Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot


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There’s a heat wave across much of the west and Portland is no exception.  It was 94° here today with higher temps to come over the weekend.

I don’t like heat.  I have no idea how I ever survived almost 17 years living in the desert.  NO IDEA.  No one except my mother felt sorry for me when I complained shared how hot it was.  I’m thinking back on it now and I am sure when I talked to my NW friends, I mentioned the temperature to a completely annoying degree – I’m so sorry!    I think my hot flashes now are to remind me to pray for my friends who live in the desert.

I know… some of you wouldn’t think of living in the gray, gloomy and damp NW.  But on a day like today?  I might be able to tempt you!   (I just noticed that the word 'temp' is hidden in 'tempt'.  It must mean something.)

I did check the temps in Palm Springs…  It was 117° and 119° 120° is the forecast for tomorrow.  I’m sorry but no one should be living there.  Would all of you please get out now before you disappear into the desert sand?  Come to my house and I’ll make you an iced latte.  With coffee ice cubes!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The sound of silence

Hello!  Remember me?  You’re very kind to visit here even though I haven’t shown up for a while.

Since Jeff came home over a week ago I’ve had two of my girls home as well and I have loved having a busy, people-filled house again!  Me, home alone for a month, is not a good thing.  But I've already told you that.

Blogging has taken a back seat – and I’m good with that! 

I’ll share a few books I’ve read lately and promise to get back to blogging a bit more regularly!


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Riding The Bus With My Sister
Rachel, a busy, accomplished writer accompanies her intellectually disabled sister for a year on her daily bus rides and discovers that her sister has found how pay attention to what really matters.


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The Whistling Season
This is the beautifully written story of a widowed farmer in the early 1900’s who hires a housekeeper via newspaper ad to help raise his three sons.  The characters are richly described and there are surprising twists and turns in this good novel.


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Rooms
My friend Karen loaned me this unique story set in Seattle and Cannon Beach, Oregon about the spiritual journey of a man facing the wounds of his past as God confronts him in the various rooms in a house representing his soul.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Long time gone



I am all done stalking Flight Tracker to see when my husband’s plane lands safely back in the US! 

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See that green line stretching from Ethiopia to the UAE over the North Pole to Seattle and then to Portland?  He’s been in Ethiopia for a month and I’m SO happy to have him back home with me. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I needed this


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Every once in a while you read a book and the story sticks in your thoughts for a long time.  The book may not have the same staying power with everyone but God has used it to tell you things that you didn’t even know you needed to hear.  I recently read a book like that – Joni & Ken - and its message has stayed with me, affecting how I think about marriage and about suffering.

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I first read Joni Eareckson’s story in the ‘70s.  Did you too?  I think every book in the 70's had that same font for its title.  Joni broke her neck in a diving accident as a teenager and she wrote of her struggle to accept her life as a quadriplegic.   Can you imagine facing that?  With God’s help, she found that He was able to use something incredibly devastating to reach out to people with love and compassion.  It’s an amazing story and even more amazing because of the huge ministry she has all over the world.  I'm afraid if it were me, I'd never leave the house.  But Joni shares honestly – no sugar-coating or hyper-spiritualizing – and I’ve been inspired by the way she has yielded to what God allowed in her life with very little if any bitterness. 

When I heard about this new book, I was interested to read about the man who married her over 30 years ago.  The subtitle intrigued me too: “An Untold Love Story”.  What kind of a guy would knowingly enter a life of caring for a quadriplegic wife?  What would that kind of marriage look like?

It was very humbling to read about the way Ken and Joni’s marriage actually reflects what Paul writes about marriage in Ephesians – love and respect.  Ken’s choice to serve Joni in the daily grind of emptying her ostomy pouch, lifting her, feeding her, being woken in the night to turn her over… even when it is the last thing he feels like doing, convicted me about my own attitude in serving.  Joni’s respect for her husband, for his need to have a break, have guy friends and activities, and to hear this respect expressed in words also resonated with me. 

Ken has discovered a very personal calling of God to be the one who does battle spiritually for his wife.  What I didn’t know was how much physical pain Joni has experienced – ongoing, relentless pain.  Not only had she endured the unimaginable loss of movement and feeling from the neck down, she had breast cancer.  Would I be feeling sorry for myself?  Would I want to go on living?  Can you even imagine the kinds of things you’d be battling against if these were your circumstances?  Depression.  Hopelessness.  Fear.  Anger.

The Enemy tries to keep this dynamic woman of God from her ministry of hope and value and love to many thousands.  Ken has committed himself to cover her in prayer, using the spiritual weapons we’ve been given to be the best help-mate he can be.  It changed his whole outlook on their marriage.  And I think that’s a beautiful picture of what marriage is all about. 

At the end of the book, Joni says “The more devastating the trials, the more He (God) has wrapped us both around Himself.  God has used depression and chronic pain and cancer – far more than even quadriplegia – to bind us tighter than ever.  To each other.  To Him… We do everything we can to escape suffering: we medicate it, mask it, surgically remove it, entertain or drug it, institutionalize it, divorce it, or even euthanize it – anything but live with it.  Suffering, however, isn’t about to go away.  And marriage only magnifies it… It’s trials that really press you into the breast of your Savior.”

I know there is something here for every married couple.

This is a book I highly recommend.

Monday, June 10, 2013

*sniff*


I’m finally getting back to a project I started over four years ago…  scanning our family photos.


Dec 84 Jeff's office
This one was taken the first Christmas after we got married, in 1984, and I have no idea why we were dressed up like Dickens carolers.  Check out those glasses and that scarf!  I started with this one so you wouldn't think I was one of those people who only post flattering pictures of themselves (although I'd like to be at that weight again).


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Our first dog, Molly

Those of us who have rows and rows of photo albums from the days before digital have to face the fact that those prints fade and get dusty and if we want to have those precious pictures to look at in our old age or to share with our kids, they have to be preserved digitally.  (Dear young people of the world, don't ever take for granted your digital camera. Love, Me)

I’m sure you can pay to have this done and there are definitely times when I think it would be worth every penny. (I’m only on May 1990) but although it’s time-consuming and tedious, it’s really not hard.  Why look!  I am writing a blog post and scanning at the same time!  I set up a card table next to my desk with the scanner and a pile of photo albums…

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It is an extremely emotional thing to look at each of the little faces I love so much, remembering them so well as babies, toddlers, preschoolers…

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Amy 14 mos001


Some of the photos are grainy or blurry but still so precious to me.

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Amy 20 mos001

I am warning you now - if you are one of my kids, family or friends - I might be posting a bunch of pics on Facebook with comments like “Remember when you looked like this?” or “Remember when I looked like that?” or “Look how cute you were!”

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Oh my heart.

I can only sit and do this for so long before I have to go prune flowers or clean the shower. 

I hope to finish 1990 by the end of 2013!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Some summer browsing


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Happy June!  I hope you are picking (or buying) some strawberries, cutting (or buying) some fresh flowers to put on your kitchen table and having an iced coffee every now and then!  Here are a few links for some weekend browsing…


Future Me
You write an email to your future self, set a date when you’d like to receive it and click “Send to the Future!”  If only we could do this backwards… you know, send an email to ourselves in junior high school. 
Now that would have been interesting!


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Assortment Blog
This family scaled down to a 665 square foot home and Carmella shares all the many ways it has changed them… for the better.


GeoGuessr
A fun time-waster where you look at a GoogleEarth photo and try to guess where in the world it was taken.  You can rotate the photo 360° and zoom in and out for hints.  You get points based on how close you guess in miles.  On my last round, I guessed the wrong continent on every single try.  Maybe you’ll do better.



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Clever Billboards
@fastcodesign.com
These serve not only as advertisements but as benches and ramps.


Entitlement will kick contentment in the shins.  Every time.
@lisajobaker.com
Contentment is a delicate bubble, isn’t it?


Relationships are more important than ambition
@theatlantic
The conflict between career ambition and relationships lies at the heart of many of our current cultural debates… The idea that we are self-reliant is a core American myth.


One thing your daughter doesn’t need you to say
@chattingatthesky
She isn’t supposed to be an example. Her friends don’t need an example, they need a friend. A real one. An honest one. A touchable one. They  need a friend who doesn’t think she’s better than everyone, but one who knows she isn’t. They need a friend who knows she needs Jesus.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Y'all, what a weekend!

I am back from a four day trip to Nashville, Tennessee and am just a teensy bit buried in catching up.  I spent the weekend with many of the families who have adopted children from Ethiopia through the ministry I work for.  You can read more about my weekend on the YWAM blog here.

Joy Casey, our ministry director, Sammy and I
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Meeting one of many adoptive moms for the first time face to face!

Don’t get the idea that I travel for my job – I don’t, other than the 130 miles I drive up and down I-5 between here and Puyallup, WA where our office is.  I used to love to fly but not so much any more, what with the possibility of my claustrophobia making an unwelcome comeback.  But I didn’t have one flare-up on any of the flights involved this weekend (thank You Lord!) and even got to reassure a woman sitting across the aisle from me who was on the verge of some turbulence-induced panic and whose ‘think soothing thoughts’ mantra wasn’t working. 

Tennessee is a beautiful state.  We decided that we really should have stayed a few more days so that we could have done some sight-seeing.  As it was, we had a little time in Nashville on Friday with one of our adoptive families but didn’t see many famous places other than from a distance.  We visited the Parthenon (a replica of the Greek temple) but I don’t feel that’s very southern, do you?

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Maybe if this guy was holding a guitar instead of a pitchfork? (And wearing pants, of course.)

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We visited a ‘famous’ popsicle place, Las Paletes, where they make all kinds of yummy treats.  But Las Paletes doesn’t sound very southern either.


I had strawberry/blackberry and it was delicious!

In the town of Franklin, about 30 minutes south of Nashville, Joy and I walked the historic downtown area just a little and ate dinner at a sidewalk table for two where we people-watched and enjoyed listening to the locals talk.  I was nervous that I’d instantly pick up a southern drawl but I managed to control my tongue and not embarrass myself.

We also squeezed in a quick walk down one random street in Franklin that ended up having quite a few historic homes.

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I love all of the front porches, usually with rocking chairs!  There were even rocking chairs in the airport down by baggage claim – I assume as a nod to this wonderful southern pastime.  I tried to snap some pictures but they came out blurry because I was juggling the ridiculous amount of luggage I brought.

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Wouldn’t you love to sip lemonade (or sweet tea) on that porch?

There were lots of interesting architectural and artistic touches in the yards that we don’t often see here in the NW.

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Most of these homes were built just after the Civil War.  Joy told me this as I did not pay attention in my high school history class.

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It was so much fun to be in this part of the country where there is all this history!  I’d love to go back and see more of this beautiful state.

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