Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Say a Prayer and Hold on For Dear Life

Ready or not, here we go. Another year behind us. A new year ahead. Full of possibilities. Challenges. Unknowns. But on Christ the solid Rock we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Pictured: My husband and my oldest, tubing this summer.

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25 ESV

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Early Breakfast

I can get up early for breakfast. Before my husband leaves for work. If it means seeing my brother-in-law and family while they are in town.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Good Memories

No extra blankets and pillows on the couch. Just three people for meals. The house seems empty. But my heart is full. Lots of good memories from this Christmas.

Pictured: Three of us, holding down the fort.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, Philippians 1:9 ESV

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Friends at Church

I will always be thankful for the friends I have made at church. Even if people move away or move on.

Pictured: Our good friend was in town today.

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, 2014

Marshmallow Love

Hot chocolate never tasted so good! My daughter made homemade marshmallows for the family. Started the process last night and had a cutting demonstration tonight.

Did you know you can substitute agave nectar for corn syrup?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-marshmallows-recipe.html

Pictured: My daughter cutting marshmallows with Grandma.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, Psalm 103:17 ESV


Friday, December 26, 2014

While They Hiked

The men and my daughters were gone on a hike. I might as well go grocery shopping and restock. And if I run into my mother-in-law at the store, we can get coffee and use one of her BOGO coupons for burgers. Works for us.

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





Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We enjoyed Christmas breakfast with the grandparents. Too bad my parents and our older son were not able to join us.

Pictured: My youngest bought Carhartt hats for all of us.

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 2:12-14 ESV

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

We almost filled a row. Good to have three out of our four children home for Christmas Eve service at church!

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23 ESV

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Past (2009)

Looking back through old pictures. Remembering Christmas past.

Pictured: Our four, in 2009

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. Luke 2:10-11 ESV

Monday, December 22, 2014

Immanuel

If you act now, you can catch the last sermon at Mars Hill Church. Pastor Dave Bruskas preached about how Jesus is Immanuel, I love sermons that follow a theme from Genesis to Revelation.

https://marshill.com/media/jesus-gift-of-god/jesus-immanuel

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:22-23 ESV

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Piano Recital

"Who are you here for?" asked one of the parents. I was at the piano recital for three of my young friends. Representing their parents, who were both at work. The kids all did great!

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last Year's Christmas

It's fun looking through old pictures. And remembering last year's Christmas. We will have three out of four children home. In just a few days.

and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 1 Thessalonians 3:12 ESV

Friday, December 19, 2014

Three at the Table

The last Soup and Sound event was packed. Good thing there was room at the "head table" for a party of three. I love the hospitality they serve at that church. What a gift to the community every December!

http://www.sheltonumc.net/

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2 ESV

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not for Santa

I saw my friend and her daughters at the doctors' office. I said I was just there for routine tests. I was "being a good girl." One of the girls piped up, "For Santa?"

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Give it Up

I started the day with hot water. No coffee or tea. Or breakfast. So I could get a fasting blood draw. Took three pokes. Lots of prayer. And a hot pack. I don't give it up easily!

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meet on the Street

It was nice to see a familiar face in Olympia. While running errands before picking up my daughter from school. And she bought me lunch! At our favorite bagel shop.

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




Monday, December 15, 2014

Where We Are

I am getting requests for our current address. Two years ago today we moved across town into what we fondly refer to as, "The Hobbit House." It is small but very cozy and comfortable. I need to finish our Christmas letter. Which has been neglected for three years. And let people know where we are.

I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; Psalm 101:2 ESV

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas at Church

I think December is my favorite time at church. I love celebrating Christmas all month long.  It's all about Jesus.

and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." Matthew 11:3-6 ESV

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Community Group Reunion

Just like old times. Filled the dining room and kitchen. With a community group reunion, of sorts. Wish more old friends could have joined us!

Not pictured: My husband (the photographer), and a family that came after this photo was taken.

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, Colossians 2:2 ESV

Friday, December 12, 2014

Glad I Went

I didn't know anyone that was going today. But decided to go to the Soup and Sound lunch and concert anyway. And ended up sitting with a Chinese woman who is new to my town. I made a new friend.

Pictured: Beautiful organ music performed by Dr. Mark Brombaugh

http://www.sheltonumc.net/

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Light a Candle

Time to call it a night. Power is out here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ready for Christmas

People are asking if I am ready for Christmas. Do I have presents purchased and wrapped, decorations up, and cookies baked? Not hardly. I am not that organized. But am I ready to celebrate the Greatest Gift of all, our Savior Jesus Christ? Oh yes.

Pictured: My husband's little alpine fir is lit up for Christmas.

who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:9-10 ESV

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

So Loved

We are so loved. We had a great anniversary dinner at my in-laws'. Plus flowers. And a nice card from my parents.

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ping Pong Day

It's been a while since my ping pong days. Not playing, like I did growing up in Taiwan. But driving back and forth.

Today I picked up a young friend from the middle school. And her brother from grade school. Brought them to my house for tutoring. And back home. Took their grandma to her apartment. One day a week. I can handle that.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 ESV

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Twenty-ninth Christmas

I still marvel at God's amazing provision. Who would have thought my faithful ride to Bible study would end up as my knight in shining armor? He is still someone I can count on. Laugh with. Enjoy life together. Ride out the storms.

Happy 29th anniversary to us!

Pictured: Picking out a Christmas tree for our 29th Christmas together.

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, 2014

Just Right

There was a window of perfect weather. Not too cold. Not too rainy. Just drizzly enough for a rainbow. And we found a just right Christmas tree.

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, December 05, 2014

Free Lunch and a Concert

I know where to get a hot bowl of soup, bread, and coffee or tea. And enjoy a concert. The United Methodist Church in Shelton opens the doors and welcomes the public on the first three Fridays of December. Lunch at 11:30 AM and concert at 12:15 PM.

http://www.sheltonumc.net/

Pictured: Enjoying free lunch with my in-laws today.

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. Luke 2:10-11 ESV

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Backseat Riders

My older daughter likes to drive. My younger daughter likes to DJ. So it was, "Bigs in the backseat." We made it work. That's a fun Thanksgiving memory.

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. Proverbs 14:26 ESV

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Done with Shopping

I am about done with shopping. I don't mean that I'm ready for Christmas. I wish I was that organized and prepared. I mean that it is painful to be in stores with stressed people. Be surrounded by piles of merchandise. So I try to be friendly. Help clear aisles for people in wheelchairs. Give a word of encouragement to harried checkers. And above all, remember the Reason for the season.  I can do that.

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


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Always Blessed

I didn't feel like leaving the house tonight. It's freezing out there. But we are committed to our small group Bible study. And as usual, I am so glad I went. I am always blessed by the reading of God's word, prayer time, and sharing our lives.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV

Monday, December 01, 2014

Feels Like Home

It's hard to believe it's been two years since we moved across town. Downsized from a four-bedroom to a two-bedroom home. Two bathrooms to one. Converted from a gas stove to electric.

But the hardest thing to believe is how little I miss the home we built. I love our new setting and the cheery kitchen. Feels like home.

Pictured: Getting coffee and internet after we moved, two years ago.

Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9 ESV

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bonus Time


We had a bonus day with our older daughter. Instead of taking her home yesterday, we went today after church. Good thing we had hats in the car. It's chilly out there!

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Galatians 3:25-26 ESV

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meet for Dinner

If you need to find a place to meet, might as well pick a restaurant. Use your birthday gift card you've been saving. Have a nice dinner with your son and his girlfriend before they head north. Works for us. Just avoid the crazy drivers in the mall parking lot!

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. Proverbs 15:17 ESV

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our Three

We interrupt this coffee date with the grandparents. At our favorite meeting place. To capture a photo of our three children together. Good times.

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 ESV


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks Around the Table

It was easy to fit seven around the table. Two in-laws, three children, my husband, and I. But we would have gladly made room for more. We missed having our oldest with us. And our son's girlfriend.

It is good to pause regular life. Take time to reflect on God's many blessings.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5 ESV

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Young Singers

I'm always glad to have Bible Study Fellowship right before a big holiday. Sets the tone. And today we had an extra treat. The babies and little ones joined us for a short corporate worship time.

And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. Exodus 31:18 ESV

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Smooth Sailing

You never know what you will get with holiday traffic. We avoided all that by holding an early Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family. Our drive to Portland last weekend was smooth sailing. And it helped that we caught a break in the rain.

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Perfect for Sampling

Our tour guide was happy to take us to a coffee place:  Pip's Original Doughnuts. In NE Portland. With amazing little doughnuts. Perfect for sampling different flavors. My daughter liked the apple cider glaze. I liked the cinnamon and sugar. The tour guide (my sister-in-law) liked the raw honey with sea salt.

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, November 23, 2014

Early Thanksgiving

We have been waiting to see my sister's new home. We were able to make a quick visit on the way to join my husband's family for an early Thanksgiving gathering.

Pictured: Around the table with our two daughters and my sister and family.

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sugared Cranberries

It looked simple online. Just two ingredients. Cranberries and sugar. And we have something new for Thanksgiving this year.

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2014/11/sugared-cranberries/

Pictured: My assistant on the Sugared Cranberries.

Let all that you do be done in love 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baker in the House

I love having my daughter home for the weekend. I don't mind if she steps in to make dinner. And bakes some cookies.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Repeat the Sounding Joy

I may have beat my husband to the punch. Been first to crank up the Christmas music. He usually has The Young Messiah going by now. I am enjoying Citizens: Repeat the Sounding Joy in the car.

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. Luke 2:10 ESV

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Short Leash

Every now and then our golden retriever decides to make a run for the back property. But he could end up on a busy road. So I'm putting him on a short leash. For his own good. Reminds me of the 10 Commandments. They are for our protection.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 4:3 ESV

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mobile Office

I have a new mobile office. If you want to call it that. I can sit in the car and do my Bible Study Fellowship homework. Listen to Christian radio if one of my favorite pastors is on. Drink coffee brewed at home. Works for me. (Until it gets much colder.)

I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God. Exodus 29:45-46 ESV

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reason for Everything

Have I mentioned lately that I love studying the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship?  Right now we are in Exodus. God gave detailed instructions for setting up the tabernacle.Why? Because God has a reason for everything. It all points to Jesus as the perfect sacrifice and perfect high priest.

And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. Exodus 25:8-9 ESV

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Testimony of God

Our church is wrapping up the series in 1 John. You can watch or listen to a powerful sermon by Pastor Matthias Haeusel, who is now a pastor at the Mars Hill Ballard Church.  Ever wonder what it means to come by the water and the blood? How do we know Jesus is the Son of God?

https://marshill.com/media/1st-john-love-one-another/the-testimony-of-god

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12 ESV

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Does God Exist?

Can a Christian and an atheist have a civil and rational debate about the existence of God? Yes they can. Our friend, Rand Wagner, hosted an informative debate tonight. Both sides got to share their positions and answer questions. It is good to know what you believe and why.

http://thoughtlife.com/events/does-god-exist-debate/

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3 ESV

Friday, November 14, 2014

Every Day Blogging

We are scrolling through 8 years of memories. That's how long I have been blogging. Every day. That's a lot of birthdays, Bible lessons, road trips, and recipes. Interspersed with bargain hunting and bagel love. First days of school. And sadly, last days of friends and family who are not with us anymore.

I asked my husband for his favorite posts. Here are three:

Remembering a special friend and classroom volunteer who lost her battle with cancer: http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2011/12/remember-mary.html

Remembering the year the kids built an igloo. And slept in it: http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2008/12/chilled-out.html

And his favorite picture of us when we were young:
http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2014/07/fireworks-went-off.html

Blog on! (I can do that.)

Pictured: The beautiful sky over downtown Shelton yesterday.

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes." Nehemiah 4:14 ESV


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mexican Restaurant Love

I happened to notice that the new restaurant was open for business. Perfect for a date night while our daughter is at a Bible study.

Welcome to the new Mexican restaurant in town, El Guadalajara. They are located in what used to be KFC, on First Street. Fresh, hot and delicious food with friendly customer service. And mushroom salsa!

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, November 12, 2014

Love my Baby Blue

I still love my baby blue. It's time to start wearing a warm down jacket again. Eight years ago I wrote about it on my blog. And I'm still thankful for a husband who warms my heart every day.

http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2006/12/my-baby-blue.html

Pictured: My husband in his Seahawk blue and me in my baby blue today.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You for Your Sacrifices!

It's been a while since I took my Grampa to school for show and tell. Bless his heart, he was a good sport to come and share about his experiences during World War 2.

On Veterans' Day I want to also recognize the sacrifices of the spouses. Like my Gramma. And my friends at church who have gone through recent deployments.

God bless you and may you feel appreciated!

http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2009/11/thank-you-for-your-service.html

Pictured: My grandparents celebrating their 73rd anniversary this summer.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.Psalm 138:7 ESV

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ruth!

I can think of several Proverbs 31 women in my life. I have my own mother, mother-in-law, and grandmothers.

And the woman who took me in as an awkward college student when I was far from the home. Bless Ruth for graciously opening her home and her heart. Happy Birthday!

Pictured: My mom (on the left) and look who drove up from Portland for my birthday this summer!

http://widemargins.blogspot.com/2007/11/strength-and-dignity.html

Her children rise up and call her blessed: her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:28-29 ESV

Sunday, November 09, 2014

On Duty

My times on duty are never wasted. I almost always have good conversations when it's my turn at the Connect Desk at church. Today I met some visitors and reconnected with an old friend.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:2 ESV

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Beauty of the Season

We are a good team. My husband puts plants and trees in pots. And I enjoy them. Every time I walk by.

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:18 ESV

Friday, November 07, 2014

Bistro Lunch

What if your friend works lots of hours and it's hard to get together? Meet at her workplace. For lunch. I love the salad bar in our hospital Bistro. With self-serve olive oil and vinegar on the tables. Works for me.

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

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Changed it Up

I don't always listen to Christian radio in the car. But when I do, I like to catch certain programs. Like Walk in the Word with James McDonald. But they changed up the programming on my local station. No problem. I can listen with my phone app or catch it online.

http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/radio/

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Grapes of Match

I wondered how long it would take. For the new community group host and I to develop synchrony. Just a couple weeks in, and we both brought a bowl of grapes to share.

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