesus. His pain increases everyday, but his heart and body are young and strong. Please help us pray for a quick passing. My husband arrived to be with us on Friday night (much to our GREAT delight!), and this morning we attended the Easley Bible Methodist Church. I actually saw a couple people that I've met before, and an elderly man there - a retired preacher - served his first pastorate at the Nazarene church in Paonia, CO! Who'd a thunk it?:)