Saturday, April 30, 2011

Edmonds Sunset

Final Day - Twenty Three


new soil, grass seed, manure and lots of water

a job well done

waiting for me to leave so he can eat the grass better not or I will no longer be very fond of you

my reward...a weekend Mt. Dew splurge...aaah!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day Twenty Two

My Gram
Middle School

High School

First Baby

With Baby Indie Grace

Camping in Florida - aren't we happy?

Christmas visit - home from AZ

50th Wedding Anniversary

Christmas in Florida

I have better pictures but they haven't been stored in my computer. Maybe someday I'll get around to updating these.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day Twenty One

"H, guess what had babies?" said JP with excitement.
Our I-5 geese are back and debuted their little ones yesterday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day Twenty

Having Things To Look Forward To

seeing my parents

Daddy and daughter time

I can't wait to go home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother Teresa

Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Day Eighteen

This Song

I love Alpha and Omega by the Gaither Vocal Band. There are days I have a lot of spunk. Days I feel like fighting, arguing, wrestling. There are days my mind is sharp, my spirit is quick and I want to know! Then there are days when I'm tired. I'm tired of fighting. I don't have the energy to make sense of things. Large thoughts are weighing me down and I just want to curl up. I have a mini-obsession with death. I always have. It began when my brother died. I had nightmares that Mom and Dad would leave too. Later it moved on to Gram. I'd think about her age and calculate how many years I had left with her. When I went to college I'd wake with sweat drenching my clothes - having dreamed my whole family was killed in a car crash. The same dream every time. The same phone call. I still do the age thing. I know exactly how old everyone is in my life and I have calculated how many years I have left with each of them, assuming they live an average life span. It's kind of depressing...which leads me back to this song. When thoughts of death and "gray" settle around me, when I start to feel hopeless and the fight in me (which allows me to push such thoughts away) is gone - I play Alpha and Omega. It is like I'm a child again. That simple faith that my parents will take care of me because that's what parents do encompasses me. My heavenly Father will take care of me because that's what He does.

There shall be no more death
Neither sorrow nor crying and no more pain
The former things are all passed away.
He that sat upon the throne said,
"Behold I make all things new."
He said unto me, "Write these words,
For they are faithful and true.

It is done. It is done. It is done. It is done."

God said it and I don't have to think anymore. Just rest. It all begins with Him and it all ends with Him. Death doesn't win. Ever.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend

oh...and my Easter basket from JP

Day Seventeen

Death Defeated

Arise My Love
Not a word was heard
at the tomb that day
Just shuffling of soldiers feet
as they guarded the grave
One day, two days,
three days had passed
Could it be that Jesus
breathed His last?

Could it be that His Father
had forsaken him
Turned his back on his son
despising our sin
All hell seemed to whisper
'Just forget Him, He's dead'
Then the Father looked down
to his son and he said..

Arise, My love
Arise, My love
The grave no longer
has a hold on you
No more death's sting
No more suffering love

The Earth trembled
and the tomb began to shake
and like lightning
from Heaven the stone was rolled away
And as dead men
the guards they all stood there in fright
As the power of love
displayed its might
Then suddenly a melody
filled the air
Riding wings of wind
it was everywhere
The words all creation
had been longing to hear
The sweet sound of victory
so loud and clear

Arise, my love
Arise, my love
The grave no longer has a hold on you
No more death's sting
no more suffering

Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell has been defeated
The grave could not hold the king!!

Arise, My love
Arise, My love
The grave no longer
has a hold on you
No more death's sting
No more suffering


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day Sixteen

Baby Time
Aunt H and MJ

**I know I said I would post about what life would be like had Christ not risen from the dead. I will try to do that another day. Today has been too full to make a real blog posting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Lighter Entry

Baby Doll came to visit her Auntie at work today.

Signs of Spring!

Day Fifteen

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.

It's Good Friday, so naturally, thoughts of death come to mind. Yesterday, my college friends lost their 8 yr. old son to brain cancer. Today is my Aunt Georgie's viewing. Death is all around. As I look out my classroom window I try to imagine the scene at Jesus' crucifixion. Was it like a parade at first? You know, people caught up in the excitement - feeding off others' energy - a feeling of expectation in the air? Were there people on the sidelines trying to make a quick buck - selling food or simple trinkets? Was there a sweet aroma in the air? The kind of scents you smell when you walk outside a fast-food restaurant? I'm just trying to picture it. I know hideous things were happening - but for the massive crowd gathered around - was it more of a party?

What about Christ's inner circle? What a contrast. Those that stuck around saw what their indifference cost their Lord, their friend. This man who washed their feet, who loved them deeply, this man they knew deep inside from countless hours spent in his presence, was being ripped apart before their very eyes. Was he even recognizable? How could they bear to see his shredded body endure even more pain as nails were driven into his flesh? Did they think, "What have I done?" as they watched him struggle to breathe? I can't imagine feeling his eyes find mine and hearing him ask, "Will you take care of my mom for me?" The guilt and sorrow I IMAGINE are almost too much to take in. And then, to stand there, to watch...that moment when life left his body. He was gone. They had killed him. Their silence was as much to blame for his death as the loud cries demanding his crucifixion. I know what it feels like to be in a room when death enters. You know it immediately. Everything changes. Even if that person has been unconscious, his soul is still there. That moment when the last breath is taken, when the soul escapes...the emptiness is overwhelming for those left behind. The crucifixion scene must have seemed surreal. When death occurred, did reality set in? He was gone. For all they knew, this was it. They would never see him again. They would never hear his laugh. They would never see his eyes twinkle. They would never pray together. They wouldn't fall asleep around the fire or wake up to his presence. He was gone. It was over. Death won.

Of course we know there is more to the story, which is why when I think of Aunt Georgie's or little Johnny's deaths, I don't feel total despair. But for today, I am going to think about what my life would be like if Christ's death had been permanent. I don't anticipate it being a very fun activity. I'll write what I come up with tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day Fourteen

Mindful Anticipation
As I've been thinking about Jesus' last days on Earth, lots of thoughts have been vying for my attention - like the fact that he was about 33 years old when his work here was finished. Did it feel like there was so much left to do? Did he feel like he didn't have enough time? Did he want more? He was God so he knew what awaited him. He was man so he must have felt human emotions. Was he apprehensive? Was he afraid? We're told he asked for "the cup to be removed." It wasn't his first choice. As man, did it feel like too much? The burden he was asked to bear - was it too heavy? He knew he was going to die but he also knew all the circumstances surrounding his death. He knew one of his closest friends would be the one to identify him. A person who had walked with him, served with him, shared life with him. A person whom Jesus loved. Did it break his heart to find out that he was no more valuable to this man than coins? Did it tear him up that his closest "brothers" didn't come to his defense? What had he done to deserve such treatment? Did he try to make sense of the senseless?

I think about the things that might have been going through his head. Well, I guess I think about the things that would be going through MY head. I wouldn't have a lot of love floating around in my heart. The warm feelings would be long gone. There would be anger, bitterness, betrayal. There would be an attitude of, "Fine then. If this is how you repay my love - save yourselves. I'm done with you." A verse, mentioned in Luke, stops me in my tracks. Before a lot of the betrayal had happened, but not before Jesus KNEW it would happen...Jesus stopped. He looked out over the city. He thought about its occupants. He probably thought about me. He knew the hatred that exists in the hearts of man. He knew the cruel torture they were going to inflict on him. He knew they would strip him, tear his flesh, humiliate him. He knew it would be painful...excruciatingly painful. The very people of this city would ultimately kill him but when he looked over the city these things are not what captured his thoughts. The people are what captivated him. When he thought about all they would lose, all they would suffer...he cried. He cried for their pain. For my pain. He cried for the times I would reject him. For the separation I would feel when I put up walls. For the aching heart I would have from keeping him out of my life. I think these are things that were on his mind. Out of an act of obedience to his Father and a heart of devotion for me, he urged the donkey forward, he heard the cries of "Hosanna," he gathered with his followers in the upper room, he ate with them, he prayed, he went without fighting when his friend kissed his cheek. He would very shortly die for that friend. For those guards that tortured him. For those Jews who turned on him. For me. It is a love that is too big to comprehend. I can write about it. I can try to think about it but my brain is not big enough to hold all the implications. It doesn't work fast enough to sort through all that Jesus' death means. I just know it means life for me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day Thirteen

Sin is broken, you have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen. Jesus, you are Lord of all.

"O God, I have tasted Your goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, I want to want You; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, so that I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow You up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long."

I am so glad God's grace and mercy do not depend on my feelings or understanding. I am thankful that God cherishes me enough to listen to me rail against Him yet still extend His arms toward me so, when exhausted from my tantrums, I can curl up next to His heart and be 'loved on.' I am His daughter. He went to the cross for ME. He lives now and talks to God for ME. He makes sense of the rantings, longings, silent pleas, tearless cries - things I don't even know I'm yearning for - and presents them to the Father. He is stronger than my aloofness. He is stronger than my rejection. He is stronger than any walls I put up, the world puts up, death puts up.

You broke my shame and sinfuless,
You rose again victorious.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day Twelve


Aunt Georgie died today. So many deaths, so many losses in recent years. I am thankful for my heritage. I am thankful for an extended family that has always seemed more like extra moms and dads than aunts/uncles. I am thankful for our ability to have fun with each other, to laugh, to act silly. I am thankful for the fierce protection we offer each other. I have so many happy memories - many of them thanks to these amazing great-aunts God has given me...

Girl Parties
Movie Nights
Family Reunion Camping Trips
House-sitting Rent Free (for a year...thanks Aunt Georgie...and Uncle)
My First Doll (from Aunt Georgie - I think also my only doll)
I-Love-You-Honey Phone Calls
Money Trees
E-mails (when talking became difficult)

I've always known I was loved - a lot. The women in my family are strong, they are loyal, they are devoted. It has been an honor to be raised by such amazing people. It is true, I am a product of all of them. Good and bad. They have never hesitated to insert their opinion, their influence, or their will into my life. Great-niece? What's that? No different than daughter or granddaughter. In this family - anything goes. You just hang on and enjoy the ride - knowing it will never be dull.

As I was thinking about Auntie this morning, I felt such peace. Thank you Father. Because of Christ's death and resurrection we have a comfort that makes grief bearable. We have hope. Salvation rescues us. It gives us more. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis...

"But this life on earth is only the beginning of the real story. All our time in this world and all our adventures are only the cover and title page. One day, at last, we will begin Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."

I don't know if this is really happening or not but I hope that - whatever she is doing, whatever she is being shown - Grandma O. and Gram are by her side. It eases the pain when I think of them together. The Three Musketeers. Participating in the Great Story together. Ok, Grandpa, you can join them too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day Eleven

My Students
I love my students. I especially love spending time with them outside the classroom. I like to hear their thoughts, be allowed access to their hopes and dreams. I enjoy their humor, the zest they have for life. They are unique, creative, full of idealism. The word "can't" is not in their vocabulary. They seem to really like having an adult show interest in their world. It reminds me that we all need to know we matter. To someone in this life, we make a difference.

(P.S. Eating Pho together is a great way to enter their lives!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day Ten

Walking with momMA (I love her)
Enjoying each other, BLUE SKIES, sunshine, new life

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day Nine

My Reading Nook
It's my cozy corner, my escape, the place my mind can dream. I like the soft armchair, my dragonfly lamp, the framed photo of light streaming through tall trees, the tall window with a view of ACTUAL tall trees. My favorite time to curl up with a blanket over my legs is early twilight when the sky begins to turn a deepening blue, the moon peeks out and the stars begin to twinkle. With my feet up on the stuffed ottoman, the candles lit, a good book on my lap and a Pepsi by my side - I'm a content girl.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day Eight

My extra-special birthday present...she's my date tonight

Day Seven (Thursday)

My WA mom
Undivided attention, unlimited hugs, unconditional acceptance