Jesus Heals Then and Now

Libby Baker Sweiger

20151120_151141

Luke 8:40-48The Message (MSG)

His Touch

40-42 On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.

43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens…

View original post 612 more words

Siblings Rock!

When my good friend Lynn’s mom died she was all alone in the experience. She had her faith, like I do…but she had no brothers or sisters to lean on to help her through her darkest days, or even to laugh with, or make decisions with. She had a few best friends for which she thanked God and I thank Him everyday for mine, especially Heather who has been my rock in the best friend department.

But, brothers and sisters to go through the trenches with really do help and that is my subject tonight. Some days you are closer than others to your siblings, but the fact of the matter is you have known them all your life. My sister Suzy and I are only 17 months apart. That’s hardly anything. And Bill and I are five years apart and Scott and I seven. Now Sara, she came along with our new step mom and is fifteen years younger than I am, but she was so wonderful. She drove all the way from Madison on her own to be there for us for Mom’s service and all the way home again. She stayed with dad and Trisha and was a comfort to him as well. Dad had a hard time too. He’s been unmarried to mom a long time but they had a lifetime of friendship and respect and four kids they raised between them. A lot of history.

History is the word. Shared history when it comes to brothers and sisters helping you through the loss of a parent. And they know you so well. My youngest brother Scott knew how close Mom and I were, best friends really. He was looking out for me as emails were flying about carrying out her final wishes. He knew I would need a sit down and sit down we did.  At the very malt shop my mom hung out at as a teenager and discussed where to and how to scatter her ashes. My brothers split a chocolate malt and Suzy and I a coffee malt. Maybe it doesn’t sound reverent, but it was high Holy Baker Tradition as we reminisced, discussed the service and decided on what to do next. Mom had made it clear so it was a matter of doing what she wanted.

We’ll keep that part to ourselves because it’s private. Let me just say it was legal and beautiful and one of the most memorable days of my life as we let go of the earthly ashes that were our once glorious Mom’s outer shell and thanked God that He had given us such a great Mom and now had her with Him in Heaven.

While we thanked Him for her and what a great mom she had been, we remembered. I will never forget that day, neither will my sister or brothers. It was something we shared all the way together, in responsibility, in reverence, in relief and release as we said our last “so longs”. For it isn’t really good-by is it? We will see her again someday.

That is our “sure and certain hope” the scripture says. I believe it with all my heart because the Word of God says it, Jesus lived and died this truth and rose again and our Mom lived the testimony of this truth beautifully. We live it now. Daily. And will until we join her and those who have gone before us in the Faith.

Miss you Mom. I’m thankful I had such a great Mom. You will be missed every day until I see you again my precious: Mother, Sister in the Faith and Best Friend. Love, Libby!!!!!!!! (which is how you always said my name) 🙂

CHRISTMAS: JOY AND SORROW

Christmas is a time of great joy.

“For unto us born a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

It is also a time of sorrow. For many people Christmas, Thanksgiving, holiday celebrations can overwhelm them with a sense of loss for those who aren’t there to celebrate with them. They have loved ones who have gone on before them in death, have left in divorce, have died prematurely before knowing a Christmas, or perhaps only knew one. People who lose children are very susceptible to the blues I think, being one of them. So how to handle the holiday blues before they handle you?

Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you just have to let yourself experience them. But, fight going too low. The healthy hurting of a partly broken holiday heart is understandable. Full blown depression, no matter the time of year requires treatment immediately.

Well I’m writing in the abstract, let me just say, I’m having a bit of trouble this year. I’m missing my little girl and little boy who have unfortunately and unnaturally gone ahead of me. And as for the daughter I delightfully got to raise, it’s not looking as though she will be coming home for Christmas. Nor is my dad coming up.

So right now I am telling myself to snap out of it which is kind of a joke in our family. We are all so sympathetic and empathetic it’s rather the opposite of the way we relate to each other, but we’re fond of saying it to ourselves!

And I’m counting my blessings. I’m so thankful Mike came through his recent surgery so well. And I’m taking the focus off of myself and focusing on others and my Christmas projects, like Christmas cards and decorating and normal things like work.

And I’m praying for my friends to be well for Christmas. Friends who have much more challenging lives that I. Like Heather Siebens who lives in constant pain and Mary Triviski who has recurrent viral Meningitis.

And I am thanking God for the fullness of my life. The new client whose project I start in two days. And the Birthday party we’re having for dad in our party room on the 29th of December that will gather the whole family at last. I am the hub of party planning central.

So now I am smiling. Writing always makes me happy and I found this great quote about the bittersweet emotions surrounding Christmas:

“In this way Penelope’s happy and sad feelings got all mixed up together, until they were not unlike one of those delicious cookies they have nowadays, the ones with a flat circle of sugary cream sandwiched between two chocolate-flavored wafers. In her heart she felt a soft, hidden core of sweet melancholy nestled inside crisp outer layers of joy, and if that is not the very sensation most people feel at some point or other during the holidays, then one would be hard pressed to say what is.”
― Maryrose Wood, The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)

I wish all of you a very Happy Holiday Season, whatever you celebrate and a very Merry Christmas too! Here is a picture of Mike and I taken on Thanksgiving. Isn’t he looking well? Love to you all! Libby

I Just Had The Most Spectacular Day!

Do you ever have a day that overwhelms you? Sometimes there are hard days that are overwhelming because we’re anxious or stressed. How often are you just overwhelmed by LOVE? The love of your God, the love of dear Twitter friends who just want to show you how they feel about you, the love of precious family and friends at home? Well, I just had one of those days. Hence the picture of the waterfall which represents the outpouring of love I felt today.

It all started Monday evening. I had been reading my friend @997dave Reynold’s first ever blog post. It was really, really good. I tweeted it and thanked him for a great post, the usual stuff you do for a friend. Only he and I didn’t know each other that well, yet. We are best buddies now. We’re fellow #UsGuys, the astonishingly wonderful Twitter tribe or family I call it…Visit them any time 24/7 if you want to laugh, be inspired, learn, or just get involved in a great conversation. Just type in #UsGuys on your Tweet Deck or whatever you use and follow their stream. Hop in and comment, the water’s fine. Just tell them @libbytalks sent you.

So Dave and I were getting to be friends. We had a wonderful exchange, about his blog please click here to read it, his life in BC, Vancouver Island, we Skyped, I followed him on a new social media platform, we shot the breeze. I say this casually, but it was quite intense. God was blessing our new friendship for sure. So I mentioned, not casually, while we were Skyping that I had bi-polar disorder. He was kind of amazed because well, it’s not obvious that I battle this every day. I have learned so much and been so fortunate with meds, good doctors, a God who loves me, and a husband who can’t be beat by anything. So I lead a normal life. I live and work and worship my Lord and chat with friends and love my family. Sometimes it can intrude, but not often anymore at my age. I seem to have hit a very stable phase of this thing and I’m riding the wave. Thanking God all the way. I mentioned to Dave I had written about this a while back and Skyped him the link.

With that it was getting late in my time zone and we called it a night. Then came today, or rather Thursday, because it is now in the wee hours of Friday and I’m writing this down so I can get to sleep. Dave left me a direct message on Twitter asking if he could RT my story. At first I hesitated. There are pros and cons to letting this type of information be tweeted around. Especially since I’m up for a great job right now. But, on second thought, think of all the people who can be helped to know that I struggle this each day, yet I emerge victorious! This is a true story with a happy ending, very powerful and helpful for those who struggle with this disorder or one like it — or live with someone who does — so, I said sure.

The next thing I knew, the most beautiful poem had been written by @Josepf Haslam, chief curator and poet in residence at #UsGuys. It was so beautiful, I cried tears of joy upon reading it and it linked to the post I did in February in which I talked for the first time in the #UsGuys or Twitter for that matter, frankly and openly, as @libbytalks about being bi-polar. Like I’m doing now.

I will continue to be open. Yes I have bi-polar disorder, and no that is not who I am. It’s just something I have, that I deal with daily like diabetes. I keep myself balanced doing all the right things and getting plenty of all of the good things that keep us all healthy — and I THRIVE. Thrive to be the person I have been put here to be. The creature God has created. I am not disabled, handicapped or living half a life. Thankfully, I’m living a whole, exciting, daring, lively and yet peaceful, wonderful life! Thanks to my husband, my friends, my Lord and my whole family here and on Twitter and Facebook, a good doctor and the religious taking of two meds that correct the misfiring that would otherwise be going on in my brain and I live well!

But back to this most wonderful poem. I wantd you to see it and follow the links if you like to my first post. And please come back with your friends and questions. I’m here to answer them if I can. I’m here to help where I can. Thanks dear friends and fellow humans, especially ALL #UsGuys, the best support system on Twitter! Thank you dear @997dave, @Josepf, Deep @xdeepS, all who commented: @Milaspage, @ty_sullivan, @CinziaRolling, so many of you! I love you all!

For those who missed it, please click below to read this lovely, loving poem by Josepf Haslam:

#usguys #poem on #leadfromwithin about @LibbyTalks Heart
Poetry

I Love My Friend Heather @AliveinMe

“It is not a question of God allowing or not allowing things to happen. It is part of living. Some things we do to ourselves, other things we do to each other. Our Father knows about every bird which falls to the ground, but He does not always prevent it from falling. What are we to learn from this? That our response to what happens is more important than what happens. Here is a mystery: one man’s experience drives him to curse God, while another man’s identical experience drives him to bless God. Your response to what happens is more important than what happens.” –Chip Brogden

Don’t you wonder sometimes why some people suffer so much and your life is sailing on? I wonder this daily about my best friend Heather @AliveinMe. She has had 3 brain surgeries to stop severe epilepsy and is living in constant pain as a result of her 3rd surgery. And she still has seizures! I am so sorry for her suffering and the pain in her life. Even in the midst of it she is an incredible artist: jewelry designer extraordinaire, mom and wife, and an amazing Christian who gives God all praise and doesn’t blame Him for her circumstances.

Now they want to do a 4th surgery! It’s a Corpus Callosotomy http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/corpus-callosotomy. They want to separate the two hemispheres of her brain in order to control seizures! I don’t know if she will agree to a 4th brain surgery, but the quality of life quotient could push her to it.

If she does decide to go ahead — I want to be there. She lives in Philadelphia. I love her like my own sister. She is more than a friend, she has a big piece of my heart! I don’t want her to feel she has to be strong around me though. When she is crying and in pain a lot, she doesn’t call. Doesn’t want to inflict her emotional and physical pain on others. I do wish she would. I am praying for her with every breath, but I want to help bear her burdens. I love her.

I’m sure that’s how God feels about us when we’re hurting! Please join me in prayer for my dear friend and sister, Heather, @AliveinMe on Twitter. Thank you!

For Heather’s take on the 4th surgery idea, please refer to her blog post: http://hiswill4me.blogspot.com/ And thank you all for the RTs wonderful comments and prayers!

The Best Group of People Ever

This past weekend was my 40th High School Reunion. I wasn’t transported back in time entirely, but rather profoundly struck by the incredible people my classmates had become.

Our class President has gone back to Seminary. Our men and women have their own busnesses: Graphic Design firms, Office furniture, architecture and the works for business, on of our guys — a successful actor/producer/screenwriter/director lived in L.A. for many years and has a long standing marriage of 26 years. Also a believer in the Lord.

 Amazing men and women with big dreams, talked not just about their jobs, photographer for National Geographic, but things they treasured more. A 36 year-old marriage, my friend, the husband involved talked about his treasured morning times with his wife — drinking coffee and reading the paper together. He engaged in this ritual because there was no one else he could sound off the day’s events with the way he liked, or share the laughter of the comic strips the same way. Obviously they were in love and also best friends! They enjoyed each other’s company and had built a bond that would carry them through for another 20-30 years!
One woman talked about taking her grandchild to the pool just that day that we all lived at all Summer. Another about her dear daughter and her new grand daughter who was already showing signs of pure genius.
I listened and talked for two nights. It was so apparent that I graduated in 1971 from Edina High School in MN with an exceptional group of people whose commitment to life and family and values had deepened with time. On Saturday night we talked of the classmates who had gone before us into the next life and the profound influence they had on us, and the many people their lives had touched. It was a beautiful short program of celebration, remembrance and marking the importance they had been to all of us. I went on my own both nights and took pictures. My dear husband, Mike drove me and picked me up so I wouldn’t have to park in a crowded lot in the heat Friday night and so I wouldn’t walk the downtown streets alone on Saturday. I am so beloved and cared for in my life by his devotion, God’s love and my daughter’s sweet attention. I counted my blessings both nights that I was well, healthy, and privileged to attend. I think many people did. The consensus on Facebook today was that we couldn’t wait 10 more years, but would plan one in 5. We had so much fun together and friendships were forged and deepened. We need to keep them up and see all, or as many of us as possible very soon again! Friendships are the stuff of life we discovered those two nights, or maybe we just remembered it from years ago when our friendships were formed, in Kindergarten, Junior High and High School. I am proud to be a member of this delightful, touching, love-filled class. We are a big one. We’re baby boomers. There were over 900 of us. And there are deep memories of wonderful times together. http://www.facebook.com/groups/68054434131 The salt of the earth had a reunion last weekend. And I was there. Thank you dear God.