March 29, 2005

Preparing for changes....

Well as the weather here continues to have trouble making up it's mind about what season it is, so life is doing the same. Funny how nature mimics our it poking fun or simply mirroring us? (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery) Change is in the air everywhere I look and somehow I never get used to it or expect it. It's always surprising...that's what makes it an adventure though....these changes. As my oldest daughter is starting early adulthood and getting ready to head to college next Fall, some of my good friends have just discovered they are expecting babies!!! These friends are about 10 years younger than I am, but subconsciously I consider us the same age: YOUNG adults. Ha. What a difference in parenting seasons when there is a 10 year difference in ages.

As our church grows, new people are taking over old positions and doing a great job. I have been gradually giving over a lot of my positions of ministry at our church this year due to working at our school and trying to allot my time. Now I won't be working at the school this coming year, so I am wondering where God wants me in the church. I have an opportunity now to do some new things in ministry....that is yet to be discovered...although I'm kind of excited about it.

My parents are needing more help as they age and this is a hard change as I see them get more dependent. There will be times I will have to become like a parent to them as this process continues. My siblings and I have been trying to decide how to handle things and share the load. It's hard to feel like you're sharing the load when you live 2 1/2 hours away.

My kids are growing up, my parents are aging, my friends are having new babies and it keeps snowing, then warming up, then snowing again. I'm sure I don't know what is going on, but through the ages millions of women have survived I will too. Like nature, God directs our days, sometimes confusing us beyond all reason, and helps us in preparing our lives for the things that are before us. I'll just have to remember to look out the window and check the sky before getting myself ready for the day.....and always expect changes....and pray that I can avoid all deadly projectiles!

March 25, 2005

The Wonderful Cross

The Good Friday service was really inspiring and convicting..... just as it should have been. It was all planned and carried out by our youth pastor and our youth group. They showed scenes from The Passion of Christ interwoven with songs about the cross and readings from the story of the cross in the Bible. That movie is amazing. It is horrible to watch, but when you face what He went through for you, it draws you into repentence.....I don't know if people expect that. I know I didn't anticipate that instantaneous conviction of sin. But as I saw it tonight and as I saw it a year ago in a movie theater, I can tell is an automatic response. And it is not just me. I remember talking to people after seeing it a year ago and everyone I talked to felt that way. It brings across so well the fact that you are not just sad and horrified that He had to's that He had to die because of your sin. It inspires true repentence....repentence that causes changes in your life out of gratitude and a feeling of deep obligation. So here are two of my favorite hymns about the cross for Good Friday. We didn't sing these tonight, but I love what they say.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My Richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love mingled down
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were and an off'ring far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all

Life so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul. my life, my all
and the beauty and the shame
in the glory of His name
Oh the wonderful cross

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
All who gather here by grace
draw here and bless your name

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

---Bernard of Clairvau

March 24, 2005

Spring break?

Click to enlarge cartoon.

Our Spring-like weather has suddenly turned back into ol' man winter....just in time for Spring amusing. Today it was so cold, we couldn't even go out and do vigorous yard work, like clearing out the gardens as it stayed in the 30's all day. So we did housework and after lunch popped in Ben Hur. I have never seen Ben Hur all the way through and I didn't realize it was a 4 hour we sat here all afternoon, hunkered down on our couches and baked chocolate chip cookies. Fun, yet not quite Spring breakish! Tomorrow we're going shopping....there is a Good Friday sale at Kohl's....50% off everything in stock. If that isn't a weird thought....a Good Friday sale...does that seem a little irreverent? Later we will go to a Good Friday service....which I will try to tell you about tomorrow night. Last year it was one of the most thoughtful, moving and contemplative services I've ever been to.

The first part of the week I spent in Phoenix with my 2 younger daughters. We visited my family, wore capris and short sleeves, and helped my sister water her vegetable/herb garden that was already in full swing. The most memorable thing we did though, was going to a drive in movie! I read recently that there are only a few drive in's left in America. What a shame! We had a lot of fun....popped a big bag of corn *microwave one had home popped kind!* and we packed blankets, lawn chairs,pillows, red hots and water bottles. One of only 3 surviving drive in movie theaters in Arizona is a mile from my parents home. We settled in for a double feature....Robots and Winn Dixie.....both very cute, but I enjoyed Winn Dixie sooo much more. Very good movie with a lot of underlying meaningful themes running through it....I love that. Besides I love a good dog movie! We had my 2 girls with us as well as my 7 year old niece and her mom, my sister. It was great....sitting in the outdoors, watching a movie (They have the sound come through a station on your car stereo too, so it's better than the old fashioned hook-on speaker that have the sound of a transistor radio.) We looked at the constellations, laughed as loud as we wanted to *which was quite loud* and the two 7 year olds danced around the outside of the car with joy at the end of each movie as the credits music played.

So Spring break was not all cold and snowy....but I was looking forward to clearing out my garden. And speaking of winter weather, check out this site. Some guy in Alaska is making a man made mountain of ice on his land. He has a long pipe with nozzles spraying instantly freezing water into the air! Amazing! Some people are so good at self entertainment...they are my heroes. ;) Make sure you scroll down to the bottom part of the page to see some mountain climbers climbing the ice!

In the meantime.....I'm going to make some hot tea.....

March 19, 2005

The blessings of the Irish...

*Two days late!* Though I only have a wee bit of Irish blood in me, I looked up some Irish blessings and sayings for ye this day in remembrance of a man named Patrick.....*I can't speak with an Irish brogue, but I can pretend pretty well*

As an aside: we went camping with my friend, Anna's family once for a week and we spoke with different Celtic accents the whole time. Anna can do each accent, including Scottish, Irish, British and even Cockney very convincingly...I got an A for effort. It was one of those very sloshy, soggy, downpouringish camping trips we've made to Colorado....just to give you the big picture of why we found this so entertaining. =) The whole camping trip is memories of trying to stay dry *impossible when camping in tents*, trying to start fires with wet logs, and chipmunks invading everything! We took a lot of drives that trip too. It is a good thing we found something entertaining to do, because all the cold and wet was coupled with having a 2 year old I was trying to entertain and keep dry and warm. For some reason, the celtic accents kept our spirits up and our husbands in less hot water. ;) So here's to the Irish! *cheers*

~May the road rise to meet you;
May the wind be at your back;
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your field.
And until we meet some day, 'til we meet some day,
May God hold you in the palm of God's hand.~

~May those that love us, love us.
And they that don't love us, may God turn their hearts.
And they that won't turn their hearts,
May God turn their ankles, so we'll know them by their limping.~

~May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.~

~May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.~

~May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight!~

~~And some Irish proverbs~~

The work praises the man.

The world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.

There is hope from the sea, but none from the grave.

There is no fireside like your own fireside

There is no luck except where there is discipline.

There is no need like the lack of a friend.

Three diseases without shame: Love, itch and thirst. *?* lol

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. *for my Irish grandad who was only a smidge taller than me*

March 12, 2005

Boo boop dee doo!

There is a theme around here this week …….it’s a delicate subject, but it kept coming up, so I decided to wade in. It all started with my buying 3 new t-shirt type blouses at Sam’s club while innocently doing some shopping. Did you know you can’t try on the clothes at warehouse stores? I asked why one time and the woman said because of the fire code. She offered no further explanation, so I just assumed it’s against the law to have undressed people in the parking lot during fires. Well, you women who wear t-shirts in Spring time know….you have to have the right undergarments to wear those….they cling….it’s a little chilly in Spring….you need ‘protection’.

So instead of buying new undergarments, I decided to borrow some from my daughter’s drawer. I have experience buying those protecting, more secure feeling, thicker type undergarments, but the ones I have bought in the past have never fit well and by the time you find out how torturous they are, you can’t return them. They seem to have a life of their own, moving in odd directions, opposite to where I am moving. I end up feeling like Xena, princess warrior and it’s not a comfy feeling, let me tell you. ;) And I want things in the right place, not up in the atmosphere somewhere, jacked up and out. It’s a little claustrophobic I have found. So my daughter had a suitable looking took me a few minutes of browsing and holding things up and pondering…intimidating, but at least I wasn’t spending money on it to try it out. So on it went, then my nifty new 3/4 sleeved, olive green t-shirt. All set, all secure, all right! I was padded, protected and secure. All day, everything was fine….chilly building…nooooooo problem! There is some weird kind of freedom in being all bound up. *think about that* As evening came things kind of shifted and it started poking me in the arm pit, but I was amazed it lasted that long on this 100% cotton, loose fitting please, comfort loving girl. So I found that I can feel secure without too much whining, but it does have a time limit. What we won’t do for a cute t-shirt!

To ‘top’ off the week of this amazing new freedom and security, I turned on a comedy show that we watch sometimes as I was cooking dinner tonight. It’s called Bananas and is on PAX as well as other channels. Tonight’s comedian was a woman named Anita Renfro. This lady is hilarious! She’s all about womanly humor and one of her topics was explaining a mammogram. Among other things she talked about laying your offering on the altar, being ‘rearranged’ by someone she’s never met, feeling like too much waffle batter in a waffle iron and how afterward a little chocolate and caffeine and they fluff right back up! I tried to find a website for her and couldn’t find one, but if you get a chance to see her on Banana’s, I recommend it. =)

…..that’s a wrap…and all I have left to say is….boo boop dee doo! (since I can’t do the Xena war cry…..and I have tried.)

March 7, 2005

The balancing act

Something happened to my house while I wasn't paying attention. ......well, ok, I knew it was happening but it was so gradual that I am amazed at how invaded we now are. The invasion? Technology.....yeah, we are all wired wired in fact, that we are now 'wireless' which means such much technology that you don't even need to be wired to a telephone line to be hooked up. Don't get me wrong...I like the technology, but I feel embarrassed to have so much of it. We now can watch the World Hunger commercials on a 47 inch LCD projection TV....whatever that means....I just know it's huge and I feel the need to explain it when people come in and see it. (My husband used his Christmas bonus to buy it, we aren't in debt because of it, I promise!)

My husband became mister gadget beginning in about 1995. When Apple computers were born into American homes, we got one. Now we have 5 Apples.....all different models and years...all used, but still up with current technology. iTunes, iMovie, iShufflethingie, iBook.....i i me me....hmmm This may be too revealing to post now that I am thinking about it! lol

We have so many cords and converters and external thingies lying around...we have boxes of these things....boxes of disks and CD Roms and Mac Manuals. My husband can fix any Mac you give him....that amazes me too! MY husband, who has never been real handy with fixing things around the house, can take whole computers apart, fix them and put them back together. I am truely surprised by this new talent. And it's rubbing off in other areas. He actually 'fixed' my clothes dryer the other day. It was not heating up and now it is....hmmmm.

Technology.....who knew? This is the same husband who, when we were first married, used to like to buy things that didn't need electricity, 'just in case'. *sheepish smile* I can't remember exactly why we did that. I actually have a friend whose family moved off into the interior of Alaska, built a home that runs without electricity, you have to get there by boat and they grow and hunt their own food. I never heard from her again.....scawy.....

So I'll take the wires (and the wirelessness)...and the satellite long as I can still get my husband to come out and sit on the front porch with me in our wooden rockers as often as possible to watch the birds that come to splash in the creek there. As long as we support missions around the world and pray for missionaries and go on mission trips as often as we can with our kids....and not turn the channel when the World Hunger commercials come on. As long as we turn off the embarrassingly large tv and play board games with our kids and read books and take walks. As long as we get back to nature and get truely 'wireless' and go camping each summer away from the bustle of the busyness of life. As long as my husband keeps going into the woods every summer to hunt down dead trees, chop them up, haul them home in the truck and stack it to make our own heat for winter.

OK, I feel better now....just gotta find the balance sometimes.....

March 2, 2005

Pics I took today

This is the creek in front of my house as it looks today.

This is what it looked like a month ago at flood stage.
Usually it is a dry creekbed, so I am obsessing on it while it's got running water.

My dog Winnie, who is very sweet. She was very curious about what I was pointing at her.

As I was taking the pics of the creek I noticed my crocuses are croaking! Ooooooh, get ready....I love to take pics of my gardens...humble as they are.

March is in like a lamb here this year! I was outside playing 2 square with my 7 year old today and we didn't even need our jackets! I think it was in the 50's, but felt warm with the sun shining on us...and I have not lost my edge in 2 square after alllllll these years! =) That's all for today....