Wednesday, February 12, 2014


They called for snow and behold, it came! As skeptical as I was before it got here, I am so glad to see it in a vast amount. With children snuggled up in The Household Regent's Chair watching a movie (and opining on how it DID NOT match the book) I donned my boots and went outside.



Everything COVERED.

I shoveled the walk. With each step the fog that has been in my head for days slowly lifted. By the time I reached the street, my heart was near to bursting with happiness.

I am out in the snow.

It is quiet and dark.

My 3 day headache is GONE.

I headed up the street to go check on the main road and clear off the van. Then I remembered...walking in snow is good exercise. 


I feel ALIVE.

Wow! I didn't really think we would get this much snow. A man in a truck drives down into our neighborhood. He must have gone around the circle looking for stuck drivers to help. I was walking towards the main road as he came back up the hill and asked if I was ok. "Roads are slick." he said. "No, the main road isn't plowed." when I asked about it and thanked him for his concern.

Turning around I headed home, smiling as I remembered the joy of retracing steps taken in the snow as a child. That led to more memories of walking with my dad and the dog on the lake, stepping in his steps, watching the dog stick her nose in the snow following a mouse. We could see the tiny tracks that led to a hole and laughed as the dog looked at us with a white face asking "Where is it?"

"Here's where I lost my glasses last summer while fishing." Dad said as we stood over the spot. The next summer he wore a bobber on his old pair of glasses so as to not lose another pair to the lake. He came home once or twice with a wet boot in the winter, having stepped on a thin spot of ice, downplaying the event but now that I look back, I think he may have had a couple close calls of which he never told us the exact details.

This brings to mind the first time he cleared the ice so Mom could teach me to skate. We had a little metal folding chair that I would push as I went along. I remember the ice on our lake being very smooth compared to what seemed like huge ripples on my grandparent's lake. 

Oh how the memories flood back, one after another. 

The magnificent colour and design of the ice.

Temperature and pressure changes singing like a symphony, echoing like thunder.

Aeons ago, a different time and place...

Which brings me to a thought I had as I neared the house.

White snow. CLEAN.

My sins which are many, were scarlet but are now WHITER THAN SNOW!

That is what Jesus did for me.

He forgave my sin and He cleansed my soul!

And I am ever thankful.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daily Gifts

I think it can well be said that "Thankfulness is a gift to the soul."  In the ebb and flow of my life, this is a gift I give myself sporadically and this ought not to be so.  There are so many things to be thankful for.  So many things to accept just as they are, not wishing them to be different or "if only..."  Things to be listed and voiced with a song of gratitude because everything - even the hard things - cause life to grow.  Growth is good.

Safety in storms that would tear the heart or the roof

The dog obeying my command for stillness and silence when she would much rather chase a rabbit

A well made bed by one who is struggling to learn responsibility

The sweet balm of God's Word to a mind that is restless

A storm which caused people to come slow down and take time for each other

New friends who graciously share their time and knowledge, and are beginning to feel like family

Technology that allows us to see loved ones who are very  far away

The unfolding of a flower given to my garden by a friend

My list is growing and my heart is full.  It is so much easier to look at the day with a smile when one focuses on good things.  Stress may still be there, but it isn't quite as daunting.  Philippians 4:8 must therefore be true.  I like how The Message puts it:

 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

A Birthday of Epic Proportions

I offer up thanks to the One who made me for having His hand on me and for guiding my steps. Yesterday was The Most Epic Birthday of All Time in my book, with certain elements that I hope never need to be repeated. 

Highlights included coming home from work to find my gift from Mr E being a cleaned kitchen, a lunch of stuffed shells made for me by Miss A and eaten with the 3 people I love most, lemon cake with lemon frosting, a present from a friend and being sung to in not only English, but Dutch and Portuguese as well! There were so many well-wishes and birthday hugs, I am truly blessed to be on this earth!

The not so fun but very much needed element was spending 4 hours in the ER with a dearly loved one as they again came face to face with some serious stuff. I would like to encourage anyone reading this who may be in a terribly impossible situation. I don't know what you are going through, but I challenge you to wait. Waiting is the hard part, but it is so worth the pain. I am encouraged to know that my hope is not in vain. God DOES have a plan for us and our families. His timing is never our timing, but it is always RIGHT ON TIME.

Hang on, dear friend. Look up and dare to keep hope alive. Reach out to the One who made you. He loves you more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pulled Pork - Barbeque Anyone??

The title of this blog refers to thinking on positive things. That being said, I need to be honest about life's ups and downs. In the previous post I mentioned God pulling us apart for His glory. Tonight I have to be honest and tell you that I feel like a plate of Authentic North Carolina BBQ, pulled apart into strands and glopped on the plate in a heap.

What does God think when I raise my fist to Him in defiant anger? Or two minutes later hears me call for Him with arms raised just wanting to be held in His loving arms? What does He think as my attitude slides southward, my brain realizes it and for the moment my heart doesn't care?

How blessed I am, that forgiveness from Him comes quick and true when I confess the sin. I am trusting that joy will come in the morning and that this too shall pass.

LORD, I confess my stubbornness in holding on to the hurt, and the anger in my heart. Please wash away any seed of bitterness before it can grow bigger. Please cover me with Your peace.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure

I'm not quite sure where to start on this one, there have been so many changes in our lives in the past few years that have all led up to this point.  I am amazed at how God uses events in our lives to pull us apart and bring us back together, all for His glory.

Family, marriage and life in general for me are all a major miracle...still in progress, but a miracle of grand proportions.

I once heard it said that for something to be a huge miracle, there must be insurmountable, impossible circumstances.  We seem to fit that category, and I am no longer of the belief that anything is impossible.

Mark 10:27 "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."


Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Tis a Gift to Live Simply

The Shaker song is heavy on my brain at the moment as 3/4 of my family prepares to relocate to the other side of the globe again.  Trying to fit everything into 6 bags for 3 people has become something of a chore.  There seems to be much sentiment to consider, and of course the books must come.  TAPM will ask about something and my reply is "It is somewhere in the bags." The look on my face must have been horror or dread as the last time he asked, he quickly said, "That's ok, leave it in the bag."

I am happy to report though, that many of the books that made their way to NZ on the first flight will not be going back on this next one.  However, we seem to have picked up many miscellaneous bits and bobs that now "need" to come with us and weigh just about as much.

What a great part of our adventure this has been!  I am amazed how God brought it all together in the end, and I am so very thankful.  It is a gift to live simply, but I am not living as simply as I would like.  This move is proof of that!  :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Day of Many Gifts

This day has been a full one, and ran the gamut of emotions.  Didn't quite go as planned, but the piano lesson that got postponed will hopefully happen tomorrow.  The kids and I were out the door in time to hear three college groups perform Kapa Haka at the Te Papa Museum to celebrate the Maori language.  It was quite exciting, and I especially enjoyed the loud hakas.  They seemed to be good stress relievers.  :)  The gift of music.

After the performance, we went upstairs to one of the galleries to see the exhibit on Pounamu (Greenstone/NZ Jade) which is found on the South Island.  It is one of my most favorite stones and I love the idea of being able to find one in a mountain stream even though that is probably not going to be my experience.  Having been a rock hound from my earliest days, it evokes strong feelings for me, especially when I get to touch it, bringing back many memories of picking other rocks at the lakes in Minnesota, in the creeks of Virginia, in a parking lot in India, in a stream on the North Island...I wonder where it will be next??  The gift of sight and touch.

Whoops!  Time to head for the bus so we can get to the pool in time for swimming lessons!  While waiting, the North Island had an earthquake of 6.5 up near Taupo.  It was 150 km deep but people here said they felt the ground sway.  I think I noticed it in the swinging of a sign in the shop I was standing near, but didn't pay it any mind.  The gift of safety.

At the pool, I had the pleasure of talking with a new friend from Thailand who is married to a Kiwi.  Her son and my children are in the same swim class this time.  She and I struck up an inevitable  friendship - she was knitting and I was crocheting!  I will be sad when this set of lessons is finished as the kids and I are switching back to the pool that is closer to our home.  Hopefully we can keep in touch with our new friends.  That would be nice.  The gift of relationship.

Home again, home again...Miss A made delicious soup and I tried to make bread.  I think the bread lump heard me say that I really hoped this time would be different, as it looked so beautiful on the outside, but inside was still gooey.  My solution??  Eat the crusts, scoop out the innards and make bread sticks from the goop!  Not too pretty, but it was edible and the kids didn't complain.  The gift of taste.

On to the time in my day when I did not check my thoughts and they came flying from my mouth, to my surprise and someone else's frustration and hurt.  Oh, if I could have just sucked them right back in.  It was as if they were slippery jelly and mad such a mess before I even realized they were out.  Not a good gift.  Hopefully forgiven?  That would be a good gift, for sure!

Time for bed and I would like to know when did my little son grow into such an encouraging young man?  Could it happen overnight?  It seems that just yesterday I was the one giving out encouragement for something that was hard to do - a math problem, to be precise.  And now tonight he sends me from his room at bedtime with two words and a hug.  "Be strong." he says.  I thank him and quietly close the door, whispering thanks to God for encouragement in unexpected places.

Wow.  What a gift!