Audra Krell

On Purpose

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Lists and The List App

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Oh my goodness I’ve missed you all!

I had no idea it had been over a year since my last blog post. So much has changed and all for the better!

As you can see above, Keegan did indeed graduate early last December and works full time at a church in Tucson. We could not be prouder.

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We are now a family of six. Yep, our middle son Mason (pictured above) got married this past August. His beautiful wife Chloe is the precious angel we’ve prayed for since Mason was a little boy. She is everything we could hope for and more. God has blessed us mightily! I will change my blog banner soon so you can see the beautiful addition to the family.

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And last but never least, Landon, who mostly goes by Lenny now, is an upperclassmen! The time has flown. We love having him at home to dote on and spoil as the third kid….he has absolutely no rules and gets everything he wants, according to his older brothers. That might be true…. if ever he wanted anything! He is the most easy going, low maintenance, caring, fun person. He loves to play keys and bass guitar and our house continues to be filled with music.

Steve’s job is great and I’m almost halfway through nursing school! These studies are the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life….but short of my family, I’ve never wanted anything more.

Final thing, I’ve found a new app. The List App. It’s free, and currently just for iPhone. it’s a social media site and if you’re like me, you don’t need to be a part of one more site. But, if you’re also like me, you love lists. This app is about creating and sharing lists about anything and everything. I follow the NY Times, The Onion, CNN, The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon to name a few. I’m waiting for Matthew McConaughey to join…

Hope all is well with you my friends, I’d love an update if you have time!

Almost doesn’t Count – College Edition

Gone to College.

It’s that time of year,  primary school starting, college students leaving and families grappling with big changes in the household.

We’ve got one son in the final semester of his senior year (graduating early, oh yes he is!) our middle boy leaving for his freshman year at PLNU and our third son entering his sophomore year of high school.

The third child, is the main reason for this post. I’ve already reminded you well meaning folk of what not to say to parents of college students in my post “Five Thing Not To say To College Parents.”

Turns out we’ve got more “don’t say its” regarding only having one child left at home. I thought we covered this in bullet number two in my 5 Things post. Go ahead and click the link above, I’ll wait.

Apparently now, people have taken it to the other extreme.

I cannot tell you the numbers of people that comment on how the empty nest is in sight. People encouraging us to” just hold on, the end is near!” Telling us we’ve “almost made it”, that we “only have one more to get behind us!” “So you’re not quite empty nesters, but pretty much!”

And sadly they say it in front of our son.

See here’s the thing, we have 3 1/2 more years to enjoy him while he’s under our roof.

Three-and-a-half.

I know of no scenario where 3 1/2 years is “almost”. Almost refers to situations of immediacy like “I’m almost over this cold, the chicken is almost done”, and the ever popular “I almost hit the target with the grenade.”

I guess we’re just different, but we are grateful for the gift of the next years to focus on our third child. Due to birth order, he’s been last to do everything. We certainly don’t plan to short change him now.

In the 5 things post I suggest if you don’t know what to say, that it might be best not say anything at all. I further suggest that you simply ask yourself what it would feel like if someone referred to you as “something to endure or get through” and then again, don’t say anything at all.

Go easy on us college parents, separation is one of the most challenging things we as humans endure.

 

Bound To A Promise Review

I recently read an interesting book called Bound to A Promise by Bonnie Floyd. It’s a true story that reads like fiction. Bonnie’s parents were killed as they traveled the world on their boat. Bonnie goes on to forgive one of the men who had a hand in murdering her parents.

Through a meeting only God could ordain, Bonnie is able to speak with and be in physical contact with one of the men who bound and gagged her parents. The following is the most powerful part of her experience for me:

“I didn’t go there to forgive him; I went only to tell him about Jesus. Forgiving him happened as a result of my obedience to God..”

For me that is often how forgiveness happens. When you least expect it. The air being let out of a balloon. The silent, gushing relief.

It’s my belief that I must daily intend to be obedient to God. That way, all will be in place when I decide to forgive with every fiber of my being.

I recommend Bound To a Promise. Makes a great gift this season too!Image

Many thanks to B and B Media Group for providing this book for my review. I received no compensation for this and was free to communicate what I felt was true. I was not required to give a favorable review.

Banana Love

I spent my last day in clinicals climbing in and out of isolation gowns. MRSA, C. diFF and HIV patients required that I wear a clean, full gown, gloves and a mask in each patient room. If we forgot an item, we had to take everything off, go get the item and then start the process all over again.

The MRSA and C. diff patients cannot have visitors. MRSA is a very serious antibiotic resistant staph germ and C. diff is a bacteria that causes severe intestinal problems, both of which are highly contagious.

So we were it for them today. It’s easy to get depressed when your only contact is with a masked woman who looks like a walking banana. I tried to be ever- so- kind with my eyes.

Then I came home and read Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter’s timely prayer request for her husband. He has MRSA and is in the fight of his life. He cannot have visitors and his only contact is with the medical staff.

It gave me pause and made me realize we’d all do well to remember that every patient is someone’s son-in-law, someone’s mother, daughter, someone’s little boy, baby girl, mother-in-law, father, aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent.

We just might be the only love they see.

Here is Anne Graham Lotz prayer request:

Please Pray for Danny LotzBilly Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, has been a good friend to the Christian Writers Guild, having spoken twice at our annual conference and being a real encouragement to me personally.

Her husband has suffered from Type 1 diabetes for years. Today she says:

We’re in the fight of our lives.

Dan has a MRSA staph–the very worst and most contagious kind. They just did an ultrasound of his arm, and his stent is leaking. They will have to repeat surgery they did last Thursday. None of this is good. And our entire family–especially me–is now at risk.

He is on isolation, so no visitors to perk him up. The head of nutrition for the hospital just came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand and prayed a very powerful prayer for his healing! The little nursing assistant who bathed him and pricked his finger for his blood sugar came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand while I read this morning’s Daily Light–which, as usual, is exactly God’s Word to us. So God is here. But we need urgent prayer.

Please pray:
that he can overcome the infection. And if not, that God will take him quickly and painlessly.
that God will comfort his heart and give him peace. He is afraid.
that God’s presence will fill this room for all who enter.
that no one, including me, will get this infection.
This poem was one Mother (Ruth Bell Graham) wrote in the flyleaf of my Bible when I was a girl. Amazing how the words have come back to my mind:

Trusting Him when dark doubts assail us
Trusting Him when our strength is small
Trusting Him when to simply trust Him
is the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him then through tears or sunshine
All our cares upon Him cast.
Till the storms of life are over
And the trusting days are past.

5 things not to say to parents of college students.

Audra Krell

This is from last year. Update: Our son is heading out in two days for his sophomore year of college. It simply doesn’t feel that much easier this year. So proud of him, but I don’t look forward to saying goodbye again.
The end of August brings the last lazy days of summer, a temperature drop and the bittersweet start of school. For college parents, it can be an especially trying time. Having just moved our oldest into the dorm at a University, I can say that the process couldn’t have gone any better and yet it was one of the worst days of my life.
I’m so happy for and proud of our son and yet I wake up every morning, with a hollow place in my gut. Something just isn’t right around the homestead. Somebody is missing.
Over the summer, strangers and other college parents were full of…

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ICU

Our last day in the Centro Medico San Lucas hospital was the most difficult. We had few patients in post- op for hours and then the unit exploded. Suddenly there were several discharges, four new patients and an emergency trauma sitting in the waiting room. I’d heard about him all day. His injuries were extensive and he only spoke Mayan. Not a bit of Spanish.

The boy was 18, one year younger than our oldest son. He’d been in a horrible fight; someone hit him in the face repeatedly with a broken beer bottle. A local alley war changed the young man’s life forever. A split second decision left him with vision in only one eye and deep cuts which will certainly scar. He’s the victim of a drama with eternal consequences for all involved.

When he came to the PACU, his face bore the tracks of a hundred stitches. Some curved in the shape of a bottle, some random and jagged, the way angry glass carelessly claims it’s real estate. Surgical bandages covered his eye, his expression passive.

I expected terror and even rage, but the boy was somewhere deep inside himself, far away. My momma heart broke, for him and for everything that would be different now.

But it was his father who took my breath away. His father’s eyes that made me want to cry out in pain. His father spoke a little Spanish, but there aren’t enough words in the world, in any language, that I could speak to comfort him. As a parent, I grieved with him, worried over his internal heart injuries and wished I could literally infuse him with hope.

All I could do was use my eyes. We took gentle care of the boy and heaped grace and mercy on him in the form of blankets, water and pain meds. I smiled at his father at every turn, praying he could “hear” me.

I still pray he can hear me.

I see you brother. I’m standing with you. There is something much bigger than us here. God is with us and has plans for your son, plans to prosper and never fail him. Amen.

Where to Solve Your Health Problem

ImageWe’re a quarter of the way through 2012. How are those New Year’s resolutions working out? Are they the pillars of your life, set in stone? Or do you even remember what you decided to do this year?

For some, it’s impossible to forget, as lingering health problems haven’t gone away or are getting worse. In our quest to discover who we are and where we’re going, we’re held back by aches and pains, and even worse, emotional pain like guilt for not doing what we know we should.

But there is a place that holds many answers to your problems. It’s not a naturopath, shrink, counselor or church.

It’s your local library.

If you’ve resolved to support yourself better this year, consider your library as the building block to all you want to accomplish and as a symbol of a new way of living.

Because you need more exercise, walk to your library. But that’s over 3 miles you say. Walk one way and arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up.

At the library, check out a book on exercise and weight loss. You’ll feel great knowing you already got started on your new exercise regime because you walked there.

Because you want to eat healthier and save money by eating at home, check out a cookbook. Make a small goal of trying one or two new recipes.

If you wanted to be more charitable this year, volunteer at the library. You could read out loud, teach a class, help sort books or offer to do whatever the library staff needs. Maybe they need reviewers and people to write recommendations. Get creative. Science has proven that when you’re creative, you’re more positive. When you’re more positive, your general health improves.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition or suspect you have one, check out a book on the subject. Knowledge is power. Knowing treatment options and that you’re not alone, brings hope. Hope is another factor for better health.

If you are able to walk back home, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags for toting your books. Every other block, do a few bicep curls with your book bag.

The library is a beautiful place which holds much power for better living. Simply by walking to the library, you’ve improved your health, enjoyed fresh air, not taxed the environment, educated yourself and supported a local resource.

I don’t know too many places that hold as many benefits. Do you?

What free resource do you use that makes your life better?

My Calendar Update

Busy week! Sadly going to a celebration of life for my sweet grandma. She will be terribly missed. She always had a kind word for everyone and a gentle spirit.

At the end of the week, I’m speaking to two writer’s groups. I’ll be presenting “What if?” Learning to live and write with abandon.

Friday November 11 Fountain Hills Writer’s Group
Saturday November 12 Abba’s Writers

Email me for more info. Hope to see you there!

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Blessed New Year

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This is our gorgeous niece, wishing everyone a blessed and bright new year.

I raised $30 through comments for Heifer International. Thank you for your kindness and willingness to make a world of difference.

My hope is that you will close out 2010 with grace and style and that 2011 will be your best yet!

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