Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Drive Love

We went for a drive to take our younger daughter to her friend's house. And just kept going. Might as well go visit my parents! Stop for tea and chat. Works for us!

Pictured: Our older daughter and I found my parents in Olympia, earlier this year.

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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Most are Taller Now

I wonder when we can recreate this photo. Get all the grandkids together in one place. From California, Oregon, and Washington. And see how they've grown! With one more added since this picture was taken.

Pictured: In front of South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, June 2013

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Surrounded by Beauty

My husband pulled off the highway. Not with car trouble, thankfully. But the view was stunning, and he wanted to share it. We are surrounded by beauty!

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 ESV

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Press On

I am determined to not give up. Even though I am really late to get a Christmas letter out. So I will press on and get it done. Maybe I can get a draft done before Chinese New Year.

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 106:1 ESV

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Library Date

I have a new favorite place to meet friends. Without coffee. My friend's daughter did not have preschool today. So we met at the Tumwater Library. I love reading children's books with little friends!

But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16 ESV

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life Group Prayers

If our life group says we will pray for you, we will. Or if God puts you on our hearts. Tonight's prayer time was especially sweet and heartfelt.

of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, Colossians 1:25 ESV

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Many Memories

I'm glad we have lots of photos of our beloved dog. So many good memories over 10 years. He loved the snow.

Pictured: Snow in January, 2012

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, January 24, 2016

Back in Colossians

And we're back in the Colossians series. After Christmas and a couple weeks on prayer. Last week was on suffering and this week on stewardship and purpose. Preach it, Pastor Seth Winterhalter!

of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:25-27 ESV

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Goodbye, Red

We knew he was getting up there. Around 12 in human years. But he still could roll around in the grass and occasionally make a run for it. We didn't know that yesterday was his last day with us.

Hard to believe our faithful golden retriever, Red, is gone. He was part of our family for ten years. After a day of difficulty breathing, he quietly left us in the early hours.

Pictured: Enjoying the sun and companionship in 2014

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25 ESV

Friday, January 22, 2016

Heading South

We will have to take another photo when my inlaws return. See how much our daughter has grown.

Pictured: Saying goodbye to the snow birds today.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:15 ESV

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tackle the Obvious

What do I do when I don't know where to start? When every area of my life and home needs work. Start with a good breakfast and a cup of tea or coffee. Do my Bible study. Pray for direction. Then tackle the obvious. Like dishes and laundry. A clean space brings clarity. And helps everyone in the home.

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 ESV

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Small Beginnings are Better Than Nothing

Call me a slow learner. But slow is better than stymied. I have the same goals shared eight years ago: desiring organization, desperately trying to file not pile, dreaming of streamlining, etc. I get discouraged but I choose to press on. Small beginnings are better than nothing!

Pictured: Five of the main reasons I don't give up! Taken last summer in Oregon.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.) Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Humble Guide to Entertaining

I have three main principles for entertaining.

First: What can I do with what I have? When we were first married, thirty years ago, we often served cinnamon toast to drop in guests. And tea. I don't think I had a coffee maker, let alone a French press, back then.

Second: Don't apologize for the state of affairs. Just ignore the laundry on the couch. Move it aside or throw it on a bed.

Third: Pray that I will be a blessing to those in my home. Focus on listening and welcoming.

Pictured: I used to make muffins all the time!

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9 ESV

Monday, January 18, 2016

Good to Go, With or Without Cell Service

I miss the old school maps we used to stuff in our glove boxes. Smart phones with GPS are great. But what if you are out of cell service? Like we were this summer driving across Oregon. My daughter taught me how to screenshot the step by step directions or map. Then you have a photo with the info. Or two, if the directions are lengthy. As long as you have battery life, you are good to go.

Know how to take a screenshot? On an iPhone, open the page you want to refer to, and simultaneously press the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button. Find the photo saved in your photos. Helps me get where I'm going, with or without cell service.

Pictured: Sample directions to a place I want to visit--Shipwreck Beads.

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 1:9 ESV

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What My Dad Taught Me

My dad taught me how a young lady should be treated. With tender loving care! Left love notes in lunch boxes in beautiful script. Packed all my worldly goods and my two sisters' stuff. Repeatedly. I don't know how he made it all fit in small vehicles or boxes to ship. Or put up with a household of women. Again, with the tender loving care! I have been loved and prayed for my entire life.

Happy 77th birthday to my sweet, loving Dad!

Pictured: Reading at a doctor's visit last year.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:11-13 ESV

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mental Checklist for Clothes

I have a mental checklist when shopping for second-hand clothes. Examine for stains, rips and undone seams. Do the zippers work and have all the hardware? My personal preference is to avoid projects. Look at both sides of clothing and hold up to the light. And don't just go by the size on pants. Some pants have been hemmed. Drastically.

What's on your list?

Pictured: I was there for the grand opening of the closest Goodwill Outlet. I love shopping by the pound, but it's not for everyone.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Help Myself

I am learning to help myself. Write things down. Set the timer so I won't forget something in the oven or on the stove. Or on the counter to refrigerate. When running errands, do the important things first. Or I might get distracted and run out of time. And if at all possible, leave margin in the schedule. Leaves room for the unexpected. How do you help yourself?

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Top Sources for Cards

I am always on the hunt for good cards. At the right price. I check thrift stores, where cards are priced from 25 cents to 50 cents. Or even cheaper at garage sales. But make sure they are not pre-signed!

If nothing else, bring out blank card stock, a glue stick, old children's books, and scissors. Make your own!

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!  Proverbs 15:23 ESV

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Look and Live

It is good to own books like Look and Live by Matt Papa. Because you will want to highlight and mark it up. Lots of good quotes. Here are a few:

"God commands you to love Him more than anything else because He knows that anything we love more than Him is going to betray us."

"The worst part of idolatry is that we have offended God. Despised and rejected God."

"We cannot keep continually dragging our idols off the throne. That throne is a magnet, and this process is utterly exhausting and otherwise known as religion."

"Idols are never removed. They are replaced. Displaced. They are not suppressed. They are eclipsed."

And the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." Numbers 21:7-8 ESV

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Change in Perspective about Revelation

I used to stay in the comfortable zone in the book of Revelation. Focus on the letters to the churches.Their commendations and corrections. Skip over the trumpets and horses and judgments. And earthquakes, hail, locusts, and other scary stuff.

But as I am studying Revelation in Bible Study Fellowship, I am seeing how merciful God is. He sent messengers to prophesy about His plan of redemption and salvation. There are so many warnings and pleas to come to Him. God restrains and limits evil and disaster. Even in the last terrible days, many are spared death with time to repent.

I pray that many will turn to the Lamb of God and find eternal hope and peace before time runs out.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21 ESV

Monday, January 11, 2016

How to be More Present

Obvious steps:
Stop reading the newspaper while someone is talking to me.
Put my phone and computer away when with family or friends.
Not so obvious:
Refrain from adding to my mental to do list in the company of others.
And if at all possible:
Get up earlier to work on writing and other projects before the day gets busy.
Stop blurting out something that just occurred to me, and interrupting the flow of conversation!

I care about the people around me, and I can be more present!

Pictured: This was a staged photo op in 2009.

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

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lessons in Prayer

I have learned some key lessons about prayer from my weekly MS injection. When I first started eight years ago, God did not say "yes" to my desperate pleas that I learn how to give myself a shot. He had something better in mind. Friends and family stepped in. And now, even after almost three years of using a self-injector, I still pray,  "Lord, help me!" every time. God faithfully provides just what I need at the right time.

Pictured: Bare in winter. Need to have faith that new growth will come in due time.

Give us this day our daily bread, Matthew 6:11 ESV

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Sourdough Don'ts

1. If you like to clean up messes, you will love what happens when you seal the sourdough starter too tight. With no room for the gases to expand, you can break containers. Maybe even twice in one week.

2. If you are tired of your sourdough, just ignore it in your fridge. Don't feed it and it will lose its oomph.

3. If you are taking good care of your sourdough, and use it in bread, don't overbake it. The chickens will be happy, but your family will be disappointed.

There are many websites with helpful information. Here are two to get you started.

Pictured: The yogurt container didn't break, but it blew its top. I broke a plastic bowl prior to this.

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11 ESV

Friday, January 08, 2016

Five Reasons I Love Leftovers

As much as possible, I try to always cook enough to have leftovers.

#1 Hot Lunch to Go. Extra chicken chicken soup or rice dishes are great for packing in my daughter's lunch. Heat it up in the morning and put in an vacuum flask. Voila! Easy "hot lunch."

#2 Leftovers Reinvented. Last night's chicken stir fry becomes today's chow mein. Just swap out rice for cooked spaghetti noodles or rice noodles. Have tortillas? Make fajitas or wraps. Or take leftover rice, clean out the veggie bin, dice the last of the sandwich meat, scramble some eggs, and you have fried rice.

#3 No Cooking Required. Leftovers make a great meal for one person, with no cooking required.

#4 Cook with a Plan. I love making homemade spaghetti sauce in big batches. Freeze extra for another day's lasagna or homemade pizza sauce.

#5 Soup of the Day. My mom is the master of saving dibs and dabs in the freezer and creating amazing soups. I like to put spaghetti sauce in my chicken tortilla soup.

How do leftovers work for you?

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

Thursday, January 07, 2016

God is at Work

Being part of Bible Study Fellowship makes me a better person. Between the homework, weekly discussion group, lecture, and reading the notes, there are many opportunities for God to soften my heart. I need that!

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Bring on the Spoilers

My kids know I don't mind spoilers. In fact, I welcome advance warning about when to cover my eyes. Or to skip a movie completely. More often it's the latter.

I enjoyed Jurassic World recently. I did jump and yell a little. "Get out! Get out! Get out!" My favorite part was the interaction between the brothers.

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 ESV

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Zero Regrets

When I attended high school in the metropolis city of Taipei, Taiwan, I thought I could never live in the smaller city of Taichung where the other American school was. Or when I lived in the big city of Portland, Oregon, I said I would never move to a hick town like Shelton. Did both. With zero regrets. Never say never!

Pictured: Downtown Shelton, my hometown for 24 years, and counting!

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11 ESV

Monday, January 04, 2016

Make Time for People

I want to fight the trend. I know more about friends and family and random people from social media than from face to face interactions. Not that it's bad to know who is cooking what, recipe video included, or who is pregnant. Yay for babies and ultrasound pictures and baby pictures! But I need to make time for coffee dates, lunch dates, or walks. Photo ops optional.

Pictured: Love the chance parking lot meetings, like this one with my parents and daughter in Olympia last weekend.

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

Sunday, January 03, 2016


I can hear my phone's navigational voice in my head, "Arrived." But in my own life, I will never arrive at perfection. Or be totally organized. I can grow and make improvements. Little by little. I am a work in progress. I am learning to be okay with that. And take comfort in knowing that God doesn't give up on me.

Pictured: Snow has arrived here.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Travel Bucket List

Once I renew my passport, I have ten years to make the rounds. I want to visit my childhood home of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Venture into Mainland China. Visit my friends in South Africa and swing by to meet my husband's new friends in Malawi and Mozambique. I have always wanted to visit the Holy Land and see where Jesus walked.

More locally, I would love to go on a thrift store tour with my sisters. Start in Portland and end in Southern California.

And hopefully in the near future my husband and I can visit Victoria BC for our 30th anniversary!

Pictured: Resting in the shade on a hike to Smith Rock State Park this summer.

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 103:2-5 ESV

Friday, January 01, 2016

What I Learn

You think you will remember. The milestones. Kids' or sleep-talking husband's funny sayings. How you tweaked that recipe. From which source. And most importantly, what God is teaching you. But it all blurs together.

This year I will record what I learn. Ditch the envelope backs and opt for notebooks. Snap photos or take screen shots, thanks to my daughter's tutorial. Continue to email links and recipes to myself; it's easy to search gmail. Time for a new Bible journal too.

I can up my game and learn to use Evernote.
What works for you?

Pictured: Family coffee date on New Year's Day

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Psalm 103:2 ESV