Sunday, April 30, 2006

GRANDBABY NUMBER TWO--It looks like today will be the day for grandbaby #2 (a little girl) to come. Her mom just called to let us know they were leaving for the hospital via the grandparents' house to drop off older sister. If this little one arrives with the speed of her big sister, she won't make it to May, the month she was supposed to arrive. I think they will be glad for a non-May birthday. So far their family has an anniversary, father's birthday and older sister's birthday in one week (in May). This will add an April birthday to mom's April birthday and balance things out a bit.

LATER: They left home about noon Seattle time for the hospital. Quinn Abigail showed her face at 3:12 pm! She certainly didn't take her time. She weighed in at 7 pounds 9 1/2 ounces. From the sound of her in the delivery room, she is a feisty little soul. I look forward to meeting her in about 10 days.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is my fourth entry and I still haven't told anyone about my blog. Talk about being a chicken!! I'm realizing how boring my life probably is to anyone who might choose to read this, yet I feel that I need to tell people about the blog so I can get some feedback and be stimulated to write. I guess I'll do it after I return from St. Louis. We're leaving tomorrow afternoon. Our seminar starts Friday morning and goes all day and all day Saturday. My understanding is that it is the life of Abraham so I guess that will be a study of a few chapters in Genesis. I'll enjoy seeing the contrast with the way Bible Study Fellowship does it since that is what we have been studying there. My main reason for wanting to use Precepts is that it can be used in the local church and our local church needs something like that. I also like having people taking apart scripture "on their own" i.e. looking at key words, paragraphs, key ideas, etc. so that everyday people are learning to study scripture for themselves and don't see it as something only the teacher does. That makes for a healthier church--when people are actually IN the Word instead of reading books about it or listening to speakers who tell them about a Bible study they have done. Of course, those are not bad things, they just don't go far enough and lay people forget that the "normal" is for them to be studying the Word on their own.
We also plan to enjoy the hospitality of a former roommate of our daughter's in Kiev. She is now married and living in St. Louis and has frequently offered hospitality before. This time we took her up on it. We will enjoy being in a home.
Hopefully, the first of our new grandchildren will arrive next week. Christy is hoping for this weekend to finish up some things around the house. Any time she gets after that, she will enjoy before the baby comes...up to a point!
I discovered today that my current phone contract is up and I am entitled to a new phone and a better deal for the same amount of money. I may upgrade so that I can get a good picture of the new baby from the delivery room. That would be fun! Then Ron could use my old phone and upgrade his phone situation. I'm sure it would work better. I'd better stop the ramblings for now and send this even though it isn't being read yet:)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I'm feeling the pressure to get a lot of things done before going to Seattle,WA in about 2 weeks. I felt like the more I tried to finish projects, the less I was getting done...until last week. I just set aside some actual days to do certain looming projects and for the most part, I got them done! I didn't get much else done, but those big jobs are completed! hooray! This week, I don't have the same kind of pressure, but it will be a busy week in a different way. I can't let any grass grow under my feet!

I am completing plans for VBS crafts (with help) and it looks like the crafts I tentatively lined up will work out ok. I checked the cost on some of the portions I was unsure about and I think they will work. i kept notes on prices so I know which stores to return to when I have to complete the shopping. I will have to find time to make the samples this week...or maybe next.

Tomorrow will be my last Bible Study Fellowship study for this year. We will leave Thursday evening for St. Louis to take the Precept training together on Friday and Saturday. That should be interesting. I hope it will be useful for our church. Next week will be a bit crazy! I'll be going to the dentist, having evening events two or three of the nights and to top it off, that Wednesday, I will be going to St. Louis again with about 20 2-6th graders. I have been teaching an art class at a nearby classical school on Wednesday afternoons and this is the final event for the year. Our art group is too small to be able to go to the art museum and have a docent, so almost the whole school is going! We will have a docent for an hour to give us highlights of the museum as well as the Monet exhibit. I am very excited to be able to go but I have a feeling that it will be a rather exhausting day.

All these activities are being pushed together so that I can go spend some time with my daughter in Seattle after she has her second daughter. I'm looking forward to that. I have her quilted wall hanging almost done. the binding is sewn on turned and pinned in place for the final sewing. After that, all I have to do is add the label and her name and birthdate on the front. When I get back from that trip, I should have about ten days to catch my breath before going to TX to be with my youngest daughter after she has her first baby. What a fun way to start off my 60th year!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

As I read the last post, I realize that, as usual, I assume people know me. Of course, they don't. I talk away and leave out important imformation and throw in lots of unimportant details. For example, I didn't mention that we lived in TX for 16 years. I also didn't mention that for us, that is forever!! Until then, we had never lived anywhere as a couple, longer than seven years.

As a young child, our family moved A LOT. I don't know if it was because of that or because of my basic nature, but I just wanted to have roots somewhere. By the time we moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL the summer after my first grade year, I had had 4 major moves in my 7 years of life and they didn't include the minor moves within the major moves. (One of the moves was to Bolivia and I know we moved to more than one town during the almost 3 yrs. we lived there in the late 1940's.) I was very happy to settle in Ft. Lauderdale. It was our home until my parents became missionaries again when I was in ninth grade. It was still our home in the U.S. though because my grandparents had moved there by then. That's where we (children) went for vacations and holidays from high school and college. That is where I met my husband, married and started my marriage. Even when we were missionaries, we came back there to supporting churches and to see friends and family. That was one of the things that made the move to TX very difficult in 1988. We had no roots anywhere near TX. It felt a lot like we were jumping off the edge of the world...even more than when we went to Jamaica as missionaries.

So you see, I don't just have the average approach to family and location that many have. It often becomes my idol because I want it for my security and when I want it that much, I am putting it ahead of God. In essence, I am saying, "God, I don't really believe you when you say that Your grace is sufficient for each day. I want to be in control of my life situation--where I am, where my children are in relation to me (geographically) and I don't believe that you can fill that empty hole that is there when they are not near. You are not enough to comfort me in that loss." When I have that attitude, my heart's idol factory is at work and I am putting very good things ahead of God and telling Him that He is not enough. At that point, I have to repent of the adultery of my heart that is just like that of the Israelites in the desert or during the time of the prophets.

He has more planned for me than enjoying my family--which is a wonderful thing and which I do when able. He also wants me to reach out in ministry to others, not just from the vantage point of my own comfort but out of the discomfort of my life. Some of my best ministry opportunities come from the times when I don't have everything figured out and put together and I'm ministering out of my sense of need to others who are needy. But more on that another day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

This is a big week. I turned 60! I never thought this day would come. I can never say I am young now...or even middle-aged. I think I am officially old. I'm not ancient or decrepit, but definitely old. I have very young grandchildren for my age (an almost 3 year old and 2 due in May--a boy and a girl). That is why we weren't able to have a family celebration together (which I would have loved). With daughters living far away (seattle, WA and waco, TX) and in the late stages of pregnancies and our oldest daughter just back at her home in kiev, ukraine, no long term friends (we have only lived here 2 years), it made for some sad aspects to turning 60. I think that at this time in my life, my family, old friends and familiar surroundings are most appreciated.
Evidently, God thought I needed both a change in venue and a change in attitude. He picked us up from Tyler, TX 2 years ago and moved us here. I know this is where He wants us to be but there have been times that living with that has been difficult.
At a recent seminar we attended, it was underlined once again for me that at times of anger or extreme sadness with what God's will is for me now, i have to look at where my heart is. Am I worshipping Him first or am I worshipping another idol made in the idol factory of my heart? Some of my personal idols are: staying where I am when I finally find my niche in a given church body, being as close as i can (geographically) be to my family, having some good, long-term friends who will tell me the truth, not what i want to hear. Instead, I need to be spending more time with God alone instead of with all the other accoutrements that are good, but that I often substitute for God. Obviously, my idols are not bad things by themselves, except that they keep me from worshiping the one true God wholeheartedly.
There is no one here that I know from before in my life: no relatives, friends, friends of friends or family. it is just us. The winters have been long and cold. As with any church, there is always someone who is there to say words that are discouraging and disheartening. Fortunately, there are also those (and more of them) who are encouraging and uplifting in their words and actions. Two years have passed, we have made new friendships and relationships. I'm learning how to survive winters and grow tulips. God is good. Joy comes after mourning. Just as we look forward to spring in this part of the country, I look forward to this new stage of my life and what I will learn in my walk of faith both with God alone and in community with my fellow believers in my church.