Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sharing a HUGE praise!....

Early this morning, our dil emailed us to pray for our son Tommy. He was in bed and really sick. Tommy has probably not spent an hour in bed during his waking hours in his entire life, he is the 'energizer bunny'. So we immediately were on high alert.

He had gone to the Texas Rangers game yesterday and was miserable. They were asking us to pray, and taking him to the clinic in their small town (the one they recently moved to) as soon as it opened.

Long story short... the clinic sent him to the big hospital in Tyler and right away suspected he had the West Nile Virus.

He called me from his cell phone a little while ago. They were giving him an IV and he does have the Virus, but because he is young, in great shape, and caught it early, it looks like he is going home tonight and should be feeling better in a few days.

This has been a loooong day, with many prayers raised. You know how fast we can think of the very worst case scenarios. I am so thankful that this has such a happy ending. All day long, as I prayed, I have also known that God is in control. That peace is priceless.

Thanking God, and on the lookout for mosquitoes! :)

(This is Tommy and Dedra and the kids in front of their new home, WITH LOTS OF TREES, so lots of bugs too...)

Monday, August 20, 2012

My mother's cabin...

When my mother was born in Tromso, Norway, it was very common for families to have a 'summer cabin'. Her family did, and they all enjoyed it for many years.

When she met and married my dad, and came to America, she had a dream of having their own cabin. Money was tight, and it would have to be God's provision if it happened.

Her persistence in praying that cabin into being was unlimited.
She prayed for many many years. Her dream finally came true. They were able to build a small cabin up in Salem, Oregon, where my sister lives. The Pacific Northwest always reminded her of Norway, and she loved it.

The cabin was Norwegian in every way except the grass, which did NOT grow on the roof, as hers had in Norway.The inside was nothing less than charming. The cabin was painted red, and the inside was decorated in red, yellow and blue... so Scandinavian. They had a little red-orange fireplace over in one corner, it warmed the whole cabin in the winter months.

Her dream came about because she persisted in praying it through. She always said 'if God is not in it, then I don't want it, but if He does want me to have it, I trust He will do it.'...

He did!

For years our whole family went to 'the cabin' in Oregon, and had incredible fun year after year.

What I'm thinking of today, is her persistence in prayer, the simple prayer of her heart, and the willingness for God's answer. She kept praying, and if she didn't see that her prayer was wrong... she persisted!

A lesson I carry with me to this very day.

I don't want to be guilty of giving up on the prayers and dreams of my heart unless God says no, so I am persisting in prayer for the answers of my own heart prayers.

You can too.

Photo courtesy of Google, from Norway... not my mother's cabin, but looks just like it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It's in the air... those final days of summer coming to a close, and the beginning of the school year again.

I used to measure our years when our 3 kids were growing up, by vacations, especially summer, and then school starting after September 1.

It comes sooner these days, many of our kids starting in August, in the middle of the heat in Texas.

Summer vacation used to signal a letting down on all the activities and schedules. We all felt it. It was a time to relax a little, and enjoy the leisure mornings of no alarm clock and lunches still to be made, as well as homework to be turned in. Time for swimming, playtime, and even an occasional family trip.

And then, every summer... by the middle of August, parents were more than ready for a schedule again! All the projects we thought we would get done during the summmer months, had now piled up, and very little of it ever got finished. (On that note, the albums for each child are still in bins in the garage! Now they are working on their own kids albums...)

We had gotten pretty lax and probably needed it, both parents and kids.

That's the way it is... as it was with our family, and probably yours. We go on full steam for a long time, and then we need a break. I sure do. Even if it's just for a few days to go and visit the kids, or plan something special and different, a day trip or an overnight for a few days. That break seems to charge my batteries again.

Here's how Jesus did it...

He went aside and prayed, took time alone with His Father, and re-charged his own batteries. He knew with clear focus exactly what He needed.

In every phase of life, spiritual, physical, family, and just my own schedule, I need to be re-charged. Oh how I long to take Jesus and His example to heart, and make my 'alone time', to be filled with more of Him, not merely filled up with the things of life that quickly grab our attention and fill our days so easily.

I need my re-charging to be filled up with His strength, strength for each new day, enthusiasm for walking the journey of faith that we are called to...

Do you feel the same need?

Friday, August 10, 2012


Occasionally a word makes me stop and mull. Today it is COMFORTABLE. Am I?? Are you??

What brought it to mind this morning was a song I was listening to on the radio... "All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong".

Sometimes I know that I fall easily into being far too comfortable in this world. I'm talking about the things around us that we get so used to seeing and hearing, that used to make us uncomfortable as Christians. It should raise a red flag when that happens. It's what I think of as the numbing of our hearts and minds. There's an awful lot around us that is labeled 'tolerable', things that should not be tolerable.

My standard as God's child should both question and be concerned at some of these things. It seems today that WE are the ones who are made to feel odd and extreme, when we don't go with the flow of what is 'in' and 'acceptable'.

Does that mean I am not to enjoy this world I live in? Not at all! I am a lover of life, God gave it to me. He created all things for us to enjoy. But there are limits, just as there were for Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. When the things that used to make me squirm don't do it anymore... it's time for a heart check!

It could be as simple as a book or a movie, or a joke told in front of a crowd that laughs when we know it's not really the right kind of funny. Or it could be much bigger, the very values and truths that God has taught us in His Word. They are not always popular in today's world, as you know.

I've blogged about other words... balance, and mediocrity, so I think this is a message that God means for me to walk in and share. You know how He does those kinds of things in our lives, right? The way we GET certain truths, that nudge us in our spirit, that says stop, or stand up, or speak a word.

So... COMFORTABLE can be just fine, God's way. But it can also be a yellow caution sign that says 'am I too comfortable' with things that I should be squirming over?

I love the hammock, the picture takes me right to the beach, listening to the waves in the background.

It also tends to make me fall asleep.

Too much time in the hammock can lull me right into being too comfortable. There is a time for comfortable, and a time to roll right off of the hammock and get back to it!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Go back with me a few (!) years to my 10th grade school year. I went to a private christian school all the way across the country from where we lived, by train, to Florida..

Most of my classmates were preachers kids or missionaries kids... PK's and MK's. I was a PK...

This school had been started some years before by the DuBose family, a staunch old line Presbyterian family, who purchased the estate on the lake. It had at one time been a beautiful and private school for girls.

The 3 kids in my family each spent at least one year at Hampden BuBose Academy.

It was a strict school!

It also was a year of many special memories, fun, growth, homesickness and so much more. I spent the Christmas vacation there, as there was no money to fly home. Christmas at H.D.A. was magical. We went by busloads into Orlando, and caroled for nursing homes and churches. One of the stores in Orlando gave a gift of a complete outfit for each student who stayed at the school during Christmas. The boxes under the tree were huge, and it took forever to open everything. We were all so excited! The kitchen preparations were absolutely a ball! We hand scalloped each orange with fluted edges to hold the fresh fruit salad. Pies by the dozens were put together, and turkeys stuffed and roasted, all by the students and faculty. We laughed and sang our way through Christmas vacation!

On Saturday nights, the whole student body hiked up the trail to our campfire. We played games and had more rounds of singing, smores, hot dogs and burgers. It's where I learned to love cole slaw on a hot dog.

Every day we had chapel. The speakers who came by through the year were amazing. Billy Graham's daughter GiGi was my sister's roomate while she was there, and the best speakers in the world were guests at our chapel services. I know I shared that Elizabeth Elliott's younger brother was a senior during my time there, and it was that year that Elizabeth's husband Jim, was murdered by the Auca Indians. I still remember getting the news in chapel that day.

Long story short... the thing that caught my attention today, was this real estate video on You Tube, which the alumni email included this week.

This was my 'dorm'... it has been remodeled to some extent, but the basics are the same. It is now for sale, it still makes me feel like a 10th grader as I view the pictures and reccall the memories of those days.

If I had a 'few million' extra dollars... wouldn't it be fun to buy this place!

On that very lake in the background, one of my good friends water skiied right up and over the back of a crocodile. We swam there every day and never saw another one, but they have it on video and it actually happened.

On Sunday, after our church services on campus, families of local students came and we ate chicken ala something on the sloping lawns that fronted the lake. The little flying gnats were so common in Florida, that we all poured big amounts of black pepper on our chicken so we couldn't tell which kind of protein we were eating!

We sang at H.D.A., EVERYONE sang, in chapel, in concerts, and all over the grounds as we worked and did gardening, cooking, serving food, etc. I have never before or since heard such singing. The roof almost came off during chapel worship. We did an Easter sunrise cantata right on the shores of our lake for all of the surrounding communities to attend. It always ended with The Hallelujah Chorus.

My thoughts are drifting back to Zellwood, Florida this afternoon, and I've enjoyed remembering...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicken never tasted so good!...

It's 104 degrees and I just returned from Chick fil-a at 3 in the afternoon. The line at our local drive through was about 4 blocks long.

I don't usually eat fried chicken, but today, it tastes divine! I almost got choked up when I saw the young and the old, streaming through the doors in support of marriage the way God designed it to be. The manager said it had been this way all day and that this was actually a slow time compared to the rest of the day!

Honestly, I think it has given good decent Americans an opportunity to stand up and say... enough! Don't tell us to change God's design, we are NOT in agreement. I'm not usually a soap box preacher, but today I eat my chicken, and I believe it is with God's blessing! :)