Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Giving ice after an icestorm? - whooda tho't...? :)


The recent ice storm & back to back heavy snowstorms has left us w/ intermittent electricity & phone - & I believe this is day 12 or 13 w/o power for some!!

One may think that giving bags of ice after a terrible ice storm would just add insult to injury...but that's what we did (well - sort of :) yesterday! The girls donned Santa & elf hats to deliver truffles to men working long & hard out in the cold to restore power - & "bags of ice" in memory of the incredible ice storm of 2008 to neighbors...that included some combination of Ice Breaker mints/gum, polar ice "Extra" gum, "frosty" ornaments, Dentyne Ice gum, icicle ornaments.....all w/ a candle tucked inside...the gift of light & warmth --- things we all appreciate much more now! ... wrapped in clear celophane & snowflake bags w/ wishes for a Christmas that's warm(!) & bright(!) & the reference for John 1:9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. This theme carried thru' to co-worker's/friend's gifts - & shopping, preparing & giving has served as a power-full(!) reminder that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Power-FULL post :)

We got power!!! I scurried to get gas, cash, food, etc. ahead of the back to back storms expected & Hubby was on his way home early as the snow was getting heavy- to pick up a loaner generator from a friend -- when our power finally (Day 8!) came on. God is good & His timing is amazing. So thankful!

Only God could cause?/allow? such quiet (snap, crackle, pops in the night - but NO idea what we'd wake up to!) beautiful (an ice storm is a truly a sight to behold ... esp when the sun comes out & the outdoors glistens like diamonds!) destruction - while preserving sooo much life! To my knowledge no lives were lost in this storm ... altho' I gather a few perished in the aftermath from carbon monoxide poisoning.

People who've lived here 60 - 80 yrs never remember anything like this incredible storm. There was a terrible flood years ago & the blizzard of '78 - but this was different. Trees all over the region broke like matchsticks! Saving newspapers for our kids. Still many w/o power! Keep praying!

A few words stuck to memories: cold - dark - ice - shelter (the school at the end of our street) - CRUSHED (Newspaper headline the day after) - State of Emergency - National Guard - board games - books - perked coffee - hotdogs & hobo peach pie cooked over fire - kind neighbors & friends - candles ... candlelight showers - candlelight conversation w/ friends after enjoying a hot meal together.

I learned some things ... I really like perked coffee! - How to use the car as a generator to run a house fan as a heat blower ... Times like these seem to bring out the best in most people - & - I take sooo/tooo much for granted.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Santa,

May I pleeeaase have electricity for Christmas?

Sincerely,

Powerless

-----

STILL no power here. We've been w/o electricity for a week now since the ice storm (see pics on previous post). It's amazing what one takes for granted! We're in for another storm tomorrow so no telling when we'll get power. So grateful for my boyscout extraordinare hubby! He makes this whole thing bearable. He hooked me on the laptop tonight here at home for the first time since the ice storm ... using his car as a generator!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Deep Freeze

We are ok. You've probably seen on the news. We are still feeling the effects of an incredible ice storm! State of Emergency. Pics out of order --but you can see what we woke up to Fri AM. Our neighborhood looked like a warzone! No power since Thurs eve. We do have gas & so we're better off than so many - and thankful. We have hot water - stove & some heat. We harvested ice for our cooler & fridge and put some food outside b/c it's been sooo cold! I'm in B&N now online for the first time since the storm. All the pics are from our neighborhood.







More Pics

More Pics









Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smile!

As I was grocery shopping this early (best time to go!) morning, I passed a mom w/ two children (total strangers) in one of the aisles. The little boy was just SO cute! I kinda smiled at him, complimented the mom on her cute boots & walked on. Soon passed them again, going the opposite direction, & the little boy stood right in front of my cart, held onto it, peeked over the front - & wanted to go w/ me! Of all the things in that store, I woulda loved to take him home! :) - but as the distance between his mom & us grew, she quickly realized he wasn't w/ her & encouraged him to 'get back here'. He obeyed...but then as the distance between he & I grew, he waved & yelled an oh so friendly 'Bye!!' back down the aisle to me. In the short span of about 30 seconds I kinda felt as if I made a friend I might never see again - but I walked out of the store w/ a big smile on my face that it seems another woman "caught" b/c she smiled back at me. I smiled as I told my husband on the phone about the little boy ... & hours later, as I share this (b/c it's too fun not to share!) , I'm smiling about it! Hopefully you are too now.... & someone will catch yours - & so on - & so on - & so on.... :)

How did he know?

Playmaker had a (boy) friend - two separate words :) - over the other night & we baked Christmas cookies. Nice kid. Nice time. Playmaker told me that he told her that when her dad came home from work that evening, he could tell her dad & I are in love & he tho't that was neat. He's right! but -I wonder just how he knew. It doesn't really matter - I'm just glad it shows b/c I adore my hubby & I want him to know - & I want the world to know - & given Playmaker's friend's observation - I/we must be doing somethin' right :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TheTruth, the Whole Truth(?) & Nothing but the Truth?



While at school, Playmaker was interviewed by our local newspaper for an article related to a survey that indicates 64% of highschoolers admit to cheating.

Yesterday the headlines read: MORE STUDENTS ADMIT TO CHEATING & a long article follows - including a pic of Playmaker w/ her name (& a few pics/names of others) indicating these students talked about cheating at her school, Wed. However, there's not one quote or reference to her in the whole article. Ironically the expression on her face as she talked to the reporter - combined w/ the headline - combined w/ the stripes that she wore that day (that kinda make her look like a jailbird!), might lead one to think she'd just admitted to cheating! Just kinda funny/strange - & provides me w/ a rather personal(!) perspective on how powerful/persuasive the media is ... How something is portrayed - by including "this" & leaving out "that" -- all while "reporting the facts" - can lead one to believe something - whether it's true or not ... & to better realize how once someone is convinced of something, it can be very difficult to change their mind .... & - how powerful knowing/understanding/discerning the truth/Truth (John 14:6a NIV Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. ... ") really is.

Despite the deep thoughts this led me to - we've gotten some good laughs out of this rather personal propaganda(?) :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here & Now & There & Then

edited

Today (Sunday)-- Light snow... pretty - peaceful. Church. Family dinner. Our phone, internet & cable weren't working. The lack of technology was fitting - as after hubby & I snoozed by the Christmas tree by the window by the fire, we then headed out w/ the girls to "Bible time Bethlehem" -- well sort of... actually a very well done live Nativity/village /w census taker, market place, carpenter shop, basket weaver, dancing, live animals, open fire cooking, etc. And, of course, the manger scene. The cast spoke only Hebrew or Greek w/ the exception of at least one person reciting Scripture relating to the Christmas story. Afterward - a tour of the sanctuary - SO much symbolism in this very simple room that I wouldn't have appreciated if it hadn't been explained...black floor (sin), red carpet leading up to the altar (blood of Christ) , 12 hanging lamps (12 disciples) -- so much symbolism in the alter itself -& the garments of the pastor (black for sin, white robe for the righteousness of Christ) -- The pastor explained how none of this symbolism was necessary including his garb...all are simply visual aids/reminders. I just thought it was interesting --- how, in giving a tour of this church sanctuary, one could basically share the Gospel. Came home & picked up w/ the girls where they'd left off watching The Ultimate Gift.

Obviously our internet is back...& just in time for me to journal about this unusual (very special!) day - here & now (Home) & there & then ("Bethlehem").

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tickled Pink


This (shiny brand spankin' new red helmet) means Playmaker made her High School Ice Hockey team! She was the only girl that tried out...except for a girl goalie who also made it -- still not sure if she'll be on V or JV but it doesn't really matter to me b/c those boys are one size (BIG!) on both levels. She's tickled pink - as pink as her huge pink hockey bag! I, on the other hand - well, let's just say I got pretty good at multitasking (watching & praying at the same time!) when her big brother played - & so - I'll do it again...

Hmm - given that her school colors are red/white....I wonder if her coaches would object to her wearing a giant STOP! sign logo?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Are we a political hologram?

Edited

There should probably be a moratorium on political posts in Dec. - but - this surprised me ...

Check out the map
in my side bar w/ a county by county breakdown (can be found here: The Country is Still Conservative ) . Are we red or blue? Perhaps we're a hologram? ...b/c we look quite different depending on how you look at it (state by state - or county by county)

"You know, it's interesting, I saw today the final county map, red state, blue state map by county, and if you just landed here from Mars, and you looked at that map, you would swear the Republicans won this thing in a landslide, if you didn't know where the population centers are." - Rush Limbaugh - at the link above

A New "Advent"ure

- Been trying to figure out how to make Advent more meaningful than candy calendars to count off the days leading up to the celebration of Christ's birth. The random act of kindness I posted about below inspired me! I realize I'm a bit late getting started - but - I intend to "perform" at least one totally random act of kindness for someone - least suspecting & different each day - every day until Christmas - & to encourage my family to do the same. I am so excited I can hardly wait to get started!

Random Act of Kindness/No explanation necessary :)

Much to my surprise, a small pkg from my friend arrived in the mail. My dd loves to open pkgs, so I let her do the honors...when what to my wondering eyes should appear - but the cross you see above (tried so hard to get a good pic!...this one doesn't do it justice). Here's what made it extra special: The gift itself & the fact that there was no note/ no nothing w/ it "spoke" how well she still knows me - so well that no explanation was necessary - despite the huge distance between us now & the much too much time that passes between touching base w/ each other - & - that it was totally unexpected - & how it brightened my day :)

P.S. You can see here what she & her husband have turned melting glass into.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hmm - Can I give a gift to them that is really for me?




I'm organized ... to a degree - but there's definitely room for improvement & it's toward that end that (not crafty) I decided to hand-make this particular gift for my family:


ORGANIZATION
in the form of a:


CUSTOM(!) HOUSEHOLD
NOTEBOOK/ORGANIZER
...


to have & to hold, from this day forward,
important info all together in one place.

It's a basic 3 ring binder that includes: 2009 Planner (3holes), notebook, tabs/pockets/places for: Chore Chart, School/Sports Schedules, Bills/Checkbook, Stamps, Calculator, Receipts, Menus, Grocery List, Coupons, To Do List, Church Newsletter/Calendar/Directory/Youth Group, one tab for each kiddo, etc.......& a partridge in a pear tree! :) There's lot's more I could include - but this is just the stuff I want to keep handy ...&.... that's what the extra tabs are for :)

Such a simple - practical - inexpensive - stress relieving - keeps on giving - gift :)

The question is....Who is it really for?... them? or me? :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crock-Pot Sundays


Those who know me well, know that a while back we began making more of an effort to make Sundays more of what God intended. Along that line I'm starting a new tradition...Crock Pot Sundays. Today - as it was snowing on the way home from church, it was so nice to come home to a home that smelled delicious b/c dinner was waiting to be had - rather than waiting to be prepared :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Christmas Card for you(!) - from me :)

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The ABC's of 0ur 2008

A - Aquarium (Boston)
B - Butterfly Conservatory
C - Cycling (Spokes) & Camp Cherith (Strike)
D - Doanes Falls & Diving off floating deck
E - Eventually I'll think of something!
F - Family Reunion (Wedding)
G - Gardner Newspaper (Front Page!)
H - Hockey & Homecoming (Playmaker's first school dance)
I - Inspired to start a blog (yours truly)
J - j & j (that's us!) married 22 yrs
K - Kayaks
L - Longsjo / Leaf Peeping
M - Many memorable moments
N - New refrigerator
O - One year older (all of us :)
P - Piano (Playmaker) & Picking Peaches
Q - Quote given to Playmaker on her 1st day of high school:
"We each leave our mark on the world every moment of every day through the choices we make and the actions we take."
R - Rhode Island - The Breakers/cliff walk
S - Softball (Strike) - Sledding
T - Tubing
U - hiked "UP" Mt. Monadnock
V - Virtual Baby - (Playmaker's School Assignment)
W - Water skiing
X - Exploring Laurel Caverns (PA)
Y - www.yadayadah.blogspot.com
Z - Zip/Zilch (can't think of a thing!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Don't forget to say grace (give thanks!) today

Happy Thanksgiving!! Praying your day is filled w/ food, fun & fellowship w/ family & friends - & that your mind is so full of all that you've been blessed w/ that it pours out of your heart & mouth in the form of GIVING THANKS :)

Found this over at tipnut.com ( just happened upon it but it looks like a great little site to poke around at):

My Kitchen Prayer

Picture of Old Wood Stove - Tipnut.com

God bless my little kitchen,
I love its every nook,
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

And may the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy great blessings and Thy grace,
But most of all Thy love.

As we partake of earthly food,
The table before us spread,
We’ll not forget to thank Thee, Lord,
Who gives us daily bread.

So bless my little kitchen, God,
And those who enter in,
May they find naught but Joy and Peace,
And Happiness therein.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just a (musical) note

video

This past Sunday Playmaker & Strike shared this song
of worship - Be Unto Your Name - during our evening service.
It was their first time performing together w/ their instruments.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A long overdue makeover (for my blog)

Thanks to my friend over at From the Narrows --- and her link to Lena ...and some help from Spokes, I have a fresh new look .... finally! Just in time for the holidays :) I still have some fine tuning to do but a thousand thanks yous - & then some - to all three of you!!!

Butterflies & Worship

Our church is focusing on worship this month & last night I shared a lesson "For the Kids" & tho' t to post a slightly edited version here...

Butterflies & Worship

When I was asked to do Time for the Kids I tho't to share an object lesson w/ butterflies & asked Strike if she had any ideas b/c often I share something we’ve learned together - & she suggested butterflies too. Then I remembered I should focus this talk on worship - & figured I should probably go in a different direction.

I remembered part of a verse that included the word “worship” in it. Looked it up – & it says in Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.Then I read more of the context & the very next verse says: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Greek word for “transformed” is MetamorphoĊ - to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. From it we get metamorphosis & we tend to think of caterpillars & butterflies! So I sensed that three times the Holy Spirit nudged me to talk about butterflies… so butterflies it is….

I bro't some butterflies tonight. W/ the understanding that God has revealed Himself to us both in His Word & creation, I’ve learned to try to figure out what God might have been wanting us to better understand when he created certain things – & I really think we can better understand God – what He’s like & what He wants us to be like – by studying butterflies.

I have a story. You may have heard it. It may seem I’m getting off track but stay w/ me & I’ll try to tie it all together at the end.

As the story goes…A man found a chrysalis. One day a small opening appeared. He watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to force its body through it before it seemed it could go no further. Finally the man decided to help – so - he cut the chrysalis to allow the butterfly to emerge easily, which it did. And the man continued to watch. He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge & expand to support the body, which would contract in time, but neither happened - & in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body & shriveled wings - & never was able to fly.

The man didn’t understand that the restricting chrysalis & the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the butterfly's body into its wings so it would be ready & able to fly when the time was right & once it achieved its freedom from the chrysalis.

The transformation caterpillars undergo while in the chrysalis is amazing. When they come out they’re so very different from how they used to be.

Christians kinda metamorph too. When we confess & repent of our sin & accept Jesus as our Savior, we’re instantly changed from eternally dying to eternally living & that’s no doubt an amazing transformation! And - once we’re saved, we should then become more like Christ - which can be a long - & at times, a difficult process.

Think about this - when the man tried to help by cutting the chrysallis, he did free the butterfly - technically - but it was crippled for the rest of its life – which was likely cut shorter than it was intended to be - & most, if not all, the butterfly’s time from then on was likely spent focused on itself - out of necessity - as it struggled just to survive - b/c God’s way had not been followed.

According to God’s perfect plan, the butterfly had to go through that struggle - to the end - in order to become & do all that God intended - & to beautifully display His splendor as it enjoyed true freedom, the way God intended.

Taking it a step further - Flowers need to be pollinated - & God created butterflies in a special way to meet this need of certain flowers. What’s more - He gave those flowers jobs too – one is to feed those butterflies. I think this an illustration of what it means in Romans 12:1 to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God – b/c I think it means we should use our bodies to care for other in Jesus’ name & use those times to share what He’s done for us & wants to do for them.

We can offer our bodies as sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God by praying w/ someone,singing praises, sharing the Gospel, giving money or food to the needy, helping someone help themselves, or doing work for one who is unable to do it. These all involve using our bodies & some sort of sacrifice - but - did you ever consider some of these things to be worship?

It’s true - worship often involves sacrifice – but often it involves sacrificing what God has generously blessed us w/ to begin w/. When, in obedience, we use anything He’s given us - our talents, abilities, energy, money, time, etc., to serve others in His name & w/ a grateful heart, that’s worship! And often we’re blessed in return in ways that are so satisfying - much like when the butterfly, in time, becomes what it was meant to be & does what God created it to do for the flowers, & in turn the flowers feed the butterfly. They enjoy a special relationship & both elegantly display God’s splendor b/c this is their way of life – which I think is what this kind of worship is meant to be … not just something we do on Sundays - but rather as a way of life – much like dieting or exercising are sacrifices people make that need to be consistent in order to enjoy the full benefit.

And - just as the butterfly must struggle first - to be & do all that God intended - sometimes God allows us to endure certain things to help us become more like Him & so to prepare us to be & do what he has planned for us. When a person has been thru’ something really difficult, sometimes they just want to put it behind them & try to forget it ever happened, but when they use what God taught them thru’ it all, they’re able to help certain people that many others might have no idea how to help. By doing that in Jesus’ name &/or for His sake, that’s worship too!

Butterflies are a rare sight this time of year – so I’m giving you each a pretend one – to place wherever you’ll see it - m/b on your Christmas tree for a while. I hope it will serve as a reminder of how beautifully butterflies illustrate Romans 12:1-2

The more you practice worshiping this way - by offering your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, the more it will become your way of life. Try it this wk & m/b next wk you’ll have stories to tell me for a change :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Butterflies


Took these pics on a trip recently to a butterfly conservatory - Magic Wings - in Deerfield, MA. What a neat experience!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatever happened to ......

- Satisfaction from a job well done & doing a job well?

- Paying now rather than later?

- Honesty is the best policy?

- Sweat caused by working hard to earn a living - as opposed to spending hard earned money at the gym to work up a sweat?

Since our economy has flown south, I hafta think that must be where these things went too. I hope they return - otherwise it's going to be a looong winter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

America's Birthday?

Slightly edited - as I continually seem to do when wrapping words around my thoughts ...

Many refer to our nation's birthday as July 4, 1776 - but perhaps it was really Nov 4, 2008 ...

First Trimester

1600's - America's conception

1700's - America's implantation - but something wasn't right from the start - and it was obvious when John Adams, the first president to reside in the White House, moved in as it was still under construction by slave labor.

Second Trimester

1800's - Painful cramping was experienced that soon turned into full blown contractions and much hemorrhaging - almost resulting in a miscarriage during the Civil War - but- it seemed, under the care of "Dr."/President Abraham Lincoln, she was on the long road to recovery from the life threatening disease of slavery.

Third Trimester

1900's - America grew and the womb expanded ... and contracted at times. Some contractions were more intense than others...but periods of bedrest seemed to ease them - and the pain.

Overdue

Nov 4, 2008 - A tragic partial birth abortion was performed on America - w/ her own mother's consent! - all at a time when the new President Elect - being of African descent - was such encouraging evidence that the time was right for this nation to truly be born free as God intended! Yet - something went terribly "wrong(?)" during the procedure and she was indeed born - still alive - very sick and struggling - yes - but that struggle is evidence of her will to live - which means there's still hope - because now - to end this newborn's life would be considered murder by law and by most everyone --- except perhaps the new doctor...

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
- John Adams

Monday, November 10, 2008

Attempting to leave a legacy

Genesis 22:12(NIV) "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

Sometimes I wonder.- if I’m one of the few hs'ers who does not profess hs'ing to be the single best option across the board - & what public school would be like if I committed as much time & energy as I do hs'ing, to serving God by serving there.

A Black History Day HS Presentation based on The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles - that we prepared & shared a while back - reminded me of how powerful a childlike faith can be.

In 1960, little Ruby (6 yrs old) was the only black child ordered to integrate William Frantz Elementary School. For a time no one else would send their children there b/c Ruby was there. Angry crowds greeted her each morning as she was escorted by marshals with guns, for her protection, to a school & classroom where she was the only student, b/c she was there. Yet she seemed relaxed – smiling & ready to learn day in & day out. Twice daily she'd pray for those who hated her (When was the last time I prayed for my enemies?!).

I gather Ruby’s parents were her own personal prayer warriors. Tho' I can hardly imagine daily sending our own child into such adversity, w/ the advantage of hindsight, I admire Ruby’s parents & the legacy her family left us. Their motives & actions seem more Christ-like in many ways than mine.

Tho' our reasons for hs'ing are generally well intentioned, as are our reasons for allowing our older daughter to attend public high school (which actually seems to require more faith on our part), both decisions are tainted w/ splashes of other not so good reasons - & so, I wonder ...if the more pure our motives are - &/or the more faith that's required in our choices - no matter what option(s) we choose to educate our children - the more likely God will be to honor our good intentions - & the less likely I'll be to wrestle w/ our decisions in that regard(?).

Attempting to leave a legacy of God-fearing faith --- & not simply one of fear.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Couldn't have said it better myself.....

Stumbled on this (see below re: Redistribution of Wealth ) this AM at Just a glimpse into our crazy lives. Wish I'd tho't of it - but I couldn't have said it better than whoever did anyhow :) Please don't get me wrong here...I'm all for helping those who can't help themselves...& for helping those who can help themselves - to do just that.

Redistribution of wealth

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign the read "Vote
Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I
laughed--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him
that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood
there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his
tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The
server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server
inside as I have decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was
very grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized
the homeless guy was certainly grateful for the money he did not earn, and
the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he worked for and
rightly deserved.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept
rather than in practical application.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

77 Days

Please join me in accepting The Presidential Prayer Team's invitation to commit to pray each day until the inauguration (tho' I don't think they intend for us to stop after that :) for our new President Elect.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

May I call you Sarah?

Dear Governor Palin,

With all due respect, may I call you Sarah? ... as I feel as if I know the real you - despite the media(!) - which, in & of itself, speaks volumes of kudos on your behalf.

The joke is going around that if you could walk on water, the headlines would read: PALIN CAN'T SWIM. I know Someone personally who did walk on water - & based on His experience, I think this is a safe assumption.


I was awake much of the night - trying not to reach for the remote control & rest in knowing that God is in control.

Thank you, Sarah - for all the selfless choices you've made in both your personal & public life - thereby leading by serving with com-passion. Your name, next to Senator McCain's on the ballot, clearly defined the Republican ticket in such a way that I was honored to exercise the privilege of giving my vote to the two of you.

The Light shines brightest in the dark - which is precisely why I believe you shown so brightly (beautifully!!) while the eyes of the world were on you.

Press on my friend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please just consider this - today (Election Day)

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Tale of Three Trees

A dear friend once shared w/ me: "What a blessing it is when God allows our children to share with us what He tries to teach us all along...."

I recently co-directed a play (children's musical) called The Tale of Three Trees. The traditional story of three trees - each w/ a big dream - & God w/ an even bigger plan. Long story short....Tree #1 dreamed of becoming a Treasure Chest - became a feed box for animals - ultimately held the greatest treasure of all...Baby Jesus -- The Savior which is Christ The LORD! Tree #2 dreamed of becoming a mighty ship worthy to carry a powerful king - became a smelly fishing boat - ultimately carried Jesus, whom even the wind & water obeyed! - & then realized God had chosen him to carry the Most Powerful King of All! Tree #3 just wanted to stay on the hilltop & point people toward God - but was chopped down & thrown in a dark corner of a lumberyard - in the "end" became the cross where Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sins -- & will forever do just what she dreamed of doing -- but in a much different way than she ever imagined.

What I loved about it ....

- The salvation msg was shared in a creative way that created a prime opportunity for someone (our Pastor seized it beautifully) to share more along that line w/ those whose hearts had been tenderized in a way that it seems at times, only children can do.

John 3: 16 NIV For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

- It offers encouragement to those experiencing a time/place where they just "can't see the forest for the trees" - reminding them that God is in control & has a plan for them.

Jer 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

- Adults & children worked together, each doing their part - no matter how big or small - toward the common goal of glorifying God in song/lines (spoken word) & deed (ability) -- ministry!

Is 61:3b They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.

-
Relationships happened ....you can't work w/ 15 kids & several parents for 2+ months on something as involved as a play & not get to know each other better.

- Leadership was shared three ways - 1) Music 2) Administration - 3) One woman worked specifically/beautifully(!) w/ our special needs children

- The catchy songs/lyrics - even a rap song - some simply fun & others, powerful -- all woven together & bound to remain in our hearts & minds - likely to surface just when we need to be encouraged/reminded that God is in control! (Election Day eve?! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whoever said it, said it well....

Edit: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/lincoln-quotes.htm attributes the quote below to William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian Minister

This came from one of those e-mail forwards...' I'm not sure if Lincoln actually quoted it first or not but I did try to find out. I think it's well said tho....


You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people' s initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

.....Abraham Lincoln

10/31 (call it what you will)

I am a Christian & I think b/c of that, I struggle most not with wanting to do things I know are wrong ... but with things I'm just not sure of....those things where one has to decide when in Rome, to do what the Romans do - or not. I'm increasingly convinced that the difference - when there is no clear cut right or wrong - between a good choice & a bad one, is the heart/motive that the decision is made in. That's where I really wrestle...especially when it comes to our kids --- which brings me to - dare I say it....trick or treating.

(Deep inhale on my part) We allow our children to trick or treat & we enjoy carving pumpkins together. (long exhale....) There.... it's out there ... at least I'm honest. Do I wrestle w/ this...yes --- every year... mostly tho' for fear of what other people will think...b/c God knows my heart. I see nothing inherently wrong in dressing up in fun costumes (hmm m/b I should call it role playing?) or in carving/lighting up pumpkins (hmmm...m/b I should eliminate the "jack-o"...& just call them lanterns?)--- or going door to door for candy (hmm... m/b I should have my children say "May I please have a piece of candy?" instead of "trick-or-treat!"?).

There's never a good reason to "celebrate evil" - but that is not what we do in any way, shape or form- & it's precisely why, day in & day out as we live in an evil & profane world, we try to keep our focus on the appropriate...& off the inappropriate.... which is the very same thing we do on 10/31 as we focus on the fun & fantasy/imagination/pretend/play (call it what you want) that is such an important part of a child's growth & development every other day of the year.

Can't help but wonder if we were to allow our children to play dress up on any other day except 10/31....or.... if we were to carve melons instead of pumpkins....or carve anything but silly faces into our pumpkins,.... would that somehow make it less wrong/more right (ie. politically correct?!)
I understand that pagans at some point did some of these things too ...but I gather the Christmas Tree has pagan roots...& so does body (ear?) piercing among a long list of other controversial things.

Some essentially hide from the world on 10/31 & on a daily basis --- others try to make "that night" fun/special/something to look forward to (celebrate?) for their children by providing some sort of good clean fun - & even some churches plan Harvest Festivals on "that night" in what seems to be a similar mindset (I just rec'd an invitation to one). I gather that the "why" behind what they're doing & not doing is quite similar to the "why" behind what we're doing & not doing .... & I respect them for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual Birth Announcement


Playmaker walked in the door Fri after school carrying an infant seat w/ a very cute baby (doll) that was hers - for the entire weekend. She named him Logan.

Now - This was not your typical doll - but rather a very high tech Child Development lesson in parenting & as close to real as it gets w/o being real! Logan weighed about 8 lbs...cried, slept & needed to be fed & changed much like a newborn. If he didn't get what he wanted when he wanted it, he cried LOUDER! Playmaker had a baby book she had to record in all weekend when he cried, how long it took to care for him & what activity it interrupted each time...which - true to form - was often sleep! She wore a wristband that essentially connected her to the baby for the whole weekend & she carried a bag w/ a bottle & baby supplies.

Altho' I was expecting this assignment, I can't tell you how taken aback I was when my "baby girl" walked in carrying that oh so real looking baby boy!! Yikes! Playmaker looked so grown up!!... & like she knew what she was doing! At first it was fun - & her friends who slept over tho't so too....but - by the time they left, I think they'd had enough! Baby Logan went to church w/ her, to a friend's house, to a hockey game ... all the while demanding her prompt attention off & on. By the end of the weekend ...& after being woken up several times each night... she actually broke down in tears of frustration....& I overheard her sounding oh so much like her own mother at times.

From Fri afternoon to Mon morning Baby Logan demanded her attention nearly 50 times!

Playmaker played "mommy" quite well - but I'm pleased to say she's in no hurry to have a real baby anytime soon!! I didn't particularly like the idea of being a grandmother at my age either....or loosing sleep b/c of a crying baby in the night --- but ---eventually I think I'd enjoy having grandchildren - so I hope she's not totally opposed to the idea of having children after all of this ...and when the time is right :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carrot Cake, (Old) Cookbook , Comfort Food, etc.


Strike is at home in the kitchen....& b/c of that she helps make our house a home. Tonight we baked a homemade carrot cake together. As I type, it's COLD outside but our home is cozy & smells delicious! Strike must have inherited her love of baking from her Grandma on her Daddy's side. We used one of my mom's old cookbooks. It's a bicentennial cookbook (I was about 8 years old back then...) that may have been a fundraiser for the little town in Nebraska where it was made and where family friends lived (& who we stayed overnight w/ on our looong road trips to Indiana) ... You know...the kind of cookbook w/ the lady's names next to the recipes they submitted....& all kinds of really good(!) ... but not necessarily "good for you" recipes - ie. comfort food! The original recipes were typed with a typewriter!! Interspersed thru'out the book - on pages w/ extra space - are various words of wisdom. On the page w/ the carrot cake recipe:

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

On the opposite page:

A careless person is an accident going someplace to happen."

Near the front .... a short poem:

SOMEBODY GOOFED

If somebody goofed and forgot the salt,
Or flour, shortening, milk or malt;
Don't hesitate, best be sure.........
Pick up the phone and express your wonder
To the gal who signed her name down under.

It's all just very nostalgic....Feel like I should have a record player going in one room & a black & white TV in the other ... & the yellow phone w/ square push buttons/curly cord on the counter should be ringing any minute ... & instead of stainless steel, my fridge should be harvest gold - & I should've washed all my dishes in the sink w/ a tad of bleach & rubber gloves so my hands wouldn't get too dried out. Given that it's after dark, I have to ask myself if I left a gallon jar of sun tea out in front - & if the doorbell should ring....my guess is it would likely be the Fuller Brush man or the paper boy collecting his money. Given that it's late October....we should have our jack-0-lanterns in the front window & lit up for at least for a little while.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Leaf Peeping




New England is ablaze w/ color. This was THE weekend to be outdoors in our neck of the woods...& what better way to enjoy an Indian Summer Sunday than a family hike after church w/ friends right in the midst of the incredibly beautiful ring of fire ... & later a privately chauffered (Thank you, honey!) leaf peaping drive where I could hop in & out snapping pics to my heart's content (after leaving the camera home by mistake for our hike!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chivalry Lives!

Edit: Realized I probably shouldn't have posted "his" pic w/o permission....so I took "those" pics off and replaced it /w "her" pic instead :)


Our little girl is growing up! Playmaker went to her first dance Saturday. She's not allowed to date & just went as friends w/ the boy who asked her to his school's homecoming. We were both a little nervous ...but I have to say,
I was pleased with her "first dance" experience. Her "date" (only for lack of a better word :) showed up right on time (His mom as their chaueffer) & he was such a gentleman - So polite! So respectful! So handsome.... and -- w/ a dozen beautiful(!) white roses w/ pink edges in hand - that I later learned they searched high & low for! He was patient as we took some pics & polite as I made sure he knew how much I was trusting him... He opened the car door for her - His mom thanked me for trusting her son & gave me her cell phone number. He knew very well she'd never been to a school dance before (prior to this I believe her Daddy & her Grampa were the only men she's ever danced w/) & he was very considerate of that. We had a house full of friends over that evening - so....poor kids :) ....when they returned home and walked up to the door -- the light was on, the shade was up .....and --- there was a lineup of four - yes four(!) moms - as opposed to just her own mom - anxiously watching & waiting on the other side of the door/window to welcome them home! -- Guess you had to be there...but it was funny.... & I was grateful my friends were there to lighten the moment w/ some humor just then :)

Did I mention how
beautiful she looked? - or how pleased I was w/ how she handled herself - or how proud I am of her -- & how grateful I was for such a really nice "first dance" for her to really get dressed up - & experience what it's like ... and should be like .... to be treated like nothing less than the beautiful young lady she is?

Monday, September 29, 2008

"OUR" friends

My friend across the country - but as close as a "click here" provided the inspiration for this post when I read hers from this wknd.

Over the summer we began meeting w/ a few other families w/ teens for The Truth Project. We meet in each other's homes weekly for 2-3 hours of food, fun & fellowship & some interesting/thought provoking discussions. The younger kids enjoy playing while we meet.

Long story short.....We've enjoyed getting to know these families much better & our relationships w/ them have been taken up a notch.

I love that both parents & kids are involved in the relationship building that just happens because we're meeting w/ the common desire to get to know God & His will better - & as we carve out precious time to devote to that end, we naturally get to know others who share similar passions, struggles & other "common denominators".

In this group, we've found something very special...a sweet blessing.... "Our" friends --- Not ...his, her, their or my friends....but our friends :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's wrong w/ this Picture!?

Edit: Should clarify - I'm not certain of what I wrote below as it relates to birth control in high school ....haven't asked the right people the right questions myself. Spoke w/ my daughter after I posted this & she's not sure about the birth control prescription either - but said they do give out condoms. Hmm - they won't dispense over-the-counter Tylenol w/o a doctor's (not a parent's) written permission - but they'll give out condoms? Even putting aside associated moral & ethical concerns...which one do you think poses more potential risks? This is what happens when we let others think for us!? UGH - scary!

Even more frightening is the thought that a minor needs parental permission to get their ears pierced - but in some places , can secretly have an abortion w/o parental consent?!


This just boggles my mind....

My daughter - who's in public high school, wasn't feeling well at school ....wanted something (non-prescription/over the counter Tylenol or whatever) to relieve aches & pains --- & I had to bring it to her - which I was happy to do. Students are not allowed to carry it/take it as needed on their own. Could this be b/c of concern that students may not be mature enough to use it responsibly &/or may abuse it? In the future, if I want the school nurse to give it to her, I need to have a doctor's written consent form completed & on file. I can't write & sign the note myself.... - yet - ....from what I gather.... if a student ever decides she wants to begin taking birth control (a hormone altering prescription drug!), they'd give that to her w/o even seeking parental permission --- & would even go so far as to keep it a secret from the parents.

Does this make sense to anyone?!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Wedding Dress?... woven w/ Strands of Three Cords?

Seems to me that God essentially "wove creation" w/ strands of three chords in a pattern that communicates relationship - in that it seems all living things inherently possess both needs & something others need in order to survive. And - as it all relates to the crown of creation - Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. - that people possess those same two inherent needs as well as a third - an inherent need to be needed (loved?!) -- and that all healthy human relationships hinge on the element of humility (versus pride) which enables authority to lead best/most effectively by serving -- & those under authority to submit out of honor, respect & devotion (sure sounds like LOVE to me!).

The Trinity - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Church - Pastor, Elders, Lay People

Marriage - Husband, Wife in submission to God

Family - Father, Mother, Children

Faith, Hope & Love (the greatest of these is love)

(The greatest demonstration of love): The Cross - a vertical beam, a horizontal beam, Jesus


Hmmm....The closer I look... the more I seem to see a simply elegant(!) tapestry of grace unfolding -- that resembles.... a Wedding Dress(!?)...seamless!, flawless!, perfect! - A magnificent, exquisite, unique, extremely intelligent & totally original design - beautiful beyond description.

* * *

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV) Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

2 Cor 3:12 - 13 (NIV) Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the LORD, the veil is taken away. Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the LORD’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the LORD, who is the Spirit.

Psalm 19 is definitely worth reading after considering all of this :)

---

Note: Some other strands of three chords - my list keeps growing - feel free to add to it via comments if you think of others :)

- Umbilical Cord (life giving/sustaining connection!): Three vessels/Three components... vein, artery, gelatinous material

- Human Life: mind, body, soul

- The strongest structural compenent - a triangle

- Education (Understanding?): Science (Creation), History (HisStory), Math

- Volume / Three Dimensions: Length x Width x Height

- American Government - Executive, Judicial, Legislative Branches

- Nature's Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire

- Needed to sustain life: nourishment, light, breath

- Atoms: protons, neutrons, electrons

...and - have you ever looked closely at a diagram of DNA? The essence/building block of life! ...If you ask me, it also resembles ... a strand of three cords -- Dioxi-Ribo-Nucleic acid



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do you believe what you believe is really real?!...


...Does this question haunt you? I realize that with the confidence I have in the ability to answer w/ an emphatic "YES!", I should reflect the courage & conviction wrapped in that answer....yet I know I don't always.

Check out this link: www.thetruthproject.org & view the short & long trailers. After having taken this world view tour ourselves, my husband & I are now facilitating the discussion in two separate "classes". The material is so well presented & thought provoking so the discussion part is easily inspired.


"We're challenged to either confront culture, to abandon it - or transform it."
Gordon Pennington, The Truth Project


On Sept. 27 a one day nationwide Truth Project simulcast is scheduled (more info is at the same website). If the trailers peak your interest, I highly recommend you register! This curriculum is not available (or shouldn't be) from retailers - or even from Focus on the Family, who sponsored/produced it, b/c it was designed to only be made available for purchase to those who have taken the course - but - the entire DVD curriculum/12 lessons (reg aprx $80 I think) is included in the cost of this one day simulcast - so it's a great deal!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sticks & Stones vs. Brooks & Stones

Sticks & stones may break my bones....but(!) ... brooks (God's Word) & stones (specific verses) will cleanse, refresh, encourage, empower (& the list goes on & on)!

Last night: heard a sermon re: David & Goliath. Tho' a familiar story, an interesting analogy was used -- one of God's Word being the brook (source of life giving sustenance, refreshment & cleansing, etc...) before us to reach into & pick out stones (specific verses) to use to defeat the "giants" in our lives. David picked five stones - but only one was used to "do the job".

This msg was timely - tho' I didn't realize how timely at the time. After talking w/ my girls after church/before bed, I realized both are learning so much more than they ever needed to know from peers (don't think "friends" is the appropriate noun here) ... Both are being robbed in ways that what's being taken can never be given back --- & it seems almost impossible to stop...short of "hiding" from it all. While it's tempting to hide-- I'm convinced it's not the right solution to the problem.

I can relate to them ...even on the level where common/everyday words are given new vulgar/profane definitions...that cause it to be so difficult to think purely let alone worship God. - In fact, I often feel cheated (robbed!) after attempting to worship God. I realize having a pure heart is what matters most -- but being bombarded w/ profanity makes it so hard to keep the mind/thoughts pure...and it can be so distracting.

This morning the thought occurred to me - to give my kids a "stone" (Bible verse) each morning to "carry" thru'out the day.... & from there, I chose five stones for myself today.
When I consider that God wants us to face our giants (NOT to avoid them at all costs!), it builds confidence to understand that He doesn't expect us to face them alone. I gather this b/c, it seems over time God has made it easier for believers to enjoy His presence continually -- as the Holy Spirit now indwells believers - b/c of Christ/The Savior's death/sacrifice on the cross - & in our obedience - in this case, as we face our giants - the Holy Spirit works thru' us to defeat them.


The 5 stones I chose for today:

1) Joshua 1:9 (NIV) "...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

2) Acts 4:31 (NIV) After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

3) Ephesians 1:13 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the the praise of his glory.

4) Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

5) 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Once a father....Always(!) & Forever(!) a father

Slightly edited...as I try to clarify my own thoughts...

I rec'd one of those dreaded phone calls last night. My brother called to tell me his son had died. He hadn't seen his son since he was about 4yrs old (& he was "now" about 32 yrs old, I think). This news totally(!) and completely broadsided my brother - as it came from "out of the blue". It's a looong sad story that "ends" like this: "that's just the way it was." Nonetheless - this news moved my brother to tears. Naturally I had a hard time sleeping ... & tho't to journal here where some of my thoughts led ...

My brother NEVER forgot his son - & I think quietly he hoped one day his son would seek & return to him & they'd be reunited.

From there, I found some comfort in understanding that once a person becomes a parent....they are forever & always a parent after that ... NOTHING can ever change that. No matter if the child is aborted, miscarried, placed up for adoption, taken away, dies, eventually runs away in an attempt to disown his family, -- or they enjoy a long & healthy relationship that leads to much blessing. Even if a father doesn't know he has a child, it doesn't change the fact that he is still the father!

While our earthly relationships are all imperfect to some degree & we can change so much in regards to them based on the choices we make, I can't help but wonder if this "once a father, always a father" concept illustrates what God, in His perfection, really wanted us to understand as it relates to the relationship between Him and His children .... and so created something inherent in the (biological) father/son (parent/child) relationship that simply/absolutely could not ever be changed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 6:37-40 (NIV)
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 8:38 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.

Hebrews 6:17 - 20 (NIV) Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creative Memories ... an heirloom of the heart

Edited this post after realizing it certainly didn't flow like the river in the pics :)



Hopefully my children are collecting memories we're making & tucking them away in their own sweet hearts & minds, but there's something about pictures that cause memories to come rushing back after time passes - in much the same powerful way the water in this river was rushing yesterday...







I'm not very creative when it comes to making crafty things - but since we've been really trying to make Sundays so much more of what God intended, they've become, for me/us, times to make more of what I enjoy making most.... memories & friends! -- & some of the very best of them have been made ... on Sundays :) Perhaps one day I'll collect pictures of many of them "all together in one place" - in a photo album labeled "Sundays" to give to my children as an heirloom from my heart...a collection of creative memories made
together (key word here) as we explored God's incredibly creative(!) creation...that whispers & shouts "relationship" everywhere you look & listen.... & that provides us with so many amazing places to really enjoy getting to know Him & each other better. Can't think of any place in the entire world I'd have rather spent yesterday -- or any heirloom I'd rather leave my children..than creative memories collected "this way".

Note: Visited this beautiful corner of God's creation yesterday (Sun) after a huge rain storm. So timely - as a river & kayaking were used as an illustration in the sermon we heard at church.... In a river, you don't get out where you get in as in a lake ... & in the process of moving along (making progress) so many opportunities present themselves to improve our skills ...(my note: so much like life!) -- & how a healthy church should provide similar opportunities to grow in Christ & encourage others to do the same in the areas of evangelism, worship, fellowship, discipleship & service.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Thank you, Honey!

Mark 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

This week, among many others, my husband has been my best personal example of this "leadership style". I could bore you w/ "woe is me details" - but instead I'll skip to the part about how despite all I do, I think his role in our endeavor to train up our children in the way they should go is more demanding - & perhaps more effective - b/c of how he goes about fulfilling "his part" in personal & practical ways. I wouldn't even want to attempt so much of what I do if I didn't have my husband's reliable support in word
and deed.

While I tend to be more "up front" in various leadership roles, my husband more often is faithfully serving behind the scenes in ways that often go unnoticed. He spends aprx 12 hrs a day commuting & holding down a demanding job, drives a "nothing-special/very economical car by his choice, & I can't think of a time when he was ever too busy for us. He's a continual encouragement (a daunting task b/c it's me he's encouraging & I tend to require a lot of it!) He prays for & w/ me, listens as I "vent" frustrations & gives me advice. Truth be told, he does more than "his share of my share"- which frees up time for us to attempt to reach beyond ourselves to serve others. When our schedule doesn't run like clockwork & to do lists grow, he's rarely rattled. His philosophy: "you can do most anything yourself cheaper than you can hire someone to do it" - which adds to his workload! I honestly don't know how he does "it all" - & can't imagine doing what I do, without him!

While "up front" is one of my husband's least favorite places to be, I really admire his confident, "uncomplicated", stable faith & appreciate more & more how very blessed I am to be the beneficiary of his servant's heart & therefore also of his beautiful example of faithful leadership & provision.

I suppose I could've rented a billboard -- or shouted it from our rooftop -- but
I guess I decided to share this here - simply to say "Thank you, Honey!!" - in a way that others will "overhear" - & hopefully be encouraged to say the same to their honey -- or others who lead/serve them in this selfless way -- b/c sometimes even a simple "thank you" shared in heartfelt appreciation can make a world of difference..... and it's toward the hope of that end that I share so much of what I do... here.