A Book For Ethan

September 8, 2012

I love being a grandmother!  Actually, I’m “Nana” to little 2-year-old Ethan. And in just a few more weeks, baby William Charles arrives

Beth and Ethan Jinkerson

He was such a happy little 6-month old here, and now he’s a runner and a climber

!  Today, I made this book for Ethan to mark his life so far, before he becomes a big brother–his newest role.  I can’t wait. See what you think! Here’s a link to view the book.

Click here to view this photo book larger

The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

Serving despite disability

February 16, 2011

Change–and continuity. I live with limited mobility and little stamina. For most of my life, I served God, raised a family, and enjoyed an exciting career as a tech executive. I often took on new challenges at church, at work, at home, and I always looked for new things to learn–an artistic skill, a language, a leadership ability, or a new tech tool. I loved doing everything I was doing. All along, though, I was fighting an uphill battle that began as a child with a long illness that weakened my body. Compounding the physical problems were a series of truly difficult life struggles, hardships that piled on top of a fragile health were just too much to overcome.

I fought the change and loss for several years. In my 30s and 40s, I came back from surgery after surgery, infection after infection. As my limitations slowly began to accelerate, I dropped off beloved activities one at a time. I had to give up my favorite–teaching the bible to children–and switch over to helping other teachers plan lessons and prepare materials. Instead of attending courses locally, I bought DVDs and  took online courses. Instead of volunteering for new projects at work, I began training replacements and shifting my hours to take advantage of my most productive work times. I started with a cane, then over time moved on to better mobility tools: walker, scooter, power-chair.

In the end, I had no choice but to face a massive change. Instead of sitting in a boardroom chair, I use a wheelchair in my bedroom. Instead of teaching children in my brightly decorated Bible classroom at the church building, I attend church online and host small group Bible studies for women in my living room. My new grandson is a bright light in my life, and I am grateful that I got to hear some of his first words even if it was by phone. How amazing that I get to watch him grow through Skype calls and Facebook photos.

Change. And yet continuation. I still have the family that I love and serve with constant communication, prayers, advice (mutually given and received). I still serve God through worship and teaching, aided by technology and in my house instead of a church building. My career as an IT director came to an end, but I still keep up with all the latest technologies and use them to touch the world and see it from my bedroom.

I have more friends now, because more people come to my house to pray and to share life stories. New people have entered my life through technology, and because I have time to fill with quieter pursuits such as study and art and knitting. Those shared interests have, again, brought new people into my life.

Life changes and challenges me. God has given me talents and qualities that I’ve chosen to use to continue evolving my spirit, my service, my life. So, maybe I should entitle this post “Serving because of disability. . . or even serving with new ability?”

Women and Christian Ministering (Service)

February 10, 2011

My daughter-in-law, Krissy, called me recently with great excitement about an idea that had occurred to her. She was thinking about all of her nursing training, her status as a new mom, what she had learned during the pregnancy and birth process (first child was born last July), and all of the research she has been doing on child rearing. All this information combined with some still-unanswered questions tumbled about in her subconscious (spirit) and–voila! An idea for a ministry was born. Surely many other young mothers wanted to know the best ways to raise a child in safety and health, surrounded by Godly influences.

I’m sure she will pursue this dream of hers because she is a lovely Christian young woman with a strong sense of purpose. But talking to her about it and hearing her excitement as we brainstormed approaches made me marvel at the beauty of seeing a godly woman who recognizes her own talents and additionally is willing to put them into action. There was a time not so long ago in the United States that women in the church did not see themselves as having the right or ability to launch a service project, to develop a plan, and to put it into action ministering to people.

Of course, there are many places around the world where it is still impossible for a woman to come into her own gifts with confidence. Yet God is at work in their lives, too, I feel sure. I hope we will all pray for the women on Plant Earth who are not yet free to worship God or to offer their service and faith openly. Bless them, Lord, that they may see a time when they will know and serve You openly. I pray that Krissy’s dream will blossom and inspire others to see needs and begin to fill them without waiting for someone else to invite them into a work.

Learning More About Blogging

February 7, 2011

I just read an article that explained what I’ve been doing wrong. First, I haven’t been posting regularly. Second, I’ve been telling a story that flows from start to finish (known as pages in the blog-o-sphere), versus stream-of-conscious commentary best presented with the most recent entry  (known as a post) shown first. So, I’ve moved my writing from their former post status and into page status.  

My plan is to post briefly at least weekly, and then to add to my Bible Story Telling pages as I have time. It’s a learning process! I hope you will be patient while I become better with this medium.