Monday, June 28, 2010


Lindsey and Josiah will be married in one month-and thus the reason for a summer full of Newton family. The first time Lindsey came to visit us, John asked, "Lindsey, does our family overwhelm you?"
Lindsey was gracious-however, I admit, we are many- noisey-intense-loquacious (I love my growing family so much!)
after a recent day of family comings and goings, after a bit of confused plans, my sweet girls were out for an evening coffee together. And later, at home, one of them said to me, "Sometmes we overwhelm people and sometimes we even overwhelm ourselves!"
hmmmm-kind of humorous. . .
organization is not my tip top strength-really I'd rather be having conversation over coffee with you-but I can't bless others if I don't commit to some planning. . .doing what I'd rather not inorder to prefer others, to love others-the Savior's model, right?
So- I'm the older woman in this growing family. . . Lord, make me humble, teachable, and more committed to planning this summer.
Already seeing the need and loving me- my girls are making a master list of family arrivals, departures, housing, transportation, outings, meals (maybe 1/2 price Sonic on Tuesdays, yikes!) and the rest-so, that's my wonderful family.
little Josu blowing bubbles at our house in Texas

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

to carry. . .

A few weeks ago I was back to closet cleaning-this time the ball closet, which contains a lot more than balls; on the top top shelf I discovered a surpise-my green cordoroy baby carrier. . . and the blue baby backpack.
Why, Oh, Why? my youngest is 21, you know.
I'm remembering. . . how we loved to carry our little ones-in the front and on the back, years and years of carrying them.
and now they walk-run-dance. . . and live across the ocean.
Last week we made a family trip to the zoo-16 of us, and I noted (with pleasure!) how the next generation is being carried. . .
to carry-3 years ago, as Alzheimer's stole away my father's body and mind, I prayed that God would carry him, "Even to your old age I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I will carry you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; And I shall bear you and I shall deliver you." (Isa 46:4)
And God did-

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've been asked. . .

Did Rachel defend her thesis last Monday in Spain? Indeed, successfully defended-and well done!
And after the defense, good-bye coffees, celebration and all night packing. . .
Amazing! there are times in this life when God uniquely displays his grace in our frail selves-so I've discovered.
Then on Tuesday, John and I waited at the airport.
Amaleah and Julia were scooped out of their beds at midnight- sleepy, in their nighties, but alert and. . .the first to spot Aunt Rachel descending the stairs to baggage, wearing jeans, 2 layered shirts, a fleece and boots, descending into the Texas heat at midnight.
there is more to the story. . . more for a later post.
Selma loves her Aunt Rachel

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

for the love of cat fish. . .and the neighbors

Today is my husband's first day off of school for the summer. . . at this moment he is in the front yard with 15 pounds of cat fish and the neighbors. . .shouldn't surprise me-I've been married to this man for 37 years.
Early this morning, Dan, our corner neighbor, called John about the cat fish-fresh caught yesterday; usually Dan cleans and fillets the fish, but sometimes his arthritis flairs up. . .and now a more pending health concern.
I dislike catfish, really. But for a long time now Dan has given us cat fish and I've learned to cook it for John (and sometimes I eat it too!)
today I'm thinking about the houseful of family arriving-today and tomorrow-I'm thinking that we could just bury the cat fish in the garden (or in the trash?)
the south Texas humidity drips, the thermometer inches up above 80-it's early morning and my husband has 15 pounds of ugly, bad catfish on the front lawn. . .

Not to worry. . . this good man knocked on the neighborhood doors, "free catfish, come on over!" And they came- it's a congregation on my front lawn with knives chopping heads, fins, tails, guts and fish blood and juice.
And there's conversation, I can hear it-one neighbor we only exchange Hi and bye, he's here too, on my front lawn, chopping fish with my husband and talking.
hmmm, it's good to see the neighbors come out.

Monday, June 7, 2010

one for our girl on Monday

Lovely Rachel (photo by Naomi)
On Mondays I pray for Rachel-seems so appropriate today; in just a few hours, Spain time, our dear girl will defend her thesis at the university in Pamplona-a public defense. . .wish I could be there to drink it in, to listen, to pray, to meet her university friends over coffee, to witness God's faithfulness. . . more than the completed thesis, there's the year of opportunities for Rachel, to form good friendships, to love her classmates, to speak for the King, to live for Him-at the university.
Recently I was at the dentist office-our very kind dentist has cared for our family's teeth for 30 years. On that particular day, the new front desk employee informed me that she had recently met a number of my children (to think that children grow up and make their own dentist appointments!)
So, she said to me, "Are all your children professionals?.. .you must be proud."
Me, proud?
I mumbled something like, "it's not what they DO that matters to me. . . "
mmmmm, her question suprised me-I wish I'd spoken of integrity, of truth seeking-and opened a door to Jesus. . .
So, this morning I'm praying for Rachel, "that God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness. . . in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you." (1 Thess 2:11)
And then tomorrow Rachel will catch the 7 AM bus from Pamplona to Bilboa, board a 1 PM flight to Texas. . .and we'll meet her at the airport at midnight, imagine that!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Celebrating the Gospel. . .

I'm reading Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick- for the third time, evidenced by the distinct coffee ring (and is that raspberry jam?) on the book cover.
The book's subtitle, Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time, reveals its focus on daily gospel reminders; the book includes 31 days of gospel meditations, a 2-3 page portion for each day of the month.
I need to feed my soul that way-gospel truth day after day after. . .
Today I read Day 19: into the confusion and suffering of this world, our Saviour speaks peace and hope in the gospel, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." the reality of the resurrection speaks powerfully into my circumstances today.
And the author reminds her readers, "Peace begins to fill my soul when I remember the truth of the gospel: I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope. I deserve less than nothing but have been given everything."
Lately I've been drinking in the gospel, back and forth. . . alternating between The Gospel Primer (Milton Vincent) and Comforts from the Cross.
So good and highly recommended.