Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last night,

the most amazing thing happened.
I met this guy.
Well actually I RE-met him. I haven't seen him for many years but when he stepped on the scene last night all the sudden it just hit me (hit both of us, I think,) that this was "IT". This may seem sudden, I know, but talk about the culmination of years of prayers and hopes and dreams! ...And I couldn't believe it had actually HAPPENED. That this amazing person was even giving me the time of day. There was this feeling of deep, complete joy in my heart that is almost hard to put into words. And I felt so at peace, as I was with him, and it felt as natural as breathing to laugh and joke and talk and talk and talk.

And then I woke up. And it had all been a dream.

...That was kinda' cruel of my dream. I think I might boycott dreaming for a while.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Summer!

Well if we're getting technical, not quite, I guess. But it's beginning to feel like it. :) We're returning to the frigidness of Alaska on Monday, but before that happens I thought I'd blog a post about some of my favorite little events of Summer that have already happened. This time of year makes me SO HAPPY! It makes me feel like a kid again sometimes. And then, sometimes, it just makes me long to be a kid again. :)

Bare feet

Bonfires with friends! one of the BEST parts of Summer! Here RuthAnn, Kayla and I are busting a gut watching the misery of Nick and Brittany while they try to eat some nasty food for a game we were playing last weekend.

A calmer moment :) ....some girls from church singing around the bonfire

Flowers (of course!)

Earthworms! Wesley loves them. He followed me around for a long time and we looked under rocks together. Every time we spotted one of the poor little creatures we pulled it forcibly from it's safe little home and made it wiggle in the hot sun in terror on our hands. All for our enjoyment. Subduing the earth, that's called.
AND Blisters. From working in the yard. I know; isn't it crazy that this makes it on my list? But I'm always a little bit proud when I end up with one of these. It happens every Spring and it is a sign of hard manual labor.
(The noble feeling fades when my Mom points out that it's also a sign that I can't stand to wear gardening gloves.)

GARAGE SALES!! This is not a picture of a garage sale. It is, however, a picture of Noah and I playing with two Crocodile Hunter action figure sets a bought at a sale today! It was kind of a splurge but Noah loves them ...and his auntie does too. In fact she's going to keep them and make the nephews come to her house if they want to play with them.
(FYI: these are collectors sets now, supposedly. I already had the deep sea diving set but now I have the night rescue set and the snake rescue set too. Thrilled.)

Little baby robins! And their brave mamma built the nest right outside our front porch!! What a miracle those little things are, forming in their fragile blue eggs and then growing like crazy every day. They've amazed us. How can two such ugly little things be so darling at the same time?
This has nothing to do with Summer but at no extra cost I'm throwing in this darling picture of our little sunshine, Caleb. He was quite overjoyed, as you see, because he pulled himself up and strummed my guitar without being told it was "no-no". I think he's getting fatter every day. Some of his names include Fatty Fatso, His Royal Thighness, Big Man, The Chubster, and Lub.
Then there are the nostalgic, unbelievably wonderful parts of Summer that I didn't photograph:
  • The smell of freshly cut grass
  • Falling asleep to the chorus of millions of crickets, cicadas, and katydids
  • Dripping ice cream cones
  • Laying in the sun until you feel like you're going to fry...and then jumping in the cool water
  • The drone of lawnmowers
  • Waking in the morning to birdsong
  • Chasing lightening bugs
  • Little girls in sundresses
  • The 4th of July concert at Blossom! Laying on a grassy hillside with my family...watching the stars come out... listening to the Cleveland Orchestra perform the 1812 overture and waiting for the cannons to boom...then the fireworks!
  • Digging in the flower gardens
  • Flip flops
  • Sitting on our front porch watching storms roll in
  • Ice cream at Durbins with church friends on Wednesday nights
  • Driving with my windows down, the wind blowin' my hair!
  • Summer evening concerts in the Wadsworth gazebo
  • Beautiful sunrises on the way to work
  • Cookouts
  • Cooking with fresh herbs

...And the list could go on forever. What do you guys love most about Summer?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It gives me chills!!!

(Good chills.)

I remember times when I was right there in that auditorium, New York City, praising God with the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir. I long to go back there not because God's presence isn't with me always, but because in that place He feels so close, that it's as if He may reach out and touch you. The people in this choir, in this church, are mostly men and women who God has redeemed from lives as drug users, prostitutes, transvestites, homeless... and when they worship God is flows from hearts brimming with thankful worship!! Perhaps that's why they are so filled with power when they sing to Him.
And that's why every once-in-a-while, on Sundays, I get a hankerin' to hop in the car and drive to NYC.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:1-4

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pictures that make me smile

All of these are of family (plus Sheila, but she's family, kinda)...mostly of nieces and nephews. And the pictures that make me smile the most are the ones with my sister in them. Because she's still HERE a year after diagnosis and she's even more beautiful, inside and out, than she was before the battle started. Maybe she'd contest that but, well, it's my blog so I can write it if I wanna. :) Carlee, how could I ever, EVER tell you how much I love you? Spending the last year with you has been an unbelievable gift. I'll be going to Alaska with Nate and Carlee and the kids for two weeks (we leave the 24th), and then... I leave. I have a hard time processing what it's going to be like without Carlee and the 5 Hobbits as part of my daily life; and being part of their daily life. I don't like it that they're going to keep growing without me around to see and enjoy it, or that Carlee is going to have rough days without me around to try and lighten the load a little. In fact there are a lot of things that I don't like and I can't understand about life at this moment. Overwhelmingly so.
But the Author doesn't ask me what I think the script of life should be, and, upon further thought, that's a good thing.

Yikes, off the morose rabbit trail and on to happy pictures:

This is Kate and Wes in my "Messico swing". I brought this back from Mexico and nearly every day the kiddos beg me to let them swing on it. :)

When we saw this purse, we laughed. And laughed and laughed.

Dad had knee replacement surgery a couple weeks ago and the children are learnign to be gentle around Poppi!

"Hey. check it out: I found a new toy!"

Mother's Day '10

A bunch of awesome moms and the honorary-rookie-auntie-mom :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Well..... here's news: I'm going to be checking off one of the dreams from my life list! (Sorry to say I haven't been working as faithfully on that list as I ought to, by the way.) A few months ago through a rather intricate, curvy chain of events, I received a call from Elisabeth Elliot's husband.
No...not Jim.
(Heh. That would really be news.)
It's her current husband Lars Gren. When I looked at the caller ID and saw his name, my heart did a little kaTHUMP and I just sort of stood there gawking at my phone for a second before I answered it. I get star struck very easily, I suppose. (As in, he obviously didn't even have to be a "star" to strike me.)
Lars and Elisabeth live in a little coastal town in Massachusetts, and in the past year's time Elisabeth, who is in her 80's now, has been needing some physical care. Lars called a school for young ladies in Dallas called EXCEL, a place where Elisabeth has been a regular speaker, and asked them if they would recommend a young woman to come and help with Elizabeth's care. EXCEL recommended my friend Kendalyn, who was my fellow graduate when I was studying Home Health years ago. Kendalyn gladly accepted and stayed with the Grens for several months but has taken a job in Texas now, so she recommended me to them as a replacement. Thus there I was last February, gawking at Lars Gren's name on my caller ID. :)
I'll be moving to Massechusets the last week of June, and staying for at least 5-6 months. Part of me, to be really honest, is shrinking at the thought of living in a strange town with people I don't know and not a friend or family member nearby. But the other part of me is filled with a sort of hazy, I-don't-believe-God-did-this wonderment. I'm sure a lot of people who read this blog may not know who Elisabeth Elliot is, but to me, she's one of my roll models. I grew up listening to her radio program as a little girl, then as I grew older began to read some of her books, and in the past few years my life has been changed by the story she published of her first husband, Jim Elliot, a missionary martyr for Christ. To me, the thought of being able to care for her is (here's that word again-) ...amazing.
So yeah, I'm a little hesitant to leave the familiarity and security of my family, my job at the nursing home, and friends, but I feel a sense of anticipation. For a bunch of reasons. I feel like God hand wrapped this gift for me and I don't exactly know why, but I feel so unbelievably honored and blessed by it.
I take comfort and DELIGHT, even in this thought, which the hymn writer Fanny Crosby wrote better than I could:
  1. All the way my Savior leads me,
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well;
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.
  2. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial,
    Feeds me with the living Bread.
    Though my weary steps may falter
    And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see.
  3. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Oh, the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised
    In my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal,
    Wings its flight to realms of day
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way.

I have a deep desire that during this time away from everything familiar, I would draw closer in my relationship to Jesus. I think it's a blessing to be forced away from life as usual, because we cling to Him a little tighter and He becomes our Home. That's my prayer; "Let me be a joy to Elisabeth and Lars, Lord... but even more than that, may I go deeper, higher in my walk with You in the next few months." I sense a growing need for that, sort of like a plant that's starting to wilt a little in dry soil. I need re-hydrated and it's not because God doesn't offer the water. More like, I'm not drinking of it like I should. In short, I sense that while I'm going to be amazingly blessed by living with the Grens, well....He has a lot to teach me in the next few months.

So, that's my news!! :)