Thursday, January 31, 2008

Slow Down

I wasn't jaywalking. As I crossed the parking lot, a big armored truck barrelled towards me. He didn't slow down and I did my best to get out of the way. My teens were appalled at the driver's lack of concern for the pedestrians--one with a cane, no less. He must have been in a hurry to keep on schedule. Either that or he enjoyed playing chicken with his big loud truck. It reminded me of the impatient woman at the bagel store the other day. She cut to the front of the line and helped herself to a cup for her free cup of coffee. What was she thinking? I'll tell you. She didn't mean to be rude. Her mind was elsewhere. Trust me, she isn't always so insensitive and pushy. Really I'm not. But I will try to slow down and not run over people. I hope others do the same.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lost: One Janitor

Has anyone seen a cute white and gray rat with a stripe down the back? My daughter's new pet is lost in the office. There's plenty of reading (ripping) material to last a lifetime. Thankfully we put away all the mouse traps. My daughter named her Janitor, or Jan for short, because she likes to clean herself. But she probably won't come when called because she's only been here for two days. I'm praying we find her and return her to her cage safe and sound. And no, we are not getting a guinea pig if we don't find her.

Next morning update: FOUND! And finally caught.

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24 ESV

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Connected

I wish I had email when I went to college. I made a few dollar-a-minute phone calls from Oregon to Taiwan. Those were expensive homesickness tears. Every now and then I wrote aerogram letters. Does the post office still sell those prepaid thin blue papers that fold up and seal? My son emails me from college in the next state. I love it when he attaches photos of his latest drawings. I email him family updates and friendly reminders. And throw in interesting links; often it's thoughtful posts at The Blazing Center. My teens can email from the community college. My parents introduced us to Skype. We can talk and see each other live via the laptop webcam. I'm glad they are across town now, not the world. On my dad's birthday we were able to have dinner with him here and talk to my sister in Pasadena. My nieces told jokes and sang for their grandpa. It's a new world. I'm glad we're connected.

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

Monday, January 28, 2008

Make Sure

We don't have a phone tree for my husband's second grade class. Yet. It would have come in handy for the late start, no make that a cancellation today. It wasn't the amount of snow, it was the icy conditions that made it unsafe. The radio and tv stations didn't announce the updated cancellation for the local schools right away. Not everyone knows to check the school website for updates. My husband didn't want his students and parents to be confused so I made some calls. I wasn't the first to call some of the parents this morning. But that's okay. I think we would all prefer a couple calls over no calls. My husband was busy navigating the streets and freeway delivering our teens to the community college. They never close, even if every other school around them does. Until today. But by the time they posted the closure, my people were almost there. They went out for breakfast, kept to the main roads, had a fun outing, and made it home safely. What about bigger issues than school? What if no one bothers to check in and see where people are headed for eternity? Not everyone's heard the Good News. Lord, who have You put on my phone tree?

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14 ESV

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The End in Sight

Every weekend it's the same thing. Get to the end of it and think about the things that still need to be done. I want to make sure we have what we need to pack lunches early Monday morning. I was going to plan the menu for the week and make a list. But here we are at bedtime Sunday night. Good thing I have some juice boxes hidden in the fridge. We have bread, peanut butter, and jelly. There are a couple carrots and apples. Phew, we're good for tomorrow. My son needs two dollar bills for parking tomorrow. Let me see what I can scrounge. So what if we're out of dishwasher soap? The dishes will wait. How can I be more organized and prepared? I want to do better. And I can. We have made a big improvement in the bedtime routine for our youngest. It's not easy getting someone to bed a couple hours before the rest of the house is quiet. I make it a priority and don't lose track of the time. It helps that the rest of the family is on board with helping our youngest get to bed. Now to apply those principles to our other routines.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:27-28 ESV

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why I Fight

In 1996 I wrote a letter to a friend trying to quit smoking. I spent months in bed that year because of my MS. My (then) three children were 4, 6, and 8. Here are some excerpts:

This is a battle. I believe we all have such a battle going on. It just looks different for each person. We each have to face an area of our lives that we don't want to lose control of. God asks us to let go, give it up. I've been fighting the craving for control. I like being in charge of my life. I'm a pretty capable person, if I may say so. I come from a long line of capable people. Just ask my husband! This illness isn't about pain. Not any real pain, anyway. And I am thankful for that every day. It's about a body that won't work on command. God has my attention.

Do I trust God even when I don't understand His plan? Do I obey in the little things of life? Sometimes I fight by memorizing verses and keeping truth ringing in my head. Sometimes the best thing I can do is lie still and let the waves of dizziness roll over me. I fight because I love my husband and his love cuts through the fog in my life. He assures me that he loves me for who I am, not what I can do. He is a saint, let me tell you. I fight for my children. They love me and need me. I am coming to believe that a sick mother is better than no mother. Everything I do, say, and think is communicating a message to my children.

Life is hard. And we can keep on fighting! And letting God win the battles through us. We can have victory because we're on the winning team.

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:7-9 ESV

Friday, January 25, 2008

Young Champion

I am reading a parenting manual. Actually I'm reading Exodus in my Bible reading plan. We know the familiar story of how Moses was hidden in a basket and rescued by a princess. He grew up in the palace but never forgot his roots. He took justice into his own hands and killed an Egyptian. Usually we skip ahead to the burning bush and the ensuing "let my people go" drama. Today I noticed how Moses stood up for the women at the well. "The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them and watered their flock" (Exodus 2:17). Moses was a champion for the underdog from the get-go. A little unrefined and impulsive, maybe. But God had just the job for Moses. When he was ready. So what do I see in my children? What are their strengths and passions? How can I guide them and prepare them for their place in this world? I start by praying for each of them. Every day. I can do that.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Her Own

I love what I am seeing. It's called initiative. It's the "power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task; enterprise and determination." On garbage day it's seeing our empty trash can on the street and rolling it up to the house. Or on recycling day rolling up the trash can and two recycling cans. It's sorting the laundry beyond whites and darks. It's lights, darks, reds, towels, and kitchen things. It's asking if anyone needs something washed--and taking care of it. It's offering to make dinner for the family and following through even if you leave before dinner and aren't eating at home. Animal-shaped pasta for little sister and thin spaghetti noodles for the others. It's brewing a cup of tea for your mother before she asks. That's my girl. And I'm proud of her. Thanks Big Sis!

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 ESV

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Long Night

My younger daughter was sick last night and early today. Okay, Lord. I'm trusting You. I spent the night thinking of things to be thankful for. Thank You that she got sick at home. Thank You that I didn't have the usual aches and pains from my shot last night. Just a kick in the gut--no vice grips on my head. Thank You for a brave little girl who was up every couple hours in the night without complaint. Thank You for keeping things manageable with no big laundry pile the next morning. Thank You for the day together today. And thank You she is completely recovered and plans to return to school tomorrow.

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Then?

I am reading the book of Mark. I just noticed what Simon's mother-in-law did as soon as Jesus healed her: "Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them" (Mark 1:30-31). Sounds like my mother-in-law or my mom. What if Jesus asked me "Do you want to be healed?" like he did the paralyzed man in John 5? Of course I would say yes. But what will I do when I regain my balance and energy? I want to serve my family. And I want to be used by God as He sees fit.

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

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coffee Ladies

I looked around the circle of women at coffee this morning. We used to gather on the first day of school for an annual coffee date. And then the women who weren't working or could get away, met weekly. Life happens. Families change churches or move away. We don't age (or do we?) but the children grow up. These women lived through the McMommy Days with me. The children played while we drank coffee and ate hamburgers and stray french fries. We babysat each other's children. We hosted birthday parties. We attended women's Bible studies at church and tracked down escapees from the nursery. I got sick and they cleaned my house and brought us meals. I had a tag-a-long baby and they secretly made me the quilt I always wanted to sew. Husbands changed or lost jobs and found jobs. Women became grandmas ready or not. We swapped recipes, parenting woes and tips, prayer requests, and answers to prayer. We're still praying. We've been through a lot. And I'm thankful for coffee times like today.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ask Away

I never noticed Joseph's question before. In Genesis 40 he asked the cupbearer and baker why were they upset. Joseph took the time to ask, and then listen to the answer. The rest is history. The right questions open doors. One time I asked an acquaintance in Sunday school what coffee she was drinking. That led to a discussion about how she roasts her own coffee beans. And now we're friends. Today I met a woman who said she had a horse stable. I asked if she boarded horses or raised horses. She told me about her dream to provide therapeutic riding for handicapped children. She is well on her way with 17 horses. I wish her well. I'm glad I asked.

When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?" They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me." Genesis 40:6-8 ESV

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen

One thing leads to another. My mom bought pumpkins on sale and gave one to my daughter so she could try her hand at pumpkin pie. It was a process to get the pumpkin ready. And then I made muffins, but that's another story. Tonight we made my favorite oil crust with part whole wheat flour. We followed my Better Homes and Garden pumpkin pie recipe. We had enough filling for one regular pie and two small ones. But I still had more crust. Not a problem. I had a can of pumpkin. I followed the same recipe so we could make a fair comparison. But I still had more crust. How about making a carrot pie? I was on my own for that one. My daughter was off to take a shower and get ready for bed while her little pie cooled. I steamed carrots in the microwave. (Note to self: watch out for steam burns.) I pureed the carrots and followed my great-grandmother's recipe. Filled another crust. And squeaked out one more pie with barely any crust. Had a baking marathon with pies ready at different times. I whipped some cream and we sampled the first pie made with fresh pumpkin. Flavor good. Texture could be better. Tomorrow we'll taste the other ones. Now I have half a can of leftover pumpkin. Maybe tomorrow I'll try my hand at muffins again.

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, January 18, 2008

Squashed

After all that work, I messed up. Yesterday my daughter and I carefully cut, cleaned, pulped, baked, and pureed a fresh pumpkin. And strained the water. Preparation for a pumpkin pie. And I washed and dried the slippery seeds so I could roast them. I had the bright idea to make some pumpkin muffins as a bonus. I only replaced 1/2 cup of the two cups flour with whole wheat flour. Two eggs, check; spices, check; oil instead of butter, check; brown and white sugar, check; vanilla, check. Sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top before they bake. These are going to be good. But no, not even my mom could rescue these dough balls. This morning I re-read the recipe. What happened to the baking powder and baking soda? Oops. At least my husband likes the toasted pumpkin seeds that are only a little burned. We will double check, no triple check, the pumpkin pie recipe today.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Day

Who's celebrating today? I am. It's my dad's 69th birthday and I'm thankful for the gift of a loving, godly father. I'm the oldest of three girls and we are each his favorite. I don't mind that he called my mom from Bible camp and said, "Honey, I think God wants us in Hong Kong." And that was just the beginning of many family adventures in Asia. Now I'm grown up and have my own family. But I am blessed to have my parents retire in the same time zone. In fact, they are only 10 minutes down the road. Happy Birthday, Dad. You're still my hero.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 ESV

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Things First

I had the car. My husband's truck if you want to be technical. And I was driving. I can do that every now and then if I have some energy. But I digress. I had some errands. Important business like banking and getting something mailed with a postmark that day. The thrift store was on the way. How about a quick stop? No, first things first. I know I am easily distracted. Same thing with my day. I try to get my Bible reading done before I work on my blog. Big B comes first.

But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 ESV

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Show and Tell

I popped into my husband's second grade class today. I did a quick show and tell with my cane. I explained how it helps with my balance. And it's useful for pushing the automatic door openers at public buildings like the library. My daughter, one of the second graders, told the class how I use my cane to push open a garbage can so she doesn't have to touch it with her hand. Then I asked if they could guess how I used my cane and a glove when I was driving my husband's truck the other day. No, I didn't use it press on the gas pedal. Did I put the glove on the cane? Yes. I put my glove on the end of the cane and used it to wipe the back window that was fogged up. Not while I was driving, mind you. I didn't tell them that my cane comes in handy for dealing with spiders. There might be some bug lovers in the class. Now back to work, everyone. Nice seeing you.
but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14 ESV

Monday, January 14, 2008

Along the Way

I don't move very fast. And I'm not just talking about my wobbly gait. I don't pop in and out of stores on quick errands. There's the friend I run into who's home from college for one more week. "How's it going?" I helped a fellow photocopier orient his page on the machine. Then at the post office there was a lull and I chatted with the postal worker who has sold me many stamps over the years. I gave him a copy of our Christmas newsletter today (no stamp necessary, ha!) and he showed me a picture of his boy who is now 8 years old. I am thankful for patient chauffeurs. Thanks Daughter and Son!

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2 ESV

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thumbs Up

I'm one for two in the new year. I sent a card for my niece's 5th birthday but missed my nephew's 12th. I'm only a couple days late and I have a plan to make up for it. I heard he is a whiz at thumb wrestling. He should love the thumb wrestling toy I found at the thift store. My friend often pops cards in the mail to make me smile or remind me she is praying for me. Another friend heard I wasn't feeling well and stopped by the next day with a selection of teas, honey, and a cozy throw. This weekend I received a packet from my aunt and uncle. A card and a pair of soft purple socks. They love me and pray for me. I, too, can be an encouragement to others.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Serendipity

I thought it was a brilliant move. Okay, that's an overstatement. But it worked well for my husband to run to the local dollar store to pick up the one item needed for dinner. Ketchup. Brand name and one buck. And no big grocery store to navigate. Not too many distractions. But next to the register was a dvd of Davey and Goliath. Remember the popular stop motion animation program produced by the Lutheran church in the 1960s? My husband watched that as a lad. One dollar for six episodes plus a Christmas special. Sold. We loved the half-hour Christmas special. (That was on volume 3, by the way.) So of course I ran to the store to buy all three dvds. And a set for my sister and her two girls. And a set for my mom. My husband can use the Christmas special in his second grade class next Christmas. (Remind young viewers to not light a candle and leave it unattended like the children did.) The Davey and Goliath website has coloring pages, Advent activities, and more. What a great find!

http://www.daveyandgoliath.org/summary.html

http://www.daveyandgoliath.org/kids/coloring_pages.html

http://www.dollartree.com/

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Friday, January 11, 2008

Explain Yourself

I hope no one over-analyzed the phrase. My husband asked about my blog post the other day. Where's the claim part of "name it and claim it"? Here's what I meant. I have Multiple Sclerosis but it doesn't have me. I name my symptoms, no not in a Fred and Sally (random names off the top of my head) way. I describe them so that I can get a handle on them. Word pictures explain and clarify. It helps me stay calm. Gives me something to do. Provides a mental challenge. And something to write about.

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22 ESV

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wait for It

I'm glad I don't run out and buy things. But I'm often tempted. I really wanted a new bedside lamp after we put a bookshelf on my side of the bed. I wanted one with the switch on the cord, so I could turn it off without getting out of bed. I looked at the thrift stores but couldn't find the right thing. Then I found one--in my son's room. He didn't mind giving it up. I replaced the shade with the one I had in my room. Presto! Then there was the shortage of alarm clocks in the house. One day I folded all the clothes and blankets on the bench at the end of my bed, and there was an alarm clock! How did that get there? Recently I told my husband I wanted a cd player for our bedroom. I have some great music and the Bible on CD. My in-laws upgraded their cd player and gave me their old one. It works great and even has a remote so I can turn it on or off from my bed. My husband not only set it up, he downloaded some music and put together some cds so Michael W. Smith and Fernando Ortega can sing to me. Now if we can just find a web cam for my son's Macintosh computer so we can Skype him at college.

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

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Name it and Claim it

My strategy for handling my health struggles is to name it and claim it. For example I have names for the various forms of dizziness. Is it the teacup ride at Disneyland? Or the rotisserie? I've experienced some side effects from my weekly MS shots. Two weeks ago I was "hit by a truck." On Christmas night I only had a headache. But the next week I was hit by an ice cream truck. A small one like a Jeep. The thing with ice cream trucks is that you know they are coming. And they aren't too big. Not to be confused with the garbage trucks that played music in Taiwan when I was growing up. Last night I was hit by another ice cream truck. But who wants ice cream in the middle of the night, every two or three hours? Bring on the heating pad. Maybe next week I should have some slow churned ice cream after I have my shot. An ice cream headache might balance out the other aches and pains.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3 ESV

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

White Out

My husband slept like a baby last night. He woke up every two hours to check the weather. He was excited about the possibility of snow. And sure enough, there were four inches of snow on the ground when the rest of us woke up. No school for our second grader and her teacher--my husband. My teens couldn't make it to their morning classes at the community college. They had fun building a seven-foot snow man in our front yard. My husband took them sledding and played in the snow. Like the big kid he is. I love that guy.


She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 ESV

Monday, January 07, 2008

Show Yourself

I'm snooping around. Sniffing too. Is there another mouse in the house? And I had my chain yanked. Literally. I leaned my head in the oven to see if I smelled anything amiss. Don't worry. It wasn't turned on. My necklace caught on the door and my gold cross was pulled off. It has yet to be found. I think it went inside the oven door panes. Meanwhile I've found two possible, how should I put this?, evidences of a mouse in the pantry. I pray that we will know clearly if we have an uninvited guest. And catch him or her. Let it be one or the other, not both. Lord, have mercy.

Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. Psalm 69:16 ESV

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Start Now

What I wrote before last Christmas (to be read next winter):

Dear Future Me,
Remember how you said you wanted to do Christmas differently? You know, get organized earlier so you don't run out of time. Have the house tidy so you have room to work on projects with and for your children. And how many years have you promised to get your address list updated and on a database? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sort by hand-deliver, international, Canadian, etc.? If you don't get going, it will be the same rush job as always.

What I wrote today:

Dear Me,
I know we just celebrated Christmas. But trust me, it will be here again before you know it. This year can be different. But if you don't get going, it will be the same rush job as always. How about starting now? What will it take to get your address list updated? This is a good time to work on it with the UTFs coming back (Unable to Forward). As David Allen would say, what is the next action? Download the software from your former computer onto your laptop. Create a database and input names and addresses. You can do it. This year is going to be different. You can start now.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11 ESV

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Out-takes

If this was a movie set, I would say "cut." On another "take" I would walk in the door and notice my son's hard work. "Wow, the living room and kitchen look great! Thanks for getting the house ready so we can watch the Seattle Seahawks game with your grandparents." I would keep the comments about the undone aspects of the kitchen to myself. I can be more of a fan and less of a critic. And the Holy Spirit can be my prompter.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 ESV

Friday, January 04, 2008

Great Room

There is no escape. Our home features an open layout. You step in and face the great room--living room, kitchen, and dining room. Might as well call the whole shebang a family room. It's where we gather. And talk. And work out our differences. It would be easier if we had more space to spread out. We could go our separate ways. But this way we are forced to face conflict and resolve it. That's a good thing. And great preparation for life outside our home.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back to the Beginning

I see something new every time. And have more questions. Ray Fowler's blog shares 5 reasons to read God's word and has links to free reading plans. I printed out the Discipleship Journal Book-at-a-Time reading plan to take me through the Bible this year. I've used this plan before and I like checking off the box each day. My husband is going to do the 5X5X5 Bible Reading Plan and read through the New Testament in 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Today I read about Noah in Genesis 6-9. I never noticed that Noah sacrificed some of EVERY clean animal and some of EVERY clean bird (Genesis 8:20). I wonder if any had become favorite pets. Twice it says Noah did all that God commanded him. I circled the word ALL. How am I at doing ALL? Do I call it good when I do some? Do I obey even when I don't understand God's plan? I too want to find favor in the eyes of God and be blameless in my generation. With God's help, I can do that.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Whole Story

It's not what you think. That cute raspberry maternity jacket I modeled at the thift store was not for me. I wondered how it would look on my sister, who I am happy to say, is pregnant with her third child. But the huge bow in the back wasn't so attractive. Sorry, Sis. And if you saw me waiting for the liquor store to open the other day, I was on a mission to find empty boxes for my husband's second grade class. I confess that this weekend I offered condolences to the wrong woman. I read in the newspaper about another woman with the same first name and lives on the same street who lost her husband in a boating accident. The woman was gracious about my mistake, and we had a good conversation. It's a good reminder to be "quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger" (James 1:19). I can look before I leap.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Go Team!

My husband cleans up good. And has great ideas. Like inviting his parents and my parents over for a turkey dinner on New Year's Day. I love to see how our family divides and conquers. Let's clean the kitchen before we mess it up again. Can you peel a passel of potatoes? Thanks for tackling the bathroom clean-up. Great job cleaning and setting the table. Can you take me to the store and scout out hearty day-old bread for my stuffing? Rosemary bread? Perfect. We love your trademark Asian cabbage salad, Mom. Your fruit salad with my last strawberry yogurt tossed in was yummy. My mother-in-law knows she's on gravy duty. We asked her to bring dessert. Thanks for not making us choose between pumpkin pie and your new apple strudel. Sliver of each, thank you very much. Can I have the apple recipe? Nice work, everybody. We should do this every New Year's Day.

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 4:16 ESV