Friday, July 31, 2009

Two Little Words

I didn't expect that. My grampa was asleep in his hospital room. But as I left, he opened his eyes and said, "Bye, Mary." So he recognized me. And could say my name. Clearly. Two little words. That made my day.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 ESV

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return of the Camera

I learned to get along without it. Kind of. I let my daughter take my camera to Oregon. So I borrowed my son's camera and learned how to use it. Sort of. Point and shoot. View. I never learned how to use the other functions. But now I have my camera back. I'll have to get used to it again. Meanwhile, it's fun downloading the pictures from our trip to my sister's place.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, Colossians 3:12 ESV

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Find Joy

I like that about my kids. They find joy in simple things. Time at the farm with my sister and family. Adventures in house-sitting and dog-sitting. And don't forget the impromptu photo ops.

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adventures in Housesitting

It's a good arrangement. Our friends have reliable house-sitters. And care for their two little dogs, including one that is handicapped. My two children get to stay in a lovely home on a lake during this heat wave. I'm glad they are close enough that we can visit them. With thanks to my daughter for preparing dinner for the family.

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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who You Are

Who you are is who you are. So start now. It's not too late. Prune those rough edges. Build character. Let God shape you into the person He wants you to be. Like my grampa. His sweet spirit blesses those around him in the rehab hospital. His gentleness and kindness shine through the fog of his stroke. Even with major challenges to his speech, he hasn't lost his sense of humor.

Pictured: I took a turn watering my grandparents' garden tonight. Bless my mom for faithfully watering every day. Ravenous mosquitos and all.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 ESV

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pack it In

From big city party to family fun on the farm. We packed it in this weekend. We celebrated my in-laws' 50th anniversary. And were there for my niece's baby dedication. With special thanks to my friend for loaning us her van so we could travel in one vehicle.

Pictured: My four children in the van with two stowaways, my nieces.

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, July 25, 2009

Muffins for the Fair

You can't win if you don't submit anything. So we baked muffins all day. And selected four each. Blueberry muffins for hers and Bugs Bunny muffins for mine. With thanks to my husband for helping me think of something more creative than "carrot muffins." In the end, it's not about ribbons or winning. It's about making memories together.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Something to Celebrate

Today is the official day. But tomorrow friends and family will gather in Portland, Oregon to celebrate 50 years of marriage. That's 50 years of love and friendship, and counting. Happy Anniversary to my in-laws, Arnold and Linda!

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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Too Late

So much for my tickler file. The deadline for entering photos in the fair came and went this week. I missed it. I need to select the photos, print, and get them matted well before the deadline. There's always next year.

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. Proverbs 24:27 ESV

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seven-Oh

We've come a long way since that Portland City bus ride. It's a family joke that he didn't recognize me. Even though I was dating his son. His son's first girl-friend, even.

But now we're old friends. I am blessed to have a father-in-law that loves God, his wife, his children, grandchildren, and friends. And even more blessed to have him living in the same town. When he's not snow-birding. Happy 70th Birthday, Arnold!

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Former Dorm Parents Unite

We used to take walks to the night market. Or catch a bite at our favorite hole in the wall--The Shacks in Taichung, anyone? And hang out after bedtime. But now the former dorm parents in the boys' dorm have moved on to teaching college and high school in Oklahoma. Raising three children of their own. We left the girls' dorm at the missionary school in Taiwan 18 years ago. And added two daughters to our family. We met up with them yesterday as they drove through our corner of the world. It's great to see old friends and catch up.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome to Rehab

I took pictures and video clips all day. In my head. My grandfather reclining quietly in a hospital chair. My grandmother tenderly adjusting his blanket. Squeezing his toes. My grandfather saying yes or yep to every question. Every now and then joining the conversation with a word or phrase that made sense. My grandfather whistling along to George Beverly Shea and Tennessee Ford on the cd player. Then snoring like he always has. The nurses and therapists speaking clearly and kindly to my grandfather. I looked away when they took out his IV. And left the room when they helped him get dressed. My uncle helping his dad into the wheelchair and into the car. Getting my grandfather settled in the rehab facility. My grandfather bowing his head for prayer at dinner. Eating pie and turkey with his left hand, with some help. Drinking his milk all by himself. Skipping the mashed potatoes. My grandmother kissing my grandfather good night and saying good-bye for the evening. I cherish his "See you later, Kid" for me.

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

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pray for Mr. D

One week ago two of my children were getting golf lessons from my grampa. They got to take turns hitting a tennis ball for the border collie to fetch. Now my grampa is in the hospital after having a stroke on Friday. There are many unknowns about his condition and recovery. We pray for God's hand of healing on his body and comfort for all the family.

Here is a link to what I wrote two years ago:
http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2007/03/mr-d.html


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

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now As I Pray

Add that to the daily routine. Read the Bible in the morning. Then read the morning prayer for the day in A Diary of Private Prayer by Scottish theologian John Baillie. At bedtime read the evening prayer. Even better, read it aloud with my husband.

It's amazing how relevant and timely these prayers are. King James English and all. I love this little book recommended by a friend. I found my 1949 hardback copy at a library book sale.

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

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Hummer

I'm going to miss those guys in orange. The security team that helped with parking. They directed traffic in and out of the church parking lot all week. That's 800-plus campers and 400-plus volunteers at Summer Hummer. My youngest had a great week. Made some new friends. Learned some new songs and Bible verses. Can't wait until next year.

Pictured: Tonight's final concert and program at Summer Hummer.

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, July 16, 2009

If You Ask Me

You're asking me for fashion advice? I'll take that as a compliment. Either that or the woman at Goodwill was desperate for a second opinion. Probably the latter. But it wasn't hard to say the white tee looked good with the bleached jeans. Thanks for asking. I hope they fit.

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spoon or Fork

It's all about personal preference. Would you rather use a spoon or fork to eat watermelon? My husband stabs his. I like to scoop mine. So that's a fork for him and a spoon for me. My sister turned our discussion into a photo op. I love the photo she emailed me with two of my children and two of hers. Including one non-conformist with a straw.

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not the Same

The pictures won't be as good this year. But I'm a little biased. My son is out of town and can't take photos at our church's week-long day camp. If I had more energy I might have volunteered to tote a giant camera and run around and snap photos of the 800 campers. But I can grab a quick shot of my daughter and a friend.

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

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home Alone

I leave him home alone and this is what he does? Tidy and clean the living room. Clear the dining room table. Wash the dishes. All the way to the pots and pans. And throw some chicken in the crock pot for dinner. That's my husband!

Pictured: My husband and I enjoying the view during a recent trip to Bellingham.

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

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Young Readers

My eight-year-old and her little cousin. Off to a good start with books.

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, July 11, 2009

We Can Do That

Make a quick trip to Oregon. Visit my sister, her husband, and three darling girls. And spend my birthday with my four children. We can do that!

Pictured: The welcoming committee and the banner.

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, July 10, 2009

Half Way to Ninety

I didn't expect a poem today. The cut-off age is 16. But maybe there are some perks to being the oldest grandchild. Thanks, Grampa! As my cousin put it, I'm half way to ninety.

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 ESV

IT'S WORKING!

Mary, Mary, quite contrary--
That's not the Mary we know!
Our Mary is helpful and kind--
Her friendship has a glow.

Some Marys may be contrary,
But ours doesn't function that way--
For she is cheerful and bright--
Behavior that's sure to stay.

It's easy to get upset--
It happens to all of us.
It doesn't though, do much good--
To always be in a fuss.

A smile with encouraging words--
Can often turn things around.
One's attitude will show,
And friendship will easily abound.

Yes, Mary sets a pattern--
For all around to see,
And life is much more pleasant--
On that her friends agree.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Good Plan

This is good practice. Get used to having the children gone. Two out of four of my children are at my sister's place in Oregon. But wait, how about if we drive down to see them tomorrow? Sounds like a good plan.

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

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

H is for Ham

I like her resourcefulness. As I made dough for calzone, my eight-year-old pulled ingredients out of the fridge. Mozzarella. Check. Turkey pepperoni. Check. Fresh pineapple. Too old. Scratch that idea. Green pepper. Diced and ready to go in the E for Everything ones. Fresh tomatoes. Sliced to add later. No ham? How about robbing the bargain store ham and cheese cracker snacks no one liked? Perfect.

With apologies to my two children and nephew who left town before I had time to make calzone.

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

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mondo Love

That was a good prayer. My husband blessed the meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant. He thanked God for His mondo love and our mondito meal. We should thank God for His mondo love every day!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV

Monday, July 06, 2009

Family-Friendly Fun

We don't attend barbecues every day. But it may seem like it. My sixteen-year-old nephew is here for a few days. He gets to experience some of our comings and goings. Visitors. Family. Photo ops. Favors for friends and neighbors. Sleeping on the trampoline. Dance parties in the living room. Join us for some family-friendly fun.

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

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Take a Turn

I am way out of practice. Has it really been 20 years since I taught grade school? Good thing my husband was there. He's a pro. We took a turn teaching Sunday school today. Thirty 4th and 5th graders. With a couple adult helpers, thank you. And one star pupil--our youngest.

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

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Family Delegate

It became a tradition. My husband's brother and family often joined us for the 4th of July. But if the whole family can't come, send a delegate. It's great to have my nephew here for the weekend. Bring on the barbecue events and games. Jump in the lake. Enjoy the fireworks.

Pictured: Two of my children and my nephew jumping in the lake at my grandparents' house.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 ESV

Friday, July 03, 2009

Built to Last

That's the kind of marriage I want. With tender love, unwavering commitment, and lots of laughs. With a strong foundation of faith. Built to last. Come what may. My grandparents celebrate 68 years of marriage today. Happy Anniversary Grampa and Gramma!

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

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Call it Good

Start with six people. Add two stools with adjustable heights. A few blocks to put feet on. Turn your head this way. Lean into him. Now just the parents. Then the four children. Say, "Are we done yet?" And you have a family portrait for the church directory. We'll take our free one and call it good.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, Colossians 3:12 ESV

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Party is Over

The party is over. Time to put the treadmill back down. Resume walking every day. Watch what I eat. Pump up the veggies. Stop playing food scientist at the coffee shop. I can do that. With God's help and a little accountability.

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