Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Special Place in Hell

Yesterday we were all put on alert -- there were 2 vans at one of the local elementary schools with men inside trying to seduce the children into their vehicles by offering them candy!  All bus drivers going to that school were asked to watch more carefully and make certain the children were safe as they were dropped off at home.

Seems these vans had been roaming through the governmental housing areas, drug dealers from up north.  The police were aware of them and watching -- more police than I've seen in a really long time!

All of the children knew not to get into the vans but I couldn't help thinking the "what if". 

I did use the opportunity to do some educating of my own kids, high school, middle school and elementary.

The high schoolers were very upset, which opened the door to talk about evil and how it DOES exist in this world and in our town and in our schools right here.  I told them I thought there was an especially hot place in hell for men such as these!

When I asked the elementary ones, "if someone you did not know came to your school and asked you to get into their vehicle by giving you candy, how many of you would get in?"  Not a single one raised their hands (I asked for a show of hands).  When I asked for a show of hands as to how many would NOT get into the vehicle -- they all raised their hands!

It made me stop and think even more -- I have so many small children who do not speak English!  Just yesterday I had 2 new students, one who just arrived from China and the other one from Africa!  They are learning English as their second language but . . .
It makes for difficult communication on the bus, let alone them being approached by a stranger!

So . . . let's all cover ALL children everywhere with prayers!  We used to only hear of things like this happening in very large cities.  It's here -- in our hometowns -- in our streets and trying to make it's way into our schools!!!!!!

In the Name of Jesus ---- satan ---- you are forbidden from harming our little ones and you are to go back to hell where you belong!

Until next time . . . we have a 4 day weekend coming up . . . blessings to all.                      Susan

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 30

On July 20 I made the commitment to pray over Monty for the next 30 days.  This plan came from the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Ormartian.

This book is one of the most powerful and thought provoking books I've ever read!  I wish I would have found it years ago - but that wasn't God's timing.

Each day, for the past 30 days, I have read the chapter and prayed the prayer over Monty.  Most times it was way early in the morning as I was ready to leave for my bus route (before 6am).  I would read the chapter and then actually stand in our bedroom doorway, raise my hand and pray aloud over him as he was still sleeping.  (my dogs finally got used to it!)

I admit that in the beginning I didn't see or feel much change.  Life was still it's more than usual bumpy ride.  But I have also learned to trust that God is working, even when I don't feel like it.  My emotions aren't my guide.

Last week I began to not only see and hear changes, but I felt them.  To my knowledge Monty has never even picked up the book to see what chapter I'm on.  And even when God prompted me to type and print each prayer - he never took a look at the prayer for that day.

But God . . . I love how He works His masterful plan -- without us!

Life is better.  Life is improving.  Life has taken some turns that I wasn't sure would ever happen.  Life is in the hands of God and He is a much better driver than me!

Monty quit smoking many years ago.  He went through the local classes using the patches and gum and was successful.  Although he never went back to smoking cigarettes, he did take up the snuff packets and has been battling with them for years.

Last week he made the decision (completely unknown to me) to stop.  He (on his own) went shopping and purchased the patches and has been following the program as it's supposed to be followed ---- and today is day 6 --- and we are both still alive, and speaking and actually had a great weekend!!!!!  Even he expressed his surprise as to how well he felt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I thought I would close with the last day's prayer ---- for his future!

"Lord, I pray that You would give (fill in your own name here) a vision for his future.  Help him to understand that Your plans for him are for good and not evil - to give him a future and a hope.
Fill him with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that he may have a walk worthy of You, fully pleasing You, being fruitful in ever good work and increasing in the knowledge of You.
May he live with leading from the Holy Spirit and not walk in doubt and fear of what may happen.
Help him to mature and grow in You daily, submitting to You all his dreams and desires, knowing that "the things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Give him God-ordained goals and show him how to conduct himself in a way that always invests in his future.
I pray that he will be active in service for You all the days of his life.
Keep him from losing his sense of purpose and fill him with hope for his future as an "anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."
Give him "his heart's desire" and "the heritage of those who fear Your name."
Plant him firmly in Your house and keep him fresh and flourishing and bearing fruit in to old age.
And when it comes time for him to leave this earth and go to be with You, may he have such a strong vision for his eternal future that is makes his transition smooth, painless and accompanied by peace and joy.  Until that day, I pray he will find the vision for his future in You.  Amen"

Come to think of it --- wouldn't ALL of us like for SOMEONE to pray that prayer over us????

Until next time . . . God is oh so good!  Take time to see His goodness today!                      Susan

Friday, August 23, 2013

15 Years?

Hooray ---- I have my computer back and all repaired.  Still trying to find some programs but it's virus free now and will hopefully stay that way.  I don't want to go through that again!

It's been a busy week.  Bus driving is going well - but - over 45,000 Indiana University students have returned to campus this week and my entire route winds all through campus so this week has been more than challenging and no such thing as being on time!  The kids on the bus have been great and understanding and just can't figure out why everyone they see is carrying furniture!  We have managed to change the route a bit to accommodate some shortcuts, which have been helpful.

My bus kids are great!  I'll take the street traffic any day over the not so well behaved kids of last year!  I still hear "thank you" and "have a nice day" and "good morning" on a daily basis!  Even though it still sounds like a foreign language to me - I don't ever want to take it for granted!

The heat has been a bit difficult on the bus.  Let's just say it looks like I have wet my pants when I stand up - and trust me - I haven't!  Just requires a 2 shower day!

I have some extra fantastic news!!!  I am going to be a Grandma again!  My son and his wife are expecting next spring!!!!!!  They have been together for nearly 15 years and honestly - we had all just given up on them.  And come to find out - they had given up also!  But God always has the best plan and perfect timing and so this new little baby is due to arrive the first of April.  We are so thrilled and excited and anxious to be grandparents once again!

The number 15 is also significant -- as Monty and I celebrated our 15th anniversary yesterday!  Yes, we made it 15 years!  There have been times . . . as I imagine all of you have experienced . . . but God is our 3rd string in our braid and with Him at the center --- we can make it through anything!  (and have!)     :)     In some ways it seems like we've been together for a life time -- and that's a good thing!  We are each other's best friends and that can make all the difference at times!  We look forward to the next 15 plus!

I am still caring for Ms Gladys, my elderly, blind, widow neighbor.  She's had her ups and downs and has had me a bit worried but seems to be doing better this week.  I didn't make it over there this afternoon as I was able to pick up another bus route over the noon hour but will see here tomorrow.  She is such a joy and I love spending time with her.  I continue to pray for God to do a miracle and restore her sight!!!!!

So, with my computer back, knowing my school bus route by heart now and life rolling right along (in a good way) I look forward to each day and thank God for each special blessing He has in store for me!!!!!

Until next time . . . Love you Monty!  Happy Anniversary!                   Susan
(His character drawing done at our local fair = hysterical! )

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Down with a virus

No, not me --- my computer!!!

It went to the shop yesterday and has a whopper!  I don't understand any of it but it won't be back till the end of the week so I won't be blogging till then. 

Thankful for the borrowed one here but . . .

Anyway, till next time and we're all better!                         Susan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"What's the Bible?"

I thought we finally got there --- but not!

Yesterday we had no "mistake" bus riders!  Everyone knew where they were getting on and off and the route was super smooth.

I have this one little boy, first or second grade, not sure -- who is like a shrinky dink full grown man!  He wears a plaid button down, long sleeve shirt with khaki pants and belt every day.  He thinks and speaks out his deep thoughts that make even me ponder where in the world his mind is.  I get a kick out of listening to him - he always wants to sit in the front seat so I always hear his conversations.

Yesterday, just as he was getting off at his stop after school -- he asked me, "what's your favorite book?"  I told him I had to think a second and then told him, "the Bible."  He looked at me funny and said, "what's the Bible?"  And he was serious!  I knew what I was going to say but he had to get off at his stop so that will remain for another day.  It did shock me as I don't think I've ever heard that line before!

I think God just opened a huge door for me.  Makes no difference that I'm not "allowed" to tell the kids about God or Jesus or anything else that has to do with God.  But . . . I am only answering the question of a little boy so . . .

And then came today.  The morning route super smooth and quiet.  The afternoon brought us yet another lost rider!  He was in first grade and realized about half way through the route that he was on the wrong bus!  A few radio conversations back and forth and he was "discovered" once again.  After I took home all the kids actually on my route, I backtracked and took him home -- very late but home. 

Hopefully the school will get these things ironed out over the next couple of days!  In the meantime I just take home whoever seems to hop on the bus -- and get to know more inside streets here than I ever dreamed of!  I may have lived here nearly 30 years but never go into subdivisions unless I know someone there or live there.  This has, and is, quite an education and a lot of fun too.

So . . . what if a little kid asked you "what's the Bible?" and you couldn't talk about God?

Sure thought provoking isn't it!  And this child lives right here in our United States of America!! 

And Monty and I still aren't thought of as "real" missionaries because we aren't overseas somewhere!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . What IS the Bible?????                                                Susan

Friday, August 09, 2013

89 is BACK . . .

Have 3 days really passed?  Or has it been 3 weeks?  Hard to tell on this Friday night!

Wednesday afternoon's route home got me back to the house way after 6pm -- and there were still drivers out when I came back!  Getting kids on the bus for the first time after school proved to be equally difficult whether they are senior high or elementary!

I had quite the crew of elementary on the way home and making sure they knew where they were to get off -- where 'home' was for them --- when I didn't even know myself because there's no way I know their names --- proved very !!!! time consuming --- but we made it and that was the goal.  Time was not in the plan for the day.

Yesterday morning went very smoothly and I got everyone to school exactly on time.

The afternoon route?  Another story.  High school was good because I could ask them if they lived in this area or that and if not -- I could actually re-route my route and made up some time.

The elementary -- another story!

With them I had to make every single stop and wait for them to see if that was where they live.  And then making sure they have their backpack and that their parent is there waiting for them.  T-I-M-E!
The parents have been amazing and all smiles and some are even taking pictures!

About half way through the route I had 3 little girls near the back of the bus in tears.  Seems they were on the wrong bus!  They were supposed to be on bus 85 --- I was still in 54 instead of 89 --- and it all created complete confusion for them.  I radioed in and they contacted the parent of each one and after running my complete route I took them back to school where I talked with each parent.  All was well but the littlest one was quite scared.  But she felt better when I told her that the best way to remember your bus number is to get on the wrong one!

This morning was again like clockwork. 

The afternoon ----was great because my bus 89 was repaired, in it's parking place and ready to roll and end all this number confusion.  The high school was home in record time and we were on coarse for the elementary.  At the 2nd to last stop I asked if the 3 remaining kids (that I could see) were all from the last stop area. 

It was then that Adrian informed me that there was a little boy asleep in one of the seats.  I couldn't even see him!  We pulled over and it took a couple of minutes for Adrian to wake up the little guy.  Adrian is probably a 4th grader and such a great little guy.  He was so gentle in waking him up that it really touched my heart.  The minute the boy woke up he realized he was not at home!  We tried and tried and tried to get his name and all we could get that his name was Muhammad.  I got my roster list of kids names and I have 3 others with that name.  I asked him what grade he was in (hoping to narrow down the list) and all he could say was, "I used to be 5 and now I'm 6."  I then asked him if he was in kindergarten and he said yes.

About this time the call came out across the radio that a kindergartner from his school with his name was missing --- and I quickly told them he was found!  He was assigned to a completely different bus and somehow the school had put the number 89 on his backpack!!??

I took him back to school after my last stop and talked with Mom for a few minutes (her English isn't the best) and all was well.

As I thought about these past 3 days while driving home a couple of things occurred to me.  God had "thrown me a bone" that I hadn't realized till late today.  Yesterday afternoon one of my high school girls from my route last year (one of the well behaved ones) came running up to me after school, gave me a huge hug and showed me that she had gotten a pair of tennis shoes like mine!  (gray shoes with hot pink laces).  As we both laughed and kicked our pink laced feet in the air -- life went on and it wasn't until this evening God showed me something -- something that touched my heart!

Last year was rough --- beyond imagination and beyond words.  But God . . . I knew He called me to that route and I knew He had a plan.  We never know how we touch people's lives.  Sometimes we think they didn't even notice anything and other times we think they didn't even like us, let alone listen or learn.

When this girl came up to me God showed me that -- with Him working through me -- this girl's life WAS touched, she DID care and she knew I cared -- which in turn makes me know that God touched her life and heart!  To have a high school girl come up to me -- someone old enough to easily be her grandmother -- and be thrilled to have shoes like mine?????   It's a true God- thing!

It made my heart smile.

And the other 3 buses that now carry my kids from last year?  Each new driver has come to me and said thank you --- that the kids DID learn to behave on the bus!  I was only the vessel that God worked through and yet those thank you words made my heart smile again!

What does God have in store for this school year?  I have no idea.  But I do know He has a plan and my prayer is to be obedient to follow His plan and be open enough for Him to work through me to accomplish His goal. 

It is a VERY different route --- the kids are thanking me every day for driving them --- and most told me to have a great weekend --- nearly a foreign language for me --- and yet God has me on this bus, driving each of them --- for a reason.

I am excited to what His plan unfold.  (And yet -- my heart misses my kids from last year!)  They changed my life forever!

Until next time . . . "have a good weekend" sounds like a good idea to me!                      Susan

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Day 1/2 = fantastic

Yesterday afternoon's "dry run" went well.  The "pickles" I had to work my way out of in the morning were much better in the afternoon.

It was a mentally exhausting day for me and since my sleep wasn't all that restful, come evening I was pretty much hitting the "well-done" spot.

Dinner and a bit of down time and an earlier bedtime did help.  Now if satan will just let go of that nerve that runs from my brain to my intestinal tract I'll be in great shape!    :)

This morning it was "all systems GO" for everyone!  It was great to go back and see all the drivers excited about their new routes and new kids.  Made me realize God called each of them and that every kid in our county is blessed to have the driver they have!

We had some dense fog to deal with early this morning but even though the skies look like they could pour rain any second, the fog lifted quickly and we were off and running.

My high school kids were next to angels.  I was greeted with many "good mornings" -- something I'm sure not used to!!!!!   They rode quietly and got a kick out of me trying to explain that what should be bus 89 is now bus 54 --- until 89 is fixed!

We were actually right on time at our drop at high school and only 4 minutes late at middle school.  Amazing for the first day!

The elementary were so cute.  I didn't even have 1/3rd of them as parents love to take their kids to school on the first day.  But the ones I had were adorable.  Each stop had atleast one parent (another thing I'm not used to) at the bus stop and after introducing myself and explaining why we aren't in the right bus number we were all on the same page.

As I ran my route through the married student housing for Indiana University it became apparent that finding a parent that spoke English so I could go through my "talk" wouldn't be the easiest task of the day.  But I did get one at each stop and they understood -- I think!

At one stop a very tiny little boy was more than hesitant about coming up the steps on the bus.  His mother told me it was his first day of kindergarten.  Both parents were there with the camera and taking pictures of every single move he made.  The dad even took one last one of me before I closed the door!  The little boy made it on with no tears falling but it was close! 

All the kids were happy when I told them we were going to start the year without assigned seats but it was up to them and their behavior as to whether we would stay that way or not.

Even after all the introductions and explanations we were within 5 minutes of our appointed arrival time at school.

I had to laugh outloud on the way back to the bus lot as I listened to the radio.  With drivers calling in constantly the poor folks back in the offices couldn't breathe between calls.  One driver called in to say he was 20 minutes late on his route --- to which the office responded, "as long as you have kids on the bus and are headed to school consider it a good day!"

So, this afternoon we will try and reverse our routes and get them all home safe and sound!  Pray for all of us.

Until next time . . .  only 179 days of school left!!!       :)                             Susan

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"Dry Run" day

Tomorrow it's official -- the first day of school --- in early August??????

Anyway -- my summer is now over and time to get back to work.

Today is "dry run" day where we get in our buses and run our routes but don't pick up kids.  It's to get us a bit familiar with where we are supposed to be going.  Sound like a great idea, doesn't it.  Well . . .
Since going back to work requires going back to early bedtime for me -- I figured that would be difficult last night and I figured right.

I was awake more than not and finally gave up at 4:15am and just got up.  My alarm will always be set for 5:00am but oh well . . .

I did get to the bus office early and after saying hello to those we haven't seen all summer it was off to the lot to check out my bus.  I have been thrilled all summer knowing I would have my same bus as last year.  Totally different route but same bus.

NOT . . . it wasn't in it's "spot" and after no responses from the office as to where it was I trekked up to the garage and sure enough -- it's been shipped to the fix-it shop ---- where it seems they stay for weeks upon weeks!

So . . . I was late before even getting out of the gate!  Good thing we weren't picking up kids today!

So I will be in a substitute bus "until further notice" which should make things even more confusing for the parents and kids tomorrow morning!

And while on my route, which was "modified" yesterday -- I realized there are 3 addresses listed as stops that must be "mystery" stops as I cannot find the addresses!

I even came home to look them up on Google Earth and even though it did locate them -- they aren't on my route??  Go figure!?   So that will add to tomorrow's mysteries.  Guess I'll just look for kids to be standing out by the road and pick them up!

We used to tell all of our volunteer teams that "flexibility" was the key --- this is one of the many times where I will be eating my own words!  (anyone got any chocolate to cover them with??)

You just have to laugh --- hanging on to the joy --- by a thread!     :)

Until next time . . .  sure glad to know God has the ultimate plan!  May I have a hard copy please!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Back from the dead????

Friday afternoon I was sitting on my couch, had 5 different Bible translations spread out by me and was deep into scripture.  I had been there for a couple of hours and was completely oblivious to anything going on around me.  The TV had Christian music going and I was "lost".

A white truck pulled up in front of the house and stopped.  Immediately the dogs started barking (we never need a doorbell) and when a man actually got out of the truck and headed up the walk the barking went full blown.

I watched as a rather good looking, dark haired man came up on the porch.  He sort of looked lost so I figured he was looking for a particular house number as people do get turned around here in our subdivision.

He had a puzzled look on his face when he asked me if there happened to be a "Monty, Monty Scales" here? 

I don't readily give out information but before I could even answer he said he used to work with him years ago and had lost touch with him. 

He no more than got those words out of his mouth when (it had to be God) the lightbulb went off in my head and I asked if he was Tom?  He also looked puzzled and answered yes!

This was THE Tom -- the one we have searched for via the internet for over 10 years!  The one Monty worked with at Hardees back in the late 80's --- the one that Monty has talked about ever since I've known him -- the man who had such a profound effect on his life -- the man who was like a brother -- the man he missed more than words could say --- the man we decided had to have died years ago or Monty or even Monty's mother would have heard from!!!

Here he was --- standing on our front porch --- alive and well.

Monty wasn't home from work yet and I asked him to please come inside and we could talk.  We talked for over an hour before I finally sent Monty a text asking him to hurry home -- no problem but I just needed him at home.

He answered back and was doing a couple of errands and then would be home.  Tom was a nervous wreck as they hadn't seen one another in over 20 years!  Would Monty recognize him?  Would he recognize Monty?  I showed him a recent photo.  He recognized him in an instant.

As Monty came around the corner Tom's nerves were just about to get the best of him.  He tried to explain to me just how emotional this was for him.  What a deep friendship the two of them had and how anxious he was to see him again!

Monty noticed his truck but since he's an inspector Monty just thought there was something going on with our house.  Even when he came in the door and looked at Tom square in the face -- he had absolutely no idea who he was!  (And this is the man who recognizes people he went to first grade with and hasn't seen since then!!!!)

As Tom stood up and they looked at one another I finally started asking Monty a couple of questions that might jar his memory.  It took more than a couple of them and finally Monty asked him if he was Tom? 

They hugged for what seemed to be forever --- and then stepped back and looked at one another again --- and hugged again!

Needless to say the next  hours were spent trying to catch up, trying to fill in some of the missing pieces of their lives, realizing they have been living nearly parallel lives --- and had no idea!

They each came from a really rough and tough background -- both in more than their share of troubles -- both now married, Tom has grade school children --- both have given their lives to Christ --- and both so very glad God brought them back into each others lives!

As Tom prepared to leave, they both continued to hug each other and promise that all of us would get together soon.  Tom's wife was his girlfriend back then and they have been married for over 25 years!  His children are only 12 and 10 years old so he started late.

We are so thrilled and so amazed at the hand of God in this whole thing!  God is a God of relationships and bringing them back into each others lives now --- at a time when I can see just how much they need each other --- priceless and a blessing beyond words!

It's going to be awesome to meet his wife and children.  It's going to be more awesome to see what God has in store for all of us!

Monty is still in shock.  He was convinced Tom was dead.  And now all he can keep repeating to me is, "he's alive!"

Lord, --- thank You so much for Your love, your blessings and for bringing these two men (little boys at heart) back into each others lives!  You are the Best!

Until next time . . .  the word for the day = restoration!!!!!                             Susan

Friday, August 02, 2013

Up and Down = Hilarious!

Last night was another of those nights that Monty and I will remember forever!

Going to the fair with our daughter, son in law and 2 grandchildren!

Luke is 8 and Liv is 5.

They were quite content walking through the exhibition buildings since Monty grabbed a bag and quickly taught them about getting all the freebies and goodies and putting them in the bag for "later."

Finally arriving at the rides was where they really wanted to be. 

After purchasing a big batch of tickets we were off.  The kiddie rides were first and after the very first one Liv announced "I'm just so happy!" 

A couple more kiddie rides and it was time for their dad to join them on a not-so-kiddie ride.  It's a lot like the old Tilt A Whirl in that your seat spins -- a lot!

We were all a bit apprehensive as to how Liv would like it but she was set on going so . . .

The 3 of them loaded in, Dad in the middle.

As that ride took off I know I've not seen a seat spin as fast or as long as theirs did!  Liv looked frightened at first but then did fine.  Luke . . . not so fine!  He started in screaming (not crying loud - true screaming at the top of his lungs with tears flowing so fast even the spinning wouldn't make them go away)!!!  He continued screaming while Dad tried his best to calm him.

There was no calming!  Luke then resorted to screaming at the ride operator, "get me off this thing, now!"  The ride operator was either deaf or didn't understand English as he was not phased.

This screaming continued as the ride finally stopped, as they got off the ride, as they came through the exit door and throughout the walk to the next ride.  He was showing signs of being ready to vomit and no amount of talking from Mom worked!

We finally convinced him to drink a Sprite to calm his stomach.  He did agree and after a no so short time it did work!

Even though he had announced that he was DONE riding --- he started feeling better and did ride more.  Liv was not in the least upset and was ready to keep going.

When we finally finished with all the ride tickets it was time to eat dessert.  Liv decided on ice cream (no surprise to any of us) and Luke wanted an elephant ear.  He and his dad took off for that as the rest of us got a picnic table.  Shortly they returned -- they were out of elephant ears!!!  How in the world does a fair booth run out of elephant ears!!!!!????  But . . . there was another booth --- down the way --- so off they went again!  This time they were successful.

After the elephant ear Luke wanted a corn dog.  He'd never had one but he wanted one so . .  . a corn dog he got and loved it!

All the while we were eating Monty had disappeared (which isn't unusual for him). When we finished eating he returned smiling from ear to ear.  He had been at another booth -- where they draw a characterization of you!  When he pulled that picture out of the bag I thought we would all bust a gut laughing!  And thanks to blogger for not allowing me to download any pics!!!!????

Anyway, from the food we headed back to the cattle barn.  We had seen some baby calves when we went through the first time.  This time I just headed on in next to them on the straw and the kids soon followed when they realized the calves were super friendly and loved being loved on.  When the one licked Liv she said the tongue felt like a sand paper tongue!  Exactly right.  I could've spent the rest of the night there as it reminded me of being a little girl on the farm.  More and more kids (and their parents) decided it was fun to come on up next to the calves and before you know it we had quite the crowd!

Finally it was time to go.  Until we walked by the booth with the super sized cinnamon rolls!!!  We all stopped and gawked and drooled.  I decided to go ahead and get a couple of them and with all of us once again camped out at a picnic table it was sticky icing and cinnamon and sugar for all.  There wasn't a single crumb left!

Now !! It was time to go to the truck and head home.  It was going on 11pm. 

As we were all walking (we were parked really close to each other)  I over heard Luke say ,"  I feel so alive right now!"  We all lost it in laughter and I told my daughter to just "wait an hour" and it would be over!

It was a wonderful evening and one I thank God for!  His blessings are priceless and this was quite the blessing!!!

Until next time . . . feeling alive is a great feeling!                               Susan