Friday, January 27, 2012

He is the One. . .

A few months ago John and I attended a meeting of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas; we're peeking through that crack in the retirement door.
So, there we were- in a room full of Texas teachers, aging teachers ( but young at heart-says my husband). For 2 hours we listened to options, information, choices. . .
And it was difficult, good, confusing, hopeful; I know, I know, change is woven into the fabric of my life. . .but change is almost always perceived as loss.
Then over dinner we discussed the options, information, choices; I determined not to drift away in my mind to a more appealing topic.

Recently I heard from Francey-she moved away last summer (Ah, these dear girls move in and out of my life!) Francey and Michael are facing big change, the exciting kind that swallows your breath. She shared Psalm 37: 23-24 with me.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord;
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong;
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
He is the One. . .the Psalmist continues, I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken. . . (37: 25)

So, we keep peeking through the crack, and praying. . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


One evening last week John and I picked up Julia and Landis for a trip to the Broadway Central Market; we planned to choose treats from the delectable pastry case, a date to celebrate my birthday.
While John held Landis up to the glass, explaining the delights of all things chocolate, Julia and I discussed the sweet items that appealed to me.
"Look, Julia, you could choose a mini eclair, a mini cream puff, or these darling petite fours."
"No, they're not big enough", she replied.
hmmm, what might a wise grandparent say? You know, she might talk about moderation, or appetite, or the perils of too much sugar.
"Darling, choose whatever you'd like!" I said.
And she did- a huge chocolate cupcake with glossy chocolate icing, topped with the biggest butter cream rose, pink. . ."because that's my favorite color!" she told the bakery lady.
Julia ate it all and I was happy to be extravagant on my birthday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

one about the church

Mercy drove back to college a few weeks ago, back to the Texas Panhandle, through the hill country, through oil and sorghum fields. . . far from home.
She arrived at her house late that night- opening the door she smelled gas fumes and the carbon monoxide detector was beeping an alarm.
So, our daughter called home and I heard her groggy father, "No, I'm not upset, I'm just trying to wake up and figure out how to help you."
". . .then call us back!" he instructed.
After about an hour she did, and John and I were quite awake.
"I called a family from my church; they talked me through turning off all the gas; I'm spending the night at their house.
Ah, Good! I thought.
We heard from Mercy again the next afternoon, "Let me tell you about my life. . .it's my car, but a man from my church runs a mechanic shop. . . a man from my church is a fire fighter-he'll come and check for carbon monoxide.
Ah, Good! I thought.
The next day I asked John if I should call to check on Mercy.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "The church is taking care of our daughter."
(mmm, how do I love and care for the church?)

So, I don't like the orange glare on the glasses nor the shadow on him, but I love the picture-brother and sister, I think they like each other. . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ahhh, the tongue. . .

Respect is a demeanor that should characterize all your communication to and about your husband.
. . . so obviously true, why even remind ourselves? But the desire to manipulate and control others with my tongue is also obvious - I need repeated reminders, over and over reminders.
"She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." This woman communicates grace to her husband! She opens her mouth in wisdom; she displays respect, and then I'm sure she knows when to close her mouth. . .
So-how do we communicate respect-
  • Respect your husband verbally-tell him that you respect him!
  • write your husband a respect letter-include the obvious things you respect about him; thank him for working hard, for coming home night after night.
  • Examine how you communicate about your husband when you are with other women. What impression to you give to others about your husband? (I think that the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman was known in the gates because of how she talked to others about him.)
One morning last fall a young woman invited me to her home for brunch; among the the group, I met the hostess's 2 aunts, women about my age who spoke little English. The food was amazing and the table conversation in 2 languages was fun. Then the woman to my right pointed to me, "Your husband good" and she repeated the identical statement, pointing to each woman around the table. Then she pointed to herself, "My husband no good!" Our young hostess spoke up, "She has a good husband-he works very hard."
Never downgrade your husband to anyone! with just 4 words in a language she barely spoke, this woman gave us an awful impression of her husband.
Perhaps my words aren't so blunt, my scenario not so glaring-but I've been there, I'm sure.
I'm thinking about GRACE. . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

just a small black book and a new year

I chose a jar of blueberry jam from the family gift exchange basket-and one morning after Christmas I made scones and opened the jam.
"Mom! jam with scones?" Rachel questioned. Well, usually it's toast and jam, but that morning I couldn't resist that lovely jam. . .
Every year I buy a new calendar the week after Christmas-a simple habit.
Last week Gabrielle, Rachel and Jamey were discussing calendars and planners, making choices, customizing their own--and I listened, impressed by their commitment to manage time and responsibilities.
So, the holiday dust has settled and I'm looking at my desk that resembles a volcano. . .and my small black calendar book; it's basic black with little squares for each day in 2012 and a lined page opposite. This one should suit me fine.
hmm, what do I want and anticipate from 2012. . .? Well, mostly I want to filter the entire year through an eternal lense, like I want to write created for forever in each little square in my black book, and then live it. . .
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. (C.S. Lewis)

Monday, January 9, 2012

more about respect-and listening

A wise woman builds. . .
So, respect is the opener of eyes-the more I respect about my husband, the more I will see to respect.
And respect is a demeanor that involves listening.
to listen: to pay proper attention to, to heed.
I ask myself: Do I listen carefully, or do I tune out? (when he talks to me about bicycles or the like!)
When I ask my husband, "How was your day?" do I listen, really?
Attentive listening is one of the most significant ways a wife fulfills her helper role. And besides, half listening is rude!
A young woman shared with me that her husband was wrestling with some big decisions regarding their future. "What are you doing to help him?" I asked.
"Well, when he talks to me about these issues, I ask him if he wants me to say something. . .to give my opinion, or this time would he rather that I just listen."
hmmm, good for her. . .

Friday, January 6, 2012

a home for the lonely

Our friend, Ralph, lives in the room above our garage-he's in and out, using parts of our house; we're glad he's here.
So, on New Years Eve John and I, Rachel, Brett and Mercy prepared dinner (I harvested the huge white cauliflower from the front garden!)
Ralph was with us in the kitchen, washing his dishes; then I heard Brett initiate, "Ralph, does your family have any New Year's traditions?"
"I don't have a family," he said.
I wanted to run in there- to emphatically remind Ralph, "We're your family, remember?. . .and remember, the church is your family!"
God is a father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows. . .God makes a home for the lonely. (Ps 68:5-6)
God makes a home. . . God puts the lonely in families.
So- on the threshold of 2012, I'm thinking alot about how I can cooperate with God- making a home for our friend, giving him a taste for the Kingdom-loving others more, loving myself less. . .for Jesus sake.

And reflecting on family. . .we just met sweet Evelyn, our newest member- born at the close of 2011