Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It´s Been Different

We have traveled this evening (afternoon to the Spanish mind even though we weren´t leaving the house until 5.45 and arriving here at 6.30) to allow the female contingent of the current Gonzalez household to access the internet -- that would include yours truly, Doreen, and her daughters, Daniela and Stephanie.

This is my first outing since Saturday´s visit to a Spanish Emergency Room. (If I had paid attention at the time I could remember how say that in Spanish, but somehow that detail eluded me.)

The conference we were speaking at was held in an unheated room, in spite of this cold Madridian winter. I was soon chilled to the bones and the low-grade fever I was already battling now had the upper hand. The next morning found me succumbing to some rather extreme manifestations which were on the whole quite unnerving. So off we went. A few hours later I was on my way home, having received a strong dose of fever-reducer (my temperature had soared noticeably) and antibiotic via the ubiquitous drip. Since then I´ve become quite familiar with the Gonzalez flat, and more particularly the sofa in it. It´s been good to rest and finally feel better.

But I will keep this brief; the connection here is quite slow.

The trip to Sevilla for three days of parent conferences was cancelled. Disappointing initially. But God has used our change of plans, as we knew He would. There have been beneficial happenstance conversations and informal question and answer times. Tomorrow I will meet with several mothers from the community. Rick is presently with a pastor from a local church.

Best of all has been our time with the Gonzalez family. I really, really like them and helping them get settled into their new flat has been a treat. (Rick has helped assemble wardrobes, hang shelves, give electrical advice; I have assisted with the hanging of pictures.)

I was willing to stick with a bit more touring as was originally planned. But in the end, sleep and health seemed better. Perhaps next time we will meet parents and mothers in other places, too. This time we will keep it simple. Right about now, I am happy with that.

Will be back in the States on Friday.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Challenged to Go

It's 10:58am and we are hoping to leave at 12:00noon. Guess it's time to analyze, decipher, and determine whether or not I will be on board that plane.

I think I need to go, and not because it seems like the natural thing to do. My mothering instincts tell me to stay with her (my sweet little Liana Renee), but she assures me she is feeling a bit better, "Definitely no worse."

Yesterday a friend came to pray for me, feeling that I was meant to go, and I knew then that the determination could not be based on everything being perfect -- I knew I may not feel my best yet, and that she may not either. So I established criterion that I felt were appropriate and would require a measure of faith.

How am I feeling? I am not feeling much better, but "definitely no worse." Ditto with her. And upon thorough examination, each sibling is feeling 100% with not the slightest symptoms of an onset of strep. Is that a guarantee? No, but it is the criterion I established.

So with my three questions answered, all in the affirmative, I feel the compulsion to go in faith. I absolutely believe He is with us in this. So...

...soon I will be flying. God will move, I am confident. And...

...once again, if you think of it, pray for my precious family.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

He Is My All in All

Another sunny sub-zero morning, waking me somewhat promptly (7:00am) in spite of my 3:00am bedtime. I'm battling a bladder infection and sleep was elusive. So I distracted myself with a new favorite DVD, Broadway Treasury. After that there was the Australian Open with Serena Williams triumphing over her favored opponent. At long last sleep overtook this lady. Not for long enough, however. And now I am feeling a bit fatigued; the day is stretching before me with taunting lists of things to do, tasks to be accomplished. C'est la vie!

More importantly, my sweet Liana is bedridden. Hidden away in the attic bedroom in hopes of containing her strep bacteria, she is feeling a bit lonely and bored. Regular trips with treatments, juices, and yogurt, all brought by yours truly, are her only respite from solitude. I suspect that before long she will tire of my countenance!

It's been almost a year since my second injury and still this dear ankle of mine likes to act up. Currently it is being a bit bothersome, refusing to submit to much movement without comment. Negative comment, that is. Oh, well. I think I will need to sit whenever possible.

Meanwhile I continue to pack two suitcases for Spain, a his and her variety, although travel by this lady and mother has definitely been moved to "up for grabs" status. Within 24 hours a decision will have been determined. If you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate some prayer for this one!

So in spite of the sparkling white of deep winter snow, the outdoor landscape fails to inspire lofty thoughts this morning. Some days are like that. Today nothing will suffice but His face. He is so wonderfully faithful and totally sovereign over all sin and darkness. I do rejoice in that knowledge. How unchanging! My Lord and God forever.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter Reflections Again

Another dazzling morning of sunshine and frigid temps. As I linger before the window taking in the glory of this day, I am, as always, breathtaken at the brilliance of subzero winter white on an unspotted expanse. The radiance of reflected morning sun penetrates; the light seems to pierce my very being, almost blinding my sight. I am convinced that there is nothing more awe-inspiring than the wonder of deep winter snow washed in sunlight. My eyes have never beheld such an unstained beauty in any other setting. The whiteness is pristine, amazingly pure. What could be cleaner?

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51.7

In His sight, my cleanness is a dazzling beauty. By His Spirit, His light reflected in me penetrates the darkness of this world with pure brilliance. We, His people, are a breathtaking glory - His glory.

I love such January mornings as this.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Home Once More

As I gaze out my window I see sparkling white snow washed in bright light accented with the starkness of barren trees encased with a crystal glaze. The beauty of deep winter abounds. When I left a few days ago, the landscape was a drab, bare brown. Well, in truth, it was uncharacteristically green in measure. Strange. It has been transformed in my absence.

Many things transform in our absence if we don't take care. Children turn into young adults, relationships drift apart, romance cools, and battles are lost to an enemy. We must be ever diligent and persevering. We must be present where it matters most: the ministry He calls us to.

Does the very thought of such ongoing demands overwhelm you? Join a host of weary travelers. But I've been considering Caleb as of late. His strength at 85 was as it was at 40. How? Why? These were answers I needed to know.

And the Lord softly spoke: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Waiting. I think that I've finally reached the age where that sounds like the best plan. I think I can muster up the energy needed to wait. And maybe I'm even learning to have the patience.

His provision astounds me. Simply wait.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Routine? We're Trying

It still eludes us in some ways - well, lots of ways. But we are getting a good amount of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic done. And that is the goal. I soon head to Spain for the better part of two weeks. I will return to begin a spring musical production. So getting a bit ahead is essential. I'm more relieved than usual at the onset of this monumental project since my lovely daughters are all pitching in to lend good ol' Mom a hand this year. Danica will take over some homeschool projects with my 4 students; Brietta and Carina will share their talents of directing and choreography with me and the students. Slicing up the pie will help.

I'm trying to acclimate myself to this season of life. Bit by bit I think I may be getting there. This sentimental woman doesn't stand in the bedroom doorway of a daughter who has left and tear up quite as often; when I pass Merrick's clothing on to someone out of my household I rarely get misty; as I sit with a grandchild on one side and a young son on the other it almost feels balanced now (and when I must tend to a child of my own in lieu of time with a grandchild I am adjusting to that as well - in my experience, most grandparents are free from this dilemma. Their "little Johnny" is typically well beyond fighting over toys.) Older children needing my help while I still have four in school is starting to jive in my understanding of how this should be.

It is a lifestyle of juggling - juggling emotions, schedules, investments, needs. Routine? We try, as I previously stated. Are we achieving the goal? Not by most standards. Chores are neglected; school is interrupted; many days we are flying by the proverbial seat of our pants.

So I'm learning to create new rules; flexibility is key with priorities rearranged and met in inventive ways. And we are having fun. We enjoy one another's company and we serve Him with glad hearts. Maybe by the time Merrick has graduated from school and I have plenty of grownup children with a host of grandchildren I will have compiled a new list of rules and standards. Maybe I will even know what they are and how this should all look. But I doubt it.

For now let it suffice to say, we're trying. Happily and cheerfully trying. I reckon that counts for something.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I was recently reminded of the importance of stirring up to remembrance the things that God has been faithful to show me. What has He spoken this year? What lessons have been taught, what truths revealed?

Oh, yeah. I forget. I guess we all do, but anyone who knows me knows that I most definitely forget things.

"Write it down." Fortunately, I keep a journal. I have been flipping through the pages from 2006.

Oh, yeah. The giants in the land. The enemies of God need to be removed. Completely.

I've been discouraged and overwhelmed. And now I remember that I need to keep battling. There are a couple of those enemies who still taunt me. I cannot give them room. I cannot listen to them. I must overcome through the blood of the lamb.

There is really no other option.

Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!