I have never had a "word for the year", as I have been reading that several of you have. I think it's a great thing to hear a word from the Lord and make it yours for the year. I didn't really ask the Lord for this word, but it came into my consciousness with no doubt that it is to be my word for the year - or really for the rest of my life: flexible. Flexibility is rather the story of my life. My plans have to change in a heartbeat, it seems.
Not only do I need this attribute in my personal daily life, but I need it in my body - I need to be in better shape so that when I get down on the floor with the little ones, I don't have to go through such gyrations to get back up.
I decided to do a word search for this word in The Word. I really didn't expect to find it. I checked The Message, and there it was:
Matthew 12:3-8 (The Message)
3-5 Jesus said, "Really? Didn't you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn't you ever read in God's Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it's not held against them?
6-8 "There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—'I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual'—you wouldn't be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he's in charge."
I want that more than ever this year - Him to be in charge. So I will work this year at not being so set in my ways, so inflexible, so sure that I am right.
This is my 400th post. I have no contest to offer. I'm sorry! Some of you reach your 400th post long before this - I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years. Some of you post every day - I don't know how you do it. Any way you look at it, that's a lot of words and a lot of pictures. And a lot of new friends and a lot of fun.
Hang on to your hats - this is going to be a wild ride - no rhyme or reason, no theme, just lots of catching up. I know - I'm supposed to be telling you about our anniversary trip to Estes Park. That will be next - don't worry. I know you're worried!
The twins will have two parties - it doesn't make any difference to them that their first one is tomorrow, 4 days after their actual birthday. Then next week-end we hope to have an open house for all our church friends who have been so supportive during this amazing year.
Kev and Sema wanted us to wait till they got home to celebrate, but Kristen is going out of town that week-end, so we'll just have to have a third party, won't we? Speaking of Kev and Sema - the phone rang at 2:00 a.m. the other night (morning?). Remember awhile back when the riots were going on in Kenya, and some of you dear friends sent money to Sema to send to her family? The kids have used their spending money for food and transportation since they've been there - sharing with the rest of the family. Things are much higher than they were 6 years ago when they were last there, and they were out of the money they had taken. The phone was breaking in and out, so I asked him to hang up and e-mail me.
It was noon there in Mombasa and Kev was hoping I could wire him some money before the money gram office closed at 3:00 in the afternoon - which was 5:00 a.m. here. I happened to have enough cash on hand, so I pulled on some clothes, went out into the cold night, and headed for the grocery store. I should have called before I did so, because it turns out there's nobody available to do a Western Union transaction until 7:00 a.m. So another e-mail to Kenya winged its way telling Kev they'd have to wait another day, because of the huge time difference. I got a message earlly the next day that they had received the money and were off to the house on the beach that her parents are building - a little tiny bit at a time. It's obviously not completed because they're sleeping in a tent. I don't suppose I'll hear from them until they get back to the city - who knows when.
This not-very-good picture of Maizie makes me happy, in spite of the tears of one of the babes (I'm not sure which!) I am so very glad that I took all of the girlies to see her several times. It not only made Maizie happy, but brought joy to all of the residents of her assisted living home. I always went at lunch time so they'd all be in the cafeteria and could enjoy seeing the girls. I only wish I'd gone more often.
After the nice visit my sis and I had with Maizie on Friday evening, I returned on Saturday afternoon. My hope to see her daughter was realized, and we had a nice long visit. But Maizie wasn't doing well that day. She was aware, though, that she was "having a very bad day." She was taken to Hospice shortly after that. I went up once more and found her to be sound asleep and much more emaciated than she was last week-end. I left a note for her family, and have not returned. It amazes me that she is still alive. What an incredibly strong person she is. I hope she goes Home soon, because this is not living. I know that Jesus and Joe are waiting with open arms.
Tuesday was to be a fun day - I was going to lunch with my two dear friends from high school - yes, high school back in Nebraska. We are blessed to be able to connect at least once or twice a year for lunch. I was just getting ready to leave the house to run some errands prior to lunch when my phone rang. It was one of my friends with some devastating news. Our other friend's stepdaughter had been found dead in her apartment in Denver - the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. What a horribly freak occurrence - what sadness. She was working on her master's degree in international studies at Denver University - the same program that Condoleeza Rice graduated from years ago. She was to leave for Israel tomorrow for an internship, working in the human rights area. Her family was a bit fearful of her going to such a troubled part of the world. She had gone back to her apartment after the holidays to study and read and get ready for her adventure. Who could ever imagine that her safe haven would become her death trap.
The funeral was today. This is the second funeral of a bright, beautiful, young person with unlimited potential I have experienced in the last 6 months (see here and here). I come away from these occasions wondering how one so young could have accomplished so much in such a short time. I also come away with hope for the future if there are others like them. I believe there are. These two articles tell what happened and a bit more about her. Please put Lauren's family on your prayer list.
On to happier subjects -- Little Miss Katie was helping me with the dishes the other night --
It brought back the memory of a picture I took about 30 years ago -- glad I could locate it! We didn't have a dishwasher in those days.
Remember the pretty little bird cafe my dad designed and built for us? He designed it specifically to keep the squirrels out. I caught this fun picture story the other day -- this fat little squirrel was really frustrated as he attempted to swipe the birds' food. He was at the back first, then came around to the front with his nose heading for the food.
He should have been content to do what these other two did - enjoy the bounty the birds kicked out of their restaurant.
And finally -- are you relieved? I have discovered a new author that I really like. I hope the rest of her books are as good as the first one I found. I just finished In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols. Am I the last one to find her? Check her out, if you haven't already.
One more thing - I have a song for the year. It is one of my favorites by the Gaither Vocal Band and had hoped to find their rendition on YouTube. But it's not out there by them - I found an inferior version, but don't want to put that one up. So I'll just give you the words. Great song! I live in HOPE that I can actually live up to these words.
I'm not gonna speculate or contemplate on how it might have been.
I'm not gonna worry, He's got the whole things in His hands.
I won't let it haunt me, I won't let it win.
I'm not gonna ruminate or meditate on how it might have been.
I'm gonna release it, He's got the whole thing in His hands.
Maybe lately I started to resign,
But here it goes, God only knows
It might just ease mind.
I'm not gonna worry, I'm not gonna fret,
I'm just gonna wait and see and in between give thanks for what I get.
I'm not gonna worry , He's got the whole thing in His hands.
I'm not gonna worry I'm not gonna fret,
I'm not gonna speculate or contemplate what hasn't happened yet.
I'm not gonna worry, He's got the whole thing in His hands.