Friday, May 29, 2009

Please pray for Carlee, cont.

I received a call from Nathaniel a while ago. The tests showed that Carlee has a fast growing cancer in one breast, and some concerning tissue in the other. They are staying in Anchorage a while longer to run tests and discuss the possible necessity of taking the baby early and/or a mastectomy. Please, keep Carlee and Nathan in your prayers. Praise be to God, for "the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous".
Nate and Carlee have my cell phone right now, in case anyone's been trying to contact me. You can reach me at their home phone #.
Thanks for the much.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Please pray for Carlee...

She flew out to Anchorage last night to have a mamogram at the hospital there, and called this morning to say that they want to do a biopsy this afternoon. She asked that Nathan try and come so he could be with her tomorrow when they get the results of the biopsy. Praise God, the afternoon flight had just landed here so Nate was able to stuff a few things into a bag and rush out to catch it. When he left the house was strangely quiet. It's a bit disconcerting to be in Nome when everything's happening in Anchorage. But, praise Him, we serve a heavenly Father who can be in both places at once!
AND, on a lighter note, I've got charge of four little sweeties! This morning we had an amazing bonding time while I ate gummy bears and oversaw their brain- oops, I mean dish- washing. Right now they're scrubbing the kitchen floor with toothbrushes on their hands and knees, and after that's completed I plan to teach them Bathroom Cleaning 101. (Bathrooms are amazing places to mold young minds and strengthen young arms. They're not just about rubber duckies and tearless shampoo when Auntie Dani's in charge. Mwahaha!)
Between now and the time Carlee and Nathaniel come home, I also plan to have Kate potty trained, Shaina cross stitching, Noah multiplying by 9's, and Wesley thoroughly educated about the whens and hows of wiping his own nose.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The wildness of the land here is invigorating. The Bering Sea, visible from our front window, constantly changes. A few days ago, it was a solid mass of chunky white ice. overnight the ice began to separate from shore and move out towards open water. Currently there are large chunks of ice that float, iceberg-like, past town. Sometimes the sea is churning with them, and sometimes there are hardly any. It's beautiful.
We went out for a long ride the other day and saw a herd of around 50 reindeer right outside of town.

Nathaniel and Carlee, my cutely pregnant sister... :) They are so perfect for this area of the world. They love the "wonder and wildness of life" here. We were amazed by the power of the swollen rivers, churning with the excess water and ice chunks melting from the tundra around them.
The snow banks on either side of the road were nearly 20 ft. high in some places. It was spectacular!
Little Wessy charmed us the entire drive. What a sweet, delightful little fellow he is! I am so blessed to be his auntie.
Karate chopping snow banks has been an Alaskan Inuit tradition for over 500 years. It builds muscle tone and strengthens the walls of blood capillaries flowing through the bottom of your feet. Just another one of my skills.
Ah... quote of the day comes from Nathaniel, a few minutes ago: "A bowl full of jelly helps the honey go down."

And by the way, have you every tried Cheddar Jack Cheez-It's? They're perfect.

I've started into a new book; Drawing Near by John Bevere. It promises to be good and I'm looking forward to it! From my preliminary perusing it looks like he speaks a lot about the Holy Spirit, and even (lowering my voice to a whisper...) tongues in this book. Lately I've been praying a lot about the Holy Spirit. As in, how does one know if one has received the Holy Spirit? Does He give us the Holy Spirit when we simply ask for Him to, or is there a battle sometimes which has to take place? Will he give manifestations of gifts such as tongues, dreams, visions, healings, etc. to anyone who asks, or only to those whom He chooses? Interesting thoughts, and very pertinent ones, (I think,) for Christians today. I wonder if Western Spirit-filled Christians as a whole do not receive these manifestations of the Spirit simply because we don't seek them. Maybe they're a little "radical" for us so we don't pray for them. "You have not, because you ask not," our Master said. Once I figure out the answer to these age-old questions, I'll let ya know. (wink) Please, add your insights if you want to give a comment. I love, love, LOVE reading people's comments!

While on the topic of the Holy Spirit, another related verse that's been coming to my mind a lot: "Quench not the Spirit." A short verse, but so packed full of power. How do I live my life without putting out the fire of the Holy Spirit in any way? A person "quenches" their thirst; pours water down their throat so the feeling dissipates. Do I pour anything into my mind or heart that dissipates my desire for God???

"Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God!" Jim Elliot wrote that, and it's been running through my thoughts a lot. The picture at the top of my blog, by the way, is a picture of a page from one of Jim's journals. :) You guys, I'm realizing how ordinary I am. Not in the shallow "Oh, I'm not an individual!!!" sort of way. But in a desperate way, I sense my lack of power.
I claim to know the God of the universe.
I should be changing the world.
or at least, at very LEAST, the part of the world I'm in.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It has taken me about 2 collective hours to make this post so you all BETTAH enjoy it.
I'm trying this on a Mac and it's just not what I'm used to, so I feel dumb and everything is taking so long. I think my love for Apple begins and ends with iPods.
It was so disappointing when our flight into Nome was turned around on Sunday because of the fog! We literally buzzed the houses and were within feet of landing when the plane swooped back into the air and we turned back around and headed to Anchorage again. Blah! Five wasted hours! Christy and I were blessed to be able to stay in some friend's house overnight while we waited for our flight the next morning.
Anyhow I'm here in Nome and it's gorgeous today! yesterday it was 30 degrees (see pic below of our walk) and today it was 50. The ice is melting. I love the Alaskan bush. Riding around town on a four wheeler! :) It's strange to go to bed at midnight while it's still light, and wake up at 4:00 in the morning to find that it's light again already.
I do have cell coverage here and I'm 4 hours behind all you Ohioans.
I don't feel wordy at all so I guess I'll sign out. Believe it or not, I thought many deep thoughts today and did many exciting things. I just don't feel like writing about it all right now; you know how that goes?
Sorry; stupid post. I've been wanting to post for two days and now I don't know what to say.
I'm going to bed.

Christy and I on the flight from Anchorage to Nome. Notice the deeply pondering man in the background. A bunch of NOME-ads!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Go figure... I think I'm homesick.

Beautiful Alaska from the air... Mount Denali

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."

This verse has been going through my mind a lot recently, and yesterday Christ revealed a “little fox” which had been spoiling my relationship with the True Vine. I was sad; ashamed … I realized that I had justified this sin until it didn’t bother me much anymore. To me it was just a “little thing”… to God, it was The Spoiler. I repented, and oh, how sweet it felt to realize that my Lover had pursued me and loved me until I repented of my sin! He had even wisely turned His back from me a little… just enough to make me realize that something was wrong, that there was a coolness to our relationship, and to long to rectify it. Such Love! I am thanking God for the Holy Spirit's faithfulness, and I'm eager to regain lost ground.

That God should love a sinner such as I,
Should yearn to change my sorrow into bliss,
Nor rest till He had planned to bring me nigh,
How wonderful is love like this!

Are any "little foxes" in your life, choking the life from your connection with the Vine? I guess, based on the lesson I learned yesterday, that the indication is this: if you have EVER in your life been closer to the Father than you are now, there's probably something that has come between you. Catch it... guard that relationship, friend!

Warning: In true Dani form, I'm about to abruptly change the subject.

Here's a pic of my Kuspuk (Chrissy asked me to post one) :). The Kuspuk was developed by the "Eskimos", or natives of Alaska, who originally wore it over their fur parkas. It's practical in the Alaskan bush. It's a normal piece of clothing in places like Nome, where I'm going, but here in Ohio people would look at me rather dubiously if I were to wear mine out and about. :) I thought they were pretty strange the first time I saw them, but I've changed, and I think they're adorable now. I've attached a picture of a darling little girl that I took last time I was in AK... she was participating in a traditional native dance. My Kuspuk is a Savoonga Kuspuk (a different village's style from hers) so it looks a bit different.
AK here I come!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Monstrous Random Post

Prince Charles is giving a speech to a bunch of architects in London, and some are boycotting it. Supposedly he's not a fan of the popular glass- and steel modern architecture and that upsets them. The only reason I mention this is because I read the following quote of his... and it WILDLY amused me!!!
He called a proposed extension to Britain's National Gallery:

"A monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend."

Now don't you think that anyone who can reference something as boring as a building with such vivid word pictures ought to be given some credit!? I do, anyhow.
If I were to use the words "monstrous", ""carbuncle" and "elegant" in the same sentence, (i.e.- "That monstrous wale is elegant despite the carbuncles upon his back...")
you all would laugh me to scorn.

You tell 'em, Highness.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The National Day Of Prayer

President Obama chose not to have a service in the White House this year. "Prayer is something that the president does every day," Says White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

I don't really know what to say...My heart is burdened tonight; it is broken for my nation.

"In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding?

"In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor.

"To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel...

"I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business."

-Benjamin Franklin

Friday, May 01, 2009

A Beautiful Job

'You shall rise before the gray headed
and honor the presence of an old man,
and fear your God: I am the LORD.'
-Leviticus 19:32

I love my job! Not every aspect of it, of course... but this is a terrifically fulfilling and blessed job. I'll miss my "little old people" when I'm in Alaska. The Word promises rewards to those who give a cup of cold water in Christ's name. And I'm getting paid to do it! :) I count it such a blessing to be able to clean and help these people maintain their dignity; to delight in their funny little ways and laugh with them or (sometimes) let them spill their worries to me. I love being the one who visits them with their first smile every morning and tucks them (well, some...) into bed with a kiss at night. How sad that these amazing members of society are all too often sent away and treated like an embarrassment to their families rather than the treasures they are.

(Now, will someone please try and remind me that I wrote the above paragraph when I next get up at 4:00 am to go to work? Or when I'm cleaning up a horrible mess or dealing with an impossible, stubborn old lady? It's easier to be enthusiastic about the job when I'm home. Lol!)

Here's Rosa. She is my *FAVORITE* female resident in the nursing home. She's absolutely adorable and she constantly makes me laugh. I love to sit on her chair and sing with her, or let her babble to me about whatever is going through her mind. As you can see, she can't really talk too well... but she must have loved music at one time. :)

I can't figure out how to rotate this video. This is Mary Mary, who is indeed quite contrary. She is SO funny; some of us call her the Tornado. She loves to tease and act crazy. If you get in her way she just might reprimand you with a shoe.
NOTE: I think this video is the funniest thing ever.

This is Jack with Amanda, Weston, and Casey. I love this smiley guy! He doesn't talk much, but he kisses my hand like a gallant gentleman every time I see him. Jack-O also laughs at me shamelessly when I do the occasional -(occasional, mind you)- airhead thing.

Lianna is one of my supervisors. I pretty much just took this pic with her and added her to my blog so I'd get a raise.
...WHAT? It was a joke fer cryin' out loud.

Sandy, Ed, and Stacy. Stacy and I have had some good talks and I pray for her a lot.
Ed was a farmer; frequently he thinks his wheelchair is a misbehaving Combine.

Camera thief!!
(Gotta watch those co-workers.)

Kimmy-Loo with eyes of blue! She's precocious. She throws stuffed animals at her roommate when Ellen gets nasty.

P.S.- Happy May, people! Can you believe it? I can't.