Tuesday, March 30, 2010

mind the gap. . .

Riding the trains around London, I'm initially attentive to the melodious voice, Please mind the gap between the platform and the train. . .
Please mind the gap- being a word person, I love it-mind the gap. . .
And the next time I board the train, I listen for the caution, savoring the phrase.
I glance down at the gap-hmmm, a portion of my small body could indeed slip through that gap, or my shoe or glasses. . .
by and by the phrase looses its intrigue-I hear the words, charming words, but just a pleasant voice and words-
then I wonder about other words-life changing words, which after awhile trickle into my mind and heart-
like my favorite old shoes, good and comfortable, no more.
like. . .
"the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me. . ."(Gal2:20)
the Son of God- loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Do you have eggs?

Ed and Dinah-Caroline, Wyatt, Melanie Kate, Jefferson- we've been friends for 15 years. The United States Air Force is the ticket for world travel for our friends-mainly we've kept in touch long distance, but sometimes we meet, like in an airport or a restaurant. . . two years ago John and I stayed with Ed and Dinah in D.C.- the boys remember our visit to the Air and Space Museum; I remember that Dinah's washing machine was broken-she was gracious and cheerful. Most of all we remember the deepest conversations shared about our Lord and life.
Last year our friends lived in Hawaii, next year Alaska. . .but for a 6 month interlude they reside in central London, Imagine that?
So, on the day of our arrival in London, after a bit of refreshment and still wobbley from jet lag, we boarded the train again at Bromley station along with Nathaniel and Abi. . .oh, so thankful for young ones to lead the way! We found Ed and Dinah's flat just a glance from Victoria Station. Jefferson came down the elevator to meet us-cute Jefferson barefoot in chilly London, "I'm use to Hawaii," he announced.
And after dinner Ed passed around the box of chocolates-a big box that Nathaniel had picked out at the train station-mmmm, English chocolates. . . another pass around the table-and worthy talk.
Dinah told Abi and me about her hospitality opportunities in London.
"I want to get better at hospitality," she said.
Really? I thought, you're leaving at 4 A M for France tomorrow, and here we are at your house for dinner tonight!
but I love her heart's desire to excel still more. . .
Then Dinah shared a memory about our mutual friend, Amy-one that I've tucked away. . .a memory of a morning years ago when Dinah and Amy were together with their children-it was lunch time but no food for lunch.
Do you have eggs? encouraged Amy, we can make egg salad and still be together. . .
hmmm, just eggs- and simple wisdom.
So, if you drop by, I'll have eggs. . .
(Ed and Dinah, we love you all-thanks for sharing yourselves, always)

Friday, March 26, 2010

timid in the tube and more

Did you know I love train travel? 6 days in London and I know a little more of the challenges (and charm) of public transport. . .
We landed at London, Heathrow on the first day of our trip-and there was sweet Abigail.
John and I hadn't seen our daughter in a year and a half- he recognized her from a distance, briskly walking towards us in her red coat! Abi had kindly offered to meet us at the airport on our first day of adventure with public transport-she had even purchased our all-day transport passes. Oh My, how our girl charged fearlessly (Me, timidly) through crowds and ticket gates to get us on and off the London tube. . .
so nice to follow a seasoned public transporter. . . finally we deboarded the train in Bromley and hiked the mile through town; up the hill and around the bend-and at the crest of the hill, there was Christ Church, Bromley-and a sign which seemed a perfect greeting for John and me. . .
the church offers lunch to local seniors each Wednesday-
we had just missed it. . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Church. . .and the amazing race

So, I cherish time spent with Christ's body, the church- Sunday, our last full day in Europe, God multiplied the opportunities. . .
early, we were together with the church in Pamplona, over breakfast, the Lord's table, prayer, the Word. What can I say. . . but the beauty of the physical food displays the richness of fellowship in the body- our final good-bye provoked emotion, you know how that is. . .
then a travel adventure. . .curious as it sounds, I miss sharing life's routine with our children living across the ocean.
unbeknown to us, Joshua had a seat on the same flight from Spain to London. . . so we traveled with our good son-in-law to Bilboa, two hours through the mountains and quaint towns, and we talked. . .
next a crazy dash through London- maybe once in my life I've watched The Amazing Race-really, this time it was Me in the amazing race.
imagine Me in the London tube. . .a portion of the tube shut down-off the tube and onto a bus-searching, searching for the right line, Victoria Station-hauling bags up and down stairs, lots of stairs. . . and finally the train to Bromley, a hike up the hill to Highland St.
And right about 7 PM we pulled our luggage through the little rod iron gate to Nathaniel and Abi's flat - there was Abi in the kitchen window, making us apple tarts!
and we were in time for evening worship at Christ Church Bromley, imagine that?
So, we walked a block to the church building and after the service while Abi served tea and cake, I met Cathy and Jemma-So, you're Abi's Mum! they said-and we talked about worthy things.
hmmm, a good day to remember. . .

the pleasure of a coat. . .

winter's waning in northern Spain. . . so, I offered to wear Rachel's brown coat back to the States, the lovely coat with the fabulous lining.
yesterday we left London, and I wore the coat-on the train, the tube, the plane. . .with delays, a missed flight, an unexpected overnight-
I wore the brown coat and took extra pleasure in the lining-cream and paisely, blue ribbon accent, a tiny trimmed pocket hidden inside.
and I thought of Rachel (did you know that I love to wear my girls' clothes!) back in Spain. . .
we got home this morning-John arrived in school just a wee late.
sleep sounds good. . .then the stories.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I love the picture- my little grandsons, peering through the mail slot in this great door in France.
Tomorrow John and I will catch a plane to London to visit Nathaniel and Abigail; the next week we'll fly to Spain to visit Joshua and Naomi, Rachel. . .and the grandchildren.
sometimes it's hard to set aside today's life, to open the door to an anticipated adventure- excited to go, reluctant to leave, you know how it is.
And it will be wonderful-with lots to tell . . .

Friday, March 5, 2010

observations of a 4 year old. . .

s0-at the park, she was driving the ship to Dallas and Spain; I was the cook, serving sea rations.
next the swings. . .all morning I was Marmee and she was Meg.
"gran", she said, "don't kiss me as a 3 year old any more. . .now you can kiss me as a 4 year old."
that was random. . . "Okay, lamb," I said.
"gran, when you say three you stick your tongue out-when you say four you stick your teeth out."
hmmm, what a girl. . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Adele and Simon in my book bag

Rachel was hunting for good books for little Selma- she showed me Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock and right away I loved it!
Set in early 20th century Paris, Adele's task is to meet her little brother at school and walk him safely home; that she does, however, along the way Simon scatters all his belongings, one by one- afterall, Paris teems with astounding sights to grab a little boys attention.
Adele and Simon in America is my recent book find-a gift for Julia's 4th birthday. . .this time Adele and Simon sail across the ocean to New York City to visit their Aunt Cecile; they prepare for a grand train trip around America, and as Simon packs his treasures: journal, pencil box, cowboy hat, tin drinking cup, canteen, binoculars, map, red suspenders. . . Adele tells her brother with a sigh, "Please try not to loose anything on our trip!" You can just imagine. . .(hmmm, a little fellow just like Simon grew up at 2305 St. Anthony.)
I love the author's illustrations- detailed pen and ink, warm watercolors, providing an "eye spy" aspect to search for Simon's lost belongings.
If you find either lovely book, I'm certain you will not be disappointed.

to prepare my distracted heart

Be devoted to prayer. . .
Last week in my chilly livingroom, over coffee-
Kate and I talked about prayer.
in the afternoons when little Aaron naps, she opens her Bible-and her prayer journal, anticipating time with God, "I have this amount of time before my boy wakes up. . ."
and her prayer time, her worship can seem mechanical.
hmmm, I hear her . . . plastic prayer, and I'm not anticipating the stirrings of a sweet one year old, a little boy machine!
we talked about using the Psalms to quicken our hearts to God- even if the interlude may be short or interrupted.
And that afternoon, I opened my Bible to a marker in Psalm 86- God warmed my distracted heart for worship:
Lord, you are good and ready to forgive, abundant in loving kindness.
You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger. .
for You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.

As I read and prayed Psalm 86, I yearned for verses 11-12 to be true for me,
Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
. . . for me and for my daughters and daughters in law-so I prayed for Rachel, Naomi, Abigail, Mercy, Gabrielle, Jamey, Lindsey
and for each dear woman in my life. . .

Lord teach them to walk in your truth, give them undivided hearts to love You. . . to be devoted to prayer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

over coffee. . .all day long

Amused-I'm amused at myself.
John's attending a conference in California all week, so I deliberately filled up my little calendar- I just consulted tomorrow's commitments. . .
The Forum, located on our city's northside, is crowded with shops and restaurants-a good place for meeting over coffee and more. And tomorrow. . . I could camp out at the Forum, for you see, from 10 AM til 7 PM and beyond, at the bookstore, coffee shops and restaurants, I'll be eating and drinking coffee with women. . .all day long!
I'll roll out of bed in the morning, praying the verse taped to my bathroom mirror, "And God is able to make all grace abound, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." (2 Cor 9:8)
-praying that I'll be there 100%, not merely in my body, if you know what I mean?
hmmm, I'm anticipating the opportunities-
and if you're anywhere near the forum, I'm free between noon and 3 PM. . .