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.