Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ben's Got Interviews This Week

My 19-year old is considering two jobs.
One is at Home Depot, and the positions available are in Lumber, Lawn & Garden, and Cashier. He says (to me) "anything but Lawn and Garden!" but to those at HD he says he'll work anywhere. I have assured him that working in the garden department will not make people think he's gay. I know that's what he worried about. He couldn't care less about the difference between daisies and delphiniums. We've told him, "Ben, mostly what you'll be doing is lifting heavy mulch for women my age who have no muscles or bladder support. Or you'll have old people who need you to carry a potted plant. Anyone who sees you will want your help with the high and heavy stuff." His other reservation about the Depot is that it doesn't pay as well as the other employer.

The other one is Pier 1 warehouse. He'd be driving a forklift. Paul and I (and my sister) have all told him we think there's nowhere to go in the warehouse, that he probably wouldn't learn much about the business. Home Depot would probably move him around and maybe up, and the drive is shorter. But Ben wants to take the best paying job until he can get an internship that an older friend is trying to arrange for him. WE've said there are no guarantees and at this point, he's better off taking a job that will give him a look at many facets of business (his major). OF course, as a businessman at heart, he is looking at the bottom line! What's a parent to do?

Please pray for wisdom. His interview at Pier 1 is at 10:30 today EST. He is to be getting called for a second interview with HD any day now.

Additonal Stuff for Military

Magazines of any hobby. (Someone is bound to share the interest, and besides, they say they love to read anything from home. I remember when I was in Russia, it was a treat just to read anything in English!)

Bibles. Small. Modern English. (I would guess a good bit of this younger generation have been unchurched. They need a version that's easy to read. These aren't requestede, but you and I know we don't always ask for what we REALLY need:)

Kellogg's cereal. Maybe even those multi-pack of single-serving. But large boxes of cereal are fine.

Music CDs. All genres.

TV shows on DVD. They are longing to catch up with what's happening in AMerican pop culture.

Books. I would suggest paperbacks you're ready to get rid of, or finding them very cheap secondhand.

Ziploc bags in any size.

THat's all I can think of for now.

Oh, one of my themes is Hodge Podge Lodge. I sent miscellaneous stuff in a box so there's "something for everyone" (in my dreams). If it's liquid, please double ziploc bag it. IF it can make a mess, it will. Thanks again.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Theme Girl and Soldier Care Packages

If you know me, you know I think in themes. I call myself Theme Girl. (Sarah told me if there was one way to give me an unhappy birthday party, make it themeless.) Anyway, thinking in themes helps me when it comes to packing care packages for our military. For one thing, you can shop in one aisle for all kinds of the same things. Or you can be sure that you're not sending soap in the same box with PopTarts.

If you have thought you'd like to send stuff to soldiers (or Marines or Airmen or Sailors) but would like a specific list, here are my themes, to be shipped when a box is full and to anyone on AnySoldier.com whom I find doesn't have many supporters as of yet.

Theme 1: Micro Meals and Bottled Water Buddies
With only access to microwaves (and some units don't have them) they love getting microwaveable meals and desserts. Target and Walmart are well stocked. EAsyMac, Healthy Choice soups, Maruchan brand soup. I've heard there are microwaveable brownies but haven't seen them. Anything in its own bowl is great.
What I call Bottled Water Buddies (to be annoyingly alliterative) would be Crystal Light or Propel "shakers"--come in a 10 pack and can be poured into the water bottles on the go. These are often on the request lists.

Theme 2: Work Out Wishes
athletic tube socks (white), sports bras (mostly medium and large are requested), hand towels, t-shirts to work out in (no white and not dark) with logos like Adidas, Fubu, Nike, etc. They can't wear civilian clothes otherwise, by policy.
Runner's World magazines, Men's Fitness, any sports magazines.

Theme 3: Bathing Beauties
Dove moisturizing body wash, loofahs and washcloths, bath towels, hand towels, good moisturizing shampoos, razors, body lotion, nice smelling hand soaps, and magazines to read while their feet are soaking.

Theme 4: Writing Wonders
note pads, envelopes, thinking-of-you/love you/birthday cards they can write to their loved ones (stamps not necessary), other office supplies

Theme 5: Hygiene Helpers
Most oft-requested (practically begged for, I should say) are pearl tampons (read: smooth plastic applicator), nail clippers, foot scrubs, and anything girlie. -Yes, I know they all signed up for hardship--and they know it--but they really, really appreciate the comforts of home being sent to them by complete strangers who pack stuff with love. They say "it's like Christmas" or "it really boosts morale" or "we wish we could meet the people in person who send us these things" or "it really helps us do our jobs better to know we have support from home." To me, that's priceless.

Theme 5: Bedding Bliss
100 % cotton sheets because they only have mattresses and sleeping blankets and very worn pillows. The guys like black, dark blue, green; the women--pink, purple, "anything girlie." If you find coordinating separate flat and fitted sheets, I'll sew up a pillowcase. It's more economical in some cases, and always more personal!

Theme 6: Snacky Stuff
Goldfish, NutterButter cookies, granola bars, Little Debbies (not chocolate; it's getting too warm and would make a mess), gummy worms, cheese/crackers packs, trail mix, dried fruit, breakfast bars, beef jerky, graham crackers, tuna in a can with the pull-tab lid, etc.

As always, they love cards and letters from kids. They hang them up on the dull, drab walls for color and smiles. So if your kids produce a prolific amount of art, would you consider asking them to donate some of it for the sake of soldiers?
I try to ship on or about the 5th and 25th of each month, so let me know ahead of time what you'd like to contribute so I can plan accordingly (I pack TIGHT in the flat rate boxes), If you can, I'd appreciate help with postage (41 cents for every 6regular sheets of paper or 3 construction paper, or a dollar per pound of goods.

Thank you. I realize this cause may not be popular with everyone, and that I may be just a wee bit obsessed, but I feel like it's part of my calling because it's such a huge joy to me to think of someone opening a box and feeling, in some small way, that God has heard their prayer that day. It might be a prayer for lotion, or socks, or sheets, or a child's card saying, "hev a good day soljer." I know it would make MY day!

Wonderful Reports

God deluged Stephen with His glory and power at the men's retreat. My 16 year old loves the gospel and he got to witness the salvation of a man there. I don't want to steal anyone's thunder before she tells you all about it, so I won't name names.

Stephen was telling me that it was a man he didn't know, but was placed in the same small group. He had been hearing the straight, clear message of sin, forgiveness through Christ, and his need for redemption. STephen said the group leader (after much talking amongst themselves) asked the man something like, "Do you accept Jesus' sacrifice for your sin as the only way to be saved?"

The man says, "Hell, yeah. I mean, heck yeah, I mean yeah. Yeah."

The men tried not to laugh, but can you imagine? Stephen loved the whole experience, the way people witnessing the birth of a baby describe it. Amazing. Miraculous. Something from nothing. Incredible. Stephen said, "I had tears just running down my face. I loved seeing the perspective of a new believer. I loved his prayer."

"Oh, prayers of new Christians are the best, I agreed. "Totally stripped of all the lingo, all the familiar phrases that the rest of tend to use."

"Yeah, it was just simple but profound," he said. "I wish I would always see the power of the gospel like that--always new, always life-changing."

Stephen couldn't have asked for a better experience!
As for the appointment at college, that came off without a hitch. The weather was fine. He and Sarah sat for the three-hour scholarship essay. They had to choose to write on one of three topics. Sarah chose the advantages and disadvantages of the internet. Stephen wrote on the dangers of teenage sex. I hope they both get scholarships, but if they don't, I'm still proud as punch that they attempted it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Special Requests

First of all, thank you all who take the time to read and comment on my blog. It means a lot. What means even more is to know that you're praying.

Tonight my menfolk are at the men's retreat in Quarryville, PA. This is Stephen's first retreat. I believe, as I told him in a card, that I think God is going to shape his calling this weekend. Paul and I see pastoral giftings . Stephen loves to read the Bible, books about doctrine, books by preachers past and present, loves to memorize scripture, loves to apply it, is great at expressing himself in writing and in speaking, prays for his classmates, prepares an outline for his prayer group at school, grieves over sin, loves to draw out people (well, he finds it hard but important, I should say), worships privately very often, usually his drums drown out his voice) and he is always serving at church, school, and home. The list goes on. He is also amazing with computers. Seems he's one of those people who thinks like a computer, so he's always my go-to guy extraordinaire.

Here is a quandary, though. He and SArah were selected from their scholarship applications to sit for a 3-hour essay writing time this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. What this means is, I have to go up to Blackrock tomorrow night (late) to get him OR Paul has to bring him home. Paul already is coming home tonight because he needs to work tomorrow (or else he doesn't get paid for these days at this juncture of the company switcheroo). He says if the weather is bad, he'll bring STephen home, stay the night, and go back up for Ben.

The thing is, if the weather is bad enough to delay or cancel HCC's Saturday events, the essay thing will be postponed to March 1. Trouble is they don't normally post till the day of, in which case he'd be home and missing the last morning of the retreat.

Please pray the snowstorm completely misses us OR dumps blizzardous proportions on us, leaving no doubt that HCC would close.

And please pray that STephen would sense the shaping of his calling.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Paul Took the New Job!

It's official. Paul accepted the job we've been praying about. He is quite excited, nervous, apprehensive, relieved, rejuvenated...all those things a person experienced when going into something new.

He turned in his 2-week notice on Friday. His boss's boss (the one in charge of hiring and firing) begged him to reconsider. "We'll change your job for you. We'll pay you what you want. Just think about it over the weekend and let me know Monday." We talked about it over the weekend and I was basically reassuring him that, for about six years, the "pay for performance" has been a joke, that morale has deteriorated to an all-time low, that even Paul's immediate boss wants out of there and he is the only reason Paul has been staying there for the past few years. Paul went in Monday and his boss said, "You didn't change your mind, did you?"

Co-workers are in disbelief. "You're actually leaving?" After 24 years, it's hard for even Paul to believe.

But we see God's hand and have no regrets about the decision. Paul is excited to have a clean desk to go to, no backlogs, only a future. He is looking forward to having his opinion sought out as to how to grow and manage a business. The pay is terrific, the health plan equal except without the hassle of recordkeeping for reimbursements, the commute is about the same but rather than fight beltway traffic, he'll be winding through the beautiful hills of northern Baltimore County (Long Green Pike, Cromwell Bridge Road). We can get out of debt in under a year and be able to afford college without my having to work!

It feels so good for me as a wife to see a happy husband. The Bible says "a man's gifts make room for him." Paul's many gifts have made room for him. We are both very, very grateful to God for this career opportunity that seems nearly ideal for my man, the Assistant Vice President of Underwriting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Valentine's Day in Five Years

February 14, 2008, Day's End.

My heart is full of warm, mushy memories of the past day and a half. As I've said before, Valentine's Day ranks second to Christmas in my short list of favorite holidays. Some years it ranks above Christmas. This may be such a year.

Why so good this year ? Many reasons. My long-awaited, much-prayed for child turned six today. Together we made a Lego cake yesterday. Knowing that we'd be one sibling shy of a family birthday celebration tonight, we planned the fest for last night. Yesterday afternoon Joel and I started the cake together--consisting of a 13x9 cake , a loaf pan size cake, and 6 cupcakes. while he was beside me on a kitchen chair, he gave me a big hug and inhaled deeply.
"Mmm, Mom, you smell so good!"
I beamed, "Do I? What do I smell like?"
"Butter," he said. "You smell like butter
." (Next time I'll skip the fragrance counter at Macy's and head right to Food Lion to get the Scent of a Woman. ) I cherished his hugs and looks of sheer love while we cracked eggs and stirred batter. It occurred to me more than once that he soon won't need the chair and maybe won't enjoy the cake making like he does right now. Carpe diem.

Every Valentine's Day I've had a tradition: before the kids are out of bed, I put a small box of chocolates, a card, one dollar, and a pencil at their place at the table. Last night I couldn't find the bag of cards! I found Ben's but it was because I'd bought it a different store. I was panicked. I prayed, God gave me a peace as I fell asleep that I'd find them before the kids awoke. I did. The one dollar got upsized this year; reality is Ben and Sarah can't even get a soda on campus for a buck.

Joel had his good friend Caleb over to play today. They are both still at the age when it's okay to hug and smile at each other with foreheads together. To see Joel's eyes twinkle, to hear him say when their play time is up, "Don't go home! Stay till it's a teeny weeny bit dark out!" is so precious to me.

My husband brought red roses last night to both Sarah and me. He is really maturing in his understanding of our love for flowers. Well, maybe not understanding why, but just getting them anyway and knowing it's as unexplainable as why he likes to watch football games every Sunday. Passion transcends reason. Tonight he gave me a card whose words I do not deserve.

Ben, my eldest, came home earlier than I expected, bearing a beautiful bouquet and a box of Good 'n Plenty (my favorite). "These are for you, Mom. I love you." And he stooped waaaay down and put an arm around me with a smile. Melt my heart! I asked him later where he got the money for them.
"I used the money you gave me."
"That was supposed to go into your tank!" I said.

Stephen's actions made me cry tears of joy. Every year at his small Christian high school, the guys pitch in to buy roses (one for each girl). A week ago four of the girls were expelled, shrinking his senior class size from 5 to 3. When Stephen told me, there were tears in his eyes. He was visibly grieved over their sin, though he knew not exactly what it was. When I asked yesterday how many roses he needed, he first said 17, then said 21. Today after school he delivered them (I was with him because he still has a learner's permit) to the expelled girls' homes. I waited and watched from inside the van as my blue-eyed blonde 16-year old prince in a starch white shirt and navy pants carried twin roses to the door of each set of sisters. The first pair hugged him and one of the girls was about to cry. The second set were not home. No one was. He left the flowers and a note on their porch. Tears ran down my cheeks. This is grace. This is love. This is how to treat one another, I said to myself. "Thank You, God, for Your love that is so clearly seen through Stephen."

While I was out with my son, my father came by OUR porch and left chocolates and a card (for Sarah and me). The card made me cry so hard the boys noticed. Daddy writes, "Dear Zoanna--You are precious! You honor me just by being who you are." Joel asked why I was crying. "Because," I choked. "I don't know how many more years I'll get valentines from Pappaw." There was a gift for Joel, too--a drawing pad and some pirouines in the portable green mailbox Joel made. They pass it back and forth secretly (run to the other's porch and drive off) filled with tokens of love. I'm also painfully aware that Pappaw and Ima won't always be around to see their Valentine grandson celebrate his birthday.

This evening I took a bowl of hot water and Pine Sol (love that smell!) and washed all the baseboards in the kitchen/foyer/up the steps and all the doors in the path. I was dying to clean baseboards. I must be pregnant. (NO, I'm not. That would take an act of God of the reversal type.) Paul loves the smell of cleaning solutions the way Joel loves the smell of butter. Eau de Pine Sol makes him amorous, but poor guy is coming down with a cold.

I packed some care packages for female airmen, female marines and some soldiers today. Call it OCD, but I love to fill these boxes with goodies they've requested. Mail call is the highlight of their day, their week, their tour. Tonight I watched a short movie, "The Book and the Rose," that confirmed that what the recipients feel is tenfold greater than the joy I feel in sending them.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of this year's Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Waterbed Testing

Need a Valentine laugh? Take a peek at this video. (Don't worry; I'd rate it G. Watch it all the way through. The ladies at the end are the best part. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdDMpx7e-0I

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not Cut Out for This

Some people are born organizers. Then there's me.

Oh, I can organize stuff on a small scale, but today I'm tackling the now-infamous OFFICE/SCRAPBOOK ROOM/GUITAR ROOM.

Being only 7x8 feet, it should seem small scale. Maybe it is. To Born Organizers of the Large Scale Type.

Here's what I'm trying to set up the space to do:
1) house the computer, printer, scanner (done)
2) store files such as finances, school documents, tax info, etc in the computer desk.
3) Store my 12x12 papers and smaller ones, plus usable scraps. Believe me, I've thrown out a lot!
4) Store my few scrappin' gadgets .
5) Store 21 years of photos.
6) Store photo albums both complete and in progress.
7) Store guitars and cords.
8) Get rid of old stuff from years ago.
9) Make all the scrap stuff within easy reach of the desk.
10) Store stickers.
11) Store what few inspriational magazines I have (scrapbook-wise).

Give me one drawer. I can organize it.
Give me 3 shelves. I can conquer them.
Give me a few files. Ditto.
Give me a whole room and I'm no good.

I knew I should've waited till the men's retreat to start this, but I was in the mood last night, and Paul was coopoerative about moving furniture out so I could do a good vacuuming. You gotta capitalize on help when it's offered! Joel helped me make piles of each color paper, and I've gone thru one drawer of old files. Now I'm jittery, real jittery, thinking I've got just 3 hours before my main squeeze gets home to see my progress. ACK!!!! I am also supposed to have accomplished some laundry, dishes, schooling Joel--forget it! it's a snow day!, and voting. Here's my vote: HIRE a PRO to do this job! But she'd probably still sit here and ask me a thousand overwhelming questions till I fired her!

Friday, February 08, 2008


Thank you, one and all, for your prayers--your precious, faithful prayers. It is amazing how they lift the spirits. My pain yesterday was minimal because I didn't walk much (I drove all over creation) but today it's back, though manageable. Better than pain relief is peace, though, which I have experienced. Doing battle with thoughts is absolutely crucial. I read an article in an old issue of Biblical Counseling on chronic pain. When I have more time, I'll probably post some bullet points. The main two I'm holding onto are:
1) I am just as entrenched as anyone else n this culture which avoids pain at all costs, as if I'm entitled to a painless life. Other cultures expect it and accept it.
2) To join with the sufferings of Christ is an honor. It's an honor. Not that we are to rush to get hurt or anything, but to experience a small fraction of physical pain in comparison to what Jesus suffered for us at Calvary is an honor. Not everyone suffers well. Not everyone glorifies God in the midst of pain. Will I be one of the many called to suffer but one of the few who do it well? Lord Jesus, please help me to want the answer to be yes. There's nothing You call us to (including physical suffering) that You don't give the grace to endure. Nothing. Thank You.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wanted: Peace and Healing

I am afraid right now and I need God's peace. I have had pain in my right foot and now it's in the left, pain that I started noticing around Thanksgiving. When it got really bad a month ago, I went to Patient First where the doctor diagnosed plantar fasciitis. She recommended icing my foot every morning after doing heel stretches, taking ibuprofen as needed, investing in well-cushioned tennis shoes, wearing heels, and getting physical therapy. I asked her if it would resolve, and she said "yes, but it could take awhile--six or eight weeks is normal." That was January 3rd, and I was already six weeks into it.

Right after bladder surgery on January 7th, I was on Lortabs which were so "good" I couldn't feel my foot pain, so I thought the rest I'd been getting was the cure. Wrong. It simply masked the pain, and perhaps I did worse damage.

Getting out of bed I can hardly walk to the bathroom each morning. I do the stretches before making breakfast or packing lunches;otherwise I can't stand in the kitchen. Then I lay on the couch reading my Bible while I rest my feet on a bag of frozen corn wrapped in a dish towel. Then I take a shower, do my hair and make-up and put on my heels. You can't wear heels w/o make-up, of course, so at least I loook better these days though I feel worse! You should see me. Or rather, don't, because it could also mean you see the sweatpants with heels, which--as I told Leanne--makes me not a fashion statement but a fashion question. I try not to take meds because if I fear the liver damage of taking them as often as I feel pain. Sometimes I look from one end of the house to the other and I may as well be seeing the Grand Canyon. Can I really walk from here to there? Today I had a friend, Lauren, over at 1:00, for the very first time. Knowing she was coming, plus the beautiful warm air blowing in through OPEN windows today, I was able to dust, vacuum, windex, clean a bathroom, do the dishes, fix lunch, and arrange some flowers with minimal pain. Was that the grace of God or the fear of man (woman)? Sometimes the lines between the two are blurred.

Anway, physical therapy is my next resort. I dread the inconvenience of trying to fit that into my week, but I lay here fantasizing that someone's rubbing my feet.

What I am afraid of is that this pain is not plantar fasciitis but diabetic nerve pain. In that case, the pain gets worse, not better. I'm not just in pain, my ankle muscles are weak. I go down stairs taking baby steps.

I am afraid to face this disease. My grandmother had it, my mom has it. I"m afraid of going blind, of losing a foot, of being comatose and all alone when it happens. My thoughts run the gamut and it's debilitating. It's not cancer, it's not MS, and it's not Alzheimer's. Those are my greatest fears.

I have asked for prayer at care group. I have sobbed, "ABba , Father, heal me!" and yet He has not chosen, so far, to do so. My faith is as weak as my ankles, my fear as great as my pain right now. Please pray for the reverse: that my faith would be made strong, that my heart will be at peace.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Reflecting on a Life Well Lived

We celebrated the life and mourned the death of a precious brother in our church today. His name was Roger Pryor. A gentle man with pensive eyes, a broad smile and well-groomed moustache, he always wore a cardigan sweater once the weather turned cold. When Paul and I came to Chesapeake in 1995 from a church where we had shriveled up spiritually, we were parched and hurt. The care group Roger led at Skip and Kim Chase's house was our first introduction to the love of Chesapeake. I knew from our first evening there that we belonged.

Over the course of a few years, we also had a chance to receive some godly counsel from Roger "up close and personal." I told his wife, Debbie, something I remembered learning from him was hard but sweet. That lesson was, What happened to the wicked servant who would not forgive after receiving forgiveness? I always thought he was thrown in jail. No, his soul was turned over to the tormenters. I have experienced such torment of soul many times for my refusal to forgive. Jail is better than that.

The other lesson was easy and sweet: the Greek word koinonaeia in plain English. "Biblical fellowship is not coffee and donuts," Roger explained one night. Oh, maaaan, you just ruined my day by telling me that! No, it can include coffee and donuts, but it MUST include Jesus. Christians standing around talking about sports, family, finances, or even about the church--is not biblical fellowship. We often call it that, but that's simply Christians socializing. Talking scripture, sharing a testimony, relating how God has answered prayer--such things as these constitute biblical fellowship.

Jim Cannon, our pastor, did a beautiful and eloquent job of honoring Roger, a friend of his for over 20 years. One thing he mentioned was Roger's love of cars. I would have listened to him talk on and on about cars, had I known he was a fanatic about them. Maybe he thought no woman would appreciate that subject, but had I known, I would've abandoned the women's circles to listen in on the men's conversation. (I often enjoy men's little chats more than women's , anyway, probably because they are different from ours. )

Abby sang in her usual, glorious "country angel" voice I call it. Cherubic, soulful, with a hint of Nashville. I don't know how she got through the song. Yes, I do: Grace! It was a new song I can't wait to learn, something about sovereign arms.

Gary Bull, a friend of ours since Paul's single days, gave a tribute to Roger. He said Roger had mentored him on topics of marriage, devotional life, spiritual gifts. He often encouraged Gary to pray that God would stir up his prophetic giftings to bless the church. Gary has done that, and God has blessed us many times. Gary's word pictures are always vivid, his speech articulate, and the message specific--a very effective combination. I always look forward to Gary's prophetic words even if I don't sense they're for me.

Donny Gill gave a poignant tribute infused with humor. He stressed how Roger loved God's Word and was a diligent student of it. As Donny recalled, "Roger never asked 'What does this scripture say to you?" That doesn't really matter. It's "what is this scripture saying?'" (Lest that sound dogmatic, as I once thought, please understand that it was meant with complete humility. Our interpretation may or may not be correct, but the bible is always correct. We simply have to find out what it means; we have to rightly handle the word of truth. )

A terrific slide show was presented. Funny, moving, upbeat, sobering, all at once. And the song by Sara Groves (the only one of hers I personally care for) "He's Always Been Faithful to Me."
To see Roger as a young boy, to know that he had a rocky young adulthood, a soldier in the US Army, to hear his son recall as a memory the unmistakable change he saw in his dad when Roger received salvation, to know Roger as a leader, a church administrator, an intense bibliophile,a sufferer of cancer....God was always faithful to him. To hear Jim read from Roger's journal from the past couple of months, thanking God for the cancer! He wrote, "thank You, Lord, for removing the distractions of the world from me.....May my testimony be that I trusted You."

How privileged I am to have known Roger, to have been part of his care group, to have seen how an overworked, underpaid church administrator serves without complaining, to have witnessed a man cherishing his wife and praying for his adult children, these are all a part of his legacy. As Jim clearly distinguished, "An inheritance is what someone leaves to you. A legacy is what someone leaves in you."

Thank you, God, that you created Roger for Your good pleasure and for Your glory. He was an excellent steward of both Your inheritance and Your legacy! I will miss him.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I could use some right now. Actually, I'm ready to pack my suitcase (again) and leave home. You think life with toddlers is hard, try living with young adults. I don't remember signing up for persecution when I conceived my firstborn, but ya know, some things in life are free.

But I digress.

Flowers really pick me up. They're not just bundles of overpriced, dying petals. To me, flowers tell me that God loves me. With a word, He spoke them all into being. Big ones, little ones, red,yellow, pink, purple, blue, and white ones in a bed of greens. Flowers that the human eye loves to see. Flowers that human eyes have never seen. Dainty ones that hug the woodland forest. Humongous ones that end up in parades and presidential cavalcades. Some smell wonderful; some are more for show. I'm not picky, I'd just like to see more of them.

In my house.

I wish I didn't have to write it on a list. Sometimes not even that has worked. He's remembered the bread, milk, eggs, and toilet paper, but where are the flowers? If I could afford a TV ad on SuperBowl Sunday, it would not be at halftime. It would be smack in the middle of the third down of the first quarter, and every third down from there on out. The ad would say, "Hey, didja remember the flowers or just the chips?"

But I digress. Again.

Flowers mean more to me than I can put in words. I used to apologize for this passion, as if I was just being silly and frivolous. But, does God make silly, frivolous things? No. And does not the Bible say that "for His pleasure ALL things were created?"

Therefore, today, I will dream of my next bouquet on the table. Last week's roses wilted and ended up exactly in the same place as last night's peas. But, oh, how I adored them (the flowers, not the peas) and told my husband how good they make me feel.

Cared for. Cheered. Romanced.

I shall thank God again for flowers, because, like all other lives, they bloom and provide a beauty all their own, if only for a short time.

One bouquet of flowers in exchange for a cartload of SuperBowl grub. That's not too much to ask, is it? No.

Too much to expect? Hahahahahahahahahaahahha (she laughs cynically).