Saturday, February 25, 2006

Communication & the Avacado Seed

I went to visit my sister today. We don't get to see each other very often, so it was a special treat. She took me to eat at Le Madeline for lunch--yummmmmmmm! I had a wonderful fresh spinach salad with salmon, bacon, pecans, and strawberries and then Creme brulee for dessert.

But even better than the food was the time spent with my sister. Of course we talked about our children. She was telling me about her 2 sons--both in college. A couple of her tales are worth repeating here.

Shirley had called her oldest son, Anthony, last weekend and talked to him at length. They discussed how classes were going, what he had been doing, the fact that he had called the dentist on his own, made an appointment and then went (quite an accomplishment for him). I'm sure they discussed finances and the weather. And who knows what else. Then they said their goodbye's.

Then she called her youngest son, Alden. She asked him what he was doing. I'm at Anthony's doing my laundry!! Had Anthony mentioned that Alden was there?? Nooooo! Shirley said this was an example of how well they all communicate!!!

I think this is about how well we communicate with and about God, too. We see our friends. We talk about a lot of things. Our jobs, our kids, our triumphs and defeats, our finances, the weather. But do we mention that God is at our house??? Or that He lives within us??? I know I'm not very good at communicating that. I do the best at it here in this blog. But I need to be better at communicating that in my day to day life!! God help me!

Now for the second tale. Sometime before Alden left for the fall semester, he took an avacado seed, stuck toothpicks in it and put it in a cup, and lovingly watered and cared for it. Then he left for college. Shirley became the caretaker of said avacado seed. She said she watered and cared for it fairly well, and it grew a root about an inch long. And then her life became hectic (she is a middle school orchestra teacher--need I say more?). She neglected the poor avacado seed. Alden asks about it when he calls. Further neglect results in the poor thing withering. In desperation, she takes it out into the backyard, plants it under a pine tree, and then totally forgets it.

Today, she is perusing the backyard and--WHAT IS THAT?????? A six inch stem has sprouted from the seed. She had been certain that it was hopeless.

How many times have we considered things to be hopeless. And how many times has God brought about a ressurrection. He brings new life to things that we consider dead. He breathes His breath upon them, and warmth and light and life return. I can see that so many times in my own life. Remembering those times are a great comfort to me. A source of confidence when life becomes troubled. Proof that He is Faithful. God is good. And He is able.

May God continue to grant you His richest blessings, and may you have all kinds of peace in believing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

In the world, but not of the world

Assemble the following simple items:

2 cups of water
black pepper
liquid soap

Sprinkle the pepper into both cups of water so that it covers the surface of the water.

Stick your finger into the first cup of water and pull it back out. What happened?

Now put just a drop of liquid soap into the second cup of water. Then put your finger into that cup and pull it back out. What happened this time?

After doing this, check the comments section of this post for the application of this little activity.

Friday, February 17, 2006

For the Lofve of a Child

Emerson and I went to see "Firewall" last night. About half way through the movie we had the following conversation:

Me: (Whispering in E's ear) I don't need to go to the Y tomorrow.
E: Huh?
Me: I don't need to go to the Y tomorrow.
E: Why not?
Me: My heart rate has been up for the last hour!!

Talk about a thriller. Whooo. Good movie.

I'll try not to tell you to much, but have to share a little bit.

Harrison Ford plays the good guy (of course!) and his wife and family have been taken hostage by this really evil guy. Harrison battles this guy continually in order to protect his children. In one particular poignant scene, it occurred to me that Harrison (I'm so bad with stage names) had a lot more to fight for. He was fighting for his children. The other guy was simply fighting for money. The love for one's children gives far more strength than the love of money.

And then I thought, that's how it is with God and Satan. God is fighting for His children, Satan is just fighting for power and wealth. No wonder God is victorious!! From before the creation, He knew there would be a battle for His children--and He put in place a plan that could not be defeated. He loved us so very much that He gave up His only Son that we might be saved.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

Monday, February 13, 2006

A Child's Perspective

Our son was praying with his 6 year old daughter. They prayed that everybody would be well, and that everybody would be saved so that no one would go to hell. After they finished praying the following conversation took place:

Kate: What's hell?
Daddy: Well, right now Jesus is up in heaven with God. But one day, He will come back to earth. All the people asleep in graves in the ground, and everybody alive and walking around on earth will see Him. And God will tell Jesus which people will get to go to heaven with Him and all the rest will go to a very bad place called hell.
Kate: WOW! Will it be badder than jail? My teacher went to jail once.

Oh, my. The things we learn in conversations with children!

And speaking of Jesus coming back. I sometimes teach our ladies Bible class on Wednesday evenings. We have been studying angels. Last Wednesday we were talking about how one single angel appeared to the shepherds, and how afraid they were. And then after the angel delivered his proclamation, the heavens opened and were filled with the heavenly host singing and praising God. WOW! Don't you know those shepherds were in awe then!

And how amazing it will be when Jesus comes again, with the sounding of the trumpet and the heavenly host coming with him. WOW!

"Will I stand in His presence, or to my knees will I fall,
Will I sing Hallelujah or will I be able to speak at all....."

Come, Lord Jesus!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Which Road Are You Taking?

Have you ever opened a box of nightcrawlers? The worms are all twisted together--wiggling every which way. And you can't really tell the difference between the beginning of one and the end of another.

Have you ever driven under one of those huge clover leaf highway interchanges? With roads going every direction and you can't really figure out which one goes where?

Have you ever thought about how alike the two things are? That occured to me today as we drove under a massive cloverleaf. Wow. You really have to be paying attention to make sure you get on the right road--and that you're going the right direction!! Sometimes it can be really confusing. Especially in Texas--they are the WORST about marking their roads!

And then I thought about how many choices we have in our lives. Shall I take this road, or this one? Where does this road lead? Will this one get me there any faster? And each life road has a different destination.

In all the roads of life that we have to choose from, there is one particular road. We are told that it is a wide road, and easy to travel on. And that lots of people travel on it. But the destination is destruction.

And then there is another road. One less traveled on. And we are told it is narrow. And oft times it has many potholes and "s" curves--sometimes gravel, sometimes dirt; and sometimes we find ourselves going the wrong way. But God always allows U-turns. And if we persevere to the end, the view will be incredible.

And by the way--there is a Road Map!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Antique Cabinet--top section Posted by Picasa
Antique Cabinet--bottom section Posted by Picasa
Antique Cabinet--doors and drawers Posted by Picasa
Antique Cabinet--Restored! Posted by Picasa


It is finally finished!! And in my basement! I almost drove my husband over the edge, insisting that he get it moved inside. It came in at 10:00 night before last. The pictures don't quite do it justice--and how I wish I had taken a picture before I ever started!!! It was really just a heap of dark, dark brown broken pieces when I started. After Emerson got it moved in, he stepped back and said, "Well, I never would have believed it!" I'm not quite sure if he meant that the heap of pieces could ever be restored, or that I could actually do it. I did most of it by myself, but he helped with a few things.

I really am please with the way it turned out--oh, it still has flaws. Lots of old nail holes, burn marks on the top of the bottom part--they look like sorch marks from hot pans, the doors have some pieces that were broken and missing--some I replaced, some I just left. But as Emerson says, "You don't want it to look NEW." And so it doesn't.

It has the marks of service. It was well used. And sometimes abused. And it bears the marks of all of that. But now it has been restored. And believe me, it has a place of honor in my house--even though it's in the basement. I'll be keeping quilt fabrics, pieces of old quilts, thread, quilting tools, etc. in it. It seems fitting to store things in it that I hope will become heirlooms--and hope that it will itself become an heirloom.

Chirst is like that, you know. He came to earth to show the Father's love. And he was used. And abused (beyond what words can even describe). And He still bears the marks in His hands and his feet. He paid the price for us. But now, He has been restored to His rightful place at the Father's right hand.

"Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his diving privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbledhimself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated im to the place of highest honer and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:5-11

I've learned a lot from this old cabinet. It's a treasure. Take a look back and see what else I've written about it:

More Things Than Time
Crime Scene Investigation
Dusting Off my Life

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Real Dad

My daughter, Jayme, has had 2 "dads" who let her down--abandoned her, abused her. When Emerson and I got married she was 15 and was done calling anyone "Dad". She and Emerson have faced off on many occasions over various things, but he really is the only dad who is truly a "Dad" to her--who cares about her like a dad should.

Jayme and Neal have been going through many trials as of late. Last night, Emerson called Jayme just to encourage her. I happened to be sitting next to him, listening to his end of the conversation. He expressed his concern and his love for them--especially for her. He offered some good advice. And then,unsure of what to say and wanting to say the right things to her, he sort of stuttered and stammered a bit--but the emotion, the love, the care was obvious in his voice.

I talked to Jayme briefly after he ended his conversation with her. "Mom", she said, "Emerson was the SWEETEST ever!! He was trying to be a good Dad & he did it!!" The emotion and pleasure in her voice was as obvious as the love had been in his. That was a HUGE statement for her to make to me. I am very proud of Emerson, and I love him even more today than I did yesterday!!

Funny, it happens that way every day!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Blog Olympics

As a competitor in the Blog Olympics, it is my sworn duty to honor the two overall winners. Kudos to both Running2Ks & Uisce .

But I think the TRUE honors should go to Barbara as the brains behind the Olympics and Lazy Daisy for her AMAZING coverage.

It was a fun week! Lots of laughter tears!!

Thanks ladies!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Oh, to grace how great a debtor!

Do I see you, Lord, there in the faces of my family?
Do I hear you, Lord, as we lift our voices to you?
Do I really see your pain as you hang there on the cross?
Do I know who put those nails there?
Did I hear you say "Forgive them"?
Did you really mean it?
I'm not worthy of it.
You call it "grace".

Do you see me, Lord, as I kneel before your throne?
Do you hear me, Lord, as I praise your Holy name?
Did you feel me touch the hem of your garment, Lord?
Did you hear me whisper, "Thank you".
You are worthy.
You are worthy.
You are worthy!
Thank you for your grace!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ways to Say I Love You

No, I'm not going to tell you--I want you to tell me!!

What's the most romantic thing your spouse every did for you--or you did for your spouse to show them how much you love them? Please keep it clean--this is a "G" rated Blog!

I'm also hoping for inexpensive. We're going to gone over Valentine's Day, but we're taking our 5th wheel, so I hope to be able to surprise him.

I love to hear your ideas!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dusting off my Life

More in the continuing saga of the cabinet I am refinishing.....

I haven't done anything on my old cabinet since before Christmas. That is, until a couple of days ago. I decided it was time to get back at it. When I got out to the shop, there were the various pieces, laying around the shop just as I'd left them. Well.....almost.

Some of the drawers were on the worktable. I had worked on another project for Christmas on the same table. With the router. Now the drawers were full of wood shavings. *sigh*

The main portion of the top of the cabinet was sitting on another work area. As were several other things--cluttered to the point of having to be cleaned before proceeding with any new work on the cabinet. Another *sigh*

Still other pieces were laying around on the floor--had I put a coat of stain on them yet or not? Still another *sigh*

And DUST! Talk about DUST! DUST on everything!! You know, that fine dust that is the by-product of anything you do in the shop. DUST! DUST! DUST! BIG **SIGH**

So....finally the drawers have been emptied of the router shavings, the work areas have been de-cluttered, the stained pieces have been separated from the unstained pieces, and everything has been DUSTED.

It took quite awhile to accomplish all of that now the work of refinishing can begin again.

And then I started much my life in Christ is like that. When I get busy doing other "projects" and I just leave my praying and my Bible reading and my fellowshiping "lay around", it all becomes cluttered and coated with DUST. When I'm not doing those spiritual growth giving things, and when I'm not allowing myself to be used for my intended purpose in Christ, I become covered with DUST. And that means I have to backtrack and clean things up before I'm moving forward again.

Father, help me to keep my life dust-free, that I might be more available for your purposes. I want to be used in your Kingdom, I want to glorify your Holy & Righteous Name, I want to love you more. In Jesus name, Amen

May God grant you His richest blessings,
And may you have all kinds of Peace in believing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


One of my very favorite Blogers, Jayleigh on Jayleigh's Grand Adventure, posted a wonderful lullaby. Emerson and I have been playing a CD everynight since Christmas that my sister gave to me. It is the "Appalachian Journey" CD, with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, and features James Taylor and Allison Krauss. We love the whole CD, but our favorite song--even Emerson's is "Slumber My Darling" (written by Stephen C. Foster).

Here are the words (the music is fantastic--Allison Krauss sings it):

Slumber my darling, thy mother is near
Guarding thy dreams from all terror and fear
Sunlight has past and the twilight has gone,
Slumber my darling, the night's coming on.
Sweet visions attend thy sleep
Fondest, dearest to me,
While others their revels keep,
I will watch over thee.
Slumber my darling, the birds are at rest,
Wandering dews by the flowers are caressed.
Slumber my darling, I'l warp thee up warm,
And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm.

Slumber my darling till morn's blushing ray
Brings to the world the glad tidings of day.
Fill the dark void with thy dreamy delight--
Slumber, thy mother will guard thee tonight.
Thy pillow shall sacred be
From all outward alarms,
Thou, thou art the world to me
In thine innocent charms.
Slumber my darling, the birds are at rest.
Wandering dews by the flowers are caressed,
Slumber my darling, I'll wrap thee up warm,
And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Olympic Blogging

Well, enough of the serious posts for right now, and on to a little humor. I have been drafted into the Olympic Blog competition! Lazy Daisy has chosen ME (can you believe it) for a one on one interview!! I'm SO excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! (no that key ISN'T stuck)

Since I am of German/German heritage, I have been asked to compete for Germany. So I'll be giving my answers in German. Oh. Wait. I don't speak (or write) German. Ahem....I'll be answering in English since that's what language most people use to communicate.

Ok, so here's her questions and my answers:

Do you have a particular training schedule to get ready for the Blog Olympics?
My training is done late at night in secret while my husband is working under cover (sleeping....shhhhh). If he really knew what I was up to........

What is your blog speciality?
My specialty is women's ice blogging. It's a cold, cold world out there.

Do you have any particular ritual you do before competing? Well, first there is the checking of the status of the under cover worker. Is he asleep either in his chair or in bed?
Then the uncovering of the keyboard (this sometimes takes HOURS).
Oh, and my Lucky Dog, Tidbit, must also be asleep beside me.

Do you have any particular tricks with a high degree of difficulty that you are planning to preform.
For years I've been working on the Double Camel Back 3 Toed Loop! I'm hoping that I alone can successfully complete this difficult jump. It has never before been done in cyber competition. Lazy Daisy, I'd tell you how I do it, but then I'd have to kill you!! So for now, I'll just have to keep that information to myself.

Are you considered a long shot or a sure bet to win, place, or show?
Looking at the Day 1 standings, and the statistics I've seen reported for Day 2 competition, I'm looking at a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong shot to win, place, show, or even be recognized. So this interview really means a lot to me!!!!!!!

For these and more interesting topics please stay tuned to this blog, and Lazy Daisy's blog, and the ORIGINAL OFFICIAL OLYMPIC BLOG, Trying To Catch Up.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Top Ten Prayer Concerns

These are the prayers that are currently burning in my heart:

1. Father God, Please, please hold Neal & Jayme in the palm of your hand. Help them to find your comfort and your peace. Raise them up out of the ash heap--heal their spirits. Prepare for Neal a job that will utilize his many talents and will provide for the physical needs of his family. Help me to be supportive in every way that I can. My heart breaks for them, Father. Help them to feel the reality of your presence in their lives. Let their spiritual integrity shine as a beacon in spite of those who would seek to destroy it. Put a hedge around them. Do not let the evil one triumph over them. Let them continually turn their face to you--and let them see there, the love that you have for them. Let Christian brothers and sisters come to them and be Jesus to them--to love them, feed their spirits, and bind up their wounds. Please, Father, please.
2. Lord, let me open my ears and my heart to your voice.
3. Holy Spirit, help me to recognize your nudgings and your stirrings deep with me.
4. Loving Father, help me to be more loving to those who know you, and those who don't.
5. God, help me to be a shining light for you in this dark world.
6. Help me to defeat Satan in every area of my life.
7. Help me to be a better wife--to be more loving in my actions, in my words, and in my attitude.
8. Help me to come to a clearer understanding of the work of the cross every day.
9. Father, equip my grandchildren with the tools they need to be faithfull to you all their lives.
10. Raise up faithful men and women to become the spouses of my grandchildren.

I love you God. I want to be totally yours. None of me--all of you.

In Jesus Name, Amen

Top Ten Predictions for 2006

Wish I could claim the following as my own--but I can't. But I thought it was so good, I had to share it. This was in our bulletin this morning--no authorship was given:

1. The Bible will still have the answers.
2. Prayer will still work
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.
And Remember...God is still on the Throne!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


We have a friend named Bob, who went on the Mexico trip with us. He is a wonderful Christian man, who loves and serves God with all his heart. But he also has a wonderful, quick sense of humor. Here for you to enjoy are some of the things he said while we were in Mexico.

We often call him by fun names: Bob the Builder, Builder Bob, Basher Bob (he was breaking up cement with a pick), Brilliant Bob, etc. Some names that will NEVER fit him are: Bashful Bob, Boring Bob.

Bob: (using pick to break up hard ground) Are we all contemplating why we have a college education?

Bob: (to his wife) You missed a Kodak moment. I stepped backward and fell in the ditch.
Prissy: Are you all right???
Bob: Yes, but not Victor. I landed on him. He was sort of the butt of that.
(Later in the Van)
Bob: Medina (Victor's last name) is Spanish for "soft landing"!
(At lunch)
Bob: I'm very thankful for Victor....but I don't think he shares the feeling!

Emerson to Bob who is in the ditch with a level on the newly laid sewer line: Bob, you've got to be "plumb" crazy to do that!
Bob: Yeah, I know, I'm already half a bubble off!

Joyce: (teasing Bob about his yellow holey hooded sweat shirt) Nice Sweatshirt, Bob.
Bob: It's a family heirloom. Sort of an "off the shoulder look" (big hole in one shoulder).
(Next Day)
Bob: People are accusing me of being a warehouse (where we take donated items) reject.
Bob: I lost my shirt!
Trish: The yellow hoody?!?!!?
Bob: Oh no, I keep that one in the vault.

Bob: (talking to Joyce, both shoveling dirt) We should take home some dirt with us.
(Joyce with quizical look)
Bob: That way whenever we want to worship on foreign soil, we can!

Bob: (standing behind Joyce just after the cement mixer was started--much smoke issuing forth) At least there aren't any mosquitos........or any other life forms.

Bob: (with mischeivious grin, looking through the window--with bars--from outside to Joyce on inside) Have you ever considered what you look like standing there behind bars eating a banana?
(Later after Emerson reads this comment)
Emerson: Bob, just what DID Joyce look like standing there eating a banana?
Bob: Well, I'll leave that to your imagination. But I DID hear that 2 or 3 people fed her peanuts through the window! She was "apeing" the crowd!

(Last morning before going to the worksite--waiting for the elevator to go down to the lobby)
Bob: I feel like I have carpal tunnel all over my body!

(Day of departure)
Bob: Bob the Builder is going back into seclusion until next year.

(At a pitstop on the way home)
Bob: I had a very hard time getting out of the bathroom. The sign said "Employees must wash hands before leaving" and I couldn't find one to do it!

Thank you, Bob, for bringing the comic relief we needed!! We love you!

Napping and Bed Bouncing

I spent the day at Jayme's house today, helping her with Addy and Ellie. Both of the girls have ear infections. Although I went intending to bless them by helping (which I hope I did), I was the one truly blessed. I love snuggling with my grandbabies, and today was a great day for that. Even the 3 year old let me hold her for a little while before she continued with her usual perpetual motion. But the one year old. That was a different story. Jayme had put her down for a nap and then left for the dentist. She slept for about 45 minutes. Addy and I were watching "Beauty and the Beast", and she (Addy) fell asleep on the couch. Ellie woke up crying, so I went upstairs and picked her up and carried her downstairs. I whispered to her as we went down the stairs, that her sister was asleep on the couch and so we needed to be very quiet. Now I don't know if those words were the cause of what took place, but Ellie seemed very content to just sit on my lap with her bear.

Sidebar: I had brought both of the girls new very soft teddy bears. I told them they were "Feel Better Bears"--when they snuggle up with them, the bears will help them feel better. I had done this for Jayme when she was little, and she loved that bear for many years!!!

Back to my previous story: Ellie let me rock her and she sat quietly. I could tell she was still very sleepy, and eventually she laid her head down on my chest and went back to sleep. I snoozed as well. Every once in a while, she would wiggle, look at her bear, grin, look at me and lay her head back down and sleep some more. This went on for about an hour and a half. That's the best nap time I've had in weeks. Time wise for sure, but to have this little one sleep cradled in my arms with her downy head on my breast--now that's bliss.

Later after supper, Ellie felt really hot again, so we gave her a cool bath. When she was done, her mother wrapped her in a "duck" towel (oh, what a cutie!) and handed her to me. I diapered her, and then rubbed lotion over her little arms and legs, and put her jammies on her. Such a sweet, sweet smell, and such soft, soft skin. Mmmmmm, I just drink it in! Then it was play time. Her big sister, Addy, was on the bed with us. Now, their parents allow them to jump on the bed (which we don't allow at our house--but in watching these two joyously bouncing around one has to think about that rule). So Addy and little Ellie were jumping around and giggling and laughing and falling over, and being tickled by Nana and Momma, and just having the time of their lives. There's just something so very precious about such innocent play and laughter. And so I was blessed. And it was hard to leave them to come home!

Monday, January 16, 2006

When Multiplying feels like Dividing

Our Sunday evening small group has been talking about “multiplying” for several weeks. Last night it became a reality. What it actually feels like is “dividing”. Our group has grown to 20+ members and our leader feels that it no longer has the benefits of a “small” group. I’m sure that is true. But the pain of dividing so we can multiply is great.

We started attending this small group back in August. This came about because we finally left a congregation (after almost 8 years) where we were merely pew warmers. It is also a place where although I had “friends”, I had not really connected with anyone to the degree that I had experience in the place where we moved from that same almost 8 years ago.

It takes time for me to develop a friendship relationship where I feel comfortable in getting really close, and I always try to be the kind of friend that I want to have—which means trying to listen as much as I talk, and being caring toward my friend. I fail miserably at that sometimes.

I finally began to find that wonderful bond of friendship within our small group. And now those women are being moved on into a new small group, but we are being asked to stay behind. My heart is breaking. Everyone says “Oh, we’ll stay close”, but I know how that goes. We all get busy with other people and other things and “stuff” interferes. We live farther out from where our group is than anyone else. My husband complains all the time about putting more miles on the vehicles and spending the extra money for gas.

When the lines were drawn and names read last night, I know I wasn’t the only one who was upset. But I was the only one who started crying and couldn’t quit. Even now, the next morning, I can’t write this without crying. And I feel like an idiot. I feel selfish and childish. I am embarrassed by my display of emotion. I really didn’t want to cry—didn’t really think I would. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. I want to be able to make this step with grace. But I’m doing a LOUSY job of it. Everyone else, though they also feel the pain, expressed willingness to move on. I want DESPERATELY to do what is best for our group, and what God wants me to do. The purpose of our group is to grow to include new members, and we must “divide to multiply”. I know in my heart that this is right.

Since we moved back to this area (where my husband grew up), we have mostly had friends that he knew from before and were closer to his age than mine (we are 20 years apart). Although I enjoy being with these people, so much of what they talk about are things that happened a long time ago and with his previous wife (she died of cancer), that I often feel left out. I really have no point of reference to enter their conversations, so I usually just end up listening. It has been such a blessing to be able to be in a group where Emerson and I are on more equal footing in this respect. But still, we sit on Sunday mornings with people that are his age. Again, let me say that I like these people a lot and enjoy being with them. But I also want to be with people more my own age with whom I have more in common. Our small group was where I found this outlet.

There are still people left in our group that I love. Mentally, I know God will help me to get through this and to grow to love these people more as well. Emotionally, I am feeling abandoned. Abandonment is something that has been all too prevalent in my life, and so the possibility of experiencing it again is all too real. My dad and I were very close when I was small. I was a tom-boy and I think I was the “son” he very much wanted. Then, I turned into a girl. This was also when I found the church and became a Christian. Dad pretty much didn’t have anything to do with me after that. I married at 18. I stayed in that marriage for 10 years, until one day my husband started packing MY stuff. I took the hint. I married my second husband, a preacher, which lasted 7 years—until he sexually abused my daughter. Through professional counseling I made it through that and finally figured out how to make a good choice for a mate. I married Emerson. And I love him with all my heart. But the fear of abandonment still rears its ugly head.

And then to have left 2 good friends behind 8 years ago, and not be able to find that kind of relationship since, this is difficult. Oh, I see those old friends occasionally and we are able to just take right up where we left off, but it is often a long dry desert in between. I love deeply, I hurt deeply. That’s the way God made me.

I’m sorry for the long post. If any of you persevered to the end, bless you. Journaling this has helped me come to a conclusion. For now, we will stay where John, our leader, suggested we go (he said we could change—that it wasn’t set in stone). I want to do what is right and good. John obviously feels like we need to be in his group. Emerson said that he would be most comfortable staying in that group. It isn’t as far (watch those miles and gas prices!!). I did talk to him about letting me go to Wichita to do things with my friends without complaining about the miles and the gas. He said that will be ok. So, I’m willing to try this. Please pray that God grants me peace in this decision and that I can be a positive part of the group that we will be in.

May God grant all of you His richest blessings,
And may you find all kinds of peace in believing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Down Mexico Way

I seem to have trouble posting things in the order I want them to appear. The pictures below should be in reverse order. The last picture shown below is how the building in Nuevo Laredo looked when we arrived on Monday morning. The middle picture shows how I spent most of my time--shoveling sand. The first picture shows our group, including several of our Mexican brothers and sisters, in front of the same building on the final day of work--just before our departure from the sight.

As you can see, the building is very plain. It is made of cement blocks. The walls were there when we arrived, as was the cement floor inside. There were no windows--just the holes where they would go. There was no electricity. The bathrooms in back (you can't see them in the picture), had no roof. There was a sidewalk on only one side of the building. When we left, the windows had been installed, the electricity had been wired in and was working, the bathroom roof had been poured (by lifting bucketfuls of cement up by hand), and the sidewalks had been completed (a full-length of the building on one side, plus two patio areas at the front, plus two oversized sidewalks in front of the building by the street). We accomplished all of this in 3 1/2 days.

I cannot even begin to explain the depths of my feelings for these people in Mexico. They work so hard, and they talk about our "sacrifices" in coming to help. And little do they realize the abundance of what we have, nor the joy with which we come, nor the blessings we have enjoyed for having been with them this week. Although the work is physically difficult and often challenging, we have a wonderful time doing it. And our time of fellowship with our Mexican brothers and sisters makes our "cup run over" with blessings!

As we worshipped on Sunday morning at the first church building built by this ministry, we were amazed at the outpouring of love to us, the enthusiasm shown during Bible class and the worship service, and the fervor with which they sang and prayed. It puts our American congregations to shame!

Following are some observations I made while I was there. As you read, compare all the number 1 entries, then all the number 2 entries, etc.

What we (Americans) see:
1. Concrete buildings with sparse furnishings and many flaws.
2. People with darker skin who dress differently from us.
3. Crumpled pesos in the collection plate.
4. People whose language is different from our own.
5. People who work at the job site along side of us with few tools, but with great enthusiasm.
6. Rough, calloused hand that are used to doing much hard work.
7. A loving church that greets one another & all of us with a handshake and sweet words.
8. Their poverty and our own abundant wealth.

What they (Mexican's) see:
1. A beautiful place to come together and worship God.
2. People with lighter skin in different clothing from their own.
3. Neatly folder dollar bills in the collection plate.
4. People whose language is different from their own.
5. People who work along side them with expensive tools, some expertise, and a great willingness to work.
6. Blistered, sore hands that are accustomed to an easier life-style.
7. Looks of astonishment or quiet amusement from us as they greet each and every one of us.
8. Their blessings & our "sacrifices".

What God sees:
1. The people who come together from both walks of life to worship Him. (Ps. 100)
2. Christians who are clothed with His Son. (Gal. 3:27)
3. Some people giving out of their poverty, some people giving out of their abundant wealth--but all giving in glory and honor to the Lord. (Lk. 21:4)
4. Christian voices raised in praise to Him. (Heb. 13:15-16)
5. His work being accomplished. (I Cor. 3:9)
6. Willing hearts, doing the work their hands have found to do. (Col. 3:23)
7. Love being offered and received. (John 13:34-35)
8. A sharing that goes far beyond monetary value. (Rom. 12:9-13, Heb. 11:26)

God sees two Christian communities coming together to work, most not speaking the other's language--but communication occuring even so. It is the language of the heart--gestures, laughing, singing, praying, praising, sharing--love in action. These are His people.

I love these brothers and sisters in Mexico. They will remain in my heart forever.

I pray God richest blessings upon them and upon you as well.
Peace in Believing.

Our group in front of the building on the last day. Posted by Picasa

How I spent the majority of my time--shoveling sand into the cement mixer. Posted by Picasa

The building as it looked the day of our arrival. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Watch Dog

Greetins from sunny warm Mexico!! We work hard, we play hard. Today it was pulling electric wire thru conduits and then shoveling sand all afternoon for making concrete. Oooooh, am I ever stiff and sore. But what fun it is!! I know that sounds crazy, but we have a lot of fun working down here. Yesterday, as I was cleaning rocks and old pieces of cement out of a corner, I unearthed a tiny, dirty, plastic, dalmation dog. He has become my watch dog. Yesterday, he watched my water bottle. Then we put him in a place where we hoped he wouldn´t be stolen overnight, took a scrap of paper and labeled him "Watch Dog". He watched over the work sight all night! HOORAY!!!! He was still there when we got back this morning. Today he watched over the scaffolding, and over us as we did the concrete work. Once again, we left him to watch over the worksite. I hope he is still there tomorrow.

We have an even better One who watches over us. For which I am very grateful. So far, no work casualties. And no wrecks! If you`ve ever driven in Mexico (or other foreign countries) you probably know the importance of that!

Stay tuned for more news later!

May God continue to grant you His greatest blessings, and may you find all kinds of peace in believing!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


We’re leaving in the morning for a mission trip to Mexico. For awhile this afternoon, I thought we might NOT be going. We couldn’t find our passports and birth certificates! We had just had them at Thanksgiving when we went on a cruise. We looked everywhere!! In a moment of panic, I called my good friend Trish, to pray that I could find them. They are also going on the trip. She said, “OH! I’m so glad you called—I would have forgotten all about taking ours!” It took another 45 minutes of searching, but I finally found them. In with the ticket packet from the cruise that I had taken downstairs to scrapbook. But now, I think that they were temporarily misplaced for a purpose. God knew Trish needed a reminder. Do you think this is a silly way to look at this?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Cost

I just returned from taking my 10-year old grandson to see Harry Potter. He had already seen it once but wanted to see it again. I had not seen it and wanted to—and it’s just not Emerson’s kind of movie (no cowboys or horses). So Aaron and I went together. We BOTH loved it.

On the way home, Aaron started talking about how cool the special effects were. He was particularly entranced with the part where the two wands were connected by the brilliant lights. He speculated about how they had done that. He kept talking about special projection. I told him I thought it was probably computer technology. Then he started talking about how much it would have cost to do that. He said, “I bet it cost about a thousand dollars.” Although I didn’t say anything, I smiled to myself—knowing the cost was much higher than that. He just couldn’t get his 10-year old, $2 a week-allowance mind around what the actual cost must have been.

As Aaron rambled on about the movie, a small voice was whispering to me: “That’s exactly how it is with you and understanding how much it cost me to sacrifice my Son for you.” Oh! Although I know I have a much better understanding of His sacrifice than I did 30 years ago, I know my 50-year old, $xxxx.xx a month income mind cannot even begin to grasp the enormity of the sacrifice God made for me. Or the sacrifice Christ made for me. I am truly humbled at the thought of just how little I comprehend the length, the depth, and the breadth of His love.

Help me Father, to know more of what you and your son have given to me. Help me to be a reflection of that sacrificial love to all those with whom I come in contact. I humbly bow before you, and thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Love Notes

Every Sunday morning for the last 9 ½ years, Emerson has written me a love note. I have them all—saved (mostly in chronological order) in a special box. He usually writes them during the sermon (sorry preacher!) on the back of a deposit slip. Sometimes we run out of deposit slips and then he writes them on paper he has cut to that size. If we’re out of town, it might be on a church membership form, or an envelope, or a napkin. But always there is a note. He always tells me how much he loves me. And usually finds creative ways to say it. Like last 4th of July he wrote “I should be setting off firecrackers to celebrate our marriage—I don’t have to though, because when I think of you my heart explodes anyway.” These little love notes have come to mean so much to me—when he occasionally forgets, he either remembers or I remind him and he writes it later. It is a wonderful constant reminder of his love to me. And that is so important since I have experienced 2 bad marriages previously. He is a jewel. I’ll be keeping him!

Just wanted to share this blessing in my life. Please feel free to use it for someone YOU love.

Peace to you in Believing in Him.