“I don’t want to!”

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No, it’s not the cat.

Nope, it’s not the kids.

Nor is it any of the students.

It’s me.

All I could think as I watched my calendar getting closer to my appointment was:

“I don’t want to!”

Silly, I know.

I’m an adult.

Yet, I really really do not like going to the doctor’s.

The crazy thing is not that many years ago the exact same doctor saved my life by performing surgery on me.

However, all I could seem to do when faced with an upcoming visit was whine to the Lord about how much I didn’t want to go.

I have felt like a
giant,
sniveling,
spoiled…you get the idea.

Crazy.

All my attitudes and complaining and dragging my feet were pointless.

I had a great visit.

My doctor has always been great.

This was no exception.

I left with a smile and skipped down the stairs.

About the time I got to the car I realized I had worried and agitated myself for no reason,
NONE,
whatever.

Well, as I’m always saying to the kids:
“If it’s a mistake you learn from,
it’s a mistake worth making.”

Prayerfully I won’t allow my attitude to degrade the next time I have a visit on the calendar.

Better yet.

Prayerfully I won’t allow fear and worry to creep into my mind when expecting an event, no matter what it is.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for my doctor, his staff, and all the people in the medical field who work to keep others healthy. Thank You for all the wonderful ways You created these bodies and all the amazing things they can do. Please forgive me for my sour attitude. Please help me to learn from today’s experience. Please be patient with this stubborn stiff-necked child who has the arrogance to tell You what I do and do not want. Please give me a humble heart, one full of trust.”

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School time!

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Our Anne has joined volleyball!

And today is both our first home game as well as the first day of school.

Yes, I’m still homeschooling the kids, but the girls take one class and of course I’m still a teacher’s aid.

It’s another year to learn, to try, to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

It’s another chance to grow.

Sometimes I’ve felt overwhelmed.

The summer held many lessons for me.

It held blessings.

What it hasn’t held is my ideal!

Nothing I expected to get done has occurred.

Yet, the daily requirements are still being accomplished.

The kids are jumping back into their routine.

Our lives have begun another page.

Throughout these things I can choose to be calm and rest in God’s sovereignty or I can struggle in my own efforts and abilities.

Frankly, it’s easier to struggle.

Making my own choices and decisions and opinions comes without any thought.

Placing my day, moment by moment requires constant contact with Jesus.

No wonder the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.

As I step into my day I’ll be praying.

“LORD,

Please walk with me so closely that I can hear Your voice guiding my steps. Help me to love those around me. Please teach me to be discerning, thoughtful, and kind. Give me the understanding to let go of things which are not Your will.”

People we love

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These are just a tiny slice of the many many many people who are dear to our hearts.

Our family has been so blessed to be a part of the lives of so many others.

Whether it’s friends from over seas or the girls on the team or the people at church or the friends and family we are privileged to have…

Each one is a gift from God.

Each person is priceless.

I’m amazed at how God has woven our lives in a fabric with others.

The beautiful picture of friendships and life shared together is vastly more spectacular than anything man made.

The longer I live the more important people are in my life.

Yes, I like beautiful things.

But their value pales in contrast with beautiful relationships.

Yet, as anyone can tell you relationships are difficult.

They take time, effort, love, compassion, and much more.

The rewards are beyond the value of gold or jewels.

“Dear Papa,

Thank You for all the relationships in our lives. Thank You for the amazing people You have blessed us with. Please help us to be people who put the proper priority on relationships. Help us to understand appropriate boundaries so we have healthy lasting relationships. Teach us through Your Word just how valuable people are so we never forget what the true treasures in life are. Thank You.”

Another new

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You’ve probably figured out by now that I never get tired of taking pictures of flowers.

Part of that lies in the fact that they are new.

I know I have sunflower pictures, but I don’t have a picture of this sunflower,  it’s new!

I wish I could say I have the same exuberance over every new in my life.

Unfortunately, my common emotion is fear.

I know there is a terrible flaw in me when I look at life’s changes and I come up grasping the old things.

The flaw lies in my heart.

I am afraid of the new because I don’t know what to expect.

I don’t know how to plan.

I don’t have any idea what my needs will be so I can’t prepare.

These are the old, ugly, finger prints of leaning on my own strength, of doing things in my own will.

As I’ve been being renewed by Jesus, He’s been showing me the blessings of letting that go.

In the past I tried to control my life, schedule, family in an effort to make it all work!

How futile.

I’m not God.

I can’t make anything work.

It’s like ants who have lost their scent line and are simply running around desperate to find it again.

As the Lord has been patiently teaching me to rest in His ways and to let go of all my ideals, opinions,  and preferences I’ve learned that new is healthy.

I’m not completely out of the habits of fear and clinging to the old, but I’m learning to see it coming so I can place it back in the hands of Jesus.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for all You have done. You have answered so many of my prayers. I could fill up many many books telling of Your greatness and Your faithfulness. Please continue to uphold me and my family as we seek to honor You with our actions, attitude,  and words. Help us to continue to live new each day for You without our own ideas and desires clouding the path. Hold us, for we are quick to return to the old ways. Thank You, for You alone are our strength and in You we are new!”

God is awesome

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“Rejoice in the LORD always. Again I will say, rejoice! ” Philippians 4:4

Some days it’s easier than others, but Jesus deserves all praise.

Not only did God create everything.

Not only did Jesus come as a man to pay our debt of sin.

Not only does He provide for every detail of life.

He cares for each and every individual.

He wants to comfort, guide, and walk with every single person every moment of their lives and mine.

I’m certain of this through God’s Word.

I’m a testament to God’s faithfulness.

Yesterday, I had a moment of supreme stress.

My husband called to inform me his bank card wasn’t working, he couldn’t return to his hotel room, where everything he and our daughter had including passport were, his phone was nearly dead and he needed me to get some money to him.

I realized that it being Saturday afternoon my options were limited.

I started praying.

I asked our Anne to pray.

Then started working on the problem.

Miraculously, God answered.

The entire thing was sorted in about 10 minutes.

Only God can work in such amazing ways.

Only God can give peace even when all looks bleak.

God alone is worthy of our praise because of He is awesome.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for stepping into our moment of need and bringing a quick resolution. Thank You for all the things You are doing, especially the ones I do not even know about it. You alone are worthy of all honor, all glory, and all praise!”

Fulfilled

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It has been many years.

Honestly, I can’t remember how old Belle was when she first stated it.

“I want to go to Africa. I want to be a missionary to Africa. I want to help people. ”

I remember my surprise.

Yet, over the years it’s never wavered.

Belle has felt a call on her heart to Africa.

I spoke to her yesterday.

“Mom, when I hit the airport, I cried. I’m finally here.”

–wow–

God is the one Who placed this desire in her heart and He is the one Who allowed her to go, even for a short time.

She’s there with her Dad to attend a wedding of our dear friend.

My heart almost hurts at the joy of watching Belle get to, in a small way, fulfill a dream given by God.

I have no idea what He will do next.

I’m not sure when or how or where.

But I’m confident that the calling He placed on her life will be fulfilled in God’s timing and in His ways with His purpose.

” Dear Jesus,

You never stop surprising me. There’s never a time I’ve totally understood all You were doing, because my brain isn’t able to take it all in. Yet, I’m so thankful for all I can see. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please continue to grow Belle in the understanding of what You are doing in her heart and life and give her the peace and understanding to walk in it. I love You, Jesus! Thank You, You are awesome. ”

I wonder what He has in store next!?

It’s been 10 years

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…and part of my heart still resides in the U.K.

I didn’t know why God was calling us to move there.

I didn’t know why He called us to be there so short a time.

I didn’t know why we were called back to Oregon.

Yet, I know our one year in Manchester changed us permanently.

It was God’s tool to grow us, hone us, draw us closer to Him, and closer to each other.

It amazes me how God does things, especially when I’m resting fully in His arms.

As we were driving to the airport last week for my husband’s flight it came to light that his connecting flight was at an airport he habitually gets sick upon touch down.

His comment: “Honey, I get so sick every time I fly in and out of that airport. Please don’t ever schedule my flights to connect there again. The best way to go is into Amsterdam and then into Manchester. Next time, schedule it that way. That’s my favorite flight.”

I responded that I’d be praying for him not to get sick this time.

Then I prayed for him and all his fly time.

Much later I dropped him at the airport.

Due to circumstances he asked that I leave him at the curb, so when he got in touch with me later to relate that his flight was delayed 6 hours my first emotion was concern.

He reassured me quickly.

“Honey, they’re putting me on another flight, Amsterdam to Manchester. ”

–ahhh–

My response: “I guess God is just blessing you.”

His smile audible, “I thought the same thing.”

No, I don’t think God caused the delay.

Yes, I do think He used it.

“Dear God,

Thank You for all the things You have done in our lives and family. Thank You for teaching me how faithful You are.You have never left us. You have never forsaken us. You have given us so much: mercy, truth, faith, kindness, grace, love,…the list has no end. Thank You!”