Monday, August 29, 2005


Off to the big city with hubby, pulling an 18' trailer behind a 15 passenger van. When we get there we will fill it with the contents of one town house, get up tomorrow at the same time and head back to Madrid where we will empty the contents into a my daughter's new home.

I bet Sheri is just dying to be there with us! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

"Forward, Ho!"

God leads ever onward.

If we intend to follow Him we must be prepared to move onward as well. It is the only direction He takes.

Look straight ahead, not to the left or the right, and, most certainly, not back - you do remember Lot's wife, don't you? It didn't work for her. How about the young man who wanted to return to bury his father? And we certainly know this one, don't we? "Another also said, 'I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'"

So where does that leave us with all of our Kodak moments, home videos, and attempts at remembering? (How hard I try to memorize special expressions only to realize it is futile. It just doesn't quite stick...) Memories are special. They have a place. They can serve us well, but that is the key - they should serve us. Let's remember His faithfulness. Let's remember what He's done, what He's saved us from, where we've been so we can call back to others. Let's honor the memory of those who have invested in our lives. It's alright to create altars of remembrance.

But then let's move on. We can't live there. We must make new memories, forge new paths, create new altars.

This, from the woman who is struggling to let go of those children who once were all beneath my wings, looking to me for care in a very direct way. Now I cannot begin to keep up with them. Danica is busy making a new home, carving out new patterns and establishing a life for Ryan and her. Brietta is packing her established home and experiencing transition with all its excitement and melancholy. Carina is close to finishing her schooling and will then return home for a season of seeking Him for the next step. Jamie is busy with school and work; I have begun to realize our visits will be few and far between. I am not able to care for them as I once did - indeed, I cannot. I now am relagated primarily to prayer. And in case you think that should be easier, I will suggest that it is not easier - just different. My heart is still invested in each one of them, but now through intercession. The burden to be faithful and earnest is a heavy one that I must yield to and gladly bear. In time it will become a familiar friend. But that is another whole topic.

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Pslam 27.13

The psalmist is looking ahead. We lose heart if we don't. We can expect to find Him in our tomorrows but He will not remain here in this moment forever. Make altars to Him and then look for the cloud and pillar of fire. It will leave you behind if you don't.

So - enjoy the moment, look to the future, and live for both with all your heart. This is the best way to live life that I have discovered. This is how you follow Him - when you're twenty, fifty, or ninety. Moving on. Forward Ho!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Things done: two different beaches visited, tennis played around the corner twice, two evenings of checking out the live music scene in NYC, and a full day at Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt's family home).

Life lived: fabulous gourmet food cooked by Judy (Aunt Judy to the gang), beautiful Long Island summer weather, cousins visiting and playing video games with my kids, quiet times each morning in a well-appointed office at Judy's exquisite home, freshly brewed cappucino as well.

This kind of life I could get used to...

It has been wonderful - the kind of family vacation that breeds memories. We will come here again, and visit the same beaches, enjoy the same cappucino, spend time with the same family members.

On another note - Julia is playing tomorrow night at the Tea Bag, the "most hopping open mic in NY" (according to one musician who heard her and recommended that she try to play there.) It should be an interesting experience. We don't know what will come of this adventure but both Dad and Mom felt that she should come to NY and just play around. So, here we are. Life is full of adventure, and for now, this is ours!

Off now to settle in with another cappucino and a good book. I don't often burn at the beach, but today I did. A soft, cushy chair sounds great right about now!

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Ups and Downs of Taking Inventory

The feeling is one of sensory overload. Too many thoughts, too much to be done, too many needs.

But the problem is more than sensory overload. It is actually an awareness of inability to answer the thoughts, do the deeds, provide for the needs.

I cannot do it all. I never have been able to. I have often tried, and in trying I accomplish a great deal. It is not wrong to accomplish good deeds, to press forward into unknown ventures, to stretch one's abilities, to give time and find that it is somehow multiplied - because He does visit with grace those who are simply available. He will enlarge our capacity to accomplish so that we can actually do more and more. He provides finances and time and talent that were not there to begin with. This is all true. I have seen it. I have experienced it.

But there is that season of taking inventory: looking, acknowledging failure and wanting to make it right, re-evaluating, taking account of days and weeks spent in countless ways. When that is done I find the dreams begin again, the vision comes, the longing to do and do and do. That's when I need to find Him, His heart, His wisdom.

Yes, He will call me to do more than I think is imaginable; there is work to be done. Plain ol' work. But He will also give forgiveness for failure, restoration for lost time, newness of heart to try again. He will lead me in what to do and what not to do.

And that is what I need to remember today. Knowledge of His good and great faithfulness will crush that sensory overload and the discouragement that comes with it.

A new day, a fresh outlook, a different season. They are all His, and mine as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My Day

An early morning guitar lesson with Julia. So very thankful to God for providing Dr. Rubio as a teacher. Who would ever imagine that one could find such a very high quality classical guitar teacher up here on the edge of the earth? God has him here for her, I am convinced. Now, I know that there are many other reasons he is here - the most important being his salvation - but he is also His provision for the needed preparation for her future. I am more and more convinced of the bigness of His plan, His ability to coordinate millions of details, and His providential hand. It is wonderful to see.

Phone calls for school planning. I am excited about a new venture (so what's new about that?) Will try to get some Shakespeare happening with a few other kids as well as mine. Should be fun and educational all at once. I love that!

A meeting with Margaret to plan a women's mentoring program. God wants to use everyone of us. There is so much work to do, and His body can get it done if we yield to His Spirit in obedience. Just play our part. No one else's. Just ours. If we all do that, it will all get done. A little bit here, a little bit there, and soon it is the whole. That is the strategy of Titus 2 and hopefully that will be the strategy of women's mentoring. It is a great plan. It is, after all, the Bible!

Grocery shopping for tonight's meal. A favorite daughter (I have 7 favorite daughters - how lucky of me!) and son-in-law (I have two favorite son-in-laws so far...) were able to join us. That always makes a meal more special! And our good friends the Nobles blessed us with fresh corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Yum!

Merrick was off to a birthday party. Mom really blew it and forgot about it until the hour before and it was too late to buy a gift. I feel really bad when I do such things. I want the kids to know how special birthdays and friends are. So I was struggling with failure. But God covers me so faithfully. As I was looking for something on Merrick's shelf I noticed the beautiful painted soldier we had just purchased for him from our weekend at Fort Ticonderoga. It was still in the box it came in. I brought it to Merrick and suggested that the soldier would make a perfect gift for his friend. I assured him that we could get him another one soon. He hesitated, but then agreed that Josh would love the soldier. So it was quickly wrapped and we were both pleased with such a special gift. Thank you, Lord.

Off to mid-week prayer at church. What a wonderful time in His presence we had! We worshipped, shouted, prayed earnestly, and encouraged each other in His plans for His people - us! We were all so excited by the time it was over; I felt totally re-energized. I needed that. He is so good!

Headed home to welcome in our newest boarder and help him get settled. David Perry has moved into Danica's old room. We have had people live with us since 1981. Why change now? It is a privilege to invest in people in such a way. And we receive as much as we give. I am looking forward to getting to know this young man. That is always the greatest treasure of all.

And now I am ready to turn in. Daughter#5 is on the phone with daughter #3. The giggling hasn't stopped since she said hello 20 minutes ago. I am glad they are friends. They are two of my favorite daughters, you know! :)

My day was made by Him. His faithfulness was seen throughout. His grace guided me through. And His blessings were abundant.

Makes me look forward to tomorrow. All because of Him.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


His mercies are new every morning.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

Today is new with "no wrinkles in it."

I find myself regularly marveling at and thanking Him for His plan to give us fresh beginnings every morning - and even more often, whenever we need it! Whoosh! Just like that, the slate is wiped clean and we get to start all over. Kind of like those Etch-a-Sketch toys: one swipe and the mistakes are gone!

I like that part of new. There are no dings, no scratches, no mars in the paintjob. Just fresh and clean.

Now that is a pretty good deal. Me - fresh and clean any time I want. Amazing if you ask me!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Only Him

"You are my love and my life.
You are my inspiration."

Funny how all things seem to flow from Him or connect back to Him.

Decisions are not made apart from an awareness of who He is and what He loves. Attitudes and meditations are considered in the light of His word and His heart. A dependence and comfortable acceptance of His continuous provision shelter my soul. His thoughts color my world, His ways have begun to define my actions, the things He calls good are becoming more and more cherished, the things He despises are now despised. He is my all in all, my everything, my source for living.

Oh, to be more and more hidden in Christ. To decrease that He might increase. To have eyes set only on Him and never distracted.

"Lord, let my vision be filled only with You. May I see You alone. Let my heart be captivated only with Your great goodness. I want no counterfeits. I want no second best - indeed, there is no second best. There is truth and untruth. There is light and dark. There is right and wrong. God, let me have truth, light, and what is right. May You always and forever be my inspiration. You and You alone."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Houses and lands and such

I have been house hunting for my daughter and her family. I guess I never thought of that part of the deal - I never realized that would "come with the territory" of raising children. But it has been fun. They are considering making an offer on a home that I love as do my other daughters.

Still, the daughter and son-in-law doing the purchasing haven't seen it in person. It is quite unnerving to think that our recommendation is critical. I am grateful that there is a sense of God's timing in it all - the house was recently purchased and renovated by some folks here in town. In fact, the finishing touches will be in place just in time for them to move!

I have watched the house and this process with much interest because it is an historical home, which is a passion of mine. Seeing unadulterated older homes lovingly restored is one of those things that "floats my boat"! Little did I know as I made regular visits to observe the project and offer my vote of approval to these new owners (as if they needed it - but still, they seemed pleased to find a "kindred spirit"), that soon my daughter would be considering an offer on the home! Time will tell...

Meanwhile, change is in the wind. God is on the move. The pieces to the puzzle are in the air and will soon land, creating a new picture here at CFC (my home church). Exciting times, for sure. And we will only make it through by letting go and letting Him put it altogether.

We are in His hand. Is there any better place?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Psalm 40.1 "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined His ear to me, and He heard my cry."

He hears, He listens, He lends His ear to us. This is our confidence. This is why we can wait patiently.

Psalm 40.4 "Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."

Happy are we when we trust in Him - favored with His blessing, His provision of care. This is our portion when we put our hope in Him alone. Sometimes that requires waiting, so wait patiently. Do not be tempted to look for shortcuts or help from another source. Do not turn to the proud or deceitful. Trust only in Him.

As I completed my reading of Psalms for day #10 (you read the Psalm with today's date, then adding 30 you read the next 4 Psalms - 10, 40, 70, 100, 130), I found many exhortations to wait. Something tells me that trials are common to all men, and waiting patiently and with hope is difficult.

Psalm 130.5,6 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning - Yes, more than those who watch for the morning."

Do you remember waiting for the morning in those nights when nightmares have troubled you, or when sickness is plaguing you? How eagerly I watch for the first rays of light, marking the end of my long vigil. How confident I am that morning will come, and with it will come relief as well as fresh hope and expectation. This is how we wait for the Lord.

Wait for Him - do not lose hope - do not look elsewhere. He is inclining His ear to you even now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

In and Out

This summer has been spent, and will continue to be spent, more away from home than at home. I have been to my own church twice since the wedding in June. I will be here this weekend then we head to LI for a visit with Rick's younger sister as well as some "playing at Central Park" time for Julia. We really felt it was something she should do this year, so... I guess obedience is what counts even if we don't know what in the world it could possibly produce.

At any rate, I find I need two days to unwind every time I return home, which means I am getting no house projects done, my homeschool plans are hit and miss, the gardens are a mess, and I haven't handed in the receipts from Spain yet. I think that if traveling is ever a part of my routine I will need to streamline all maintenance needs. A small home, minimal yard, simple bookkeeping, etc. Yup. I think I can see it already. Forget this stuff about having a big house for all the grandkids. If I travel, I think I will let my daughters own the big house and just join them there! - I always have things all planned out. Funny that God doesn't just ask me how it should all go....:)

So, one more trip, then I think I should be here to stay for a while. Of course, that is until Carina heads to her audition for American Idol (if that is still the plan.) I am committed to that and wouldn't miss it for anything. That will be mid-Sept. in Chicago (or is it Boston?) Either way, I will be there for her. She is my princess, you know!

Today Danica and I will look at a house for Brietta. Then I will work on homeschool plans for the fall semester. I want to do a Shakespeare club for my kids and some friends. We may also join in with another family to study the history of science and do monthly get togethers for experiments and reports. This homeschool stuff really can be fun and creative. I hope to spark a renewed love for learning here at the homefront. The workbook syndrome had become the norm around here, and that can be a bit dull for me. Consequently it is dull for them. Moms really do set the tone, so be excited about learning and they may just catch the enthusiasm from you!

Nepal, China, NYC, and Spain. Our church has had folks in all these places this summer. We will have a special evening set aside this fall to hear from all the participants. I don't know, but I think it will be quite exciting! It's always good to look up and out - don't get caught with your head down and in. You will miss the bigness of our God and lose perspective altogether. Your little world is not the center of it all; He is!! I, for one, am so very glad about that.

May you and yours be blessed today as you serve the King of Kings.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Updates from Nepal

Our church sent a team out to Nepal this Tuesday - how incredibly exciting for them and for us! For updates see Jeremy's blog.

There is something awe-inspiring about new adventures. The difficult part is that these exploits usually involve change and the unknown. Those who lead others into such undertakings must be bold and daring. I am thrilled to see Jeremy Moore, the leader of our team, taking his leap - "I'm in totally uncharted waters, with only God's quiet direction and my family and friend's loyal and devoted support to help me. I remember praying a small prayer like 'whatever you want God, I am willing....'
I kind of feel like a bird who finally took that leap of faith and got some wind under my flapping wings. I can't wait to see where this ride takes us."

God will most surely hold him and bring him to his destination. What wondrous things He has for those who walk in faith!

Faith is absolutely necessary to a victorious Christian walk. We cannot please God without it. We also cannot defeat the enemy without it.
Ephesians 6.16 "...above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."

If we fail to walk in faith towards the enemy, his assaults will continue without pause. He will rob our joy, peace, righteousness - our victory in this life. We will have an Eeyore spirit - you know - the "woe is me" blues. Everything is overwhelming. Everything is always wrong for us.

But with eyes of faith, we see and understand that anything that comes our way will become good for us. We believe God's ability to turn every fiery dart around and pierce the enemy's plan in our lives. We live protected, shielded lives. And even better - our enemy suffers defeat!

Oh, to live by faith! To bring glory to Him by proclaiming to the powers of darkness that He indeed reigns! To declare to the world looking on that He is for us - that His love never fails - that through Him we can do wondrous deeds that mankind alone can never accomplish!

Fly, Jeremy - fly on wings of faith! And may your adventures in Him bring defeat to the enemy and glory to the one true God!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Home for today

I arrived home from Pittsburgh on Tuesday and left that very evening for a "just you and me" getaway with my favorite man. We spent 36 hours just enjoying each other's company. It's been a while since we could do that - now I feel a bit spoiled!

So I'm home here on Thursday viewing my youngest son's new haircut (self-initiated) and catching up online with friends. I need to get busy because tomorrow we will head out as a family to Fort Ticonderoga where hubby and daughter will play in a fife and drum corps at the annual muster there. It should be an entertaining weekend. The Olde Guard, Colonial Willaimsburg Corps, and a host of other fabulous groups will be marching and playing throughout our time there. And, of course, our very own Long Rapids Fife and Drum will be playing as well. The tenting will even be fun since most of the kids will be there (the young ones, that is...)

Sorry this is just plain newsy, but wanted to catch you all up on my doings. Sooner or later I will be home to stay for a while. I need to order curriculum and get some other planning done. And I won't even think about the shrubs I bought before the wedding that are still not planted! Yikes!

Some acquaintances lost their 7 year old son in an accident at an amusement park. Another family found a son dead along the road after he slipped out of the house to skateboard. What devastation - true devastation. Pray for them if you would. "Lord, only You can bring peace in these situations. Let these parents and families turn to You and find You to be an ever present help in trouble. Somehow take this devastion and make something of eternal value from it. Be their comfort, oh Lord."

He is our strong tower. There is none other.