Monthly Archives: June 2010

Golden Anniversary

My parents came to town to celebrate their
Golden Anniversary.
50 years.
That’s a lotta years.
That’s a lotta anniversaries to remember.
Good thing it is always on the same day,
huh, Dad?
On our way out the door,
my hubby grabbed my camera outta my hands.
I have to admit,
sometimes I am NOT a good sharer.

However, I was enjoying the generational power shift,
as I bossed my parents around for a few minutes.
 
My Dad was sticking his tongue out,
and mom has a tendency to shut her eyes.
Other than that,  I was thinking
“WOW!  They look great!
And these are MY parents!”
Caught in action.
I was impressing upon my husband the need to have
really GOOD pictures,
not just a slew of awkward pictures,
because he had an itchy trigger finger
and my camera was on the continuous shooting mode.
Not sure if they were laughing when my
high heels plunged into the soft grass and I lost my balance,
or when I was fussing at my husband
about awesome pictures,
but, this is my favorite shot.
I love that my parents love each other.
I love that they have loved one another
for more than five decades,
more than fifty years,
more than 600 months,
more than 2,600 weeks,
more than 18,250 hours,
more than 26,280,000 minutes.
Like many their generation,
Mom and Dad didn’t have studio portraits taken
to document the accumulating years.
They were too busy trying to keep six growing kids
fed and clothed.
I was pleased with the pictures,
but found it to be a small tribute to such
a wonderful accomplishment.
That’s amazing.
That’s incredible.
That’s my parents.
Glad I kept them,
they’re keepers.

Time for Tea?

Ingredients for a summer Tea Party:

vintage tablecloth,
glass dishes,
peppermint tea,
sweet and salty morsels,
one  very well-dressed,
well-mannered young lady,
one Mommy willing to
stop what she is doing,
and do what
really needs to be done.
When the kids were younger,
we did what we called
“One Fun Thing A Day.”
To keep the routine of chores and school
from overwhelming us,
we planned to make time each day for something fun.
Play-doh
making a fort
finger-painting
crafts
Our summer routine usually find us
working in the morning
and playing in the afternoon.
I have to admit,
it is hard to make myself play these days.
I’ve had seasons where lack of health and stamina
kept me from really
cleaning the way I wanted to cleaning,
organizing the way I wanted to organize,
and decorating the way I want to decorate.
When I have a season of good health,
I don’t want to waste it,
so I try to work really, really hard.
I want to get my house and life back in order.
I am thankful to have a little girl,
who reminds me
what’s really important in life.
I always need to make
time for tea.

Lists, Lists and More Lists

Another Monday.

Another week stretching out with too many things demanding my attention.  It always makes me wonder how I accomplish anything during the school year with homeschooling daily breathing down my neck.

My first order of business will be to find and compile all my To Do Lists from the past week in my Summer Binder and on my computer. I am getting a lot done, but I am not always efficient – YET.

I jotted one list  down on on a small pad of paper in my Bible,  

three lists on sheets of lined paper
 on a clipboard next to my bed,

five pages on my desk
 that I scribbled on when  at my computer,
and another list for those urgent things
that popped into my head first thing this  morning.
Oh yea, then there is the task box in my Outlook.
See all the little red squares on the bottom right of the screen?
Yea, those things are DONE, baby.
My plan for organizing the lists:
 
Long-term lists –  These items are high-faluting goals, like painting rooms, sewing curtains, fixing things, ordering books, things that need or should be done in the next six months, but there isn’t any urgency.
They can be written out according to rooms and subjects, just beautiful inspirational lists of aspirations.
If I need to yearly track the list and accomplishments, like when planning Daily Vacation Bible School, I love to use OneNote, my favorite Microsoft product of all time.
If I just want to cross off the things and throw the lists away, I write them on paper.  My summer binder  will also include lists  for planning  our family vacation and our trip to Bible Camp.   In turn, these are divided into To Do, To Pack and To Buy segments. 
Weekly lists –  Overall view of weekly obligations.   I use my Outlook Calendar (see pic above) program faithfully, listing all baseball in blue, appointments in orange, company in teal and traveling in lavender, etc.  The calendars can also be printed and posted on fridge or in binder if I need to make it available to everyone.
Daily lists- Just so I remember to do little things and keep priorities straight.  Monday is laundry day, that goes without saying, so I don’t even write it down, unless I have that undeniable urge to write it down just to cross it off. As I read my Bible in the morning and have those two cups of coffee, I am always prompted about little needs, like

-Does Jon need another teeth cleaning?

-Oh, I need to sent a card to my niece.
Sometimes I put so many things on a daily list, it automatically becomes a weekly list. That’s OK!

Don’t Do List – I am giving myself permission to NOT tackle anything for homeschool this week. 

Our summer schedule is simple –
Morning – work
Afternoon – play

I usually get up much earlier than the kids because I cherish those golden silent moments and the ability to sometimes work on a project alone.  After they obey the Morning Rule – “get up, get dressed, make your bed” -they eat and we decide what needs to be conquered.  They usually aren’t allowed to clean their rooms during this time, that is expected to be done.  Mornings are Mommy Projects, extra things I need help with and skills that I am teaching them.

Lists should be a tool, not a torture.  We are not a slave to them. There are days I give myself permission to not even look at my lists, or have to cross anything off.  Somedays, I do a bunch of stuff that isn’t even on the list, and wasn’t ever going to be on the list.

I still want to be led by the Lord in how I spend my time and energy.  According to Proverbs 16, we plan,  but the Lord guides. I am embarrassed to say that sometimes I forget to pray over my lists. 

The lists are NOT to hang a noose around my neck, they are just to keep me from forgetting things that need to be done and keep me from wasting time. 

Plus, when they are on the counter, the kids might even go see what “needs to be crossed off” before we can go play.

I am hearing the sounds of summer, laugher and lawnmowing, and the sun is peeking through my curtains.

I’m gunna throw in a load of laundry, stack my lists on the Summer binder in the kitchen and grab another cup of coffee.

‘Cuz, I have another Monday to face.

*****
Follow me over to Nan’s Blog where she hosts
for more encouragement to start your new week.

MM Meditation – Are You Lonely?

I have been blessed by the writings of A.W. Tozer. 
I would encourage you to read his works, starting with The Pursuit of God.
The following excerpts are from a sermon
printed in its entirety at SermonIndex.Net.

*****
The Saint Must Walk aAlone
Most of the world’s great souls have been lonely.
Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.
In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man’s creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.
Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.
**
Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write treading His lonely way to the cross, His deep loneliness unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.
He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw.
**
The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise.
After all, he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul and who but God can walk there with him?
**
The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men.
His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk.
For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God.
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life’s summum bonum. (Latin for “highest good”)
*****
May you be blessed with true spiritual friendships, relationships that provide soul-stirring fellowship and the likemindedness that comes from believers obeying the same Bible and adoring the same Savior.

Jana Loves Her Daddy

To Daddy from Jana

 
Jana was four years old, and her portrait is hilarious.
The hair is accurate, but we always laughed about the spoon.
 We also love his knees.
Maybe because that is the height she was at the time,
that is what she was seeing.
Read on to see how her vision of her Daddy
changed over the years.
*****
To Daddy from Jana

Being the oldest isn’t always the funnest role in the family,
especially the oldest girl.
My Dad and I fought many battles growing up…
Jeans below the belly button? *gasp* NO WAY!
Eyeliner? “It will just make you look goth.”

Having an opinionated girl was all new territory for everyone.
I didn’t know how to be a teenager and
Dad was trying to figure out how to relate to me!
Dad teases me quite often with words that I said when I was little,

“Me do myself.”

Those three words pretty much sum me up.

There’s one word that sums my Dad up –

LOVE.
Looking back over my life,
I see over and over again
 his demonstration of his love to me.
And not just the lovey-dovey love.

Love when it seems impossible to love someone.

Love when he wanted to rip my head off.

Love when his heart was breaking.

Love when my heart was breaking.

Love when he didn’t have any love left in him.

Unconditional love.
My attitude of “me do myself” gets me into trouble.
A lot.
But Dad stood,
 and continues to stand,
 by me.

He didn’t agree with paths I had chosen,
but he would continually show me love.

A text message. An email.

Constant little reminders he was never leaving me.

He gave me a glimpse of how the heavenly Father loves.

He taught me how I should love.

Love is action.

Dad’s actions speak louder
than anything he could ever say to me.
Except, when he says, “I love you with all my heart.”
I melt like a Popsicle on the 4th of July.

And now not only does my Dad continue to Love me,
he is loving on my husband and two kiddos.

What an answer to prayer!

If you know our story,
you know that Dad had to the right
 to pull out the shot gun.

Instead, he opened his big heart,
(how does he still have so much room after me?)
 and his arms, and welcomed Aaron in.

I know it was hard for him.
I could see it in his eyes and graying hair.

But underneath,
I saw his Love starting to pour out.
I saw our Heavenly Father shining through Dad,
helping him love.
Dad’s love has supported me and
helped me grow into the young lady I am today.

I know it wasn’t easy but he really has let “Me do Myself.”

He showed me how to turn that into something good.

Now I want, “Me do together with the Lord.”

He has taught me how to forgive.

He has taught me how to reach people.

He has taught me how to be a witness.

He has taught me how to live out a life of love.

He has taught me how to show love to my family.

He taught me how to love by loving me with All His Heart.

Dad, I love you with all my heart.

*****
Read the other love letters to Daddy by
Rebekah
Bethany
Grace

Grace Loves Her Daddy

To Daddy from Grace
*****
Dear Dad,

Father’s Day is ridiculous
I think we should spend everyday celebrating you,
not just one day every year.
But since it only comes once a year,
today is a special day.  
I want you to know that I feel sorry for all the girls out there
who don’t have you for a father.
You have taught me so many things,
and I know I can always look to you for advice
or money..hehe.
You are always willing to give a hand when I’m in trouble,
and I appreciate that.
I think my favorite memory of us is when I was younger
you would take me on a date to get your hair cut Saturday mornings,
and afterwards you would take me out to breakfast.
Just a few of the many things you have taught me are:
 to love the Bible,
make eggs the ‘right’ way,
the correct position for my arms while running,
 and to love Duke University’s basketball team.

You are truly a man of God and a great father,
and I am so blessed to be your daughter.
I love you, Grace
Happy Father’s Day!

Bethany Loves Her Daddy

   To Dad from Bethany
 

The love that a father has towards his children is one of the most precious things that can be portrayed. In the Bible we have pictures of Abraham and his son Isaac, Jacob and his son Joseph, and many others. But the most beautiful ones we see is the Heavenly Father and his Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. Those are some pretty incredible examples of a Father’s love. A couple of verses that were brought to my mind were in Romans 8:14-17.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God. For they have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry ‘Abba Father.’ The Spirit itself shall bear witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if Children, and joint heirs with Christ; it so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together.”

How beautiful it is that those of us who have trusted to Lord as Savior to be our Redeemer have the privilege to call The Heavenly Father Our Heavenly Father. I am so thankful and privileged to have an earthly father who loves the Lord with all his heart. It is because of his godly influence in my life that I can have a closer walk with my Father who is in heaven.

The guidance of a father is a beautiful thing.
It is even more beautiful when that guidance is given
through thoughtful prayer and communion with the Father above.
I love you, Daddy
Happy Father’s Day