Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ima L. Teapot

I don't think Job of the Old Testament gets a fair shake. It's easy to gloss over his testimony before his travails. One of Job's misguided friends acknowledged that, "Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands" (Job 4:3). I found a quote in my journal from "The Friendships of Women" by Dee Brestin. She said, "Perhaps the truest test of our character comes when our container is jostled unexpectedly. What spills out?" At the end of my great-grandmother's life she didn't know who everyone was, but she knew how to belt out the hymns and pray. She modeled a life of faithful service and humility all 106 years. Or how do you face sudden illness at a young age, like my friend's 12-year-old daughter? If you read Labri's online journal, you can see what kind of person she was before she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. Matthew 12:34-35 ESV

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

La Birthday

The first letter of your name is all it will take
to share what a difference you make.
Your Loyalty is plain to see
You believe in all that can be.
You Laugh, and enjoy all the fun
It really is good medicine.
You're Likeable with a friendly smile
You Love to just sit and talk for a while.
You Live a Life of uncommon Love
You're an example of devotion to God above.
In many ways that are big (Large) and also small (Little)
You show Love and kindness to us all.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Guest Blogger Scot

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:28-30 ESV

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bran Child

My mom is the queen of improv in the kitchen. She can use up leftovers, expand the food to feed everyone, adapt recipes to what's available, and bake with or without an oven. My mom has baked cakes in microwaves, in rice cookers, and in frying pans all over Asia. She excels at sneaking nutrition into her tasty foods. Wheat germ anyone? Her hearty spaghetti sauce includes shredded carrots. When I create meals out of sundry pantry supplies, I am proud to be her daughter. Recently I bought a box of cheap bran flakes for my husband to jazz up his cold cereal. It tasted terrible, so I made some surprisingly yummy bran muffins. Last night my dad complained about my mom's bargain bran flakes. She said not to worry, she would make some bran muffins. I have just the recipe for her. She's going to need it--she bought four boxes of the cereal!

Classic Bran Muffin Recipe:

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. Proverbs 31:15 ESV

Monday, May 28, 2007

Gone with the Windstar

After one year on the sidelines, it was time to go. We couldn't afford to repair the seven-seater, complete with two built-in carseats. My husband put a new battery under the hood and she started right up. Our 17-year-old and his young assistant cleaned out the van and gave it a good scrubbing. We posted an ad on craigslist and found someone willing to take our mechanics special for a song. We accepted some cash, signed papers, shook hands, and that was that. We have fond memories of space to stretch out, yelling to be heard from the back, filling the van with my Chinese friends to attend Chinese church, room for rummage sale treasures, and our trip to S. California. Our oldest learned to drive in that van. Our youngest was carsick a few times. We thank God for ongoing provision for our needs. We can drive the efficient Toyota when there's five or less of us. And we can all fit in the extend cab truck if we have to. It's good family therapy.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 ESV

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ready or Not

How do you face death with confidence? That was the topic of today's sermon. As Christians we don't need to fear death because we know that death is a door to better things. I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face. I look forward to trading in this aging body. I look forward to seeing family and friends that are waiting in heaven. I'm not quite ready to go. I want to complete the work that God has for me. And I want to prepare my memorial service. My great-grandmother planned her service many years before her homegoing at age 106. I want to have a service with inspiring music. My favorite hymn is "Blessed Assurance." I'd love to have a friend from church sing "The Lord's Prayer." My husband and I need to update our wills. In the meantime, I want to live out Chris Rice & Kathy Troccoli's "Go Light Your World."

Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 ESV

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Good Year

I always wanted a brother. I grew up in a household with three girls, my mom, various female dogs, and I think the pet rat was female. My dad was a very patient man--and still is. My two daughters (ages 15 and 6) are blessed with two older brothers (ages 19 and 17). God gave me a godly, loving husband and six wonderful brothers-in-law. Four of my brothers-in-law share birthdays this month and were born in the same year as the following people: Nicolas Cage, Melissa Gilbert, Wynonna Judd, Barry Bonds, Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Arvydas Sabonis, and me! Happy Birthday Clark, Brian, Jim, and Ed!

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 ESV

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memory Lanes

My favorite bowling memories are from the early days of our marriage. We often joined my husband's brothers, sister, and spouses at the bowling alley in the basement of Portland State University. One time my husband put umpteen quarters in the toy machine to win a stuffed animal for me. An earlier bowling memory is from my college days when I mentored junior high girls at church. I remember the raucous laughter unique to young teen girls. Today I witnessed my six-year-old's bowling debut. Twenty first graders went on a field trip to the local bowling alley, complete with a behind-the-scenes tour. It was loud! My daughter learned how to put her fingers in the five-pound ball's gripping holes, thumb-side up, and let go at the appropriate time. The bumpers helped everyone to be successful, whether they had bowled before or not. I enjoyed watching the boys and girls cheer for each pin knocked down. I don't miss the smoky haze of the old days. Now my youngest can join her siblings and cousins for the day-after-Thanksgiving bowling tradition.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I am offended by the use of "whatever" as a verbal grenade. It's not okay to blow off a relationship and walk away. I am teaching my children to work through differences. And I have a ways to go myself. Biblical peacemaking is about addressing our relationship with God first. I can take my whatevers to God and tell Him what's on my heart. He can work in me before He works through me.

"If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers. 2 Chronicles 6:28-31 ESV

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Between the Covers

My six-year-old discovered a new world waiting to be explored. She graduated to reading chapter books. "The chapters have five, maybe ten pages! And it's exciting!" I had a slow start when I was her age. I leap-frogged first grade when we moved to Hong Kong and I entered the British school system. My parents helped me with flash cards until I got the hang of phonics. I went from Dick and Jane to Enid Blyton. Then it was horse books, dog books, and Ripley's Believe it or Not. It didn't help my eyesight to read under the covers by the red light on the electric blanket. I haven't stopped reading since. I will encourage my daughter to develop good habits and be a discerning reader. And I won't stop reading aloud to her.

for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Once Upon a Time

My youngest gets a better deal when her dad tucks her in at night. I can do the Bible story and prayer but he is much better at making up stories on the fly. Recently I heard one dad's solution for teaching his young sons Bible applications. Every night he tells a story about two dogs named Jimmy and Sammy. The two dogs' adventures and mishaps are amazingly similar to what the two boys have done that day. It's not too late for me to make up stories about Happy the golden retriever, Doogie the Jack Russell terrier, Judy the border collie, and Goober the cute labrador retriever puppy. This morning the puppy did not want to get out of its warm bed. I wonder what adventures they will have today.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6,7 ESV

Monday, May 21, 2007

X Marks the Spot

My journals are a grab bag of diary entries, grocery lists, book reports, Bible verses and reflections. Tonight I flipped through a journal from 2003. I forgot that I used to think in continuums. I drew lines with extreme statements on either side. I wish I had put an X where I saw myself at the time.

From 2003

My reflection on Luke 1:38 "...I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants..." Mary humbly accepted the Lord's assignment. I'm impressed by her servant heart. Where am I?
"Leave me alone"--------------------"Here am I, send me."

My reflection on Luke 5:39. "But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the fresh and the new. 'The old is better,' they say."
I never noticed this before--preferring the old way. Why? Comfort, stuck in a rut, hard-hearted? Where am I?

Whoa, Nellie!--------------------Bring it on!

My reflection on Luke 9:3 "Don't even take along a walking stick...nor a traveler's bag, nor food, nor money..." Why did Jesus instruct the apostles to travel without anything? Did they need to be totally dependent on God's leading and provision? "Give us this day our daily bread."

My journey
Motor home with satellite TV, generator--------------------"Just the clothes on my back"

From 2007

Continuums are a helpful tool for self-evaluation. Today I am thinking about home organization. Where am I?

"This mess is a place." (quip from a notepad)---X-----------------A place for everything and everything in its place.

I'm still on the messy side, but I'm one step closer to where I want to be after my sister's help yesterday and today.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 ESV

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rescue Mission

The man on the street corner held a sign saying: Visions of a cheeseburger. I didn't have any cash in the car to make his wish come true. My imaginary sign says: Visions of a home makeover. I dream of an efficient yet comfortable home. Will I ever have the gumption to Clean Sweep it all? Today I witnessed a miracle. My sister came to town and whipped my room into shape. She Freestyled the shelf out of my closet and made room for books by my bed. My former bedside table now holds shoes in my closet. She revealed her retail experience by sorting, folding, and color-coding clothes in the closet. She moved my husband's work clothes to prime real estate and put his paint grubbies in easy reach. The every-now-and-then bags are in cold storage (upper shelf). Brilliant! My assignment is to consolidate two bins of bedding into one. I can do that. I have renewed hope and inspiration for the journey toward home organization. And she is coming back tomorrow to tackle the office.

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. Psalm 112:4, 5 ESV

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Today I attended a memorial service for my great-uncle. He was 89 and ready to go to his heavenly home. He would have liked the service. Friends and family reminisced, shared from the Bible, sang hymns, and a musician friend played Amazing Grace on the harmonica. It's good to reflect on a life well-lived with devotion to God, family, and country. And it's good to consider how to spend the days we have left.

And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:21, 24 ESV

Friday, May 18, 2007

On This Day

Three years ago today I had trouble walking to the mail box. It was the return of May Stutter, Stumble, or Stay in Bed, otherwise known as Multiple Sclerosis. I needed my wheelchair to leave the house. I thank God that I regained my strength and vision after about six weeks. Twenty-seven years ago on this day I thought the world was coming to an end. Ash fell out the sky. We saw dark plumes of smoke from our house in Portland, Oregon. It was the day Mt. St. Helen's erupted. And then thirty-something years ago my parents gave me a precious gift. They brought my "baby" sister into the world. I am blessed to have a sister who inspires me, encourages me, and challenges me. Happy Birthday, Sis!

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, Colossians 1:3 ESV

Thursday, May 17, 2007

In Sync

I go from Sunday school to my daily Bible reading and the same themes pop up. I've always wondered how get a handle on humility. How do you not think about yourself? I like how our teacher, Dave Roller, defines humility: to know and love our place in God's plan. As I read through the Bible I look for God's plan. I just finished reading 2 Chronicles. Manasseh was one of the bad kings. But then God allowed suffering in Manasseh's life. The amazing thing is that he "humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea..." (2 Chronicles 33:12-13). People can change. God is at work. I love that.

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5 ESV

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dining Alfresco

I didn't mean to leave it out all winter. Last spring we hung a thistle sock outside our window for the goldfinches. It was fun to watch the brilliant yellow birds hang on the mesh bag and pluck morsels to eat. We were surprised when the birds returned and found some edible thistle in the old bag. We took it down and replaced it with a fresh one. It's been a week, and the birds haven't returned. Maybe they went across town to the new sock at my in-laws'. They've had up to six goldfinches at once.
P.S. A bird just stopped by!

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26 ESV

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Piece of Cake

My six-year-old finally has it straight. It's "easy as pie" or "a piece of cake." But not "easy as a piece of cake." This week I bought a student cake decorating kit at the thrift store for $1.99. The box is beat up but the tips and bags have never been opened. It includes the same 1987 Wilton book I used in a cake decorating class. The instructor said she could fix any cake with frosting. I took a cake that proved her wrong. The sides fell down no matter what she tried. I blame the stove in our basement apartment that was probably as old as the 100-year-old house. My friend took the class with me and went on to make beautiful cakes for friends and family, roses and all. I came away knowing how to use the star tip. I did a nice job on the Winnie the Pooh cake for my son's first birthday, if I may say so. Nineteen years later I'm going to see if I can learn some new tricks. It might be easy as pie.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:18-19 ESV

Monday, May 14, 2007

M-I-L to the Rescue

What does a mother of five and grandmother of eleven do on a day in her honor? She does what she always does. She opens her home and prepares a feast for her loved ones. When I can't be everywhere at once, I call her and she helps divide and conquer. I am blessed to have a mother-in-law that is my friend and angel-on-call.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, Titus 2:3-4 ESV

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Precious Little Lamb

On this Mother's Day I am not thinking about flowers and gifts. I am thinking about a friend of mine whose 12-year-old daughter is fighting for her life. Heidi and her twin sister Holly were college day buddies in Portland, Oregon. They taught me about enjoying life, overcoming difficulties, and persevering with faith. Heidi's daughter has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor on her brain stem. The medical profession has no cure for this; radiation may buy her a little time. These tumors shut down important body functions as they grow and are apparently too interwoven to remove. You can read about LaBri at the online journal set up by Caring Bridge. Join me in praying for a miracle for this beautiful young girl.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11 ESV

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Family Affair

How do I celebrate Mother's Day? Today I joined my husband's second graders and their moms or grandmas for a party. Our teenagers helped with projects, set-up, and at the event. It was fun to have my mom and mother-in-law attend. I was surprised I had so many right answers on the "how well do you know your mom?" quiz. How could I have missed that her favorite meal is a turkey dinner with all the trimmings? My son knows me better than I know myself. I forgot that my favorite candy is Good and Plenty. He had no way of knowing that my favorite ice cream is Rocky Road because I haven't had that in years. I buy Neapolitan (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) for the family because I thought they liked having choices. I said my hobby is blogging because I anticipated him saying that about me. He said I like "writing, reading, reading about cleaning/organizing, and finding 'great!' deals." He nailed that one. He said my favorite Bible verse or story is "the whole thing." I'll take that as a compliment. It was fun to be part of my husband's class celebration. Our family is a great team. Happy Mother's Day to me!

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Unsung Heroes

I am blessed to have friends and family who quietly do the hard things without recognition. I have friends who are raising their grandchildren. I see husbands and wives tenderly care for sick spouses. Men and women keep the faith and support their spouses through employment challenges. I know sons and daughters who bring elderly parents home to die surrounded by the people who know and love them. I can hold them up in prayer. I trust God to bless the caregivers and help them not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9).

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, Colossians 1:11 ESV

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Off and Running

"It's a hard test and lots of kids don't score well." It was an apropos (ăp'rə-pō') encounter with my son's friend at the community college last week. He encouraged my daughter to retake the math placement test. He advised her to look at the questions as logic problems. Today I was the expectant parent waiting in the lobby for the news. I prayed for God's best for her--take the lower level class and figure out how to pay for it, or place into precalculus in the Running Start program. My younger son, who took the test one year earlier, had his condolence speech ready. He didn't need it. My daughter passed with flying colors! Way to go!

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23 ESV

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Remember When

I'm running out of houses and babies. I keep track of events by which house or apartment we lived in or by how many children we had at the time. In our first seven years of marriage, we lived in nine homes, including housesitting gigs and a boarding school in Taiwan where we were dorm parents. We have spent nine years in the home that my husband built and hope to stay put. We talk about events that are Before Children, with One Child, with Two Children, with Three Children, or that must have been After our Youngest. I also need to remember the milestones of God's provision. We can play "remember when" with our kids and take turns at "let me tell you about the time..." We have a storehouse of answered prayers and God's mercies are new every day.

When you eat your fill, when you build and occupy good houses, when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, be sure you do not feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, Deuteronomy 8:12-14 NET Bible

Monday, May 07, 2007

Beyond the Daily Grid

I'm a month-at-a-glance kind of person. Daily or weekly planners don't work for me. I need to see how today's rectangle meshes with the month of rectangles. Then I work hard to keep track of what fills each day's box. I want to think beyond the daily grid. Am I preparing my children to face the real world? How will today's attitude in a child work in a future marriage? Am I modeling biblical peace-making? I pray for big picture wisdom.

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Holy Smoke

I do not put my confidence in the power of prayer. Prayer is not a magic wand to wave over people and situations to create happy ever after. I believe in God, who works powerfully on our behalf. Unlike other religions, we can draw near to God and He will draw near to us (James 4:18). Daniel of the Old Testament prayed: "O my God, incline your ear and hear....For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act..." (Daniel 9:18,19). For years I have written requests in notebooks and prayed for family and friends. I am learning to pray with not just for people. Last week I visited my great-uncle in the Alzheimer's unit and held his hand and prayed with him. Today I visited a friend in the hospital and prayed out loud for her. I can do that.

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Revelation 8:3-4 ESV

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Trust Exercise

I often feel like I am blindfolded and listening for the instructions to go left or right, or hold it right there! On Friday morning my first grader told me her stomach hurt and she didn't feel well. With her older brother recovering from a virus, it was clear she should stay home. Meanwhile I needed to take my son to his college classes and I had a doctor's appointment I had rescheduled three times. Sometimes I don't see how I can be all things to all people and be everywhere I need to be. My heartfelt prayer is, "Lord, show me the way!" My older daughter volunteered to stay home from school with her little sister. Drive to college--done. Doctor's appointment--done. Take older daughter to high school--done. By 11 a.m. my youngest was back to her bouncy self so I packed her lunch and took her to school. As we walked in, she didn't seem so perky. I had the secretary check her temperature and it was 99.4. Time to turn around and take her home. I thank God for His leading as I learn to trust Him each step of the way.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

Friday, May 04, 2007

Goodwill Stories

"Mom, do you talk to everyone you see at the Goodwill?"
No, but I do meet interesting people. I offered my empty cart to a woman juggling kitchenware. She declined and explained that she couldn't buy more because she had to tote everything home on the plane. She couldn't resist the double boiler perfect for melting chocolate. I asked a woman in the children's book section if she was looking for baby books. Yes! I asked when she was due--which seemed like a safe question. Three days ago! She is ready to greet her first child with Sandra Boynton board books. It's been twenty years since I waited for my first labor pains to kick in, but she and I made a connection. I enjoy sharing stories with fellow bargain-hunters.

so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. Romans 15:32 ESV

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fill 'Er Up

There are three vehicles in front of our house. My husband's Dodge pick-up doesn't get the best gas mileage but it sure can haul barkdust, topsoil, garbage to the dump, painting supplies, and old appliances of ours, friends, and family to metal recycling. Bless my parents for selling us their little Toyota so we could have something reliable and gas-efficient. For a stay-at-home mom, I sure log the miles running kids to and from school, sports, and church. Then there's our "mechanic's special" Ford van in long-term parking. We need to jumpstart it and find someone who wants to replace the head gasket. Richard A. Swenson, M.D. writes in Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, about three types of people.

"I have found that, regarding emotional margin, there are three types of people: those that fill you, those that just sit there, and those that drain you."

I am thankful for friends and family who fill me up when I spend time with them. They listen, care, encourage me to be who God wants me to be, make me laugh, and sometimes buy me coffee. That's the kind of friend and parent I want to be.

I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. Psalm 101:6 ESV

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rubble Trouble

It's an old trick to extend margins and beef up the font size if you have too much page and too little prose. When my mom went back to college in pre-computer days, she did the opposite. She typed the front and back of an index card with notes for an exam (allowed by the prof) with no margins, the smallest font (pica at that time), and no spaces between lines. I'm looking for the Goldilocks "just right" amount of margin in my life. I need what Richard A. Swenson, M.D. writes about in his book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives. My first task is to clear clutter, like Nehemiah did when they were rebuilding the wall. I am ready to clean house and make room for margin.

In Judah it was said, "The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall." Nehemiah 4:10 ESV

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Name it and Claim it

When my husband and I were dating and first married we had terms of endearment for each other. I signed my love notes MQOS--Mary Queen of Scots. Now we just go by "Honey" or "Love." My way of coping with MS symptoms is to give them descriptions and names. During my dizzy spells I experienced the Teacup Ride at Disneyland and Rotating on a Rotisserie. Then there was the Magic Carpet Ride. When my brain didn't shut down at night, my eyeballs were ping pong balls bouncing in my head. I've had legs of lead and heavy arms. My most recent symptom is a recurrence of Sunburn without the Sun. That can come and go. Hopefully it isn't the first of several unwanted house guests. I name my symptoms as I lay them at the feet of the One who sustains me.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 ESV