Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ups & Downs

UP - Three days down this week, two to go!

UP - I got a lot of work done today.

DOWN - I made a new recipe this afternoon, called "Orange Grape Nut Muffins" - they were NOT very good. The texture was very heavy. I had had high hopes for that recipe - it sounded really delicious.

UP - Pastor Bartlett is a fantastic preacher. He preached another excellent message tonight.

UP - Mike and Andrew are both excited that USC knocked off #1 Kentucky last night.

UP - My house is clean!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Maybe You Should Keep That Quiet

A junior high student gave a prayer request today, with all the details about her father's meeting with the pulpit committee at a church, and how he is going to preach at that church at an upcoming Sunday. I asked her if her dad knows she was giving all this information at school. "Well, he said I could tell X and Y" (her two close friends). I asked her if it was a good idea for her to be sharing it publicly with the entire class. "Well, it's OK if you don't tell anyone."

We had a private talk later about sharing prayer requests that might ought to be kept private.

Sacrifice for Whom?

I am dealing with a situation of helping someone (not a family member or anyone I am close to) in a certain way that is turning into something long-term. I am discovering that it is easy to help someone and to sacrifice when you feel appreciated, or at the very least that the person is aware that you are helping them and is making some return of some sort. But, when there is nothing shown in return, and the person even causes some difficulties for you - then it is a different story. It's not quite so easy then. It tends to break down the divide and reveal if I am really doing this for the Lord, or, is there maybe a little bit of self-glory involved?

But then - there's the additional component of the fine line of helping someone else or being a doormat. These are not easy questions to answer.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Rant

I got a phone call at 2:30 this afternoon. Sunday. About something on which no action has to be taken until Tuesday.

I'd like to think that getting "middle-aged" is not affecting me too much, as far as attitude goes anyway. Flexibility is the key is my mantra.

But don't call me in the middle of Sunday afternoon. At least if you want me to be coherent, responsive, and happy that you called. Even mildly happy. My nap is my lifeline.

Maybe flexibility is not my mantra?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sweet Kid

I sent my nine-year-old nephew $10 for his birthday. His mom told me in an email today that he told her to put it in the fund at their school to help the people in Haiti. That about chokes me up!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Massachusetts Revolution

I have had a hard time not keeping my eyes glued to television and internet coverage of yesterday's historic election in Massachusetts. This Scott Brown has so perfectly captured the mood of the country in response to the tin-eared health care legislation, cap-and-trade, economic legislation, and so more to come out of the agenda of the Obama White House and the Congress. He is so right. That Senate seat was NOT Ted Kennedy's seat. The Democrats did not own it. It belongs to the people. Obama's line about "Forget the truck. Anybody can buy a truck," and then Brown's answer: "Mr. President, unfortunately, in this economy not everyone can buy a truck." - the perfect response.

If Obama does not scale back some of this self-righteous legislation that is going to bring down our country economically, he is either more stupid or more arrogant than I thought. I realize that he's the sitting president and I don't say that disrespectfully. But if he does not change, and Congress does not change, there will be much more of this kind of voting come November.

I have been praying, as have many others, that the health care reforms would be defeated and that the Obama economic agenda would be stopped. It's a joy to see a David vs. Goliath scenario be the possible answer to that prayer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"It was worth it. . .so she could live life her own way." ??

I found an obituary clipping from three years ago in a drawer. At first I wondered why I'd clipped it - it's no one we know - but after re-reading it discovered why. I saved it because of a comment written about this woman. She died at age 64, and here's what her obituary says:

"She died of lung cancer, but took pride in smoking. She wanted all to know that it was worth it just so she could live life her own way. She faced death bravely, and passed away without pain. She was remarkable for her lavish style."

That is one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti as Remembered

The devastation from Haiti is heart-wrenching to look at. But Haiti has always been a miserable place in ways, even without earthquake rubble everywhere. I visited there in college on a missions trip, some 30 years ago now, when things were actually somewhat better than the last few years, from what I have been told. Which means that in recent years it must have been really, really bad, because conditions were bad back then. Going to Haiti changed my life - I never looked on our comfortable lives in the U.S. in exactly the same way again.

I found an entire album of Haiti pictures from that trip and have scanned in five.

Looking out the open door of our "tap-tap," our open-air bus-like taxi vehicle. A note is written on the back of the photo: "Notice the six chairs tied to the head of the man in the background."

The marketplace where we held our first open-air service. You can probably tell even from this small photo just how dusty and grimy everything was.

A service in a little church in the countryside. Actually, the countryside was a welcome relief from Port-au-Prince. But I've been told that all the lovely trees have been chopped down since we were there. My dear college friend Barby is seated on my right. I wonder what has ever happened to those sweet Haitian children that clamored to sit on our laps.

Another sweet little Haitian girl. She would be in her thirties by now. According to the back of the photo, we lured her to the door of the tap-tap with a Hershey bar, so that we could take her picture.

And finally, this is a picture of yours-truly sharing a missionary story during one of the open-air meetings. The man on my right was Pastor Cebien and he was translating. Truly a life-changing trip.


My daughter wanted to take my favorite fleece blanket with her to college. I had made it a couple of years ago out of leopard-print fleece. Well, as mothers usually do, I let her take it. But that meant I needed another blanket--and soon. So while Mike took her back to school, I sat down at the machine and whipped up another one.

I'll have to get used to it, but at least it's as warm as the other one. Looking at this picture, it looks kind of funny - the intent was to show the other, solid red, side. But on here it looks a little like something separate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What a Weekend

It's Sunday night and I'm wondering where my weekend went? It was extremely busy but it was VERY good - the whole thing.
Friday night was homecoming, and though I didn't have my own children involved this year, I was there as a teacher, and it's always a nice night to see the many graduates who return. It was also nice to see my blogging friend Barbara again - her son plays on one of the teams that we played. We catch up once a year in person at one of the games our teams play.
Saturday my cousin and her husband stopped by to see us on their way to preach in Atlanta on Sunday. I'm always glad to see family and friends from Illinois. I realize that we are way off the "beaten path" for them and so don't take it for granted when they make the effort to come see us!

Mike, Ann, Cathy, Tim
Then this morning Andrew's drama team held their first service of the semester here at our church. They did a wonderful job - the program was excellent and people were moved. And three of Mike's sisters (along with four children) came to see Andrew in the service! We were so glad to have them. They came to our house to eat lasagna afterward, along with the team, so I served 14 for Sunday dinner.

Andrew and his team.


These young people and their team leaders (on the right) will get to know each other VERY well this semester! Fortunately they seem to have a real "chemistry" and get along quite well. They start on the road on Wednesday for four months. What a great experience for all of them.


Anyway - that was my busy, busy weekend. Not much down time, but worth it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Three Flakes of Snow!

We saw three flakes of snow this afternoon! Time to call off school - or at least have a late opening!

The whole week has been very cold - much colder than usual. In my opinion, if we're going to have winter, let's have cold weather. I don't like the Januarys where we barely need a winter coat, and there have been several of those in recent years.

ML had to come home sick from her job at the daycare today. So I made her chicken noodle soup and stayed with her - while Mike and Andrew used a gift card of mine and went out to eat. How's that for laying it down!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Latest Version. . .

. . .based on my kids' insistence that it was time to do something with my hair. . .so much so that ML even came home with a bottle of dye. "You said you trust my judgment!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Antiquing Friend

One other thing about the lady podiatrist: When Mike heard that the foot doctor Andrew was going to was a lady, he said "Find out if she's the one that used to be friends with my dad." Well, since his dad retired 25 years ago I thought it was probably a long shot.
She appeared to be in her 60s so I said, "When did you start practicing here in town, and did you know . . .?" She broke into a big smile and said "Yes! He and I were antiquing buddies!" She was so glad to share and compare memories of him and his clocks and other antiques, and I was glad for Andrew to hear someone's memories of his grandfather who passed away when Andrew was six years old.