Wednesday, June 29, 2011

summer on the road. . .

A few days ago we packed up the VW again, headed east on I-10, and 900 miles later we stopped in Auburn, Alabama. We spent the night in a hotel-imagine that?
My husband is an amazing packer; he fits things together like a puzzle-I watched him deftly manuvere 2 bicycles and a suitcase into the hotel elevator-I fit too.
The next morning a man in the hotel asked about our trip. . .5,000 miles planned!
Then we counted up the people we will visit-12 family groups (maybe more?)
An even dozen-we can hardly wait!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

road trip, part 2

I've noticed. . .most stories involve a Part 2.

Monday evening the VW came back repaired! I was set to drive home Tuesday.

However, I needed to be at the airport in Austin to pick up John at midnight-How to break up the drive? How to steward my time?

So I called a friend who lives half way . . .

"Here's the deal. . .can I come by for a visit? How about dinner?"

"Please come!" she said.

So, Tuesday afternoon my friend and her sweet children were waiting on the porch. The kids showed me the new puppy, new paint, new room decor, the boys showed me new matial arts moves (my friend showed me the window broken by a foot through the glass. . .I have boys.)

It was all good.

Later my friend and I sat together. We talked, and she brought up familiar themes -the need for vigor in the christian life, future fears, past regrets, priorities, priorities, choosing to believe truth when it's hard. . .. Lots poured out-and fast.

I thought, God's truth layers into our lives-always

Friend. . ."Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart."

I left my friend's place after 9:00 and arrived at the airport just in time to meet John's plane.

We drove an hour home- I told him all about my good day. . . road trip, Part 2.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

a cup. . and a girl

I became a Texas Tech Mom when Mercy went away to college-this cup is big, too big for a comfortable coffee, so I eat vanilla ice cream out of it-and I think about Mercy studying hard, scooping ice cream on the side, in the Texas Panhandle.
But she's home for the summer-and last week we took a road trip to visit family in Dallas. We were hoping for a little adventure like that, just the 2 of us.
So-we drove and talked, drove through heavy traffic and talked. . .no music this time, just talk; we stopped for a coffee and more driving and talk-talk about vision, communication, relationships, writing, the gospel, people-how to love the people in our lives. . .
"if I can't connect with a person, it's probably because I haven't taken time to find out how we're alike," she said.
True, I thought
The next morning our road trip took a slight twist when the VW wouldn't start.
John and Noah attempted to trouble by phone, Texas to California;they concluded the VW needed a real mechanic.
And the next day Mercy took the Greyhound home-7 hours on the bus, by herself.
hmmm, not really by herself-I missed the talk. . .

Aunt Mercy and Adalyn

Monday, June 20, 2011

when the kitchen is 100 degrees. . .

Today I'm going through old cooking magazines, tearing pages from Summer Cookbook. The recipes look amazing, cool dishes for hot summer days-but my kitchen is 100 degrees. . .
Summer comes and goes in my kitchen, and I've learned a few things:

  • Butter puddles fast on the counter (and honey pours onto my toast- good)

  • Yeast dough balloons up and out the bowl (hint: no summer breadmaking)

  • Buy few bananas. . .

  • Close the refridgerator door fast-less humitity inside the fridge means less drip.

  • Plug in the crockpot on the deck-outside

  • Eat salad-
Well, I say Eat Salad, but in 100 degrees food wilts, looks and tastes just so-so; I tell myself, most women in the world cook- serve- eat in hot kitchens like mine, or hotter. .
I've also learned that grumbling and comparing are in my heart, on my tongue. I know- Scripture is packed with verses about contentment, but today I just need to remember the gospel, what I deserve and the great price Jesus paid with his blood, for me.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness (Ps 37)
. . .a very good reminder to dwell right here in my kitchen, to feed the people I love, and to be amazed by the gospel

Friday, June 17, 2011

more about grace

This week I enjoyed an evening with my friend Debbie.
Amid the good talk, Debbie shared a story of how God had affected specific change in her life more than 20 years ago; then I shared how 40 years ago God displayed his grace in a similar situation in my own life.
Over coffee and 4 squares of dark chocolate, we remembered God's amazing grace - good for the soul.

Recently I read Glenda's Story, Led by Grace by Glenda Revell. Years ago I borrowed and read the book but finally decided to buy my own copy-to read again, to lend out. . .
Glenda tells her story. . .a childhood of abuse, neglect, suffering- horrifying proof of the reality of sin and of the perils of living in a broken world.
But in the preface, Glenda writes, "If this were just a story about my suffering, it would be ordinary, for suffering is as commonplace as life itself. Rather this is an account of an extraordinary Savior, who brings light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, peace out of pain. . ."
Read Glenda's story- led by grace
This morning I read Psalm 121-The Lord is your keeper, the shade on your right hand, the sun will not smite you by day. . .the Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.

hmm, reminds me of Glenda's story-and my story, and yours'. . .

Thursday, June 16, 2011

as you like it. . .

While John's in California I'm doing some extra stitching. . .
Gabrielle asked me, "How do you choose which fabrics goes where?"
"As you like it. . .that's my motto!"
My favorite part of making a baby quilt is arranging the squares. I just choose lovely fabric (these are by Moda) and play to my hearts content.
Maybe I'll deliver this one to little Florence in person next month.
We'll see. . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

boys, boys, boys (I love em)

Sunday evening I was alone in my quiet house and the phone rang twice. My 3 boys were mountain biking in another city that evening. . .
Call #1: The youngest had flown over the handle bars on a downhill and his brother called me, "We think he broke his collar bone or dislocated his shoulder. . .he's okay but he doesn't have his insurance card-could you text the info?"
(then I remembered a phone call from a different boy, on a Sunday evening 5 years ago, "Mom, I crashed on my bike, remember my nice straight teeth?")
Aye, boys! I thought

Call #2: So, I hung up with my boys and answered a call from a friend, the mother of 3 boys. . .I heard her sweet voice, "I wanted to tell you about my youngest, he's 18. . ."

What do I tell her? . . .just what I remind myself-

Don't worry, trust God (nothing will happen to my boy that is outside of God's soverign control)

Share truth with him-and be humble

Listen a lot- and don't talk so much.

Pray, of course, and tell him. . .

Love him with words and deeds (notes and gifts cards are good) -love is patient, kind, not arrogant. . .bears all, believes all, hopes all. . .

Be more concerned with my own heart before God than with his.

So-I prayed with my friend, for us both,

Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension , shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6,7)

hmmm, a quiet evening at home, I thought, and 2 good phone calls.

Friday, June 10, 2011

one about my heart-and ministry

John's school year ended yesterday-sigh, and I just took him to the airport; he'll be in California for 12 days. And I'll be home in Texas. . . reading, writing, creating, cleaning, visiting, serving, drinking cold coffee, eating toast and jam (and maybe blue cheese!) When I go away, John doesn't sleep-when he goes away. . .I plan too much (and miss him).

Serving. . . lots of opportunities for me in that arena lately; I'm thankful.

However, the other day I remembered words of a wise man: ministry can be messy. . .and words of the Master,

For whoever wishes to save his life shall loose it, but whoever looses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it. (Lk 9:24)

So, that day ministry was messy-and unfulfilling and frustrating and exhausting. . . hmmm, seems I'm content and challenged in all things noble as long as loosing my life is going my own way. . .whoever looses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. (And He convicts, He always does. . .)

Home again, I found an unexpected note from a new friend, and a suprise phone call from far away. . . inspite of myself, He always encourages-while John's away, I'll send a few notes, make a few calls. . . loose my life, examine my heart.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a cup and a memory

On a shopping venture with my girls, I spied this lovely cup-perfect in every way. A week later with birthday money in hand, I went back to the store and bought it-a gift to self!

And so Gabrielle was at my house one day. . ."When did you get this one?" she asked.

" I wanted to buy you the matching tea pot, but when I went back to the store, it was gone!"

hmm, I like to think about that little scenario.

The cup handle is missing, yep, broke off. . .still lovely in every way.

Monday, June 6, 2011

apply your heart to discipline. . .

So, the other day I had a long phone conversation with a dear friend; she lives in another state.
We have been young and now we are old. . . between us, we've raised 15 children.
We talked about shifting rolls, about expectations and how change is almost always perceived as loss; we shared common confusion and challenge and the suprising revelation of sin--hmmm, how could it be?
And I reminded my friend that really, God has brought us to an amazing season of life-let's pursue Him with single minded devotion. . . and she agreed.
From my bookshelf I pulled down a worn copy of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney-the book our women's Bible study will read for 7 weeks this summer. I cherish my old copy-the inside cover is inscribed. . . we wanted to share this book with you, praying that the Lord will deal especially bountifully with you in 1994-with love. . .

I read the introductory chapter, Spiritual Disciplines. . .for the Purpose of Godliness-I thought about my friend, about our talk.
Curious, isn't it. . .God is commited to my holiness; He will
assuredly work Christlikeness in me, yet I'm not merely to wait for holiness, I'm to pursue it! "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. . ." Hebrews 12:14 (the verse I've taped to my bathroom mirror)
hmm, this is a good book-the author examines the channels of God's grace: Bible intake, prayer, worship, evangelism, service, stewardship, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling and learning.
Spurgeon wrote, "I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace-mark that-yet it will be the channel of it."

So, I wrote to my friend. . .I told her about my plan to deliberately, consistently put myself in the path of Jesus through the spiritual disciplines, that He will change me from the inside out. And I told her about my Bible intake that day, because sometimes just being accountable to another believer is spiritual exercise, don't you agree?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

what we do together (I held the screwdriver)

Growing up, I never remember our cars breaking down. . . I'm sure they did, but my father always sent our vehicles off to the shop for maintanance and repair.
Then I got married; during that first year of marriage my husband replaced the engine in our orange Fiat-and so goes our life for 39 years . . .
Sometimes there's a little drama, some stress, frustration-you know, car repairs can be unperdictable (all creation groans, right? even the mechanical part.)

So, we're getting ready for a big summer road trip; the VW's timing belt needed replacing.
John asked me, "This time would you like me to send the car to a shop?"
hmmm, no. . .(I thought of the money we could pour into our diesel tank rather than into the pocket of a mechanic.)
So, Monday was the day-my husband was energized.
Francis, our good friend, was right by his side the whole way, well almost- a 5 hour job turned into 12 hours. . .
I'm married to a hopeful man.
He came inside, ate 2 chocolate cookies, "I'm taking a break to pray," he said. (me too)
Then he narrated the situation-I listened. . .back on the job, he called me out to the garage, to hold the screwdriver.
That night Francis called, "How's it progressing?"
Great! Darcie held the screwdriver. . . (but really, listening helps every time)