Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'Great American'... reposting some old ones this summer...

Some years ago when we lived in Austin, Texas, my husband had left the corporate business world and we headed into our own publishing business. At the same time, his ongoing love for antiques, particularly the kind that men collect, the early west expansion, gold mining, etc. , made it a natural to have a small antique shop, as we published a book on the subject.
We found the perfect location!

On the highway south of Austin, a red and white 2 story building with the flag flying out front. We named the whole thing Great American, and the real breakdown of that was...

The lower floor was Great American Antiques...

The upstairs was Great American Publishing...
When the phone rang and they asked for the marketing department for our recently first published book... I put them on hold and ran upstairs to tell my hubby there was a call for the 'publishing business'. :)

I designed this little business card, which perfectly pictured our building and have saved it all these years.
We had some good days in that little building. The school bus even dropped our kids off there on their way home from school. When we published the first book, we casually saw (anxiously waited for) the mail truck outside the window and walked (ran!) to see how many orders were in the box. This was also the little office where we published Charlie Schreiner's book on the 100 year anniversary of his YO Ranch in Kerrville. We have a copy of the book he gave us, bound in longhorn hide which sits in my hubby's office.
It was in Austin where we met
Charles Harrelson, and he and Joe walked across the highway and sat with their coffee in Dairy Queen as they talked about life, and he shared PART of who he was. The rest we found out later...

More chapters from the journey. All 3 of our kids were baptized in Austin. My dad flew in from California and joined our pastor in the baptism. These were 3 kids whose salvation and baptism we wanted 'signed, sealed and delivered!'...

Austin, Texas was a good chapter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family supper fun...

When we were growing up, we always had family devotions, usually at the supper table. Of all the memories of those times together, this one sticks WAY out in my mind ...

To hold our attention, he tried lots of things. Dad was a preacher, and he could preach at length when he got wound up, so my mom was always trying to get him to shorten the version so we 3 kids wouldn't glaze over or get bored.

When she did that, she always spoke in Norwegian to him... (she was born in Norway and they met as he preached over there many years earlier)... and when she spoke to him in Norwegian, our ears always perked up! (Usually, either one of us was in trouble, or they were talking about Christmas gifts we were not supposed to know about.)

One of those times he decided to play a game with the scripture he was reading. He read a portion of a verse, always in the King James in those days, and gave us the letter to a keyword and we would chime right in, hollering to outdo each other, with the correct word. For instance, "For God so "L" the world...

This day, the passage was in Matthew 3.

Verse 12 says...'Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.'

Dad headed right into the game without seeing what was ahead, and said with a pleased look...

"And He will thoroughly "P" his floor"...

At which point, the 3 us us shrieked with laughter and dad was busted!... He looked at my mom and they began to laugh till they were almost crying. And so did we.

Funny thing, I know how much wonderful scripture and words we got around that chrome and vinyl breakfast table through the years, but the Matthew verse is the one I have never forgotten.

I'm sitting here with a huge grin on my face. I've re-lived that moment 100 times and it never fails to make me laugh! The 3 of us still say it to each other after all these years.

I've always known that God both understood that scene, and was laughing right along with us.

(image courtesy of Google)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Young voices...

This morning we went north about 45 minutes to our daughter and sil's church, to see the graduating senior class take charge of the 3 worship services.

Deja Vu may not be the best choice of words, but you'll know what I mean...

Our daughter sat on the front row of their large auditorium, we were right behind her. She has lived, loved and worked with the kids who were graduating. 2 of our grandkids were a part of the service, the third one sat with us and watched, their time is still a few years away.

The deja vu part is... my daughter is now doing what I was doing just a few short years ago. She sat there, involved with all of it, just as I did in another church with her.

That's how fast life goes.

I wish I had a recording of the tesimonies of those seniors. Each one who shared, knew who they were, and knew who they served. As they head into their first college year, many of them already know they will one day be on the mission field or in ministry, the rest have their eyes focused on whatever God leads them to. They were expressive, bubbly, smart and determined.

The chapters of life... how rewarding it was to see these kids, entering this new chapter, sure footed and firm in their faith.

It was also a blessing to see our own kids and their kids, serving, growing and following Jesus. Our grandkids aren't seniors yet, but they were all involved today, and when their senior year comes, I pray that their feet will continue down the sure path they've already chosen.

A few more of those joys that have no price tags!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

3 moves equals one fire...

Benjamin Franklin said this many years ago.

He was right.

Our youngest son and his family are in the process of a big move... I was over there today and Dedra and I were simply labeling, listing and deciding what they should do with things on the walls and things on shelves.

They have recently bought a business in another city. and are in the process of transition.

Moving reminds me of how much we 'pick up along the way' that we end up getting rid of or packing away for another day.

While it is a real job, there are some lessons in all of this for us spiritually...

When God moves us into a new place, there is nearly always old baggage to sort out and get rid of. The moving process involves change, and that usually comes with re-evaluation of old things, and sorting through what stays and what goes.

Some of our 'stuff' has simply gotten old, lots of it we never needed in the first place.

Some of the baggage we hold onto probably should have been thrown out long ago.

Any new chapter God brings us to includes changes for us.

Like Dedra and I yesterday, moving both physically and spiritually causes us to examine, change, reject or accept both the old and the new... motivating us to think and re-think many things, in our homes and in our lives.

I've never seen God lead me backwards. I've many times questioned if that was what He was doing, but His plans and ways are so different than how it looks to me. So if you feel you are stuck or moving in the wrong direction, hang on to the promises... all of your current situations will be useful for bigger purposes a little further down the road.

On the bright side... a move, or a 'letting go of' and moving forward is also a really good thing. We lighten our load, and make fresh starts, and open new chapters.

I like that!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mom's of all ages...

Every store I was in this week seemed to have a crowd around the card section, and the signs advertising gifts for mother's were everywhere I looked.

I feel it every year... the loss of my own mother. I can't get her a card or a gift anymore, and I will always be reminded in an extra special way on Mother's Day.
But I know she is spending Mother's Day in heaven, and that makes it all okay.

What I also know is that there are some young mother's in my life who are making their mark on the next generation, and on my heart.

So to Carole,
and now Molly...

I am so thankful for each one of you, for what you mean to me, and for the gifts that each of you have given and will continue to give, to your own children...

Courtney, Cassidy, Gage, Lainey, Avery, Crew and Gracie...


I love you all!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Too much talking...

I was recently talking with someone about a 'situation'...

It was one of those things where there is honest concern, but it began to get into too many words, and details were discussed, with real emotion.

God convicted me about too much conversation.

Sometimes what begins as honest concern and maybe even requests for prayer, can slip into gossip before we know it. Our spirits get ruffled and upset, and the main focus loses it's way.

I felt His red flag in my heart.

Here is the thought He gave me...

If there were no one on earth to talk to about this matter... would I be enough?

Sometimes His direct thought to the heart is as clear as a bell.

I got it.

Often in our concern, and desire for things to be fixed... we can so easily get side tracked, bogged down by details and the need for solutions, and discussions become 'too much talking'...

I needed to pause, and remember that all of our concerns and desires are known to God... and when I put it back into His hands, peace was restored.

I can't manufacture that peace on my own... I've tried... it doesn't happen. I do my best to FIX things that were never mine to fix.

The concerns may still be there, but they are now in His hands.

One more thing I am learning... some days I wish the learning would happen one time, and it would never have to be learned again.

When I sense Him gently correcting and instructing me... I am much quicker to listen and change it. Isn't that just like a child... through experience, they learn to 'get it' more quickly.

I'm so glad He is patient with His children.

One more memory...

Growing up in Pasadena, California...

I seem to be stuck on a 'memory mode' button, so here is one more...

270 South Parkwood...

This is where I spent my younger childhood years. It was a cute little 3 bedroom California mission style house... with ONE bathroom!

I think we bought it for $12,000 dollars and I looked on the internet recently and saw that it had sold a few years ago for $850,000!!! Unbelievable! It's still the same small house. I saw it on one of those web sites that pictures your address.

While I can't imagine one bathroom in these days, it seemed to work fine for us then. And it wasn't a big bathroom. It looked like the one in this picture, and the girls remind me of my sister and I.

I don't remember a lot of banging on the door and yelling for someone else to hurry up. Was I just kinder and more patient back then? I don't think so! Maybe we weren't as consumed with how we looked, or we were too busy playing outside to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.

Have I become much more vain in the grown up years?? I NEED my space, and my mirror and my tubes, jars and brushes!!! I tell my husband that my face is like a fresh palette every morning, waiting to be painted. That 'paint' is important, or maybe it's the LACK of that paint that's the real issue!

We had so much fun in that small house. We lived 3 blocks from the Rose Parade route, and early on New Years Day, we carried our ladders and boards with our dad, and got our 'spot' on the parade route. The 3 of us sat on the board which was held by the 2 ladders and our view was perfect!

We had a huge backyard in that little house, with fruit trees, flowers and plenty of places to play. I even planted corn one year in my attempt to try 'farming'... it died while we traveled that summer.

I love life. I always seem to have fun, and there are so many different chapters that fill our lives these days. But once in awhile, I find myself thinking of 270 South Parkwood...

It was a simpler time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

SYcamore 36778...

SYcamore 36778, that was our phone number ... the olive green, round finger dial phone in the dining room, and it's pinkish beige twin that sat on my dad's desk.

I have never forgotten that phone number... I forget other things, currents things, IMPORTANT things all the time, but not SY 36778.

Our grandkids laugh when they see pictures of that phone.

Can you believe how fast things have changed during these past 50 years?

When I was growing up, I remember:

... Being the last house in the neighborhood to have a real black and white TV. We watched B-westerns after school. It was a miracle!

... The big console radio in the living room, where we 3 kids plopped down on the floor on Sunday morning and listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing hymns before we headed to our own sunday school and church.

... Safe neighborhoods... we played outside for long hours, baseball, red light- green light, mother may I... and never had a concern about our safety.

... There were no computers or video games or fancy wireless music piped into everything.

Times have changed, in my lifetime.

Some of it is exciting and it has opened us up to the whole world in ways we could never have dreamed as kids.


Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever!

The one thing we need to know is never going to change... never changes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

If I didn't know better...

If I didn't know better, there are many times when I am tempted to think...

God must get so tired of my knocking, asking, pleading prayers.

If I didn't know better.

The truth is that He never gets tired of hearing my prayers.

He probably gets more than a little weary of the whining ones, and the pitiful pleas for help when I don't know how to even voice my heart...

but He never gets tired of hearing from me.

And the thing that happens when I voice ALL of it to Him, is so amazing. He hears, He listens, and He does His thing in the middle of my prayers. Sometimes He corrects and changes even the prayers themselves.

I've prayed many prayers that God has re-directed. He changes my heart, my focus and speaks His truth into the very prayer I am praying.

Often it happens right away, when He taps me on the heart and reminds me of truth... sometimes it happens gradually, when an attitude or situation needs to be yielded more fully to hear His answer.

Sometimes it's an answer I don't want to hear at all. That is when the prayer becomes something I didn't see, didn't want to see, or couldn't accept when I began praying.

If I could play back a recording of my prayers, it would sound like a reflection of my heart.

That's what it is.

Sometimes the tune is joyful and full of praise, sometimes it's a cry of desperation, or a very detailed complaint about something, but stack all of them on top of each other, and they are the voice of my heart, and if I didn't know better, I would think that God would tire of the whole messy pile.

If I didn't know better.

But I DO know better, and it's because DO know better that I know He understands my heart. He takes the whole thing, and shapes and changes it...

And in the process, He changes me.

One of the great advantages of growing in the Lord through the years, is the ability to see the history of His faithfulness.

I'm not the same as I used to be, even my prayers are not the same, and both my life, and my prayers are moving forward on God's learning curve for my life. I'm sure that His desire would be for me to move more quickly and to learn His ways without repreat lessons, nevertheless...

He is always there, and the journey continues... I am asking, seeking and finding, and the door is always open.

Luke 11:9-10
"Here's what I'm saying: Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the door will open.