Sunday, January 31, 2010


Each time I hear this song my heart is deeply touched and I am reminded of Who God really is! As you listen, may you realize that He truly is the Everlasting God!

(The words follow the video if you would like to follow along. To listen to the music on the video you will need to turn off my blog music on the right side below so you can listen to the video.)

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

In holiness you stand secure through culture's shifting sands
Unchanged by all the vanities of man
And as the nations rise and fall your sovereignty remains
You are You are You are the One True God

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

In faithfulness your love extends through times of turbulence
Adopting those who call upon your name
And every generation joins in songs of grateful praise
You are You are You are the One True God

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God


From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

You are God
You are God

Song: ‘Everlasting’
Written and recorded by Brian Doerksen

Saturday, January 30, 2010

From A Mother’s Heart

Mother and Child

There are times we try to ‘hide’ the reality of life and it seems when we read each other’s blogs that everything is just perfect. There are homes where things always seem to be absolute perfection, blog friends who seem to have everything in life all neatly put together, menus and meals that surpass my wildest imagination. Yet I know from sharing your lives on a daily basis that it isn’t always so! At times you have shared your messy homes, your failures in the kitchen, your mistakes and wrong words spoken and your heartaches and struggles. I know life doesn’t always go the way we plan and I love the way you, dear friends, have chosen to let me walk through some of the rough spots with you. And I truly cherish the way you have walked through times of pain and sorrow in my life. The notes and messages and comments and emails of support and prayer and encouragement at times are a lifeline to each of us as we walk through ‘deep waters’.

Over the past year you have been aware of our sorrow at the sudden death of our thirty-four-year-old son-in-law. Many of you continue to send me notes and messages that you are still praying for us and for our daughter and the children. But what I haven’t shared – and wasn’t sure I could ever bring myself to share with you is the heartache we have walked through recently. For awhile I didn’t think I could ever share the pain in my heart and the struggle of watching our daughter make choices we would never choose for her. It’s time to share her situation and to share the joy we anticipate as we look to the future.

A few months ago our daughter met a nice young man who was the single father of a school friend of our youngest granddaughter. In the scheme of things, they met as parents whose daughters wanted to spend out-of-school time together. They were responsible parents, making sure everything was the way it should be. And in the course of time they talked a lot about raising children, about her grief and loss and about life in general. They began to see each other often and it wasn’t long before things went a direction they hadn’t planned. We knew something in her life had changed because our dear daughter, with whom we’ve been very close, stopped seeing us, stopped calling us or returning our calls and emails. After what seemed like forever she contacted us to say she was expecting a baby! Her struggle was enormous – what to do, how to face the family she loved dearly and wondering if her family would be too disgusted with her to be there for her and her children! God has worked in all of our hearts, healing the hurt and helping us come to grips with this news. The communication between us has been restored and we see them often. We would not have chosen this path for her but once the shock settled and the tears dried we began to focus on the future – a future that includes another precious granddaughter. Now we are excited as we wait for the arrival of this precious little girl early in May. Her daddy and our daughter have moved into a house together – he is a nice young man and he cares deeply for her. They are raising their children together. Her three and his two. He is kind and very good to her and the children. He has been an incredible part of the healing in our daughter and grandchildren’s lives. And we like him!

Many years ago, before we had children – during a very difficult time when it seemed we could have no family - God directed my heart and thoughts to two verses in Psalms and I was reassured that the God who puts families together cared deeply for my pain and that He would give us a family. I thought I understood these words then but I’m beginning to realize that I still do not fully comprehend their meaning.

God sets the lonely in families. . .
Psalm 68: 6


He rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
Psalm 107:41

So, my friends, God gave us our family and we have begun to realize that our family is growing again. Just as God 'set' us in a family, He has blessed us with our children - and now their children. Not only will little Hannah Grace join our lives – and our hearts – in a few months, we are getting to know two more precious children whose lives are intertwined with ours now and who want us to be their grandparents. We have a way of ‘collecting’ family. While this wasn’t the way we planned it, we are learning to let our hearts continue to grow and to embrace the family God brings our way. We thought we had that lesson learned. Apparently not. We’re still learning!

Edited to add: I drafted this post a few weeks ago and waited for just the right time to share it. There were a couple of friends I wanted to share this ‘news’ with before they read it here. A few days ago I felt it was time to share this with you but I waited until today. I’m glad I did! Something has changed – the next chapter of the story has begun. Something good!

A few days ago Mr. K., the young man in our daughter’s life, called to invite us to be his guests for dinner with them at a very nice restaurant nearby. The invitation was accepted and the time was set. We met them for dinner last evening. They were waiting when we arrived and soon we were seated at a table and our orders were given. Conversation was good and we were all happy to be together. It wasn’t long after our dinner arrived when the real point of the evening became clear. Mr. K. told us of his love for our daughter and her children and he asked for our permission marry to her! We didn’t hesitate to say yes. We gave our permission – and our blessing! Smiles were abundant and tears ready to fall. Then he produced the most gorgeous ring a girl could hope to wear, showed it to us and placed it on our daughter’s finger. He followed that with a kiss on the ring and her hand. The conversation flowed from that point on to talk of plans and questions to get better acquainted and lots of love shared around that table. No wedding date has been set and plans are still being discussed. We weren’t the first ones he asked for permission to marry our dear daughter - a day or two ago he asked our oldest granddaughter, our daughter’s eleven-year-old girl, for her permission to marry her mother. Her answer: ‘No way!’ Followed by ‘Of course!’ The children love him very much and they are thrilled.

The evening was nice, the food was good but certainly not the focus. The focus was our relationship with two very special people – two people who are obviously very happy to have our love and our blessing as they walk through life together. Smiles were the order of the evening and hugs were abundant when we finally stood up to leave the table. My heart was deeply touched to see the smiles on our daughter's face and hear her laughter again. It was an evening we will never forget! Not the end of the story by any means – just the beginning of the rest of their lives. And ours.
To be continued. . . . . .

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kitchen Gifts

I promised to show you some finds and treasures I’ve not shared with you before. Before I show you the things I have found I want to share with you some gifts a dear family member gave me for Christmas. I love receiving things for my kitchen – especially when they are things I would love to have but probably wouldn’t buy for myself! We exchange Christmas gifts with a dear cousin in another state and he always finds the neatest things for me. I always look forward to opening his gift on Christmas morning – I can’t wait to see what ‘fun’ and interesting thing he had found this time! This year he gave me the sweetest kitchen gifts – measuring cups unlike anything I’ve ever had before. This could make cooking fun!

Measuring Cups - All

Aren’t they cute? When you look inside, here’s what you see:

Measuring Cups - One

Measuring cups - One Half

Measuring Cups - One Third

Measuring Cups - One Fourth

In the same package I found this little cutie – she’s a dish brush!

Dish Brush 2

Now it seems I need to head to the kitchen to measure something special so I can make a delectable treat – and dirty some dishes so I can use my sweet dish brush. That’s what I’ll do – my sweetheart will be thrilled and I’ll enjoy it, too. Hmmm, what shall it be? I'm sure whatever I make will bring 'joy beyond measure'!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Morning Thoughts


I’m home again! I was greeted by this sunrise when I open the bedroom drapes this morning. After three days away with grandchildren I woke in my own bed at home – and I didn’t want to get up! It would have been so nice to roll over, snuggle under the covers and let the rest of the world go away! I felt like singing that line from the old Eddie Arnold song, ‘Make the world go away and get it off my shoulders’. But there are things to do and places to go today. It’s time to get back into life at home again.

I had a wonderful, though at times challenging, time with my three grandsons while their parents were away at a conference. It’s certainly been a long time since I’ve made lunches, gotten kids up and ready for school, driven them to school, overseen homework, enforced bedtime, fed tacos to a two-year-old who insisted he wanted pizza (until he saw my taco and wanted the one I made), worked on potty training a little guy and climbed up and down a million stairs a day! They are good boys and have been taught to obey and be polite. What a joy to have them throw their arms around me and share their excitement about whatever is happening in their world. And when I snuggled with little Mr. H., to hear him say, ‘Gamma, I ‘uv you!’ made it all worthwhile.

My sweetheart joined us each evening after work. He helped with homework and bedtime routines and then we spent time with our laptop computer to update his resume so he could apply for a big promotion at work. He has been the assistant to the man who just retired from this position – and he is currently filling in. As I wrote his new resume I was amazed and very proud of him for all the experience he has had over the years with his company. He is a good man with a strong work ethic, a quick mind and a gentle personality. His peers and the management respect him and recognize his strength. But I have some mixed feelings about this new position – if he should be promoted. He will have added stress and heavy responsibility. I am leaving it in God’s hands, to lead as He chooses. And I am working hard to make our home a place of sanctuary for him when he returns at the end of a long, busy day.

There is much to do today – lead Bible Study at the one care center where I am currently serving as chaplain, stop by the cell phone store to find out why my hands-free device isn’t working, catch up at home, spend time with my doggy and kitty and have dinner tonight with my dear, little mother while my sweetheart is away at a men’s event at church.

I’m happy to be home. When I saw the sunrise this morning I knew it would be a good day - no matter what happens, it will be a good day! Because this is a new day God has given me. I am blessed – there is no doubt about it.

Now I am singing:

This is the day
That the Lord has made
I will rejoice and celebrate
This is the day
That the Lord has made
I will rejoice
I will rejoice and celebrate

He goes before me
He walks beside me
He lives within me
He's the lover of my soul
He's my defender
He's my provider
His overflowing mercies
Are brand new every day

Song: ‘This Is The Day’
Composer Unknown

Monday, January 25, 2010

Going Away To Play


I’ll be away for a couple of days – going to play with grandsons. And do a bit of work in the process, too. Our son and daughter-in-law attend an annual conference for ministers and their wives and this is my annual ‘play’ time with their three boys while they are away. I know I will be tired, but happy, at the end of each day. They are good boys and easy to care for, but they are boys. Busy boys. Two will be in school all day this year so two-year-old Mr. H. and I will have the day together. Fortunately he takes a good, long afternoon nap. It’s possible this grandma will, too! I will be able to check in to see what you have to share and maybe leave a comment or two. When I get back I have things to show you – some finds and treasures you haven’t seen. Until then, I’m off for a play date – with three of the most wonderful grandkids anyone could ask for!

Grandma - sign

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Virtuoso

Piano - Concert Hall

Many years ago, a mother took her boy to a concert by the legendary Polish born piano virtuoso Paderewski, wishing to encourage his progress on the piano. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked ‘NO ADMITTANCE.’

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’ At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, ‘Don't quit. Keep playing.’ Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obbligato.

Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’

Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful. The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, ‘Don't quit. Keep playing.’ May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Remember, God doesn't seem to call the equipped rather, He equips the 'called.'
- author unknown

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Gift Shop At Lavender Bleu


I promised to show you the gift shop at Lavender Bleu. After enjoying a sweet time together over Afternoon Tea Marilyn and I said goodbye and I spent a bit of time in the gift shop. If you ever come to visit I’d love to take you there – if you live nearby, it would be fun to meet there to browse and shop. And have a cup of tea!

Just outside the door of the tearoom is the patio area where they serve tea during the summer months. On the patio, between the door of the tearoom and the back door of the gift shop, there are all kinds of wonderful garden things for sale. I could spend a lot of time there – and I may go back soon to get some things for my yard. The first thing I spied was this darling little pair of boots. Yellow ceramic boots! I really think I NEED them!


Aren’t those just the cutest little boots? (That garden tool is a door knocker!) Wait till you see inside the shop! There are things for tea – of course.


And sweet little cupcakes to display (but not to eat!).


And more teacups and teapots and pretty serving pieces.


I would love to buy this set.


These cute teacups caught my eye – such fun!


There are all kinds of pretties – napkins and tablecloths and table runners. Pretty papers to write to your best friend and greeting cards, too. Jewelry and handbags. Seasonal decor and bits of whimsy to add to your home. Aprons and linens and things galore. But the corner that caught my eye was this one. . .


The baby and children’s room!


That darling little white coat is just about the softest thing you could ever hope to touch. I thought of a special little girl who would look like a princess in it. She would need this dress to go with it, too. Don’t you think?


I loved these porcelain alphabets. I may go back soon and get one to add to a baby shower gift. The photo doesn’t show the blues very well – they are all pinks and blues.


There was a lot to see and too much share all at once. Soon it was time for me to go so I bought some tea to enjoy at home, said farewell to the owner and her assistant and promised to return again soon. Another day. And maybe you can go with me next time. Wouldn’t we have fun?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Afternoon Tea

I told you that I was having tea with my blog friend, Marilyn, and I promised to tell you all about it.  It was wonderful!  We had such a good time at a new tea room nearby.  Lavender Bleu is in West Linn, Oregon – if you live nearby or travel to our area, please stop by to enjoy it for yourself.
The sign on the sidewalk welcomes you before you step inside.  Once you open the door and step inside you realize you have arrived in a ‘to-die-for’ gift shop.   (I’ll show you the gift shop soon.)
It would be easy to get lost in the shop and forget that you came for tea.  Save the gift shop experience for later and walk to the back – go through the door into the outside patio area (where, by the way, there are all kinds of garden things for sale).  Don’t get distracted.  You can browse there later, too.  A pink-framed chalkboard sign welcomes you to the Tea Room.  Open that door and maybe you will find a friend waiting there to greet you.  I did!
Once inside there are all kinds of things to see and to buy.  Don’t get sidetracked – you need to be seated for tea!
This little place used to be an apartment.  It has been completely redone and made into the cutest place.  Tables with pastel polka-dot cloths surround the fireplace.  Each table is set for tea.
We were seated by the window, overlooking the patio, but not far from the fireplace.  Nearby flowers brightened a spot on the hearth.
The decor and the setting of this sweet place helps you relax before you have even begun to enjoy the tea and the tasty treats waiting for your pleasure.  It's like stepping into another world!
Our waitress was one of the owners.  She did a great job describing everything and helping us select our teas.
When I stepped through the door Marilyn was waiting for me.  She and I have been enjoying each other’s blogs and emailing and planning this day for awhile.  It was exciting to finally meet in person.  I love her blog, Delights of the Heart – it’s on my Favorites list.  When she posts something new I can’t wait to stop by and visit.  She and her hubby had a fantastic trip to Europe a few months ago and I felt as if I was right there with her.  You may also know her as Marmalady.  Stop by and visit her website – she has all kinds of things you won’t want to miss.
I loved the tea cozies and every part of our surroundings.  And I know that I need to add to my supplies to have a truly wonderful tea experience at home.  I need tea cozies for all occasions and wonderful teas and serving pieces galore!  There’s more shopping and thrifting and garaging to do in search of just the right things.  Stop by Marmalady’s to find her teas, accessories and tea-related items of all kinds.  Be sure to check her Etsy Shop to see her patterns for tea lovers.
Our Savories, Scones and Sweets arrived on delightful, small three-tiered serving pieces.  (See Marilyn’s blog, Delights Of The Heart, for the complete menu we enjoyed together.)
I have begun to realize, partly by reading several blogs, Marilyn’s  and other connoisseurs of fine tea, that I really don’t know much about tea.  I thought I was a lover of tea but once inside the shop, with the menu of tea selections in my hand, I knew I had much to learn.  And I discovered with the help of our waitress – and Marilyn – that I have not had many really good cups of tea.  Each of us selected a tea – Marilyn chose ‘Paris’ a black tea blend; I chose ‘Pomegranate Green’, a flavored tea.  I had trouble getting a good photo of my bright pink tea but I wanted you to see it.  It was good but I must admit that I really preferred the ‘Paris’ tea.
We sat over our Afternoon Tea and chatted for three hours!  There was so much to say – a chance to get acquainted and share our families and our homes and the things we enjoy.  What a sweet treat to finally meet and spend time together.  It’s an afternoon I’ll never forget.
We have plans to meet again – plans that include tea together in Marilyn’s back yard this summer and, perhaps, tea with other blog friends in the near future.  This blog world has brought friendships that I never dreamed possible – friendships I cherish.  But this week I had the chance to meet and spend face-to-face time with a friend whose friendship I enjoy and time together that I will always treasure in my heart!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blog Friends

Friends I Visit Often 2
It’s no secret that I treasure the friendships I’ve made in this wonderful world of blog!  You have been there through thick and thin – you have laughed with me, cried with me, prayed for me, given me special gifts and sent me many messages of love and encouragement and friendship.  And that, my friends, means more than words can tell.
I want you to meet a very special friend of mine who just started her new blog.  Shirley and I attend the same church.  We have been on a mission trip to Mexico together, shared special things from our hearts with each other, laughed and cried together.  My sweetheart and I walked through some difficult times with Shirley and her dear hubby, Reuben, who is now with Jesus.  If you ever meet Shirley it won’t be long before you’ll be drawn to her by her sweet smile and kind words.  She is a writer and a poet and now she’s sharing that with us.  Please stop by Shirley’s new blog, The Early Morning Poet.  When you do, be sure to say hi and welcome her.

And there’s another special lady in my bloggy-world.  I’m meeting Marilyn, from Delights Of The Heart, today for tea!  She and I have come to know each other a bit over the past few months and I can’t wait to meet her ‘for real’ today and have time to chat over tea.  We’re meeting at a new tea room in a nearby community.  Tomorrow I’ll share bits and pieces of our time together and the wonderful tea room and gift shop.  But now. . .I’m excited.  Oh, I’ve got to go – I have to do my hair, change my clothes, powder my nose,  brush my teeth, put my shoes on . . . . .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This and That

Friends I Visit Often
Today I want to share a little of this and a bit of that – just thoughts from my heart to yours.  News and bits and pieces of things I want you to know.

In a recent post here I shared that I was praying for direction about some changes to my chaplain ministry.  For several months I have felt that I needed to make changes but I haven’t known exactly what they should be and how to go about them.  My sweetheart had some thoughts – thoughts that, at first, I didn’t want to hear because I didn’t want to deal with the actions needed to carry out his suggestions.  He was very certain if any changes were made they must be from God’s voice to my heart, not because he or anyone else thought that’s what I should do.  I began to realize that my schedule was just too full – I was having trouble keeping up with needs of my family and home and I was having much trouble keeping up with myself.  I often found myself wishing I could just retire and have more family and home time – and time to do things I just haven’t been able to do!  Yet, I so dearly love the folks I have been ministering to and I found it hard to imagine leaving them.

Suddenly about two weeks ago I was faced with what seemed to be an urgent need to make a change.  My dear little mother will soon be eighty-seven years old.  She has lived for more years than even the doctors thought she would.  She is a blessing to so many and we know that God has kept her alive inspite of health limitations for this long because He has a purpose for her.  He’s not finished with her yet!  About two weeks ago she suddenly began to have some medical problems and symptoms that indicated things may be changing.  Add to that the fact that she has had several weeks of fairly intense pain in one shoulder and she was not doing well at all.  A trip to her doctor confirmed that something had definitely changed but initial tests proved nothing.  (More testing will be done soon.)  Her doctor referred her to a wonderful orthopedic surgeon who just happened to have an opening the very next day.  I drove my dear mother to a neighboring city for her appointment and I accompanied her in to talk with him.  Tests and x-rays showed that she had a torn rotator cuff – that was what was causing all the pain.  Because of her age, her heart and kidney issues she is not a candidate for surgery.  A shot of cortisone gave some relief and she has begun a few weeks of physical therapy.

And what did that have to do with my sense of pending changes to my chaplain ministry?  A lot!!  Suddenly I KNEW that I was to step way back and, perhaps out of most of my weekly ministries.  There was no doubt in my mind that I had heard God’s voice to my soul – I needed to clear my schedule to be available to help my mother and to be involved in her medical and physical needs.  The process was simple – I resigned immediately from one skilled care center where there is a staff chaplain and other Christian ministries.  I was one of many who assisted the staff chaplain there.  I will visit some of the dear folks there periodically as my schedule allows, just as a friend.  That takes a lot of pressure off of me and completely frees up one day a week.  A phone call to my supervisor for the facility where I am staff chaplain two days a week brought more instant change.  I am currently on leave and a chaplain from one of our other facilities is filling in during my absence.  During this time away I am praying and considering whether I should resign and completely free up those two days, whether I should return but only commit to just a few hours one day a week or, perhaps, resign and, from time-to-time, stop by to visit the dear folks I have come to love.  I will continue to minister at the third facility here in town (about two miles from my home) on Thursday mornings.  This facility had been begging me for quite some time to come and I have only recently begun a Bible Study there.  They have no one to replace me and I am only away from home for about two hours.  As I’ve begun this new schedule I can’t believe how much I am enjoying the change.

My dear mother can’t drive her car so I am driving her to and from physical therapy, to the grocery store and anywhere else she needs to go.  She protested that I have to take her grocery shopping – until I told her that she is helping me organize my shopping and I enjoy doing mine along with her.  She is the ultimate bargain shopper so I’m always learning of good ‘deals’ that I might miss on my own.  There are things she can’t take care of at her home and I am trying to help with some of those.  Have you ever tried to change the sheets on a bed when you can only use one arm?  I hadn’t thought about that until she called the other day and asked me if I would mind changing her sheets while I was there to help with something else.  We take for granted what we can do until we can’t do it anymore. 

On another note, I am making changes to my blog.  You may find some new things and you may find some things that should have links that don’t work – so I ask you to be patient and keep coming by to visit.  If things don’t work the way they should I probably haven’t finished the re-do.

I promised to tell you about our anniversary weekend.  It was a bit different than planned because of weather and the fact that we decided to stay close to home instead of doing all the things we had planned.  Friday evening, our anniversary, we went to a local steak house for dinner.  We had been given a nice gift certificate so we decided we would use it then and we are SO glad we did.  As we drove to dinner I joked with my sweetheart that I was going to order steak and lobster!  Imagine my amazement when we arrived to find that steak and lobster was the special that evening.  And what a fantastic meal for an incredibly amazing price.  We were able to have two steak and lobster meals, flavored tea and lemonade drinks and a dessert to share for less than our gift certificate.  My sweetheart added a few dollars to what was left on the gift certificate to cover the difference for the tip.  So, we had a fantastic meal that only cost a few dollars out of pocket.  We left feeling good about our evening out.  We enjoyed a special time together and a wonderful meal – and we were thrilled that it had hardly cost us anything.  What a good deal!  Saturday afternoon we invited my cousin and her husband to join us for a movie and dinner out.  We had gift certificates to the theater where we wanted to go so our four tickets cost less than the price of two tickets.  Plus, we got a coupon for free popcorn!  We saw ‘Blind Side’ – if you haven’t seen it, you should.  It’s a good, true story.  Afterwards we went to a nearby restaurant for dinner.  Would you believe that my cousin and I each had coupons for buy one, get one free?  Yes, we did.  After dinner we sat for a long time and enjoyed time together for a good visit.  Sunday was far different than planned.  We had planned to drive to the coast for the day but high winds and extremely high waves on the ocean helped us decide to do something else.  We thought we might visit someone special who was in the hospital and then go out to dinner – again with a gift card!  But the day was stormy here and we were tired and wanted to stay home.  We watched a movie and enjoyed watching an Alaska Cruise (our dream!) on the Travel Channel.  My sweetheart got take-out Mexican dinner and we ate in front of the fireplace with a warm fire and a little dog whose nose never stopped smelling the aromas that filled the house.

And in the end,
it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Abundant Rain


Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:2-4

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Special January Day


Today is a very special day in our lives. Thirty eight years ago today I walked down the aisle to join the man-of-my-dreams and become his wife. Oh, the dreams we had and the things we planned to do. We accomplished some of them and others may still happen in the future. Some of our dreams and plans would never become reality because God took us to places we never dreamed possible. Others were, perhaps, the dreams of youth that would be rethought and improved and enhanced and would take on new meaning. 'His love is perfected in us(I John 4: 12), a Bible verse that was very special to us, was the theme of our wedding. It was our desire then and it has been our prayer through the years we have walked through life together. We want it to be true through the years ahead. We are blessed. Every day.

Because my dear little mother is experiencing some health issues we’ve chosen not to go far from home this weekend. We are officially ‘away from home’ to the general public but our family knows that we are doing things close to home and spending nights at our favorite Bed and Breakfast – home! Early next week I’ll share our adventures. Until then, I’m just spending time with my sweetheart – enjoying the gift of time together. What a treasure!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Through The Glass

Several months ago my dear mother, my cousin and I happened upon an estate sale near my home. We arrived fairly close to the end of the sale and, oh, how we wished we had been there earlier! When we left that day I carried away a treasure - a wonderful stained glass piece to hang in my dining room. I had envisioned a piece hanging on the ‘stationary’ side of the double sliding door to the patio for a long time . I often looked at beautiful pieces that I couldn’t afford and at quite a few I could afford but knew just were not right! The moment I saw this one I knew it would be perfect. The colors were right, the size was right and my heart knew it was what I had waited for! Soon after I returned home my sweetheart hung it for me and now it seems as if it has been there forever.


I would love to take the wooden frame off and just have the delicate stained glass hanging there but I don’t want to try to remove it. I’m afraid I will break the whole piece. A friend does stained glass and I’ve considered asking his advice and help but the time hasn’t been right when we’ve been together. (I think taking it to church and asking him during the sermon would be a bit distracting!) The frame is handmade but the finish is not in tip-top condition. I plan to paint it the same off-white as the woodwork in my home and the corner hutch nearby. I hoped it would be done by now but a bout of tendonitis in my right wrist (I’m right-handed!) has slowed me down. I’ll show it to you when I decide what to do.


These photos were taken late last summer. Our winter days here in Oregon haven’t been this bright and sunny lately – and the grass isn’t that green anymore. The hanging flowers are long gone and the patio furniture has been put away until summer comes again. But my beautiful stained glass piece remains – no matter what the weather. Today, for just a bit, the sun tried to peek through and it called to me. It was there – and then gone. But in that moment I caught a glimpse of it to share with you.


People are like stained glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed
only if there is a light from within.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quiet Strength


My words:

Need quiet heart and spirit
many thoughts
ministry decisions to make
change needed
much need for prayer and direction

HIS words:

In quietness and in confidence
shall be your strength
Isaiah 30:15

Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
Blest assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea He speaks peace to me,
And the billows cease to roll.

Scripture from King James Version
’Blessed Quietness’ written by Manie P. Ferguson

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Times Like These


In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, yes He' the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, oh be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, yes He' the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

‘I am the Lord, and I do not change.’
Malachi 3:6

Song: 'In Times Like These'
Words and music by Ruth Caye Jones

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Gift From The Heart

A few weeks before Christmas my sweetheart and I discussed what we would like for Christmas and we gave each other some gift suggestions. That’s always been a fun thing to do even though we never know what the other one has in mind or what we will really find under the tree on Christmas morning.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I’m a chaplain in care centers, assisted living facilities and have done some work with Hospice. Some of the men chaplains wear cross pins or tie-tacks and some of the ladies wear a cross necklace or pin. Not all chaplains wear jewelry that symbolizes their faith or their calling but it is something that is common to see. For awhile I didn’t own or want to wear any cross jewelry - I felt that most crosses made the true meaning of the cross seem too ‘beautiful’ or ‘flashy’. Too many of them were just jewelry. Many of them shouted ‘religious’ or ‘clergy’ - and I didn’t want to wear anything that would offend or detract from the relationships I treasure with the folks to which I minister. But recently I changed my mind. It all started at a meeting of chaplains last month where two lady chaplains were wearing absolutely wonderful cross necklaces that were simple but stunning. They were certainly a symbol but in no way offensive or over-the-top ‘glitzy’. Not long after that I began to search for the perfect cross necklace - one that had meaning and, at the same time, didn’t look pretentious or out-of-place. When I found it I let my sweetheart know and I added it to my Christmas wish list. That’s what happened – on Christmas morning I found this under the tree:

Just Right Cross

Just what I wanted! Perfect. And the meaning? The cross is the symbol of God’s love – from His heart – to us. A perfect gift at Christmas!

My sweetheart knows that I often love to wear long necklaces so he included an extra chain that is longer than the one that came with the necklace. Two gifts in one! I am thrilled and every time I wear my new necklace someone comments on it. And I love the joy I see in his eyes when I wear his special gift to me. That’s worth more than the gift itself – joy in the eyes of the giver!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

True Resolutions


I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven;
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child, and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother,
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion;
I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationship demands commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.

Your kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me;
Your Hallowed name - oh, may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life - oh, may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.


Song: ‘I Then Shall Live’
Words by Gloria Gaither
Music: ‘Finlandia’ by Jean Sibelius

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year’s Prayer


Dear Father,

God of our yesterdays,
our today,
and our tomorrows.

Thank You for the year behind us
and for the year ahead.

Help us in the new year
to fret less and laugh more.

To teach our children to laugh
by laughing with them.

To teach others to love by loving them.

Knowing, when You came to the stable
in Bethlehem, You came for us

So that You could be with us,
and we could know You.
share You with others.

Help us to see You in every sunrise,
in the beauty of the flowers all around us,
in the stories of our old folks,
and the fantasies of our children.

Help us to stop and listen to Your voice
so we may know You more and more.

Thank You for another new year
and for new mercies every morning.

Fill us with peace,
and love, and hope,
that we might spread them to others.

We leave the past in your hands,
and step out into the unknown new year
knowing You will go with us.

We accept this new year as a gift from You
and we rejoice in what's ahead,
depending on You to help us
do exactly what You want us to do.

Because of You our hearts are filled with joy!

In Jesus name,

adapted from unknown