Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oregon Spring Break

Got Snow?

I usually like JANUARY!
But, nooooooooooo, we had to get it during spring break! Brrrrr!

My kids are toopers though, instead of planting our garden we did things like:

Play endless games of Mancala with Uncle Jim;
Explore the Air Museum in McMinville;
Go to OMSI and see the dinosaurs and the Planetarium;
Slosh around the Zoo in the snow!
(pictured above)

Saturday, March 22, 2008


(picture by

Hope is what keeps me going. Hope is why I can face today, and tomorrow.

It's interesting how you can find hope at the most amazing times. Times of grief and great pain, even times of tragedy and loss. The day before Easter always brings back the memory of how I first discovered I have hope.

It was the day before Easter when I was about 15 years old and my Mom, my Grandma and I had just spent a very fun-filled day of shopping and planning together. There was lots of laughter that day and talk of our plans for the future. You see, like it should be for all children, my Grandma was the one person who treated me like a child. She spoiled me a bit (of course!) but she LOVED me...and demonstrated that love like only a good Grandma can!

Shortly after Grandma headed out to the bus stop to go back to her home (we were a poor family, lived in low-income housing apartments, no cars yet) we started hearing sirens...loud sirens. They sounded like they were stopping right outside our apartment. In fact they were. The ambulance and police were stopping right outside our back door -- because it was Grandma. Much to our horror we learned that she had been hit by a car, killed by a hit-and-run driver. Just like that.

I can't really describe the onslaught of emotions and pain that gripped me at the moment I saw my Grandma lying on the wet grass, body crushed, dead. Seeing someone you love in that condition can be like having someone mercilessly grab your insides and pull them's excruciating. If you've experienced it, you know what I mean.

"So where does the hope come in?" you might be wondering. Immediately I was surrounded by neighbors, all different cultures lived in those apartments. They were all very sympathetic and tried to comfort us, but that didn't help. I ran to my friend's house, they were a Mexican family whose kids I went to school with. I cried with their whole family, and truly they were the most comforting, reassuring people -- but that didn't help either. I went home and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, exhausting my body, but that didn't help either.

Then finally I went into my room. It was dark and quiet. I fell on my knees, and I wept. But I didn't feel alone. I felt the comfort of His presence. As I poured out my heart (including anger and frustration) to Him, I felt Him there with me and finally got the comfort I knew I had been desperately seeking.

And that's when I knew I had, and still have, hope. Without Easter there is no hope. It's because He lives, because He rose again on the third day, that I hope. Do you have hope?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Big Diff! this really nice lady got me all riled up on the phone today. She said, "Oh, you're almost 45 like me, you sounded like you were so young on the phone -- like you're only 25."

Hello! Almost 45?! What?! There is a BIG difference between 42 and 45! Three can be an incredibly huge number! I mean just look at these two guys -- there's only about three feet difference in their height, yet you would never hear one say to the other, "Oh, you're almost my height!"


Ouch, that hurts!

I've been slow at blogging lately, 'cuz life's latest changes have really "knocked me off my feet!" Recently some VERY good friends of mine have changed from our church to another. It's not like they've died or anything, in fact as they keep pointing out, we're all part of one church anyway...but I still miss them, and it's hard to get going again. This particular change has really affected me, especially since they were the ones who got me to blog in the first place! Dang it!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

which one are you?

Imagine my little boy's shock when he said something harmless to me and I snapped back at him. I hate that!

I hate that shocked look in a child's eyes when you realize they didn't know you've had a hard day...they didn't know they were about to do the one more thing that would be the "last straw." They didn't know you had a long day of dealing with whiny, demanding, grumpy people -- and in all truth it's NOT their job to know that!

All they know is they didn't see our snappy response coming their way! In fact, it shouldn't have been there at all.

Just recently I've been struggling with keeping a good attitude around grumpy people. I realized that sometimes I can get grumpy just by being with them, yet I can't identify that I have any reason to be that way. It's like I was being a mirror and reflecting their behavior even when I didn't agree with it.

Then I read this article by an amazing Mom & writer, Marcia Washburn: ( -- check it out :-)

"Make a habit of happiness. As the mom, you should be the thermostat (setting the emotional temperature of the home), not the thermometer (reflecting others' hot anger or cold shoulder attitudes). Most of us will be just about as happy as we make up our minds to be. Spending time in the Word each morning will prepare you for the day's challenges."

Wow, Marcia! That describes exactly what I've been dealing with lately! I've been a thermometer and reflecting other's anger instead of being the thermostat that makes our home a refuge...

Which one are you?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

set your heart

I was reading in Malachi 2 the other day, and God spoke to the priests through Malachi in verse 2:

"...If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,..."

And that phrase "set your heart to honor my name" really jumped out at me. A lot of times I just go with the flow, even if it's flowing the wrong way. Sometimes I feel a victim of circumstances -- you know, like I have no control over what's going on. And here is the Word, reminding me to set my heart to honor His name.

No matter what has gone on before, no matter what you thought you had planned for today, no matter how you feel, no matter what setting you're in or who you're dealing with -- I invite you to join me in setting our hearts to honor His name today!

A little hint to help us be successful: don't be afraid to ask Him for help.