Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wrap Up

I want to end well. And so today I wrap up loose ends, clear the deck, and wipe the slate clean. Is there anything that needs to be said or done? I made one phone call with that in mind. And I will finish a project that was left dangling. I can do that.

I end 2008 with a quote from John Piper in Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in all of Life.

"What matters is not that we do all we might have done or all we dreamed of doing, but that, while we live, we live by faith in future grace and walk in the path of love."

so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, Colossians 1:10-11 ESV

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Way to Connect

I'm going to hold out as long as I can. I don't know how much longer we can pull off our hard copy (printed with postage or hand-delivered) Christmas letter project. Nothing against email versions. I love the ones we've received. I enjoy writing, editing, and formatting our newsletter. Now the printing and label making, not so much.

So many people have been part of our lives over the years. Relatives and friends near and far, former pastors, high school and college friends, neighbors, past and present co-workers, our children's teachers, and a couple of my teachers from high school, to name a few.

Our Christmas letter is a way to connect. Share our story of what God is doing in our lives. We can do that.

But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:28 ESV

Monday, December 29, 2008

Plow Away

I could use a few more of those. Snow plows that is. I could use one in my home to clear away the piles of "do-it-laters." I need one in my library to clear away the books that I don't want so I can find the ones I do. How about a snow plow in the garage to clear away the things we don't need anymore or maybe never did? I wish a snow plow could move out my good intentions and give me room to follow-through. But I am thankful for the snow plow God uses in my heart to tear down walls and create a new heart.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Put in Perspective

It shouldn't be about me. Sure, it will be an adjustment when my daughter graduates from high school and goes to college. In a few short months.

No offense boys, but the relationship between a mother and daughter is different. I need to stop thinking about how I'll cope when she leaves. I want to focus on what she needs from me now. How can I help her prepare for life outside the nest?

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Call for Back-up

I felt sorry for the guy. The tow truck driver was stuck in front of our house. His rig broke down. And the second tow truck got stuck in the snow.

Some days are like that. So what do you do? Call for back-up. I am learning to ask for help when I need it. My husband is good at stepping in when I'm over my limit. In the meantime, I made some coffee for the tow truck driver.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 ESV

Friday, December 26, 2008

Super Cut

What it took to let me cut her hair: one ten dollar bribe, I mean incentive. Plus open one Christmas present early. But hearing your 8-year-old daughter say, "This is better than the beauty school!": Priceless!

Pictured: Our youngest with her grandmother.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 ESV

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Past

One of my treasured Christmas memories is when my son was in the Christmas play. With his uncle as a wise man. That was twenty-one years ago.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:10-14 ESV

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas at Home

In the end, it didn't matter what our plans were. The weather changed all that. We are staying home for Christmas. Too bad we will miss seeing my sister and family in Oregon and all my husband's family in Oregon. We send our love. And Merry Christmas to our friends and family everywhere.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chilled Out

Have snow, will stay home. And build an igloo. And sleep in it. My older three children and their dad spent hours packing snow blocks and building an igloo. They dug out the snow and put an old rug inside. My oldest can stand inside--and he's over six feet tall. They read online that taller is not better because warm air can get trapped at the top and it can start to melt. So they put in a vent. Meanwhile, the three children and our dog slept in there. My husband checked on them in the night and all was well. Chilly, but secure. That's what memories are made of.

My son's account:

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost Christmas

It's cold outside and I can't wait until Christmas. So I made a batch of my mom's reduced-fat one-hour cinnamon rolls. I used part whole wheat flour for my own special touch. And I have the recipe for my Great Grammy's cooked frosting.

As long as I can remember, my mom has made cinnamon rolls arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree for Christmas. One for us and some (or lots) to give away. My mom will probably bake some at my sister's house in California.

Maybe I'll make another batch in the shape of a tree for Christmas morning. And add some M&M candies like my mom does.

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

One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls (Mary's take on Ruth's recipe)

1 T. yeast (2 T. if in a hurry)
1/4 cup warm water
3 or 4 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups warm buttermilk (or add 2 T. vinegar or lemon juice to milk)
4 1/2 cups flour (I sub 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. soda
1/3 cup oil

Topping: brown sugar, cinnamon, and I add ground coriander
Oil to brush on dough

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and salt to yeast. Add warm buttermilk. Sift in two cups flour and soda; beat well. Add remaining flour and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rise 10 minutes. Divide into two halves. Roll each half into rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Brush dough with oil to moisten. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and ground coriander on dough. Roll up dough. Cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Arrange rolls in baking dishes with room to expand. Glass pie pans work well. Cover; let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned, emphasis on LIGHTLY. Makes about 3 dozen rolls.

Email if you need more detailed instructions. (widemargins @

Grammy D's frosting (as recorded by my sister Kathleen):

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 T. corn syrup

Boil until little drops in cold water form balls, about 5 minutes. Take off heat and add:
1 T. margarine/butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat and let cool.
Pour over cinnamon rolls.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And Then Some

Every now and then we catch a glimpse of how God's grace works. Sometimes He pours down all we ask for and then some. Just like the snow.

(We're at 12-14 inches and counting.)

and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:19-21 ESV

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Walk in Truth and Grace

Next time you leave my house, look up. Years ago I stenciled, "Walk in truth and grace" over our front door. That's how I want to live.

I recommend Randy Alcorn's little book, The Grace and Truth Paradox. Here's how he talks about Jesus' birth:

"The baby born in a Bethlehem barn was Creator of the universe. He pitched His tent on the humble camping ground of our little planet. God's glory no longer dwelt in a temple of wood and stone, but in Christ. He was the Holy of Holies.
But when He ascended back into the wide blue heavens, He left God's shekinah glory--that visible manifestation of God's presence--on earth. We Christians became His living temples, the new Holy of Holies (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19).
People had only to look at Jesus to see what God is like. People today should only have to look at us to see what Jesus is like."

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

Photo: Mud Bay in Olympia, WA

Friday, December 19, 2008

Silent Night

There weren't any shepherds out tonight. Or angels, including our youngest. The Christmas program was cancelled due to the snow. The good news is our oldest made it home safely from college. Now we can prepare for the heavy snows predicted for this weekend.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:11 ESV

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Might As Well

Yesterday I used my food processor on some onions for baked potato soup. I might as well process some celery, carrots and more onion for the next day's batch of split pea soup. While supervising my youngest's shower, I might as well give the bathroom a quick once-over. Just watch out for the shelf corner next time. I about knocked myself out when I stood up from cleaning the floor. If I'm the first one up in the morning, I let the dog out and feed him. While I'm in the garage I might as well switch the laundry loads. Little by little. It all helps.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23 ESV

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day

Don't worry about me. I'll hold down the fort (and stay warm and dry). You guys go have fun on the hill by the school. Snap some pictures if you can. I'll have some hot baked potato soup waiting when you get home.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Say Hi

I missed the first opportunity. But seized the next. I didn't greet the couple sitting next to me in church. So I don't know if they were visitors or regulars. That's not very friendly, sorry. But then I talked to the couple waiting outside my in-laws' Sunday school class. They had parents and in-laws in the same class. Plus it turns out we know some people in common. I'm glad I said hi.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12 ESV

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time for Friends

I'm still figuring out this season. Why do I have so little time for my friends? It's not McMommy days anymore--where the little ones played and the moms drank coffee and ate what was left of the happy meals. Some of the moms went back to work. Some care for grandchildren. And we're all just busy, busy, busy. Meanwhile, as soon as the weather clears, I have a coffee date with my good friend Carol. It's her birthday today. Happy Birthday Carol!

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, Colossians 1:3-4 ESV

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Family On Ice

The family that freezes together, sticks together. Or something like that. Five out of six of us braved the elements to attend the final game of The President's Cup soccer tournament in Tukwila, Washington. It was our older daughter's last game of her senior year. It was below freezing and windy. Did I say bone-chilling? Two of us only lasted 15 minutes before taking refuge in the car. We made a memory. Mostly we are thankful for a safe trip home despite icy roads. And her team winning first place in the U-18 division was icing on the cake.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good to See

She's always game. Will go anywhere, do anything with me. Work or play. But not today. She said no to coffee this morning. So only my husband and I met my in-laws at our favorite coffee shop. And my daughter went jogging with her older brother.

Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 13:1 ESV

Friday, December 12, 2008

Banner Days

I'm not sure when it started. But one of our family traditions is to make banners to commemorate events. There are birthdays, anniversaries, various congratulations, and these days, homecomings. I try to have supplies on hand from the thrift store, like giant rolls of paper. We tape them to the garage door or front window. Or around the house. Tonight my younger daughter and I cranked one out and added ribbon for fun. She can run right under it but the rest of us have to duck. Welcome home, Son!

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My first thought was that the driver of the little pick-up was a courier. Why else would he have the license plate SENDME? I'll probably never know. Those two words remind me of Isaiah's response to a heavenly encounter. "Here am I, send me" (Isaiah 6:8). Am I willing to do whatever God asks of me? More importantly, what is my attitude? Do I serve my family with gladness or out of duty?

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23 ESV

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ready to Read

I'm running out of boxes. And that's a good thing. I'm almost done with the daily Bible readings for this year. I need to start thinking about what plan I will follow next year. I know what I'm not going to do--a reading plan with four passages to read each day. I get confused easily. I can handle reading in two places. Or maybe it's time to read through from Genesis to Revelation, with three chapters a day. I've done that at least four times. I could add a chapter from Proverbs each day. Or a Psalm. And it's time to bring back journaling the key thought from each day. I have a few more days to figure it out before the New Year.

I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. Psalm 119:162 ESV

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Face Time

I'm learning how to connect. With my children. Amazing how children born of the same parents can be so different. I am still riding the Facebook curve, but it gets immediate results from my oldest. I enjoy sending photos to my second son with silly captions. We use Skype to talk and see each other. My older daughter and I enjoy our coffee and tea breaks. We'll have to find a replacement when she goes away to college. My younger daughter and I have good chats and prayer time at bedtime. Works for us.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Monday, December 08, 2008

Walking and Leaping

Now that's an answer to prayer! I saw my friend Bonnie last night. She's the physical therapist who was injured when a mastiff attacked her in remote China. In the year and a half since, she has been in constant pain. Two months ago she could stand for only four minutes. And today? She can use her right hand again, walk, and even hike again. Now she can return to China in January to reach out to others in pain. We praise God for His hand of healing on her.

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

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Enjoying Life

Twenty-three years and going strong. Happy Anniversary to us!

Photos: Family Weekend at George Fox University, November 2008 and Engagement photo from August, 1985

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9 ESV

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Walking through Forgiveness

I'm not done walking through it yet. (On the treadmill.) But I can wholeheartedly recommend the book, Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns. It offers "biblical answers for complex questions and deep wounds." What is forgiveness? Is it ever right to forgive God? What does the Bible have to say? How do you know when to overlook an offense and when to confront? And how do you confront, anyway? This is a great complement to the Peacemaker material by Ken Sande. Check out blogger Tim Challies' review of the book too.

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:3-6 ESV

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thanks for Your Patience

Have I learned nothing? If you go to a half-off everything sale at the thrift store, get in line BEFORE you are supposed to be somewhere. You might be there a while. And be late. Sorry, Daughter! Then if you drop said daughter at the community college and go to another thrift store and they have half off everything too, make sure you check your cell phone so you will know when to pick up your daughter. Sorry, again. I'm thankful for a gracious, understanding daughter. I can do better.

So what did I buy? Beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons, cool mitten-gloves that the waiting daughter got dibs on, and shh, don't tell, a new(ish) pair of Crocs for the younger daughter. All half price.

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, Ephesians 4:2 ESV

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Listen to Yourself

Add this one to the list. The list of things I say regularly. "Don't bog down." In other words, keep moving. Don't get distracted. It's not bad advice. Maybe I should preach it to myself. I have my own personal bog in the office.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

And Can It Be

There goes all my work. I gained back all the weight I lost. I got a little off track with Thanksgiving and missed several days on the treadmill. I can resume eating right and walking every day.

No more "research" in the name of perfecting recipes.

So I didn't bake anything today. But my younger daughter made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I am going on record that I did not sample the cookie dough, even if it's my favorite. Because I know what that leads to. More cookie dough. And then seeing how the baked cookies turn out.

I will not give up.

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Assistant

I had the easy job. All I had to do was blow the whistle at the signal from the assistant PE teacher. The assistant was in charge of 30-some third and fourth graders since the regular PE teacher was gone with illness in the family. The assistant had them run laps and jump rope. Then she divided them into two teams for kick ball. It was fast and furious but no one was seriously hurt. I was impressed with how well-behaved the group was. They were good sports, even when they got tagged out. And I was especially proud of how the 17-year-old assistant managed the group. Nicely done, Daughter!

so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10 ESV

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ready Or Not, Here They Come and Go

Where did everybody go? I set the table tonight and only needed four glasses. Is that it? About the time I get used to the boys being gone, they will return for Christmas break. But in the back of mind I am trying to brace myself for the next RIF (reduction in force). My older daughter graduates and goes off to college in six short months. My coping strategy? Stay connected. And always be ready to welcome them home.

as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don't Force It

I was ready to let it go. Just relax and enjoy the time together. It doesn't matter if we don't get a good family portrait this weekend. We can always use a summer shot for the Christmas letter. But take the camera along just in case. And we had an impromptu photo op after church before the two sons met their rides back to school.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Matters

It only takes a minute to put things in perspective. Today we passed emergency vehicles on the freeway. We saw the paramedics performing CPR on the accident victim. Life is precious. And tenuous. I treasure the family times this weekend.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV

Friday, November 28, 2008

Full House

And then there were six. Again. Our two sons and two daughters. All under one roof. Even if it's not ours. We're at my husband's brother's house in Portland. Now to get us all home before we disperse again. We're going to draw straws to see who rides home with Grandpa and Grandma. (We love our Corolla but it only seats five.)

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful

Faith, family, and good food. Happy Thanksgiving!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 ESV

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Precious Time

I visited my former church last night. I saw people who shouldn't be there. Humanly speaking. People have survived cancer and other life-threatening illnesses over the years. I was able to hug a few and silently say a prayer of thanksgiving for allowing them more time. And all of us at the memorial service were able to honor the dear man whose time on earth ran out.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 ESV

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

After All

Do you know who I know? You just might. I followed a link from Tim Challies' blog to a woman's journal of her African adventures on the Mercy Ship. Wait a minute, that sounds like the ship my cousin is working on. Sure enough. My cousin was shocked to get a "hi from your American cousin." I love that. Check out the website for inspirational stories and photos.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 1 Timothy 6:18 ESV

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mind Game

I know it's a game. But it works. I keep pushing the boundary. When I'm tired, I tell myself I only have to walk 20 minutes on the treadmill. It's better than nothing. But then I watch the laps on the screen and say I'll just get to 4.0 laps, one mile. Next thing I know, I'm at 25 minutes. Hey, I've made it that long, I might as well go for five more minutes. And I've put in my 30 minutes for the day. Works for me.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Sunday, November 23, 2008

All Hands on Deck

Steady now. We're heading for strong seas. It's easy to get swept along with the holiday currents. All the sales and gift items. Sneak previews of Black Friday. I caught myself thinking I might want to get up early and stake out a sale. Maybe I could snag a deal. Hold on. Get a grip. A family meeting is in order. It's all hands on deck for a meaningful Christmas.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hat Love

My neighbor blesses others with yarn. Colorful, soft yarn. Warm cozy hats that are oh so cute. My youngest got one in her favorite color of blue today. She outgrew her baby hat from eight years ago. Now she can keep warm when she plays outside with her friends. Thanks, Sue!

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
Proverbs 31:20-21 ESV

Friday, November 21, 2008

Come Together

I didn't have a plan for dinner. I was tired after being gone all day. Hmm. That TV ad for delivery pizza looks pretty good. But I have my homemade tomato sauce in the fridge. Love those home-grown tomatoes! (From a friend's garden.) I can make some pizza dough and throw something together. Enlist the calzone production team. Yum! Too bad my parents aren't joining us for dinner. But wait, who's knocking on our door? Come on in, you're just in time! Put on a pot of decaf coffee and defrost some monster cookies. Couldn't have planned it any better.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2 ESV

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give Me Space

I'm not going for austere. Or pristine. I just want some space. Open space. Room to sit comfortably, eat, write, talk, laugh, and dance if we want to. How do I get there? Little by little. I can do that. Yes, we can.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now Playing

All I have to do is ask. "Honey, what worship song has 'Redeemed, redeemed' in it?" And my husband can find the cd and cue up the song. I love this collection of 20 Contemporary Songs of Worship, Volume 2, from the early 90's.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 ESV

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just Wondering

Do they have a break room? Do guardian angels get together and swap "top this" tales? I'm sure they have some stories to tell. Do they have code names for their subjects? Maybe we'll get to find out in heaven.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 ESV

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fit to Print

We are having communication problems. Do I have to bring in outside help? I tell you something and you act like you hear me, but then you just sit there. I walk away. Take a break. I say I want to start over. But nothing's changed. It's out with the old and in with the new. Maybe the new printer will work.

Update: We're not wireless yet, but we printed a school assignment successfully.

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20 ESV

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Entertainment

I used to tell people I fell off the treadmill. Until they believed I meant it literally. No, in a "fell off the wagon" kind of way. But I am back on the treadmill.

I'm not much for watching TV so I don't even try to watch and walk at the same time. Amazingly I can read and walk at the same time. This week I'm reading some Christian fiction. Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn, if you want to know.

But when my husband sneezed explosively during an exciting part, I about fell off the treadmill for real. I did a dance and jumped off. No one was hurt. And thankfully no video cameras were running at the time.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prove Me Wrong

Sometimes I just go through the motions. I pray but don't really expect anything to come of it. Why is God so gracious to me? I prayed that my son would have a good time on a college fellowship retreat. He doesn't like that kind of thing. Being with a group of people he doesn't know. Sleeping in a different bed. Prove me wrong. He had a great time. I pray during conflict situations. But nothing will change. People won't budge. Wrong again. Lord, forgive me and increase my faith!

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." Matthew 21:22 ESV

Friday, November 14, 2008

Looks Aren't Everything

I'm trying to expand my repertoire. Add to my baking stand-bys. When I read about Meredith of Like Merchant Ships making an apple cake, I had to try it. I went to the Smitten Kitchen recipe and sifted through the bushels of comments. Sounded like a winner. I had apples and the rest of the ingredients. All I needed was a tube pan. I could have tried my bundt pan but four out of five polled in the thrift store voted for the heavy duty nonstick tube pan. The fifth person abstained from voting--it's up to you, Mom. So I peeled and diced the apples and layered the apples with heavy batter. And then checked the cake at regular intervals. It took almost two hours. And then it stuck to the pan. I put the layers back together. The verdict? Delectable. Like a cross between a pound cake and a coffee cake. With yummy layers of apples. But next time I'll borrow my mother-in-law's tube pan with removable base. That should help with the presentation.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Silence is Golden

You big crybaby. What are you doing outside my bedroom door at midnight? You think you need to sleep in my room? I don't think so. You're a big boy. You can sleep in your own bed. Or the garage if you want to pace all night. Now if you could keep the mice at bay, I'd grant you special favors. But don't worry, we're not getting a cat any time soon. But let us sleep, would ya?

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 ESV

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Log Rhythm

I keep getting better. At keeping track of things. I started out with envelopes and random scraps of paper. Then I got one spiral notebook to record all phone calls and information. Dating each entry is a good idea. And recording the name of the person I spoke with and what he or she said. I regularly make phone calls for my Chinese neighbors. My latest improvement is having one notebook just for their phone calls. I should have started that six years and umpteen doctor appointments, insurance calls, school calls, immigration for both sets of parents, and that one round with a lawyer about a stolen car ago. Next up is getting the calendar online and updated.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Faithful Service

One day hardly seems enough. But it's a start. I am thankful for my grandfather's service during World War II. And glad he came back safely. We are still praying for the safety of my cousin, now on her third tour in Iraq. But today I also want to remember the ones who stayed behind. The home teams. My grandmother, who bravely cared for two little ones. My aunt and uncle who faithfully pray for their daughter in Iraq and welcomed their son home from Afghanistan. They are all heroes.

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bargain Genes

Where do three sisters go in one weekend? Without coordination? My middle sister went to a Salvation Army in S. California on Friday. Half off everything! On Saturday we drove through Portland, Oregon and stopped by a Salvation Army. On the way there I called my younger sister, who lives outside Portland. Where are you? She was on her way to a different Salvation Army. She drove across town to meet us. And we had a mini-reunion in the thrift store. It was fun to see how my seven-month-old niece has changed since the summer. Too bad we didn't get to see the rest of the family. We'll have to plan ahead next time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hello Son

What a difference a year makes. Last year I was having trouble walking and I think people were coming down with the flu. So we missed family weekend at our oldest's college. This year five out of six of us attended. Too bad our other son couldn't make it from his college up north. We are thankful for safe travels, despite pouring rain down and back, and good family time.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Split Shift

It's not easy with the split shift. Our youngest needs to get to bed way before everyone else. It means guarding the calendar and making choices about who does what in the evenings. It means having a plan for dinner and then keeping track of time before the evening slips away. But the real challenge is getting this night owl to bed. My husband would sleep better if I wasn't reading away, clipping articles, and going "Honey, listen to this..." I can work on that.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cleans Up Good

I can't believe my husband did that. His first and second graders (he has a split class in the afternoons) had ice cream sundaes yesterday. My husband brought home the bowls and washed them so they can reuse them. For painting or a future snack event. Way to recycle! And he washed up all the other dishes while he was at it. Bless him.

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Long Answer

Are you fluent? That's what people want to know when they find out I speak Chinese. I never know how to answer. And I'm not just trying to be polite. I learned Mandarin Chinese when I was in junior high and high school. In the 1970's. One of the perks of being a missionary kid. Can I read and write? A little, but I'm very rusty. Can I carry on a conversation? Yes. And who would have thought I'd get to use Chinese in Small Town, USA? God gave me two Chinese "sisters" in my neighborhood.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First Things First

If I play fast and loose with my energy, I run out of steam. So I get up with the morning people, pack some lunches, and wave good-bye. But before I hunker down for my daily nap, I do my daily Bible reading. I am learning to trust God with the firstfruits of my resources, and trust Him to provide what I need.

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
Proverbs 3:9 ESV

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Get Out the Vote

How many good Samaritans does it take to get to the polls and back? I borrowed my husband's truck and offered to deliver his ballot. Done. But then his truck wouldn't start. I popped the hood and jiggled the wires, just like he showed me. Nothing. I called my husband and he sent a grandparent from the school to give me a ride home. Thanks, Grandpa Joe!

My Chinese neighbor needed help with her ballot. We went to the Elections Office and took care of it. She dropped me off at school so I could help with a reading group. One of the moms offered me a ride to the truck to see if we could get it going. This woman knows how to connect her jumper cables and gave me a lesson. Still no go. We prayed. A passerby offered his assistance. And finally it started! I drove straight home, with my friend following me. Now to see how the election turns out.

Photo Credit: Capitol Building, Olympia, WA taken by my youngest

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14 ESV

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Orange Chair

What's with the orange chair? I observed two third graders vying for the same chair. Both claimed to have a hand on it first. Never mind that there were plenty of padded chairs and several other orange chairs available for reading group. I didn't have time to address the heart issues so I left it at, "No one gets the orange chair today."

Lest I judge too quickly, let me ask: What about me? Do I have any orange chairs in my life? What do I hold tightly?

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Walk it Off

I opened the door just a crack. And let three little Whopper candies in. How about a miniature candy bar? They are so small it can't hurt. Throw in a Tootsie roll while you're at it. But what really did me in was sampling the Monster Cookie dough. Oatmeal is good for you, right? Enough already. I'm going to have to walk that off. I'm happy to report that I walked right by the beautiful cinnamon rolls in Sunday school this morning.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Small Town Politics

It's not every day that a candidate for state governor stops by your little town. Let's go! Three of us joined the small but enthusiastic crowd at the senior center. My son wanted to attend a rally last weekend but it wasn't easy to make bus connections from his college. Son, the Governor-hopeful says he's sorry he missed you. And the candidate for state representative says hi. He remembers you from the county caucus.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV

Friday, October 31, 2008

Increase My Faith

Do I really mean it? I don't always get to pray this prayer for my children because not every month has 31 days. (I pray through the month using Bob Hostetler's guide.) But today I prayed that my children would develop a heart for missions. Okay, a heart for missions is good. But what if they want to go far away? Somewhere dangerous.

I should be sympathetic. My parents have a heart for missions and they took me across the world when I was six years old. My husband and I spent two years as dorm parents to missionary and business children. But now I'm the parent. I pray that God will "increase my faith" (Luke 17:5) as He leads my children.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Psalm 96:3-5 ESV

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It's not crazy yet. But I know the tempo will pick up shortly with activities, events, and projects. I want to take some time to reflect on what's important as we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I can put that on the calendar. Quiet Reflection.

Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Haggai 1:5 ESV

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finally On Track

It's all mental. Assuming you have the physical ability to walk, that is. I'm on track with my treadmill regimen. One: I'm motivated. Two: I have accountability. Three: I've figured out how to keep it simple. I'm motivated because I want to do everything I can to maximize my health while I can. I also want to set a good example for my family. I have accountability with my personal coach--my oldest daughter. Thanks for cheering me on! And I don't have to remember (or debate?) if it's my day to walk to not. Six days a week means I walk every day, except Sunday. Now that works for me.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Senior Moment

We are stepping out. No more senior photos in our own backyard this time. How about a park or two? Let's live it up. Lunch at our favorite bagel shop first. Then drive around to some scenic parks. Colorful fall leaves? Scenic waterfalls? Perfect. Throw some leaves around and make memories while you're at it. Now for the hard part. Selecting one favorite pose.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Monday, October 27, 2008

Field Tripper

On the inside I'm shouting, "I'm going on a field trip!" Outwardly, I'm just another third grade parent riding the wagon out to the pumpkin patch. Camera in hand. I have missed so many field trips over the years because of my health, that I don't take it for granted when I can attend. My older daughter's class schedule allowed her to come too. Too bad my second-born son is away at college, and couldn't make this field trip. This photo op is for you, Son!

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Tract

I almost had a moral quandary the other day. If someone lost their ten dollar bill in the parking lot, do I need to find the owner? But no, it was a tract disguised to look like money. My third grader and I were not impressed. She pointed out that it was littering. So when there was a trail of them in the thrift store, we picked them up. So what's the alternative? I will continue to do acts of kindness to strangers, but maybe I need to do it in Jesus' name.

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15 ESV

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Berry Go Round

My mom did it for us. So I did it for my family today. Although I can't take credit for picking the huckleberries. She did that AND cleaned them for my husband's birthday cobbler last night. She gave me some extra berries. I cleaned them and added them to my apple crisp tonight. Those little berries are a lot of work! I have fond memories of picking huckleberries with my grandparents. How many cups of little berries did it take for one pie? I'll have to ask my grandma. And thank her.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. Proverbs 31:14-15 ESV

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Good Man

unswervingly puts God first in his life
graciously serves family, friends, and community
joyfully shepherds his flock of first and second graders
champions our children unabashedly
and loves me with panache.

Happy Birthday Husband!

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. Psalm 37:30 ESV

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tofu Love

I love it when things come together. Home-made wontons from my Chinese neighbor in the freezer and tofu in the fridge. Green onions on sale. Put on some brown jasmine rice. Time to make some wonton soup and try my sister's Cold Tofu recipe. Two out of three loved it. I had plenty so I called my neighbor who might appreciate such fare. She had just come home after a long morning and would love a hot lunch. Happy to serve.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Ting Family Cold Tofu

1 block silken tofu (15-19 oz.)
2 T. oil
2 T. minced green onions
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 T. ginger, minced
1/2 t. sesame oil
3 T. soy sauce

Rinse tofu and place on a serving plate.
Add the oil to a hot frying pan. Add green onions, garlic and ginger, and stir fry until soft, about one minute.
Add sesame oil and soy sauce.
Cook together one minute and then quickly pour sizzling mixture over the tofu.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Time

I'm spending time with my virtual friends. I had to drive my daughter to the next town one morning (50 miles round trip) so I caught up with Alistair Begg on the Christian radio. Now that I'm walking on the treadmill again, I can spend time reading. I'm walking with Noel Piper this week. Her book, Treasuring God in our Traditions, is good to think about before Thanksgiving and Christmas, but is valuable any time of year. That's how I redeem the time. Works for me.

making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 ESV

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just a Step Away

Sometimes God talks to me with a megaphone. "Step away from the project." In this case, the project was a third grade oral report. My daughter wanted to do it herself. She researched, wrote note cards, rewrote note cards, and practiced her speech. I wanted to guide her efforts more than she wanted. Okay. This is her project. She will learn best by doing it herself. I can stay calm when there are nerves and drama going on. I can't worry about how I look as the parent. But I can be proud as can be when she does her best in front of a room of parents and classmates.

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Bless Us All

If you give a hand-out to the person on the street are you perpetuating that way of life? For school my older daughter is researching homelessness and panhandling--which don't necessarily go together. I don't know what the long-term solution is. When the man stops you in the parking lot and says he needs money for gas, how do you respond? Did he really try to go to the Salvation Army to get a gas voucher? That's on his conscience. I had just read 1 John 3:17 the day before. So I gave him a fistful of dollar bills because that's what I had. And God bless you, too.

Yes, I realize there are other ways of handling this, like going to the gas station and pumping the gas.

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18 ESV

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If Looks Could Kill

Nothing gets kids at school more riled up than a cutter. Someone who cuts in line. Or lets others cut. In front of you. Adults don't care for it either. Just try stepping out of line and racing to the first available self-check register at the grocery store. I know because I did that today. Twice. You can ask my seventeen-year-old daughter. She was observing, from a safe distance. I'm not really that rude and impatient. I was just helping her with an assignment for her sociology class: What happens when you break a social norm?

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Join Me

I can sit anywhere I want. I'm not in high school anymore with a designated lunch table. In case you're wondering, I often sat with international students. Today I could sit with the crafty ones. The ones who order cool fabric and have their Christmas gifts already wrapped up. I read their blogs. And I've quilted. Once or twice. I can dream of being creative. The scrapbookers will let me sit with them, I'm sure. I admire their themes and journaling. I can sit with the moms toting young children because it hasn't been that long since I had our tag along. Has it been eight years, already? I don't have answers but I remember the questions. Like potty-training, sleeping through the night, conflict resolution, and so on. I can mingle with the homeschoolers, public schoolers, and private schoolers. Been there, done all that. Of course there's room at the table of moms of teens and young adults. I'm there. And God knew I needed lots of encouragement because He has given me so many Titus 2 older women who have welcomed me to their tables. Maybe I'll start my own table and invite anyone who needs a place to belong. Young or old, or somewhere inbetween.

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, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5 ESV

Friday, October 17, 2008

Better Get A Move On

I keep hitting the snooze button. Why do I put off getting going with my exercise plan? This week I got the results of my last brain MRI. There is one new lesion. Just one, so no need for alarm. I will continue with the medication in hopes of slowing the development of new lesions. Meanwhile, there are things I can do now to improve my overall health. So today I hopped on the treadmill and walked for thirty minutes. I can do that. Six days a week.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Round

I can be hard on myself. I want to accomplish so much more than I am doing. It's time for another round of "what am I doing right?" I have been able to spend time in my daughter's third grade class regularly. When my oldest was in grade school I had two more at home and wasn't free. Then when my third child was in grade school my health took a dip. Now I am able to be up and around and involved, to a point. I helped at the school half a day this week but had to take it easy the next day. Today I wanted to get the kitchen and living room all the way cleaned up. I ran out of steam early on, but I did make monster cookies (peanut butter and oatmeal) for my older daughter's away soccer game. I do what I can.

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:11-12 ESV

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Change Your Behavior

I had never heard of the three trees metaphor in Jeremiah 17. But I read that passage lately and have thinking about the fruitful tree. Then I went to a Peacemaking woman's blog and found a link to a practical article about, "how a person can look critically at her own behavior, then with the help of the Holy Spirit, change that behavior for the glory of God." The author used Jeremiah 17:5-10 and the three trees metaphor to change the behavior of yelling at her kids. I like how she analyzed the situations that triggered her yelling response, identified the obstacles to changing her behavior patterns, and felt the joy that comes with the fruit of change. With God's help. Sign me up.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Call

When I say, "Can I help you?" I mean it. I might not know what to do, but I will do my best. I filled in for the school secretary today. I was already in the building to help with a reading group when they needed someone to cover the phone for a couple hours. I had a quick refresher on how to work the phone. I missed the part about me hanging up before the call would actually get transferred. I didn't have too many calls and everyone was gracious. I braced myself for two lines ringing at the same time but it never happened. My cell phone vibrated and I jumped out of my chair, but that's normal for me. I'm glad I could help and it was fun to be in the same building as my third grader and my favorite second grade teacher--my husband.

whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 ESV

Monday, October 13, 2008


I joke that I need a book about organizing books about organization. So I expected tonight's women's meeting at church to be a pep talk. Rah rah, purge. Rah rah, sort. Rah rah, containerize. I enjoyed the mother-daughter team's lively presentation about winning the battle against clutter, chaos and disorder. Sign me up.

I'm going to start with the 5 X 5 X 5 strategy. Five minutes in five rooms five days a week. I'm looking forward to reading my new autographed book, Clutter Busters II, by Pat Calkins. Thank you to my friend who bought me the book!

If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. Ecclesiastes 10:10 ESV

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Apple Day

Want to make my day? Give me some apples. A friend at church gave me some freshly picked Gravensteins. I wasn't up for making pie but how about apple crisp? And invite the in-laws. I didn't think my parents would want to come to town tonight so I didn't call them. But who's that at my door? My parents on their way through town. Perfect timing. Now that really makes my day.

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

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Learn to Listen

I couldn't find the movie anywhere. Without buying it, that is. A friend rented the 1991 movie, The Doctor, so my older daughter and I could watch it. (Note: there is some bad language.) It is based on the true story of a doctor who becomes the patient. And it was as good as I remembered. I like movies with inspiring lessons. I noticed how people listened to others, or didn't, in the movie. Do I really listen to the heart when people are talking?

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19 ESV

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hither and Yon

My husband asked if I was tired from our long day. Yes, but mostly I'm relieved. Everyone got where they needed to be, and back. My husband took the day off so he could drive me to my neurologist appointment in Portland. My youngest wanted to come with us but we encouraged her to attend school. It was a minor miracle to see her happily hop out of the car early this morning--knowing that her dad would not be teaching down the hall from her. My older daughter needed to get to community college and home--without the car because we had it. We dropped her off, she took two buses back and got a ride on the last leg with Grandma. Her friend gave her a ride to soccer practice. My parents were on-call if anyone needed something.

We took a detour to our older son's college and had lunch and a nice visit with him. We expected heavy traffic on the way home on a Friday afternoon but that carpool lane was smooth sailing.

My appointment went well, by the way. My health is holding steady for now. Hold the course. Carry on.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 ESV

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Always Learning

I'm stuck in the 101s. Faith 101, Peacemaking 101, Parenting 101, and so on. You'd think that I would be a grad student by now. Or a professor. I've been saved for almost forty years. Parent for 21 years. That's okay. It keeps me humble. And on my knees. I don't have the answers. But I know Who does.

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

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Journal Love

My husband knows what I like. So for my birthday this summer he surprised me with a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. I'm not financially literate or investment savvy. I love the articles about politics, culture, education, health, advertising and human interest stories. I read and clip to my heart's content. And feel loved.

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 ESV

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fiddle Sticks

I forgot how difficult I can be. I don't give up my blood very easily. I skipped breakfast and marched off to the lab without a second thought. Until I heard the technician say, "Oh fiddlesticks." He tied up each arm, slapped me a few times, and tried heating pads. One stick, two sticks. No go. I told him that usually I pray up and drink up. I only had one glass of water this morning. By now I was praying hard! He tried one more time and got what he needed. Praise the Lord! I won't forget to pray up next time.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Monday, October 06, 2008

Time of Calm

I put it in writing that I wouldn't drive or sign legal documents for six hours. I think I'm in the clear for posting this blog. I'm under the influence of a mild sedative. I don't know if it helped me cope with the claustrophobic experience of today's brain and spine MRI, but I am feeling very relaxed. I closed my eyes and tried to describe the various sounds. I didn't hear machine guns as much as a group of woodpeckers going at a metal can. That and obnoxious loud alarm clocks going off. And power saws. I meditated on Psalm 1. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." And so on. I know it helped to talk to my grandma this morning and have coffee and prayer with a good friend just before my appointment. I'm also thankful for my designated driver and companion--my older daughter. I will find out the results on Friday when I see my neurologist. The big question: Are there significant changes from one year ago? That is in God's hands.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 ESV

Sunday, October 05, 2008

God's Plan

I love good stories. Especially about how God has worked in people's lives. A neighbor stopped by tonight and told me how she has a new teaching job. My husband and I can appreciate her journey of going back to school, subbing, teaching and things not always going according to plan. But then things worked out even better than she hoped for. She is teaching at a community college and loves being able to help adults in real need. It's the perfect fit for her. God provides. In His perfect timing and means.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalm 62:8 ESV

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Know When to Quit

I held the family off the vanilla ice cream in the freezer as long as I could. I finally made good on my promise to make apple pies. Some for us, some to share. I ran out of crust for the last pie so I made another batch of oil crust with part whole wheat flour. But then I had extra crust. No problem, bring out the last of the frozen blueberries. I still had more crust. Might as well use up the lonely little can of raspberries. I still had enough crust for one last custard dish. I eyed the large can of pumpkin in the pantry but thought better. A little dab of homemade blackberry jam will do quite nicely.

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

Friday, October 03, 2008

Find a Way

I live by "do what you can when you can." Let go of the rest. And trust that it's enough. I really wanted to get a care package together for my older son and send it with my in-laws, who are traveling to Oregon today. I ran out of time and energy to bake anything, but I put together some fun snacks. Then I was too tired to work out the hand-off early this morning. Bummer. I have to give myself permission to not do everything. But then at late-morning-works-for-me coffee with a friend I saw a student who is home for the weekend. She attends the same college as my son. She returns on Sunday--and can take my care package with her. I better get baking.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

Thursday, October 02, 2008

There For Us

You're all set to have a girls' night. Daughter's choice of dinner and a Disney movie. But the dvd player isn't working. What are you going to do? Call Son at college. He knows what to do. He tells you what connects to what. And you're back in business. Daughter's comment: Brother's always there for us!

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV