Wednesday, September 28, 2005

To Christopher

It happened to one of our own.
It happened to one of our own precious young men;
One filled with zeal and passion for God.

A soul was overwhelmed with unknown emotion.
Vision was momentarily clouded.

And in his blindness he was lost to us.

He slipped away, gone from our presence.
Lost to us

But not to Him.

Our souls would be filled with total despair
But for God.

Monday, September 26, 2005

God Was There!

This will be a quickie - music lessons and rides to and fro are calling :)

But I wanted to let you know that I am home from the retreat in Ontario, Canada. In spite of some initial disappointment at Nancy Campbell, the originally scheduled speaker, not being there, the ladies opened up their hearts to the Lord and looked to Him. I believe they were met in wonderful ways. I know I was!

Thank you for praying for all of us. In so many places, moms and wives are needing strengthening and encouragement. I am praying that church leadership will see the need, and even more, that older women will find their place in providing that strength and encouragement. There is much to be done! (And don't forget, even if you are young in the Lord, there is probably someone younger!)

Love to you and yours~


An addendum

I have returned from lessons and am presently waiting for the chicken to boil. My Liana Renee, who is battling a cold, has asked for some homemade soup. So, soup it is!

One thought from the weekend -

I met so many wonderful young women who have one simple desire: they want to be mentored in this task of being a good helpmeet. They are looking for ideas and encouragement in raising their children. Creative solutions for household management are longed for. "How do I best love and care for my husband?" is the question on their heart. It is time for older women to take their place in the house of the Lord and begin teaching the younger women. It is time to release the younger women to pursue their desire as well as establish older women in their God-given role of teacher to them.

My heart aches when I consider the need. My heart aches even more when I see the lack of response to that need.

Lord, raise up an army of young women who are ready to pursue their calling to be effective and faithful helpmeets, who will work diligently to train Godly children to march boldly into the future, bearing the Gospel message. Let those of us who can help establish them in this great and necessary task step forth and take our place. Let us give willingly that others may prosper in their marriages and homes. And may You always be glorified in all that we do.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I've been to Pittsburgh, Chicago, Purcellville (that's Virginia), and back home to Madrid in the past 9 days. Tomorrow I drive to Toronto for the weekend. I know that for some of you that would be a most unusual schedule, and for others it is not uncommon.

For me, I find that I love it. You must remember, I was born for adventure! But I am longing to be with the kids and Rick. If only I could pack them all up. But then they would miss out on lessons and school and local church... Sounds like a bad plan to me. Guess that's why I normally try to be home more often. Soon I will be - I think! :)

"I'm going to a mom's retreat to encourage the women to take good care of their children," I jokingly quipped this morning to one of my pastors (the one that's not my husband.) "I am starting to wonder if I still qualify!" He chuckled in turn but assured me that I am still a good mother. It was nice to hear from someone in an objective position. Being gone so much takes its toll on all of us. But God knows just what is needed when.

My husband says the girls have done an exemplary job in the home. Bet no school course in home ec could be better! Still, they miss me, I know. And I, them.

Ah. Nothing beats God's plan for home and family. Refuge, safety, shelter. Nurturing, caring, growing. Lasting relationships, sharing, acceptance.

Good stuff for sure.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oh, well...

Home from a very long, cold, interesting, and memorable day at Soldier Field.

Nope. She didn't make it to round 2. Their loss, I'm sure! :)

I must admit I was disappointed and even a bit surprised. I really had thought she just might make it a ways into the competition. The judge liked her. Listened for lots more than the minimum 30 seconds. She actually listened to her sing two whole songs. But in the end she was told she had a great voice but wasn't exactly what they were looking for.

Can I say that I was so proud of her? I can hardly believe she actually "gone and done it"! Hooray for her gumption, willingness, and strength of heart. As I met her outside of the "non-winners tunnel" she was disappointed but smiling - happy to have tried rather than never having tried and always been left wondering. I think she is great. It has been a unique experience. I hope she never draws back from shooting for the stars (right, Jamie? - inside joke...) She'll at least hit the moon that way!

Next I head to Va. for my visit with Jamie. Another "hooray" person in my book. He is a hero to me in many ways!

Oh, and one other interesting opportunity for me. Nancy Campbell, founder of Above Rubies Ministry, called me today asking if I would step in for her as the key speaker at an Above Rubies Retreat next weekend (family needs have arisen for her). I feel very honored that she would trust me with it on such short notice. So, I spoke with my hubby who felt I should go for it, that it would "stretch me a bit" (that's for sure!) So, next Friday I will fly to Toronto. Pray for the weekend if you think of it. I will be sharing 5 sessions - and those ladies want to hear the Word!

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Carina and I have been here for almost 24 hours. We arrived at Soldier Field by 6:20am this morning and stood in a huge line of people until 11:00am, at which time we were handed wristbands and seat assignments. After an induction into the rules and procedures of an American Idol production, we were sent on our way. So we ate at Olive Garden, found a Barnes and Nobles (thanks Jules), and spent some more time visiting with our friends the Browns.

Paul and Susan Brown are hosting us in their 1920's bungalow which is vintage Arts and Crafts period. I was able to find a book on this architecture and design genre which should prove to be helpful to them as they plan decor and possible rennovation. Their home is set across from a beautiful and expansive park. The neighborhood is lovely. As we drove up I was flooded with appreciation to God for His bounteous blessing upon these dear friends. He is so very good!

Tomorrow Carina and I will return to the stadium at 6:00am and find our assigned seats and begin the long wait. She will most likely be called on to audition between 2:00 and 4:00pm. They will listen to her for approximately 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes and make a quick decision: she will either receive a gold sticker which allows her entrance to the second round, or they will cut off her wristband and send her home. I sure would love to see the gold sticker. We are here in a crowd of 20,000 others who are all hoping for the same result; all she can do is sing her little heart out and hope they see what we all see! It is definitely a bit of random choosing - all those singers heard and judged by 5:00 in the afternoon. I told her to show who she is, exuding every ounce of love and confidence she can muster. Sing with pretty tone and be different then all the other cookie cutter pop stuff. It should work! But even if she is cut from the next round, it will have been a great experience. I have loved sharing this with her - what a wonderful daughter she is! At any rate, we will let you all know as soon as we can.

"Oliver" is presently playing in the family room. The kids are saturating themselves in the music and dialogue of this production, a show in which both Calvin and Wesley have won roles! There is a local Christian Theater troupe here and they have already found there way into it. I am so very proud of them!

Off for now. Life is so very pleasant. I am pleased to be visiting this newfound home for the Browns. I am loving the time with Carina. And, although it is contained, I am hopeful that she will do well tomorrow. But the Lord knows better than we do and He will open doors for her tomorrow that are ordained by His hand. It is my prayer that He would do so, and He is faithful to hear my prayer and answer me! What a wonderful God we serve.

Monday, September 12, 2005


If you read my last post you will know I am off for adventure - busy adventure.

Some recently released info on American Idol auditions make it clear that we will not spend a whole day and night waiting in line. Exactly how long we will wait is unknown, but once we have our little wristbands and tickets, we can go home, sleep, and return the next morning at 9. Should be a bit more restful that way!

Bon voyage!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Routine? What's That?

I guess that having older children is beginning to mean less and less routine for me. If I am involved in their lives at all, it seems to require that I let go of some of my schedule to fit theirs. Flexibility. Hmmm.

I am impulsive, it is true. So people tend to think that I am unplanned altogether. But I am unplanned at my own discretion. Actually much of my life is somewhat scheduled in my mind. When I am implusive, it is when it fits my plan... not other's. So I guess that flexibility is not my middle name. My husband will be the first to tell you that I usually have definite ideas about how something is supposed to happen.

But back to the idea of routine. I mention that because it is flying out the window again (as if we have routine around here yet...)

Monday morning my little sanguine man and I will get on a bus headed to Pittsburgh. It is a 15 hour ride and then some. He is convinced that he loves buses and there will be nothing to it. Mom, on the other hand, was originally going to travel alone and knows that her much anticipated 15 hours of uninterrupted reading/sleeping time is pretty much history. Most of the time will now be spent entertaining and coaching a young one. I've adjusted and am now excited about our wonderful joint adventure. I haven't tried this yet. It's long overdue, I suppose. Can't be much harder than flying to Long Island by myself with three young ones (3 1/2, 2, and infant.) That definitely qualified as interesting!

From Pittsburgh I will travel with Carina (my 21 year old daughter) to Chicago for an audition for American Idol. That's right. She's really going for it! We will get on line Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6am for an audition that opens on Friday, Sept. 16 at 9am. That's right. A 27 hour plus wait in line. Under open skies with only a sleeping bag, umbrella, and small cooler. With all kinds of people. This, too, should prove to be interesting! (You could pray for her, if you think of it. It would be soooo appreciated!)

Once done there, we will drive back to Pittsburgh where Brietta, my other daughter, will have bravely taken on the challenge of watching Uncle Merrick and her own children. Then she and I will leave with Merrick and head to Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va. to visit my son, Jamie. A quick overnight in the dorms, shopping with Jamie for shoes and sneakers (long overdue!), meeting some of his friends, and back to Pittsburgh we'll go. This Mama will pack up myself plus Merrick into Daniel and Brietta's Hyundai Accent and hit the road to Madrid. Home on the 21st.

And then - maybe - routine?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Chariots and Horses

Psalm 20.7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Katrina has consumed our national energy and attention, as well it should. This is a catastrophe of enormous proportion. It has drawn from our hearts and souls the deepest of compassion and concern.

But it has also revealed something else. We are a nation that has come to trust in chariots and horses. Media, leaders, bloggers, citizens – people everywhere are crying out in accusation of the government and human effort. “What failure! Where were they when they were needed? What took them so long? What incredible incompetence!”

Undoubtedly we need to take stock of the situation and in humility admit failure and seek to find improvements. This is always appropriate, for indeed, even in the best of efforts, there is room for improvement.

But Katrina has shown our failure as a nation, as a culture, as a people, to remember the name of the Lord our God. Instead of immediately looking to Him, a very present help in trouble, we called upon big government. Our attention was on our leaders and natural provision. We showed our trust to be in human kind and our own institutions rather than God, in the created being rather than the creator, in ourselves rather than someone much bigger and greater. We have fallen prey to humanism. It has stripped us of trust in Him and we now mistakenly trust in man. It has taken us for a ride, played the hoax, and we have drifted far downstream away from the true source of help in trouble.

And now we look for someone to blame. If our hope is in man’s inventions, there will always be a ready scapegoat. Man is always susceptible to blame since he will always fail. God alone is able to be a sure hope and defense.

True, God uses human agencies. But those agencies are totally in His hand, completely dependent upon Him, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Without His aid they are moving in their own limited strength. In times like these this nation, this great but limited nation, needs more; we need His strength. Our feeble horses and chariots are no longer to be trusted.

So now He is waiting for us to turn to Him once again. Meanwhile He will let us experience disaster apart from Him. In His mercy He will let us see what existence is like without Him. In His mercy He will cause us to return to Him before eternity has settled upon us – eternity apart from Him.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Whimsical me...

There are those of us that are readily moved by emotion. Others act based on intellect and logic. Each approach would seem correct at times.

But I want to be moved by and act upon the leading of the Spirit. At times this will be contrary to my emotional whims. And at times it will leave the logical of mind undone. But it is our high calling; to be Sons of God led by the Spirit of God.

Our daily choices (which become our life choices in time, if you haven't noticed) cannot be ruled by either human emotion or logic. How awful. How limiting.

But being led by the Spirit does not guarantee a daily walk on the water. It most likely includes mundane activities - things that, through the Word of God, you have determined to be His will for you. Like reading a bedtime story to the little guy. If left to "whim" it may never be done for weeks. Those warm fuzzies may just not be gripping your heart at the moment. Or perhaps when placed on a list with pros and cons, that phone call or e-mail to your adult child far away didn't merit your attention today. We choose according to the Spirit (who always agrees with the Word,) not logic or emotion.

Then there are the "walk on water" times - those times of great adventure when our emotions (fear or euphoria) and logic (how can this possibly work?!!) most assuredly need to be set aside. We will be ready for such exploits if we are practiced in daily obedience.

whim - Arbitrary thought or impulse: governed by whim.
logic -
A mode of reasoning: By that logic, we should sell the company tomorrow.

I, for one, don't want to be governed or ruled by either emotion or logic. I want the Spirit of God. I want to be a true Son of His.

Lord, help me to grow in the discipline of choosing to be led by your Spirit. I want to be a true Son of God.

And by the way, I have a new e-mail address. Here it is for those of you who may want it for your address book!

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I decided a long time ago that I agreed with Fanny Crosby, the composer of hymns who penned these words:

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more.

Trusting Him brings joy and peace. Not only because He comes through in the end, but also because you can release all concerns in the meantime. We don't have to wait until the end has arrived. We can just rest right now when we learn to trust in Him. It is a wonderful way to live life. Worry-free. Isn't that what all these doctors and specialists are recommending? People try medications, exercise regimens, spas, yoga and meditations - all kinds of things - in attempts to find stress-free living. I recommend trusting Him. Resting in His promise. Warding off the lies of Satan by taking Him at His word. That is stress-free living at its best.

Oh, for grace to trust Him more.