Friday, August 31, 2007


Where in the world has the last five years gone in such a hurry? How could you possibly be in school already?? I am so happy that you have such a great attitude toward life (most of the time!) and that you are sure that they are going to have 3, 4, or maybe 5 recesses today in honor of your birthday. Yay! We get to go to Chucky Cheese's again tonight!! All 3 of you kids love that place. At least the pizza is a bit better than it used to be.

I am going to re-post what I wrote last year for your 4th birthday, because it still applies.

grandma and hayley

The day you become a grandmother for the first time is indescribable. It wasn't supposed to be for 3 more weeks. What excitement! The room was full of people awaiting the arrival. When Kristen was born, nobody was allowed in the room except Daddy. Only our pastor could visit after she was born. My sister and her husband came running to the hospital when we let them know we were there, but they had to stay in a different room and talk to me on the phone as I was in labor. What a change!

We all left the room as Care Bear actually arrived - we thought it was a moment to be shared with the Mommy and Daddy, without so many spectators. But we were there moments later. What a thrill to see this new tiny little life.

The picture was taken on my birthday. I was in another world as she snuggled on my shoulder. Life took on a whole new dimension when she was born. All of the memories of new motherhood came back so clearly. All of the joys and struggles rushed back as if they were yesterday, not 27 years before.

The last four years have gone so quickly. Care Bear, as she is called in blogland, has brought so much joy to our lives. She is incredibly bright (I would go so far as to say gifted). She "gets" so much of life at such a young age. She has an amazing vocabulary and uses the words in the correct context. I am consistently amazed at what she knows and understands. My greatest wish and prayer is that she will become the person God wants her to be. I know God has a plan for her life, and I want to watch that plan unfold. Happy Birthday, sweet Care Bear!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting Through Life, One Job at a Time

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait to get a job? My first employment was far too easily gained. It gave me false expectations for the future. It was definitely a case of "it's not what you know, but who you know that counts." A lady in our church got me into her real estate office for the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. It was great. I rode with her to and from work. I got to use my new typing skills. It was cool in the office and I didn't have to serve food to anyone.

This was my first experience with an electric typewriter - the highest form of technology for the time. This was before copy machines. Does anyone remember carbon paper? I had to do 5 copies of contracts on legal sized paper. Everything had to be perfect - no strike-overs or corrections of any sort allowed (this was also before white-out, which would not have been allowed even if it were available). I can't even tell you how many copies of those contracts I ruined and wasted that summer. I was afraid I'd lose my job if they found out, so I went from one trash can to another when I threw away whole sets of 5 ruined pages. But it was an invaluable experience and I made some money.

In an aside, I will never forget where my very first paycheck went - to pay a speeding fine. I was a brand new driver. I was going after someone for Sunday school, for Pete's sake! I had not driven on the interstate much, and I was thinking deep thoughts about something and neglected to slow down when I went from the speedway into the residential area - doing 45 in a 30, so the officer said. I was sure I'd get off easily, since it was my first offense. I had to take off work to go to court. Everyone else was getting $10 fines, so I breathed a bit easier as the day went on. The judge looked at my offense, asked me if I was guilty. Then he said, "If you drive like a man, and you speed like a man, I'm going to fine you like a man. $50 and court costs!" Bang of the gavel - all of my first check gone. A very sexist judge, by today's standards, and a very hard lesson learned. (I wish I could say it was my last speeding ticket).

So - the next year, I coasted through the spring semester, sure that I had that job sewed up for the summer after graduation. Imagine my shock when I was told their business wasn't doing well enough that year to warrant summer help. I was heading to college, as I wrote about here, and desperately needed money. I could not find a job anywhere that summer - you realize this was pre-McDonald's. I ended up going to several weeks of church camp, both as a worker and as a camper. It was a wonderful way to spend the summer, but not helpful for my upcoming expenses.

When I got to college that hot summer day in 1969, I immediately went to to "employment office." It wasn't much in those days. There really wasn't much available for someone without a car and who wanted to have some fun as a student! I was determined to not work in the school cafeteria - I'd been there, done that in elementary school and at camp. I know I should have been willing to take what I could get, but I REALLY did not want to do that.

I did manage to land a "little" job. It involved spending the night with an elderly lady who was bedfast. It definitely wasn't ideal, because it involved going over to her house, across the street from the dorm, at about 9:00 in the evening and sleeping there. My role was to be sure she had someone there to help her with any needs during the night. I won't go into details about the very worst night of this short-lived career, but suffice it to say it involved changing bedding and everything else in the middle of the night.

The good news? A whole $5.00 per night. The bad news? I was already paying to sleep on campus, and now I was being paid not to. I was missing all the fun of the nighttime ritual in the dorm. I was very lonely.

And - I wasn't really very good at this job. I slept too soundly. I'll never forget the morning that I finally awoke to this poor little old lady hollering as loudly as her ancient little voice could muster - and never woke me up. I didn't awaken until her daughter came pounding on the door to relieve me to go to class - late for my 7:30. I thought she'd fire me on the spot, but she must have been desperate.

I did this on Monday through Thursday, and on Saturday, if I remember. My boyfriend and I walked for our dates, and we were walking past her house on a Friday evening when I noticed a wreath on her front door - a black wreath. That didn't seem quite right. When I called the next morning to see what was up, I learned that Mrs. Ridings had died that Saturday. I was ever so thankful that it wasn't on my watch! I felt bad - for the family - and for myself. Though I didn't enjoy the job and really wanted to be back with my friends in the dorm at night, I was now unemployed after only 5 weeks. Back to the employment office.

Job #2 to get through college - a laundromat down the highway needed someone to work several afternoons/early evenings a week. My job was to give change and keep the machines cleaned out. The problem? They had no business! Nobody needed change. The machines were never used. It was another very lonely job. I had plenty of time to study and knit. I had to walk home in the dusk and dark over a mile down busy Route 66 (yes, that Route 66). That job ended when the boss came in one night to check on things. I went back to get the broom - he followed me in there. He backed me up against the wall - we were kind of back behind the dryers. I had the broom in my hands, kind of keeping him from me. But I came really close to being violated behind those dryers that night. I must have prayed, though I don't remember it. Or somebody was praying for me. I remember being afraid, but not hysterical. I said, "Don't you have a wife?" He said, "Yes, I do." I said, "Why don't you go home to her?" God must have given me that courage, because it wasn't my own.

I really don't remember what happened at that point - I think the other guy who was with him came back. It seemed to me that the other guy knew what was going on. I remember shaking all the way back to campus on that busy highway. It didn't hit me until later that night how close I came to disaster.

After those two experiences, I didn't get another job that school year. I knew I should. I needed one. But I just didn't have the heart. I just totally enjoyed being a freshman, confident that God would take care of my needs. I did some occasional babysitting, which I did not enjoy. But it was a bit of cash for hose and toothpaste.

That summer I managed to snag two jobs - causing me to work 7 nights a week. I hated missing Wednesday night and Sunday night services, but I really needed the money. Four nights I worked at the Dairy Queen in our neighborhood - for $.75 per hour! My plan to lose the Freshman Fifteen was derailed daily, as we were allowed to sample our wares. Oh, my goodness! This DQ was the summer hang-out for a large group of really nasty junior high aged latch key kids, who made my life miserable.

The other nights were spent at a grocery store, the name of which I totally cannot recall, nor can I remember what I did there. It is all a blur. Obviously, it wasn't too enjoyable either. Bottom line - I worked 7 nights a week and barely dented my freshman year's school bill.


P.S. Please head over to Kristen's place to see a pictorial diary of Care Bear's first day of school. Note the bling she's wearing - 5 necklaces and 4 rings, early birthday presents from Kevin and Sema, who noticed that she always likes to wear jewelry. As Sema said, she's going to be High Maintenance for some guy someday!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Woman to Woman

woman to woman

"Learning to say no"

A lot of women feel like they have to "do it all", regardless of what
may be realistic for them. Do you fall into this category?
Can you just not resist the urge to be involved in everything? Or
have you learned to say no? Have you taken a
step backward and seen positive results?
Share your frustrations or share your advice...
Tell us what you think about the current trend to be all things to all people.

I was so fortunate to be a stay-at-home Mom for a long time. I loved that job. I loved the perks. I worked hard at it and learned to shop very frugally, getting along without a car for some of that time. I sewed a lot, did a lot of needlework. I sewed for other people for a bit of money. The kids and I did a lot of walking with the stroller. We walked to town to pay bills, grab a treat at the donut shop, get a haircut, order something from Sears. It was fun.

For some reason, people think if you "don't work" you have time to do everything. I enjoyed working at church, but sometimes it got to be too much. At one time, I did the children's music on Sunday mornings, played the organ, sang in the choir, sang in duets, trios, quartets, was the missions president, taught an adult SS class with DC, and selected and directed the children's musicals. I was also on the district mission board.

The musicals were important to me, because my kids were young and, though we were a smaller church, I thought they needed that experience. In fact, a lot of what I did was because there was nobody else to do it. I did musicals for about 6-8 years. I can't really remember - it's all kind of a blur! One year we had a children's choir for the Christmas program instead of a musical, and I enlisted the help of several of the other young moms to make choir robes with little red bows for each of the kids. (Those robes have been used for years now as angel costumes - makes me feel kind of good to see all that hard work still being utilized).
It was a lot of work, but the end result was so rewarding that it was kind of like the pain of childbirth - you forget it and go ahead and have another child - or direct another musical!

Selecting the musical, ordering the music, holding try-outs, trying to keep any child's feelings from being hurt, having rehearsals, making the costumes, creating the props - wow, when I think about it now, I get simply exhausted.

There came a time when I can remember feeling like I was on a merry-go-round or a roller coaster - I couldn't figure out how to get off and I was dizzy. I definitely was afflicted with the "should, would, ought syndrome," which one of our special speakers talked about one year. I knew I had it, but didn't know how to get rid of it.

I would not have chosen the method that finally accomplished the "stepping backward" process. Both of my children began to have serious situations in their lives. I had just begun to work full time when these things hit us like a ton of bricks. I had eased back into the work world, working just a few hours a week in the school cafeteria for several years, then substituting in all of the support staff positions in the school district, then a full-time school district job which allowed me to be home when the kids were coming home from school and also have the same vacations. Finally I bit the bullet and went to work at a year-round job which would allow me to help with college expenses.

It was a high price I paid, however. Things fell apart at home. Interestingly, my job became my refuge from the trauma in my life. I had to concentrate on my work so much that I was able to compartmentalize for those 8+ hours, and on the commute. But I soon realized I only had enough energy to do my paid job and the most minimal housework I could get away with.

I could not possibly continue with all of those jobs at church. I had nothing left to give. I remember very specifically hearing from my Lord that it was okay - I could take a break. Others would step up and do the jobs. I discovered that I wasn't irreplaceable! I dropped everything except choir, which nurtured and fed my parched spirit. I also remained on the district board, because those meetings were quarterly and those people were a great support group.

The most amazing thing of all was when someone would ask me to take on another position, I was able to say "no." And I didn't feel guilty. God was letting me relax.

As the years have gone by, I have taken back the mission leadership position. I play the organ one Sunday a month, I sing in the choir and in a mixed quartet. I have learned my limitations. I don't have to do it all. It is great to see younger people step up and take the responsibilities.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Random Ramblings #17

It seems that randomness happens more often lately. Must be evidence of the way my brain is working lately - randomly! As I awoke at 5:17 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep (remember how upset I was to have to get up at 5:30 last Saturday ) I began to think of all the things I wanted to write about, so I guess I'd better do it before I forget them. I already have forgotten some.

First and foremost, thank you so much for your prayer and care during the last difficult week. It means so much to Kristen and to me! You are the best friends a girl could have.

A nip of fall is in the air. It is very cool in the morning and evening. There are geese flying noisily overhead, in that wonderful V-formation. It is always a bit of a disappointment when it then goes up into the 90s during the day. We typically have a fairly long Indian Summer (or I suppose I should say Native American Summer, to be PC)! The sun is rising much later and setting much sooner. It is low in the sky as I head for work now.


Another hibiscus bloomed this week. I had actually forgotten it was in the same bed as the white ones with pink edges.


Care Bear starts kindergarten next Tuesday. I sure Kristen will write about our adventure at the annual Ice Cream Social, where the kids find out who their teacher will be, and have a chance to visit their room and see where they'll be sitting. Ironically, it is the same room Kristen was in when she went to kindergarten (she looks a little tired from the tough week it has been). The next year they sent our neighborhood kids to a different school, because we had overcrowded this one. Now, this neighborhood has gone back to the original school - another irony. Since they live 3 doors down from the house she grew up in, their kids go to the same school and Care Bear will be in the same room. I couldn't resist taking a picture of her sitting at that little table. (I just discovered I don't have any of her in that room when she was 5 - shame on me!)


My niece is here from England - to shop for her wedding dress. Apparently it is more cost effective to fly over here and buy a dress than to buy one in London. Wow. But then she gets the bonus of seeing two aunts and uncles, a sister and brother and their spouses, a niece and nephew, 3 cousins and their spouses, 5 second cousins, and her grandparents. That's just on our side of the family, not going into her mom's family. It'll be a fast and furious, very busy few days. I sure hope she finds a dress she loves.

How does it happen that little bratty neighbor boys who have spent years skate-boarding and biking over ramps in the middle of the culdesac, suddenly are old enough to drive cars?? That is not a pleasant thought for us, judging from the carelessness of their bike-riding days. Cars?? Yikes!

Yesterday at work we said good-bye to a work study student who has been our best one ever. She's moving to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The same place we went for our 25th anniversary and are going for our 35th in December. I hope to connect with her for a few minutes while we're there.

Speaking of work and students - we're off to a busy start of another school year. Barb's son-in-law, Aaron, is off to a running start in his graduate program. His classes are right down the hall from my office, so I see him often. Sorry, Barb! He's doing great. He'll soon be working right across the hall from me. The next group has orientation Monday, so they'll be hitting the ground running as well. The undergrads started Monday, so Kevin is also very busy taking 18 credits, and majoring in social work (he's taking Arabic for the fun of it!) - so hopefully I'll see him once in awhile. So far I haven't because his SW classes are in the afternoon and I work in the morning.

The kiddoes and I have had some fun conversations this week. It was very hot early in the week (and then turned deliciously cool the last few days). The girls wanted to run through the sprinkler. I mentioned that we didn't have their suits, but they could take off their clothes and run in their underwear - but we'd have to go into the back yard, of course. Care Bear says, "It's inappropriate to be in the front yard in our underwear." Okay, I ask you, did you know the word "inappropriate" and how to use it appropriately in a sentence when you were not quite 5??

Then we drove by her house on the way to Baskin Robbins the other night while her parents were at praise band practice. She says, "Which vehicle did they use?"

They were having a great time making up a movie the other day, and had made quite a mess in the process. I reminded them that they needed to finish up and help clean the mess before it was time to go home. I asked Feisty, who hadn't really even made much of the mess, "Feisty, do you want to help me clean up this mess?" "Sure!" She is always so willing.

I said, "You're such a good helper, when your brother and sister just want to play."

Anakin says, in an aggrieved tone of voice, "GRANDMA!! - Well, it's the truth, but the truth hurts!"

Feisty is on a first name basis with one of our neighbors' cats, Tommy. Tommy is old and likes our yard much better than his own. He especially likes this spot on a hot day. Feisty is always watching for him there. So cute.


I read lots and lots of fun mystery books. Many authors. I have just discovered a new series by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the first in the series. It takes place in the small country of Botswana, Africa. These are easy, quick reads and enjoyable. I'm about to finish the third one.

My goodness, that is enough! I was going to share some Max Lucado again, but I think I have kept you captive long enough. If you even made it this far! Have a blessed week-end!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

No Time to Write, but . . .

. . . please do go over to Kristen catch up on the latest. Thanks again for your care and concern! And prayers! Most of all your prayers.

Okay - I should probably change the title, as I am now home from work and ready to catch up a bit. Unbelievably, as you noted if you have gone over to her site today, Kristen is back at work. Wonder drugs and lots of prayer have worked miracles in her body. I trust that she will be able to stay healthy and strong.

When I am under stress and in distress, I eat. I am definitely an emotional eater. Some people can't eat when they're upset. Not me. I graze all over the kitchen. I eat stuff I don't even like. If there were raisins in my cupboard, I would have eaten them yesterday. I really don't like raisins. I know, in the midst of this binge behavior, that I am derailing all of the hard work I've done in the last two months. I even lost 2 pounds while on vacation, for Pete's sake! And here I am packing those lost pounds back on - they found me again.

The collateral damage of my angst is that, not only do I gain weight back, but I feel lousy. I have zero energy, and even feel a bit short of breath. So - I feel too lousy to go to the gym. When I don't go to the gym, I feel even lousier - and when you add on the guilt factor, I am a mess.

I can always tell when I'm in trouble - I stop keeping track of what I'm eating and when I'm exercising. That's the only way it works for me, and when I quit, I backslide fast and furiously.

But I am asking God to help me get back on track, to place my trust where it belongs, and to QUIT WORRYING!!

I am sure I have told this story before, but I don't have the energy or inclination to go back into my past posts to find it. So I will tell it again.

When I was pregnant with Kristen, 33 years ago, I had no morning sickness. I had no health problems whatsoever; in fact, I felt great. I reveled in being pregnant.

Then came the Friday I'll never forget. I had been to my monthly appointment the day before. I got a call at work asking me to come in and bring DC with me. I don't know why that wasn't ominous for me, but it wasn't. I called him at his work, and we headed for the clinic. Of course, by the time we got there, the doctor who was going to see us was off delivering a baby. So we waited. He finally arrived and we were ushered into his office. He looked at us with a very serious face and said that it appeared I had a case of Rubella at some point in the first 23 weeks of my pregnancy. Rubella, also known as German measles, was a serious scare then - I don't recall hearing much about it lately. But it was known to cause blindness, deafness, or retardation (not the PC term now, I know). I asked him, "Can you have this without knowing it?? I haven't been sick for one minute."

And then he told us that "it is not too late to terminate the pregnancy." Much the same terminology Kristen heard Tuesday.

At that moment, Kristen (or Kevin, because we didn't know which it was, and those were our chosen names), gave me a huge kick as if to say, "I'm okay, Mommy. Don't let them kill me.!" DC and I looked at each other, knowing without a doubt that we would not even entertain that thought.

The nurse took me back for another blood test, holding my hand as I squeezed hers tightly. I cried, she comforted. She became my best friend in that doctor's office, and we shared stories for years to come, as she was with my doctor until she retired just a few years ago. Sally - what a great nurse she was.

Then began the longest week-end of my life - not nearly as long as Kristen has had to wait, but excruciating. My boss was a wonderful Christian man. Our desks were right in the lobby of a bank, but I sat at his desk after my appointment (yes, I went back to work), and told him my story, unable to hold back the tears. He prayed with me, and we went home for the week-end a couple of hours later.

On Monday, the phone call finally came with the news that there had apparently been a "lab error." Somebody read it wrong, somebody did it wrong, I don't know. Or God did a miracle. All I know is that several months later, the most beautiful baby girl was born.

So I know how Kristen felt when the babies were kicking her at the doctor's office. I do. But I can't imagine the feeling of knowing there are two!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Mike and Kristen didn’t get out of the doctor’s office until 5:00 (3 hours). She was on the ultrasound machine for a long time, as they tried to determine if it was safe to do the test on the babies. They determined they couldn’t yet do it safely. In the meantime, they did assure them that the babies were developing, both kicking, and the mass they were looking at last week seemed smaller. That’s the really good news. They asked her if she was planning to terminate the pregnancy if they did the risky test anyway and the news was really bad. She said they were not planning to terminate the pregnancy at all. So the doc said they might as well wait a couple more weeks to do an amniocentesis.

She has been so sick, as you know. Neither doctor, her own or the specialist, seemed to have any advice except that "it should get better as time goes on." It was getting worse. She's tried 3 different meds and none have helped. She couldn't even keep Mylanta down, and was suffering from acid last night.

By 10:30, she was so sick that they finally went to the emergency room. She called at 5:00 this morning from the hospital here in the town where she works instead of where she lives, because that’s where her ob gyn is. Sheis terribly dehydrated, and also has a UTI, which was a total surprise.

Blogger has been down all morning, so I am sorry it has taken so long to get this posted. Of all days for them to be down!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Please pray for Kristen again today. They will be going to the specialist this afternoon at 2:00 (Mountain Standard Time), and will presumably learn the condition of the babies. She has been incredibly sick throughout this pregnancy, and says that yesterday was the worst yet. She made it through the day at work, because her sick and annual leave are depleted. But I had the kids for a "sleepover" so that she could get some rest last night.
She has updated her situation today at her site.

We don't know what we would do without the prayers of all the wonderful people we have met in this way.

Thank you.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

End of Summer Day Trip

A few weeks ago my mom asked DC if he would be willing to take her and Dad on a Saturday trip to the mountains, including a cook-out breakfast. Of course, my husband is willing to do anything that has to do with going to the mountains. And he is wonderful to my parents.

Today was the day. I wasn't thrilled last night when he woke me up to set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. - I get up earlier than that every work day, so getting up that early on Saturday was not in my plans. But he had told my folks we'd pick them up at 7:00. We didn't get everything packed up last night (including gassing up the minivan), so he thought we needed that much time this morning. We could have waited till 6:00 to get up, but we got a very early start to the day and arrived at my folks' at 6:40, before they were ready to go, of course.

We headed for the hills promptly at 7:00, discovering on the way north that we (read I) had forgotten the pancake syrup. I reminded him that this was his party, and I only offered to help, not remember everything! We found a grocery store just a mile out of the way and headed out again.

It was about 8:30 when we found the first good spot to cook our breakfast and eat. It was a beautiful spot! We began cooking the sausage links. I was gazing across the river, noting that there was a bush swaying back and forth. It wasn't windy - what was up? Suddenly I spotted a very large black "blob" against the rocks. I couldn't believe it when I realized what it was:



We enjoyed watching the little guy (girl?) as long as he/she was across the river! We finished preparing the pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast - everything tastes better outside!


The river was just gorgeous, sparkling in the morning sunshine.



DC was on a mission - a surprise mission. This is one of his favorite places in the state - the canyon he drives up many times a year, especially in the winter to go cross-country skiing. He has also hiked many of the trails in this area, and knows the mountain peaks by name. He wanted to surprise us with sightings of moose. We were fortunate to spot two - a male and a female.



As we headed back down the mountain at the end of the day, we saw the male still sitting in the same spot, just taking it easy. I said, "Well, what else does he have to do?" Then I had these thoughts:

I want to be a moose.

No meals to cook.

No dishes to wash.

No bathrooms to clean.

No floors to mop or vacuum.

No clothes to wash, dry, fold, iron, put away.

Nobody to take care of.

Then I thought some more about it --

BUT --

No air conditioning in the summer.

No heat in the winter.

No shelter from the storms.

I think I'll stay a person, the way God made me.

We found a great spot for lunch. As we were fixing the fried potatoes, baked beans, and hamburgers, I was snacking on Cheetos. We soon had a visitor, with whom I shared one. He kept coming back for more, and soon the animal grapevine took over and we had two of them. We decided they were vegetarian, because they took the Cheetos and the hamburger buns, leaving behind the chunks of burger.



The clouds were just gorgeous today. There were different varieties, all at the same time, in layers.



Some random beautiful views:




It was a great day. For some reason, I was exhausted when we got home and I took a nice long nap before going to the grocery store. We had some lovely rain down here. We had spent quality time with my parents. We enjoyed God's bountiful creation. We saw a coyote running across a field, besides the bear, the moose, and the chipmunks. I hope you've enjoyed the vicarious trip with us.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Things That Are Helping Me Through This Week

This is my 200th post. I can hardly believe it. I don't plan any big celebrations. It has been a tough week and I want to share what I have read and heard that have kept me going.

Last week's Sunday School lesson was called "Living By Faith." It was taken from Galatians 3. The key verse was "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, 'The righteous will live by faith.' (Galatians 3:11). I loved this thought: "One of the most important aspects of faith is that when we say we have faith in someone, it means that we trust that person. Do we really trust God? When was the last time we worried about finances, health, or our future? Probably not very long ago!" Can you say yesterday? Today? Last Thursday? I need to go back to the Woman to Woman post I wrote a few weeks ago about worry - I need to read it every day to remind myself to "practice what I preach."

If you don't know what I've been fretting and worrying about, you can go read about it here and here.

"We may rush ahead of God's timing in our lives and try to make things work when it just isn't the time or the place for things to work out. It is in the waiting - in the in-between times - that our faith is exercised." Oh, that waiting. It is so difficult.

But God is so faithful. He keeps bringing things to me that I need. For instance, besides the SS lesson last week, I have found all of these readings. There was the devotional I read this morning about a young Zulu man working a piece of soapstone, making it into something beautiful. "When the sharp knife of loss and pain chips away at us, it is Christ's soft cloth of compassion that gently brings a radiant shine to our patina. Other times He gives an inner sanding to smooth the rough, calloused edges of our hearts to develop sensitivity, forgiveness, and grace. Tenderly, Jesus encourages us to press on for the colorful and beautiful shapes that are to come." (Ellen Decker)

My favorite writer, Max Lucado says this in He Still Moves Stones: From Jeremiah 32:37, "I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth. Nothing is impossible for me."

"We need to hear that God is still in control. We need to hear that it's not over until He says so. We need to hear that life's mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out. They are simply a reason to sit tight.

"Corrie Ten Boom used to say, 'When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.' . . .

"The way to deal with discouragement? The cure for disappointment? Go back and read the story of God. Read it again and again. Be reminded that you aren't the first person to weep. And you aren't the first person to be helped.

"Read the story and remember, the story is yours!"

One more word from Max, from the book When God Whispers Your Name:

"Are there any unsurrendered worries in my heart? 'Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you," (I Peter 5:7).

"The German word for worry means 'to strangle.' The Greek word means 'to divide the mind.' Both are accurate. Worry is a noose on the neck and a distraction of the mind, neither of which is befitting for joy."

Good stuff! Lord, help me to remember these words all day every day. Even if the answers next Tuesday are not what we want to hear.

There's always a song, of course, that comes to mind just when I need it. This one is by John Peterson and was written in 1952.

No one understands like Jesus;
He's a Friend beyond compare.
Meet Him at the throne of mercy;
He is waiting for you there.

No one understands like Jesus;
Every woe He sees and feels.
Tenderly He whispers comfort,
And the broken heart He heals.

No one understands like Jesus
When the foes of life assail.
You should never be discouraged
Jesus cares and will not fail.

No one understands like Jesus
When you falter on the way.
Tho' you fail Him, sadly fail Him,
He will pardon you today.

No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim.
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;
Cast your every care on Him.

One other thing that keeps me going - the things my grandkids say! Today's conversation with Care Bear (almost 5, but going on at least 22) is a case in point.

Care Bear and I were talking about a t.v. show that wasn't good for little kids to watch. Just then, Leave it to Beaver came on the screen.

She said, "Is that a good show for kids to watch?"

I said, "Oh, yes, that's a really good one. In fact, I watched it when I was a kid."

In the honesty of childhood, she said, "You did? That was a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time ago! A hundred years ago!"

One last thing - I received this sweet award from Michelle at Ozarks Sew n' Sews. I love this award - the Nice Matters Award. Thank you so much, Michelle! It really helped my spirits!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - Summer Yard Scenes

Care Bear Playing "Eloise Waking Up"
Storm Building in the East


There is so much I want to say, but no time to say it.

There is so much thinking going on, but the only time is at night when I should be sleeping.

I am so grateful for all of the prayers being offered to God for our family, both here and unborn.

There is quite a bit of frustration in my life right now.

I will concentrate on the verse I picked from the stack of cards this morning "randomly" - you think??

"You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Heart Is in My Gut

EDITED: Kristen has posted her news HERE. Please read mine first and then go see what she found out.

I know that is not very poetic. It is ugly. But it is how I feel this morning. God granted me peaceful sleep. I woke up around 2:00, whispered another prayer, and went back to sleep.

The news is not good. I will wait to give more details until I've talked to Kristen this morning. I hope she'll share details, and I'll link you to her. I just wanted you to know, since so many of you prayed yesterday. I know she was uplifted by your prayers, because she was calm and strong throughout the day. Please continue to pray that she will be able to concentrate at work. I know I am leaving you hanging, but I feel like it is her place to give me permission to share more.

We are headed into another battle. It is the Lord's. I must remember that.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
(Bill and Gloria Gaither)

The fear isn't gone. But I know He will help us, and He does hold the future.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
(Annie J. Flint)

I just got to work. Another thing I found in my over-full drawer of "stuff" accumulated over 12 years was a stack of note cards on which I had written scriptures - one for each day of the month. I don't remember doing it. I don't remember where the ideas came from for the scripture choices. But today - today - I picked this one out of the pile to look at as the day goes by. God is so amazing. Here are the two verses that were written on that card, who knows how long ago?

I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people (Living Bible).

My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness (NIV)
II Corinthians 12:9a

These are the words that came to me as I got up this morning and prepared to write this post.

Psalm 121:1-2 (The Message)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.


I am thankful that I can physically lift up my eyes to the hills. This shot is of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain Park. There are beautiful sights, then there are rugged shots - this is a very tough climb. Ask DC about it sometime. But it is reality - beautiful, but tough. Alot like life.

Thanks for your support. You are a blessing to me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

We Need Your Prayers Today

Kristen and Mike went to the first ultrasound yesterday afternoon. I was expecting them home early, because it was in the early afternoon. Three hours later, I was really wondering what they had decided to do instead of coming home and get their kiddoes. At 5:30 - 3 hours after the appointment started, she called me with tears in her voice. Instead of knowing whether it's going to be a brother or sister for the excited kids, they have to go to Denver today for a second opinion. The doctor saw something he didn't like and wasn't comfortable diagnosing the situation.
They are scared. We are scared. And sad. I am sad because I have not been excited about this baby. Do I dare admit this? I know it sounds awful. But it's true. There are many reasons. None of them have to do with the little person. But other circumstances. I know this not my fault, but I feel so guilty.

Please pray for them today. It was to be Mike's first day on a good new job. The doctor was going to call his employer - I hope he did. Please pray for God's will. Pray for peace in their hearts. I know you all know how to pray - I don't need to tell you. I trust your prayers more than you'll ever know.

I went to choir last night. Didn't make sense not to. Took the kids to their activities. One of the songs has been with me since I woke up. Yes, I slept. But prayed when I woke up at 2:00. Went back to sleep.

Here's the song:

You're all I want. You're all I ever needed.
You're all I want. Help me know you are near!
Help me know you are near!

We sang a new song last night. I couldn't believe how God picked it out just for such a time as this. I copied it off for them to meditate on as they drive to this very important appointment.

When you're walking through deep waters, I'll be with you.
When you climb tall mountains, you're not alone.
For I said in My Word put your trust in Me;
Stand still and know I am God.

When the enemy surrounds you he can't harm you.
When you're too tired to fight, don't give up hope.
Don't let your heart become troubled;
Stand still and know I am God.

I have always been and always will be.
I love you, You belong to me.
Hear those words I say, I'm never far away.
Stand still and know. Stand still and know!

Fear not, My child, I'm with you always.
I know how to care. Child, I'm always there.
I love you. You belong to me.
Hear these words I say, I'm never far away.

Stand still and know, stand still and know.
I am God. I am God.

I have been cleaning drawers in my office this week and found this quote by Mother Teresa, which I had taped to my monitor for a long time awhile back. I think I need it again:

"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Must Confess . . .

. . . that I dislike ironing - intensely. When I was a young SAHM, I even hated it then. I would put it off as long as possible. My best friend in those days was the opposite - she even ironed her little boys' underwear (she and Barb would get along famously!) We finally compromised our habits - I ironed more and she ironed less.

If I did "Tackle It Tuesday", this would be a perfect "before" picture.


I have been hiding this pile of ironing-to-do in my spare bedroom. When a friend came to spend the night, I realized how far behind I had gotten. I decided to tackle it last night, as the cooler night air came in my bedroom window and I watched "The Closer." (This is my new favorite show on TNT, starring Kyra Sedgwick - she is such a good actress!)

I had finished 6 pieces already and had them properly hung up when all of a sudden, out of the blue,without warning, without provocation of any sort, in the middle of the shirt you see hanging down over the board, my iron died. Now this iron is not old. It has definitely not been overworked. Evidently, it's just a piece of modern-made junk.

The large pile of blue that you see on top is a lovely linen tablecloth that I received from my MIL when she moved to an apartment and also gave me her beautiful cherry wood dining room set, which opens into a very large table for company. She didn't have room for the table, nor need for the tablecloth (and 12 matching napkins) when she downsized. I love using this heirloom for special occasions, but it takes me from one special occasion to the next to iron it - it's huge and not polyester! Nor are the napkins.

I can remember ironing for Mom when I was a kid - it was a weekly task for us. She started us out with handkerchiefs (remember those?) and pillow cases. It was a hot, sweaty job in the summertime in Arkansas.

So now I can't do an "after" picture showing my accomplishments. Instead I have to stop at Wal-Mart on my home from work today and pick up a new iron.

Martha Stewart I will never be. Nobody will ever accuse me of being like Martha of "Martha and Mary," Jesus' good friends and Lazarus' sisters. I will never be scolded for being compulsive with my housework. I am hoping, however, that with my not-too-distant retirement plans, I will go back to being a bit more diligent, as I was when I was younger. My house was much cleaner when I had little kids (of my own) than it is now. I can always blame the grandkids now - for the mess and for my depleted energy! But that's not kind. True, but not kind!

So hopefully I'll get a spurt of energy again after I get a new iron and get this job done. DC is probably wondering where in the world that blue and red plaid shirt is. I just hope this next iron lasts me the rest of my ironing life.

Now for another picture of the hibiscus - it is going crazy with beauty and notice all the future beauty!

And on a final note....if you would like to read some interesting, surprising news, go HERE.