Wednesday, April 30, 2008
He is considering leaving his work truck at one of our rent houses in Oklahoma City and riding his motorcycle to get his truck each workday to save gas consumption.
We will not be mowing as often this year. Some of the orchard and other out-of-the-way areas will just get tall. (gas cans filled for the rider mower and the tractor tonight came up to $50…eek!)
I know some of you may have to make some adjustments of your own to off-set that rising gasoline expenditure.
What are some of your ideas and suggestions?
The price of gas is getting up there with the price of milk. Did you start buying less milk when the price went up?
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Let’s look at Psalm 84:5-7
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
God’s Word tells us that we can move from strength to strength. Even when there are valleys. Can you imagine? Strength to strength! Not high point to high point, but strength to strength.
As we go through this “pilgrimage” the Psalm even tells us that we will pass through the Valley of Baca (weeping) …ever been there? But, it also tells us that we can make that valley into a spring! You know, making lemonade out of lemons, making the best of every situation. Seeing that there is good somewhere past the hard times. Keeping our eyes on the One who is Strength. Seems like it’s a choice.
I don’t know about you, but I choose going from strength to strength.
How about you? Ready for a little less roller coaster life?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The children played, the wives chatted excitedly, and everyone anxiously watched the clock and the hallway leading from the American Airlines gate.
Finally, the airport security gave the thumbs-up. The plane had arrived! The civilian passengers departed first, making their way through the crowded waiting area. I overheard one man declare, "Wow! This makes me wish I were a Marine!"
Erin, Kaden, and Will were eagerly waiting at the edge of the "Do Not Enter" line leading to the security check area. I was poised with a ready camera.
And then, we saw them. Warriors, dressed in their Marine fatigues, standing tall, their presence filling the hallway as they made their way to cheers, smiles and tears. Mighty men, with a willingness to serve our country being welcomed home by those who support them, pray for them and love them.
"Daddy, are you ready to go home?"
Remember those who have now gone to replace this unit.
Friday, April 25, 2008
My good friend and blog-bud, Cindy Beall is back on-line. See what happened to her this week!
We'll be at a wedding for a family friend tonight. Our granddaughter, Lily, is the “Flower Princess”, ( a name she chose and the bride is listing it in the program).
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This park is a delight!
It’s worth the drive. Take a picnic and plan on spending a few hours. Take a kite. Take your roller blades or skateboards. (Come on, you know you want to). I’m looking into one of those new wave boards. Looks like FUN!
Whatever you decide to do there, make plans to go! You won’t be disappointed.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This year, on one of those early spring warmish days, I put on my gloves, went across the road (a short walk from home) ready to begin tilling, digging, spading, and making ready the soil for some early seed.
What I was met with was a big disappointment. The garden was covered in weeds. Dead weeds, but still weeds.
You see, last year, well… I just didn’t get back over to the garden during those hot, hot August/September days to remove the grass and weeds. And grass and weeds LOVE hot weather! I always meant to. It just didn’t happen.
It got me to thinking. Weeds are a lot like sin in our lives, particularly the sin of negligence.
Here are a few ways negligence has shown itself in my life:
That’s just the way I am.
Oh, it’s just a little thing, not that big of a deal.
I’ll work on that later.
I’ll get back to it soon.
And just as those weeds are strongholds in my garden, going to seed, creating more and more weeds this season, those sins of negligence take root in my heart. I get comfortable with them. I don’t notice them. I don’t deal with them.
Oh God. Reveal to us the sins of neglect that will consume us if we don’t wake up and allow you to reign fully in our hearts.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It was 1985. (I know…you were 6 or not even born.) We had just built our house in the country: 3 bedrooms, 3 desks in the schoolroom, 3 kids-2 girls and a boy. (Erin was 7, Andrew was 4 and Ali was 1.) We were complete. I was satisfied with life.
I even remember having a conversation with a friend in California telling her that for the first time in my life, I felt really settled, complete, fulfilled.
And then, my period didn’t begin (sorry guys…) For me, that meant only one thing. I knew I was pregnant! Oh my! That didn’t fit my plans. We didn’t have enough desks! We didn’t need more kids. I didn’t want to be pregnant again!
For that moment, I thought, “I’ve got to do something about this. I’ve got to get rid of this.” It was a thought that came, and I knew in an instant, if I took control of that situation, it would make everything right again. It would put my life back into place, instead of the rocking, jarring thoughts that were slamming me. I wasn’t even thinking that there was a life growing inside me.
And just as quickly, I repented those thoughts, and knew I would never follow through with killing my own child.
But, what that quick experience taught me is compassion for those that do choose to abort their babies. If a young, single, scared girl or woman doesn’t have an understanding, Truth and love represented in her world, I can see how a she might choose to take things into her own hands. Chart the course of her future.
That experience changed me. It not only taught me compassion, but it set the stage for agreeing that my life was much better controlled by the One who knows what is best for me.
The baby was Anna Joy. The first of four more blessings that God added to the three we already had. I would have never chosen that life for myself!
I sure am glad I let Him lead.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Last week, as Erin was trying to keep up with information on Jon leaving Iraq, her computer wacked out. We knew a blogger friend, Michael, who is a computer superhero and Erin gave him a call. She took her computer to him and he had it up and running like new in only a few hours and then…….he delivered it to her! What a guy!! So, if you have some computer issues, contact Michael at oumike23 @ yahoo.com (no spaces). Here’s the deal. He’s a very generous guy….Be sure that if you connect with him to have him work his magic on your failing computer…..BLESS HIM GENEROUSLY! Don’t count on the “Erin special”, ; ) but I guarantee you he will do a super job, if he can, on your computer.
Star of Bethlehem flowers
Remember me backing into Dirk’s truck last week? Yeah…well, that little dent appraised at $794.…..oh, and my car will cost about the same. I’m still feeling like that one picture….
Check out Anna’s blog and click on the link to her magazine article (Am I Beautiful?) in Brio magazine. (right under her picture). It was written about three years ago, and published last year. You’ll enjoy it!
It’s the weekend! What will you be doing?
He'll be undergoing several days of tests (hearing, etc), and demobilization (whatever that is). Currently it looks like he'll be home on the 26th. We're still hoping for sooner!
Erin has gotten to talk to him this morning again and said he sounds really good!
We're excited, can you tell??
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This man is quite amazing.
Here are a few things he has done in his life:
He is an ordained minister.
He graduated with a Sociology degree from Oklahoma Baptist University.
He helped birth our 7 children.
He built our home with a hand-held hammer, mostly by himself.
He has owned and operated his own successful business for 33 years
He has worked hard and allowed me to stay home with our children
He is an amazing grandpa to our six grands
He will do anything for anyone and does!
He loves completely
He is a man of integrity and consistency
He tells really corny jokes…that are very funny ; )
He makes me laugh
He’s taught me to lighten up and enjoy life
He is my mentor
He has helped shape me into the person I am today.
Do I make him sound perfect?
Well, he is…….. for me!
Happy birthday honey. I love you!!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
They should be leaving for the USA at about 7:30 am our time and arriving in North Carolina about 5:30 pm. YAY!!
Thanks so much for your prayers.
I'll let you know when he arrives in Oklahoma!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Pressed into knowing no helper but God
When we are pressed ……what comes out?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
See? I know about this statement from first-hand experience. Oh, I know. There are those that just aren't hard on themselves. Maybe they have a lazy streak, or don’t have personal standards to achieve. Or maybe they’re just someone with a completely calm and easy-going personality and submissive nature. That’s not who I’m talking about.
You know who you are. You’re the over-achiever. You’re the one who has the bar raised pretty high, and when you get there, well, you move it even higher.
Here’s the deal. When we do that to ourselves…we also tend to apply that standard to others. Usually, to those we love most. (“It was pretty good, but it could have been better.”)
Are you that person?
If you recognize these tendencies in yourself, consider offering yourself some grace. If you’ll think about it, you may be reaching for heights that God hasn’t even asked of you.
So, take my advice…”Don’t be so hard on yourself”.
Receive some grace for yourself…then offer it to those around you.
Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
Are you hard on yourself?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Me: Hi Kaden. How are you doing today?
Me: Is your mama there?
Kaden: Yeah, but she can’t talk right now.
Me: Oh, really?
Kaden: She's in jail.
Me: Oh, I see. Well, can she talk on the phone while she’s in jail?
Kaden: No, she’s a pirate and she’s tied up, and has handcuffs.
The great thing is that Erin is playing with her boys. (Will is 2). And that’s not a natural thing for her to do. It’s something she has to make herself do, because I know there are many other things she might choose to do instead. She’s a lot like me.
Playing with my children is not something I was very good at doing. I’m glad to know that my girls are doing a much better job with their own children than I did.
So, take it from me. I wish I would have done better. Give up whatever it is you might rather be doing. Let them comb your hair, tie you up, and even put you in jail. It’s all about relationships!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I don’t even know how to sit still. It’s hard to just “be” when you’re always up and running.
When I go to my mom’s house, I feel like I need to be doing something. You know, helping her. I’m thinking she’d rather me just sit with her. Talk with her. Just be.
I think that’s what God wants from me too. No, I’m pretty sure I know that’s what He wants. I think I’m helping. He just wants me to sit with Him. To be with Him.
I’m going to have to work on that…
Monday, April 07, 2008
You may not all have asparagus beds like I do---yeah, I’m bragging and rubbing it in, I know. The ManyMeadows LOVE, LOVE asparagus. (and this is one thing you’ll find where we’re selfish and won’t share...unless you come eat with us!)
Right now I’m picking a small handful each day and soon it will be even more than that. It goes immediately into a cupful of water.
Even if you purchase your asparagus, the best way to store it is to break the cut ends off and stick the spears into a cup or glass of water. Store them in the refrigerator for about a week.
Try cooking them covered in the microwave in about a Tablespoon of water just until tender crisp and bright green.
Try grilling them on a layer of foil drizzled with olive oil, coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.
We eat asparagus on pizza, throw it in a salad, put it on a veggie and dip platter, add it to pasta, and even in an omelet. Can you tell we like it? Yes, we do! Yum!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
And I was looking at this
When I should have been looking at this
And I did this
It made me feel like this
even though Dirk assured me "things like that just happen", "those things can always be fixed". Note: I hit Dirk's truck!
There's a story in here somewhere about focusing on the wrong things...even the good things, and you see where it got me.
Oh, God, may our focus never be on anything but You.
I'm just glad I didn't back into this!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Many years ago, when Dirk built our home, we prayed that God would make it a place where people could feel love and acceptance. Over the years, that prayer has been honored. Our home has been a hang-out for many of our kids’ friends; a place where there’s always an open door. If our kids are not hanging out at home, they’ll be hanging out somewhere else. This is an opportunity to be part of their lives at an age where most kids are wanting to separate themselves from their parents. Opening your home requires an element of sacrifice, but one that’s well worth it.
Decide now that your home will be the hang-out location for your kids’ friends. You won’t be disappointed.
Where did you hang out as a teen? Was your home a hang-out place for you and your friends?