Sunday, May 31, 2009

Woman on the Street

I don't know what the long-term solution is. She asked for money. Meanwhile, can I buy you lunch at my favorite bagel shop? She would love a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Would it be too much to add some orange juice? I can do that.

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

That's Her

Take note, daughters. That's how you love your husband, raise children, befriend your daughters-in-law and son-in-law, and keep in touch with your grandchildren. (Text-messaging and Facebook, anyone?) Take time to volunteer in the nursery and the local pregnancy center. And care for your neighbors and friends. That's your dad's mom, your grandma, my mother-in-law, my friend.

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Pictured: My mother-in-law and my older daughter

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28 NKJV

Friday, May 29, 2009

Out with the Old

Don't panic. Don't lose heart. It's just the worse before it gets better stage. We will survive this clean sweep operation. The boys' room is getting new (to them) carpet squares. Then we can put their stuff back in their room. Minus the stuff I was storing in there. Thanks for your patience, boys!

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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good Old Days

You never know what old memories will surface. When you go through family photos. It's good to look back and remember. And laugh. Hard to believe my tiny five and a half pound baby is graduating from high school and community college in two weeks.

Pictured: My older daughter at age two with her uncle. Nice wig, Ed! And Happy Birthday to a fun uncle and great brother-in-law!

He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
Acts 10:2 NIV

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life Wisdom

I love this letter to a graduate. You might want to print it out and share it with the graduates in your life.

Pictured: Last year's high school and community college graduate

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 NIV

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How about Now?

Did I hear someone say "I'll do that later"? Wait. That was me. Forget clearing the dining room table with one fell swoop. Into a bin. I can sort the papers. Zip out some labels for file folders. Drop articles for my son into a manila envelope. Attach sticky notes to explain what's what. And so on. I can do that.

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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Put in Context

Talk about drama. I'm reading about King David in 2 Samuel right now. You have conspiracy plots, spies, murder, with lots of family conflict. Then in 2 Samuel 22 you read David's song of praise. You can find the same thing in Psalm 18. It gives fresh meaning to God being his rock and deliverer.

This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31 ESV

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Routines

The routines are working for me. I walk on the treadmill six days a week. Even if I don't feel like it. Twenty to thirty minutes. And by the time I'm done, I have more energy. I read my Bible almost every morning. I catch up at night if necessary. Now to add some regular decluttering and organizing to my routine.

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, May 23, 2009

More Now Less Later

I need to step up my efficiency. Create more do-it-now systems. I'm okay with the mail. I pull out the keepers. Recycle or shred the rest. But the bulk of my life is hit and miss. Emails pile up. My projects are in stacks. I have chronic DWIL syndrome, otherwise known as Deal With It Later. I know I can't be cured overnight. But I can build on one success each day. I'll start with the printed matter on the dining room table.

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

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good Night

Don't even think about it. It doesn't work to abbreviate the routine. Even if it's past someone's bedtime. And mom is tired too. So brush your teeth already. Get a drink of water. Let's read a chapter like we do every night. And pray. But for fun, let's have older brother and sister act out the story while mom reads.

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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chop and Go

It doesn't take long. Before you run out the door get chopping. Cabbage and broccoli. Peel and grate carrots. Thaw the package of lean ground beef. Put the rice cooker on. When you get back from a 4 p.m. appointment you can throw dinner together in a jiff. Chop suey, minus the bean sprouts. Works for me.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Road Trip Review

I'm always taking notes. Mental notes. What worked. What could be improved. Definitely pack snacks and water bottles for road trips. Could throw in a mug and some tea bags. Whose idea was it to tote sports equipment? Brilliant. And that one dollar bottle of bubbles? Cheap entertainment. Who knew you could blow bubbles through a cup?

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Best of Friends

I should have seen this coming. After what I've experienced for forty years. My sisters are my best friends. And now my children are buddies. Warms my heart.

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

Monday, May 18, 2009

To Fred Wang with Love

I can count on her. To make me laugh. Let me vent. For a while. Then give me good counsel. Love my children. Organize the family reunions. Love those spread sheets! That's my baby sister. And she's having a birthday. Happy Birthday, Sis!

Pictured: That's me in the big glasses.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 ESV

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Sports

They are good sports. And I'm not talking about how much fun they have tossing a frisbee, kicking a soccer ball, and throwing a football. Or hiking. And exploring the waterfront in Bellingham, Washington. They give Mom one last photo op with dandelions as we say good-bye at the end of Family Weekend at Western Washington University. What a fun weekend.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Listen to Yourself

I try to keep my self-talk to myself. But if you could hear me at a rummage sale, this is my theme: No new projects! No new projects! Just step away from the bathrobe with beautiful green fuzzy fabric. No one is sewing stuffed animals anytime soon. And if they are, they can buy their own fabric. Steer clear of the free box with things you could cut up for birthday party decorations. Meanwhile, those jeans you bought for one dollar and fit perfectly, need mending. Ack! A project!

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

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Science Projects Collide

This was not in the second grade lesson plan. In one corner we have Painted Lady butterflies. In another corner we have carnations in glasses of water. The white carnations are tinged with blue, red, or green--to match the colored water they are sitting in. One of the butterflies escaped and dropped into the blue water. It was rescued and is doing fine. Except for feeling a little blue.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cut any Corners Lately?

I think he showed a lot of restraint. I'm reading about David in the Old Testament. Before he was the official king of Israel. King Saul threatened to kill David on numerous occasions. When David had the chance to end it once and for all, he just cut the corner of Saul's robe. But then David's conscience bothered him. He was a man with a tender heart towards God. What about me? Have I cut any corners lately? Have I wronged anyone? Been quick to judge? I echo David's prayer:
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind (Psalm 26:2).

And afterward David's heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul's robe. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD's anointed." 1 Samuel 24:5-6 ESV

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On Board

Time to train the oldest. This is how we do it. Reserve your ticket online. Make sure you have the same debit or credit card for the kiosk at the station. Today I learned that the bar code from your print-out works too.

Allow time to get the station. There may be construction. While you wait for the train, snap photos with your family.

And let us know you made the bus connection in Seattle and found your brother in Bellingham.

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bright Idea

I read it somewhere. Never tried it until now. But it worked great to use a potato to remove a broken light bulb. Just stick and turn. Problem solved.

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 24:6 ESV

Monday, May 11, 2009

Under New Management

I'm not in charge any more. And that's great. The girl next door volunteered to be project manager for our last day of school ice cream social. She will organize and plan the 11th annual Hello Summer event for her senior project. I am honored to be her mentor.

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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mom

That's one thing my mom did not give me. I did not inherit her green thumb. She loves me anyway. And freely shares her garden produce with me.

Mom, I am looking forward to your return from China next month. We'll have tea. And I'll make some zucchini bread from the stock pile in my freezer.

Happy Mother's Day from your oldest daughter!

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28 ESV

Saturday, May 09, 2009

All My Children

I didn't expect this. My son hopped a ride home to surprise me for Mother's Day. Bless his heart. My children gathered around me for a photo session in the grandparents' backyard. And patiently reassembled for a do-over.

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

Friday, May 08, 2009

Tissue Time

I love how my husband lets them go. He gives his second graders a framework and materials. Like Mother's Day flower pots. Add tissue and decoupage. The results are creative and very diverse. Just like they are. And make sure you save the leftover tissue for confetti for the class celebration. (Moms: cover your coffee cups!)

The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5 ESV

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Close One

If I had a hat, I would have tipped it to the man who jaywalked in front of me. He saw a little child about to step in traffic. The mom was too far back to grab her hand. So the man took action. He dashed across the street and waited with her until the mom caught up. I salute the good Samaritan at the Olympia Farmer's Market.

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. Luke 10:33 ESV

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

To the End!

I know what my problem is. I am interested in too many things. Good-bye Maybes and Somedays. Take the Laters with you. Time to narrow my focus. And complete something. All the way through to the end!

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; Ecclesiastes 3:6-7 ESV

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Here They Come

My husband wondered if anything would come of the chrysalises. He followed all the directions. He fed the caterpillars, watched them form cocoons, gently misted them. And waited. First one. Then two. And three painted lady butterflies emerged. Is that all?

Someone suggested a lamp for some heat. Bam! They emerged right and left today. About twenty butterflies opened and closed their wings to reveal beautiful colors. Another successful life cycle in first and second grade. With plenty of visitors from other students and parents.

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

Monday, May 04, 2009

Or Lose it

How many diets can I go on? I need to trim, no slash, my email in-box. My book collection is bulging. My wallet is fat with everything but cash. Time to inventory my fridge, freezer, and pantry. In every case, it's time to use it or lose it.

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

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Deeps

It's give me, give me, give me. In a good way. I'm talking about a prayer in The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. The prayer I'm reading today is "The Deeps."

Lord Jesus,
Give me a deeper repentance...
Give me a deeper trust...
Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself...
Give me deeper power in private prayer...

And so on.

I love the last lines:

Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing
with living water.

By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 ESV

Saturday, May 02, 2009


I told my friend to break a leg. Or two or three. She was Charlotte in the play, Charlotte's Web. We got to see her excellent performance in the Northwest Christian High School production tonight. We let my youngest stay up past her bedtime and we all went. My husband reads that book to his second graders every year. Too bad he couldn't take his students tonight. They would have loved it. I know I did.

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

Friday, May 01, 2009

Road Trippers

Sometimes there's a pile-up. Everything lands on the same square. But not today. The calendar was open. My older daughter didn't have classes. My younger daughter didn't have school. The weather was sunny.

Perfect for the three of us to take a road trip to Oregon to pick up my older son from college. Pack out his dorm room. We made it down and back in one day--three hours each way. I'm thankful for safe travels and my daughter's driving skills. It's good to have my son home.

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