August 31, 2005

New Orleans

......time to pray........hard.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name....Jesus
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

~Matt Redmann~

August 28, 2005

Absolutely comma-tose

I have a hard time reading things that are not punctuated, capitalized, italicized to show me how to read and interpret the passage. A lot of people type their blogs or post on internet message boards and messengers in this style. Quite often I have to ask what the poster's meaning is exactly. (Because I have to know)

Well I've come to a place in my life where I have looked down and seen the comma. I looked up comma usage on a grammar and language sight and believe me, you do not want me to post anything I read there, except for a few quotes that made me smile and chuckle as I read them. Basically a comma separates a sentence so it is more easily interpreted. It is usually applied orally by a slight pause mid-sentence...pause, take a breath, but don't stop, there's more. I was thinking this morning that a comma is just the word picture for what is happening in our family life right now.

My oldest daughter moved out of this house yesterday and here we are in the pause, taking a breath, waiting to see what happens next. We can feel the pause. It is a real thing, almost tangible. I felt it last night when walking down the hallway to go to bed. The lights were off, dishwasher was started, everyone was in bed, but not everyone. Hannah has moved out and her bed is not here anymore. (She has moved 30 miles away to share a mobile home with 3 other girls while going to college.) It was a strange, unpleasant feeling to know that I can't have that peace of mind knowing that all my children are in bed and safe. One of them is out of the nest and off to fly solo now. I think it's going to take a little more faith, a little more trusting God to go on past this comma and continue as a family. There is no way to prepare for such a day. I have been busy trying to be excited for Hannah and preparing her to live on her own, but now that it's a reality I find myself unprepared and wanting some white out to blot that comma to Kingdom come! She came over today after church to use the internet and to see us, and I found myself trying to think of ways to prolong her visit...just like my mom used to do when I would drop by their house when I was in college. It used to drive me crazy! Now I understand....I want to hold on.

It's not that I don't trust Hannah, or that I don't trust God to take care of her needs. This is a good thing. We're excited for her to start her life and to be on her see where God takes her in her life. It's just that this changes things. It changes our family...we will have some redefining to do in our home and in our hearts. Soon, new habits and game plans will emerge and become a new kind of normal for us. But until then...gotta learn, gotta grow, let go

~~I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.~~
— Oscar Wilde

~~And what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma. A long complicated sentence should force itself upon you, make you know yourself knowing it and the comma, well at the most a comma is a poor period that lets you stop and take a breath but if you want to take a breath you ought to know yourself that you want to take a breath. It is not like stopping altogether has something to do with going on, but taking a breath well you are always taking a breath and why emphasize one breath rather than another breath. Anyway that is the way I felt about it and I felt that about it very very strongly. And so I almost never used a comma. The longer, the more complicated the sentence the greater the number of the same kinds of words I had following one after another, the more the very more I had of them the more I felt the passionate need of their taking care of themselves by themselves and not helping them, and thereby enfeebling them by putting in a comma.
So that is the way I felt about punctuation in prose, in poetry it is a little different but more so …~~

— Gertrude Stein
from Lectures in America

August 27, 2005

High Anxiety

We got an itinerary last Sunday and I have been nervously thinking about the trip all week long. I have been on the internet reading about it and trying to find out that all important question….can I use my American hair drier there? Another important question….how to entertain myself on a five hour flight to New York City, where we will board a plane to fly all night long to Tel Aviv.….should I bring my own pillow and blankie?

Yes, you read correctly…we’re going to Israel! A couple in our church is sending us and paid for it all. Charles is very excited. I am trying to be excited….but all I’m able to come up with is fear and nervous thoughts. I know that once I am on the way and physically there, I will not be as nervous, but in the mean time….which is 10 weeks…..I am feeling really skittish and letting my imagination get the best of me. Why does our mind do this to us? I even had an anxious dream about it the other night. Anxiety is a strange thing! I thought it might help to talk about it but the more I mention it to people or write about it, I have found it doesn't really ease the sensation. I realized I am talking to the wrong I've been trying to find my comfort in people and their words when the only source of true peace is always with me.

....I hate it when I do that...

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

August 22, 2005

Divine design

Have you ever stood back and gazed at a brand, spanking new car and admired in awe how it just ‘happened’…! After billions of years, this metal came together to form an engine that makes it run, all bolts, belts and converter thingies in the precise places that make the car able to be driven by human beings. Why, even the inside of the car has a perfectly formed seat for our tush, some even capable of holding a whole family of tushes! Some are more evolved than others of course, which is consistent with the theories of evolution. It amazes us, doesn’t it?

Of course it doesn’t. No one in their right minds would think that a car just happened…it is a complex system of parts that work together in just the right way. That would never happen without a maker, a designer. Yet our schools , universities, and some (not all) of our leading scientists are telling people that our world, more complex and intricately designed than any car, simply evolved….oh, it took a long, long time they say, but they are trying to make us believe that it just happened. I refuse to give in to popular thought on this. Evolution is a theory, not a solid piece of evidence exists to support the theory. And while no hard evidence exists to prove the creation theory either, the cellular structure of the earth, the precise things that happen to make the earth a balanced and valid atmosphere for human life is amazingly, undeniably by design.

There is no question in my mind about the existence of God. It’s obvious to me that the Universe down to the smallest part of a cell was created, not an accident, that it is planned, designed. Everything in nature has order and purpose, including us as human beings. The Bible tells us that God created humans in the image of God….meaning, I believe, that we are different from plants and animals in that we can reason. We see beyond food and bodily function to relationship, character and self-control. We can plan, create and think of others before ourselves.

Not only are we different from plants and animals, we are even different from each other. He designed our physical bodies to function so well, everything working together like clockwork. But He also designed our minds, our personalities, our purposes. Scientists are finding that we are not only shaped by our environment, but that people have a set personality from birth. We are programmed, wired, designed to be a certain way. And amazingly enough differing personalities work together to make the world a create, well run place to live. One of the most comprehensive personality tests is the Myers Briggs temperament sorter.

I first took the sorter 16 years ago as a young married adult. It is the one most helpful thing we have done as a married couple to learn to understand and appreciate each other. And it helps to accept and understand other relationships I have with people too. My friends, the family members I grew up with, my children, coworkers, church members….all have personalities that I sometimes find difficult to get along with, irritating and hard to understand….because they are different than me. They don’t do things the ways I like to do them….they think differently about how to relate to their world, how to learn, make decisions, and how they like their world ordered…or disordered.

One of the most helpful things I’ve learned through this is that just because others don’t do things the way I think is best, they are not necessarily wrong, they are just different. So I try to sit back and observe people to see how they are wired now, to hopefully appreciate how they think, how God designed their personalities. Because of lessons I’ve learned and because it helps so much in relating to other people in my life, I think it’s one of the most valuable things I could pass on. But I’m not an expert, so I’m just going to give a websight and let the experts speak.

Here is a free online personality test. Remember, be honest. Choose the answers that really express who you usually are and not what you think is an ideal answer. At the end of the test, press the submit button and it will give you a 4 letter synopsis of your personality. Follow the links to study about your personality.

August 19, 2005


Another idea swiped off of someone’s blog. But this one is so old, I don’t remember where I got it….so I’m sorry to the author! Just a getting to know you better meme from the internet. I’m sure you’ve all seen these. I would love it if you would send me your answers!

1. What is your favorite word? Ooooh, I like words a lot. I can’t possibly pick one. Some of my favorite words to hear are I love you, thank you mom, I’m home and Come to dinner! lol

2. What is your least favorite word? Butt, curse words, especially the name of God as a curse or exclamation.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Being outside if it’s pleasant, being cozy inside if it’s not, being the only one awake in the house late at night, a clean house.

4. What turns you off? Bad smells, rude people, waiting….

5. What is your favorite curse word? Well I don’t use curse words, but I have several exclamations I use: Rats!, ‘for Pete’s sake in a handbasket Louise!’ ‘Oiy with the poodles already!’

6. What sound or noise do you love? Wind through trees, water running, babies cooing, puppies howling, a car pulling in the driveway. =)

7. What sound or noise do you hate? My clothesdryer, the squeal on our car’s a/c belt, dogs barking incessantly.

8. What job other than your own would you like to attempt? Producing a Christian music videos or worship videos. Putting photography and music together in other words.

9. What job would you not like to do? Anything tedious or smelly.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? IF???? For Pete’s sake in a handbasket Louise! What do you mean IF? I want to hear my Lord say Welcome home Child, job well done.

August 17, 2005

Catch a falling star

Another day and nothing to blah blah blog about.

I did, however, find a very cool drawing on another blog I read. Check it out at:  

August 16, 2005

Movies R us

I am Schindler's List.....well, that's who I was the second time I took the test. I have to admit that the first time I took this personality quiz I came out as Sunset Boulevard. lol It sounded too self-centered and egotistic so I took the test again. ;) I just changed a couple of things and made my answers more middle of the road instead of one extreme or another.

I found the quiz on Shannon's blog, Wind scraps and I really am stretching to find something to blog about this week because all that is happening here is back to homeschooling stuff, cleaning the house and yard work between thunderstorms. So I appreciate the idea! =)

Go take the test! Hit the comments link below and let me know who you really are.....

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by

August 13, 2005


I finally found the lyrics to the Michael Card song I tried to refer to the other day! Thanks to KQ for typing them all out for me from her Poeima album!


Home is a comfort
And home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever-full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides
And being at home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you

Home is where someone is waiting and loving
And happy to see you again
That half of your heart
That somebody else treasures
The one who's your forever friend
But it seems that He's told me
The life that He's showing me
Is a life mostly spent on the road
But when the world's empty charm has done all of its harm
I know that His love waits for me in your arms

'Cause home is a comfort
And home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever-full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides
And being at home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you

And being at home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you

Michael Card

August 11, 2005

Meatloaf Wellington

I am busy getting my house back in order and organizing my homeschooling materials this week, so I’m going to post a recipe….or two. While in Phoenix, one of my tasks was making dinner. My niece had this recipe and it is worth giving it a try! It tastes great, is really cool looking and is really very easy!

Meatloaf Wellington

2 eggs
1/2 c ketchup
2 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp ground pepper
2 pounds ground meat
1/3 c minced onion (I use 1 tsp onion powder for my kids’ sake)
3/4 c dry, plain bread crumbs

1 17 oz pkg puff pastry
1 egg

Mix eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper and onion. Add in meat, then crumbs. Mix well, but handle as little as possible or meat will turn out tough. Shape meat into 2 loaves.

Roll out each pastry with a rolling pin (there should be 2 pastry sheets) on lightly floured surface until it is big enough to wrap the loaves. Wrap loaves, carefully pressing edges together with slightly damp fingers. You should wrap so the main seam is on the bottom. Cut slits in top of pastry, brush with slightly beaten egg. Place on a cookie sheet. (We were afraid the grease from the meat would make the bottom too soggy, so we put the loaves on a baking rack. This just made the bottom pastry fall off, so next time I’ll just follow instructions and place them directly on the cookie sheet.)

**another recipe for this on the internet suggests these baking instructions (baking meat first, then wrapping in pastry) using crescent rolls instead of puff pastry: Shape meat firmly into loaf. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Separate rolls using 5 to 6 crescents. Place crosswise over top and down sides of loaf, overlapping slightly. Bake 15 minutes more.**

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 60-70 minutes. Serve with Madeira sauce.

Madeira sauce

1/4 c butter
5 Tblsp flour
2 c beef consomme
1 Tblsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp each: dried thyme, rosemary and browning sauce
Dash of cloves or allspice
1/2 c Madeira wine or beef broth
2 c sliced mushrooms
2 Tblsp olive oil

Melt butter and flour, whisking together until smooth and bubbly. Stir in consomme, tomato paste, herbs, browning sauce and cloves. Bring to a boil, cook and stir 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in wine or broth. Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce.

Saute mushrooms in oil to serve alongside meatloaf and sauce.

Serves 5-6 (we had 8 people and had a serving left over)

August 9, 2005

Coming home

I’m home now! Two days of being home is not enough to let it all soak in again. For a month now we’ve been away….vacation, then me in Phoenix helping my parents and Charles visiting his family in Oklahoma, then youth camp. I felt like I was never going to get back to normal! (no comments from the peanut gallery on the normal thing. I mean normal for me.) This was also our first Sunday back since Charles went on sabbatical a month ago. So today was really the first ’normal’ day we’ve had back at home for the past month. It’s niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. Traveling is wonderful, I love it, but coming home afterwards is so comforting.

I love being US
With U

These are the words on my birthday card from my husband. Very simple words, but they speak deeply to my heart. I was in Phoenix on my birthday this year….last Thursday, August 4. I was sorely missing being home and being with Charles and my kids. The words on the card made me smile and tears well up in my eyes at the same time.

Under the printed words were Charles’ handwritten words….”being with you is being home.” It’s a recurring theme in our relationship. We have a song by Michael Card we have claimed for years called Home…..’with you I’m right at home’….I have been trying to find the lyrics for this song online and in my tape/cd collection, but I give up. At least the tapes and cd’s are organized and the old decrepit ones are thrown out! I kept my old Randy Stonehill, teenaged Amy Grant and White Heart though. (Remember Silverwind? I don’t either! But I have one of their tapes…hmmm.)

Here are the lyrics I do remember from the song…or maybe a slightly paraphrased version of the original…..

“Home is a comfort…home is a light ….a place to leave the darkness outside. Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling. A place where your heart longs to be….etc” Maybe my husband…..a more detail person than me…will send us the lyrics as he remembers them when he reads this….?

Home is a good thing. Everyone needs a home-base, whether it is a place or a person. We’ll never really be at home though until we’re at home with the Lord. There is a longing inside of us that will finally be satisfied…just like we long to be home at the end of a long trip….when we reach Heaven. Jesus has been preparing it for us for over 2,000 years! He only spent 6 days on creating this planet we now call home. Can you just imagine what it will be like? And though it sounds so far off, like a fantasy to us now, when we arrive there, it will be like the feeling we get when we come home after being gone for weeks or months…..something inside us relaxes and feels settled again. Maybe it’s that ever full feeling?

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

Ps…my apologies to Michael Card….=)

August 1, 2005

Stuck in the middle with you

A friend tells me I’m part of the sandwich generation…raising young kids while taking care of aging parents. I think I feel like a piece of wilting lettuce in a 3 day old sandwich. I have been going to bed around 10:30 pm and sleep until almost 8am, waking occasionally to listen for my dad in case he is creeping around the quiet house.

But even with adequate sleep, we’re all feeling weary and worn. It’s a feeling anyone knows who has taken care of an aging parent with dementia…..the obsession about certain things, explaining things over and over and over, the need to be constantly aware of where he is, what he’s doing, and painfully, the question pops up now and again from my dad to me, “What’s your name?”

My mom had hip replacement surgery 11 days ago and is in a rehab center recovering and getting lots of physical therapy so she can come home soon. She has been the main care-giver to my dad for the past year, since he’s been in deteriorating mental health, compounded by some physical needs that are constant. So my sisters and I are pitching in and helping while she is recuperating…..and we can’t believe what she’s had to deal with at home, as well as being crippled in her hip. And now with dad’s confusion getting even worse with her gone, we are faced with some hard decisions about his future care and if he is going to be able to even stay in the home or have to go to a full time care facility.

We have had to rely on a good sense of humor to get us through. With your sisters you can make irreverent jokes about the things we’ve had to deal with. Most of it I can’t refer to here, but it helps relieve a lot of tension.

My mom complains about the rehab center she is in, which is understandable….it’s hard to be in a place like that. It’s boring and depressing. But that is not what she complains about! She says it's full of old people with droopy skin and they can't hear each other to have a conversation......this is hilarious to us because she is 78 and is just about deaf!

"Hey, kettle, this is the pot"

She knows we joke about this because the first time she said it, I laughed out loud and thought she was joking. When I realized she wasn’t, I totally cracked up. She thinks I’m goofy, but I’m telling you, it’s a hoot! Now I make it a point to ask her how all the old people are doing today. I’m incorrigible, I tell you…..never give me ammunition if you don’t want me to make fun of you.

The night I went to the dining room at the rehab center with mom for dinner, a lady named Josie got wheeled into position beside mom. She looked the table over and said to my mom,

'So.....what are ya in for? Murder??'

This sent me over the edge! (I was already giggling at a little teensy lady with a cartoon voice *like Minnie Mouse* who talked so loud everyone in the room could hear her....well, except my mom!)

So I was laughing....and my mom just looks at Josie blankly and said,


To which Josie replied, "We're all breaking outta here tonight, see?" mom's like "What?"

I can't stand it....I almost had to dismiss myself and go laugh myself silly! *which I did when I got home after telling the story to my sisters*

So on we go. I am only here until Saturday, the 6th. Then I head 3 hours north to my own family and have to leave these duties to my 3 sisters and to my mom, who will be coming home about then.

Although it is depressing and wearying to see my parents getting older, it is also dear and tender to be with them during this time of life. My dad is as sweet, gentle and innocent as a child most of the time, although nighttime can find him belligerent and argumentative. He can drive you absolutely crazy with his incessant questions about things that don’t actually exist, but when his mind is clear, he tells us how much he appreciates us and says things we’ll remember all our lives. He actually knows how difficult he is getting, but when it is happening, he is so confused that he can't help it.

Tonight he was more himself. We had the carpets cleaned this afternoon and while we sat around the dinner table waiting for the carpets to dry, my sister kept telling everyone who got up from the table, "Don't walk on the carpets!" She must have said it 3 or 12 times. Then my dad got up from the table. We never know if he's going to do something 'unusual' or if he's just going to his room. So my sister said, "Dad, where are you going?" To which he got an exaggerated smirk on his face and said, "To walk on the carpets!"

It's good to see him being himself some days (and I see where I get my sassy sense of humor) was good. Thank you, Lord.

Life goes on and on….we think it will be ours forever, only to find out that our life soon becomes a memory and faded pictures in someone’s attic. We only have today here on earth, soon we’ll step over into eternity….and that is not such a bad thing, is it? My parents know the Lord, my dad is just closer to eternity now. It’s sad to see his body shutting down, but it is not the end…it is really the beginning for him.

He’s the lucky one.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

James 4:14
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

~~John 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.~~