October 30, 2010

Grace through a Kidney Transplant

Emily at Chatting At The Sky in her October 28 post wrote:

"If there is only one thing you take away from this series, let it be this: 
grace is getting something I don’t deserve. That’s it.
Because Someone came and lived a perfect life so I don’t have to. 
Someone came so I could walk around free even though I’m guilty. 
and then The Bishop gives me the candlesticks, too. 
Someone took a risk on me, and he didn’t wait until I appreciated or understood it. 
His name is Jesus. His name is Grace."

Through the perfect grace of Jesus, we too can offer grace.
A friend of mine, Nancy, offered a wonderful gift of grace to me a few years ago.

My kidneys reached the point of End Stage Renal Disease the beginning of 2006.  My brother had been tested and was willing to give me one of his kidneys, but his blood pressure remained higher than the level Vanderbilt would accept as a donor of a kidney.  He tried dieting, exercising, and even natural herbs to bring his blood pressure down to their acceptable range with no luck.

Nancy had told me in passing earlier in the year that she would be tested if my brother did not work out.  One night after church she came to me and asked if Jon was going to be able to donate his kidney.  I told her "no".  We had just found out he wasn't.  She said she was ready to be tested.

She immediately scheduled an appointment at Vanderbilt, was tested, was a match, and was approved.  On Tuesday, August 1, 2006, the doctors at Vanderbilt transplanted one of her good kidneys into my body.  By the time I woke up from surgery, my kidney levels were back in the normal range for the first time in 24 years.

Me and Nancy in June before the transplant.

Nancy and I had only known each other for a little over a year.  She and her husband had moved to Florence about a year after my husband and I had moved here.  We had them over for supper one night and she learned I had a kidney disease.  She asked if there was anything she could do to help me.  I jokingly told her she could give me a kidney.  Surprisingly, she replied, "I can do that!".  What a wonderful person.  About a year after the transplant, Nancy and her husband moved back to where she was raised.  She so quickly came into our life and then went back out of our life.  (Providence?  That's a topic for another discussion!)

Nancy showed us such a lesson in grace.  Even though she did not have any ties to me or my family, even though she was far from her family, even though she knew she would experience pain and uncomfortable procedures, she graciously offered me a part of her body to make me feel whole again without expecting anything in return.

I do not know if even yet, I fully appreciate the sacrifice she gave to me.  Each day, I feel I gain a little more knowledge of her grace and it teaches me such a needed lesson!  Because of her sacrifice, I live today a normal life.  I enjoy my life as a wife and a mother.  I am able to exercise, work full-time, teach classes at church, travel, and to accomplish anything I want to strive for.   I am able to give Grace to others...to pass it on!

Can you think of some gift of Grace you can give to other people?  I'm sure Grace has been given to you in many ways.  Don't keep it bottled up inside you.  Pass it on!
Judy :)

Linking up to:

June 18, 2011
Imparting Grace

October 30, 2010
chatting at the sky

October 28, 2010

Fall In Alabama

One of the sights I look forward to enjoying at the beginning of fall is the maturing of the cotton fields in our area.  I grew up in West Virginia and don't ever remember seeing cotton being raised.  This has been a new experience for me.  In some ways, at first glance, when I see a field of cotton, it reminds me of a partial snow on the ground in the winter time.  Snow has always made my heart skip a beat in excitement, so the first glance of cotton grabs my heart, too.

This year cotton was grown directly across the road from us behind our neighbors' houses.  I drove home from work one afternoon late in September and noticed the field across the road was in full "bloom".  Once the cotton opens into the bolls (pronounced "boles"), it is usually harvested as soon as possible.  The bolls become pretty messy if they are rained on and the fiber gets too wet as I'm sure you can imagine.  I knew I needed to hurry up and get some photos before I came home one afternoon and all of the cotton was gone.

After supper, I called our neighbor across the road and rushed into her back yard to snap these pictures:

Look in the background.  Doesn't it look like scattered snow?

A closer view.

A close up of a boll cotton.

Looking down the length of the field.

On my way back across the road, the sunset was brilliant.  A great welcome to fall!

Hope you have a wonderful fall weekend!

Judy :)

PS  Thanks to all who voted for my son's Show Choir group.  The Show Choir group from Boynton Beach, Florida were the winners.  The whole week was one full of excitement for our whole town.  Certainly a memory our kids will remember.  Show Choir pics are coming up soon!

October 21, 2010

Vote, Vote, Vote!!!

The Show Choir my son is a part of made it to the top four on the Today Show.  If you read this in time, we would truly appreciate your vote.  Please go to www.klgandhoda.com and vote for Celebration Show Choir, Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, Alabama.  These kids would so appreciate it!

Judy  :)

October 15, 2010

I'm Back!

Well....two to three weeks turned into six!  I'm so sorry.

This has been a busy six weeks.  We have rushed through three nights of show choir with two nights of friends and family visiting.  We have had senior casual pictures, family pictures, and couple pictures taken.  I have repainted the front door.  And I learned the old-fashioned way of making apple butter.  Yum!  All of these plus daily life and increasing my hours at work have kept me busy.

I'll be posting soon on all of the above plus more.

Keep reading.  I'm anxious to be back at the keyboard.

Have a great weekend!  BTW, it's senior play weekend here.  Joseph doesn't have a large part, but we're looking forward to seeing the play, The Mouse That Roared.  I think I remember seeing the movie years ago.  Maybe Peter Sellers (aka The Pink Panther) was in it?

Judy :)