Friday, September 26, 2008

5,400 miles in 5 weeks. . . .

Did you know that John and I traveled 5,400 miles in our diesel Jetta this past summer-with two bicycles on the the back and without a break down? We were on the road 5 weeks, visited 13 states, slept in 13 homes, shared meals in more, worshipped with the church in 4 locations-what a wonderful adventure; it's always delightful to visit new places-the panorama of God's creation is so diverse. . . but really, it was wonderful because of the opportunity to share in the lives of so many dear folks.

I'm beginning a study of the letter to the Philippians titled, Knowing Joy through Knowing Christ-great title, don't you think? Studying historical background, I learned that the church in Philippi was planted during Paul's second missionary journey-Acts 15:36 reveals the purpose of the trip: "Let's return to visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are."

I love to think on that. . . and when I muse about the future, a few years down the road when John no longer spends his days in the elementary school, I wonder just how and where we will serve the Savior? Perhaps He will send us to visit the brethren. . . and see how they are, and that indeed would be a worthy pursuit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

recipes and more. . . .

Luke's stuffed poblano peppers

Mercy's away at college in Lubbock, way north in the Texas Panhandle. Last week she called me, "Mom, I need a recipe. . . ." I exclaimed, "Mercy, you're making the traditional recipe phone call like the seven siblings before you!" and Mercy commented, "yah, I always thought it was silly that they were calling you just for a recipe, not for something more important. . ." So we talked about recipes and more. I'm glad she called.

The same day Josiah left a message on the answering machine, a message about a recipe: "Mom, I'm making biscuits-can I use butter instead of shortening? I don't have buttermilk, can I use half & half?" Those biscuits must have been delic. . . . here's an amusing thing about the Newtons: even when the grocery budget is the tightest, we always seem to squeeze out enough for butter and half & half. I'm glad Josiah called about a recipe. . . and more.

So, I'm thinking about all those recipe phone calls-recipes and more; the curious thing is that frequently now I'm calling them for recipes-they all cook; infact they're good cooks and make great coffee- Imagine that!

the lone red verbena. . .

So, I had to take a picture of this lone verbena, the only one that thrives in my front flower bed--a verbena with a story. . .

You see, a week or so ago a man came by our house looking for yard work; he needed money for a bus ticket, and so John hired him to mow the front yard. He was a hard worker, zealous--maybe a little too zealous, for after the job, a meal, conversation and pay, I inspected the yard. Seems our worker didn't notice the borders, or perhaps with my haphazard flower gardening, he couldn't really see the borders--Lambs Ear, Lantana, Verbena mowed down . . .. I remember a similar scenario in the spring-this time in the backyard and with a different zealous worker; this fellow also came by the house and John hired him to mow; I guess he didn't notice the Mexican Petunia and Turks Cap sprouting between the pecan trees . . .mowed down,

Now then, I'm not complaining-afterall, most plants grow back or one can buy and barter new seedlings. This post is dedicated to my dear husband, who for 36 years has been feeding, clothing, sheltering, and creatively providing for those in need, demonstrating for me that blessed are the merciful. . .

Friday, September 19, 2008

my boy and his bicycles

On July 1st Josiah moved to Memphis, Tennessee; his car was stuffed with things that make a boy's life comfortable-clothes, books, dishes, bedding, a few pots, a large box of granola bars and foremost, two bicycles latched onto the roof of his Honda; enrollment at UT was certain, however alot of life details were uncertain-job? church? financial aide? apartment? furniture-including a bed? I've discovered that it comforts my mothers heart to know that each of my children has a place to lay his head--and through the Jackson's Aunt Susan, the Lord provided a place for Josiah, a bed and a safe corner for his bicycles for as long as needed.

I can't say that life was instantly smooth for Josiah. There seemed to be a muriad of twisty complications, a succession of uncertainties. Sometimes I'm tempted to grow anxious, tempted towards unbelief . . . and it's always God's Word that speaks truth to my wandering heart. Psalm 34:10 encourages me: Young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing.

Last month John and I were driving through Memphis and we spent the night with Josiah in his new apartment (well, it's a very old apartment but new to him). He has a couch and an air mattress-a place to lay his head-and plenty of space for his books and bicycles.
Remember son, remember soul, seek the Lord and you will not be in want of any good thing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

a worthy pursuit. . .

It was 1990 when I met Lynn-as I recall, we met at a homeschool function. Our youngest, Mercy and Anna, were two then; there was Mercy with round cheeks and tight dark braids and Lynn's Anna with spindley legs and sandy hair falling over small oval glasses. We were transitioning, Lynn's family from the Philippines and mine from Mexico-all looking to settle down in San Antonio, "to dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."

A favorite quote hangs in Lynn's livingroom, framed, with blue accent: "Good commuication is like strong coffee and just as hard to sleep after." I love the sentiment; it reminds me of my friend Lynn, and like good strong coffee, our bounty of stimulating conversations--those swirling around books, music, food, gardening, family, the church-those dedicated to the beauty of the Savior and the cost of following Him fully. Over the sea of years, we pursued worthy conversation, shared our lives over good coffee and fresh lemonade, and often as I talked, Lynn listened-attentively, patiently, adding her thoughtful insights, cheerfully punctuating my chatter with, "Imagine that!"

As our good God unfolds his providence, five years ago my friend Lynn went to be with the Lord. Our youngest, Mercy and Anna, are nearly 20 years old--lovely girls, indeed; Anna and I agree that one day the framed quote with blue accent will hang in her home, one more precious memory of her mom. And me? here I am blogging--imagine that! As I tip-toe into computer communication, this post, the first of a worthy pursuit, is dedicated to Lynn.